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When making movement a ritual, it's tough to be consistent when you swing from high-octane, strenuous exercise to a sore and sedentary 24 hours. A more subtle practice can feel nourishing in its own right on “rest days”, providing juicy activity and reducing the lactic acid buildup that happens after bouts of intense movement. Sakara Wellness Coach and certified yoga instructor, Christina Mahaffie, is bringing this type of balance with three brief but beautiful yoga sequences. She guides you through the poses with her voice, a nice counterpart to the more high-energy, steaming sculpting workouts you love like Sculpt Society. The soothing audio clips give your eyes a break from all of the recent screen time and allow you to get quiet, focus on your own body, and briefly clear out mental chatter. If you need or want a visual cue, there are accompanying videos that can be helpful to watch before listening in, to demonstrate the correct form. 

Before taking to the mat, Christina suggests setting the mood. “I turn on music that my body wants to move to—right now, I love ‘Taste’ by Rhye, ‘Hot Heavy Summer’ by Ben Howard, and ‘Howling’ by RY X—and breathe deeply for a bit. I need to separate myself from my workday that happens only five steps away on my couch,” she says. Light a few candles, lower the lights and if possible, turn up the heat. The temperature change increases your chance to break a sweat but also moves lymph and increases flexibility. Then, set an intention for the practice. “When in Samastitihi, or standing in balanced stillness, I always come back to a simple message, says Christina. "‘I feel free in my body, beautiful in my skin, and am open to all that's to come.’”


"This sequence encourages circulation and gets the blood pumping. Each pose deeply stretches the body: your hips in child's pose (Balasana); the backline of your body in downward-facing dog (Adho Mukha Shvanasana); your sidelines in mountain pose (Tadasana); and standing half-moon. It also aids in shaking off any stiffness from sleep."—Christina





"This works as a quick, full-body turn-on to activate muscles. Your abs, in a 360-degree fashion, receive major attention while in high-plank, side-plank, and in the three-legged downward-facing dog sequence."—Christina




"Easy twist (Supta Matsyendrasana) is a variation of a spinal twist that realigns and lengthens the spine, hydrates the spinal disks, and stimulates digestion. Half Pigeon (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana) targets the outer hip and IT band of your front, bent leg while opening the front hip and psoas of the back, extended leg. Our hips grip onto and harbor emotions, so a stretch like this can feel quite intense mentally and emotionally."—Christina  



More Ways to Discover Joyful Exercise

Get High on Movement

A 10-Minute Full-Body Circuit

A Heart-Opening Playlist to Shake and Sweat

Filed Under: Well-being, Wellbeing

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