The Yoga Flow Show Artwork
Season 2 - Episode 4

Hard Core Awakening

25 min - Practice


Ignite the fire within. With great humor, Jessica leads us in a fiery practice to awaken and engage our power center.
What You'll Need: Mat, Blanket, Block (2)

About This Video

Aug 17, 2016
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Hi, welcome to your practice. In this video we are going to ignite the core. Get it nice and fiery, it's the basis and the center for all of our practices and all of our asanas. We'll start on the back. And come on down.

With the knees bent and the feet on the floor here. We'll just start, hands can be at the sides and you'll start with just a few sweet little. And we always wanna start off sweet. Side to side with the knees. Just kind of it saying hello to the middle section of your body.

And a few more at times. Like this. Back and forth. And then after you feel like you're about even, you can always continue this longer if you need to. After you feel you're about even, come back through center and draw the knees in towards the chest, give a nice little squeeze.

Here I might rock side to side. And then we'll take 90 degrees at the hips, 90 degrees at the knees here so nice squared shape at both joints. And then hands come to the bottoms of the thighs, top of the knees. Right so we're pushing in with the knees and we're also pushing with the arms and they're in an arm wrestling contest and both are winning. Right so both, they're like equally as strong.

Right so you're not giving in, and you're not pushing away. They're both pressing towards each other. So beginning here, a few moments and then what happens is the tendency to kind of arch the lower back. And so drawing the belly in, pressing the back towards the ground, breathing here. Right, it should be, it looks like we're not doing anything but we are.

Right, so it should be somewhat challenging and then you relax. And you know, this is what feels good to me. Right if there's something else it's just like your body does feel free take that. Right just to release and relax and we'll do that two more times. So again, push, pull, draw belly in to about three to five breaths here.

And again, really working to keep the naval in. And shaking is a sign that it's working and then we soften. And we release and you let that tension go. And then last visit. So push push.

Right, again, remember the naval, drawing it back. Few breaths here. And again you can always continue this, you can hold it longer. You can hold it less. Right and then we release.

Little rock and roll out. Okay. So from here we'll work on some belly churning. We'll practice this with the same formation of our legs so 90 degrees, 90 degrees and then the hands can come out to the sides with the palms pressing down. Still remembering to draw the naval in and you take the knees on over towards your right side.

All the way, all the way, all the way, all the way till' just above the ground. And then you start to lift up. And then all the way, all the way, all the way, all the way, all the way, all the way just before the ground. And then lift up. And we'll visit a few more times on each side.

Some options here are to straighten the legs if that's something you'd like to do, that creates a little bit more difficulty. Okay it's gonna probably gonna exhale to lower and an inhale to lift. Seeing if you can keep the belly drawn in. And again with those extended legs it would be a little bit more challenging. I do this with my knees bent.

And it keeps my lower back a little bit happier. So feel free to experiment for yourself. Alright, slow movements here not rushing through it. Let's say one more time on each side. Your right.

And then ending on the left. Draw the knees in towards the chest, give a nice little squeeze here. Rock side to side. And then we'll plant the feet back on to the ground. Robot the arms, open through the chest here.

And then moving the knees forward, lift the hips, the hands can press down. Exhale, lower the hips just releasing some of the ab work, same thing, robot the arms, open the chest, knees move forward, hands can move down. Exhale lowering. Alright, pressing into the ground, opening the chest, knees are forward, hands move down. And we'll lowering here.

Okay. So we'll come on over, another little release. Roll on to our side body. Take anantasana AKA, right, little, ode to 1980's workout videos. Right take the knees here.

So that was like ding ding. Right here we'll take our peace fingers around the big toe and it may not seem like this requires a lot of core work but really when we start to press the pelvis forward. Right? Really has to work the leg line and the belly to hold you here, another breath. Release.

And we'll roll back on to our back. And we'll do the other side. So hand underneath the head. Line up the legs, peace fingers around the toes. Right, booty not going out but drawing in.

Can always keep the top knee bent. Alright really working. The tendency here is like, fall back and see if you can really root and ground. And drawing the belly in. And we release this here.

I'm gonna roll on to the belly. We'll start to press ourselves up here to all fours. And then sitting back on to the heels. So from here were gonna grab a block. And you're gonna come back onto your seat.

And you'll place the block between the ankles. Right and you can walk the feet out. And we'll lower down on to our elbows. And then extend the legs on out. The heavier your block the harder this is.

And you can also do this without a block. Again trying to keep that belly in so not letting the belly puff up but drawing it in when you're ready, inhale, lift. Exhale, lower. Draw the knees in. Out.

Lift. Lower. In. Out. Lift.

Lower. In. Out. Lift. Lower.

Two more. And out. And lift. And lower and last one. In and out.

And lift. And lower and pause here just above. Little pulses. Little pulses. My neck likes to get involved, it's like I can help.

If that happens you just really ease the head back. I remind it to relax. And then lift all the way up. Draw the knees in. Place the block down.

We're done with that. Well lift ourselves back up bend into the knees, you can move your block out of the way. Plant your hands behind you, finger tips towards the seat. Lift your hips here. And send the head back.

Big inhale, long exhale. These can also stay towards the knees and exhale, lower the whole thing down. So we'll take navasana from here. And I like to start it with the hands inner laced underneath the knees. And then lifting up to a seat.

So the tendency here maybe some rounding in the lower back. I want you pretend like there's this string between the chest and the knees and it's really tight. Right and using the arms kind of pull yourself in. And this can be a place that you stay. Right, just like this with all of this support.

And otherwise we try and keep this nice, long spine. Take the hands to the back's of knees just separate. Right, another place to stay. Or release the hands. You breathe here.

Another few breaths. And then this is like, this is life right? Slowly lower, lower, lower almost down to the ground, almost all the way, all the way down, all the way down. And then get back up. And then almost down to the ground, almost down to the ground.

It's gonna knock you down but like you gotta get to the point where you're like, seriously, I'm not gonna back up, I can't get, get back up. Right? Almost down, almost down, almost down. I can't get back up from this. I can get back up.

And then last one. It's like all your body has to work to get you back up to navasana and you're like, oh sweet love can we take an alter pose, yes we can, you lift your hips. Right, you release out, maybe a big exhale through the mouth, stick the tongue out, no ones looking. It's firing, good. Lowering the hips down.

We'll cross the ankles, come on over. Take a few cat cows to release the belly and the spine here. You're rounding. And then arching. Rounding.

And then arching. Pause here in neutral spine. And tucking the toes downward facing dog. We'll inhale shift forward, plank pose. So plank pose in and of itself is core work.

Right, it's like already horrible just being here. So you could always like lower your knees down, be like, oh it's a lot of work but a little bit easier. Right, more challenging these knees left dead. Again we'll start to take those pelvis tilts that we've done in some of the other videos. Right so these very tiny little tucks and tilts of the belly.

Back and forth, right. And I'm like for sure shaking here, it's like, way more work then it appears. They don't have to be these big dramatic movements to let anything happen. One more and we'll lower all the way down to the belly. Here and take a little cobra, release that out.

Inhale. And then exhale, come back down. Okay this next one. Similar, same idea except instead of, instead of tilts, they're side to side, I like to think of like the belly as like a, a secret eye and it's trying to spy on your neighbor but you don't want them to see you spying on them. Or like a really good belly dancer that can like move just their belly button from side to side.

So it's like isolating that center space in your abs. Come back into plank pose and again you can always put your knees down. Draw the naval in and then can you just take your belly button over and look at the neighbor who may or may not be there. You have to like look over to the right side of your mat. Alright, don't let them see.

And to look a little bit to the left. Right and it's imagining that you really are just moving the belly button, again it's that visually, really big, internally strong. And we lower on down. Release to the belly. Inhale to lift into the core and release that and then exhale all the way back.

Child's pose for a moment. Big inhale, long exhale. We'll shift back forward, come all the way down onto the belly. We'll take a little salabhasana here. Reaching the hands back towards your legs, imagine that you have cargo pants on.

Right and your head's already lifted off the ground so you're already engaging through the body through the back. But here you're gonna start to reach down into those cargo pockets. And find the thing you most desire, I'm like, I always like, it's like Snickers bars. I don't know, whatever it is that you most desire, my three year it would be like, my little pony's are in there. So you're reaching down for them.

Right and then here you lift the legs up. Right and then you rip the cargo pockets. Salabhasana. Another breath here. Really using shoulder blades, drawing them together.

And then exhaling, hands come underneath, that how you can turn the gaze to one side here, pause, full inhale, long exhale. And then the next back bends gonna bow pose. So you bend into our knees. Take ahold of the ankles. And I like to think like you can take your knees a little bit wide to get your feet.

It's okay and then we refind the container, they don't have to touch because not all of us have that narrow of hips but they're just drawing together. So we've got the ankles, flex the feet. And then let the legs be the driver. So we'll push back with the feet. We push back and then they go up.

And then once you're there, activate the upper back and again go back and up. Activate upper back, back and up. Last few breaths. And then exhale, release. Gaze turns towards the other side.

A few breaths here. From here we'll press up. Shift back child's pose. Breathing here. Finding a few inhales here, exhales here.

Then we'll slowly start to walk our hands up towards our knees. And then here we're gonna grab a few props. You're gonna wanna use a floor that's hard. On carpet it's gonna be, not work as well although it could work maybe with socks on carpet. You'll just have to work extra hard there.

But a hardwood floor will work a little bit better. So we'll grab some blocks. And you'll put them in the front area of your space. And then we'll grab a blanket. Right, this can also be you know, anything slippery would work, the towel.

Right and again even like a good pair of socks might work. So our yoga burpees and the idea of this is to really start to work that deep internal core, drawing up from the pelvic floor and so the key action here is a lifting upward from the hips, from the belly. Right, so it's different and I'll demo that, it's different when we go back and we don't do that action. I'm using the blocks to kind of help in my hamstrings with flexibility, otherwise if you're pretty open there you might even use your hands on the floor and you can kind of gauge that for yourself. We'll come into plank pose with our toes on the blanket here.

And then when we're ready, we'll start to move the hips up and let that start to drag the feet in towards uttanasana. Right and then when we come back, lifting hips up. High on the tippy toes and then moving back. So we'll do that a few more times. I'm just gonna show you what we're not doing which is hips low and in.

Right, it still works your abs but it's a different ab workout. Right so, you wanna go up with the hips, high, high, high on the tippy toes as long as you can. When you pull back in you take a breath right and then up on the toes as high as you can go. And then back. So let's say that's two.

Up. Three. And let's do four. Good measure. Up, up, up, up, up, up, up, up.

And then up, up, up, up, up, up. And back and take a few more minutes here releasing, so this is always a place that you can pause and you can keep doing this if you're like, I can't get enough. Right and continue. Right, otherwise when you can always do lass. Right so we're just sort of activating that part of our body.

And then we'll come back over to our mat so I'll move the props back out of the way so we can see what we're doing here. And we'll come back onto our mat into downward facing dog. And take your right leg nice and high and you'll step through here. Low lounge. So we're gonna work some of that, same thing, putting that into action.

So just drawing the pelvis up and we're trying to switch the feet and make as light of a sound as absolutely possible. So lifting pelvis, hip up. Switch the legs. Lifting pelvis, hips up. Switch the legs.

That's one. That's two. And then we'll do quick switches. Switch, switch. Switch, switch.

Last one. Switch, switch. Ground the hands. Step on back downward facing dog. Shift forward, plank pose.

Exhale, lower all the way to the belly. Inhale, lift our cobra. Exhale, child's pose. We gotta do that on the other side so, tucking the toes, lifting the hips. Left leg comes high.

Step through, low lounge. Start to get lightness here, lifting the pelvis. Press down through the fingertips, this is also a place where blocks can be helpful too. Right. Switch.

Switch. That's one. Alright. Switch. Switch.

That's two and then we do our quick switches. So switch, switch. One. Switch, switch, two. Switch, switch, three.

Hands, ground, step on back. Downward facing dog. Inhale to shift forward, plank pose. Exhale to lower to the belly. Inhale for your cobra.

And exhale. Child's pose, releasing here. And we'll start to pull on up towards our all fours just to come all the way down on to the belly. And we'll take our salabhasana one more time. So hands along the sides of the body.

Reaching down that leg line, lifting the heart. Lift the legs. Rip the pockets. Alright, find those shoulder blades. Lift the gaze even.

A breath or two here. Exhale, gaze turns to the side. Full breath in. Long exhale out. Come through center.

Bow pose. Take ahold of the feet. Flex the ankles if you've got em'. If you've got the toes, right, barbie flex, right. Otherwise, find the container through center, chest is already lifting.

Press back and up. Back and up, use shoulder blades. Back and up. Shoulder blades back and up. Shoulder blades.

Gaze lifts. Last breath. Exhale, release, gaze turns other side. Full inhale, long exhale. Press on up.

Child's pose. Walk the fingertips towards the knees. Here. Tuck the toes under. I like to take a little space here.

Press down, lift the hips, open on out. Ustrasana. Camel pose. Use the belly. I'll sit up.

That's the last thing. Sitting on the knees, hands come to the heart. Full breath in. Long exhale out. We'll stay here on the knees and just move through center.

See me a little bit better. Right, I'm gonna take some simple twists here, twisting over towards the right. Left hand can rest on the knee. And then over other side. And come back through center.

Inhale, take the arms on up over head. Exhale, hands come to the heart. And plug the thumbs in, in the sternum. Full inhale, long exhale, bowing the head on in. Finding our power.

Finding our center. Igniting our fire. Thank you for sharing your practice with me today. Namaste.


Frederic M
1 person likes this.
Thank you Jessica! I loved the sliding up and down and its subtle core work.

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