Short Gentle Yoga Flow Sequence for a Calm Nervous System

A short, gentle yoga flow is one of the best ways to calm your nervous system and ground your body and mind.

When you feel highly stressed or anxious, intense vinyasa yoga can often make things worse because it brings more heat and agitation into your nervous system. The best way to slow down an overactive mind is by getting your body into a gentle yoga slow flow.

Whether you are a beginner to yoga or a seasoned yoga teacher, this gentle yoga flow will be an excellent addition to your yoga practice.

So, let’s go through the basics of a nourishing, gentle yoga flow sequence to support a calming of your nervous system.

What Is a Gentle Yoga Flow Class?

A gentle yoga flow class focuses on soft, therapeutic yoga poses that are linked together in a flowing sequence. The teacher will often guide students to connect each pose with their breath to harmonize body, mind, and soul.

Learn More: What is Gentle Yoga?

A gentle yoga flow class often uses many of the same poses used in more active yoga classes, but it tends to have a slower pace with a focus on the cooling, relaxing, and grounding postures.

Every yoga teacher may teach these classes differently, but it is common to see a few standing poses or a gentle sun salutation in a gentle yoga flow class.

What to Expect in a Gentle Yoga Flow Class

Every teacher approaches gentle yoga flow classes differently, so it is essential to ask your teacher what their style is before making any definitive conclusions.

In general, a gentle yoga flow class consists of a series of yoga poses linked together in a flowing sequence and with the breath.

Additionally, a gentle yoga flow class may have a mix of seated and standing poses, but most of the class will consist of seated postures. From any gentle yoga flow class, you can expect an experience of deep relaxation with some gentle movement to improve your circulation and range of motion.

10-Minute Gentle Yoga Flow Sequence

Tip: Along with the video demonstration showing how to perform the traditional pose, we detail how to use props to make the pose more “gentle” if needed.

1. Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Starting this sequence with a gentle child’s pose is a great way to ground your mind and start tuning into the rhythm of your breath. Try rocking your forehead side to side on the floor or on a block for a mini massage to release any stress. Stay here for a few breaths or even up to a minute to rest and release.

2. Cat and Cow Pose (Marjaryasana-Bitilasana)

Next, we will wake up the spine with a gentle flow between cat and cow pose. Move slowly and with the rhythm of your breath as you begin to awaken more movement into your body. Perhaps explore some intuitive movement in this pose, adding any additional stretches to your shoulders or hips.

3. Thread the Needle Pose (Urdhva Mukha Pasasana)

For a nourishing shoulder release, we will transition into a thread the needle pose by remaining in tabletop position and weaving one arm underneath your chest. Make sure to do both sides to balance out your body. If you can’t reach the floor comfortably, then you can also turn this into a flowing movement by twisting open your chest to the side and then weaving your arm under your chest while keeping it raised off the ground.

4. Low Lunge Pose (Anjaneyasana)

After returning to a tabletop position, gently step one foot in between your hands to come into a low lunge pose. Try placing your hands on blocks and gazing a few feet ahead of you for a more restful variation. If you want a more active pose, you can raise your hands over your head and gaze towards your thumbs.

5. Half Splits Pose (Ardha Hanumanasana)

Slowly push yourself back from a low lunge into a half splits pose to start stretching out the backs of your legs. Make sure to use blocks under your hands here if you need them, or place a blanket under your knee for some added cushioning. Repeat the low lunge, and half splits pose flow on the opposite side before continuing to the next posture.

6. Forward Fold Pose (Uttanasana)

After completing a low lunge and half splits on both sides, step both of your feet to the front of the mat to relax into a standing forward fold. Try the nourishing ragdoll variation here by wrapping your hands around your elbows as you gently swing your arms from side to side.

7. Sun Salutation A (Surya Namaskar A)

Slowly roll yourself up to a standing position in samasthiti and then continue on to a sun salutation A. Try skipping the chaturanga and going directly into a cobra pose for a gentler variation. You can also replace your downward-facing dog pose with a child’s pose for a more restful option. Flow through one or two times at the most, moving slowly and in rhythm with your breath.

8. Tree Pose (Vrikshasana)

For the final standing pose in this sequence, come into a gentle tree pose by placing your foot just above your ankle. Make sure to use a chair or the wall to support your balance here and only stay here for a few breaths on each side.

9. Garland Pose (Malasana)

We will begin to ground down and slow the body by lowering into a garland pose. Try placing a block underneath your hips for a supported variation. You can also further the calming energy of this pose by extending your arms between your legs to come into a gentle forward fold in this position.

10. Head to Knee Pose (Janu Shirshasana)

Transition down onto your mat and flow into a head-to-knee pose. Use a bolster on top of your leg for a more restorative variation, and make sure to bend from the hips and avoid rounding your spine. Remember to practice this pose on both sides.

11. Supported Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)

Slowly lower down flat onto your mat to transition into a supported bridge pose. Begin by bending your knees and placing your feet on the ground near your hips. Then, lift your hips up, put a block or a bolster underneath you, and rest your hips down on the prop. Allow yourself to relax and release in this restorative variation.

12. Happy Baby Pose (Anandabalasana)

Gently remove the block from underneath your hips and lower yourself flat on the mat before transitioning into a happy baby pose. If reaching your feet isn’t accessible to you, you can also wrap your hands around your thighs just below your knees as you gently pull your knees towards your shoulders.

13. Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Finally, transition into the resting pose of savasana for a brief body scan and deep relaxation. Allow yourself to fully release and let go of any remaining tension, resting into the support of the earth underneath you.

How to Create Your Own Gentle Yoga Flow Sequence

Use this gentle yoga flow sequence as a guide when creating your own yoga sequences. Feel free to add more poses for a more extended sequence or stay in each pose for at least one minute to make it a gentler, restorative yoga flow.

Tip: Keep in mind the gentleness of this yoga style and stay in rhythm with your breath to bring in the flowing qualities.

As you practice this gentle yoga flow, stay in tune with your own body and only go as deep into a pose as feels comfortable for you. The purpose of a gentle yoga flow sequence is to stay calm and grounded, so use as many props as you need to support your body and nourish from within.

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