The Yoga Flow Show Artwork
Season 4 - Episode 4

Sharing the Love

40 min - Practice


Inspired by our 4th and 5th chakra, Kate guides us in a practice designed to open the heart and throat. We move through a juicy flow finding deep lunges, twists, and expansive chest and shoulder openers in preparation for energizing backbends and inversions.
What You'll Need: Mat, Blanket

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Hello, welcome back. Bring your hands together and interlace your fingers. This is the vajrapradama mudra. It's a particular favorite of mine. So you can rest the hands over the heart.

This is the mudra of unshakeable trust and faith. It's like a big bandage over the heart. So you can breathe up into your hands. Feel the chest lift, and empty it out. So you're bringing your awareness to the heart space, and how that energy lifts up through to the throat chakras.

So essentially we want to be able to communicate our love, to share our love, out through the throat, out into the world. So that's the focus of this practice today. So we'll start with an om, breathing in. Om. Take your hands behind your head.

Open the heart with an inhale, the elbows go wide, the chest lifts. And then exhale draw the chin in, and the navel to the spine. Breathing in, open up. Breathing out, round back into yourself. So they're spinal flexes, opening and closing with the breath in and the breath out.

But also paying attention to the movement through your cervical spine, the little neck bones, as the chin folds in, the elbows draw closer. And the chin lifts breathing in. Preparing the neck for some fairly interesting slash intense shapes to come. With your next breath in, blow the arms all the way open. And then exhale, give yourself a little hug, so it's breath of joy.

Breathing in, the arms fly back like wings, and breathing out they cross in front of the heart as you curl in. Inhaling, and exhaling. That's just a little bit bigger, a little bit more generous. Then we'll grow even higher out of the ground, reach through the shins, inhale the arms up overhead, and then hug on in, breathing out. So you're expanding and contracting.

Sharing the love. Even loving yourself. Loving the world around you. Loving the ability to breathe in and out, and to move your bodies. And with our next lift off, circle the arms up, hook the thumbs, reach up higher, and feel a little bit more of an opening through the front body.

Then we're gonna offer it up, so the backs of the hands twirl out, it's like you're carving out some space in the heart, and then let it out. Take a bow. And roll up, plant the finger tips behind you, lift, and open the heart inhaling. Even the throat can open up here as the chin lifts and the head falls back. Lower your hips to your heels.

We'll inhale out to all fours. The head and tail can lift. Tuck your toes, start to make your way back into downward facing dog. Keep your attention on the fourth and the fifth chakras, even in downward dog. So that you feel a little widening across the heart space, and a looseness through the throat.

So your neck is relaxed. You can inhale to plank pose. We'll lower down knees, chest, chin, so it's ashtanga namaskara. And then we'll pause here for a moment, so the chin is scooching forward and the throat is opening toward the ground. The lower belly keeps you lifted here.

On your next breath in you can pull through to a baby cobra, your shoulder heads rolling back. And then press back onto your hands and knees to all fours. You're gonna stretch the right leg high, breathing in. Draw the knee into the nose, breathing out. Inhale the right leg back up behind you, kind of like our knee's just in, but with the right leg lifted, lower the heart between the hands.

Now inhale, press into the ground through both hands evenly, and exhale pull the knee in toward the nose, naval to the spine. One more like that. Inhale lift the right leg, exhale bend the elbows, the heart melts toward the ground. Breathing in come up. And breathing out, naval to spine.

This time step your right foot all the way through, even past your hands. You can hook the thumbs and scoop it up. Moving the energy up through the heart and into the throat. And then offer it up, the backs of the hands twirl around, the fingers come to the floor. Empty into ardha hanumanasana, so you bow in here.

We'll climb out to a lunge at the top of the mat, tuck your left toes, plant your left hand down. Inhale, reach the right arm high. Exhale, circle back, downward facing dog. Come through plank pose breathing in, and lower to all fours for the second side. So the left leg lifts on an inhale.

Round the spine and curl in on your exhale. Left leg high, breathing in, the heart moves forward, elbows back, so the forearms are not on the ground here. They might wanna be. (chuckles) Inhale come up, and then curl it in again. Last one, left leg lifts, extra attention to the inner left thigh, heart moves forward, chin reaches out toward the top of the mat. Breathing in, press your both hands, breathing out, knee steps through, left foot plants to the floor.

Hook the thumbs, inhale your way up to anjaneyasana, crescent moon pose. Wrap your right hip forward to the front of the mat, and move the energy upwards. And then we'll offer it up, sharing the love, take a bow. Folding over the left leg, making some space. We'll climb into our lunge, plant through the right hand, inhale lift the right knee and the left arm to twist.

Circle it overhead, step back into downward facing, breathing out. Inhale plank pose. Lower down knees, chest, chin, breathing out. From here we're gonna scoot all the way forward to upward facing dog. So point through the feet and lift the thighs.

Coiling the heart upwards toward the sky. Exhale back over the toes for downward facing. From here, right leg lifts, breathing in. Step it forward to the top, breathing out. Left knee lowers, hook the thumbs, arching up, anjaneyasana.

Twirl it out, take your hands to the floor. Step your left foot up to meet your right, and empty in to a standing forward fold. Reach through the feet, inhale, circle your arms high, urdhva hastasana. You can even hook the thumbs overhead, and then pull the hands through prayer. Soften your knees, inhale, scoop your way back up to a standing back bend, and then offer up the heart as you fold into yourself with the arms swinging back, like you're taking a real bow.

Hands release to the floor, inhale the right leg back, lower the right knee down, and continue with that upward flow of energy. Twirl it out. Left leg step back, downward dog. Breathing in, roll through plank. Breathing out, chaturanga.

Inhale to upward facing dog, and exhale to downward facing dog. Inhale the left leg to the sky, and step it through. Empty the right knee down. Hook the thumbs, breathing into crescent moon. Twirl it out, and step your right foot forward to meet your left for uttanasana.

Ground through the legs and feet to circle back up to stand, breathing in. Exhale the hands to the heart. Hook your thumbs, inhale, arc open. Like a back dive. And then offer it up from the heart and take your bow.

Step the left foot to the back of the mat and gently lower the knee down, arm scooping up and overhead like a wave. Exhale your way back into downward facing dog, drawing the navel in and up. Plank pose on the breath in, chaturanga breathing out. Inhale to your upward facing, and exhale to your downward facing. Take a big breath in here.

And let it out with a soft sigh. You can rise to the balls of the feet, breathing in, gaze forward, and step or float to the top of the mat. Inhale, big heart reaches forward, exhale, bow in. Rise up to stand, inhaling. And pull the hands to prayer.

You can hook the thumbs, bend the knees, inhale, utkatasana. And then twirl it out, offer it up, catch your hands behind your back this time as you bow in. So you can take a moment to get into the shoulders here, feeling the weight of the arm bones. Help you to make space in the shoulders to open the heart a little bit more freely, and release the hands down to the floor. Inhale, the heart lifts for ardha uttanasana.

Exhale, chaturanga dandasana. Breathing in for urdhva mukha. And breathing out for adho mukha. Right leg high on the inhale, exhale it to the top of the mat, spin your left heel down, hook your thumbs, guide it up, rooting through the outer edge of the left foot for warrior I. And just like we've been doing, big sharing, send it forward, and catch the hands behind the back, devotional warrior.

So the head lowers nice and close to the right shin, or calf, and then hug the right hip back, reach the arms overhead, and apply mula bandha and uddiyana bandha beneath the shape to give you support. Now the hands will release back to frame the right foot. Inhale here, the back heel lifts, gaze forward. Exhale, send your right leg back into a three legged dog. Breathing in, come into a three legged plank, and lower down, three legged chaturanga.

Both feet on the mat for upward facing, exhale back over your toes, downward facing. Inhale the left leg high. Step it through. Spin the right heel down. Breathing in, hook the thumbs, Virabhadrasana I.

Offer it up, sharing the love. And your devotion. As the head releases, the hips square, and the arms reach overhead into extension. Wrap the left hip back, feel the energy between your feet, the space making in your hips, the strength in the navel, and bring your hands on down, spin the back heel up. Take a breath in and look forward, then sweep the left leg high, breathing out.

Inhale, shoulders stack over the wrists, exhale, bend the elbows back evenly, breathing in, coil it open, and breathing out, press back to downward facing. You can sit in child's pose for a moment. From your child's pose, roll up to your shins in vajrasana, just like to started. Then you're gonna hook your thumbs and rise up, breathing in. It's almost like you're moving into camel pose.

Twirl it out, offer up the heart. Keep your stomach strong here, we're gonna dive, spirit dive. Catch yourself as you lower, and then send your arms and your legs behind you, breathing and lifting into salabhasana. So it's locus pose, it might even take you up and down with the breath. So feel the back body wake up here.

It's gonna help us out. And some of our peak poses yet to come. You can press back over your knees, tuck your toes, pour your way back into your downward facing dog. Inhale lift to the balls of the feet, gaze forward, step or float to the top of the mat, breathing out. Inhale to a long spine, and empty into your uttanasana.

Soften the knees, take it up for utkatasana, breathing in. And bring the hands back to the heart, breathing out. So we're exploring the fifth chakra in a few creative ways, 'cause that is where we share our creativity, how it comes forth into the world. So starting with our utkatasana, take your left leg behind your right, twirl the backs of the hands, send your arms behind you like wings. So here's our OMG stance, yeah?

But we're gonna shift our weight into the right foot and pick up the left foot. So we've got a little bit more of a swan-like vibe. So this, we might just go ahead and call it saraswati. The goddess of the fifth chakra. She does happen to ride on a swan.

So extend the left leg back. The chest is open, there's space here. It's quite a back bend really. The throat reaches forward, the inner thigh lifts. So the bending of the right leg, the standing leg, is quite helpful here, isn't it.

Now you're gonna release the left foot back, sweep the left arm up, inhaling, and catch the left elbow in your right hand. So we've stepped back into a short but square stance, preparing for a pyramid shape. So left foot's on the left side of the mat, right foot on the right side of the mat. Now add in the bottom arm of gomukhasana, or the bottom ear, we're talking about a cow face. So the right hand reaches up the middle back for the left hand.

If you cannot reach, you might be using a strap, or a towel here. Lengthen the tailbone down, take a breath in, find a nice vertical alignment, and then you're gonna tip forward into pyramid with gomukhasana arms. It is special. Keep breathing. So because the arms are in this shape, the heart, and I feel, the throat, are extra open.

They're freed up. Now you can release the left fingertips down to the floor, you might even put your left hand on a block. Lengthen the left arm. Start to turn from your belly. Your chest lifts, inhale the right arm up, parivrtta trikonasana or revolved triangle.

Press through the right foot and see if you can lift the left hip just a touch, and revolve through the thoracic spine more than from the hips. We wanna stabilize the hips here. Widen it across the heart and lengthen through the throat. Now you can circle the right arm overhead and down, back into pyramid. Keep your left foot exactly where it is.

It's tempting to pick up your left heel, but try to seal it to the floor here. You're gonna sweep the right leg up and back instead. Bend the right knee. Shift your weight into your right hand. Lift your left hand, try to catch your right foot, and balance.

So the chin has to lift here kinda like our swan. The heart is open, the throat is open, and the legs are on fire. (chuckles) Pretty much. Now take your left hand down. You can pick up your left heel finally.

Lift from your right inner thigh. Shift your weight forward, bend your elbows back. Very carefully ganda bherundasana. Gentle on your neck. Inhale right up, to upward facing dog.

And then downward facing dog. And even child's pose. Breathing in, making your way back up to all fours. Breathing out, pour your way into downward facing. Rise to the balls of the feet with an inhale, gaze forward.

Step or hop to the top. Lift the heart on the breath in. Breathing out, bow in, uttanasana. Soften the knees, inhale, utkatasana. Exhale, tadasana.

Utkatasana, drop low. Offer it up, right leg steps behind the left, tuck the right toes, OMG. Shift your weight into your left foot, and pick up the right leg, saraswati, the goddess of speech, the arts, communication, literature. Extend the right leg, float the arms a little higher. Dip forward like a swan, or hamsa.

Saraswati's vehicle. Now slide the right foot down, inhale the right elbow up. You can catch it right away in your left hand. Steer both hip points straight ahead. Left arm reaches up for the right arm.

Get as vertical as you can here. And then exhale your way forward into your pyramid. With gomukhasana arms. So keep the lower belly, and mula bandha engaged here. Lifting all the way up from the inner arches of the feet.

And the right fingertips can lower down, lift the heart, and start to turn, from deep in the belly. Roll the left shoulder back. Then the left arm opens like a wing here to the sky. Spiral all the way forward through the crown of the head and back through the tailbone, hugging the outer hips in. Revolving and expanding from your center.

The left arm can circle overheard, and back down to the outside of the left foot. Plant your hands down. Keep the right foot nailed to the ground. Sweep the left leg up, you can bend through the knee. So the left leg kind of hooks behind you, now press through the left hand, tent the right fingers, catch the foot, and float the knee up higher if you can, as you lift your chest forward.

This is all about counterbalancing this shape. The right hand lowers, it sets you up for the perfect place to move into ganda bherundasana, so come up to the ball of the right foot. You might even angle the fingertips out just slightly. Come way forward past your thumbs, bend your elbows, keep the height of the left leg so your right leg can come meet it. Inhaling to upward facing, and exhaling to downward facing.

Child's pose to rest. Inhaling to all fours, exhale back to downward facing. Reach your right leg up and step it through. Gently lower your left knee to the mat. If you are sensitive through the left kneecap you might put a blanket underneath it.

We're gonna be bearing a little bit more weight. You can hook the thumbs, sweep the arms up, and feel an extra amount of lift through the ribcage. So you feel the back bottom ribs lift up off the sacrum. And then there's that same offering, you're giving it up. The right forearm comes to the thigh though, and the left arm reaches back, catching the left foot in your hand.

You might even take a balance here, hugging the right hip back. So that's eka pada rajakapotasana II. You might even catch the left foot with both hands, which is a little bit more of an even opening across the heart and throat. For those of you giant back benders, if you wanna go a little deeper you can even walk hand over hand, down toward the knee. Helps to have a big bun.

Take your hands on down, straighten to the right leg, ardha hanumanasana. Now we're gonna back up. This is where you might be bringing your blocks into play. We're gonna sit into ardha virasana. So you could put a block right underneath your sitting bones on the inside of the left foot.

So the thighs are parallel here. Take a little twist to the right. You may even reach forward with the left hand. It's a great outer hip opening. When you roll up, bring the right foot with you, place it on the floor.

Catch the outer edge of the right foot with the left hand. You can take a moment here, revolving around to the right. Similar to our revolved triangle pose. Now you can circle it overhead, and catch the foot. Krounchasana, or pink heron.

So you can also use a strap around your foot. The beauty of this shape for me is that the balance between the forward bend and the back bend, and really merging those two different shapes into one. So staying uplifted and open even as you come close into yourself. And then you're gonna take the right leg and shoot it forward. Use your hands, maybe grab two blocks, hanuman.

'Cause hanuman likes to share the love. You can hook the thumbs, you can stretch it up, spray the fingers out. Try to draw the right thighbone in, and the left hip point around to the front. Extra credit bonus round, maybe a gentle twist to the right. You also might be propped up on blocks.

So feeling the heart and throat, move up and out of the intense opening through the legs. Then we're gonna press it back into a child's pose. You can take the knees wide, you can sway a little bit right to left. And then we'll come back up to all fours, returning to downward facing for the second side. So left leg high, step it through, right knee lowers, pad it with a blanket if you need to.

Hook the thumbs, inhale, anjaneyasana. Offer it up. Left forearm to the thigh, sweep the right hand back, catch the foot. Eka pada rajakapotasana II. Then maybe adding the second arm.

We're going for balance, for evenness. Might be wandering a little deeper down the right shin. And then bowing back into your ardha hanumanasana. As the left leg lengthens out, you wash the hips back. Walk your hands back with you, set up a block underneath your booty and sit in your ardha virasana shape.

So we're turning left. And then walking the right fingers out. It's helpful to press into the left hand here so that you reach into the left hand and then you're able to really churn through the belly, and get more out of the outer hip opening, more of a cleansing action here. Bring the left foot up with you. Extend the left arm back, and the left leg forward.

So as the left hip rolls down you're kinda rising up out of the left waist, and making more space there. Now we can circle around, pink heron pose, krounchasana. Guiding the heart up, as you draw the thigh in. So it takes a lot of energy through the back body really. A lot of back muscle activation to keep you open here in extension.

Then we'll shoot it through hamumanasana. Steering right into center, then guiding it up. Sharing your love, your devotion. And possibly shifting into, maybe a subtle, not so subtle twist. When we come back through, slide the left leg back.

Come onto your shins, sit for a moment, in your vajrasana. Hook the thumbs one more time, rise up. Tuck the toes. From here, bring the frontal hip points forward over the knees, and try to lift the ribs up off the back of the sacrum. The hands can come to the heart, so you're really turning it up here.

And then slide your hands to the sacrum to move the hips forward and support yourself from behind. So it's not the lower back, it's lower. You can take your hands to the heels maybe. Keep the hips stacked over the knees, lifting through the inner thighs in mula bandha. Massive heart and throat opening.

Hands to the hips on the way up. Hook the thumbs, inhaling, offer it up, we're gonna spirit dive one more time. Catch yourself, please catch yourself. This time reach back for your feet, bow pose. So this is the same shape, just flipped around.

Keep the inner thighs engaged. And relax. Let yourself sway side to side here for a moment. And you're actually gonna take a little break, 'cause I wanna demonstrate this next part because it's a little bit crazy. Fairly adventurous.

I'm gonna scoot back so that I'm on the mat completely. And then I'm gonna roll onto my back. So I'm actually rolling over my left shoulder. So I went off the mat. (gasps) It's gonna be okay, you'll get back on it. So bring your feet together, it's like you fall off the path, you get back on.

Bring your thumbs parallel. So it's this volleyball action with your arms. And this action's gonna help hoist your body up. So it's like ganda bherundasana, the chin stand, in that your legs are going straight up. It's viparita salabhasana, so I'm gonna breathe in, one two three, flip over, press down into my forearms, kick my legs up, and send the legs high.

Lower down, roll over your right shoulder, and play dead for a few moments. Until you get the energy back to do it again on the other side. So from your back, bring the hands together. Thumbs parallel. If the thumbs are crossed, your knuckle will be bearing all the weight and it won't feel so hot.

So stretch the arms up, get that action moving. Take a big breath in. One two three, flip over to the right, kick up with your left leg, up with the right, reach down through the forearms. And relax. So to make it all better, take your left arm forward.

We're rolling around some more. Roll over your left shoulder, but bring your right knee into your chest. On the left hand drapes over the right knee, the right arm reaches back around. So it's a lazy spinal twist. It's just a special way of getting into it.

So it gives you a little bit more torsion. And it's just what you need after the inverted salabhasana. So take another few breaths here. Emptying the right shoulder down if you can. And then when we come back onto our bellies, the right arm circles overhead and the right leg goes behind you.

Now we roll over the right shoulder, the left knee comes into the chest. Right hand over the left knee, left arm reaching to the left side of the practice space. Take a few deep breaths here. More weight through the left shoulder, dropping through the left hip. You're gonna come onto the mat on your backs.

I'm gonna rock up to sit so that I can position my blanket underneath me for shoulder stand. So if you have a blanket, set it up so that it's nice and smooth. And that it's supporting your upper back, ribs, and shoulders. Take your head off the blanket so there's a little space between the floor and the back of your neck. Then you can press down through the hands, bring the knees in, and stretch your legs up.

Reach through the arms, interlace your hands, you might come high up onto the backs of the arms. Then bring the hands into the back body. So you're reaching the toes straight up into the sky. Salamba sarvangasana. So the backs and the arms are pressing down, as you bring your hips forward over your shoulders, and then send your legs back just slightly so that you're making a straighter line.

Keep your head straight, you could even soften your gaze here. So we're opening the backside of the throat chakra. It's a counterstretch for our ganda bherundasana, our viparita salabhasana. Then you can slowly lower the legs down, you might bend the knees, or keep them straight if you have the navel support there. You can soften the knees even, take the hands around the backs of the legs, karnapidasana.

You can keep the knees bent. And lower one vertebra at a time. I like to take my hands underneath my hips here, so you can slide the palms down, and the backs of the hands support the sacrum. From here as you reach your legs forward you can come up onto the elbows, float the chin up. Try to bring the crown of the head underneath you.

From matsyasana, or fish pose. You might even slide the hands out, hook the thumbs and stretch your fingers. Like a fountain overhead. Keeping the lower belly strong. Then from here pull the hands through prayer, you can bring your hand back to the outer hips to help you out.

And then open up. And settle into shavasana. When you're ready to come out, you can deepen your breath. Bend through the knees, slide your feet onto the floor. Rolling onto your right side for fetal pose.

Press into the left hand, bring yourself up. You're welcome to even fold your blanket and slide it underneath your hips. So return to the vajrapradama mudra, unshakeable trust and faith, hold it over the heart. So trusting your heart, having faith in the wisdom of the heart and your ability to share that. We'll finish with om.

Om. Namaste.


1 person likes this.
Thank you Kate again from Scotland Hopefully a visit to Light on Lotus will be on the cards at some point for 2017 Sending love and gratitude for all you share xoxo
1 person likes this.
I am only a beginner, but I love watching the advanced techniques, it keeps me motivated, I think you are just amazing, What I noticed is your passion. I will keep watching you, for inspiration,, thanks, Kate ...
Thank you for a unique enjoyable flow, allowing the body to move in different planes. It's exactly what I needed this morning!
Super all around class!
Thank you!!!
That was fun! Thank you!!
This creative flow just kept taking me into new places... your cueing is helpful and inspiring. Thank you!!
Superb sinuous serpentine sequencing... uttamam!!!

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