Want some Halloween vibes for your fall yoga flow? Maybe you feel the need to exorcise some demons before winter strikes? Or perhaps you’re just feeling a little dark and twisted and want a dark and twisty flow to match your mood?
Try this mini Halloween-themed yoga sequence to keep you from feeling suffocated (or mummified!) this season!
Deep, Dark Cat Pose
Start with some gentle Cat/Cow oscillations using ujjayi breath (a loud hissing breath through the nose that drags against the back of your throat).
Gradually take your Cat Pose to the next level by really pressing your shoulder blades apart and bearing the back of your heart to the sky each time. Keep going deeper with each rep and eventually start to lift your knees off the mat.
See if you can straighten your legs and hold this more dramatic Cat Pose shape before you come back to your table top position on hands and knees.
Lean your heart forward over your wrists and lengthen from your knees through your hips all the way up into your shoulders.
Stay here or pick up your knees to find a variation of Plank resting on the tops of your feet and maintaining a flat back and strong core.
Hold for 3-5 breaths before coming down to Child’s Pose.
Slide to your Downward Facing Dog and wriggle your hips and shoulders, pedaling out your legs. Then, unravel forward like a snake to find a regular Plank Pose for a few breaths before mindfully lowering your hips to the mat for a deep Cobra Pose.
Slide back to a Three Legged Dog and bend the lifted knee to stack your hips and lean into Scorpion Dog.
Your foot is your scorpion’s stinger so keep it strong! You could flip your Dog here or simply pause in this fierce position.
Step the lifted foot through to the top of your mat and release your back knee down for Dragon Pose. Lean your hips forward but keep your knee aligned over your ankle for safety. You could bow over the front knee or reach your arms up depending on how energetic you are feeling.
Slide back to another Scorpion Dog and this time bring your right knee toward your right elbow and extend the leg out toward the left placing your foot on the floor for Fallen Triangle. Or, if you’d prefer to take Wild Thing, simply lift your left arm up to the sky and create giant mesmerizing circles with your arm.
After a few circles, release your seat to the mat (you will be facing the back of your mat), bend the right knee into a seated tree position and bow over the extended right leg in Janu Sirsasana (pictured).
Lord of the Ocean
Come back to a tall spine and cross the bent leg over the extended leg, twisting your torso to the left, away from your foot, in Half Lord of the Fishes.
Switch legs to repeat the same pose on the second side. Then, plant both feet directly under your knees and your hands slightly behind you with your fingertips pointing toward your toes to press the floor away from you and lift your hips high into a Reverse Table Top position.
Stay here for 5 long breaths before sitting back down and lifting up into Boat Pose for another 5 breaths.
Take one Rock-and-Roll Vinyasa planting your hands at the top of your mat and stepping (or hopping) back to Chaturanga (or all the way down to the floor), Up Dog (or Cobra) and finally Downward Facing Dog.
Go back to “The Scorpion’s Sting” and repeat on the left side. Then from Janu Sirsasana on the left…
Eagled Cow and a Lion’s Breath
Bend both knees and stack them one on top of the other in front of your navel, allowing your feet to fall loosely at your sides.
Eagle your arms, reach your fingertips up and begin to utilize Lion’s Breath by exhaling everything out loudly through a wide open mouth, sticking your tongue out. As you inhale, draw your elbows into your chest (remaining in the Eagle shape) and then repeat the process 3 more times. Repeat on the second side.
Reverse Walk The Plank
Stretch your legs out down the mat and activate your toes. Place your hands behind you and lift your hips for 5 deep breaths. The higher you lift your hips, the easier this pose becomes. Try to bring your toes to touch the ground and squeeze your thighs inwards.
Take another Rock-and-Roll Vinyasa to Down Dog and step or hop through to a seated position. Straighten your arms to lift clenched fists directly over your head and, as you exhale loudly through your mouth, bend your elbows and bring your fists to your rib cage making a loud “HA” sound.
Repeat this 8 times and then bow forward over your legs to seal your practice before taking Corpse Pose.
For more direction on any of these breathing techniques, check out “7 Best Yoga Breathing Exercises Both On and Off Your Mat.”
Now that you are enthused, and have exorcised any of those lingering demons, you are free to go on with your day knowing that Halloween is complete! Namaste, yogis!