Welcome to Yoga Artwork
Season 2 - Episode 3

Reaching From the Ground Up

30 min - Practice
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Through an exploration of the play between the tailbone and the back of the legs, Kira encourages us to hone the relationship with Self. You will feel inspired and unique.
What You'll Need: Mat, Block (2)

Transcript

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Hi, nice to see you again. In this next sequence we will continue to hone our relationship with self. Continually the temptation will be to believe that there's one way to be, and continually I'll be making an effort and to emphasize that we're trying to find out who we are. I'm going to suggest that you have two bricks. If we're going to end in a seated meditation, so if you know you like to have something to sit on for that you might have a blanket or something else.

We'll start with the two bricks at the top of the mat. And we'll begin in child's pose. If child's pose isn't your bag yet, 'cause of knees, or joints or other mischief, you can just start out seated. otherwise snuggle your way in. Chest towards the thighs, face towards the floor.

Allow for an inhale, and allow for an exhale. Two more like that. Release one more breath, nice. Let your hands come out in front of you. Wiggle your hands way out in front of you.

Start to get a sense of lengthening and then as you are ready, pull the hands towards you, but without letting them move, kind of pull the hands towards you to come up to all fours. And we'll start into what usually gets called the cat cow so as you exhale you're going to draw your sit bones under and your gonna let your back round. And as you inhale you're going to roll the pelvis forward and you're gonna let your back arch and your heart lift, okay continue like that. Exhale, letting yourself round. And as you inhale letting yourself arch.

Maybe about three more like that. Let it feel good, so feel how as you exhale and the sit bones draw under, and you allow the stretch to come up into the upper back, you're drawing your sit bones down, and feel how as you inhale, you're rolling your pelvis forward, you're letting your heart lift, and as you're feeling that compression in the back, nice. Few more. (breathing) And always in these sequences if my breath pace is different than yours, believe yours. Okay, nice, next time you're in the rounding, curl the sit bones under, round on back child's pose.

Wiggle your hands forward, and then let's get a little bit of tension in the side body. Start to walk your hands over to the left. Walk your hands over to the left and really shnuggle out to the fingertips, like (slurping) so you're really lengthening that right side. You might root that right wrist a little bit with that left hand. And pull the right hip back, so you start to feel a nice long line through that right side.

Beautiful, and inhale bring it back up, walk your hands back to the center. And then all the way over to the left. And you keep walking your hands, and we all kind of know when to stop and, ch, ch, ch, ch, ch reach those fingertips out maybe root that hand with the right and pull the left hip back so you feel that opportunity. Nice, beautiful. Let inhale bring you back up, walk your hands back to the center link them one more time.

Nice, and then inhale bring yourself back up. This one is what we usually call easy side plank. Plant your left knee, left hand under the face. Soften the left elbow so your shoulder can roll back and down. Extend back out through that right foot.

Spin onto that outer right edge, and once you feel stable, circle your right arm up towards the sky, now root back through that outer right edge, reach up through this right arm, and then as you're ready drop your left ear down to your left shoulder, circle your right arm back to your right foot, in front of the face, and over the top of that head. And can you feel that sense of reach? What I usually like to do is bend the right knee a little bit, bend the right elbow a little bit. And then press into that right foot, as you lengthen. Excellent, inhale, circle that right arm back down towards the earth onto all fours.

Let an inhale arch the body, let an exhale round the body. Let and inhale bring you back to neutral. Right hand under the face soften the right elbow. Shoulder rolls back and down, extend back through that left foot, spin onto that outer left edge. Once you feel stable circle the left arm in front of the face and up.

Okay, only as you feel ready right ear drops down to the left shoulder. Circle the left arm back to in front of the face and over that left ear. As you feel this opportunity of reach you'll get more reach if you let out some lines. So let the left knee bend, let the left elbow bend. And then root and lengthen, let the breath wide up into that left lung, beautiful.

Inhale, exhale windmill back down onto all fours, let an inhale arch the body. And let an exhale round the body, round all the way back child pose again. Sit on back towards the heels, wiggle your hands forward. Beautiful, and inhale bring you back up, and now we're going to start to use the brick. So I have these bricks on the medium setting.

You could choose the low or the tall. And if you don't find the bricks helpful you can ditch them, but most of us find them pretty helpful. I'm going to back these up just a little bit, so that I stay on my mat. Why don't we start with the left foot first. So with your hands on the bricks it gives you a little bit more room to step the left foot forward.

And you're coming into the shape of a lunge. So my right knee is back, my left foot is forward, and then introduce yourself a little bit. So gently you want to sink in. And then you want to pull back. And then you want to sink in, letting that left knee bend.

And then pull back, okay a handful more like that. You're introducing yourself to the situation. Now as I pull back I like to flex my left foot. A few more times, just kind of getting used to that here. But the play here is to start to get a sense of that cat cow in relationship to the hamstring muscles as you draw this left leg back.

Some of you are going to wisely walk the bricks back with you. Dig that left heel into the earth a little bit. And now just like you were doing the cat cow, as you inhale, roll your pelvis forward, draw your heart open, and as you exhale curl the sit bones under and feel your back round. So as you inhale rolling the pelvis forward. Feeling your heart open, that will most likely bring more awareness in your hamstrings, and as you exhale curl the sit bones under and feel the back round.

Okay one more like that, feel as how you roll your pelvis forward, as you're drawing your sit bone away from your knee you're going to get more length through there, more stretch. And as you exhale, you're shortening that hamstring, and bringing the stretch more into your back. Yes, okay, inhale, take a look up, exhale let that front knee bend, bring the bricks forward so it's easier for you. And then as you're ready, step that left knee back. And bring the right foot forward, so same idea.

Just get kind of used to the shape of the lunge. Back, and forward and move with the breaths. So generally, for me, I inhale back, and I exhale and I sink in. That's somewhat easy to forget when you're yammering about the situation, (laughs) but this is generally the breath pattern. Okay, nice, okay then eventually, I think we need one more on this side.

Okay and eventually you're gonna come into the hamstring stretch, so you're drawing the right hip back, bring your bricks with you. And if it's better for you to bring them on the taller setting you do that. Okay, dig the heel in, inhale, and as you exhale can you really start to get how you're put together? As soon as you round your sit bones under, okay and you're drawing that pelvis under, and you're drawing your sit bone closer to your knee. You're bringing the stretch into the back.

And as you roll your pelvis forward, so the sit bones drawing away from the knee, you can feel it more in the back of the leg, okay, exhale. So you're just using this as a way to kind of get a sense how you're put together. And arch, and of course if you're of the bendier variety and it makes more sense for you to have the bricks a little further and to be a little bit more in the forward fold, then that's fine, but don't be so deep that you can't sense the subtlety. Okay, next time you come forward, pelvis board heart open, let the right knee bending and come back towards the lunge. Reorganize your bricks, and then bring that right knee back to meet the left, maybe keep the hands on the bricks.

As you wiggle back towards the sit bones forehead towards the floor. Okay, let an inhale bring you up. And we'll start with the left foot, let the left foot come forward. Tuck the back right toes under, lift through the back of the right leg. And then similar as in the first sequence of moving in and out of it.

So press through the ball of that big left toe. Feel your left hip draw back as you let the left heel draw straighter, right heel gets heavy. And then let the left knee bend again. And do that three, or four more times, just kind of depends on your pace. Let an inhale draw you back, let an exhale sink you in.

Yeah, just kind of getting used to the movement of the joint, letting that joint move. Beautiful, gorgeous, now next time that left leg draws straight, now I'm showing the brick on the medium level, but you might of wisely turned the bricks up higher, so you decide. Next time that left leg draws straight pivot the back right foot to about 45 degrees, which is a slightly meaningless instruction, because it just is gonna kind of end up where it feels right for you. And here now, pressing into the ball of the big left toe, and feel the left hip draw back. Root back through that right foot just like we were doing in that easy side plank, and start to get a sense of the cat cow here.

So as you exhale letting your back round. And as you inhale roll your pelvis forward. And so feel the attachments in the back of your legs. So like feel as you exhale and as you round it brings it more into the back body. And feel how as you inhale and arch it will pull it more into the back of that leg.

Do that a few more times, and allow yourself to be exploratory for you. Yes, beautiful, last few moments. Gorgeous, come back to something that feels like neutralish. Just spin up onto the ball of that right foot. Let that left knee bend, drop the right knee down.

Step back towards child's pose. Again your bricks are on the setting that's working for you. Keep your hands on there when we go back through. I should let you know that I've removed the tyranny of the down dog from this sequence so if you're missing your down dog you can add it, and inhale down into all fours. Step the opposite foot forward, okay tuck the back left toes under, lift up through the back of the left leg and same idea, okay, so drawing the left hip back with the right leg draw straight, let the left heel get heavy.

And then bend the right knee, come back into the shape of the lunge, draw the leg straight, and then let the knee bend. And then just let this feel good. Just sort of get used to it, the way the nervous system works and we've talked about this a lot, but the way she works is generally if she perceives what's going on and she can sense and exit route she's more willing to relax, so forcing her into anything too quickly is not the way to accommodate her, so next time that right leg is drawing straight, okay adjust the bricks appropriately. You might draw them back a little bit. Spin onto that back left outer edge.

And now as you root though the ball of the big right toe, and you feel you're right hip draw back. And you feel the reaching back of that left foot, just like we were doing that easy side plank, start to get a sense of the tailbone action here. So as you exhale let yourself get round. And as you inhale let yourself arch. And as you exhale get round, and as you inhale arch.

And just sort of feel as you round the sit bones under how it brings it more into the back and you can get a nice stretch in the back. And as you roll the pelvis more forward it will bring it into the back leg. And for some of you it will be better to keep this front knee bent a little bit. Okay, maybe one or two more like that. And be curious about how you are.

One of my favorite definitions of yoga from the Baba Igita is yoga is tolerating the consequences of being yourself. (laughs) Okay come to something neutral, spin up onto the ball of the left foot. Let that front right knee bend. Down onto that left knee, step the right knee back. Adjust the bricks if it would feel better.

Wiggle on back through to child's pose forehead towards the earth, lengthen, nice. So we'll take some of that understanding now towards the shapes like trikonasana, parsvatrikonasana. And eventually utthita parsvakonasana. So on inhale let yourself come forward onto all fours. Left foot comes forward.

Tuck the back right toes under, lift up through the back of the right leg. Press into the ball of the left toe. Let the left leg draw towards straight, spin onto that outer right edge. Now, feel into what would feel best for you in that sit bone, that tailbone region. So for me it feels better to allow it to round a little bit.

To allow the sit bone to draw under a little bit. Adjust the brick under the left hand, so it's a little higher, find the right hand up onto the right waist and pause. Press into the feet, draw the sit bone under a little bit. To feel the back out, like see how that feels. And roll the pelvis forward to stick your booty out and kind of feel how that feels.

So somewhere in between that extreme range, somewhere in between rounding and drawing under, and rolling it forward and letting your back arch is the perfect spot for you. Maybe see if you can find somewhere in the middle for now. Okay, sit bones toward, like right sit bone towards that right heel, if it's better on your shoulder today to leave the right arm here do so, otherwise circle your right arm up towards the sky. Press into that left foot, press up into that right arm. And now drop the left ear down to the shoulders.

Circle the right arm back to the right foot. In front of the face, and over the ear. And then just like we did in that easy side plank let the elbow bend, let the knee bend. Press and reach, breath into this right ribs. If it makes sense breath a little bit more into the left ribs.

Left lung, nicely done, last few moments, dial in where your sit bones are a little bit more freely, like just see what happens if you draw the sit bones under just a smidge. Beautiful, inhale here, exhale, windmill that right hand back down to find the bricks. Spin up onto the ball of the right foot. Let the left knee bend as you reorganize your bricks. Drop your right knee down, child's pose.

Left knee back to near right wheel on back. Other side, inhale come up onto all fours. Let the right foot find her way between the bricks. Tuck the back left toes under, lift up. As your ready let the right leg draw towards straight, let the left foot pivot.

Okay, as your ready adjust the right bricks so that she's more appropriate so that you might make her taller. Only as you feel ready find this left hand up onto this left waist. And from here again just sort of root through the foot and check out what's going on in the sit bones. Like how it feels if you round a little bit, how it feels if you arch a little bit. You want to be able to have a sense of that you have choices here.

Like for my body and how I'm put together, it feels superior to draw the sit bones under a little bit. Okay, for you it might feel better to let the pelvis roll forward a little bit. If it wants to bend that right knee slightly you do so, okay left hand is on the waist. Maybe find something close to what feels like the center. Heart blooms only as your ready, circle the left arm in front of the face and up.

Only as your ready, right ear drops down to the right shoulder, circle the left arm back in front of the face and away from you. And then just like we've been doing, let the back knee bend a little bit, let the elbow bend a little bit, and then root and reach, breath up into these left ribs. Left lung, breath into this right lung. Yeah, nice parsvatrikonasana, side triangle pose. Inhale here exhale, windmill back down, bend that front knee, adjust the bricks come up onto the ball of the foot, drop the left knee down, step all the way back child's pose, wiggle.

Nice, so we'll do that pattern one more time towards utthita, extended parsvakonasana, side angle pose. Let an inhale bring you up onto all fours. Left foot steps forward. Tuck the back right toes under and lift. Spin onto that back right outer edge.

Press into the ball of that big left toe, as you start to draw that left leg towards straight, adjust the brick, right hand finds their way up onto that right waist. Press into the feet tune where the sit bones want to be for you, let the heart feel fluid. Circle the right arm in front of the face, and up, as your ready left ear drops down to the left shoulder, circle your right arm back in front of the face, and over the top of your head. Soften those top ribs a little bit, let the breath open up into the left lung. Maintain this beautiful reach, as you slowly start to bend this left knee.

And as you start to bend this left knee adjust the brick appropriately. So some of you are going to lower it a little bit. If it feels too low you might choose to bring your forearm onto the thigh instead. Root, lengthen, yes. Inhale here, exhale, windmill, back down to the shape of the lunge, spin onto that back foot.

Drop that right knee, step with the left foot back, organize your bricks, balasana, child's pose, and wiggle. Beautiful, inhale, bring yourself forward. Onto all fours, step the right foot forward. Tuck the back left toes under and lift. Stretch back through that left heel.

Feel the right leg draw towards straight spin onto that outer left edge. Adjusting that right brick as is appropriate. Find that left hand up onto that left waist. Tuning that sense of where the sit bones need to be for you, as you allow your heart to blossom. Circle that left arm in front of the face and up.

Right ear drops down to the right shoulder. Circle the left arm back to the left foot in front of the face and away from you, okay so allow for the adjustments 'cause maintain this beautiful long line you have as you start to let this right knee bend, adjust the placement of this brick under your hand as is appropriate, press into that back leg outer edge. Lengthen out through the fingertips, soften that upper palate, beautiful. Inhale here, exhale, windmill back down into the shape of the lunge. Let that front right knee bend, let that left knee find the earth.

Knees come back towards each other balasana, wiggle back on through. Beautiful, nice work yogis. Okay from here we're going to find our way onto our belly. So let yourself come forward, be sure to move the bricks out of the way, in a nice tidy fashion. Come all the way onto your belly let your hands come underneath your shoulders, face on the earth.

Start by bending the knees and wobbling the legs a little side to side. Let the legs come back behind you. Hands are about underneath your shoulders. Squeeze your shoulders up and around the ears. Roll them back and down, inhale here.

And as you exhale let a little bit of a (deep breath) happen. You'll feel your navel draw back to your spine slightly. And let that just start to lift you up into the smidgeiest, babiest cobra. Soften the mouth, if it feels like enough stay here. Otherwise bend the knees, lift up through the thighs.

And as you lift up through the thighs slow, start to stretch back through the legs. Use your hands to create a little bit of traction. Beautiful, tune the toes just a little bit more. Gorgeous, inhale here, exhale, lower down land, turn one of your ears towards the earth. As you turn one of the ears towards the earth bend the knees and wobble them a little bit.

Okay nice, second round, face on the floor, hands still underneath the shoulders. Okay, legs come back behind you. Inhale a little bit of a (deep breathing) happen. Navel comes back to the spine. Shoulders roll back and down.

Peel your heart forward, okay feel that little baby, smidge of a rooney cobra pose. Bend the knees, lift up through the thighs. A little flavor through the toes, from here then slow start to stretch back through the legs. Traction a little bit through the arms and you might keep the arms here for support or you might reach them back towards the toes. Enthusiasm, beautiful, gorgeous, inhale here, exhale, lower and land, and pause and rest.

Ready, hands under the shoulders tuck the toes under, get round child's pose. Beautiful, chin to the chest roll yourself on up, belly, heart, throat, and face. And then side onto your left hip and set yourself up for parivrtta janu sirsasana. So as you slide onto your left hip, sole of the left foot into the right inner thigh. Inhale let your pelvis roll forward a little bit and as you exhale let your pelvis round.

Inhale let your pelvis roll forward. And exhale and let your pelvis round. Now keep your pelvis round as you let your left hip roll open a little bit. And then maintaining that feeling of the hip rolling open. As you roll your pelvis forward, let your right hand come down onto your right leg.

And just like we've been doing this whole time circle your left arm in front of the face and up. Let your left elbow bend, and then let your left elbow reach. Let your right elbow bend. Let your left elbow bend, and then let your left arm reach, and breath up into this left lung. Breath into the right lung, a little juju through the foot will probably feel good.

Nice, take a look down at that right leg, let an inhale bring you all the way back up and pause. And then only as you're ready switch. Left leg out, right foot in. And then same idea, round your body. Roll your pelvis forward.

And then like round, and roll your pelvis forward. And next time you round curling your sit bones under let that help you roll your right hip open. Maintain that feeling of that external rotation as you roll your pelvis back forward. Left arm comes down to the left leg. Circle your right arm in front of the face, and up.

Soften the right elbow. So you can roll the right hip away, and reach. Yes, do that again soften, and reach. Some of you are going to start to bend the left elbow and come a little lower. Soften, and reach and breath into the right lung let the left lung fill.

Pretty, take a look down at that left leg, let an inhale bring you all the way back up and pause. Beautiful, keep the left leg extended let the right leg come out. (breathing) If this feels like too much of your body, if you feel like (groans), (laughs), this is where you might sit something underneath you. Or you could choose to bring the soles of the feet together instead, so in this last forward fold you could have the legs wide if your pelvis easily rolls forward. Okay, or some of you might choose soles of the feet together.

Whichever one you chose let the hands come forward and let the back round, like let it be soft. Just allow this to be the offering, the gratitude. Beautiful, chin into the chest and roll on back up. And I'm going to suggest that we finish sitting. If you prefer savasana of course, lie yourself on down.

Otherwise place whatever you'd like underneath you to assist with sitting. Snuggle down through the sit bones, big deliberate inhale and exhale and let a (breathes deeply) happen. Do that again, inhale. Exhale and (breathes deeply) soften the low belly. Let the sit bones feel heavy, soft behind the heart.

Wide at the base of the skull. Upper palate opens. Yes, be aware of what you're doing with your hands. And then really let that jaw soften. 'Cause as the jaw softens, the gums can soften.

Teeth can lose some of their bite. Be aware of what you're doing with your tongue, let her feel fluffier. Beautiful, we'll sit together for just, just a few more handfuls of moments. Beautiful let your hands find each other at the center of your heart. Namaste.

Comments

That was heaven. Thank you.
Happy to be together, Judy! xok
This was yummy!
Dearest wannabe, so happy. xok
Gorgeous.
Kira, the blocks make the lunges so much more accessible! I actually look forward to lunges now! :)
Dearest Leah, isn't it great to have more room? I totally agree. xok
1 person likes this.
I'm tall and inflexible. I found that stacking a tall block on a short block was perfect! Thanks for encouraging us to always experiment to find what works for us!
Awesome, Stephen, happy that worked!
1 person likes this.
Love the encouragement to follow my own body. I still feel quite a big strain in the forward leg of trikonasana, especially in the outer calf and shin. Do you have any suggestions to support that?
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