Hi, welcome to your mat and welcome to this practice. Thank you for joining me for this practice about transition. The truth is all moments are transition and what I tend to do is grasp onto certain big or uncomfortable transitions and freak out and get really anxious and feel as though these moments of change feel ungrounded and feel impossible and feel full of anxiety and fear. When actually all moments all the time are transition. When we're present, when we're in the flow, we're always in transition.
And in the yoga practice, we have a way of practicing being inside of transition and being with ourselves and being with sensation and being present. And so as we move and as we flow today, we're gonna concentrate on accessing the present moment, on accessing the ground beneath us and the truth within us during each transition, because yoga, the practice of asana, is not pose to pose to pose. It's all one fluid meditation in motion. There's not a beginning, there's not an end, it's all the practice. On and off the mat, we're always in this practice of being present throughout transition.
So, join me as we find Child's Pose and begin to get grounded into this practice. So in Child's Pose, your hips are coming towards your heels, your forehead's coming to the mat. You can extend your hands out in front of you at shoulders width or even wider distance, whatever feels comfortable to you. If you get more access to your breath by spreading your knees wide, go ahead and do so here. Just landing on the mat, finding your inhale deep, spreading wide through your lungs, into your lower diaphragm.
Finding as you exhale your lungs, closing together like elevator doors shutting, all the breath coming up over your spine and out your nostrils. Child's Pose is not a benign pose. The tops of your feet are pressing into the floor. Your thighs are energetically coming in toward one another. Your heels are pressing back.
Your hips are pressing down. Your shoulder blades are spread wide. The tops of your hands are pressing into the mat. So much so, that your wrist and your forearms are pressing up, while your triceps press down. Beginning in Child's, beginning at the beginning of the beginning.
Even at birth we were already in transition. Finding ground here as you breathe. Bringing yourself into the mat. On your next inhale you're gonna find your way up to hands and knees. So with hands and knees your shoulders are just over your wrists, and your knees are underneath your hips.
Your neck is neither up nor down, but the crown of your head is reaching forward. From here you can tuck your toes under, if it helps you find stability, and as you inhale you're gonna drop your chest, arch your back, and lift your chin. As you exhale do the opposite. Bring your chin to chest, all the breath comes out as you round your spine to the sky. Inhale, arch your spine, shoulder blades dip down, look up.
Exhale, round your spine, all the breath comes out. One more, feeling for all the sensations, awakening the spine. As you exhale round through the spine, breath comes out, chin to chest. Beautiful, from here find your way back to all fours, and then on an inhale breath take your right hand forward. Your right thumb comes up, and if it's in your practice today, take your left heel back.
From this extended position pull your should blade back toward your hip, especially on your right side, and then feel for evenness in your hips. Take an inhale here. As you exhale bring your elbow to your knee, round your spine. As you inhale extend long. Exhale, round your spine, elbow to knee, all the breath out.
Inhale, reach long, extend. Exhale, round your spine, elbow to knee. And inhale, reach long, right hand forward, left foot back. As you exhale you're gonna take your right hand out to the right and your left foot out to the left to your degree. Inhale, hold, look down, and then as you exhale, you're welcome, go ahead and drop that foot, walk both hands up to a T.
From here you're gonna bend through your front foot, like a modified Warrior II position. Take your left elbow to your thigh and reach your right hand up and over. Your hip points are coming forward. Good, right should blade down away from your ear. Inhale, reach long.
As you exhale come back up to center. Go ahead and straighten through that left leg, and then as you exhale you're gonna take your right hand down outside of your right knee, lift your left arm up. If it's available to you, play with reaching your left foot to the side, modified Side Plank. Take an inhale here. Your left hand may come over your ear.
One more inhale, reach long, and as you exhale feel for the transition, the sensations in each moment, as you slowly take left heel back, left hand down, reach right arm up where you started. Hah, how slow can you go? Slowly let your right hand come down. Return your left foot to center. Good.
From here, take your toes and tuck them underneath you. You're gonna press it back for Downward Facing Dog, just to get off your knees. Take an inhale here. Exhale it out. Notice any different in the length of your body, side to side.
One more inhale. As you exhale slowly come back to center, taking your knees back down to the mat. This time on your inhale it's your left hand that's gonna come in front of you. Left thumb is up, left should blade pulled back. Then your right foot's gonna reach back behind you, thighs rotating in.
Feel for evenness in your hips as you inhale. And as you exhale bring your elbow to your knee, rounding through your spine. Inhale, extend, reach long. Exhale, pull it in. The slower you go, the more you allow yourself to feel.
Last time, as you exhale pull it in rounding. Inhale reach long. Good, and then this time your left hand's gonna go out to the left, your right foot out to the right. Hah, take an inhale here. Crown of head long, and as you exhale slowly lower your right foot down.
Reach your arms out to your side. This time your right knee's gonna bend. Take right forearm to right knee, and lift your left arm up and maybe over. Hip points coming forward. Left shoulder blade coming down.
Lean through your side body, you might even look up. As you exhale transition back to the top. Taking your right toes back out to the right, this time you're gonna lower your left hand down, and reach your right arm up. Perhaps it would feel good to explore lifting your right leg up, finding a modified Side Plank. Take an inhale here.
As you exhale it out, feel for taking your right arm over your ear, lots of length in the side body. And then as you exhale lower right foot back, whoo, no, don't do that. Take right foot behind you, take right hand in front of you, lower right hand, right foot comes back, left hand comes forward, and then as you exhale let everything go. Remembering it's all the practice, it's all transition. Tucking your toes underneath you, you're gonna press back, finding Downward Facing Dog, Adho Mukha.
Your heels are pressing down to the mat energetically. Your shins are coming in while your thighs are going out, creating space in the sacrum. Feel for taking the arch out of your spine, pulling your hip points forward. Your biceps are by your ears. Your hands are pressing down, so your hips can lift up.
Take a very deep inhale. As you exhale step your right foot forward. Take your left knee down. Get grounded and then inhale, reach up. Here take your hands to your hips, and just notice the evenness in your pelvis.
Some of us have a tendency to round or arch our spine here. Feel for taking your tailbone in and your hip points up. Good, and then inhale forward. As you exhale take your hands to the outside of your front foot, tuck your toes under, and just step forward, Forward Fold. Inhale halfway, lift and lengthen.
You can have a bend in your knee. Your neck is long, crown of head forward. As you exhale fold. Inhale one more time, lengthen, hands can come to shins or to blocks if there's not as much space in your hamstrings here. As you exhale you're gonna step your right foot back, lower right knee down, second side, inhale, low lunge.
Again, take your hands to your hips and feel for both evenness in your pelvis and taking that dump, that arch, out of your lower spine, pulling up, up through your hips. Good, inhale, reach up. Exhale, fold forward. All the tension's released from your neck. You can have a slight bend in your knees here, it's better than blowing out the back of your knees, or really straining through your hamstring.
It's okay to let your knees bend. Again, if you need to use a block, or come onto your shins every time you extend forward, please do so. Inhale. As you exhale, fold all the way down. Inhale, reach your arms out and all the way up.
Palms press at the top, look up, and as you exhale, bring your hands to heart center, finding Prayer. And here, we'll take time to set an intention for this practice. May we offer this body prayer with intention to stay present during the transitions of life, to be open to the flow, to be participating with the direction of the universe and that which is bigger than us. May this practice reconnect us to who we really are and call us home, so that we can be of service to a greater purpose. And so it is.
With that, release your hands. Inhale, reach up, look up. As you exhale, come through Prayer all the way back down. Inhale, reach your spine long. As you exhale, plant your hands, step back left foot then right, find High Plank.
In High Plank, press your heels back. Take your tail in and up. Take your forearms forward and your triceps back, crown of head forward, and then as you exhale this first one, lower your knees, your chest, and your chin. As you inhale, slide forward, tops of feet press down, shoulder blades up, chin up. Exhale, come back down and then press yourself in to Child's Pose.
Remembering this pose is always available to you to return to throughout the practice. Allow yourself now to give yourself permission to come here anytime you feel like you're leading with ego, leading with a yearning or striving, instead of being open to your breath moving you. Taking your toes, tucking them underneath you, pressing back find Downward Facing Dog. From Down Dog take a very deep inhale. Exhale it out.
Inhale, press way back. And as you exhale step or jump your feet up to your hands. Inhale, lengthen your spine. Exhale, fold. Bend your knees, inhale, find Chair Pose, lift up.
Exhale, fold all the way back down. Inhale, halfway lift, lengthen. As you exhale plant your hands, this time right foot back followed by your left, High Plank, inhale. As you exhale lower your knees, find Chaturanga. Inhale, your heart comes through.
You can find Low Cobra again, or Up Dog. And as you exhale roll over your toes finding Downward Facing Dog. Take a deep inhale, press your heels down. As you exhale feel for pressing down through the inside edges of your hands. Inhale breath, and then as you exhale step your feet between your hands.
Inhale, lengthen. Exhale, fold. Bend your knees, inhale, reach up, Chair. As you exhale fold all the way back down. Inhale halfway, exhale, plant your hands, jump or step your feet back, and then lower Chaturanga on your breath.
Inhale, find Up Dog. Exhale, roll over your toes, Downward Facing Dog. Take a deep inhale here. Exhale all your breath out. Take a deep inhale.
Find your exhale, and then on your next inhale slowly reach your right heel up to the sky. We have a tendency to open our hip here, so feel for evenness in your hips. You might have a lower leg than you're used to that way. Pulling your right thigh into your pelvis, inhale. As you exhale bend your knee, step your right foot forward between your hands and lower your back heel down.
You're gonna inhale, windmill up, finding Warrior II. From Warrior II, the back edge of your foot is pressed into the mat, the inner arch of that foot is lifted. Your pelvis is rotated toward the side of the mat, and your right knee is opening out to the outer edge by your right pinkie finger. Your arms extend out to the side, and your gaze is soft over your right middle finger. Take an inhale in your Warrior II.
As you exhale you're gonna lower your right hand followed by your left, same exhale, left heel comes up, right foot steps back. Inhale, High Plank, exhale, elbows in, lower Chaturanga. Inhale, find your Up Dog. As you exhale roll over your toes, Downward Facing Dog. Very deep inhale, exhale it out.
Deep inhale, exhale it out. Your next inhale, lift your left heel to the high. As you go slowly you can feel into taking your left thigh in instead of opening through that hip, pulling everything in toward you, toward the core of you. Stabilizing through the transitions, spread your left toes. Inhale here.
As you exhale step your left foot forward between your hands, lower through the edge of your back foot and then your right arm followed by your left are gonna windmill up finding your Warrior II. Same thing here, energetically you're anchored through the back edge of your foot, the inner arch is lifting up, your heels are energetically coming toward one another, your pelvis is even toward the long edge of your mat, shoulder blades come together while fingertips extend out away from each other. Take an inhale, crown of head lifts. And then as you exhale it's your left hand followed by your right. Right heel lifts, left foot steps back, High Plank.
Inhale here, and as you exhale, Chaturanga. Inhale, find Upward Dog, and as you exhale find your Downward Facing Dog. Any time you would like to transition the direct route, as my friend Hollis says, just step it back to Down Dog from the Warrior, or knees, chest, and chin, or Chaturanga. There is no right or better way to do life on or off this mat. Take a deep inhale here.
Exhale it out. On your next inhale lift your right leg to the high. As you exhale step it through. We're gonna find Warrior II again. Inhale in your Warrior II.
As you exhale Peaceful Warrior, so lower your back hand down, lift your top arm up. There shouldn't be any pressure in your back hand. Right thumb reaches back. Shoulder blade away from your ear. Inhale here, as you exhale find Warrior II.
As you inhale straighten through your front knee. You might wanna walk your back foot in a little bit. As you inhale reach your hips back, extend your front hand long and away from you, and then as you exhale you're gonna lower your right hand down finding Triangle. You might want a block underneath your hand here. Some of you may wanna grab your peace fingers.
My hand doesn't reach. You're pressing through the edge of your back foot, that's always the case. Lifting through your back inner arch here, feeling for length in your spine, crown away from hip. Your arms are extended long. This is one of my favorite transitions.
Imagine someone's holding on to your top wrist. As you take your next inhale, imagine someone's pulling you up, and into what's gonna now be Warrior II when you bend your front knee. Take an inhale here. As you exhale find your Vinyasa. Stepping it back, inhaling.
As you exhale, lowering your knees or not, bending your elbows 90 degrees. Inhaling, finding your Up Dog variation, and exhaling finding your Downward Facing Dog. Amazing, all the length you've already created, and the change you've already created in your body. Take a deep inhale here. Exhale it out.
On your next inhale lift your left heel to the high. As you exhale step your left foot through your hands, lower your back foot flat, inhale up, Warrior II, second side. This time you're gonna lower your right hand down, lift your left arm up, creating spaciousness through your heart. We have a tendency to straighten our front knee here, so bend through your front knee as you allow your heart to face the sky. Thumb is back.
Inhale for space. As you exhale come back forward into Warrior II. Inhale, straighten your front knee. You might walk in with your back foot, and then as you exhale you're gonna lean forward, and then take your left hand down, right hand up, finding your Triangle. It might be helpful to have a block here under your foot.
In Triangle Pose, anchor through the back leg creating length in your spine. This is a twist, so you're heart is opening toward the sky. You can look down if there's tension in your neck, forward, or up at your thumb. Here, again, we're gonna feel into this transition. Imagine someone's holding on to this wrist, and as you inhale, pulling you up back into center.
Bending through your front knee, take one more inhale in your Warrior II. As you exhale you're gonna rotate all the way down and back, finding your Vinyasa. Remembering each Vinyasa is a prayer. Every Vinyasa is a moment of dedication. Can you be present to each sensation that arises as you move and as you flow?
Take one more inhale in your Down Dog. Exhale it out, and then as you inhale lift your right foot to the sky. As you exhale step it through finding Warrior II. Inhale up. This time as you exhale take your right forearm to your right knee, lift your left arm to the high, and maybe over your ear.
That's your left arm, not your right. (laughs) Unless you have two right arms. Taking your right knee over your right pinkie toe, your left thumb is reaching back, shoulder blade is coming away from your ear here. Reach it long. Exhale your breath out, heart comes up. On your next inhale come up to Warrior II.
Hold. Ribs away from your pelvis, and then as you exhale find your way into your own Vinyasa. Again, Up Dog as you inhale. Roll over your toes, Down Dog as you exhale. And your Vinyasa may beautifully look like a Child's Pose.
It may look like rest. Sometimes in transitions it's important to find the ground and be still. One more inhale here. Exhale all your breath out, heels down, and then inhale, reach your left leg up high. As you exhale bending through that knee, step it through the hands, windmill up, find Warrior II, second side.
Inhale here, and as you exhale it's left forearm to left knee, and for real the right arm reaches up and maybe over your ear. Anchoring down through your bottom foot. Your spine is long, hip points are forward, shoulder blades coming away from your ears. Inhale, you might look up. Exhale, come back into Warrior II.
Inhale here. Exhale, find your Vinyasa. Go as slowly as your breath will allow. The top of the movement beginning at the top of the breath. The bottom of the movement ending at the bottom of the breath.
Again, the slower you move the more you can feel. The more you can feel the sensations in your body, the more access you have to working through the tension that it's holding. The more you release tension, the more capacity you have to grow, to transform, to move through the energy, so that you can heal. Take a very deep breath in. Exhale all your breath out, and as you do so walk or step between your hands.
Inhale, halfway lift and lengthen. Exhale, fold, bend your knees, inhale, reach up, find Chair. As you exhale, hands to heart. Come to stand. Remember the intention that you set in the beginning of practice.
Tapping in to that intention now. Take a deep breath in. Roll your shoulder blades back and down. Exhale, find Tadasana. There is a moment in all of the transitions that we can find Tadasana.
The transitions on and off the mat, because Tadasana, this pose, is in every pose. We always have this within us. This mountain, it's inside of us. And just like mountains don't get impacted when not enough visitors come, or too much snow falls, just like mountains don't care what the weather is, or how many leaves are on the trees, there's something inside each one of us that can withstand whatever movement and whatever change is happening outside of us. Tap in to that mountain within you.
Tap in to it by using your breath, feeling into the core of who you are, regardless of what's happening around you. And with that knowing, inhale, reach your arms high. Exhale, come on down, let it go. Inhale halfway, lift and lengthen. As you exhale plant your hands, step or jump your feet back, and lower.
Inhale Upward Dog. Exhale your Down Dog. Take a deep inhale. Exhale it out. And then inhale, last time, reach your right heel up.
Exhale, step it through, windmill up, find Warrior II. From Warrior II you're gonna inhale. As you exhale, again, take elbow to knee. Reach high. You might take your hand inside of your foot here and extend your arm all the way long.
Feel for creating as much space along your side body as is possible. Taking your right hip up, left shoulder blade back, take a deep inhale here. As you exhale look down, you're gonna take your right hand about six or eight inches in front of your right foot, and then slowly transition into Half Moon, Ardha Chandrasana. In Ardha Chandrasana feel for taking your hip points forward and in. Your back toes are spread wide.
Your top arm is lifted up, you're finding like a T, Half Moon Ardha. You can use a block underneath this bottom hand if needed. Inhale here. As you exhale look down, bend through your front knee, and as slowly as you can you're gonna float down finding Warrior II. That's the transition.
Inhale here. Exhale, direct or scenic route, find your Vinyasa, lowering your knees or not, Chaturanga. As you inhale find your Up Dog. As you exhale rolling over your toes, Downward Facing Dog. Check in with your tendency here.
Are you already anticipating the second side? When we're living in the past or we're living in the future, we're most certainly not in the present, and when we're not present it's really hard to find the ground in our transitions. Take a deep breath into the right now. Let everything go, and then as you inhale, now lift your left leg to the high. Exhale, step it through.
Grounding through your back foot, Warrior II. Inhale here. As you exhale, find extended Side Angle. You might take your left hand down in front of your left foot. If so, you can use your arm to press back through that thigh, taking your knee over your pinkie toe.
Your anchor is still that back foot. One more breath. As you exhale this time take your left hand in front of your left toes and slowly push off, finding Ardha Chandrasana, Half Moon. Here, again, you're pressing back through your right foot, like you're pushing against the wall. Hip points come forward, you're bringing that leg in to you, finding a T.
You can have a block here underneath this hand. You might even float your hand up. One more inhale in your Half Moon. And like it matters, look down, and then use your breath to slowly float back into Warrior II. There you are, you've arrived.
Take an inhale. As you exhale, straighten through that front knee. You're gonna pivot your toes in, and take your hands behind you. I'm gonna turn around on my mat, (chuckles) so I'm facing you, and then together we're gonna inhale. As you exhale, slowly fold forward.
Your toes are pigeon-toed in a little bit. You're just gonna take your hands to the outside of your heels. Take the weight forward into your toes to your degree. Nothing is benign in this posture. Extend your spine long, take any round out of your spine.
It may be that the crown of your head does not land on the floor and that's just fine. If it's in your practice to find Chaturanga, arms here and lift up into Tripod, don't let me hold you back, go for it. The rest of us are gonna hang out here, either with our hands to our ankles, or shins, or maybe big toes, just allowing the inversion to do its work. Folding in, all the tension's out of your neck, weight's coming forward. Ignite the hamstrings, ignite the quadriceps, spread through the shoulder blades.
If you're in Tripod, go ahead and slowly release back down, joining us in Forward Fold. Take a deep inhale. Release whatever bind you have around your feet. Take your hands underneath you. Inhale, lengthen your spine.
And as you exhale, walk your hands over to your right, left, take your left foot forward and then step it up. And here we are in Uttanasana, Forward Fold. From here, bend through your knees, lengthen your spine up and keep bending through your knees, keep bending through your knees until you come into a Toe Stand. Bringing your hands to Prayer if it's available to you. If not, and you find that you're wobbly and shaky, that's all right, too.
All that's gonna happen from here, because this is how transitions tend to go in life, is we're gonna slowly lower our heels. If you have super long Achilles, this'll be simple. For me, not so much, and go ahead and come on to your bum when it's available. And then from here you're just gonna lower all the way down to your spine. Top of your head to the floor.
I like to press into my elbows and roll my shoulder blades underneath me. And then take your feet in front of your hips. We're gonna find Bridge. So, press down into your hands and then lift up with your hips on an inhale breath. You're bringing your chest towards your chin in Bridge.
You're pressing down through your feet. Your shins are coming together, hip points up. You might have the ability to take and bind your hands underneath your spine if that feels good to you and creates more space in your heart. Inhale, lift your hips higher. Exhale, press your pelvis forward.
One more inhale, lift high. And then as you exhale release the bind if you have it and then slowly one vertebrae at a time lower all the way back down to the mat. Ah. From here, you're gonna take your right leg, press it forward. Bring your left knee in, give it a squeeze.
Mm-hmm, and then anchoring your left shoulder blade to the floor, top of left hand to the floor, you're just gonna find a really simple spinal twist. Right foot is flexed as though you were standing on the ground. Just allow your left knee to come over. Take an inhale here. Exhale it out, feeling for the spaciousness you've created in your spine.
On your next inhale bring left knee in to chest. Give it a squeeze, and then switching sides. To your degree, bringing your right knee this time into chest, flexing through your left foot. The palm of your right hand's gonna press into the floor along with your right shoulder blade, which is gonna anchor down as you use your left hand to press your right thigh into a twist. Your right ear, right temple, might come to the floor.
Just allowing what's available in your body to be there, to show up for you, to teach you. And one more inhale. Exhale it out, finding your deepest twist in this moment. And then inhale, squeezing your right knee back into your chest, followed by your left. Giving your own self a big hug.
Good. You might feel comfortable finding a Happy Baby here. If so, do so, otherwise just join me by extending your legs away from you. Maybe pressing down into your elbows, so you can take your shoulder blades underneath you and then pressing down into your heels you can take your pelvis and tuck it somewhat under, just creating space before finding Corpse Pose, Savasana. In this Savasana you're going to allow yourself to let everything go, to let the tension go, to let your heels fall heavily onto the ground underneath you, to let your calves relax away from your shins.
Your quadriceps and your hamstrings softly falling away from your thigh bones. Let the manipulation or the control of your breath go. Let your breath be easy and organic. Let the tension in your shoulders relax. Feel your shoulder blades resting in the palm of Mother Earth under you.
Let your forearms fall away from the bones. Let the tension in your hands release, and with that allow symbolically the grasping and the striving for outcome, for perfection, for ideal, let that go, too. Let your tongue fall away from the top of your mouth. Let your eyeballs fall back into your eye sockets. Let the tension in your forehead relax.
Let your jaw relax. Any tension left in your cheeks, let it go. Nothing is required of you in this moment. Everything outside of you is still in motion. It's still in transition.
And even in this stillness, so are you. Without having to do anything, the blood is still moving, and the oxygen is still circulating. The transition is the one reliable. We can count on it. As you allow everything to release and to relax, let yourself be and breathe in the Savasana.
And now staying with the peace, and with the openness that you've created in your body and in your mind, slowly begin to reawaken your physical body by moving your toes, maybe rotating your feet around on your ankles or your hands around on your wrists, touching your hands, your fingertips to your thumbs. Clearly I'm in Savasana. (laughs) Maybe taking your hands above your head giving yourself the opportunity for a really long stretch before bringing your knees back into your chest one more time, knowing that you've got you. You've got you, you're gonna get through this moment and through this change and through this transition. You have it. And then rolling over to your right side, allowing your right ear to rest on your right arm, before using your left hand to press yourself back up to seated where we began.
Each moment of that practice was in fact a transition. Every moment of our lives, we are in motion, and when we're anchored in the truth of who we are, when we can stay present to the moment that we're in, those transitions don't have to feel so overwhelming. They don't have to feel as though they're going to overtake us. We can learn to really ride the wave of the transition and stay inside of the presence of our breath, and inside of the truth of who we are throughout them, anchored in that knowing. If you would take your hands in prayer, and take that prayer to your heart as we close out in prayer together.
Dear Spirit, may we find solace in the change. May we see the opportunities for growth and for transformation in what may feel like chaos. May we find presence in the groundlessness. May we know peace, and may we continue to use this practice, the privilege of this practice, to be able to navigate the changes that life offers without being reactive, without causing harm. May we use this practice to continue to heal, to continue to transform our relationships to our self, our relationships to what is around us and what surrounds us.
May we continue to know that we rest in something so much bigger and so much greater than who we are in each moment. We rest in the love that is within us and that surrounds us and that is always available for us. And so it is. When you're ready, slowly open your eyes. I honor you.
I honor the light in you, the bravery in you, and the courage in you. Thank you for showing up to this practice with me today. I hope to see you again on your mat soon. Namaste.