Winter Ayurveda Yoga Challenge Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 3

Day 2: Core Bright

60 min - Practice


Connect to the navel center to digest more efficiently anything taken in through the senses. In Day 2, engage the core in mindful supine postures, move into warming Sun Salutes to clear away stiffness, and explore standing postures that sharpen focus, challenge balance, and explore space and rotation in the spine. You will feel strong and inspired.

Your Self Care Homework Challenge for Day 2:

The homework for this challenge is cumulative, and today we work in 3 new elements to your routine:

  • Candle Gazing Meditation Practice: Melina introduces this practice to provide a dynamic focal point for meditation, and reflect on the element of fire during the cooler season.
  • Dry Brushing: Dry brushing before showing is energizing, warming, and lends the skin a healthy glow.
  • Connection to Community: Make a phone or Zoom date with someone you appreciate connecting to in order to avoid isolation and depression, and keep community alive during the season of shorter days.
What You'll Need: Mat, Blanket, Block (2)


Read Full Transcript

Hello everyone. Welcome to day two of the Ayurveda Winter Challenge. Excited to have you here with me today. Hope you're feeling some new muscles from yesterday. Hopefully you don't feel too sore. And if so, we're going to loosen up those areas and then connect you to more core muscles today. That's kind of our big theme. We'll do some floor work to begin with and gradually work up towards some kneeling work that strengthens the back and abdominal area. Then do our sun salutations, which are going to be part of the active classes this week. So we can check that off our to-do list to increase circulation and warmth. And then of course we'll do some standing poses for some strength and concentration before we work our way back down and do some sitting poses to start to enjoy the more reflective aspect of the class. And then of course a little short Shavasana at the end today. So for class, it'll be helpful to have two blocks and a blanket. And we're going to actually start on our back with the two blocks. So if you sat one of them at a medium position and then one of them flat and wide, so it kind of looks like a T shape with your blocks. And then what I'll typically do is sit down in front of the blocks. And then as I recline back, I put my elbows down, slide one block basically up between my shoulder blade area and then lean onto that flat block. Make sure it's in the right spot. And then take the second block, that taller block underneath your head. So it basically catches the occipital ridge, the base of your skull. And we want the chin to be parallel to the floor rather than pointing to the ceiling. And then let your arms come down perhaps to your side as a starting position. And that will typically be the easiest in your shoulders. Legs, bed might be a nice way to start the practice. And then consider some different variations that might include stretching your legs straight down to the floor, kind of to the edges of your mat. Or maybe your arms slide higher up towards the direction of your ears. So it might look from the ceiling view if you're looking down at yourself like you're making an X shape. You're welcome to make up some other variations. Sometimes people like bottoms of the feet together, legs open wide for hip opening. So we've got hip opening, we've got legs down straight or legs stay bent. I'll keep the X position myself. And once you've decided on what your legs are going to do and the angle that your arms might stay at, then perhaps we start to formally commit a little bit now to practice. It's consciously separating from whatever it is you've been doing today to enter this time to be a little bit more reflective, a little bit more aware of how your body is moment by moment. So we can start with just basic awareness of where you feel support. And might you surrender a little bit more of the weight of your body into the places you feel support. Back of the head, hands, arms. Might we surrender a little bit more of our weights into the blocks, the one under your ribs? Might we relax a little bit more, surrender a little bit more of the buttocks, the weight of the legs? And once we feel a little bit more supported by your environments, the ground, the props, see if you can start to notice the slight ripple of movements that's occurred as you're breathing in from your nose, down through your chest, down into your upper belly. Eventually that little ripple of movement down into the mid belly or low belly. And then feeling that wind of breath move up from the naval area all the way back up towards your nose. And at the end of that exhale, perhaps we savor that pause, that dormant phase before we nourish again with another inhale. And brighten up a little bit through the upper chest, maybe even the mind feels a little brighter after a long inhale, short pause. And then find that pause at the end of your exhale. It pulls you a little bit deeper in, that reflective state. And then see if those fuller inhales again help bring more energy through the upper chest and also help to awaken or brighten the mind. Over your next moment or two, please change your leg position so that maybe we all come together with the legs straight down on the floor as if you were in tadasana legs. If I can have you bring your fingertips to the upper corners of your chest so you can float your elbows off the floor. And now like little bird wings, let's bring our elbows down towards the side of your waist, like you're flapping your wings down and then slide those elbows, your wings up towards your ear direction and then down and then up. So I'm showing that bent arm version in case there's any shoulder injuries, you might stay there or we drop the arms down and create snow angel arms and sweep the arms towards your ears and then all the way down to your side. Snow angel arms, the arms are floating in space as they go back and as they come down towards your side. If your shoulders are open enough, you might be sweeping your hands along the floor as you're going back and forth. Be mindful how your body feels as you're taking these bigger stretches. Be mindful of any injuries in the shoulder area. Alright, now next time your arms are back by your ears, raise your arms straight up in the air above your chest and lace your fingers together and bring your right knee towards your chest and now grab that right knee and squeeze your knee a little bit towards your chest and we're paying attention to how we're balancing our head and back on the blocks. Please keep your fingers lace, let the right leg go back to the floor as your arms stretch back towards your ears. We're in a big full body stretch and bring your left knee towards your chest, grab that knee, give it a hug towards your belly, mindful of balancing on your blocks. Go a little bit faster now, left leg down, arms by your ears and then bring right knee in, give it a squeeze. Arms go back, right leg down, then tip the left knee in, give that a squeeze toward the belly. Okay, going a little bit faster, come back to right knee, hugs in, right leg goes down and then get a little hug of the left knee coming in and then finish with your arms back by your ears. One more big full body stretch, engage your legs and then unlace your fingers, arms come down and we'll go ahead and bend your legs, turn to one side and we'll start to come off the blocks. We're going to use the blocks again in our hands as we come down onto your back and once you come down onto your back you might slide yourself to the middle of your mat so you have room for your arms to go back behind you. So now I'm going to invite you to take the blocks into your hands, take your arms back by your ears and if your block is too heavy or there's a shoulder injury you might skip the blocks but they can be nice for some extra grounding. With your arms now back by your ears, hold the blocks and see if it's possible now to do your snow angel arms with blocks in your hands so you take your arms down to your sides and then sweep your arms back towards your ears, holding onto the blocks, sweep your arms down to your sides and then all the way back towards your ears and notice what feels different what muscles you might be connecting to as you're holding the blocks with your hands. Again taking good care to feel like you're hugging the head of that humorous bone the arm bone into the ball and socket joint. Now let's go ahead and pause with the arms back by your ears and tip both knees in towards your chest, feet are off the ground, hold your blocks I'm going to hold the narrow edge, reach your arms forward towards your calves and when your arms are forward hold those blocks lift your head and shoulders up. Take your arms back by your ears keep holding your blocks and then exhale reach towards your heels down to the floor the blocks reach towards the heels as we exhale curl up we come back make the support and then we exhale and engage a little more upper abdominal area. So two more hopefully you appreciate the weight of your blocks to help build a little more strength in the shoulders and then we'll come down and now from here let your feet meet the ground again tip your knees a little windshield wiper move side to side and hopefully the weight of the blocks give you a little more grounding in your shoulders as you move from your waist down through your hips perhaps feeling that little stretch through the front of your quadriceps tipping side to side alright so a little break to move the hips now let's come back to center tip your knees a second time towards your chest this time stretch your legs up in the air straight your version of straight again reach your blocks now forward towards your calves and then lift your head and shoulders and reach your blocks towards the end of your mat keep holding your blocks as you go back to the floor exhale reach your blocks forward it's almost like you're doing boat pose on your back roll back to the ground exhale recreating that feeling of boat pose energize those legs roll back down let's do a couple more and try to notice that you're using your upper abdominal muscles more than your neck to come back and forth just bring a little more consciousness to that area to not grip alright let's do two more to make sure we're getting that core feeling warmed up next exhale alright now let's go ahead and bring your legs down take your right hand with that block and take your block down to the right side right beside your leg stretch your right leg straight I'm going to roll your left knee over to your block you might figure out what height works for you to have the block under your left knee use your right hand to hold your left knee onto your block left hand has the second block and we're going to make snow angel arms with just your left arm so see if you can figure out the space in your room to hold your block and do snow angel arm on your left side with that little bit of extra weight and again if there's an injury here you might get rid of the weights you might keep your left arm bends or perhaps this helps you tune in a little bit more to hugging your arm bone into the ball and socket joint or helps you feel like you're engaging these left side oblique muscles a little bit more to stabilize you as your arm moves away from your center let's go ahead and take a pause with your left arm at some angle that feels interesting for you to open up this left upper corner of your chest and remain in the twist just a couple more breaths just send a little more loving kindness down that left side of your waist outer left leg and let's go ahead and slide your left arm down to your side roll onto your back and then we'll go ahead and keep your block right beside your left leg as you stretch your left leg straight tip your right knee in towards your chest and then roll to your block on the left right hand is going to hold onto a block turn the palm towards the ceiling left hand keeps your right knee on your block and then start your snow angels whenever you're ready right arm up and the right arm sweeps down and maybe with that little additional weight of the block I know for me I tend to go a little slower and being a little more mindful of hugging that humerus bone into the ball and socket joint and by bringing a little more attention to hugging that arm bone in I hope you feel this too some of the muscles down on the side of your rib cage and belly might start to firm as your arm is coming down you see if you can connect to some of those muscles feeling again the support from your abdominal muscles those oblique muscles on your side to help stabilize you you know if we've warmed up that right shoulder let's find an angle that helps you get a little deeper into your upper right chest and maybe soak in again that full attention to your upper right chest maybe down your waist maybe even down your outer right leg we might feel some benefits again in this twist there's so many places you could feel changing here all right let's bring that right arm down to your side roll onto your back and now please take one block between your legs and turn it to the medium width so that your feet will be a little wider apart we'll think of bridge pose now with arms at your sides do a little test run please for a moment lift your pelvis up make sure you feel like your heels are far enough away from your hands that you've got ease in your lower back then lower to the floor this next time we're going to lift we're going to hold with your arms at your side and do a little breathing practice of kapalabhati we do this quick sharp exhales where your belly pulls in towards your back breathe quickly out through your nostrils so it's quick sharp exhales this again it could be a nice place to fill your abdominal area and your diaphragm muscle moving a couple more pumps through that belly area and then lower your spine down as you're breathing in arms back by your ears take an exhale pause navel drops down towards your back udiyana bandha as we hug the belly muscles up under the ribs lift your hips take your arms back down to your side again kapalabhati in bridge pose find your foundation and then quick sharp exhales the nose points to the ceiling quick sharp exhales through your nose once you feel you're getting that center area a little bit more warmed up or a little more lightness and air heat moving into your lungs let's lower your spine arms all the way back by your ears take an exhale audible exhale all the breath out belly in drawing attention deep to the center now take your arms please down to your side and bend your elbows so your palms and forearms are lifted off the ground it's like you've got a block between your hands lift your pelvis up again press your elbows into the floor and shoulder blades into the floor so we've got robot arms as you're holding your bridge now please from here shift your weight to your right and kick your left leg forwards and then put your left foot down squeeze your block with your thighs and kick your right heel forward put both feet back down again kick your left leg out put your right left foot down kick your right leg out put your right foot down let's go ahead and lower to the floor get rid of your block between the legs set that to the side and take your arms one more time straight down to your side bring your feet a little bit closer together take your right foot up towards the ceiling look up towards your right foot as your arms root down press into your left foot and lift your right foot towards the ceiling as you lift your buttocks off the floor and we lower back down so you're lifting spine and buttocks and imagine you're putting your right foot closer to the ceiling lower down lift up bring your right foot towards the ceiling lower down as you're going up and down see if you can tune in now to your left glute area and see if you can feel that turn on a bit more do we feel all those core muscles helping you lift away from the ground without twisting in your hips a couple more little press up and down engaging those leg muscles more than your jaw or eye muscles and the next time you're down hopefully things have warmed up let's bring your right foot to the floor right leg stays bent as left leg goes up straight arms are there to help you right foot presses down as your hips come up left foot towards the ceiling lower down press down to lift up that famous saying see if you can add that here press down to lift up and now play close attention to how your right glute is firing as you're lifting away from the floor what lower domino muscles you might be using to keep your hips from twisting from slanting to the side see if you can sense that your hips are coming up evenly let's do a couple more just in case we did this amount on the first sides and then let's assume we're close to even as we put your left foot down lower to the floor and let's tip the knees in and give them a little hug and if it feels good rock a little bit side to side to massage the back of the glute area and let's start to come away from the ground and as you're rocking and rolling up we're gonna grab your block again just one and place it down in between your feet okay so if I can have you have that between your feet for a moment have your hands back behind you to support you as we squeeze the block with the feet lift the block up with your legs and those how much you're using your inner legs to squeeze that block between your feet just to get used to that feeling and then put your feet down you can lean back arms are there to support you as you raise your feet up squeeze the block and then come back down let's do one more just tuning into that inner leg work and then come back down and now grab both blocks so as you have both blocks one for each hand see if you can keep bringing energy and awareness to those inner legs you can bring your legs together and as you lean back now lift your arms up turn your palms to face up raise your feet and see if you can keep that energy going through your inner legs and then put your feet down and let's reach forward hold those blocks lean back a little bit raise your feet tune into the inner leg line as if you had a third block between your feet feet down reach forward and come back let's do just maybe one more lift your feet pause all right now put your blocks down cross your ankles and we're going to come up to straight arms as you lift your butt off the floor come back down and then you can lift your butt and see if it's possible to lift a foot or both feet come back down it's okay with flat blocks to maybe even to make fists if that's better for you lift up lift your butt and see what it's like to lift your ankles does your core get a little brighter come back and forth lift your hips maybe lift your feet dangle one more time playing playing with your balance and go ahead and lift up and then come down all right let's slide those blocks towards the top of your mat and we'll come forward and this is where the blanket might be nice to add a little padding under your knees for protection and cushion of course you're welcome to skip using some of those but let's go ahead and turn your blocks flat keep them shoulder distance as you put your elbows down on your blocks we're gonna take your palms together and as your palms come together look down between your wrist or between your forearms and with the knees hip distance apart when you're ready look towards your fingertips now as you lift your tailbone exhale through the mouth and with that audible exhale pull your belly in towards your back imagine you're hugging a block between your thighs to engage inner legs relax the belly inner legs as you look forward exhale all the air out as you pull belly in inner thighs hug in and up towards the pelvis as you round and again as you look forward soften let's curl your toes under and add at the end of your exhale round your back lift your knees and stretch your hips up higher as your legs get a little straighter lower your knees look forward on inhale tailbone curls up audible exhale belly stays in towards your back as you lift your knees going towards straighter legs the repetition will help look forward on inhale round on exhale keep your rhythm navel in hips up and back straighter legs and then we'll come down last time as you round go ahead round belly in let's lift the knees and work towards straighter legs bring your feet one step closer together so now you can swing your left leg up a little higher than your hip height bring your left foot down keep your shoulders where they are as you raise your right leg up in the air and bring your right foot down when the left leg swings up maybe you take your gaze a little more towards your wrist left foot down head down raise your right leg look towards your wrist right leg down head down one more left leg up maybe we look towards the wrist left leg down head down and the right leg up look towards the wrist both feet to the floor knees down nice job with that we're gonna transfer one block out of the way take one block wide between your feet so as you place that between your feet squeeze the block with the squeeze your block with your feet that's is what I mean to say look straight ahead in your kneeling position we take your arms up in the air bend your elbow so your hands touch the back of your head so for a little bit of core and back strength as we exhale we're gonna hinge from the hips and come parallel to the floor with your elbows wide squeeze the block with your feet as you come back up and then see if you can squeeze the block as you come down parallel to the floor squeeze your block as you come back up and we might be angling a little bit more down to eventually bring your forehead for some of us to the floor squeeze your block as you come back up so the arms stay in one place exhale come forward maybe touch the ground squeeze your block and lift up let's stay here stretch your arms towards the sky and as your thighs move back a few inches drop your left hand towards your left heel look down to the left as you reach up with the right hand swing your right arm back up come forward with your hips hips go back a few inches right hand to right heel look down as your left hand goes up squeeze your block come back to center one more time thighs go back a few inches left hand to left heel right hand to the ceiling left arm comes up hips forward hips tilt back look down at your right hand lift up through your left and then both arms up by the ears hands in front of your chest and let's go ahead and curl your toes under grab that block and transfer your block between your thighs maybe medium position slides your hands forward we'll come into our downward dog with that block between your thighs wiggle your feet back to have a little more space and I'm going to balance and get rid of the blanket off my yoga mat put that to the side and then concentrate on maybe two more breaths in downward dog working toward maybe slightly straighter legs hug the legs to the block and we're going to start to walk your hands back towards your feet that's right hands go towards your feet until you can eventually put your feet down slightly bend your knees and then we'll come up to stand draw a big circle around you raise your arms up got the block between your legs and hopefully we're at the back of our mat if not walk towards the back of your mat this is where we'll start our sun salutations for today so when you're ready ground your feet squeeze your block as your arms come up into the air and if it feels good look up hands come down the front of your thighs as you squeeze the block with your legs slide the hands down and then bring your fingertips to the floor out in front of you we're going to keep walking the hands out towards the top of your mat until you can come into plank pose it might take again a little bit of wiggling right to left front to back we find that place where we firmly squeeze the block with the legs navel in come down to the floor knees belly chest we might need to kind of move that block around so we can be down on the floor first time you just usually need to do that and then squeeze the block with your legs as you curl up for your cobra press the pinky side of your foot down lower back to the floor toes curled under gonna keep the knees down push back to tabletop then into your downward dog exhale all right big breath in open those palms spread the toes lift your heels let's walk the hands back towards your feet so we're in that forward fold it's okay to have bent knees and then slide your hands up your legs or draw a big circle out to the side and up we come all the way to standing arms overhead hands in front of the heart all right so it's gonna be our sun salutation today let's again inhale go up reach for the sky hands come down center line over the front of the legs eventually dropping to the earth bend those knees that that's helpful keep squeezing your block as you walk out to your plank pose and enjoy that moment again we feel yourself floating away from the floor floating parallel to the floor then knees belly chest come down point your toes back ground the pinky side of your foot as you inhale cobra exhale back to tabletop and then downward facing dog exhale big breath in spread those hands lift the heels and walk your hands back towards your feet until your feet are grounded straight legs or bent knees press down to come up inhale arms overhead and hands in front of the chest okay maybe now a slightly different pace maybe just slightly faster as you go up exhale as you come down to touch the floor it's okay to bend those knees walk it out to plank pose you find again that moment of pause feel your strength come down to the floor keep your belly down toes down as you inhale curl the face and chest up cobra elbows stay pinned in as you push back tabletop and the downward facing dog the sections meant to warm us up even more and open some of those big outer muscles walk your hands towards your feet forward fold squeeze your block squeeze the block as you come all the way up to stand arms overhead exhale hands in front of your chest keep going arms up maybe eyes stay open when we practice during the winter fold forward catch all that light that's available eyes open as you walk forwards slightly maybe more aerobic part of class come down to the floor get ready for your cobra inhale curl up moving back to tabletop downward dog exhale and then walk your hands towards your feet fold over the legs squeeze your block as you come all the way up to standing and then hands back in front of your chest we'll do one more sun salutation go back up find your rhythm fold forward keep squeezing the block walk it out into your plank pose and take that moment to feel your strength here lower down plug your feet hands to the floor belly on the floor curl up little baby cobra tabletop into your downward dog eyes open right walk your hands back towards your feet take that forward fold as you exhale squeeze the block as you inhale come all the way up to standing and then let your hands come down in front of your chest take a moment to pause and just feel again into your core temperature your breath sound difference the heartbeats so we're aware of the effects of sun salutation and we might pick and choose when we want to add a little bit of that aerobic activity into our practice sometimes it's nice in the winter time to do that so let's go ahead and release the block to the right corner of your mat and just turn it flat leave it at the back corner backish corner and we're gonna keep your right heel to the block and step your left leg forward a step for what will be your warrior one foot position position when you are in warrior one front knee bent so you can feel contact with your back heel and the block it's just to kind of anchor your attention to the back leg staying rooted arms at your side please look forward and swing your arms up by your ears as you inhale keep pressing into your back heel with the block as your hands come around to the small of your lower back and will tilt a quarter of the way forward or parallel to the floor press into your back heel block arms swing wide come back up or look a little higher up exhale circle your arms to the small of the lower back as you look down press into your back heel with the block come back up arms circle overhead maybe look higher up folding from the hips as we come parallel to the floor press to your back heel come back up now bring your hands to your chest right in front of you from here we're gonna tilt towards the left side turn to the long edge of your mat and come back to center now tilt a little bit more forward press into your back heel and see if we can rotate here toward the long end of your mat back to neutral does it make sense to tilt a little more forward if that feels solid for you press into your back heel and turn towards the long end of your mat to the left and then come all the way neutral lift back up please and arms at your side you step that back leg forward and then we need to slide the block to the left that's where your left heel will go press into the block just to kind of feel the contact you're making with the block as a reminder to anchor your back foot the way you might do this if you put your heel on a wall right leg bends arms are at our side to begin then sweep your arms up towards your ears feel contact with your back heel sweep your hands the small of the lower back and start to tilt maybe quarter of the way forward press into left heel come back up arms over the shoulders tilt maybe halfway forward maybe you're parallel to the floor press into left heel come back up and feel your rhythm two more times press into your back heel as you tilt forward so you're really aware of the strength of your legs so the back is strengthening but not doing all the work let those legs help you out tilt forward press into left heel stay vertical please grab grab your hands hook your hands together bring them in front of your chest I'm going to take a little turn towards the right end of your mat and then turn to the small front end tilt forward from your hips a little bit more see if we can turn to the right to the long end of your mat back to center it's not uncommon to feel this in your back calf area as you tilt more forward turn towards your right leg and then come back around to center let's tilt all the way up to neutral arms down at your side and then step your back leg forward and give everything a little shake out I'm going to stay facing that short end of your mat and do a little balance pose so if we face the short end of your mat and maybe shift your weight to your right foot lift your left knee and your arms up at the same time so arms are by your ears left knee up by your chest keep your left leg bent as you swing your leg back and your hands come back towards your hips swing the arms up as we swing the left knee up swing your left knee back as you take your arms back I'm going to play around with your rhythm knee comes up with the hands knee floats back as we swing the arms back now after a couple of those warm up for our dancer pose if you have access please keep your left leg back kick your foot into your left hand and now take just your right arm up by your ear and try to look a little above your horizon line lift your right chest towards the ceiling as you lift your right hand to the ceiling and keep kicking that left foot into your hands we don't catch that foot we just hold the hip and keep your left heel kicked back pray don't get that hamstring a charley horse one more moment all right go ahead and take both feet down and both arms down shift your way to the left and try swinging your right knee up in the air as your arms come up by your ears keep that right leg bent as you kick the leg back arms go back lift your right knee arms come up knee swings back arms go back play around that rhythm balance will come and go nothing personal if you're wobbly today just start again and now maybe next time that that right leg goes back keep your right leg back and lift your foot into your right hand if you have access to that left arm up by your ear and we'll go for grounding in order to left you don't have your foot just keep your right hand on your outer hip and keep kicking your heel further back and up towards your head so in that case your right hamstring and glute muscles would be engaged let's take one more attempt to let lift your gaze a little higher than your horizon line keep that chest area lifted which sometimes helps to keep our mood a little bit more lifted let's go ahead and release your foot down and hand down and if you separate your feet just a tiny bit wider apart so your toes turn out a few degrees to come down towards the squats where your hands are together toes turned out and we never know exactly what angle so I like to do a little trial where you come down halfway and see if we can still come up safely again that sense of coming down maybe halfway or three quarters of the way come back up look towards the front of your mat look over your fingertips as you come down and maybe your elbows drop to the insides of the knees come back up and let's do one more come down towards that squat just as we get ourselves closer to the floor and then we'll tilt forward and put your hands down put your knees down so the knees come to the floor and we're going to grab those blocks and stack them flat and wide on top of each other so you've got a little something to sit on so if you tuck those between your feet sit down on your blocks for Virasana for a moment and if the padding if it's not quite enough please add more let's release your left foot first out in front of you so right leg stays in Virasana left leg forward when we lean back a few inches put your fingertips down and see if we can be rather to lead light on our fingertips as we engage the core and move your body slightly forward so chest is lifting up towards the ceiling look down the tip of your nose some of you might lean back and put your hands on the floor and make firm contact with straight arms and then maybe look up towards the ceiling right above your face and see if we can enjoy filling up the lungs the front of the chest here with one more breath come back to neutral now let's swing your right foot forward so your feet are together keep your knees together for a moment raise your arms up in the air and gather your hands down in front of your chest and we're going to turn to your left and hook your right elbow off your left knee and do a little twist press your feet into the floor look a little bit over your left shoulder one breath here and turn back to neutral let's grab a hold of your left foot and tuck that foot back into Virasana lean back maybe start on your fingertips core torso moving a little bit forward so we lift side chest maybe we put the hands flat do a little more lift through the side chest eyes towards the ceiling full breath here tilt your body forward and swing your left foot forward so your knees are back together raise your arms up in the air join your hands together and turn towards your right side and drop your left elbow off your right knee and take that little twist and look a little bit more over your right shoulder you take a big breath in big breath out and let's turn back to the center and take a moment and hold on to your knees lace your fingers together and lengthen your spine and just sit for a moment and feel the effects of that little backbend and twist all right let's go ahead when you're ready and come off the props that you might be sitting on I'm going to stretch your legs all the way out straight when your legs are all the way straight make sure you've got some room behind you so that we can have straight legs arms out in front of you and if your legs aren't all the way straight a little bent spine of the knees swing your arms up in the air and inhale and with bent knees reach forward with your arms parallel to the floor lift your arms all the way back up towards the ceiling keep your heels down as you roll back slowly to the floor arms come down to your side and then stretch your arms back towards your ears look up big X everybody let's pull ourselves forward back up right raise those arms up towards the ceiling bend your knees and reach forward so your arms are parallel to the ground we're going to do this quickly inhale arms up legs press down as we roll back to the floor head down arms back by your ears again exhale reach forward you can grab your pants to come up lift arms towards the ceiling bend your knees reach forward parallel to the floor inhale up do this quickly eyes open exhale roll back and down inhale arms back by your ears exhale swing arms forward lift up bend those knees as you reach forward arms parallel to the floor class is called core bright for a reason right exhale roll back down keep your legs down arms by your ears let's do one more together reach forward lift your arms up bend your knees and let your arms come out parallel to the floor arms up this time we're going to stay on the ground so roll down to the floor find your way down and then bend your legs so your feet are on the floor from here now we're going to tip the knees in towards your chest hold on to a kneecap with each hand and circle your knees around in little circles you can decrease any tension that might be in these ball and socket joints all right and just notice how we feel after warming up in that way a little bit through our center all right now if we keep your knees together and tip your knees and stretch your legs up in the air take your arms up in the air and give everything a big shakeout big shakeout after all that work just a little bit more to help move the water body here before we stay on the ground for a little bit shake it out keep shaking it usually gets better loosening again any tension and then put your feet back down on the floor you will let the arms come down to your sides and as you make some contact with the upper back the heads the arms just notice that there's any last particular move your body might appreciate before coming towards a shavasana with or without props it's cool in your space that really want to recommend covering your feet covering your body so there's no drops over you there's no sense of a chill coming on as we stay on the floor if it feels okay to have straight legs we go straight legs down to the floor for full shavasana and adding layers if your space feels cool and we'll just tune in a little bit to the effects of the practice on your physical body are you aware again of feeling any changes in the muscle tone with their areas that were stiff and tight they feel more open or there are places that feel a little stiff and tight and we might send a little bit more of our awareness into those places to encourage more relaxation you're hoping to move towards relaxation eventually and may we find enough support in this pose to feel again a softening of the front body so we can be a little bit more like water and softening any rough edges hopefully doing enough dynamic moves in this practice to feel like the water is easily flowing in your body and then as we get the body moving a little bit more slowly now can we concentrate a little bit more perhaps in our navel center and to keep infusing that area we've been using quite a bit in our class today just keep sending our kind focused attention towards that area of the body and hoping that work that we do helps us digest things more efficiently today whatever we're taking in through all of our senses may we digest a little more efficiently today by doing our core work as we linger in this quiet space together now see if you can keep bringing your attention back to that navel center as if that was the origin of the breath where you're breathing in today just imagine that area taking a breath in and that area perhaps where the breath might be moving out we keep envisioning again healthy flow through that center area the samana vayu that subtle wind that helps us with digestion and tapping into the energy body as we remain quiet together for a few minutes so You You You Try to remain connected to the floor and all the places that you feel grounded and supported As you take just slightly fuller breaths in and out or more conscious breaths in and out Okay, imagine we start making little small movements and fingers and toes just to warm up those little joints Wrists and ankles Maybe sliding one leg at a time in so your feet are under your knees At some point we'll turn to your side every side you like you might stay in your fetal pose curled into your ball for a moment Gather a little more wakeful energy Before we tip all the way back up And as you tip up, I might recommend grabbing your blanket folded underneath your hips for something to sit on So that you are able to have your knees lower than your hips Okay, then come up to a nice tall spine If you're wearing glasses, you might take them off So that we bring our hands together in front of the chest Let's kind of make that little invisible fire let your palms rub together until it feels like there's a little fire in your hands And then once they feel warm enough, let's go ahead and cup your eyes for a moment to maybe block out some of the light And to notice again what it feels like here to let those eyes drop back a little bit more into the face And if that helps let go of some gripping or tension in your low back or your belly All right I know that the hands lower down in front of your heart center And just acknowledging the efforts you put into your practice today to stay present and engaged And I hope your core feels nice and bright and so now as we move out to our day may others always benefit from our practice namaste All right, thanks for working through the asana portion of the class today, um, we'll continue with some more ideas tomorrow And just to recap for those of you that want to again add a little bit more, um, wellness practice or ayurveda to your Uh daily routines. So we're adding a little challenge here for the week Yesterday, I introduced the idea probably the most important one, which is try to get to bed close to 10 o'clock Uh to main good immune brain and digestive health To stay hydrated to keep the water body moving And to keep good circulation And then we're adding sun salutations into our practice. So that will take care of keeping your body limber strong and warm for this time of year And today I wanted to introduce a few other pieces or maybe you don't do the other ones and you just do today's I hope you'll start stacking them But today I wanted to think about a meditation practice. That's really lovely the candle gazing practice And it's one that I use a lot more for sure in the winter time where i'll set a chair out in front of me With a candle about an arm's length away from my face try to get the candle up to my eye level so that i'm not bringing my head forward And what you do, especially if you practice meditation in the morning or at night is have just the candle light on And stare in towards the center of the candle flame And we get to number one just reflect on the element of fire um get to enjoy that warmth of the light coming in through your eyes and Maybe purifying the mind a little bit in the morning that helps me for sure wake up But to give myself a focal point of something that's dynamic and rhythmic and moving And there are incredible moments where you sync up with your focus and the stillness of the candle Those are really great moments for me. Anyway, um in the winter time It's a practice that I really look forward to so we haven't quite found a way to connect to meditation practice I might encourage you to try to have one with a candle And see what that does for your mood For these winter days or for the evening or or morning And then I also wanted to introduce the idea of something we use to bring a little more energy up towards the surface and excavate It's also a cleansing practice and it's called dry brushing So in the the bath section of any grocery store, you'll see the the dry brushes to scrub your body Some have handles and some are just for your hand. They're both fine But what you do is before you shower. I actually do dry brushing when i'm standing in the shower But you take your brush And you do it softly at first because the bristle can be kind of intense and you make circular movements over your joints And you do your brush and you rub against your skin vertical strokes on the limbs a circular on joints And then you do big vertical strokes for the bones Do as much of the bodies you can you exfoliate before you shower? And typically what you'll notice is it it's kind of tingly and warming And then the nice thing is it gives you this beautiful glow where your skin looks like you have oil on it Um, so hopefully you enjoy trying dry brushing as as many times as you like this week once a day Um or any other time you want to feel that glowy warmth We can do that through drinking water. We can do the warmth through exercise and we can also do it through cleaning our skin And the last piece I wanted to add today is the idea of creating some connection with Other people and community and as one of the things we might do in the winter is to try to Keep that spark alive where we're connected to others to avoid isolation and depression In the longer and the shorter days where it's darker and especially while we're sheltering in um, so perhaps as a practice we make a little bit more effort to reach out to Have a meeting a phone call a zoom date with somebody that you appreciate connecting to And keep your community vital and alive this winter Uh, maybe even join together for the challenge for the rest of the week So those are a few ideas that we might start growing our yoga practice into other areas of our life with our ubeda and self-care Um, so I hope you'll benefit from those today and I'll look forward to being with you tomorrow Have a great rest of the day and thanks for practicing with us here at yoga anytime namaste


Jenny S
5 people like this.
Creative and fun, with some nice trembley core work that I actually ENJOYED doing 😅. The opening floor sequence is something I will incorporate into my ongoing winter practice for sure! 😇
Catha P
7 people like this.
Hi, Melina,
I also love your calm, soothing teaching style and voice, as well as the pace of your classes.
You are so creative in the way you design poses and sequences and use props. Thank you for these offerings! Inspiring.
Melina Meza
Thanks for being part of the seasonal challenges Catha! I try my best to come with new ideas to keep you all inspired and excited about yoga, and its full potential! Happy holidays to you and I hope you enjoy the next four days of the challenge. 
Sandra Židan
Thanks for this great practice, Melina! Merry Christmas everyone!
4 people like this.
I loved using my blocks throughout this practice, especially during the modified sun salutations! Wonderful way to warm up on Christmas morning. Thank you Melina, have a wonderful Christmas today.
Amy P
4 people like this.
Loved this, because I was cooking for the holiday I had to do this in 2 segments, I love smooth slow movements and core workout. Thank you. 
Melina Meza
A big congratulations to you all for getting yourself to the mat during the holidays!!! I hope you continue to use these class as a resource to warm up your body, connect to your core, and keep a nice rhythm in your practice as we move deeper into the winter season.
Suzi W
4 people like this.
This is a wonderful series! I felt stagnant in my core and now I do feel BRIGHT! Thank you!
4 people like this.
Thank you! I love this series, and Ayurvedic suggestions. Today's practice helped me connect not only to my core, but also to a sense of vitality.
Melina Meza
Such great news that you're feeling more energy and vitality after the practice! I hope the rest the challenge inspires you and keeps you coming back for more!
1-10 of 20

You need to be a subscriber to post a comment.

Please Log In or Create an Account to start your free trial.

Footer Yoga Anytime Logo

Just Show Up

Over 2,900 yoga and meditation practices to bring you Home.

15-Day Free Trial