30-Minute Yoga Flows Artwork
Season 4 - Episode 7

Sturdy Flow

30 min - Practice
40 likes
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Brenda shares a sturdy flow practice that works with the juxtaposition of movement into stillness with one minute holds in some of our standing postures. You will feel strong and focused.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Welcome back. This practice will be steady and sturdy as we play with the juxtaposition of movement into stillness with one-minute holds in some of our standing postures, giving us the opportunity to build strength and just embrace the power of simply staying. So we're going to go ahead and meet at the top of the mat just to dive right in. So go ahead and stand. Feet can be hip-distance apart or together, your choice. Let's just start hands at heart, finding your breath, settling down, extending both the inhale and the exhale. On your next inhale, start to take the arms up overhead and exhale, fold forward, uttanasana. Inhale, come up halfway. Exhale, fold in. Inhale, rise up again, arms frame the ears, urdvahastasana. We're just going to continue through a few half-sun salutations. Exhale, fold forward. So your choice, eyes can be closed, they can be open. Inhale, halfway. Exhale, fold. Inhale, take the arms up overhead. Exhale, fold in, uttanasana, legs strong. Inhale, halfway, rise, long spine. Exhale, fold. Root to rise, inhale, coming up. Exhale, fold right back in. Inhale again, halfway up. Exhale, fold. Inhale to rise, one more full time through. Exhale, fold. Inhale, halfway up. This time, plant the palms, step back, downward facing dog. Find your hands, shoulder distance apart, middle fingers forward, feet hip distance apart, pressing up through the hips, reaching through the palms, so an equal press between hands and legs. And then see if you can just find stillness here. Even though in a pose I might refer to finding steadiness and stillness, we're still internally growing and expanding and trying to lengthen. See if you can spin the inner upper arms forward, outer arms, your triceps down, so scooping out the armpits. Low ribs draw in. Two more full breaths. On your next inhale, wave the spine forward into a plank pose and just find again a little bit of steadiness, just building a little bit of heat inside out. So crown reaching forward, dog right into the midline, belly button to spine lightly, heels are high, shoulders right over wrists. Still a light buoyancy through the heart. Two more big breaths. Always the option here to come down onto your knees. On an exhale, lowering to the floor, knees are straight down. Then on an inhale, rise up low cobra. So to start, hands light, feet light and engage through the low back. You might even lift up the palms. And then exhale, bring the forehead back to the ground. Inhale, rise up low cobra. This time, add a little bit of traction like you're pulling the palms back, sliding the heart forward. Again, thinking length and expansion through the low back. Exhale, release. Last time, inhale, rise up again, still adding that traction of pulling the palms back, sliding the heart forward, pulling the shoulders back. Exhale, release. To transition, press back, child's pose. Just for one full exhale. And then on an inhale, slide up to all fours. Let the hands slide about two inches in front, curl the toes under, lift the hips, let's take it into downward facing dog. So to travel back forward, we're going to take the long way and crisscross the feet. Take the right foot over the left, let the heels drop. Your right heel is going to stay to the left. Your left heel is going to drop to the right, press the hips back.

Okay, this time, take the left leg over the right. See if you can make it to the outer edge of the mat. Both heels are now going to dip to the right. And you can come on the outer edge, the pinky side of the foot on your right leg. Knees can be bent if this is a lot on the hamstrings. Take the right leg over the left again, crisscross. And you can either keep the heels in opposite or let them dip to the same side. See the difference, see what feels a little interesting to you. And then left over right. And then just kind of saunter feet to hands. You might have taken bigger or smaller steps. And when you arrive, inhale, come halfway up. Exhale, fold. Ground through the feet, inhale, rise all the way up, urnva hastasana. Then exhale, fold forward. Inhale, halfway lift. First one, step back plank pose. Your choice, chaturanga, knees up or down or all the way to the floor. Inhale, upward or low cobra. And your exhale, lift the hips, press back, downward facing dog. On an inhale, take the right leg up and back. Very slowly draw the knee on an exhale in towards the heart. And as quietly as you can with the right foot, place it down. Rise up, draw your two. So here we'll start our flow and our sequence of adding one minute holds. So as we get into a pose, build it from the floor up. Right knee over ankle, so choosing toes forward, outer edge of the back foot strong. Right inner thigh spins up, right outer thigh down, and then soften through the shoulders. All these little alignment pieces can help just bring us right into the moment. Right, so continue kind of that mantra, any little alignment pieces in your mind, if you need that to kind of hook in to focus in. And then in the shape, just see what happens. If you want more, let the right sit bone drift down towards the right heel. If you want less, come out a little bit. Soft eyes. On an exhale, let the arms just windmill down to the floor to frame the front foot. At the same time, lift the back heel to bring the hip around, and we'll take it through. So from here you can step back, downward facing dog, or choosing a little flow, chaturanga, elbows, and shoulders in a line, or to the floor. And then inhale, roll the shoulders back, upward facing dog, press deep through the tops of the feet. Exhale, back. On an inhale, left leg lifts up. Exhale, towards the heart, round in. Place the foot down softly, warrior, to drop the back heel, rise up. Right, a strong base through the feet. Press through the right thigh back, but let the right hip come a little bit forward. Right, so yogi yogini's choice, you can do these poses with like fire, where the hands are strong, or you can like bring a little water energy in, where the hands are a little softer. See if you can bring the spine right to center, and then settling in. Staying with the breath.

Exhale, let the hands windmill down to frame the front foot, lift the back heel to bring the right hip around. Step on back as softly as you can, plank pose. So choice, knees up or down, or slide forward, chaturanga, elbows and shoulders in a line. Inhale, shine the heart forward. Broad through the collarbones, and exhale back, downward facing dog. Heels press back, thighs engaged. Find the wrap of the upper arms, the length of the spine. This time for our transition, we're going to step the right foot halfway up the mat, left foot will match. Press through the palms, lift to the balls of the feet. If it seems interesting, come on to the tip, tip, tip toes. From here, you can slide, hop or step, step. Exhale, fold in. Inhale, rise up halfway. Exhale, fold in again. Root through the feet, inhale, come all the way up. Exhale, right back in, uttanasana. Inhale, shine the heart forward. So your choice, step back, plank. If you're hopping, soft elbows to land, chaturanga. Inhale, upward or low cobra, legs engaged. Exhale, back, downward facing. And adding on an inhale, take the right leg up and back. Exhale, knee in towards the heart, place the foot down, warrior two. So rise up, slow and strong. Settle in. Then on an exhale, let the forearm come to the thigh, left arm on an inhale reaches up and over the ear, parsvakvanasana. So the legs are the exact same as warrior two. Right inner thigh spins up, right outer thigh down, long line all the way from my left fingertips all the way down the outer edge of my left foot. Strong press of the left thigh back, but at the same time it's like a gentle drift of the left hip forward. If you'd like to take this deeper and take the hand to the floor and the front and the back, the option is there. If you know you really enjoy a bind, the option is also there. The forearms on the thigh, see if you can still stay light. Eyes soft, jaw soft. And then exhale, let the hands come down to the floor to frame the front foot, lift the back heel, step back as gently as you can, plank pose. Right, you might choose to go right back to downward facing dog or take it through a flow to either chaturanga or the floor. Inhale, lifting up, low cobra, upward facing. Exhale, back, downward facing. Right into the left side. Inhale, left leg up and back. Exhale, knee in towards the heart. Place the foot down, warrior two to get ourselves set up. Rise up strong and steady. Good. Slowly shift forward, take the form to the thigh, right arm frames the right ear. Find the right pinky finger going down, thumb up and then slide the right shoulder blade down the back. So again, that little scoop out of the armpit. If you can, maybe the gaze goes upward under the arm. And again, if you want to take the hand to the floor, feel free in front. Sometimes I like to take it to the ankle and reach or if you can reach behind, the option is there. So why the legs are strong, steady. Can the upper body stay light and bright?

On an exhale, the hands come down to frame the front foot, lift the back heel, step on back plank pose. Option to take it through a flow, chaturanga or the floor. Inhale, upward, broad through the collar bands, broad through the low back. Exhale, back, downward facing. As we come forward on an inhale, bring the right foot halfway, left foot meets parallel. Press through the palms, option to stay right here for a moment or lift to the balls of the feet. Option if it's interesting to come on to the tip, tip, tip toes. Option to slide, hop or step, step feet to hands. Exhale, fold in. Inhale, rise up, Urdhva Hastasana. Exhale, fold in. Inhale, halfway up. Again, your choice in transition. Plant the palms, either step back plank or hop, chaturanga, elbow soft. Inhale, upward or low cobra. Exhale, back, downward facing. Inhale, right leg up and back. Exhale, knee in towards the heart, pause and draw it in. Place the foot down as you rise up warrior two, drop the back heel. Slowly slide into side angle pose. The from here we're moving into triangle pose. Start to straighten the right leg, take the right hand to start on the shin, left hand up. See if you can root through the base of your foot, kind of engaging all four corners. Maybe lift the toes that really plug in the big toe mount and then see if you can soften the toes. Spin the right outer thigh to the right so the knee comes right in line with your right middle toe. For those of you like you can start to move the hand to the floor, spin the chest. It's that same press of the left thigh back but then the left hip comes forward. The gaze is up to you. If this is a lot on the neck you can take the gaze down to the big toe or you can start to keep it neutral or gaze up to the thumb. So you can create more space between the hands so almost like you're trying to spread out as far as you can. Create a little bit more space between the crown of your head and your tailbone. As we transition you're gonna soften the right knee, bring the left hand down, come on to the back foot, lift the heel, step on back plank. Your choice of transition you can skip this because sometimes it can be like a bread of a meal, really easy to fill up on. So trot around the floor, inhale rise up upward or low cobra, exhale back, downward facing. Left side, inhale left leg lift, exhale knee into heart, take that little pause, place the foot down warrior two, rise up strong, slide right into side angle pose. From here we're gonna start to lengthen the left leg. Good slide the hand down to the shin to get set up, press deep through the outer edge of the left right foot. And then from here if you'd like you can take the hand to a block or the floor as you spin the right arm up. So that same action of length, length, length and space between your fingertips. I like to keep so much action in my legs that it's really light through my left hand, the hand that's on the floor. Right your bottom shoulder, see if you can soften it downward towards your tail. Remember that spin of the left leg so the left thigh moves a little left to bring the kneecap center. Soften the left knee, come up on the right heel, bring the hands down. So as we transition, step on back plank pose. Getting your choice right back to downward facing dog, the floor or chaturanga. Inhale upward or low cobra, exhale back downward facing. Press through the palms, lift the hips. Transition this time, take the left foot halfway. Right foot comes parallel. Stay here for a few beats or lift onto the balls of the feet. Stay here or lift up to the tip, tip, toes. Pause, feel the weight in your hands. Slide, hop or step, step. Exhale, fold in. Inhale, rise up. Exhale, right back in. Inhale, halfway, plank to the floor or chaturanga, soft elbows. Inhale, upward or low cobra. Exhale, back, adho mukha, downward facing dog. Right leg lifts. Exhale, knee in towards the heart. Place the foot down, rise up, strong warrior two. Do the slide right into side angle pose, paris-velle konasana. Start to straighten the leg into trigonasana, we've been here. And now moving into half moon artichandrasana, soften the front knee, toe heel the back foot in as you bring the left hand of the hip. To the right hand of foot, foot and a half in front of your right pinky toe. You can use a block here or a stack of foam books. Fire up through the left leg like you're pressing against a wall. And then option to take the left arm up. So depending how your neck feels, you can either take the gaze down, give it sideways, embrace this little shake, or take the gaze upwards. Notice where the crown is in space. See if you can take the back of the head back just a bit. Maybe the left heels in line with the left sit bone.

Maybe there's a little smile on the face. Keep growing through the pose, even though we're sitting in sturdiness and steadiness. As we step back, we're going to go warrior two just for transition. Bring the left hand around, back heel lifts, step it back, plank pose, chaturanga or the floor. Inhale, upward or low cobra. Exhale, we meet back, aramuka. Inhale, left leg up and back. Exhale, knee to heart, draw it in. Place the foot down, warrior two, rise up, strong base, soft through the heart. Right into side angle pose. Start to lengthen the front leg, triangle pose. Bring the right hand in the hip, toe heel your back foot in. And as you slide forward, aiming for artichandrasana, so about a foot, foot and a half in front of the left pinky toe. Imagine you're pressing the right foot against the wall behind you. And you can keep the right hand on your hip or you can start to take the right hand high. So just like in all of those poses we just did, warrior two, side angle pose, triangle pose. The top hip here, the back hip, is going to softly come forward or come down a bit in this pose. Notice where the head is in space and see if you can draw the chin in. See if you can stay light through the left hand a little bit, right. So not collapsing all of our weight down. And then growing out of the left hip pocket. Embracing any of the little shake, the nervous system, waking up. Okay, we're going to transition through warrior two. So a big step back, let your arms come up, remove the arms down, lift the back heel, step on back plank pose, chaturanga or the floor or skip this part altogether. Inhale, lift up, upward facing, exhale back, downward facing. This time on an inhale, lift to the balls of the feet, come down to the knees, the hard work is done. Come on to your back, lower yourself all the way down. And let's start feet hip distance apart coming into a bridge pose. So bring the arms down by your sides, start to press through the feet, lift up through the pubic bone. So you can keep a little space between your chin and your throat. And then if you can, either flip the palms up or start to interlace the hands behind just to slide the shoulders down a little bit. Still find that big press through the big toe mound all four corners and soften the toes then. You can see me keep lifting up through the thighs, through the belly, inner thighs, draw in lightly. Release the hands if you have the bind, slowly lift onto the balls of the feet, you just have to lower all the way down. So you can articulate one vertebrae at a time, nice and easy. So the invitation is to do another bridge pose or if you'd like to come into full wheel, full chakrasana, either your choice, but don't wait too long because it's harder if you wait. Finger pads under the shoulders and from here reach up again through the pubic bone, lifting up an option to start on the crown to readjust. So it's like chaturanga arms and then inhale to lift an equal press through the feet, through the palms. It's like the ribs lifting, inner thighs drawing inward, so keeping the knees hip distance apart. Good and when you want to come out, chin tuck, see if you let the back touch before the head. Slow roll down each vertebrae at a time and then start to draw the knees in. Again, you can kind of rock here. I know I often say knees can be together or wide, kind of what works for your body. If you have a favorite twist, feel free to add it in here. I'm going to go with knees in, open the arms and slowly let the knees drop off to the right. An option to take the right hand to the left thigh, gaze to the opposite side.

It's nothing really to do here, just soften in. Sometimes I like to take my right hand and just kind of draw my hip down with a little self-adjustment and then slide it down the thigh to add just a little bit of weight. The eyes close, just start to feel your heartbeat. Inhale, come up to center. Exhale at the knees, drop off to the opposite side to the left, right arm reaches out to the right. And that same thing, if you want to do that little self-adjustment, press the hip down and then let the hand slide across. And slowly bring the knees back up. And then one leg at a time coming into our final pose, Shavasana. Allowing yourself just to settle in, to rest, to soak up the magic of your work.

Really feel the shoulders releasing into the mat. I think the thighs get heavy. So the invitation is either to simply stay here longer in Shavasana. You can start to roll to one side and meet me in a seat. And it's taking your time.

Meet with hands at heart. Thank you for sharing your time. And sometimes in life, the power of simply just staying needs to be cultivated. So I hope this practice gave you the opportunity to kind of feel that resistance, feel that sturdiness, feel that strength. Big, beautiful blessings. Namaste.

Comments

Brett Williams
You know it's a great class when you get a ... psoas! Namaste.
Joy E
Most of the flow quite challenging for me, but I do love them. Need to work half moon. Thanks.
Sandra Židan
Thank you very much, Brenda, for sharing this great and challenging practice with us! Kind regards!💖💝❤️
Lori
Fundamental, nourishing, and profound. Thank you for sharing this practice.
Sarah S
Absolutely loved this!!!! The concept of staying, on all body levels (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual) was very profound ♥️🙏♥️

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