The Vinyasa Show Artwork
Season 9 - Episode 8

Flow and Balance

30 min - Practice
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Mary Beth shares a Vinyasa practice leading us towards Pincha Mayurasana (Forearm Balance). We close with a sweet pigeon and a series of backbends to awaken the heart and spine. You will feel open, aware, and awake.
What You'll Need: Mat, Block

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Hi, yogis, great to see you again. Today's practice will be leading up to Pincha Mayurasana, a four arm stand. Now, we'll be moving through various sequences and postures, that lead us into this pose, itself, but, you'll get shoulder opening, you'll get hard opening, as you move through, and all (unintelligible) modifications along the way, so we'll start in Anahatasana, so as you come around toward all fours, you'll drop down to your forearms, and then, bend your elbows, as you descend you chest down, and as you bend your elbows, bring your thumbs to the top of your head, or to the nape of your neck, if you can manage. Then, begin to pull your chest forward and down, and you could rest your chin on the mat, or your forehead down, and take a few deep breaths. Feel this opening through your shoulders, through your upper back, your thoracic spine.

Use your inhale to gather a little more length. Your exhale to descend toward the earth, toward the mat. And one more full breath in. Full breath out. Release your arms, and slide onto your belly.

You'll bring your fingertips off of your mat, so onto the hardwood floor, the carpet, wherever you're practicing. Lift your palms up so you're just on your finger pads, press through the tops of your feet, ground your pubic bone down, and then, hug your navel, toward your spine, as you begin to lift up your spine, just finding an undulation. Exhale to soften back to the earth. Inhale to lift up, nice and slow. Exhale to soften down.

Three more times, inhale to lift. Exhale to soften. Inhale to rise up. Exhale to lower it down. One more full breath in, just coiling up your spine.

Exhale to the earth. Press back to a child's pose, just for a breath, to release your low back, and then roll your toes under, and move into your first downward facing dog. Good, from downward facing dog, lift your right leg up, as you inhale, and press back through your heel, and simply step to your right thumb, as you exhale. Drop your back knee down. Just keep you toes rolled under for balance, and then, rise all the way up to Anjaneyasana.

Circle your hands behind your back, interlace your fingers. Hug your outer hips and your navel toward your spine, as you begin to slide your knuckles down your back thigh. Lift your chest up. Hug your navel in, you can lean back a little bit. You take your gaze back on the ceiling.

Inhale your arms all the way across your wrists, and send your biceps back. Lift your heart, and hands to either side of your foot. Pull back, straighten your right leg, flex your foot, as though you're pressing your foot against a wall. Lift your chest up as you inhale. Fold over the leg, as you exhale.

Two more times, inhale to lift your heart. Exhale to soften and surrender. Inhale to lift. Exhale. Inhale to bend back into your right knee.

Exhale to downward facing dog. Inhale forward to plank top of a push up. Pause here and just round through your upper back as you exhale, form a little bit of a cat pose. Inhale back to plank. Exhale to round, navel to spine, round through the upper back.

One more time, inhale and plank, exhale to round, pull your hips back down dog. Lift your left leg up as you breath in, step to your left thumb, breathing out. Tap your back knee to the earth, and lift up, Anjaneyasana. Take a moment to settle in, then circle behind you. Interlace your fingers, draw your knuckles down, and lift your chest up.

Press your shoulder blades in toward your heart, counter this by activating through your belly. Sweep your arms up as you breathe in, cross your wrists, biceps back, and hands to either side of your foot. Pull back, straighten your left leg, flex your foot. Lengthen your chest forward as you breathe in, fold as you breathe out. Inhale to lift your chest, exhale to fold.

Inhale. Exhale. Inhale to re bend your left knee. Down dog as you exhale. Inhale to plank pose.

Round your upper back as you exhale. Inhale to plank, don't sink your hips. Exhale to round. Inhale chest forward. Exhale to round, hips pulled back, down dog.

Step your feet to the top of your mat, hip distance apart, catch your hands behind your back, just as you did in your lunge, and fold. Drop your head down, and give your head a little shake, side to side. Release your hands, catch your elbows, continue to fold forward. Hands to the earth, lift to a flat back. Exhale to fold forward.

Inhale to rise up, Urdhva Hastasana, and hands to your heart in prayer. Step your feet together. Inhale to stretch up. Exhale to fold forward. Inhale to lift your chest, and step back in lower Chaturanga.

Inhale to upward facing dog. Exhale to down dog. Lift your right leg. Step to your right thumb. Keep your back knee lifted, as you rise to crescent pose, high on the ball of the back foot.

Circle your left arm underneath your right, for eagle wrap. Lift your elbows to shoulder height, press your wrists slightly forward, then begin to lean forward, float your left leg back for warrior three. Pull the chest forward, as you hug your navel toward your spine. Stamp back through your heel. Step back to crescent, lift your forearms up, as you breathe in, and then, unfurl and open slow to warrior two.

Drop down into your right thigh. Stretch forward, hand to the inside of your ankle, left arm stretches up. Either a half bind, bending your left elbow, hand to the low back, or fingertips to the inside of your thigh, or reach, and catch your fingertips, or your writs, in a full bound side angle. Lean back, open the chest. Look toward the earth, right fingertips down, left leg lifts, Ardha Candrasana.

Reach your left fingertips up. Step back to warrior two. And hands down. Wiggle your right foot over toward your right thumb. Stay on the ball of your back foot.

Reach your right arm up and twist, revolved lunge. Hug the right hip back as you breathe. Then, hand down. Step to plank, lower. Inhale to upward facing dog, and exhale to down dog.

A full breath in. A full breath out. Left leg lifts, breathe in. Step forward, breathe out. Rise to crescent.

Right arm under left. Eagle wrap, Garud arms. Lean forward, warrior three. Stamp back through your heel. Step to crescent, lift your forearms up, inhaling.

Open slow, (unintelligible) Exhaling, drop down into your left thigh. Soften your gaze out of your middle finger. Stretch forward, hand to the inside of your ankle, right arm stretches up, and then, bind if you'd like, half or full wrap. And look to the earth. Ardha Candrasana, slowly lift.

Right leg lifts, right arm stretches high. Step all the way back. And circle your hands down. Wiggle your left foot over to your left thumb, plant your right hand, stretch your left arm up. Hand to the earth.

Back to plank. Lower. Inhale to up dog. Exhale to down dog. Lower to your knees.

So, grab a block if you have one. If not, you can work without one. You'll bring your thumb and forefinger to either side of the block, or you separate your hands, shoulder distance apart. So, first, we'll start in forearm plank, so holding the block, or hand shoulder distance apart, you'll step all the way back, your right foot, your left foot, and then, pull your chest forward, so it helps to gaze right down at the block. Hug your navel toward your spine, spin your inner thighs up toward the ceiling, and keep pulling the chest forward.

Breathe. Lower your hips down, you can keep the block, and just pull your chest forward for a sphinx. Press your pubic bone down, draw your navel in, and close your eyes. Roll your toes under. Come back through forearm plank, and walk your feet in slowly, for dolphin pose.

Press your chest back toward your thighs. You can have your knees bent. And take a few breaths here. Spin your biceps forward, wrap your outer arms back. Hug your upper arms in toward one another, as you do this.

And then, rest, once again. Just enjoy the rest. Come back into dolphin pose. Lift your right leg up, lift from your inner thigh, spread your toes, and even lift your left heel up. Try to take your gaze forward.

Lower your right foot down. Lift your left leg up. Take your gaze forward. Lower it. Rest.

And you can move through that once again. You can move through any of the variations I've shown you. You could move your mat to a wall, and try getting one leg to the wall, and then, the other, or play with lifting one leg up, and maybe bringing the other leg to meet it, nice and slow. Hug the navel in, pull the chest forward. Breathe.

You'll lower down. Rest. Sigh out the breath. You could repeat this a couple more times if you'd like. Be sure to rest after every single time you move into this, but we'll actually meet in a pigeon pose, so you'll slide your right shin forward, level your hips, and then, soften forward and down.

You could use your block underneath your forehead, or make a little pillow out of your forearms, and drop your head. Slowly lift your chest. And come back through down dog, or just switch, right to the other side. Left shin slides forward, single pigeon. Use a block underneath the forehead, if you'd like, and then, just drop all the way down.

Lift up. Swing your right leg around, and join your right foot with your left for Baddha Konasana. Lift your chest as you breathe in, and then, fold as you breathe out, dropping your head, just five breaths. As you lift up, we'll make our way onto our backs. Have your block handy, if you have one, and as you lower down, scooch your feet a little wider apart, and just knock your knees together.

Pause here. Feet hip distance. Lift your hips up. Roll your shoulders underneath you, and interlace your fingers, or catch the outer edges of your mat. Press your shins back and draw your heart toward your chin.

Either stay here for three more breaths, or hands by your head, and you'll press all the way up into Urdhva Dhanurasana wheel, if that's a part of your practice. As you lower back down nice and slow, scoot your feet a little wider, knock your knees together to touch, take a moment. You're welcome to move through another back bend, bridge, or wheel. Or slide your block underneath your tailbone. Stay in supported bridge as long as you'd like, or elevate your legs.

For Viparita Karani. I'm just resting here, on the block. You can move a little bit, so you can find that sweet spot for your block to rest. Can place your hands on your thighs, your hands on your belly, or arms by your sides. We'll take two minutes here.

Enjoying this restoration, this pause. It's important, even when you have 30 minutes for your practice to have a balance of effort and ease, so it can be tempting to hit the mat, and just go, go, go, but that will end up depleting us, so finding that balance, between putting forth your efforts, and then, just surrendering. Begin to bend your knees. Slowly lower your feet to the earth, with the utmost control. And then, lift your hips up, slide your block out from underneath you.

Keep your feet wider than hip distance. Drop your knees over to the right. Place your right heel to your outer left knee, and use your heel to guide your thigh forward. Could even use your right hand and your right thigh. And keep your right leg where it is, but wrap your left leg around it, and look out over your left shoulder.

You get two very different twists, and two very different openings. And you'll come back through center, separate your feet wider than hip distance, as you had them before. Drop your knees to the left, left heel to your outer right knee, just guiding your thighbone forward. As you release, keep your left leg where it is, wrap your right leg around the left, and look out of your right shoulder. Back into your chest, Apanasana.

And then, extend your legs long. Savasana, arms by your sides, palms facing up. Letting go of any effort. As you deepen your breath, you can stretch your arms up and back, reach through your fingertips, through your toes. Open your mouth wide like a big yawn.

Roll to your right side. And then, press on up to sit. Fold your palms together, at your heart, and bow your head. Truly honoring your body, breath, and practice. Deep inhale.

A deep exhale. May there be peace in your hearts, in your homes, and in our world. Namaste.

Comments

That was a very complete practice in only 30 minutes! I especially loved the restorative ending and the twist-combos...really lovely 💖🕉
Lovely balanced sequencing. Sometimes 30 minute sequences can feel rushed... but this felt expansive...

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