On the Verge 10-Day Yoga Challenge Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 7

Day 6: Flow

30 min - Practice


The breath arises first, the movement is an offering to the breath. This fluid, accessible class encourages you to find your own rhythm and groove to it. We find space in the hips, move through modified Sun Salutes with hamstring stretches, lunges, and heart opening, and flow through standing poses to find strength and stability in the shoulders, hips, and legs. We close in sweet twists before Savasana. You will feel light and easeful.
What You'll Need: No props needed

About This Video

Nov 26, 2021
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My friends, you're still here. I'm so excited. I'm delighted. Welcome to day six of our 10-day challenge. Today's theme, today's quality, today's pursuit is flow. Flow. So whatever, just let that word sort of wash over you and into you and let those feelings that arise, so I did want to remind us that it's not so much what we're doing that allows us to tap into these various qualities. It's how we're doing these things. So today I'm going to invite you to be a little bit more fluid with your movement, a little bit more in flow, a little bit more curious, a little bit lighter and more easeful and ease as something we'll dive into a little bit deeper. But let's go ahead and get started. You're going to begin in a seated position. Yeah, facing the long edge of your mat if you like, but begin in a seated position and you're going to step your feet in front of you, friends, a little forward of you in a way that's comfortable. Your hands will come back behind you to support you, so you are leaning back a little bit. And then we're just going to do simple seated hip openers. So feet can be wide and you may find that as you let the knees windshield wiper from left to right, you might like to widen your feet a little bit. And then just to make this a little flowier, we're going to add a little bit of a twist so you can let that opposite arm swing forward and let it flow. So rather than sort of doing this in kind of a performative and rigid way, be curious about what the body is telling you as you move from left to right. And as you move, of course, letting our friend, the breath, get a little more expansive, letting it move as it likes to, which is freely and easily. And then as you twist to one side, you'll pause there. You can place that opposite hand on the floor. Maybe you find a little bit of length in your spine, a little more clarity in the twist. You might feel called to find a little bit of a forward bend. And then when the impulse arises, pass through center. So sweep that opposite hand forward. You'll twist, orient your hands so that, you know, you have balance in your body and maybe a little bit of a forward bend on this side, maybe some moving as you bend forward. And then as you're ready, you'll come back to center. Great. And swing your legs back behind you so you can come up onto your knees. So coming up onto the knees and stepping your right foot out to the side, the toes can point forward, or you might like to have the toes pointing up to the ceiling, whichever feels best to you. In fact, bring your hands to your hips. And just for a few moments, play with that exploration of having the toes turned forward that creates this thing called internal rotation of the thigh. And then of course, external as you turn the toes up, not that any of that matters because we're in flow today. So you land in a place that works for you. As you inhale, you'll reach both arms up to the ceiling.

As you exhale, you're going to side bend in the direction of that extended leg. And then exhaling, hand floating to the floor, top arm sweeping alongside your ear and you keep moving like that and let it be easy and natural and flowy and let the breath continue to move. So side body releasing as we move from left to right, back of that extended leg releasing, hip opening on that side. The next time you're in the side bend in the direction of that extended leg, pause there, you can press the hand into the leg to open the chest, reach through those top fingertips and take a couple of breaths. Their head is positioned in any way that allows your neck to be free, breathing into the left side of your body. We'll take one more breath in there and then exhaling to release and to switch sides. So stepping that right knee next to the left, extending your left leg and then here playing, turning the toes to point up and then forward and just feeling the difference and allowing yourself to decide to first of all be in flow, to be really attuned to what's happening in the body and then, you know, sovereignty, autonomy. Choose a position that works for you, reach your arms up to the ceiling, breathe in as you exhale, little side bend and then passing from side to side just as you did moments ago. Observing, you know, whatever differences might be expressing themselves on this side, but mostly just actually enjoying this movement. The side bending of the spine, opening of the hip, release of that back, the back of the extended leg. The next time you are upright and bent in the direction of your left leg, the extended leg, pause there, press the hand into the leg to open the chest and you take a few breaths there, gazing in any direction that allows your neck to stay soft. So finding clarity in the shape, a clarity that's supple and easy and allows you to breathe. You take one more breath in, use the power of your exhale to come up to center, hands to your hips, step that knee back to the floor and then let's turn towards the front of your mat and find a tabletop position. So wrists under the shoulders, knees underneath the hips and then let's do our little marauding bear slash exotic cat, whatever you want to call it. There's so much, there's heated debate about what to call this movement. But friends, all you're doing is moving through the elbows, letting the upper arm bones move inside of the, the heads of those arm bones move inside of the shoulder sockets, shifting your hips, maybe making circles with your tailbone. It's free, free movement, organic movement, human movement. And then come to center as you're ready and let's turn the fingertips towards your knees. Any amount is to release your, your wrists, spread the knuckles of your fingers, heels of the hands pressing down. Let's make circles with the shoulders around the wrists as you keep pressing those heels of the hands into the, into the floor. Great.

And then let's come to center, turn the fingertips forward. Let's step the left foot way back behind you, pressing through the heel and then you're going to lift that left leg up and inhale and then sweep the left leg out to the side, lifting it back up and returning the legs so the hips are in the neutral position. So you're turning the toes, left toes out towards the left, bringing that leg out towards you so the foot is about hip height and then reversing that. So we'll take that a few more times. And there's a lot, you know, we could sort of describe that's happening mechanically, but I really just want you to be in the flow of moving your, your thigh, your leg in this way and just observe whatever is there to be observed. This requires a lot of strength, right, and stability. And can you, you know, call on that strength and stability, but also just staying curious and, and, you know, fluid about it. You can change the speed that you're moving at. Let's do that one more time. So sweeping the leg out to the side and then coming back through center and let's place the knee down. Take a little, little mini moment of integration and then let's try the other side. So you step the right foot back behind you, lift the leg up, hip height, you'll turn the toes out. So this is opening the hip and then you'll really open the hip by stepping that foot out to the side, hip height. And we'll keep going just like that, externally rotating the leg if you like those anatomical terms, lifting it up and then coming to neutral. So a couple more passes like that. And your challenge, right, is to stay in flow, even as, as the movement and the shapes are calling on you to have a lot of strength and stability. A couple more passes. And I'll take that one more time. So leg out to the side, pause for a moment, lifting the leg up, returning to neutral, ha, and lowering your knee to the floor. Some hip circles just to be kind to the, the hips there. And then let's come to center. As you inhale, please find a cow pose, tuck the toes, release the belly, open the chest. As you exhale, send your seat back to your heels for child's pose. Let's keep moving like that, inhaling to come forward and moving in response to the breath as we do, exhaling, responding by pressing back to child's pose. And we'll keep going. A few more rounds like this and your work always is to, you know, do this thing of returning the body to the breath. Okay, what does that mean? It means letting the breath arise as it does. And then letting the movements and the shapes be like little offerings to your breath. Can you find a little more fluidity? Can you rather than toggling between cow and child, can you really feel and find that spectrum of movement that exists between those two shapes? Ooh, trippy. Come back forward to cow pose. This time as you exhale, come to a neutral tabletop position. You may have to re-center yourself. As you inhale, lift your right arm up and open twist to the right and exhale, thread the arm underneath.

We'll do that twice more and hold the twist. Inhale to lift and open, exhale to fluidly twist as you thread the arm underneath. One more time like that, inhale, open twist, exhale, thread the arm underneath, rest your head on the floor if that's accessible for your body, straighten the left arm, use your power of proprioception to sense whether your hips are stacked above the knees. And that's not, you know, it's not so much a correction as it is an exploration. Take some breaths there into your upper back and where can you soften? And once you identify those places, soften there. And then left hand next to the face, you'll press into the hand to unthread yourself and then we'll do the same on the opposite side. You'll inhale to lift the left arm up. The exhale will come, you'll respond by threading the arm underneath. We'll do that twice more. Inhale to lift and open, nice and fluidly easily, exhale to twist.

Inhale one more time, lift the arm up and open twist and then exhale, thread the arm underneath, rest your head on the floor, straighten the right arm, stacking hips above knees, giving the shape to your breath, allowing the breath to do what it does, which is move through you and speak to your body. And you're just witnessing, right, that conversation between breath and body. Press the right hand into the floor, unthread your arm, come to tabletop position, walk your hands forward just to hand print, tuck your toes under, hover the knees for a moment and then spill your pelvis forward and see if you can wave yourself back to downward facing dog. Reach your hips up and back. Once you're there, you press through one heel and then the other. By this point, you're pretty well established in your down dog. So as you inhale, friends, tuck the tailbone, scoop it forward and see if you can wave yourself forward to plank pose. And once you're there, you may find that you have to adjust the distance between hands and feet. Take a breath in there in plank pose and let's reverse that. Spill your pelvis forward, reach your tailbone up to the ceiling, wave yourself back. We'll do that twice more. So inhaling to unfurl your spine and come forward, finish that inhale. As you exhale, spill your pelvis forward, reach your hips up and back. Again, inhale, come forward. Great exhale, pressing back.

And taking three breaths here and downward facing dog. So nice full inhale and down dog and then let the exhale that follows be nice and long and feel the heels descend a little bit more. And then at the bottom of that exhale, you can look forward and either walk step or hop yourself to the top of your mat. Pause for a moment and uttanasana soften your knees. You can shift your weight a little bit from left to right if you like, if that helps you come into sort of closer communion with gravity. And then friends, bring your hands to your hips, draw your elbows together with an extended spine. You'll come all the way up to standing. So look forward, keep the spine and the neck long. And then you'll come up to stand and tadasana and you'll pause here, just feeling a sense of rootedness and clarity in your mountain pose. Then as you inhale, sweep your arms around and up, receive that breath in. Exhale to soften your knees and hinge forward. Inhale to prepare pose, lengthen your spine. Exhale, and then forward fold. Inhale, sweep your arms around and up as you reach the heart forward with a long spine, look up and touch your palms. And as you exhale, draw your hands down the center line of your body. Pause here just in anjali mudra with hands in front of the heart. Great, release your arms by your sides. We'll pick up the pace a little bit. Inhale, sweep the arms around and up. Exhale, soften your knees and hinge forward. As you inhale, prepare pose, lift the center of your chest. Exhale, plant your palms, bend your knees, step yourself back to plank pose and pause there. Use your exhale to lower yourself all the way down to the floor, modifying if you like. Inhaling to bhujangasana, lift the center of your chest. And then exhale, lower yourself down. Press yourself up through tabletop and then all the way back to downward facing dog. And you'll pause there for a moment. As you next inhale, lift your right leg up, open your hip this time. See that the palms are pressing into the floor evenly. Try to keep your rib cage facing the floor. Go ahead and bend that knee if you feel called to do that. You might like to make circles with your knee but opening the hip in this downward facing dog.

Great, extend the leg once more. Inhale, reach long through that foot. As you exhale, shift forward, draw your knee to your nose, curve your spine. Inhale, reach your leg back. Good. Exhale, draw your knee to your nose. And one more time like that. Inhale, reach your leg back. And then exhale, draw your knee to your nose, lifting up. Take a breath in here. Let it feel your upper back. And then as you exhale, you'll step yourself forward. Lower your back knee to the floor. Let's untuck the toes. And as you breathe in, sweep your arms around enough for anjanasana. As you exhale, friends, shift your hips back, flex your front foot and find a little hamstring stretch. You might like to have blocks underneath the hands but as you inhale, you'll re-bend the knee, lift your chest up. And then exhale, shift your hips back, keeping your spine long and your chest lifted as you release the back of that leg. We'll take a few more passes just like that. Moving with your breath. So guided by breath. The breath arises. First, the movement is a little offering to your breath. I'm going to take one more pass forward. Inhale, to lift the chest and the arms. And then exhale, shift your hips back and pause there. Soften the knee. Soften the knee so you can draw your right hip back. As you inhale, you'll lift your chest. As you exhale, you'll hinge forward a little bit more while keeping your spine long. Now take a couple of breaths there, just like that. Spill your pelvis forward. It's a little isometric movement. It's not a ton of movement.

Take one more breath in. As you exhale, you'll re-bend your front knee. You lift your back knee up. And as you inhale, low lunge twist, reach your right arm up to the ceiling. And then exhale, bring your hand to the floor. Inhale to plank pose. Pause there in plank pose. Use your exhale to lower yourself all the way down to the floor, nice and slowly. And then bring your hands to either side of your mat. So on the floor, off of your mat, in line with your lower ribs. You're going to tent your fingers, lift your elbows up. Place your forehead on the floor so the neck is long. Tops of the feet pressed down. Start to inhale. You're going to peel yourself up, lifting the chest, the center of the chest, keeping your neck long. And then you're going to exhale and reverse and sort of wave yourself back down. Inhaling, trying to lift from the center of your spine and then letting every single vertebrae that is above that T12 unfurl. And then as you exhale, you'll reverse. A couple more passes like that. The inhale rises. You rise in response. You open the chest to receive the rest of that breath in. And then you exhale to lower yourself down. Once more, inhale, peel yourself up. This time, stay here, soften your elbows, broaden your collarbones, try to send your heart forward and up. Keep your neck long. You might feel called to gaze slightly upward, but try not to lift the chin, lift the heart. Keep the back of the neck long. You take one more breath in there. And as you exhale, you'll lower yourself down. Hands next to lower ribs, press up through tabletop, and then all the way back to downward facing dog and pausing for a moment. A little moment to gather yourself, to integrate, to register. What is moving with flow doing for you, my friend? How's your body responding, your breath? When an inhale rises, you'll lift your left leg up and open the hip, bend the knee, maybe making circles with the knee. Maybe just keeping the knee bent and opening the hip. Extend the leg, breathe in. As you exhale, draw your knee to your nose, curve your spine, tuck your chin. Inhale, reach your leg back. Exhale, knee to your nose. Inhale, reach your leg back. Exhale, knee to the nose, curve the spine, take a breath in there. Use your exhale to step that foot forward, lower your back knee to the floor. Breathe into anjana asana, crescent lunge, lift your chest. Exhale to shift your hips back. Inhale, shifting forward, lifting the chest. Exhaling to release the back of that front leg. A few more times like that. You moving in your flow at the speed of your breath. I'm sort of creating and offering you just a container for you to drop into the rhythm of your own body. And once more, you'll inhale, bend the knee, lift the chest. Exhale to shift the hips back. This time we'll stay here, soften that front knee any amount that allows you to spill your pelvis forward and keep your spine long. So sometimes we're resistant to softening the knee. Soften it a little bit, little bend in the knee. Reach your heart towards the front of your mat. And take one more breath in there. As you exhale, you'll rebend your knee. Lift the back knee up. Inhale, reach your left arm up to the ceiling for low lunge twist. And then exhale, hand to the floor. Inhale, plank pose. This time exhale, lower yourself all the way down.

Forehead to the floor, untuck your toes, interlace the hands. Inhale, lift the chest, straighten the elbows, draw the hands back. Look down towards the floor so neck is long. You might choose to keep the feet and legs on the floor. You might like to lift them up. Think about length. Think about breath. Actually, scratch that. Don't think about those things. Do those things. Get longer. Breathe. Take another full breath in. And a long breath out. One more breath in. Great. Exhale, release. Relax your arms. Turn your head to one side for a moment. Great. Hands next to your ribs. Press yourself up. And back to down dog.

All right. Pressing the palms down, getting long through the sides of the body. Inhale to lift that right leg up, opening the hip. Exhale, step your right foot forward, lower your back heel. As you inhale, you'll sweep your arms around and up. And exhale, you'll hinge forward. We'll do that twice more. So inhale, sweep the arms up. Exhaling to hinge forward. Good. Inhale, sweep the arms around and up, pausing in your warrior one, arms wider, palms touching. Take a breath in here. As you exhale, sweep your hands back behind you. Interlace the hands. Inhale to draw the arms or the hands rather back. Open the chest. And as you exhale, you'll hinge yourself forward, taking a couple of breaths there, just like that. So inhale here. Great. Stay low to the ground as you lift your back heel up and square your hips. Lower your back knee to the floor. Draw the hands back. Open the chest. Sweep your arms around and up and breathe in. As you exhale, bring your hands to the floor. Step yourself back to plank poles. Exhale to lower either all the way or halfway down. Start to inhale either baby cobra or upward facing dog. And then exhale to downward facing dog. And let's do the other side. Inhale, lift your left leg up. Step your left foot forward. Lower your back heel. As you breathe in, sweep your arms around and up. Receive the breath in. Exhale to hinge forward. Release your arms twice more. Breathe in, receive. Exhale, bowing to the breath. Inhale, sweep. One more time. Exhale, folding forward. Inhale, sweep the arms around and up. Pausing here. Arms as wide or as narrow as you like. Maybe the palms touch. You take a breath in. You exhale to sweep your arms back behind you. Inhale, draw the hands back. Open the chest. Exhale, hinge yourself forward. Humble warrior. Stay low. Lift your back heel up, the hips square. You lower your back knee to the floor. You inhale to open the chest. Draw the hands back. Sweep your arms around and up.

Exhale, your hands to the floor. Step yourself right back to downward facing dog or do a vinyasa if you like. And then, my friends, from down dog, you'll shift yourself forward to plank pose. Come to the outer edge of your right foot and stack your feet for vashisthasana. Extend your left arm up to the ceiling. You take a breath here. Lift your hips up, up, up. Press your bottom palm into the floor. Step your left foot back behind you as you lift your hips up and sweep that left arm alongside your ear. You take a breath in here. As you exhale, lower your hips one time. Inhale to lift up. And take a breath in there. As you exhale, it's transition returning nice and elegantly back to plank pose. So you step that left foot to the floor and you pause, recalibrate, and let's go ahead and do the opposite side. So coming to the outer edge of the left foot, stacking right foot on top of left, reaching your right arm up to the ceiling. Get broad across your collarbone. Step your right foot back behind you. Lift your hips up. Sweep your right arm alongside your ear. Let's take an exhale to lower ourselves down. Inhale to lift the hips. Sweep the arm. Breathe in. Take one more breath in. Use your exhale to transition back to plank pose. Nice and elegantly step the foot to the floor. Lift your hips up and back to down dog. And then lower your knees to the floor. Child's pose. Big toes touching, knees apart. This is softening and resting for a couple of breaths here in the echo of that flow that you just tapped into. Full breath in and long breath out. And then begin as you're ready, friend, to walk your hands back towards you so you're in an upright position. And then let's come down onto our backs. As you like, I like to step my feet to the floor and lower myself down. And then draw the knees into the chest and pause there in Apanasana. Extend your left leg along the floor. Keep the right knee bent and let's cross the right knee over the body as we reach that right arm out to the side with the palm facing up. And let the arm be positioned so you know we're kind to that shoulder and it has a little bit of space. You can use your left hand to press that right thigh bone away from you so you can lengthen that right side of the body and just breathe. So full breath in, long breath out. Let the breath do the work of having this conversation with the body. And after your next exhale, you'll release that. You'll come to center. You'll maybe re-center the hips. Extend your right leg along the floor. Cross your left knee over your body. Extend the left arm out to the side with a soft elbow palm facing up. And you roll onto that right hip. Maybe you use the right hand to press into the left thigh bone, closer to the hip, head of the thigh bone. And then soften into the shape. Let the breath do its work. Let the body be responsive to breath. Great. And after your next exhale, you'll come to center. You draw both knees into your chest.

You give yourself a little pause and a squeeze and appanasana. And then find your way to shavasana, final resting pose. Extend the legs. Turn the palms to face up and breathe. And just sort of like abiding in this such an interesting space that's created after practice, asana practice. Enjoy it. So giving the weight of your body to the floor, receiving the weight of your front body with your back body. Nothing to do. Nothing to do but relax from feet to head. And friends, you can of course stay in shavasana for as long as you like. If you'd like to come up and have a sit with me, begin to deepen your breath. Wiggle your fingers and toes. Extend your arms alongside your ears. Give yourself a nice long stretch. Draw your knees in towards your chest and roll onto one side. Take a breath or two there. And then with eyes closed, if you can, you slowly come up to a seated position, any seat you like. And once you are seated, sit well. Rest the hands on your knees or your thighs. Close your eyes.

Bring the palms together at the center of your chest. Bow your head to your hands and honoring yourself, thanking yourself and your body and breath that are in constant flow with each other. And may that relationship always inspire you to be in flow too. Namaste.


3 people like this.
great class - enjoyed the invitation to personalise the practice. many thanks.
Martha K
3 people like this.
I enjoyed the rhythm and flow and pace of this wonderful practice.
Lina S
3 people like this.
Excellent class!
Sadia Bruce
Thank YOU for connecting, Matthew! Am glad my invitation was well-received— personalization is the final frontier! 
Sadia Bruce
Am thrilled you enjoyed, Martha! Rhythm and flow are the mother tongue of the body! Hope you join me for some of the other practices, if not all! Be well!
Sadia Bruce
Thanks so much, Lina! Hope you join me for some of the other practices in the series— let me know how they land!
Jennifer Love
I LOVE this series. thank you for sharing your practice with us. I have been practicing for 25 years and have had more of a slow-burning flame with asana practice (rather than fast and hot) and today was the FIRST time I connected with the deep value of corpse pose and sitting meditation after practice: to experience THAT kind of peace is precious. It is everything!
Sadia Bruce
Jennifer Love I'm so glad you're enjoying— and absolutely thrilled to hear that you were able to experience the sublime poetry of dying a little while living! Happy New Year— may you continue to live in Love, as Love...
Elissa P
5 people like this.
wonderful. very expansive. felt GREAT first thing in the am.
Sadia Bruce
Elissa P This is great to hear! Wishing you an expansive day— no, YEAR!
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