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

Day 3: Core Connection

20 min - Practice


This is your time, this is your breath. In Day 3 we explore moving from our center line outwards. We ignite the core in a Plank sequence, move through twisting lunges to fire up the legs and challenge balance, flow through standing poses to ground the energy, and return to the floor for leg and hip opening. You will feel calm, clear, and connected.
What You'll Need: No props needed


Read Full Transcript

Welcome friends, I'm Bex and we're going to do a 20-minute practice for connecting the core and reaching out to our extremities without overextending. So come on to your all fours and we'll go right into Child's Pose because Child's Pose teaches us a lot about forward folds which pacify our nervous system. So go ahead and reach your arms out in front of you if you need to pad the tops of your feet. Some days I do with a little blanket or a towel, go ahead and do so. And then you'll just take your right hand and put it on top of your left.

It's a gentle side bend. You do you meaning if you need to go a little deeper, drag that right sit bone to the right heel. Take a breath in and a breath out. And then switch sides, right hand in the right lane, left hand stacks. So we're already talking to the body about the side bending and investigating this reach from the center again without overextending.

And then you'll come through center. If you want to tent those fingers and slurp those elbows up, remind your arm bones to come into the socket. We're going to go around the world on all fours, at least that's what I call it, is around the world. So you're going to lean to the left, you'll start to come up, forward, left, you'll go through center and then to the right and you'll stir it all the way around. That's one round.

Let's do three. If you want to go at a faster pace, that's fine. I always like to play with cadence in my practice. So I totally get that. Remember that we're integrating that ujjayi pranayama, that breath in through the nose and out through the nose to really ignite from the inside.

Once you complete that revolution, you do three the other way. You can keep your big toes touching or if it feels a little more easeful in your body, you can parallel your shin bones and both have great benefits. So we're just stirring it around. This is my second to last one and I'm right here with you. And then we come through center.

Now I am going to narrow the distance of my legs and at any point, if you would like, you can keep your knees down for this first little, I don't know, fiery opening. That's what I'd call it. Slide your right leg back and your left leg back. This primes the pumps for Chaturanga, which we are not doing, but it primes the pumps. Lower the knees, bend the elbows, tether that navel and then float the knees and straighten the arms.

Don't worry if you missed it. You have two more. Lower the knees, bend the elbows, lift the knees straighten the arms. Again right away, nice surge of heat. Lower knees, elbows, my inner thermostat just went up at least five degrees.

Knees, arms. One dog for a moment because we have to, actually we get to, we don't have to do anything. We get to turn it around and go the other way. So come into the plank, bend the elbows, lower your knees, straighten your arms, lift your knees, exhale halfway down, knees lower, arms straight, knees lift. One more time, friends, knees are last this time.

So it's elbows, knees, arms straight, knees lift, down dog. Pedal your feet here, little foot ankle pump. We're going to start to move our legs. Feel that wonderful sensation. Lift please your left leg.

Step your left foot outside your left hand, outside, and then you can put the left hand on the thigh. If it feels right, you can reach up. Put the left hand down and on the inside of the left foot, step back to a wonderful Adho Mukha, downward facing Shwanasana, lift your right leg. Step your right foot outside your right hand, right hand to the thigh or the sky. You are worthy, you are worthy just by being.

Put the right hand down. You know what to do, down dog. Inhale to the plank. If you want to be on your fists or your forearms, we're just going to do three rounds of right knee to the chest and back, left knee to the chest and back. Mountain climbers.

If you want to go fast, maybe you'll sneak in six, I'm going to sneak in six, feeling a little fiery and then down dog. Take a deep breath in. Let's make an audible sound. If you're not comfortable with sound, not sound penetrates layers. Let's do it two more times, inhale, exhale.

One more, inhale, exhale. Now lift that left leg up, step that left foot forward. Okay, look forward. We are going to work the back, my friends, of the left leg. How?

Tented fingertips. Yes, you could use blocks or water bottles. Bring your right knee forward, it taps the inner lining of the left. I round my back, I scoop and then reach the right leg back and look forward. So there's your flexion extension.

Let's do two more, exhale, round, inhale, lengthen. One more, exhale, round. If you're going faster, you might get one more in and then lengthen. Now step your left foot back, down dog. Take a deep breath in and a deep breath out.

Take your right hand outside your left thigh, knee, ankle, look under there. This is a primer, it's a twist. We're going to go into rotation in a moment. Take that right hand back to the right lane. Don't do anything with the left hand yet.

Lift the left leg, the right leg, excuse me, lift your right leg. Step your right foot forward. Look forward. Now you know what to do. We're flirting with round the back, I call this flamingo, we're flirting with flamingo.

Look forward. And as you exhale, lengthen, inhale, final one. I feel like round and arch. This gives me a nice little spunky, energizing, downward facing dog. Now you can take your left hand outside your thigh, knee, ankle on the right, little energizer happening inside because so much goodness can come.

Take the left hand forward. Let's rinse with a plank and a dog. And if it's possible for you, exhale, bend your knees, look to your hands, spring your feet to your hands. Is that possible? It was for me, maybe they didn't get all the way up, but I made it somewhere.

Hands heart center in prayer. Take your right elbow outside your left thigh. Now my right knee tends to pop forward, so I got to slide it back, twist. If you are paying attention, you probably know what's coming. Yeah.

Do you know what's coming? I do. Look down, step that right leg back. Oh my goodness. If you needed to, the right hand could come down, the left hand could come to the hip.

If you think feel a note, oh, I have more than that, you can take the right arm outside. Nobody says you have to, it's a get to moment. And then slowly take both hands to frame that front foot, pivot on your right toes. Yes, you're coming into warrior two. Warrior two, stay low, track the left knee above the ankle, feel your breath in, rinse your breath out.

We're really just surfing our breath in our body, inhale, exhale, inhale, cartwheel the arms forward and down, something fun's about to happen. Pivot on to the right toes and then spring forward. Now bend the right knee and slowly, if you can, if you can, wrap that right knee around the left. If you cannot, come through Utkatasana, come through Utkatasana, this is totally legit. Wrap the right elbow under the left, stay there.

If you want more, pull that right thigh in and up and around. I'm going to use the wall because I just threw myself off balance, but guess what? That's part of life. We come right back into that center line and then we get fall out again. Look at me today, off balance, and then the hands come down, the leg will go back, and then the left leg will go back, downward facing dog.

I'm going to pedal my feet, I rinse. And this is where the remedy, the remedy right now is, I am worthy just by being. Whether my eagle took flight or not, I am worthy just by being. Bend the knees, look to the hands. You got this.

Spring the feet to the hands. So beautiful. Inhale, lift the chest. Exhale, hands to heart. Take the left elbow now, outside the right thigh, twist.

If you want to take the hand down, do give yourself a moment to pause because there's a little anticipation. I feel it too. Look down, take that left foot, lift it and send it. Now if the left hand needs to come on the inside, that's okay. If the left arm wants to go on the outside, hand on hip or up, that's up to you.

Smooth your breath out. You got this. We travel here with our hands down. We pivot. Yes, we do, on the left toes.

Right heel and left heel in the same lane and you come up through warrior two. Here you are again. Travel inward. Siphon up the earth energy from the core of the arches of the feet. So you're just feeling your breath in your body, in your warrior two and then slowly you'll pour your arms to the floor and you'll lift that left leg.

Now you can transition by bringing the left knee into your chest. We've done this and wrapping it around, priming for Garudasana or you can put your left foot next to your right and take your left elbow under your right. You could stay there or maybe you begin again. I'm going to begin again because today I feel like my eagle needs to start from the ground to take flight and then very slowly I'm going to unravel my arms, travel my leg back and then step my right leg back down dog. Inhale plank.

So strong my friends through the core, through the central line. Let's just check in with it. Okay. Lift your right leg, right knee, right elbow and back. Lift your right leg, right knee, left elbow.

Do both sides. If I confused you, I'm just confusing right to right, left to left down dog. Give yourself a breath. Then I would like you to lift your left leg. I do mean left.

Step your left foot outside your left hand and you'll remember this for many breaths ago. And then step your right foot outside your right hand, wide squat, wide squat, malasan. You could be sitting on a block. You could wedge something under your heels. You give yourself this breath.

Such a gift to breathe, not a given. And then we slowly take our arms forward and our seat lands. Take your hands under your thighs, arda, half navasana. This is the support of navasana. Lift your chest.

Maybe float your elbows wide. I'm actually just delighting in this because I'm off of my legs. Slowly let your feet land and let's scoop my friends and roll down. Make sure your head nods yes and no, I noticed I needed that. Now bend your elbows.

You are here for you. Lift your right leg, wrap it around your left. Take your right arm under your left, okay? If you need to be in parallel legs or parallel arms, honor that. If your tongue has to do the pose, back off.

Your face needs to stay attractive, my friends. So curl your head and shoulders up. So your elbow taps your thigh and then inhale, come down. Exhale, curl. Inhale down.

Exhale, curl and down. You have the choice. Three more or one. I'll never tell. And if you want to just do it in your mind, that's fine with me.

Land carefully unravel. Wrap the left leg over and around and the left elbow under and around. And again, if you're back to parallel, thank you, body, for teaching me parallel. Curl head and shoulders, tap down. Give me five more please, slow, beautiful examples of you.

And you know you could stop after three because this is your time and this is your breath. You're just allowing yourself to feel. And then we unravel. Now in this moment, hug your knees in. It's a real spicy practice.

Release your feet. All right, here's what you're going to do. Reach yourself over, gently onto your left side, okay? Onto your left side. You have a couple options.

One, bring that right heel in and push down through the left outer leg. Why are we doing this? Because there's extension happening in the leg and I'm hugging into my core. If not, you grab the foot. And here's why.

I don't know about you and your life, but I get sometimes pulled in all directions and I use my practice to remind me to reclaim the connection I have with myself. So then slowly release. Wobbly, I'm exaggerating it, but feel it. Then gently come up. When you come up, what I'd like you to do is sit for a moment in vada konasana.

Lift your chest, inhale and exhale. And then let's sweep over onto the other side. Okay, so we come onto the other side, anantanasan, right? So the story goes, you're lying on your right side. You can put your left heel here.

The story goes that the Buddha lay across the river all the way across so people could travel. So the idea is you don't want to gap under the underarm or the leg. You want to seal that side body down and you lift. And then you recognize that sometimes in life we're pulled in all directions and we have to know how to come back to our GPS, our heart space, our center. So speaking of that, let's roll onto our bellies for a moment and then let's just gently lift a little, a little more, a little higher for a belly stretch.

Clear your breath in, relax your shoulders, slowly relax your shoulders and then gently come down. Let's push back into child's pose. That's how we began this practice and we are in the home stretch. Turn toward your heart. Turn toward your heart and then slowly, gently please come up to seated.

As you come up to seated, bring your knees forward, take your right hand outside your left thigh, your left hand to your hip and then if you like gently twist and look back. And then really, really slowly take your left hand outside your right thigh and your right hand outside your right hip and look back, gentle, smooth. And then slowly you'll come forward and when you come forward, I would like for you to flip over onto your back, okay? I would like for you to flip over onto your back. Give yourself plenty of space on your mat, plenty of space.

Take up in fact more space than you normally would think and allow yourself to just breathe deeply into the belly, into the heart, into the breath, smooth the breath out inward and smooth the breath out outward. So when we move a lot and we come back to our center, it's essential that we practice patience and that we remind ourself that we're here to breathe and be in service of self. So those hands on the heart towards self can turn toward other and say, how may I be of service? So you can stay here as long as you like, allowing yourself to reclaim that essence of you. When you're ready, I trust that you'll sit up and you'll seal this practice in with a great fullness and gratitude that your body works, that you crafted this time for yourself.



Marina N
4 people like this.
I lobe your practice much!
Robin J
2 people like this.
The series is amazing I love this practice thanks bex
Rebecca Urban
Marina N thanks for practicing with me!
Rebecca Urban
Robin J thanks for moving with me. miss you
Georgie  B
2 people like this.
Love your language, the ego talk, your gentle approach and interesting mix of asanas. FOr time poor mum in lockdown this is just perfect . Please more more !
Rebecca Urban
Marina N Thanks for being a part of the challenge. 
Rebecca Urban
Georgie B I can totally relate. Thanks for joining the challenge.

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