Flow Sweet Flow Artwork
Season 3 - Episode 4

Self Love Flow

35 min - Practice
94 likes
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Linda shares a practice to inspire an open and receptive heart. We move slowly and mindfully to invite a flow of ease and self-compassion. You will fee more space and freedom from the inside out.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Namaste. Welcome to your practice. This is one of my favorite ways to practice. It's all about you today. This is to fill your cup, to bring love in for yourself. There's a quote that says, you yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserves your love and affection. So let's begin by opening the heart. You'll want two blocks for this practice and a strap. We'll use the two blocks. You don't have to have a strap, but it would be nice. So we'll stack the first block at the middle level and the second block at the lower level and you want them yay distance apart. We'll come into Supta Baddha Konasana with the blocks. The soles of the feet come together and then you'll lie down with your shoulder blades kind of upper back right on that first block and then your head will land on that second block. So this just helps puff up the chest and then you let your arms come out to the side, palms up, very receptive energy here. If this is too much on your hips, you're certainly welcome to just straighten your legs and do the same thing. Just stay with that open heart on the blocks. Okay. And then as you settle in here, let's just start to feel the breath. Exhale all the air out of your lungs. Slow inhale, fill up your belly, your ribs and your heart. Hold your breath in. Exhale out your mouth. Again, slow breath in, fill up belly, fill up your ribs, fill up your heart. Open your mouth. Exhale, let it go. One more like that. Deep breath in, fill up, expand. Open your mouth, let it go. A few more rounds of breath here, in and out, only through your nose. Let this breath just nourish your body as though you're drinking in much needed love for yourself. You're giving yourself this time. What a gift. One more breath. Very slowly, you can guide your knees together, use your hands. And then you can just kind of roll off to one hip, push into your hands to press yourself up. Move the blocks off to the side and come back onto your back. Slowly lower down. And then once you come onto your back, just bring your knees into your chest and maybe wrap your arms around your legs and give yourself a little squeeze, nice big hug for yourself. And then take your arms out like a T shape, palms flat. Bring your knees right over your hips, flex your feet, ankles touch. And we'll just do some mild core work here, starting to open the shoulders as we twist. So take a deep breath in. Exhale, lower your knees to the right, keep your left shoulder down, use your belly and inhale to bring the knees back to center. Exhale, lower the knees to the left, keep your right shoulder down. Inhale, bring the knees back to center. Exhale to the right, very slow and controlled. Inhale back to center. Exhale to the left, right shoulder down. Inhale to center. Exhale, lower. Inhale to center. So stay with your breath, stay with this motion. Keep both shoulders pressing down. Try to keep your feet active and keep your knees in line with your hips. They may want to come in. Try to keep the knees in line with the hips. That'll target the lower abdominals. And just visualize here like you're cleaning the slate. You're just twisting out any old energy, feeling your core center turn on, your sense of identity, and deeply connecting to your breath. A few more side to side. Let your left side be the last one. And you'll bring the knees back to center. Place your feet on the floor, take your arms alongside your body. Palms flat. Feet about hip distance apart. Inhale, lift your hips to the sky, bridge pose. So again, feeling this lifted space in the heart. You might wiggle your shoulders away from your ears or slightly underneath you. And then lower slowly, one vertebra at a time. So we'll do this dynamically with the breath. Inhale, lift your hips all the way up. Exhale, slow lower down. Inhale, lift the hips up, push into your feet. Exhale, slow lower down. Stay with this. A few more rounds on your own. The whole breath lifts you. The whole breath lowers you. Keep pushing down through your shoulders and your feet. And each time, maybe feel a little more opening in the heart. So strengthening for your back here, your legs, your glutes. Opening the whole front of the body. Let's do one more. And then once you come onto your back, pause there. Let's bring the knees in towards the outer ribs. So just hug each knee in towards the outer ribs, little opening in the hips. You can stay here, take happy baby, grab the outer edges of your feet and gentle rock side to side. One more breath. Bring your knees back together, roll gently over to the right side and press yourself up. Come onto your hands and knees. So when we're moving in a place of self-care, self-love, it's nice to move a little slower, more mindfully. So take your time and spread through your palms, feel your foundation, knees under your hips. Reach your heart forward as you inhale, shoulders back. Exhale, round your spine. A few cat cows. Inhale, heart forward, shoulders back. Exhale, round your spine, pull your belly in. Inhale, heart forward, shoulders back. Exhale, round your spine. A few more. Feel each breath. Nourishment for your soul. Come to a neutral spine. Go ahead and grab your blocks, your two blocks. Bring them right in front of you about shoulder distance apart. Place your elbows on the block and bring your palms together. Knees stay right under your hips. You might need to scoot your knees back as you move into this shape. It's a variation on Anahasasana, heart opening pose. So you'll just start to melt your heart towards the floor as your palms come up towards the ceiling.

Knees stay together. And maybe your forehead touches the earth. Maybe it doesn't. Maybe it just hangs in its own weight, but you're just allowing the heart to press down towards the floor. Three breaths here into the ribs. Feel your belly kind of suck in a little towards your spine just so you're not completely dumping in your lower back. But you are feeling a really open back bend here through the heart, through the chest, through the shoulders. One more breath. Slowly push into your elbows. Come back up and move the blocks back off to the side and then come on to your belly. Take your hands right by your rib cage. Hug your elbows in. Inhale, find cobra. Lift your chest up. Exhale, lower back down. Again inhale for cobra. Really press through the tops of your feet and your thighs. And then exhale, lower back down. One more. Inhale, maybe a little bit higher. And exhale, lower back down. Now rest your chin on the mat. Take your hands behind you and interlace your fingers. And this is where you may want your strap. So you can just grab the strap and bring it between your hands. Hold the strap. It can demonstrate for you. So one edge of the strap in each hand. And then inhale, lift your chest up and hold. Shalabhasana. So you're either using the strap or interlacing fingers. And then maybe lift your toes off the floor, your lower legs. Push down through your pelvis, right where your pubic bone is. Soft engagement in your belly. And then reach your heart forward. Two more breaths. And slowly lower back down. Go ahead and take your hands back by your ribs. Gently push back onto hands and knees. Pause there. And walk your knees in just a little. And just feel a nice neutral spine for a moment. So really press through your palms, flat back. And then you'll tuck your toes and come into downward dog for a few breaths. Feel free to ease into this one.

So maybe keep the knees bent. Maybe take your feet a little wider apart. Shift your hips side to side. And maybe you're already feeling or noticing a difference in your down dog with your heart open. A little more space for your breath and your ribs. So that your breath can really fill up in between each rib. One more breath. And then lower your knees to the floor. And then lower your forearms to the floor. So your elbows are right under your shoulders. Bring your hands together. And then you'll tuck your toes and come into dolphin pose. So it's just like downward dog but now you're on your forearms. And try to keep your elbows under your shoulders. So they may want to splay out but do your best to keep them under your shoulders. Push your heart back towards your toes. Again you can bend your knees. Couple breaths here. A nice inversion letting your head hang in its own weight. And feel the heart press back towards your toes. And then walk your toes back and start to come onto plank on the forearms. So a lot of belly engagement here. You might lower your knees. That's certainly a beautiful option if you're feeling a little less energy today. And then you might lift them back up. Try to find the buoyancy in your hips. Really engage your belly. Feel some heat start to build here. We'll hold for about five more breaths. Stay with it. Again lower your knees at any time. So part of really tuning into ourselves is tuning into our strength and our power. And really allowing the breath to kind of fill us up and support us as we start to challenge ourselves. Because life is challenging and we need to find that balance where we can really breathe through it. Two more breaths. And then gently start to, let's come all the way back onto the belly actually. Take your hands by your rib cage and slow press back. Let's go into child's pose. Stay on your knees. Bring your toes together, knees wide apart. And you'll rest all the way back towards your heels. And just let yourself surrender here. Maybe the arms come alongside the body. Few breaths into the ribs. Completely letting go. From here gently reach your arms forward. Come into downward facing dog. Again you can bend your knees if you need to. Part of self love is really listening to your own body. What is your body feeling today? Not the body you had yesterday. Not the body you wish you had. One more breath. Reach your right leg behind you into the air. Three legged dog. Strong arms here. Take an inhale. Exhale. Start to bring your right foot between your thumbs. You might really round your spine and engage your core and step through or you might just grab your right heel and take a few steps to get it up there. And then pause there. You may want to block onto your left hand. We'll open the right arm for a twist. So reach your right arm into the air. Maybe the left hand's on a block. That kind of helps create a little bit more lift in the chest. So the focus here is opening the heart. So imagine your right shoulder kind of spreading open and back to puff up your chest. Keep your right thigh low. Engage your belly. As you exhale twist deeper. Feel the right rib cage lift up towards the ceiling. Take one more breath. Inhale. Exhale. Take your right hand down to the floor. Move your block off to the side. Step back. Downward facing dog. Left leg reaches back in the air. Take an inhale. Exhale. Bring your knees to your chest. Slowly step your left foot forward. Take as many steps as you need. Right hand down or to a block. Inhale. Left arm reaches up. And just breathe here. Open chest. And you can push down into your right hand to feel a little more expansion. Left rib cage lifting towards the ceiling. Maybe start to feel a smile form inside or out if you haven't already. Maybe it's been one of those days, which is why you came to this practice. One more breath. Slowly lower the left hand back down. Let's step back. Downward facing dog. Deep full breath in and out. Walk your feet forward to your hands. Come halfway up. Inhale. Flatten your back. Exhale. Release and fold. Again. Inhale halfway up. Think cobra in your upper body. Shoulders back. Exhale. Fold. One more time. Inhale. Exhale. Fold. So maybe keep the knees bent here. It's a really nice option.

Make your hands behind you at your lower back. Interlace your fingers. Again, if interlace isn't available, grab your strap. One side of the strap in each hand. And use that as a tool, okay? With the interlace here, bend your right knee a little deeper and dip your right shoulder down towards the floor. You can gaze slightly to the left. Push more into your left foot and feel the stretch. One more breath. Slowly switch sides. Bend the left knee. Dip the left shoulder towards the floor a little more. Push into your right foot. Feel your breath. Slowly come back to center. Release your hands to the floor. Ragged all your body to stand. Bend your knees. Slow roll all the way up. Once you come up to standing, shoulder rolls all the way up to your ears, all the way back, up to your ears, all the way back. Like a self-massage. One more. Inhale and exhale. All right, take your arms wide out to the sides. Take a deep breath in and exhale. Sweep your right elbow under your left elbow. So moving into Eagle Pose, maybe your arms and shoulders are only allowing you to do something like this. You can then grab your shoulders. Otherwise, maybe try to get the backs of your hands to come together or even interlace into the palms. So those are the options. And then squeeze your elbows together. Press your forearms away from your face. Make sure your shoulders aren't hunched up. They're down the back. Start to bend your knees here. Pause. So you're welcome to just stay here or play with the balance. Soft focus in front of you. Stay with the breath. Bring the weight into your left foot and cross your right leg over your left leg. Squeeze your inner thighs together. So you can even maybe place that right foot on the floor if you're low enough. Or you can keep it hovering or wrap it around your left calf. So any of those options, squeeze. A couple more breaths. Soft focal point. Eagle Pose. And slowly release. Fly out. Reach your arms all the way up. Inhale. Exhale palms to your heart. And then reach your arms back out. You're going to give the whole world a hug. That's what I love about this. Just reaching, opening the heart. Take a deep breath in. Exhale. Sweep the left elbow under the right elbow. Whatever variation you did on the other side. Squeeze your elbows together. Engage your belly. Press your forearms away from your face. Feel that stretch in the upper back. And slowly bend your knees. Sit the weight back towards your heels. And sweep your left leg over your right leg. Squeeze your inner thighs together. Maybe the left foot touches the floor for stability. Maybe it wraps behind. Stay with your breath. Lots of focus and concentration building here in your brain. One more breath. Fly out. Inhale. Reach your arms up. Now pause there. Interlace your hands and push your palms up towards the ceiling. And just kind of press each wrist up and get into the fingers and knuckles. Pull your shoulders down away from your ears. So this is a traditional artichandrosana. Keep your belly sucked in. Keep your bottom ribs sucked in. They love to jet out here. So suck them in. Take a deep breath in. Exhale.

Lean over to the right as far as you can. Push into your left foot. Breathe into the left side of your heart. One more breath. Inhale. Come back up. Exhale towards the left. Push into your right foot. Suck your bottom ribs in. Breathe into the right side of your heart. Inhale. Come back up. Exhale. Bend your elbows like goal posts. Pause there. Lift your heart up towards the sky. A lifted back bend here. So your arms are really strong. Stay with that bend. Keep reaching the heart up as you push into your feet. One more breath. Inhale. And then exhale. Dive forward. Maybe take that inner lace behind your back. Couple breaths. Let the head hang in its own weight. And then release your hands to the floor. Come halfway up. Inhale. Exhale. Step back. Downward facing dog. Reach your right leg in the air behind you. Deep breath in. Exhale. Bring your knee to your chest. Step your foot forward. Take as many steps as you need. Spin the left heel down so your foot is flat. Inhale.

Reach your arms forward and up. Warrior one. So you may want to wiggle your right foot to the right a couple inches. It allows for more space in the hip. So your left hip is ideally moving forward. Your right hip is pulling back. Lift up through your heart here as you root through your feet. Keep your belly slightly engaged. And then reach your arms behind you. So if you don't have a strap or you just don't want to deal with getting it, just reach your arms back and lift through the heart or inner lace your fingers. Take a deep breath in. Exhale. Come towards the right knee and pause. So just engage your belly. Lots of strengthening elements going on here. Hug your feet towards each other. Stay with the breath. And maybe you can even go a little deeper towards the inside of your right knee and really get into the shoulders. One more breath. And then release your hands to the floor. Step back. Downward dog. I like to sigh audibly sometimes. It's just so releasing. So maybe do that a few times. Deep breath in. Left leg reaches up and back. Deep inhale. Exhale. Knee to chest. Step the foot through. Spin the right heel down. Inhale. Arms forward and up. Come to warrior one. Strong legs. Maybe wiggle that left foot over to the left a few inches. So sometimes it's taught heel to heel alignment. I'm not really a fan of that. It just doesn't create a lot of space for my hips. They can't really stabilize. So I like to move it out to the left. And maybe you do too. So reach the heart out. Root through your feet. And then reach your hands behind you. Interlace. If you did the interlace, take the other pinky on top so it feels a little funny in your body. Just even things out. Deep breath in. Exhale towards your left knee. Pause. Engage your belly. Really find resistance here. As though the belly is lifting away from your left thigh. Maybe you go a little bit deeper towards the inside of your left knee. Head can relax. Couple more breaths. Release your hands down. Step back. Downward facing dog. You're welcome to hold downward dog for five breaths or you can take child's pose once again. So much self-love to be had in resting. Slow breaths. Alright, let's come onto hands and knees. And then just start to wiggle your knees forward, cross your ankles, and sit down. We'll come into a seated forward bend. So take your right leg forward. Bring the left foot to the inside of your right leg here. Maybe pull the flesh back away from your sitting bones. Maybe keep a bend in your right knee. Reach your arms up. Take an inhale. Exhale. Reach towards your right foot. You do have a strap nearby. You're welcome to loop the strap around your right foot.

It's a nice option. Otherwise you can just let your arms hang kind of by the side or hold your right foot if it's available. And then slowly just start to round your spine. Take these few precious moments here to go inward. To let go. To completely surrender. You have nothing to do right now except just breathe. Breathe in some space. Breathe in some love. One more breath here. Slowly start to roll yourself back up. And then extend the left leg out. Bring your right foot in. Reach your arms up. Deep inhale. Exhale. Reach forward. Maybe grab the left foot. Whatever you did on the other side. Completely soften. Just let your head hang in its own weight.

Let your shoulders round. Couple more breaths. Slowly start to roll yourself back up. And then come on to your back. Slow roll down. Once you come on to your back, hug your right knee into your chest. Extend your left leg long. Gently cross your right leg over your body for a twist. Take your right arm out to the right. And then just find length through the whole right side of your body. Each breath massaging your spine. Inhale back to center.

Release your right leg out. Hug your left knee in. Cross the left leg over your body. Take your left arm out to the left. So it doesn't really matter if your left knee is touching the floor or not. It's an option. But then the left arm might just hang in its own weight. And the twisting is really kind of different for different bodies. Just how it feels for you. What feels good. I would say yoga in general is like that. Finding less perfection in your practice or less need to get it right, but just really allowing it to feel good. Inhale back to center. Give yourself a final squeeze. Hug your knees into your chest.

Take a huge inhale. Hold your breath in. And let it all go. Exhale. Legs play out. Arms play out. Palms up. Shavasana. Well deserved. Let yourself melt into the floor. And as you lie in your shavasana, visualize a light in your heart. It can be any color, but it's very bright. Feel this light in your heart begin to grow and expand.

Beginning to radiate down towards your belly, into your arms, into your throat, into your skull, down through your legs. As though your whole body is pumping white, bright light. And then just let go of the visualization and rest easy. No thoughts. Just this beautiful sense of knowing that this light is always with you. Begin to come back into your breath. Wiggle your toes, your fingers. As though you're waking up for the first time today.

Just new sense of life within you. Reach your arms up over the head. Deep inhale. Out through the mouth. Exhale. Bend your knees. Roll to the right. Make a pillow with your right arm. Pause in a fetal position. As effortlessly as possible, press yourself to seated. Come to a comfortable cross-legged position.

Bring your hands to your heart. Feel your thumbs touching your heart. Maybe even hear or feel your heart beating inside. Mentally say in your mind, I love you to yourself. Again, I love you. One more time so you really believe it. I love you. Deep, full breath.

Bless. Blink your eyes open. Namaste.

Comments

Susan C
1 person likes this.
A perfect remedy. A gift at the end of a very long day. Thank you Linda best so far . 🙏🏼💫
Terri W
1 person likes this.
This is a wonderful practice, and, Linda, you express it beautifully. Thank you.
Shari A
1 person likes this.
️Thankyou! I feel open, soft and relaxed...and yet revived for my afternoon of planting flowers, enjoying a lovely time in nature🌺🌿. This was perfect!
Sarah H
Loved this one. Perfect for when my body is not feeling A1 or overly energetic.
Shirley W
Lovely thank you this was perfect for how my body is feeling today 🙏
Emily S
1 person likes this.
Perfect practice
Linda Baffa
Emily So glad you enjoyed it so much! Have a beautiful week! ~Linda
Michelle F
2 people like this.
That was amazing - just what I needed! I'm just beginning to teach yoga and have been working on heart-openers for the last couple of weeks with my classes. This brought in so much to my own practice, filled me back up, and now I can give from that place of fullness! I loved your theme, cues, voice and the sequence was great. Thank you!!
Linda Baffa
Michelle I'm so glad the practice served you and your budding teaching offerings! Thanks for your sweet feedback. Happy weekend! ~ Linda Baffa
Tesa Urbonaite Dunn
So happy I stumbled onto this lovely practice!! Thank you!
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