Ayurveda: Practices to Feel Like Yourself Artwork
Season 3 - Episode 7

Vyana Vayu

35 min - Practice
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Ali guides us in a nourishing Vyana Vayu practice designed to increase circulation. This practice is good for all doshas.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Namaste. This is going to be our Vyana Vayu practice. And Vyana Vayu is the energy that's throughout the body that creates circulation. So this is going to be a practice to get your circulation moving, to make you feel good, to feel energized and alive, and this practice is really good for all doshas. We're going to start seated in Sukhasana, and just have a moment bringing your hands into lotus mudra.

And that means you can take your hands like they're in a prayer, and then separate your three middle fingers, keeping the pinkies and the thumbs together. And then sit up tall, close your eyes, and just feel your breath for a moment. And notice if there's places in the body that feel a little locked off or shut down or tight, and breathe into those places, let's get the energy moving within the body. And sometimes it's just the awareness, and the areas start to open up. So notice if the shoulders are tense, you can slide them back and down.

If the belly has tightened, let it soften and move with your breath, and just take one more moment in this lotus mudra, connecting us to the heart, which does such beautiful work to oxygenate the blood to make us feel alive. And then you can release your mudra, open up your eyes if they're closed, and go right into some Sufi circles. So you'll inhale forward and around, and exhale back and around. And you can start in a clockwise direction, just moving with the breath, starting to let movement come in. And it's so amazing with these more subtle practices, and you can just stay with these Sufi circles.

It's so amazing with the subtle practices. Sometimes it's the movement that gets things going, and sometimes it's the awareness. Let yourself move here. And you can rock around on the hips, and just let the blood start to flow. Let's take maybe three more times like that, and last one.

And then come back around to center, you can just feel that little swirl on the inside for a moment. And then give your legs a little bit of a shake out, and re-cross the legs in the opposite direction. And we're going to do Sufi circles in the other way. So inhaling forward and around, and exhaling back and around. And you might notice that one side feels a little stickier than the other.

See if you can smooth that out. Making the circles big and wide, and the breath full. And then let's take about three more times, and if you're going a little faster than me, it might be far, or a little slower, it might be two, it's all good. Last time. And then come back around to center, take your moment to feel the effects of it.

And then come off your blanket, and you can slip the blanket right off to the side. And lie down on your back. And then put your legs up in the air and shake them. Shake them, shake them, shake them. Let your calves release, let your feet release, get the circulation moving.

And then add your arms, and add your hands, and have a little tantrum on your back. And just get the body moving, get the body moving. And then start to rub. Rub the bottoms of the feet together, rub the palms together. And then see if you can get a little friction, a little heat.

You might try to go a little faster, faster, faster, faster. And stay with it for five, four, three, two, one, one more big shake. Squeeze the knees into the chest, and take a few rocks and rolls, just moving forward and back. And if the spine is a little sensitive, no worries, just put a blanket underneath you. We're going to be here for a minute.

Just think of giving your spine a little massage a couple more times. And then rock your way up, and we're going to meet in a plank pose. Stepping the feet back, legs are long, and press back into downward facing dog. From down dog, slide up, back into plank. Drop your knees.

Press back, child's pose. And right away, rise up to stand on the knees, reach the arms up, cross your arms, hold your elbows, pull them into your belly, and fold forward. And then stay with that for a few rounds. And we call this one breath of joy, inhaling, lift up, and exhale, fold in. And inhale, lift up, and exhale, fold in.

And I'm trying to keep the pace a little bit brisker here. So if you're ready for it, you can inhale, and exhale, and inhale, and exhale, inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale. Last three. Exhale, and exhale. And then come back onto your hands and your knees, tuck your toes under, lift your hips up, and press back into downward facing dog.

And your breath will probably be going by now. So stay with the ujjayi. And with that gentle breath, start to walk the feet forward. Coming to the front of the mat, hanging over in uttanasana, a little bend in the knees, and keeping the spine released, the head dropping, push down into the feet, roll your way up to stand. You can give the shoulders a few rolls, forward and up, and back and down.

And then reach the arms up. Catch your left wrist with your right hand, and side bend over towards your right. And then play around a little bit there. If you turn the gaze a little down, and the gaze a little up, you'll feel it move into different places around the ribs and the side waist. And then inhale back up to center, and exhale, change sides, holding the right wrist.

And opening up the right side, and then looking a little bit down, a little bit up, a little down, and a little up. Come back up to center, sweep the arms back behind you and interlace your fingers. Reach down through the fist of the hands, let that lift the chest, lift the gaze, and then soften the knees and just let yourself fold forward, keeping the hands interlaced. And I'm bending my knees here so my chest comes towards my thighs. And then if you want to at the bottom, you can start to lengthen the legs.

If that feels like too much, you'll skip it. And then once again, release the arms down, a little bend in the knees, tuck the chin, roll your way up to stand at the top, reach the arms all the way up one more time. This time catch your right wrist first, side bend over to your left, and you can send the hips out a little bit to the right. And I'm still keeping a little lift on the center line there, engaging the inner thighs. And press into the feet, come on up, change sides.

Sending the left hip out to the left, staying firm in the feet. And inhale back up to center, exhale, arms come back behind you, change the interlacing of your fingers. Reach the fist of the hands down, let the shoulder blades roll in towards each other. Lift the gaze, bend the knees, and fold yourself forward. And if even the hands interlacing, if that feels like too much, you'll skip it.

You can just wing the arms back behind you instead of keeping the fingers interlaced. And then if you'd like to straighten the legs, you can work on straightening the legs. I'm thinking of lifting the hips to straighten the legs. And then release the arms down. One more time, a bend in the knees, pushing the feet down, rolling up, shoulders roll back and down, stepping to the front of your mat if you're not there already.

And we're going to move into a simple surya namaskar. Such a beautiful way to get the circulation and blood flow in the body. And inhale the arms up. Let's take a lotus mudra above the head. Look up, see your hands.

And then exhale, fold forward over your legs. Step your right leg back into a lunge. Down jaw with your breath out. Sliding out into plank pose. You've got options here, either lower to the ground or halfway for chaturanga.

Swing into upward facing dog or stay with cobra and press back, downward facing dog. Reach the right leg up. Step it in between your hands. Bring the left foot to meet it and fold forward into your legs. Swing back up on your breath in, lotus above the head.

Look up. Let's keep the flow going, folding forward with your breath out. Left leg steps back and right into downward facing dog. Slide out plank, lowering down halfway or all the way. Swing through into up dog or cobra and press back, downward facing dog.

Lift your left leg up. Step it in between the hands, bring the right foot to meet it, folding into your legs. All the way back up. Let's keep that going. Folding forward, step the right leg back and right into down dog.

Move out plank pose. Find your rhythm here, chaturanga, upward facing, downward facing dog. Reach the right leg up, stepping in between the hands. Bring the left foot to meet it, folding into the legs. Breath brings you back up, lotus above the head, exhale, folding forward.

Left leg back, right into down dog. Plank pose, slide forward, chaturanga, upward facing dog, downward facing dog, lift the left leg up. Step it in between the hands, bring the right foot to meet it, bow into your legs. All the way back up, lotus mudra above the head, last time, folding forward. Step the right leg back, downward facing dog.

Plank pose, chaturanga, urdvamukasvanasana, up dog, downward facing dog, atamukasvanasana, right leg up. Step it in between your hands, bring the left foot to meet it, folding into the legs. All the way back up, and pouring right back down the middle, left leg steps back, downward facing dog. Plank pose, chaturanga, upward facing dog, downward facing dog, lift the left leg up. One breath per movement, left foot forward, right foot forward, bow on in.

All the way back up, lotus above the head, look up, and let your arms rest by your side. Step your feet apart, give yourself a little shake, and feel that energy circulating in the body for a moment. Come back to your breath. And then step the feet together, urdkathasana, bend your knees, reach up through your arms. Bend the weight back into the heels, and then fold forward over your legs.

Come up onto your fingertips and look forward. Bend the knees, plant the palms, hop or step your way back, right into chaturanga. We'll meet in downward facing dog, yeah, and if you would like to just step back into down dog instead of taking it through chaturanga and up dog, you can absolutely do that. And then let's build up a flow, right leg up. Step it forward, spin the back, heel down, warrior two here, circling the arms around, and feeling very spacious there across the chest in the depth of the bend of the right knee.

Lean back into a peaceful warrior, and stay leaning back, straighten out your right leg. Stay leaning back, turn the right toes in to meet the left. It'll become a side bend, and reach through the right arm, and then bend the knees, swing the arm in front of you, prasarita, folding forward, wide straddle forward bend, walk yourself over towards your right foot, coming into a lunge, and step back, side plank, left hand, left foot, reaching up through the right arm, and if you need to drop the bottom knee, you can do that, and then take your right arm over your ear, come back to plank, chaturanga, dog dog, and down dog, left side, reach the left leg up, stepping forward, spin the back, heel down, warrior two. Give yourself some room between the legs, fill up space, and then tip back, peaceful warrior, stay leaning back, straighten out the left leg, and turn the left toes in to meet the right, take your side bend, and then using the breath, just swinging around in front of you, prasarita, padottanasana, walking right through it, come into a lunge, step back to plank, right hand, right foot, side plank, lifting up, taking the left arm over your head, back into your plank pose, chaturanga, upward facing dog, downward facing dog, and we'll build on that. Lift your right leg up, stepping forward, spin the back, heel down, coming up into your warrior two, lean back into peaceful warrior, stay leaning back, straighten out your right leg, turn your right toes in to meet your left, get your side bend, and then sweep it around, passing right through prasarita, walk to the front of the mat, step back, plank pose, roll to your left hand, left foot, side plank.

This time we're going to lift the right leg, step it back behind you, rock star, and come all the way back around, down dog, split, right leg up again, bring the knee in towards your nose, lift the navel, step right through, spring into artichandrasana, lifting up the left leg. And I like a block under my hand for this one, block can go directly underneath the right shoulder, a little bit to the right of the right pinky toe. Bend the knees and step your left foot to meet your right. Fold forward into your legs, utanasana, standing forward bend, rise all the way up, and then you've got a standing breath of joy here, inhale open, catch your elbows, pull them into your belly and fold forward. And inhale open and catch your elbows, pull them into your belly.

Twice more, inhale open, exhale pull in, it could be a little sharper, inhale open and exhale pull in, right into diver's pose from there, stretch the arms back, lift the heels up, passing through utasana and fold forward over your legs, come up onto your fingertips, look forward, bend the knees, hop or step your feet back, chaturanga dandasana, right into up dog and press back down dog. Reach the left leg up, stepping forward, spin the back heel down, warrior two, lean back into a peaceful warrior, stay leaning back, straighten out your left leg, turn your left toes in, side bend towards the back of your mat, swing it in front of you, take your walk over towards the front of your mat, side plank, right hand right foot, roll to the right hand right foot, side plank and then lift your left leg, step it behind you, back into your rock star, push into the feet, open up and then down dog split, left leg up, bring the knee into the nose, step forward, block if you need it, push off the back foot, artichandrasana. And you can even take the gaze up, reach out in every direction, let the circulation flow, bend your knees, right foot meets the left, folding forward into your legs, come all the way up for standing breath of joy, open up the chest, catch your elbows, pull them into your belly, three more, inhale open, exhale close, inhale open and exhale close, last time inhale and exhale, come back into diverse pose, lifting up the heels, drop the heels utkatasana and folding forward over your legs, once again coming up onto the fingertips, look forward, hopper step your feet back, moving through your vinyasa, upward facing dog and back to downward facing dog, last time with this right leg up, flow with it, stepping forward, warrior two, lean back into peaceful, stay leaning back, straighten out your right leg, turn your right toes in, reach into your side bend, sweep it in front of you, walk yourself over towards your right foot, step back, left hand, left foot, side plank, you're right into it, letting it flow, letting it circulate, rock star, right foot back behind you, lift up, coming all the way back around, right leg up high, knee into your nose, stepping through, artichandrasana, left leg lift, this time if you'd like to bend the left knee and come into the chapasana variation you can do that, if you need to keep it simple, leg stays long and then lengthen out the left leg, bend the knees and step forward, rising up, standing breath of joy, inhale and exhale just twice this time, inhale and exhale, coming right back into diverse pose, utkatasana and sit a little lower, sit a little lower, sit a little lower, right into nivasana, lift the arms and legs up, come halfway down, breath of fire here if you want it, quick sniffing breath in and out through the nose, and inhale back up, hands come down, lift the hips up, breathe in, open your mouth, let it all out, sits bones come down, cross the ankles, hands and knees to plank, you'll take your vinyasa chaturanga up dog or right back into downward facing dog, last time left side, reach it up, stepping forward, spin the back, heel down, warrior two, lean back into peaceful, stay leaning back, straighten out your left leg, turn your left toes in, reach a little further, sweep it in front of you, wide straddle forward bend, walking to the front of the mat, right hand, right foot for a side plank, lifting up, send the left leg up, step it behind you, rock star, come all the way back around, left leg up high, knee into your nose, stepping right through, artichandrasana, and then bend the back knee, coming into the chapasana variation, and if this is moving a little more quickly for you, see if you can stay with it, it's not often that I move quickly but every once in a while, just to get that circulation going, it feels so good, straighten everything out, bend the knees, step forward, folding into the legs, come all the way back up, open up, breath of joy, and just one more time, push into the feet, open the chest, come the arms, lean back, and exhale, pull it all back in, divers pose, goes right into utkatasana, and sink a little lower, a little lower, a little lower, all the way down, let your bum land, lift your legs up, and then halfway down, breath of fire if you want it here, for five, four, three, two, one, inhale, come on back up, feet come down, hands back behind you, lift the hips up, breathe in, open your mouth, release the sit bones down, cross the ankles, we'll come right into plank, chaturanga, upward facing dog, downward facing dog, all right, and then breathe in your down dog for a moment, you can drop the knees, and come to sit on your heels, and you're going to scooch to the front of your mat, and sit in virasana, so we're coming to sit in between the heels, and I like to roll the calf flesh out to the sides, give myself a little room, and then you can glance back at the feet, check in that the toes are going straight back, ankles hugging into the sides of the legs, and if you do need, if you feel pain here, then definitely grab a blanket, you can grab a block, sit up as high as you need, and let the thigh bones roll in here, inner thighs drop down, and we're going to bring our hands back into that lotus mudra, and just take a few breaths, after that quicker pace there, you know, intentionally moving a little bit faster in this one, just to promote circulation and heat, get the heart pumping, the blood moving, and then you can absolutely stay right here, either sitting on a block, take a blanket, staying with your mudra, or if you would like to start to recline and take this into supta virasana, nice to use blocks for this one, the first block can go right behind the chest, for this one I like the vertical way and the medium height, and I'm starting to lower down, lower down, lower down, second block is right in arms reach, and you want to make sure that this doesn't go into your lower back, that it's really in between the shoulder blades, and then the second block can go behind the head, on the highest height, check in that the block feels sturdy for you there, and then just let the arms fall, and if your shoulders are feeling up for it, you might catch your elbows over your head, but keep in mind that there's no support for them there, so if that feels like too much, then you'll skip it, otherwise bringing your arms almost back into that breath of joy shape, and then you can change the crossing of the elbows and take a few more breaths there, really letting the armpit chest area open, getting the lymph moving through the body, and having a moment just to feel the effects of the standing poses, and then release the arms, and coming out of this one you want to be careful, I like to put my elbows down and then the hands down, and you keep the gaze up, so the spine comes up nice and long, and then gently bring the head on top of the shoulders, so just a mindfulness in the way we go into it, and the way we go out of it, you can move your blocks off to the side, and coming forward, and after an intense shape like Virasana, it's nice to just move a little slower and let all that blood flow, circulate, step the right foot back, tuck the right toes under, opening up the right knee, and then place that down, and step the left foot back, tuck the left toes under, open up the left knee, release the left ankle, put the left knee down, and from here we're going to close out our practice with headstand, so I will talk you through it, you'll come down onto your forearms and your knees, check in at the elbows, don't get wider than the shoulders here, you want to construct a sturdy frame for yourself, and then interlace the fingers, and I like to press the edges of the thumbs together, you'll tuck the toes under and lift the hips up, and come into your down dog on the forearms, lifting the hips. You might stay here, this might be a great place to stay, if you'd like to continue, the head comes down, the hands can cradle the back of the head, walk the feet, and then it might be two legs at a time or one leg at a time, coming up with bent knees to start with and then lengthening out the legs, coming into your Sarsasana A, and working to reach through the legs as much as possible here, and that will pull some of the weight out of the skull and out of the neck, and I'm staying very active in my forearms, pushing the forearms down, and drawing the shoulders away from the ears, and you'll stay there for a couple of breaths, if you'd like to stay longer you can stay longer, otherwise start to bend the knees, let them come towards the chest, and then slowly coming down back into child's pose, and the inversions are just so good for circulation, they speed what is called Venus Return, and that is the blood coming back to the heart to get oxygenated, so when we're inverting, the blood is not having to work against gravity, it goes right into the chest, okay, walk your hands up, have your moment upright, you might even bring the hands back into lotus mudra, and then you can let that go and lower down onto your back, and we're coming into Shavasana, so you can stretch the legs out, let the arms fall by your sides, you've got a blanket if you'd like to put a blanket underneath your head here, that could feel good, and then just let yourself settle in, and then you're going to stay there, I'm going to come up to sit, and talk you through a brief meditation, and this is from the yoga nidra tradition, a little rotation of consciousness it's called, and it's just designed to bring awareness into different parts of the body, so stay in your Shavasana, just be there, bring your awareness to your right thumb, index finger, middle finger, ring finger, pinky, palm of the hand, back of the hand, the entire hand, the right forearm, the right wrist, the right elbow, the right bicep, the right tricep, the entire right arm, the right shoulder, the left thumb, index finger, middle finger, ring finger, pinky, the left forearm, left wrist, left elbow, left bicep, left tricep, the entire left arm, the left shoulder, the right big toe, second toe, third toe, fourth toe, pinky toe, the bottom of the foot, the top of the foot, the entire foot, the right ankle, the right calf, the right shin, the right kneecap, the back of the knee, the right hamstring, the right quadricep, the entire right leg, the left big toe, second toe, third toe, fourth toe, pinky toe, the bottom of the foot, the top of the foot, the left calf, the left shin, the front of the knee, the back of the knee, the left hamstring, the left quadricep, the entire left leg, the right hip, the pubic bone, the left hip, the sacrum, the entire pelvis, the front of the waist, the back of the waist, the front of the right ribs, the back of the right ribs, the front of the left ribs, the back of the left ribs, the right side of the chest, the left side of the chest, the entire torso, the right collar bone, the left collar bone, the front of the neck, the back of the neck, the chin, the mouth, the tongue, the inside of the throat, the cheeks, the eyes, the center of the forehead, the back of the neck, the back of the skull, the top of the skull, the entire head, the entire torso, the entire lower body, the whole body, awareness in the whole body, awareness in the whole body, and then take a deep breath in, breathe it all out. Start to make some little movements with your fingers, with your toes, walk the soles of the feet in, place them on the ground, roll over onto your right side, and use the arms to push yourself up to sit, bringing your hands back into lotus mudra, namaste.

Comments

Christel B
5 people like this.
Wonderfully energetic with a very relaxing finish to leave you feeling refreshed and energized.

Allyson W
2 people like this.
Great sequences to get the blood flowing! This was my Christmas Day Flow. Thanks!
Ali Cramer
1 person likes this.
Christel  thank you so much! So glad you enjoyed ! Namaste, Ali 
Ali Cramer
Allyson I love to hear that! Happy holidays! Namaste, Ali 
Jennifer S
1 person likes this.
Perfect way to start out your day and open up your body. 
Ali Cramer
Jennifer thank you so much! Namaste. 
Catherine A
Wonderfully energetic class with that so relaxing Yoga Nidra to finish 😊
Many thanks, Ali

Ali Cramer
Catherine thank you so much! So important to have active and softer practices as well! 
Renee R
1 person likes this.
So fun and energzizing! Just what I needed. Thank you!
Ali Cramer
Renee thank you so much! Happy Practicing! Namaste, Ali 
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