(wave ebbs and flows) Namaste. Thank you so much for taking the time to be here with me today. We're gonna start off in a wide knee child's pose. So feel free to put a blanket under your knees if you need a little extra padding. I like to open up the knees wide, bring the big toes together, and allow the hips to sink low.
And then just begin to walk the hands forward, allowing the belly and the heart to release towards the earth. I'm just starting to connect with the breath. Surrendering to that support. And as we feel into the exhales, allowing the hands to begin to gently explore their way on over to the right side, maybe coming off the mat onto the earth, and just feel that left side body start to awaken. And as you feel into that left side body, allowing the left hip and buttock to start to sink a little bit more towards that heel.
And as we walk to the right, allowing that outer right hand to anchor, and then letting that left hand come up and over towards that right wrist, head and neck releasing through those arms. And again just coming back to that sense of arriving. And then releasing from that hold, letting the hands walk back through the center of the mat. Heavy heart, heavy head, softer in the jaw. And then allowing the hands in your own time to venture on over to the left side, starting to feel into that right side body as the right hip and buttock anchors.
And grounding through that outer left hand, let the right hand perhaps come onto that wrist. Heavy head, heavy heart. And as we breathe into the side body and allowing that sense of expansion to occur. And releasing the hold of the wrist, let the hands walk back through center. Again, releasing to the support of the earth.
From here as we keep that sense of heaviness through the heart, let the hands start to come back under the shoulder heads, chin tucking in towards the chest, pressing up into a rounded spine as those knees walk underneath the hips. Finding ourselves into a cat round. And then with an inhalation, allowing the pelvis to tilt, the heart and the head to rise. And exhale, coming into that rounded cat. Inhale to open and rise through the heart.
And this next time as we come into that rounded cat, go ahead and hold that shape but not holding the breath. And from that rounded shape, again starting to play with that sense of expanding through the side body as the hands walk to the right. And then allowing the hips and the buttocks to begin to sink back a little bit more towards that heel, little bit more awakening up into that shoulder, into the heart. And then allowing us to rise back up, hands walking through center. Inhale coming back into the shape of the cow, and exhale, squeeze and round into that cat.
Again holding the shape as the hands walk to the left, allowing that right hip and buttock to begin to sink back towards the heel. Again a little bit more awakening up into that shoulder head. And then walking the hands back through center, allowing ourselves to return to that tabletop position, giving a little shimmy through the hips almost as if you're wagging an imaginary tail. And then allowing that tail wag to come into a little bit of a circling action or a little shimmy through the hips, and as we start to explore the body, really just listening to what feels right for you today. So if you find some more interesting along the way, feel free to pause and just explore it a little bit more with the breath.
Switching around and just seeing if anything new shows up. And then for on that experiment, allowing ourselves to return to that neutral spine, toes curling under. Take a nice big deliberate inhale as the knees rise, and exhale, extending back to that first down dog of the practice. Pedaling out that dog and just exploring through the backs of the legs. Maybe even a little play with extending back through one hip and then the other.
Big deliberate inhale. Exhale everything. And then beginning to slowly walk forward, feet towards the hands, folding in that Uttanasana, perhaps using the blocks under the hands for a little extra support, and if those legs are feeling sticky, just giving a little generous bend, playing with bending one knee and then the other. Take a nice big inhale, allow the heart to rise, and with your exhalation, releasing everything. That the arms release as well, softening through the knees.
So from that softening of the knees, perhaps bringing the blocks up a little bit higher, pressing in. Let an inhalation take a half lift. Let an exhalation fold us forward. Releasing the arms, heavy, again softening through the knees, chin to the chest, rolling on up through the spine. Big loop of the shoulder to open the heart, allowing the palms to turn forward.
And just pausing for a moment, feeling solid through the feet. Now with an inhalation, allow those arms to rise up towards the sky. With an exhalation, forward fold. Bringing the hands towards the blocks, stepping that right foot forward, nice big step back with that left foot. And just taking a moment to check in.
Let that right knee come over the ankle. Pressing back through the left heel, let an inhalation extend open through the heart and through the chin. And then with our exhalation as we ground through that front right heel, starting to extend the leg towards long and checking in with the hips and the pelvis. Take a nice big deliberate inhale, and as we exhale, folding forward, bringing heart towards the thigh, nose towards the knee. With an inhalation, letting the gaze and the heart rise forward, giving a bend back into that knee.
And then with our exhalation, coming back. And once more, moving with the breath, inhaling, taking it forward, and exhale, extending back. And just see what's showing up inside this right leg today. As we return to that lunge shape, let those blocks move off to the side, bringing the hands to the earth, stepping back right foot to meet left, downward-facing dog. Again a little exploration, perhaps a shake of the head, a little play with the jaw.
Take another nice big breath in, and as you exhale everything, allow the feet to gently work their way forward back towards the hands. Again bringing the blocks back underneath you for support as needed. With an inhalation, finding that rise, the length, and exhale, fold forward and release. Letting the arms hang heavy and bend into the knees. Chin to the chest as we press into the earth, opening through the heart, looping through the shoulders and allowing the palms to face forward.
And just pausing here for a moment. And seeing how that right side may perhaps already feel a little different than the left. Now with an inhale, letting those arms rise up, lifting through the heart and the gaze, and with an exhalation, forward fold. Hands back towards those blocks, inhale halfway to rise. Exhale to fold.
Stepping the left foot forward, big step back with that right foot, knee over the ankle. Perhaps wiggling back through that right heel to find a little bit more length and let an inhalation extend forward through the heart and through the chin. And as you anchor through that front left heel, let an exhale extend us back and forward. Little shimmy through the hips, feeling into leveling off through the pelvis, dropping the nose towards the knee. Inhale, bringing the knee forward, the chest and the chin to extend.
And exhale, pressing back. And inhale, coming forward again, your rhythm, your breath. Exhale, extending back. And just notice what this left side may have to reveal to you today. As we come back to that lunge shape, removing the blocks.
Let the hands anchor, left foot to join right foot. Pedal it out. Take a big deliberate inhale. Exhale everything. Allowing the knees to lower to the earth and in your own time, working your way forward onto the belly.
As we come onto the belly, you can let those blocks just move out of your way. Let the hands come forward right under those shoulder heads as we drop the forehead towards the mat. And just take a moment to allow for a little wiggle, a little shimmy through the hips and the buttocks and then a little shoulder looping just to release any tension holding there. And as we loop the shoulders back and down and hug those elbows in towards the ribcage, feel the hip points and the pubic bone connect with the earth. Let an inhalation slide the chin and the nose forward.
And as we start to rise through the heart, allowing those hands to rise as well. Baby cobra, no hands, perhaps we stay here, just awakening through that musculature of the back body. Or if it feels available to you, perhaps peeling those long legs up off the earth and then spreading wide through the toes. Take another nice big deliberate inhale. And exhale, release to the earth.
Pressing back as we peel ourselves up and extend into Balasana. Inhale, rising forward, all force. And exhale as the toes curl under, extending tailbone to the sky, downward-facing dog. From this down dog, let those feet step a little bit closer together. And with an inhalation, let that right leg lift up to hip height.
Extend back through that right heel as if you're pressing your heel into an imaginary wall, and then allow that knee to bend. We're gonna focus a little bit more on squeezing the heel to the buttock than we are on the rotation of the hip. So as we find that sense of squeezing heel to buttock, allowing that knee just to begin to lift up and open, keep feeling into that sense of bringing heel towards buttock, awakening there. Let the hips square back off as the foot extends to long. Inhale, let it rise a little higher, and as you exhale, step that foot forward between the hands.
As we come back forward between the hands, were gonna lower that back left knee to the earth. Allow the top of the foot to release. So as we allow that right foot to ground, hands walking up on top of that right thigh and knee and just feeling into that extension through that left side. And as we ground through the right hand on top of that right thigh and knee, beginning to inhale that left arm up and open, heart and gaze to follow. And as we feel into that space, take another inhale.
And then as you exhale, allow that hand to release down as we pull back through that left hip, shortening the stance here on the right side, starting to bring a little bit more awareness to the extension through the left. So hip over the knee. And beginning to really anchor down through that left knee, through the top of the left shin and the foot, and as we feel into that anchoring, also pressing down with that right hand into the right heel. With an inhalation, let that left arm lift upward towards the sky. This is known as the proposal lunge.
I always like to call in that space of asking for that love. Take another inhale. And as you exhale, allowing that left hand to release, that right foot to step forward, hands returning to either side of that right foot. Let the back left toes curl under, pressing back to lift through the knee, letting right foot join left foot into a plank position. From plank, take an inhale, and with your exhale, let the knees lower to the earth, elbows brushing through the ribs, releasing through the belly, tops of the feet.
With an inhalation, rising up, perhaps Bhujangasana this round. Feel free to continue to play with baby cobra. And exhale, releasing back towards the earth. Pressing up and back towards Balasana, just giving that spine a chance to release. Inhale, rising forward.
And with our exhale, returning to downward-facing dog. Big deliberate inhale. Complete exhale. Letting the feet again step a little closer together, left leg rising up to hip height, pressing back with that left heel again into that imaginary wall. At the same time, pressing the mat forward through the palms, let the knee bend, squeezing that heel in towards the buttock.
And then keeping that activation there, allow the knee to start to open up towards the sky. Take another big inhale. As you exhale, extending the leg to straight, hips to square. Inhale, lifting the foot a little higher, and exhale, sweeping left foot forward, it may take a couple steps to get it there. That's okay.
Let that right knee start to lower towards the earth, releasing the top of the right foot. And then hands walking up on top of that left thigh and knee, sinking forward, allow the heart and the ribs to rise away from the thigh. And with an inhale, let that right arm extend up and open, heart and gaze to follow. Again that sense of opening through the heart, sinking through the hips. Take another inhale, and as you exhale, let that right hand release.
Start to pull back through the right hip as that left foot steps back. Again shifting our awareness to this other side, check in with that right hip, bringing it over the knee. Start to press back actively through the top of the shin and the foot, anchoring through that left hand to heel. And with an inhale, opening up again like you're asking for that love. Big deliberate inhale to rise.
At the same time, pressing down through that knee actively. Take another inhale. As you exhale, coming forward, releasing the hand, curling the back toes under, extending through the leg, stepping back to plank position, left foot to meet right. So from plank taking an inhale, and as you exhale, allow the knees to lower to the earth, elbows to brush through the ribs, lowering to the belly and heart. With an inhale, rising up, Bhujangasana.
And with an exhale, allow yourself to release. Coming back through child's just for a breath. Let an inhale rise up, tabletop and exhale back into downward-facing dog. Again with an inhale, let that right leg lift high towards hip height. And with an exhalation, let that right foot step forward.
This time we're gonna step it out to the outer right edge of your mat. As you take your time wiggling back through that left heel, perhaps taking a hold of one of your bricks, bringing it underneath the hands. We can stay here, or to take this a little bit deeper, perhaps lowering to the elbows or the forearms. We can also play with different heights. See what your body is asking for today.
And as we come into this extension, pressing back through that left heel, and then perhaps coming into this right hip a little bit more by angling the toes. And then allowing the toes to feel upwards towards the face as we begin to gently open up, rolling towards the pinky toe side of that foot. Take another inhale, continue to press back through the left heel, and then let your exhalation release through the head. This may be where you hang out. Or we can allow that back knee to lower to the earth, top of the foot to release.
Maybe staying here on the block, maybe perhaps coming up higher and starting to play a little bit with these hip flexors and so as here on the left side by allowing that left knee to bend. And as that foot lifts, you'll know right away if those hamstrings are going to want to participate today or not. Sometimes they'll tell you that they're not quite ready for this, and if that's the case, just allow that foot to release. But maybe as we lift that back knee, as we anchor the right hand, that left hand can reach back, find a hold of that foot, and then allow that heart to open. Take another inhale here.
And then as you exhale, releasing the foot. Bringing that block back off to the side. Hands under the shoulder heads, toes curl under, pressing back, plank position. Take an inhale. And as we exhale, lowering down.
Forward on the in breath. Releasing with the out breath. Inhale to peel up. Exhale, finding Balasana just for a beat. Inhale to rise.
And exhale back into the shape of down dog. Take a big deliberate inhale. Exhale with an open mouth. Inhale, left foot rising up to hip height. And with our exhalation, stepping that left foot forward and to the outside of our mat.
As we find that shape, again bringing that block perhaps underneath you, can stay on the hand, can lower to the elbows. Again see what height feels right for you. As we press back through that right heel, take another inhale, and then exhale, let the heart and the head release. Perhaps taking that foot angled out, toes tracking with the knees, and then rolling towards that pinky toe side of the foot for a little extra awakening through that outer hip. Take another inhale.
And as you exhale, perhaps again lowering that back knee, the top of the foot. Staying here or exploring with that lifted variation by bringing the hands back to the brick. Let the heart begin to lift. And then just see how this side is feeling, perhaps lifting the foot, playing with lifting and lowering. Or lifting and finding that extension as we reach back with the right hand, finding a hold and then opening through the heart.
Take another inhale. And then exhale, release. Moving that block off to the side. Toes curling under, pressing back. And from here, we're going to release our knees to the earth.
We can go ahead and move our blocks off to the side now. And as we move our blocks off to the side, lowering down onto the belly and allowing the hands to stack, the elbows to open wide as we lower a cheek. So as we allow the hands to stack and a cheek or an ear to rest on those hands, turning your gaze first towards your right elbow. And as we lower down, giving a bend into the knees, lifting up through the feet, and then just begin to gently windshield wiper those legs from side to side. Just start to release out any tension that perhaps builds up in the low back or those hips.
And then as the legs release back towards the earth, taking that right knee and allowing it to bend as it slides on the earth up towards that right elbow. Half crocodilers, I affectionately like to call it splat position. And as we soften through the belly, through the inner thigh, just come back to that sense of surrender. It's really nice to be able to gauge the depth of the breath here as we lie belly down. Feel that inhale expand and the exhale release.
And then taking that left arm and allow it to extend forward and feel how that it creates that space through the whole left side of the body. Coming back again into that support. Let the right hand slide underneath the right shoulder head a little bit closer to the heart, and then pressing into the earth here, rolling onto the left side, keeping that bend in the right knee. And with an inhalation, let the right arm extend up, over, and across the body as the head release is to follow. Opening up into this juicy twist.
Allow the throat to open. Make sure there's no straining through the neck or the jaw. Perhaps playing with the angling of this right arm. Sometimes it feels nice to bend the elbow, extend or lengthen. Take another nice big deliberate inhale.
Exhale to release. Let an inhale bring that right arm back up towards the sky. And exhale, rolling back towards that half crocodile position, and then let that right leg extend to join the left leg, restacking the hands and switching cheeks. And again as we look towards that left elbow now, starting to gauge the breath. Expanding and contracting against the earth.
As the left knee bends, sliding it on the earth towards that elbow, and then just take a moment to sink in, softening through the inner thigh, through the belly, through the buttocks. And then taking that right arm into extension, feel that sense of lengthening and opening as well as grounding. Left hand's gonna slide a little bit closer to the heart under that shoulder head, pressing in to roll to that side lying position. And from that side lying position, allow that left arm to extend up, over, and across the body. Let the head and neck release, let the jaw soften.
Perhaps exploring some different angling through this left arm. Just see where you may still be holding on to any tension that you can let go of with this breath. Let an inhale bring that arm back up, over, and across the body, extending back towards that half crocodile. Let that leg extend to long. Let the hands come back under the shoulder heads, and we're gonna transition onto our backs now, and we're gonna want to have a block available to us.
So as we lift up, just taking a hold of one of your blocks and bringing it near the side of your mat as you allow yourself to release onto your spine. And as we release onto our spine, just take a moment to again settle and surrender. Coming back to that belly breath. And then taking a hold of that block, just making sure it's available to you as you walk those heels in a little bit closer to the buttocks. We're gonna lift ourselves up towards the shape of Setu Bandhasana but bringing that brick underneath the lower 2/3 of that sacrum for support.
And I'll encourage you to keep the block at its lowest level, this flat and wide spot. And as you release yourself into that support, just finding that spot that feels stable and correct for you, letting the arms release, feeling into the stability. And then with an inhale, let that right knee lift up and in towards your heart. Now sometimes for me as I bend the knee, the positioning of the sacrum needs to be adjusted a bit. So find what's right for you.
And as we hold that knee, if you're dealing with any knee mischief, perhaps holding it the back of the thigh, hugging it towards the heart, and then keeping that left foot connected with the earth, begin to slide forward from the heel, dorsiflexing into that foot as we press with the heel, pulling back with the toenails, and then getting floppy through this right side. I know it's often times not as easy as it sounds to keep one foot floppy, the other foot active. So just allow yourself to continue to check in. Deep belly breaths. Take another inhale.
Exhale. Let the activity through that left foot relax as we slide the foot back towards the earth. Allow the right foot to release to join it, the arms to release. Take a full breath here. And just notice.
And as we bring that left knee in towards the heart now, again adjusting that block as you need, either holding the front of the knee or the back of the thigh, whatever works for your body. Start to extend forward through that right leg, pressing with the heel, pulling back with the toenails, and then checking in with the floppiness of this left side as we continue to hug towards the heart. Big belly breaths. Take one more inhale. Exhale, release the activity through that right leg.
Let the foot slide back to the earth, and then allow the left foot to join it. Both arms releasing, heart open wide. Big breath in. Full breath out. So as you feel those feet connect again with the earth, rooting to rise, let the hips lift up as we remove that block out from underneath us, slowly releasing upper, middle, lower back.
Take a moment to allow yourself to return to the earth. Extending the legs out to long. Perhaps giving a little bit more space between the feet, a little bit more space between the arms and the side body, those last little wiggles and adjustments. Taking a big final deliberate inhale. Exhale it all.
Feeling the jaw unhinge. That returning to the earth. And if your time allows, please stay here as long as the body needs. And when you feel ready, starting to wake up through the fingers, the toes, the wrists, the ankles, perhaps extending arms and legs to long. Giving a bend into the knees as we roll to the side body.
Rising up. Finding a comfortable seat. Allowing the hands to join at the heart center. And just take a moment to thank yourself for taking the time to give back to yourself. Namaste.
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