14 Days of Yoga for More Energy Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 9

Day 7: Change it Up

20 min - Practice
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Congratulations, we're half way there! We've been cultivating, building, and moving energy through the first half of this challenge, and today we're going to spur creation of a little energy by starting a bit differently. As in life, sometimes simply changing things up a little is all that's required to bring some freshness to our routines.
What You'll Need: Mat

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(waves crashing) Hello and welcome back to day seven. Congratulations, you are halfway. So, so far we've been working in our practice to really cultivate and build energy, working with dolphin plank to build heat, working with side plank to again, build and move some stagnant energy. And we've moved into our standing poses. So today we're gonna continue moving into standing poses and exploring Warrior II.

So today's practice is gonna start a little different. So sometimes, in our life, to create a freshness and create some energy, we just need to change things up. So we're gonna change it up today, starting either side of your mat or top of your mat. And we're just gonna start with some wrist rolls. So just choose a direction, either in or out.

Nice and easy. And at the same time really just-- (inhales) focusing on the breath, so you can close the eyes, or just keeping them real soft. And then change directions. So now moving in, big rolls. Just do about seven on each.

Good, and let the arms just drop down by your sides. Just some shoulder rolls moving forward, trying to move through the full range of motion. And then go backwards, almost like you're shrugging up towards your ears and then rolling all the way back. Again, exploring the range of motions in your shoulders. I'm terrible at keeping count, so we could be on about 20 right now.

(laughs) Good, soften the shoulders, relax. Soften the knees, and bring your hands to your waist, and then just create little circles with your waist. Just choose a direction, right or left, because we're gonna hit the opposite direction. Feet a little bit wider than hip distance. Again, just exploring the range of motion through the hips.

Then change directions. Alright, you might notice that one side feels really good and easy, and one side might feel a little bit more sticky, just try not to have judgement around it, just noticing. Good, settle back to center. Bring the feet in closer. Soften the knees, and then just baby circles with the knees.

Just waking up through the knee joint. There's a little action in the ankles as well. And then changing directions. I have to confess, this is kind of my morning ritual while I'm brushing my teeth. (laughs) Good, and come back to center.

On an inhale, lift onto the balls of the feet, exhale, soften down. Alright, and just do that a little bit on your own here, you're inhale to lift, exhale to soften. Lift, lower. Lift, that's a little faster than the breath. Lift, lower.

One more. Lift, lower. Great. Take the feet hip distance apart, a little wider actually. And then coming back to that same flowing twist we did a couple practices ago, and let the hands when they go to one side, the opposite heel lifts.

And you can go as slow or as fast as you'd like. Letting the arms just kind of tap your back, tap your shoulder. Okay and then slow it down. Come back to center. Keep the feet still wide.

Take the arms up like we did in cactus pose when we did our lunges, and then twist to the left, twist to the right, and that same lift of the opposite heel. So just a little bit more through the entire spine. Keeping the chin in line with the sternum. Center of the chest, the eyes soft. Just a couple more.

Move through any stagnant energy, any lethargy. Good and then slow it down. And we'll meet at the top of the mat. And let's just jump right into our half sun salutations. On an inhale, take the arms up, we're moving into three, exhale, take the arms wide, fold it forward.

Inhale, come halfway up. Exhale, fold. Strong base, inhale, rise up. Exhale, arms at your side. Second one, inhale, arms rise.

Exhale, fold. Inhale, halfway, exhale, fold. Inhale, rise all the way up. Exhale, arms to the side, one more time. Inhale.

Exhale, fold. Inhale, halfway. Exhale, fold. Root to rise inhale, coming all the way up. Exhale, arms at the side, and just pause.

Feeling any tingling sensation, heat building. Softly open the eyes, bring the hands to the hips. Moving into our standing poses, so softly root into the right foot. Start to lift the left foot, step back, high crescent. Back heel lifts.

We've been here, kind of meander through this. On an exhale, drop the back heel, open it up into Warrior II, so playing with the heel to heel alignment as you reach the arms long. Alright, inhale, rise up, take the arms up. Exhale, soften and take the right knee over the right ankle. Inhale, come back up.

And exhale, come back in, outer as your left foot presses strong. Inhale, come back up. Exhale, this time we hold. So as we hold, we feel a draw of the outer thigh rotating down, inner thigh rotating up. Press with the left thigh back, but just so sweet and gentle on this left hip, let it come forward a little bit.

Two more breaths. You can take the gaze over the right middle finger. Or if that doesn't feel good on the neck, you can keep it in line with the center of the chest. Good, one more. These are really long breaths.

(chuckles) Good, on an inhale, lengthen the right leg. Toe heel the right foot in, so the feet are parallel. Bring the hands to the hips and really stand up tall. Exhale, fold forward so legs are strong. Take the hands to the floor, walk the hands away, but keeping your sit bones in line with your heel plane.

It's kind of like the whole upper body's coming into this hammock pose. So trying to get long through the spine. But also not dumping through the ribs. And so just a few breaths here, activating through the feet, inner thighs draw towards each other. Okay so legs are active, torso is relaxed.

Two more breaths. Walking the hands back, strong through the legs. A little soft through the knees but really strong through the legs, bring the hands to the hips. Inhale to rise all the way back up. Start to turn the torso, I like to toe heel my back foot in a bit, start to turn towards the front.

Come on the ball of the back foot, and then step all the way forward. Hands back to the hips. Now opposite side, root through the left foot, right foot lifts up, and let's take it back high crescent. Right so a little bit of wiggle to get in here, and then exhale, open it up, let the right arm go back, left arm forward, Warrior II. So if you kind of need to wiggle in to heel to heel alignment, reach the arms, soften the shoulders.

And then on an inhale, let's come out get a little rest. And then exhale, dip in. And inhale, press out. Exhale, in. Strong press of the outer edge of the back foot.

Inhale, press out. Exhale, settle in. And again, either the gaze out over the left middle finger, or you can keep chin in line with the chest. Two more breaths. Start to lengthen through the left leg, bring the hands to the hips, toe heel the left foot in.

So feet are parallel, hands to hips, lift the chest. And then exhale, begin to fold forward. Bring the hands right under the shoulders. Take the, actually, right hand right under the nose. And then inhale, start to lift up the left arm.

So adding a twist here. You'll notice your right hip might wanna drop in. See if you can press a little bit stronger through your left foot to even out the sit bones. Alright take the chin back just a little bit, crown of the head reaching way in front. Two more breaths.

See if you could take the lower right ribs and start to spin them upward. Exhale, bring the left hand down to replace the right, right under the nose. And on an inhale start to spin up towards your right. And again this time it's the left sit bone that might wanna kind of pop down, see if you can press strong through the right foot to keep the left hip lifted. Alright so just kind of balancing.

Draw the chin back. Exhale, right hand down. Strong through the feet, strong through the legs, hands to the hips, inhale, come all the way back up. Turn the left toes forward, start to toe heel the back foot in and turn the hips forward. And then we'll step all the way back to the top of the mat.

On an inhale take the arms up, big reach. Exhale, just bring the hands to the heart for a moment. Toe heel the feet, hip distance and mat distance apart. We're gonna come into squat pose for the first time. So it might work, it might not.

See what happens when you start to lower the sit bones down. Right, and you might be up, if it's uncomfortable do a little shift side to side. Any pain in the knees, come out. If you can, bring the outer arms to the inside of the thighs and start to lift the chest. Alright so here we're gonna hang out.

Five breaths. Let's see if you can paste all four corners of the feet down. See if you can lift up out of the chest. Good, one more breath. Exhale, hands down.

Inhale, lift the hips, toe heel the feet back in. Lift the chest, and then exhale, fold back in. Inhale, come up halfway, step back into downward facing dog, so right leg, then left leg. From downward facing dog, on an inhale we're gonna come to our knees, but first lift onto the balls of your feet, lower down to the knees. And then just sitting back, we're gonna shift to one side.

Bring the feet around. (sighs) So we're gonna come into some options of boat pose into Navasana, so something new. So either bringing forearms down, lifting the knees, heels in line with the knees. Or hooking onto the back of the thighs, flex the feet, draw the chest in, or let go. So A, B, or C.

Lots of places to be. So here I want you to imagine that there is an octopus behind you with like poh poh just keeping you lifted, so any time you start to feel like "Oh gosh, I'm falling in." Hook on, lift up, right. Imagine hands on the back, just lifting you up. Same thing behind the heart. It's like we want to have this light, bright heart-centered energy.

Feet are active, but not crazy overactive. Keep lifting up. We're gonna try to hold here for another four breaths. But see if you can extend the breath. So again we're giving lots of effort here, but where can we find the ease, where can we find the grace, the sweetness?

Alright, so cultivating energy but also containing our energy. Two more, inhale, lift the chest a little higher. If you start to round, hook on, lift up. One more. Good. Excellent.

Slowly bring the heels down, we're gonna come to laying on our backs. Slowly come on down. Bend the knees. Have the knees about a foot or so away from your bum, arms out, and just an easy open twist. Let the knees fall off to one side, let the gaze fall off to the opposite, just hanging out for a few breaths.

And again, these places where we come into relax, how quickly can you let go? How quickly can you drop in? And just changing sides, knees come up. Let the knees drop off to the left, gaze off to the right. You know I think it's a skill to be able to relax.

And to be able to relax quickly. So it takes practice. And come back up to center right into our resting pose. Palms up so the shoulders can get heavy, let the feet go. Let your breath find its regular natural rhythm.

Either choosing to stay right here, or slowly transitioning, coming up to a seat. Congratulations on finishing day seven, being halfway. We'll see you tomorrow.

Comments

Sam
Day 7 done - really liked this practice! Thank you.
1 person likes this.
Dear Brenda,
Thank you for you amazing class. Tomorrow I will have to stop the practice.I will be doing a surgery, and I have to be resting for 30 days. What you suggest for me keep going. I will return as soon as I get better..

Thank you very much, your classes are amazing.

YOGA is the Key to Freedom.
Dearest Luiza, wishing you an easy and quick recovery. xokira
3 people like this.
Dear Brenda. "Cultivating energy but also containing energy" Thats' what I took away from today's practice. I also liked the idea of finding that sweet spot, grace, elegance during a pose. I try and do the second routine with my eyes closed so I can really focus on my breath and the sensations in my body. As Rumi said " First and last I am only this breath breathing human being" Namaste.
thanks!
What was that octopus doing behind my back again?? Hahha! Lovely class sequence. Thank you, Brenda!
Loved the imagery of the octopus holding me up during boat pose! It made me laugh out loud but then it really helped me hook in. Thanks for the laugh (and the great adjustment cue!)
Loved this gentle and energetic practise. Resting at the end i could do better. Thank you for helping me find my centre each day. ­čĺŁ
My takeaway: Cultivating energy but also containing energy. That resonated with me. Thank you!

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