Yoga for Mobility Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 5

Everyday Goodness

30 min - Practice


Mobilize all the major joints in the body, increase flexibility and range of motion, and boost energy in this fun and functional class you can do every day to feel your best.
What You'll Need: Mat, Blanket, Strap, Block


Read Full Transcript

Hello everyone, I'm so glad you're here to practice today, I've got a great class today with some fun and functional movements to help you feel your best and I hope the moves that we do today are ones that you're going to want to do on a regular basis to feel your best. For class, you'll benefit from having a blanket, a block and a strap and we're going to start with your blanket on your back and depending on how thick your blanket is, you might roll your blanket halfway if you have a really thick blanket, maybe all the way if your blanket is a thinner cotton blanket and I'm going to suggest as you find your way down onto your back that you start with bent legs and when you recline backwards, kind of feel where your shoulder blades are and let your shoulder blades land on the floor. So they're supported by the blanket, curling around the blanket and then have your arms out to your sides and when you first get onto your back, if it feels like it's too much of a backbend, it could be so you might want to get up and decrease the thickness of your blanket if your back feels uncomfortable and give yourself a moment to get adjusted to this little backbend that we're doing. Or checking out another option which could be having your legs straight down on the floor. I like my legs a little bit wider towards the edges of the mat personally, helps me feel a little bit more grounded in my lower back sacrum area.

So notice what feels good for you. If straight legs is too intense, please go back to bent legs and let's wait and see what happens as we feel ourselves settling each exhale a little bit more into our support. The ground, the blankets, and perhaps even letting the eyes close or look inwards and when and if your eyes are closed, let's generally look down towards the direction of your lungs and notice what's changing as you're breathing in and filling up your lungs and that diaphragm that gets that fuller stretch here with that rolled blanket underneath you. And as you exhale, just noticing the shape of your body, how it's changing when the air moves out through the nose or the mouth and as you're breathing in and actually filling your lungs, just noticing the stretch that you feel across your chest, ribs, diaphragm, maybe upper belly. And as you exhale, paying attention to how the shape of your body is changing and maybe it's in the shoulders you feel the change, maybe it's in the ribs, belly area, maybe with a few more deep full breaths, maybe we notice more of a change in our mind, feeling more presence, more grounded.

Let's take maybe one or two more breaths as you are here celebrating the breath coming and going. Maybe over the next breath or so, I want to invite you to bring your legs now into a straight line and send maybe a little bit more energy into the legs or if your legs are bent, the legs are parallel. Let's bend your arms at 90 degree angles and I call this one often the goalpost arms. And from here now if you can start to squeeze your arms in towards your midline so your elbows might end up touching right above your chest area and then we open back out to goalpost arms. Maybe it's like you're at the gym and you're working the pec muscles as you squeeze in working against some resistance, open the arms wide, squeeze in so if you're pushing against some really thick air, arms open wide.

Now next time the elbows squeeze in, lace your fingers and then press your palms towards the ceiling. Let's see if you can press the back of your ribs into your blankets as your arms stretch back by your ears. So legs have some energy grounding, back of the ribs grounding, so our front ribs are a little bit more narrow versus as wide as they could be. One more big opening stretch and then let your fingers unlace and as your arms come towards your side bend your legs and now we're going to grab your block as you turn over to your left side and keep your legs bent and if we place the left side of your ribcage on your blankets, I like to take my block like a pillow under my head as my left arm is reaching straight out in line with the shoulder. So now if we will, the right arm is going to reach up towards the ceiling and maybe we do a few little wiggle movements to see how your shoulder blade is feeling on your upper mid-back, how it's moving this morning.

Now next move, please start to drop your right arm down by your ear or cheek and so now we want to celebrate this long line from your right hand down to your right hip and sometimes in the morning if it's okay to bend your right elbow or whenever you might be practicing to put your right hand on the floor, take your left hand and just gently tap for a moment the skin, the muscles, the fascia down that left side of your body and just kind of giving a little bit of a wake up, sometimes it's a nice way to kind of feel your body by actually tapping along the side of your body and if that area then feels a little bit more enlivened by your actual touch, let's stretch that left arm again straight out in front of you and now lift your head so your right hand fits between your head and that block. Now let's wake up the right side of your waist as you lift your head towards your right hip and then bring your head back down then draw your head again up towards your right hip and lower down, see if we can again keep feeling the right waist is doing more work than your left arm, the left arm will have that tendency to want to push you up off the floor, see if you can resist and instead use the muscles on the right side of your waist, some of those oblique muscles, last little lift up and then lower down. So now when we do a little lift maybe that's the best time to lift up and do your transfer so you'll spin over to your right side and you'll have your right side of the ribcage over the rolled blanket, the right arm is reaching between that blanket and your block and then your head rests on that block for a moment. When you're situated left arm goes up in the air and we'll make a few of those little circles to actually move your left shoulder blade and see if it feels smooth or if it feels sticky in some areas, stiff and after loosening up that shoulder now please take the left arm down by your ear so your left arm is parallel to the floor and celebrate the length you discover here on your left side from your hand to your left hip, maybe you can bend your left elbow, put your left fingertips on the floor as your right hand comes up to give that little tapping along the left side of your body from your arm, side of your chest, side of your ribs, you can give a pretty hearty tap along the side of the body to actually feel like you're waking yourself up. If you feel a little more invigorated now with your little love tap, let's take your right arm straight out in front of you and then lift your head up so your left hand fits between your head and your block.

Now on the exhale lift your head towards your left hip and curl up and lower back down as you exhale doing that lifting of tilting your head towards your left hip, lower down and then again up we go and lower down and check that your right arm isn't doing all the hard work that you're trying to focus on turning on those left waist muscles and then one last time going up and down. This next time you're in that lifted position put your hand on the floor and as you come on up let's move for now your block just off to the side of your mat and your blanket for just now just off to the side of the mat as we potentially face forward. So I'm going to have you slide your feet over to your left side and keep your right hand grounded for a moment and adjust your feet so if your left knee is tight have a straight left leg. If your left knee is mobile here tuck your foot underneath your pelvis and keep your right hand where it is as the left arm comes up parallel to the floor and we're going to follow the left hand over to the right and let that left hip lift and pull that left elbow back open up the chest follow your left hand over to the right pull that elbow back so we're trying to feel like we're making more space in the back of your body when you reach to the right and a little more space in the front of your body when you reach back to the left. Let's do one more reaching to the right and then over to the left and keep your hands behind you and we'll swivel the feet all the way over to your right side and when your legs tilt to the side if your right knee is tight please just keep a straight leg it works just fine or take your foot underneath your hip so left hand is the stabilizing one right arm up parallel to the floor and when you're ready follow your right hand to the left look out towards your fingers and bend your elbows you roll up in that right chest reach to the left make some space in your back side shoulder mid-back low back and then reach back to the right open the chest reach out to your left and then open up to the right let's do one more and that way reaching to your left and then opening up to the right right now if we keep your hands behind you from it supports you as you swing your feet forward and let's keep the legs out in front of you now this might be great to take your blanket and have a little bit of a lift just a thin lift underneath your hips slide to the front edge of your blanket and now let's keep your left hand at your side as you take your right hand and start to reach forward into the left so your hand is floating out beyond your toes or in that direction as you look a little bit down at the floor and then take your right arm and reach up to the ceiling then maybe turn to look up towards the ceiling following that right hand and then the right hand lands on the floor follow your left hand forward over to the right and then maybe look down continuing to stretch your backside follow your left hand up towards the ceiling maybe back behind you and we open up through that corner of the chest left hand on the floor right arm again reaches forward and out to the left look down follow your right hand up and around as much as you're comfortable right hand on the floor left arm forward over to the right look down follow that left hand up and around and back we're facing forward take our last turn here as we take that right hand over to the left look down follow your right hand up back and around to neutral and last time where we'll take your left hand over to the right look down and follow that left hand up back and around I hope that chest area feels a little more open right now let's go ahead and slide your feet to any side and we'll turn around to face the short end of your mat and many of you might appreciate having blanket underneath your knees especially if you're on a harder floor and let's go ahead and set up so that we have a block turns in the flat position flat and long as you take your hands for a moment underneath your shoulder line tops of the feet on the floor and try to orient to the back of your heart and maybe we think of doing what we call cat cow where we're trying to orient to the back of the heart going up and then also dropping down so your actual anatomical heart can you feel like you're moving it up and down in your body and getting the shoulders ribs spine pelvis all moving so simple movements now let's see if we can do that movement as we slide our hands more forward and slide your block underneath your forehead so you might need to slide it in and then bring your arms out straight forehead resting on the block and now try to do a little bit of sinking towards the floor with your chest and then lift the back of the heart again up towards the ceiling it's a little move but should bring us into maybe deeper different place in your shoulder area as you try to let your heart come up and down like you're doing a little mini version of cat cow in downward dog with their knees on the floor just one or two more kind of playing around with that sinking deeper into the chest and then lifting your back ribs and diaphragm back of the heart so we feel long and spacious right now if we come up lift your forehead and bring your elbows down and we're going to move that block for a moment now off your yoga map and simply be down with your palms together elbows as wide as your shoulders when you're ready take one leg at a time straight back so your knees now are off the blanket and you're floating for a moment you're always welcome to put your knees back down and now let's try to lift the back of the heart up as you look down towards your elbows maybe like you're doing cat cow again where we look forward and sink the chest towards the ground without losing the tone in your legs lift the back of the heart look back towards your blanket or knees and then sink a little bit towards the floor without losing the tone of your legs look forward and then one more time that rounding looking towards your feet all right now let's bring your knees to the blankets and make sure that block is out of your way legs stretch back one more time hover for just a moment before you lower all the way down onto the blanket with your pelvis point your toes straight back and then we're going to bring the chest to the floor and your arms out to the side of your yoga mat in goal post position and then if you will bring your forehead down to rest just above the floor keep your feet down as you inhale we're going to lengthen from your head through your neck through your spine as you lift your head and chest a little bit off the floor and then lower down noticing that we're not getting tight or gripped in the back as you inhale peel the face the chest off the floor and lower down one more time letting your front spine front body get longer as you lift up and then lower down now let's come up to the tips of your fingers here and slide your hands further back in line with your chest so the elbows are up and kind of pointing out to the towards the ceiling now press lightly into your feet and fingertips as you curl up and maybe you curl up a little bit higher as your arms get a little bit involved in the lift and then lower down again press your fingertips lightly into the floor as you curl up maybe a little bit higher than you did before and lower down one more lifting up on inhale and then from your lifted position let's slide your hands beside your chest and then press yourself up to tabletop where we can bring the knees now onto your blanket and then come up to stand on the knees with your arms just for a moment relax at your sides and start to curl your toes under here and when we're upright and toes curled under maybe we start to get a little bit of a stretch through the feet pleasant or unpleasant I highly recommend folks doing this on a regular basis especially if your feet feel tight if you want to deepen that stretch for your feet we might sit back a little bit towards your heels right now let's go ahead and maybe roll that blanket or fold your blanket and get it out of your way and as we get rid of our blankets let's go ahead instead now and come up to stand with no blankets up towards the top of your yoga mat if your feet are maybe about hip distance apart in your tadasana and take a few moments just to do a couple little shoulder shrugs as we get into our new orientation and then let's bend the knees a little bit as you take a step back with your right foot into what will be your warrior one footprint so a kind of short step where you feel stable now let's flip your arms into what I would often call our goal post position where we open up a little more across the chest and as you lift your chest towards your chin drop your chin towards your chest and then let's stretch the arms more up towards your ears look straight ahead or a little bit up and then take your left arm behind your back into the small of the lower back as you exhale and tip forward from your hips and reach out through that right arm and then we'll come all the way back up to vertical and swing your left arm back up now parallel to the ears and stretch up high keep your hands up high as you step your back right foot forward into a chair and then a little bit more into a kind of squat like chair where your ribs might come down and touch your thighs and then we're going to spring back up and bring your hands in front of your chest see if we can balance and step back with your left foot into that warrior one stance which is pretty short and pretty wide as you bend your right knee just check do you feel stable flip your arms into goal post arms lower your chin a little bit towards your chest and let your chest lift a little bit towards your chin then the arms go up straight take your gaze maybe a little bit forward or up and then take your right hand into the small of the lower back as you exhale hinge forward tip forward lengthen through your left side come all the way back up and then both arms are up in the air reach for the ceiling and then step your back left foot forward and think of chair pose and then go a little deeper into that squat maybe your ribs touch your thighs and then we spring all the way back up hands in front of your chest right now if we can find where your strap is let's grab your strap that's just a little back bend move that I enjoy a little back strengthening and we're going to undo your strap and maybe in half or depending on the length I have a really long strap so I'm going to go in half but maybe you open up yours all the way and if you will let your hands kind of reach out almost towards the ends of your strap pull tights on the strap and try to keep that tension as you take your arms up and then be willing to have soft hands and let your hands slide wider as we go back and down using that full range of motion and then create some tension in the strap as you come back up and then keep that tension as you come down in front and again if you find that that was really easy walk your hands a little bit closer together be willing to slide your hands wider here as they go down and back if you haven't done that a while it can be a little bit weird or even scary to take your arms all the way back in that way but it is a range of motion that's available to most of us noticing as you're going back and forth there's one side give you a little bit more trouble or is there a little bit more kind of glitch in one side and as best as we can we're trying to evenly move through the shoulders now next time the arms come up let's leave the arms up and tip your arms over more to your left so your right arm is reaching up towards the ceiling and that left hand is pulling the strap down tight so we get a fuller stretch to the right side of your body okay try to keep reaching up with your right hand and that left hand is going to let go and grab the strap behind you let your right hand walk down towards your left hand right now let's bring the legs a little bit closer together as you keep reaching that right elbow up towards the ceiling bend your ankles and knees and we're going to come into what we call the Gomukhasana legs here where we're crossing your let's say right leg over the left leg and try to drop down and enter to towards the floor as we bring that right elbow up towards the ceiling we sink the hips and reach your right elbow up and then we'll go ahead from here release the strap uncross your legs and reach that strap in front of you maybe you start with your feet hip distance apart raise your arms up and slide that right hand down towards the edge of your strap so you're gonna reach up high with your left pull down with your right and feel that deeper stretch down your left sides and then let go of the strap with your right hand reach up to the small of the lower back and feed the strap into the hands wiggle your feet closer maybe together as your left elbow reaches up towards the ceiling a lot of times again the chest or ribs will swing forward if we're tight here so just catch that your ribs are over your hips as your feet come towards each other bend your ankles and knees let's take your left leg over your right leg left elbow keeps going up as our hips sink down and enter to towards the floor take one more moment as you are here sinking down as you reach that left elbow up as we come out of that pose let go of this strap and bring that strap in front of you so now if we have that strap in half or maybe in half again so you have less fabrics to play with feet at least as wide as your shoulders take your arms up I'm going to stretch a little bit over to your left side reach a little bit forward as you look down head over to your right side and a little bit back so we're mostly moving from the navel up and you're trying to find some areas that we haven't stretched or go a little deeper into some of the places we have stretched and you can bend your knees and start to really come down and around you're just kind of exploring what feels healthy for you today and get some new muscles and fascia and skin moving as you circle around okay last circle on this tour here and then we're going to come all the way up to standing lower your arms right in front of you and then transfer that strap behind your back and try to have maybe at first your palms facing away from your buttocks now stretch your arms straight so side view just stretching your arms more straight behind your back slide your hands as wide as you need to to get your arms to be a little bit straighter and feel how you're squeezing up between your shoulder blades it's a good posture check here so either stay vertical or if it's okay bend your knees and as you tip forward to get a little bit of that partial inversion here where we feel maybe a change in your heart rate blood pressure as your head comes down if that's okay for you and your arms go up wonderful stretch across your collar bones maybe kind of exciting with the head down for a moment legs bent take one more breath here pulling tight on the edges of the strap right now ground your feet as you get ready to reverse and come up if you went down we'll release the strap and start to wiggle your legs towards each other all right so I hope you enjoy using a little bit of strap in your practice here and there and let's go ahead and leave the strap down grab your block and your blankets and we'll come down to sit I love the blanket for a little bit of a an edge to sit on so the pelvis has that opportunity to tilt forward as the legs go out straight all right so with legs straight for a moment you might lightly press your hands into that front part of your blanket as you lengthen through your spine now let's go ahead and take your block underneath your right knee and if you use this just to unlock some tension that might be in that hamstring area as you bend your left leg and hold on to your knee with both hands and take a moment and reach your right arm up towards the ceiling as you hold on to your left knee and try to sit right on top of the sit bones and then maybe we start to do a little twist where this right arm starts to hug that left leg and as you hug that leg in towards you turn and eventually for your left hand towards the floor behind you press your right leg into your block left sit bone into the blanket lengthen as you rotate it's gonna feel how we're moving in that way as we unwind and look forward stretch your left leg straight transfer that block under your left leg then pull your right leg in let's hold that right knee as you sit up tall then swing your left arm up towards the ceiling as your left leg presses down into your block to try to block some tension in the hamstring turn hook your left elbow around your right knee and at some point park your fingertips on the floor and lengthen through your spine as you maybe even turn your nose a bit to the right how we feeling in the spine and all those different joints and then we'll start to unwind and get rid of the block out of your way as we start to set up for our final sit and you might still use your blanket underneath you to see if you cross your ankles and as one ankle feel better than the other in front it's good to try maybe both and see which one feels best for you now as you take a moment to wiggle your hips a little bit side to side front to back like you're doing a little bit of circles that we often do in cat cow move through your ribs and then just maybe a little bit of cat cow here letting your pelvis tilt forward and back and then when you feel maybe you've wiggled out any little tension or areas that needed to be loosened up maybe we can pause for a moment now and see what it feels like to be still after our movements sometimes it's helpful to have a focal point for your eyes so you might choose something out beyond your nose to look at a spot on the floor or the wall or maybe out your window and maybe as we start to connect to one item if your eyes are closed and you're looking inward just imagine you're exchanging breath with this one area so does it feel like you're breathing in and out of your nose to your focal points from your focal point back to yourself just letting your awareness your prana your energy move in a specific direction maybe you prefer to count the length of your breath and maybe you're just counting a comfortable inhale and a comfortable exhale all right so maybe noticing again some of the the changes in your body or mind from our practice today just to remind you about maybe to remind you again to come back to visit your practice more often closed with our hands in front of the heart center and may others continue to benefit from our practice namaste


Jenny S
3 people like this.
Another fun class with props! I really felt my side body opening and my lungs expanding - a beautiful way to wake up the body 🪗🙏🏻❤️
David G-
1 person likes this.
Wonderful practice. Used this before a loving kindness meditation group practice. Opened space in my body to be with other people's sadness. 
Lynn-Marie M
Another winner! I just love how you think outside of the box!!! So many ways to develop a relationship with spaciousness within just waiting to shine!
Vilma Saldate
Love it Melina, thank you
Melina Meza
Thanks for trying out class Vilma! I hope you enjoy the rest of the series.
Lina S
I've really enjoyed the moves (Z legs + legs extended forward) to release the hips and the thoracic spine. What a nice stretch! I haven't understood the purpose of placing the block under the leg for the seated spine twist. Is it to release the quads by pressing down the hamstrings? Thank you in advance for your answer.
Melina Meza
1 person likes this.
Hi Lina ~ I believe the answer to your question is to simply release the hamstring if it was tight so someone could align their pelvis and spine more easily. Not everyone sits well with straight legs pressed down into the floor. Does that make sense?
1 person likes this.
Practicing with you is always so deeply nourishing! Thank you Melina for this lovely practice, it really targeted some areas that were sorely in need of some loving attention.
Melina Meza
1 person likes this.
Great to see your name here Summer! I hope all is well with you and thanks for continuing to practice with me and treating your body to some joint mobilization practices.
Sandra Židan
Thanks, Melina, for this beautiful practice! I feel much better after doing it! Namaste! ❤️🌹🌼

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