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Trust the Connection: 20-Day Yoga Retreat Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 14

Day 13: Playing with Wonder

60 min - Practice


Wonder and anxiety cannot co-exist. In Day 13, Alana leads a playful class inspiring us to embrace a sense of wonder, delight, and joy in our daily lives. We begin seated, finding space in the spine, shoulders, legs, and hips. We then move into warming Sun Salutes and explore standing balancing shapes, before moving to the floor to ground our energy, with the option to play into Wheel pose. You will feel soft and relaxed.
What You'll Need: Mat, Strap

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Hi, friends. Welcome to day 13 of Trust the Connection. I'm so glad you're here with us. Thank you for joining Wade, Arturo, Suniti, Miles and I for this journey and retreat back into the self. So for today's practice, we'll start seated. So grab something comfy to sit on. We'll transition onto our back for a slow, groovy, stretchy floor practice to find a bit of space in the hips and the hamstrings and to start to bring our attention towards the more subtle and miraculous details within. We will make our way to standing for some sun salutations to generate some heat, find some familiar standing and balancing shapes before we make our way down towards the floor to kind of ground the energy. So find your way into a comfortable seat and you might want to have a block for this practice. We will use a strap. So you might grab a belt or something like a strap and take a few moments to just settle into your seat. Find your seat and you might rock a little bit forward and back. Drawing your awareness down towards the sitting bones. Just noticing the parts of you that are touching ground, touching earth. And from this base, this foundation, what would it feel like to invite a little laying through your spine? And softening through the face and the jaw, the belly.

You notice what has your attention in this moment. A lot happening on the planet and in the world right now. You might notice the swirling going on in the mind or an ebb and flow of emotions in the body, sensations. Taking a few moments to really tune in. And as you tune in, begin to tether your attention to the breath. Just become aware of the body receiving breath, the lungs receiving the breath and then releasing the breath. The softening, letting go, emptying. Noticing if and when the mind kind of wanders away from the breath. Where does it go? What is it up to? Gently coming back towards the breath and the sensations in the body.

Be aware of the outer and inner soundscape. Our teacher, Ravi Ravindra, reminds us that wander and anxiety cannot coexist. Wander and anxiety cannot coexist. So how to cultivate and nourish this sense of wonder, delight, and joy in our practice and in our daily lives. And like meditation, joy isn't something we necessarily do, right, or try and make happen, but rather something that we have an energy that spontaneously arises from within when we're fully absorbed in the present moment. Whether we're with a child or a beloved, a loved one, we're fully immersed in whatever our passion is, wherever we find ourself. We'll carry this into our practice today as we slow down and investigate.

Taking the last few moments here to bring your hands together, that's your heart. That's your heart. And in this moment, you might set an intention for your practice as a way to align your energy. You perhaps offer a dedication, dedicate your practice to someone or something on the planet, listening to the inner whispers of the heart. Become aware of your next inhale and exhale and bowing forward and in. When you feel ready, we'll transition onto the back. So finding your way there and make sure you have a strap nearby. And just start as you come onto your back, bend your knees and ground the soles of the feet. I'm just going to start with some cacao movement, supine, let your arms open into the shape of cactus or maybe it's goalpost position, keeping your pelvis on the floor moving with breath. So as you inhale, begin to let your back arch, lift the lumbar spine and let your chin soften towards your heart. And then with your exhale, keep your pelvis on the earth, curl the tailbone under, let the head rock back and up as you feel the back ribs on the floor and that scooping of the deep low belly. And again, inhale, relax the belly, arch the back, chin softens down, you're in the shape of a back bend extension, exhale, curl the tailbone under, navel to spine, head rocks back and up and continue a few more rounds of exploring your own internal pacing and rhythm here with breath.

You might bring your mind's eye, your attention into your spine, healing and sensing the articulation of the spine, the joints, the movement of the tissues, and tuning from the tailbone all the way up through the neck. A few more rounds here, here, relaxing the body as you inhale, breath into the belly, arch the back, chin softens down, exhale, curl the tailbone under, maybe pressing through the heels as you feel that scooping of the deep low belly, head rocks back and up, just a few more, the warming and waking up the spine, soft for the eyes and the jaw. Nice, and then relaxing the effort for a moment here, go ahead and interlace your fingers behind the head with the elbows wide. And we'll continue this movement and add a bit of a sit up here. So just start by pressing your elbows down towards the floor and let your back arch again. So you're in that extension. And then with your exhale, lift your head up off the floor with your hands, curl your tailbone under and bring your elbows towards each other, scoop the tailbone, that's it. Lower down, that's the inhale, elbows wide, arch the back, exhale, lift and curl, tailbone draws under. Let's find about three more, inhale to arch, opening, exhale, lift and curl, lower down, inhale to arch, exhale, lift and curl, one more, inhale to arch. And with your exhale, curl and lift, and then just slowly lower, releasing the head, releasing the arms, pause and notice. All right, so we're not only strengthening the core with that, we're also kind of releasing the connective tissue, the fascia, the back of the spine, shoulder blades.

From here, we're going to move into one of my all-time favorites called the shimmy. You're going to press your feet and heels into the floor and just begin to let yourself rock up and down. And it's less in the pelvis and more as if you're riding a horse and you're kind of trotting up and down and go for it, up and down, up and down, maybe a little bit faster here, let the body completely relax. Nice. Here, we're stimulating the nerves of the parasympathetic, right, that emanate from our sacrum, the base of our spine, and move up into the brainstem, and it's stimulating those endorphins that help us feel alive, at ease, inspired. A few more moments here, a little bit faster. Yeah, up and down, let the skin move, let the flesh move, and then pause. You might keep your knees bent, you might stretch your legs out on the floor, palms open, and notice how you feel. Knees sensing the inner pulsations, and streams and rivers of energy. Yogi's called prana. Nice. Let's find a clearing breath. Inhale. Exhale, let it go. Yeah, I feel better already. Let's go ahead and bend our knees for windshield wipers. Bring your feet nice and wide, stretch your arms out to your sides. Just begin to let your knees rock from side to side here, nice and fluid through the hips, and what would it feel like to let your head rock away from your knees? You're feeling this kind of counter rotation through your whole spine. Here you might experiment with turning your palms up or spinning your palms down towards the floor.

You might continue stretching your arms overhead, just to find a bit more length and space through the side body, and the next time your knees fall over to the right side, pause with your knees to the right and begin to stretch and lengthen up through your left arm, finding a bit more length here. You might stay right here, you might bring your right ankle on top of your left leg if that would feel good and useful. I'm going to allow for a exhale, let the belly soften back of the left shoulder blade and lung releasing, and internally working with our attention. So you bring your mind's eye, your imagination into your left lung. Notice the quality of the breath. You feel some of expansion through the side body, intercostals, down into the diaphragm, the psoas, and the hip flexor. And tuning from your left lung, draw your awareness up through the pathway of your left nostril.

And notice the quality of the breath through just your left nostril. You might feel like there's a whole world waiting for you there, noticing the texture, even the temperature, finding space between your eyebrows and the base of your skull. And this is a practice of darana, cultivating this steady single-pointed attention. Eventually relax the effort of your attention there in the lung and the nostril. You might free that right ankle, and on your inhale, let the knees come up to the center and exhale over to the other side. That might be your left side. And then stretch on up through that right arm. Find a little bit more length there. Again, always customize it for your body, your shoulder, your knee, and hip. You might stay here. You might bring that left ankle on top of the right leg. Again, with an exhale, let the right shoulder blade and lungs settle, drawing your mind's eye, your awareness into your right lung. Notice how the breath follows your attention. This in and of itself is a miracle.

And tuning from your right lung up through the pathway of your right nostril. Notice the quality of the breath through just your right nostril. Again, the texture, the temperature. Notice if it feels similar or different from the left. A few more moments here. And you might stay with this mystery a bit longer when you feel ready. Relax the effort of your attention there and inhale, let the knees come up. Maybe a few more rounds of windshield wipers side to side or hugging the knees into the chest and rocking from side to side here for a few moments. Let's go ahead and look for our strap. We're going to bring the strap around the bottom of the right foot. You might bend and extend it a few times, just easing into the hamstrings in the back of the leg this morning. Just really mindful of your knee joint.

You think maybe a soft bend there. And then let the hands release. Let the shoulders soften. Find ease in your neck and feel the presence of your back body spreading on the floor. So back of your lungs, down into the ribs, down into the low back in the sacrum. You might keep your left foot on the floor to support your back or you might extend out through your left leg and feel the energy of your left leg as you engage. And then let's bring the strap into our right hand and from the right hip joint, just nice and easy, let the right leg float from side to side. Exploring the landscape of sensations through the inner and outer leg line and the hip joint. You did some wonderful work with the IT band with Miles.

And notice the quality of your breathing. You find some stability through your left hip, a sense of earth and grounding. And you might stay with this. It might feel good to let your right leg open out to the right, moving in the direction of your right shoulder. And then what would it feel like to maybe lengthen a little bit more through the inner right heel and maybe exploring a deeper external rotation through your right hip as you spin the toes towards the floor, heel towards the sky. Yeah, or can you soften a bit through the face? Notice what you choose to do with your left hand. It might be on your hip. You might stretch it out to your side or you might reach that left arm overhead, just feeling that full line of energy on the left side body. Take your time when you feel ready. On the inhale, draw your right leg back up towards the sky, pass the strap into your left hand. You find a little bit more space through the outer right hip, feeling into the outer leg line, the IT band, moving into that piriformis muscle. You might stay with this. You might morph your way into a spinal twist as you bring your right leg across towards your left shoulder. It might feel good to stretch your right arm out. Breathing here and with the exhale softening, evening into your spiral, your twist, finding that ease in your neck. You might stay with this a bit longer. Again, honoring your own internal timing and rhythm.

When you feel ready, let the right leg reach back up towards the sky. You might stay right here with the strap in both hands. You might on your exhale draw your chin into your chest, walk your hands up the strap, maybe float that left leg, curl up and feel how you can kind of hug everything into your midline. And then just slow, take your time rolling back down. Keep your right leg reaching to the sky, bend your left knee, remove the strap and we're going to externally rotate through the thigh and foot there. Bend your right knee, bring that right ankle on top of the left leg and pause. We're in our figure four shape. You might stay with this. You might draw the left leg in towards your chest as you flex the right ankle. Let yourself rock here from side to side. You might leave your right hand through the window, finding the back of the left leg or maybe around the shin. If your head is dropping back in space, you might bring an extra blanket or pillow under the head. You might play with rocking the shape over to the left a little bit as you lengthen through outer right hip and moving deep into that piriformis muscle. Always with the invitation to breathe into where you feel it and allow for a generous exhale and a softening releasing and tension and holding, creating room and space for whatever is arising, allowing the hip to open and release in its own way and in its own timing like any relationship. Allow for an inhale and as you're ready, exhale slow, ground through your left foot and ground through your right foot. Let's stretch the legs out for a moment. Palms up, shape of shavasana. You'll notice and sense the space perhaps through your right hip joint and down through your leg, clearing breath, inhale and then exhale everything. When you feel ready, bend your knees. You might hug your knees back into your chest, a little reset wobble, easing our way into the left side. Go ahead and look for your strap and bring it around the bottom of your left foot, however you'd like to do that. You might start by bending and extending a few times, easing into the hamstrings on this side and then eventually moving towards that extension, drawing the left toes towards you as you stretch out through your heel. With your exhale, let the fingers soften, let the shoulders release, and feel the back body releasing, spreading. Again, you might keep your right foot on the floor, extend out through your right leg, feeling the energy through that right leg as you bring the strap into your left hand.

And we're easing from side to side, initiating the movement from the left hip joint, and just exploring the sensation through the leg, finding that stability through your right hip. And you might stay with this. You might open from the hip joint, open that left leg out to the left and the play here is to move in the direction of the left shoulder rather than dropping like straight out on the floor. A little bit of resistance there and then you might play with lengthening through the inner left heel and then from your left hip joint maybe kind of spiral as you spin the heel towards the sky, the toes towards the floor. Check in with your right hand. You might keep it on the hip. You might stretch it out or overhead. Feeling your energy expand, breathing. Beautiful. You might stay where you are a bit longer. You might on your inhale draw your left leg back into the midline, pass your strap into your right hand and bring it across the body.

And it doesn't take much to feel a lot here. You might stay with this. You might find the shape of the spinal twist as you bring that left leg towards the right shoulder. And then maybe stretch the left arm out from the heart. And that ease in your neck. Enjoy the breath. Allow the inhale to create space and the exhale to soften. And easy through the eyes and the throat. You might stay where you are a bit longer. When you feel ready on an inhale, let your left leg move back up towards the sky.

Bring the strap into both hands. You might stay where you are. You might on the exhale begin to draw the chin into the chest. Feel your abdominals. And then turn on as you bring your forehead towards your left shin bone and you might play with floating the right leg up off the floor. Again, feel that curl and hug into the midline. Slowly roll the spine back down. Keep your left leg high. Bend your right knee. Ground the foot. Externally rotate your left thigh and foot. Bend the left knee and bring that left ankle across the right leg. You might stay here. You might draw that right thigh into the chest. Rock a little bit. Flex the left ankle. Breathing into where you feel it.

You might leave your left arm through the pretzel. Finding the back of the right leg or top of the shin. You can also work with the strap here around the back of the leg. Allow for a little bit of a wobble and a rock. This side might feel totally different. And your hip joint and knee. And you might play with rocking it over to your right a little bit as you find a little bit more length and space through outer left hip. And creating room and space for whatever your experience is in this moment.

Hmm. Nice. Last few moments here. And allow for an inhale. When you're ready, exhale slow. Release the hands. Ground the sole of your right foot. Ground the sole of your left foot. You might pause here. You might stretch the arms and the legs out wide. Shape of Shavasana for a moment. And feel the weight of your bones drop. And tuning towards the inner sensations and currents.

Clearing breath. Exhale. We'll just take a moment to bend the knees again and bring the soles of the feet together. Knees wide coming into a symmetrical shape here. Hands might rest on the belly. This might feel really nice. Opening the hips. Feeling a bit more awareness here through the pelvic floor. You might stretch your arms overhead. A little cactus opening. Or even bring the hands around the elbows. And allow for an exhale. Feeling the ribs softening down. You're finding a bit more length through the low back and the tailbone. Hmm. You might stay with this a bit longer. When you feel ready, just scoop your knees up with your hands. Hug your knees into your chest. From here, we're going to transition onto the belly into a prone position. So just find your way there when you're ready. And we're going to start by bringing the elbows wide and letting the forehead rest on the hands. Allow for an exhale. And feel the weight of the body. The weight of the bone settling. Feel this release of the pelvis into earth. You might stay here. You might join me in exploring a variation of cobra bhujangasana.

We're going to start by tucking our toes under. So walk your toes towards your face. Stretch your heels away from you and begin to lift your kneecaps up off the floor. You'll feel your quad muscles engaging here. So the legs are super active. Feel the pelvis releasing down. Keep your arms wide as you inhale, lifting up. So coiling up through the chest. And you're just finding that that edge, that appropriate edge of sensation as you look down. And then feel how you can kind of wiggle and drag the heart forward a bit. Finding some traction through the thoracic spine. Stay long in the neck. And the back body is engaged, right? The legs are engaged. Hamstrings. Feeling that shortening of the muscles in the back. And then when you're ready, exhale, release forehead to earth. Untuck the toes and pause. You might stay with this. You might join me in one more round. Tucking the toes under. Feel the energy in the legs, reaching back through the heels. And on an inhale, lifting the chest.

Feel how you can drag the heart forward, finding that traction through the spine. You might notice that one side of your back, your spine feels kind of stronger or weaker than the other. I noticed that for me. Finding that length in the neck, the strength in the back body. And then when you're ready, exhale, just slowly melt forehead to earth. Point the toes. And allow for an exhale. Take your time. Bring your forehead down. Slide your palms underneath your shoulders. Hug the elbows in. Tuck your toes under. And let's go ahead and press ourselves up onto the knees. And ease our way back into an active child's pose here. Tucking the toes rounding your way back. And maybe feeling that dull, achy stretch through the whole back body. Maybe shoulder blades down through the spine, the low back. You might stay with this. You might ease your way back towards child's pose. Eventually making our way into a downward facing dog. Tucking the toes under. Spreading the fingers wide, lifting up. And you might pedal your feet out. You might come high up onto the balls of your feet. And then play with bending your knees as you maybe let the heels get heavy towards the earth. Finding space through the upper back as you really surrender the weight of the head. From your down dog, nice and easy, walk your feet towards your hands. Uttanasana, standing forward bend. Soft bend through the knees. Let yourself fold forward and in for a few moments. You might shake the head out gently. And a yes and no.

Soft bend through the knees. Chin into the chest. Curl the tailbone under and slowly begin to round and roll the spine up. Feeling the heart, the shoulders, the head last. And then allow for a exhale here. Just take a few moments before we move into some energizing sun salutations to feel the blood, feel the energy, feel the presence in the soles of your feet. Soles of the feet opening to earth. Nice. Feet about hips width apart, spreading the toes. As you're ready, reach the arms forward and up and pause here before we move into chair pose. Uttanasana, feel how you can establish that yummy, the words of Arturo, that yummy length and lift in the spine. Let it be a celebration and feel how you can also draw your front ribs in, lengthen the tailbone, and feel some awareness in the back body, the back ribs. Stay with this as you bend your knees for chair pose and then hinge at the hips. Stay long through the spine and the neck. Shift the weight back into the heels and find that fullness of breath in the back body. Very strengthening and heating here. Inhale, exhale forward fold, release the head and the arms. As you inhale, half arch, you might slide the hands up the shins, lengthen. Exhale, bend your knees, ground your hands. Let's find a plank pose. Step back and pause and plank. Maybe the first plank of the day, reach back through the heels, forward through the heart, and feel you can lift and draw the deep low belly up towards your spine. You might lower the knees or lower all the way onto the floor. Forehead comes down, sweep the fingers alongside the body for Shalabhasana, locust. As you're ready, inhale, lift the heart. You might lift the legs and feel how you can draw the back body into the spine, feeling the space through the chest. Inhale lifts you up, exhale lowers you down. Slide the hands under the shoulders, elbows in, tuck the toes under, press your way up and back into downward facing dog. Take a few moments in your down dog. Adding on as you're ready. Inhale, lift your right leg up to the sky, bend your knee, open your hip. Inhale, stretch the right leg back into the sky, square the hip, and with your exhale, knee to nose, hover shoulders over wrists, step your right foot between your hands for warrior one. Pivot onto the outer edge of your back left foot, stay low on the legs as you inhale, rise up into your warrior one, and about five breaths here. Feel you can draw the tailbone under and feel that lift in the low belly, the ribs lifting up, the ease in the neck, breathing here. Yeah. Feeling your strength, feeling the inner ease and space. Inhale on your warrior one, exhale, release the hands, spin onto the ball of your back left foot, lower the back knee, and then draw your hips back. Extend through your right leg, draw the right toes towards you as you exhale and lengthen. Slow bend the right knee, find the shape of the lunge. You might stay low or bring your hands onto the front leg. Maybe inhale, sweep the arms up for low crescent, and feeling the support and lift from the back of the heart, space in the front body and the throat. From here, bend your left elbow, bring the fingers behind the back, bring the right hand onto the left elbow. As you inhale, lengthen, exhale, maybe a side bend to your right. So this is a theme we've been exploring.

Opening up the left side body, find a place where your head feels good. Breathing. Inhale, come back to center, stretch the arms up. Exhale, release the arms, maybe interlace the fingers behind the back as you inhale, open the chest and shoulders. Exhale, release the hands down around that front foot, tuck the back toes, lift the back knee, ground your left hand as you inhale, sweep the right arm up as you twist to the right, twisting lunge. Reach back for the left heel, forward through the heart. Kneasy in the neck, sweep that right hand down, coming into a long pyramid stance. You can stay high on that back foot as you play with kind of drawing that right hip back. You might lengthen your spine, you might round. As you're ready, bend the right knee, shape of the lunge, step back into your down dog. You might stand down dog or inhale forward into plank. Exhale, lower onto the belly for shalabhasana, locust forward on the floor, sweep the fingers alongside the body, and with your inhale, lifting up. Feel the energy in the fingers, the toes. Again, look down so the neck can lengthen. The inhale brings you up, exhale lowers you, slide the hands under the shoulders, tuck the toes under, press up, get round and back, up down dog. A few moments here. As you're ready, second side, inhale the left leg up, bend the knee, open the hip, feel the weight of the head release, stretch that left leg back up to the sky, square the hip, inhale, exhale, knee to nose, step it through for warrior one. Ground through outer edge of the back foot and inhale, sweep the arms up, finding your warrior one, your stance. You can draw the tailbone under, find a little bit more lift and length and settle in. Breathing, ah, expanding and opening. Nice. And now when you're ready, exhale, release the hands, spin onto the ball of your back foot, lower the back right knee, draw your hips back, half split. Drawing the left toes towards you as you lengthen the hamstrings, bend your left knee, low crescent lunge, hands might rise up onto that front leg. You might inhale, reach the arms up to the sky. You might stay with this and just enjoy the lift, enjoy the reach. Or you might bend your right elbow, bring your fingertips behind your back, left fingertips onto the right elbow, you inhale to lengthen and then exhale, side bend to your left. Getting into that hip flexor, psoas, the diaphragm, breathing here. Eventually inhale back up to center, stretch the arms up, exhale, release them down around the left foot, round the right hand as you inhale for twisting lunge, left arm reaches up, twisting to the left, reach back through your right heel, forward through the heart, on that ease in the neck. Sweet that left hand down and find pyramid pose. As you turn the hips, you can stay high on the ball that back foot, stay long and lengthen or curl and round. Bend the front knee, step back downward dog, maybe one more vinyasa here, inhale into plank, exhale lower all the way down for shalabhasana, forehead comes down, inhale heart lifts, legs lift, maybe arms lift. You might lean to one side and lean to the other side. Exhale, lower down, tuck the toes, press up and back, downward facing dog. From down dog, let's walk the feet towards the hands, bend the knees forward fold, making our way into chair pose from here, utkatasana, bend the knees a lot, shift the weight back into your heels and on an inhale rise up into your chair pose. Again feel the navel draw towards the spine, the fullness in the back ribs, the strength in your legs. Inhale and exhale, press your feet under earth, reach your arms to sky, lengthen and exhale, who release the arms, pause, feeling your life force beating within.

All right, we're going to step the feet wide and we're going to first find a little bit of a bounce here and we explored this with sunniti. I learned this once in a meditation retreat from a zen monk called the mung, the zen bounce and we're going to just bounce. Let your arms swing, keep your feet on the floor and just go for it. This is kind of like our standing shimmy here and let the skin go, the flesh and you might feel this all the way up into your face. A little bounce, bounce, bounce, nice and then pause, let the palms open and find that ease in your neck and notice how you feel. Let's feel this energy now into our standing series. Bring your feet wide, we're setting up for a warrior two and we're going to journey into half moon. If you know you like a block in half moon, you might have it outside of your right leg. As you come into your warrior two on the right side, have your right knee bending and then let's pause here in warrior two and let's start first fight with palms facing down and just see what this feels like as you reach the energy right out through the fingers. Who's rooting through the outer edge of the back foot, of course the ease in the neck. Open the palms now towards the sky, inhale, press through the ball the right foot, right leg straightens, arms reach, exhale warrior two. Two more like this, inhale, arms reach, exhale, right knee bends, warrior two, last one, inhale, arms lift, exhale, warrior two, from warrior two reverse. Slide the back hand down, inhale, reach the right arm up, easing our way into triangle pose, press into the ball of your right foot, feel all that length and space through the right side. Carry this into your triangle pose as you reach, reach, reach and lengthen. Now you might bring that right hand onto your shin, block, earth, maybe reach that left arm up towards the sky, opening out through the ribs, the lungs, finding that ease in the neck. You might sweep your top arm down over the ear as you reach and lengthen outer left edge the fingers. Picking up space here in your triangle pose. You might stay with this for a few more breaths. You might play with bending your right knee, looking down, working with a block, bringing your fingers out as you lift the back left leg. Balancing here, feel the energy through your back left leg, maybe reaching that top left arm up, breathing, and then slow bend your left knee, find your warrior two legs, we'll pause in warrior two, graceful, and then press into the ball of your right foot, turn that right foot in, we'll find the other side, warrior two on the left, bending the left knee, reaching the arms, and feel your energy, expand. Nice, palms up for warrior dance, inhale, press through the ball of your left foot, straighten the left leg, exhale, left knee bends, warrior two, two more, inhale, arms reach, exhale, warrior two, last one, inhale, exhale, warrior two, from here reverse, peaceful, slide the right hand down, inhale your left arm up, and then press into the ball of your left foot, feel that length, take this into your triangle pose as you reach, reach, reach, reach, feel your ability to lengthen, left hand might find the shin, a block, your ankle, your top arm might reach towards the sky as you feel that rotation through the ribs, the lungs, maybe sweeping that top arm down to the floor overhead as you extend and lengthen, and easy in the neck, you might stay with this for a few more breaths or play with half moon as you bend the left knee, maybe work with your block, bringing your left fingertips to the floor block and lifting up, maybe stretching that top arm up, feel the energy in the top leg, breathing, embracing the wobble, you feel the strength of the standing leg, stay with this, or slowly gracefully bend the standing leg, come back into your more stable perhaps warrior two, hands on the hips, turn that left foot in, just toe heel the feet a little closer together, ah this feels nice, from here stretch the arms out, roll the shoulders forward, interlace the fingers behind the back, inhale lift the heart, exhale hinge at your hips, forward fold, uttanas, let the head release and our prasarita padottanasana, arms might stretch up out and over, maybe there's a soft bend in the knees happening here, take your time, slowly release the hands to the sacrum, you might walk the hands out in front of you for a hammock, as you shift the hips away from the hands, softening of heart to earth, surrendering, letting go, nice, from here let's just toe heel our feet a little closer together, coming into a squat malasana, heels and toes out and just sink down as far as it feels right for your hips and knees, being really honest with your body and what feels right, good and then uttanasana, toe heel the feet a little closer under the hips, soft bend through your knees, chin into your chest, together let's roll it nice and slow, tap into the strength of your legs, your core, unfurling, fixing your yoga costume, feeling the heart, feeling the shoulder, shoulders and feeling the head and settling for a few moments, finding that ease through your neck, allow for a nice bring the feet a little wider apart and we'll do a little side to side twist here, letting the arms go and relaxing your focus, your attention, you might notice one side of the spine, the back feels a little tighter and more open than the other, nice and taking another moment to settle in our mountain pose, tadasana, feeling the energy within the space within and all around us, we'll take this with us, do a sun salutation coming down to earth, spreading the toes, bringing the hands together, as you're ready inhale let's reach the arms up, ground through your feet to lengthen up, reaching towards the sky, exhale, soft bend through the knees, hinge at the hips, find your forward fold, releasing, inhale half arch, you might draw the hands up the legs as you find that length in your spine, exhale, bend your knees, ground your hands, step back into your final plank, reach back through the heels, forward through the heart and let's lower down for one last salabasana, forehead on the floor, sweep the fingers, the toes back and inhale rise up and you might kind of wiggle little side to side, feeling the freedom, um hmm, long through the neck, exhale, lower down, bring the hands underneath you, tuck your toes under, press your way up, round back into your favorite version of a child's pose and depending on your knees and hips that might be on your back, knees into chest, allow for a little wobble from side to side, beautiful, you might stay where you are a bit longer, kind of grounding the energy back down to the earth, take your time when you feel ready, join me on your back, find a little bit more back bending, using our way into bridge pose as you come on to your back, bend your knees, bring your heels in line with your sitting bones and if you have a blink under your head you might remove it, feel the essence of your cat cow here before you move up into your bridge, and allow for an inhale and as you exhale curl the tailbone under, press through your feet, lift your pelvis up, feeling that length in the front body, hands might reach towards the earth, you might roll and tuck the shoulders under the back, maybe finding that interlace, the buoyancy out through the lungs, the chest, the heart, just spreading the awareness and the effort evenly through the shape, take your time as you're ready, slowly roll your way back down, you might stretch the arms up, rounding upper back, mid back, low back, beautiful, you might stay with another round or two of bridge, if you are inspired and feeling a wheel, Urdhva Dhanurasana you might join me, bringing your hands around your ears, drawing the elbows in towards the midline, now you can tuck your toes under or curl your tailbone under, inhale here, exhale you might press up onto your head at first, feel the shoulder blades lift up the back, inhale, exhale, maybe press up into the shape of a wheel, grounding through the feet, see if you can relax a bit for the buttocks, easy through the neck, opening up, breathing wherever you are in this moment, and then taking your time if you're in the wheel, chin into chest, bend the elbows and slowly, mindfully rolling your spine back down to earth, you might hug your knees under your chest, you might find another bada konasana, soles of the feet together, knees fly, and resting in the space you've created, and most likely it'll feel nice to find a spinal twist on our way into shavasana, let's roll over to the right side, bring the knees over and let the top left arm open, inhale, exhale, softening the belly, and the moments here, and tuning into your own internal timing and rhythm, you might stay here a bit longer, you might unwind and ease your way over to the other side, bending the knees, rolling over and letting the top right arm open, breathing and softening in, and you might stay where you are a bit longer, gradually lining your way up, any last movement before stretching out into shavasana, where you might join me in closing in a seated meditation, removing yourself, the time and the space to rest, and with your seated joining your hands together at the heart with me, gathering up the energy of the practice, the love, the light, the awareness, and offering it up and out for the benefit of all beings everywhere, breathing in, and the soft bow forward and in.

Namaste. Namaste. Thank you so much for joining me and have a beautiful day.


Hope H
1 person likes this.
Love this practice Alana! So fluid and rejuvenating. My whole body is vibrating with joy. Thank you. 
Alana Mitnick
Hi Hope H! So happy to hear this. I felt the same way during the practice! Grateful to be in Yoga together. Thank you for being here, Hope! Love, Alana 
1 person likes this.
This was beautiful, as ever, Alana. I love that you allow for fluidity and movement, and also stillness and inner exploration. A perfect balance.
Alana Mitnick
Thank you for your beautiful words and presence, Ali. So delighted that you enjoyed the movement, stillness, and exploration. Love and namaste, Alana 
Rosanna S
1 person likes this.
What an amazing practice after another difficult week. I loved the cobra variation. There was a gentleness and strength that really translated through the rest of the class. I feel so much more tension-free, and this was a great complement to Arturo's class yesterday. Thank you!
Alana Mitnick
Hi Rosanna S! So delighted to hear from you! What a wonderful observation... gentleness and strength. I am so happy that you enjoyed this practice and found some relief and ease. Thank you for being here with Wade, Arturo, Suniti, Miles, and myself. Enjoy your Retreat! Love, Alana 
Lise G
1 person likes this.
Hi Alana!
What a lovely practice, both grounding and energizing! I really appreciate this energizing balance! Namaste
Alana Mitnick
Hi Lise G! So glad you enjoyed Day 13 of our Retreat! I remember feeling both grounded and energized after this teaching this practice. Thank you for being here and joining us in Yoga! Namaste and Love, Alana 
Louisa R
1 person likes this.
This practice was so energizing and engaging, yet calming.  I could not think of a better way to start my day.  Thank you Alana!
Alana Mitnick
Wonderful, Louisa R! May this calm energy support you throughout your day.   So delighted to be practicing together! Love, Alana 
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