The Vinyasa Show Artwork
Season 8 - Episode 10

Flow with Courage

30 min - Practice


Nicole guides us through a quick flow with attention towards balancing postures. We play from Navasana (Boat Pose) to Bakasana (Crow Pose), before closing with Urdva Dhanurasana (Wheel) and Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand). You will feel awake, steady, and balanced.
What You'll Need: Mat

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(waves crash) Hi gang, welcome back. We're getting ready for Courageous Flow for Balance. This'll be another quickie. We're gonna' start in Tadasana so join me at the top of the mat. Moving into Sun Salutation Surya Namaskar A.

Let's take a moment to land rooting down into all four corners of your feet. Turning on your Ujjayi breathing. And together, opening your eyes and inhaling reaching your arms into the sky. Exhaling, forward folding, inhaling halfway, exhaling for Chaturanga Dandasana. Inhaling for Upward Facing Dog and exhaling for Downward Facing Dog.

Two full breaths here. Preparing to jump forward. Inhaling, lift the heart, lift the chest. Exhaling, soften and fold, inhaling flying to the sky. We're gonna' fold right back forward as we exhale, inhaling halfway, exhaling Chaturanga Dandasana.

Inhaling for Cobra or Upward Facing Dog and exhaling for Downward Facing Dog. Just one more full breath here. Bottom of our exhalation, using our inhale to come forward. Exhaling, soft and fold. And together inhaling to standing.

Exhaling, returning your hands to your heart. Inhaling, out and up with your arms, exhaling hinging forward. We're going to inhale our right foot back, lunging exhale into our twist, inhaling the arm up and exhaling bringing the hand down, we're going to step the right foot forward, inhaling find your extension and exhaling stepping the left foot back. Inhaling the right arm up. Exhaling, the right hand down.

Inhaling the left foot forward, extending halfway. Exhale, soft and fold. Inhaling to standing. Exhaling swan dive back to the floor. Inhaling halfway and exhaling the right foot right into low lunge.

Inhaling the arms up and exhaling the right hand comes down, we're gonna' lean out onto that right hand for the foot grab as we inhale, opening up our chest and drawing back through that left shoulder blade. Let's take one more deep breath here and exhaling, we're gonna' step the right foot forward inhaling halfway. Exhaling moving that left foot back now right into low lunge. Exhaling, settling into the ground, and inhaling the arms up and then exhaling that left hand to the ground as we sweep the right hand back for the foot grab, deepening our breath into the front of our left thigh and right side of our chest. Two more full breaths here.

Exhaling, releasing dropping that right hand to the floor. This time we're going to move into our Vinyasa. Inhaling plank, exhaling Chaturanga Dandasana. Cobra, Upward Facing Dog as you inhale, exhale for Downward Facing Dog. Inhaling, stepping the right foot forward.

High lunge sweeping the arms up over the head and we're gonna' come into a balancing Padangusthasana. Inhaling, we're gonna' step off of our back leg pulling our left knee into our chest and then exhaling, reaching for your left foot. If you're at home, you might want to use a strap, feel free to grab one. Inhaling, keep reaching through the left leg. It's perfectly fine to work it from a bent knee position.

And then exhaling, let's go into our twist. You might want to try grabbing from that left knee instead of the foot and see how it goes here for you. Inhaling, begin to sweep that left arm back as you open up your chest and you can play with your gaze and your rotation. And then as we exhale, we're gonna release the hand from the foot and step back for high lunge, inhaling. Sweeping the arms up and exhaling moving from plank right into Downward Facing Dog, inhaling.

And exhaling, press it back, lifting the sit bones a few breaths here in Down Dog. Let the jaw go, let the shoulder's soften, releasing your brow, and then we'll step our left foot forward, high lunging. Coming up to standing, Utthita Hasta Padangustasana, we're gonna be stepping off that right foot pulling the right knee up into the chest going for your foot or you knee here. You can also use your strap as you extend your right leg forward. Great big breaths and keeping that left thigh squeezing strong as you exhale making your transition into your twist.

The left arm reaching to the outside of the right leg and then we'll inhale sweeping that right arm back rotating the trunk to the right. Just one more full breath here and then we're gonna exhale and sweep that leg back sweeping our arms up, landing in our lunge. Inhaling, opening up your chest, exhaling for Chaturanga Dandasana. If you happen to make monkey noises too while you practice, inhaling, that's a bonus. Exhaling for Downward Facing Dog.

So, next we're going to come into one more balancing pose here, balancing stick. And we'll step that right foot forward, high lunging. And you can play with how you want to work the arms here. I like to open them up into airplane wings. We're stepping off of that left foot, squeezing through the right thigh and heel, as we extend our arms starting to bow our trunk working to bring it level with our left leg.

Inhaling and exhaling. One more full breath and exhaling, lunging back with that left leg sweeping the arms up. And moving through our Vinyasa sequence, exhaling Chaturanga Dandasana. Cobra, inhaling or Upward Facing Dog. Exhaling for Downward Facing Dog.

I'm gonna step that left foot right up between the hands inhaling the arms up getting ready to step off for our balancing stick. Remember to really press through that left heel, squeezing the left quad and bum. As the right leg lifts, give that right leg a really strong squeeze. Use your breath to open up the back of your body. It's a great back strengthener.

And as we exhale, finding our lunge. Feel free to move through Vinyasa here or you can just step right into Downward Facing Dog for a few extra breaths. We're gonna' make our way onto the floor for rocking so you can practice your jump through if you like. Raising up onto your tippie toes, exhale draw your belly in and inhale give yourself a little spring pushing the feet through. And then we're gonna' go into the rocking back and forth.

So scoot back so you have enough room, but you also want to make sure you have plenty of room behind you on your mat for your spine as you rock. We'll grab the backs of our knees and as we go into our rocks, we're gonna' play with holding and coming into and out of Navasana, Boat Pose. So we'll get a few good rocks in. And then with our next inhale, we're gonna suspend and practice extending the legs. Inhaling, just letting your body bob along the wave of your breath.

Exhaling, let yourself rock. And on that next rock, we're gonna suspend into Navasana, Boat Pose. Breathing your heart forward. The Latin root of the word courage is cor which refers to the heart. Exhaling, let's go into rounding that spine again.

Takes courage to move from the heart. And last time, into Navasana inhaling lifting the chest bright and full. Let's take our arms up and exhaling, go into rocking. So this next one, we're going to play with rocking into our Crow Pose, so we're actually going to be bringing our arms between our legs working with our arm balance here. So as we bring our arms forward with our rock, you can practice a few times in and out of it.

Like that, and then the feet are goin to be coming up. Squeezing in to the belly, lifting through the pelvic floor. Keep drawing up and lifting the gaze forward will help your balance. You can practice moving in to Chaturanga Dandasana here. You want to find that power with that exhalation.

So, big inhale and push out. Inhaling for Cobra or Upward Facing Dog, exhaling for Downward Facing Dog. Inhaling the right leg moving into the sky, exhaling bending at the knee, flex the right foot and rotate that right hip back on top of the left opening up that hip flexor. A couple breaths here, such a great counter pose to Navasana and Bakasana or Crow. And then exhale, bring it forward for Pigeon.

Inhaling, think like Upward Facing Dog and exhaling softening forward letting yourself sink in here for a few breaths. Use that exhalation to surrender to the Earth. Letting the gravitational pull of the Earth take our body. We're gonna inhale our hands up underneath our shoulders and we're gonna' come into a seated twist so that left leg is swinging forward and wrapping over the right leg. We'll scoot the right knee a little bit in towards the mid line.

So, it's no longer off to the side from our Pigeon and then taking a minute to sit tall getting up on those sit bones and exhaling wrapping that right arm around. Using your in breath to lengthen and your out breath to soften. Letting the eyes and the jaw soften. Sometimes in an effort to sit taller we tend to grip the inner right thighs. See if you can soften it down here.

It'll actually stretch the right side of your shoulder more. Last breath. We're gonna unwind and move through back to Pigeon. So you can practice lifting and pulling back or you can just move the hands forward. We're gonna stretch right back into our Downward Facing Dog.

Together, that left leg is going to move up into the sky taking a nice big reach and exhaling let that left hip rotate open, releasing your head, breathing into the front of that left hip flexor. And our next exhale, bringing it forward for Pigeon. Sliding back, inhale find the raise lift of your chest opening up your back and exhaling, softening down. Practice fully surrendering for these moments. And then inhaling together, we'll walk the hands back underneath the shoulders to come up and exhaling, rolling onto that left hip to swing that right leg forward wrapping that right foot over the left knee but then scoop that left knee toward the mid line.

Taking a moment to get tall and rooted through the sit bones and exhale making that bind with the left arm. Feeling the length that you've been creating through your spine now able to revolve around when we are anchored in our courage, it helps us to see clearly. Exhaling, inhale let's unwind back forward. Once again you can play with that liftoff giving a good squeeze to the abdominals. A great abdominal strengthener to inhale lift here.

Lolasana, exhale making that transition for Chaturanga Dandasana. Exhaling, inhaling for Cobra Upward Dog, exhaling into your Downward Facing Dog. We're gonna come through to seated, move into Upward Facing Bow. So you can play with your jump through again building strength in the abdominals. Gonna bend the knees, get soft and springy, inhale and then exhale press on through.

So, we're gonna come on to our back and you're welcome to do Bridge Pose if that's a more suitable back bend for you today. So for Urdva Dhanurasana, you're gonna separate the feet a good hip distance apart. You want to be generous with that foot placement to begin. You can always walk them closer once we're up and then with our hands, we want to keep our hands in as tight as our bodies will allow us. So right up under the shoulders.

So we'll inhale and left the chest lift arching through our back as we press our hands, we're gonna inhale upward. Exhaling and smoothing out the breath here. You can press through the heels keeping bums strong. One more full breath and exhaling to lower down. Pausing for a moment before we come to seated for Paschimottanasana and Baddha Konasana.

You can rock yourself up. And we'll stretch out our legs and then again take time to just get rooted into the sit bones as we reach our arms forward and do your best for a long spine softening into it. Squeezing the thighs actively moving your breath. Inhaling, we'll come up to seated and bring our feet in to Baddha Konasana. Drawing the knees back, soles of the feet come together, taking a moment once again to sit tall through our spinal column and then exhaling.

You can use the elbows at the upper thigh to give a little press opening up the the thighs. You can also push into the heels, this'll help. And if you keep pushing into the heels, you can relax and release your arms forward. Two more breaths here together. Inhaling, coming back up to seated.

And we're gonna' move into Shoulder Stand. You can use the support of your hands on your hips for a gentler variation of a Shoulder Stand today. As we rock onto our backs, we'll lift our legs, placing the hands low and then drawing the shoulders together. Letting the breath come in and out reaching through your legs. And then we'll exhale back to Plow for several breaths letting the arms stretch out.

And then exhaling, we're gonna come down for Fish, rolling letting the head be close to the knees as we come down, releasing the head, stretching the arms long and strong down our sides, reach the legs and as the heels come down to the ground the head will come up and you can let if fall back. Great big breaths into your chest. Using the elbows for support of the spine. And we're gonna draw out of it. So you inhale, give a little lift so the head can come out easily and exhaling, we're going to go into a lying twist.

Drawing the knees into the chest and then exhaling the legs over to the right. Just letting the shoulders soften. Nice full breaths. See if you can make this next inhale even longer than your last. Coming back to center and exhaling to the other side.

Great big breaths just riding the breath wave. Letting that exhalation tumble out through your whole body. Once we inhale, come back to center stretching out for final resting pose. The word Shavasana means corpse. And then we practice dying.

And we can think of it like an ego death just releasing grasping. It takes courage to die gracefully. Letting go. Staying here in Shavasana for another minute. I'm gonna sing you out.

(singing in foreign language) (bell dings) (bell dings) (bell dings) Just letting your breath deepen now. Taking a ani stretch as you make your way to seated. And just taking a moment to sit tall. It takes courage to come to the mat. As you honor yourself and your practice, sending out this gratitude, may it reach all those we come in contact with today.

It's an honor to share in the practice with you. Namaste.


Pascale M
1 person likes this.
This is a beautiful flow, but it cuts off suddenly at the end after about 20 minutes!
Sarah Beston
1 person likes this.
Dear Pascale, Thank you for your feedback. I just tested this and am not able to replicate on my end. Please try logging out of your account and logging back in. That should do the trick. Feel free to reach out: if you still experience any issues. All the best, Sarah
Pascale M
1 person likes this.
Thank you Sarah! I tried logging out and logging back in and had the same problem.
Hi Pascale Thank you! I so love that you are enjoying it and am so sorry you are having issues w viewing it! I'm sure YA is workin on it to resolve it quickly all the best to you xoxox
Sarah Beston
Hi Again Pascale, Our video editors refreshed the content on our video delivery network. Hopefully this fixed it! If not, please reach out directly: Best, Sarah
Eric K
1 person likes this.
Lovely flow and the chanting at the end was a surprise delight . . . Beautiful.
@Eric Eric thank you! I'm so glad you're enjoying it-stay in touch!
Laura M
Excellent flow, I need to work more on rolling up to crow! Loved the chanting, so peaceful. Namaste
Laura M Namaste Laura, thank you so much. Crow is a fun one!

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