Ayurveda: Practices to Feel Like Yourself Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 10

Kapha Evening Practice

15 min - Practice
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Ali offers a short Kapha-focused centering and focusing practice at the wall. We work with revolved postures, heart openers, and inversions to focus our energy and minds.
What You'll Need: Mat, Wall, Blanket, Block (2)

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Namaste. I'm Ali. For this practice, you will need two blocks and one blanket and a wall is a good idea for this one. So we're going to start off in Vajrasana with the knees together, feet on the outside of the hips. And I'm actually going to turn sideways so you can see this one because we're going to come into a seated cat-cow practice. So similar to what we do on hands and knees, but for this one you stay very upright. The hands are on the sides and you'll pull the elbows back and lift the head, lift the chest. And then on the exhale at the spine round, drop your chin in towards your chest and the hands come down towards the knees. And then you'll stay with that for a few rounds. And the reason why I chose this instead of traditional cat-cow is because you're a little bit more upright. And so you'll stay with this and you can take it as slow or as fast as you would like. This practice is really very much about clarity and different people can find that in different ways. So if you need to go a little bit faster, you can turn it into more of a kapalabhati with it. And if you need something a little bit slower and smoother, then you'll stay with that. But the key is to stay with it and find that stamina to stay with the practice. And so you'll do about two minutes here, arching and rounding and arching and rounding and just warming up the spine. And the knees are together because what we're moving into is more of the parallel and revolved shapes. So after your last couple of rounds of this, let's call this five four three two one, come back to a neutral spine. Take a moment nice and steady and upright still pressing down into the tops of the feet. And then we're going to move over to the wall. So grab your blanket and your two blocks and you'll take the blanket in quarters and then I'm sliding the smooth end of the blanket right up to the wall. And that'll be a cushion for my knee. Two blocks on the highest height for this one. And then I'm going to take the left knee into the crease between the wall and the ground and step the right foot forward. And there you are. And it's like goes right into the quad there. So pressing the left foot back into the wall is helpful. And then you could move the whole body back almost like a Virasana leg with that left leg. Or if you want more of a backbend, heart opener feeling, slide the hips forward, lift the arms up and lean back and let the shoulders drop. And you'll stay there and I'm still pressing back into the left foot. Oh, it's such an incredible stretch. And then hands come down on your blocks, step into your right foot, slide your left knee forward and have a seat on your left heel. From here, blocks move forward, back toes tucked under, you're coming right into your Parsvottanasana. Hands are on the blocks, walk them forward, get a little bit of length in your spine and then adjust your left block. You're coming into revolve triangle, but keep the back heel right at the wall as you open up. And it's almost like it's a limitation that's helpful as an anchor. Bring your hands back down onto your blocks, move your blocks forward, step your left foot up onto the wall. And it's gonna feel a little bit short here and that's okay. Your weight is directly over the ball of your right foot, reaching forward, nice long spine, open up your right arm, you're in revolved Ardachandrasana. And do your best to press back into that left heel so that the back leg stays very stable. Bring your hands back down, blocks off to the side for this one. And then you're gonna line your hands up right in front of your feet, push into your left leg and get your right leg up on the wall, lengthen it out and you're in your L-shaped handstand. And you can take a couple of breaths there, drop the head here, try not to look in between the thumbs like we usually do. It's a little bit better for your neck if you just let it hang. And then I'm gonna lift my right leg up, keeping the hips even, place the right foot back down, send the left leg up and then take the left foot all the way down, slide your right knee down and you're on the other side. Grab your blocks and then walk them back a little bit and come back up. And a couple of breaths right here. The hips are gonna want to swing out a little bit to the left here, try to draw them underneath you and keep them as even as possible. You can even think of sticking your tush a little bit out to the right. And then I'm moving back towards the wall to get that nice thigh stretch and just back against the wall, chest stays lifted, foot is pressing back. And then a moment with the heart opener dropping the hips forward, lift up through the arms, nice long arms, leaning back towards the wall, breathing. Let your hands come back down to the blocks and slide your right knee forward, have a seat on your right heel for a moment. And then back toes will tuck under and you're coming right into your parsvottanasana. Hands on the blocks, highest level, reach the chest forward, keep the right hand down, open up your left arm and twist, revolved triangle. And I'm working on keeping the hips as even as I can. There's a little give in the right hip but not too much, really working for that evenness and length. And then bring your hands back down, walk your blocks forward, step your right foot up on the wall and it'll feel a little short. And then open up your left arm and take your revolved artichandrasana, kicking through the back heel, back legs super strong. Bring your hands back down, move the blocks off to the side, push into your right foot and come up into your L-shaped handstand. And then I'm doing my best to really lengthen my legs here, lengthen the arms, and then I'll bring my left leg up, hips stay even, place it back down on the wall, lift the right leg up and step my right foot down, step your left foot down and just have a moment hanging over Uttanasana. Breathing in and breathing out. And then come on down to the knees and you can slip your blanket off to the side. And then I'm gonna lie on my back, soles of the feet to the ground, knees are bent, scooching in super close to the wall for this one. You can slip your blocks off to the side. I'm grabbing onto the sides of my mat and give it a tug and that gives you so much lift in the chest and openness in the chest. And then your lungs have some room and you can get a little bit more breath in there, a little bit more energy, a little more prana. And I'm working my legs a lot here. And then slowly come on down and let that go. And then you've got some options here. If you would like to come up into a full wheel, you can set yourself up for full wheel.

If you're staying more with the half wheel, you can grab the sides of your mat. Again, you've also got some blocks here. You can use your blocks and place them underneath your sacrum. But if you're coming up for the full wheel, hands by the head, push into the feet, even let your knees graze the wall and it will keep the legs very parallel. I'm coming up and I've got the wall there to keep me in line. And if you want to stay a little bit longer, you'll stay a little bit longer if you need to come down, slowly coming on down. And then we're just going to do one more wheel, hands in place, coming up nice and wide, spread through the fingers, push the knees forward, use your arms, use your legs, lifting up. And my knees are there against the wall for a little bit of reference. And then chin into the chest and let it go. And then you're right there. Legs at the wall. So fantastic. You can take your arms over your head, a couple of full breaths. And this is going to be our shavasana, legs up the wall, viparita karani. So if you want to scooch in a little bit closer to the wall, nice to bring your legs down, come up to sit first. And that way you can get very close to the wall here, right up next to it. And then when you lay back, there you are. And again, if you want to grab onto the sides of the mat a little bit, just to get the shoulders underneath you. And just let yourself go here. And a few breaths. And again, with the kapha practice, not too long of a shavasana.

But if you are getting ready to go to bed, if you're winding it down for the day, then I would say stay here a little bit longer. And remember that the arms in this position is actually a little bit more energizing than if they're down by your sides. So you'll use your judgment about that. If you're feeling like you still need a little bit more energy for the rest of your day, you might take the arms here. And if you are winding it down, I would say let the arms rest by your sides, palms upward. Let the eyes close. And then to come out of it, you can just slide your knees down towards your chest.

Roll back over onto your right side. Come on up to sit. And that is our practice for today. Namaste.

Comments

Sandra Židan
Wonderful practice, Ali! Thanks!
Ali Cramer
1 person likes this.
Sandra Židan so glad you enjoyed! Namaste! 
Ingunn
Love this practice - it allows me to experience a sense of safety in the handstand, without placing too much stress on my neck and shoulders. I find it gives me a boost each time. Perfect for a short evening practice after a challenging day. Thank you, Ali!

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