The Vinyasa Show Artwork
Season 6 - Episode 7

Flow to Eight-Angle Pose

60 min - Practice


We allow room for imperfection as we play towards the arm balance, Astavakrasana (Eight-Angle Pose). Audra leads us through a strong and energetic Vinyasa sequence to generate heat and opening in the body, as well as a series of prep poses before working toward our peak arm balance. Use this as an opportunity to practice self-love and acceptance.
What You'll Need: Mat


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(waves crashing) Hi. Welcome to your practice. The theme of this practice that we're gonna be working on together today is called Expectation to Acceptance and the pose that we're working on is a sage pose and it has a really wonderful story. It begins with a woman who is pregnant and she's got this big beautiful belly and there's a baby inside and there's a father who is a devoted student of the Vedas and he's reading the Vedas out loud and chanting and reciting and like, in his practice and mispronounces a Sanskrit word and the baby inside the mother's womb laughs, right? Not in a kind way but in a way that is like, "Ha, ha, ha, you got that wrong, you didn't do it right." And so the baby ends up being cursed by the father to come out of the womb crooked in eight places and that's the name of the pose that we will be working towards today.

As well as a little bit of a transition. And I love the story because I got it wrong for a really long time, coincidentally enough. Where I was like, "Who would do that? "What kind of father would curse his baby? "That's horrible." Right?

But the whole idea behind the story is that practice is practice and that if we are in good relationship with ourselves, if we are acting in love and kindness with ourselves then there's gonna be room for imperfection, right? And the tail end of this story of this family is that the baby grows up and lives his life being imperfect in his body and eventually becomes this great scholar and is commended by a king one day and the father hears of this, that his son has become a scholar like he was, right, with the Vedas and has this wonderful practice and calls the son back to him and there's forgiveness and the curse is lifted and the child, the man that he is now, now has a normal body, right? And I love that part too because there's room for the relationship to change, right? Just because it was one way at one time, then there's the opportunity for forgiveness for what has happened in the past and yeah, we in our lives have this really wonderful way of being pretty unkind to ourselves in our practices and I love this particular pose and this particular transition because I can't do it everyday so who knows what's gonna happen. And so every time it shows up in my practice or I feel called to it, it's this opportunity to practice self love, to practice kindness towards myself, to be in right relationship because when we're working there and doing the work there, it's gonna be a lot easier to go out into this world and be in right relationship with the people around us and that's what I'm in it for is the love and the kindness, amen.

Bring your hands to your heart. Take a breath in. Make sure a complete exhale comes. Good now let's begin. So come on down to your backs and place the soles of your feet on the floor.

Oh yeah, this feels nice. And go ahead and draw your knees up into your chest and take a gentle twist over to the right. You can extend your left arm, it's like oh, good morning, good afternoon, wherever you are in your day, meet yourself. And then draw it back up towards center, take the legs over the left, extend the right arm. And use your left hand to pull.

Should feel good. That's it and then come on back up to center. Place your feet on the floor, maybe a little bit wider than you hips or hip-width distance apart. And bring your thumbs to your ribs and your fingers towards your hip points so you've got this like, nice distance here in way of actually feeling and being with your body. And then with an inhale, you're gonna lengthen that distance between your thumb and you fingertips.

And then with an exhale, you're gonna tilt your pelvis up and decrease that distance, you're doing a little bit of a curl there. Inhale to lengthen, exhale curl in. Inhale lengthen, exhale curl in. Ribs and hips move towards one another. Inhale, lots of space stay strong even in the lengthening and then exhale, draw it in.

One more like that, big breath in. And then exhale, good. And then keep it long here, get the low flat part of your back on the floor and keep that engagement. Not the pelvic tilting but that engagement of the ribs, low ribs and the hips moving towards one another a little bit so that your belly feels nice and firm and tight and then bring your hands out by your sides and bring your knees up so that your hips and your knees are nice and lined up. And here's the game here, you're gonna try to keep everything in your upper body even and your hips still and you're slowly gonna lower your right heel down to the floor.

Good and then lift it up and then lower the left one down, nothing's moving, it's like if someone was taking a video of your face right now, right heel down, they'd be like, "Oh, they look so relaxed." Left heel down, come on up, keep marching it out like this, be careful about drawing the knees too close to your chest, you want it to just be vertical as you move, good. Drawing the ribs and the hip points gently towards one another, couple more, that's it. If you're feeling like really good here, you might lengthening the leg out a little bit. Are you breathing? Are you relaxed in your upper body and your face?

Last one here, left side, end on your left. Good and then lift your head and shoulders. I like to take kind of like sci-fi brain sucker hands and bring them back behind my ears like this and then you're gonna go ahead and curl your left elbow in towards you right knee, extend your left leg long. And then draw it back in and then draw the right leg long, bring the right elbow towards the left knee and then just find your own rhythm and pace here. Just started to heat up the belly a little bit, getting a little bit of twisting action coming.

If you can tap the elbow and the knee towards one another, it's kind of awesome 'cause you get a little bit of pressing action and your obliques start to turn on even more. Good, it's like the sneaky heater too. We'll do one more round. I mean that little pause at the top, good. And then release.

Take a big stretch here, good. And then bring your hands right underneath your thighs, rock yourself up towards seated. Turn towards the front of your mat and come towards a seat so for me it's gonna be just a nice cross-legged seat and you're gonna bring your hands towards your thighs or your knees and that's totally great wherever they end up and sit up nice and tall, you might even take the sides of your thighs back with your hands. With an inhale, you're gonna pull your chest forward, nice big backbend and then with an exhale tuck the chin and round yourself back. Inhale, pull your chest forward, little seated cat and cow, tuck the chin, round yourself back.

Inhale, pull it in, chest through, chin up. Exhale, draw it back. One more, inhaling. Exhaling. Inhale, pull up to a nice neutral spine, bring your right hand over by your side, take your left hand up and over, big side bend here, good.

And then switch sides, left hand comes down, right hand comes up and over. Look and look up underneath your armpit, bend into that left elbow, beautiful. And then we'll come on back up. Keep your legs crossed whichever way they are and draw your toes so that they kind of point right out from your knees. Take the sides of your thighs back and then you're just gonna fold it forward here, a little bit of hip opening before we get started.

If you have a block that you wanna put your head on your can put your third eye on a block, you can also just set your head on your fists. And think, long low back here. If you have lots of space right away in this practice, you can walk your hands out and let your head come right to the floor and use the exhales to soften here. And if your hands are out long you can give a little push to put some weight back into the hips. This is kind of like child's pose on drugs or something, it's a little bit more intense for the hips but you're getting that same lengthening of the spine.

Good, walk it back up, switch sides, this'll be the leg that feels weird. And get in really tight so that your toes like up with your knees as best as you can. If you're like me, you'll be spending ten years trying to make it symmetrical and it won't be symmetrical so give it up, let it be crooked and imperfect. And then draw the sides of your thighs back and start to walk it again. Again, you can just rest on your elbows.

You can rest your head on your fists. If you have a block or a book you wanna put your head on or walk the hands out nice and long. And usually this is a greeting to our tighter side when we have your legs crossed like this. So right away there's this opportunity, right? Right here in the mat in this beautiful laboratory with Asana to offer ourselves some kindness.

You are okay just as you are. Perfectly imperfect. Give a little push down into your hands if you have your arms long to root your seat back even more. Soften with your exhales, good. And then start to draw it back up, nice.

Shift out towards hands and knees and I'm gonna teach you something that I like to do in plank pose and I'll teach it to you first on hands and knees and then we'll do it together in actual plank. So spread your fingers, roll your thumbprint a little bit forward and then push your hands down into the mat, give a little slight bend into your elbow roll the eye of your elbow forward, chin lifts so that your eyeballs are moving forward rather than tucking and then press down, pull your hands apart on the mat and then pull the heels of your hands back to your knees and even here on your hands and knees you can start to feel your transverse abdominals start to fire and then we'll up the stakes, we'll do it in plank pose. So step one foot back and then the other, push straight down into your hands, roll the thumbprint forward, eye of the elbow moves a little bit to the front of the mat, eyeballs left, push straight down, pull the hands apart and then pull them back towards your toes, good. It's like an earthquake in your belly for most of us. Fill up the waistband of your pants, keep pulling, beautiful.

Drop down onto knees, stretch it back, take a tuck to child's pose. Good and then lift back up and we've got one more here to do with plank pose that we'll use later, this is this kind of pushing that we're gonna do into the mat is really important for when we start to come to the arm balances later. So on hands and knees, push the hands down, apart and back and then start to round into your upper back by pushing so hard, so you fire the belly and then you round and make this Halloween cat back. So go ahead and keep this here, if you feel it, your shoulder blades are nice and wide, drawing apart from one another and you can step back one leg and then the other and come to your Halloween plank pose. Your Halloween plank pose, here it is folks.

All dressed up and ready to go, nice. Keep pressing, start to feel your side ribs engage here, nice, that's good. And then this time just stretch it up and back, take downward facing dog, stretch your legs, good. And then one more little bit of core work, inhale and roll it out towards plank pose, shift forward, lower all the way down to your belly. You're gonna love this, go ahead and put your head right on to your hands and then here's the play, you're gonna press your pubic bone down into the floor and you're gonna start to let your belly up off of the floor so you're really curling the belly back here.

Keep that and see about lifting your right leg up into the sky, it's hard, you can feel your hamstrings engage, belly's pulling back, pubic bone down. And then gently start to move that leg side to side. Keep breathing, move it in, move it out. Keep the belly lifting, spread your toes, strong straight leg, last one here. Beautiful, come back, see if you can lift your left leg at the same time as you drop the right leg down, pubic bone down, belly curling away from the floor and then move it out and in.

Kind of like your painting or something, drawing a line back and forth with your toes. Keep breathing. Belly curling back, couple more moments. Side of the hips starting to work, engaging your glute, beautiful, come back to center, pause. Lift both legs, pubic bone down, belly rooted away from the floor, good, lower the legs, bring your hands by your chest.

Inhale, rise up cobra, exhale, tuck it back, downward facing dog. In your downward dog, let your feet come together and then start to walk your hands back as you bend your knees out to the side. This is like my favorite thing to do lately and you move one leg back and then the other. And you're just getting into the groins and the hips and that same pushing down and forward action that we did before, making your Halloween cat back all the way down. And then just kind of like, make your own little vinyasa here starting to open up through the sides and the hips.

and then when you're ready, start to walk yourself back out to your downward facing dog. Breathe in to lift your heels, bend the knees, look forward and exhale lightly between your hands, inhale Ardha, exhale fold it in. Inhale, press into your feet, root to rise up, upward salute, exhale hands to heart. Inhale, rise up, exhale, fold it in. Inhale, Ardha Uttanasana, exhale, bend the knees, plant the heels and slide back Chaturanga.

Inhale, upward facing dog, exhale, roll back, down dog, three breaths. Inhale, lift into your heels, bend your knees look forward, light leap, front of the mat, inhale Ardha, exhale, fold it in. Inhale, rise all the way up, exhale, hands to heart. Inhale, sweep it up and wide, exhale, fold on in. Inhale, breathe it in, I was just laughing, exhale, Chaturanga, 'cause it feel so awesome.

Inhale, upward facing down, exhale, down dog. Turns out, breathing and moving totally works. That's what they found out millions of years ago. Inhale, lift into your heels, bend your knees, look forward, light leap front of the mat. Inhale, Ardha, exhale, fold.

Bend your knees deeply, put the weight back into your heels. Inhale, rise up Utkatasana, exhale, fold it in. Inhale, Ardha, exhale, your Chaturanga. Inhale, upward facing dog, exhale downward facing dog. Inhale, your right leg back up and behind, exhale, step between your hands.

Back heel comes down, rise up, Warrior one, inhale, exhale, touch it down, flow it back, Chaturanga. Upward facing dog, exhale down dog. Inhale left leg straight back up and behind, exhale draw it in, step between your hands, right heel turns down Warrior one, rise up. Exhale touch it down, Chaturanga. Inhale, up dog, exhale, down dog.

Three big full big breaths here once again. Inhale, lift your heels, bend your knees, look forward, exhale, leap. Ardha to a fold, bend the knees, sit your hips back, inhale Utkatasana fierce pose, exhale, stand up, hands to heart. Close your eyes for a moment. Exhale, good.

Just slow it down before we start again. From this place, open your eyes as you lift your arms up. breathing it in, exhale fold forward. Inhale, Ardha, exhale, Chaturanga. Inhale, upward facing dog, exhale downward facing dog.

Inhale your right heel straight back up and behind, exhale, bend the knee, step between your hands and come up for Warrior two this time. So anchor through that back leg, big deep bend in that right knee. Bend your elbows here and let your shoulders like drop down your spine and then from this place, move your elbows forward as you press your hands back and feel your upper back start to activate, yeah. And then start to reach the hands long, gaze is nice and soft out over those fingertips. Holding it a little bit longer than this may be comfortable.

Good and then you're gonna pivot, turn your heels in and your toes out and come to your Horse stance and take your left hand, turn the palm back behind you and reach the hand up to the center of your shoulder blades. Right hand's gonna come up, pretend like you're high fiving someone in front of you and then suck your armpit back and take the whole arm back, maybe fingers touch, maybe they don't, another opportunity for acceptance here and make your Gomukhasana arms. Sit nice and deep, you're welcome to wiggle at all times. Breathe it in, tuck your low ribs down if they started to pop out a lot, good. And then pivot back to the front of your mat, bend nice into that front knee and then turn your right ribs forward as you start to bow over that front leg.

And then maybe, you might release your bottom hand, half bind left hand reaches toward the inner thigh or full bind, you can grab your hands and open your chest. Curl that right hip back. Beautiful, love this one. Anchor with that back leg, keep that bend in that front knee and then tip it back, Peaceful Warrior. A big full inhale.

Straighten that front leg. Let's go through Triangle. Bring the right hand down, left hand up, pull the right hip back, nice. And then flow it down, left hand comes down, step it back. Big three legged dog here, pause in your three legged dog, toes pointed down and then turn your right toes out to the side and see about taking the leg way out to the side, nothing else moves, tuck that left hip back, no one likes this, just saying.

Inhale, stretch it straight back up and behind and exhale, set it down. Breathe it in, breathe it out. Preparing for the second side. Notice the difference between your two sides. Your left side's probably like, "Let's do this." Okay, so let's inhale your left heel straight back up and behind, exhale, bend the knee.

Draw it into your chest, step forward, turn the back heel down, rise up, Warrior two. Pull your shirt down. (laughs) Open your arms and then bend your elbows. Press your elbows forward as you take you hands back. Activate your upper back, anchor the back leg, keep curling that left hip back and then slowly start to open the arms Warrior two. Big full breaths here.

Good. Nice work. From here, pivot your feet so you come to your Horse stance, get nice and deep, take your right hand, turn your shoulder to turn the palm back and reach it up back between your shoulder blades. Your left hand comes up, you pretend like you're high fiving someone like, and then draw your left armpit back, take the whole arm back, arm bone back and make a clasp here and then you've got your nice Gomukhasana arms in Horse stance. Stay deep in the breath here in these challenging poses.

As your body starts to open, sometimes the breath wants to dispute it like, "No thank you, I'm not going "to show up for this." Part of our secret yogi powers is reminding ourselves to breathe, to stay with it. Pivot on the feet, make Warrior two legs here, pull that left hip back, find your belly and then start to bow over that front leg, turn the left chest through and then maybe release half-bind, right arm comes to the inner left thigh or full-bind and open your chest as you open your hip. Move the right shoulder back, strong belly, long, find that length from those pelvic tilts. Good. Peaceful Warrior, tip it back, big full inhale.

Straight boom to that front leg and roll through Triangle pose just for a moment. Nice and strong. And then slide it down, find your three legged dog, that's it, pause, toes down, hug the inner thighs, outer hips working, turn the left toes out and then kick the leg out to the side. Oh, it's hard. Good and then send it back and set it down.

Let's take a Shvanasana, inhale, roll on out. Nice clear Chaturanga, exhale, inhale, upward facing dog. Exhale, down dog, good. Okay, let's inhale that right heel straight back up and behind and exhale, step to the outside of your right hand. We're gonna take, maybe, possibly, a little bit of a bind here, so you're gonna start to walk that right foot forward.

You're gonna snuggle your right shoulder underneath you, yep, move the calf towards your ear if you've got nice, strong, athletic calves like I do. And then maybe reach the hands out to your sides for Flying Lizard, maybe flip your palms and take your hands back to your hip, look forward, drop your right ribs. That's it. (laughs) Just changing your life here. Release, step back, three legged dog, bend the knee, open up the hip, you can flex and straighten or pull, whatever you wanna do. Make it feel good, I have one student who does this.

Which I always find very inspired, shakes his leg out, and then set it down. Breathe it in, breathe it out. Inhale that left leg, exhale draw it in, step to the outside of the left hand and then start to scootch that left foot forward. It's like a tiny dance. And then snuggle your left shoulder, calf moves towards the ear, right in.

You might stay like this, up on fingertips, big wide arm or reach the hands out, flip the palms, find the bind, drop your right chest, look forward, stretch. My right hip wants to turn out so I'm turning it in best I can. Good and then release. Step back, shake your leg out, stretch long into your legs, your femur, whatever you wanna do that feels awesome. There we go.

Come back to your down dog, take a couple of deep breaths here, inhaling. Exhale completely, especially if you haven't in awhile. One more big one. And then inhale lift into your toes, bend the knees, look forward, exhale, leap right in between your hands. Ardha, breathe it in, exhale, fold.

Inhale, rise all the way up, exhale, hands to heart center. Breathe your chest right up into your thumbs, exhale, let it drop, good. Inhale, sweep your arms up into the sky, exhale, sit down Utkatasana. Bring hands to heart, lift your chest up into your thumbs and then twist over towards your right. Catch the elbow on the outside of the leg and then use your right hand, push down and forward to get your armpit through.

And then maybe open the arms up nice and wide. Take your head back, move your heart through, squeeze your legs. Beautiful, draw your navel back, turn it a little bit more to the right and then inhale, rise back up. Exhale, hands to heart, inhale, lift your chest up into your thumbs, exhale, turn over towards that left leg. Use your left hand, push dramatically down and forward to get your armpit through and then maybe open the hands, bring the head back, maybe take the hips back a little bit, open the heart, beautiful.

Inhale, back to center, exhale, fold. You're like, "Yay!" Come high up onto your toe tips, hop a little bit back if you were like way, way at the tipy front of your mat and come on in for MÄ쳌lÄ쳌sana. Just shake it out, kind of like you do when you were in downward dog, let the head drop. Good, so we're gonna set up for Bakasana Crow pose here and the plan is to work towards a straighter arm. I didn't understand for a long time what muscle it was the straightened our arm until I was an intensive and asked my friend Laura who has a PHD in these sort of arm straightening things and Laura said, squeeze your tricep and so when we come up to Bakasana, I want you to really think about squeezing that outer arm, your tricep towards big line to try and get the arms as straight as you can today.

So take your right hand, pull your left side belly in, take your left hand, pull your right side belly in and then snuggle yourself in to a big tiny ball right here on the floor, you're Sphinx-y style arms, spread your fingers and it's not gonna be a butt lift, this kind of crow situation, instead you're gonna think, bird of prey and reach forward. So press your upper arms onto your shins, look forward and then a simple shift up, maybe the toes fly up off of the floor, maybe they don't and our edges of the feet together. Squeeze the triceps, good, that's it, squeeze, push, Halloween Cat Back and then hop back, Chaturanga, upward facing dog, downward facing dog. Awesome. Inhale that right heel straight back behind you, hug the inner thighs like we practiced before.

And then start to walk the hands back towards the back of the mat, your right hand is gonna stay right below your shoulder, push a little bit in front of your face, pull up on that left hip and then start to turn for Revolved Ardha Chandrasana, lift that back leg, stretch long. Good, beautiful. And then release, start to walk it back down and then you're gonna draw that knee by lift the leg into your chest and shoot it out to the side and then walk your back leg back so you're gonna twist the opposite direction, pull your right hip back as you come down, the bottom leg can turn open, that's okay, and then spread your hands and start to turn. Use the traction of the floor to turn to the right. Good.

This pose has a lot of weird names, Brigid's Cross, the Fallen Warrior. When you get a good turn, go ahead and relax here for a moment, just set your head into your hands, keep tacking that right hip back as best as you can. Moving the left ribs away from the spine, towards the floor. Good. Start to press it back up, here's our exit, right hands gonna come up a little bit beyond the right shoulder, back toes are gonna tuck and you're gonna come to up and away, beautiful.

You might, if you're feeling pizzazz-y, lift that right leg up off the floor as best you can. And then draw it in and step it back, three legged dog. And go ahead and set it down. Take a second here. We'll do the second side.

Inhale that left leg straight back and behind, start to walk the hands back 'till you've got heel and hip lined up on top of each other, left hand's down, hug the inner thighs and reach the right hand up to the sky. Revolved Ardha Chandrasana, remember that core work on your belly, use the booty to lift that leg, get nice and big, good. And then walk it down. Keep that leg lifted, draw the knee in towards your chest, shoot it out towards the right and then start to tack, pulling that left hip back. Good and from here turn your chest to the left.

Oh, I got a free chiropractic adjustment today here and then once you feel like you've got enough, maybe tack that hip back again and then go ahead and rest on your hands. Okay, remembering our exit, coming back up, putting your left hand a little bit down in front of your shoulder, start to come up, tuck your back toes, turn onto the sole of that foot, big up and away, left shoulder on your back. Use your best yogi strength to lift that left leg up, draw it into your chest, come back three legged dog. Nice, alright my friends, we're almost there. Breathe it in, exhale completely.

Inhale lift high onto your toes, bend the knees, look forward and then hop through to a cross legged seat. Good. So here we are seated, my friends and we're gonna take a little bit of a preparation to start to work on our peak pose so you're gonna grab your right leg, left leg can just be kind of like casual Janu Sirsasana on the leg and you're gonna bring your right leg up and get it nice and close to you and you can take the crook of your left elbow and put it right in the sole of your foot and the crook of your right elbow and kind of make this beautiful basket for your leg and then just give it a little rock back and forth. In one of the other classes I talk about how my son walked in on me doing this and said, "Mom, your leg is like a baby." Maybe it is my baby leg. Good, nice, go ahead and set that down.

And then bring up your left leg and same thing, you can start here just in this nice pigeon-y pose, upper back's working or take the sole of your foot to the crook of your right elbow and your knee to the crook of your left elbow, make a little basket with your hands and then just rock it out. You already did those big lizards so we're just kind of like, amping it up a little bit. Nice, okay so here's the first step for this posture is you're gonna extend your left leg straight out in front of you, it's gonna be like the biggest, the longest, the heaviest your leg has ever looked or felt probably and then you're gonna take your right leg and this is totally, you are already here in your lizard shape so you're gonna bring that leg right back behind you and take the calf muscle, move it towards your ear, you back gets a little bit round here and then you're gonna bring hands down right next to your thigh, you're clamping your leg down on your shoulder, if you're above the elbow, you're good to go and then from here exhale. Press down into your hands and lift up as best you can. Good, if you're like, "Oh my god, my leg is on my shoulder "for my very first time." You can totally just stay here and be amazed at yourself.

If this isn't happening, you can use a hand to hold or come back to the baby cradle preparation. Okay, let's switch sides. So you'll take your right leg, your big long extended right leg, extend it out there and then bring your left foot up and then you pull that hip back, kind of like your drawing a bow back and then slip your left shoulder underneath your calf muscle, pull the calf towards your shoulder and look, you're already here, like this is like you in lizard, imagine the right leg back behind so don't worry. From here, hands come right down, kind of towards the knee a little bit more, clamp that leg down, find a big exhale, push down, lift up. Squeeze your triceps, beautiful.

Release, come down, shake it out for a minute. Casual leg shakes. And then we'll take it a little bit further. So here's the next step, right leg is gonna come in, same thing, hand comes underneath, calf towards the shoulder, hands down, for this one I'm gonna move back a little bit so I don't hit the flowers. For this one, you're gonna start to lift up, exhale, lift up and then cross your left ankle over your right ankle and then you're gonna go straight arms and shift, squeeze the knees, the legs out to the side.

And then you'll come back and sit down, that's step two. Release it, shake it out. Not bending the arms yet, we're practicing on straight arms for a purpose for the transition later and then left side, left leg comes up, draw it back, shoulder underneath, put the clamps down with that leg, exhale, lift up, right ankle crosses over left, straight arms, shoot it out to the side as best you can, push down and then release, come back. Okay, take a breath. You're like, "I don't know if it's gonna happen today." Or that's how I'm feeling but we'll just see, it's an opportunity, we're creating an opportunity to love ourselves, no matter what happens, it's the best.

Yoga's the best that way. Okay, I'll talk you through it, we'll see what happens. Actually, let me show you something really quick first. I'm gonna turn this way so you can see. If you come up while I'm talking you through this transition and you're like, "I don't know, Audra, "if this is gonna happen." And you're here in your straight arms and then you start to try and get this foot through, you can like pull the foot on the ground, you can like drag it through like this if you wanted to and then you could end up in your lizard pose, it's not really, it doesn't have to be like this floaty thing, it can just be like doing the nuts and bolts work of making the practice accessible for you.

So let's do it together. Right leg comes back, draw it back like a bow, put the leg on your shoulder. Here we go, hands down. You're gonna lift up, hook the foot, bring the legs out to the side, squeeze the knees, make straight arms as best you can and then pull that left foot through and see about coming to big beautiful acapantzingo, maybe back to Chaturanga. Upward facing dog, exhale, downward facing dog.

See you've got all the component parts that we worked on today, the lifting of the leg, the back leg that we did when we were on our belly. The shooting of the leg out to the side that we did in downward dog, the twisting required for the Astavakrasana pose, the crooked in eight places when you shoot your legs out to the side, it's all there. The pushing down in the Halloween cat back so even if you're not making the full transition happen as happens to me some days, you've done all the process, the whole journey has been completed, look forward, hop to a seat. And we'll try the other side which could be a totally different beautiful adventure. I'm gonna let you go ahead and go move on your own, I'll get you all set up but you're gonna need every last bit of ounce, bit of ounce of, bit of breath in order to be able to get yourself through here and so will I 'cause we've been working really hard.

So draw the leg back, calf muscle towards your shoulder, you're above the elbow, you're in a good place, right leg extends, look forward, exhale, push up and start your practice here. Come out, your way, find your big beautiful bog, awesome spine stretch here. Drop down to your knees, take a child's pose, rest for a moment, hands can snuggle back by your feet. Shoulder's drop down. You did it.

I don't know about you but some nice wrist stretching is in order so go ahead and start to make your way back up to your knees, snuggle your knees and your ankles together and you're gonna take you fists and you're gonna make them like this, so you snuggle your knuckles kind of in the grooves of one another and then you're gonna turn your fists inside out and place them right in front of you here. And then squeeze your hands together so that grooves of your knuckles together fits like a puzzle and then start to straighten your arms, it's awesome, we call this in class, in Portland, the anti-carpel tunnel pose and you'll notice if you practice this quite often you might start out with really really bent elbows but as time goes on, you can start to straighten your arms even more. Good and then release that, flip so that your fingers are pointing towards your knees and then, for me, I have to walk back my knees a little bit to feel the stretch here and push into the heels of your hands and then you're gonna anchor through each finger, so press into your thumbs, press into your index finger, press into the pad of your middle finger, it's hard to find that one for me and then your ring finger, pinky and then go back around, circle the wheel of your hands, it's kind of like that game that you play when you're kids where you wind up your fists and then someone points to your finger and you see if you can move it, it's hard to tell which finger, how to feel your fingers. Good, that's it. Release, come on down to your backs.

Let your feet be wide here and let your knees knock in towards one another. Circle your arms up above your head, just nice and loose and then take your knees, rock them over towards the right and then if it feels okay, you might just be like, ah, open hip making space after all of that work that we did with the crouching forward. You might stay here or you might take your right heel up to your left thigh and then draw your hip point towards your pubic bone and move your pubic bone backwards so that you get this nice settling feeling and then pull your wrists, left wrist with your right hand and kick down and forward on that right heel, it's a nice in those kind of back bend-y side bend. Good, lift up on your left side belly and then release, just stay in this shape for a couple moments, in a softer way. And then come back up to center, take your legs over towards the left.

Again, you might stay here, just feel it out. Do what would feel best for you. And then if you're moving forward, take your left heel on top of your right thigh and then take your right hip point, move it towards your belly button, take your pubic bone back, keep that and then pull long through that side. Kick down and out through that foot. Big stretch here.

Good and then release. Stay soft. Come back up to center. As you're ready, start to straighten your legs out in front of you, turn your palms up to the sky, snuggle your shoulder blades underneath you, your little bird wings. Chin tucks.

And take your Shavasana. Taking a moment before you move out of your Shavasana to just listen in. The real fruit of a practice like this is not the outcome of the postures, it is the work that is done internally. And speaking from personal experience, the work of self love is some of the hardest there is. And so to come and practice it here on our mat, to offer ourselves just challenges that are sometimes accessible, sometimes not, maybe never accessible and then love ourselves in the face of it all.

The face of whatever happens, that's the nectar. Gently place the soles of your feet on the floor. Roll on over to your right side. When you're ready, go ahead and push yourself up to seated, come to a comfortable seat. Bring your hands up to your heart.

And we'll just take one of my favorite mantras to close, so with your hands, make 'em palms open so you've got like bird wings at your heart here. And breathe into your palms, I am and exhale, love. Breathe in, I am, exhale, love. One more like that, breathe it in, I am, exhale, love. Thank you for coming to share in this really potent practice with me today, let's bow down to that big beautiful bright light that resides in each of your hearts, Namaste.


Karrie P
2 people like this.
Amazing video! It's wonderful how you can take a complicated and sticky pose and make it accessible and filled with self-love. You are truly a wonderful teacher! can't wait for more :)
Audra Carmine
Thank you so much Karrie! It's been such an honor to share these practices with the Yoga Anytime community. Xo
Kimberley H
1 person likes this.
Love this one! Thank you, Audra.
Audra Carmine
So glad you liked it KH!! Xo
Melisse R
1 person likes this.
I've just discovered you and this class. I am filled with excitement to explore your various classes. I love your gentle warm presence and messages!
1 person likes this.
Thank you for this awesome, beautifully engineered, fun and joyful practice. There is a whole lot to play with here, and you break it down with grace and ease. Wonderful!
Audra Carmine
Thank you, Melisse and Lori. Keep me posted on your progress and so excited you are enjoying the classes.
Julianna R
Love! Made my heart happy! Thank you so much.
Melisse R
1) Warrior 2 - method to activating upper back- interesting and new for me. But for more clarification - I assume you keep your upper back engaged when in extended Warrior 2 arms?
2) What's the difference between Bakasana and Crow? Thought they were the same thing. You mention the seat's not lifted but it feels like Crow to me.
3) Astavakrasana - Is there anything problem with cross your ankles before lifting your sear off the ground, as easier way? I guess that Holloween Cat Back we did on the floor and in plank is the shape and engagement you go for in Astavakrasana?

This is such a rich practice. Thanks.
Danielle P
You are an amazing yoga teacher and funny on top it! The best combination for a yoga instructor. Thank you so much, Danielle

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