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Season 2 - Episode 6

Free the Body and Mind

60 min - Practice
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Mary Dana shares a dynamic and energizing Vinyasa practice with fun transitions and creative shapes. Moving with our breath, we flow through a series of standing and balancing postures with keen awareness to the details. You will feel deeply satisfied and strong.
What You'll Need: Mat

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(waves crashing) Hi there, and welcome back. I'm really excited to share this practice with you. It's from my deep, deep connection to the personal practice that I roll out my mat for daily. It's got deep details and a lot of fun transitions, and maybe even some quirky moments and movements. So I hope you enjoy it as you maybe practice it a lot.

Let's start by taking the arms out in front of us. And I'm sitting on my shins, and you can too, or if you wanna sit cross-legged that's fine. We're gonna bring the hands together and press the pads of the knuckles and the pads of the fingers together. And see if you can kind of do that to stretch the fingers forward, and think of the inner wrists moving away from each other. So as you bend the elbows and bring the elbows in, you wanna think of the inner wrists separating.

And the idea here is that we're able to make a conscious connection with the ground, but without gripping too much. And if you see the spacing in between my fingers, everything is equidistant. So instead of stretching the hands out like that, we're sort of keeping a relaxed and conscious awareness that the space between each finger is the same. So go ahead, do that one more time. Press the fingers together, focus on pressing the fingerprints and the pads of the knuckles together, stretching forward.

And as you lift the arms up, I want you to think of chasing the wrists with the heart. And that will bring back what we've been exploring with the back ribs there a little bit, but especially think of the wrists sort of chasing the heart, chasing the wrists there. And then let's go ahead and make our way onto our hands and our knees. Stack your wrists under the shoulders, knees under the hips, and make sure the arms are at a right angle with the ground. Okay, so what we're gonna do is we're gonna flip the right wrist forward.

We're gonna make sure that right arm is still at a right angle with the ground, and then what you're gonna do is draw clockwise circles, moving with the breath around the joint of the right wrist. And we'll do about 10 of these. So I've done about six, so we'll do four more. And move with your breath, too, just sort of a nice awareness of the breath, not super deep ujjayi breathing, just awareness. Now, switch so you're moving in a counterclockwise direction.

So we're moving toward the left hand. And the spine isn't really doing much more than just following a line of a clear circle. We're not really moving in the cat cow way. Do about four more of these. We're just lubricating the joints and seeing where the body is.

And then really easy, switch the right wrist and flip your left. So we'll start counterclockwise. So you move towards the direction of the flipped wrist. And it's back ribs forward, front ribs back, or just think of the heart moving forward, the hips moving back. It's really clear.

It's about clarity and even being able to pick up the pace, but with a clear intention. And also, be able to slow it down when we need to. Go ahead and pause, and then clockwise. Okay, breathing in, breathing out, nice and easy. Got a few more of these, about five.

A really nice way to warm up the body. And pause. Now, flip the left wrist, walk the hands out in front of you, take the hips back to the heels, child's pose. You can press the palms into the ground, let the forehead release. Breathe in, drag the hips back towards the heels.

And then look forward between your thumbs, breathing in. Tuck the toes, lift the hips, down dog, and focus on the hands. So the hips now are lifting the inner wrists off the ground a little bit. And as you press into the pads of the fingers and the knuckles, move the forearms energetically forward as the hips lift. And then plank pose, breathe in.

Again, trying not to grip with the palms as you roll through these shapes. Down dog, breathing out. Plank, breathe in. Bend the knees, go for that fold, lifting the hips, down dog. Plank, reaching into the feet, reaching back through the heels.

And down dog as you breathe out. Now let's go to plank on the breath in, and then you're gonna draw clockwise circles, just like we did on our hands and our knees. Really clear. So heart forward, heels back. Heart forward, heels back.

You can drop the knees if you need to modify. Do a few more. Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in and breathe out. Pause in the center, bend the knees, lift the hips.

Plank pose, breathing in, bend the knees, find your folds. Plank pose, breathing in, bend the knees, find your folds. Plank pose, and pause. Counterclockwise. Just warming up the joints.

I'm really working my feet here. The feet are sort of driving the shape, the hands are relaxed but connected. Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in, breathe out. Good, a few more, and pause.

Bend the knees, lift the hips, downward facing dog. So now let's bring the left hand about a hand's width closer to the feet, keeping the hips lifted. Tent the right fingers so you're really feeling that lift in the wrist, and then take the right hand to the left ankle. And go ahead and look underneath your left armpit, feel that nice twist from the right ribcage, keeping the right buttock bone lifted. Breathe in, see if you can lift the left inner wrist and feel that left forearm slightly move forward as you lift the hips up.

Try not to let that right hip sink too much. Go ahead and replace the right fingertips there, and then follow the right hand with the right foot. So you're bringing that right foot kind of right behind your wrist. Flip your left palm so the inner-left wrist is forward and the left arm is about a right angle to the ground, and then lift your right arm up for a nice and easy twist here. Breathe in, and breathe out.

Inhale, your right arm over your head, stay there. Get nice and long, reaching back through your left heel and forward through your right arm. And then we're gonna walk into a wide straddle. And turn that left foot out a little bit, and we're gonna go into skandasana with that left hand forward, and tenting the right fingers, too. And really rotate your right thigh bone so that the heel is lifted.

Stay here for a moment, think of the inner thighs moving toward each other. Really kind of keep the knees over the ankles, that's super important. If you can't lower this much, you can stay lifted with the hips. Okay, start by lifting the butt, and we're gonna take this to the other side. So just real easy, shift the weight, and notice how I'm shifting the arms, too.

That's gonna come back a little bit later, so make sure your right arm is forward as you're opening up the left hip and bending the right knee. From here, we'll sit down. And we're gonna bend the right knee, and take the right foot to the crook of the left elbow. Take your right hand to the ground and kind of roll around on your right hip joint a little bit, creating some space there. Go clockwise, go counterclockwise, make any movements that you want to.

If the foot doesn't fit on the bicep, feel free to hold onto the ankle. If you have the room, bring that right elbow to the right knee, then release the hands. And as you draw the shin towards the chest, move forward on the buttock bones and draw the chest towards the chin. And there might be some gentle rocking back and forth here, it feels really good. Keep a lot of energy in your extended leg.

From here, we're gonna take stargazer. So plant the right hand to the ground, send the right shin to the ground, lift your left arm up, and breathe in. Take your left hand to the ground, shoulder width apart. Spin onto the ball of the left foot, and draw the right knee to the nose as you breathe out. And then just make your way back into your downward facing dog.

Let's go ahead and take our right hand back about a hand's width. Tent your left fingers. Lift the buttock bones, draw the navel in. Take your left hand to your right ankle. Keep the buttock bones lifted as you twist left to right there.

Breathe in. Try to keep lifting your right inner wrists energetically and moving the right forearm forward, so you're not sinking into your joints like that. There's a real solid and clear geometry here. Breathe in. Twist a little bit more as you breathe out.

Keep that buttock bone lifted, on the left side especially. Replace the left hand, tenting the fingers, and then bring your left foot behind your left hand. Flip your right wrist and lift your left arm up, going for a twist there. Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in and breathe out.

Let's take the left arm over the head, stay there. Breathe in and breathe out. Nice, one more. Good, now take the left hand to the ground. On the inside, we're gonna walk into our straddle and turn this into our skandasana.

So you turn the right toes out a little bit, sit into the hip. Take the right arm forward, flex the left foot, and rotate that left thigh bone towards the ceiling. Make sure the toes point up. Breathe in, lift the chest. And then we'll go ahead and switch sides, being mindful of the arms.

So now the left arm is in front and the right leg is extended. Breathe. From here, sit down. Take your left foot and you might bring it to the crook of the right elbow. Taking the left hand to the ground, draw your circles clockwise, counterclockwise.

Just getting into the hip in any way that feels good. It can look like what I'm doing, it could look a little bit different. If it's available, you take your left elbow to your left knee, interlace the hands, and really let the back body move towards your shin, and your shin move towards your front body. So you're drawing towards each other. Think of the leg and the torso moving towards each other like the hands in namaste.

And keep a lot of energy in that leg that's on the ground so it's not just sort of there, right? It's supporting this whole process. Every molecule and cell in your body is supporting the process, so everything deserves attention. Lift the back body a little bit more. Now, we're gonna take stargazer.

Left knee, left shin to the ground, right arm lift, breathe in. Right arm over your hand, right hand to the ground. Spin onto the ball of the right foot, draw the left knee to the nose, and then nice and easy down dog. You can walk your dog a little bit there. Breathe in and breathe out.

Lift the right leg up high, breathe in. Really lift the inner thigh, lift the inner heel, lift the left heel up, too. And then lift the inner wrist so you're not buckling in your left elbow, especially. Bend the right knee and open up the hip, lowering that left heel down as you lift up through your right knee. Again, don't buckle in that left.

This is exactly what I mean when I say forearm forward and wrist lifted. That keeps your shoulders steady. And draw your outer left hip towards the midline. Step your right foot forward between your thumbs. Then, you're just gonna breathe in and lunge.

Breathe out, lengthen the leg. So if the leg doesn't straighten, that's no big deal. Do this two more times, breathe in. We're just trying to get into the breath. Breathe in, bend, and breathe out.

This time, we're gonna turn it into our straddle, bringing the right hand underneath the chest. Lifting the left arm up, finding the twist. And from here, we're gonna go into that skandasana, laying the left armpit on the left knee, tenting the right fingers back, and finding a little bit more lift and openness in the chest. And the from here, stay for a little bit more. Feel the ground underneath you.

We're gonna go into a warrior two. Make sure you get a little internal rotation in that left thigh as you bend the right knee. And you can bring the hands to the hips for a moment, lifting the chest, letting the arms open, staying with the breath, feeling the ground. I'm trying to use my inner heels to draw towards the midline as the balls of the feet help, too. So we're gonna deepen the divide between the legs.

The right knee bends and the left inner thigh moves back. The fingers are moving in opposite directions. Let's go ahead, straighten the right leg, and reach into trikonasana triangle pose. Notice that there's an inner spiral in my left thigh. That's because I'm forward folding on the right side.

So you need that inner spiral to forward fold, just like you would in a forward bend at the end of class. So right here, after I've used that inner spiral to find the fold, lift the left pelvic bone. So you've got that openness in the hips. The back hip in triangle doesn't externally rotate, it abducts. So make sure you're not overturning your hip out, that you're lifting it from the hip point, the pelvic bone.

And that lifts the right waist. Breathe in, breathe out. Take your left arm over your head, take the left hand to the ground. Turn to face your right foot. You can step that back foot in a little bit, try to keep your hips even.

Flip both wrists, tent the fingers, let your chest move forward. And then what we're gonna take here is a leaning perch pose, so you're gonna try to keep your right thigh moving back a little bit as you bend the left knee. And then it's almost like that big toe joint of the right foot is what's keeping you on the ground. See if you can relax the other toes. Squeeze the heel into the seat, lean back, move your heart forward, and then left foot meets the right.

Shift the weight into the balls of the feet, let everything just hang there for a moment. Roll up. Take your time. Breathing in. Breathing out.

Really arrive here at the top of your mat. And then take your arms out in front of you. Press the fingers together, go for that equidistance between the fingers. Think of as you press the pads of the knuckles and the fingers together, the inner wrists separate. The forearms lift slightly away from each other.

Stretch forward, and chase the wrists with the heart as you lift your arms up. Breathing in. Fold forward over your legs as you breathe out, nice, soft fold there. Step the right leg back on your breath in, let the heart move forward. Downward dog as you breathe out.

Let's go into a plank, and then you're gonna reach back through your heels like crazy and start to move the pelvic bones forward, and find an arch in your upper spine. Move the front ribs towards the buttock bones and lift the navel, and draw clockwise circles here. Feel like you're almost in the hammock, that's what it feels like. And be nice and soft here on the joints, but really strong in the legs. That's what supports the back here.

Okay, you can drop the knees if you need to. Pause, bend the knees, create the fold, lift the hips, front ribs towards the buttock bones, release your head. Downward facing dog. Inhale, your left leg high. Lift the right heel as you lift the left leg.

Try not to buckle in the arms. Move your forearms forward and your inner wrists forward. Lift higher. Bend your left knee. Lower your right heel.

As you lift your left knee, ball up and draw your outer right hip towards the midline. Really notice if you're buckling in that right side, okay? Let that right forearm stay still, let it hug the midline and let the inner wrist lift. Put more into the pads of the fingers than the pads of the knuckles. And then easy does it, step the left foot forward.

Bend the left knee, breathe in. Lengthen the left leg, breathe out. So really easy here. We're just easing into the hip, easing into the hamstring. Not going for that straight leg right away and adjusting our stance just to get a result, really exploring the process.

Bring your left hand to the inside of the left foot. Wide straddle, forward bend. Left hand underneath your chest, lift your right arm up, open up your collarbones, breathe in. Get longer in the left side body. And then start to bend the right knee, turning the right toes out.

Lay the right armpit on the knee, flex the left foot, allow yourself a little seat, but lift from that seat and breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. And breathe out. From here, bend your left knee.

Warrior two. You might bring the hands to the hips, feel that spread in the thighs. The balls of the feet are directing the energy outward, the inner heels are directing the energy inward. Let that outer left hip move into the midline as that right hip abducts. And then straighten the left leg.

It's the inner spiral of that right thigh that draws that left hip back and gives you that clear fold at the hip joint on the left side. Once you can't stretch anymore, the right hip abducts and lifts towards the ceiling. Lifting the left waist, feeling the stack of the joints, breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in.

Breathe out. Good, nice and easy. Take your right arm over your head, take the right hand to the ground. Lift the right heel, shorten the stance a little bit. You can keep a little bend in that front knee.

Flip the wrist, let the chest move forward. Keep spiraling that right thigh back, and even peel the left waist off of the left thigh a little bit. Breathe in. Now, you're gonna try to keep your left thigh leaning back a little bit. And you can kind of anchor through the ball of that left foot as you squeeze the right heel toward your seat, moving the heart forward.

Breathing in. Breathing out. Breathe in, exhale. Shift into the balls of the feet as you bring your right foot to meet your left, and roll up to stand. Take your time.

Literally let yourself arrive. And then arms forward, sealing the palms together, sending energy out through your fingers, up through the back ribs. Chase the wrists with the heart. Chase the wrists with the heart even more. Lift the back ribs even more.

And then it's a soft bend forward over your legs. Extend your left leg back. Looking towards the front of your mat, breathe in. Down dog, breathe out. Plank.

Heart opens, reaching back through your heels, and then easy counterclockwise circles. Breathing in. Breathing out. Breathing in. Breathing out.

Let's do two more, and then let the heart lift. Bend the knees, find your folds. Let's take a walk to the top of the mat, take your time. Move with deliberation, move with integrity, move with connection. And let your head fall.

Roll up to stand. Let your hands find your heart, and pause. Feel the ground underneath you, feel your breath through the body. Surya namaskar A, take the arms forward, chase the wrists with the heart. Fold over your legs, exhale.

Prepare on your breath in. Step jump or float, chaturanga, breathing out. Up dog, breathe in. Downward dog, breathing out. Stay here and breathe.

All the way in, all the way out. Make your breath expansive, let it expand to the wrists and the fingers. Let it expand through the toes. Like your hands are moving the mat forward, the feet are moving the mat back, and then lift the butt bones and draw the front ribs towards the buttock bones, bringing the ears right between your arms. One more breath in here, one more breath out.

Feet together, lift the heels. Breathe in, bend the knees, step or float as you breathe out. Lift the heart on the breath in. Fold into your legs, breathe out. Chase the wrists with the heart.

Coming up on the breath in, tadasana, arrive as your breathe out. Chase the wrists with the heart, breathing in, sending the arms all the way up. Fold forward as you breathe out. Prepare on your breath in. Chaturanga, breathe out.

Upward dog on your breath in. Downward facing dog, breathing out. Stay here and breathe. Movement in two directions, feet back, hands forward. And then connect the energy of your left foot with your right hand, and your right foot with your left hand.

So there's like a nice big X there that the body makes. Lift the butt bones, lift the pubic bone, breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out.

Inhale, lift your heels. Exhale, bend your knees. Step or float, lift your gaze, open your heart. Breathing in. Fold as you breathe out.

Chase the wrists with the heart, breathing in. Exhale, tadasana. Chase the wrists with the heart one more time, surya A. Fold forward as you breathe out. Lift your gaze, open your heart, breathing in.

Step or float, chaturanga, breathing out. Upward facing dog, breathing in. Downward facing dog, breathing out. Breathing in. Breathing out.

Breathing in. Breathing out. Let's find that traction on the floor, pressing the ground forward with the hands. Dragging the floor back with the balls of the feet, spread the toes, let there be that light equidistant spread in the fingers. Watch if the pinkies or thumbs are pulling too far out.

Bring your feet together. Inhale, lift the heels. Bend the knees, exhale, step or float. Lift your heart, breathing in. Exhale, fold.

Inhale, chase the wrists with the heart. Exhale, hands to your heart. Tadasana. Reach the arms forward, chase the wrists with the heart, sift your hips down, utkatasana. Let the front ribs drop a little bit more, let the back ribs lift.

Fold forward, uttanasana. Lift the gaze, breathing in, chaturanga. Breathing out. Up dog, breathe in. Down dog, breathe out.

Retain the breath out if you can, spin the left heel down, right foot forward. Inhale, chase the wrists with the heart, warrior one. Exhale, hands to the ground, chaturanga. Up dog, breathing in. Down dog, breathe out, retain the breath out.

Right heel down, left foot forward, chase the wrists with the heart. Inhale, warrior one. Exhale, hands to the ground, chaturanga. Upward facing dog, breathing in. Downward dog, breathing out.

Stay here and breathe. All the way in. Gather the energy in the fingers a little inward if it's your tendency to spread the hands out. Let your neck go. Let your hips lift.

Let your breath guide you. Let it be soft. Trust it. Let's inhale, lift the heels. Exhale, bend the knees.

Step or float, lift your gaze, open your heart. Exhale, fold. Inhale, utkatasana, chase the wrists. Exhale, tadasana. Inhale, chase the wrists, utkatasana.

Exhale, fold, uttanasana. Inhale, ardha uttanasana. Exhale, chaturanga. Inhale, up dog. Exhale, down dog.

Left heel down, right foot forward. Inhale, warrior one. Exhale, hands to the ground. Chaturanga. Inhale, upward facing dog.

Exhale, down dog. Right heel down, left foot forward. Inhale, chase the wrists, warrior one. Exhale, hands to the ground, chaturanga. Up dog, breathing in.

Down dog, breathing out. Stay and breathe. Lift the heels, breathe in. Bend the knees, breathe out. Step or float.

Inhale, your heart forward. Exhale, fold. Chase the wrists with the heart, chair pose. Tadasana. Last round.

Inhale, chase the wrists with the heart. Hips down, utkatasana. Exhale, fold forward, uttanasana. Inhale, prepare. Exhale, step or float, chaturanga.

Inhale, upward facing dog. Exhale, downward facing dog. Left heel down, right foot forward, warrior one. Breathe in. Exhale, hands to the ground, chaturanga.

Upward facing dog, breathe in. Downward facing dog, breathe out. Right heel down, left foot forward. Inhale, warrior one. Exhale, chaturanga.

Dandasana. Inhale, upward facing dog. Exhale, downward facing dog. Breathing in. Breathing out.

Breathe in. Breathe out. And then three of your own breaths. Lift the heels, breathe in. Bend the knees, breathe out.

Step or float, heart lift. Head fall. Chair pose, chase the wrists. Tadasana, arrive. From here, let's take another chair pose.

Breathe in just to transition to the back of the mat. Fold forward, uttanasana, breathing out. Lift the heart on the breath in. Think of aiming the heart towards the floor, and you almost keep the chest in the same place as you hop into chaturanga and then up dog. Breathe in.

Down dog as you breathe out. Lift the right leg high on the breath in. Bend the knee and open the hip. Right, think of the right knee lifting that left armpit up higher, and then step the right foot forward between the thumbs. Breathe in for your lunge.

Pyramid. Go ahead and lengthen your right leg. We're gonna go right into the straddle here. Lift your left arm up on your breath in, finding your twist here in your straddle. And then let's go ahead, bend the left knee.

Hook that left armpit onto the left knee for skandasana, tenting the right fingers. Warrior two from skandasana. You can even take your hands back to the hips, finding that space there. Breathe in, opening up the arms. We'll go into our extended side angle.

You wanna keep that right knee on top of the ankle there. So that right forearm might rest there for a moment to bring that knee right on top of the ankle, and then your left arm can stretch straight up here. Breathe in, breathe out. And take your right hand to the ground. We're trying to find some inner groin opening.

So as you press that right inner thigh towards the right, use your left pelvic bone, lift it up to increase the stretch in that inner groin. Let's take the left forearm behind the back, straighten our right leg, half-bound triangle pose. Even take your right hand to your left hip and press it up as you open up your right shoulder and press into the big toe of the right foot. Breathe in here, and breathe out. Bend your right knee.

Take your left hand to the ground. And we're gonna go into the outer edge of your left foot for side plank, but use your front ribs, use your navel so that you're not gripping too much with the hands. You really don't need it. And if you stretch your thumb too far out, you add tension to your neck and pull on your carpal ligament. Breathe, right?

You don't need it as much as we think. I know that can be hard to believe. Right arm over the head, breathe in. Right hand to the ground. Bent knee down dog.

We're gonna go into plank and move the back ribs forward, and reach through your back heels so you've got that tucked toed up dog. And then find your fold, find your pike there, lifting up through the buttock bones. Lift the left leg up, breathing in. Lift the right heel, move the forearms forward, bend the left knee. Open up the knee, draw your outer right hip in, lower the right heel, let that left kneel ball lift up, up, up, up, up.

And then step the left foot forward, just easing into your lunge there. Breathe in. Lengthen your left leg, finding a nice, easy pyramid pose, keeping that inner spiral of the right thigh. Turn into your straddle, left hand under your heart. Right arm lifts, finding your twist, breathing in.

Breathing out. Bend the right knee, turning the toes out a little bit, right armpit to right knee for skandasana. Breathe in, breathe out. And then float into your warrior two. Make sure you get a little internal rotation in your right thigh so that you can lift up through the pelvic bones.

Open the arms, breathe in. Good. Breathe out. Bring your left forearm to the thigh. Move that left knee right over your ankle, right arm reaches up.

Lift the right pelvic bone, breathe in, and start to slide that left arm on the inside of the thigh, trying to open up the inner groin, drawing the outer left hip into the midline of the body. And think of the balls of the feet separating the mat and the inner heels drawing in. See if you can find more rotation there. Right forearm behind your back. Find your half-bind, straighten your left leg.

Moving into your half-bound triangle, take your left hand to your right pelvic bone and press that right pelvic bone up as you open up the left collarbone. And draw that left hip even deeper, more deep into the midline. Bend the left knee, bring your right hand to the ground. Let's go into our side plank, again, using your core, so you don't need to over-grip with the mat and you can have some softness in the face. Breathe.

Left arm over your head, left hand to the ground. Easy does it, downward dog. Inhale, right leg up high, lifting the left heel. Bend the knee, open the hip, drop the left heel. Step the right foot forward, lunge.

Lengthen the right leg, let everything go. This time, spin the left heel down. We're gonna take a few breaths here, draw the outer right ankle toward your left inner heel, and draw your outer left ankle toward your right inner heel. Sort of that same X we explored in down dog, but this time in our pyramid poses. Sort of redefining our anchors in the ground.

Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. Let's turn into our straddle. Right hand, again, underneath the heart.

Bring it right underneath the heart, lift the left arm up, and take your left forearm behind your back. See if you can find the top of that right thigh and help move that right inner thigh towards the right, and give yourself a little bit of a deeper twist there. Breathe in. Breathe out. Then let's go ahead, breathe in one more time.

Breathe out, lay back there a little bit, bend the left knee, start to turn those right toes up. Left armpit on left shin, we might take the bind this time in skandasana. Maybe it's the half-bind. Let the right toes be spread out. You can even draw that line from outer right ankle to inner left heel, and outer left ankle to inner right heel.

So you get a connection at the base of your spine. From here, free it up into warrior two. Right forearm to right thigh, left forearm behind the back. Take your right hand to your left pelvic bone, and this is gonna give you rotation. From that rotation, slide your right shoulder to the inner thigh, and then see if you can find your bind here.

Breathe, breathe into the right lung. Use the bind to draw the hip into the midline, right? Try not to let that right hip pop out, keep using your left thigh. Keep feeling that right knee move forward, that left inner thigh move back. Lean back, lay back, breathe.

Smile. And breathe into your right lung. Breathe into your right lung and use your left inner thigh as you move into your half-bound triangle. So that's giving you a little lift on that right side body. Open up the collarbones.

Big breath in, big breath out. Look at your right foot. Bring your right hand forward. Keep the half-bind here for half-moon pose. Keep the half-bind, you can even keep your left hand on that right thigh, encouraging that right thigh back.

And then we're gonna turn this into a standing split. Lifting the left leg up on the breath in, flip your palms. Flip your palms and move your heart forward. Move your heart towards your right foot as you lift up through your left foot, and find our leaning perch pose. Breathe.

Bring your left foot to meet your right, shift your weight forward there. Chair pose, breathe in. Chase the wrists. Stand up. Chase the wrists.

Keep chasing the wrists. Let there be a relaxed feeling as you chase the wrists. You might find a little bit of a deeper backbend, don't go too far where you feel any pain. It's all about expansion. Diver's pose.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Lift the heels. Draw your outer ankles towards your inner ankles. Bend your knees.

Hands to the ground. Step jump or float, chaturanga. Up dog on the breath in. Down dog on the breath out. Inhale, your left leg high.

Lift the right heel, bend the left knee, lower the right heel. Think of that left knee lifting up a little higher, then exhale, step the foot between the thumbs. Find your easy lunge. Lengthen your left leg. Spin the right heel down this time for pyramid.

You can start drawing your lines there. Outer left ankle towards inner right heel, outer right ankle towards inner left heel. Feeling the base of your legs expand to the ground like there's a little bit more of a spread of the body, even though the surface area is the same. Breathe. Let's turn this into our wide straddle.

Turning the left toes towards the right, taking your left hand underneath your chest, lifting the right arm up, take the right forearm behind the back. Find that left thigh. You can see that my left hip is dropping there a little, so I'm gonna encourage that left hip up with the right hand, opening up the right waist a little bit more. And then drawing those lines, outer right heel, outer right ankle towards inner left heel. Outer left ankle towards inner right heel.

Start to shift into our skandasana, bringing the right armpit onto the right knee and then maybe going for the full bind here. You can always stay with the half-bind, keeping the left fingers tented. Breathe. Use your ankle, that outer left ankle is still moving towards that right inner heel. The outer right ankle is moving towards your left inner heel.

Those crossed lines will give you the connection that you need to lift out of the ground and to connect to it more. Free up the bind, make your way into warrior two. Go ahead and take your left forearm to the left thigh. Lift the right arm up, bring your right forearm behind your back, and then take your, really try to fit it there. Take your left hand to the front of your right pelvic bone, lift the right pelvic bone to lift the left waist.

And that's giving you that rotation you need in your torso, and you can keep the extra rotation in your left thigh. Use that to dip that shoulder inside of the left thigh so you don't have to lean forward, and then see if you can hook that left hand behind your left thigh. And you might find your fingers, some of you might find your wrist. Breathe in, widen the collarbones. Use the bind to draw that left hip into the midline.

Outer left ankle towards inner right heel, outer right ankle towards inner left heel, open the chest. You're gonna use your right leg and your left lung to move into your bound triangle pose. If you have to let go of the bind, do so. These poses don't really matter. It's who we meet in the poses that matter.

So stay with the process and be guided by the shapes rather than forcing the body into the shapes. Breathe. Bend your left knee. Keep the half-bind. You might shorten the stance.

Take your left hand to the side, find half-bound ardha. If you can, right hand to outer left hip, and draw that left hip in the midline a little bit more. Breathe. And then free up the right arm, take it out in front of you, standing split. Flip the wrist.

Let the heart move towards your foot. Let the foot move towards the ceiling. So the heart moves towards the left foot as the right foot lifts into the ceiling. Tent the fingers. Start to sit back, and bring your right knee to meet your left knee.

Move your heart forward, breathe. And bring your right foot to meet your left. Let your head fall. Chair pose, breathing in. And stand up tall, breathing out.

Take a step back on your mat. Lift your left leg up on the breath in. Take your right hand to your right hip. Take your left index finger and middle finger to your left big toe, and start to extend the leg, dropping the hip. Think of the outer right ankle moving energetically towards that left inner heel.

Lift your right arm up. And then outer left ankle moves towards the right inner heel. Breathe. From here, we're gonna take standing split, breathing in. We're gonna add a bend in the left knee.

Hold onto the left foot, plant the left hand to the ground, and send that left knee ball up towards the ceiling, pressing the inner seam of that left foot into your right hand as you bow forward. So this is more of a forward fold. Seated spinal twist. Hug your right thigh, take a breath, breathe in. Breathe out.

Just a few breaths here, feel the ground. Feel the breath. Take a moment. And you're gonna turn your right toes forward and go right back into standing split for a moment. Take your palms, flip them.

Take one more on this side, leaning perch pose. Bring the left foot to meet the right. Shift the weight forward. Chase the wrists, chair pose. And chase the wrists as you bring the hips back.

Reach the arms even more forward. Breathe in. Take your left elbow outside of your right thigh as you breathe out. Take a twist. Left ribcage towards the right ribcage.

Hips back. Perch your left foot up, look at your right big toes. Squeeze the heel towards the seat, extend the leg back. You see, it almost visits a standing split-like shape. Put your landing gear on, flexing the left foot.

Let it land. Hands to the ground, lengthen your right leg, turn your right toes towards your left. Lift your left arm up. Bend your left knee. Skandasana.

Sit all the way down, and then go ahead, roll out your left hip a little bit here. Just like we did at the very beginning of class, take it easy, maybe roll back and forth. Maybe aim the left foot towards the ceiling. Keep reaching forward through your right heel. Now, let's all meet here.

So right hand to the ground, aim that left foot towards the ceiling, and lift the back ribs so you're right on the buttock bones. Hold onto the outer left foot with your right hand, raise your left hand. Take your left hand underneath your calf and lift the calf. And you can round the spine a little bit, bringing your shoulder underneath your thigh. Now, it's more about what's going on here than straightening the leg, so I want you to press your tricep into your hamstrings and move the back ribs forward.

And from there, it's the twist to the right that gives us leverage to lengthen the leg. So you're twisting to the right like we've just done a few times. Left ribcage to right, and see if you can rest your head in your right arm. Your knee can be as bent as it needs to be. I'm gonna offer a variation.

Stay here if you'd like. The variation is to bend the left knee, bend the right knee. Hold onto the outer right foot with the left hand and straighten both legs. And the legs are moving wider apart, right? They're not out in front of you, they're more like a straddle.

And we've certainly done plenty of that in this practice. See if you can stay on the edge of the buttock bones and find a little bit more of a twist. And then that's it. We'll go ahead and do the other side when you're ready. So make your way into your downward facing dog.

Pedal out, paw it out a little bit. And you can either walk or float to the top of your mat. Lift the heart on your breath in. Fold into your legs. Chair pose, chase the wrists.

Stand up, bring your right knee into your chest. Hold onto the right big toe. Right away, draw that connection, outer right ankle to inner right heel. Feel like the right heel is stretching forward from the outer right ankle. And then outer right ankle to inner left heel.

Arm lifts, breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. Lift the right arm up.

Go ahead and find your standing split. Now, you might add the bend in the right knee in your standing split, aiming that right knee towards the ceiling. Planting the right hand to the ground or a block, let the heart move towards the ground, but then let the head drop. Breathe in. Breathe out.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Let your right leg go. Seated spinal twist. Hug your left thigh with your right arm.

Move the back ribs into the heart. Tent your left fingers. Just hang out here, breathe. One more breath. Inhale, your arms up.

Look at your left foot. Hands to the ground, lift back up into your standing split for a moment, and step the right foot to meet the left. Chase the wrists, chair pose. Find your half-chair pose. Butt bones back, fingers forward.

Bring your right elbow outside your left thigh. Send the heart towards the thumbs, breathe. Then you're gonna look at your foot, look at your feet, rather. And keep looking at your left foot as you squeeze that right heel into the seat. Extend the leg back, extend it back, back, back.

Put the landing gear on. Bend your left knee, land, and bring your hands to the ground. Lengthen your left leg. Turn to the right. One last wide straddle.

Breathe in. Left hand on the ground, right arm lifts. Bend the right knee, turning the toes out. Bring the right armpit to the right knee. Have a seat and start to roll around on your right hip.

Nice and easy, breathe in. Breathe out. Tent your left fingers outside of the hip, maybe aim that right foot up towards the ceiling. The knee moves behind you. Let's all meet here.

You can even use both hands for a moment. Aim that right knee towards the ground, right foot towards the ceiling. Move the back ribs into the heart. Take a hold of that outer right foot with the left hand. Lift the right arm up, bring your right thumb and index finger underneath your calf.

Move the flesh of the calf towards the ankle, around the spine. Get that shoulder underneath your calf, and this is the important part. It's not straightening the leg. It's pressing the tricep and hamstrings together, so the triceps and hamstrings towards each other. And those correspond to each other in the body, right?

So press the arm into the thigh and use that to find leverage to twist, right ribcage towards the left. Energize through your left foot to breathe in. Think of resting in the left upper arm. Keep twisting right to left. And then maybe you bend the knee, you bend the left knee.

You hold onto the outer left foot with the right hand. And think of the legs widening here, and you keep finding the twist. You keep resting in your left upper arm. Breathing in. Breathing out.

And then come out of it, woo. You might be thrown out of it once in a while, it's all good. We're gonna take a child's pose. Let the hips move back to the heels. Walk the hands to the right.

Bring your left hand on top of your right. Take your hands out in front of you, tent the fingers. Just rock back and forth. We're really letting those hip flexors open, so we kind of rock into a cobra and rock back into a child's. Do this a few times.

Breathe in. Breathe out. You don't have to tent the fingers, and the movement can be really small. Let's do this one more time. And then walk the hands to the other side, bringing your right hand onto your left hand.

And the closing part of this practice is gonna be real simple. It's gonna be a headstand and a forward bend. So if headstand's newer for you, then go ahead and just practice bringing the forearms onto the ground, interlacing the hands and pressing down into the forearms so that the shoulders lift. And then when you tuck the toes under, I mean, when you bring your chin into your chest and bring the crown of the head to the crown, you're not collapsing into your shoulders. And as you tuck the toes and walk the hips in, you don't round the spine, right?

So you can bend the knees like we've been doing in our down dog. And then maybe you lift one foot, and maybe you lift both, or maybe one leg stays straight. And you hinge at the hips, like we've been practicing through all our practices, to come up into the shape. And you explore stacking the spine. Reaching up through the heels, draw those lines.

Outer heels to inner ankles. Outer right heel to inner left ankle, outer left ankle to inner right heel. Here you can connect that more, but it's the same in all the other shapes. Use the hamstrings so that the front pelvic bones are elongated. Use the front ribs and draw them towards the buttock bones.

When you're ready, you can lower it down. You can either bend your knees or come through straight legs, finding that fold at the hip crease. And land. Cross your ankles, roll back, take your legs out in front of you. And we're gonna widen the legs for upavistha konasana.

So go about 70% to 80% of your mat. Don't go all the way out, right? We're not auditioning for the cheerleading team here, we just wanna see where we're at. So take your hands out in front of you and make sure your toes are pointed towards the ceiling, right? So we start with this inner thigh abduction, they're moving away from each other.

And then you find that tilt in the pelvis and walk the arms out in front of you. And maybe you bring the forearms to the ground or onto some blocks, and maybe even bring the hands together, pressing the pads of the fingers together. But make sure the feet aren't rolling in like that, right? You wanna keep them reaching up and keep elongating. And just rest.

And just be. It might be that this pose means you're just sitting up here and lengthening forward, or you can stay where I was if that's an easy access for you. And keep moving the inner ankles towards the outer ankles. Stay, breathe, and be where you are, be who you are. We're gonna come on up and find a seat.

So now you can either join me in some alternate nostril breathing or take a shavasana, okay? So if you're taking alternate nostril, connect your index finger and thumb together on your left hand, and bring your index and middle finger on your right hand together, and bring those fingers to the space between the third eye. Let your thumb hover above your right nostril and your ring finger hover above your left. Breathe into both. Breathe out of both.

Breathe into both. Cover the right nostril with the thumb, breathe out of the left. Breathe into the left. Cover the left, breathe out of the right. Breathe into the right.

Cover, breathe out of the left. Breathe into the left. Cover, breathe out of the right. Breathe into the right. Cover, breathe out of the left.

Breathe into the left. Cover, breathe out of the right. Continue with your own pacing. The next time you breathe out of your left nostril, let your right hand find your left knee, connecting the index finger and thumb in jnana mudra and pause. Explore the space in the body and the breath, the space in the mind, surrendering to what did happen and what didn't happen and all that can happen when we stay open to the possibility.

If you're in shavasana, you can make your way on up, taking your time. Make your way on up to sit, and let's all meet with our hands at our heart. Namaste, thank you for practicing with me.

Comments

2 people like this.
Wow. Fun interesting & challenging!! I likey
1 person likes this.
thanks for a great flow!! where did you get your top?? So cute!! thanks!!

Sherry
1 person likes this.
Thank you for an amazing, unique, and energizing class. Great way to start my day!
3 people like this.
Thanks for this playful practice! A comment not just for Mary Dana, but for the whole YA team: when an instructor demonstrates a unique move, it would be helpful for them to begin on the _camera_ side of the mat. Sometimes their movement (as in the beginning of this practice) is obscured. I thought, at first, that we were supposed to flip our hand over, onto its back -- as in Padahastasana -- then finally figured out that Mary Dana was rotating the fingers backward. Great move! But hard to see on the first side. Namaste and thank you again.
Yes, Erika, we totally agree and try our best, and yet sometimes the creative shakti flow WINS and we are at her mercy. Hah! So glad you are here and always appreciate yours support and help in making these videos better. xok
Hi Sherry! I got this top from Onzie.
Thanks for practicing and have a great day!
Thank you Diana:)
Happy you enjoyed!
Thanks for practicing and for the feedback Erika!
Namaste:)
Awesome practice! I'm new to headstand, and today I got really close to the pose! On one attempt I somersaulted out of it but it was a great summersault :)
1 person likes this.
I loved using the body to make the circles around the wrists. As a veterinarian, my hands and forearms can take a beating, especially when I have a lot of surgeries on the schedule. This new movement was liberating, and I will certainly use it frequently. The rest of the practice was not one of my favorites (maybe a little choppy???), but I LOVE how I felt afterward, so I'll take it!!
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