Bend It Like Bex Artwork
Season 2 - Episode 10

Dancing in Diagonals

30 min - Practice


Bex explores the diagonal lines within the body's alignment through this energizing and strong sequence. Playfully building towards revolved Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon) and Astavakrasana (Eight-Angle Pose), you will feel strong and alive in your power.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video

Feb 03, 2016
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Welcome, I'm Bex. And we'll begin with a meditation. A guided one to anchor us in the diagonals in the body. So, close your eyes. And this works perfectly fine if you recline as well.

Deepen your breath. Follow the trail of your breath inward. And bring our attention down to your sit bones. And as you feel that rooted sense in the sit bones bring your attention into your left sit bone. Feel the diagonal.

To the right shoulder. So while that line of energy may not be what you've considered those diagonals exist throughout the body. For now, though, you're looking deeply at anchoring through the left sit bone and bringing your attention to your right shoulder. So with that, you'll now take the energy and the attention to the right sit bone. Once you find it, if your seat is imprinting into your mat, you'll allow the breath and the current to move through the body and bring the awareness to the left shoulder.

So you almost widen your perspective and feel the opposite, the left shoulder and the right sit bone and actually how they weave into the body. And then lengthen even more clearly through the central access, through your spine. So, there's an upright quality as well as a very deeply rooted sense. And so you're letting your breath guide you into this blueprint of your being. And then your outer architecture of the shape is quite light.

And so the flow of the breath keeps your gaze inward. And if it was challenging for you to feel the right sit bone and the left shoulder or the left sit bone and the right shoulder just notice that. Not a big deal. Bring your hands to your heart center in prayer. Pick your intention, your dedication, your mindset, your motivation.

And then seal that in with the chin coming to the chest. Open your eyes. So, come on to all fours and as you set yourself up on all fours just kind of lean left and right and begin to deepen the breath. So again it's that ujjayi pranayama, the breath comes in and out through the nose, lips softly touching, not pursing. The only time you want to open the mouth is if the pathway of the nose was feeling stuffy.

So, going side to side. And then I invite you to kind go back and forth. So, back and forth, side to side. You feel this movement in the body. And then, from the leaning to the left outer hip lean to the right baby finger.

Okay, so do that a couple of times. Left outer hip, right baby finger and you're breathing. And so now, you're feeling that diagonal in motion. Right in motion. And I don't know about you, but there are not many moments in my life when I'm rocking in this way, or even exploring this movement so that feels fun.

And then clear that out by just swiveling your pelvis. Swiveling it. All right, when you swivel it, you do it three times in one direction and then three times the other way. And this is the same, like this is probably a swivel you're not normally doing during the day. But maybe.

So you come back on to all fours and then outer baby finger on the left, outer hip on the right. And as you establish that connection into that line you might even notice that one side really fluidly move, it feels like the liquid flows and the other side feels like there might be a couple of bumps or places that needs to weave by. So again, neutralize yourself, you'll do the hip swivel two times each direction. It's a pelvis swivel as well and then just a simple winch-away, that's what I call it anyway. The left shoulder will lower as the left hip hikes.

Feels like a crescent moon. And then you'll come through center and the right shoulder will lower as the right hip hikes. And I can feel my side body working here, my obliques. And as I do that, I'm just getting a sense that even here there's tone through the navel and I'm going and I'm shrinking my right side body back to center. Just one more, left shoulder lowering, left hip hiking.

Center, right shoulder lowering, right hip hiking. And then come back through center. Please know that at any time if you need a child's pose feel free to take it. So on that theme of diagonals, the left hand and the right shin bones are pressing firmly into the floor and you will lift your left knee of the mat and you will circle the thigh bone into the pelvis three times. Whatever direction you're going in note it and then reverse.

So as you reverse it feel it, thread it, breath. And then come back through center. Now this takes a little bit of intelligence 'cause you have to know where your elbow is in the outside of your right knee. So, your left knee goes to the left elbow. Back and you tap it outside the right knee.

And then you do it again. Left knee, left elbow, tap it outside it the right knee. Left knee, left elbow, tap it outside and then take the feet and move them away from each other and gently sit back. Remember it's early in the practice. I call this the half baby cow, so ardabil asana gomukhasana.

I'm not going to get my sit bones down. No effort in that direction, I'm just feeling that entire left side body and that connection that was made between my right shoulder and my left hip, being lifted in my left hand being grounded in right shin bones. So you come back through center, I come back through center and then into downward facing dog. So, you're very away you haven't done the other side yet. Right, and that awareness leads you to just embrace what is in the body right now.

And so, in that space, there was a lot attention given to the left hand and the right shin, okay? And that those bones were down. So you will shorten the stance by moving the right foot in just a little and the right heel to the left side of the mat. So in that moment, you will know your right hand and your right leg are meeting each other. Your right hand goes underneath the instep of the right heel.

It seems easy enough but I have to tell you, I've seen stranger things happen. The right and the right are connected and then the left leg begins to rise, right? As it rises, the diagonal of the left hand and the right heel, breath in, because you have no right hand in your down dog right now. And then very slowly you land the left foot, you land the right hand, you come back into down dog and now is when you're like, it feels good to have four points of contact. Inhale to the plank, lower the knees.

Slide the hands in and you're grateful you just have two sides, so we'll do it one more time. You will now, lift the right leg. When you lift that right leg, you're paying attention to the right hand and the left shin bones and they're like, oh thank you. So, you circle around three times. Mindful if you're going clockwise or counterclockwise.

And then you go the other way. Excuse me. Now, the leg will remain in the air and this is where you have to know it's right knee right elbow and then outside left knee. So, knee to elbow, back, tap. Knee to elbow, back, tap.

Knee to elbow final time, right knee outside left knee, feet a little separate and then a just gentle falling of the pelvis back and the arms reaching forward. Smooth breath. Soft face. Release out of that. Shin bones down, down dog.

Plank. Down dog. Step the left foot in now. So the left foot steps in, the heel moves a little right. So that foot is turned out and then the left hand, same one as the foot, underneath the heel.

You either stay there or you lift. Now as you lift, you breath. Head hangs. Pillars are the arm and the leg, opposite. And then the foot comes down.

Hand comes down, back to down dog. If you wish to visit child's pose feel free. Rinsing the breath. Inhale plank. Lower all the way down just for a moment here, shrug shoulders up to the ears, roll thigh bones in, little lift of the chest.

So it is in this moment, you'll press into, you'll press into the left palm and the right shin and you will lift the left leg and the right hand. So, there's something happening here. And then you'll release. You'll press into the right hand and the left shin bone and you will lift the right leg and left hand. There's a little bit of pinning the elbows in towards each other.

And then release. Press back through child's pose or plank. Down dog. Lift your left leg, step your left foot forward. So your left foot will come forward and as your left foot is forward, your right heel will press back and with that right heel pressing back you will reach the left arm forward, okay?

And in this moment you could almost remove the right hand. If that doesn't feel safe for you, why would you do that? You wouldn't do that. So, now you'll place the left hand down and lift the right arm and feel the merging on the inner thighs. Slowly both hands will come down.

You'll mostly straighten the left leg and shorten the stance, so my right leg is in its own lane and the back heel is off so I can navigate, steering the right thigh bone in and the left hip back and then, if you like, you can walk at the fingertips back and forehead towards the shin, or the chin towards the shin, whatever you like. So the diagonal here is slightly confusing, right? Because the hands are reaching back. My focus becomes my left foot and my right hand and my right foot and my left hand. And then, you bend the left knee.

Now this is optional, you may want to just simply step the right foot forward and the left foot back. That's one choice and that's always there for you. If that choice seems fine you take it. If it seems like you want a little bit mote vigor you will hop switch. So you'll just inhale and then exhale and switch.

And I like it so much, I'm gonna do it two more times. Inhale, exhale, switch. Inhale, exhale, switch. And then magically, with almost no effort at all, I'm on the other side. So, the right arm will reach and the left leg will reach away.

And you almost don't need the left hand, unless you do, then you use it. And then you switch your hands. And again you're just finding that space so now you maybe have energy in the left shoulder and the right hip. Both hands down. Then gently mostly straighten than right leg, shorten the stance.

The left leg is in its own lane. And slowly walk the hands back. So again, the outer right hip it slides back. And that's where I'm keenly aware of my rotators and where my hamstrings, they just say pick me, love me. Love me, pick me.

So bend the right knee and then take the right leg back. Plank pose. Chatter down slowly. Low cobra up, that gives you good front body stretch and then come back. And just because maybe, maybe your right leg was a little jealous of your left, we'll lift the right leg, step the right foot forward.

So now, you can either step or you jump switch three times. One. Two. Three. Nice work.

Now, slowly, you will lift the left arm. Yeah, that's the one. Good, so your right hand has contact with the floor. You're working that left outer hip back. So in my mind the diagonal for me is my right hand and my left outer hip.

That's where my mind's going to. And then my left shin bones and my right shin bones. And the reason it's going there, it's because I know what's coming. What's coming is parivartanasana. So you look down and you go what?

And you move that right hand slightly forward and you feel that diagonal. So my right leg now is powerfully pushing away from my left one just as my left hand is like explosively lifting. And they're happy, super super happy about it. So then very very slowly, I emphasize the twist. Steer the hip back, breathe.

Mm, so delicious. And then land to the back leg. Now if you like, that was a lot for me, you put the back knee on the floor. However, if you want a little more you'll slide the left arm under. I know, it's a lot.

And the right arm out to the side. For me, I prefer to lift the knee 'cause it helps me get the shoulder underneath. And if you think you remember this pose from twister, that's probably true, lucky you. So now, you could lift the left arm and then the right arm like you're kinda steering something and maybe you could lift both. If you're thinking why would you want to.

I don't know, maybe it will show up later. So then slowly you release. And you think, I know what she's gonna say. Three times jump switch or just step the right foot forward. Inhaling, exhale.

Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. So at this moment you feel that right shin bone vertical thigh bone horizontal and you reach the right arm up and you press through the left hand. And something spectacular happens through the mid line because you realize you're always stronger than you think. Well, you are and regardless of what your shape looks like it's how it feels.

So you ride the sensation of feeling, you look down, you move the left hand forward and then as you transition you lift and it takes total commitment. And the commitment is, I'm reaching, I'm going for my longest lines of energy. I breathe and believe that this is my best expression. Somebody might say that's too bend, that's not straight enough but for me, I'm breathing in and that bliss of lengthening and then land the right leg gracefully, bring the left leg gracefully, sorry about that. The right arm underneath and the left arm underneath, meaning out to the side.

So as your arms reach, you squeeze the right inner thigh toward the torso. Maybe you lift the right arm, maybe you don't. Maybe you lift the left. Maybe both of them feel an uprising. And then you release.

Now the exit plan here is different, which I'm sure will make you very happy. All you will do is, turn to your left. Heel-toe your feet in about as wide as would your mat be. Even not as wide as it it now but in it's narrower sense. And coming to malasana squat.

Right in there you are and you sit and if the heels won't touch, you can always pad something underneath them or you can keep the heels up and you're pushing the outer arm into the thighs and right here I'm considering that my left foot and where my right arm is are diagonals and my right foot and where my left outer arm is are diagonals. And I just breathe here. And breathe. And then slowly I sit down. Feet come together, just give yourself a pause.

A moment to just sort of, clear your energy. You're on the ground now. You have the points of contact. And just fold into yourself. So, I'm not folding with a ton of effort right now, I'm just letting myself kinda go inward.

And then you'll sit up. And as you sit up, if you think that was enough you can pause there and go into shavasana. If you want to keep going, you will lift your right leg over your right shoulder in preparation for astavakrasana and then you will take your left foot over your right. And I really bind them, I hook them. And that might be when you say, yeah, you know what, I had enough for today.

If not, your right hand comes down to the same line as your left and you think, oh I'm gonna lean on to my left hip. So my right hand and my left hip, they're gonna help lift me up. Squeeze the knees, that's what I find as the trick and then send the legs out to the sides. And then have a soft feature on the face and you can go down deeper if you want. And then slowly release.

Oh, so fun, we'll do it on the other side. Okay, so, I'm gonna shake my legs out 'cause I know they'll be a lot happier that way and then slide the left heel in. Remember two sides are different. I have no expectation of this side. Otherwise it gets upset.

So, I take that leg over, like my little backpack. And then I take my right foot over and I hook it. My hands are in line, I squeeze my right knee toward my left shoulder and there's my diagonal left hand right hip and then I shoot my legs opposite way, breathing, breathing, breathing. And then I come back through center. Uh, that was a lot.

Okay, I'm gonna go back into baddha konasana because I know I need it. So, fold again and breathe. And then go ahead and sit up and bring the knees together. And forward folds really pacify the nervous system. That means if right now, it feels like there is a fiesta going on in your body, we're going to de-amplify it.

So slide the feet forward and just come in to yourself. And if you want your knees bend, you do that. You bend your knees and you're gonna pull yourself in. What I'm doing is, I'm gently in my subtle body, like sliding everything into me without overpacking. I'm just reminding myself that I'm wholehearted and that I'm a whole being, not just parts.

So, while one part went one way, I'm bringing it all back in. And then inhale and sit up. Go ahead and turn around. Lie on your back. I think it's worth the happy baby.

So grab the outer edges, rock side to side. Rock around in a circle. Rock up and back, up and back. Hug yourself into yourself. You're gonna remind yourself that was a lot but I did it.

Whatever you did was enough, whatever you did was enough, right? That worthiness, that knowing, that happiness, that's your birthright. So, whether you got into a big deep arm balance or not, no matter. Shavasana. (deep breathing) So, if you want to stay, stay longer.

Shavasana welcomes you as long as you like. Otherwise take your time to awaken. Slow movements. And if that theme is still abound in the body, feel maybe the right hip lower as the left shoulder lowers and the left shoulder lower as the right hip lowers. Then hug yourself in, maybe with a left knee first and then the right.

Roll to your right. Slowly come up, seated. Hands heart center. Exhale, breath out. Inhale.

(chanting) Celebrate all the strength and the wisdom in your body. Namaste.


Christy Li
1 person likes this.
I loved breathing with diagonals as something new/different! We don't think this way normally so great way to explore on occasion. Thank you
Kit & Dee Dee
Fun morning! Happy Friday!
Robin J
1 person likes this.
Practicing with you always makes me smile
Rebecca Urban
Ladies...Thanks for practicing with me...all LOVE

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