The Yoga Flow Show Artwork
Season 3 - Episode 9

Balanced Flow

30 min - Practice
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Lesley guides us in a shorter practice for days when you have a desire to practice, but not much time. We begin with a gradual warm-up to stretch and open the shoulders, before moving through a balanced and well-rounded flow sequence.
What You'll Need: Mat, Block (2)

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[Waves Crashing Against Shore] Welcome back. This is a shorter practice if you don't have a lot of time, but you've got a lot of desire for yoga, this is it. So, you're going to start seated. So find a comfortable, seated position. You can sit up on a blanket if you like, and then just close your eyes.

Give yourself a moment, ground yourself. So, sometimes the hardest part of yoga is just showing up. So, you've arrived, you've created the conditions to have this block of time on your mat. So, draw yourself inward. Find your breath.

Get yourself here. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale, just that simple act of closing the eyes can be like an invitation to an interior space. Exhale.

Gently open your eyes and inhale, reach the arms up, press your palms, gaze up toward the thumbs, and then exhale, side stretch right hand down to the right side, left arm up over the ear. You can stay here with your arms straight or bend the elbow to support the head. Breathing deeply, inhale. Exhale. Inhale, come all the way up, then exhale, you're going to twist.

So, left hand to the right knee, right arm behind you. And just about three breaths, inhale. Exhale one. Try not to tense the neck, draw the chin in slightly. Inhale.

Exhale two. Inhale. Exhale three. Good, come up, take the right arm up, now cross your right elbow over the left, and then press the palms together, toward eagle arms. Draw the shoulders down.

Inhale, reach the fingertips up, as you let the shoulders reach down the back. And then exhale, round your back, let your head and neck release. Inhale, arch. Exhale, round, moving slowly, gently, as you begin to wake up the body. Inhale, arch.

Exhale, round. So, connect the breath with the movement. Inhale, arch. Exhale, round. Come up to the center.

Reach the arms out, inhale, and then side stretch over to the other side. So, left hand down, right arm up over the ear. Focus your eyes on one point. Remember, we want to have some energy drawing down that right side for grounding. One more breath here.

Good, inhale, come all the way up, reach the arms up, and now we twist. So, right hand to the left knee, left hand behind you. Breathing, inhale. Exhale one. Inhale.

Exhale two. Inhale. Exhale three. And come forward, now cross. So, left elbow over right this time.

Palms pressed together. Draw the shoulders down, elbows pressed forward. Inhale, lift the fingertips up, arch. And then exhale, round, let the head and neck release. Inhale, arch.

Exhale, round. Inhale, arch. Exhale, round. Inhale, arch. Exhale, come to the center, arms out in your T-shape.

Reach up. And then release your hands down. So, let's take down dog with blocks just to experiment with that a little bit. So, you can take your blocks and bring them onto your mat about shoulder distance apart and place your hands on your blocks, see how that feels in your downward facing dog. So, inhale, reach your right leg up toward the ceiling, exhale, step your right foot between your hands to lunge.

Now, inhale, reach the arms up, lengthen through the sides of your torso, exhale, arms behind your back, interlace your fingers. If this feels too much on your shoulders, grab a belt or a tie and stick it between your hands. Now, inhale, straighten your front leg, exhale, bend the front knee. Inhale, straighten. Exhale, bend.

Inhale, straighten. Exhale, bend the knee. Inhale, reach your arms up, exhale, hands onto your blocks. Step back, downward facing dog. Other side, take the left leg up, inhale.

Exhale, left foot between your hands. Inhale, reach the arms all the way up. And then exhale, interlace your fingers behind your back. Inhale, straighten. Exhale, bend.

Just play with these opening movements, inhale straighten. Exhale, bend. Inhale, straighten. Exhale, bend the knee. Reach your arms up, inhale.

Exhale, hands to your blocks. Downward facing dog. Walk your feet forward. Hang over your legs, let your head and neck release. Slowly come all the way up.

Good. Take your blocks, place them over to the side, and we'll get moving into our sun salutations. So, from tadasana, inhale, reach your arms up, gaze up at your thumbs, exhale, fold down into your legs. Inhale, look up, exhale, step into plank. Lower chaturanga.

Inhale, up dog. Exhale, downward facing dog. Three breaths. Inhale. Exhale one.

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

Inhale, lengthen, exhale fold. Inhale up. Exhale tadasana. Again, inhale, arms up. Exhale, fold down.

Inhale, look forward, exhale, chaturanga. Inhale, up dog. Exhale, down dog. Inhale. Exhale one.

Inhale. Exhale two. Inhale. Exhale three. Bend the knees.

Step or jump. Lengthen your spine. Exhale, fold. Inhale, up. Exhale, tadasana.

One more time. Inhale, arms up. Exhale, fold. Inhale, look forward. Exhale, chaturanga.

Inhale, up dog. Exhale, down dog. Inhale. Exhale one. Inhale.

Exhale two. Inhale. Exhale three. Bend the knees. Step or jump your feet forward.

Look up and fold down. Inhale, come all the way up. Exhale, arms alongside the body. Breathe, inhale. Exhale.

Good, hands to your waist. Bend the knees, now hop your feet apart. Let's come to triangle pose, so turn the right toes forward, left toes in. Arms up. Inhale, reach forward.

Exhale, take your pose and breathe. Inhale. Exhale one. Inhale. Exhale two.

Inhale. Exhale three. Inhale. Exhale four. Inhale.

Exhale five. Look down. Inhale, come all the way up. Exhale, hands to your hips. You're going to take revolved triangle.

So, square your hips, step your left foot in a little bit. Right hip draws back. Inhale, reach the left arm up toward the ceiling. Exhale, reach your left hand forward. And then down into your pose.

Block can go underneath that left hand. Breathe, inhale. Exhale one. Inhale. Exhale two.

Inhale. Exhale three. Good, two more breaths. Inhale. Exhale four.

Inhale. Exhale five. Place your hands on either side of the right foot. Inhale, look up. Exhale, fold.

Squeeze your waist. Inhale, come all the way up to stand. Lift the chest. Exhale, step your left foot forward. Release your arms.

Good, you're going to bend your knees. We'll take that same hop out, so hop your feet apart, and then we'll take triangle pose over to the left side, so arms out, inhale, reach your left hand forward. And then exhale, take your pose. And breathe. Inhale.

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

Exhale four. Inhale. Exhale five. Look down, Inhale, come up. Exhale, hands to your hips.

Step the back foot in a little bit. Square your hips, inhale, right arm up. Exhale, you're going to twist to the left this time. So, right hand to the outside of the left knee or thigh, top hand can go to the sacrum or you can reach the arm up. Breathe for one.

Five breaths. Inhale. Exhale two. Inhale. Exhale three.

Inhale. Exhale four. Inhale. Exhale five. Good, place your hands down.

Frame your foot, inhale, lift the chest, exhale, release. Squeeze your waist. Inhale, come all the way up, exhale, turn your feet parallel. Bend your knees, step or jump your feet forward. Arms up, inhale.

Exhale, fold into your legs. Inhale, look forward. Chataranga, exhale. Inhale, up dog. Exhale, downward facing dog.

Inhale. Exhale, bend the knees, hop. Look up, and then fold down into your legs. Inhale, come all the way up. Exhale, arms along side the body.

Okay, let's step the feet out again, so bend the knees. Step your feet apart. Come into a little straddle with the legs. So, the toes can turn in. So, elbows draw back, really engage the muscles in your upper back, almost like you're flexing the muscles.

Inhale. Then exhale, fold forward. Take your hands down. Now, rather than walking your hands back and forward folding walk the heels of your hands forward to the edge of your mat underneath your face. We're going to take side leg lifts.

So, bend the knees and hop your feet together. So, look forward here. Keep both hands flat down to the floor or onto your blocks. Shift your weight over to your left foot and start to lift your right leg straight up to the right side. Now, don't worry about how high you get that right leg up in the air.

Breathe. Try to avoid collapsing into the outer left hip. So, draw the outer left hip in. Keep the chest open, breathe deeply. And release your right foot down.

We'll move to the other side. So, shift the weight over to the right foot, keep looking forward, hands flat to the floor or your blocks. And then look up and breathe. Draw the right outer hip in. You might feel some muscle groups we don't often get to in yoga.

So, it's good. And release down. Okay, left hand stays down for this one, you might want to grab your block. Right hand makes like peace sign fingers and you grab the right big toe. Now, you're still looking forward, see what it's like.

Shift the weight over to the left side, you're going to lift the right leg up. Now, be willing to fall over. Be willing to stumble. Keep your breath steady and you come right back up. And release it down, good.

Other side. Drawing that right outer hip in. Okay, release your left foot down. Soften your knees and just relax, let go. Okay, hands down, pop your feet back out.

Straddle. Now, we'll take a little twist. So, left hand can go to the floor under your face. You can reach the right arm up. You can also take your left hand to the right ankle.

Maybe walk your hand out in front of you. Tenting the fingers. And then gaze up. You might feel open enough to keep that left hand on the right ankle. Maybe walk the right hand all the way over to that foot.

Boop boop boop boop boop. Maybe spin open. And then come back. Release back down. Come down to the center.

Other side, so here. Or right hand to your left ankle. Left hand out in front of you, tent the fingers. Gaze up. Stay there or maybe crawl your hand around.

Reach for the ankle near the foot. Spin the heart open. And then release back down. Inhale, look up. And exhale just for one breath, release, fold.

Inhale, come up. Squeeze your waist. Come all the way up. Exhale. Alright, soften your knees and step your feet forward, tadasana.

Feel it in your hips. Okay, so let's step your right foot forward, left heel back. Just like you were in revolved triangle. So, maybe you're heel to heel or a little bit wider. This time, arms out into a T-shape.

Take the arms behind your back, grab hold of your elbows with your hands, or you can take reverse namaste. That's pressing the palms together like a prayer. So, if you're accustomed to taking reverse namaste and wiggling your hands really high up your back, I want you to try to lower your hands down. So you really feel it in your wrists and the fronts of your shoulders. Now, inhale, lift up through the center of the chest.

And as you exhale, you're going to come forward and down over that right leg. Left side of the rib cage reaches toward the right leg. Let your head release. So as the head and the neck release down, can you play with the idea of lifting the fronts of your shoulders up. So, find where do you engage, where do you release.

Now, inhale, lift your torso halfway. Exhale, bend the front knee, lift your back heel. Inhale, warrior three. Try to keep your arms like this. Listen, inhale, swing left leg down, forward and up.

Hug your knee in, leave your arms as they are. Exhale, foot down. And then release your arms. Roll the shoulders. Other side.

So, heel to heel or a little bit wider with your legs. Square your hips. Arms out. Arms behind your back, grab your elbows or reverse namaste. So, this is good for iPhone hands and shoulders.

Laptop shoulders, see if we can open it up here. Inhale, lift the chest. Try to stay open as you exhale. Fold forward, so fronts of the shoulders lift, head and neck release. Breathe into the wrists.

Inhale, lift the torso halfway. Exhale, bend the front knee. Inhale, lift up, warrior three. Inhale, swing right leg down, forward, and up, hug your knee in. Exhale, release the foot.

Release the arms. Turn your wrists a little bit if you like. Breathing, inhale. Exhale. Okay, one more little standing thing.

Inhale, lift up onto the balls of your feet. Lengthen, tiptoe balance. Exhale, bring your hands to your heart but try to keep the sense of length lifting you up. Inhale. Exhale, you're going to come to sit on your heels.

So slowly move forward. Knees will shift forward, find that counterbalance. And then we'll take a side crow. So, you will shift your knees over to the left side, and we'll take a twist to the right. So, the deeper the twist here, the easier it will be to start moving into the pose.

So, left elbow to the outside of the right knee. Maybe you stay here, maybe your hands to the floor, come up toward your side crow. There's a number of variations. So, play around. And then feet down and switch over to the other side.

So, again establish your twist. Feel the lower belly lifting. Hands down, look forward. Just like all of these balances, you don't want to look down, that will knock you down. Keep the heart open, keep the chest open.

Okay. And then release. You can hang over your legs. And let it be playful. Again, this is a short practice, so we're just kind of sketching these things out, playing with these things.

Feel free to take a little bit longer and explore. Okay, step your feet back, let's find child's pose. Hips back. Head releases. Walk your hands back, lift the chest up.

Let's come forward. Tarusan, soles of the feet together, knees apart. I like arms underneath the legs, palms down. And then head releases. Gently come up.

Stretch your legs out. Paschimottanasana. And then we relax. Inhale, lift the chest. And exhale, release.

Inhale, come up. We'll finish up lying down on the back for supta baddha konasana. So, soles of your feet together, knees apart. Props can always go underneath your knees. And just let yourself release.

Now, you've used that ujjayi breath, that conscious breath control pattern to help you keep your mind focused during the practice. So, when you move toward your savasana, your final relaxation, try to let that conscious breath control dissolve. So that practice of concentration will naturally help you dissolve into the state of relaxation. Take your hands to the outsides of your legs, bring them in. And stretch the legs out.

Arms alongside your body, palms facing up. In your savasana, allow that state of quiet to arise from within you. Allow yourself to let go. And very gently deepen your breath. Reach your arms up, lengthen.

Roll over onto your right side. Gently come up to a seated position and close your eyes. Let your hands come to your heart center. And whatever arises in your mind, the first thing you think. "May I be kind, or may I be happy, or may I be relaxed." Whatever it is, "May I be..." Offer that blessing to yourself.

And then bow forward, sealing that intention. Namaste.

Comments

3 people like this.
Absolutely love this routine, it feels so great! Thanks Lesley
Thank you, Karen! I am happy that you feel great! xo
Loved this Lesley. Graceful and challenging. Perfect for this day of creativity.
Awesome!!! Thank you!!

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