Summer Ayurveda Yoga Challenge Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 7

Day 5: Elemental Dance

60 min - Practice


Enjoy the Elemental Dance yoga sequence, allowing Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Space to shine on the yoga mat. In the final day of your challenge we focus on smooth transitions between poses to help manage your Prana and surrender to the flow that comes from deep listening in your practice. We close with the Full Metta Loving-Kindness Meditation.

Your Self Care Homework Challenge for Day 5:

Ayurvedic practices get better with time, so continue for at least a week all of the homework assigned thus far. Consider this week a reset to realign your health and wellness goals.

Some additional suggestions:

  • Avoid spicy or inflammatory foods like chilies, processed foods, and red meat
  • Decrease or eliminate your caffeine consumption to relax the nervous system
  • Remove sugar and alcohol to promote mental clarity and stabilize your moods

Watch for my blog post on Yoga Anytime for healthy food alternatives, as well as a recipe for refreshing Arugula and Watermelon Salad.

What You'll Need: Mat, Square Bolster, Blanket, Block (2)


Read Full Transcript

Hello, everyone, welcome back to our day five of the Ayurveda Summer Challenge. Again, we're live streaming here in Ojai, California. I hope you're feeling nourished and relaxed and healthy after the previous practices this week. I have one more to share with you today. And for today's class, it'll be great to have a blanket to use to sit on to begin with.

And then we'll get to a block or two blocks at some point in class as well as a bolster. So if you can get all your props organized, fold your blanket in a way that gives you some support to sit on as your legs settle in maybe the cross-legged position or if you do better with legs tucked back or maybe your home sitting in a chair, another great way to be for the short meditation. All right, so once you've decided on the right props for you today, let's take a moment to look towards your horizon line to establish good postural awareness and just notice how looking out to your horizon guides your head potentially back above your spine and then keeping your eyes more or less focused on your horizon line as you perhaps lower your gaze or if you feel safe, close your eyes so that you're tuning out some of those external distractions as well as giving your eyes a little bit of rest as we know we might be entering into one of these long bright days, so giving the eyes a moment to close and relax as we try to connect a little bit more to the element of earth today. And then honoring that element of earth, allowing yourself to sink into the pose, into the ground. What would it take to get a little more rooted here through your sit bones, the sacrum, the tailbone?

And then as we absorb some of that stable rooted quality of the earth into the legs, into the pelvis, see if you can bring your awareness a little further up into your belly area. And as we root and rise up to this new area, can we soften and feel the flow and grace of the belly moving back and forth, spine lengthening up towards the sky above the tailbone continuing to root into the earth? And then may we root to rise now a little further up into your diaphragm in the bottom of your lungs and to take in just a little bit more air, create more space, front of the solar plexus, the back of the solar plexus, and creating that sense of space in your rib cage. Can you sense as you take that fuller breath in the ribs expanding out towards your arms? You're still feeling that graceful fluid belly and the rooting down through your sit bones.

And as we root to rise up now to the heart area, see what might spark some more curiosity today in your practice. Is there a particular attitude or intention you'd like to cultivate or you'd wish for more of today? Think of my own practice, just wishing for more compassion in my practice. That sparks a little bit more joy or curiosity for you today. Again feel yourself rooting then to rise all the way up through the next spine up towards the crown of the heads and this feeling this potential again to expand into the space all around us, reconnecting to the natural environments, the five elements.

Take a few deeper breaths here to find our balance within our unique constitution. Please notice how you can use your breath to help potentially shift you more into balance, to moment, to wake up, to calm down. As we try to maintain that connection to the ground, that sense of rootedness, let's bring a little movement and flow into the practice as we let the head tilt a little bit to the left, our basic neck rolls, the chin towards your chest, head drops to the right before tilting it slightly back and then see if you can connect those four points. The movement might be really small, it might be barely noticeable, but just feel how your head is moving on top of your spine today. Can we roll out some of those kinks from yesterday or from the night's sleep?

When you roll the opposite direction a few times, perhaps pay more attention to your jaw being relaxed, that belly being soft, and potentially again keeping a little bit of rhythm in your circles. Tilt back up to center for a moment, focus your eyes if you felt a little dizzy. Let's do a few little shoulder shrugs, just getting this water body moving now, and then we let those shoulder shrugs lead us now into the place where you might bring your fingertips to the upper corners of your chest, and we'll go a little further. Go up and forwards, kind of my essential warm ups from the sitting position, a few more of those. If you've been with me this week or another season, you know I love these little joint warm ups.

Now let's go the opposite way, going back, open up the chest, and eventually again hopefully smoother movement and the ball and socket joint. Now let's keep those elbows lifted up as high as you're comfortable, and turn a little bit to the right and left, that was called a little minute of Kundalini yoga here, maybe your eyes close and you're finding that rhythm of going side to sides. Nice tall spine, breath, weaving into your movements. Just a few more, loosening up all these different joints along your spine. Now come back to center, look forward, focus your eyes, release your left hand to the floor as you take your right arm over heads, and then take a peek towards your left fingertips as you drop your right arm down at your sides, and keep looking towards your left fingertips as your right fingertips stretch towards the earth.

Tip on back to center, and take your arms up in the air, get ready to tip over to your right side, reach your hand, left arm comes down towards your ear or cheek, then take a peek over towards your right fingertips as you drop your left arm down to your sides. Stretch long through those left fingertips, last breath here, slide on back to neutral. So you might keep sitting on your blanket, I'm going to slide mine back out of the way, find it easier to ground down. As we hold onto the knees, we're going to start making a little circle in your pelvis, walking forward to the right, left, make your little circles, body goes along for the rides, and then your circles might start to get bigger, there's no right or wrong way to do this, so you're kind of playing around with how can you roll the body, rolling over the pelvis, one sit bone can lift, you don't have to be completely grounded, and let your upper body really get involved, you might be leaning forwards, shoulders moving, just kind of general directing that movement like you're starting this little elemental dance that we're going to do today. Last one, sit on up, let's bring your legs in front of you, and as you bring your feet in front of you, turn to the side, it's easier to see, have your feet close together, maybe touching, going to bring your arms straight out in front of you, begin to bend maybe your left elbow, and as you squeeze your knees together, take that left elbow and reach back behind you, and come back with your hands touching, the same side again, left elbow reaching back, bring your hands to touch, bring a little more attention now to those core muscles, bring that left elbow back, we're here at center, two more, left elbow back, and greeting that fire element as we tune in a little bit more to that core work, and back to center, now let's bring that right arm 90 degree angle and follow that back, hands come back to touch, your rhythm could be a little different than mine, so try to find that suitable breath movement combination, that's comfortable, and is decreasing any strain, come back to center, deadly foot cramp going on, one more time, alright now come back to center, alright let your hands come down to the floor, spin back around, we're going to come down onto your back, and when you find your way down onto your back, let's bring the knees, whenever you're ready, in towards your chest, and once you bring your knees in towards your chest, let yourself tip to the sides, and bring your hands to your knees, and make those little circles that we often do just to warm up that lower back and buttock area, so see now as we hug the knees into your chest, we're now completely supported by the earth, can you feel your water body soften more here, and we're going to leave the arms down at your side, and while we're relaxed, we'll do a little bit of core work, so if you take your legs up in the air, legs separate out into your V shape, let's cross your right leg over your left leg, and take your legs back to the V shape, left leg over the right leg, back out to that wide shape, now drop your legs an inch forward, right leg over left, legs wide, left leg over right, okay you could stay here, or come down another inch, right leg over left, legs wide, left leg over right, and you might stay there, or legs lower, right leg over left, I think we've officially entered our minute of Pilates now, legs cross back to center, and now maybe the legs are right above the floor, right over left, left over right, and now let's bring your legs together, swing them all the way up, let's grab a hold of your right knee with your hands, if we hug this right knee in towards your chest, stretch your left leg down to the floor, and when your heel touches the ground, maybe hug that right knee in towards your chest, or just a little bit out to the right, see if it feels okay to stretch your left arm back towards your ear, we'll open up that chest and shoulder, and we'll go back to lifting the left leg up in the air, lower that left leg down on exhale, swing the left leg back up on inhale, let's do a couple more times dropping the leg down on exhale, and come back up, in case you find yourself sitting a lot these days, I find it very helpful to open up the front of the hips on a daily basis, maybe more than once, let's pause now, open your left arm out to your left, as you open your right knee out to the right, and it's okay if your left hip starts to roll a little bit away from the floor, let this be a little bit more for you to access your right hip, and hopefully still appreciating that stretch over the front of your left thigh, take one more second here, and let's go ahead and tip back to center, and spring both knees in towards your chest, separate your knees out to the side like you would in our Cobbler's Pose sitting, see if you might reach forward and catch the pinky side of your foot with both hands, or hold your ankles, and from here let your knees press forward away from your shoulders, so maybe your buttocks and lower back eventually come closer to the ground, arms straight, see if you can feel your shoulders eventually press back a little bit towards the floor, one little moment here on your back, opening the hips, let's take your hands back to your knees, bring your knees together, and hold onto your left knee as you take your right leg all the way down to the floor, alright, and then feel what it's like when you raise your right leg up towards the ceiling, and lower your right leg down, maybe we here move your left knee another inch to the left, see if you can reach your right arm back towards your ear, that doesn't feel good in your shoulder, go back to holding your knee with both hands, let's swing the right leg up, and exhale lower that leg down, and appreciating the ground underneath us as we swing that right leg up, and exhale leg down, see if you can feel a little more length in that right side, keep going two more times, lower your leg on exhale, lift your leg up when you breathe in, not rushing your breath, exhale down, inhale all the way up, and then we'll keep your right leg down this next time, slide your right arm out to your side, maybe align with your chest, as you open your left leg to the left, and today just notice if it feels okay to open to the left, and let your right buttock lift just a tiny bit off the floor, so you're getting a deeper stretch in the inner left leg, hopefully still some attention to the top of your right thigh, let's tip back to center, both knees back into your hands, let's separate your knees out to the sides, and either stay here with the legs bent or raise your feet up and slide up for your ankles or for your feet as you tip a little bit side to side, still appreciating the support of the ground as we open the hips for happy baby pose, and then take that pause for a moment in your happy baby shape, so let's keep your right leg bent, and let's stretch your left leg straight and slide your left hand to your inner knee area, and bend your left leg back to happy baby, slide your right hand towards your inner right knee, as you stretch your right leg out straight, sit one more time, catch your right foot, happy baby, stretch just your left leg out to the side, hand on the inner knee, left hand back to left foot, and the last time right leg straight, left leg stays bent.

Come back around to center, let's bring your knees together and get ready to either rock and roll upright or roll to your side if that's better for you, let's come around and grab your blanket and use that for padding for underneath your knees, come to this wonderful phase now away from the ground with a little bit of padding, alright get everything in the right place, then hands on the ground under your shoulders, feet connected to the floor and I'm guessing most of you have done this pose before, but see what it's like as you make your circles today in your hips, in that way that again connects you to the feeling tone in the pelvis, the low belly, sacrum tailbone and maybe with your eyes closed it's easier to feel, again the benefit of that movement as you circle up to your ribs and then going all the way through the ribs with those circles and up to the shoulders and then let's pause when we get to the shoulders and come back to a neutral place, so let's bring a little bit more heat into the practice as we stretch right leg, left leg straight back for a moment of plank and reconnecting to your strength, your stability here and then swing your hips up and back just for a little short downward dog check in to stretch your arms and stretch your legs, take a deep full breath in let your head drop down between your arms, one more big audible maybe exhale as you are here and then we'll bring your knees down to the floor, down to your blanket and now if you will take one block and take one block the wide position back between your feet, so if you keep that between your feet it will give you a little reference point and also helps to keep your hips over your knees where I'd like them to stay so our hips won't be so inclined to twist, so now if you will take your left hand, one hand print forward, take your right hand and reach over to the left at reaching under the bed action where the right side of the head comes down to the floor, pull your left hand in so you can find where that best spot is to be to land here and to stabilize yourself on that outer right shoulder, so please keep your left hand on the ground to press in to keep you balanced as you feel that block between your feet, see if you can feel the block between your feet as you turn your waist and potentially that left side of the chest more towards the long edge of your mat, if things feel relatively stable here stretch your left arm straight and you might be reaching towards the front of your yoga mat or you might be inching that left hand further over to the right corner of your yoga mat so that your arm is more above your ear or your cheek, so let's take another moment again making any last minute adjustments as you squeeze the block with your feet and try to find some stretch and new space in that right shoulder mid back area and let's bring that left hand back in front of your face, press on up to neutral and you've got your table top, let's do a cat cow in between one or two just to get movement between your pelvis, spine and shoulders, then take your right hand, one hand print forward, left hand stretches over to the right and we drop that outer shoulder down, again you might pull that right hand in closer to your face to help you adjust yourself, if coming this far forward, sorry I forgot to mention you could put your head on a block if it's difficult to bring your head down or doesn't feel right today to come all the way down, so I'm pressing my right hand firmly into the ground to help me shift my weight onto my left shoulder area so that I'm balanced and confirm your stability by squeezing the block with your feet, press your shins down, press the block into the floor, then from there maybe your right arm goes straight and you're still pressing your right hand into the floor to help move your hips back away from your shoulders, maybe your right side of the chest turns slightly towards that long edge of your yoga mat, take one more breath exploring that shape, now let's bring your right hand down in front of your face and as you bring yourself all the way up the knees are still on the blanket, the block between your feet, come all the way up to that kneeling position, so now when we're on the kneeling position confirm you can squeeze the block with your feet, if you will then inhale let your arms rise up into the air by your ears and then let the arms circle to your lower back with the palms stacked, hinge from the hips and bring the right side of the head down to touch the floor, squeeze your block with your feet as you come up, strong legs as you lift, hands circle to your lower back, hinge from the hips and bring the left side of the head towards the ground, press into your block as you lift your arms out to the side and up, now keep your right arm in the air, reach your left hand back and down towards the block and you can lean back with your thighs, bring your left hand back up towards the ceiling, squeeze your block as you take the right hand down towards the block, the thighs can lean back, press into your block as you reach back up, so that's one set, hands stacked to the lower back, turn your head to the right side of the head touches the floor, swing your arms wide, come all the way back up to neutral, turn your head to the right, hands to the lower back, left side of the head touches down, arms wide, squeeze your block as you're coming up, right arm stays in the air, left hand drops back to touch the block, lean back while lifting up, squeeze your block as you bring your arms up parallel, right hand drops down, squeeze your block as you lean back, squeeze your block as you come all the way back up, arms all the way down at your side, couple little shoulder circles, let's get rid of that block for now for a moment, set it out of the way and then if you will come back down to tabletop then drop your elbows to the floor, let's bring your palms together, we've still got the padding for the knees and try this time one leg at a time going back and now you're in your forearm plank and let's think of this as a little warm up place to start where we're going to lift the hips higher than normal and then maybe a little bit lower than normal and I'd like you to try to find that actual place where your bones feel aligned and that quality of ease might show up here in the posture and you typically know you're heading that way again if your eyes are in your face and the breath is relatively deep and stable, okay so the eyes are moving into the face maybe even a little smile, those edges of the lips turning upwards, alright finding that strength here, let's walk your feet towards the blanket, drop your head down between your arms and feel that different position for the shoulders that's now also strengthening as we stretch, let's take one or two more breaths as you are here, lower your knees back down to the blanket, hands underneath the line of your shoulders, okay now we're going to put a little balance together with flow when you're back to tabletop take your left leg and kick that back up into the air as you stretch your right arm up by your ear or hunting dog and take that left knee right hand down and switch right leg kicks back left arm reaches forward, switch out and take a big breath it might go a little faster reach long back to the ground inhale reach long opposite arm and leg try one more set maybe right arm left leg back to neutral right leg left arm back to neutral, alright now please curl your toes under, walk your hands towards the blanket, towards your knees and get that stretch in your feet and we're using this a little bit as a transition to lift your knees to get the blanket then out of your way and we're going to walk forward and one more time come to our downward dog, okay separate your feet and maybe your hips sway a little bit side to sides, kind of settle into the pose and then freshly noticing today what feels tight what feels flexible as it feel in general and then see if you can bring your feet just a little bit closer together towards your midline strong arms as we lift that left leg up in the air maybe a little higher than the pelvis and then take the right foot and see if you can touch the back of that left heel and encourage the left heel to sink down so you feel that left calf more, swing that right leg again back up you can lift your right heel and then bring your left toes to touch that right heel as a gesture to ground that right heel, let's do one more swing the left leg up in the air and then bring your left foot to help anchor your right heel down, switch out re-spread your hands lift that right leg up towards the sky, arms strong, long, right toes come to touch that left heel and we guide that left heel down, lift your left heel as you lift your right leg, come back down right foot on left right left heel and stretch that left heel towards the floor lots of work in the arms I know one last time going up and then exhale right foot on the left heel root down right please put both feet on the ground walk your feet forward to the back of your wrist so the feet are apart and with bent knees let your upper body sway a little bit side to side kind of warming up for your dance or hold on to opposite elbows if you like swaying while you hold your elbows the knees again are definitely bent so it's not about your hamstrings alright let your arms dangle use your legs to come all the way back up to stand and now let's go ahead and turn towards the long edge of your mat I'm going to have you stand with potentially your feet a little bit wider than your shoulders hello everybody turn your heels in turn your toes out come down into that high squat shape alright now let your arms reach out to the side when you feel you've dialed in the right position let's take your left arm on top of your right arm and give yourself that hug and just a little bit of turning side to side with that hug and then the arms go out wide out to your side and then take your right arm over your left arm and we're doing that little hug side to sides alright now let's let the arms reach out to the side inhale straighten your legs give them a break and as you take your left arm over your right this time as you hug we'll sit down and then tip forward parallel to the floor arms release wide circle all the way back up standing X right arm over your left we hug squat and tilt forward release your arms wide circle back up okay now again right arm left arm over right arm maybe eagle arms or go back to the hug and we spill forward parallel to the ground or lower circle your arms wide find your dance left arm over right hug or eagle arms squat tilt forward spine spilling forward and down circle all the way back up to our X let's do one more your favorite arm position left arm over right exhale tilt forward inhale circle the arms back up to your X left arm over your right the hug or eagle arms squat tilt forward and then that forward bends press down to lift yourself all the way back up arms down at your sides and turn your toes forward I'm going to grab one block set it in front of my left foot and as I keep that there in front of my left foot let's come back to that X shape take your right foot your right leg behind your left leg we've crisscrossed the legs we've done that in a few of the classes this week root your feet and then reach down to touch the block potentially with your hands press your front thigh into your back thigh and then if you like the long spine stay here or try to let yourself tilt forward with your elbows bent and see if that gives you a little bit more of a clear stretch in your outer hip or inner upper thighs of course the hamstrings and let's take the block with us as we inhale circle all the way back up reach out with that right leg and let's cross your left leg behind your right leg press into your feet and then we're going to tip forward start with a tall block because that might be really helpful press your front thigh into your back thigh and then choose is it more interesting for you today if you're coming down with your thighs pressing into each other could be outer hips stretch hamstring stretch or into your back as you bend your elbows just notice which one again feels best for you today right one more second can leave the block there or put it behind you as you inhale come back up to your x shape alright from your x shape let's hold on to your hips with your hands turn yourself towards your right leg and when you're turning towards your right leg shorten up your step like you would more or less than a warrior one shape but like you from here to take both hands to the small of your lower back when your hands are here we'll start to tilt forward a little bit of hamstring work there and then spread your arms out to the side like we do in that airplane pose bring your hands back to the small of your lower back as you rise up tilt forward let your arms be spreading out to the side for balance hands swing again to the small of your lower back if you have back issues your hands would slide down your knee or shin as you come forward and slide back up so it's a little extra work in the back if your arms are reaching out to the side let's do two more reach forward tuck your hands to the small of the lower back as you lift exhale forwards and come all the way back hands to the small of the lower back now as we go out to the airplane arms looking down in front of your foot to the top of your mat bend your right leg and do a little lift of your back leg and let your airplane fly take a step back find that lunge so we're already balancing here tip forward bend your right leg and maybe it's a inch of lift or you're coming into that full flight soaring with your back leg up one more time touch down with your left toes lift your spine a little mini break last time tilt forward press into your right foot as you rise up and fly forwards put your back foot down bend your front knee and we're folding over your right leg give your spine permission to round here can hold on to your shin as an option to keep a longer back if your back doesn't appreciate folding forward and can everybody put a little more focus in your back left foot so root down even if that means your spine comes further away from your right leg so we want to have both legs fully turned on slide your hands up your leg or hands transfer to your hips come up spin around to face the long edge of your mat and we'll turn towards your left leg adjust your step so it's wide and short hands to the small of the lower back and then see what it feels like here as you lean forward arms go out to the side like airplane arms hands to the small of your lower back tilt up arms wide as you're tilting forwards putting that to flow hands to the back torso up I'll show again the back version if your back is sensitive hand down your leg so you always have supports for your back come forwards and then last time we'll put the hands in the small of the lower back when we're going forward reach out bend your left leg and look forwards lift up your back foot an inch five inches and you're flying there's winds all kinds of exciting things can be going on take a big step back to the high lunge so you also are still balancing lean forward let those arms help you come back towards center as you lean forward and fly take a big step back root your toes we're still balancing and then that last time step into that left your front leg lift your back leg fly and then take that step back park your back foot down bend your front knee and we're folding over this front leg to relax your back front knees bent so it's not so much about your hamstrings you can put your hands on your right shin to help prop up your spine if your back doesn't like doing the forward folds root your back foot everybody a little more and notice how when you reach your back foot that might lift your spine up and create more length and I'm going to vote for that being a good thing to have a longer spine when you practice last breath here slide all the way back up to stand and turn to face the long edge of your mat and from here with your feet maybe separating one more inch apart on both sides one of my favorites bend your knees you're getting used to this one I hope fingertips to the floor and then straighten your legs right so I love this one because it's generally more accessible the stretch in the legs like you're doing a forward bend and then we take that downward dog upper body you walk your hands out with your hands on the floor lower your head right between your arms and a big exhale send your hips back away from your shoulders and then feel again the hands spread into the ground and press into the ground to continue to find new space in your shoulders you might be taking those more audible exhales one more breath calming forward bends nice to weave into our summer practices especially ones that don't emphasize too much arm work so again the legs are doing hopefully more work than your shoulders let's walk the hands back in under your shoulder line and then pause get used to that little altitude shift when you're ready your feet are pressing into the earth as your hands transfer to your thighs and then come all the way up to stand heel toe your legs and feet toward each other everybody feet underneath your hips let's shift over onto your left side as you bring your right knee up we'll do a couple circles and then let this right leg stay in extra rotation like you're just kind of froze in the air and then reach your left arm up towards your ear get taller longer on that left sides can hold on to the back of that knee or reach for the big toe and as you grab maybe your toe or your knee see if you can press into the earth more and get even more space by lower my left arm i might be able to stretch my right leg out bend your leg take the left arm up and then taking that right leg out arm out to your side come back to neutral both arms up in the air shift your weight hold onto your hips as you invite that left knee up see what's different standing on your right leg a few circles and then imagine your leg opens into that external rotation and we pause take the right arm up towards your ear get taller on your right side as you root down can hold the back of the knee for a little bit deeper stretch grab a hold a big toe and then maybe your leg kicks out as your arm goes out to the sides bend the leg come back up with your arm and see if that counterbalance helps stretching your leg out arm out and when you have little injuries like i do in my hamstrings you're just being more mindful of not pushing come back to neutral okay both arms up both feet on the ground let's take your hands to the back of the buttock area and make a few little circles and my to release any tension or gripping that you might have here in the belly or lower back let's go the opposite direction a few times all right now we're going to come down and sit on the floor maybe a thin fold of a blanket so not very thick a thin fold of the blanket and have a seat hey bring in again some of the sitting postures which i feel like are really lovely for the summer if it's really hot some interesting things you might still do let's take your right foot sorry your left foot and fold it here in front of your pelvis we're going to bring your right foot in and like you did with happy baby today on our back we'll hold your left knee with your left hand and take your right foot up into our happy baby pose okay maybe we bring it more to the left more to the right and while doing that happy baby shape let the leg go a little bit side to side and then let's go ahead and catch the foot with both hands and bend your elbows wide and maybe invite that foot to move further in towards your chest as you sit up tall so go back to root in through the pelvis to lift up through your spine one more moment here now let's lean back an inch or two and see if you can balance and bring your feet to touch exciting part of class lace your fingers together and press your knees away from your shoulders as you lift your chest we kind of we did this shape on her back earlier take one more moment lifting the chest let's hold on to your left foot put your right leg down hold on maybe to your foot with just your left hand as you go maybe back and forth happy baby and then cross over the midline then maybe you've got the foot with both hands and you're going side to side and then exciting part hold still pull your foot maybe up towards the height of your chest see if you can sit up tall root to rise today and then find that grace in your spine as you're lifting up so spine isn't rigid elbows wide and if we lean back and they'll find our balance and hold on to your right foot with your right hand still balancing think of happy baby pose legs or send your legs out to the side and more towards straight strong legs as you lift your gaze above your horizon line can come back to the feet touch and keep that balance as you maybe look up and let your legs go out to the sides one more time the bottoms of the feet touch and then the legs go out to the side keep your chest lifted neck is not tense make sure you can turn it side to side let's bring your feet down and come off whatever you might be sitting on so now is when we want the bolster but waiting for this part why we have the bolsters let's get to them so we're going to do is have your bolster maybe about the middle of your mat and I'm going to actually have you sit on your bolster so depending your torso it'll look different for everybody on torso length so we're going to do is support ourselves as we go back and I'm going to feel where my head is where the floor is and I want to scoot back so that I have my bolster right at the edge of my shoulder blade so it's kind of like I'm doing a supported bridge pose or it would be like the beginning of a shoulder stance without the pressure on the neck so please feel with your hands your shoulder blades the top of your shoulders have just touched the floor sides of the chest are lifted and then your arms would end up down at the side of your body so notice if you're tending to really push your ribs towards the sky and maybe even with your hands on the front of your ribs they're just encouraging the front ribs to narrow so we're not needing to kind of push up through your ribs we're actually eventually wanting your ribs in the front to be quite narrow and relaxed and when that happens I hope you feel like I do more of my weight actually sinks into the bolster so I'm not resisting the support I'm really welcoming the support and if your arm position needs to change out to the sides further back towards your ears whatever it might be one other idea to help you if you're not feeling settled is you could put your feet on the bolster and that is also a way to decrease potentially some of the backbends that helps to stabilize your pelvis so a few little ideas of how we might appreciate again the supported backbends so I think it's nice to do all the movements for the spine and when it's summertime how could we do maybe some backbends that aren't so heating so some of the supported ones might be a nice thing to turn towards all right so let's take three more breaths exactly where you are we'll do a few different things now with your arms potentially a little bit now closer to the side of your bolster see if you can for a moment feel comfortable tipping your left knee towards your chest and then your right knee towards your chest so now a little more weights falling towards my shoulders so you might like to stay here it's kind of without pulling your legs in gravity takes your legs towards your chest you might stretch your legs up towards the ceiling and they'll tip back towards the floor behind your head at this point I like to reach up and grab my calves or my heels and the knees can bend or straightish legs and think of sliding your hands around the backs of your legs as we are doing here our forward bend on our back so what's it like to roll almost into what we call plow pose elbows wide back body nice and open here find that edge again where you're really still curious about the pose not in any way creating any future harm use your hands if the legs have folded in to push your thighs forward until your thighs are right above your pelvis so think of legs up the wall type of shape let your arms come out to the side and imagine you have a sandbag or a block on your feet to potentially keep your legs more alert more together as a team as they work to pushing the invisible sandbag or block towards the sky so this way is a little more active than legs up the wall it's not quite as passive let's see if we can feel that benefit again of maybe decreasing some swelling or tension in the lower back by having the legs up higher right now than the pelvis and then maybe you close your eyes to pay attention to what subtle sensations exist here within this pose maybe take three more breaths here still imagining that you're pressing a sandbag or block towards the ceiling and if we bend the knees and put your feet down on the floor and just take a moment with your feet on the ground and see if you can let your back body one more time relax completely into that bolster alright let your arms come in a little closer you're going to start to press into your feet and curl yourself up that's the maybe least graceful part of class right there turn to a side and if you will now use your blanket for where your head goes take one of your blocks and turn up the the medium position and then the second blocks going to be maybe that tall position and when you're working with new props or every day could be a little different to know what's the setup that you're going to need for our some people call this Queen's pose so with your butt on the floor the bolster right behind you could you lean back and then put the blanket under your head I think I'm sitting up a little high but we're going to go with this and use that support as you drop back into your seat to let your hands rest on your lower abdomen if that feels like a place to rest your arms out to the side if you can make easy contact this is where I'm going to stay and in that place that's easy supportive but still allows me to do a little bit of opening down into the hips and legs so maybe welcome that more of a restorative ending to practice and feeling as you set up here again is there parts of your back body that are more reluctant to relax into the bolster and cultivating that superpower of patience as you let yourself again just start to trust the support eventually we relax into the support with lots of patience letting go of the notion that something should be happening right now and maybe be a little more curious as to what is happening right now what do you feel changing shifting opening in your practice this would come to the end of the exhale can we feel our senses go inward coming into that transition place where the senses are inward where we might organically slide into that state of meditation celebrating the beauty of this moment this moment acknowledging all the dedication you have for your practice for showing up each day just feel the fruit of your practice your dedication to saying yes to things that are good for you that make you feel healthy and perhaps feeling the support of this community of other yogis and yoginis coming together for the same purpose feeling that support of others as we settle back into our own space aware of breath now without changing the breath and the hope that we feel our senses settle deep within ourselves as we reconnect to our sense of wholeness and health. Let's take three more breaths exactly as you are here your legs are wide might in slow motion start to feel your legs coming in toward each other until eventually your feet are on the ground legs parallel with your hands on the ground let your body move forward away from the bolster and then turn to any side and will rearrange the prop so that you can come to your meditation seats for our loving kindness meditation ankles crossed I'm gonna sit on the bolster today show that version and have the blocks underneath the knees so I like to think of always supporting whatever negative space is there so I feel some ground something solid under my bones. Let yourself come into your comfortable seat of meditation could be back against a wall again or sitting in a chair and may we orient now a little bit towards the heart center our awakened heart and we'll do a round of loving kindness meditation together and starting with ourself today so reciting with me as we breathe in may I be filled with loving kindness may I be safe and protected may I be healthy and strong may I live in this world peacefully and at ease now let's introduce someone into our heart mind someone who brings that feeling of unconditional love to you today please keep them in the heart mind and may this person be filled with loving kindness may this person be safe and protected may this person be strong and healthy may this person live in this world peacefully and at ease now let's practice expanding that out to our family and our communities may our families and communities be filled with loving kindness may our families and communities be safe and protected may our families and communities experience health and strength may every person in our family and community live in this world peacefully and at ease and then let's feel that ripple out now into all living creatures all living beings may all living beings be filled with loving kindness may all living beings be safe and protected may all living beings be healthy and strong and may all living beings live together in this world peacefully and at ease let's take a moment to tune in to how this practice affects you if there's some reconnecting to that awakened heart and maybe we have hope that the people we brought into our heart mind will feel a little bit of effect from this and together may we bring more meta more of this loving kindness into the world one breath at a time in closing this part of our practice may the hands join together in front of your heart center and may others always benefit from our practice namaste okay so we've made it this far with our practice and the last piece I wanted to introduce for the self-care section of this course is to consider as we turn towards this new season and basically four times a year I like to think of the seasonal reset where I take away or decrease things that I'm aware of that don't promote clarity of mind or things that inflame me in some way that create imbalances so what we do traditionally in Ayurveda there might be the spring and fall cleanse maybe you're aware of but there's also one that we might do in the spring and the summer time to help keep our system cool and calm and this means that we would start to reduce things like caffeine which tend to aggravate some people's system more than others but reducing caffeine because that can make you feel more stressed we would reduce things like red meat for a lot of people which would create more inflammation process foods if we can avoid for a week just to notice again how your body feels when you're having whole grain foods really simple vegetarian meals as a way just to give your body a total rest from any additives preservatives and chemicals that might be coming in through processed foods and alcohol is another thing in the summer time we would try to decrease and switch out with different sparkling beverages and with lime or pomegranate juice mixed in so that there's some fun flavor and taste without the alcohol which is something that does generally create more allergies and inflammations and disrupts people's general gut health so those are some of the new pieces that I invite you especially maybe that we have more time at home to consider taking better care of ourselves for a week or two to strip away the things that we notice might not promote clarity so that we can make really good choices each day for our self care that might help prevent us from catching any of the colds or viruses that are lingering around so people often are observing that the stronger our immune system and our health is the less likely that we're going to get sick it doesn't mean we won't get sick but just as a step we can do to prevent that all the things I've spoken about or in my seasonal health and wellness book and that would be a guide to help you go through each week with one practice to fold these in more slowly as well to give you some reminders I'm really excited we're going to be having our fall challenge come around the fall equinox so stay tuned for that release in September if you appreciate this work and it's really been an honor and a pleasure to be with you here channeling this wonderful Ojai energy into the program much gratitude for the Yoga Anytime team for making this beautiful stage for us to enjoy the practice together and nice to meet some new folks and thanks again for all the regulars I really been thinking about you this week so thank you so much from the bottom of my heart have a safe and healthy rest of the season take care.


Jennifer E
2 people like this.
Loved this 5 day program!! Thank you so much, Melina! Happy Summer!!
Melina Meza
Happy Summer to you too! Thanks so much for doing the challenge and being on YogaAnytime.  I hope these become regular sequences for your home practice, especially if you live some place HOT! Wishing you much health.
Elissa P
1 person likes this.
Loved this class. Masterful! Thank you Melina! I look forward to the Fall one too. 
Kate M
Thank you for this challenge, Melina! Be well!!
Melina Meza
1 person likes this.
Thank YOU both for watching, wishing you much health and ease for the summer season.
Marina N
1 person likes this.
Love you und love this challenge❤️
Michelle F
Many thanks Melina,
Really enjoyed this  cooling wee series and look forward to joining you again in September
Have a beautiful summer!
Sarah J
1 person likes this.
Thank you Melina this practice/series has been wonderful, I’ve got so much inspiration from practising with you the last 5 days. Can’t wait to get your book and learn some more xxx
Melina Meza
1 person likes this.
Thanks for the kind words. I hope these practices get even better with repetition and that they keep you inspired and cool during the hot season. The book is a great tool to walk you through a year of self-care practices inspired by yoga and Ayurveda. Keep me posted on what new practices you're enjoying!
Thank you Melina, I really look forward to the autumn season!
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