My new yoga sequence: The Hidden Jewel in the Refrigerator

January 29, 2018

I created a new yoga sequence that I’ve been doing most every day for about 6 months.  I made it up based on what was in my refrigerator.  That is how Roshi Bernie Glassman describes the practice of appreciating that we already have everything we need to live a full life.  Right now my refrigerator does not have any standing poses, big backbends, pigeons or any cartilidge in my right hip.  It does have arthiritis in my right hip which hurts a lot.  Bernie says a good cook can make a great meal out of anything, even just rice and beans.  So this is my current practice.  It is simple, delicious and nourishing. 

I go slow and gentle.  My mind does not stray.  The compelling nature of pain is such that I want to find a way to move while avoiding pain.  This motivation makes it clear to me that body and mind are not separate.

The Hidden Jewel Sequence

Place a blanket on a block.  Sit on it in vajrasana.

Ten rounds of sama vritti.

Three rounds of kapalabhati – 60 pumps each with retention, mula and jalandhara bandha — Between each round I shift onto hands and knees and tap the tops of my feet on the floor a few times, then sit back down.

Seated warm-up V: 

inhale arms up, exhale side bend R

inhale up, exhale side bend L

inhale arms up, exhale side bend R. left hand behind head

          Inhale, Look up at left elbow

          exhale, curl left elbow down towards right hip (repeat 2 X)

morph this into a twist to the right, Left hand on knee, R on sacrum

Circle R arm up and over into eagle arms

Look R, Look L, center

Back stroke arms and

Repeat on other side


Hands and Knees and into D Dog, 10 steps walking in place


Inhale, plank

Exhale, knees, chest, chin

Inhale, small cobra

Exhale, D Dog

repeat 2 more times, adding fingers interlaced behind back in cobra


Lounging back on elbows, do some slow, easy windshield wipers. Pay attention to every sensation in your hips and legs and feet and toes.

Lie down and bridge. Squeeze and release glutes 40-50 times

Place a block medium-way in between shins (not thighs).  Arms in a T:  easy supine twist lowering legs 2” above floor, side to side 40 x

Lie back over a bolster placed under your shoulder blades. Hold opposite elbows.  Play with breath, letting it massage the abdominal organs.

Legs up the block with variations:  soft legs, strong engaged legs, circle ankles, squeeze and stretch toes, wobbly wobbly legs letting the flesh blubber, soft knee bends dropping into minimal badhakonasana or vajrasana still upside down on the block.

Legs come down and I flip around and do at least 20 dolphin push-ups and then 20 tricep push-ups in tabletop.

Depending on that day’s hip story, I might do a  minimal seated forward bend with my arms on the bolster.  Maybe….maybe…I do a very supported supta baddhokonasana if it feels good on my adductors. 

Roll to my left side and sit up in dandasana.


Then I dedicate the merit by saying The Brahma Vihara, just the way that Gelek Rimpoche taught me so many years ago. 

From The Yogis

  • Terri Bender Morrison, Owner, Mindful Motion Yoga, OM 500 TT 2015

    "Cyndi, I feel that my teaching has shifted a bit - sequencing is more interesting and effective. As I was driving home tonight, I thought about the statements of "leaving crumbs" and "connecting the dots". While you meant that for us as direction to be better teachers, I recognize you were doing that for us as well. I believe I am just now processing some of the things you taught this summer. The subtle parts of classes escaped me, but I am getting them now. Thank you for the crumbs, for leaving plenty of space between the dots....I think I see the moon."

  • Zan Margolis, OM 200 TT , 2012

    "The more yoga I experience, the more I realize how special it is that in your teacher trainings you actually teach your yogis how to *teach*"

  • Susan Golden, Studio Owner, Maine

    "Cyndi’s sense of humor and genius teachings have made this OM 500 TT very, very stimulating every minute of the day. I’ve learned so much. I can’t wait to let it all come together and bring this to my teachings and to my life."

  • Natalie Levin, OM Yoga Graduate, OM Warrior Weekend Teacher Training Program 2003

    "I am a graduate of the OM 2003 Warrior Weekend Teacher Training Program.  I had the honor to teach at OM yoga in New York City for several years.  I have since moved to another city and was instantly offered teaching jobs based solely on the fact that I had been a teacher at Cyndi Lee’s OM yoga.  Studio owners in my current city thought so highly of Cyndi Lee’s OM yoga Teacher Training that they hired me immediately and I found and continue to find that my OM yoga Teacher Training opens door after door for me.  OM yoga (practicing there, teaching OM yoga, and learning from Cyndi Lee) helped me professionally in my own yoga-teaching career.  Even more meaningfully for me, I feel that the path of mindfulness and attention to alignment that pours through the pores of OM yoga has influenced me and helped me to soften enough to become more “myself” since I first walked into the OM yoga studio."

  • Jeri Wilson, Studio Owner, Maine

    “I’m Jeri and I’m a studio owner in Maine and I just finished my 500 hr TT with Cyndi Lee. It was an excellent experience, partly because I had been trained primarily in Anusara and I was challenged to think very differently. I found it was very helpful to come back to teach with Cyndi’s influence. She is very, very funny and she will work you and challenge you and you will feel like you have actually gained something really deep from the training.”

  • Jeanie Gasque, Yoga Teacher, South Carolina, OM 500 TT 2015

    "Cyndi's skillful guidance lead me to a greater clarity of alignment based vinyasa.  The yoga combined with the charm of Lynchburg made the Sun Session an unforgettable experience."

  • Gina Callendar, Yoga Teacher, Yonkers, NY, OM 500 TT 2015

    "Cyndi truly follows the middle path and instills that in her teachings.  She combines disciple and humor to create an engaging, thought provoking and enlightening experience.  I had the pleasure of taking her 500 hour OM Yoga Teacher Training.  I have deepened my practice, work to continue challenge myself and never want to stop learning.  I am pretty comfortable teaching, but withCyndi’s guidance I am more confident in my hands-on adjustments and clarity of instruction with my students.  Thank you Cyndi for reinforcing my foundation, challenging me as a student and becoming my teacher.  I hope to continue to learn from you for many years to come.  Namaste."

  • Erica Settino, Founder, , Karuna for Animals

    "I have been teaching yoga for 12 years and over those 12 years I have often felt burned out and at a loss for inspiration. Now that I have taken Cyndi Lee’s OM 500 Teacher Training, I feel completely different, completely inspired, and so, so blessed. If you are even considering it, you must do it."

  • Donna Levenstien, Yoga Teacher, Lake George, NY

    "I am a student of the OM 200 and OM 500 TT. I keep learning from Cyndi Lee who is just a master teacher, every class I take, every hour I’m here she says something wonderful that I can bring into my life, onto my mat, into my classes with my students. As a teacher and a student, I feel enriched every time I’m with her and in her class."

  • Ann Megyas, Actor, Yoga Teacher, , Hospice Worker

    "I’m so glad I decided to take Cyndi Lee’s 500 hr TT. It advanced my personal practice in ways that I could not imagine. There is no pose I am afraid of anymore. It’s advanced my teaching practice, it’s advanced my dharma study. It’s just been a thrilling experience the whole time."