Guided by Breath Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 3

Riding Waves of Breath

60 min - Practice
31 likes

Description

Let the breath speak it’s language to the body. Deepen into the breath through non-linear movement exploring spinal mobility, challenging balance and stability in dynamic standing postures, finding space in Bridge, twists, and forward folds, and adding a little spicy core work before settling into Savasana. You will feel expansive and centered.
What You'll Need: Mat, Block (2)

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Hello, my friends. Welcome to the second episode of my show Guided by Breath. I'm Sadia. I'm so glad you're here. I'm just going to open by shaking myself out a little bit. Started the day with a little bit of wacky energy and I was just thinking, gosh, well, if you internalize it, it will only get a little more unmanageable. So I shake myself out before you, standing before you, my friends. So the show you may or may not know if you joined previously Guided by Breath. Our work is to return the body to its first love, the breath. And today we will continue to do that. We'll continue to do it for the rest of the show. But today we're going to see if we can make that work a little more granular, a little quieter, maybe a little bit deeper. Yeah. And hopefully you'll enjoy. I am now sitting in Virasana, a hero's pose. And I happen to be doing that on top of a block. So the block is on its widest width. My ankles will go on either side. And it's on the second highest height. That's what I prefer. You can also lower the block, but please have the block if you choose Virasana. You can also choose easy seat. Please have it on its widest setting. So you place your ankles on either side of the widest setting of the block. Your second block, please place towards the front of your mat. We're going to be using blocks today. If you don't have access to blocks, you can of course do the old trick of trying some thick books. I think people are still reading books these days, but hopefully you have some in your house that you can grab if you don't have blocks. But please take your time in coming to Virasana. So I come to a tabletop position. I'm facing you because it's easiest that way. And then I hug my outer ankles in towards the sides of the block. Then I slowly walk my hands back so that I can situate my pelvis on top of the block. I'm having to move it forward a bit. You just want to make sure that your sitting bones are rooted into the into the block can lift your knees up slightly to let the flesh sit on the skin and muscle and on the muscle and bones in a clear way. And then, you know, as you found your clearest, most easeful expression of this seat, go ahead and rest your hands on your knees or your thighs and close your eyes. Maybe allowing yourself to take a few audible exhale. Just allowing your energy. First sense the energy and just let it do whatever it's doing. And then invite your energy to gather and to settle. Shift your head slightly back and feel as the sitting bones root a little more firmly into the block beneath it or the floor beneath it. Draw your upper arm bones back and feel as that introduces a little brightness to the broadness in the collar bones. With your mind's eye to the very inside of your mouth and see if you can energetically lift the roof of your mouth up. Maintain all of these little things we've done, these micro adjustments we've done to bring balance to the body. Maintain these things and then soften your intention in your seat. Allow yourself to be held by the clarity of your seat. And then rest your hands on your body, one hand on your heart, one on your abdomen and just feel movement of body with your breath. As you inhale that tremendous expansion of the chest and of the belly. As you exhale that falling of the chest, contraction of the belly and of the ribs. And really just observing and witnessing, not attempting to change the breath, not placing any sort of value judgments on the breath but just watching. Switch the palms gently so the opposite hand is on the chest, the opposite hand is on the belly and same thing, same witnessing. Breathing in and out through the nose, really receiving the breath in its entirety. And then please bring your palms to heart center and pausing here, you can lower your chin to your chest.

Maybe you set an intention or a dedication for your practice. And then release your hands to your thighs, float your eyes open and lift your head up leading with the back of your skull and then release your arms by your sides. You can walk your fingertips out to the sides they may or may not touch the floor, it's fine. Roll your biceps forward. Wow and feel as that creates this broadness across the chest. In fact you can let your hands travel with you. And then let's experiment. Turn your palms back behind you, let the forearms roll forward, let the upper arms roll forward and the shoulders come forward and pause. And then start to inhale, begin to turn the palms, feel the arms roll forward as you lift your chest. Now do that a few more times. So you start to exhale, turn the palms down, feel the arm bones follow, let the shoulder heads follow, lower your chin to your chest so the neck is involved in this collection of the spine. And then begin to inhale and with the inhale you slowly begin to roll yourself forward. So rather, and you keep going like this, so rather than thinking of this as two like discrete movements that we're doing with the spine and with the arms, can you find if you will some quality of fluidity in these movements in the arms, in the spine, including the neck. So a few more passes just like this. We're essentially just doing a little cat and cow, seated cat and cow, but we're involving the arms and we're inviting ourselves to find some fluidity in these movements. So rather than making them sort of two discrete movements that have this sort of linear energy to them, can they be a little bit more round? And can you let that roundness of movement and of breath help you find a little roundness in the mind. The next time you inhale and lift up, sweep your arms around and up, look up and touch your palms if that's accessible. And as you exhale, release your arms by your sides with the full length of your breath. We'll do that a few more times. Begin to inhale, sweep your arms up, look up, touch your palms and then exhale, release your arms. And you're moving with the rhythm of your breath. So we're going to do that a few more times without me cueing the breath. I want you to see if rather than moving and breathing, can you move as breath? Can you let the movement actually be an expression, an extension of your breath? Being mindful also of the pauses between the inhales and the exhales. The next time you inhale and sweep the arms up, you can pause and touch the palms. And as you exhale, descend the hands with that descent of the breath.

You can pause at the heart center, Anjali Mudra. Let's either soften the gaze or close the eyes once more and just being just a loving and incredibly curious witness of the breath and of this connection now between breath and body. Let's release the arms, extend them out to the sides once more. And as you inhale, sweep them up. This time, as you exhale, begin to twist to the right as you lower your arms, trying to twist along the axis of the body rather than turning the face. So you twist, feel the twists along the center of your body and your spine. And as you inhale, you'll come back to center and lift up and pause. And as you exhale, you'll twist in the opposite direction as you lower your arms. We'll do that a few more times. So inhaling, you'll lift up, you'll pause at the crest of your inhale. The exhale will come and you'll respond by twisting and you'll pause. You'll start to inhale and lift up. Exhale and twist. Inhale, lift, lift up through the crown of your head so the full length of the spine is finding space. And as you exhale, releasing the arms, this time we'll stay in the twist. Your front hand can rest on your knee, back hand can fingertips reach out. As you inhale, lift up through the crown of your head and with the exhalation, feel whatever there is to feel. Maybe you feel a little more clarity in the twist. But I want you in the shape that we're making with the body, can you find the shape? Can you remain supple enough so that there is movement inside of the stillness? Another inhale will arise and when it does, you'll respond by lifting up and receiving that breath. And as you exhale, twisting in the opposite direction as you lower your arms, once the next inhale arises, you lengthen the spine. And as you exhale, maybe you find a little more clarity in the twist. But again, staying incredibly supple so that there is movement inside of the stillness. So that the shape is being aligned from the inside out. So length on the breath in. Little clarity, maybe you twist a bit more from the inside on the breath out. As you next inhale, you can come to center and lift your arms up. Great. And as you exhale, release your arms, bring your hands to your thighs. As you inhale, send your chest forward like a little cow pose. And as you exhale, reverse. Again, undulating. So keep breathing. But see if you can find, can you make your way to like a singular movement so that you're doing a like a wave rather than just a discreet opening of the chest followed by a collapsing of the chest. Can there be this fluidity to it? And it might get a little messy and that's okay. Mess is beautiful. But still moving with the breath.

As you inhale, you're opening. As you exhale, you're reversing. And then as you inhale, you open. As you exhale, come to neutral and then draw your ribs, flex your spine. So curve your spine. So draw your ribs back, front ribs into your back ribs, and then move your rib cage over to the right. Move your ribs forward, move your ribs over to the left, and then to the back. Move your ribs over to the right. As an inhale comes, move your rib cage forward. As an exhale comes, move your rib cage to the left and keep going, make the movements fluid. Keep the breath going, noticing how the inhalation creates this openness of the chest and the exhalation invites us to find this gentle closing quality. Let's change directions. So changing as you're ready, I'll stop cueing the breath and I'll stop cueing the movement too. And you'll find some fluids or making circles with the rib cage. And just explore, maybe you find places where there's some tightness or holding, maybe you're called to hold in one position or another. The next time you make one more pass and you find yourself to the to the rear rib cage to the back, come to neutral and pause and just observe. Just observe, gaze soft or eyes closed, breath natural and expansive. And then as you're ready, please come to a tabletop position. So we'll come off of the block that we were sitting on. And we'll move that block towards the front of the mat. Other block is on the opposite side of the mat. And then please, please find the tabletop position. So the fingertips are spreading really wide. And then let's make circles with the shoulders around the wrists in one direction. Keeping the breath going. And then maybe changing directions moving in the opposite direction. Keeping the knuckles of the fingers spread nice and wide. Great. And then come to center and turn your fingertips towards you any amount. Maybe that means towards the sides of your mat. Maybe it means a little bit more towards the back corners of your mat. Maybe it means towards your knees. Whatever you do is perfectly fine. Just check in with your body. Let this be an exploration rather than some performance, you know. And then find some positioning of your hands that works for you that allows you to keep pressing the heels of the hands down into the floor. And then same action of making circles with the shoulders around the wrists. These circles can be as large or as small as you like. But again, making this an exploration rather than a mechanical thing that you're doing. You can change directions as you're ready. Breath. Moving all the wild body being responsive to breath. And then come to center and turn your fingertips forward. So back in neutral tabletop position. And then find, if you will, this really fluid tabletop position. So you're bending at the elbows, letting the upper arm bones move in the shoulder sockets. You can move your tailbone around. Get weird, please. Do this as if no one is watching, which is more helpful for me than for you. But allow yourself to get really fluid and organic. So in practice, oftentimes we're moving either forwards and backwards or side to side. Find transverse movement. Find a little rotation. And let it be exploratory. Maybe the body is speaking to you as you explore in this way. Let this be a conversation. And then come back to center, if you will, and pause in a neutral tabletop position. And then walk your hand forward. So you're in puppy dog pose. Release your head to the floor and initially allow the heart to melt, as we say, towards the floor.

And take several breaths here. So reaching forward through your fingertips, reaching your sitting bones all the way back, gathering length in the sides of your body and letting the breath encourage that space in the rib cage as you allow the heart to release towards the floor. This requires us to have some mobility in the upper spine. But can you find that place where you are efforting, but that efforting is cocooned and suffused with softness of intention and literal softness in your body so that the expansiveness of the breath can be expressed. And then from here, please draw your front ribs up so you're more towards puppy dog pose. Draw your front ribs up, knit them together so the back body broadens. Your ears are maybe in line with your upper arms. And you pause there for a few breaths. Reaching again through the fingertips, reaching the tailbone all the way back. Maybe you can feel the engagement of the arms. Great. And then start to walk your hands back towards you so you've returned to tabletop position. And maybe again, a little bit of that fluid movement. And then lower your forearms, please, to the floor. And from here, I'm going to do a little bit of find some mobility in our thoracic spine. So you take your right hand and place your right hand behind your head. Let it rest on your occipital ridge, that ridge at the back of your skull. Open your elbow all the way out to the side. Let the hand lengthen the neck. Lift your head up into your hand. Lower your elbow to the floor and pause. And as you inhale, open the chest to the right side. Lift your elbow up without turning your head. So really trying to get some mobility into the upper spine, the thoracic spine. As you exhale, lower. Begin to inhale and open the chest without turning the head. As you exhale, you'll lower. You do this just a couple more times. Begin to inhale and open. Exhale and lower. Inhale and open. And this time, pause for a breath cycle. See that you're not turning the face. You're opening the chest, lifting the elbow up. Take one more breath in and as you exhale, release. Release your forearm and pause for a moment. It's deceptive work there. It's not a ton of movement, but it requires a lot of, requires some, some efforting. And in our case, we're efforting with the support of the breath. So let's try the other side. So left hand to the back of your, your skull. Finding already a little bit of length at the back of your neck. Releasing the shoulder blades down the back as you inhale you'll lift your elbow up and open your chest to the left without turning your head. And as you exhale, you'll release back to the floor. Inhale, open. Exhale, release. Inhale, open the chest, receiving the breath in. Exhale, release. Inhale, open. This time, pause. We'll take a breath cycle here. Take another inhale trying to lengthen through the crown of the head. And as you exhale, release. Lower your elbow. Find a child's pulse. So big toes touching knees wide apart. Relax your head on the floor. Let the shoulders round forward. And observing whatever is there to be observed, to be felt. And then start to crawl your hands as far forward as you can. Look up at your hands, spread your palms. As you inhale, come forward to cow pose. Tuck your toes, release your belly, open your chest. And as you exhale, downward facing dog. Pretty wide dog. And you'll stay that way because as you inhale, you're going to lower your knees to the floor at the full length of your breath in. Release your belly, open your chest, broaden your collar bones. And as you exhale, this time, child's pulse. And start to inhale, come forward again to cow pose, seeing if you can really articulate through the spine. So maybe the breath has lengthened, so you've got some time to move. As you exhale, downward facing dog, lifting your hips up and back. Inhale, lower your knees to the floor. Release your collar bones, spread across the chest as you exhale, child's pulse. Inhale, come forward again. Cow pose, open the chest. Exhale, downward facing dog. Great. Pause and downward facing dog. You can pedal through your feet. Bend one knee and then the other. Great. And then walk your hands and feet towards each other. So you're at the middle of your mat. And pause there. Interlace your hands behind your head.

Let your hands rest on that ridge again. Let the elbows be heavy, upper arms be heavy. And breathe. Befriend gravity while you're breathing. So as you inhale, you feel the forward fold lessen. And as you exhale, you feel it deepen. Crown of the head being drawn, not just towards the floor, but towards the center of the earth, right? And then release your hands to the floor. Soften your knees a lot. Bring your hands to your shins and start to walk your hands up your legs in order to come up to standing. Let your head be the last thing to come up. So we're effectively just kind of undulating the spine, unfurling the spine. And then once you're standing, you can roll your shoulders back and down and find some suppleness in your Tadasana, your mountain pose. And then start to inhale, sweep your arms around and up, breathe in. Start to exhale, soften your knees and kind of bow to the breath. We're going to keep moving like that. Release your head to the floor. Start to inhale, let the inhale help you unfurl your spine, lift your chest, then finish by sweeping your arms around and up, looking up and touching your palms. We're going to do that again. Soften your knees and hinge forward, hinge forward, reach your heart forward, release your head to the floor, and then reverse. Start to inhale, lift your chest up as you sweep the arms around and up, once more like that. Exhale, bend your knees, hinge forward. Utanasana, start to inhale, sweep your arms around and up, all the way up. Touch your palms. As you exhale, draw your hands down the center line of your body, rest your hands on your body again, and just feel that movement of breath in the body. Movement of breath in the body, tremendous expansion, expansive quality, energetically but neutral expansion as you breathe in. And then that sort of galvanizing quality as you breathe out. And then release your hands. You can separate your feet a little wider than they were. Turn your knees in towards each other, let the backs of your hands reach for each other, round your spine, draw your shoulders forward, and hang here. Let your head hang. And then as you begin to inhale, turn your feet parallel, roll yourself up, unfurl your arms, turn your palms, uplift your chest. We're going to keep going like that. So you're going to start to exhale and reverse. Draw your arms together, knees together, curve your spine, tuck your chin, and inhale, lift up. And you keep going, stop cueing the breath. And you're just trying to express the breath through movement, trying to get the body to move in ways that are not so linear and so clean. So a few more passes just like that. As you next inhale, stay in the open position, the on position, keep breathing, keep the neck long, lengthen your tailbone. As you breathe in, can you feel your chest lift up a little bit more? As you breathe out, can you feel your belly firm so you can lengthen your tailbone? Take one more breath in. And as you exhale, just come to neutral, Tadasana. And observe, observe, and feel. And then take a little slow walk to the top of your mat and find Tadasana there. And allowing yourself to arrive, right, rather than assume the position. Can you arrive softly and sweetly in Tadasana? So it's a firm, clear pose, but can you let it be infused with softness, softness of mind and softness of the breath as it moves to the body. And then as an inhale comes, you can begin to sweep your arms around and up, look up and touch your palms. As you exhale, soften your knees and hinge forward. Begin to inhale, prepare pose. So hands to your shins, can you unfurl your spine in a round way and then exhale forward fold. Start to inhale, sweep your arms around and up, look up and touch your palms. And as you exhale, descend the hands as the breath descends. Again, inhale, sweep your arms around and up. Exhale, hinge forward. Inhale, prepare pose, lift your chest and then exhale, forward fold, plant your palms and step back to downward facing dog. So lift your hips up and back, maybe pedaling through the feet. You can even play with bending your elbows, but suppleness, fluidity, can you maintain these qualities in these shapes that are actually quite linear, right? And then this time as you inhale, we're going to come forward to plank, but see if you can undulate your spine. So you begin to inhale, can you lead with your tailbone and let the rest of your spine follow as you come forward to plank pose. If you need to modify, you can lower your knees, you finish your inhale. As you exhale, can you lead with your tailbone? So spill your pelvis forward as you exhale and send your hips up and back to down dog. We'll do that just twice more. See begin to inhale, scoop your tailbone forward. You won't hear that a lot in yoga class. Let the rest of your spine follow and you pause, modifying if you like or not. The exhale will come, you use the power of your exhale to spill your pelvis forward and reach the tailbone back, reach the hips back, down dog. This time as you inhale once more, undulating forward to plank pose. As you exhale, lower yourself all the way down to the floor. Once you're there, inhale to bhujangasana, baby cobra. Feel the chest expand with a breath and as you exhale, lower down. Inhale, lift up. Exhale, lower down. Inhale, lift. Right this time staying in baby cobra, anchoring the tops of the feet down, lengthening your tailbone. Can you feel the movement of breath even though you are A in stillness and B on your belly? So with every inhale, can you feel the chest expand? With every exhale, can you feel the belly firm and use that power to lengthen the tailbone more? Take one more breath in. As you exhale, lower down to the floor and press back to child's pose and pause for a moment.

And inhale will come and when it does, please come back to baby cobra, seeing if you can find a very fluid spine. So breathing in, lowering yourself to the floor and lifting your chest to finish that breath. The exhale will come and you'll lower yourself down. Pass through cat pose as you make your way back to child's pose. Do that a couple more times. Start to inhale, undulating your spine forward, lifting the chest into baby cobra as the inhale crests. As you exhale, you lower down, use the power of your exhale to lift up, pass through cat, curving the spine, child's pose. Again like that. Inhale, come forward to baby cobra. Exhale, lowering down, pressing back to child's pose. And let's do that once more. Inhale, coming forward, waving yourself forward. Exhale, waving yourself back and pausing and pausing and observing the body, observing the breath, observing the connection between the two. Begin to walk your hands forward, crawl your hands forward, spread the knuckles of your fingers and look forward. As you inhale, drag yourself forward to a cow pose, spread your collar bones. Exhale, lift your hips up and back to downward facing dog. And then walk your feet up to your hands, walk your feet up to your hands in a curious way rather than a sort of hurried way. No rush here. And then once you're at the top of your mat, you can find again, uchanasana, standing forward fold, release the crown of your head to the floor, relax your elbows. And then once again, hands, see your legs soften your knees a lot as you begin to walk your hands all the way up legs, coming to a standing position. And you'll pause and supple tabasana. Bring your hands to your hips and then soften your knees. Keep your knees very, very soft. Lift your left heel up and then step your left foot all the way back so you are in a lunge. You have your blocks handy on either side of your front foot. So you'd be in this lunge and let's actually bring the hands to the blocks. So you find some space in your lunge, widen your stance as much as you need to for stability. And you pause, press into the palms, lengthen the spine. And you take a few breaths here, just like this, just in the lunge, back toes, back toes are peeled all the way back. So heel is stacking above the balls of the feet. And you take a breath cycle here. And as you inhale, lift your torso up and sweep your arms around and up and pause. Now take a couple of breaths here in stillness. Can you, in this pose that requires a tremendous amount of muscular effort, can you find that quality of suckleness? Let's take a breath in here. As you exhale, just lightly tap your back knee to the floor and then inhale, lift up and do that just twice more. So exhaling, tapping the back knee to the floor and lifting up. And then once more, exhaling to tap the knee and lifting up. Take a breath in here. As you exhale, hinge forward, bring your hands to your blocks. See that the blocks are underneath your shoulders. So your hands are underneath your shoulders. And again, finding space in the lunge, bring your right hand to your hip. You can actually hook your right thumb into your right hip crease. As you inhale, lengthen from your back heel through the crown of your head. Draw that right hip back. And take another breath cycle using every inhale to lengthen through the spine, imagining that your spine begins in your heel. And then keep looking at the floor as you begin to revolve your chest open to the right side. And then turn your gaze in that direction. And if it's accessible or interesting, reach your right fingertips up to the ceiling. And then take a few breaths here just like this. As you inhale, lengthening through the back heel through the crown of the head, exhaling to find a little more clarity. Take one more breath in. And as you exhale, bring your hand to the block. The blocks can come off to the sides, palms to the floor. Inhale to plank pose, lower your knees to the floor. As you next inhale, lift your chest.

As you exhale, lower yourself down to the floor. You start to breathe in and you'll undulate the spine. So you lift the chest for baby cobra. Exhale, you'll lower yourself down and press back to downward facing up. Look up between your hands. Take a little fluid walk to the top of your mat. Once you're there, you'll inhale to prepare pose and lift your chest. Exhale, you will forward fold. Inhale, you start to sweep your arms around and up coming all the way up to Urdhva Hastasana. The palms can touch and you can draw your hands down the center line of your body and you pause. And then hands to the hips again. Soften your knees, lift your right heel up and step, step or float your foot all the way back into a lunge. Preparing your stance, grabbing your two blocks and finding some space in your lunge. Peeling your back toes all the way back. It's as though the back foot is in like plank poles. So articulate and feel as that articulation through the foot creates brightness in the leg. And can you feel the breath movement? Can you lengthen your spine more? See that your stance is wide enough so that you're stable and let yourself explore that. And then with an inhale, you lift your chest up and you sweep the arms around and up and you pause. As you inhale, stay here. As you exhale, lightly tap the back knee to the floor and then inhale, lift up. Exhale, tap the knee. Inhale, lift. Exhale, tap the knee once more. Inhale, lift. Exhale, hinge forward, floating your hands to the blocks and pausing. Lengthening through the crown of your head. Bring your left thumb to your left hip crease. Draw the hip back. Can you use your breath to find a little more length in the spine? Reach out through the heel, reach to the crown of the head. Keep looking at the floor as you open your chest to the left. So you're finding a, we're twisting along the axis of the body just as we did when we were seated. And then maybe you turn your gaze to the left and maybe you reach your left arm up towards the ceiling. And inside all of this effort, can you find little quality of softness, little softness of intention. We take one more breath in here. And as you exhale, float your hand to the block. The blocks can move off to the sides. Palms to the floor. Inhale, you lengthen your body so you can breathe in. Exhale, lower yourself all the way down to the floor. As you inhale, bhujangasana, baby cobra, lift the center of your chest. And then exhale, lower down. Stack your palms, rest your head on top of your hands. And just take a moment just to register your experience. To register your experience less with your mind and more with your body and with your heart. And then rest, please, your head on the mat. Interlace your hands behind your head. Widen your elbows. Use the heels of your hands to hug the sides of your skull and draw the crown of your head forward. So your neck is lengthening. Soften the shoulder blades, slide them down the back, anchor your feet. And as you inhale, lift the chest, lift your head rather into your hands. Widen your elbows. And as you exhale, lower down. Do that just twice more. Inhale, lift up. Exhale, lower. Inhale, lift. This time staying in the lifted position. Widen your elbows, lengthen the neck a little bit more. You take one more breath in. And as you exhale, relax your arms, turn your face to one side and just pause. Once again, just registering your experience. You can shake the pelvis a little bit from left to right. Great. And then turn your forehead to the mat again. Bring your hands to either side of your mat, so off of your mat, in line with your lower ribs. Tent your fingers, lift your elbows up and anchor your feet down. As you inhale, begin to peel yourself off of the floor. One more breath at a time. Doesn't matter how high you lift, but pause. And as you exhale, reverse. Lowering the center of the body, followed by the upper chest and the forehead. And we'll do that again. Begin to inhale, lead with T12, the center of your, very center of your spine. And then you lift the chest and lift the chin slightly while keeping the neck long. And as you exhale, lowering back down. And we'll do that one more time. Inhale, lift up. And stay here. Draw your elbows back. Doesn't matter how high you're lifted. You just want to see if you can find that intersection where effort and ease and breath meet. And we take one more breath in. And as you exhale, lower yourself down. Place your hands next to your lower ribs and press yourself back to a child's pose and pause. We crawl your hands a little farther forward. And then come forward to a tabletop, seeing if you can weight yourself forward. And then once you're in a tabletop, you find a neutral position and you pause.

Let's do another little undulating tabletop positions. Moving the tailbone around. Elbows are bending. Great. And then pause in tabletop. Please step your right foot forward until your ankle is underneath your knee. And you come to an upright position. You can of course pad your back knee if that feels like it might be valuable. Or it feels like it might feel good. And then please hook again your right thumb into your right hip crease. As you inhale, lift your left arm up. As you exhale, hinge yourself forward. As you inhale, lengthen through your spine. And as you exhale, begin to twist along the axis of your body. So we've been doing this a lot. And you can hook your elbow on the outside of your knee. And maybe you can bring your palms to prayer. And you can stay there just like this. Finding a twist. Seeing if you can use the breath as kind of your anchor and your guide. Guided by breath. As you inhale, little lessening of the twist. As you exhale, maybe find that you can achieve a little more clarity in the twist. Let the breath be the thing, right? So we take one more breath cycle. And as you next exhale, you can release that and come to center. And pause. Let's straighten the front leg. Grab two blocks. Have them on either side of your leg. You can straighten the leg a bit and just hinge a little bit forwards and backwards. And then let's find the opposite side. So you return to your tabletop position. And then you'll step your left foot forward until the ankle is underneath the knee. You'll come to an upright position and you'll pause. Let's hook the thumb into the hip crease. We're encouraging balance in the pelvis. So the rotation that we do can be truly spinal. As you inhale, lift your right arm up. And as you exhale, hinge yourself forward. As you inhale, lengthen through the crown of your head. And as you exhale, begin to twist along the axis of your spine, hooking your elbow, bringing your palms to prayer at the center of your chest, using the palms and the arms as a gentle, gentle lever. And breath is still expansive. You're still incredibly curious about what's happening inside of the body, that internal movement and this connection between breath and body. So every inhale, a little more space, every exhale, a little more clarity. We'll take one more breath cycle. One more breath in. And as you exhale, you can reverse, unthread yourself, and then grab your two blocks and extend your knee, flex your foot, hinge forward a bit. Great. Blocks can come forward and off to the sides. And you can plant your hands and find your tabletop position again. Walk your hands a little forward of your shoulders, tuck your toes under. Inhale here. As you exhale, lift the knees up and pause, and then lift your hips up and back to down dog. Great. Please lower your knees to the floor again, and then sit on your heels just to even swing your legs out in front of you. Great. Step your feet to the floor, reach your fingertips forward, and slowly, beginning with your tailbone, can you slowly lower yourself down onto the floor? Turn your palms to face down broad and across your chest, and preparing for a bridge pose. As you inhale, press into your heels, lift your pelvis up and open the chest. Great. And you can stay here pressing the palms into the floor if it's part of your practice, and it might be valuable to you today. You might interlace your hands underneath your body, rolling the shoulders towards each other. And then can you give this shape to your breath? So as you breathe in, feel the chest expand, ribs expand, belly expand, and as you breathe out, can you feel the belly firm? And can you use that firmness to help you lengthen your tailbone? So we're creating this beautiful, even arc of the spine, the full length of the spine. We take one more, not one, we'll take a couple more breaths here in bridge pose. I'll let you have an internal, an experience of your own. Take one more breath in, and as you exhale, slowly release your pelvis down onto the floor.

You can separate your feet a little wider so you're able to windshield wiper your knees from left to right. And then draw your knees into your chest. And then roll yourself up, so you get a body roll yourself up to an upright position, and then extend your legs out in front of you into dandasana, the staff pose, flexing your feet, you're on the bottom of your pelvis rather than towards the back of the pelvis. You're on the bottom of the pelvis, you can pad yourself or sit on top of a blanket if you like. And then bring the sole of your right foot to the inside of your left thigh, revolve your chest that you're facing your front foot. As you inhale, lift your arms up, receive that breath in. As you exhale, hinge forward, and you do that a few more times. Inhale, lifting up, receiving the breath in. Exhale, folding forward. Inhale, lift up. Exhale, forward fold. Inhale, receive the breath in. And exhale, forward fold. Relax your head and your neck, you can allow your spine to round. You may have to bend your knee so you can comfortably hinge forward, and that's perfectly all right. Just allow yourself to begin to turn inward now, or rather even more deeply inward. Continuing even in the stillness to allow the breath to do its dance in the body, to allow, you know, to let the breath speak its language to the body. And then slowly, you'll roll yourself up, and then you'll switch sides. So draw your right knee in, extend your right leg, bring the sole of your left foot to the inside of your right thigh, flex your right foot. This extended leg is actually doing tadasana. Revolve your chest towards the front foot, and then as you breathe in, you'll lift up and receive the breath in. As you breathe out, you hinge forward. Inhale, lifting up. Exhale, hinging forward, bowing to the breath. Inhale, lift up. Exhale, forward fold. Once more, inhale, lift up, and exhale, forward fold, softening. Just a couple more breath cycles here. As you are drawn, you know, nearer and nearer to that refuge that's at the very center of your being always. You use practice as, you know, a portal to that place. And slowly begin to roll yourself up, and then extend your opposite leg. Step your feet to the floor. Hold the backs of your thighs and tip yourself back for a little quick navasana. Lift your calves away from the floor. And can you feel, are you tipping towards the back of your pelvis? Can you lift the chest? Can you be on the bottom of your pelvis? You take a breath in here and feel as that breath in helps you to open and lift the chest. Maybe you experiment with reaching your arms forward or not, but with every breath in, the chest lifts. On this exhale, lower your feet to the floor. Scoop your tailbone forward and see if you can slowly recline, drawing your knees into your chest. Maybe rocking yourself a little bit from left to right. Finding a happy baby pose. You can hold the outer edges of your feet or the backs of your thighs. And here too, you know, let it be a little exploration.

Maybe you extend one leg and then the other. Maybe you extend both. Maybe making circles with your knees. Let yourself be exploratory. And then come to center. Draw your knees in towards your chest. As you inhale, reach your feet up to the ceiling. Extend your arms alongside your ears. As you exhale, draw your knees into your chest. Inhale, extend your legs. Reach your arms alongside your ears in some way. And as you exhale, draw your knees in towards your chest. Inhale, open legs up, arms up. Exhale, reverse, draw the knees in. Inhale, open legs and the arms. Exhale, draw your knees into your chest. Lift your arms away from the floor. So release yourself to the floor. Extending one leg and then the other coming to the final resting pose. And for the first few moments, just finding off to take up space, to occupy space. So legs are wide apart. Palms are face up, so we keep an openness across the chest and arms are away from the body. Try to see that the upper back is flush with the floor. And make sure your head is positioned so that you're maintaining that natural curve of your cervical spine, your neck. You're also, of course, welcome to pad your head or cover yourself or whatever you like to do for Shavasana. Once you've sort of established, you know, physical conditions, allow yourself to be supported by those conditions. So let the weight of your front body merge with your back body. Give the weight of your back body to the floor and to gravity, really. And allow yourself to essentially do nothing here. Be initially watching the waves of breath as they come and go. But otherwise, just giving yourself over to this moment of integration when all the work you've done, not only in this practice, but all others, continue to make a home in your body, weave themselves into the fabric of not just your body, but your life. And you just rest in the echo of your practice, the residue of your practice. Unique energy, the energetic quality of dynamic stillness. You can begin to deepen your breath. If you'd like to continue resting in Shavasana, you're of course welcome to do that. But otherwise, wiggling fingers and toes, extending your arms alongside your ears or out to the sides, whatever you have room for. And then draw your knees into your chest and roll yourself to one side, resting your head on your arm and pausing. And then keeping your eyes closed, if you can, making your way up slowly to a seat. Once you are seated, you sit well, rest your hands on your knees or your thighs. Bring your palms together at the center of your chest and bow your head to your hands thanking yourself for practicing and honoring your body and all its various ways of expression honoring your breath, honoring this incredible connection between your body and your breath. And may you carry this sense of curiosity and fluidity and openness and receptiveness and play with you for the rest of the day and always the light in me season honors the light that's also in you. Namaste.

Comments

Ali
Ali
5 people like this.
Sadia, the language that you use is so beautiful, but so meaningful. It is like poetry. I love that you are helping make breath and movement into a personal art form, rather than a prescribed and pre-determined series of shapes. I will continue to play with breath and movement through my day.
Sadia Bruce
1 person likes this.
Ali Thank you so very much for these kind words. Am thrilled that you received what I wanted to transmit— the joy of leaning into the reality of your own bodily experience. It’s  been so liberating for me in so many ways, and so I share in that spirit... Hope you’ll join again next week! Much love.   
Kate M
1 person likes this.
I agree totally with Ali ! The language you choose to use for cueing resonates deeply. Your words take familiar postures to another level. Very beautiful practice. Namaste : )
Julie M
Thank you that was just great! The thought that you have given to guiding this sequence really shows through and is much appreciated xx
Samreen F
Such a beautiful practice thank you x
David G-
1 person likes this.
I started this last night, but, no regrets,  it was my turn to cook dinner. If I were a hippie I would say this is groovy, but as a cyclist I am more apt to say that was a freaking good ride, and we cyclists need to move in a non-linear way. 

Namaste 
Amanda
1 person likes this.
the release in my thoracic area and shoulders was awesome. Almost emotional. i adore this series xxx
Sadia Bruce
Dear Amanda, I’m thrilled that moving with me moved you— truly. Thank you for your kindness in sharing!

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