(Part 3) Yoga on Hilton Head: Balancing and Seated Sequences

Ransom (4) in Double Pigeon Pose

I believe yoga is fun for the whole family. I practice regularly with my husband and daughters (ages 5 months, 2 ½ years and 4 years) and I often teach families with a wide age-spectrum. However, if you want your Hilton Head Island yoga-beach experience to be more peaceful than familial I would recommend checking out one of the many childcare services in the area.

Babysitting Services:

  1. Guardian Angels Sitting Service
  2. Hilton Head Nannies
  3. Companions, Nurses and Nannies

(Also, check out Kids Zone for summer camp options—that way the whole family is getting in shape!)

Now that you are a feel comfortable with Part 1 and Part 2 of your yoga practice, it is time to learn about the balancing and seated sequences.

Over the years, many of my yoga students have admitted that they feel intimidated by balancing poses. What I have said to them (and would say to you if you can relate) is to think of yoga as a progression. For me, this is how yoga goes from being an exercise to a metaphor for life.

Rather than stepping onto your mat with any judgment or expectations, begin with a clean mind. Starting at the back of your mat divide it into 3 manageable segments.

  • Back of the yoga mat = Beginner level
  • Middle of the mat = Intermediate level
  • Front of the mat = Advanced level
Tree Pose

Jiva Yoga Instructors in Tree Pose

Try a balancing pose like Vrksasana, or Tree Pose, that has several variations and modifications. Begin with the simplest form of Tree Pose, such as placing the right foot along the inside of the left ankle and hold for 5 breaths before switching to the other side. You can progress Tree Pose by gradually raising the right foot until it rests along your left inner thigh and by lifting your gaze so that eventually you are looking directly up toward the sky or even closing your eyes.

Next, enter into the seated sequence. A seated sequence aims to not only stretch and lengthen your body but usually includes an arm balance to build confidence and core strength.


Simple Seated Sequence:

  • Begin in Dandasana, or Staff Pose
  • Inhale, lift the arms up toward the sky being careful to keep the shoulders down and the chest open
  • Exhale, fold forward and clasp on to your shins, ankles or feet
  • Hold for 5 breaths
  • Inhale, lift the torso upright
  • Exhale, rest your hands by your sides
  • Inhale, point the toes and move your hands underneath your shoulders (fingertips facing the front of your mat)
  • Exhale, engage your back and core and lift your body off your mat for Reverse Plank Pose
  • Hold for 5 breaths
  • Inhale, return to Staff Pose
  • Exhale, separate the legs wide facing the left or right side of your mat for Wide-Legged Forward Fold Pose
  • Hold for 5 breaths
  • Inhale, engage the back and core and lift the torso upright
  • Exhale, lean to the right side and place the right hand to the right leg and the left arm up toward the sky (chest remains open)
  • Inhale, back to center
  • Exhale, lean to the left side and place the left hand to the left leg and the right arm up toward the sky (chest remains open)
  • Repeat the last 3 steps several times being careful to go slowly and intentionally
  • Inhale, return to center
  • Exhale, bend both legs and stack the right leg on top of the left leg so that both your shins are parallel to the edge of your mat and your right ankle is on your left knee and your right knee is on your left ankle for Double Pigeon Pose (Note: If this is too difficult place the right leg in front of the left for a variation of sitting Indian-style )

    Crane Pose

    Jean Rioux in Crane Pose

  • Inhale, grow tall in your spine
  • Exhale, come into a forward fold
  • Hold for 5 breaths
  • Inhale, lift the torso upright
  • Exhale, release the pose and shake out the legs
  • Inhale, come into a squat position
  • Exhale, place your hands on the mat and connect with your core
  • Inhale, bend your arms to create a 90 degree angle
  • Exhale, place your knees on your triceps and engage your core for Crane Pose (Note: Beginners can try just one knee at a time)
  • Hold for 5 breaths

Be well!–Becca