The Vinyasa Show Artwork
Season 6 - Episode 3

Flowing Through Transitions

60 min - Practice
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With enthusiasm and passion, Audra shares a Ganesha story and mantra to set the stage for our practice. She then guides us in a dynamic, challenging, and playful sequence designed to explore moving gracefully and courageously through difficult transitions to generate heat and allow for more space in the heart.
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(waves lapping) Hi, welcome to your practice today. We've got a full spectrum sequence on deck today where we'll do all sorts of things together. But we're gonna start out with a story and a little bit of mantra to root ourselves in our practice and get us all ready to flow together. I've been thinking a lot about transition this summer and of course, this brings up the story of Ganesh and Ganesh has this awesome, amazing birth story. He was created by Parvati out of her own being, like just out of womanhood, this totally creative expression of her and he was meant to be the guardian of her innermost sanctum where she was like, I always imagine her bathing, kind of just like, "Oh I'm being my most creative, beautiful, feminine self" And so Ganesh stood outside of this innermost sanctum, this creative source, this creative center and was the guardian of this.

And Shiva, who is the husband of Parvati, came back and he'd been like meditating for 1,008 years, you know, and he came home and was like, "Who's this guy? "Things are different than when I left. "What's going on?" And he cut off Ganesha's head, Ganesha's human head at that point. And Parvati, of course, was mortified, was like, "What are you doing? "You come home and you expect things to be just the same "when you've been away for 1,008 years meditating?

"Of course things aren't the same." And so she's like furious and gathers together her creative energy, gathers together, I call them the uncles. In my story, I take a lot of liberties with these kinds of things. She gathers together the uncles and the uncles are charged with going out and chopping off the head of the first thing they come across and bringing it back and that will be the new head for this guardian of the innermost creative, feminine sanctum. So the uncles go off and the first thing that they come across is the head of an elephant and they bring the head of the elephant back and Shiva, with all of the power that he's gained from all this meditation and practice, breathes new life and then Ganesh is born and become this god that we think of now. This aspect of divinity.

And when we think of Ganesh, we think often times of him being the guardian of beginnings, like the blessing for beginnings or crossing a threshold and this is, oh my gosh, this is what I love about this story is that all of this action is taking place right on the edge of the inner and the outer world. What we're really talking about here is this threshold where there's the inner and the outer world and what things do you want to let in and what things do you want to keep out. But we're also talking about the community that has to gather in order to help transform Ganesha into the beautiful, chubby elephant god that he ends up being. And he also, there's also this aspect of it where we are all the characters of the story, right. We're Shiva coming home after 1,008 years and being like, "What?" "Things are different?

"I can't believe this." Change is really, really hard and our human brains pick up on these patterns where we want things to be exactly the same, like this is how the pattern goes and then when the pattern shifts, it's very difficult for us to like go with the flow, right? And we're also Ganesha's mother in the innermost sanctum, trying to feel safe, like putting a guard out there so that we can be our most wholehearted, creative selves. And we are also Ganesh trying to be a wide-eyed, right, Ganesh usually is pictured with these wide eyes and these big ears and this tiny mouth. And what does that mean, right? That's what a teacher said to me once.

What does that mean, Audra? Big ears, wide eyes, small mouth. You can insert your own meaning there. And so to be wide-eyed and awake enough to be able to receive the new perspective, the new teacher that is coming in. This is sort of what all the yoga practices are about.

So today, we'll experience it all in this beautiful, full spectrum sequence together and just notice when we're moving though the transitions, that part of you that might get a little bit Shiva. Like what? Things are changing? I was super comfortable there and just go with it and see if you can be awake and aware enough to move smoothly, to bring a little bit of grace into it. So bring your hands to your heart.

Let your eyes close. Settle in. And we'll make the sound of ohm together to start and then we'll just do a brief chant to Ganesha, that we might be soft enough to accept the teacher as it comes, to be open enough to let it in and let it change us, to change our perspective. Breathe it in. Om.

(chanting in another language) Ending with the sound of om, breathing in. Om. Drop your hands, open your eyes and let's shift out to hands and knees, so come on forward and we'll get started nice and easy. And just let your hands be right underneath your shoulders, your knees right underneath your hips and let's breathe. Drop your heat, lift you chin, inhale.

Exhale, push down into the floor, tuck your chin and round it on back for your cow. Inhale, move it through. Exhale, round it back. One more like that. Inhaling.

And then exhaling. Pause here in the round with the exhale and then go head and let your ribs on your right side shift over to the right and then start to drop it down, move it through center and then push the left ribs way over to the left and then start to round it back up again, so you've got these, I call these MTV dance party circles happening, which is really fun if you're not an awesome dancer you can like pretend that you are right here. And we'll move it through one more time that side and then come to the top on the right and then reverse it, start to move it over to the left. Drop the heart down. Mm hm.

Good. And really see if you can get around. You start to kind of use it after a couple. One more on that side. Beautiful.

Then come back to center. Find a neutral spine. And then you're simply gonna shift back and sit on your heels. So, the heels have a tendency to splay apart so you wanna take your fingers and go (click) and glue them together and then let your sitting bones come right back to your heels. Then you're gonna take your right arm out to your side and then slowly take the left arm up and over.

Let the right elbow bend. Look up underneath your armpit. Let the hips shift over to the left and get a big side stretch here. Bend your belly a bit, it doesn't have to be crazy. And bend.

And then come back up and over, take it the other way, take the right hand up and over, walk the left hand out. Hips shift over to the right and bend. Little hugging of the shoulder blades onto your back to get more stretch. Right in the side pants, where your pants meet your hip. Good.

Then come on back up. And then bring your fingertips down to the floor. Tuck your toes underneath you and come right to this little prayer squat with the heels together and then here's the hard part. You're gonna hug your knees towards one another, feel this lift in your belly and then you're gonna do your very best moment of grace to lift your knees right up off of the floor. So it helps me to find the place that is not moving and then (clicks tongue).

Well, see? It's hard. (chuckles) And then you bring your knees right up, heels up, and there you are in this beautiful little squat. So from here you are gonna press everything into mid-line. Your hands, your heels, your legs, and you're gonna sit up as nice and tall as you can. And then start to rise up.

It's really hard. And this is one of those transitions, those thresholds where you wanna go really fast but see what you can do to slow it down. And then stand up with your high heels as best you can. Hands can remain at heart or you can sweep them up and over your head. And then maybe start to come all the way down.

And here's the part where it can get a little bit sketchy and people want to go a little bit fast, including me. But see if you can just slow it down. It's usually right about here. Slow, slow, slow, good. And then brings hands back to heart center.

Gently lower your knees down to the floor with no thunking. Good. And then you're going to walk it out. And scoot yourself to the back of your mat if you're not here already. And separate your feet.

And then you're gonna come to kind of a short downward-facing dog. So you'll lift up and it's like this kind of uttanasana-y variation. You can shift side to side. Move your sitting bones up into the air. You can come up onto fingerpads if that feels good.

And then start to walk it out one palm print at a time. And come all the way to your nice big, full downward-facing dog. Oh man, the first one always feels so good. Good. And then from here gently shift up onto your toe tips and you're gonna come right out towards plank pose.

And you're gonna lift your right heel up off of the floor so you've got your toes up. And then you're going to pop up onto your left fingerpads. And you're starting to build a little bit of heat here. And then enter the instability monster. You're going to take your left hand and move it forward.

And see about finding a little bit of balance. In and out, moment of bliss. In and out. Good. And then bring it back down.

And switch sides. Lift the hips up a little bit, draw your naval back. Lift your left heel, hop onto your right fingerpads, roll your left tricep back. And then maybe a little instability. Hug into mid-line.

And then release. Shift forward and then lower all the way down. Whoo. Bring your hands back to your hips. I call this sassy pants hands, where you're kind of like sassy.

And lift up your right leg, turn it in. So you move your inner thigh towards the sky and set it down. Take a breath. Exhale. And then inhale your left leg up.

Turn it in, inner thigh to the sky and then set it down. Root the feet, move your elbows towards one anther and then inhale, rise, just your chest. Good. Push your pubic bone down, lift up. And then release.

Let your head rest for a moment. Just side to side. Breath it in. Breath it out. Good, and then we're going to take that and do a transition to cobra.

So hands back behind you, sassy pants hands, elbows moving towards one another, big, broad collarbone. Root the feet. Push down, lift up. Keep the chest lifted and then bring hands to cobra. Inhale, breath it in.

Exhale, lower down. One more like that. Inhale, breath it in. Exhale, lower down. Bring hands by your chest right next to your ribs.

Tuck your toes, look forward, walk your feet in. Lift thighs, lift pelvis. Push up plank and stretch back, downward-facing dog. Good. From here you're simply going to look forward, come high up onto your fingerpads like you already did.

Come high up onto your toes and then walk it slowly towards the front of your mat. Bend the knees there. Give a little glide side to side. First uttanasana of the day. And then bring your fingerprints so that your hands are a little bit outside of your pinkie toes.

Bend your knees, let your belly and your thighs meet. Let the head go. And then start to straighten into the legs as much as you can right now. Elbows move out to the side. Good.

One more breath here. Head to the floor. And then soften into your elbows. Press into your feet and inhale to rise all the way up. And exhale, hands to heart center.

Breath it in, circle it up and wide. Exhale, fold it in. Inhale, extend your spine. Exhale, step it back for plank pose. Take a big breath in here, shift forward, lower down, chaturanga.

Shift forward again, upward-facing dog. And then exhale, downward-facing dog. Inhale your right heel straight back up and behind and step forward to the front of your mat. Turn over towards your left and there's going to be a couple of options here. You can keep hands on the floor, heels in, toes out, or bring hands towards your ankles or hands to heart.

And then it's skandasana, the dance of the warrior. So you shift towards the right. Take an inhale here. Exhale, center. Inhale, over to the left.

Shift back to center, inhale. Exhale. Inhaling center. Exhale, shift. Sole of the foot stays on the floor as much as your can.

One more. And then we're gonna land over here towards the left. And you're gonna spin towards your left and find a low lunge. Breath it in here, extend your spine. Exhaling.

And then inhale, rise up, high lunge shape. Lift high up into your back toes. Lift your belly, strong arms. Gorgeous. And then one big step, awkward transitions.

You're going to lift your right knee, this back leg, right up into your chest at the top of your mat. Good. Take your left hand to the outside of your knee. Reach your right hand back and get nice and broad across your chest. Beautiful.

Inhale, come back up to center. Exhale, step back. Breath it in here. Turn over the other way. Left hand reaches back, right hand reaches forward.

And bring the right hand down, left hand up. And you're going to come high up onto your left toes and let the heart open here. Get nice and big and broad. High hips. Shoulder blades hugging.

Beautiful. And then we're gonna come right up towards horse stance. Facing front again. So that same shape as skandasana. Heels in, toes out.

And then anchor through the pinkie toe of your foot and place the left hand in front of your heart. Right hand comes to meet it. And we're gonna breath here. So this is ganesha mudra. Breath it in.

Exhale it out the mouth. Let go of some of that heat that I am building. And maybe you're building too. And then with your clasp on your inhale, pull the clasp apart, feel the upper back activate. Exhale, soften.

Breath it in, inhale. Exhale, soften. Breath it in. Exhale, soften. Two more like that.

Pull the clasp apart, inhale. Exhale, soften. One more. Keep spreading the legs apart. Exhale, soften.

Transition high lunge, front of the mat. Breath it in. And then you're gonna come right to ardhachandrasana. Right hand's gonna come down, left hand's gonna come up. Beautiful.

Hand can stay on hip. Take up lots of space, get big. Root down through that standing big toe knuckle. Excited back leg. Nice.

And then you're gonna step your left leg back behind your right for a cross-legged fold. So you get some nice calf smooshing there. You can totally come up to right toe tips if you need to. And then inhale, ardha. Exhale, fold it in.

Inhale, ardha. Shoulders back, belly lifts. Exhale, fold it in. Beautiful, one more. Step the left leg back.

Find your low lunge, find center. You're like, "Thank god, I know this one." Inhale. Exhale, plank pose. Shift forward, chaturanga. Shift forward again, upward-facing dog.

Exhale, downward-facing dog. Gorgeous. Get settled. So let's take three big ujjayi breaths here. Really pressing down into your hands, wrapping the triceps back.

Lifting the tops of your thighs, letting your heart move in, your head be free. I love saying that. Heart move in, head be free. And breath it in. Exhale it out.

One more big one. And step your right foot to center. Inhale the left leg back up and behind. And exhale, draw it in. Step right between your hands.

And we start to turn over towards your right, turning back to that skandasana, the dance of the warrior. So the sole of your feet are gonna stay on the ground. Heels in, toes out. Hands can come to heart, the floor or the ankles. Take a big breath in, right through center.

And then exhale, tip it over to the right. Extend the left leg. Inhale back through center. Exhale, bend. And you want to find a kind of sticking your booty out kind of feeling here.

And lifting of the belly. Back through center. And bend. Inhaling. Finding that extension.

Sole of foot stays on the floor. One more. I never actually count these things. I simply feel it. And then stay over to the right.

Stick it, really extend through that left leg. Stick your booty out, move your right knee to the side. And then start to turn towards your right. Find your lunge. Breath it in here.

Exhale. And then with your inhale, rise it up, high lunge. Arms circle. Sit deep into that right leg. Lift your left thigh.

Lift the belly. Wrap your pinkies forward, broad upper back. Inhale here. Exhale, here we go, that transition. Press into your right foot and bring your left knee up to your chest.

That right hand comes to the outside of that left knee. Circle the left hand back, longingly reaching. Dropping the left hip a little bit. Beautiful. Inhaling here.

Exhaling. And then inhale, step it back. High lunge, take it nice and slow. Breath it in. And then exhale, twist the other way.

Right hand back, left hand forward. Lift everything in and up. Good. And then here we go. That beautiful side plank variation.

Left hand'll come down a little bit beyond your left shoulder. Start to turn to the pinkie toe edge of your back foot and then lift up high on your toes. Shoulders move onto your back. Breath it in here. Good.

And then come back to your low lunge and you're going to circle right up for horse stance. Yeah. Place your left hand in front of your heart, right hand comes to meet it. Sit nice and deep. This is our second time here.

So root those thighs out nice and wide. Root through the pinkie toe of your foot. Breath it in, pull the clasp apart. Feel your upper back activate. Exhale, soften the clasp.

Breath it in. Pull. Exhale, soften. Breath it in, right at your heart. Exhale, soften.

One more. Exhale, soften. Good. Turn forward. Come to your high lunge shape.

Set yourself up. Big, full inhale. Lift up that back thigh like your best friend is sitting on it. Nice and strong, belly in. And then ardhachandrasana.

Come forward, right hand comes to hip, left fingertips come down. Pop that back hip open and reach the right arm up. Beautiful. Open hearts, open eyes. And then right fingertips come down.

And then you're gonna step that right foot back behind the left and snuggle yourself in nice and tight. So it's really nice, you can push the weight to your toes here. Let yourself fold in here for a moment. Get your for-free calf-smooshing here. And then inhale, ardha uttanasana.

Come to fingerpads, lift up, shoulders back. Exhale, fold in. Inhale. Exhale, fold in. Inhaling, long spine, look up.

Exhale, fold it in. Step that right foot back. Find your low lunge. Go to pose inhaling. Exhale, step back, downward-facing dog.

Let's take a vinyasa together. Breath it in, shift forward. Plank. Shift forward more, chaturanga. Roll over the toes, big upward-facing dog.

Push down, apart and back with the hands, downward-facing dog. Good. Three full breaths in your downward-facing dog. Long spine. See what you can do to really push down and forward and grow yourself longer.

Nice. Two more. Inhaling. Exhaling. Beautiful.

Lift high up onto your toe tips. Look forward, shift yourself forward just a little bit. Bend your knees and take a nice, easy hop to the front of the mat. Inhale, ardha uttanasana. Exhale, fold it in.

Press down into the feet. Inhale to rise all the way up. And exhale, hands to heart center. Good. Let's come down to a little squat here at the front of the mat.

So separate your feet. Heels in, toes out. That shape that we've been practicing. And then press your upper arm bones. It's kind of nice to even grab the love handles and bring them in.

And then make a prayer and press the upper arm bones right into your legs as your move your chest up into your thumbs. And you can put a little bit of movement here. Yeah. Just some like good mid-back muscle action happening. Nice inner-thigh work.

Good. And then bring the fingertips down to the floor. And you're gonna turn your toes in and your heels straight back behind you. And you're simply going to step back to plank pose. From here, take your right hand a little bit beyond your right shoulder, roll to the pinkie toe of your bottom foot and shift up for side plank.

Push down and forward. Draw your shoulders onto your back. Take your sitting bones towards your heels. Breath in here. Exhale, come back, plank pose.

Second side. Step your left hand a little bit beyond your left shoulder. Roll to the pinkie toe of that bottom foot. Roll the right hand up and open. Sitting bones down to your heels.

Breath it in. And then exhale, downward-facing dog. Good. Sometimes instead of doing tons of surya namaskara A's, it can be nice to just do a simple flow with a side plank instead. To get the core turned on, to open up the shoulders.

Inhale, lift your heels here. Bend your knees, look forward. Take an exhale and leap right between your hands. Inhale, ardha uttanasana. Exhale to fold on in.

Press into the feet. Inhale, sweep it all the way up. And exhale, hands to heart center. Good, okay. So we're going to come to a nice integrated tree pose before we do a little bit more flow.

So bring your hands to your hips. Put some weight into your left foot and take your right knee up to your chest. Take your right hand to your inner right ankle and bring that foot right up to your inner thigh. Bring hands to heart center to get steady. So you're going to pull everything just like that very first pose we did, where we were shifting up into the high heeled, like ta-da pose.

You're going to press everything in and up. And then reach your hands out by your sides. And then from your shoulder, your armpit, roll your chest up to feel that inner brightness. And then bring hands up above your head. Palms might meet.

You stretch up. You move your inner right heel towards the front of the room, forward, and lift. Big hip-opener here. Good. Bring hands down to heart.

Turn your right knee forward and set your foot down. Shake it out. Do a little yoga dance. Beautiful. Second set.

Hands to hips. Press into your right foot. Take your left knee up to your chest. Hand to ankle. Bring the heel and your thigh together.

Bring hands to heart. Get yourself steady. So not baby carrying pose with the hip jutting out, but rather an in-and-up shape. Press into the big toe knuckle of your standing foot. And then reach the arms out.

From your armpit chest, move your hands up so you feel your upper back activate. And then bring hands up to the sky. Palms might touch or it might be shoulder-width apart for you. Keep stretching. Move your inner left heel forward.

Inhale here. Exhale, stay. Get nice and tall. Beautiful. And then release.

Let the knee move forward. Shake it out. Awesome. Okay, so inner edges of the feet together. Come in back to center.

Inhale your arms up and to the sky. Maybe palms touch. You get that same feeling, that lift of the upper back. Or maybe they stay shoulder-width apart. Exhale, sit down, utkatasana.

Put the weight back in your heels, stick your booty out like you did in skandasana. Find your belly and lift your chest. Good. Inhale, rise up. Exhale, forward fold.

Inhale, ardha uttanasana. Exhale, bend the knees, plant the hands, slide back, chaturanga. Roll over the toes. Big upward-facing dog. Exhale, downward-facing dog.

Good. Inhale that right leg straight up, back and behind. Toes point down. Exhale, step between your hands. Turn the back heel down.

Push into your fingertips to put weight in that back foot. And then rise up, warrior I. Hmm, this feels awesome. It's one of my favorite poses. Pull the right hip back, let the left hip come forward.

Stretch up. Okay, here we go. It's kind of like a transition that we already did. You're going to open your arms out wide, kind of like Ralph Macchio in "The Karate Kid" here. Look forward.

Look down at the floor. And then you're gonna step right to eagle with your left leg on top and your right arm on top. So you're all wound up here. The weight wants to sneak into the toes so do your best. Shift it back into your heel.

That same booty out, belly in sort of feeling. And then from armpit to elbow, stretch. Sit nice and deep. And see about getting the nest of your knee, or the egg of your knee, right into the nest of your arms. Parallel, your arms with the floor.

Reach. And make your back kind of big like those cat-cow circles we did. Inhaling here. Exhaling. Okay.

Get ready. It's going to be right to ardha chandrasana. So you're gonna unwind from this really low, curvy place. Right hand comes down, left arm comes up, left leg comes up. So we're adding and making it kind of more interesting, the transitions.

From here, take your left hand up and over your head, reach back through your left heel. Oh, get nice and long. Look down at the floor. Keep reaching and bend into that bottom leg. Step back.

Beautiful extended side angle. Look up underneath your armpit. Reach nice and long. Curl that right hip back behind you. Good.

And then bring the left hand down. And you're gonna transition right towards three-legged dog, right leg high. Bend the knee. Open up the hip. Push down and forward into that left hand.

Pop up onto the right fingertips like we did in plank pose. Keep the hips high and flip it. Good. Right hand back behind, hips high. Look down for the floor.

And then hips still high, come back around. Circle the right arm back around. Right leg comes back. And then maybe a three-legged vinyasa. Chaturanga, both feet down.

Downward-facing dog. Nice work, team. Get rooted here in downward-facing dog. A couple big breaths. Consider how you're doing with the transitions.

I'm sweating like crazy, it's pretty awesome. And then inhale your left leg straight back up and behind. And exhale, step between your hands. Back heel comes down. Rise up, warrior I.

Beautiful. Sit nice and deep. Curl the left hip back. Right ribs move a little bit forward. Anchor the back foot.

Stretch up. And then karate kid style. Open the arms out nice and wide. Look down, look forward. And then it's going to be right leg on top, left arm on top, garudasana.

Sit nice and deep. Put the weight back into your heels. Stick your booty out so that your find that belly catch. And then dive it forward. Move the nest of your knee right into the nest of your arms.

Big stretch for the back. Breath it in. Let it go. Gorgeous. Okay team, ardha chandrasana next.

Don't over-think it. It's in your body. You've done it a gazillion times. You're just gonna simply start to unwind. Left hand down, right leg up.

Ardha chandrasana. Taking up space, getting really big, it's awesome. Beautiful. And then from here, right hand comes up and over your head. Stretch through that right heel.

Stretch, stretch, stretch, keep stretching. And then look down, step back, extended side angle, nice and soft. Turn your heart up. Strong back leg. Reaching, getting space.

Beautiful. Bring it on down. Three-legged dog, step it back. Bend the knee, open up our hip. Hips high.

Pop up onto your left fingerprints. That's what we've been practicing, we did that before. And then start to flip it. Keep the hips as high as you can. Left hand back up and behind.

Maybe straighten that bottom leg if it feels okay. Keep this shoulder moving back on that right side. Inhale. Exhale. Travel back.

Beautiful. Separate the feet. Find your center in downward dog. We've still got an utkatasana coming up. Don't worry, it's going to be awesome.

Inhale, lift high up onto your heels. Bend the knees, look forward, light hop. Ardha, breath in. Exhale, fold it out. Bend the knees deeply.

Utkatasana, inhale. Exhale, sit deep. Booty out, belly in, chest lifts. Good. And then inhale, rise up.

Exhale, hands to heart. Let the eyes close. Breath it in. Breath out. Lift our chest right up into your thumbs.

Breath big into both of your lungs. Exhaling fully. Feeling that extra space that comes with the breath as practice progresses, right. We breath a little bit heavier, we go through some transitions that might not be super comfortable. And through that we start to open and make space.

Good. Inhale your arms up over your head. Look up, press up, stretch up. And then exhale, flow it right down through center, past your beautiful heart, right down to your toes. Inhale, ardha uttanasana.

And exhale, simply step back to downward-facing dog for this one. Starting to get to the heart of it here. So you're going to take your right leg straight back behind. Big, full inhale. And then exhale, draw the knee in towards the chest.

Step forward. And drop down onto your back knee. So a couple choices here. If you're like, "Audra, I wasn't expecting hanumanasana to show up "in this sequence and I think I would prefer "to just do a little bit of a hammie stretch." You're going to step back and you're going to bring your hip and your knee in line with one another. And simply flip up your right toes.

And then it's a little press down and forward. And pull. I like to kind of like strum my hamstrings by moving my hip in and out. And then walk my hips forward and fold. There's that feeling here of pretty intense length in the hamstrings.

If you're feeling like, "You know what? "I think that hanumanasana might be "pretty awesome right now. "I'm feeling really warm. "It's something I have in my practice." Here's the challenge. You're going to dip it back.

Take a nice, full inhale here. And you're not going to overthink it. You're going to exhale, just start to come out. And then you're like, "Oh, that went better than normal," maybe. Hands can come right back by your hips.

Or you might reach the hands up and over your head. Stretching up just like you did for that tree pose. Breath in here. And then release, hands back down by your sides. Do the traditional hanumanasana exit.

(groaning comically) And come back to that low lunge shape. Move your chest forward, take a breath in. And then exhale, press into that right foot. Bring your left heel right up to your seat for baby flamingo, firing that hamstring. And then look forward, shift it forward and sit down.

And then you're gonna grab your right knee and come down onto your backs. Yay. Give a round of applause for being on your back. It's pretty awesome. Bring your left hand to your thigh.

First two fingers around your big toe. If you need a strap or if you're at home. When I'm at home a lot of times I'll use a scarf around my foot if you need just like an extra Go-Go Gadget arm here. And then you're gonna take the leg out to the side. So draw the knee in towards the armpit, moving from bent to straight.

We'll see this in another sequence in this series too. You're gonna take the leg way out to the side for a reclined version of trikonasana. Left hand will move out and then you stretch. Take up, like it's an ardha chandrasana shape, a trikonasana shape, taking up tons of space. That left hip is moving towards the floor.

So there's a little bit of belly work here too. Drawing the naval back and then over towards the left. Beautiful. One more big one here. Reaching out.

And then draw that right knee back in. And then this is kind of fun. Grab the leg and then draw your chin in towards your knee. And then see about hurking yourself back up. Come towards your right toe tips.

Slip that left leg back to baby flamingo. Step it back, low lunge. Inhale. Exhale, step back, downward-facing dog. Notice the difference here.

A lot of times after hanumanasana and that reclined triangle, your right hip can feel totally different than your left hip. Maybe not, some days not. But today, at least for me, yes. Inhale, lift your left heel straight back up and behind. Draw the knee in towards the chest.

Step forward. Find your low lunge shape and then same thing. Maybe dropping the back knee and coming up knee, hip, flipping the left toes. And you can be here and just be like, "Oh yeah." Strum my hamstrings, it feels awesome. And then walk the hands forward, find the belly and fold.

I like to press my heel into the floor and drag it back towards that hip as well. So you're getting a lot of extension but also some power here. And then again, if you're ready, if you're like, "I'm super warm. "Hanumanasana might be possible today." You look forward, back it up a little bit. A little bit of a pump-fake.

Take an inhale. And then exhale, slide it out. Woah, this is my tight side. So it's not all the way down. For this side that means I'm only gonna walk my hands back towards my hips and then broaden my chest and be like, "Dignity town, here I am.

"This is what I've got today." Good. And then for your traditional exit from hanuman, lean it forward, drag that foot in, place it on the floor, tuck those back toes, and come back out to your lunge. Look forward, step it in, come to your baby flamingo. Take your front heel to your seat, and then start to drop through and sit down. Take your hands right around your shin and lay back.

And here we are, laying down. My students at home would say that this is a trick, this laying down. That something hard must be coming and this is the pep talk that I'm giving you so that you will feel ready and have the energy and the openness, right. It's a two-fold kind of thing. You've got to have the energy but you've also got to be open enough to do some of the more difficult transitions.

So right hand comes to your hip. First two fingers around your big toe on that left side. Draw the knee into the armpit. Naval back, turning towards the right a little bit. And then you'll extend that leg for this reclined trikonasana shape.

We're gonna reach the right hand out and then expand energetically through all of your limbs, keeping the right hip as soft as you can. Good. Breath in here. Exhale. One more.

Get expansive with that inhale. Feel that brightness come as you nourish yourself with your breath. Good. And then with your exhale, draw back in. Grab your leg, hurk yourself back up.

And then come back and find your low lunge shape. And step back for downward-facing dog. Okay. So what I want you to do for a moment is to come down and just watch me. Because I'm going to teach a little bit of a demo here and then we're going to do it again together.

I'll just show you on one side and then we'll do both sides together. So we've done some leg opening, some hip opening, we've got nice heat. We're gonna try a transition that is sort of interesting and new and just see what happens together. So come, or watch. I'll come to my down dog.

And I'm gonna take my, let's do right, left leg forward? We'll do left leg. Yes, that's perfect, I made the correct choice. And then from here you're gonna make that side plank arm that we already practiced. So right arm a little bit beyond your right shoulder so you've got a little bit of an angle here.

So if it's right under there, that's not a stable position for your arm. And then you're gonna take your left hand to your left ankle. And you're going to turn over onto your right big toe, or right pinkie toe side of the foot. Push down and forward. And then you're going to start to take this leg right up into a tree pose.

And you're going to start from this leg really curvy, sort of imperfect place. It's like, "This is not the cover of Yoga Journal." And then you're gonna push down into your hand. Get as much of the sole of that foot on the floor and start to expand and make it beautiful for you, right now. And then here's the cool transition. High hips, just like flipping the dog.

Your left hand's gonna come down and then you're gonna move forward to a tree pose chaturanga. Knee wants to come down to the floor. Lift it up. And then both feet back, ka-cha! Upward-facing dog, downward-facing dog. So you might be like, "Dude, I would love to do that, "but today is not the day." And so there's a variation that we have already practiced, pretty much.

Where you'll come forward to your lunge, you'll move to the pinkie-toe side of the foot. You've got a tree-kind of shape in the leg already. And you'll lift up and be like, "I am gorgeous." And you can just step back to your downward-facing dog and let that be that. So I hope that that makes sense. Let's all start in downward-facing dog together and then we'll do both sides.

Okay. Ready, go. Ganesha! Asking for the obstacles so that we might have the teacher. So that we might transform and get new heads and new perspectives. Inhale that right heel straight back up and behind.

Exhale, step between your hands. Go nice and slow in the setup. Take your left hand a little bit beyond your left shoulder. Right hand to your right ankle. Start to turn to the pinkie-toe edge of that back foot and then you're going to push down and forward into that left hand and lift the right leg up into tree.

Get all curvy and weird. Yes. And then straighten. Brighten. Get expansive.

And then find your transition. Right hand down, come towards your tree plank. Knee away from the floor, shift forward, chaturanga. Shoot it back. Big upward-facing dog.

Downward-facing dog. Okay. Last hard thing, I promise. Are you ready? Inhale your left heel straight back up and behind.

Exhale, step between your hands. Take your right hand a little bit beyond your right shoulder. Grab your left ankle, start to take it around, swoop it right up into that tree pose. Knee laid in there. And then get really curvy and weird.

And then brighten it. Let it get big and expansive. Shoulder blades moving together. Find your transition, think about it. Move from center.

Left hand down. Knee away from the floor. Press everything to mid-line. Lower down. Shoot the laid-back, big upward-facing dog.

Exhale. Downward-facing dog. You did it. Go team. Drop to your knees.

Big toes together. Child's pose. Let the hands come back by your heels. Shoulders can roll forward. Little rub on the third eye.

Start to let the breath slow down. Your heart beat slowing down from all that excitement. Coming back home. Beginning to draw the energy inward again. Good.

And then reach your hands back out in front of you. And then just slither out onto your belly. Take a moment there. I noticed right away I was holding tension in my shoulders. And so notice if you were doing that and then just let it go, wiggle it out.

Big toes can turn in, heels can roll out. So your low back is wide and expansive. And then just really sweetly start to roll over onto your backs. Yay, more laying down. And let your knees draw up into your chest.

You're gonna just come to nice, cactusy arms. Hop the hips a little bit towards the left and take the knees over to the right. And your right hand can come to the top of your thigh. Just get a nice, gentle twist here. Soft in the left shoulder.

Gaze can move to the left, if that feels comfortable. Or just be straight up to the sky. It's really up to you. This is all about just like bringing the sweet back in after the fire. This twisting also, if you really let your shoulders move towards the floor, is a nice opener for the fronts of the shoulders that did lots of work.

And if you kind of snuggle your left shoulder blade down to your back, you also get this feeling of a nice opening on the back of the shoulder too. A little bit of love. Roll it back up towards center. Hop the hips a little bit to the right. And let the knees come over towards the left.

Left hand can come to that top thigh. And then you roll the gaze over towards the right. And if your right shoulder is way up off the floor you can just lift your right elbow. And soften the armpit, kind of this (slurping noise) sucking of the armpit back to let the shoulder release. And it's also that same feeling I was just talking about, about the right shoulder blade moving towards the spine.

So you're getting an opening to the front of the chest and also to the back of the chest too. And let the eyes close. Keeping the breath soft. Good. You're gonna draw yourself back up, moving your hips and your knees towards center.

Snuggle yourself in towards a nice, tiny seed. Point and flex the feet maybe. And then release. Come down to your savasana shape. So let the palms be open.

The feet can roll out. Chin tucks gently to your chest. And then we're gonna practice a breath that I like to use. One transition, speaking of thresholds, that can be really difficult for some people, including myself on occasion, especially when there's some anxiety or worry in my world, is the transition from being awake to being asleep. And so this is the breath that I use to help during those difficult times.

So breath in through both nostrils. Just nice and soft, nothing special. Just breathing it in. And exhale completely. Inhale through your left nostril energetically, without using your hands.

Pull in through the left side. And slowly let it slip out your right nostril. Inhale through the right. Exhale through the left. Inhale through left, right up to your third eye.

Exhale through the right. Inhale, right side. Exhale, left side. And you can keep going like that, breathing in left, exhaling right. Breathing in right, exhaling left.

Or simply just let it guide you into your savasana. And rest. So you're welcome, of course, do what is best for you. To stay here as long as you like. If you're coming out with me, keep it nice and shanti, very peaceful.

Place the soles of your feet on the floor. Roll to the right side, to the fetal position. Take a breath there, just nice and tender. I love that cycle in class, moving from corpse pose, from the floor, savasana, right to our baby self, to our fetal position. And then roll a little bit more towards the floor.

Push yourself up and just come to a comfortable seat, cross-legged. Bring your hands to your heart-center. Thank you so much for sharing your practice with me today. I hope that you feel awesome and awakened and alivened. And you've crossed over all of these thresholds and you still came out just as you are.

Just you, perfectly you. Bowing down to that big, beautiful, bright light that resides within each of your hearts. Namaste.

Comments

What a great practice! I love the unusual transitions. They give such a different perspective to the poses. I am going through difficult transitions in my life right now, and going through transitions in my yoga reinforces that things can be difficult and different, but I can make it through, better and stronger than before! Audra, thank you for this gift this morning, I will carry it with me through my day, and beyond.

Namaste,
Christine
Dear Christine! Thank you so much for the feedback and I'm so glad to hear you felt empowered and strong in this practice. I hope the echo lingers for a long time. That's yoga at its best! When I made these movies, I too was moving through some interesting transitions and yoga was this constant reminder that 1) I didn't have to manage, or control, every twist and turn perfectly and 2) that I am loveable and deserving of connection all the time, not just when things are going well. I hope you have an awesome day!!
Audra, sweetest heart.
LOVE this practice and LOVE you.
The instability monster!! Sassy hands!! MTV Dance Party! YOU.
xx
I love you dear Kelly!! to the moon and back. Thank you for practicing with me.
1 person likes this.
So lovely! practice, definitely one of my favorites here at yoga anytime . It gave me exactly everything I needed this morning. Namaste from Sweden
Namaste from Portland, Oregon, Johanna Lundin. So grateful for the opportunity to share practice with you on the other side of the world. Stay in touch! Sending love and light your way. Xo Audra
Namaste from SF. I really enjoyed the practice and the creative transitions. My only challenge was when facing the back of the mat and not being able to see the computer Kasia
Hi Kasia, thank you so much for sharing practice together. I hope that the challenge was inspiring rather than frustrating. I will keep your feedback in mind for the next time I film. Love to you in SF. Audra
Namaste from San Jose, CA. :) This was a great morning practice with new transitions to try, loved it! Thank you Audra.
Thank you Christi Li! So glad you liked it. Love to you from Portland, Oregon:)
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