The Vinyasa Show Artwork
Season 7 - Episode 7

Deep Layers of the Core

35 min - Practice
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Description

Sarah guides us in a practice designed to draw our awareness deep into the layers of the core. Moving from our center, we flow through a series of Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations), and standing and balancing postures to awaken and stabilize the muscles in the belly and pelvis. You will feel more alive and strong in your power center.
What You'll Need: Mat

Transcript

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(water splashing) Welcome back. So in this practice we're going to go deeper into the layers of the core. So we're going to get into those muscles that really stabilize and support the low back and the pelvis area. So we'll do that through a series of plank poses, lunges, and some standing balancing poses. So no crunches, no sit ups, but something that we can really come and support the low back and the pelvis area.

So let's start by actually coming to this position where we're sitting back on our heels and if this is uncomfortable for you, you're welcome to take a block in between you ankles or even just find a comfortable cross leg seated position. And then as you're there just bring your hands just below your ribs so that you're holding your belly here and just close the eyes. Allow for an easy inhale through the nose. Feel the expansion on the inhale and then as you exhale (exhaling), feel the muscles corseting around that deeper layer of the core, so the protected layer. And as you inhale feel the expansion (inhaling), and then exhale, feel that corseting action, that protection (exhaling).

Of all the muscles surrounding the core. We'll do one more together. Inhaling through the nose, and then exhaling. Good so keeping that action in mind let's come to a table top position. So go ahead and join me with the shoulders right over the wrists and the hips right over the knees and see if you can tap into that same feeling of when your hands were on your belly here, finding a neutral spine.

And then from here reach your right leg all the way back behind you but feel the right hip and see if you can spin it down toward the earth so that the toes are pointing down toward the earth. And then go ahead and add that left hand so you might reach that left arm forward, draw the shoulder back, and then again, come to the core, find the breath. Take three full deep breaths here. Easy inhale through the nose, exhale through the nose. Find length through that back heel and the left fingertips.

Good and then slowly lower the left hand down. Keep the right leg lifted and you're going to bring the right toes actually down toward the earth. Spin the right heel down and take your weight into your left hand. You might adjust that left knee a little bit and then start to bring the weight into the left hand as you reach the right arm all the way up. So you're welcome to stay right here or you might bring the gaze down as you start to lift through that back leg, finding the supported plank pose, side plank.

Just a couple full deep breaths here. Finding your balance, finding that strength and engaging those muscles around the core. And then last breath in, exhale, bring the gaze down, bring your hand down, and the right knee back down to the earth. Good and let's add that left legs, balance out the body. So reach that left leg back, again, flex the foot, point the toes down toward the earth and then adding the right hand whenever you're ready, reaching it out like you're shaking someone's hand, draw that right shoulder back into its girdle and then take a few full rounds of breath.

Just really focusing on drawing the naval up into the spine and then deepening through the breath. Good and then slowly lower the right hand down, bring the left toes down, spin the back heel down, bring the weight into your right hand, and then reach that left arm all the way up. Maybe staying here, maybe starting to lift through that back leg and the gaze can be down toward your hand if you need a little help with the balance. Or maybe take the gaze up toward that left hand. Beautiful, bring the gaze back down to the earth, hand comes down, knee comes down, and we'll tuck the toes, lift the hips up and back and find your first downward facing dog.

And any movement here in this downward facing dog to feel into the backs of the legs, so maybe peddling it out through the feet, maybe swaying the hips from side to side. Just a few breaths to land. Good, on your next inhale, shift your weight forward to the top of a push up plank pose, bringing the shoulders over the wrists, press back through your heels and then exhale, come right back to downward facing dog. Good, finding a few of those inhale shifting forward, exhale shifting back. Inhale to plank, exhale downward facing dog.

Good, this time shift forward to plank pose, pause in your top of a push up and then we're going to lift the right foot up off the earth just about an inch. So you want to keep the pelvis neutral here, hips are even. Take a full breath in and then slowly lower that foot back down to the earth. Good lift the left leg up just an inch, hips even. Keep reaching through the crown of your head and then lower the left toes down, lower all the way down to the earth, and just untuck the toes, scoot your hands back just about an inch.

And pressing through the tops of the feet just lift the heart, roll the shoulders away from the ears, draw the naval to the spine, tuck your chin, and then exhale, lower it all the way back down. Good, and then tucking the toes, lifting the knees, maybe coming to the knees or coming all the way back up to plank pose, and then exhale, find downward facing dog. Good, on your next inhale rise up high on the toes, bend your knees, look forward, and step or lightly hop to your hands coming to the front of the mat. Inhale half lift, exhale folding in, and then just put a bend in the knees and slowly roll yourself up one vertebra at a time, tucking the chin, bring the shoulders up to the ears, and then just rolling the shoulders down the back, bringing the palms to face forward. I'm just taking a moment here to pause, check in.

Come back to your breath. Good and we'll move right into surinamas scarbe, start to warm the body. So on your inhale find chair pose, sync your weight back down into the heels, lift the gaze, lift the arms, and then exhale folding over the legs. Inhale half lift, exhale step or lightly float back through chaturanga if you feel ready. Otherwise we'll lower all the way down to the earth.

Inhale cobra, maybe upward facing dog, and then exhale, find your way back to downward facing dog. Good, from downward facing dog, reach your right leg all the way up in back. Exhale, look forward, step the right foot through between your hands, stay on the ball of the back foot and inhale to reach your arms all the way up to crescent, soften through the back knee. Gently tuck the tailbone down. Let's take a couple full, deep breaths here.

Good inhale, lengthen, look up, maybe press the palms together above your head and then exhale, hands come back down to the earth, step that plank pose, maybe lower through a vinyassa. We'll meet in downward facing dog on an exhale. Coming to the left side, inhale, sweep the left leg up and back. Exhale, step the foot through between the hands. Stay on the ball of the back foot, arms reach up for crescent.

Soften through the back knee. Soften the shoulders, soften the gaze. Good and then maybe look up, maybe kiss the palms together above your head, exhale, flow through vinyassa or downward facing dog. Good, let's take a couple cleansing breaths here. Good inhale, come high up onto the toes.

Bend your knees, look forward, step or lightly hop to your hands. Good inhale, come halfway up and lengthen. Offer the heart and exhale fold. Inhale right back to chair pose, reach the arms up, and then straighten through the legs, draw your hands to your heart, somacity. Good, so from the front of the mat we're going to come into tree pose.

So start to bring your weight into your right foot, draw your left knee in toward your chest, and then take the left foot to the inner upper right thigh. Good, draw your hands to your heart, find your balance here really grounding through that standing foot, and then maybe reach your arms all the way up. Allow a few full deep breaths here just feeling that energy through that right foot, right leg. Rooting down into the earth but at the same time feeling that lightness in the upper body. Good, and then draw your hands back into your chest, take your knee in toward your chest, and then from here we're going to transition warrior three, so start to straighten that left leg back behind you.

You can keep your hands at your heart or maybe reach the arms all the way in front of you if you want a little more heat here. Good and keep rolling that left hip down toward the earth, flexing a lot through that back foot and then soften through the standing leg. You're going to step that left leg all the way back, reach the arms up crescent pose, inhale. Good, landing back in crescent and then draw the hands back to your heart center. Keep the lengthen in your spine here and then you're going to start to tilt your heart forward just coming halfway down at first and then go ahead and hook the left elbow on the outside of the right leg, keep pressing through that left heel and then find prayer twist so start to rotate your chest toward your right.

Good, few full deep breaths here. Keep energizing through that left heel, see if you can find that rotation in the upper body. Maybe the gaze even comes up toward the sky. Good, inhaling. Good, bring your gaze down toward the earth and then lower your hands down, flatten out your palms, step back to plank pose.

Good, from here, step the feet together at the back of your mat, start to bring your weight into your left hand and roll to the outer edge of your left foot reaching the right arm all the way up for a side plank. Couple breaths here, engaging that left bicep, lifting the hips up just a little bit higher. So nice, good, and then bring the gaze down, come back down to plank pose and then lower through your vinyassa, come halfway down chaturanga. Inhale, upward facing dog, exhale downward facing dog. Beautiful, take a couple breaths.

Then we'll come back to the front of the mat so coming high up onto the toes, bend the knees, look forward, step or lightly hop, inhale halfway, exhale, fold. Good, inhale, bend the knees, lift the arms up, chair pose, and then this time straightening through the legs, draw your hands to your heart center. Good so we'll come onto the left side. So finding that rooting energy through the feet start to bring your weight into your left foot and then draw the right knee into your chest. Soften the shoulders down the back, go ahead and grab that right ankle and find tree.

Good, squaring the hips toward the front of the room and then once you find your balance maybe you sweep the arms all the way up and just notice if the shoulders came with you soften them down the back and then at the same time you feel that rooting, grounding energy, feel the shining in the heart, the lightness in the upper body. Good and then slowly bring that right knee into your chest, transition hands to heart, warrior three. Reach that right leg back behind you, spin the right hip down, energize through your toes and step that back foot like it's like you're stepping on the back wall so the foot's nice and flexed. If you want a little bit more reach your arms all the way in front of you and then we'll transition softly step back, crescent pose, beautiful. Good, draw your hands back to your heart, come halfway down, and then let's twist.

Hook that right elbow on the outside of the left leg and then find prayer twist. A couple breaths here, again energizing through that right heel. Beautiful and then bring your gaze back down to the earth, hands will follow, step back to plank pose, step the feet together at the back of the mat and then this time we'll roll to the outer edge of the right, weight comes into the right hand, left arm lift, vashi stasina. Good and again engage that right bicep, lift the hips up just a little bit higher and then gazing down, hand comes down, slowly lower through charturanga, upward facing dog, inhale, exhale, downward facing dog. Beautiful work.

And just a few, full breaths here, come back to your breath. Good on your next inhale come high up onto the toes, bend your knees, look forward, step or lightly hop front of the mat. Inhale, lengthen halfway. Exhale, folding, inhale right back to chair, uhkatasana, arms sweep up, and then straighten through the legs, draw your hands to your heart center, so nice, good. Step your feet as wide as your mat, point the toes out, heels slightly spin in and then bending the knees, sinking the hips down, finding a nice stretch in yogi squat.

Good, you might close the eyes and just take a moment to notice and check in. Come back to your breath. Good, so you can stay right here and take a few more full deep breaths and then step right back to down dog and meet us there. If you want to play with crow pose, finding the balance, then we'll come into that together, so either stay here and we'll meet you in down dog or come with me to crow. So we're going to flatten out the palms, come high up onto the toes and then take your knees as high up on the arms as you can get them hugging everything into center.

And then you're going to build your shelf with your arms looking forward, rounding through the upper back, and you might stay right here or maybe lift up one foot. Maybe lift up the other, and then maybe hold for a few full deep breaths. Good and then step back, shoot it back, and then we'll meet in downward facing dog. Good, and then from here, inhale the right leg all the way up in back, exhale, step the foot through between your hands. Stay on the ball of the back foot, we'll come right back up to crescent pose.

Good, so we came to warrior three from the front of our mat, now we're going to transition right from here, from crescent pose. So draw your hands to your heart, come halfway down, keep the length in the spine, and then maybe walk your back foot in a couple times or we'll come right into warrior three, straightening through that front leg, lifting through the back leg and then again, spinning that left hip down. Good and then slowly start to lift your torso, bring the left left and cross it over the right sinking that right hip down, coming in to eagle pose. And then to add the arms we'll reach the arms forward, take the left arm underneath and find eagle arms. Sink down a little bit lower, focus your gaze, shift your hips back, breathe.

Good and then slowly transition right back to warrior three. Good, leg lifts back, heart lowers, find cobra action in the upper back, and then step it back, crescent pose. Nice, landing here. Good, look up, lengthen, maybe press the palms together above your head and then exhale, bring your left hand down, reach your right arm up and twist. Good, so you can stay right here, you might roll to the outer edge of the back foot, step back to vashi stasina, maybe take that tree variation, bring the foot to the inner upper thigh, finding tree pose and maybe reaching that right arm over your ear for a couple breaths.

Good and you might keep tree in the legs, maybe not, we'll come back to plank pose and lower through. Inhale, upward facing dog, exhale, downward facing dog. Beautiful, so coming right to the left side, when you're ready, inhale the left leg up in back, exhale, step it through, stay on the ball of the back foot, arms sweep up, crescent pose. Landing here. Good and then drawing the hands to the heart, tilting forward, coming right into warrior three, holding a couple breaths, keep reaching the crown of the head toward the front of the room.

Good and then transition, lift the torso. Good, play with your balance, find eagle pose, maybe the right arm comes underneath and if you're using the eagle arms, see if you can soften the shoulders, lift your elbows up to the height of the shoulders, focus your gaze, sink your hips back, burning, hello left leg, good. And then right back warrior three, go for it. Crescent, nice. Good, look up, maybe kiss the palms together, hands come down, lunge twist, right hand down, left arm lifts, good.

Maybe stay right here today or maybe transition to that side arm balance stepping the left foot back and you might take that tree variation. Bring the left foot up, inner right thigh, maybe reaching left arm over ear. Good, a couple breaths, try not to hold your breath. Transition, maybe keep the position with the legs or just step back to plank and then we'll lower, upward facing inhale, exhale downward facing dog. Nice work, take a full breath in and then open the mouth, sigh it out.

Lower the knees down, take a child's pose. So allowing yourself to rest for a moment and just noticing. So let's go through one last variation of plank pose. So make your way up to all fours. We'll come to a table top position.

So if you have any mischief going on in the shoulders you might just stay with regular plank on your hands, but if you're pretty healthy in your shoulders we'll bring the forearms down to the earth, spread the fingers wide and bring your shoulders right over the elbows and then tuck your toes, bringing the legs back behind you, feet together, and then from here let's parallel the right arm to the front of the mat, roll to the outer edge of your right foot, and maybe reach that left arm up to the sky. Good, holding, just three breaths here. Good and then gazing down toward the earth, bring the left hand down, we'll come right back to forearm plank holding there for a couple breaths, again feeling that corseting action right around the core and then parallel the left arm to the front of the mat, spin to the outer edge of the left, right arm lifts. Good, holding a couple breaths. So nice, all right, get out of there, come back to forearm plank, lower the knees and the hips all the way down, sphinx pose.

You might walk the hands forward just a bit and then pressing through the tops of the feet just lower the chin down and feel that nice stretch in the back of your neck taking a couple breaths. Good and then lowering all the way down to the belly, stacking your hands, taking your forehead right on top of your hands and just resting for just a couple of breaths. So nice and when you're ready we're going to roll onto our backs so we'll meet there for bridge pose. So soles of the feet to the earth. Take your feet hips distance apart, and then start to walk your heels in toward you so that you can reach down with your fingertips and brush the backs of your heels.

Good and then we'll press into the soles of the feet, press into the palms of the hands as you start to lift your hips up. And maybe roll the shoulder blades underneath you to interlace the fingers behind the back. Good and then lifting the chest toward the chin. Take a few full deep breaths. Good if you'd like to lift through one leg you can start to ground through the left leg, reaching the right leg all the way up to the sky.

And then you'll lower the right and then grounding through that right foot reaching the left leg all the way up. Nice and then lowering it down and then we'll slowly release rolling down one vertebrae at a time all the way down onto your back. When you land, take your feet as wide as your mat and just let the knees knock in to touch. Just taking a moment to release the low back, maybe bringing the hands to the belly. Just feeling the heart beating in the chest.

So for round two you're welcome to stay with bridge pose just like we did or we can come into wheel if you have that in your practice and want to work with that today. So I'll bring us into wheel but again, if you want to stay with bridge, go for it. So again, bring the soles of the feet back to hips distance apart. If you're coming into wheel you'll bring the hands back behind you, flip the fingers, and then hug your elbows in, and for first time let's just come right up onto the crown of our head first. Hug your elbows in and then press through the soles of the feet, start to straighten out the arms and lift your heart.

Good, so you're welcome to stay right here. If you want to start to lift through the legs, you'll ground through that left leg, reach the right leg all the way up. Take a couple breaths. Good and then lower the right foot down, and then lifting through the left. Good and lower.

And then tuck the chin, maybe come onto the crown of the head and then tuck the chin here. Rolling all the way down. Good, take the feet wide, again let the knees knock in, couple breaths. Good, hug your knees into your chest and just gently rock side to side, give the lower back a little bit of love. Nice work.

Let's take thread the eye of the needle on our back. So we'll cross the right ankle just on top of that left knee and then take your right hand, thread it through, hold onto the belly of the hamstring and then you might use that right elbow to open up that right leg a little bit more, flexing through both feet, soften the shoulders, maybe close the eyes. Just breath into the sensations. Good and then cross the right leg over the left like you're sitting in a chair and you might hook that right foot on the back of that left calf or just keep the legs crossed and then we'll take the arms out on either sides of the shoulders with the palms facing up and then we're going to drop our situation over to the left. So you might use that left foot to roll to that left hip and then your gaze can be straight up toward the ceiling or if it feels okay in the neck, maybe take the gaze over that right shoulder.

A couple breaths here. Eagle spinal twist. Good, inhale, come back up through center, unwind and then we'll come over to the left side. So crossing left ankle on top of that right knee and then threading your left hand through, take hold of the back of the right thigh and then soften the shoulders down, flex through the feet, activate your toes. And then maybe close the eyes and just feel into the sensations, notice where in the body you're feeling the stretch.

Last couple breaths here. Good and then we'll eagle spinal twist it to the other side so cross the left leg over, you might be hooking. And then palms face up and slowly drop the legs over to the right. And then again, gaze is up or maybe over that left shoulder, whatever feels better to you. Beautiful, and then when you're ready just unraveling, bringing the knees into your chest, hugging the knees in.

You might hold onto the outsides of the feet, flexing the feet, bending the knees, softening through the low back take a happy baby. Maybe shifting side to side. And then whenever you're ready just transitioning into our final resting pose, of shavasana. Straightening out the legs. Letting the feet fall open like books and then taking the hands away from the body, palms face up, maybe wiggling the shoulders underneath you a bit to lift the heart.

Close the eyes, let go of any effort, any effort in the breath, the body, the bones, the muscles. Especially the deeper layers of the core just allowing them to soften. Shavasana. So you might choose to stay here as long as you like or meet me in a comfortable cross leg, seated position. Sitting up, crossing the legs.

Gathering the hands together in front of the heart in onjelly mudra. And just taking a moment to bow your head towards your hands in gratitude for your practice, for showing up. Thank you so much for sharing your practice with me today. Thank you for being here, namaste.

Comments

Thank you, that felt really good! Some challenging moments, but that savasana at the end made it all worth while!
1 person likes this.
Hi John Jackson! Savasana makes everything worth it - haha! So happy to be practicing together!
2 people like this.
Sarah please please make more new videos! I'm runnin dangerously low on your lessons 😄
1 person likes this.
Eva Haha - not to worry! I have a new season of 20 minute flows coming out in June! Excited to share some new classes!

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