Gentle Yoga Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 9

Quick and Cozy

30 min - Practice


Alana guides us in a quick and cozy floor practice to release all the sticky spots in the body. We find relief in the spine, hips, hamstrings, and low back. You will feel glad you showed up.
What You'll Need: Mat, Square Bolster, Blanket

About This Video


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Hi, friends. This is a quick and cozy practice on the floor, so set yourself up. You might want a blanket under your spine and a bolster if you have one. Come on to your back, and as usual, we'll draw our knees into our chest. Set your mat up the way you like it.

So if you like a blanket under your head, put one there and just start by rocking yourself a bit from side to side. Feeling the back of your body, feeling your head rock, check in with the lower back, the sacrum. Nice. And then we'll bring the feet down to the floor and just draw the right knee into your chest and see what it feels like today to bring your hands around the back of the leg, softening the shoulders down the back, and just feeling into your right hip. Let the jaw relax, let the eyes soften.

Nice. And then just stretching your right leg up towards the sky, so feeling into the hamstrings and let the knee bend and extend a few times. So oftentimes, we do this one with a strap around the bottom of the foot, just allowing it to bend and extend, and then moving towards that extension, see what it feels like to point the foot, stretching the top of the foot and the ankle, and then drawing the toes towards the face, increasing the flavor, the sensation, and then circling out the ankle in one direction, and then just slow in the other direction. Nice. And then just go ahead and bend the knee, let it release.

Let's take a clearing breath, inhale. Nice full exhale out of the mouth. Nice. Another side, draw that left knee in, grab ahold of the back of the leg, and just feeling into your left hip now. Feeling what you're feeling, sensing, working with, letting the shoulders relax, eyes soften, feeling the lower back connected down towards the floor.

And then from here, we'll extend up through our left leg, feeling into the hamstrings and bend and extend a few times. It's nice and easy, creating a bit more space in the back of the leg. Good, and then extending it up, again pointing the foot, stretching the top of the foot, and then drawing the toes towards the face, and then pointing and flexing, and then circle the ankle out in one direction, and then in the other direction. Good, and then just go ahead and bend the knee, release that left foot down to the floor. Another clearing breath, inhale, exhale out of the mouth.

So from here, let's draw our right knee into our chest again. So hands might find the back of the leg or maybe the top of the knee, and if it feels okay, you might stretch out through your left leg. So the left leg is long on the floor, and just softening the shoulders down the back. And you might keep your knee where it is, or you might let it open out to the right a little bit, especially if you feel any bunching or pinching around the top of that right hip crease there. Yeah, you might play with knee towards the chest and then out wide.

It's long through that left leg. Just take another inhale, and then with the exhale, let that right foot lower down to the floor, bend the left knee. Good. Let's find the other side. Left knee comes in again to the chest, and then stretching that right leg out long.

Shoulders relaxing, face soft. You might keep the left knee right where it is, or let it open out to the left a little bit. Just finding a spot where it feels good, it feels better on that left hip. Yeah. And breathing into where you feel the stretch.

Nice. Good. And then slow, bend that right knee, foot on the floor, release the left foot. Nice full breath in. Exhale, let it go.

Toe heel the feet wide for windshield wipers. Arms might stretch out to your sides or over the top of the head, depending on your shoulders. And let the knees fall over to the right, cruising onto the outer edges of the feet. Inhale back up through center, exhale over to the left. Few more times side to side, letting the head rock perhaps away from the knees.

We're really finding that ease through the whole spine. Let the knees fall over to the right for a moment, reach on up through that left side, get long. Inhale, knees up, exhale over to the left, get long through that right side. Good. Inhale, back up through center.

Bring the feet back underneath the hips, about hips-width apart, and we're going to bring our bolster, if you have one, underneath our pelvis. So we're going to press our feet down into the floor like we're coming into a bridge pose, and then go ahead and slide that bolster. You could also use a folded blanket underneath your pelvis. I know every bolster has kind of a different feel and height to it. Mine's a little higher today.

And make sure it's in the sweet spot so it feels nice and supportive. And just taking a few moments to settle here. So we're going to continue on drawing the right knee into the chest. Now again, you might find the back of the leg or the top of the knee there, and we're going to stretch our left leg out on the floor, just beginning to increase the feeling and stretch to the top of that left thigh and hip flexor. Nice.

Shoulders releasing down. Ooh, I love this stretch. It feels so good. How does it feel for you? Again, so you might keep your left heel on the floor.

You might play with lifting it up and maybe stretching that left leg up towards the sky. And then flex the foot, leave with the heel, slow, extend, and let it hover off the floor. And then point the foot and reach the leg up towards the sky, like you're painting the ceiling. And then flex the foot, kind of hug the muscles into the bones of the legs. Let it lower and extend.

Let's take five more, reaching up, flex the foot, let it lower and extend, pointing the foot, reaching up, and let it slowly extend. Three more, up, flex, lower, point, reach up, flex, lower, last one, point, reach up, last one, point the foot, reach it up, nice. Flex the foot, slow, let it lower, let the heel land on the floor. Ooh, inhale, nice, full exhale. When you're ready, bend that left knee, so that left foot is on the floor, free that right foot.

You might press down through the feet, lift the hips up, just kind of resettle, reset, and then we'll draw that left knee in. Again, hands might find the back of the leg or the knee, wherever you like it. And then stretching that right leg out, heel on the floor, just taking a few moments to feel into that new stretch and sensation through that right hip flexor, thigh, releasing a bit through the psoas muscle, yeah, good. As you're ready, lift that right heel up off the floor and then reach the right leg up towards the sky, flex the foot, slow, lower, and extend. And then reach the foot up, maybe point the foot, lead with the heel, lower, and extend.

Reach it up, point, flex, lower, and extend, let's take four or five more, reaching up, slow, lower, extend, with your breath, reaching up, flex, lower, extend, reaching up, lower, and extend, finding that length, two more, reaching on up, flex, lower, get long, and extend, last one, reaching up, and then flex the foot, slow, lower, get long, and let that right heel come down to the floor, feels like it's going down into the earth, inhale, nice full exhale. When you're ready, go ahead and bend the right knee, foot on the floor, release that left foot down, kind of reset, resettle the pelvis, and for this last moment we're going to bring the knees into the chest, and then hands on the inside of the legs, let the knees go wide like a happy baby variation, and we're going to extend out through our right leg, draw in and extend out through the left leg, just waking up the inner leg lines a few times, your head might rock from side to side, you can circle out your ankles, just finding movement that feels good for your body, that's it, you might pause with both legs extended, supporting your legs with your hands, any amount, good, slow, draw the knees back into your chest, and then let the feet find the floor, now to transition we're going to press our feet into the floor, lift our pelvis up like we're coming into bridge, if you have a bolster we're going to press it on down, down, down towards our heels, scoot it all the way down so that your spine, your pelvis is on the floor, we're going to bring our feet up onto the bolster into an elevated butterfly or bodhicanasana, right, this sort of bound angle shape, soles the feet together, knees wide, just taking a few moments here, your arms might stretch out to your sides or it might feel nice to reach your arms overhead or maybe even clasping your elbows, now if your lower back is arching up off the floor like mine tends to do, feel a exhale, back the body connects down to the floor, tailbone releasing, nice, a few moments here to touch in with your breath, yeah, if you can relax any effort or clenching or gripping through the hips and the pelvis, relaxing through the forehead and the jaw, beautiful, and then if your arms are overhead, release your arms, scoop your knees up with your hands, draw the knees towards each other into the chest and rock a little bit side to side, beautiful, we're going to transition up, so take your time, roll to your side, you might pause there and then pressing the hands into the floor, come on up, we're going to transition into cow, so as you come on to your hands and your knees and table top, make sure you have some padding underneath you, might feel nice to have a blanket under your wrists and your knees and you might tuck your toes under or release the tops of the feet and with your exhale just let your back round and stretch, that feels nice releasing the back of your neck and then as you inhale move forward into your cow, into your extension, nice and long through the spine, wide through your collar bones, sitting bones and then exhale pull the navel into the spine, stretch the back and as you round and stretch the back you might draw your hips closer to your heels, taking a nice full breath into the back ribs, low back sacrum, float the shoulders over the wrists, let the inhale move you into an extension and then exhale round and stretch the back, let's take three more rounds with a breath, yeah you might close your eyes here, one more like this, nice exhale round and then just let the spine come into a neutral position, we're going to lower onto our belly for a little bit of back bending before we come onto our back again, so sliding your arms out in front of you will come into a seal or rather sphinx pose at first, so bringing the elbows just in front of the shoulders, feet on the floor and then using the support of your arms just draw your heart forward, so you feel this perhaps this traction through the mid thoracic part of your spine, nice and broad through the collar bones, easy through your neck, we're stretching our spine in the opposite direction, finding a back bend, you might stay here, you might press the hands into the floor and making your way up into a gentle version of seal, palms turn out a little bit and then lifting up through the spine, that's right and the hands might stay where they are, if you're in seal you might experiment with walking the hands in a bit closer, see if you can relax a bit through the glutes, through the buttocks, beautiful inhale and then exhale slow and whatever shape you're in just let the elbows go wide, forehead rest on the top of the hands and you might shimmy the hips a little side to side, nice, coming into a few rounds of cobra, so sliding the palms in line with the shoulders, forehead down, hug the elbows into your ribs, draw the shoulders up and down and then as you're ready with an inhale press the hands into the floor and baby car will just begin to lift up through the chest, feeling the back muscles supporting you and then exhale lead with the heart lower down, again as you're ready press the hands into the floor lift up baby cobra and then exhale lower down, from here stretch the fingers towards your toes for locus, find the internal rotation through your thigh bones and with an inhale begin to lift up through your chest, you might stay with this, you might add the legs and reach the fingers towards the toes, you're really lifting and hugging the back body into your spine, beautiful exhale lower down forehead or one ear to the floor, one more locus as you're ready inhale lift the chest and you might stay right here looking down so the neck can be soft and relaxed, you might add the chest, the arms, the legs reaching up and drawing the back body into the spine wide through the collar bones, some energy through the fingers, the toes and exhale just slow lower down nice, bring the hands underneath the forehead elbows wide bend the knees reverse windshield wiper side to side nice, just releasing through the back a bit here, nice and then releasing the feet, we're going to flip onto our back and draw our knees into our chest setting up for a bridge pose so you might reorganize on your mat, make sure your feet are touching your mat and not your blanket so you don't slip and then just draw the knees in for a moment, rock a little bit from side to side allow for a exhale good feet down spread the toes heels in line with the sitting bones palms reaching towards the floor nice fingers reaching towards the heels inhale and with an exhale curl the tailbone under press the feet into the floor lift the pelvis up coming into your bridge nice long through the thigh bones soft through the face hands might press down into the floor as you feel that space through the chest collar bones nice as you're ready stretch your arms up to the ceiling lift the heels up and then round your spine down upper back mid back low back and arms clearing breath inhale nice full exhale one more round breathing in exhale curl the tailbone press through the feet lift up into your bridge and palms might press down into the floor you might prefer to draw the elbows towards each other and snuggle the hands underneath your hips being mindful of whenever you're in bridge pose or inversion you want to keep your head forward the neck is nice and long and then when you're ready to release stretch your arms up to the ceiling round the back maybe lift the heels up and then just slow rolling down upper back middle back low back arms and pause inhale nice full exhale nice draw the knees into the chest rock from side to side we're in it close with a spinal twist so you might bring your bolster on your right side the right side of your body and then from here we're gonna draw our left knee into our chest and stretch our right leg long again coming into a one leg spinal twist so you're gonna inhale and then exhale slow bring that left knee across the body towards the right and then bringing the knee and the foot on the bolster now if you find this brings any strain or torque in the low back just simply bend both knees and stack them without the bolster sometimes the bolster can feel really nice good and then just let that top arm open nice settling into the twist inhale nice full exhale relax the belly releasing into the twist here with each exhale allowing the left shoulder in the upper back to get heavy towards the back you're noticing how the sensation changes with a bit of time here hmm you might stay here a bit longer when you feel ready to transition just lead with your top left leg let the bottom leg come on up and then just reorganize you might bend both knees kind of reset the pelvis if you're working with a bolster bring it over to the other side the left side of the body and we'll draw our right knee into our chest stretch our left leg out long for this variation and then slow bring the right knee across towards that supported spinal twist and then stretching that right arm out and inhale nice full exhale noticing how it feels through this shoulder the ribs the hip low back and aware of where you can continue to soften those of us that are used to being so busy and so active and productive all of the time slowing down settling in and releasing can be challenging nice few moments here can notice the quality of your breath feeling the space between the eyebrows the base of the skull and when you feel ready no rush just lead with your top right leg roll onto your back and reset bend the knees and as we come into a shavasana final relaxation it might feel nice to set your bolster up underneath the back of your legs might even cover yourself up with some warmth or weight which tends to just kind of help settle and calm the nervous system letting yourself take up space comfy get cozy get spacious shavasana is this wonderful invitation to practice consciously letting go a little bit you feeling sensing trusting this support not only beneath you but all around you allowing yourself to be held rest You might just stay here forever. I wish I could. When you feel ready, slowly invite movement back in, fingers, toes. It might feel good to reach and stretch. And then just slow bend the knees, let yourself curl up onto your side. And when you feel ready, press your hands into the floor and just slowly come on up. Get your way up into a comfortable seat. It was a not so quick and cozy practice. And sitting up, whatever you have. Nice. And taking a moment to rest in the space you've created. When you're ready, join your hands together. Find a clearing breath. Inhale. Generous exhale.

Thank you for your practice. Namaste.


Rachel S
1 person likes this.
So good. I have been lifting weights and your gentle yoga classes are hitting the spot! 
Alana Mitnick
Awesome, Rachel! So happy to hear. Stay with it! Love, Alana 
Jenny S
6 people like this.
Sweet Alana...this season certainly flew by!  These practices are so comforting.  No matter what is going on in my head or my body, or the WORLD for that matter, I slip into this gentle yoga and within mere minutes everything melts away and I’m in peace mode.  Thank you and thank Yoga Anytime for this much-needed salve. 🏜
Alana Mitnick
What a beautiful and touching comment, Jenny. I'm so happy you found refuge in these gentle practices. It's amazing how we can be just moments away from an  experience of peace. Thank you for your continual presence and support. Love, Alana 
Joan J
4 people like this.
How I needed this lovely practice today.  My middle and low back have been tight, and I allowed myself to luxuriate in this soothing session.  I love your quiet, slow approach, it soothes my body, nervous system, and soul.  Grateful for these wonderful practices you share🌾💜🌾
Alana Mitnick
Joan, I'm so glad that you found some relief and soothing with this practice. Thank you for your kinds words. So happy to be in this together. Enjoy your evening! Much Love, Alana
Glenford N
2 people like this.
After a hectic busy week, your practice allowed me to slow down settle in and connect with my body breath and inner essence. Thanks Alana. Namaste.
Alana Mitnick
Beautiful, Glenford. You've got it! I couldn't hope for more. Namaste, Alana  
Glenford N
2 people like this.
I did the routine again on a Sunday morning with my Maltese Terrier Tina watching me. We both experienced a sense of calms as we looked into each other's eyes and melted. Thanks Alana. Namaste.
Kate M
3 people like this.
Just a lovely practice for the evening... softening and releasing toward sleep : ) mmmmmmmmm
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