Guided by Breath Artwork
Season 2 - Episode 8

Breathing into Eagle

55 min - Practice


The body is an ecology; what happens in one part of the body is surely felt throughout. Explore the hips and shoulders as we play in Garudasana variations. We begin in a floor sequence to invite the body to gently open, move into warming Sun Breaths, ease into soft twists finding space in the torso, and pause in familiar poses like Pyramid and Revolved Triangle to strengthen and open the legs and hips and find lightness and mobility in the upper body. We find moments to hug ourselves and find space in the upper back and to give ourselves a little self-love. You will feel fluid, open, and serene.
What You'll Need: Mat, Strap, Block (2)


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Hi there. Welcome to Guided by Breath. I'm Sudia. I'm so glad you are practicing with me today. For today's practice, we are going to get into the outer hips, which is a rare thing indeed. And also the upper, upper back there is some muscles there called the rhomboids and there's also some other muscles and things in there. Feel free to do an anatomy workshop with yourself afterwards. But those two things combined, can you guess at where we might be going? Perhaps you can. There's a song I want to sing, but I think late stage capitalism prevents me from being able to sing this song without bad things happening. So welcome to class. One strap, two blocks is what you'll need. You'll need your curiosity, your sense of play. And that's about it. So we'll begin in Shavasana today. So you'll come to find a resting position. The blocks can be towards the top of your mat. Your strap can be sort of at the ready near you, maybe towards the middle of your mat. And then come to, to recline, lay yourself down in Shavasana. Separate your feet and legs wide apart, palms face up and away from your body. Give yourself time to arrive there. So we often think, you know, Oh, I just, I'll just lie down and everything's fine. But you know, what often happens is the body lands and then maybe the head is sort of placed to awkwardly the arms and the shoulders and maybe the shoulders are hiked up. So once you recline, you want to find space for your body, upper back flush with the floor, back of the head placed so that you've got that natural curve in your cervical spine. Feet relaxed so that those side bones are just turning out in a natural way. And then we just breathe here, adjusting yourself as needed. So essentially we want the spine to have its natural curves. We want the upper back to be nice and spacious and flush with the floor, head placed so that the neck is long. And setting those baseline physical conditions for your body is what allows the mind to soften. So we try in the first few moments just to alleviate and allow areas of tension just to dissipate and to soften. Once the body is soft, we can get a little more granular with this softening and relax the brow and the eyes, the cheeks and your jaw. Relax the jaw completely. Let your tongue fall away from the roof of your mouth. Notice how this softening of the face also has a way of softening the mind even more, but also softening the rest of the body. It's just this ecology of relaxation, you know, everything connected to everything else. A response in one place inspires a response in another which inspires a response in another. And it's just kind of this beautiful closed loop. So just enjoy these next few moments of allowing your body to befriend gravity. Feel the front of your body merge with the back. Give the weight of your back body to the floor even more. Weight of the head to the floor. Feel how relaxing really heavy the head, giving the weight of the head to the floor allows the eyes to soften a little more, jaw to soften a little more. And then friends, I would love to leave you there for the next hour. In fact, I highly recommend that you please begin to deepen your breath and then wiggle your fingers and toes. So just introducing some small movement to the body so we ease our way out just as we ease our way in. You're making circles with the wrists and with the ankles, opening and closing the hands, scrunching the toes and opening the feet. And then slowly stepping your feet to the floor. Step your feet wide apart about mat width. Press into your heels to lengthen your tailbone forward and to replace the pelvis back down onto the floor and then let the knees rest into each other. So constructive rest position. Knees are drawing in towards each other. Feet are positioned in such a way that there's no effort involved in holding the legs up. So you may have to play with placement of the feet. Not too far, not too close to the body. Definitely wide apart, as wide as your mat. Rest your hands on your body, anywhere on your body and just feel movement of breath in your body. It's a beautiful expansion on the inhale, contraction on the exhale. Maybe after every breath, try moving replacement of the hands. So you can really get a sense of how different parts of the body are moved as you play. One more breath, cycle there. Great. Release your arms back by your side. Separate your knees. Step the feet a little closer to your body. So feet and knees are hips width apart. Go ahead and grab a hold of your strap. And of course your strap is also just rolled so beautifully. You will unfurl your strap and find the center of the strap. Draw your right knee into your chest. Loop the ball of your right foot into the strap. Reach the foot up to the ceiling. Crawl your hands up the strap. Plug your shoulders into the floor. And then we'll take time to allow the back of that right leg to release and you will ease your way into this. So maybe bending and straightening the knee. Be sure the toes are flexed. Try to flex them back towards you as you press your heel towards the ceiling. And then pause once the knee is extended to whatever degree works for your body and lengthen the right side of your body. So sending that hip towards your left foot. Maybe please slowly extend your left leg along the floor. That foot and leg are in Tadasana. Take a few breaths here. Allowing the back of that right leg to open. Playing some, you know, suppleness in the knee. Maybe some bending and straightening of the knee. Take both ends of the strap into your left hand with your right thumb. Hook your right hip crease and you manually just encourage that hip to descend. So we want to keep that right side body nice and long. Reach the heel up to the ceiling. And then please slowly cross your leg over your body maybe 10% or so. And pause there. And just be aware of any sensations that are there. Space in the shoulders. Keep encouraging that hip to move towards the left foot and you can go ahead and release the back of that right hand to the floor. Keep sending the arch of your right foot away from you. Make sure that the foot is pressing into the strap and that you're not gripping the strap so tightly that, you know, mind is kind of fixated on that. Let the grip be enough to support the foot in the leg but not so much that it becomes the focus of the action. Focus of the action is that flexing of the foot, sending the arch away, back of the leg releasing, extending the knee so the quad is engaged and sand that hip forward. Maybe if it feels comfortable for your body, you can begin to cross the leg over your body a little bit more but then pause and then take a couple of breaths there. Right side body long, long, long arch of that right foot away from you so two actions that are interesting to do simultaneously. So we're trying to keep the pelvis balanced from left to right if that makes sense. We don't want the right hip to hike up. We want those left and right hip points to be on the same level if you can visualize that. Maybe you allow that leg to cross over the body just a little bit more. We actually don't want to be anywhere near the end of your range of motion. We want to have a keen sense of the release of the outer hip on this side. Make sure you're not bracing.

Can you find a little more suppleness? Can you find a little more softness of the knee there and re-lengthen the right side body? We'll take a breath in there and then use an exhale to gently draw that leg towards center. Then both knees unloop the foot, straighten both legs along the floor for a moment and observe how interesting. Great. You just give a moment of integration. Then with incredible care, step both feet to the floor. We'll do the same on the opposite side. Just because you know where we're going, mind utterly present. You're in no rush. You do know where we're going, but also pretend as though you draw your left knee in towards you. Hook your ball of your left foot into the strap. With curiosity and care, you start to extend the knee. No rush. Flex the toes back towards you. Heel up towards the ceiling. Observe. Maybe there's a difference in how open the back of this leg is. Hands crawl up the strap. Shoulders plug into the floor. Extend the right leg along the floor. Tadasana in the right leg as you descend it onto the floor. Toes pointing up to the ceiling, but also flexing back towards you. So both legs are doing the same thing just in different relationship to the pelvis. Lengthen the left side of your body. Both ends of the strap into the right hand. Hook your left hip crease with your left thumb and pause. Breath is full and free and you begin to cross the leg over the body. Any amount can be the smallest amount and perhaps, although maybe I speak for myself, you feel plenty of sensation right here. Breathe into that sensation. Imagine that you can inhale and direct breath into that part of your body that's announcing itself as we do this exercise. Softness in the knee. Long left side body. Noticing how lengthening the left side of your body, how it affects the shape and the sensations in the shape. Maybe cross the leg over a little bit more. Hand holding the strap, but foot and leg are doing more of the work than the hand and the arm. A few more breaths and be across the leg over a little bit more. A couple more breaths there. Take a big full breath in through the nose. Use an exhale to draw that leg towards center. Bend both knees. Remove the strap. Remove your foot from the strap. Step both feet to the floor for a moment and then extend both legs along the floor, giving yourself a moment of integration. Just observing and maybe marveling at whatever it is you're discovering. Great.

Throw your knees into your chest. Extend your arms into a cactus shape. Cross your right knee over your left. Draw the calves towards each other and you'll pause here for a moment. Really try to squeeze the legs together. Send the knees a little away from the body, so maybe thigh bones and upper body are at a 90 degree angle. But you'll shift your hips a little over to the right and let the knees fall over to the right. Take a few breaths there in this twist. Eagle legs, Garudasana legs may be familiar to you. Let yourself soften into the shape. Full breath in feeling as the twist unravels a bit as you breathe in, as you breathe out. The twist is illuminated by the contraction of muscles. As you next inhale, you'll come to center. So coming to center on an inhale this time. Recenter in your hips. Legs, feet draw towards each other. Cross your right arm underneath the left and just hug your body. How nice. So you hold your upper back. Elbows towards each other. Squeeze the legs together. You take a breath in here. As you exhale, lift your upper back off of the floor. Draw your knees towards you. Inhale and just release gently. Do that twice more. With an exhale, you'll lift yourself up ever so slightly. You will shake and then as you inhale, you'll release. Exhale, draw the elbows and knees towards each other. Shaky, shaky, wakey, wakey. And then inhale, release. Great. Take a breath out there and as you inhale, open the legs, open the arms. Great. Cactus your arms, cross your left leg over your right. Draw the calves together. Squeeze the legs together. Shift your hips a little over to the left and let your knees fall over to the left. It's quite a twist, this shape. And I'll let you feel that for yourself. You can try to give yourself a little self-assist by pressing into your right elbow and just finding a little more rotation, opening the chest ever so carefully towards the ceiling. We'll take a few breaths here. Breathing in, twist unravels a bit, breathing out. There's a little clarity in the twist. Great. Use an inhale. So an inhale will arise and when it does, the body will want to kind of neutralize so we can make space for that breath. Great. Stay here. Reach your arms out wide and then left arm will cross underneath the right and you'll give yourself that hug. Opposite arms on top of each other. You breathe in here. You use an exhale to lift upper back and head away from the floor, elbows to knees. And then inhale, release. Exhale, elbows and knees towards each other. Shake, shake, shake. Not on purpose unless that works. That might be interesting actually. And then inhale, release. Exhale, elbows and knees towards each other. Great. Inhale, release. Exhale and then inhale. Receive the breath in by extending the arms and the legs. Exhale, knees into your chest. Start to rock along your spine forwards and backwards as much as you like. And then come to a seated position. You might like to sit on top of a block. I think I will do that myself. So any seat you like, just make sure it's sustainable and it feels good. Something you can support for the next few moments.

And then please extend your arms out to the sides. As you breathe in, turn your palms up. And then as you breathe out, turn your palms down, curve your spine, tuck your chin. Breathe in open, let it be fluid. Breathe out, closing the shape. Good. Breathe in, come to center. Wrap your left arm underneath your right. Either backs of palms touch or hands can touch. Another option is to hold, hold the strap. So you do what you need to do, what feels good, what serves you today in this moment. And once you've found that arm position, you'll lift your elbows up shoulder height, send your hands forward. I'm peeking behind my pillar here. So I can make eye contact with you and you'll send your hands forward. You'll keep the elbows high and close your eyes and just breathe here for a few moments. Can you maintain the architecture of the shape? And when I say the architecture, I don't mean mine necessarily, but again, you want, you want to modify in a way you need. So maybe you're using a strap or backs of hands are touching. So do your expression of the shape and then what can you soften so that you can breathe fully and freely. This time I want you to direct the breath into your upper back. So elbows lift up, hands draw forward away from the face as it's creating that release for those, those rhomboids I talked about earlier. So really receive a breath into your upper back. Exhale, feel the belly engage as you inhale, lift your elbows up, open the chest and the heart up towards the ceiling. As you exhale, draw the elbows in, curve the spine, touch the chin. Inhale, we'll lift up. Exhale, reverse. Inhale, lift up. This time, exhale, come to center. We're just returning to our starting position, but I want you now to really reach the heart through the upper arms, pull the heads of your shoulders apart, hands come forward, forward, forward, breathe in. Really receive the breath in and release the breath out. Also release your arms. Wow.

Calmly dancing child but seated. And if you're not sure what I'm referring to, it's just this. There's a, there's a meme you can go find on the internet of a child who dances like this. And some folks really enjoy calmly dancing child. So this is for you, some folks. Extend your arms out to the sides. Pause. My palms just instinctively turned down. Elbows are soft and you could play a little bit with that, turning the palms up or down, keeping your elbows soft. Attunement. I always like these little moments of attunement. Sometimes the big movements can actually take us a little bit out of the body. Smaller ones, quiet ones take us, can take us a little bit deeper in. Wrap your left arm underneath your right, taking your time, backs of palms, strap, palms can touch, whatever your expression is, find it, lift your elbows up, hands away from your face, lift the center of the chest, broaden the collar bones, shoulder heads pulling apart. We'll take a few breaths here. Good. Inhale, lift the chest, little upper back bend. So seated cow, essentially, as you exhale, seated cat that the hands are in this Garudasana eagle shape. Again, breathe in, lifting up, breathing out. Keep going. At the pace of your breath, letting the breath direct to your movement. One more time, inhale, lift up. Exhale, coming to center, hands forward, elbows high, shoulder height, heart lifts up, slide the shoulder blades down the back as they come forward to accommodate this shape. Take one breath in. As you exhale, release the arms. The calmly dancing child sits and dances, moving your upper arm bones around in the sockets, head and neck can move. Great. And we'll just pause for a moment, rest the hands on the knees or the thighs, close your eyes. Sitting bones are rooted, crown of the head is lifting up. Great. Open your eyes, release the arms, inhale, sweep the arms up. Now release them. Good. Inhale, sweep the arms up and noticing, you know, if there's still that kind of echo of the work that we were just doing, exhale and release the arms. One more time. Inhale, sweep the arms up. This time we'll do something a little bit different. Look up and touch your palms. We need to exhale on an om as you draw the hands down. So just pause in the silence. Great. Release your arms, come to a tabletop position. So on all fours at the top of your mat, wrists are of course underneath your shoulders, knees are underneath your hips. Inhale to tuck the toes, release your belly, spread your collarbones for cow. As you exhale, cat, untuck your toes, curve your spine, tuck your chin. Begin to inhale and respond by tucking the toes, releasing the belly, sending the heart forward. Exhale, reverse that. Cat. Inhale, opening the chest. Exhale to the cat shape, tuck your chin, curve your spine. Stay here this time, friends, in the cat shape, wrists under the shoulders and really be mindful of that because I want us to get some force down into the floor, press the hands into the floor, press the floor away from you. Also press the tops of the feet down, press the shins down and really curve the spine so you feel the shoulder blades coming forward. You can shift your weight a little bit forwards and backwards, shift your hips forwards and backwards as you breathe into your upper back. Come to some stillness and receive a breath in into the upper back. As you exhale, stay in the shape, draw your navel up towards your spine. Can you press the floor away from you a little bit more?

So a few more breaths like that. Inhaling into the upper back, exhaling, navel draws up but we press the floor away a little bit more. Take one more breath cycle there. And then on your next exhale, release. Weird movements in tabletop? What is it, marauding bear or like exotic cat or something? I can't remember what the consensus was on what this is. I think it was exotic bear actually as a combination of the two but you're just moving your bones around even fingers. Play the invisible, play the air piano on your mat as you do this. Great. Good. Come to center and pause. As you inhale, lift your right arm up, open twist right. Exhale, thread the arm underneath. We'll move with that. Inhale, open twist. Exhale, thread the arm. Inhale, open twist. Exhale, thread the arm underneath and stay in the shape, crawl the left hand forward. Hips are stocking above the knees and we're breathing into the upper back. So getting a concentrating this time while we're in the twist on what's happening in the upper back. So really doing a lot of work to release those muscles that are there on either side of the spine. Place your left hand in front of your face. Press into it to unthread your arm. Recalibrate and re-soften and as you breathe in, you lift your left arm up and open twist. You'll exhale and thread the arm underneath. We'll do that twice more on the breath. Breath, most important thing, shapes, movements or responses to the breath. Rest the head, crawl the hand forward so the arm is extended and then you re-center the hips. So hips stacked above the knees. See if you can sense whether or not that's true for you. And we'll take a few breaths here, noticing what's happening in the upper back specifically on either side of the spine. Space between the shoulder blades. Breathe into it. And let, of course, the rest of the body also be responsive to the movement of breath. So the twist lessens as you breathe in and there's a little deepening of the twist as you breathe out. Great. Hand in front of the face so you can press into it to elegantly unthread yourself there. Walk your hands one hand, print forward, tuck your toes under. Downward facing dog, lift your hips up and back. Pedal through your feet. Bend one knee and then the other. Press the hands down and forward. Great. Comes with stillness in your down dog. Descending and heels are not necessarily touching the floor but the energy is you're descending those inner heels towards the floor. Good. As you inhale, knees to the floor, release the belly. Spread the collarbones. This time as you exhale, find that super cat shape. Press the hands down. Maybe you hover the knees away from the floor as you press the floor away. And inhale will come. You'll lower the knees. Open the chest. Exhale, downward facing dog. Start to inhale, respond with cow, lower the knees, release the belly. Exhale to that super cat shape. Maybe hovering the knees, hands pressed down. Inhale, cow. Exhale, dog. Inhale, lower your knees to the floor, cow. Exhale the super cat shape. Hover the knees and pause there for a few breaths. You don't have to keep the knees hovered unless you know that's that's really doing it for you. Please, by all means, it's fairly intense.

So that's an option. Otherwise, hands press into the floor, shins, feet press down, press the floor away from you. Chin is tucked. Shift your hips forwards and backwards. Goes just a couple of times. I'm laughing because, you know, I'm calling out all these animal names, you know, dog, cow, cat, all of this. If the animals knew they would be like, I don't even do I look like that. Come forward, walk the hands forward. Downward facing dog. Great. Index and thumbs press into the floor on both sides, of course, as you wrap out or up or arms towards your face, and then please shorten your dog. So maybe the heels are grounded this time, but let there be a softness in your knees so you can spill the pelvis forward and that spine can extend. And then you'll keep the palms incredibly broad and look at them and just observe. Can you broaden a little bit more without like, stretching the hands so much that that it feels it's almost like a reverse bracing like the arms and the hands are too open. Broad. Lift your right hand up, grab a hold of your outer left ankle or calf. You'll breathe in in the center. And as you breathe out, maybe find a little twist in that direction. Breathe into your upper back and then release that just a quick twist that and then opposite side holding the outer right ankle or calf. So just holding wherever works for your body. Breathing in in the center and then exhaling and twisting in that direction. Great. Come back to your downward facing dog. Walk your hands forward. Soften the knees, spill your pelvis forward, crown of the head releasing to the floor. Maybe you find a little little sway if you like. As you inhale, lift the center of your chest, draw your elbows back and tent the fingers, lift your chest up and exhale release. Do that a couple of times. Inhale, lift the chest, lift the elbows, send the heart forward. Exhale, release it. Inhale, lift the chest, elbows draw back. Exhale, release. This time, place your left hand underneath your nose. Maybe use a block if you want to bring the floor up to you. That's definitely an option. You choose the height of a block. As you inhale, bend your left knee, open your right arm out to the side and actually just pause there. Try to sense if your hips are square. Take one more breath in there and as you exhale, you can release it. Bend the right knee and you're open to the left side. Take one more breath there and with an exhale, you'll release. Forward fold, uttanasana. Keep your knees incredibly soft. Let's walk the hands up the legs, keeping the knees nice and soft. You feel your quadricep muscles working and slow. No rush, no rush, no rush. Upper spine is the last thing to unfurl. Shoulders can roll back and down and you find yourself in a magic mountain, tadasana. Turn your palms forward. Turn your palms back very slowly and feel how that affects the shape, your experience of the shape and just keep playing with that a little bit. Here we are, little attunement exercise, incredibly quiet movement to keep us aware of, first of all, you know, the reality that the body is an ecology. Something that's happening on one end of the body or in one part of the body is surely affecting our experience and the rest of the body or elsewhere in the body. It's also a way of, you know, getting sort of closer to that very center of the self, very center of the self. It's almost as though being able to be really granular in your body experience, so keep turning the palms forward and backwards, is almost the key to the door at the center of the self.

Not to get to, you know, the next time your palms are facing forward, exaggerate that. Turn the palms so that the backs of your hands are almost turning in towards your legs and then very gently release that and as you inhale, you'll sit into chair pose, utkatasana, bend your arms, as you exhale you'll come to stand, again like that, inhale, keep going, exhale, release. You can play with how you raise the arms up, inhale, exhale, you can reverse, yeah, have some, you know, we're always in a lab here, so you're experimenting, we're all experimenting, trying to get it tuned with the body and trying of course to return the body to the breath. The fastest, most effective way to do that is just moving first with the breath but then as the breath. The next time you're there in chair pose, stay there, reach your arms forward, spread them wide, hug yourself, again, lift your elbows up, sit nice and low, now take a few breaths there, good, good, inhale, open the arms, stay in utkatasana and then cross the arms the opposite way and hug the body, lift the elbows up, now take some breaths here, weight in the heels, lift your toes up and spread them, great, relax them back down, sit a little lower, great, release, relax your arms, little weird movement, some hip circles perhaps with soft knees, alright, back to your magic mountain there, you'll pause, when an inhale comes you'll sweep your arms around and up and then you'll exhale and hinge yourself forward, breathe in, you'll lift the center of your chest up to prepare pose, you start to exhale, hands to the floor, step yourself back to a down dog, lift your hips up and back, as you next inhale, lower your knees to the floor, release the belly, open the chest, exhale to that super cat shape, maybe hovering the knees but really pressing the floor away from you, inhale, returning to cow pose, exhale downward facing dog, once more like that inhale, knees to the floor, open the chest, exhale to the super cat shape, press the floor away from you, inhale, open the chest and then exhale downward facing dog, look up between your hands, at the bottom of an exhale you can you know levitate, walk or step yourself forward and once you're there, prepare pose with those elbows again, little gecko arms, lift your chest up and then exhale, forward fold yourself, inhale, sweep your arms around and up, reach your arm forward, great, stay there, grab ahold of your left wrist and draw your hands up to the ceiling and then take a little side bend to the right, right, inhale to center and then switch sides, grab ahold of the opposite wrist and then bend in the opposite direction, awesome, come back to center release your arms, alright, well, grab your two blocks, grab your two blocks, place them at the top of your mat on their highest height, magic mountain, inhale, utkatasana chair pose, pause there, take another breath in there actually, use your exhale to send your hands to the blocks, we'll use the support of the blocks here so you walk them back so they're underneath the shoulders, lift your left foot up, step your left foot back and slightly over to the left so your feet are nice and wide apart so you're not on a tight rope there and then very slowly inhale, lift your torso up, lift your arms up, organize your pelvis so that the right hip is drawing back, really drive the front heel down, draw the right hip back, the front hip back and then take a few breaths here, open the arms, wide, wrap the right arm underneath the left, you can use the help of a strap, you may need to come out of the shape or backs of hands touch or hands, elbows, lift hands away from you, inhale to lift the center of your chest and stay here as you exhale, take a few breaths here just like this, continually trying to draw that right hip back, take one more breath in, great, as you exhale keep the eagle arms, now just hug the body and lean forward, draw the right hip back, long neck, great, float your hands to the blocks, lower the blocks so they're on their medium height, left hand pressing down into the block, right thumb hooks into the hip crease, lengthen, lengthen, keep looking at the floor as you begin to open your chest to the right side, take a few breaths there, lifting up out of the shoulder, stay looking at the floor, great, maybe you reach the top arm up to the ceiling and maybe you turn your gaze in that direction but keep it actually forward rather than up at the ceiling, so sometimes you know where the eyes are directed the gaze or drishti can affect sort of what we perceive physically in a shape, so take one more breath in, as you exhale bring your hand to the blocks, step your back foot forward enough so that you can ground that back heel, blocks can stay on that height if you'd like to bring the floor up to you a little bit more, go ahead and raise the height of the blocks, but firm your front quad, that right quad, draw the hip back and you pause here, maybe there's some softness in the knee depending on what you need, I mean always softness in the knee but you may need to actually bend the knee so that you can draw that right hip back, as you breathe in you'll lift the center of your chest and as you breathe out you'll hinge yourself forward any amount with a long spine, every breath in allowing you to find a little more length in the spine, every breath out a little more clarity but also a little more softness somehow or more quiet in the shape, keep drawing the right hip back, hands onto your blocks again if you've removed them as I have, you press your hands into the blocks, re-establish square hips so really draw the right hip back, hook your right thumb into your right hip crease, good and send the crown of your head forward and you can begin to open your chest in that direction and perhaps taste the rainbow of sensation in your outer right hip, I'm going to take a few breaths here as a little supported Pavrita Trichonasana, allow the inhalation to help you lengthen the spine and the exhalation a little more revolution maybe extending that top arm up to the ceiling, I'm going to take a couple of breaths there just like that, one more breath in, great, exhale is deconstructed, bending the elbow, turning the gaze, softening the knee, the blocks can walk forward, back foot can step forward and you can forward fold and pause and release, good, inhale, lift your chest, come all the way up to standing, fluid arms, fluid arms and then let's go ahead and and try the opposite side here, so as you inhale, chair pose Utkatasana sitting low into chair, taking some breaths here, allow them to rise and to fall, the wave to crest and to fall, sit a little lower into the chair, let the breath in help you lift the chest and then exhale to forward fold, you inhale to a prepare pose and then this time you'll step your right foot back and a little over to the right, great, peel the back toes back, front heel drives down, the left hip drives back, on an inhale you'll lift your torso up and lift your arms up and you'll pause there, really keep drawing that left hip back, as you drive that left heel down, take a couple of breaths like this, good, extend your arms, wrap the left arm underneath the right, modifying as you need, hands forward, elbows lift up, breathe in and lift your chest and elbows, and take a couple of breaths here just like this, take another breath in as you exhale, come forward, release and hug the torso, lean your upper body forward, pause there, good, release your hands to the blocks, step your back foot forward enough to ground your back heel and we take our time in getting organized, so we want to draw that left hip back, so press into the big toe mound of the left foot as you draw the left hip back and feel what those actions do, great, and as you inhale you'll lift your chest and as you exhale you'll hinge yourself forward any amount at all, a couple of breaths there, more than a couple, several breaths here, every breath in, allowing you know for that movement of breath, so there's there's suppleness to the body, there's breath movement inside of the body and the body is always, we want it to always be in a state where it can respond to the breath. As you next inhale you'll lift your chest up, hook your left thumb into that left hip crease to encourage it to keep drawing back as you inhale lengthen your spine and then as you exhale you begin to revolve your chest into the to the left to this opposite direction. I'm going to take a few breaths there, left hip draws back, draws back, this is the same shape almost that we were in when we were reclined and using the strap, so so interesting, geometry, loved geometry as a child, maybe reached the left arm up to the ceiling, hated algebra, couldn't ever do calculus, couldn't do pre-calculus really, breathing all the while and you know recalibrating with every breath, body still responsive to the breath. Take one more breath in and as you exhale deconstructing, bending the elbow very slowly, turning towards the floor, good step to your back foot forward, you can walk your blocks forward and have a nice supported Uttanasana. In fact, speaking of supported Uttanasana, you can stack two blocks on top of each other on their highest side and just rest your head on the on the blocks for a moment. You have to experiment with how to place the head, hands can lightly hold the block so the elbows are bent, great, hands to your hips, inhale come all the way up to standing, release your hands, blocks can move off to the sides, great, and you can come to stand at the center of your mat, longest edge, separate your feet so that they are are wide apart about a legs distance or so. You bring your hands onto the hips, inhale to draw your elbows back, lift your chest up and then exhale to hinge yourself forward with a long spine. The hands can float to walk forward, so upper body is essentially in down dog, weight is just centered above the heels, firm the outer hips and so you can spill the pelvis forward and the spine can really extend, look a little bit forward, really let it extend and as you exhale maybe you flatten the palms, if that's accessible, blocks under the hands are an option as well. You can walk your hands back towards your feet, so heels of the hands are in line with the heels of the feet, hands are shoulder-width apart, great, walk the hands forward, excellent, and then walk your hands over to the right side with your left hand, grab a hold of your outer right ankle and then reach your right arm up to the ceiling, stay long in the spine, and take one more breath in there, and then you exhale and release and we'll fluidly switch sides.

Good, long spine with the breath in, a little more clarity with the breath out, exhale and fold yourself forward, release, great, inhale to lift the center of your chest, heel to your feet so they're closer together, soften your knees, great, and then with you know maximum weirdness you roll yourself up to a stand, fluid in the spine and the arms, and then you let yourself do a calmly dancing child, great, awesome, stand facing forward, hands on your body for a moment, release your arms, and as you breathe in you'll extend the arms up to the ceiling and you'll breathe out to forward fold, your inhale to a prepare pussy, lifting the chest just so you can breathe in, think of it like that rather than some shape that you're assuming, step back to downward facing dog even though that is the case, and then lower your knees to the floor, come to a child's pose for a moment, great, walk your hands back towards you, flip yourself over so that you are seated, step your feet to the floor, lower yourself down onto the floor and draw your knees into your chest, great, a little bit of rocking from left to right, arms will extend either into a t-shape or a cactus shape whatever works for your body, okay, let's actually extend the left leg along the floor and cross the right knee over the body, so now just a simple twist, you can use your left hand to press that thigh bone away from you so we keep that length on the side body, full breaths in, long breaths out, if the hand is pressing onto the thigh bone release that and just soften, soften, soften and then let's switch sides, so recentering the hips, extending the opposite leg, crossing the knee over the body, initially you know manually lengthening that side of the body, and then as you're ready releasing that and just softening, softening, softening, come back to center, recenter the hips, hug the knees into the chest, lift the upper back and head away from the floor, breathe in and then breathe out, shavasana, exhaling, extend the legs, extend the arms, palms face up away from the body, establish you know physical positioning that allows you to have those natural curves of the spine, upper back flush with the forehead position just so you can soften the brow and the eyes and the cheeks and the jaw, you can continue resting for as long as you like, if you'd like to have a sit together begin to deepen your breath, wiggle your fingers and toes, extend your arms alongside your ears or in any direction that feels good to you, draw your knees into your chest and roll onto one side and rest your head on your arm, let's only make your way up to a comfortable seat, any seat you like just finding ease and clarity in the seat, jaw the upper arm bones back and lift the crown of your head up, relax the shoulders, palms can come together at the center of your chest and we'll close with the sound of one arm, inhale your breath, exhale your breath, inhaling for own, bow your head to your hands, thank yourself for practicing and honor your body and your breath and the connection between the two, may you carry a sense of curiosity and play and buoyancy with you for the rest of your day and always the light in me season honors the light that's also in you, namaste.


I love the concept of the body as an ecology. This speaks to the gardener in me!
Diyana Dobberteen
Wonderful and playful flow.
Sharon O
Thank you! Love the gooey flow of this practice 🙏🏻☮️💟
Jenny S
What a lovely, grounding, earthy flow! Perfect for a cold and rainy spring day ☔️
Amy C
Ahhh. My first class w/you, and not my last. Your voice, sequencing, and pace suit my inner desires. Thank you!

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