Awaken to You: 30-Day Yoga Challenge Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 31

Day 28: Stay the Course

30 min - Practice


We are so close to finishing and are in this together! In Day 28, we revisit familiar patterns with a fluid mandala namaskar, exploring circular patterns around the mat to cultivate energy and intention. You will feel inspired.
What You'll Need: Mat, Block

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Greetings, miches, friends. It's day 28 and I have a confession to make. I cannot tell you how many cleanses or challenges or things I've participated in over the years where I've made it like this far where there's like two days left and then I'm like, ah, that's enough. And I've bailed out. Like that's the truth.

And I want to encourage you as I'm encouraging myself because I'm inside this challenge with you like, let's stay with this together to the end, let it stay together. So I'm bringing my all to it. I know it's like those last few moments, excuse me. I'm salivating because I'm so excited, but let's stay together. So I'm needing your support today and I'm giving you mine and let's bring our right hand over our left.

This is the mudra of your intention, of your sankalpa. And if you just bring it to your right hip, let's hang out here for a moment, reconnect to our intention, our dedication and our commitment to this challenge, to ourselves, to our humanity, and to our ability to stay with it. So let's take a few breaths here. As you hold this mudra, don't hold your breath, let your breath flow. Let your hands soften a bit and bring them to your heart and then take your hands to your shoulders, give your shoulders a squeeze, down your arms, the biceps, the forearms, the wrists.

Just give, let's give ourselves a little hug to start here. Bring your hands to your belly, to your low back, down the hips, the legs, all the way to the feet. Let your eyes open. Okay, I needed that, I hope you needed that too. And then just bring your hands to your knees and sit tall, take a deep breath in.

Exhale through the mouth, and we haven't really played around with any lion's breath yet. I'm thinking that today's the day, so take a deep inhale, and as you exhale, just stick out your tongue. Let's do that again, exhale. It feels funny, doesn't it, one more time. And then from there dive down, take your hands forward, and as you inhale, come on up.

Drop your chin into your chest, exhale as you dive through the wave, inhale, come on up, fill that salt water inside, refreshing you as you dip down and take your first couple of duck dives here through the wave of your breath, exhale, inhale, and it is a lot like surfing because sometimes I don't always want to surf, I find the water's cold and the wetsuit feels tight, but I know, I know once I paddle out and once I get in the water, I feel so much better. It's kind of the same thing with showing up to your mat, like just get in, get onto the mat, get moving. So let's feel that cultivation of our energy and our intention. Take one more, and then lift up. Sit tall and allow your head to just circulate a half semi-circle from left to right shoulder, and we'll be moving in a lot of circular patterns today around the mat.

We'll take a couple of mandalana mascars and circulations of the head and the shoulders within our movements, and if it feels okay on your neck to circulate all the way back and around, do that a couple of times really gently, and if it feels better to keep it forward, whatever works for you, but go the other direction. Just give your neck a little love with your breath, with your movement. And then sitting tall, open the eyes, let's take a side bend up and over to our right. So right hand rounds down, maybe the right forearm, reach up through the left arm, let's inhale here, and then exhale, circle forward and down, come into a simple twist, hand comes across to your knee, sit tall, exhale, come back to the center, and let's circle up and over to the opposite side, hand or forearm comes down, lengthening up as you inhale, and then exhale, reach way out in front of you, take up a lot of space as you come into your twist, sitting up tall, exhale, back through the center, circulate your spine two or three times in one direction, allow your ribcage to roll over the hips, massaging into your low back, and then let's go the opposite direction, opposite way. Shifting into your ujjayi breath, breathing through the nose, in and out, and then roll your way onto your hands and knees, just find yourself there, and you can curl the toes under or leave them flat, I'm going to curl mine under today, it feels kind of nice to stretch into the metatarsals, and let's circle the shoulders and hips over the arm and leg bones, circulating, you can let your head and neck go with it, let your spine move through a spontaneous cat and cow, notice how so many of these movements that we've been working through start to kind of inform each other and create new rhythms, new patterns, so feel cat cow, feel side bending inside of this circulation, and then come back to the center and let's come up into our first downward dog of the practice, so lift your hips, press back, and ground down through your hands, through your feet, so enjoy about three good breaths here, you can hold steady in your down dog, you can bicycle pedal and shift a bit, and refresh your awareness from the outer body to the inner body, so just check in, open up the shoulders, ground down through your palms, through all ten fingers, root down through the four corners of the feet, feel into your rotation of the thighs, slight inner rotation, lift to the pelvis, come into the breath, enter through the breath like you're entering through gates into the landscape of your mind, it might be scary in there, but just send some breath, send some good energy, we'll start to move into a mandala namaskar to warm up our body today, so let's step the feet a little closer together, and then inhale the right leg up to the sky, as you exhale step all the way through to a runner's lunge, come up to crescent pose, inhale, as you exhale reach forward and down and walk your hands to the back of the mat, just gonna turn the feet and come to a runner's lunge facing the back of the mat, keep the right hand down, lift the left hand and take a simple twist and then exhale through your vinyasa, so many choices, I'm gonna take a stage one, lower the knees, lower the chest and hips, inhale to open your heart, exhale back to your downward dog, and then we take that same pattern on the same side, so the right leg rises big inhale, exhale step it all the way through and it doesn't have to be the biggest most expansive crescent pose, just come up and allow your body to move through these shapes as you walk your hands all the way back around to the front of the mat, simple twist again, we're not going for a chiropractic adjustment, we're just starting to move through some pathways to clear our energy and open the body, and even yasa you like, I'm gonna take another stage one, inhale open your heart, exhale fold it back, and then let's take the second side, left leg rising, step it all the way through, come on up into your crescent pose and then exhale, walk it all the way back to the back of the mat, keeping the left hand down, simple twist and through your vinyasa, maybe it's time for a stage two, keeping the legs straight as you lower down, inhale to cobra, moving your hands back as you exhale, up or down, exhale, left leg again, inhale, exhale step it through, inhale crescent, and just keeping it simple as we move through this namaskar, walk it around, right hand rises, inhale, exhale through your vinyasa, I'm taking a stage two again, inhale, exhale move the hands back, inhale rise, exhale, we'll take that whole pattern once more each side, so right leg rises, exhale step it through, little costume check, inhale come up, exhale walk it to the back of the mat, as you twist maybe you can open a bit more and then exhale through your vinyasa, I'm going stage three, are you with me?

Just hold it back, right leg rising, inhale, exhale step it through, same pattern, inhale to crescent, exhale to the front of the mat, right hand grounds, left hand lifts, exhale through your vinyasa, inhale, exhale, let's enjoy breath here before we come back around, let's go to the second side, left leg rises, inhale, exhale step it through, inhale crescent pose, exhale walk it all the way to the back of the mat and inhale to your twist, open it up just a bit more, just kind of check out where you feel like your edges are and lower down, inhale open the chest, exhale fold, left leg big inhale, exhale step it all the way through, inhale rise, exhale walk it around to the front of the mat, right hand rises big inhale, exhale through your vinyasa and sometimes once I get moving it's almost like my practice kind of does it for me a little bit, it's just okay go, you do this, even though it requires physical effort and attention if sometimes we can get out of our own way, you can just hold your down dog here and hang out and allow your yoga to really work on you from the inside out, let's enjoy a couple breaths here in our downward dog, empty through the head, head is below the heart and then come to child's pose, take the knees wide, big toes touch, sit back, we'll make a little pillow today with our hands and just rest your forehead on your hands, grounding down, one more breath here, slowly come back up to our hands and knees, crawl it forward all the way to a forward fold at the top of your mat, separate your feet hips width apart, grab onto the opposite elbows and relax down and you can alternate, bending one knee and then the other, kind of shifting a little bit from side to side, once you feel even come back to the center, just release our hands, lift our head and our heart and circulate out and up and maybe like a phoenix rising from the ash, bring your hands to your heart, I just called like a crow right there, that's a good thing right, sometimes things come out in your practice, you don't even know, so let's reach up to the sky, big inhale and this time as we come into our forward fold we'll just slightly shift back through the right hip, bend your left knee and open your arms wide, almost like we're dropping into a half moon but with both feet grounded and then come back up again, big inhale and take it to the second side, bend your right knee, shift the left hip back and let your chest open, let's do that once more to the right side, big inhale, exhale, bending into the left knee, shift back into the right hip, such a nice opening through the outer hip and then stay here in this open twist but can you soften and bend both knees and find an even bend in your knees, looking down, let's bring our right hand to our hip, shift the weight into the left foot and then step your left foot, excuse me, into the right foot and step your left foot back, now from here you're still in your twist, you can open the chest a bit and as you exhale set your back foot for warrior two, lead with your left arm and let's connect the dots through warrior two to your reverse warrior and then swim it all the way back around, onto the ball of the back foot, left hand comes to the mat, right hand to the hip, open the chest, do it again, set your back foot, lead with the left arm, come all the way up through your reverse warrior, exhale, swim through the space, back through warrior two to your twist, hand on the hip, let's do that one more time, inhale all the way up, rising up out of the roots, exhale, swim it back down, hand to the hip, and then from here we'll just shorten the stance, straighten the front leg and come into pyramid pose, lift your heart, bring your hands to your hips, come all the way up and take a moment, we've been working with this mudra gesture a bit in the last couple of practices and it's just that return of what is our yoga practice, how does it pour off our mat and into our life and our relationship, so you don't have to define it in a really specific way but just feel it from your heart, what you can open to, whether it's giving, whether it's receiving, whether it's reaching out for a help or support, bring your hands to your hips and lift your chest, big inhale, and exhale, hinge at the hips, forward fold, just come down halfway, keep the elbows drying back, the chest open, see about squaring your hips off a bit, just to refine it, and then let's bend our front knee, take your hands forward and lift your back leg into a standing split, enjoy hanging out here in any shape, we've worked with so many different shapes from a standing split, you can bend your knee, you can take it out to the side, you can grab onto your foot with your opposite hand, give yourself a little freedom to express here, maybe a Shiva squat once or twice, circle the ankle, whatever feels good, and then step your feet together, and on an inhale rise, exhale hands to your heart, let's do it again, circle the arms out of that, as you exhale bend the right knee hinge into the left hip, and then gather it back up, second side bend the left knee hinge into the right hip, gather it back up one more time, as you open your chest bend your right knee shift back into the hip, and then stay low bend both knees, see about squaring off through the hips and knees, there's a little navigation here you can bring your left hand to your hip, shift your weight into the left foot and step the right foot back, and twist open the chest, deepen the lunge, as you exhale set your back foot, reach with your rider and come through your warrior two to your reverse warrior, familiar pattern as you swim through the space, swim through your mind open the twist, set your back heel and inhale rise, exhale swim through warrior two, hand to the hips, spin on the ball to back foot, and sometimes it's so nice just to repeat a pattern, we can relax and sort of just lose ourself inside of the breath, coming into the twist, from here hands frame the front foot let's shorten the stance and come into our pyramid pose base, bring your hands to your hips, lift up through the heart center, equipment check, bring your hands to your heart, opening up feeling that fullness in your heart, openness in your heart, hands to your hips, lift your chest, exhale hinge forward, maybe keep our heart open, hang out here for a breath or two and just get kind of long through the back of the neck, shifting the hips, left hip back, right hip forward, notice your energy, what are you working with today, how can you be kind to yourself, gentle to yourself, release your hands, let's bend the front knee, lift the back leg, standing split, and then you're free to explore, so you can stay right here, you can bend the knees a bit, shift the leg out to the side, circulate through the ankle, grab a foot, so many options, just take a couple of breaths and feel the possibilities here, and as you're ready, step the feet together, top of the neck, inhale to lift the heart halfway, let's slide the hands up the shins, exhale forward fold, step your feet as wide as the mat, grab one of your blocks and we'll place it so that we can use it as a little seat, so I like to turn mine to medium height, you're welcome to stack two blocks or go lower, but turn your toes out, bend your knees and come on down to sit in your malasana, take a moment and just be here, it's always a great time to take a moment if you feel it in your practice at any time, oh spontaneous meditation, this seat malasana has the feel of almost like sitting at the council, so just take a moment here and really feel into grounded energy, and whether you're surrounded by your tribe or afar, just feel that reach energetically from your heart, friends, loved ones, family, take a moment, just ground down, bring your hands together, open your eyes, before we come down and sit and ground down in our shavasana, let's just take care of our shoulders a bit here, we'll slide the left shoulder inside of the knee and open up like you're opening up for an energetic embrace, and then give yourself one, turn the arms in, reach around the shin, the back body, hands can hang out here, you can always go deeper and bind, I'm going to keep mine more spacious today, I'm just feeling hands at your back, and then coming back to the center, as you inhale hands to the heart, exhale open up to the opposite side, so right shoulder to the inside of your right knee, internally rotate, reaching behind your back, behind your shin, feel a little gratitude to all the people that we have around us that have our back, even the ones that might be far away, so feeling into that space, feeling into that awareness, recognition in the heart, and slowly come back to the center, and let's have a seat on our mat, you can set your block to one side, and take the right leg long, and allow the left knee to either open up, or to internally rotate, almost like a hurdler's stretch position, this may or may not work for your knee, but it's kind of a nice orientation to feel into, we haven't done a lot of internally rotated virasana situation, so if this is okay, try it, but if not, turn your knee open, and then we'll dive into a side bend here, and you can place your hand, your forearm, really in a variety of places as you come into your side bend, and depending on you, I like to actually reach under my thigh, and hold on to my ankle, and drop in a little deeper, but any degree works, if you're up a little higher, even in a more subtle elevated place, it's still super therapeutic, so to whatever degree you like to go to, let's hang out here, I'm going to come back into the low road for a moment, and feeling the rotation of turning your heart like a sunflower towards the sunlight, it's always shining, even on a grey day, like today, we've got a little cloud cover outside, but the sun's out, it's there, relax your head and neck, and stay for a couple more breaths, as you're ready, release, and use your hands to press yourself up, and let's take the second side, so unwind and reach through the left leg, right knee can be externally rotated, or internally rotated as it works for you, and side bending into your parigasana, it's gate pose, there's many versions of gate pose, and just see where that sweet spot is for you, I'm reaching under my thigh and grabbing onto my ankle, and then sweeping my hand alongside my ear, turn your chest open, let your head go, release any holding that might be going on in your neck, just hang out here, deepening the breath, and slowly release your hands, use your hands to bring yourself back up, and let's come into shavasana, yay, so coming down onto your back, maybe bring your knees in for a moment, a little bear hug, if you have anything at the back of your head that's kind of obstructing a relaxed shavasana, just take it out, let your hair down, and rest, feel the support underneath you, the mama earth holding you in her hand, openness of the sky above you, your tribe, near or far, friends, family, colleagues, coworkers, and feel yourself as part of that community, part of so many communities. That's enough. Slowly bring your awareness back into your body and send a little movement to your fingers and your toes. If you want to stay resting in your shavasana a little bit longer, please feel free. If you'd like to come up with me, just draw your knees into your chest and roll onto your side and press yourself on up.

Welcome back. Let's bring the hands together at the heart. Take a moment here. Feeling some gratitude. Gratitude is the juice of life, the nectar of life. Thank you so much for being here, for showing up. I'm so grateful for you.

I felt your support. I hope you feel mine. We are so close. Let's continue and finish together. Finish strong. Have a great day. Namaste.


Jenny S
2 people like this.
Super grounding and comforting. I feel held and safe. Namaste Mwah 😘
Shelley Williams
Jenny !!! You are THERE! Great consistency, and holding you from afar, sister :)
Bridget F
2 people like this.
Hi Shelley! I'm still with you! Thank-you for your energy. This has been beautiful.
Elissa P
2 people like this.
Hi there. I'm still here too. I enjoyed this grounded, roundabout of a practice with juicy side body attention and blissful moments of stillness
Shelley Williams
Hi Bridget! Thank you for the check in, and congrats on making it to Day 28! SO Awesome...
Shelley Williams
Hi Elissa! Thank you for letting me know, so happy to see that you are fully making it through the full challenge :) Glad you liked this practice ... xoxoxo
M Angela C
1 person likes this.
Cannot believe day 28! Still here, still grateful, and feeling stronger in mind and body. Lovely practice and thank you!
Glenford N
1 person likes this.
Lovely practice with fluid movements and interesting twists and turns. What I'm learning about myself on the mat, is being translated into the journey of a beautiful New relationship. Thanks Shelley. Namaste
Shelley Williams
Hi M Angela ! You are at day 30 by now, yes!? Congrats on your consistency and sharing that you feel the result of the progression... so fantastic!
Shelley Williams
Hola Glenford! Elegant as always, brother... thank you for sharing xo
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