Welcome to Yoga Artwork
Season 2 - Episode 4

It's a Wrap

30 min - Practice
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Yoga is about finding what feels correct for you. Kira encourages us to play with the range of motion in our shoulders and discover how it effects our standing asanas. You will feel supported and guided.
What You'll Need: Mat, Strap, Block (2)

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(waves crashing) Nice to be together again. In this sequence we'll explore finding a little bit more range of motion in the shoulders, to see how that affects our standing asanas. I'm gonna be using two bricks and a strap. The bricks are optional, they just help make the floor taller, and you can use a lot of different things, if you don't have a yoga strap, like a necktie or a towel or a rope. So we'll start standing, feet about hip distance apart, and just begin with an inhale, squeeze your shoulders up and around the ears, and exhale, (imitates thud) let them drop.

Inhale, squeeze your shoulders up and around the ears, and then exhale, (imitates thud) let them drop. One more time, forward and up. (slurps) (imitates thud) And back up, (slurp) and drop. Nice, let your right arm come out to the side, soften your elbow a little bit and just start to floss your shoulders, so we've done this before. Exhale, let the shoulder roll forward.

Inhale, let the shoulder roll back. Nice, exhale, let the shoulder roll forward, rounding, inhale, let the shoulder roll back. One more time like that. Exhale forward, inhale back, keep the shoulder back, let the arm come back down along your side. Other one, left arm out, soften the elbow, as you exhale, let the shoulder roll forward, as you inhale let the shoulder roll back.

So you as you exhale and let the shoulder roll forward, you're feeling the shoulder blade widen on the back of the body, and as you inhale, and the shoulder blade draws under and the elbow comes up, there's a little bit of an altar for the heart. One more time, exhale forward, inhale, roll back, nice. Arm comes back down along your side. Again, squeeze your shoulders up and around the ears, exhale, drop, roll your shoulders back up and around your ears, exhale, drop. Okay, find your strap.

Let your strap be wide to begin with. So hold the strap wider than you think you might need to. Thumb and index finger squeezing the strap, and hold the strap taut. Now this next one is just this little geeky detail. Take a look at your wrists, and you wanna notice that your wrists are really in line with the shoulders.

The tendency in this one is for the wrist to kinda go wah, to cock a little bit, and to try to bear the weight of it. So give 'em on to really like lengthen. Nice, hold the strap taut, inhale, arms up over the top of the head, wiggle a little bit from side to side, stretch up your one side, stretch up through the other, from here, many of you, this'll feel fine. But for most of you it'll feel alright to let the arms come back just a little bit and pause. Now the temptation is to kinda go into hood ornament position with the pelvis way forward, so you keep that sense of enthusiasm in the front of the heart, but let a little bit of ahh happen in your sit bones, so that you're long there.

Now reach out through here. For many of you, this is deep enough. Okay, stay right here. For a handful of you though, if it's okay, and your face can stay soft, you might let the strap come all the way behind you. Nice, inhale, come all the way back up, exhale, arms forward.

Now if you didn't feel a thing, you bring your hands closer together. If it was like a Texas rodeo and you were the animal, widen your hands. Okay, inhale, arms come up, exhale, arms come back. Strong through the wrist, reach out through there, soften the sit bones, this might be the perfect spot. This might be enough, only if it's okay.

As you exhale, let the arms come all the way back, nice. Inhale, come all the way back up, exhale, come all the way forward. One last one, inhale up, exhale back, pause where it's in that weird spot, and you can feel it across the chest, lengthen, notice that your wrists aren't cocking, lengthen, stay here or let the strap come all the way behind you. Nice. Inhale, come all the way back up, exhale, arms come back down in front of you.

Now, just hold the strap loosely, inhale, squeeze your shoulders up and around the ears, exhale, drop, inhale, roll the shoulders up around the ears, exhale, drop. Okay, one more thing with the strap, and I'm gonna suggest that you fold it in half, especially if you have a giant one. And you're gonna bring the strap behind you, now hold the strap with your palms facing away from you. Now about shoulder distance will be right for most of you, but if you work with stronger, stickier shoulders, give yourself a little bit more room. Strap is taut, roll one of your shoulders back and down, roll the other shoulder back and down.

Strap is taut, inhale, exhale, bend your knees, bend your knees so your hamstrings aren't such a part of the equation as the chest finds your thighs. Let your head drop, soften the neck, and now feel the strap taut as you start to let the arms lift, start to let the arms lift like there's a feeling of reaching the arms away from you. Letting the head drop, feel the arms reach away from you. And for most of you, this is the perfect spot. Keeping the knees bent, reaching the strap away, only if it's appropriate, you might roll a little bit of weight into the balls of the feet, you might draw your sit bones up a little bit, you might let that strap come a little bit further over the top of your head, keep pulling on the strap a little bit, yes.

Okay, bend your knees, let the strap come back to the hips, hold the strap in one hand as you let the strap come towards the heels. Hold the strap in one hand and roll on back up, feel the belly open, feel the heart open, feel the throat open, and feel the face open. We'll do that one more time if it's appropriate for you to feel more, you're gonna bring your hands a little closer together. So you're gonna let your hands come a little closer together. If it was too much, widen your hands.

So adjust appropriately, salt to taste. With the hands as close together as feels good, let one shoulder roll back and down, let the other shoulder roll back and down, strap is taut, inhale, exhale, bend the knees, chest makes your way towards the thighs. Feel that, let the head drop, pull on the strap, as you reach the arms away from you, pull on the strap, as you reach the arms up over the top of your head. This might be the perfect spot, couple of you are going to roll the weight into the balls of the feet and draw the sit bones up, that may or may not make sense. Last few moments.

Beautiful, okay, bend the knees, hands come back to the hips, release the hands down towards the heels and just hold the strap in one of your hands, chin to your chest and roll on back up. Feel the belly, and feel the heart, and feel the throat, and feel the face. Super nice, pause and just kind of let yourself get into that, like feel the heart blossom and the sit bones drop, soften the face. Pretty, okay. You might take the time to tidy up your strap, so that as you put it to the side, it's not distracting.

And then find your two bricks. Place your two bricks at the top of your mat. Again, the bricks are optional, but they really let the floor be taller. (chuckles) Okay, top of the mat, feet about hip distance apart, spread the toes wide. And we'll begin this flow with a few rounds of half sun salutations, just to kinda get the breath and the body in the mood.

Hands find each other at the center of the heart. Big, deliberate inhale here, exhale, let ahh happen and soften down through the sit bones, upper palate opens. Hold the hands at the heart as you inhale, as you exhale, press your hands towards the earth. As you inhale, circle the arms open, and as you exhale, swan dive forward, forward fold over the legs. Soften the knees, inhale, half arch, let yourself get long, and as you exhale, soften the knees, forward fold.

Let an inhale circle your arms all the way back up, and reach for the sky. And let an exhale bring your hands back down to the center of the heart. Two more like this, inhale, exhale, press your hands towards the earth. Let an inhale circle your arms open, and this time as you exhale, keep your hands together, like prayer, drive forward, fold, soften the knees. Inhale, half arch, hands might come on the bricks, or the legs as you lengthen.

Exhale, forward fold, soften the knees. Inhale, circle the arms all the way back up and reach for the sky. And exhale, hands come back down to the center. One more like that, hold the hands at the heart. Inhale, exhale press.

Inhale open, exhale, prayer or swan dive, bend the knees, forward fold, inhale half arch, hands on the legs or the bricks, exhale, forward fold, soften the knees. Inhale, circle the arms all the way back up, and exhale, hands back to the center of the heart. We'll make our way into a simple lunge pattern. Hold the hands at the heart, inhale. Exhale, press.

Inhale, open, exhale, swan dive or prayer dive, forward fold. Inhale, half arch, get long. As you exhale, hands find the bricks or the earth, step your right foot back, let your front left knee bend. Like we did in that last sequence, just get used to rooting through that left foot and draw the left leg straight, and then exhale, bend again. Draw the left leg straight, let the right heel get heavy, and then let the left knee bend again.

Maybe like three more like this, just getting used to letting that leg straighten, letting that leg bend, two more like this. Nice. Beautiful, one more like that. And then as you come back into the lunge, stay in the lunge, lengthen back through that right heel, get a sense of letting your shoulders roll back and down and brightening through your heart. Inhale here, exhale, release, step your right foot forward, half arch, other side.

Exhale, step your left foot back, let your right knee bend. So same idea, about five rounds like this, letting this right leg draw straight, and then letting the right knee bend. Letting the right leg draw straight, left heel gets heavy, and then letting the right knee bend. About three more like that, so you're just getting used to letting that leg straighten and bend. Two more.

At least one more. Beautiful, bending that right knee, come into the shape of the lunge. Lengthen back through the left heel, feel the heart bloom. Feel how your shoulders can roll back and down. Beautiful.

Inhale here, exhale, step that left foot forward, let an inhale arch the body, let an exhale fold you forward. Soften the knees, inhale, circle the arms all the way up, reach, and exhale, hands back to the heart. We'll add on to that, playing towards trikonasana now, with a wrap, hands at the heart. Inhale. Exhale, hands press towards the earth.

Inhale, circle the arms open, and as you exhale, swan dive forward, forward fold over the legs. Now let an inhale create a half arch, long, as you exhale, this time step the left foot back first, let the right knee bend. Come into the shape of a lunge. Root through the ball of that big right toe as you start to draw the right leg towards straight, spin onto the back outer edge of that left foot, so that right leg is drawing straight. Now remember your skills at being able to play a little bit with the relationship of your pelvis, so adjust, letting her round her arches feels right for you, pull the brick that's under your right hand back a little bit, and as you feel ready, find that left hand up on to that left waist.

Now feel the right hip drawing back as your heart lengthens. And feel what you wanna do here, like feel how you can square that left hip a little bit, like meaning roll that left hip towards the earth, and feel how you can roll her foot up. So just kinda feel hey, there's some choice there, you can roll her towards the earth, and you can roll her up. So for me and my body, I like to keep her slightly rolled towards the earth these days. I just like how that feels better.

Shoulders roll back and down, circle the left arm in front of the face and up towards the sky. Now soften the elbows a little bit, shoulders roll back and down, soften the left elbow, and begin to flash the shoulder, just like we did before, so play with rotating that left shoulder forward, and rotating that shoulder back. And rotating that shoulder forward, like let it feel a little weird, and rotating that shoulder back. And this next time you rotate that shoulder forward, let your body round a little bit, bend the elbow, bring the hand back behind your sacrum, and then press into the feet, start to blossom your heart forward, and now start to roll your shoulder back, and start to snuggle that hand back behind your body. Now depending on your limb torso length, she may or may not find that right inner thigh, I have long arms, so it's pretty easy for me.

Kinda depends on how you're put together. Root, bloom, okay, few more moments. Beautiful, beautiful. Okay, release this wrap, inhale here, exhale, windmill the hands back down around this right foot, bending this front right knee, spin up on the ball of that left foot. Now kinda rock and roll a little bit, and then step that left foot forward, let an inhale create a half arch, and as you exhale, step the right foot back.

So same idea, exploring that on the other side. Press into the ball of the big left toe, feel this left leg draw straight. Feel this right foot pivot, you're coming into that shape of what trikonasana is generally considered to be. Shorten the stance if useful, bring this left brick hand a little bit closer in, and bring this right hand up onto that right waist. And now from here just continuing that exploration of the pelvis that we were playing with in that last sequence, it's like what happens if you roll your right hip towards the floor a little bit?

What happens if you roll your right hip up? And pay attention to how it feels in that left hamstring, in the sacrum, okay, like there's a spot for you. And for me, lately, even though for years it was like this intention of rolling that up as much as possible, lately, it just feels like ah, so much nicer in the sacrum to keep that right hip down a little bit. Circle the right arm in front of the face and up, soften the elbow, and now same idea, floss. Rotate the shoulder forward, rotate the shoulder back, rotate the shoulder forward, rotate the shoulder back.

Now the next time you rotate the shoulder forward, let your back round a little bit. Bend the elbow, bring the hand behind you, find the palm facing away from you, and then press into your feet, and let the blossoming of your heart encourage that shoulder to roll back and down. And that might be enough, depending on your limb torso length, that hand might find her way around that front inner thigh. Might, might, might, might, might. That's nowhere near my inner thigh, that's my outer thigh.

Press into the feet, shoulders rolling back and down. Soft in the upper palate. Beautiful. Pretty. Nicely done.

Eventually, when you're ready, gently, tenderly, carefully, release that arm up, bend that front left knee, windmill back to the shape of the lunge, adjust your bricks, come up onto the ball of that right foot, rock and roll a little bit, and step forward, inhale, half arch, exhale, forward fold, soften the knees. Inhale, circle the arms all the way back up, and exhale, hands back to the heart. Now as we make our way to this last standing asana, let's just add one more little detail, so we have it in our back pocket. So inhale, arms out to the side. Rotate your shoulders forward.

As you rotate your shoulders forward, let your hands come behind you, interlacing your fingers. Once your fingers are interlaced, then wiggle one shoulder back and down, and the other shoulder back and down. Maybe the heels of the palms touch, maybe, maybe. Press into the feet, reach down through the hands, let the front of the heart blossom, inhale here, exhale, bend the knees, chest makes her way towards the thighs, arms reach up, out, and over, and away from you. Beautiful.

Let the knees bend, let the hands come back to the hips, and find the bricks, inhale, half arch, exhale, step the right foot back, let the left knee bend. Spin onto that back right outer edge, like we've been doing, press into the ball of the big left toe, as you let the left leg draw straight, bring your brick back. Bring that right hand up onto the waist, let your sit bones adjust for you, like feel where that front right hip wants to point. Feel the heart blossom, as you're ready, inhale, circle the right arm up, soften the elbow, rotate the shoulder forward, let the elbow bend, bring the hand behind you, palm might face away from you. Some of you are gonna snuggle that hand around that left thigh, maybe.

Now press into the feet, feel the front heart blossom, soft in the throat, and if it feels appropriate, now, start to let the left knee bend, adjust the brick maybe a little bit lower for some of you for the variation of parivrtta parsvakonasana, pressing into the feet, feel the heart blossom. And while it's a variation of the parsvakonasana, I guess, in some ways, we could call it a semi-bhatta, art of parsvakonasana. I'm gonna start that again, I'm gonna go back to here. Now from here, only if appropriate, let that front left knee bend, start to lower your brick if appropriate, so you can dip in a little bit deeper, now press into the feet, and feel for you, how it feels if you let that front right hip square a little bit, that might be the spot. Feel what happens as you draw the left hip back, and allow the heart to bloom, and you allow that shoulder to be slightly more exposed.

Soften the upper palate, few more moments, allow your hips to square a little bit. Allow your hips to open. Beautiful, now carefully, tenderly, release that wrap. Reach that arm up, shake her out a little bit, inhale here, exhale, windmill back down to the shape of the lunge. As you come into the shape of the lunge, cause you've done all that twisting in that direction, it's probably gonna feel to twist in the opposite.

So as you come up onto the ball of the left foot, nuzzle the left thumb into the left hip, pull the left hip back, bloom, and begin to like, (exhales) lengthen. You might keep this left hand in the left hip, you might be inclined to reach it. Few more moments, lengthen, inhale here, exhale and release. Rock and roll, step the right foot forward, half arch, same thing on the other side, last standing asana. Let the right knee bend, left foot comes behind, spin up onto the ball of that left foot, press into the right foot, let that right leg draw towards straight, adjusting the brick, nice.

Left hand's gonna find her way up onto that left waist. Again, you're finding out where your hips wanna be in space, do they wanna be a little bit more square or a little bit more open? Only you can know this detail. Circle the left arm in front of the face and up, now soften that left elbow, rotate the shoulder forward, bend the elbow, bring the hand behind you, palm is facing away from you, maybe, perhaps, she's finding that thigh, maybe. Again, be aware of what you wanna do with your hips.

Press into the feet, feel that heart blossom, and then as appropriate, start to bend this front right knee, adjust the brick, maybe lowering it a little bit, and as you come into this variation, of the side angle pose, notice how it works for you. So does it work better if you allow your hip to square? As you press into the feet, how does it feel if you let your heart brighten? Are you still breathing? Couple more moments, softer in the throat, more open in the upper palate.

Nice. Now when you're ready, you're gonna release that arm tenderly, gently, shake her out a little bit, find your way back to the shape of the lunge. Adjust the bricks so they're even, spin up onto the ball of that left foot, find the right thumb in the right hip crease, pull the right hip back as you bloom. Shoulders roll back and down and lift. Either keep that hand where she is, if it would feel better, release her up to the sky, root.

Yes. Inhale here, exhale, release. Back down to the shape of the lunge. Little different transition this time, drop your left knee down, bring your right knee back to meet your left, wiggle on back through there, all the way back towards child's pose, push the bricks slightly forward so your hands can find the earth, and forehead towards the floor. From here we'll find our way onto our belly, which means you'll wanna move the bricks out of the way, and I always recommend being mindful about where you place your props.

You can ask my friends about that, okay. Come on down, hands underneath the shoulders, forehead on the earth, wobble a little bit from side to side. We'll find our way towards two different locust patterns. Inhale here, exhale let a bit of ahh happen. Roll your shoulders up around the ears, and back and down, and start to pull yourself towards a little baby cobra.

Nice. Now bend the knees, lift up through the thighs, from here, then, as you are already, start to stretch back through the legs, enthusiasm through the tiptoes. Yes. You could keep your hands here along your sides, or perhaps, reach them back towards your toes, and wobble a little bit. It can also feel good to bend the knees again, and then re-reach, softer in the face, softer in the eyes, one more inhale here, exhale, lower, land, turn an ear down to the earth, and rest.

Now as we approach this next one, we're gonna find that interlace of the fingers. If that's not appropriate for you, then you can repeat what we just did. With your face on the earth, let your shoulders roll a little bit forward, interlace your fingers behind you like we did standing. Wiggle one shoulder back and down, wiggle the other shoulder back and down, and snuggle your hands towards your toes. Start to let the hands reaching back towards the toes peel the heart up.

Bend the knees, lift up through the thighs, and then slow start to stretch back through the legs. Wobble. Reaching, again I like to bend my knees. Again, lift up through the thighs, and then reach again. Beautiful, inhale here, exhale, lower, and land.

Pretty. The suggestion now is to gently, tenderly, find your way onto your back, so I'm just gonna roll onto my back. Once you're on your back, hug your knees into your chest and wobble. And together, we'll find bridge pose. Heels come down in line with the sit bones, arms comes down along your side, palms are turning up.

Spread the toes wide, big, deliberate inhale here, exhale, let ahh happen. Then as you're ready, inhale, and as you exhale, feel your ability to root down through your feet, draw your sit bones under. As you root down through your feet, and you draw your sit bones under, this could feel like enough for you. We've already done a lot on the shoulders, and you might be done. But if it feels good, inhale here again, and as you exhale, root through the feet, lift up a little bit higher and begin to snuggle the arms underneath you.

Rolling those shoulders back and down. Now for some of you, pressing down through the pinky side of your arm is deep enough. If the interlace was hard standing, or in that locust, you might not find it easy here. But if it would feel good, find that interlace again that we've been exploring. Wiggle the arms back and down, press into the feet, press into the arms, lift up through your sit bones, soften your face, nice.

Beautiful. Up on the balls of the feet, release your arms out of the way, and even reach them up towards the sky as you roll on back down. Upper back, mid back, low back, hips, heels, arms come back down along your side, and pause. And just like rest in the sweetness of coming out of the back bending. Now this is gonna seem kinda radical, 90% of you it'll feel good to hug the knees into the chest one more time.

That'll just feel like the way to go. But some of you might wanna just hang in that tingly sauce a little bit longer, without counter-posing. In which case, you might just widen your feet a little bit and let your knees fall together, letting your low back start to settle. Just on its own without so much help. So if it's necessary to bring the knees into the chest, you do so, otherwise just start to settle.

Cause what we're making our way towards shavasana here, and we're intentionally, you know, maintaining some of the high of that back bend. And so some of you might find it preferable, as we make our way towards shavasana, to keep the knees bent like this, feed wide, knees falling together. Only if it feels quite correct to do so, you could let one leg straighten, and then the other, again, it's kinda radical to just find shavasana after bridge pose, but it's kind of fun. Cause it adds this like, sparkle twinkle. Okay, soften the palms, open up at the base of the skull, widen the upper palate.

Feel the warmth across the chest and the shoulders. Kind in the eyes. And sometimes the only mischief that comes when you do that is the eyes don't really wanna close, they wanna like, find out what's going on. (giggles) This is how yogis have a good time (laughs). Dude, I did a back bend before shavasana.

Few more moments. Nice. If it's appropriate for you to be here longer, just stay here, tune us out. Otherwise, when you're ready, you'll let the knees bend, let them come into the chest and wobble. And here's another radical suggestion.

Generally, right, the exit route is rolling to one side and pressing up, but, you know, I rarely find myself doing that when I'm practicing on my own at home. So I'm gonna stop the lies, so the way I get usually is I cross the ankles, I roll back, and I roll up. Find yourself into a seated position for a few moments, snuggle in. Big, deliberate inhale, exhale everything. Upper palate soft, heart warm, hands together.

Namaste.

Comments

i do that too. :)
love you.
adore you, dear lydia. xok
That was really good Kira! A very effective and encompassing shoulder release for me. Blessings!
1 person likes this.
Hi Simon and Holly! Love! xok
1 person likes this.
So lovely to be with you this morning! "This is what yogis do for fun.........Stop the lies." You crack me up. Love you.
MMary! Miss laughing together. xok
Hi Kira.. I love this show and I've been enjoying it so far.. but I also feel like season 2 is slightly a bit more demanding, so I am a little confused regarding what to do.. show I go back to season 1 and do it all over again or should I just continue and not obsess over getting it exactly right? looking forward to your suggestion
Thank you 
Lots of Love  
Should*
1 person likes this.
Rebecca Delpin, hi there! Yes, S2 does kick it up a notch with the intention of playing with new things. Your great attitude of "not obsessing to get it exactly right" is spot on! However, if the S2 practices cause too much frustration, then you might check out  Alana's Start Yoga. So glad you are here. xok
Okie! Thank you.. 
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