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Season 3 - Episode 5

Radical Reset

30 min - Practice
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Drawing our attention towards the breath, we begin to find space in the body and mind. We move through Surya Namaskars (Sun Salutations) and standing postures to warm the body in preparation for a Vrksasana (Handstand) exploration at the wall. This is the perfect practice to help reset, nourish, and awaken the whole self.
What You'll Need: Mat, Wall, Block (2)

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Welcome to your radical reset. If you've been feeling a little out of your body, maybe a bit over worked or stressed, this is going to be the practice for you. So we'll come to the wall and we'll start with down dog at the wall. So your hands will come right at about shoulder height, and walk your feet back. So you want to give yourself a good stretch to your shoulders.

Avoid the tendency to kinda collapse into your lower back so lengthen your lower back by pulling your belly in and up. And just let your head and neck release. Start to find some space here for your breath. So the concept here is if we can find some space in the body we'll find space for the breath. And when we find space in the breath, then we find space in the mind.

And of course when we find space in the mind we find space in our lives. So let yourselves just release here for a moment. Breathe into the shoulders. Very slowly you're gonna come all the way up to stand. And now we'll practice another release.

This is Uttanasana at the wall. So this is one of my favorites after travelling a lot. If I'm on a plane and my legs feel like rocks this is good. So hands at the baseboard, kind of in a short down dog. And you're just gonna let your head release and you're gonna walk your feet as close in as you can.

Let the head drop down, you just have to trust that the wall is gonna hold you. It might feel a little funny at first and then it will start to feel good and maybe you'll start to love it. So the knees can bend a little bit or the legs can stay straight. Walk in pretty far and then just see if you can let the spine release. So you let your back just drop into the wall, maybe close the eyes, find a positioning with the arms that feels good.

So try to practice a bit of surrender here and really letting the back just release into the wall, it's a little bit of effort with the sitz bones drawing up, but there's a whole lotta ease. And maybe really send the breath to those spaces where you feel the sensation most dynamically. Breathing in through the backs of the legs and just let your body start to reset. Come back. Inhaling.

Exhaling. Let's take about two more breaths, you can close your eyes. And just experience where your body is today in this moment. Very gently you're gonna place your hands down, soften your knees, and then walk your feet back so you've got that down dog shape. Keep it pretty soft so the knees are bent, then your hands are gonna walk back.

Gently, head and neck are the last things to lift up. They'll come all the way up to stand. Take your time. Then facing the wall you can take some shoulder rolls, inhaling. Exhaling.

Okay turn around. Face the front of your mat. Give yourself a moment just to transition. You were folded forward for a little bit there, so breathe. And we'll take some sun salutations.

Inhale reach the arms up, gaze up towards the thumbs. Exhale fold into your legs, let your head and neck release. Inhale look forward. Exhale, Chaturanga. You can step back to your plank and then lower down.

Inhale up dog. Exhale downward facing dog. Breathe here, inhale, we'll go three breaths. Exhale, one. Inhale.

Exhale, two. Inhale. Exhale, three. Now bend the knees, look forward step or jump your feet forward. Lengthen, exhale, fold.

Inhale up. Look up at your thumbs. Exhale arms along side the body, Tadasana. Okay, again like this. Arms up, exhale.

Inhale, Chaturanga. Upward facing dog. Downward facing dog. Three breaths. Bend the knees, step or jump.

Inhale look up, exhale fold down. Inhale, come up. Exhale, arms alongside your body. Then one more time just like this. Arms up, inhale.

Exhale, fold. Inhale, look forward, try to keep your gaze forward, Chaturanga. Inhale, up. Exhale, roll back. Breathe, inhale.

Exhale, one. Inhale. Exhale, two. Inhale. Exhale, three.

Bend the knees, step or jump forward. Inhale, look up. Exhale, fold down. Inhale, come all the way up. Exhale, arms alongside the body, Tadasana.

Breathe here. Gaze very lightly at the tip of your nose. Inhale. Exhale. Start to life the breath out of the belly life it up a little higher.

Inhale. Exhale. Okay you're gonna squeeze your waist with both hands and then step your feet apart so you've got a good straddle with your legs. Triangle pose, turn the right toes out. Left toes will turn in slightly.

So in this pose I teach the top hips slightly forward of the bottom hip to create some space. So arms out, inhale reach forward, exhale take your pose. Right hand down, left arm reaches up. Breathe here. Start to listen to the sound of the breath so you've got that ujjayi breathing.

The face is relaxed. Got that ocean sounding breath. One more breath. Inhale. And exhale.

Look down. Inhale, come all the way up. Then exhale you'll bend the right knee, warrior two. So we'll take a modified version of extended side angle. Rather than the forearm on the thigh I want you to put your elbow in front of the knee, and then push the arm and the leg in towards each other so we've got resistance.

You're gonna get some length through the sides of the torso. Your finger tips are hovering above the floor. So of course it will vary according to your arm length. You can stay here with your hand on your hip, or reach the arm up, let it be kinda spacious. And then inhale come all the way up.

Hands to your hips and over to the other side. So triangle pose. It's kind of a beautiful moment between the inhale and the exhale, so it's inhale, pause, exhale, pause. It's like a little beat. It's that kind of space.

Inhale reach forward, exhale, place the left hand down. See if you can let your awareness move to the space in between the notes there. Inhale. Exhale. It's like they say the beauty of the symphony is when the music stops and there's that pause, or the space between the lines in a poem.

So see if you can find the space. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.

Inhale come up. Exhale bend your knee, warrior two. And then extended side angle-ish. Take your hand to the inside of your leg push the arm and leg in towards each other so we've got engagement, we've got space, maybe top arm up over the ear, or keep your hand on your hip and just breathe. Inhale.

Exhale. Inhale come up. Exhale turn your feet parallel, and then step your feet together facing the wall. Now we're gonna take a standing split at the wall. So you'll turn around and we'll take downward facing dog but your heels are going to be up the baseboard.

So hands down to the floor, heels up the baseboard, toes are tucked under a little bit. And just find some comfort here. And this is, again, just to get you into your legs. If they're feeling tight, maybe you've been wearing flip flops all summer, that can have an impact. So you're gonna lift one leg up, let's start with the right leg.

Take the right leg up toward the ceiling, and then bring the toes onto the wall. Now notice my toes are tucked under, you don't want to do this, with the top of the foot on the wall. Tuck your toes under, and it's okay if this top leg bends a little bit. We're really working on finding the stretch and the opening in the bottom leg. So here you might feel some sensation.

Maybe the hands walk in a little bit. Now you're gonna lift your left foot up off the floor. Use your belly and plug the head of the thigh bone up. Now stamp your foot as flat to the ground as you can, walk your hands back as far as you can, maintaining even breath. Toes are tucked under on top.

And breathe. Try to get the sense of that right hip releasing down. Stretch in the back of that left leg. Okay, slowly, hands come forward we're gonna move into a lunge. Take your time, use your belly right foot between your hands to your lunge.

Lower your back knee down to the ground. Inhale, reach your arms up. Then exhale, we're gonna twist. So take the left elbow to the outside of the right near your thigh, gaze up over your top shoulder. Stay here or you can tuck the back toes under lift your knee.

Release this. Hands down. Lower your back knee to the floor. Stretch the right leg straight, and move toward a runner's stretch. Or if you have it in your practice you can move toward Hanumanasana split pose.

Life up through the chest. Okay hands down, tuck the back toes under, downward facing dog. Heels up the wall. Breathe. Okay left leg is gonna reach up, left toes tuck under, get yourself situated here.

So try not to let that hip pop open, square 'em in. So push into your hands, lift your right foot up, plug that thigh bone up, and then step your foot down. It's okay if your heel is slightly lifted on the wall still. Walk your hands in, crawl that left leg up, left foot up. Try to keep the toes tucked under.

Breathe. Think about lifting the right hip, letting the head release. Again it's totally fine if this left knee is bent. We're really focusing on the right leg here. One more big breath.

Okay lock your hands back draw the knee towards the nose you just find some engagement and then step your foot forward, lunge. Right knee to the ground. Standing spinal twist, so any variation that moves you. Right elbow to the outside of left knee or thigh. Palms compress.

Gaze up. Maybe you tuck your back toes under and lift your back knee up. You can straighten the arms or take your binds right, do your thing. Hands down, lower your back knee down. Runner's stretch.

Left leg straight, flex your foot, inhale. Exhale, fold. So you can stay in your runner's lunge, or if you wanna come up to your Hanumanasana split pose you can do that. There are many different ways that you can use your blocks in your split pose. Some people find it useful to place a block underneath the thigh bone or sitz bone.

And the hands go back and lift up the chest. You just wanna make sure that you don't collapse down when you put the block there. So sometimes it's nice, rather than using the block under the sitz bone to have them under your hands. And that can keep the chest open. Many options.

Okay, downward facing dog. Stepping back. Let's take a Vinyasa. Inhale, plank. Exhale, Chaturanga.

Upward facing. Downward facing. Inhale. Exhale, bend the knees, hop. Look up, fold down.

Inhale, come up. Exhale, Tadasana. Okay, hando, stando. We're gonna turn around this way we're doing a little dance back and forth today but we're gonna go with it. In your handstand practice you'll take about six to eight inches away from the wall with your hands.

Now remember when you come up to your handstand at the wall try not to go too close to the wall because then you've got no space to work. So allow yourself to go pretty far back with your hands. Okay so from here walk your feet in a little bit. You're gonna look forward and pierce your gaze right between your hands. So try not to look back.

Look forward, get some opening in the shoulders and the chest. Lift one leg up into the air, whichever leg feels natural, and then find little hops up towards the wall for your handstand. Now keep your gaze pierced down to the ground like it's a third arm. You're gonna make a little v shape with your legs pull into the belly, one foot comes away. Maybe the other foot comes away.

And start to find your balance. So you see you can go back and forth a little bit on the finger tips and the wrists, and that's gonna create like rudders with your hands to help you find your balance. Child's pose. Release. You know so many of these yoga poses are creating physical expressions as well as energetic expressions.

So the hand stand I always love or down dog or any kind of pose that brings the heart above the head is very potent. Very powerful. Inhale. Exhale. So give yourself your child's pose just to absorb that repositioning.

So if you're feeling a little overwhelmed in your life or a little burnt out, pulled out of center, sometimes that repositioning of returning to the heart, putting the heart above the head is what we need to do. Where we need to go. Walk your hands back. Lift up through the chest. Say thank you wall, then turn around.

And let's take Virasana, hero's pose. So inner knees together, feet apart. Look at your feet, make sure all ten toes are pointing straight back. So you don't want to have your toes turning out to the side here. You can sit up on a block if you like.

Might feel nice just to close your eyes and sit for a moment. You can also recline. So if you're reclining the propping can go underneath the upper back. You can go here. You might not need that propping so set yourself up in a good space.

And then you're just gonna close your eyes. So find a position with your arms, your hands that feels good. The hands on the belly or cactus arms. We'll hold this for about five more breaths. Return to listening to the sound of your breath.

Inhale. Pause. Exhale. Pause. Inhale. Exhale. Okay I could stay here all day, but we're gonna come up.

Inhale, come all the way up so use your belly, take your time. And we'll transition to downward facing dog. So when you do this, you wanna go one leg at a time, so realign the knee joints straight back, bending one knee and then the other knee. Body's starting to move into a good space. Inhale, plank.

Exhale all the way down to your belly. Bend the knees. Reach back for the tops of your feet or your ankles with your hands. Exhale. And strong breath.

Bow pose, lift up. And release all the way down, make a pillow for your head, rock your hips out. One more bow. Bend the knees, exhale, inhale, lift up. Release.

Okay let's take a Vinyasa. So hands back by your lowest ribs for up dog. Push into your hands inhale up. Exhale back. Come on to all fours.

Cat-cow inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Neutral spine.

Cross the right ankle over the left or you can take your hips to the side. Find a way that works for you. We're gonna land, tah dah! With our back at the wall. Okay, inhale lift your chest and then exhale fold forward. Let yourselves release.

Inhale come up. Janu Sirsasans, so give yourself a little space. Sole of the right foot to the left inner thigh. Remember the right thigh wants to roll back and down here. So inhale, lift the chest.

And exhale, fold forward. Let your head, your neck, your face release. There's a little twist here so the right side of the rib cage reaches toward that left upper thigh. Come up. Inhale.

Let's take a little twist. So lift your right knee up and then right foot to the outside of your left leg. Wrap around. And you can gaze over the shoulder and let's just keep it a gentle twist so don't bind or bend the bottom leg just straighten the bottom leg and flex your foot. Maybe close the eyes.

And release that side. Right leg straight Janu Sirsasan on left side, so left knee hugs in and then left knee out to the side. If it feels too much on your knee you can always elevate with something. Lift the chest and then exhale fold forward. Let your head and neck release down.

Breathe. Janu sirsasana. And walk your hands back, lift the chest up. Seated spinal twist, left leg comes up. Left foot to the outside of your right leg so right foot is flexed.

Inhale the right arm up so we get length, exhale, twist. Right arm wraps around, left arm behind you. Eyes can close. Come forward and then as a soft, soft postuma tanasan, so your knees can bend. Release, come up.

Kind of feeling a legs up the wall. So we'll do that. Swing your legs up the wall. Santana your butt in, you're always welcome to do this with some propping underneath the hips. Legs up.

Arms can go out in a cactus shape or hands on the hips. Find some comfortable position with your arms. Just let your face relax, now start to let go. And drop into the support of the floor, the support of the wall. Return your focus to that space between each breath.

So I truly believe that asana practice is a moving meditation. I believe as Iyengar said that it is spiritual practice in physical form. Feel where your consciousness moves when you bring your awareness to that little space between the breath. Inhale. Exhale.

We'll stay here for about another minute and then stretch out toward Savasana. Okay so you may want to stay here for your Savasana if you're doing that try to release any kind of conscious control of your breath now. Just let yourself completely dissolve into the shape. You might want to come up scootch your butt back a little bit. And move toward Savasana with the legs straight, arms alongside the body.

Palms up. And similarly here release any conscious control of the body, of the breath. Let go. Then slowly deepen the breath, wiggle the figures and the toes. And the arms up along side the ears, stretch.

Now roll over onto your right side, stay there for a moment. And very gently make your way up to a seated position. We'll end our practice with the eyes closed. Give yourself a moment just to sit still so that all of that action, that moving and twisting, sweating helps us to refine our ability to stay still. And press your palms together at your heart center.

Welcome back to your body. Namaste.

Comments

1 person likes this.
A radical reset indeed! Just what I needed, thank you.
KH - I am happy that you enjoyed the practice! Xo
1 person likes this.
Thank you for sharing the practice, Lesley! I really enjoyed it. Your analogy of space and the mind, and the heart above the head are very thoughtful.
Thank you, Suzie! xo

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