60-Minute Yoga Flows Artwork
Season 3 - Episode 3

The Journey is the Goal

60 min - Practice
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Description

In this class we journey toward the arm balance Astavakrasana, 8-Angle Pose, and have fun getting there. We flow through Sun Salutes, weaving in holds in standing poses to find space in the hips while strengthening the legs, core, and upper body. We play into our arm balance, cool down in Bridge variations, and rest in a guided meditation in Savasana. You will feel strong and uplifted.
What You'll Need: Mat, Block (2)

Transcript

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Hi, welcome to our yoga practice. In today's practice we're going to move towards an arm balance called Ashtava Krasana. Let's have fun going there. So join me at the top of your mat starting in Tarasana. Bring your feet about hips width apart and bring your hands together in front of your chest in Anjali Mudra.

Take a moment to allow your eyes to softly close and start to bring your attention to your breath, feeling the air flowing in and out through your nose. Imagine that you can breathe from your tailbone up to the crown of your head and then exhaling from the crown of your head down to your tailbone. Show that sense of an upward movement as you're breathing in and a downward movement as you're breathing out. Just taking a moment to arrive here onto your mat, into your practice. And if you like to practice with Ujjayi breathing, start to bring the sound of the breath more to the back of your throat creating more of a whispering soothing ha sound to your breath.

Deepening your inhalations and lengthening your exhalations. So just a couple more breaths like so. And please allow your eyes to open and lower your arms. As you inhale, circle your arms overhead. You can seal your hands if you like and as you exhale, hinging from your hips fold forward.

You may want to bend your knees if your hamstrings are tight or you just feel a little bit stiffer this on the mat today. Inhale, open your chest, lengthen your spine. You can always bring your hands to your shins and then exhale, fold, uttanasana. Inhale, spread your arms out to the side and rise all the way up and as you exhale, hands to your heart. One more like that, inhale, circle your arms overhead, so half samsalu.

Exhale, hinging from your hips and fold. Inhale, lengthen your spine, open your chest, exhale, bow. Press through the four corners of each foot, inhale, rise all the way up and exhale, hands to your heart. Let's add on. Inhale, circle your arms overhead and as you exhale, hinging from your hips, fold all the way forward.

Inhale, arda uttanasana, reach your sternum away from your navel. Then exhale, step your right foot back into a high lunge. Let's just pause here for a couple of breaths. Check that you step the right foot far enough back so that your left knee is directly above your left ankle. Just take one more deep full breath in and then as you exhale, just for now, move into down dog and the first down dog you may want to pedal your feet, maybe sway your hips a little bit from side to side.

Just notice what's going on in your legs. Inhale come forward into plank pose. Check that your wrists are beneath your shoulders and more or less index fingers parallel to one another. Couple more breaths here. Press your heels back as you reach through the crown of your head and strongly firm your belly front ribs up.

On your next exhalation, move back into down dog and then inhale, raise your right leg behind you and as you exhale, step your right foot up between your hands. You may have to carry the foot part of the way. Check that your shin bone is perpendicular to the floor. Couple of breaths here. Strongly press the left thigh bone up towards the ceiling.

Maybe squeeze your hips down a little bit more. Take one more deep full breath and reach your sternum away from your navel and then exhale, step your left foot forward. Continue with the feet hips width. Inhale Ardha Uttanasana, shift the weight slightly to the front of the heels. Exhale bow.

Inhale rise up and exhale hands to your heart. Again, inhale circle your arms overhead reaching up and up beyond your fingertips. Exhale fold. Inhale open your chest Ardha Uttanasana. Exhale step your left foot back.

Take a deep full breath in and then as you exhale, step into plank pose. Take a deep full breath in here and as you exhale, bring your knees down, firm your belly in and then slowly lower all the way down, broaden across your collar bones. Exhale either low cobra or coming up into high cobra or maybe you're ready for upward facing dog. Exhale downward facing dog. If you have tight hamstrings by all means, bend your knees so that you can more easily lengthen your spine.

Shift a little bit more weight into your fingers and then inhale raise your left leg behind you and as you exhale, step your foot up between your hands. Take a deep full breath in and as you exhale, step your right foot forward. Now feel free to step your feet all the way together. Exhale Ardha Uttanasana, exhale bow. Inhale firm the outer hips in towards the midline, rise up and exhale hands to your heart.

Now when you're ready, lower your arms, inhale circle your arms overhead and as you exhale hinging from your hips fold Uttanasana, inhale open your chest Ardha Uttanasana, exhale step into plank pose. Now you can either lower all the way down or if Chaturangas in your practice, please feel free to do that, inhale up dog or cobra so see what works best for you and then exhale downward facing dog. So you can choose to focus on your breath which is really a great way to move from the outside to the inside. You can choose to take moments where you focus on, for example, the palms of your hands pressing into the floor or anywhere in your body where you know that you need to pay more attention to alignment. At the bottom of your next exhalation you can either simply walk your feet up to your hands or lightly hop.

Inhale Ardha Uttanasana, exhale bow. Inhale spread your arms out to the side and rise up and exhale hands to your heart. We're going to start to weave standing poses into the sun solids, lower your arms, inhale circle your arms overhead and as you exhale hinging from your hips fold, inhale open your chest and as you exhale simply step into plank pose and this time, in fact, lower all the way down. Then once you're down, insulate your fingers behind your back. You're always welcome to use a strap between your hands, lift your chest and we're going to keep the feet on the floor but see if you can press through the center top of each foot and spread all 10 toes.

Tuck your chin in a little bit. Focus on lifting your shoulders and stretching from your shoulders to your wrists. Two more breaths. So this is a variation of Shalabhasana, locust pose. Place your hands by your lower ribs, your choice, cobra or up dog, take your time.

Exhale down dog. Inhale raise your right leg behind you, exhale step your right foot up between your hands. You can choose to use the block here, place the block by the right outer ankle, set the back foot flat, make sure you turn the back foot in slightly and pin the outer right hip in. Inhale windmill the left arm overhead coming into Virabhadrasana two. As you keep firming the outer right hip in, press the left thigh bone back and see if you can lift the right hip up off the right thigh looking beyond the fingertips of the right hand.

Two more breaths. Make sure that the right knee is above the right ankle so the weight is in the right heel. Now turn the palm of the right hand to face the ceiling and then inhale, reverse the warrior. Now see if you can just rotate the right chest up a little bit more, tuck the chin in as you look up. One more breath.

Then inhale come back to warrior two and then place the right form on top of the right thigh. Now internally rotate the left arm so the palm of the hand is facing the wall behind you and then place the back of your left hand onto your sacrum and press the hand against the sacrum as you roll the left shoulder back. Now you can stay with this variation or if it works okay for your shoulder, wrap your left hand around the top of your right thigh. Roll your left shoulder back. Two more breaths here.

Here's where you feel this pose. Soften your gaze and then please release that wrap. Reach your left arm back up, press your feet into the floor, inhale back to warrior two and then thankfully I think straighten the right leg. Take a deep full breath in, elongate your spine and then exhale coming into triangle pose and it's here if you like. You can use the block, check that your wrist is below your shoulders.

You may have to drag the block back a little bit. You can also grab the ankle or cup the floor with your fingertips but see if you can lengthen the right side of your torso. Rise a bit more firmly through the man of the right big toe as you firm the outer right hip in. Tuck your chin in a little bit, maybe turn your gaze up towards the top hand. You can either simply take your left hand to your left hip or like we did earlier, internally rotate the left arm, reach the back of the hand against your sacrum and press the back of the hand against the sacrum as you roll your left shoulder back and maybe wrap your left hand around the top of the right thigh.

Now look to the right foot, bend your right knee, step the back foot in a little bit closer. Keep pinning the outer right hip in and then you can take the block with you, shift the block forward about a foot more in line with the outer edges of the foot and then coming into half moon. There's a lot going on in this pose, you're balancing and you're externally rotating the right leg and trying to stay super steady so it requires a lot of focus for sure. Now if you like, reach your left arm up, flex your left foot, spread your toes. Now you can either continue looking straight down like I am doing, it's easier as far as balance for sure, or you can turn your gaze and perhaps look up towards the top hand.

Reach up beyond the fingertips of the top hand, continue flexing your left foot, firming the outer right hip in. One more breath, Ardachandrasana, half moon. Now bring your left hand to your left hip, bend your right knee, keep tracking the knee in line with the second toe, reach your left foot way way back. Now we're going to come into the more classical Parsvakonasana extended side angle pose. So right hand by the outer right ankle and reach your left arm over your cheek.

So make sure you took a big enough step back with the left foot so that your right knee is above your right ankle, squeeze the right knee against the right arm and rotate your right ribs forward, left ribs back. Maybe look up in front of the arm, take one more breath. And then please find your way back into the high lunge, step into down dog, that ought to feel good, stretch it out, and then the option to go through a Vinyasa, so Plank Pose. Maybe Chaturanga, lower all the way down, inhale Cobra or Up Dog, exhale Down Dog. Side number two, inhale, raise your left leg behind you, exhale, step your left foot up between your hands, place the block by the outer left ankle, set the back foot flat, make sure the back foot is turned in slightly, pin the outer left hip in.

Strongly press through the left heel, inhale, windmill the right arm overhead coming into Virabhadrasana II, Warrior II. So as you're firming the outer left hip in, press the right thighbone back pretty much until you feel a little bit more weight in the right heel. Lift your left hip so that you're leveling your pelvis, softly gaze beyond the fingertips of your left hand. So the way that you're gazing and where you're looking is also a way to stay focused. Two more breaths.

Turn the palm of your left hand to face the ceiling, inhale, reverse the Warrior. Turn your left chest up towards the ceiling, tuck your chin in a little bit, maybe looking up. One more breath. And inhale, come back to Warrior II and then bring your left form on top of your left thigh. Now you can either keep your right arm up like this or you internally rotate your arm and place the back of your hand against your sacrum and press your hand against your sacrum as you roll your right shoulder back.

Then you can wrap your hand around the top of the left thigh, but if you feel any pinching in your shoulder, it's not worth it. So two more breaths here, so this is a variation of Parsvakonasana. One more breath. Now inhale, back to Warrior II and then slowly straighten your left leg. Take a deep full breath in and as you exhale, triangle pose.

Suppose I never get tired of. So once again, you can choose to grab your ankle or cup the floor with your fingertips. I like to personally use a block here, much easier to lengthen the left side of your torso. Press more strongly through the mat of the left big toe as you keep firming the outer left hip in. Every time I give you an instruction, it's a way to focus your attention.

Sometimes I give a lot and you can always tune some of those instructions out so that you can stay present in your own practice. Now you can bring the right hand to your right hip or internally rotate the arm, place the back of the hand against the sacrum, roll your right shoulder back, maybe do the wrap. But it's not important, so if it hurts your shoulder, it feels impossible, hand on the hip. Now look to the left foot, bend your left knee, step the back foot in a little closer, makes the transition easier. Keep the knee to second toe alignment, reach your left hand forward at least a foot, more in line with the outer edges of the left foot and then transition into half moon, arda chandrasana.

Now you can stretch your right arm up, reach up and up beyond your fingertips, flex your right foot. Imagine you are pressing the foot against the wall. Now if you want to play with your drishti, your gaze, then perhaps slowly turn your gaze and look up towards the top hand. Notice where you feel the pose. Again, this is a challenging pose for most of us.

Now hand goes back to the hips, slow motion, you want to look down now, bend your left knee, keep tracking the knee in line with the second toe and then move into the more classical parsvakonasana, hand by the outer left ankle, check that the left knee is above the left ankle and turn your belly and chest up towards the ceiling a little bit, maybe look up for two more breaths here in parsvakonasana, extended side angle pose. And then bring your hand back down, come into the high lunge, step into down dog, stretch it out and then you can, if you like, go through another vinyasa plank, slowly lower, inhale cobra or up dog, exhale down dog. Three more breaths here in down dog, deepen your inhalations, lengthen your exhalations. So what is great about ujjayi breathing, there are several things that are great, but one is that with that sound to your breath, you can focus your attention on that sound and that way kind of stay inside of your practice. Bottom of your next exhalation, step or lightly hop, inhale aardha uttanasana, exhale bow, inhale spread your arms out to the side, rise up and exhale, here we meet again standing in tadasana, anjali mudra, close your eyes for a moment, pause.

And then when you're ready, please allow your eyes to open, lower your arms, inhale circle your arms overhead and exhale, fold all the way forward. Inhale open your chest, exhale step into plank pose, once again lower all the way down, interlace your fingers, the non habitual way behind your back and lift your chest, this time lift your feet and legs, tuck your chin in, so there's any pinching in your shoulders, make sure you use a strap, that way it's easier to lift your shoulders up towards the ceiling, also called externally rotating your shoulders. Now go ahead and lower your feet, place your hands by your lower ribs, your choice, cobra or up dog, and then exhale down dog. Now from downward tracing dog, inhale, raise your right leg behind you, exhale bring the right knee to your chest, pause here for a moment, so just a little bit of core work, one more breath, look in front of your hands but draw your shoulders back, can you bring the knee in closer to your chest, inhale three legged down dog, exhale knee to the left elbow, pause see if you can touch the elbow, it's kind of hard to talk in this pose, and then inhale three legged down dog, and then exhale right knee to the right tricep, and then place the foot to the outside of your right hand. Now you can either simply stay here on your hands, do press the left thigh bone up as you squeeze your hips down, some of you may want to come onto your forearms, I like to use blocks, some of you may prefer no blocks, but definitely with blocks it's a little bit easier to reach your sternum forward.

Hug the right knee against the right shoulder, couple more breaths, getting a little bit more into the hip flexors and the groin area, inner thighs, and then just for a couple of breaths, bring your left knee down, you can point your toes, and just be here for a moment, you can just rock a little bit from side to side, that may feel good, so again we can use the breath as our point of focus, we can use the alignment, and then of course sensations, so where do you feel the pose? Now take your time to find your way back into down dog, stretch it out, and again option to stay here, or slowly, luxuriously go through the vinyasa, notice if you have a tendency to rush through those vinyasas, can you take your time so that you can focus on your breath and alignment and on sensations, now inhale raise your left leg behind you, exhale knee to your chest, see if you can come forward until your shoulders are above your wrists, can you bring the knee a little closer to your chest, inhale three-legged down dog, exhale knee to the right elbow, see if you can touch or moving in that direction. When you're ready inhale three-legged down dog, exhale knee to the left tricep, pause, and then foot to the outside of your left hand, and it's fine for a lot of us right, we need to carry the foot part of the way, you're normal really if you can't step that foot all the way up to the hand, now you can stay right here or use blocks underneath your forearms or no blocks, so see which position works better for you so there's not just one right or better position but there's one that's right and better for you, so just a couple more breaths, strongly press your right thigh up, pin the left hip in, and then the last few breaths you can bring the right knee down, you can point your toes, and again come back to your breath, and if once in a while you have to breathe in and out through your mouth absolutely fine, come back to notice sensations, maybe noticing is your left knee in front of the ankle, do you need to walk the left foot forward a little bit more, you can sway a little bit from side to side, and take your time to find your way back into down dog, and then the option to go through another vinyasa, so plank pose, your lower, inhale cobra or up dog, it's always interesting to kind of explore the meaning of vinyasa, v means in a special way, nyasa to place, so placing in a special way, so it really implies being mindful, and in some places throughout our practice synchronizing movement with breath, but it really implies being mindful, so you can do your dishes and practice vinyasa. Now when you're ready inhale raise your right leg behind you, exhale step your right foot up between your hands and move the right foot a few inches to your right, maybe just two, pivot the back heel down, make sure the back foot is turned in generously, and if you can't quite bring the heel down to shorten your stance, also if you've tied hip flexors shorten your stance, inhale warrior one, so keep the back leg straight and strong, really route down through that back heel, see if you can drive the left hip foot a little bit more, and then insulate your fingers behind your back, you may need your strap again or you can take your hands to your hips and just roll your shoulders elbows back, and then coming into humble warrior, so you take your chest to the inside of the right leg, reach your hands up towards the ceiling, let your head dangle, keep pinning the outer right hip in for two more breaths, make sure the right heel is above or the right ankle is below the right knee, the weight is in the right heel, it has a way of activating the hamstrings and the glutes, and then inhale rise back up, warrior one, and then exhale bring your hands down, slide your right foot back about half of a foot, and then slowly straighten your right leg, you may need blocks underneath your hands to more easily lengthen your spine, strongly press through the mount of the right big toe, as you draw the right thigh bone back and pin the right hip in, now you can stay here working on lengthening your spine or you can fold over the right leg, maybe walk your hands forward and then let your head relax and hang, so this is a variation of Parsvottanasana, two more breaths, noticing your breath, noticing sensations, find your way back into down dog, again option to go through a Vinyasa, again mindfully plank as you inhale, exhale Chaturanga or lower all the way down, inhale Cobra or up dog, exhale down dog, inhale raise your left leg behind you, exhale step the foot through, move the left foot a few inches, so maybe just two inches to the left, pivot the back heel down, make sure the back foot is turned in generously, inhale warrior one, so press the right thigh bone back, strongly press through the back heel, see if you can drive the right hip forward a little bit more and then inhalate your fingers the non habitual way behind your back, lift and open your chest and then exhale humble warrior, so bring your focus to your left heel, pressing strongly through the left heel and also pressing strongly through the center of the back heel, one more breath, pin the left hip in, inhale back to warrior two, open your chest maybe look up and then exhale hands come down, slide your left foot back about half of a foot, slowly straighten your left leg, press strongly through the man of the left big toe, inhale lengthen your spine, pin the outer left hip in, option to fold over your left leg, so the focus pressing through the man of the left big toe, notice sensations likely in the back of your left leg, notice your breath, the air flowing in and out through your nose, when you're ready back to down dog and then inhale plank, so as you lower broaden across your collarbone it's really really helpful to turn your hands out a bit, inhale cobra or up dog, exhale down dog, walk your feet up to your hands, take your middle finger index finger, reach around your big toes, half your feet hips width, inhale open your chest, you can always bend your knees here, exhale fold padangusthasana, as you draw the crown of your head down lift your shoulders, two more breaths, inhale open your chest, place your hands in front of your feet and then bring your feet slightly wider apart, turn your feet out moderately, squat down, malasana or variation of malasana, now from malasana just simply take your hands behind you and sit down, okay, so we're going to do a couple of hip openers moving towards our peak pose and whether you get to do the peak pose or not, you're not able to, it does not matter but it's the journey there that matters, so let's get started here, bring the outer right ankle on top of your left thigh, you can slide the outer ankle slightly past the thigh and place your hands behind you, flex your right foot and as much as you can get onto the center of each sitting bone, it may be that you need to sit on a blanket or two, okay, so elongate your spine without letting your hips wiggle, so press through the sitting bone, squeeze the right knee away from your chest and if this is enough you feel this a lot, just simply stay here, otherwise you can make it a little bit more compact, moving closer towards the front foot and moving that foot closer towards you and that probably will intensify the stretch, you could also join me in taking your hands through the triangular space between your thighs and pick up the leg, imagine you're reading a book and then you can straighten out your left leg, I typically lean forward a little bit so that I can wiggle onto the center of my sitting bones and then I still work on sitting up as tall as I can and flexing the right foot, one last variation, you take the foot into the crease of the opposite elbow and you cradle the leg, so just a couple more breaths here, notice your breath again, using sensations, if you straighten out your left leg, bend your left knee, grab hold of your right foot and then take the knee, the right knee to the outside of your right chest and have maybe a sense of humor and you can stop at any point, reach your right arm up, take the arm to the inside of the right leg and place the hand flat, now spread your fingers almost get a sense of clawing the floor with the fingertips and then squeeze the arm with the right knee and you may want to stop right here, you can also place your left hand down, same thing, press strongly through the mount of the fingers, lift your left foot and cross the left foot over the right and maybe this is enough, you can also lean forward, lift the pelvic floor, draw your belly in and then maybe you lift your hips, then you can lean forward, think chaturanga arms and then straighten your legs out to the side, I'm not going to ask you to smile but it does help a little bit, so a couple more breaths here, so this is Ashtavacrasana, it's not a pose that you spontaneously end up in, it does take work then come back to center and release and just take a moment to thank yourself for trying, for working towards Ashtavacrasana or maybe being able to do Ashtavacrasana, it's a gradual progression okay, let's do the other side, so place the outer left ankle on top of the right thigh, you can slide it slightly past the thigh and then place your hands behind you, as much as you can get on to the center of each sitting bone, flex your left foot, squeeze your left knee away from your chest and you're welcome to stay right here, you can always make it a little bit more compact, so there are lots of arm balances that I've never been able to do or arm balances I no longer do, so it's not terribly important, it's not a huge part of my practice but the ones I can't do I don't teach, but this one I can do, so we're moving towards Ashtavacrasana, so you can stay right here or weave your hands through the triangular space between your thighs, pick up the leg, straighten out the right leg and then I wiggle forward a little bit to me more to the center of my sitting bones, you can also choose to do the cradling but even though I'm doing these different variations I'm still flexing the foot because it helps to stabilize the knee and I'm still working on sitting up tall, so whichever pose that you are in right now focus on your breath, focus on where you feel the stretch because this is ultimately your practice, it's a couple more breaths here, you straighten out the right leg, bend the right knee again, grab the foot, draw the knee back and then reach your left arm up, take the arm to the inside, place your left hand flat, kind of claw the floor with your fingertips, squeeze the arm with that left knee, place the right hand down, spread your fingers, kind of grip the floor, supports your wrists and then lift your right foot, maybe cross it on top of the left, maybe this is plenty, you can also lean forward, lift the pelvic floor, firm your belly in and then maybe you're able to lift your hips, maybe you're able to lean forward, think Chaturanga arms, maybe smile and then straighten the legs out to the side, the left knee won't straighten but you're moving the right leg towards straight, keep broadening across your collarbones and again this is another pose where it's really hard to talk and then come back to center and stretch out your legs for a moment. Take a moment to thank yourself for practicing, moving towards Ashtava Krasana, maybe being able to do Ashtava Krasana, so now you get to lie down, have a block or two next to you, that way you don't have to turn your head to look for them, if you just have one you'll be fine.

Coming on to your back, half your feet about hips width, parallel your feet, ankles more or less underneath your knees, do robot arms, press your elbows into the floor, lift your chest and wiggle the shoulders under and then lengthen your tailbone forward and up, lift up into bridge pose and maybe wiggle the shoulders under a little bit more, relax your throat, relax the space between your eyebrows, press a bit more firmly through the inner edges of the feet to keep your thighs parallel, lengthen the buttocks towards the back of the knees and strongly press the heels into the floor. You can stay with robot arms or interlace your fingers, press the arm bones into the floor to further lift your chest, two more breaths here, lift your heels carefully, perfectly without turning your head, grab your blocks or block, now you can stack the blocks or place them side by side, it's not important as far as the height is concerned but place the block or blocks underneath the back of your pelvis, sacrum and then relax your arms, I like the palms of my hands facing the ceiling and then place your feet flat, you may have to do a little bit of adjusting of the blocks, just make sure that it's comfortable and that you feel supported, you can stay in bridge pose or stretch your legs vertically up into Viparita Karani, keep pressing your shoulders and arm bones into the floor to keep a nice lift in your chest, flex your ankles, spread your toes, maybe close your eyes, soften the space between your eyebrows, soften your throat, bring your attention to your breath, notice any sensations in your body, maybe tuning into how this pose is specifically affecting your nervous system, it can be very calming and soothing to your nervous system, so just a couple more breaths here, you can also press out through the balls of your feet, you can even point your toes, sometimes that feels really good, maybe circle your ankles and then one foot at a time, bring your feet back down into supported bridge pose and then lift your heels, lift your hips and carefully move the blocks out of the way and then I like to stay up onto the ball of each foot as I swing my arms behind my head and then just one vertebra at a time, slowly lower back down and then whenever you're back down, bring your arms out to the side like cactus arms and bring your feet a little bit wider apart than your hips, turn your feet in slightly and bring your knees together and again notice how you feel, we're moving towards Shavasana, so anything we're doing right now is just calming and soothing. Breathing down into your belly, allow your belly to rise and fall as you're breathing in and out, now bring your feet as wide apart as the width of your mat, you may have to move your blocks a little bit so that you're not bumping into them as we're moving into the windshield wiper pose, so just very gently move both knees over to your left, you can reach your right arm behind you, stretching the right side of your torso, you can also bring the left foot on top of the right thigh if you like, just another breath or two here, turn winding, come back to center, feet wider than hips width, maybe as wide apart as the width of the mat and then bring both knees over to your right, you can stretch your left arm behind your head, you can also bring the right foot on top of the left thigh and breathing into the left side of your torso, so just a couple of breaths here, again just simply unwinding and take your time to come back to center, now bring your feet closer together and then hug your knees into your chest, cross your ankles, place your hands on top of your knees and make circles up in the ceiling with your knees just massaging the area around your sacrum, you can circle in the opposite direction, so when you're ready please find your way into Shavasana, you want to be comfortable, so if that means a pillow or blanket underneath your head and neck please do have that or maybe like I'm doing, wrap a blanket over you to get nice and cozy, okay, I'm all for being comfortable and warm, so bring your arms out of the side a little bit and turn the palms of your hands to face the ceiling and allow your eyes to be softly closed and just take a moment to allow the back of your body to settle into the floor, feel the air flowing in and out through your nose, the gentle touch of air in your nostrils, imagine that you can breathe from your toes all the way up to the crown of your head and exhaling from the crown of your head down to your toes, so breathing up and down your body, bring your awareness to the palm of your right hand and notice perhaps sensations, aliveness, energy in the palm of your right hand and imagine for a moment that you're able to draw in energy or light or maybe a soothing color that you resonate with and that you can bring that up through your right arm into your right shoulder as if you're filling in a drawing with color, moving your awareness down the right side of your chest and belly, down through your right hip, right leg and all the way to your right foot, so sensing the right side of your body filled with your attention, with your focus, even sensing the right side of your face, your right eye, cheekbone, right jaw and sensing the air flowing in and out through your right nostril as if your right nostril is doing all the breathing, as if the right side of your body is breathing in and breathing out, as if you're leaning a bit more into the right side. Now shift your attention, your awareness to the palm of your left hand and start by noticing sensations. And then imagine that you can start to draw in light energy or that soothing color moving up into your left arm and shoulders if you're filling in a drawing with color, moving down into the left side of your chest and abdomen, moving your awareness into your left hip and leg all the way down to your left foot, sensing the whole left side of your body and sensing the left side of your face, your left eye, cheekbone, left jaw and the feeling of you just breathing through your left nostril is as if your left nostril is doing all the breathing, as if the left side of your body is breathing in and breathing out.

And then sense the air moving through both nostrils, your whole body breathing in and your whole body breathing out. And you're just simply observing and witnessing your body breathing, allowing your mind's eye now to rest in the center of your chest, choosing to dive more deeply inside. You're more than welcome to stay here much longer. You can start to bring your attention back to your breath, maybe place your hands on your belly or chest and allow your breathing to gradually deepen, allow your ears to open up to sounds, using your breathing and sounds to move from the inside back to the outside. But perhaps returning to the outside with a little bit more patience and compassion and calm, you can bend your knees, slowly roll over onto either side.

Take your time to sit up. Thank you so much for joining me in today's practice, namaste.

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David G-
2 people like this.
 I never get tired with the extra instructions. Sometime it makes me wobble in the balance poses, but I have found that my outer hip can move in slightly, my big toe can take a bit more pressure, or my shoulders will enjoy relaxing more. The rotation of perception and the addition of the colorized prana were lovely. I can see myself doing that arm balance in the future and I will return to this meditative and strengthy practice in the future. Oh, and I did float a small bit, and that definition of Vinyassa was so cool. Have a great weekend! 
Birgitte
1 person likes this.
David G- Hi David, Great to hear....our yoga practice is filled with new discoveries....always. Hoping you are having a wonderful weekend. Namaste, Birgitte
Christel B
2 people like this.
What a lovely journey this was, guided by your calm explicit directions. Namaste.
Birgitte
1 person likes this.
Christel B Hi Christel, Thank you! And, thank you for practicing with me. Hope you are having a wonderful day. Warmest, B

Ali
Ali
1 person likes this.
I really appreciate your calm and careful instructions. Amazingly I almost managed astavakrasana today (it has always eluded me before) thanks to your step by step instructions. I know now that I can continue to work towards it. I also appreciated what you said about not being able to do all arm balances. We need this openness that not all postures are for all bodies, and that we are allowed to retire certain postures if they no longer serve us. With love and thanks.
Birgitte
Ali Hi Ali, Astavakrasana is a hard pose....so, the step by step approach is so helpful for me. And, it is like anything else, the journey is the goal. I am so happy to hear that you are having an easier time and I have no doubt that you will master it soon. It does leave us with a bit of confidence when we work towards something and end up being able to do it. I wholeheartedly agree, not all postures are for all bodies. Also, a lot of teachers, including me, have some background in dance or gymnastics...or some even in martial arts. Thank you so much for your feedback. Hoping you are enjoying today. Namaste, Birgitte
Jenny S
2 people like this.
Ahhhh…the gift of an hour to practice ❤️ this was such a luxury…always love your concise teaching and longer holds, encouraging a total release into the moments and quieting the mind. In your classes I never feel an internal pressure to push beyond what my body will allow. I can enjoy watching you perform the “peak pose” and know that it’s okay to let it go ~ thank you Birgitte 🙏🏻
Birgitte
Jenny S Hi Jenny, So lovely to get this feedback from you. Thank you for practicing with me again.  I greatly appreciate your kind and detailed feedback. Hope you are enjoying your weekend. Namaste, Birgitte
Shawn
1 person likes this.
Amazing practice! I so enjoy your teaching, and the pace is perfect. I also got into the arm balance  Astavakrasana for the first time ever today, and feel that the steps that led us there were ideal. Stretching the legs out wasn't possible, but what exhilaration to come into at least the arm balance. Thank you so much for this beautiful hour of slow and strong yoga, I feel amazing and cannot wait to introduce more of these steps into my regular practice and teaching.

Birgitte
1 person likes this.
Shawn Dear Shawn,  Thank you so much for your review. Happy to hear that the step by step approach worked for you and you were able to get into the arm balance. It is really nice for me to know that you appreciate the slow and deliberate way I teach....for me it is so much more gratifying. Hoping you are enjoying a lovely weekend. (if you are ever in LA, contact me and visit me at my studio Yoga Changes) Warmest, Birgitte
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