Below yoga sequence should be used as a guide by yoga teachers to create their own yoga class plans
Heart Opening Yoga Sequence with Side Bending Yoga Poses
Side bending or Lateral bending is called as such when the spine bends to your right or left side. Here, while one side of the spinal discs expands, the other side compresses. The side that gets compressed is the side where you bend, the deeper the bend is, the more intense the stretch on the other side is. In this heart opening yoga sequence, the choice of yoga poses are made going from the basic seated yoga poses at a beginner's level before slowly moving into a seated intermediate level. Going in a flow to open the muscles around the spine, this heart opening yoga sequence moves into the standing intermediate level poses and ends with couple of prone and supine flow poses.
The basic movements of the spine are:
Flexion (Forward Movement)
Extension (Upward Movement)
Lateral Flexion (Side Movement)
Axial Rotation (Twisting Movement)
Axial Extension (Lengthening Movement - Inversions)
Our entire day-to-day activities comprise of different movements of the spine, most of which are flexion, extension and sometimes axial rotation. While these movements come naturally, they are not enough to keep the spine and the back strong. Hence, movements related to lateral flexion or side bends help to keep the spine and the muscles around it strong. Some of the main benefits of this movement are stated below:
Encourages the maximum use of oblique muscles.
Improves prana flow (energy) from the base of the spine.
Encourages the use of heart and lung muscles.
Since the given heart opening yoga sequence has seated yoga poses, this sequence can be practiced under other styles of yoga too, like Yin Yoga, Restorative Yoga, and Senior Yoga.
Heart Opening Yoga Sequence with Side Bending Yoga Poses: Yoga Poses, Cues, Steps, and Breathing instructions
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B. Inhale and raise the right arm above the head while taking it over the head towards the left side in Easy Pose Variation Side.
C. Exhale and stretch deeper while placing the left hand on the floor. Remain for about 3 breaths.
D. Go deep with the exhalation while loosening the body with inhalation.
Watch for the - stretch at the lower right side of back, shoulder and hips - the compressed muscles at the left lower back, shoulders and hips.
Both sides with either the stretch or the compressing of the muscles should be noticed.