Get a Backbone Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 5

Standing in the Center

30 min - Practice


Awareness of our spine allows us to stay centered. With Julia’s help, Kate cues us through a sequence of standing poses that have an emphasis on letting our spine, our central axis, hold our attention. You will feel grounded and quiet inside.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Sep 27, 2014
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So I'm glad y'all are here, again. And I know that your bodies are glad you're here. So thank you. And again, this is Julia. I'm so glad to work with her again.

So today we're going to do a standing series. And it's going to be more geared towards the pelvis. So you might not always do these movements exactly the same way in other yoga classes you take. But I'm going to be really cueing the pelvis, and also cueing how the femur bones, your thigh bones, interact with the pelvis. So I do want to say, before we start, that these are your femur bones.

These are the big, long bones of your thigh. And I will cue the femur bones quite a bit in this little series that we're going to do. So you ready? OK. All right, so we'll start at the top of the mat, y'all.

So I'm going to bring Julia to the top of the mat. And let's just start with your feet about hip distance apart or so, comfortable distance. Just allow yourself to settle into the feet for a moment. I realized in my own practice that a lot of times I was starting poses with tension in my feet. So let's just really let the bones of the feet settle.

And it's weird. You're like, wow, I can actually do that. And let the ankle bones settle and the shin bones settle. This is samastiti. It means equal standing.

Couple more breaths here. Something I read that I really loved is that elephants can feel vibrations through their feet. So it's like, imagine that you could feel the cars driving by or the trees blowing in the wind just through your feet, just getting that contact with the earth. All right, and then a little softness in the knees if you haven't already. So checking in with the joints beneath the pelvis.

And then can you feel the updraft through the arches of the feet? Can you feel, and you see her getting taller, can you feel that the arches of the feet are almost like trampolines? Or as I referred to in another clip, the arches of the feet are like the spine of the foot, helping you to lift up that support from underneath. So last thing I'll give you, can you feel that the arches, the dome of the arches somewhat match the dome of the crown of the head? Good, beautiful, really nice.

All right, so we're going to start with the hands on the hips. And I'm going to ask Julia to step her left foot back first. We're coming into warrior one. So she's just going to step her left foot back. And you might not go as far back as some of you are used to.

She did a great step back. What I'm going to ask you to do is get your left toes to face the front left corner of the room or of the mat. So somewhere in there, it doesn't have to be exact. And if you can't make that happen, you might need to step your back foot forward a little bit. Julia's pretty flexible.

She's able to do this. But if you're just starting out with a really narrow stance, that's fine. And the reason why is I want you to get your hips square. And that's not because of aesthetics. That's because I want the functionality of you to be able to steer your pelvis with your femur bones.

So can you use your thigh bones to steer your pelvis more square? Can you push into your feet and feel that you're pushing your right hip back with your right femur? Yeah, beautiful. And you're pushing your left hip forward with your left femur. Gorgeous.

We referred to this earlier. And you can relax your arms however you want them now. But you could drop your shoulder blades down your back. And then remember the connection of the front ribs so the front ribs kind of knit together. Beautiful.

And now just go ahead and float your arms up. When you move your arms, you change everything. When you move your arms, you move the ribs. And so when you move the ribs, you're going to probably move the pelvis and the spine. So check in when you bring your arms up.

Don't just sling your arms up there and expect them to just be wherever you put them. Put them in a place that's intentional. Be very deliberate about it. And then I've referred to this in another clip. But can you feel a little person in your navel?

Can you feel that person tugging down on the kite strings of your upper arms? So again, it's fine if the arms are slightly in front of the torso if they need to be, or even a little wider like in a V. All right, and you can sink it a little bit lower. Good. Beautiful.

And now push into both feet and see if you can steer your pelvis a little more square. You see her working in her pelvis. So she's really steering. Bear with me, but it's almost a feeling of sucking your femur bones up into the pelvis, OK? All right, so now we're going to ask her to lift her spine up.

Like, pick herself up out of her spine and tilt forward to 45 degrees. Just 45. Good, that's beautiful. And now hold here. Draw your hands down to prayer position.

So can you feel as you draw your shoulder blades down your back, beautiful, Joya, that you also push down into the back foot and get longer? It's like you're being shot out of a cannon. Find the front ribs again. Beautiful. Steer the pelvis.

So I always say to my students, fight for your pelvis. Keep steering your pelvis square, which is hard. You're working the deep muscles of the hip to do this. And now let the pelvis tilt you back up. Pelvis tilts you back up.

Good, beautiful. So the spine is along for the ride when the pelvis moves, right? All right, so hands come to the hips. Y'all are doing great. Joya is doing great.

She's going to roll into the ball of the back foot. So now she's coming into a high lunge position. If this is too hard for you, then you could definitely just keep the heel down, and you might even want to turn the toes out a little bit if you do that. But if you can come up here, you're starting to now learn how to stabilize. This is hard, right?

It's easier to square the hips to the front of the room so she can steer with her femur bones here, but it's harder for her to stabilize, which is great. All right, so she's going to start to slowly straighten her front leg and come up. And now don't lock your front knee. It can still be straight. In fact, a more advanced cue is try to get your leg as straight as possible without locking it.

And now push off the ball of the back foot and get higher. Get higher, like you're putting your head above the clouds. Good, but now back off the back heel just an inch. Relax the back ankle. Find your lower belly and steer your pelvis.

Oh, so she's doing it all. It's really beautiful. It's good stuff. All right, and now lift yourself up out of your spine. Beautiful.

Like you pick yourself up out of your waist, is the feeling. And now bend your right knee and push back through your left heel. So she goes straight down, right? It's like she's on a carousel pole. And now three more times, if you would, Julia.

It's like she's being sucked up through a straw, and then she resists it and come right back down. So there's not a forward and backwards movement, if you notice. She's not going like this. She's going straight up and down. So I'm trying to get you to use both the front and the back leg.

Allow your back heel to move. You see how much movement she's getting in her back heel. And try to keep the joint soft when you get to the top. Beautiful. So good, Julia.

Gorgeous. Come back down for your last one. And this is like your ta-da moment, like you've earned it. So you sink into your last one. You float your arms up.

Remember, the arms change everything, though. Can you remember that little man down in your belly, a little person down here, that's pulling on the kite strings of your upper arms, reaching the fingertips up. Take a nice deep inhale, if you'd like. And then you're going to exhale and open into warrior II. So you're just going to peel everything open and land in a warrior II.

Beautiful. And now go ahead and mess it all up. Straighten your front leg. Bring your hands to your hips. Give yourself a little break.

So maybe even move the pelvis around, because we just did a lot of pelvic stability. Let yourself move as needed. Remind yourself that you're jello and you're not a statue, right? All right. And now bend back into your right knee and come back into warrior II.

So in warrior II, your right heel lines up with your left inner arch, approximately, somewhere in there. And then the arms float out to the sides. Elbows can be slightly soft, whatever you want to do. I'm not too concerned about the arms here. And you notice that Julia has not turned her head yet, which I am very grateful for.

Because this is like the cherry on top of the sundae. We want the whole sundae to be built really nicely. So when she looks out over her right middle finger, she's going to be like a true warrior. And she's just going to turn her skull. So look out over your right middle finger.

See, it's awesome. She just turned her skull. And then imagine if I had a string tied to your pubic bone, which would be weird, I know. But I slightly pulled forward. And I just pulled your pubic bone.

Like in this case, I'm going to pull it in the opposite direction of me. So just pull forward and see if that turns on the inner thighs and the groins a little bit. Looks great. And now think more tai chi with this next movement. So inhale, just start to straighten the legs, arms up, and then exhale, just sink it back down.

And the arms can just kind of flow. And do that four more times, if you would. You might even close your eyes if you have balance. And your head can turn in any direction. So can you feel that there's something else there?

It's not just air. There's something else. So you're moving your body through space. Try not to lock the knees when you come up. I think you have one more.

On this last one, can you feel that you're being sucked up through the straw? So straight up. So both legs work. And then resist yourself as you lower yourself down gently. And hopefully, there's a feeling when you get down there in the last one that you are being held up by gravity, that gravity is not pushing you down quite as much.

All right, and then I'm going to ask you to bring the hands to the back of the head. If you need to take a break at this point, just straighten your front leg. So hands are like in a sit-up position. And always allow yourself to break and move. So elbows, if she pulls her elbows all the way back, you notice that maybe it gives a stretch on her chest.

You can't see this, but it's really compressing in her back a little bit. It's just like, eh, all congested. So elbows slightly forward. And I always think of connect for that old game. And it's like the shoulder blades just plop down right down into the joint a little bit.

Or not the joint, but they just plop down onto the back and situate. So elbows slightly forward. And then find the front ribs. Find your lower belly. And then I'm going to ask you to pick herself up out of her waist and tilt up and over to her right.

So commit to this deep bend of the right leg. Good. And go up and over. Nice. Pause there for a second.

So lateral flexion. And then pick yourself back up with the spine. These left ribs pick you back up. Good. Find your breath.

So y'all, we're coming over to the left. We're only going to do this one more time. Imagine that your pelvis is like a flower pot. And you're going to pick your spine up out of the flower pot. Commit to this bend.

And tilt yourself up and over. Yep, to the right. Come back to center. Now we're going to go to the left. So pelvis is like a flower pot.

She picks herself up out of the waist and then up and over to the left. Beautiful. So this is really good side bending. It's hard. This is peaceful wear.

And it's about the spine, not the arms. Everybody hangs out in the arms. So let your left hand drop down. It doesn't do much. Don't lean into the left arm too much.

Let the right arm come up. Good. Find your breath. This looks beautiful. And now give yourself a nice big stretch here.

Good. Go ahead and straighten the right leg. And maybe even let the shoulder come up by the ear, the shoulder blade. Like really stretch it out. Get into the side ribs.

Gorgeous. And now bend your right knee and bring your right forearm to your right thigh, like a side angle. And now just relax. So just lean into the bones. And let the left arm swing for a moment.

So there's four muscles of the rotator cuff. You don't really need to know them, but they all start at the shoulder blade and they go out to the upper arm bone. So we're trying to just relax the muscles of the shoulder blade. I'm leaning into your bones. This doesn't need to look pretty.

It's just like, relax, you know? And then I'm going to ask her to just start moving your arm. Just move your arm joint in any direction. So this is really up to you. It's like you start to use your upper arm bone as a lever.

And you're trying to stretch the muscles of the shoulder. Get movement in the shoulder joint. Possibly even she's feeling this in the chest, in the ribs. And you can even bend your elbow, which changes the leverage. You also have access to the right wrist.

So you can spin your right wrist. You can spin your left wrist. And sometimes you can do those big sunrise to sunset movements where you really reach it out and over. Good. But it can be anything.

It's just getting movement in the shoulder, like opposite of frozen shoulder. This is movement of the shoulder joint. And then eventually start to find some semblance of a pose. So sometimes I let my students just kind of pick it, a place that just feels good and stretchy. And it doesn't have to be out of a book.

It can just be anything. I mean, usually I'm in some weird contortion because I want to get this one little spot, you know? Good. And then start to find your feet beneath you. Find your feet beneath you.

At this point, I might bring the left hand up to the sky and let the palm face forward. Find your feet beneath you. And now press down into your feet. You're going to tilt back to warrior two. It almost feels like you're dropping down into warrior two as you come up.

So let the pelvis move. Good. Gorgeous. And now tilt into peaceful warrior. So reverse warrior.

We did it before. Remember, it's about the spine. Pick yourself up out of the way. Nice, deep inhale. And now exhale, windmill your arms to the mat.

Gorgeous. Gorgeous. Drop your back knee down. And just start to straighten and bend your front leg. So don't worry so much about stretching here.

Just move forward and back a few times. And hopefully what she starts to feel as she moves forward and back is like some sort of release in the low back. And maybe some of you didn't need that. But as the femur bones, your thigh bones, move in the joint, it starts to relax the low back. I have found, and I see it usually in my students.

So a couple more breaths like this. Just picture. Imagine that the pelvis is on a gurney. And it's just moving forward and back. And it's really more about the movement of the femur bones in the pelvis, thigh bones in the pelvis, than anything else.

It's like stirring the hip a little bit. Should feel good. If it doesn't, back off. And then what I would say here is to pick a spot that feels really good. And it could be anywhere.

You might pick a spot forward. Joya is going to choose to bend her right knee. You could straighten your front leg. You could bring your hands to the inside or the outside. And just give that spot a little time.

And I hope that maybe every day this spot is different. You might even close your eyes, try to relax your face, your jaw. And just make sure where you are is productive. I like that word, productive. Good, nice.

And then if you haven't bent your right knee, go ahead and bend your right knee. You're going to tuck your back toes, lift your back knee, plant your hands, and come back to a downward facing dog. So downward dog's hard. That's OK. You're building upper body strength.

But you're just giving a little softness to the knees, relaxing the head and the neck. Doesn't matter if your heels ever touch the floor. And you can kind of walk the dog out, bend one knee, press the opposite heel. Feel how your weight is shifting from hand to hand. And remember, maybe a little softness in the elbows.

I referred to this in another clip. But little softness in the elbows so that you turn on the muscles of the arms. I'm not worried about hyperextension, but just softness in the elbows so that you make sure the arm muscles are working. Beautiful. And then I'm going to ask Julia just to bend her knees and walk her hands back to the back of the mat.

So she's going to come to the back of the mat, let her head hang heavy. So if you know cat pose, think of a standing cat here. I'm going to try to get her to round her spine as she comes up. So knees soft, put about 60% of the weight forward into the front of the foot. And now dive the head deeper.

Yes. Woo, that was good. So dive the head down. And imagine that the head is bungee corded to the floor. So if you imagine that your head is bungee corded to the floor, now pick your lower belly up into your spine.

Keep your weight forward in the front of the foot. Keep the head bungee corded. And now start to roll the pelvis up. So sit bones reach towards the back to the knees, and you're in no hurry. I would really encourage you to milk this movement.

Like, take your time. Linger in each spot that feels good. So the lower belly picks up and under the ribs. Sit bones wrap to the back of the knees. Slow, slow, slow.

Stacking each joint, still feeling the belly, still feeling the pelvis wrap around the back of the femur. So the pelvis is anchoring the spine at the bottom, coming up one bone at a time. I often say it's like you're stacking Jenga blocks, but some people have never heard of Jenga. So beautiful. So again, this is her spine.

It's not her boss. It's not her mother-in-law's. It's not her car, her job. It's hers. So a little softness in the knees.

Remember to unlock the joints beneath the pelvis. And then I'm going to ask Joy to just simply walk forward to the front of the mat. Nothing major. It's nice to sometimes just walk around your mat. Give yourself a little break.

It's nice. She got to fix her shirt. You know, you do what you want to do. It's like we should be able to have that time in a yoga class, I think. All right, so other side.

So step in the right foot back. She's going to come into warrior one with the left foot forward. The right foot steps back. So remember, we're trying to get the right toes to face the front right corner of your mat or the front right corner of the room. Hopefully, you're not in a round room.

So front right corner of your mat or the room. And start to steer your hips. If you feel like you can't steer your hips, your back foot is probably back too far. A lot of people have their foot back too far, and they're basically in a warrior two stance. Their pelvis is opening up.

So let's try to get your hips relatively square. And again, this is not for aesthetics. There's a functional reason I'm doing this. So she's going to start to push into her feet and steer her pelvis square. And you can see her making little tweaks.

And again, it's like you're sucking the femur bones into the pelvis. There's this feeling of pulling the femur bones up into the pelvis. A couple more breaths. So you really feel this. I'm not very good with chopsticks.

So I feel like the femur bones are chopsticks, and I'm holding the pelvis with my chopsticks. So it feels a little wobbly. So it looks perfect. So let's go ahead and bring your arms up. And remember, when you bring your arms up, it changes things.

So it changes the ribs, which could change the pelvis and the spine. So just kind of check in when you bring your arms up. I mean, I'm asking you to work on a deep level and start to hug the muscles around the spine and feel those muscles. Draw the upper arm bones down into the joint, yep, and find the front ribs. And remember that, yeah, beautiful.

The little man or the little woman down in your belly button, beneath your navel, with the kite strings of your upper arms and kind of hugging them down, pulling them down, beautiful. All right, so she's steering with the femur bones, pushing into the feet. And now, pelvis is gonna move, but she's gonna commit to this deep bend of the front leg. So lift yourself up out of the spine and tilt forward to 45 degrees and try to keep that left bend of the knee, beautiful. It's hard to do, y'all.

So the pelvis is really tilting her and the spine is along for the ride. You see her making little adjustments, it's gorgeous. All right, so draw the shoulder blades down the back and then draw the hands down to prayer, sorry. Yep, and now push into the back foot and can you feel a connection of shoulder blades drawing down the back, all the way down to this back foot and shooting out through the crown of the head. Lots of length, find the front ribs as well.

And now the pelvis is gonna tilt her back up. So she's gonna try to commit to this deep bend, beautiful, and tilt back up, really nice. Hands come to the hips, come onto the ball of the back foot. So we're coming into the carousel lunges. So the lunges where you're on a carousel pole and you go up and down.

So the first one we hold, so you're gonna come up when you're ready. Remember, it's harder to stabilize here, but easier to square the hips. So when you get up here, can you keep the knees, she's doing a beautiful job. Keep the knees slightly soft, but more advanced. Come to that place right before the knees lock out.

It's very hard, you're like a bamboo stalk quivering in the wind. Really lift yourself up through the center line. I see her shaking, it's beautiful, she's working deep. That's not a bad shake, it doesn't mean you're weak. You found the deep muscles, it's the trimmer of truth.

So pick yourself up tall, tall, tall, like you could see above the clouds, really lifting up. Beautiful, so great. Come up onto the ball of the back foot, get a little higher, nice. And now bend your left knee and push back through your right heel. Or just it's hard.

And now three more times on your own. So again, y'all, that sensation of being sucked up through a straw and then you go straight back down, right down your center line. Gorgeous, allowing the back heel to move. She's doing a great job of that. And see if you can even relax the back knee and the back ankle and still keep the femur bones pulling up into the joint.

You see how much focus this is requiring of her. She is withdrawing in. Working this deep allows you to withdraw. Good, I think that was your last one. Float your, oh, you got one more?

Hope you did four. We don't know whether we did. Float your arms up. Draw your shoulder blades down your back, find your lower belly, beautiful. You see her making little adjustments, it's so great.

This is her tada moment, it's your tada moment. Nice deep inhale and now exhale, open out into warrior two. So just go ahead and open up the hips. Now the pelvis is facing the side wall. So now give yourself a break.

Bring your hands to your hips, relax. Let yourself release. Exactly, I love that she turned her feet too. Sometimes there's a lot of pressure on the ankles. So you can turn your feet as needed.

And then we're coming back into warrior two. So her left heel is gonna line up approximately with the right inner arch, somewhere in there. It's kind of like you're on a balance beam now. And then so in this position, it's like if I had a, if I had a strings tied to her pubic bone and I slightly pulled it this way, like towards the water, towards the ocean, it might for some of you turn on the inner thighs and the groin, give you just a little sensation of those muscles working. All right, so arms out to the side.

And remember she hasn't turned her head yet because that's the cherry on top of the sundae. So we're gonna build a really nice sundae. So actually we bring your hands to your hips for a second and straighten your front leg. Okay, so one more thing I wanna say to you, and I didn't say this on the other side, but y'all try to get your pelvis relatively level to the floor. So it's like get your waistband level.

So again, this is the flower pot and the spine grows straight up out of it, right? So when you lower down, as you bend your left knee, take your pelvis straight down. Try not to let the pelvis cock off to the side. It's gonna want to, try not to let it. And then you feel that little movement of pubic bone just shifting a smidge, good.

Find your lower belly and now float your arms up. Really beautiful. And it doesn't really matter where your arms are. And then she's gonna try to keep this beautiful sundae that she's built, keep everything there and just turn her gaze to look out of her the left middle finger. But y'all, I don't even like cherries on top of my sundae.

So who cares if you turn your head? Like it doesn't matter. You know, it's not that big of a deal. Like you could look at the ocean the whole time. In fact, I would look at the ocean, you know?

All right, so this is a beautiful warrior too. Now she's gonna bring her hands to the back of her head. We're gonna draw her elbows back first. And y'all, you can interlock your fingers or stack your hands like pancakes, doesn't really matter. So drawing the elbows back, you can see now on this side, this is not what I'm, I'm not trying to train you to be like this.

So we're gonna try to relax all this. So she's gonna bring her elbows slightly forward and you see the difference. So our elbows come slightly forward more than you might think. And then the shoulder blades just kind of plunk. They just kind of like, la, they drop down.

All right, so now she's gonna pick herself up and over to the left. Good, beautiful. So she commits to the bend here. Nice arc here, lateral flexion. It's hard, she's working.

You can hear her breathing. All right, so come back up. These right ribs pick you back up. All right, commit to the bend of the left knee. Pick yourself up and over so the pelvis stays level.

So go one more time to the left because that's what we do on the other side. So go up and over, ish, ish, ish, front ribs. Find the lower belly and front ribs. Good, beautiful. And now right ribs pick you up.

That was gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. Nice, and now up and over to the other side. She's working hard, y'all. This is hard. Don't collapse into it.

Try to keep length on the right side. Pick yourself up out of your spine. Find your front ribs, your lower belly. Drop your right hand down. Right arm doesn't do much here.

And now lift your left arm up. Now this is hard. It's about her spine. It's not about the arms, all right? So now let's straighten the left leg and relax a little bit and now get a good stretch.

So maybe even let the bicep touch the cheek. I mean, you can do whatever you want. Just try to stretch all of this, muscles between the ribs, intercostals, amongst other things, obliques as well, external and internal. Nice, deep stretch. And now bend your left knee and bring your left forearm to your left thigh and just relax down.

So now your right arm just hangs when you're ready. And you can be in any position. This is not, nothing needs to be aesthetically pleasing here. She's just gonna start to swing her arm. So we're trying to really relax these muscles around the shoulder blade.

Relax the four rotator cuff muscles that attach from the shoulder blade to the humerus bone. So just letting that arm bone swing is really nice. Again, this is the opposite of frozen shoulder. So you're leaning into the bones. It's not like we're really using the legs so much right now.

We're just trying to be relaxed and get a lot of movement into the shoulder joint. Make sure you breathe. And then feel free to take those bigger movements of like the sunrise to sunset if you feel balanced here. And really work and see if you can feel stretches along the side ribs, maybe even all the way down to your right foot. I mean, the whole musculature of the body is so connected.

And then start to find some variation of the pose that feels right to you. It's fine to bend the elbow or move the wrist. And I've said to y'all, I mean, I get into these weird poses. So you can even reach through one fingertip, looks great. And just find something.

She's making this look like it's out of a book. It looks beautiful. If yours looks like a gnarled tree and you're getting a good stretch, right on, do that. All right, so now we're gonna ask her to find her feet and start to take a little weight out of your left arm. So find your feet, find your toes, and you're gonna try to lift yourself back up to warrior two, but keep the pelvis low.

So it's almost like you drop down into warrior two. Good, nice, beautiful. And remember the head can turn or not. And then tilt into reverse warrior. So pick yourself up out of your waist and tilt up and over.

Nice deep inhale and exhale, windmill your arms to either side. Almost there, beautiful. So we're gonna drop down onto the back knee. Keep the foot forward if you don't mind. Drop down onto the back knee.

And then just start to straighten and bend the front leg. So y'all, this should be a resting movement. Again, we're not trying to stretch necessarily. If you have ever seen a skeleton or you can think about the way the femur bones, your thigh bones fit into the pelvis, it's not like the way a light bulb fits up into a ceiling. It's a little bit more, it comes at it from the side, maybe a little bit to the front.

So the way the femur fits into the pelvis, there's a little wobble as you move forward and back. She's connecting the movement to the breath, so you might inhale forward or exhale back. That's just a suggestion, you can do what you want. But again, the pelvis should just feel like it's on a gurney and it's moving forward and back. And you're just really getting some movement in the hips to maybe give you a little relief to the low back.

And then eventually pick a place. So this side is totally different than the other side. And I love it, she's picking something different on this side. So it doesn't need to be what you did on the other side. You can think asymmetrically.

You can point or flex your foot. You can bend or straighten the front knee. And I even tell my students at home, if you prefer the movement and wanna keep moving, that's fine, it doesn't have to be static. But just give it a couple of very productive breaths, like three to five, depending on how you're breathing. And then eventually just start to shift your weight forward again into your left foot, bending the left knee.

Tuck your back toes, plant your hands, and you're gonna send your left leg back to downward dog. Good, really nice. So maybe a couple of breaths in downward dog, just a moment to kind of move if you need to, walk your dog out. Do it the way you like to do it, the way it feels good. The good thing is you're not being filmed at home.

So you can be, you're not Julia. So you can be relaxed and make it feel good. And then start to slowly move forward into a plank, just bringing your shoulders over your wrists. And then start to lower your knees down to the mat, and just press back to a child's pose. So letting yourself relax here, and just give yourself maybe a little wobble.

Reminding the spine that it's like a river, that it's liquid, it's fluid. And a couple of deep breaths. See if you can feel the breath behind the heart. So can you feel the lungs breathing behind the heart? It's beautiful, you can see that she is.

And then can you also feel as if the lungs almost wrap around the front of the heart, because they do. So the lungs embrace the heart. And there's this really beautiful relationship right now going on in your rib cage between those organs. Really nice, so last thing we'll do is just extend your arms out in front of you if you would, Julia. Reach your fingers forward, nice.

And then knees together if you can, curl your forehead in towards your knees, slide your hands back actually beside your thighs, yep, but palms down, so you had them right, exactly like cobra arms almost. Fingertips forward, hands beside the knees. And then give a little press into the palms, and feel how the elbows, as you press into the palms it changes things a little bit. You feel how the elbows kind of reach back to the back of the room, and then curl the forehead in towards the knees, and roll your spine up slow, slow, slow, slow. And take your time, once your spine gets stacked, and you can slide your hands to your thighs as needed.

It's beautiful how slow she's going. And I'm gonna ask you to even, like the last thing to come up is gonna be the head. So don't throw the crust away, you know, eat the whole pie. The last little bit of rolling the head up is like eating the crust. And there's this beautiful natural pause when you get to the top.

Again, finding the spine. That was lovely, Julia. So thank you all so much, hope you enjoyed it. Namaste, thank you.


1 person likes this.
Loved this video. You have such a unique way of teaching, it is really wonderful. The postures were to the point and I love the comments about making the poses "productive" for the individual and the "tremble of truth"? Anyway, my legs got quite the workout :D
Also, love love the muscle pants!
1 person likes this.
I love this way of working, loving the cues, the images and the pace, gradually working through all of Kates sessions, and revisiting time and time again. Just Beautiful, Thank you.
I love the idea of this video, but it is really hard on my knees. Unfortunately I don't think I will do it again.
Pleasw please tell me where you bought those awesome leggings:
Judy, I got them from Black Milk...;))))
2 people like this.
I have had back surgery and I find these episodes very helpful.
1 person likes this.
Valerie! We are so happy to hear this! xok
2 people like this.
Kate, I should have waited to do this when I was super fresh. I wasn't as present as I wanted (Iots of shaking) and not feeling things as deeply as usual, which also revealed itself in the final spine articulation. I finished seconds ahead and had to watch Julia and you enjoy the pose more than me. Slight bummer, but also a good session to check out again. A few cool things I want to write so I don't forget them: imagining the arches like the crown of the head, the relaxing of the feet, then ankles and knees, and the lifting the pelvis up and over... and find the stretch that works for you even (and mine was) really ugly. Would love more discussion about feet. This is one of my favorite things about yoga; have released so much pain and can feel so much more sensation. Hope you have a great weekend! Dave 

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