Flow Sweet Flow Artwork
Season 3 - Episode 6

Alignment Flow

30 min - Practice


Linda guides us through an alignment-based flow to dial in our foundation to our Vinyasa practice. With the support of a wall, we move through standing postures, finding stability in the legs and hips to allow for more freedom through the upper body. You will feel strong, aligned, and in your center.
What You'll Need: Mat, Wall, Block (2)

About This Video


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Namaste, welcome. We'll be doing an alignment-based flow today, really lighting up our whole body, feeling good inside and out, feeling strong. So we'll use two blocks. And if you have more foamy blocks, I recommend those. Start with one block and come to the front of your mat. Think about hip distance apart. You'll take the first block and just place it between your inner thighs. You want it to be at the narrowest level, right between your inner thighs, between your knees and your hips. Then take your arms out to the side and just gaze forward, soft focal point, palms face forward. And then just close your eyes once you feel rooted down through your feet and very gently squeeze the block with your inner thighs. Begin to feel your breath gently moving in and out through your nose only. And together, let's slow down the breath. So go ahead and exhale all the air out of your lungs and then slowly inhale for three, two, one, brief hold at the top. Exhale, three, two, one, brief hold at the bottom. Inhale, three, two, one, brief hold at the top. Exhale, three, two, one. Continue with that slow pace of breath on your own. And as you breathe, feel as though you're spreading through your feet. Big toe, second toe, third toe, fourth toe, fifth toe, balls of your feet and both edges of your heels rooting down. And as you push down through your feet, feel your legs light up even more. Maybe you feel your quadriceps lift above your knees and then squeeze your block a little bit more and feel like you could push your block behind you towards the back of your space. And then gently suck your belly in so your navel is slightly drawing towards your back body. And that just helps light up your core and ignites your body with a little bit more energy. And as you do that, feel the very bottom of your spine, your tailbone, move towards your heels. So you've got a lot of length through the sides of your waist here.

Keep your palms facing forward, root down through your middle fingers and feel your shoulders move down your back, broadening your chest. And then as everything feels strong and rooted in your body, feel the very top of your head lift up like there's a string on the top of your head just pulling your whole body up towards the ceiling. But at the same time, you continue to feel energy move down. So keep all of this and then inhale, reach your arms all the way over your head. Bring your palms together. Exhale, palms to the heart in prayer. Just moving with the breath a few times. Inhale, reach your arms all the way up. Exhale, palms to the heart in prayer. One more inhale, reach the arms up. Exhale, palms to heart in prayer. Close your eyes. A couple more breaths here. Feel your whole body alive. Let's take this with us throughout the rest of our practice. Go ahead and grab your second block. Keep the first block between your inner thighs. Grab your second block, take it between your hands and take it over your head.

So just a few breaths here to feel Urdhva Hastasana reaching the arms up. Shoulders plug in and then press your palms into this block as you squeeze your inner thighs into the block of your legs. Keep drawing your belly in. Lift up through your heart. Two more slow, steady breaths. Push into the block. Take one more inhale and then exhale. Fold forward over your legs. Hinge at your hips. Rest the block between your hands off to the side. Take the block from your thighs and move it. Stack both blocks on top off to the side and then just gently fold over your legs. Bend your knees as much as you need to. You can let your head hang. Maybe grab your elbows for a moment. Sway, side to side. And then release your hands down and flatten your palms. Bend your knees and just step back onto your hands and knees. So one knee back, then the other. And then pause here and find those same actions we did when we were in Tadasana Mountain Pose using the block. Squeeze your inner thighs together. Your knees will still be about hip distance apart so you could imagine there's a block there. Engage your belly and then gently reach your right leg back into the air parallel to the earth as best you can. Flex your right foot so the toes are down. Root through your right palm. Really spread through your right fingers. And then reach your left arm forward.

This is optional. So if you feel unsteady here, feel free to take your left hand back to the floor. Find your breath. Smooth and steady in and out through your nose. Balancing cat. Feel your right inner thigh very active as though it's still touching a block. Take a deep breath in and then exhale. Bring your knee in towards your body. Bring your left elbow in and then inhale. Reach your arm and leg back out. Exhale, elbow and knee towards each other. Inhale, reach back out. Inhale, reach back out. You can do this just with the knee as well. Exhale, bring it in. Inhale, bring it out. Two more. Exhale, feeling the breath. Inhale, reach back out. Exhale, bring it in.

Inhale, bring it out. Lower your left hand down. Lower your right knee down. Breathe child's pose just to get a little break off your hands for a moment. So your hips are towards your heels. Rest your forehead towards the mat. Maybe bend your elbows circle around your wrists a couple times. And come back up. Hands and knees. Again, feel your inner thighs turn on. Feel your belly turn on. Lift your left leg straight back into the air. Pause there. Feel like you could press your left foot into the back wall. That's really going to fire up your left leg. Option to reach the right arm forward. Pinky side of the hand down. Root through your left palm a lot. Really feel your left shoulder plug into the shoulder socket. Take a deep breath in. Exhale, elbow and knee together. Inhale, lengthen back out. Exhale, bring it in. Inhale, reach it out. Three more. Exhale, bring it in. Inhale, reach out. Exhale.

Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Right hand to the floor. Left knee down. Gently tuck your toes. Lift your knees. Lift your hips. Downward facing dog. You may want to adjust here. Maybe take your feet a little bit wider apart. That can open up some more space in your hamstrings. Maybe keep your knees bent. And then pause and just feel once again. Feel your belly turn on. Hug your belly in towards your spine. Even here, feel your inner thighs slightly drawing towards each other as though there's a block or a ball between your legs. And strong arms as you root down through your palms. Push into your mat and feel your shoulders really plug in as your heart extends towards the mat. A couple more breaths here. Smooth inhales. Long exhales. Gently lower your knees to the floor. Come all the way onto your belly. Grab one block and place it back between your inner thighs. And again, at the narrow level, and it'll just touch the floor and you'll squeeze it with your inner thighs. Bring your hands right by your ribs. And then inhale. Lift your chest for cobra squeezing your block. About five breaths here. Draw your shoulders away from your ears and really feel how when you squeeze that block, it turns your legs on again. So the more you can engage your legs here, the more you can then extend and lift through your chest. You're also going to protect your lower back. Take one more inhale and then exhale lower down. Rest your chin for a moment. Slide your hands off onto the wood high on your fingertips. Taking a few wide cobras, elbows point up. Inhale. Lift your chest. Squeeze your block. Exhale. Lower back down. Two more. Inhale. Lift your chest. Exhale. Lower down. One more. Inhale. And exhale. Take your hands back by your ribs and then gently tuck your toes. Push onto your hands and knees. Go ahead and move that block off to the side again and we'll move back into downward facing dog. Maybe keep the knees bent.

Two more breaths here. So the breath becomes this rhythm in our practice to keep us grounded in our bodies, to keep us present and alive with energy. And then gently walk your feet forward to your hands. Come halfway up on your inhale. Fingers can come up your shins and then exhale. Fold forward again. Inhale all the way to standing. Flat back. Reach your arms to the sky. Exhale. Palms to the heart in prayer. Let's move through some sun salutations. The A version, also known as Surya Namaskar A, will break it down for the first one and then we'll move with the breath. So find your tadasana with your hands at your heart, your mountain pose. Imagine that block still between your inner thighs. Inhale. Reach your arms all the way up. Engage your belly. Exhale. Dive forward. Maybe swan dive. Arms out. Bend your knees if you need to. Inhale. Halfway up. Fingers up your shins. Exhale. Fold and round. Gently step back to downward facing dog.

So both feet step back and from here lower your knees. Shift your shoulders over your wrists and we'll do a modified vinyasa. So you may want to even walk your knees back a little bit more and then shift your shoulders even more forward as though your shoulders are right over your fingertips. Take an inhale. Exhale. Slow lower all the way to your belly. Your elbows scrape the sides of your body. Flatten your feet. Inhale. Cobra. Lift your chest. Exhale. Lower back down. Tuck your toes as you inhale. Exhale. Back to down dog. Stay on your knees until you feel comfortable to lift them. Take three breaths here. Strong arms. Engage your inner thighs. Smooth inhales and exhales. And gently walk your feet forward to your hands.

Inhale. Halfway up. Fingers up your shins. Exhale. Fold and round. Inhale. All the way up. Engage your belly as you rise. Arms up. Exhale. Palms to prayer at the heart. Again. Inhale. Reach up. Exhale. Dive forward and fold. Maybe keep the prayer. Lots of ways to fold. Inhale. Halfway up. And then exhale. Fold. Step back to downward dog. Gently lower the knees. Inhale. Shift forward. Engage your belly. Exhale. Slow lower down.

Elbows scrape the body. Inhale. Cobra. Lift your chest. Exhale. Lower back down. Tuck your toes. Stay on your knees. Inhale. Slow push up. Back up. And exhale to downward facing dog. Three breaths here again. So you may start to feel how your body is starting to create more space through your breath, through your movement. Slowly walk your feet forward. No rush. Halfway up as you inhale. Fingers up your shins. Exhale. Fold forward. Inhale. Slow rise. Reach up through your arms.

Exhale. Palms to the heart. One more round. Inhale. Reach up. Exhale. Forward fold. Inhale. Halfway lift. Exhale. Fold. Step back to downward dog. Lower your knees. Shift forward. Shoulders over fingers. Inhale. Exhale. Lower slow. Inhale. Cobra. Shoulders away from the ears. Lift heart. Exhale. Lower. Inhale. Tuck your toes. Push up slowly. Plank. And then exhale. Back to downward facing dog.

Let's take a brief child's pose if you need it. Lower your knees. You can stay in downward dog if you'd like. Otherwise, sit back towards your heels. Rest your forehead. You might even place your forehead on a block if it doesn't touch the floor. And take about three more really slow, deep breaths. You can feel the breath move into your ribs and into your hips. Come back up slowly. Downward dog. Walk your feet to your hands. Halfway lift. Inhale. Exhale. Fold. Inhale. Rise. Reach through your arms. Exhale. Palms to your heart center. Let's take three breaths here again in mountain pose. Mountain pose is really the foundation of our practice. And when you can feel the energy of this pose light up in your whole body, it will serve you in almost every other pose. It'll also serve you when you're standing in line at the grocery store or just walking through life. A couple more breaths. So just taking another moment here, feeling your breath.

Maybe close your eyes. Bring your awareness inward. And now that we've really tuned into our body and our breath, let's just pick up the pace a little bit with some standing poses and start to maybe get a little more strength going on. So go ahead and step your right foot back. Your left toes will point towards the front of your mat. Bend your left knee. Try to get it as close as you can right over the ankle. It's okay if it's back a little bit and take your arms out to the side where you're to. Your right toes are slightly angled forward. And then find your breath. And with each exhale, maybe sink like a centimeter deeper. You don't have to go too deep here. Listen to your body. Do your best to get your torso upright so you're not leaning too far forward. Rib cage right over your hips. Engage your belly just like we did in Tadasana. Pull your belly in. Feel your tailbone move towards the floor. And then your feet are pretty wide apart now, but can you imagine that you're sucking a block between your inner thighs and starting to really hug the center of your body? That'll help light up your legs a little bit more. Broad shoulders. Couple more breaths. I know we've been here for a while. Stay with it. And gently straighten your left leg. Pivot your feet. So now your left toes come in. Your right toes go towards the back edge of the mat. Bend your right knee and then pause. So your choice, how deep you go here. Listen. Breathe. Same thing. Imagine your legs are hugging towards each other. That's really going to fire up your legs. Belly draws in. There's a tendency to sway the back here. So really draw your belly in. Feel your tailbone move towards the floor. Lift tall through your heart, the top of your head. And traditionally we gaze over the right fingers, but I even like keeping the gaze forward sometimes. So it's up to you. Couple more slow deep breaths. And then gently straighten your right leg. Take your hands to your hips and just heel toe your feet towards each other. So you've got this wall here to help you balance. We'll move into tree pose. Keep your right foot down. Keep your hands on your hips for stability and take your left foot to your ankle. Maybe the toes just hang out on the floor. Maybe you touch your calf.

Maybe you even pull it up and bring it to your inner thigh. Try to avoid your knee cup. You've got the wall there if you need it. Take your hand to the wall if you need to. And breathe. So we just open the hips in warrior two. We're just getting a little more open rotation in the hips, which is really good. Most of us have tight hips and need that little extra opening. Keep breathing. Belly in. Root down through your right foot. Maybe your hands come to your heart. Palms together. Two more breaths. The more you root down, the more you light up your standing leg. And then gently release. Left foot down. Switch sides. Hands to hips to start. That's always my favorite way. Right foot comes to either ankle, calf, or inner thigh. Pretty much whatever you did on the other side. Soft, steady gaze. Slow, balanced breaths. So in balancing poses, I find that the breath creates the balance. So if your inhales and your exhales are even in length, that adds a lot of steadiness to the pose. Keep firing up your muscles. Root down through your left foot. Lift up through your chest. Shoulders down. Two more breaths. And gently release. Right foot down. Okay. Go ahead and grab your blocks. Place them on your mat.

Just kind of a couple feet behind the front edge of your mat. And then we're going to go ahead and come into a downward dog. So just come into downward dog, like a shorter version of downward dog. Place your right heel on the wall. Okay. And then step your left foot forward so you're in a lunge. You want your left knee over your ankle. That's when you come onto your blocks. Okay. So grab your blocks. Push your right heel back into the wall. And this is a lunge pose. We do this in a lot of our vinyasa practices. So really feeling the alignment here. And then imagine that your legs, your inner thighs could kind of suck together again. So you're really feeling that internal rotation that hugs the center of the body. And you can stay here, engage your belly, or reach the arms all the way up for a crescent pose. And breathe. One more breath. And then lower hands back down. Gently switch sides. You can stay on your blocks if you feel stable. Feel free to just bring the left foot back and step the right foot forward.

And then hover. Hug the center of your body. Strong lift in your belly. Heart reaches forward. Keep all of that. Maybe take your arms up. Full crescent pose. Breathe. Soft, steady gaze. Tailbone towards the floor. Belly in. Squeeze the inner thighs towards each other. Two more breaths. And then gently lower the hands back down. Let's move the blocks off to the side. And then gently press back. So you're in downward dog with your heels on the wall. And just push your heels into the wall. Engage your belly and feel the weight shift back a little bit more into your legs. Keep your inner thighs turned on, hugging an imaginary block. Couple more breaths.

Now bring your left foot forward, right, kind of behind your hands here. Grab your blocks again. Take them to the tallest level. And then you'll come onto your blocks and you'll lift your right leg, stamp your right foot into the wall. Worry your three at the wall. Pause. Now come a little bit higher up on your blocks. Reach your chest forward. Push your right foot back into the wall. Reach your left foot down. And again, fire up your inner thighs. The action of your inner thighs stabilizing your whole body. Belly draws in. Flat back. Couple more breaths. You're certainly welcome to play with balancing here. Maybe hands come to heart. Gently release. You'll walk your hands back down. Bring your right foot off the wall. Put the right heel on the wall. Back to your downward dog. Step your left foot back. Switch sides. Step the right foot forward. And then come high onto your blocks. So you kind of have to play with the alignment here. You want to feel like you can create a nice L shape with your legs. Left foot up on the wall.

Left leg almost parallel to the earth. Reach your heart forward. Engage your belly. Push your left foot into the wall. Feel your left inner thigh turn on, spiraling up. Couple more breaths. Shoulders away from your ears. Strong, steady right leg. Most of the time we don't feel this pose correctly in our body. So when we do, it feels a little different and definitely more challenging. One more breath. And then go ahead and release your hands off the blocks. You can move the blocks off to the side. Step your left foot forward to meet your right foot. Come halfway up on your inhale. And then exhale. Fold over your legs. Take your feet a little wider than hip distance. Toes out. Heels in. Go ahead and squat into malasana or squat pose. So if this is too much for your knees or your hips, you're welcome to sit on a block, maybe even two blocks. Your heels certainly don't have to touch the floor. And then you can let your arms just kind of reach forward, touch the floor, or come to the heart in prayer. Couple breaths here. Tall spine. So as you sit here, just feel the very top of your head lift up. Shoulders gently pull back. Tailbone moves down. Couple more slow, deep breaths. Into your hips. Into your lower back. And then gently release. We'll go ahead and just take the hands forward for a moment. If you're on blocks, move them off to the side. Sit down onto your mat. Maybe one hand forward, one hand back to get you down there. Shift towards the wall. Scoot your hips all the way up to the wall. Now, depending on the flexibility of your hamstrings, you may have your hips a little further away from the wall. So if you're a little more tight and the hamstrings maybe start a little further away from the wall, you'll flip your legs all the way up towards the wall, heels touch, and then come on to your back. Legs up the wall pose. So restorative for the body.

Really helps set the alignment for your whole spine. And it also opens up the hamstrings. So if you're not feeling much of a stretch, you might scoot yourself a little bit closer to the wall. Your hips could be right up against the wall, really. And then your arms come alongside your body. Palms face up, shoulders melt down, your back away from your ears. Gently close your eyes. Feel your breath. And with each exhale, allow your body to become more heavy. With each exhale, allow your body to become more still.

And as you lie here, let go of any control over your body or your breath. Let gravity do the work. So from here gently start to bend your knees, place your feet on the wall, roll over towards your left side, press yourself up. We'll come into a comfortable seat to close our practice. If you want to take traditional shavasana on your back, you're more than welcome to. Comfortable cross-legged position, bring your hands together at your heart in prayer. Close your eyes. Bow your chin down towards your palms and take a moment to feel grateful that you made it to your mat today.

And thank yourself for honoring your body, slowing down your breath, and most importantly, making a connection to your spirit. Please take one more slow, easy breath. Enjoy the rest of your day. Namaste.


Senada S
Beautiful practice, feel refreshed 😃
Linda Baffa
Ahhhh... Yay Senada ! So glad you enjoyed the practice, and nice to virtually meet you! Namaste :)
Kate M
Genius sequence! So effective - so economically and well thought-out! Feels wonderful...
Sandra Židan
Great practice, Linda! Thanks!

Linda Baffa
1 person likes this.
Sandra Thanks for the feedback! So glad you enjoyed it!  

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