The Yoga Flow Show Artwork
Season 4 - Episode 8

Fallen Angel Flow

35 min - Practice
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Kate leads us in an energizing practice to stay connected to our center as we build toward Fallen Angel Pose. We start with postures on the floor to stretch and open the neck, back and hamstrings, and to awaken the core and hips. Kate then breaks down Fallen Angel before building it into a sweet flow. You will feel strong and alive in your power.
What You'll Need: Mat, Strap

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(wave splashing) Namaste, for this practice, you'll need a strap. So, take it in your hands, unroll it. We're gonna make a giant loop. So you can slide in the strap, make it nice and secure. We'll adjust it a little bit more once we get into position but go for as big as you can make the loop to start.

And you'll lie onto your back, bring your right foot into the loop and take your head in the other end. Now, I'm gonna need to tighten this, so I'm gonna pull the end of the strap not so much that I feel it severely on my hamstrings. It's really not about that. Mostly, you just wanna feel the support of the neck. So, the leg reaching forward, the right leg reaching forward supports the head in like a hammock shape.

And take your hands onto the floor and then try to relax your shoulders back. Oh, I love this. So, the reaching forward of the right leg actually lifts the upper back and shoulder blades off the mat. Try to release away from the right leg and feel the stretch through the upper traps. Take a few breaths here.

You're trying to also find a nice balanced place between the right and the left sacroiliac joint underneath you. Now very slowly, keeping in mind that your head is attached to your right foot by way of the strap, you can even take your right hand to the outer right thigh for a little brace. Allow the right leg to lean out to the right side of the room. Now, the left shoulder releases away from the direction of the right leg. And it's not about getting your foot to the floor.

It's almost better off if it's more subtle. So, just an angling off to the side and breathe into the left side of the mat. Ooo, that feels good. Now, the leg's gonna come across the mid-line to the left side, your right hand can come down. Relax your right shoulder.

You might close your eyes and breathe here. So, this one is a neck stretch also, but you might feel a little opening through the outer hip, as well. Two things we'll need to find success in the fallen angel. If you can come through center and then switch the legs, left leg comes up, replaces the right, so you can keep your head and shoulders off the mat and extend the right leg long and then go for finding that point of balance, where you can release the hips. You might even feel a little stretch through the back of the left hip.

And take your left hand to the outside of the left thigh and the left leg veers off to the side. Relax your right shoulder down and breathe. It's a nice angle. Then the leg can pass through center and across to the right. Roll the left shoulder back and bring your breath into the outer left hip.

Take it easy here and be gentle on yourself. You can bring your left leg back through center, take your hands around the ends of the strap nearest your head, so free up your head first, and then set the strap aside. You can bring your right knee into the chest, left leg long. Take a spinal twist, right knee to the left side of the mat, gazing over the right arm. Roll back onto your back and walk your hands down the right shin until they come around the right foot if you can reach that far.

So, it's a deep contraction. The right thigh is in deep flexion. Breathe in, as you exhale, curl your chest up to your thigh and lift your left leg slightly off the mat so it's just hovering off the mat in front of you. Keep the contraction through the abdominals and the flexion through the right thigh. See if you can maintain the shape and reach both hands forward.

The right knee is drawing in toward the chest. Then inhale the right leg straight up. We feel really strong through the inner leg lines. Exhale, cross the right knee over the left and see if you can go all the way into an eagle leg shape so it's eagle with the legs, hands behind the head. Breathe in, widen through the chest, you can lie back down.

On your breath out, curl up into an eagle sit up so the knees come in, the elbows come in to meet them. Inhale lie down, exhale curl up. Breathing in and breathing out. One more, inhale lie down, exhale, curl up into an eagle leg shape, now reach your hands forward, unravel your legs, it's Ardha Navasanah, and it's fierce. Bring your left knee in and relax onto your back.

Take a breath, bring your left knee across your body to the right, look over the left arm for your spinal twist, and return to your back, walk your hands down the left shin and around the sole of the left foot. Take a breath in here, fill up and exhale, curl your shoulder blades up off the mat and float your right leg right off the floor. Now, reach both hands forward, hold the shape, drawing in the center, inhale, reach the left leg straight up to the sky, and exhale, bend the knees, wrap your legs around into eagle. Take your hands behind your head, inhale lie down, and exhale curl up, eagle sit up. Breathing in and breathing out, round in, flex in the spine, inhaling, elbows wide, hard open.

Exhale, curl into your eagle leg shape. One more, breathing in, release, and breathing out, curl up and just stretch the arms forward, reach the legs forward, rise up right into Navasada and you can cross your legs and come on to all fours. Sitting back in child's pose with a nice, warm belly. Inhale up to all fours and tuck through the toes and exhale your way into downward facing dog. Place your feet hip width apart and hands shoulder width apart and reach through the arms and legs evenly.

Then inhale your way into plank pose, shoulders over the wrists and exhale, lower your knees directly to the mat underneath your hips. We're gonna start with the left leg. Send your left leg straight out to the side, so it'll be off the mat, turn the left toes straight forward in line with the fingertips. And then from here, it's a little bit backwards but it's worth a try. Inhale the right arm up, see it's so backwards, I forgot which arm to lift.

(laughs) Now thread the right arm underneath your left arm. You're gonna lower the back of the right shoulder down. You might even use a block under your head or a blanket. So it's a thread-the-needle type shape. Now, circle the left arm up.

You might wrap it behind your back if you feel stable enough. So, you're twisting through the upper back. You could even press down through the right arm and try to keep the outer edge of the pinky toe on the ground, the pinky toe edge of the foot sealed into the floor. And then, for fun, stretch the left arm overhead. You can tent through the fingers and try to peek up underneath the left arm.

So, the back of the right arm's pressing into the floor. The left fingertips are into the floor in front of you, overhead. And now, without losing your balance, pick up your left heel, see if you can lift your left leg from the belly. Not too high or you'll end up doing a somersault sideways. Then place the left foot back down, slide the left hand to the floor next to your face.

Reach into the left hand, now the right arm lifts out to the side and float the left leg up again, like an airplane. Inhale, the left leg sweeps back, right arm sweeps forward. Take your right hand down, step your left foot through and lift your left arm, so you're twisting from the belly here. You can tuck the right toes. Inhale, lift the right knee up above the mat.

Circle your left arm overhead and take it to the mat next to your left foot. Exhale your way back into downward facing dog. Breathing in, come through plank. Breathing out, lower to the mat. Inhale to a low cobra, exhale back up onto all fours.

Here we are on the other side, so the right leg goes directly out to the side, toes pointing straight ahead. Inhale the left arm up, weave your left arm under your right arm. Try to bring the back of the left shoulder blade onto the mat on the left side of your head. Right arm wraps behind the back, you might even guide the left thigh bone back. Take a breath here into the upper back.

Send the hips behind you. And then the right arm circles overhead, tent the fingers, and turn your gaze up underneath the right arm. See if you can start to lift your right heel and then float the right leg up to the side, strong through the belly. Lower the right leg down, slide your hand down to the mat next to your face, the right hand that is, inhale the left arm out to the side, and the right leg lifts, airplane. Right leg back, left arm forward, breathing in.

Take your left hand down, step your right foot through, lifting the right arm to the sky. Tuck your left toes, inhale, lift your left knee up off the mat, and circle the right arm overhead, exhaling back to downward facing dog. Plank pose breathing in, empty to the mat. Inhale, lift for low cobra, and exhale press back to downward facing. Inhale, lift the right leg high.

Exhale the right knee to the nose, bring your shoulders over your wrists. Inhale the right leg back up, exhale the right knee to your left upper arm, find the twist. Now, extend the right leg so it's off the mat, reach back through your left heel, and forward through the crown of the head. See if you can nudge the right hip underneath you and go for the outer hip opening. Then the left heel spins down, inhale the left arm up, fallen triangle, should be a straight line from the right hand to the left.

Circle the left arm back overhead, bring the right knee to the nose, and step your foot forward, low lunge. Inhale the right arm up, spin the left heel down, poke the right thumb into the right hip. From here, I like to start with the left fingertips tented, then I can square my hips and get organized before I even come up. So I'm reaching through the pinky toe edge of the left foot. Take the left arm straight ahead and then inhale the right arm up.

So, it's warrior one, we're just working our angles here. The left hand reaches forward, bring the right shin forward, take the right hand higher and drop the right hip lower. Feel a little lift through the inner arch of the left foot and take that all the way up the inner thigh. You're gonna cross the elbows like we were crossing the knees in eagle legs, now we're eagle arms. Inhale, take the fingertips high.

Exhale, allow yourself to pour forward and pick up the left leg, standing splits. It could be a mellow standing splits. Lower your left knee down behind your right foot, help yourself onto your seat, circle your right arm behind you, inhale the left arm up. And exhale, cross the left elbow over the right thigh. If that's too deep, then cradle the right knee in your left elbow.

So, it's Ardha Matsyendrasana or seated spinal twist. Drop the right hip and breathe into the outer thigh/waist, that interesting intersection there. Then you're gonna catch the outer edge of the right foot with your left hand or your strap and open up the chest here, spread wide across the heart, and on our way out, cross the right knee over the left. So, you literally turn back to the front of the mat for Gomukhasana, you can nestle in, maybe even sliding a blanket underneath your hips. So, the knees are stacked, feet are out to the sides, inhale the left arm up, catch the left elbow in the right hand.

Sit up tall here. You can use your strap if your hands don't connect for your Gomukhasana arms. The right arm reaches up the middle back for the left hand, roll a little taller breathing in. You might lean forward breathing out. Take a few moments here, making space in the hips and the shoulders.

You might start to dip a little deeper into your forward bend. And inhale your way up, your arms open wide, take your left arm under your right arm, eagle arms, unravel the legs, Navasana. Take a breath here, lift up a little higher, and then we'll cross through to downward facing dog. Inhale the left leg up, draw the left knee into the nose, shoulders forward, over the wrists. Send the left leg back, breathing in.

Exhale the left knee to the upper right arm. Extend the left leg out to the side. Now straighten out through the spine and send some energy back through the right heel. Nudge the left hip down. The right heel can lower, inhale the right arm up, fallen triangle, so you're turning upwards.

It's like a sparkler, then the right arm reaches overhead, take it back down, pick your left knee up towards your nose and step it through to the top. Inhale the left arm up. Spin the right heel to the floor, hook your left hand right in the hip crease there and tense your right fingers. So, angle the right toes forward to the front right corner of the mat. Now inhale the right arm straight out in front of you and guide the right hip point forward.

The left arm can come up. Lengthen the tail, drop a little deeper through the front leg, breathing into the right front of the hip. Now, the right arm's gonna weave under the left arm. Inhale the fingertips overhead, there's a little bit of a hard opening here. Exhale pour your way into your standing splits, so your right leg lifts.

Lower your right knee down behind the left ankle. Spiral the left hand behind you and inhale the right arm up. So, turning left into Ardha Matsyendrasana. Sit up as tall as you can, even out the breath here. And we'll go for the special ayitivend opening variation, right hand on the outside of the left foot, lift up taller, might even sway, now turn back to the top of the mat, the left knee crosses over the right knee.

So, I like to sort of lift myself up, to give myself some space. So, you can elevate the hips, especially if you have knee issues or just really tight hips, through the outsides. Right arm up, guide the elbow behind your head, and send the right hand down between your shoulder blades. Left arm stretches up the middle back for the right hand. Breathing in and breathing out, we tip forward.

You can close the eyes, soften up your expression, holy cow face. Dropping in a little further. You can inhale your way up to vertical, open your arms out to the sides. The right arm weaves under the left arm and the legs extend out in front of you. Breathe in here.

Breathing out, cross the legs, take your hands in front of you, step your way back to downward facing dog. You can come into child's pose and take a little rest. And then, walk your hands up to your knees to sit in Vajrasana. We're gonna break down fallen angel pose and it's a side bend. It can be sort of intense on the neck so we wanna be careful there and it's an outer hip opening and an arm balance.

So, there's a lot going on. So you can come onto your all fours, tuck your toes, and then walk your hands back so that you're up on the balls of your feet. We'll do the right side first. So, turn your knees to the left. So, you're twisting to the right.

The knees are coming together tightly almost like you're prepping for side crow. And it is similar to side crow, although you get to cheat in the way that you don't inside crow. (laughs) So, take your hands shoulder width apart, the elbows bend, you can allow your right hip to lower onto your right elbow, so it's sort of the lazy side crow. And then keep on tipping until the side of your head comes to the mat. Now, extend your left leg up and angle your right foot up to meet it.

Now, don't put too much pressure on your head. There it is, so you angle your toes up like you're falling from heaven then come back down. (laughs) You can spin back to the center, sit on your shins for a moment and give your wrists a little circling, the flamenco hands. So, we'll set up for the second side. You can tuck the toes, pick up your knees, swivel your knees to the right, so we're twisting left.

Spread the fingers out, keep the fingertips active, tip onto the left elbow, so the left hip can swing over to the left elbow. Keep your belly lifting, extend your right leg up, the left foot points up to meet it. Take a breath. You can bring your right knee down, swivel back around, knees lower, sit on your heels, and circle out your wrists. And we can also put it into a flow.

This one's gonna take us to the back of the mat and around. It'll give you another chance to work it out. So, inhale up to all fours, downward facing breathing out. We're gonna put some of the poses together that we've already worked through. Inhale the right leg up.

Exhale, step it forward and lift your right arm. Spin your left heel down, hook your right thumb into your hip. Now, we'll come right up to warrior one with eagle arms. Exhale pour forward, standing splits, lift the left leg. Lower the left knee down behind the right.

Inhale the right arm overhead to the back of the mat. Now, we're gonna keep going, you're passing through seated spinal twist. Bring your hands to the back of the mat, right hip, right elbow, fallen angel. On your way out, you test it back, right leg back, left leg back, you're in downward dog, facing the other end of the mat. We'll set up for the second side.

So, left leg up breathing in. Exhale, step it forward, lift your left arm right into your twist. Spin the right heel down, left arm weaves under the right, inhale your way up to warrior one. Pour it forward, standing splits, the right leg lifts. Lower the right knee down behind your left ankle, circle the left arm to the other side of the mat, the original front, take your right foot on the floor, lift your hips, left hand, left elbow, tip onto the left side of the head, fallen angel.

Downward dog to child's pose. You can sit up on the shins and circle the wrists again. So, I've got one more variation for us today. It involves Pincha Mayarasuna, maybe with a scorpion variation, maybe with a little twist. So, we'll start in downward dog, inhale the right leg up, exhale the right knee to the left arm.

So, I find the twist in the belly, extend the leg out, send the left heel back with the heart forward. Feel the outer hip opening. Now, spin the left heel down, inhale fallen triangle, yeah. Circle back down, right foot steps back to meet the left, and lower onto your elbows. So, we've got the elbows right under the shoulders, spread the fingers out wide.

Our Gomukhasana helped to open the shoulders to make room for Pincha Mayurasana. Now, we're gonna lift the left leg first. Come up high onto the ball of the right foot. See if you can bring the right knee into your chest without even kicking up. So, the right knee is lifting into the belly.

The feet are nice and active. Now, maybe extend the right leg across the body to the left, just like fallen triangle. So, it's a twisted Pincha Mayurasana. Take it slow, bring your right foot down, left foot down, press back for child's pose. You can inhale up to all fours, it's a wild ride.

Downward facing dog, breathing out. So, staying so connected to your center, that you don't spin off. Inhale the left leg up, left knee upper right arm, extend the left leg out to the side, and then take a moment, drag the left hip back, reach through the right heel, and forward through the crown of the head, yum. Back heel down, inhale the right arm up, fallen triangle. Sweep the right arm overhead, take it back down, tuck the right toes, left leg steps back.

Lower onto your elbows, press through the fingertips, walk the feet in. This time, it's the right leg lifting first, cause the left leg's gonna cut across the center. So, try to tip up through the right leg, bring the left knee into the chest, like that abdominal contraction we started with. Now, maybe the left leg moves across to the right, twisting you in your Pincha. Then swivel the left foot back down, come out carefully, you wouldn't wanna slam down in that twisted shape.

Be very gentle, slow, move with control. Come onto your bellies from here. Counter stretch in side bow, so reach back for your feet, you don't have to come all the way up for the first one. You're just gonna tilt onto the right shoulder. So, move the right shoulder behind you and rest the right side of your head onto the floor.

And take a few breaths here, try to keep the thighs parallel and the heart open. So, it's kind of a relaxing bow if there was such a thing. You can come onto your belly and go right over to the other side. So, the left elbow, or left shoulder, is pinned underneath you. The feet might come together.

Move the hips forward. I'm trying to keep the thighs parallel again. Some energy between the inner thighs, stretching through the front body, stretching open your abdominals. You can come onto your belly and we'll lift right up through your center. And release, you can cross your arms, turn your head to one side and rock your hips right to left.

From here, we'll come onto our backs. Take your feet mat width apart, your arms out to the side and cactus arms. And this is just real loose, real easy. The knees fall to the left, look over to the right. And then switch, knees to the right, look to the left.

Then back and forth, knees left, gaze right. Knees right, glancing left, then come through center and stretch your legs and arms out for Shavasana. Breathing with a little more energy. A little more volume in space and sound, you can move the hands and feet, stretch the arms overhead. Breathing in, reach long in both directions and then curl into a little ball and your right side and pause in fetal pose.

Pressing into your left hand, come on up sweetly. Namaste.

Comments

1 person likes this.
Love your modern creative flow. It felt so right. Thank you. Very impressed.
Super cool transitions! I feel a bit like a wrung out 🥨 right now (in a good way.)
1 person likes this.
Your sequences always take me to places I've never been before.
1 person likes this.
Thanks for this. Fallen Angel is my new fav pose.  I looked like a drunken crash test dummy the first few times but eventually got the hang of it. Awesome session!

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