Enjoy Yourself Summer Challenge Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 9

Day 6: Forgiveness to Peace

30 min - Practice


Forgiveness is giving up hope of a better past. In today's practice, we experiment with letting go and growing into a peaceful place by forgiving ourselves and others. You will feel a new lightness and ease in your being.
What You'll Need: Mat, Blanket, Block (2)


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Welcome to day six of our summer challenge. How are you doing? How are you feeling? I'm so proud of us for both being here. Let's continue on with the challenge of forgiveness. I see forgiveness as giving up hope of a better past, of no longer choosing to carry the past in my present body, setting down what didn't work for me, and having the courage to take on something new, both when I forgive myself and when I forgive others.

Use this practice to come into yourself and to grow into a peaceful place by forgiving. Let's begin. Today, you'll need one block and two blankets. Use the block underneath your bum to take a kneeling position with your feet just as wide as the block. I like mine on the second height.

You might like taller or shorter, whatever works for you. We'll start with hands on heels if you can reach them. And if heels feel inaccessible, then go ahead and go for the knees. Both are good handles. From here, with hands cupped to heels or knees, we'll start to find some seated cat cows, letting the spine curl and curve open and extend.

Try it again, letting the head get involved as much as the hips, finding the whole spinal column moving and use your breath, maybe sucking in and pressing on the out. It can be small or big. Notice where your spine likes to move and where it doesn't. And if you're comfortable, start to speed it up. You can let the movement be smaller and start to almost shake yourself.

Forgiveness is about moving forward, no longer sitting in the past, so you'll need some motion. Come with me for 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 2, 1. Inhale, hands up overhead, interlace your thumbs. Take a big breath in, three sips at the top. Hold and pop it like a cork.

Good. Our second practice to begin with breath today, we'll take the hands behind the head and interlace the thumbs. From here, widen the elbows and look to the right as you turn your left elbow forward. Inhale back to center and exhale to the left. Inhale center, exhale right.

From here, stay with this, widening through the elbows, or if it feels comfortable, start to move a little bit quicker. The hips stay sort of heavy and seated while the elbows start to move. Don't be scared of turning it around. Part of forgiveness is getting over yourself, getting around yourself, and to start to see where you'd like to go instead. Let your vision follow your nose or close your eyes.

Use your belly to protect your low back. Stay for three, for two, breathe for one. Inhale, hands up overhead. Interlace your thumbs, three sips at the top. Hold, elongate the upper neck.

When you're ready, pop it like a cork. Five breaths right here, hands to thighs. Just breathe, long spine. Be here. Good.

Take your hands to the mat. Remove the block when you step your knees back and take it out of your space. Go ahead and set your hands on the earth, lock your hips back, turn your knees out, settle your hips towards your heels. And just breathe one breath here. From here, on your next inhale, press into your hands and knees to come up to all fours.

From all fours, step your knees underneath your hips, curl your toes under, and start to walk your feet forward to a forward fold. Back to my legs, get nice and tight so I know that it's very enjoyable to take a few extra steps leaning backwards and forwards as you walk all the way to the top of the mat. At the top of your space, find feet as wide as your sit bones. Another way to check is to take your hands into fists and they'll fit in between the arches of your feet. From here, bend your knees.

You might move your belly out of the way. Take your knees towards your armpits and just hang. Take a full breath in, lean into the balls of the feet and breathe on the exhale. On an inhale, find a halfway lift, hands come to shins, lengthen your spine, breath in. And then exhale on the breath out.

This time, inhale, halfway lift, hands to shins. On the exhale, find a strong halfway lift where the arms come out to the sides like goal posts. Good, then inhale right here. Exhale, fold forward again, maybe hands to earth. Inhale, halfway lift, hands to shins.

Exhale, widen the sit bones and forward fold. Inhale, halfway lift, hands to shins. Exhale, take your hands out to your sides, goal posts, strong halfway lift. Inhale right here. Exhale and fold.

One more like this, inhale, halfway lift. Exhale and fold. Good, inhale, halfway lift. Exhale, strong arms, strong half lift. Save for the breath in.

Exhale, fold. Good, roll all the way up to stand. Vertebrae, a top vertebrae, almost like you were pressing each vertebrae into a wall behind you as you slowly roll up to stand. Roll shoulders towards your ears and then exhale them down your back. Inhale, hands sweep wide and up over your head and then exhale, hands to heart.

If there's something you know you'd like to forgive yourself for, give yourself permission inside here. Let the practice move you through this sort of moment in time into a new chapter. Let go of what's happened. Let go of hope of a better past and instead let's restore hope to the future. Inhale, hands sweep wide up over your head.

Exhale, hands to your heart, stick your butt behind you as you forward fold. Inhale, find a halfway lift, hands to shin. Exhale, strong halfway lift, arms go out. Inhale, rise all the way up to stand. Hands overhead and then exhale, hands to heart.

Reconnect to the thing you'd like to forgive. Inhale, breath here. Exhale, let it go. One more time, inhale, hands sweep wide overhead, look up with hope. And then exhale, forward fold, hands through heart and bow.

Inhale, halfway lift, long spine. Exhale, arms out to the side. Inhale, all the way up to stand. Good and then exhale, fold all the way back down, bow towards your toes. Take yourself into yourself by folding.

Fingertips to the earth, inhale, halfway lift, look forward and bend your knees. Good and from here with bent knees, keep your right foot on the earth and step your left foot to the back of the mat. Take your left knee to the floor. Untuck the left toes, walk the right foot forward so it's right underneath the right knee and then from here, inhale, reach up to your high lunge. Inhale, breath here.

Press into the left knee, drag the right foot back. One more big breath. Good and then exhale, take it back to the earth. Inhale, curl the left toes under and look forward. From here with a strong left leg, inhale, rise up both hands overhead to a high lunge.

Bend deeper into the front right knee and roll the left hip forward. Inhale, reach up and then exhale, fold it back down to your low lunge. Lower your left knee to the earth and step your right foot back and find your two blocks. Here, we'll use the blocks to stabilize the pelvis to learn a more challenging twisting shape. We'll set up the blocks like this, one on its highest side and one on its lowest height, stacked on top of each other, almost like a yogi's kickstand.

Come back into your low lunge and rest the belly of your left thigh on top of the blocks, giving us extra stability, extra safety. You'll have the courage to twist deeper. From here, rise up to a high lunge, hands on top of the right knee or thigh. Reach the left hand forward and then slide the left hand over to the top right corner of your space, trying to take your left armpit onto your right knee. It's okay to move your belly out of the way and if it's hard to get there, you can always just take your forearm, but try to get your armpit there.

Then make your left hand like a fist, your right hand like a mitt. Press into the hands and take a gentle twist. Full breath in. Look around yourself, exhale out. One more like this.

Exhale, let it go. Inhale, reach back up, high lunge. And then exhale to a low lunge. Step the blocks outside of your space. Keep them towards the top of your mat.

You might want to use them in this next bit. Take your left knee down to the earth. Walk your right knee out for a runner's lunge. You can keep your hands on the mat or if you'd like to come down to your elbows, you can. Press into your right foot and drag your right knee out to the right in line with the right toes.

From here, take your right hand to the top of your right knee and take a gentle twist. The left elbow will be underneath the left shoulder, stacking shoulder atop shoulder. Stay here, or if you'd like, right hand can reach high towards the sky or up overhead, finding a nice long line from right sit bone to right hand. Take a full breath in and a full breath out. Return to center.

Look forward. Walk your right foot back to the center of the mat in line with the right hip and we'll take a Hanuman or half splits breath. Bend into the front right knee for a low lunge. You're welcome to use your blocks here. And then press the hips back.

Inhale, come forward, low lunge. Keep the right knee in the right armpit and press the hips back. One more like this, inhale. And exhale. This time, come back to the forward fold.

Take the blocks to the outside corner of the mat. Pop up to the toes on the left foot. Turn your right toes to the top of your mat and face the long side of your space. Just a nice wide-legged forward fold. Gentle bend in the knees.

You can surf left and right. Sometimes flipping it upside down is all you need to get over yourself. A new vantage point and a new view. Stay here. Or if there's more work for you, maybe you lock your hands to the right, reaching left hand away from left hip.

Lock your hands back to center. Walk to the left and reach right hand away from right hip. Stretching through the right side body. Slowly walk all the way back to the top of the mat. Right knee bends into your nice low lunge.

And then step to the top of your space. Forward fold. Inhale, halfway lift. Exhale and fold. Good, inhale.

Fingertips come to the earth. A gentle halfway lift. And then this time step the right foot to the back of your space. Lower the right knee to the earth. Untuck the right toes.

Find nice long distance between the right knee and the left foot. And then when you're ready, unfold it. A modified but still bright and tall low lunge. Inhale right here. Good, and then exhale, come back to the earth.

Curl the right toes under. Find more strength inside and in your body. Rise up, high lunge. Very good. Stay here for a breath big.

Inhale. And then exhale back to your low lunge. We'll use the blocks again, one on its lowest height, one block on its highest height for our yogi's kickstand. Take the belly of the thigh right onto the blocks. Not on the knee, not on the hip, but really on the quad.

And when you're ready, hands to your left knee, rise up to a high lunge. Keeping the pelvis stable, reach the right hand forward all the way over to the top left corner of your mat. Take your right armpit to the left knee and find a twist. From here, make your right hand into a fist and your left hand into a mitt. Contact will help you to gently spin.

It's a big twist. So if this feels like too much, like you can't breathe, try once, just try. And if you need a modification, gift yourself one down here. Or right here, forearm to knee. Wherever you are, come back to our low lunge.

Remove the blocks to the front of your space and find a runner's lunge. Hands come inside the left foot. Left foot turns to face the long side of the mat. Right knee is on the earth. You're welcome to keep the right hand on the mat or find the right elbow.

Left hand to the top of the left knee and start to turn to the left. Take a full breath in. Stay for the exhale. Inhale, left hand up overhead. Maybe just to the sky, or if you're welcome, turn it to the top of your mat, almost turning the armpit to face the center line of the body.

Take a big breath in here. Good. And exhale, we meet in a low lunge. Both hands on the earth again. Walk the left foot to the inside of the left hand.

In your low lunge, you're welcome to use your blocks. Let the frame and support help you to find more function through these shapes. From our low lunge, keep the left armpit over the left knee, flex the left toes, and then press it back for your half splits. No straightening of the leg, dynamic bending gives a space in the joint, slow lunge. And then exhale, half splits.

Twice more. Last one. Good. Slowly walk to the top of your mat for a low lunge. When you're ready, you'll turn your toes to face the top of the mat, the long side of the mat, and you'll find your wide leg forward fold again.

From here, inhale to a halfway lift and gently bend your knees, look forward. Good. Then exhale and fold. Keep the bend in your knees, but try to lift your sit bones up behind you. Good.

Inhale, halfway lift. Exhale and fold. This time, turn your toes in. I'm sorry, turn your toes out, turn your heels in. Take your hands to your knees.

Inhale, halfway lift, and then all the way up to a horse. With hands on knees, take a big breath in. And then exhale, dip your right shoulder towards your left inner knee. Inhale to center, look forward. And then exhale, left shoulder towards right knee.

Inhale, back to center. Exhale, hands to heart. Get big and proud. Inhale, rise all the way up. And then exhale back to your forward fold.

Turn your toes all to the face, the top of your mat. From here, lower your left knee to the earth. From here, go ahead and grab your blankets. We'll practice the loving pigeon. Step your right foot over the blankets, the blankets in the middle of your mat, and walk your right foot to the left.

Then gently hold yourself up, but lie your right knee on the earth. Walk your right foot back towards your left hip, or you can keep it at the top of your mat. Chin runs parallel to the top of your space. Roll left hip forward. Press the front of the left hip down as you drag the back of the right hip back.

Walk your hands forward. You're welcome to use your blocks right underneath your forehead or your chest. Continue to lengthen the spine as you walk yourself forward. As you come down to the mat, breathe. Let breath modulate the decision of the mind to forgive with the body, with a choice to no longer carry anger or chronic pain or an illness inside of ourselves, to choose to remove the thorn in your foot or the trigger in your mind so that forgiveness can be a restoration of hope in your own self.

Slowly walk yourself back up to your hands. Take the block out of your way. Plant both hands on the ground and we'll just swap the legs out through a high plank. Left knee coming to the back of the left wrist. Lying the hips on the blankets.

Right leg extends behind you. And you can walk your left foot into your right hip or keep the shin parallel to the top of your mat. Press into your right foot and roll the right side in. Scoot the left sit bone out. Then pigeon on our second side.

Walking the hands forward. Offering the heart to the earth to let go of things you no longer wish to carry within. You can use your block again underneath your head or chest. Big breath in. Full breath out.

Forgiveness doesn't usually happen at the snap. You have to take more time than that. So maybe you wait here. Maybe there's another pose you know that you need to wait in. But just know that that's an option in any of your practice is to stay, to listen, and to let go.

Walk your hands back underneath your shoulders. Move your blocks out of your way. Slide your blanket out of your way too and come down to sit. In this case, take your shin in front of you, your right shin in front of you, your right knee right underneath your right shoulder, and take your left knee into the sole of your right foot. Your left shin will run parallel to your side.

Take your right hand by your right hip and then your left hand to your right knee. Inhale for length. Exhale a gentle twist to the right. Maybe even looking past the right shoulder. Inhale here.

Stay for the exhale. Then inhale back through center. Take your right hand to your left knee and your left hand maybe to your left foot or behind you. Inhale here. Exhale for the twist.

Then inhale back through center. Plant your right hand on the ground and lift yourself up through your left hand and your left hip. Grow out of forgiveness into joy, into space and into breath. Big inhale. Set it down.

Exhale. From here, switch out the legs. Your left shin in front of you, your left foot pointing to the right, your right knee and your right foot on the right side of your space. Plant your left hand outside your left hip. Take your right hand to your left knee.

Inhale here. And then exhale, twist to the left. Stay for the inhale. Enjoy the twist on the exhale. Inhale back to center and swap out the hands.

Left hand to right knee. Right hand behind you. Inhale. And then exhale, twist to the right. Inhale here.

Stay for the exhale. Inhale. Back to center. Plant your left hand. Reach your right hand up and over.

Stay for a breath. Expand. Press down to the right knee. Lift up to the right hand. And then exhale.

Release to the mat. We'll come down to the back. Lying long on your mat. Take your soles of your feet to the earth and take your block with you. Press your shoulders into the mat.

Press the soles of your feet into the mat and then slowly lift up to bridge. Slide the block on your favorite height to your sacrum. Low is comfortable. And if high is comfortable, it's a little bit better in this case. This way we can press into the feet, lift the hips, but then rest them on the block.

But if for any reason a higher block is uncomfortable, go back to a sweeter and lower one. Just breathe here. Enjoy the exhale. On your next inhale, press into your feet and lift your hips. Remove the block and slowly lower all the way down to your spine.

One shield, wipe the knees one way each side and then extend your legs long, extend your arms long and come into a place of stillness. You'll have to re-visit, rather, forgiveness again and again. It is not a lesson that is learned once and mastered, but let this pose be an opportunity to let go, to move forward with courage and brighter joy. Practice here. Exhale.

Let this practice be an opportunity for allowing slowing down to be a place for forgiveness. And let this awakening, this moving past Shavasana, to be an opportunity to move forward. Start to wiggle your fingers and your toes. Almost as though it were a new day, stretch your hands up overhead. And with your joy and your newfound hope, roll to your side and press your way up to sit.

We'll close in seated, connecting hands at heart center, taking a full breath in and a full breath out. Lift your thumbs to the center of your forehead and may your thoughts be full of happiness. Your hands to your lips and may your words be full of kindness. Your thumbs to your heart. May this practice allow you to forgive and move forward.

Namaste, and I hope to see you again soon.


Geraldina O
Thank you  Steph for Day 5.
Geraldina so happy you’re enjoying this challenge! What did you find most challenging and most welcoming in today’s practice? Thanks for always writing a line! I love reading your messages
Kate M
1 person likes this.
The metaphor of embedded thorns is helping me. I imagined certain difficult events as thorns in my heart, and pulled them out, one by one. Following the metaphor, this might renew the pain initially, but then the heart can begin to heal. Thanks Steph !
Kate, isn’t it a great and powerful image. I feel more successful with this sort of work when I include my imagination — in the flow, in meditation, and in the healing. Thank you for sharing how it worked for you!  I love your comments. Keep up the classes and I can’t wait to hear what you think of the last few days. Be sweet to yourself, enjoy the challenge, and thank you!!
Lyse B
1 person likes this.
Day 6 was just what I needed today. Really enjoyed following the flow of forgiving and opening to a new present and future, letting go is a practice for sure. Thank you Steph
Sandra Židan
Nice practice with good message! Thanks, Steph! Namaste! ❤️

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