By KELLS MCPHILLIPS,
Yoga is near and dear to my heart. It’s the one hour of my day when I can tell my brain to be quiet and actually get it to listen to me. When you’re flowing on your mat, tuning the teacher out for even a second can land you in dancer’s pose instead of downward dog. You have to be hyperaware—especially if the instructor decides to teach a mandala sequence.
Last night at a yoga studio in New York City, my instructor kicked off an hourlong vinyasa by explaining that the class would be taught in the mandala style. A mandala is an ornately designed orb with spiritual connotations in both Hinduism and Buddhism. In the style of yoga that borrows from the shape, your body replicates the circular pattern. Meaning, you basically end up revolving around and around your mat.
With the right teacher guiding your, mandala sequencing can be fun, dizzying, and exhilarating. Best of all though, it requires so much physical focus that your brain basically wipes all of its current data. (It’s possible! I promise!) Within minutes, you’ll forget about that nail-biting project at work, the fact that you really need to do your laundry, and anything else weighing on your mind. You get swept up in a meditative dance and emerge on the other end like, “What’s a to-do list?”
Clear your mind right this minute with 5 mandala yoga flows
1. Do-it-all 40-minute strength mandala flow
This flow does it all—in 40 minutes flat. You’ll stretch out your hammies, work your core, and twist away all your back probs.
2. Warrior flow
Yoga teacher Erin Sampson will guide you through a flow dominated by the foundational poses of yoga like low lunge, warrior II, and tree pose. Even if you can’t do it poolside, this will be a sweaty one, folks.
3. Mandala yoga workout
Alright—so you want to sweat? Michelle Goldstein has you covered with a full hour yoga. Never fear though, Goldstein takes ample time at the end to stretch you out, too.
4. Slow mandala yoga
Slow the speed on a busy, busy day with this 40-minute flow that moves like molasses. I recommend a nice long savasana at the end—ICYWW.
5. “I only have 30 minutes” mandala yoga flow
In less than half an hour, you’ll gift your body ooey-gooey stretches, deep, deep breath work, and some of yoga’s most creative asanas (looking at you standing splits).
Jonesing for even more yoga? Flow with Valerie Verdier—Well+Good’s trainer of the month!