Hello and welcome back to the Practice. So today I'd thought we'd play with a little bit of lunging and arm balancing, just to shake things up a little bit. Sometimes, I don't know about you, but I get a little burnt out on the Warrior I, Warrior II repetition, so I thought this would be a fun variation. Alright, so as you're ready, let's come to the front of the mat, and begin in Samasthiti. So take just a moment here with the eyes closed, the hands resting in prayer at the heart center to make that transition into your practice.
And begin to feel your tailbone descending, your deep lower belly rising up, and let that lift all the way up through the central channel, through the crown of the head, finding a lot of length in your spine. And then tuning into the flow of the breath. Expanding with each inhale. Softening a little with each exhale. And no matter where the body goes or doesn't go in your practice today, the breath is always the through line, always the touchstone.
And as much as possible letting everything else go. And to open the practice together here we'll take a gentle Om, so exhale, empty the body of breath, and then a big inhale, Om. And just another moment of stillness here, maybe internally consider your intention for your practice, anything you want to clear out or call in. And as you're ready gently float the eyes open, and with your inhale reach the arms out and up. As you exhale take the hands down the midline right back down to the heart center.
And again, inhale reach out and up. Exhale right down the center to the heart. Let's do three more just synchronizing the breath and body. Inhale, reach it up. Exhale, down to the heart.
Warming through the shoulders a little as well. Big inhale, reach up. And exhale to the heart. One more just like that. Inhale, reach it up.
Exhale, and back to the center. This time we'll move on, so inhale, take the arms out and up. Pull your belly in flat back. Exhale, bow all the way out and down. And when you come down take the feet about hips distance into Uttanasana, just a gentle forward fold.
Let the head be heavy, let the neck relax. Hands release towards the Earth. If the back body feels pretty tight, feel free to take the hands onto the legs for a little more support. We'll just be here for a couple of breaths. Let the neck go, let the jaw relax.
One more big inhale, and then exhale. And from here, inhale, lengthen it, come halfway up, and as you exhale, step your right foot to the back of the mat. And then really simple twist. Root down through the right hand, and with your inhale take the left arm out and up. Strong through the back leg, energy out through that heel, opening through the heart and the left shoulder, gazing up and breathing, three.
And two, and then with the exhale, release the left hand down and simply step straight into Plank Pose. Really strong through the core, we'll be here for five breaths. Press out through the soles of the feet, lengthen through the crown of the head. One. And two.
And three. Four. And then as you exhale kind of dip the hips over to the right a little bit. You can come to the edges of the feet, keep the core strong, keep rooting through the hands, lifting the belly in and up. Three.
And two. And then inhale, drop back to center. And exhale, go to the left. Just waking up through the core a little bit. Keep the belly drawing in and up, press through the hands.
Three. And two. And then back to center. Stay here, take a big inhale, and let's start gently with a Vinyasa. Exhale, knees to the Earth.
Come all the way down, elbows in. Inhale, just a soft Cobra, lift up through the heart. And then exhale, press all the way back into Downward Facing Dog. Good, take a couple of breaths here. Long though the spine, soft through the neck.
And then at the bottom of your exhale, soft bend in the knees, feel free to hop or step back to the front of the mat. Inhale, lengthen it halfway up. Exhale, just release into the fold. As you inhale come all the way back to stand. Reach the arms to the sky.
And as you exhale go right back down into your fold. Inhale, come halfway, and then exhale, left foot steps back. Simple twist, second side. So root through the left hand, keep the back leg super strong, and then inhale, reach that right arm wide open. And three.
And two. And then exhale, release the right hand to the Earth. Step straight into Plank Pose, and again hold it here. Five, draw the belly in and up. Four, press out through the soles of the feet, and reach through the heart and crown.
Three. Two. As you exhale, dip the hips to the right a little bit, keep the core engaged. Three. And two.
And then inhale to center. Exhale to the left, holding steady. Three. Two. And then inhale back to center.
Exhale again, gentle Vinyasa. Just lower the knees, elbows hug in, come all the way down. Inhale, a gentle Cobra lift up through the heart. And exhale, press all the way back. Downward Facing Dog.
Again, a couple of breaths here. Just lengthening through the spine. Opening through that whole back body. Alright, and then moving into some High Lunges. So with your inhale, take the right leg straight, up and back.
And as you exhale simply step that foot forward, and inhale, rise. High Lunge or Crescent pose. And let's take time with this first one so clasp the hands, release the index finger, bend the back knee a little bit, and as you do, drop the tailbone, and lift that low belly. Feel the left hip flexors opening. Keep that through the center, and press the back heel back, to lengthen the back leg.
And feel that opening through the bowl of the pelvis. Take a couple of breaths. And then stay tall, take a big inhale, lift through the heart. And with your exhale, release the hands to the Earth. Right leg goes straight back up to the sky.
Lift it, lengthen it. And then exhale again. Right foot right back to the front of the mat, and inhale, come on up. This time again, clasp the hands, drop the hands behind the head, take a breath here, and then playing with it a little bit, so as you inhale lengthen both legs, lengthen the arms. Exhale, bend both knees, bend the elbows.
Inhale, back up. Exhale, bend. Three more. Inhale up. Exhale, bend.
Legs are super strong. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.
Alright then, inhale, take it up, as you exhale bend that right knee and step the back foot in a little bit, keep the arms awake, the hands clasped, and with your next exhale just bow the upper body about halfway forward, so there's this long line of energy from the arms down through the back leg. You wanna keep that. And as you're ready inhale, float up, Warrior III. Once you're there, any variations with your arms, you can take them out like wings, back, tucked alongside the body, you can even release your fingertips to the Earth, or a block or two if you have them if the balance is a little funky today. Take a few more breaths.
Right, and then steady gaze, use that support for your balance. We're coming up to balance on that right leg, wrap the left leg around for Garudasana. Hook the foot behind that right calf if you can, and then you choose, arms out to help the balance, or swing that left elbow under, interlace, and gently lift the elbows, tall spine. Strong foundation. Three.
And two. And one. Back to Warrior III, so as you inhale, spread your wings, as you exhale, unwind and extend that left leg straight back. Take a big inhale. And then exhale, float your left foot back, find the stability, the foundation of your High Lunge, take a really big inhale, and exhale, release hands to the Earth.
Step back into Plank pose. Pause there, take a big inhale. You choose, exhale knees first or Chaturanga. Inhale, Cobra or Upward Dog. And exhale, back to Downward Dog.
Take a good three, slow, steady breaths here. Alright, moving to the second side. As you're ready, big inhale, sweeping the left leg to the sky. And then exhale, step the left foot forward, find your foundation with the inhale, come straight up. And again, we'll play with the alignment to begin.
So clasp the hands, bend the back knee a little bit, drop down through the tailbone and lift the deep, lower belly. Feel that, strong and engage through the center, press the back leg straight. Breathing into the right hip flexors. Take another big inhale, and then exhale, just release, hands to the Earth. Inhale, left leg to the sky.
Exhale, step it forward. And inhale, come right on up again. This time clasp the hands, bend the elbows, hands drop. And then as you inhale lengthen everything. The legs straighten.
The arms up. Exhale, bend. Inhale, up. Exhale. Three more, inhale.
Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Last one. Inhale, rise.
Exhale, bend. Then inhale, take it up, as you exhale just bend that left knee, step the back foot in a little bit. Feel the foundation with your next exhale. Simply bow about halfway forward. Take a moment, feel that long line of energy from the arms down through the spine and the back leg.
Try to keep that intact. As you inhale into Warrior III. And again, then anything that feels best with the arms. Might even be different than the first cycle. Take a few breaths.
Feel free to fall. Just come back to your center. Take a moment. And then as you're ready, you're gonna transition up into Garudasana. So keep the strong, standing leg intact, wrap the right leg around, maybe hooking the foot, not necessary, and then adding the arms.
Inhale, reach them out. And exhale, swing the right elbow under, interlace, and lift. Holding steady. Feeling that beautiful focus that comes with balancing. Drawing all the energy to a single point, one more breath.
And as you're ready, unwinding, Warrior III. So inhale, arms go out. Exhale, right leg extends back. Take a moment to feel the steadiness. And then on your exhale, float it all the way back into Crescent High Lunge.
Arms rise, take a big inhale, lift up through the heart, and exhale, hands down. Step into Plank, stay for your inhale. Exhale, knees first through Chaturanga. Inhale, lift the heart. And exhale back to Downward Dog.
Again, three breaths. Anything you need here, you can pedal the feet, shake the hips a little, you can even drop into Child's Pose if that's what your body needs. And just gathering the energy coming back to your center. One more breath. And then we'll begin again.
So as you're ready, keep the hands really strong, arms engaged, inhale, right leg up. And as you exhale step the right foot forward. Inhale, come on back up, High Lunge. From here, as you exhale, take the hands to prayer at the heart center. Take a moment here, draw the belly in and up so your super strong through the core, and then exhale, twist.
Hook your left elbow outside of your right knee. So lots of choices here. You can definitely stay as-is. You can also lower the back knee, it gives the whole pose a little more support, and sometimes even allows for a slightly deeper twist. Just listen to the body.
And then we're gonna play a little bit. So, you can stay right where you are, or if you're in the mood for an arm balance, take the hands down, lift up through the hips, make that shelf with the elbows, and then play with it. See if you can pick up the feet. You might stay here for just a breath or two, if you feel steady enough you can start to extend through the legs. Holding three.
Feel free to fall, no big deal, just come back. Two. And then, unwind if you're arm balancing, draw the feet back together, press down through the feet. If you stayed in the Lunge, we'll all meet each other here. Inhale, rise up.
And exhale, hands to the Earth. Step it back. Your Vinyasa, whatever serves, knees first or Chaturanga. Inhale, heart up. Exhale, all the way back.
Beautiful, stay there for a breath. And second side. Inhale, left leg up. Exhale, step it forward, feel the feet, press down to the Earth, and then inhale, rise up. Exhale, hands to the heart.
Alright, so again, just take a moment here. We want length through the torso. So with the inhale, lift from the belly all the way up, and as you exhale, twist to your left, hook the right elbow outside of that knee, spiral the spine, and lift the gaze. Again, totally your choice. This might be plenty, if so, enjoy it.
If you'd like a little more support, or if you wanna dig into that twist a little bit more, maybe the back knee goes down. And then you choose, keep what you've got, or take the hands down, make that shelf with the elbows and the upper arms, use your gaze, critical for balancing. Steady here, pick up the feet, maybe that's enough. Maybe the legs extend. Good, three.
And two. And see if we can unwind mindfully. So, slowly place the feet back to the Earth, come forward with the hands, grounding down, we'll meet with High Lunge. Inhale, arms up. And then exhale, hands to the Earth.
Step back, and through the Vinyasa. Again, three breaths, just keep coming back to your center, back to your intention. Alright, one last cycle, each side. With the inhale, right leg sweeps up. Exhale, step it forward.
Inhale, come on up, Crescent Pose. So, from here try this: interlace the fingers, turn the palms to the sky, and press gently up and out. Remember that drop of the tailbone, lift of the belly, and then very gently, start to lift, kinda from the back of your heart up and through, inviting just the beginnings of a back bend. Not dropping into the low back. Not collapsing down at all, just a little bit through that upper torso.
Right, one more breath. Alright, and then with your next inhale, come back up into a neutral spine, and very slowly, as you exhale, release the back knee all the way down to the Earth. Untuck the toes. And then take the hands, interlace on the front thigh. Take a moment to ground the body here.
Gently guiding the hips forward. Gently easing the torso back. And then a few variations, a little deeper into some back bend options. To start, inhale, take the arms up, interlace, gently press it out. So this is plenty for most of us, you can just work here.
Keeping the strength of the foundation, the lift of the belly, focus on drawing that heart up, up, up. If you'd like to, open the arms out and back, and play with coming down onto your fingertips. And again, no collapsing. Let the lift come from the deep, lower belly. And breath here.
Three. And two. Strong legs and center. Inhale, come on back up. And exhale, just release, hands to the Earth.
And let's step straight back, Plank Pose. Again any Vinyasa, maybe you skip it. Take a breath. One last cycle and we're down to the Earth. Inhale, left leg up.
Exhale, step it forward. Inhale, rise, High Lunge. Interlace the fingers, exhale, turn the palms to the sky. Keep that mindful awareness of the alignment, especially through the pelvis, through the core, and invite just the beginnings of a back bend through the upper torso. One more breath.
And then inhale straight up. Lengthen the spine, with control. Exhale, slowly bend that back knee until it's all the way down. Untuck the toes. Take a moment to ground, hands interlace on the front thigh.
Slowly the hips come forward. Slowly draw the torso back. Breath into the right hip flexors. Always up to your body, your intuition, stay here if you'd like. Or inhale, take the arms up, interlace the fingers again, play with that back bend, strong foundation.
And again, you can stay here, or maybe, arms out, back, and down to the Earth, or blocks if you have them. Keep the strength in the legs. Keep the head up or if it's safe for the neck, drop it back. One more breath. And then inhale, come on up.
Lift through the arms. Exhale, hands to the Earth. Step into Plank. You Vinyasa or let it go. Lift the heart.
Exhale back to Downward Dog. And enjoy a few breaths here. Alright, so we're giving the body a few breaths here, to settle. Moving all the heat you've generated into the length of the spine, the muscles of the back, backs of the legs. Soft through the neck.
And then as you're ready, we're gonna come all the way through to sit simple Dandasana. So as you exhale, soft bend in the knees, hop or step through, extend the legs out. Take a moment to root through the sit bones. And then hands pressed just outside the hips. If your arms are longer than the torso, walk your hands back.
You wanna be able to root the hands without jamming the shoulders. And then just a soft gaze at the tip of the nose, or the top of the thighs. You might even close the eyes. Another breath or two. And then inhale, take the arms out and up.
And exhale into Paschimottanasana. Take any grip you'd like, maybe the feet, the big toes, ankles, strap. Once you have it, inhale, lengthen the spine. Extend and reach through the heart. And then as you exhale, gently fold forward.
Absolutely okay to let the back round here. Soft through the neck. Breathing slow and deep. Letting all that movement start to ground and integrate for five, and four, three, and two, and one. Inhale, rise.
Exhale, release your grip. And from here we'll gently transition all the way down onto the back. So when you do arrive, draw the knees in towards the chest, wrap your arms around your legs, rock your body a little side to side. And then a simple twist to the right. So just drop the knees however you choose.
And that right hand can come to the top knee, the left arm extends. And follow left fingertips with a soft gaze, so then that completes the twist. Breathing down the length of the spine deep into your lower back and your sacrum. One more breath. And then inhale, drop back to center, move the hips just a little to the right.
Exhale, drop the knees to the left. Reach the right arm out, left hand to the top knee if it's comfortable. And soft gaze follows the right fingertips. Three. Two.
And one. Gently inhale, come back to center. And then as you exhale, hug your knees in towards the chest, wrap your arms around the legs, lift your forehead toward the knees, and draw the knees in towards the forehead. So you're kinda curling into this tiny, little ball of energy. Hold that.
Draw it all in. Take a big inhale. And exhale, Savasana. Extend the legs, let 'em roll open. Extend the arms, let 'em roll open.
And be as comfortable as possible. And let's take one big inhale together, gently hold the breath in at the top. And then open your mouth, exhale. Now let it all go. As you rest the physical body, let the mind, and the heart, and the energetic body follow.
Give it all away. And just rest. Letting the body stay soft and relaxed. Gently draw your awareness back. Deepening the breath.
And then on an inhale, extend the arms up and over, reaching out through the fingers and the toes. Wake it all up again. And then exhale, bend your knees, feet to the Earth. Gently roll to the right. And guide yourself up to a comfortable seat.
Anything that feels good. And taking just a moment of stillness here, rest your hands, close the eyes. Notice how you feel. And then take the hands to prayer at the heart center. Together, a big inhale.
Om. And gently inhaling, and then simply a soft bow forward with your exhale. Namaste. Thank you all so much. Beautiful work.
Hope that shook things up a little bit. So much you can do even without Warrior I, Warrior II. So enjoy, thank you, and have a beautiful day.