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Season 1 - Episode 7

Open to the Support that Is

35 min - Practice


Play with widening your stance to feel supported. Kira begins by sharing a mudra and guides us through half Sun Salutations. She builds the sequence towards wide stance variations, including Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior 2), Horse Stance, and Squirt Pose. You will feel grounded and held from within.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video

Jan 13, 2015
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(waves lapping) Nice to see you again. So we'll build off of what we explored in our last sequence together. Playing a little bit again with these wide stances, taking it a little bit deeper, in to something we call Horse stance, and then even as far as something that usually gets called Squat pose. So we'll begin in Tadasana, feet about hip distance apart. Big deliberate inhale, and exhale let a (sighs) happen and soften your knees.

Okay and as we've been talking about as you soften, as you soften you might catch or, always include myself in that, as we soften, we're more likely to catch that we're actually supported. It's really hard to notice you're supported when you're tense all the time. So you soften the knees, you soften the belly, soften the heart. Sit bones are a little heavy. And then you wait.

And you're waiting for the moment. And then eventually you press just enough through the feet so again your heart feels generous and receptive, and you're finding the alignment of your skull so that your mind feels light. Shoulders are soft and back and down, and today we're gonna start out exploring a mudra that we usually call the Sharing mudra. Let your elbows bend and let your palms turn up. And let your hands feel sensitive.

Open, receptive. And in the interests of tuning your awareness a little bit more towards the palms, what can really help is if you become really aware of your right hand. Become so aware of your right hand. Feel the center point. Let your fingers feel more sensitive, okay.

And now move your awareness over to your left hand. Really let your left hand feel you. Soft, tender, receptive. Eyes are closed, that usually helps And then just slowly begin to move your awareness back over to the right hand. Let your awareness move back over to the left hand.

And just gently, you gotta go slow enough so you can be sensitive to it. And if you're if you're from America and old enough you might know what a Slinky is. Because if you have a Slinky in your hands, so that one side gets kinda heavy as the other side gets light. Just a few more moments here, just becoming more sensitive to what's available when we open ourselves. Beautiful awareness in both hands.

Let the hands find each other in Anjali mudra. And we'll start to co-ordinate our breath with half salutations, five rounds. Inhale. Exhale Press your hands towards the earth. Inhale circle the arms open, and then exhale, swan dive forward, soften the knees folding.

Let an inhale create a half arch. Let an exhale fold you forward. Up from the knees as you inhale, circle the arms all the way back up. And then exhale hands come back to the center of the heart. Four more, inhale.

Exhale. Inhale, circle. Exhale, swan dive forward, soften the knees, fold in, let your head drop. Let an inhale slide the hands half way up the legs, heart open. Exhale forward fold.

Knees are soft inhale, circle the arms all the way back up. Exhale hands back to the center of the heart. Three more, Inhale. Exhale. Inhale.

Exhale, dive in, soften. Inhale half arch. Exhale forward fold. Inhale, root through the feet come all the way back up. Exhale hands back to the heart.

Two more, inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. You're moving at your own breath and pace.

Inhale arch. Exhale fold, soften the knees. Inhale, circle the arms up. Exhale, hands back to the heart. Last one, inhale.

And exhale. And inhale reach. And exhale, dive in. And inhale, half arch. And exhale, forward fold.

And soften the knees as you inhale, circle. And exhale, hands back to the center of the heart. Pause here, let your elbows bend, let your palms turn up and tune again to the Sharing mudra. Because we wanna be able to access this when we really need it. Nice, beautiful.

Let your hands find your hips, step your feet out. Wide stance, so we'll begin to let the hips know what's happening, with our Warrior II dance. Turn your left foot out, let your back right foot angle in a little bit, and again like we were doing in our last time together, you just wanna make sure that when you bend that front knee, it lands right over your ankle. So if you're taking a shorter stance, that's fine, you just don't bend your knee quite so much. So make sure that you're set up for success.

Nice, then let that front left leg draw straight. Remember how to draw that right sit bone under. Pelvis is even, take a look back at the back foot, reach your arms up, inhale. Exhale, open up Warrior II. Four more like that.

Inhale. Exhale open, nice. Three more like that, inhale. Exhale, two more. Last one.

This time as you come to this last one, as you land in this last one, land, soften, keep the intention through that back foot as your gaze comes over your heart. Squeeze your shoulders up and around the ears exhale and relax. Elbows bend, palms turn up. Sinking here a little bit, tune to the hands. Super nice, root through the feet, let an inhale bring you back up.

Exhale hands to the waist. Now turn that left foot in, turn the right foot away. Same idea, just kinda make sure you're set up for success. Okay, let that front leg draw straight. Root, remember this sit bone, draw that left sit bone under so that your pelvis is more even.

Inhale the arms up, take a look back at the back foot. Inhale again and as you exhale, open up Warrior II. Inhale come back up. Exhale and open. Inhale come back up.

Exhale and open, nice, two more. One more. Now as you come in to this last one, root back through that back foot. Maintain that intention that you've established with your gaze. Let your gaze then draw over the heart.

Squeeze your shoulders up and around your ears, exhale and drop. Elbows bend, palms turn up. Let the Earth have you. Let your hands feel more sensitive. Softer in the lips, (mumbles) super good.

Nice, let an inhale bring you all the way back up. Exhale, hands to the waist. Shorten the stance a little bit because it might have gotten away from you. Turn your toes out inhale. Sorry, turn your toes in, inhale.

And as you exhale the hands come down and for some of you right above the knees is the spot. For some of you your hands might come down onto the shins, maybe the ankles. Now you hold on, and now you're really starting to let those inner lines of the legs know you're coming. So try this, lean your hips over to the right as you really root through that left foot. So you lean the hips to the right as you root through that left foot.

And just see if you can feel that line in the inner part of the leg. Okay inhale back center and as you exhale, lean the hips to the left, and really root through that right foot. So you're finding the inner line of the leg. Nice, let's do that one more time. So inhale back center.

Exhale lean over to the right. And start to feel that in the left leg. This is preparation for Squat pose. Now back center, exhale over to the other side. Nice, okay, come back in to the center.

Bend the knees, hands on the legs, chin in to the chest, roll on back up. Feel the belly, feel the heart, feel the throat. Then feel the face. Okay and once you feel ready, let your feet come back together towards each other, Tadasana. Big deliberate inhale, exhale let it happen and soften.

And as much as we've talked about this a little bit already, but the plan with standing Asanas is to help us know that we're supported. To help encourage this, what the Yogi's call the Apanasana sorry, the Apana Vayu, the downward flowing wind. Okay, heart generous and receptive. And as you're here just tune this Sharing mudra again. Elbows bend, palms turn up.

Let's tune this again, it'll be super useful in a moment. Because we're gonna make our way towards what usually gets referred to as Horse stance. So hands on the hips, step your feet out wide. And this time we're gonna turn your toes out about 45 degrees-ish. Now that's a rough approximation of where your feet are gonna go.

How you determine, as you press a little bit through the pinky pads and heels, is as you bend your knees, are your knees able to kind of track over those second toes. So what we're avoiding again like we talked about a little bit this in earlier seasons, is we're avoiding a collapsing of the legs. Trying to really root through those outer feet so the knees come over the toes. And how deep you wanna go, determines how wide your stance is. So for most of you this is gonna be perfect.

Some of you might choose to come a little bit lower as we do this. We'll find out in a moment. Spread the toes wide. As you're ready, inhale arms up. And as you exhale let a (sighs) happen as the hands come down right about where the thighs and the knees meet.

And usually what can feel pretty good here, is if you use the heels of the palms to just kinda create a little bit of opening. You just wobble a little bit back and forth side to side. Now, some of you it might be the best to stay right here. Keep your hands on your legs for support. But if it feels okay step one is let a little bit of a (sighs) happen again and can you feel the Earth supporting you?

And as you feel the Earth supporting you, you lighten your grip. You lighten your hands, let your heart feel receptive and generous. Now you keep the legs where they are, as you come in to Sharing mudra. So your legs are in Horse, your palms are soft, your lips are kissable, your eyes are kind. Okay, because it's not can you remain sweet and kind when everything is all easy and stuff.

It's like can you maintain this quality of like, wow. When things are a little bit tougher. In fact we joke around here that you know your practice is working when it starts getting really hard. (laughing) Inhale here, exhale, pressing the feet. Come all the way up.

Now keep your toes turned out. Inhale, arms up. Exhale, forward fold, hands come down. Maybe here is deep enough today. But if it's okay, the hands start to slide down to the shins, maybe the ankles Now root root root through that left outer edge.

Start to lean your hips over to the right. Let's do that the other side. Root root root through that right outer edge. Start to lean the hips to the left. And for some of you this is gonna be the perfect depth.

But what some of you might do on this next one, inhale, as you exhale you root root root through that outer left edge. You lean the hips to the right and then you start to bend the right knee a little bit. Okay, and now come back up. Exhale, root root root through that outer right edge. Start to let that left knee bend a little bit.

Super nice, play with that a few more rounds. Inhale up. Exhale lean and bend. Inhale up. Exhale lean and bend.

Beautiful, inhale come back to the center. Let the hands come underneath the shoulders now toe-heel the feet just wider than the hips. Okay and start to, again we started this last sequence, start to practice a little bit with your Squat. So let the knees bend, start to sink in a little bit. For some of you this is deep enough.

But for some of you it's appropriate to start to sink in. Okay like wobble a little bit. And then make your way back in to Uttanasana. Draw the sit bones up, hands on the Earth. Toe-heel your feet in, bend the knees.

Hands on the legs, chin in to the chest, then slowly start to roll back up. Feel the belly, feel the heart, feel the throat then feel the face. Elbows up, elbows bent, palms up. Sharing mudra Tadasana and pause. Big deliberate inhale, exhale everything, soften.

And as you soften, I guess as we soften, sometimes we can catch that it's gonna be alright. Okay super nice. Feels like it might be nice to do that one more time. Hands on the waist. Step your feet out, turn your toes out the appropriate distance for you.

The appropriate distance for you today. If you give a little ju-ju through the outer pinky pad heel your hips will rotate a little bit open. Inhale arms up. Exhale let it happen, the hands come down on to the legs. And wobble.

And use the heels of the palms to help this. And for some of you it just makes better common good safe sense to stay right here. But for most of you it's fun to start to feel supported. Feel your heart light. Feel your hands light.

So you feel the support of the legs, and let your elbows bend, you let your palms turn up, and it's (sighs) okay, you're rooting a little bit through the outer pinky pads. The hips are rotating, the palms are so tender. Jaw soft, tongue soft, eyes kind. Snuggle in, (mumbles). So guys, inhale here exhale.

Pressing the feet, come all the way up. Keep your toes turned out. Inhale, arms up. Exhale, arms come down on to the legs. So for some of you this is deep enough, some of you slide those hands down.

Maybe it's the ankles, maybe it's the feet. Lean over to the right as you root through that left outer edge. Only as appropriate, let that right knee bend. Start to sink in. Inhale come back up.

Exhale, lean only as appropriate, start to let that left knee bend and get them to come in. Inhale now come back up. Lean and exhale, sink in and like reach. Some of you might prefer to have a hand on the floor for more support. Inhale now come back up, exhale lean.

This is what I promised, I promised Squat pose. (laughing) Okay inhale coming back up. Exhale hands underneath you, toe-heel your feet back in and again we'll find squat pose, if that works for you. Maybe feet turned out just a little bit to make it a little bit more accessible. Bend the knees, sink in.

Some of you might bring the elbows in and lift up through the heart. Some of you might be more inclined to round. Two beats. Excellent. If you're close enough to the Earth to simply bring your hands back, bonk.

Sit down. If that's asking a bit much, find your way down another way. And we'll meet in Baddha Konasana From Baddha Konasana we'll make our way in to what we usually call Revolving Head to Knee pose. So let your left leg come out. Let your right sole of the foot find your left inner thigh.

Now, for some of you there might be some support underneath this right knee or you might be sitting up on something. Now this extended leg, try today to flex it a little bit. Feel how that lengthens through the back of the leg. And then keep the heel where it is and just give a little bit of ju-ju through the ball of that big toe. Nice.

Let your left hand find your way down towards that leg. Circle your right arm up. Soften the elbow, roll this right hip away as you reach. Like feel how you can get length in here. Okay now let the hands be tender, and for some of you staying right here is really the perfect spot.

Take a little bit of awareness to lengthening on this underside, this left side. And then eventually let this left elbow bend perhaps. And begin to deepen this opportunity. And what I like to do is bend the elbow again. Roll that hip away and then re-reach.

See if that makes sense. Bend the elbow, kind of re-roll that right hip away, and then re-reach, and you'll find that for some of you it'll be really natural to drop this arm on the inside. I should have said and reminded my friends, I have like super long limbs, so it always looks like I'm more flexible than I am. I just have reach. Okay, a couple more moments lengthen.

Take a look down at that leg, let an inhale bring you all the way back up, and pause here. This one, this is one of my desert island postures (mumbles) okay, lean back, switch the cross of your legs. That's not really the cross, just the position. Okay so same idea, snuggle in maybe there's something underneath here. I like to flex this extended right leg and then I like to leave the heel where she is and then give a little ju-ju through the ball of the big toe.

You might have something else. Okay right hand down on right leg, circle the left arm up. Soften the elbows, shoulder back and down. And you begin to reach. What I like to do as I mentioned earlier is bend the elbow.

Re-roll that hip away and then re-reach. And for most of you keeping the hand straight or the arm straight is really the way to go. For some of you it'll be really natural to start to let this elbow bend. The temptation is to compress on the underside. So you let that right side open.

Bend the elbow again, roll the hip away, re-reach. This might be the spot. Okay, again some of you it just depends on how you came out of the womb really. Some of you might bring this arm down on the inside. Bend again, re-reach.

Just let it feel good. Let the hands be more tender. Nice. Eventually take a look down at the extended leg, let an inhale bring you all the way back up and pause. Don't rush the yummyness.

Then lean back and we'll meet again in the Baddha Konasana. So soles of the feet together. Wobble a little side to side. Okay now see if this makes sense. You're gonna press a little bit up in to your elbows.

So I'm squeezing my knees up in to my elbows and pressing my elbows in to my knees. So I'm doing the opposite of what I'm eventually gonna do. This then creates, it just, it's somewhat technical, but it makes the body think it's not stretching. So it creates a contraction, it creates a tension that then as I wanna roll my hips open and knees will drop more. This might be good for some of you but the play here is I'm opening up my feet like a little book.

Elbows bent, heart long. Elbows bent heart long. I'm pressing my pinky side of my feet in towards each other as I'm rolling my hips away. It's very similar as we were in Horse pose. Soften the jaw, easy in the neck.

There are many many many many ways to do Baddha Konasana. Baddha means bound in Sanskrit. Kona angle, bound angle pose. Sometimes this will be called Butterfly, sometimes Cobbler's pose. You can call it whatever you want.

Okay last couple of moments. You're rolling your hips open you're lengthening up through the heart, wobbling. You can let your elbows help you if you want. The further you put you elbows towards the knees, the more leverage you'll get, and therefore the greater risk. The close your elbows are towards your hips, the least risk of causing mischief.

Okay inhale, let yourself come all the way back up. Exhale. Now if you would rather slip in to a seated meditation from here, that might be a choice. We're gonna make our way to bridge. Draw the knees together, turn on the mat.

Reach your arms out in front of you and roll on back down. Okay, hug your knees in to your chest and wobble. Catch a hold of the ankles, let your heels come on down in line with the sit bones. Arms down along your side, palms turned up. Okay, soften the back of the neck, wobble a little bit.

Nice. Again you've done a lot of external hip opening, which is really helpful for letting the heart blossom. So inhale here, and as you exhale press down through both the ball of the big toe and the outer pinky pad. Lift. And again some of you just because of how you're put together, this might be deep enough.

Inhale here, exhale, lift up a little bit more and as your shoulders are willing, begin to wobble your arms underneath you. Okay, today some of you might interlace. Some of you might have long arms, and grabbing the ankles feels very natural. Rarely, but sometimes, (mumbles) lift up through the hips. Now soften the throat.

Easier on the jaw. Yes and do you remember, Do you remember that quality of heart? That soft receptivity. Nice. So pretty.

The more you sort of let your feet feel supported, The higher your hips will go. Beautiful, nice. Okay so nice, come up on to the balls of the feet, release your arms to the sky. And let yourself roll back down. Upper back, mid back, low back.

Hips land, heels land. Okay and like rest in the effect. Sleep. Okay let your knees come in to the chest and wobble. Then I'm gonna introduce a slightly more dramatic spinal twist today so, we've been doing the spinal twist with the knees together.

Today we're gonna explore something we call Eagle Wrap Spinal Twist. Okay, it's a little more torque on the low back, so it may or may not be correct. So I'm gonna suggest you're gonna wrap your right leg over the left, hooking that right foot back around the left calf. Let your arms come out from your shoulders. Inhale here and as you exhale you're gonna bring your knees over to the left.

And gonna bring your right palm on top of the left palm. Now you're organizing here, and eventually, as it feels right you're gonna let this right arm open back to the right. And if on your way there you wish you hadn't wrapped your legs, you just unwrap them. Okay, placing your right knee over your left. Otherwise as this form comes back, you let the elbow bend, you let the shoulder relax in the joint.

And if there's nothing relaxed about it, try reaching your arm over the top of your head. Okay, let a little bit of a (sighs) happen here. And can you allow your hands again to feel soft. Beautiful. Okay now to come out of there, generally it's the best idea to kind of unwrap the legs first.

And then lead with that top right leg and come back. Okay hug your knees, and then other side wrap. Now maybe this foot hooks around the calf, maybe not. Arms out from the shoulders bring everything over to the right. And you kind of organize, left palm on top of the right palm.

And then you leave the knees to the right as you allow this left arm to open back to the left. Let the elbow bend so it relaxes in the joint. And for some of you it might feel better to reach the arm over the top of your head. Okay again, if you wish you hadn't done the wrap, you just unwrap. I'm just finding that I'm wanting more traction.

I'm wanting like a friend. Gotta use my hands like, there. (laughing) Soften the mouth. Call out to your yoga friend. Soften the belly.

Soften the hand. Nice. Okay so begin to come out. Unwrap first. It's just that it's the safest.

Lead with the top leg, let the top leg bring you back. Hug the knees in to your chest. Nice. Excellent work. Let you feel come down to the Earth now.

Widen your feet a little bit, let your knees fall together. Tuck your shoulders under, and for some of you, this is the best. Just staying here makes the most sense. It's the most relaxing on your back. Okay some of you might be inclined to let your legs go straight to the shape of Savasana.

I'm just finding right now, today, keeping my knees bent, keeping my feet wide feels awesome. So I'm going to choose it. Wobble the neck a little bit. Right now like in the other series in the other episodes, if you would like to be here longer then we'll be. Go ahead and let us go.

Otherwise, big deliberate inhale, exhale everything. Remember that quality of sharing in the hands. And as you can touch that sense, that quality of sharing in the hands, can you touch that quality of sharing in the heart. And again as we've talked about, the first step of sharing is receiving. If you don't have a sense of that, how much you're receiving.

Like with each breath can you really feel that sense of like wow. Like where is that breath coming from? Where is it going? About another half a minute here together. Beautiful.

Okay let your head start to wobble. Your knees might wobble if they're bent. Then find the knees in to the chest. And then, you know, I've been suggesting the last handful of episodes I've been suggesting that you roll to one side to come up. Most often that feels best.

But some days it just feels better to cross your ankles, roll back and roll up. We'll sit together for a smidge of a dew-drop of a moment. Big deliberate inhale, exhale everything, soften. Elbows bent palms up. Tender.

Hands find each other at the heart, Anjali mudra. Namaste.


Linda S
1 person likes this.
Love - Love - LOVED this one, Thank You Kira.
I now feel more in sync with body and energy :)
Kira Sloane
Happy to be here together, Linda. xok
Erika D
1 person likes this.
Kira, you are a natural teacher and your voice is so sweet and soothing that I feel lifted after every class. Thank you for sharing your gift and being patient and loving with us newbies.
Kira Sloane
Thank you so much for being here, Erika. xok
Ali DeVeny
This practice was just what I needed today. You are a beautiful light Kira !
Simon ?
"A smidge of a dew drop" - love it! Thank you as always lovely Kira. Smiles and sparkles H xxx
Kira Sloane
1 person likes this.
Holly, LOVE! xoxok
Eva P
1 person likes this.
Loving this feels so good x
Kira Sloane
Hi Eva! Happy! xok
Kim W
Hi Kira, thank you so much for season one - it's been fantastic. Some highlights for me are 'gooey through the back of the neck', 'soft through the jaw' 'lips are kissable, eyes are kind' they're lovely reminders. My top hit would have to be 'exhale eeeeeverything' Love it!

Quick question - today when practising Season 2 Episode one today I tweaked my lower back. When my now 23 year old twins were born (6.5 and 7 lbs!) I had to do some rehab for scaro-iliac pain. Every now and then it hurts again.

I went to the lower back pain series and practised a couple of those. My back felt better afterwards, thank you.

Anyway, the point is I'm just wondering - should I continue, working through the discomfort, or rest up for a couple of days?

Many thanks,

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