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Season 2 - Episode 2

Root Down and Energize

60 min - Practice
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We are already connected. With precise alignment cues, Mary Dana guides us in a dynamic Vinyasa sequence designed to root us to the ground. Moving with our breath we explore "the anchor" alignment concept through a series of Surya Namaskars (Sun Salutations), standing and balancing postures, backbends, and twists. You will feel more grounded, balanced, and energized.
What You'll Need: Mat

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(waves crashing) Hi there, this practice is all about rooting down and grounding ourselves, while also staying fluid. The perfect balance of steerum sukum and asana. Which is strength and grace. So please join me for this powerful flow. Start by finding your sitting bones on the ground and taking your hands to the floor.

And as you feel your sit bones on the ground, role a little bit forward and then create a flat spine there. Think of your back ribcage right behind your navel moving into your chest. So I'll reference that as the back ribs moving forward. And then think of your front ribs, you can even bring one hand onto them, bring them towards your sitting bones. And I'll reference that as the front ribs moving towards the sitting bones or backwards.

From there go ahead and move the back ribs into the heart. And then move the front ribs into the sitting bones. And see if you can find that balance in all of the movement that we do and I'll keep exploring it with you. The softness is the back ribs lifting and the steerum is the front ribs dropping. So let's go ahead and explore that.

Make your way onto your hands and your knees. Bring your wrists right underneath your shoulders and your knees right underneath your hips so that the arms are at a right angle with the ground. And as we inhale and lift for cow pose, move the back ribs into the heart. And as you exhale and round the spine, move the front ribs towards the sitting bones and I call that the anchor. Move the back ribs forward into the heart.

And move the front ribs towards the sitting bones and round. Inhale back ribs forward. And that sends the heart a little bit forward. And as you exhale, bring the front ribs back into the buttock bones. Let's do that one more time, really feel the breath take you through the movement.

Breathe in, and breathe out. And then let's bring the feet together, widening the knees a little bit for child's pose. Let the sits bones move towards the heels and start to walk the hands out in front of you tenting the fingers. Let the front ribs move towards the buttock bones and that's gonna help bring the butt bones closer to the heels. And from there walk the hands out a little bit more in front of you so you're creating this dual action movement in two directions at once to bring you into your center.

Go ahead and take your gaze between your thumbs, lowering the palms. Widen the feet so they're hip width apart, tuck the toes under and we're gonna take down dog with bent knees and lifted heels. So you're gonna let the chest move a little bit towards the thighs, aim the buttock bones towards the ceiling but then draw the front ribs towards the buttock bones so you move the waist away from the thighs. From here take a plank pose. And you wanna find that right angle between the arms and the ground again.

And then bend the knees in plank, lift the hips for your down dog. Plank, breathing in, back ribs forward. Bend the knees, down dog, front ribs up into the buttock bones. One more time, plank breathing in, let the heart really move forward, and then bend the knees, lift the hips, bent knee down dog breathing out. Let's go ahead and take the right leg up high.

Lift from the inner thigh. And now move your front left ribcage towards your left buttock bone so that squares the hips. Try to keep your arms straight too. Step the right foot forward between your thumbs, drop your left shin, and take your arms out in front of you, so you hook your right armpit onto your right knee. And press the armpit into the knee without over extending the knee so you're dragging that left hip forward.

And from dragging the left hip forward, let the back ribs lift into the heart. And even feel that right armpit press into the knee a little bit more so you're giving yourself a little bit of a counter action, and really feeling your legs. Now lift the arms up on the breath in. Keep letting that right knee bring that left hip point, the left pelvic bone forward. But now move the front ribs toward the buttock bones so you can peel the waist off of the thigh and then life the back ribs into the heart.

So you're finding this subtle and soft back bend from the strength of the legs. Take your hands to the ground, breathe in, tuck your left toes under, lift the left knee. Let the left inner heel reach back as the right knee moves energetically forward and lift the right arm up for a twist. Try to open up your left collar bone as you reach up through your right hand. Breathe in, breathe out.

And then extend your right arm over your head as your breathe in, take the right hand to the ground and turn towards your left for a wide straddle forward bend. Now here put a little bend in the knees like we did in downward dog, so the butt bones are lifted but keep anchoring the front ribs into the buttock bones. Bend the left knee, don't go too low. We wanna feel the counter tension of that right inner thigh moving in the opposite direction. Move the back ribs forward, breathe in.

Bend the right knee as your breathe out. And then move the back ribs forward as your breathe in. And then straighten the right leg, bend the left knee one more time. Maybe send that butt bone back just a little bit. Straighten your left leg, breathe in.

Bend the right knee, lift the right heel, turn the right toes out, lining up the heel with the left arch and then come up for warrior two. Take your right hand to the right knee, press the right knee into the hand. So this hand replaces your armpit. And then let the left inner thigh move in the opposite direction of the right knee and lift the left pelvic bone, right this hip point right here. So you feel that dual action and you feel your legs helping you release your pelvis towards the mat.

Take your right arm forward, gaze over your right hand, breathe in. Lift the back ribs, drop the front ribs. Flip the right palm, breathe in, reach forward, like you're longing for something. And then take the right arm up and the left arm down for peaceful but feel the opposition of the arms and deepen the bend of the right knee so the right shin makes a right angle with the ground. Breathe in here.

Hands to the ground as you breathe out, lift the back heel. Down dog with bent knees. Let's roll through plank three times. Breathe in plank, bend the knees, exhale. Lift the hips.

Breathe in plank, back ribs forward, bend the knees. Front ribs move towards the buttock bones. Breathe in plank, heart really moves a little bit more forward reach back through your heels. Bend the knees exhale. Downward dog.

Lift the left leg up high. Square the hips by moving the front of your right ribcage towards the right buttock bone. And then step the left foot forward between your thumbs. Drop your right shin. Take your arms out in front.

Hook that left armpit onto your left knee and press the knee into the armpit to drag the right hip forward. Now press the armpit into the knee and see if you can even crawl that left outer hip towards your midline. Reach your arms forward and up. Keep letting the left knee take the right hip forward, but now move the front of your left ribcage towards your left buttock bone so you peel the waist off of the thigh and then lift the back ribs up. Breathe in.

Breathe out. Breathe in, take your hands to the ground, breathe out. Tuck the right toes under, lift the right knee. Reach back through your right inner heel, and forward energetically through the knee, creating that dual action, and keeping the pelvis level between the legs. Lift the left arm up and try to lengthen your right collar bone.

Breathe in. Breathe out, take your left arm over your head, take your left hand to the ground, wide straddle forward. Bend your right knee, let the buttock bones lift. Breathe in, straighten the right leg, bend your left knee. Straighten your left leg, bend your right knee.

Feel that left thigh move in opposition, so you don't go too low here. Good bend your left knee, lift the left heel, turn the heel in, line up your left heel with your right arch and come up for warrior two. Feels a little like surfing. Take your left hand to your left knee. And let the left knee bone move forward into the hand as the right inner thigh drives the thigh bone in the opposite direction.

And then lift the right pelvic bone. So the left waist move away from the thigh. Extend the left arm forward. Back ribs lift, front ribs drop. Flip your left palm, reach it out in front of you, and then as you take your left arm up, drop the right arm down.

Feel that opposition and let that opposition help you feel your legs a little bit more. Breathe in, take your hands to the ground, lift the gaze, down dog with bent knees. Now take a plank pose on the breath in. Lower all the way to the ground, shift the weight a little bit forward. And then cobra.

And your cobra, the back ribs are helping you lift your heart. The front ribs are still moving towards the buttock bones so you're not over gripping at your seat. And you keep some space in the kidney area. Breathe in, see if you can lift a little more. Maybe even let the chin lift as long as that feels OK in the neck.

And then tuck the toes what takes us back into down dog is the front ribs moving towards the buttock bones. That gives you your pike. Let's go ahead and walk to the top of the mat. Breathing in, breathing out, take your time. Hang out at the top of the mat, put a little bend in the knees, same thing, lifting the buttock bones, shifting the weight into the balls of the feet.

And then lift the hamstrings to lengthen the legs. Go ahead and roll up to stand, breathing in. Lift the arms all the way up and bring your hands to your heart as we prep for surya namaskara A. Begin by lifting the arms up on the inhale reaching the fingers towards the ceiling. Put a little bend in the knees to create that fold at the hips as you fold into uttanasana exhale.

Lift the gaze on the breath in, back ribs into the heart and then step or jump chaturanga as you exhale. Backwards into the heart for upward dog. Spread the toes, front ribs towards the buttock bones for downward dog. And then stay here and breathe. Now you can either keep the knees bent, or you can straighten the legs, but still feel that counter balance of the buttock bones lifting and the front ribs moving towards the buttock bones.

See if that can take some of the weight out of the hands for you and you can even relax the fingers a little bit. And let the ears rest between the arms, breathe in. And breathe out. And breathe in, get nice and long with the breath. Breathe out.

Good one more time, breathing in. One more time breathing out. For hopping forward, bring your feet together, lift the heels, shift the weight slightly forward, lift the buttock bones, bend the knees, open the knees. And then step or float your feet to meet your hands. Lift the gaze, back ribs forward.

Fold front ribs towards the buttock bones. Inhale the arms out and up. And then hands to the heart as you exhale. Inhale your arms out and up, exhale fold, put a little bend in the knees to find that crease at the hips, lengthen your legs if you need to. Lift the gaze, breathe in, step or hop chaturanga, breathe out.

Upward dog, breathing in. Downward facing dog breathing out. And stay here and breathe, all the way in, lift the buttock bones. All the way out draw the front ribs towards the buttock bones. Let there be a nice gentle spread in the toes and the fingers.

Try not to grip too much. The more your can access that front rib cue towards the buttock bones, the less you'll need to grip on the ground and then you can find your fluidity while staying grounded. Breathe in. And breathe out. Let's lift the heels, bring the feet together, lift the hips bend the knees, step or float your feet to meet your hands.

Lift the gaze and drop your head. Inhale your arms up and exhale hands to heart. Let's do that one more time. Breathe in arms lift. Breathe out fold.

Breathe in heart forward. Breathe out step or hop. Breathe in heart lift up dog. Breathe out downward facing dog. Stay here and breathe.

And you can play with switching from bent knees to straight legs. As the bent knees really allows us to lift the buttock bones up and then really move the front ribs towards the buttock bones so your create that space in the fold. Breathing in. Breathing out. Rest into your breath.

Let's go ahead lift the heels, breathe in. Bend the knees, step or float. Lift the gaze, exhale fold, inhale arms up. Exhale hands to heart. Chair pose, breathe in, sit your hips back.

Now the front ribs moving towards the buttock bones gives us the depth of our seat, and the back ribs allows us to keep that softness and that openness in the heart. Sit a little bit deeper. And we're gonna straighten our legs, lift the heels on the breath in and find diver's pose. Good stretch your fingers back, move the back ribs forward. Now find your anchor, front ribs move towards the buttock bones.

The balance comes from the counter balance, don't worry if this is shaky, just keep breathing, don't worry about losing the balance. Focus on your breath. Bend your knees, breathing in. Open up the knees from malasana. For this malasana we'll rest the arms on the thighs and use your front ribs towards your buttock bones to bring your heels closer to the ground.

We're gonna go back into divers pose. Breathing in, use your anchor, use your front ribs. Move the back ribs forward. We're gonna bend the knees, go back into malasana. This time bring the hands to the ground, step or hop chaturanga.

Up dog on the breath in, down dog as you breathe out. Let's go ahead lift the right leg up high, keep the hips square, step the right foot forward between your thumbs. Spin the left heel down 45 degrees. Take the arms out in front like we did in crescent and press that right armpit and right knee together to draw the right hip back and define your left inner thigh more. Lift the arms.

Go ahead and let the front right ribs move towards the right buttock bones to steer that left hip forward. Let's straighten the right leg, breathe in. Find the inner spiral of your left inner thigh, really draw it back so it's drawing that right waist back. Let the back ribs lift, let the front ribs drop and then rebend the right knee. And see if your right knee can even move a little bit forwards, not ever extending it, but right on top of the ankle.

Use your left leg a little but more there. Take your hands to the ground and then you have vinyasa here that you can either skip or take. Exhale chaturanga, inhale upward facing dog, exhale downward facing dog. Lift your left leg up, breathe in. Step the left foot forward between the thumbs, right heel down 45 degrees, take the hands out in front of you, hook the left armpit to the knee and the knee to the armpit and draw that left hip towards the midline.

Find your back leg as you press the knee forward into the armpit and then reach your arms up for warrior one. Now go ahead and let that left knee move forward, find the right inner thigh a little bit more. We're gonna straighten the left leg, feel the back ribs lift, feel that inner spiral of the right leg a little bit more. See if you can press into the ball of the left foot just a little bit more and the ball of the right foot. And then as we rebend the left knee, keep the back ribs lifting and keep the front ribs dropping.

See if you can bring that left knee right right over the ankle using that inner spiral of your right thigh. Take your hands to the ground. Plank into chaturanga if you want, or you can just stay in down dog. Up dog if you're taking the vinyasa. Downward facing dog.

OK let's build on this. Lift the right leg high and breathe in. Step the foot between the thumbs, breathe out. Left heel down, this time we're gonna go right into warrior one, breathing in. Keep lifting the back ribs.

Straighten your right leg and flex your right foot. See if you can lift your left pelvic bone a little bit more. And then we're gonna transition into warrior two. So you'll probably lengthen your stance from front to back and narrow it a little bit so that right heel lines up with the left arch. Stretch out through the arms, take your right hand to your right knee.

And you're gonna feel your left inner thigh spiral back as you start to straighten your right leg, sliding into triangle pose. And your right hand will slide down just a little bit. Once you're there, draw the right hip back and lift your left pelvic bone up a little bit more and see if you can find your legs. Pressing into the ball of the right foot, and pressing into the ball of the left foot. Lift the right waist, open up your right collar bone, and breathe.

Good, feel your legs, root down into them, float all the way up, breathe in, lift through the ribcage, bend the right knee for warrior two. Let's go ahead flip the right palm and find our peaceful warrior, finding that opposition in the arms. Take your hands to the ground breathing in. Step back plank, chaturanga, breathing out. This is always optional.

Up dog breathe in, down dog as you breathe out. And then let's lift the left leg up. Step the foot as you exhale. Right heel down, warrior one, breathing in. Good straighten your left leg, find the inner spiral of your back leg, flex the left foot.

Lift the back ribs. Find your warrior two, you might lengthen the stance, and then bring it in a little bit so that left heel lines up with the right arch. Take your left hand to your left knee, press the knee into the hand, and then use the right inner thigh so it's like you're sliding back and sliding that left hand down into triangle pose. Creating that perfect triangle in the left side body. Draw the left hip into the mid line, lift the right pelvic bone, let that left collar bone open and press into the big toes mounds of both feet to find the legs and let the legs help your find the softness of the upwards spine, breathe in.

Breathe out. Breathe in. Go ahead reach down into the feet to come up to stand, lift the ribcage, bend the left knee. Flip your left palm and lift the left arm up as your drop the right arm for peaceful. Breathe in, take the hands to the ground, breathe out plank into chaturanga.

Breathe in, upward facing dog, breathe out, use those front ribs, downward facing dog. Right leg high, breathing in, right foot forward exhale. Left heel down, warrior one. Straighten the right leg, flex the right foot, breathe in, this time turn the right toes towards the left so you're facing the side of your mat and then turn your left toes out to face the back of your mat. Setting up for warrior two.

Make sure that left heel lines up with the right arch and then open the arms and bend the knee. Keep feeling the dual action in the legs. Take your left hand to your left knee. Bring your right forearm behind your back. Bring the right hand to the top of the left thigh and keep letting that left knee press into the hand.

And use that to lift and open that left collar bone. Find the same slot, this time moving into a half bound triangle pose. And the left hand might not lower quite as much as it did for full triangle, that's fine. As you let that left collarbone widen, twist from left to right in the ribcage. And see if you can feel the external rotation in your left thigh bone.

So your left thigh bone is turning away from your center as your torso turns slightly towards the ceiling, breathe in here. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out, take your right arm up. Take it over your head and then wide straddle forward bend.

Now turn the left toes in just a little bit so that the left foot is about a 60 degree angle with the back of the mat. Bend the right knee like we did at the beginning. Turn the right toes out. This time you're gonna bring your right armpit to the right knee tenting the fingers. Let that right knee press into the armpit so that left hip is moving with it.

And from here, lift your left arm up on the breath in. And feel the right ribs turn towards the left hand, as the right knee moves towards the right armpit. Press the right armpit in the knee and get more of a turn there and get a little longer in the front of your left hip, breathe in. Breathe out. But see if you can move the outer right hip towards the front of your left hip without tucking the tail so much, instead draw the front ribs towards the buttock bones and find a deeper twist.

Great take your left hand to the ground. Next to your right foot. What we're gonna do now is take a side plank on the left hand. See if you can move your front ribs towards the buttock bones here so you can take some of the weight out of the wrist. And even relax that left thumb a little bit.

Open up your left collar bone. Now lift the right leg up, you're gonna step it back forward, spinning onto the ball of the back foot, and then reach the right arm out in front of you, almost like you're gonna lay that armpit back on the knee, but move it a little bit more forward and lift the leg for half moon pose. And think of half moon pose like triangle. So we're lifting the left pelvic bone, we're lifting the right waist, and see if you can lengthen, open that right collar bone and look up towards your left hand. Keep reaching back through your left heel and feel like that right knee is even moving a little bit forward.

Breathe in, breathe out. Good breathe in. Breathe out, take your left arm over you head. Take the left hand to the ground. Step your left foot to meet your right foot uttanasana.

And then utkatasana, breathing in. Lift your right leg up, bring the right hand to the right knee and press the knee into the hand so you drop that right hip a little bit. Go ahead and rotate that right hip, and hold onto your right ankle with your right hand, bringing the left hand to the left hip for tree. See if you can move your left pelvic bone a little to the left to bring that right buttock bone right underneath you and then lift the arms up. Find the roots in the legs but also with the front ribs moving towards the buttock bones.

And then let there be a little softness The back ribs lift, the gaze might lift. Don't fight losing the balance. If you feel like you're going to just breathe a little bit more, focus on the breath a little bit more. It's all about the process, it's not about the product. Breathe in.

Breathe out. Take your right foot to the ground. You might take a step back on your mat here. We're gonna go ahead and take chair pose. And from chair pose go back into our malasana, reaching the arms forward, using the front ribs to release the heels towards the ground.

This time bring the armpits to the knees, and press the knees into the armpits as you slide your hands back. Lift your gaze, lift the heart, shift the weight forward, and see if you can pick up your feet almost from the lower abdominals. And once you're there, let the front ribs lift, and let the back ribs move forward. Squeezing the feet towards your sitting bones. Let the back ribs lift, let the front ribs move forward.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Now if you're working on a hop back, it's the back ribs forward, and the front ribs back, that takes you into chaturanga. Lift up for upward dog, exhale down dog. And you can totally skip that part.

I skip it quite often myself. Lift your left leg up high, breathe in. Left foot forward, exhale. Right heel down, warrior one. Straighten your left leg, flex your left foot, breathe in, turn to the side of your mat, turn your right toes out, make sure the right heel lines up with the left arch, warrior two.

As the right knee moves forward, the left thigh moves back. Take your right hand to your right knee, bring your left forearm behind your back, and find the top of your right thigh. See if you can broaden the right collarbone there. And then you slide into half bound triangle pose. Again the right hand might not lower quite as much and that's fine.

Draw the right hip back open the chest. Feel the rotation right ribcage towards the ceiling. Right thigh bone to the right. Breathe in. Breathe out.

Breathe in. One more exhale here. Take your left arm up and over your head, breathe in. Turn the right toes towards the left, wide straddle as you breathe out. We're gonna go to the top of the mat but just turn the right toes in about 60 degrees, keep the right foot there, turn the left toes out lining up the left heel more or less with the arch, and then bring your left armpit to the left knee.

So your fingers will be a little bit out to the side. From there it's really a turn. You turn the left ribs towards the right hand as you press that left knee into the left armpit. And you keep your anchor in your legs. The ball of the right foot is working almost like it's pushing the floor towards the wall that you're facing.

Keep letting the left ribcage lift as that left knee presses into the armpit. And get a little bit more of a turn, breathe in. Breathe out. Good breathe in. And breathe out, take your right hand on the ground.

Really stack that right wrist under your shoulder, and we're gonna go for a side plank. So you're gonna bring your left foot on top of the right and lift your left arm up. And let your front ribs move towards the buttock bones here so that you're stacking your hips and you're not too much facing the ceiling. And take some of the weight out of the wrist. Breathe in.

Breathe out. Good find your anchor, lift the left leg up. Step it forward, make sure you travel on the ball of your right foot. Take your left hand out almost like you're gonna lay the armpit on the knee, and lift the right leg up high for ardha candrasana. Try not to over rotate from your top leg.

Instead lift that right pelvic bone and the left waist and focus on the length of your collar bone, the left collar bone, so it's even with the right. Press into the ball of the left foot like you're pressing into a gas pedal. And press back through the ball of the right foot. And see if you can even take your gaze towards your right hand. And don't worry if you can't and if you fall you just get back into it.

Not a big deal. Again it's about the process and finding the fluidity through finding your roots. Take your right arm forward. Take the right hand to the ground. Bring the right foot to meet the left.

Really simple utanasana and then let's take utkatasana, feeling the legs. Stand up, bring your left hand to your left knee and keep that right arm lifted. Press the knee into the hand, drop your hip, and then rotate your left hip so the ankle comes towards the hand. Reach for the ankle and slide the foot to the inner thigh. Right away take your right pelvic bone to the right, you can bring the right hand to the hip if you need to.

And that can tell you kind of when your hips are right underneath your shoulder blades. Lift the arms up on the breath in. Let the back ribs lift, let the front ribs drop. Let the back ribs lift, let the front ribs drop. One more breath.

And one more breath out. Take your left foot to meet your right as you breathe in. And we'll take a chair pose as we breathe out. Sit a little bit deeper and we're gonna move the back ribs into the heart as we move the front ribs towards the buttock bones and find ardha utkatasana or half utkatasana. See if your can reach forward through the fingers and back through the hips a little bit more.

Big breath in here, as we breathe out we're gonna bring the left elbow outside of the right thigh. And see if you can find a little bit of the back bend here meaning just the back ribs moving into the heart as we sit back. And make sure you're breathing. So one way I make sure I'm breathing is to stick the belly out a little on the inhale. So you get a little bit more space in this already pretty crowded posture.

And then as I breathe out, the navel just gently or almost naturally draws into the spine and gives me a deeper twist. Now send the buttock bones back and send the front ribs into the buttock bones. And find just a little bit more of that back bend. Breathe in. Let's come back into utkatasana.

Stand up tall. Lift the right knee again. Bring the hand to the knee. Bring your left hand to your hip, draw the elbow in. Keep dropping the hip but bend the elbow.

And reach for your right big toe with your right index finger and middle finger. Curl the pinky and ring fingers into the palm and bring the thumb on top of those fingers. Now move the left thigh bone back, lift the back ribs, and from there lengthen the right leg. Now this is just like our three legged dog. So go ahead and draw your front right ribcage towards your right buttock bone to release the hip a little bit more.

And take your left arm up. And see if you can keep moving that left thigh bone back, driving the weight into the ball of the left foot and then let the back ribs lift and see if you can draw your right shoulder back just a little bit more. Breathe in. Find you anchor, find the front ribs towards the buttock bones and lift the right arm up. Slowly lower your right foot to meet your left.

Bring your hands on your hips. Step your left foot back so it's a little bit shorter than your warrior one. And you can keep your hips super square. Find the ball of the right foot pushing the floor forward. And find the ball of the left foot pushing the floor back.

The left foot will be about a 45 degree angle. And then let's go ahead, draw those front ribs in to stack the rib cage on top of the pelvis. And lift the back ribs up. Take your left arm up on your breath in. Let the back of the left ribcage lift towards your left fingers.

And then start to hinge at the hips. So find that bend at the hip crease, as you move forward here. Breathing in. Keep that inner spiral on the left leg. It's almost like it's opposing that left arm reaching forward so you're getting that extra bit of length.

And then take your left hand to the outside of you right foot. Now you could bring a block underneath your left hand if your feel your shoulders collapse, and you could also bring the left hand to the inside of the right foot. You'll get a little bit less of a side bend that way, but it might be a nice way to find the stability in the hips. Let the right arm lift, and lengthen your right waist. Open up the right waist there as you lift the right arm up.

Go for that lift in your left collar bone a little bit more. Breathe in. Twist as your breathe out keeping that left foot anchored. Breathe in. Twist a little bit more as your breathe out.

Breathe in. Twist a little bit more and then release the right hand to the ground and walk that left hand forward too. We're gonna put a little bend in the right knee, and just simply slide that left knee outside of the right ankle for seated spinal twist. So you'll hug your right thigh with your left arm, and draw your right knee towards your left armpit. Take your right hand to the ground behind the hip, and lean into your right hip a little.

An option here, you can stay here of course, but another option is to lift the left arm up, and bring the armpit to the outer knee and hook the left hand to the left knee, and then try to find evenness in the collar bones. Wherever you are, think of bringing that right knee a little bit more towards the left armpit, and then twisting, taking your gaze gently over your right shoulder. Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in.

Breathe out. Good one more time, big breath in, big lift through the back of the head. Big twist. And then lift both arms up on the breath in. And take a little counter pose as you breathe out.

Doesn't have to be a real deep one, just a little one. Take both hands behind your hips, step the feet to the ground. We're gonna take a tabletop with the chest facing the ceiling. So we're gonna lift the torso up, breathe in, let the butt bones move towards the back of the knees. Lift the chest.

And then we're gonna lower our hips down and move towards nomasana so when you lower your hips, think of the butt bones widening, the sits bones and the butt bones are the same thing. Let your legs lengthen and reach the arms forward. Now you could keep your knees bent. I want you to find a little bit of a balance between moving to the front of the buttock bones, but then moving the front ribs towards them so you're not over gripping at the hip flexors. And then lift the back ribs.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Good. Stay just a little bit longer. And then we're gonna inhale and bend the knees, bringing the knees towards the armpits, cross the ankles, roll over the shins and make your way back into a downward facing dog.

Good. Let's go ahead, we're gonna take a few donkey kicks to the top of the mat. So you're gonna lift he heels, we're gonna bring the feet together again, lift the hips. And the idea is to bring the hips towards your heels three times. Bend your knees look forward, breathe in, exhale.

Exhale. Exhale. And then land. Let the heart lift on the rebound, that certainly is energizing. Exhale fold.

Chair pose, breathing in. Find our half chair pose, reaching the arms forward, reaching the hips back. Relax the neck a little bit by taking the gaze forward and make sure the knees are right on top of the ankles. And then bring your right elbow outside of your left thigh. And try to stack the elbows.

Try to find that openness in the chest. And take a deep breath in into the belly, breathe in, and breathe out twist. Good keep the knees even, so try not to let that right knee creep forward too much. And that right butt bone moving back, twist. Try to open the chest a little bit more, try to open that right collar bone.

Good, one more breath in. And then let's take chair pose. Good, sitting deeply into your chair. Stand up, right hand on right hip, left hand to left knee. Press the knee into the hand.

Takes you a little bit forward in the ball of your right foot. And now bend the left elbow but keep that left hip released. Take a hold of your left big toe. Index finger and middle finger wrap around, pinky and ring come into the palm. Taking your thumb on top of those fingers.

Go ahead and start to lengthen your left leg. Move into the ball of the right foot, draw the left hip back. Lift the back ribs up, draw the left front ribs towards the left buttock bone and then we'll lift the right arm up, breathing in. Good, think of your legs making a clear right angle. Left heel forward, right heel down, back ribs lift.

Left heel forward, right heel down, back ribs lift. Drop the left hip, keep it dropped, lift your left arm up, breathe in. And lower your left foot to meet your right. Good take the hands to the hips. Step the right foot back, little bit shorter than your warrior one.

Make sure you have enough width in the stance so your right hip can move forward. And then let's feel the feet feel the legs, ball of the left foot presses the floor forward, ball of the right foot presses the floor back. Find the inner spiral in your right thigh. Lift the right arm up, move the front ribs towards the buttock bones. Move the back ribs into the chest and then hinge at the hips, that why we did all those folds throughout the class with the buttock bones lifting, cause that's what we're accessing now is that flexibility in the hip joint.

Reach forward, reach back through that right inner thigh. And then when you can't reach any more, right hand outside of the left foot maybe using a block. You could also bring the block on the inside. Open up that left waist. Then from there lift the left arm up, breathe in.

Trying to find evenness in the collar bone. And exploring it right. You're not gonna find it just because you're trying, it's a constant exploration. You might get a little closer every day, but you have to show up. That's the key.

Go ahead and lean back a little bit, breathe in. Maybe take the gaze softly to your left hand. And then take your left hand to the ground. Bend the left knee. Slide that right knee right outside of your left ankle and have a seat.

Hug your left thigh with your right arm, take your left hand behind you. And then you might lift the right arm up and hook the right armpit outside of the left knee and then bring the right hand to the right knee and then try to go for that nice collar bone opening. Gives you a little more resistance to work with. Either way is fine. Take your gaze gently over your left shoulder.

And try to release through your left hip, breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in, just like in our standing twist, let the belly relax a little bit, breathe out. Whatever variation you're doing, bring that left knee towards the right armpit a little bit more. And then lift the arms up on the breath in.

Take a little bit of a counter twist as you breathe out. We'll take the hands right away behind the hips, taking the feet to the ground, underneath the knees. Tabletop, breathing in, buttock bones towards the backs of the knees. Heart lifts from that right. So from that anchor in the buttock bones from the front ribs you have more leverage to lift the heart and find the softness of the upper body while keeping the strength of the lower body.

We're gonna bring the hips to the ground closer to the heels this time. Lower our forearms and then bring the heels forward. Move the front ribs towards the buttock bones, it gives you a little tuck there. And slide the back of the ribs onto the ground. And then you can stay here or lengthen the legs for ardha navasana.

And keep using the anchor, keep using the legs. I like to use the triceps, letting them lengthen a little bit more, and that keeps some of the pressure out of the neck. And make sure you're not holding onto tension in the fingers. Good. Keep moving the front ribs towards the buttock bones, let that give you a little bit more of a lift.

And then let's go ahead and see if we can come back into a navasana backwards lift into the heart. Cross the ankles, roll forward, downward dog. You could take a vinyasa there, you could just rest in downward facing dog. And then let's go ahead and I'll take a plank on the breath in, bend the knees, lift the hips, finding those folds from the beginning of class, let's do that two more times. It's a nice way to wash it through, exhale.

One more time, breathing in. One more time breathing out. Lift the right leg up. Step the right foot forward. Drop the left knee, take the armpit and knee together again one more time dragging that left hip forward.

Press the armpit into the knee, lift the chest, and then lift the arms. And since we've worked through the legs, we're gonna explore a little bit of a deeper back bend here. Make sure that each inch that you move comes with clarity of the breath and intention. So as the back ribs lift, drop the front ribs. Back ribs lift, drop the front.

Back lift, drop the front. Breathe. Take your hands to the ground, tuck your left toes under, downward dog, bent knees to release the hips. Plank pose. Lower all the way to the ground.

Sphinx pose, bringing the elbows underneath your shoulders. Really find that stacking you can bring the elbows a little bit forward so you've got some breathing room in the armpits. And then let's go ahead, let the back ribs move forward, front ribs draw back, spread through your toes. I'm gonna start to lower the chest a little bit, think of the chest lowering from the front ribs and moving towards the buttock bones, and extend your arms back. Let your neck lengthen by taking your gaze down and lift from the inner thighs right.

Try to release the buttocks a little bit here and move more from the hamstrings and the inner thighs. Stretching the toes back, drawing the front ribs towards the buttock bones, letting the back ribs lift, breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. And breathe out, lower down turn your toes in and heels out, and bring your left cheek to the ground, looking over your right shoulder.

Shake out your lower back just a little bit. So let's go ahead and bring the hands by the ribcage, lift up nice gentle cobra, tuck the toes under, downward facing dog. Again giving the knees a little bend there. Lift the left leg on the breath in, step the left foot forward, right shin to the ground, armpit to knee, really drive that right hip forward, but press the left armpit into the knee, so it gives it a little bit of a break. Right reach the arms forward and up and then let's create the back bend breath by breath.

So back ribs lift, front ribs drop. Back ribs lift, front ribs drop, and the breath in takes the back ribs out, the breath out takes the front ribs down. So it's like your peeling the torso into the back bend and then really even keep that left knee moving forward and that right hip moving forward as the ribcage lifts up and back, and take your hands to the ground, breathe in. Tuck the right toes under, make your way back into your bent knee down dog. Take a plank on the breath in, lower to the ground.

Full arms to the ground, sphinx. Tuck the toes, power up through the legs, and then take the arch out of the back a little bit by moving the front ribs towards the buttock bones, and bend the knees from the hamstrings. So as we would use the hamstrings to bring the heels towards the seat, think of the buttock bones moving towards the backs of the knees. And the back ribs moving towards the heart. Lower the chest a little bit, reach for the ankles, maybe at the same time.

And then slowly create the back bend again, so it's breath by breath. Reach the ankles into the hands as the back ribs move forward. So don't let one part of the body take over the other, right front and back are moving together. And really use the legs, brighten up the feet, use the feet to brighten up the heart. Breathe in, and breathe out.

Good take the toes in, heels out, take your right cheek to the ground. Give the seat a little shake. Windshield wiper the legs. So we're gonna flip over onto our backs. So go ahead, you can just flip right over on your map like I'm doing.

Bring the feet to the ground, roll onto your backs, and slide the heels right under the backs of the knees, stretching the fingers forward. Now maybe your fingers graze the heels, for me they don't. So you'll have to sort of just feel that right angle in the shins and the heels right underneath the knees. Move the buttock bones towards the backs of the knees, lifting up into a half wheel, and as the buttock bones move towards the backs of the knees lift the back ribs into the heart. Maybe interlacing the hands underneath the back, and drawing the arm bones underneath you.

See if you can release the seat by just finding that dual action of butt bones towards the knees and back ribs towards the chest. Breathe in and if you feel like you can, you draw the feet in a little bit, just to find that right angle. Go ahead and release the interlacing, roll down. Now that might be it for you. And sometimes it is for me too.

But I'm gonna offer a full wheel here. So if you're staying here, bring the knees to touch, keeping the feet wide, if you're going into full wheel, reach your arms up, bend the elbows, and as you come up into the shape, aim the buttock bones towards the backs of the knees. And let the back ribs lift into the heart so you keep a nice healthy bend in the knees there. And you feel the heart lift so we're creating more space between the pelvis and the ribcage. Breathe in, backwards move into the heart.

See that can give you a little release in your neck. Breathe out, butt bones towards the backs of the knees, front ribs towards the buttock bones. And find a little more heart space. Good to come down, bend the knees, tuck the chin, bend the elbows and let's draw the knees in. Open the arms and just windshield wiper, windshield wiper the legs side to side.

Opening up the hips and this gives us some spinal rotation as well. Great. Draw your knees into your chest. Rock up to sit. Let's go ahead and take some nice counter poses here.

So lengthen your right leg, draw your left foot to your right inner thigh. We're gonna take janu shirshasana which gives us a nice twist and a forward bend. So lift your left arm up, put a little bend in the right knee. So that right buttock bone can slide back and you can keep that nice length in your spine. Think almost like a revolve triangle but a lot easier and softer.

And then let your left ribcage turn towards your right thigh and even aim for your cheek to rest on your knee. If you need to you can always bring a block inside of that right knee. Take your right arm forward, take your left arm forward and just release here. Deep slow breathing. Finding some sukham finding some softness.

Slowly roll up to sit. Tent the fingers, lift the chest, and let's take the other side. Left leg forward, bend the right knee, tent your left fingers, lift the right arm up, put a little bend in the left knee, and really aim the right ribs towards the left inner thigh as that left buttock bone slides back. You can let that left leg lengthen, finding that flatness in the spine. And you can take your left arm forward too and you can aim the cheek towards the inner knee.

And try to keep flatness in the lower back and the thoracic just letting the head and the neck be slightly rounded and breathe. Finding some softness. If you do wanna stay longer in these shapes, you're more than welcome to. And sweetly roll up on the breath in. Letting the heart lift.

And we'll take both legs out in front of us, put a little space between the legs, walk the butt bones back, lift the arms, let the back ribs lift into the heart, let the front ribs drop towards the buttock bones, and then hinge from the hips, right hinge from the hip joint as you reach forward. Take your hands to the ground wherever they land. And you can keep the bend in the knees as you drop your head, or you can start to slide the hips back. You wanna kinda keep that nice length in the mid back there so the bend in the knees is more than welcome. And just let the upper body drape.

And let everything be. And to come out of the shape, let the back ribs move into the heart so the heart lifts first and slowly roll up. We're gonna go ahead and prep for shavasana so put a little bend in the knees, you might scoot your seat forward so you're on your mat. Roll onto your back, and bring your hands to your pelvic bones, let the legs lengthen, turn the toes in a little bit so the inner thigh rotation gives you a broadness in your lower back. Let your palms open and let your feet relax.

And just allow yourself to release into the ground, let the ground hold you. Take a few deliberate breaths to release the body and any last part tension that you might be holding on to. Let the shoulder blades move underneath the back a little more. And let everything go. Slowly begin to deepen your breath, letting the chest rise, and fall.

And when you're ready, take the arms over the head, breathe in, let the back ribs lift, breathe out, let the toes stretch forward, get really long. Allow yourself to awaken, and draw your knees into your chest. And draw your forehead to your knees, we're gonna just gently rock up to sit. Find a comfortable seat, feel the ground underneath you. Take a big breath in, a big sigh out.

Let your hands find your heart to honor your body, honor your practice. Thanks so much for practicing with me today. Namaste.

Comments

2 people like this.
The flow is nice, a little hard to follow with the cues.
5 people like this.
Excellent & easy to follow. Loved the rib references thruout. Thank you
3 people like this.
A nice challenging practice. Great there was no talking during Savasana. Found the constant rib cues distracting.
Thank you all for watching and for the feedback!
4 people like this.
Loved this video! Slow, mindful and precise cues..just what I was looking for! Thank you!
Thank you so much for practicing with me Leigh!
Miss you MD! so glad to have a chance to practice with you
My internet is too slow in China to stream video, Mary Dana has the clearest vocal cues I have heard, I am never confused
1 person likes this.
Very helpful to look at pelvic tilts from the perspective of the ribcage (well that was how I was processing the cues anyway). The language we use is so important... fascinating to experience what the body manifests from these instructions...
Ali
1 person likes this.
I found the cues a little overwhelming in the first quarter, but then relaxed into it. It was a lovely sequence.

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