The Yoga Show with Kira & Friends Artwork
Season 4 - Episode 2

Feel Good Flow with Shelley

60 min - Practice
70 likes
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Embrace the moment in this feel good flow. Kira’s guest, Shelley, encourages us to move gracefully through warming and energizing Sun Salutes, a fluid half mandala flow, stabilizing balance poses, and standing postures that build heat in the legs. You will feel at centered and at ease.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Talk

Hey there, yogis. So great to be together this morning. We have a super special treat. We get to practice with the delightful and beloved Shelly Williams. You might know her from her 30-day Awaken to You Yoga Challenge or Season 6 of the Yoga Flow Show or multiple other projects.

Let's go see Shelly now. Hey Shelly, we're so happy to see you and now hear you. Yes, me too. I'm like, wait a minute, okay. Sound is good.

Thank God for sound. Thank God for sound. Hey, so, you know, we're in like month seven or so of the pandemic and you as a yogini mom are kind of at the mercy of the crushing of two industries, school and yoga studios. So, you know, catch us up on some of the key skills that have really helped you survive and maybe even thrive during this time. Wow.

Well, what I have to say is it's a work in progress because I'm realizing some of the key skills that are needed to survive and thrive are skills that don't come naturally to me. And one of them is patience. It's an acceptance and really, you know, I pride myself on being able to roll with the punches but, you know, when real life yoga comes in and puts it in your face and you learn a lot about yourself. So, I think quite honestly, it's just been patience and letting go of control, letting go of trying to have things go as a certain way and a certain plan, letting go of my ideas of old life and attachments to what that used to be and just embracing what it is that's going on. And my kids have been really helpful in teaching me that, really helpful in just reminding me to embrace the moment and to enjoy the immediacy of the moment.

What is right now, what we can do right now and rediscover our own backyard as far as what's right at the park around the corner, what's right down at the beach. We're so lucky that we live close to the beach, so we have these opportunities to enjoy nature right here without having to get on a plane. So, that's been really nice. Oh, I love that. I'm just going to, I want to push on that just a little smidge more, like, because I really want to, I want to absorb this lesson from you.

Can you, what is the physiological experience, like, what does it, give me some more tactile sensations, like, give me a more sensual understanding of what it feels like to, to, like, let go of control and embrace the now. Like, what does that really, how do you know you're doing that? How do you know you're really being affected by and not giving lip service? That's a great question, actually, and I think the first thing is recognizing when you, when you tighten up against it. That's been the big feedback is in, for the simplest example, and I know lots of parents out there are experiencing this with, their kid can't get connected on Zoom, or they're supposed to be connected and they're watching something else or, you know, and they're not asking for help and, and it's all happening and the Wi-Fi is going out, it's all not happening at the same time.

And so, I, what I feel in my body is that tightness in my chest and tightness in my jaw and my eyes get sharp and I'm, and I'm looking at them like, why aren't you doing this right? Like, this, you know, you need to know how to do this as a 10-year-old and it's kind of like, oh my gosh, you know. So the first step for me is, is, is turning the mirror on myself literally when I feel that and I see it reflected back in their eyes right away, it's like, whoa, mommy, mommy just got really sharp there for a second and taking a deep breath. My go-to is humor, if I can find a smile or a laugh or a way to make a joke about the moment, then it automatically eases the tension between us and with the situation and remembering too that like, we're all going through this, we're all having this challenge and to just have some patience with it and keep the bar low, keep the bar low right now, right? Because when we have our expectations, it's like, I can't make it over, I'm only 5'1", so keep the bar low and expect things to go wrong and roll with it.

And so when we, when my little ones and I find those opportunities to laugh at it, then it just, oh, it feels so much lighter literally in our body, so that's been a good, a good tool. Just laugh at it. All right. Yeah. That is such great advice.

Keep the bar low. Okay, so on the way, I just want to say a huge thank you to our technical team in the background that's making this happen, Jeff and Alana, you rule, and Shelly, the floor is yours. We're so excited to practice with you today.

Practice

Thank you. Thank you.

All right. Thanks for being here, everybody, and I wish I could see all of your faces and hopefully I'll get a list or maybe there's comments later, but thank you so much for being here. It's such a pleasure and let's get started. I want to encourage you to set up your mat sideways like this to your camera or your own computers because we'll be moving in a little bit of a half mandala from one end of the mat to the other, so it'll just make it easier for you to see if you're set up like this, but however your setup is fine. And let's come into child's pose to start.

We're going to bring the big toes to touch, the knees wide, bring your arms back alongside your body and just let your forehead rest down on something if it's not your mat. It could be a folded blanket or a towel or a block, but ground down through your forehead and take a couple really slow, deep breaths here and through the nose and out through the nose or the mouth and just let everything drop off, let everything relax and literally drop down into the earth. This is a really mellow, but invigorating grounding flow. We're not going to be moving into anything too complex, but just moving into all the basic kind of large movements of the body in an artistic way, making it so that we feel good inside and out. So take a couple more breaths here before we add any movement, just notice how your body feels.

You can rock a little bit if you like. Notice what kind of energy you're showing up with this morning and maybe the state of mind, the inner attitude and take a few breaths into wherever you are, just noticing opening up that awareness and then finding the opportunity to shift. If you want to shift it at all, we start to direct our focus towards that. It's called setting an intention, right? Like I want to feel good today or I want to feel easeful or be able to laugh or smile, whatever it is, we start right here.

So let's stretch our arms forward and on your next inhale, come on up to your hands and knees to set up your knees hips width apart. Super simple, moving into cat cow as we inhale to arch, exhale to round, inhale to arch once again and then this time as you exhale, go back to child's pose. It's like our home base, we just drop back down, exhale completely and then inhale, come back up to hands and knees, exhale around the spine, inhale to arch the spine and once again exhale back to child's pose and notice I'm bringing my big toes together as I shift back and then as I inhale, big toes apart, arch the back, exhale around. So there's a little bit of slight pivoting on the knees, inhale, come back to your arch and then exhale, big toes touch and just ease back, it's like home base, coming back into home base. Let's do that one more time, inhale to shift hands and knees, exhale to round, open up through the back of the heart, inhale to arch and then exhale back into your home base, back into child's pose, exhale all the breath out and then inhale, come on back up to hands and knees and let's go ahead and take our right hand up to the sky, open up your chest as you exhale, thread the right wrist behind the left, come all the way down to the outer right shoulder and ear, just a little soft easy twist here and then if you'd like to take your left foot out to the sides, you can and I love to take this top arm over my head and start to turn the chest open but really you can place it anywhere, you can try circling around and just opening up the shoulder here as you swim through the space above you, inhale, take your eyes and maybe turn them towards the sky and then back towards the ground just a couple more times, working in some spiraling movement, some fluid movement as we inhale to open and then exhale, place your left hand like you would for playing just right underneath where your shoulder is going to go, unwind and reach your right arm forward, your left leg back and if you feel like you need to slightly adjust so that your joints are stacked, go for it, let's draw our elbow to our knee and then inhale, reach it out nice and long, just some of these basic movements to start to activate the center of the body, warm up a little bit and start to coordinate our breath as we exhale and inhale, expand with our movement, exhale, elbow to knee, inhale, reach it long and then go ahead and take your right hand back, grab your foot, this might be a big ask, do what you can and maybe lift your chest, lift your thigh, take a full breath in here as you exhale, release and guess what, we get to go back to child's pose, hallelujah, drop it back and down, exhale all the breath out, yeah and then inhale back to your hands and knees, set yourself up, let's take the left hand to the sky as we take another deep breath in, exhale, thread it underneath, come all the way down to the outer shoulder and ear and if you like, right leg out to the side, top arm, your right arm over your head and just start to swim and circulate the top arm, up over your head as you inhale, opening the chest and then exhale, circle your arm past your hip, past your extended leg, two more times, notice how your shoulder girdle and all the thoracic spine rotates, your heart rotates as you circulate around and plant your right palm underneath your shoulder, unwind into your balancing cat, making some adjustments as you need to, costume adjustments, left arm forward, right leg back, exhale, elbow to knee and find that cat cow extension here as we inhale and exhale, notice how your breath guides the movement as you inhale expand and exhale to coil, inhale expand and then take your left hand back, maybe catch the right foot and start to lift up, opening through your chest, opening through your quadricep, full breath in and then exhale, let it go back to home base, sink back and down into your child's pose, full inhale to the back of the heart, exhale, shift back up to your hands and knees so we keep it moving but no rush, curl your toes under, lift your hips up and back into your downward dog and bicycle puddles through the feet and knees and just start to saunter, start to walk your feet in a leisurely way up to your hands coming into a forward fold at the top of your mat, soften your knees, relax your head and neck, maybe nod your head yes, no, back to yes again and let's roll up slowly here so keep the knees bent generously, pull your navel in, surrender through your head, neck and shoulders, even your arms and fingers just rolling up slow and then once you come to standing, step the feet together, let's circulate the arms out and up, lift your chest, exhale, draw your hands to your heart, good morning, we made it and hopefully we can hear each other, circle the arms out and up once again, take hold of your left wrist with your right hand and just side bend up and over, yeah and then come back to the center as you inhale, opposite wrist or left hand grabs right wrist and side bend, yes, a little yawning, stretch through the sideways, come back to center, inhale, touch your palms and then take a swan dive forward fold, soften your knees, finding a lot of softness in the joints this morning, inhale, lift the heart halfway, slide your hands way up the shins, nice and generous here and then exhale, release back to your downward dog, yeah, so setting up your feet, hips width apart, hands shoulder width apart, maybe slightly turn the hands out a little bit just to open up the shoulders and then let's roll like a wave, come up onto your toes, roll through the spine, forward to plank and then exhale, soften the knees and just shift your hips back to downward dog, let's take that twice more, inhale to rise and ripple forward, let your head come through last, soften the knees back through to downward dog, one more time, inhale, rise up on the toes, round the spine, ripple forward, exhale, soften the knees and reach it back, good, step the feet close together, let's extend the right leg up and back on an inhale and then as you exhale, draw the knee to the nose, step all the way through and lower the back knee down, we'll come to a low lunge here, on an inhale, reach forward and up and then just circulate, swim, backstroke through the space behind you, inhale, reach forward and up, exhale, open, yeah and just feeling into the space around you, feeling into the space in your chest, your heart, your shoulders, open it up and take your hands down on either side of your front foot, start to shift back and straighten the front leg, maybe lift your toes any amount, right, so some of us might be a little higher or lower but relax down, good morning to your wonderful hamstring, release through the head and neck and then shift forward, runner's lunge, step back to plank and we're going to add a little kind of alternative vinyasa here, just set your right knee down, flatten the back foot and sweep the left arm back alongside the hips, up and over, so lots of circulations, lots of front and backstrokes and then come through plank and let's do the same thing on the other side, set your left knee down, flatten the back foot, swim the right arm up and over, super simple, come back to plank on your inhale and then exhale, our first chaturanga, here we go, let's lower the knees to be kind and then come all the way down, chest and hips meet the earth at the same time, easy cobra on an inhale, lift your heart, keep the hips and thighs planted, exhale, guess what, back to home base, back to child's pose, yay, inhale, hands and knees, because we're keeping the bar low, exhale, curl the toes under, lift the hips, that doesn't mean that great things can't happen, lots of things happen close to the earth, right, so let's take the left leg to the sky, inhale and then exhale, step it through and as we're moving and breathing together just give yourself permission to move in a way that feels good, that you enjoy, inhale, lift your heart, lift your hands and then stay open your chest, right, limit the space around you, inhale, hopefully, exhale, open it up and if not, working with right inhale, exhale, take your hands down, let's straighten the front leg any amount, maybe pick up the toes, relax your head and neck completely, full breath here and then exhale, rebend your front step to plank and we'll work with this in a rolling side plank vinyasa, set your lung and flatten the back foot or you can keep the knees lifted, the heels to the left, sweep the right arm up and over, plank, same thing other side, it can either be down flattening the back foot or roll the heels up and over, super simple, take a full breath and then exhale, inhale, easy cobra, exhale, press back to child's pose and pause for just a couple of breaths, I'm going to check our connection here, so continue to breathe, slow and steady, alright and then come back to your downward facing dog, taking the right leg to the sky, we're going to take that same pot on one breath, one movement, exhale step all the way through runner's lunge, so it can be a low or a high lunge this time, reach forward enough on an inhale and then open up your arms as you exhale, hands come to the mat, straighten the front leg, shift forward runner's lunge, step back to plank and either right knee down or heels to the right, we'll just take one side here as we inhale, sweep the arm up and over, exhale through your chaturanga, so you can hover or come all the way down, inhale to your back bend, cobra or up dog, exhale downward dog, taking the left leg to the sky on an inhale, exhale step through, it can be a low or a high lunge, inhale reach forward and up and just take one circulation as you open up through the chest, hands come down, straighten the front leg any amount, shift forward and step back to plank and once again either left knee down or roll the heels to the left and we take one half of this and a rolling side plank vinyasa, coming into plank lower halfway or all the way, inhale to your back bend, exhale fold, right leg rising on an inhale, let's repeat that, exhale step it all the way through, it can be a low or high lunge, sometimes I like to alternate, inhale reach forward and up, exhale open the chest, stretch the front leg long, once again that back knee can be down or lifted, rebend your front knee, step to plank and either right knee down or heels to the right, sweep the left arm up and over, opening up through the side waist, come through your vinyasa or skip, you could go straight back to downward dog, exhaling, left leg rising, start to feel a little warmth sneaking in, exhale step it all the way through, it can be a low or a high lunge, inhale reach forward and up, open the chest as you exhale straighten the front leg, rebend your front knee, stepping to plank on an inhale and either set the left knee down or roll the heels to the left and sweep the right arm up and over, smoothing gracefully, smoothly, exhale through your vinyasa or skip, open the chest, fold it back, let's do one more round, these simple namaspars rising, inhale, reach through the roof, exhale step all the way through, enjoy the trip there, lower high lunge, inhale reach forward and up and then stretch your arms through the space nice and wide, straighten the front leg as the hands come down, dipping in and then rebend your front knee, step back to plank, right knee down or heels to the right, sweep the left arm up and over, exhale through your vinyasa or skip, continue to lead with your breath, exhale back to down dog, left leg rising, inhale, exhale step all the way through, lower high lunge, inhale to rise, open the chest, stretch through the space, hands come down straight in the front leg, moving through the skin and bones with good energy as we rebend the front knee, step back to plank, either left knee down or heels to the left and then just sweep and clear the space around you, above you with your breath, coming through your vinyasa or skip, open the chest as we inhale, exhale fold it back, downward dog and hang out either here or if you'd like to come back into home base, back into your child's pose for a breath or two and rest, sometimes I like to just sit on my heels in durasana, palms up and take a few moments and center my energy, you can do this in any shape, just take a moment, close your eyes and breathe and it's that checking in again of our awareness is such a great question that Kira asked me as far as how do you know and how does it feel, you have to look at it first, you have to be willing to notice how am I feeling, how am I acting and is it in alignment of what do I want to be putting out in the world and taking back in and vice versa, so just checking in with ourselves and inner voices and see if you can kind of pull back from all the voices, all the thoughts, all the agendas and just breathe, clear some space for yourself, take the pressure off literally and figuratively, let's take one more breath here, exhale completely and then come on back to your hands and knees on your next inhale, hello, curl the toes under, lift the hips, press back to downward dog, let's bring our feet to our hands once again so you can lift up down the knees and take a little hop, you can walk your feet up to the top of the mat, lift the heart halfway, come up kind of high, hands rise up to just below the kneecaps and then exhale, surrender, bend your knees, soften your spine and roll up and just let whatever you're carrying roll off your back, water off a duck's back, once you come to standing, circulate your arms out and up, let's take hold of our left wrist with our right hand, I'm going to turn and face you for this and side bend up and over to your right, together here, continue side bending as you bend your knees and just circulate all the way down, we'll drop off our right hand on the floor or a block, keep the right knee bent and then open the left half of your body, so left arm reaches to the sky, left leg kind of straightens, maybe turn and look at the top hand, I'm going to come back to the top of my mat there and mirror you, now top arm circles back and down, pass the hip bend both knees and come into utkatasana, fierce chair pose, as you exhale, sink down through your forward fold, just passing through these shapes in a fluid way, lift the heart halfway, come up high on the shins and then exhale, surrender, bend the knees, pour your spine over your thighs and roll up, draw the belly in as you roll up to support your back, get the arms out and up as you inhale and now take hold of your right wrist and side bend, turn and face you again to the left, with some lank A as you inhale and then continue curving down as you bend your knees, side bending down, forward, drop off your left hand, keep your left knee bent and then open the right half of the body, right arm reaches to the sky, right leg straightens, stay right there, take a full breath in, as you exhale top arm circles back and down, bend both knees, come into utkatasana and this time we'll stand tall and draw the hands to the heart, coming into your tadasana, your samastitihi which means call to attention, call to attention all the layers of your awareness, your body, mind, spirit, view of the breath, let's take our left knee and just lift it up, calling to attention your focus, keep your eyes steady on one point so it can help you balance and then place your left foot either at your ankle, your calf or you can grab your ankle and bring the foot all the way up to your inner thighs, create like a little foot thigh or foot calf sandwich and press them together and as you press that knee open, keep that left hip rotator forward, eyes are steady and then just reach your branches to the sky and feel that simultaneous rooting down through the soul of your standing leg foot and lifting through the heart while you root your eyes on one point, just keeping your awareness really simplified, probably one of the hardest challenges these days is to just stay focused on a single task, keeping your eyes steady, full breath in here and then as you exhale go ahead and sweep your hands behind you, lace your fingers right at the sacrum, open the chest and we'll step our left foot back to a runner's lunge and it's a bit of a blind entry so soften your standing leg and if your left foot doesn't land quite far enough back just wiggle it a little, open up through the chest, sink down in your hips but keep the front of the pelvis lifting up a little bit as you open up through your heart, you feel really good through the chest, back leg nice and strong, take a full inhale here and then as you exhale we're out of there, release, left hand down, right arm to the sky, simple twist, open up the chest and then exhale, walk your hands to the long edge of your mat, so towards your wide long edge of the mat, pivot the feet and just bend into the left knee or the back knee, bend into the other knee, we call this a high skandasana side lunge and just shift back and forth a little bit here and the next time your left knee bends you're going towards the back of the mat, let's pivot runner's lunge and then step forward and lift your back leg, so it's a baby standing split, we're just kind of open up the back gate here any amount and then step the right foot to the left, very good, lift the chest halfway, inhale, exhale release, soften your knees, roll up and let it roll off your back, come all the way up to standing, circle the arms out and up, full breath, exhale hands to your heart, some s-d-t-e, call to attention, your intention, what is it today? It can be so simple, right?

I just want to laugh or smile, spread some cheer, some love, whatever it is, let's lift our right knee up and then turn the knee out and take your foot either to your ankle, your calf or to your inner thigh, find that stability, that drawing inward of foot, thigh sandwich and then reach your arms up, there's a technical term for it, it's when you draw energy to the midline, it's called Samana Vayu but I prefer foot thigh sandwich, I don't know, what do you think? So let your eyes be rooted on one point and just feel some lightness here, right? Taking a load off, this is such an accessible posture, really anyone can come into this shape, even seated, right? Sharing a little chair pose here or a little tree pose, how did chair pose sneak in? And now circle the arms behind you, lace the opposite finger on top, open up through your chest and then we'll start to step our right foot back, it's that same kind of blind entry but you can feel your way there, just like we're feeling our way through. This homeschool thing, lift up through the chest, lift the front of the pelvis, open up your heart as you stretch into the shape, really fill into it from the inside out, full inhale, maybe think a little deeper as you exhale and then release your hands, right hand down, left hand to the sky, can you keep your chest close to the inner thigh as you twist and then unwind, walk your hands to the long edge of the mat and let's take that Skandhasana dance and this time as you shift from side to side, notice that your spine, you can either be very linear, right, or you can move your spine like a tassel or like kelp and your hands naturally want to follow this dragging through the figurative sand that's all around your mat, can you feel it? So just shift a little side to side, allow some of that fluidity, maybe not get stuck and then the next time your right knee bends pivot towards the original front of the mat, spring off the back foot, find your baby standing split, lift the back leg and drop through the crown and then step your foot, left foot next to the right, hooray, lift the heart halfway, bend your knees, sink down and if you want to float back to Chaturanga you can plant your palms and spring back, land soft or you can step back to plank, lower down and then come up through this beautiful back bend, upward dog, exhale, lift the hips, downward dog and how about a little home base, come down to the knees, just checking in with good old child's pose, wisdom pose is how we translate Balasana and that sometimes to me translates that the smartest yogis perhaps take the most visits to child's pose, just to check in, how am I doing, how am I feeling, am I on the right path, what do I need to shift or enhance, right, takes that awareness, let's come on up to hands and knees on an inhale, keep you moving a bit more before we fully ground down, curl the toes under, lift the hips, press back and let's inhale to our toes, bend the knees, step or float to the top of your mouth, lift the heart halfway, come up kind of high, exhale, release, bend your knees, roll up fluidly, notice if your back is becoming a little bit more open, circulate the arms out and up, take hold of your left wrist and side bend up and over to your right, same beginning pattern here, as we bend our knees, we continue side bending all the way down, drop off your right hand, keep the right knee bent, open the left half of the body and then exhale, circle that back arm all the way down, bend your knees, come into your Utkatasana on an inhale and let's add on, let's bring our hands to our heart and take a twist to your right, simple twist, turn your chest open, left elbow to right thigh, so there's always an opportunity in these shapes from Utkatasana or Prabhrita Utkatasana to come down into a little arm balance if you're feeling kind of sassy, again I'm keeping the bar low today and just dusting everything off and but you want to do you so if you want to take anything deep or go for it, then it feels nice just to feel into this foundational shape, sometimes we get a little you know over uh what's the word I'm looking for, focused on sort of like what's the highest degree I can come to in a shape, let's release this one while I'm talking, how long are we going to be there for, inhale lift the heart and then exhale let it go and slowly roll up one vertebrae at a time, circle out and up, full inhale, take your right wrist, exhale side bend up and over to your left and then bend the knees, continue to side bend all the way down, we'll drop off our left hand, keep the left knee bent and open the right half of the body, yeah top arm circle it back and down, bend your knees, come into your Utkatasana on your inhale, exhale twisting to your left, right and it's again so great if you want to take this posture into some deeper degrees, into some arm balances, shifting into your hands, but we don't always have to go to right the highest peak, sometimes it's nice to sit back and enjoy the view, right, so keep breathing here as you dial into the twist, mm-hmm one more breath, pulling the top shoulder back, the heart open, there's a little heat in the legs, you can feel it and then exhale, let it go, soften the knees, let's roll up the spine, inhale expand and then exhale, draw the hands to your heart, lift your left knee, we're going to bypass tree pose and step directly back to a runner's lunge, sweep your arms over your head on an inhale, now as you exhale set your back foot for warrior one, you can set the heel down, lean the chest forward and down, sweep your arms back and then when you come up again, start to lift the heart, take your left elbow and weave it underneath the right, so we create a little garudasana arms to open the back of the shoulder and then feel this lift through the heart as you take your forearms up towards the sky, deepening the lunge, exhale, melt it down elbows towards the navel, let's just do that one more time as you inhale, it's almost like you're curving up towards the dome of the sky and then exhale elbows to navel, open up to warrior two and heel toe the right foot to the mid thigh, turn your palms to face open and then reach your arms up, left hand grabs right wrist, we've done this before, lengthen up and then over, so just adding this beautiful side bend into our warrior two shape and you're welcome to pulse a little bit here so you can find the strength in your legs and not get stuck and then go ahead and straighten the front leg all the way as you inhale, notice the left arm is reaching up so you can just let your right hand drift like a falling leaf all the way down to your triangle pose, chikunasana, hand can come to your shin or a block if you have one or to the earth and then turn your chest open and spread open through the hand, through the fingertips, through the heart, expanding fully into this shape, one of my favorite yogasanas, chikunasana, raise your hand, it's your favorite too, take a full breath in and then exhale, top arm circles back and down and let's use this forward momentum to push into half moon, so I'd like to heel toe my foot a little bit, the back foot forward and then push into half moon, shift your right hand forward, lift the left arm, lift the left leg, open up through the chest, press through the heel of the raised leg and you might stay right here, if you have a wall nearby you can scoot back and lean against the wall, option to grab your the foot of the raised leg and breathe into the quadriceps a bit, yeah, turning your chest open and just kind of emptying out through the crown of your head, surrendering, that's another key tool, surrendering to what is and embracing it, right, let your foot go, step on back to your warrior two, oh feeling the legs and then curl the hands down, pivot the front foot in and find the dasana dance, now last time we were here we were shifting like a tassel which you're welcome to repeat or you can draw the heels in and lift one set of toes up followed by the other set of toes, so opening, so nourishing for the adductors, for the hips, for the low back, you're welcome to bring your hands to your heart as you shift side to side or move into a spontaneous dance, right, and some of you might be like no that's cool, I'm gonna keep my hands on the ground, I don't need to do any of that frilly stuff and then some of us can't help ourselves, the next time your left knee bends pivot towards the back of the mat, runner's lunge and let's push into our standing split, lift the back leg, bring the right foot to meet the left, yeah forward fold, come all the way up inhale circle the arms wide, exhale hands to your heart, call to attention, your intention, your purpose today, let's lift the right knee up on an inhale and then exhale step back to your runner's lunge, reach your arms to the sky, find your high crescent and we adjust our feet into warrior one, I almost said warrior two, that's next, warrior one, so check your back foot, it's on a nice deep diagonal, let your chest come down, reach your arms back, you can take a peek at your back foot and lift the inner arch and then as you come up, it's going to be your right elbow that weaves underneath the left, so we find this opening through the back of the heart and the shoulders and then as you find this curve of the upper back bend, forearms to the sky, deep in the lunge and then exhale elbows to the navel, because it's a pretty deep back bend, as you inhale and you arc upwards, upper arms, forearms towards the sky, exhale and then release, come into your warrior two, we heel toe the front foot to the midline, sink down, palms up, reach your arms to the sky, your right hand is going to grab the left wrist and lengthen and then as you exhale, deep in the lunge and side bend into your reverse warrior and we're pulling the left arm up and out to open up through our side waist, you can pulse a little bit here, it helps kind of distribute the work, don't get stuck, right, and then straighten your front leg and let's just let the left hand melt and drop down, right arm continues to reach up, finding your chikonasana, turning your chest open and expanding in all directions, down through the feet, forward through the crown, down through the bottom hand, up through the heart and top hand, take a full inhale here, as you exhale, top arm circles back and down, we'll heel toe the back foot forward a bit, use this momentum to push forward into half moon and lift the back leg, yes, you might hang out right here or shift so that you can hang out against the wall, if you bent your top knee in the first side, let's do that here so we find a little symmetry, drawing the heel towards the butt, pressing your thigh back and just surrender through the crown of your head, relax through the neck, one more breath here, release your foot, step back to your warrior two, pivot the front foot in as you straighten the leg and then just dive into your wide leg forward fold, release all the way down, hang out there, so from here one more little visit to Skandasana, you can draw the heels in and shift back and forth, activating through the base of your spine where you can keep the hands steady in the center or let it flow, see what feels good to you, a couple more from side to side, just bringing that fluid release, it's also at the same time very activating, strengthening to our legs and the next time your right knee is bent pivot to a runner's lunge to the original front of the mat, push off the back leg and lift and then exhale, left foot meets the right, lift the heart halfway as you inhale, exhale, release and then bend your knees deeply, come down into a nice deep little seed here, you can bend your knees this much, great, if you can't just go to the depth that you can, relax your head, it's like a perched up child's pose and then from here separate your knees, let your hips come down and just roll along your spine a few times back and forth like a little massage, yeah, once more, good and then go ahead and roll all the way down onto your back and place your feet hips width apart and go ahead and take the heels of your hands right to where your femur bones meet your hips and press down and as you press the femur bones down in a way, let your rib cage lift a little bit, so we get a gentle passive stretch on our psoas and then soften and release, once again press the heels of the hands down into the thigh, lift the ribs and soften, once more press down through the femur bones, lifting slightly through the ribs and then exhale, release, sweep your arms over your head, inhale, as you exhale tuck your tailbone under, lift your hips, your waist, your ribs and sweep your arms forward and down coming into bridge pose, now we can roll in and out of this a few times if you like, you can bring the hips down, the arms over your head on the inhale and then exhale, come back up, rolling back down, inhaling, exhale, rolling back up, just do one more, rolling back down, finding that same fluid motion through the spine, exhale as we roll up, lace your fingers behind your back and draw your outer shoulders and underneath you, opening up across the chest and pressing into your feet, this is such a beautiful back bend, open up the heart, also to stretch the back of the neck gently, press your feet down into the mat and slightly press your feet away from you and feel how that shrugs your shoulders down, keep your hips lifted, now pull your heels toward you and you'll feel the shoulders shrug up, press the feet away from you, shoulders down, pull the heel towards you and just do that a few times, kind of scrubbing the shoulder blades at the upper back, feeling that massage into all the soft tissues around the shoulder blades behind the heart and then the next time that you're lifting through the heart and the feet are pressing away, lift your hips up as high as you can, take a full breath in, as you exhale, separate your shoulders, separate your hands and slowly roll down your spine, so good, cactus the arms, widen the feet and let your knees shift from one side to the other, and it's such a simple movement but how good does this feel, right, just to feel that kind of asymmetrical dance, the low back and hips get to oscillate and rotate, yeah I like this one, so then come back to the center and let's go ahead and take thread the needle, we'll bring the feet a little closer together, cross the right ankle on top of the left knee, open it up and then lace your fingers behind the left hamstring, pull that whole shape in and breathe, you can press the right elbow against the right knee, draw the chin into the chest and just see how much you can drop down into gravity here, yeah, let's enjoy one more breath here, and then from here release your hands and either grab onto your right big toe with your peace fingers, right, or you can take your heel with your hand if you have a strap or a piece of fabric that you can loop around your foot, that works too, and then just extend the leg to the sky, right leg straight up, left knee can be bent or straight down on the earth, take a little stretch here through the back of the leg, shoulders drop down and again just kind of noticing if you're tightening up anywhere else to try to achieve a certain shape and see what you can soften, maybe back off a little bit and just allow some spaciousness where you need it so that the energy can flow and not get kinked up, it's good to allow a little bit of spaciousness, that's a life lesson, let's open up the leg out to the side, maybe the opposite arm opens or cactuses, all right, whatever feels good to you, and then sweep that top leg all the way up and over like a windshield wiper and you're welcome to keep it straight or bend the knee, it's up to you and just turn your head away from the bent knee so you have that twist all the way up through your cervical spine, basically back into the bottom of your skull and just leave here a couple breaths and then from here, last little moment before we take this whole sequence on the second side, just tuck into a little fetal position on your left side and I like to use my bottom arm to cradle my head and we'll take a little sideline royal dancer here, so grab onto your top foot, pull your heel to your buttock, press it back, your bottom knee can stay bent, right, or you can stretch it out long, your top arm can stay here or you can stretch it out long, right, and just press your foot and hand back behind you, notice if the knee wants to lift and try to keep it parallel to the earth and this is such a beautiful back bend on the right side of our body, yeah, one more breath here and then as you exhale just melt your way out of this, off and let go of the foot, ease your way back into that simple rocking of the knees from side to side and then we'll come back to neutral and cross the left ankle on top of the right knee, yeah, release your fingers behind your hamstring, draw the whole shape in and there's one little element to be aware of when we, you know, the conversation question Kira asked me and you're talking, laughing about keeping the bar low, that's actually, there's a little bit of an encapsulation inside of that and it's part of our yoga, our eight limbs of yoga, right, the yamas and the niyamas are ethics and our observances, how we interact with the world and how we interact with ourselves and they all kind of, they keep us in line and they keep each other in check, there's a sort of a personal system of checks and balances and two of the niyamas in particular that I like to keep close in my back pocket are santosha and tapas, contentment, santosha is contentment which can be also translated as acceptance, keeping the bar low like it is what it is, keep your expectations simple, be content with what you have, let's take our big toe or our heel or a strap and take the left leg straight up, maybe if your hamstrings are too super tight and your leg is feels like it's a mile away from you that's okay, be content with what it is, right, but on the other side of tapas which is not a Spanish, it is a Spanish appetizer plate but in the in the yamas and the niyamas, it's enthusiasm, it's dedication, it's perseverance, so staying with your goals, staying with your efforts or what you're trying to learn or embody or manifest or create, so they work together, we need to practice a little, a little acceptance and contentment, let's open the leg out to the side but we also don't want to drop so far into that practice that we become lethargic, right, apathetic or complacent, take a deep breath in, exhale, bring the leg all the way across, you can bend the knee or keep it straight as you move into your twist, yeah so just kind of let that sink in a little bit and notice maybe in your own actions in life where you could use a little bit more santosha, a little more contentment, a little more acceptance or relaxation and where you can also dial up a little more perseverance and dedication, enthusiasm, take one more breath here in this twist, these are just things to be aware of as we navigate this beautiful thing called life, let's curl into a fetal position on the right side, right arm cradles your head and I'm going to spin around so I can see you and then just take your left hand to your left foot start to draw the thigh back, maybe kick the bottom leg forward a bit and find that sideline variation of royal dancer, your top arm can extend long if that feels good to you and just lift through the chest, press through the foot and hand, breathe and find that balance of expansion into this shape, right, enthusiasm and also softness of however far you can go, it's riding the edge, good and then slowly let everything just dissolve, roll onto your back, once again rock and roll your knees and your hips on the way there and take your knees into your chest, wrap yourself up into a bear hug into an embrace, let's take a little happy baby pose here holding on to the big toes or your heels or your ankles, draw the knees down towards the outer rib cage, draw the shoulders down, tailbone down, take a full breath in and then as you exhale let it all go, let go of the feet, stretch the legs out long, stretch the arms out long, maybe take your beautiful hair down and let your hair down literally, if there's anything that feels constrictive anywhere just drop it off and we'll take a short shavasana together today, so allow your eyes to close, ah, allow your chest to soften and remember that there's nothing to do here, there's no agenda or extra shavasana points if you're thinking about the things you need to do, right, let's get the most out of this and really receive the most benefits we can by this nourishing shape and awareness by letting go, setting everything aside, surrendering and just give yourself permission to be and to breathe, to practice the art of stillness, just feeling into the flow of your breath, smooth and steady, easy, and just staying with this relaxation for about 10 more breaths, I'll be bringing us out together, but just let go, feel into a couple long moments of silence, take about five more slow deep breaths and start to really deepen your breath, each breath becoming a little progressively deeper, last three breaths here before we start to make our way out of shavasana, just really enjoy these deep slow breaths and sending a little movement to your fingers and your toes, stretching your arms over your head if you haven't already done so, ah and then draw your knees to your chest and just tip your body over to one side, feeling that kind of sweet spot of being finished but not quite yet complete, so savoring this last little bite and then come on up to a comfortable seated position, crossing the leg, you're welcome to stay in shavasana if you'd like of course anytime, let's bring our hands together at our heart, just a little soft space in between your palms, take a moment here and call to attention, your intention, what it is that you are generating, right for me I talked about this earlier, it's just generating this ability to smile, to laugh in the face of challenge, to soften it, to find humor, so let's take a moment here, full breath into the heart, notice how you feel, exhale completely, thank you so much for joining me this morning, thank you for sharing your practice and your energy and your attention, your patience with our little technical difficulties, I hope it was really smooth on your end and I hope to see you soon here through the airwaves or wherever it works, have a fantastic day, happy Friday, namaste.

Comments

Kate M
3 people like this.
So wonderful to find you hear, Shelley! This felt fantastic. And I think I picked up a few ideas for my first YogaFlow INDOOR class tomorrow night!! WooHoo!...Love.
Jenny S
3 people like this.
Always love your practices Shelley ❤️ Your easygoing flow style makes the class breeze by - I didn’t want it to end! Also, the shoulder flossing action in bridge pose felt so good! Going to add that to my repertoire 👍
Julie M
3 people like this.
Loved seeing you back as I just love your style, thank you for a wonderful class and wishing you all the very best during this challenging time
Christel B
1 person likes this.
So enjoyed another class from you. 
Andrea G
1 person likes this.
Loved this flow from Shelley!
Rachel S
1 person likes this.
Thank you! Great way to start the day!
Amanda
1 person likes this.
Really lovely x
Angela M
1 person likes this.
I really enjoyed this flow! Thank you!
Shelley Williams
Kate M HI there! So glad you liked it.. Happy holidays to you!
Shelley Williams
Christel B Christel! So glad you got to log on... great to reconnect and sending Aloha!

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