Sometimes your Instagram feed makes yoga seem harder than rocket science. And while you may double tap those crazy-complicated inversions, they aren’t for everyone. That’s where star yogi Kathryn Budig comes in. Her style of practice is all about finding your own path, your own direction, and developing your unique gifts—even if that means forgoing any attempt to hold a handstand on a rocky ledge at sunset (all in the name of likes).
And in keeping with her you-do-you ethos, Budig is a big proponent of home practice. “It’s one of the best things you can do for yourself because that ‘studio’ is open 24/7,” Budig notes. All you need is sacred space to lay your mat—a corner of your bedroom counts!—and maybe some candles or incense if you’re feeling extra fancy.
Not sure where to start once you’ve made it to the mat? Here, Budig shares an excerpt from her book, with a sequence she named “Empower”: “It’s a simple routine to put on repeat whenever you need the tools to remember you are imperfectly perfect and made exactly as you should be,” she says.
And for more Budig inspiration, tune in to @wellandgoodnyc this Sunday, April 3, when the yogi takes over the Well+Good Instagram!
Read on and follow along with Budig’s series of empowerment poses to get a serious hear-me-roar vibe going.
Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
Take a few deep breaths and set your intention for the practice. make it clear, and make it yours.
First round: dedicated to someone you love
Think of someone who makes your heart flutter, or who immediately puts a smile on your face. Feel the energy of their love flowing through your entire body. Use this flow as a silent thank-you from your heart to theirs, reminding yourself that love is a two-way street—for every ounce of love and support they’ve given you, you commit to offering in return.
Second round: dedicated to someone who has hurt you
Think of someone who has hurt you, who constantly triggers your reactive side, or who has left such a scar that you struggle with letting go of the story. Use this salutation to shape your feelings about the person into the form of acceptance and gratitude. Everyone enters our lives for specific reasons. Set your grudges free, thank them for their lessons, and emotionally send them on their way.
Third round: dedicated to yourself
Dedicate this salute to yourself. This is a huge dose of self-love and support. Acknowledge your talents, abilities, and gifts. Embrace exactly who you are in this exact moment in time, noting that you are imperfectly perfect. Love your imperfections as much as the traits you are proud of. Thank your body for having the strength to practice yoga. Smile to yourself as you move thoughtfully through these poses.
Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I)
I am enough
From downward-facing dog, step your right food forward next to your right thumb and spin your back foot flat so that the heel of your front foot and the heel of your back foot are aligned. Lift your torso upright, keeping the front knee bent in a 90-degree angle. Work on squaring your hips and torso forward as you extend your arms overhead. Hold for 1 to 5 breaths, telling yourself, “I am enough.”
Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II)
I am perfectly imperfect
Toe-heel your right foot over a few inches so that the heel of your front foot and arch of your back foot are aligned as you open your torso. Elevate your arms parallel to the ground and extending away from each other. Keep your front leg at a 90-degree angle. Hold for 1 to 5 breaths as you tell yourself, “I am perfectly imperfect.”
Viparita Virabhadrasana (Reverse Warrior)
I am strong
Keep the warrior II stance of your lower body as you rotate your right palm up to the sky. Trickle your left hand down your back leg as you sweep your right hand up and back, expanding your side ribs open. Keep the tailbone heavy and the lower body engaged. Hold for 1 to 5 breaths as you tell yourself, “I am strong.”
Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)
I am beautiful/handsome
Move back through warrior II, extending your right hand forward and down to the outside of your right foot. Reach your left arm straight up, rotate the palm forward, and extend it overhead. Roll your heart open as you firm your right hip in. Gaze up underneath your arm and breathe for 1 to 5 breaths as you tell yourself, “I am beautiful/handsome.”
Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Handstand Hops)
I am fearless
Come back up to warrior II. Windmill your hands overhead onto the ground. Pivot the ball of your back foot and hop your front foot back a few inches. Plant your palms flat shoulder width apart. Firm your arms straight and keep your gaze slightly forward. Lift your left leg up toward the ceiling. Bend your right knee and take a small hop up toward handstand (use a wall if this is new to you), bringing your right knee tight to your chest and working your hips up over your shoulders. Each time, tell yourself, “I am fearless.” Take up to 5 hops.
Navasana + Ardha Navasana (Boat Pose + Half Boat)
Start seated with your knees bent. Hold on to the backs of your thighs as you elevate your feet off the ground, balancing on the tripod of your tailbone and two sitting bones. Draw your shinbones parallel to the ground and stay here or keep straightening your legs until your toes are in line with your eyes.
Release your legs and extend your arms straight in line with your shoulders. Hold for 5 breaths.
Lower your body until your legs and shoulder blades hover low over the ground. Extend your arms powerfully straight next to your sides. Gaze at your navel. Hold for 5 breaths. Lift back up into full boat. Repeat, taking 5 breaths per pose.
Ustrasana (Camel Pose)
3 rounds of 8 breaths each
Stand on your knees with even weight throughout your shinbones, keeping them hip width apart, hips stacked over your knees. Drop your tailbone, lift your lower belly, and curl your chest open. Roll your shoulders back and release your head back as you press your heart to the sky. Reach your hands back to grab your heels (or keep them on your hips).
Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)
Sit with your legs extended straight and together in front of you. Flex your feet. Inhale as you lift your torso tall, exhale as you lengthen your middle long over your legs, grabbing the outer feet or working with a strap over the balls of the feet. Avoid rounding your spine. Focus on length.
Ananda Balasana (Happy Baby)
Separate your legs wider than hip width apart and let the soles of your feet face up toward the ceiling. Gently draw down on your heels as you relax your shoulders so the thighs descend on either side of your torso. Hold here, breathing, for as long as you like.
5 breaths per side
Lying on your back, hug your knees into your chest. Open your arms wide and drop both knees over to the right, keeping them stacked. Draw your tailbone forward as you melt your opposite shoulder into the ground. Breathe. Switch sides and repeat.
Finish the sequence with a seated meditation and savasana. Place both palms over your heart and thank it for being strong, open, and resilient.
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