5-Day Yoga Challenge for Moms Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 4

Day 2: Booty and the Breath

20 min - Practice


Slow, deliberate movements calm the rushing mind; you’re already here. In Day 2, Bex guides a spicy practice to open and strengthen the back body. We start slowly warming the spine, flow through a Plank series to fire up the core, challenge the back in Salabhasana, work the outer hips and legs in leg lifts and clamshells, before meeting on the floor for Bridge variations to engage the hamstrings and glutes. You will feel grounded and powerful.
What You'll Need: Mat


Read Full Transcript

Welcome, friends, I'm Bex, and we are going to do a sequence for warming ourselves up from the inside and recruiting some serious muscular energy in the posterior chain, the back of our legs. Let's begin on all fours. So if you have any wrist issues, you can be on your fists or your forearms, and if you have tender knees at all times, feel free to pad them. We'll begin with a simple cat-cow. So look down at your hands, stack shoulder, elbows, wrists, point those feet, press the toenails into the floor, exhale around your back, shrink shoulders away from the ears and then on your inhalation, articulate your spine the other way into what we call extension or cow pose.

Do two more rounds as you exhale to start to navigate and feel like the water in the pelvis in the trunk of the body is getting hydrated and we're allowing ourselves to ripple through linking breath with movement. So we're just going to do three rounds of this. If you really like it, you can move at a more rapid pace. I always find opening my practice with unhurrying reminds my mind that I am not in a rush. There is nowhere to get to, I am already here and I'm just practicing.

So in this extension, tether your navel and now we're going to do what I call jump roping the spine. So you'll just round your spine all the way around like if your head and your tail are your friends holding the jump rope and your spine is rounding and I just want to remind you that my elbows do bend a little on my shoulder girdle, kind of wags a bit, get into those little nooks and crannies of the spine and then go the other way. We're looking for all the little spaces that maybe we don't lubricate and you may be more or less graceful at this and you just appreciate that your body moves after that third round. We do hip hikes. So you'll rise your right hip or your left hip and lower your left shoulder or your right hip.

I'm lowering my left shoulder and hiking my left hip and then I go through center and then I rise my right hip and lower my left shoulder. And for me, this really allows side to side the awakening through the obliques and I call those the smile muscles of the pelvis and I can feel them like little suspenders hiking and it feels wonderful as they smile side to side. Great job. Now if your hands are fatigued, like I said, you could be on your fists or you can come down onto those forearms, feel free to pad your knees because now we're doing thigh circles. All you have to do is lift your left thigh up, out and around.

You're stirring that thigh around, okay? I'm counting to three. If you want more, you can do more. I'm going back on my hands. If you're staying on your forearms, good for you.

After that round, you know what to do. You just go the other way. Also bring some mindfulness to that naval center and let it rise up and back. Now hold my left thigh up and just take left knee to the left elbow and then back, left knee to the chest and you're going to round yourself, coil that pelvis and then back and then left knee to the right elbow and back. Now here you are.

Let's straighten the leg and let's tap that left foot outside the left side of the mat and then rainbow it up and over. I got a little tickle by the plant and then rainbow it up and back. We do three of these again, keenly, clearly aware, hello central body. Come through the center, lower the left knee down and then lift the right knee thigh. Now we do those circles to start.

You take your time, my friends, and you just allow yourself to really lubricate thigh bone in the pelvis. It ought to feel like whatever it feels like for you. For me it's bringing a little heat to my face and a wonderful feeling of glide through the thigh bone and then hold the leg up, right knee, right elbow, beautiful and rise, thigh to the chest and rise, right knee left elbow and then rise and then we straighten the right leg. I look back at it, my foot's flexed, tap the right foot outside the mat and then up and over. Two more just like that.

Allow yourself to feel what I mentioned earlier. We call the posterior chain, the back of the leg and then slowly hold, lower the right knee down, come into child's pose. Give yourself a moment here. These moments when we pause are permission to feel like, hmm, do I need a little wriggle? Do I want to just widen myself and then rock your body forward?

That's what's about to happen. The plank, yes. So slowly come into the plank. Let's lift our left leg, left knee left elbow and back, left thigh to the chest and back and then left thigh to the right elbow and back. Lower the left foot down, lift the right leg, right knee right elbow.

Hmm, isn't it nice right thigh to the chest to start to feel the heat and across and then lower. Now, you'll step your left foot out to the left side of the mat, to the center, right foot out to the right side of the mat, to the center. You can do that two more times. If you got a little spunk in you, you'll jump wide and narrow and wide and narrow and then downward facing dog. It actually becomes a little bit of a respite.

Inhale to the plank, exhale to the dog. Inhale to the plank, exhale to the dog. Inhale to the plank please, slowly lower your knees, lower your thighs, come all the way down, roll your thigh bones in. You'll take your arms into cactus, okay? Your palms will face each other.

If there's anything uncomfortable in your low back, just lift a little and pause. If you have more room for breath and extension, lift higher arms frame ears and then, if you're pretty excited, lift your legs. I'm pretty excited. I'm going to lift a little higher. That back body, that back energy, I'm going to lift a little higher and then slowly release.

Stack the palms, let the big toes touch, shake it out. Take a deep sigh, inhale. I don't know about you, but I could use a deep sigh during my day all the time. Let's roll on over, yeah? Let's roll on over to our right side.

You can take your hand under your head, stack your pelvis. If you need that pad that you had on your knees under your hip, great. Roll the right ribs under you. Left fingertips in front. We're just going to lift that left leg about hip height and down, okay?

Let's do five more, up and down. Push the bottom leg into the mat, up and down. Go slow, inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale. Final one, inhale, exhale if you're faster than me. Maybe you snuck in an extra.

Now, that left knee is going to bend, tap your left elbow, and then reach back and down. Exhale and inhale. Give me four more or give you four more. I love these because what they really do is they allow the body, last two, to feel something simple but not easy. Very therapeutic, actually.

Lower that left foot and then bend the knees. This is the famous clam, the famous clam. You will lift that left knee and lower. I make sure my left hip is stacking lift and lower. Four more, breathing in and out.

I always watch carefully for my engagement so that I'm not sloppy because we know that this is a practice that involves skillfulness. Last one, skillfulness and refinement. You know what? Let's do something fun, just for three. Lift your feet, just for three.

Lift your left knee and lower down. And two. See, I'm holding my hip. And one. And if that isn't fun, I don't know what is.

Good. Then slowly, gently, land your feet down. You're going to push your left hand into the floor. We're going to come into what in Pilates we call the mermaid. So just stack the hips, take your left hand to your left ankle, reach your right hand to the shoulder, or if you like, all the way over, drip that left shoulder.

And then slowly, take the right hand down. Gently stand on your knees, parigasana, gate pose. Take your left leg out to the left. A little bend in the knee goes far, swivel the left ribs forward, and then slide the left arm down, right hand to the hip, I mean, the shoulder, and then reach over. If you have more, let yourself lengthen a little more, and then very slowly come up.

Very gently put the right hand on the mat, and now the left hand does go to the hip. Bring the pelvis forward, here you are. If you want to take the left hand to the shoulder, up, over. Let it feel wonderful. And then slowly come up and out of there.

You'll come onto your knees, you'll sit over onto your left side, and then you'll just lie down onto that left side. Worry at yourself so you feel like you're stacking your best way. Lift the right leg up and down. I really look at the right leg, I keep it straight, like there's a lot of power through the heel of the right foot. You have three more, okay, and as you're doing these, stay streamlined with your energy.

So be attentive, have an intention for being here, my last one, and then an open attitude. Now tap the right knee to the elbow, and extend, knee to elbow, and extend. Exhaling, yeah, inhaling. Last two, and one. And then lower the right, bend the knees, here's your fabulous clam, we do six.

So lift, and lower, inhale, and exhale. Now I felt a little wobble there, so I just remind myself, better to just be more precise. That's where the power resides, yeah, better to be more precise. No, I'm not going to forget your three bonus, no I'm not, raise your heels, lift it up, and lower it down, lift, and lower, and if you like these, you just take some more time to deliver these. Now we lower down, we use the right hand, and then the left, come up, so my right knee is in its own lane, I'm stacking, I take my right hand to the shin, the left hand to the shoulder, up, over, over, over, relax the shoulder, anchor the sit bones, good job.

Then slowly come up, gently stand on your knees. And here we go, right leg out to the right, pelvis forward, right hand slides down, left hand comes to the shoulder. Now I just want to remind you knee lockers, a little bend in the knee will help you recruit that muscular energy in the back of the leg, and then if you want more of that lateral flexion, you reach over. The shoulders recline, which really mean the side body awakens, and we are not anything but grace in this, anything but grace, that's what you are. Come slowly up, place the left hand down, right hand on hip, or pelvis forward, and you'll gently take the right hand shoulder over.

Sometimes in these poses we feel like, it's happening to me, it's happening for me, no! The whole pose is happening through you, lucky you, right here, right now, slowly come up, and then gently, mindfully sit down. If you want to feel something, bathe in your breath, and this is where I'm reminded, and I'll remind you, every shape that we shift into has an aftertaste, so just give yourself a moment to digest that. And now we're going to come onto our back. If in any of these bridging variations, you don't understand by the words, just watch and then join, okay? So my feet come forward, I'm going to roll down onto my back slowly, slowly, and as I recline I might get to that point where I just want to fall, but I'm going to really take my time.

And when I get down, I reestablish my connection, I like to slide my hips toward my heels. We'll do three fun variations of bridging. You can tell me afterwards if you think they're fun. So the first one is a very classic lift of the pubic bone, the tailbone, that triangle bone you call a sacrum, and you'll just ripple on your way up. And you'll find probably you have a preference to the bridging.

Puff your chest, and then slowly articulate and come down. The second one, you'll lift like a drawbridge. So you just lift the whole spine up, and then you come down. And if it's true that the third time's the charm, this is the one that will really awaken the back of your legs and your booty. So this might be the one you're not familiar with.

You can peel or you can bridge up like a drawbridge, so hard for me to say. And then I step my left foot about six inches away from me, and then my right foot matches that step, and I lift my hips. And then I step my left foot maybe six inches away, and then my right, and then I lift my hips. And this is where it gets really spicy for me or really sugary if you're a sweet person. I step my left heel foot out, right heel foot out, and I activate the back of my legs.

And then very slowly, friends, guess what? We got to come home. So I'm going to step the right foot forward first, and then the left foot, and lift my pelvis. And then the right, and the left, and lift my pelvis. And the way home is always faster than the way departing.

Bring the right foot in, and then the left, lift the pelvis. When you come down, I'd like your hips to go to the right when you come down, and your knees to go to the left. Really beautiful job. I bet you felt something in the back of your legs. I'm going to take my right hand and my ribs and my left hand and my thigh.

Sometimes I like to put a block or a towel in between my legs. If your gaze wants to go left to the ceiling or to the right, honor that. There's a real nice rinse here. Okay, let's come through center, friends. Remember our hips were oriented to the right of the mat, so pick them up, sweep them to the left, take the knees to the right, and then the right hand on the thigh, the left hand on the ribs.

The ribs are sort of dripping down to the left. You can look right, center, or left, dousing that body in your breath, that breath in your body. Come through the center. Two options here. One is to just hug those knees in, and then the second option, if it's available, grab your feet.

If it's available, allow yourself to come into Happy Baby. If it's not available, you could put your feet together and your knees wide for supta bada konasan for a breath, or maybe three, I'm just going to slide my legs long. Maybe you'll join me. Slide your legs long, turn the palms of your hands up, be bright in the heart. Let everything unravel and undo.

Give yourself permission to feel and to just let it be. As always, you can stay in this shape as long as you like. And if you're ready to just reawaken, you can sit up. Feel no pressure to join me, feel free to stay reclined and rejoicing in that moment. I like to seal my practice, bringing my hands to my heart, knowing that all is well.



Jenny S
3 people like this.
This went by too fast! I just loved the stretchy goodness paired with the strength building work. It was challenging without feeling overwhelming. Thank you Bex and Yoga Anytime 🥰
Rebecca Urban
Thanks @JennyS Glad you appreciated the moving practice!

Robin J
1 person likes this.
Just when I think it can't get any better it does! Thank you so much for this practice. It's almost as good as being in your class. xo
Laura M
This is the perfect challenge to help me feel better during this holiday week when everything seems too busy to find time for movement. Thank you so much!! Happy holidays ❤️🥰🎄
Rebecca Urban
Robin J you are amazing, sustainable practice is the remedy.
Rebecca Urban
Laura M thanks for being part of the community and practicing the practice.

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