Keepin' it Real Artwork
Season 6 - Episode 5

Chill and Refreshed

35 min - Practice


Loosen tension and restore your energy in this chill, slow-moving stretch class. We stay low on our mats, focusing on the breath and quieting the mind as we take our time in easy restorative poses and passive stretches. You will feel soft, refreshed, and rejuvenated.
What You'll Need: Mat, Round Bolster, Block (2)

About This Video


Read Full Transcript

Hey there, welcome to Yoga Anytime, my name is Robert and I am really, really, really grateful to be able to offer this type of practice for you. This is like a stress relief stretch class that I personally think a lot of us could use, you know, just with how busy we are, how attached we are to our phones and to just things and stuff and how rare we get the opportunity to just really, genuinely slow down. So that's what we're going to do, we're going to move through a few different poses. And you know, if you feel like staying longer in any of the poses or a little shorter or you need to adjust, please do so some will hold for a couple minutes. I suggest having two blocks and a bolster, pillows work, anything that sort of like can prop up.

So that's the story, let's, let's move through the practice. So we're going to start in a child's pose. And the child's pose is going to be with this, this bolster. So the bolster can kind of just anything that's going to lift up so that you don't have to go down as far and work as hard, let's say. So push your hips back as far as they go, or as they will go.

If you need any kind of something underneath your seat, because your knees are cranky, put something there, pillow works, then start to work your way into child's pose. You can put a cheek down, put your forehead down, could stack your hands and place your head on your hands. Like what would feel the most supportive for you? And start to work with your breath a bit, focusing primarily on the long, extended exhalations. Anything that might be bothering you, agitating you from your day or from your prior day.

It doesn't mean that's the main answer and you're just going to let it go with the breath, but it could be a good start to just kind of free up some space in your mind and body. So give some intimate attention to your breath. If you can, the preferred breathing pattern is always through the nose, especially the inhalation. And the exhale is just like, let it pass, let it go. We'll be here another minute or so, if it's helpful because your mind is racing to count to a specific number on your inhale and your exhale.

Try that. Or maybe a mantra, a word or phrase you repeat, inhale, I'm breathing in, exhale, I am breathing out. As we begin to consider the exit, see if you can continue to work on just really nice, really nice, easy breath pattern, consciously exhaling longer than your inhales. Start to press yourself up, move the bolster out of the way for a moment and let's move into tabletop. From tabletop, go ahead and just stretch your right leg long and then stretch the left leg long, just to kind of open up the backs of the legs.

Stretch the right leg long once again, just add a nice little twist, reaching the left arm up, opening the chest to the left, bring the left hand down, shoot the left leg back and twist open, breathing in as you open up, breathing out as you exit down, curl your toes under and push the hips back just to kind of like wander into a toe stretch and hip stretch. You can bring your hands a little bit further towards your knees and turn your fingertips back, wrist stretch. Maybe you can just, you know, you've carved out the time for this specific class to see if you can really drop in and not feel like you're in a rush to get this done. When you do get into that mindset, stop, pause, reset with a deep breath. Turn your hands over the other way, one at a time or two at a time, depending on what's available.

Just a little wrist attention. Let's explore downward dog. Take the fingers forward, but turn them out a little bit. Left hand turns open to the left, right hand turns open to the right. Downward dog.

So use just enough stability to hold yourself in the shape and, you know, to wander around in the posture, bending your right leg a lot, like almost at your, you know, so you're just on your toes of the right foot. Send your left heel in toward the center of the mat and then shoot your hips to the right. Then try that on the other side, straighten out your right leg, shoot the right heel in so your right foot is like angled. Bend your left leg and then send the hips to the left, your hips are to the left, but up and back also, exhale, tabletop. Exhale your way into cow pose.

Exhale cat. You've got all day to do this. That's the attitude that I would encourage. Extend the moment. Exhale cat.

Am I extending the breath, expanding the breath? Move a little bit or a lot, like maybe through some hip circles. There's this really nice, very basic, I think, true quote about the breath, you know, expand your breath, expand your life or extend your breath, extend your life. We're going to thread the needle, so that's like a shoulder stretch, right? So come forward in between table and child's pose, somewhere in between there and let's get that right arm underneath the left, palm facing up, slide it over as far as it will go, trying to ground the right shoulder.

Stretch the left arm as far forward as you can and again, just kind of like cruise around. Where's the stretch? Where's the space I can like soften into? Then just simply be quiet mind. Let's try the other side, exit out and just kind of groove your way.

I'm going to do this one a little bit more toward like a child's pose. Left arm reaching out, palm facing up, stretch the right arm forward. Perfect, good, come out of there, take a nice long extended child's pose, walking your hands over to the left, pushing your right hip back. Take your left hand outside your left knee and thigh area, brace yourself as you reach even further with the right hand over to the left and you breathe into that space you're creating in the rib cage. Let's try the other side.

So your right hand is by the knee, out by the leg, the left arm stretches, stretches forward and over to the right and create that space in the torso and breathe big and full and relaxed into that area. Awesome, back to center, up into table, you can incorporate the bolster, we'll see how that feels. Let's get into lizard pose now, kind of up away from the mat just a bit. So if you take your right foot out toward the outside of your mat, put an angle on the right foot, maybe even bring it back just a tiny bit, so not all the way up to where your hand would be and then walk the hands forward, drop the left hip down as you take the right knee kind of faded open, fan or fade onto the outer blade of that right foot. Now we're really getting into the hips.

Now the bolster can be there to sort of like put your forearms on just a little extra assist, drop the hips down, if you haven't already, you can exaggerate the stretch over to the left like kind of let the left hip drop, drop, drop, drop, drop, open up the chest a little bit, maybe reach back, grab a hold of the bent left leg foot and left leg foot. Now you add that left thigh stretch. Pull in safely, so you pull the foot in, heel toward the seat, but then drop the hip, you can probably pull the foot in further the more you back away from the pose, the deeper you go there. Okay, perfect, okay, let's check out the other side, but maybe in between, keep the bolster there, take a cat cow, inhale arch the back, exhale round the back and flexing the spine. Step the left foot up and out wide, that's it, so you can see here like the foot has an angle on it, it's at the outside of the mat, bolsters there just to give you some assist, extend that right leg back a little bit more, bring the knee down, keep the whole foot, left foot firmly rooted and or open onto the outer edge of that left foot, creating more space in the hip.

So as you're fanning the left knee out to the side, simultaneously dropping the right hip down, continuing to place a lot of value on the breath. At the very least, every once in a while, just take a nice deep breath, washing away, whatever could be bothering you. Maybe nothing's bothering you, you just feel a little overworked, a little tired. Start to back away just enough to be able to grab that back foot, so bend the right leg, reach back, grab a hold of the foot, sorry my back is to you but you're involved with what you're doing so I'm sure you're okay with that. Now again, move away from it, you can pull that heel toward the seat a little bit more, drop that right hip down, don't overdo it.

Stretching is nice but it's not the only answer, we're gonna overstretch our body, okay release, back to table, let's keep the bolster right in the middle-ish of the mat, take a toe stretch for a moment, we're gonna now venture into a supported pigeon pose. So what we'll do from here is come into table, walk the right foot up toward the outside of the right mat, now cross it over toward where your left hand would be, bring your right knee down to the mat where your right hand would be and let's see, maybe you have a pillow or maybe it's not this bolster that's all the way across, maybe the bolster's just placed underneath, you can try this, the bolster's just underneath the outer hip, if you don't need the bolster, lose the bolster, you can also kind of really like lean over to the right, bend the left leg a little bit, enter more of like the yin yoga version, like a lazy pigeon pose and if the bolster's available to you or a pillow or a cushion, walk the arms out, place something you can put your forehead on to give that support, we'll stay here approximately two minutes, we're already in just a few seconds, see if you can find your spot, if you wanna slow things down, add a third part to the breath and that would be inhale, hold your breath gently without any stress or tension, just give yourself a nice breath retention, exhale when you're ready and repeat. We hear a lot about being in the moment, living in the moment and I like to think of the moments, the moments consist of the beginning of an inhale, maybe you hold the breath for a little bit, the moment is paused and then the exhale releases and at the very end of the exhale, that moment is gone, unfortunately we have another one, the blessing of an inhalation, another pause and the exhalation, the letting go, moving on. Let's give the other side a shot, got lots of options. So the exit, let's come back through a table, maybe even like take a little child's pose because why not?

Puppy pose is also pretty good. Puppy pose always feels like a prayer, a real devotional posture. So left leg forward, again if you want the bolster underneath your hips, slide it underneath the center or onto the outer edge of your hip. I'm going to lean heavily over to the left side, bend the right leg a little bit, releases that tension there or extension. Now if you lean this way toward the ankle, it's a completely different stretch than the calf or even folding over the thigh, so maybe you can explore those different sensations and see what your body desires most.

I personally am going to let myself kind of just fold over the inner thigh or the calf and thigh kind of meat or calf and hamstring and go back into that breath that serves me really well, helps me to slow everything down and gain a nice fresh perspective on the day, the moment, my life. I don't want to overcomplicate it, but if you want to add a fourth element to the breath, you would hold your breath for a few seconds at the base of your exhale as well. You inhale to your desired inhalation, hold and retain the breath for a similar amount of time as you inhale, exhale, similar time as the inhale and breath retention. Hold your breath at the base of the exhale for a few seconds and inhale and repeat. See if you can really embrace that sensation of like stillness and quiet, relaxing all the tension in the body.

Take one more round, breathe in sweetly, gently hold and savor the moment, exhale at that beautiful moment pass, okay, moving on, come on up, okay, so the setup here, one of my favorite poses, I think I have a lot of favorite poses actually, maybe that's why I love the practice so much, okay, so the bolster or pillow or even cushion sort of in alignment with the mat, you cozy your left hip up to the end of the chosen apparatus, just like any spinal twist, right, you want to lengthen the spine as you inhale, exhale start to turn like you would a twist without the bolster but then it's like, oh look, look what's there, look what's gonna hold me, support me, so you exhale, almost like you're kind of hugging this thing, left cheek if you're a little tight right now in the spine, the left cheek is the answer, if you're ready right away to go to the right cheek, go to the right cheek, I'm gonna stack my hands and give myself a little elevation as an in between space, working slowly toward putting the right cheek down for that extra little twist. So with the binding sensation in the midsection, see if you can still complete some kind of, you know, full but not forced breath, it's gonna push back, that's where you're gonna have to work a little bit to expand the breath in. In my mind this practice is just as important, just as valuable and beneficial as any active practice. Without putting like weird, it's not an emergency or anything, but it's like your life depends on it, you know, it depends on these like your breath, your state of mind, your ability to move forward and let go of things, okay, let's try the other side, take your time to exit like a pretty deep twist, so push yourself up and then unravel the twist, maybe take a little like counter twist to the right, and let's do it now on the other side, so I'll switch this to the other side of the mat here, hip goes up against the end of the bolster, lengthen, twist, twist, twist, twist, twist, greet your support, lower down, land, so it's either the left cheek or the right cheek, or maybe your forehead down, maybe you can hold on to the bolster or stack your hands as I'm doing. You stay here long enough, you might get a good drool, a friend of mine said this was the drooling pose, because you could just fall into this state of no holding, just letting everything go, relax your legs, try to relax your shoulders, relax, relax, relax, relax, relax, relax, relax, relax.

That was your breath. Okay. Again, take your time to exit out. Take that little counter pose. Twisting to the left that would be. Now final pose would be to take these two blocks if you've got blocks and your bolster. I'm gonna put this on the medium and that went on like the flat. You can put it up higher but you're gonna be at a higher angle. I'm looking for a little bit of a mid-range angle. So this is like a bit of a resting backbend. So got that nice little angle there. Put your low back up to the end of the bolster. I like to cross my legs actually. If that's comfortable for you, cross your legs or maybe bound angle or even straighten your legs. Let's find. Oh, that's kind of nice. If it's not nice for you, given what you have in your home space, try to figure out some kind of concoction that gives you the this shape here. Doesn't necessarily even have to be an angle but it can be angled. Something that maybe just like gives you that openness across chest and heart and shoulders and allows you to feel comfortable. Close your eyes softly and allow yourself once you find the physical shape. Alright, that pressure. Pressure builds up in our bodies. It's almost like an over-inflated like tire or something, right? You can imagine just about to burst but if you just like let go of some of that pressure, it might give you more space to feel a little bit more calm and see if you can let go and relax every single muscle in your body. Even allow the breath to just kind of like pass and flow on its own quietly. And as you're here, we have a final thought. A real known quote is, you know, this too shall pass and given that every single one of us humans have things, hard times, sometimes harder than others, it will pass. It doesn't mean there's not work to be done, things to be dealt with, but it will pass. If you're feeling a groove, feeling dialed in, stay here. I'm gonna just sort of use my core to lift up. We'll do a brief little sign off. I just want to say thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you for joining me here, joining yourself, taking the necessary time to feel better. Namaste.


Anastasia T
I loved this practice.  Just what I needed.  Especially on a day when I have a lot going on (SO MUCH!!) but knew I needed to practice.  Thank you.
Michelle F
1 person likes this.
Well now Roberto!
First- so great to be on the mat with you again!
Second - woweeMr. Sidoti - that´s the most chilled Ive ever seen you! and you transmitted it perfectly paced and with such a soothing tone - yummy!
Thank you so much!
Have a beautiful day amigo!
Muz M
1 person likes this.
Lovely session.  Really good to have you back Robert💙
Wendie Heijmer-Arendse
Just what I needed today to restore after a lot of work and busy mind  Thank you Robert! 
Eric M
2 people like this.
That was most excellent dude.
Donna C
1 person likes this.
Thank you Robert. This was an excellent chill session. This is going to go to my end of day yoga to perfectly prep me for a good night sleep. You are awesome.
Sandra Židan
We do a lot more when we relax and stop trying so hard and this calming practice was the best proof of it! Thanks, Robert, for sharing it with us! Namaste! 🥰
Robert Sidoti
Hey there Anastasia T  -  With all that's going on for you, I'm so happy you made the time to practice! It's so hard when our lives are moving fast and so full, we feel we'll lose momentum or just don't have the time to pause and feel - what a great 'superpower' you have to be able to do that, good for you!! And I'm glad the practice suited your needs, thanks for being here!! 
Robert Sidoti
Hola Michelle F !! Can't believe I missed this message :)) So nice to see you again! Yes, sometimes I too can chill and slow down - these days it's actually the type of practice I prefer (don't tell anyone)  :)) 
Always nice to hear from you and know you're practicing with me/us!! Peace and love back to you!! 
Robert Sidoti
It's nice to be back and to share these practices Muz M  - Nice to 'see' you! 
1-10 of 17

You need to be a subscriber to post a comment.

Please Log In or Create an Account to start your free trial.

Footer Yoga Anytime Logo

Just Show Up

Over 2,900 yoga and meditation practices to bring you Home.

15-Day Free Trial