Beyond Binary Artwork
Season 2 - Episode 4

Legs Under Me

30 min - Practice
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What the pose looks like is not what's interesting; what's interesting is the space inside yourself. In this class we explore what it feels like to bring our legs under us like grounded pillars. We stretch, chant, and play into Tree pose on a block, then flow through a sequence to help us find our center, work the outer hips, and open our heart, before settling into cooling floor postures. You will feel clear and stable.
What You'll Need: Mat, Block (2)

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Hi, Yogis. Welcome back. I'm so happy to see you. Today we are going to be playing with what it feels like to really bring our legs underneath us to integrate so that we're not using our legs like kickstands, but we really have them more like pillars or like a solid foundation underneath us. We will start on our backs. You may want to lift your head with something. I like to use a block underneath my head. These cork blocks are a little bit hard, so if you want to bring a blanket or something softer, do that. If you don't want anything underneath your head, that's totally fine. Recline back, take your time, rolling back there. Then you'll hug your right knee in toward your chest. You can close your eyes or keep your eyes open, settle into the breath, and think that every exhale is an opportunity to fold a little bit deeper in the hip crease and to sort of melt the knee toward your chest. Notice if the knee is kind of winging out to the side. Try to keep it so that it's pointing straight toward your nipple or toward your chest. Then start to extend your left leg. You might feel that the right knee will resist a little bit and lift up away, but try not to let that happen. Then just let the left leg do what it will. You'll notice that the toes will probably roll out to the sides, to the left side. Keep holding your right knee with your left hand and bring your right hand to your sits bone. The sits bone is that little bony protrusion at the bottom of your pelvis on the right side. There's one on the left side as well, but we're working with the right one. Now that you can feel it, see what happens if you hug your right sits bone a little bit toward your left inner thigh. Notice what happens with the left toes. They start to point up. It's a feeling almost of suctioning the thigh up into the pelvis. Then keep that sits bone hugging in and keep deepening the knee in toward the chest. These are hard to do simultaneously, but they're very possible. I am saying sits bone because it's named after a German dude with a last name sits, even though it sort of fits because you sit on it. Just so you don't think I'm nuts. I mean I'm a little nuts, but not in that regard. Then from their release, the foot, bend your knees, bring your left knee in toward your chest. Same, same. Just take a few breaths to let the groin soften, to let the hip flexor kind of deepen. Extend your right leg. Notice of the left knee kind of lifts away from your chest. Let the right leg do what it will.

Then keep holding on your left leg and reach down and grab your sits bone so you can feel where it is. This is the poke school of yoga, which is where you kind of learn a lot from just feeling around your body, poking yourself a little bit. Then knit that sits bone in toward the right inner thigh and notice how it kind of turns the right toes up and hugs the thigh bone up into the pelvis and then keep releasing the groin. Good. Bend both of your knees, hug your knees in toward your chest and you could roll onto the side to come up to sit. I'm going to rock forward to come up to sit and we'll meet in a seat. Take your block, slide it underneath you. I'm just going to set it off to the side. Close your eyes, sit up nice and tall. The block under you gives you an opportunity to have your hips a little elevated. This one's a little longer, this chant. I figure if you're here we might have been in it a little longer or if it's your first time, yay, you get to jump in. Om Namo, repeat after me, Om Namo, Maha Vida, Maha Vida, Jay Hanuman, Jay Hanuman. This part's easy, Shri Ram, Jay Ram, Jay Jay Ram, Shri Ram, Jay Ram, Jay Jay Ram, Sita Ram, Sita Ram. It's a little longer if it's intimidating, it's okay, you can listen. You can also jump in at any point. If you want to just hum on an M you're welcome to listen. With me, Om Namo, Maha Vida, Jay Hanuman, Om Namo, Maha Vida, Jay Hanuman, Om Namo, Maha Vida, Jay Hanuman, Shri Ram, Jay Ram, Jay Jay Ram, Sita Ram, Sita Ram, Sita Ram, Sita Ram, Sita Ram, Sita Ram, Sita Ram, Sita Ram, Palms together, deep inhale.

Open your eyes, come forward onto your hands and your knees. Tuck your toes under, pull back into a downward facing dog. And then start to walk your feet slowly, slowly toward your hands like you're massaging the soles of the feet. There's no rush. We will meet at the front of the mat, roll yourself up.

And you can grab one of your blocks as you go. I'm going to face you, but you can stay exactly where you are. You're going to take your block and slide it onto the ground the longest way. And then come to stand on it with your left foot. Zip your right foot in toward your left foot as if you were standing into a block.

Keep your legs long. Zip your arms by your sides. And then start to, it's almost like you're trying to slide the right leg down and then zip in and slide the right leg down and zip that left hip under you. You'll feel the left leg really be under you one more time. And zip it up.

And then bring your right foot into a tree pose. It might feel like you're off-roading in your tree pose. And that's OK. Zip your right sit bone toward your left inner thigh. That's what we did on our backs.

And then reach your arms up. One more breath. Feel that left leg under you. And then step down. Give a little shake to the left leg.

It did a lot of work. Good work, team. I know. That's like cross-country tree posing. And then we're going to try the right side.

Now, if your balance is not so good today, guess what? It's totally fine. That's why we practice, because sometimes we fall. And the practice is really a practice of picking yourself up. It's not the practice of falling.

Do you know what I mean? It's the practice of being able to pick yourself up by the bootstraps and try again. So right foot onto the block. Left leg up. Zip everything.

And slip that left foot down. The right hip goes out. And then slip the right hip under you. And again, slip that left foot right hip out. Zip it.

One more time. Zip it. Slide that left foot up into rikshasan tree pose. Feel the left sit bone slide toward the inner right thigh. Feel that right leg under you.

It might feel kind of extraordinary to have it all the way under you. One more. And step down. Shake. Shake, shake, shake.

Shake the leg out. Shake everything out. You did great. Awesome. So from there, we will meet back at the front of the mat in utkatasana, chair pose.

Take two more breaths. One more. Step into your right foot. Pick up your left knee. We're going to transition back into a warrior two.

So first, come through a high lunge. Spin the back heel down. And open out warrior two. Now, this is where all of this comes together. The right forearm is going to slip onto your right thigh.

Bring your left hand onto your hip. And then stick your butt out behind you. And you're going to start to reach your left arm out toward the space behind you. Now, as the right sit bone hugs toward the inner left thigh, the arm is going to sweep up by your ear. And the chest kind of opens up toward the ceiling.

And then again, sweep that arm out in front of you and stick your butt out. And then slip it under you. Notice how that rolls the chest open and how you can really feel the back leg now anchoring. And one more. Slide that right butt cheek out and slip it in.

Slide that right sit bone under you. Gorgeous. Now, from there, bring yourself up into your warrior two. Extend your front leg. Walk the back foot in a little bit.

Let's try this with triangle pose. Cut the right hip back and bring your right hand onto your right thigh. Now, maybe for this one, you bring your left hand onto your hip. Stick your bum out behind you and zip your sit bone under you. Same thing we were doing on the ground.

Stick your bum back behind you and zip your sit bone under you. Just notice what that does to the back leg. It becomes so much more engaged. And one more. Zip it out and zip it in.

Reach your left arm up and hands down to the floor. Spin the back heel up. Step forward. Inhale, lengthen. And on the exhale, fold.

Round yourself all the way up into utkatasana. Step into your left foot. Pick up your right knee. You're coming through a high lunge. Step it way, way, way back.

Be patient. Spin the back heel down to bring yourself up. Here we go. Second side. Left forearm onto your left thigh.

Right hand onto your hip. Stick your butt out. And then reach the right arm back. And as the sit bone comes toward the inner thigh, slip it under you. Roll your chest open.

And then again, arm out and back. Stick your butt out. And slide it under you. And one more. Stick your bum out.

And slide it under you. Roll your chest open. Inhale all the way up to warrior two. Extend your front leg. Walk your back foot in just a smidgen.

Cut your left hip back. Trikonasana, triangle pose. Here we go. Right hand onto your hip. Stick your bum out.

It's a little harder without the knee bent. And then zip the left sit bone toward the inner right thigh. Notice how that opens your chest. Stick your bum out. And left sit bone toward the inner right thigh.

One more. Stick your bum out. And sit bone toward the inner right thigh. Right arm reaches. One more.

And hands down to the floor. From there, we're going to step back into downward facing dog. On the next inhale, hinge forward into your plank pose. Come super high up onto your tiptoes. And as you exhale, lower down slowly for five, four, three, two, one.

Groovy. Point your toes. Bend your knees. Reach back. Grab your ankles.

And then flex your feet. Kick the feet back and roll open. One more. And exhale. Lower down.

Rest your forehead on your hands. Wag your sit bones side to side. Let's do another round. Bend your knees. Flex your feet to reach back.

Maybe you grab the opposite foot first. Kick your feet back. Roll open. One more inhale. And exhale.

Lower down. Forehead on your hands. Wag your bum a little side to side. If you'd like a little bit more opening for the shoulders, I'm going to share something new with you. If you'd like to stick with what we've been doing, that's totally fine.

So for this one, bring your palms face down next to your hips. And this is super, super awkward. You're going to turn your thumbs up toward the ceiling. Now bend your knees and reach for the insides of the feet. Now some of you probably have the temptation to turn your arms the opposite way.

Don't do it. That's internal rotation, so it's not going to help open your chest. You really want the arms to be externally rotated. Kick the feet back. Roll open if this is not for your shoulders.

The earlier situation. One more inhale. And lower down. Rest one cheek. Sorry, not one cheek.

Rest your forehead on your hands. And you can re-bend your knees so the feet look up toward the ceiling. And like a little kid, you can slide your feet side to side. If you're doing this very rigorously or vigorously, maybe do it a little softer. Because the sacrum, that little bone, the flat bone at the back of your pelvis, it doesn't want to fall out of place.

And sometimes if you do this too vigorously, it can kind of knock it out of place. And then re-extend your legs. Push back into a child's pose. I'm going to turn to face you again. Though you do not need to do that, you can be exactly where you are.

Lift up onto your shins. Slide your bum to the right of your feet. And the left ankle can kind of tuck onto the arch of your right foot. From there, reach your right arm up. Cup your left fingertips and come up and over toward the right.

Push your left fingertips like you're really bowing your ribcage out to the right. And breathe and maybe look up. Inhale, lift up. On the exhale, you'll twist out to the right. Cup your right fingertips behind you, left hand on the outer right thigh.

Lengthen your spine. As you exhale, turn and twist. You're standing upright on your right sitz bone. Inhale, lengthen. And on the exhale, twist a little deeper.

Inhale, lengthen. Exhale, twist. One more inhale, lengthen. And maybe there's a little bit more revolve. Exhale, twist.

Inhale, back to center. Slip your bum up. Slide the feet to the other side. Remember the right, what is that called? The ankle can slide into the nook of the arch of the foot so you can kind of fit yourself into your fold.

Inhale, the left arm up. And then come up and over, side bending to the right. Push the right fingertips into the floor to let the ribs open out to the left. Two more breaths. Inhale, up.

And twist over to the left. You're now propped up on your left sitz bone. So plug that down, lengthen your spine. And as you exhale, soften your middle to turn. Inhale, lengthen.

Exhale, turn. Inhale, lengthen. Exhale, turn. One more. Inhale, lengthen.

Exhale, turn. Inhale, back onto your sitz bone, face forward. Take the legs out to the sides, each one to its own side, Upavishta Konasana. Now, if your spine is rounding here, slip a block or a blanket underneath it. I would start with a blanket.

And then if it's still rounding, slide a block under. The tendency here will depend on how your body fits on itself. So it might be that the toes curl in. It might be that the toes turn out. Look at your toes and see if you can point them up so that they're neutral in the hip socket.

And then from there, lengthen your spine. And then as you exhale, you can start to find your way forward. You can stop anywhere along the ride and kind of breathe and stay there for a few breaths. I also, if you did this quicker, it would be like twerking or like I call it the Miley Cyrus. But you can kind of do this gently and slowly and kind of move forward and back, which is going to tilt the pelvis forward and back.

And it's going to give you a little bit more space in the backs of the legs and the adductors, the inner thighs. So kind of play with it. See what's there. And then you can keep going if there's space. Remember what the pose looks like is not what's interesting.

What's interesting is the space inside yourself. So if there is no space to move forward, then you do not move forward. If space opens up, then you continue moving forward. Three more breaths. When you feel ready, roll yourself up, hands to the outer knees.

Zip the knees in and then come to lay on your back. You have made it, Shavasana. If you'd like to come into Supta Baddha Konasana for Shavasana, that's totally fine. It would mean that your feet are together, your knees are wide, and slip two blocks underneath each knee so you're not just sitting there in your joints so that it's more restorative at this point. Close your eyes.

Let go of your ujjayi breath. Let go of any control of the breath. And allow the experience to swirl and integrate. Let space happen. Om Namo Mahavira Jai Hanuman Om Namo Mahavira Jai Hanuman Shri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram Shri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram Shri Ram Jai Ram Shri Ram Shri Ram Shri Ram Shri Ram Om Namo Mahavira Jai Hanuman Om Namo Mahavira Jai Hanuman Shri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram Shri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram Shri Ram Shri Ram Shri Ram Shri Ram Shri Ram Shri Ram Shri Ram Shri Ram Shri Ram Shri Ram Shri Ram Shri Ram Shri Ram Are literally sitaram sitaram sitaram sitaram sitaram sitaram sitaram sitaram sitaram sitaram Together deep inhale.

Love and light to all beings everywhere, no exceptions. Namaste yogis.

Comments

Jenny S
Hi Miles 🌞 This felt great in my body today. Bow pose with the thumbs up was a spicy meatball! I hope your heart and soul are doing well and thank you for this practice ❤️🙏🏻 PS LOVED the extended chanting today 📿
Miles
Jenny S haha! totally! shoulders on fuego!!!

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