Move to Meditate Artwork
Season 4 - Episode 6

Subtle & Grounded

40 min - Practice


Ground into the subtler aspects of being in this spicier practice, weaving arm balances into Sun Salutations, pausing in challenging standing poses, and taking “chi baths”. As we ease into meditation, please join your thumb and ring fingers to seal in the mudra. You will feel soft and connected.
What You'll Need: Mat, Block

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Hi and welcome back, I'm really looking forward to sharing this practice with you today we're going to work on the subtle and the grounded aspects of our being physically and energetically. So let's get started. Go ahead and come to the top of your mat in a comfortable tadasana, feet, hip width, whatever feels good in your body and just spreading from pinky toe all the way to big toe, feeling the four corners of the foot and as you inhale raising your arms up over your head and as you breathe out go ahead and fold forward. Inhale lifting up halfway and exhale to fold and inhale all the way up to standing and exhale bringing your hands down to the sides of your body back into tadasana. Let's do one more of these half sun salutes, inhale raise the arms, exhale to fold, inhale lifting up halfway, exhale fold and inhale all the way up to standing, exhale your hands down to the sides of your body back into tadasana, take a breath in and out.

Go ahead and look for your block, you'll need a block today. And bring your feet so they're a little bit wider than your hips, maybe almost as wide as the mat. Turning the toes in slightly with the heels out, I'd place the block on the high height right below your shoulders, you can have a cow spine here and then we'll bend the left knee and take the body weight over to the right side for some sciatic flossing. Take a big breath in, bend the right knee, straighten the left leg, weight of the body to the left, big exhale. One more time each way, inhale left knee bends, right leg straight, exhale inhale right knee bends, left leg straight, exhale and inhaling at the center, we'll make that a little bit deeper so you'll keep your right hand on the block, you could bring the block down to a lower height, bend your right knee, bring your left fingers on the back of your head for some thoracic rotation, right knee stays bent, right arm stays straight, left leg stays straight, exhale left elbow reaches as low as it can, inhaling up, exhale inhale and exhale, let's go ahead and switch sides, bend your left knee, put your left hand on the block, right leg straight, right arm up, fingers on the back of the head and exhale and inhale and in that inhale really push into the back right side of the mat, exhale, elbow down, inhale elbow up and open, this is the last one, exhaling down, both hands on the block, maybe cutting the block down one height or getting rid of it completely, right hand down, left leg straight, left arm up and this time we'll make some really big circles so you'll bring your left arm up, inhale, exhale back, remember the left leg is straight and you're pressing into that back left corner of the mat, this is your last one and switching sides, right arm up and exhale pressing into the back right corner of the mat, inhale up, exhale, last one and exhale, place the block to the side and go ahead and heel toe your feet together, not all the way though, about hip width and as you breathe in coming into Utkatasana or chair pose, starting to pull the mat apart with your feet like you're really ripping the mat apart, sitting a little lower, every breath sitting a little lower, pull the mat apart and a little lower, really connecting with these outer legs here, I want them nice and active and a little lower and as low as you can and from here you can place your hands on the mat, reaching the knees onto the upper backs of the arms and maybe lifting the feet up into Pakasana, where you're welcome to step or hop your legs back and inhale into an up dog, exhaling into down dog, take a big breath here and a big exhale you can wiggle it out a little bit, I call these elephant steps, so as you inhale you'll lift your right leg up as long as your breath, exhale bring the leg down, inhaling left leg up as long as your breath and exhaling down, one more time here, right leg up and breath in and as you exhale step the right foot up into a lizard lunge, take a big breath lifting the heart and drop your left knee to the mat, inhale raise your arms, exhale bringing the hands back and down, your right hand will come to your sacrum, your left hand to your heart, so here we're connecting with this center of earth of groundedness in our body and then the heart is the center of spacious subtle lightness, right, because air we needed to breathe, we needed to live, love we needed to breathe, we needed to live, take a big breath grounding through your hips and lifting your heart up and you can float that left arm up if you'd like to, one more breath and as you exhale bring your left elbow over the outside of the right leg, keep the right hand on the sacrum bring your left hand to your heart, you could lift your back knee if you desire and reach the right arm up and away hold for three, pull the mat apart with your feet and two and one, go ahead and bring your left knee to the mat, inhale your arms up and exhaling hands to the inside of the right foot and I invite you to come into a nice deep lizard, you can bring your forearms to the mat, you could walk your hands out to the left, let's take three big breaths here, maybe open mouth exhale, feeling that grounded solidity of your hips moving downwards, this is our last breath, go ahead and bring your hands back in, we're going to play around a little bit with this feeling of grounded and subtle or light so bring your right shoulder underneath your right knee, you can take your hands out to the side and lift your left knee and you may hop your back foot in a little bit and just see can you feel light in the arms, here's the subtle lightness in the upper body, that structure and stability, solidity in the lower body and then we'll bring the hands to the mat right underneath the shoulders, the elbows will come together in a chaturanga arm and we'll play around with feeling a little bit of lightness in the legs and so it's fun to play, to roll back and forth here, starting to lift the right foot and the left foot off the mat, then if you're feeling adventurous you may squeeze those elbows in, bring the ribs right alongside that left elbow, lifting the right leg and coming into an ekapada kundanyasana, B, you can crawl out of it or you can take a hop back into chaturanga and an up dog big breath and we'll meet back in down dog, feeling some elephant steps here on the second side, inhaling lifting the left leg as big as the breath, exhale bringing it down, inhaling the right leg up, exhaling back down, inhale left leg up and as you exhale take a big step into lizard, left foot on the outside of the hand, inhale lift the heart up and exhale bring the right knee to the mat, let's inhale raise our arms and as you exhale bring the hands back down, the left hand finds the sacrum again this center of gravity in our body, the right hand to the heart, round through the hips, inhale open the heart, you may lift the right arm off the body, love like air, we can't see it but we need it to survive and then on this next breath you'll exhale and bring the right elbow over the left leg, bring the right hand to the heart, you can stop here with your hand on the sacrum or lift your back knee and possibly reach the left hand away, try to draw the spine in line with the tailbone for another breath, pulling the mat apart with the feet, compact the hips and as you breathe in drop the right knee and lift your arms, exhaling both hands to the inside of the left foot, finding a lizard that feels good for you today, you can come to the forearms or again take your hands out to the side, this time it would be out to the right, let's take three big breaths, allowing your center of gravity, that grounded presence to come a little closer to the earth and on your inhale bring your hands back in, let's play around on this second side, left elbow shoulder comes underneath the left knee, the hands go out to the side on the fingertips, lift the right knee, maybe pop your right foot up a bit, you can keep the hands down or try lifting up, feeling an airplane, lightness in the upper body and then bringing your hands to the mat about shoulder width, the elbows come in towards the chaturanga arm and start to rock back and forth, seeing what it's like to become light in the legs, lifting the feet off the mat, you can stop right here or if you'd like to, if you're feeling spicy today, your right elbow really comes down alongside the right ribs and it's like a flying leap forward and up, the legs lift and then a little step or hop back into chaturanga, inhaling up and exhaling into down dog, on your next breath and looking up at your hands, you can take a step or a little hop or a couple steps and bring the feet up, inhale to elongate, lifting up halfway, exhale to fold, coming all the way up to standing and as you breathe out, bringing your hands back and down, back onto the sacrum, here again we go, grounding down through the hips and lifting up through that center of light, subtle space, the heart, you may slide your hands down below the crease of the buttocks, lifting your heart up even more, heart lifts up, exhale coming back, feel the structure of the legs supporting this expansive vulnerability of the heart, inhale to come up and integrate into dasana.

As you next breathe in, bring your hands to your heart, lift your left leg and on your exhale step back into a deep warrior one, pause for a moment to pull the mat apart with the feet, lifting the skin and the pubic plate up and raise the arms overhead, right hand to the sacrum, left hand to the heart, one more time, grounding through the hips, opening up to the heart, maybe that left hand comes up and away and on this next breath out, bringing the left hand to the mat, you can spin onto the ball of the back foot or you can keep the foot in warrior one, start to turn the shoulders up and around towards the right and possibly sweeping that right arm around the ear, nice big breath, eyes turned over the bicep, bring the right hand back to your sacrum, this is a good place to use your block so you could grab it and bring it right up into your left hand, pivot onto the left big toe, look forward, the block goes right under your shoulder, as you inhale, spring your left leg up and begin to turn the right side up and open again and possibly lifting that right arm, this is revolved half moon, it's honestly my least favorite pose, I despise it so I try to practice it often so it teaches me a lot, one more breath and as you inhale, roll up to standing, left leg comes with you, we're going to cross the left knee over the right, maybe wrapping the left big toe all the way around the calf, right arm on top of left, inhale and as you exhale, draw your muscles onto your bones, your arms, into your shoulders, your thighs, into your hips, darudasana or eagle, instead of this variation, I call this one eagle on the toilet where you're like hinged forward, see if you can be on a really regal eagle, so you're sitting up quite tall, last breath, exhale to really step into darudasana, feeling this quality of subtle and grounded again, bend your knees, as you breathe in, you'll rake the air upwards, straightening your legs, taking a chi bath and as you exhale, you'll bend your knees and rake downwards, inhaling up, exhaling down, maybe close your eyes, two more, so our more subtle aspects in our being are beyond the common five senses, can be helpful to close the eyes and really connect, last one, eyes blink open, inhale, rake upwards and bring your hands to your heart. On your breath, you'll lift your right leg and as you exhale, you'll take a step back into a deep warrior one, inhaling the arms overhead, as you breathe out, left hand to the sacrum, right hand to the heart, one last time, grounding down into that center of earth and lifting up through the center of air here in the chest, maybe the right hand reaches up and away. On your inhale, bring the right hand to the mat, you could spin onto the ball of the back foot or keep it in a warrior one position, exhale, begin to turn into twist, left shoulder reaching up, keep moving forward into the left knee and squeezing around the midline, you might reach your left arm across the horizon, looking up and over the bicep and see if you can lift from the inner right arch into your inner hip for three, two and release, left hand to the sacrum, grab your block with your right hand, start to draw the right foot up, block goes right under the shoulder, inhale to lift the right leg, here's my least favorite pose, revolve to half moon, start to turn the left shoulder up and open and maybe lift the left arm, feel the root of the left thigh drawing back, turning all the way around your spine, three, two and inhale, roll on up, right leg comes with you and as you breathe out you'll wrap the right knee over the left knee, maybe getting the toe all the way around, then it's opposite arm on top, so it's left on top of right, back so the hands can touch or you can grab your thumb, drawing everything into midline, squeezing into midline, thigh bones into the hips, arm bones into the shoulders, three, two, exhale, release, let's take another round of chi baths, knees bent, palms face up, inhale raking the air, as long as your breath, exhale raking down, close your eyes, inhaling up, exhale down, two more on your own because your breath is unique, following your own breath, it's breath leading movement, not movement leading breath and let's meet up in tadasana, inhale, hands come to the heart, blink your eyes open, exhale arms to the sides of the body, you can turn your toes out slightly, if you'd like to because we have the block, you can grab it, we're going to come into malasana, hands to the heart and sit on down like you're sitting in a little mini stool, looking for this open hearted variation, thumbs moving towards the sternum, forearms parallel to the mat, see that the spine is long, notice that the chest is caving or the collar bones are disappearing in the body, can you bring the collar bones forward, keeping that space across the chest, you could bring your right ear towards your right shoulder if you'd like to, moving the chin gently across the chest, left ear to the left shoulder, keep drawing the right shoulder and the right collar bone away, take a breath to come to center, lifting the head back up, I'm going to go ahead and roll all the way onto our back so you can scoot your block to the side and roll all the way down, drawing the knees in and catching the outer edges of your feet for a nice happy baby, feeling that center of groundedness, your sacrum pressing onto the mat and that subtle aspect of the heart lifting up, see if you can breathe between those two centers, so from the hips, all the way up into the heart and exhale back down, bringing the soles of the feet together and onto the mat, I like this variation of Supta Baddha Konasana, it's a little bit more, it's interesting, it's a little bit different, so you'll reach for your ankles here, your hands will go around the outsides of your legs, bringing the soles of the feet together and onto the mat, then squeezing the outer edges of the feet down and in, still holding onto the angles here, see if you can elongate your spine, really pressing the feet down into the earth and together, releasing the chest, the shoulders and the neck onto the mat, releasing your feet and resting one hand on the belly and one hand on the heart, breathing into the belly first, crawling the breath up the ribs into the heart, exhaling back down, let's do one more, and this is the last one, releasing your hands from your body, help your legs come back together, then straightening them and I invite you to bring your big toes to touch, we're gonna come into a version of fish pose, so roll over to your left side, bring your right hand under your tush, palm face down and then roll over to your right side, left hand under the tush, the big toes can come back together, you'll press into your elbows, roll your thighs in, press into your elbows and start to draw up onto the crown of the head or onto your bun if you're wearing a bun and feel the heart really lifting and opening, the thighs rolling in, flexing the feet towards your knees, for just another big breath, to come out of the pose, slowly lower the head back down, release the hands from under your tush, widen your legs, widen your arms and rest in Shavasana, our final relaxation for just a few moments. In this posture, feel the heaviness of the bones and the force of gravity coming up to meet you, gravity melting the tension between the muscles and the bones, the whole body becomes heavy and all that is grounded and all that is earthy, swinging back into the body, becoming aware of the lightness of your breath, the space that the breath occupies as you inhale, returns to the space all around you as you exhale, feel the lightness, the spaciousness of your breath and all the space around the body and inside the body. This next breath, bring your elements of subtle and grounded back together, carefully and gently make your way up to seated, you can really take your time.

You're welcome to sit on your block or maybe you have a blanket to sit on today, I'm going to sit on a blanket. It's nice to bring the prop right in line with the bottom edge of the sitting bones, you can come to easy cross legged, maybe you feel like a half lotus variation today. Let's get ready for a few moments of meditation, we'll be here for about 10 minutes. So take the time to get all the last wiggles out, fix your clothing, get the hair situated, any last itches or scratches, get them out, all the things that our mind attaches to when we're trying to meditate, get those out of the way. So take another three breaths just to settle into the body as it is in this moment.

When you're ready, if you haven't yet, closing your eyes from top to bottom. And we'll begin by taking a short journey through the body, bringing your awareness to your hips and your sacrum and see that you're on the center of your sitting bones. Let the left and the right sitting bone have even pressure that you're not on the front or the back of the sitting bone. Draw up the front side of your spine, reaching the crown of the head up. Drop the front ribs as you breathe and open up your back ribs and carry that breath all the way up to the back of the neck, lengthening the back of the neck, up to the back of the head and down the front side of the face, releasing the expressions and the tension in your face.

Let your face be expressionless, neutral. See that the jaw is soft and the tongue and the mouth, the lips are touching but not touching. Open up the collarbones and the shoulders and release the skin of the abdomen. Feel the knees and feet heavy and grounded. With this illumination of your body, begin to invite your breath in.

We invite the breath in like we welcome a beloved guest or our best friend into our home, slowly inhaling, following the whole breath all the way in and the whole breath all the way out. See if you can take five breaths, uninterrupted breaths, totally aware of the breath. And if you find yourself lost in thought, coming back to the breath, beginning again, no frustration, no judgment. Releasing your breath awareness. Keep your eyes open for a moment.

We're going to spend the next few minutes holding the thumb against the pinky finger. So in yoga, groundedness is associated with the element of earth in the hips. Put about three pounds of pressure against the fingers and again closing your eyes, letting the palms rest face up, mudras or gestures, calm and balance the emotions via the nerve endings that run up in our hands, all the way up into our brain. We invite you to let your mind be soft and easy, to be open to the experience, allowing whatever comes up to come and go, observing it with curious compassion, noticing what you notice. Thank you.

Remember, if the mind's drifted off and thought, that's okay, it's just an opportunity to come back to the spaciousness, your center. Can lightly focus your awareness on your breath, and lightly focus your awareness on everything that's arising and falling in this moment. Thank you. You can release the mudra, releasing the ring finger and the thumb, and bring the palms to the heart, put about five pounds of pressure against the hands, lift the chest, lower the chin, looking downwards and inwards, all the practices of yoga, all aspects that guide us back here, back to our center. As you lift the chest and look into the space of the heart, honoring, connecting with that quiet presence, the spaciousness, the grounded and the subtle that you meet on the mat.

Really opening your eyes, releasing your palms, keep the gaze and stillness for a moment, and when you're ready, moving forward from this place. Thank you so much.


Jenny S
4 people like this.
This practice had some very challenging moments in it for me...and yet, your calm approach helped me to just relax into the challenges and even have fun with them 🥳! There were lots of interesting bits sprinkled throughout that I won’t spoil here...but let’s just say there was a lot packed into this 40 minutes and I enjoyed every bit of it! ✨✨✨
Christel B
Thanks for a lovely practice today. Namaste.
Wenlin Tan
1 person likes this.
Hi Nuria thanks for the lovely and challenging class. for the spinal / hip flossing, what sensations should we be looking out for and in which areas specifically? 
Hey Wenlin Tan! It's a floss for the sciatic nerve so you may feel sensation anywhere from the upper back hip all the way down the outer leg. The sensation will vary depending on the person. If you are quite open it may not feel much. If you're quite tight in the fascia along the outer leg/back hip the sensation may be quite strong. Look for a nice light "burn", no sharp shooting pain of course!  Have fun. x

Ahhh yes! Jenny , this is fun flow... one of my favorites from the series. x
Christel Namaste to you dear one. 🌙
Diane C
Another totally amazing unique class. Thank you for a wonderful experience. 
Brandi W
1 person likes this.
I am really enjoying your classes Nuria. It is so refreshing not do 1000 Sun Sals and Chatas. Your practices ignite a fire and I'm exploring and opening places long neglected. I've also never enjoyed meditation so much. 

I hope we see more classes just like this from you soon. Maybe just little longer as well? 

Thank you for your gift of teaching. Metta! 
Diane So sweet to "practice" with you!
Brandi Why thank you for appreciating the sequences I created! I too have Sun Salutation and Chaturanga "fatigue" 😂and it's nice to hear the practices are working for you. 
It would be really fun to do some longer classes with longer sits...we shall see! 
In the between, thanks for being here. 

x nuria
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