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Season 1 - Episode 10

Practice 4: Turn up the Heat!

30 min - Practice
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Welcome to Week 4! In today's practice, we will explore heating postures like Chair Pose and forward-facing postures like Warrior 1 and Warrior 3. You will feel strong and energized.
Here is Lesson 4 to go along with the practice.
What You'll Need: Mat, Strap, Block (2)

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Welcome to our fourth practice. So in this practice we're going to look at some heating postures as well as some forward facing postures. For this practice you'll want two blocks, a strap and maybe a blanket. Let's start on our backs and we'll meet our hamstrings. Have your strap nearby as you roll onto your back. Then you might have a blanket under your head for support. Feet on the floor. Let's draw our right knee into our chest. Just take a moment to draw the shoulder blades down the back, softening the face and the jaw. And from here we'll go right into bringing our strap around the bottom of our right foot. So you might lasso the strap. Take a moment to bring it around the bottom of the foot and then we'll just start by bending and straightening the leg a few times. Keeping that soft bend in the back of the knees as you extend it and then reaching it up. Easing into it. As it feels right begin to extend your right leg up towards the sky. Draw the toes towards the face a bit. Reach through your heels. Spread the toes. Good. And then soften the shoulder blades down the back. Create a bit more space between your shoulders and your ears. Now you might keep your left foot on the floor to support your lower back. Right? The tailbone here is drawn under. Or you might extend for your left leg. If you're extending it, flex the foot. Draw the toes towards the face. Nice. From here we'll let the leg float a little bit from side to side. Just nice and easy. A little bit from side to side. And then from here we'll bring the strap in our left hand and bring our right thumb right into the hip crease. See if you can find that hip crease as you come back through center with the leg. Now with your right thumb begin to pull and lengthen a bit more. So feeling that external rotation through the hip there. Good. Take another breath here. And then as you exhale, bend your right knee. Remove the strap. Hug it into your chest. And then stretch your right leg out. Take a moment here to relax the effort and notice how you feel. Allow for an inhale. And exhale. As you're ready, bend the knees. From here let's draw our left knee into our chest and draw the shoulders down the back. Good. And let's pick up our strap. Bring the strap around the bottom of our left foot. Good. And then extend your left leg up towards the sky. Just to ease into it. Allow it to bend and straighten a few times. This helps to communicate a bit with our nervous system. Bend the knee. Takes the hamstrings out of the stretch. And then as we extend, we feel that strong stretch in the back of the leg. As you're ready, extend your left leg up. Flex the foot. Draw the toes towards the face. And then notice your shoulders. And can you soften them down the back a little bit? Create a bit more space here. Keeping your right foot on the floor or extending your right leg and flexing the foot. And then from your left hip joint, begin to let your leg float from side to side. It's kind of nice and easy exploring the inner and outer hip and the hamstrings. From here we'll bring the strap in our right hand. Bring our left thumb into our left hip crease. And with that left thumb, begin to lengthen the left side of the body. So you draw that left thumb in and you find that external rotation through your left hip. Good. Breathing here. Softening through the eyes. Maybe through the fingers. Let's take one more inhale. And then with the exhale, release that left thumb.

Remove your strap. Bring it off to the side. Draw the left knee into your chest. And then stretch your left leg out. Let the palms turn up. Take a moment here and notice. As you're ready, draw both knees into the chest. Let yourself rock a little bit from side to side. And then roll to your side. Press your way up with your arms. And let's transition into our tabletop. On to all fours again. So we've been here before together. Spreading the fingers wide. You might tuck the toes under. Have a blanket under your knees. And as you inhale, rolling your pelvis forward. Lengthening the front of the body. And then exhale, curl and round your spine. Let the head release. Hips might draw towards your heels here. And with an inhale, rolling the pelvis forward. Widening the front of the chest. And then exhale, get round. Let's take this a few more rounds. Moving here at your own pace. Again, you might close your eyes and notice feeling or sensation through the body. Through the spine, through the hips, through the shoulders. Exhale, get round. As you inhale, draw the heart through. With in the front of the body. And with an exhale, get round. More time. Inhale, finding that extension. Rolling the pelvis forward. Leading with the heart. Easy in the neck. And then exhale, get round through the spine. Now let's come into neutral, moving towards our plank pose. Spread the fingers wide apart. Press the palms into the floor. Draw the shoulders down the back. Tuck the toes. Come into your high plank or push up. Reach back through your heels. Lengthen forward. Looking down. Strong legs. Inhale. Exhale, root through your fingers. We'll come into downward facing dog. Let the spine lengthen. Again, you might bend your knees here. Releasing the back of the neck. Let's take two full breaths together. As you're ready, walk your feet towards your hands. Nice and slow. Keep the head heavy.

Bend the knees a lot. Release the head and dangle for a few moments. As you're ready, bend the knees a lot. Chin into the chest and we'll roll up. Nice and slow. Keeping the chin in. The head comes up last. Pressing down. Rolling the shoulders up, back and down. Letting the palms open for a moment. Settling. From here, we'll floss the shoulders. So stretch your arms out to your sides. And from the shoulder, join out through the arms. We'll find the internal rotation and the external rotation. Let's try that together. Internally rotating and externally rotating. Continue. So you're moving from the shoulder joint flossing out through the arms and the hands. And you might find your upper back and spine is inspired to move here. Good. Internally rotating. And this time as you externally rotate, begin to come into a cactus. So bend the elbows. Draw the elbows under and up. Spread the fingers wide apart. Wide across the chest. Draw the lower ribs in and let your tailbone lengthen down towards your heels. Nice. Inhale. And then exhale. Release the arms down. Let's inhale and draw the shoulders up around the ears. And we'll exhale and drop them down. Inhale and roll the shoulders up. Exhale. Drop. One more time. Drawing the shoulders up and exhale. Drop them. We'll take a few shoulder rolls. Rolling the shoulders back. One at a time. You can let your ribs move. Your shoulders move. Maybe your neck wants to move. And in the opposite direction. It's creating a bit more space through the side body. Through the shoulders. Good. And then let's find our way towards the top of our mat for some sun salutations. Grab your two blocks. And if you prefer using a blanket, let your blanket up for your knee to land. And we'll meet in mountain pose. Spread the fingers. Ground through the feet. Soft bend in the back of the knees. And then lengthening up through the spine. Let the palms open. Back of the neck lengthening. Draw your attention towards your breath. From here we'll move with our breath. First we'll inhale the arms up towards the sky. Finding length on the front of the body. Finding length on the back of the body. And then draw the tailbone down towards the heels as you draw the lower ribs in. Strong through the legs. Begin to bend your knees a lot. So we'll move towards a chair pose. A heating pose. Hinge at the hips. Keep the arms around the ears. And then shift the weight back. Keep drawing the belly towards your spine a bit here. Tailbone lengthens down. Take a full breath here. And on an exhale press down through your feet. Rise up to stand as you lengthen the arms. And with an exhale release the arms down. Take a moment to notice how you feel. You notice your heartbeat. Notice the heat. Notice the burning in the legs. We'll add on together. Hands at the heart. We'll inhale circle the arms up to the sky.

Lengthening. With an exhale bend the knees forward fold. Hinge at your hips. Hands find the blocks or the floor. Release the head. With an inhale lengthen your spine. Half arch. Exhale bend your knees forward bend. Slow roll up to standing. Chin into the chest. Close and slow. And inhale the arms up to the sky. Exhale hands to the heart. We'll find that one more time. This time coming up from the ground through chair pose. See how it goes. Inhale the arms up to the sky. Exhale bend the knees forward bend. Hands find the blocks or the floor. Release the head. On an inhale lengthen your spine. Exhale bend the knees forward fold. Bend the knees a lot. Shift the weight back into your heels and inhale the arms up around the ears for chair pose. Draw the navel into your spine. Lengthen through your tailbone. Breathe into the side body. Inhale. Exhale press down through your feet. Rise up to stand. Lengthen. And then exhale. Release the arms. Take a moment to pause in mountain pose. Notice how you feel. Again you might notice the heat in the body, the burning in the legs, the heart beating. Let's add on together moving into some lunges. As you're ready inhale the arms up to the sky. Exhale bend your knees forward fold.

Release the head and the arms. As you inhale lengthen your spine half arch. Exhale bend your knees. Step your right foot back. Let your left knee bend. Reach back through the ball of your right foot and lower your right knee down. Again maybe you're padding it on a blanket. And then inhale let's draw our hips back. We'll come onto our left heel. Find the hamstrings and exhale bend the left knee and come into our lunge. Inhale drawing the hips back lengthening. And then exhale bend the front knee. Let's do that one more time. Inhale draw the hips back. Come onto your left heel. Exhale bend the knee. You might stay low here. The hands might come onto your front thigh. You might inhale the arms up towards the sky. And if you do play with hooking your thumbs, the palms face forward. Exhale lengthen all the way up. Pull the thumbs apart as you draw the shoulder blades down the back. Wow. Take an inhale. And then exhale release the hands. Tuck the back toes. Lift your back leg. And with momentum step forward. Bend the knees forward fold. With your inhale lengthen the spine. And with an exhale let's step back with our left foot. Let the right knee bend. Reach back through that left heel. Lower the left knee down. Inhale let's draw our hips back. Finding the hamstrings. Rolling onto that right heel. And then exhale bend the front knee. Find your lunge. Inhale draw the hips back. Exhale lunge. One more time inhale back. Exhale lunge. Again you're welcome to stay right here working with your breath. You might bring the hands on the thigh. Arms might reach up towards the sky. Hooking your thumbs. Palms forward. With an inhale lift up. Pull the thumbs apart. And draw the shoulder blades down your back. Find that ease in your neck. One more inhale. Exhale release the hands. Wow. Tuck the back toes. Lift the back leg. And then we'll step the left foot forward to meet the right. Bend the knees. Forward bend. From here bend the knees a lot. We're moving into our chair pose. Bend the knees. You might shift the weight back towards the heels. Reach the arms up alongside the ears. Sink down. Draw the belly into your spine. Long through the tailbone. Take an inhale. Exhale press down to rise up. Find that leg.

Stretch the belly. And then exhale release the arms down. Pause and mountain pose with the palms open. So from here we'll begin to explore a warrior one shape or position. So go ahead and step your left foot back. So the longer stance. And toe heel your right foot slightly wider. Squaring your hips towards the front of your mat. Remember that feeling with the hamstrings of drawing that right thumb into the hip crease. And pulling it back. Finding that length. Make sure your back leg and knee is comfortable. So find a comfortable stance that works for you. And then bring your hands onto your hips and we'll just come in and out a few times. Bringing that right leg towards straight and bending the knee. And just kind of bouncing in and out. And check in with your right knee. Notice how it feels. Check in with the back leg. Good. And then we're going to find the other side. Bend the front knee. It's a big step forward. You got it. Good. And we'll reset. Step the right foot back. The longer stance. Toe heel the right. The left foot slightly wider. You find that nice supportive stance here. And then position the back leg so that it feels good. It's comfortable. It's about a 45 degree angle or so. And then hands on the hips. And we'll straighten the left leg and then bend it. Kind of move in and out. Pressing into the foot. Good. Remember that feeling of drawing the left hip back with the thumb? We'll bend the front knee and then we'll step forward. Again, it's a big step. Then we'll add on finding that. So bring your feet between your blocks. And we're going to step our left foot back. Coming into warrior one. Bend the right knee. So it's a longer stance and maybe a wider stance as you toe heel the right foot wider. Good. Bring the hands on the hips. From here, you might keep the hands on the hips or inhale the arms up towards the sky. So it's strong for the back leg. And then drawing the tailbone under. Finding that action. Drawing the tailbone under a bit. Reaching the arms up. You might stay here. You might bend the elbows. Drawing them under and up wide through the chest.

Finding a cactus variation. Make sure the neck and the head are comfortable here. And notice your breathing. Are you breathing? Good. One more. Inhale. Exhale. Press into the ball of the right foot. Bring the hands on the hips and we're going to bring that back foot in. So it's a shorter stance for pyramid. Draw the right hip back. Lengthen the spine. You might keep the hands on the hips. You might reach the arms out. Find that internal rotation. And bring one hand to rest in the other. Draw the shoulders down the back wide across the chest. If this is quite comfortable, hands might find the elbows here. And you're welcome to stay right here. You might begin to draw your right hip back as you lengthen over the front leg. It's fine to bend that right knee. And then let the back of your neck lengthen. Because if your chin is drawing towards your chest a bit more. You might keep the hands right where they are. You might release the hands and find the blocks. Maybe the forehead comes towards your shin there. Breathing. As you're ready, let the hands find the hips. Strong through the back leg. Strong through the front leg. And come all the way back up. Inhale the arms up to the sky. From here begin to bend the front knee. And we'll play with the warrior three. Lifting off of the back foot. Balancing as you lengthen. You might stay here. You might play with letting the back foot lift. And release the left foot down. Inhale. Find that length in your spine. Reach the arms.

And then exhale. Release. Wow. Just take a moment here to settle. Feeling the feet. Obviously feeling the work in the legs. Coming back into mountain pose. Reset. Let's find that on the other side. So the left foot's forward. Stepping the right foot back. Long stance. Back foot is at about a 45 degree angle. But really make sure it feels good for your back knee. And then you might toe heel that left foot slightly wider. Let's bring our hands onto our hips. Notice how your back feels. You might draw the tailbone under a little bit. Lengthening the spine. Bending that left knee. You might stay right here. You might reach the arms up towards the sky. Breathing. Finding length. You might bend the elbows. Drawing them under and up towards cactus. Brightening up through the chest. The heart. Strong for your back right leg. And that action of drawing the left hip back. Inhale. And then exhale. Hands find the hips straight in that left leg. And we're going to bring that right back foot in a little bit more for pyramid. So finding a shorter stance. Left hip continues to draw back. You might keep your hands on your hips. You might reach your arms out. Again finding that internal rotation and bringing the opposite hand to rest in the palm. Shoulders draw down the back. You might choose to find the elbows here as you widen across the chest. Stay here or inhale lengthen. And with your exhale drawing your left hip crease back. Ground and root through the outer edge of your back right foot as you begin to perhaps fold and lengthen over the left leg. There might come a point where you're going to look down towards the floor to let the back of your neck release.

Again it's fine to keep that front knee bent. Breathing. You might keep the hands where they are. You might find your blocks here. And you might play with bringing your forehead towards your shin. Releasing the back of the neck. When you're ready bring your hands onto your hips strong through your legs. Press into the ball of your left foot. Come all the way back up. Let's reach our arms up towards the sky. Bend the front knee and play towards a warrior three. Lifting off. And you might stay here. You might play with lifting the back right leg. And let the right foot join the left. We'll inhale lengthen our spine. Reaching up. And then exhale. Release. Take a moment here and observe how you feel. From here we'll move our blocks off to the side and we'll come into a squat. Finding our way down to the floor. Nice work. Okay. Bring the feet wide and then sink down. Bending the knees. Again your heels might be lifted. They might be towards the floor. Hands might even find each other as the elbows draw and press into the inner thighs lengthening out of the low back. We'll find our way down to the floor in our own way. You might release your hands and come on to your sitting bones. We'll move into bridge. So roll on to your back. And then place your feet about hips distance apart in line with your sitting bones. Arms down along your sides. Bring some attention down towards the tailbone. We'll inhale. And with an exhale draw the tailbone under towards the knees. Press down through the feet. Lift the pelvis up. Lift the spine. Lift the back of the body. Let the front of the body lengthen. Thigh bones lengthening. You might keep the arms reaching towards your heels. You might roll and tuck your shoulders under your back. Maybe even interlacing your fingers or bringing your strap down where your hands are. And then finding length through the front of the body. Getting a sense of drawing the thighs towards each other as you press through your feet. Relax the butt a little bit. Feeling that support in your legs. Spacious around the throat. Nice. One more inhale. Exhale releasing the hands and then slowly lowering your spine down. Feeling each part of the spine. Each vertebra. Upper back. Middle back and low back. Let's find one more round. As you're ready. Inhale on an exhale curl the tailbone under. Press through your feet. Lift your back. Lift your spine. Again arms might reach towards your ankles. You might roll and tuck your shoulders under your back. Interlacing or hands might find your low back this time. Supporting your hips there. Your pelvis. Your sacrum. And then taking a few breaths here. Notice where you can soften through the face again. To release we'll come high up onto the balls of our feet. Stretch the arms up towards the sky. Lift the heels. Get round through your upper back. And then so slow rolling down. Feeling your upper back. Middle and lower back. Release. Taking a moment to pause here. We'll find some opening for the hips now. Let's bring our right ankle across the left thigh. Opening that hip. You might stay right here. You might draw your left knee into your chest. You might curl up. Find the back of the left thigh or top of the shin. It will be rocking a little bit from side to side. From here moving into an eagle wrap spinal twist. So we'll wrap our right leg. Continue to wrap it around the left. You might even toe heel the foot behind that left ankle. Roll onto your left side. Stack the shoulders. And then inhale the right arm up. Maybe it's floating in space. Maybe that right shoulder is releasing towards the floor. Find a place where your neck and head are really comfortable.

Breathing into where you feel the stretch. Into where you might feel some sensation. Maybe it's your shoulder. Maybe it's your ribs or your hip. Good. And then on an inhale coming back up to center. Unwind. Let's stretch our legs up towards the sky. Good. Bend the knees. Bring the feet down. Left ankle across the right thigh. Opening the hip. Send the knee away. Stay here or as you want to feel more draw that right knee in. You might even curl up. Find the back of that right thigh or top of the shin. Rocking a little bit from side to side. This can feel like a nice relief after the standing poses. With all that internal rotation. Good. Moving into Eagle Wrap Spinal Twist. Release the hands. Wrap that left leg. You might even toe heel the foot around that right ankle. Roll onto your right side. Stack the shoulders and then let the left arm open. Again, maybe it's floating in space. Maybe you're working that left shoulder towards the floor with the arms out to your sides. Taking a few breaths here into where you feel sensation. Into where you feel the stretch. Once you're ready on the inhale, come back through the center. Stretch your legs up.

You might shake them out a little bit. Draw the knees into the chest and then bring the feet to the floor. Coming into our final relaxation. Maybe the knees are bent. Maybe you're stretching your legs out as you come into Shavasana. Palms might open. And relaxing any effort with your attention, with your breathing, or through the body. You might stay here a bit longer. You might stretch the arms overhead, lengthening, reaching through your fingers and toes, and then drawing the knees in. Keeping the eyes soft as you roll to your side. Pause. You might even curl up there. Gradually making your way towards the seat. We'll close our practice. Coming into a comfortable seat. Keeping the eyes soft. Let's take an inhale and exhale. Thank you for your practice. Wonderful work. See you in the next practice. Namaste.

Comments

Scuba Chick
Great practice, Alana! I very much enjoyed it! i'm stiff and sore from weekend activities and this helped ease out some of the kinks.
Karina H
1 person likes this.
For the first time, I am actually sweating. Loving this high energy, thanks x
Sandra Židan
Hi, Alana! I really liked this practice! Thanks! I'll have to take this as a course one day! Kind regards!

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