Awaken to You: 30-Day Yoga Challenge Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 27

Day 24: Freshen Your Energy

30 min - Practice


In Day 24, we move through a playful practice designed to raise our energy. We begin with Breath of Fire before moving into Surya Namaskars (Sun Salutations) and strengthening postures to open the hips and shoulders, working with wraps and binds. You will feel challenged and creative.
What You'll Need: Mat, Block

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Greetings tribe, welcome back to day 24. I'm super excited about this practice because it's kind of a redux of summer's practice. So it's playful and it's designed to bring your energy up. And I'd love to introduce a new breathing rhythm that I like to work with in my own personal practice when I'm feeling a little tired or sluggish and I just need to wake up and kind of freshen up my energy. So it's a simple rhythm called breath of fire and we'll experience it together and then move into our standing practice.

So if you just bring your left hand to your belly and imagine there's a little candle right in front of your nose and we'll do a quick series of exhales through our nose only by pumping the abdominal wall in. Let's practice kind of slowly, a slow rehearsal. So the inhale happens naturally, focus on the exhale, it looks like this. If you take a look at my abdominal wall, it pulls in as I force the exhale out and the inhale kind of happens naturally. So let's try a round, since it's day 24, let's try a round of 24 breaths.

I'll take you through it. We'll take an inhale, exhale in between and maybe do another round or two after that. So take a nice deep breath in, exhale through your mouth, inhale to about half capacity and begin. I'm going to keep a snapping rhythm with my hand here and just keep pumping your abdominal wall in, in, in, in, in. If that feels too fast, you can slow it down.

If it's not fast enough, go a little faster. You're welcome to close your eyes. Five, four, three, two, one, hold. Take a deep breath in and exhale through both nostrils. Take another couple of free, easy breaths and just notice how you feel.

Maybe you feel a little lightheaded or maybe some snot or something has come out that's normal. Breath of fire sometimes is a little messy, you just grab a tissue, clean it up. Besides being a breath that elevates our energy, it also cleanses our sinuses and tones our core. So let's enjoy another round. Bring your left hand to your navel, take a nice deep breath in, exhale completely.

Again, I'll snap to keep a rhythm for us. Inhale to half capacity and begin, four, three, two, one, inhale, exhale, twice more deep, smooth, easy, relaxed breaths, exhale completely. Let's do one more round together, one more round of 24, full breath in, exhale, relax your shoulders, bring your left hand to your belly and then a half breath in, close your eyes and let's begin, four, three, two, one, take a deep inhale here, lift your chest, just pause, hold the in breath, exhale, slowly release and open up your eyes, good. Notice how you feel, I feel good. Let's take our blocks, hopefully you have a block handy and we're going to turn and just place the block right between the inner thighs and give it a good squeeze and we'll go into a little seated cat cow and with some activated core work to continue waking up the body.

So as you inhale, lift your chest, squeeze into the block and then as you exhale, round your back, release through the hands and draw the navel in. As you inhale, reach up this time, squeeze the block, exhale, round and just continue to move back and forth a couple of times here, arching and curling through the spine. Notice the activation that you might feel in your core, in your shoulders and the temperature of your skin, the quality of your breath. Inhale to reach, exhale to round and one more like that, inhale to reach and exhale to round and let's go ahead and take our floating child's pose aka boat pose and keep the block between your knees, give it a good squeeze, shins can be parallel to the floor or you can straighten your legs and just squeeze into the block here, really activating some power through the center of our body and then go ahead and bring your feet down and set the block to one side and from here, bringing your hands back behind you, turn your fingers to point away from the midline and just lift your hips, lift your heart and open up across the shoulders and the chest. As you exhale, slowly melt back down, getting into the shoulders here and we worked with this one before where we alternate lifting one arm and then the other, it has the feeling of a flipped dog, a half back bend so put a little more weight in the right side of the body and as you inhale, sweep your left arm up and back and as you exhale, just retrace that pathway and place your left hand to the edge of the mat, put a little weight in the left side of the body, inhale, right arm sweeps, hips lift, exhale and just notice how this feels today, does it feel a little more accessible to you, does it feel a little more open as we inhale and lift the hips, reach and open, exhale, return and encouraging that playful eight year old energy as you inhale and lift, opening up towards your day to the sun, exhale, come down, let's do that once more each side, inhale, sweep the left arm up and back and then exhale all the way back down, last cycle like that, inhale, sweep the right arm, opening up across the chest and then exhale, slowly come back down, flip it on over to your downward facing dog and let's separate the feet as wide as the mat, let your hips shift a little bit from side to side, so take three really big free and easy breaths here, receiving your breath, maybe exhale through the mouth, relax your head and neck, give it a little shake, yes, no, neck to yes, and just allowing some playful energy into your practice today as we shift our feet all the way together and let's review our summer soccer kicks as you reach your right leg to the sky and on an exhale bend your knee, tuck it through and we'll take this little kick towards nine o'clock and then come right back up and reach your right leg to the sky and do it again, bring your knee through and just kick right off the mat towards your nine o'clock, once more, inhale, exhale, draw the knee to the chest, kick it through and then from here bring your foot back towards about seven o'clock and let's inhale to lift up into our flipped dog, we worked with this in yesterday's practice and so bringing it back right at the top of our practice today, exhale, sit it back down and then crawl back into your downward facing dog, feet close together, left leg rises on and inhale, exhale, draw the knee to the midline and just kick it through towards three o'clock and just feel that navigation as you go back and forth, big inhale, just stretch the left leg long, exhale, knee comes in and kicks through, one more time, big inhale and exhale, draw it all the way through, lightly have a seat, shift your left foot back towards five o'clock and then inhale, rise up into your flipped dog and just notice how you're expressing yourself here as you make your way back to your downward dog and shift a little bit side to side, keep shifting and sauntering and walking your feet all the way up to the top of the mat, you can bend the knees or crawl however you like to get there but let's meet up in a forward fold and relax down and once again give your head a little shake, yes and no, back to yes again and let's soften our knees and slowly roll up, one vertebra at a time, draw the navel in and step the feet all the way together, we'll move through our sense salutations today kind of in a brisker flowing way so as you inhale reach up, as you exhale forward fold, inhale lift up halfway and you can step or hop back if you're hopping back land with soft elbows in chaturanga and come to your upward dog, if you're stepping back you can lower to the belly and go to cobra and right back into the next cycle we'll bend the knees and step or hop to the top of the mat, lift your heart halfway, exhale let it go and roll up, inhale circle the arms wide, exhale right back into the next cycle forward fold, lift the heart, step or float back, lower down, inhale open the chest, exhale fold it back twice more just moving and breathing through this, bend the knees step or hop, lift the heart halfway, exhale release, bend your knees roll it up, inhale to reach, exhale fold, lift the heart halfway, bend the knees as you exhale step or float back you can always skip the vinyasa and go right to downward dog but let it be playful and light let go a little bit of form and just feel the movement through your body as you step or hop to the top of the mat, lift the chest halfway, exhale release, bend your knees roll it on up one more cycle inhale, exhale forward fold, lift the heart halfway, step or float back chaturanga, inhale open the heart, exhale fold, bring it all the way to completion, inhale to the toes, bend the knees step or hop, top of the mat, lift the heart halfway, exhale release, bend your knees roll it up, take a big breath in and then exhale hands to your heart, just pause here for a moment feel the beat of your heart the rhythm of your breath on your next exhale release your hands circle the arms wide deep breath in as you reach up and now let's slow it down let's take a super slow swan dive taking your time to come all the way down to your forward fold totally different rhythm lift your heart halfway big inhale exhale step it back super slow take your time kind of savoring lowering down like you love chaturanga and then rising cobra upward dog linger there for a moment exhale downward dog and let's continue on with kind of these playful patterns we'll introduce some new shapes that we've been working towards to get so take your right leg to the sky open your hip bend your knee we've been flipping our dog all over the place today's no extension exception so shift your shoulders forward roll to the outer edge of your foot and open your chest now take that top arm circle it all the way around and then come back through plank and take that little soccer kick it feels like it's going to fall in triangle but sit down and come into your jhanyu sasana for a moment so sole the foot at the inner thigh reach up as you inhale kind of blending our grounded postures with our standing flow exhale forward fold get cozy here for at least one or two deep breaths and then slowly come on it plant your right hand at the middle of the mat plant your left foot at the middle of the mat and see about picking up your right foot so we did this again several practices ago with our first experience the summer's practice and just feel that navigation that you can hold your weight in your hand and your foot and lift the right leg up just kind of playing around with it and from here we'll step through to a warrior two base but let's put the back knee down today and turn the back should perpendicular to the front foot lead with your left arm and come on up to a kneeling warrior two and notice here that you can ease forward or back and depending on how your knee feels you might want to put a blanket under your knee fold a towel under your knee no problem but let's lean into our kneeling warrior two and this is a really nice place to start to work into the bind and let's just see from the front we did this in yesterday's practice as well bring your right shoulder inside the right knee and then reach underneath so turn your palm to face down and reach underneath to the back of your hip and then take your left arm and reach up and turn that arm in and reach to the back of the hip and you'll be able to see this on the second side so you can rest your hands at your hips or grab onto fingers or wrist and start to turn your chest open towards the sky and right away notice how you interact with this internally sometimes when these new challenging situations come into play we have a kind of a oh this is why are we doing this this is dumb or useless but just try it be eight years old I'm gonna I'm gonna see what happens I'm gonna see how it feels today and just do what you can so breathe into the hip and the shoulder this is definitely a challenging shape for me so I'm right there with you and then release let it go it's a memory step back to plank and your vinyasa I'm gonna take a stage one lower my knees lower my chest and come into cobra on and inhale pull the heart forward exhale release back through child's pose a little home base and then inhale hands and knees and exhale to downward facing dog and let's play around with the left side so take the left leg to the sky big inhale exhale open your hip bend your knee slowly shift into a flip dog you're welcome to put your knee down or roll to the outer edge of your foot and turn your chest open big circle with the top arm swimming through the space as you exhale come through plank need a navel and then a little soccer kick through to three o'clock and sit down for John you sure sauce and I'm gonna turn you can stay the same direction that you're facing inhale to reach up and then exhale over the long leg and we find these little moments amidst effort and flow where we can drop in and ground down a bit one more breath here slowly come on up as you inhale take your left hand to the middle of the mat take your left foot to the middle of the mat see about reaching and grabbing on to excuse me it's your right foot to the mouth see about reaching on grabbing onto your left foot and just lifting and notice again that you can hold your weight up with one hand and one foot and the other legs free to pivot and move around a bit from here step through to your warrior to base and then lower your back knee down and let's turn the back shin perpendicular and come on up to our kneeling warrior to lean into it a bit make sure that bottom knee is comfortable and now you get a good view of working into the bind from the back side so draw your left elbow left shoulder inside your knee and then turn the palm down and reach behind you back of the hand at your hip right arm reaches up turn it in and reach for the opposite hand your hands might just rest on your hips that's fine or you can grab a finger or a wrist but turn your chest open find the rotation in the spine just like we did in yesterday's practice turn your chest open towards the sky and if it feels challenging it's it's supposed to it's a hard shape but try to hang with the effort and just feel a little playfulness a little eight-year-old inside just trying it out seeing what happens breath here and then slowly release and it's a memory step back to plank choosing your vinyasa I'm gonna go stage one again lower the knees chest and hips inhale cobra and then exhale back to child's pose take a couple of breaths here ground it down inhale up to our hands and knees curl the toes under press back to downward facing dog we'll work through that same pattern but slightly different slightly abbreviated just once more right leg rises on an inhale exhale open the hip and let's just stay right here rather than flipping the dog stretch the right leg out long and then exhale slow motion soccer kick through towards nine o'clock but let it float and grab your foot but see about just transitioning your way slightly forward so that you end up inside plank with your foot in your hand what just happened my arms shaking is yours and then come back in and step through to warrior to base fantastic lead with your left arm come all the way up to warrior to should we try it should we try the rap why not so a couple of options here you can come into a half rap by bringing your elbow to your knee and sweeping your right arm behind your back super therapeutic for your shoulder can pull your hand around to your thigh or to hold on to your pants your shirt whatever you can grab if you'd like to work into a fuller rap just slide the right shoulder down reach underneath your thighs same thing we did in kneeling warrior two and see about turning your chest open any amount and breathe and just work with the effort here there's a lot of effort involved breathe with it try to stay relaxed inside and then release gracefully try not to slingshot your arms let's spin on the ball the back foot and lower the knee and then we give the front leg a little dessert and stretch it out long and melt art a hundred minutes and half split can walk your hands forward oh and breathe into that it's a new opening different pathways in the body and the mind and kind of noticing how you interact with things that are new from here let's go ahead and make our way out and step directly back to downward facing dog job if you'd like to flow through a vinyasa go for it maybe today you just hold downward facing dog and get centered before we go to the second side and then go ahead and step to feet close together let's inhale the left leg up exhale open your hip bend your knee and just holding this shape stretch it out nice and long super slow motion let's bring the knee to the navel and then like you're kicking a soccer ball to three o'clock let it hover see about taking hold of your foot or your pant leg your ankle and just slowly transition your weight forward so you feel a little side plank with your leg extended what it's challenging but we're not going to be here forever and then slowly release and step into your warrior to base leading with your right arm come all the way up big inhale and exhale let's work into a wrap a bind so elbow to knee top arm sweeping is option one taking a really nice half wrap here beautiful opening for the top shoulder this might be plenty if you'd like to go a little deeper just slide your left shoulder inside the knee reach underneath notice that it's typical to bow forward to make the bind but try to reopen your chest towards the sky super challenging but just be in the shape for a few breaths one more cycle of breath here and then slowly release spin on the ball of the back foot lower your knee and stretch the front leg long coming into your half split walk your hands forward and relax your head and neck from here bend your front knee step back to downward facing dog evening out the body and the breath shaking out the head and then let's inhale to our toes as you bend your knees just swivel them to one side and have a seat coming back to the very beginning where we met up after breath of fire so from here let's lay down and have your block handy we use it for a little supported bridge and shoulder stand and just take your time on the roll down explore slowly coming down one vertebrae at a time this one's always really hard for me because I kind of have a flat spot in my lower back but I do my best and just slowly slowly oh there it is come on down oh and that equals like 10 minutes of core work what you just did so congratulations take your block lift your hips and place it on its lowest height right under your sacrum like your hips feel like they're on a cake plate and just turn your palms face up and hang out here for a moment enjoy a couple of breaths notice how you feel today different every day and let's take a supported shoulder stand so with this lift in the low back this kind of arch in your low back and neutral pelvis just extend one leg at a time straight up and what you want to feel for is that you don't sink into the lumbar spine and curve but keep that lift in support of your back core flexion in the front hips and then this nice upward reach of the legs and just because we're working with a playful practice today let's do a little experiment here instead of holding the legs super straight and steady relax your feet soften your knees a little bit and can you shake your feet out and literally let go of any effort in your feet and your ankles almost like you're trying to shake water or sand off your feet just give it a little shake and you can do that with your mouth if you want and it feels fun little vibration to the calves the ankles and the feet this is a really important tool to have in your back pocket in case you get crampy calves and feet this is an excellent practice so just shake it out a little bit and then reach through your legs flex and point through the feet and the toes notice your new and improved range of motion that you have in your wonderful expressive feet so important to keep good flexibility in our feet in Chinese medicine they say that we age from the feet up and there's some truth to that so let's keep our feet flexible and strong and healthy and then go ahead and just bend your knees and draw your feet down to the mat lift your hips up and set your block to one side and come on down and let's draw our knees into our chest and come into child's pose on our back you can wrap your arms around your legs relax your head and your neck and just literally rock yourself here so I'll decide for a moment or two rocking yourself like a baby and as you're ready you can come into your shavasana feel that nice vibrant childlike energy spread through you from your heart reaching out from your heart center to your hands down your legs to your feet swirling through the crown out the top of the head just radiating from your whole being such a wonderful quality to be able to be childlike to see the world through the eyes of a child to laugh to have wonder in your heart and in your spirit so rest for a few moments here with that feeling of not of I worry but of I wonder in your heart I wonder slowly bring your awareness back into your body send a little bit of movement through your fingers and your toes and then reach your arms over your head and reawaken refresh this beautiful day or evening stretched out in front of you draw your knees in and roll on over to one side come on up to a comfortable seat I wonder what your day holds for you today whatever it is I hope it's fantastic let's bring our hands together at our heart take a deep breath in exhale completely and the light and the love and all those special really great qualities inside of me greet and honor the light and the love and all the best qualities inside of you namaste thank you so much I'll see you in the next practice


Jenny S
4 people like this.
I really enjoy these playful practices. They present an interesting challenge to me because I’m at an age where certain shapes have become much harder to find. It’s taken me a while to arrive at this place where I give myself “permission” to enjoy modifications if need be. It’s really very freeing and I’m enjoying yoga more now than ever. And PS: nothing feels better than sacrum on a block and legs in the air!
Lauri K
2 people like this.
Shelley Williams
Jenny Now that's the reflection of an advanced yogi... some days we need more, some days we need less. Some years we need more, some years we need less. The advanced yogi knows themselves well enough to recognize what is needed on any given to day, and has the courage and wisdom to choose the right path... ❤️
M Angela C
3 people like this.
I loved this practice! How freeing to move into shapes without questioning the possibility. It sounds implausible but I have not had fun like this for some time. I had a trying day before coming to my mat and this was just the tonic I needed. 🙏
Melissa H
1 person likes this.
I have to modify so many of the past few practices with all of the one-arm balances due to a pinch in my cervical spine. I hope I can play along fully someday!
Shelley Williams
Hi M Angela ! I am so glad you liked it... sometimes it is nice to loosen the reins a bit, and allow that playful flow to explore ~
Shelley Williams
Hi Melissa ! Big hugs to you, and I hear you... Remember, You can always do a piece of each pose! Some great options would be to always set the bottom knee down for more support, and to take more of the weight out of the supporting arm. Another option is to simply lie down and do the posture on your back, side, or belly. Injuries are often our best teacher, and encourage us to get creative in our practice, so continue allowing yourself to see ALL the possibilities, and less focus on what you might be missing. It can all be play ;) much love
Gabriel W
3 people like this.
Yo. Managed to practice away from home with no mat and no space! Loved it. Thank you.
Julie B
2 people like this.
Seriously, you're just an awesome human being. Thank you!
Nadia I
2 people like this.
Thank you so much for the jokes, I had many laughs and giggles! And these classes are so in synque with me - felt super slooggish when I woke up plus had three bad dreams. And was almost going to pass the morning practice, but was reciting to myself your words from the previous day - to do yoga especially when you don't feel like it. And after the fire breath felt so much better. Thank you. You are my favorite part of the day)
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