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Season 1 - Episode 2

Freedom in the Front Body

30 min - Practice
654 likes

Description

Alana invites us to find a deeper opening, and to stretch the hips, thighs, and shoulders. This practice promotes circulation, flexibility, and strength.
What You'll Need: No props needed

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Good morning, welcome, hope you slept well. So this morning's practice will begin with some sun salutations to begin to just invite some movement into the body. So Surya Namaskar A and B will explore some variations and then move into some deeper lunges just to begin to open the hips and thighs and then move towards the floor. And this morning I have a blanket with me for a seated meditation. So as you're ready, let's make our way towards the top of our mat.

Taking a few moments to spread your toes and then interlacing the fingers, begin to go up. Just taking a few moments to lengthen out of the waist and lean a bit side to side. And then coming back into the center, pressing down through the feet and then reaching from the heart into the hands, bringing your awareness towards your breath. And as you deepen your breath, lifting from the inner arches of the feet up through the pelvic floor, mula bandha, letting the tailbone get heavy, navel towards the spine and a widening through the base of the skull. So as you're ready, exhale, release the arms, interlace your fingers.

I'm going to bring my feet slightly wider and go down, go up through the heart and then bend the knees and forward fold, chest towards the thighs, head drops, and then reaching the arms up out and over. Just taking a few moments saying good morning to your hamstrings, letting the head fully release and then softening the knees, releasing the arms and just allow the arms to dangle here. You might shake the head out gently. And then as you're ready, soften the knees, chin into the chest and slowly roll up, keeping the chin in. Feeling the heart and the shoulders and then inhale, reach the arms up and then exhale, release the arms down.

And I like to inhale, draw my shoulders up in the morning and then exhale, drop the shoulders down the back. And then finding your way into tadasana, bringing the hands together at the heart and we'll move with some sun salutations, surya namaskar A. Again, inviting the breath to deepen that ocean ujjayi breath. And as you align with your breath, you might feel the tailbone descend towards the heels, the gentle blossom up through the heart of widening through the base of the skull. And then as you're ready, inhale, reach the arms up towards the sky, lengthen and exhale, fold, dive forward and inhale, half arch lengthening and then exhale, bend the knees, step the right foot back and step the left foot back, come into your downward facing dog. You might come high up onto the balls of your feet and then begin to let the heels reach down towards the floor and breathing.

After about three or so breaths as you're ready, step the right foot forward and step the left foot forward, inhale, half arch and then exhale, forward fold. And then as you're ready, inhale, circle the arms all the way up, reaching and exhale, release the arms, hands at the heart. More round as you're ready, inhale and then exhale, dive forward and in. Inhale, half arch, exhale, bend the knees, step the left foot back and step the right foot back, downward facing dog and breathing. And as you're ready or on your next breath, step the left foot forward, step the right foot forward, inhale, half arch, exhale, forward fold.

Inhale, circle the arms up, reaching and then exhale, releasing the arms, hands at the heart. And then moving towards a variation of Surya Namaskar B. As you're ready, Utkatasana, inhale, bend the knees, circle the arms up, exhale, dive forward and in, releasing. Inhale, half arch, exhale, bend the knees, step the right foot back, step the left foot back, come into plank, lower the knees, come onto your belly, moving towards Cobra, inhale, lift the heart and then exhale, release, tuck the toes under, come up onto the knees and press back, downward facing dog. As you're ready, inhale, reach the right leg high and as you exhale, float the right foot between the hands in preparation for Warrior I. Inhale, come up, Warrior I and exhale, release the arms, step back into plank, lower the knees, come onto your belly, moving towards Cobra, tractioning the heart forward and then exhale, release, downward facing dog. As you're ready, inhale, the left leg high, exhale, float the left foot between the hands, inhale, Warrior I. Exhale, release, step back into plank, lower onto the knees, Cobra, exhale, press back, downward facing dog, about three to five breaths here.

As you are ready, make your way forward, inhale, half arch, exhale, forward fold, Uttanasana and bend the knees, Uttasana chair, inhale, reach the arms up, exhale, press down through the feet, hands together and take a moment to pause here and spreading the toes and from here moving towards our second round of Surya Namaskar B. So that'll be our base as we move into some deeper lunges. As you're ready, hands at the heart, bend the knees, inhale, Uttasana, exhale, dive forward and in, inhale, half arch, exhale, bend the knees, step the right foot back, step the left foot back, lower onto the knees, inhale to Cobra, exhale, press back, downward facing dog, inhale the right leg high, this time as you exhale, float the right foot between the hands and let the left knee lower down and you might tuck a blanket under the knee for support and stay low here, the hands might rest on that front thigh, from here you might inhale, circle the arms up towards crescent moon, inhale, exhale, release and then interlacing the fingers and gently begin to let the heart lift and you might lean back, breathing and then as you're ready, release, tuck the back toes, lift the back leg, step back into plank, lower onto the belly, again inhale to Cobra, exhale, press back, downward facing dog and take a breath here. As you're ready, second side, inhale the left leg high, exhale, float the left foot between the hands, let the right knee lower down, coming into that low lunge, as you're inspired reach the arms up towards the shape of crescent moon, breathing, nice, releasing the arms you might interlace the fingers, getting a nice shoulder opening here, lifting the heart, gonna softening through the jaw, good, as you're ready, releasing the arms, lifting the back knees, stepping back into plank, nice strong core, lower onto the knees, inhale to Cobra, exhale, release, tuck the toes, knees, press back, downward facing dog, about three to five breaths, inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale, exhale, and then as you're ready find your way forward towards Uttanasana, inhale half arch, exhale, forward fold, bend the knees, Uttasana chair, inhale, reach the arms up, exhale, press down through the feet, hands together, take a moment to pause, you might notice the sensation through the body, the heart, the breath, notice the quality of your attention, and together we'll find one more round, and as you're ready, bend the knees, inhale, reach the arms up, exhale, dive forward and in, inhale half arch, exhale, bend the knees, step your right foot back, your left foot back, plank, lower down, inhale to Cobra, lifting the heart, exhale, release, downward facing dog, inhale the right leg high, exhale, float the right foot between the hands, and we'll come down into that low lunge, softening the jaw, as you come up reach the arms up, we're going to soften, bend that left elbow, bring the right hand onto the left elbow, and then as you begin to let the heart lift, taking it up out and over gently to the right, so sinking down into the hips, breathing, good, and then releasing that right hand towards the floor, reaching that left arm across the body towards that right knee, feeling that nice stretch through the left side of the body, breathing, good, as you're ready, release, hands around the foot, tuck the back toes, step back into your plank, nice strong legs as you lower down to Cobra, lifting the heart, elbows in, exhale, release, downward facing dog, as you're ready lift the left leg high, exhale, float the left foot between the hands, letting the right knee lower down into the lunge, again softening the jaw, inhale, reach the arms up, this time bending the right elbow, left hand on that right elbow, and then reaching it up out and over towards the left, just allowing the right side of the body to lengthen as you breathe, and finding a place where the head and neck feel comfortable and connected, sinking down into that left hip, and then eventually you might release that left arm towards the floor and reach the right arm up, out, over, breathing, feeling a nice wonderful opening in that right hip, good, as you're ready, release, and then tuck the back toes, find your plank, strong legs as you lower down, inhale to Cobra, and exhale, release, tuck the toes under, this time we'll find our way into child's pose, drawing the hips back, forehead towards the floor, reaching the arms out in front of you and then actively pressing the floor away from you as you deepen the tuck, the fold through the hip crease, breathing into the back of the heart, shoulder blades, you might release the hands around the heels, and taking a moment to rest here, and as you're ready, sliding your palms underneath you, chin into the chest, and slowly rolling up, and then let's find our way onto all fours and we'll take some Cat-Cow, spreading the fingers wide, breathing in, and as you exhale, curl the tailbone under, navel towards the spine, let the head release, I like to tuck my toes under and press my hips back towards the heels, and then inhale, rolling the pelvis forward, breathing, widening through the collarbones, and then continue, exhale, few rounds, and at your own pace with your breath, and then eventually coming back into neutral, and then digging a shoulder opening here, so I'm gonna slide my right arm underneath my left arm, I'm gonna weave it through, and I'm gonna come onto my, towards my right ear, and press down with my left hand as I begin to twist up, breathing, now you might keep this left hand here on the floor, pressing down and twisting up, you might choose to play with stretching that left arm overhead, lengthening through the left side, and then drawing the hips towards the heels, breathing, and I like to toe, I tip toe my fingers at an angle towards the right, feeling a nice stretch and opening through the left side, just finding a comfortable position for your neck here, another variation is to look down towards the floor, and readjusting the arm, drawing the hips back, as you're ready, bring that left palm underneath you press through the left hand, and then come back up, you might take a few rounds of cat cow again, and so as I approach the postures, I'm making movements all the time, these like subtle micro movements to really find what works for me, so I encourage you to experiment with that, okay as you're ready, second side, so weaving your left hand through underneath your right arms, you'll get a back view, and then press down through that right palm, that'll help you gently twist up, here you might begin to draw your hips back towards your heels, breathing, getting a nice stretch and opening through the shoulder blades, and find a comfortable position for your neck, you might keep the right hand where it is pressing down, or you might begin to tip toe the fingers out, maybe across the body, finding a nice stretch and opening, twisting, and breathing, and you might stay here, you might play with bringing your forehead towards the floor, readjusting your left arm, and then pressing through the palm as you draw your hips back, breathing, as you're ready slide the palm, the right palm underneath the shoulder, press down through the right hand, come all the way back up, and then take one more round of cat cow, just moving the spine, like finding those nooks and crannies, those sticky spots, so you might begin to lean a bit from side to side, forwards and backwards, and then eventually come into child's pose, taking a moment to rest here, softening the jaw and the belly, and then as you're ready, press down through the palms and slowly roll up towards the seat, making our way to the floor supine, so finding your way onto your back, and hug your knees into your chest, and take a moment here as you draw your knees in, and then let the feet come down to the floor, we'll take one round of bridge, bringing the heels in line with the sit bones, and then drawing the tailbone under pressing down through the feet, lifting the hips, and this morning you might reach the hands towards your ankles, you might interlace your fingers like we found in the low lunge behind the back near the sacrum, and then lengthening through the thighs, and taking one more full breath here, nice, and then to release, come up onto the balls of your feet, reach your arms up towards the sky, draw the navel towards the spine, slowly release down, healing the back, release to the floor, and then hug the knees into the chest, from here you might engage the belly, curl up for a moment, and then release, close here with a spinal twist over to the right, I'm just going to this morning take my knees over to the right, roll onto the right side, and then let the left arm open, and take a few breaths here just releasing the spine and the low back, finding that ease through the base of the skull and between the eyes, nice, nice, nice, nice, nice, nice, nice, nice, nice, nice, as you're ready, let it come back up, making your way over to the other side, to the left, I'm rolling onto my left side, and then letting my right arm open, my shoulder release, you might allow for an inhale, and then exhale, softening the belly, releasing the gaze, and noticing where you can soften and release any unnecessary effort or tension, and taking in one more full breath, and on your next inhale let it come back up, and hug the knees into the chest, making our way up towards the seat, you might rock and roll up, and there I have my blankets, you might have a blanket to sit on nearby or a cushion, and closing our practice with a seated meditation, so coming into your favorite comfortable seat, another let's allow for a full breath in, and exhale, releasing the shoulders down the back, and a widening through the base of the skull, popping your awareness into your heart, heart center, and as you hold your awareness here, you might offer an intention for your practice, or perhaps a dedication for your day, and you may offer an intention for your day, or you may offer an intention for your day, or you may offer an intention for your day, or you may offer an intention for your day, or you may offer an intention for your day, or you may offer an intention for your day, or 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Comments

Ted J
10 people like this.
Thanks, Alana. This was a nice, gentle practice to start my morning. You managed to pack a lot into 30 minutes. I liked the shoulder opener and the cat/cow stretches as I was feeling tight this morning.

One question-- What does "widening from the base of your skull" mean? You said this a few times and I have a hard time understanding what this should feel like.
Alana Mitnick
Hi Ted, Great question. You might try these cues to find the action:

1. Reach your head far forward, like a turtle.
2. Then find the opposite action - draw your head back and the chin down slightly.
3. Relax your face, jaw, neck and shoulders.
4. Imagine you're a kitten being gently lifted by the nape of your neck by mama cat.
5. This is a subtle form of Jalandhara Bandha, the chin lock. Let me know how it goes.

Thanks for asking! Alana
Christin F
3 people like this.
Thanks, Ted for your question and Alana for your response! I had the same question and yes, your reponse helped me cue into the movement.

This session offered a wonderful balance, Alana.
Alana Mitnick
Hi Christin! I'm so glad you enjoyed the practice. Keep me posted on what you are finding. xo Alana
Erin W
7 people like this.
Well instructed, very nice rhythm and sequence. I especially appreciated the pauses offered to be with the breath.
Thank you for the movement and focus for my day
Alana Mitnick
Hi Erin! So happy to be practicing together. Enjoy your day!
Sarah L
Hi Alana, I just loved it. Thank you. Namaste, Sarah
Alana Mitnick
Hi Sarah, So glad you enjoyed the practice! Stay close and let us know what you are finding. Namaste, Alana
Holly H
1 person likes this.
Luscious class!
Alana Mitnick
Hi Holly, So glad you had a luscious practice! Thank you for your presence. Alana
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