Joyful Flow Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 6

Strength and Ease

60 min - Practice


Celebrate your strength as you soften into easefulness in this motivating practice. Create heat and fire up the core in opening floor work, play in arm balances, challenge your stability in Half Moon, open the body in Wild Thing, and enjoy a “treat” for the hamstrings in splits, before closing in a hip opening sequence. You will feel empowered and settled.
What You'll Need: Mat


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Welcome to Joyful Flow. We're on our fifth episode, I think, already. And we got one day left in July. So let's keep it joyful. We're in the middle of summer. Let's celebrate it. We are working with this contrast between strength and softness today. You can think about this idea of how we navigate the world. And we'll just use that as a metaphor as we journey through our flow today. One thing I'd like you to do before we start, think of a song in your mind that reminds you like of something strong, something powerful. If you're working out, you think of this song. If you want to challenge yourself, you think of this song because we might use it today. I'm going to do We Are The Champions. So get yours set up. We're going to start lying on the back. So go ahead and swing those feet around. Lie on the back. Give yourself a moment to connect. Souls of the feet on the floor, knees bent. Connect with the rise and fall of your breath. Enjoy this opportunity to check in. Notice how and where you're breathing.

Give yourself a moment to clear your mind from any busyness. Hold the breath and enjoy it. And as you exhale, let it go. Exhale. Try that two more times. Clear with the inhale. Hold, savor the breath, enjoy the energy, and then let it go like a wave of relaxation from the crown of the head all the way down the seat. One more round, just like that. Good. Keeping your feet on the floor. On your next inhalation, slowly reach your arms over the head. Take a nice big stretch. Feel the lower back softly lifting off the floor.

And then as you exhale, slowly draw the knees into the chest. Give yourself a little rock from side to side. A little massage for the muscles along the spine. Enjoy the softness part of the class, the ease part of the class. Remember how it feels. Good. And after a little rocking, we're going to replace the feet back on the floor. As you inhale, send those arms back over the head. And then as you exhale, bring the palms by the side. Press the palms into the floor and lift your hips up. Really press strongly into your quads and glutes and you'll feel the backs of your hamstrings firing up. Good. Inhale, lower down. Send the arms over the head. Lifting the lower back slightly off the floor. And exhale, arms by the side. Lift the hips, lower back, mid back off the floor. Really firing up your hamstring muscles. Hamstrings don't get enough strength these days. Inhale the arms over the head, lower the seat. Exhale, press the palms down, lift the hips up. Really strengthening the hamstrings before we stretch them. Same thing as you lower down. Inhale the arms over the head.

This time as you exhale and press into the feet, lift your right knee into the chest, draw the right foot off the floor, and then lower the right foot down. As you inhale, the arms over the head come all the way back down. Exhale, press the palms into the floor, shift your weight to the right foot, draw the left knee up and into the chest. And then lower it down. We're going to play with a couple more rounds like this. Inhaling the arms over the head. Exhale, pressing the palms down, lifting the right leg off the floor. Maybe extending and straightening the leg if this is okay for you. Exhale, inhale lower down, arms over the head. Exhale, press the palms into the floor. You'll get the rhythm. Left knee into the chest, extend the leg, and then inhale slowly lowering it down. Arms up and over the head. Two more rounds. Exhale, press the palms into the floor, right leg to the sky, lower it back down. As you inhale, right foot to the floor, arms over the head. Last one. Exhale, draw the other leg up. Whatever leg you're on, send it to the sky, lower it back down. Draw the right knee into your chest, extend the right leg. Give yourself a nice little hamstring stretch. Heel reaching to the sky, toes pointing towards the face. Either enjoy the softness here, or create a little bit of work for the core. Arms on either, arms extending straight out, shoulder height. Exhale, lift, reach for the toes, inhale lower. We've got eight more of these, or just hang out and enjoy your breath. If you want to feel more, you can extend the left leg, flex the foot, hover it off the floor, and squeeze to the midline with your thighs.

Last three. Remember, you can just hang out and enjoy the hamstring stretch. Last two. Last one. Great. Rebend your left leg, place the right knee on top of the left, shift your hips to the right just a little bit, extend the right arm out, let the knees drop to the left a little, lower back release. Nice little rotation of the spine, either looking straight up or turning the head to the right, so you feel that little rotation, that release connection between lower and mid-back. Come on back to center, setting those legs up. Round two, feet are hip distance, inhale the arms over the head, exhale palms to the floor, lift the hips, extend your left leg to the sky, now lift your right heel off the floor, we're adding on. Lower it down, bend the left leg, inhale the arms over the head, exhale, press down into your palms, into your left foot, send the right leg to the sky, option of lifting the left heel off the floor, firing up the calf muscle, lowering all the way back down. Keep pulsing with the breath, inhale, the arms are lifting over the head, exhale, you're using that exhale to push down strongly into your right leg, your palms, your triceps, maybe lift the right heel off the floor, give it one more full round, inhale the arms over the head, I'm getting excited already, exhale, press the palms to the floor, right leg to the sky, left heel lifts, lower back down, inhale the arms over the head, last one, exhale, palms by the side, left leg to the sky, right heel off the floor if possible, and then lower on back down. Draw the left knee into the chest, extend the left leg to the sky, straightening the left leg, you can keep your hands at the hamstring or the calf muscle, remember your option just to enjoy staying right here in the posture or adding the pulse, engaging the core, exhale as you lift, reach the fingertips to the sky, inhale, lower down, exhale, lift, we still got six more, if you're doing your pulses and you want to feel more, extend the right leg, squeeze to the midline, hovering that right leg off the floor will help you feel that adduction and really fire up the muscles, last three, last two, you got it guys, last one, hands back to the hamstring, if they're not there, rebend your right leg, if it's not bent, slide the left knee on top, lift your hips, shift them to the left slightly, drop your knees to the right for a soft twist, and really enjoy those exhales, the exhales are the softening breath for releasing the surrender breath, you can look straight up or extend the left arm and look towards your left, I promise I didn't match the flowers with this little thing on my shorts, it's definitely of us subconscious today, but I am enjoying buying flowers for you guys every Thursday, I never do that stuff, slowly unwind, draw the knees into the chest, give yourself a little rock from side to side, good, I'll meet you seated, rock and roll up to your seat, plant your feet back into the floor, reverse table, we did a lot of work to prepare the quads, fingertips facing forward towards your sit bones, squeeze your shoulder blades together, palms shoulder distance, lift those hips on the next inhale, squeeze the shoulder blades, lift the heart, drishti can be forward or straight up, remember that song, we're gonna stay here for a while, think of that song, really get into it, feel like you are the champion of the world, you've got this, whatever you're doing today, this week, in this pose, we're gonna be here for five more breaths, I know that's why I want you to keep thinking about that song, push down, lift your hips, squeeze to the midline with the inner thighs, last two, create some heat, last one, carefully lower your seat down, flip your palms, walk your palms back a little bit, and then just let those knees rock from side to side, playing with that idea of challenging the body, challenging the mind to stay up longer, to endure a little bit more, and then the sweetness is kind of like the little ice cream afterwards, like I get a little massage on my glutes, stretching the upper lower back, triceps, getting a little break, great, all right, slowly walk your palms back, we'll meet in table pose, you can swing the legs around or float through, I'll join you there, right in table pose, palms under the shoulders, knees under the hips, guide the heart, chin and chest forward with inhalation, exhale push down, round the spine, draw the navel up and back, two more easy pulses, cow and cat tilting in your table, getting really familiar with the front and back body, exhale rounding, last one, look forward as you inhale or slightly up, exhale back to your neutral spine, walk your hands a palm print forward, push actively forward into your fingers, tuck the toes under, lift the hips to the sky, and as you press forward in that first down dog, you can pedal out one leg at a time, waking up the hamstrings individually, pushing into the mat, very actively like you're stretching the mat away from your toes, join this little pedaling of the legs, two more rounds of breath, invite the chest towards the thigh, relax the muscles of the face, the jaw, and then on that next inhale lengthen forward to your plank pose, bend the knees or lower all the way down, replace your palms with your elbows, tuck your toes under, fire up the muscles and the quads, press the heels back as you lift the hips off the floor, back to our first forearm plank, engaging the core, imagine the tailbones lengthening towards the heel and you're pulling the navel up, if your bum's way up here, lower it back down, it should be a little lower than the upper back, looking forward, get your song because we're going to be here for a while, engage the court, press the heels back and move the crown of the head forward in up position, press strongly down into your forearms, you've got five more breaths with me, stay with me, lengthen the breath out, clear the mind with the inhales, soften, let go with the exhales, two more rounds, you're almost there, one more and then slowly lower down, untuck your toes, draw the ribs, the heart forward, lift the chin a little bit, take an inhale and then exhale, just drop the chin towards the chest, inhale, look forward and up, exhale, draw the chin towards the chest, soft pulses, each time you look up, move your ribs forward towards your thumbs, shoulder blades softly depressing, last one, good, replace your palms with your elbows, we'll meet in down dog, tuck the toes under, press up and back to your down dog, great guys, inhale the right leg to the sky, bend the knee, open the hip, press the chest towards the left thigh, exhale, tap your right knee way up on your right tricep, lean forward, rise to the tops of your left toes, inhale the right leg back up, bend the knee, open the hip, move the right heel away from your left glute, exhale, draw the right knee to your right tricep, you've got two more of these little taps, really firing up the muscles in the arms and waking up the hips, last one, last tap, good, inhale the right leg back to the sky, exhale, step the right foot right between the hands, lower the left knee to the floor, bring the right hand inside of the right leg, start to bend your elbows until you feel the right quad muscle, the right glute, now tuck the left toes under, whether the elbows are on or off the floor, lift the heel off, press back, push back into the heel, crown of the head moves forward so that you're lengthening the spine, hug the right thigh towards the midline for lizard pose, good, don't worry, I'm not going to make you stay as long as I did forearm plank, just three more breaths, but you're feeling, you're getting the idea of this strengthening, holding, and then that sweetness when you release, lower the left knee down, walk your palms back, inhale the right palm to the sky, great, drape your right hand around the waist and just let your left ear drop towards your left shoulder, a really soft twist, really just hanging out and breathing and enjoying that trapezius stretch on the right side, good, place your right hand outside of the right foot, straighten the right leg for your half split, pull the toes back, guide the heart forward, if you need to modify a little bit, walk your hands back or bring your hands to the hips, keeping that right foot flex helps you feel the calf muscle, but you can play with pointing the toes and flexing the toes, that's great as well, all right everybody, rebound your right leg, heel toe your right foot off the mat to the right, turn the toes to the right for a little hip opening pigeon, walk your hands to the left, so I just want to make sure you can see my toes are turned out to like two o'clock, I'm walking my hands over to ten o'clock, so we can play with a little pulse right here, for those of you that want to go back to the strength, follow me, for those of you that want to hang out here, we've got a couple of breaths here, for those of you that want to play with a little arm balance option, right hand moves to the center of your mat, left hand finds the left hip, it goes straight down and straight out to the left about six inches, hug the left elbow into the midline, this is your little kickstand for your hip, you're leaning your torso to nine o'clock, tuck the left toes under, see if you can bring your left hip right on top of your elbow and your right knee on top of your right tricep, the right foot might lift, the left foot might lift, you might fly, you might not, it's a safer option because you have two points of contact, traditionally we have the elbow outside, if you are enjoying the soft experience, join us back, we'll all walk our hands back like neither happened and we'll send the right leg to this guy, bending the knee opening the hip for our hip opening dog, celebrating side one being done, lengthen the plank pose, then the elbows lower down, sphinx pose could be your back bend or maybe moving into a low cobra, shoulder blades depressing, ribs moving forward towards the front of your mat, pressing to the tops of the feet, good, I'll meet you back and down dog, we'll work on the other side, press up through table or plank, settle into the foundation of your dog, shifting your weight to your right foot, inhaling the left leg to this guy, bending the knee opening the hip, drawing your left heel towards your right seat, exhale tap the left knee to your left tricep, lean forward, inhale the left leg to the scalp, open the hip again, you've got two more of these taps, leaning forward tops of the right toes, knee really high up on the tricep, inhale open, last one, tap, lean forward, this is prepping us for that arm balance, if you're taking it later on this side, inhale open the hip, exhale step the left foot between the hands, lower the right knee to the floor, bring the left hand inside of the left leg and just relax here for a second, see what it feels like to bend the elbows, if they easily come to the floor, keep them there as you tuck the toes under on the right foot and lift the right knee up, hug the left inner thigh towards the left tricep, if the elbows don't easily come to the floor, just give yourself a little bend in the arms and you'll feel that in your triceps, squeezing to the midline, pushing the right heel back, crown of the head forward in opposition, left knee draws towards the midline for the last three breaths, little holding pattern here, last two and you get to slowly lower down, perfect, walk your hands back, straighten the arms, right hand stays, left palm to the sky, drape it around the waist and just let your right ear drop towards your right shoulder and soften, think about taking a little bit of the work out of the posture and just enjoy, as the right ear drops to the right shoulder, you get that nice lengthening, the trapezius on the left side should feel like a little massaging stretch, great, replace your left hand, place it outside of the left foot, straighten your left leg, remember you can walk the hands back, lengthen, bring the hands to the hips or guide them forward, move the heart forward towards your toes, really extend the spine, first real hamstring, big hamstring stretch, enjoy it, we did a lot of hamstring strength putting it in the very beginning, great guys, all right, rebend the left leg, left hand inside, walk heel toe your left foot off the mat to the left, think 12 o'clock, 11 o'clock, 10 o'clock where the toes are pointing out and remember you have two options, walk your hands over to two o'clock, lean your hips to the left and just enjoy this nice hip opening lizard posture, or place your left hand at the center of your mat, right underneath your shoulder, bring your right hand to your right hip, go straight down and then out about six to eight inches to the right, hug your right elbow in, lean the torso, lean the crown of the head over to two o'clock and see if you can lower right onto your hip, lifting the right knee off the floor and then the left knee, the right knee can always stay down or you can play with lifting off, if you look to the left you won't drop on your face, that's always nice, hope you had fun with that, walk your hands back, everybody straighten the arms, palms right underneath the shoulders, tuck the left toes under, left leg to the sky, celebrate side two, open it up, push actively forward with both hands, guide yourself back to plank pose, lower down, move through cobra and up dog and we'll take just a little wrist stretch in our table pose, back up the seat, flip the right palm so that your wrist is facing forward, thumb turning out, maybe it's a quarter turn, maybe it's a half turn, forearm and then back up your seat, good, shake out your right hand, let's try the left, left forearm facing slightly forward, back up your seat so that you feel muscles of the forearm starting to release, the ones that pull on our wrist, good, before we start either kneel or grab a seat on your heels, a little circle with the wrist, I love to do this, I know you're out there so let's shoot some good energy at each other, all right let's go to our down dog, palms to palm print forward from table, tuck your toes under, press the hips back, we should be a little bit more open in our dog, then the knees look forward towards the thumbs, chest towards the thighs, feel the spring of the legs and choose whether you're going to spring halfway to the hands and walk the rest of the way or all the way to the hands or somewhere in between, we'll meet in a little flat back forward fold lengthening the spine, pull the navel up and back and then take a nice soft fold, knees can be bent if they need to be bent, grab onto the elbows, relax the jaw, relax the muscles of the face, a little bit more weight into your toes so you're not leaning back into the heels, perfect, with your knees bent release your arms, round up using quad and core muscles, inhale all the way up to a stand, palms over the head, exhale the hands behind the head, little side stretch to the right but if you want to feel a little bit more intensity on the side stretch, lean the head back or bend the right leg or do both, enjoy the breath through the left side body, good, inhaling it back to center, taking the elbows over to the left, squeezing the legs towards the midline, leaning the head back or taking a little bend in your left leg, enjoy the breath, full inhales into the right side body, awesome guys, palms into prayer as you bring yourself back to a neutral spine, feet hip distance, give yourself a moment to connect with the rise and fall of your breath, if you'd like to make an offering a dedication for your practice now is a great time, send it out as we own to the floor when we bow, so take a big inhale first let something go, exhale let it go, inhale the palms to the sky, lift the heart chin and chest, pinching at the hips, arm away, palms to the shins, lengthen the spine, flat back, exhale bend both knees, plant the hands on the floor, walk or float back to plank pose, lower down, I'll meet you in the back bend of your choice, press to the tops of the feet, guide the shoulder blades down in a way, lift the heart, move the ribcage forward in whichever variation you're choosing, exhale send it back to your down dog, pedal the legs out as you find your foundation, make sure the muscles in your hands are actively pressing forward, so you're not sinking into your wrists, great guys, bend your right leg, walk your left hand halfway to your left foot, keep the left palm there for stability, inhale the right leg to the sky, bend the knee open the hip bow a little bit deeper towards your left shin, push actively forward with your right hand, two more breaths if you want to feel more, lift the right inner thigh a little farther away from the floor, last breath, keep the right leg as it is, hip opening, move to plank pose, slide the left hand forward, pivot your left foot to the left, step the right foot behind, kickstand, side plank, inhale the right palm to the sky or up and over the ear as you spiral the left ribcage to the sky, counterbalancing, look forward to the front of your mat, with or without the help of your right hand, step the right foot forward, place the right hand inside of the right leg, pivot your left heel to the floor, draw the toes in slightly, good, lining up the heels and then just like we did earlier in that little side stretching pigeon, side stretching lizard, walk your hands to the left a little bit, now shift your hips to the right and feel the side stretch on the right side body, good, breathe into that and enjoy it, so we'll get that right side body stretched for some nice side angle postures, walking your palms back, place your right forearm on top of your right thigh, windmill your left palm up, come all the way up to warrior two, check your stance, most of us have that back hip a little high on the front hip a little low, so see if your hips feel like they're lining up with your shoulders, for this version bring your palms into prayer and we're just going to play with the side flexion left and right, so let's go right first, lift the spine, exhale side, bend to your right, bend a little deeper into that right knee, keep it bent, inhale back to center, straighten your right leg, take the side bend to your left, good, and then inhale it back to center, rebend the right leg, same thing, bend that right leg, keep the torso turning slightly to the left as you go a little bit lower this time, left shoulder rolling back, keep the right leg bent, you're feeling the quads aren't you, side stretch to your left, straighten the right leg, good, we're going to add the arms now, bend, warrior two, extend the arms, right palm facing out, right hand inside of the right thigh, it can be thigh, it could be calf, it could be ankle, it could be floor, come back up to your warrior two, feel the power in that right quad, put a little bit more weight into the left leg, straighten the left leg, peaceful warrior, left hand drops to the left, right palm to the sky, rebend your right leg, inhale back to warrior two, good, side angle, keeping the torso lining up with the long side of your mat, lengthening the spine as you move a little bit deeper, and then the last round coming up to warrior two, you're going to feel this on your right quad in a second, peaceful warrior, straightening the left leg to get that big side stretch, lift your left ribcage and then rebend so you feel the resistance in your right side body, celebrating the first round, we got two, by coming into half moon pose, left hand to your hip, reach forward, pinky toe side of your right foot, slide your left foot in a foot or so, and set your right palm up a foot, foot and a half in front of you, lean into it, left heel lifts to the sky, lengthen the spine, make sure the right hand's under the shoulder or slightly in front so you can lengthen and turn your torso to the left, press into the big toe mound, two more rounds of breath, most of us lean to the pinky toe side of the foot, one more round of breath and step back to the safety of warrior two, good, straighten your right leg, bring your palms into prayer, so the second round, same thing with the arms out to the side like wings or for this round a little bit more challenging, send your palms to the sky, same thing, same pulses, same burn on that right claw, all right let's bend that right leg, you might start think of that song right now right, take the side stretch to your right, reach with the fingertips, keep turning the torso to the left as you move deeper, inhale rise up, keep the right leg bent, feel the burn, straighten the right leg, peaceful variation, keep the arms reaching back, bend the right leg to feel the resistance, inhale the palms back to center, exhale, side angle maybe a little deeper spiraling, come back up without straightening the right leg and now straighten the right leg for your peaceful variation, last one, bending, moving into side angle, stay here, bring your left hand to your hip, reach forward with your right fingertips, step the left foot forward, guide the right hand forward, lengthen the spine, you might feel a little bit more wobbly the second time because you're feeling that quad muscle, left palm to the sky, keep the left leg active as well and we'll meet back in warrior two, step it back, line up your heels, let the back hip drop, extend the arms, close the eyes for a moment, think of this as your resting pose, last breath, straighten the right leg, peaceful warrior, right palm to the sky, left hand to the left IT bend, lift the left side body so you get a little bit more length so you can take a little deeper side bend and then bend into your right leg, once again if you'd like to close the eyes feel free, a little bit more weight into the back left foot as you feel that resistance, drawing the right knee forward, relax the muscles of the face, peaceful warrior, can you channel the peaceful warrior? I know it's intense, give yourself a moment to straighten the right leg, tee the arms once again and then bend the right leg, place the right forearm on top of the right thigh or take your variation of side angle, without blocks it's easier to slide your muscle to the calf or the ankle and then lengthen and rotate, feel free to play with that variation or bring it to the floor inside or outside of your right foot, left bicep spirals back if you're taking the arm over the head, push your weight into your back left foot and then resist a little deeper into the front, I promise you're almost done, just two more breaths, lengthen and rotate, one more, lower the left hand to the floor, lower the left knee to the floor, moving into the half splits actually going to feel like a treat, stay here, guide the heart, chin and chest forward or if you're moving into a deeper expression of the split, the muscles should be nice and warm, we worked with the opposing muscles, so sometimes when we work with opposing muscles, quads and glutes, that hamstring starts to feel like it's eased a little bit, perfect, rebend your right leg, walk your right foot off the mat to the right, we were here before and now we're going to stay here a little bit longer, walk your hands to the left, if you want to feel more back up your left knee just a little bit and let the right inner thigh draw away from you as you melt into this nice hip opening pigeon of hip opening lizard pose, I'm getting my reptiles and my birds mixed up today, relax the face, relax the jaw, contract your right glute, see what it feels like to contract it and then soften, release, maybe lean to your right a little bit more, really find softness and ease, notice where you're holding the pose even if it's in the neck and the shoulders just let everything start to soften into this opportunity to really release the outer hip, the outer glute, yeah, one more big inhale and exhale, great guys, walk your palms back, keeping the right leg bent as you walk it towards the center of the mat, we're going to set up for a seated figure four, so walk it all the way across and bend your left leg so that you can easily lower down especially for people that have knee issues, much softer on the knee, swing the left leg around, place the right ankle on top of the right, a left thigh and choose your posture today, either hang out right here for your 10 breaths or join me, set up for malasana, turn the toes out, use your hands to help you up for a hip opening chair pose with or without the wall, you can get your glutes about six inches away from the wall, place the right ankle still working on the right leg on top of the left thigh and then with or without the wall come into your chair pose, much easier than doing this balancing, feel free to use the wall, you might be able to go deeper, if you're not using the wall keep lengthening the spine and as you drop into your seat a little bit more you're going to feel this on the outer right hip, the outer right glute, all the work we did there we're just softening into it. It almost feels like a resting chair doesn't it? If we stayed a little bit longer no, how about three more breaths wherever you are, whether you're seated or whether you're in your standing hip opening chair or whether you're at the wall, we're going to come down and meet our friends seated if you're standing, shake out the legs, turn the toes out, come into malasana, bring the palms down, lower the seat, if you're in your seated variation just release the seat, bring the hands around the knees, lift the heart, lift the chin, lift the chest, toes are slightly turning out. Great, are you ready for side two? Choose how you're getting into your down dog, you can swing the legs around or crossing the legs, rock and roll vinyasa or just place your palms in front of you. Meeting a down dog, either go right there or take the optional vinyasa, sometimes that optional vinyasa and that back bend in between feels so good, press back to your down dog.

Great everybody, all right bend your left leg, shift your weight to your right foot, inhale the left leg to the sky, open the hip, inner thigh away from the floor, walk your right hand halfway to your right foot, take a deeper bow, push strongly forward with your left hand. If you need to feel more, lift your left inner thigh away from the floor, bow deeper towards your right shin. Two more rounds of breath, stay with me. One more, keep the left hip open as you move to plank, keep the knee bent, pivot your right foot to the right, kickstand side plank, step the left foot behind, push forward and down into your right hand, press into the left toe beds, inhale the left palm to the sky or take it up and over the ear, look to the front of the mat, with or without the help of your left hand, step your left foot forward, pivot your right heel to the floor, lining up the heels, turning the right toes in slightly, left hand comes down, take a walk to your right with your hands, feel the side stretch on the left side body, to increase it, lean your hips to the left a little bit, this is going to help us with that side bending flow, press to the pinky toe side of your right foot and lean to the left slightly to feel that side stretch on the left side body. Great guys, walk your hand back, place your left form on top of your left thigh, windmill the right hand up, set up for your warrior to bring your hands to the hips, line up your heels, turn the toe of the right foot in slightly, drop the back hip a little bit, lift the front hip, bring your palms into prayer. All right, you'll remember this, we're taking our side bend to the left, keeping our right shoulder moving back in space, firing up the left quad, looking straight forward, and then rising up, keeping the left leg bent, feeling the power in the left leg, and then straightening the left leg, side bending to the right, palms into prayer, lifting the ribs, side bending to the right, peaceful variation, back to warrior two bent leg, back to this little variation of side angle, moving the right shoulder back in space, instead of collapsing, lengthening forward, using the power of the left quad to help you up to warrior two, palms prayer, and then finishing our last round, hands at prayer, side angle, peaceful one. Now you can keep your hands like this, or you can extend the arms into warrior two, reaching back with the right fingertips, flip your left palm, turn it to the right, and place the left hand inside of the left thigh, or calf, or ankle, as you take the right arm over the ear. Inhale, back up to your warrior two, left palm facing down, left leg bent, straightening the left leg, flipping the left palm, peaceful warrior, right hand, right eye, T bend, go right into bending that left leg, so you feel the resistance. Press to the pinky toe side of the right foot, warrior two, arms extended, peaceful, sorry, side angle, and inside, maybe a little bit deeper as you turn your torso to the right, and then last time coming up, warrior two, to peaceful warrior, straightening the left leg, lifting the right rib cage, bending into the left leg, setting up for half moon pose on the left side, reaching forward with the left fingertips, sliding the right foot forward, left hand forward, fingertips or palms, lengthen the spine, same torso turn to the right that you did in all of those postures previously, right leg is active, like you're standing on it, lengthen a little more rotation to the right if possible, one more big inhale, I'll meet you back in warrior two. So give yourself a moment to set up, move the hips a little bit. All right, so you have your options, arms extended or palms to the sky, facing each other shoulder distance, exhaling side bend to your left side angle, keep turning the right shoulder back, inhale back to center, keeping the left leg bent, and then peaceful warrior, straightening the left leg, reaching back with the palms, rebending the left leg. Remember you can do the same version if you want to, warrior two, arms out or up and side angle, your version, last full round, warrior two, peaceful with the left leg straight, and then keep the arms reaching back as you rebend the left leg, right hand to the right hip, reach forward with the left fingertips, half moon finale on the left side, right toes are turning out to the right just like they were when you're standing, left fingertips under the shoulder, left rib cage moves forward, right rib cage moves back, extend the arm. I'll meet you in warrior two, think of warrior two as your soft pose, as the ease, as the steady soft pose that it is, bringing those two into balance, steadiness and ease, your drishti can be over your left thumb or your eyes can be closed, beautiful, straighten the left leg, peaceful warrior, left palm to the sky, right hand, right eye t-bend, lift your right rib cage and then melt into your left thigh, lift and melt, two more rounds of breath, find the ease and the peaceful warrior, the ease and the muscles of the face, the breath, find the steadiness and the posture and the foundation, finishing with the left form on top of the left thigh or inside calf, ankle or floor, move your left rib cage forward and your right rib cage back, so you get that nice side angle posture, right palm over the head or guide it forward, right bicep, rolling to the space behind your head, melt a little deeper into the left leg and then push into the pinky toe side of the right foot where four resistance, three more breaths, play the song in your head if you need to, you got this guys, last two, last one, lower down, yay, right knee to the floor, left hand outside of the left foot, you guys are making me sweat today, straighten your left leg, we got a nice humid day in Chicago today, stay here or slide the left leg forward, we're celebrating being done with the main heavy or strength work on side two, you all are earning your gold stars today, I hope you're able to stay with me, stay with the practice, stay with the challenge because Shavasana is going to be really sweet after this, all right, let's back up the left leg, same thing, re-bend the left leg, heel toe it off your mat, 10 o'clock, 2 o'clock, walk your hands over to the right and as you shift your hips to the left just soften as much as you can, notice where you're feeling resistance, maybe the elbows will bend, maybe the muscles in the face will relax, maybe you'll contract your left glute and then release it, if it's okay you can lift the big toe side of your left foot off the floor, if this is okay on your ankle, enjoy the breath in this really soft side stretch here, you're creating some space around the muscles, around your lungs, the breath should feel easier, softer, fuller, even though you're feeling a little bit of resistance, all right, just three more breaths, see if you can melt even more, vacation mind, invite the vacation mind to take the forefront of any thoughts and then carefully walk your hands back, you guys feel that, heel toe your left foot to the center of your mat, keep the left leg bent as you walk it across the mat and let your hips start to shift to the left, bend your right leg, swing it around to lower the hips safely, instead of moving into full pigeon, we're swinging the right leg around and we're coming right back to our hip opening, chair variation, this is your spot, the closer the right heel to the seat, the closer the hands, the more resistance you'll feel, remember this is our pose to feel and release the outer left hip, so stay here or join me, malasana, all the way up to a stand and we'll work on the left side with or without the wall, left ankle above the right knee, coming into the chair, releasing all of that strength stuff that we were working with on our glutes, keeping your left foot flexed, lengthening the spine, relax the muscles of the face and the jaw, two more rounds of breath, one more, if you're standing, shake it out, we'll meet our friends coming back to the seat, everybody come into your malasana, so turn the toes out, use the elbows to press against the thighs, lift the heart, lift the chin, lift the chest, great, I'll meet you lying on the stomach, you can bring your palms down and float the feet back or walk the feet back or channel your little inner frog and we'll come all the way down, lying on the belly, replacing your palms with your elbows, moving into a little frog pose with the left leg, so your left knee is sliding out the height of your hip, left foot is flexed and then we'll guide our ribs forward, so we're opening up the front of the hip, giving the back of the hip the glutes and everything should feel really soft and relaxed after this, you can keep the back bend really low with the elbows on the floor or you can slide the palms next to the ribs, press up to your variation of low cobra or lift it up a little higher, press to the top of the right foot, move your ribs forward and shoulder blades back, this is setting us up for a nice little hip opening camel pose or ustrasana, so if you're lying down, we'll meet you there, lower down, bend into your right knee, tuck your right toes under and press up like you're going to move into table on the right leg, lift the left foot off the floor, walk your hands back, I'm going to swing around this way so you guys can see me, the left foot is opening, the left heel is lining up with the right knee, left hand to the inner thigh, right hand to the sacrum, the tailbone lengthens and the sternum lifts, tailbone lengthens, sternum lifts, you can look forward or start to take the drishti up, the right hand is there to keep you from dumping into the lower back, if you want to go deeper, send the left palm to the sky and if you're really nice and open in your backbends and you don't feel any compression in the lower back, your right hand can reach for the right heel, toes tucked under much softer and this is a great opening for the hip flexors, really finding that steadiness and that ease here after all of those nice juicy quad strengtheners, hip flexing strengtheners that we were doing, awesome. Okay so you guys are facing this way, I'm going to join you, keep the right leg where it is, heel toe your left foot to the front of your mat and then double up underneath your right knee, we're going to work into a quad stretch on the right leg, if this is not good for your right knee, please stand up on the left leg or lie down on your stomach and bend your right leg, drawing the heel towards the seat with one or both hands, shoulders moving forward, left knee straight over the ankle or slightly behind, if you want to feel more you can lean into it just a little bit more, so much great work with the quads today, we have to release and soften those guys, excellent. If you're standing up, come on back down and join me, undo your mat, slide your left knee to meet your right, so hands inside, slide it back so that you're in table pose, from table pose replace your palms with your forearms, interlace your fingers for a nice shoulder opening dolphin pose, lift the hips, draw the chest towards the thighs, muscles of the face and jaw, really soft, really relaxed. Nice release for the shoulders, slowly, carefully lower down, good, palms separate, sinks pose, right leg into frog, guide your hips forward, if this is too much for the lower back, remember you can always slide those elbows forward, modify or increase the resistance if you need to, to feel more, finding that balance between sthira and sukham, the steadiness, the effort and the ease, as we explore one of the main sutras that connects us with the physical practice. All right, if you're not lying down, come on down, bend into that left leg, tuck the left toes under, press up to this table variation and push all the way up so your little gate pose for stance, right heel lining up with the left knee, right hand at the sacrum, sorry right hand at the thigh, left hand at the sacrum, lifting the heart, lifting the chin and chest, keep the left hand here, if you want to take that right arm up, lift the sternum and chest or reach back with your left hand, toes tucked much easier, lift your left ribcage so you don't feel the compression here, it's going to be a good weekend guys, we're going to go into it, the joyful mind and open heart, or that's how we're going to approach it and then come on back to center, so I'm going to face the way you guys are and we're just going to take a little walk forward to the front of our mat with the right leg doubling up underneath the left knee, remember knee issues, ankle issues, it doesn't work here, feel free to lie on your stomach for your quad stretch or stand up, we're reaching for the left leg one hand or both hands, turning the torso forward, maybe dropping into the hip a little, slow and lengthen the breath down, two more rounds of breath, one more, excellent, slowly release, undo your mat, slide your right knee back to meet your left, grab a seat on your heels just for a moment, give yourself a moment to receive here seated, thanking the practice as we slow it down, we'll find our way on to the back, extending, actually let's keep the knees bent for right now, so we're kind of revisiting how we started lying on the back, but it should feel a lot different, all right, so from here just a nice soft twist, press your right foot into the floor, left knee on top of the right, eagle legs as always an option, and then we'll lift and slide the hips to the left, dropping the knees to the right, little counterbalance for our hip openers that we did, relax the muscles of the face, relax the jaw, if you want a little shoulder stretch, practice field goal the left arm, bend it and let the elbow drop, it doesn't even have to get close to the floor, just letting it drop and finding that ease and that softness opens up all the muscles in the chest, especially if you were doing your arm balance earlier, you want to stretch this area out, relax face, relax jaw, great, and then slowly release, release the left foot next to the right, draw your hips back to center, in fact slide your hips to the right just a little thing, we don't have to do that later, right leg on top of the left or cross the legs, eagle legs, we'll let the knees drop to the left, and then we'll extend that arm either straight arm, softer chest stretch or bent arm, a little bit more for that combination of pec major and minor, settling in, inviting that vacation mind back, nothing to think about, no agendas, no place to be, nothing to do except for your entertainment, for your ease of heart, for your joy, good, and then as you unwind one leg at a time, you can take any last little movements, maybe shake out the right leg and then shake out the left leg, do the same with the arms, let the palms fall open, little shrug of the shoulders, let the head roll from side to side, relax the jaw and melt into the floor, let any directing or guiding of your breath go, let any workings of your mind be replaced by this beautiful wind or this beautiful clearing of peace blowing over you, which energy that releases all of that busyness in your mind, that thinking, that doing, clearing and melting into peace, any thought patterns that aren't serving you dissolve them into peace, and feel free to extend your shavasana and tune me out and enjoy much deserved rest where you are present for yourself, if you'd like to finish the class with me, you can bring some movement to the physical body, but stay connected, stay connected with that peace that you're creating, little bit of movement with the arms and the legs, an intuitive stretch that feels right for you, and then a much deserved pause in your fetal pose, rolling to the right or to the left, helping yourself up to your seat where we'll just hang out for a minute and receive, absorb all the effects of our practice, we'll remember that this opportunity to connect is always there for us, we don't have to do a full hour of yoga, we just have to check in, oh boy does the yoga help, checking in is yoga, meditating is yoga, just listening to the breath is that connection, that union that yoga represents, so remind yourself often, give yourself a moment to slowly open the eyes, let them be out of focus, bring a little healing, rubbing energy to your palms, place them over your eyes just for a moment, thanking yourself for creating this time for yourself on the mat, and as you bring your palms together in prayer, I thank you all for being here today, thank you for practicing with me, keep connecting, keep sharing this joy that you're experiencing from your yoga practice with everyone that you meet, and I hope to see you next Thursday, namaste.


Juliet M
"Eye of the Tiger" got me through! Really enjoyed the Ustrasana variation. Hard work, but great fun, thank you!
PS Beautiful flowers!
Paul B
great practice Wade, thanks! cheers, Paul and Sue all the way from Avalon on Sydney's northern beaches.
Kate M
That was intense!! I seriously wouldn't have completed it without you there providing encouragement!!! Thanks, Wade : )
Jenny S
1 person likes this.
Wow! I thoroughly enjoyed this practice. I don’t know what got into me (maybe it’s the break in humidity today?) but I found myself really sinking in and sort of cruising along. Of course, your terrific choreography including the strength/rest series in the beginning sure helped...and of course: Flower Power! 🌼🌸🌺
Hi Paul it's so great to hear from you! I lived in Bondhi for a year and loved my trips exploring Manly up to Avalon! So cool to know you are both practicing w/ me from a familiar place! 
Hi Kate - I would totally agree ahahah, more intense then I planned and surprised me; that practice should come w/ a little warning label :) But you/we did it!! BOOM!!
Hi Jenny, well you were cruising to a challenging one so that's really impressive and something to celebrate!! Yes I know have to learn what types of flowers I'm buying!!
Juliet oh yes to 'Eye of the Tiger' and thanks for joining LIVE from the UK!
Kate M
1 person likes this.
Thanks for helping me push the boundaries a little bit!!! So good...
1 person likes this.
Woah, my next series to practice on. Thanks, Wade!
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