Summer. It’s a time of booty shaking at Red Rocks concerts, endless adventures through the Colorado wilderness, care-free attitudes, delicious meals made from ingredients from my own garden, and so much more. In celebration of this glorious season, I decided to create a yoga sequence that is inspired by one of my all time favorite herbs, that to me, embodies summer.
Calendula officinalis , or more commonly named Calendula, is the sun of the flower kingdom. Her flowers are deep hues of yellow and orange and her petals shine brightly from the center. She is the herb of fire and sparks the light within you to do what your heart desires, what you are truly being called to do. When applied topically in an infused oil, she softens and eases ailments of the skin giving you that beautiful summer glow. Internally, she is great for the solar plexus chakra and helps to ease slow digestion and move prana throughout the body allowing you to feel free with endless possibility.
The yoga sequence I have created is short and playful. There is a focus on the core in all of these postures, as this is where your solar plexus chakra lies. My hopes are that you will use it whenever you need to be reminded of the light with in you and when you just need to move to feel better. Shine bright my friends.
1) Start with a few moments of seated meditation. Ground your pelvis into the earth beneath you and grow your spine long, like a flower reaching towards the sun.
2) Flow through traditional Sun Salutations. I recommend doing at least two rounds. If you have time, treat yourself to more, adding in fun variations like down-dog split into wild-thing, being sure to repeat on each side. Allow your breath to ignite each posture and inform you on what your body needs in this moment. Have a playful, almost dance-like quality to your vinyasa.
3) Take at least 5 breaths in each of the following postures, taking a vinyasa if you like between each one.
-Goddess Pose: I recommend doing this sequence outside and barefoot; Knees are pointing the same direction as your toes and are directly over your ankles. Squat your booty down, slightly shifting your weight into the heels. Activate through your core and imagine a beautiful glowing sun emanating from your core. Don’t forget to smile!
-Navasana with yogi toe lock: Sitting on your booty, begin to transfer your weight so that you balance on your sacrum (the part of your back that is right above your butt cheeks, it forms a nice, fairly flat triangle). Begin by lifting your feet off of the ground, knees at a 90 degree angle. Hands and arms are extending straight out in front of you. Fire up through your core, and activate through your hip-flexors. Feel free to stay here, or grasp each of your big toes with your thumb, index, and middle finger to create a secure lock. Extend your legs straight and grow the corners of your mouth into a smile.
Sirsasana 1 (Traditional Headstand): A beautiful posture to invite new perspective and energy into your day. Make sure you have a stable platform, with your wrists and elbows evenly pressing into the earth. Try some fun leg variations like splits or legs extended wide. All the while, stay strong through your core and make sure your outer shoulders are lifted and strong.
4) End in child’s pose with hands rotated up towards the sun, in a gesture of gratitude and receiving of life giving energy.