The Yoga Flow Show Artwork
Season 2 - Episode 6

Fallen Angel and Grasshopper

45 min - Practice


Jessica guides us in a dynamic practice, playing with a creative and challenging sequence that builds towards the arm balances, Fallen Angel and Grasshopper. We start with an easy warm-up before moving into a spicy flow. The practice results in feeling more energized and alive.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video


Read Full Transcript

(ocean waves crashing) Hi, welcome to your practice. Today we're gonna work on two really big shapes. They're Instagram worthy, right, but, when done, and actually held and actually practiced, they're much simpler than they appear. So, Fallen Angel and Grasshopper. We'll start in Child's Pose.

Leaning over, letting the hip shift back towards the heels, arms move forward, the head softens down, find a few breaths here, this kind of moment is to just connect to yourself, connect to your body, welcome yourself to your space and to your practice and just find a few moments of grounding before we begin. No big full inhales, long exhales. Then, eventually we lift our head up and we'll start to walk our fingertips on over towards the left here and then we'll re-soften the belly and come to a nice little side stretch here in Child's Pose. The left hand can pull back by the shoulder, tent up the fingertips, press down, reaching here with the right, and come back through center, we move on over towards the right side, doing the same thing. The left hand reaches nice and strong, right hand draws back by the shoulder line, elbow up, press with the right, reach with the left, gaze goes towards the right, full breath here and you move back through center and then here we lift up a little bit further and we walk ourselves over towards the left again and then actually like lift up from the belly and move yourself over so that maybe your hands are directly to the side of your legs.

So this may be enough and it can be where you stay and you work. Alright, cause this is still, in and of itself, a pretty big twist. Others wanna start to use our arm and press it into the leg line and so, the two engage, again, staying here, working space and maybe that right hand reaches back and finds the heel, that's useful. Right, not so useful for me, but for some people it is. Otherwise, the hand can come down and the left hand draws back and what happens is that opposite shoulder starts to pop up and so, can you swear it down, just bring it down a little bit closer to the ground and immediately you'll feel this like, long stretch through your right side, everything's all tight and pressed together here, a few breaths, every time you inhale, you're nice and big, on that side body, and move away, we come back through center and you just take a second and go wag the hips, and release that out and then we do the same thing, other side.

So, walking fingertips over towards the right, all the way until you're almost framed directly over to your right side, left elbow connects, press down, hand can come to the ground, it can also reach back for the heel. Right hand can stay just as it is, but and you drop that right shoulder and breathing here, ooh, in every inhale, just feeling the side body expand and we move back through center and again, just like a little bit of wiggling here to loosen that up. We'll move into our all fours position, hands underneath the shoulders, knees underneath the hips, just take a few seconds to wag the tail, release the head, roll that around a little bit. I like to tuck the toes and get into the feet, press into the hands, we'll find a few Cat-Cows, right, and again, this is freedom Cat-Cows, so it doesn't have to stay in that, just up and down motion, you can do side to side and get into the whole spine. Anything goes here.

Exploring side body, hips and shoulders, all the different ways it moves and then from these knees, we'll take our right hand out towards the side, lift up, nice and big and then thread underneath the left, lowering the head down, your left hand walks overhead, press down and reach. Now thread the needle, we come back out, lift up, big inhale, exhale, hands come down. Left hand rises, lift up and threading underneath the right, lowering the head on down, right hand walks over, press with the right, reach with the left, and breath here and grounding through your right hand, on thread lift up, find the inhale, exhale, hands come back down towards the ground. So from here we'll move into Puppy Pose, you can let the big toes come together and you can even take the knees a little bit wide, you'll start to walk the hands forward here and let the heart sink down. So your booty's up in the air, right, belly softens in the third eye, your forehead can come to the ground.

This might be enough and breathe here. Allow the heart to sink, sweet little puppy. If you like to, you might take the gaze forward. You can lift the whole thing up, move the gaze forward and the chin might set down on the ground. An option here from either place is with the forehead down or the chin down is to grab the edges of your mat and pull them away from you and then apart.

You can get the heart just a little bit closer to the ground. Ooh, it's nice. Right, and then we release, forehead comes to the ground if it's not already released, the hands, start to walk the hands back underneath the shoulders and again, we just do a little bit of freedom of movement here, Cat-Cow style. Alright, rolling the head and the neck around, letting that release out. Tucking the toes from this position, going into Monkey Dog.

So you lift your knees up off the ground and then we let are, it's very similar to Puppy, so you let your knees, knees bend a lot and the belly moves towards the thighs and the booty stays up in the air and then the hands might go a little bit wide and here the idea is that we let the heart sink down. For some of us, our head will start to even move towards the ground, and again, this is a place where maybe grabbing the edges of your mat might feel nice, it goes forward and apart and get even more into that heart space. You can even take the gaze forward and get a little bit more and release this out if you have the mat and we'll shift on forward, plank pose and lower the knees and come on down all the way to the belly, the hands come underneath the forehead here, wag the tail side to side, take a few breaths, hands come back towards the shoulders and a little bit lower maybe, chest line maybe slightly slower, shrug the shoulders up towards the ears, roll them down and back, head is already lifted, so you're like already in a Baby Cobra, feet go a little bit wide, kneecaps come up off the ground, pressing the hands, inhale, lift the heart, exhale, soften the heart. So there's three of these, with your own pace, your own breath, shoulders move down and back, feet engage, hands engage, lift the heart, exhale, soften the heart. Last time, shoulders roll down and back, elbows draw in, feet and hands, lift, maybe a little bit higher, exhale, soften.

Lift yourself up back into Downward Facing Dog. I want to take that twisted dog. So your left hand will press down and away onto the mat, the right hand comes here towards your leg line, you might move it in just a little bit, 'cause a shorter dog can sometimes be helpful, especially if your arms are not as long as your legs, right, as other parts of the body. So, reaching towards the outside, hand into the elbow, press down and away through the left hand, take the gaze underneath, again, knees can bend, even like a lot here. Get into the backside of the heart and we take the other side, so left hand reaches and again, pressing down and away with the right, and gaze goes underneath again, knees can bend.

Doesn't have to look pretty, just to feel good From here we'll start to take the feet forward towards our Uttanasana and the front of our space. Nice big bend into knees, space between the feet, shake the head, no, yes, few breaths here, next few breaths, when you're ready, you start to round roll it all the way on up and take your time. Eventually arms will come on up overhead, there's a big inhale, and the exhale brings the hands to the heart. So you take the feet a little bit closer to together so they feel nice and grounded underneath you, inhale, take both arm on up overhead, interlace the fingers, finding Viramudra here and then side bend on over towards the right side. Give a little of engagement here through the right arm, opening up that side body, inhale through center, exhale other side, again, engaging through that bottom arm, inhale through center, okay here, we'll let the left hand come down and imagine that you've got cargo pants on and you want something really awesome in that pocket, so you're gonna reach down and let the reaching down is what starts to bring you over as you inch your fingertips down and then you engage the top arm and from here, now that you've got yourself in the position, take bottom arm around the wrist, give a little bit of encouragement, let that left elbow, the bottom elbow bend on out, come on up, and other side, so right hand reaches on down, cargo pocket, let that be the leader, then top arm reaches over, your right hand takes your left wrist, giving the encouragement and then dip the elbow down, maybe gaze goes up.

Release through center, inhale, interlace the fingers back into your Mudra, take the gaze up, let the hips start to shift forward, gaze goes back, collect the energy in your belly, slow fold all the way on down, back into Uttanasana, inhale, extension through the spine, exhale, hands ground again, it can be plank or Chaturanga, lifting up, Upper Facing Dog or Cobra and then moving on back to your Downward Facing Dog, breathing here, taking a few moments, wagging the tail, saying hello, inhale, right leg's gonna come nice and high, exhale, draw the knee towards the nose, inhale, take the leg high, exhale, knee towards the nose, inhale, leg comes high, exhale, knee towards the nose and then step through, come on up, high lunge, reaching the arms up overhead, press back through that back heel, reach up through the hands, friend on the thigh, bring the heart open, bring the hands to the heart here, collect energy in towards your front foot, lean forward, so that the belly come on to the thigh, so it's just straightening then lifting, right? So collect some gaze forward and then take off, Warrior III, lift up, re-bend into that standing leg, lower the foot down, high lunge, right hand to the hip, reach up, inhale, exhale, take the left hand outside the leg line, inhale, reach back up, exhale, leg outside, or hand outside the leg line, last time, inhale, reach up, exhale, outside that leg line and then here we pause, bend into the elbows, take the palms together, press and twist. This whole thing releases into our Peaceful Warrior, so ground through the back heel, inhale, take it back, Peaceful Warrior, exhale, Triangle Pose, oh sweetness, left arm comes on up, breathing here, take the gaze down towards that front foot, start to walk yourself around towards Prasarita, so towards the left, paralleling the toes, straightening the legs, inhale here, extend through the spine, exhale, fold and soften and shake the head out, okay, opposite elbows, reach the hands through, take hands out underneath the shoulders, so think like, Michael Jackson style, right, like a big cross of the legs, so we hop them into a cross and you're going to take the right in front of the left, big hop, cross and then bend into both knees here, coming into Vanisthasana the back heel's lifted, right leg's on top, draw in the thighs, same arm is like, eagle the arms line up, press and lift, and release the arms and we take a twist here, your right thumb comes into the hip crease, your left arm rises, length through the side body, inhale and with the exhale, twisting towards the right, palms come together, press knee into arm, arm into knee, palms into each other and revolve. Release the twist here, bring the hands down, hop, uncross, a breath or two here and your Prasarita, shake the head out, and then extending through the spine to walk back around towards the right, find your low lunge, fingertips start to walk forward, lift up that back leg, so you're in a supported Warrior III here, hands are on the ground and turning this into the Standing Split, start to walk the hands in and then use your glut to lift the leg high, allow the hip to open, maybe one, maybe both hands take ahold of the ankle, descend the leg long, back into our low lunge, lower the back knee down, releasing the back toe, inhale, rise on up, Anjaneyasana, and a few breaths here, and then interlace the fingers behind you, draw them down, open through the chest, another breath, take our hands down to the ground, tuck the back toe, lift the back knee, step back, Downward Facing Dog, and breath here, then shift down onto the knees, so this is the point where we're moving into Grasshopper. One of the things that you need to do is to try and connect your elbows with your ribs.

So you're trying to connect bone to bone. It's harder and a different shape, if you go on the outside, so we'll move the hands out to the fingers and we're trying to connect this bone on bone. The gaze is gonna go forward and then the legs will lift up. So, from here, we'll move back into Downward Facing Dog, tucking the toes, lifting the knees, and move your hands slightly in towards your feet, and then turn the fingertips out towards the side. You'll take your gaze forward, remember, chin's gonna come to the ground, elbows connecting to the ribs, lifting the legs up, bringing it back down, and pressing back, Downward Facing Dog.

Shifting forward, lowering the knees down, taking Child's Pose, and then rounding, rolling on forward, coming to the belly, inhale, lift the heart, Cobra, exhale, shift back, Child's Pose, roll on up, back to Downward Facing Dog and we'll take that whole thing on the other side. So left leg comes high, inhale, exhale, knee towards the nose, inhale, take the leg high, exhale, knee towards the nose, inhale, leg comes high, exhale, knee towards the nose, step through between the hands, and then rise on up, high lunge, inhale, reach the hands up, exhale, hands come to the heart, lean forward, press the belly to the thigh, collect your energy into that front foot, press down, lift up, Virabhadrasana III, Warrior III, bending into the standing leg, lower back down, high lunge, reaching the arms on up, right one stays up, left one comes down, thumb to the hip, reach up, inhale, exhale, revolving outside, reaching outside that hand, inhale, lift up, exhale, reach outside the leg line, inhale, reach up, exhale, reach outside the leg line, and then here, elbow bends, leg presses into arm, arm presses into leg, palms pressed together and we revolve. The release out is all the way into Peaceful Warrior, so ground your back heel, rise on up, left arm reaches back, and then, ooh, sweetness, Triangle Pose as we come on over, straightening the left leg, breathing here. Gaze comes down, hands come down, walk around towards the right, find Prasarita, inhale, extend through the spine, exhale, fold, a few breaths here, take the hands out underneath the shoulder, big hop cross this time, it's a left in front of right, and coming into Vanisthasana other side. That front foot is flat, back heel is lifted, same arm as leg, so left on top of right, draw in to lift up, there's a slight lift above that back heel, and then the twist, thumb in the hip, right arm high, find your side body, and then exhale, elbow outside the leg, palm comes together, take the twist.

Release, hands are down, hop the feet out, pause here, recollect, shake your head, (sighs) sighs are great, just like, the pranayama of the years. Taking the hands out underneath the shoulders, walk around towards your left, find your low lunge here, walk the fingertips forward, start to lift up the back legs, you're in the supported Warrior III, and then lift, lift, lift, lift, maybe one, maybe two hands come to the ankle for Standing Splits, by using that lifted glut and send it back long, Anjaneyasana, lower the back knee down, release the back toe, arms come on up, it's an inhale, and exhale, interlace the finger behind you, draw them down to open breath here, hand come down to the ground, step on back, Downward Facing Dog, second opportunity for your Grasshopper, to walk your hands in slightly, turn the fingertips out, take the gaze forward, remember, connecting elbows to ribs, chin's on the floor, shift forward, lift the legs, and back, press up, find your Down Dog and then shift forward, Child's Pose, take a rest, full inhale, long exhale, tuck the chin in, start to round roll it forward, then exhale, lower all the way down towards the ground, find your Cobra, lift your heart, exhale back, Child's Pose, a few breaths here and from here, lift the hips, tuck the toes, come into Downward Facing Dog, and take our right leg nice and high, inhale, exhale, step through, high lunge, reach the arms on up over head, again, hands to the heart, collect the energy in towards that front foot, Virabhadrasana III, Warrior III. Send it back, high lunge, reach up with the arms, right hand to the right hip, left arm nice and long, inhale, exhale, twisting outside the leg line, and pressing the arms together, collect the energy in towards that front foot, take the back foot to meet the front, Purvottanasana, turn into a little revolved squat, and then here, revolve Side Crow, so instead of framing your body, now take the hands out, frame the front of your mat, bend into both elbows, and maybe lift the feet, put it back down, find your revolved squat, move backwards, it's like rewind the tape, revolved Uttansana, collect the energy into that right foot, revolve side angle, all the way to the release Peaceful Warrior, inhale, exhale, side angle, gaze comes down, hands come down, parallel the toes, straighten the legs, Prasarita, and fold on in, shake the head, inhale, take the hands out, so again, right in front of left, big hop cross, come on down into Urdhva Hastasana, bring the hands to the heart, so, here's our Fallen Angel, stopping points along the way, right here, maybe hands on the ground, feet on the floor, maybe the feet come up off the ground, if you're gonna go further, there's an action of lifting upward in order to bring the head down, again, stopping where you need to. We'll come first into the twist, left hand comes nice and high, the elbow outside the leg line, pressing the palms together, breathe here, stopping point one, right, continuing onward, we'll start to take the arm balance, this one you are connecting elbow to bone, right, elbow to bone, hands come down, start to bring some weight in towards the hands, lifting up maybe one, maybe both feet, pausing here, or turning the gaze to the left, starting to put the ear like you're listening on the ground and the whole thing goes up, up, up, up, to go back, and then, ooh, Child's Pose (laughs). Take a few breaths here, adjust yourself if you came off your mat and come into Downward Facing Dog.

Now we get to do it all on the left side, so your left leg comes high, step through, high lunge, reach the arms then up overhead, and breath here, exhale, hands come to the heart, collect the energy in that front foot, Virabhadrasana III, Warrior III, send it back, high lunge, inhale, both arms come on up, left hand to the hip, reach up right hand, nice big side twist, your elbow comes outside the leg line, palms come together, take your gaze down towards that front foot, collect the energy there, step the back to meet the front, revolve to Uttanasana, do a revolve squat and stay at any of these, right, and then again, instead of framing the side of your body, your framing the front of your mat, so that it's one armed and lifting the legs on up, come back, find your squat, and bring the hands to the heart, reengage with a twist, land your heels, Utkatasana, stepping your right foot back nice and long, revolve side angle, and then the release out, Peaceful Warrior, big inhale, exhale, side angle, gaze comes down, hands come down, find Prasarita, adjust your feet, and fold on in, taking a few breaths here, remembering what's coming, right, so prepare, leg go, relax and reconnect with your breath, hands come out underneath the shoulders, so it's left in front of right, crossing the feet, bending deep into the knees, here finding your Vanisthasana. So, left thumb into the hip, right hand nice and high, take the twist, press the palms together, so the arm balance is this leg right, starts to go up and this back leg acts like the standing foot up, everything dips low, but all the energy is going up. Hands really draw in and together, pressing into the body, and pause here in the twist. We're connecting body to arms, starting arm balance, gaze goes towards the right this time, lift up, and then back, take Child's Pose, find a few breaths and come into Downward Facing Dog, right leg comes high, step through, low lunge, lower the back knee down, release the back toe, shift the hips all the way back till you're sitting on your heel. If this is uncomfortable, you can also lift the hips and do it here, otherwise we're sitting on our heel and then folding forward as much as you do and release the head, To bring here, start to walk the hands back again towards the hips, you can lean over towards the left a little bit, and take your right foot back so it's grounded.

Okay, now reach your right hand up, nice and tall, and then you're gonna reach forward in front of the leg and trying to move the shoulder passed, like you're reaching for someone really far away, hello, and then turn the palm away and around so it's up on the back of the hip, the other hand meets it, potentially, if not, it's just palm up on your back, then release the head. I feel like this is the pose of like, metaphor of life. We're going somewhere and there's a big femur bone in the way, oh, this darn leg, it's causing trouble. Release this out, bring that foot back forward again, so come into Downward Dog, we'll do that on the other side, leg leg comes high, step through, low lunge, lowering the back knee down, releasing the back toe, shifting the hips all the way back to sit on the heel and then again, folding forward. It doesn't have to be all the way, right, just reaching, you get a lot out of it, even by just trying to reach belly towards thigh, shaking the head out, taking a few breaths here, and that knee can stay bent too, especially if all your feeling is at the back of your knee, bend the knee so that you can start to get it more into the hamstring, this left hip back, we'll lift ourselves up, again, wade a little bit over towards that right side so you can bring the foot back, left hand comes nice and high, reach up so we get the length on the side body and then we reach forward, shaking the hand, hello, nice to meet you, you're so far away, and we reach around, palm up, free agent hand comes around by me and again, you're like, hi, and you fold, surrender over to it, a few breaths here, Ardha Uttanasana variation, and release this, hands come forward, and lifting up in Downward Facing Dog, we'll lower the knees down and cross the ankles come back and over yourself, we'll come into Paschimottanasana.

So, I like to take Paschimo with my knees bent because my hamstrings cause some limitation, right. They like to argue with me a little bit, so if you take this with the knees bent, we start here, even if the knees are bent, you're like, oh, right, it takes out this. Like, what happens sometimes we have that limitation and starts to teach us something like, oh, maybe I will go somewhere one day and you can really start to draw the belly towards the thighs, right, and engage with my arm line and then when you're on a sticky mat it doesn't slide as well, so you can just start to walk the feet out and as soon as you're in the place where this starts to happen, you might stop and then reengage belly towards thigh and little bit farther and a little bit farther and again it's okay to have this bend in the knee, lengthening through the spine, space between the feet also awesome and then releasing the head down and so maybe it doesn't look like any magazine covers, but you're feeling it potentially in the right places, versus just behind the knees or just in the lower back. A few breaths here, we start to lift ourselves on up and we'll come all the way down onto our backs. Okay, once you're down on your back, you're bending your knees, planting your feet on the floor, we're going to robot our arms and so before you're even doing anything, you're already pressing elbows into the ground and opening out through the chest, so there's already this back bend happening, and it's opening, and from here you continue to press down through the elbows, knees move forward and that pressing down and forward action is what lifts the hips and from here you might release the hands down.

For me, I like to take my feet a little bit wider, it's a little more friendly on my pelvis and if it's useful, you might shimmy a little bit further, interlace the fingers underneath you here and coming into Bridge Pose, another breath, moving those shoulder blades out of the way, lowering the hips on down, keep the knees bend but move your feet a little bit wider than your hip distance and then like, slow Oregon rain, right, slowly drop the knees on over towards, and the hands can be on the belly, they can be out to the side, it's just this like, delayed delay setting and then the windshield wipers go over other side and you do this a few times, that top knee helps to pull up the bottom one, back and forth, and this next time you're over towards the right, you might stay just like this for a few breaths, when it feels useful to you, that bottom leg we'll cross and put on top of the ankle, you got this opening through the side body. So, for some people when they do this, it totally just like ruins it, so when it ruins it, don't worry about it, put the foot back down, but if it's like, ooh, this creates some sweetness for you, you can keep it there and a few breaths and if you have the hook you release it, bring the knees back through center and this time over towards the left and it's the same thing and the two sides might not be exactly identical, so checking out, is it useful for me to have that ankle on top on this side? If you're like, oh yeah, it feels great, keep it, if not, release it and take a few breaths, in the trust, holding a little bit longer. If you have the cross, release that, come back through center, feet wide, knees goes together, it doesn't have to be anything crazy wide, just like, nice rounded feet wide, knees together and then just lift the hips ever so slightly so you can draw the tailbone towards your heels, so you're not tucking the tailbone, you're not like Urkeling yourself, you're just drawing it down and so that the back of the sacrum will just be a little bit more neutral and we settle in and take a few breaths here. We'll start to move into our Savasana whenever you're ready, you can always stay in this position if you're enjoying it, I never take anything out that creates spaciousness and is nourishing to you.

Otherwise, when you're ready, you start to extend the legs on out and I like to think of like, gingerbread cookies, like that's like the shape we're making. So they're not like all stuck together, we're wide, we're creating space in our pelvis, creating space in our shoulders, palms are up, toes are turned out, and we start to settle and I think of the ground, and a relationship to Mother Earth, allowing her to embrace you and there's that reservation, just like anybody. We give them a hug and there's that moment, it's like, are you gonna receive the hug? Are you gonna surrender over to it? Are you gonna hold that subtleness away and can you allow yourself to be hugged here?

Can you allow yourself to be held? A mantra, repeat often, you are loved and held by the universe, right, and that's a two-way relationship and it's our part of remaining open and receptive. Open and receptive to her embrace. At any point, you can come out whenever you're ready, otherwise you'll stay here for a few moments in silence and rest. And so again, if you would like to stay longer, please feel free, no rush, otherwise, if you're ready to start to move out, begin this with a breath, allowing the belly to get nice and round, allowing the movement to start from there, big full inhale, long exhale, you might allow the exhale to fall out through the mouth and then Pranayama over to your side, just letting go and then it starts to translate into the body, the fingers and the toes, eventually drawing the knees in towards the chest and giving a nice little squeeze here and hug around the tops of the knees, rock side to side, just give some love to the lower back.

Ready, let yourself roll on over to your right side and bring your right arm underneath the head, pause there, and slowly pressing yourself on up to a seat, any seat that's comfortable, it's fine, bringing the hands to the heart, letting the head bow on in. May you be open, may you be nourished, may you be receptive. Thank you for joining me in practice, Namaste.


Toni B
1 person likes this.
Absolutely loved this practic. Who knew these poses that we think are so advanced are actually available to us with the correct instruction. Thank you xx
Sarah F
Love all your videos but this one was extra awesome!! Fantastic :)
Juliet M
Really loved this fun practice. Its one I'll come back to, many thanks.
Hi Sarah, thank you so much for such wonderful instruction. I've been enjoying all of this season with you, I can see the improvement in my poses and it's exciting. I really like your energy as well, it's a pleasure practicing with you. Thank you again! You are fantastic!
I was feeling a bit meh about my yoga practice and so went back through the catalogue to mix it all up a bit, and discovered this series. It has definitely done the trick and woken me up. Your sequencing is so creative and different. I will add all of these classes to my collection. Thank you Jessica!

You need to be a subscriber to post a comment.

Please Log In or Create an Account to start your free trial.

Footer Yoga Anytime Logo

Just Show Up

Over 2,900 yoga and meditation practices to bring you Home.

15-Day Free Trial