Awaken to You: 30-Day Yoga Challenge Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 26

Day 23: Dose of Self-Care

30 min - Practice


How is your yoga working for you in other realms of your life? Today, we move through a lunar flow of Moon Salutations, triangle shapes, and grounding postures to promote self-care as we go inward and reflect on the internal space.
What You'll Need: Mat


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Greetings tribe. Welcome back. It's day 23. Congratulations. You've done a lot. You've already established a new habit. They say it takes 21 days to establish a new habit and you're beyond that already. So one of the things I love to encourage you to start kind of just percolating inside is now that we're feeling into this regular practice of self-care and self-love in our body. We've noticed changes in our body. How is your practice now pouring off your mat into the rest of your life? What are you noticing? Are you sleeping better? Are your communications, your relationships better? So just start to notice how your yoga is working for you in other realms besides just on the mat. All right. So let's come to the top of our mat to start today and bring your hands together and let your thumbs rest right at your third eye, right at your forehead and close your eyes and let's enjoy a deep inhale here. And as you exhale, just draw the hands down to rest at the heart center and take a deep breath here. And as you exhale, release your hands all the way down alongside your hips. Let's circulate out and up a full breath in. As you exhale, draw the hands to rest right at your forehead. Inhale there. Exhale, draw the hands to rest at your heart, centering our attention. Inhale here. Exhale, release your hands alongside your hips. And one more round just like that. Every time we inhale is drawing in wisdom, energy, prana. As you exhale, bring it into your mind. Take a breath there. As you exhale, drop that into your heart. Take a breath there. And exhale, release your hands and open your eyes. Let's step the feet together and move into Chandra Namaskar today, moon salutation. So reach forward and up as you inhale, like you're tracing the inside of a crescent moon. And then exhale, draw the hands through the midline, right past your forehead, right past your heart, down into a forward fold. Step the left foot back to a long, low lunge. You can always set a blanket there if your knee is tender. And then once again, as you inhale, rise, reach up. Exhale, draw the hands past the forehead, past the heart and to the mat. Press back to downward facing dog. And then let your next inhale just slowly bring you forward to plank. And we always take a stage one lunar vinyasa and Chandra Namaskar. So lower your knees, lower your chest and hips at the same time. Inhale to a low cobra, just feeling into your body and your breath. Exhale, release back to downward facing dog. Empty all the breath out. And then step the left foot forward and lower the back knee. Inhale, reach forward and up. Exhale, hands come to the top of the mat and step to a forward fold. Inhale, come all the way up to standing. Once again, reach forward and up and drawing your energy, your paana into your mind, into your heart and letting it go. Let's do it again. Inhale, reach forward and up. Exhale, forward fold. Soften the knees. Step your right foot back to a long, low lunge. And inhale, reach forward and up. Eyes follow the pathway of the hands. Exhale, step back to downward facing dog. Slowly inhale and roll through to plank. Just moving one breath, one movement without any rush. Lower your knees followed by your chest and hips. Inhale low, maybe a bit of a higher cobra. And exhale, press back to downward dog. Step the right foot forward, lower the back knee. And inhale, reach forward and up. Just start to let yourself find a nice rhythm. Exhale as you step to the front of the mat. As we move inside of this repetition, come all the way up and exhale hands to the heart. It kind of allows us to shift into a nonverbal state inside. Just moving and breathing. Inhale to reach. Exhale, forward fold. My cueing is going to become a little sparser so you can listen to your breath. Left foot steps back, lower down. Inhale, reach forward and up. Exhale, downward facing dog. Inhale to plank. Exhale, knees and chest. Inhale, cobra. Exhale, downward dog. Left foot step it forward, lower the back knee. Inhale to reach. Exhale, forward fold, top of the mat. Inhale to rise. Exhale, hands to Namaste. Inhale to reach. Exhale, forward fold. Right foot steps back, lower the knee. Inhale to reach. Exhale, downward dog. Inhale to plank. Exhale, lower knees and chest. Inhale, cobra. Exhale, downward dog. Right foot, inhale to reach. Exhale, forward fold, top of the mat. Inhale to rise. Exhale, hands to your heart. Take a moment, close your eyes and check in with how you feel. Notice what's awakening, what's transforming inside in your mind, in your body, in your attitude. One more breath here. Exhale, release your hands. Let's lace the fingers behind your back or take a strap. Open your chest and you can separate your feet, hips width apart or wider.

On your next exhale, easy forward fold. Hinge at the hips, relax through the crown and lift your shoulders up. Head below the heart, just empty out the mind. Breathe into the back of the heart. With each exhale, allow the hands to become a little heavier as they drift over your head. Feel the back body opening. Last breath here. On the next exhale, slowly release your hands. Separate your feet as wide as your mat, turn the toes out and let's come down into a low yogic squat, a low malasana. Elbows press against the inner knees, draw the hands at the heart and just let your eyes be in a soft gaze focused on one point. Feel the opening through the heart center, the grounding through the hips and really finding your seat here within this shape, within your breath, your steadiness. Let's take a half wrap from this shape. You can slide the outside of your left shoulder to the inside of your left knee and open up your arms wide. Right arm reaches high, left hand low. And then just see about internally rotating and wrapping around your shin, around your back. You might just let your hands kind of rest in the periphery here. If you can link a fingertip or a hand to a wrist, go for it. But turn the right side of the chest open. Breathing into a little compression in the left kidney, left side waist, and then open up through your arms, deep breath in. As you exhale, forward fold, stretch the legs long and turn the feet parallel. Inhale to lift the heart halfway. And once again, turn the toes out, exhale, bend your knees, come down into a squat. Open the chest, take a deep breath in here and exhale. Shoulders relax down. And as we open up our arms wide, this time the right shoulder's inside the right knee. And we internally rotate our arms and reach around the shin. And it's challenging for sure. This is a nice little shoulder opener, a little hip opener. It may or may not be easy, but it's healing, it's nurturing for the shoulders and hips. So just do what you can. Try not to force anything, but feel into some sensation here as you breathe. Left side of the chest opens. And then slowly release, come into your forward fold. Let's inhale to lift up halfway. And as you exhale, step back to plank, moving into a simple transition here that we've been working with. We'll set the right knee down, take the right chin slightly back and then come up to a kneeling sidearm balance, a kneeling vashisthasana. Building on yesterday's practice with some back bending, we'll take the left half of the body into a backbend. So reach and grab onto the little toe side of your foot, open up through the chest, press your hips forward, your heart towards the top of the mat, your foot and hand back behind you and breathe into the backbend on the left side of your body. Take a full breath here. And then as you exhale, let's slowly release and we'll kind of pave the way through a transition we'll be working with in some of the coming practices. So come through plank, draw your left knee to your navel, coil up and then thread it through to a fallen triangle. So if we think about the numbers on a clock, we're going towards three o'clock with our left foot. You can seal the sole of the back foot flat and then lift up through your top arm. And if that's put too much pressure on your shoulder or wrist, you can always just come down to the hip and hang out here. And it's the same shape. It just has a little bit of a different activation to it. So from there, come back to hands and knees, press, or excuse me, back to downward dog, and then come to your hands and knees and take a couple cat cows, just feeling into a little transition here that we'll be working with. Back to downward facing dog as you exhale. And then inhale to plank. And let's take the second side. So lower the left knee, pivot your left shin slightly back and come into your kneeling side arm balance, lifting through your right arm and your right leg. And then bend your top knee, reach back, see about grabbing your foot or you can take a strap and lasso your foot if it's a far reach and open up. Heart reaches forward, hips press long towards the right edge of the mat, your foot and head press back and take a full breath in here. Exhale, slowly release connecting the dots through plank, draw that same right knee to your chest and thread it through towards nine o'clock. As you do so, that back foot can come down and then pick up your left hand and it's your choice if you want to keep the hips lifted or allow them to melt down. One more breath here, we call this a fallen triangle. And then exhale, make your way back to downward facing dog. So now let's put it all together and experiment with a little standing flow entry and we'll take the left side first, which is not normal, but what is normal, right? So inhale your left leg to the sky and this time open your hip, bend your knee, slowly flipping our dog. Let's take the shoulders forward. You can either set the knee down and come into that kneeling Vashti Stasana or roll to the outer edge of your right foot and place the ball of your left foot on the floor. Now from here we come through side arm balance and open the chest, lift your heart and your hips towards the sky. So it's a beautiful half back bend. Then exhale, make your way through plank, but can you keep that left knee lifted and coil it in, then thread it through to your fallen triangle and it's nice to take the weight off of that right wrist. Back foot turns flat and you lift up and exhale. Make your way back to downward dog with the left leg high. Let's continue through the sequence. Step it all the way forward and set yourself up for triangle pose. So we'll turn the back foot flat and leading with the right arm, come all the way up to standing, take a reverse triangle first. So both legs straight and reach up and back. Then exhale, draw your left hip back and take your left hand down to your shin or a block or the floor. Right arm reaches straight up and it's a familiar shape. We've been in and out of triangle many times in this series together, but let's add a little movement with the top arm. So as you reach alongside your ear, turn the inner arm to face your cheek, coming into a fully extended triangle pose. And then as you exhale, just sweep your hand along the horizon. Right hand reaches back alongside the hip. Retrace that pathway. Inhale, sweep it forward. Exhale, sweep it back. Inhale, sweep it forward. Exhale, sweep it back. Once more, inhale, sweep it forward. Then come all the way back up through your reverse triangle, moving like water. Exhale, hands come to the mat and step back to plank. And let's take our first stage three vinyasa in this practice. So hovering in chaturanga, feel your strength. Inhale, upward facing dog. Exhale, downward facing dog. Let's take the right side now. Inhale, the right leg to the sky. Exhale, open your hip, bend your knee and flipping our dog slowly, consciously bring your shoulders forward towards plank. Try keeping that left leg straight as you roll to the outer edge of your left foot. Ball of the right foot finds the floor and then lift. Right hand to the sky, turn your heart and hips open as you reach over your head. Coming into your half back, bend. Exhale, slowly make your way back through plank. Right knee stays lifted and coils in and threads through towards nine o'clock. Coming into your fallen triangle and the left wrist gets a little break. Take a deep inhale here. Exhale, come back through downward facing dog. Right leg rises and then step it all the way through, setting up for triangle pose. And I always like to shorten my stance a little bit. Come up to your reverse triangle, create a lot of space through the right side waist and then shift your hips back as you reach forward and set up your triangle pose. Trikonasana.

Top arm is going to reach alongside your ear, coming into the fully extended version. And then as you exhale, just slide your hand along the horizon. Inhale, retrace the pathway alongside your top ear, turn your chest towards the sky. Exhale, just the top arm sweeps back. Once more, inhale, reach, feeling the key action of the top shoulder. Exhale, sweep it back. One more time, inhale, sweep it all the way up. Come into your reverse triangle and then exhale, swim through the space, step back to plank and lower Chaturanga. Inhale, top or dot. Exhale, downward dot. Let's take a few moments and breathe. Inhale to your toes, bend your knees, step or lightly float to the top of the mat, lift your chest halfway. Inhale, release, forward fold. Come all the way up to standing. Big inhale as you reach to the sky. Exhale, hands come to your heart. Take a nice wide step and open up your feet for a procerita base. And let's reach the arms to the sky. A little bit different here. We'll draw the right elbow down, bend your knees and just draw your right shoulder inside your right knee, setting up for a wrap around the right hips. You can take your left arm behind your back, look down, drop your head and see about either resting your hands on the back of the right hip or grabbing onto your fingers or a wrist and you can shorten the stances you need to. But when we start feeling into these wraps or binds, this is one of the most accessible places to feel into it. You can stretch the legs long and notice how your spine naturally twists open to the left. Draw your left shoulder back and breathe here. Super therapeutic for the shoulder. If you have any issues with rotator cuff or frozen shoulder, this is an excellent, excellent shape. And it definitely is challenging. For me, these are my most difficult shapes to come into are the shoulder openers, but I try to interact with them often because it's healing. Oftentimes the poses or the shapes that we avoid are the ones that we need the most. One more breath. And then bend your knees, slowly release. Let's come all the way up to standing, circle the arms wide, take a deep breath in. As you exhale, bend your left elbow, bend your knees and come down. So the left shoulders inside the left knee, internally rotate your arm and reach underneath and then right arm reaches behind the back. Relax your head here and just see what you can find. Your hands might rest on your hip or you might grab onto your fingers or eventually your wrist. Slowly start to straighten the legs any amount. They may or may not straighten all the way. Just kind of see what you've got and turn your chest open towards the right. Let's enjoy a few breaths here. And just notice what's being awakened inside, what's being transformed and which postures do tend to kind of like, oh, this is a frustrating one or not. And just notice that again, the frustrating ones are the ones we need the most. Let's take one more breath here. And then go ahead and soften your knees, release your hands. Let's walk our hands out in front of us for a wide leg downward facing dog. Last little shape here before we come down to the floor. Full breath in and exhale completely. Walk your hands back in, lift your chest and walk your hands towards the front of the mat. And we'll just simply tuck the left knee in and have a seat. So let's go ahead and come to a seat and extend your legs straight out in front of you for a seated forward fold. Flex your feet and as you inhale, reach your arms to the sky. Full breath in, exhale forward fold, grab onto either your ankles, your feet, your toes. You can take a strap over the feet and draw down and inward. Just hang out here for a couple of good breaths. Most of our forward folds, if not all of them, automatically bring us into an introspective state. And it's a nice place, again, just to reflect and notice what's changed, what's transformed. It's interesting to see how our outer perception of yoga is for the body, but when we practice yoga, it primarily affects the prana or the energetic state of our mind. It affects our mental state. And so that's really important to remember, especially on the days when you're like, I just don't want to do it. How about a little attitude adjustment inside? It will help. So come on up on your inhale. And then as you exhale, bring your hands behind you, bend your knees. And we have an option here to come up into table pose, which is a really nice shoulder opener. Or the next progression would be to do it with straight legs coming up into upward facing planks. You can bring the big toes together, straight legs and lift up through the hips, through the heart, drop your head back. Either one works. And just giving a little love to the shoulders, a little strength to the back body. Open up through the chest. Take one more breath here. And then exhale slowly lower down. Bend your knees. Let's take a seated version of threaded needle today rather than on our back. So just cross your right ankle over the left knee and open up and lift through the chest. I like to come up to my fingertips and kind of press my chest towards my shin, lifting up through the low back and that little adjustment you make of tilting the pelvis from posterior towards anterior will really bring you into a nice opening in your right hip. So just sit as tall as you can. Giving a little love to the hips and the low back. One more breath. And then walk your hands back. And let's go ahead and change sides. Super simple. Just bring the left ankle on top of the right knee. And same thing here. You can turn your fingertips, lift up through the chest, walk yourself in a little bit closer, whatever feels good to you. And breathe into your left hip. Breathe into where you feel sensation. Taking care of yourself. And the interesting thing, and when we take a little time each day to take care of ourselves, give ourselves a little self care, self love. It frees us up to take care of others. So hopefully you started to notice that in your own daily rhythms and how you're interacting with other people.

Two more breaths here. Last breath. So let's slowly come on out of this hip opener and come into a comfortable seated position so we can sit quietly together and just receive benefits of this lunar practice. You can turn your palms face up for receptivity or face down for grounding and sit tall. Close your eyes. Take some deep breaths. One of my yoga teachers talks about how yoga fertilizes all of our best qualities. And so as you sit quietly today, perhaps reflect on what is that one special unique quality of yours that is enhanced, made more vibrant because of your practice, because of your self care. Maybe it's your ability to be compassionate, to be loving, kind, humorous, supportive, a good friend, to be easy going, to be strong. And perhaps today you can allow that to pour off your mat and share it with those around you, your tribe, your friends, family, people you work with. So just take a moment, sit with that, recognize that that's already there inside of you. Allow it to rise up, bubble up to the surface and beyond. And you're welcome to stay here in seated meditation or you can take your meditation into your Shavasana. It's quietly turning and stretching out onto your backs and setting up your feet a little wider than hips width apart, opening your palms, relaxing your head, your neck, your shoulders, relaxing your arms, your hands, softening the belly and the hips, releasing through your legs, your ankles, your feet, toes. And receiving a deep healing breath into the entire inner body. And through the mouth exhale, and resting in this quiet space. Exhales. Thank you.

Slowly bring your awareness back into your body. Send a little movement to your fingers and your toes. Stretch your arms over your head as you inhale. Touch your palms and bring your hands through the midline and just once again, like we did in the beginning, bring your thumbs to your third eye, intuitive center, and then your thumbs to your heart, feeling, wisdom center, compassion, love. From that place, roll on over.

Come on up to a comfortable seat. Ah, welcome back. Bring the hands together at the heart. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful practice and all of your best qualities and your energy with me today. I hope you have a wonderful day and I'll see you in the next practice.



2 people like this.
I got frustrated with this one because I have limited space in a huge urban city (where this is normal) to practice and even by moving around furniture I can't safely flip dog or transition. Otherwise fine but couldn't participate fully. This has happened throughout
1 person likes this.
Samantha, awesome job getting all the way to Day 23. Your point about narrow practice space is so helpful for us. Thank you! xok
2 people like this.
Great practice. Thank you.
Hi Samantha! I hear you, and perhaps we make a series specifically for practicing within the confines of narrow spaces in the future. In the meantime, one solution to be able to try flipping your dog in a narrow space would be to move the supporting hand and foot to the midline of your mat (or slightly cross over a bit to the other side) and then work with setting the landing foot down at the edge of the mat (this will actually help teach you to engage your side waist to help keep your hips lifted a bit more, and work on setting your foot down as close to the straight leg as possible) Hope this helps!
Hi Gabriel! Day 23... you are rocking, buddy! Keep up the great work, and thank you for your consistency with practice and with your appreciative comments :)
1 person likes this.
My favorite favorite sequence so far. Yum! Especially that asana with standing feet far apart and wrapping around one leg. Yum! Yum! Yum! What's the name of this asana?

Question: is it OK that in malasana wrapping hands made my shoulder "chponque" (sounded like when people crack fingers)? It feels warm there now, so I assume it's OK, still want to hear feedback and explanation please.
Is it OK that they did this in a kind of looking forward position? It won't make them even more forward (like in a round-shouldered posture)? I'm asking cuz my posture is a bit like that (cyphosis).
1 person likes this.
Lovely to have a longer meditation/rest at the end. Always feels like just what I need. xo
Nadia 😃 So glad you like the sequins! The wide leg forward fold with the wrap is simply a variation, I’m sure it has a particular Sanskrit name but as far as I know it is a variation of prasarita paddottonasana. And in ANY asana, you always want to find that balance of ease and effort, and not go into anything too much so that there is pain. Sometimes there is cracking in the joints, but if it is painful ~stay away from that edge. You can use a strap to help you make the bind/wrap to give it more space. Really work on rolling shoulder head back in the wrap, especiallly if you naturally have kyphosis. Do this in ALL your postures and include a lot of shoulder opening and backbends to help balance your posture. 😍
1 person likes this.
Shelley, thank you. No, it doesn't bring pain. Just the sound.

You recommend shoulder opening asanas - so the ones that are in this siquins and similar to them?
Ruth! Thank you for the kind feedback... I am glad you are not tired of the sound of my voice 😂. Such great consistency and kind feedback, it is so generous that you share your thoughts, and has made this experience so special for me, too! much love
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