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Season 1 - Episode 11

Cool It Now

10 min - Practice
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Laura guides us through a slow, mindful evening practice to cool down and unwind. We find a full-body stretch and create freedom in the shoulders and hips. You will feel quiet and refreshed.
What You'll Need: Mat

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(ocean whooshing) Namaste. It's time to cool it. It's the end of the day, let's unwind together. We'll start out sitting, if you'll just feel the weight of the body, and let gravity hold you, so we've been resisting gravity all day. So let your eyes close, and just feel that beauty.

And then the eyes open softly, let's move the ribs. We're gonna slide to one side and slide to the other, and do a little circle, and then do the opposite circle. One more slide, another slide. Let's take the arm to the side, and reach that arm over the head, left arm over the head. I'm gonna slide my right ribs into my left ribs, and really lengthen.

Ah, it feels so good. Search around in there, kinda roll the body a little bit. Find the tightest spot. And then let's go to the other side. Left arm down and right arm extends, and slide over there, find that tight spot, ah, there it is.

There you go, and then the arm comes down. Here comes one of my favorite things, so lie on your back. Stretch the body out. I call this a full-body stretch. So you're gonna stretch as you inhale, and then relax as you exhale (sighs).

Stretch again as you inhale. Maybe extend through the heels this time. Really reach, fingers splayed, as you exhale (sighs). Fully relax the body. Last one now.

Extend, reach, maybe press through the toes this time, really reach, and the exhalation. (sighs) Fully relax. Again, let gravity hold you, it's your friend now. Bend your legs now, and let's take a little bit of windshield wipers with the legs. I'm gonna place my hands on my belly.

So I release the legs first to the left. Maybe I'll take that right arm up and really stretch, pressing through the right knee on the right arm. And then the legs come up, my hand comes back to my belly. Legs go to the right, and I extend that left arm. Really reach, I'm pressing through the left knee, reaching through the left arm.

Whoa, it feels so good. Back to center, and now just let the legs go to the left. And let the legs go to the right. It feels so good to be in the body after a long day. And come back to center again.

Recognize the power and the beauty of gravity, right now, for your body. And roll on over. And bring yourself up, and around to a nice Downward Dog. And just like a mild Downward Dog, so if you're really familiar with Downward Dog, don't go crazy. Like just a mild Downward-Facing Dog to get the spine nice and long.

Coming on down to the knees. And I'm gonna take my right arm and slide through, for Thread the Needle. You might come onto your shoulder, you might come onto your head, but be comfortable wherever you come on to. Bring the hip to midline, and feel that stretch through the right side of the body. Let's include your hips and your ribs.

Good deep breath there, and up you come. Go to the other side. Left arm slides slides through, I'm resting where it feels comfortable. My right arm's a good support arm here, and my hips stay centered. Nice breath.

(Instructor breathes slowly) Slowly bringing yourself up now, back to that little, mild Downward Dog. Ah, it feels so good, no straining, just feeling, just feeling the relief at the end of the day. So from my hands and knees, I'll slide my right leg forward for a little Pigeon Posture, and my left leg is gonna slide back, and I'll lower down to my forearms. This will really help you sleep, cause it helps to open the psoas and the piriformus muscles. It's one of my favorite things to do at the end of the day.

(Instructor breathes) If your hip doesn't come down, or your leg's not comfortable, you can always sit on a block or a little bit of blanket. Now from here, I'm just gonna turn myself a little to the right. So I'm turning in the direction of that bent leg. A little extra stretch for the leg and the hip. Turning back to center, and curling the back toes under and straightening the leg.

That back knee comes down, and I wander my way back into that mild Downward-Facing Dog. (Instructor breathing) All the way back down to the opposite side, so now it's the left leg that comes forward. Again, I'm gonna lower down to the forearms. You can feel this whole area of the body just start to melt like butter softening. I'm gonna turn towards my front leg, and a little twist.

It's so mild, and it feels so good. And turn on back. Curl the back toes under, so the back toes turn under, and the legs straighten, so this lifts the leg off the ground, except, of course, for the toes. (Instructor breathes) And then relaxing that leg, planting your hands another little mild Dog. (breathing) You can even walk the Dog a little bit now.

(Instructor breathes) Reach yourself forward, lower yourself down to your knees. Keep the toes curled under, if that's okay and pleasant for your feet, like a little modified Dog, then you roll yourself up. Shift yourself into a little Half Plank, so you see my feet came with me. And then you can do a little, little release of the spine, and a little lift of the chest. Back to that Child's Pose with the toes are curled under.

And then shifting forward, all the way onto your belly. Let's do a little Cobra, and you can kinda wiggle, wiggle your Cobra out a little bit. I love those cobras. (Instructor exhaling) Extend the arms, another full body stretch, this time, face-down. Inhale (inhales), exhale (exhales).

Inhale, stretching (inhales), exhale (exhales). One more, inhale (inhales), and exhale (exhales). Draw the hands back, and roll yourself up. (Instructor breathing) Let's walk back forward to the front of the mat, the way we began. Sitting comfortably.

One more time. A little investigation in the ribs, maybe a circle or two. (breathes) A little lift of the chest (exhales). And then just coming to a place of quiet. A day's made its way out.

Now evening's before you. Feel the blessing of gravity. And then bring the palms together. Hope you enjoyed this little practice. You can tag it onto the end of longer practices, too, if you like, it's a sweet cool-down.

Thank you, peace out! Namaste.

Comments

1 person likes this.
Wonderful! I love this. Thank you.
Terrific evening cool down. Thank you!
So enjoyed this. Namaste
sweet practice  :))
What a lovely way to end the day.  Thank you, Laura!
Dear Laura, I simply love your style and way of being, thank you for sharing it with me via yoga

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