Keepin' it Real Artwork
Season 2 - Episode 11

Full Body Release

40 min - Practice
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Robert offers a practice to stretch our comfort zone by encouraging intuitive movement throughout our entire body, shaking out and releasing any tension, stiffness, or stress. Moving with our breath, we flow through a series of Surya Namaskars (Sun Salutations) and standing postures. You will feel warm, alive, energized, and ready to rock your day.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Hey there, welcome back. It's really good to see you again. My name is Robert, welcome to Yoga Anytime. So that label, that title, Yoga Anytime, this is a really good example of that, okay? Whether it's the morning, afternoon, evening, it doesn't really matter, this can be done any time of your life, daily.

So the concept behind this, my friends, is a combination of some vinyasa yoga with some intuitive kind of feeling your way through it movement. And I'll guide you, okay, but I just wanna remind you, right, in the beginning when I practiced, I thought, okay, there's a certain sequence I have to practice and a certain way I do the poses that make it yoga, okay? Now what I've learned over time through my own practice, just through paying attention and watching other people and learning through my own body, is it doesn't really matter what you're doing, okay? The physical movement doesn't matter, it's all yoga. It's just your attention to detail, to quality over quantity, possibly.

To how you watch and pay attention as you're moving. That's my take on it, anyway. So there will be things that we do here that might not look like a yoga pose, but it is, I think. And we'll go with that, okay? So trust me, I've been doing this for a little while, and if something doesn't feel quite right, if I'm doing a movement that doesn't feel good for you, please don't do it and either go backwards or go forward and catch up, okay?

So first off, take a nice deep breath in, because you can. And maybe even circle the arms up, take a big breath. And exhale. Reminder, the exhalation is the relaxation breath, okay? So if ever you're feeling a little heightened, right, in the practice, pause, deep breath in, long exhalation out.

So we're gonna start very small, okay. First off is standing. Standing with your eyes closed, arms down. And begin to watch and pay perfect attention to your breath. Just watch the breath in, watch it out.

And what I'm really big on these days, whether it's meditation or the yoga practice, is practicing in the same way I find pleasure in music. Right, or any kind of other activity. Do it for the sake of doing it. So that's what we're gonna do. Take a couple more breaths.

Okay. Now bring your attention to your facial muscles, okay? Maybe like really stretch the eyes out a lot, look up, look around, and if you're feeling weird at all in any moment, good, right? That means maybe you're doing something different and challenging yourself and getting beyond our comfort zone. So stretch your eyes out, right?

A little respect to the eyes. And then the nose, maybe crunch up the nose, and the jaw, open the mouth as wide as you can, maybe stick the tongue out, like. Head back, like it's stupid, but do it, right? And move your head from side to side. And roll your neck.

It's actually not stupid, I take that back. It's amazing. This is your instrument, right? This is what you're given to walk this earth with, so let's do a few movements to care for it, okay? All right, so we've got the face, we've got the neck, let's go into the hands, maybe make a fist, right?

Stretch your fingers out really wide and then make a fist. A little recognition to that simple movement, roll the wrists. Interlace your fingers, press your palms forward. Knuckles forward, stretch your back out a little bit. Take the arms up overhead.

Some side bending. Remember to keep, you know, trying to find a breath, like an inhalation with a certain movement, right? Or an exhalation with a certain movement. Try reaching back behind you, right? So if you can interlace your fingers, all ten, great.

Maybe you can hold on to one or two, kind of pull the chest forward, maybe take a little forward bend with your knees bent. Some of you might only be able to keep the hands at your low back, but maybe reach them up and over if you have that space in your shoulders. Good, release that, come back up. And one that feels good for me is if I kinda like bend my knees a little bit, bend my right arm, and then circle, circle forward, get a little into like some movement in the shoulder region, forward and back. There's no specific way, right?

But no, like, maybe you can like, carry around with you in this, especially the beginning part of this practice, is like, in your back pocket, trust. Trust that this is beneficial, this is, makes sense, it's useful. Try the other one, right. Big circles, forward circles, reverse. It's your shoulder, right?

If you ever had any shoulder issues, it's kind of a bummer, right? So maybe you can take some time to move through the shoulder. Bent arm, straight arm. Okay, now you got the shoulders, you got the arms, the elbows, right? The wrists, the fingers, the facial muscles, the neck.

Now, take a deep breath in. Exhale, palms to the chest. Lift your right knee up, open the hip, right? Now the left, open up. And just try to do this a few times and see what that feels like, right?

Now after doing that, it might feel good to squat a few times. So if you take your feet, very essential, functional movement here is to come down and just squat a few times. In the knee joints now. We're in the knees. Keep your chest up, reach your butt back.

Warm up the knees. Keep your core nice and braced throughout, at least, like, your awareness there, right? Driving through your heels. When you drive through your heels in any of these squats what it does is it kind of ignites your quads and your glutes which is important, right? All right, last one.

Now lift the knees. Some nice little knee high kinda movement. And now we're gonna get into one of my favorite things to do that I honestly don't do enough, we're gonna begin to kinda like shake out the fingers, the wrists. Mindful breath, right. So right here, right, I still keep moving my feet, and I'm shaking as, almost just as hard as I can with the wrists and the fingers, I really shake out the wrist.

And let it kinda vibrate up into the elbows. Now add to this, it's almost like you're just like, get out, right, trying to like wring something out. And now I'll start to bounce a little bit on your toes and the balls of your feet, right? Like you're going for like a little jog, but we're bouncing. Shake out the arms and then begin to let the shoulders, like, come up and down.

Like feel the shoulder girdle, the bones, like rise and fall. Shake it out, shake it out, be soft in the knees, right? So it's not so much this, it's like you're jumping rope. If you know how to jump rope, it's like that, right? Now jump maybe a little bit more, right, really shake it out, and now let the arms come out in front of you.

If you have the balance, close your eyes. If you're at your house alone, you'll probably still feel a little bit weird doing it, but all you're doing is moving, it's healthy for the bones, healthy for the organs, blood flow, all of it. All right, last, like, three big breaths. Now see if you can really shake it out. Last one, breathe in, and begin to kinda like slow it down.

Let the arms come down by your side. Palms up. Just kinda feel that tingly vibration throughout the body. Feels kinda nice. Okay, arms down.

Take a deep breath in, reach up, and exhale, the palms to the chest. Take a wide stance, we're gonna get really lungey right now. Okay, so, again, just intuitive, kinda free movement. You're gonna open the right foot and begin to draw your knee over that ankle. Keep your chest up, and now press through that heel, strong right leg.

Come up and over to the other side. Good, back up to center. And you can put your hands down if that feels better. You can crawl over like so. Other side.

For another 30 seconds or so, close your eyes. Close your eyes, and whether your fingers are down or they're up, really just kinda like, move through those two poses, that transition forward and back. No right or wrong, just you connecting in with your breath, connecting with your body as it is, finding some possible pleasure in the experience. Gonna come back to center, take a wide-leg forward bend, maybe soften those knees first, come up halfway, get long in your spine, hips are way back. Try this, actually, push the palms, the heel of your palm into the top of your femur, right?

Right where the femur meets the hip, the pelvis, and push back, push back. And then exhale forward. Walk all the way over to the front, to your right foot. Set the back knee down, find a lunge for a moment. Walk your right foot over to the edge of the mat, bring both hands down on the inside of that foot, and drop to the left a little bit.

Bring your right hand to your right thigh. And see my right foot here, it kind of peels up and open as I open that inner right thigh a little bit for a hip opener. Feel free to kinda minimize that or change up the arms. You can bring your hands down, forearms down, so we're really focusing in on the hips right now. Okay, push back up.

Back out of the lunge, cruise on over to the other side. Set that knee down, the right knee, walk that left foot over to the left, open it up, right, so you're on the outer edge of that left foot, supporting you with the right arm like you would in a, like a tabletop or a side plank, and then guide that hip open gently. Maybe bring the hands down or the forearms down, pause for a couple hearty breaths. Good, push yourself back up. Good, all the way back over.

Keep the back knee lifted, right? Step the left foot up to meet your right. Fold. Half lift, inhale. Exhale forward bend.

All the way up, big breath in. Exhale, palms to the chest. So from Mountain pose, what we're gonna do is we're gonna go through some sun salutations. We'll add some standing poses, okay? So in the beginning, we're just warming up the body, getting into our breath and our body, right, the experience, and now we're getting into more of the traditional sun salutation movements, okay, that might be more familiar with you.

So. Inhale, arms up, reach up and exhale forward bend. Inhale half lift, exhale step back into plank pose, pause and plank, big breath in, exhale lower down. Cobra pose, inhale, point your toes back, lift your chest. Don't need to force it, right?

Inhale, cobra. Curl the toes, push into your palms, strong legs and strong core, as you downward dog. That's the exhale. Take the right leg up, breathe in, and exhale, step it all the way up. Feet are hip width, fingertips, come on the fingertips of that left hand, okay.

Don't lift the right foot up at all, ground down through the right foot. Keep your back heel lifted, and now begin to rotate and open the upper body, like it's a rotation, it's a twist. So I like the hands-on experience here, so right hand on the chest or the ribcage, and begin to kinda spiral open. Arm, try not to disconnect. Connect and over.

Good, now bring the right arm down, place the back heel down, shorten your stance just a little bit, pull the right hip back, and then warrior one. So the back foot in warrior one has a little bit of an angle which will then guide your left hip forward, right? You don't need to square your hips, just work towards squaring those hips. Get those arms out, take a gaze upward. Breathe in.

Breathe out, hands come down, step back into plank pose. One pushup, breathe in lower, breathe out. Breathe in. Now breathe out lower. Upward dog, breathe in.

And downward dog breathe out. Left leg lifts, inhale. Step it up, exhale. Back heel stays lifted. Runner's lunge, spinal twist.

So instead of just lifting the arm up and then your head, actually rotate, right? Rotate, keep rotating, rotating, rotating. And then lift. Follow the gaze up toward the ceiling if it doesn't bother your neck. If it bothers your neck, keep it a little more neutral or down.

Good, left hand down. Back heel down, shorten your stance just a bit. Put the angle on the foot, stack the knee over the ankle, and rise up, warrior one. Ground evenly into both feet. Maybe continue to kinda find areas to roll the wrist, maybe roll and then open the fingers.

Breathe in here. Exhale, hands down, back heel lifts, step back into plank. Now it's important we kinda tap into the core a little bit so bring your left forearm down and then your right. Shoulders over my elbows, platform the hands, heels back, belly not embraced but braced, legs strong. Try not to sag in the hips, keep the hips up.

Set the knees down, point the toes back. Bring your hips down, and situate yourself for a sphinx pose. So a sphinx pose, I feel fantastic here, with this bend, but for some of you, it might feel better to lower the belly down to minimize that arch in the low back. Let me find this position. Or even this position.

Pause. And now exhale lower. Slide the hands back for cobra, inhale cobra, exhale table. Take one round of cat cow, right, breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in, breathe out.

Step up through squat, all right, so take the right foot to the right pinkie, left foot left pinkie, drop down. Pause. Press the arms into the knees, knees out wide, chest up. Press through the heels. All the way up, big breath in.

And breath out. Bring your feet back toward hip width. Let the arms come down for a moment. Take the left foot, bring it back. So you bring it back about three feet, two and a half, three feet, right?

So your left toes are pointing in the direction forward, okay, right toes forward. Hips nice and aligned, so try to draw the right hip back, left hip forward. Put a soft little bend in the right leg. Bury the feet down, right, and then shift your weight forward, your body weight forward at your hips, hinging, hinging, hinging. And maybe about like halfway you start to rest your hands on your thigh.

You start to feel that intensity in the hamstring, maybe you don't feel it yet and you rest them a little bit lower. Right, so right now we're going for a nice, kind of isolated hamstring stretch, the right side. So find your degree, it's either up here, it's here, maybe you come down to the mat, I'll stay right here. Breathe in. Breathe out.

Remember, right, this practice is designed for you to kinda touch on all the different body parts that you utilize, or don't utilize, throughout your day. So kinda refine, tune, adjust. Okay, from here, hands on the hips, come up. Breath in. And breath out, step up.

The arms come down, sweep them up, breathe in. And breathe out, palms to the chest. Pyramid pose on the other side. Left, er, right foot back, toes forward, hips aligned, little soft bend so you don't stretch too deeply behind the knee, hinging at the hips, chest reaches out, find your spot, so lengthen the spine. Pull the stomach in a little bit, lengthen, ground through the feet, find your place, right, your hands on the leg somewhere, breathe in, exhale that relaxing breath out.

Breathe in, lengthen, exhale, relax. Breathe in, lengthen, exhale, relax. Good. Hands on the hips, core tight, all the way up. Take a breath in here.

And exhale, step up. Mountain pose, sweep it one time, breathe in. Breathe out. Make your way on down through tabletop. So you can go ahead and just step back.

Hands and knees pose. Before we make our way onto our backs, where we'll close things out, take a child's pose. Try, let's do two versions of the child's pose, my friends. Take your knees pretty wide, bring your big toes to touch, and reach your seat back as far as you can, and then one forearm down and then the other forearm down, and rest your forehead on your left wrist or forearm somewhere. Take a few deep breaths.

The next handful of postures will be on the slower side, a little more stretchy, so I encourage you from this moment now to relax a little bit, soften, and to stay with that theme, right, of working toward finding pleasure in the practice. Of really not having to do anything other than what you're doing now, letting go of some of the life lists. Now switch it up, you'll notice a little bit different, a different sensation in a couple places, possibly. But in this one your belly is really free to breathe, right. The other one, in your back, there's a different feeling in your low back.

Now if you bring your knees together, your belly will be kinda compressed on your thighs, which may or may not feel good. It'll feel different, for sure. But I don't know if you can see, like, my back, now, my low back has a little bit more of like a rounded, flexed, you know, way about it, which feels really nice after some of the back bendy extended things that we've been doing. So, see, you can pause there, try that version for a few breaths. Okay, nice.

Push yourself up into kneeling pose, pause. This is a, and, well, this was not planned, but let's do a little toe stretch together. So, so that you can see, curl your toes under, sit back on your heels, all right? So I'll face you, trust that I'm doing it as well. All sorts of things to keep in mind, maybe your knees don't allow you to do this, so you're off the hook.

If your knees allow you to do this, do this, it's very beneficial for your toes, the upper part of your foot, right, stretches the skin, fascia, bones, everything. If it's really comfortable, find a way to make it a little more uncomfortable, like maybe lean over to the pinkie toe side. To the other side. It can be kind of intense, I think it's called intense toe stretch. If it's not it should be, right?

Anyway, your feet, right. You're on your feet all the time. And most of the time we don't pay much attention to our feet unless they're hurting, right? Like, ah, my foot, and then you give it a little rub. Why not stretch it out, massage your feet every once in a while?

Okay, so now, we've done kneeling pose, toe stretch, let's get out of that and come onto your seat. And roll down to your back, all right. So from here, you can just roll on back. Hug the knees in. Should call that kinda like, I dunno, the rolled back is like a Frankenstein lowering or something, I didn't even realize my arms are doing that.

So, knees in, rock side to side. And once again in the theme of just moving through the joints, let's bring our feet down, about as wide as the mat, knees bent, arms out, and some windshield wiper type movements. So if you're bringing your right knee over to the right, let the left knee follow. Maybe you sync some sort of breath pattern with it, so an exhale takes you over to one side. Pause, breathe in.

Breathe out the other side. Pause, breathe in. And breathe out. Breathe in. And breathe out.

Nice. Now, come back up to center. Draw your right knee in, knee to chest pose, give it a good squeeze. So if you take the right knee, see if you can follow me. This one's one of my favorites.

So I bring the knee in, I pull it out to the right, flex my toes, of course, right, 'cause it's like a pigeon thing that we're doing, and then if you have the mobility and availability, just reach your left hand toward that foot somewhere. And maybe it's right here, and that can kinda like add a little more content, right, a little more interest. Or maybe even bring it to the center, now, right? If you've done pigeon, now you're lying on your back, doing pigeon, right knee, bring it up towards your right armpit or chest, keep that foot flexed to protect your knee. Keep your left leg extended nice and long.

Pleasure. Opportunity. Gratitude. Okay, so once you've done that, and again, where I like to share kinda like where I feel it, doesn't mean that you'll feel it there, but maybe you might, is down this side, the right side of my hip. IT bend, glutes.

Hamstrings, a little bit. All right, so. Shift over, so use your opposite leg to kinda lift up and shift your hips to the right side of the mat. So now extend that left leg out, right, and really open up the back, so that you feel like your upper back is grounded, okay? And there's not a lot of, like, compression, right.

So spread the shoulderblades. Now, right knee, gotta pull it in a little bit. Use your left hand to guide it across the body over toward the left as you reach the right arm out. Palm facing up. So I like to shift my hips even more so I'm actually on my left hip.

And what this does is it aligns the spine in a nice way for, I think, to, I dunno, a healthy spinal twist. So I can keep my gaze straight up, or maybe even begin to look over toward the right. Sometimes I prefer, in these twists on my back, just to look straight up, so I'll do that right now. I'm keeping my right shoulderblade and shoulder grounded, but if it lifted a little bit, that wouldn't be the end of the world. Like if I really wanted to come over a little bit farther, all the way over, see how my arm reaches up now?

But check this out. Let's do a little test here, okay. So my knee is all the way over, you can't see it, but it's touching. I can't bring that shoulder down, but if I just go super Jedi mode, right, use the Force, I'm gonna breathe in. And breathe out, I'm gonna focus on my shoulderblade and shoulder.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Remember, the exhale is that relaxation, letting go breath. Breathe in. Knee is still down, and I think I made a little progress there, just by using my breath.

So now I slowly, that was a deep twist, so now I wanna like mindfully kind of come out. Shift myself back to center. Maybe take a moment, kinda ground and press my low back into the mat, my waist. Okay. Now we draw the left leg in.

Left knee in, play around with rolling the ankle. Remember we started, right, with spreading the toes, rolling the ankles, the wrists, the fingers. You can kinda still work with that concept. Remember the pigeon, right, so left knee, pull it in toward the left side of your chest. Point the left toes up, and then guide that left foot over toward your right shoulder, just as much as you can, right, as much as you can.

If you feel like bending that opposite leg to ground your back, please do so. Okay, hold that for a few breaths, and when you feel ready, begin to come enter the spinal twist on the other side. So again, I'm center right now, I want to shift my hips over to the left so that when I come into the twist my spine is aligned, okay? So right foot, hips over. Extend back out, spread my back, right hand on the thigh, left arm out, palm facing up.

Breathe in. Nice long exhale, relaxing exhale, over to the right. So this is, in the functional world, right, the functional movement, functional fitness, right, the seven essential movements the body is designed to move, right, would be to press, right, press, pull, rotate the spine, which is what we're doing now, forward bend, we did that. All right, we squatted, that's a very essential functional movement. There is gait, walking, right.

We lifted our knees a few times. And lunging, we lunged. So we nailed it, good job. Now we're twisting, relaxing, and coming back out. Super mindful in the exit, in the transitioning, right.

Especially in the twist. Come back out, maybe kinda like press your low back in, hug your knees in one more time. Bring the feet down, slide your legs out. Shake your legs out a little bit. Take your arms up overhead, deep breath in.

And exhale. Final relaxation. Maybe it feels good to take a couple of deep breaths with the emphasis on the full relaxation exhale, right? It's like that breath, that, if it had language to it, it would say "relax", or "It's all good." It's all good. Relax.

Stay here as long as you'd like. When you do end up coming up, bend your knees and roll over to your right side. Rest your head on your right arm. It may be one of the most comfortable ways to come up to a seated position, so then once you've done that, push up, and sit. And take a moment, right, take a moment to find your seat, maybe meditate for a minute, five minutes.

And when I say meditate it's just simply take everything in, without holding on to any one thing. Eyes closed, like, take all the sounds in, the smells, like your senses are just alive, right? You're just not holding on. Just witnessing what's happening. That's an option, okay?

Otherwise, I want to thank you, like crazy crazy crazy from the bottom of my gut, my heart, for joining me. It does mean a lot, I love what I do, to be able to share what I feel has been really helpful for me, share it with you, so thank you. Thank you, thank you, namaste, namaste, peace, peace, peace, love. Bye-bye, later.

Comments

1 person likes this.
Dude. Thanks. The source. Life changing. Tim from oz.
1 person likes this.
Super wholistic practise Robert. Made me smile. Loved it. Blessings!
1 person likes this.
Thanks for this season! Namaste :)

1 person likes this.
Fantastic release - thank you!
2 people like this.
I so enjoyed this practice . . . Alive in all the joints, muscles, and bones.
2 people like this.
More! You're such a giant!
2 people like this.
Another amazing class! You make a world of difference to me! Thank you ! You're an amazing teacher!
Hello Dawn ... Thanks for another sweet and generous comment! Sounds like you're really digging in and practicing a lot, happy for you and hope it's feeling good! Stick with it and if there's anything I can help with, feel free to ask in comments :) Have a great day! 
Hi Wendy Eric Dannette Aniuska Simon Tim !! How are all of you doing?! I can't believe I missed these comments from 1-3 years ago :( I love commenting and connecting here, weird I missed them! Anyway, I hope you all are doing well, if you receive this, let me know how you're feeling and if you're still practicing. Sending positive vibes and love your way, Robert
2 people like this.
Yes Robert, you’re my go-to guy, even got my husband going with your great spirit. Always looking for new classes with you, but the old ones are still money. Thanks for reaching out! ww
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