Keepin' it Real Artwork
Season 4 - Episode 2

Slow Flow

40 min - Practice


Be here now. Robert guides us in a slow flow practice that encourages us to slow down and appreciate the process over the results. You will feel more spacious.
What You'll Need: Mat, Blanket, Block (2)

About This Video


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Hey there, welcome to Yogini Time. My name is Robert and I'm really stoked to have you here. This practice is part of keeping it real. This is the first session and we're going to lean towards slowing down. The class is really going to be geared around slowing down and paying attention to how it feels.

Kind of appreciating the process over results. The results are there. Let's enjoy the ride. Come to the front of the mat with me. We're going to use most likely a couple blocks and definitely a blanket for the knees because we'll be rocking out some low lunges.

Nice to have you here with me. Front of the mat, I like to keep my feet about hip width. Take the toes forward and take a few moments just to sort of like engage your feet into the mat, grounded. And I'd like to start the practice off with the left hand up on the chest, the heart area and the right hand around the mid belly. So you can kind of connect to your breathing, to your heartbeat, to your, maybe you have a specific intention that goes beyond slowing down, goes beyond enjoying the work, enjoying the sort of journey rather than the result.

So if you do, let's take a few moments. We'll take about three breaths, find some quiet time. So I invite you to take a few deep breaths in through the nose and maybe a long open mouth exhale. Feel yourself grounding with each one of those. Breathe in and breathe out.

Each breath really encouraging you to be here, be here now in body. One more time. Let it all go as you breathe out. Nice. I feel like I could just do that all day, but we'll move a little bit.

All right. So your arms come down by your side, lean forward and back a little bit so you can feel again just, you know, the spreading of the toes and how your heels strike down into the mat. You can even turn the arches of your feet out here on the outer edges of your feet and just notice how just the subtle little play in the feet can shift the sensation quite a bit. Right. So we'll do that in different poses today.

We have the benefit of doing that because we're moving slow. Okay. So take your arms up, reach them up as high as you can overhead on the breath in. You can press the palms together with your arms straight or bent and exhale the palms back to the center of your body, your heart, your chest. This place right here is commitment for me, dedication, commitment to doing the work.

Two more times. Breathe in. Reach up. Get as tall as you can, grab a little side stretch while you're at it and exhale the palms back to heart. One more time.

Breathe in. Get tall, stretch it out and exhale the palms back to heart. Let's go through a half salutation. Breathe in, take the arms up, put a soft bend in the knees and fold forward gently. Let the exhale take you down, slide the fingers up, the shins toward the knees, lift the chest.

What you want to do every time we'll be doing several half lifts is draw your tailbone back, crown your head forward, looking to stretch and elongate the spine. Breathe in as you do that. Breathe out, fold. Breathe in, rise all the way up, sweep the arms up or take the arms straight out in front of you and up as you breathe in and exhale once again, seal the palms to heart. Inhale, arms out, wide and up, another half salutation, forward and down as you exhale.

Inhale to the half lift and exhale, fold. Good, breathe in, rise all the way up and breathe out palms to heart. We'll build on that. Breathe in, reach the arms up overhead and breathe out forward and down, forward bend. Each movement, each breath you're looking to pay close attention to.

It's like taking a walk versus driving or riding a bike. You can smell more, see more, experience more. Breathe in half lift and breathe out, bring the hands down, bring your right foot back, bring the knee down and here's where I'll grab the blanket. So if you've got a blanket nearby or a pillow, something that will provide some cushion for that back knee. It's simple, it makes your knee more comfortable, right?

So place your right knee on the blanket and we'll get a nice long kind of luxurious low lunge here. So the hands can rest on the thigh, you can draw your knee forward, make sure you get that little neutral pelvis position so you don't get too far into that low back and draw the knee forward, back toes are either curled or uncurled. So once you find the sensation, right, the desired stretch in the hip flexors, your thigh, you might even grow the arms up, interlace the fingers, index finger draws long, cross your thumbs. So you just feel this nice long stretch up through the right side, you can take a gentle stretch to the left. Make sure you're grabbing a few satisfying quality breaths throughout, let's bring the hands down to frame the left foot, curl the back toes, lift the right knee and step the right foot forward to join the left.

Exhale as your right foot lands into a gentle forward bend. Inhale to your half lift, reset, lengthen the spine, breathe in. Breathe out, left foot back, get the long lunge, bring the knee down, slowly start to situate the feet, the legs, the hands on the right thigh, neutral pelvis if you can get that. And then the chest lifts, you lean into it, find that desired tension, right. It's up to you how deep you want to go, right, you can kind of scale it from zero to ten.

I like to kind of find that seven, right, so you're always able to breathe comfortably yet you're in a very like useful stretch, right, you're actually doing good work for yourself, your body. Okay, you can take those arms up one more time, get that nice long stretch, side bend if you'd like. All right, nice, so we've opened up the right side, the left side, hands come back down, curl the back toes, lift the left knee and step the left foot forward to meet the right with your exhale. Good, half lift, breathe in, and breathe it out into a forward bend. Stretch the legs out, the low back, and then rise all the way up, breathing in, get that long full tall stretch and exhale the palms back to commitment, to heart space, whatever you'd like to call it.

Let's grow that, breathe in, reach up and back and exhale forward and down. Breathe in, half lift, and breathe out, step that right foot back again, nice long lunge, right knee comes down, low lunge, arms reach up overhead, okay. So this one here, what I want to work on are about three or four different positions, okay. So bring the hands back down to the floor and push the hips back, looking to straighten out the left leg a little bit. Here's where you could grab the blocks.

Take a moment, right, it might actually be really nice and helpful to have the ground come up a little bit for you. Okay, so I'm going to place my hands on the blocks, I'm going to step that left foot forward a little bit more, push the hips back, and you've got two options really, I'll move the block so you can see. Toes down, great stretch for the top of the foot into the ankle and along that entire left shin, feels really nice, but if you want a little bit more hamstring attention, lift the toes up, the ball of the foot up toward the ceiling and even the toes back toward your knee. So that's going to definitely feel more hamstringy. And then like I said earlier, you can kind of lean the foot from side to side, lift the arch, peel the outer edge of the foot up, so just to kind of get the different strands of the hamstring awake or give them some attention.

Okay, back into the lunge. Here's where you want to maybe slide that right knee forward a little bit, come up into more of a neutral position so the left leg is bent 90 degrees and the right leg is bent 90 degrees, give or take. This allows you to draw the tailbone down, grabbing that neutral pelvis position, which is pretty key, especially for what we're going to go for now. So the left hand is going to rest on the left thigh, the right hand is going to reach up to the ceiling, grab a little squeeze of the glutes to support this midsection here and take a side bend over to the left. So you're going to reach that right arm up and maybe even lean back just a little bit so you might get the stretch through the hip on the right side, maybe even feel some stretching up through the belly on that right side.

Sweet. Come back, hands together at the heart, breathe in. As you breathe out, twist to the left, there you are, unless you're turning the other way from the camera. But right hand on the left thigh, left hand back behind you and rotate. So you get a nice again, if we were leaning forward, it wouldn't be great to be twisting from here.

So we're nice and neutral, good extended spine and we're rotating to the left. Relax the shoulders down. Now if you want a little bit of a deeper experience, you can come back to neutral, lean forward a little bit here, lengthen, breathe in, breathe out, contract the core, brace the core and hook that right elbow across the left thigh. Try not to slump into it, pull away a little bit, draw the palms together, gaze toward the fingertips, maybe toward the shoulder or out beyond the shoulder. Now where's that space for you, right?

Did you come into a position where you're kind of struggling? Maybe back up a little bit, get that quality breath I'm talking about where you're able to take a nice satisfying inhalation and exhalation. Good job. Come back out, realign, take a good deep breath in, stretch everything up. Feel the hands come down, okay let's curl the back toes, lift that right knee and step the right foot to meet the left, forward fold with the exhale.

Breathe in, lengthen the spine, soft bend in the knees, tailbone back, crown of the head forward, breathe in, breathe out, fold, bring the hands to the blocks, bring your left foot back, maybe stretch it out for a second, drop the hips a couple times until you find that left knee down on the floor. Again working toward kind of the 90 degree front leg, 90 degree back leg, all right? So once you get that set up, there's no rush to get anywhere so get the alignment, it feels right for you. Take a full breath here like you've got all day, breathe in, breathe out, okay a little squeeze of the glutes to drop the tailbone down, okay, bring the hands to the blocks, push the hips back to straighten out that right leg and again play around with the difference and you can even, I didn't give you the option on the other side but you can push your hips all the way back if you'd like, that's an option or keep the hips up over the knee, okay, so it's your choice and then play around with that pointing and bringing the toes of the right foot toward the floor and up and just notice the different sensations. I'm going to lift my hips up over, extend, find the stretch and take a few breaths into that space, not overdoing it, okay, you can grab one more moment here if you'd like, great.

Back into your lunge just like we did on the other side, keep it all balanced out as we want to take now the left arm, reach it up, again squeeze a little extra through that left buttocks, your glutes, this will drop the tailbone down, right hand on the thigh, left arm reaching up and you get that little side bend, right, you don't have to go too far for it to be sort of quote unquote success, when do you start to feel that length up to the left side, oh there it is, you can lean back a little bit, so the more curious you are, right, we're not rushing through these, so you have time to explore around, make it your own, okay, I'm going to come right into that elbow over the thigh, if you'd like to stay with the hand on the thigh, right hand at the back, go for that, but if you're going to go for the elbow over, lean forward, lengthen the spine, exhale, pull the belly in, hook the elbow across the thigh and pull the body away from the limbs, right hand meets the left possibly, open the chest, the shoulders, the collarbones, breathe, move the neck around a little bit, always checking in with areas that are a little overdone, right, those typical stressed out areas that might have too much tension, okay, come back out, bring the arms up, take a big luxurious stretch up into the low lunge and exhale the hands to the blocks, I'm going to move the blocks out of the way, if you find that they're going to be helpful, actually let's leave one block here, okay, now curl the back toes, lift the left knee and we'll meet here, so we're going to come into a wide leg forward bend, so wide is going to be what feels best for you really, but make sure that the feet are out beyond your hips, okay, toes pointing forward as you can see here, lift your toes, press them back down, really get a good connection down into the mat so you feel like the bones of your feet are grounding, and then there's a little pull, you want to try to pull the feet together, push them down and together to ignite and light up the inner legs, soft little bend in the knees, you can bring the block right below yourself here, right below your chest so your hands can rest on the block to lift the chest, breathe in, and as you breathe out, fold into your desired stretch, little subtle movements from side to side, every so often or really as much as you'd like, offer yourself up those long extended exhales, notice where you're holding tension, try to let it go, we're going to start to move into slightly bending the knees from side to side, so right now bend your right knee just a little bit, straighten the left leg, notice what that feels like, maybe the hands can come back up on the block, and then straighten the right, bend the left, just a little something, something, but now we'll start to bend a little bit deeper possibly, so come back to neutral, I like to open up the feet a little bit, put an angle on the feet, and to start off with I'm going to bend all the way over to the right, but I'm not going to go crazy, I'm not going to sit my seat down back behind me or anything, I'm going to come up onto the fingertips, so see what that feels like for you, left leg is straight, right leg is bent, it's okay to have the knee kind of drawing toward the toes, the sensation really is in that left groin hamstring area, and maybe in that right hamstring as well, so instead of staying here forever, right, let's go to the other side with the exhale, place your hands wherever you can place them, where you feel supported in this, right, there are a lot of different ways to do this, but we're going to do it this way for now, back and forth, exhale, breathe in here, and breathe out, come over to the other side, you can also dip deeper if you'd like, right, so you lift your left heel in this case, so you're really like your knee's got to be healthy, your ankle's got to be healthy, and then the straight leg, you've got two options, one is toes are straight up, again that's going to be pretty intense in the groin and hamstring, and if you bring that foot down, point the toes somewhat forward, that's going to shift it up a little bit as well, okay, so more hamstring, more groin, try the other side, and then we'll move on, okay, back to the wide leg forward bend, get the adjustment in the spine, it just feels kind of nice and it's kind of necessary, so lift up halfway, breathe in, put a soft bend in the knees, push the hips back, and exhale, fold down, okay, we're going to start to move toward the front of the mat, bring the back knee down, move the block out of the way, tidy it up, alright, step the right foot back, knees are cozy on the blanket, I'm going to push back, wiggle back, stretch back into child's pose, so the knees are pretty wide, feels a little more accommodating and spacious for the belly, and then if you can, find a place for your forehead, your elbows to rest, you can reach your arms out to sort of lengthen the side body, while pushing the hips back, and finding a comfortable place to breathe, like I said, that seven range between zero and ten, six, seven, eight, eight, you're always in this kind of fluid state, you're able to flow, reach the arms forward, kind of crawl them forward, press the palms down, spread your fingers, table top, from table top, you're going to push back one more time into child's pose, and you can keep the blanket here, feels nice on the knees, and you're going to do this little series once or twice, and you're going to come into table top again, keeping the arms straight, drop the hips down toward the floor, feel a little gentle compression in the low back, you can even lean a little bit to the left and to the right, and then when you're ready to lower down, all you really do is bend the elbows, so it's when you bend the elbows, the hips, the belly, the ribs, the chest, and it's like a reverse up dog, feet are wide, so it's kind of a lazy, not super rigid version, okay, now you reverse this, inhale, cobra, a little lazy, upward dog again, it's okay to let the shoulders rise up toward the ears, on the exhale push all the way back to child's pose, that little series right there is probably my favorite, favorite, favorite little series, so we're going to do it one more time, see how it feels for you, table top, breathe in, breathe out, lower down, bend the arms, hips, belly, chin, inhale cobra, up dog your way, knees and hips or thighs are down, and exhale all the way back, feel free to do that several times if you'd like, right now you're going to come back into table top, lower all the way down again, I'm going to keep the blanket here, if you have the blanket underneath you and it doesn't quite feel right, remove it but we might use it again, bring the left arm out as far as you can, so you're going to walk your left hand directly left of your left shoulder, palm facing down, right hand is on the right side of your body here like you would for cobra or up dog, bend your right leg and then push the right hand into the floor so you kind of roll over onto that left shoulder and left arm safely of course, then your right foot if you can manage to bend your right leg, the right foot comes right behind that left knee so you get a little hip opener and keep sliding the hand, the left hand further and further over so you get more grounded in the front of the shoulder, even part of the chest on the left side and again instead of sitting heavy in it, find some moderate tension, move in and out of it just enough to get a little juicy stretch, you got this, just roaming through the body taking care of the body, now come back out, be with the sensations on the exit, I find that to be really nice sometimes, especially that where everything opens back up, the blood is flowing again in the arm, switch sides, reach the right arm out, keep crawling it over and then bend the left leg and roll over, so you use your left hand here to support you, to guide you a little deeper into the pose, again make sure you keep walking that right hand over so more of that chest and shoulder comes flat down onto the mat, you can place your head down if you'd like and again there are those little mini cycles in and out of the pose, when you find that little sticky spot that's when the big exhale is helpful, there it is, breathe in, exhale let it all go, so good, back over to center, feel the exit flush in that right shoulder, point the toes back, reach back behind you, clasp your fingers, grab a shirt or a strap if this is not accessible for you, drive the tops of your feet down, good strong legs, squeeze the butt so you get a little gentle kind of adjustment in the pelvis, again that neutral pelvis is pretty key, now lift the chest, you can lift the legs a little bit if you'd like and just some little gentle rockings from left to right, peel the shoulders open, the chest open, breathe, make sure the neck doesn't have a lot of stress and tension, inhale and exhale, relax, forehead to the stacked palms, we'll do that one more time, alright my friend, arms back, clasp in the best way you know how, okay get that desired stretch across the chest, open up the neck, the collar bones, lift the legs if you'd like, lift the chest, reach the knuckles back toward the heels and again some kind of useful stretch or opening, something that creates space in the body and head, forehead to the stacked palms once again as you exhale everything out and that reminder, the intention, the commitment to moving slower, the commitment to the process versus the result, let's slide the hands into what would be a cobra position for transition into child's pose, so lift up for cobra again in that little upward dog and all the way back into child's pose, this child's pose, knees on the blanket or not doesn't really matter, thighs are together, knees are together and you'll notice more of your belly resting on your thighs, this way you get a good counter stretch in your low back, with the belly on the thighs is a little harder to take that full breath so do what you can, from here go ahead and push up and we've got this blanket here, if you've got yours keep it, it might be helpful, make it a little thicker and then bring it back toward the back end of the mat, not too crazy, bring your seat to the very edge of it, this will help to drop the pelvis forward a little bit, stretch your right leg out toward the right corner of the mat, breathe in, stretch the arms up, keep the right foot and leg activated as you reach toward the right foot on the exhale, hands reach the foot, maybe the calf or the shin or maybe even the thigh or you stay upright, it's really up to you, you've got options, you could even wrap a strap around your foot to extend your arms. One more breath, great, come all the way up, you can rotate that right foot out to the right just a little bit more and turn your torso to the left a little bit, now reach the right hand, maybe your index finger and middle finger reaches to the big toe of the right foot and your right elbow drops down onto your knee or on the inside depending on what's available, but here what you're going to want to do, that might be enough, right, I'm going to take the left shoulder, open the left shoulder up, that could be enough, or take the left arm high, breathe in and exhale, start to track that left hand up and over in the direction of the right foot, so sometimes I feel like I can still, like I'm getting a big stretch in that left side of the back, so I'm going to, you know, it's like almost like cheating it a little bit, I'm going to round the left shoulder forward just a little bit so that I can reach the left hand and actually touch that foot, but then the work here is going to be opening that left side as much as I can, this is really nice also keeping the left arm up and open, you can bring the left hand behind the head as an option as well, all the way back up, super sweet counter pose coming up, left hand back behind you, ground your right foot, left knee and blast off up and back, so you want to push the hips up, reach the right hand up and back and bring her on down, switch sides, left foot forward, situate the seat properly, right, on the edge of the blanket if you're getting that action going on, reach up, breathe in, breathe out, find your forward bend, don't worry about how far you go, what does the stretch feel like, where's your mind at, your breath, come back up, turn the body, reach the left hand to the left foot, same thing on this side, you might feel totally different, more open, more closed, open the right shoulder, open the chest, reach the right arm high and take your desired side bend, so I don't like to just let my arm hang there so I either place the hand behind the head and track more through the elbow or I cheat it just a little bit and round that shoulder down to reach, I still get that really nice deep stretch from the low right side of my back all the way up to the upper right shoulder, counter pose, right hand back behind you, left foot down, right knee strikes down and up are the hips, right arm, breathe in, lift the hips and breathe out, hips come back down, I'm going to move the blanket out of the way, you can keep it or lose it, up to you, we're going to roll on to our back now so, roll on down to your back, give a good squeeze of the knees into your body, a little rock from left to right, massage out any tension in the low back, some soft little circles, extend the left leg all the way out, straight or bent, foot down, it's up to you and draw the right knee nice and tight into the body and then once you're here, move that knee out to the right, the more you move it, the more sort of varied sensations you'll get, left hand you can grab hold of the outer edge of that right foot and you can get a little pigeon stretch, make sure the knee is safe by activating that right foot, so what you're doing is you're trying to take that left inner ankle in the direction of sort of like your chest or the left shoulder and the right knee is drawing toward the right shoulder and the main sensation would be down the right hip, right glute, buttocks, favorite word, buttocks. Let's switch sides, go ahead and bring that right leg out, left knee in, roll them around a little bit, again right sides, one side is going to feel a lot different than the next, my left is so much different, feels better is what I'm saying, okay, grab hold of the left foot, draw the head down, shoulders down, find your breath, relax, no rush, grab that pigeon style stretch, left knee toward the left shoulder, inner left ankle toward the right side of the body, okay, release that, a little gentle twist from side to side will be the windshield wiper move, right, so your feet are about as wide as the mat, knees are bent generously, you can even bring your arms out to open up the upper body and take a casual little movement from left to right with those legs bent, so the windshield wiper action, right, the left knee follows the right as it goes to the right, right knee follows the left as they go to the left, you probably feel a little something in your low back, your hips, you could align your exhalation with the entering of the pose, whichever side you're going to, great, you can come back, you can do that as many times as you'd like, you can draw the bottoms of the feet together, recline bound angle, passive hip opener here as we start to venture into final relaxation, so you're free to stay in this position, right, if the hips feel really nice like this, stay exactly like this with your arms wide, chest open, shoulders open, if this isn't ideal for you or you want to switch it, choose whatever you'd like or you can simply straighten both legs out, let the feet flop open to the left and to the right, take a full breath in through the nose, fill your whole body or imagine it filling anyway and exhale, release through the mouth and start to really let the body, the whole body feel heavy and relaxed, if there's any other small movement or big movement that you need that would kind of round out your practice for today, feel free to explore that, but do make yourself as comfortable as you can and we'll take a shavasana, a final relaxation together, soften and relax all the muscles in your face, your neck, shoulders, allow the mind to just kind of wander around, the breath to come and go, if you started your practice with some meaningful intention, this might be a nice time to contemplate it, round it out, see how it applies to the rest of your day. Relax your hips and your legs are relaxed. If you'd like to relax longer, go right ahead, feel so nice sometimes, especially those moments when you do feel kind of locked in and embrace, you're able to embrace and relax, if you're ready to come out, stretch the arms overhead, stretch the legs out, roll the fingers around the wrists, the ankles, take a deep breath, you can even take a deep breath and arch the back and draw the knees into the body, this little reclined child's pose, I'm gonna rock right on up to sit, feel free to join me, man, I don't know about you, but it doesn't take much for me to have a complete shift, you know, to move slowly like that, open up the body, create more space, I feel like more spacious, so hopefully that was beneficial for you and your day, your life, but for now we'll close out, so I want to end with saying thank you so much for joining me and namaste.


5 people like this.
So nice...I love a slow flow in the morning 🌞 this practice stretched and opened up all the “stuck” places and I’m feeling pretty groovy right now...☮️
3 people like this.
I really enjoy Robert's classes especially when they are slower paced with fits in with my Iyengar practice. Good explanations as always.
4 people like this.
So lovely to see you again, Robert. This practice reminded me that even though there are shapes that I’ve made countless times before, there is always a new discovery in them when you pay attention and take it slow. Thank you as always ✨⚡️✨
4 people like this.
Great for late evenings when you're getting settled for the night.
Lovelove love this ; so nourishing, grounding, opening— love what you do and how you do it Robert💖🥰😘 keep it coming brother🙏🏽💥
Good day Jenny ✌️ I completely agree - I too love to start my day slowly working through all of the right and sticky spots, feels so goood and ‘groooovy’ as you say :))
3 people like this.
Great way to start "la rentrée" with.. Thanks Robert!
Luna ... Hi and THANK YOU!!
Hi Debra ... nice to see you again too! There's always something new to discover if we take the time to listen and feel with curiosity and wonder :)) Love that you're here practicing with us!
I completely agree Christel ... such a lovely way to roll into bed and sleep for the night.
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