The Vinyasa Show Artwork
Season 6 - Episode 2

Playing Towards Heron

60 min - Practice


We will have fun getting into this unpopular pose. We begin with a groovy floor sequence to wake up the hips, hamstrings, and core, before moving into a creative vinyasa flow and challenging balance pattern. This playful practice prepares us for Krounchasana (Heron's Pose) before a well-deserved Savasana (Corpse Pose). You will feel bright, strong, and proud of yourself.
What You'll Need: Mat, Block

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(waves gently washing the shore) Welcome to your practice. Alright, we've got a really fun one on deck here, and the theme of this class, the idea behind it, is fun times when it seems like there shouldn't be. So it's for I always like to unite the asana, the practice that we do here, with our actual, living lives, cause it's one thing to be on the mat and be like, bliss town, baby, but it's another thing to go out into the world, and then you have like a fight with your partner, or your children are doing things that you dislike and whatever, to keep that sort of bliss town mindset going on. So, this is sort of we're moving towards an unpopular pose. Don't stop watching the video cause you're gonna have so much fun getting to this unpopular place.

So it's like when you go to a party, and you're like uh, I don't wanna be here, I don't know, uhh, it's not gonna be fun at all. But, if you like, allow enough space for maybe a little bit of joy to creep in and then you end up being like, the last one on the dance floor, that's this class. Are you ready? Let's do it together. Bring your hands up to your heart center.

Take a big full breath in. (exhales) Let it out. And just start to presence yourself in your body, your beautiful body. This gift, this porthole from which you get to view the universe. You showed up to your practice, that's half the battle.

You made it to the party. Let's have some fun. (exhales) Okay. So, fun times always start out on our back, so let's head there. You're gonna come down onto your backs.

Ohh, and just take a big, awesome, yoga, personal yoga moment stretch out on your mat, moving one way and then the other. You're like, ahh, landing in. And then, you're gonna bring your hands down by, actually, let's take them out by our sides, and let's turn the palms up for this first round. You're gonna place the soles of your feet on the floor, draw your knees up, so that they're, knees are coming right up out of your hips. So the tendency is to move them a little bit more towards your belly, but you wanna keep them right up out of your hips.

And then you're gonna start to squeeze the knees towards one another, so you're getting this nice kind of secure feeling of contact with the legs in relationship. And then hop your hips a little bit towards the left, and then you're gonna lower your knees down towards the right. Keep the bottom knee hugging up towards the top knee. It wants to fall away. Move your left hip away from your left armpit, making lots of space there.

Shoulder soft, face soft. Draw your navel back towards your spine, and then turn it over, towards the left, so the opposite direction of your legs. Good. Breathe it in. With an exhale, draw yourself back up to center, keep squeezing the knees, hop the hips a little bit towards the right.

And then drop it over towards the left. Soft right shoulder, soft left shoulder, soft face. You cannot do this core work with your face. Move the right hip away, pull the belly back, and then churn the belly over towards the right, this is called belly-churning pose, as you squeeze the knees. Alive feet.

Good. And then rock it back up. One more time each side. Hop the hips over to the left, twist to the right, squeezing the knees, draw the belly back, and move the belly over towards your left. Good.

Come on back up. Take it over to the right. Knees stay together. Right hip moves away, right shoulder down. Draw the navel back and turn to the right.

That's it. Little bit of subtle heat here. I was like gripping my fist, don't do that, keep the hands soft. Come on back up towards center, good. And then come right to happy baby pose.

So take the outside edges of your feet with your hands, and draw your knees down towards your armpits, and go head and let your sitting bones come up off the floor, that's totally fine today, the low back getting a little bit of roundness that we'll explore parts of that today as we move forward. And then you're gonna shift to one side, draw the right knee down, maybe straighten the left leg a little bit or a lot depending on how you're feeling. And shifting back and forth, it's playful, getting this party started. Alright. And then, keep your right leg in half happy baby, and take your left leg, stretch it out long on the floor.

And then we're gonna combine the happy baby with the belly churning pose. So you're gonna draw your right knee down towards the floor, draw the navel back and turn the navel towards the left. So, for me, that brings a bit more groin stretch in to the shape. So, drawing it back, moving it to the left. And then here it gets exciting.

So you're gonna start to take the leg out and open towards the right, for this Supta Padangusthasana variation. Reach out through the leg, get a nice big stretch for the arm, too, that feels kind of nice. The key of drawing that navel back and over towards the left. And then just like you did with your belly muscles when we were hopping the hips back and forth, you're gonna use the navel and come on back up towards center. Yep.

And then strong straight leg, hands can move down to the shin or come to the edges of the foot, and then you'll draw in, elbows come out to the side. Mmhmm. And you're like, woohoo, my leg is close to my head. Take the leg with you when you come back, point your toe, get right into the belly of the hamstring there, and then release. Good.

Notice the difference between your two sides. For me it's usually like, daytime, nighttime over here, things are still sleeping, and so, we'll fix that up right now. Come back to your happy baby right to center. Rock it back and forth. You're like, I thought this was a vinyasa class, why are we rolling around on the floor.

My teacher always says, this class is brought to you by rolling around on the floor. Just for a little while, you'll be happy we were here later. Extend your right leg long, left leg stays in happy baby, right hand comes to the hip, just as a little tactile reminder, and then draw your navel back, and turn it towards the right as you draw that left knee down to the floor. Right toes to the sky, feet alive and happy. Mmhmm.

Good. Feel that groin stretch happening. Belly back, turn really consciously one more time. And then find that extension, taking that left leg. Hello beautiful sunflowers.

Out towards the side. Belly draws back, turning. It's nice. Reach through the leg really actively. Do your best to keep that right hip heavy, nothing's perfect.

Nice. And then use your belly muscles, draw it back up. Hands can move to the shin again, or hands on the outside of the feet, and then you're gonna lift yourself up, extend through the right leg, and bring your forehead to your knee. Strong leg. Take the leg back with you as you go, point the toe, get into the belly of the hamstring there, you can even give it a little bit of love.

Hi. Hi, tight side, how are you, good to see ya, beautiful. And then release. Nice. Feelin' good here.

Got both hips open, it feels more even. So, from this place, you're just gonna gently draw the knees in towards your chest, give a little rock out on your low back, and then shift yourself over to your side, whichever side feels natural, and come right onto your mat for hands and knee shape. Two hands, two knees to start. Find your belly here, so for me, and my anatomy, my belly wants to flop out and I want to be very back bendy it just feels natural, it feels awesome. But we're working a little bit against that grain today here as we move forward.

So, slight bend into the elbows, roll the eye of your elbow forward. Fill up the low waistband part of your pants. Mmhmm. And then step your right knee a little bit towards mid-line and meet your left leg straight back behind you. Right hand is gonna come forward, and you're gonna hug everything into mid-line, so getting nice and snuggly into mid-line, even as you're in this extension.

Mmhmm. Point the toes on your back foot, lift that leg using the muscles of your booty all the way up to the waistband of your pants. Inhale here. Exhale, elbow to knee. (exhales) Breathing it in.

Exhale. Breathing it in. Extend. Exhale, elbow to knee, get really round. Breathing it in.

Extend. Reach your right hand back behind you, palm open like you're hitchhiking. Use your hammy, your hamstring, to kick up that back foot and take the pinkie toe side of your foot. Then push into your left hand, take that right leg to the sky, look up and over your shoulder. Oh, it's my left leg.

Good. I call this ice dancer. And you feel beautiful. Come back to the balance, reach it out, fill up the waistband of your pants as best you can, and then two hands, two knees. Separate your knees, big toes touch, child's pose.

Bring it back down. (exhales) Two full breaths here. (sighs) Filling back up. (inhales) Good. And then inhale comin' back up.

Hands underneath your shoulders, separate your knees, feet straight back behind you. And then this time, you're gonna take your right hand a little tiny bit beyond your right shoulder, and then your right knee towards center, no, left knee towards center, left hand comes forward, right knee comes back, it's like a big crossover of rights and lefts. Left hand forward, right leg back. Hug everything into mid-line. Lift, maybe point the toe to get access to that glute on that right side.

Inhale here, exhale pull it in. (exhales) Inhale reach long. Exhale pull it in. (exhales) Inhale reach it long. Exhale pull it in.

Come and reach it long, stay long, start to look over your left shoulder, reach the left hand back, kick up your right foot, and take the pinkie toe side of your foot. Let the shoulder stretch and open for ice dancer. Good. Beautiful. Stretch and lift.

Come back to the balance. Ha-cha. Lift in and up, everything strong, and then hands down, bring your knees together. Let your heels touch, this time we'll come to rabbit pose. So this comes from a different lineage.

If you've done Bikram yoga you probably know it, it's called the Ghosh lineage of yoga. And so your hands are gonna come back towards your heels, you'll tuck your chin, place your head on the floor, and then you'll lift up, your seat, and stretch into your whole back body. And it's very cute. You're like a tiny little rabbit. Good.

Breathe it in here. (deeply breathes) Nice and big into the hips, into the shoulders, and then exhale, release. Bring the hands forward, shift it forward, tuck the toes and stretch it back for downward facing dog. It'll feel good after all that rounding in. Mmm.

So put a little attention here into your arms. So really spread your fingers, press into the finger pads. Roll your triceps back behind you to broaden the upper back, yeah, and then bend your knees a little bit, move your sitting bones up into the sky, find your belly as you do that, and then start to straighten into the legs. Let the head go, let the heart move towards your thighs. (exhales deeply) Good.

And then we'll take a little twist here. So you might walk your right hand in a little bit, you can bend your knees, take your left hand to the outside of your right shin, and move it through, peek up and under that right armpit. Pull the left hip back. Good. Release.

Come back. Right hand you bend the elbow to make space. Keep the right hip moving up and back. Beautiful. Release, come back to center.

From your big, beautiful, long, spine-extending down dog, go ahead and start to walk yourself forward to the front of the mat however you like. (sighs) Give a little bend into the knees, shake it out, let it be kind of juicy and loose here. Maybe a little side to side action, bending into one leg, straightening the other, getting into your IT band. Oh, hi, IT band. And then, little lift of the belly, luxury roll all the way up.

Chin lifts, arms lift, breathe it in. (inhales) Exhale, hands to heart. (exhales) Good, let's flow and breathe a little bit together here. So, in our edges of the feet together. Inhale, reach up and wide.

Exhale, flow it on down right through center. Inhale Ardha Uttanasana. Exhale step back right side. Inhale, low lunge, pull your fingertips back as you move your chest forward. Exhale, switch it, bow, push your fingertips forward as you move your hips back and your chest bows in.

Again, inhale. Exhale. Inhale step it forward plant the hands, exhale step back plank pose take a breath in, and shift forward, knees, chest, chin, booty in the sky, un-tuck the toes, swoop it throw cobra pose breathe it in, exhale, lower down. Tuck the toes, walk it in, look forward, lift thighs, lift belly, push up, plank, exhale downward-facing dog. You're totally welcome to grunt in that transition.

Inhale, the right heel straight back up and behind. Exhale step between your hands. Inhale chest forward, pull your fingertips back, exhale, push it down, fold. Inhale. Exhale fold.

One more. Inhale bend, look forward. Exhale, fold. Inhale bend look forward, exhale step forward, forward fold, fold it on in. Good.

Inhale rise all the way up. Exhale hands to heart. Second side. Inhale, rise up. Exhale fold it in.

Inhale Ardha Uttanasana, heart lifts. Exhale step back left side. Inhale, breathe it in. Exhale fold. Just two on this front side.

Inhale. Exhale, push down and forward into your fingertips, stretch that leg. Inhale, exhale plant the hands, step back, plank pose. Shift forward, knees, chest, chin, shoulders up away from the floor. Un-tuck the toes, breathe it in, cobra.

Exhale lower down. Walk it in, lift thighs, lift pelvis, push up, grunting acceptable, downward facing dog. Inhale that left leg straight back up and behind. Exhale step between your hands. Inhale breathe it in.

Exhale straighten. Inhale bend, breathe it in, chest pulls through. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.

Inhale, find that low lunge, pull your heart through, back leg lifts, exhale step forward, forward fold. Good. From here, separate your feet about two fist distances apart, Place your fingertips in front of you, right by your pinkie toes, bend the knees a little bit. Move your inner thighs back, push down and forward, then fold while your elbows come out to your sides. Lift your belly.

Stretch your legs, let the head go. (exhales deeply) Good. From this place inhale lift your chest, look forward, pull your shoulders back, exhale fold in. Press down into your feet, inhale rise all the way back up. And exhale hands to heart.

Heel-toe your feet back together. Inhale breathe it in. Exhale flow it down. Right through center. Inhale lift your chest, find your belly, shoulders back.

Exhale, plant the hands, Chaturanga. Inhale, big upward-facing dog, pause for a moment here, wiggle, push the hands down, pull them isometrically apart and back, lift your chest, press your toes, downward-facing dog. Good. (sighs) And a couple easy breaths here. Mmhmm.

You're like, I don't know if this party is gonna be as awesome as you've said. Don't worry. Inhale, lift your heels, bend your knees look forward, soft leap front of your map, inhale Ardha Uttanasana. Exhale fold in. Inhale rise all the way back up.

Exhale hands to heart. Breathe it in. Circle it wide up to the top, exhale fold it in. Inhale Ardha, exhale Chaturanga, shift it forward, upward-facing dog. Pause again here, move it around, then push straight down, press your toes, lift your belly, move your heart through.

Downward-facing dog. This time inhale your right leg straight back up and behind, and exhale step between your hands. Inhale rise it on up. Exhale, make a clasp with your hands, and move it up above your head, turn it inside out. Hug the legs together, and then we're gonna come back to that rounded rabbit shape.

So back thigh lifts, find your belly, and then curl it down. Hug the inner thighs. Push the clasp forward, get space between your shoulder blades. Big toe on that front foot's working, press into the heel. Good.

Inhale rise back up. Bend the elbows a little bit to activate the upper back. Move your pinkie fingers back to the wall back behind you. And then straighten the arms. Inhale here.

Exhale, step forward, catch your left knee, moonrise, open it up. One of my favorites. Look longingly back. Lift the belly. Drop the left hip a little bit.

Inhale, step back, high lunge, breathe it in. Exhale, hands down, right leg up and back, bend the knee, open up the hip, maybe a little stretch. Point and flex, it feels good. And then set it back down. Inhale that left leg straight back up and behind, left side.

Exhale step between your hands. Rise back up, high lunge shape. Back thigh's lifted like crazy. Mmhmm, hug the legs in. And then find non-dominant inside-out clasp.

And then start to round it forward, draw your low ribs down, tuck your chin, and pull it forward. Find your belly. Mmm. Reaching. Good.

Bring it back up. Back leg re-straightens if it went bent at all, and then bend your elbows, and move your upper back in so you get some activation here. Move your pinkie fingers back to the back wall, and then start to straighten the arms. Yep. Arm bones right by your head, behind your ears if you can.

Lift up the chest. Inhaling. Exhaling. Right leg up. Left hand to the outside of the right knee.

Half moonrise reaching open. Beautiful. Mmm. Good. And then circle it back up, draw the knee into your chest, step back, wah, high lunge, breathe it in.

(inhales) And then exhale bring it down, left knee comes back up and behind. Yeah. Stretch it out. Mmhmm. Find the belly, make that femur really long.

And then inhale that leg straight back and behind, and set it down. Find your downward dog, nice and stable. Wrap those triceps back. You can come back to a little bent knee, find the belly, move the sitting bones up the wall back behind you, and then straighten the legs, press back through the heels. Inhale lift up onto your toes, bend the knees, light leap to your hands, Ardha Uttanasana.

Exhale, fold it in. Inhale rise up. (inhales) Exhale hands to heart. So I use side bends in a lot of my classes, and this is a variation that I like with some bent elbow action that we already practiced. So bring your hands up.

Catch your left wrist with your right hand. Make your left arm straight but bend your right elbow. Let the hips shift to the left and side bend to the right. Lift the thighs, lift the belly, and pull. Move the right chest a little bit forward.

Look up, chin to chest. Good. Inhale back up. Exhale, switch sides. So left wrist, around your right, or left hand around your right wrist, and then pull up, straight right arm, bent left elbow, hips to the right, bend to the left, and pull.

Lift the thighs, lift the belly, turn the left chest forward, and bend. Chin up, chest up, pull. Inhale, rise up. Exhale hands to heart. Good.

Inhale, reach your arms up into the sky. Exhale sit down, Utkatasana, one of my favorites, and then from here, start to make that clasp just like we did in the high lunge sequence that we just did. And then you're gonna bring it down, down, down, down, down, down, come to sit on your heels, round forward, yay. And then you lift up. Good.

From here, bend your elbows, roll your pinkie fingers to the back wall, hug the shoulder blades to your spine, and then you're gonna straighten your arms as you start to stand. Squeeze the knees just like you did on the floor, in those belly churning poses. Rise up. Beautiful. Good.

Lift the chin. Release the arms, maybe palms come right to touch, come back down Utkatasana. Inhale, stand up. Exhale, down, forward fold. Inhale Ardha Uttanasana.

Exhale, Chaturanga. Inhale, upward-facing dog. Mmm. Exhale downward-facing dog. Inhale that right leg straight back up and behind.

Bend the knee, draw it in to the chest, find your warrior one legs. Pause. Anchor the back foot, lift the belly, rise up, warrior one. Beautiful. Stretching up, sitting deep, lift your chest with your inhale.

Exhale, clasp back behind your back. Inhale, lift your chest. Exhale turn to the left a little bit, bow to the inside of that right leg. Pause here. Soft eyes.

Soft head. Settle your breath. Curl the right hip back. Mmm. Good.

Stretch your chest. And then inhale, you're gonna rise back up, release your hands, sweep them along the floor, breathe it in, lift your chest, and then exhale, hands are gonna come down right to standing splits, left leg high. So, for some of us, this looks like warrior three, it's just about the effort. It's not necessarily about that leg getting any higher, but make the leg as strong as you can, lift up and out of that right hip, pull yourself in. Good.

And then step your left leg right behind your right leg, and you're gonna come right up for eagle legs with the right leg on top. Open the arms out wide, and then it's right arm underneath. So this is, um, what I call crouching eagle hidden back-bend. So you put the weight back into your heel, stick your booty out, pull your arms down as you lift your chest at the same time. Pull down, lift up.

Stretch your shoulders. Find your belly. Mmhmm. Good. Pulling down, lifting up.

Then you're gonna start to rise up, unwind, catch your right knee, pull into your chest, and then you might stay with the half moonrise, or you might come towards full moonrise. So that's left hand to the pinkie toe edge of the foot, and then you expand, straightening the leg, drop the right hip, big across the chest, shoulder blades move towards one another, ears back, long neck. Yeah. It feels weirdly good after all that work. And then draw the right knee in, step it back, big high lunge shape.

Exhale, hands down. Three-legged Chaturanga if you wish. Or just big spine-lengthening downward-facing dog. Alright. Second side, babies.

Inhale that left heel straight back up and behind. I get less funny as the work goes on. Turn the right heel down, rise up, warrior one shape. Good. Anchor the back leg like we talked about.

Left chest moves back as right chest moves forward. Stretch up. Mmm. Lift your chest, take hands back behind, non-dominant clasp, inhale, reach up. Exhale, bow.

Turn a little bit to the right as you go down. And for me, I wanna lift up and out of this hip. So sit deep, keep curling it back. Lift your inner back thigh, stretch your shoulders. Mmm.

Head loose if you can, if you have balance today. That's it. Good. And then find your inhale, rise up, high lunge shape, breathe it in. Warrior one actually.

And then exhale touch it down, lift that right leg high, hug the inner thighs together, it helps me to point that back toe, pull in, standing splits, left hand can come back behind. Lift it high. Good. And then set your right leg back behind your left leg, and the left leg lines up for your eagle pose. So you're like switching legs, it's awesome.

And then take your right arm on top for crouching eagle hidden back-bend. Pull deep, weight in the heel, arms move away from you and then down to your navel as you lift your chest at the same time. Pull down, lift up. Stretch your shoulders. Mmhmm.

And then from this awesome ball of energy, you're gonna start to rise up, take the left knee up into your chest. And again, hand can reach back, or right hand comes to the pinkie toe side of the foot, and then gather yourself, your dignity, all your wits about you, and straighten, and expand. Mmhmm. There it is. Good.

Some days it takes a moment to find, to gather in and get all of your energy and then you expand outward. Beautiful. Stretch it back, ah, big high lunge, inhale here. Exhale, slow it down, three-legged Chaturanga, both feet down, inhale, upward-facing dog, exhale, down dog. Good.

Go team. Doing great. Take a moment to settle. Breathe it in. Breathe it out.

Alright. So, start to lift high up onto your toes, listen carefully, bend your knees, look forward, and hop to the outsides of your feet. Nice and light as you can. And then pull yourself in, and find a big beautiful squat here. So, from this place you want to try and get yourself as much as you can to the insides of your legs, and then you notice right away that, I call it our monkey selves, wants to come in and we wanna kinda like be like, (grunts) yum, I'm a monkey, from my former evolutionary period.

But what we wanna use is our human muscles, so these mid-back muscles that help us to sit up nice and tall, and move the chest forward, right to your thumbs, as if they could touch. They might not, sometimes they do. Ears back, nice and long. Gorgeous. And we move from our monkey squat to our human squat, and open the thighs.

Good. Couple deep breaths here. If this is going really well, you can stay, or if you're like, I'd like a little bit more heat, please, you might reach your arms up into the sky, keep the knees moving wide, and then exhale hands down. Put fingertips on the floor, and you're gonna hop right to your shins here, and sit back on your heels. This will actually feel really, really nice.

And you're gonna take your hands right to the insides, your thumbs to the insides of your ankles. Fingertips on the outsides. And you might stay here, there's a little space between your knees, or, and just like, mmm broaden the chest, it feels good, shoulders snuggling onto your back, lifted belly. Or, you might unfurl, hips forward, for camel pose. Mmhmm.

Feel lift of the belly but length in the low back, broaden the chest, and then roll your shoulders underneath you to get even more of a lift. That's it. Breathe it in, like there's a balloon on your heart, and then exhale, sit down. Un-tuck your toes. Bring hands to heart for a moment.

Feel your heart beat, it's like, yeah, I just opened up, right to the sky. (exhales) Mmm. As it starts to slow down, you'll open your eyes, and bring fingertips to the floor, and then start to shift back. Come back to your heels, come back to your forward fold, and fold it on in. Beautiful.

Press into your feet, inhale, rise all the way back up. And exhale hands to heart center. Good, okay. So, we're gonna take a standing, balancing posture, Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana. And this is the one that nobody really likes, it's a hard one.

But we're gonna try and make it more palatable by using a little bit of, um, a trick, for moving from bent to straight. So, hands on hips. You're gonna take your right knee up to your chest, take your first two fingers around your big toe. And you're right in that happy baby pose, the half happy baby pose that we started with. Which is cool, cause you've been here before except it was laying down.

Left hand will come to hip, draw in and up. Then you're gonna start to straighten a little bit, and then you're gonna draw it back in, nice and bent, and feel as you draw in that inner brightness happen, and then you'll draw back out a little bit. And then pull it in, feel that inner brightness. And then again. Back out, everything's lifting up, keep that lifting up kind of feeling, and maybe, start to take that leg out all the way to straight.

And you lift your chest like warrior one, left ribs wanna turn open, so turn them closed, reach the left hand up. Beautiful. And you'll be anywhere on the spectrum of bent to straight, for you, in your practice. And then you'll release, come back down, do a little yoga dance. Shake it out.

It's a lot of work for the standing leg, too. And then switch sides, hands to hips, take that left knee up to your chest, first two fingers around your big toes. Pull the right hip in towards mid-line, and then you just kind of like, pump it, a little bit straight, a little bit in, feel that inner brightness come. A little bit straight, draw it back to that happy baby shape, and then again. Good.

And then when you're ready, you feel prepared, you can do it as many times as you want, start to reach that leg long, lift the chest, and maybe the hand comes up, maybe it stays at your hip. Beautiful. Reach up. And then bring it back down. And set both legs down.

Shake it out, nice work. Okay. Inhale arms up into the sky. Exhale, fold it forward. If you know you like a block here for Trikonasana, you can grab a block and put it right back behind your right heel.

But you're gonna step back the left leg nice and long, right fingertips are gonna come right back behind your right heel, turn the back heel down, and here it is again, we're gonna move from bent to straight leg. So push down and forward into that right hand, straighten that front leg and reach up and open. Trikonasana. If you feel your left shoulder eating your ear, turn your pinkie finger forward, move the shoulder back, and then just move your hand to create space there. Lift the thighs, let the right chest move through like side bends, and then take the hand up and over your ear, turning the pinkie finger towards the floor, look underneath your armpit.

Breathe in. Exhale. Good. Reach the left hand back, push into your back foot, stand on up, turn your toes forward, and catch your hands back behind your back. And then we'll do it again, from bent to straight.

So you're making this kind of clasp here with your fingers interlaced. You're gonna bend your knees, and you're gonna bow forward, and let the knees open nice and wide here. Shoulders move back, drop your chin, and then pull the muscles of your thighs up, find your belly, and then push the feet down and apart as you start to come over for Prasarita, and fold. The weight wants to move back into the heels so do your best here to move the weight to the toes. Keep moving the muscles up towards the hips, pushing down into the feet, shake your head out.

Clasp comes up and over, but shoulders stay on the back not scrunched up to your ears. And then release your fingertips. Good. Shake it out for a moment, maybe glide side to side. That's it.

Roll the weight into your toes, walk the hands out. And then from here, pause, lift the muscles up towards your hips, lift your belly, shrug your shoulders to your ears, I know it seems weird but it works, find your belly again, heart moves to the floor, and then draw your shoulders onto your back, find a little bit of a back bend here, look up. Beautiful. Walk it forward. Release, inhale in low lunge, exhale step forward, forward fold.

Set up for the second side. Start to take your right leg back. Turn the back heel down, lined up heel to arch, left fingers come back behind your left heel. And then move from this bent position to a straight position. Push into your left hand, into your left foot, straighten, peel the right arm up and open.

Gorgeous. Lift your thighs. Make sure your shoulders are as best you can stacked on each other. Mmhmm. Good.

Booty to the back wall. Long on both sides. And then circle the hand up above your ear, stretch. Anchor through that back leg. Let the left chest move through.

Mmhmm. And then right hand reaches back, push into your right foot. Stand up, turn, point your toes straight ahead, you can check the outside lines of your feet to make sure that your toes are pointing straight ahead, and then bring hands back by your thighs. Move your shoulders back like you did for camel, lift your thighs, and then find a little mini back bend here, inhale, heart to the sky. Exhale, come forward, bring fingertips down, and fold in.

Mmm, adjust your feet as you need to. Weight in the toes, thighs up, stretch your legs. Mmhmm. Good. Shoulders away from ears.

This is yours. Little inversion. Heart above head. Good. Re-extend your spine here, find that little back bend, pull the shoulders back, and then come forward, find your low lunge, inhale, exhale, step forward.

Okay. So find that two fist distance apart with your feet. This is a hard pose for me. That's one of the reasons I like practicing it. And then take your first two fingers around your big toes, and touch your thumb to the nails of your fingers, of your first, your peace fingers.

And then from there, straighten the legs, extend your spine. Good. Shrug your shoulders up to your ears, putting it all together, heart to the floor, find your belly, draw your shoulders back as your chin lifts, and then pull yourself in, elbows out to the sides. Anchor your big toes, lift your sitting bones, lift your belly, and then reach out, isometrically, through your elbows to find more length. Good.

Beautiful. Inhale extend. Exhale, release. Inhale, one more big upward salute. You can luxury roll it all the way back up.

And exhale, hands to heart. Okay. Sit down. (laughs) Fancy transitions here we go. You're gonna grab a block if you have one, or you can also use a blanket that's folded up into a nice square.

So take a second if you need to and grab that cause trust me you're gonna want it. And then you're gonna have your block like this and you're gonna sit it on the floor right in front of you or wherever you will be, and you're gonna have it in the wide position. Sometimes, um, for this shape, you're instructed to have it in this direction, we're gonna come to Virasana, to hero's pose, but I really want you to have a wide base for this. So, start to shift, and separate your feet back behind you, and then go head and put the block where your sitting bones are gonna be and get yourself situated. You can probably see where we're going now.

Um, take the sides of your thighs back. And set yourself down. If your pinkie toes kind of wing in towards your other toes you can separate them. You're like, oh, yeah, this is nice, big supported Virasana shape, the hero, you know. And then go head and take your right leg forward.

And there's about a million ways that you can, um, approach this pose, but this is the way that we're gonna do it. You're gonna make a basket with your hands, to make the party more tolerable. And you might just be here, and you can right away see that monkey back kind of coming in, and so when you get the basket, immediately be like, no, I'm a human being. And start to lift your chest right up into your thigh. All that upper back opening that we did will help here.

And then the next step, this is the hardest step in my personal opinion, you find your belly, and you lift that leg up into the sky. And then, here you are, and you might just stay here. This is the next stop. From here, coming back to this familiar shape, of the knee kind of being in the armpit, this happy baby shape, and you're gonna lift up, and then you're gonna kind of explore, you'll be like, a little bit of straighten, a little bit of bend, a little bit of straighten, use those mid-back muscles, a little bit of bend, and then from there, when you're ready, maybe full straighten, lift your mid-back, and there you go. It's beautiful.

If you have tons of space, you can bend your elbows out to the side and bring your head to your shin. That's not me. (laughs) This is like the best it's gonna get for right now. Here we are, heron's pose, Krounchasana, which, in Sanskrit, I was reading Light On Yoga last night, it also means mountain pose. So you have Mr. Iyengar says it's like, you come to the precipice with your leg up the precipice of the mountain, the peak of the mountain.

We'll take the, oh, yeah, this is the best part, this is where the party gets awesome. Foot down, hands back behind you. You're gonna lift up your sitting bones just a little bit and draw them towards your knee and your heel, and then you're gonna lift up for this awesome jazzercise, mudflap girl pose. Draw your shoulders onto your back. Big stretch for the quad, big opening for the fronts of the hips after all that folding that we did, and then release, come back to your hero's pose, settle, sit back down.

So you'll really get to see it this time. The left leg will come forward, move the sides of your thighs back, and then you make a basket with your hands, and pause. Feel your monkey back kind of happen, and then start to lift up into your mid-back. And then from here lift that leg. Mmhmm.

Settle yourself, both sitting bones down on the block as best you can, and then you'll come to that happy baby shape that we already practiced. And then you go from here, little bit of bent, to a little bit of straighten, little bit of bend, little bit of straighten, little bit of bend, and then straighten as much as you can, chest forward, strong leg. Mm, maybe point the toes, see if that changes things. Again, if you have lots of space, elbows out, head to leg, just like we did on the floor. Beautiful.

Come back, foot down, hands back come to finger pads, broaden your chest, and then lift up. Big, beautiful jazzercise shape, head back, heart up, sitting bones down towards your heels. High toe. Good. And then release.

Come back to your hero's pose, just for equanimity's sake. Pause. Palms to the sky, take a deep breath. Let it go. (exhales) You made it.

When you feel ready and settled, go head and shift forward. You can take one leg back behind you and stretch it long, and then the other leg back behind you and stretch it long. Mm. And then keep your block or your blanket handy, and come on down to your backs please. Place the soles of your feet on the floor, so that your heels are just a tiny bit wider than your hips.

And then you're gonna take this block, and let's bring it to the second setting, so that you're gonna be a little bit higher. If it still feels nice to have it on the low setting that's totally fine, but try it on the second setting and see how that feels. So lift your hips, place your block right underneath your sacrum. Let your arms open to a low V by your sides, roll your shoulders underneath you. Let the eyes close, chin tucks nice and easy, long back of neck.

Mm, for a supported bridge here. Opening up the fronts of the thighs again. Using that upper back opening that we worked on all class. Let the hips really be heavy into the block, feel that support underneath you. Mmm.

Good. If you want to, if it feels okay, you can gently take one knee up towards your chest, and lift it up into the sky, and then maybe the other one, lift it up into the sky, and just find a supported shoulder stand shape here. Notice if your chin jutted up towards the sky and pull it back in. Then point and flex the feet. If you're way out of balance, then the block is on a wrong, probably higher part of your back, it needs to be way on the low back, so you can stop and shift.

Good. And then one leg might come down, and then the other. Go head and lift your hips, remove the block. And let the knees knock in here. When we knock the knees in towards center, the low back gets nice and wide after all of that work we did.

And one hand can come to belly, one hand can come to heart. Nice deep breaths. Right into the base of the pelvis, the bowl of your pelvis. When you feel nice and settled and ready, go head and extend one leg out at a time. Let the palms turn open.

Snuggle your shoulders onto your back. Feet open wide. Savasana. Begin to deepen your breath. You're welcome to stay here as long as you like of course.

And just take a moment before you start to move around a lot to listen in to your body. To your heart of hearts. Deeper kind of listening that can happen after practice and a rest. To your gut feelings. And then without a lot of fanfare just place the soles of your feet on the floor.

Roll on over to your right side. Push yourself up to seated. And just find a comfortable seat, cross-legged, bring your hands up to your heart. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your practice with me today, for going towards a pose that is not necessarily like, one you hop out of bed being like, that's what I'm gonna do today. But instead, making it interesting, by sort of approaching it in a new, bent to straight, bent to straight, kind of fashion.

Let's take a big, beautiful bow down, to that seat of expansive love that resides within each of your hearts. Namaste.


Misha F
1 person likes this.
You have such a great positive energy, and I love the way you walk through the details of poses and transitions. And your sequencing flows so well. Great, substantial class, thank you.
Audra Carmine
Thank you, Misha! So good to hear the positive vibes translate on film and that you enjoyed the class.
North F
1 person likes this.
Audra Carmine
You are very welcome, North. It is an honor to share in these practices together.
Zara B
Audra, thank you so much for all your videos! You've got such lovely energy and you always make me laugh! My partner and I practice with you again and again, and the love fest flow is just bliss! Thank you 💗
Audra Carmine
Thank you, Zara! So glad I can help you and your partner laugh and practice yoga:))) It's the best combination.
Melisse R
1 person likes this.
Your giant, glowing, love-energy is so delightful and I love your humor. I also love and learn so much from how you sequence your class, progressively repeating and building. Your detailed cues are super helpful. Thank you!
Audra Carmine
Hi Melisse! Thank you so much. I am totally blushing, your comment is so sweet:))) Let me know if you have any questions. Love always.
Masako B
I enjoyed your class very much however, your voice is so soft that I had a hard time understanding.  Is there any way to make it clear and louder
so that I can take your class again? Thanks and looking forward to your next class. Masako Borders
1 person likes this.
I have always LOVED Heron pose! Thank you for the fantastic sequencing to get us into Heron safely!
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