30-Minute Yoga Flows Artwork
Season 6 - Episode 4

Core Flow

30 min - Practice


Lydia leads an energizing core flow peppered with shoulder openers. We begin focused on breathing evenly around the entire ribcage, warm the body with lunge salutes, and move into supine abdominal work with the option to open into Wheel.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video


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Welcome, everyone. I'd love to lead you through a core or abdominally focused flow today that could feel really energizing for you. I want to mention that I'm going to start seated. So if you have a blanket or any support you'd like under your hips, go ahead and grab that. And if you'd like a thick yoga brick, sometimes that can be useful if you want to take a more restorative bridge form later in the practice. So you might grab that as well. So meet me in a seat. And we're just going to start by tuning into the breath as a core strategy. So placing one hand on the front of your abdomen, and one hand behind, flipping the palm behind you, so that you can find your back set of ribs. You might close your eyes for this and just begin by feeling the breath expanding front and back. If you use a sounded breath, bring that in. You might notice do you expand more in the front or the back? No right or wrong here, just noticing. And then let's take our hands to the outsides of the ribbasket. You might cup your hands like this. Or if it's more comfortable, cross your forearms in the front and grab your side ribs with your fingers and then take a few breaths, maybe closing the eyes and noticing the lateral expansion of your breath. You might use a sounded ujjayi breath for your practice if that helps to calm and center you. Noticing movement laterally with the breath. And then let's take the hands down and see if we can breathe circumferentially. So all the way around the lower rib area. A couple of breaths like that. You can come back to this breath all through the practice. If we're more even all the way around with the breath, then we're not hardening parts of the body and we can use this as a core strategy. So let's come on to our hands and our knees maintaining that breath if you can. And start with a simple cat cow. So inhale and arch in your spine, maybe taking the shoulder blades closer together. And exhale and rounding through your spine, taking the shoulder blades apart. Inhale, see if you can breathe all the way around the lower ribs. Exhale, squeezing all the way around the abdomen. A couple more times like this. Great, come to a neutral spine, tuck your toes, reach back into downward facing dog and find a couple of those circumferential breaths in downward dog. Let's walk our feet towards the top of the mat step or hop if you like. Inhale, elongate through the belly and exhale fold. Press down through your feet, come on up, reach up and exhale your hands by your sides. Let's move through lunge salutes. Inhale your arms up. Exhale fold. Inhale your right foot back, take the knee and the top of the foot down, come on up to a low lunge. And on your exhalation, hands plant plank form to knees, chest, and maybe the chin grazes the floor. Drop your tailbone here. On the inhalation, press your pubic bone down onto the floor, stamp your toes down and come into a cobra. And exhale, you can come up to your knees or a plank back into downward facing dog. Next inhale brings your right foot forward, left knee top of the foot down, come on up all on a big inhalation. And then exhale fingertips touch, pounce forwards, inhale, elongate, and exhale fold. All the way up, inhale, reach. Exhale, arms down, left side, inhale, arms up. Exhale fold, left foot back, all the way down on the knee and reach up into a low lunge. Exhale, from plank to knees, chest, maybe chin, squeeze shoulder blades, drop the tailbone. Rolling forwards into a cobra, press pubic bone down and exhale up and back into downward facing dog. Inhale, left foot forwards, drop right knee on top of the foot, reach up. Exhale, come forwards into a forward fold and lower. Inhale come all the way up. Maybe for some of you you reach slightly back and exhale back into the center. Right side, inhale, arms up. Exhale fold. Inhale, right leg back, come on up. Press down through your legs. Exhale to knees, chest and chin. Inhale, sweep through for a cobra. Exhale lift from the lower abdomen downward facing dog, right foot forwards. Inhale, find your way up, push down through your legs. Exhale forwards into a forward fold. Inhale up, maybe reach a little back, press down through the center point of your heel. Exhale hands down. Left side, inhale, arms up and fold. Left foot back, knee on top of the foot down, come up, push down to reach your spine up. Exhale to knees, chest and chin. Press pelvis down, loop open the upper shoulders and exhale from the lower abdomen. Pull back, downward facing dog, left foot forwards. Inhale, push down through your feet, reach up, maybe look up. Exhale into a forward fold. Inhale, root down the center point of your heel.

Maybe come up and back a bit. Exhale hands down by your sides. Right side with a variation. Inhale, arms up, reach your ribs up. Exhale fold. Right foot back, let's take the knee down top of the foot down. Inhale, come up and stay for a breath. So this time, use your legs to lift your low spine out of your pelvis. Press down through your toenails. And then let's exhale, take our hands to the floor, fall into your right hand and take your left hand on top of your knee. Maybe stay here. Or if you're on the top of your right knee cup, see if you can bend your right leg, and then exhale and release three times. Inhale, bend. Exhale and release. Maybe looking over your left shoulder, bend, release one more time here to bend, and then make a big movement back and reach for your foot. And see if you can keep this active by reaching and not grabbing. I know it's tempting. See if you can take your heel closer to your buttocks, and maybe reach your hand closer towards your right knee, and then go ahead and grab and then press your foot into your hand and use that to stretch yourself apart gently if you have that class. Big movement up and over. Exhale from plank to knees, chest and chin. Inhale, cobra or up dog. Exhale back, right foot forwards, left knee back of the foot down, inhale, come up, let's stay a bit, pushing down through the lower limbs, reaching your lower spine up and out. And breathe all the way around your lower ribs. Exhale, take your left hand down, fall into it, right hand on top of your knee starting to twist. You might stay there, or you might bend three times. Inhale, bend, and exhale, release. See if you can be on the top of the kneecap. Inhale, bend. Exhale, release. Inhale, bend. Exhale, release, and then you might make a big reach. So big reach back. Keep the engagement of everything, your right heel towards your buttock, maybe your hand a little closer towards your knee. And then maybe you clasp if you have that reach and stretch gently apart for a breath. See if you can breathe into your back body here. Lift out of your lower spine. Then big movement takes hands to the floor. Step forwards and come into a forward fold. Inhale, come up, press heels down, reach up, maybe reach a little bit back, and exhale your hands down. Left side like that a little quicker. Inhale, arms up, reach up and back if you like. Exhale, fold. Left foot back, knee on top of the foot down. Inhale, come up, press down. Exhale, fall into your left hand. Maybe bend and clasp at the back of your foot and lift out of your lower spine. Big movement up and over. Step back and knees, chest, and chin. Inhale to cobra. Think long instead of high. And then exhale from your lower abdomen, up and back. Left foot forwards, right knee on top of the foot down. Inhale, come up, press down through your lower body. Exhale, come into the twist. So you might stay here, you might bend, you might make a big movement back. Catch and press back. Lift out of your lower arm and then big movement takes you from the squat position to a forward fold. Inhale, come all the way up. Press down through your heels, arch back, and exhale your hands down. Let's come to the earth. So inhale your arms up. Bend your knees and fold. Lengthen your spine. Step or hop back into a downward facing dog. And then bend your knees and on your next exhalation, empty of breath. Step or hop forwards. Take your feet forwards. Tuck your chin around yourself and see if you can segmentally come down onto your back. Crazy glue your heels down. So good. Okay, head on the floor.

Legs up like they're on an imaginary chair. And take your hands behind the back of your head, cradling your neck. Now let's see if we can find a few breaths, pressing the back ribs into the ground and finding that circumferential breath. Maybe your lumbar spine presses too. And maybe you start to depress on your exhale the front of your abdomen, almost widening it and pressing your side ribs into the floor. Let's add a twist. So inhale into the center. And then exhale, hover your right leg, straightening out above the ground and then take your right armpit towards your left knee. So instead of the elbow, the armpit. And then inhale back to center. And then exhale, kick out through your left leg and take your left armpit towards your right knee. And inhale back to center. Exhale, twist right armpit towards left knee. Inhale to center.

Exhale, left armpit towards right knee. Inhale to center. Let's add on a little bit here. So as you continue to move, think about curling your tailbone up towards the ceiling and that might ground the top of your pelvis a little bit more. As you breathe in, can you breathe all the way around your lower lungs, lower ribs? Armpit to knee instead of elbow to knee. Subtle but you'll feel the distinction. And then let's let our feet come down. Let a nice big breath come into the abdomen, root down through your feet and roll on up into a bridge. And you can roll on up with segmental movement through the spine. Perhaps this is a place where you'd like to take a yoga break under your pelvis. Let's press into the feet and use this a little less of a back bend and more of attraction.

Like you want to pull your hips away from your ribs. You could of course take your hands underneath. Let's take a couple breaths and see if we can breathe all the way around the lower lungs. And exhale, make space and your shoulders roll on down. Draw the knees in towards your chest and we'll rock and roll a little bit. You could hold on underneath your knees. See if you can rock up and catch a balance.

And then however you do, we'll cross through the shins, lift up and back to a quadruped position and step back into downward facing dog. Reach back, bend the knees, step or hop forwards. Exhale, release the spine. Inhale, come on up. Maybe a little bit back in your upper chest. Exhale, hands down. Inhale, the arms up.

Exhale, fold. Lengthen out. Step or hop back to downward facing dog. Take a breath and then however you do, come through to a seat. Take your feet forwards, crazy, pull your heels down and let's do that segmental. Exhale, chin talks lower. Till your head comes down, beautiful. Okay, you can have your hands down in this one. So palms down by the sides of your hips. Legs up and start with that circumferential breathing and the lower ribs glued down. Maybe the tailbone drying up a little bit.

Let's exhale, lower our legs, squeezing them together. Inhale up and just go as low as you can maintaining low rib and top of the pelvis pressure. You might also exhale as you go down and flatten and widen your abdomen towards the ground. You might squeeze your legs together and just feel that inner thigh pressure moving up through your pelvic floor and into some of the deeper layers of your abdominal wall. You can move quickly, sometimes slowly you'll get a little more out of it.

A couple more like this. All right, then take your feet down, plant through your feet and you might roll up through your spine with that segmental movement. You might put a block underneath your pelvis and go for that traction through your abdomen. So the low rib, top of the pelvis area lengthens. For some of you, if you feel like it, you could also flip your hands, come up onto the top of your head and come into a wheel.

Maybe coming up onto your tiptoes, see if you can breathe all the way around. Exhale, tuck your chin if you're coming on down from that height or come off your block, knees in, and let's try to rock and roll a little bit and catch the balance at the top on the sit bones. Catch, and then however you do cross your ankles and roll yourself through to all fours, plant your hands, exhale into downward facing dog. Bend your knees when you're ready, step or hop, top of the mat. Inhale, elongate, exhale, fold, come on up, maybe stretch the front of the spine a little bit and exhale, hands down, inhale, arms up, exhale, fold, lengthen out, step or hop back, and however you do, come on through, crazy, glue your heels down, roll down, curling through your spine.

And then this one, you're welcome to take your hands down or I like to take my hands behind the back of my head, legs up, find all that pressure point, top of the pelvis, low band of ribs, find the breath, and then just lower your legs until you feel like you want to arch and stop that arch. So resist, draw down, widen, maybe you can go a little lower, and then let's sweep the legs over to the left, kind of crunching the left side body and opening the right, and then inhale into center, maintain your pressure points, and then exhale over to the right, crunch the right side body, open the left, inhale into the center, I'm certainly shaking here, exhale over to the left, and then see if you can roll your right hip on top of your left, but maintain shoulder blade pressure into the ground. Come back to that crescent shape, back to center, press down through the whole low spine, over to the other side, flip, press down through the space in between your shoulder blades, back to the crescent, maintain all that pressure, inhale your legs up, and exhale and release that, plant your feet, thankfully come up into that tractioning bridge where you might put a block, you might hold your hips or interlock your hands, or if you like, flip your hands, come up onto the top of the head, draw the shoulders back, and maybe start to press up towards a bridge, wherever you are, take a couple breaths, and can you breathe all the way around, lower rib area, and exhale, come on down, for the rocking this time, let's see if we can hook under our knees and clasp, and then create a little momentum, it's a little more challenging with that clasp around forearms, or maybe even elbows, and see if you can come up and find that balance, and then you can let that go, however you do, crossing out your shins, coming through, and this time let's take our forearms down, so root down through the outer elbow and the inner wrist, tuck your toes and reach back into a forearm dog, you might bend your knees a lot, let's take five breaths, one, if this is a lot on your shoulders, also feel very welcome to take a downward facing dog, or even clasp your hands like you would in a headstand position, three, and I'm counting the breath, but truly breathe like you, so just breathe your own count, all right, let's exhale, take the knees down, shift back towards the heels, press back into downward facing dog, however you do, come forwards, inhale, lengthen, exhale, fold, come on up, maybe stretch a bit back, exhale, arms down, last one, inhale the arms up, exhale, fold forwards, lengthen out, plant your hands, step or hop back to dog, hop through, however you do, or step through, crazy glue your heels down, round down, great, and now we'll take our legs up here, hands behind the back of the head, or you could have your hands down and your neck down if you've got neck stuff going on, and we'll exhale and lower our right leg so that it hovers above the floor and try to maintain the pressure through the low ribs from the top of the pelvis, and we'll inhale it up, and exhale, switch, inhale it up, exhale, switch, okay, let's inhale our right leg up, and so we're on the same one, exhale our left leg down, and then press down through the space between your shoulder blades, and do a little hip flip so you're on top of the left hip, and the right hip is rolling over top of the left, inhale to center, and exhale, switch, left leg up, right leg down, and do that little hip flip, and see if you can still maintain pressure through your lower band of ribs, back up, inhale, exhale, across, back up, inhale, exhale, across, and if you want to add on to this, take your shoulder blades off of the floor, and see if you can find a balance without toppling over, okay, let's release that, come up into your bridge, maybe come up into your wheel if you're doing that, one big breath, exhaling your way down, draw your knees in, and let's rock and roll our way up, you might do that same tight little roll if you like, and then we'll come onto our all fours, exhale into downward facing dog, let's take our right leg up and forward, so the right knee towards the right wrist, top of the foot on the floor, inch your left knee back, and start to settle forward into a pigeon hip opener, so you have a blanket maybe near you, if you want to support your hips you can do that, and if this isn't great for your knees, please feel welcome, welcome to lie down and take a figure four instead. Let's find our last breaths on both sides here before we come into our relaxation, so you might come a little lower down, something I like to put my focus into is the right hip that's underneath me, drag it a little bit up and back towards the back of the mat, so there's a little tension around the joint as it's getting stretched in this way, see if that helps you release your spine back of the pelvis in the amount, okay let's come on up, press into the hands, lift the hips back into downward facing dog, maybe pedal it out, left leg up, exhale the knee towards the wrist, I like to have the top of the foot on the floor so there's like a nice line through the top of the knee, can play with that or flip onto your back into your figure four, some of you might work with more of a 90 degree in the bottom shin, that's nice too, and then you can think about bringing this left hip almost a little off of the floor and back, so there's some hugging around your joint and then come forwards as much as you like for a few breaths, okay let's come on up, press down through the hands, come on back downward facing, and I'm going to come through to a seat, so if there's any other forms that your body's craving right now to close, then you might pause the video and do that and take a shavasana, otherwise we'll sit just for a few clearing breaths here, so you might take that prop under your hips and maybe close your eyes, let's take a breath in, pause at the top, exhale it all out, one more like that, inhale all the way to the top of the breath, pause, exhale it all out, notice how you feel connecting to yourself here, thank you so much for joining me in this practice today, namaste.


Lisa Ferraro
1 person likes this.
Enjoyed this flow, especially the interesting core strengtheners and I learned a new word...circumferentially:)! Thank you!
Lydia Zamorano
Lisa Ferraro Hi Lisa! 
So happy you enjoyed this! I love that word too! I learned it from one of my mentors Carrie Owerko. I use the imagery of it all the time when I think of the breathing process for relaxed core strength! Sending warmth! Lydia 
Kelly M
Love this practice!  Lively, energetic and challenging!  I'd love to learn how to 'hop' like you do, you seem to float. 
Lydia Zamorano
Kelly M So so happy to hear that! Thank you for taking the time to comment Kelly! And my hunch is if you repeat this practice you might feel some little bits of float start to happen if they aren't already! Happy Holidays! 
Jeanne S
Namaste Lydia. Thank you.
Lydia Zamorano
Jeanne S  You are so welcome. Love! 
Kate M
Strong sequence!! I always seem to have to have someone tell me to do core work...! Thanks for leading me into it!
Lydia Zamorano
Kate M I think I'm the same as you Kate! It's nice to be led through core work! Warmth and smiles, Lydia 
David G-
Love the core work Lydia! That last leg-extended one (flipping on the hip with steady shoulder blades) is legit hard. I was glad we both gave up at the same time. Chuckle. 

I really pushed myself trying to keep up on a rest day. Great active recovery. 

What are your plans for future shows? Any plans to stream a live class again? Lydia and family? 

Lydia Zamorano
David Goldstein Happy to hear you enjoyed this one! I would love to do another show with yoga anytime, and spring or summer is a potential! We will keep you posted. Thank you for all your support and for watching and enjoying the practices. Happy they have been supportive! Warmth, 
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