Awaken to You: 30-Day Yoga Challenge Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 24

Day 21: Integrate and Nourish

30 min - Practice


We move through a super chill and nourishing practice with Yin postures to integrate and restore the body and mind. You've earned it!
What You'll Need: Mat, Square Bolster, Strap


Read Full Transcript

Greetings tribe, namaste. Congratulations, you've made it to day 21 and exactly 10 days ago you earned dessert, a restorative practice and so I'd love to offer that to you again today. So have your bolster and a strap handy and let's restore and nourish. Sit tall and a comfortable cross legged position and close your eyes and as you inhale just feel your breath rise up as you receive it from the base all the way up to your crown and sit nice and tall and you're thrown here and as you exhale just round your spine drop your chin into your chest and dive forward and through the backside of a wave as you inhale and we'll just initiate this restorative practice with several rounds like this rounding in and down as you exhale and then forward and up as you inhale and it's a really beautiful way to initiate fluid body circulation so as you rise that's your inhale and as you coil back that's your exhale and just take this about four maybe five more rounds you're welcome to close your eyes and feel into the movement mobility the rivers of your spine noticing how it feels now to move inside of your body to move with your breath how is your yoga practice changing the field energetic field of your body the quality of the mind let's just use our time together today to really nourish and ground and integrate a lot of the pathways that we've been through so let's take one more round here inhaling to rise and sitting tall as you exhale you can open your eyes and then just reach your right arm up on your inhale and drape your arm over your head and your fingertips can just touch your temple or your ear and let your head tilt to the right and you don't need to pull it just the weight of your arm followed by a reach through the opposite arm your left arm will create this really nice opening through the side of your neck scallions sternocleidomastoid muscles all the structures that hold up your head and then with your hand just resting here again you don't need to pull just lengthen the opposite arm down turn your chin towards your shoulder and you can kind of crawl your fingertips towards the left side of the occiput back of the skull and draw the chin slightly in maintain a tall spine breathe into the subtlety in the back of the neck and shoulder draws back here take one more breath as you exhale just bring your right hand to the right temple and put your head back on hello and let's take the second side reach your left arm up as you inhale drape your arm over the top of the head and just tilt just the weight of your arm is enough here I like to anchor my fingertips right underneath the ear and then reach your right arm out in opposition slightly pull the shoulder back sitting tall and enjoy your breath here the neck the throat so delicate as we start to turn our chin towards our shoulder and crawl the fingers towards the right occiput don't pull but just allow a dropping into gravity and a reaching through the right arm right shoulder pulls back and let your weight be back in the sit bones rather than forward in the shins just a nice neutral spine one more breath here I'm taking your left hand to the left temple and bring your head back up to center let's lace the fingers behind your head draw the elbows forward and really sit tall exaggerate lifting through the chest as you draw your chin down towards your chest the hands the energy of the hands are slightly tracking forward almost like you're pulling the base of the skull forward as you lift the chest and sit tall really gentle stretch on the back of the neck breathing wide into the side ribs and then exhale stay tall from here slowly lift open up the elbows open up the heart maybe tilt your face up towards the sky big breath in and exhale rotating to your left let's take a simple twist here and bring your left hand behind you and your right hand to the opposite knee and then grow tall through the spine adding the essence of cat cow to this twist as you exhale literally round back and then as you inhale grow tall it's a very subtle pulsation at the base of the spine exhale slightly round back and inhale to sit tall and let it just be this really sweet massage to your lumbar spine once more rocking back and inhale to rise from here stay tall and simply circulate to the other side bringing your right hand back behind you the left hand across gather and lift upward from the small of your back and as you exhale gently round inhale tilting the pelvis forward let it emanate and emerge from the heart and exhale soften in and down super subtle small movements as you inhale and as you exhale melting in once more inhaling to sit tall and exhale come back to the center let's take our bolster in front of us and come into our first supported forward fold and if you have an extra bolster extra pillows that you'd like to stack up on top of the one you have even better so take the legs wide you can scoot your hips forward any amount and then start to walk your hands forward and you can melt down you really want to have the bolsters support you and so if it feels good with one fantastic just drop in but again most of us have lots of pillows and blankets around you can build it up so that you're very supported sometimes I like to cross my arms under the bolster and turn my head to one side and just melt into gravity here and allow the feet you can flex and point through the ankles a couple of times and then just find a neutral position through the ankles relax your feet relax your toes usually in an active practice we're really engaging and energizing through the legs and the feet but just let them relax today soften everything and let's enjoy three really good breaths here and notice as you breathe where you can direct your breath and so in particular here direct it into the low back the side ribs back of the heart and exhale just like a river emptying out relax the back body inhale low back side ribs back of the heart exhale soften all the way from top to bottom one more like that inhaling working your way up the spine from the low back to the side ribs to the back of the heart and exhale slowly release lifting your chest use your hands to walk it back in take a moment here before we change into a different asana and just sit tall notice the effects of that shape let's take our hands to our inner knees bend your knees to draw the soles of the feet underneath your bolster and we'll extend one leg long so it's a supported jhanu sarsana you can draw the sole of the left foot into the right leg and then place your bolster right on top of the long leg and very similar here we want to allow the bolster to support our body you can point and flex your foot a couple of times to lengthen the back of the leg and then just relax your leg and melt over your bolster head can go wherever you like it you can stack your fists palms flat turn your head you can even fold your bolster up sometimes that's kind of nice just to make it a little more spacious that's what I'm going to do today and then hang out here as you breathe feel into the kind of undoing and releasing of any layers of tension you might be holding or even any typical soreness from a daily rigorous practice we've been moving through a lot of challenging asana challenging patterns and transitions and really asking quite a bit of our physical body and our mental focus and so allow those layers to integrate percolate and relax and drift off of off your mind off your body and two more breaths here and slowly on an inhale lift your head lift your heart come on up take a moment a single deep breath before you change shapes full inhale to sit tall and exhale completely when I was spent quite a bit of time studying in yoga and restorative yoga and one of my favorite elements let's go ahead and change sides with the restorative practice or a yin practice they're they're unique to one another but one of my favorite elements is coming out of the pose and just taking a single breath and feeling feeling the flavor of the shape so let's come into the second side of John you sure softening here soul the right foot to the inner left thigh you can pump the ankle a few times to lengthen the fascia on the back of the left leg and then building up your support system however you like and coming on and getting cozy with it sometimes I like to rock a little bit to find my way into the sweet spot of a posture turning the head to one side or the other let your belly relax here to soften through the front body soften through the back body and then let's enjoy about four or five rounds of breaths notice that you can direct your breath into the front body as well even in a forward fold you can breathe into the belly into the side ribs into the heart all the way up to the throat exhaling from top to bottom just really feeling the full expansiveness of your lungs three-dimensional quality of your lungs and beyond right breathe into the space around you relaxing the hands toes fingers one more deep breath slowly lift your head lift your heart come on up nice and easy and take that moment to savor whatever sensation whatever flavor you feel big inhale and exhale so let's transition to probably my favorite yin posture it's a quadricep opener and you want to set up your bolster so that it supports your head like a pillow just like when you're tucking in and getting ready to go to sleep so come on to your right side fetal position and as I'm talking to you through this I'm gonna kind of keep my head up off the bolster for sound quality but you want to tuck yours in really comfortably underneath your head so mine's gonna be slightly akimbo dry your knees up to the level of your navel and then extend the bottom leg long so the right leg goes long underneath you shift your hips back and then let your knee left knee slide open towards the floor so it almost feels like you're going face down into the sand so as much as you can slide open here the better bottom arm releases so we have a nice little stretch on the back of the shoulder and then reach back with your left hand and catch the big toe side of your foot if it's too far away grab a strap from here you can just melt into the floor there's one little adjustment you can make to slightly deepen this posture I'll take you through it step by step elongate the right leg and tuck your toes under lift your back knee and externally rotate the back leg so try to turn the center of the thigh out I know it's a lot of instruction but see if you can kind of open up through the inner thighs a bit then reach back and grab onto the big toe side of your foot let's relax here for three to five good breaths really relax your belly your low back your hips and you can draw your heel in any amount towards your glutes and try to release even through your left bicep rather than holding tension here just let it be loose it doesn't necessarily need to be the deepest quadricep opener you've ever felt in your life but just the essence of quad opening of hanging out in this shape can really do wonders to bring our baseline level of flexibility into a deeper place so try to drop into the subtlety you feel here two more breaths and then slowly release the right foot down bring your left hand forward pitch a little tent let's lift and just roll open into a relaxed twist and you can shift as you need to to support your head this doesn't need to be an energized active twist but a super relaxed one and if it feels a little more supportive for you to have both knees bent you can tuck that right knee in up under the left to support it and that might allow the center of the spine to turn open a bit more might allow that left shoulder to drop down a bit more hang out here heavy through the legs heavy through the shoulders and the breath if we were inside of a longer practice we might hold each of these shapes up to five minutes each but being a little more succinct a little more conscious of time and inside of a 30 minute practice so we just keep it a little bit briefer so on your next exhale just draw your feet in underneath you press your feet to the mat as you tuck and roll and we'll come all the way over to the second side so setting up your quadricep opener from the second side I'm going to give you the back view here as you tuck and roll onto your left side bringing both knees up to the level of your navel and then extend the bottom leg down top knee meets the floor and slide open now make sure your left arm is reaching out in the same direction so you get a nice stretch to the back of the left shoulder as your hips open towards the floor let's go ahead and adjust our left leg first so tuck your toes under lift your knee and see if you can externally rotate turn the left thigh outward and then bend your knee right hand reaches back to catch your foot if it's not there grab your strap and lasso it and then draw it in any amount and the more you can relax your hips down relax into gravity the better and you want to arrive into this shape again as if you were going to hang out here for a nap so get comfortable soften through your shoulders soften through your arms through your belly back ribs hips and thighs ankles feet toes let's enjoy about four more good breaths and if you happen to be feeling any pressure on the inside of your right knee you can just place a folded blanket or towel underneath it one more breath here slowly release your foot fingertips find the floor let's roll back onto our side and open your chest up into an easy twist and again just check in with where you land it might feel a little more better on the low back the hips to tuck your left knee up in and support the right knee right thigh I know that feels better on my body and then allow your rib cage to just melt down your shoulders to melt down close your eyes let your hands be open and receptive fingers soft three deep breaths and your breath moving like a cool river through the body into all the cells all the pathways the smooth healing energy just down regulating your nervous system softening any heart edges you might be feeling from life and all of its wonderful challenges draw the feet back to the mat let some of our hips on the mat knees point up towards the sky and just take a moment here squaring everything off so you're resting centered on the hips the shoulders even the back of the head let your feet be a little wide let your knees touch one another and arrive in this position like it's a work of art because it is enjoy a couple of breaths right here so from here let's bring our strap into the picture and you want to set up your strap with a nice big loop because we'll come into a really cool supported hamstring release it's a Supta Padagusthasana A we've been working with this shape a lot during this whole challenge and this one is a little bit different because as we loop our foot into the strap again you want to create a loop that's big enough that you can put it behind your head easily and so if you're having to kind of bend your knee a lot to get it there then give yourself a bigger loop and once you take it behind your head the strap kind of goes right over your ears it's sort of has a funny look to it it resembles head gear a bit but if you let your head relax back into the strap kind of like we did in the beginning of the practice with our hands behind our head and lengthening the back of the neck it feels really nice and then you can just reach your left leg long or keep it bent whatever feels more realistic for you and I'm not even using the bolster here so this can go away or you can keep it there as a landing pad support system so to speak but my head is literally being supported by the strap by my leg and again this always has sort of a humorous quality to it but the more you can relax into it the better and you're welcome to just slightly shift a little bit from side to side you don't have to push your head into the strap but do continue to remind yourself to relax and if you feel like it's gonna slide off your head then maybe just put your hands there to hold it in place and just feel that gentle oscillation as you shift your right leg from one side to the other it's not a big shift or maybe going from like 10 o'clock to 2 o'clock and you can feel how that just nourishes all the different aspects along the back energetic lines of the legs here as well as through your neck so exploring this a bit more from side to side any range that feels good to you it can be a large range of motion if that feels good or a smaller one and then to change sides super simple bend your knee slip the left foot up into the strap and then lower the right foot down like a boss and just check into that how does it feel on this side how does the left leg feel different than the right is it for looser tighter open up the arms and relax into just a little bit of a glide almost like you're under water and you're just floating with the tide back and forth feeling this nice elegant traction through the back of the neck shoulders stay relaxing open exploring maybe a bigger range of motion if that feels good to you just a couple more moments here if you feel like the straps gonna slide hold and gently in place and then to come out of that bend your knee take the strap off of your head first and relax your head down and we'll set it to one side bend your knees take a deep breath in and through the mouth exhale roll on over to one side press yourself up to a comfortable seated position and because this has been such a grounding like really rooting calm practice and if you you know have the rest of your day in front of you that you need to sort of arrive to you're welcome to come up and stay seated for the rest of the practice with me as we explore a new breathing rhythm if you want to really take that Shavasana that grounded Shavasana you're welcome to lie down and participate in this breathing rhythm while you're lying down so you can take your bolster and place it underneath your hips if you like that adds a little support and whether you're seated or lying down just close your eyes and find some long slow breaths we've been working with this the whole practice quality of breathing into the low back the belly the side ribs and the heart all the way up to throat and then a fluid exhale from the top of the spine down to the bottom and all we'll do here is simply kind of syncopate and separate our inhale into three parts so inhale about a third of your capacity up to the navel pause and then inhale another third up to the level of the heart and pause inhale that final third of breath all the way up to the throat pause sit tall and exhale slow long release uninterrupted exhale back down and let's do it again just feel that rhythm internally inhale a third up to the navel and pause another third up to the heart pause final third all the way up to the throat pause and slow uninterrupted exhale let's stay with this rhythm about three more rounds and it's a really wonderful tool to work with because it really grounds our energy it helps keep our mind from jumping around too much so let's inhale third to the navel a third to the heart a third all the way up to the throat pause long uninterrupted exhale inhale third to the navel third to the heart a third all the way up to the throat pause slow long exhale one more round a third to the navel a third to the heart a third to the throat slow long exhale wonderful bring your hands together at your heart center slowly open your eyes wonderful practice thank you so much for joining me today congratulations and I'll see you in the next practice namaste


Elissa P
2 people like this.
a fun restorative shorty, with one side twist pose that I'd never tried before. one technical thing: did anyone else have playback issues around minute 21-ish? I can't get it to play video beyond that and just had to switch to audio mode to finish. Could be connectivity issues here where I live, but wonder if anyone else had issues?
Shelley Williams
Elissa We will have to defer to tech support on this one, but I always go old school and just power my device down, then open back up 😃 do you live very remote?
Kira Sloane
1 person likes this.
Elissa, I was not able to recreate that mischief. Did it resolve itself or is it still stuck? xok
Elissa P
1 person likes this.
I'll let you know... it's no problem usually. Just with this particular one.
Elissa P
2 people like this.
and yes, I do live in a zone that has questionable connectivity at times. maybe it was the big winds we had last night, scooting across the desert and coating everything in an ice sheath....!
Kira Sloane
1 person likes this.
Elissa, brrrrrrr!
Alexandra K
What a treat!!! Thank you!!!
Glenford N
4 people like this.
A beautiful and relaxing practice. I felt my lower back opening slowly and gracefully like a flower. Namaste
Shelley Williams
Alexandra You are most welcome, happy practicing! 💜
Shelley Williams
Glenford I think I will have to repeat this practice tomorrow morning... I would like for my lower back to feel like a flower, too! Great image :)
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