30-Minute Yoga Flows Artwork
Season 6 - Episode 2

Confidence Flow

30 min - Practice
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Flow into confidence in this shoulder strengthening practice. We move through Sun Salutes and standing postures to build mobility and stability in preparation for bearing weight in arm balances. You will feel strong and capable.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Hi, everyone. Welcome. In this flow practice today, we'll work on some breathing and some shoulder strengtheners and openers that might even build confidence in your practice. So I just want to mention that you might want to block a yoga break with you for this practice and maybe a blanket for Shavasana or if you like the support of a blanket in some of your other forms that we'll be doing. And we'll start standing. So join me at the top of the mat, ground down through your feet, and maybe even close your eyes, finding your plumb line. And notice how you're breathing, bringing awareness to your hands, the bones that make up your arms and your shoulder blades on your back. Can you sense the breath in behind the shoulder blades in behind the heart. And the invitation is to gently lengthen your exhalation. And perhaps if it's available to you, take a little bit of a longer breath, maybe a little bit of a deeper breath. All right, if your eyes are closed, let them open. And inhale, let your arms come up and over your head. Maybe look up. Exhale, bend your knees and fold forwards. Inhale, elongate your spine. And exhale, for this first one, you might step back and find a downward facing dog. Inhale, shift forwards to a plank pose. Maybe take the knees down and exhale lower all the way down to your belly. Take the tops of your feet on the floor. Take your hands behind you reaching them back behind you. And inhale, lift your chest, press your toenails down. Let's take an extra breath. Let your hands come down by your low ribs, tuck your toes, either come to your knees or up into a plank and back into a downward facing dog. Here you might move around a little bit. You might bend your knees, press your hands down and forwards. Let's take one more breath. Bend your knees step or if you like hop to the top of the mat. Inhale, elongate here and then fold in. Press your outer heels down. And when you inhale, come all the way up, maybe reach, look up. Exhale, your hands down. I'm just going to turn so you can see here. Straighten your arms and then lift your shoulders up and squeeze your upper, mid and lower shoulder blades together and drag them down your back. Again, lift, squeeze upper, mid, lower, exhale, drag down your back. One more time. Lift and key is keeping your arms straight here. Squeeze the shoulder blades together and drag them down your back. Just noticing how that feels and at the top of your mat again, inhale, reaching your arms up. Exhale, fold. Inhale, elongate. Exhale, you might hop back and from a downward facing dog, find a plank pose. Maybe as you exhale, you lower to the lower part of a push-up and then push your toes back and roll over your toes into upward dog and then press your hands into the ground back into downward facing dog and find a few breaths. Invitation is to lengthen your exhalation and notice how your hands are pressing into the ground. Notice the straightening of your arms, the width of your upper back and then maybe walk your feet in a little bit and you might hop or step up to the top of the mat. Inhale, lengthen the belly. Exhale, fold in. Press your feet down, come on up, then release your arms. I'm just going to turn to you again, take your arms out to the sides this time. Same shoulder roll, squeezing upper, mid, lower part of your shoulder blades together and widen them. A couple of times, inhale, lift.

Exhale, squeeze and drag down. Inhale, lift and exhale, squeeze and drag down and see if you can keep your chest neutral and then make little fists. Turn your fists down, keep breathing. Press out through the top of your wrist and then flip your fingers up and push out through the base of your wrist. See if you can find that active 90 degree for one more breath and then make little circles into your shoulder joint here, pressing out through your hands. Breathe in, breathe out. Again, top of the mat, let your arms fall. Inhale, your arms up. Exhale, fold forwards. Lengthen your spine and as you do, come back to a downward facing dog, forwards maybe lower to the belly or to chaturanga. Press into your hands, lift your inner thighs, upward dog. Press into your hands, lift your hips, downward facing dog and find a few breaths. Can you press your hands down and forwards? Just have an awareness of how your shoulder blades are on your back. Do they feel the same or different? Maybe one is doing a slightly different thing than the other. And you might step in a little bit to step or hop forwards. Inhale, long spine. Exhale, fold. Press down through your feet, come on up.

Exhale, your hands down. Again, I'll turn to you. This time I'm going to take my arms up and over my head and try to do those shoulder rolls with my arms up above the head. Tricky part is to keep your chest from popping forwards. So neutralize your chest, lift your shoulders up, squeeze upper, mid, lower shoulder blades together, widen them and then continue on with that for a few breaths. You might inhale to lift, exhale to drag down. Maybe you're noticing some differences in the sides or some crunchies in your shoulders. Exhale, your hands down by your sides, back into sun salutation. Reach your arms up and fold. Lengthen out. Step or hop back. Lower to where you'd like to. Find your backbend, upward dog or cobra and exhale back into downward facing dog. Let's take a couple more breaths.

And if you're using a sounded breath, perhaps you take your mind to the sound. Okay, let's shift into the quadruped position. And from here, those same shoulder rolls with your arms as straight as you can. So lifting your shoulders up, squeezing upper, mid and lower shoulder blades together and dragging them down your back. You might inhale to lift and exhale to squeeze and drag down. See if you can keep your spine neutral and really move in the shoulder blade area. Okay, if you'd like a challenge, step back into a plank form and try it from there. Engaging the legs and seeing if you can keep the abdominal wall supporting the spine in neutral and the arms relatively straight. Maybe you even switch directions. Keep breathing with it. You might notice which arm really wants to bend. Just notice evenly waiting through your hands. And then exhale knees down. You might shift back, take your hands, interlock them and reach them over your head. Take one cycle of breath, maybe squeeze your biceps around your ears. Lift your back ribs up. Exhale, let's shift back into downward facing dog. And then let's see if we can straighten the arms, squeeze the biceps around the ears and do those shoulder rolls and downward facing dog. Maybe it's a little different. Do your best.

Just lifting the shoulders up around the ears, squeezing upper, mid and lower shoulder blades together. And maybe for you, even there's a little bit of fatigue in these little muscles as you're getting to know them a little bit better. Maybe switch directions. Seeing if you can keep the spine relatively neutral. I know there's a big tendency to backbend here. Okay, let's bend the knees, step or hop the feet to the top of the mat. Lengthen and fold. Inhale, arms up, reach up. Exhale, hands down. Notice your shoulder blades on your back as you reach your arms up. Exhale, fold. Inhale, elongate your spine. Exhale, step or hop back. Shift forwards perhaps lower to the ground or a chaturanga. Roll open into upward dog or cobra. And exhale, push into your hands to transfer you back into downward facing dog. Let's take our right leg up with an inhalation and exhale, take it to the outside of the right hand. Then follow your weight into your left hand. Take your right hand behind the back of your head and start to twist open. Engage your back leg. Leading with your top elbow, let's take a few breaths in the twist. Press down through your bottom hand to lift off your collarbone.

Maybe reach your right arm up. Notice how that feels. You can even flip your fingers back behind you. And then exhale, sweep it down to the floor. Either come into a downward facing dog or cycle through your chaturanga, your upward dog or cobra, and your downward facing dog. Let's lift our left leg up. Exhale it to the outside of the left hand. From here, take your left hand behind the back of your head. Press down through your bottom arm. Push the floor away from you. Engage your back leg. If you have shoulder stuff going on, maybe you have a little less of an opening through the upper chest or you can lead with your elbow and start to rotate. Notice how your shoulder blades are on your back. Maybe you reach your left arm up. You might invite a little more of a twist in there and sweep that over your head. Exhale either to a downward facing dog if you'd like or cycle through. Push the floor away from you, upward dog, and exhale back into downward facing dog. Okay, let's let our right leg lift up. Exhale it to the outside of the right hand. Fall into your left hand. This time, take your right arm up, reach it long, and then exhale. Take your back foot like you're doing warrior two. Plant it on an angle and sweep your right hand under to reach towards your left thigh in which you might start to straighten your right leg here. It's a little bit of a curled position. Then we'll take a few breaths. Maybe even clasp your thigh here. You might start to straighten your front leg. Let's take another breath. Maybe you're rolling your bottom lung towards the ceiling. And then switch onto a pivot on your back foot. Inhale, reach up into that twisted lunge and sweep it over your head. Exhale, step back, and either downward facing dog or a child's form or shift forwards chaturanga. Strong leg, upward dog, and push the floor away from you to downward facing dog. Inhale, your left leg up. Exhale it to the outside of your left hand. Fall into your right hand. Take your left hand behind your head, then up. Press the floor away. And then let's exhale. Plant the back foot like you're doing a warrior two and sweep through with your left hand reaching towards the right thigh. Just find a few breaths. Maybe you're starting to straighten your left leg. Push both feet into the floor.

Maybe you start to look under your right armpit. One more breath. Let's shift back into that twisted lunge. Back on a pivot on your back foot. Sweep your left arm up out and over and exhale. Find your rebound from that ora vinyasa here. Wide collarbones on the way down, chaturanga. Strong legs on the way up. Exhale back to downward facing dog. From downward facing dog, let's shift forwards into a plank and then fall into the right hand and come into a side plank. So you might take your left foot in front of you. That's okay. You might even stack it in front. I'll give you an option here is to take your left hand behind the back of your head. Push the floor away from you and then exhale and curl your left elbow towards your right elbow crease and then reach it back up. So you might be doing this with your feet stacked. Exhale. Inhale one more time. Widen your bottom collarbone. Push the floor away and then reach your left arm up. Sweep it over your head. You might even side bend there and transition to either downward facing dog or cycle through your version of this vinyasa process. Upward dog to downward facing dog. Okay, let's come into a plank pose. Inhale, exhale. Fall into that left hand. Choose your variation of your right foot. Your arm can come up. It can come behind the back of your head.

Wrap your shoulder blade into your left armpit and then maybe you three times exhale lower and inhale. Reach back up. Exhale lower. Push the floor away from you. Inhale. As you reach up, you might reach your hips up a little more. Exhale. Last one. Notice the movement in your upper spine and then right arm comes up. Maybe lift a little higher. Sweep the arm over your head. Maybe you arc your spine a little bit and back into your downward facing dog or cycle through with your strong legs. Chaturanga. Upward dog. Push the floor away to downward facing dog. Beautiful. Okay, maybe walk in a little bit. You're welcome to step or hop to the top of the mat. Inhale. Lengthen your belly there. Exhale. Fold. Inhale. Come all the way up. Exhale your hands down. Nice. I'm going to turn to you just so you can see. So standing on your left leg, take your right leg over top. Maybe you hook your ankle. Arms out to the side. Let's go right arm under left and either hug in. You can clasp the shoulder blades or you might take your hands pressing them together for a more active variation or clasp them. So let's try this. If your forearms are right in front of your face, try shifting them so that you can see. Shift them to the left and just notice that stretch in your left shoulder. Maybe it's something new.

Think about moving your hips back, weighting your heel. One more breath. You can boost the elbows forwards and up for a little more stretch across the mid back. Maybe center your forearms out before standing strong on your left leg and rounding your right foot. Switch sides. Bend down into your right leg, left leg over top. Maybe a hook, maybe not. And it's left arm under. Either hugging. That's nice. Pressing if you want that strength work or a clasping. Let's take a few breaths. If your forearms are right in front of your face, see if you can peek out by taking them slightly to the right. Just enough that you get an interesting stretch in the outer right shoulder. Hips back. Knees slightly to the right. Forearms back center. Press down through your right foot and exhale and release. Top of the mat, reach up and fold. This time walk your fingertips out in front. You might use a block here and shift your weight into your left foot. Take your right leg back behind you. You might be up on your fingertips or on a block. Now let's see if we can slightly draw the abdomen back and then engage the glute and the upper hamstring to see if you can lift the leg a little higher. Focus on combatting your hips to the center. Now it's up to you. You can float your arms. Let's take three more breaths here. They might come behind you. They could come out to the side like airplane. More challenging is to reach them out front. Two. And three. Let your fingertips find the floor or a block and then teeter totter your spine forwards and your back leg up. See if you can lift the back leg from the base of the glute and the upper hamstring. Teeter totter forwards any amount. Two and three. And then hands come forwards a little bit. Exhale. Cascade your spine into a forward fold. Let your head go. You can even ragdoll your arms. And let's come all the way up. Reach up. Push evenly down through your feet and exhale your hands down. Other side. Inhale your arms up. Exhale. Fold forwards.

Walk your hands forwards or find a block and then the left leg comes back behind you. What I mean by compacting your hips is squeezing the muscles on your outer hips in towards the pelvic floor and then lifting from your back glute, your upper hamstring. See if you can lift that leg a little higher instead of buckling from your back. Draw the abdomen in. Perhaps you start to float your arms. You can choose where you like to place them. And three breaths. Breathe like you. I'm just giving you a sense of focusing on that longer breath. It's an invitation. Hands find the floor. Start to teeter totter forwards. Back leg up. Head aims for the floor. Reach the inner leg, the big toe.

Reach up from the glute, the hamstring. Beautiful. Let yourself release into a fourfold. Perhaps there's a ragdoll or holding on to opposite forearms or elbows. See if you can get a sense of traction in your neck. Okay, let's inhale. Come all the way up. Reach up. Look up. Maybe exhale hands down. Inhale your arms up. Then fold. Lengthen out. Step or hop back. Optional here, chaturanga. Upward dog or cobra. Press the floor away downward facing dog.

All right, come down to the knees and take your forearms down for a forearm dog. And you're welcome to interlock your hands if you like. Press up. And if you can pressurize your elbows into the ground enough, your head will graze off the floor. Press down through your inner wrists and your outer elbows and breathe here. If you're sagging your ribs towards your knees, see if you can bring the ribs in towards the abdomen and give a little bit of juice into lengthening the sides of your body. Notice your shoulder blades on your back and breathe into the back of your heart. You might come out of this now and rest in a child's form or you might tip toe forwards, continue to press the floor away and lift your right leg up. Close your abdomen towards your spine and see if you can lift the leg from the glutes and the upper hamstring. Breathe there. Some of you might feel the urge to come on up. You could find a wall to do this and pause the video and do a couple of hops up to you or stay there lifting from the base of the glute, pressing the floor away. Let's exhale, release that leg and switch. You could play with toeing forwards a little bit so there's a little more resistance to work with. You need to push the floor away. Notice the differences in both sides. Maybe you're finding a little hop up if you like. This might be a good place to pause the video and play. All right, let's exhale and come on down. Invitation is to take a child's form where you maybe even take your hands behind you, slump your shoulders. Notice that. How does it feel to melt your upper back? Or some of you might cycle through, continue to press the floor away from you in your vinyasa. Beautiful. Let's come on down to the knees.

Let's take our right arm up and exhale, thread it underneath our left armpit, taking the temple towards the floor. You can reach it through as much as you like. Let's take three breaths both sides. You might take your left arm up. A variation I really love is to bend your right elbow if you have that access. Make a fist and press into it with your left hand. One more breath. Beautiful. Let's come on out of that back into that awkward twist. Right arm up and just so that you can see a little bit better, I'm going to switch around here and lift the left arm up into that twist. Exhale, underneath your right armpit, temple to the floor. Some people like to take their right arm up, turn the palm behind and find the inner thigh. My variation of choice is to bend your left elbow if you can. Press your right hand down into it and almost roll towards like where your ponytail would be. One more breath. Move your hips away from your head. So beautiful. Exhale, come on out. Back into downward facing dog, transitioning onto the back. Come on through and lie down.

All right, I'm just going to invite you in our shavasana to take a breath practice and any little movements you might need here before your practice is done to those. You can have your feet planted or release them out and I'll offer you one big breath here. So let's inhale the breath in three parts. You might close your eyes. Inhale a third of your breath and pause. Inhale another third and pause. Inhale all the way to the top of your breath, maybe pause at the top. Exhale everything. Feel weighted in the back of your heart. Now you're so welcome to stay here for as long as you like. Pause the video, so luxuriate in this rest. Or you might want to close the practice with me now. So wiggle your fingers and your toes. Stretch your arms over your head. Draw your knees in any little movements that help you come up. It's perfectly fine to rock and roll up if you like or you might roll over to one side. I am so grateful that you are here with me for this practice today. See you soon. Namaste.

30-Minute Yoga Flows: Lydia Zamorano

Comments

Christel B
1 person likes this.
So great to have the 30 minute flows when one just doesn’t have time for more. Always appreciate the variations.
Lydia Zamorano
Christel B Hi! Thanks for commenting, and yes I agree, sometimes the 30 minutes hits the spot! Warmly, 
Lydia 
Lauri K
As usual enjoying your flows Ty.
Lydia Zamorano
Lauri K Thanks Lauri! So happy we can find some flow together during these challenging times! Warmly, Lydia 
Fabian H
I enjoyed this practice :))
Lydia Zamorano
Fabian H Thanks for letting me know! I'd love to hear how the other practices go for you Fabian! Warmth and smiles, Lydia 
Sarah F
Sweet practice Lydia! Those shoulder rolls- awesome :D
Lydia Zamorano
Sarah F Hi Sarah! Yay! So happy you loved those shoulder movements! Warmly, 
Lydia 
Robin
Great to see a new season, it’s tough to find 60+ minutes of time these days. I thought this was going to be a pretty benign session but not, thanks for the shoulder prep....Looking forward to episode 3. Nice!
Lydia Zamorano
Robin B Hi Robin! So glad you like this practice. It sneaks up on ya! I'd love to hear how the next ones go for you! 
Lydia 
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