Mindfulness in Motion 10-Day Yoga Challenge Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 3

Day 2: Root and Support

30 min - Practice
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In Day 2, we focus the mind on the muscles of the backs and fronts of the legs, which provide support to the hips. We create length and strength to these areas of the body through Pyramid, balance postures, and variations of Lizard, before exploring splits. After this fun class you will feel strong and uplifted.
What You'll Need: Mat, Strap, Block (2)

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Hey, everybody, and welcome to day two of your yoga challenge. All right, for today's sequence, we're going to use two blocks, and we're also going to use a strap for some of the poses that we're going to practice today. So once you grab all that, we're going to begin lying down. All right, so similar to day one, no preference for upper body. So if you want to stretch your arms down by your sides, that might feel relaxed.

You also bring the hands to the belly or the heart of both, all right, as long as you're in a place where they're not as active, right, there's like less effort, all right, and for the legs, if you can press out through the heels a little bit, it might feel good to flex back through your toes, but feel as if you can lay the back of your thighs down, like the whole back of the leg, you can kind of press into the mat, and then just let that be a place of focus for a moment, all right, letting your attention just rest on the thighs, the back of the hips, everything in the legs. All right, take that in for one more breath, deep inhale. Nice smooth exhale. All right, now we're going to transition. So bend your knees until the bottom of the feet is on the mat, right, and start with the right leg first.

So as we begin, I just want you to stretch your right leg straight up towards the ceiling, okay. And then resist that urge to grab the leg with the hands and even press the floor, like I want the leg to be able to work on its own, okay, so feel that, right, stretch your bottom leg down on the mat, all right, and then just bring in a little more awareness to the back of the leg, feel that you can create that same length as we did as we started. So press the heel to the ceiling, right, flex your toes a little back towards your body, and then again, just focus on that awareness around the back of that right leg. Feel that work through the leg one more time, and if you can, stretch up through the heel a little bit more. Take a deep inhale, exhale, right foot finds the mat, good, all right, pause for a moment, you could also pull that left leg back in and just take that grace in between, okay.

Same thing on the left side, all right, shift the weight, shift the weight, you're already there, stretch your left leg up towards the ceiling, good, okay, and again, just take a moment just to engage a bit and just lengthen the backside of that leg, and then when you feel open, kick that right leg out, okay, and again, resisting that urge, again, to pull and help, you want that leg, you want to feel that effort, and again, just let your mind rest on that length, kick through the heel, good, all right, try to relax a little more of your lower back, let everything kind of stay grounded, all right, and then take a deep inhale, kick up, nice, exhale, left foot finds the mat, all right, pause for a moment, again, let it register, good, and then you're gonna slowly transition to down dog when you're ready, nice, all right, and then just taking an extra moment in your down dog again, just to settle in, all right, keeping things really simple, again, just to wake up the body, so if you want, start with the legs, all right, pressing out through the heels, especially today, like we're getting into the back of the legs and the fronts of the hips, so just allowing yourself to, again, press down through the heels, lengthen through the backside, all right, feel a little bit of space if you kind of want to rock the body forward to open up the fronts of the hips as well, send the hips a little higher, all right, and then just keeping that motion, move what feels nice to me, nice, okay, and then from here, bend your knees, look forward, all right, and you're gonna slowly walk the feet in between both ends, all right, taking these first few moments to just be gentle, all right, be easy, if you want to jump, you go for it, but we'll have time for that, okay, and for a moment, soften upper body, okay, noticing all those parts in your body where you're holding effort and tension, if you can feel that space to just release for a bit, let that go, all right, and it might feel nice to kind of take the legs into the motion, so if you want, bend both knees, you can start to work the hips a little left to right, just to open legs, and as you sway your upper body, all right, it might also feel good to shake the head a little yes and no just to release the neck as well, nice, okay, and from here, you're gonna inhale into half lift, hands to the thighs or the calves if that feels a little more supportive, right, and even in half lift, I want you to take that attention to those legs, okay, feel that you can press the thighs, the front of the hips, back a little bit, and then you want to engage and lengthen the backs of the legs a bit more, so again, thighs press back, hips work back, heart forward, all right, keep that awareness, take a deep inhale in, exhale fold, let the body relax and come down, thanks, okay, next inhale, you're gonna stand all the way up, stretch the arms over the head, nice, as you exhale, mountain hands to the sides of your body, tadasana, okay, so feel it for a moment that you can pause for a breath, all right, bring the focus back in, take a deep inhale in, exhale, soften the body, feel the space in the back of the legs, all right, do that one more time, take a deep inhale in, good, as you exhale, keep that open, keep that release, soften, okay, so we're gonna take salutations just to pair that breath with a little bit of movement, but also keeping that focus on lengthening and engaging backs and legs, okay, so one more time, as you inhale, stretch arms forward and up, good, and as you exhale, take the upper body over the legs, but again, feel that you can open up through the back of those hips, all right, as you inhale, come into a half lift, heart folding up, press the thighs and hips back, exhale, forward fold, let the body relax, you're gonna soften one more time, good, all right, inhale, stand all the way up, stretch the arms over the head, good, as you exhale, take the hands to the sides of your body, good, okay, do that one more time, try to breathe deeper, inhale, big breath to the top, good, as you exhale, see if you can find a little more length on the out breath, all right, take your time, good, as you inhale, half lift, open up the backs of the legs, good, as you exhale, fold and relax, that's nice, y'all, okay, do that one more time, inhale, stand all the way up, big stretch over head, nice, as you exhale, release the hands, all right, last one, if it feels good, you might close your eyes, okay, inhale, stretch the arms forward and up, nice, as you exhale, keep that space behind the legs, let your heart reach forward, good, as you inhale, half lift, lift the belly off the front of the hips for a bit, good, as you exhale, fold, we relax, good, all right, inhale, stand all the way up for mountain, take as much time as you need, nice, exhale, hands to the sides of the body, okay, keeping that focus on the breath, just one sunné, keeping that same rhythm, right, inhale, arms forward and up, nice, as you exhale, take the body forward and down, staying in that pace, okay, inhale for half lift, nice, as you exhale, take both hands to the mat, step both feet back, and again, we're pausing in plank pose, okay, so if anybody who needs it, you can always come down to the knees to support that plank if you can, but again, if you can keep up with the theme of just back of the legs open, hips lifted, straighten that out, okay, take a deep inhale, exhale, come down halfway, all right, dog inhale over the toes, lift your heart forward and up, and then as you exhale, down dog, tuck your toes, hips come high one more time, nice, okay, so from down dog, take a little baby step forward, right, not like all the way up to the top of the mat, but just like a little half step to the top, and then feel here, right, that you can press your heels down into the mat, and then lift the fronts of your feet up, so the toes lift up off the mat, maybe a little bit of the ball lift, if you can, okay, keeping that, press the thighs back a little bit, so the back of the legs again, lengthen, and then push into the hands, try to send the hips a little higher to the ceiling, so once again, noticing the length through the back of those legs, keep that effort, breathe into the leg and hip, nice, okay, from here as you exhale, bend your knees looking between the hands, and then slowly walk or hop, your choice, slowly take your time to around, all right, forward fold, as you inhale, half lift, open up, good, exhale, soften, we relax and let go, as you inhale, stand tall, take as much time as you need, nice, and as you exhale, let the hands relax to the sides, okay, keeping that rhythm one more time, inhale, arms over the head, nice, as you exhale, fold, follow the breath on the way down, good, inhale, half lift, let the shoulders come back a little bit, okay, good, as you exhale, both hands to the mat, step both feet back, and then from here on out, you're going to take the flow, that feels nice, so if you want to come halfway, up dog, down dog, similar to how we started, you can, right, if it feels a little better, you can skip the flow, or if it feels a little better to kind of take something on the belly or variation, this is your practice at the end of the day, okay, take a moment in your down dog, smooth in the breath, if you want to take that little baby step to the top, and then get the back of the legs to open, feel free, so as you inhale, stretch your right leg up and back, all right, and if you can, open up the front of your hip towards the right side of your mat, and then take a moment just to pull that heel in really close to your glute, like so much so, like you can feel the front of your hip flex a little bit, try to keep that attention there, right, if you can, it might feel good to keep that and make some big circles, or you might let that go a little bit just to feel anything that's a little more desired in that hip, nice, okay, and as you inhale, stretch your top leg back, good, as you exhale, step forward in between the hands, and then set up as if you're taking low lunge, so that back knee is going to come down to the mat, but instead of like, like normal low lunge, chest up, you're going to take a half split Hanuman, okay, so straightening out through that front leg, and if you want to use blocks to support this, welcome to it, right, same idea, just let them kind of bring the floor closer to you, all right, but on both sides of that front leg you're going to give yourself that support, all right, and then instead of like locking your knee straight, I want you to give yourself a little micro bend, and it feel here that you can press your heel down into the mat, and create the effort of dragging back through that front leg, okay, so you feel a little more that engagement in that right leg, I want you to keep that, and then straighten your leg any amount that you can, good, okay, keep your awareness here, you can let your mind kind of just rest on that sensation, feel here that you can engage that right leg, and you can focus all your awareness on those sensations, nice, all right, take a nice deep inhaling, good, as you exhale bend forward onto that front foot, step back for your down dog, okay, flowing if you like, so if you want to pass through up dog halfway down, inhale up dog, exhale down dog, all right, and the same idea if it feels better throughout the sequence to kind of move in a different way, you got some space, all right, inhale left leg up and back, good, and then bend your knee, turn your hip open towards the left, all right, keeping a little bit of that squeeze again if we can, so again heel is pulling into the glute as best as possible, and then with that you move the hip, nice, okay, inhale stretch the top leg back, right, exhale step forward as if you're taking a low lunge, all right, but again we're just going to straighten through that front leg for half split, nice, okay, so again support yourself, right, like if that's necessary don't shy away, all right, take what you need, and in a similar vibe, okay, try not to make a habit out of locking your knee, I want you to make that space, all right, and then push your heel into the mat, create that effort, pull back, good, any amount that you can, straighten through the knee, but keep that awareness and keep that work on that front leg, good, all right, if it helps you can close your eyes, right, and then just allowing whatever is happening in your leg to take your focus, try not to get caught up in anything else, all right, stay in with that work in that leg, good, press the floor one more time, take an inhale, maybe heart lifts up, good, as you exhale bend into your knee, down dog, we step back, nice, okay, taking the flow or whatever feels nice, nice, all right, down dog, take a moment, okay, remind yourself exhales you can let go, feel that awareness, feel that energy, good, all right, from here bend your knees, look forward, all right, slowly walk or hop to the top, good y'all, all right, inhale for a half lift, exhale to release the body one more time, nice, as you inhale stand all the way up, exhale let the hands rest by the sides, all right, pause it for a moment just to ground your awareness, take a deep inhale, exhale feel the release in the body, good, nice everyone, so we're going to move to a balancing pose, and my hope more than anything is just for us to engage this front hip a little bit more, but also maintain that length in that engagement in the back of the leg that we've been working with in in the class so far, okay, so shift the weight over to the right foot, right, bend your left knee up and into the chest, so much so that it's about hip level, okay, like if you can throughout this process, like I don't mind how high you kick this leg, but if you can try to keep it above hip level and just straighten it as much as you can, good with me, okay, so hands at the heart, unless you want to be a little sassy, hands on the hips, cool, all right, ground through your right leg, all right, take a big inhale, and as you exhale extend that left leg as straight as you can, nice, okay, do that one more time, inhale pull left leg back in, exhale as straight as you can, number two, good, last one, inhale pull it back in, exhale straight, and again just focusing on length, back of that leg, kick the heel out, flex your toes back to you, you got two seconds, a little higher if you can lift it, one, good, take a deep inhale, exhale, left foot down, all right y'all, okay, trust me, I'm up here doing it too, so lifting legs are a thing, okay, when you're ready shift the weight over to your left side, so you're going to shift all the way over again, just ground yourself, okay, and then bend the right knee up, okay, feel for a moment that you can stabilizing that standing leg, but again you want to pull the leg, excuse me, pull the right leg up, keep that height, okay, deep inhale press the left leg, exhale straighten, okay, good, one more time, inhale pull it back up and in, feel this work on this top thigh, exhale straight and kick, go one more time, inhale pull it back in, exhale straight, and again just hold your focus, right, three seconds, you're just maintaining that right leg, two, a little higher, feel the front in the hip, feel the back, inhale, exhale right foot down, nice y'all, pause for a moment, feel and register, all right, like you want to catch the attention when it's like tempting to go somewhere else, and then just use those sensations to keep you right here, right, stay in your body, good, all right, back into salutations, take a nice inhale, stretch the arms forward and up, nice, as you exhale come all the way down, release, as you inhale half lift, nice, as you exhale hands on the mat, step both feet back, and in your choice you can pause and down dog unless it feels great, move through your flow, nice, all right, so feeling for a moment, again maybe you baby step towards the hands, but press the heels into the floor, lift the front of your feet up and away from the mat, all right, press your chest back towards the front of your hips a little more, but then lengthen into the back sides of the legs, let the hips open up all the way through to the glute, nice, okay, inhale right leg up and back, nice, as you exhale step right foot forward in between the hands and then back heel down to the mat one more time, all right, so pyramid pose again if you want to use that block, set them up on both sides of the foot, same way we did earlier, okay, and you're going to straighten out the front leg, but keep that little micro bend similar to how we did in that first lunge, okay, so same idea, press the front foot down into the mat and then create the effort like you're trying to drag back on that front foot, okay, any amount that you can you're going to straighten through the knee and if it feels nice you can inhale heart forward a little bit more too, all right, keeping all out slowly fold in to that front leg, all right, and even though your body is still, mind might be moving, okay, fine, you're human, right, but instead of letting it go everywhere which is what it will do, maybe you set the focus right here, right, re-engage through that front leg, stay right where you are, take a deep breath in, exhale bend your front knee and then step back in a downward dog, all right, following your breath through the flow, take an inhale heart forward, exhale come halfway down, all right, up dog inhale chest lifts, good, exhale down dog hips lift, good y'all, all right, staying with the breath, don't lose it, okay, inhale left leg, exhale step left foot in between the hands, back heel down one more time, all right, one more time straighten through the front leg and if you need that support, again the block to me is like bringing the floor closer to you, so if that's crazy help yourself, okay, and then one more time, micro bend front knee, okay, freeing up the back of the leg and then push the front foot down and then continue that work through the hip of pulling back, nice, okay, any amount that you can we straighten through the knee, inhale heart forward a little bit more if possible, good, okay, so if you can that front thigh and hip try not to like relax belly there, right, if you can create a little bit of space try to draw that up and in, heart forward but notice how that hip is working, good, deep inhale, nice, exhale bend your front knee, hands to the mat, we flow, nice, all right, so from down though bend your knees look forward in between both hands, all right, and then slowly walk to the top of the mat taking as much time as you need, good y'all, all right, inhale for half lift, exhale to relax and soften, good, inhale to stand all the way up big stretch through the arms and as you exhale take the hands to the sides, good, nice everyone, so I'm actually going to turn because it'll be helpful for you to see but this next section similar to what we did in that first balance and pose, I'm not super interested in how high you get the leg today but if you can focus on just that work and keeping the awareness in the hip you're golden, okay, so starting with balancing on the right leg first you're going to shift the weight over to right foot and then bend your left knee up and into the chest, okay, and from here hands may start at the heart they might change but I want you to bring that left leg down and it starts to extend back a bit, okay, and instead of letting that left leg get way back behind you and away from you, okay, focus today on just drawing that heel back and in, okay, so you start to feel a little more of that work on that front hip and quad which is what we want, right, if you want to challenge yourself a little bit more you can think dancers pose, this is like really awkward dancers if you want to call it anything, cool, all right, but allowing yourself again to just keep that pull, left heels coming close to the glute, if you want to actively reach through the hands that might feel nice, right, focus on that front of the hip, front of the thigh, stay with that let the heart lift a little higher, good, all right, take your time, balance, draw in one more time, okay, take a deep inhale, heart lift it, exhale, slowly draw it back up and in and maybe lightly on the mat, nice, okay, second side, all right, and just keep it that smooth if possible, so like this might feel like a little bit or a lot depending on your body but just take all of it with the grain and just keep that awareness, okay, weight over to the left foot, bend your right knee up and into the chest, good, so again don't matter, you don't have to go crazy, feel this right leg work, okay, slowly draw it down and extend it back a little bit but again in, heel in, nice, okay, so again keeping that effort, maybe if you want to add the hands you can, okay, but continuously engage in that front of the hip, try to keep your mind there and breathe big, good, all right, two seconds, if you can get a little bit higher you can work to the edge that you can work at, all right, but keep that integrity, all right, take one more inhale, kick, nice, slowly pull it back up in it and as you exhale let it relax, good, all right, take a moment, you can shake that out if it feels nice, I'm a big dancer, so don't worry, okay, back on the mat, all right, back in the rhythm, take a deep inhale stretch the arms up, nice, as you exhale come all the way down we relax one more time, good, inhale for half, exhale to release the hands, back to down dog and again if it feels nice you might pass through, full flow or pause where you feel you need to pause, you know, all right, if there's anything that I can get across today it's just this idea of awareness and how you move, right, and it's something simply said but just like notice what's mechanical, right, like notice what you move through that might not be the thing you need but your mind may be telling you it is and then just notice how your body responds to it can you keep that awareness and if it's actually beneficial let it be just stop, so when you next inhale stretch the right leg up and back and as you exhale take that right foot outside of your right hand back knee down to the mat, okay, you're going to take a lizard a little wider than traditional today, okay, so instead of it just being right outside your right hand heel toe it all the way off to the side of your mat so much so that you can turn like the ball of your foot off and it's off like a 45 degree kind of angle right now, okay, and then for a moment it's not gonna be forever I want you to kick down through the top of the back foot so much so that you can lift the knee for a moment, okay, and then just feeling a little bit of that work in the back leg let your mind rest there let the heart lift up, all right, take a breath exhale back knee down, good, all right, keeping that if it feels nice continue to work through that leg you can straighten out the knee if it feels good, all right, my personal preference is that even if you're not lifting up a little bit of that press to engage the front of your hip a little bit more that's exactly what we're going for, okay, so kick into the mat lift the heart forward and up, all right, and then try to keep your awareness right there in that leg and hip and breathe with that effort, nice, okay, take one more inhale lift the heart up, right, as you exhale straighten out through the front leg so coming back to this half like Hanuman set up the way we did before but this time I want you to take your right foot off the mat, good, okay, if you want to use that block to support you instead of the block being like off to the side today excuse me for this one both of them on the inside of the leg, okay, press down through the heel and then create the effort similar to how we did earlier just pulling back back towards the back of the mat, nice, okay, continuously engage but just notice that effort and see if you can use that sensation to just ground your awareness into the leg, okay, if it feels nice you stay right here and if you want to go a little further your choice you might extend that right leg like all the way out, same idea, you might transfer the block a little bit but keeping them both on the inside of the legs and just moving into a fuller split, fuller Hanuman, all right, feel a little bit of effort through that front heel, same idea, kick through the top of the back foot, take a deep inhale, nice, all right, slowly transition using the block to support right leg step back you can come to a simple all four setup and if it feels good to transfer the down dog from here hips up and back, all right, take as much time as you need, right, and then last one inhale left leg up and back, nice, as you exhale step outside of your left hand and again a little wider than traditional so again as that back leg rest just heel toe heel toe heel toe, good, and then turn your toes off in a way, okay, all right, so setting up the hands and just moving the blocks out the way, all right, again, right inside that front leg give the top of that back leg a little kick, straighten out through the knee, nice, all right, lifting through the heart a little bit more, take a deep inhale, good, as you exhale let the back knee rest and you're going to slowly come into that half hard one set up we did before, again, just taking it out to the side a little bit more, all right, and again same idea, micro bend, all right, give yourself that, all right, press the heel down into the mat and then create that same action of drawing back a little bit to the leg, all right, slowly lengthen, taking your time, all right, blocks if you need them always welcome, all right, if you want to create full split on this side as well same idea again just keeping that left leg out so there's just like less hips running into hips, you know, all the way out, okay, same idea if you want to use blocks, use blocks and strengthen that out, nice, all right, take one last breath, press the floor with everything you have, nice, all right, slowly draw that front leg back in it, all right, come into a simple all four set up right now move the blocks out the way, nice, so from all fours I just want you to find your way onto a seat, okay, and on that seat just let both legs extend to the top of the mat, so you can take a moment if you want to like bounce the thighs a little bit, all right, but similar to how we started class I want you to take a moment and just ground the backs of your legs, okay, so pushing through the heels flex the toes towards the face a little bit, all right, and then normally in a forward fold when we take it usually we bend the knees to sometimes like support the length of the back, for today I just want you to focus on grounding through the thighs and legs, okay, and if you don't go as far not a problem keep the work in the hips, all right, so as you inhale stretch the arms up and as you exhale again pinning those thighs into the mat stretch down towards the toes and if you get to a point where the knees wants to lift that's your cue to stop, right, re-engage through the legs press the thighs down and just stretch forward if you can catch toes fine anything else you can grab to support would be just as good, okay, and again just focusing your mind on grounding through the thighs let the hips press lift the heart forward away from the mat a bit, all right, nice, take one more inhale here and as you exhale just slowly rise, all right, and you're going to lay all the way down onto your back, nice, right, and in the same way we started class if you want and to the side on the body, right, if you want to continue to open up through the back of the legs just press through the floor keep that length, all right, and for the last few moments of the class just give yourself a beat, all right, take a breath, let all the work that you've done, all right, front of the hips, back of the hips and legs just register in the body and for just a few seconds if you can just let your mind rest right there, all right, try to stay in your body without getting lost in the continuous thoughts that pass through your mind, nice, all right, take a moment, all right, you can start to slowly work the fingers start to slowly move the toes, all right, keeping things really simple, all right, gently draw the knees up into the chest, take as much time as you need, all right, you could also take the arms around both legs if that feels nice and again just allowing yourself to just soften into that, nice, okay, slowly roll over to the right side of your body, all right, again if you want to take that arm up over the head, might feel good, and it's slowly coming up to a seat, if you can keep the eyes closed, stay relaxed in the eyes, stay gentle in the body, nice, all right, taking a moment just to really feel again the efforts of your practice, all right, thank you so much for sharing with yourself, for sharing with me and everybody involved, namaste.

Comments

Lina S
7 people like this.
Thank you for this class and for the precise cueing. The "dragging" motion to engage the hamstrings proves to be useful as I tend to overextend the knees. I'll always use this in my next practices as well as the cue to bring the heel closer to the butt in the 3-legged down dog. It opens the front hip and engage the hamstrings. Can I ask you a question? What is the purpose of lifting the toes in the down dog? Is it to better feel we press down through the heels? Thank you in advance for your answer. Namaste.
Kelly B
5 people like this.
I’m loving this challenge so far! Just what I’m needing after a chaotic December that’s left me all kinds of out-of-whack. Your teaching is a delight and I’m so looking forward to the days ahead. Thank you 🙏🏻
Kate M
5 people like this.
Great challenge to head into 2023 with! Thank you, Quamay. 
Quamay S
3 people like this.
Lina S Hey Lina! First, I really appreciate your curiosity and deep inquiry to the practice. I nerd out on this stuff so it makes me happy when I feel others are thinking deeply as well.

As far as lifting toes during DownDog, the goal is to further support hamstring extension. For REALLY mobile practitioners, heels on the ground in DD can be relatively easy and they may not feel much  compared to someone with less flexibility. So to encourage more length and extension, heels pressed with the toes lifted allows the hamstrings to extend more in DD which may be more applicable to those with a deeper range of motion and looking to go deeper. I hope this answers your question! Namaste!  
Quamay S
3 people like this.
Kelly B I'm so happy to hear Kelly! I can imagine how chaotic December may have been for you especially during the holidays. Often times I believe the consistency of a Yoga practice allows me to ground when things aren't as consistent. I'm hoping that these classes continue to support and I am grateful this has made its way to you! One day at a time (Or lately I've been saying "One breath at a time") You got this! 
Quamay S
3 people like this.
Kate M You are SO SO SO SO welcome Kate!
Fabian H
1 person likes this.
Love this practice :)
Catherine R
Great practice, but what was the strap for? 
Kim I
I have really enjoyed the first two days, learning so much with your explanations and find the classes so relaxing. Thank you
Sandra Židan
Thanks, Quamay, for making me aware of my body and my feelings with your practices! Namaste! 🥰
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