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Season 1 - Episode 6

Mercury: Communicate

30 min - Practice


Use the breath to uncover a little bit more space, the element of ether. This class opens the shoulders, neck, and 5th chakra, connects us to the element of ether, and is great to do if you have an upcoming presentation or difficult conversation. Our opening mantra and mudra practice calls in the energy of the Messenger Planet. We move through a vinyasa sequence warming into twisting, lungeing, and balancing poses, bloom into Rockstar, enjoy sweet hip opening, and close in Matsyasana. You will feel stable, clear, and open.

Please see the attached pdf for a breakdown of the planetary aspects.

What You'll Need: Mat, Block


Read Full Transcript

Namaste. Welcome. This will be our Mercury class and Mercury is the planet that's associated with our communication. This would be a good class to do if you need to make a presentation, if you need to have a difficult conversation, or if you've been feeling a little bit tight in your neck and your shoulders. We're going to open up the area of the fifth chakra right around the neck and the shoulders and the throat. So let's get started. Rub your palms together and we'll take our hands into Akash mudra. So Akasha is the element of ether associated with the fifth chakra. You'll take your middle finger pads and just touch them to your thumbs and place them upright on your thighs. The mantra for Mercury is Om Boom Budaya Namaha. So we'll be chanting that 12 times. You can keep the eyes closed or open with a soft gaze. Breathe in. Breathe out. Om Boom Budaya Namaha Om Bumbudaya Namaha, Om Bumbudaya Namaha. Last two. Om Bumbudaya Namaha, Om Bumbudaya Namaha. And just take a couple breaths seated, feeling any effects of the vibration of the mantra. And then you can open up your eyes, give your hands and your legs a little bit of a shake out and we're going to meet up on hands and knees. You can stack the wrists underneath the shoulders and the knees underneath the hips. On the inhale, send your left arm out to the left and then press into your right hand and inhale, lift the left arm up a little higher and you can take the gaze up towards the left thumb. On your exhale, thread the needle, slip your left arm underneath your right and come down towards your left ear. And then inhale, swing the arm back up. And on the exhale, slide the arm underneath. And one more time, inhale, lift the arm back up. And on the exhale, slide the arm underneath and this time you can stay there, dropping the left ear towards the ground and walk the right hand forward. And you can tent the fingertips here and then over a little bit to the left. So you're getting a little deeper into your twist. If you press down into the back of the left arm and wrap the right shoulder blade back, you'll get a nice twist from the waist and all the way up into the neck. Take a couple of breaths there and you can use your Ujjayi Pranayama here, victorious breath. And that will also be good for the fifth chakra, a little bit of a sound to give the mind something more to focus on.

Walk your hand back underneath your right shoulder, swing your left arm up, breath in. Place the hand back down on the breath out. Right away, step your right foot back and tuck your right toes under, kicking back through your right heel. Spin the right heel down and we'll open up into a side plank variation on the left knee, stretching up through the right arm. And once again, turning the gaze so that the eyes can gaze up at the right thumb so you get a little bit more of a twist at the neck. Reach your right arm over your ear, get nice and long there through the right side. We're coming right into plank pose from here. Plant the palms down, step the left foot back. Knees, chest and chin, Ashtanga Namaskar. Drop the knees, drop the chest. Let the chin land and you can use the strength of your arms here so there isn't too much weight on the neck. Slide through into a cobra, breath in. Down dog with your breath out. Stretch your right leg up on the breath in. Stepping through, come into a lunge with your breath out and drop the left knee down. You can point the left toes. Hook your thumbs and lift up early on Janayasana. So be gentle here. Just think of it more as an opening for the front body. And you can tip the gaze up and get a little space for the throat. Stretch your left arm forward and your right arm back, staying pretty upright there. And then wrap the right shoulder blade back a little bit further as you stretch forward through the left hand. Bring your left hand down inside your right foot. Tuck your back toes under. Straighten out your back leg and send your right arm up towards the ceiling. Going deeper into your lunge twist. Circle the right hand overhead. We're coming back into plank pose. Drop your knees, child's pose. Coming back onto hands and knees. And let's do the other side. Take the right arm out to the right. Press into the left hand and inhale, swing the right arm up. And on the exhale you can slide it underneath, coming down towards your right ear. Two more like that. Inhale, lift. And exhale, slide it underneath. And one more, inhale. And exhale. And then this time you'll stay there, walking the left hand forward, tenting the left fingertips, and a little bit over to the right, getting a deeper twist. See if you can find a little bit of space between the shoulder blades. You can even draw the left hip back and open up the left side a little bit more. And then walk the left hand back and underneath the left shoulder, swing your right arm up, and place your right hand down. And then step your left foot back and tuck your left toes under, reaching through the left heel. Spin the left heel down, lift up through the left arm, coming into your side plank variation. And you'll take the left arm overhead, reaching through the whole left side. Plank pose. Lower knees, chest, and chin. Ashtanga Namaskar, elbows pulling close to the sides. Sliding through into your cobra. Keep the tailbone heavy. Roll the shoulders back. Downward facing dog, Adho Mukhasvanasana with your breath out. Reach the left leg up. Step it between your hands, coming back into a lunge, drop the back knee, point the back toes. Hook a different thumb on top and come on up, Anjanaasana. And again, you don't need to go too deep here just feel a little bit of space through the right hip. Tip the chin up, reaching through the inner arms. And then this time it's right arm forward, left arm back. You might even take the gaze back towards the left thumb, reach back through the left thumb. Take your right hand down inside your left foot, tuck your back toes under, straighten out your back leg, reach up through the left arm. Lunge twist. And then place your left hand down and step back, downward facing dog. Start to walk your feet forward one step at a time coming all the way to the front of your mat. Once you're there, about two fists distance between the feet and you can soften the knees as much as you need to. Maybe catch the ear and give a gentle tug downward. Just again, creating a little space in the throat, kind of decompressing the cervical spine, the neck spine there. Body weight tips forward. And then release your arms. Shake out your head, shake out your neck if you want to flutter out through your lips here. You might take one more exhale there. And then pressing down in the feet, take the chin to the chest and begin to roll your way up to stand. When you get to the top, you can give the shoulders a few rolls, just releasing any tension. And with a full breath in, reach your arms all the way up. Look up, see your high prayer. And you'll take a big backstroke of the arms here and interlace the fingers behind your back. Now, if that feels like too much for your shoulders, no worries. You can just wing the arms back without interlacing. And then take your left leg up and around for Gaurudasana, but keep the arms just as they are. So this is eagle pose. You can single or double wrap the left leg and then begin to come forward. And this will be more of like a hinge at the hips, less of a folding in at the waist so that you can keep the spine long and the neck in line. From here, we're coming into warrior three. See if you can keep the hands just as they are. So this doesn't need to happen all at once. Let it evolve, kicking back through the left heel. I'm a little wobbly in this moment. Warrior one. And you can free up the hands and reach them up and find a high prayer again above the head. From here, eagle wrap your arms. So left arm underneath, right arm on top, and then lift the forearms, take the gaze up and get a little spacious between the shoulder blades. We're swinging right open to triangle from here. So let the arms go free and you might need to adjust your feet a little bit, turning the left toes in a little bit more and slipping the right hand down the right shin. You could also put a block here underneath the right hand and then take your left arm behind your back coming into a half bind. And you can use the half bind to unshrug the left shoulder. So slip the left shoulder blade back down. And then looking down towards the ground, walk the right hand forward, artichandrasana from here.

And you can use a block underneath the right hand. If you're using the block, it just, I like it. It gives me a little bit more lift. And then up to you, either you stay with the arm behind the back or you can bend the left knee and reach back for your left ankle coming into artichandra, chapasana. And you might kick the heel back and tip the chin back and get that nice opening in the left shoulder. And then stretch the left leg back out nice and long. We're sliding back into warrior two. Take a deep bend of the right knee, land it, find your feet and take the gaze right out over the right middle finger. Turn the right palm up. Peaceful warrior, breath in. On the exhale, hands come down to the ground. We're stepping back into plank pose. Lower knees, chest and chin, ashtanga namaskar. Open throat. Sliding through into your cobra. You might come up a little higher this time. And press back, downward facing dog. And then looking forward, either hop or step the feet forward. And on the exhale, fold into the legs. Again, feet can be about two fists distance apart here. Catching the ears, a gentle tug. Crown of the head moves towards the top of the feet. And then release your arms down, bend your knees, tuck your chin, roll your way up. Pressing into the feet. On the inhale, reach your arms up. And on the exhale, once again, arms come back behind you. You can change the interlacing of your fingers. Lifting up through your right leg will come into our eagle legs. Single or double wrapping. Or if you need more stability today, it could be ball of the right foot on the ground. And going forward. Reaching back through the fist of the hands. Unwrapping into warrior three. Stretch the right heel back. Send the crown of the head forward. Gaze can be out slightly in front of you. From here, it's warrior one. Drop the right foot down and reach the arms up. And then eagle wrap. Right arm underneath the left. And lift the forearms, lean back.

Big exhalation, triangle pose. Let the arms fly open. Reach out long. Coming down. Utitatriconasana. Stretching up through the right arm. And you'll take the right hand back behind you. Half bind. And you can reach for the inside of the left thigh or drape the arm back behind you. And then have that moment to wrap the right shoulder blade back. And spin the underside of the waist up. Look down. Walk your left hand forward. Artichandrasana. Reaching for your block if you're using it. And then either keeping the arm behind the back or bend the right knee. Reaching back for your right ankle with your right hand. Artichandraschapasana. Reaching through the right leg. Stretch your right leg back out. Sliding back. Warrior two. Take the gaze right over the left middle finger. Find your breath and then it's a big inhale. Warrior. Hands to the ground. Step back into plank. And lower knees, chest and chin. Slide through into cobra. Can be as high or as low as you need. And exhale back. Downward facing dog. Take a couple of breaths in your down dog. Once again if you need to make any sound, a sigh or a flutter through the lips. You can do that here. And then coming back to what we started in the beginning. Roll out to a plank pose. This time bring the legs together. Roll onto your left hand and left foot. Vasisthasana. Or you can also put the left knee down here if you need to. Stretching up through the right arm and you'll take the right hand overhead. Squeezing the inner thighs together. Lift the right leg. Step it back behind you. Rock star. Pressing into the feet and you might let the head fall back completely here. Come on back around. Downward facing dog. Right leg up. Step through into a lunge and let your back knee drop. Point your back toes. We're back in anjana asana. Hook the thumbs. Lift up. And this time you might find that you can take it back a little bit further.

You know stretch up through the inner arms. Open up the chest. And then come back up to a long spine. Left arm forward. Right arm back. And you're twisting. Take the left hand down inside your right foot. And this time bend your left knee and reach back for your left ankle with your right hand. And you can even walk the hand to the outside of the ankle and then wrap the right shoulder blade back and tug the left heel in a little bit closer. If you've got the room to come down to the forearm here you can do that. Maybe catching the right ankle with the left hand and wrapping the right shoulder blade back. Or if you need to stay up on the left hand you'll stay there. And then place your left hand down. Let the palms come down. Tuck the back toes under. Standing split. Push off your left foot. Strong exhalation there and then you can fold the chin in towards the right chin. Lifting through the left leg. Coming down into Ardhamatsyandrasana. Seated spinal twist. Tuck your left knee. Have a seat. And give yourself a little bit of room here so that the sitz bones can be even. I like to actually open up my left foot a little further away so that the right sit bone can come down. And then press into the fingertips and get some length in the spine first. Lifting the left arm will come into our twist. Left elbow to the outside of the right thigh. And you might even come back to your Akash Mudra here. Bringing the thumb and middle finger together on the left hand. And turn. Full breath in. Twist deeper with your breath out. One more time. Breathing in. Twist it out. Take a counter twist in the opposite direction. You can even drop the head down. And then take your right arm, right leg, sorry, back behind you. Almost like you're coming into a pigeon pose. From there we're going to step right back to downward facing dog. And pedal through the feet. Let's try the other side. Roll it out long. Plank pose. Side plank on your right hand and right foot. Lifting up through your left arm. And perhaps taking the gaze up towards the left hand. And then reach it overhead. You can press into the right fingertips and send the hips up higher. Lift the left leg. Step it behind you. Rock star. Use the back body. Pressing up. Back of the heart into the front. Down dog. Split. Left leg up on your breath in. Stepping through. Come into a lunge on your breath out. Back knee drops. Point the back toes. Hook a different thumb. Come on up. Anjana asana. Pressing into the feet. Lift up out of the side waist and lean back. Back up out of that a little bit. On the breath in, on the breath out. Right arm forward. Left arm back. Coming into your twist. And then right hand comes down inside your left foot. Bend your right knee. Reach back for your right ankle with your left hand this time. And squeeze it in. You know, and I find that if I flex the right foot, it contracts the back of the leg a little bit more and that gives me more release in the front of the leg. So you can play with that. Maybe point and flex a couple times. And then if you're coming down onto the forearm here, you can do that. Catching the left ankle or not. Or staying up on the right hand and wrapping the left shoulder back. Let that go. Planting the left hand back down. Tuck your back toes under. Look forward. Standing split. Kicking off through the right leg. Drop the head.

And lift through the inseam of the right thigh. And then you can even curl the chin in a little bit closer to the chest. Coming into kind of a natural jalandara bandha, that chin lock. And you'll tuck the right knee and come on down. Ardhamatsyandrasana. Seated spinal twist. Settle your sitz bones down. Get nice and even. And then lift your right arm up. And take your twist. Right elbow to the outside of the left thigh this time. And you can come back into akash mudra. Middle finger and thumb come together. Wrapping the left shoulder back. And even turning the gaze over the left shoulder. And I don't know, I find that sometimes in the twist I have a tendency to kind of crank myself into it. See if here you can use the breath to uncover a little bit more space. Finding space in the body. That element of ether. So let the whole circumference of the waist move with your breathing. Without restriction. Breath in. Twist deeper with your breath out. Counter twist. Opposite direction. Dropping the head down. Come on back up. Right leg stays where it is. Swing the left leg around like you're coming into pigeon. And step back. Downward facing dog. Rolling out long. Plank pose. Drop your knees a little bit more parallel this time and come into child pose. And then take your hands underneath your shoulders and roll up to sit on your heels. We're going to come to sit in Virasana. So if you need a block, you can grab a block and sit on a block here. Knees are together. Feet apart. Sitting in between. Take a glance back at your feet. Spread your toes. And then hands will come back into Akash Mudra. Middle finger and thumb pads pressing together. Place it upright on your thighs. Close your eyes. And you might come back to your mantra here. Om Boom Budaya Namaha. Or another option might be Brahmari breath. Bumblebee breath. So just breathing in. Take a really gentle hum on your breath out. A little yogi's choice moment. Get yourself centered and feel the alignment of the crown of the head over the tailbone. Stretching up of the side waist. The dropping down of the shoulders. And the stem of the neck. Pulling up out of the spine. Pressing the skull very gently. Right there at the top. Allow your lips to soften. Separate the back teeth. Just take one more moment here. And then we'll come into our closing shape. So starting in Dandasana. Stretch the legs out long in front of you. Flexing the feet. Hands can come by the hips. Once again stacking the spine. Rolling the shoulders back. And then real simple. Step your feet down to the ground. Hip width apart. Hands back behind you. You can angle the fingers out towards the sides of your mat. And press up into an alter pose. A reverse table top. Pushing down into the feet. Wrap the shoulder blades back. Maybe let the head fall. Take a full breath in. Open your mouth. Lie in breath. Stick out your tongue. Clear out the space. And then you can release yourself down.

And we're going to roll down onto our back please. And our last shape we're coming up into Matsayasana fish pose. Press into the backs of the arms very strongly. Push the elbows down. And then I like to spread the fingers here and send the palms down into the ground. Lean the head back and you might come onto the crown of the head. Now if that feels like too much, you can keep the head lifted and squeeze the shoulder blades together. Engage your abdominals here. That'll give a little extra protection for the lower back. Stay for one more breath and you might even take the bottom teeth over the top lip. Get a stretch for the skin of the throat. And then chin to chest. Push into the forearms. Tuck the chin and lower yourself all the way down. Big exhalation to come into your Shavasana. Sometimes it's just nice to make a little bit more sound as we practice. Just release any anything that's blocked in the throat. Let it be your own personal sound that leads into silence. The space of silence.

And then if you need a little bit more time in your Shavasana, you're going to have to keep your Shavasana. You're welcome to stay there. Otherwise you can begin to make some little movements with your fingers and with your toes. Maybe gently rocking the head a little bit from side to side. It's actually a very soothing gesture for the body, just that gentle rocking. Step your feet down to the ground. Knees are bent. Rolling over onto your right side. Pressing into the hands. Come on up to sit. Find your seat for one more moment. Taking your thumb and middle fingers back together in your Akash Mudra. Step right on your thighs. Three times. Om Bumbudaya Namaha. Om Bumbudaya Namaha. Om Thank you for sharing your practice. Namaste.


Jenn L
1 person likes this.
namaste! happy new year. grateful to hear your voice and practice with you!
Ali Cramer
1 person likes this.
Jenn L so grateful for your support xoox 
Christel B
2 people like this.
Wonderful way to start the year! So glad to participate in your classes. Namaste!
Kelly Sunrose
Thank you, Ali! Beautiful practice. Feeling free and spacious!
Ali Cramer
2 people like this.
Christel B thank you for all your support! Namaste. ❤️🙏🏽
Ali Cramer
1 person likes this.
Kelly Sunrose love to hear that! Thank you so much! ❤️🙏🏽
Sandra Židan
Thanks, Ali! My thyroid gland and my neck are grateful to you for this beautiful practice! Namaste! 💓
Ali Cramer
2 people like this.
Sandra Židan so glad you’re enjoying the series! Thank you for the support. ❤️🙏🏽
2 people like this.
You’re classes are truly the best. Infirmaries, make sense, healthy challenge, smooth, & fun! Please make more classes on here! Pranams
Ali Cramer
1 person likes this.
marie you’re too kind! So glad you’re enjoying. Pranams and Namaste! 
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