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30 Day Yoga Challenge Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 8

Day 6: Balancing Warrior

20 min - Practice
41 likes
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Build strength and heat in the core and legs, while playing with balance in Virabhadrasana 3 (Warrior 3) in today's practice.
What You'll Need: Mat, Block (2)

Transcript

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(waves crashing) What's up, day six! Robert here, ready to roll. Let's start, right away. So, I've got these blocks, okay? You have your blocks? I'm sure you do.

Bring them up to the front of the mat, and we'll get them about shoulder-width, enough for you to bring your feet in between them, and I like to put them on the medium height, okay? Any taller, we deal with stabilization issues. Okay, so, medium height, feet, hip-width. Stand tall in mountain pose. Let's take our palms to our chest for a moment, to our heart, and take couple breaths, just to kinda (exhales)...

Breathe in, through the nose. Maybe you can start getting, cultivating that Ujjayi breath, alright, breathing in and outta the nose. Three seconds in, five seconds out, somewhere around there. (Robert exhales) Warming the engines. Okay.

Breathe in, and the arms come up. Circle up, reach up, press your palms together, and breathe out, forward bend. (exhales) Can place your hands on the blocks, or on your shins, to lift up for the half-lift, breathe in. And now, exhale. Step back into downward dog, with your hands on the blocks. Okay, so, if you've got these cork blocks, they feel pretty sturdy.

If you've got any other kind of block, maybe more of like a foam block, you gotta really make sure they're not too wobbly, okay? Let's be mindful of that, they don't fall over, bum out your shoulder, or something. So, downward dog, tune it up. Get the knees nice and soft, nice, long spine. A little tilting, a little walking.

And then, let's power it up, right away. Let's get into our midsection core. It also works mobility in the hips, but, left foot over, left-center of the mat. Take the right leg, lift it up, take a breath in. And on the exhalation, floating the plank, and draw your right knee up as high as you can, to the back of the right arm.

Pulling, so the thing is, is from here, really pull the stomach up, low ribs up, belly, everything up. Maybe get a little rounded, like cat pose, in the upper back, every time you come here. Good. It's good preparation for stepping up to the front of the mat. Good, which we'll definitely work into.

So, exhale for number two. We'll go to five. (exhales) And when you bring that knee into the elbow, my back leg is straight, and I'm up on the back tip toes. (Robert exhales) Inhale. Exhale. (exhales) Last one, breathe in. Breathe out. (exhales) Inhale, step it high.

Exhale, bring it down. Stay with me, good. Left leg up, breathe in. Exhale, knee to elbow, or higher. (exhales) Core strong, my friends. Breathe in.

(Robert exhales) Breathe out. Breathe out, for number three. (exhales) Breathe in. Breathe out. (exhales) Breathe in. Last one here. (Robert exhales) Well done, inhale, send it high.

Exhale, foot down. Take one breath, get your best dog pose here. Good job, bring your knees down. (exhales) Take a breath in, maybe rock a little cow pose. Exhale (exhales), cat pose. Look forward, step the right foot up.

And then, step your left foot up, to the front of the mat, in between your blocks, forward bend, exhale. (Robert exhales) Inhale, lift up halfway. Exhale, fold. (exhales) Through chair pose, seat back, arms out in front of you, or up, long, alongside your ears. Good, press through the feet, rise up, breathe in. Arms up as high as you can, still breathing in, still breathing in, still lengthening.

Palms to the chest, exhale. (exhales) Okay. Breathe in, reach the arms out and up. Breathe out, forward bend. (exhales) Place the hands on the blocks. Step your right foot back pretty far. Find your nice, long lunge here, okay?

So, start off first, by bringing your left knee, over the left ankle, and keep your right leg nice and long, and straight, okay? I prefer, now, bringing the blocks up onto their highest level. And you can see this block here, is kind of in line with my ankle. So, still, fingertips. This will help me create a nice long spine, okay?

Now, from here, what I'd like you to do, is exhale, lift your hips, and begin to straighten your left leg, maybe lean forward, over the leg, just a little bit. We're looking for a deep hamstring stretch here. And of course, you're still breathing, right? Now, on your exhale, come back into lunge. (exhales) Lift the chest, take a breath in. Exhale, long pyramid pose.

So, it's long hamstring stretch of that left leg right now. Maybe fold into it a little bit. Finish the exhale. Breathe in, get long in the spine. Breathe out, lunge. (exhales) One more time with the straight leg, breathe in, and breathe out.

Straight, as long and straight as you can get that left leg. Fold a little, exhale. Inhale, begin to lengthen the spine, maybe look forward a little bit. Exhale, lunge. Step the right foot up to meet your left.

Finish that exhale, put the blocks back down on the medium. Forward bend, exhale here. (exhales) Inhale, lift halfway. Exhale, fold and step your left leg back now. (exhales) Put the blocks up on the high level. Good, hips are nice and square. Come up onto those fingertips, or maybe even up onto your knuckles, just something that gives you a little bit more height.

Good, find your lunge. And now, on your exhale, on the exhale, begin to straighten. So, you kinda lift your hips up and back, and straighten your right leg. You don't have to lock it out, just go to a, a place where it feels like you can actually kind of enjoy it. (exhales) Stay very grounded in that right foot. Pause here, breathe in.

And now, exhale, back into the lunge. Lifting the chest, lengthening the spine. Let's do it one more time, at least. Breathe in. Breathe out.

Long, pyramid pose. Strong, committed foot, on the right side. Long, right leg. Breathe in. And, breathe out. (exhales) Back into the lunge.

Let's pause right here, take a breath in, and then, on your exhale, brace your core, and step the left foot up, to meet the right. (exhales) Exhale. (exhales) Inhale, lift, halfway. Half-forward bend here. Exhale, fold. Through chair pose, hips back, arms forward, strong, committed chair pose. Breathe in, reach up.

Touch the ceiling, get as tall as you can. Get taller, taller, taller. Then, on exhale, palms to the chest. (exhales) That was nice, good job. So, we're gonna work toward warrior three, okay? That's the new pose, it's a balancing posture, okay?

So, we're gonna keep the blocks where they are, and we're gonna step back into lunge. So, the idea here, is to place the palms to the chest, lean to the left, step back. 'Kay. So, this would be the most, right here, this is a form of a warrior three, we'll call it, okay? So, depending on what level you're at.

You could even begin to straighten that leg a little bit. If you wanna build a little bit farther, number one, you can take the arms up over your head. (Robert exhales) Or, palms to the chest, bend that right leg a little bit, definitely, immediately, get your gaze, that Drishti, right? That steady gaze. You can shorten your stance a little bit, if you'd like, if that's helpful.

Or, just get a little bouncy, get a little soft. And then (exhales)... So, warrior three, you can bend the right leg, you can bend the left. Keep your spine long, no rounding of the back. Eventually, you might straighten your left leg out, extend the right leg, and tilt your body forward a little bit more.

Can take your arms out. Airplane style. Jet airplane style. To come out, bring the palms back to the chest, bend your left leg, and step back. (exhales) So, you've got this nice lunge you're in. And straighten the front leg a little bit.

Bend the right, and step all the way back up. Exhale, palms to the chest. (exhales) Good, same thing on the other side. Lean to the right, step back. (exhales) Again, you can stay right here. Brace, lengthen the torso. Arms up, alongside your ears.

Tip forward without rounding. Feel free to straighten a little bit. (exhales) Palms to the chest, little bend, little confidence, a little playfulness, to land it, ready? (Robert exhales) Warrior three. Steady gaze. Pull your belly up, lift your chest like you would cobra pose.

And even work toward drawing your left hip down. I know it wants to come up. It makes it that much easier, but bring that left hip down. Find the arms. (exhales) Out wide, airplane, jet airplane. Superman arms.

Little bend in that right knee. Step back into the lunge. Pause. Smile. Have a little fun, alright, check it out.

Step the left foot up to meet your right. Exhale. (exhales) Inhale, circle the arms up. And exhale, palms to the chest. (exhales) Awesome, so good. Now, bring your feet, make sure that they're hip-width. In fact, come down, move the blocks outta the way, and come back up. (exhales) Bring your feet a little bit wider, almost mat-width.

Forward bend, bend your knees, push your hips back. Hold on to opposite elbows, and allow your body to kinda drape and hang over your thighs. Don't be concerned about destination, about how far you can go. God, I wish my legs were straight. Just, bend your knees and feel like you've landed in the perfect place.

Even if it isn't, really, just kinda fake it 'til you make it, almost. Bend the knees. You can let your arms hang, you can bring your arms behind your legs. (Robert exhales) If you wanna use the block, this is actually a nice, you can put it right in the middle. Put it up on the highest, why not?

And then, if you straighten your right leg, tense up on those left fingers, to come up about halfway. Reach the right arm high. (exhales) Bring the right hand down, onto the block. Bend your right knee, straighten your left, good. Bring the left arm up. Bring it down, do that as many times as you'd like.

So, when you bring the right arm up, you're bending the left, straightening the right. Just, kind of, makes it a little bit easier. (exhales) Great, beautiful, bring it back to center. (exhales) Widen the feet. Come into squat. It's an awesome way to just transition and get into squat more often. The more often you can squat, the better, I think.

Good, once you find your squat, take at least one full breath here. (Robert exhales) Bring it on down to your seat. I'm gonna spin around. And that usual transition so far, we're gonna roll down to our backs, hug the knees into the chest. Begin to minimize some of the effort.

So, we'll come into reclined pigeon pose. So, figure four is also what it's known as. So, bring your feet down to the mat, as you would for bridge pose. Feet underneath your knees. Make sure your neck is long, back is nice and open, and grounded.

Take your left ankle over the right thigh, just below the knee. Point your left toes straight up. Gently guide that hip open. If you'd like to venture a little bit different, a different posture, right? Just recline pigeon pose.

So, the sensation will be up your left, outer-left glute, outer-left hip and thigh. So, the idea is to interlace your fingers around the hamstring of the right leg, which I will do. And then, use a little bit of muscular effort, to draw the knees in, closer to you, while still pointing your left toes straight up, and opening the hip out to the side. (Robert exhales) Nice. Now, bring the right foot down.

Shift your hips over, a little bit to the left. Cross your left leg over, further. Cross it over as far as you can. Take the arms out, and we'll come into a twist. You can actually use your left leg, to help, kind of, bring both legs over to the right for a twist. (exhales) The gazing point can be straight up, or you can look over your left shoulder, continuing to breathe, continuing to connect to whatever sensations each posture presents.

(Robert exhales) Relaxing a little bit, not trying so hard. 'Kay, slowly come back out. (exhales) Shift back to the center of the mat, (clears throat) undo the left leg. Pause. (exhales) Take the right ankle over the left thigh. Point the right toes straight up, and take the right hand onto that inner-right thigh, and guide that hip open. Like, push it away from you, as far as it makes sense.

(Robert exhales) Good. And keep that hip open as much as you can, as you then begin to lift the left foot up, take hold of the hamstring, or the shin, just below the knee. Good, and then, when you're ready, use a little bit of breath, (exhales) as you pull the legs in, toward you. So, I like to hold on with the hamstring, around the hamstring. Sometimes, I hold on around the shin.

And as I do whatever hold I've got, I'm also pushing, in this case, I'm pushing my right elbow into my thigh, my inner thigh, to keep the hip open and out. (Robert exhales) On the exhale, release, shift your hips over to the right. So, use your left foot to lift and shift. Cross that leg over. You don't have to cross it over, you can leave it, just in the same position as pigeon, or cross it over.

I prefer crossing it over right now. Arms out. Breathing in, and breathing out, twisting. (exhales) So, both legs, if you're not watching. Both legs come over to the left, as far to the left as possible, without forcing. And for a little release in your low back.

The gazing point's straight up, or possibly over the right shoulder. Maybe your eyes are closed, and you're able to just kinda let go now. (exhales) Day six, almost finished. Just another day of you showing up, making some kind of effort to make some kinda change. We all show up for different reasons. (exhales) Good, come back up to center.

Shift your hips back toward the center of the mat. (exhales) Now, I'm gonna roll over to my right. And then, push up, to sit. (exhales) You can join me, or continue to lie on your back. (exhales) Find a seated position, if you've joined me. Lie down, if you're comfortable staying lying down. And, what we'll do to finish, as always, palms to the chest, take the forehead towards your fingertips.

And the big part of why you're here right now, is because you've made a specific choice. You've made a decision and a choice to try this, to show up. And, my little tidbit for you, as you will close your eyes and just close your practice out, is to remind yourself the power of choosing, of making clear, definitive decisions and choices, and how powerful that can be. So, namaste. Peace, blessings, thank you.

See you for number seven. Have a good day.

Comments

2 people like this.
Still here!! :)
Me too Astrid! How are you feeling?
4 people like this.
love it!! I'm working on enrolling my 17 year old to do the challenge too!!
3 people like this.
Day 6 was awesome! I'm happy and very grateful to you, Robert. Thank you for making the choice of preparing this challenge for us. I am sure it will change many lives, mine included! Namaste
Kit
4 people like this.
My husband and I are doing this together...although not at the same time. Having fun. Thanks for doing this.
Choosing to commit to this challenge is empowering and energizing! I am so grateful. thank you Robert. good day all. :)
3 people like this.
This is proving to be an excellent way back to a yoga practice I'd gotten too far away from. Thank you!
Astrid, Did you get your 17 year old to join up? How's it going for you?
Awesome Kit! Welcome and thanks for joining us ALL! Hello to your husband too.
Elaine, as you and others (and myself) are finding ... the practice will always be there to welcome you whenever and wherever you decide to show up, just as you are:)) Peace to you on your journey back to yourself!
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