Spring Ayurveda Yoga Challenge Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 2

Day 1: Connecting to Earth

60 min - Practice
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Gather the stable foundation of earth energy as support at the turn of a new season. In Day 1, Melina leads a grounding class to help us embrace the qualities of the body after Winter as we gradually awaken into Spring. We begin warming the core, explore hip mobility to clear away congestion in the joints, move into a balance sequence and dynamic lunges, and wring out stagnant energy in standing poses. You will feel open and centered.

Your Self Care Homework Challenge for Day 1:

Spring into the new season by boosting your sleep hygiene with these healthful habits:
  • Go to bed earlier: Treat yourself to an earlier bedtime, setting yourself up for more endurance throughout this energizing season.
  • Get a Tongue Scraper: Scrape your tongue in the morning to keep track of whether you're fully digesting your food from the day before.
  • Enjoy a daily Master Cleanser Drink: Room temperature water, a squeeze of lemon, cayenne pepper, and a bit of maple syrup to make it more palatable increases the digestive fire readying the body for the day's food intake.
What You'll Need: Mat, Blanket

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Transcript

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Hello everyone. Welcome to day one of the Spring Ayurveda and Yoga Challenge. I'm delighted to have you join me. And I hope you'll enjoy the class I have planned for us, which will start on our back to do some deeper core work and hip opening to get us ready for this new season. Then we'll end up doing some more hip work and core work as we go into the prone position to wake up the upper body and shoulders. And then I've got some fun standing moves for you to create a little bit more heat and mobility and shoulders and upper body. Some fun balance moves. And we'll come back down towards the end of class with some sitting postures and of course a few recline positions to wind down before our Shavasanam. So for class today, it'll be helpful to have a blanket and two blocks. And we're going to begin with both of those, the blocks and the blankets. I folded my blankets where I'm going to put my head, come down onto your back and slide that blanket so it supports the base of the skull. And you've got options what height you're going to work with with the blocks. I like the medium height to start my practice. You might wedge those in close to the upper thighs if you like a little more stretch further down towards your knees. So just kind of notice what feels good today, which variation gives you support. And perhaps that's where we pause. Then let your arms explore some possibilities from down close to the side of your body, up in the line with your chest or even further up higher so that they might find more contact with the ground under your arms, shoulders, hands. Where's that spot for you where you feel your upper body drops back towards the earth? So in the beginning of class, see if we can connect to the element of earth for a moment and maybe even with your eyes a little bit more closed or softened into the back of the head, we could maybe even just sense the earth and land underneath us, around us. And maybe we bring some of that stable, dense, heavy quality of earth in towards our own center, filling our bones to help root us here in this moment at the maybe turn of a new season or maybe spring is just the start of a new day. That feeling of spring lives within every day in the morning when we start fresh with a new intention. So perhaps as we have some time here to root ourselves, noticing where we're supported, the parts of the body feel heavy, stable. And maybe we nurture those areas to maintain their sense of heaviness for this moment. And in this fertile time as we root down, so that as we move forward into the season, into our practice, we've always got this foundation that we can tap into. You will remember that feeling of support, perhaps focus in the mind. And then noticing a little bit more in this subtle body how we are with our breath. Does it feel shallow or deep? Just noticing. And noticing just for a moment the qualities of the mind and maybe the emotions that are present. Are they more light or maybe more heavy? And from this stable place, gratitude for all that supports us here. Let's begin our journey now a little bit more by bringing your knees towards each other and invite a little more movement as we bring the legs together. If you reach down, slide your blocks now out of your way and then let your arms come more out to your sides as you drop your legs that same position but now with no blocks. We're going to do a little more movement. So this is reclined cobblers. Let's bring your left foot up into the air above your belly or hips and then drop your left foot back down or back to reclined cobblers. Right foot comes up into the air and then bring your right foot down. Now tip both feet up into the air and then bring both feet back down. Again the right leg comes up and down. Left leg comes up and down and then both feet tip up into the air. And lower down. Let's do one more. Lift whatever leg you want to lift first. We'll do both. The opposite leg. That leg down. Both feet come up in the air and then bring your feet down. Tip your knees all the way together. Arms down beside you. As you tip your knees towards your chest, keep your arms at your side as you circle your knees around a few times which then hopefully feels like you massage a little bit your lower back space. And now the further your knees go away from your belly area, see if you can feel how that starts to also engage and warm up some of the abdominal muscles or digestive organs. Let's go the opposite way a few times. Now let's keep your knees tipped in towards your chest and tuck your hands a little more under the buttock area as you stretch your legs up in the air. Drop them forward and down. Knees back towards your chest. Legs in the air. Legs come forward and down. And follow that pathway a few times. Bringing some connection to abdominal muscles. And stop lowering the legs anytime. Again if there's discomfort in your back you don't need to lower the legs quite so much. Or do the movement a little faster. Now let's keep your knees tipped in towards your chest and take your hands around the back of your head. Release your fingers together. Now from here stretch your legs back up in the air. Separate your legs out to the side in that V shape. And then cross your right leg over left. Uncross. Left leg over right. Uncross and go a little faster. Crisscrossing your legs. And see as you crisscross your legs if maybe with some of this repetition the legs stretch out a little wider. And we're thinking more like quality movement over speed. Next time that you have your right leg over your left leg keep that cross. Bend your knees. And maybe you head towards eagle-like winding of the legs. Or squeeze your calves towards each other. Now let's draw your head, shoulders up, elbows reach towards the knees. And bring your head down. Move your knees forward. Curl back up. The knees can stay over the hips or they move forward if we want to challenge the core a little bit more. We curl up on exhale. Draw back into that solid ground on exhale. Let's try two more. Back and forth. And next time that your knees are over your hips let's keep them here. Open your arms wide. And depending on how your back feels we're going to keep the legs crossed as we tip your legs to the left. Maybe put your feet down for a moment. And then tip your hips and knees to the left. If that's too intense in your back please unwind the crossing of the legs so your legs are simply parallel. Now let's explore once your legs have tilted to the sides. You could always put a block actually underneath your right knee if you want more support. Figure out what angle this right arm wants to be at to help you tune in and clear out any stiffness in this right upper chest and shoulder. I'm going to slide my right arm really close to my ear and stretch even further down into that right side of the waist and just a tiny bit of stretch into the lower back. Right so again your version might look a little bit different but some angle with your right arm that encourages some opening on that right side of your body.

All right arm down at your side just doing a little check-ins. Roll onto your back if you will. Uncross your legs and tuck your hands under your pelvis. Let's extend the legs up towards the ceiling. Tuck your hands somewhere at your side as we'll once again open the legs wide and start criss-crossing the legs. A little energy moving there again and next time your left leg is over the right keep that cross. Bend your knees and now that the hips are stable tuck your hands again under your head. Maybe you have eagle legs or you're squeezing your caps together we're going to curl up drop your head down move your knees forward. Curl up on exhale and move the knees forward head drops down. Let's do a couple more curl up roll back to the floor curl up roll back to the floor now this next time let's keep the knees over the hips last curl up and then from here open your arms wide drop your right foot to the floor and if you know twisting is not great for your back uncross your legs others might tip to your right now for a twist and you might even have your right hand come down to catch that knee the left knee. Some of you again might like a block under your knee for support. I'll go without on this side so left arm explore now where to sweep your left arm down at your side in line with your chest somewhere up towards your ear and as you do a little exploring see if you can find that place that helps you tune in a little more to your left chest shoulder maybe you find that angle that increases the stretch sensation down even into your low back or outer left hip. Let's take one more moment tending to this left side doing a little rooting and clearing and then left arm down at your side as you roll again now onto your back uncross your legs please and now let's turn over onto your right side with bent legs and I'm going to fold my blanket to use that in addition to my arm tucked underneath my blanket for a little support to lift my head up for a little support you kind of make yourself a little pillow here and let's go ahead from here and put your left fingertips in front of you and then stretch your left leg back behind you draw a few circles with your left heel in the space behind you start small so you just start to notice how this ball and socket joints working and my we clear out some stiffness here now let's make the circle maybe a little bit bigger and draw your left foot more forward in front of you imagine you're drawing a circle more now even more in front of you so that you might kick that left foot up toward the height of your left shoulder it's really big circle around and we're not focused on speed we're focusing on quality movement and attention to how your ball and socket joint is moving let's enjoy maybe one more tour of that ball and socket joints right now let's pause all right let's go ahead and roll over onto your back and then turn over to your other side so I'm going to flip around so we can stay connected so if you're on your left side now with bent knees got enough cushion for your heads your arm might be tucked under your blanket have the left right fingertips in front of you as we start stretching whenever you're ready your right leg behind you draw a few circles with that right heel and start small so you're again just more aware of how that ball and sockets gonna start moving and then as you get bigger you'll feel maybe out more towards the glute muscles or outer hip and in particular as you start sweeping your right foot more in front of you and maybe up toward the height of your shoulder it doesn't need to be fast movements just looking for some interesting movement to clear away any congestion in this ball and socket joints in the spring tend to do lots of inner leg outer hip work that kind of pairs with my curiosity in the Chinese medicine system where we work the inner leg line outer leg line liver and gallbladder for the spring so you'll see lots of those kind of stretches here today let's lift ourselves away from the ground and we can get rid of that blanket now at least for just a moment as you turn to face the floor we'll come to a moment where you're on your belly point your toes straight back and slide your elbows if you will just a little bit in front of your chest press into your palms press into your elbows toes curled under so as we press into the elbows we're gonna lift your thighs belly and hips so you can look back towards your knees then come back down to the floor look forward exhale as you root your elbows lift your hips send your hips back and come back down to the floor now let's lift maybe the knees and engage your legs more belly more as you float off the ground lift your hips doing kind of a forearm cat cow let's do two more lift up on exhale look towards your feet come back down last one curl up and now let's simply lower the knees to the floor and grab your blanket will probably like a little extra padding under the knees and once you've got that padding for under your knees let's come back to now tabletop with your arms straight hands open under the shoulder line bring your knees a little closer together so it'll be easier to balance as we swing the left leg straight back in the space behind you now from here bend your left knee look over your shoulder bring your knee towards your left arm bone stretch your left leg back and then bring your left knee to the outside of your right calf and as you do imagine you're doing almost like eagle legs the shins ankles on the floor as you send your hips back so your right knee is going to lift a little bit off the blankets as you sit back right knee drops down left leg is again straight behind you left knee to left arm left leg straight back left knee to the outside of the right calf area and then sit back right knee comes off the blankets it's like you're doing Gomukhasana here in the hips right knee down left leg swings in the air one more time left knee to your left arm left leg straight back bring your left leg left knee to the outside of right calf send your hips back drop your head down now as we bring the right knee to the floor you might need to move more to the right side of your mat so your left leg kicks out to the side like we might do in gate pose I'm going to have you walk your hands a little bit more forward and as you bring your hands forwards this allows us to drop the head down like you're doing downward dog in your upper body now if you want to try a block under your forehead take a flat block under your forehead instead of letting your head dangle above the floor some of you might like to have something solid to put your head on can stay here with this downward dog upper body or experiment with lifting your head for a moment and take your left hand to the right like you've dropped something under the couch and you're reaching your left hand to the right and this time turn your head if you're reaching under the couch so to speak look at your left fingertips keep firming your right arm stretch your hips away from your shoulders let's lift up and out bring your knees together curl your toes under and walk your hands towards your knees stretch the feet some of you will stay with knees down some lift your knees up and separate them and come into a little bit of a squat with your arms in front of you head down and that might not be for everybody bring your knees back to the floor let's come back to our tabletop and treat the other side to those wonderful movements we'll start with your right leg straight back behind you look to your right as you bring your knee towards your arm right leg straight back bring your right knee to the outside of your left calf area the ankles are on the floor as you sit back let your left knee lift away from your blankets head down left knee on the blanket kick your right leg back up in the air behind you right knee to the right elbow right leg straight back right knee outside your left calf we sit back and that left knee lifts as your head comes down left knee down last cycle right leg in the air behind you right knee to your right elbow right leg kicks back right knee outside left calf and again sit back wonderful outer hips stretch let that left knee lift now as you put the left knee down and kick your right leg out to the side you might need to scoot a little further to the left edge of your mat let your arms walk forward so that your head drops down maybe to a block so it's not dangling and feel your hips move slightly back away from your shoulders so we can stay here this might be plenty to tend to in your shoulders and inner right leg others might try lifting your head and let that lower right arm reach over to the left as if you've dropped something under the couch and you're looking out towards your right fingertips so the right shoulder won't necessarily be on the floor we're just creating a little more space and stretch through that outer right shoulder mid back still keeping that right leg full of energy let's go ahead and come out bring your knees to the blanket let's go ahead and move that block out of the way and walk your hands back to your knees once again stretch your feet let's lift the knees separate your knees for those of you doing the squat one more little squat here and then let's all together start to come up towards standing the best way for you come up to stand and let's start to move up towards the top of the mat and when we get towards the top I'm going to turn towards you just for one more little standing warm up okay as we do our standing warm up a little bit of a balance pose if you bring your hands to your chest and tilt your weight to your right foot and then tilt your weight to your left foot and I'm actually standing on my real right foot and left right so as you're following just listen to the instructions right to left now come to your right foot and let your hand sweep over to the left as you kick your left foot over to the right and then we're going to do the opposite swing your left leg to the left so you're going to swing your leg back and forth and your arms are going the opposite direction when the leg is to the left the hands are opposite direction whoa and it's a balance pose so we might find ourselves losing it every now and then and you just try to reroute yourself as we bring more energy to that outer hip strength to our standing leg little playfulness joyfulness and the practice ideally as we might approach that mindset as we go back and forth sometimes losing our balance all right let's go ahead and stop and put that left foot down hands to the chest notice what it's like to shift your weight to your left foot and when you kick your right leg to the left swing your arms out to the right and then going the opposite direction so we're swinging opposite arm and leg direction and try to feel for the ground under your left foot you can continue to nourish that tap route to all that sense of grounding as you go in and out of balance just like we do in real life right sometimes we go in and out of balance and we come back and freshly appreciate your center couple more just to get that energy going to those the outer leg and some strength in the standing all right let's go ahead and stop and give the legs a little shake out and now we'll more officially move into some of our sun salute variations today with the feet in front of your blankets when you're ready root down into your feet and raise your arms whatever way feels good for your body today bring your hands down your center line as we touch the earth the ground with the fingertips let's go ahead and step back with your right leg and lower your right knee to the blankets root your back toes swing your arms up in front of you and inhale come all the way up to vertical standing on your right knee and then we're swing the arms back past your hips as you tip forward chest to your left knee swing your arms up come back to stand on right knee swing your arms back as you tip forward chest to the left knee let's do two more in your rhythm up tip forward exhale arms back inhale up tip forward hands back this time stay vertical all the way up grab a hold of your right wrist with your left hand and arch a little bit to your left side so you feel a deepening into the right side of your body let your belly stay a little hugged in towards your back tip back up to center and let your arms bend to 90 degrees as you turn to your left to the long end of the mat raise your arms up look straight ahead bend your arms to 90 degrees turn to your left the long end of your mat arms up and then let's bring your hands down past your front knee touch the floor lift up your back knee and now let's transfer your left leg back into your push up of plank from our plank we're gonna bring your hips up and back into our downward dog and now let's come from downward dog into a plank and just a little bit of looking forward into mini up dog toes are curled under hips up and back head down now let's bring your knees back to the blanket walk your hands to the knees lift your torso up and now let's do our second side so now we've got a right leg forwards start with your arms vertical up above your shoulders and as you're ready swing your arms back tip forward raise your arms up inhale exhale swing the arms back chest to knee inhale up find your rhythm exhale tip forward inhale up and tip forward swing those arms back and let's stay vertical in your vertical position grab a hold of your left wrist with your right hand reach up to the ceiling and then a little bit towards your right sides so hopefully you'll be feeling your left side body open belly hugs into the back to help lift out of your lower back tip up to neutral now and bend your arms to 90 degrees as you turn to the right to the long end of your mat raise your arms up look forward bend your arms 90 degrees look to the right arms back up look forward and last time arms bend look to the right not a huge twist arms go up and then bring your arms down to the floor fingertips to the floor curl your back toes under and lift your back knee from here let's go ahead step your right leg back plank downward facing dog exhale let your head drop down and from here if we can balance easily let's fold your blanket up and set your blanket to a side once the blankets out of your way walk your feet up towards the in between your hands with your feet side by side bend your ankles and knees circle on up through chair pose feel your feet press into the ground all the way up straight legs and then hands in front of your chest again press into your feet as you lift your arms up keep yourself rooted fold forward and down on exhale we can bend the knees to tip forward step back with your right leg into your warrior one footprint bring your hands to your hips lift your torso up and adjust your feet so you feel stable swing your arms up by your ears look straight ahead or up swing your arms back by your hips as you tip your torso forward raise yourself up inhale arms by your ears tip forward hands arms back by your hips lift up and one more time tip forward swing your arms back raise yourself up and stay here as you reach for your right wrist with your left hand again arch a little bit to your left side hug the belly in a bit towards your back notice if you feel a fuller stretch in your back half even here it's one possibility come back up to neutral now open your arms out straight to the left so arms might drop more parallel to the floor raise your arms up look forward not a huge twist turn to the left lower your arms come back up last one turn to the left arms dropping down come back up and bring your hands past your left knee to the floor right leg takes a step back left leg goes back push up plank raise your hips up and back down dog keep your toes curled under will come forward like a wave through plank into little baby up dog toes are curled under back into your down dog now step your right foot forward towards the back of your right wrist left heel to the floor warrior one catch your hips lift your torso up and do adjust your feet base is really important that's your feet your legs then arms go up press into your feet as you tip forwards arms back by your hips reach up press into your feet in particular as you come forwards inhaling arms up towards the sky look forward one more time tip forward raise your arms up and now from here stay grab a hold of your left wrist with your right hand and arch a bit to the right belly hugs in lift up out of your lower back all right now as we come back to neutral spine drop your arms out to the side looking to the right side of your mat raise your arms back up to neutral drop your arms parallel look to your right arms back up look forward one more time turn to the right really press into your feet as you open those arms come back up hands past your right knee to the floor left leg back right leg back to our push up plank raise your hips downward facing dog from dog let's add that extra tip back through plank into little mini up dog thighs engaged belly engaged and then from down dog will walk the feet up between the hands bend your knees root your feet a bit more as you sweep your arms up towards your ears full chair pose powerful pose and then up into straight legs hands in front of the chest press into your feet last time coming up sweep your arms up in the air bend your knees as you tip from the hips and full forward touch the earth step back with your right leg now into that high lunge with your back heel up catch your hips lift your torso and some of you will benefit from bending your back knee to keep the lower back long and stable or some keep the legs straight swing your arms up maybe no surprise tip forward arms back by your hips reach forward as you press into your feet tip forward arms back by your hips one more stay lifted that crescent lunge grab your right wrist with your left hand arch to your left come back to center open to your left side of the mat arms drop down parallel to the floor raise your arms back up hands past your left knee to the floor find your flow from plank into downward facing dog coming into plank and into up dog with your toes curled under tip forward drop your head to the heart as the hips go back up second side last one in this cycle come into your high lunge you might catch your hips lift your torso up notice if it feels better with your back left knee bent the arms sweep up towards your ears strong legs as we tip forward arms back by your side raise your arms up exhale arms at your side look down inhale looking up towards the wall in front of you last time tip forward and then stay in the vertical lifted position catch your left wrist with your right hand and a slight arch to your right belly stays engaged tip to neutral open your arms press into both feet as you twist take your arms back up and last time hands past your right knee find your push up of plank adjust the distance between hands and feet down dog dropping the head down cruising through your plank into early up dog with your toes curled under look forward down dog exhale and now let's walk your feet up to the sides of the wrist and turn your toes out a few degrees so you're preparing a little more for a squat and come down with your hips towards the height of the knees if that's what's best for you or drop your hips down so the hips would point a little bit more towards the floor or sink towards the floor okay find which one is best for you right now take one more exhale perhaps hands join together in front of your chest look forward and imagine you are like a rocket and you go straight up towards the ceiling as you use your legs let's see if your arms are out in front of you if you might come down again squats keep your arms in front of me and see if that helps you transfer up and down a little bit more easily and then we will stay up arms down at your side let's take a turn towards the long end of your mat and as we open up towards that long end let's take a moment with your feet just a little bit wider than your shoulders you find your foundation so let's turn your toes out pull the heels in bend your knees so you're coming into that high goddess position or high squat spring your arms up to 90 degree angles right so as we adjust and settle in in a solid way here we're going to do a little practice to keep balance open our side body as we tip to your right side cross your left leg over your right and then take your left arm in the air and send your right hand past that navel and arch to your right side we'll come back to your goddess tip to your left right leg crosses over reach your right arm in the air as you arch to your left side come back to your goddess squats tip to your right left leg crosses in front of right and we arch to the right back to your goddess squats tip to your left right leg is in front as we arch open up side body one more time come through your goddess squats lean to your right left leg is in front as we arch to the right back through your goddess find your foundation and then leap to your left right leg is in front and we arch to the left let's come back through your goddess shape find your base exhale let's bring the arms down as we straighten the legs and adjust your feet just a little bit wider apart and turn your right turn your left toes out to the left let's start with the left side bend your knee and you might need to go in and out a couple times to find that workable angle for your feet legs so you feel stable let's bring your arms whenever you're ready up adjust your neck shoulders so that we're not tight here now from here as we bend our arms towards 90 degrees squeeze your elbows in on exhale open wide on inhale squeeze in get those chest muscles working here open wide now let's stay here and tilt to your left side rest your forearm on your thigh and stretch that right arm overhead all the way straight let's drop the arm down in front of you and circle it in the way that helps clear away what might feel like those deeper cobwebs tension stiffness in this lab side of your body you know seeing that your head stays higher than the heart as you're doing that clearing work now maybe this next time we'll keep the right arm down towards your ear and cheek and just for a moment press into your feet as you sink a little deeper into your pose and then from that wonderful hopefully experienced tip all the way back up straighten your front leg turn your left toes and turn your right toes out and begin to adjust your feet so you can come into your warrior to base and the angles are right and you feel stable bend your arms 90 degrees squeeze your arms in let them touch press back open up the front of the chest and then squeeze in to turn on some of those pectoral muscles let's again go wide and again squeeze in on exhale this time when we go out with our arms at 90 degrees tip to your right side rest your forearm here and then stretch that left arm overhead and we might start that process of going down and around and I know when I do this I always enjoy feeling there's still some stretch into the back body side body front body there's no way to do it right or wrong just notice all the different ways you're moving different joints in your body different muscles ideally the head stays up higher than the heart right now maybe we settle if you're ready your left arm down a little closer to your cheek find that nice line of energy through that left side of your body here take one more moment right now from here let's go ahead and turn towards the short end of the mat and as we put the hands down slide your right leg back so you end up in downward dog on that exhale from your downward dog tip back into your plank pose again moving a little bit through your up dog with toes curled under and then up we go hips up and back for downward dog from her down dog let's lower the knees to the floor and slide your feet out to any side as we'll come to sitting and as you stretch your legs forward this would be another time you might enjoy your blankets so if we fold your blanket and you've got a little bit of something to sit on slide that back for underneath your hips and as we sit on that little bit of extra lift stretch your legs out in front of you it will take your hands what might be a little bit beside your hips they'll be different for everyone based on torso and arm length but try to root down through your legs hands as you lift up into the center of your spine and just let that bake in for a moment actually doing your dawn Dawson opposed staff pose mindfully feeling energy and legs and rooting and if we think of a prep for twists now we're going to take your left foot to the outside of your right leg and adjust your right leg a little more to the right so it's in line with your hip hold on to your left knee with both hands and sit more to the front of your pelvis okay rather than the back and rounding the spine so we're sitting towards the front now please raise your right arm straight up in the air and tilt a little bit more forward in your pelvis so your ribs are really close to your left thigh okay you can stay here and keep working the the pose lifting up some of you will bring your right elbow crease around the front of that left knee and squeeze your left knee more mindfully in towards your chest so this outer hip area on the left side I hope starts to feel some new sensations we might keep hugging that left leg in root your left fingertips behind you and rather than thinking about twisting think about elongating the spine by rooting down through your right leg and through your left sit bone take one more moment as you are here big breath around that diaphragm center of your body and if we turn back to face the short end of your mat and pick up your left foot and raise the foot up maybe as high as your chest so you can catch the foot with your left hand and we're going to open that left knee out to your side and bring the leg across to the right left knee to the left and the foot travels out to the right so you're kind of letting this leg kind of cross back and forth across the center line it's noticing how your leg moves in this range of motion and now let's take a moment and more consciously mindfully squeeze your left foot towards your face and chest as you try to sit more on top of your sit bones can you feel a fuller stretch like you're doing pigeon to some degree in your left sides now let's take this left foot and drop it outside that your upper right thigh as best as you can so it's like you're doing Gomukhasana legs with your knees more or less stacked when the lower leg is straight we'll feel a bigger hamstrings stretch a bigger hamstrings stretch a bigger hamstring stretch fingertips to the ground to help stabilize you left to right and then consider tipping a little forward from your hips and maybe be open to the surprise that we actually don't go all that far especially when right hamstrings are involved some of you might lean back and try with your lower right leg bent and then we do the full Gomukhasana that's maybe in the traditional text with the knees both bent and I know this won't be for everybody some of you could tip forward that way alright so as we go back and maybe we appreciate the other version safer for you let's take a few moments and with your awareness turn inward notice where you feel the stretch right now and can you allow this area of your body to maybe not feel so dense so solid is there a way to encourage a little more softening into some of those deeper tissues right let's tilt back and as we lean back release your left leg in front of you let's bend your knees slide your hands back off the blanket and like we did up dog in our flow earlier let's do reverse tabletop just to send some energy into our practice put your butt back down one more time a little back bend in between our forward bend and then come down stretch your leg once again out now we'll do our other side so if we take your right foot to the outside of your left leg hold your right knee with your hands and sit to the front of your pelvis as you hold your knee let the left arm whenever you're ready stretch towards the ceiling and see if that can also inspire a little bit more forward tip in the pelvis you could stay with your arm up if you like that feeling or bend your left elbow hook it around the front of your right knee and before doing anything else squeeze that right leg towards your chest towards your ribs and see if that helps that outer right hip area stretch maybe take your right fingertips now a little bit behind you and root your fingertips as you tilt yourself to be right on top of the sit bones and try to get again a little more energy moving into your tap roots as they move through the floor imagining they're moving into that fertile ground beneath you rather than worrying about twisting think about elongating as you hug your right leg towards your chest last breath here then we'll turn when you're ready back to the short end of the mat lift your right foot up and catch your foot with both hands and invite that right leg to go back and forth across the midline just noticing again how the leg moves in that way and then at some point let's go ahead and maybe hold that foot up and tip it a little bit more towards your chest and rather than leaning back which is the first maybe instinct see if you can sit a little bit more up straight as if you had a wall behind your back and maybe it feels like you're doing pigeon on that right side let's take your right foot to the outside of the left leg now and settle the foot more towards the top of your left thigh or outer hip and then I like to put my hands out to my sides to help me stay neutral so I'm not falling to the left or the right my pelvis is more neutral engage muscles along your spine lift up through the chest and see if you're able to tilt a little bit forward from your hips most of us will typically feel the hamstrings immediately here in that left leg and let's not overwhelm them so make sure you sit up more straight if you feel like you've on a scale of one to ten you're like on a ten tipping forward tip back so you're more like a five or a six now some of you might have access to bending your lower left leg and you pull your left leg back and you've got your legs of Gomukhasana in which case you might hold your feet and press them down as you tip forward all right so that's not for everybody I'll show again the straight leg and a little bit of tipping forward now let's stay here whichever version you choose and let your awareness turn more inward towards where the sensations are this moment and notice if there's a feeling of density stiffness or can we encourage a little bit more flow a sense of softening some of those tissues and muscles one more moment with full attention wherever you sense that attention is needed we'll lift back up and lean back so there's no pressure on your knees as you stretch your legs one or both out in front of you let's again bend your legs have your hands back off the blanket fingers pointing towards your hips squeeze your elbows in towards each other to open your chest either stay here or lift your hips up look towards the ceiling bring your hips back down and we go from bent elbows maybe the straight arms swing your hips up and then lower back down let's take a moment and revisit that Dandasana that staff pose to feel energy move through your legs and up into your spine after giving a little bit of attention to the grounding let's move our weight actually to the floor as we bend the knees scoot off your blanket set your blanket perhaps to your side and we'll come down to your back as you make your way onto your back with bent legs let your arms open a little bit out to your sides and I always love and finishing a practice to have a little bit of floor time the feet may be along the edge of the mat to invite that little wind show wiper move with legs going to the right back up to center legs drop a little bit to the left back to center and then maybe it feels good as your knees go to the right so your head turns a little bit to the left back to center and even though I do this almost every day this move it almost feels like there's something new to feel and experience so see even if this is something that you do regularly is there some sense of newness something that feels different today this new season on the horizon all right and then if you tip back to center and you notice there's any other little moves that your body would like to do before you get settled into our reclined meditation of Shavasana feel free to grab whatever you need for layers or props or finish your practice with any moves and we'll meet together in Shavasana a reclined meditation and for those that might be here already take a moment as your eyes turn inward just to sense where you have support where's that grounding that earth quality underneath you notice what air is your your body feel again heavy solid dense in comparison to places that feel more light more spacious more soft aware of your core temperature now and does the body feel warm in some areas and cool and others places that are covered versus places that are exposed take a moment acknowledging your breath as the breath feel slow or fast just noticing without any judgment or story does the circulation feel mobile or stagnant in some areas and we make those micro adjustments so that we feel we're in the best spot to feel the energy and the essence from our practice awakening all these deep corners of the hips the legs shoulders the core we appreciate the energy we've created today in our practice the Shavasanas will be a little short in this first day just so that we don't feel dull or sleepy or heavy after a practice cultivating our warmth trying to improve circulation but gather some of the earth elements with you as you bend one leg at a time feet back on the earth when you're ready to curl on to whatever sides you're inclined to roll to today turn to your sides fetal pose carry as much of that earth element with you so we're slowly tipping up into your upright seats I want to encourage you to sit on a little bit of padding could be a blanket could be a block and as we come into a sitting position feel into the essence of your practice here and take a moment maybe to consider what roots you what roots you as we prepare again to move into a new season to weather the storm what keeps you grounded and maybe a moment of gratitude for whatever comes to mind when you think of that question as we bring the hands up in front of your heart center and a moment of gratitude for whatever grounds you and thank you so much for being here for day one of the spring challenge I look forward to seeing you tomorrow namaste and as many of you know in addition to the Asana portion of the practice for the next five days I want to infuse a little bit more of healthy lifestyle practices a little bit of Ayurveda to help you feel even healthier and more energetic as we move into the spring season so I was thinking about the first step to deliver today and the first thing that came to mind is the encouragement to take this week to give yourself a little bit more rest and what I mean by that specifically is to treat yourself for the next five days to early bedtime as close as you can to 10 o'clock and that encouragement comes because typically as we turn towards spring a new season the seasonal transitions in Ayurveda is where we notice that people tend to get sick more frequently and with the excitement of spring and the extra light it's easy to be pulled to do more activity and oftentimes after we've had the nice rest of the winter I like to encourage people to think about pacing themselves more appropriately for the long season of spring by resting a little bit more with more rest we will have then good health to move forward through the full season without maybe getting sick by doing too much too fast after the rest period we had in the winter time so a little bit of attention to sleep and whatever sleep hygiene you need to do to rest efficiently before bed and then I also like to encourage people to take a look at your tongue in the morning hopefully you might have a tongue scraper or if you don't one homework assignment would be to get a tongue scraper to first thing in the morning scrape your tongue to notice if it's clear saliva that comes off the tongue which means you've digested the foods you've taken in the previous day foods or drink versus mornings where you might find your tongue has more white coating on it if you're noticing you have more white coating on your tongue that might mean that you're not digesting what you're taking in and it's a good time of the year typically to start shifting some of our nutrition habits and shift from the heavier foods of winter to things that are a little bit lighter and easier to digest so we want to start kind of letting go of things that make you feel heavy things that might create more congestion and as you scrape your tongue in the morning you would see if there's congestion in your body and continue decreasing those foods or drinks until your tongue has clear ish saliva in the morning and one of the other ways that we boost the digestive system in the morning is to have what we call their master cleanser drink so it's room temperature water with a good squeeze of lemon a drop of maple syrup to make the medicine go down and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper and you stir that up until you see that the cayenne has dissolved into the liquid and then you drink that first thing in the morning okay after you've done your tongue scraping and ideally what that does is you'll feel a little bit more warmth in your system thanks to the cayenne so that increased circulation and the lemon which is sour which kind of wakes up your digestive fire which might be a little bit cool from the night's sleep and so then your body is a little bit warmed up and more able then to digest whatever foods you take in at that morning hour when it's typically cool so we want to have kind of a lighter meal typically in the morning until your digestive fire is robust like it typically will be more midday and that's when we have the bigger meal the heartier meal and work through your day and hopefully the strength of your digestive system helps you efficiently digest food so that you have stable energy to carry you through the afternoon hour and the evening you have your supper your lighter meal ideally so you have a good night's sleep maybe by 10 o'clock and for one week treat yourself to a little bit of extra self-care and see if that gives you the stability and the foundation you need to have an amazing spring so that's some of the challenge for the day one you made it through the asana and i wish you the best in incorporating some of those into the rest of your day and i look forward to seeing you tomorrow have a great rest of the day namaste everybody

Comments

Jenny S
7 people like this.
This practice featured your trademark creativity and deceptively challenging core work...about midway through the sun salutes I had a nice little “glow” going! This is just what I needed to shake off the kappa sluggishness as winter has finally transformed into spring here in the northeast US. Feeling ready to make on whatever comes my way today 😎 Thanks Melina! 🙏🏻❤️
Melina Meza
And I adore you thoughtful and creative reviews of the practices!!!! Thank YOU for making time to drop into your practice today and may the reward be that you soar through your day with grace.
Kathryn T
4 people like this.
Best start to the new season! Thank you!
Melina Meza
Thanks Kathryn! I wish you the best in the season ahead.
Christel B
4 people like this.
Great practice to get all the fluids in the body moving. Thanks for bringing us these Spring Ayurveda practices and the digestive pieces of wisdom..
Diane C
4 people like this.
Wonderful class Melina. I am so ready to spring ahead, but will listen to your advice and take it slow!
Melina Meza
Right?! I know its tempting to DASH out and meet this glorious energy with 100% of your energy and excitement. Just for this week....see what's its like to get LOTS of rest so you'll be that much more grounded for the busy months ahead.
Melina Meza
My pleasure Christel! It's officially time to flow now that spring has arrived, so I hope you'll enjoy the next few days to move, rest, and ready yourself for the exciting season ahead.
LOUISE F
6 people like this.
Welcome back Melinda! I soooo love your practices and this venture into Springtime is very very welcome. I really enjoyed the new variety you added to the practice and I found it very opening and thought provoking. Just simply wonderful! See you for Day 2 - Namaste
Melina Meza
Thanks Louise, I had a lot of fun putting these sequences together for you all. I hope you enjoy them often! 
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