The Yoga Flow Show Artwork
Season 4 - Episode 6

Vishnu Variations

55 min - Practice
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Kate guides us in a super funky Vinyasa sequence to embody the many shapes and qualities of Vishnu, celebrating the sustaining energy of preservation. We move through an invigorating flow, playing towards arm balances, twists, and bold, fluid movements. You will feel more alive, awake, and centered in your body.
What You'll Need: Mat, Blanket

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(ocean waves) Hello, welcome to the Vishnu Variations. This practice is a celebration of the sustaining energy of preservation. So, you're gonna take your hands open, and then wrap your left thumb up in your right hand. And then bring your thumb and your index finger together over the top, and you create a shell, or a conch shell. This is the Shankh mudra, and it symbolizes the opening of the temple doors, the beginning of the ritual, if you will.

And it's one of the symbols that Vishnu holds in one of his four arms. So, take a moment to sit here, and deepen your breath. Finding that sustaining life quality in the breath. So, through this practice we'll be exploring several of the incarnations of Vishnu. It is said that he comes back nine times to help set the balance.

When evil is overwhelming the good energy in the world, he's reborn to set it straight. And legend has it he'll be back a 10th time in the form of Kalki. So breathe it in for Om here. Om. And then open your hands, open your eyes, and take your left foot in front of your right foot.

So, it almost feels like you're doing two different shapes at the same time. Like your right leg in Baddha Konasana and your left leg almost in Tarasana. And they're overlapping like that. And you can scoot your sitting bones back. You might even slide a blanket underneath your hips if you need an extra lift.

And then you'll wander forward, and check out what's happening in your hips today. One hip might feel a little bit more friendly than the other. Give it some good loving breaths. And you lean out over these stacked feet. One in front of the other.

And you can help yourself up, and plant your left foot on the floor just in front of your right foot, so you can even bring it in a little bit. And we're twisting to the right side. So it's actually an open spinal twist. The left arm presses against the inside of the left leg. You can even take your hand over your foot.

And revolve around to the right, rising up through the crown of the head. And you can plant the right hand down. Reach in to the right shin and the left foot. And inhale it up and away. Lowering down, we'll switch the legs.

So the right foot comes in front of the left foot. You can scoot the sitting bones back. Meander out into a forward fold. So, it's interesting how the incarnations of Vishnu have almost played out in evolution of the species. So, he starts off as a fish in the ocean, as Matsya and then he evolves into the tortoise, Kurma.

And then he comes back, he's become a land animal, as a boar. Twisting to the left, plant the right foot onto the floor in front of you. His fourth incarnation is as a dwarf. And some people believe that sort of refers to our first incarnation as humans, in that we were a little smaller. Didn't have quite the nutrition we do today.

And then he comes back as quite a savage, like early man. Roll it open, leaning into your left hand, take your right arm overhead. Both hands can come behind you, plant your feet in front of you and lift your hips, breathing in. And let out a lion's breath. Speaking of lions, I forgot one incarnation, Narasimha, the lion, that's right between the savage and the boar.

Come on to all fours. And from here we're going to ease on back into downward dog, and tuck your toes, and stretch your legs long. When Vishnu comes back as Rama, he's become the moral man, if you will. Concerned with doing the right thing. Inhale your way to plank.

And empty to the ground on your exhale. Come up for a small cobra, breathing in. And then reach your right arm forward. You're going to roll onto the right side. And bring your right hand underneath your head.

So, balancing on the right side of your body, bring the left foot into a tree shape. And make a little peace sign. And find the left big toe, so you can actually bring the left toe to your hand. And send the leg high. This is Vishnu's couch.

Also know as Anahatasana. So, it's referring to Ananta the giant serpent snake that Vishnu rides around on through the ocean of possibility. So, this snake coils up like a couch for Vishnu to rest upon. And draw the leg higher over head, but press down through the right leg at the same time for stability. And feel the lower belly lift.

Then you can lower the left foot down. We're gonna keep the tree shape as we flip onto our bellies. Think tree cobra. The left leg is rotated out. You can inhale lift the heart, just don't force it.

Sink and lower down, send the left leg long. Press back into child's pose. Inhale to all fours, downward dog breathing out. Inhale your way out to plank pose. Empty to the ground, breathing out.

Roll the heart open, lifting for cobra. And exhale your left arm in front of you to roll onto your left side. You can bring your left hand underneath your ear. Make a nice straight line with your body, and then bring the right leg up into a tree pose. Sideline tree.

Peace out with your right hand, and then reach down for your right big toe. So, you keep that external rotation in the right leg, and send it up. If you're unable to keep ahold of your foot, and straighten your leg, you're welcome to use a strap. Whoo (laughs) actively press into your left leg so you don't fall over, (laughs) and then keep lifting the right leg overhead. So, it takes a lot more muscular energy than it looks like it does to hold this shape.

This is a great wake to wake up the smaller stabilizer muscles here. As you appear to lounge in Vishnu's couch. Now you can lower the right foot back down to the inner left thigh, and gently roll on to your body, the belly, for a cobra, with your leg in tree. So, breathing in, the heart lifts. Breathing out, the right leg lengthens.

You can press back over your knees, emptying into child's pose. Inhale up to all fours. Exhale downward facing. Inhale to lift your right leg up. Exhale, draw the knee into the nose, and step your right foot through to the top of the mat.

You can lower your left knee down. And with your next breath in, sweep the arms up, for crescent moon shape, or Anjaneyasana. Now, sweep the arms down on the inside of the right leg, and draw your left heel underneath your left sitting bones. You're literally turning to your left, and almost sitting on the heel. So, it's similar to that opening shape we took.

You can even take yogi toe lock here with the right hand. And then wrap the left arm behind the back, and turn to your left. So, there's a nice hip opening, and a revolution if you will. And this isn't an official shape in ladon yoga, but I'm using it to express Vamana the dwarf incarnation of Vishnu. So you're low to the ground, a little bit stocky, (laughs) but ready to spring.

We'll come around to a low lunge with a twist. So plant your left hand down. Tuck your left toes, inhale the right arm up, as you lift your left knee. Then exhale the right arm down to the floor. Straighten through the right leg for a hamstring opening.

Draw the right hip back and the left hip forward as you dig your right heel into the mat. Breathing in, come through a lunge looking forward. And breathing out, step your left foot up to meet your right folding into Uttanasana. Inhale your way up to stand, circle the arms high. And exhale all the way back down, folding in half at the waist.

Inhale the right leg to the back of the mat, gazing forward. Exhale, downward facing dog. Inhale to plank pose. Exhale out, halfway for Chaturanga. Inhaling, upward facing dog, roll the heart open.

And exhale back over the toes for downward facing. Breathing in, take the left leg high. Breathing out, step it through to the top. Lower the right knee, inhale the arms up, reaching to the sky. And take your hands on the inside of the left foot.

The right heel swivels underneath your right sitting bone. You can check in your yogi toe lock, and a half bind, revolving around to the right, for your dwarf asana (laughs). Circle the right hand back to the top of the mat. Tuck the right toes behind you. Inhaling, lift the right knee, and the left arm to twist.

Take the left hand down, exhale to straighten the left leg, and bow in, steering into center, taking a breath into the left hamstrings. Inhale to lunge forward. Exhale to step into your Uttanasana, nice and even through the feet. Rise up with a breath in. Exhale back into yourself folding forward.

Inhale the left leg behind you. Exhale downward facing dog. Breathing into plank. Breathing out, lower half way. Inhale Urdhvamukha, and exhale back over the toes to Adho mukha.

From here, rise to the balls of the feet. Gaze forward, soften the knees. Feel the lift in the lower belly. On the exhale, step or float to the top of the mat. Inhale, lift to a flat back, gazing forward.

Exhale bow into your legs. Rise up to stand. Exhale, pull the hands through prayer and open your arms by your sides, Tadasana. Introducing Krishna. So, from Tadasana, you can inhale into Utkatasana, chair pose, and the left leg steps behind the right with the toes tucked.

You can swing your arms down to the right side, and pretend you're playing a flute. This actually comes from classical Indian dance. Traditionally the hands would be held like this. But by the beach we like to do it like this, a little hang loose. So you drop in, and there's kind of a nice twisted quality to it.

It's got a lot of movement, it's got a lot of swirl. So, Krishna, the lover, the one who attracts. Playing the flute to bring the (speaks in a foreign language). From Krishna we're going to step the left foot to the back of the mat, into what feels like warrior two. However you're going to pull the left elbow back, and open the right hand, as if you're drawing back an arrow, for Rama, Rama the great archer, the prince.

So feel that opening across the chest, and that sense of focus, that duty. And we'll inhale into a reverse warrior, but send the left hand forward as you exhale. So, there's two different directions here. So, just pull the balance. Inhale your way to a low lunge.

The left toes tuck, exhale right through Chaturanga. Inhale to upward facing, exhale back to downward facing. Breathing in come up to the balls of the feet, soften the knees, look forward. And breathing out, step or float to the top. Inhale at the art of Uttanasana.

And exhale to fold back in. Inhale, chair pose, sweep the arms high. Right leg steps behind the left. â?« Krishna on the other side. So, get your swerve on.

There's a little dip in your hip. And then we shift. The right foot steps back, inhaling Rama, or Warrior Two with archers arms. Feel the strength in the shape. The heart as you pull the arrow back.

And then inhaling, it's reverse warrior. Press your right hand forward as you exhale, dropping deeper through the left knee. Inhaling, the hands windmill overhead to the floor. Low lunge, exhale Chaturanga, roll it open. Breathing out, crawl back over the toes, downward facing.

Now, we'll take that sequence from here. Inhale the right leg high, step it forward breathing out. Back heel down, inhale up to warrior one. Reach your body weight forward, Krishna at the top of the mat. The left leg crosses behind the right.

Hands play the flute out to the right side. Inhale Rama, the left leg steps back, the left elbow pulls across the heart. Exhale, reverse warrior. The left arm swings across, this is actually the mudra of protection here. The Abhaya mudra.

Inhale, straighten through the right leg. The left arm sweeps back as you reach out through the right arm, you descend slowly into triangle. That feels amazing. And stay for a few breaths in triangle pose. Then start to soften the right knee, come into extended side angle.

The left arm can sweep along side the left ear, as you bend through the right knee and stack it over the ankle. Feel the reach through the left side of the body in both directions. Well, circle the left hand down across the face. Tuck the left toes, yogi toe lock here, maybe, or a tree shape. Either way, we're going to inhale into Vashistasana, side plank.

Step the right foot behind you, but stay lifted out of the right shoulder. Arch it open. As you exhale the right foot steps forward. Lift the right arm, tuck the left toes to come back to your low lunge with your twist. Breathing in sweep your right hand forward.

Turn your body back the left, Ardha Chandrasana. We're really spinning through space with this one. Take a breath or two here and maybe even start to find the balance in this shape, lifting the right fingertips up off the floor. With an inhale, sweep your left leg back, left arm forward, reverse warrior. Take your hands all the way down.

Send the right leg high, for your three legged Chaturanga. Inhaling, upward facing, exhaling downward facing. Inhale the left leg high, exhale step it through. Spin the right heel down. Breathing in take yourself up to warrior one.

And reach forward, breathing out, Krishna, right leg steps behind the left. You get to play your flute again. And the right foot steps back behind you. Circle the right arm all the way back, Rama. Warrior two, with archers arms.

Inhaling. We've got our reverse warrior shape with our right arm pressing forward in the Abhaya mudra. Now, straighten through the left leg, you might shorten the right foot, steer the toes forward, triangle pose coming on out. Grow a little broader through the heart space through the back body and even out the left and right waist here. You can start to soften through the left knee, sweep the right arm across the face, and then overhead as you revolve the ribs skyward through your extended side angle.

And then the right hand is going to sweep back down across the face. Tuck the right toes. And you have a choice here. You can take yogi toe lock, or bring your left leg into tree. It's Vashistasana, side plank.

Try to stack your right shoulder over your wrist. Step the left foot back. Inhale, the heart lifts. Draw the navel in, exhale step your left foot forward catch yourself in space, catch the balance. Now, the left hand reaches forward.

You inhale, open into Ardha Chandrasana to the right. Press back through the right foot. See if the weight of the right foot, right leg even, can help you lift your left hand up off the mat for a breath. Inhaling reverse warrior. The right arm sweeps across the navel.

Exhale, the hands come down, tuck the right toes, send the left leg high and lower. Inhale your way up to Urdhva Mukha Svanasana. Exhale back to Adho Mukha Svanasana. Inhale, soften the knees, lift your heels and gaze forward. Instead of hopping your feet between your hands, we're gonna hop our feet outside the hands, off the mat.

So, see if you can float there. Gently land. Breathing in, the heart lifts. So you're in Prasarita at the top of the mat. Breathing out, fold in.

You might take yogi toe lock. You might interlace your hands behind your back. You might keep your hands on the floor between your feet, bending the elbows back through the legs. Whichever variation you choose, keep lifting through the inner leg lines, through Mulabhanda and creating length and space in the spine. If you have a tender noggin (laughs) you might slide a blanket underneath your head, if you plan on rising up into a tripod headstand.

If your head does not touch the ground, please do not attempt a headstand. So, I'm trying to find the very top of my head. Placing my hands shoulder width. The elbows hug in so they're right over the wrists I'm going to reach into my hands, lift my lower belly, and try to float my heels up. The legs are going to go wide.

And then draw the inner thighs together to bring the legs straight up. The Sirshasana B, straight as an arrow. Spreading through the fingers, hugging the elbows in. Now, I'm going to bring the knees right down onto the backs of the arms. I'm even keeping my big toe joints together.

I'm hugging the knees into the backs of the arms, lifting the belly in like crazy. Now, I'm going to gently start to rock my hips back, and lift my head at the same time, rising up even higher into Bakasana. Lower the feet down right underneath you in parallel, and take your forearms forward and melt in to a Malasana variation with the feet together. And slow down the breath here. Feel some length created in the Achilles tendons as you get even more weighted through the heels.

Breathe into the lower back and hips. And then with the support of the navel, start to rock your way backwards. You're gonna send the legs forward, Navasana. Now, take a breath in here. Like you're levitating up out of the water.

And exhale, cross your legs and go through Chaturanga or step straight back into downward facing dog. Take a deep breath in through the nose, and let it out with a sigh. (sigh) Rise up to the balls of the feet, soften through the knees, lift your gaze. Exhale, step or float to the top of the mat. Breathing in lift the heart, and breathing out bow in.

Inhale your way through chair pose. And exhale your way to Tadasana. Start to pick up your left knee. You can even draw the left knee in with your hands. Standing on you right leg, you can bend through the right knee.

Cross the left knee over the right leg as the arms open up like wings, maybe get a double cross with the left foot wrapping behind the right ankle. And the left arm weaves under the right arm. It's Garurasana. The Garuda, or the eagle is Vishnu's (speaks in a foreign language) or vehicle. The great mystical bird.

You can just imagine Vishnu riding around on this giant eagle. Now, from here, we're going to rotate the left thigh out so the left ankle crosses over the right thigh and you get a little bit more of a hip opening here. Now, open your wings to the right, maybe pressing the back of the left wrist against the sole of the foot. So, revolving from the navel. Inhale the arms out lift your left knee up to your chest, ooh, and then exhale into devotional warrior.

So the hands clasp behind you, the head bows down draw the navel in and up, and wrap your right hip back. Take your hands down and climb your right arm underneath the right leg. Spin the left heel up and lower your left knee down. Bring your forearms down if you can, especially the left forearm, and see if your hands can drape around the right foot. This is a deep hip excavation, so you're gonna have to shift your weight backwards and then look underneath your right leg.

You can use your hands to help you go deeper. Perhaps even bringing your head behind the leg. Breathing into the hips. Feeling that upward lift of the navel. And as you climb up, plant the hands down, back behind your shoulders, tuck the left toes and lift your left knee.

So, the right leg is over the right arm. You're gonna step your left foot around the left arm. Start to lower your hips with your fingers pointing forward. See if you can cross your right foot in front of your left foot. And shift your feet forward as you lift your hips back.

So that the belly is drawing in and up. It's Bhujapidasana arm pressure pose. And gently lower the hips to the floor. Click your heels together, and bring your hands up into the Jnana mudra. This is blossoming lotus.

As your lifting up here, feel the chest open. It's like a lotus coming right up out of the pond. From here, we'll go into Navasana, the bow pose, hollowing out through the belly. Take a breath in, and cross your legs. Exhale your way back to downward facing dog.

Inhale to the balls of the feet, soften the knees, look forward, exhale step or float to the top. Inhaling big hearts reach out. Exhale, fold into Uttanasana. Inhale, chair pose, sit low, sweep the arms high. And exhale, mountain pose.

Ground yourself here for the second side. Gonna lift the right knee in, shifting your weight onto the left foot. Cross the right leg over the left, bending to the left knee. Open your arms, maybe get your double cross on. Right arm under the left arm.

Reach your fingers forward, lift the navel and send your hips back. So this kind of counter balancing shows up in Bhujapidasana, that arm balance we were just in. You feel the Uddiyana bandha, and then the hips reach back and the fingers reach forward. This would be your feet in the arm balance. And you can cross the right ankle over the left thigh.

Sit lower. Try a twist to the left. Opening your arms. Now, root down through the left leg. Inhale the right knee lifts with the arms nice and high, come straight up on your left leg.

Exhale devotional warrior, step way back, interlace your hands, drop in deep. So you feel the support of the navel, and the opening of the hips here. Now the hands come down, tuck the right toes, climb your left arm under your left leg and lower your right knee down. You may have to widen your left foot a little bit to the side. Both hands come around the left foot.

And you can ease on back. There's a little catch in the hip. Give it some love. Try to dip your head underneath the left leg. Take a peek (laughs) maybe bringing your head all the way through, maybe not.

Maybe just in your imagination (laughs). You'll walk the hands back. Tuck the right toes, lift your right knee off the mat. And then we're stepping the right leg all the way around the right arm, start to settle in. So the fingers spread out, reach them forward this time it's the left leg on top of the right.

So, poke the left foot in front of the right if you can, like a little clasp. Reach your feet forward, lift your navel in and up, arm pressure pose, whoo. Now, if it's available, see if you can straighten the legs out this time for firefly. No, Vishnu did not incarnate as a firefly. But, I just couldn't help myself (laughs).

From here you're gonna lower down. He did incarnate as Kurma, the tortoise though, so it's a perfect transition. Take your heels just outside the mat. So we wanna use the wood for a little bit more of a slide. So, the arms are already in position for Koormasana.

Now the heels can start to scoot forward, little by little, The arms are out like feet. Eventually the legs may or may not straighten out. And here it is. The tortoise lifted the mountain up out of the ocean when the demons and the gods, or the demigods really, were churning the ocean looking for Amrita, the nectar of immortality. You might even reach your arms around your back, and see if the hands can draw closer together.

Some people can even connect their hands here. You've got the whole world on your back. Take your time climbing out. And squeak the heels up. Go ahead and take your arms out in front of you.

Come up for air. Plant your hands behind you, your feet in front of you. Inhale right on up for alter pose. You wanna stretch open the front body after that deep forward bend. Let it out for lions breath air.

(roaring breath) Lower your hips to the mat and cross the legs. Downward facing dog. Go for tractioning here. So move the thighbones back. Reach into the hands.

You might even float the toe pads up off the ground, so you're able to stretch out the spine. Bring your left shin to the top of the mat for pigeon pose. You can hook your left foot behind your right wrist, and gently bring your knee down behind your left wrist. You're welcome to use a block or a blanket underneath your left hip for support. I'm gonna reach around and grab the blanket to have it nearby for the next part of the practice.

So, here's a good way to prop yourself up if you need a little extra love. And come on down to the forearms, and rest your head if you can. Take a few deep blissful breaths here. We're not going in the exact order of Vishnu's incarnations, because it doesn't bode well for sequencing (laughs) but the next few are very special. From your pigeon prep, you can walk your hands up underneath you and move the padding out of the way, so that you can lower on to your left hip.

Then you'll swing the right leg around to the front of the mat and we're gonna bring the left leg into half lotus if that is safe for your knee. If you have a knee injury, or it just doesn't feel good, if you're feeling any kind of pain in your knee, then bring your left foot into the inner right thigh instead. Half lotus if it's safe for you. You an also take the blanket up underneath your sitting bones. Scoot your sitting bones back.

Twist to the right. So this is Ardha Matsyendrasana two. The right arms gonna wrap behind the back, like that half bind we were working with in our dwarf shape. Now reach your left hand for the outside of the left foot, and start to revolve the ribs around. You can eve gaze over the right shoulder.

Find the long diagonal between the tailbone and the crown of the head. So, the left ribs are coming forwards, and the right ribs are wrapping back. Now, feel these divine angles in the shape. The outer hip opening. The deep revolving through the rib cage.

Now, I can sweep the right arm across the left arm potentially, or use a strap here, to come forward over the right leg. So, you might be in half lotus, you might be in Janushirasana. Either way is fine. We'll start to roll up out of your forward bend. Maybe take the right leg on top of the left into lotus, or Padmasana.

If it doesn't go there, slide your right leg underneath your left and you're either in half lotus or Sukhasana. We're gonna sit for a moment as the Buddha. You can bring your hands in the Jnana mudra, but then turn the left hand down, right hand up, and bring the points of the fingers together. So, this is the Dharmachakra mudra. And sit up tall, feel the shape of the hands in two spinning wheels.

Chakras are spinning disks, literally. Your Dharma is the way, the path, the teaching. Your souls duty, your purpose. The Buddha is often pictured seated in Padmasana with this mudra. And this is the last incarnation of Vishnu as we know him.

And you can open your hands. I would highly recommend using a blanket for the next part. So you'll keep whatever shape you're in through the legs. Maintain that, open up the blanket, take it underneath your knees, smooth it out. You can do this with crossed legs, with half lotus, or full lotus.

It's Simhasana. This is Vishnu as the lion. Bring your hips forward, roll the shoulders back. Turn the heart up, take a big breath. And then giant lion's breath, go ahead cross your eyes, let it all hang out.

(roaring breath) Do two more. (deep breath) (roaring breath) (deep breath) (roaring breath) You can press back, gently over the knees, draw the navel in, walk your hands back. Help yourself out of the shape. You can move your blanket and shake out your legs. (laughs) Downward facing dog.

Give yourself a few breaths to create space in the back of the legs after all that lotus work. Evenness through the hands and feet. A nice open channel for Prana to flow. Now it's the right shin coming forward to the top of the mat for your pigeon shape. You can use your blanket underneath your right hip.

And wander on down onto your forearms. Pressing through the hands, start to lift yourself up. Move the blanket out to the side if you're using it under the hip. As you lean into the right hip, bring your left around to the front. And then either set it up for your Janushirasana foot on the inner thigh, or your half lotus.

Try to bring the outer edge of the right foot directly up into the hip crease. So, stay active through the left leg and flex through the left foot. You can even put a blanket under your right knee, if it feels like it's floating up off the ground in a painful way. Then start to turn to the left. Feel the right sitting bone root down as even as you are through the left sitting bone.

And then there's the half bind with your left arm wrapping behind the back. Reach the right hand to the outer edge of the right foot, or use a strap. And then you're revolving to the left. So, it's more of a diagonal shape, more of a twist at this point than a forward bend. So, feel the lift through the right ribs and the shoulder blades can draw together to open across the collar bones.

We're gonna lean away from the left shoulder from the left hip. And then when you release the half bind, the left arm comes across and over the left leg, emptying in, softening up. The right heel might be pressing up into the gut if you're in half lotus. You can celebrate that, that's part of the pose. And then roll up.

You can cross the left leg under the right leg, or over the top for Padmasana. And we'll find our seat. Jnana mudra, left hand lower than the right hand, Dharmachakra mudra, sitting like the Buddha. These two hands also represent our inward lives and our external lives. Trying to bring those into balance.

We can open the hands and take your blanket under the knees. Rock forward gently. If you're feeling like you're able to go a little deeper, you might even come on to your forearms for this second Simhasana. So, it's a lot more intense. I'm gonna scoot back a little bit.

So the hips start to lower, roll the shoulder, heads back. Lift your gaze, take a deep breath in. And lion's breath. (roaring breath) (deep breath) (roaring breath) Clearing the fifth chakra. (deep breath) (roaring breath) You can press back over the knees.

You may be maintaining the legs in your lotus, half lotus, or Sukhasana. So we're gonna tip on back from lion's pose into the first incarnation of Vishnu, Matsyasana. So you can certainly straighten your legs out here. I'm going to slide my hands under the hips, tip my head back, lift the chin, lower onto the top of the head. If you've kept your lotus legs, you might reach your hands for your feet.

Tighten the shape a bit, and then roll the shoulders back. And breathe like you've got gills. A great fish. Who started off a little fish gathered up by an ancient king in a jar. He grew too big for the jar, put him in the pond.

You're too big for the pond. They put him in the river. Too big for the river, sent him out to the sea. He kept growing and growing. You can take your hands down.

Draw the knees in, and then unravel your legs if you haven't already, and shake them out to the ceiling. So you're able to free up the legs. You can hug the knees into your chest, Apanasana. I'm gonna rock up and turn around, and actually, you might wanna use your blanket underneath your body for a little extra cushioning. Now, on to the back, bring the right knee into the chest extend the left leg long.

And then take your right knee across to the left for a lazy spinal twist. And empty the right shoulder blade into the ground. And take a deep breath there. (deep breaths) And the right leg is already on top. As you come onto your back, just bring the left knee up behind the right knee so the knees are stacked.

Now, then hands are going to reach over the feet, or the ankles if you can't quite reach the feet, for reclining Gomukhasana. So you might sway the hips right to left, drawing the feet wider, but closer to your body. And then emptying your sacrum down into the mat, or the blanket beneath you. Oh, it feel so nice. So just imagine you're in the cow pasture with Krishna, (laughs) he was a cowboy.

Lying in the sun, grazing the grass. And then you can open your legs up, and bring your left knee in. Right leg extends long. Left leg comes across to the right. Look over your left arm, spinal twist the other way.

You might have to shift your right ribs to the right side of the mat just a touch, to help you find a little bit of a deeper release. When you roll back on to your back, the right knee comes up underneath the left knee. Reach your hands around the tops of the feet, or the ankles, and then slide your hips side to side. Happy cow in the pasture, breathing into the outer hips. I do like using a blanket underneath me for these shapes, it's a little nicer on the spinus processes if you have stegosaurus spine.

From this reclining Gomukhasana, open the legs, and catch the outer edges of the feet, happy baby, so you can bring the elbows to the insides of the knees, and then press the sacrum down again. Stretch the spine up out of the hips. Draw the shoulder blades together. So you're nudging the knees wider and hugging the heels in, drawing the knees closer to the earth. You might finish with yogi toe lock extending the legs wide.

Again, get weighted through the sacrum. Heart lifted and open. Now, bring the soles of the feet together. You can rest the pinkie toe edges of the feet on the mat. You might scoot a little longer to make space in the lower back.

And we'll rest in goddess pose for a few deep breaths before Shavasana, channeling the energy of Lakshmi, Vishnu's consort, the goddess of beauty, and love, fertility, prosperity. Receiving the blessings of Vishnu in his many forms. When you feel the call, you can straighten your legs out one at a time for your Shavasana. You can start to breathe with a slight whispering sound through the back of the throat. Like the ocean moving through you.

(deep breaths) As you tune in to the ebb and flow. The give and take of life. Your victorious breath. And you stretch the arms overhead with an inhale. Reach long through the legs.

And curl onto your right side, pressing through the left hand to help yourself up. So you can find Sukhasana and we'll finish with the Shankh mudra again. So, left thumb is wrapped up in the right hand, and make the conch shell shape. Hold it at the heart. We'll finish with one more Om.

Om. Namaste.

Comments

3 people like this.
Thank you, Kate! I appreciated the fun, playful sequencing and storytelling. Even more, I loved the pace and your cueing. Thanks, also for ending with a nice savasana - such an important and necessary close. xo
3 people like this.
great cueing and love the vishnu tales and your light heartedness. peace.
3 people like this.
Excellent, technical, narrative practice! Thank you so much for such a perfect practice!
1 person likes this.
I love your videos!! I have been following you on youtube for a while!!!! I'm so happy to have found you on here!!!!
1 person likes this.
Such a wonderful adventure incarnating Vishnu's incarnations! Really creative sequencing! Thank you!
1 person likes this.
Just returned to this amazing sequence. Love it!!
2 people like this.
Oh so beautiful ——- xxxxx
1 person likes this.
Beautiful class! Challenging and playful,my body felt limitless after this class!
1 person likes this.
Love this practice. Embodying Visnu's incarnations here and now. What a wonderful movement meditation.
Such intelligent, creative sequencing. This one continues to inspire! Thank you, Kate.
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