The Vinyasa Show Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 6

Let It Go Flow

45 min - Practice


Build strength, stamina, and courage with Brenda in this challenging arm balance sequence that plays towards Eka Pada Koundinyasana (One-Legged Arm Balance of the Sage Koundinya) and Vishvamitrasana (Pose Dedicated to the Sage Vishvamitra). She offers variations that will awaken and activate your arms, core muscles, and hamstrings. You will feel strong and refreshed by this practice.
What You'll Need: Mat


Read Full Transcript

(waves splash) Welcome to Let it Flow. So this class is about, you know when you have those moments in life where you just keep trying to go in one direction and you're continuously going against the grain? But for some reason we just keep thinking we need to go in that direction. So what do I do when I hit those places in life when it's going against the grain, or on my yoga mat? It's resetting, coming back to something I know.

So in this sequence, although the sequence isn't one that you might know, will set a blueprint foundation. So at any point, you can always come back to that simple first sequence that we will do, and then from there we'll add on. At the end of each right and left we'll also come into a Forward Fold so perfect time to reset, refresh, and readjust. So for this practice, we're gonna start at the top of the mat. And you can either start arms down, or hands at heart center.

Just take a few moments to arrive. Right, you're feeling the weight on your feet, feeling the energy draw upward. And if it is part of your practice, bringing in your Ujjayi Pranayama. And as you really get interested in your breath just notice if you have more of a sound on the exhale than the inhale, then see if you can create that soft whispering sound on both. Exhale softly, releasing the hands down if they're in prayer.

Moving through a few Half Sun Salutations on an inhale. Take the arms up, shoulders can be, arms can be shoulder distance apart or palms pressed, really your choice. Exhale, folding forward. Inhale, come halfway up, spine long. Exhale, fold, start to strengthen through the legs.

Soften through the upper body. Root to rise, inhale, coming all the way up, heart lifts. Exhale, folding forward. Now you can take the arms wide or hands to the heart. Center, inhale, come halfway.

Exhale, fold. If my cues are too fast, or too slow for this first part feel free to move at your own pace. Exhale, coming forward. Inhale, lengthen, bring the gaze slightly forward. Exhale, folding, inner thighs drawing back lightly.

Root down, inhale, coming all the way up. Good, exhale, fold right back in. Inhale, halfway. Exhale. One more time through, inhale.

Good, exhale, folding in. On an inhale come halfway up, place the palm, stepping back into Downward-Facing Dog. Take a few breaths here. We address shoulders, back, tail high, thighs pressed back. Okay, moving right into our blueprint sequence.

On an inhale, taking the right leg up. Feel that big lift at the right leg, and a softening of the right hip. Exhale, knee to right elbow, round tuck, open, and hold here. Create a bit of a Sacred Pause. We'll do a bit of the Sacred Pauses today.

Inhale, take the leg back up. This time take right hip on left, bend the knee, lift the knee as high as you can, and draw the heel in. Notice the tendencies for that right shoulder to want to pop up. See if you can drop it down. Right, keeping it even with the left.

Lengthen the right leg, even out the hips, exhale, knee to left elbow, round, tuck, twist, pause here again. Inhale, take it back up. Exhale, knee to nose. Take a slight pause before you place the foot down into a Low Lunge. Back knee and shin come to the floor as the arms sweep up.

Just take a few breaths here as you draw that right hip down and back. And again, finding the rib cage to neutral, so here the tendency is to jut out the ribs, just draw them back if they are. Good, on an exhale, bring the hands down to the floor, curl the back, toes under, right into a Standing Split. Right, so our counter pose is gonna be active here. Root through this right foot.

Find space through the right hip, so the tendency is to sink in (blows air). See if you can shoot up. If you're lifting the left leg high, soften the left hip down. 'Kay, start to let the head go. Exhale, left foot meets right.

Here's our reset. Inhale, come halfway up. Exhale, fold and hold for this first round. On the right and left side grab opposite elbow, come into Ragdoll. Right, and in Ragdoll go ahead and let the shoulders drop towards the ears, just to release.

And feel free to sway a little bit. Right, and then an exhale, release the hands to frame the feet. So your choice here, you can step back if you're ready for Chaturanga already. Hop back, elbows bend, or plank to Chaturanga or the floor. Right, don't rush it.

Don't let the momentum take you. Inhale, lifting up, upward facing. Exhale, back downward facing. Good, taking two breaths in between. Left side blueprint, inhale, left leg lifts up.

Take that pause to lift it a little higher. Press a little deeper into that right thigh. Exhale, knee to left elbow, round, tuck it, open, and pause. Good, inhale, takes you back. Left hip stack it on right, bend the knee so the heel draw back towards the bum, and notice that left shoulder wants to drop up, draw up.

See if you can drop it down. So, shoulders even. 'Kay, lengthen leg, even out the hips, exhale. Knee to right elbow, round, tuck, twist. Squeeze it in.

Good, inhale, back. And exhale, knee to nose, setting up for a Low Lunge. Right knee and shin come down, arms sweep up. And so for this first one, start to lift up, get light through the upper body. Draw the left heel back, right thigh forward, so creating a scissoring action the inner thighs.

Good, two more breaths. Good, exhale, hands come down to frame the front foot. Shift it right into Standing Split. So as we start, this is the first one on this side, if you'd like you can take it softer with the hands further out in front. Leg lifted maybe a little higher than Warrior III, or if you're already feeling warm you can start to take the right let up, torso over the left thigh.

And so notice the tendency is to drop the weight in the left hip so if you're feeling (blows air), create some space. Exhale, right foot meets left. Inhale, come halfway up. Exhale, fold, taking Ragdoll. So your choice, knees can be bent or not.

If they're straight, start to lift he kneecaps. Right, and even if they're bent, you're still engaging your quads. Nice, release the hands down to frame the front foot. Your choice here, Chaturanga, stepping back, or hopping back. If you're hopping, bend the elbows.

Good, take that pause. Inhale. Good, exhale, back. So as we start to add on, we're gonna add on slowly. We've got a couple rounds.

You can always come back to that blueprint. On an inhale right leg lift. Take a pause and lift it up as high as you can, and soften the right hip down. Exhale, knee to right elbow, stay right here, or two, lengthen and still keeping the back toes on the ground. For those who want to get on the arm balance, we'll get there.

Good, inhale brings it back. Stack the hips, roll it open. Right, so holding here, this might be fine, or for some you can shift forward, let the back foot come to the floor, take the right arm up. Some call this Wild Thing, I just call it fun. Right, let your head go only if you can create that shelf of the shoulder blades, and be supported.

If not, keep the chin tucked. Right, so pubic bone lifts, heart lifts. Nice, inhale, come back around, right palm down, take it right back into Three-Legged Dog. Good, on an exhale bring the knee to the left elbow. Here's one, two, lengthen, right, you can a kickstand and place it down, or use your core and lift up.

Good. 'Kay, draw it in, take it back. Exhale, knee to nose, place the foot down, Low Lunge, arms sweep up. Good, and as we settle on this one, on an exhale let the hands come down behind the back, interlace. So you can either create a fist, or take the pointer fingers down, and pause.

And then checking that the back foot is pointing straight back, the tendency might be to go in or out. Good, exhale, release the hands down to frame the front foot curl the back toes under, right into Standing Split. Good, so from here, options, taking maybe the right hand behind the right calf to draw the torso in. And again, finding space through that right hip. And as you lift the right leg, draw the right hip down.

Good, exhale, left foot meets right. Inhale, and take your two peace fingers, wrap 'em around your big toes, loop the thumb around. Good, bend the knees a little bit to start, and inhale, come halfway up. Exhale, as you fold start to straighten the legs drawing yourself down. So it's an active strong draw.

And then you can start to take the elbows, start to wrap them around towards the back of the shins. Nicely release. Hands to the mat. Transition, your choice, stepping back or inhale, come halfway up. Your hop back, elbows bent, right into Chaturanga.

Inhale, Upward-Facing, eyes off the floor. Good, shoulders reaching back over the wrists. Exhale, back Downward-Facing. Left side, two breaths before we go. Inhale, take the left leg up, reach it up, soften the left hip down.

Exhale, knee to left elbow, round, tuck, open, pause here, lengthen the leg long. Good, still press the floor away. Take it right back, Three-Legged Dog, stack the hips, bend the knee, knee towards the ceiling, heel squeezes in, so option, stay right here. Shift forwards, let the back foot come to the floor. Heart lifts coming into Wild Thing.

Right so, just in this back bend, in this heart opener lift the pubic bone, spread wide through the chest. Good, and see if you can stay on the ball of the left foot to create height and space. Fully come all the way back around. Three-Legged Dog, careful in the transition. Slow and controlled.

Exhale, knee to right elbow, pause here, or lift. Remember you can do the kickstand or lift use the core. Good, bend the knee, take it right back up. Exhale, knee into nose, right knee, shin down, arms sweep up, Anjaneyasana. Good, lift up through the hips, through the heart, and then exhale, hands behind.

Maybe taking the goofy interlace this time, the one that doesn't come so naturally. Brings us softening through the gaze through the jaw, get the whole face. Good, exhale, release. The hands frame the front foot, curl the back toes under, right into Standing Split. Good, start to lift up from you left inner arch, all the way up, finding space through the left hip, and then your choice, fingertips down, or you can bring left hand behind.

Draw the torso in, right leg lifting. Good, exhale, right foot meets left. Again, grabbing the two big toes with your peace fingers, thumbs wrapped. Inhale, halfway. Exhale, folded in, and start to wrap the arms behind, and shift a little bit forward.

Good, so you feel an equal weight through all four corners of the feet. Okay, and talking the extra breath to reset, refresh. When you're ready, inhale, come halfway up, palms down. Your choice in transition, either stepping back or hopping back. Inhale, Urdhva Mukha.

Exhale, back out of Mukha. Nice, third round. Again, you can always stay with that blueprint. On an inhale, take the right let up. Exhale, knee to right elbow, so options here, one, to lengthen, or bend the elbows, take the right leg long, Eka Pada Koundinyasana.

I like to take my gaze towards my right toes just to be a little lighter on the neck. Good, elbows and shoulders even, or shoulders higher than elbows. Inhale, take the leg up, bend the knee, open it up. Right, so flipping here but controlled. Shift forward, take it back, Wild Thing.

This might be plenty for some, you might feel like you wanna go into a full back bend. Right, be gentle on the left shoulder. Any instability? Don't do it. And taking a few breaths.

Good, slipping your left hand back around from your Full Wheel come back in, Downward Dog, right leg lifted. On an exhale, knee to left elbow, and pause. Good, so option, hold here and lengthen, or for some drop the back heel in, grab pinkie side, thumb down, and take the foot straight out. So here, draw the shoulders back and pause. Right, feel lifting and a lightening through the right shoulder.

And then release, check this out, stay with me here. Bring the foot down like a kickstand, keep the back toes curled under, come into Chaturanga. Inhale, come Upward-Facing Dog. Good, draw the knee in and take it back. Exhale, knee to nose, place the foot down, Low Lunge, arms sweep up.

Good, exhale, bring the arms down. Take right hand over left, so we're gonna take the thumbs down, right hand over left, and then inhale, take the arms up and reach the arms back. So it's like you're squeezing, cradling your head. Good, finding space through the lower back. Any crunching, back off.

Good, release the hands down, curl the back toes under, come right into Standing Split. So your choice, hang out here. Hang out with your choice of right hand behind left behind, or maybe playing with a bit of balance, for me, I like to take my hands out. For some, they like their hands in. And so, just playing.

And if you wobble out it is no big deal 'cause you can come right back in, joop. Good, both hands to the floor, left foot meets right. Inhale, come halfway up. Exhale, fold. Lift the feet, take the bottoms of the hands to the feet, so back of the hands come to the floor.

Padangusthsana, Padahastasana, excuse me. Inhale, come halfway up. Exhale, fold it in. Nice, slowly release. Come back to hands framing the front feet.

On an inhale, come halfway up, place the palms. Your choice in transition, stepping or hopping. Right, taking a pause. Inhale, Upward. Good, find a little bit more space, belly button to sternum, sternum to chin.

And exhale, back Downward Facing. Two breaths before we move into the left side. Inhale, take the left leg up. Exhale, knee to left elbow. Right, so your choice here, extend or bend the elbows coming into Eka Pada Koundinyasana, and pause.

Right, lengthen through the feet, see if you can get a little bit longer. Good, step it back, left leg lifts, take left, tip arm right, then bend the knee and pause. So holding here, shifting here into Wild Thing. Pubic bone lifts, heart lifts. Right, and if you're feeling it and you want to go a little deeper, you can come right into a Full Wheel.

Right, just being careful with that right shoulder, keeping it stable in the transitions. Nice, and then slowly coming back around. Right hand flips, left arm comes up, left leg lift. Good, take a moment to set before we exhale, come into the twist. Right, so staying here, or lengthen, or drop the right heel in, thumb comes down, pinkie side and pause.

Right, see the shoulders go (blows air), back instead of jutting forward. Good, exhale, right hand down, knee to nose and then take it back up. Exhale, draw it in. Place the foot down, lower lunge, arms sweep up, and then hands come down. Flip the thumbs, we're gonna take left on top of right this time.

Arms come up, lift, lengthen. Right, try to expand. Good, exhale, release the hands, come down to frame the front foot, back into Standing Split. Right leg lift. So your choice, again, starting fingertips you can soften it by bringing the leg downward a little bit, or lengthen.

Hand can come behind or both, or for some, play with the balance. Right, so you really have to root down to lift the right leg up. Right, maybe there. Maybe arms out. Good, and then slowly coming back.

Right foot meets left, inhale, come halfway up, lift the feet, take the hands underneath, back of the hands down, toes to the wrists creases, and really put some weight into your feet. As you lift the tail, soften down. And finding a balance between effort and ease. And then you'll notice, if you feel like in the sequence, at all, you're going against the grain, take a moment to reset, find something in this pose that you can reconnect with, and feel free to bring it back to that blueprint sequence. Good, release the hands, inhale, come halfway up.

Moving through your transition, palms down, Chaturanga, or plank to the floor is another option. Good, inhale. Good, exhale back. Fourth round. And on an inhale, right leg comes up.

Exhale, knee to right elbow, hold here, or again, you have your choices. So from Eka Pada Koundinyasana, maybe this left foot can come up and bump the right? Maybe? And come on back. Good, and then take it back, Three-Legged Dog.

Take a pause, bend the knee, open it up. Your choice, stay here or Wild Thing, or maybe coming into a full back bend. Right, feel the wrap of the arms here. Right, so you're still scooping in the armpits. With control, bring the left fingers back around, come back, Three-Legged Dog.

Good, and then slowly, left knee comes across, setting up either holding, or drop the heel, lengthen the leg, come here. So option hold here, or for some you can come into a variation of Visvamitrasana, and you can start to take the leg up. Maybe the knees can come up. Good, slowly coming out, knee in, and take the leg back. Exhale, knee in, place the foot down, last lunge on this side.

Arms sweep up, take a pause, option, you can stay right here, or for some you can bend the back knee. Come above the kneecap, grab behind, flex the foot and then it's a kick back. So if your right sit bone starts to draw down towards the right heel, you can either let the knee track over the middle toe or take the foot out a little longer. So, it's the Kick Back that's gonna lift the chest, provide a little more opening. Good, slowly release, try not to slingshot that.

Hands come down to frame the front foot, take it right into Standing Split, so last one you can play with. One, two, three options already given, or for some who want to get upside down, you're gonna bring palms down, root through the hands and find that shift, maybe moving into Handstand. And then slowly coming back down. Both feet on the floor. Inhale, come halfway up.

Exhale, fold. Find your favorite fold. It might be wrapping, it might be hands down, might be back into putting the hands underneath. Take an inhale, lift up, and exhale fold. Nice, slowly moving the hands out, tips are under.

Inhale, coming halfway up, moving through your transition to Chaturanga or to the floor. Good, inhale. Exhale, and pause. Good, heels pressed back, thighs pressed back. One more breath.

Good, and inhale. Take the left leg up. Exhale, knee to left elbow, so here's where we can play or stay. Bend the elbows coming into Eka Pada Koundinyasana, and for some maybe it's a little tap. Good, and bring it back, whoop.

Left leg lift, stack the hips, so it's really just rolling left hip and maybe here you've had enough. Maybe into Wild Thing. Maybe into Full Wheel. Taking three breaths here, wherever you are. Already finding an equal press between the hip bones lifting and the lower ribs.

So you almost create a nice little shelf. Good, coming back over, find control, don't change the shape of the hand, or the direction, I should say, and back into Three-Legged Dog. Exhale, knee to right elbow, pause, or drop the heel, lengthen the leg, thumb down, pinkie side of the foot. Do your setup, and maybe Visvamitrasana variation. Good, slowly release.

Right hand down, knee in and then up. Exhale, knee to nose. Place it down in Low Lunge. Inhale, rise up. Good, shift above the kneecap, bend the knee, reach back, maybe with one, maybe with two.

Give that kick back to lift. Good, two more breaths. Exhale, release. Hands frame the front foot, taking into Standing Split. All right, last time! Option to get upside down, or just hold here or play with any of the options given.

Good, and maybe playing, flexing the feet, maybe pointing the feet. Let's slowly coming down. Both feet together, inhale. Coming up, exhale. Folding in, choosing, again, your favorite Forward Fold.

And then inhale, come halfway up. Bring the fingertips down, and just take the left leg back, as if you're setting up a Low Lunge, but then shift back Ardha Hanumahasana. Right, so you have the choice to stay right here, folding over. Right, and since we did so much on the legs, on the hamstrings, if it's available and part of your practice you can let that right leg slide out into full Hanumanasana. Right, but make it active, make it intelligent, draw the right hip back, and drag the left hip forward.

So again, creating that inner scissor of the thighs just like we did in our lunges. You can also stick a blanket, a pillow, a block under the thighs to give support and here we're just gonna hang out for a little bit. You can keep drawing that left hip down just a bit. Still drawing the right hip back. And for those in full split, have an option, start coming forward, and you can stay on your forearms, or you can go all the way over, but still creating that engagement of right hip back, left thigh drawing forward.

Now then, I'm slowly coming out. Nice and slow if you're in full Hanumanasana, just draw it back. Good, we're gonna come forward, back into that Forward Fold. And do a Ragdoll this time. Take opposite elbows and bend the knees, just soften.

Still have another side on the hamstrings, so here, just soften. 'Kay, release the hands down. Take the legs long, come up halfway, and then right leg comes back. Shift it down like you're going into a lunge, but then take the hips back, Ardha Hanumanasana. Left hip comes back, pause here, heart moving towards the foot.

Outer edge of the foot drawing back lightly, or start to move into your full Hanumanasana. I like to start with my back toes curled under just to draw my right hip down. Just stop it from (blows air) opening. And remember you can always take blocks, pillows, blankets under the thighs so you can soften in. Don't be afraid to close the eyes, all right, just kinda tuning in.

We slow it down. Nice, and then slowly coming forward. And even if you start to let the head go down, still feel that energy of the heart moving forward. Right, sometimes if there a head 13 pounds leads around all day, it's nice to just (blows air) let it go a little. And then slowly coming out of this.

Then come back into Ardha Hanumanasana. Shift forward and from here you're just gonna bring both knees down laying on your back. And slowly just lower yourself down. Good, draw the knees in, and then either wrapping, grabbing opposite elbow, or just draw the shins in and see if you can keep the inner thighs moving towards each other. Good, if it helps, you can lift the chin to soften the sacrum down, you can still draw it in.

Good, keeping the right knee in, take the left leg to the floor. Let the shoulders drop down, let the head drop down. See if you can take your right hand, put it in the little hip crease and (blows air), help it draw down. Right sit bone moving towards left heel. Good, and then (blows air) draw it in.

Then, slowly taking the twist, left hand guides the right leg over, right arm reaches out, good. And so from here, either just softening through the gaze, or just closing the eyes down. And for some, it might feel good to take the leg long and reach for the pinkie side of the foot, and almost give a little counter press to (blows air) draw that hip down. Now, you slowly come back to center, bending the knee. Bring both knees in again to find kind of a neutral spine.

Good, it can either be a tight draw, or just light. Left knee stays in, lengthen the right leg. Feel the right hamstring press to the floor as you draw the left knee in. Use the left hand in your hip crease, draw the hip down, left sit bone to right knee, sorry, to right heel. Good, and then taking the twist, bring the knee over, reach the left arm the other direction.

And then the option to lengthen this leg. I like to grab thumb down on the pinkie side of the foot, and give a kick out so I can readjust, do a little self hip adjustment. Then again, either closing the eyes or just softening. Good, coming back knee bends, back into the chest, take both knees in again. And then this time, bring bottoms of the feet together, take the legs out, knees out, Supta Baddha Konasana.

So here, you can either keep the hands on the thighs for a little extra weight, just a nice touch, not forcing. Or you can take palms up. And just let yourself melt in. Let gravity do the work here. All right, so we did a lot on the front body, heart opening, hips, back bends, into the ham strings, and we didn't do very many, or any external rotations.

So this should feel like a nice release. All right, so you have an option to either stay right like this, or taking one leg at a time all the way out into Savasana. And as you start to drop in, notice if any thoughts come up, and just let them go by, and make the choice not to hook in. You just let them go by. And just taking a little deeper inhale, and a full complete exhale, and just bringing your right hand to your heart, and your left hand to your belly.

And just pause for a moment. And slowly, beginning to wiggle the fingers, the toes. If you're still in Supta Baddha Konasana, use your hands to lift your legs up, and then lengthen one leg at a time. Taking the arms up overhead, just a big stretch, as if you're giving a big stretch. And bend the knees and roll it on to your right side.

And without disturbing yourself very much pressing up to a comfortable seat. And just meet at heart center for a moment. Thank you all for joining me in Let it Flow. I challenge you that anytime that you feel as though you're starting to (blows air) go against the grain in life, just to pause. Find that place where you can reset, and just take it in.

Hope to see you soon.


Jean R
2 people like this.
Paige and I were struggling with some of the poses after climbing at the gorge today ;) but we love your creativity, sincerity and flow. Thanks for sharing your beautiful gifts, Brenda!
Brenda Lear
1 person likes this.
Thanks Jean. Climbing in the gorge sounds glorious! I might opt for child's pose after a good climbing session :)
Sandy C
2 people like this.
Extremely challenging! Hoping one day I can master these moves as gracefully as Brenda.
Brenda Lear
1 person likes this.
Sandy, I can’t wait to practice with you in person this summer!
2 people like this.
Built a lot of heat with this flow! I was truly amazed that I would be sweating :)
Brenda Lear
1 person likes this.
Slow and steady has a sneaky way of building heat.:)
Millie D
2 people like this.
Brenda, I think this may be my favourite class of yours! Its certainly a challenge but the perfect level where I feel motivated to push through! Thank you so much for this class, will definitely be back soon! :)
2 people like this.
love that this class challenges me. I will repeat until I can do it all. It may take some time!
Katarina V
1 person likes this.
I too love this class. It will be long before I can do it all. Look forward to that day. Love and Peace
Kate M
1 person likes this.
A challenging, intelligently-designed sequence! This has given me lots to work on as I move toward these challenging arm balances!
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