Enliven Your Senses: A 7-Day Yoga Challenge Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 2

Day 1: Gazing Inward

30 min - Practice


We begin our journey into the senses with the sense of sight. We become aware of the landscape around us, then introduce the concept of the drishti to narrow our gaze and give our minds something to focus on throughout our practice. We move with curiosity through Crescent, Warrior 3, and Half Moon as a way to focus the gaze inward. You will feel centered, balanced, and softly aware of your internal landscape.
What You'll Need: Mat, Block (2)

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Welcome to day 1. Thank you so much for being here and joining me for this challenge. So as we start to hone our senses, we will begin day 1 by focusing on the sense of sight of seeing the internal, the beauty of the external landscape of narrowing in our focus on a drishti or a gazing point as we move through some balancing postures today and then ultimately bringing it and turning our gaze inward to the internal landscape. So please start with a seated position. You can join me seated.

If you have a couple blocks at home, it might be nice to have those handy, not necessary, but it would be a nice way to help with our balance as we start to move into this practice. So as you find your comfortable cross leg seated position, just an invitation to land here. Land here together, to arrive, feel your sitting bones, root down on the earth beneath you, can rest your hands perhaps on your knees or wherever your hands feel comfortable. And then the invitation to actually blink the eyes open and just start to notice what you see around you. So the colors any textures, any shapes.

You might gaze side to side and just start to take in your external surroundings. Just notice what you see. Notice what you notice. That invitation to look with the eyes of a beginner, the eyes of a child. Like, everything is fresh and new.

And then slowly as you begin to notice, perhaps, that you're breathing, you can find one point to focus your drish Otherwise, known as your gazing point, just softly, somewhere on the floor in front of you. So beyond the tip of your nose, something that's not moving, And then as you start to reign in the external toward toward that single pointed focus, the drishti, Let's begin to notice the in breath, the out breath, Noticing that the mind has something to rest its awareness on as well. So as we hone in the gaze, we can start to hone in the mind. And then gently staying connected with the breath softly close the eyes if that feels safe for you. Shifting your gaze to the internal space.

The internal landscape. Notice what you see. With that intention of seeing deeply with beginner's mind, let's begin to move meet me in tabletop, And so keeping the eyes gently resting in front of you, perhaps just in front of your thumbs, we'll bring the shoulders over the wrists, hips, over the knees and just starting to move into some gentle cat cow. So as you inhale can let the belly drop lift the heart and the gaze. Good. And then as you exhale draw the navel to the spine, press the floor away rounding, maybe shifting back a little bit.

Intuitive movement as you inhale, bring it forward gaze up arching through the back. And then as you exhale navel to spine press the floor away rounding. Beautiful. Let's take a couple more in how it brings us forward. Gazing up, exhale gazing toward the navel around the spine. One more inhale moving into cow pose, exhale moving into cat drawnable in rounding, press the floor away, shift the weight back a little bit.

Beautiful. And then finding that space between cat and cow find a neutral spine. And we'll start by reaching the left leg back. So you can start by tucking the toes. Pressing back a little bit as you feel into the back of your left leg, your calf muscle, nice stretch there. Good. And then shifting shoulders over wrist start to float the left leg up, pressing through the left heel.

Good draw navel in toward the spine gently engaging the core. This will help with your balance. Gazing again just beyond your fingertips. And then if it feels okay and you have that balance, reach the right arm forward, so you're reaching through the right fingertips back through the left heel, finding balance here, embrace the wobble. Good.

As you inhale forward and back as you exhale, draw the elbow to the knee and the knee to the elbow. So you're rounding and hovering. And we'll do that 2 more times. Let the inhale bring you forward, reaching right arm forward, left leg back, exhale elbow to knee, draw it in. Good. One more.

Inhale reach forward and back, expanding, exhale elbow to knee rounding. Nice. And then reach the right arm forward, left leg back, place the right hand down, left toes find the earth again, and then start to spin to the left heel, bringing the weight into the right hand for art of Ashistasana can sweep that left arm up feel the opening through the chest, maybe take the left arm up and over your left ear. So you feel this line of energy from left fingertips all the way back to left heel. And then if you wanna play with balance here, you can start to float the left leg up, maybe even bend the left knee, reach back, find that left foot, and then kick the foot into the hand, draw the shoulder back, and then just notice what you're gazing at. So maybe you're taking your gaze in front of you. Maybe you're starting to spin the gaze up toward the ceiling, just being intentional.

With the drishti. Good. And then releasing that as you're ready. We'll bring the left hand down. Left knee down, meet me in child's pose, letting the hips just gently sink back to the heels, and can ease bring these together a little wide, maybe wobble, a little side to side. Breathe into the back body.

Big full breath in. Long exhale to release something. Good. And then round the way back to tabletop, and we'll take that all on the second side. So reaching the right leg back, tuck the right toes. Start by shifting the weight back just a bit so you feel into the back of the right leg stretching through the right calf muscle, noticing how this side feels.

And then we'll play with balance, notice what this side feels versus the first side. So floating the right leg up, start by flexing actively through the right heel, engaging the core, you're welcome to keep both hands down grounded on the earth, or maybe you start to lift up that left arm. Reaching left fingertips forward, right heel back, big full breath in. Good as you exhale draw it in elbow to knee and round. 2 more inhale reach forward and back lengthening, exhale draw it in.

And then one more time, inhale reach forward and back. Exhale elbow to me rounding, press the floor away. Good. And then as you reach forward and back, we'll place the left hand down right toes, find the earth, spinning to the right heel. You're welcome to kickstand that left shin back a little bit. Bringing the weight into the left hand this time reaching right arm up, feel that expansion.

And then again, just notice where is your gazing point? I'm gonna take my gaze up toward my right fingertips. You might take that right arm up and over the right ear, feel that leg through the side body. Yeah. And if you wanna play with balance, you could float the right leg up. Ben the right knee, reach back, find that right foot, or ankle, and then start to kick the foot into the hand as you continue to spin the heart open, maybe gazing up.

Good. And then letting that go right hand down. Right knee down. This time, we'll tuck the toes, lift the hips up and back coming into our first downward facing dog. Notice how that feels. Maybe pedal it out through the feet as you start to feel into the back of the legs getting upside down a little bit.

Maybe swaying hips side to side. Gazing at the earth or up toward the navel. Beautiful. And then from downward facing dog, let's glide forward into plank pose, top of a push up. We'll take a moment to land in plank.

So letting the shoulders come over the wrists really activating through the thighs Good. And then from here, big breath in. As you exhale, simply lift the hips up and back to down dog, you might put a soft bend in the knees as you let your torso start to press back toward the top of the thighs. Beautiful. 2 more like that. Let the entire length of the inhale bring you forward to plank pose, top of a push up, and then allowing that entire matching length of the exhale to bring you back down dog. One more inhale glide forward to plank, exhale glide back.

Downward facing dog, just warming our joints. Good. And then coming forward to plank, we'll take a slow lower all the way to the belly. You're welcome to lower the knees, hugging the elbows in, and lower all the way down. Good. Untuck your toes. Press into the top of the feet as you inhale draw shoulders away from the ears will peel up into a baby cobra and keep the chin topped as the back of the neck is nice and long, allowing a big breath in. As you exhale soft and and release.

Good. 2 more inhale peel the chest up, cobra, Notice what you see as you exhale releasing it down. Good. One more inhale. Peel the chest up, press into the top of the feet. Maybe coming up just a little bit higher. And then softening the gaze as you release.

Good. Pressing back through hands and knees or plank pose, lifting the hips up and back for downward facing dog. Good. From here, just take a slow walk to the front of the mat, walking your feet up, toward your hands. We'll find a gentle forward fold here. Feel free to put a nice big bend in your knees as you let everything just but drape down. Let the crown of the head melt down.

Some might shift the weight back and forth a few times or side to side. Maybe the eyes are closed here. Just noticing what you see internally, how this feels internally. These forward folds can be really calming for our nervous system as a way to bow in towards self. But as you're ready, slow roll, vertebra by vertebra, oh, unraveling as we come to stand, maybe bringing the shoulders with you up towards your ears and then rolling them down the back. We'll draw hands together in front of the heart and start to play with some balancing postures here. So I'm gonna set my blocks up in front of me. So I have something to catch me when I fall because I'm anticipating that.

So otherwise, we'll start by rooting down through the soles of the feet, start to shift your weight towards your right foot and then start to draw the left knee in toward your chest. So you can lift the knee up toward the chest. You're welcome to keep the toes kicks standing down on the earth, reach the arms up toward the sky, softening the shoulders. And then here's where we really wanna find that drishti. That one point to focus the gaze, focus the mind. Something preferably that's not moving the spot on the floor in front of you or the wall.

Good. And then slow shift reaching the left leg back. Sweeping the arms back behind you, or again, you might be taking your hands down toward the blocks for support. Flex through the left heel. So we're in this kind of floating warrior 3 shape. Feel free to soften your right knee a little bit.

Beautiful. And then as slow as you can, let your left toes find the back of the mat and will come up into crescent pose. So reaching fingertips up toward the sky, you could put a soft bend in your left knee. And then find that expansion through the fingertips, through the heart space, maybe even take the drishti, your gaze up a little bit as you open up through the chest. Beautiful. Big full breath in. As you exhale circle hands down toward the earth, we'll sweep the right leg all the way up and back for a three leg down dog, and then bend the right knee to feel an opening through the right hip.

Letting your shoulders stay level. Maybe roll out your foot or your ankle a few times. Nice. And then keeping the right leg lifted, if it feels appropriate in your body, glide forward into plank pose, top of a push up, welcome to place right toes down, or keeping the leg hovering start to bend the elbows halfway or all the way down, Chaturanga, placing the foot down as you come toward cobra or maybe upward facing dog straightening out the arms. Firming thighs up off the earth, gazing in front of you, exhale roll over the toes coming back to our down dog. Beautiful, allowing a big full breath in here.

Maybe let out a sigh or a sound to release. Nice. And then rising high up onto toes, put a deep end in the knees, gaze forward, And then step, or maybe lightly, hop your feet up towards your hands. Good. On an inhale, we'll lay halfway up, gazing in front of you, offer the heart, Arda, uttanasana, exhale soften, enfold, uttanasana. Beautiful rooting down through the soles of the feet, sweep the arms all the way out and up. Gaze up toward the fingertips.

Excel gaze in front of you, hands come to heart center. Beautiful. And we'll take that all to our second side. So this time letting your left foot grounding get heavy, start to draw the right knee in toward the chest. Reach the fingertips up toward the sky. Find your drishti.

Notice that this side might feel a little bit more or less swaply and then the first side. It helps to engage the core here, letting it come from center as you find the balance. Beautiful. And then as slowly as you can, like, slow motion. Sweet that right leg maybe the arms reach back. Maybe they find your blocks or even the earth.

Feel free to soften through the left knee, find length in your spine. Good. And then super slow. We're not let your right toes. Find the back of the mat. Arms sweep up. Maybe gaze up.

Feel that expansion in crescent lunge. Maybe softening through that right knee. Good. Soften the shoulders. Relax and soften your gaze.

The space behind your eyes. Big full expansive breath in, exhale circle the arms down to frame your front foot And then sweeping the left leg all the way up and back. 3 leg dog. Feel free to put a bend in the left knee. Open up through the left hip, maybe roll out the foot a few times. Beautiful.

And then maybe you keep that left leg lifted as you glide forward to 3 leg plank or place the foot down up to you. Hug the elbows in halfway or all the way down Chaturanga, inhale heart lifts, cobra, or updog. And exhale roll over the toes downward facing dog, again, allowing a big full breath in. Long full breath out, rising high up onto toes, knees, bend, gaze forward, step, or lightly float the feet to the hands, front of the mat, inhale, Ardo, Usana, halfway, Exhale, uttanasana, fold, root down through the soles of the feet. Arms sweep out and up. He b gaze up toward the fingertips.

Exhale. Hands come to heart center. Take a moment. To pause and breathe. Notice what you see where that lands in the body, and you might tune into your periphery vision this noticing what you notice.

Good. So let's take one more round with this a little different this time as we play with bringing the weight toward the sole of your right foot. Same beginning start to lift the left knee up toward the chest. Arms sweep up. This time as we make the slow transition reaching the left leg back, maybe bring the right fingertips to a block or the earth and then start to open up into half moon so that left hip starts to open up and stack Good. Feel free to soften that right knee, reaching left arm up shoulder stack. And then your choice to play with your gazing point here. I'm gonna look straight down at the earth. If you want a really challenge balance, you might look toward the left wall or even up toward the left fingertips, maybe even playing with closing the eyes if you really wanna lose your balance.

Good. And then super softly, step the left foot to the back of the mat. Warrior 2, bend your right knee. Reach the arms forward and back and just take a moment to sink in. Vera Bedrasana too, and I'm gonna take my gaze over the right middle finger, being intentional with where you place the gaze. Where our attention goes, our energy flows.

Good. Flip your right palm. Start to tilt back reverse warrior. Reaching right arm up and over the ear, maybe sink in a little deeper into the right knee, and then circle down to the earth to frame your hands at the front foot. Step back, right foot plank pose. Feel free to keep that leg hovered.

Shifting forward halfway or all the way down Chaturanga, inhale cobra or updog. Exhale meeting back. Downward facing dog. Big breath in. Long.

Full breath out. Rise high up onto toes. Bend knees look forward. Step or lightly float front of the mat in how lift halfway links and exhale fold and release back and root down to rise, arms, sweep out, and up, exhale, hands gather, intention gathers in front of your heart. Good. 2nd side, as you're ready, start to bring the weight into the left sole of your foot, arms sweep up right knee toward the chest, find your drishti, and then keeping the gaze at your drishti as you transition reach the right leg back, left fingertips find a block or the earth, finding half moon, opening up through the right hip, reach the right arm up.

Good. And then as you find your half moon, again, are you gazing down? Are you gazing toward the sidewall up toward your fingertips? And see if you can bring as much awareness and energy to your right leg as your left hand. Breathe. Breathe in the shape.

Good. And then as you soften through that left knee, slowly as you can. Warrior 2. Her right foot finds the back of the mat. Take a moment to sink and settle in soft and shoulders. Energize fingertips. Beautiful. Take your drishti over the left hand, soften your gaze, And then flipping left palm, tilt back, reverse warrior, lengthen through the left side body.

Circle down, Vinyasa, maybe keeping that left leg floating halfway or all the way, Chaturanga, inhale cobra or updog, exhale downward facing dog. Beautiful, big breath in. Long release. Let it go. Flowed the right leg all the way up and back. Big breath in here. Draw the right knee toward the right tricep, and then take a big step to the outside of your right wrist.

So we're coming into lizard lunge. We'll plant the left hand down on the block or the earth, float the right arm up and twist. Good. And then letting that right hand come to the inside of the front foot, taking a few breaths in lizard lunge. Maybe that left knee lowers down. And you have your blocks.

If you have them handy, you might take your forearms to the blocks or to the earth, just finding your edge, and then invitation to, like, the eyes soften to close, to look to the internal space, What would it mean to to see and to be seen? Where might you soften? Allowing a few more breaths here, noticing your edge without force, without pushing through. Good. And then slowly make your way out of there. I'm gonna walk back up onto your hands.

We'll press the hands down into the earth, tuck the back toes, step your right foot back down dog. Good. I'm floating left leg up. Draw your left knee toward the left tricep big step to the outside of the left wrist. Just an easy twist as you plant the right hand down. Sweep the left arm up, maybe gaze up to the fingertips.

Just briefly here as we find that nice easy twist. Good. As you float the left hand down to the inside of the left foot, notice what variation of lizard might feel good as we get into the hips a little more letting the right knee lower. And this time, it might feel completely different. So maybe you're doing something completely different on this side. I'm, again, gonna take the blocks to the inside of my left foot. Letting my forearms come down to the blocks and invitation to soften close the eyes and just tune in.

Notice what you see. And so much of what we see externally can really inform how we feel internally. Allowing a few more full deep breaths. Beautiful. And then taking your time as you transition out of this second side, be taking the blocks off to the side of the mat. We'll tuck the toes, step back, down dog, left foot meets the right.

Beautiful. And then meeting seated at the front of the mat, you might hop your feet forward or just simply lower your knees and sit. Good. And then we'll bring the soles of the feet together, knees wide holding onto the toes or your ankles just to balance out right side and left. Big full breath in. Exhale.

Bow forward for badakanasana. Maybe gazing at your toes, breathing, Beautiful. Let your inhale bring you up and meet me on our backs here. So bring the knees with you, hug your knees into your chest, wobble a little side to side, maybe take your knees in circles in either direction. Is there anything else that you need to see here Look up toward your ceiling, the sky, and then take your time as you transition. To stretch the legs long on the mat for Shabhasana.

Bring the palms gently to face up. If it feels safe, let your eyes soften and close, go inward and just observe. Notice. Rest. Feel free to stay here with that internal gaze for as long as you'd like.

Otherwise, we'll invite any movement back the body noticing your breath. Just taking your time. Maybe rolling over to either side, taking a moment to pause on your side. Notice what you notice. We'll meet seated as you come up to comfortable cross leg seated position and can gather your hands together in front of the heart.

Maybe the eyes stay closed. It's noticing that internal space, that landscape within Thank you for joining me in this practice and this 1st day together. I really look forward to continuing this journey of the senses together, Namaste.


Jenny S
7 people like this.
Thank you for this “insightful” 😉😌 offering Sarah.  I was struck by how often I close my eyes during my practice when your gentle cueing suggested looking outward.  This change of perspective was quite “eye opening” (sorry about the puns, but this practice put me in a playful mood) ❤️🙏🏻🌞
Catherine A
So nice to have this challenge to look forward to in the coming days, Sarah! Really enjoyed this practice, many thanks as always 💗
Sarah Beston
I am so happy to be offering this new challenge and thanks so much for joining me, Jenny S! I personally love a good pun (my dad is the king of puns!). Thanks for sharing your playful mood—made me laugh! xoxo
Sarah Beston
Thank you so much for joining this challenge with me, Catherine A! Please let me know how the subsequent days go for you. Love and blessings, Sarah
Christel B
2 people like this.
Thanks for creating and offering us this challenge. I know i'll be enjoying it. Cheers

Lina S
4 people like this.
I've really enjoyed the sequencing of the poses. I like balance poses starting from all 4's to standing in mountain.
Francesca Venturini
Hi Sarah! so delicious practicing with you!
Kate M
3 people like this.
Sarah Beston , thank you for this lovely practice. The slow, mindful transitions are simultaneously grounding and challenging. The focus on drishti is so important! Love, love.
Kate M
4 people like this.
Another little comment: the graphic design for this show/season is amazing.
Katarina V
1 person likes this.
Thank you so much for this challenge! This first day was lovely. Much Love.
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