14 Days of Yoga for More Energy Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 13

Day 11: Ease Up In the Effort

20 min - Practice


We naturally tend to focus on those places where we put forth the most effort, so today we generate some heat in our standing poses to give us the opportunity to locate the places where all of that effort might not be necessary. We bring a little ease into our striving and add to our practice of the past week and a half by closing with a sequence to nourish our systems.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Jun 01, 2016
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Welcome back, day 11. We're going to continue stepping forward in our lunges, and continuing to build heat through our standing poses. I'll introduce Warrior One today, and then we'll bring it to the floor for some yummy, nourishing postures. So we'll start right on our mats with the hands right at our sides, standing up nice and tall, like this big mountain post. Feet active, knees soft, kinda grounding in.

Softly open the eyes lightly, take an inhale, and take the arms up, interlace the palms, press the palms up. We've done this before and an exhale dip to your right. A little press of the hips to the left. In your inhale, travel back up through center. Your exhale, dip to the left, and your inhale, travel through center, just kinda checking through the side body.

Exhale, dip to the right, palms pressed to the right, hips to the left. Inhale, come back up to center. Exhaling, dipping to the left, palms pressed to the wall to the side and inhale, come back up. This time exhale, dip to the right and hold. And again, what feels okay on the neck, easing down, center, or if you look up adding a bit of balance to this, tuck the chin in lightly.

Wrap the arms, wrap the arm pits. In the inhale, come on back up to center, dip to the left, same thing, strong base legs are engaged, and try to keep the shoulders in line with the body plane. See what feels okay on the neck. In the inhale come on back up, release the hands, take a moment to feel those sensations. Then we'll meet right at the top of the mat.

Moving right into our Half Sun Salutations with Chair Pose. On an inhale, bend the arms up and exhale, fold forward. Inhale, half way rise, exhale forward. Inhale, Chair Pose, deep seat, arms come up. Exhale, long though the legs, come all the way to standing.

Taking this Half Sun Salutation, we're going to move right back into our lunges. Inhale, Chair Pose. Exhale, fold forward. Inhale, come up half way Exhale, the right leg comes back, just like we did in the last practice. Exhale, the knee down, rise up low lunge, one big breath.

Exhale, hands come to the floor, step back Downward Facing Dog. Same leg lifts, on an inhale, take the right leg up, exhale as if your going knee towards nose, step this foot forward again, you might have to help it, Bring the left knee and shin down, and then inhale. Come up one big breath, exhale, palms down, the back toes under. Lift the back knee, step forward, one step 20, it's all perfect, and exhale, fold forward. Inhale, halfway.

Exhale, forward. Inhale, rise up Chair Pose. Then exhale, hands to you side, come up standing. One more time through just like that. Inhale, Chair Pose.

Exhale, fold forward, legs start to go long. Inhale, halfway, this time left leg steps backward. Runner's lunge, exhale the back knee, and shin down, rise that low lunge. Taking it back on the exhale, hands come down, curl the back toes under. Downward Facing Dog Settle in, then rise the left leg up, exhale the knee towards the nose, ladybug the back, and then try to step the foot all the way forward.

Lower the right knee, shin down, rise up, low lunge, big breath. Exhale, palms down, curl the toes under, step all the way forward. Exhale, fold. (mumbles) inhale rise up, Chair Pose. Then rise all the way to standing, hands come to the side.

Take a moment to feel the sensations. Hands come to the hips. Moving into a standing poses, we'll move into Warrior One. Root through the right foot, back with the left, find High Crescent with the back heel lifted. Right, so kinda get a knee over ankle, a little wiggle to get in, and then we're gonna drop the back heel, so the foot's on an angle, press the outer edge of the back foot.

Try to have your feet hip distance apart to give your hips room, so the lab tip comes forward, left rib cage and then inhale, just press up. Give yourself a little break, then exhale, come back in. Kinda doing that little tease to kinda come out, you know you have an exit, then exhale back in. One more, press the right leg long, on the inhale then exhale, come back in, this time settle in. Just a real light draw of the left hip coming forward left ribs, hips are lifting, heart's lifting lightly.

And two more breaths. Exhale, bring the hands down towards the hips. Toe, heel the foot in a bit so you have control, and then lift on to the ball of your foot. Step forward, just pause. Right leg comes back, root to the left foot.

Step back, first find High Crescent with the back heel lifted, give that little wiggle to get in, and then drop the back heel, finding Warrior One, outer edge of the back foot presses. It can be about hip distance apart and then, on an inhale, lengthen the left leg. Exhale, come back in, knee over ankle. Inhale, lengthen, as of the exhale, work the right ribs, right hip forward, so we're trying to be even. And last one, hold it.

Exhale, come in. Lift of the hips, lift of the heart, active through the arms, And two more breaths. And then exhale, bring the hands to the hips, toe, heel the back foot in so you have a little bit of control. Come on the ball of the foot, right foot meets left. Hands come down by your side.

To moving into standing poses again, root through the right foot, take the left foot back, Find your High Crescent Lunge, right, and again, kind of wiggle in and out. Find a strong stance, back heel stays lifted on this one. On an exhale, start to take the right hand behind you, left hand to the thigh, and reach the right hand so, coming into this open twist, you can play sitting into a deep lunge, but hips lift, heart twist to the right, and maybe, maybe, it throws a little bit of balance peace in here just to gaze towards towards the right thumb. We're just gonna hold another three breaths. You can keep the hand right here, or you can start to take the left hand out in front of you.

Think of building, cultivating a little bit of fire by activating through the left leg. Keep it strong. And return the left hand to the thigh. Inhale, take the right arm up, catch the left, and just take it right up back into High Crescent. Then bring the hands down to the hips.

We're gonna come all the way back forward. Take a couple steps. Settle in, right side. Root to the left foot. Right foot comes back.

Find your High Crescent, with the back heel lifted. So give a little wiggle to get in. Then when you're settled, right hand comes forward, left arm back. Just the right hand hand out on the right thigh. So the play here is can you soften this left shoulder?

Right, cause it wants to be active. And you keep this right thigh, back of the thigh pressing towards the ceiling. So if it feels okay on the neck and the balance, you can start to take the gaze toward the left thumb. Hang out here, or take the right hand, reach it forward. Two more breaths.

Bring the right hand back to the thigh if it's up. Left hand comes up, catch the right. Big inhale, hands come to hips and then let's take a step forward. Pause, Then come down into Downward Facing Dog, we're gonna take it through a Half Moon Salutation. Arms come up.

Exhale, fold forward. Inhale, halfway, step the right foot back. Then the left. Press with the palms, press the heels downward, thighs back, and we're gonna hang out here for a breath. In two more breaths, and in your next inhale, lift onto the balls of you feet bend the knees and then come right down into Child's Pose.

Use your arms to rest towards your heels. And then just a quick little check-in. See if you can drop from the shoulders, the hips. Coming back up onto all fours, transition right back into Downward Facing Dog. On an inhale, take the right leg up.

Find the right thigh spinning up. So we're going to alternate here, sides. First one you know, knee to nose. Draw it in, ladybug the upper back. Inhale, take the right leg back.

On an exhale, bring the knee across the body aiming for, maybe, the left elbow or somewhere towards the upper arm. Inhale, take the leg up and back. Exhale, start to bring the knee towards the right arm, maybe toward the elbow or the upper arm. Then inhale up and back. Let the right leg come down on an exhale.

Inhale, left leg lift. Knee to nose, first one we've done before. Draw it in, round the upper back, belly button to spine. Inhale, lift the leg leg. Exhale, bring the left knee across the body towards the right arm.

Squeeze it. Inhale. Up and back. Exhale, knee towards left elbow. Right, it might not even be close to it, and that's okay.

We're just moving in that direction. Inhale, left leg lift up and back. Exhale, lower the left leg down. Slide forward into Plate Pose. Pause for a moment, heart forward, chest forward.

Start to roll on to the right side. Side Plank Pose, so you know your option. You can bring the right knee and shin down, we've been there. Left arm lifts up. Two more breaths.

Press through the right palm, light through the shoulders. Left arm comes down. Plank Pose. Going on to the left side, heels drop again, you know your options. Left knee and shin come down.

Right arm lifts up. Excellent. Right hand down lift the heels, slow, lower. Either knees down or up for five four three two one Bring your hands into a little pillow. Let your forehead rest.

And just soften in. Slowly peel the hands back. And come under you shoulders, setting up for Low Cobra. Take the top of your feet down to the floor, and then inhale. Press the palms, almost like you're pulling back to pull the heart forward.

Exhale, lower down. We'll just do two more with breath. Inhale to lift. Exhale. One more with breath, and then we'll hold the next one.

Kinda easing in. Exhale. This one hold to lift, lift, lift, engaging your back muscles. Light through the palms and not grasping. Toes are engaged, but not over engaged.

Let's see if you can peel the shoulders back. Light, light, light through the heart. Maybe if it feels okay on the neck, you can start to lift the chin, taking the gaze slightly up. And then softly lowering down. Bring the forehead down, bring the arms back by your side.

Thumbs away from your body. On an inhale, start to draw the inseams of the legs together. Lift the chest, lift the legs, option to keep keep the hands down, or reach them up and back, Locust Pose. Think of the spin of the inner thighs drawing up. Right, really lift, lift, lift the chest.

(mumbles) play like can you get longer, and can you get a little bit taller? Three more breaths, can you hold this one? You may be closing the eyes. You wanna really sense what this feels like in your body. And one more big breath.

Lift, lift, lift, lift. Exhale, release again, creating a little pillow with your hands. Let your forehead come to the back of your hands. Give a little wiggle, a little shake. And we'll just go one more.

The forehead back down, arms at your side. Same thing or you can do the interlace behind your back, so when you're ready, lift the chest, lift the legs, lift the hands, so either keeping them right here as we've done in an earlier practice, interlace the hands. Draw the fist down, lift the chest, still keeping a little bend in the elbows. See if you can take big, full breaths. And this is another great pose to play with.

Where can you find the ease in your effort. Number one, through the eyes, cause often when we try, and we work hard, the eyes kinda bug out a little bit, so see if you can keep them soft. Take one more big breath. And exhale, release. Forehead down to the hands.

A little shake out. Then when you're ready, rolling on to your back. And we'll meet with knees up, feet about hip distance apart. We're gonna come right into a bridge pose. So I like to start with my palms pressing down, as I tuck the tailbone to lift the pubic bone.

And then flip one palm up, another just working the shoulders under. An option to stay here again. You can interlace the hands, pressing the back of the arms down. Bring it to the feet. Bring the inner thighs lightly toward each other, so the legs are parallel.

Just keeping a little space between your neck and the back of the floor. Two more breaths. And slowly release the hands, if you have them. Come on to the balls of the feet, see if you can lift up to give you a little bit more space to them. Roll all the way down, one vertebrae at a time.

And just letting one leg go out straight. And the other. Let the palms flip up and we'll just come right into our final resting pose. Being present with the breath. And allowing thoughts to go by.

It's giving me the opportunity just to stay here and continue to rest. Slowly begin moving. Fingers, hands. Take your arms up above. A big morning stretch.

Slowly roll to the right. Rising up into a comfortable seat. Great job, Day 11. So as we're progressing in our practice, see if you can find places in your life where you're giving a lot of effort, where you might be able to find a little bit of ease, a little bit of grace in those places. See you tomorrow.


1 person likes this.
Day 11 done - I feel like I am settling into the routine as is my family. Nice
Brenda Lear
It's nice to find a rhythm with the routine. Keep it up!!!
Glenford N
1 person likes this.
Thanks for a beautiful routine Brenda. I feel energised relaxed and grateful with the poise of a dancer and the calm of meditation. Namaste.
Christel B
1 person likes this.
Love the colors!
North F
Kate M
Thank you for this offering, Brenda. Blessings : )
Sandra Židan
Thanks, Brenda! Namaste! ❤️🌹💝

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