Good Morning Yoga Artwork
Season 5 - Episode 4

Slow Core Flow

30 min - Practice
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You are more powerful than you know. Tap into your power center as Alana guides us in a slow core-focused flow to wake and warm the spine and core muscles.
What You'll Need: Mat

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(waves crashing) Good morning. So, this practice is a slow, kind of core flow to wake up, warm up the spine and the core muscles. So, join me at the top of your mat, moving towards some sun salutations. Just take a few moments with your feet underneath your hips, spread your toes, and begin to get a sense of lifting from the inner arches of your feet all the way up through the inner lines of the legs. And then awakening the muscles of the pelvic floor, feeling the navel begin to draw towards your spine as you awaken the spine, awaken the heart, lengthening and softening the shoulders down the back.

The knees might be bent here as you allow the base of your skull to lengthen. Feeling that essence of support from within, as you begin to draw your feet closer together and deepen your breath. Finding that Ujjayi breath, the ocean sounding breath, as the lungs stretch and expand into the ribcage. Listening to that smooth, even breath in the back of the throat. Feeling the essence of the lift up through the pelvic floor, navel drawing towards the spine as you bring your hands together at your heart.

Together, we'll find a clearing breath. Breathing in. Exhale. From here, we'll inhale, circle the arms up to the sky. Take a moment to lengthen.

Press the palms together. Lift up through the pelvic floor. Draw the navel into the spine. From here, forward fold. Hinge at the hips, nice and slow, releasing the head, releasing the spine.

Inhale, lengthen half way and exhale, bend the knees, step back into plank, and we'll hold plank here for about five breaths. Strong through the arms, drawing the shoulder blades down the back, and active through your legs. Can you feel the belly button drawing in towards your spine? Yes, breathing, alive in your plank. One more inhale.

We'll exhale slow, lower down onto your knees, or all the way onto your belly. Tops of the feet on the floor, arms stretched down along your sides. On an inhale, rise up, locust. Peel the heart up, peel the legs up, and reach the fingers towards the toes. Alive through the fingers, alive through the toes.

Waking up the spine and the back body. Yes, inhale, lift and reach. Exhale, lower down, forehead to the floor. We'll take one more round. As you're ready, inhale, lift the heart, lift the legs, reach the fingers towards the toes.

Alive, long through the neck. Can you get a sense of breathing into the back of the body? One more, inhale, exhale, lower down. Slide the palms underneath you, draw the elbows into the ribs, tuck your toes under. You might come onto your knees or draw your navel into your spine and press up into a low plank and then a high plank.

Press back, downward facing dog. Take a few moments. Spread the fingers wide. Lengthen your spine, wrapping your upper arm bones. I see my gaze towards the belly button, lengthen the back of the neck, breathing.

From here, nice and slow, walk your feet towards your hands. Soft bend through the knees, forward fold. Inhale, circle the arms up to the sky, reach up and lengthen. Pause at the top, lifting the pelvic floor, navel into the spine, and exhale, release the arms down. Taking a moment to pause.

Hands together, clearing breath. Inhale, and exhale. Inhale, circle the arms up, exhale, forward fold, releasing the head and the arms. Inhale, half arch, lengthen. Exhale, plant the hands, step back into your plank.

We'll hold again for about five breaths. Strong through the legs. Draw the navel into the spine, long through the neck. And slow, onto the knees or all the way onto your belly, through a chaturanga, low push up. Reach the arms far out in front of you.

Spin the inner thighs up towards the sky and then inhale up to sphinx pose, sliding up onto the forearms. Draw the shoulders down the back and take a few moments to settle in, tractioning the heart forward a little bit. Softening through the mouth, softening through the neck. Staying a bit active through the legs as you release and relax any grip through the butt. You might stay here.

You might begin to play with pressing up towards the seal pose. Letting the belly soften a little bit here actually. Nice, and then slowly releasing back into your sphinx. Release the head, slide the palms underneath the shoulders, tuck your toes under, press up, get round. Press through a child's pose.

Tops of the feet on the floor and then roll your way up towards the seat. Walk your hands back, draw your chin into your chest, open your chest, open your shoulders. Keep the chin in or begin to open up through the throat and the chest. Pressing the palms into the floor. If your head is back, gently draw the chin into the chest.

Use your belly to draw you up. Come back onto all fours and take a moment to pause in tabletop, kind of re-set. From here, let's extend our left leg back and reach your right hand out in front of you. So, kind of tent your fingers a little bit. You might stay right here.

You might begin to play with lifting your left leg and lifting your right arm. Extending, and feel the core muscles like activate here and flex the back foot. Rotate the upper arms, so palm facing toward the center. Inhale and then exhale, release down. Nice, other side.

Extend through your right leg. Extend through your left arm and kind of tent the fingers of that left hand. Stay here or begin to lift your right leg, flex the foot, and maybe you play with extending your left arm, rolling the right hip down. See if you can stabilize your pelvis as your reach and lengthen, wrapping that upper right arm. Inhale, reach from the center, and exhale.

Release arm and leg. Allow for an inhale. Nice full exhale. Let's do that again. Extend through the left leg, right arm.

You might stay on the ground or your might lift. If you're lifted, inhale, reach, and exhale, we're gonna pull it in. Draw the left knee into the right elbow. Get round. Inhale, reach and extend, and exhale, get round through the belly, pull it in.

Inhale, extend and reach. And then one more time. Exhale, pull it in, get round. Inhale, reach. Fire through the toes and the fingers and then release.

Take a moment to pause. Inhale, exhale. Extend through the right leg, left arm. Stay here or begin to lift, flexing the foot, extending through your right arm. Inhale, reach, exhale, pull it in.

Right knee, left elbow. Inhale, reach, exhale, pull it in. Inhale, reach, lengthen, exhale, pull it in. Get round. Last time.

Inhale, lengthen, exhale, pull it in. Inhale, reach, and release. Clearing breath. Inhale, exhale, get round. Pull the belly up into the spine, release the head.

Inhale, roll the pelvis forward, arch and lengthen. Again, inhale, get round, pull the belly up and in. Exhale, roll the pelvis forward and lengthen. Press the hips back towards the heels. Child's pose.

You might reach the arms down along your sides. Take a moment to relax the effort through the arms, shoulders, the wrists. From child's pose, press your palms underneath your shoulders, chin into your chest, and slowly roll up. For a moment, sit on your heels. Take a moment to pause.

From here, we're gonna come onto our forearms and measure off. So, bring your hands around to your elbows and then bring your hands back to the floor. You might bring your palms together, draw the shoulder blades down the back, and then tucking the toes. We're coming into our dolphin plank here onto the forearms. Reach back through the heels, forward through the heart.

Draw the navel up into the spine. Press the hands together as you draw the shoulder blades down the back. Long through the neck, breathing. From here, slow, begin to walk your feet towards your hands, coming into a dolphin dog. Release the head, lengthening through the spine.

You might bend your knees here as you press through your forearms, lengthen your spine. Reaching your sit bones up toward the sky. Press the palms together, wrap the upper arms bones, feeling like the outer lats engage a bit here. Releasing the neck. Last few moments here in this inversion.

Nice. From here, we'll lower our knees down and then draw our hips back towards our heels, swing the arms down alongside the body, coming into child's pose for a few breaths. Sliding the palms underneath you, chin into the chest, slowly roll up to a seat for a moment, sitting on the heels. And then come back into high plank. And after dolphin plank, somehow high plank feels very accessible.

So, spread the fingers wide, draw the shoulders back, lift your legs, find your plank. Pause here, engaging the core muscles. And then press back into your downward facing dog, feeling that extension and length in your spine. Take a nice full breath. And then walking your feet towards your hands, coming into a standing forward bend.

Soft through the knees, releasing. Spread the toes, inhale, circle the arms up to the sky, lengthening up, and exhale, release the arms down. Taking a moment to stand. Ground through the feet. Lengthening through the spine.

We'll find a variation of sun salutation B. As you're ready, chair pose. Bend your knees, and palms together. Wrap the upper arms bones, sink down into your heels, draw the navel into the spine. Let the tail bone reach down toward the heels.

Inhale, exhale, come up to standing and fold forward, releasing the head and the arms. Inhale, half arch lengthen, exhale, walk back to plank, or you might play with bending the knees and jumping back through your chaturanga. Taking a moment to pause as you lower down. Inhale to cobra or upward facing dog. Taking a moment to pause.

Roll the shoulders down the back, lift the thighs. Exhale, press back, downward facing dog. From here, we'll inhale the right leg high to the sky. And then exhale. We're gonna come forward into plank.

Draw the right knee to the right elbow. Take a moment to pause and hover. Inhale, lift your right leg to the sky. Exhale, knee to left elbow. Bring it across the body.

Pause and hover. Inhale, knee to the sky, exhale, knee to nose. Get round and we're gonna step it through into a warrior one. Pivot onto the outer edge of your back foot, strong through your legs, and inhale, rise up, press the palms together. Draw the lower belly into the spine.

Sink down into your hips. Inhale, lift up, exhale, lower down. Step back into your plank. Lower onto the knees or all the way through a chaturanga. Inhale to cobra or your upward facing dog.

Pause, lengthen. Exhale, press back, downward facing dog. Take a breath or two here. As you're ready, inhale the left leg high to the sky. Exhale, knee to left elbow.

Inhale, left leg to the sky, exhale, knee to right elbow, across the body, pause and hover. Inhale, knee to the sky, exhale, knee to nose. Get round and step it through. Warrior one. Pivot onto the outer edge.

Ground. Inhale, rise up. Rest the palms together. Draw the left hip back as you lengthen up. Breathing, sink down, strong through the legs.

Inhale, exhale, release. Step back into your plank. Pause, lower the knees or lower through your chaturanga. Nice and slow. Inhale, cobra or upward dog.

Exhale, downward dog. Take about three full breaths here. Breathing into the back of the heart. And then, from here, lower the knees, and press back, child's pose, drawing the hips back towards the heels. Spread your fingers wide and inhale, come up.

Making our way into a side plank variation or full variation of vasisthasana. So, take a moment as you spread your fingers wide, come into your plank pose. Strong through the legs. Now, as we balance on our right hand, right, our right arm, you might bring your right knee down to the floor and find this side plank variation, which feels pretty awesome. You might play from plank to stack the right shoulder over the right wrist, come onto the outer edge of your right foot, stack your left leg, and then reach your left arm up to the sky.

So, strong through the core, active through the legs, pressing into the right arm. Breathing. Beautiful. Lifting the hips. Inhale, come back, release into your plank.

Press back into your downward facing dog. Now, as we approach the second side, you might bring your left knee to the floor, or find the full variation. As you're ready, inhale, come forward into your plank, strong through the legs and the arms. Lower the left knee or play with balancing on your left arm. Spreading the fingers, stacking the right leg on top of the leg or any variation, as you reach your right arm up towards the sky.

Yes, feeling the work through the core muscles, through the arms. You might play with your gaze. You might play with your top arm. Breathing. Inhale.

When you're ready, exhale, come back into your plank. Press back, downward facing dog. Lower the knees. Sit onto your heels. We'll take some wrist love (chuckles).

Slowly twirl the wrists in one direction. And the other direction. And then take your left hand on the right wrist and just gently pull and lengthen. Draw the shoulder down the back. Soft through the face.

Breathing. And then we'll switch. Right hand on your left wrist, pull gently, as your lengthen, softening your left shoulder blade down your back, relaxing the face. Just kind of like many layers of softening. Releasing the tension.

Good, from here, we'll transition onto our back. Find your way there. Draw your knees into your chest. Taking a moment to pause, feeling your shoulders release down. From here, interlace your fingers underneath your head.

We'll take some good old fashioned bicycle crunches for fun. So, extend through your right leg with enthusiasm. Inhale, exhale, draw your right elbow to your left knee. Curl up. Inhale and exhale, left elbow, right knee.

Release. Exhale, switch, release. Switch. And continue a few rounds, drawing the elbow towards the knee, extending through the leg. Feeling the muscles through the core kind of awaken and fire.

Good. One more round and release. Draw the knees into your chest. Let yourself rock a little bit from side to side. Good, and extend your legs up to the sky.

You might stay right here. You might begin to find a plow as your draw your hips over your shoulders a bit. Extend through your legs, pointing the toes. You might keep the arms along your sides or interlace. Lengthening through your neck.

Softening through the face. If you're in plow, releasing the fingers if they're interlaced and begin to like lengthen your neck. Look up toward your toes. Keep looking up towards your toes as you use your belly to slowly lower you down, like slow motion. Feeling each part of your spine as you lengthen the neck and look up towards your toes, feeling the spine release.

Extending the legs up towards the sky and then slowly using the belly to lower your legs, drawing the navel towards the spine and releasing your legs. Take a few moments, spread the legs wide. Arms out to your sides. Allow for an inhale and exhale. Taking a few moments in this final relaxation, relaxing the effort through the mind, body, the breath.

And beginning to draw your awareness toward your breath. Might feel nice here to reach your arms overhead, bring your legs together and find this whole body stretch, lengthening through the fingers, the toes. Draw your knees into your chest. You might rock a little bit from side to side. Rolling onto your side.

Pause and curl up for a moment. And then allow your transition to be an extension of your practice as you slowly press your way up, keeping your eyes soft. Kind of find your way into some form of a seat. Settling in and then lengthening the spine. Taking a moment to feel and invite your presence to kind of expand beyond the body.

Feeling the front body, the side body, and the back body. Feeling your presence expand from the center, moving out. Perhaps expanding into the corners of the room. Drawing your hands together. With a sense of rooted expansion, allow for an inhale.

Exhale. Breathing in. (chanting Om) Namaste. Thank you for your participation, your practice. Have a sweet day.

Comments

1 person likes this.
Absolutely perfect on a slow start Saturday morning! I LOVE practicing with you Alana! Thank you so much, namaste!
Wonderful, Tina! So happy to be practicing together on Yoga Anytime! Please keep me posted. xoA
I agree with Tina! Thank you Alana. Love
Lovely to hear, Katarina! I'm so glad you enjoyed the practice. xoA
Ali
1 person likes this.
I am really enjoying the exploration of locust, seal and sphinx in this series. Another beautiful way to start the day.
Wonderful to hear, Ali! What a dedicated practice you have... enjoy! Love, Alana
1 person likes this.
Appreciate  your calm voice giving explicit directions.  Great way to start Sunday morning. Namaste
Christel, Thank you for being here! Your comment means a lot to me, as that is my intention... finding the balance of clarity and spaciousness at the same time. Wishing you a wonderful week! Namaste, Alana 

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