20-Minute Yoga Flows Artwork
Season 4 - Episode 5

Fluid Spine Flow

20 min - Practice


Detoxify and release tension in the spine in this twisting practice. We begin finding space in the shoulders and back body, move through leg and hip opening poses, find length and space in Crescent Prayer Twist and Revolved Triangle, and wring out the spine in seated twists. You will feel supple, open, and calm.
What You'll Need: Mat, Block

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Welcome and thank you for joining me for this fluid spine practice. So we will find suppleness in the spine and ease in the spine as we move through this complete 20 minute flow practice. So let's begin seated and we'll start moving right away before we check in and kind of find our intention. So as you find a comfortable cross legs seated position on an inhale, just start to sweep your arms all the way up. Feel the length in your spine as you do that and then take a twist to the right.

So let your left hand come to the outside of your right knee. Let the right fingertips fall behind you and then root down through your sitting bones as you lengthen up through the spine and the crown of your head. Maybe taking the gaze over that right shoulder, beautiful. And then on your next breath in, reach your right arm all the way back up, cross it over your left arm and start to shift the weight back, tuck your chin and round through your spine. Feel that opening in the back body and shoulders, beautiful.

And then tilt your weight forward and find eagle arms with the left arm under the right. Wrap up the arms on an inhale, start to draw the elbows away from you. Maybe take your gaze up and then as you exhale, draw the elbows in, feel that rounding through the spine, tuck your chin, opening through the back body. Let it feel good, good. And then as you inhale, just release and let that all go.

Take a moment to notice where that lands and we'll take it to the other side. As you inhale, sweep the arms all the way up. Feel the length in your spine. This time exhale to the left, right hand to the outside of your left knee, left fingertips behind. Root down through the sitting bones to rise up through the crown of your head.

Maybe take the gaze behind you without force, just gently rotating, good. And then again, sweep that left arm up, cross it over the right arm so the hand comes to the right leg and then tilt your weight back, round through the spine, tuck your chin, feel the opening in the back body, beautiful. And then tilting the weight forward, eagle arms with the right arm underneath. On an inhale, draw the elbows away, lift the heart, lift the gaze. As you exhale, elbows draw in, tuck your chin, feel the opening in the back body, feel the spaciousness here, that ease, good.

And then come on back up, release that, take a moment, letting that land. Breathing in and breathing out. We'll let this be a detoxifying practice today, letting go. So really focusing on that exhale. Come to all fours for a moment.

Walk your hands just slightly in front of your shoulders and we'll come right into downward facing dog. So tucking the toes, lift the hips up and back, start to pedal it out, move around a little bit, maybe sway your hips side to side. Maybe bend your knees or take your feet a little wider today, let your hands be about shoulder width apart, spreading evenly through the fingers. Good, and just allow the spine to lengthen as the crown of the head melts down, relaxing through the neck. Let the head be heavy, beautiful.

And then on your next breath in, come forward into plank pose, top of a push up. You're welcome to lower knees to the earth. Let's take a slow lower to the belly, hug your elbows in, beautiful. Untuck your toes as you get to the bottom and then take your hands on either side of your mat. So let the hands go a little wider today.

Let the elbows splay up toward the ceiling. On an inhale, start to peel the chest up as you press through the tops of the feet, coming up through center and then let the right shoulder melt down toward the center of the mat. Take a gaze over your left shoulder, so twisting in the upper body. The inhale will bring us back through center, peel the chest up. Good, and then as you exhale, let the left shoulder melt down, take a gaze over the right shoulder.

Good, and we'll try that one more time on each side. Inhale, peel the chest through center. Exhale, right shoulder melts down. Take a gaze to the left. Let it feel good.

Inhale, come through center. Exhale, left shoulder melts down. Take a gaze to the right, beautiful. As you come back through center one more time, we'll release back down, bring the hands next to the side ribs, back to downward facing dog, either through hands and knees or plank pose. Good, now pick up your hands and walk them to your feet.

So coming to a forward fold at the back of your mat, feel free to soften the knees any amount, let the torso drape down. Beautiful, and then take the right hand right under your nose, maybe on a block. Start to put a bend through your right knee, straighten through the left leg, and then start to peel the chest open to the left, reach your left arm up. So you're feeling this most likely on the outer leg line, the IT band on the left side, maybe take your gaze toward the left fingertips, big full breath in, allow the exhale to bring you back through center, switch hands, left hand under the nose or on a block, put a big bend in the left knee, straighten through the right leg, reach your right arm up, start to straighten as you open toward the right, peel the chest open. He gaze up toward the right fingertips, noticing the outer leg line, inhale, allow the exhale to bring you back through center, and then just roll up one vertebrae at a time as you come to stand at the back of your mat, take a moment to arrive, maybe roll out your shoulders, fix your costume, fix your hair, and then draw your hands to your heart, take a moment to check in, to breathe, to feel the length through the spine all the way from root to crown, perhaps setting an intention for your day, for your practice, anything you'd like to call in or perhaps let go of, allowing a big full breath in, long breath out to release, good, and then reach the arms up, inhaling, dive forward, soften the knees.

As you do that, meet me back in down dog, so feel the earth beneath your hands as you walk your hands forward and come back into downward facing dog, beautiful. Now float the right leg up to the sky, take a moment to bend the knee, open up through the right hip, any movement here that might feel good, you could roll out the ankle or take some circles with that right leg, keep pressing through both hands, let your shoulders stay level, spine long, and then straighten through the right leg as you square off your hips, gaze between your hands, and take a big step between your hands, coming up into runner's lunge, come up onto your fingertips for a moment, stay on the ball of your back foot, and then we'll move into a twist from here, so planting the left hand down right under the left shoulder, again if you have a block, you might take the block under that left hand, give you a little lift, and then reach the right arm up as you peel the chest open, twisting from the navel up toward the right side of your mat, good, and in this twist keep hugging your right hip in, stay active in your left quadricep, maybe roll out your wrist a few times, beautiful, and then lower your right hand to the inside of your right foot, of your front foot, start to walk to face the side of your mat, and as you come to the side of the mat, we'll move into scandalsana, so turn the left toes out slightly, put a nice big bend in your left knee, and sink it into that left hip a little bit, so you could keep the sole of the right foot down, or maybe come up onto that right heel, whatever feels best in your body today, just feel into that, good, and then staying low to the earth, we'll walk it all the way back to the front of the mat, come to your runner's lunge, good, from here press back through your left heel, start to straighten your right leg any amount, let the torso drape down over your right leg, so kind of moving into this modified pyramid pose, feeling into the back of the legs, letting the spine be nice and long, beautiful, and then we bend through the right knee, step back to plank pose, top of a pushup, shift your weight forward, welcome to lower knees, halfway or all the way down, chaturanga, inhale cobra, maybe upward facing dog, good, and then exhale, roll over the toes, downward facing dog meeting there, holding for a big full breath in, long breath out, release, good, left side, inhale left leg lifts, take a moment, bend the knee, open the hip, exploring any movement in this side, maybe matching what you did on the first side, good, and then straightening through the left leg, gaze between your hands, big step through between your hands, runner's lunge, come up onto the fingertips for a moment, maybe grab a block, placing it under that right hand, stacking right hand under right shoulder, float your left arm up, twist to the left, good, maybe roll out your wrists a few times in either direction, just wringing it out as you twist from the navel up so the lower body is staying the same, good, and then lower the left hand to the inside of the front foot, start to walk to face the right side of the mat, right toes turn out, skandhasana, bend through the right knee, breathing into this side, stay low, so we're strengthening, we're opening up through that right hip, good, and then walk it all the way back to the front of your mat, runner's lunge, press back through the right heel, start to straighten through the left leg any amount, let the torso drape down, over the left leg, breathing in and breathing out, beautiful, and then take your time as we come back to plank pose, top of a push up, moving through your vinyasa halfway or all the way down, feel free to skip it, you can always just come right back to down dog, we'll meet there in downward facing dog on the exhale, let something go, one more big full breath in, exhale, extend the breath, good, and then coming back to the right side, this time sweep the right leg up, inhale, step the foot through between your hands, beautiful, stay on the ball of the back foot, you might step the left foot to the left a little bit, we'll set up for crescent pose, as you're ready, arms will sweep up, take a moment to land, letting the tailbone melt down, coming toward 90 degrees in that front leg, let your shoulder soften, good, and then feel the length in your spine as you draw your hands to your heart center, come halfway forward, so draw the navel into the spine as you hover up off that right leg, and then hook your left elbow on the outside of your right thigh, drawing the prayer in front of your heart for crescent prayer twist, good, elbows are stacked, you're always welcome to lower that left knee down to the earth, breathing in, twisting and releasing, breathing out, hold for one more big full breath in, and as you exhale, gaze down, bring your hands to frame your front foot, step your left foot in into the left a little bit, moving right into pyramid pose, letting everything melt down over that front leg, draw your right hip back, let the left hip roll forward, beautiful, now welcome to stay here, or maybe move into revolved triangle, bringing the left hand to the inside or outside of your front foot, I love a block in this posture, if you have one great, if not, no worries, now lengthen through the spine, I'm bringing my right thumb to my right hip crease, and then I'm gonna start to peel the chest open to the right, so there's that IT band again, that outer leg line, maybe reach the right arm up, keep reaching forward through the crown of the head, back through your left heel, good, lengthening, breathing, inhaling, good, exhale, let that all go, fold over your front leg, good, and then draw your left knee behind your right ankle and have a seat, so finding the sitting bones on the earth will find a seated spinal twist, sit up nice and tall, right fingertips come behind, inhale, left arm lifts, exhale, either hugging that right knee in or hooking the elbow to the outside of the right thigh, big full breath in as you lengthen, root down to lift, and exhale as you twist, without force, just finding that gentle ringing out of the spine, one more big full breath in, good, as you exhale, gaze forward, and then unravel, bring the hands behind soles of the feet to the earth, pressing through the hands of the fingers facing towards you, reverse tabletop, big full breath in, maybe stick out the tongue for a lion's breath, detoxify, let it go, beautiful, and then hips lower, cross at the ankles, meet me in down dog, you might hop back through vinyasa or step it back, otherwise right into downward facing dog, beautiful, left side as you're ready, inhale, left leg lifts, exhale, step it all the way through, stay on the ball of the back foot, maybe widen the stance a little bit as you come up into crescent pose, take a moment to land, letting that back knee soften, let the tailbone melt down, find the length in your spine, good, and then hands to heart, draw the navel into the spine, just come halfway forward as you hover up off that front leg, hook the right elbow to the outside of your left thigh, good, and again, welcome to lower knee if that feels more supportive for you or keep it lifted, lengthen as you twist, now let me exhale, let it bring you just a little bit deeper into the posture, staying for an inhale, exhale to release, one more big full breath in, and then let that all go, hands to the earth, pyramid pose, step the right foot in into the right a little bit, letting the feet be about hips distance apart so you're not on a tight rope, good, and then draw your left hip back, right hip rolls forward, welcome to stay right here in this stretch or if you're revolving your triangle, block to inside or outside of front foot or fingertips on the earth, see if you can draw that left thumb into the left hip crease to encourage the hip to draw back, lengthen through the spine, and then from that length, start to peel the chest open to the left, reach your left arm up, reaching through the crown of the head, back through the right heel, breathing, feel into the outer leg line, notice how this side feels, I say this a lot, it's one of my least favorite yoga poses, it's really challenging, I feel a lot of wobbling in the feet and the ankles but so good, so good for the spine, so I do it anyway, and then let that all go, and we'll draw the right knee behind the left ankle, let the sitting bones find the earth, have a seat, good, and then left fingertips come behind, reach your right arm up, lengthen, twisting to the left, either hooking elbow to the outside of the left thigh or you could hug it in, it's a little less of a twist I would say, and then inhale, root down to lift up, maybe take the gaze over your left shoulder, breathing in, breathing out, one more big full breath in, lengthening, good, and then as you exhale take the gaze to the front of the mat and then unravel, this time welcome to bring the soles of the feet to the earth as we did before, maybe stretch the legs long, bring the hands behind you, start to lift the hips up and then point the toes toward the earth as you feel that lift in the upper body, opening the front body, big breath in, maybe lion's breath, good, and then gently let your hips sink down to the earth and just start to crawl your hands in front of you for a nice easy forward fold, let your spine be long, lead with the heart, fold in, breathe, couple full deep breaths, nice, and then as you're ready with the length in your spine, roll on up, come onto your back, maybe bring your knees with you, and rock a little side to side, good, let the feet find the earth about mat width apart, so take them a little wider than the hips, reach your arms up over your ears and just windshield wiper the knees, side to side, last twisting action here as we wring it all out, find that spaciousness, that ease in the spine, in the lower back, start letting go quality of the exhale, come back through center as you're ready, stretching your legs long on your mat, moving into the shape of shavasana, so letting the feet relax open, palms face up on either side of the body, let the spine feel supported by the earth beneath you, yielding into that support, gently tucking the chin, let the back of the neck belong, and just take the next minute or two to rest, shavasana. Stay here as long as you like, otherwise start to rock your head from side to side, massage the back of the neck, invite any other movement, back in, reaching arms up over the ears, maybe interlace, press the palms toward the wall behind you, full body stretch, lengthening the spine, inhale, exhale, let something go, take your time to roll up to seated, we'll meet there, taking a moment to root down as you lengthen through the spine, through the crown of your head, thank you so much for sharing this practice with me today, and draw your hands together in front of the heart and Anjali Mudra, this Mudra of gratitude, I hope to practice with you soon, namaste everyone, thank you, thank you, thank you.


Fern S
4 people like this.
This was such a yummy class Sarah! I really enjoyed this flow sequence. Your voice and guidance are incredibly soothing and I am always smiling at the end.  So much gratitude. 
Jenny S
5 people like this.
I love all your practices Sarah…this one felt particularly juicy and was the perfect way to start the week. I’ve said it many times but I am always amazed at the transformative power of yoga in just 20 minutes!
Sarah Beston
1 person likes this.
Thank you so much for practicing with me and for sharing your experience, Fern S! Wishing you a beautiful week! Warmly, Sarah
Sarah Beston
I'm so happy to hear, Jenny S! You've inspired me to roll out my own mat and practice for 20 minutes ... it can really change the entire day!
Sandra Židan
Great practice! Thanks, Sarah! Regards!
Francesca Venturini
Thank you Sarah! every time is a pleasure to find your guide on the mat! wish you could feel the energy, the good energy, from all over the world coming back to you! Life is a better experience if shared with others! :)
M Angela C
3 people like this.
Just what my body was calling for and exactly what my mind and spirit needed.  Although I practice alone  I never feel alone in your practices Sarah.  🙏 
Martha K
3 people like this.
Twisty twisty goodness! 
Robin J
3 people like this.
Wonderful practice! I'm so grateful to be able to practice with you. Cheers
Glenford N
4 people like this.
I felt my back open like a rose in full bloom and tension around my neck and shoulders ease. As I did my lion's breath all the negative thoughts and emotions were expelled. Great way to start a busy day. Namaste.
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