The Yoga Flow Show Artwork
Season 2 - Episode 3

Sweet as Nectar

45 min - Practice
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Jessica guides us in a sweet and nourishing honey practice. We stay on the floor to find an opening and stretch in our hamstrings, feet, and hips. The practice leaves us feeling thoroughly stretched and delicious.
What You'll Need: Mat, Strap, Block (2)

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(ocean waves crashing) Hi, welcome to your practice. We're back for another round of honey flow. So this is all sweetness, yummy, it's meant to feel good, it's meant to feel nourishing, it's meant to be a practice of self-care. We will be using some props, we'll have a strap and a couple of blocks. You can go ahead and grab those now, and then we're gonna come down onto our back and use our strap.

Come all the way down, and you can start to undo your strap here, and it doesn't need to be looped up, so you can totally have it nice and loose. And then we'll draw the right knee in towards the chest, and you're gonna hold the strap in your hand just kind of getting it ready. And we take a second here, some greeting. And we'll take the strap and loop it around the arch of the foot here. And holding onto the edges, and start to straighten the leg.

And this might be just enough, right here, and then that's fine, you just breathe and then you hold here. Some tendencies to get really muscly about it with the arms, and you can just try to see if you can allow the arms to straighten, and then maybe the leg straightens a little bit more. And breathe here, getting into the back side of the leg line. You can point the toes and what does that feel like? And flex, woo, hello.

If you have a little bit more space you might extend out through your left leg. And breathe there. You can always re-bend into that left foot at any time. A few more breaths, just like this. And then we'll gather the strap into our right hand and I sort of like to loop it around the wrist once, and then grab ahold of it, and again straightening out through the arms.

So not doing this so you're working really hard, but allowing the arm to be straight. You can let your left hand come to your hip, and then we'll open on out towards the side. And we breathe here. And so again, if that elbow's bent, just so that the arm can straighten. And you can relax the left hand, another breath here.

We inhale, we rise on up. And then here we switch hands, so you unwrap. And the same idea, wrap around the wrist, and then grab ahold here. The right hand can come out to the side with the palm facing down for support, and we let the leg cross over. So you can allow this shoulder to move up because we're purposely doing this sweet practice.

So it doesn't have to be like (grunts), right? And the foot can find the floor. Can also hover a little bit, and which requires just a little bit more work, so, I'm going for sweetness here. A few breaths. Resting, breathing, letting go.

We rise on up with the inhale, unwrap, release the strap off the foot. Put it off to the side for just a moment, draw both knees in towards the chest, we'll squeeze. Might notice the difference between the two sides. And then we'll place the right foot down keeping that left knee in. And grab ahold of your strap again, and take it around, arch of the foot.

And we start off just gentle, start with a little bit of straightening. Alright, even if you're really far away from you. It doesn't have to be anything big and dramatic to start, especially if this is the first thing you've done today. Hamstrings can be grumpy. Alright, so we're just being kind there.

Again maybe point, woo, zinger up the front side, flexing right on the back side. You allow the arms to be straight. And then if it's useful, you might straighten out that right leg. And breathe here. If all you're feeling it is in the back side of your knee, alright again, bend the leg a little bit.

We'll start to take it into our left hand, so wrap around, both sides of the strap, around the wrist, and then ahold of it, it just gives us nice strong hold. Your right hand comes to the hip, and we open on out towards the side. We allow the arms to be straight if possible, alright, so we're not having to hold this flexed bicep, so we let it go loose. Be a little bit more relaxed. And then the right hand might soften.

There's still some engagement through your right leg line, but nothing crazy. Just a little bit of encouragement for stability here. Another full breath. And we rise on up, and we switch, and we take it on over other side. So, palms down on the left hand, all the way on over, and I let this land, right, let the shoulder come up.

And you're still twisting even with the shoulder up, it's still a twist. This is the time the type of practice to really let go of any of those stories, any of the ego, any of the competition, just really let it be sweet and caring. Inhale, we come back up, release the strap here off to the side. Draw both knees in towards the chest, nice little squeeze. Rock side to side.

And then we'll start to rock ourselves up to a seat here. And we'll come back down onto the back. We're gonna grab our two blocks first. So, the blocks are gonna be more or less, alright so we have them right underneath where our shoulder blades are gonna be. For some of us, that's gonna mean here, and for some of us, that's gonna mean here.

Depending on how big of a back bend you want. I don't necessarily think it's necessary to do it here, unless you're being like uber spicy, but we'll be here for an extra moment. And lining these up is important, so it's like taking the time, making sure that one's not all crooked, like actually just being a little bit particular about it. It will make a difference once you get down there. So when you come down, what you're looking for, and again, it's just this setting it up is important.

Reach back so you can actually feel the blocks above your shoulder line, because when we come in it'll move back. So if it's too far down, it'll be in the wrong placement on your back. So we touch the blocks, they're all straight, they feel grounded underneath our shoulder blades, we bend our knees and plant the feet on the floor, and interlace the fingers behind our head. Take the elbows up towards the ceiling here. And imagine that the elbows are tracing a line across the ceiling and back, so as you start to move the elbows across and back, you push into the feet and lift the hips at the same time until you can see behind you, okay?

And then from there, with the graze staying behind you, then you lower the hips back down, and it's like, (imitating explosion) Alright, and then you can release the hands. If this is uncomfortable, I love this, but if this is uncomfortable on the neck you can always put a block or a blanket, anything underneath to lift the head up. You can extend the legs out long, you can also keep them bent. So if this feels like there's a block in the middle of your back or in the lower back, that means that the blocks were too low to begin with, right, so you have to start over. Put the blocks a little bit higher up on your back and then do the whole thing over again.

And the joke is like, does it feel like there's a block in the middle of your back, there is. So readjust, it should feel sweet and big, open for the heart. And take a few breaths here. Letting the chest open, letting the shoulders open. You want the hands to meet the floor, so they can start to creep out a little bit towards the side.

But they wanna meet the floor, you want them to be able to relax. You can let the toes turn out here, this can be soft. Coming out is always a little bit challenging, so if you need the support for your neck, I advise you take your hands back behind your head again, and then lift the head first and look towards your feet, and then take the hands underneath, I have to kind of prop them underneath my seat, and I get the elbows underneath myself and then I can sit myself up. And you might need a moment here. You're just like, woah.

(laughing) Feel free to take your time to adjust. We can move our props out of the way here for a few moments. We'll come on up, and take a seat. So nice cross-legged seat, called sukhasana. So it's ankle, heel, ankle, heel, all the way up, center line, rising on up.

And we'll have the right leg in front to start here. Inhale, both arms on up, and then exhale, we'll take the twist over towards the right, that left hand finds the knee, the right hand comes behind, we lift up nice and tall. And keep the left hand on the knee, that left shoulder dips over opposite, right? And the right hand rises on up, so there's this wrapping from the underbody going up. And we allow this left arm to be straight and it's pulling away.

And then the gaze comes down, cross over, can you find the opposite knee. Lift up round through the back, exhale, fold on in. And breath here. Keep the cross as it is, so right on top, and then eagle the arms on up. Let them move up, and then I like to move them away a little bit.

And then they can round, and we find neutral here in center. (taking deep breaths) Release this on out, take this right leg, keep the left one underneath tucked in, as it was, and take the right leg to just a half ankle to knee here, and then we'll twist to the other side, so your right hand comes to the foot. You kind of push the hand into the foot and the foot back into the hand, and then you twist other side. Nice and tall through the spine here. Release on out.

And then we switch the cross of our legs. So this will either be your favorite foot in front, or it won't, so now it's left in front, again ankle, heel, ankle, heel, all the way up, nice and tall. And we inhale, arms come on up overhead. And then we exhale and we twist towards the left. Right hand to the knee, left hand behind us for support.

Nice and tall through the spine. And keep ahold of the knee with your right hand, that shoulder dips over, and then left rises on up. So again, it's not rounding, we're really trying to open and spin the heart towards the ceiling, taking that underside up. My right hand's nice and relaxed. Right arm, another breath here, and then gaze comes down, cross the arms, so left comes to the other knee.

And then pull up and round through the upper back getting space in those shoulder blades. Pulling into the knees, and then exhale, fold here. Keep the cross of the arms, this time it's left on top. Eagling the arms on up as you rise. Lift up, right, fold in, and come through center, I like to do a little pull away.

Any place that feels juicy here you can feel free and stay, kind of check out. You release this. And this time it's the right leg that stays tucked in. The left foot comes to the ankle, and then we're twisting other side, so foot presses into hand, hand presses into foot, twisting over towards the right. Breath here.

(taking deep breaths) And we release through center. And then we'll cross the ankles and come up and over, and into broken toe pose. So you sit down onto the heels, lift up enough so that you can get the toes tucked under. And if you're like me, if you have the most tiniest of baby pinky toes, you have to like, it doesn't even touch the ground. But I like to encourage at least the second to last, that ring finger toe to maybe come and touch the ground and get involved in the toe-tucking.

The pinky one's, he's always a little left out. Alright, but that's okay. So if this is too intense, right here can be enough. We can work the whole thing, you can always stay just like this or you come in, and then it becomes too intense, and then you come out. So just remember it's about nourishment here.

So we're getting into the back feet line. I like to open my feet a lot, you can stay here for awhile. Hands come to the heart. And so otherwise we just stay here and we don't do anything it kinda gets like boring torture, right? So if we just move our arms, keep ourselves entertained.

Reach up, find a little veeram. And we'll cross the arms, interlace the fingers, nice and tall. And release the hands behind you, interlace here, pull them down and back. And then again we'll release up, and here the right goes in front. There's the side that feels a little more awkward, and we release back, interlace fingers.

Take the hands to the heart, one more full inhale. Long exhale. And then we take our hands to the floor here. You can kind of peek back at your toes, release them and you see them go back to their natural color. Like, oh finally.

Alright, and so, from here we'll take our hands back, the toes are released, take the hands back behind you and you start to lift the knees up, and it starts to stretch the front sides of the feet. So, this might be enough, otherwise you start to engage through the belly and lift the knees even more. And you can always be at any one of those point. You come down, lower the knees. And then we're gonna take a supported malasana here, it gets into our ankles.

And it's nice to have a block, you put it behind you for the support. You tuck the toes, lift the knees up off the ground. And so you're wanting the big toes and the heels to be together, right, as best as they can, and we're moving the heels towards the ground. Maybe it's, maybe, maybe, maybe, you might be on that low setting. And then, to somewhere between.

So it's like, you can sit on the block, oh it's so, hey, what's up, what's going on. Alright so there's support here, and it allows you to start to pay attention to the feet and the ankle, and get this nice rounded action here, we inch our hands forward, and we release through the neck. Because we don't have to worry about the balance here, we don't have to worry about falling backward. And we can really let hips open, ankles work, rounded spine, deep flexion here in the joints. Let's take a few more breaths just like this.

And we'll lift our head on up, and just because it's for, you know, for fun, we're here and we just opened up our feet so bravely, take this pose, right. And we start to work the toes, turning them out. And we try and get the feet together. It's like if we were, if we really could do this, the heels would pull all the way in front of the pelvis. The toes and the feet would be perfectly together in prayer.

And our knees would be on the ground. (laughs) we're just somewhere with that intention in mind. You might keep the fingertips on the ground, or you might start to lift the hands up. And you might rest on the knees. We might go up.

And we're like, woo. Again, we just watch our feet come back to their natural color here. And we lower our knees back down, release the toes here, take a breath, rock pose, big inhale. Long exhale. Bring the hands to the knees and we'll take a few cat cows from the seated position, so starting to work the spine here just from the seat, so rounding, releasing the head.

And then pulling the chest through and lifting. Back and forth here. And a few more times. You can feel free to let this be all sultry and yummy and kind of a little bit exaggerated and ridiculous, right? And a few more breaths.

Okay, from here we come to neutral, hands come to the ground. So you're gonna take your right knee to your right wrist, draw the shin in and step that left foot back here. And coming into our pigeon. And we can't, at least I can't do a honey flow without pigeon shape. And we take a few moments, we just say hello hips, how are you doing?

And it's gonna always be a place where you stay here on fingertips, lift it a little bit out, just props underneath the hips, find support here. Anyways for today we're gonna, we have to work towards little bit bigger twist from this shape, we'll come down onto our forearms. And breathe here. We might walk a little bit over towards the right, and that right hand's gonna wrap around here and find the back. So this might be, this is stopping point number one.

Moving further, reach around, and maybe find your big toe. Press down through the elbow and you spin. A breath or two here. And release the toe. Again, we'll press back up onto the hand, reach back, thumb up, pinky edge side, so this is a place to stay.

Or we take this a little bit further, and we start to come down onto forearm, and then in this all in one variation, we let the elbow bend so we can push down through the left, and spin. Release the foot, come on down just for a moment, be like, oh, resty pigeon. You're gonna lift yourself on up, shift the weight on over towards your right hip, and then swing the leg around. And here we'll take ankle to knee a little bit fuller variation. So there's lots of ways to do this.

I'm starting with my left side, for me and my body, my left side's a little bit tighter. And for some reason it's just like, oh, so wide up. So suthasana, what we did in the beginning, could be a place to work. Otherwise, stage one is with this bottom foot tucked in, and the support, right, and you're just here working. And this can be a lot of information.

Stage two we start to work that foot a little bit farther out. So we're sitting ankle to knee, this has this pose, funny pose, it has like 20 different names. Ankle to knee, step the logs, fire burner. I dunno, all kinds of shapes, right? But I like ankle to knee because it's like ankle, knee, ankle, knee, and it's, this is what we're doing, and we're working towards.

So if we let it slip in, it's not ankle to calf, right, it's ankle to knee here. And as we start to work towards that, it's like, oh, a little bit more information. Again, might be enough. Further would be starting to dip down, right? Some people like to place their elbows on your calfs, and you can get that encouragement to bring the knee a little bit closer.

This is a place to really be mindful of how your knees are feeling, how your hips are feeling. And then it's one of those shapes where you're like, looks like no big deal, lot of information going on. Lot of interesting things happening. A few more breaths here. We start to come on up, wherever you are.

Woo, and we'll just do neutral bada konasana. Take the hands around the toes, lift the heart. And then we switch, really easy, we'll start to take the left knee forward. Take the back leg, that right leg back. Can lift up and adjust, make sure that it's all situated for you.

And then here you are. And again, just settle on in, greet your pigeon, greet your hips. I like movement here, tuck the back toe, move around. And depending on which side this is for you, it's either your favorite side or not, just paying attention to those differences. Eventually we're gonna come down, forearms here, take a breath.

And we'll see, maybe reaching around, might be back. Or can you find the big toe. And creating this bound shape, and as we push down through the forearm and start to take the gaze up. And there's this relationship between the forearm and the back, that big toe is creating this big seal, and a lock. Another breath here.

And release that on out, come back up onto handprints, we start high. Right hand stays, left hand reaches back in the pinky edge. So this might be enough, right? We stay just like this working the shape, 'cause this is a lot here. Otherwise we're gonna come down onto the forearm.

The tendency is letting this go in, and we're gonna try and pull this back so we're getting the twist, and then maybe bending into the elbow, but maintaining this openness. Another breath. Release here, and then again, let this by loungy for a few breaths, to be like wow, working pigeon, working toe open. Big inhale, long exhale. Come on up to your hands, weight goes over to that left hip, we swing it all the way around.

So again, this is one of those places where it's maybe suthasana, ankle in front, ankle, heel, ankle, heel all the way up, alright that was option one. Option two we keep the left foot tucked in, right is on top, and that bottom heel props up the leg and gives it support. Otherwise we're starting to work it out more towards fuller ankle to knee. Lining the two up. You might stay just like this, nice strong flex, active feet, or you might start to come forward.

And again, resting on the forearms with the elbows on the body can be interesting. Give a little bit of encouragement to open. Some full inhales, long exhales here. And just notice, I notice what's happening, where is the tension. Can you send some of your energy, send some of your concentration, your prana, your life force energy there?

Ask it, hey, can you soften? We slowly start to release on out. And we're gonna swing the leg around, ground both hands and come all the way down onto the belly. Take the forearms underneath you, interlace the fingers. Now this is somewhere between, you know, sort of made up a little bit.

Kinda like sphynx pose but not. So 'cause we're interlacing our fingers, and you're gonna let it relax here, so we're allowing the bones to go totally extended. And you shake the head out. And then we engage, then we press through, press through the elbows, find the feet, lift, and then we, oh, we release. And then we press through, and we lift, and then we release.

And then last time press through, and we lift, and then we release. And so from here we're gonna come into infinity twist. So you're gonna roll on over to your side. And you're gonna take this top leg, so coming onto our right side. This top leg, left leg, and you're gonna step it in front here.

And then your right hand, so the right hand was underneath, so the right hand is gonna come and hold on to that top left foot. And then we'll start to bend the bottom leg, which is our right leg. It gets real confusing once you're down here. So the bottom leg starts to bend, and we take ahold of that with our left hand, and then we roll onto our back. And breathe here, and it's just like all kinds of goodness happens.

Alright, there's some twisting, and there's some hip opening. Front of the quad. I even get some opening in through my shoulder blades and my side body. Full inhale, long exhale here. And we start to release the bottom foot.

Gonna roll back over onto your side, and start to press yourself on up. You might take this top foot a little bit down, and you move your hands in and you'll come down onto your forearms. So this is a place where you might stay. Alright, or, you reach for that bottom foot, and so full, this is baby dragon prep, because we're not actually getting up, alright, we're just doing the prep of it. If we were getting up we'd lift our seat up off the ground.

Pull our hand back, but here we're just getting the stretch aspect of it. And breathe here. And we let the whole thing go, and we come all the way back down onto our belly, interlace the fingers here, soften, and release. Shake the head out. Yes and no, and then press down, lift up.

Engage the arms, engage the feet, and soften. Press down, lift up. Engage the feet, engage the arms, and soften. Last time press down, lift up. And then soften.

We'll do that on the other side, so we'll roll on over to our left side. And so coming into that infinity twist we take our top leg, which this time it's our right, and we step it over. And then our left hand reaches for that foot. We bend into our bottom leg, right hand reaches for that, so you get ahold of the feet first. And then you roll onto your back, and taking the twist.

Again this is just sweet in so many different places. And you can even play a little bit, these are like micro movements, can you draw the pelvis down through that right hip. Can the knee move just slightly away from you? Can you soften through the shoulders? And what happens when you draw the bottom knee down?

I'm starting to ask these questions, have the body respond, give you some answers. There's no right or wrong answers, just information. And we release out, start with the bottom foot. Roll yourself back over to your side, and then start to prop yourself up. And keep the leg extended, we can walk that top foot down just a little bit.

We walk in onto the forearm, our right hand extends out, and we stay here pressing though the foot. This is nice opening through the back, there's a twist, there's hips. Another few breaths. Okay, and we release, come all the way down onto the belly. Here I turn the gaze to one side, big slow inhale, long exhale.

And you turn the gaze other side, big full inhale, long exhale. And then you take the hands towards the shoulders, shrug them up down and back, engage the feet, engage the hands, lift the heart, last cobra, and then exhale, soften it down. And so we'll roll all the way over onto our back and eventually we'll need our blocks again, just one. You just might have that handy. And bend the knees, here planting the feet.

And we'll draw the right knee in towards our chest. So we worked a lot of different things to open up through our hips, right. And so hopefully you're a little bit more open. Option one, staying here, ankle onto the knee, might stay just like this. Two is starting to draw it in, so using the strength from your bottom leg, which is different than pulling in with your arms.

And the strength from the bottom leg, this is option two. Alright three is the shin sandwich. So the hands are the bread, the shin is the meat, right. And so we create the shin sandwich, and we put our left foot down. Nice strong flex in the ankle here.

Three, or four I think we're on, the shin baby. We might stay like this. You want to extend the bottom leg. And feel free. And then the last place, so you stay like this, you can totally stay this, and then it would be peace fingers around the big toe from here, I have the right hand.

Otherwise, left elbow around the ankle, right hand behind the head. And we breathe here. And then here is peace fingers, and it's like wa-bam, sandwich. (laughs) Come back up, through center, and then lower down. Preview, big inhale, long exhale.

And we can draw both knees in towards the chest, take a squeeze, and then both feet plant. Option one, staying here. Now the two sides are different, again, like I already said, this is like, my less open side, my less receptive to big hip openers. So we listen in, maybe it's a different stopping point. Use the strength of the bottom leg versus pulling, creates a different sensation.

Shin sandwich, pressing the bread in towards the shin. Staying here. We're gonna go for the baby, so I can't get the baby without lifting up my shoulders a little bit, and then that, I think that's fine. And you can breathe here. And breathe into this.

Might even stay here, and again, it would be peace fingers around the big toe from this space. Otherwise, this right hand comes underneath the ankle. Left comes around the head. There we go. And we press back, and then peace fingers, sha-bam.

Out to the side, and it's like this whole other entrance. Whole other entrance, whole other sensation that happens. And we come up, and we release down. Big inhale, long exhale. We'll take our block here, bend into the knees.

Take the block underneath the sacrum, so you can do low, it's a great place to work. You can do medium, also great place to work. You can also do high. And the idea here is you find a place that feels luxurious to you, right? And we allow the block to create a little bit of support.

Your glutes can turn off, 'cause there's supporting here, the belly's opening. If you're on the higher setting, if the block is narrower you might be able to interlace the fingers, if that feels useful to you. Otherwise the hands can just be at the sides. And we take a few breaths here, supported bridge pose. Big full inhale, long exhale.

And then we'll press down through the feet to lift the block out from underneath, you'll move it off to the side. Let the hands come out here. Take just a few moments, kind of wash that clean with a few side to side windshield wiper twists. And then the feet go out a little bit wide and the knees come together. Into constructive rest pose, we press down just for a moment into the feet, realign the sacrum a little bit flatter, a little bit more neutral to the ground.

And breathe here. And this can be a place to stay for longer, or even in place of shavasana, if this is really comfortable and nourishing to you. Otherwise, extending the legs on out, coming into your shavasana. Space between the feet. And space between the body and the hands.

Softness in the face. A good few moments here, breathing, resting. And some silence and stillness. Always feeling free to stay longer. The knees, we'll start to re-bend into the knees here.

Little squeeze, rock side to side, massage out the lower back. And you can either roll on over to the side, maybe you take a little rock on up. And come to a comfortable seat. And let the hands come to the heart. May you be receptive to grace.

Thank you for sharing your practice, Namaste.

Comments

2 people like this.
Jess~ This was just what I needed. So grateful to be able to connect with you from afar. xo
2 people like this.
Thank you Jessica, wonderful sweet practice. I loved the infinity twist!
Brills!
2 people like this.
Wonderful practice with some swell surprises - the crossed-arm-knee-hold forward bend stretch... and the malasana supported by the block! Wow! Thank you. :)
1 person likes this.
I love this practice. Thank you.
1 person likes this.
Still fabulous. :)
Sooooo good!! Thank you!!
Ali
1 person likes this.
This was the perfect easeful practice at the end of the day. Thank you Jess.

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