Aligned With Breath Artwork
Season 2 - Episode 3

Expansive Warrior Flow

55 min - Practice


Margi slowly guides us in a flow practice leading toward an expansive Virabhadrasana I (Warrior 1) Pose subtly honing in on all the details. We then move into backbending postures and play with headstands. You will feel nourished and spacious.
What You'll Need: Mat, Blanket, Strap, Block (2)

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Hello and welcome. The beginning of this practice is going to build towards warrior one, which to me is a very exciting pose because for the first 10 years of my practice it hurt and I just bared it and now it feels like this incredible internal fascial muscular massage. So we're going to work towards warrior one and then move into a little bit of back bending and head stance. So we're going to start by placing two blocks and you can always play with how you place your blocks and for that matter with everything you do in your yoga practice. It's all a physical lab. I'm going to start with two blocks both on the lowest height and then lie down with my shoulder blades bottom and middle shoulder blade onto the first block and then I gingerly put my head down onto the second block and then lift the pelvis up just a little bit and scoot yourself a little more just an inch or so or less even towards your head. So the block pulls the shoulder blades down the back. If you need to kind of walk your shoulder blades further down you can do that and we'll let the arms open to the sides. Close your eyes if that's comfortable or you can leave them gently open and begin the process of settling down and into your body. Let your resistance any physical or mental resistance dissolve as your body sinks over the blocks and the mind continues to draw inwards. Supporting the shoulder blades and the head is a wonderful way to begin the practice because it counters all the forward action that we normally find ourselves in. So it's really normal to feel a little tight through the chest through the shoulders and you can just feel that and let it open and then let your breath begin to deepen for an internal opening and as the breath comes in feel it draw into the chest opening all the little channels of the chest into the front of the shoulders and then as you exhale once again release resistance as if you're going to drop right through the blocks right through the ground. Inhale comes in you watch the expansion and exhale settling softening and releasing more completely over the two blocks. Just a couple more breaths here as best you can keeping your attention anchored and rooted into the expansion of the inhalation and the softening of the exhalation. Okay and then we're going to take the block that's underneath the head between your two hands lift your head and put the head back down and then reach your hands around the block way up overhead. If it's too much stretch in the shoulders you can just lift your arms if you have a light block you can carry the block or not let the arms hover otherwise let the arms go all the way up overhead the thumb is touching the ground and then stretch one leg and then the other leg long onto the mat and this gets more much more active than where we were. Completely reach up through the arms reach long through the heels press the thighs down and lengthen just a little bit through the tailbone in the direction of the heels. Squeeze into the block with your arms the arms are firm and then even though this has gotten more active see if there can still be a passive sense around the chest letting the chest continue to release over the block. This is very similar to the upper body of warrior one it's a back bend so the chest is open the arms are reaching there's a tremendous amount of length through the spine. And then with your next exhalation just bring the block straight up towards the ceiling engage in your arms engage in your core a bit also to do that and then as you inhale bring the block back overhead stretching the arms long stretching the heels long exhale block up towards the ceiling use the front ribs drawing down the low belly to help you bring the arms up exhale the arms down and last time bring the arms up and down and then this time leave the block overhead and slide your hands behind your head take a breath in exhale lift your head bend your knees and then do a little as if you're gonna sit up but it's very I think maybe impossible for most of us to sit all the way up but a feeling of sitting up engaging low belly pelvic floor and then lower down a little bit exhale coiling up pelvic floor to low belly inhale down just an inch or two super small movements exhale coming up in warrior one it's important to have a sense of pelvic floor and core staying stable inhale lower down this time as you exhale you can sit all the way up you can reach your arms forward somehow find your way all the way up to sit we're gonna take the blocks move one to one side and the other to the other side and then have a strap and come to lie down with that long extended body hug your left knee in towards your chest and then open your strap we're going to put the strap very specifically on the ball of the left foot and then reach the left leg up into supta pan gustasana one so we're gonna have the belt on the ball of the foot so that the ball the foot pulls down thereby stretching the calf muscles and the Achilles tendon in the back of the leg an important part of warrior one is the stretch the ability to stretch the back calf lift your right leg up a couple of inches roll it in so the inner thigh drops down the right side of the back widens and then lengthen your leg all the way back down to the ground take a deep breath in and then bend your left knee just slightly and drive your left sitting bone in the direction of your right heel to help even and balance the pelvis and the waist and then with the exhalation re extend the left leg put both sides of the belt into your left hand turn your left leg out from the thigh bone rotating in the hip socket and let's put the right hand onto the right leg and carry the left leg out to the side I like to use my elbow as a little kick stand and just let the legs really radiate from the midline from the center keep the right leg strong stick the right arm out to the side two breaths here inhale exhale one feeling the breath now come into the chest and expand to the limbs exhale two and then use your deep core muscles going from left to right to pull the leg back up to the center I'm going to twist I'm going to suggest that you put your block to the side so that the block can catch your left shin as it comes over and roll all the way all the way over to your right side and then let your left arm widen and open to the left big twisted pose letting the whole contents of the belly really revolve and open warrior one doesn't have a twist that's this major but there is a little bit of a twist in the pose so it's good to warm up the spine in this way roll the left outer hip down towards the right heel to lengthen the left side of the waist and with each exhalation let your left shoulder blade grow a little bit heavier into the ground and then let your left arm just go along the floor to come up overhead roll over to your left side and bend your knees into a little fetal position and then come back onto your back second side of this whole situation bring the ball of the foot into the strap and reach the foot up there's weight there's reasons to bring the belt to bring different parts of the foot but today really emphasizing the ball of the foot and then drawing the ball of the foot down reaching up and lengthening through the right heel left leg lifts roll slightly in to widen the left side of the back and then bring the leg back down so we roll it in really to bring it to neutral since it has a tendency to roll out on a neutral left leg bend your right knee slightly notice the bending of the knee takes the stress off the hamstrings maybe you can soften a little through the low belly right sitting bone lengthens to the left heel to balance the pelvis with an exhalation re-extend up through the right leg continuing to gently or maybe a little bit more strongly draw the ball of the foot down opening the calf both sides of the belt into the right hand from the top of the right leg turn it out stabilize through your abdomen as you carry your right leg open to the side elbow again creating a little kickstand right sitting bone lengthening to the left heel two deep breaths inhale exhale inhale radiating breath to limbs and exhale the low belly pulls from right to left to bring the leg back up you can set up your your block to catch your right shin roll to your outer left hip outer left foot put the shin onto the block and then open your right arm out to the right continue so the right hip here likes to hike up and right waist shortened so to to avoid that try to draw the outer right hip towards the left heel as the belly rolls feel the deep turning of the viscera of the belly each exhalation the right shoulder getting a little heavier and then let your right arm begin its journey up overhead and take the strap away roll over to your left side and then press into the floor come up we'll come on to hands and knees and once you come on to your hands and your knees we'll move into a little bit of cat and cow so as you come into to cow pose instead of your deepest cow really emphasize the length of the front bodies from the chin moving forward to the pubic bone moving back lots of length and then when you exhale lift the center of the abdomen up and let the rest of the pose come as a result of the lift of the belly and as you inhale again slide into cow pose pubic bone rolls back chin moves forward but a feeling of length more than arch and as you exhale round pulling the abdomen up the head and the tail respond to lift the belly inhale bringing yourself into cow pose a long cow and exhale rounding abdomen lifts last time breathing in matching breath to movement and exhale round from here come to a neutral spine press back into child's pose keeping the arms extended if your forehead doesn't reach the ground easily take a moment and put a block underneath your forehead and let your brain your head drop and rest in child's pose even though the arms are active reaching long through the arms rolling the inner arms biceps up a little bit and widening between the shoulder blades and then from here in your mind's eye bring your crown chakra the very very top of your head to your attention imagine there's a light shining from the top of the head and then lift the head just a little so the light shines forward and then let that bring you forward and come into plank position head shines forward and then let your heels just tether you back so you're very very joined between your head and your heels and then you let your legs pull you up and back into downward facing dog and go through those poses a couple times so inhale to a long cow you can keep your toes tucked under for convenience as you come back into an extended child's pose inhale crown of the head guides you into plank positions heels tether back exhale downward facing dog inhale brings you to cow long front spine exhale toes stay under extended child's pose inhale lengthening plank and let your legs pull you back into downward facing dog you take a couple of breaths here pressing the hands down and forward pulling the hips up and back and strongly descending down through the heels with your next exhalation bend your knees look forward and walk or jump your feet to the outside of your hands come down into a squat and here in the squat feel the whole front spine lengthening as much as you can the pose of meat makes the shoulders roll forward but we counter that by broadening across the collarbones any amount descending the shoulder blades and then find your breath here and notice the breath as well as the dominant sensations in your body and also be aware of the more subtle sensations and remove your awareness so that you have a whole body intelligence holding the whole of yourself maybe even beyond a little bit in your awareness with your breath if this twist if this squat is hard on your knees or ankles it's also fine to be up higher like this there's lots of options for squatting this is a good one okay and from wherever you are press into your feet come all the way up to stand reach tall and then step your feet together into tadasana mountain pose your tadasana can always be feet together feet apart a little bit more whichever feels more steady and kind of like a like a good mountain so from tadasana turn your palms to face out and reach your arms up and then recall that feeling that we did earlier of having a block in between the hands lengthening the arms lengthening the side body and then as if there's a block behind your shoulder blades turning your upper body to perhaps see the space in between your arms not from dropping the head but from lifting the chest warrior one feeling of a big lifted open chest and then see what it feels like to bring your hands together if it makes you feel like you're going to choke or claustrophobic you don't need that in your yoga practice so you can always keep your hands apart or even make them wider and then with your exhalation with all this length fold forward over your legs it's fine to bend your knees as you inhale step your right foot back to a lunge and then root your hands lift your pelvis downward facing dog inhale cow pose with that long front body like we did before exhale extended child's pose inhale crown of the head leads the way to plank exhale legs pull you back downward facing dog bend your right knee a bit sink down through your left heel stretching the calf switch over to the other side left knee bends right heel descends stretching the calf and then bend both knees slightly and either walk or jump your feet to the front of your mat in between your hands as you inhale lengthen your whole spine pulling the chest forward and then as you exhale fold over your legs drop the head again fine to bend the knees if you can't reach the floor you have your hands on blocks inhale come all the way up to stand finding that warrior one big lift of the chest exhale hands to the heart and down to your side second side inhale long arms reach up exhale open fold relaxing the head at the bottom bend your knees take your head forward as the left foot steps back to a lunge and then root hands lift the pelvis dog pose inhale knees float at the same time to the floor cow exhale extended child's pose inhale to plank exhale down dog two breaths inhale letting the breath come in exhale sinking the heels towards the ground and feel your whole body now as you inhale exhale bend your knees look forward step or jump front of the mat inhale to lengthen your spine exhale fold inhale arms out to come up long spine lifted heart like there's a block behind the heart exhale hands to the heart and down to the sides again inhale reach up exhale fold forward inhale right foot back exhale dog inhale cow exhale child's hands inhale plank this time stay as you exhale one more inhale broad across the chest and then as you exhale lower down onto your belly point your feet slide your forearms forward interlace your fingers and tuck your little finger underneath so you have a smooth line between your one elbow to your hands to your other elbow open the chest lift the chest and check in here with the low back if you feel compression or or pinching in the low back lift your abdomen up like there's a ice cube beneath your belly button lift up up up until there's no compression in the low back there's definitely an arch in the back but we don't want to have a painful feeling and then lift your chest up and out of the low back broaden across the chest tuck your toes under lift your belly lift your pelvis reach back through your heels into forearm plank heavy wrists heavy forearms heavy elbows reach the heels back away from the length of the crown of the head and then bring your knees to the floor pelvis to the floor chest lifts point toes point back slide your hands by your ribs press up and back dog pose feeling the whole body all the residual sensations the end of the next exhalation bend your knees walk or jump your feet forward forward inhale to lengthen exhale fold inhale come all the way up this time as you exhale fold it right back over your legs inhale left foot to a lunge exhale downward dog inhale cow exhale child's pose inhale plank exhale pause and plank breathe in widening the chest but keep the forearms hugging in exhale lower all the way down slide forearms forward maybe take the opposite as habitual interlace of fingers tuck little the little finger underneath tuck the toes come right into forearm plank heavy forearms wide collarbones shoulder blades slide down the back from here take a big step forward lift your pelvis up as you press your forearms down pull the thighs strongly back away from the heavy forearms and try to widen between the shoulder blades any amount step back forearm plank take a breath here here exhale knees to the floor pelvis to the floor lift the chest slide your hands back by your ribs press up and back downward dog a couple of breaths here and in the next exhalation bend your knees look beyond your fingertips walk or jump forward inhale to lengthen exhale fold and then toe heel your feet apart maybe the feet four inches apart interlace your fingers behind your back reach your hands straight up towards the ceiling to pull the head of the shoulder up broadening across the chest and then let your arms come overhead if this is a challenging position for you you're not alone very common you grab your strap put the strap in between your hands and then bring the arms up overhead with the hands not so close together things always get more a little easier and more stable when there's more breath like earlier we saw in when the arms were overhead when the hands were wider there was most more space same here if the hands are wider it's a little easier to get the openness let your knees bend a bit let the pelvis tip over the thighs and the arms keep traveling overhead feel the breath feel the many sensations here the dominant ones as well as the subtle ones and make sure the head is released it's just falling away from the heart bring your hands to your low back brush your hands down the backs of your legs i'm going to stand right on the hands and tapata hastasana so the middle finger goes right down the center of the foot it's totally fine to have your knees bent to get your hands wedged underneath there you want to get your hands so far underneath that your toes are up onto your wrists and then the knees can begin to straighten any amount and take your elbows to the side lift your shoulder blades up a little bit and then rock your weight forward into your hands so you're really standing onto your hands by elevating the balls of the feet once again we're getting into the calf muscles take a breath or two more here and then see if at the same time you can slip your hands out from underneath your feet and step your left foot back to a lunge from here we're going to lower the left knee down bring the right hand onto the right thigh and reach the left arm up so another huge important and amazing part of warrior one is the stretch of the quads and the psoas so here you feel that on the left side if you don't feel it let your pelvis come forward a little more if you're very flexible keep a really strong integration of the right thigh back into the socket to hold you out of overstretching that area push down onto your right thigh with your right hand to create a little more space in the front of the right belly and then hold on to that as you reach your arms up here we are in our warrior one arms again and then imagine the block behind the shoulder blades to lift and lengthen up and then let your breath just trail from the left thigh to the left hip to the left ribs the left armpit up through the little finger from here come into a twist took your left elbow to the outside of the right leg hands to prayer the right hand presses into the left hand to help the abdomen turn and then it's fine to keep your back knee down if you can though see if you can straighten through the back leg as you do this feel your outer hips hugging in like you're wearing pants that are a little bit too tight on the outer hips so that you get a little stability there and then from here look down keep the outer hips kind of taut in reach up to a high lunge lean to the diagonal bring your hands to the floor step the back foot to meet the front foot as you inhale lengthen your whole spine and as you exhale fold forward bend knees head forward step your right foot back to a lunge slowly lower your right knee down left hand to the left thigh and reach your right arm up left hand pressing down onto the left thigh helps to lift the contents of the low belly lift the pubic bone towards the navel and then the pelvis comes forward but is tethered back by the left thigh drawing into the socket bring both arms up anjana asana leaning back lengthening this really has that virabhadrasana one feeling of length all the way in the front of the right side of the body and then twisting right elbow to the outside of the left leg bring your hands to prayer open across the chest keep the breath steady and then if it's in your cards back toes tuck under outer hips cinch in as the back leg straightens that gives stability from that stability the spine lengthens and then look down a little bit of a balancing act come up to high lunge take a breath in in exhale lean forward hands down lift your pelvis step back downward facing dog let's inhale to cow pose exhale back to child's pose and just rest here for a moment letting the head rest letting the spine rest letting the pelvis drop and then extending through the arms come back into downward facing dog and then lift your right leg up into the air let the right hip open let your right knee bend once again opening the quads sink through the left heel opening the calf of that left leg and then stretch the leg up draw it through parallel step forward to your lunge and then spin your back heel down so you want to have in warrior one we're moving our way into the big the big pose you want to have your heel for right now aligned with your heel so right heel left heel aligned left foot on a very strong angle so the toes are angled forward and then come up just with your hands onto your hips and turn your pose just a little bit to the left turn your chest and your pelvis like almost like you're weren't opening to warrior two but just an inch or two and then when you turn back turn the pelvis only to the degree that's very comfortable if you torque into the pelvis you and your back heel is steady you'll you can twist your knee so the pelvis only turns to the degree that feels very easy and comfortable and then bring your hands onto your ribs turn the ribs to face forward so there is the twist if the pelvis isn't quite facing forward but the ribs do lift your ribs with your hands i always think of baryshnikov in this moment lifting the lifting the waist lifting the ribs and then take your arms up bend your front knee a little bit more and then lift up lengthen back as if you have the block behind your shoulder blades only if it's comfortable palms can come together and then breathe and feel the whole pose exhale hands to the floor spin your back heel up step back downward dog second side with that detail again left leg comes up let it rotate out bend your knee keep drawing the right outer hip back so we try not to let the right leg be affected by the fanciness of the left leg sink down through the right heel with an inhalation straighten the left leg draw it through parallel step forward to a lunge spin the back heel down again check heel to heel alignment and back foot on a strong angle so the toes are closer than the heel and then come up with your hands on your hips open just a little bit towards warrior two and then anchor through the back heel and turn your pelvis only the degree that feels very easy and comfortable where the body wants to go and then slide hands up onto the ribs turn your ribs to face forward lift your ribs especially the back ribs if you don't like the back ribs you can crank into that lower back so the back ribs lift up and then the arms go up overhead bend the front knee a little bit more lift the chest lean back bring the hands together if it's okay otherwise they can go wider and feel the whole expanse from your right ankle up to the right little finger the feet root the heart lifts exhale hands down step back plank from plank lower chaturanga either cobra or upward facing dog lifting the chest wide collarbones and pull back into downward facing dog this time we're going to start without the down dog split just spin your left heel to the ground another way to come into the pose step your right foot forward inhale warrior one exhale hands to the floor step back downward dog right heel spins down right heel spins down left foot forward root to rise exhale hands down step back downward dog again like that left heel down right foot forward inhale rise exhale hands down dog pose right heel down left foot forward inhale rise exhale hands down this time plank chaturanga the cobra legs are on the floor upward dog legs are off the floor you can pick which works best for you and then pull back downward dog settle here breathe if you want to do a child's pose feel free to do that for a couple of breaths okay and then if you're in child's pose join me in downward dog inhale the right leg rises exhale step forward back heel roots inhale warrior one as you exhale straighten your front leg interlace your fingers behind your back inhale pull the arms down lift your chest up exhale bend your front knee fold forward humble warrior i think this might have some other names as well so right outer hip tacks back shoulders draw back and the arms come any amount overhead deep breaths the back leg stays firm like an anchor with an inhale swing back up into warrior one and then lean forward on the diagonal lift your back heel take a little half step forward and then lengthen into warrior three warrior three is not a back bend but it has that really big length and reach of warrior one from here bend the leg you're standing on come into a high lunge and then come back into a twist this time take your left armpit a little bit more over the right knee and bring your left hand maybe to the floor block or a block and the other arm up towards the ceiling okay from here bring your hands to the inside of the right foot pivot around into prasari facing the side of the mat as you inhale lift your chest and as you exhale fold forward let the crown of the head drop down towards the the mat if you have a block close by and your head isn't on the ground you might want to put the crown of your head onto a block so lift your legs from the inner arches to the inner calves and knees and your groins as the head releases down and then come up lunge at the front of your mat just pivot around and step back into downward dog second side inhale the left leg rises exhale step forward root the right heel inhale rise up exhale straighten your front leg take the opposite interlace the fingers behind your back inhale arms pull down chest lifts up and exhale coming forward the torso to the inside of the left thigh shoulders lift away from the ground and the arms come up overhead tack the left outer hip left outer outer thigh back as your right heel continues to root let the breath help you find space inside rooting into your feet like a little bit of a swing at a park inhale whoosh up up and then lean onto the diagonal lift your back heel you can take a little step in get your weight over your left leg and tip forward into warrior three feeling very long right inner thigh rolls up abdomen has to lift up to avoid going into cow pose and then bend the leg you're standing on come back into a high lunge breathe in exhale twist again closing off the space between the right armpit and the left outer knee so the right hand comes closer to or on the floor other arm reaches up bring your hands to the inside of the left foot pivot around till your straddle this time reach out hold onto your big toes with your index finger your middle finger breathe in lengthen your spine exhale fold elbows wide head down inner shoulder blades lift up feel the strength of the legs but a release of the spine and then exhale hands to your hips inhale halfway up your next inhale come all the way up to stand and then step your feet together and just stand for a moment in mountain pose so after all of that warrior one we're going to turn upside down and give the legs a little bit of a break and i'm going to teach you a way to do it that i find helps most people get more stability and comfort in the pose so take your mat right to a little piece of wall and get a blanket it doesn't have to be a fancy yoga blanket but um i want you to fold it in a specific way that will make it kind of long like a big long thin bolster so i'm going to take this uh yoga blanket open it like so and then put it in thirds so that it looks something like this it doesn't have to be you know exactly specific if you have a different kind of blanket it's fine and i'm going to bring that right to touch the wall and then i'm going to do it just a classic shishasana a shisha means head asana means seat so you make your head your seat in a head stand and the fingers are interlaced which gives the amount most amount of support you know later head stands have less support through the arms but this is a good one to get the support through the arms will interlace the fingers and just like we were doing before the little finger tucks in and the elbows will go no wider than the shoulders and then when the head comes down the head goes right into the hands and earlier i was referencing the crown of the head you want that very crown of your head to be the place that goes onto the blanket so the blanket will have the head a little bit higher but the arms will be on the ground in this way the upper arms help to feed into the shoulder blades and you want that big pranic lift up through your pose so you turn and you can kneel over your blanket you interlace your fingers underneath the blanket and bring your elbows no wider than shoulders and then come back onto your hands and knees and put the very top of your head the crown of your head into the blanket right here lift your shoulder blades up that's the action we want drop them down again the action we don't want and then again lift them up from here straighten your legs and recall here it's a different orientation but recall of the block pressing into the shoulder blades can you let your shoulder blades come firmly towards your chest and then walk forward maybe your toes go up onto the blanket shoulder blades keep firming in from there keep walking in bend one knee a little hop is okay but minimal hop use more your core and the turning of the pelvis to bring the feet onto the wall and pause here by the way you can stay here this is also a headstand there's no pressure to come up you want to have i'm going to say 70 percent of the weight into the arms 30 in the head so light on the head and then extend your legs up and the legs are pretty smart here after doing all that standing work so use them to lift and be strong and join together push into your forearms relax your fingers and draw the upper arms towards the shoulder blades the shoulder blades towards the sitting bones the sitting bones up towards the heels very elongated so the the blanket both gives some softness underneath the head as well as makes the upper arm bones more upright to feed into the lift of the back body you're welcome to stay a little longer your body will tell you more than anything else much more than me for sure when it's time to come down when you're already bend your knees slowly come down and then rest in child's pose with your forehead soft onto the blanket off onto the blanket give yourself a nice long rest in child's pose your brain feels balanced slide your hands underneath your shoulders and come up and we're going to set up for a bridge pose with the toes tucking touching the wall and i like to do bridge pose these days with a little blanket underneath my shoulders to take some of the tension out of the neck so i'm just going to use the blanket folded in the same way and you might have to figure out for yourself exactly how far away the blanket should be so that you can have your knees bent toes at the wall shoulders on the blanket i just want to say that not my head is on the blanket but my shoulders are on the blanket it's very common for people to want to put something under the head but for this one the shoulders on the blanket and then arms by your sides take a breath in and as you exhale press into your feet lift your pelvis and then interlace your fingers underneath you and roll your shoulders underneath you we've done this position in different orientations and so just the toes are up the wall which helps the legs from going in the different direction that we want them we want them tracking really straightforward press the shoulders down into the blanket and let the the breastbone lift almost again like you have that block underneath your shoulder blades and then take your shin bones and move them away from the wall to further open the front of the body it's a warrior one like opening here in the front body right up to the throat release your arms exhale lower down for the next one we're going to start with the feet a little bit closer together maybe one or two inches apart take a breath in exhale press down into the feet interlace the fingers roll your shoulders under when you roll your shoulders under you don't want to completely close off the back of the spine have a sense that the spine can still widen even though the arms and shoulder blades are coming in from here put your right foot up onto the wall press into the right foot to help lift the whole pelvis lift the left half as well as the right the left half sometimes lags behind that's why i said that uh up and then put your right heel onto the wall once again firm right leg chest opens left thigh hugs in from here lift your right leg straight up to the ceiling spreading your toes imagine your right foot is getting sucked up to the ceiling and then put your foot down we'll just go right into the other side but if you want to rest in between that's fine left foot into the wall press into the wall to lift both halves of the pelvis up evenly the right shin is moving away from the wall the right thigh is hugging in throat is soft and then the left heel onto the wall take a breath in exhale left foot goes up pelvis goes up the throat stays soft shoulders press down and then bring your foot down release your hands and lower down if you like a wheel pose in your practice this would be a nice place to put it in in otherwise we'll slide just a little bit towards the head so the the blank is more underneath the shoulders move your feet a bit away from the wall and let your knees just go from side to side really easily like windshield wipers just relaxing the back relaxing the belly relaxing the chest and the throat and then next time your legs are over to the right roll onto your right side press down to come up and then slide your previously folded blanket right about two inches away from the wall and let's actually fold like if you can make your blanket a little bit higher a little more height we're going to come into viparita karani which is legs up the wall with the pelvis elevated and then you sit right on the very corner of the blanket roll onto your right side and then onto your back bringing your legs up the wall you can adjust but you want to have your abdomen like a pool like a lake right over uh the blanket and then the arms rest to the sides so you might want to draw the shoulder blades down and find a place for the arms that feels very spacious so as i said like earlier if your arms are close that's more kind of tight less spacious so let your arms be somewhere wide to the sides definitely with space underneath the armpits and then take a deep breath in and a smooth breath out and notice here any sensations anything you feel and as you're noticing what you feel notice if anything else could soften we're using this pose today in this practice as shavasana so that they have a very quiet soft feel so as your awareness sails around your body and you're noticing what else you could soften also let there be a feeling of the awareness just broadening so the mind moves from inwards now outwards towards the skin let your skin soften especially the skin of the face letting the face feel a little bit more innocent any furrowing between the eyebrows can release sides of the head sides of the brain soften down into the mandible the jaw let the bottom jaw release from the top relax your throat on the sides of the neck let the low back soften and descend onto the block onto the blanket and above that the belly again like a lake spreads right half of the belly spreading to the right left half of the belly spreading to the left and the legs settling into their sockets you can let the breath become very subtle now instead of telling the body how to breathe just let the body breathe breathe as it wishes so keep dropping in in staying right here in staying very quiet let your knees bend and let your feet come to the wall feel the wall with the soles of your feet and let your right arm come up so you can roll over to your right side and have a little cradle for your head from here press into the ground and come up and take the blanket right against the wall and end the practice sitting today in bada canasana so sit with your pelvis as close to the wall as possible and the soles of the feet together so you'd like to lean forward and use my hands going to pull the pelvis and the gluteus muscles of sitting bones back and then sitting back into the wall with the chest broad and the tops of the shoulders slightly pressing back helps to release the low belly and descend the inner thighs you can turn your hands to face down or face up whatever feels best to you and just take a moment again of full awareness in the ancient yoga sutras by patanjali he talks about eight limbs of yoga and in this practice i've been talking a little bit about the two of the limbs dharana which is a single pointed focus we did lots of very clear grounding rooting stretching specific parts of the body specific awarenesses and then more of a broadening awareness dhyana is the broad awareness the sixth and seventh limbs of yoga so as you move now into your day or night or wherever you are you can take this feeling of being able to really focus on something but as well have your awareness broadening and opening so you have a more sort of gestalt open experience of the world thank you


Brett Williams
Margi Young
Brett Williams Thanks for teaching me a new word! What does it mean? Namaste!
Brett Williams
Hi Margi. I enjoyed your class and found the reference to GESTALT theory fantASTIC and relevant; hence the mnemonic.
Margi Young
Brett Williams Ahhhh! Yes, of course.
Kate M
Beautifully precise cueing. Lovely intelligent sequencing! Thank you.
Christel B
1 person likes this.
Great practice with detailed cueing for hips, etc. Fun to imagine lifting up like Baryshnikov.
Margi Young
1 person likes this.
Baryshnikov lives at my diaphram!!
Betty M
1 person likes this.
Thanks for this one Margi!  I very much liked the way you approached the headstand.  I finally did one again!  
Margi Young
Betty M Thanks for writing and practicing. Funny, I am teaching an inversion series, and was doing headstand the day you wrote this. So i was reminded to check what I had done! Hope you are well in this moment.  Margi
Corrina B
So incredibly lovely to experience your masterful classes again.  Namaste!
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