The Zoe and Coco Show Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 5

Let Your Heart Roar

45 min - Practice


We begin in a supine restorative heart opener and play with sounding to explore the feeling of our own voice within the body. Zoe then guides us into a warming sequence with keen attention to the strength of the low back and flexibility of upper back, continuing to investigate how the opening of the heart opens the voice. The result might be an increase of courage and power in speaking your heart.
What You'll Need: Mat, Square Bolster, Strap, Block

About This Video

Feb 18, 2015
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Hi, welcome to class. So today we're going to do a heart opening sequence and we might actually discover some cool and surprising ways in which our voice is going to feel a lot stronger after. So anyway, let's see what happens. So to begin, we're going to take a bolster and the bolster is going to be horizontal on the top of your mat. If you don't really have a bolster at home, roll up a blanket or just use a few cushions. What you want is a gentle arch for your upper back to kind of expand and relax over. So we're gonna just sit on down, shimmy, and then get again that bra line or that upper back shoulder blade area to just rest onto the bolster.

You can tuck your chin, and then we're just gonna let the head fall back. So for some of us, if letting the head fall back feels a little bit challenging and uncomfortable, then you can take a block and you just put the block where the back of your head is going to be, and then assume the position. Very nice. So first we're going to start with the knees bent and the feet are slightly wider than hip width apart. You're just going to take your arms out at a round shoulder height, and you're just going to relax the arms. So we're just going to get ourselves nice and comfortable, and once you've found that, we're just going to close the eyes and just let ourselves just allow ourselves to relax into this position.

So breathing especially into your heart space, and breathing into where the back of your spine is resting onto the bolster. So just noticing that the back body as well as the front body receives the breath, and again just allowing ourselves to tune in to that rhythm that is always there, that flowing of the breath from the top of the palate to the base of the spine, and all the way back up. So for some of you, if you're not quite comfortable with the arms opened out this way, again, you can make it easier by just taking your arms directly onto the bolster or even onto your belly. So you're just trying to find the most comfortable position, and then we're going to breathe in, and when we breathe out, we're going to make the sound ah. So breathing in and breathing out ah and then breathing in ah ah and then breathing in ah Just continuing.

You're letting yourself let these ah's just really travel through the body. Letting the vibration of the sound just feel like it's gently massaging every cell of your being. Ah And then we're just going to extend both the legs to straight, and allowing the legs to simply rest. We're going to do a little bit of breathing and sounding. So we're going to be playing with the sounds ah, ee, and oo, and you can just follow me. So breathing in ah ah ee oo So we're not trying to sound good or anything like that. We're simply playing with these sounds and how they feel in our body. So again, breathing in ah ah oo And just one more time ah ee oo and then just simply allowing the sound and the vibration to continue through the body as we rest here in this shape for a few more moments. Very nice, and then gently opening the eyes, just letting the feet come back onto the mat. Take your time, roll to its right, and coming back up. So now you're just going to take your bolster, and take it to the side, and as well take the block. Just take it to the side. So from here, we're just going to come back to lying down on the mat.

And coming down onto the mat, again just feeling your pelvis evenly relax onto the mat. Take your hands again onto those front handles of your pelvis, and feel the pelvis tilting up towards you. So the handles are going to roll in towards you, and as that happens, your tailbone is going to feel like it's pointing up towards the ceiling. So again, rolling it back down, and then bringing it back up and down. We're just going to rock this way. For a few more moments, just really feeling that sense of the lower back, the pelvis, connecting with the mat, and drawing up and away from the mat. Nice. And then recording the sensation in your body. Just information for later. Great. And then from here, just remembering that feeling of rocking back and forth. We're just going to take our hands onto our shins. You're going to tuck your chin a little bit, and then again you're going to just try to roll your pelvis forward and back. And as you're rolling, maybe there'll be some kind of momentum, and it will make you rock higher and higher. And if that happens, we're going to play with that, and maybe even at arms. Rolling the arms back and forward. So we're just playing here. Imagine yourself as a rocking horse, and also giving yourself a beautiful spinal massage while we're at it.

Great. And then for the next one, we're going to come on up and try to stay up onto the sit bones. So you're going to take your hands under your knees, lift the chest, press away with your feet, and we come into half boat pose, Ardha Navasana. And then from here, we're going to extend the arms, maybe keep the chest lifted, and if you're in the mood, you're going to straighten your legs. So you'll notice things are going to wobble. That's cool. So just let it wobble, extend through the heels, lift through the heart. Really nice. And then exhaling, we're just going to take that right knee to the bottom, the left knee on top. And we're going to come into Gomukhasana. So for me, my hips are really of a special, tighter variety. If you have that too, we want to sit a little higher. So in that case, you're going to grab your block, take your block, and once you have your sit bones on there, again, just take your knees over each other.

And from here, we're going to try to keep the chest lifted, and you're going to take your right arm out. You're going to turn the right arm up and bring it up. And then exhaling, you're going to take the fingertips of the right arm down your upper back. Then you're going to take your left arm, you're going to turn the hands so that your thumb is facing out. And then we're going to walk the fingers together. And if the fingers touch each other, you're going to interlock the fingers and then gently extend the elbows away from each other. So for some of us, it might be easier to use a belt. So just take your belt and come back into cow face pose, Gomukhasana. So in some cases too, we might not be stacking the knees over each other. And that means your body is normal. So all you have to do is to not worry too much about it and just try more or less to get the knees to come as close as they can.

Then we're going to get both of the sit bones to ground onto the block. And if you're using the belt, we're going to take the belt behind us. Again, turn that right arm up and over. And then the left arm goes back, holds onto the belt. And then just using the belt to connect your hands, same thing for people who are just using the fingers to interlock. We're going to extend the elbows gently away from each other. And as you extend the elbows gently away from each other, you're going to get your shoulders to relax and your shoulder blades to also relax. And if your chest is puffing out, we're just going to gently invite it to come back to the center. And then just breathing into this for a few more moments. And exhaling, slowly release.

We still have the other side, so we'll just put the prop right next to you. And now we go back into Ardha Navasana. So if you like, rock a few more times. So what you want to do is to find a bit of a fun flow for your practice. And then coming back up. Again, if you like, straightening the legs, lengthening the arms, keeping the chest up. And then this time we're going to take the left knee under and the right knee on top. So you're sitting between your two feet. And again, in my situation, we sit onto the block. If you like, take the belt for this side. If we're using the belt, we're just going to again take the arm up. This is going to be the higher arm. So turn that little finger up, just bring it back. Draw your elbow up and then use the other hand to connect and just pull away. So both the elbows are traveling away from each other.

In the meantime, we're just drawing the ribs back in, keeping the top of the head in line with the rest of the spine and just allowing the shoulders and the neck to soften. So we're just going to be here for a couple more breaths. And I know this is a challenging pose for many of us with tighter shoulders, so just try to keep the breath as soft as you can. Very nice. And then exhaling slowly release and we're just going to move off the block. Beautiful. And then just coming back onto our force. So let's just do a little bit of cat and cow. So inhaling, lift through your chest and your heart and exhaling, drop the tailbone, drop the head.

So just for a few breaths here, just still really feeling that pelvic tilt for today and letting it kind of be the focus of where you originate your movement. Beautiful. And then from here, we're just going to come back to center, tucking the toes, inhaling, we're going to lift the hips up and away and exhaling, pushing down with the fingertips. We're going to draw the heels back to its the mat. So roll your outer arms down to its the mat and soften your knees a little if you like. Then from here, we're just going to exhale again and maybe draw the chest a little closer to its the thighs. And again, remember if your heels don't touch the floor, they don't touch the floor. It's not personal. Beautiful. And then inhaling, looking forward, we're just going to walk forward, fingertips drawing on the mat using a block if you would prefer one and exhaling slowly folding all the way down.

Press into your feet and inhaling, bring your arms all the way up, palms together, palms to your heart. Really nice. So we're going to find our tadasana, bring your toes towards yourself, distribute your weight, rolling forward and back onto your feet and find stability. Your feet can be together or apart. It really doesn't matter. And then inhaling, we're going to bring the arms up, exhaling, you're going to soften into the knees and just gently bring your hips back. So as you bring your hips back, you want to feel as though you're squeezing into the inner thighs. And also in terms of your pelvic tilt, take your hands onto your hips and you're going to feel that your hips are tilting forward. Very nice. And then just continuing in a ukkatasana, allowing the fingertips to extend up, rolling the shoulders back, shoulder blades drawing down.

Very good. And then from here, we're just going to slowly flow forward and down. And then pressing into the feet, inhale, bring it all the way up, palms together, palms to your heart. Coming into ukkatasana twist, inhale, lift and lengthen, exhale, softening into the knees, sitting back as far as you comfortably can. We're going to extend the right arm a little more, connect the right elbow outside the left thigh. And then pressing the elbow into the thigh, we're going to press the palms together and lift the heart. As much as possible, we're just trying to get the elbows to be on top of each other and the heart to meet the thumbs.

And just breathing here for a couple more breaths, you can look up or just look forward. So the key here again is to kind of make sure that both of your knees are about the same level and also that you are gently engaging your inner thighs. And then exhaling, slowly release, we're just going to flow back down. Then pressing into your feet, inhale, bringing it all the way up, exhale, palms together, palms to the heart. Inhaling, we're going to lift and lengthen, coming into ukkatasana twist on the other side, bend into the knees, drop the hips back, keep the heart forward but the hips weighing back.

Extend a little more through your left arm, connect your outer left elbow to your right thigh and again press the palms and turn through the chest. Breathing into this, gently engaging the inner thighs. And just noticing if you can get your breath to travel all the way through the spine. Exhaling, releasing forward and down. And just taking a breath here.

And then pressing into the feet, inhale, bring your arms all the way up and palms together, palms to your heart. Nice, so now we're just going to flow a little bit and you can just follow along with me. If earlier for the gomukhasana pose you were using a belt, then you would want one again right now. So you can just have it handy. Nice, so coming back into tadasana.

Inhale, we're going to reach for the skies, exhale, flowing forward like water. And then inhale, lengthening forward and exhale, stepping back into downward dog. Inhaling, we're going to take the right foot forward, coming into a high lunge. Fingertips drawing on the mat, lengthen your chest, pushing your back heel further back and keeping that back knee nice and high. Take your hands on your hips and then slowly come on up.

So from here you're going to either use your belt or just turn your palms so that the little finger turns up. And then bringing your right arm back, right elbow up, draw it up and away and draw your other elbow down. So just breathing into this. If possible, you can try to roll gently back a little more. So see what feels good for you.

Nice, and then exhale, slowly release. Just have your belt for your other side and step back into downward dog. Then inhale, look forward between your hands, step your left foot forward, keep your chest high, and again, draw back through your back heel and your back knee. Taking your hands on your hips, gently coming on up. Little finger of the front arm is drawing up and then we're just going to bring the arm back and on the other side, turning the thumb down, reaching back.

Get your elbows to draw away from each other. So what we were doing in Gomukhasana, we're drawing the lower ribs in, of keeping the face soft, the neck and the shoulders soft, we're still doing here. Couple more breaths. And then exhaling, slowly release. And we're just going to come on back to downward dog.

So from downward dog, we're just going to look forward and we're going to come forward into plank. From plank, we're just going to drop the knees and gently allow the chest to come to the floor. We're going to take our elbows forward and have the elbows directly under the shoulders. It's about shoulder width apart, spread the palms and press the palms in. And just again, allowing the chest to rise and the collarbones to gently expand apart with the breath.

Let's just point the big toes of both legs further away so we can feel that length into the pelvis. And then just allow the pelvis to settle. So keeping the face soft and just breathing into sphinx. Nice. And then from here, we're just going to tuck the toes. And tucking the toes, we're going to draw the kneecaps up and then the thighs and then the belly button and then the pelvis.

So we're coming up into sphinx plank, plugging the arms in, drawing the shoulders back, keep your chest lifted. And see if you can imagine that you're pressing your heels into an invisible wall. Breathing into this. Nice. And then slowly relax the knees, relax everything down. And we're just going to come and rest onto our hands.

So from here, we're going to do some baby cobras. And we're going to do it with the arms moving back like this. So the elbows are going to be drawing back. And as your elbows draw back, you're going to feel your shoulder blades, especially the bottom tips also drawing back. So coming from a resting place, inhale, lift and lengthen, drawing the shoulder blades back.

And exhale, slowly coming back down. And then inhaling, lifting through the heart, pointing away with the toes. Exhaling, gently coming back down. And then again, inhaling. Exhaling.

And just a couple more, just notice the engagement of your lower body, too. Maybe your outer hips are gently also gathering in. Beautiful. And then exhale, slowly release. Then we're just going to take the arms back. We're going to come back into sphinx pose. So you're going to spread your hands again, get your shoulders right on top of your elbows.

And then we're going to exhale like this. And then we're going to inhale, looking up. And on our next exhalation, we're going to do something called Simhasana, the lion's face pose. So the lion's face pose, basically you're going to be looking up towards the center, a little higher, between your eyebrows. And you're going to be sticking out your tongue as much as you can.

And you're going to be making the sound. So we're going to try that. So exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. And ah. Ah. Ah. Just one more time. Ah. Very nice. And then slowly, just coming on back down, resting your forehead onto the backs of your hands.

Beautiful. So just feel the sensation that the lion's face pose gave to your heart. And then we're going to come on back up into sphinx. Then you're going to bring your right heel in towards your right hip and your right hand's going to hold on to your right ankle. Just bring your left arm across your chest and then keep the chest lifted and just breathing into this. So we're in a half frog pose.

Very nice. And then exhale, slowly release. We're just going to switch sides. So you're going to take your left heel to your left hip, draw the arm in, keep the chest lifted. And again, just breathing into this. Very nice. And then slowly release. We're just going to come on down. When we come up again, we're going to be doing shalabhasana.

And that's going to have us having the arms forward and as well as the legs up. So inhaling, we're going to extend the fingertips forward, the toes back, keep the chest nice and high. And then we're going to bring the arms back. We're going to interlace the fingers, roll the shoulders back gently and then roll on up. Breathing into this. We're going to draw the knuckles towards the right and look over towards the left heel.

Coming back to the center, draw the knuckles over to the left, looking towards the right heel. And then back to center, slowly release. Coming back to rest. So from here, we're just going to roll onto our backs. And we're going to roll onto our backs for a bridge pose. So get your hips aligned and get your heels to be in line with your sit bones.

We're going to plug the feet in and as we press the feet down, we're going to lift the pelvis. So inhaling, we're going to lift the pelvis and you're going to be engaging again like you did in ukkatasana, the inner thighs. So you're going to be drawing in with the inner thighs and your pelvic tilt again is towards yourself. So the handles of the pelvis is drawing up into its u. Extend your tailbone towards your knees and then we're going to roll the shoulders under one by one.

So it feels like you're opening the front of your shoulders further forward and then we're going to take our hands, interlacing the hands, extending the arms. Keep your chin relaxed and you can just look at your chest, pressing down to the feet, just taking a few moments here. And it's actually kind of fun, you can just watch the rise and fall of your beautiful belly. Nice and then slowly release, relaxing the spine back down. Beautiful. So having done all that, we're going to prepare ourselves for our reverse bowl pose.

So we're just going to roll over, coming back into sphinx and then from here we're just going to take the right foot in and the left foot in. Take your hands onto your ankles, once again if the hands and the ankles don't seem to connect, a belt is a really good idea. So I'll show you in a second but you can just take your hands onto your ankles like this and then as you inhale you lift your chest, you press into your feet, draw the feet up towards the sky and roll the shoulders back. So you can stay in this option, breathing in and just feeling your belly being massaged by your breath or you might take your belt and lying back down. For those of us who will be using the belt, the belt is going to come outside your feet and then we're just going to kind of pull into the belt and lift up through the heart.

So whichever version works for you. And taking a couple more breaths here in adhanurasana, smooth deep breaths as much as possible. I believe we might all be sweating right now or not. And then exhale slowly release, really nice and then we're just going to let it all go. Beautiful and then just turning to your side, we're just going to come on up to a seated position.

So we're just sitting onto our heels and for some of us that might be comfortable and if not, sit however you like, maybe with the legs crossed and then we're going to have our eyes closed and rest our hands right onto the thighs. So we're just going to sense into the cumulative effects of our practice so far. You might sense that your pulse is stronger, your heart is stronger and that despite the challengingness of what we just did. I know it's a new English word. Despite how it was for you during the process right now, you're in a state where the shoulders and the body and everything just feels a lot more alive.

Feeling into that aliveness, we're just going to take the palms together at the heart and we're just going to celebrate and set an intention for ourselves to always remember how regardless of everything that's going on, our heart is passing away for us. So we don't have to be doing anything. We're simply just alive and brilliant. And holding that thankfulness in our hearts for being as beautiful as we are. We're just going to roll on down to the mat where we're going to gently close out with a few cooling down exercises.

So we're going to be rolling on down onto our backs and you're going to have both of your knees bent and the heels aligned again with your hips. Then we're going to bring the right shin in and for those of us who might be able to reach the right foot or the right toe just with your hands, you can do that. And for the rest of us, we're going to take the belt, press the ball of the foot into the belt, have your hands holding onto the belt and pressing as much as you can into the belt with your right foot, we're going to take the right hip with the right hand and draw it gently down. So breathing into this and if it's comfortable, we're going to extend that left leg forward. So this is reclined hand to toe pose, Supta Padangusthasana, and it comes in a set of three.

So we're just going to breathe here, then either taking the belts into your right hand or your hands still connected to your foot, we're just going to draw it out to the side for Supta Padangusthasana too. Again, feel as though you can draw your right hip further down towards your left heel. And you might want to relax your hold onto the belt and just rest your arm onto the mat. And breathing into this, there is a tendency for one hip to really lift. So your hip that is on the mat, if it's come completely off the mat, then even if your foot is touching the ground, it doesn't really do what it's supposed to be doing.

So in that case, we're just going to put a little bit of weight onto the hip, keep both of it nice and grounded, and then just keep the leg wherever it works with this setup. Beautiful. And then exhale, we're just going to slowly bring that right leg in. We're going to cross it over the body to the other side for Supta Padangusthasana three. So you're going to extend your right arm out along the shoulder height, push your foot into the belt, and again, just breathe into this. For this entire Supta Padangusthasana series, you can just have your eyes softly closed and just sense within as to the changes that are happening with the posture.

Really nice, and then slowly bend that right knee in, and we're going to just draw both knees into the chest. Then we're just going to extend out both legs for a second. So we're going to feel the difference between the two legs right now. So it's just yogis tuning in to the subtle things. And now that you've recorded how that feels, we're going to draw the left knee in to its ourselves.

And drawing the left knee in, if it's more comfortable for you, again, keep that right knee bent. We're going to take the belt, put it across the ball of your left foot, so it might be easier for you to just hold on to wherever it's comfortable. And again, extending the leg up into the sky and releasing the other leg towards the wall opposite you. And just breathing into this. Some of you might notice that you're trying to come up to meet your leg, and in that case, try to relax and get your shoulders back down towards the mat.

Left hand onto the left hip, gently encouraging the left hip to roll down towards the right heel. And just breathing into this. Then taking the belt into the left hand, right hand to ground down the right hip, if it keeps on lifting in this, gently extending over to the left. And just breathing into this. Really nice, and then inhaling, soften that knee, and bring your leg over the body, extending it now across to the other side.

You can adjust how close you want to hold the belt again, and just breathe into this. If it's available for you, you can turn to look at your other hand. So we've gone from a very fiery practice into a way more gentle, soft practice. And again, just noticing that you're able to do this for yourself and that you have choices. And then exhaling, slowly release, bringing both the legs back to center.

We're just going to take the belt to the side. And from here, we're just going to draw the shins in, rolling left and right. And then drawing the chin in the forehead to its knees, squeezing it all in. And then exhaling, we're just going to release and let go. And just allowing yourself to feel centered on the mat, lengthening away the legs, the arms, softening the shoulders, and softening the face.

So we're going to rest in Shavasana, allowing ourselves to feel the energies that are coursing through the body. And yogis like to call this prana. So it's our life force. Our life force and our heart working together for us 24-7, without us having to intervene, instruct, or control. Simply feeling this beautiful state of being. Thank you.

So for those of you who can continue to stay in Shavasana, I encourage you to do so. And for the rest of you, gently deepen your breath. And just feel this perfect state of being just as you are. And then taking your time, just bringing your arm overhead and rolling towards your right. Still keeping your eyes closed, you're just resting here for a couple more moments.

And then whenever you're ready, just gently pushing your way back to a seated position. And you notice that we're still keeping our eyes closed, just so that we can still savor that beauty within. And then let's just take our palms together to our hearts. And seeing our inner, shiny, beautiful beings, let's just say hello to our hearts. Namaste.


Lizzy R
Thank you, I enjoyed this sequence. I especially liked the incorporation of sound.
Zoe Ho
Hi again Lizzy! Yay! I love Roaring and letting it all out too :D Thanks for sharing how you felt after practice! xo
Clair Summer
Hello. Another wonderful yoga session. I feel great and really enjoyed it. Please do millions more videos! Have a happy day xxx
Zoe Ho
Hi Clair!! Thank you :D!!! Woohoo, so lovely to hear you enjoyed practicing with us... and thank you for spreading the joy. I can feel it from here!! I hope to do millions more videos too! xoxo

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