Mindfulness in Motion 10-Day Yoga Challenge Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 5

Day 4: Posture and Your Pelvis

30 min - Practice


In Day 4 we explore the muscles of the glutes and the actions of the pelvis. Increasing strength, functionality, and awareness of this region can help with lower back pain and pelvic floor issues, and improve posture. We move intentionally and with awareness through lunges, Half Moon, and Bridge variations, engaging the glute muscles and exploring tilt and rotation of the pelvis. You will feel tall, focused, and ready for Day 5!
What You'll Need: Mat, Block

About This Video


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All right, hello everybody and welcome. This is day four of your 10 day yoga challenge with me. All right, in today's sequence, if you wanna grab a block for what we're gonna do, feel free to have that. You could also practice without the block, but just in case you need it, have it nearby, okay? We're gonna begin on our back today.

So lay flat down when you're ready. All right, and you need to preference how you wanna work with the legs and arms today. There's no exact way you need to set up. So if you wanna bring the bottom of your feet to the mat like me today, feel free. All right, unless you wanna stretch your legs down and extend and that's perfectly fine as well, okay?

Same thing with the hands. On the body, if that feels nice, unless you wanna relax them by your sides. I just prefer them to be in a place where they're not active, okay? And you feel for a moment that you can start your practice with a bit of stillness, all right? Before we get up into movement and we make shapes, you can just take a few breaths to just settle in.

All right, take a nice big inhale just to notice where you feel that motion. Chest, belly, lift. Good, take a nice exhale just to release anything that's held unnecessarily. Nice, okay, do that one more time. Big inhale just to fill up and light up the space inside.

Good, as you exhale, we just let go. We soften. Nice, okay. From here, take a moment. We're gonna transition, arms come down to the sides of the body, okay?

We're gonna set up for bridge pose, but for today, I want you to take your feet as wide as the mat goes, okay? So feet on the edges of the mat, literally, all right? And if you can turn your toes out maybe like 45 degrees, nothing specific, but just a little slight turnout so your feet are like angled off the mat, okay? And then feel for a moment that you can take a deep breath in. And then as you exhale, lift the hips up and away for bridge pose, okay?

So if you gotta wiggle the arms underneath the body, feel free, get your shoulders underneath. You could also interlace the fingers underneath the back if that feels good to catch that grip, okay? More importantly, if you can feel, I want you to notice this work through the glutes, okay? So feel even here, you can squeeze glutes a little bit like you can engage that bottom part of the body. And because you engage, press the hips a little high to the ceiling with that support, okay?

So the front of your pelvis is gonna open up to the ceiling, but with that help of the bottom side, okay? Feel that for a moment, push through the feet, squeeze bottom to lift up top. Nice, take one more big inhale. Nice, as you exhale, come all the way down, let the back relax and just take a moment in that space. Nice, okay?

Take your time, we're gonna transition into down dog, your speed, okay? Nice. All right, so take a moment in your down dog, all right? And especially if this is like first big movement or shape of the day, let this be something that you gradually invite into the body, right? Just the simple movement, nothing too forced, nothing too crazy, all right?

Pedaling out the heels if that feels nice in the legs, you could also bend the knees as deep as you like, all right? I've been a fan of like pressing chest back towards my thighs, so if it feels good, bend the knees, lift the hips up, however you need to greet the body, let that be welcome to that, nice. All right, and from here, bend your knees, look forward in between both hands, and then slowly walk your feet to the top of the mat for your forward fold and just let your body hang heavy once you arrive, good, all right? And then just feel that space throughout the body, right? Like invite this sense of release, right?

Like practice that effortless space in your yoga, right? Just heavy, all right? And if it feels good, you can continue that light movement, so bending through the knees, taking the hips a little left to right if that works and the low back and legs, right? Upper body if you wanna sway, maybe you grab your elbows, you can let your spine kind of lengthen to the floor, there you go, yeah, all right? Shake your head a little, yes and no, invite some of that movement into the neck as well, but just again, opening body making room, good.

All right, next inhale, you're gonna come into a half lift, so hands to your thighs and your calves if that feels comfortable, and then feel that you can work your heart forward, but you're pressing the thighs and hips back behind you, so it's kind of like a counter action, you know? And then take a deep inhale, let the belly pull in a bit, and as you exhale, fold forward, let the body relax and let go, good. All right, next inhale, stand all the way up, stretch the arms forward and up overhead for mountain, and as you exhale, take the hands to the sides of the body, tatasana, we pause, good, okay? Pause it for a moment just to pull your mind back into your breath, take a big inhale in, nice, smooth exhale out, good. Now do that one more time just to feel, all right?

Big inhale, let the heart lift, everything fills up, good, as you exhale, just relax the shoulders, soften the unnecessary work, good, okay? So keeping that focus on the breath, we move through salutations, just to pair that with movement, okay? So one more time, as you inhale, arms forward and up, big stretch towards the ceiling, good. As you exhale, fold forward, let the body relax over the legs, good, right? As you inhale, half lift, heart forward, thighs back, good, as you exhale, fold and release, heavy in the body, good, all right, next inhale, stand all the way up, big stretch and reach, nice.

As you exhale, let the hands relax by your sides, nice, okay? Same thing, just breathe a little deeper if you can, okay? Inhale, arms forward and up. As you exhale, try to extend breath on the way down, so take a little more time than you might normally move through, all right? As you inhale, half lift, take a big moment at the top, exhale, forward, fold, take a little moment at the bottom of the breath as well, good.

Next inhale, stand all the way up, try to slow down as you stretch out, nice. Exhale, hands to the sides of the body, okay? One more time, if you wanna close your eyes, that might feel good today, okay, one more time. Inhale, arms forward and up, nice. As you exhale, try to feel that release, right?

The neck is relaxed, the arms can be heavy for a moment, soften, good, as you inhale, half lift, press the feet into the mat, lift the heart, good. As you exhale, we soften, as soft as you can be in the body, here we go, all right, next inhale, stand all the way up, feel that stretch all the way through your arms and the fingers, nice. Exhale, hands to the sides of your body, okay? So keeping that rhythm, we're gonna take one sun A, but just feeling again that pace and rhythm of the breath that we're gonna carry through practice, okay? One more time, inhale, arms forward and up, nice.

As you exhale, fold, let the body soften over front, so legs, here we go, all right, inhale for half lift, nice. As you exhale, hands to the mat, we're gonna step both feet back this time, right? We pause in plank, okay? If anybody who needs it, knees can come down to the mat to support plank, it also might help you through any flow that you feel you need a little more support with as well, okay? If you have it, keep the legs straight, all right?

Spread the fingers a little more into the hands and then try to push the mat away, right? Lift that up, good, okay? Inhale, exhale, come halfway down, all right? Up dog, you're gonna inhale over the toes, lift the heart forward and up, let the shoulders roll back and down. And as you exhale, down dog, hips up, nice, all right?

Pause it for a moment, take this time to just slow down a little bit in the breath. All right, see if you can use the sensations of your body to ground your focus and attention, okay? So just stand in the body, especially the breath, especially everything we work through today, all right? You're gonna bend your knees, look forward, nice. And then slowly walk our heart to the top of the mat, your choice of how you travel, right?

And once you arrive, soften for a breath, good. Inhale, half lift, exhale, soften one more time, good. All right, one more time, inhale all the way up to standing. Exhale, hands to the side, now in pose, good. Okay, so just let your breath be a guide of how we move there, all right?

It's just rhythm and pace, all right, last one. Inhale, arms forward and up, nice. As you exhale, fold, relax the body and let go, good. Inhale for a half lift, good. Exhale, hands to the mat, step both feet back.

And then from here on out, from down dog, if you wanna take a full flow, you can, right? If it feels a little better, skipping the flow might be exactly what your body needs. And if that's the case, listen to your body, all right? That's why we're here. Nice, so as you arrive in down dog, take a moment to just remind yourself how deep you can breathe, all right?

Let that length just creep back into the rhythm of your breath. And then remind yourself that the shoulders can relax a little bit more, soften that effort so you can release the neck as well, nice, okay? When you're ready, for me, you're gonna inhale left leg up and back, and then as you exhale, step forward in between both hands, all right? Bring your back knee down to the mat to set up for low lunge and then release the back toes, okay, and instead of low lunge being arms forward and up today just for a moment, I want you to bring your body weight back so you're a little more stacked on that back knee and you're gonna curl your front foot a little more towards the top of the mat, good, okay? And from here, right hand is gonna come towards your right glute, okay?

And if feel that you can engage, you squeeze your glute muscle a little bit and as if you're trying to like lift the front rim of your pelvis, right? Lift through that front rim, curl, do the tailbone a little bit more and kind of give yourself that squeeze glute pelvis area, okay? Keep that effort, kick down into your back foot to lock it in and then we're gonna slowly take that down and into the lunge to get all that front hip pelvis in the glute to work as well, okay? Keep that effort, arms over the head, nice, okay? And then just remind yourself, right?

There's work to do here. So if you want, keep pressing down through that back foot and let your mind just rest on this feeling, right? Close your eyes if that's supportive, but allow yourself to feel. Glute work, pelvis lift, nice, okay? Kick the floor away, take a deep inhale, stretch the arms forward and up, nice.

As you exhale, hands on the mat, down dog, we're gonna step it back, y'all, right? Flow and do whatever flow feels nice. So inhale, chest over the hands, right? Halfway down, up dog, down dog. If you wanna come to the belly, excuse me, that's another option.

It's a great one to choose as well. All right, take a moment. Keep the length in your breath, nice, right? So next inhale, right leg lifts up and back. And as you exhale, step forward in between both hands, right, setting up the low lunge again, back knee down, release the toes.

But again, that upper body is gonna come back a lot more, okay? It's gonna stack in on that back knee, crawl that front foot a little more towards the top and take left hand or left glute. Literally just to feel like sensory feedback, not to just have you, you know, okay? So squeeze the glute muscle, feel that engagement, feel that work, okay? And then with that lock, curl through the tail, right?

You're lifting that front rim of the pelvis a little high to make that space and squeeze, okay? And then kick down into your back foot, lock it all in, and we take it forward, good. Okay, so instead of like lunge being this forward and like arch thing, think upright, and then engage glutes and pelvis, good. Arms over the head, all right? Feel the work is here, it's not up here, it's often, okay?

Keep that mind on that back leg, work and engagement, squeeze through the glute and squeeze that thigh. Good, kick down into the mat, take a deep breath as you stretch up. Nice, exhale, hands relax, down dog, step back. All right, so as you inhale, left leg stretches up and back. And as you exhale, step forward in between both hands for warrior two, back heel is gonna twist down on the mat, okay?

So heart lifts up, arms stretched out to the sides, and you're feeling for a moment that you can settle, right? Take a big breath here and just notice the shape of warrior two. Nice, okay, so similar idea, right? Even in warrior two, I want you to feel glutes work, I want you to feel pelvis open, okay? So feel glutes engaged, right?

You might give yourself that same kind of like feedback if you wanna like bring hands back, and then you're gonna curl under so much so that you can make more space from the front part of your hip and pelvis, okay? So just roll it underneath, there we go, okay? Keep that, and in as much space across the pelvis, a much space across, excuse me, as much space across the chest as you can, okay? Reach through the arms a bit more. Feel that softening across the shoulders as well, okay?

So from here, if you wanna grab a block to support this next pose, perfectly fine. We're gonna move into half moon, so usually I set the block up like a few inches like above my front foot, all right? So take your time, set that up if that's what you need, okay? And then from here, you're gonna bend that front knee a little bit more, take the left hand either to the mat or that block, all right? And then floating off that back leg, we're gonna come into half moon, all right?

So the same idea here, especially in that top leg, right? Right hand might come to the glute to feel, okay? But again, you're making that effort to squeeze through the glute. Similar to warrior two, you're not closing off the front of the pelvis, right? We're rolling that hip open so we can find as much space across the front of the pelvis as we can, all right?

And that same idea of squeezing the glute and kind of pressing hips forward, same engagement, same feeling, okay? Extend that top leg if you can and then a little more active in that top arm, nice. Take a deep inhale, reach up, good. As you exhale, bend the knee, support that, yes, okay? So the back foot finds the mat a little more easier.

Take an inhale, stretch across the chest and as you exhale, hands to the mat, flow it out, good idea, all right? So again, option, if you wanna pause, you can take your breath here instead, right? If you wanna flow, take as much time as you need. Nice, okay? Second side, inhale, right leg up and back, good.

As you exhale, step forward in between the hands, right? Back heel down, warrior two, nice, okay? So feel even here, you might notice it a lot more, okay? This like hips kind of arching so there's a back bend, we don't want too much, see? So feeling again, that squeeze through the glutes, they're engaging big and then we're curling underneath, right, feel that effort of like rolling the pelvis, front hip of the pelvis up, okay, and then heart open.

Feel the shoulders soften across the back a little bit more, okay? So from warrior two, you're gonna take a deep inhale. Now as you exhale, take that front hand down to the mat for half moon and again, mat is fine unless you feel comfortable with the hand on the block and just take this over this way for me, all right? And you're gonna lean a little more into that front foot and then slowly float into balance, all right? Top leg lifts up, okay?

If anything, if you're using your hand, I don't want you to rest on the hand again, it's there to support more than it is to be like working, okay? So feel free to like use your standing leg, literally, okay? Turn that top hip open so again, you're open in the front rim of the pelvis and then that squeeze through the glute, I want you to engage and then press the hips forward a bit more. Nice, take a deep inhale, stretch open through that top arm. Nice, and as you exhale, bend the knee.

Toes find the mat for warrior two, good. Take a deep inhale just to settle. And as you exhale, hands to the mat, we flow or we pause. All right, take as much time as you need in each of those moments. Nice, right, slowing down for a moment.

Remind yourself how deep you can breathe, okay? So once again, lead it with left leg, take a deep inhale, left leg stretches up. Now as you exhale, you're gonna step the foot forward in between the hands for high lunge so your back leg is gonna stay straight, all right? And then hands come up to the heart for a moment, okay? So feeling for a moment, again, we can settle.

We're not trying to rush to the next thing but there's a pause, we can breathe. Keep that mindfulness, okay? And then similar to what we did earlier in low lunge, I want you to take a bend in that back knee and a similar vibe, right hand is gonna come to right glute and then squeeze the glute muscle so you feel that support and engagement. And then the same idea of lifting the front rim, curl, yes. Feel that kind of space and lift through the front of the pelvis as well, with that engagement, right?

Lock that, straighten through the back knee and then drop, good, okay? So again, all that's working to support high lunge, you wanna keep that arms over the head, right? If it feels nice, close us, right? You can let the mind rest again, right here. So it's not just jumping around from thing to thing, right?

You have a target, you have some space to rest that focus. All right, soften the shoulders for a breath. You're gonna take a deep inhale, reach up, maybe back. Good, y'all, all right, exhale, hands to the mat. Down dog, we step back.

All right, take the flow or whatever feels supportive. All right, at the end of the day, this is your practice, okay? So I'm supporting, I'm sharing, taking on a little journey, all right, but it's you, all right? What you feel in your experience, all right? One more time, inhale, right leg up and back.

Nice, as you exhale, step forward in between the hands. High lunge set up, back leg up, back heel high. Hands at the heart, good, right, settle, right? Remind yourself the length of the exhale, let that soften you. Good, all right, same idea.

Bend your left knee, left hand, left glute, good. Squeeze that muscle so it's a little more supportive and engaged, and again, we just lift, good y'all. That curl in action, right? Feel that like a real tuck under kind of tilt in that pelvis tilt, okay? And then from here, straighten out the leg.

Good, all right, drop a little bit if that feels nice, but again, just keep that engagement in the hips and glute. All right, and then stretch into the arms, feel active. Right, like you can carry that energy from here, up through the body, okay? Take a deep inhale and reach. Nice, exhale, pass through the heart, down dog.

We flip. Nice, y'all, and then just catch up with that rhythm, right? Everything is in sync, every movement is to a breath. Nice, nothing to rush, nothing to force. Nice, y'all.

Okay, so from here, you're gonna find your way onto your back again, all right? So I'm just gonna adjust myself, all right? And then setting up for bridge pose one more time, right? Bend both knees, bring the bottoms of your feet to the mat. You're gonna take the feet about as wide as the mat goes today.

Good, okay, turn on the feet a little bit. So again, those toes are like slightly out. You can even take them off the mat, it's my jam, okay? And then one more time, you're gonna inhale. And as you exhale, press the hips up and away from the mat, good, okay?

So take whatever grip feels nice again. If you need to wiggle those arms underneath, you can. And it weights the fingers if that feels a little more supportive. And in the same idea, we're gonna engage glutes. So feel that squeeze firm, and then let that press the front of the pelvis up towards the ceiling.

Nice, okay? And a little different from what we did the first time, little more of a challenge, okay? You got it, all right? Shift away into your left foot. Right leg is gonna lift straight up off the mat, okay?

So you took one of your pillars of balance off. That left leg and glute has to work a little more, and that's what we want, okay? So push the floor away, squeeze and work through that glute, and then find that space in the front part of your pelvis. Good, take a deep inhale, lift. Exhale all the way down.

Nice, okay? Hands can rest in your body or by the side. It feels comfortable, but allow yourself to really rest. All right, practice the rest. All right, and then just notice what your mind likes to attach itself to when there's not much going on.

Again, if you can stay present, maybe the breath keeps you here, just feel. What's the after effect of diving deeply into my glutes and pelvis, right? Like what is the feeling there at the end? All right, one more time. Feet wide if they kinda got a little closer, right?

Turn the toes out, take a deep inhale. Exhale, hips up. Good, okay? Same idea, just feel that recruitment before you lift, and then wait into the right foot. Left leg straighten out, okay?

So again, right leg has to work. We want that. Squeeze, lift. Good, y'all. Pelvis open, take a deep inhale, lift.

Good, all the way down. Hips relax, soles of your feet together for a moment. Let the knees open up for baddha konasana. Good, what's the after effect? All right, where does your mind like to go if you're not telling it where to go?

All right, and if it's helpful to tell it where to go, where in your body can you rest? Today we're working on glutes. What does that feel like? All right, how does your pelvis feel after a few movements? Nice, all right, keep that focus.

Knees come together, draw both legs up and into the chest. You're gonna take the hands to the knees, right? And if you feel for a moment, you can make a few small circles, right? So imagine you can massage your lower back. You can press your sacrum a little deeper into the mat.

And it might feel good with the knees together unless you want to take the knees apart and you can separate and take them in different directions. All right, but feel that for a moment. Nice, all right, and then keep the right knee into the chest, stretch your left leg down onto the mat so it relaxes, and you're gonna interlace the fingers on the top of that right knee. Good, okay, soften through the shoulders, soften through the upper body a little bit more. So the head relaxes, okay?

Take a deep inhale, and as you exhale, squeeze the knee a little tighter into your chest. Good, okay, do that one more time. Inhale, exhale, we squeeze, squeeze, squeeze, squeeze. Nice, and then twisting over to the left, take that leg all the way over to the opposite side. Nice, okay, if it's possible, I'd want you to stretch your right arm out a little bit more so your right shoulder and upper body can relax a bit as well.

All right, and just feel that space. All right, remind yourself that this is a spot you can breathe big as well. Good, all right, take a big inhale. Good, as you exhale, slowly come onto the back, take that right knee into your heart one more time, and then just feel that for a breath. Big inhale, exhale, squeeze one last time.

Nice, okay, then we switch. So your right leg is gonna come down, your left leg is gonna come up and in, in the same grip, okay, and it lays on top of the knee, and then soften everything else that isn't active, right? Like feel that difference, right? Something work, some things work, excuse me, and if some things really don't have to, but we might have that common tendency to be tense, you know? Take a deep inhale, exhale, we squeeze, good y'all.

Okay, one more time, deep breath in, exhale, squeeze, and pull, good, twist over to the right this time. All right, so again, if you can extend, you might not have the space, you could bend your elbow, that's fine as well. Right, but I just want you to feel top body, soften, relax. Okay, nice, okay, take a deep inhale, one more time. Nice, exhale, come on to the back one more time.

All right, feeling that for a breath, and at least the fingers take one inhale. Good, as you exhale, squeeze, nice, y'all, and then release the leg down to the mat, final, final Shavasana, okay? So again, your preference, right? You can be stretched out and relax if the legs wants to kick out, so you want to bring the arms by your sides. All right, or maybe bend your knees, right?

Bottom of your feet to the mat, hands could also rest on the body, just know. Got options, okay? Whatever feels like a space where there is no effort, please allow yourself to rest there, right? And then just settle your focus on the feelings in your body. After moving through a set of poses, what does the space in the lower half of your body feel like?

All right, let the breath be big, let this be a spot to pause. All right. Nice. All right, if you can let the next few breaths just be a little more extended on the exhale. All right, and just let your body feel that release a few more times before we move.

All right, and then slow movement just to bring motion back into the body. All right, toes might flex, fingers might move just to bring some subtle feeling in. All right, you could also rock the head a little left or right on the mat, that might feel nice up top along your neck as well. All right, you're going to gently draw the knees up into the chest, give yourself a tight squeeze around both legs. All right, feel here that you don't have to carry so much like tension either, you can squeeze and still let the body be relaxed.

All right, and when you're ready, roll over to the right side to pause. All right, so feeling that space, the head could rest on the right arm if that's what feels comfortable. Nice, all right, and you're going to slowly press up to a seat. All right, try to keep your eyes closed if possible, stay soft in the body, stay gentle. All right, your hands can rest on the thighs and the knees unless it feels good to bring the palms together, you got the heart up top.

All right, and just taking in this moment, I'm just super grateful to have shared with you and also just had this space to kind of connect through a practice that I'd assume we enjoy. All right, thank you so much for practicing, thank you so much for sharing. Namaste.


Kate M
5 people like this.
Interesting work! I have a kind of technical question: 
High lunge, right leg forward:
Right glute is being stretched, left glute engages as left hip is in extension.
Q: you are asking for a contraction of the right glute as well, which is stretching? So it's kind of counter to what is happening in that right glute? So it will be both stretching and engaging - like an isometric engagement (I think it's called)?
: ) Thanks again for the guidance, Quamay! : )
Quamay S
5 people like this.
Kate M I LOVE these questions! 

You are correct, we are stretching AND engaging. You can think of it as a Co-Contraction. You can do this Isometrically and Eccentrically. Traditionally when we move through asana, we are usually working in a way where we are either Lengthening/Engaging one muscle and by default the muscle on the opposite side does the opposite (i.e in a bicep curl your bicep engages while your tricep lengthens). So when we work in a way that engages the muscles WHILE THEY ARE BEING LENGTHENED, we create a co-contraction that not only produces length, but also strength in that lengthened position. Which means we create more stability and support for our bodies as we move through our full range. Something we don't get when we passively stretch. I hope that answered your question! You are SO SO welcome Kate. I can not say it enough!
Kate M
2 people like this.
Thank you so much for this detailed explanation, Quamay S ! I think I get it now...!
Jenny S
5 people like this.
These practices are a godsend during my annual post-holiday crash and burn…the guidance you provide during the asanas takes my mind off “chatter mode” and your relaxing voice puts my whole body at ease. Thank you for this wonderful gift Quamay 🙏🏻✨
Michelle F
2 people like this.
Happy 2023 Quamay!
Wow this session passed in a flash and left a wonderful aftertaste! Thank you!
Have a great day
Christel B
1 person likes this.
Wonderful session! That glute work is so important.
Oana P
1 person likes this.
thx a lot for this wonderful practice.namaste
Sandra Židan
Beautiful practice! Thanks, Quamay! Namaste! 🥰
Robin L
Love the cues - really helps me understand the poses better. 
Kit & Dee Dee
Fabulous challenge to rediscover. Thanks!

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