Wake Up with Yoga Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 7

Outer and Inner Resilience

30 min - Practice
67 likes
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Description

Explore your balance in this warming and strengthening practice. We warm the body in Sun Salutes, then flow into standing poses with challenges in Half Moon and Side Plank, before closing in a sweet restorative pose. You will feel calm, centered, and confident.
What You'll Need: Mat, Blanket (2), Block (2)

Transcript

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Good morning. Welcome to our practice. In today's practice, we will be doing several balancing poses. One pose is side plank. If you have wrist issues, I will give you an option to do it on your form, so keep that in mind. And also half moon. And I'll also give you an option to stay in triangle pose if that is too much. But let's get started. So find a comfortable seat. You can sit like I am sitting in Sukhasana, or you can sit in hero's pose, or just simply sitting on your heels kneeling. Okay, go ahead and stretch your arms out to the side. And then externally rotate your upper arms, so the palms of your hands face the ceiling. And then bend your elbows a little bit, and then make fists, not angry fists, happy fists, if there's something like that. And then firm your upper arm muscles. So firm the biceps and the triceps, kind of hugging the muscles into the bones. Relax your neck and throat and facial muscles. And then continue that kind of muscular energy. Tighten out the fingers, straighten your arms, and keep that external rotation in the upper arms. But turn the palms of the hands to face the floor. And then point your fingers straight up. Spread your fingers and press out through the heels of your hands. Imagine that you're pushing two opposing walls apart. So kind of channel your inner hulk. Soften your shoulders. Press your sitting bones into the floor and elongate your spine. Very gently draw your belly front ribs in. So this is pretty much what you aim for when we do a pose like side plank. So a couple more breaths here, you might feel a little bit of sensations in your forearms and your wrists. One more breath. And then straighten out your hands, turn the palms of your hands to face the ceiling and your arms likely feel heavy, mine do. Inhale, stretch your arms overhead. Take one more deep full breath in here. Use your arms to in a sense lift your abdomen up and out of your pelvis. And then remain this tall as you slowly lower your arms. Okay, please go ahead and stretch out your legs. And let's find our way onto our hands and knees. And for today's practice, it would be good to have a couple of blocks and a couple of blankets. So instead of placing the palms of your hands flat in this tabletop position, come up onto your fingertips. So have your wrists beneath your shoulders. And then as you inhale, start to lift and open up your chest, reach your chest through the upper arms. And then as you exhale, curl your tailbone under, draw your navel towards your back body and let your head dangle. And as you inhale again, open up your chest, cow pose. And as you exhale, round your back and just a couple more rounds on your own. Now the reason I'm having you beyond to your fingertips is so that you can start to engage the undersides of the forms and also strengthen the undersides of the forms and the arches in your hands in preparation for weight bearing on your hands. Okay, then go ahead and just for a moment come into child's pose. Bring your big toes to touch knees about hips width and then see if you can walk your hands forward a little bit more. Remain up onto your fingertips a little bit longer. And as you are pressing your fingertips into the floor, notice kind of the rebounding of the forms and elbows up away from the floor.

And just align your ears with the inner upper arms so your forehead is not on the floor. And just take a few more breaths here, like an active child's pose. And keep that lift in your forearms, place your hands flat and especially press through the mounds, the knuckles of your fingers and kind of gently without moving your fingers, move your thumb towards the index finger, index finger to the thumb and you'll feel how that really works the arches in your hands. One more breath here. And then please inhale, move forward onto your hands and knees and then exhale, downward facing dog. Maybe pedal your feet here in the first down dog. Just notice what's going on in the back of your legs. Continue pressing through the mounds of your fingers, through the knuckles and firming your triceps in. So you externally rotate the upper arms. And then when you're ready, just walk your feet up to your hands, coming to the top of your mat, feet about hips width, spread your toes as much as you can and allow your knees to soften, bending your knees and just grab a hold of your elbows, pause here for a moment in a soft uttanasana. Now place your fingertips on the floor in front of your toes, inhale, reach your sternum away from your navel, so arda uttanasana and find to keep your knees bent. And then as you exhale, bring your hands to your hips, firm your belly in and then inhale, come all the way up and standing in tadasana. Let's just take a moment and press the tops of your thighs back until you feel a little bit more weight in your heels. And then imagine you have a zipper from the pubic bone moving up towards your navel, draw the lower belly in and up and move the lower ribs in. And as you turn the palms of your hands to face straight ahead, you're broadening across your collarbones. Now inhale, circle your arms overhead, lift your chest, look up, maybe seal your hands. So you exhale, hinging from your hips, you can bend your knees to fold uttanasana. Inhale, arda uttanasana, lengthen your spine. And as you exhale, step your right foot back into a high lunge. And just for a moment, stay up onto your fingertips to more easily lengthen your spine. And then when you're ready, if it's possible, place the palms of your hands flat, step into plank pose. Firm your belly, front ribs up towards your back body. Press your hands, knuckles, fingertips into the floor and kind of draw the thumb and index finger towards one another. Firm your triceps in. If this gets to be too much by all means, come onto your knees. Two more breaths here. Press your heels back as you reach through the crown of your head. Now we're going to transition into plank pose on our forearms. If you need to bring your knees down in the transition by all means do that. So where your right hand is, bring your right elbow. Come onto your right form where your left hand is, bring your left elbow and then go ahead and interlace your fingers. Kind of karate chop the floor with the outer wrists. Reach your sternum forward as you press your heels back. Firm your belly in. Find two. Bring your knees onto the floor. Two more breaths here. Tuck your chin in a little bit. One more breath. Sit your knees down. Point your toes. Come into swing pose. And plank pose on your forearms does work the abdominal muscles a little bit more. Okay, so from swing pose, just very gently kind of pull the mat back with the palms of your hands. Broaden across your collarbones. Just take one more deep full breath in. Dynamically stretch out through your legs. Move your tailbone in. And then as you exhale, go ahead and fold all the way forward onto your forehead. Place your hands or fold your hands underneath your forehead and rest. Allow your body to rest for a few breaths here. Breathing into your lower back. Now start to dynamically stretch out through your legs again. And then reach your arms by your sides, fingertips back.

Top the floor with your fingertips. Lift your shoulders. Lengthen the buttocks to your heels. Press your pubic bone into the floor. Lift your forehead. Lift your chest. Lift your hands. Turn the palms of your hands to face one another. And leading with the inseams of your legs, lift your feet and legs up off the floor. Tuck your chin in a little bit. Take three more breaths here. So this is a shalabhasana variation. Locust variation. It's a great pose to strengthen the entire back of your body. Now lower your feet. Place your hands by your lower ribs. Either stay here in low cobra or coming up into a high cobra or for some of you, upward facing dog. Sometimes in the morning though, it's a little bit too soon for a lot of us. As you exhale, downward facing dog. Staying in downward facing dog for just about three breaths here. Take some nice deep breaths. Maybe bending your knees a little bit to find more length in your spine. And then when you're ready, just simply walk your feet up to your hands. Find your way to the top of your mat with the option to step your feet together. Inhale, open your chest. Ardha uttanasana. Exhale, fold. Uttanasana. Inhale, spread your arms out to the side. Leading with your chest, rise all the way up and exhale, hands to your heart. So we're going to weave in some standing poses into the samsalut. I like to use a block. So if you'd like to use a block, have the block near you. Standing in tadasana. Inhale, circle your arms overhead. Exhale, hinging at your hips. Again, you can bend your knees, fold. Inhale, open your chest. Exhale, step into plank pose. Slowly, either lower all the way down. Find to bring your knees down. Or chaturanga dandasana. Broaden across your collarbones. Inhale, cobra or up dog. Take your time. Exhale, downward facing dog. Now inhale, raise your right leg behind you. And as you exhale, step your right foot up between your hands. Right knee above your right ankle. Set the back foot flat. And place your block by the outer right ankle. Pin the outer right hip in. Place your right form on top of your right thigh. Left hand to your left hip. A little bit more weight to the back foot. And as you keep firming the right buttock underneath you, press the left thigh bone back. See if you can lengthen the right side of the torso. And then reach your left arm up. Externally rotate the left arm. And then reach the arm over your cheek.

So this is a variation of extended side angle pose. Parsvakonasana. So a couple more breaths here. You can also turn your gaze up towards the ceiling. Now press your feet into the floor. Inhale, come into warrior two. Again continue firming the right outer hip in so that the knee is tracking in line with your second toe. Lift your right hip up off your right thigh so you level your pelvis. You're not trying to square your hips so that back hip comes forward a little bit so you can hold on to that alignment of the front leg. Reach more dynamically out through the left arm. Lift your sternum. Gently draw your belly lower ribs in. So just a few more breaths here. Gazing beyond the fingertips of your right hand. Soften your shoulders. Now keep the knee tracking in line with your second toe. Slowly straighten the right leg. Turn the palm of the right hand to face the ceiling. Inhale, stretch your arm overhead. And then as you exhale, coming into triangle pose. Option to use that block. Or grab hold of your ankle. Some of you might be so flexible that you can couple of your fingertips. But make it a priority to lengthen the right side of your torso. So what takes priority now is that you keep firming the outer right hip in and keeping the right knee in line with the second toe. Bring your left hand to your left hip. We're going to come into arda chandrasana half moon. If you find that that's too much, you can stay in triangle pose. So when you're ready, bend your right knee a little bit. Step the back foot in slightly closer. Keep firming the outer right hip in. Now you can take the block with you. Take your right hand forward at least a foot. Make sure the block, your hand is completely on the mat or completely on the floor. And then transition into half moon. So you raise your left leg until it's about parallel to the floor. Flex your left foot. And we're not trying to stack the left hip above the bottom hip. In fact, if you see that your right foot has turned in, it's likely that you're bringing the left leg behind you. So just briefly come out of the pose and reset that foot. Now you can roll the left shoulder back a little bit more. Open up your chest a bit more and maybe extend the left arm up. I'm choosing to look down. It's a little easier to remain stable and steady, but you're welcome to try to slowly turn your gaze towards the top hand. One more breath, reach beyond the fingertips, the top hand, and then bring your left hand back to your left hip. Now very slowly bend your right knee. Transitions are not always easy. And then slowly reach the left foot back and coming into triangle pose. So the different ways of transitioning in and out of or moving towards half moon. So this is one way. Reach your left arm up. Press your feet into the floor. Inhale, come all the way up. And then exhale back into warrior two just for a moment. Turn the palm of the left hand to face the ceiling.

Swing the arm overhead, bring your hands back down. And we're back where we started. High lunge. Down dog, please. Now from your down dog, you can choose to go through the vinyasa or simply stay in down dog. So if you do the vinyasa, inhale, plank pose. Exhale, lower. You can lower all the way down. Inhale, cobra or up dog. See what works for you this morning. And then exhale, downward facing dog. Okay, side number two. Inhale, raise your left leg behind you. Exhale, step it through. Place the block by the outer left ankle. Set the back foot flat. Make sure the back foot is turned in a little bit. Pin the outer left hip in and then place your left form on top of your left thigh. Right hand to your right hip. Keep firming the outer left hip in. Press the right thigh bone back so you have a little bit more weight to the back heel. Roll your right shoulder back. Extend the right arm up. Externally rotate the arm. Reach the arm over your cheek. Notice if you're sitting in that left shoulder, move up and out of the left shoulder. You can also turn your gaze up towards the ceiling. Press your feet into the floor. Inhale, warrior two. So the tendency is to let that left hip droop. Lift it up. Tuck the right hip in. And stretch more dynamically out through the right arm. Soften your shoulders. Keep firming the outer left hip in. Keeping that knee to second toe alignment. Slowly straighten your left leg. Turn the palm of the left hand to face the ceiling. Inhale, stretch your left arm up. Breathe in. Exhale, triangle pose. So this is where I like to use my block. And stretch your right hand up towards the ceiling. So just another two breaths here. See if you can lengthen the left side of the torso. Now you're more than welcome to stay right here.

Otherwise, bring the right hand to the right hip. Bend your left knee. Step the back foot in a little closer. Keep firming the outer left hip in. Reach your left hand forward at least a foot. Maybe take the block with you. And then slowly raise the right leg until it's about parallel to the floor. Flex your right foot. You can, if you like, keep a slight bend in that left knee to more easily firm the left hip in. Roll your right shoulder back. Reach your right arm up. I'm choosing to look down. Some of you, maybe you choose to turn your gaze up. So a couple more breaths here in Ardha Chandrasana, half moon. Reach beyond the fingertips of the top hand. Bring the right hand back to your right hip. Slowly bend the left knee. Keep tracking the knee in line with the second toe. Reach your right foot back into a nice kind of distance from the front foot coming into triangle pose again. Press your feet into the floor. Inhale, rise up. Exhale, a brief warrior two. Bend the left knee. Turn the palm of the right hand to face the ceiling. Swing the arm overhead. Bring your hands down into the high lunge. Step into down dog. Option to stay here or inhale plank pose. Exhale, Chaturanga, lower all the way down. Inhale, Cobra or up dog. Inhale, down dog. Now let's come into child's pose. Bring your knees, butt hips width, maybe slightly wider, big toes touching. Bring your buttocks onto your heels. Fold your hands underneath your forehead and rest. Now stretch your arms out in front of you. Walk your hands as far forward as you can without moving your shoulders up to your ears. And then inhale, move forward onto your hands and knees. Exhale, downward facing dog. So my recommendation as we're moving into side plank, Vasisthasana, that if you have tight shoulders, turn your hands out a little bit. And also if you have wrist issues, as we're coming into plank pose, please transition onto your forearms and then you can do it on either form as we're moving into both sides. So step your feet together and then inhale, come forward into plank pose. Come up onto the fingertips of the left hand. And especially root down through your right inner palm, firm your tricep in. And then come over on the side edges of the right foot.

Flex your feet. If this is too much, you can in a moment place the left foot in front into a kickstand. Then reach your left arm up. So you can do the kickstand if you like. Bring the left foot forward. Makes it a little bit easier, maybe more stable. Or you can also take the left foot in front like so. Or you can stack your legs. So this is one variation of Vasisthasana. So push the floor away from you. Reach beyond the fingertips of the top hand. Gently firm your belly, front ribs in. Almost lost balance there. Two more breaths. So if you're on your right forearm, same thing, firm the right tricep in. And now from side plank, come back into the normal plank, which suddenly seems easy. And then come up onto the fingertips of the right hand, the fingertips. And then coming over onto the side edges of the left foot, press through the left inner palm, firm the left tricep in. And then reach your right arm up. Push the floor away from you. Reach beyond the fingertips of the top hand. Lift your hips a little bit. They tend to droop. You can also do the kickstand. Bring the right foot in front. Okay? So just a few more breaths. Now I'm choosing to look down. More stability for me right now. Some of you may try to look towards the top hand. Take one more deep full breath in. Firm your belly, lower ribs in. And then exhale back to plank pose. And then slowly lower all the way down. Now this time, interlace your fingers behind your back. Nice counter-stretch for your shoulders. Inhale, lift up. And lift your feet and legs up off the floor. Tuck your chin in a little bit. A few more breaths here. Lower your feet. Place your hands by your lower ribs. Now you can stay in low cobra or you have options. High cobra or maybe even upward facing dog again. Exhale, downward facing dog. And then walk your hands back to your feet. For a nice counter-stretch for your wrists, slide your hands underneath your feet. See if you can bring the toes all the way up to the creases of your wrists. Feel free to bend your knees. Inhale, lift and open your chest. And exhale, fold. So mush your hands with your feet. Kind of massage your wrists with your toes. This is pada hastasana. Pada means foot hasta hands. One more breath. Inhale, open your chest. Exhale, walk your hands forward again. Back to downward facing dog. Then come onto your knees. Sit on your heels briefly. Now we're going to do kind of a restorative version of upavista konasana. So you're going to sit and bring your legs apart. Not as wide apart as you might be able to if you're super flexible. You actually want to be able to grab your big toes if need be. Have your toes pointing straight up. If you have tight inner thighs, hamstrings, you might have to sit on a blanket because your legs will turn out. Now you can either work here with your hands behind your hips or you can walk your hands forward. Sometimes I like to place a block or a couple of blankets or a bolster in front of my pelvis and that gives me a little bit of support as I walk my hands forward. Some of you may want to grab your big toes and do the more classical upavista konasana. So you have options. So just a few more breaths here. And then walk your hands back and bring your legs together.

So the next pose is one of my favorite poses. That's where we're going to use the two blankets and please stack two blankets like so. If you have a bolster, better, even better, but two blankets absolutely will do the trick. So with the two blankets, I fold the top blanket to make it a little bit higher from my head. If you have a bolster or a third blanket, you can just put the third or the blanket across for your head and neck. I support my legs in this pose. It's also called the goddess pose because it makes us feel like we are, we can channel our inner goddess even if you are a man. You're a feminine side. So bring the soles of your feet together. Sometimes we use a strap, but today we're going to keep it pretty simple. You're sitting about an inch away from your bolster or your blankets and then you simply lie back. And it's nice if you can have that extra height underneath your head and neck so that your forehead is up a little bit higher than your chin. Even if you're super flexible, do support your legs so that you're not having to kind of hang out in your joints and your hip joints also has a way of allowing your belly to be soft and bring your arms out to the side, kind of draw the shoulder blades down into the upper back and allow your shoulders to be heavy. So as you're resting here, bring your mind's eye to the center of your chest and take a couple of deeper breaths and with each exhalation, just see if you can soften into this pose. One of the main purposes of yoga is to calm the mind. So can you sense an inner calm that you can take with you when you leave your mat this morning? Allow your eyelids to release down towards your cheekbones and once again draw your mind's eye to the center of your chest. So of course you are more than welcome to stay here longer. You can stay in this pose anywhere from a minute to 10 minutes as long as your lower back feels okay and you have that support underneath your legs. Otherwise you bring your knees together and just for a moment stretch your legs out onto the floor, reach your fingertips up towards the ceiling, grab hold of your elbows and stretch your arms overhead. Just take a moment, flex your feet, ankles, bring some deep breaths into the top of your chest as if you're just kind of waking yourself up. And then inhale, bring your arms up. You can stay here. This is supported Shavasana, so you have that option. You can also bend your knees and slowly roll over onto your right side. You can stay there for a moment and then eventually press your left hand into the floor and sit up. As you come out of this pose, if there's any residual discomfort in your lower back, you can take a supported child's pose or just simply fold forward into Sukhasana, that easy pose. Otherwise you can join me, seat it, maybe change the crossing up your legs to the non-habitual crossing and bring your hands together in Anjali Mudra. Thank you so much for joining me this morning. Have a wonderful day. Namaste.

Comments

Jenny S
3 people like this.
Loved this practice! Whole body feeling stretched and strong and ready for the day 💥
Birgitte
2 people like this.
Jenny S Hi Jenny, That is wonderful to hear. Thanks for practicing with me! Namaste, Birgitte
Fern S
2 people like this.
Oh dear Birgitte! I just love your classes so very much. Your guidance is incredibly  soothing and fun. I enjoy the pace of your classes as they are incredibly invigorating and warming. I'm so grateful to practice with you and look forward to each episode. You are truly a gift to YogaAnytime. 
With gratitude, 
Fern
David G-
2 people like this.
My second run-through. I felt locked in with your instructions, though still room for better breath alignment and focus on difficult poses. This is a great upper body workout. Loved listening to my inner goddess too. Did a deep dive into Jack Kornfield’s podcast. What an impressive man with truly an open-heart. Love dharma talks on my bike commute. 🙏🏻 
Birgitte
1 person likes this.
Fern S Dear Fern, Such a heartwarming message to receive this morning in rainy LA! So happy to hear that you are enjoying the classes. Thank you for your kind and generous feedback. With gratitude for you as well, Birgitte
Birgitte
1 person likes this.
David Goldstein, Hi David, Sometimes when you practice a second time, you are able to find a new and more deliberate rhythm. I love that you are so passionate and committed to your practice. And, yes, Jack Kornfield is such an amazing teacher. I am now inspired to listen to him this weekend. Wishing you a great weekend, Warmest, Birgitte
Kate M
2 people like this.
Such a sweet ending to today's practice. And how appropriate as our Hindu friends celebrate the different faces of the Divine Feminine in Navaraatri!
Alison Manheim
Birgitte, I have been loving all of these classes. It brings me right back to teacher training when I hear your cues like "leading with the inseam" or "broaden across the collarbones." So happy you are here on Yoga Anytime. 
Birgitte
2 people like this.
Kate M Dear Kate, I enjoyed the ending as well! It is such a receptive and nourishing pose. Mother India indeed shared something so very special. Namaste, Birgitte
Birgitte
1 person likes this.
Alison Manheim Hi Alison, So very lovely to get your message here! Yes,  teacher training language must be so recognizable....taking us both back to our training together. Sending you a big virtual hug. Namaste, Birgitte
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