Renewal: A 7-Day Yoga Challenge Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 8

Day 7: Wild Heart

30 min - Practice


On the final day of our Renewal Challenge we land in our wild hearts. Rooted in a strong center, we open the heart in backbends, before unwinding in twists, exploring Shoulder stand, and grounding in a heart-centered meditation. You will feel open, loving, and free.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Welcome to day seven. We made it. I can think of no better way to close than by landing in our strong, beautiful, wild hearts. So we're gonna be closing with quite a few really deep backbends, but we'll move into them progressively, gradually, and really warm your body to prepare for them safely and wisely. Let's take a comfortable seat, let the hands rest on the heart, soften the gaze or close the eyes, and then just make contact with your breath. Let the inhales naturally expand out in all directions, and with your exhales ground through your foundation, rooting into the earth. Let's take one gentle home together, and as we do feel the resonance of your heart center, exhale empty, all the breath out, and then together through the nose, a big inhale. And then let the eyes open. Let's take a big inhale, reach the arms out and up, and with your exhale you're gonna fold forward. Just release the upper body towards the earth, turn the palms open. This mudra, this gesture becomes one of offering and of receptivity. So landing in your intention for the whole practice, the whole journey, and then offering it up, welcoming it in, and when you're ready turn the palms down to the earth. Inhale, draw yourself all the way back up, reach, reach, reach, offer it, open it, and then exhale rock forward up onto the hands and the knees. Press hands deep into the earth, stabilize the body, feel a slight engagement from your deep belly, and then keep grounding through the left hand, and with your inhale reach, right arm opens, and with your exhale thread it under. Any placement with the left hand, left arm, easing into mid upper back, just kind of warming thoracic spine to prepare for back bending. Another breath here. If you've moved left arm, release it, root it on the exhale, and then inhale, take the right arm back to the sky, and with your exhale return hands to earth, neutral spine. Then inhaling, reach the left arm out and up, make space, and then exhale, thread it under, back of shoulder, root the right hand, walk it out, reach it up, your choice. A couple breaths, and if you've shifted right arm, release, root right hand into the earth. Inhale, take the left arm back up, wide open, and exhale back to neutral. Take one breath here, and then a big inhale, tuck the toes, and with your exhale press all the way up and back, downward facing dog. A few breaths, open the backs of the legs, and just continue to warm and to feel into the whole body. On your next inhale, walk the feet forward to the front of the mat, find that easy fold, and just let everything release. Soft bend in the knees, and then a call back to yesterday, find the eagle arms, right elbow under the left, interlace the forearms, let the weight of gravity in this posture facilitate the opening across upper back, back of shoulders, and then just switch, left elbow under right, interlace, give over to the fold, a couple breaths, yeah, and then unwind, and slow roll on the inhale all the way to stand as you arrive. Exhale, ease the shoulders back and down, heel toe the feet together, hands to prayer at the heart, samastitihi, equal standing pose, together through the nose, inhale, grounding on the exhale, then inhale, reach the arms out and up, exhale to bow out and down, inhale halfway, with your exhale step your left foot back, lower the knees, simple low lunge, inhale we rise, exhale to deepen just one breath here, yeah stay for a big inhale, with your exhale release the hands to the earth, tuck back toes, lift that knee, inhale right leg goes all the way up to the sky, and with your exhale release downward facing dog, then inhale reach left leg to the sky, exhale step it forward, release the back knee, low lunge, second side, inhale rise, exhale deepen into it, stay for a breath, big inhale, and with the exhale release hands to the earth, tuck back toes, lift back knee, and then inhale step right foot forward to meet the left, lengthen halfway, and exhale fold from center, inhale rise all the way back up, exhale hands to prayer heart center, inhale again reach the arms out and up, exhale to bow out and down, inhale halfway, this time with the exhale step the right foot back, lower the back knee, inhale rise returning to low lunge, hooking the thumbs, exhale hips forward arms back, so you're welcoming in the backbend, just feel into your own edge, lift from deep belly, open through heart, one more breath, big inhale, exhale release hands to the earth, tuck back toes, lift back knee, inhale sweep left leg to the sky, exhale release, inhale reach right leg to the sky, exhale float it forward, lower the back knee, inhale we rise, and again hook the thumbs, exhale ease hips forward, arms back, lift the heart, opening into it, one more breath, yeah and then stay for the inhale and exhale release hands to the earth, tuck back toes, lift the knees, step forward, inhale lengthen it halfway, exhale fold, strong center, inhale rise all the way up, exhale hands to the heart, one more cycle inhale rise, exhale bow and fold, inhale halfway, then with your exhale step left foot back, lower that knee, inhale rise into your low lunge, foundation and core stay strong, this time interlace the hands behind the head, so you're kind of cradling head in the hands, keep the elbows wide and the heart open, another breath, big inhale come to center, reach arms up, exhale hands to the earth, tuck the back toes, inhale reach the right leg back to the sky, exhale to release it, downward facing dog, second side inhale left leg up, exhale float it forward, release the back knee to the earth, rise on your inhale low lunge, exhale interlace the hands behind the head, keep the deep belly rising open through the heart, easing in, one more breath, then inhale draw it back to center line, arms up, exhale release hands to the earth, tuck the back toes, lift that knee, inhale step forward, right foot meets the left, lengthen halfway and exhale fold, inhale to rise, all the way up reaching it out and exhale hands to the heart, good from here deep bend in the knees, inhale scoop out and up, utkatasana and pause, feel the legs engage, the glute muscles engage, feel the lift of the center and the spine gaze at the horizon or towards the sky holding three, two, yeah stay for your inhale heart lifts a little higher and then exhale reach it back, interlace the fingers, then inhale wide open through the heart, draw the hands away from the body and with your exhale ease into the fold, you can keep a soft bend in the knees and really let the head go, move your breath into the shoulders across the chest, into the upper back for three, two, yeah just for a moment deep bend in the knees inhale scoop it back into utkatasana and then with your exhale bow return to your fold, inhale halfway and with your exhale hop or step back, lower knees or chaturanga dandasana, inhale into cobra or upward facing dog and then with the exhale all the way back downward facing dog pausing here deep full breath for three, one more breath, the next inhale let's roll forward into plank pose and then with your exhale ease all the way down to the earth and let's draw the arms alongside the body for shalabhasana, chin gently resting on the earth, with the next inhale lift the legs lift the head and the chest as well as the arms let the heart shine out and hold for three, two and then with the exhale just release you can simply rest either cheek to the mat or hand stacking forehead on hands or forearm plank rooting elbows under shoulders tuck the toes lift it up strong center hold three two and then just exhale release and let's revisit shalabhasana this time with the clasp the bind behind the back so interlace the fingers legs together draw the energy in and then inhale rise lift legs lift heart lift hands and breathe three, two stay for the inhale exhale to release again you can rest turn either cheek to the mat or root elbows under shoulders forearm plank lift it up strong and engage three, two if you're up exhale release and then we'll take one more back bend here on the belly if there's any funkiness tenderness in your low back stay with shalabhasana otherwise don your asana bending the knees reach back for the feet or the ankles knees no wider than hips and then as you're ready let the inhale lift you and breathe into it feel free to rock and roll a little bit play with it for three, two, big inhale and exhale release take the hands outside of the rib cage inhale just lift to the hands and the knees and then exhale tuck the toes press back into downward facing dog take one breath here at the bottom of your exhale take a soft bend in the knees hopper step through to sit and let's simply roll all the way down onto the back as you land hug the knees in towards the chest wrap the arms around the legs and rock the body a little side to side so ideally we're strengthening the core through the whole practice but just to touch in a little bit before this second set of backbends keep knees bent draw calves parallel to earth press hands into thighs thighs into hands and then curl the tailbone and draw a deep belly in and up that's enough stay there otherwise lift the head and the shoulders really strong through center just one cycle for five four three press a little more intensely to one last breath and then exhale release good feet on the earth hips distance arms resting alongside the body we'll begin with bridge nice and simple root the feet scoop tailbone lift the hips arms at rest or you can interlace the hands under the back and crawl the shoulders in and under maybe get a little higher there breathe into the whole front body feel that opening one more breath and then exhale gently release if hands are clasp open them let the spine melt back to the earth and just pause for a moment here so we're all working with our backbends in different ways at different stages totally up to you to tune in and listen for what serves you can stay with bridge you can even make it restorative with block under sacrum or we're gonna rise into full urdhva dhanurasana right so grounding through the feet nice and strong through your foundation plant the hands under the shoulders and as you're ready inhale to rise yeah let the head be heavy relax the neck and move your breath into your heart center and just a reminder we need the physical strength of the core to support the opening of the upper body here and we need the energetic strength and courage of a strong center a strong connection to source to really move into the openness of the heart feeling those to work together another breath or two here yeah as you're ready gently draw the chin to the chest ease down to the back of the head the shoulders and then melt the whole spine back to the earth pause for a breath or two and then one last backbend right you can stay with bridge you can take it into urdhva dhanurasana you can take variations within either make it yours root down inhale rise up that incredible inner play between the physical and the energetic the strength of your body supporting the opening of the chest and the shoulders the strength of your own energetic center supporting the opening of the heart it's a lot of courage a lot of strength to move into this on yourself breathe into it another breath stay for your inhale and with the exhale chin to chest release back of head top of shoulders and then from top to bottom of spine melting all the way down yeah when you land take the soles of the feet together let the knees drop open rest right hand on heart left hand on belly soften the gaze or close the eyes supta baddha konasana and let yourself rest let yourself integrate the depth of that back bending as you do offer a beautiful teaching I've been in love with lately it's from the Tibetan tradition this concept known as sewa which is the tenderness of the heart but not tenderness in kind of a weak collapsed way the tenderness in a strong open spacious way feeling into that and then gently drawing the knees together hugging them in towards the chest neutral or either leg wraps let's go to the left with the legs and the right with the right arm twisting to release the low back and to counter after all that deep back bending yeah to land in the heart to reside in the heart and to keep it open as a really strong courageous practice savoring that another breath and then inhale draw the knees back to center let the hips move to the left a little wrap either leg on top and then let legs go right and left arm go left move breath into low back according to these teachings when we can land in abide in that wild open heart the world is so much sweeter so much richer savoring that that deep connection and then inhale draw it back to center and with your exhale hug the knees in towards the chest and just rock gently here for a moment here we'll close with shoulder stand if you like props for this posture you can take a blanket under your back right to the edge of the shoulders if for any reason it doesn't serve you can take block under sacrum and legs up as we did recently you can also move to the wall and take legs up the wall really sweet restorative inversion if you're coming into full shoulder stand press hands into earth and then just rock the legs up and over into plow you can clasp the hands here to kind of crawl shoulders a little closer and then hands support the back and the legs reach to the sky once you're in this make sure the next day is in line with the spine no looking around supporting the back reaching through the legs reaching through the balls of the feet and breathing stay with it maybe space opens and elbows can come closer and the hands walk up the back few more breaths yeah one more breath if you're on your own restorative inversion just stay with it if you're in the shoulder stand let's take the legs back into plow maybe toes touch the earth clasp the hands behind you let's breathe here for three two okay we're gonna ease to the earth passing through Matsyasana fish pose if it's a part of your practice if not you can just gently roll down and begin to release I like to let the hips land on the forearms and the wrists and then press forearms elbows palms into earth as the legs lower the heart lifts and the head falls back gazing back towards the third eye breathing here three two use forearms elbows pressing into earth to lift a little releasing the head lay it all down and then just lift the hips to release the hands one last time hug the knees in towards the chest rock yourself a little side to side and in your own time make your way into your final rest it's pretty deep practice so if you'd like support under the knees take it if you'd like to cover the body for that grounding quality for warmth for support take that if you'd like to cover the eyes to let awareness move a little deeper take that it's support yourself this sends a message to the nervous system to the energy body that it's safe that it can relax and release and when we're in that state of deep release it allows for incredible regeneration the whole system renews and replenishes take your time to set up your Shavasana and then let yourself really relax and surrender into it that mind and heart follow that subtle body follow allow yourself this incredibly sacred space to rest to renew let's take one last clearing breath together releasing anything you'd like to release on the exhale through the nose breathing in slight pause and open the mouth exhale breathing out just rest resting here as long as you'd like when you're ready deep in the breath bring movement into the body and make your favorite transition back up to a comfortable seat we're gonna sit together for just a minute or so he'd like support under your sit bones take it then let the hands rest wherever they're comfortable take a soft gaze or close the eyes spine tall shoulder soft and let your awareness kind of move through play through the body noticing anything you notice after really deep heart opening back bending and after the flow of this entire journey what's been to open awakened liberated stirred up allowing whatever it is just bringing that curious compassionate awareness to whatever it is resting in the breath resting in the stillness and resting in the strength of your own center and that vast spacious openness of your own heart stick the hands to prayer at heart center and exhale deep bow forward to yourself in honor of completing the challenge thank you so much for joining me it's really been a pleasure and an honor I really look forward to hearing from you let me know how you feel combine the practices return to some of your favorites play with it mix it up and let me know how it all feels be well namaste


David G-
4 people like this.
I couldn't wait till tomorrow. We didn't sprint in our 50 mile group ride, so I needed a finish line. The hip flexor stretches and back bends counter the bike position. 

Will come back to this one months down the line as I keep my eyes on the prize: wheel. The last asana (slight back bend after plow) was really cool! That was a first. 

This week Lydia stressed caring for our bodies, making the best choices. Waking up each morning with this challenge really changed my perspective and allowed for much better choices. I have touched the natural high you can get in the mountains. I want more of this! Thanks so much and I will see you on the mat soon! 
Annette Ferdinand
Thank you Rosemary! Amazing week, love the way you guide, precise, calm and inspiring.
Please do more of these, best from Germany 🇩🇪 
Francesca Venturini
Dear Rosemary. I've ben following you now for a long time. I want to send you back all the love you generate in the last practice. This week it's been hard for me for so many different reason, but the time I spend on the mat, expecially when guided by your voice, is the sweetest the day. I will keep doing this 7 days practice for sure..... Thank you so, so much!
Lina S
5 people like this.
Eagle arms in a forward fold: that was new. What a good stretch. Thank you for your guiding through this challenge. Namaste!
Jenny S
6 people like this.
What a week this has been…both on and off the mat. This daily practice has been like a life raft in the midst of some swirling waters. This will be a great resource for future challenging times for sure. So appropriate to end with this heart-centric practice. Feeling open and receptive and thankful for you Rosemary, and for Yoga Anytime ❤️🙏🏻
Hope H
4 people like this.
Thank you so much for an amazing week. I love hearing your calming voice and clear encouraging instructions. I will return to this 7 day journey again and looking forward to your future videos/series!
5 people like this.
Thank you Rosemary for an amazing challenge, I truly enjoyed Day 7 as I have loved fish pose and plow for a very long time. It is rare to find them incorporated into a class. Thank you for helping me to leap into Spring with a calm mind and gracious heart. 
Samantha P
5 people like this.
Thank you so much for this seven-day challenge, Rosemary. I feel a lightness, and clarity that I definitely did not at the start of these 7 days. It's like I have stepped out of my winter funk and am renewed with new energy and focus for this new season. Many thanks!
Martha K
4 people like this.
I feel open and spacious, calm and awake.  It has been a delightful week. Thank you.
Cheryl S
3 people like this.
Thank you Rosemary!  Your calm voice is soooo soothing.  Please do more of these!  I feel supported, energized, and always some emotions come up.  Your teaching  reminds me that it's all ok, and to welcome everything.
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