The Yoga Show with Kira & Friends Artwork
Season 2 - Episode 6

Centered in the Heart with Emily

60 min - Practice


Our practice has its root in its connection to others. Join Kira’s guest, Emily, for this sweet practice as we stay centered in the heart helping us find inner steadiness in discomfort. We begin with a blissful mantra with Emily accompanying on the harmonium. Then we move through heating sun salutes and standing poses, challenge our steadiness in balance poses, and melt into nourishing supine twists. We close with a mantra on freedom and peace for all.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video

Jun 20, 2020
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Welcome, friends, to the live yoga show. Today is Juneteenth, which marks the official end of slavery in the United States and the emancipation of Black people. And as we all know, it's just so excruciatingly and painful, which is how far we really have to go. Today we get to practice with a special guest, Emily Perry, up in Santa Cruz. Let's go to her now.

Hi, Kira. Hi, everyone. Thank you so much for having me. Emily, I'm so grateful for you being here today on this national holiday and grateful to our whole team who's helping this happen. Tell us a little bit about what you're going to be doing today to celebrate or to be aware of Juneteenth.

So for me as a cisgender white woman, today is really a day of reflection and remembrance and also taking action as a yogi for me. I need to really stand in this place of taking action so all beings can be free, right? So not one of us is free until we're all free. So for me, it's really this day of seeing how I can take action in the world to support Black Americans in this country. I really love what you just said.

It does always come down to action. And speaking of action, you have just launched your own effort for an online community, the Live Awake Collective. Tell us a little bit about that. Oh, thank you so much for mentioning it. The Live Awake Collective is an online space where we can gather together and do these practices and use tools to support us in living awake, waking up to what's happening in our lives and in the world and together taking action and really stepping into our purpose in what we call Dharma in the yoga tradition.

So I'm really excited about it. Oh, I love that word Dharma. Our teacher has always defined that as the responsibility to maintain order. To remind our viewers here today, next week we'll be celebrating with Melina Meza again for her five-day Ayurvedic Challenge every day at 10.30 a.m. Monday through Friday. And Emily, tell us a little bit about what we're going to be doing today with you.

So today's practice is called Centered in the Heart. And it's this remembrance of our heart center, our midline and the anchor of the heart. And so knowing that we can always come back to our center no matter what's happening around us and when we need it the most. So I'm really excited to share this practice. Oh, I'm so looking forward to practicing with you.

I've got my yoga duds on. Okay, it's all yours. Oh, thank you so much. Welcome everyone. So if you have special props that you enjoy for your yoga practice, you're welcome to go gather them and we're going to start seated.

And so you'll find your comfortable seat. I'm sitting on a block, so you might like to sit on something to sit comfortably tall. Heart lifting. And we'll begin with the hands together at the front of the heart and Anjali Mudra. Today bringing the thumbs to the heart and really lifting the heart to meet the thumbs.

And you're welcome to keep the elbows nice and wide and either gaze to the floor or close your eyes. Just take a moment to arrive. I'm just getting present to what's happening right now for you in your body, in your breath. So we'll be working with a mantra this morning. This mantra for me is this great remembrance, right?

The remembrance of the heart, the remembrance of that universal love that can hold us all. And so our mantra is Anandama, Anandama, Jay Jay Ma, Ananda meaning bliss, Jay meaning victory to, Ma meaning mother. And we'll start with our intention held in the heart. And as you take this moment to set your intention, hold the space for what you want to hold in that universal love, holding space for what's ever up for you, whatever you're present to. And we'll chant together and we'll start with an Om.

And then our mantra is Anandama, Anandama, Jay Jay Ma. And so you're welcome to join in or listen in wherever you are. Let's begin with an Om together. So take a deep inhale, Om. So we'll chant each line twice, and so as you get the hang of it, just join on in, yeah?

Anandama, Anandama, Jay Jay Ma, Anandama, Anandama, Jay Jay Ma, again, yeah? Anandama, Anandama, Jay Jay Ma, Anandama, Jay Jay Ma, Jay Jay Ma, Jay Jay Ma, Jay Jay Seeâ??seeâ??hehehâ??meowâ?? SEEâ??seeâ??heâ??meowâ?? together Seeâ??seeâ??meowâ?? SEEâ??seeâ??meow Seeâ??seeâ??meow Seeâ?? see â??meow Seeâ??seeâ??meow Seeâ??seeâ??meow Seeâ??seeâ??meow Son- J.J. Mahan, anandamah, anandamah, J.J. Mahan, anandamah, J.J. Mahan, again together, anandamah, anandamah, J.J. Mahan, anandamah, anandamah, J.J. Mahan. Beautiful. Take a moment. Deep breath in. One big om. Om. Beautiful. When you're ready, simply rubbing your hands together, opening your eyes. Let's start in Downward Facing Dog. So if you're sitting on something like I am, you're going to set that to the side. And we'll begin in Downward Facing Dog. You can set my block to the side too. And then once you find your way to Down Dog, hands really firmly pressing into the earth, feet about hip-width distance, go ahead and walk out your dog. This might be your first Down Dog in a while. So take a moment, walk out your dog, pedal it out. Beautiful. And then both legs will eventually straighten. And then take a moment to arrive and find the midline. So we're centering in the heart today. Our heart center is our anchor.

So even here in Down Dog, see if you can find that midline as a body. And then on your next inhale, simply land the knees to the mat and then lift your heart so it's a cow tilt. Spreading the collarbones wide. On your exhale, drop your tailbone chin to throat like a Halloween cat. Find your super meow. And then inhale, spread the collarbones, lift the heart. Exhale, hips dip back to heels, then Downward Facing Dog. Yeah? We'll do one more like that. Inhale, knees to the mat, heart lifts, collarbones spread, breath in. Exhale, drop your tailbone chin to throat, cat pose. Inhale, spread through the collarbones, lift through the heart. And then exhale, again, hips to heels, Downward Facing Dog. Nice work. Bring your big toes to touch. And then on your inhale, the right leg sweeps high. Exhale, step your right foot between your hands. Keep your back heel lifted. Inhale, rise up, Crescent Lunge or High Lunge.

Take a deep breath in. You can bend into the back knee if you need to. Arms are about shoulder distance apart. Energy in the hands. Lift through the heart. Take a deep breath in. And then Warrior II. Exhale, ground your back heel. Arms are wide. Beautiful. Stay strong in the arms. Back hand to back leg. Flip the front arm open. And then inhale, reverse your warrior. Leading with the heart, take a deep breath in. Exhale, take your hands to the mat. Lift your back heel, Plank Pose. Inhale. So this is our Vinyasa. You're welcome to modify. Otherwise, as we breathe in, we're in Plank. Exhaling it's Chaturanga or Lower Slow. Up Dog or Cobra. On your inhale. And then exhale, Downward Facing Dog. Nice work. Take a moment to arrive in Down Dog. Arms are strong. Find your center. Take an inhale. As you exhale, push them out away. Maybe bring your big toes to touch. Left leg. Inhales, high to the sky. Big breath in. Exhale, step it forward. High Lunge. Crescent Lunge. Back Heels, lift it.

Inhale, sweeping the arms up. So the heart shines forward. There's this sense of lift from the back of the heart. Take a deep breath in. Warrior II, ground your back heel. Open it up. And I like to gaze towards the middle finger of my left hand. So you can try that to focus your mind. Back hand, back leg. Flip the front arm. Reverse Warrior. Inhale. Leading with the heart once again. Exhale, take your hands to the mat. Plank Pose. Inhale. Your Vinyasa. Exhale. If you like Chaturanga. Up Dog. Inhale. Down Dog. Exhale. And then finding your Downward Facing Dog. So I find this pose can be so beautiful in terms of really helping us anchor into the present moment. So getting present to what's happening right now for you. And as you next inhale, we're going to look for lift our heels and just take a couple of big lunging steps towards the top of the mat. Meet me at halfway lift. Inhale. You can have hands to shins or fingertips to floor. Exhale. Folding in. So this is my favorite pose. You're going to bend your knees. Take your feet to the edges of your mat. Ragdoll. So you're going to grab your elbows with your hands and just rock side to side. Getting present to what's happening now for you, for the collective. Letting your head go. And then you'll release your arms and bend your knees more. And then slowly roll your way to standing. And then we'll bring the big toes to touch. Hands at the heart. Samasthiti. Beautiful. So from here you're going to bring your hands to your hips. You're going to lift your left knee up towards your chest. And then use your hands to hold the left shin.

Standing tall. Stay here or the right hand will hold the knee. And then you'll inhale. Open the left arm towards the left. So you're twisting towards your bent left knee. Beautiful. Inhale that left arm back to center. Using your hands, you're going to take that left foot into tree pose. Hands to heart. So stay steady. Ground into the center line, right? That center of our being, the heart center. You can stay here or arms inhale up by our sides towards the sky. Parallel arms. Take a deep breath. Beautiful. Exhale, hands to the heart. And then the big toes touch. We'll take a vinyasa. Arms release. Inhale, sweep it up. Urvahastasana. Exhale, fold it forward. Uttanasana. Got it. Inhale, halfway lift position. So this is where you get to choose. Like do I jump back to Chaturanga or do I step back to plank? I'm going to step back to plank this round, but if you have a jump back, you're welcome to go there. Otherwise, together we'll step back. Plank pose. Inhale. And then Chaturanga, exhale. Or your vinyasa. Up dog with a breath in. And then down dog.

Take it back. Big toes together. Inhale, right leg high. Exhale, step it forward. Crescent lunge. That high lunge once again. Back heels lifted. And then inhaling, the arms swim up and forward, lifting up through the heart. High lunge. Big expansive breath in. Can we stay centered in the heart as we balance here? And then as you exhale, open, warrior two. Beautiful. Now this is a place where we are going to be heading maybe towards a half moon here. So if you like a block, you're welcome to get that handy, okay? Back hand to back leg. You'll flip your front arm and then reverse your warrior. Take a deep breath in. Now as you exhale, start to straighten to the front leg and it becomes a reverse triangle on your next inhale. Triangle pose exhale. So you're going to reach out and away. You'll take either the hand to the shin, a block if you like, or the floor. And then we'll bring that left hand to the sky. And it's an ignition in the legs. Now your left palm, turn it towards the top of your mat and then take your arm towards your ear. So I call this side angle triangle. And so there's a sense of expansion from the legs into the heart. And can I get present to what's happening for me in this moment? See if you can find your breath, what's happening for you. And then we'll look down. You can take your left hand to your hip. You can bend your front knee, step your back foot in, maybe like a half step. And then on your inhale, you'll shift into a half moon. You can see in triangle, you can also take your right hand onto a block, okay? Left leg is strong and then left arm over shoulder two, three. Take a deep breath in. You'll bend your standing knee to land back to warrior two. Nice work. Okay, reverse warrior inhale, take a deep breath. Hands to the mat, exhale, vinyasa, step it back, plank, inhale, exhale, flow it through, chaturanga, up dog, inhale, down dog, exhale. Nice work. Maybe take a nice little exhale with me. Let's do this. Inhale, lift your heels. As you exhale, take your heels to the mat and go, let something go. One more, inhale, lift your heels, exhale, big sigh. Now you can again jump to the top of the mat or inhale, lift your heels and take a couple lunging steps forward. Halfway lift, breath in, exhale to fold. Bend your knees, take your feet two fists width apart, okay? This is a measurement I like. You can even go wider. This is paragusthasana. So you're going to take your peace fingers, you're going to hook your big toes and then you're going to inhale to halfway lift. You can keep your knees as bent as you need to, okay? And then exhale, fold. And we're breathing. Find your midline, especially here. So the more we can get present to what's happening now for ourselves, the more we can get present to what's happening for others as well, right? So honoring our experience honors the experience of others. Next breath in, halfway lift. Hands to hips, exhale, draw the belly back, inhale, come all the way up to standing. Nice. So bring your big toes to touch once again or just bring the legs together. Second side. So left foot's down, right knee lifts, you'll hold the shin with the hands. Find steadiness here. Left hand will connect to right knee and then as you inhale, the right arm can open towards the back edge of your mat. Stay steady. Inhale, come back to center and now using your hands to place the right foot in tree pose. Hands can find the heart, just like we do before, okay? Now, maybe you fall out just like I did. So you'll stay in tree or you'll bring your arms up overhead for an expanded sense of rootedness in your tree pose, okay? So we find that connection. And then on your next inhale, the hands come back to the heart and you can step the foot down. Release the arms. Inhale, sweep it up, Urdhvaasasana. Exhale, fold it in, forward fold. Beautiful. Inhale, halfway lift. Again, the option is to jump back to Chaturanga or simply step back, take a Vinyasa, yeah? Like plank. Chaturanga. Up dog, inhale. Down dog, exhale. Beautiful.

Legs together. Inhale, left leg high. Exhale, step it forward. High lunge, crescent lunge. Back heel stays lifted. Inhaling, arms sweep to the sky. So again, there's a sense of expansion in the heart. Take a deep breath in. Exhale, ground your back heel. Vira 2, warrior 2. Back hand, back leg, reverse warrior. Inhale. Now for the exhale, you're going to straighten the leg. You're in the reverse triangle now. On your inhale, exhale, hand to shin or again find that block, triangle pose or hand to floor. So you can see the back side of my triangle here. And there's a sense of trying to line up the hips, the head, the heart, but leading with the heart, right? Leading with the heart. Right palm, that upper palm turns towards the top edge of your mat. Take your arm to your ear, a side angled triangle. Expand from the heart center. And this is a beautiful place to stay. Okay. Or look down, take your right hand to your right hip. Bend your front knee. Sip your back foot in. Half moon. Inhale. Ardha Chandra. Right leg lifts. Stay strong. And then you'll lift the right arm. Again, block if you like. Couple of breaths in. So I love this mantra that we did today. Ananda being bliss, right? Holding ourselves in the bliss of the heart, right? That steady center. Slowly lowering down when you're ready. Bend top, front knee, ground back foot. Warrior two. Reverse for the inhale. And then hands to the mat. Exhale. Let's take a vinyasa. Step it back. Follow it through. Breathe. And then downward facing dog. Okay. So you're in down dog. Take an inhale, lift your heels. This time you're going to buzz your lips as you take your heels to the mat. Let your face go. One more. Inhale, lift your heels. Exhale, buzz your lips. And then from here, walking to the top of your mat or again jumping or going. Halfway lift. Inhale. Exhale to fold. This is called padahastasana. Okay. So what you'll do is bend your knees, take your feet again two fists width apart. But you're going to slide your hands underneath the soles of the feet. Okay. Knees can be very, very bent here. This is really more about this connection, belly to thigh, letting the head go than it is about how straight the legs get. So releasing what needs to be let go of in this moment. And then on your next breath in, you'll find your halfway lift. On your exhale, hands to hips, belly draws back towards the spine. Your knees can stay bent and then you'll inhale, come all the way up to standing. Beautiful. So right foot stays down, left foot lifts back into that knee to chest position. So go ahead, hug the knee in. Your right hand will hold the left knee and then we'll inhale open towards the left. A couple of breaths.

Beautiful. So inhale, come back to center, bring both arms up overhead. Here's what you're going to do. You're going to exhale, you're going to step this foot down and we're going to actually sit into malasana. So you're going to sit slowly down into a yogic squat. I like a wider stance here. You're welcome to have a shorter stance, but yogic squat malasana. Okay. You ready? Here we go. We're going to stand up and draw that left knee back into our chest. Okay. So you're going to inhale, stand up, draw your left knee back in, holding the knees, the knee with the hand. And then we'll again, inhale, twist open. Option here is to extend this left leg. You might hold the outer edge of the foot and extend the leg too. Home three. Okay. Keep the leg extended. If you don't have it extended, go ahead, extend your left leg with us, reach your arms overhead. Take a deep breath in. Exhale, draw the knee to the chest. We're going to swim it back to crescent. So you're going to slowly reach back with your arms, like through airplane, through a warrior three, the left leg reaches back, land the left foot down, crescent lunge, high lunge. Inhale, sweep the arms up. You did it. Take a deep breath in. Beautiful. Exhale, open, warrior two. So we're going to add on. Again, if you want that block, go ahead, grab your block. Backhand, back leg, reverse your warrior. Stay here for the exhale, expand the front leg straight. Inhale, reach from your center. Triangle, exhale, reach, reach, reach, reach, reach. Hand to shin or floor. Opposite hand to sky. Beautiful. Draw the navel back. Find that connection to your heart center. Spin the upper palm towards the top edge of your mat. Take your arm to your ear. Side angle, triangle. Big breath in. Can you lengthen from your hip bone to your hand? Can we expand into our heart, that steady center? Okay, so stay here or I'm going to start to straighten the front leg. This is where you might grab, bend the front leg. This is where you might grab your block for side angle pose. So I'm just going to go right into a side angle pose by bending the front knee. So you can try that, maybe using a block for the hand. You can also come up onto the elbow. Okay. Breathing here. One more beautiful breath in. And then hands land inside your right foot. Lift your left heel. Lizard pose. High lizard. So you can widen your stance. And by that I mean you can take your feet towards the edges of your mat. And then you can have the knee down or hover the knee. Just a moment here. And then from here, you're welcome to simply go back through a vinyasa or go to down dog. So I'm going to lift my hips quite a bit, step back, plank, and then take a vinyasa or skip the vinyasa and go to downward facing dog. Okay. So join me for an inhale. Big breath in. Exhales in awe. Heels to the mat. Next breath in. Lift your heels. Look forward. Bend your knees. Step, jump, walk, float. Meanest at the top of your mat. Halfway lift. Exhale, fold. And then simply rise to stand. Inhale. Ground your feet. Lift your heart. Arms to the sky. Exhale, hands to the heart. If you like, take a moment here. Left hand on the heart. Right hand on top. Just take a moment to ground. If you like, close your eyes or gaze to the floor. And just find your steady center. Drop into that midline of the body. You can even hug in energetically with your feet like they're going to wrinkle the mat between the feet. And knowing that we can always come back to this, this steady center whenever we need it the most. Beautiful. When you're ready, opening your eyes. Your left foot will stay anchored. And your right knee will lift. And from here, we'll hold the shin once again. Hold the knee with the left hand. And then on your breath in, opening your right arm towards the right. Beautiful. Take your breath in. And then slowly come back to center. Step your right foot down. Malasana, second side. You can step the left foot a little bit wider if you need it. And then slowly lower down.

Malasana pose, yogic squat. This is like medicine, this pose. Medicine for all things. Couple of breaths. Now as we rise up together, we'll inhale. So hug that energetic midline. Inhale, come up. And then see if you can just lift your right knee up into your chest, arms to sky. Exhale, left hand to right knee. Open, right arm to the back edge of your mat. Stay here or extend legs. So again, you can find that foot and extend the leg out in front of you. Okay, here's what we're going to do. Keep the leg out. Everybody reaching arms overhead. Leg to the sky. Take an inhale. And as you exhale, you're going to swim it back. So you'll bend the knee. Reach through a warrior three pose. And airplane arms. Land the foot down. Inhale, crescent lunge, high lunge. Take a deep breath in. Beautiful. Exhale. Bend your back heel. Open it up. Warrior two. All right. Back hand, back leg. Reverse warrior inhale. Stay for the exhale and you'll straighten into the front leg. Inhale to expand through the center. Triangle. Exhale. Reach, reach, reach, reach, reach. Hand to shin or floor. Ops the hand to sky. And again, if you enjoy having a block here, you're welcome to find that. Turn your palm towards the top edge of your mat. Take your arm towards your ear. Side angle, triangle. I just love getting into the deep recesses of this pose. So see if you can use your breath to find the depth. Now, using your block or taking the elbow to the knee as you start to bend into the left knee, and we find ourselves side angle. Heart open. Head, hips, heart in alignment. And then slowly take your right hand inside the left foot. Lift your right heel. Lizard pose. Go ahead and widen your stance if you need it. Hands can also be on a block or two. A couple of moments here in lizard. And then it's the big step back into our vinyasa or to down dog. Lift your hips quite a bit. Step it back. Plank pose. Take your vinyasa or meet us down dog. Downward facing dog. Nice work you guys. So here's what you'll do. Take your feet to the edges of your mat. Walk back to your feet. You're going to walk backwards. Bend your knees, ragdoll. Hands and elbows hug in. And you'll rock it out side to side. Play with straightening and bending knees.

Let it feel organic. So we're really finding that center, even as we rock side to side here, thinking of that center line. Like a helix spinning around that study center. Now release your arms. Bend your knees a lot. Slowly roll to stand. All right. Nice work. Now let's step it wide. Step your right foot wide on your mat facing the long edge of your mat for a prostratus dance. So you want the outer edges of your feet parallel to the outer edges of your mat. Arms reach out. Take a deep breath in, interlacing the hands behind the back. Now if you need to strap or like a hand towel, it can be really helpful here as a bridge between the hands. You're welcome to do that. You can also take hands to hips. Inhale, lift the heart, prostratus C. Exhale, fold forward. Hands reach up and over towards that long edge of the mat and find your breath. This is a great opportunity as well to just get present to what's happening for you. Now in this moment, get present to what you're feeling inside the pose, right, in the inner form. Gently release the grip of your hands. Take your hands to the mat and find your halfway lift position. Beautiful. So you'll turn your right toes out. You're going to take a side lunge towards the right. And then the option here is to lift the ball of the left foot and really anchor into the heel. You can be high and proud here, as my teacher says. Like, keep it high if you need to keep it high, okay? You can also play with taking the ball of the foot, lifting it. Option, level two, arms reach forward. Hands to mat, gently lift hips. Nice and slow. Let's go to second side. So the left toes can turn out. Again, you can just gently bend the knee and stay here.

Forward, we start to lift the ball of the foot. Stay there. Or again, the arms can reach forward. Breathe. So we're looking for steadiness, even in the challenge, right? Find that steady heart. Beautiful. Hands down, inhale, lift your hips nice and slow. Legs straighten-ish. Exhale, fold back in. Option is hands to floor. You can also have the hands gently wrapped behind the heels. We're all in different places in this pose today. So if you need to stay higher on the fingertips or have your hands on blocks, that's a beautiful place to be as well. And then from here, find your halfway lift. We're actually going to walk towards this right leg. The left hand will find its way onto the right shin or ankle. I'm going to place my right hand on top and just fold, twisting fold. Stay with your breath. And then slowly through center. Take your right hand to the left leg, maybe the ankle. Left hand on top. Inhale, find space. Exhale, fold in. So steadiness in that play of uncomfortability is the heart of it, right? So really finding a sense of inner steadiness. Now, inhale, come back to center, half lift. Hands to hips, exhale, draw your belly back towards your spine. Inhale, rise up. Beautiful. And then step to the top of your mat. Let's take our vinyasa, arms release. Inhale, sweep it up, urdhva hastasana. Exhale, fold forward, forward fold, uttanasana. You can gaze towards your shins if you like. Half lift, inhale. Now you're welcome just to step back to down dog or you're going to float through a vinyasa. So yogi's choice, but meet us in down dog. I'm going to jump back to chaturanga. I'm just going to place that. So you're welcome to plant your hands and do that or step back to plank. Take a vinyasa. Up dog inhale. Down dog exhale. Knees to the mat. Okay, slightly wider than the hips or the knees. Tuck your toes. Baby puppy, forearms down. Otherwise, onhata asana or puppy dog pose, and you'll take your heart towards the mat. And breathe. And look between your arms. Slowly come onto your knees and come onto your belly. And you can actually take your forearms down if you like for a moment. This is a shoulder stretch with a bent elbow. So we're going to take the right arm in an L shape on the floor. And you're going to take your right cheek to the mat. Place your left hand underneath your left shoulder. Point the elbow up. And then you'll gently press into the left hand to roll towards the right arm. This is a beautiful pec stretch and helps really open like congestion around the heart. Energetic congestion, so to speak. So really just breathing into the pose. And then inhale to center. Let's do second side. Left arm like an L, elbows parallel with shoulder. Right hand underneath shoulder, elbow up. Take left cheek or left ear to the mat. And then gently rolling to open up into that left side. Couple of breaths. Staying centered in the heart. Staying present with it all, right? So inhale, come to center nice and slow. Back to sphinx pose. Forearms are down. This is a quad stretch. And you're welcome to modify as needed. Your right palm will spin in. The forearm will be down. And the left hand will steady you as you bend your left knee. Go ahead, reach back, catch the foot for a quad stretch. This is your version, okay? Couple of breaths. Beautiful, releasing.

And switching sides. The tendency in this pose sometimes is to collapse in the heart. So see if you can instead center yourself in your heart, center yourself in that left forearm, press the earth away as you stretch into that right side. And then gently releasing. You're going to scroll onto your back. So somehow, some way, lifting and shifting yourself to lie down on your back. And these are bent. Okay. So this is one of my favorite times. We're going to head into a bridge pose together. And then we'll adventure perhaps. Perhaps you'll see a bridge with me. So your feet are hip width distance. Go ahead, walk your feet comfortably close to your hips. Arms are by your sides. Today we're going to play with, I call them robot arms. You're going to bend the elbows. And then take your palms, make them nice and clear and active. And they're facing one another. Walk, walk, walk. Yeah, got it? Forearms down into the mat. Feet are anchoring into the earth. Center yourself in the midline. See if you can find that midline energy. You'll exhale, gently scoop the tailbone a bit. Inhale, lift your hips off the mat. You can stay here or gently shrug the shoulders under a bit and walk the triceps slightly more in or those upper arm bones more in. And you'll push your arms into the mat as you take your heart back. So even in these moments of uncomfortability or of challenge, can we stay centered in our heart? And that's going to bring us that steadiness to be able to be present for whatever's happening. It's this beautiful yoga of the heart. Gently lift your heels and then slowly roll your way down onto your back. And then maybe rest your knees together and then the hands can rest on the legs. Here's a couple options for you. Stay with what we just did for Bridge. You can add the interlace of the hands behind the back for Bridge, which is what we're going to do next. Okay. You can also modify. Okay, arms are by sides or getting robot arms. Exhale, tailbone scoops, inhale, lift hips. And again, this time, like in Prostereta C, you might interlace your hands behind the back, shrug the shoulders under to sew you off the neck and then take the heart back. Breathe. Stay expansive. And then arms can release heels left and slowly roll down. Nice work. And then pause, breathe. A couple of moments here.

So you're welcome to stay with either of those, right? You're a robot, Bridge, interlacing hands behind the back, pose, version of Bridge. Otherwise, it's Urdvit on your asana upward bow or wheel. We're just going to take one more back bend here. And so tuning into yourself, like where are you today, what feels like it would really be that decision, that choice that feels really in alignment with where you are right now. If you're going to join me for wheel, you'll plant the hands over the shoulders and the elbows will point up. Okay. Otherwise, going back to a Bridge pose. And then for Urdvit on your asana or wheel, if you can pause on the top of your head, you'll do that. Otherwise, you can press your way up into your Urdvit on your asana. I like to pause, check in and then inhale, rise up. And breathe. Expand from the center. Find them in line by hugging the knees in, expanding into your heart. And then gently come down. Nice work. Bring your feet together, knees apart. This time hands on the belly. Just take a moment to arrive. Come back down into the steady center of your heart, your body. Knowing that we have what we need to show up, right, completely, whatever's happening within us and around us. When you're ready, you'll open your eyes, draw your right knee into your chest, extend your left leg. Give your right knee a hug. It's half happy baby. So the sole of the right foot will shine and you can hold behind the thigh, the inner or the outer foot. Just take a moment. Breathe. So from here, bend your left knee and plant the foot down. Take your right ankle to your left knee. This could be enough hip stretch today or you're going to lift, interlace your hands, hug in. Take an inhale with me, big breath in and big breath out the mouth. Release the grip of the hands, cross your right knee all the way over the left knee like a half eagle. Take both of your knees, sink them towards the left edge of your mat, cactus your arms, look towards the right. Finding our steady center. Inhale the knees to the center, unravel them, draw that left knee in, give it a hug, extend your right leg. Half happy baby. So Ananda Balasana is a name for happy baby. Ananda meaning bliss. So it's really like half blissful baby. And bliss being not just like this crazy joy, but it's also this deep sense of knowing. It's this very complicated feeling, Ananda. It's got lots of layers to it. Go ahead, take your right foot down. Take your left ankle to your right knee or thigh, stay there or interlace the hands. So many of these words have so many layers of meaning, these beautiful Sanskrit words. So stay connected to your breath. Now release the grip, cross the left knee over the right half eagle, knees sink to the right, cactus your arms, look left. Breathe. Inhale your knees to center, unravel your legs. You're going to rock and roll your way up to sit. So go ahead, rock up. We're going to take a wide legged fold. So go ahead, take your legs wide like a V. This is a place where often people like a prop. And so you're welcome to take a block or blankets or couch cushion or something underneath the hips, if that's helpful for you. Otherwise, you can stay upright here. This is a beautiful place to be. Or we begin to walk forward. Maybe palms up.

And so just knowing like our practice has its roots in its connection to others, right? It's all about relationship, right? So staying connected to your breath. So we can connect to others and staying present for what's happening for us. So we can stay present for what's happening for others. As we we gently walk up, you'll take your left arm and you'll inhale, take it up to the sky, lean towards your right leg. Side stretch. That'd be sweet. The idea of Ananda, right? And then arm to sky, inhale, rise. Second side, right arm reaches up, you'll lean over. Breathe. Arm to sky, inhale, rise. Then gently using hands if you need to, to bring your legs together. And this is what I love to do at this moment in time is the Parita Karani. And I like a block. You can use a couch cushion. You can also do this without a block. I'll show you both ways. It's active reversal. And it's a way to return the prana to the heart since we're in this heart centered practice today. So with a block, you just lift the hips and you take the legs up. Now you're at home probably, you probably have a wall and you can take your legs up the wall, which is awesome. So you can take that version as well. Legs up the wall pose. You can hover your hips on a block or without the block, you simply just take your legs up. You can have knees bent if you need that. And just take a moment to allow the prana, our energy to return back to the home of the heart. In all these ways, we throw our energy out in the world, coming back home to center, staying centered in the heart. You're welcome to keep your legs up the wall. Otherwise, if your hips are on the block, you'll gently remove the block. We'll bring our knees into our chest. We're going to take a last twist here before we set up for our Shavasana. Both knees head to the right, using your right hand on the knees. And then the left arm can cactus like an L shape again, and you can gaze towards your left. Inhale to center and switch sides and breathe. As you inhale next, you'll find your way back to center and we'll set up for Shavasana. So we are going to meet up again after Shavasana. We'll close together. So you're welcome to set yourself up, legs wide, arms wide. And if you need something like underneath the thighs or underneath the chest, you're welcome to find that. Otherwise, the arms are wide. You can lift your heart on your inhale and then release the heart to the mat. Take a deep breath with me. We're going to take two clearing breaths. Ready? Inhale, take your breath in. Exhale. Let something go out your mouth. One more. Inhale. Exhale.

Let it go. Soften your eyes and your jaw. Allow yourself to just be with your breath. Exhale. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

You're welcome to stay wherever you are. Send your Shavasana. Or you might join us for our closing mantra. You might inhale and reach your arms out and stretch it out and roll to a side. You're essentially pushing your way up to a seat.

Hands back at the heart. You're welcome to place your left hand on your heart and the right hand on top. Coming back to our steady center in the heart. There's this beautiful mantra that we chant in the yoga tradition. Lokha, samastah, suki no bhavantu.

May all beings be happy and free. May all beings everywhere know freedom. May all beings everywhere know peace. May all beings everywhere be well. May all beings everywhere know ananda.

And so in yoga we see how we are all tied together. Your freedom, my freedom. And so as we chant together, maybe we can chant for that. Chant for our intention, chant for freedom. Chant in celebration of the beauty of all human beings.

So you're welcome to join in or listen in. Anandama. Anandama, anandama, jijima. Again. Anandama, anandama, jijima.

Jijima, jijima, jijima, jijima. Jijima, jijima, jijima, jijima, jijima. Anandama, anandama, jijima. Chant for what you're holding in your heart. Anandama, anandama, jijima.

Anandama, anandama, jijima. Anandama, anandama, jijima. Jijima, jijima, jijima, jijima, jijima, jijima. Hands again, return to the heart, let's take this moment to again recognize the beauty of all. Lokasamastasukino bhavantu.

Offering it up with an om together, take a deep breath in. Om. Om. Thank you so much for being here and for sharing your practice with us here on Yoga Anytime. Namaste.


Jenny S
2 people like this.
Hi Emily! I always love your Bhakti-infused practices and your sweet cheeriness...the world sure does need more of that right now. I entered the practice feeling quite worn out mentally and physically but the asanas and chanting set me right, as they always do. Blessings to you and thank you!
Emily Perry
Jenny Thank you for practicing with me, and us. It means so much to me that we can all come together right now and practice together. It's so healing. Thank you for being a part of this amazing community!
Sandra Židan
Thank you very much, Emily, for this beautiful and calming practice! You've made my day better with it! Namaste! ❤️💜💗💝
Emily Perry
1 person likes this.
Sandra Židan That is so lovely to hear! Thank you so much for practicing with us!
David G-
2 people like this.
Emily, so related to your Juneteenth comments. I had a tense day (7 hours driving and stuck in some Holland tunnel traffic in NYC), and I had KOMA (knowledge of missing out) with a fun bike club morning ride I could only read about on WhatsApp. So dropping into this class was a perfect way to enter the collective (or mettaverse) and feel ananda. Thanks to Jenny for pushing me to look up Bhati. This felt like a college dorm hangout. Your laughter is infectious and allowed me to experience my own travails with the more difficult asanas. Such a great way to fire up the mirror neurons.  I will look up your online community. Namaste, David 
Emily Perry
1 person likes this.
David G- Thank you for practicing with us!!! Great to have you here!

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