Good Morning Yoga Artwork
Season 5 - Episode 5

Heart Warming

30 min - Practice
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Alana guides us in a heart-centered flow, bringing awareness and opening to the shoulders, thighs, and hips in this slow Vinyasa sequence. We move gently toward heart openers and backbends. You will feel open, aware, and kind in the heart.
What You'll Need: Mat

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(swoosh) Good morning and welcome to your practice. So this is a heart-centered flow. We're gonna focus on opening the shoulders, the thighs, the hips and lunges. And then moving towards back-bend heart opener as we come down to the floor. So join me at the top of your mat and take a few moments to feel your feet ground and settle on your mat or on the floor.

And then we'll inhale, interlace your fingers and stretch your arms up towards the sky, maybe a soft bend through the knees, soft bend through the elbows. And then taking it up out and over to the right pressing down through your left foot as you stretch out through the left side body. Inhale back to center, up out and over to your left. Press down through your right foot length and through the right side body. Inhale, come back up through the center, another soft bend through the knees and elbows.

Take a nice full breath into your ribcage. Feeling the ribs draw in a bit, feeling your tailbone lengthen, soft through the face. Yes, inhale reach up, exhale slow release the arms down. Walk your feet a little closer in, interlace your fingers, roll and tuck the shoulders behind the back. Inhale, go up through the heart, wide through the collarbones.

Exhale, soft bend through the knees forward, fold nice and easy releasing the head, stretching your arms up out and over. Here let the back of the neck fully lengthen and you might play with shifting some weight forward into the balls of your feet. Breathing into the shape, letting the arms get heavy. And let's take one more inhale. Exhale, bend the knees, release the arms.

And just let it shake out a little bit. Release the head, release the arms. Soft bend through the knees, chin into your chest, slowly unfurl like a fern keeping the chin into your chest, stacking the bones, feeling the heart rise up, the shoulders roll back and down. And take a moment or two to pause and stand. You're at mountain pose.

Bringing your feet towards each other, spreading the toes. Spread the toes with some enthusiasm. Nice and then let the palms open. Feel that brightening up through the center line of the body. The heart, the hands, wide through the base of the skull drawing the chin in a little bit.

Relaxing through the neck. Few moments here as you bring some attention towards your breath, notice the quality of the breath expanding wide into the ribcage. Can you feel and sense the fullness of breath in the back body, the side body? Moving with our breath into some nice easy lunge salutations, hands together at the heart we'll find a clearing breath, inhale. Exhale everything, grounding through the feet.

As you inhale circle your arms up to the sky, reach up and lengthen. And exhale, naval to the spine forward fold, releasing the head and the arms. Inhale, half arch, lengthen your spine and exhale. Step your right foot back into a lunge. Let your left knee bend and take a moment to pause here, reach back with the ball of the right foot, lengthen forward through your heart.

Feel the belly draw into your spine and your back leg is active here. Yes inhale, exhale slow, lower the right knee down to the earth. Tuck the back toes under and press the top of the foot to the floor. And as you inhale reach your arms up towards the sky. Now bend the left elbow, bring the left hand between the shoulder blades.

Right hand between the shoulder blades and left hand at the right elbow. Take it up out and over to your left. Yes, drawing the back of the heart into the back of the hand. Take a nice full breath in. Exhale, come back up through the center, release the arms up to the sky.

Bring the hands around the front foot, tuck the back toes, lift the back leg, step back downward facing dog and take a few breaths, walking off your downward dog. Check your fingers out, spreading the fingers, lengthening through your spine. On an inhale, reach the right leg high to the sky and we'll step it through between the hands, finding a lunge. And we'll help it along. Same thing, wiggle back through the ball of your left foot and take a few moments here to really dial in the length of the spine.

Looking down towards the floor the back leg is active. And then slow, let the left knee lower down. As you inhale circle the arms up to the sky. Lengthen, bend the left elbow, bring the right hand to the left elbow and stretch it up out and over to your right. Soft through the face, breathing.

Can you get a sense of drawing the back of the heart into the back of the hand? Yes, inhale back at the center, stretch the arms up to the sky. Release the hands down. Now tuck the back toes, lift the back leg, we're gonna step our left foot forward to meet our right. Soft bend through the knees forward fold.

Inhale to lengthen and exhale again forward fold, reset. Inhale, circle the arms up to the sky, take a moment to lengthen and linger at the top. Exhale, release the arms down. Hands together at the heart, clearing breath, inhale. Exhale, release.

Moving with our breath, inhale, circle the arms up to the sky. Exhale, forward fold, release the head and the arms. Inhale, half arch lengthen. This time on the exhale we'll step our left foot back, right knee bends. Inhale, circle the arms up to the sky.

Interlace the fingers, scoop the shoulder blades, the elbows under and up. Back of the head resting in the hands. Inhale wide across the chest. Exhale, release the hands. Tuck the back toes, lift the back leg, step back, downward facing dog.

And take a few moments, reorganize, find your downward facing dog. As you're ready we'll inhale, lift the left leg high to the sky and then exhale, bring the left foot between the hands for a lunge. Gonna help it along. Take a moment to pause here, wiggle back on the ball of your right foot. Find length in your spine, yeah good.

And then lower the right knee down. On the inhale sweep the arms up to the sky again, we'll interlace the fingers, thumbs at the occiput as you inhale, scoop the elbows, the shoulders under and up. Heart brightens, exhale. Hands down around the front foot. Tuck the back toes, lift the back leg and then spring the right foot forward to meet the left.

Bend the knees forward, fold, reset. Inhale half arch, lengthen the spine. And exhale, forward bend. Strong through the legs, inhale, circle the arms up to the sky. Linger at the top as you lengthen.

Exhale, swing the arms down. Take a moment to pause, hands together. Feeling your toes, your feet, your legs. The spine. Clearing breath inhale.

Exhale. Moving with our breath, inhale, circle the arms up. Exhale, forward fold, releasing the head and the arms. Inhale half arch, lengthen. This time exhale, step the right foot back, left knee bends.

For a twisting lunge plant the right hand, bring the left thumb into your left hip crease. Inhale, reach back through the ball of your right foot, forward through the heart and the left arm might reach up towards the sky for a beautiful twisting lunge. Lift the back thigh. Yes you might gaze up towards your left hand. One more inhale.

And exhale, release the left hand. Pivot onto the outer edge of your right foot for warrior two. Inhale reach the top arm, come into your warrior two, reset your feet, bend the left knee and sink down into your hips. Turn the palms up, let the heart float over the pelvis. And then bring the right hand down the back leg.

Inhale, reverse warrior big swooping bend. Breathe into the left side. And then release the hands around the front foot, step back downward facing dog. Walking it off, spreading your fingers. Lengthening your spine.

On an inhale, come forward into plank pose. In plank take a moment here to pause. Strong through the arms, strong through the legs. Draw the belly into the spine. You might lower your knees down or lower all the way down to your belly for cobra.

Tops of the feet, inhale, peel the heart up, drawing the shoulders down the back. And exhale, release. Tuck the back toes, press back, downward facing dog. Take three full breaths here. From here, walk or hop your feet to your hands.

Inhale half arch, lengthen your spine. Exhale forward bend. Strong legs, inhale, circle the arms up to the sky. Pause at the top, lengthen. Exhale, swing the arms down.

Hands together, spread the toes. Clearing breath. Exhale. Moving with our breath, inhale circle the arms up. Exhale, forward fold, releasing the head and the arms.

Inhale half arch, lengthen. Exhale, bend the knees. Step your left foot back, let the right knee bend in preparation for a twisting lunge. Root your left hand, bring your right thumb into your right hip crease. Take a moment, reach back through your left foot forward through your heart as you twist to the right.

You might stay right here, you might stretch your right arm up to the sky, lifting the back thigh. Beautiful breathing. Inhale, exhale, release your right hand down. Now as you're in the shape of the lunge, pivot onto the outer left edge of your foot in preparation for warrior two. Inhale, reach up with your top arm.

And sink down. You might look down, reorganize your feet. Palms up, taking a moment to settle in. Heart floating over your pelvis. Yeah.

From here, slide the back hand down the back leg for reverse warrior, inhale, reach the right arm up. Sink into your right hip, long for the right side body, inhale. Exhale, release the hands around the front foot. Step back downward facing dog. Walking it off, spreading your fingers.

Lengthening your spine. On an inhale come forward into plank pose. We'll pause again in plank. Strong and active, press down, lift up. Lower the knees or lower through your Chaturanga, keeping your elbows in nice and slow.

Inhale up cobra or upward facing dog. Pressing down, drawing your shoulder blades down your back, brightening up through the heart. If you're in upward dog, lift your thighs. Exhale, naval to the spine, downward facing dog. Three full breaths.

Walking it off as it would feel nice. As you're ready, walk or hop forward to the hands. Inhale half arch, lengthen. And exhale, forward fold. Inhale, circle the arms up to the sky.

Lengthen up and exhale, release the arms. Hands together, spreading the toes. Lifting up, lengthening up through the spine. Clearing breath. Exhale.

Moving with our breath. Inhale, circle the arms up. Exhale, forward fold. Inhale, half arch length. Walk or hop back into your plank.

From plank, pause. And then from here lower onto the knees or lower nice and slow through your Chaturanga. If you're in Chaturanga take a moment to pause, draw the elbows in, draw the shoulders down the back and then peel up cobra or upward dog. Pause, lift, lengthen. Exhale, downward dog.

Three full breaths here. From downward dog bend the knees and lower child's pose. Bring the knees wide, big toes to touch. Walk your arms our in front of you and melt the hips back towards the heels. Taking a few breaths into the back body.

So from child's pose, as you're ready inhale. Come onto tabletop into all fours and then we'll transition onto our belly. So lower yourself down in preparation for a few rounds of locust. So bring your forehead to the floor. Draw your legs toward each other and spin the inner thighs up towards the sky so you really feel that internal rotation.

And then reach your fingers towards your toes awakening the back body as you inhale. Lift the heart, lift the legs, and draw the back body into the spine. Look down towards the floor and let the back of the neck lengthen. Take a nice full breath here as you lift. Reach through the fingers, reach through the toes.

And exhale, release, bring your forehead to the floor, one ear to the floor, take a moment to pause and relax the effort in the back body. We'll take two more rounds as you're ready, inhale, begin to lift the heart, lift the legs. Reach the fingers towards the toes or interlace your fingers around the sacrum. Peel the heart up, draw the shoulders down the back, wide through the collarbones and the base of the skull. Strong through your legs, breathing.

Let the inhale lift you up, and exhale lower you down forward to the floor or the opposite, cheek and ear to the floor. Taking a moment again to relax the effort. Last round of locust, when you're ready let the inhale inspire the lift up through the heart. Lifting the legs, reaching the fingers toward the toes or swimming the arms out to the side. Over the top of the head, get long through the spine, reach through the fingers and the toes.

Inhale lift up, exhale swim the arms down along your sides and lower, bring the forehead to the floor, nice full exhalation. So from here stretch your arms over the top of your head and then slide up onto your forearms for Sphinx pose. And take a few moments here to dial in the fingers, dial in the wrists, bring your elbows in front of your shoulders. Nice. Feet might be about hip distance apart.

Drawing the shoulder blades down the back, tractioning the heart forward. And taking a few moments here, let the face relax, let the jaw soften. From here bring the right hand at a diagonal. So you draw the palm in. And then lift or bend your left knee.

You might stay here, you might play with bringing your left hand back. You can bring your hand on the inside of the arch of the foot. You might stay here, you might begin to play with bending the knee and drawing the top of the hand to the top of the foot as you bring the foot towards your hip bone or towards the floor. And taking a few breaths here. Pressing into that right foot a little bit, finding length through your spine.

Breathing. And finding an appropriate edge. So if it feels like you're forcing it, back it off. Inhale and then exhale slow, it can be like a slingshot, slowly let it release. Come back into your Sphinx.

Bring your left hand at more of a diagonal as you bend your right knee. You might stay here, you might play with bringing the right hand behind you, opening that right shoulder as you bring the hand towards the inner arch. You might stay right here, you might play with drawing the right heel towards the hip bone, towards the floor. And that top right hand might spin to help you. Breathing and lengthening out of the lower back.

Most likely you feel that strong stretch in the top of that right thigh. Again if you feel any pain or discomfort in your right knee or your back, come out of it. Taking a few more breaths. And opening that right thigh. And then slowly, when you're ready, release the right leg.

Take a moment, elbows wide, forehead rests on your hands. Might let the hips shimmy and move a little bit side to side, relaxing some of that effort. Allow for an inhale, a nice full exhale. From here we'll play with some of that shoulder opening and thigh opening coming into boat pose. So bringing your forehead to the floor, reaching your arms down along your sides and then bending your knee so bringing your heels in.

Now your hands may find the feet. The action here is to draw your knees towards each other. Find length in the spine. Draw your knees towards each other. And then as you inhale, begin to play with lifting your chest.

Rolling the shoulders back, brightening up through the chest, and you might play with kicking your knees up, opening up into a boat. Drawing the chin in wide through the base of the skull. Brightening up through the heart and breathing. You might play with flexing your feet, drawing your knees towards each other. Inhale, lift, exhale, gently lower down.

Forehead rests on the floor. Releasing the legs, releasing the arms. And then slow, tuck your toes under and press your way up into a child's pose, get round through your spine. And then slowly draw your hips back towards your heels, coming to asana receded pose. Bring your hands behind you as you inhale, lift the chest keeping the chin in or letting the head drop.

Inhale, exhale, walk your hands back, draw your chin in. And then for a real child's pose walk your hands out and then release your head. Arms might rest down along your sides. Maybe a little wobble. Breathing into the back body.

Getting a sense of breathing into the mid-lower back. Softening the jaw. Resting from the counter-pose of the back bending. Beautiful, when you're ready stretch your arms out. We're gonna lower again onto our bellies.

And we're gonna come onto our right side. So stretch your bottom arm out, roll onto your right side as if you're coming into a lounging Buddha. You might bring your right hand underneath your head. This feels pretty nice. You might stay here for a few breaths and maybe bending the knees a little bit.

We're gonna play here with bringing your left two fingers, your peace fingers, around the big toe and playing with stretching the leg up towards the sky. Now your bottom leg might be bent for support or it might be extended. And take a few moments here. Notice the quality of your breath. Notice where you can soften a bit through the face.

Finding your balance. This is actually quite a restful pose. Can you get a sense of your bottom lung? Can you get a sense of your breath in the back body? So let's take one more inhale.

And then exhale, release the top leg down. And then we'll just roll onto our belly and over to the other side. Extend through the left arm or the bottom arm. And take a moment to pause with both legs extended coming into your version of lounging Buddha. As you embody the Buddha the left hand might come underneath the head for support.

You might stay right here, you might play with bending the top leg, bringing your two peace fingers around your big toe and extending your right leg up towards the sky. Drawing the right shoulder blade down the back. Now your left bottom leg might be bent or extended towards straight. Breathing. Play here in this balance.

You might find one side feels more stable than the other. Can you get a sense of breathing into the bottom lung? Feeling the breath expand into the back of your body. Soft through the face, the eyes. One more inhale.

And then exhale, slow bend the top knee, release. Come back onto your belly. Bring your forehead to the floor and stretch your arms out to your sides. We're gonna find a shoulder opening here. So from here with the arms directly out from the heart we're gonna roll onto our left side, bringing your right hand to the floor to support you, spread the fingers wide.

Now you might keep your legs stacked. I like to bend my top knee and bring the foot towards the floor. And then opening that right hip, that top hip, as I press the right hand into the floor. Notice how it feels through your neck and head. So your head might rest on the floor or it might be lifted.

Make sure there isn't any strain through the neck. Making any adjustments to that bottom arm and shoulder. And breathing into where you feel it. Notice that you can soften and release a little bit more through the eyes. Good, we'll take one more inhale.

And then exhale. Gently roll back onto your belly. Take a moment to pause with your forehead on the floor, arms stretched out to your sides. When you're ready, roll onto your right shoulder, your right side. Spreading the fingers and then bending your left elbow, placing the hand on the floor.

You might bend the top knee, bring the sole of that left foot to the floor. And then play with pressing and breathing into the right shoulder or where you feel the sensation. Then you might prefer to lift your head. Keeping my head on the floor feels better for my neck. Softening through the face.

Last few moments, making any little adjustments. Inhale, exhale when you're ready, slowly release back onto your belly. Release both arms, release them down along your sides. We'll slide our palms underneath our shoulders, tuck our toes under and press back up into a child's pose. Pressing the hips all the way back towards the heels, forehead towards the floor.

So when you're ready, chin into your chest, rolling up towards a C. Coming up onto the heels and taking a moment here, softening the shoulders, softening the face. So from here if you'd like to close with a Shavasana, lie down, get comfortable. Otherwise you can join me in a comfortable seated meditation. Cross your ankles here, your legs.

Take your time. And then if you're in a seated meditation take a few moments to lengthen, soften the shoulders down the back. Just really inviting the mind to rest in the body. Noticing any sensation through the shoulders, through the hips, through the legs. Drawing your awareness towards your heart, drawing the palms together.

Allow for an inhale. Exhale. Let's do that again, breathing in. Inhale. Exhale.

Namaste. Thank you for your practice. Have a beautiful day.

Comments

Dear Alana, thank you for sharing the practice, it is absolutely lovely and a refreshing way to start the day. I really enjoyed the reclining Buddha pose!
Good morning, Suzie! Thank you for being here. So delighted to be practicing together on Yoga Anytime. Reclining Buddha is one of my favorites... a sweet reminder of royal ease. :) Wishing you a bright and beautiful day.
Thank you Alana for a gentle flowing heart opener. I also benefited from the quad and hamstring stretching!
Such a wonderful class! Thank you so much for your presence.
Good morning, Fern! Thank YOU so much for your presence. I am so happy be practicing together while you travel the world. xoA
Hi Diane! So happy to be practicing together on Yoga Anytime. I'm glad you found some relief with the quad and hamstring stretching. :) Wishing you a beautiful day. xoA
1 person likes this.
Thank you Alana! This is so beautiful. I have been starting my yoga practice again after a long pause. And during my practice a fantastic memory from a love vacation in Thailand appears, 20 years ago. So strong! I didn't remember this "by brain", but it is coming back during my yoga practice. Sp beautiful to connect with this from the mat.
1 person likes this.
Thank you Alana! I love the pace and flow of your sessions. I've watched every one of your classes. Looking forward to more.
Hi Johanna! Welcome back to your yoga practice! So glad you are here. Your memory sounds like a beautiful and timely gift. It's amazing what gets revealed during our practice. Thank you for sharing. Love, Alana
Hi Jonny! So delighted that you are here and enjoying the pace and flow of the practices. Keep me posted, and let me know if any questions or requests arise! xoA
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