20-Minute Yoga Flows Artwork
Season 7 - Episode 7

Joyfully Upside Down

20 min - Practice


Enjoy this fun inversion class that will build a foundation for a strong and confident Supported Headstand. We move through Sphinx, Dolphin, and a standing sequence to activate the forearms, the heart, and the core, then play into Sirsasana A, our Supported Headstand. You will feel accomplished and inspired.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video


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Thank you for joining me for joyfully upside down. Let's have some fun. We're gonna start in child's pose. So let your knees come out nice and wide, send your hips back to your heels, reach the arms for it, and just let your forehead come down for a moment. Sway your head side to side.

So when we start to release through the neck, through the head, And then as you're ready, just finding stillness, start to scan the body. In particular, the shoulders the neck, the jaw, and the low back. And just allow a softness to wash over the whole backside of the body, noticing your breath, Start to deepen the breath, breathing all the way down into the belly, let the breaths whirl all the way around to the low back so that as we breathe the next few breaths, and feel like expansion through the rib cage. And just a couple more breaths. And then when you're ready, let's come up.

We're gonna bring our knees close together. Come down into your forearms, and we're gonna slide the legs back coming into sphinx pose. So switch your hips from side to side just to find a little release through the low back. Spread your fingers out nice and wide And we need to really focus here on pressing the forearms into the mat. This is really gonna be key for our practice today.

So press the forms into the mat and then start to pull almost like you're pulling the mat back to move the heart forward. And just feel that activation. And then do the opposite and just relax. And then let's do that again. So activate, press the forms into the map.

Pull the map back. Move the heart forward. Keep activating. Keep pushing. Do the opposite relax one last time.

So activate forearms, activate fingertips, feel the shoulder blades protracting. Pull the mat back. Heart forward. And then relax. Good. And then we're gonna come up onto our hands and onto our knees.

Inhaling arch the back, drop the belly, send the heart for, and exhale. Tuck the tail curl and round. Pause in the rounding here. Feel the pulling apart of the shoulder blades here just so we notice that. I'm gonna come back to that in a moment. And then do the opposite.

One more time. Arch and round. And open. Now, stay on your knees. Let's lower our forearms down. So we're gonna find that activation again through the forearms and we're gonna inhale open up the chest.

Gonna feel very small. You're curling through the low back. And then exhale, press into the forms and puff up through the upper back and pause. So feel that pressing down into the earth through the forms the pulling of heart of the shoulder blades, the filling of the upper back, and then arch. And let's just do a couple more of these so we really find that solid foundation for our headstand back and forth. 2 more. Last one.

Open the chest. And exhale, puff up through the upper back. And then let's come up into our hands and our knees. Tuck your toes, lift your knees, send your hips up and back, finding a downward facing dog. And just take a moment here, pedal through the feet, Shake the head out. Yes.

Shake the head out. No. Spreading the fingers nice and wide. Really finding thumbs index fingers plugging into the mat. Take a nice big inhale. Big exhale.

One more time. Inhale. And exhale. Inhale roll into a high plank, So shoulders over the wrists. Now from here, I invite you to tuck your tail, squeeze the glutes fire up through the inner thighs We're gonna lower onto our right forearm and then onto our left forearm. And from here, walk your feet in and send your hips up as high as you can for Dolphin.

I like to keep a bend to the knees and then walk your feet back Press back up into your plank. Downward facing dog. Let's do that again. So you're gonna roll forward into your plank. Squeeze the inner thighs, squeeze the glutes, lower down into the right forearm, left forearm, feet walk in dolphin, Back to your forearm plank.

Press up into the hands. Regular plank and downward facing dog. Take a big breath in. Big breath out. Float your right leg.

High to the sky. Draw the right knee to the right elbow. Little tap. Inhale. The right leg. Hi. Take the knee to the left elbow.

Little tap. Inhale the right leg. Take the knee to the nose, step or walk the right foot forward between the hands. Take your time. We're gonna come up into a high crescent lunge.

So reaching the arms up to the sky, right hip is back, left hip is forward. I'm firming the ball of that back foot so that back knee, back thigh is quite lifted. And then from here, let's open up warrior 2. So nice wide stance, plugging into the ball of the back foot. So back leg's super strong.

Right knee on top of the ankle, peaceful warrior, flip the right palm up, reach up and back, And then side angle, we'll start with the forearm to the thigh. Our right hip is moving back. Left arm is reaching up and over the left ear. Use the right form in the thigh and just start to spin your right ribs up to the sky. Keep charging through that back leg, through the back foot.

Feel the arms activating here. All five fingers of that left hand come together and maybe stay here or for a little extra spice reach the right arm under the right ear. All five fingers together. Charge up the arms. So feel that activation from the forms, the biceps, the triceps for 3, for 2 and for one, peaceful warrior. Right.

Our reach is up and back. Cartwheel your hands down. Step back. Downward facing dog. Come forward to plank, lower right forearm, lower left forearm, Walk the feet in, one breath, feet walk back, press up to plank, and downward facing dog.

Big breath in. Big breath out. Left leg high. Left knee taps left elbow in how the leg high, left knee to right elbow, Inhale the leg high. Take the knee of the nose.

Left foot forward between the hands. Arms reach up. High crescent lunge. So left hip is back, right hip is forward, left knee tracking right on top of the ankle. Shoulders relax. And then I'm on the ball of that back foot.

So that back knee is lifted. There's air underneath of that thigh. Open up warrior 2. So nice wide stance. Shoulders, relax, peaceful warrior.

Left palm flips up. Reach it up and back. Side angle. Left forearm left thigh. Right arm up and over the right ear. Feel the left hip moving back.

Fire up through the back leg, and then feel all five of those right fingers coming together. So we're starting to engage the arms. Use the left form, turn the left ribs up to the sky. And if you want that extra spice, left arm under the left ear. All five fingers together, breathing here for 3 for 2, And for one peaceful warrior, float your hands down, downward facing dog, come forward into your plank, lower onto the forms, 4 in plank, walk the feet in dolphin, Walk the feet back.

Come back to your regular plank and downward facing dog. Take a big breath in Big exhale. Slowly walk the feet forward to meet the hands at the top of the mat. And then once you're there, let's roll it up one vertebra at a time. Head last.

Shoulders roll at the top. Now, bring your feet together, bring your palms to your heart, take a couple of breaths, keep the palms at the heart, and we're gonna sit back into a little mini chair, and we're gonna cross left elbow over onto the right thigh for revolved chair. And then from here, start to pick up the left heel float the left leg back, finding your low lunge prayer twist, or revolve side angle. So turn the left side of the belly over and up to the right side. Press back through the ball of that back foot Couple more breaths.

Hands come down and downward facing dog. Big breath in. Big breath out. One more time. Inhale. Excel.

Again, feet walk slowly to the top of the mat. Slowly roll up, roll the shoulders, Take a moment. Take a couple of breaths. Palms to the heart again. Feet together again, sitting back into our mini chair. This time, right elbow crosses over onto that left thigh for a revolved chair.

And then we're gonna pick the right heel up slowly start to float the right leg back for our low lunge prayer twist. So I'm turning the right side of the belly over and up to the left side. Couple more breaths. Hands come down downward facing dog. Couple of breaths here.

Go ahead and lower down to your knees and come to sit back on your heels. We're now gonna work on Shashasanae, which is supported headstand. And great option variation is to work this at a wall. So we're gonna start on our hands and our knees. We're gonna come down onto the forum.

So we've been here before. This is the 1st phase. I want you to interlace your hands. So we're interlacing the hands. This is the basket for the crown of our head.

The crown of the head is the very top of the head. Before we do anything, find that activation through the forms and exaggerate it. So press your forearms into the mat and puff up through the upper back. And do that a couple more times. Press the forms, puff up through the upper back last time, press and puff. So I like to say this is kinda like a a form push up.

Now from here, walk your knees in closer to your elbows. We're gonna lower our head into our basket. So the head is in the basket. My knees are walking in from here. I'm gonna press into my forearm so much that my head lifts. So we're doing the forum push up, press into the forums, lift the head, Couple more times. I really want you to feel that.

That is our foundation. And you might be working with this for a little while. Until you feel comfortable playing with the next part because this is a lot of work. Now from here, the next step is to tuck your toes and lift your knees and send your hips up and back walking your feet in for Dolphin. So I wanna keep pressing my forearms into the mat so much that I can lift my head up.

Super important. Next step, left knee might draw into the chest. Cool. You could work here for a really long time. It's a lot of work. Right knee might draw in.

But until I can bring both knees into the chest and hold, Then next step is to raise the legs up, finding your Shashasana a, your supported headstand. If you find the headstand, breathe about 10 breaths, feel like you're tucking your tail, You're reaching the toes up and elongating through the spine. And then we wanna exit slowly, bringing our feet down, bringing our knees down, bringing your knees nice and wide, hips back to the heels child's pose. Take a moment. Swaying your head side to side.

Take your right arm. It'll start to thread it under the left arm for child's pose with a twist. So turning my head to the left and very gently reaching forward through those right fingertips and pressing the left hand down. Allowing the breath to begin to slow down. Allowing all the work just to begin to marinate through the body, through the mind, through the heart.

Let's take about 5 more breaths here. Belly, ribs, and heart, and exhaling hearts, ribs, and belly. And then slowly bring your right arm forward. Pause before we switch sites. And then let's take our left arm, thread it under the right arm, and turn your head softly to the right, reaching out through the left fingertips and pressing the right hand into the mat.

Just feel that expansion through the ribcage. That nice release through the inner thighs. And that's sweet slowing down with the heart rate. The breath. And then bring your left arm forward.

Forward head down. Just sway your head side to side one more time. And then walk your hands back. Bring your knees softly in towards one another into any comfortable seat, perhaps sitting back on your heels. And invite you to take your index and middle finger of your right hand to the 3rd eye center to the space between the eyebrows.

Take your right thumb to your right nostril inhale through the left nostril. Hold the breath at the top, cover the left nostril with the right ring finger, exhale through the right nostril. Inhale through the right. Cover the right with a thumb, exhale through the left. In how left?

Cover the left with the ring finger, exhale right. Inhale right? Cover right, Excel left. In hell left. Cover left, exhale. Right?

Yeah. Now, right? Cover right exhale left. Bring your right hand down onto your lap. Close your eyes. And just allow your effort to marinate through the body to feel the effects of your work, of your practice.

And then bring both of your hands onto the center of your chest. Bow your head in towards your heart. And acknowledge your effort today, your practice, and your willingness to explore with gratitude. Thank you so much for sharing your practice with me today.


Jenny S
4 people like this.
This practice was just what the Dr ordered for this introvert 👍 after being around extended family and celebrating holidays and birthdays, it was nice to be alone and practicing upside down.  A fresh perspective, if you will.  The alternate nostril breathing was a nice way to balance things out and end the practice.  Namaste 🙏🏻❤️
Sandra Židan
Thank you very much, Justin, for this great practice! I was doing the dolphin pose while you were doing the headstand because I still can't do it but I did everything else! Namaste! 🥰❤️
Michelle F
3 people like this.
Hi Justin,
I´m finding these short practices very sweet indeed - sometimes less really is more! Thank you.
Have a beautiful day!

Kate M
I really loved the progressions you designed here!!
Thank you, Justin!
Laura M
sooo good. thank you!

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