14 Days of Yoga for More Energy Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 8

Day 6: Conserving Strength

15 min - Practice
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Strength isn't always about burning at our maximum energy output. There is a way to find ease within effort and conserve our energy to be used where it is most needed. Today we build on what we've done by venturing into standing poses to explore this ease-y effort.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Jun 01, 2016
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(ocean wave washing) Hello, and welcome back to day six. Today, we'll venture into standing poses, where we'll strive to balance strength with ease and/or effort. Let's meet at the top of the mat. Take in a moment to ground. Hand to heart. Hand to belly.

Counting, again, with the beat of our heart, the rhythm of our breath. One more full inhale. Okay, exhale and your hands drop down by your sides. Soften the knee as if you're coming into a soft chair pose. Support yourself. Your hands, they're active.

Your arms are active, and on the inhale, draw the chest forward. Eyes can be soft, but lift the chin lightly, so just a little light back bend, and then exhale. Tuck the chin. Round the spine. Inhale. Arch the back.

Exhale. Rounding. It's waking up through the spine. Inhale. To get into our range of motion.

Exhale. So, these are light, like 60%, 50, 60% of your back bend in your arch, just trying to tune in. Feel in. Exhale. Inhale. Open.

Body neutral. Root to the feet and standing back up. Arms down by the sides. I'm just gonna do one more of those. Soften the knees. Let the hands

come down to the thighs. Again, slight support, and then inhale. Draw the chest. Elbows back. Exhale. Round.

Chin tucks. Tail tucks. Spine shines behind you. Inhale. And exhale.

If it feels okay on the neck on the inhale, start to lift the chin, just a little bit more to open up through the throat. Exhale. And feel the heat building in the legs. Stoking the fire. Exhale. Round it in.

The best way to inhale. Find your neutral spine. Stand up through the legs. Then, just pause. Various sensations.

Softly open the eyes. Checking that the feet are hip distance apart. Soften through the knees. Inhale. Rise up.

Chair pose. Moving through a half salutations with chair, two of them. Exhale. Fold forward. So, we've been here. We know this.

Inhale, coming up halfway. Exhale. Fold. Inhale. Lower the seat.

Inhale. Rise up. Chair pose. Exhale, standing all the way up. Inhale. Chair.

Exhale. Fold forward. Inhale. Halfway rise. Exhale. Fold.

Inhale. Up trace. Lean deep. Arms sweep up to frame the ears. Exhale, standing all the way up.

Hang out for a pause. And from here, we're gonna move into our standing poses. Grounding through the right foot, step the left foot back. High and crescent lunge. Back heel stays lifted.

See if you can keep the heel over the ball of the foot. So as you get in, feel free to kind of, come in and out for a moment. And then, settle in. With an inhale, lengthen the right leg. Lift the chest, and then, exhale.

See if you can sink in a little deeper, so the left foot might slide back a bit. Inhale. Come up. Exhale. Come on back in.

It's kind of like we're teasing into the pose. Inhale. And then, exhale. Hold on. Hang out for a moment.

Left hip comes forward. Left rib cage comes a little bit forward. Just so we're even and balanced. Two more breaths. Start to lift the chest up a little bit.

Lift the hands up as high as you can. Let the shoulders softly join down the back. Hands come back to the hips. Scoot the left foot forward, coming all the way back to standing. Arms down by your sides for a moment.

Hands back to the hips. Feel the grounding in the left foot. Pick up your right foot. Step back high, a crescent. So, whatever you need to do to kind of wiggle it back.

Feet, hip distance. We're getting little movement. We'll find a pause. All right, inhale. Lengthen the left leg.

Exhale. Come back in. I say again, just tighten that little, like hmm. Come out. It's all safe. It's all good.

Come on back in. One more. Inhale. Then exhale. Come back in and hold.

So from here, you can start to peel the hips up, the heart up. Maybe, playing with the gaze. Maybe playing with the back here up a little higher. Two more breaths. Hands to the hips.

Slowly step forward. So again, it might be a couple little hops forward, or one giant hop. Take the hands down. Inhale. Sweep the arms up, folding forward.

Exhale. Fold. When you move into downward facing sometimes you take an inhale, lift the chest. Step the right foot back. And then, the left.

Press through the palms, and equally press through the legs. Keep the left foot down. Take the right leg back behind you. See if you can come on the ball of the foot, so heel lifts. Feel what that's like.

Maybe stay right here, or, on an inhale, lift the right leg. See if you can keep the hips even. Roll the right hip down slightly. Exhale. Slowly lower the leg down.

See if you can tap the toe to the floor. Inhale. Lift it back up. Exhale. Lower it down.

One more. Inhale. Exhale. Softly lower it all the way down to meet the left. Left leg.

Take the left ball of the foot back. See if you can reach back about an inch or two behind the right foot, and then, inhale, lift up, or stay right there with the kickstand. Exhale. Lower it down. Inhale. Lift up.

See if you can keep the hips even, so left inner thigh spins to the sky. Exhale. Lower down. Last one. Inhale.

Exhale. Lower. Beautiful. Inhale. Lift onto the balls of the feet, and bend the knees.

Come down for a much earned child's pose. Set bones to the heels. Soften the forehead down. And just two breaths here. Just a little.

See how quickly you can let go. How quickly you can relax. All right, inhale. Slowly slide forward onto all fours. Setting up for dolphin plank. Again, lowering down.

We've been here. Like this repetition. Forearms press. Wrists in align. Elbows in align.

Curl your right toes under. Left toes under, and here we are. So you know you can always come down. Knees down to hold. So belly button to spine, tail lightly draws down.

Be careful not to overemphasize that. Heart lightly comes forward. And the play here is just (exhales) being. Sort of settling in. Notice any changes in the breath.

Notice any shaking of the limbs. Let's see if we can sustain here for another three breaths. Exhale. Lower to the knees. To the belly.

Bring the forehead down. Bring your arms back behind. Or just out to your side about an inch or two away from your body. On the inhale, just lift the right leg up about five inches, and then, reach it to the wall behind you. Then, slowly lower it back down, so it feels like you just grew two inches.

Then inhale. Lift the left leg. Reach it to the wall behind you. Again, only like five inches up. And then, slowly lower it down.

Ah, we just grew two inches. On the next inhale, press the pubic bone onto the floor and inhale. Lift just the chest and the head. So, your thumbs are away from you. Palms pressing in towards the floor.

It's almost like as your heart lifts up, you're doing this little pull on your hands. Back of the neck long, so gaze is kind of right out in front of your mat. Just hang out here for two more breaths. Activating all the muscles on your back. Exhale. Release.

Take one ear to the floor. Stick until you're deaf in between. Bring your forehead back. The same action. This time lift the chest.

Bilkis pose. Lift the legs. And actually lift the arms. Peel the thumbs like you're starting to lift them up away from you to peel the shoulders back. And you can play here.

A little bit stronger to take the legs in towards each other. Inner thighs rotate up. And the play here is how long can you get and how high can you reach? Three more breaths. Exhale. Release down.

Bring the right ear to the floor. And we'll just add one more inhale. Come back to center. Lift everything up again. Arms, legs, chest.

Thumbs, again, spin up towards the ceiling. Just that lightness through the shoulders. All right. Through the eyes. Okay, let's smile a little bit.

(laughing) Exhale. Release. Just take the left ear to the floor for a moment. Ah, let yourself sink into the floor. Here, we're gonna roll over onto our backs.

So, adding just a little bit of fire here into our bellies. So, we're gonna take our knees and stack them over the hips. Flex through the feet. Bring the hands behind the head, just lightly, so we're not cranking the neck. It's really the core that's gonna do the job.

On inhale, lift. Exhale. Release. All right, just to activate through there. Now, we're gonna add some bicycles, so the left knee is gonna come in.

Right elbow across. Right leg lengthens. Inhale. Come back to center. Exhale. Twist the opposite side.

Now, let the right knee come a little bit further towards the elbow. Inhale to center. Stack knees over hips. Exhale. And center.

Exhale to the right. In. Exhale to the left. Inhale, center. Good, just keep moving.

Get a lightly, slowly. Inhale each time to the center but not letting go. Still staying lifted through the shoulder blades. Feeling light through the hands behind the head. Get inhales to come to center.

Exhale, left. Inhale, center. Exhale, right. One more each side. Center.

Exhale, left. Inhale, center. Exhale, right. Okay, come back to center. Take your arms out in front.

Roots should lift up. See if you can't get that extra little lift. Two. Three. We're going to 10.

Four. Five. Maybe add a little pull. Six. Seven.

Eight. Nine. Ah! 10. Soften down. Legs long.

Just take a moment to stretch out through the belly. Maybe give it a little love. Ah, all right. Bend the knees. And into a figure four with the legs.

We take the left shin across the right thigh. Start to lift the right foot off the floor. And then, just hugging behind the thigh. As you draw the right thigh into the chest, let the left hip soften down, so here was, we're even running the safe in pah, but heavy. All right, for some it might be available to grab around the right shin.

Not mandatory. Two more breaths. Lower down. Unwind. Switching sides.

Right comes over left. Left knee comes in hooking behind the left thigh. All right, match what you did on the other side. Or maybe both sides are a little different. One side might be a little more open.

And soft release. Slowly taking both legs long, coming into our final resting pose. Palms face up. Slowing down the breath. Turning awareness in word.

And slowly start to bring some life back into the body. The arms up overhead. Rolling off to one side. And coming up to a seat. Great job today.

I'll see you tomorrow.

Comments

Sam
3 people like this.
Day 6 done - this one was harder but I managed it. I can tell it was level 2 and I normally only do level 1 so I am ever so proud of myself. Yeah me.
1 person likes this.
Ok, here i goooo.... i will tell hou how it was for me.
1 person likes this.
ooooooohhhhh This is awesome!!! I can't wait for tomorrows challenge!
1 person likes this.
great series - more 20 mins progressions please. thanks.
1 person likes this.
thanks!
Excellent the way you work in those core strengtheners! 

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