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Season 1 - Episode 5

Balancing Act

60 min - Practice
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Sarah guides us in a Vinyasa practice that emphasizes balancing on our feet and hands. We flow through Sun Salutations into a series of high lunges and planks to build heat and strength in the core and legs. We play with Bakasana (Crow Pose) and Vrksasana (Tree Pose), before closing with backbends, forward bends, and twists.
What You'll Need: Mat

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(waves splashing) Hello, welcome back. In this 60-minute sequence, we're going to be doing some balancing, both on our feet and our hands. So, we're just gonna go ahead and get started. Come on to your hands and your knees. And you can start to establish your base here for balancing by really spreading your fingers nice and wide, pressing your toenails into the mat.

And then as you inhale, drop your belly, pull your shoulder blades back, lift your gaze. And on an exhale, reverse that. So pulling the navel towards the spine, rounding your back towards the ceiling, and almost kind of pulling your shoulder blades apart. Head goes down last. Inhaling to tilt.

And exhaling to round. As always, taking your time with it. Feeling it out. One thing at a time, and making contact with the floor. As you push, exhaling to pull the shoulder blades apart, pushing your hands into the mat.

Really getting some space there. Then inhaling to tilt. Drawing the shoulder blades back. Two more times. Exhaling to round, belly pulls all the way in.

Inhaling to tilt. And then from here, look over your right shoulder, moving your right hip out, and then doing the same thing on the left side. One more time, looking over your right shoulder, kind of popping your right hip out. And then same thing on the left, glancing back. And then just moving into a little wiggle.

Shaking it out a little bit. Getting a more natural movement in your body. Just testing out how you feel, what spots feel tight, what feels good. And then eventually moving back to center. Tucking your left toes underneath you, and maybe even walking your knee a little bit closer to the center, float your right leg back.

Lift your right thigh up towards the ceiling as you pull your shoulder blades back, right hand snuggles down into the mat, left arm reaches up. And look towards your hand if you can. Take an inhale here. And exhale, back down to the floor. Right toes tuck.

Left leg floats up, and we want to try and keep the hip bone looking at the floor as the right arm reaches out. Exhale, back to the floor. We'll flow back and forth between those two movements. Inhale, right leg, left hand. Exhale, back to the center.

Inhale, left leg, right hand. Inhale, back. Exhale, right leg, left hand. Inhale, back, extending left leg, right hand. One more time each side.

Right leg, left hand, following your fingers with your eyes. Last time, left leg, right hand. And then moving back into your wiggle. And then again coming back to your tabletop. So this is called a frog leg, or a tiny dog at a fire hydrant, like a puppy dog at a fire hydrant.

Take your left knee out to the side. And then make circles. Nothing incredibly technical about it. You can reverse the direction that you're going. Just kinda feeling out your hip joint and hamstring, what's happening in the legs, and then trying the same thing on the other side.

Right leg goes out. Making circles. Looping around a bit. And try to keep your hands firmly planted on the floor. Take your right leg back.

Tuck both your toes, all your toes, and as you exhale, push back into a Downward Facing Dog. Let your head and your neck relax. Take a couple of big breaths here. Equal weight in your arms and legs. So as you're pushing the floor away from you with your hands, you're pushing your thighbone up and back towards the wall that you can see.

Lower belly pulls in towards the spine. And biceps round away from your ears, so your shoulders are broad. Take a moment to establish your breath in and out through the nose. On an inhale, look forward, roll your shoulders over your wrists, walking your feet back into a plank. Again, all fingers are pressing into the floor, belly towards the spine, shoulders pull back.

And take your feet a little bit closer together. Lift the thighs up towards the ceiling. Squeeze your butt cheeks together for two. Three. Four, breathe nice and deep.

Five. Six, you should start to feel a little wiggly here, that's okay, seven. Eight. Nine. Ten.

On your next exhale, lift your hips, separate your feet, find a Downward Facing Dog. From your Down Dog, look forward, step your feet between or behind your hands, a little bit of space between your ankles. Look halfway up. And exhale, fold again. Let your head and your neck relax.

Shake it out a little bit. And then on another inhale, pressing the feet into the floor, just roll yourself slowly all the way up to standing. And close your eyes when you get there. Feel your weight firmly planting into your feet. And connecting energetically between the calves and the thighs, so that your legs are starting to engage a bit.

And then taking that line of energy up into the lower belly, pulling the navel towards the spine just a little bit. Pelvic floor muscles pull up. And continuing to reach up into the chest, the shoulders roll back. And deepen your breath a bit here, finding your balance, finding a foundation that we can work from. Opening your eyes.

On an inhale, reach your arms up, palms touch, gazing up. Exhaling, fold forward over your legs. Once more, let your head relax. On an inhale, looking up, rolling the shoulders back. Step your left foot back.

Keep your left heel lifting. Right knee bends. Inhale to a high lunge, reaching your arms ups, palms touch. On an exhale, bring your fingertips to the floor. Jump switch, right heel stays in the air, left heel snuggles into the floor.

Inhale, reaching up, high lunge, palms touch. Exhale, hands to the floor. Go back to plank. Squeezing your armpits in like you're holding chopsticks, thighs lift up. Take an inhale.

Exhale, elbows in, Chaturanga. Inhale, Upward Facing Dog. Toes can tuck or press into the floor. Exhale, Down Dog. We'll stay for five breaths.

In and out through the nose. Two. Three. Four. Five.

On an inhale, jump or step up, lengthen. Exhale, fold, head drops. Pushing in to the feet, inhale all the way up. Palms touch. Exhale to release.

To warm up, we'll do that three more times a little bit faster. Inhale, arms up. Exhale, fold forward. Inhale, looking up. Exhale, left leg back.

Inhale, reaching up high, lunge, palms touch. Exhale, fingertips to the floor. Jump switch. Inhale, reaching up, palms touch. Exhale, to the floor, elbows in, Chaturanga.

Inhale, Up Dog. Exhale, to your Down Dog. One. Two. Three, use your Dog as an opportunity to tone your breath.

Four. Five. Inhale, looking forward, step or jump up between your hands, halfway up. Exhale, fold. Inhale, all the way up, palms touch.

Exhale to release. Inhale, beginning again, looking up. Exhale, fold forward. Inhale, looking up. Left leg back.

Inhale, high lunge, palms touch. Exhale, fingertips to the floor, jump switch. Inhale, reaching up, left knee bends. Exhale, hands to the floor, Chaturanga, elbows bend. Inhale, chest moves forward, Up Dog.

Exhale, Down Dog. It's a little easier to breathe when you're in the Down Dog. Take advantage. Two. Three.

If your hamstrings feel tight, it's okay to bend your knees. Four. Five. Inhale, jump or step up, lengthen. Exhale, fold.

Super strong legs. Inhale, all the way up. Exhale to release. Last time like this. Inhale, reaching up.

Exhale, folding forward. Inhale, look up. Exhale, step back. Inhale, right knee lunges. Exhale, jump switch.

Inhale, left knee lunges, looking up. Exhale to your push up. Inhale to your backbend. Exhale to your dog. One.

It might feel good for you to find some movement in the dog. Two. Maybe deeply bending one knee. Three, and then the other. Four.

Five. Inhale, jumping or stepping up. Lengthen. Exhale, fold. Inhale all the way up.

Exhale to release. Now that we're a little bit more warmed up, a little sweaty perhaps, separating the feet, inhale, reaching your arms up, palms touch. Exhale, folding forward. Inhale, looking up, hands on the mat, stepping back, finding a plank, so that as you get here you're pushing the floor away, and then putting those chopsticks in your armpits, so you have something to squeeze. Squeezing the legs towards one another, the belly towards the spine.

Take your right forearm to the floor. Take your left forearm to the floor. Squeeze in the armpits, keep your gaze forward for two. Three. Four.

Five. Lift your hips, walk your toes in a little bit. Let your head and your neck relax. One, belly pulls in. Two, keep squeezing energetically between your arms.

Three. Four. Five. Lifting the arms one at a time or two at a time as you like, making your way back to a dog. (exhaling) Bring your left leg a little bit closer to the center, and as you inhale, bring your right leg back.

Stretch it out like you want to push your heel to the wall behind you, and as you exhale, knee to nose. Inhale, back. Exhale, knee to nose. Inhale, back. One more time, knee to nose.

Right foot forward. Making sure that you have a really stable foundation in that right foot and that your left heel is pulling up off the floor. Inhale, come back up into our high lunge, and commit to it. Move that right knee forward. Keep some energy up into the fingers, pulling the belly a little bit towards the spine so the whole body is really engaged here.

Take an inhale. And as you exhale, send your left knee down. Inhale, push back up. Exhale, left knee down. Inhale, push back up.

One more time, left knee down. Inhale, push up. Snuggle that right foot into the floor as you bring your hands to your hips and step your left foot up. Knee in the same line as the hips. Option one stay here, this is totally fine.

Option two, round into your back, hook your hands around the bottom of your left foot. Option three, stay here. Option four, find some extension for one. Pulling the shoulders back. Two.

Three. Four. Five. Bend the knee, hands go to the hips. This is a lot on one leg.

Take your time with it. Send your left leg back just towards the floor for Warrior Three, so really firmly planting into that right leg. Even the toes have something to do here. Reaching through the fingertips. Take an inhale.

And as you exhale, left foot to the floor. Sticking the landing. Finding our lunge. Take an inhale. And as you exhale, hands to the floor.

Step your right foot back. Stack it onto your left, and reach your right arm up. Left shoulder goes underneath you. A little arm balance here inside plank, for two. Three.

Four. Five. As you exhale, right hand to the floor, looking forward, exhale, Chaturanga, all the way down. Pressing your toenails into the floor, keeping your fingers in the same line as your chest, really strong legs. On an inhale, peel your chest up.

Little baby Cobra. Exhale, back down. One more time. Inhale, little baby Cobra. And exhale, back down.

Interlace your fingers behind your tailbone, pressing your toenails into the floor, belly towards the spine, peel your chest up, reach your knuckles back. And then hands to the floor, pushing up a little more, using your elbows to squeeze in, bringing the chest forward. And exhale, rolling back, Down Dog. Looking forward between your hands, jump or step up, and lie down, taking your feet to the floor just behind your hips. Hip bones are a nice bony landmark for us.

We want to move this bony landmark towards the ribs so that the sacrum, the tailbone, presses into the floor, float the knees over your hips. Belly button towards the spine. Take an inhale. And as you exhale, lift your head and your chest. Look down at your belly, shoulders away from your ears.

For some people, this is gonna be enough, that's fine. Stay here. For some other people, perhaps you would like, on your exhale, to alternate. (breathing) Reaching your hands alongside your hips. Keep pressing through the sacrum.

(breathing) And breathing through your mouth, letting the exhale take care of itself, or letting the inhale rather, take care of itself. Coming back to the center, shoulders back, still pulling the belly towards the spine, take an inhale, and exhale, roll up so you're in a little baby boat. One more time, we're gonna roll down, belly towards the spine like you're scooping a little bit, squeezing between the thighs. Come all the way down. Pull your knees in.

Rock a little bit side to side. And then rolling up, hands on the floor. Go back to dog. The right leg comes a little bit closer to the center, which helps the balance as we float the left leg back. Really active, really strong in that foot.

Exhale, knee to nose. Inhale, extend. Exhale, knee to nose. Inhale, extend, last time, knee to nose. Looking forward, left foot up.

Right heel stays in the air. And again, making sure that your foundation is stable before you come up. Inhale, reaching up, finding our crescent lunge. Take a big inhale, reaching up. Exhale, right knee dips down.

Inhale, up. Exhale, dip down. Inhale, up. Exhale, dip down. Inhale, coming up.

Really snuggle your left heel into the floor, stepping the right leg up. Hands to the hips helps your balance. Taking a moment and deciding if you would like to stay here, that's fine, or rounding into your back, hooking your hands around your right foot. Take an inhale. And exhale, see if it's possible to extend.

One. I'm pushing the ball of my foot into my hands. Two, which helps keep the leg active. Three. Four.

Five. The knee bends, hands go to the hip. Slow and steady that right leg sends itself back, finding Warrior Three, but maybe this time with a variation, hands interlacing behind your tailbone. So we've been here before. Opening the chest as the right leg goes back.

Breathing nice and deep. Belly towards the spine as we drop that right leg, bringing the arms up, finding our lunge. Take an inhale. Exhale, hands to the floor, left leg steps on top of the right. Left arm reaches up for side plank, for one.

Two. Three, lifting up into the hips. Four. Five. Left hand comes to the floor, separating the feet.

Exhale, all the way down. Fingers in the same line as your chest. Toenails to the floor. Inhale, little baby Cobra. Exhale, back down.

One more time. Inhale, little baby Cobra. And then sliding your fingers a little bit further back, pushing up, elbows in. Rolling back, Down Dog. From your Down Dog, jumping or stepping up.

I'm gonna flip so you can see me, but all you need to do is sit crisscross, with your hands alongside your hips. So, what we're gonna do next is a way to kind of build our yogi six-pack, which is the muscles that are really deep in the belly. We're gonna try and engage them to help lift the feet and the hips. So the pelvic floor muscles go (slurps) up, the belly goes (slurps) in, we call those bandhas in yoga, but it's just kind of a contracting in the belly. Hands go to the floor alongside the hips, and I often round my back a little bit, which makes this a little easier.

We'll do sort of the entry level first, knees go up, feet stay on the floor, lift your hips. (slurping) One. Two. Three. Four.

Five. Set your butt back down. If that felt good for you, great, we'll do it again. If you feel like you need a little more, here you go, take an inhale, repeat that or join me and exhale, lift your feet. One, toes point in opposite ways.

Two, three, balancing on the hands. Four, using the belly to lift the hips, five. Come back down. Good, so, let's try one more time, squeezing the legs together. You can either continue to sit crisscross or join me on your heels if it's okay for your knees.

If you happen to have yoga blocks, you can use those, but you don't need to. Pressing the hands into the floor, squeezing between the thighs and finding our yogi six-pack. Take an inhale. Exhale, lift up, one. Two.

Three. Four. Five, taking your feet back down, and transitioning into a plank. Sending your feet back. Shoulders back.

Centering here. And then rolling to the outside of your right foot, lifting the hips, tucking that right shoulder blade underneath, and we're gonna find the core again here to lift the left leg. One, using your fingers. Two, in the right hand. Three, four.

Five. Let's try the other side. Rolling to the outside of the left foot. Peeling that right arm up. And then the right leg goes up for one.

Two. Three. Remember to breathe. Four. Five.

Right foot to the floor. Right hand to the floor, Down Dog. Big, full breath here. Looking forward, walking or stepping up. Lengthen, and exhale, fold.

Let your head shake out a little bit. Inhaling, lengthen again. And exhale, fold a little deeper. Still okay to bend your knees. Letting go of your legs.

Roll slowly, all the way up. Close your eyes for a moment and find your balance on two feet. Notice what you do, not just in the legs and in the feet, but in the core, in the belly as well to stay centered. We've done some hand balancing, and now we're gonna try some foot balancing. Opening your eyes, walking your feet all the way together.

Take an inhale, and sit back into a Chair Pose, filling out your low back with your belly, and reaching up into your hands. So you can feel your weight moving into your hips. Taking an inhale, and exhale, stand up. Inhale, sitting back. Press your left foot into the floor.

Lift your right leg up and wrap it around your left. Try and pull your right knee back towards the center as you bring your left elbow around your right. Take a moment here, get really snugly in your legs. As you pull your shoulder blades back, lift your elbows up for two, maybe the elbows start to move down. Three.

Four. Coming back up. Five. Reach your arms up. Right foot steps back to the left, finding your chair, and exhale, fold forward.

Let your head relax. Separate your feet. And make sure your hands are really firmly pressed into the floor. So we're gonna transition from the feet to the hands for Crow Pose, knees go into the armpits, gaze goes forward, belly goes towards the spine, and the heels start to lift up towards your butt for three, four, five. Toes back down.

Find your halfway lift. Exhale, fold. On an inhale, roll slowly all the way up. So now we'll try the same thing on the other side. Feet together.

Inhaling, sitting back. Finding that chair. Feeling the weight moving back. Finding a little (slurps) in the belly, so that as we start to lift the left leg, we're lifting nice and high to wrap around the right, and then bringing the left elbow around the right, sitting your butt back a little bit, trying to move your left hip back as you lift your elbows up. The foot acts like a hand here.

It grips, it presses down for two. Maybe the elbows meet the knees. Three. Four. Lifting back up.

Five. Untying the legs. Finding your chair. And exhale, folding forward. One more time trying that Crow.

Inhaling halfway up. Hands go to the floor. And it helps me to think of it, not so much as a pose, but more as a transition. I'm trying to transition my weight from my feet into my hands. Knees go into the armpits.

If you're sweaty like I am, it sometimes helps to wipe your sweat first, pull the belly towards the spine, find your core for three. Shoulders back. Four, keep your gaze forward. Five. Toes back down if they were up.

Halfway lift. Exhale, fold. Inhale, rolling slowly up. Shoulders back. I'll transition this way so you can see, finding a Tree Pose.

The left foot plants into the floor, right foot inside of your left calf, perhaps ankle, or maybe pulling it up into the thigh. The left leg pushes back into the right foot for balance, hips are square. The trunk of our tree, the core stays nice and strong. Reaching your arms up and finding your balance here, taking your time with it. Bringing your hands down.

You're welcome to stay here for a few more breaths or perhaps you'd like to try, the right ankle slides over your left thigh. The foot stays active, sit your hips back, reaching your arms up for two. Finding the belly here so that we stay supported. Three. Four.

Five. Inhale, stand up. And exhale, release. Same thing on the other side. Left foot inside of your ankle, calf, or maybe thigh.

Taking the time that you need to get set up, and remembering that we're not looking for symmetry, that's not natural. We're looking for balance, so it's okay to do something different. It's okay to feel wobbly. Just breathe through it. Try and find stability here.

Hands can go here. You can reach up if you like. Arms can go wide. Stay here if you like. If you feel like you'd like something else, left ankle goes over the right thigh above the knee.

Hips, whoops, get sent back. The deeper you sit, usually the easier it is, arms go up for two. Three, chest lifts. Four. Five.

Pushing into that right heel to stand up, and release. I'm gonna turn so I'm back at the top of my mat, and join me with your feet slightly separated so you have a little more space, a little more comfort, and to close your eyes, find your balance here, feeling the line of energy moving from the feet all the way up through the top of the head. Keeping some integrity in the core. And as you're ready, opening your eyes. Inhale, reaching your arms up.

Exhale, fold forward over your legs. Let your head drop. Inhale, looking up, shoulders back. And as you exhale, step back into a high plank, stacking your shoulders over your wrists, spreading the fingers nice and wide. Roll to the outside of your right foot.

Again, lifting your hips. Reach your left arm up, so we've been here a couple of times before, your left foot can come to the inside of your right thigh or calf. We've been here before as well. Opening the chest. Using your belly to continue to lift in the hips.

You can look up or you can look down as suits your balance. Take an inhale. And exhale, hands to the floor, feet to the floor. Elbows in, Chaturanga. Inhale, Up Dog.

Exhale, Down Dog. Tryin' the same thing on the other side. Inhale, roll to a plank. Get your stability here, shoulders back. Chest broadens even though we're facing the floor, and we want to keep that space as we roll to the outside of the left foot.

Hips lift up. Right arm reaches up. And if the balance is here for you, the right foot inside of the left thigh. Chest opens, and again, whatever you do with your gaze is okay. Belly towards the spine.

Big, full, deep breath. Taking your right hand to the floor, right foot to the mat, gazing forward, Chaturanga. Inhale, Up Dog. And exhale, Down Dog. Look forward.

Step up between or behind your hands. Halfway up. Fold forward, separating your feet slightly, and stepping on your hands, so that your toes are at the crease of your wrist. Bend your knees if you need to to get here, look up. And exhale, fold.

Head and neck relax. Use your toes to press into your wrists. Big full breath. On an inhale, looking up. Shoulders slide back.

Place your hands on the mat in front of you. Bend at the knee. Roll slowly all the way up to standing. Step out with one leg so you have a pretty wide stance. Toes pointing slightly inward.

Hands go to your hips. Inhale, lift your gaze. And as you exhale, fold over your legs. Bend the knees if that's what feels good for your low back. And reach your hands behind you, palms facing the floor, and use your fingers to pull the floor back.

Head and neck relax. Again, it's easier to exhale here. Take advantage of that. Maybe your exhale is a little longer than your inhale. Keeping some action in the upper body.

On an inhale, looking forward, placing your fingers in front of you. Come halfway up. Give yourself a little space. Left hand goes in front of your face. Palm or fingers on the mat.

Keep some action in the legs. As you inhale, reach your right arm up. Looking up, belly towards the spine. And exhale, right hand goes where the left hand was. Inhale, same thing on the other side.

Looking up if it's okay, or looking down. Exhale, left hand to the floor. Toe-heel your feet a little closer together. Sit down with your left leg out in front of you. Bring your right knee on top of your left.

Option one, stay here. This is totally fine. If you feel like you have it in the hip and hamstring, bend the left knee so that your knees are stacked, making sure that you're comfortable wherever you are. Bring your left arm up. Place your left palm into the back of your neck, bring your right hand to your left elbow.

Lift your chest and very gently pull your left elbow towards your head and towards the wall behind you. Big breath here. And then as you exhale, take your right hand behind you, your left hand goes over your right knee. Belly and breastbone and right shoulder all twisting, the eyes following the twist. Breathing here.

And then slowly coming back to the center. Sitting back, changing legs. So the right leg goes out first, always giving your hips a chance to adjust. You can stay here if that's what your hamstrings say, or perhaps bending the left knee. So the knees are stacked, right arm presses into the back of the shoulders or towards the nape of your neck.

Left arm reaches up, taking ahold of the elbow, kind of turning it in a little bit, pulling back. Taking a moment here and just enjoying a little stretch in the tricep, breathing into the ribs, relaxing your hips into the floor. As you exhale, taking that same twist on the other side. Right hand goes outside of your left knee, the left shoulder, the breastbone, and the belly come with us into the twist as does the gaze. Breathe deeply through your nose.

Stay grounded in your hips. And then slowly pulling back, and just transitioning so that you're lying down with your knees pulled in towards your belly for a moment, rocking a little side to side. And then placing the feet behind the hips, so that you can touch your heels with your hands. Whether or not you have a grip or just a touch is up to you. I like just a gentle touch, that's all we really need, pressing the triceps into the floor.

So the breastbone is lifting already. As you inhale, lift your hips, slide your hands a little bit further underneath you. Keep contact with your heels. Lift your thighbone up for two. Try not to turn your head but gaze straight ahead or at your belly.

Three. Four. Five. Slowly back down, touching the tailbone to the floor, and inhale, lifting back up. Think about making yourself longer.

One, this is about lengthening in the spine. Two, using the power of the legs. Pressing the feet into the floor. Three. Four.

Five. Slowly back down, hips touch. Right ankle goes over your left thigh like you maybe did before. Right knee moves away from you. Pinky side of the hand really strong on the floor.

Left leg has to power up a little bit. Inhale, lift your hips. One. Try and keep the right hip moving up. Two, using your shoulders.

Three, using your left leg. Four. Five. Slowly back down. Change sides.

Left ankle crosses just above the knee, so it's really more on the quad, and the foot stays flexed so that you protect your hip and give yourself a little resistance as well. Belly goes (slurps) so we're using the core and really powering up that right leg, lifting up for one. You might feel a little more wobbly on one side. I certainly do. Two.

Taking some of the work into the shoulders. Three, and thinking about lifting that left hip a little higher than you think you need to. Four. Five. Slow and steady, coming back down to the floor.

Untie the leg. Give them a little swish. If you feel like Bridge is your play, that's fine, you'll lift up one more time. If you feel like Wheel is more what you're after right now, that's also fine. We'll do one for five counts.

If you're moving into Wheel, hands go alongside the ears. I'll do a Wheel. You're welcome to stay in Bridge. Take an inhale. Push into the feet, lifting up for one.

You can walk your feet in a little closer. Two, try and keep your thighs spiraling towards one another. Three, pressing the hands and feet into the floor. Four, letting the chest open and shoulders slide back. Five.

Slowly coming back down. Pulling the knees in. Giving them a little wiggle. Maybe making figure eights with your knees. Just working out some of the kinks in the low back, ironing a little bit perhaps.

As you're ready, roll yourself up. And send both legs out in front of you, adjusting so that you feel comfortable, and take a look at your legs, make sure they're spiraled in. Hands placed on the floor. Find a nice, tall seat to lift up into your chest and kind of snuggle your sit bones or your hip bones into the floor, so that you find a little neutrality in your spine before we bend forward. And depending on how your hamstrings feel, maybe you bend your knees.

I want this to be nice and easy for you. So just coming forward, peace fingers to your toes. If it's okay, the legs are straight. Inhale, lift up. And as you exhale, fold.

Let your head drop, but keep your eyes open and breathe as deeply as you can for two. Three. Four. Five. We'll stay a little bit longer here.

Six, breathing into the back of the body. Seven. Eight. And whatever fashion works best for you, just roll yourself on up out of your forward bend, and make your way onto your back, pulling your knees in as you get there, and again, wobbling a little bit. Making sure that you're comfortable.

Send your left leg to the floor. Flex or point your toes so that that leg stays a little bit active as you pull the right foot down. Knee moves a little bit outside of your shoulder. Really active in your right shoulder, so I'm using more of my upper body on the right side, and I'm using my left leg to stay grounded. Taking a few breaths here.

And starting to be kind of interested in what's happening in the breath as we slow down a little bit. Maybe it moves more into the belly. Feels a little deeper on the exhale. Pull your left leg up. Wrap your right knee across your left.

Wrap your ankles, and we'll take a twist to the left side. Bringing the knees closer to your shoulders. Extending your arms out like a T. Head moves in whatever way feels best for you. Close your eyes.

If this feels too twisty, just uncross the legs so that the knees are stacked. Slow your breath down. When you feel like it's time, roll back to the middle, untie the legs, send the right leg to the floor, and again, we want it to be a little bit active so that we're anchored on this side. As the left foot comes up, peace fingers to the toes works as well if that grip is more comfortable for a half Happy Baby. The knee moves outside of your left shoulder, and just breathing here for a few moments.

Pulling down and out. Releasing a little bit in the hip. There is no rush to leave your half Happy Baby, but when it's time, the right knee snuggles behind the left, the ankles wrap, and the knees drop to the right side. We're in some variation of this twist, and the left arm reaches back out. Take up as much space as you can.

Let yourself get really comfy here. You can even close your eyes. There's nothing to hang on to. Belly softens. Again, take your time.

You're welcome to stay in this twist a little bit longer if that's what feels good, but as you're ready, untying the legs, and we'll move into a full Happy Baby. So peace fingers to the big toes or hands outside of your baby toe, separating the feet, pulling the knees down and out, shoulders press into the mat. You can rock a little bit here, widening your base. Kind of at the part of the practice when we're not just looking for balance, we're looking for relaxation. We're looking to ease ourselves down into stillness.

If it feels good for you to straighten your legs, maybe one at a time, you can do that, but you certainly don't have to. Do what feels comfortable, bringing the knees together, and a little snuggle in towards the belly, maybe wrapping your hands around your legs. Squeezing in a little. And then sending your legs to the floor a little wider than you would normally. Lift your chest so that you're flat, arms out a little wider than you would normally.

And like any pose, we want Shavasana to be comfortable and sustainable. Do what you need to do to get there. Close your eyes. And relax into the floor. Allow your body time to benefit from your practice.

I'll stay with you in Shavasana. I will let you know when it's time. You're welcome to stay where you are as long as you like. If you're ready to roll up, reaching your arms up, stretching, and pull your knees to one side. And transitioning from there, finding an easy seat.

Closing your eyes, resting your hands in your lap. Taking a moment to acknowledge how you feel. Acknowledging your body. Thank you for sharing your practice with me. Namaste.

Comments

Ali
1 person likes this.
I found this class challenging, but having just practised it a second time, I chose which postures to focus on, and really enjoyed them. I loved crossing my ankle over my thigh as a tree variation, and I managed to stay balanced for longer in the standing balance with one leg stretched out in front. Really enjoyed bridge variations too. Thank you Sarah! You are giving me a really rounded, challenging practice.
This class is one I keep coming back to, feel great afterwards!! Thanks, Sarah!

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