This yoga sequence uses a blanket to help you increase strength

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Most of the time, when a teacher tells you to take a yoga blanket, it is to cushion or warm up. This sequence will surely warm you up. But here, you will use the blanket to develop strength, targeting muscles that are not usually given much attention in a traditional yoga practice.

This class uses four “supersets” of two alternating exercises for a designated repetition count. For each set, go straight from the first drill to the second, then rest for about a minute and repeat the whole set a total of three times. If you are not used to practicing this way, it may take a while to get used to it. But this approach maximizes your functional strength and cardiovascular benefits.

Don’t forget to check with your breath. In general, I use slow inspiration for the phase in which your muscles lengthen (eccentric phase) and a short expiration for the phase in which your muscles shorten (concentric phase). As you rest, focus on slow ujjayi breathing to help lower your heart rate.

You can use a towel if no blanket is available, but you will need a smooth surface, such as smooth wood, cement, or tile flooring, to practice.

More from Rocky Heron: Use your tools! How Yoga Accessories Can Deepen Your Practice

The slippery Surya Namaskar A

Rocky Heron to Surya Namaskar A modified with blanket
(Photos: rocky heron)

Warm up with 3-5 greetings in the sun, with your feet on the blanket. (If you have a favorite warm-up for your whole body, you can.)

Superset 1

Plank slides forward

Rocky Heron Plank slides forward 14a / b
(Photo: rocky heron)

This exercise is aimed at the abdominal muscles and hip flexors. Start in Plank Pose with your feet on the blanket. Push to the floor to widen the shoulder blades and stretch the ribs toward the ceiling. Pull out your thighs and close your legs. When exhaling, bend your knees toward your arms and slide the blanket up. Inhale to stretch your legs. Complete 10 to 15 reps.

Transition to Crescent Warrior

A person shows a low lunge with his hind foot resting on a blanket
(Photo: rocky heron)

From Plank, keep your left foot on the blanket and step on your right foot in your hands. He raises his torso and reaches Crescent Warrior.

Warrior slides

Rocky Heron in a Warrior 1 variation with blanket
(Photo: rocky heron)

From Crescent Warrior, exhale, push to the right heel and slide your left foot forward with the blanket. Inhale and slide backwards. Complete 10 to 15 reps and then lower your hands and change legs.

Rest for 1 minute and then repeat the superset a total of 3 times

Superset 2

Cobra Slides

Rock heron in Cobra variation with blankets
(Photo: rocky heron)

Place the folded blanket under your pelvis and lie face down on the floor. Stretch your arms forward and lift your chest and legs. Squeeze your hands apart, exhale and slide forward, reaching the cobra position. Inhale and return to starting position. Complete 5 to 10 reps.

Modified Chaturanga flies

Rocky heron in modified chaturanga
(Photo: rocky heron)

Squeeze your hands and knees and place the blanket under your left hand. Lower your pelvis to form a straight line from your knees to your hips, shoulders, and head. Stabilize through your trunk as you did before in the board posture. Inhale and bend your right elbow as you slide the blanket diagonally to the side and slightly in front of you. Go down as low as you can while you can still return. Exhale and stretch your hands together as you stretch your right arm, returning to the starting position. Complete 8 to 12 reps and change sides.

Rest for 1 minute and then repeat the superset a total of 3 times

Superset 3

Adductor slides

Image side by side of the feet on a yoga blanket
(Photo: rocky heron)

Get up and unfold the blanket so that it is long. Stand with your feet wide on the blanket, then slide them to the width of your hips so that there is a blanket grouped between your feet. Inhale and slide your right foot to one side. Exhale and slide back inside. Just slide out as far as you can without losing the ability to come back with your legs straight. It won’t be long! Complete between 7 and 10 reps and then change the anchored leg and sliding leg.

Pigeon glute slides

Rocky Heron sliding pigeon glute
(Photo: rocky heron)

Sit down and bring the right cinnamon in front of you on the floor. Bend your left knee to your chest and place your left foot on the blanket. Place your right hand at your side to help keep your torso straight. Exhale and slide the blanket to one side and as far back as you can. You should feel the contractions in the glutes of your hind leg. Inhale and slide the blanket back to the starting position. Complete 10 to 15 reps and change sides.

Rest for 1 minute and then return to the standing position to repeat the superset a total of 3 times

Superset 4

Hamstring bridge slides

Rocky heron in bridge variation with blanket
(Photo: rocky heron)

Lie on your back with your knees bent and place your feet on the blanket. Raise your hips to the bridge position and press your arms to the floor beside you. Inhale and slide your legs away from your hips, stretching your knees. Keep your hips as high as you can. Exhale, press your heels, and slide your feet in again. Complete 8 to 12 reps.

Supine lateral flexion slides

Rocky heron in supine oblique bend
(Photo: rocky heron)

Unfold the blanket so that it is long. Lie on the blanket with your legs straight. Hold your hands behind your head and lift your head slightly. Exhale and bend sideways in one direction, sliding the blanket so that it moves with your torso. Inhale to return to starting position and then repeat on the other side. This is 1 rep. Complete a total of more than 10 reps.

When you complete all four supersets in this class, you can end up with some relaxing stretches of your choice. A calming pranayama practice can help regulate your nervous system. Of course, Savasana is always a good choice after a very active practice like this.

More Rocky Heron sequences

Over the next few weeks, we’ll explore how to use accessories to improve your practice, whether it’s going backwards or advancing your movements. Here’s what comes next:

  • Stay with him! Use of heels to open shoulders and hips
  • Use straps to support your restorative postures
  • Video practice: The Vinyasa Block Party

Become a member today to enjoy all our offerings, including rocky Heron sequences with support, courses and classes from world-renowned teachers, our membership-only pose library with the deepest yoga position instruction d ‘Internet and more. There has never been a better time to unite.

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