By: Steph Gongora @casa_colibri
Spending time in the summer sun leaves me feeling radiant, healthy, and spirited; warmed from the inside out. It’s the perfect time to embrace the season and cultivate a little inner fire of our own.
Our third chakra, also known as the Solar Plexus is aptly named the ‘fire center’ of the body. Located around the navel, it is where we digest life, both literally and figuratively, and where we house our self-confidence, determination, purpose, and direction. Today, harness that energy by kick-starting your practice with this mini flow, focused on your solar plexus:
Activated Belly Breathing
Start lying on your back, knees bent to 90* with shins parallel to the mat and feet flexed. Using 20-25% power, press the palms of the hands into the thighs, thighs pressing back into the hands to turn on the low belly. Keeping the pressure between hands and thighs, begin belly breathing, feeling it balloon up with every inhale and sink back toward the spine on each exhale.
Rec: 3 sets of 10 slow, complete breaths
Boat Pose – Paripurna Navasana
Rounding the back, hands on the shins, rock back and forth gently along the spine until you come to rest on the sit bones, legs still lifted. Straighten the spine, thinking length up through the sit bones and out through the crown. Arms extend out in front, and legs can stay bent with shins parallel to the mat, or extend upward at a 45* angle, creating an elongated V shape.
Rec: 3 sets of 5 breaths
Hovering Table Top – Beast Pose
From Boat Pose, bend the knees, cross the ankles, and roll over the legs into table top position, shoulders over wrists, hips over knees. Walk the knees in 3-4 inches toward the hands and flex the feet firmly, bringing all 10 toes onto the ground, shins are lifted. Firm the core (remember to breath), and lift the knees 2 inches off the ground, supporting the body on the hands and toes, thinking length from the crown of the head out through the sit bones.
Rec: 3 sets of 8 breaths
Twisted Child’s Pose
Lower the knees, untuck the toes, and send the sit bones back to the heels, widening the knees slightly to bring the belly down to the thighs for Child’s Pose. Stay here or lift the shoulder girdle up slightly to slide the right arm between the left hand and left knee and then all the way over to the left, palm facing up. Pull navel to the spine to deepen the twist at the belly, and try to keep the weight on both sit bones even.
Rec: 10 breaths per side
Sphinx Pose – Salamba Bhujangasana
Untwist the arms and slither forward onto the belly, bringing the legs together so that the big toe mounds touch. Prop yourself up on the forearms, taking care to make them parallel with elbows close to the low ribs. Lift the knees, press the pubic bone down slightly, tone the navel, and draw the shoulder blades together and lightly down the back.
Rec: 2 x 10 breaths
Belly Down Savasana
From Sphinx pose, bring the arms down along the sides, palms up or down, and rest either cheek gently on the ground. Close the eyes, allow the breathing to return to normal, and imagine yourself sinking heavy into the mat as the fire you created deep in your belly dissipates into warm stillness and contentment.
Rec: 3-5 minutes
Hope this flow brings you the strength to walk off the mat empowered to take on the world with self-confidence and radiance.
Steph Gongora (@casa_colbiri) is a certified yoga and aerial teacher currently based in Austin, TX. When she isn’t doing yoga, she enjoys reading, writing, the great outdoors, and spending time with her little family.