On the Verge 10-Day Yoga Challenge Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 5

Day 4: Wonder

30 min - Practice


Move in a way that delights you. Day 4's fun, creative practice will help you channel your inner child. Find your unique movement in familiar poses, and move with a sense of wonder and curiosity through sequences to connect to the playfulness of a child’s movement, as you explore crawling, hopping, and even a little “breakdancing baby”. You will feel joyful, delighted, and uplifted.
What You'll Need: Mat

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My friends, day number four. Thank you for joining me. How are you feeling? I hope the answer is something around good, something in that area. It's day four, so we have established sure-footedness, firm footing. We stoked our inner fire. We expanded into life and into ourselves. And today, we're going to explore that expansion a little bit with this thing, this quality that we call Wonder. What is that? It's curiosity. I Googled before teaching this class, the dictionary definition is something like, you know, surprise mixed with admiration when you encounter something, what is it, unfamiliar or inexplicable. Today's sequence is a little inexplicable, but it'll give us a lot of space to be really curious about this vessel that we're walking around in, this meat suit we're walking around in every day and who is more curious than a child. It's a rhetorical question, no one, but maybe it's you after this practice. So if you've come along with me on a journey before, you're familiar with this thing I'm doing right now, which we've called Knowing Child. Google that. If you're unfamiliar with Knowing Child, give yourself the gift of finding that meme. And now give yourself the gift of just moving. What are we doing even? How can I even cue this? I don't know. Just move freely, relax your arms, relax your shoulders. The meme is of a little tiny, beautiful child who's just like completely dropped in. So maybe channel her. If you know who I'm referring to, you're probably dropped way in already. But moving the arms and the shoulders, the legs, just floating around easily, being curious about your meat suit. And notice, too, if there's any resistance to moving really freely and fluidly, that's common. And let that resistance be there, welcome it in, welcome it in, and maybe try to transmute it by moving your body. And then start to move yourself towards the center of your mat, soften your knees, start to let yourself kind of hunch forward, round your shoulders, and this will unfurl yourself, lift up, roll up through your spine, open your arms, and do that a few times. What is this? I really don't know. But hopefully you're enjoying it. And just being curious. It's kind of, it's a complex movement, and it's kind of miraculous. The spine that we have that absorbs shock, that allows us to rotate from left to right. So maybe you can do that. This spine that flexes and extends. This spine on which, you know, our head rests. Lots of things happening with the spine. So do that a few times. And let this movement also allow you to drop into kind of a more expansive breath. As you next inhale, spread the arms, turn the palms to face up. As you exhale, turn the toes and the knees in, roll your arms forward. We'll do that a couple more times. Inhaling, reversing, opening. Exhaling, closing. Inhale, open. And you move up a speed that calls to you. So it doesn't have to be at the speed of breath. Be at a speed that is wonderful. The next time you inhale, extend the arms, draw your elbows back, lift your chest up, exhale, clap your hands together, step your feet a little wider apart. Let's do something fun, shall we? These are called wood choppers. You're going to soften your knees, hips a little wider than hips width, or feet rather, a little wider than hips width. Arms are together, they are clasped. I'll show you, I'll demonstrate before we go in about, I don't know, five to seven times, but you're going to soften your knees, get really low as you inhale. You're going to lift your fists up, breathe in, and you're actually going to do an audible, ha, as you come down. All right? So we're going to do that five times. Here we go. Inhale, lifting up, ha, again, ha, three more times, ha, ha, I lost count, ha, one more time, ha, ha, and release that, release that, shake your arms out, and just notice, little shift in energy, that tiny little thing we did, rest your hands on your body for a moment, and feel, be curious about this wonderful opening that we've created with that simple little drill there, and let's come over to the top of the mat, let's stand in tadasana, and we'll pause here, once again, rolling the shoulders back and down, as you inhale, sweep your arms around and up, reach long through one side, and then the other, do that a couple of times, let's release the side body, since we're here, reaching up through one side, bending the knees as you need, expressing through the hands, and then reach both arms all the way up, great, as you exhale, sweep the arms out to the side, take a nice inquisitive descent towards the floor, standing forward fold, pause there for a moment, shift a little bit from left to right, relaxing the head and neck as you're there, great, and then plant your palms, and we're going to hop back to a down dog, so land with soft knees, palms are planted, knees are bent, hop back to a wide down dog, so take a full breath in and as you exhale, you'll soften the knees, and hop yourself back, once you're there, you can widen the feet a little bit more, maybe towards the outer edges of your mat, soften your knees, press your chest towards your thighs, let's feel and enjoy a little bit of that spinal extension there, lifting the heels up, doing whatever calls to you, so I could give you any number of cues, but I want you just to cultivate some curiosity, so permission now for you to get weird, please, and then stay there until you die, look up between your hands, soften your knees, take a breath in, at the bottom of your exhale you're going to hop forward to malasana, the squatting pose, so inhale, and then exhale, hop forward, and pause, land, we pause for just a moment, I'm actually, my pelvis is lifted slightly up, plant your palms back down onto the floor, and we're going to hop back, so you take a breath in, use your exhale to press into your hands, hop back to down dog, and do that, let's do that three more times, so soften your knees, and it's at your pace, you look forward, you hop forward, you come to malasana, maybe you lift the torso up and bring the palms together, if that calls to you, hands to the floor, you hop back, you extend through the knees, you pause, you get really curious, and you stay curious, soften the knees, look forward, hop forward, pause, palms touch, hands to the floor, soften the knees, hop back, take a couple of breaths there, and downward facing dog, pressing hands down and forward, you can shift your hips from left to right, any kind of organic movement that allows you to really just be inside of the shape, palms press down and forward, knees are soft, look up between your hands friends, this time step your right foot to the outside of your right hand, lower the knee, lift your chest up, breathe in, as you exhale shift your hips back, good, inhale coming forward, rebending the knee, lift your back knee up, step your back foot forward to malasana, lift the chest, we're gonna switch sides, step your right foot back, lower the knee, inhale to lift your chest up, exhale to send your hips back as you extend through that front knee, inhale coming forward, lift your back knee up as you exhale, step forward, let's do that again, stepping the left foot back, lowering the knee, inhaling to lift the chest up, exhaling to shift your pelvis back, inhale come back forward, lift the back knee up, step your back foot forward and pausing here in malasana, bring your palms together at the center of your chest, lift the center of the chest up, close the eyes for a moment, let the tailbone descend, great, float your hands to the floor, lift your seat up, pedal your or heel toe rather your feet towards each other, about hips width apart, let's slide the palms underneath the feet so that the toes are making contact with the wrists, this is padahastasana, so you'll soften the knees and just orient yourself there pressing your forefoot down into the centers of the palms and actually being curious about that sensation, how often are you standing on your hands, alright, wow, inhale lift your chest, make sure knees are bent to whatever degree you need to find full spinal extension to the degree that you can exhale, pull up on your wrists, hinging forward with a long spine, you can keep the knees soft but you're pulling up on your wrists as you press down into the palms with the fronts of your feet and now take a few breaths here just like this, knees soft, maybe playing with a little bit of movement inside of this frankly like really bizarre shape, take another inhale, lengthen the elbows, lift your chest up and once more exhale pull up on the wrists, hinge forward, let the crown of the head release, let the elbows bow out to the sides, play with little micro shifts in your weight in the feet so right now I'm shifting ever so slightly maybe you can see it maybe not from left to right but then I'm also shifting from the fronts of my feet to the backs and all the while just being really curious about this sensation of feet against palms and backs of palms against floor also something that's quite unusual and then as you're ready friends you'll release your hands, you'll relax your head and neck, breathing deeply, letting the crown of the head release to the floor, keep your knees incredibly soft, begin to inhale, roll yourself up, roll yourself up, breathe in, breathe in, lift your elbows up, we're gonna unfurl the spine and the arms as we inhale, sweep the arms around it up, as we exhale we're actually gonna press the palms down, tuck the chin, curve the spine and go down that way, why? Because we can inhale rolling up through the spine drawing your elbows up and being curious letting yourself express this in whatever way you like so exploring right the movement of the arms, the movement of the spine so essentially just you know riffing on a on a standing sun breath and this time we are moving kind of at the pace or at the rate rather of your breath but exhaling to lower down inhaling to lift ourselves up one more time sweep your arms around and up this time coming to a more classical expression let's bring the palms together as we exhale descend the hands down the center line of your body pause in anjali mudra be in the echo of your glorious weirdness release your arms by your sides breathe in raise your arms up in a way that delights you as you take that full breath in exhale and hinge yourself forward in a way that also delights you step back to downward facing dog spread the palms spread the feet spread the feet press the heels towards the floor soften your knees long spine long breath open open mind open heart pressing hands down and forward feeling and being curious about this connection between the palms of your hands and this contact that's making with the with the mat you know start to inhale come forward to a plank pose you can modify it if you like being curious coming forward in a weird way pausing in plank pose using that inhale to progressively get a little clearer in the plank so really extend the elbows reach through the heels and the crown of your head and then as you exhale you'll use the full length of that exhale to curiously lower yourself down maybe being super curious about how the power of that exhale supports you and your travels to the floor and start to inhale baby cobra lifting up exhale lower down and press back to a child's pose take your time in doing that ride the wave exhale all the way back start to inhale slide yourself forward look forward slide yourself forward lift the back of your skull and the chest as you finish the inhale exhale start to lower down and then press yourself back and we'll do that three more times you can move at the speed that suits you you can move sort of with a texture and a flavor that suits you but just being curious staying curious getting weird and staying weird until you die pressing back to child's pose great excellent just one more pass like that so you'll press back and you'll come forward to baby cobra and you'll stay here hold press the tops of your feet down draw the heels of the hand slightly back elbows towards each other so now sort of more classical expression press the tops of the feet down lift the inner thighs up lengthen your tailbone and feel the difference once you do arrive in this more kind of what's a good adjective this clean version of bhujangasana lengthen the back of your neck lift the back of your skull give the shape to your breath and feel and be curious about the way breath is moving through your body and take an inhale to lift up a little higher here as you exhale you're going to lower down we're going to do some moving like prone shoulder openers so we'll look like this you will inhale to lift yourself up you'll exhale to lower down extend your left arm tent your right fingers bend the elbows roll onto your left side step your right foot back behind you and then you'll come back to center as you exhale you'll inhale to come to bhujangasana you can be on pads of your fingers you'll exhale to lower and inhale to switch sides so come with me join me in this little exploration inhale to lift up exhale lower down inhale and so on and so forth keep going I'm with you but you move at a pace that works for you trying to synchronize with breath excellent no I can't see you but I just know you're doing an amazing job lifting up lowering down the next time you're on one side stay on that side doesn't matter which you might like to lift that foot up that step back behind you and make some circles with the knee ideally in the direction that's back behind you so we get a little more release for the shoulder so do that once more circling the knee step the foot to the floor take a breath in exhale ride the exhale to center inhale coming to the opposite side stepping the foot back behind you making circles with that knee back behind you in that direction so we get a little more release for the shoulder and of course doing this in a way that is all about inquiry and not at all about sort of appearance or performance step the foot back behind you inhale breathe in exhale come to center inhale lift yourself up good exhale lower yourself down stack your hands friends bend your left knee and find a little prone groin release here and you'll take a few moments here to soften the grind soften soften everything you can rest your head on your hands if you like if that feels good you can also use a folded blanket and then let's switch sides so let's extend through that left knee and then let's switch to the right side bending the knee to 90 degrees so that the thigh bone is pointing directly out of the hip you pause there and then soften soften soften once you find the shape relax let the floor let the earth support you take a breath in and then use your exhale to come to center then you're gonna come up onto your palms a little bit and I want us to sort of move through that we're crawling like babies the most curious beings there are it may be easy friend and you can join me in this I'm just bending one knee extending coming to center and then bending the other you can move on to a slippery surface you can use a yoga blanket that might be fun and it might make it easier for you to to find this movement as for me I'm stuck on this yoga mat prison so please liberate yourselves and my name come back to center and keep going and being curious right being curious you once actually moved like this to get from point A to point B can you believe it one more pass on each side good and once you're back in center pause there bring the hands next to your lower ribs press yourself up to tabletop and then all the way back to downward facing dog lift the hips up and back give yourself some time to arrive there walking your dog dancing with your dog and then come to some quality of stillness start to inhale lower the knees to the floor release the belly spread the collarbones open the chest exhale to child's pose to send the hips start to inhale come forward in response right to that breath you make a shape that allows you to breathe in fully and then exhale lift your hips up and back again like that inhale knees to the floor open exhale close child's pose inhale ride the wave of that inhale to come forward to cow pose which allows us to breathe fully in and then exhale to downward facing dog pause here and down dog just taking a a beat to feel and to appreciate a little little moment of still enjoyment and then lower your knees to the floor but don't release them all the way to the floor let them hover and you'll pause there in the hovering position in a bear crawl as folks call it and then we're gonna let our baby selves break dance a little bit so you press into the hands press into the balls of your feet hover your knees this is what it is so you're going to take a twist to the left you're going to extend your right heel out to the side the left hand will tap your right shoulder and then you'll come back to center left hand to the floor right foot to the floor return to center same on the opposite side you'll shift weight into that left hand you'll take a twist the left leg will extend the right hand will tap the shoulder and then you'll come back to center to that bear crawl let's do that twice more on each side breakdancing baby come back to center great and be curious and you can go slow or it can be quite interesting to move a little faster let's do once more each side at whatever speed calls to you great come to center downward facing dog lift your hips up and back soften your knees widen your feet and really bend your knees nice spacious dog pose long to the side body inhale whoa I mean you're going to inhale and when it happens please come forward to plank pose use your exhale to lower yourself all the way down to the floor once you're there sphinx pose my friend so come up onto your palms and your forearms elbows are underneath your shoulders your palms are pressing down you are sort of isometrically dragging back on the mat and lifting your chest up get broad across your collar bones and let's crawl a little bit in the sphinx pose so again you might like to be on a slippery surface or on a blanket but you're essentially just going to bend one knee as you're in sphinx keep pulling back on the mat lifting your chest up and then you'll extend to that leg you do this at whatever speed works for you other side bend the knee drag back lift the chest up as in up dog or not as in being a baby come back to center great once more each side and being curious about you know the extension of the knee drawing the leg back to center the rotation of the thigh bone the bending of the knee the flexing of the hip the lift of the chest extension of the spine all these beautiful things are happening come back to center and pause tuck your toes under walk your toes closer to your knees you're pretty rooted close to the balls of your feet really depends on your foot architecture press your hands down into the floor firm your pubic bone down so create space for your lumbar spine before pressing into your palms and lifting the chest up a little more lift your inner elbows up broad and across the collar bones you can lengthen the back of the neck but today I give you permission to look up like a baby bird lift your chin up press into the hands open the chest keep firming the pubic bone down take one more breath in there and as you exhale you can lower yourself down oh you can slide yourself down stack your hands bend your knees quick windshield wiper of your knees to neutralize the spine great come to center release your feet press back to a child's pose let the lower back release shift your hips a little bit from left to right descend the hips descend the head relax the neck relax the eyes so full breath into the upper back exhale hips descend descend descend descend soften walk your hands back towards you so you're in an upright position let's swing the legs out in front of us step the feet to the floor reach your arms forward tuck your tailbone scoop your tailbone whatever language you like reach forward really flex flex flex the spine just because and then draw your knees into your chest great extend your legs along the floor let's do something else fun and weird so we're going to do these little runners we can call them crunches don't really like that word but here we go so you'll breathe in here as you exhale you're going to lift your head and upper back off of the floor as you bend your right knee and reach your left arm forward inhale and lower yourself down to the floor and you'll exhale and do the opposite side you're running but you're on your back a couple more like this lifting up synchronizing with breath so inhaling as you lengthen your body exhaling as you lift yourself up using the power of your exhale to lift yourself up couple more on each side so much fun so breathing fully keeping that sense of of playing curiosity and and easiness good the next time you're lower down you'll stay there step your feet to the floor so ankles under the knees this time grip the sides of your mat friends grip the sides of your mat pull the mat apart so you can roll your shoulders underneath your body inhale to press into your heels and lift your hips your pelvis up interlace your hands underneath your body if you can get the heels of the hands to touch that's great tuck that bottom pinky in good so you can press the outer edges of the hands into the floor press the feet down inner edges of the feet magnetize your inner thighs and send them down towards the floor lengthen your tailbone as you breathe in the chest expands expands expands as you breathe out feel the lower belly dry in you can stay here option to shift your weight a little into your left foot draw your right knee towards you and maybe extend your leg up to the ceiling interesting bend your right knee step the foot to the floor if you extended the knee on that side it might be a good idea to try the opposite side but again you know your body autonomy sovereignty bend your knee step your foot to the floor press into the heels a little more breathe in as you exhale keep the hands interlace lower your body onto your arms lower your body onto your arms and pause there interesting great press into your heels lift your hips up free your hands free your arms lower your pelvis give yourself a little squeeze wrap your hands around your body squeeze walk the hands in towards the spine draw your knees in towards your chest as you do that squeeze squeeze squeeze come to center release happy baby pose hold the outer edges of your feet you rock from one side to the other maybe you extend through the knee like a baby maybe you extend and rock whatever is calling to you come to center as you're ready bring the soles of your feet to touch and find supta barakonasana so you'll lower your feet onto the floor the feet can be as far away or as close to your body as you like rest your hands somewhere on your body maybe it's the thighs it's the torso maybe a hand on the heart and a hand on the belly whatever is calling to you so full breaths in and long breaths out letting every inhale let you really feel and embody this capacity you have to contain your wholeness your fullness every part of you with every exhale all of those parts are drawn closer to center where they integrate and they co-exist you can stay in this position friends or you can release your hands and arms and extend your legs for shavasana final resting pose hands palms face up arms away from your body let the feet splay open and you know take take liberty so move your body around don't feel as though you're you know stuck in whatever position you're in you can adjust yourself establish conditions for your your comfort that's that's key in shavasana and then once you've found those conditions drop in where into into you into that inner refuge that's always there relaxing from feet to head and just abiding in that quality right of wonder and curiosity this kind of energized stillness that's there you can stay in shavasana for as long as you like otherwise if you'd like to come up for a seat start to wiggle fingers and toes deep in your breath extend the arms give yourself a nice long stretch from feet to hands draw your knees in towards your chest and roll onto one side pausing there for a moment before gently pressing yourself up to a comfortable seated position any seat you like that works for you resting your hands on your knees or your thighs sitting well bring your palms together at the center of your chest bow your head to your hands thank yourself for practicing honor your body your breath the connection between them and this quality of wonder that you have that is yours that you can tap into and open to at any time namaste


3 people like this.
thanks for this - nice to have the invitations to play. :)
Martha K
4 people like this.
Fun and free. I feel loose and relaxed. 
Lina S
3 people like this.
It was fun! Thank you!
Sadia Bruce
Matthew Play is the answer!
Sadia Bruce
Lina S Thank YOU for coming along with me on this journey— fun little ride, right?!
Sadia Bruce
Martha K Loose and liberated— that's exactly what we're after! 
Elissa P
4 people like this.
LOVE this one! Very sensual, and yet innocent and childlike. A GREAT way to intuitively reconnect with how it felt as a kid to be joyful in one's own body, without shame or self-consciousness. I've been playing with the idea of feeling "in love" even without a partner. You know, that FEELING you have when you're in love? That, but with yourself. This class was like a physical way to get into THAT feeling. .
Rachel S
3 people like this.
Fabulous! Thank you!
Sadia Bruce
Rachel S So glad it served you, Rachel! Thank YOU for practicing with me!
Lillian M
3 people like this.
This is so awesome. I have been working on my mental health and it also feels like a weight has or is lifting off my sheilders>
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