30-Minute Yoga Flows Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 2

Supple Spine

30 min - Practice
443 likes
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Sarah shares a 30-Minute Vinyasa practice to promote fluid movement and ease in the spine. With an emphasis on backbending, we move through a series of lunges, Surya Namaskars (Sun Salutations), and standing postures to warm the spine, open the chest, and awaken the heart. We close with Dancing Camel, Bridge, and a sweet Spinal Twist to release the back. You will be deeply satisfied.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Welcome, thank you for being here. In this practice, we're going to find fluid movement and ease in the spine and we'll move through some back bending postures. So if you join me, we're going to start sitting back on our heels in Vajrasana. If this doesn't feel comfortable for you, you're welcome to take a block in between your ankles and you can sit on that as well. So just taking a moment to arrive.

You can rest your hands on top of your thighs and then just close your eyes for a moment. Relax your shoulders. We'll start with a couple full deep breaths together. So taking a big breath in through the nose and then open the mouth, sigh it out. Two more like that.

Big breath in through the nose, deep sigh, good, last one, inhaling and let it go, good. And then just bring your arms out in front of you. We're going to take the right arm underneath the left and just wrap the arms up for eagle arms so you can bring the backs of the hands together or maybe the palms come together. And then as you inhale, just start to lift the elbows up away from you and you can start to lift the gaze, find a little bit of lift through the heart center. And then as you exhale, draw the elbows in rounding through the upper spine and the upper body.

Good. So finding cat cow with the spine as you inhale, lift up, find a little bit of an arch in the back. And then as you exhale, draw the elbows in rounding through the upper back, good, and one more like that, just to open up the back of the body. As you inhale, lift up, good. And then as you exhale, rounding down, beautiful.

And then just let that go. Maybe the fingertips come behind you for a moment and just find a lift through the chest, maybe lift the gaze, just counterbalancing that good. And then coming back to center, we'll take the left arm underneath this time, just taking it to the other side, finding eagle arms as you inhale, lift up, draw the elbows away from you. And then as you exhale, round and draw everything into center. Good.

Two more like that. Inhale, lift up and lengthen, exhale, rounding, good. Last one. Inhale, lift up, and then exhale, round through the spine. Good.

And again, let it go. Fingertips behind you, maybe the hips start to lift a little bit here, lifting the heart and the chest, counterbalancing, good. And then let the hips lower back down and we'll come on to all fours. So finding a tabletop position, bringing your shoulders over your wrist, your hips right over your knees. And then as you inhale, just arching the spine, let the heart melt forward, lift your gaze.

And then exhale, draw the navel into the spine, gently tucking the tailbone, finding an arch. Good. And then inhale, lift up and lengthen, exhale, rounding, good, and a couple more. Inhaling as you arch, melt the heart forward between the hands, exhale, round, press the floor away. Good.

One more like that. As you inhale, lengthening, looking up, and then exhale, round through the spine. Beautiful. And then coming back to a neutral spine, walking your hands forward slightly, tuck your toes, lift your hips up and back, coming into your first downward facing dog. So maybe pedaling it out through the feet a few times here and just starting to feel into the backs of the legs.

So any movement that feels good for you, maybe swaying the hips a little bit from side to side. Good. You might shake the head a few times, just let it feel nice as you come into this downward facing dog. Good. And then start to step your feet toward hips width if they're not already there.

Press firmly through the hands evenly here. And then as you inhale, start to glide forward to plank, but round through the upper back as you come forward. So it's kind of like this spinal wave coming into plank pose. Good. And then bend your knees so that the knees are hovering up off the earth and then lift the hips up and back coming into downward facing dog.

And just move through that nice and fluid, nice and easy. As you inhale, rolling forward, rounding through the spine as you come to plank and then bending the knees, rolling back into downward facing dog. Just taking that two more times, inhale, rolling forward, just like a wave in the spine and then rolling back. Good. Last one here.

Inhale, glide forward and then exhale, rolling back. Good, landing here in downward facing dog. Good. And then on your next breath in, come forward to plank pose, pause in plank. Now you're welcome to lower the knees down if you'd like, otherwise start to shift forward a little bit and then bend the elbows, lower your way all the way to your belly.

Good. Untuck your toes. You can walk your hands back so the wrists are right under your elbows and then touch your forehead or your chin down. And then as you inhale, hug the elbows in and just start to roll and peel the chest up off the earth, coming into bhujangasana, cobra pose. And then as you exhale, lower it back down.

Just taking that a few more times, rolling with the cobras, inhale, lift up. Press through the tops of the feet as you lift. Good. And then exhale, roll down. Two more like that, inhale, rolling up through the spine, maybe coming up a little bit higher as you lift.

And then exhale, lowering down. Keep the legs nice and active here. Think about length in your spine. Last one, roll the shoulders away, lift up, hug the elbows in, cobra. Good.

And then exhale, beautiful. Lower back down. Press back to down dog, either coming back to your knees or coming back up through plank and we'll land right there. Good, and then on your next breath in, inhale to reach your right leg all the way up and back behind you. Good.

And then as you exhale, round through the upper back as you come forward, bring the knee into your nose and then look forward, step your foot through between your hands. Good. From here, come on to your fingertips so you find length in the spine, reach the heart forward, take a big breath in. And then same thing that we did as we were using eagle arms, finding that cat cow in the spine, round down, press the floor away. You might have a couple blocks under your hands here.

And then as you inhale, reach it forward, find a little bit of that lift through the heart center. Good. And then exhale, draw it away, draw the navel in toward your spine and round. Last one, inhale, look up, lengthen. Good.

And then exhale, round here. Good. And then take the rounding out of the spine, lengthen forward. Keep your left hand down on the inside of your right foot and then sweep your right arm up. So finding that nice lunge twist, stacking shoulders, hugging the right hip in, see if you can isolate the rib cage so you're twisting from the navel up, just taking a couple breaths here in this twist.

Good. And then as you're ready, take that right arm up and over your ear. Let the hand lower down to frame your front foot and then lower your back knee down, stacking your right knee right over your right ankle. Good. And then when you're ready, inhale, arms sweep up, coming into ungeniassana.

Soften the shoulders down your back, energize through your fingertips. And then let's take the hands behind the head so you're interlacing the fingers behind the back of your head, opening the elbows wide. And then just start to let the head rest back into your hands so you find this lift through the heart. Good. Taking a couple more breaths here to feel that expansion, breathing, beautiful.

And then let the arms come all the way back up. Lower the hands down, tuck your back toes, step back to downward facing dog. Good. And on your inhale, glide forward to plank pose, you're welcome to lower the knees down and lowering either halfway or all the way down, chaturanga, cobra, or maybe upward facing dog if you feel ready for that. And then roll over your toes, downward facing dog.

Just taking one big breath here through the nose, open the mouth, sigh it out. Good. Coming to the left side. From here, inhale your left leg all the way up and back. Exhale, draw your knee into your nose, rounding through the spine and then look forward, step your foot through between your hands.

Come on to your fingertips, inhale, lift up, exhale, round, draw the navel into your spine. Two more like that. Inhale, look up, lengthen, exhale, draw it in, rounding. Last one here, inhale, look up and lengthen and exhale, round, beautiful. And then lengthen out through your spine, keep your right hand down this time.

Maybe there's a block under that right hand. Keep the length in the spine as you start to rotate open to the left and then you can reach that left arm up, finding that lunge twist, breathing, taking a couple full deep breaths here. Good, and again, just hugging that left hip in and just finding that rotation from the belly button up. Last breath. Good.

And then maybe take that left arm over your ear, frame your front foot, lower your back knee down, sweep your arms up, Anjaliyasana. Front knee right over the ankle, sinking it down and then interlacing, let the head fall back into your hands, open the elbows wide, lift up and breathe. Last breath here, good, and then let the arms go, bring them down, downward facing dog. Inhale glide forward to plank pose, take the vinyasa if you'd like or feel free to skip it lowering Chaturanga, inhale cobra or upward facing dog, exhale downward facing dog. Good.

And then rise high up onto your toes, put a big bend in your knees, look forward, step to the front of the mat, finding a forward fold at the front of your mat, and then put a soft bend in your knees as you're in this fold, tuck your chin slightly and then rolling up one vertebra at a time, nice and slow, head heavy, coming to stand at the front of your mat. Good. And then as you get there, just reach your arms out to the side, take a big breath in, let the palms face up, you can soften the knees a little bit here. And then as you exhale, roll the shoulders forward so that the palms start to face forward, so that you're just flossing the shoulders as you inhale, lift up and lengthen. Good.

And then exhale, round the shoulders forward, let's do one more like that. Inhale lift up and then exhale, round back, good. And then reach your arms up over your head, take hold of your left wrist, take a big breath in to lengthen and then get really heavy in that left foot and just start to tilt over to your right. You can keep your gaze forward or maybe take the gaze up toward the ceiling, good. And then inhale, come back through center, take hold of the opposite wrist, press through that right foot, take a big breath in and then exhale, tilt to the left, beautiful.

Come back through center, step your feet together, just bringing your hands to your heart, nice. So moving through a few sun salutations here, when you're ready, inhale, sweep your arms all the way out and up, good. And then exhale, soft knees, hinge forward at the hips and fold, good. On an inhale, lift halfway up, Ardha Uttanasana, you can walk the hands on the shins or fingertips can stay on the earth. And then on this first one, bend your knees, step back to plank pose and then your choice, lower halfway or all the way down, Chaturanga, cobra or upward facing dog on your inhale.

And then exhale, downward facing dog, taking a big breath in through the nose, side out the mouth and just taking a couple more breaths here in down dog, good. On your next breath in, rise high up onto the toes, bend your knees, look forward, step or float to your hands, front of the mat, inhale, lift halfway, exhale, fold Uttanasana and then root down through your feet to rise up, inhale, arms sweep up and then exhale, bring your hands to your heart. Just one more round like that, inhale, arms sweep up, exhale, forward fold, Uttanasana, exhale come halfway up, offer the heart forward and then exhale, step or maybe lightly float back through Chaturanga this time, inhale, cobra or upward facing dog, draw the shoulders back, reach the heart forward, exhale, downward facing dog, take three full deep breaths here. I'm starting to feel that grounding energy through the heels and then on your next breath in, rise high up onto the toes, put a deep bend in the knees, look forward, step or lightly float to your hands, inhale, lift halfway up, exhale, fold into yourself and then root to rise up, inhale, arms sweep all the way up over your head, hands to your heart, exhale. Coming back to your center, coming back to your breath, taking a couple full breaths to check in and notice how you're feeling.

Notice that energy that's circulating, good and then we'll move into one version of Surya B. So, as you inhale, come down to chair pose, sink the weight back into your heels, sweep your arms up, draw your shin bones back, shoulders roll down, take a big breath in here and then exhale, fold down over your legs, Uttanasana, inhale, lift halfway up, offer the heart forward, take a vinyasa, step or lightly float back, Chaturanga, cobra or up dog on your inhale, third facing dog, exhale, beautiful. Inhale your right leg all the way up and back, good. Step the foot through between your hands, stay on the ball of your back foot, step the left foot to the left a little bit so that your feet are on train tracks here and not a tight rope and then reach the arms all the way up coming into crescent pose, soften through your back knee, let the front knee hang out over that front ankle, good and then reach your arms forward and just like how we started, take your left arm underneath, eagle arms, wrapping it up, good and then finding that spinal movement as you inhale, lift the elbows away from you and then as you exhale, draw the elbows in towards you and round through the spine. It's a little bit tough to balance here so if you come out of it, no worries, inhale, lift up and exhale, rounding in.

One more, inhale and exhale, so nice, inhale, reach your arms back up and then interlacing the hands behind the head, we'll create that pillow again with our hands, let the elbows open up nice and wide, let the head rest in your hands and just find that lift through your heart center, taking a couple of breaths, good and then let the elbows open up nice and wide, good and then letting your arms come all the way back up, hands lower down, step back, find plank pose, you can come right to down dog here if you'd like or take a vinyasa, chaturanga, inhale, cobra or upward facing dog, exhale, downward facing dog, beautiful, taking that to the left, inhale your left leg up, exhale, step your foot through between your hands, ball of the back foot, keep that front knee over the ankle, sweep the arms up, crescent lunge, soften through the back knee, sink it down and breathe, let the tailbone start to melt down toward that back heel and then arms in front of you, this time right arm underneath, wrap it up, eagle arms and then moving the spine here as you inhale, lift up, lengthen, exhale, draw the elbows in and round, definitely a balance play here, maybe a little shaking in that front leg, inhale, lift up and exhale, round, yeah, one more, inhale, lift up, exhale, rounding down, good and then release your arms, sweep the arms all the way back up, interlace, open the elbows, resting like you're laying on a beach and then arms can come up, looking up, breathing, just a couple breaths, good, maybe feeling a little bit of a burn in that front leg, I know I am, good and then reach your arms up and then hands come down, vinyasa if you'd like or skip it, if you've hit your chaturanga, whatever for the day, quota, then skip it and we'll move through, downward facing dog exhale, take a big breath in, side out, lower the knees down, big toes together, knees wide, find child's pose, letting the head rest down, hips back towards your heels, just take a moment to close the eyes to open the third eye and breathe, good and then slowly begin to walk your hands back towards you and then feel that roll up through the spine as you come to sit back on your heels and you might just take a look up here for a moment, I'm going to demo this and feel free to join me at any time, so I'm going to tuck my toes underneath me here, sit back on my heels with my toes tucked and then I'm going to start to take my left hand to my left ankle, so as you inhale the right arm is going to sweep across your face, you're going to lift your hips up, pressing the pelvis forward, reach your arm up and then take your gaze up towards the ceiling, good and then as you come back down we're going to hook onto the right ankle, keep your left arm up in front of your face and lift up, so coming into dancing camel poses, moving from side to side with your breath, join me whenever you'd like, as you inhale lift up, lengthen and then exhale lower, taking it to the other side, inhaling and exhaling, I'm just taking a few more on each side, inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale, one more, last one, inhaling lift up, good and then let that go, untuck your toes, sit back on your heels, take a moment and just notice how that feels, the yoga happens after the pose, so just checking in and noticing the residue of that movement, good and then we're going to come onto our backs, I'm just going to spin around here so you can see me better, so rolling down onto your back however you'd like to get there, walking your feet in towards you and then taking your ankles right under your knees, feet hips width, coming into rolling bridge poses, so start by pressing the hands down to the earth and then pressing through the soles of the feet evenly, as you inhale reach your arms up over your head, start to lift your hips up any amount as your arms come over your head and your chest comes towards your chin, good and then exhale rolling down and then just keeping that nice and fluid here, good, inhaling as you lift up, exhale lower, just taking a couple more, inhaling, exhale, last one, inhaling and lower down, exhale and then holding a bridge or a wheel you can press through the soles of the feet, let the shoulders come underneath you, maybe interlacing the fingers behind the back if you have a wheel in your practice and you want that here, feel free to take it and then make sure you're pressing into the inner feet as well as the outer feet, chest towards your chin just taking a couple more breaths here, good and then slowly release and see if you can roll down nice and slow one vertebra at a time and then start to windshield wiper the legs from side to side, just to release through the low back, you can bring the palms to face up on either side of your shoulders, knees to the right, inhale back through center, knees to the left, exhale, good and then hug your knees into your chest and just start to rock up to seated, so we'll meet there with the legs out in front of you, just sitting up high on your sitting bones, flexing through the feet, coming into a forward fold here, good as you inhale, reach your arms all the way up and then hinging forward at the hips, holding, leading with the heart, letting the hands fall wherever they fall, breathing here for a few full deep breaths, with every inhale finding length, with every exhale letting go a little bit more, so you're welcome to stay right here in Paschimottanasana in this forward fold or you might choose to take your legs up and over your head for plow pose, so if you're doing that you bring the hands to the earth, let the legs come up and over your head, either tucking the toes or pointing the toes back behind you, if you want to go a little deeper maybe the hands interlace behind the back, just rolling the shoulders underneath you, pressing the palms together if that's accessible for you, if not you can just let the hands relax down, and then from here slowly start to roll down, we're going to bring the palms of the hands down to the earth, taking my legs down nice and slow, my butt's going to land on the top of my hands and then the legs are going to straighten out, I'm going to bend the elbows and then slide onto the top of my head for fish pose, feel the opening in the heart, hugging the elbows in and just take a couple breaths to counterbalance, good and then slowly releasing the arms, lifting the head up and then hugging your knees back into your chest, just giving a little rock from side to side, massaging through the low back, and then taking your arms out on either sides of the shoulders, palms face up, let the soles of the feet come back down to the earth, knees a little or feet a little wider than your hips actually, and then take a big breath in here, as you exhale just let the knees drop to the right side, and you can keep your gaze straight up to the sky if that feels good, maybe take the gaze towards your left shoulder, finding an easy spinal twist for a few full deep breaths, good and then inhale bring your knees back through center, we'll take it to the other side, so dropping the knees to the left and then again if it feels okay in the neck you can gaze toward the right if that doesn't feel good, then gaze up toward the ceiling, with every inhale feel the length in the spine, with every exhale maybe twisting just a little bit more, feel that ringing out of the spine, good and then inhale come back through center, hug your knees back in one last time here, and then maybe take hold of the outsides of your feet opening up wide for happy baby softening through the low back as you come to happy baby, and then relax the shoulders as much as you can, see if you can soften the face a little bit the space behind the eyes, if it feels nice to rock from side to side feel free to do that or just stay right here, as much of the spine as you can on the earth is taking the knees back in and then straightening out the legs for shavasana our final resting pose, just letting the palms face up and see if you can roll the shoulders underneath you slightly and if it feels comfortable for you to close the eyes go ahead and close the eyes and just begin to let go of any effort in the body, the breath and the mind, let go, let be shavasana. Thanks. Thank you. Slowly begin to deepen your breath. Letting your next inhale be a little bit deeper than your last.

And begin to invite any movement back in. Fingers, toes, ankles, wrists. And then go ahead and reach your arms up over your head. Take a big breath in, pointing through the feet. Side out the mouth.

Bend the knees. Bring the soles of the feet to the earth. And then just gently make your way to seated, either rolling over to one side and pressing up. Or you can just rock up however you'd like to get there. And I'll meet you in a comfortable seat, gathering the hands together in front of your heart and bowing your head towards your hands in gratitude.

And just noticing any newfound freedom in the spine, in the body. And taking one more full deep breath in, and then let it go. Thank you so much for being here. Have a nice day.

Comments

Craig Killeen
This is exactly what I like, flowing, fastish pace and just long enough thanks
Sarah Beston
1 person likes this.
Hi Craig, I'm so happy this practice was a good fit for you. We are excited that this new show will include all 30-minute practices around this pace. All the best! Sarah
Ted J
4 people like this.
This was a great morning warm up. Really liked all the cat-cow variations and enjoyed the dancing camel pose (which was a new one for me).
Sarah Beston
1 person likes this.
Ted , thank you for practicing and glad you enjoyed the practice!
Ashley D
1 person likes this.
I liked this one although I didn't notice it was level 2 so I may wait to do it again when I am less of a newb. I did really enjoy the savasana at the end.
Sarah Beston
Hi Ashley Thanks so much for practicing and isn't savasana the best part? If you are looking for more beginner practices, you may check out our beginner's center here:
https://www.yogaanytime.com/Beginner-Yoga
All the best, Sarah
Alison L
2 people like this.
Sarah Beston : thank you for your thoughtful and balanced practices. Your ques are so clear and concise. I really love your style. Looking forward to more classes with you :)
Karolina M
1 person likes this.
Beautiful! Thank you Sarah .
Diane C
2 people like this.
Great class as always. Enjoyed the dancing camel!
Sarah Beston
Hi Alison! So glad you are here and so nice to be practicing together!
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