20-Minute Yoga Flows Artwork
Season 2 - Episode 5

Flow to Focus

20 min - Practice


Ground in the present moment. We move through a series of balancing postures to play with focus while building strength and generating heat in the body. You will feel grounded and aware.
What You'll Need: Mat


Read Full Transcript

Welcome back. So in this practice we're going to work with a series of balancing postures to really play with our focus and grounding ourselves in the present moment. So let's start in child's pose. I'll meet you there. You can bring the big toes together, either knees together or knees wide, and then just start to reach your arms forward. Let your hips sink back to your heels. Let the head and neck relax. Maybe the head finds the earth or you can always stack your hands and place your head on your hands. Just take a moment to breathe, allowing the back body to start to expand. Noticing the back ribs as you inhale and then grounding a little bit more as you exhale. And then reach your arms forward so much that the elbows start to lift up off the earth and then start to tent your fingertips. Walk your fingertips over to the right side and then just let a little bit more weight shift off towards your left hip as you come into a side body stretch. Allow a few breaths all the way up through the left side body. Nice. And then come back for center with your fingertips. Walk your hands all the way over to the left. Let a little bit of weight shift off towards your right hip. Let the head and neck relax and then just allow a few foldy breaths here. Breathing all the way through the right side body. Feel that opening. Good. And then come back through center and we'll come up to all fours. So finding a tabletop position. And then from tabletop, let's reach the left leg back. Tuck your toes and then press back a little bit so you're feeling a nice stretch through the back of your left leg. Good. And then start to bring the shoulders over the wrists. Spin onto your left heel. Bring the weight into your right hand and then sweep your left arm up for Ardavashisthasana. So feel that grounded quality and then we'll play with balance here. So take the left arm over your ear. Start to lift up through the left leg and then draw the navel in towards your spine so that you're engaging through the core. Start to engage through your right bicep and then just feel the wobbling in your balancing posture.

Beautiful. And then come back to all fours. Left hand down, left knee down. Let's take a cat cow from here. So as you inhale, arch through the back. Look up and lengthen. As you exhale, press the floor away. Round through the spine. Nice. And then neutral spine. Shoulders over wrists. Reach your right leg back. Tuck your toes. Press back a little bit to stretch into the back of your right leg. And then again, shoulders over wrists. Spin onto your right heel. Weight into the left hand. Sweep the right arm up and then feel that stability and then we'll play with our balance here. So reach the right arm over your ear. Start to lift up through the right leg and then draw the navel into the spine. Engage the core so that you're reaching from the core out through both ends and then breathe. Feel the wobbling and how present can you be in this moment with your breath. Nice. And then right hand down, right knee down. Let's tent the fingertips. Keep your hips up over your knees and then we'll feel an opening in the chest as you walk the hands forward, keeping the hips lifted. Let the chest sink down. Maybe the forehead comes down for anahatasana. It's a hard opening pose. Shoulder opener. Allowing just a few full deep breaths here. Nice. And then walk your hands back in and we'll set for downward facing dog. Tucking your toes. Lift your hips up and back and take a moment to wobble. Maybe pedal it out. And if the hamstrings are tight today then feel free to soften the knees. You can bend the knees any amount. We just really want to find that length through the spine. Let the sitting bones reach up toward the ceiling. And then from your downward facing dog, see if it feels okay to come up onto your fingertips. It's not easy. So feel free to keep the hands down if you'd like. And then from here on your fingertips we're going to glide forward into plank pose on the fingertips. Good. Allow a big full breath in. As you exhale lift the hips up and back. Keep on the fingertips if that feels okay in downward facing dog. And we'll just do that one more time. Inhale, come forward to plank pose. Exhale, fingertips down dog and then place the hands back down. This is strengthening through the hands. So from here let's reach the right leg all the way up and back. Three-leg dog. And then draw your right knee in towards your nose. Hover for a moment and then look forward. Step your foot through between your hands. Stay on the ball of your back foot. We'll come on to the fingertips for a moment. And then start to reach your arms back. So hovering the torso up off the front leg. So you're halfway up. Reach through the crown of your head. And then pressing through the feet. Come all the way up to crescent pose. So reaching the arms forward and up. Take a moment to soften through your back knee. Let the tailbone melt down. And then you can start to straighten that leg any amount if the tailbone can stay nice and relaxed. Good. And then soften through the shoulders. From here start to straighten through your front leg. So this is a balancing pose. If you're wobbling like I am, it's totally normal. And as you exhale, re-bend through your front leg. Let's do that two more times. Inhale, straighten the right leg. Press through your left heel. Exhale, re-bend through your front leg. One more like that. Inhale, straighten.

Exhale, re-bend crescent pose. Yeah, and then just lower the hands down. We'll step back to downward-facing dog. Inhale, glide forward to plank pose. And your choice. You can come through chaturanga. Maybe lower all the way down. Feel free to lower the knees. Inhale, cobra pose or up dog. Exhale, we'll come back to downward-facing dog. We'll take it to the left side. As you're ready, inhale the left leg up. Draw the knee to your nose. Hover for a moment and then gaze forward. Step your foot all the way through between your hands. Come on to your fingertips. Lengthen through the spine. And then we'll hover to begin. So draw the navel in and up. Reach the arms back. Reach actively through the crown of your head. Nice. And then inhale. Arms sweep forward and up. Coming into crescent pose. Soften through your back knee. Let that tailbone melt down. And then you can start to straighten the leg any amount. Letting the tailbone melt down. And then we'll straighten through the left leg. So pressing into the right heel. Straighten here. Big breath in. As you exhale, re-bend through the left. Good. Inhale, straighten the left. Exhale, re-bend. One more. Inhale, straighten. Exhale, crescent pose, re-bend. Good. And then hands down. Downward-facing dog. Stepping the left foot back to meet the right. And then as you inhale, come forward to plank pose. Your vinyasa as you lower through. Cobra or up dog, inhale. And coming back to downward-facing dog on your exhale. Nice job. And then from here, rise up onto the toes. Big bend in the knees. Step or lightly float to your hands. Come to the front of the mat. And then we'll lift halfway up on the inhale. Offer the heart forward. As you exhale, fold over your legs. Just take a moment in your fold. Beautiful. And then root down. Rise up to stand. Arms circle out and up. As you exhale, gather hands to heart. And just take one moment to check in. And really root down through all four corners of your feet. Feel the weight evenly distributed. Maybe lift up your toes for a moment, spread the toes, and then place them back down on the earth. So we'll set up for a couple standing balancing poses here. So starting to shift your weight into your right foot. We're gonna hug the left knee into your chest. So find one point to focus your gaze. And then tree pose, holding on to the left ankle. Bring the foot to the inner upper right thigh, the calf, or the earth. So find which one works best for you. Still want to press it into the knee if you can avoid that. So coming into tree, you can keep hands to the heart. Maybe reach your arms all the way up. Take a couple breaths. Press into the ball of your right big toe. Nice. And then start to draw that left knee back into the chest. If you can leave the arms up, go for it. And then maybe start to straighten through your left leg. Draw the low belly in and up. And then we'll transition into warrior three. So hands to the heart. Left leg comes back. Reach through the torso, through the sternum. And then let the left toes find the back of the mat, coming back into that crescent pose that we were in before.

Beautiful. And then draw the hands to the heart. Come halfway down. Keep the length in your spine. And then we'll take a twist from here. So left elbow comes to the outside of your right leg. Draw the prayer in front of your heart. And if you want to modify, you're welcome to lower the left knee down. Let's find what works best for you. A couple more breaths. And variations with your arms. Feel free to take that. Beautiful. And then big breath in. As you exhale, gaze down. Hands down. And then we'll take pyramid pose. So stepping your left foot in, just about a foot. And then folding over both legs. So make sure the feet are hips width, not on a tightrope. And then you might draw that right hip back. Let the left hip roll forward. Beautiful. And then gaze forward. We're going to transition into standing split from here. So walking the hands forward, lift up through the left leg. And if you really want to test your balance, maybe hold on to the ankle with one or both hands. Beautiful. And then as you lower out, a little bit of a tricky transition. You're going to bend your right knee, bend your left knee, and then bring your left knee behind your right ankle as you sit back for a twist. So walking the hands back. And then feel free to do what you need to do to get into this twist. So you can even straighten through the bottom leg if that feels a little more accessible. And then we'll hug the left knee in, bring the right fingertips behind, and just try to sit up nice and tall, lengthen through the spine. With every inhale, feel the length. With every exhale, ease into your twist. Maybe gazing over that right shoulder without cranking through the head or in the neck. Nice. And then to come out of here, look forward, unwind, and then step the soles of the feet to the earth. And we'll set up for boat pose Navasana. Hands to the backs of the knees, lift up through the legs, parallel the shins, nose in line with the toes. Maybe reach your arms forward, keep lifting up through the heart, and then maybe close your eyes. We'll be here for five. If you want to straighten the legs, go for it. Four, three, two, and one. Good. Bring the soles of the feet down, hands behind you, fingers facing towards you or out to the side a little bit if that feels better. Take a big breath in, lift the hips, and then stick out your tongue, lion's breath, let something go. Good. And then lower the hips down, we'll cross at the ankles. Feel free to take it through a vinyasa here or you can just step it right back to downward facing dog. And just holding for a couple breaths. Just finding a place to come back to the breath before we move on to the second side. So as you're ready, rise up onto the toes, deep bend in the knees, look forward, step or lightly float to your hands, come to the front of the mat, inhale halfway up, offer the heart forward, exhale, uttanasana, fold in, inhale, root down to rise, arms sweep up, dry your hands to your heart, and we'll set up for the second side. So really find the weight evenly distributed across your feet, and then this time we'll bring the weight into the left foot, hug your right knee into your chest. Good. Press through the ball of your left big toe and then setting up for tree, find the placement of your foot on your leg or the earth, and then let your frontal hip points face straight forward, drawing hands to heart or maybe reaching your arms all the way up. Find one point to focus your gaze. Beautiful. And then again, draw the knee in, you can straighten the leg any amount here, and then find that transition to warrior three, bringing the hands to the heart as you transition back. Good. Reach the sternum forward, roll that right hip down, and then crescent pose, right toes find the back of the mat, sweep the arms up, take a moment to really ground, find your base here before we twist, and then hands to heart, keep the length in the spine, come halfway forward, and then hooking your right elbow on the outside of the left leg, drawing the hands toward the heart center, maybe gazing up, and just taking a few full deep breaths if there's any variations with the arms, you can open them up, you might take a wrap, allowing one more big breath in, and then exhale, gaze down, hands down, pyramid pose, step the right foot in just about a foot into the right a little bit, and then draw the left hip back, let that right hip roll forward as you fold over both legs. Let the head and neck relax, feel free to bend through that left knee any amount, just want to find that nice hamstring stretch, especially in the left leg. Good, and then that transition to our balance standing split, so we'll gaze forward, walk the hands forward, reach the right leg up, and then if you want to play with balance a little bit more, hold on to the ankle with one or both hands. Good, and then that transition to seated twist, right knee bends, left knee bends, bring your right knee behind your left ankle and find your seat. Good, and again if you want to straighten out the right leg, go for it, root down through your sitting bones, hug your left knee in, let your left fingertips come behind you, and then inhale, lengthen up through the spine, exhale, twist, and let it be an active posture taking a few more full deep breaths. Good, and then you can gaze forward first, unravel, bringing the soles of the feet to the earth, we'll take one more boat pose, so bring the hands to the backs of the knees, lift up through the legs, navasana, and again if you want to straighten the legs, do that, but keep the spine long, reach the heart forward and then maybe close your eyes or find one point to focus the gaze and then just breathe. Good, four, three, two, beautiful, and then again lower the soles of the feet down, hands behind you, one last lift up here, lift the hips, take a big breath in, and then detoxifying breath, stick out the tongue, lion's breath, good, and then lower your hips down and we'll come on to our back, so just rolling onto the back, and let's take a hip opener here, so crossing your right ankle on top of your left knee for thread the eye of the needle, draw the knees in, and then you might interlace behind your left thigh or on top of your left shin, and then let the right knee draw away from you as the left knee draws in, and as much as you can, just relax the shoulders, letting the heart beat start to slow, beautiful, and then let's come into a twist right from here, so let the sole of your left foot come back down to the mat, cross your right leg on top of your left like you're sitting in a chair, and then bring the arms out on either sides of the shoulders, palms face up, eagle spinal twist, start to drop your knees to the left side, maybe gazing over your right shoulder, they're ringing it all out, letting the right shoulder keep melting down as much as possible toward the mat, good, and then unravel from there, take a moment to step the soles of the feet down, adjust the hips, feel the neutral spine, and we'll take it to the other side, so crossing left ankle on top of the right knee for thread the eye of the needle, and coming into left side hip opener, maybe interlacing, and again find the opposing action of the left knee drawing away, right knee drawing in, notice if this side feels any different for you, a couple more breaths, and then slipping into the twist, right foot comes down, cross your left knee on top of your right, bring the arms out, palms facing up, you might scoot the hips over to the left a little bit as the knees drop to the right, be gazing over the left shoulder, let the left shoulder melt a little bit more, ringing it all out, and then come back through center, hug your knees into your nose, maybe nose up towards your knees, take a big full breath in, then let everything go side out, let the legs go long for shavasana, palms face up, relax your shoulders, allow that integration, body, mind, spirit, stay here as long as you'd like, if you have more space to stay in the longer shavasana, definitely do that, otherwise we will start to invite movement back in, and soles of the feet to the earth, reach your right arm up, rolling over to the right side, pressing your way up to a comfortable cross-leg seated position, thank you so much for sharing your practice with me, namaste.


Lisa H
3 people like this.
love it and want more, thank you.
Sarah Beston
1 person likes this.
So happy to hear that you enjoyed the practice, Lisa! Wishing you a beautiful day! 
Charlotte Bösling
Thanks Sarah, loving the pace& flowiness. Namaste! 
Sarah Beston
So nice to hear, Charlotte! Thanks for practicing with me here!
1 person likes this.
nice to have the theme of balance throughout - made it easier to embrace the tendency to wobble! thanks :)
Sarah Beston
1 person likes this.
Hi Matthew! Thanks so much for the comment and for practicing with me here on Yoga Anytime! Cute dog by the way!
Glenford N
1 person likes this.
Great for my hips which are always a bit tight first thing in the morning.  The balancing poses give me the wobbles but are lessons in relaxed focus.  A renewed energy and sense of calm. Thanks Sarah. Namaste.
Sarah Beston
I hear you on the tight hips - especially first thing in the morning! So happy to hear that you are feeling a sense of calm. Wishing you a beautiful day, Glenford.
Sue W
1 person likes this.
Love your cuing and your sequence.  Thank you!
Sarah Beston
1 person likes this.
Hi Sue - you're so welcome! So happy to hear that this was a good sequence for you. Happy to be practicing here together! 
1-10 of 39

You need to be a subscriber to post a comment.

Please Log In or Create an Account to start your free trial.

Footer Yoga Anytime Logo

Just Show Up

Over 2,900 yoga and meditation practices to bring you Home.

15-Day Free Trial