30-Minute Yoga Flows Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 6

Sweetheart Flow

30 min - Practice
137 likes

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Sarah shares a heart-opening Vinyasa flow practice to invite a wave of compassion through the body, heart, and mind. With an emphasis on deep lunges and backbending postures, we find opening and space in the shoulders, hips, thighs, and spine. You will feel open and aware.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Welcome back. Thank you for being here. So we're going to move through a heart opening practice with some backbends to invite in some compassion. So meet me in a seated position and we'll start in Sukhasana. So just find a comfortable seat and we'll just start by finding our breath. So taking a big breath and just sweep your arms up over your head and then draw your hands into your heart center on your exhale. So let's do that a few times. You might even close the eyes if that feels safe for you. Taking a big breath in, hands to your heart. One more to arrive. Inhale. Hands to your heart. Then meet me on all fours. So we'll come to a tabletop position. Bringing your shoulders over your wrists, your hips over your knees. As you inhale, let the heart melt between your hands. Lift your gaze. Invite an arch in the spine and then exhale, rounding, tucking the tailbone, pressing the floor away, opening up the back of your heart here. Again, inhale, let the heart melt forward and then exhale, draw it in. One more like that. Inhale, let the heart melt forward between your hands. Lift your gaze and then draw the navel in and round. Good. And then from here, one forearm at a time. We're going to bring the forearms down to the earth. So the shoulders are right over your elbows and you're spreading the fingers nice and wide and you can take your gaze between your thumbs. And then one leg at a time, just stretch the legs back behind you, tucking the toes, bringing your hips in line with your shoulder blades and then start to look forward. Draw the navel into the spine so you're engaging your core and find forearm plank here, committing to five full deep breaths. You're always welcome to lower the knees if you'd like. Otherwise staying here for four, three, two, and one. Good. Slowly lower your hips all the way down to the earth. Walk your hands forward slightly coming to Sphinx pose. And again, pressing through all 10 fingers, press into the tops of the feet and just find that nice opening through your heart center here, drawing the heart and sternum forward. Good. Taking a couple breaths, keep the legs nice and active. Yeah. And then you can start to lift up if that feels okay, pressing through the hands, lifting the elbows up off the earth and then lower all the way down to the earth. Good. Take your hands behind your back and then interlace the fingers behind the back. Start to draw the shoulders away from your ears and just peel the chest up off the earth any amount.

Keep the chin slightly tucked. Good. And keep the length in the spine and then lower all the way back down. From here, take the hands and interlace them behind the head, elbows nice and wide. And then same idea, we'll press into the feet, hug the ankles together, keep the legs active, start to peel your chest up off the earth any amount. And then looking forward, find length in the spine, take a big breath in. Good. And then lower all the way back down to the earth. Nice job. Bring your hands to your side waist. And then again, we'll come onto our forearms. So coming back into Sphinx pose and then tucking your toes, firming the thighs, lift your hips up, come back to forearm plank, reach the heart forward. Good. And then one hand at a time, come onto your hands, lift your hips up and back, downward facing dog. And then taking any movement here in your first downward facing dog, maybe peddling it out a few times, shaking the head yes and no. If that feels good, maybe the hips sway a bit from side to side. On your next breath in, glide forward to plank pose, find the top of a pushup again, and then lower your knees down to the earth. Sink your hips back into child's pose for a moment. Let the head rest down, keep the arms nice and active. And then on your next breath in, come up to all fours, start to bend the elbows, bring your chin and your chest down to the earth so the heart comes forward. And then slide into a cobra pose, hug the elbows in, press through the feet and lift up any amount. Good. And then exhale, lower back, come back to your knees, tuck your toes, downward facing dog. So just moving with that a few times, inhale, glide forward to plank pose, lower the knees, come to child's pose on your exhale. Come up to all fours, bring the chin and the chest down to the earth, keep your hips lifted and then glide through low cobra, hug the elbows in, lift up, and then exhale, come back to downward facing dog. Good. One more like that. Inhale, glide forward to plank pose, exhale, child's pose, come up to all fours, knees, chest, chin, and then inhale, cobra. If it feels okay, you might come up into upward facing dog this time. And then exhale, downward facing dog. Take a couple breaths here. On your next breath in, reach your right leg up to the sky, bend your knee and open up your hip. Good. And then straighten out the legs. We're going to step the right foot through between your hands. From here, keep the left hand down, sweep the right arm up and twist to the right. Hug your right hip in, take a couple full deep breaths here. Find that movement from the belly button up so you're isolating the rib cage. Good. Take a big breath in and then exhale, lower the hand down, lower your back knee down. Keep your front knee stacked right over your ankle and then reach your arms up. Good. From here, interlace the fingers behind your back or excuse me, behind your head and then let your head rest in your hands, opening up the elbows nice and wide. And then just feel that opening through the heart center and breathe. Good. And then bring your arms all the way back up to the sky. Let your hands come down on either side of your front foot and then just straighten through that front leg. Come on to your right heel, take a big breath and reach the heart forward. Exhale, fold, holding here for a couple breaths and keeping the hips even, keep drawing that right hip back, keep your toes nice and active. Good. And then inhale, rebend through your front leg, plant your palms, step back to downward facing dog. Inhale, glide forward to plank pose, lower the knees down and then bring your chin and your chest down to the earth. Good. Glide through either staying with that low cobra or maybe upward facing dog. Good. And then exhale back, downward facing dog. Inhale your left leg up and back, bend your knee and open up your hip. And then step your foot all the way through between your hands. Keep your right hand down and then this time sweep the left arm up and twist. Taking a couple full deep breaths here. Good. And then when you're ready, lowering the left hand down, lower the back knee down, sweep your arms forward and up on Jani Asana. Good. And then interlacing the fingers, let the hands come behind your head and then rest your head into your hands, open the elbows wide and breathe.

Lifting through the heart center, maybe taking the gaze up toward the ceiling. Good. And then release your arms, bring them back up, bring your hands back down to the earth, tuck your back toes, step back, exhale, downward facing dog. Inhale forward to plank pose, lower your knees, your chin and your chest. Inhale cobra, maybe upward facing dog. And then exhale roll over the toes, downward facing dog. Taking a couple breaths here as you land. And on your next breath in, rise high up onto your toes, put a big bend in your knees, step or lightly float to your hands, coming to the front of the mat. Inhale, lift the heart, come halfway up. Exhale, fold into yourself and then root down to rise all the way up. Inhale, arms sweep up, hands to your heart. Exhale, just close your eyes for a moment and feel the heart beating in your chest. Moving through some classical sun salutations, inhale sweep your arms all the way up. Exhale, hinge forward at the hips and fold. Keep the knees soft as you fold. Step your left foot to the back of the mat, lower your back knee down and just come onto your fingertips for a moment. Lift the heart and then right back to plank pose, flatten out the palms, step back, lower the knees, chin and chest down. Inhale cobra or upward facing dog. Exhale, downward facing dog. Reach your left leg up and back. Inhale, exhale, step it through. Let the back knee lower down, come onto your fingertips, lift the heart. And then this time step to a forward fold at the front of the mat. Root down to rise all the way up to stand. Inhale, arms sweep up. Bring your hands to your heart, exhale. Good, coming to the right side. Inhale, arms sweep up. Exhale, fold down over your legs. Step your right foot to the back of the mat, let the back knee lower, come onto the fingertips, lift through the heart center. And then come right back to plank pose. Lower knees, chest and chin. Reach the heart forward as you come to cobra or upward facing dog. And then exhale, come back to downward facing dog. Inhale, the right leg up. Exhale, step it through. Lower the back knee down, come onto your fingertips, inhale. Forward fold, front of the mat, exhale. Root to rise all the way up to stand. And then draw your hands to your heart. Breathe. One more round, adding on just a bit. Inhale, arms sweep up. Exhale, hinge forward and fold. Step your left foot to the back of the mat. Lower the back knee down. This time take the hands and interlace them behind the head like we did before. Elbows wide, heart lifts. Good. And then hands come down to the earth. Plank pose this time, maybe lowering halfway down, chaturanga. Cobra or upward facing dog on your inhale. Downward facing dog, exhale. Inhale your left leg, sweep it up. Exhale, step through. Stay on the ball of your back foot this time. Maybe step the right foot to the right a little bit. And then coming up to crescent pose, sweep your arms up, soften through the back knee and breathe. Good. Holding here for just a couple of full deep breaths.

Good. Take a big breath in. Maybe look up, maybe press the palms together. And then exhale, hands come down. Maybe lift that right leg into a standing split. Lowering the torso down and then stepping the right foot to meet the left. Folding forward. Good. Inhale, to rise all the way up to stand. Bring your hands to your heart. Exhale. Last side. Inhale, arms sweep up. Exhale, hinge forward at the hips and fold. Step the right foot back, lower the back knee down. Sweep your arms up this time. Interlace, bring them behind the head, lift through the chest, open up the elbows. Shine the heart up toward the sky and breathe. Good. Reaching your arms all the way up. And then hands come down. Step back, plank pose. Again, maybe there's a vinyasa. You're welcome to lower the knees or skip it all together. Cobra or upward facing dog on the inhale. Downward facing dog, exhale. Inhale, the right leg up. Exhale, step it through. Stay on the ball of the back foot. Sweep the arms up. Front pose. Soften through the back knee. Let the tailbone melt down and breathe. Energize through the fingertips and just feel that space cross the collarbones. Good. And then take a big breath in. Maybe press the palms together. Hands come down. Maybe there's a standing split at the front of the mat, lifting the right leg up. Torso lowers. And then forward fold. Root to rise. Inhale, arms sweep all the way out and up. And draw your hands to your heart. Exhale. Again, closing the eyes and just checking in with the heart beating in the chest. Good. And then gently opening the eyes. Inhale, come to chair pose, utkatasana.

Sweep your arms up over your head. Good. And then catch your hands behind your back as you fold forward. This time, interlacing the fingers. Let the torso drape down. Feel a nice stretch in this fold. Good. And then release your arms down. Inhale, lift halfway up. Offer the heart forward. And then taking a vinyasa, you can step or maybe lightly float back through chaturanga, cobra or up dog on your inhale. And then downward facing dog on your exhale. Good. And then inhale the right leg up, bend your knee, open up your hips. So you're welcome to stay right here or start to shift the weight forward so the shoulders come over your wrists and then step the right foot behind you, flipping your dog and reaching that right arm over your ear. Good. Lifting through the heart. Take a big breath in and then exhale, unravel, come back to a three leg dog, reaching the right leg up to the sky. Draw your right knee to your left tricep, crossing your body, either staying right here and breathing, or you can thread the right leg through coming onto the knife edge of your right foot and then spin to the heel of your back foot. Take the weight into your right hand and reach your left arm up, fallen triangle, either keeping that left arm straight up to the sky or you can lift it over your ear and breathe. Good. And then look down, bring your left hand down, draw your right knee into your nose, rounding through the upper back and step your foot through between your hand. Good. And then start to heel toe your right foot to the right a few times, taking the hands on the inside of your front foot for lizard pose. So you can stay right here if this feels like enough for you. Maybe the back knee lowers down and you might lower the forearms down. There might be a block under your forearms. Good. So just coming to your edge, there's lots of options here, finding what feels right for you today. And then just playing with the edge without stepping over. There's that fine line. Good. So you might stay right here, maybe bend through your back leg. You might walk back up on your hands to get there and then take your right hand to your left foot, kicking the foot into the hand, start to rotate the chest open. And if you have a little bit more range here, you can come down onto your forearm, just go slow and then find the nice quad stretch here, opening, shining the heart open toward this sun over here, taking a couple of breaths. Good. And then slowly release that wherever you are. We'll crawl back up onto the hands, heel toe the foot back to center, and then just counterbalance straighten out through that front leg, finding Arda Hanuman folding over the front leg. If you want to slide into the full version here, you might take Hanumanasana for a couple of breaths and just breathe wherever you are. And then coming out of there, we'll re-bend through the front leg, step back to Downward Facing Dog. If you want the vinyasa, of course, feel free to take it. I'll meet you in Downward Facing Dog. Take a big breath in here and let it go. So we'll come to the left side. So inhale, sweep the left leg up and back, bend your knee to open the hip. You can stay right here and breathe or start to shift the weight forward, shoulders come over the wrists, step that left foot behind you, lift the chest up, flipping your dog, reaching that left arm back. Take a breath and then unravel, come back, three-leg Downward Facing Dog. Draw your left knee to your right tricep, hover in the top of a push-up. You can stay right here or start to thread the left leg through, spin onto the heel of your back foot. Take the weight into your left hand and reach your right arm up, maybe gazing toward your right fingertips. Maybe that right arm comes up and over your ear. So from here, start to bring your gaze down, bring your right hand back down to the earth and then draw your left knee to your nose rounding through the upper back, step your foot through between your hands and then lizard on the left side. So you can heel toe that left foot to the left a few times, hands on the inside of your left leg and then your choice. You can stay right here, maybe the back knee lowers, maybe the forearms lower, maybe you hang out here and breathe. If you're coming into that quad stretch, I like to come back up onto my hands to bend through that top leg or the right leg and then take the left arm back, hold onto your foot and then use that to open up through that left shoulder and then maybe lower the forearm back down to the earth. Take a few breaths, go ahead and then slowly release, walk back up onto your hands, heel toe the foot toward the center of your mat, hands frame your front foot and then straighten through the front leg, draw the left hip back, find length in your spine, either Ardha Hanamanasana or if you'd like you can slide forward into Hanamanasana. Letting the back knee roll under and then see if you can find that lift through the heart center. A few more breaths here, go ahead and then however you'd like to get out of there, we'll come back, find the lunge and then simply stepping back to down dog, take the vinyasa if you'd like, meeting me back in downward facing dog and then lower your knees down and then from here just keeping the hips right over your knees for a moment, walk your hands forward and then let the chest start to melt down toward the earth for heart opening pose. Forehead down, maybe the chin comes down and just breathe. Good and then walk your hands back in, finding child's pose and maybe wrapping the hands back behind you, letting the forehead rest down on the earth and just take a couple breaths, sending the breath to the back of the heart. We'll come into a pinch of prep here. So coming to dolphin pose, start to roll your way up and we'll come at it from tabletop. So coming into tabletop, bringing the forearms back down like how we started, bringing the shoulders right over the elbows, pressing through all 10 fingers and taking your gaze between your thumbs again and then tucking your toes underneath you, start to lift your hips up like you're coming into downward facing dog on your forearms and then any amount, start to walk the toes in toward you so the hips start to come right up over your shoulders. You can stay right here and breathe, maybe taking 10 full deep breaths, building the strength in the shoulders here or if you'd like, maybe you lift one leg up to the sky. As you do that, see what it feels like to take a little bit of weight into the forearms, maybe even start to gaze forward between your thumbs and then just shifting the weight back and forth a few times and then lowering the right foot down. We'll come to the other side, lift the left leg up and then look forward, light on the toes, a little bit of weight into the forearms. Good and then lower the foot down, lower the knees down and child's pose. Taking a couple breaths here, let that go and then we can roll up whenever you're ready and just sit back on your heels, bring your hands to the tops of your thighs and just take a notice. How does that feel? Where does that land? It's the echo of the posture. Coming into camel pose, bring your hands down, tuck your toes underneath you and then step your knees to about hips width apart. Then from here we'll stand up on our knees and just start by bringing your hands to your low back. You can take the fingers face up or face down, whatever feels better for you. Just feel that support in your low back and let your hips melt down right over your knees. Good and then from here just start to find that lift through the heart. Think of this as a heart opening, lifting through the upper back rather than trying to dump back into the low back.

So you really want to just feel that heart lifting up to the sky and maybe this is where you stay right here. If at any point it feels okay to keep everything stacked and bring the hands down towards your ankles or your heels, you're welcome to do that. Maybe the gaze is straight up, maybe you start to drop the head back. Good and then bring your hands back to your low back, lift from your core and come all the way back up. Good, release the feet, sit back down on your heels and just notice for a moment. Good and then we'll come onto our backs. So I'll spin around here, meeting you on your backs with your heels right under your knees. So walking your heels in toward you and then you can reach down with your fingertips and just kind of brush the backs of your heels for a moment. Good and then from here coming into wheel, you're welcome to stay with bridge if you'd like. Otherwise bringing your hands back by your ears, flipping your fingers behind you and then hugging the elbows in, I'm going to come onto the crown of my head first. So pushing up onto the very top of my head and then keep the elbows hugged in. Start to press through the soles of the feet and lift up any amount. Straightening the arms, letting the knees go forward, let the heart go toward the wall behind you. Taking a few breaths here. Good and then tuck your chin, slowly lower all the way down. Take your feet as wide as your mat. Let the knees knock into touch and just take a couple breaths, releasing through the low back and just noticing how that feels and where that lands in the body. Nice and then rocking your way back up to seated and we'll come into a version of Janu Sarsasana. So I'm going to face you here. I'm bringing the left foot in and letting my right leg go long. So I'm bending through the left knee and the sole of the foot is to the earth. I'm going to take my right hand to my ankle and then reach the left arm up and over my ear and you could stay right here. This might feel like enough or any amount, start to tilt over toward your leg. You might even catch hold of that foot and then let the heart spin up toward the ceiling. Taking a couple breaths here and then on your next breath in, come on up and notice. Good and then we'll come to the other side. So bending through the right leg, let the left leg go long. Good and then I'm going to take my left hand to my right ankle, reach my right arm up, take a big breath in and then tilting any amount. Keep the right sitting bone down and then maybe holding onto the foot, maybe finding that spin so the heart starts to lift up toward the ceiling. Nice and then as you're ready, inhale come all the way back up and they'll bring both legs out in front of us, sitting up nice and high on the sitting bones, flexing the feet and then this time just bending your knees, hugging your arms under your knees and resting your heart and your chest on your thighs and just relax the head, the shoulders, your neck, maybe even bringing the forehead to your knees and then you can straighten the legs any amount. It's taking more of a supported and restorative forward fold. Super nice and then slowly roll up, come onto your back for Shavasana. So you can let the legs open up wide. If you want to get into the hips a little bit, you might bring the soles of the feet together and let the knees open up for your Shavasana. Whatever feels nice for you, maybe one hand to the heart, checking in with your heartbeat, one hand to the belly and then just inviting in this quality of sweetness, compassion, love, self-love.

Okay, When you're ready, just inviting any movement back in, maybe the fingers, the toes, maybe reaching the arms up over your head and lengthening out through the toes, taking a big breath in, side out the mouth. You're welcome to stay in Shavasana longer if you'd like, otherwise go ahead and roll your way up to seated and we'll meet there. So coming to a comfortable cross-leg seated position and gathering your hands in Anjali Mudra at your heart center, bowing your head towards your hands in gratitude, just bowing to the teacher within, the light within. Thank you so much for practicing with me today. Thank you for being here.

Namaste.

Comments

Lori
1 person likes this.
I love this series of dynamic, short practices. I am finding them especially perfect for workday mornings when I have limited time. Thank you, Sarah.
Lucie B
2 people like this.
I really enjoyed this and have some things to work on
Sarah Beston
Hi Lori! I am so happy this collection of shorter practices is working for you! I agree that these 30 minute practices can be a great start to the day. All the best!
Sarah Beston
Hi Lucie! So happy to hear and thanks so much for practicing with me on Yoga Anytime!
Diane C
H Sarah! I enjoyed this very energizing and opening class. Great for first thing in the am! Namaste!
Sarah Beston
1 person likes this.
Hi Diane! I am so happy to hear that this was an energizing practice for you! Thank you for letting me know and happy to be practicing together!
Tesa Urbonaite Dunn
Very nice! I really appreciated all your suggested modifications. I also liked the mindfulness for each asana:) Thank you.
Sarah Beston
Hi Tesa Urbonaite Dunn, I am happy to hear the modifications worked for you. So nice to be practicing together here on Yoga Anytime!
Simon ?
Feeling expanded after this. Grateful for your inspiring grace.
Sarah Beston
1 person likes this.
Hi Simon! How is your summer going? So happy this left you with an expansive feeling and wishing you all the best!
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