The Yoga Flow Show Artwork
Season 4 - Episode 9

Revolve and Evolve

40 min - Practice


Kate guides us in a practice to awaken our belly through dynamic twisting—seated, supine, standing, and in flight. This sequence builds progressively, generating heat and strength. You will feel energized and refreshed.
What You'll Need: Mat, Block

About This Video


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(waves) Hello and thank you for joining me in this practice about revolving and evolving. So you can inhale your arms up high, and exhale the arms wide for cactus arms. And then bring your index and thumb fingers together in the Jnana Mudra. You're going to inhale and twist to your left, exhale, twist to your right. Breathing in and out through the nose.

(breathing audibly) You can close your eyes so you don't get dizzy, and focus on turning from the central axis. From the tailbone to the crown of the head, keeping the elbows wide. The nice line across the heart, through the upper arm bones. Inhale turning left, exhaling right. And you might start to feel it more in the abdominals as you free up the middle back.

So your spine becomes nice and warm, nice and fluid. You can just liquefy your spine, find that freedom of rotation. And you can start to slow it down. And I'm going to land twisting to the right. You can bring your left hand to your right knee.

And then lean toward the left shoulder, slightly, and take your right arm up, breathing in. You're going to cactus your right arm here, you can even bring the thumb and the index finger together and tip the right elbow back to feel the shoulders opening as you tip your chest upwards. Come up through center, twisting left, right hand to the left knee. Spiral around to the left. Inhale the left arm overhead, lean over to the right, and then pull the left elbow back as you spin the heart upwards.

Feel the left elbow wing back, stretching open your chest muscles. You can inhale up through center. We're going to come onto our backs. So lying down. Get a block, we're going to use it right away.

So you'll bring a block between the knees. A foam block would be ideal here. And then flex the feet. Take the knees to a 90 degree bend. You can bring the palms straight out, off the mat, reaching down into the ground.

Breathe in here through the nose. As you exhale, the knees come toward the left side of your mat. You don't need to bring them all the way down. Keep the right shoulderblade planted on the mat, and then with your breath in, come back up to center. You're revolving through the belly, that's literally what this means.

Exhale, the knees go to the right. Jathara parivartanasana. A belly roll. Inhale your way back up to center. Exhale your knees to the left, take it slow.

Right shoulderblade grounding. Inhale, turning through the naval to bring your knees back. Exhale, knees to the right, left shoulderblade emptying into the ground, and inhale, bringing the knees back up. We're going to try one more variation. So send your right leg up, and bring your left heel down.

Now, with your exhale, the right foot angles up towards the left hand. Keeping the right shoulderblade grounded. Inhale, rise back up to the center, and switch your legs. Left leg long, right heel to the right sitting bone. Exhale the left foot toward the right hand.

Breathing in, come up through center, switch your legs, breathing out, right foot left hand. So there's a nice, steep angle in this variation. Inhale back up, switch your legs. Last time, left foot angles over toward the right hand. Come through center on the breath in.

Bring your heels down and set the block aside. You can bring your knees in, rock up. Shift around onto all fours, and you can sit back in child's pose. Walk the hands out to feel a stretch across the chest and through the armpits, setting up your foundation for downward-facing dog. You can inhale up to all fours and exhale your way back into your first dog.

Powerful arms and legs, and nice lift in the naval. Inhale, stretch your chest forward and bring your shoulders right over the wrists, feeling that plank position. And stay for the exhale, getting longer. Take one more breath in here, even press down through the hands. Lifting the belly, lifting the inner thighs, and then exhale to lower all the way down to the mat, take your time.

Point the feet, inhale, the heart lifts, Baby Cobra. And exhale back to Downward-Facing Dog. Inhale the right leg to the sky, exhale, draw the knee in towards the nose and step your foot forward between your hands. Breathing in, lift the right arm for a twist, turning from the naval center. Circle the right arm overhead, and spin your left heel down.

This is a little bit sneaky. Start to straighten your right leg, look underneath your left arm. You're turning from the naval. Bring your right hand to the middle of the mat, turn the right toes in, and inhale the left arm up. So we're really revolving and evolving here. (laughs) Now take your left arm under your right arm for Eagle arms.

You can soften the knees. Rise up, reaching the fingertips to the sky. Now pick up the right toes, spin around on your right heel, and open up for Warrior Two, expanding out through the arms. You can flip the palms, inhale into Reverse Warrior, the right ribcage opens, and cartwheel the hands down, exhaling your way to the mat. Inhaling, the heart rolls open for Cobra.

Exhale, back to Downward-Facing Dog. Breathing in, take the left leg high. Breathing out, step it forward to the top of the mat. Inhale the left arm up to twist, circle it overhead, and go between your left leg and your right arm. Start to look under the right arm, the left foot flexes so you can spin on the heel.

Turn the left toes in, inhale the right arm high. Right arm weaves under the left, Eagle your arms, inhale your way up to stand. Turn the left toes back to the front of the mat, and exhale your way into Warrior Two. Inhale into Reverse Warrior, a peaceful warrior, tipping back. Exhale your way through Chaturanga.

Lowering halfway this time. Upward-Facing, exhaling back to Downward-Facing. Inhale the right leg high, exhale, step it forward to the top. Breathing in, take the right arm up. Circle it overhead and swivel to the side.

Inhale, the left arm lifts. Exhale, weave it underneath the right arm. Soften the knees, breathing in, come up to stand. And pick up the right toes, exhale into Warrior Two. Inhale into Reverse Warrior.

You're gonna catch the right wrist with the left hand and drop a little deeper through the right thigh as you open through the right shoulder. Tip the right elbow back, and stack the right knee over the right ankle, and with your exhale release the right arm to the right thigh and sweep the left arm overhead for Extended Side-Angle on the thigh. You can circle the left arm behind your back, maybe even weaving your hand to the top of the right thigh. Inhale, reach your right arm out alongside your right ear, and feel the strength in the side body here as you roll the left shoulder back. Lift the belly in and up.

On your next breath in, tip it back into your Reverse Warrior. Triangle Pose, breathing out. The left arm can lift. Stretch through the crown of the head and back through the tailbone. You can sweep the left arm overhead with an exhale.

On your next breath in, climb up, Reverse Warrior. Cartwheel your left hand down, tuck your left toes. Inhale, Side Plank. Exhale the right arm overhead, you can either go to Chaturanga or to Downward-Facing. Inhale to Upward-facing, we'll meet back in Downward-Facing, whichever route you chose.

Setting up for the second side. Inhale the left leg up, exhale step it forward. Left arm lifts, breathing in. Circle to the right, breathing out. Inhale the right arm up, exhale, weave it underneath the left.

Eagle arms. Inhale, guide it up through center, pick up the left toes, exhale into Warrior Two. Reverse Warrior, inhaling. Now, catch the left wrist with your right hand and go deeper. Bend through the left elbow.

Move it back to the left side. Open up the left ribs, the left lats, even the left waist. And exhale the left arm to the thigh for Extended Side-Angle. You can bring your right foot in a smidge if you've gotten a little too big for your britches. And then take your right arm behind your back for your half-bond.

Lengthen the tail down towards your right heel, and with the breath in, lift your left arm. So you're finding a long line between the left hand and the right foot. On your next inhale, tip it back, Reverse Warrior. Exhale into your Triangle Pose. Slide your hand down your left ankle.

Right arm reaching to the sky. You can draw the lower belly in. Reach down through the left foot and tip up your right hip, slightly. Spreading wide through the ball of your left foot. On an exhale, reach the right arm overhead.

Feel the space in the right waist. Then inhale, bend the left knee, Reverse Warrior, fly back up. Cartwheel your hands down, tuck the right toes. Plant through the right hand as you pivot to the outer edge of the right foot. Inhaling to Side Plank.

Sweep the left arm overhead. It's either Chaturanga or Downward-Facing Dog. You can take a big breath in, and empty it out. And lift to the balls of the feet, soften your knees, gaze forward, step or float to the top of the mat. Inhale, lift to Ardha Uttanasana, exhale, bow on in, to a standing forward fold.

Bend the knees, inhale up for Utkatasana, or Chair Pose, and come to stand in Tadasana. Draw the left knee into your chest, and rotate the left thigh up for chi. You can take your hands to your hips. Engage the inner right thigh, and press the inner right thigh into your left foot. Then inhale the arms up overhead like branches.

You're gonna cactus your arms here, feel the width, openness, across the heart. Now the left leg is going to cut behind the right leg. Bend the right knee, take the outer edge of the left foot onto the wood, or the floor, whatever surface it may be on the outside of your mat. Now the left arm cuts across, and you catch the left wrist in your right hand. So this is kind of a side-swiping shape.

The more you can bend through the right knee, the better. So you'll be able to feel a really deep side-bend, side-body stretch, all the way from the left arm down through the left hip. From here, see if you can cut back across yourself, take the right fingertips down, either to the floor or the block, sweep the left arm back. The left leg stretches behind you, Ardha Chandrasana, maybe Chapasana. You can catch the foot.

Roll the shoulder back, lower the knee, and breath open across the thigh. Strong through your right leg. Start to soften your right knee. Inhale your way into Reverse Warrior. So the left arm slides down the left leg, right arm lifts.

Now turn the right toes in. The right arm cuts across your body to the left shin. This gets a little confusing, stay with me. Left arm goes across to either the right shin, or maybe to a block, where you can take your fingers. So we're peeking under the arm again.

You're revolving from the belly. See if you can take the left elbow back and look up underneath yourself. Now both feet, take it slow, shift to the right, and see if you can keep going. Revolving and evolving into a shape, maybe unimagined thus far. (laughs) You can start to bend through the right knee. Take your left arm behind your back, lift your right waist.

You might even scoot your left heel back. So it's Bound Extended Side Angle. So you climb underneath yourself into it. One more shape to finish off here. Bring your right hand down, the left hand comes forward.

Pick the left leg up. A block under the left hand might be nice. Reach your right hand up for your left foot. See if you can tip the left knee to the sky and peek underneath your left arm. So it's very disorienting here, and keep your center strong.

The knee tips up, you can even look backwards. Before you get dizzy (laughing), if you aren't already, bring your left knee down. It crosses behind the right ankle, spiral into Seated Spiral Twist, and take a moment to let the blood move down out of your head and even out the breath. So it's a pretty psychedelic little sequence. We'll unwind, shift the left leg a little wider to the left side of the mat.

Then pick up the right leg. So you're rocking the right leg across the body. Rocking the baby. You're going to crawl underneath the right leg. So we're going underneath again.

Left hand over the top of the foot. You could use a strap here if you're having a hard time reaching the foot. So the right fingers tent to the side to brace the right leg. Tip the left elbow back, here we go. Surya Yantrasana.

So it's Compass Pose. You're turning the chest upwards, the gaze upwards, lifting the naval, allowing the left thigh to release. It's like a sundial. One more variation here. The right knee bends over the arm.

See if you can catch your right hand overtop of the left foot. Now the legs go in opposite directions. You go back, underneath your left arm, turn toward the back of the mat. Wing the left elbow to the back of the mat. And then move the legs in two different directions.

So the right leg's actually lifting higher as the left leg reaches down. Legs can cross, and come through center. Step back into Downward-Facing Dog. You're welcome to take a vinyasa. Or just hold still for a few breaths.

We'll meet at the top of the mat. Inhale, lift to the balls of the feet, bend through the knees, exhale step or float right back to the top. Inhale to your flat back, and exhale into your forward fold. Inhaling through your Chair pose, come to stand, exhale, it's Tadasana. So you're going to take that whole adventure around to the other side.

Lean into your left leg, bring your right knee into your chest. Rotate the right hip out. Vriksasana, or Tree Pose. Inhale the arms up and cactus them nice and wide. Right leg cuts behind the left.

Catch the right wrist with your left hand. Bend the right elbow, and sink down through the right hip. So it's almost like a little side-plank foot there. You're reaching, reaching, reaching, arcing through the right side of the body. Now the hands come down, the left hand tents or rests on a block.

Breathing in, the right arm and leg swing open. Maybe catch the right foot in your hand for your Chapasana variation. Moving the left thighbone back. Stretching open across the right shoulder, the right chest muscles. And you step back, inhale, sweep the arms up, Reverse Warrior.

Turn the left toes in. It's a bit of a side-bend to start. Now the left hand comes to the right shin. You can bring your feet a little closer together too. The right arm sweeps across to either the floor, a block, or your left shin.

Peek underneath yourself. It's like a revolved Prasarita. The feet angle back to the top of the mat. You're turning up underneath your right arm. Then your hand may not be touching your leg.

You can still get the revolution without making contact there. Bend through the left knee, the left arm weaves underneath you, right arm behind the back. You can lift the left waist for your bound extended side-angle. Connect to your breath and roll your right shoulder back some more. Now on our way out, the left hand comes down, the right arm reaches forward.

So you tip onto your left leg, right leg lifts, try to catch the foot in the left hand. So bring the foot to your hand. Opposite hand in foot. Start to send the knee up. So you're literally pivoting at the hip.

You might be looking backwards. The knee stretches up to the sky. The naval is drawing in toward the spine. Keep breathing. Steady Eddie.

Soldier of love. And then bring the right knee down, kinda swivel right into the ground happily, for student's final twist. And close your eyes. Have a moment. And we unwind to the right.

There's a little swiveling back to the front of the mat. Pick up the left leg, slide it back and forth across the chest. And start to climb underneath you. So the left leg is up over the back of the left arm. And then swing the left hand nice and wide.

Right hand overtop of the left foot. Send your left leg out to the left side of the mat, and peel your right elbow back. Try to keep both sitting bones on the ground and revolve your heart upwards and open. Surya Yantrasana. Turning up to the light.

Bring the left leg back across the chest so that you can take your right hand, sorry, left hand to right foot. It's really confusing at this point. (laughing) Now here we go! So you're peeking back underneath the right arm, like you're going into Compass, but the right leg extends forward. Twisting through the upper back and chest, lifting up out of the hips. Turning your gaze to the right as far as you can. And then you can find your seat.

We'll come back through Downward-Facing Dog. Inhale the right leg high. Exhale, step it through to the top of the mat. Breathing in, come all the way up to Crescent Pose. Cactus your arms, breathing out, and feel a little more depth through the hips.

And we're gonna twist to the right. So turn, turn, turn from the belly. So it's a little Egyptian feeling here in the body. And then the right hand can move down the left leg. Inhale the left arm up.

So you're arcing across the left side of the body again. Now exhale the left elbow to the outside of the right knee, bring your hands to prayer, and reach in two different directions evenly. Or as evenly as you can. Take another breath here. On our way out, you're going to spin to the left.

So your hands come to the inside of the right foot and you can fold into Prasarita. Let your head loosen up a little bit and relax your neck. And then breathing in, come to a flat back. Now hop your feet together and come into a little perch. So you're right up on the balls of the feet.

Take your right hand to the top of the mat, and circle your left arm overhead. Oh, yes! When the left hand comes down, the knees are still tight together. We're going to stay on the back of just the left arm, so keep your right hip off your right elbow. Tip forward. Now the legs here can separate.

You can stretch the legs apart for Eka Pada Koundinyasana A. And then step it back to Downward Dog, and even out the breath. Inhale your left leg up, and exhale step it forward. Breathing in, make your way up to Crescent Pose, and breathing out, the elbows go wide, cactus arms, dropping in. You turn to your left, and take your left hand down your right leg.

Inhale the right arm up. Wrap the right hip forward. And then cut across the midline as you hook the elbow over the thigh. So Revolved Crescent, try to move your hands to the center of the chest, roll the left shoulder back. Pick up the inner right thigh.

Turning your gaze upwards. One more breath in. Let's spin around to the right. Prasarita. And hop the feet into the center of the mat.

Find a little perch. Left hand to the top of the mat. Inhale the right arm overhead, oooh, drop the right hip, open the right waist, and then take it down. So the left thigh comes onto the right elbow. Tip forward, reach through the crown of the head, left leg reaches out to the side while right leg reaches back.

Make space in the waist. Revolved Koundinyasana. Step it back to Dog. And then we'll lower onto the knees and come onto our backs. You lie down, and we'll open up the front body.

Bring the heels right up to the sitting bones. Plant your feet into the earth, and inhale, lift your hips up off the ground. Making space across the front of the thighs. You can interlace your hands. Bring the arms underneath you.

Float the heart up toward the chin, but keep the throat soft. (breathes deeply) You can even root down through the balls of the feet, and flare your toes up like little feathers flicking up off the mat. Maybe the hips float just a notch higher on your next breath in. You can separate the hands and lower down. Breathing out.

Allow your knees to swing side to side, just releasing the lower back. So if you're feeling like you really need to bring it down you might grab your block and put it underneath your sacrum, take a restorative bridge. You can also take another active bridge. If you're feeling ready, and excited about a bigger backbend, then take your hands up. Robot arms. (laughing) Plant the palms underneath the shoulders.

Spread the fingers out, hug the elbows in. Bring the heels back into the sitting bones. Let's lift up onto the top of the head to start. So breathing in, reach through the feet, scoot the top of the head underneath you. Take a breath out and pull it together.

Organize. Elbows and knees in. On your next inhalation, press straight up through the arms and the legs. And try to find balance between these four points. And allow the head to just hang loose between the arms, breathing in and out through the nose, keeping a strong belly and an inward spiral through the thighs.

Energy through the inner thighs, lifting through Mula Bandha. Giving a little container to maintain space in the lumbar. Maybe one more breath here. You can tuck your chin in on your way down. Come lower onto your back.

Savoring the yoga buzz. (laughs) Now the right foot can come up into sort of a half Tarasana. So it's not a full pigeon shape, although the leg is externally rotated. You can bring your hands around the outer edge of the right foot. And if your hips are a little bit tighter, you might want to keep the left leg bent. If you've got more room in there, you can straighten the left leg out.

So the right foot is just hovering over the midline. And you can rock side to side a little bit, breathe with it, and then start slowly guiding the foot up. So it's still hovering high over your body, but you're drawing it upwards, maybe up over the throat, even over the face, toward the third eye, breathing into the hip, into these awkward portions of the hip. Might even be little catches in there you can work through. You can close your eyes. (exhales deeply) Focusing on the letting go.

Now left hand will come overtop the right foot like we did for Compass. You may need to use a strap here too. Your right hand comes out to the side. Straighten out the right leg. So it's a reclining spinal twist, but with the leg straight.

It's like a revolved Ardha Chandrasana or Triangle feeling. Or even a revolved Koundinyasana. Try to stack the hips vertically and wrap the ribs around. And when you release the leg, you can just let it swing down across. And notice the difference between the right and the left side of your body.

And you can bring the left foot up. Weave the hands around the pinky toe edge of the foot, again, you could keep the right leg bent, or you can straighten it out in front of you. Sweetly rock side to side. (breathing deeply) And guiding the foot up, up, up, little by little, working through the congestion. Pausing and breathing where you feel stuck.

And gently drawing the foot just a little higher. (breathing deeply) And the right hand's going to cross over the top of the left foot, or you'll nab your foot in a strap. Take it across the body, straighten out the leg. Try to smear the shoulderblades across the mat. Drawing the left hip down, away from the ribcage.

Breathing space into the left waist and outer left hip. And you can release it, and the leg will just swing across. And you're right there for Savasana. Start to deepen your breath here. (deep sigh) You can open and close the hands, flex and point the feet.

And bring your feet onto the ground. The soles of the feet really spread and make contact to the earth. And you can roll onto your right side, and press down through the left hand do help yourself up. Finding Sukasana, ground yourself with your hands, even, just encouraging the thigh bones to drop. And index and thumb fingers can meet, the seal of wisdom.

The Jana Mudra. And finish with Om. â?« Ommmm Namaste.


Annie T
1 person likes this.
This class is soooo much fun! I loved all of it. I was tempted to do it again straight after...but had to get to work!
Kate M
woohoo!! A wonderful opportunity to open myself to the disorientation of not knowing what's next... very creative flow. Funfun!!
Kate W
1 person likes this.
This was so beautifully choreographed!  You created a really fun experience of playing in the body.  Thanks!!
Danielle W
Loved this!
Tracy B
1 person likes this.
I really liked this — great mixture of unexpected and expected.  Any guidance you can offer on how to work on the side-crow-like thing (sorry!  Cannot remember what it is called)?  Thanks!!

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