We spoke with The Palm Tree House’s incredible Yogi Frankie, for a beautiful flow to build confidence, clarity and a deeper connection to self ????
A Yoga Flow To Build Confidence, Clarity & A Deeper Connection To Self
We all come to the yoga mat for different reasons. These reasons may change from practice to practice, and will most certainly transform over time. One of the greatest attributes of yoga is that the practice can be endlessly adapted to suit various needs and aims. Wellness professionals can prescribe yoga to address many different physical ailments as well as for emotional or mental support. Yoga can help us to find greater strength, balance and flexibility in our body, yet it can also help us to find emotional stability, mental clarity and greater self-love.
The different yoga asanas each have their own unique attributes and effect on the body, mind and spirit. This sequence below has been designed to build confidence and clarity, and also foster a deeper connection to self. Boosting confidence stems from the strong standing poses and expansive poses such as the warrior 1 and 2. Clarity primarily comes from the yoga asanas that require greater balance and focus on a single point, or drishti. While a deep and nurturing connection to self is fostered through forward bends, heart openers, and moments of nourishing yin interspersed with the more active yang poses.
These undulations of yin and yang allow for expansion and contraction, a moving outwards and then inwards. Big, bold poses are invigorating and enlivening, and the more yin-style poses or momentary pauses in the practice allow for integration and introspection. You will leave this practice feeling strong, clear and deeply nourished within.
Supta Baddha Konasana- Reclined Bound Angle Pose
- Start the practice by coming to lay on your back on the mat.
- Bend your knees, bringing the soles of your feet together, allowing the knees to gently fall out to the sides and your hips to open up.
- Place your right hand on your heart and your left hand over your navel and close your eyes.
- Breathe here for a few moments, feeling the breath fill and expand your belly on the inhale, and then contract back towards the spine on the exhale.
- Take a minute to let go of everything else and just center your awareness in the present moment.
- From here, slowly roll over to your right side and come up to a seated cross legged position.
- Keeping the eyes closed, bring your hands to your heart’s center in prayer and take a moment to set an intention for your practice.
- This practice has three interwoven and interrelated aims: to build confidence, clarity and a deeper connection to self. You may want to just sit with these themes for a moment, or add a personal layer of intention or dedication on top of this also.
- Slowly open your eyes, place your palms on the mat in front of you, and roll over your knees to come onto all fours.
Gentle Core Activation
- On your hands and knees, raise your right knee and extend your right leg straight out behind you.
- On the inhale, draw your knee in towards your face, slightly rounding in your back and tucking your chin to draw your knee and forehead closer together, engaging through your core.
- On the exhale, extend the leg straight back behind you and return your head to neutral.
- Continue with this motion five more times, then when you extend the right leg, simultaneously extend the left arm out in front of you.
- On the inhale, draw the leg in and the arm in towards the center of the body, then on the exhale, extend and straighten out again.
- Use your core to keep balance.
- Continue for 5 more rounds of breath and then complete both actions on your opposite side.
- Once you are done, tuck your toes under, press into your hands and come into downward facing dog.
- Alternate lifting each heel up and down to walk out your legs, make sure your neck is relaxed and your spine long. When ready, walk your feet slowly to the top of your mat, dangling over your body in a gentle forward fold.
- Slowly, bending your knees slightly, curl your body upwards, vertebrae by vertebrae, head is the last to lift.
- Stand at the top of your mat in mountain pose, taking a few deep breaths before you begin your sun salutations.
Sun Salutation sequences are traditionally performed to create energy in the body and focus the mind.
- From Mountain Pose sweep the arms up and extend them over your head on the inhale, then exhale to bow forward into a forward bend.
- On the inhale, lift the torso halfway up, place your hands at your shins and extend the spine.
- Fold forward again on the exhale.
- On the inhale, step back into plank position and exhale as you bring your body down to the floor in one long line.
- Inhale into cobra pose or upward facing dog, then exhale to pull back into downward facing dog.
- Step or jump to the top of your mat and lift up half way again on the inhale, then fold forwards on the exhale.
- Inhale to come upraight, lifting your arms up towards the sky.
- Then exhale bring your palms back to your heart center.
- Repeat this sequence three more time, finishing in downward facing dog.
Virabhadrāsana 1- Warrior 1
- From Downward Dog, step your right foot between your hands and rise to standing.
- Angle your back foot out slightly and ensure both hip bones are facing forwards.
- Straighten your back leg and bend deeply through your front knee, making sure the knee is above the ankle.
- Soften your pelvis toward the floor, lift the sides of your waist and draw your ribcage inwards.
- Bring your arms up towards the sky and hold the pose for 5 deep slow breaths.
- Warrior pose is one of the most powerful poses to create strength, courage and confidence in the body.
- Feel strong and steady by really grounding your feet into the mat and opening up through your chest and upper body.
Virabhadrāsana 2- Warrior 2
- From your Warrior 1 pose, open the body into Warrior 2 by pivoting the body to the left and extending the arms outwards so they are parallel to the floor, palms facing down.
- Keep your right foot pointing forwards and angle your back foot out to the left 90 degrees, aligning the right heel with the left middle arch of the back foot.
- Firm your thighs, keep the spine long and both sides of the torso even.
- Find a point of focus just over the front middle finger and stay here for 5 deep breaths.
- Just like the name suggests, this pose awakens the warrior within, developing both power and strength, and also mental clarity and perseverance.
Prasarita Padottanasana -Wide Legged Forward Bend
- From Warrior 2, straighten your front right leg and pivot through both feet so you are facing your whole body to the left, feet are parallel and around 3-4 feet apart from one another.
- Engage the thigh muscles by drawing them up, then inhale and lift your chest, before exhaling to lean forwards, keeping the spine long, reaching your hands to come to rest on the floor.
- Walk your fingertips between your feet, bend your elbows and lower your torso and head into a full forward bend.
- Draw your shoulders away from your ears, keep the thighs active and if possible, rest the crown of your head on the floor.
- Stay in the pose, breathing deeply for 30 seconds.
- Take this time to move inwards, let your mind relax and your thoughts be gentle.
- To come out, bring your hands to your hips and with an inhalation, bring the torso upright, remain here in a wide legged stance.
Utkata Konasana -Goddess Pose
- From your wide legged standing pose, keep your hands on your hips and angle your feet so that your toes point outwards and your heels inwards; your feet should be at a rough 45 degree angle.
- Bend your knees in the same direction as your toes and come into a squat position, gently drawing your tailbone towards the floor and keeping your torso upright.
- Engage your thigh muscles and your core muscles. You can keep your hands on your hips, or lift your arms, bend your elbows and bring your thumb and forefinger to touch on each hand.
- This mudra helps to bring greater focus, which is especially helpful in this strong challenging pose!
- Goddess pose is a fiery, energising pose that helps you to harness the power of the universe and connect to your inner power and inner feminine energy.
- To come out of the pose, straight your legs, step back to the front of the mat and move through a vinyasa.
- Complete Warrior 1, Warrior 2, Standing Wide Legged Forward Bend and Goddess Pose on the left side.
- Finish the sequence with another vinyasa to bring you back to downward facing dog.
Anjaneyasana – High Crescent Lunge
- From Downward Dog, step your right foot between your hands and rise to standing.
- Make sure your back leg is straight and your front right knee is over your right ankle.
- Soften your pelvis toward the floor, stretching your back hip flexor.
- Lift the sides of your waist and draw your ribcage in.
- Bring your arms up towards the sky and hold for 5 breaths.
Garudasana -Eagle Pose
- From high crescent lunge, engage your core and draw energy into the center of your body.
- On an inhale, step the back foot forwards, coming to the top of the mat, keeping the right leg lifted.
- Bend the standing leg very slightly, then cross your right thigh over your left, hooking the top of your right foot at the back of the left calf, coming into Eagle Pose.
- You can either lift both arms upwards to the sky, or cross your left elbow over your right and bend both elbows, resting the backs of your hands together or crossing at the wrists to bring your palms together.
- Remain in the pose for 5 deep long breaths.
- Garudasana requires great mental focus- to sustain the posture, you must give it your full attention and commitment, drawing your mind to one singular point of focus.
Virabhadrāsana 3- Warrior 3
- From your Eagle Pose, slowly and mindfully unwind your limbs, maintaining your point of focus and core activation.
- Begin to bend at the waist, tilting the torse forwards.
- Lengthen your arms out straight in front of your body, and kick your right leg back straight out behind you, maintaining balance in the left leg.
- Keep the right foot flexed and active with the toes pointing down.
- Try and keep your arms, torso, and raised leg relatively parallel to the floor with both hip points even.
- Keep the gaze down and the neck in a relaxed, neutral position.
- Energise the whole body, actively reaching forwards as you extend backwards simultaneously.
- Stay here for 3 deep long breaths.
- Warrior III is another challenging pose of balance and focus; it is a great reminder of our own inner strength and courage.
- To come out of this pose and complete this invigorating sequence, bring both hands down to the floor and step back into downward facing dog. Complete High Crescent Lunge, Eagle Pose and Warrior 3 on the left side.
After completing both sides, finish in downward facing dog and then bend the knees to come down to kneel on the floor, torso upright. Close your eyes here and take a few moments to pause and return to the breath.
- Come up to kneel with your knees hip-width apart and your weight distributed evenly throughout your shin bones.
- Place your hands on your hips, encouraging your tailbone to drop, and then shift your hands to your ribcage, palms facing inwards and your fingertips pointing up.
- Gently press your back into your hands to lift your chest.
- Continue to curl your upper body open as lean backwards. Release your hands back to clasp your heels or ankles.
- Allow your head to gently relax back so you are looking behind you.
- Breathe here, before rolling back up again one vertebra at a time, lifting the head last.
- Repeat for three rounds of three breaths each, dropping back to sit on your heels and resting for a few moments between sets.
- Camel is a beautiful backbend that is highly invigorating for the entire body. Backbends are wonderful for cultivating energy and mental alertness in the body and also for expanding the heart and inspiring openness and love.
Balasana- Child’s Pose
- After your final camel pose, open up your knees a little wider and then bring your sit bones to your heels, draping your torso between your legs to come back and rest in child’s pose.
- Rest deeply here, taking a few moments to pause after the active/yang part of the practice.
- Take long, deep slow breaths, recognizing all that you have just accomplished in your practice.
- This is a physically and mentally challenging practice! Pushing our boundaries and stepping outside of our comfort zone is where true growth occurs, and yoga offers us the perfect space to do just that.
Navasana- Boat Pose
- Come to a seated position on your mat with your legs straight out in front of you.
- Exhale and bend your knees, then lift your feet off the floor, so that the shins are parallel to the floor.
- Engage your core and stretch your arms alongside the legs, reaching your fingertips towards the front of the room.
- Keep the back of the neck long and the chest open. You can stay here, or slowly straighten your legs so that the thighs are angled about 45 degrees to the floor.
- Breath where you are, with bent or straight legs, for 5 breaths, before bringing your feet back to rest on the floor.
Paschimottanasana- Seated Forward Bend
- Straighten your legs outwards in front of you, feet flexed, preparing to come into a seated forward fold to complete your practice.
- Forwards folds are a beautiful way to cultivate inward reflection and the gentle, tranquil space allows for you to connect deeper within. Inhale, and keeping the front torso long, lean forward from the hip joints reaching forwards.
- You can rest your hands on your shins, or grasp the sides of your feet. With each inhalation, lengthen the torso and with each exhalation release a little more fully into the forward bend, allowing your torso to come to rest on your thighs.
- Stay in your fold for at least 10 deep breaths, using this final pose to quieten the mind and relax the body.
- When you’re ready, slowly rise back to a seated position, and keeping your legs outstretched, lay down to rest your whole body on the mat.
- In savasana, allow your whole body to relax into the floor.
- Let go of any stress or tension in the body and enjoy the energising and rejuvenating benefits of the practice wash over you.
- Feel the confidence that has come through the strong standing poses, the clarity you have gained from the focused balancing poses, and the deeper connection to self that you have fostered through the forward folds and moments of gentle rest and surrender.
- Come back to your intention and take a few moments to thank yourself for taking this time to dedicate to your practice, before allowing your mind to still and drift into that quiet space of savasana.
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The Palm Tree House is their newest boutique ‘Barefoot – Luxe’ Women’s Retreat. Think island living in a gorgeous boutique villa retreat. Surrounded by tropical gardens, close to the beach and organic cafes. A relaxed week long experience with your choice of a surf, yoga, fitness or healing retreat package.