Bend It Like Bex Artwork
Season 2 - Episode 6

Spread Your Wings

40 min - Practice


Bex guides us in a practice to help us spread our wings, finding an opening through the shoulders and the chest. We move through a series of Surya Namaskars (Sun Salutations) with low and high lunges and arm variations, before closing with a core strengthening sequence. You will feel more centered and expansive.
What You'll Need: Mat

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(waves crashing) Welcome. I'm Bex and this sequence is all about spreading your wings. So start seated, close your eyes, sit up real tall, widen your collar bones. Bring the breath into the body in a way that delights you. And so you breathe as if you're not holding your breath, you're not holding onto anything.

You're breathing to fill your entire contents of yourself and to allow arrival. Notice how the pelvis is there to root you and you can rise through the roof of the mouth. And the width in the collar bones supports the architecture of your shape, feeling light. So allow your breath to give your mind permission to focus on feeling. To sort of un-spool the to-dos or the shoulds and to be in your breath, to be washed in your breath, to be rinsed in it.

To feel that liquid quality in the body. So you just watch for what's happening. You're observing. You're almost eavesdropping on your mind and as you do that, you're letting the fluctuations like this story arrive just so that it can depart. So that it can have its way and yet you're not investing in it.

You don't need to get caught in the drama. You use that ability to just allow it and then to know you're above that story in a way that brings the breath in to taking flight in the body. So if you found a rhythm to your breath and that this ritual is really filling you up right now you can stay longer and wait to begin. Hands will come to the heart center and you'll pick your intention, your mantra, your motivation. Right, this place where you could dedicate your practice.

So generous. And then the chin bows to the chest. The chest rises so that the heart will feel its way through the practice and the head will just like hammock its way on vacation. Open your eyes. Come on to all fours.

And as you set yourself up on all fours, move any way you like, any way that feels right for you whether it's forward, back, side, side, diagonally. Just enough that you feel like each moment of breath is luxurious movement. That there's nothing that you're holding back on. And then maybe you'll wave and ripple through the spine. You can bend the elbows, you can stir up the energy.

You can kind of lean back into it and then move forward into it. And back, and forward. Or the hands can come in and you can bend an elbow. Or the hands can come face you now. The places that you don't really spend time with.

Just give yourself that, so that it doesn't feel like as you come into the practice you're on automatic pilot, right? It doesn't matter how many times I come on to all fours, I know I've never come on to all fours today at this time in this moment. That's what always welcomes me to the practice and keeps me intrigued. I wonder what kind of magic will happen in the practice today, and that inspires an inquiry. So reach the hands forward and then come on into down dog.

And in down dog, pedal your feet. So pedal your feet. Begin to move any way, again any way that feels like it's lubricating or hydrating from the inside out, from the outside in. Then really revel in the fact that your body works and that you are making time right now for you. Slowly tip toe your feet to the top of the mat, uttanasana.

Grab front opposite elbow, fold. (deep breathing) Switch, little bend in the knees. Supple quality, the back of the legs and the neck. Maybe a little swivel, pendulum through the torso. And then roll up, drag the arms rolling up.

When you get all the way up, bring the hands to the heart center in prayer. And then begin to run the hands together. You can close your eyes or open them, but when you rub those hands together it's like you're creating some kind of spark, some kind of flame to light up inside. So it's a lot of generous energy. The sternum rises and the arms fatigue.

And probably right about now you're like, "Eh, I'm done." You just keep going. So this is where you gotta breathe and you gotta lift and take it to the place where the hands actually do feel like they could spark a flame. Just a little more breath. And then when that heat comes, take the hands either in front of the eyes, in front of the heart, in front of any area in the body, right, that could use just a little bit of your energy. And you might feel something, and you might not.

So you're warming up your arms and your wingspan. Hands come together at your heart. Open your eyes. Inhale your arms up. Urdhva Hastasana.

Exhale fold forward, and down. Inhale, lift the chest. Exhale, the right leg back. Knee to the floor, top of the foot to the floor. Weave the fingers and cup the base of the skull and then narrow the distance in between the elbows and let the pelvis sort of lower as the chest rises.

And there is a tethering of the navel and there is breath here. And as there's breath here, my back leg is working just as efficiently as my front. And then the hands come down to the floor, right foot flexes, left foot goes back. Inhale to the plank. Exhale, slowly lower all the way down.

Shrug the shoulders up to the ears, down the back. And then inhale, lift the chest. Keep the neck long and recline the upper traps right at the top of the shoulders. And then slowly release, push back into plank or immediately into down dog. And then feel the length that you're cultivating through the sides of the body, okay?

So as that happens, you kind of maybe feel like you can wriggle the pelvis back. The right foot's stepped back, so now the right foot will step forward. The back knee down, top of the foot down. A weave of the fingers, maybe the other thumb leads here. Narrowing and then a sliding of the thigh bones into the pelvis.

And you integrate the ribs, hopefully a little bit better than me because I know mine like to spill forward. So I have to reign them in and pay attention to all those small places. And then inhale up. Hands come forward and down. Back foot steps forward.

Hands go onto your shins. Inhale, lift the chest. Ardha Uttanasana. Exhale, fold. Inhale, come all the way up, wide reach.

And then hands to the heart, center in prayer. Beginning again, inhale arms come up. Exhale, fold forward and down. Little bend in the knees if you need it. Inhale lengthen.

Left leg back first this time, knee down. Top of the foot down, and then you will slide the hands back. You can rest the right forearm on the thigh, lift the left arm up and lean over to the right. Or you can assist yourself by taking the right hand on the left wrist. You're not tugging.

You're just allowing for a general side bend, which means that the right side feels something. The left side feels something. And then you're in that shape, and appreciating what your body is capable of. Inhale, come up through center. Place the hands down.

Left foot flexes, right foot joins, plank. Lower all the way down. Thigh bones in. Inhale, lift for low cobra. Exhale, release.

Child's pose, if that serves you. Down dog. (breathing) Simple step of the left foot forward. Right knee down, top of the foot. Again, you can rest.

Left forearm on thigh, as right arm reaches up, and then it finds its way to the left. Or you can support yourself here. And again, the right ribs are sliding just gently forward so that they meet in that happy place where the left ribs are. And then there's a bit of inner action in the inner thighs. Inhale, arms up.

Exhale, hands to the floor. Back foot forward. Inhale, lift the chest. Exhale, fold. Inhale, come all the way up.

Exhale, hands to the heart center. Inhale, arms up. Exhale, fold forward and down. Lift the chest on an inhale. Exhale the right leg back, knee to the floor, top of the foot down.

And then inhale the arms up. Take the left elbow outside, right elbow outside the left knee. Hands twist. You can be in prayer or I favor the bottom arm into a fist to help support that rotation of my right ribs toward my left thigh. And then pelvis feels like its supporting me as I twist.

And then slowly, gently, release. Right foot flex, left leg back, plank. Lowering down. Inhaling, low cobra. Exhaling release.

Downward facing dog. Right foot steps, left knee down, top of foot down. Inhale, trunk rises. Now, it's the left elbow outside, the right thigh on top of it. Hands in prayer and again, you're finding that the back leg, you can't see it, you feel it.

You integrate it enough that you appreciate the depth of the twist. And you breathe here. More breath. (breathing) Hands down. Back foot forward.

Hands on your shins. Inhale, lift the chest. Exhale, fold. Inhale, come all the way up. Hands at the heart center in prayer.

One more round, just like this. Inhale, arms up. Exhale, fold forward and down. Inhale, lift chest. Left leg back, knee down.

Inhaling arms come up. As the arms come up you will take that left arm down, right arm up and you'll bring the gaze forward. So now you're getting into the ribs, knowing that the ribs will help you get into the wings. And so from this space, you could look down. Today, you're finding that place where you're swiveling just gently through the left ribs.

And then swim the arms forward and down, back into the plank. Lower all the way down. Cobra here, right, inhaling. Exhaling. Downward facing dog.

Left foot steps, right knee down. Inhaling, arms up. Taking the right arm back. Breathing here. So you're looking forward.

If that doesn't feel like it's available for you, you look down. If it's a struggle to grab the calf or the ankle, totally fine to put the hand on the hip. Breathe here. Inhale, arms up. Come forward with the back foot.

Keep space in between your feet here. Inhale, lift the chest. Take the arms outside the legs and then take the right arm behind the right knee and in front of the left chin. And the left arm behind the left knee and in front of the right chin. This is the infinity uttanasana, at least I think that's what it's called.

So you'll just fold there. This is the beginning of crossing the arms for you. You can lift the toes if you need something to call more attention. And then all you'll do right now is switch whatever wrist was on top to the bottom. And whatever wrist was on the bottom to the top.

(breathing) Release the hands. Heel, toe, the feet to touch. Sit the seat back and the fingertips remain on the mat. Inhale, utkatasana. So you will sweep the arms back and the heels will rise.

And then you'll sweep the heels down and the arms forward. Three more. Inhaling, arms back, heels rise. Exhaling, heels lower, arms forward. Again, inhaling arms back, heels rise.

Tethering navel. Heels lower, arms forward. Final one. Arms back, heels rise. Heels lower, spring off the ankles, the knees, the pelvis, tiny back bend.

And then exhale, fold forward and down. Inhale, lift the chest. Now you have the option to step or hop. Chaturanga. Inhale, low cobra.

Exhale, down dog. Step the right foot forward. So the right foot comes forward, you're in alanasana, crescent, and the elbows are in and the palms are up. So the palms are up, the elbows migrate forward. Ribs knit in and all you do is steady the legs and inhale the arms out.

And exhale the arms in. Inhale out. Exhale in. Inhale out. Exhale in.

Arms come down. Leg goes back. Cycle through or go immediately into down dog. Left foot steps. Exact same threading.

So good for in between the shoulder blades. Those muscles, to support that opening through the front of the shoulder girdle. Width in the clavicles, you just inhale, exhale. (breathing) When the arms come down, leg goes back on the left. And then you cycle through.

Now, you step the right foot forward, left leg is straight, so you reduce the bend in the back knee and you accentuate it in the front. And you will keep the elbows forward, arms like cactus. Inhale, straighten the leg and the arms. Exhale, bend the elbows and the knee. Inhale, straighten leg, arms.

Exhale, bend. Inhale, straighten. And then hinge forward. You might want to shorten the stance if you're having a hard time reaching for the floor. Hopefully you have your blocks close.

Outer right hip slides back. You find that comfort in the back pocket and you breathe. (breathing) Right knee bends, into the plank you go. Chaturanga slowly. Low cobra up.

Downward facing dog. Left foot steps, back heel off. Coming up, find your goal post arms. Back leg straight. Inhale, now the front leg's straight, the arms are straight.

Exhale, bend. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.

Inhale. Hinge, exhale. Shorten if needed. Hug midline, so the inner lining of the legs light up. And then you feel and you breathe.

Happy thoughts. (breathing) Left knee bends, leg back. Down dog or chaturanga. Low cobra up. Downward facing dog.

Step the right foot forward and bring the left elbow under the right. Hands in, half garudasana. If that's not available for you, right, you can go back to the cactus or you can bring the elbows together. Whatever is available, sit into it, breathe. And then you know that eagles, hmm, they eventually take flight.

Right, so you get brave, if you need a stutter step take it. Sliding and lifting. And when you take flight, maybe, maybe you send your left hip down and your right hip up. In my case, I kind of faltered there. So you just do the best that you can.

And then you will bring the left knee to the chest. If it's a lot for you, land the lag in utkatasana. If you can wrap you wrap. Breathe. Steady, ease.

No expectation. Then there's a big explosive inhale that brings you into warrior two. Alright, you own that hero pose. You reach and stretch and sit into it. And then you reverse and you rinse.

(breathing) Hands swim forward. Down, cycle through or take down dog. Left foot steps. Back heel off. Settle into yourself, inhale the arms up.

Pick the variation that's true for you. This time it would be the right elbow under the left. Thread those arm bones into the shoulder girdle and then breathe, inhaling. Shift slowly, slightly. I need a stutter today.

In that step, lift and breathe. In that space, keep finding where and what is possible. The right knee into the chest, it might need to land on the floor, it might come up, you might go into utkatasana or you just see if it's possible, right? Wherever you are, you beat yourself. Sometimes you feel like, "Oh, that's a lot." Breathe.

Breathe. And then a big step back into that warrior two. Feeling the breathe settling in, strong. Looking over if you like. (breathing) Reverse.

Swim. Chaturanga. Up dog, down dog. You'll just hang out in down dog now for four rounds of breath. (breathing) Slide your dog forward.

Come on to your forearms for a forearm plank. If you prefer to interlace your fingers, fine. If not, keep your hands down. If at any time you need to lower a knee, go ahead and do that, one knee, two knees. Welcome to more core, close to the floor.

Lift the right leg, bring the right knee toward the right arm and then back. Left toward the left arm, back. Right up, to the right, back. Left up, left, back. One more.

Up, back. Lift left, back. And then lower knees, thighs, pubic bone, navel. And your resting pose is sphinx, unless you want to rest on your forehead. So you just lift, give the front belly and the back body and the side body an opportunity to just lengthen, stretch.

And then you come back down onto your forearms. Flex the feet, lift the ribs, navel, pubic bone, thighs, knees. I like this one, I call it the rainbow. You will arc the body all the way over to the right. So you're on the outer blade of the right foot.

And then you'll arc it all the way over to the left. Inhale through the center. Exhale over to the right. Inhale through the center. Exhale over to the left.

One more time. Inhaling over, up. Exhale back through center. Knees, thighs, pubic bone, navel, rest or sphinx. I'm ready for a little rest there.

(breathing) One more version. Back onto your forearms. Yeah, you will slowly come into the forearm plank. Lift the right leg. Lower it.

Lift the left. Lower. Lift the right, lower. It seems like nothing, but it feels like a lot to me. Left, lower.

Right, exhale. Left. Lower knees, thighs. And again, forehead down. (breathing) Look at your arms, figure out which is your left hand and your left arm and pull it close to you.

Your left elbow will go in front of the center of your chest, palms down. Your right elbow will match it and then you will creep your hands away from each other. And as they come away from each other, you will just simply allow you head to fall. Some people like the head to be caught by a block. That's your choice.

(breathing) And then slowly slide the elbows away from each other. There will be a little rinse. This time you'll turn the palms of the hands up and lift the chest forward. I drop the chin to the chest so the back of my neck can get a nice long length. And then you do the other way, so the right elbow in front of your sternum, left elbow and you climb the arms away from each other outside the mat.

And then head down. (breathing) So if there's more wiggle room, you take it. And then slowly slide the elbows back. Again, turn the palms up. Climb those shoulders, left.

Slowly release, rest your forehead for a moment. So what's nice about resting your forehead is when you inhale, you'll feel like a wave like current from the tailbone. If you're paying attention, it's so subtle you won't see it, but you'll feel it inside. And then go ahead and turn around onto your back. When you find your way onto your back, hug your knees into your chest.

As your knees hug in, take your hands underneath the base of the skull, elbows in. And you will inhale, curl into yourself, like a little pod. And then exhale, let the legs go up and then stay up in the torso. Curl into your self, inhale let the legs come up. Exhale, curl in.

Inhale, up. One more, exhale curl in. Inhale up. Now, slowly you'll imagine you're riding a very small tricycle, a tiny one, right? It seems like less effort than you think.

And as you're doing that, it feels like, "Oh, this is easy enough." So you'll add a twist while you ride that tiny tricycle. And then you'll come through the center and you'll add a twist. I know, you like your long legs to go nice and long, but we'll just do the tiny tricycle for now and then twist. And then come through the center and twist. Two more, across, twist.

Across, twist. And then come through center. Now extend the legs. Lower only the left leg. If it needs to lower all the way to the floor, that's fine.

Point your toes. Keep your legs long and strong, you'll do four. Twist to the right, that's two. Exhale, twist, and three. Back through center.

This time both feet flexed. Lower, if you need the support of the leg down take it. Curl, four, three, two, one. Both legs up. Just curl four times.

And curl and point, and come down and flex. Curl and point, come down and flex. Stay flexed, curl. Come down with a point. That's for your brain.

Flex, curl. Come down with a point. Bend the knees. So when the knees bend here, the arms will come down by your sides. You're going to do a supported bridge with your arms.

So you will slowly lift the pelvis and as that happens, you will roll the shoulders in. And then the left hand under, right hand under. And you find this place where your bridge is very supported by the columns of your arms. So all the work to open the front of the chest and spending that time, back body, giving you a bridge that really feels like its coming from the span of the arms. Inside out.

(breathing) Make your way down slowly, and you can wrap your right leg over your left if you like to vine them, that's fine. You take your knees all the way over to a comfortable spot for you on the left. Gaze over the right shoulder. Come back through center. Left leg over the right.

And then you go over. You can let your knees go as far or as high as you like and bring your gaze over the left. Back through center. Neutralize your pelvis. If there's anything else you need to do, if you need to undulate the pelvis or you feel like a happy baby will support you, take that.

Otherwise savasana. (breathing) Stay as long as you like. Deepen the breath. Awaken with a wiggle of the fingers and the toes, a wriggle of the wrists and the ankles. And then, reach the arms.

Knees into the chest. Roll to the right. (deep breathing) Come up to seated. Hands at your heart center in prayer. Exhale all the breath out.

Inhale. (humming) The light within me salutes and honors the light in you. Namaste.


Johanna L
I really liked this, thank you from Sweden
Christine L
1 person likes this.
Bex! I really loved this sequence. The transitions were unique. I especially liked the one from Warrior 3 with Garudasana arms, to full Garudasana, and then into Warrior 2. It felt so smooth and natural, yet it was a transition I've never done before. The core strengthening sequence was great, too. Thank you for a great start to my day :)

Marleen R
Just the kickstart I needed. Thank you.
Rebecca Urban
Thanks sweet friends...keep on your mat and moving with your deep breathing!
Lisa H
Great sequence Bex! Loving all your online classes :)
Rebecca Urban
Thanks love having you take my classes and virtually being with you!
Elizabeth D
thanks for the coachella warm up. got some nice alignment cracks. love those side bends after flying.
Robyn C
1 person likes this.
Loved this one BEX!! Thank you XO
Rebecca Urban
thanks...robyn keep on moving!!
Erika H
1 person likes this.
Woot! Honoring the light in you, and grateful for a sweet practice.
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