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Trust the Connection: 20-Day Yoga Retreat Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 5

Day 4: Fluid Body

60 min - Practice


Drop into your own rhythm, your own sense of time. In Day 4, we reflect the still and fluid qualities of water through our movement as Suniti guides us mindfully through familiar shapes, noticing the subtle nuances of our inner experience along the way. You will feel a greater sense of connection, ease, and mobility in body and mindset.
What You'll Need: Mat

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We're going to start today seated, so make your way to a comfortable seat. I'm sitting up on a blanket. You might want to sit up on a cushion, or you could even sit up on a chair. As you make your way to your seat, ask yourself, am I comfortable? It was a question that Arturo offered to us on day two.

Today is day four of trust the connection. So as you're settling in, are you comfortable? And if not, could you make any little adjustments to be more comfortable? And now begin to locate where you are. Where are you?

In your home? In space? And where are you in your body? Do you feel in your thoughts? Do you feel in your emotions?

Do you feel dropped into sensation or memories? And of course, all of those places exist in your body. But here we are just noticing where, where are we? Where are we? What are we?

Where are we beginning? And now begin to sway, sway side to side or front to back. And as you sway, imagine that you are a river. What kind of river are you? Like what is your rhythm when you sway?

What does your body know of time? Swaying side to side and front to back, and again, dropping into your own rhythm. If you were a river, what would your current be like? We can be so pulled by TikTok time, a time that was created as a tool but we became slaves to time. So here we are letting that go, letting TikTok time go to drop into an elemental time.

What your body knows is time. What your breath knows is time. Now begin to find some steadiness like you're rocking yourself to center and pause and center. But notice, of course, there's so much movement inside what we know as stillness. Now gently shift to all fours.

We'll bring our hands underneath the shoulders, our knees underneath the hips, and now begin to sway your spine again, but sway it in a cat-cow movement. So as you inhale, you'll lengthen the front of your spine. And as you exhale, you'll lengthen the back of your spine. Drop in again to your own rhythm. Drop into again your own sense of time, what your body knows of time.

And as you move your spine, check in with your comfort. Let this be comfortable. Maybe even connect to what feels nice, what feels good, what feels pleasurable. And now free this up and let your spine move creatively, moving your head and tail to the right, your head and tail to the left, following any creative streams, any creative currents that again feel good. And your breath.

And we'll find a steady all fours, pausing to be with your neutral spine. And again, notice how much movement is here inside stillness. Head on back to a downward facing dog and make your way towards a standing forward fold. Feel your head and your neck and release the weight of your head and neck. Now bend your knees a bit if they're not bent already, drop your tail and slowly begin to roll up your spine one vertebra at a time until you've come all the way up to stand.

Now notice what it feels like to be standing upright, two feet touching and being touched by the ground. Widen your feet as much as you need so that you can sway here. As Alana said yesterday, entering into the landscape of sensation. Taking a journey in the landscape of sensation. So now as you sway side to side, again, coming back into your own way of swaying your own current, your own time, your body's sense of time.

So as we sway, you might find that there's some part of you that's resistant or that's hardened, kind of frozen, could be a place in the body, like a little tight area, could be something in the mind, tight spot. It's like, where am I too frozen? Where am I too full of myself? And I'm not needing to change any of that, but I'm simply going to breathe into it, be with my experience and sway almost like it's a parent rocking their child. I'm being rocked by a big body of water.

Include your breath, just a few more sways here. And we'll come through center, balancing your weight between the right and left sides, and then rising up to stand. Check in with your knees, check in with your feet, and can there still be a quality of movement here of life, energy? We'll experiment with rolling down. So you'll release the weight of your head, and then one vertebra at a time, begin to roll down the spine.

When we move sequentially, we'll meet a little spot that's more tender, a bit more frozen, quiet. So saying hello to all that you meet, and then we'll bend the knees, drop the tail, and slowly roll up. So rolling up from the bottom, and then rooting down through the feet to rise. Let's explore a little bit of a back bend by reaching the crown of the head back. Now imagine that you could fill up the front body like you were filling up a balloon.

So fill up the front as you reach to the back, and come back to neutral, and release the weight of your head, and slowly roll down. During your time, I'm going to sing any parts that might need a little more attention. Release the weight of your head, folding forward, and we'll come back up by bending the knees, dropping the tail, and rising up. Then once you come all the way up, begin to reach back through the crown of your head, and fill up the front body, again like you could, fill up a balloon in front of your chest. And we'll come through center, and then one more time, release the weight of your head, roll down, including your breath.

Bend your knees, drop your tail, and slowly roll up, and then one more time, reaching back through the crown of the head as you fill up the front body. And finding center, neutral spine. Let's reach the right arm up and over. So we're going to reach to the left with the right fingertips, but fill up your right side body. We're filling up a balloon, and travel through center, release your hand down.

Second side, so left arm up and over, and then fill up the whole left side of the body as you reach to the right, and come back to center. Let's lift both arms up towards the sky, lengthening your side waist, rooting down through both feet, and fold forward over your legs. Release the weight of your head again, release the weight of your spine towards the earth. Lengthen up partway and step your right foot back to a lunge. We're going to lift the left arm up towards the sky, and this is a place where I like to put my hand on a block, so I have a little bit more space, particularly in my left hip joint.

So that's supportive for me. Eventually we'll all meet up in this twist. Activate your back leg, energize your back leg. Begin to reach your left fingertips back behind you, and then down towards the floor. And on an inhale, reach your left fingertips forward and up, exhale, left hand goes back and down, and then inhale forward and up, a couple more times like that.

Back and down, forward and up, back and down, forward and up. Couple of breaths here, notice your right hand touching the floor or a block, and reach your left arm up, and let your arms be part of the same river, so they're connected so like they know each other, the earth and the sky. Release your left hand down, bring both hands to the floor, and step back to a downward facing dog. Inhale, come forward to plank, and press back to a downward facing dog. One more time like that, come forward and push through your hands to lift your hips up high, downward facing dog.

Step your right foot forward between your hands for the second side of our lunge. Your left hand can again find the floor or a block, activating your back leg, reach your right arm skyward. The left hand is really meeting the floor or the block, so it's earth, and then from that I reach up towards the sky. Let your right hand go back and down towards the floor, and then inhale forward in space and up towards the sky. And a few more times like that, you can of course find your own rhythm as you circle your arm back and down, forward and up, back and down, forward and up.

The next time your right arm is up, pause there, and again, rooting through the left hand, lengthening up through the right, feeling the connection between the two arms. Keep your back leg really attentive, present, and release your right arm down. Both hands here can find the ground, and we'll make our way back to a downward facing dog. Rooting through both hands here to let the pelvis rise. Travel forward to plank, and lower all the way down to your belly.

Feel free to lower your knees down for that transition. Rise up into a low cobra, hover your hands up off the floor, and reach your arms back to frame your hips. And now turn your palms up towards the sky, and press upwards through the palms. Reach your arms out wide to the side, and then forward, and turn your palms towards each other. And now wrap your arms back again, so circling them back.

Palms can turn up, and circle your arms forward. One more time, reaching them back, and forward, and now bend your elbows, make a little pillow with your hands so one hand can stack on top of the other, and then rest your forehead on your hands. Notice all the parts of your body touching the floor. And consider a melting, like sun on frost. Let every part of your body know that the ground is there.

Let every part of your body greet the earth, like your whole body is saying, hello, I feel you, I'm with you. Bring your hands underneath your shoulders, and then one more visit here in low cobra. And when we rise into low cobra, it's like we're taking the ground with us. I'm taking the knowing of the ground with me into my backbend. Begin to lower down, and head back to a child's pose.

Where we are folding into ourselves, again, noticing where you are, again, locating yourself, and then dropping into the breath in that landscape of sensation. Gently walk yourself up and have a seat on your heels, pausing for a moment with eyes open, bring your hands down to frame or to come right alongside your knees, and now push into your hands and hover your knees up. Let the low belly come back, and notice all the work required to do this. So arriving for strength, some heat. Some people can even lift their feet up off the floor, and release your shins down, come forward to all fours, and then once again, swaying your spine.

So again, this can be cat cows. You could find side to side movements, circles, again, following what feels good. As you're ready, we'll head on back to a downward facing dog. Find a standing forward fold. Open both knees, drop your tail, and slowly roll up your spine.

Once you're standing, find neutral, and then begin to reach the crown of your head back and fill up the front body. Knees to center, neutral, and pause in your tadasana. Now in tadasana, let's try on a quality of freezing. So you'll let the whole body turn into the quality of ice, still, very quiet. What is it like to be in a freezing quality, freezing tone, without having to hold too much tension?

Like it's just one of the ways we get to be. One of the ways water gets to be, frozen. I find such quiet in this state. Now imagine that there's warm sunlight, maybe you don't have to imagine, maybe there's warm sun shining on you right now, and you'll let it melt you layer by layer by layer by layer by layer. So still standing upright, but again like sun melting frost, you melt.

Notice what it's like to breathe with a little melting. When you melt the feet, melt the inner thighs, melt the low back, melt the neck and the shoulders, melt your face. And now shift your weight into your left foot and hug your right knee into your chest. Check in with your face again, check in with your shoulders again, maybe there's a little more melt available. Begin to send your right leg back and make your way towards a warrior to arabhadrasana B. And let's do that play one more time here.

So we'll enter into a freezing, quiet, still, tight, focused, you can notice how that feels in your own experience. And again, imagining or being with warmth and letting that warmth melt you. And when I melt, it kind of feels like there's a more movement, like I've just turned the water on in the garden hose, and my form comes to life, widening and spreading. We'll wiggle the back foot in just a little bit so we can reverse how we got here. You'll push through the right foot to bring all of your weight to your left foot, hug your right knee back into your chest.

And now holding to your right shin with your left hand, reach your right arm back behind you, standing through the left foot, feeling into your length, and then revolving, letting the lower portions of spine twist, and then maybe changing your gaze and letting your cervical spine rotate, including your breath, melting your jaw. And we'll come through center, reach your right leg back for a warrior two again, rooting down through your feet, spreading through each finger, reaching into space. Push through your left foot to extend your left leg, turn your left foot in and wiggle your feet so your legs are wide and in parallel. Bring your hands to your hips, a moment here to really stand down. And then rooting down, we'll let the crown of the head go up and back, and then again I'm filling up the front body.

Tip your hips and come forward, we'll bring the hands to the floor or to blocks, and then begin to rock your weight a little side to side. So bending the left knee and then bending the knee, keep doing that side to side and as you do, let your spine sway a bit. Back to that swing. And then we'll find some steadiness through center and extend the spine, reaching forward to the top of your sternum. Shift your weight on back to your heels until your hands are light and bring your hands to your hips and push through the feet to come up to stand.

Wiggle your feet towards one another and standing in Tadasana. Lift your arms up towards the sky and notice your right foot to your right hand and your left foot to your left hand. Take two streams, root down through both feet to rise up through your arms and release both hands down. And now shift your weight into your right foot and hug your left knee into your chest. Stand down through your whole right foot, include the inner foot, feel your length, and then we'll reach the left leg back coming into a warrior two.

And again, experimenting with freezing. What do you notice about freezing? Feeling quiet and now melting all of your layers, letting sun touch you, widen, and again exploring a bit more streaming from your feet up through the crown of your head and out through your arms. We'll wiggle the back foot in just a little bit so that you can push through the bottom of the back foot, bring your left knee into your chest, hold onto your left shin with your right hand and reach your left arm back. So starting to twist from the low belly, lower portions of spine and then up behind the heart, maybe even twisting your neck, changing your gaze towards your left hand.

Coming back to center, hug your left knee in, release your left leg back, coming back to your warrior two, couple of breaths here, and we'll root down through the right foot to extend the right leg, bring both feet to parallel again. Let's bring the hands to the hips, root down through the feet, begin to lift up and back through the crown of the head, again feel the fullness through the front body and begin to tip your hips and come forward. Bring your hands to the floor, lengthen up partway, and now we'll fold in our prasarita parottanasana, we'll fold in this wide-legged forward fold. Notice how your spine moves when you breathe. Unup partway again, turn your heels in and your toes out, you might even want to wiggle your feet a little bit closer together and now bend your knees nice and deep.

Your hands can stay to the floor here or you can experiment with coming down to your forearms. We'll start to sway our weight side to side and keep the hips nice and low. Now travel through center, push down through both feet and begin to extend your legs and bend your knees again. Coming down nice and low and shift your weight side to side and again connect your own sway. You can imagine that you're a piece of kelp in a kelp forest and you're swaying being carried by the currents of the ocean and then we'll come back through center, push down through both feet, extend your legs, bend both knees again and take a quarter turn towards your left.

So here we are back in a lunge. This time though we're going to lower the back knee down to the mat. I always like a little padding so I'm going to pull out my blanket again and lower my right knee down to the blanket. You're welcome to keep your hands down to the floor or blocks or you can bring your hands up to your front thigh. If it's reasonable both arms can rise up towards the sky.

Then your left hand will find your left thigh and your right fingertips will reach over to the left and now fill up your right side body again. If you get a sigh or a moan you know you're in some good territory. So filling up the right side as you reach to the left with your right hand. We'll come back through center, both arms skyward. Let's explore a little back bend here and release both hands down.

We'll lift the back knee up off the floor, take a quarter turn back through center and then again heels in, toes out, knees bend and then a little sway side to side. Just let it be easy, let it be melty. Then we'll take a quarter turn right into the second side so now my right foot is forward and left knee will come down to the blanket if you're using one. Maybe the hands walk up to the front thigh. Fingers can lift up towards the sky and then the right hand can find the right thigh, left fingertips up and over and we're filling up the whole left side body, maybe finding some audible sighs.

And we'll come back through center, both arms skyward and release both hands down. Tuck your back toes, lift your back knee and we'll take a quarter turn back through center. Chest forward, lengthen partway and then again bring your weight back onto your heels so your hands are light. Bring your hands to your hips, come all the way up to stand. Wiggle your feet closer together until we're standing again.

Just a couple bounces like the earth is shaking you. Drop your weight down, down, down and then root down into the ground to then extend your legs. One more time like that so knees bend, little shake, almost like you're shaking a glass of water. Shake, shake, shake, shake all of your skin. Take your contents, it's like you're inviting every part of you into movement.

And now push down through both feet to then extend, pausing, noticing, listening and then one more time we'll sway, so widen your feet and sway, maybe a bit more of you has melted. And sometimes when I sway myself I feel like the ocean, like I feel a very large presence, mystery, wonder. And sometimes when I rock myself I feel more like the child, almost like I'm the one that needs to be rocked, oh rock me. So we can change our perspective like that. What if you were that piece of kelp again in the kelp forest being rocked by the ocean and then again honoring your own sense of timing and can be so nourishing to release from the clock and connect to your own rhythm and we'll travel through center, both feet down and then exploring Tadasana, being with all of the flows, all of the movement that's here inside the stillness, widen your feet, turn your toes out, bend your knees, so you're stopping to whatever your down is, so this might be your down, you might be comfortable with a lower squat, if so please come on down.

And now we'll push through both feet to come up and we'll bend both knees to travel back down. And a few more times like that, so we're rooting down to rise and lowering back down getting closer to the ground, rooting down to rise, I'm just improvising with my arms here, whatever feels good and then we come down, rooting down to rise and then we'll travel down, rooting down to rise, coming all the way up and we'll bring the legs back to parallel one more time, one little bounce, find some really expressive exhales, if there's anything that you want to let go of, I need parts of yourself that are a bit stuck, let that go with a shake and we'll pause, push through both feet, extend the legs, lift both arms up to the sky, Urdhva


6 people like this.
I really enjoyed finding my own movement and my own frequency in this class. Today I will mostly be swaying. 😀 Thank you Suniti.
Lorraine Marek
I loved the slower pace of your class. I look forward to your next in this session
1 person likes this.
Ali, that’s wonderful! You will find me swaying most days. It feels so nourishing to me. Thanks for your share! 
1 person likes this.
Lorraine M, glad you connected to this pace. See you next week! 
Fabian H
2 people like this.
lovely practice  :))
Glenford N
4 people like this.
Very meditative and contemplative. I found myself floating off to my own inner world where time and space melted into sheer expansiveness. Namaste.
Sarah Lowe
1 person likes this.
so nice! thank you. i love swaying :) 
Meaghan S
2 people like this.
Merging with kelp forests over here. Bowing in gratitude
1 person likes this.
Sarah Lowe , Swaying really is so resourcing. I love it too!
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