Keepin' it Real Artwork
Season 4 - Episode 8

Flow to Restore

30 min - Practice


Flow and relax. Robert guides us in an energizing Vinyasa flow practice before slowing it down with a few replenishing restorative yoga postures. This practice promotes mobility, balance, and flexibility.
What You'll Need: Mat, Square Bolster, Block


Read Full Transcript

Hey there, how's it going? Welcome. Welcome to this practice which is part of keeping it real. This practice is geared towards some vinyasa movements and some nice slow down restorative options in the very end. So hopefully that feels nice for you.

Before we get started, so you have nearby a, if you have a bolster, great. If not, maybe like a couch cushion or a pillow, something that will sort of stand in as an official bolster. And we may even use the block, but for sure the bolster cushion action, okay? So we're going to start standing and we're going to start kind of loose. We'll like stretch it out a little bit, build the energy slowly.

So I'm going to take my feet kind of on the wide little bend in your knees and some really nice relaxing rotations in your upper body, okay? Let your arms sway from side to side. So basically the result is loosening up the arms, the shoulders, and adding these rotations to the trunk of your body so we can create a little bit of mobility here. Let the arms kind of slap on the waist. Take a few good breaths.

What a great opportunity to practice together, you and I, so thanks for being here. Okay, one more on each side. Good. You shake the arms out a little bit. We'll take a couple of deep breaths together as you sweep the arms up overhead, inhale, exhale.

We'll do two more, breathe in and breathe out. One more time, breathe in, big sweeping breath up and exhale, hands land at the heart, at the chest. I always say it, but this for me, every time the hands are here, it's a moment to kind of commit to the present moment. So to this breath, to this present moment. And we'll move to the front of the mat to switch it up.

Okay, let the arms come down by the side. Take the left arm, reach it up nice and high. Right hand rests at your hip and we'll take a side bend. So as you're side bending over to the right, the right hand slides down your thigh and we look for and feel for some length at the left side. Let's try the other side, left hand down, right arm reaches up, up, up and away.

Back down, both arms up, interlace your fingers, index finger long, cross your thumbs, side bend to the right, strong legs to support the action. So while we're doing this, the invitation is to take big, glorious, fulfilling breaths so you can start to build the energy in the breath as well. Which is the foundation of practice. Back up to center, arms come down and actually sweep back behind you, clasp the fingers. If this isn't available, grab a t-shirt or a strap, okay?

Loosen up the neck, take your feet a little wider than your hips, soften the knees, open up the chest and shoulders, stay here for a breath. And then exhale, come forward, forward, forward into a forward bend. I'm actually going to grab this way. Oh man, you can bend and straighten alternate legs. Hands can rest at your low back, they can open up and reach up toward the ceiling.

Relax the arm effort, allow your arms to come down toward the floor, a little sway from left to right, right to left. One of my favorite moves, straighten the right leg, bend the left, high on the left fingertips, rotate open to the right, just a little flowy, kind of stretchy moment, right hand down, left leg straight, right leg bent, then open up to the left. What a nice opportunity to stretch it all out, forward bend, half lift. As you inhale, gaze gently forward, breath out, fold and step your right foot back, get a nice long deep lunge position. You can even bring the right knee down for a moment, lean into this lunge position, let the left knee come forward, tracking beyond the toes, keep your heel down when you do that.

Now lift that right knee up, open up into a twist, left arm rises high, right hand grounds down to support, left hand down and kind of walk the left foot a little more left center, good, straighten out the left leg for a moment, bend back into the left leg, okay now turn the left foot open, you're gonna step up into squat, malasana, drop the seat down, wiggle around in there for a moment. This is the type of practice that can be done anytime really. Coming to the forward bend, walk your feet a little more hip width, keep the right foot out wide as you step your left foot back. You can bring the left knee down and track that right knee forward to get some ankle range of motion or mobility. Curl the back toes, lift the left knee, ground the left hand or use a block or your fingertips and then wide open twist, good, right hand down frame that right foot, look to straighten out that right leg a little bit as you're forward bending, good, back into your lunge, dip the hip down low just to get another opportunity here, very nice.

Another squat pose, left foot forward, drop on down, maybe take the right arm high as the left hand stays low, we rotate and then rotate open to the left side, good, forward bend again, heel to the feet, hip width, half lift, breathe in, breathe out, fold, walk it back into downward dog, good job, kind of moving from pose to pose, find some good quality breathing along the way, watching where you spend your time in your mind, come into plank pose when you breathe in, pause here for a moment, shoulders hovering over those elbows and wrists, firm through the belly, nice strong legs, downward dog exhale, inhale into plank, boom, firm, strong, downward dog, soft bend in the knees, good job, breathe in plank pose, this plank pose push the hands down and try to pull them towards your toes, toes towards your hands and that will just go, everything kind of shakes and trembles, you just make that plank pose a little more intensified, good, now on your exhale lower down all the way, point the toes back, hands free cobra pose, lift the hands up, lift the chest, gaze gently forward, good work, all the way back into a child's pose, temporary table top, inhale cow pose, exhale cat, inhale cow pose, exhale cat pose, push the ground away, drop the tailbone down, stretch the wrists out, one more time, breathe in and breathe out, good strong neutral spine and back body, curl the toes downward facing dog, look forward, inhale and exhale, step the right foot forward, pause, inhale, exhale left foot forward, forward bend, inhale half lift, exhale fold, inhale rise all the way up and exhale palms rest at commitment, dedication space, right at the heart and chest, good, breathe in reach the arms high, breathe out forward and down, breathe in half lift, breathe out plank pose, firm the hands down toward one another and back and the toes forward, squeeze everything together, get that burn and lower down, inhale upward, exhale downward, look forward, inhale and exhale the left foot all the way up, pause there, breathe in and exhale the right foot forward, forward bend, breathe in half lift, breathe out fold, breathe in rise up and breathe out palms rest at the heart, nice, starting to warm up a little bit, let the arms come down by your side, feet are about hip width, now it's gonna require a little bit of balance, a little bit of coordination, you're gonna bring the palms firm to the center of the body, begin to lean the weight over onto the right leg as you lift your left knee high, good right here, valuable pose, embrace it, put a bend in the right leg, step the left foot back, soft little bend in the back knee as you come into high lunge, good, arms reach up, you can put a little cactus bend in the arms, take a little side bend over to the right, so that left arm is reaching nice and high and over to the right, back up to center, palms rest to the chest, warrior three focal point six to eight feet out in front of your right foot, straighten the right leg and launch, okay, now shoot the left leg back, lengthen through the spine, good, firm and toned through the belly, arms can rest at the heart, you can take your arms out wide like an airplane or jet airplane, very nice now you're gonna come up into tree pose, knee comes up, oh, toe down, knee up high, hip opens, I'm gonna place the left foot just below the right knee, push the foot into the leg, leg into the foot, firm up through the glutes, stand tall, warrior three or tree pose, arms reach up as an option, you're doing great, if you fall out of balance, no big deal, good job, knee back up, palms back to the chest, step back into lunge, bring the arms up overhead, breathe in, breathe out, hands through the floor, step back, lower down, inhale up, exhale down, deep breath in and long breath out, take a stroll to the front of the mat, exhale fold, inhale half lift, fold, exhale, breathe in, rise up and breathe out, hands back to heart, back to chest, lean into the left side, lift the right knee, find that gazing point, okay, so you wanna firm up and tone up through the abdominals to lift the right knee high, you're also gonna use your hip flexor muscles to do so, soft bend in the left leg, step back into a moderate high crescent lunge, so a little soft bend in the back knee to accommodate the tailbone extending down and then rise up through the arms, good powerful pose, start to hone your focal point for warrior three and possibly even well tree pose it'll probably change, take that little side bend, you can even grab that right wrist to reach up and over, might be able to grab a little psoas lengthening in there, back up to center, palms rest at the heart, warrior three, focused and relaxed, always looking to lift the chest, lengthen, drive through the back foot, leg is strong, hips are aligned, arms reaching out, balance, such a good, good skill, tree pose, lift the right knee high, open the hip, right foot to the leg, it's either above the knee or below the knee or even up on your hip, the little wobbly you feel right in the foot, the ankle, it's a good thing, it's a good thing, you're literally like, like kind of like toning and lifting weights, you're conditioning the feet and the ankle, so look at it as a positive to win, toning, toning the feet, the ankles, the shins, I fell out, is my day ruined? No, come right back in, knee high, palms at the heart, step back into a strong lunge, take the breath in, as you rise up, breath out, hands down, step it back, one last little transition through chaturanga, upward dog, chaturanga basically is low push up and downward dog, come into plank once again, we lower all the way down to our belly, sweep the arms back behind you, clasp your fingers, your hands, as we begin to flirt with opening the shoulders, opening the chest, maybe lifting the legs for locust pose, and relax. Stack the palms, forehead on the top palm or top hand, let's do one more locust pose, adding maybe a little side roll, alright, so if you get that grip, lift up, now pull that right shoulder open a little bit and roll onto that right side, place the left foot right behind the right knee, so the left knee is up, left shoulder pulls open and now you can get that shoulder stretch just a little bit deeper, head is resting, let's try the other side, okay? So back over to center, locust strong back body, over to the left, very nice, back over to center, release the hands down but down by cobra, palms are going to lift in that little no hand cobra action as you lift, lift, lift, lift and relax, head on the hands stacked, we're going to shift gears now, shifting gears, first gear, child's pose, lift up through cobra, little gentle upward dog, roll the shoulders back and back into child's pose to reset the back after the locust, a little wiggle from side to side just to get that length back, now what you're going to do now is you're going to come up and take a moment to set the scene up, okay? So like I said in the beginning of the video, if you've got a cushion, some rigid pillows, it's going to come in handy, so to start off with, so this is your first time, you can see the legs set up, okay?

So the right hip wants to go up against the bum of the bolster or whatever you're using, left leg is kind of bent maybe 90 degrees or a little more bent, the whole idea is that we're going to come into a twist, okay, and this is up off the ground to help assist us, so from here, upright, lengthen spine, you're going to rotate the torso in the direction of the bolster and with that twist, with that length that you created, you're going to bring your body down onto that surface, to start off with it might feel really good to bring your right cheek to the cushion, but if you're ready and it feels good, take the left cheek. Starting about now, we'll do about a minute and a half on this side. This is a restorative pose, so see if you can find a way to eliminate most effort, soften the breath. Use the breath, the breath is part of this experience, as part of a placeholder for your focus, as part of a way to enter and relax into the experience, if you're feeling a little more open, you can take the left cheek to the pillow, okay, slowly, right, I have a feeling this can be a deep twist, so we come back up and out, I don't know about you, but that felt like I needed it, so let's see what it feels like on the other side. So we're just going to simply switch around, now I will be facing the other way most likely, but I'm still right here with you, left hip up against the bolster, so the legs just find a comfortable bend position, okay, upright, so remember all twists are lengthening on the breath in, breath out, a little brace to rotate, so try not to just rush your way into it, it might take you a few breaths to get there, exhale rotate, relax, inhale, exhale rotate, relax, exhale rotate to relax, inhale, exhale rotate to relax and settle in, inhale, relax, exhale rotate to relax, exhale rotate to relax and settle in, exhale rotate to relax, That skill of awareness and understanding that when you're in tension, you're in stress, it's uncomfortable.

First to notice and then to understand that the breath can be a real tool in shifting the gears, relaxing the intensity, the stress, gains a new perspective, it's a real off the mat yoga practice, notice, adjust. Okay, it feels about even, come on out, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah. Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, oh, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah. it and let the head rest on the block or cushion. Now I'm going to cross my legs so give you the option to cross your legs to draw the bottoms of your feet together or maybe even straighten your legs all the way out. So this little passive back bend is is nice because the shoulders might be able to sort of fall away so the chest is opening, head is supported and relaxed. You can also, if you didn't try it, you can lose the block, place the head down, see the difference. I prefer to have the head a little lifted. Also if you take that block and place it in a way that the hard edge of the block, you know the rigid edge, goes across the tender backside of your skull where your skull meets the neck and if you rock and roll the head from side to side it can feel pretty nice. So this is restorative pose number two, final pose actually, final relaxation and restorative posture. So you at home, join me in one deep beautiful breath in, open your mouth and exhale it all the way. If you really tune into that breath, I know I'd say it in just about every practice but you can really feel the layers, a layer or several layers just kind of peel away and fall off so you can settle into a calm, peaceful state of mind, state of being, comfortable, relaxed. So if it's interesting you can roll your head side to side, massage the neck or you can sit still and dissolve and melt into the shape. Relax deep down in the eye sockets, the eyeballs around the cheekbones, lick the lips and let your tongue rest the upper palate right behind the teeth, everything's relaxed.

Trust the process, whatever results you're seeking will come and if they don't at least you've figured out a way to enjoy the ride, enjoy the practice, the process, the moment, the breath, the given experience. If you would love and prefer to sail off and relax longer please go for it. If you're gonna come out of this and join me seated, begin to move around in your body, those little fingertips, toe tips, feel the diaphragm expand as you breathe in, your rib cage open up and your chest and lungs fill, almost like hesitating, I know I am, up to sit. Actually I think I'll finish by sitting nice and high. If you're ever really uncomfortable in a sitting position, you don't know this already, sit up on a nice lifted surface, your hips up over your knees. Alright, thank you. Thanks for hanging out with me once again or if this is your first time, it means a lot to me so have a beautiful day, namaste.


Vibeke M
1 person likes this.
Hi! I only just discovered you ( Robert Sidoti ) I really like your  relaxed "unholy" way of teaching yoga. I feel very relaxed now. Thank you and namaste from a yoga-collegue in Norway. 
Robert Sidoti
Hello and good morning/day to you vibeke :)) I'm so happy my way of offering yoga resonates with you - thank you for sharing your comment here! I've always wanted to visit Norway, looks like a beautiful country!! Namaste to you!! 
Joan J
2 people like this.
Happy I found another lovely  session of yours.  I so enjoy the stretching with the breath.  Warrior 3 not possible (due to my fallen arches) so I opted for triangle, tree pose possible with my toes on the floor.  New to me, locust on the side, felt glorious for my shoulders.
 As always my favorite is the Yin restorative at the end.  This is a wonderful practice to stretch out and unwind.   Grateful for your teachings🌾💮
Joan J
1 person likes this.
Oh please bring more Yin and restorative practices, they calm my nervous system and bring me to a blissful, meditative state💮🌾
Sarah A
1 person likes this.

Emma T
2 people like this.
Hi Robert, this is my favourite class of yours so far. I really enjoyed it - very restorative and exactly what I need at the moment given the challenges we are all facing. Thank you so much!
Janeissy A
1 person likes this.
This class was exactly was I needed to unwind and restore some areas of the body that were accumulating tension from the week. Thank you Robert. 
Robert Sidoti
Hi Emma , thanks so much for sharing here! These are unstable times for sure - it feels nice (if not too stressed out by circumstances) to embrace the practices that encourage slowing down and sitting with ourselves - gives us the opportunity to contemplate where we are, how we can best utilize this time, possibly making some changes or creating new habits as we move toward more stable times - here's to hoping so!! Anyway, I appreciate so much your comment and hope you have an inspiring day :))
Robert Sidoti
Hey there Janeissy !! Doesn't that feel so good - the releasing of built up tensions and stress! I'm so happy this practice provided that for you! When we choose to slow down, move and breathe in ways you can literally feel the tensions, stress and negative energy/thought's wash away - one exhale at a time. Thank you so much for practicing here with all of us - more than that, thank yourself for choosing to practice :)) 
Rachel S
1 person likes this.
Excellent! Thank you!
1-10 of 29

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