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Season 2 - Episode 3

Spacious Twisting

35 min - Practice
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Description

Kari shares a fluid Vinyasa sequence with an emphasis on twisting. We create more space and flexibility in the spine and side body, moving through standing postures and supine twisting postures. You will feel open, relaxed, and refreshed.
What You'll Need: Mat, Block

Transcript

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(ocean waves whispering) Namaste. Thanks for being here. We're gonna go ahead and start on our backs today. So, finding your way into a nice, comfortable spot. Roll out, the knees to bend, the feet to connect with the earth.

(loud exhale) And as you allow yourself to land, just taking any little wiggles or adjustments that your body needs. Perhaps taking those arms a little bit wider, or maybe even into bent elbows, into cactus arms, and just allow the shoulder blades to release towards the earth. As you allow yourself to land, take a nice big deliberate inhale into the belly. Exhale, allow yourself to land. (loud exhaling) Taking another inhale.

And with your exhale, allow those knees to just gently fall to the right side. And with an inhale to center. And exhale to the left. And just explore this windshield-wiper action with your breath. Perhaps the head starts to participate as well.

Letting the ear roll towards the opposite shoulder of where those knees are falling. So, as knees fall to the left, gaze turns to the right. Inhale to center. Knees to the right, gaze to the left. Then, just take this a few more rounds and your breaths.

Just starting to feel into what the body may be holding today. And, as you feel evened-out right to left, no rush. Meeting up back at center. Take another nice big breath in. Exhale to release.

(loud exhale) And then with an inhale, let those knees lift up toward the belly, giving yourself a hug, either holding around the knees or behind the back of the thighs. Sometimes it feels nice to give a little bit more room to the belly, to open those knees towards the armpits. So just see what feels appropriate for you. And as we start to play with this, little bit wider opening through those knees to feel into the hips and into the groin. We'll take left ankle over right ankle.

And continue to hug those knees in towards the armpits. Perhaps staying here, or maybe reaching up with the hands, to grab ahold of the pinky-toe sides of the feet, and then let that head rest back towards the earth, little awakening here, through the ankles, snuggling yourself. Take another nice big breath in. And then as you exhale, release that, switching the cross of the ankle. Again, maybe holding onto the pinky-toe sides of the feet as we release back through the head and shoulders.

And from here, sometimes it feels nice to give a little rock and roll around the sacrum, perhaps even a little bowling-ball action down towards the tailbone, and in towards the heart. And then, from whatever cross feels more natural for you, either right over left, or left over right, We're gonna place those hands down onto the earth. Pause for a moment here, and allow that low back to start to connect. And as the low back connects with the earth, feel the navel pull inwards and upwards. Right, Uddiyana Bandha here.

Take another inhale. Let the feet kick back gently towards the face, and with our exhale, pressing into the earth to rock forward. So, from a nice, comfortable cross-legged seated position, nice easy Sukhasana, either ankles tucked under the knees, or perhaps stacking the shins. Just taking a moment to feel those sit bones connect with whatever is underneath you. Feel free to bring a folded blanket under those sit bones.

Take a nice big inhale to let the heart rise as the fingertips come towards the earth. Take another inhale. And then, as you exhale, begin to extend the arms forward, letting the belly soften between the legs. Letting the heart and the head get heavy. Feel into that sense of roundedness through the spine, the release of the jaw.

A little shake of the head, no. Gentle shake of the head, yeah. And then, walking those hands on over to the right side. Fingertips like crabs. Let the belly start to extend a little bit more towards the thigh, let that nose start to release towards the knee.

The key word here is towards. And as we ground through that outer right hand, allowing the left arm to float up towards the sky. Turning from the heart and the gaze to look up. (loud exhale) Allowing ourselves to root and rise. Another big breath in.

And as we exhale, bringing that left hand back around to join the right hand, walking back through center. Inhale to lift through the heart, and exhale to release. And from center, walking over to the left, in your own time. It may feel totally different on this side. Let the belly start to sink towards the thigh, nose towards the knee.

Anchoring through that outer left hand. Let the right arm inhale its way up, and open. Expanding through the heart, lifting through the gaze. Take another nice big breath in. And exhale, let that right hand drop down to meet the left hand.

In your time, back through center. Inhale to lengthen. And exhale to fold. Letting the hands walk their way slowly underneath the shoulders. Tucking the chin upwards into the chest.

Jalandhara Bandha as we roll up, slowly. Letting those vertebra stack, one on top of the other. Head rising last. Big inhale, shoulders to the ears. And exhale down to the back and away.

Inhale to rise, and exhale to lower. And then, working our way forward, and into a tabletop position. As we come into tabletop position, just stacking up those joints. Let an inhalation lift and rise through the heart, into the shape of our cow. And exhale, squeeze and round, into the shape of our cat.

Inhale, back to neutral, as the toes curl under. Exhale, pressing back for that first down-dog of our practice, just checking in. Big breath in. Exhale it out. (loud exhale) And beginning to step the feet forward.

Perhaps bringing that block underneath the face. We're gonna open up the feet nice and wide, out toward the outer edges of our mat, nice wide Uttanasana. So, from this wide-footed Uttanasana, bringing that block under the face, you may need to bring it a little bit higher. And then, placing that right hand on that block, let the left arm extend out and up. And just feel into that sense of opening through the heart.

Let the gaze turn, if that feels appropriate for your neck. And then with an exhale, let that left hand release. Placing left hand on the block, let that right arm extend out and up, and again squeezing back through the shoulder blades. Take another inhale. And exhale, let that right hand release.

Stepping those feet back hip distance apart. Softening through the knees as the arms release. Letting that belly rest on the thighs. Tucking the chin to the chest. Inhale, rolling our way up.

Let the shoulders loop. Into the ears and back and down. Turning the palms forward and pausing for a moment, in Tadasana. With an inhale, rising up. Gaze towards the thumbs, and with our exhalation, swan-dive forward to release.

Inhale halfway, exhale to fold. We're gonna keep that right foot forward. Take a nice big step back with the left foot, and then allow that left knee to lower. We're gonna bring that block underneath that left shoulder. Right hand on top of the right thigh and knee.

We're gonna keep those back toes curled under here. As we inhale, start to extend forward through that right arm. As we open up here, starting to twist and reach up toward the right side. Maybe staying here, or perhaps pressing back with that left foot to extend and lift that knee. Gaze towards the sky.

Take another inhale. And as you exhale, allow that right hand to release down, outside of the foot. Allow that block to release. Rooting the hands, step back into down-dog. And just take a moment here to paddle it out.

Take another inhale. Exhale to release. Another in-breath, and with your out-breath, let those feet start to journey forward. Inhale halfway. Exhale to fold.

Bending and softening the knees, belly towards the thighs. Chin to the chest, as we roll our way up and open. Looping the shoulders. Inhale, all the way up. Exhale, swan-dive forward to release.

Inhale, halfway to rise. Exhale to full. This time, keeping left foot forward, stepping the right foot back. Bringing that block underneath that right hand. Start to extend forward with that left arm, as we release that right knee to the earth.

Again, toes are curled under. As we extend forward, let an inhalation open us up towards that twist. Staying here, or playing with extending through that back heel to let the knee lift. Keep opening through the heart. Take another in-breath.

And then, with your out-breath, let that left hand release down to the outside of the foot. Let that block release. Hands root. Step left foot to meet right. Pedal it out in your dog.

(loud exhale) come back to that awareness of your breath. (loud exhale) Take another inhale. And as you exhale, once again, journeying forward. Soften the knees. Belly to the thighs.

Chin to the chest as we roll to stand. Looping the shoulders. Inhale to open and rise. Exhale to release and fold. I'm just building upon that sequence.

Inhale to lift. And exhale to lower. Again, we're gonna keep that right foot forward to start. Big step back with the left foot. Bringing that block under the left hand.

Now this time, seeing if we can keep that leg extended. Remember, we can always lower that back knee as we need. So, we did that first round. But as we play with this, finding that sense of lengthening forward through the right arm, and just pause here for a moment and really feel into the length of the body. That sense of pressing with the left heel and reaching with the right fingertips.

And as we feel into that length, let an inhalation start to turn us up and open towards that twist. Gaze following towards that hand. Take another nice big breath in. And with your exhale, let that right hand start to continue its way back behind. Feel into that sense of reaching and opening through the heart.

And then let that right hand continue the circular motion all the way down to the outside of the right foot. As we pull the hip back towards a straight leg. Take an inhale to lift. And then exhale, draping ourselves across that front leg. Coming back into this, with that lunge.

Inhale, reaching forward. Pause for a moment, feel the length. Then let an inhale continue us up into that twist. Feel the widening of the heart. Take another in-breath.

Let your out-breath extend the arm back. Widening through the chest. Take another inhale. And then exhale, continue down and around. Outside of that front right foot, as we take the leg to long.

Inhale to lift and lengthen. And exhale to fold and release. (loud exhale) we'll take that a third and final time. Bending into the knees. Inhale, finding the length.

Perhaps this time coming a little bit more smoothly and cyclical with it. Through the breath, that full complete circle around. All the way down. Back towards nose to knees. Inhale to rise, as the knee bends.

Moving that block off to the side, rooting the hands. Stepping back, downward facing dog. Pedal out your dog, and just take a moment to feel the difference between the right and the left legs. Big breath in. Full breath out.

(loud exhale) Open mouth. Take another inhale. And as you exhale, slowly journeying forward. Deep bend of the knees. Chin to the chest.

Root to rise. Open the heart. Inhale, reaching. Extending through the front body. Exhale, fold forward, and release.

Inhale, halfway. Exhale to fold. Left foot forward, right foot back. Bringing that block underneath the right hand. Again this time, working towards keeping that left leg lifted and extended.

Take that left arm forward. And just pause. (loud exhale) feel yourself growing longer, as if someone's pulling the hand forward, and reaching the heel back. As we feel into that length, let an inhalation start to pull that left arm up and open. The heart and the gaze are gonna follow.

Feel the sense of widening through the heart. Take another inhale here. And then, as you exhale, let that arm extend back. Feel the sense of spaciousness that's created. Take another in-breath.

And then let your out-breath continue the journey around. Let that hip pull back, squaring off. Inhale to lift. And exhale to release everything. Soften the jaw.

Feel into this left side. (loud exhale) Let an inhale bend the knees. The arm extends forward. Feeling into that length once again. Inhale it all the way up to the sky.

Heart and gaze go follow. Exhale, let it extend back. Spreading wide. Continuing that circle, all the way around and down. Press into the heel.

Pull back through the hip and release. And again, a third and final round. Perhaps a little bit more fluid. Inhale. Exhale.

Taking it all the way around. And back. Bending through that knee, letting the block reach to the side. Rooting the hands, step back, down dog. Pedal it out.

Take a big breath in. Exhale it out. (loud exhale) lowering knees to the earth. And we're gonna come all the way down onto our bellies. And as we release onto our bellies, we're gonna bring the forehead to the mat.

Arms are gonna come into this cactus shape, as we soften. That sense of surrender. Little wiggle and shimmy through the hips and the buttocks to release any tension that built up there. And as we release here to the earth, we're gonna interlace our fingers. And let those interlaced fingers come to the back of the head.

And as we do that, starting to ground the hip points and the pubic bone to the earth and begin to peel those elbows up and back. Feel that musculature of the back bar be starting to awaken. And as again we press through the hip points, keeping the gaze lowered, start to peel the heart up away from the floor. Pulling the elbows back, and then starting to lift and extend those long legs. Spread the toes wide, feel that energy move back through the balls of the feet.

Take another inhale, perhaps lifting a little higher. And then exhale, let it all soften. Hands to the earth. Pressing back into Balasana just for a moment, to return to the body and the breath. (loud exhale) As we feel in to the support.

Rising up, all fours. And then, curling the toes under. Back into the shape of downward facing dog. From here, with an inhale, let that right leg lift high. Eka Pada to hip height, pressing with the heel.

Take another in-breath. And then with your out-breath, bring that foot forward. May take a couple steps to get it there. Take your time, find that alignment. Bring the knee over the ankle, as the hands walk up.

Finding that stability as we squeeze the inner thighs into the midline of the body. Let the inhalation lift us up into crescent lunge. Lifting the heart, softening the shoulders. Coming back to that twisted action. We're gonna let the gaze come forward to a nice fixed spot.

We're gonna bring that left arm forward, right arm to the sky, spread the fingers. And feel that sense of widening. Reaching forward as well as up. Take another inhale. And then as you exhale, take this lifted right arm, and begin to extend it back behind.

Coming back towards that twist. Wide in through the shoulders and the heart. Take another inhale. And exhale, lowering the left hand. Right hand, step back, down dog.

Pedal it out, big cleansing breath in through the nose. Out from the mouth. (loud exhale) Settle. (loud breath) Soften. And with our inhale, let that left leg lift, hip height.

Pressing back with the heel, as we widen through the shoulders. Take another inhale. And exhale, bringing the foot forward. Again, take your time. Bring that knee over the ankle.

Hands onto the thighs to rise up through the heart. Take your time to set your foundation. Really squeeze through the inner thighs. Lift and open through the heart. Inhale, arms to the sky, crescent lunge.

As we feel into that stability, take another in-breath to lift, and let your out-breath bring your right arm forward, left arm to the sky. Spread the fingers. See if you can even feel the energy of your fingernails stretching in the direction that they're reaching. Take another big breath in. And then as you exhale, take that lifted arm, bring it back.

Reach right arm forward, feel in to that space. Take another nice big breath in. And then as you exhale, let that right hand droop. Left hand to join it. Step back, down dog.

Again, big deliberate inhale. Exhale everything. (loud exhale) Soften. Kinder in the eyes. Softer in the mouth.

And then, journeying forward. Once again, feet to the hands. Nice deep bend of the knees. Rolling to stand. Looping through the shoulders, and pausing in Tadasana.

And just feel the affects on your body. Starting to slow the breath. Bringing the hands to the heart center. We'll keep that right foot forward and take a nice big step back with that left foot. Opening up into wide legs for Parshva Tadasana.

And just take a moment to check in with the feet. Letting them become parallel, and then slightly turning in with the toes and out with the heels, to feel that sense of anchoring through the outer ankles. From here, bringing hands to the hips, the elbows start to squeeze back, feel the heart and the ribs widen. And with an inhale, lifting upward, towards the sky, following with the gaze. And with our exhalation, folding forward with that wide heart, long spine.

All the way towards the earth. Take a moment here to settle in. I like to play with my stance, maybe widening a bit. Feeling into the hips and the pelvis. Let an inhalation lift and lengthen.

And then let an exhalation release everything. Soften the heart. Shake out through the neck. Play with the jaw. And then from here, allowing those hands to begin to journey on over to the right.

And as we start to walk to the right, really remaining anchored through those outer feet. We're gonna take our left hand, and grab ahold wherever you are, on that right leg. So it may be at the shin, it may be at the ankle or the foot, so wherever it is for you, just taking ahold, and then take this right arm, and extend it forward to the earth. And as we feel into that, we're gonna let the head get heavy. Bring the gaze through these arms, into that twist.

And then you're in charge of how deep you take this. We can use that left hand as leverage to continue to open the heart and the gaze towards the sky. Take another nice big breath in. Full breath out. And then, keeping the right hand where it is, let that left hand release to join it.

Feel that sense of length through the spine. Reaching back through the hips and buttocks, let the heart and the head release. Hammocking through the spine. As we continue to anchor through those feet, beginning to walk on over to the left, whenever you feel ready. And as we walk to the left side, this side may be totally different.

This side is its own experience. Taking that right hand wherever it is, let the left arm reach forward, bring that gaze under and up, through those twisted arms. Again, you're in charge of how deep we twist. Using this as leverage to open. Take another in-breath.

And out-breath. Keep the left hand where it is. Let the right hand release to join it. Let an inhalation lengthen. And then, let the exhale lower through the heart and the head as we sink the weight of the hips back, imagining that the spine is a hammock.

That sense of anchoring to that tree in front of us and the tree behind us. Last few breaths. Hands come underneath the shoulder. Pressing in to the earth to lengthen through the spine. From here, as we anchor through those outer feet, bring the hands back to the hips.

Start to lift through the heart and the gaze, rising up, nice long spine. Take another inhale. And then, as you exhale, begin to toe-heel those feet in, or perhaps bending and floating those feet together. Hands to the heart, as we return to the top of our mat. From here, let an inhale lift us up and open.

Let an exhalation fold us forward and release. Inhale halfway. Exhale to fold, rooting the hands, step back into our down dog, pedal it out for a moment. Just release any tension that built in the legs. And then allow the knees to lower.

Buttocks to come to the heels. Resting into child's pose. So just taking a moment to return to the breath in Balasana. From here, in your own time, transitioning forward onto the belly. And just take a moment to allow the hands to stack, the cheek to rest.

And just feel that diaphragm as we breathe into the earth. Inhale to expand like a balloon. And exhale to deflate. And as we begin to slow things back down, We're gonna allow ourselves to roll onto the side. We'll start out by rolling to the right side.

And as we roll to the right side, extending through that right arm like a pillow, let those knees hug up in towards the belly. And just take a moment here to feel into that spaciousness. Give yourself permission to let the belly be round. And from here, let that top left knee start to lift in towards your heart. And as we lift that knee in towards the heart, begin to open it up towards the sky.

I like to refer to this one as Fire Hydrant. And as we open up the leg, allow that top left leg to extend up and open. And then reaching up with the hand, and it may be here, at the thigh for you today, that's absolutely fine. Maybe it's at the calf, maybe the toe is accessible. And if this feels like it's straining for your neck at all, feel free to give a little prop to that head.

And just take a moment to feel into that sense of expanding big and wide. Take another inhale. And then, as you exhale, we're gonna allow this leg to remain long. We're gonna release the hold, and with lots of control, a nice dorsiflexion of the foot, taking that leg and extending it forward. And as we extend that leg forward, we're gonna take this back right leg, and we're also gonna straighten that out.

So, we're gonna end up in this nice big L-shape with the legs. And as we come into this L-shape with the legs, we're gonna give a bend into that back right knee. Lifting the foot towards the sky. Take that free left hand, and reach back, and see if that foot's available to you. And if it's not, you can always grab a strap, or whatever you need to give yourself a little bit more space.

And as we find this, start to hug that heel in towards the buttock, just a little awakening through the hip flexors and the quadriceps, and then allow that right arm to extend along, dropping the head back towards it like a pillow. And finding that hold of the foot, begin now to kick the heel away from your buttocks. Spaciousness, as we roll the head open and off. Back of the heart extending towards the earth. This is traditionally more of a yin posture, known as cat's tail twist, and I like to envision myself like a kittycat stretching out in the sun.

Take another nice big breath in here. Spacious heart. Exhale everything. Then allow that leg to extend to long, as we release the hold. Let this left leg slide back to join it.

And then slowly roll yourself back onto the belly. Stacking the hands. Turning the head to the opposite side. And coming back to that belly breath. As we turn the head to the other side, again just gaging the depth of the breath against the earth.

And then allowing that left arm to extend, we're gonna roll to the left side now. As we bring the knees up in towards the belly. Allow the belly to be soft. And round. Top right knee coming in towards the heart.

And then lifting up towards that fire hydrant shape. Again, if this feels like you're straining the neck, we can support through the head. And then, reaching that right leg high, right hand wherever it finds itself. Perhaps to that big toe. Take another nice big breath in to feel into that space.

And then as you exhale, pressing out through the heel, begin to lower that leg to long. Let that right hand come to the hip. Left leg extending back, a big L-shape through the legs. And then giving a bend into that back left knee. Foot towards the sky.

We're gonna take that free right hand or a strap onto that foot, and just start off by hugging that heel in towards the buttocks. Feel into that length. Take another inhale. And then, as you exhale, allowing the arm to extend, the head to lower, and then that foot to begin to kick back out and away from the buttocks, opening through the shoulder, as we begin to roll open towards that cat tail twist. Soften through the jaw.

(loud exhale) Find the sense of space in your heart. Take another inhale. Big deliberate exhale. And this time, we're gonna come out of it a little bit differently. We're gonna release the hold of the foot, let the leg extend to long.

Let the right leg come to join it, but this time, instead of rolling to the belly, we're just gonna roll onto our spine. And allow ourselves to rest back into the earth. Take a moment to feel that sense of grounding. And then in your own time, let the legs extend to long. Take those little wiggles and adjustments down through the shoulders, the legs, the fingers, the toes.

Big final inhale. Exhale it all. (loud exhale) Releasing the effort. Even releasing the effort of the breath. And giving yourself as much time as you have to spare.

To reconnect. To come home. And, beginning to wake up when it's right for you. With a movement in the hands, and the feet. A nice big extension, maybe even a yawn through the body.

As if you're waking up for the second time today. But this time, a little more connected and refreshed. Bending into the knees. Rolling to the side of the body. And from there, gently pressing into the earth.

Up into a comfortable seat. Bringing the hands to the heart center. And perhaps setting an intention that you'd like to take forth into the rest of your day. And with that intention in our hearts, bowing towards the self. Namaste.

Comments

2 people like this.
Great way to start my morning! Thank you for the sweet flow Kari!
So happy to practice online with you Jenny!! And welcome to the fabulous resource of YogaAnytime! xo Kari
2 people like this.
Thank you, Kari, it was very nice practice to me
Thanks Galina! Hope we can practice together again (virtually) as my classes continue to go live!
2 people like this.
Beautiful sequence, Kari! Thank you
2 people like this.
Thank you, Kari. I really enjoyed it. Looking forward to more sessions. I love the practice.
Thanks so much for your notes Kristina and Katherine! I so appreciate you taking the time to practice with me and to say hi! With gratitude, xo Kari
2 people like this.
I even got my husband to do this one with me! Along with 2 friends in Mexico. Thank you kari for traveling with us. Darlene
That is fantastic Darlene! So happy to be travelling together :) xo Kari
1 person likes this.
Great practice , Thanks!
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