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Season 2 - Episode 7

Flow into Balance

60 min - Practice


We are all in essence channels to the Divine. Bring a little balance back into your life with this grounding Vinyasa flow. We open with an energy balancing mudra, then bring that energy into standing postures that challenge strength and stability while working the balance in Side Plank, Half Moon, and Warrior 3. We move into a floor sequence to open the hamstrings in Hanumanasana, Visvamitrasana, and Compass pose, before a seated Nadi Shodhana breath awareness practice and Savasana. You will feel strong, steady, and at ease.
What You'll Need: Mat, Strap, Block (2)


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Happy day, everybody. Thanks for joining Joyful Flow season two. We are on week six. Thanks for being with me. And if you've been following through the other weeks, you'll see a kind of ebb and flow of our journeys through stronger vinyasas and flows to softer ones. Today, we're going to be doing a balanced flow. That means we're going to be focusing on open and closed hips equally in our standing postures and our lunging postures. And also, we're going to be playing also with balance on our feet and a couple with our hands. So today for your props, you may need two blocks and a strap. And as we start to think about balance, we usually think about the physicality of balance, but we also are going to journey into it energetically today. The sutras that Patanjali, our wise sage gave us, he has a beautiful script, a script with the yamas and niyamas. And today we're going to focus on one of the niyamas, it's called santosha. Santosha basically means contentment. And so we're going to try to find a little bit of contentment and ease because I think that really equates to balance. That balance, that sense of ease that when we go through our week we are not expecting to be attached to the euphoria and the joys, but we're also not in this place of experiencing and being too attached to the feelings of suffering. We're trying to find that balance within because we know that the rise and fall of life is going to give us both. So today as we go through this journey today, we're going to be coming back to the idea of contentment and santosha in our practice. One more thing. You know how you always say, I'll be happy when? That kind of idea. When we work with santosha, we're trying to find a sense of ease and a contentment in the perfect moment. Forget about what's going to happen in the future. Get grounded, get focused, and we'll be present for ourselves in the now. We are starting standing today. This is our first standing series for our joyful flow on season two. So come up to a nice tall tadasana. Tadasana, for this version, we're going to do with our feet hip distance, lining up the second and third toe with your heels so that we're turning our inner thighs slightly in and back, lengthening the tailbone down, lifting the ribs up. For today, as we open the shoulders just a little bit, I want to give you a little tiny micro bend in your knees so you're feeling the use of the quads and the hip flexors as you close your eyes. You can place the palms together in prayer. This moment where we find balance right here is the two sides of self, two energy sides of the body, the yin, the yang, the pingala, the ida, the masculine, and the feminine. This anjali mudra is where we meet and we find balance right here. And it's beautiful opportunity to bring it right to the heart center, the balancing chakra between the bottom three chakras and the top three chakras. So as you settle in, get grounded into the earth, a little bend in the knees so you feel really stable here in your balancing pose. Imagine that earth energy coming up from the feet. I like to visualize this kind of reddish brown light coming up from the earth like a lava kind of idea coming up the legs all the way up to the pelvic floor, the base of the spine where a muladhara chakra resides, our root chakra. We can imagine that bright red light at the root chakra, bring that energy up right to the sacral area with a bright orange light as fadisthana, bright yellow light of our core chakra, maniputta, the green light right where your hands are at the heart center of Anahata, the bright blue light of Vishuddha chakra and that indigo mystery, that sense of intuition encouraging us to connect with source at the brow on your chakra and the crown chakra where that energy starts to cultivate up towards the divine because we're all just a little channel to the divine as we try to find that divine, that divinity in ourselves. So as you're connecting with the breath, just enjoy the inhales, the pauses and the exhales and feel grounded and rooted in this experience on earth and feel the connection to your heart center where the breath is moving, expanding. Give yourself a couple more rounds of breath where you have a pause after your inhale and a pause after your exhale. And then go back to our intention today, santosha, contentment. I will be perfectly present right here in this moment and I'll try to find some contentment and ease with whatever is unfolding in my day. Wonderful. Place your right hand right around the lower belly area, right about the waistband and place your left hand on top of your heart. Take a nice deep inhale in and just release with an a sound. Take that a little bit deeper all the way down to where you feel your hand. Take a nice big inhale. The first part of our om is that a sound and then bring your awareness to the heart center, that o sound. Take a nice big inhale. Do you feel the vibration at the palm? We'll place that right hand at the crown of the head and try to bring the mn sound, that humming sound all the way to the crown of the head. Take an inhale. Bring your right hand back down to the lower belly. Let's try those all together in a couple of seconds for each one. Take a nice big inhale. Try to feel the vibration in all three parts of the body. We'll do two more. Nice big inhale. Last one. You can do this one with your palms and prayer, your two hastas together, the solar and lunar energy. Nice big inhale. The sound of the om is what connects us to all. Universal connection.

Keep the palms together but bring your elbows, your forearms together and lift your elbows up the height of your shoulders. Keep that nice little bend in your knees. Separate the elbows for a little tiny back bend. I'm going to show you from the side angle. Really lift your ribs, sternum, chin and chest up. Squeeze your shoulder blades together. As you draw the elbows in again, engage your core. Pull the navel up and back. We're not going to round the spine for this version of our cat tilt. We're just going to really engage and pull the navel up and back. As you inhale, separate the palms. Lift the heart, sternum, chin and chest. As you exhale, draw towards the midline with the elbows. You can flex the muscles as well. Get a little bit of a pec contraction. Inhale, separate. Exhale, contract. Pulse with your breath. You got two more. Legs are softly bent and completely engaged. Exhale, draw to the midline. Nice everybody. Let's take one more round. A little bit more space, a little bit more squeeze and drawing back into center. The next time you inhale the palms and elbows away from each other, pause right here. Bring your fingertips to the tops of the shoulders and draw your elbows in and up with the inhale and round them back and down with your exhale. I want you to feel free to either do these at the same time, both elbows at the same time, or you can do your little whirly birds and get into one side. Sometimes we feel a little bit of tight in one shoulder and not the other, so it's nice to give yourself a little bit of freedom and range of motion here. Or you can do the chicken dance. Okay, we'll save that for later. Give yourself two more rounds. Last one. Good. Bring those elbows back up to the height of your shoulders. Bring the hands right behind the base of the head. Press the base of the head. So I got a little interlace going on. Press the head back, draw the chin towards the chest and draw the elbows towards each other for a little neck traction. Give yourself two more rounds of breath here. Pull the navel up and back and enjoy the stretch in the back of the neck. One more. Keep the hands where they are. Separate the elbows, taking a little side stretch to our right. Let the right elbow drop over to the right, but lift up through the right ribcage so you're still creating space here. Place the right hand on the right IT band and then send the left arm up and over the ear. Taking a nice little side stretch here. Breathing into the left side body. Nice, full inhales. Really go big with the inhales. Normal pauses and exhales. Come on back to center. Reinterlace your hands the non habitual way behind the base of the head. Press the head back into the palms. Draw the elbows in. Pull the chin slightly up and back. Give yourself a nice cervical stretch. The muscles along the spine of the neck and then separate the elbows. Once again, elbows over to your left. Right hand stays. Left hand, left IT band. Right arm reaches up and over for a nice side stretch. Pull up through the left ribcage. Excellent. As you come on back to center, we're going to set up for our first easy balancing posture. Take the heel of your right foot and place it just above your left ankle. Come back into a side stretch away from the externally rotated leg. Inhale the right arm up and over the ear. You're going to feel like you're going to drop into the left hip. Squeeze the left inner thigh towards the right and lift and lengthen the spine. From here, you can keep the left hand here for support or reach up and grab onto that right wrist for a deeper hip opening side bend. Breathe deeply into the right side body. Always with those side stretches, we go big with the breath on the inhales. One more round of breath. Great. Shake out the right leg. Shake out the left leg. Let's try the other side. Grounding into the right foot. Externally rotating, bringing that left heel just above the right ankle. Right hand to the hip or IT bend. A little press to the midline with your right inner thigh so your hip's not leaning out. Left arm up and over the ear. Maybe reach that right hand up for a side stretch here. All you've got to do is breathe. That's the good part about these side stretching postures. Most of the stretch comes from the inflation of the breath. One more big inhale. Exhale.

Bring your palms into prayer. Then bend both knees. I'm going to give you a little side angle here. Place your hands on top of the quad's easy cat and cow tilts in chair pose. Lengthen the heart, chin, and chest forward as you inhale. Round the spine. Pull the navel up and back as you press into the earth with your feet. Exhale. Inhale, lengthen forward. Heart, chin, and chest moving forward as you look up. If that's okay on your neck. Round the spine. Draw the chin towards the chest, but really pull the navel up and engage your core. You've got two more. Wonderful. Last one. Good. From here, go ahead and slide your hands down to your shins. Keep the palms at the shins. Keep the right hand where it is. Straighten the left leg. Inhale the left palm to the sky. Reach back in space with the left hand. Let the left hand drop to the floor. Circle it forward and all the way up for a little rotation in that shoulder. Let the right ear drop towards the right shoulder. Nice, easy forward folding twist and you get a nice little variation to create some space on that shoulder. One more round. Breath the left palm to the sky. From here, lengthen the spine. Press more into the toe pads and rotate the torso to the left. Nice, big inhale.

Create space and then exhale. Melt into it. Left hand comes to your left shin. Bend the left leg. Straighten the right leg. Right hand to the sky. Reach back in space with the right hand. Let the right hand drop. Reach forward. Slow, full back strokes through the air. Or if you're in Holland, maybe they're windmills. Circle it around. Explore your range of motion. Great. The next time you reach your right arm to the sky, pause right here. Lengthen the spine and softly turn to your right. Lengthen and rotate. Beautiful. Bring both hands down. Lengthen the spine and then bend into those knees. Round the spine and gauge your core. Roll all the way up. Inhale your palms to the sky. If you're not at the front of the mat, come to the front of the mat. You might be using your blocks at the front of the mat, so get your blocks handy and ready. Line your blocks up in front of your toes. Palms into prayer. Remember that om we were practicing, the three-part om. I invite you to om with me as we bow to the floor. Inhale the palms to the sky. Looking at the hips. Om. Palms to the shins. Lengthen the spine and lean forward a little bit more, so you're pressing into the toe pads. Great. Lengthen and engage the core. Bend both knees. Bring your hands on top of your blocks. Shift your weight to your left leg. Extend the right leg. It's the height of your hip. Toes pointing down. Squeeze the right inner thigh towards the midline. Lengthen the spine and just practice bending and straightening your standing leg. If you don't have blocks, you can always come up to your fingertips. That'll give you a little bit more length and space for your body. Engaging the left quad and glute. Bending it and straightening it. Give yourself two more rounds. Pulse with your breath. One more. We're really working on those muscles of balance with a little pulsation here. Step your right leg all the way back. Bring the left hand inside of the left leg. Lower the right knee to the floor. This will be the first option. You can use your blocks for your lizard pose. Elbows on top of your blocks. If you don't have blocks, just don't bend your elbows. Or if you can bring those elbows to the floor without the blocks, go for it. Hug the left inner thigh towards the midline. Option two. Lift the right leg off the floor. Press the heel away. Crown of the head and heel are moving in opposition as you pull the navel up to the spine. Two more rounds of breath. One more. Knee on or off the floor with your soft twist. Right hand stays. Left palm to the sky. Lengthen the spine and softly rotate. Get long. Create space for more rotation. The body likes that. Perfect. Lower the left hand back and side. Lower the right knee. Straighten the left leg as you walk your hands back. Feel free to use your blocks. Good. We're going to take a little circular movement at the ankle, giving ourselves a little space for the ankle compression when we do a lot of standing balancing postures on the foot. So give yourself a little bit of freedom in the ankle. Beautiful. Pull the toes back. Lengthen the spine. And then we'll place both hands on either side of the left foot. Send the left leg to the sky for your first down dog with one leg. So one legged dog, left leg to the sky. Rise up to the tops of the right toes. Push actively forward with your hands. Really grip the mat and push it away from your right foot. Lower the right heel. Two more rounds just like that. Lift the right heel and lower it. Waking up the calf muscle. Lift and lower. Let's all move to plank pose. Taking side plank on the right hand. Remember you can bring the right knee to the floor to make it a little softer. Pivoting the right foot if you're not bringing the knee to the floor. Stacking the feet. Pushing strongly forward and down with the left, with the right hand. So we were talking about balancing with the legs and the arms. This is our first balance for the muscles and the hands and the arms. Push actively forward and down.

Come to plank pose. Good. And then free your left leg. Give your right hand a break. Come up to your fingertips. If you're newer to this balance, bring the right knee to the floor before you stretch your right arm forward. Remember right knee on the floor is going to give you more stability. We're giving this right hand a break from all the work that it just did. Lower the right hand. Lower the left leg. Bend the elbows. Always option of coming to the knees first as you lower all the way down. Untuck the toes. Sphinx pose. Elbows right underneath the shoulders. With the toes untucked, glide the heart, sternum, chin and chest forward and really stretch the area around the lower back. Soften your shoulder blades down, moving the ribs forward. Let the chin nod down toward the chest and then lift away from the chest. So you're starting to feel a little bit of extension and flexion in the cervical spine area. Inhaling it up and exhaling slightly down and drawing up and back. Last one. Great. Replace your elbows with your palms. Tuck the toes under, pressing back to our down dog either through table or plank pose. Same leg we were working with last time. Shift your weight to your right leg. Inhale the left leg to the sky. As you press actively forward the second time in three-legged dog, you might feel that right hamstring able to sink a little bit deeper with the heel as you press the chest towards the thigh. Take a nice big inhale, look to the front of the mat. Exhale, step the left foot between your hands. Lower the right knee to the floor, left hand on top of the left thigh, right hand to the sacrum. Let's pulse it out here. This is one of my favorite little asanas this year. A lot of sitting going on this year and this one really releases that hip flexor, gets a nice stretch in the front body. When you're ready to find that ease in that hip flexor that's always flexed, settle into the space. Find that ease, that balance that we've been talking about and then interlace your hands behind the back. Instead of moving your fingertips down, move your fingers, your thumbs away from your sacrum to broaden the chest and to give yourself a little bit more space as you lift the sternum and chest. If that ease in that hip flexor is allowing you to move a little deeper, then drop into it a little bit more but counterbalance by lifting the sternum and chest so you don't feel anything in the lower back. Nice big inhale. Exhale, lower the hands back around that left foot. Blocks are an option. We're going back to that L shape, the standing L. Shift your weight to the left leg, lengthen the spine. This is a spot to play with balance. Come up to your fingertips, a little squeeze to the midline of the inner thigh, toes pointing down on the right leg. If you're playing with warrior three, bring your palms into prayer and lengthen the spine. Two more rounds of breath. Wonderful everybody. One more. Fingertips back to the block, right foot steps next to the left. Bend both knees. Just give yourself a little hang time here. Settle in. With both knees bent, engaging the core, passing all the way up to Tadasana. Round it up, engage the core. We did a lot of work on that left leg. So shift your weight to your right leg. We'll take a quad stretch for the left leg before we start the other side. You could use a wall if you need it. Grabbing the pinky toe side of the left foot, drawing the heel just outside of the glute, and then pulling the heels close to the glute as it'll go for your body. If you're reaching back with the right hand, make sure that the heel is pulling up and slightly outside of the glute as you squeeze the left thigh to the midline. Good. I'm dancing in my pose. Go ahead and shake it out. Alright. Hang up for side two. Palms into prayer. I invite you to own with me once again. Inhale the palms to the sky. Injune at the hips, all the way. Palms to the shins, lengthen the spine, flat back. We're here once again. Pull the navel up and back. Bend both knees. Bring your hands to your blocks or your fingertips to the floor. Shift your weight to your right leg and extend your left leg back the height of your hip. Walk your fingertips or your hands forward to find more space and length in the spine. Bend your standing leg and straighten the standing leg. Feel your way through the quad and the glute on that right side. Careful with the knee. Don't go too low as you explore. Plain and fine tuning, strengthening the muscles that we balance with. Finish off with our last bent right leg. Step the left leg all the way back. Bring your hands inside of the right leg. Lower the left knee to the floor.

If you're using your blocks for lizard pose, you can put your blocks right next to the right foot. Hug that right inner thigh to the midline so it's not a hip opener or still playing with the hip closers here. Stay here. Tuck the left toes under. Release the knee. Crown of the head moves forward. Heels, moves in opposition. Pull the navel up and back. Really feel the strength of this posture as the inner thighs adduct or squeeze towards the midline. Left hand stays. Left elbow stays. Take the twist. Keep drawing that right inner thigh in as you push back into the left heel if the knee is off the floor. Lengthen to rotate. One more round of breath. Big inhale and ring it out with the exhale. Lower the right hand. Straighten the right leg. If you're using your blocks, use the blocks we're circling at the right ankle. Giving a couple of nice little circles at the ankle and shin. We explore some more standing versions and balances on this posture. Wonderful. Flex the foot. Dorsey flex. Lengthen the spine and we'll bend the right leg. Right leg to the sky. One legged dog. Shift your weight to your left foot. Inhale the right leg up. Toes pointing down. Push actively forward with both hands. Lift the left heel off of the floor. Send the right heel a little higher. Keep the right heel high. Lower the left heel. Take two more pulses. Just like that. Higher with the heel. Feel your way through that calf hamstring on the left leg. Last one. Beautiful. Move to your version of plank pose. The knee can come to the floor as we take side plank on the left hand. Remember that knee down option. Stay with that knee down option. If you're using it, push forward and down with your left hand strongly. Squeeze to the midline with that left inner thigh. If you're in traditional Vashti Stasan, right hand stacks over the left. When we move to plank pose, give yourself a moment here. Option of keeping the left knee on the floor as you lift the right foot off. Giving that left hand to break, come up to your fingertips. Lengthen forward. Reach forward with the left hand. A nice fun balance pose. Remember the left knee can be on the floor if you're newer to this one. Build it up slowly. Lower the left hand. Lower the right leg. Knees to the floor. Option as you lower all the way down. Bend the elbows. Untuck the toes. Slide your palms next to the ribs. Glide your ribs forward. Lengthen the spine.

Lift up for an easy cobra and pulse your way down. Press to the tops of the toes. Inner thighs squeeze. Heart moves forward. Press and index and thumb. Easy cobra. Pulse your way down. Last two rounds. Pulse with your breath. Stay in your cobra. Low, medium or high for three full breaths. Inhales, holds. Exhales, pause. Holds, exhales, pauses. One more round. I'll meet you back in down dog. You can press through your table or plank on your way back. Right leg to the sky. One more time. In our one-legged dog. Toes pointing down. Squeeze to the midline. As you bow towards your left shin, actively push forward with both hands. Maybe the right leg will go a little bit higher this time, everybody. Exhale, look to the front of the mat. Step your right foot forward. Lower the left knee to the floor. Right hand. Right thigh. Left hand to the sacrum. Give yourself that little psoas-releasing pulse. Let the inhales help your eyes and the exhales help you melt into the front of the hip. Settle into it. Start to feel the ease in the front of that left hip flexor. As you find the ease, find the foundation. Tailbone lengthens down. Heart sternum and chin. Lift up in opposition. Opposite non-habitual interlace behind the back. Weird index finger on top. Move your wrists away from the sacrum and counterbalance by lifting the heart. Puff up the spine. Maybe take your drishti slightly up. Your focal point slightly up so you feel that release in the front of the neck. Wonderful, everybody. Lower your palms. Round your right foot. You can use your block at the front of the mat. Coming back to our L-shaped posture. High lunge is coming, though. Lengthen the spine. Internally rotate the back foot. Toes pointing down. Get long with the spine. Maybe a micro bend in that right leg so you're not locking. If you're coming up, preparing for Warrior III, come up to your fingertips or bring one or both palms into prayer. Get long with the spine while the crown of the head moving forward. Two more rounds of breath. One more. Lower the hands. Step the left foot forward. Bend both knees. Give yourself a little soft hang, a little soft sway from side to side. Settle into the breath. Find some ease in the forward fold. If you want to go a little bit deeper, the hamstrings are opening, you can wrap index, middle and thumb around your big toes. Peace fingers. Lengthen the spine and pull down just a little bit. Fire up your biceps. Can you find ease in the breath? Wonderful. Bend both legs. Engage your core muscles. Roll up to your stand. Shake it out for a second. We'll take our quad stretch with the right leg. The right leg was doing a lot of work. Your balance is on the left leg. You can use a wall with your left hand. Right hand reaches back for the pinky toe side of the right foot. Hug to the midline. Hang out with just one hand or reach for the big toe side of the foot with both. Draw the elbows towards the midline and draw the right heel slightly outside of the glute. Squeeze to the midline with the hips. Two more rounds of breath. Be with it for a second. I'm doing my dance again. One more round of breath and release. Shake it out. Beautiful guys. We're going to play with a little bit more of that standing L variation today. This time what I'd like you to do is try that L pose but invert it. We're going to balance on the right leg. You might want to keep your blocks really handy just slightly in front of the feet. Shift your weight to your right leg. Bring your hands to your hips for a moment. Extend your left leg, the height, the heel, the height of the hip if it goes that far. Creating that L shape and then reach the palms to the sky. Keep squeezing to the midline. Good. Bring your palms into prayer and slide the left heel back. If you need to take a little bend in the leg, go for it.

Reach back with your toes. Keep it hovering off the floor. Bring your palms to your block. How did that go? Hopefully well. All right. From here, take your right arm out to the side like a wing. Not too far up. Keep it in the height of the shoulder. As you exhale, bend your right leg. Hug your left knee towards the midline. Give your right hand a hug around both knees. Extend the spine. Lengthen and send the right arm back out to the side like a wing. Pulse with your breath. You're looking forward, not to your right. You're lengthening the spine as you extend your left leg and right arm. Two more rounds of breath. Feel the quad burning a little bit. One more. Extend your right arm. Bring your right hand to your sacrum. Lengthen the spine. Get as long as you can. Squeeze to the inner, that inner thigh towards the midline and start to look over your right shoulder. Draw that right elbow to the midline. It's a little prep for half moon twist. This is where we're staying today. Keep your right hand at your sacrum. Step the left leg all the way back. Lower the left knee to the floor. Back to our low lunge. Right hand is at the sacrum. Left palm reaches to the sky. Lengthen the tailbone down. Lift the heart sternum, chin and chest up. I always like throwing in a shoulder release, so if you want to join me here, left hand behind the head. Lean the head back into the palm so you get a deeper stretch through the shoulder girdle on the left side. Two more rounds of breath. Then we're going to play with a variation of the right hand. Send the left palm to the sky. Get it out of the way. Take your right hand around your left IT band and see if you can slide it down a little bit. For those of you that are really open in the front of the hip and have no lower back issues, you can always tuck your toes under on the back foot and then reach back for your heel, the pinky toe side of the foot. Counterbalance, lift your sternum, lift your chest and breathe like you're happy to be alive. Go back to that feeling of ease and effort, that place in the middle where we find santosha. Lower the left hand next to the left foot. How are you guys doing? Left hand stays, right hand opens up for the twist. Lift your left knee off the floor. Good. We're going to play with a fun variation here. Reach back with your right hand. Remember when you're doing our circles, take a couple of slow backstrokes through the air. Alright, the next time you reach back with your right hand, pause, reach back, pivot your left heel to the floor to the right and then slowly windmill your left arm up as if you're coming into warrior two. Straighten your right leg, peaceful warrior or reverse triangle. Slowly reverse it. What? Right hand reaches forward just like you did when you're reaching back. Left hand sweeps forward, right hand back in space, left hand to the floor, left heel pivots, right arm reaches back to the sky. Just reach back. Let's try a shortened version. As you sweep that right hand forward, pivot your left heel.

Rise up through warrior two, straight to left hand, left IT band, reverse triangle. We're going to try this transition a couple of times. I promise you're going to get it. After a couple of times, it's going to feel really easy and you're going to flow through. Windmill the hands back down. Left heel lifts, left hand to the floor, right hand to the sky. Reach back with the right hand. Windmill it forward, pivot your left heel. Rise all the way up to warrior two. Yeah, peaceful or reverse triangle. Last one. I'm feeling it now. I'm feeling you guys are feeling it. Lift your left heel off the floor. Easy lunge twist. Right arm to the sky. Last windmill back, reach back. As you sweep the right arm forward, use the momentum, pivot the heel. Pause in your warrior two. Nice work everybody. Drop the left hip a little, lift the right hip. Look over your right thumb. Anchor into your back foot, straighten the right leg, reverse triangle. Lift through both side bodies. Really get a nice lift through the left side body. Great. As you reach forward with that right hand, keep the right leg straight. Slide your left hip slightly over to the left. So the right hip lowers, the left hip lifts. Reach as far forward as you can with the right hand. Place it somewhere on the right thigh. Guide your left rib cage back with your left hand. Lengthen the spine. Get as long as you can first before you turn and then inhale that left palm to the sky. Stay here or slide the hand down a little bit without losing the foundation of the posture. So that left arm starts to roll forward. Stay where you are.

Just lengthen the spine. Give yourself a little bit more rotation. Perfect. Left hand comes to the left hip, right leg bends. This will help us get into the possible half bind here. Bring your right hand to the back of your waist and just pull that elbow in with your left hand. This could be your spot to stay or you can draw that elbow inside of the right thigh for a little shoulder internally rotated version of side angle. Great everybody. We're getting that shoulder internally rotated so that we can play with this next posture. Wonderful. Lower the palms inside of the right leg. Lower the left knee to the floor. Straighten the right leg. Pull the toes back. This could be your split. We've been here before. We've done a lot of work on the hamstring. If you want to slide that right heel forward a little bit or a lot, do it slowly and mindfully. When you get a little deeper in your split world, it's always nice to use blocks. You can bring the block up a little higher, a little lower if you need the block. It helps you find a spot where you can actually be in the posture without that fight, that gripping of the muscles of the face and stuff. We're going back to finding a little piece, a little ease, a little balance in a pose for most of us that's quite challenging. Hanamanasana. Great. This is going to set us up for a possible version of a low arm balance. When I say a possible version, I want you to know that we're going to do a different opportunity to approach this. Just see what it feels like first and then know you've got another opportunity. Bend your right leg. That left leg we're going to swing around behind us. The right heel is going to line up with the left knee. We're taking the right hand, the right shoulder, underneath the right thigh and walking the fingertips of the right hand forward. I'm purposely doing this so you can see where my hand goes. Pushing down with the right hand, reaching for the top of the right foot with the left hand and just drawing it in towards the chest. This is an arm balance right here. This is enough for most people. If you're not very open in the hamstrings, hang out right here or just see what it feels like to move the heel away. If you're open in the hamstrings and you want to go deeper, bend your left elbow, lift it up and then extend it for this little version of Vishvi Matrasana. Two more rounds of breath. One more. Good. Lower the right leg. Not for everybody, but we will have an opportunity to do this so that everybody gets a nice feeling for this. Both hands inside of the right leg. Step your left foot outside of your left hand and come into Malasana. Nice little squat here. Elbows inside, lift the heart, sternum, chin and chest. Then we'll lower the seat all the way down. Good. That setup is a nice setup if we decide to try Compass Pose. You may want a strap handy. Extend your left leg and get your strap ready. Make sure you're strapping the same leg that we've been working on, the right leg. First, start in your seated Happy Baby. Right knee draws back, left hand pushes to the floor. Let's play with a version first that might help you find a little bit more ease. I'm just going to give you a little side angle so you can see more. Grab the inner arch of the right foot, press the left hand to the floor and extend the leg. Keep lifting and lengthening the spine. This is a great spot to be and hang out in. If you're trying Compass Pose, you can put a little strap around. The pads of your toes, pull the strap so it's a little tighter. Get your right shoulder underneath the right calf muscle. Hug your right elbow into the midline. Pull your palm, your elbow and your triceps into the midline and then start to extend the right leg to the squat. I'm going to get the strap out of the way so you can see. Pull the toes up, pull the heel back as you turn slightly to the left. Traditionally, if we weren't using this trap, we grab the pinky toe side of the foot, lift the heel, take that elbow back in space and hug the right elbow to the midline so that we find a little bit more space and ease in the right side body. Play with it. Option one, just lift, extend it. Option two, drop. Option three, Compass Pose. You might want to stop the tape and play with that variation and give yourself some more time and use it as a peak pose. Otherwise, we're lowering that right leg, bringing it into an easy version of Pigeon Pose, keeping the right leg bent, swinging the left leg halfway around, lining up left knee, right heel for an easy fold over the right leg. If you're comfortable going into a deeper version of Pigeon, then just straighten the left leg, internally rotate the back left leg, start to draw your hips towards the midline. Remember, you've got blocks you can use for Pigeon Pose. Glide the heart forward. Relax the muscles of the face. Relax the jaw. Lots of fun work today.

See if you can go back into cultivating that sense of contentment, ease, whatever's working great, whatever's not working great. We don't want to get attached to either of it. We're just grateful we have this cool body that takes us around in space and gives us this opportunity to really feel, live, and breathe this expression of our being, our humanity. Good. From your Pigeon Pose, I'd like to give you the opportunity of taking a Vinyasa, anything that feels good, right leg to the sky, Vinyasa. Open the hip, right leg to the sky. Flip your dog, right leg to the sky. Just celebrate that poor little right leg. He's so happy now. He's free. If you want to flip it, step it behind, squeeze to the midline, lift the sternum, lift the chest. We'll all meet in either child's pose. If you want to slow things down a little bit or dolphin, if you want to keep the energy up, dolphin is just our down dog with our forearms on the floor. Nice shoulder releasing stretch. We're going to be here for 10 breaths as you settle in. Clear the mind. Enjoy this opportunity to just breathe and be in the posture. Take your time, settle in, whether you're in child's pose or whether you're in dolphin. When you come out of it, you'll see me switched around to the other side, just so I can be a little bit more present for you on side two without my back towards you. Wonderful, everybody. Let's all meet in down dog. So come back through your table, hands a palm print forward, tuck your toes under, walk or float your feet to the front of the mat, palms to the shins, lengthen the spine, flat back, exhale, soft fold, bend your knees, engage your core, roll all the way up, inhale your palms to the sky, palms into prayer. Great. So we're going back to the journey on the other side. This time we're balancing on the left leg. Your blocks could be in front of you if you're using your blocks. Shifting your weight to your left leg, we're going to take an L shape with the right leg as we send our palms to the sky. Extend the leg, maybe flex, dorsiflex the foot, reach up with a palm, squeeze to the midline, enjoy your breath. Two more rounds, one more. Bring your palms into prayer, slide the right leg back the height of your hip as you bow forward. Bring your fingertips slowly to the block, try to find a nice transition here. Great. Once you find your hands at the block, lengthen the spine a little bit, get nice and long.

Inhale the left palm to the sky. I'm going to back up a little bit so me and my elephant friend aren't hitting each other. Inhale the left palm to the sky, lengthen the spine, look forward, bend both knees, wrap the left hand around both knees, hug to the midline, lengthen open the wing about the height of your shoulder and then hug back to the midline. Pulse with your breath. Last two. Last one, take the left arm out, bring the left hand to your sacrum, fingertips facing down, lengthen the spine, get as long as you can, turning through the torso, slightly to your left as you turn, left elbow moves back in space. Lengthen to rotate. Lengthen to rotate. Good. Look back down, step your right leg all the way back, lower your right knee to the floor, keep your left hand at the sacrum so that you're in this low supported lunge. Right hip flexor releases, right hand to the sky. Same opportunity opening up the shoulder, right hand behind the base of the head, draw the chin back, lean the head back, lift the sternum, lift the chin, lift the chest, open the shoulder. Second opportunity for this posture, left hand drapes around the right IT band, the heart lifts, the sternum chest lifts, the right arm extends. Same opportunity to go deeper, remember lower back issues, skip this one, enjoy being right where you are, be content where you are, otherwise tuck the right toes under, reach back with your left hand for the pinky toe side of the right foot by softening and straightening that left leg and then move into that hip flexor. Exalted low, warrior. Lift the heart, lift the sternum, lift the chest, lower the right hand to the floor. Good. So we're playing with that little version of the twist to warrior two. Tuck the right toes under, release the right knee. Inhale the left palm to the sky, circle the left arm back in space, forward, give yourself a nice windmill, a nice helicopter, a nice backstroke. The next time you circle back and start to circle forward, pivot your right heel to the floor, reach forward with your left hand, windmill the right arm up, left arm joins, right hand, right IT band, straight in the left leg, left palm reaches back for a nice, reverse triangle. Go through your warrior two, windmill your left hand down, back, pivot your right heel, right hand to the floor, left hand to the sky, stacking the arms one over the other. Reach back with the left hand, circle it forward, pivot your right foot, windmill it up. Play with the transition, right hand, right IT band, left palm to the sky. Take it again, windmill it down, right heel lifts, left arm reaches back and up. Last round, we're going to stay this time. Sweep the left arm forward, pivot your heel, windmill it all the way up. Great. Right hand, right IT band, flip the palm, reach it to the sky, lift through the right ribcage.

Beautiful. Sink into that left thigh. Melt into it, your heels are nice and lined up. Excellent. Warrior two, left arm extends out forward, tee the arms, right arm reaches back. Make sure that you're not leaning too far forward, drop the right hip, lift the front hip shoulders over the hips. Beautiful, guys. One more brief repeat to Peaceful Warrior. Straighten the left leg. This way we can get a lot of length through the left side body. Hinge at the hips, right hip lifts, left hip lowers. Keep reaching. Once you find that spot, bring your left hand to your left shin, draw the right hand to the ribcage, lengthen and softly turn to your right. As you extend the right arm over the left, if you're going deeper, just make sure the shoulder doesn't roll forward. Use the inhales to get longer, exhales to find a little bit more space and rotation. One more round. Wonderful. Bend your left leg, bring your right hand to your right hip and we're going to take that little internal shoulder rotation, left fingertips behind your waistband here, pull the elbow in. For most of you, this is all you need. If you're going a little bit deeper, hug the left elbow in and then lengthen to turn. This is going to set us up really nicely for our opportunity in Compass Pose. Lower your palms to the floor, lower the right knee to the floor, straighten the left leg. Stay here or slide the left heel forward for a little deeper experience in your split. Remember that opportunity to use your blocks. Slide them underneath the hip, slide them underneath your hamstring. If you're going deeper, make sure to internally rotate your back, right foot so that your knee isn't turning out and then find a little stillness here. This is the hard one to find ease and peace in. Great. Slide your left leg back. We'll play with that version of Vishvi Matrasana. Walk your hands inside of the left leg, swing the right toes around, line up your right knee and your left heel.

Left hand is going to slide under the left leg to the pinky toe side of the foot. Once you get the shoulder underneath, press strongly forward and down into your left hand, grab the top of your left foot with your right hand, pull it in towards the midline. This is a great spot to stay. Push forward with your left hand forward and down or take a little bend in your right elbow as you lift the heel, start to extend it. Open it up. Remember this is just fun. Don't think of this as suffering. Think of this as fun or just don't do it and celebrate. Compass pose with me. We're almost there. Lower the left foot inside, shake out that left arm, slide your right foot forward for Malasana. Ah, the safety of Malasana. Use your pillows, your built-in pillows to come and lower all the way down. How are you guys doing? It's a lot, isn't it? But it's fun. Extend your left, extend your right leg. Happy baby with a left leg, using the strap if you're using the strap. Start with pinky toe side of the foot, happy baby. Draw the knee back. Right hand to the floor, tall spine. Then if you're going for it, reach for the inner arch of the left foot. And as you lengthen the spine, you can move the heel out in space. This is a perfect spot to stay and be. If you're going deeper into compass pose, shoulder, underneath. Strap the foot. Keep the strap. A little bend in your elbow. As you swing that left foot out to the left, you'll find more space. Remember, that left elbow hugs into the midline to help you squeeze and feel the posture. Slightly roll that right shoulder back. Remember, this is a posture that you might want to pause on if you're watching this recorded and give yourself a little bit more time to work into it and think of it as a peak posture. Excellent. Let's finish up and pigeon on this side. Swing the left foot forward. Right leg and easy bent pigeon as you bow. Left heel, right knee, line up. Or you can swing that right leg around. Put a block underneath your hip. Take your time with your breath. Lengthen the spine.

Enjoy the inhales, the pauses, and then the exhales. Relax the muscles of the face. Maybe grip the glutes and quads on the left side and release them and see if you find a little bit more ease. Give yourself another breath and then we'll celebrate the release of this posture. Palms around the left leg. Tuck the toes under. Your version of one-legged dog. Free that leg. Shake it out. Celebrate it. Beautiful. Maybe flip your dog. Pivot your left heel. Pivot your right heel. And then windmill back down and through. We're going to come up to a nice, comfortable seat sitting on our heels to release the quads. Doing the balancing practice of nadi shodhana. It's a breathing technique just for a couple breaths to really settle us. Balance our energy system before we go into shavasana. With your right hand, bring your middle finger and your index to the brow. As you inhale, keep both nostrils free. As you exhale, let it go. Take a nice deep inhale and cover your right nostril with your thumb. Hold. Exhale through your left. Inhale through the left. Cover and hold. Exhale through the right. Slow, deep inhale through the right. Cover and hold. Exhale through the left. Two more rounds of breath. Exhale through the right. Finish by inhaling through the right. Covering and holding. Exhaling through the left. Wonderful. Keep your attention inward. Maybe just a soft focus as you slightly open the eyes to swing your legs around for just a soft, brief moment or two in supported fish pose. Extend the legs. Slide your elbows underneath the shoulders. Squeeze to the midline. Lift the heart sternum, chin and chest. You can look straight up or let the head fall back. Finish with a nice little heart opener. Relax the muscles of the face. Relax the jaw. Get a nice, even flow, closing and opening of the hips. Enjoy that tingle of energy through the legs. Beautiful. And then slide your way down to Shavasana and create space here for your Shavasana. Take your time. Flip your palms. Squeeze your shoulder blades together. Let your toes turn out. Take a nice, big inhale and soften. Let go. Exhale. Let it all go. Relax the muscles of the face. Relax the jaw. Melt into the floor like it's warm sand. Find ease and contentment in the perfect moments that are unfolding before you. Your eyes close. Start to bring a little wiggle back to the fingers and the toes. Take any intuitive movements with your eyes closed that feel nice for you. Maybe it's a stretch. Maybe it's turning the head from side to side. Maybe it's hugging the knees into the chest.

Whatever it is, give yourself a little time to really be intuitive and present for yourself. No rushing. Just be easy with the body. The mind will take its cues from the breath and how easy you are with the body and your mind will find ease. Find your way into your fetal pose, either to your left or to your right, whatever feels best for you. Enjoy that opportunity in your waking moments to be still and have a retreat space in your mind from your practice. Use serenity and help yourself up slowly to your seat. Take a nice big inhale through the nose and a nice long ah. We're finished with one of those beautiful ombs we were working on earlier. Palms into prayer. Anjali Mudra. Nice big inhale. So grateful that we get to do this practice together. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Namaste.


2 people like this.
I love the wording of ‘playing with balance’. All life is playing with balance! I loving the auming throughout this practice too.
Ali thank you for bringing that to my attention- sometimes we say something so appropriate without even realizing it!! Glad you resonated with it!! always great to hear from you!
Carmen S.
1 person likes this.
Me encantan tus clases, la transicion de un movimiento a otro se da de una manera tan sutil y a la vez con tanta energia y fuerza. Gracias
This was such a freaking awesome practice!!! Loving it. Needed somethings spicy and new and challenging and you ticked all the boxes with your sequencing. Gratitude, Wade ! And greetings from Down East Maine where I am for a few weeks this summer :)
1 person likes this.
Hi Shawn So great to hear from you and so glad you were feeling this one!! Enjoy East Maine, what a perfect time of year to be out there, I just came back from a quick weekend in Michigan nature and fully recharged!!

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