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Season 1 - Episode 3

Mindful Flow

30 min - Practice


Align with your heart. Moving through Sun Salutations towards Warrior 3, we find opening in the shoulders, hips, and hamstrings in this mindful and energizing flow sequence.
What You'll Need: Mat

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(wave rolling) Good morning, yogee, thank you for joining me. This morning we'll begin, as usual, with some Surya Namaskar A and B sun salutations, and then opening the hamstrings with some wide leg forward folds, and then moving towards Warrior Three, Virabhadrasana III play, so playing with some balancing, and then making our way down to the floor, closing with a seated meditation. Please join me at the top of your mat. Taking a few moments to connect down with your feet, spreading your toes, dropping your awareness down into your feet. Letting the spine lengthen, tailbone reaching down.

Bringing some awareness towards the bandhas, engaging the floor of the pelvis, Mula Bandha, and then drawing the naval towards the spine a bit, Uddiyana Bandha. Just feeling an essence of that, a connection of the bandha as you go up towards the heart and that widening through the base of the skull. With the hands together at the heart, beginning to deepen your breath, Ujjayi breath. The Ocean breath in the back of the throat. As you're ready, inhale, circle your arms up and exhale, forward fold, releasing the head, Uttanasana.

Inhale, half arch, exhale, step back into Downward Facing Dog, stepping the right foot back and stepping the left foot back. About three to five breaths here. I like to wiggle a lot (giggles) especially in the morning, so you might come high up onto the balls of the feet, lift the hips, and then eventually sink the heels towards the floor. Again, aware of the bandhas, and aware of your breath. (deep breathing) Then, on your next breath, step your right foot forward, and step your left food forward.

Inhale, half arch, lengthen, and exhale, forward fold, Uttanasana. Inhale, circle the arms up, reaching. Exhale, release. We'll find that one more time, Surya Namaskar A, inhale, breathe in. Exhale, forward fold.

Inhale, half arch. Exhale, step the left foot back, step the right foot back, come into your Downward Facing Dog, Adho Mukha Svanasana. Then you have permission here to wiggle and lengthen and breathe. (deep breathing) And, as you're ready, stepping the left foot forward and let the right foot follow. Inhale, half arch.

Exhale, forward fold in Tadasana. Inhale, circle the arms up, reaching. Exhale, release the hands together. Let's find Surya Namaskar B variation. Bending the knees, inhale, circle the arms up.

Exhale, forward fold, releasing. Inhale, half arch. Exhale, bend the knees, we'll step bank into Plank, and for the variation in Plank I'm going to lower on my knees, lower onto my belly, coming into that Baby Cobra, drawing the heart forward. Inhale, lifting the heart, and then exhale, releasing, coming onto the knees and Downward Facing Dog. Inhale, the right leg high, exhale, float the right foot between the hands.

Whoa. Virabhadrasana I, Warrior One. Inhale, exhale, release, stepping back into Plank and lowering onto the knees, onto your belly. Inhale at the heart, lift. Exhale, release.

Come onto the knees, and Downward Facing Dog. As you're ready, second side. Exhale, float the left foot between the hands. Inhale, float up Warrior One. Exhale, release.

Lower onto the knees, onto the belly for Cobra, inhale and lift. Exhale, release. You might rest in Child's pose, or come up for Downward Facing Dog. About five breaths here. Ujjayi breath, Ocean breath.

(deep breathing) As you're ready, jump or walk your feet to your hands and inhale, half arch. Exhale, forward fold. Bend the knees, Utkatasana, inhale, arms up. Exhale, hands at the heart. We'll take one more round together.

Inhale, bend the knees, circle the arms up. Exhale, forward fold. Inhale, half arch. Exhale, step back into Plank. You might find that variation on the knees, or lower down, Chaturanga.

Inhale to Cobra or Upward Facing Dog. Exhale, Downward Facing Dog. Inhale, bring the right foot between the hands. Inhale, come up, Warrior One. Exhale, release, step back into Plank.

Lower onto the knees or lower down, Chaturanga. Inhale to Cobra or Upward Dog. Exhale, Downward Facing Dog. Inhale, step the left foot between the hands. Inhale, float up, Warrior One.

Exhale, release. Step back, and lower down. Inhale, exhale. Three to five breaths here. (deep breathing) From here take a look forward, jump or walk your feet to your hands.

Inhale, half arch. Exhale, forward fold, Uttanasana. Bend the knees, Utkatasana, Chair. Exhale, press down through the feet, hands at the heart. (deep breathing) From here we'll take the legs wide, about three feet apart.

Reach the arms out from the heart and then release into a forward fold, releasing the hands. So it's a variation of Prasarita Padottanasana A. Then, bringing your head towards the floor, and releasing, and breathing. (deep breathing) Rooting through the outer edges of the feet, and then pressing the shoulders away from the ears, engaging the bandhas. Navel, pelvic floor, (deep breath) breathing, ahh, softening the jaw.

Then, as you're ready, let the hands come onto the waist, strong legs, inhale, come all the way back up. Then, releasing the arms out to the side, finding an internal rotation, and then interlacing the fingers, and we'll see how this goes. As you interlace the fingers, let the heart gently lift. Then begin to fold forward, finding a variation of C. Head might release towards the floor, and then reaching the arms up, out, and over.

(deep breathing) Breathing. Then, as you're ready, strong legs, inhale, come all the way back up. Taking a moment to pause. You might feel slightly light-headed, like me. Then, from here, walking the feet together.

Standing in Tadasana. Now, from here, making our way towards the top of our mat and finding a variation of Pyramid now that we've stretched the hamstrings, opened them a bit. Stepping the right foot back, going to find a shorter stance, and then reaching the arms out to the side, finding that internal rotation and the hands might rest this morning in the sacrum, in the palm. You might bring the hands to your elbows, and, depending on your shoulders this morning, or perhaps finding Reverse Prayer, with the palms together at the heart. Then, taking a moment to lift up through the heart, lengthen through the spine.

Oh, this feels nice. Then you might stay here this morning, you might begin to draw your left hip back as you begin to lengthen forward. I like to pause when I first begin to feel the stretch through my hamstrings, reaching through the crown of the head, down to the back edge of the foot. Then you might continue to fold forward. The head might release towards the shin.

Breathing. Again here, it's not about how far I go this morning, but really about the quality of my attention, awareness of the breath, awareness of the bandhas. As you're ready, you'll inhale, come all the way up to standing. Take a moment to pause here. Lift up through the heart, and now, as you release the arms, we'll play towards your Virabhadrasana III, towards a Warrior Three.

Bending the standing leg. You might be here this morning as you reach the arms up, you might play towards Warrior Three, lifting that back leg, reaching for that back foot, reaching for the fingers, and lengthening, breathing, and then releasing, perhaps into a standing split, bending the standing leg, and then step back into a lunge. Take a moment to pause here in the lunge, then let the knee lower down into a low lunge. Inhale, draw the hips back, flexing the foot, round, and then exhale, sink in. Do that two more times.

Inhale, draw the hips back, round, and then exhale, sink in. And one more time, coming back, and then exhale, sink in. From here I'll step back into Plank. Again, you might lower onto the knees and find that variation, or lower down towards Chaturanga, and then inhale to Cobra or Upward Dog and exhale into Downward Dog. Find about three to five breaths here in your Dog.

(deep breathing) And then as you're ready, step forward. Inhale, half arch, exhale, forward fold, softening the knees, and then inhale, circle the arms up, reaching. Exhale, release, hands together at the heart. Finding that on the second side, Parsvottanasana. Going to step my left foot back, finding that Pyramid variation, reaching the arms out.

As I find the internal rotation, you might bring the opposite hand to the sacrum, or perhaps the elbows, or maybe, this morning, Reverse Prayer. Then drawing that right hip back as I inhale with the heart, and then you might stay here, you might (exhale) begin to lengthen. I'm really aware of the pelvic floor, Mula Bandha. Uddiyana Bandha, reaching through the outer edge of the back foot, and then you might continue to lengthen over the front thigh. (deep breathing) Breathing.

As you're ready, inhale, come all the way up, strong legs. Pause. Releasing the arms. Feels good to shake it out. Then, bending the standing leg, reach the arms up.

Play towards Warrior Three, lifting the back leg. You might stay here, you might play with leaning forward towards a Warrior Three variation. Then eventually releasing into a split. Bend the standing leg, come back into a lunge, and then let the knee lower, coming into that low lunge. Inhale, draw the hips back, flex the right foot.

Exhale, bend the front knee and sink in, and a few times. (deep breathing) One more time. Sink low. Then, stepping back into Plank, again, you might lower onto the knees, or come onto your belly. Inhale to Upward Dog or Cobra, exhale to Downward Dog, and breathing.

(deep breathing) Then, as you're ready, jump or step forward, inhale, half arch, exhale, forward fold, and inhale, circle the arms up. Exhale, release the arms and taking a moment to pause. (deep breath) Bring the feet wide, we're going to make our way down to the floor through Malasana, squat pose. Bending the knees and sinking down into the hips. For you, this morning, your heels might be off the floor, which is fine.

Then you might bring the hands together at the heart, softening the jaw. (deep breathing) Then from here we'll release to the floor, so, in your own fashion, I'll release my hands behind me this morning, come onto my sit bones, and then come into a Baddha Konasana, bringing the soles of the feet together, and let the knees go wide. Lean a bit from side to side. Then, taking a moment to lengthen up through the spine, and you might stay here, you might begin to round forward. Again, a softening of the jaw, and then drawing the navel towards the spine, and it might feel good to release the head.

(deep breathing) For me, in the morning, there's like this dull, achy stretch through the spine, through the hips, so, sometimes, some of the longer passive forward folds can help to release that and soften that dense, it's called connective tissue. So I'm releasing the head, softening the back of the heart, (deep breath) and then, as you're ready, coming up, and taking a moment to pause. Then bring you can the knees, release the legs. From here we'll find a Janu Sirsasana, so I'm going to start with my left leg, and let my left hip open. Then I'll inhale the arms up, and then exhale, begin to release the hands towards that right foot, finding that opening through the left hip.

Then I like to use my hands to adjust, so I'm drawing the right ribs, the belly back. Inhale, and then exhale, folding forward, softening, and then drawing the navel towards the spine. Breathing. (deep breathing) Okay, when you feel ready, use the hands, come all the way up, take a moment to pause. Ooh, and then bring the knee back up, release the legs.

You might shake them out. And then second side. I'll draw that right knee in, finding Janu Sirsasana. Then I like to reach my arms up, get length, and then exhale, fold over. For me, I find in my practice, I use my hands to adjust my belly, so I'm drawing my left ribs and belly back, and then folding over.

Each side feels really different, so find what feels and works best for you. Inhale, lengthen, and then exhale, and, drawing the navel towards the spine, then folding over. Again, it's this quality of attention, or, as the Buddha says, this mindfulness centered in the body. Rather than trying to bring my forehead towards my shin, I'll wait for the invitation. Breathing.

(deep breathing) If I try to go too deep too fast, the body will tell me. So it's really this practice of listening. Okay, as you're ready you'll slowly come up, take a moment to pause, and guide the knee back up, shake it out, and then from here, finding our way into a seated meditation for a few minutes. Coming into a comfortable seat, you might sit up on a cushion or blanket. Finding whatever position feels right for you this morning.

Aligning with your breath. Inviting your awareness to gently expand. Widening through the base of the skull. Mmm. And gradually joining the hands together at the heart.

Namaste. Thank you for your practice this morning, and have a beautiful day. Namaste.


Christin F
1 person likes this.
Good morning, Alana ! I did this practice yesterday and liked that it created more heat than Freedom in the Front Body. However, when I went to practice it again this morning, I was drawn back to the Freedom in the Fron Body. I thinks its because Mindful Flow does not have the 3-4 minutes of warm up. I found that the extra time given to drop in is easier on my body. Interesting how each day is different. :)

Alana Mitnick
Good Morning, Christin! Great observations. I'm glad you were able to blend the two practices to work for you. Stay tuned for "Ground and Energize" to be released on Monday. I'll be curious to know how it goes. xo Alana
Amber K
1 person likes this.
Today was my first time on Yoga Anytime. I really enjoyed this class. Will try the others now. Thank you! Amber
Alana Mitnick
Welcome, Amber! So happy you found Yoga Anytime. I am delighted to be practicing together. Enjoy, Alana
Kristi C
2 people like this.
Alana, this was my first foray fully back into a Yoga class and I can't tell you how perfectly suited it was for me. Thank you!
Alana Mitnick
Kristi, I'm so glad you enjoyed the practice. Thank you for watching...what an honor!
Holly H
5 people like this.
Alana, you have a peaceful and relaxed presence that is rare for someone so young. I teach so often that it is hard to turn off my teacher voice, and yet listening to you helps me let go and move into my inner voice. Thanks!
Alana Mitnick
Dear Holly, What a gift to read your words. So delighted you are here and enjoying the practice. Thank you sharing. Xo Alana
Erika W
2 people like this.
Great way to start the day. I look forward to trying more of your episodes.
Alana Mitnick
Hi Erika, I'm so glad you enjoyed the practice! Please keep me posted. xo Alana
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