The Bhakti Show Artwork
Season 6 - Episode 9

Happy and Free

40 min - Practice


Allow yourself to go with the flow. We begin with a mantra, Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu—may all beings everywhere be happy and free. We then explore a fluid practice that has us traveling in all directions around the mat with playfulness. You will feel happy and free.
What You'll Need: Mat, Blanket, Block


Read Full Transcript

Howdy everyone. Today we are going to chant a lovely mantra some of you may be familiar with and if you're not it's a wonderful very universal mantra in Sanskrit and the mantra is may all beings everywhere be happy and free beautiful mantra so important to remember and so today's practice is going to you know invite you to explore a little bit more freedom which sometimes can be a little scary you know so I'm going to invite you to move in some fun fluid ways we're going to move from the front of the mat to the back of the mat facing forward and backwards so if it feels a little disorienting just take a moment and pause but see if you can just let yourself go with the flow a little bit and you know whether it's a little wobble over here or a little confusion over there it's okay it's all part of it but we want to just explore this dance and like any dance oftentimes where you're stepping on toes and going in the wrong direction I know for me so let this practice just be filled with whatever it needs to be filled with but it is one to engage with a little bit more playfulness and again freedom and less rigidity and I'll do my best to give you as many variations as you can so that we can all have uh you know our own personal experience I don't know who it was that reminded me but I love this they said each asana is like you know you get on the bus and then you get off it whatever stop you need to get off on so you know whether your knees stay on the floor or they lift up or the head goes down or the legs go up whatever it is you just find where you need to be and then you'll pause there okay so let's start with the mantra loka samasta suki no bhavantu and we'll start with um an om together take a nice deep breath in ah Aum Aum Aum Loka Samastar Sukino Babantu I'm going to create a little space for you to chant. I'll chant once and then you'll have some space to chant on your own, but you'll hear my voice. Loka Loka Samastar Samastar Sukino Sukino Babantu Babantu You can float your eyes open if they're closed and then let's come onto our knees and have a seat on the heels. So you can sit on a block and you can even sit on your blanket here, right on top of your heels. And we're just going to do a little side stretching.

I'm going to start with my right hand to the side, breathe my left arm up, and then as I exhale take the arm up and over and breathe into some space there, create some freedom on the left side of my waist. I'm going to look up towards the sky and at the same time soften my chin in a little bit so the back of the neck is long and reaching out through the tips of my fingers and then soften that right shoulder. Sometimes it kind of does its own thing, so just be a little mindful there. Soften. You can even bend through the right elbow a little bit and then we're going to come up and over like a rainbow just reaching up, spreading the left hand and then reaching up to the right. And soften the shoulders onto the back, soften the ribs in a little bit, a couple breaths here.

A little micro bend in the left elbow is nice and then a breath to rise up. Take both arms up, bring the palms together and then soften the prayer to the center of the chest. You can take a moment here and let's just sit with the intention of the practice when I was talking about freedom and space and playfulness and just moving a little bit beyond maybe what you're used to. And even if it's just breathing in a specific way, just inviting a little bit of newness into the practice and taking a look at how that can create some freedom, believe it or not. So take a little breath in, we're going to take the hips over to the side on the exhale.

A little barvadrasana, such a beautiful pose. The right hand comes behind you, left hand to your right knee. Now you can keep the blanket underneath your tush there so it's nice to lift a little higher. So nice breath in to lengthen. The body is twisting to the right as I exhale.

Now I'm going to take a breath in, lengthen and then I'm going to take my face and my ear over to the left side. Such a beautiful regal quality, nice and broad across the collarbones. Feel the back body supporting the front of the body. Take one more breath in and an exhale. Good, release out of the pose and on to the other side.

Right hand to the left knee, left hand behind you, take a nice breath in, get long and take everything over to the left side. Take a nice breath in and then let your face and your right ear soften over to the right side. Breathing in to the left side of your neck. Breathing in and breathing out. One more inhale and one more exhale.

Release out of the pose and then we're just going to crawl around and come on to the hands and knees for tucking the toes and prepare for downward facing dog. So just spread your hands, fingers nice and wide, again tucking the toes under, shoulders over the wrist and the hips over the knees. Take a little breath in, find a neutral spine here and as you press the heels of the hand down, begin to lift the knees and exhale, the hips up and the heels back and down. You can pedal out through your feet here. So again, exploring a little movement.

There's nothing static about life so I don't necessarily think the yoga practice has to be so static. It's important and it's not because everything is moving because we're breathing. As long as we're breathing, there's movement. But here we're going to focus a little bit on that outward movement more than just the internal movement. So you can even take your heels to the side there, take your hips back through center, drop the heels over to the left side, bend your knees, hips moving back and a little breath in to lift up.

As you press the heels of the hand down, begin to lift the right leg high. You can point through the tips of your toes and wiggle your ankle around, point and flex and then from here, bring that right knee in towards your nose as you bring the shoulders over the wrist. So a little lift through the low belly and then lift back up on the inhale. We're going to take that right knee towards your left elbow. So draw to the side, find a little lift and the breath out and then inhale to lift up.

Then we're going to take that right leg underneath the left arm for fallen triangle. So slide the outer edge of your right foot to the floor, drop your left foot to the floor. So you have a lot of support here and then inhale and take the arms up and a big arching back feels like a lot of freedom here. Full breath in and then as you exhale, take it back into downward facing dog. Left leg lifts as you breathe in, draw the knee in towards your nose, slide the shoulders forward, knee comes forward, breath in to lift up, knee towards your right elbow, exhale, breath in and then exhale, slide that left leg underneath, drop your right foot to the floor, breath in to reach up and arch back and then exhale, downward facing.

Take a breath in plank pose, drop your knees and right into child's pose for a moment there, arms nice and long. Breath in onto the hands and knees and downward facing dog. You're going to take your right leg up, three-legged dog, we're going to take the right foot outside of the right hand. Take your right arm up to the sky for a moment and then exhale the right hand down, downward facing dog. Left leg lifts on the breath in and exhale the left foot forward and the left arm lifts.

So opening up to the hips a little bit and then exhale the left hand down. From here we're going to step the right foot forward right into malasana, so let your hips drop. Of course you can use a block here if you need to. You can also place a blanket underneath your heels, just going to be here for a few moments, palms pressing in towards each other, sit them nice and tall, inhale and then from here exhale the hands down and lengthen your legs. Begin to widen the heels a little bit too and then let the crown of the head go.

You can nab your block, place it out in front of you. From there bend your right knee as the right hand presses down and then lengthen and lift through the left arm. Full breath in, spine is long and then exhale, release. Bend the left knee, lengthen through the right leg and reach the right arm up. Breath in and then release as you breathe out.

Catch your hands, my knees are soft, I'm going to interlace the hands, lift the chest on the breath in and then take it forward and down as I lengthen my legs. A little movement from side to side. I'm just going to come to center there, bend my knees a little bit more, take the hips a little further back and release the hands, sweep the arms forward up and arch back and let the palms soften to the center of the chest. Let the hands go and prepare for some sense salutations. I'm going to move the block to the side.

Today I'm going to hook the thumbs and wave, reach up and back. I'm going to soften the knees a little bit and as you breathe in, reach up and arch back. Full breath in and then come forward and down. Today we're going to step right back into plank pose. You can soften through your knees and on inhale step your right leg back, left leg back, bend your arms, keep the elbows alongside the body, keep your heels reaching back and then lower down, halfway or all the way.

A little breath in to lift up a little cobra or upward facing dog, pressing the tops of the feet down and then downward facing dog as you breathe out. Take a breath in and lift your heels, bend your knees on the breath out and then hop step jump or walk the feet forward and right away lift up, inhale and palms meet as you exhale. Take two more like that. Let's hook the thumbs, breath in to reach up and arch back and then exhale and fold. Left leg back, right leg back, plank and then lower down halfway or all the way.

Inhale the hips forward, shoulders back and downward facing dog, full breath out. Right away the hips and the heels lift, bend the knees and make your way forward. Rise all the way up, lengthen through your legs, arching back and palms meet at the center. And last one, hooking the thumbs, breath in and big breath out, folding forward and down. Right leg back, left leg back, lowering down, exhale.

Inhale and exhale, downward facing dog. Staying here for a couple of breathing, then pedaling up through your feet, shaking the hips a little bit. Then we're going to prepare to move through our flow. So we're going to take the right leg high on the inhale, step the foot forward as you breathe out. You've got warrior one, drop the back heel and rise up.

You're going to lengthen your right leg on the inhale, bring the elbows in and a little arching back and then exhale, reach forward. You're going to rise back up with the arms and then take the left arm behind you, reversing the warrior. Now lengthen through your right leg and take your right hand down and your left arm lift. So nice opening through the chest. And then from there, it's plank pose.

Hands come down, lower, exhale. Breathing in and breathing out. Left leg lifts on the inhale, step it forward as you exhale, warrior one, full breath in. Stay on the exhale. Breathing in, lift up and arch back and then exhale.

Pressing into the front foot, arching back, inhale, and then exhale, left leg lengthens, left hand down, looking up. Plank pose, the hands forward on the inhale, shoot the left leg back and then lower down. Inhaling up and exhaling down dog. All right, so a little variation on that. Let's take the right leg up and exhale, step it forward.

So same in the beginning here, inhale, stay on the exhale. Breath in and offer it up, breath out. Reverse the warrior. Inhale and exhale, right hand down, right leg lengthens. Inhale, hands forward.

This time, three-legged dog. So take the right leg high to the sky. Bring the knee to the nose on the breath out and then the right leg comes behind you for some support and then open up through the chest. And you can go through plank pose or right into downward facing dog. Full breath in, full breath out.

One more time, left side, breath in, breath out. Inhaling, rising up. On the exhale, just let the hips sink and on your inhale lengthen through the left leg, elbows in, arch back and then as you exhale, reach forward. Reverse the warrior as you rise up, right arm back, left arm lifts and then lengthen through the left leg and the left hand drops down as you bend through the back leg. Inhale, bring the hands forward and it's three-legged dog from there right away as you exhale.

Take a little breath in and then exhale, knee to your nose. Take a breath in and take it up and over. And then from there, downward facing dog. Vinyasa is optional here. Okay, breath in and breath out.

Take an inhale here, lift your heels, bend your knees, walk hop step or jump forward and rise all the way up. And the palms meet at the center. Okay, so for this flow, we're going to move a little bit back and forth and forth and back and if you get a little confused, that's okay. We'll move slowly with the breath and you'll just do what you can. I'll give some variations of the postures, okay, for everyone.

So from here, let's come into tree pose with the right leg. So you can bring the right knee into the chest, bring that right foot into the inner left thigh. Make sure your foot isn't on your knee or bring the heel to the floor. Totally cool. Toes to the floor, heel to the ankle.

Palms meet at the center of the chest. So a little breath in here. Another variation here, for some of you, is reaching the first two fingers around the big toe and then you can even exhale the leg out to the side for Utthita Hasta B. And then everybody can extend the left arm. Full breath in here.

And then from here, we're going to find warrior two. So slide that right leg back, extend through the arms, chest and pelvis. And we're going to come through center, parallel your feet, palms can touch. And then warrior two to the back of your mat. Turn your right toes back and then exhale.

Let's tip it back as you breathe in. And then from there, Ardachandrasana. Right hand comes down and lift and lengthen through the left leg. A little breath in here, maybe look up. From here, we're going to bend the right knee and exhale.

Slide the left arm forward, looking up underneath the left arm. And then from here, hands come down, lift your left heel. Turn onto the outer edge of the left foot. And then from here, you can either bring the right foot behind you, bring it into a little variation of tree pose, or take the first two fingers around the big toe and lengthen and lift. Full breath in.

Wherever you are, exhale, exhale, right foot forward. And then we've got one more Ardachandrasana. You're welcome to bend the left knee if you'd like. Catch the top of the foot and open everything up. And from there, we've got warrior two.

Step it back. Ah. Come through center and then fold forward and down. Take a little breath here. I know that was a lot.

Take a breath and look up. Take the hips to the left side on the breath out and swivel around to a low lunge and then step the back foot forward. Soften the knees and sweep the arms up. And the palms meet at the center. All right, you ready for the left side?

Here we go. Let's bring the left knee into the chest. Whoo! And then from here, tree pose. Find your variation. Foot inside the inner left thigh, heel to the ankle or first two fingers around the big toe for Utthita Hasta A.

So you find what feels good here. Extend through your right arm, everybody. Full breath in. We've got warrior two from there. Slide the left leg back.

Exhale. Come through center as you breathe in. Let's take it to the back. Exhale, warrior two. Tip it back as you breathe in, arching back.

And then exhale, Ardachandrasana, left hand down, right leg comes up. So open up the hip here. Flex out through the right foot. From here we have extended side angles. So bend your left knee, slide the right foot down and sweep the right arm forward.

Take a little gaze underneath your right armpit. Soften the ribs in a little bit. And from here, hands come down, lift your back heel. And we're going to take the left foot behind you, right, or stack the feet, or a little variation of the tree pose, or take your first two fingers around the big toe and extend and lift. Everybody take another breath in, then sweep that left leg forward.

One more, Ardachandrasana. You might catch the back foot just for a moment here. Open up the chest, and then warrior two from there. Coming forward, parallel the feet, and exhale, folding forward and down. Lift up on the inhale, take the hips to the right as you exhale.

Find your low lunge and bring the left foot forward, empty out. Reach your arms up and arching back. Palms at the center. Okay, that was awesome, you guys. All right, let's just come down onto the hands and knees, untuck the toes, and have a seat on your heels for Vajrasana.

Of course, you're welcome to sit on a block. Let's take a moment here. A lot of activity in the body, right? The mind might be like just doing what it does. See if you can just land here, feeling your vital energy right after all that movement.

There's a lot of energy, the breath and the heartbeat, both moving a little faster. See if you can stay with the breathing, really regulating the breathing. When we lose control of our breath, that's when the mind kind of takes over. So see if you can stay with your breath, regulating the inhale, maybe counting for one, two, three, four, and then exhale, four, three, two, one. Breathing in, four, three, two, one, and exhale, four, three, two, one.

Okay. So we're going to prepare for a headstand. So this headstand can come in many different variations, okay? So I'm going to show you. I like to interlace the hands and let the hands just support the back of my head.

Now there's a difference between an interlacing of the hands and a death grip. So you want to loosen the hands a little bit, right? And just let the hands support. You can even sit up here and open the elbows a little bit and just feel that soft support of the back of the head. So from here, I'm going to come down into the crown of my head.

The difference here is I'm going to bring my elbows in so they're right underneath my shoulders. Pinky side of the fingers is rooting down into the floor. Grounding down through the backs of my arms, the shoulders are lifting. So you can hang here. The next step would be to tuck the toes under.

And as I exhale, lift the knees. So press down into the backs of your arms rather than just the crown of the head. So you take any pressure off the neck there, all right? You can walk the feet in a little closer towards each other and maybe the feet move in, the hips moving in the direction of your shoulders. So this might be plenty.

You can take a little moment and come out of the pose if you need to. If you're ready to come up, you can bring the knees into your chest. And then from there, begin to lengthen the legs up. Keep grounding down to the backs of your arms and lifting the shoulders away from the ears. Be mindful of the grip of the hands, just supporting the back of the head.

Soften the ribs in. And a little flinting of the toes, right? Point and flex the toes. You can take a couple breaths here. If you're on your knees, that's fine.

If you just have your hips lifted and your little variation, that's fine. And then everybody take a breath in. We'll all meet in Child's Pose from here. So if you're up, exhale your knees into your chest. Stay here as you breathe in.

And then as you exhale, you can take the legs down. Bring the knees to the floor. Release the hands and take the arms back. Little Child's Pose here. Let the third eye just soften onto the floor.

The arm bones reaching back just releases any tension on the shoulders and neck. Enjoy the whole body being breathed. And then from here, let's come onto the knees. Sweep the arms up. And then from here, tuck your toes under.

And we'll take a little Camel Pose. So the right arm can reach back and then reach the right arm up. And then left arm reaches back. With your toes tucked under, just touching the heel there and then lift up. And then one more time, exhale the right hand back.

You can also just hold onto your hip if you need to and then sweep the arms up. And then exhale. Breath in and breath out coming to have a seat. Okay, so we're going to come around onto our backs. We're bringing the feet to the floor and take your right knee into your chest.

You can interlace the hands behind the thigh. And then from here, flirt with exhaling and lengthening the leg. Just relax the back of the body. Keep pressing onto the left foot. And just extend out through the right heel.

So we're going to take a little breath in here. Exhale. You're going to crawl the hands up the leg, bringing the leg towards you. And then you can lift the back body up. Keep the elbows moving in.

So you are lifting up for a moment. So we come into a little bit of a forward bend. Now if you want to go a little deeper in the pose, extend the left leg. At the top of the left, quadricep descend here. A couple of breathing.

And then bend that right knee into the chest. And we're going to take the leg over to the side. I'm going to start with my bent leg, just to show you here. And you can extend the leg out to the side. So a little easier, like with the bent leg.

Otherwise, you can extend and open to the side. You can also just keep the knee bent and a gentle opening. And we'll take the leg to center. For those of you keeping it a little gentler, again, bending the leg, ankle over the knee, and then you can take the right foot to the floor, shoulders resting, and then take the gaze over to the right side. The rest of you can stack the knees up and take the twist over to the left.

But still letting the right shoulder, make sure your shoulder is softly onto the earth there and feeling very supported. Full breath in. Full breath out. Be mindful of the inhale and the fullness around the upper chest. And as you exhale, deep belly breath out.

And one more. And coming onto your packs. On the other side, right foot to the floor, snuggle the left knee in. Interlace the hands behind the left leg and extend on the exhale. Relax the shoulders. Just a couple of breathing here.

And you'll take a little breath in. And now we begin to crawl up the leg. A little breath in, again, for a deeper variation of the pose. Extend the right leg. Full breath in, and then exhale. Good. And then release.

Bring the knee into the chest. And then from here, the leg opens up to the side. Reach with the big toe. If you're reaching for the big toe, that's when you can take it a little deeper with the leg long. Otherwise, you can keep the knee bent and take the leg.

Actually, everybody can lengthen the leg. And then just either bend the knee here or extend out to the side. Take your right arm open and a little gaze out there to the side. And then we'll come to center. Press the right foot onto the earth, ankle over knee.

For the gentle variation, it feels really nice. Soften the knee away from the chest and open up. Gazing to your left. Or the knees stack up on top of one another. Breathing into the upper chest.

And exhale, belly breath out. Breathing in. And breathing out. Last one. Wonderful.

Roll into your back. Bring the knees into your chest. And you can make big circles. Just massaging the low back here. And reverse.

And slowly rock your way up to sit. And we'll face forward. So from here, you can extend the right leg, the left leg. I'm actually going to sit on a blanket. And take my arms up, and then as I breathe in, I'm just going to simply reach forward.

So you can just take the arms out to the side, let the chest expand, and then let the head go. Rather than rounding, see if you can keep that length. So if the arms need to stay out to the side, that's great. Let the head go. Some of you might weave the arms behind you, threading the right arm in front of the shin, reaching for the fingertips.

You can take a little breath in and take a deep dive forward. Wherever you are in this pose, see if you can keep the left heel engaged. So reaching forward, toes pointing up, even if you have a little bend in your knee. A little bend in the leg just eases any tension in the back of the leg. A couple of breathing here.

And then rising up. Let's take the right arm up, drop the right knee down behind you, right hand behind you, and then open up through the chest. Lifting through the hips. Such a beautiful pose, it really expresses freedom. Bring the knee in, and switching sides.

A little space there to come forward. So breath in, and then exhale, folding forward. Breath in, and breath out. Inhale, and exhale. I'm going to breathe in, lift your left arm up, drop your left knee, and as you press down behind you, float the hips up, and a little arching back.

And release down. Okay. From here, I'm just going to cross the ankles. So I'm going to do one more little pose here. You can take the left leg long, ankle over knee, or stack the knees up.

You can use a block, place it underneath. Come forward for a couple of breathing here. See if you can flex through the feet, keep the legs engaged, and let the upper body just soften. Walking the hands back, and other side. Left ankle over the knee, or extend your bottom leg.

Block can come to support the knee there if you need it. Take a breath in, and then exhale. Let the hips really sink back and down, feeling that quality of groundedness, feeling anchored. And walk yourself back. You can take a moment here, and lengthen the legs.

A little soft bend in the knees. Let's take the arms up, and then pour forward and down as you exhale. If you want to go a little deeper into this pose, you can take your arms underneath your knees, and then reach the heels forward, and dive forward, and crown the head. Otherwise, a little bend in the knees, you can reach for your ankles, the outer edges of your feet, or your big toes. And one more breath.

On your inhale, begin to lift up, and exhale the hands down. Okay. Come on to our backs for final relaxation pose. I'm going to take my blanket and rest it on my belly today. Just enjoy that nice anchored feeling.

And arms out to the side. Legs nice and wide. Let the pinky toes be good and heavy. Palms face up. Soften the chin in just a little bit towards your throat.

Back of the neck is long. Back of the head is fully supported. Enjoy a sense of expansiveness, freedom, space, letting go. And this is the essence of Bhakti Yoga, the surrender and the letting go. Being with what breathes you.

And you can continue lying down. Or you can begin to bend your knees, place the feet on the floor, remove the padding from your belly. And roll over to your right side. And coming up to sit. Bring the palms to the center.

We can just say the chant together. Lokha, Samastara, Sukino, Vavantu. Adi Aum, that's that.


Jenny S
1 person likes this.
This was sweet and playful...this season of Bhakti yoga flew by!  I hope to see you on YA again soon, and in the meantime, Many Blessings to you Astrud 🦚
Kate M
1 person likes this.
Love the creative sequencing. So nice to know that I can revisit this and your other practice offerings in the future : ) Deep medicine. Love.
Christel B
2 people like this.
Such fun flowing with you through the poses with a lovely beginning and ending mantra.  Namaste.
1 person likes this.
Jenny  Thank you dear Jenny for all your comments and for watching. It was a real pleasure make these videos. Hopefully more to come. Hari Om..:
1 person likes this.
Jenny  Thank you dear Jenny for all your comments and for watching. It was a real pleasure make these videos. Hopefully more to come. Hari Om..
1 person likes this.
Kate im so glad your enjoying the sequencing. Thank you for checking it out. Blessings...
2 people like this.
Christel thank you my friend, I appreciate your kind words. I’m glad you enjoyed!!
Renee R
1 person likes this.
Thank you for th permission to be free and playful!
Martha M
1 person likes this.
libre y feliz llevo la practica out the mat
Renee Ahhh Rene! Im glad you had some fun! We all need this NOW more than ever! hoping your are doing well, staying healthy and enjoying your yoga these days. Blessings, Astrud 
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