Reverse Vinyasa

This is a follow-up to my variations on vinyasa post, as well as the story of a lightbulb moment. During my fantastically fun intensive on teaching yoga to athletes (there’s still room for a few more in New York next month), I was bemoaning the monotony of the standard vinyasa from plank through chaturanga to upward-facing dog and downward-facing dog. It’s great, to a point, but it’s always moving in the same direction.

Shortly after making this observation, I took my students through an “inchworm warmup” from child’s pose inspired by one of Kate Potter’s sequences. We came up to table pose, then slowly lowered down to the ground, hips first, passing through upward-facing dog before pushing back through table. Aha! This is the reverse action to the usual, especially if you keep your knees up and do a push-up. You could throw this is as one of the many variations you choose, or stick with it for every other flow through.

Here’s what I mean. (My eyes and forehead are cut off in the opening frames, à la The Athlete’s Guide to Yoga cover, and my back isn’t as straight or flexible as I’d like, but you’ll get the picture.)

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