Awaken to You: 30-Day Yoga Challenge Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 18

Day 15: Playful Flow

30 min - Practice


Congratulations on making it to Day 15! Inspired by our inner child, we move through a playful flow of various shapes to find fluidity, ease, and exploration. You will feel like a child again.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Greetings tribe. Welcome back. Do you know what today is? Yes, you do. It's day 15. Congratulations. Put your hands together, bring them over your head. This is Jaya Mudra. It's the Mudra of victory because you've made it to Half Dome. And we're still hiking down, but the views are going to be beautiful. So thank you for continuing to show up. It's amazing. It takes a lot of commitment and strength and discipline and enthusiasm and heart and you've done it. So stoked you're still here and let's continue to enjoy this practice together. Today's practice actually was co-created by my daughter, Summer, who's eight. She helped me make this practice. So it's kind of a playful one. It's low to the ground. We're going to bring you back to your inner eight year old today. So let's start seated and take your feet out in front of you, hold onto the backs of your knees and sit tall as you inhale, tilt your face up towards the sun, exhale, round your back and draw your navel in. And let's just rock back and forth here. It's a seated version of cat cow as you lift and as you round and you can do this hands free to make it a little more active in your core. You can reach up on the inhale and exhale free through the hands as you coil back, or you can keep the hands behind the knees. So totally up to you, but let's just take this a couple more times. Exhale to feel the back body, the back core engage and exhale, maybe roll a little bit lower to feel the front core engage. So once more like that, exhale, let's lower all the way down and it might be a long way. Reach over your head and then circle the arms wide and you can literally push into the fingertips a little bit as you roll back up and inhale, reach, exhale, round through the spine, roll down as best you can, reach over your head and it's okay if there's a little flat spot on your spine. If it feels a little clunky on the way down and on the way up, just do the best you can and reach up, inhale, exhale, roll down, reach over your head and once more circle the arms wide and roll up. Let's take our hands back behind us and we visited table pose a few practices ago. Let's bring it on back and lift up through your hips and your chest, feel the opening in the front of your shoulders and then exhale, just come back down and can turn the fingertips to slightly point outwards, inhale, lift up through the hips once again, maybe drop your head back and exhale, come back down. We're just massaging in and out of it. Let's bring the feet a little closer together, closer to your hips and this time as you come up, free the left arm and reach back behind you and then exhale, bring it all the way back down. Just some nice movement in the shoulders right away. Inhale, lift the hips and free the right arm over your head. Exhale, bring it all the way back down. Once again, lift through the hips. Notice I turned my fingertips back on this one. As you lift up, you might sustain here for a moment and just sneak the right leg forward and feel into this, we call it wild thing sometimes you might hear it referred to as that, but it's basically a table pose. Come back down with one leg out. So left fingertips point back, inhale, free the right arm and then see about sneaking that left leg out long and just feel into this shape and exhale, bring the foot in and come all the way back down. So let's come over onto our hands and knees and we'll plug in a couple more movements here that'll feed back into your wild thing, wild thing you. So come into downward facing dog and bicycle pedal through your feet and knees. Take a nice deep breath in through the nose and slowly walk your hands all the way back to your feet. Let's inhale to lift the heart halfway and exhale, release it down, bend the knees. You can slip your hands right underneath your feet and relax your head and neck here. Look forward once again as you inhale and then exhale, bend your elbows, legs can stay straight or the knees can bend. Use your toes to press into the heels of the hands and the wrists a little bit here because you've been working hard 15 days in a row of practicing. Chances are the wrists and shoulders are a little bit tired and could use a little therapy. So let's release our hands, give the wrists a little break there, bend your knees and slowly roll up but draw your navel in as you roll up. Come to standing and circulate the arms out and up on your inhale and take your left hand to your right wrist and just pull up and over and you literally can shift and saunter from one hip and one knee to the other. Just feel a little side bending and in a playful practice we can let go of a little bit of the formality and just explore how these shapes move through space and kind of have fun with it that way. So come all the way back down to your forward fold, inhale to lift the heart halfway and once again release, bend your knees, belly draws in as you roll up and then circle out and up and take your left hand to your right wrist.

Bring it up and over and just shift a little bit from one hip to the other, bend one knee then the other, feel into your side waist and then come back to the center and forward fold. Now we're at the back of the mat right now so we can refer to this or think of this as six o'clock if your mat were a big clock. When you walk your hands forward towards down dog we're walking towards 12 o'clock. Let's take our feet wide off the edges of the mat onto the floor so we come into a really wide downward facing dog and take a moment here and breathe into your chest, breathe into the shoulders. Again you can shift the hips a little bit and just ease into this wide leg downward facing dog. Take a deep breath in here and as you exhale we'll draw the right knee through the midline and just like you're kicking a soccer ball off your mat, just kick it right towards nine o'clock. Let's do that again just to kind of feel that transition. So ease into the left foot, right foot kicks across, come back, do it one more time just so we don't forget. Draw the right knee across, kick a soccer ball and then have a seat and bring the sole of the foot to the inner thigh. Let's reach the arms to the sky on an inhale and exhale to a slightly rotated jhanyushrasasana. You can take your hand to the outside of your foot, turn your spine and then exhale draw in like you're listening to the earth and hang out here for a breath or two. One more breath and then let's come on out of this in a creative way. So we'll place our left foot right at the back edge of the mat here. Swing your right foot back towards seven o'clock and if that's getting too complex just just ignore that and come on up through that wild thing. So pressing into the ball of the back foot lift the hips and the heart. As you exhale walk it back to your wide leg down dog and there's there's some organization of the hands and the feet but remember these transitions were created by an eight-year-old. So let your inner eight-year-old enjoy this. Now from here we can shift forward and we've been working with all these different vinyasas so why not take a wide leg vinyasa. Let's see how that feels lower into chaturanga maybe come all the way to the belly and as you come into your back bend you can reach through the toes you can even touch the toes together make a little diamond with the knees and then exhale wide feet push up through chaturanga to plank and then press back to downward dog. Ground into the right foot let's go ahead and sneak the left foot through towards three o'clock and as if you're kicking a soccer ball right off the mat and just take that a couple times it's a really nice way to feel the strength and mobility of the bottom shoulder as you kick the foot across towards three o'clock come back up and one more time just draw it in and kick it across have a seat and we'll bring the sole of the right foot to the inner left leg reach up to the sky as you inhale and exhale slight rotation in your jhanyushrasasana so just slightly turn your spine towards the left and then draw in and down and enjoy the opening in the back body especially the right hip and the right low back one more breath here and then slowly come on up let's turn everything slightly towards five o'clock plant your right foot plant your left hand and as you inhale come on up through your wild thing on the ball of one foot on the outer edge of the other liberate through your chest and your heart and then exhale just thread the left foot back come back into the wide leg downward dog are you having fun I am come forward to plank a wide leg vinyasa let's lower through chaturanga to the belly baby cobra as you touch your toes exhale come back through chaturanga to plank and back to your wide leg downward dog take a deep breath in here exhale completely walk your hands all the way back to the back of the mat to six o'clock and let's bring the feet to hips width apart and once again give our wrists a little bit of love here as you slide your hands underneath your feet use your toes to press into the heels of the hands look forward on an inhale exhale bend your elbows and drop it in one more breath here release your hands heel to the feet all the way together let's bend your knees and roll up the spine one vertebrae at a time circle the arms out and up as you inhale take your left wrist with your right hand and side bend and we're bringing back our utkatasana vinyasa so take a nice big inhale and then slowly swoop it down as you bend your knees side bend all the way down drop off the right hand keep the right knee bent and open the left half of your body like you're opening up a gate top arm sweeps back and down and bend both knees to come up into chair pose big inhale exhale forward fold moving through it with fluidity lift the heart halfway exhale release bend your knees and just roll up and just not get up pull up and just not getting too attached to any one shape but letting all these movements be an expression of the breath as you reach up nice big inhale take hold of your right wrist exhale side bend deep inhale get some more length and then bend your knees and swoop all the way down dropping off the left hand keep the left knee bent and open the right half of the body as you inhale top arm circles back and down exhale bend both knees come into chair pose deep breath in exhale pour it back out lift your heart inhale and walk your hands forward coming into that nice wide leg downward facing dog once again so feet come off the mat nice wide stance and we'll take that little soccer kick through again so right knee sneaks through but this time as you sneak it through hover see if you can keep your hip off the mat just long enough maybe even grab your foot or your ankle just to see is there a possibility remember you're eight years old so we're trying anything right now sit down place it down and this time you're sold the foot it can come to the inner thigh or you might play around with a half lotus what maybe maybe maybe take that foot to the inner thigh and just fold forward a bit if that doesn't feel good to you keep it on the inner thigh take a deep breath in stay for the exhale for the exhale and then let's slowly come on up turn everything towards seven o'clock plant your left foot roll to the outer edge of the right foot and plant your right hand now from here you're completely set up to lift up into a really liberating wild thing open up through the chest stay for the exhale slowly come back and thread it through to your wide leg downward facing dog let's take a wide leg vinyasa shift forward on an inhale lower down lift your chest touch your toes exhale plant the balls of the feet come up through chaturanga to plank and back to your downward dog deep breath right here exhale so from this downward dog start to pivot draw the left knee through like you're kicking a soccer ball boom to three o'clock let it hover a bit here maybe grab onto your calf your ankle your foot pull it on up and then sit down now you can keep facing the same direction towards three o'clock off your mat but i'm going to pivot just so i can see you all or you can see me the sole of the foot can be at the inner thigh or crossed over in a half lotus your choice do the one that works for you that feels doable and then an easy forward fold easy right try not to put unnecessary strain on your knee or your hips just breathe with it be in that kind of explorer's mind as you move into some of these shapes and interesting transitions let's come on up and from where you are you can pivot that whole shape back towards five o'clock plant the ball of your right foot on the mat roll to the outer edge of your left foot and left hand plants behind you so really specific setup and then as you inhale rise up through your wild thing open up through the heart exhale explore your range here right one more breath as you exhale thread it back underneath you wide leg downward dog you did it shift forward to your wide leg vinyasa lower all the way down inhale cobra touch your toes exhale plant the balls of the feet on the mat strengthen the core come all the way up to plank back to downward dog couple of deep breaths and then from here bring the feet back onto your mat and let's take a moment in child's pose knees wide big toes touch sit back back enjoy a few quiet breaths here grounding down and just feeling into that really amazing place of all that you're able to do in your mind and your body and your intention it's really quite mind-blowing when you start to feel into that space so let's come on up to our hands and knees curl the toes under press back to a classic downward dog the feet are hips width apart now and let's go ahead and we'll walk our hands back to our feet just one more time give your wrists one more little bit of therapy here slide them underneath your feet pada hastasan look forward as you inhale and then exhale bend your elbows soften the knees as you need to and use your toes to just play the piano on the heels of your hands sometimes i like to even slightly rotate my elbows to point back towards my shins to get a little extra nourishment in the top of the wrists release your hands soften your knees roll up your spine one vertebrae at a time coming up to standing just one more time circle the arms out and up and exhale dry your hands through the midline let's take a nice wide step facing the long edge of the mat coming into our prosarita base and then circle the arms out and up once more as you exhale draw the hands down through the midline right to the middle of your mat and then inhale to your chest rises now there's going to be some pretty specific guidance here so take your left hand forward towards nine o'clock remember the front of the mat here we're referring to as twelve reach your right hand back towards three o'clock and notice that if you just drop your head in your spine it almost feels like you're playing twister and reaching in opposite directions with your hands in opposite directions in your feet your spinal slightly twists so the chest is open towards the back leg let's keep that feeling in the spine and just breathe here a nice released inverted twist and notice how that feels on your body head is below the heart so empty it out now can you keep your hands in this plane and start to turn your right foot towards warrior two and your hands will crawl forward a little bit yeah but feel how your shoulder the right shoulder is now connected right behind your knee stay low but simply start to lift your gaze lift your chest now from here you can stay right here supporting the posture or this is a really nice place to experiment with a wrap all right so we can internally rotate and reach our arms behind our back and you might grab an opposite finger or hand or wrist or the backs of the hands might rest on your hips but really lengthen the chest forward like a tiger in the grass get low in the lunge and be patient with yourself here because again for an eight-year-old this is no big deal but for us grown-ups there's some work involved with this so let's just breathe and enjoy we're here for one more breath feeling into the beginning stages of a wrap and then just exit out through a wide leg down dog take both hands forward walk it out as far as you can relax your spine take a deep breath in exhale completely and walk your hands back to the center of the mat lift your chest now the right hand is going to go towards nine o'clock our back foot's at six and our left hand sneaks underneath towards three o'clock let your crown dangle down and turn your chest open towards your right leg enjoy a couple of breaths here notice how this feels different than the first side and on your next exhale start to turn your left foot towards a warrior to base the fingertips will cross slightly forward and literally lunge your shoulder into the inside of your left knee now from here you can keep your hands reaching out to the side it's almost like rudders balancing your ship where you can internally rotate and start to feel your way into a wrap backs of the hands at the hips maybe linking fingers or grabbing a wrist whatever is available to you get super long through the spine tiger in the grass really great hip opening here and breathe and let yourself be eight years old i'm just gonna try this just gonna feel into it as you're ready slowly release walk it back towards center and lift up through your chest let's heel toe the feet a little closer together and then come on down to seated so you can tuck your left knee in towards the middle of the mat and sit down oh this feels good and cross your right leg over your bent knee so from here even out your weight in your sits bones as best you can so both hips on the floor and if it's not possible to do that go ahead and stretch that bottom leg straight out in front of you and notice how that lets you equally anchor your hips i'm gonna keep my bottom knee bent today but you're welcome to do either one let's lift our left arm up on an inhale and then exhale either your elbow to the outside of your knee your hand to the outside of your knee and start to turn into the twist inhale to sit tall exhale dial into the twist and really use your elbow your hand to press your right knee to the midline as you twist you get a nice bit of opening through the outer hip into the spine and all the way up through your gaze looking over the back shoulder take one more breath slowly release now since this is summer's practice we're gonna do a little spin fun thing to change sides so take your hands all the way over to the left edge of the mat lift your hips spin your feet to the left walk your hands to the left keep spinning and turning your feet and your hands until you come down what to the second side and again you can straighten your bottom leg your right leg or you can keep it bent it's up to you reach your right arm to the sky as you inhale exhale either elbow or hand to the outside of the knee press your thigh across the midline really important to get that wrapping through the outer hip and turn your spine and just really find your elegance here as you sit tall and exhale twist a little deeper little micro adjustments inside the body with the breath inhale to sit tall exhale twist any amount it can be so subtle one more breath here and then slowly release let's half spin out of this so take your hands to the right edge of the mat lift your hips walk it back just until your hands are pointed towards six o'clock walk it to six o'clock and come down onto your knees setting up for ustrasana we felt this in yesterday's practice so standing hips right above the knees draw the tailbone down you're welcome to keep the toes tucked under or a little bit deeper as to take the tops of the feet flat whatever feels good for you i'm going to keep my heels high just for a little more space draw the tailbone down and lift up through your heart full breath in stay for the exhale you can stay right here with your hands at your hips or you're welcome to reach back and catch your heels if you lean back press your pelvis forward right over the knees and then relax and breathe here super powerful back bend and then slowly bring the hands to the heart come up on an inhale and as you exhale let's come to child's pose take the knees wide stack the hands and melt down and take five good breaths right here two more breaths slowly roll up your spine take your legs out from underneath you and stretch them out in front of you and just like we started bend your knees bring your hands right behind your knees and very slowly roll down your back one vertebrae at a time take your time and once you come down let's actually let the knees float into the chest give yourself a bear hug there's anything else you need before coming into shavasana take care of what feels right in your body but we'll meet up in shavasana stretch the legs out long make yourself comfortable take your hair out if you need to if you're if your bun is in the wrong place you want to make sure your neck is relaxed and then let's just open up to all the wonderful possibilities and the unique qualities of this day today day 15 so so slowly start to bring your awareness back into your body send a little bit of movement to your fingers and your toes stretch your arms over your head and reawaken bend your knees plant your feet flat and just rock your knees a little bit from left to right today and then roll onto your right side press yourself on up to a comfortable seated position let's bring our hands together at our hearts and congratulations once again huge huge victory day 15 so proud of you thank you for being here if you have any feedback for summer send me a note i'll make sure she gets it i'll see you in the next practice namaste


6 people like this.
OMG Summer is a rockstar! 🎸💥 That was so much fun AND I broke a nice cleansing sweat. I’m looking forward to doing classes with Summer on Yoga Anytime in about 15 years or so!
Jenny Hi there! Riiiight?! I concur.... and this is the mellow version of her sequence... she will be so happy to read this today after school, thank you! Have a great day!
Summer you are awesome!!! Thank you and your mom!!!
4 people like this.
Thank you for sharing your daughter's creation with us today on the mat! She has her Mom's creative fun spirit! Awesome imaginative flow Shelley Williams and Summer! :)
5 people like this.
Mozart wrote his first Symphony at eight, Summer is in the same league in creating this beautiful flowing practice. So talented, so young. Really enjoyed the playfulness of the movements and the floor poses. Thanks Summer and Shelley. Namaste.
3 people like this.
Well I'm 60 years older than Summer and I managed to do it. Some poses are a bit tricky but I tried Summer. Thank you.
Alexandra We are glad you liked it!!
Tracy She has a wildly imaginative side to her, especially with movement! Thank you for your nice words :)
Glenford She will be delighted to hear this, thank you! Perhaps we will work with some Mozart for musical inspiration when we make our next sequences together :)
Susan Well, I usually keep the language clean around my littles, but occasionally I will let this one slip, and it seems apropos for here because Susan you are a badass. And I mean that in the most positive, best way! Love your enthusiasm...
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