Keepin' it Real Artwork
Season 4 - Episode 9

Active Recovery

35 min - Practice


Work inward. Robert guides us through an active recovery practice to create more space and ease in the body. We move through a series of stretching postures to enhance mobility in the shoulders, hips, legs, and spine. You will feel a sweet release.
What You'll Need: Mat, Square Bolster, Blanket


Read Full Transcript

Hey there. How's it going today? How are you feeling? What is happening? Thanks for being here. This is part of keeping it real. So we're going to keep it real. We're going to move through a sequence, a practice that in creating this and thinking about it, the words recovery, day off, rest, mobility, stretch, like we're going to lean into all those areas. So not a workout really, right? Maybe you'll work inward and just kind of explore the body, open it up, create some space, create some space and maybe just feel a little lighter. I don't know. We'll see. But let's begin in child's pose. Okay. Always a win, I think. If whatever you need, as far as props, we've got this blanket and bolster. So we will use that in this practice. So if you've got something similar, grab it, keep it nearby. Okay. So child's pose to begin this little adventure together. So it's always different, depending on the time of day, what's on your mind, how difficult it is to drop in, to arrive in your practice. Feel like sometimes in the morning, feel a little more clear, having accumulated a lot of stress and stories from the day. So basically wherever you are in your day, here with me, take a few breaths and get in that mindset of taking good care of your body, enjoying some breathing, supporting yourself in some of these moves where you need support. If you've got a lot of accumulated gook from the day, try to use the breath to eliminate some of it. Any and every opportunity you can during this time to reach, to stretch, to lengthen. So stretch the arms out as far as you can while pushing your hips back towards your heels. I'm going to come forward into tabletop into puppy pose. One of my personal favorites. The hips over the knees, walk the arms out, bring the elbows down so it softens a little bit of the shoulder intensity and the chin toward the mat. If that doesn't feel good, you can bring your right or left side of your face, or maybe even your forehead to the floor. Heart softening toward the floor, upper back, lengthening that thoracic portion of your back, upper two thirds region, we'll call it. So we're looking for some extension there.

Stay on the forearms, come all the way down onto your belly and hips. Sphinx pose, point the toes back, draw the shoulders down away from your neck, lift the chest, pause here, you can roll a little left to right, right to left. From Sphinx, lower down, slide the hands alongside your ribs. Using more of your core and back body strength, lift up through cobra. Then when you need the arms, start to look to straighten out the arms. Kind of a lazy upward dog. What I mean by lazy is that your knees and thighs and hips are kind of on the ground and your shoulders are lazily drawing into your ears. Some shoulder rolls and then move all the way back into child's pose for the counter stretch. Tabletop, breathe in, let's get into downward dog, lifting the knees and we'll get a good long stretch through the legs. Straighten out your right leg, your heel draws toward the center of the mat, bend your left leg a lot and send your hips over to the left. Do the same thing on the other side. Straighten the left, bend the right, hips over to the right, back over to center, neutral dog pose, walk up to the front of the mat, half lift, breathe in, breathe out, hold. One more time, breathe in, half lift and breathe out, fold and walk back into downward dog. Come into plank pose on the breath in, nice easy lowering. So knees down, bend the arms, keep the butt up so you're going to arch in the back. So it's knees, chest and chin. Come through cobra or upward dog. Good. Back into table all the way through child's pose. So you can see the tone, see what we're doing here, right? We're just trying to use just enough effort to get through, create some mobility in the joints, some stretch and flexibility in the muscles. Let's do that little movement one more time. So come back into table, curl the toes, downward dog, walk your feet forward, forward bend, inhale, half lift, tailbone back, crown the head forward, stretch and lengthen to fold forward and down, walk it back into downward dog again, inhale, kind of roll into plank, bring the knees, chest and chin to the floor. Come forward through the cobra or upward dog. I'm leaving my knees down for that kind of practice. Good. All the way back to child's pose. Come forward into table, drop the hips, reverse upward dog all the way down, situate yourself on the mat to bring your right arm out wide directly out from your right shoulder, crawl it out as far as you can, bend your left foot or your left leg and roll it over behind your right knee. Use your left hand, your left arm to support yourself. Slide that shoulder over a little bit more. We're targeting the shoulder, maybe even a little bit of your upper chest. So when you find that spot, hover around in that spot, as long as it's not like on fire, 100% intensity. Okay. Let's try it on the other side. So we're going to roll back to center, feel that post stretch action, stretch the left arm out, palm facing down, roll on to your left side. Now, right foot is behind your left knee, right knee sending straight up toward the ceiling. Head is somewhere where it feels relaxed, supported. If you need to hold it up, that's cool too. Always those little cycling movements in and out of the shape, coordinating those movements with your breath. So there's that constant communication with the body, right? Oh boy, that feels pretty good. Come back out. Okay. Hands alongside the body. Cobra pose, breathe in, tabletop, breathe out. Okay. Switch it up a little bit. Take the left leg, send it straight out to the left. So the left leg is straight, right leg. So it's tabletop with the left leg out wide. Okay. Now push the hips back. So you're reaching the hips back towards your, say your right heel. And it's like a child's pose, extended left leg out position. So you get the benefits of the child's pose, but you're also adding that left groin hamstring. Come back out. And this might feel nice. Take the left arm, reach it all the way up as you kind of power down through that right arm. Open up the chest, get that little twist and opening. Nice. Good job. Bring the left hand back down, left knee, shoot the right leg out. Do the same thing on the other side. See what that feels like. So push the hips back. The more you push the hips back, the more stretch. You'll probably feel in that behind the upper right leg hamstring growing Patience. Enjoy the ride. Come forward. Right arm reaches up nice and high. Get that big opening. Right hand comes back to the floor. Right knee comes to the floor and we move through a couple of very deliberate, relaxed, fluid cat cow tilts. Inhale cow pose. Exhale cat. Inhale cow. Exhale. Draw the tailbone down. Pull pubic bone up. Core engaged. Upper back broad and wide. One more time. Breathe in and breathe out. Back to neutral. Extend the left arm up. Inhale and exhale. Thread the needle. Left arm reaches underneath the right left shoulder to the floor. Maybe even walk your right hand out a little bit further. When I mean out, I mean forward toward the front of the mat. Try to level the hips. So pull the right hip back, left hip forward and figure out a way to get that rotation. That shoulder stretch. Come back out. Reverse it. Right. So fly that left arm nice and high again. Left arm to the floor. Good. Right arm. Reach it up. Breathe in. Underneath the left arm as you breathe out. Wiggle it around in there. Figure out how to get down low. The more curious, the more willing and interested you are to take care, right? Like each and every breath and each and every pose you come into. The intention to work around, inquire within, take good care. You'll win. You'll win because you'll know exactly what feels right, what feels useful, what creates space. Okay. Back out. Tabletop. Toes curled. Push back and up into downward dog. Kind of a reset pose a lot of the time. Take your left leg up. Bend it. Open up the hip. Drive that right heel toward the floor. Gaze underneath your left arm. Stretch and open up that hip. Maybe do some big circular motions in the left side.

So circle that left hip and then step the left foot up and out wide. Drop the hips down. Lift the hips open up into a twist. Good. Left hand to the floor. Now, what I want you to work on here, maybe you can take your right hand to the floor, left hand up on your left thigh and just don't lift your left heel at all. Keep the left foot super grounded and let your left knee come forward and back. Like you're looking to gain more range of motion and mobility in that ankle. And straighten out the left leg a bit. Bend. Straighten. And bend. Straighten. Again, right? We're just getting the stretch, getting the length, getting the flexibility and mobility. Let's try the other side. So come back into three-legged dog with the left leg up just to kind of open that up again and bring it down. Right leg up. Bend. Open. Gaze under the right arm. Breath is even. Square off. Send it up. Just your shirt. Twist. Open as you maybe even drop your hips down a little bit. Good. Now, same thing. Right hand up on your thigh, left hand on the floor. We're going to work that ankle. Keep your heel down, the right heel striking down. And bend and straighten a few times. Straighten out the leg a little bit more. Hamstrings go yay or maybe not yay. Maybe that's like tough for you. I get it. That's when you have to recruit the breath. Okay, now we'll switch this up a little bit. We're going to lift the left knee and come into these really nice side lunge-type movements. So you have a wide stance. Open up your toes a little bit. Bend. So what you want to do is not necessarily just bend the right leg.

Push the hips back. You might even put your hands back a little bit to support you. Okay. Then you hinge over to the other side. Play around with the positioning of your right foot as your right leg is extended out. Same thing on the other side. Good. Back. Wide forward fold. So we're going to get really nice and long in the legs. Fingertips give you some length to lift the chest. Lengthen the spine. How many times have you heard that, right? Lengthen the spine. But it is important. Bend the knees and fold forward. Grip down in the feet. Relax in the arms. You could even take a wrist stretch. Tops of the hands into the floor. Fingers reaching back. Lean a little left, a little right. You could do the palms down. Wrists forward, fingers back. Okay. Little subtle bends. Maybe it doesn't have to be as deep of a side lunge, but just enough. So if you're bending into the left leg, you straighten the right and that whole band of muscle from your knee up into the hip, inner groin, gets some attention. Okay. Now we're definitely prepped for the next pose. So we're going to bring the knees down. This is where you'd grab your blanket. So it's going to take just a second for setup, but we're moving into frog pose. Okay. So frog pose, your knees are on the, on the, if you have a carpet or a rug in your house, that's kind of nice, but I have this. So I've got to have my knees in a comfortable position and really my feet too. So frog pose. I like to build frog with the knees really super wide toes together. This is the first stage or progression. Push the hips back. Come on down to your forearms, maybe stack your fists. So this is the prep pose, which you may end up staying in because it's like, Oh, Oh, always a way to make it yours. And that includes saying, no, thank you. No, thank you. Not today for whatever reason. Okay. So if this is like enough and you're feeling pretty good here, stay here, it'll get a little more intense just with this shifting of the feet. So now you're going to lift the hips up, bring the feet in line with the knees, toes pointing outward. So whoa, already without even pushing the hips back, like that's enough for me. Okay. So my hips are kind of in line with my knees. So figure out your intensity, your stretch, your experience you're interested in having and we'll stay about five breaths or so. Now when things get rough, right? Do you clench up and tense up as far as getting rough in a pose, right? Relax, relax into the difficulty of it. One last little option here. It's a different approach. I'm going to push the knees back so they're still on the blanket. And I get back into that same position with the feet. But what I'm going to do now is walk forward and let the hips come toward the floor. So it's like a frog legs, things pose. Okay. Again, relax the fists, the fingers, the more we fight it, the more the body fights it. It doesn't have to be a lot, right? We're just looking for some attention in these areas. Just some attention. Here I am in frog pose. Here you are in frog pose. How are you doing over there? Kind of funny, but very necessary stuff. Good work you're doing there. So we're going to exit out. Oh boy. Push back, maybe bring the toes together. So it's that wide child's pose position we were exploring to begin with. Okay. Now I'm going to come onto my seat. So you come onto your seat as well. Hips are definitely like, that's enough is what they're saying. Put your butt up on that bolster or cushion. It's very helpful for me. We're going to do this little straddle pose, right? It's a seated wide leg forward bend. Now it's definitely not the easiest. I don't do it that often, but for this practice, I felt it to be necessary for me and hopefully it's necessary for you. So sitting up on the edge, it helps to adjust the pelvis. My hips are a little higher and now activate the feet. So the legs actually are strong and activated. Breathe in and stay right here or breathe out. Start to walk the hands forward. You could grab hold of your toes. So index finger, middle finger of each hand wraps around each big toe. Nothing to force. Again, just bringing attention to the body, some length, some space. Last breath. Let it all out. Good. Come back up. Sit nice and tall. Now lose the bolster. Keep it nearby. Might use it one more time. Now from here, keep the blanket, whatever soft position you've got, keep your body upright and shift your hips over to the right. This is a little hip mobility drill, but we're going to do this maybe twice on each side and then land in a pigeon pose. So that's one on each side. That's two and now fold over onto that thigh, that inner thigh. Flirt around in there. If you've never done this version of pigeon, it's definitely a win, especially if the full prone facing version does not work for you. All right. Up and out and we'll cruise on over to the other side and down. This is also the type of practice that would be super, super supportive or recommended for like before bed. You see the tone we're working with, right? The pace is nice and mellow. Dim the lights, lose the phone unless you're using your phone for this. Come back up. All right. Okay. Now we're going to spin around. I'll even keep this blanket here. Once again, bolster on the right side, lie down on your back.

This is going to be one of the last poses we do together. Take a breath here first. Just lie in the back and satisfied. I'm good. I'm good. Extend your right leg out. Shift your hips over to the left a little bit. So you're actually on your right hip. Draw the left knee in and twist that left knee across your body toward the bolster. If it doesn't land, maybe bolster up a little bit more, but it's not necessary or even recommended for you to bring the knee to the floor. Okay. Now reach the right arm out. What we're going to do is you've got the twist in the back. Now we're going to add these nice shoulder rotations. Okay. So the left palm comes to reach the right palm. Once you get that, it's not important if they touch. Reach the left arm up and back behind you. Big stretch to the shoulder on the left side, the chest. Nice. So reach the left arm over to the right or left hand to the right. Circle it up and back. Get creative. We're here, right? What does your body need? What does the shoulder need? Make sure the head is grounded. Neck is long. Open up wing to wing. Sweet. Last one. Circle up and back. Twist it out. Okay. Bring it back. Center yourself on the mat. Take the bolster over to the other side. Shift over to the left hip. Right knee draws in and find your spinal twist first. Right arm reaches out to get that you want to work toward getting the right shoulder toward the floor. Left arm reaches out. Now the right arm, right hand reaches over. So you kind of round your upper back a bit to reach and then reach up and back behind you. Like you're circulating and bringing circulation to the right shoulder. There's one. Good. Bring it back over. Reach. Stretch it out across the back. You might even be able to see right now that opening in the back that I'm getting. Then I'm stretching the arm up and slowly starting to ground and move the shoulder blades apart from one another. Full open stretch. Last one. Circle it up.

Spinal twist. Breath. One good breath here. Okay. Exit mindfully from the twist. And if you have the bolster, if you've been using it along with me and you're interested, take the bolster underneath your low back, your butt, your low back. Just as a little cush. Draw the bottoms of your feet together. Relax your hands on your body, heart and belly or alongside your body. If you feel like straighten your legs at any point, you do that. Here we are. Resting now. You've done your practice. You've chosen to do this practice. You've done it to the best of your ability. Your body is exactly the way it is now. So free up any anxieties and negativities about your practice. Focus on the wins. Focus on what you were able to do and how you were feeling. And if there's some bad negative stuff in there with how you felt, why? Why? What needs more work, more attention? Look at it as an opportunity to investigate more and do more self study work on yourself. And if it's an injury, be patient. Take your time to heal and recover. Straighten your legs if you'd like and then begin to let yourself dissolve and rest and chill out. Final relaxation. Your first handful of breaths might be deliberate, but then make that effort to let the breath slow down and move in and out on its own. You don't have to do that work anymore. Relax. Placing your hands on your belly, right below the ribs, right around where that diaphragm is, take a deep, full breath, feel the belly rise, ribcage expand, exhale, relax, stretch the arms overhead, draw the knees into the body, feel the low back kind of stretch out, it's tender at all, it's nice pose to spend time in, and up to, up to sit, that was nice, I really appreciate you being here with me and this season of keeping it real, this practice specifically and others, you know the encouragement and what we're looking to lean into is the process, it is the practice, it's enjoying the ride, the adventure, the results, right?

We'll always have results and they'll always grow once we meet that result, right? So the results are there, you'll get there, maybe not, doesn't matter, enjoy the ride as best you can, process over the results, that's my encouragement, try not to hack your way anywhere, right? There's no fast pace anyway, anywhere, mastery, let's do it and from my heart to yours, thank you, namaste.


Jenny S
5 people like this.
This whole season has been such a great ride, Robert....and THIS episode was the cherry on top! Oh my this really felt fantastic and turned what for me had been a pretty crummy day so far, right back on track. Thank you and hope to see you beck with a new season soon 🤞🙏🏻⚡️
Sarah H
3 people like this.
I found this quite by accident but it was just what I needed. My legs were stiff from cycling too long and hard and so I chose to do this practice instead of other forms of excercise. I now feel rebalanced and restored. Thank you!
Christel B
1 person likes this.
Perfect for the day after a long hike had super worked my legs and this mellowed them out.
Robert Sidoti
Good morning Jenny !! As always I appreciate your comments and hearing from you in general :) Thank you for your constant support and enthusiasm and I am oh so happy this class worked well for you and shifted your day in a positive direction! 
Robert Sidoti
Hiiii Sarah !! Nice to 'see' you, it's been awhile since we've connected here. How are you feeling these days?! Sounds like you're still cycling and staying active, I bet that feels great! Always happy to see your comments and sharings here, thank you and tons of blessings and positivity sent your way! Robert
Robert Sidoti
Good morning Christel ! So it seems as if the title and practice lived up to it's name? :) Actively recovered your worked legs and brought you back to balance or mellowed out as you say! Thanks for being here!! 
Paula L
2 people like this.
So delicious after a day of skiing. Thank you!
Martha K
1 person likes this.
This is where it is at! Bringing it in and feeling the source. Where I want to live...... beautiful
Robert Sidoti
You are welcome Paula :)) Where were you skiing?! 
Robert Sidoti
Martha !! What a beautiful comment - I'm feeling what you're throwing down here! :)) 
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