30-Minute Yoga Flows Artwork
Season 9 - Episode 5

Flow with Presence

30 min - Practice
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Cultivate presence and awareness as we move through this balance-focused sequence.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Welcome, and thank you for joining me as we move through a balancing sequence today to find a practice in presence, awareness, and focus. So we'll begin by coming onto our back and we'll start in Supta Baddha Konasana. So as you come onto your back, if it feels okay to get right into the hips, bring the soles of your feet together, let the knees open up wide, and then maybe bring one hand to your heart and one hand to your lower belly. And if it feels safe for you to close your eyes, let your eyes soften and close, beginning to shift the gaze to the internal space, the internal alignment, and just starting by scanning through your body, noticing just how you're feeling today, what you're showing up to your practice with, physically, emotionally, energetically, and meeting yourself exactly where you are in this moment, starting from that place. The beautiful part about our yoga practice is that we can start from exactly where we are in any given moment.

It's going to be a little different every time. Begin to notice your breath beneath your hands, feeling the rise of your inhale, the fall and that letting go quality of your exhale. Breathing in through the nose and breathing out as you release and let something go, tethering the awareness to your breath as a way to link the external and the internal, bringing our awareness to the right here and the right now, allowing just a few more breaths here to arrive. Nice, and then as you're ready, we'll bring the hands to the outside of the knees and start to hug your knees into your chest, maybe rocking a little side to side to massage through the lower back. Maybe take your knees in circles in one direction and then the other direction, just noticing how that feels right away, becoming aware of any sensations, any areas of tension, beautiful.

And then let the soles of the feet find the earth and we'll take eagle legs, so cross your right knee on top of your left knee. You might hook your right foot behind your left calf and then eagle arms, right arm under your left, either bringing the back of the hands together or the palms together. On an inhale, start to draw the elbows up and away from you, so you feel a stretch in your shoulders. And then as you exhale, hug everything in, bring the elbows to the knees and the knees to the elbows, so a little core work here as you round through the spine, beautiful. As you inhale, draw the elbows away, let the feet come back down to the earth.

Exhale, draw everything in and just one more like that, inhale, draw everything away. Exhale, hover, draw everything in, beautiful. As you unravel, bring the soles of the feet to the earth and press up into bridge pose. You can press through the soles of the feet, the palms of your hands and just feel that opening in the front line of the body as a nice counterbalance, beautiful. And then let your hips lower down to the earth and we'll just take that on the other side.

So crossing your left knee on top of the right, maybe hooking the left foot behind the right calf. This time, bring your left arm underneath the right, wrap it up, Garudasana arms. Good, and then start to draw the elbows away from you, so you feel some length and stretch in your shoulders. As you exhale, elbows to knees, hug everything in, and we'll do that two more times with your breath. Exhale, draw everything away, exhale, draw it in, hover, good, one more, inhale, lengthen, exhale, hover, draw everything in, beautiful, and then unravel, let that go.

One more time, press to bridge, soles of feet to earth, pressing through the palms of the hands, feel that opening in the front line of the body. Nice, maybe reach your arms up over your ears. Come high up onto your toes, and then slowly lower one vertebra at a time, and then we'll hug the knees in. Again, take the hands to the back of the knees this time, and just start to rock up and down along the length of your spine. You might catch yourself in boat pose, Navasana, for a half a second, and then roll back, and then just build momentum, we'll come to all fours.

So meet me in a tabletop. And then as we come to tabletop, take a moment to bring your shoulders over wrists, hips over knees, and then cross your right knee behind your left knee, and take the feet almost as wide as your yoga mat. And then from here, we'll stretch through the wrists, so turn the right fingers towards you or out to the side of the mat, whatever feels best for you. And then just start to move around a little bit. So take some circles, clockwise, counter-clockwise, intuitively moving in a way that it feels good for you to move as you stretch and feel into your body today, and just taking that moment to check in, what do you need to wake up, good, and then come back through center.

Turn your right hand forward to face the front of the mat, and then start to float your right leg back. Flex through your right foot so you're reaching through that right heel. You can keep both hands down, or we'll play with balance a little bit here, reaching your left arm forward and the right leg back. So there's this energy moving through your left fingertips, back through your right heel, big breath in here. As you exhale, just draw the knee to the nose and the elbow to the knee, and we'll do that two more times.

Inhale, reach forward and back, lengthening. Exhale, draw everything in, and one more, inhale, lengthen forward and back, gently engage your core. Exhale, draw everything in, round through your spine, beautiful. Reach your arm forward and your heel back, and then come to Child's Pose, left hand down, right knee down, let your hips drag back towards your heels, and hopefully there's a nice opening here in your lower back. As you feel grounded, part of balancing, which will move into some balancing postures, is really feeling the support of the earth beneath you, noticing the parts of the body that are contacting the earth that are supported.

Gently roll back to all fours, and we'll just take that all on the other side. Draw your left knee behind your right, open the feet up almost as wide as your mat. Start to turn your left hand toward the left side of the mat or towards you as you stretch through that left wrist, and then just move in a way that it feels good to move as you start to stretch through the wrist, your hips, your spine. Maybe taking the circles in the other direction, staying connected with your breath, beautiful. And then as you come back through center, turn your left hand forward, float your left leg back behind you, flex through your left foot, and then start to reach your right arm forward like you're shaking someone's hand.

Gently engage your core, so playing with our balance here, big full breath in. As you exhale, knee to nose, elbow to knee, round and press the floor away. Good, two more, inhale, lengthen forward and back, exhale, draw everything in. One more, inhale, forward and back, exhale, elbow to knee, knee to nose, beautiful. And then as you reach forward and back, lengthen one more time, bring your right hand down, your left knee down, one more time we'll come back into child's pose, hips to heels, feel that opening in the back body, and just breathing into whatever you feel here, grounding, feel the support of the earth.

Nice, and then inhale, as you come up to all fours, we'll tuck the toes and lift the hips up and back, coming into our first downward facing dog. As you come to down dog, let's move around a little bit here, notice what feels good. If your hamstrings are feeling a little tight today, feel free to soften your knees. So really want the spine to be nice and long as your sitting bones reach up toward the ceiling. Try to evenly distribute your weight from the inner to the outer hand, and then let your head, neck, and shoulders release and relax as much as you can here, beautiful.

And then as you're ready, come forward into plank pose, top of a push up, big full breath in, maybe lower the knees to the earth, hug your elbows in, lower all the way to the belly. On an inhale, draw the shoulders away from the ears, and just come up into a baby cobra, feel the length in the back of your neck, and then exhale, press back through hands and knees, tuck your toes, downward facing dog. So just warming our joints a little before we move on, let's do that two more times. Inhale plank, welcome to lower knees, or keep on lifted, hug your elbows in, lower to the belly, inhale, draw the heart forward and up, cobra, exhale, hands and knees, or plank pose, tuck your toes, lift the hips up and back, down dog. Nice, one more with our breath, inhale, plank, exhale, lower to the earth, inhale, cobra, heart lifts, exhale, press back, downward facing dog, take a moment to land here, allowing a big full breath in, maybe side out, let something go on your exhale, beautiful, and then float your right leg up to the sky, we'll take a moment to bend through the right knee and open the hip, if it feels okay, come high up onto your left toes, so lifting your left heel up off the earth, beautiful, then we'll start to straighten the right leg, gaze between the hands and take a nice big step through as we come to low lunge, let your left knee lower down to the earth, coming onto your fingertips for a moment, stacking right knee on top of the right ankle, and you can stay here with your hands on the earth or start to reach your arms forward and up as you come into anjali asana, as you come up, again this is a balancing pose, so we want to feel the parts of the body that are connected, our foundation is everything that's making contact with the earth, so left shin, sole of the right foot, and then where might you soften here within the effort, big breath in, exhale, let your hands come back down to the earth and then shift your weight back, artha, hanamanasana, half split, hamstring stretch, feel free to keep as much of a bend in that right knee as needed, also a nice place if you have a couple blocks and you want to bring them under your hands, that might feel a little more spacious for you, beautiful, as you're ready, inhale to re-bend through the right knee, tuck your back toes, lift the back knee up and we'll set up for a twist, planting your left hand down, right under the left shoulder, and then sweep your right arm up, twisting to the right side of your mat, maybe roll out your wrists a few times, good, stay really active in that left thigh, beautiful, and then as you lower your right hand back down to frame your front foot, maybe widen your stance a little, we'll come up to high lunge, crescent pose, another balancing pose, notice the wobble, embrace the wobble, as you come up into crescent, I have to look straight ahead here, you come up into crescent by one point to focus your gaze, that will help with your balance, as you may have just seen, as soon as you take your gaze somewhere else, here's where the energy goes, okay, take a big full breath in here, as you exhale, hands to the earth, down dog, right foot steps back to meet the left, we'll inhale to plank, lower all the way to the belly, inhale cobra or up dog if you're feeling ready for that, and then exhale, meet me back, and downward facing dog, tuck the toes, and lift your hips up and back, big full breath in, and then exhale, let that side go, beautiful, left leg lifts as you're ready, bend the knee and open the hip, and then maybe come up onto the ball of your right foot, lift the heel up off the earth, press your torso back, beautiful, and then start to straighten through your left leg, gaze between your hands, and take a big step through, we'll set up for low lunge, letting the right knee find the earth, untuck your toes, press the shin into the earth, stacking left knee over ankle, and then once you have that stability, arms reach up on Janie Asana, and taking a moment to just ground in here, softening your gaze, your shoulders, energizing up through your fingertips, big breath in, good, exhale, let your hands find either side of your front foot, Ardha Hamamanasana, hamstring stretch, shifting your weight back, straightening through that left leg, any amount, lifting toes up off the earth, and you might even spread your toes here as you draw the pinky side of your foot towards your face, and then keep the length in your spine, breathe, breathe, good, rebend through your left knee, we'll set up for our lunge twist, tuck your back toes, lift the right knee up, plant your right hand down, and then we'll twist to the left, reaching left arm up, hugging that left hip in, and then stay really active in that right leg, so our twist is happening from the navel up, maybe roll out your wrists a few times, good, and then as you lower your left hand down, maybe widen your stance as we set up for crescent pose, high lunge, once you have that solid foundation, reach your arms up, let the back knee soften a little as the tailbone melts down, beautiful, and then where might you release a little tension here, find your breath, big breath in, good, exhale, hands to the earth, downward facing dog, left foot steps back to meet the right, inhale as you come to plank, maybe lower through knees, hug the elbows in, lower to the belly, inhale cobra, or upward facing dog, and then meet me back in downward facing dog, beautiful, hugging the toes, lifting the hips up and back, breathe, nice, and then pick up your hands and start to walk them to the back of the mat to meet your feet, as you come into a forward fold at the back of the mat, let your feet be about hips distance, you can bend the knees any amount, and then if it feels okay, take your hands behind your back, try and interlace, and start to reach your arms up and over as you stretch into your shoulders, maybe shifting a little weight toward the balls of your feet, nice, and then releasing hands down toward the earth, slowly rolling up to come to stand at the back of your mat, taking a moment, maybe roll out your shoulders, and then finding stillness, finding tadasana, maybe letting your eyes close as you start to bring awareness to the soles of your feet, see if you can evenly distribute the weight across your feet, all four corners of your feet, maybe even pick up your toes, spread them wide, and then place them back down on the earth, soften your knees a little bit, letting your tailbone melt down, feel the lift in the heart, maybe bringing one hand to heart, one hand to belly, tucking chin down toward your chest for a moment, and then maybe if there's an intention that you'd like to set for this practice, for your day, just checking in with what that might be for you, maybe it's just this idea of coming back to the present moment, coming back to your breath, beautiful, and then let's play with some balancing postures starting from the back of our mat.

So we'll start with eagle pose, so from eagle or from your stand, we'll bring the feet together, slight separation between your heels, and we'll start in chair pose, so bend the knees deeply and sweep your arms up, and then to come to eagle, we'll let the left foot get heavy, cross your right leg on top of the left, you might be kick standing your toes down to the earth, maybe float that right leg up, maybe it's wrapping behind that left calf like we did on our backs, and then the right arm will come under the left, wrap it up for eagle arms, start to draw the elbows away from you, and again find that point to focus your gaze, something that's not moving, squeeze the inner thighs together, beautiful, and then as you unravel and come out of here, sweep your arms up, stand up tall on your left leg, draw your right knee in towards your chest, and then take a big step forward, so coming toward the center of your mat, we'll bend the left knee, and then reach back and find your left ankle or foot, as we find dancer pose, reach your right arm up actively, you can stay right here, as always feel free to bring your hand to a wall, nice to have, and if you're moving into dancer, start to kick your left foot into your hand, let the torso lower but keep the heart lifted, good, couple breaths here, find that gazing point, nice, and then slow as you can come out of there, and then we'll take a big step forward with the left foot toward the front of the mat, and find, finally, a tree pose, so find your right ankle, bring your foot to inner upper thigh, the calf, or you're welcome to kickstand toes down on the earth for support, and again, if you're all over the place wobbling, I certainly have those days, just come back into it, no judgment, just be where you are, have fun with it, find your breath, and if your entry, maybe reach your arms up, that usually helps me with balance bit, nice, and then as slow as you can, draw your right knee in toward your chest, keep your arms lifted, and then slow step back to crescent pose, where we've already been, you're letting your right toes find the back of the mat, and then take a moment to lower your right knee down for support, we'll draw hands to heart, moving into a twist here, right elbow on the outside of your left leg, and we'll bring that prayer twist in front of the heart space, if you want a little more, you'll tuck your back toes, lift the back knee up, and find crescent prayer twists, couple breaths, breathing in, and breathing out, big full breath in, as you exhale, gaze down, let your hands find the earth, and then step into pyramid pose, let your right foot come in into the right a little, start to draw your left hip back, the right hip roll forward, and just let this feel good as you let everything drape down over that front leg, couple full deep breaths here, beautiful, and then we'll start to draw the right knee behind the left ankle, as you find your sitting bones on the earth, setting up for a seated spinal twist, bringing the left fingertips behind you, as you inhale, sweep your right arm up, and then twist to the left, you might hook that elbow on the outside of your left leg, taking a gaze over your left shoulder, as you inhale, root down and lengthen, as you exhale, ease into your twist, nice, and come out of there as you gaze forward, unravel, bring the hands behind us, bring the soles of the feet to the earth, lift your hips for a reverse tabletop, big breath in, maybe stick out the tongue, lion's breath, again feel that opening in the front line of the body, and then let your hips lower, we'll cross at the ankles, reach your arms forward, and then either moving through your vinyasa here, or meet me right back, in downward facing dog, and then we'll start to pick up the hands, again walk them back to the feet, come to the back of your mat, slowly roll up, one vertebra at a time, as you get to the top of the mat, take a moment, again ground and arrive, maybe one hand to heart, one hand to belly, reconnect to the soles of your feet to feel them supported by the earth, feel your heartbeat, beautiful, and then we'll move into the second side, so starting with chair, we'll travel from the back of the mat, feet together, bend the knees deeply, Utkatasana arms sweep up, this time bring the attention to the right foot, we'll pick up the left foot and cross it on top of the right, good right arm sweeps underneath, eagle arms, start to draw the elbows up and away, squeeze the inner thighs together, find your drishti, couple breaths, beautiful, and then as you come out of there, we'll stand up on the right leg, sweep the arms up, draw your left knee in toward your chest, slightly engage your core, we'll help with your balance as well, and then step to the center of your mat with your left foot, we'll bend the right knee, find your right foot or your ankle, reach your left arm up, lengthen, you could stay right here or start to tilt forward as you kick your foot into your hand, let the torso lower, let your heart stay lifted, couple deep breaths here, beautiful, and then slow and controlled, maybe come out of there, and we'll step the right foot to the front of the mat, find tree pose, left foot finds inner upper thigh, calf or earth, and draw your hands to your heart, Bhrchasasana, maybe reach your arms up, if you really want to challenge yourself, maybe look up toward the sky, maybe not, beautiful, and then slowly with the arms lifted, start to draw your left knee in toward your chest, and gently step back to crescent pose, good, finding your alignment here, let your left knee find the earth, draw hands to heart, and then left elbow on the outside of the right leg, prayer in front of your heart, if you want a little more again, building a little heat, we'll tuck the back toes, lift the back knee up, and find crescent prayer, twist, couple full deep breaths as we ring it out, breathing in, breathing out, good, big full breath in as you exhale, hands to the earth, step your left foot in into the left little pyramid pose, just let your torso drape down, over that front leg, draw the right hip back, let your left hip roll down, and breathe, also a nice place if you have a couple blocks, you might take them under your hands, good, and we'll set up for that seated spinal twist, so drawing your left knee behind your right ankle, let your sitting bones find the earth, take a moment to wiggle in, right hand falls behind you, fingertips to the earth, inhale reach your left arm up, and then twisting to the right, hooking the left elbow on the outside of the right leg, take a gaze over that right shoulder, without force, easing into the twist, wringing it out, beautiful, and then gently take the gaze in front of you, unravel, and this time we'll just reach both legs out in front of us, flexing through the feet, sit up tall on your sitting bones, inhale, reach your arms up as you exhale, fold in, Paschimottanasana, forward fold, just letting your hands fall wherever they fall, let your heart beat, start to slow a bit, taking a moment, this brief pause to notice how you feel, come back to your breath, nice, and then as you inhale, slowly come up, keeping the heels connected to the earth, reach your arms forward, and then we'll slowly lower on to our back for five, four, three, two, and one, one more time, hug your knees in, rock it out side to side, maybe take one more bridge pose like how we began, soles of the feet to the earth, lifting the hips again, just feel that nice opening, the front line of the body might interlace behind your back, beautiful, and then releasing, slowly let the hips lower, reach your arms up over your ears, step the feet a little wider, dropping both knees to the right, and then the left, windshield wiping a couple times, release your spine, beautiful, and then gently coming back through center, finding Shavasana, letting your legs go long, bringing your palms to face up on either side of the body, just allowing a few moments here to integrate, noticing where all of that lands, closing the eyes if that feels safe, go inward. Start to bring your awareness to the sensations in the body, the sounds around you, both near and far, inviting any gentle movement back in, and just taking your time to make your way back to seated, either rolling to one side or just simply sitting up, drawing hands to heart, bowing in toward yourself, the teacher within, thanking yourself for showing up for you, and thank you for sharing this practice with me, wishing you a beautiful rest of your day, the light and love in me, greets and honors, the light and love in each of you. Namaste.

Comments

Sarah Ellen
What a beautiful balancing practice! I especially loved the sequence of asanas working from the back to the front of the mat. Your flows are alway so creative and inspiring. Thank you, thank you, thank you! ❤️
Jenny S
3 people like this.
Just yesterday I was commenting that garudasana is a pose I don’t practice often enough…and here today with your new offering we are treated to this pose twice in two different ways 🙌 I just love it when things line up this way…the whole practice was “signature Sarah” with your sweet encouraging voice and interesting transitions. Namaste! 🥰
Sandra Židan
Thanks, Sarah, for this nice practice! Namaste! 💝🌹🌼
Julie H
1 person likes this.
Thank you Sarah! Love your classes
Sarah Beston
1 person likes this.
Thank you so much for sharing your experience with the practice, Sarah Ellen! I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed working from the back to the front of the mat. I was introduced to that part of the flow from a teacher in Boston and really loved it as well! Warm regards, Sarah
Sarah Beston
1 person likes this.
Hi Jenny S! I love garudasana and I agree, I also kind of forget about it both as a student and a teacher. Thanks for the reminder to incorporate it into my classes this week!
Sarah Beston
1 person likes this.
Lovely to share this practice with you, Sandra Židan!
Sarah Beston
Happy to be practicing with you here, Julie H! I am glad you are enjoying the classes!
Kare H
1 person likes this.
Sweet practice!!
Sarah Beston
Happy to be practicing with you, Kare H !
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