20-Minute Yoga Flows Artwork
Season 5 - Episode 7

Eagle Heart

20 min - Practice


Find space and strength in the shoulders in this releasing and clearing class. We revisit Eagle arms throughout the practice, use the breath to open the center, and play into Half Moon and Bow Pose. You will feel spacious and clear.
What You'll Need: Mat


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Greeting friends, find a comfortable seat. It could be like me with your shins down and your seat on your heels or you could prop yourself on a blanket. We'll begin with simple shoulder shrugs. So you just rise your shoulders and then just let them drop. I do this throughout the day when I feel like I'm shouldering more than my world.

So you just shrug them and then let it drop. One more time. You can link breath with movement, inhale as they rise, exhale as they release. And then we'll just roll the shoulders back. You can do them one at a time or if you're feeling a little over wanting to do it together you can roll them at the same time, either whatever you prefer.

One more round and I start to feel a little more liberated in my neck here. We'll reach our arms forward and do a round of Kapalabhati. So if you're familiar with it, excuse me, it's sharp short breaths through the nose. There's a rapid fire and a rebounding of the belly. It's a naval centric focus.

So keep going. Just a few more rounds. And then release that and take your arms up over your head. Grab for an opposite elbow. If that's too much, palms press towards each other.

Okay. One on top of the other. Side bend over to your left. I'm side bending over to my left, relaxing those shoulders that I just shrugged. And then inhale, come up through center and go over the other way.

Oh, I got a nice little adjustment there. Maybe you did too. And then slowly come up. Now I'm going to ask you to fold your left elbow and have your left hand behind your head. Maybe it's at your neck and just nudge that elbow point of the left up toward the ceiling and maybe a little over to the right.

So this allows some awakening through the triceps. Yes. And we'll do it on the other side as well. This may or may not yield that feeling in your body of, oh, I don't spend much time here. We're going to spend a little time here together.

All right. And then slowly release that. Maybe one more shoulder roll. Come to a different comfortable seat. I'm going to cross my legs for this.

You can just let your legs position in another way that's comfortable. And we're going to take the right elbow under the left. Now if you can find your arms like Eagle, wonderful. If that's a challenge for you, can just bring the palms and the inner forearms to touch. All right.

We're going to add a little cat cow pumping. So you'll inhale, lift, chest, chin, and then exhale round. So here's your flexion and extension. Let's just do two more rounds, inhale, exhale, last round in and out. And then release, unwind and vine left under right, or keep prayer and forearms together.

And let's go up. Inhale, chest, chin, exhale, scoop, and round, inhaling. I love this because of the spring that happens in my spine, and I start to also feel that collection of energy in the center. And then release, down, take the hands behind you. I'm just going to switch the cross of my legs because I know I have a preference of how I cross my legs, and I want this practice to bring more awareness to balance.

So now fold your right elbow. Yes, we've done this before. This time we're going to pat ourselves on our back with that right arm, like archer arms. If this is a lot for you, the left palm can face up. If you have a little more, you can thread the left hand behind to the right side.

And if it's available, you can grab the fingers. Grabbing the fingers right now, it just feels like two fingers interlaced and a nice opening through the right tricep. I'm going to lean slowly to the left, and then inhale, come up, and then slowly to the right, come up, get out of there, we've got to do the other side. So come on, grab that right hand on the left elbow, pat yourself on the back, then right palm up, like you're serving a tray, behind you, or maybe you grab your fingers. For me, this is always the side where there's a little more resistance.

And I'm grateful for the resistance. I don't force it, I feel, and then slowly get out of there. One more shoulder shrug, go ahead and come into Navasan, boat pose, or Ardha Navasan. You can support yourself. This is going to allow us to be in our flow.

So just lift your chest, start to straighten your legs if you can, remove your arms, and then cross the right calf in front of the left shins. If it's possible for you to rock forward, you gently do. Take the left leg back, the right leg back, and then you down dog it. Right there, yeah, you know, sometimes you just got to move with it, and out. In breath, plank, exhale, dog.

Inhale, lift your right leg, step your right foot forward, and then sit into your right thigh. If you want your knee down, yeah, you can take your left knee down. Hands, again, you can seal the palms and the forearms, or we go right into Eagle Arms, and we inhale, lift the chest, and we exhale, curl. Come through center, twist to your right, ooh, that's interesting, center. This one's going to add balance, twist to your left, hmm, how's that feel?

Unravel, take the hands down, plank pose, guess what time it is, all the way to the floor, all the way, slow, I like that decelerating chattering. Roll your thigh bones in, take your hands to your bottom, squeeze your elbows, lift your chest. If you want, interlace your fingers, lift your chest and your legs. You'll notice I'm breathing in and out, and then release. Hands under shoulders, if you would like, you can push back through plank and reverse.

If you prefer, you can take Child's Pose. Lift your left leg. Left foot steps forward, crescent alanas, and remember, you have the option, yeah, to put the back knee down. Take the left elbow under the right, inhale, arch up, hmm, exhale, curl, yeah, I'm laughing because there's balance there, inhale, twist left. This to me is the most user friendly, and then slowly center, twist right, release, hands down, plank, dog, that allows the arms length, plank, all the way down, thigh bones in, hands to your glutes, lift your chest, lift your legs, reach, release.

Hands under shoulders, Child's Pose, or Chaturanga in reverse, down dog. So I always feel like when we're dealing with the shoulders and the hips, we give ourselves space for breath to open the center, lift the right leg, right knee, right elbow, and up, right knee, left elbow, up, knee to the nose, friends. Tap the right foot forward, warrior two, hmm, breathe. So three options, reach the right arm up, bend the right elbow, take the left hand to the right elbow, sit deep again into that right thigh because sometimes there's that buoying up, sit deep, and then the left palm up, left palm wraps, or maybe the left hand grabs the right. It happens that today I can grab it, some days I can't.

And now you can kind of lean into a reverse, oh, so delightful for that side body. You got this, inhale, come up, release your arms, cartwheel your arms forward and down. Vinyasa, lift your left leg, left knee, left elbow, inhale, left knee, right elbow, inhale, knee to nose, or thigh to chest, step forward, warrior two, hear the breath in, hmm, and then feel the breath out. Long arms, we ought to be able to shimmy in every pose, right, so it's not so fixed. Left arm rises, elbow bends, you can grab that elbow and just pat yourself on the back.

Good job, I could stay here, turn the palm of the right hand up or take it behind. I can already feel the stretch in my left triceps. Maybe you can grab, I told you this is my side where there's a lot going on, sit and then reverse. And I just have to be humble, just say, okay, body, today it is what it is, breathe, and with a soft smile, unravel, arms forward and down, plank pose, hmm, guess what time it is? Chaturanga, up dog, down dog.

Now that vinyasa for me, such a wonderful rinse, such a wonderful rinse, lift the right leg, step that right foot forward, come into warrior two, straighten the right leg, triangle, and you guessed it, if it feels all right for you, left arm over, bicep, grazing your spin at the bottom ridge with ribs, excuse me, which happen to be your right ones, forward, the left ribs toward the back body, feel and breathe, lengthen, one more breath, chime into that breath, and then slowly, gently put the left hand on the hip, bend the right knee. Now sometimes you could use a block under the right hand for artichandrasana, what I'm going to do today is just shorten my stance, so I slide that leg in a bit, and then lean into the right hand and the right foot, breathe, lift. If you like artichandrasana, chapasana, the sugar cane pose, feel free to grab that left foot, today I'm just going to steady myself, hmm, left hand comes down, left leg goes up for splits in air, now if something wonderful in store for you, you're going to come and land on those left toes, it's like a short pose, each leg is in their own lane, I'd like you to keep your hands on the mat, and inhale, straighten your right leg, and then bend at the center of the stretch, the back of the right hamstrings, inhale, straighten, and then bend, one more friends, straighten, bend. Now straighten the right leg and bend the left one, ooh, hello, and then straighten the left leg and bend it, one more time, inhale, straight, exhale, bend, steer that right outer hip back, keep that left knee bent, and then slowly walk the hands forward and the feet back, down dog, you can keep yourself steady and down dog, I'm going to take this moment to vinyasa, lift your left leg, step your left foot forward, warrior two, hmm, mostly straighten, uttita trikonasana, so you slide the left thigh in, spin the left ribs toward the navel, the navel, excuse me, right ribs toward the back body, and then the right arm comes over, again it's that feeling, relax the left shoulder, almost from the fourth and fifth toe on my back foot, my right foot, I can feel this cohesive lengthening. And then slowly, right hand to hip, remember sometimes we transition and go forward today, we're sliding left foot in, sliding it in, and then shifting and lifting for artichandrasana.

Now some of you know this about me, I have no favorites of yoga, and yet I've been flirting with artichandrasana for a very long time, if you grab that foot for artichandrasana and chapasa and go ahead, one more breath, and then right hand down, lift right leg, lift it, and you know you're going to land the right toes back, I don't know, like a legs distance, each leg in their own lane, we're just going to play with that, bending left knee and straightening, exhale, inhale, one more bend left knee, straighten it, yields an interesting benefit, now bend right knee and straighten, right knee, straighten, bend right knee, hold there, steer left outer hip back, to me, my friends, this is one of those deceptive stretches. And then slowly release, hands forward, down dog, pedal those feet, feels like a wonderful movement of water in my body, inhale to the plank, exhale all the way down, roll your thigh bones in, one option, yeah, take your hands to your bottom and lift just your chest, option two, bend your knees, lift your chest and thighs, lift, lift, lift, and then release, rest your forehead on your hands at the top of the mat, shake the hips, we're going to go back at that, how you may ask, we're going to go back at it with Dhanurasana in mind, bow pulling, do you have to, no, do you get to, yes, so this variation, bend knees, interlaced fingers, and that's the first modification, you can just hang out there, if you can grab the tops of the feet, you start to kick and narrow the distance in between the inner thighs, breathe, remember it's not significant what you see, it's what you feel, heart opening, expanding, shoulders reclining, breathing, and then release, so wonderful, friends, push back into plank and then down dog, thank you body, thank you breath, thank you body, bend the knees, look to the hands, feet to hands, go ahead and sit down, go ahead and ripple down, if your body wants a wheel, take a wheel, if your body wants a half bridge, take a half bridge, if your body is saying, I just want to rest, bring your feet together, knees wide, supta vada konasana, I'm going to hang out in this half bridge for a moment, and then just take my hands under my shoulders, I have no idea what will happen, maybe I'll get up, maybe I won't, who knows, who knows, right, we know expectation, resentment, building, so we just go and we breathe and then we come down, we settle in, if you feel like you want one more go ahead, I'm going to let my legs go long, shimmy my shoulder blades towards each other, thank you heart, thank you mind, you can stay here as long as you like, or join me, seated to seal this wonderful practice of just unsholdering, thank yourself so much, namaste.


Robin J
1 person likes this.
Love this new series each practice gets better and better thanks Rebecca
Sandra Židan
Beautiful practice! Thanks, Bex! I can feel my legs now in different way! Namaste! 💖🌼🌺
Kate M
1 person likes this.
Your teaching comes from such an authentic place. It's beautiful. And empowering. Thank you.
Rebecca Urban
Kate M thanks so much for feeling aligned with the guidance…xox
Lisa W
That was so nice, thank you. Just what I needed!

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