Category Archives: Yoga Sequences

Balance the Body, Mind, and Heart with Practices from Richard Freeman and Mary Taylor

Get grounded, and then open your heart with two practices from the master Ashtanga Yoga teachers.

Live Be Yoga ambassadors Lauren Cohen and Brandon Spratt are on a road trip across the country to sit down with master teachers, host free local classes, and so much more—all to illuminate the conversations pulsing through the yoga community today. 

At the start of the tour in Boulder, Colorado, we had the privilege of meeting master Ashtanga Yoga teachers Richard Freeman and Mary Taylor, who led us through two powerful practices to balance body, mind, and subtle energy. The short sequences explore a range of poses—from grounding postures, such as forward folds, to expansive postures, including heart openers. Ready to give them a try? Check them out below. These two practices are meant to be done after a full warm-up that includes Sun Salutations and simple backbends and inversions, such as Bridge Pose.

See also The True Meaning of Yoga, According to Richard Freeman and Mary Taylor

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How to Practice Sama Vritti Pranayama (Box Breathing)

Try Sama Vritti Pranayama (Box Breathing) when you’re stressed, anxious, or upset.

Sama Vritti Pranayama is a powerful relaxation tool that can help clear your mind, relax your body, and allow you to focus. The best part? You can do it anywhere. Just find a comfortable seat with your back supported and feet on the floor.  

  1. Close your eyes. Breathe in through your nose, slowly counting to 4. Feel the air filling your lungs.
  2. Hold your breath here and slowly count to 4 again. Try not to clamp your airways shut. Simply avoid inhaling or exhaling for 4 counts.
  3. Slowly exhale to the count of 4.
  4. Hold the exhale for another 4 counts.
  5. Repeat steps 1–4 for 4 minutes or until you feel calm and centered.

Find other pranayama techniques here

Have a Wrist Injury? These Pose Swaps Will Help You Maintain Your Yoga Practice

Try these alternatives to get all the same benefits without bearing weight on your hands and wrists.

Regardless of the reason you have wrist problems, do not fear: You can easily modify a practice (vinyasa flow or otherwise) with other postures.

Injuries can be frustrating and upsetting, especially when the area that’s hurt feels primary to the heart of your asana practice. If you’re a member of the vinyasa yoga, Power Yoga, or Ashtanga Yoga communities, you definitely rely on your wrists for a majority of your practice.

See also Learn How to Protect Your Wrists in Your Practice

Your wrists are very small joints that are not made for bearing the weight of your whole body, and your asana practice can put large weight requirements on them. You may have come to yoga with weak wrists or perhaps acquired a wrist injury from misalignment in postures. Regardless of the reason you have wrist problems, do not fear: You can easily modify a practice (vinyasa flow or otherwise) with other postures. Remember, moving slowly is the key to avoiding injury, so take it easy. Modify carefully and insert these poses to help you enjoy your practice even when you can’t do everything. The good news is that just because you can’t lean on your wrists, it doesn’t mean you can’t explore, strengthen, and grow in other ways. 

See also 8 Yoga Poses to Strengthen Your Wrists