Summer Ayurveda Yoga Challenge Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 5

Day 3: Into the Wild

75 min - Practice


This practice is inspired by traditional Hatha Yoga postures and moves the asanas into new territory. In Day 3 of your challenge, we explore familiar postures and give them a new twist to discover new sensations, muscles, strength, and curiosity that keeps you inspired for the long yoga journey ahead. We’ll play with supine, prone, standing, and balance shapes in exciting new ways to satisfy the adventurer in you. We direct today’s Guided Loving-Kindness Meditation directed toward Community.

Your Self Care Homework Challenge for Day 3:

  • Prepare your meals in the morning while it's cool in the house.
  • Eat all your meals outside.
  • Buy local food.
  • Adventure outside before sunset.
What You'll Need: Mat, Blanket, Block

About This Video


Read Full Transcript

Hello, everyone. Welcome to day three of our Ayurveda Summer Challenge here with Yoga Anytime live streaming once again from magical Ojai, California. I hope you can appreciate this lovely environment. I know I certainly do. Today our practice is called Into the Wilds.

And for practice, we'll need a blanket and two blocks. And of all days to stick around all the way through the end of the show, today is the day because remember we have our Q&A at the end of this session today for about 10 minutes. So stick around today and see what kind of questions come up about our practice. And I'm really excited to jump in with you today. So if you will grab your blankets and the way that you found it on the shelf, perhaps like when you used to go to the yoga studio, we're going to open it up from that shape so it's longer.

And then from that longer shape, depending on the kind of blanket you have, I'm going to fold mine in a third, pick up the whole thing. Maybe you've done this before, fold it back on itself, pick it up one more time. This is probably the most advanced part of class right here. And then you've got that shape that's definitely wider than your spine. And depending on the length of your body, this will vary.

So what we'll do is sit on one end, more or less, of your blankets and come down onto your back. And it might require a little bit more balance to find yourself on this edge, which is also why we're doing this today, to pay maybe a little more attention to our reclined posture and maybe get a little more openness through the front of the spine. So the block would potentially go between your thighs. And I like to hold maybe about the medium shape of the block between my legs. And once the block is in place, you take a little bit of the blanket and tuck it underneath your neck.

So it gives a little bit of support for that occipital ridge. It feels like you get a little traction in the neck area. And give yourself time again to make the fold just right so there's nothing irritating about it. And you bring your legs in to hold that block to hopefully relax your hip creases. And when all those things feel right, let your arms drop out to your sides, eyes close.

So when we're going out into nature, into the wild, I always think of safety first. So throughout the practice today, make sure all the postures and shapes we do feel safe. Give yourself permission to make any variations of the poses to actually keep your body healthy. And then when you relax into the props here today, my hope is that we start to awaken a little bit more of your senses in the way that when we go into nature, perhaps our senses start to wake up a little bit more. So while we're reclined, perhaps we can let the eyes actually close and give that sense organ a little rest so that maybe you can hear a little bit more what's going on outside.

Maybe in your room or your house and just be aware of the sounds. We try to weave those into our practice. Not sure that you can hear, but there's little bird sounds in the trees above me, a little bit of sound of work in the neighborhoods. I just want to take all that in and just landing a little bit more here in this environment, coming home to myself as part of this environment. And then maybe you can sense if there's any lights on your skin, from in the windows, from outside.

I'm just noticing what that feels like to maybe have some lights on your body. Is there any particular temperature? What does that feel like on the skin? And as we rest here in our own little environment, maybe there's a particular smell, something you're aware of and can include into this practice. And as we go a little further into nature, often we start to link up a little more with our breath.

We find our rhythm and comfortable breath to pace ourselves for this journey, for this next hour. It's a comfortable rhythm for your breath. And then we'll explore different pathways in the body to open in various positions. And so the first place I want us to start to explore is a little bit our upper body. So if you can take your time and let your arms float off the ground and reach them straight up into the air above your shoulders or chest.

Take your right arm over your left arm and give yourself a hug this morning. When you grab those shoulder blades, maybe let your upper body tip just a little bit side to side and you're mindful of balancing on this edge. But just a little massage for that upper back and giving yourself a little bit of love here for showing up for yoga this morning. Okay, settle, open your arms wide and take now your right arm on top of your left arm. And as best as you can, give yourself that hug might involve a little rocking side to side.

Oh, it's really good hugs today. Snuggle on in, take a big breath and let the back of the heart soften into your blankets. Now we're going to release the arms and as you reach up, reach over and catch the opposite elbow for a moment with your hand and they'll let your arms travel a little further back towards the sides of your ears or towards the floor back behind you. And hopefully we've got enough space for the arms to fall back and feel how your shoulder blades might even be falling a little bit more into space or maybe you've set it up so they land on the blankets. You can just feel again a little bit more space through the sides of your chest here.

Let's take a big breath in, big breath out. Let's release your arms now forward and catch that block and set it to the side. We'll use it again shortly, but just set it to a side. Now let's start bringing the knees in towards your chest and be careful because again, you're on this little edge to pay a little more attention than the core might even wake up simply here to balance as you pull your knees slightly in towards your chest. And from here then let your right leg and your right arm stretch away from each other and find that nice long stretch in your right sides.

So that right leg dangles off to the side and right arm reaches back towards your ear. Hug the left knee in towards your chest. And just let gravity take your limbs back towards the floor. Let's go ahead and switch out now and hold your right knee with your right hand and drop your left leg to the ground and left arm back by your ear and maybe stretch that left hand and left heel as far away from each other as you can comfortably without straining your eyes or your back. Meaning these first few poses again, the eyes might still be relaxed so that you can listen more to breath, to sounds.

Let some of your other senses start to wake up. Bring both knees back in towards your chest and as you hold your knees towards your chest, raise both arms back by your ears or send them back by your ears as you raise your legs up. So our upside down downward dog as you balance on this little blanket edge. Let's bend your knees, hug your knees back into your chest and then again send your legs up, arms back by your ears, big stretch to the back of the legs. Again hug your knees into your chest and again our upside down downward dog.

Let's do one more, hug your knees in towards your chest, upside down downward dog. As you reach forward, catch a hold of your knees and separate your knees out to the side and let your shoulders drop back here to the sides of the blankets. And then finding that balance again on that blanket, knees coming towards the sides of the chest. Big breath in and out and then let's open the legs out to the side and put your hands on the inside of your knees and then slowly close your legs on the exhale. Let the legs reach out to that big wide V shape and then slowly close the legs on exhale.

And repeat that a few more times and if you've taken my classes you know I do this pose maybe throughout many of the seasons and just notice if it feels a little different to be doing this while you're balancing on folded blankets. I know for me it's certainly different in my shoulders and even through my core which is a little bit more awake now so I don't fall to any side. Let's keep the knees open now and bring your knees towards the sides of your chest. Think of your happy baby pose. So you might hold your knees, your shins or maybe even reach up for your feet and then let your knees travel down a little more towards the sides of your chest.

Heels apart. And again can your eyes close and sense a little bit more where to breathe. What pathway might we clear a little bit more with the full or inhale breath. Exhale letting go of any tension, let yourself settle and sink into the pose. Hold onto your kneecaps, drop your heels down and scoop your legs all the way back together.

Next time bring your knees in towards your chest. Let's go ahead then and put your feet on the ground and let's roll over to a side. So now we're going to slowly come away from that blanket. So sad to leave that already. So fold your blanket up and we'll use that again shortly.

But for now if you will come down onto your back with just one block and if you have one block in your hands, feet on the ground, we're going to raise that block up into the air in the wide position. And then when you're ready tip your knees in towards your chest and take both legs up into the air. So now imagine you're warrior three position, we're going to do this on the back where you lower your right leg towards the ground as you take that block towards the ground behind you. And imagine your left leg would be your standing leg in warrior three and then you're reaching out through your arms and your right leg would be your floating leg in warrior three. Swing your right leg back up and swing the block back up.

Now take the left leg down as you swing your arms back towards your ears and try to feel the energy in that right leg that would be your standing leg in warrior three and the left leg would be your floating leg in warrior three. Swing that left leg up, arms back up in the air. One more time, right leg down, stretch your arms back away from your shoulders. See if you can squeeze the block with your palms to hug those arm bones a little deeper into the ball socket joints. Swing the right leg up, the block back up, left leg comes down as we take that block to the floor behind you.

Can you squeeze the block with your palms? Continue to energize both legs. Now go ahead and take your right leg down and anchor your right heel on the right corner of your mat and then will you please cross your left ankle over your right ankle and start to scoot your upper body a little bit more to the right. So think of your crescent moon shape here to target that left ridge of your body. As soon as you start feeling that left side of your body open, maybe close your eyes again.

We'll use the eyes more when we come to the standing practice, but could we give them a rest so maybe we could hear a little bit more? Sound of our breath, things happening out in the environment around you. Maybe still pay more attention to whatever light you might be feeling on your face or other parts of your body, what does that feel like? Acknowledging the temperature of the room. Let your senses awaken.

Scoot back your torso to center and then take your left heel to the left corner of your mat more or less, right ankle over your left. Scoot your upper body a little bit to the left and then when you start feeling that right ridge open, think of sliding that block away from your heads and just enough movement to that left side that you feel that right side body open. And then can we imagine again our breath and our conscious awareness on the breath clearing some new paths down this right sides. So literally better space, good space starts to appear here on the right sides, easy to breathe into, weight of the body sinking towards the ground on exhale. Let's scoot our upper body back to center, keep the block back behind you, put your feet please on the ground about as wide as your shoulders.

So think of your bridge pose stance in your legs. So feet again are just a little bit in front of your knee line. Let's lift the pelvis up in the air now, do a little test to make sure your feet feel wide enough to lift your pelvis and then raise the block into the air right above your chest here. We'll lower the spine again now as you take the block to the floor behind you, right back where we started. Then raise your pelvis up, the spine comes up, the block floats up above your chest.

Lower your spine as you take the block back to the floor behind you. Now let's try a couple more times, if you got that rhythm your eyes might even close. See if you can feel more of that pressure of the ground under your feet, the pressure of the ground under those shoulder blades as you lift your body. Let's do one more, that full cycle going up and down next time that you're up with your pelvis and the block, take the block under your sacrum and turn it maybe the flat or the medium shape so it lifts your pelvis up and you've got support. Arms are going to rest down at the side of your body, so arms are parallel to the long edge of the mat.

Then tip your right knee in towards your chest and send your right leg up towards the ceiling. Keep looking towards your right foot and here we go into our adventure where we're going to press into the left foot, look to your right foot and lift your right foot towards the ceiling. Come off the block, lower down. The first time it doesn't always happen so just imagine you're lifting off the block if you're not actually lifting off the block as a way to fire up that left hamstring, your left leg, everybody else let's try a few more times. Look towards your right foot and send it directly up towards the sky, towards the ceiling, send a little energy to the back of your legs.

Now let's hang that right foot to the side of that left knee, so the start of what we might call that figure four shape. Keep your arms at your side as you tip your left thigh in towards your chest so you're keeping figure four legs, bring your left foot back to the ground, tip your left thigh back in towards your chest, I do that on exhale, send your left foot forwards, and for me again exhaling is when I like bringing that left leg in, it's not wrong if you're doing a different breath rhythm, go back and forth, let's do one more time, tip the left thigh in towards your chest and let's go ahead and put both feet onto the floor. All right, now left leg comes up, arms stay grounded at your side and maybe you have a better sense of what you're doing, second side often again is easier as you press into your right foot, lift up, lower down, all right, now try a few more times, again just imagine you're lifting, if we're not lifting, to try to wake up that right hamstring, that right leg as you push your foot into the earth, send your left foot to the sky, and then bear barely lifting off the block, so it's not a really big move, but requires quite a bit of effort, a little waking up of that hamstring area in case anyone out there has a little glute amnesia here and there, all the sitting we might be doing these days. Now let's pause, bend your left leg, hang your left foot to the top of that right knee, that classic figure four shape, tilt your right thigh in towards your chest and send your right leg forward, right foot touches the floor and then tilt it back in towards your chest, bring it back down, let's try a couple more, tilt that right thigh in, go back down and a couple more, so hopefully that left outer hip area is starting to feel a little bit more spacious, and I know from doing hiking and more walking that area gets pretty tight, so nice to check in there on a regular basis in the summer, alright let's go ahead now and pause, both feet to the ground, lift the block, lift yourself off the block and we're going to set the block between your thighs as you turn to your right sides, alright now if we're on the right side please put the block between your inner thighs and maybe you've done clamshells with me and here's a new version I work with a lot with clamshell, take my right arm and let that be my pillow to prop my head up and know that the block might need to move, you might need to adjust it, it might not be perfect but we're going to leave it here for now, bring your heels forward so your legs are about 90 degree angles, left hand on left glutes, press your left foot into your right foot as you lift your left thigh off the block a few inches, then bring it down, bring your left thigh off the block a few inches, it comes down, so your left hand is getting some feedback of muscles engaging outer hip area, the glute area on the left, let's do about 8 more, when you go up again feel with your left hand that some muscles are starting to get firm under your hands and that we're not so concerned about how high we're lifting that left leg that's not really all that important, what would be more important is keeping your hips stacked so your top hip doesn't rock backwards to get your left knee higher, so higher is not necessarily better, let's try a couple more for good measure, now take a moment and move the block just for a moment right in front of you, we're going to take your left hand and hold your head with your left hand as you put your right arm down to the floor, so now we can lift your head up away from that lower right arm and I hope you feel your left side waist engage, bring your head back down, feel your left side waist lift your head as high as you need to to get that left waist to turn on, lower back down, lift that head back up and lower down, now check out you can lift your left heel as you lift your head up, it does maybe a different rotation in that left thigh and femur, lift that left foot up, the knees stay together and just see if that adds some interest or value into that left leg, does that move some muscles that haven't moved in a while, what's going on in that left leg, one more time, going up and down, now let's go ahead and send your left hand in front of your chest and let's turn to the other side, I'm going to pivot around so I can see you, you can see me, now we need our block again between the thighs and we'll fold that left arm that's your pillow to rest your head on and the block again might need to be adjusted legs about 90 degree angles and that right hand on that glute area, okay when you're ready please press your right foot into the left, lift your right leg up a few inches, lower the leg down, right leg comes up and down, let's keep doing that maybe about 8 more times and if you've done this with me before, I don't think we've done this here together with a block so I'm just curious if it feels different for you to have that block there, a lot of times that will tune us in to maybe some muscles we weren't using with the variation that doesn't have a block there, for me this one gets a little deeper into some of those glute muscles, I hope you're feeling the same, do just a couple more again it's not about how high you lift the knee just try to keep your hips stacked, alright if we feel close to about even here let's go ahead and get rid of that block for right now, stretch your left arm down to the ground and now your right hand would hold your head and let's lift your head up, your head leans towards that right hip and then the head comes down, when the head comes up that right waist turns on, lower down and then you might add the lift of your right heel up, your knees stay together and lower down and notice you move more easily in this leg or is this one more challenging, you can skip the leg part just do the head if you like, let's try maybe two more, lift your head up, maybe even get a little stretch through your neck there's so many places you could be experiencing sensation here, I like to call out my favorites but you might have your own, alright let's go ahead and release, take your right hand in front of your chest and let's lift all the way up away from the ground now and let's reorient some of our props so that we're going to use our blanket underneath the knees and maybe that normal way that you do it that little square pad for the knees, when you are on the knees here we're going to come down to try cat cow today but we're going to do cat cow with your elbows on the floor rather than your hands, so if you bring your palms together and maybe bring your knees hip distance apart, relax your toes and see what it feels like with your elbows as wide as your shoulders to look forward towards your fingertips on inhale, press through your forearms evenly as you round your back, look towards your knees and then look forward towards your fingertips, keep your neck long, round your back, look towards your knees and toes, look forward towards your fingertips and then again rounding looking towards your toes or the knees and just notice that feels a little different to move through your shoulders in this way, it's a nice alternative if we're not putting weight on the wrist, next time you're looking to your fingers stay here and now bring your elbows to touch as close as you can to touch so if you look down there's very little gap between your elbows and your forearms, now try the same thing, look again towards your fingertips, so just spread your shoulders really wide, round your spine towards the ceiling or the sky, look towards your knees and then again look forward towards your fingertips, round the spine, look back towards your knees and then look forwards, one more time keep those elbows close together, stand on exhale and then look towards your fingertips, you're going to put your hands under your shoulder line, come all the way up to neutral table top, I'm going to take one block, have it available more or less underneath where my face is when I've got straight arms, take your left leg out to the side like we do in gate pose and please walk your hands forward and see if you can slide the block underneath your foreheads, as your arms go out like you're doing downward dog and as you're doing downward dog in your torso a block under your forehead, can you press into the ground with your left foot and wake up a little bit more of that inner left leg line and just appreciate all the different places that you are opening here, all these new pathways, one last option here would be to take your left hand and like you're reaching under the bed, threading the needle with your left hand reaching over to the right, you might turn your head sideways and look towards your left fingertips, if you prefer more symmetrical even version go back to left hand reaching forward, take a few more moments just letting yourself settle into that pose however it looks for you today, let's lift the head up, bring your hands back underneath the shoulder line and bring that left knee into the blankets, do one more thing here now if we transfer our weight to the right and swing your right foot out to the right behind you so it's a little bit of a kickstand so we can balance more easily when you put your left leg straight like you're setting up for side plank, if we keep the right hand maybe a little forward over your right shoulder line lean forward so you're putting weight on the right hand and then lift your left leg up, okay we can lift now the left arm perhaps towards the sky that's too much balance today keep your foot down on the floor, we're going into this adventure with leg up try to lighten the load on your right wrist by lifting up through your right side body, either stay here or bend your left leg and hold on to your foot and press the foot into your hand until you feel that delightful stretch through the front of your body, what's the best place for your neck looking forward or looking down maybe even up let's go ahead and release that left leg back into that variation of half moon where you're here on the knee lower your left foot let's turn back to the yoga mat and our block as you're in tabletop now let's go ahead and switch to the other side when you're ready right foot out to the side like you're doing gate pose the arms walk forward hands go forward see if you can adjust the block so ends up right underneath your foreheads adjust whatever height you need here and then as your arms are reaching forward hips slightly pulling back just like you do in downward dog see if you can put some awareness in the pinky edge of your right foot and just wake up that right leg a little bit more the outer line the inner leg if thread the needle makes sense here take your right hand and reach it between your block and your blanket over to the left and turn your head so right side of the head might be on the floor as you look out to your right fingertips and then maybe you appreciate that stretch to the outer right shoulder area big breath in a big breath out one more breath perhaps as you are here you know when we exit let's go ahead lift up both hands underneath your shoulder line right knee back to the blanket and then if we're switching sides you'd have your left foot I'm just going to show real quick left foot would kick a little bit off to the side that's your kickstand and when you've got that little kickstand stretch your other leg straight like you're doing side plank you've got your free arm that you can lift up towards the sky and try to put less weight on the lower wrist by engaging your lower waist now let's float perhaps your leg a straight leg up off the floor and as if you're doing your half moon pose here energize that top leg some of you might like reaching for your foot with that top hand and press your foot into your hand and create more of that back bend shape figure out where does your head want to be the neck want to be forward gazing I like looking down it helps open up that neck area for me one more delightful breath as you are here and then as we release again like you're doing half moon here on the knee take that leg down and let's come all the way up grab that block with you should come on up and we're going to turn and face back to the original top end of your yoga mats and if you can fold your blanket up nicely and set that out of your way we'll need one block I'm going to turn the block the medium width and I want to encourage you to put your block the medium width between your thighs come back to that tabletop and then hands another handprint forward of tabletop so we're going to come into our downward dog squeeze the block with your legs as you send your block back and your thighs back adjust the width of your feet so you feel contact with the block and engagement of your inner thighs rolling your thighs in as you may have done before to try to move that block towards the space behind you one more breath here heels are up as we do our first warm up down dog now please walk your hands back towards your feet walk your hands towards your feet and eventually your heels end up on the floor bring your feet as close as you need to to squeeze the block with your legs as you come to your forward bend and you might bend your knees since we haven't done a ton of hamstring warm up might be bending your knees to come forward one more exhale here and now please turn your toes out a few degrees catch the block with your hand and turn the block to the tall position bring your feet a little forward I want you to hold your block and carefully sit down we're not going to stay here we're just going to use this as a little prop sit on your block carefully feel your feet connect to the earth both of them and then take your arms in front of you so you're just delicately balancing on your block now we're going to go back and forth where we're going to stand up and come away from the block and then let your arms reach in front of you and try to look straight ahead as you let yourself feel that block you're not really sitting all the way down use your legs to take you back up and then again going down this might be helpful when you go out into the wilderness come up and then coming down it's good to have flexible ankles come back up let's do one more coming down as you exhale and then come all the way up let your arms lower down to your side bring your legs a little closer together and then let's get rid of that block for a second stack them up let's come to the front of your mat and if you've taken class with me before you also know in the summer I often encourage people to try a little bit of yoga with their eyes closed because I will often help you move at a different rhythm a slower rhythm and maybe help you wake up places that you haven't been using when your eyes are open so I want to run us through a couple sun salutation rounds things that will be hopefully familiar so that you can just focus a little bit more on sensation with the hands and the feet different senses waking up if we close our eyes so in your Tadasana for a moment feel the feet on whatever you're standing on the texture of your mat your carpet your floor the actual earth press into that surface as you raise your arms up perhaps still with your eyes closed and just feel those muscles engage in your legs your back bodies your arms rise up with bent knees come to your forward folds and let your hands touch the ground and there's not like a right or wrong place to land you just touch the ground maybe with eyes closed we can take a step back into a lunge and then take the other leg back into your pushup of plank and still eyes closed and feel the texture of your mat or the ground and press into it and feel your body float away from the earth let's bring the knees belly chest down for baby cobra the toes pointing back hands beside the chest and with your eyes closed lift your face and chest on in breath notice the back is free of tension lower back down to the earth peel again up on inhale little baby cobra with eyes closed lower on exhale and only lifting as far as you need to lift without tensing your back little chest opener come back to tabletop and then to downward dog with your eyes closed head hangs down and get a sense what that feels like to have your eyes closed is your weight distributed evenly through your arms and your legs is there any micro adjustment that help you have better space here in your shoulders the core the legs just noticing again what it's like to do downward dog without using your eyes now perhaps without using your eyes walk your feet forward towards the front of your mats and once the feet have landed in your forward bend soften the knees and then let's come up the best way for you to stand all the way back up arm circle up towards the sky feel your hands touch above your head and keep pressing your hands together as they lower in front of your heart let's try one more time feel the texture of the ground under your feet keep pressing down as you swing your arms up feel your hands touch above your head bend your elbows as much as you need to and then bend your knees to forward and touch the ground if your eyes are closed the whole time step back with one leg how like a lunge position and then transfer opposite leg back and if it feels like one hand is more forward or back see what it's like to adjust your hands so they're even adjust your legs so they feel the right width pelvis not too high not too low he's gonna feel again body waking up come down knees belly chest little baby cobra two times inhale curling up and then bringing your head your chest your body back down inhale curl up eyes still closed back to your tabletop and then into downward facing dog with your eyes closed come down to your forearm version if you don't put weight on your wrist and then what little adjustments again are you interested in making here to explore feeling this post freshly there's something new you might discover with your eyes closed there's some part of your hand you're not using can you use more of your hands more of your toes more of the ball of the foot now let's walk your feet forward maybe your eyes are still closed doesn't matter how far your feet come forward bend your knees and the best way for you to come all the way up to stand circle your arms up feel your hands touch somewhere above your head and then guide your hands down in front of your chest so kind of a slower sun salutation your eyes open thanks for trying that we're gonna go back to the blocks and this time we're gonna use both so a couple more things I like playing with right now is to start with your block between your legs go to the Y medium width we're gonna go the medium width even if that's not your normal one gonna go wide width with the block in your hands look straight ahead if you will and as we start to raise that block up in the air squeeze the block between your legs and then come into your chair pose legs that medium block between your thighs and lower your block right out in front of your chest hold the block with your right hand and swing your left arm out to the left and look towards your fingertips you're trying to keep your knees forward facing here which is why I love the block grab the block with your left hand and reach your right arm out to the right you look back as far as you're comfortable come back to holding the block with both hands and then we tip forward you've got your block there's you straighten your legs you look back towards your heels or towards the back of your mat the blocks in your way your hands might touch the floor or turn the block higher if your lower back needs that extra support and we're gonna bend the knees deeply catch that block come back up to chair pose with your arms up in the air squeeze the block with your legs come all the way up straight legs and then arms down in front of you now let's turn the block to the narrow position just so you've noticed the difference maybe you like this better maybe the other one's better try narrow block hold the block in your hands the wide position please send the block up settle into your chair bring your feet close enough together you have steady contact with the block lower the block right in front of your chest hold the block with your right hand as you swing your left arm out to the left you keep reaching that right arm away from your chest knees are forward facing left hand catches the block at the right arm swinging open to the right squeeze the block with your thighs come back to center last time we're tipping forward put your hand on a block whatever height works for you to release the head the neck so in that variation here let's go ahead look come halfway up bend your knees and let's get rid of the blocks over to a sides with your hands on the floor step back with both legs into your downward facing dog on exhale okay now from here if you will take your right knee forward towards the back of your wrist and we'll come all the way forward but bring it towards the back of your wrist and we're kind of in a raised lunge position here so with your right knee facing straight ahead that will be the safest place for your knee and I know pigeon can be tricky for some so for others you'll swing your right foot a little more to the left you have a block or blocks that you could insert under your right thigh if you like extra support but I'm gonna have everybody stay lifted right now so left knee stays off the ground please try to lighten the weight in your hands by engaging your belly muscles and your thigh muscles your hip muscles more so you're consciously floating away from the ground a long spine okay now as we keep pressing into your right shin drop your left knee to the floor and bring your right hand to the center line of your yoga mats bend your left leg and some of you might reach back for your foot with your left hand and you would move your pelvis back towards your left heel so you're actually lifting even further away from the floor to find what a lot of us need when we do some hiking is a bigger stretch for the front of that left quadricep that's not accessible to grab the foot you just bend the leg point your toes towards the sky and pray you don't get the deadly hamstring cramp take one more second those are the worst all right now switch the hand put your left hand down and reach back and catch the foot with your right hand please bring your buttocks back towards your heel so you're actually moving away from the ground then invite your foot towards your pelvis maybe you look a little bit over to the right hello beautiful cactus let's go ahead and release come back to downward facing dog on exhale now let's slide your left knee forward the knee faces straight ahead forgot to mention add padding underneath the ground is firm or too hard where you are stay here or swing your left foot to the right like you're doing pigeon so stay lifted in your back thigh lights on your hands and your core engaged like you're doing a plank position then lower your right knee to the ground bend your back leg as you put your left hand at the center line of your mat you should make it easier to reach back maybe catch your right foot rather than sinking your pelvis to the floor move your buttocks back towards your right heel engage your belly this way squeeze that right heel in towards your pelvis and notice again if we've been doing any more physical activity exercise most humans can appreciate a little stretch I hope through these quadriceps I've even had a few special requests for more quadriceps stretches now go ahead and switch the hands right hand down and see what it's like to bring that left hand back towards your foot press your foot into your hand lift up through your chest maybe turn open take one more moment here laying that chest area open alright as we go ahead and release that back foot face the ground here for a moment lift yourself up into your plank shape come down knees belly chest and when you come on down let's grab that block bring a flat block underneath where maybe your forehead is going to go and if we make I have to think of it like a diamond like shape my elbows right off to the side of the mat my hands on the ground are kind of like the TSA you know when you go through the machine when we used to fly so like your hands are up in that way like you would be at the TSA machine bring your forehead to the block the nose is free and just letting yourself soften your collarbones nice and wide if the block feels too firm again add a blanket on top of your block and it would be maybe like the easiest version of a sphinx you can think of this as a really really easy version of the sphinx a little bit of arch through the upper mid back and maybe this accentuate some feeling in the lower back I always like to think if I'm here in that or like snake like shape that my belly is soft the way that a snake's belly might be soft in order to move around smoothly so can we pay just a little extra attention to relax your belly here big breath in big breath out intentionally relaxing the belly nice breath in this way and let's go ahead and lift your head up and get rid of the block if you end up deciding that feels better than what I'm going to suggest go back to that I'd like you just to stack your hands so now you're going to be even closer to the floor and this is one of the alternatives to Shavasana is doing Shavasana in this prone position face down and maybe with your forehead resting on your stacked hands or some combo of stack fist whatever works best for you and what's it like if you need to shake your hips a little side to side free up any tension in the low back buttocks or belly if you would prefer Shavasana on your back you're welcome of course to turn on to your back otherwise try this variation today so lovely if you actually get to head outside to a little patch of grass to put your body on and let your actual belly kiss the earth and allowing your senses to wake up here imagining that we're close to the earth and how wonderful that earth would smell maybe we noticed and remember the last time we were sitting on the ground or on the ground how cool that earth is to sit on which can be helpful to remember if it's hot where you live get outside and sit on the ground if we're not near any actual earth to sit on in that way just imagining again that brown cool earth maybe there's green grass maybe not and then that feeling of light that might be on your skin actually where you are or imagining if you're outside again that feeling of sunlight touching your skin giving us that little dose of vitamin D for our well-being and then finding your rhythm with your breath here and I really want to encourage you to continue to go back to the belly and to ask the belly to be soft here and sense intuitively is there any other places in your body that need a little bit more attention and try to send some more of that conscious energy towards those places in the body that might need a little more attention maybe we stay together here for about another five breaths just as you are. Okay if you're ready take a big breath in big breath out maybe even sighing through the mouth if that helps you let go of more tension when the head comes away from your stacked hands or if you're on your back preparing to turn to your side if your face down here let's slide your hands back beside the chest press your way back up toward tabletop and then choose what props you would use for your sitting practice I'm gonna go ahead today now and just sit on a folded blankets you might have a cross-legged seat you might have your legs folded back underneath you okay so as part of our five-day challenge we're working on growing the loving kindness meditation and small stages over the course of the five days we're together okay so together with the support of everybody else on the channel right now you wiggle into what feels like a good seat for you if you prefer to lie down please adjust yourself to go back to the floor you know as you find your seat let your eyes close or relax just to minimize the external distractions the first day we did a loving kindness meditation for ourself so beginning to grow that self-love so that may be the second day we were more capable of holding space for another person making room in our heart for one other special person and today the invitation is to think about perhaps family or community that we wish to let this ripple this love ripple out into family or community that might benefit from some loving kindness so please together as you're inhaling just reciting with me to yourself keeping all these members of your family or community in your heart minds may this community be filled with loving kindness may this community be safe and protected may this community stay healthy and be strong and may this community live in this world peacefully and at ease just imagine all the faces and family community may this community be filled with loving kindness may this community be safe and protected may this community be healthy and strong and may this community live in this world peacefully and at ease this feeling move through your whole body may this community be filled with loving kindness may this community be safe and protected may this community be healthy and strong and may members of this community live in this world peacefully and at ease feel that in your body again perhaps reciting the phrases the verses the wishes one cycle or two cycles on your own.

Let's come back together in this way of reciting the phrases the verses keeping this family or community in your mind may this community be filled with loving kindness may all the members in this community be safe and protected may all the members of this community be healthy and strong may all the members of this community live in this world peacefully and at ease big breath in big audible breath out may the fruits of our practice benefit people everywhere around the world namaste thanks for so far being part of our asana practice the meditation the pranayama that's woven in and then there's our pieces that we're going to grow a little bit hopefully with the ariveda and the self-care practices inspired by ariveda so far we've done a little bit to attend to hydrating in the morning to doing things to keep our skin dry with oil to take siestas to help us calm down in the middle of the day cool down in the middle of the day as well as having some refreshing cooling tea after our siestas today i want to focus a little bit more on the food aspect and one of the things you can do to start practicing ariveda is to eat locally and so perhaps in this covet time it's something that you've shifted toward naturally is to maybe get csa the community supported agriculture food delivered or visiting farmer's market so there's less hands touching your food and really an opportunity here to support local economies by buying food that's grown close by but what i love more than that is that your food will often taste even better so food that's even fresher is going to have more taste if we want to awaken our senses more in this summer that's one thing we can do is eat fresh food i also think that the food that's closer to home is actually going to be more nutritious it hasn't you know taken a month to get from the farmer to the store house to your home it's been freshly picked so things will actually have more nutritional value one thing i like on a practical note on cooking in the summertime if you live in warm climates is to think about doing your food prep in the morning when the kitchen is cool so that later in the day that you're still involved in eating fresh food but most of the food's been prepped so you're not in a hot kitchen for a long period of time and then the ideal thing would be actually to get outside to do more of your cooking or prep depending on what kind of kitchen setup you have and in the setup i encourage people to think about a lot in the summer is to actually try to take as many meals as you can outdoors and that way you get a break from external stimulation artificial color of screens and sounds and get some fresh air your food will hopefully taste better you get refreshed again by being in this beautiful prana factory outdoor in nature maybe even let your eyes close and feel that wind or the air on your skin and again let more of your senses wake up so that maybe your food even tastes better outside and if you don't have the ability to get outside to actually eat encourage people to often sit near a window to actually get a little bit of light midday so that your body is kind of synced up with like noon time for example so you're syncing up at that high sun in the sky time of the day when we're supposed to eat our biggest meal that you're also getting that exposure to light so that your body is aware that this is midday so that in a few hours you start to get that sort of kind of tired feeling when the sun starts to shift in the sky so that you're more sleepy in the afternoon to start to prepare you to get tired early evening so you go to bed you know in that 10 11 o'clock zone so your relationship to the sun is really important in Ayurveda and being outside when you eat will give you kind of that connection to that solar energy that's hopefully ignites your digestive fire as well as syncs you up so that you're maybe better set up to have good sleep if you'd like some of these tips delivered in a different way my seasonal health and wellness book is a great one to deliver these ideas in a slower sequence to do each thing one week at a time but I hope that doing some of these every day is already giving you a sense that you're being more mindful throughout the course of a day which is really the hope of this practice is to expand your yoga practice your mindfulness practice beyond the mat and into the rest of your your daily life and I hope that in this COVID time when you are home it's a little bit easier maybe to do some of the food suggestions and that this makes it one thing you can do to improve your self-care so thanks for being with us today and I look forward to sharing a bunch of new things with you tomorrow stay tuned for the Q&A which will start in just a moment and thank you so much for being with us today namaste okay so one of the questions is related to somebody is noticing that they're

more anxious these days and can argue a to help with that yes and I think yoga actually can be really helpful with anxiety so I hope that taking some time if you are feeling anxious to get close to the earth is helpful and being close to the earth without your cell phone without electronic devices so that you're getting that nourishment from the earth and feeling the most solid ground underneath you and perhaps that prone version we did today of Shavasana for me is one of the ones I go to to help decrease anxiety when it comes to Ayurveda the part that I would say is helpful is around different herbs that people might recommend you use to have more as a tonic so one that comes to mind that's quite popular and I think quite helpful is ashwagandha tea and I think the idea of having hot tea whether it's ashwagandha or something non-caffeinated to decrease anxiety is that tea is something that's warm it's something you might hold in your hand it's something that's gonna calm you down by simply holding this cup of warm tea and drinking it slowly so hot beverages or hot soup a miso soup or something like that would be one way to kind of slow you down to potentially start to decrease the feeling of anxiety and then with yoga we also have that wonderful world of pranayama to explore and the quick reply is to lean a little bit more into those long exhales if you notice anxiety increasing and I always say these days is to just notice how much time you're spending in front of the computer and really decrease computer time so that maybe you have your section of the day where you're getting information about what's going on in the world and that's your designated time like once a day or maybe maybe two times but once a day to get a dose of staying current and then go outside more step away from electronic and the news and if you're noticing that the anxiety is a little bit increased in a way that doesn't feel comfortable I hope some of those are helpful but how does Ayurveda relate to yoga so Ayurveda is considered the health science part of yoga one might think about yoga as something traditionally that is to help somebody evolve spiritually and Ayurveda is a practice to help balance your physical body when the body goes out of whack right so together we have a practice of yoga that's much more about spirituality not necessarily about asana and then Ayurveda would be like let's do certain poses to ground you or let's do certain body poses to move you faster to get you more energized to get your system circulating better or Ayurveda is that system that's going to help you sleep better digest your food better so that your more your system is more stable and able to evolve on that spiritual level right so that if we're healthy we might transcend again and move into that meditative state more easily so that's why they're sort of the sister science and Ayurveda is really treating the physical body and yoga I think of as a as more of a spiritual practice so that's one way of thinking about that every day I would maybe answer that a little differently but that was today's answer if I had to pick one Ayurvedic thing to practice daily oh dear what would that be that's a great question um you know if I had to do one thing I think these days okay here's a here's my reply is establish routines that would be the one thing to do and that's sort of a maybe two or three prong reply but routines would be what we're trying to establish so that your body knows what to expect at the right time of the day so I would start the routine with try to have a regular bedtime because sleep is so important for your immune health and overall health that if you were to do anything I would try to steer you towards being in bed around the summertime 10 30 like 10 30 would be the late side so that you're like lights out 10 30 and that would be moving into this time of pandemic where maybe more people are interested in self-care practices and one of the ones I would protect fiercely is your sleep so of all things that I could say to do I would say establish that bedtime routine oftentimes when you're getting enough sleep it will often lead you to getting up earlier and feeling more awake and refreshed and healthy and that will typically kind of roll you towards doing more self-care in the morning because you felt like you got a good night's sleep so the sleep is a really long discussion and I feel like Arlevada has a lot of suggestions of ideas of how to work with sleep disruptions if you have them and you can send more questions about that later in the forum if I didn't answer that question but let's go for routine and bedtime and let's see what other things oh my gosh okay sorry if I'm multitasking here and there will definitely be a fall challenge that's coming up next um and I forget what day they'll deliver we'll get that answered when those will be out um oh someone has noticed that being home they've gained some weight um and have experienced some tendinitis uh so um gosh okay so the being home bits um you know being home and taking good care of nourishing our bodies you know I think of a little bit of extra weight as one of these things that might be helpful in a stressful time that we're in with the COVID situation meaning that extra weight is extra insulation and padding and grounding how's that um and so I really feel like there's something about it that just makes sense like in our delicate times to be losing weight right now I'd be more nervous about people losing weight people gaining a little weight I feel like thank you for taking care of yourself and maybe we notice that we're eating more well-rounded meals um and that little bit of extra weight I just want to equate that to maybe a little bit more love a little bit more self-care okay if however you're feeling like that extra weight is not helping you feel balanced then what I want to encourage is maybe a little bit of the idea of routine of um what we would do for kappa folks is to suggest that you exercise every day every single day but to the point where you just start to sweat and then you stop okay so it's not that you go out and you've got like sweat dripping down your body that kind of sweat it's just getting enough circulation and enough heat in your body that your mind feels clear okay so that would be my recommendation if you're not feeling comfortable about the weight or it's affecting your state of mind that we're going for daily exercise and that would pretty much in my book look like a 30-minute brisk walk or hike up a hill or bike ride whatever it is especially when I think you're working with tendinitis to be more careful and then lots of turmeric so this would be a good thing if you're having like a snack late in the evening or I like my turmeric golden milk oftentimes late afternoon is to get a recipe for turmeric golden milk to maybe help with the tendinitis I forgot to mention I have a recipe and a blog I made for this challenge for the summer and it's got if you go to the yoga anytime blog check out the recipe for the watermelon arugula salads as something that's cooling to eat in the summertime so I know I'm not getting to everybody's questions oh I like some of these questions I wish I had more time I'd like you to send them to the forum I'll certainly answer them if you send them my way or make any comments after you watch the class they're posting the place for you to post any further questions and I'm glad you're interested in these and again you can grab my book to get some more ideas of how to pace yourself with this practice and I'd be very delighted to indulge your questions more on the forum thank you so much for being with me today and for all these great questions that have come in I hope they help and take a few deep breaths pace yourself establish those great routines and I look forward to hopefully seeing you tomorrow take care everybody


Christel B
1 person likes this.
Did I hear you say you could share a recipe for golden milk?  I grow several different kinds of turmeric and am on the lookout for ways to incorporate them daily.  
Another wonderful session today! Namaste.
Melina Meza
1 person likes this.
Part 2   Store this in a glass container in the fridge.
Christel B
1 person likes this.
Where is part 2?
Melina Meza
I just sent it to you in an email since there is a word limit to the comment box!
Christel B
2 people like this.
That was a very helpful cue to not bring the hands onto your back in pyramid pose if nursing a lower back issue.
Kate M
2 people like this.
Loving your original sequencing, your gentle guidance, and Ayurvedic wisdom!
Melina Meza
I use to have a lot of back problems and am super sensitive around forward bends without support. Thanks for catching that cue and taking good care of yourself.

2 people like this.
This seemed so gentle at the time, and yet a few hours later I am feeling secret little muscles that clearly got a great workout! Thank you Melina, for these creative practices!
Melina Meza
Right?! I've noticed when doing familiar poses with a new prop or arm position, I too tend to wake up places I haven't felt before. Sounds like that has happened to you too? I hope you'll continue to visit this practice and see what new pathways open from your exploration.
Polina S
1 person likes this.
Thank you, Melina🌷 It's GREAT 👏😊
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