The Vinyasa Show Artwork
Season 10 - Episode 2

Watery Neck & Shoulders

60 min - Practice
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Release stress in the head, neck, and shoulders in this rhythmic vinyasa practice. We move fluidly through a creative sequence of standing flows, twists, and balance challenges to leave you feeling relieved, relaxed, and tension-free.
What You'll Need: Mat, Block

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Welcome, and thank you so much for joining me for this watery neck and shoulder flow practice. We're going to get into those areas where we might be holding a little tension, the head, the neck, the shoulders. And inspired by this watery, rainy day here in Ojai, we'll call in that element of water as we flow fluidly in this practice. So if you join me, we'll start seated. Find any comfortable cross-leg seated position. Let's just take a moment to land, to center. If it feels safe for you to close your eyes where you are, maybe let the eyes soften and close. Starting to bring the attention and the awareness inward. Perhaps noticing any sounds around you, the temperature of your space. Bringing the attention to the body, just kind of scanning through, noticing specifically the head, neck, and shoulders. And can you soften the shoulders just a little bit more? Finally bringing the attention to the natural rhythm of your breath, the rise of your inhale, and the fall of the exhale maybe letting out a sigh or a sound. Let's do that two more times. Big full breath in through the nose. Exhale to release. Good cleansing breath, big full breath in through the nose, gathering. And exhale, releasing, knowing that in this moment, all is well. Just gently blinking the eyes open. We'll start by coming into a nice twist. So as you're ready, inhale, sweep the arms up, maybe gaze up at your fingertips, and then twisting to the right. Let your right fingertips fall behind you and your left hand fall to your right knee. And then root down through the sitting bones as you rotate, maybe gazing over that right shoulder. Hello darkness, hello rain. Good. And then sweeping the right arm up, we'll come into eagle arms. So right arm comes on top of the left, you could bring the back of the hands together or the palms together. If that's too much, maybe you're just hugging the shoulders. And then as we inhale, start to draw the elbows up and away from you. And then as you exhale round down, so you draw the elbows in towards you tuck the chin and spend cat like movement in your spine, maybe sway a little side to side, start to feel into your low back your shoulders. Beautiful. And then as you're ready, inhale to come back up, release fingertips back behind you and maybe lean back a little bit. So draw the shoulders back, lift the heart, lift the gaze. Beautiful. And then coming back through center, we'll just take that all to the other side. So as you're ready, inhale, sweep the arms up, gaze up at the fingertips. This time twist to the left, let the right hand find your left knee left fingertips fall behind, maybe take a gaze over your left shoulder for a moment. Just feel that nice detoxifying twist. Beautiful and then sweep the left arm up and across the right arm will come into eagle arms back of hands together, palms together or maybe hugging the shoulders. And then finding that movement as we inhale, draw the elbows up and away from you. And then as you exhale, draw the elbows in, tuck the chin and round, let it feel good. Maybe sway a little side to side, feeling into any areas where you might be a little tense. Beautiful. And then as you come back out of there, again, we'll release fingertips behind this time, maybe lift the hips up as you lean back, lift the gaze open heart. Good. And then releasing that let's come to tabletop. So meet me in all fours. We'll bring shoulders over wrists, hips over knees setting up for a few cat cow. As you're ready, inhale, arch the spine, look up and lengthen. As you exhale, navel draws in toward the spine rounding and you might shift the weight back a little bit toward child's pose. And let's just let it be fluid. So the inhale brings us into cow. The exhale brings us into cat and maybe even a child's pose. Good. Let's do that three more times. Inhale coming forward, look up and lengthen. Exhale, draw navel to spine rounding, press back. Good. Two more inhale brings us forward, letting the breath guide the movement. Exhale, navel to spine rounding. One more inhale, come forward, notice the shoulders as they come over the wrists. And exhale, navel to spine rounding, letting the hips sink back toward the heels, landing in child's pose for a moment and maybe you're swaying a little bit side to side. So just finding that fluid movement, even in the grounding postures.

Beautiful. And then meet me back in all fours. Come to tabletop, stretch the right leg back behind you, tuck your toes and just take a few rocks forward and back a little bit. So we're feeling into the back of the right leg, calf. Beautiful. And then centering the weight, start to kick down the left shin back a little bit, spin onto the right heel, bring the weight into your left hand. Ardha Vasisthasana, reach the right arm up and then maybe take that right arm over your ear. So feel that nice length through the right side body, reach through the fingertips. Beautiful. And then on your inhale, press through the left hand to come up to gate pose. So we'll bring our weight up, center the weight for a moment, sole of the right foot is down, and then start to bring the right hand to the outside of your right leg. Fingertips slide down the leg and you can reach the left arm up and over your ear so that you're stretching through the left side body. Good. And then just move between those two shapes a couple times. So as you inhale, left hand comes back to the earth, fingertips or hand down, reach the right arm over your ear. Good. Come on up. Gate pose, reach left arm up and over. One more time. Inhale, back to Ardha Vasisthasana. Exhale, reach up and back and over to the right. Beautiful. And then circle your hands down, come back to tabletop for a moment. We'll come into a shoulder thread here. So sweeping the right arm under the left, let the right shoulder come down, let the right side of the face land on the ground. And then left fingertips might crawl forward, or you might take that left arm up and behind your back. So just notice what feels good here. And just take a moment to really allow the body to sink into the earth. So feeling into that right shoulder. Couple breaths. Hips are level. What might you release just a little bit more here? Good. And then pressing into the left hand, we'll come back up into tabletop and just take that to the second side. So reaching the left leg back, tuck your toes. Start with some rocks back and forth, feel into the back of your left leg. Notice how that feels. Good. And then centering the weight shoulders over wrists, spin the left heel down, you could kickstand that right shin back a little bit. Bring the weight into the right hand and then reach the left arm up. Ardha Vasisthasana. Good. And then if it would feel good, take the left arm up and over the left ear, feel the length in the left side body. Beautiful. And then pressing through the right hand, come up to stand on the right knee, left sole of the foot is down and then start to reach the left fingertips down the left leg, reach the right arm up and over your ear. Feel the length in the right side.

Good. And then between those two shapes. So bringing it all the way back, right hand down, left arm reaches up and over the ear. Exhale, gate pose, left hand down, right arm sweeps up. One more inhale, bring it down. Reaching with the left arm. Exhale, bring it up, reaching with the right arm. Nice side body stretch. Love this pose. Good. And then circle back down to tabletop. We'll take that shoulder thread on the other side. So threading the left arm this time under the right, bringing the left side of the face down toward the earth. And then again, you might walk that right hand forward or maybe you take it behind your back. Notice what feels good. Let the body feel held. And then breathe and notice a couple full deep breaths here. Perhaps noticing if this side feels a little different, most likely. Good. And then take your time pressing through the right hand. We'll come back to tabletop. Good. And then from here, walk the hands just slightly in front of the shoulders, tucking the toes, lifting the hips up and back, coming into our first downward facing dog. Good. And as you come into down dog, maybe just start to peddle it out through the feet. Find some movement in downward facing dog. Just noticing as we get upside down here, how the back of the legs are feeling. You're always welcome to step the feet a little wider. You could soften the knees. See if you can allow the spine to be long. So pressing through the inner and the outer hand. Good. And then find the breath within the shape. Couple more full deep breaths here in down dog. Beautiful. And then from down dog, start to shift the weight forward coming toward plank pose. So keeping the toes tucked. And as you come to the top of a pushup, if it would feel okay in your lower back, start to let the hips sink down a little bit. So coming into this modified upward facing dog, drawing the shoulders back, heart lifts. Good. And then bend the knees as you reach up and back into down dog and we'll move between those two shapes. So the inhale brings us forward plank pose. You could stay here or start to let the hips sink down. Heart lifts up dog. Good. Exhale, bend knees, reach it up and back. Down dog. Beautiful. One more inhale like a wave. Moving forward fluid, heart lifts up dog. Exhale, up and back. Downward facing dog. Beautiful. One more time, come to plank and then we'll take a nice slow lower to the belly. So welcome to lower the knees, hug the elbows in. Come all the way down. Okay. And then take your hands on either side of your mat. Tent your fingertips, let the elbows point up. And then as you press into the top of the feet, start to peel the chest up coming into this wide arm cobra pose. Good. As you exhale, release back down toward the earth. We'll do that two more times. Inhale, peel the chest up, press into the top of the feet, engage through the legs. Exhale to release. One more. Peel the chest up, can straighten the arms a little bit. Heart lifts, gaze lifts. Good. Exhale, release. Good. Bringing the hands back to the side ribs, tuck the toes, come on back up, plank pose. Exhale, downward facing dog. Lifting hips up and back. Good. And then from down dog, slowly start to walk your feet forward. To meet your hands coming to forward fold at the front of your mat. Maybe the feet are about hips distance. Feel free to put as much of a bend in the knees as you'd like here. And then let everything just kind of melt down. So crown of the head reaching toward the toes. Torso is hanging heavy. Maybe the hands are just hanging out on the ground somewhere or block, you might hold opposite elbows. If you want to stay with the shoulders, you could take the hands behind the back and find an interlace. Good. Maybe sway a little side to side. Just letting go of tension in the head, the neck, the shoulders. Just a little bit more. What can you release? Beautiful. And then taking your time, let's slowly roll out vertebra by vertebra, let the head be the last thing to arrive. And as you get to the top, just take some circles with the shoulders in one direction. And then the other direction.

Good. And then just take a moment to land in Tadasana, maybe drawing hands together in front of the heart and Anjali Mudra. Again, just taking a moment to pause to notice the fluidity of your breath. Perhaps close the eyes. Feel your heartbeat. Feel the earth beneath the soles of your feet. Soften the knees just a little bit. Tailbone melts down. Heart lifts. Beautiful. And then as you're ready, you could blink the eyes open just to see where we're going. And we'll sweep the arms all the way up and back. Gaze up. Maybe take your gaze toward your fingertips. You could lean back a little bit. Good. As you exhale, Uttanasana forward fold. Soften the knees as you fold. Good. From here, come halfway up. Maybe hands walk up onto the shins. Ardha Uttanasana. Good. As you exhale, plant the palms. Step back. Plank pose. We'll shift forward coming halfway or all the way down Chaturanga. Inhale. You could stay with that cobra or upward facing dog. Good. And then rolling over the toes for downward facing dog. Lift it up and back. Good. From here, sweep the right leg all the way up and back. Three-leg dog. Draw the knee in toward your nose and then take a big step through between the hands. One step, bunch of steps. Doesn't matter. Come up onto your fingertips for a moment and then let's let the left knee come down toward the ground. So low lunge. As you inhale, sweep the arms forward and up on Jnaniyasana. Good. And then as you exhale, let's put a bend in the elbows. So we'll cactus the arms to feel that opening through the chest, through the heart space. Beautiful. And then releasing hands behind the back. Find that interlace. You're always welcome to hold opposite elbows or if you have a strap, you might have a strap between your hands and then just start to draw the shoulders down and away from the ears. Maybe lean back a little bit. Take the gaze up. Smile. Good. And then release hands on either side of the front foot, half split. Ardha Hanumanasana. Shift the weight back. You can lift the toes up off the earth. Feel free to keep as much of a bend in that right knee as needed and you might be moving in and out of low lunge and the hamstring stretch a few times. It's kind of flossing and feeling into the back of the right leg. Maybe you're holding. There's so much movement and stillness.

So finding pause here, sacred pause to breathe. Beautiful. And then re-bend through the right knee as you're ready. We'll plant the palms. Step back. Plank pose. Shift the weight forward. Halfway or all the way down. Chaturanga. Inhale, cobra or upward facing dog. Exhale, downward facing dog. Let's allow a big full breath in. Let out a sigh. Let something go. Beautiful. Left side. Inhale, left leg sweeps up and back. Three-leg dog. Exhale, draw knee to nose. Hover for a moment. Gaze between the thumbs and then big step through between the hands. Come up onto your fingertips. Let the right knee come down to the earth. Ground through that right shin and then reaching arms forward and up. Anjaneyasana. Beautiful. Lifting up and out of the side waist. Gently engaging the core to protect the low back. Good. And then from here, put a bend in the elbows. Feel that opening through the chest.

You might even gaze up a little bit. Good. And then releasing hands behind the back. Behind that interlacer opposite elbows. Draw shoulders back. Lean back a little bit. Feel that shoulder opening. Beautiful. And then releasing hands on either side of the front foot. Shift back. Ardha Hanumanasana. And you might notice that this side feels quite different from the first side. Good. Breathe into the back of your left leg. Lifting toes up off the earth. Maybe spread the toes. And you could stay here in this stretch or maybe you're moving in and out of low lunge. Rebending through the left knee. Shifting back. Ardha Hanumanasana. Good. Inhale as you re-bend. Exhale. Folding over that front leg. Breathe. Beautiful. And then re-bend through the left knee. We'll plant the palms. Step back. Plank pose. Shift the weight forward. Halfway or all the way down. Chaturanga. Inhale. Cobra or upward facing dog. From the thighs up off the earth. Exhale. Downward facing dog. Let's take a few full deep breaths here. We'll breathe together. Breathing in through the nose. Stay for the exhale. Good. Inhale through the nose. Breathing out. Finding one point to focus your drishti, your gaze. Breathing in. Breathing out. Beautiful. Rising up onto toes. Bend knees. Look forward. Step or lightly hop to your hands. Come back to the front of the mat. Inhale as you lift halfway up. Ardha Uttanasana. Exhale. Release and fold. Uttanasana. Good. Rooting down through the soles of the feet to rise. Arms sweep out and up. Gaze up. Maybe lean back a little. Good. And then drawing your hands together in front of your heart. And we'll start to add on from there flowing with our breath. We're just taking this brief pause. Notice where the movement lands in the body. The echo of the postures. Beautiful. And as you're ready, inhale. Sweep the arms all the way out and up. Gaze up.

Lean back. Exhale. Uttanasana. Forward fold. Inhale. Ardha Uttanasana. Halfway. Exhale. Plant palms. Step or lightly float back. Chaturanga. Inhale. Cobra or up dog. Exhale. Landing back. In downward facing dog. Okay. From here, reach the right leg up and back. Draw the knee to the nose. Hover for a moment. Gaze between the hands. Big step through. So welcome to lower the back knee down or maybe this time you stay on the ball of the back foot. Maybe widen the stance a little bit. Coming up into high lunge. Crescent pose. Arms sweep forward and up. Let's take a moment to land. Bending toward 90 degrees in that front leg. Soften the shoulders. Energize up through the fingertips. And then same thing that we did with the knee down. Start to bend the elbows. Cactus the arms. Heart lifts. Beautiful. And then releasing hands behind the back. Little bit of a balance here. If you're wobbling, you're with me. In interlacing fingers, draw shoulders back. Lean back a little bit. Good. Big full breath in. And then as you exhale, releasing hands on either side of your front foot. We'll step into pyramid pose. So step the left foot in and to the left a little bit. You might have a couple blocks under your hands here. And see if you can draw the right hip back. Let the left hip roll forward. And then just let your torso drape down. Feels good. Pressing through the soles of the feet. Breathing. Lovely. And then to come out of there, let's plant the palms. Step the left foot back, right foot steps back to meet the left plank pose. Your vinyasa as always. Feel free to skip, to modify. I'm going to lower my knees and lower all the way down this time. Inhale, cobra or up dog. Exhale, downward facing dog. Breathing there. Good. Breathing in. Breathing out. Beautiful. Left side. Inhale, left leg sweeps up and back. Three leg dog. Exhale, draw the knee in toward the nose. Hover, step through. And again, you can lower that right knee down or maybe stay on the ball of the back foot coming up into crescent pose. Take a moment to sink in and you can let the tailbone melt down. You might have a slight bend in that back knee to assist with that. Can you let the shoulders soften a little bit as you energize up through the fingertips? Nice.

And then bending the elbows, cactus arms. Feel the opening through the chest. Release hands behind the back. Find that interlace and then start to draw shoulders away from the ears. Lean back a little bit. Beautiful. And then releasing hands on either side of the front foot. Step the right foot in and to the right a little bit for pyramid pose. Soles of the feet down. Drawing that left hip back and I'm taking my left thumb into the left hip crease to just kind of draw the hip back, pressing through the toes, letting that right hip roll forward and then as much as you can let the torso just kind of hang heavy. Let it feel good. Rain's picking up again. It's noticing your surroundings and also noticing kind of where your mind takes you when we hold these postures. No judgment. Just become curious. Become the observer. Beautiful. And then hands down. We'll step back. Plank pose. Left foot meets the right. Shift forward halfway or all the way down Chaturanga. Inhale. Heart lifts cobra or upward facing dog. Landing in downward facing dog. Beautiful. A few full deep breaths together. Breathing in. This might be a good place to lower your knees. You could take child's pose or sit back on your heels. Two more breaths. Matching the length of the exhale to the length of the inhale. Beautiful. And then as you're ready rising up onto toes. Knees bend. Look forward. Step or lightly float front of the mat. Inhale. Lift halfway. Lengthen. Arda. Exhale. Fold. Uttanasana. Good. Root down to rise arms. Sweep out and up. Maybe slight back bend as you come to the top. Lean back.

Maybe gaze up. And then just take a moment. Draw hands to heart. Good. Pause and notice. Begin the breath. Notice the movement and the stillness. Good. And let's do one more round with this. As you're ready inhale. Sweep the arms all the way out and up. Lean back. Exhale forward fold. Maybe the knees are soft as you come forward. Inhale. Lift halfway. Lengthen. Arda. Uttanasana. Plant palm. Step or lightly float back. Chaturanga. Maybe you're skipping that altogether and just coming right into down dog. We'll meet there. This time we're going to start with the left foot first so that I can face you for this first round. So sweeping the left leg all the way up and back. Draw the knee in toward the nose. Step all the way through. So same beginning. We're going to stay on the ball of the back foot.

Your might be lowering that back knee. Lower high lunge. Crescent. Inhale arms. Sweep up. Good. Exhale. Bend elbows. Heart lifts. Release hands behind the back. Find that interlace. Draw shoulders away from the ears. Lean back. Sink in. Good. And then releasing hands again on either side of the front foot for pyramid pose. Step the right foot in and to the right. Beautiful. From here start to turn your body to face the long edge of your mat. So swiveling the toes. You might widen your stance a little bit. Parallel the feet for prasarita. As you inhale, lengthen through the spine. Fingertips under the shoulders. As you exhale, walk your hands in any amount. Prasarita. Forward fold. Wide leg forward fold. Letting the crown of your head just melt down. Beautiful. I'm going to have a little soft bend in my knees here. You might as well. Nice. And then from here, hands to hips. Find length in your spine.

Root down to rise through the soles of the feet. Come all the way up to stand. Good. And then turn the toes out. Heels in. Start to bend the knees coming toward goddess pose. Start by letting the hands rest on top of the thighs, on top of the knees. Maybe sway a little side to side. Check out the legs. Beautiful. And then from here, center your weight. Start to draw the shoulders back. Big full breath in through center. As you exhale, draw the right shoulder toward the center of the mat and gaze over your left. Nice shoulder stretch. Feeling it in the legs. Inhale as you come back through center. Exhale left shoulder melts down. Take a gaze to the right. All right. And then as you come back through center this time, let's find the eagle arms. Right arm sweeps under the left just like we did when we started. So draw the elbows up and away from you. Big breath in. And then as you exhale, sink in a little bit deeper. So bending the knees. Knees are tracking over the ankles. Good. And feel the shoulders generating a little heat here. Maybe. Beautiful. And then open up warrior two. We'll point the left toes toward the front of the mat. Bend toward 90 degrees in your left knee. Seal the outer edge of the back foot down and sweep the arms wide. Just take a moment. Hello, warrior two. Energize through the fingertips. Sink in a little deeper. Find the breath. Good. And then gazing over your left fingertips, flip the front palm. Tilt back for reverse warrior. So letting the right hand find the back of the right leg. Feel that length through the left side body. Beautiful. Big breath in. Exhale, circle down to the earth. Step back. Plank pose. Vinyasa. Chaturanga. Inhale, cobra. Or upward facing dog. Clearing with the exhale into downward facing dog. Good.

Big breath in. Cleansing breath out. And we'll take that to the second side. So this time right leg lifts up and back. Exhale knee to nose. Step all the way through. Setting up crescent pose. I'm gonna widen my stance a little bit. Help with balance. Reaching arms up. Good. And then bending the elbows. Cactus the arms. Release hands behind the low back. Find that interlace. Draw shoulders back. Sink in. Beautiful. And then releasing hands on either side of the front foot. Setting up pyramid pose. Left foot steps in and to the left a little. Fold over the front leg. Then again, just swiveling on the feet to face the long edge of your mat. We'll set up for prasarita. Maybe widen the stance a little bit. Draw fingertips under the shoulders. Big breath in. Exhale, walk your hands in any amount. I'm gonna take a block and put it under my head. Maybe that would feel good for you too. You can soften knees. Really anything that feels good with the arms. I'm gonna find my ankles with my hands. Shifting our perspective. Notice what you notice. Beautiful. Stay here as long as you like. Otherwise, join me. Bring hands to hips. Long spine. Come all the way up to stand. I'm gonna turn the toes out. Heels in. Bend knees. Find that sway side to side. Hands on top of the thighs. Your knees. And just feel into your legs. Feel into that rooted connection. A nice view out here. A lot of mud. Good. And then this time left arm comes under the right. Eagle arms. Draw elbows away from you. Big full breath in. As you exhale, sink in a little deeper and we'll hold and breathe. Maybe lion's breath. Big full breath in through the nose. Stick out the tongue. Let it go. Beautiful.

And then we open up to warrior two toward the front of the mat. So right toes turn out. Bend through the right knee. Seal the outer edge of the back foot. And just take a moment to sink in to the legs. Letting the weight be centered as you reach forward and back. Take a gaze over the right fingertips. Maybe close your eyes. Go inward. Good. And then from here, we'll flip the front palm. Keep the legs as they are. Tilt back. Reverse warrior. Feel the length through the right side body. Maybe sink in a little deeper into that right leg. Good. Circle down. Step back. Plank pose. Vinyasa or not. Cobra or up dog. Inhale. From here, lower the knees and take a moment in child's pose. Let your hips sink back towards your heels. You might bring the elbows to the ground and take a prayer behind the back of your neck. That could feel good in the upper arms. I'm really just taking a moment to notice where that lands. Beautiful. Feel free to linger here longer. Otherwise, it's come to tabletop. And from tabletop, we'll lower the forearms down to the earth, reaching the palms to the ground and then stretching the legs back forearm plank. Snuck it in there. Shoulders over elbows. Reach the heart forward. Gaze between your thumbs. Find some strength in the core. Maybe embracing any shaking that's happening. You're always welcome to lower knees. Holding for five, four, three, two. Lower the hips. One. Sphinx pose. Good. Walk your hands forward just a little bit. So the elbows are slightly in front of the shoulders and then draw the mat back with your hands as you reach the heart forward. Legs engaged.

Good. And from here, let's drop the chin toward the chest. We'll take a nice stretch for the neck. Draw your right ear toward the right shoulder. Feel the length through the left side. Nice. And then draw chin to chest, left ear, left shoulder. Breathe into the right. You might take that side to side a few times. Releasing any tension or trying to. That's fully possible. Then gaze forward. Good. From here, draw the hands back toward the side ribs. Cobra pose. Inhale. Let's take the fingertips on either side of the mat. So take them a little wider again. That wide cobra. This time as you draw the chest up, let the right shoulder melt toward the center of the mat and then take a gaze over the left. Beautiful. As you inhale, come back through center. Exhale. Left shoulder melts down, gazing toward the right. Good. Inhale back through center. Exhale to release. And while we're here, we'll take my favorite stretch. Reach your right arm out to the right palm down. Tent your left fingertips on the outside of your left shoulder and then rolling to the right hip can rest the right side of the face down. Bend your left knee and then step the toes behind you so you could have your foot flat or maybe you're up on the ball of your foot and just kind of notice where you feel this in the shoulder. Nice twist happening. And can you release into the support of the earth beneath you just a little bit more. Beautiful. And then we'll take that to the second side. So coming back through center onto the belly, reach the left arm out to the left tent, the right fingertips will bring the left side of the face down. Roll to the left hip, bend the right knee, and you can step toes behind you. Release. Couple breaths. Beautiful. And then coming back through center, bring hands next to the side ribs, tuck the toes from the thighs up off the earth. Plank Pose. Inhale, Down Dog. Exhale. Nice work. And let's just take a slow walk to the front of the mat. Feet come back toward the hands. Uttanasana. Maybe holding or taking the peace fingers to the big toes and wrapping them so the first two fingers and the thumbs. As you inhale, lengthen, lift halfway. And as you exhale, let the elbows splay out to the side, tuck the chin and let the crown of your head melt down toward your toes. Maybe bringing a little bit more weight toward the balls of your feet. Lovely. And then take your time. We'll release and slowly roll up. Coming to Tadasana. Again, just taking that moment to reset, to pause here at the top. Fix your outfit. And then breathe. Feel the heart. And play with a series of balancing poses here, our last standing sequence. So we'll start with Eagle Pose. We've been working with the arms since the beginning of class. Now let's add the legs.

So bringing the weight into the right foot, cross the left leg on top of the right. You might kickstand the toes down today, or you could float that foot up off the earth or wrap it behind the right calf. And then with the left arm or the left leg on top, we'll take the left arm underneath. I'm going to kickstand my toes down and then start to draw the elbows away from you. So find that long spine as you sink in a little deeper, hugging the inner thighs together. Find that point to focus your gaze, your Drishti. Beautiful. And then as you come out of there, let's take that left leg back. Find the left foot or ankle and we'll move into Dancer Pose. So reaching the right arm up. Ooh, that balance is shaky today and kick the foot into the hand. Finding Dancer, keeping the heart lifted. Beautiful. And as you release, soften the right knee a little bit. Let the left toes find the back of the mat. So we're back in Crescent Pose. And you might lower that left knee down. We'll take a twist here. So drawing hands to heart, hooking the left elbow on the outside of the right thigh, finding Crescent Prayer Twist. Good. Embracing the wobbling. Find your breath. It's wringing it out a bit. Beautiful. Big full breath in. As you exhale, gaze down at your right foot, hands frame the front foot and then back to Pyramid Pose. So stepping the left foot in and to the left and just finding that Pyramid Pose and maybe finding Revolved Triangle. I'm going to grab a block, placing the block, for me, on the lowest height, pressing the left hand down, lengthen through the spine and maybe sweep that right arm up. Keep drawing that right hip back. Find the IT band. Reach the right arm up. Maybe gaze up. Breathe. Wobble. Good. These Revolved Poses are always challenging for me. Taking that fold back over your front leg as you're ready and then stepping your left foot to meet the right forward fold front of the mat. This time, maybe slide palms of hands underneath the soles of the feet, letting the toes come up toward the wrists. Pada Hastasana.

Foot to hand pose. Just find a few breaths. Beautiful. And then if your hands are under the feet, slowly slide them out and roll up, vertebra by vertebra, taking a moment again just up at the top to ground. It's helpful for me to really feel into the soles of my feet as I start a balancing practice so that I can kind of just feel that connection, feel grounded. And we'll take Eagle on the other side. So bringing the attention to the left foot, cross your right leg on top of the left, maybe kick stand toes down, float the foot up or wrap it behind the calf. Good. This time, right arm sweeps under the left. Eagle arms. And as you draw the elbows up and away, sink in a little deeper, squeezing the thighs together and breathe. Find your Drishti. Find fluidity even in these shaky poses. Beautiful. And then to unravel, we'll come into dancer pose. So standing up on the left leg, bend the right knee, reach back, find the right foot. I hold the outside of the foot. You might take the inside. Notice what feels best for you. Let's start to draw that right shoulder back. Left arm reaches up and then any amount, start to tilt forward. Heart lifts, gazing at one point. And then we'll take that release into crescent pose, right toes. Find the back of the mat. Feel free to lower the right knee down, hands to heart. Nice. And then finding that twist, right elbow to the outside of the left, prayer in front of the heart. Stay really active in that right quadricep. Good. And then more than anything, the breath. Couple full deep breaths here on the side. Beautiful. And then gazing down, hands frame the front foot, step the right foot in into the right a little bit. Pyramid pose, letting everything melt down over that left leg. That you could stay here if you're moving into revolve triangle, maybe a block on the inside of the front foot. Draw the left hip back. I like to find length in the spine first, reaching the crown of the head forward. And then maybe you're reaching that left arm up. Good. Finding spaciousness within the shape. Bracing the movement. Okay, get out of there. Forward fold over the front leg, step your right foot to meet the left coming to one last forward fold here at the front. Soft knees, maybe sway a little side to side, shake the head. Yes, no, that feels good. Good. And then from here, plant palms come halfway up. Inhale, lengthen. Exhale, vinyasa if you want it or you could step right back into downward facing dog and we'll take our time to meet there. Beautiful. Big full breath in. Long breath out. Good. Inhale plank. Maybe that modified up dog toes tucked hips lower heart lifts. Good. Exhale, soft knees down dog. Let's do that two more times. Inhale, plank or modified upward facing dog. Exhale, downward facing dog. One more inhale forward heart lifts hips lower. Exhale. Beautiful downward facing dog. Let's make our way to seated at the front of the mat. You might hop your feet forward crossing at the ankles. We'll bring the legs out front of us. So reaching the right leg open to the right bringing the left sole of your foot to the inner upper right thigh. We'll take a side body stretch. So reaching the right hand to the inside of your front foot can soften that right elbow and start to reach the left arm up and over your ear. Maybe you're reaching for that foot. Let's take a moment to see what happens. Feel into it. Breathe. You might even take the right hand to the outside of your right foot that feels a little better to me. Two more breaths. Good. And then as you inhale slowly, come on back up, bring your left hand behind you. Lift the hips reach the right arm up. Beautiful and then lower the hips back down we'll come into Gomukhasana. So crossing the right knee on top of the left if this is not accessible, certainly not for everyone. Maybe you're taking the right shin in front of the left or you're taking double pigeon, otherwise stacking at the knees and draw the heels in toward me. And then from here, you might just rest hands on top of the legs or maybe you're walking your hands in front of you getting a little deeper into the hips. Take a moment to sink into the posture. Maybe there's the invitation to go a little deeper at some point.

Coming to your body. What does it need? Beautiful and then take your time there. Hands might walk back in if you walk forward. We'll just take that all to the second side. So reaching left leg out to the left, right foot to the inner upper left thigh, reaching left hand on the inside of the front foot or maybe you're holding on to your left ankle, rooting down through the right hip, reach the right arm up and over your ear. Maybe take the gaze under your arm and breathe. Noticing the side versus the first side. What's coming up for you? Good. And then coming on up, letting the right hand fall behind you. Lift the hips, reach the left arm up. Feel that heart opening to counterbalance to that stretch. Good. And then we'll cross the left knee on top of the right. Draw the heels in towards you. If you're taking Gomukhasana or any hip opener that feels good for you today and just take a moment if you're in Gomu to feel your sitting bones root down. Draw the heels in towards you. Maybe resting hands gently on top of the knees. Or maybe there's that invitation to start to walk your hands forward. With that, I like to anchor into my hands and press the weight back a little bit and that will get a little deeper into outer hips. Breathe. Let's take a few full deep conscious breaths. Beautiful. And then taking your time to slowly come on out of there and we'll come on to our backs. But actually let's reach the legs forward first. We'll come into one last forward fold here. Reaching both legs forward. Flex the feet. Wiggle side to side. Sit up tall on the sitting bones. As you inhale, sweep the arms up. Feel the length in your spine leading with the heart as you come into Paschimottanasana. Folding in. Letting the hands fall wherever they fall. Sometimes it's nice to take a block to the soles of the feet. Breathe and let go. Beautiful. As you're ready, inhale. Slowly come up and now we'll come on to our backs. So reaching the arms forward. Bend the knees a little bit. Plug the heels into the earth. We'll lower for five, four. Notice where you want to lift. Three, two, one. Let that go. First time on our back. Draw the knees in toward the chest. Wobble a little side to side. Massage the lower back. Maybe taking the knees in circles in either direction. Notice how that feels. Good. And setting up for one last shoulder opener, heart opener. Let's take bridge pose and bring the soles of the feet to the earth. Brushing the back of the heels with my fingertips. Feet hips distance. And then pressing through the soles of the feet and the palms of the hands start to lift the hips any amount. And then maybe for that shoulder stretch, we'll interlace behind the low back. So drawing the shoulders down and away from the ears. Pressing through the soles of the feet. Lifting up. Chest to chin. Let's hold for five, four, three, two. Releasing the interlace. Slowly rolling down vertebra by vertebra. And as you get to the bottom, step the feet as wide as your yoga mat. Let the knees knock into touch, constructive rest. Maybe bringing hands to the belly. Feel the breath beneath your hands. And just take a moment to feel held. Notice where that lands in the body, any sensations that arise. Let's take one last twist here to wring it all out. So we're going to cross the right leg on top of the left for eagle legs, maybe hook that right foot underneath or not. And then cactus the arms on either side of your body, letting both knees drop to the right. And then gazing over the left shoulder or straight up if that doesn't feel good in the neck. And if that's too much of a pull on the low back, just uncross the legs, stack the knees any twist that feels good for you. Like a sponge wringing it out. Soften that left shoulder a little bit more as you breathe. Soften the eyes. Relaxing the gaze. Where might you release just a little bit more? Beautiful. And then slowly as you're ready unraveling. As you come back towards center, step the soles of the feet to the earth, lift the hips and place them back down just to neutralize through the spine. Taking it to the second side, cross your right knee on top of the left, you might hook that right foot behind the left calf or not. Cactus the arms on either side of the body. And then this time letting both knees drop to the left to maybe take your gaze over the right shoulder. Wringing it out, eagle twist. Letting the right shoulder just soften a little bit, relaxing the jaw, tongue, cheekbones, space behind the eyes. Third eye. Seat of the intuition. Notice what you notice. Ooh, I could stay there for another hour. Come on back. We'll unravel. Step the soles of the feet to the earth, lift the hips just to neutralize the spine, placing hips back down slowly onto the ground, hugging both knees into your chest. And one more time, just a little wobbling side to side, massaging through the low back and just noticing is there anything else that you need in your practice to feel complete, honoring that. And then let's draw the forearms around the shins. Draw the nose toward the knees, hugging everything into a tight little ball. Big full breath in. We'll hold the breath up at the top, breathe in through the nose, holding. We sip in a little bit more air. And then exhale, big sigh out the mouth. Let the legs go long on your mat. Let your feet start to roll open like books and bringing palms to face up on either side of the body, arms away from the body. Take up space because you can. You soften the shoulders down the back. And if it feels safe for you to close the eyes, take a moment to close your eyes. And the integration of this practice, the body, the mind, spirit. Let yourself feel held. Let go, let be, just rest. Excellent.

Comments

Noreen S
3 people like this.
Hi Sarah! Thank you for this lovely practice. So nice to see you on Yoga Anytime! xo, Reenie
Martha K
3 people like this.
I was carried along the watery flow of this embracing practice. My body loves it!
Sarah Beston
Hi Noreen S - thank you so much for practicing with me. Looking forward to sharing this new season of practices. Wishing you all the best, Sarah
Sarah Beston
Hi Martha K! I am so happy to hear that this practice felt good in your body. I look forward to sharing these practices together this season. Warmly, Sarah
Lourdes Z
Love this practice! Greetings from Mexico!
Jenny S
2 people like this.
A whole season of hour-long watery flows? I am in love!!! This opening class felt delicious. I’ve been doing a lot of physical work lately and not enough yoga 😥 so this was such a salve for my body and mind. Thank you for this offering - it’s going to be a great summer! 🌞🌊❤️🙏🏻
Sarah Beston
1 person likes this.
Greeting Lourdes Z and thanks so much for practicing with me here on Yoga Anytime! Where in Mexico are you located? Sending love from Cali.
Sarah Beston
Wishing you a wonderful start to summer, Jenny S! Happy Solstice!
Gary Dyari W
Such a beautiful practice! TY!

Gary, Tasmania / lutrawita AU
Sarah Beston
Thank you so much for practicing with me from Tasmania, Gary Dyari W! I met a dear friend who lives there on a recent trip to Ireland. Looks stunning!
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