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When we practice yoga, we bring all of our habitual patterns with us. The practice has inherent neutralizing effects, but sometimes, whether because of extreme tightness, hyper-mobility, stress, or otherwise—our practice gets muddled by our current state. There are many ways to center the body and mind before practice including meditation, breathing practices, as well as moderate exercises to prepare the body. In this video, alignment expert Pete Egoscue, with the help of Sonima founder and long time Ashtanga Yoga practitioner, Sonia Jones, offers a pre- and post-yoga workout routine to help solidify the powerful effects of the practice.
Related: A Workout Meditation to Do Before Exercising
The pre-yoga active alignment sequence consists of stretches for the muscles in the arms, feet, and legs to help the body loosen up and get grounded for practice. Additionally, you’ll work through spinal undulations which will help prepare the body for back bending. Think of the post-yoga sequence as a cool-down that will feel great on the hips, work out any left over kinks in the back, and leave your hamstrings and legs feeling sturdy but soft.
Follow along in the video above or download a PDF of these exercises below, with step-by-step directions so you can take these sequences on the go.