Enliven Your Senses: A 7-Day Yoga Challenge Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 5

Day 4: Smell the Roses

30 min - Practice


On Day 4, take time to smell the roses as we connect to the sense of smell in this dynamic chest opening practice. We begin tuning into our breath, noticing the temperature of the breath and the scents it brings in with it as you breathe. We move through lunges, explore arm variations in standing poses, and play into Camel pose to open the nose, throat, chest, and lungs, before closing our time together in an Alternate Nostril Breathing practice. You will feel spacious and present.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Welcome back, and thank you for joining me for day 4 of our enliven the Census Challenge. How are you feeling? We're almost halfway through. How are your senses? Are they opening up as you start to incorporate that into your day a little bit more, your prac this. And today, as we move into day 4, we'll look at the sense of smell. So waking up smelling the roses, starting to open up through some breathing practices, the nostrils, our chest, our throat, our lungs, so that we can enliven that sense and bring that more into our lives, into our practice, and ultimately the blending of them both So thank you for joining me.

Let's begin seated. So making your way into a comfortable seated position. If it feels comfortable to let your eyes soften and close, can start to shift the gaze internally, letting the eyes soften and close. And then just begin to notice the air moving in and out through the nostrils So feeling that breath in and that sweet exhale. I'm breathing out.

Again, feeling the air as you breathe in through the nostrils. Maybe breathing out through the nose as well, starting to tap into ujai breath. Slight constriction in the back of your throat. And then if you were to imagine your favorite smell, what would that be? And as you bring to mind, the sweetness of smell and what some of your favorite smells may be.

Notice how that lands in the physical body. Maybe you can tune into some smells in the space around you. Smell of rain, flowers, cooking, in the kitchen, And notice that our senses specifically smell can bring up a lot of memories. As we move into this practice with awareness to the breath, Just holding that lightly, gently. We'll start to open up those areas in the body, such as the breathing the nostrils, the throat, the lungs.

So as you're ready, and gently blink the eyes open, letting the hands rest on your knees in a comfortable cross leg seated position, and just start to move into some seated cat cow. So as you inhale, can draw the shoulders back, lift the heart, arch the spine. And then as you exhale, navel to spine, tuck the and just gently draw back. Good. And a couple more like that is you inhale feel the opening in the throat. So lifting the gaze.

As you exhale, tuck the chin around back, shrug the shoulders, let it feel good. One more inhale tilt forward and exhale, tilt back round, tuck the chin. That cat likes spine, maybe wobble a little side to side. Good. And then letting that go meet me in the tabletop position will start to build up from the ground. So as you come to tabletop, let the shoulders come over the wrist, hips, over knees, and we'll move into just some easy cat cow.

So as you inhale, Again, reaching the heart forward, lift the gaze, maybe soften the elbows a little bit. So bent elbow into cow pose. And then as you exhale, press the floor away and round into cat. And we'll do that a couple more times. The in hell brings us forward soft elbows, throat opens, and then the exhale out the nose rounding into cat pose.

Go one more inhale, bring it forward, cow, exhale round, press the floor away, cat pose, Beautiful, neutral spine, tuck the toes will come right up into our first downward facing dog. And as we've been exploring, just notice what movement would feel good in this downward facing dog. So maybe pedal it out. Sway the hips, breathe, maybe let out a sigh. Breathing up on the inhale all the way through the chest.

As you exhale, just letting it out. A couple more breaths maybe start to find some stillness with the hands, about shoulder width apart, feet, about hips distance, feel free to soften the knees, any amount. You might even step the feet a little wider. Just notice what you need today. What would make this practice feel really nourishing the body, the breath, your heart.

Beautiful. And then from here, let's float the right leg up and back. We'll take a moment to bend the right knee, open up through the right hip, pressing through both hands, feel that opening in the right side body, And then as you straighten out through the right leg, square off the hips start to draw the knee in toward your nose, hover for a moment, the top of a push up, And then gazing between the thumbs take a big step through. One step, bunch of steps doesn't matter coming into lunge. And from here, we'll let the left knee lower down on Janie Asana, low lunge sweep the arms forward and up, and just take a moment to sink into the earth. Big breath in through the nose. Maybe sigh it out.

Good. And then put a bend in the elbows to practice the arms. As you start to open up that line of the throat, you might take the gaze up lean back a little bit, Keep the core engaged so you're protecting through the low back. Beautiful. And then release the hands behind the low back, catch an interlace or opposite elbows. Start to draw the shoulders away from the ears, continue to lean back a little bit in any way that feels safe and comfortable in your body. Big full breath in and then exhale, hands frame the front foot fingertips to the earth shift back, half split, art, Hana Manasana.

You can straighten out that right leg any amount. Feel free to keep as much of a bend in the knee as needed. And then can you gaze forward so that you're lengthening the spine back of the neck? Nice. And then re bend through the right knee, tuck the back toes coming into lunge twist, lift the back knee, plant the left hand down. And reach the right arm up, finding a nice, easy twist as you open up to the right.

Keep hugging that right hip in. Staying active in the left leg. Beautiful. And then letting the right hand find the earth will step back plank pose top of a push up Start to shift your weight forward. Welcome to lower the knees here. Hug the elbows in.

Take a slow lower to the belly. Low cobra, peel the chest up, back of the neck long, hug elbows in. Big breath in. And exhale, press backhands and knees or plank pose into your downward facing dog. Breathing in.

Breathing out. 2nd side, lifting left leg up and back, inhale. Put a bend through the left knee to open up through the left side. Pressing through both hands let the shoulders stay level. Feel the opening in the left side body. Good. And then straightening that left leg and the amounts start to draw the left knee in towards your nose cover top of a push up, and then big step all the way through. Good.

Let the right knee lower to the earth on Janie and are reaching arms forward and up. Big breath in. Good. As you exhale land and feel the fort beneath you, low lunge. Beautiful. And then putting a bend in the elbows and just feel that opening through the heart space may be gaze up lean back a little bit. And then releasing hands behind the low back find an interlace with the fingers. Maybe the opposite thumb on top, start to draw the shoulders away from the ears lean back a little bit.

Heart open, releasing hands on either side of the front foot, shift back, arda, Hanamanasana, half split. Wow. Notice how this side might feel completely different from the first side. How does it feel for you? Breathe into sensation. Good.

And then slowly re bend through the front knee, tuck the back toes, lift the right knee up off the earth planting right hand down. Sweep the left arm up. Lunch twist. Open the heart toward the left. Maybe lean back a little bit. Good. And then left hand down plank pose, shift the weight forward, maybe halfway or all the way down.

You could stay with that cobra or straighten the arms, firm the thighs up off the earth, feel that opening in the throat. Exhale, meeting back in downward facing dog, good breathing in. And breathing out, release. A rise up high onto the toes. Bend your knees.

Step or lightly float feet to hands come to the front of your mat. On an inhale will lift halfway up, maybe walking hands up onto the shins, lengthen the spine, and then complete exhale as you fold back over the legs. Root down to rise, arms sweep all the way out and up, feel the length in the spine, reach high, and then draw hands together in front of the heart, allowing a few full deep breaths here as we stop and smell the roses both literally and figuratively as we notice where might we be rushing through our days a little bit? Where can we pause and notice a little bit more? And let's blink the eyes open if they're closed.

As you're ready, inhale arms, sweep out and up, put a cactus in the arms or a bend in the elbows as you lean back a little bit. And again, maybe take the gaze up release hands behind the low back, catch that interlace. You can also take opposite elbows on an inhale start to reach the heart up, big full breath in. Exhale soften the knees as you come into forward fold, reach the arms up over the ears. Stretching through the shoulders, crown of the head melting.

We release the hands on either side of the front feet, come halfway up lengthen maybe hands on shins, and then exhale step, or you could lightly float back through Chaturanga, feel free to skip it, inhale cobra or upward facing dog. And exhale landing back in downward facing dog. Beautiful. As you're ready, we'll sweep the right leg back up, 3 leg dog, draw the knee in toward the nose, and take a big step through between the hands. This time stay on the ball of the back foot, and you might widen the stance a little bit, stepping left toes to the left. And we'll come up into crescent lunge.

So sweeping the arms forward and up. Take a moment to land. You might soften the back knee a little bit, letting the hail bone meltdown. Like, the shoulders soften. Your gaze soften. Good. And then again, put the bend in the elbows to cactus the arms, maybe lean back, look up, release hands behind the low back, catch that interlace or opposite elbows.

Draw the shoulders back. Lean back. And then coming into humble warrior, you could stay on the ball of the back foot for balance, or if you want a little more stability, spin the back heel down for that warrior one stance. Again, just kind of notice where you're meeting yourself today honoring that. Beautiful as you inhale leading with the heart come all the way back up either crescent or warrior one.

As you gaze up, maybe press palms together above the ears. And then exhale releasing hands to the earth, step back, plank pose, chaturanga exhale, inhale cobra or upward facing dog, and exhale meeting back. In downward facing dog, nice work. And just taking that all to the second side in how left leg sweeps up, Exhale draw the knee in toward the nose, hover, big step through between the hands, setting up for our crescent base, maybe stepping the right foot to the right a little bit. Once you have that foundation, build from there, sweep the arms out, coming into high lunge, take a moment to sink in. I'm working again with that Drishti that we worked with a few days back.

That gazing point. Good. And then put a bend in the elbows, cactus the arms, feel the opening in the chest, the lungs, throat, release hands behind the back, maybe catch the opposite thumb on top, drawing shoulders, away from the ears, lean back, heart lifts, humble warrior or humble crescent. I'm gonna spin the back heel down. Arms lift, really feeling that rooted connection. Crown of the head melting, giving away what you don't need here.

Giving it to the earth, letting it go. Good. And then leading with the heart, come all the way back up, or you're one. Reach arms up. Maybe press palms together above your ears. And then exhale. Step back. Plaint pose, chaturanga, cobra, or up dog.

Big breath in. Long, full breath out. Beautiful. Allow a few full deep breaths as we land in down dog. Matching the length of the inhale through the nose and the length of the exhale.

Out the mouth or nose, notice what feels good. Nice. And then let your knees find the earth Keep the toes tucked and sit back on your heels for a moment. So stretching through the soles of your feet. Maybe letting your hands rest on your thighs. Close the eyes, if that feels safe for you. Just becoming aware of what's around you, the temperature of your space, feeling of the breath.

And you're welcome to day here. If you're looking to move into some hard opening postures, let's bring the hands to the low back for support either fingers facing up or down. Whatever feels best and most supported to you, and then we'll stand up on the knees. You could keep the toes tucked if that feels okay or untucked, if that feels best for you. And then hugging the elbows in, start to draw the shoulders away from the ears, and lifting from the sternum Again, just taking the gaze up, maybe leaning back a little bit, and just stop where it feels sweet to stop. Trying to keep the hips aligned over the knees.

K. We'll do a few rounds with this. So I'm gonna stay here for this first round just feeling that big opening in the throat for camel pose. Good. And then lifting from the core as you come back up, stand on the knees. Maybe untuck the toes, sit back on your heels for a moment. Just rest in awareness, rest in the sacred pause between the postures to notice where they land, what comes up for you.

Gotta welcome to stay here. You're up for another round, we'll stand up on the knees. And you tuck your toes, hands to low back for support. Draw the elbows back, heart, and sternum lifts, throat opens, gazing up, either staying right here up at the top, or you might reach your hands back to find your heels, your ankles. Keep pressing the hips over the knees.

Gotta draw the shoulders back feel that big opening expansion across your chest, be it a place where you can still allow the flow of breath in and out through the nose. Beautiful. And then supporting the lower back as you lift up from the core, untuck the toes. Sit back on your heels for a moment. Again, just notice. Be the witness, the observer.

Where does that land in your body? And your breath. I'll take one more round. So, again, standing up on the knees, knees about hips distance. Hands to support the lower back, hugging elbows in, lift from the heart, the sternum, lift the gaze, Maybe reaching back, find the heels of your ankles, heartless, breathe, Good. Support the low back, lift from the core.

Come on up. And just to gentle counterbalance, letting the hips sink back towards your heels. Breathe here. And it might feel good to walk your hands forward for child's pose really opening up the low back. Couple breaths. Beautiful. And as you're ready, we'll meet back in downward facing dog, tuck the toes, lifting hips up, and back.

Floating the right leg all the way up in back, draw the knee in towards your nose, and then setting up for single pigeon start to parallel the shin. Toward the front of the mat, letting it land behind your wrists, and take your time as you sink in. And you might take something under that right hip, a blanket, bolster. Take a moment up at the top. You might lean back a bit and lift the chin slightly. And again, just encouraging that opening in the front body.

And then waiting for that invitation to go a little deeper, maybe walk your hands forward, any amount. I'm just taking a moment here in Pigeon, getting into the hips. Continuing to notice the air moving in and out through the lungs, your nostrils. Tuning into perhaps some of the other senses here, are there sounds that are perhaps a little bit more clear, little more apparent that we notice when we actually stop and smell the roses. I feel that sense of of touch maybe drawing a prayer to the 3rd eye, feeling the parts of the body that are connected to the earth supported.

Humerbreths. Good. And then take your time making your way out of that side. We'll meet back in down dog and just notice what you may need to let go of that side, maybe pedal it out. You might take a vinyasa if that feels good for you coming forward to plank, moving through Chaturanga, inhale cobra or upward facing dog, exhale meeting back in down dog. You're reaching left leg up and back.

Big breath in. Exhale knee toward the nose and then resting the shin on the mat behind the wrists. Noticing as you come into this transition, how this side might feel a lot different and take a moment up at the top. You might bring fingertips out in front of you as you lift the heart, the gaze, And you might stay there or waiting for that invitation to walk the hands forward finding your expression of the pose, just the way in. Right? All these postures are an invitation to go in a little bit deeper.

Any sensations that may arise, noticing. And notice how they shift and change shape take your time as you walk your hands back in, stepping back to downward facing dog. Just notice how that feels, what you may need here. I'm gonna take one last vinyasa coming forward to plank. Inhale, exhale Chaturanga, inhale COBRA, or upward facing dog.

Exhale down dog, come to seated at the front of the mat, maybe hopping the feet forward or just walking forward and Finding your way to a seat. However, that makes most sense to you. We'll stretch the legs long, sit up tall on the sitting bones, wiggle in, She inhale, reach the arms up, leading with the heart coming into a forward fold. Whatever that looks like for you. Today. As you inhale, maybe lengthen the spine, open up the throat and exhale fold in, bow in toward yourself, honoring yourself for showing up today, practicing being present with your experience.

Beautiful as you inhale slowly come up, and we'll find a comfortable cross leg seated position just like how we started, and we'll finish with a breathing practice, alternate nostril breathing to continue to open up the right side, the left side, So we'll block off the right nostril with our thumb, allow a big full breath in through the left nostril. And then up at the top, blocking off left nostril with ring finger and exhale out the right nostril. Inhale right nostril. Block off right, exhale left. Inhale left.

Exhale right. In hell, right, Exhale left. Inhail left, Exhale. Right? Just allowing a few more rounds. On your own at your own pace.

Alternate nostril breathing is a great way to calm their nervous system. Balance, the lunar and the solar qualities that we all have that shift from time to time. Just clearing that passage way so that you can enliven that sense of smell. And then turn and live in your sense of presence. Finishing up whatever round you're on.

Just take a moment to observe. Notice how you feel. Perhaps what's coming up for you as your intention for this day, both on, off your mat. And I thank you so very much for joining me for this practice. Thank you for being on this journey with me, and I look forward to practicing with you again soon.

Thank you.


Martha K
3 people like this.
A beautiful practice that enlivens as it calms the senses

Jenny S
3 people like this.
This made for a perfect late afternoon class…that time of day when I start feeling sleepy and need both a “time out” and a renewed sense of vitality. Martha K describes it perfectly ❤️
Christel B
1 person likes this.
A lovely practice!  After the breathing exercise I was able to breathe out of both nostrils whereas at the beginning out of only one of them.  Is the right the solar and the left the lunar?
Sarah Beston
Thank you for sharing, Martha K! Enlivening and calming presents such a nice image! I hope you are enjoying the rest of the challenge. Warmly, Sarah
Sarah Beston
I can so relate to that time of the day, Jenny S! I typically practice yoga first thing in the morning, but definitely need "something" at around 3pm or so daily. Thanks for inspiring me to revisit some yoga during that time!
Sarah Beston
1 person likes this.
Hi Christel B ~ thanks so much for sharing and what a cool observation. Yes, typically we speak to the left as the lunar qualities - calming, cooling, moon, feminine and the right as the solar qualities - heating, energized,  sun, masculine. We all carry these two energies within us. Hope that is helpful. Please feel free to reach out anytime with questions. Warmly, Sarah
Glenford N
1 person likes this.
Thanks Sarah. I'm enjoying being on this spiritual journey with you. Namaste. Greetings from a wet, windy Melbourne.
Sarah Beston
It's lovely to be on this journey with you, Glenford N! Thank you so much for sharing your experience. Warmly, Sarah
Sandra Židan
I loved the alternate nostril breathing practice at the end! It made me feel relaxed! Thank you very much for this beautiful practice, Sarah! Namaste! 💖🌹🥰
Sarah Beston
1 person likes this.
Thank you for the inspiration this morning, Sandra Židan. You’ve inspired me to explore some breathing practices today. Sending my warmest regards, Sarah

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