Beyond Binary Artwork
Season 2 - Episode 6

Soft Heart, Strong Back

30 min - Practice
11 likes
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Description

Challenging poses are like the subway: you take the stop that takes you home to your place, not to my place. Miles leads a playful class to open the heart. We find space in the arms, shoulders, and legs, move through standing poses to stabilize our base and open the chest, and explore Pincha Mayurasana, Forearm Stand. You will feel enlivened and inspired.
What You'll Need: Mat, Block (2)

Transcript

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Hi. Welcome, everyone. Welcome, welcome. Take a tall seat in Virasana. We'll just go right into it. We're going to play today a little bit. Reach your arms up over your head as you inhale. Hold on to opposite elbows, and then on the next inhale, lift your chest. Inhale open, and as you exhale, round just the top of your spine so your elbows reach kind of forward in the diagonal. Inhale, roll open. It may not look like the biggest cat cow you've ever made. That's okay. Exhale, round. Inhale, roll open. And exhale, round just to neutral. Soften your front ribs down. Anchor your tailbone down. And then imagine that you're picking up your elbows and lengthening your side waist. One more breath here. And then switch opposite elbows, which is super clunky and weird. You've got it. And then once again, cat cow. Inhale, open your chest. On the exhale, round. Elbows rock forward in the diagonal. Inhale, open your chest. Exhale, round. One more. Inhale, open your chest. Exhale into neutral. Soften the front ribs down. Anchor your sit bones down. Reach through the elbows up, up, up toward the ceiling like you're giving yourself a little length in your side waist. And release the arms down. Now bring your right arm right out in front of you so that it's not any lower or higher than the shoulder. And bend your right elbow. You're going to press your left hand into your inner right elbow and hug the right elbow in toward the hand. You might feel these muscles, the serratus and such, kind of activating there underneath your shoulder blade. Breathe into that. Try not to lock your jaw. That's tough. One more. And release that. Same thing with the left arm. Left arm reaches. It's a shoulder level. Bend your elbow. Bring your right hand to your elbow. Press. Feel those muscles underneath the shoulder blade. Engage. It helps sometimes to close your eyes. Try not to clench your jaw. Don't do it. Nice. One more. And release. Shake it out a little bit. Now both arms. Reach both arms out. Bend your elbows. Imagine that you have your hands there. Kind of squeeze the elbows in a little bit. Can you feel those muscles integrate? Can you keep your front ribs soft? You've got it. One more breath. You should feel like you're working. And release that. Shake it out a little bit. Super nice. I'm going to come off of my block, but you stay. Close your eyes. Settle into the breath. Radhe govinda radhe. Radhe gopala radhe. Radhe govinda radhe. Gopala radhe. Radhe govinda radhe. Radhe gopala radhe. Radhe govinda radhe. Gopala radhe. Radhe govinda radhe. Radhe govinda radhe. Radhe govinda radhe. Gopala radhe. Radhe govinda radhe. Radhe govinda radhe.

Radhe govinda radhe. Radhe govinda radhe. Radhe govinda radhe. Radhe govinda radhe. Palms together at the heart. Deep inhale. Gently open your eyes. We will meet on your hands and your knees. Grab a block and then you will bring the block in between your hands and come onto your forearms.

Now the pinky edges of the hands are going to surround the block and then from there squeeze the block with your arms. You may feel that same engagement of those lower muscles right under the shoulder blade. Inhale open your chest and on the exhale round can you bow your shoulder blades apart. Inhale open your chest. Exhale round, bow your shoulder blades apart.

Inhale open your chest. Last one exhale round really feel those shoulder blades widen down toward your chest and toward the floor. And then from there start to pull your bum back, lift your block in between your hands, pull back into a child's pose, bring the block back behind the head. You can walk your elbows forward just a little bit and pull your booty back a little bit more. Can you still press into the block?

Can you still feel the shoulder blades widen down toward the floor? And imagine that you had a mouth in each armpit and you could breathe in through your armpits opening your triceps. Take three more breaths here. Bring your block back out in front of you. Come back onto your hands and your knees and take the block out to the side.

And come back onto your hands and your knees. You're going to slide the hands right underneath your shoulders, knees right underneath your hips. And then from there see if you can take out any back bend from your spine. So feel those front ribs softening back and down. Feel the tailbone lengthening and then start to extend your left leg back behind you.

The ball of the foot will be on the floor. See if you can really lengthen all the way from the crown of the head back through the back foot and then reach your left leg up off the floor without altering any of that nice sort of plank disposition that you've created in your back. And then reach your right arm forward. Notice that the middle tends to kind of hammock down. See if you can roll your inner left thigh up and create a nice stable base for yourself.

And then listen, you're going to reach your right arm out to the side, turn the palm to face up as you slide the arm back behind you. And then the right hand is going to end up, the back of the right hand will end up on the top of your left glute. From there anchor your left glute down toward your heel. That's going to help you take any of the sway out of your back body. Roll your chest forward a little bit, grow the crown of the head, take one more breath.

And as you exhale, release the right hand down where you found it. Ball of the left foot comes down to the floor. Inhale your right leg up and back, downward dog split. Can you imagine your left hand there at the top of the glute lengthening the top of the glute back toward the sit bone and reach through the right heel. Take one more inhale, on the exhale hug the knee in toward the nose and step the foot right in between your hands.

Grab your blocks at the highest height underneath your shoulders. And then point your back toes, press firmly through the arms, it will feel a little bit like an up dog, lift your chest. And can you let your right sit bone just kind of hang down toward your right heel. One more breath there, allowing that right sit bone to really just melt toward the right heel, super nice. Take your blocks off to the sides, turn your left fingers out to the left, the left hand might be a little bit to the left, you're going to wrap your right elbow around your right knee and start to dip your left hip toward the right.

It's going to be like a sloppy, I like to call this pose mermaid pose, I have no idea what it actually is called or if it has a name. Bring your left shoulder up toward your ear, breathe into all of those muscles on the sides of the ribs, breathe, breathe, breathe, getting a little bit of spaciousness in the side body. Take one more breath and return yourself forward, grab your blocks, tuck your back toes under and extend the legs, resist the temptation to hop your back foot in, it will be a long parsvottanasana, that's okay. Walk your blocks way, way forward, flex the ball of your right toes, cinch your right sit bone toward your left inner thigh and fold over your legs. One more.

Walk your hands off the blocks to the left, turn yourself into a straddle. Now here, see if you can press your feet at the same velocity down into the floor, plug them down, you might even look out at your hips and notice if there's one hip that's higher and see if you can level them out and then from there, walk both of your hands toward your right ankle, lengthen your spine and as you exhale, fold toward your right leg, roll the left chest closer to the right thigh and roll the right chest kind of off of the right thigh. So you're twisting and folding, breathe, let your head hang as much as possible. Walk your hands back under you and walk yourself toward the front of the mat, grab your blocks, walk them forward as you lift the back leg into a supported warrior three. Blocks are right underneath your shoulders, now find that nice length of your spine without swaying the front of the body, reach your right arm forward, can you maintain that?

And then reach your right arm out to the side and back, the back of the hand will end up on the top of your left glute. Anchor the left glute toward the heel, notice how that lifts the left abdomen up a little bit. Grow through the crown of the head and on the exhale, bend your front knee, step the left foot back and press back into downward facing dog. Exhale pull forward, on the exhale lower down onto your hands and your knees, same, same, it starts all over again on the second side. So from there, extending your right leg back behind you, anchor the ball of the foot and grow really long through the crown of the head.

Reach the right leg up, try not to sway in your middle which is practically impossible, reach the left arm forward. One more, sweep that left arm out to the side and back behind you, the back of the hand will be on the top of the right glute this time, so oppositional leg, anchor that booty toward the heel, lengthen through the crown of the head. One more and slide the left hand down to the floor, anchor the ball of the foot down, reach up and back down dog, split. Can you anchor the right top of your bum toward your right heel a little bit? You got it, one more breath and as you exhale, step the foot right in between your hands.

Draw the back knee down and bring your hands onto your blocks, let the left sit bone melt toward the heel, lift your chest, slide the shoulder blades down the back, expose the sternum up toward the ceiling. And come off of the blocks, turn your right fingers on the floor out to the right a little bit, hand might be out to the right, swaddle your left knee with your left arm and then drop your right hip down toward the left, turn your torso toward the left and you can let your right shoulder kind of hang up by your ear. When have you heard a yoga teacher say that? So enjoy the slump. Some slumping gets you into your nooks and crannies and then come back around, grab your blocks, extend both legs, try not to hop the back foot in, walk your blocks forward, flex the ball of your right toes, stitch your, sorry your left toes, stitch your left sit bone toward your right inner thigh and breathe.

Walk your hands off the blocks, you're walking yourself to the right, find those feet plugging into the floor, lift your sit bones up and then grab a hold of your left ankle with your hands, fold your chest toward the left leg, the right hip tends to drop here so micro-bend your right knee and lift your right hip up a little bit and then fold a little closer. Think of lengthening the left side waist and heavying the right side waist. From there walk yourself forward, walk your blocks underneath your shoulders for a supported warrior three, really reach through that right leg, left arm reaches forward, sweep that left arm out to the side, the top of the left hand comes to the right glute, lengthen, lengthen, lengthen. One more and lower the ball of the foot down, lower the hands down to the floor, downward facing dog. Inhale pull forward, lower your knees down, same same.

Now extend your left leg back behind you, ball of the foot anchors. Lift that left leg, reach your right arm up and then swim the right arm out to the side and back behind you, top of the hand to the left glute, bend your left knee, kick the foot up toward the ceiling and if you feel ready reach back and grab your ankle. Push, push, push, roll open, turn your chest to the front of the room. One more inhale and as you exhale release the back leg, ball of the foot lands, downward dog split, right leg lifts, square the hips, step the foot right between the hands. From there you could use your blocks or just the fingertips on the floor to lift your chest, drop your back knee down.

As you exhale swaddle the right shin, turn your left fingers and kind of melt your left hip down. Bring yourself back, grab your blocks, extend both legs, flex the ball of the right toes inhale, exhale fold a little deeper. Walk yourself out to the left, grab your right ankle as you go, bend your left knee a little bit to lift the left hip up and fold over your right leg. Walk yourself forward, walk your blocks forward, warrior 3 supported, reach the right arm forward, reach the right arm back behind you, find the hand at the top of your left booty, flex your foot, bend your knee, kick the foot up and if you'd like to you can reach back for your ankle here. Then you reopen the chest toward the front of your space and release the foot, bend your front knee and step that foot back, hands down onto the floor and step back downward facing.

Inhale, pull forward plank pose and starting all of that one more time. Walk your knees in a little bit, inhale the right leg extends, ball the foot down onto the floor, reach your right leg high, reach your left arm forward, reach your left arm out to the side and bring the top of the hand to your right top glute, bend your knee and kick the foot up. If it's for you today, reach back and grab your ankle, turn your left chest forward, lift into that little bow situation. One more and release that. The right leg extends, ball of the foot down, left hand down, come up into a down dog split, left leg high.

Square the hips, on the exhale, step the foot right in between the hands, maybe you don't use a block this time, lower the back knee, cup your fingertips, lift your chest. From there, right fingers turn out, swaddle your left arm around your shin and turn to the left and then come back around, extend both legs, flex the ball of your left toes, inhale lengthen and exhale fold. Walk yourself into a straddle to the right, grab your left ankle as you go, bend your right knee a little bit to lift your right hip and on the exhale fold over your left leg. Bring yourself back to the front, bend your front knee, come up into a supported warrior three, reach your left arm forward, slide it out to the side, top of the hand comes back behind you, bend your right knee and maybe, maybe reach back for that ankle, kick the foot up, turn your left chest forward, look up. One more and release that, walk your foot back and down, step back, downward facing.

Lower your knees down onto the floor, take your blocks out to the side and we're going to play with pinch of mayurasana here, we will do it in steps, what that means is if you have a wall and you want to play at the wall, this would be a good time to move your mat, those of you who don't have a wall, move your props out of the way, you don't want to land on your props if there's some sort of a problem. You don't have to come up, this is like the subway, you take the stop that takes you home to your place, not home to my place, does that make sense? So nice and easy, step by step we'll see how it goes. Bring the forearms down to the floor, look at your elbows, make sure that the elbows are slightly narrower than your shoulders, just a smidge, palms press, tuck your toes under and lift your thighs up and back. From there you're going to walk your feet forward a little bit, maybe you stay here and just open your armpits and reach the sit bones up and back.

If you'd like a little bit more, you can reach your right leg high. You can stay, stay here and breathe. If you feel like coming upside down might be too much, you might do what we did earlier by bending your right knee, flexing your foot and cupping your left hand, bringing your left hand up and taking that bow situation or you can play with bending the left knee and taking little hops. You might take many, many hops, you might come all the way upside down. If you're there, can you press through the forearms, lift through the heels and breathe.

Left leg lowers, take a break, on your shins, close your eyes for a moment and settle. Inside team, two sides, you came in with the two sides, so I'm just the messenger. Bring the forearms down, tuck the toes under, lift your thighs, walk your feet in just a tiny bit, left leg high, again you can stay here and play with your bow pose there or you can bend your knee and extend your leg and not even hop or you can take a couple of hops and see what that brings today. Reach reach, take a few breaths if you're upside down, see if you can soften your front ribs, everything we worked and right leg down. Lower onto your shins.

Close your eyes. All right team, you've done it. Come down into shavasana, what I would recommend for today is to grab your two blocks, slide them underneath your knees. If your two blocks are cork, that might be too much, so you can just come into supta barakonasana perhaps, feet together, knees wide, blocks underneath your knees, close your eyes and settle. Come down into shavasana, you've done it, you've done it, you've done it, you've done it, you've done it, you've done it.

Pradhyay, Govinda Radhe, Gopala Radhe, Radhe, Radhe, Gopala Radhe, Radhe, Gopala Radhe, Radhe, Radhe, Gopala Radhe, Radhe, Radhe, Gopala Radhe, Radhe, Radhe, Radhe, Gopala Radhe, Radhe, Radhe, Radhe, Wiggle your fingers and your toes, deepen your breath. Those are the feet onto the floor, roll over onto one side, come on up to sit, sit up nice and tall, honor the fact that you've taken the time for yourself, see how you feel, rest your palms on your heart, one stacked on the other, take a deep inhale, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, engine. Love and light to all beings everywhere, no exceptions. Thank you so much for joining me.

Comments

Jenny S
3 people like this.
Oh this was such a brilliant way to unwind, refresh, and stretch my body and soul after an exhausting day of spring cleaning. This class will be a go-to for sure on days when I’m feeling depleted. As I think I’ve said before, the chanting is the cherry on top! 🍒🍨❤️🙏🏻
Miles
Jenny S yay, Jenny! So glad you enjoyed! That makes me smile! 😍
Christel B
1 person likes this.
Lovely, creative flow left me feeling great. Thank you. Namaste.
Miles
Christel B yay! So glad! 😉
Lisa Ferraro
1 person likes this.
Thank you, Miles! Love the creative way of building and finding the shapes. And the chanting! 
Miles
Lisa Ferraro yay! From one harmonium higher to another! 😍
Summer
loving the schlumpy shoulder mermaid pose! 
Miles
Summer oooh, yeah! One of my favorites!!!
Michelle F
1 person likes this.
Miles - otrapreciosa clase!
wow - your chanting was so guay I had to get up from blissful savasana  and start the chant again - and again! such a beautiful heartfelt resonance . im dipping into this series randomnly and its working out perfectly so far!
loveandpeacexxx

Miles
Michelle F amazing! So glad you are digging it! 🤗
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