The Vinyasa Show Artwork
Season 9 - Episode 4

Firefly Flow

30 min - Practice
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Mary Beth guides us in a hip-focused flow in preparation for our peak pose, Tittibhasana (Firefly Pose). We move through a fluid Vinyasa flow practice of Sun Salutations and standing postures, before moving into Pigeon Pose to find spaciousness in the hips. We peak with Firefly Pose with options and variations along the way.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Hi yogis, good to see you. We'll be moving through a hip-opening sequence today, ending in firefly or insect pose. Bring the soles of your feet together, your knees open, and slide your heels a little further forward than you would for botikanasana. So you make a perfect diamond shape with your legs. And slide your hands down toward the tops of your feet, or your shins, if that's where you're at today.

And you'll begin to round in. I find it nice to cup the toes and round in to drop the head, bringing your forehead toward the arches of the feet, or staying more upright, but still softening the shoulders. As you close your eyes, focus on your inhales, focus on your exhales, and invite in your ocean sounding breath, just sweeping your breath along the very back of your throat, your ujjayi. Start to infuse a sense of intention into your breath. What did you come to your mat to create?

What are you here to receive? Then come all the way up. And we'll come around to all fours. And you'll take your wrists a little further forward. Then right underneath the shoulders.

So take your wrists a little further forward, press evenly through the tops of your feet, then sink your belly as you inhale, lift your heart, lift your gaze. And round back with your exhalation to child's pose. So inhale to lift, lift your heart, lift your gaze, exhale to round back and press your seat back toward your heels. Three more times, inhale to pull forward, lift your heart, lift your gaze. Exhale to round it back.

Two more times. From child's pose, roll your toes under, press your hips up and back, downward facing dog. Press your chest back toward your thighs. Press your thigh bones back and bring the fronts of your heels a little closer toward the earth. Bring your gaze either between your feet or at your navel, so you head can drop completely.

One more full breath in. A full breath out. Take little steps all the way up to the top of your mat. Take your time. Bring your feet together at the top and lift to a flat back, breathe in.

Fold over your legs as you breathe out. Inhale to rise, stand tall, stretch your arms up. And hands to your heart. Three rounds of Surya A. Inhale to stretch up, exhale to fold forward.

Inhale to lift, exhale to step back, and lower. Inhale to cobra or up dog, exhale to pull back, down dog. Just one breath in. One breath out, you can sigh it out if you need to. Step, step, top of the mat.

Chest lifts. Fold. Rise tall. Hands to heart. Inhale up.

Exhale fold. Inhale lift. Step to plank or jump back and land with bent elbows, lower. Upward facing dog. Exhale to down dog.

Breathe in fully, back of your body. Breathe it out. Step or hop, top of the mat. Chest lifts. Fold over your legs.

Inhale to rise. Exhale to your heart. Last round, inhale. Exhale. Inhale.

Exhale to lower. Inhale to up dog. Exhale to down dog. Now you'll stay right here, breathe in. Breathe out.

Lift your right leg up. Bend your knee and open up your hip. Take a moment here. Send your right knee up. Keep your shoulders as level as you can, so ground down through the thumb and forefinger.

Drop the right shoulder a little more. Hollow out the left armpit. Then begin to draw your right knee toward your right tricep and step really wide. So you might come off of your mat. Tap your back knee down as you pull your chest forward.

Then straighten both legs, flex your right foot and fold. Inhale to tap your back knee down. As you exhale, bend your back knee. For your first one, just stretch back and look back toward your thumb. Right hand down.

Step to the top of your mat. You'll come into a yogic squat, but you'll keep all 10 fingertips grounded. And then pull your chest forward. Pull your chest forward, soften your shoulders away from your ears. Hands to your heart.

Kali mudra, interlace all but your pointer finger and thumb. Rise up as you breathe in. Sink low as you breathe out. Twice more, rise tall. Exhale.

Big breath in, press through the fronts of your heels, lift your knee caps, firm your thighs. Exhale to sink down. Hands to the earth, lift to a flat back, turning your toes forward. Exhale to fold. Step your left foot all the way back into a lunge.

Left hand plants. Right arm stretches up, and take a really wide twist. Let your right arm drift back a little bit, open your heart toward the sky. And then hand down and simply step to down dog. Lift your left leg.

Bend your knee, open your hip. Hang here for a moment. Draw your left knee toward your left tricep and step wide. Tap your back knee down and pull your chest forward. Breathe in.

Straighten, flex your left foot and fold. Bend back into your left knee. Tap your back knee down. Bend your knee, just gaze back toward your thumb. Don't catch the foot.

Left fingertips down. Step to the top. Yogic squat. Pull your chest forward. Ground down through your fingertips. Hands to your heart, kali mudra.

Rise up as you inhale. Sink low as you exhale. Rise tall. Exhale. Inhale.

Exhale. Hands to the earth, spin your toes forward. Lift your chest. Fold over your legs. Step your right foot back.

Plant your right hand. Reach your left arm up and take a wide twist. Open the chest, give me a bend in the elbow. Hand down. Down dog.

Full breath in. Full breath out. Full breath in. Big sigh out. Lift your right leg up, open your hip just a breath.

Step wide. Tap your back knee down, inhale. Pull back and fold, exhale. Inhale to bend. Exhale to draw your right hand back.

Maybe catch your foot. Gaze back over your shoulder. You can always slow down here if you need to. Right hand down. Step up, yogic squat, pull your chest forward.

Rise up as you breathe in, just once. Exhale to sink low. Hands to the earth, pull your chest forward. Exhale to fold, uttanasana. Step your left foot back.

Wide revolve lunge, super spacious. Right hand down. Down dog. Left leg lifts, open your hip. Step wide.

Inhale to tap your back knee. Exhale to pull back and straighten. Inhale, bend your front knee, tapping your back knee down. Stretch back, maybe catch your foot. Release, step up, yogic squat.

Kali mudra, rise up, breathe in. Sink slowly, breathe out. Hands to the earth, flat back, toes spin forward. Exhale to fold. Step your right foot back.

Plant your right hand. Reach your left arm all the way up. And hand to the earth. Down dog. A big breath in.

A big breath out. Step or hop, top of your mat. Chest lifts. Exhale to fold. Bend your knees, sink your hips down into chair.

And rise to stand, hands to your heart. Bend your knees, chair pose. Exhale to fold forward. Lift to a flat back. Vinyasa or straight back down dog.

Right leg lifts. Step to the center of your palms. Rise to warrior two. Drop down into your right thigh. Flip your right palm, straighten your right leg and tip your triangle back.

Stretch forward, hand to your shin or the earth, right behind the right calf. Gaze up toward your left thumb. Now look down, left hand to your hip if you'd like. Float into artishindrasana. Lift your left leg, flex through your foot.

And then slowly rise up to standing. And bring your foot to the inside of your thigh for tree. Stretch your arms up if you'd like. Press your foot into your thigh, your thigh back into your foot. Slide your left knee forward.

Lower it and sit back into chair, utkatasana. Exhale to fold. Lift to a flat back. Vinyasa or straight back, down dog. Left leg floats up.

Step to the center of your palms. Spin your back heel flat, rise to warrior two. Flip your palms, straighten your left leg and tip back. Stretch forward, hand to your shin, block, or the earth. Gaze up toward your right thumb.

Right hand to your hip. Crawl your left fingertips forward and expand open. Artishindrasana. Take up some space. Then slowly rise up.

Right foot to the inside of your thigh. Arms stretch up if you're comfortable. Right knee forward. Sit back into chair, breathe in. And rise to standing, arms by your sides.

Breathe out. Inhale to stretch up. Exhale to fold. Lift your chest. Step back to down dog.

Slide your right shin to the top of your mat for single pigeon. Lift your heart. And fold forward. Drop your head, you could rest your forehead on a block or a pillow. You could make a pillow out of your forearms as I'm doing.

So just soften through your shoulders, soften your jaw. And take this opportunity to become still. To rest, to receive. Last few deep breaths here. As you lift up, if you'd like to take a variation you'll bend your back knee.

And this might feel like plenty, or you could reach back with your left hand and catch your foot. You might even slide your foot to the inside of your elbow and clasp your fingers. Lean back a little bit and lift your chest. You'll release and you'll step back to down dog and give it a good shaking out. Peddle out your legs, give your head a shake side to side, let it go.

Maybe flutter your lips. Bring your left shin across the top of your mat. Lift your chest up. And then fold forward. You can drop your forehead or stay lifted.

Just breathe. And as you breathe, just see if you can witness what's occurring for your. So rather than naming it or judging it, notice the sensation you feel. Perhaps observe as thoughts drift by like clouds or waves or weather. Keep a sense of sweetness to your attention so nothing gets too hard or rigid.

Instead there's a softening into presence. And then as you lift on up, stay here or bend your back knee. You could reach back with your right hand, catch your foot. Perhaps even slide your foot to your inner elbow. Loosely catch your fingers and lean back, open your chest.

Good, release it. Step back to your final down dog. Rest in a child's pose. Lift to all fours. You'll step your right foot wide and your left foot wide to come back into yogic squat, top of the mat.

This time let's bring the hands to the heart. Press your elbows into your knees and get really broad across the chest. So send your shoulder heads back. You can press your thumbs right into your breast bone. Drop your head slightly.

I'll offer a couple of arm balancing variations. So know that they're just offerings. You can stay right here or move in more deeply. As you begin to straighten the legs a little you'll walk your hands back between your heels, and wiggle your upper arms behind your calves. You'll walk your feet in as you ground down through your inner hands.

And then begin to cross your ankles. Bhujapidasan, insect pose. So hugging your hamstrings to your triceps. Draw your chest forward. You can stay right here, or play with straightening your legs and spreading your toes.

Bring a little smile to your lips, or a big one. And then slowly and purposefully drop all the way down onto your buns. Come back into the posture we started in, tarasana. Slide your heels slightly forward. Draw your chest forward, and then round in and drop your head down.

Take five breaths just to settle your energy to land. As you lift up, slide your left knee across the center of your mat and bring your right foot to the outside of your left hip. Your right finger tips comes behind you, left elbow to the outside of your knee, and then spin your gaze back over your right shoulder. Sit tall, press your back body in towards your front body as you revolve. Soften your gaze.

Deepen your breath. And use your exhales to twist even deeper. Come back through center. Keep your left knee bent, extend your right leg long and flex through your foot. Spin your belly button over your right thigh and begin to fold forward.

You could crisscross your wrists, you could catch the outer edge of your right foot with both hands, or just catch your foot. If all you're catching today is your calf, beautiful. Just practice presence with it. And lift up. Bend your right knee.

Bring your left foot to the outside of your hip. Left fingertips behind you. Right elbow to the outside of the knee as you twist, and look back over your left shoulder. Breathe deeply. As you unwind, left leg forward.

Sole of the right foot to the inside of your thigh. Pivot your belly button over the left thigh as you fold. Crisscross your wrists if you'd like, or catch your calf, drop your head down. As you lift up, right leg long to meet your left. Slide your hands down your thighs as you press your thigh bones down, and reach for the outer edges of your feet or your calves.

Drop your head and take your last five deep breaths. Good, and as you lift up you'll make your way onto your back. I'll just flip around. And as you come onto your back, bring the soles of your feet to the earth. We'll move through one bridge pose.

Lift your hips, keeping your buns soft. Roll your shoulder heads underneath you, and focus on length here. As you release your hands, lower back down and extend your legs long. Shavasana. Arms by your sides, palms facing up.

Letting go of any effort that remains. Start to deepen your breath. Roll on over to your right side. Rest your head on your bicep. Take a couple of breaths here.

And then press on up to sitting. Fold your palms together at your heart and bow your head, taking a moment to truly honor your body, your breath, and your practice. A deep breath in. A big sigh out. May there be peace in your hearts, in your homes, and in our world.

Namaste.

Comments

1 person likes this.
I love this practice, it certainly got me going but at the same time my mind is at piece. Thank you for sharing, looking forward to the next episode. 😃
thank you for practicing!
Great, great class
Want to be able to see whether she keeps arms bent in titibhasana or whether she straightens them
Who knew stress could land in the hips? Feeling a whole lot looser and relaxed. Thank you x
 Like sipping fresh, cool water...

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