Enjoy Yourself Summer Challenge Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 7

Day 4: Woe to Wonder

30 min - Practice


Bask in the glory that is you. In this fluid and energizing practice we tune into a sense of wonder by listening inward and looking onward. Spark wonder and awe in your ability to get our there and enjoy your beautiful life.

Today's reading: 3 Ways to Spark Wonder.

What You'll Need: Mat, Blanket, Block (2)


Read Full Transcript

Welcome to day four of our summer challenge. Welcome back. I'm so happy you're here. Today's challenge is to bring awareness to the fact that when everyone else might be running and having fun in the sun, it's sometimes easy to feel like everyone's passing you by. They're in the fast lane, and here you are. Woe is me. I know this place. I've been there. Today, we'll find a practice that tunes us into our own wonder, that sparks joy in our own ability right here in this lane. And from this place, we'll open the windows to see out into the world with a new light beyond others and back into ourselves.

Let's begin. When I'm not feeling so well, whether it be health or work or whatever it be, I like to have a few practices that waken me up, that really get me back into a place of feeling able. So I use breath work. It's a great way to speak to the body and dissipate the anxieties of the mind. Today, we'll start with one. You'll join me in a kneeling position. You're welcome to do this in a chair or even standing. I like a block right underneath my tush on its second height. You could easily have it on a lower or higher setting. Take your left hand into your heart and reach your right hand far out to the right.

Then, just like a windshield wiper, take your right hand in and your left hand out. Just like this, we'll sort of tap at the chest. If you are someone who practices tapping, you'll know this place. It's kind of the same place where gorillas pound their chest. You don't have to be that wild, but start to tap. Good. And using the same breath from our earlier days together, you can start with a short inhale and an exhale. Keep the elbows high and proud. Open the chest and fake it till you make it. You'll get there.

From this place, you're welcome to use your head if it feels safe going out, out, out, out. Join me. Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five. You can do it. Three, two, one. Lift up. Interlace thumbs. Reach up. Three sips at the top. Hold. Pause. Fullness. Pop it like a cork. Welcome. We're beginning to find a different breath here, one that is slower and smoother. Stay seated or come to kneeling if your knees are bothering you. From this place, see the inhale like the growing of the season of spring. A full inhale will pause overhead as a ripe summer.

The exhale will fall like autumn and a pause at an empty winter. Inhales rise open and grow. Pause at a pregnant full summer. Exhales soften with ease. Winters exhale empty twice more. Maybe seeing images of your favorite place in the world coming alive in its vibrancy, in its harvest and in its winter. Last time. Two breaths all on your own. Notice if you've shifted the mind or the body or the mind body together. Link your eyes open if they've come to close and join me on all fours. Remove the block out from underneath you and press it to the side.

If you'd like to make good measure, you know how to use the block to ensure that the arms are nice and vertical and the knees are right underneath the hips. Let the tops of the feet touch the floor, starting right away. Inhale to cat cat rather curling the back, squeezing and sucking up and in. Exhale to cow. Notice how much space the spine has here. How slightly narrowing the hands and knees together gives you more mobility in the spine. And then speed it up. Really looking out on the exhale, really sort of striking a match down in the pelvis and the furnace. Go for five, four, three, two, one. Inhale to a neutral center. Exhale and pause.

Very nice. We flip both wrists here, right hand around and left hand around. Remember that there's an option to turn outwards the side of the mat or to keep them facing forward. The flip of the wrist helps us open the collarbones and shine the lungs and chest forward. This time the right leg goes in front of the left for our Garudasana. Familiar shapes, but we continue to add on to day four. You know so much. Start to stir it up through the pelvis, moving the hips around in a circle.

So one of the tools I've learned over time is that when I don't feel well, I know when to take a break, but I also know when I'm sort of just sitting in a mess, sitting in the guk, sitting in the gunk, and when I need to get out there instead. So we use this practice to turn into our abilities, which we've learned throughout the days. And now we wonder, what can we really do? Good. Stir it the other way. Nice. From here, let's switch the knees. Left knee going in front of the right. Good. Really get the knees up and together, feet as wide as the mat. Good. And then grab one of your blocks.

So if you have a right hand and a left hand, we can also make a third hand. You'll interlace the fingers together. Thumbs will face back towards you. You can use the block to stretch the thumbs a bit and to really plant down through the hands. Even though the elbows want to turn forward, if you hyperextend in the arms, really bend them slightly and widen through the chest the same way you did when you flipped your wrist. And then stir it up. Good. See where your hands like to plant and where they can't.

And work on it. Three, two, one, and it'll go the other way. Very nice. Keep breathing. Keep looking forward. Three, two, one. Good. Unflip the hands. Unravel the knees. Set your block back on the backside of your mat. Keep the knees on the earth. Curl the toes under. Modify high push up. Look forward. And just like day one, we squeeze the butt up and back. Take the chest and chin down to the earth for inchworm. Then untuck the toes. Untuck the pelvis. Roll the belly to the mat. Inhale to cobra.

Good. And exhale, release. Right away we rise again. Press through the feet and the pubis. Inhale, rise to cobra. Exhale, release. Two more. Last one. Good. From inchworm, press into the hands. Roll back. Plant the hands on the earth. From here we grab our trusty blocks again. Take them on their second highest setting. They'll be a boundary for the hips. Over time you'll learn to hold this boundary physically, but at first it's wonderful to train with the blocks.

From this place, take your block underneath your hips. So find a high plank strong through the legs and feet. Press down through the hands and you'll lie your hips on the blocks. You'll want them right underneath the pelvis or slightly farther back underneath the thighs. Very nice. Inhale here. Up dog. Exhale, press it back. Down dog. Bend your knees. Good. In down dog, lengthen through your hands to lift your hips up and back, almost like you were lifting your pelvis and sticking your butt way, way up in the air. Good. You can stand on the balls of your feet, almost like you were wearing high heels, and then kind of put a little bend in it all. But that bend is powerful and dynamic.

Inhale, look forward, find your up dog. Good. And then press it back, down dog. Good. The back bend in the forward bend, even as you find your down dog. One more time. Inhale, up dog. Exhale, down dog. Good. Lower your knees to the earth. Step your blocks out of the way and let's continue. We'll find our high modified plank again. You're welcome to find a tall push up here. We're going to swim the arms just like we did on day three. Right hand reaches up, over, and back to flip the wrist. Press into the right hand as you lift the left, follow it with your gaze, or look just forward.

Try to stay stable through the hips. Use your belly, swim it back, swim it forward, swim it back, swim it forward. And I always remember that the backstroke is still going forward, so look forward. Stay here and then press it back. Curl your toes under, walk your feet to your hands, and forward fold. From your fold, we'll find a halfway lift. Hands move to shins, and on the inhale, move to a long spine that lifts halfway up, bringing your bum behind you, and almost widening through the sit bones. You almost internally rotate the thighs slightly. Stay here for the inhale. Stay here for the exhale. And then almost like you're a referee in football, you're going to lift your hands out to the side, squeezing the back of your elbows up.

Yes, that's your back. You've got your back. It's okay. We're going to do it. Inhale right here. And then exhale everything back, forward fold. Inhale, halfway lift, hands to shins. Good. Exhale, arms out. Inhale, stay. Find your belly and your strength. Exhale, and fold. One more like this. Inhale, halfway lift. Exhale, arms out. Inhale, stay. Good. Exhale, forward fold, releasing left hand to right elbow, and right hand to left elbow. Sort of snug yourself into the fold, trying to take your knees into both armpits. Even if there's stuff in the way, just work the fold.

Inhale to the right for sunflower, reaching the left elbow over to the right as you come to stand, opening the windows at the top. And then exhale over to the left. Good. The arms are like the picture. Inhale to the right and stand. Good. And exhale to the left. Your head is the frame and your arms are the picture. As we switch sides, go to the left on an inhale. Trying to keep your head in the picture frame that is your arms. Exhale to the right. Good. We use these metaphors to connect to the practice so that we feel as though we know more, even if the posture is new.

Because I promise you do know a lot. Forward fold. Just for good measure, inhale, halfway lift, long spine. And then exhale, hands to the earth. Step one foot and knee back and then the other. Find yourself in a puppy pose. Thighs are nice and vertical. Arms extend forward and the forehead can bow towards the earth. Breathe here. From puppy, even though your forehead rests on the floor, press into your hands so that you do not puddle onto the earth. When you're ready, pressing into the palms so much that the shoulders and head lifts off the mat.

Step the hands back underneath the shoulders. And then when you're ready, step one foot and then the other to a forward fold. From this forward fold, slowly stack vertebrae, a top vertebrae as you gently come up to stand facing the top of your mat. Inhale your shoulders tall towards your ears and exhale them down your back. One more time. Inhale, shoulders up. Exhale, they fall down. Inhale, hands sweep wide and then up above your head. Exhale, hands to your heart as you forward fold. Good. Right from here, take fingertips to the earth. Right foot stays forward. Step the left foot back into a low lunge. Right knee underneath the right armpit.

Using the same arms that we did in sunflower, grab opposite elbow, keeping the belly on the thighs. Reach the arms forward to the top of your space and find an opening in the upper back. You have to go to work here. I'm so sorry, but I'm really not. And then slowly come up to a high lunge. Using the arms like a frame in your picture is your head. Reach up. And if you'd like a little side body stretch, press to the left heel and reach the left elbow high. Good. Inhale back to center and then exhale back to the earth. Good. Step left foot to meet the right. Inhale, halfway lift.

Exhale, fold. Second side, right foot to the back of your mat. Nice low lunge. Left knee into left armpit. Roll the right hip forward. Squeeze the left one back. Find the opposite grab of the elbows. Nice long lunge. Reach the arms forward. Open through the chest, then the heart, and then a high lunge. God, reach up. Curled armpits in. Reach the elbows high. And then if you'd like, right elbow lifts as you stretch through the right heel. Stay for a breath in. Stay for a breath out. Inhale back to center. Good. Exhale to a low lunge.

This time plant your hands, step your left foot back down the look. From here, lift your right leg high. You can roll the right hip open and lift the right knee. You can roll out the right ankle. Step, crackle and pop back there. Then exhale, step the right foot through to a low lunge. Right from here, nice strong leg. Inhale, high lunge. Opposite elbow reach over to the right. Side body stretch. Inhale, high lunge. Good. Exhale, low lunge. Inhale, high plank. Exhale, down dog. Nice and simple.

Good. Reach your left foot high. Bend the knee and lift the left. Good. Roll out the ankle. Not as cracky on this side, how about you? And when you're ready, step the left foot forward. Look forward, nice low lunge strong. Inhale, high lunge. Grab opposite elbow, lift the right elbow. Inhale, high lunge. Exhale, low lunge. Inhale, high plank. Exhale, down dog. Good. Right away, full breath in. Full breath out. Inhale, right heel high. Exhale, step it through, low lunge. Inhale, rise up, high lunge.

Opposite elbow reach over. Inhale, high lunge. Exhale, low lunge. Inhale, high plank. Exhale, down dog. Second side, inhale, left heel high. Exhale, step it through. Inhale, rise it up. Exhale, stretch it over. Inhale, rise up. Exhale, fold back to low lunge. Inhale, high plank. Exhale, down dog. Three breaths here. Good. Take one more breath here. And inhale, look forward. And if it feels comfortable, take one big step and then the other forward. You're welcome to walk slowly, too. From this forward fold, feet as wide as the hips.

You can check the distance by turning the opposite foot in and it will just tickle the opposite inner heel. This is a great distance for our forward fold. From here, bend your knees and take your knees into your armpits. We'll fold and unfold the fold a few times. From here, bend at the hips, lift the arms overhead so that the upper arms are in line with the ears. Sit nice and deep as you reach out through the arms. Look forward. As you sit, unfold the heart, the waist, the belly. Come to stand. It will work through the legs. But you are strong and then reach up for a very open and enjoyable back bend.

Then you fold it up the same way you unfolded. Bend your knees and your hips. Keep looking up and take your low belly to your thighs. Take your mid belly to your thighs. Keep looking forward and then your armpits towards your knees and fold. Good. Opposite grip of the elbows just for good measure. Full breath in, full breath out. Reach the arms up overhead. Sit nice and deep. Stretch through the upper body. Unfold the heart and the waist, the windows of the upper body. Press through the lower body. And then fold it up, starting at the hip again. Low belly to the thighs.

Reach forward, chest to the thighs, armpits to the knees and fold. Good. Release the hands. Inhale, halfway left, long spine. Exhale and fold. Take your hands to the floor. Step one knee back and then the other. Pause here and breathe. From here, we'll find a block and take the block underneath your bum. Untuck your left toes to lay your left shin on the ground. You can always make this taller or simply send the left foot forward. You'll sit both sit bones onto the block and step your right foot to the floor.

From here, you'll be able to find a nice tall seat. If the low back starts to curl, use your hands along your shin and lift up. From here, a sort of modified one leg heroes pose, you can always walk your hands behind you. Press into your right foot and scoop your hips forward and up. You'll feel a nice deep stretch on your left thigh. I like to flip my fingers behind me and even open my chest more to the sky. One more big breath in. Press the right foot and then exhale. You'll lower your hips back to the earth. If your block has moved, that's okay.

We'll reset it. We'll just switch sides. So this time, tucking the right shin underneath you, lying the top of the right foot on the floor. The sole of the left foot hits the mat. Again, using the hands on the shin, lift up. Very good. Stay here or reach your hands behind you. So some of us, this will be a lot. Some of us can just keep the hips right on the block and walk the shoulders back. Try not to sort of puddle into the upper neck, really lift the chest and the collarbones. If it feels comfortable, you can turn the fingers back, lift the bum and stretch to the right quad by pressing down to the right knee.

Stay here for a breath. You'll either enjoy yourself or try to convince yourself that you are. It's okay. Stay for one more breath. Be proud of what you can do and slowly lower. Transforming from woe to wonder takes work. So we'll continue. This time taking knees to the earth, keeping the block between the feet. It's already set up quite well. I again like it on this middle height. You can go lower or higher. We'll take this variation of camel that starts in a seed.

From the seed, you'll want to plant yourself as close to the ground as you can. It's okay if it's dark down here, you're about to grow. Keep your chin towards your chest and let your hands come onto your heels. The same way we learned to fold, first start to look forward with the chin, keeping the chest and belly on the thighs. Roll the shoulders onto the back and grow the heart. I feel most like a turtle here. Keep looking forward, roll the shoulders onto the back and then start to reach the heart forward. Keep the low belly on the thighs.

Press into your bum as you unfold the shape to sit up, press into the heels and send the hips forward, lifting the front of the pelvis. Should be out of the back. You can stop at any point and go back to that sort of end point and enjoy. Take a full breath in and a full breath out. Inhale here. Good. And then simply keep the heart and the head high, lower the hips, fold just the low belly to the thighs. Keep looking forward, stretch forward, take the mid and the waist to the thighs and then the shoulders back to the knees.

Full breath in, full breath out. Very good. Take your hands to your favorite side. Take your hips there too. Roll onto your bum. From here, you're welcome to use your blocks underneath your knees or it's always a gentler version, more soft on the backs of the legs to use a blanket. You'll fold the blanket into the backs of the knees, bend them nice and strong into the armpits. Your favorite shape by now. And then walk your butt back, your forward fold.

You can always use a block underneath your head. Maybe you need to yourself. I wasn't much of a Legos fan, but I love yoga blocks. So build whatever you need. Settle in here for a few breaths. If you're on a block, you can turn your chin one way and then the other massaging across the forehead. Wherever you are, we'll start to come out of the fold. We have something even better for you planned.

Take the blocks to the side, take the blanket there too, and we'll just slowly start to roll on down to the back. Coming down onto the mat, take your feet nice and wide, knock them over to the left, inner right knee towards inner left ankle and then over to the right. Very good. Back to center. And then we'll pause this time on the left side, letting the right knee fall in. Stay here for a moment and reach your right hand high if you like. One more big breath in, full breath out.

Inhale through center and over to the right, inner left knee towards inner right ankle. Left arm can come up overhead. See what you can do to settle into your space. Realize how much you've done in the last half hour, how much incredible work, how much you've transformed your mindset and your physical body slowly come back to midline, knees point up. And then just gently press into the head to tuck the shoulders underneath the heart. Elbows can come more towards the body and palms can turn towards the sky. Step one leg out and then the other, final shavasana here.

If you're at home and you'd like to stay longer, you're welcome to find more space here. Returning to us to close your practice when you'd like or join us now in real time and just find yourself on the floor. Take a simple breath in and a full breath out. No longer caught in the worry of what others are up to and instead bask in the glory that is you. Take wondrous pride in your work and rest in your accomplishment here, no matter how small or large.

Slowly start to wiggle your fingers and your toes. Stretch your hands up overhead and take a big inhale. And on the exhale, gently roll to your favorite side. Pause for a moment and then press up to a seat. Sitting any way that is comfortable, find length in your spine and your hands come to heart.

If you have time, you might stay here and contemplate the wonder and awe that is you. But if you're ready to close, follow me, hands come to third eye, the forehead. And may you have thoughts full of happiness. Thumbs to lips and may your words be full of kindness. Thumbs to chest, may this practice remind you how wonderful you already are.

Namaste and I hope to see you again soon.


Lorraine Marek
This class was tricky but interesting
1 person likes this.
Lorraine I love that you called it tricky. When I think of the kind of “hard” I want in a practice, I love when it’s “sneaky”.  It usually indicates that I’m able to get out of the way or surprise myself. 
Leah K
1 person likes this.
Sunflower is one of my favorites now! Loved incorporating that grip into the lunge sequence. It's always challenging to not get a death grip in my hands and keep my shoulders down. But after the 3rd time around I got the hang of it! Thank you :) 
Geraldina O
1 person likes this.
Thank  you for Day 4. I am really enjoying using my blocks more so now with your practice then before. It brings me to something new. 
1 person likes this.
Geraldina, I'm so glad you enjoyed using blocks this way! Happy to hear you feel refreshed and inspired by this use of props
Kate M
María teresa G
Me encanta esta chica¡¡ dulce, creativa, respetuosa. Felicidades
1 person likes this.
María teresa, you make me blush! Thank you and big love to you :)
Sandra Židan
Thank you very much, Steph, for this wonderful and creative practice! I've enjoyed doing it! Namaste! ❤️🌹🌼
1 person likes this.
Sandra Židan Thanks for practicing with me!! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. 

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