After a five-year hibernation, Solange Knowles has gifted the world (especially the African-American community) with her album, A Seat At The Table. Her upbeat, neo-soul music creates the perfect blend of a thought-provoking, soul-searching and meditative state—which perfectly embodies the characteristics of yoga.

In her stimulating and self-reflective lyrics, Solange embodies her Black Girl Magic as she expresses gratitude for her New Orleans upbringing and the empowerment of African-American culture. This yoga routine (just shy a total of 15 minutes) was strategically designed to express the feelings of gratitude and empowerment evoked by Solange’s lyrics with poses that also increase flexibility and muscular endurance.

Weary – 3:14

Begin the routine with Track #2, WearyDSC_1664. This song has one of the calmest melodies on the album. Allow Solange’s soft voice ease you into Vajrasana Pose. Humble yourself as you sit on your heels with your calves tucked beneath your thighs, leaving a slight gap between your knee-caps and touching the tips of your large toes together. Practice good posture by keeping your back straight. For a deeper stretch, push the palms of your hands into your knee-caps as you take deep breaths, inhaling and exhaling for 60 seconds.DSC_1666

On your last inhale, slide your palms onto the floor as you press your chest into your folded knees. Keep your spine parallel to the floor and hold Child’s Pose for 60 seconds. Listen to the lyrics of the song and breathe deeply as you “find your body” with Solange.

AfterDSC_1668 your last exhale, press your palms firmly into the ground and slowly raise your lower body, planting your toes on the floor side-by-side into the Downward Dog position. Allow your heels to come off of the ground and shift your weight into your upper body. Use your muscular strength and endurance to hold yourself in position for 30 seconds as you inhale and exhale.

Slowly release the pressure in your arms and wrists as you return to Vajrasana Pose. Focus on pressing your hips down towards your heels. Hold for 30 seconds.

For the last 14 seconds of the song, fold yourself back into Child’s Pose and focus on taking deep breaths.

 

Cranes in the Sky – 4:10

Perform your next series of poses to Cranes in The Sky. Return to Downward Dog and enjoy the lyric-less introduction of the song during the first 30 seconds.DSC_1672

From Downward Dog, lift your left leg and bring your knee to your chest while holding yourself on both arms and your right leg. Hold for one inhale, then fold your leg in front of you as you exhale into Pigeon Pose (Left). Lift your head and breathe deeply. For a deeper stretch, practice pressing your hips into the floor. Hold for 60 seconds.

Rise onto your left leg, keeping your heel planted into the ground with your knee at a 90-degree angle. You should be stretching in a Deep DSC_1675Lunge (Left). For a deeper stretch, elongate your spine and lift your arms above your head, stretching your fingertips to the ceiling. Hold your lunge for 60 seconds.

From your Deep Lunge, raise your DSC_1693lower body and press the bottom of your back foot into the floor, keeping your front knee at a 90-degree angle. Elongate your spine, stretch your arms up to the ceiling and hold your head high. Slightly twist your torso to feel tension in your oblique and hold Warrior I (Left) for 30 seconds.

Return your spine to neutral position and hold your arms in a “T” DSC_1684motion. Look forward and focus on taking deep inhales and exhales. Be sure to keep both heels planted firmly into the ground and hold Warrior II (Left) for 30 seconds.DSC_1689

This time, hold yourself in Downward Dog for 60 seconds. To intensify, escalate to (Three-Legged) Downward Dog by raising and holding your left leg in the air. Alternate to the right leg after 30 seconds. Place both legs back onto the floor and hold Downward Dog for the last 10 seconds of the song.

Don’t touch my hair – 4:17

Increase your momentum with the upbeat rhythm of Track #9, Don’t Touch My Hair. From Downward Dog, bring your right knee to your chest and hold for one inhale. Just as you did with the left, fold your right leg in front of you into Pigeon Pose (Right). Lift your head and breathe deeply. For a deeper stretch, practice pressing your hips into the floor. Hold for 60 seconds.

Rise onto your right leg, keeping your heel planted into the ground with your knee at a 90-degree angle. You should be stretching in a Deep Lunge (Right). For a deeper stretch, elongate your spine and lift your arms above your head, stretching your fingertips to the ceiling. Hold your lunge for 60 seconds.

From your Deep Lunge, raise your lower body and press the bottom of your back foot into the floor, keeping your front knee at a 90-degree angle. Elongate your spine, stretch your arms up to the ceiling and hold your head high. Slightly twist your torso to feel tension in your oblique and hold Warrior I (Right) for 30 seconds.

Return your spine to neutral position and hold your arms in a “T” motion. Look forward and focus on taking deep inhales and exhales. Be sure to keep both heels planted firmly into the ground and hold Warrior II (Right) for 30 seconds.

Return to Downward Dog and lightly hum the lyrics as you breathe through your nose for 30 seconds. Then, give your arms a rest by folding yourself into Child’s Pose and focus on pressing your hips down into the floor for a deep stretch. Hold this pose for the last 47 seconds of the song.

 

Interlude: Tina Taught Me – 1:14DSC_1699

Slowly unfold and roll onto your back. Finish your routine in Shavasana or “Corpse Pose” by lying supine with your eyes closed. Relax all of your muscles and sink your body into the floor as you listen to the power within the words of Solange’s mother, Tina Knowles. Focus only on the words of the interlude as you breathe deeply 3-4 times. To conclude the routine, slowly rise one vertebrae at a time as you feel the sensation of empowerment lift your body from the ground.

 

Remember to breathe deeply throughout the routine, and emphasize holding each position to build your muscular endurance. The simplicity of each pose should allow you to concentrate on the beautiful voice and powerful words of the magical melanin lyricist. Even if you don’t have a seat at the table, you have a place on the mat with this routine.

About The Author

Fitness Editor

Lola George is an AFAA certified personal trainer. In addition to training, Lola studies journalism and kinesiology at the University of North Texas. Lola is also Fitness Editor for Wavelength Weekly Magazine, and aspires to write for a large health publication. In her free time, she enjoys writing, using social media, being active and taking selfies. She considers herself the girl who puts it "IT" in fitness.

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