Ayurveda: Practices to Feel Like Yourself Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 9

Kapha Morning Practice

25 min - Practice
79 likes
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Ali guides us in a spicy Kapha-focused flow to detoxify, clear, and energize the entire body. We break a sweat as we move through Surya Namaskars (Sun Salutations), standing postures, arm balances, and inversions. You will feel energized and ready to start your day.

Ali has created a Kapha playlist on Spotify to go along with this practice.
What You'll Need: Mat, Wall, Block (2)

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Transcript

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Namaste, I'm Ali. Today we're going to start off in Sukhasana and this is going to be an energizing practice. So we're going to start off with an exercise from the Kundalini tradition and this is called ego eradicator. It's actually one of my favorites. You're going to put your arms up like this, fold in four fingers, extend your thumbs like you're hitchhiking, make sure that the palms are pointing forward, slide the shoulder blades down the back, lift the chest, open up nice and wide. You can keep your eyes open or closed for this one and begin breath of fire. So it's even inhales and exhales, looks like this. So stay with that and see if you can really get the belly to jump in and out as you're doing it. Stay with it. Stay with it. You can stay with it. All right, keep going. Stay with it. Keep going. Keep going. You can do it. Try to keep your arms up. If you need to put them down, you'll put them down, you'll bring them back up. But try to stay with it. Try to stay with it. You can do it. Last 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Inhale, touch your thumbs above your head. Hold your breath in and on your breath out, take a twist. Left hand to the outside of the right thigh, right hand back behind you. Looking back over the shoulder, wringing out right from the waist. And inhale the arms up and exhale, take it over to the other side.

And come back to center, inhale the arms up, hands back behind you. Bring the soles of your feet to the ground. We're pressing up into a table, a reverse tabletop. So press down into your arms and legs, lift yourself up, take a full breath in, open your mouth, make a sound, breathe it out. And then release yourself back down and change the crossing of your legs. And then guess what we're doing again. Arms up, four fingers in, thumbs out, begin breath of fire and stay with it. And this is an exercise. The reason why it's called ego eradicator is to clear out any doubt and any fear, anything that's holding us back. So with this practice, it's really about clearing away blocks, detoxing, getting some strength and some sweat going. Stay with it. Stay with it. Stay with it. Keep going. You can do it. Stay with it. And this is 10, nine, eight, seven, six. You got it. Five, four, three, two, one. Inhale, touch your thumbs above your head, hold your breath in. You can even lift the pelvic floor there. And then take a twist. And this time it's going to be right hand to the outside of the left thigh, left hand back behind you. And inhale the arms up, coming back to center. Exhale, take it over to the other side.

Inhale the arms back up, coming back to center. One more time. Arms back behind you, soles of the feet to the ground. Press yourself up. Big breath in. Open your mouth and breathe it out. And then release yourself down and you're going to come forward onto your hands and your knees. And you can use two blocks for this practice. One on either side at the front of your mat, if you like that. Otherwise, tuck the toes under, lift the hips up and press right back into downward facing dog. And in your down dog, spread your fingers nice and wide, wake up the muscles of your legs. And if you need any little wriggling around or bending one knee, bending the other, you'll take that. And then right away, roll yourself out into a plank pose and reach back with the heels and forward with the chest and then stay there for a moment and engage the belly. Draw the ribs back up. You can look forward and then press back downward facing dog, just getting a little bit of the core work going. And then again, roll out plank pose, reaching out nice and long and strong. One long line, tailbone tucks under slightly here and press back downward facing dog. Last time like that, roll it out plank pose and then draw your right knee in towards your nose, shoulders over wrists. And you can even curl the head in here. Down dog split, send your right leg up high, reaching through the arms and the legs, big step forward, come into your lunge, open up your right arm and twist. So you'll notice a lot of twists in this practice. The twists are really good for detoxification. It's great for if you're feeling a little sluggish. And then place your right hand back down and step back, plank pose, lower all the way down to your belly. And if you need to drop your knees first, you'll do that. Roll your shoulders back, lift your head, lift your chest, release yourself back down to the ground, forehead touches, tuck your toes under, take a deep breath in on your breath out, plank pose, downward facing dog. Other side, roll it out plank pose and press back down dog. And again, rolling out plank pose and full strong breath with this and exhale back downward facing dog. Last time, inhale forward into plank pose, exhale, knee into nose, left knee into the nose.

Down dog split, left leg up high, that's your inhale. Big step forward with your left foot, open up your left arm and take your twist. And stretch through the fingers. Think of the limbs on this one as being a little bit sharper than usual. And then bring your left hand down outside of your left foot, step back into plank and lower all the way down to your belly. Untuck the toes, baby cobra, lift the head, lift the chest, elbows stay tugging into the sides, legs are strong. Release yourself back down, tuck the toes under deep breath in on the breath out, plank pose, downward facing dog. And then walk yourself forward until you get all the way to the front of your mat. Take a breath in your uttanasana, just hanging forward. For today, I would say take the legs a little closer to each other and really engage and lift on the inner thighs and then walk your fingertips forward, long spine, hands to the hips, shoulders circle back, flat back, press your way down to come up into tadasana, reaching the arms down, turn the palms forward, stretch the fingers long, drop the tailbone, lift the chest, get nice and long and centered even in your gaze. So make the way that you're looking very specific here. So there's no doubt, no cloudiness, total certainty. Inhale, reach your arms up. And on the exhale, fold forward over your legs, uttanasanas. Send your right leg way back into a lunge, looking forward, downward facing dog with your breath out. Roll your way out long, plank pose, lowering chaturanga or to the ground, upward facing or cobra, and downward facing dog with your breath out. Reach your right leg up, step it in between your hands, open up your right arm and twist. Place your right hand down, step your left foot forward and fold into your legs. Lift all the way up, arms reach over the head, let's keep the flow going, come right back down. Send your left leg back, looking forward, downward facing dog with your breath out, rolling out, plank pose, lowering chaturanga, inhale up dog and exhale back down dog. Reach your left leg up, step it in between your hands, open up your left arm and twist. Place your left hand down, step your right foot forward, bowing into your legs, all the way back up on your inhale, arms high. And exhale, we're going to take one more round just like that. Folding forward, send your right leg back, right into down dog. Roll out plank pose, chaturanga, urdvamukasvanasana, urdvamukasvanasana. Lift your right leg, exhale it forward, open up your right arm and twist. Place your right hand down, step your left foot forward, folding into your legs, come back up on your inhale, arms lift high, exhale pouring right back down. Send your left leg back and right into downward facing dog, right foot meets the left, plank pose, chaturanga, inhale up dog, exhale down dog. Lift your left leg up, step it in between your hands, open up your left arm and twist. Place your left hand down, step your right foot forward, bow into your legs, back up on your inhale, exhale let's come right back down, send your right leg back.

This time it's plank right into chaturanga, inhale up dog and exhale back, downward facing dog. Take a couple of breaths right there, stretching back through the leg, stay nice and strong. Breath stays nice and full and then look forward, bend your knees, push off, hop or step your feet right in between your hands. On the inhale lengthen out and on the exhale fold in. Rise all the way back up, reach up long and exhale to come right back down. Send your left leg back, plank right into chaturanga, inhale up dog and exhale back, downward facing dog, letting the head drop, keeping the arms strong. Hopefully some sweat is starting here and then you'll lift up your heels, bend your knees, look forward, hop or step your feet right in between your hands and fold forward into your legs. Come right into utkatasana from here, bend the knees, drop the hips, reach up through the arms and let's stay here for a breath or two and if you're feeling like you really need some fire here, you'll add a little breath of fire. Otherwise long, full ujjayi with a soft whisper closing off the back of the throat. Yes, I know you're still holding utkatasana, stay with it for one more breath and fold forward over your legs. Coming up onto the fingertips, lengthen out the spine, on the exhale hop or step chaturanga dandasana and we'll meet in a downward facing dog. Lift your right leg up, step it forward and spin your back heel down, coming up into warrior one. Reach the arms up, you can even connect the palms above the head and then a little bit tricky here. Lengthen out your right leg and pull your elbows back, palms facing upward, tailbone dropping and there's a nice lift there in the chest but the core work is the lift of the abdominals as well to support the lower back. From here we're coming into what we call a flying pranam. Bend your right knee, come into a flat back and reach your arms out long in front of you with the palms turning up. It's a bowing down but there's still that stability underneath it. From here, come on back up towards warrior one, spin up your back heel so you're in a high lunge. Arms reaching up long, let your hands come down, step back, plank to chaturanga or plank to downward facing dog and then lift your left leg up. Stepping forward, spin your back heel down, warrior one. Coming up, reach up long, gaze right up at the thumbs, lengthen out your left leg, pull your elbows back, palms are upward and there's that moment, there's that inhale to open up the chest, get a nice full breath there and then bend your left knee, come into a flat back, reaching the arms forward, palms upward and I'm really trying to pull the outer hips inward here so that I get a sense of the lower body being stable, the upper body having some place to reach out of. Come back up towards warrior one, spin up your back heel, you're in a high lunge. Bring your hands down, step back, plank to chaturanga. So that's the opening of the sequence and we'll build on that and start to flow with it. Lift your right leg up, stepping forward, the back heel drops, warrior one. Take it into that prep for the flying pranam, lifting up the chest, arms pull back, reach it out, flying pranam, flat back, palms upward. Come back up towards warrior one, spin up the back heel, you're back in that high lunge. Prayer to your heart and take your twist, twist, left elbow to the outside of the right thigh and use the pressure of the hands to really open up and twist right from your guts. Bring your hands down on either side of your right foot and send your right leg up and through so you're in a down dog split.

Bend the knee and open up the hip and then flip yourself inside out, a little rock star moment and you can bend both knees and then send the hips back up and reach over with the right hand and get so open there, press into the left one. Come all the way back around into your down dog, vinyasa or not, it's up to you. Reach your left leg up, stepping forward, spin the back heel down, warrior one. Lengthening out your left leg, pull the elbows back, keep the chest lifting and then coming forward, flying pranam, reach out through the arms, back up towards your warrior one, spin up your back heel, prayer to your heart and take your twist, right elbow to the outside of the left thigh and if your balance is feeling tippy today, just put your back knee down. No big deal, sometimes that's a good way to get a stronger twist and then bring your hands down on either side of your left foot and send your left leg up and through, down dog split, bend the knee, open up your hip, rock star, drop right into it and part of the getting away from the fear thing is doing some of the shapes or transitions that feel a little bit more scary. And then come all the way back around, downward facing dog, vinyasa or not. Last time with this, lift your right leg up, step it forward, spin your back heel down for warrior one, reaching up through the arms, lengthen out the right leg, pull the elbows back, nice and open through the fingers even and then lengthen forward, flying pranam, reach it out, come back up towards your warrior one, spin up your back heel, hands to a prayer at your heart and take your twist, left elbow to the outside of the right thigh and you can really get in there and wring some stuff out, big breath and then hands down on either side of your right foot, send your right leg up and through, down dog split, bend the knee, open up your hip, there's your rock star, lifting up and let it open and then this time all the way back around, right leg up high, step your right foot outside of your right hand so you're in a wide lunge and here's where those blocks come in handy, you can grab the blocks and place them right inside your right foot, look forward, press into your blocks, take a full breath in on your breath out, you're going to hop and switch the feet, it looks like this and then you're going to hop and switch the feet again and then you're going to hop and switch the feet again and then you're going to go for it and go a little bit faster if you're feeling it, if you're not feeling it, be done with it and step your left foot wide, come into your squat, blocks off to the side, take a moment in your squat, hopefully the sweat is coming down a little bit now, you're feeling a little bit more awake, a little bit more alive and we're going to come right into a crow pose here so walk your feet back a little bit, hands under the shoulders, spread the fingers nice and wide, tip the body weight forward into the fingertips in order to lift the legs and then those of you that want it you'll come into a headstand from here because an inversion as we know is so good for changing our mind. If we're feeling a little sluggish, a little down, great practice, just turn it upside down and your perspective will change. You've got some options from here, you can come back into a crow pose or if you're feeling kind of daredevilish this morning, right into chaturanga so the legs will come down, there you are, up dog and down dog and then a breath or two in your down dog, a nice lion breath if you need it here and let's do the left side, left leg up, step it forward, back heel drops or your one, lengthen out your left leg, pull the elbows back and then come forward, flying pranam, arms reach out, back up towards your warrior one, spin up your back heel, hands to a prayer, take your twist, right elbow to the outside of the left side, breathing into it, let the shoulders roll back, heart open, hands down on either side of your left foot, send your left leg up and through, down dog split, bend the knee, open up your hip, flip yourself inside out, pressing into both feet to lift the hips and let the head fall back and then all the way back around, left leg up high, step your left foot outside of your left hand, if you're using your blocks, you've got a moment here just to place them and then press into the blocks, look forward, strong legs, deep breath in on the breath out, hop and switch and then again deep breath in on the breath out, hop and switch and then either you'll stay there or step right forward into your squat or if you're feeling it a few jumps around and then step forward and be done with it, blocks off to the side, hands into prayer, take a moment, full breathing and when you're ready coming back into your crow, walk the feet back, hands under the shoulders, pick up the feet, sending the body weight forward so much that you get a nice lift in the legs and then bend the elbows out to the side to let your head come down and then it doesn't feel like it's quite so far. You can also place a blanket underneath your head if it feels like it's too much to drop forward and then as you're ready you'll come right into your vinyasa from here and down dog and then drop your knees, have a breath on your heels and we'll turn to the wall. So you can just slide your mat over to the wall and we're going to work on handstand here. So if handstand is newer for you, always nice to try an L-shaped handstand so you'd come into a short down dog and step your feet up the wall and start with it that way. Those of you who are working on kicking up into handstand, you'll come down and I like to be about six inches away from the wall coming into the downward facing dog and the arms stay nice and strong, fingers are spread and I walk myself a little bit closer in so I'm in a short dog. My right leg will come up and I'm keeping the hip very even here. I'm leaning forward enough so that my weight is actually over my fingertips and then boom you're up just a little hop and once you're up still working to lift through the legs to engage the belly you can drop the head for a moment that can feel good and the key here is to keep that strength by everything staying very active and engaged and you might go for staying a little bit longer than you usually do. Just pressing down through the fingertips reaching through the heels lengthening up through the tail bone and then while you still have enough to come down calmly and safely come on down and take a breath. As you can see handstand is definitely something that gets our energy level our sweat going our heart rate up I'm breathing heavy but it feels amazing it feels so good so you can you can play with your handstand for a while if you want to pause and play with handstand for a little bit you can do that. Moving on we're going to work on flipping over from a wheel so it'll look like this you're going to take your feet close to the wall and this will be our big grand finish you'll come on down and the feet are slightly wider than the hips here and your toes can come right up to the wall I'm dropping down on my back and hey if you're cooked and you need a block under your sacrum here bravo but if you want to move on let hips up hands down coming up into your wheel and from here you're just going to step up onto the wall so come in close enough that your knees can actually touch that'll be helpful and then one leg and the other leg comes up the wall and you'll flip right over and that is busting some kappa.

So for those of you who want to come back just make sure that you're far enough away from the wall because if you're too close you're going to get very scrunched in your wheel and it'll be harder to come down out of it so take a chance and go a little further away than you think you might want to so for me that's about here that feels scary enough to me and then right leg will come up or left leg whichever one you're working with and there you are and ah enough space to come down into a wheel that for me feels really nice and then take your tuck your chin into your chest you can put your feet on the wall and chill out for a moment if you have the energy to do that a couple of times bravo go for it and then when you're ready our shavasana today is going to be pretty short and I would recommend coming into constructive rest so feet are slightly wider than the hips knees are dropping in on each other hands on the lowest part of your belly let your shoulders drop and feel your breath feel your heartbeat and if the sweat is there just let it roll it's evidence that you had a great practice today and you'll stay there for a couple minutes so you can stay in your constructive rest long enough for your breath to slow down a little bit your heartbeat to slow down a little bit but I would say if you're really looking for that feeling of a breakthrough let it come back to a slower pace but it still might be a little quicker than it was before you started practicing and then as you're ready rolling over onto your right side and use the arms to come on up to sit and that's our practice for today thank you for joining me namaste

Comments

Haley M
2 people like this.
Thanks Ali! That was just what I needed this morning! :)
Magdalena G
1 person likes this.
Thank you, it was a wonderful practice….
Kelley M
2 people like this.
Great yoga, immense knowledge, and an enchanting laugh. Who could ask for anything more?
Ali Cramer
Thank you so much all! I had a blast doing it!
Angela C
Thanks mucho. Just what I needed to get through Thursday!!
Nathalie C
1 person likes this.
Hey Ali Cramer! It's been a long while since our first LL training! So great to practice with you this morning. It feel like LL is its own language (so happy my body still speaks it!) and it feels soooo good! Namaste, my friend. Busted through all that kapha for sure. xo
Ali Cramer
Nathalie we don’t forget! Thanks for checking in! Namaste...
Layla T
Felt so stuck this morning and this practice jolted me out of it instantly. Absolutely loved this unique & fun practice!! Thank you Ali! 
Ali Cramer
Layla thank you so much! Love to heat that! 
Emma S
1 person likes this.
That was AMAZING!
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