Yoga Power Hour Artwork
Season 2 - Episode 4

Power Within

60 min - Practice


Cultivate your inner power. Mary Dana guides us in a Vinyasa sequence to awaken our core and ignite our fire. We start with rhythmic breathing before moving into a creative flow with energizing sun salutations and a challenging blend of standing, balancing, and twisting postures- building towards Eka Pada Koundinyasa. You will feel strong, energized, and alive.
What You'll Need: Mat

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(waves crashing) Welcome back. This practice is all about power. Not the kind we hoard at and grasp at, but the kind that we find from within, so that it can really ignite our path and show us where we need to go. So real simple, start seated and take an inhale, lift the arms, breathing in. And you're gonna take a twist to the right.

So bring your left hand to your right knee, take your right fingers behind you. Take a big deep breath in through the nose and a deep breath out through the mouth. (exhales) Breathe in halfway and begin Arana Kapalabhati breathing. So, short sharp exhales through the nose. (exhaling short bursts) Passive on the inhales, keep going.

(exhaling short bursts) Maybe speed up when you need to. (exhaling short bursts) Maybe slow down when you need to, keep it up. (exhaling short bursts) Take about 10 more. (exhaling short bursts) And then go ahead and hold, breathe all the way in. Hold the breath in, retain it.

Let it travel all the way up to the back of your skull. And then release it. Now lift the arms up, breathing in. We're gonna take that to the other side. So twist to the left and let that big exhale out of the mouth. (exhales) And then breathe halfway in and begin your Kapalabhati.

(exhaling short bursts) Exhale, exhale, exhale, exhale. (exhaling short bursts) 10 more. (exhaling short bursts) Breathe all the way in. Hold. And breathe all the way out.

That should build some heat and also connect us to our center, and when we utilize that as we move through our practice. So we'll start with some Cat-Cow. We're gonna move a little bit quicker than we usually do. It's not gonna be that forced exhale. But you're gonna move pretty quickly.

You're gonna feel the spine just sort of fall into a rhythmic pattern. You stay with the breath, inhale forward, exhale down, and just find your own rhythm. The opening of the joints, opening up the spine, opening up the connection with the hands in the ground and the shins to the ground. Let's do about 10 more. And you could add a little bit of a Kapalabhati here or you can just keep it sort of even and steady.

Five more. And pause. And then go ahead and take the hands about six inches in front of you. Breathe in, heart opens, Cow pose. Move the back ribs forward.

Exhale all the way out of the mouth as you tuck the toes. (exhaling) And this time retain the breath out as you lift into Downward-Facing Dog, lifting the butt bones, keeping the knees bent for the first one, spreading the toes, spreading the fingers but not too much, and then breathe in, Plank Pose. Breathe out, drop the knees. Breathe in, find your Cow Pose again, that sort of elongated one. Breathe out of the mouth (exhales).

Retain empty, letting the navel take you back up into Down Dog, letting the chin move slightly towards the navel, bring the ears between the arms, and then you're gonna go ahead and breathe in Plank Pose. And this time breathe out, just move back into Downward Facing Dog. And stay here for a few moments. You can pedal out through the feet. You can let go in the head.

You can move a little yes and no, even move from side to side for to feel like the Down Dog is like a hammock and you're moving from side to side. There, really getting into the body. Inhale your right leg up high, keep your hips square by drawing the left front ribcage towards the left buttock bone. And then draw the right knee to the nose, pressing into the ball of the left foot a lot, so you get a little more movement there with that right knee. Inhale, take the right leg back again, and exhale, bring your right knee to your right tricep.

Take the gaze slightly forward. Inhale, right leg back. Exhale, right knee to left tricep. Try to keep your arms straight there. Inhale your right leg up, and exhale, step the right foot forward between your thumbs.

Just take a nice easy twist there, breathe in, getting into the twist, getting into the spine. As you breathe out, take your right hand down, look forward, and then go back into Down Dog. Take a Plank on the breath in and then let's lower all the way to the ground, breathe out. Nice and easy Cobra, breathe in, keep it low, keep it a baby Cobra. Reach back through the toes.

Reach forward through the collarbones, big breath in. Exhale Downward-Facing Dog. Lift your left leg up high, keep your hips square, join your right ribcage toward your right buttock bone. Exhale knee to nose. Good, really reach into that right foot to bring the knee forward.

Inhale left leg back. Exhale left knee to left tricep. Try not to lean to the left too much there, stay centered. Inhale your left leg high. And exhale left knee towards your right tricep.

So you might not find the tricep, but keep the shoulders even. Take your left leg back, inhale, step the foot between the thumbs, exhale. Reach back through your right heel. As you lift your left arm up, breathe in. Breathe out, take the left hand to the ground.

Look forward, exhale Downward-Facing Dog. Breathe in, easy does it Plank. Breathe out lower. Breathe in Cobra, maybe a little higher, maybe not. Breathe out, Downward-Facing Dog.

Inhale, right leg up, keep your hips square. Exhale, draw the right knee to nose, pressing into the left foot. Inhale, right leg up, Three-Legged Dog. Exhale, right knee to right tricep. Inhale, right leg up.

Exhale, right knee to left tricep. Here we're gonna spin the left heel down like a triangle and extend that right leg from the knee and lift the left arm up, trying to stack the joints. And see if you can open up the chest and press into the ball of the left foot a little bit more, so the hips move forward. Take your left arm over the head and bring it back underneath the shoulder. Spin onto the ball of your left foot, letting the inner left thigh spiral up, and then from here step the right foot between your thumbs.

Take the right arm up, take a nice, easy twist, you deserve it, breathe in. Take the right hand to the ground, breathe out. Backwards, forwards, you take the weight slightly into the right foot. We're gonna take Perch Pose. That means that you're right on the edge.

You're gonna bring your knees to touch, squeeze the left heel towards the buttock bone and lean a little bit towards your lifted side, towards your left. And let the back ribs move into the heart there, so you're perched on the edge, just like a bird. Step your left foot to meet the right, a little space between the feet, a little bend in the knees. Let the hips lift, let the buttock bone lift, and let the chest rest on the thighs like two puzzle pieces and let your head drop. To lengthen the legs, lift the butt bones and press into the balls of the feet.

Keep the toes spread, but no need to lift them off the ground, just sort of let them be relaxed. When you're ready to roll up, bend the knees, breathe in, take a slow roll. Let the head be heavy till the last moment. And then let your arms lift. Take ahold of your left wrist with your right hand.

Stretch up and slightly to the right. Almost let your right ear rest in your right arm. Think of your back right ribs moving into the heart as your front left ribs move towards that left buttock bone, so that you're not overdoing the side bend. Let's create the puzzle piece again, meaning that fold in the hips for the upper body and the lower body. So bend the knees, sticking out the butt a little bit, and take the wrists forward, fitting the belly on the thighs even stretch the wrists forward.

Release your hands, let your hips lift and your head drop for a forward fold, and then let the knees bend as you inhale and step your right leg back behind you. Exhale, hands to the ground, Downward-Facing Dog. Plank Pose, breathing in. Lower all the way to the ground, breathing out. Cobra as big as you'd like, but still keep the form, keep it about the breath, and then tuck your toes under, Downward-Facing Dog.

Left leg lifts, inhale, exhale your left knee to your nose. Inhale your left leg high. Exhale your left knee to your left tricep. Inhale your left leg high. Exhale your left knee to your right tricep.

Spin the right heel down. Extend the left leg from the knee, lifting the right arm up. Let your hips move a little forward. Think of your right hand taking the weight out of the left a little bit more, and then inhale your right arm over your head, exhale right hand to the ground. Stay here, let that right inner thigh lift a little.

Let the back ribs move forward and exhale your left foot between your thumbs. Easy does it, left arm lift for a twist, breathe in. Left hand to the ground, breathe out. Heart forward, back ribs forward, breathe in. Perch, right knee meets the left, breathe out.

Stay here, feel the spread of that left foot a little bit more, the back ribs forward, the heart forward, and then exhale right foot to the ground, a few inches between the feet there. Bend the knees, find the puzzle pieces between the upper and lower body. And then keep that fit, as the buttock bones lift, as the hamstrings lift, and the head reaches towards the ground. Try not to grasp with the feet there. Bend the knees and inhale, roll up to stand.

Lift your arms up. Take ahold of the right wrist. Stretch upward more than to the side, and then let your side bend come from a deep connection to the ground. So try not to take it just right over to the side. Keep reaching down in the feet.

Keep reaching up with the back ribs, especially the left back ribs, and drop the right front ribs. Bend the knees, create the puzzle pieces. Fit them together as you stretch the right wrist forward. Breathe in and then exhale fold. Inhale, bend the knees.

Left leg steps all the way back, look forward as you do that creating more space, and exhale Downward-Facing Dog. Plank Pose, breathe in. If you're ready, Chadarunga, otherwise all the way to the ground. Upward Dog breathing in, or Cobra, and then lift the hips. Draw the front ribs towards the buttock bones, Downward-Facing Dog, tucking the toes under.

Go ahead and lift the heels, lift the seat, breathe in. Step or jump your feet to meet your hands and exhale. Heart lifts, head falls, exhale. Roll up to stand, breathing in. Tadasana.

Take your left wrist and your right hand, side bend. Inhale here. Exhale, fold forward, fitting the pieces together. Go right into your forward bend. Inhale step your right leg back, low lunge.

Exhale, Adho Muka Svanasana Down Dog. Inhale Plant Pose, exhale Chatarunga Dandasana. Inhale Upward-Facing Dog, exhale Downward-Facing Dog. Inhale your right leg high. Exhale your right foot forward between your thumbs.

Inhale Perch Pose. Exhale Uttanasana forward fold. Take your right wrist right away in the left hand. Inhale, come up into that side bend. Exhale, create the puzzle pieces, and fold over your legs.

Step your left leg back, bending your right knee, low lunge. Exhale Downward-Facing Dog. Plank Pose on your breath in. Chadarunga on your breath out. Upward Dog breathing in.

Downward-Facing Dog, breathing out. Go ahead, lift the left leg, inhale. Exhale your left foot between your thumbs. Perch Pose breathing in. Right foot meets the left Chair Pose, exhale.

Take your left wrist in your right hand, inhale, come up. Exhale, fold forward. Inhale right leg back. Exhale Downward-Facing Dog. Inhale Plank Pose, exhale Chadarunga.

Inhale Upward Dog, exhale Downward-Facing Dog. Inhale your right leg high. Exhale your right foot between your thumbs. Inhale Perch, exhale Uttanasana. Inhale, take your right wrist, come up into the side bend.

Exhale, bend the knees, fit the belly on the thighs. Step your left leg back, breathing in. Downward-Facing Dog, breathing out. Plank Pose breathing in. Chadarunga breathing out.

Upward Dog on the breath in. Downward-Facing Dog breathing out. Left leg high, inhale, exhale, foot between your thumbs. Inhale Perch, exhale Forward Fold. Inhale, take the left wrist, side bend to the right.

Exhale, fold. Inhale, right leg back. This time, Chadarunga on the exhale. Upward Dog breathing in. Downward Dog on your breath out.

Stay here and breathe in and breathe out. Test the power of your core right now, drawing the front ribs towards the buttock bones. Put a little bend in the knees and see if you can tense your fingers. And use the front ribs moving towards the buttock bones to keep the fingers tented. If you feel like your fingers are stressed out here, then bring the palms onto the ground.

But the more you use your legs, the more you will tap into this. Go ahead and lower the palms back to the ground, lift the heels, breathe in. Bend your knees, step or float as you exhale. Heart lifts on your breath in. Head falls on your breath out.

Right wrist and left hand inhale, come up. Exhale, fold forward. Inhale, left leg back. Exhale Chadarunga Dandasana. Inhale Upward-Facing Dog and exhale Downward-Facing Dog.

This time step your hands back just a little bit. Bring your right hand to your right ankle, lift the heels, bend the knee, and look under your left armpit. Breathe in, keep lifting the right buttock bone up. And breathe out. Let's go ahead and switch.

Take your left hand to your right ankle. Lift the buttock bone, especially that left one. You don't wanna lean into the twist. Feel that left waist turn towards the right. Take your left hand to the ground.

Tense your fingers, bend the knees, wiggle the feet back a little bit. Keep drawing the front ribs towards the buttock bones. Lower your palms to the ground, inhale, lift the heels, bend the knees, step or flip. Inhale heart lift, exhale head drop. Chair Pose, breathing in.

Feel the weight of your legs, let them take the hips down. Draw the front ribs down with the heart up. Sit a little bit deeper. Sit a little bit deeper. And then stand up, lift the heels.

Turn the palms forward, stretch up through your fingers, and then Diver's Pose. Front ribs towards the buttock bones, back ribs forward. Let that opposition keep you anchored, even as you are on less of your feet, right, you're only on the balls of the feet. Spread the toes, the eye bones back, heart forward. Bend the knees, hands to the ground, step or float Chadarunga.

Up Dog, breathe in, Down Dog, breathe out. Lift your right leg high, let's do some standing poses. Right foot forward, left heel down, only 45 degrees. Lift your arms up on the breath. In, take ahold of your left wrist with your right hand, and it's a subtle side bend to really bring your left hip forward.

As the left hip forward, the right knee moves forward, and the right waist moves back. Straighten your right leg, breathe in, and then drop your left arm and open up into Warrior II, fixing the stance a little bit so you have room for the hips. Breathe in, breathe out, feel the release of the right thigh, the lift of the left pelvic bone, so the inner groins are opening. And then we're gonna take the right arm to the side, and you're gonna reach your right arm forward in front of you, reach your left arm back, so you've got a deeper right angle here. Flip the right palm, and you're gonna turn this into Peaceful.

So the right arm is gonna move by the ear and you're gonna take your left pelvic bone with you a little bit here. Deepen the bend of the right knee just a little bit more, lift that right pelvic bone up. Take your right forearm to your right thigh. Let your left arm lift, breathe in. Find a nice, easy extended side angle.

Feel the power of the legs. From here, keep reaching up through your left hand as you stretch your right hand down. Big breath in, twist the right ribs towards the left hand just a little bit more as you breathe out. Good, take your left arm over your head, circle it in front of your face. Straighten your right leg, Triangle Pose, big breath in.

And then bend the right knee. Take your left hand to the ground, lift the right arm up. Chadarunga Dandasana, exhale. Upward-Facing Dog, breathing in. Downward-Facing Dog, breathing out.

Inhale your left leg up high. Exhale the left foot between your thumbs. 45 degree angle in that right foot, not more. Lift the arms up. Take ahold of your right wrist.

Lift the right waist up, lift the left waist up, let your left knee move forward, let your right hip move forward. Let that right inner thigh spiral back and draw your left hip back in space. Straighten the left leg, lift the back ribs, breathe in. And then drop the right arm, open up into Warrior II, changing the width, changing the length. Let that left knee ball move forward as the right pelvic bone lifts.

Feel the lift of the back ribs and feel the drop of the front ribs. Lift the right pelvic bone a little bit more, and from there, let the left knee bend a little bit more. Take your left arm out in front of you. Flip your left palm, make a clear right angle in your arms. And then you start to bring your left arm by your ear, letting that right arm drop a little, but letting that right pelvic bone and right waist turn slightly towards your left arm.

From there, take your left elbow to the inner thigh and lift your right arm up, breathe in. Let the left ribs turn towards the right, as you press your left inner thigh towards your outer thigh. From there extend your left hand to the ground. Breathe in, feeling the spread of the collarbones. And in the spread of the toes, there's a lightness here, but a strength, too.

Take the right arm over your head, circle in front of your face. Let this become triangle, feeling the lift in that right pelvic bone and left waist. Lift of the eyes, lightness and strength in the ground. Bend the left knee, take your right hand to the ground next to the left foot. Lift your left arm up, breathe in.

Left hand to the ground, Chadarunga, Upward Dog, breathing in. Downward-Facing Dog, breathing out. Inhale your right leg high, exhale, plant the foot forward between the thumbs. Spin the left heel down, lift the arms up, Warrior I. Take the left wrist, adding a side bend as we straighten the right leg.

Go ahead and drop the left arm and open up into Warrior II, lengthening your stance. Straighten your right leg, lift the arms, turn the right toes to the left. Turn your left toes out. Really feel your back leg rooted as you bend your left knee, letting the arms open, breathe in. Now take your left arm to the side.

Make that clear right angle, make it deeper. Let that left knee bend a little bit more till it's right on top of the ankle. Turn into your Peaceful Warrior, bringing that right hip with you just a bit. Take your left elbow to the inner thigh. Reach the right arm up like we did before.

Take your right forearm behind your back. You can let that left hand rest on the chest a little bit. And then from here, as we straighten our left leg, we're gonna bring the left hand onto the left shin, so it turns into our Half Bound Triangle Pose. From there, root into your back foot. Find your right inner thigh.

Draw your left tip into the midline. Engage your lower abdominals and stretch your left arm under your head from there. As you reach down into your feet, reach up. Come up to stand, turn the left toes back to the right. Now you're gonna bend your top elbow, your left elbow.

It's gonna reach up towards the ceiling. Let the left hand go into the groove between your shoulder blades, and then maybe the right hand comes up to meet it, so your arms are in Gomukhasana arms. If that's not happening, hold onto your shirt. Just try to keep your left elbow up. If not, bring opposite elbows behind your back.

Now, draw the front ribs in, so the belly isn't popping out, and let the back ribs lift so your head can rest in your left upper arm. From there, bend the knees, creating that fold that we did earlier, and you're gonna fit the belly instead of on the thighs, between the thighs. And you're gonna take your left elbow and aim it towards the ground as your right elbow aims towards the ceiling. And then your left elbow moving down is gonna drag the buttock bones up so you can straighten your legs and stay on the balls of your feet. Breathe in, breathe out.

Breathe in, breathe out. Take your left hand to the ground. Move your shoulder right over your wrist. Lift the right arm up, finding that same easy twist. Yeah, you might feel some pins and needles there in your right arm.

Keep this twist and start to shift towards the front of your mat, turning this into a Low Lunge. So you just walk that left hand forward as you turn your right toes out and spin on the ball of your left foot. From this Low Lunge Twist, roll on the outer edge of the left foot for Rock Star, bringing the ball of the right foot behind the left and setting the right arm up. Think of the right arm moving more straight up than over your head so you can keep that nice geometry between the arms, that nice, straight line. And then spin onto the ball of the left foot, step your right foot forward.

Perch Pose, breathing in. From Perch Pose, Ardha Candrasana, big nice opening there. Just feel the span of the shoulders shift the weight into the ball of the right foot. Let it be wobbly if it is, just find your breath. Feel letting the toes release a little bit more and think of there being a line of energy from outer right heel to ball of right foot, keep you right on the center of your leg, instead of leaning into the outer edge.

Take your left hand to the ground. Go ahead, pass through Perch to come into Uttanasana, Standing Forward Fold. And then inhale Utkatasana, Chair Pose. Go ahead and stand up, draw your right knee into your chest. Take ahold of the right big toe.

You can stay here and just press the toe down into the fingers, to work on the length of your spine, or you can extend the leg forward, maybe a little bit, maybe more. We've done this a few times in our practices. And think of, instead of just straightening the leg, that it's about energy lines. So there's a rooting down in that left foot, and a reaching forward in the right. And then there's a reaching up in the left arm and a reaching forward in the right.

So the arms are almost making mirror images with each other. Breathe in, lift your right arm up, lower your right foot. Turn the palms forward. Lift the heels, Diver's Pose, going right to your edge, by really feeling the essence of how we explore balance sometimes being right on the edge. And breathe, right on the edge of the moment, so we can travel to the next one.

Bend your knees, hands to the ground. Step or float Chadarunga. Upward-Facing Dog, breathing in. Downward-Facing Dog, breathing out. Take a breath here.

And just sort of re-calibrate, feel the ground through the right hand, left hand, the right foot, and the left foot. Lift your left leg up, inhale. Step the left foot forward, as you breathe out. Right heel down, inhale your arms up for Warrior I. Take the right wrist, lifting it toward, so out of the hips, straighten your left leg.

Go ahead and turn this into Warrior II, dropping that right arm down, opening up the shape. Open up the hips. Go ahead and straighten your left leg. Lift your arms up, flex the left foot. Turn the left toes to the right.

Turn your right toes out. Bend your right knee, Warrior II to the back of your mat. Take your right arm in front of you. Make a clear right angle, and then lift the right arm up as you turn that left hip slightly towards the right arm. Go ahead and bring your right elbow to your right inner thigh.

Let the right hand rest on the chest. Let the left arm lift, breathing in. Draw that right outer hip into the midline. And then we'll take the left arm behind the back. And as we straighten the right leg, the right hand will find the shin, moving into your Half Bound Triangle.

So in your Half Bound Triangle, feel that nice openness in the chest from the strength in the legs. Open the right collarbone a little bit more. Press into the ball of the right foot, and really access your back legs. So think of the top of your left inner thigh inner spiraling a little bit more back behind you, as the left pelvic bone lifts. From there, extend the right arm under your head.

Come up to stand. Take the right toes towards the left. Bend your right elbow. Let the hand rest in the groove between the shoulder blades and then maybe slide your left hand up to meet your right. Chances are the belly popped out a little bit there, just 'cause we were working the shoulders in that way.

So draw the front ribs towards the buttock bones, and that gives you leverage to lay the head into the right upper arm. Make sure your feet are parallel here. Bend the knees, stick out the butt. Create the puzzle pieces and let that right elbow aim towards the ground. Now the right elbow going towards the ground allows us to start to lift the buttock bones and the hamstrings so that we're not leaning into the joints to find the forward fold.

Make sure your weight is in the fronts of your feet a little bit more. Try not to lean into the backs of the knees. Breathe in, breathe out. Take your right hand to the ground, bringing the shoulder over the wrist and then lift your left arm up, finding a nice, easy twist. Take a moment there, let that left shoulder come back out of that little bind.

And then turn your left toes out, spin onto the ball of the right foot. Don't leave your right hand behind, bring it inside of your left foot. Keep reaching up through your left hand and then take the ball of the left foot behind the right, lifting the left arm way up. Good, breathe in. Breathe out, from there you're gonna step the left foot forward, follow the eyes.

Perch Pose, right knee meets the left. And you're leaning slightly towards that right leg as you extend it and lift the right arm up for Half Moon Pose. Keep lifting the left waist. Keep opening the collarbones, pressing the ball of the left foot. Let that outer left ankle move towards the inner left ankle.

Breathe in, breathe out. Inhale, right arm over the head. Exhale, right hand on the ground, pass through Perch on your way to Standing Forward Fold, Uttanasana. And then Utkatasana, breathing in. Go ahead and stand up.

Draw the left knee into the chest. Take ahold of the left big toe. Right hand on right hip, lift the back of the heart and then go slow. Be curious about where you're extending to, right? It's all about maintaining, part of the sense of where you are in space.

That doesn't mean it has to look a certain way. It's empowering to be where we are, wherever that is, if we can really step into those shoes. Lift the back ribs, drop the front. Reach down through the right heel forward through the left. Lift the right arm up and reach forward through the left big toe.

So, you're gonna think of the arms making a right angle and the legs making a right angle. Let those right angles be clear. Lower your left foot to meet your right. Take a step back on your mat. Let's go ahead, bend the knees.

Find Utkatasana. From Utkatasana, find a bent-knee Diver's Pose. See if you can reach the fingers back and see if you can get even more towards the toes. And from here, lower your hips down, so your knees are still pointing upwards. Let the knees open, let the fingers tent, and press the armpits into the knees.

Crow, nice and easy. Shift the weight form, maybe it's one foot, maybe it's both. Lift the heels and then maybe extend the left leg to the left, bring it back in, and extend the right leg to the right. Bring it back in. You can do that one more time.

You're moving from your abdominals. So my left abdominals are bringing my left foot in. And as I move to the right, my right abdominals move the right foot in. Drop the feet, rest for a moment, and Malasana. You can even let the head move towards the ground and the hands come together.

So let's go ahead, find a Chair Pose. Oh I know, I know, power from within, and then fold forward, releasing into Uttanasana. Lift the gaze on the breath in. If you walk too far towards the middle of your mat, you can walk the hands forward. Lift the heels.

I'm gonna hop back into a soft Down Dog with bent knees there. You can step back or you can take Vinyasa, it's really up to you and what you need. Let's go ahead, left the right leg up on your breath in. Step the right foot forward. I'm gonna keep the back heel lifted.

I want you to feel like you're pressing into a gas pedal with your right foot, and a gas pedal with your left foot equally. Lift the arms up on your breath in for just a nice high lunge, framing the face with the arms. I'm gonna straighten the right leg, let that left inner thigh spiral back, and feel that left inner thigh take the right buttock bone back. Take your left hand into your right wrist and side bend to the right as you bend your right knee. And reach back through your left heel.

Now from here, you're gonna try to lay your left armpit onto your right knee and press the two together wherever they make contact and open up that left collarbone. You can left your right arm or you can take your hands to your heart there. And keep pressing the left arm into the right knee, as you reach back through your left heel. See if by reaching back through your left heel you can drop the outer right hip. Open up the right side of the waist and keep reaching up through your right arm.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Let's release the hands to the ground, and then let your right leg lengthen for a moment, really feeling that left inner spiral, we're gonna pick up the right waist a little bit. Rebend the right knee, walk the hands forward.

Lift the left leg for Standing Split and keep using the inner spiral of your left leg to keep that right waist lifted and the right buttock bone lifted. You could go for a balance here, bringing your right arm behind your right knee and maybe bringing your left hand to meet it. Maybe it's just one hand. Let that left inner thigh help you stay anchored as you lift the left leg and even think of the chest moving closer to the ground. Release the balance, slide the left knee outside of the right foot and we're sitting down for a seated spinal twist.

Hug your right thigh with your left arm. Really sit up tall here. Take your right hand behind you. You can do a few variations here. You can take that left arm outside of the right thigh.

You can hold onto the left knee, like we've done in some practices before. You can even go for holding on to your right ankle with your left hand. Getting nice and long there in the arms and open in the collarbones. Breathe. Lift the arms, take a counterpose.

I'm gonna take a tabletop, but with the right ankle on top of the left knees, tenting the fingers or bringing the hands behind the hips. Go ahead and lift up, aim the left buttock going towards the back of the knees. Lift the heart. Lift the right leg up and then lower your hips to the ground. And then take Navasana with the left ankle behind the right, reaching the arms forward.

From here, take your hands behind your head. Lift the back of the head up and slowly roll onto your back, drawing the right knee into the chest. From here, straighten the right leg, make that nice clear right angle that we've been working with in the practice, so right heel up, left heel forward. Try to get the midback on the ground, breathe in. And then you're gonna extend both arms outside of your right leg.

From here inhale, left the left leg, exhale lower, keeping everything else still. Inhale, lift, exhale, lower. Inhale, lift, exhale, lower. Two more, inhale, lift, exhale, lower. Last one, inhale, lift, lift the tailbone, and then rock back up into a Twisted Navasana.

Try to bring the knees together and take the arms a little bit more to the side. Go ahead and untwist, cross the left ankle over the right. Rock forward, make your way back into Downward-Facing Dog. You can take a Vinayasa there. Just easily walk back.

And take your left leg up on your breath in. Step the left foot forward as you exhale, pressing the gas pedal with the ball of the left foot, and the ball of the right, so you feel like you're almost splitting the mat in two. Lift the arms up on the breath in. Stack the ribcage on top of the pelvis. Let your left knee ball move forward.

Let your right side spiral back. Straighten your left leg, breathe in. Feel that inner spiral in the right thigh even more. Take ahold of your right wrist, lift the back ribs. Think of the inner right thigh resisting the bend of the left knee.

And then you start to reach. You're like taking your right armpit to your left knee and hooking on as much as you can. And you can either Prayer Twist or open the arms. And you keep pressing the right knee, I'm sorry the left knee and the right arm together, and let your left side body open up a little bit more as you press into the ball of the right foot. Breathe in.

Breathe out. Think of that right inner thigh, taking that left hip into the midline a little bit more. Reach back through that right heel to the left hip and drop. Spin a little bit more open in the chest, lean back, and take the hands to the ground. And lengthen your left leg for moment.

Keep using that right inner thigh to lift the left buttock bone back. We're gonna bend the left knee and shift forward for Standing Split. Again, keep using the right inner thigh, so it lifts the left waist. Send the heart towards the ground. Bring your left forearm behind your left knee.

You can keep your right hand on the ground or go for the balance. Now, I'm using my right inner thigh like crazy, so I have a counterbalance, and that keeps me on my left foot. I'm not just counting on my left foot supporting the body, I'm counting on my counterbalance. Good, let it go, right knee outside of your left ankle. And have a seat.

Let that left hip drop, you made it down to the ground. So many variations, you can hug the left thigh. You can take the right arm outside of the thigh, reaching for the right knee, or maybe even that left ankle. Could be a tight fit, it is on me, but it's something I'm working with and trying to open up in, breathe. You're gonna lose feeling, giving the center of the body all that fresh blood that it needs.

Rejuvenating, refreshing. And lift the arms. And you'll take that counterpose nice and easy. Find your tabletop, bringing your left ankle on top of the right thigh, lifting the hips, aiming the buttock bones towards the back of the knee. Lift the left leg.

Lower your hips down. Bring your right ankle behind the left. Reach the arms forward. Take your hands behind the head, lift the back of the skull and you're gonna roll onto the tips of the shoulder blades, bringing your left knee into your chest. Keep supporting your head with your hands as you lift the left leg, going for clarity in that right angle there, left heel up, right heel forward.

Twist to the left, extend the arms outside of the left thigh and then lift the right leg, breathe in. Lower. Lift, breathing in. Let it lower as you breathe out. Inhale, lifting, exhale, lower.

Two more, breathe in, breathe out. Last one lift. Go ahead, bend the knees a little bit, lift up, twist more. Twisted Navasana, think of the knees moving to the right as the torso moves to the left. Untwist, right ankle on top of left.

Roll forward, Down Dog, walk the dog back on your mat, if you need to. So now we're gonna do Eka Pada Koudinyanasana from Fallen Triangle that we did at the beginning of class. So inhale your right leg up high, really go for that inner spiral. Let it lift up so much that it almost takes you onto your fingertops. And then go ahead, draw your right knee towards your right tricep.

Spin left heel down. Clamp that right hand back to the ground and then extend the right leg along with lifting your left arm up. From here the left arm moves over the head, get that nice side body stretch in the left side. Bring your left thumb next to your right thumb and spin back onto the ball of your left foot, so it's that left inner thigh that's drawing the right hip up and back. Go ahead, walk your hands back, so that you're moving your arms towards your right thigh.

And then walk your hands a little to the right, so that they're shoulder-width apart. Bend your right knee so it rests on your left arm and then shift the weight forward and pick up your left leg and send the heart forward a little bit, too. Breathe in. When you're ready to come down, lower the feet. Walk the hands out in front of you.

Drop the knees and take a Child's Pose. Take a nice breath there, breathe in. And if that didn't happen or part of it happened and then it all seemed very confusing, it does get better with time. Downward-Facing Dog, let's do the other side. Lift your left leg up, go for that deep inner spiral, so it's moving you onto your fingertops.

Draw the left knee towards the right tricep. Lower the left palm, spin onto the outer right heel. Extend your left leg long, lift your right arm up. Then go for that side bend, ride 'em over your head. Take your right hand to the ground, right thumb next to the left thumb.

Spin onto the ball of the right foot, lift your hips up as high as you can, move the heart forward. And walk your hands back and a little bit to the left. So you ideally want your right arm and middle of the left thigh to meet. And then you bend your left knee, shift the weight forward, bend the elbows, and lift the right leg up. Keep moving the heart forward.

When you're ready, lower your feet. Walk your dog back. Drop your knees and take a Child's Pose, letting your hands reach forward, letting your head drop. From Child's Pose look forward and find a Downward-Facing Dog. Keep it nice and soft, bending the knees, being really kind to your joints.

Find your anchor, front ribs toward the buttock bones, take some of that weight out of the hands. And then go ahead and take a nice long Plank Pose. Lower to the ground, you can lower your knees first to support the rest of the body. Slide back a little bit on your mat. Then take your right arm out in front of you.

Really crawl the fingers forward. You want your palm flat there. You're gonna roll to your right side and scissor that right leg in front of you. Now as you scissor the right leg in front of you, flex the foot and give a tiny bit of external rotation. You can rest the ear on the arm.

Bend your left knee and hold onto your left foot with your left hand, drawing the buttock bone towards your hip. And then start to walk the right hand forward and a little bit behind you, so you're almost moving the arm behind the ear. If it feels okay, lift the head, otherwise keep the ear there, and kick back. And as you kick back, press into your right thumb and index finger a little bit more. And as you kick back, also make sure you have energy in that right heel.

Make sure you're breathing, find your own breath here. Try to get a little more open in the left side body. I like to call this Couch Potato Shava, but it's really not a lazy pose. You're really active and working, but nice and reclined at the same time. Breathe in.

Good, breathe out, let it go. Swim onto your belly, taking your left arm forward. And we'll just very simply go to the other side. Roll onto the left side, walk that left hand forward. Take your left leg out in front of you, flex the foot.

Give it a little external rotation. Start with the head resting in that upper arm. We did so many side bends today, this should feel really good. Hold onto the right foot with the right hand. Start by drawing the heel towards the sits bone.

Let the butt bone move towards the back of the knee, then crawl that left hand forward and slightly behind you. If it feels good, too, lift the head as you kick the leg back. And then start to breathe into the right side waist a little bit more. Good, send that energy back into that right foot a little bit more. Lift up a little bit more.

And then let your right leg go. Swim onto the front of the body, walking both hands out in front of you, stretching back through both toes, like you're making a little X with the body. And then slide the hands by the ribcage. Take a nice and easy Cobra there, breathe in. Let the butt release a little bit.

Lower your forehead to the ground. Tense your fingers. Walk them back behind you. Broaden your collarbone, stretch back through your toes. Bend the knees from the hamstrings, bringing the heels towards your buttock bones, just like you did.

Let the butt bones move towards the backs of the knees. Lift the back of the ribs up and then hold on the ankles for Dhanurasana. As you breathe in, back ribs into the heart. As you breathe out, front ribs towards the buttock bones. That's gonna give us a little rock here.

Inhale, lift the back ribs. Exhale, drop the front ribs. Just feel that happen naturally. Try not to contrive or force it. If it works for you to stay still, stay still.

I have my feet pointed here. I'm lifting up through the big toes, but it might be a choice to flex the feet. See what feels good and it can be different on different days. That's the beauty of this practice. There's so many different ways to explore it.

Let your legs go. Widen the legs, turn the toes in. Make a pillow for your forehead. And let's take a good three breaths here to expand the lower back and let everything go. Expand the lower back and let it go.

One more time, breathe in, and breathe out. We're gonna flip over onto our backs for wheel practice. So go ahead, start with Half Wheel. We're gonna bring our feet under the knees. The fingers might get close to the heels, depends on how long your torso is.

So we raise the heels and that works good. Just make sure your heels are right underneath the backs of the knees. Start by letting the buttock bones just lift up towards the backs of the knees. Press into the hands. Think of the fingers stretching towards the heels as the back ribs lift into the heart, finding that opposition.

You can even let the arms come in a little bit more. We'll keep the hands flat today for this practice. If you really need to interlace them, go ahead. Puff up the chest a little bit more, but try not to jam the chest towards the chin. Keep it moving more towards the ceiling and let your heels drag the floor towards your seat as the buttock bones move towards the backs of the knees.

Slowly lower down. Let your knees touch and your feet widen. Just for a moment, press into the tops of the thighs, creating some space there in the hip joint. We're gonna take Full Wheel. Lift the arms, bend the elbows.

You're more than welcome to stick with Half Wheel or just to rest on your mat with your knees touching and your feet wide. Try not to just use the arms here. So activate the legs right away by pressing into the feet. Aim the buttock bones towards the heels. And from there lift up into the shape.

Let the fingers be spread but relaxed. And let the knees bend a little bit, so the buttock bones move towards the backs of the knees. And if you feel like you have the room, walk the feet a little bit closer, but bend the knees a little more, keeping the knees on top of the ankles. And see if you can keep that inner spiral in the thighs to release the seat. Send the heart up.

Think of the shoulder blades moving up towards the ceiling, the bottom tips, and lean into them a little bit more. And then tuck the chin into the chest. Bend the elbows, slowly lower down, bringing the knees to touch and the feet wide, so you have that moment where you brought in your sacrum. So I'm gonna offer one more wheel. Lift the arms, make sure the feet are parallel.

Bend the elbows. Get into your legs, get into your legs through your feet, so that your heel's dragging the floor towards your seat as the buttock bones move towards the backs of the knees. Breathe. Let that inner spiral of the thighs release the hips. Think of the shoulder blades lifting the shoulders off of the neck.

Let your neck go. Make sure the big toes are rooted. Make sure the pinky toes can lift. Breathe in and slowly lower down. And then let your arms open, your knees touch.

Take a moment here, neutralize the pelvis. (exhaling) We're gonna go ahead and take some twists in our Janu Sirsasana to help close our paths and balance the body. So come up to sit. Take your right leg out long in front of you. Bring the left foot to the right inner thigh.

Now maybe the left foot moves to the top of the right inner thigh. Maybe some of you can bring your left heel also to your left inner thigh. Take your left fingertips and bring them outside of your left hip. Lift the right arm up and bend the right knee a little. Internally rotate your right arm so the shoulder lifts, and then hook the right hand to the ball of your right foot.

From there, lengthen, open that right collarbone and start to extend the left arm to the side. Go ahead and stay here and lengthen the leg, or switch the rotation of your right arm, externally rotating it, and bring your thumb to the top of the foot and the other four fingers to the ball of the foot. Bend your elbow so that you're working your bicep to elongate the right side of the body, and you're pressing the arm into the inner thigh. And start to use that to find length in the right side body and you can extend your left arm over your head, or you might even hold onto the outer right foot with the left hand. Wherever you are in this shape, whether you have the foot with the hands or the left arm is lifted, it's about lengthening the right side body and rotating it.

So get longer in that right side waist and rotate. The left knee can even lift off the ground a little. Get longer and rotate. Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in, think of laying back in the torso.

Breathe out. Good, and come back up on the breath in. So always might be a little head rush there. Take a moment and recalibrate before you go to the other side. Let your left leg lengthen when you're ready and bend the right knee.

Now, maybe the right foot moves to the left inner thigh. Maybe you can bring the heel also to the right inner thigh. Put a bend in your left knee. Take the right fingers outside of the right hip. Inhale your left arm up and internally rotate the arm.

Reach for the ball of your left foot with your left hand and then find that hook. Press that foot into the hand so that resistance allows you to open up your left collarbone. And take your right arm out to the side. Now, you might keep that left arm like it is, or you might switch the rotation so you move to external, and take the thumb to the top of the foot and the fingers to the ball of the foot. And then bend the elbow, utilizing the bicep to elongate the left side body and start to stretch the right arm over your ear.

Maybe the right hand finds the outside of the foot, maybe it stays extended. As you lengthen the left leg, the left waist moves to the right. Breathe in, lean back. Breathe out. Lengthen the left waist, twist.

Lengthen the left waist and twist. Lengthen and twist. Stay here, use your arms, use your breath, use your legs. Feel the left waist turn towards the ceiling. Lay back one more time.

And come out slowly, being mindful of all the feels that you have. And we're gonna set up for Shavasana. So let your legs lengthen about mat-width apart, maybe a little less. Let the knees bend and turn the toes in so that there's broadness in the sacrum, and slowly roll onto your back. And then I wanna welcome you to stay in Shavasana as long as you need.

Let the feet relax once you arrive. Let the body go. And just sort of let this be a passive, active experience. So we try to pass through thoughts and we experience in terms of intellectualizing it, but we let it, everything sort of be. So if something's on your mind, let it be.

Try not to engage, try to let the breath be the focus, and just let everything go. Slowly begin to deepen the breath. Let your arms reach over your head. Let your toes reach forward, big breath in. Big sigh. (exhales).

Draw your knees into your chest. Rock up to sit. Take a moment, feel the ground underneath you. Let the arms lift up one more time. Let your hands find your heart.

Honor your practice. Thank you so much for moving with me today, namaste.


Kristi A
This was a great practice. The transitions were beautiful!!
Kelley M
Being in China where all I can stream is the audio (too slow for video) I appreciate anew how beautifully detailed the vocal cues are. I have given up on quite a few practices on this site because I was afraid of hurting myself by just making it up when I couldn't understand. Never with Mary Dana Abbot.
Loved this one too! Gorgeous length in the side body.
Janet L
Beautiful practice... Thank you!!!
Mary B
David G-
Thank you for this spirited practice. I could do new things, and then also get a bit of a break to learn more about wheel or arm balancing asanas. I plan on repeating this season as each practice has been so much fun. Best, DavidĀ 
Jamie M
1 person likes this.
Thank you Mary Dana! Always a treat

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