45-Minute Yoga Flows Artwork
Season 3 - Episode 2

Grounding Flow

45 min - Practice


Calling in our earth element, Dana guides us through a sweet grounding practice with lots of emphasis on squats, legs, hamstrings, and hips. You will feel challenged, steady, and strong.
What You'll Need: Mat, Block


Read Full Transcript

Hi there and welcome to the mat and to our flowing practice today. Today we're going to begin by grounding. Find a comfortable seat and with your left hand open it up like a cup. Maybe tuck the index finger underneath the thumb and let your right fingertips settle to the earth somewhere. They can touch the earth in front of you or in this seat I'm going to take my fingertips to the side and allow your eyelids to be heavy, ideally in closing your eyes entirely.

Just breathe. You might have seen pictures or statues of the Buddha sitting like this with his fingertips down on the earth. Feel the support of the earth, the aliveness in the fingertips as they relate to the earth as if you could inhale and draw your sustenance up from the earth like a plant. Exhale, let go. Inhale, drawing energy, strength up from the earth below you, letting go of anything you don't need, maybe a sigh, inhale, exhale, good.

Make your way to hands and knees. Block can be nearby for later, tabletop position, begin to stir your hips and yes we're warming up the hips but more importantly we're bringing some weight forward into the palms, really grounding through the front of your palms. Stir it the other way, feel free to add your head, your neck, articulate cat cow style, and then make any circles incrementally smaller and feel that steadiness of the tabletop pose. Inhale, extend your right leg as you look forward and exhale, bring that knee to the nose, round in. Inhale right leg out, exhale, knee to nose, inhale right leg out, exhale right knee to upper right arm and squeeze, make good contact there.

Now right leg out, same thing, try to bring the knee to the arm, you might even bend the elbow today to find that contact. Inhale right leg out, and step your right foot outside your right hand for a really nice wide low lunge. We're going to tuck back toes and lengthen back leg, ground the left hand, inhale lift your right arm up, low lunge twist, a little free styling here, rolling the hands, getting out those cracks, inhale reaching your right arm forward and taking one big gesture opening up right side. Exhale right hand on the inside of the right foot and walk your way into straddle pose, this passara tapata tenasana, drop your head, maybe your head can even ground, surrendering that direction. Now come to a flat back, change nothing in the feet but bend your left knee, walking your fingertips over towards the left side, feeling perhaps lengthening in the inner right leg.

Breathing in, breathing out, grapevine walk your hands to the front of the mat into that wide low lunge and step your way back to plank posture. Look a little forward, push off the toes and lower all the way down to your belly now. For cobra bring your hands off your mat and open the hood of the cobra, press into the tops of the feet and begin to move, get snakey, head and shoulders, get to find their own groove and take it the other way too. Next exhale ribs down and hands close to the ribs to find our way back to the table top on all fours. Inhale lengthen left leg, look forward, exhale knee to nose, crawl that low belly in, inhale left leg out, exhale knee to nose, inhale left leg out, exhale left knee to upper left arm, find a seal, secure position there, inhale leg behind you, again knee to upper left arm, even bend the left elbow if you can find that and inhale lengthen the left leg.

Next time step your left foot outside your left hand, be sure your right hand is grounded and begin to kick and straighten that back leg. Inhale reach the left arm up and your wide low lunge twist and then we have a little warming of the wrist. On the next inhale you can reach that left arm forward, down and around once. Exhale left hand on the inside of the foot and walk your way into your straddle pose again you can always even up the feet but the toes are pointing towards your side wall. Drop the upper body and begin to bend your right knee, walking your hands over towards your right toes, breathing in and breathing out, breathing in and breathing out, walking your hands towards the front of the mat and that wide low lunge.

Stepping back plank pose, looking forward, pushing off the toes and like a board lower slowly all the way down to the earth. Locust pose, bring your palms down to the earth again and press the tops of the feet to the earth to begin, ground your pubic bone and on the inhale peel your upper body off the mat. The eyes are looking forward in this earth related practice. You never want this grounding to get us down. When you feel ready you can lift the legs or even lace your hands behind you and add that juiciness in the shoulders.

Breathing in, breathing out, breathing in and settle down to the earth. Hands close to the low ribs, talk the toes, bring the low ribs in and can you power right up to plank pose and then back to downward facing dog. In your down dog feel free to walk it out and for today's grounding practice in downward facing dog you can consider walking your feet in closer and seeing how it feels to bring the heels down to the earth in the downward facing. Inhale raise the heels now. And step your right foot outside your right hand and your left foot outside your left hand.

Inhale, walk your fingertips forward, find a flat back and then exhale forward fold into this wide stance. Inhale rise, reach arms overhead and bring the hands to prayer. Reach the arms out as if you were hugging a tree and begin to sit towards your chair pose. Breathing in and breathing out, toes might want to cheat out a little bit, that's fine. Just let this gentle movement as I'm demonstrating here get you a little lower into the strength of your legs.

One more breath, lengthen the legs and lace your hands behind your low back. Breathing in and breathing out, feel free to toggle a little left and right, introducing some opening to the shoulders. Now drizzle your hands down to the earth and step your right foot back to plank and your left foot back as well. Look forward, cast forward and lower down to the earth. Locust pose, hands lace again, inhale lift the body up, exhale stay, inhale lift and exhale come down.

Hands close to low ribs, tuck the toes, low belly in, low ribs in, can you come right back to plank pose? Exhale downward facing dog, potentially a more grounded down dog today, letting the heels find the floor. Breathing in and breathing out, inhale raise heels, left foot will step outside the left hand and the right foot will step out the right. Inhale lengthen the spine, exhale forward fold, inhale rise, reach arms overhead and ride into that modified chair pose, hugging your tree, let the hips go back deeper and here you might be making your way down towards malasana, the squat pose in an organic manner. Take another breath in wherever you're at and then exhale swing the arms behind you and lace the hands together once more, ideally switching the lacing, breathing in, hands to mat, stepping left foot back towards plank and the right foot too.

Looking a little forward casting off the toes and like a board finding your strength as you lower to the earth once more, non-dominant lacing of the fingers right into that locust pose. Think of lengthening your legs out from the hips, think of growing yourself up from the support of the earth, inhale a little higher and exhale take it down. Hands close to low ribs, tuck the toes, tuck your low ribs in, pubic bone grounds and the low belly comes in, press down, lift up to plank, exhale downward facing dog, again the option of grounding more today, breathing in, breathing out. Inhale raise your heels, bend your knees, left foot outside left hand, right foot outside right hand, inhale long spine, exhale forward fold, inhale rise, tap those hands in prayer, this time come all the way down to melasana, the squat pose, inhale press down to lift up, once more squat lift, get low, get into those legs, inhale lift up and then find your mountain pose. We'll take a mountain with the big toes touching and the hands together in prayer today, gazing at the horizon and inhale lift your toes up and then spread your toes, inhale lift toes up all ten and exhale lower, last time lift and lower, other side of the foot, inhale raise your heels and lower, inhale lift and lower.

We'll make this palm tree pose lifting the arms up, lacing the fingers and turning the palms to the sky, finding that tall strength of the palm tree pose. Once more inhale, exhale heels down, hands down, the complete footprint on your mat and then separate your feet, hips distance, inhale open up the chest, exhale forward fold into our padangusthasana, bend your knees as much as you need to to find that yogi tolak, inhale flat back, exhale elbows out as the head surrenders, inhale, exhale bring the weight to the middle of the feet, no hanging back today, breathing in and release those toes, soften the knees and stand on your own hands, padangusthasana, there's a great massage here, pawing across your hands, wiggle your toes, grounding, soften knees to release the hands and walk your feet as wide as your mat, ostrich pose you're going to walk your hands through your legs, pulling the mat towards you to bring your head a little lower, now you could bend the knees and move a little deeper by finding a seagrip of the thumb and the hand coming around the back of the shin and gently nuzzle those shoulders in on the inside of the knee, even squeezing the knee in, deep forward fold, breathing in, breathing out, breathing in and breathing out, release any gripping and place the hands down, step your left foot to the back of the mat and spin your left heel down for a wide version of warrior one, bring your arms up, feel the hands in prayer, look up, even as the tailbone grounds you down, breathing in, breathing out, breathing in, breathing out, release the hands behind the low back, place the right thumb on top, lengthen your front leg, open chest, reverent warrior, first step or krama, the shoulder comes to the knee, but in time the shoulder comes on the inside of the knee and the head can ground, breathing in, breathing out, breathing in, breathing out, inhale return to your warrior one, exhale straighten that front leg and send your palms back, inhale open to this flying warrior, your hands will tap in prayer, then exhale forward fold into the straddle, the pasarita padasanasana, take a breath in and a breath out, first time you can walk those hands back and in that same vein bring the earth to you, breathing in, breathing out, crawl your hands forward, inhale flat back, spin your left toes out of smidge and come to skandhasana, this front foot wants to spin up, left heel might come down but if it's not don't despair, you're going to bring your left fingertips out like a kickstand with the left fingertips down in that same buddha stance and bring your right arm up, breathing in and breathing out, breathing in, hands come down, walk your way forward, little momentum is fine, low lunge, step your left foot outside the hand flat back, exhale forward fold, inhale rise, tap your hands over your head, squat lift, getting low, one of those lift up, exhale come down, lift the seat and step your right foot back, spinning your back heel down, warrior one going slow this first time to write the poses in our body, breathing in, breathing out, breathing in, breathing out, hands down, left thumb on top, lengthen front leg, reverent warrior shoulder to knee or in time shoulder on the inside and the head finds the ground, breathing in, breathing out, breathing in, breathing out, inhale warrior one, straighten that front leg, palm those arms back, flying warrior, hands tap in prayer, turn to sidewall, exhale forward fold to the passarita, this time right to flat back and skandhasana, potentially turning the right toes out, take the right fingertips out and lift the left arm up, breathing in, breathing out, breathing in, breathing out, hands to the mat and spin forward low lunge, picking up a little pace as you step the right foot outside the right hand and exhale forward fold, inhale rise, arms overhead, squat lower, inhale and lower again, send your hips up and step the right foot back, back heel down, inhale warrior one, exhale hands behind you laced, inhale lengthen front leg, exhale surrender the head reverent warrior, inhale warrior one, one time arms palm back as you straighten the front leg, find that flying warrior, adding on warrior two, spin your right toes forward and ground your tailbone, take a breath in, exhale extended side angle elbow to the knee, reach your left arm over your ear and consider bringing your fingertips down, breathing in and breathing out, inhale left hand can reach behind you even finding half bind, option for full bind too if the body says yes, breathing in, breathing out, breathing in, look down now, begin to spin on your right toes coming into that straddle, if you lose the bind that's fine, place the right hand down and work with that half bind or even take that right hand to your left shin and give it a little pull, with or without the bind bending the right knee can really get juicy in the hips, getting low, breathing in, breathing out, breathing in and letting any binds, any gestures with the arms go, arms surrendering feeling a little bit more like cooked spaghetti, turn your left toes out and find that skandhasana again sending the hips down, left fingertips are kickstand and the right arm comes up, staying here or alternatively option for bind, breathing in, breathing out, breathing in, breathing out, let those hands go, stay low as you walk into that wide low lunge, left foot steps out of the hand, flat back, exhale forward fold, inhale rise, bring the arms overhead, slowly slowly down through that squat lift, inhale rise up, exhale lower, breath in, exhale send the heat up, hips up and the hands down, step your right foot back and spin your back heel down, inhale warrior one, exhale hands behind low back, raise the fingers, lengthen front leg, exhale reverent warrior, inhale back to warrior one, one time arms go back as you straighten left leg, spin into flying warrior tapping those hands in prayer and this time we add on the warrior two, left toes will spin forward and the arms come down parallel with the earth, breathing in and breathing out, breathing in, left elbow to the thigh reaching the right arm over your ear to begin in this extended side angle and then consider drifting the fingertips down to the support of the earth again, right arm can come directly up in the extended side angle B and then you can play with half bind or you could play with full bind, breathing in, breathing out, breathing in, breathing out, look down, spin on those left toes, finding the straddle pose, keeping the bind as one option or drifting the left hand down to flat back, you can stay here or the right shin is there, it makes a great handle for the left hand, even bending the left knee to get deeper into hips, deeper in the leg strength, everybody breathing in and breathing out, breathing in and slither your arms down, if anything the arms just feel longer and more relaxed, pass through a flat back and spin your right toes out for Skandasana, the hips go down and the right fingertips spin out to the side like a kick stand, bring the left arm up or you can play with a bind, breathing in, breathing out, breathing in, breathing out, releasing your hands and take it into that wide low lunge, inhale right foot steps outside the hand flat back, exhale forward fold, inhale rise, reach arms overhead and bring the hands to prayer at the heart, step back a little bit so that you have some ground in front of you on the mat, inhale the arms come up and we're taking it down into that squat lift, often to stay with the squat lift practice or if you're fond of the crow or even if you're new to the shape because of our focus today you can try a nice low crow, so it's really my thighs that are squeezing into the arms and it helps mediate any trepidation about balancing, I just come forward until my feet become light and I'm just tipping back and forth like a scale, try it and see if it serves you squat lifts or a traditional crow, breathing in, breathing out, breathing in and then back to our melasana, breath in and breath out, take a breath in, lift your hips up wide forward fold, step your left foot back this time and tap your back knee down for a moment, walk your hands back and investigate that C grip on the right side, can you sneak your right shoulder underneath the knee, you're looking forward, don't let it get you down and use the fingertips, that buddha mudra to find the solidity of the earth below you, option to lengthen that back leg or to take it to yajnasana, that's called aeroplane pose, find a little gliding, a little freedom in the upper body even as your lower body is getting stronger, option two to take a bind, breathing in and breathing out, release any binding, bring the hips up a little and step your left foot outside your left hand, we'll walk our fingertips forward to flat back here and exhale forward fold, inhale rise and place your hands on your hips, from hands to hips sneak your hands around to back pocket area on your sacrum, bend your knees and just open up across your hips for a moment, let the blood and breath move through that, then exhale forward fold, yajnasana second side, step your right foot back and tap your right knee down, you're going to work with the C grip using your thumbs to gently snuggle the left shoulder underneath the knee, do round in the back to find that, place your fingertips wide, rely on the earth, option now to lengthen the back leg, keep looking forward, you can fly this aeroplane pose, breathing in, breathing out, breathing in, option to bind, breathing in, send that gaze forward and gently let any gesture of the hands go, this time we step back, lower down the knees and just take an easy lazy up dog, opening across your hips and then we're going to meet in a squat at the front of the mat, I'm just going to turn so you can see me best, feet nice and parallel by now, this should be quite possible, now if you're just learning these maricis it's fine to sit back on a block during this series so you have a little more confidence bringing the earth to you, we're going to spin those right fingertips out once more and bring the left arm up, now for the standing marici you would approach a bind and look down, everybody lift the hips and bring this left foot right underneath the center, rise to the ball of the right foot and begin to stand, now if you lose this bind no worries, you're going to come up right and remember that a tree is grounding too, you can always lose that bind, place the foot to the thigh and ground yourself in a tree, releasing any binds, stepping the right foot down, hands to jean pockets again, open up, breathing in and back through that squat, left fingertips down, right arm comes up, option to bind, everybody begin by looking down, transfer the weight over to the left foot and step your right foot right underneath your tailbone, lift the hips high, rise to the ball of the left foot and press down to lift up, if this bind is not in your practice today, it's a tree, verkshasana, hands to prayer, finding a gaze point on the earth a little ways in front of you, breathing in, breathing out, breathing in, everyone point that left knee forward, ground the left foot coming to a mountain pose, both footprints on the earth equally, let's join at the front of the mat, bring the arms up, exhale, uttanasana, forward fold, lengthen the spine, flat back and step back to your plank pose, push off the toes and come all the way down to the earth once more, and we'll make our way to bow pose, the dhanurasana, bring your arms down alongside your body and bend your knees, flex your feet so your feet make really good handles, lift your upper body, bring your hands back to your ankles and kick your feet back today first, ground the thighs, ground the pubic bone and then option to kick back and up, bowing open the front of your chest, breathing in, breathing out, breathing in, breathing out, one more breath here, exhale, ground yourself again, turn your head to one side and just rock your hips, let your low belly breathe, breathing in, breathing out, breathing in, breathing out, we're going to play with parjva dhanurasana, a side bow today, this one takes a little bit of momentum and is a fantastic opener for your hips and shoulders, you'll start out with the dhanurasana we just practiced, feet like handles holding onto the shins and lift up, to get to your right side, bend your knees a little bit and rock over to the side, as you open up, press your feet equally behind you, try to keep that integrity of the hips distance between your knees, take one more breath in here and bend your knees and rock to your belly once more, inhale lift up, bend of knees and a little rocking takes you to the left side, breathing in, breathing out, breathing in, breathing out, one more breath in, soften those knees, rock to the center, find the bow once more and then let it go, let your head turn to the other side and rest, great place to feel the belly moving against the earth, to allow that deep low breath to work out any tension in your low back, breathing in and breathing out, guide your hands alongside your low ribs, press to the table top, just a few sweet investigative cat cows to bring some space and ease to our low back and then swing your legs around coming to Dandasana the stick pose on your mat, both legs are forward and we'll take a twist here, bring your right foot in and place your right heel just outside your thigh, you'll turn to the right and at first just hug in that right knee, keep the right hip point grounded, alternatively you can lift the left arm and place the elbow outside the knee to really turn, consider moving your right fingertips back into that Buddha gesture once more, does that give you a little more space to ring out the lower back, just a gentle counter twist bowing, want an inhale rising up and we'll move to second side, right leg lengthens, left foot comes in and the heel comes outside the thigh, turning to the side, give your left knee a hug or lift the right arm up and place the elbow outside the knee, use that elbow grease to turn around, left fingertips like a kickstand, breathing in, breathing out, breathing in, breathe out, release that twist, take a reverent bow, coming up right and bringing both legs out in front of you to explore our forward fold a little deeper, we're going to come forward and see if you can find your yogi toe lock again, the feet can come a little wider, archers pose, you'll bend the left knee and cock the left knee back, much like an archer taking her aim, if you lose this right big toe no worries and it comes onto the shin and you focus especially on the hip opener in the left side, breathing in and breathing out, we'll release that left foot, elephant's trunk pose, lift up the foot for now and find that secret we use earlier in class, now the spine is going to be round like an angry cat pose and then you might be able to get the left shoulder underneath your left knee, place the hands in front of your hips, your hips need to go back and when your hips go back you might be able to lift up into elephant's trunk pose, feet are flexed or pointed but invigorated one way or the other and then settle down, let your left foot come down and kick back, left hand behind you, take a breath in and then reach your left arm up, press into your feet and you're finding a version of this ecstatic heart opener, the rock star to open up across the front of your hips and shoulders, breathe out, find your way down to the floor, second side, left leg comes out and we start in this forward fold with the feet a little wider than they might normally be, come on forward and see if the big toe lock is here for you today, try to keep it on the left as you caulk the right knee back, gaze is forward so as much as we relate to the earth in these shapes we never want it to bring us down, if the toe lock is not there you're focusing on that hip opening action that's in your right leg right now, release, feel free to round, get sneaky about it, the right hand is going to be a good c-grip and at one point the foot will come up and you're hooking that right knee over your right shoulder as best you can, the trick your advise is bring your hands in front of the hips, that's going to make this all more achievable as you press down, lift up, maybe flex feet, maybe point, gaze is forward, elephant's trunk, breathing in and breathing out, very nice guys, straddle forward fold, I'll just turn so you could see me, you turn any way you like on your mat and find some space, surrender the upper body down, maybe hands to the heels, maybe head down, still settling, the body remembering its water, water moving to the deepest point on the earth, breathing in and breathing out, walk your hands back, come on up right and bring yourself to an easy seat for our meditation today, meeting in the meditative seat, I'm sitting cross-legged on a block, you might not need a block at this point in your practice or if you prefer to keep your knees together and sit back on your heels or block, all that is good, you'll place the left hand into this cup-like gesture with the index finger underneath the thumb and your right hand will take that same Buddha mudra we've been taking, if it's simple to bring your fingertips down in front of you so be it, I'm fond of bringing them over here, from there let the eyes soften and the gaze will be in front of you, Buddha gaze and your belly should be relaxed, just following the breath, noticing the rise and fall of the belly, the legend has it that when the Buddha sat just like this, searching for enlightenment, happiness on earth, he was challenged by a demon, a great demon with an army behind him and the demon said, who are you, you're just a man, why do you deserve happiness, why do you deserve happiness on earth, I'm the most powerful of the demons and I have an entire army behind me to support me but who is your witness, you're alone here, who supports you in your desire for happiness and it's said that the Buddha did just as we're doing now and let his fingertips fall to the earth and all the animals in the forest, all the birds and even the trees and plants rose up and turned to bear witness to his right to happiness on earth, stay on the inhale you can feel, visualize, that you're calling in that support, that sustenance from the earth, inhale drawing in the earth support for your happiness and on the exhale letting go of everything that is not supported and happy you're welcome to stay, you're welcome to keep your meditative seat as your final supporting relaxing asana or to sneak into shavasana if you prefer, this is an old chant of the Tibetan Buddhists, wherever you're at continue to draw in that support that's always here for you, for the earth, for your enlightenment, your happiness starting to deepen your breathing, if you're resting on your back you can take a nice stretch and draw your knees in rolling to one side and then join me here seated taking those Buddha mudras once more or hands in prayer, sealing the practice with the old chant of shavasana bringing that sense of groundedness into the rest of your day or evening namaste


Jenny S
6 people like this.
This was challenging for me and my 55 year old body...however, now that I’ve had the pleasure of sitting in meditation with you and hearing your lovely voice chanting, I feel super grounded and I’m not at all concerned about whether or not I was able to master the more advanced poses. Looking forward to the rest of the season!
Dana Slamp
1 person likes this.
Hi Jenny - Thanks so much for the feedback! And it sounds like the practice had it’s desired effect. Stay grounded, and see you next week for show 2! Grateful, Dana
Christel B
1 person likes this.
What fun to meet a new challenging pose, that of the elephant's trunk.
Dana Slamp
1 person likes this.
Thanks Christel - It’s great for strength! Warmly, Dana Slamp
Emily S
2 people like this.
You have a lovely style of teaching and have brought a depth to my practice I've been challenged to find using online videos
Dana Slamp
Thanks so much for the positive feedback, Emily . That is high praise - and I think you will love the coming classes! Grateful, Dana
Linda Baffa
Thank you for the beautiful practice, Dana! It was so thoughtfully and creatively sequenced- and I especially loved the opportunity to explore poses I haven't done IN YEARS! Namaste~
Dana Slamp
Yay! Thanks Linda Baffa Yes, remember when we used to do seated poses in yoga? ;) I hope you’re feeling grounded and well. Thanks for the encouraging feedback & I will see you soon on the mat! Warmly, Dana Slamp
Rachel B
1 person likes this.
This was lovely. The practice was so engaging and I love the chanting and harmonium at the end. I do wish you would create a 20 minute morning practice . . . .
Dana Slamp
Aw, thanks for the suggestion and the encouraging words, Rachel ! We will be filming shorter classes in the future. Until then, I'm a fan of the "Rise and Shine" show with Alana. Or you can practice on of these 45 minute shows for a while, and then switch to your favorite closing postures. All the best and happy practicing, Dana Slamp
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