20-Minute Yoga Flows Artwork
Season 7 - Episode 8

Holding onto Joy

25 min - Practice


How do we hold onto joy when we are agitated? In this class we move through variations of familiar poses like Plank, Lunge, Side Angle, and back bends to challenge your neurology, agitate the nervous system, and build technique to maintain calm within the storm. You will feel expansive, focused, and aware.
What You'll Need: Mat


Read Full Transcript

Thank you for joining me for holding on to joy. Let's go ahead and get started in a nice seat, bringing your hands onto your knees or onto your thighs. So if you can really lift your chest, tip your pelvis forward, close your eyes for a moment. Let's take a nice big breath and through the nose. And a big breath out through the mouth.

One more time. Inhale. And exhale. And just allow your awareness to move into the body Noticing any parts of the body that feel stiff. I feel tight. And just allowing your shoulders to relax, allowing the chin very softly to tuck in towards the chest so that the sides of the neck elongate.

Feel and allow the crown of the head to reach up to the sky and then feel your hips smelting down towards the earth. Relax through the low belly. And as you're ready, just start to move the breath, breathing into the belly, and then exhaling feeling the belly drawing in and slightly up. And let's take a couple more breaths just like that. And then when you're ready, blink your eyes open.

Let's go ahead and zoom into our hands and our knees. So hands under the shoulders, knees are stacking under the hips. What I'd love for you to do here now is bring the knees together And let's take our right leg and swing it around the front of the left leg so that the left knee is fitting behind the right knee. Open your feet up as wide as you can. Find all ten toenails plugging into the mat.

So if your toes are scrunched up, see if you can invite a spread to the toes. And now we're gonna flip the wrists. So your right wrist takes a full turn back. Your left wrist takes a full turn. Shoulders are hugging back.

Think again, chin softly in towards the chest. I want the sides of the neck to grow. Want the crown of the head to reach for it and the tail to reach back. We're gonna start to circle our hips and at first, let it be nice and slow. Nice big circles.

Notice if the shins and if the knees are kinda wildly lifting. See if they are, if we can really connect a little bit more into the tops of our feet. And then as you feel that freedom coming to the hip joint, to start to circle a little bit faster. And you could let your head roll as well if that feels good. Can let the torso get involved. So there is this invitation of the cat and of the cow in the spine as the hips take on most of the movement.

Don't worry about what it looks like. Let it feel really weird. Couple more circles. And then we're gonna pause, flip your right wrist around, flip your left wrist around, swing the right leg back, circle your hips a couple of times one way. Couple of times the other way.

And then with the knees and the thighs together again, this time, left leg swings around the right. So the right knee is behind the left knee. Open your feet up as wide as you can. And then again, we're gonna flip our wrists. So risk creases are forward.

Fingers are back. Soft little vents, the elbows, let's go counter clockwise. Nice and slow. And if those shins and if the knees are lifting, press even more into the tops of the feet. And then as you feel that space opening, let it get a little bit faster. You could start to circle the head You could find that invitation of the cat and the cow through the spine.

Couple more. And then we'll find stillness flip your wrist back around. Pause. Swing the left leg back. Circle your hips couple of times one way, and a couple of times the other way.

And then let's find a nice neutral spine. So make sure that your hands are right under your shoulders. You're gonna flip your right wrist, so we've done this before. You're gonna flip your left wrist and then you're gonna flip the right wrist back around, flip the left wrist back around. We're gonna go back and forth. Right, left, flip, flip, right, left.

And then try to let it get nice and fast. In a way to imagine your hands just kind of on a nice little hot griddle. We're not trying to rest the hands too long but there's a nice light little lift. Couple more try to keep the hips stable for 5 for 4 for 3 for 2 And for 1, take a big breath in. Take a big breath out.

So let's extend the right leg back with the toes tucked find a nice little pulse for it in back just waking up the feet. Bring your right knee back. Extend your left leg back. Again, low pulse waking up the feet. And then let's extend the right leg back, finding high plank top of a push up, from here, fold up and back downward facing dog. Nice generous bend to the knees.

A little bit of a bounce. So we're moving the chest back towards the knees and back towards the thigh. Shake your head. Yes. Shake your head. No. And then from here, let's roll it forward into a plank.

Make sure your shoulders are over your wrists. We're gonna tuck the tail and draw the belly in and up. Now squeeze the inner thighs, squeeze the glutes for support. Let's flip our right wrist forward flip the left wrist forward. So we're in a full flip wrist plank.

Bellies drawing in and up. Flip the right wrist forward. Left wrist forward. Right wrist, left wrist, back and forth. It's kinda like what we did on our hands and our knees, but now with the addition of the plank.

Keep the belly drawing in and up. Find that stability for 3 for 2 and for 1. Lower your knees. Hips to your heels. Take a moment in child's pose.

And just sway your head side to side. Come back to the breath. Go ahead and press up onto your hands of your knees, tuck your toes, lift your knees, send the hips up and back into downward facing dog. Let's send our left leg up high to the sky. We're gonna step the left foot forward and outside of the left hand.

Lower your back knee down. Bring your hands nice and wide. So if we're on a clock, left hand is at 10 o'clock, right hand is at 2 o'clock. I like to tent my fingertips so I'm nice and lifted. See if you can fit your left knee into your left armpit.

Keep that fit. I know it feels quite snug. We're gonna start to circle the hips counterclockwise. And if it feels small, if it feels strange, Just go with it something new, something different. Go the other way. Go clockwise. And then I wanna keep the knee connected to the armpit.

And as I keep the knee connected to the armpit, I'm keeping my left foot down As they start to straighten the left leg, bend the knee, look forward, straighten the leg back and forth. Keep that contact. I know it feels snug. We're just really getting into the hip joint. Couple more back and forth.

And the next time you bend your left knee, bring your left hand inside of the left foot so that the heel of the hand and the heel of the foot line up. Right hand comes down. Left knee is bent at that nice ninety degree angle. I'm gonna tuck my back toes, lift the back knee. I'm gonna spin the right foot down at about 45 ish degrees. But the thing here is is I want that right foot almost all the way over to the right side of the mat.

Feel that left knee, plug into the left shoulder. Notice when the left hand wants to lift. Try your best to keep it down. Bring your right hand to your sacrum. Look out in front of you.

So we wanna imagine the crown of the head reaching forward, the tail reaching back, this left knee pressing like crazy into the back of the left arm. Giving us stability. From there, lean back into the arms so you'll feel this is if your right hip is softly shifting forward. So we have a neutrality in the hips, but keep plugging that left knee into the back of the left arm. Keep looking forward. And then let your left eye spin over to the right and up to the ceiling.

Reach the right arm up to the sky. Keep plugging the left knee into the left arm. Keep lean back, pivoting that right hip forward, and then try to keep the hand down and just start to extend the leg. Bend the knee. Extend the leg.

Bend the knee. Couple more times extending. Bending, extending, and bending. And then we're gonna turn to the right side of our mat for a wide legged forward fold So at first, just sway it outside to side. Shake your head. Yes.

Shake the head. No. And then we're gonna bring the feet in closer together. Keep the knees bent. Try not to lock out the knees here. K? We're gonna bring the feet in right hand goes on to the left shin.

Left arm's gonna cross over the right arm. To get the right ship. I'm gonna pull the shins in towards one another. Keep the knees bent. As I pull the shins in towards one another, with my heels, I'm gonna imagine that I'm pulling them out apart.

And as I do those 2 things, I'm gonna move the heart forward as much as I can and traction through the low back. Breathing here. So keep pulling the shins in towards one another. Keep pulling the mat apart with the heels. And keep moving the heart forward between the arms for 3.

For 2, And for one, release, come back to the top of the mat, downward facing dog. Let's roll it forward into a high plank. Come all the way down to the belly. Come onto the tops of the feet, tense your fingertips nice and wide, lift softly through the chest, baby cobra, inhale. Excel forehead comes down.

Again, press the feet. Lift the chest. Forehead comes down, press back into downward facing dog. Take a nice big inhale. Big exhale.

Right leg high. Step your right foot outside of your right hand. Lower your back knee down. From here, arms open up wide. So again, remember, try to fit the knee into the armpit circle clockwise.

Go counterclockwise. Keep the right foot down. Keep the contact as best you can at the knee and the armpit. Straighten the leg. Bend the knee.

Extend the leg. Bend the knee. Let the heart move forward. Few more times. Last one. So now right hand comes inside of the right foot.

Heal of the hand lines up with the heel of the foot. Right knee, nice ninety degree angle. I'm gonna tuck my back toes, lift the back knee, I'm gonna bring the back heel down and take the back foot a little more over to the left. Try as best you can to keep the right hand down. Plug the right knee into the back of the right arm.

So feel that contact. That's your stability. Left hand to low back, look out in front of you. Feel length from the crown out through the tail. Start to lean back into that right leg and press the leg back into the arm.

You'll feel your left hit point move forward Right? You feel this support to lean back, and then all you need to do is let the right eye spin over to the left and up to the ceiling. Maybe the left arm reaches up. And then when you're ready, start to extend the left leg Bend the knee. Extend the leg.

Bend the knee. One more time. Extend. And bend. Bring your left hand down. Let's come back into downward facing dock.

From our down dog, come forward into your plank, all the way down, press into the feet, lift through the chest. Forehead comes down. It's to heal's child's pose. Take a few breaths. So now let's come up onto all fours.

Bring your knees together again. Swing the right leg around the front of the left leg. So we've been here before. Open your feet up. And this time, we're gonna go forward and back Just for a few breaths because next time we come back, let's sit down and back.

Bring your left foot forward. It's best you can so that's in line with this top knee. Now I like to interlace my hands around the top shin, top knee. So that I can pull the heart forward, tipping the pelvis forward and unlocking the pose. From here, start to tip the pelvis forward and back in cat and cow. It's okay. If it feels tight, just give it some time to open up.

Keep that forward tilt as best you can. So I like to invite the sense of a backbend in the chest here. Close your eyes for a moment and just breathe and notice what's going on in the hip joint. Notice if the right buttock bone feels like it's lifting. See if you can plug that right buttock bone down.

Plug the left buttock bone down and keep tipping the pelvis forward through the chest. Release the jaw. Uncrinkle the forehead. And then as you're ready, we're gonna twist to the right So left hand, perhaps on that right thigh or on the right knee, right hand is gonna come behind you. Super gentle.

If the hand is on the knee, I want you to feel as if you could throw the right knee into the left hand. And that that is what's turning you. Think chin softly into the chest. Right. But I've been plugging down. Couple more breaths, and then come back through center Try to keep the legs as they are.

Bring your hands or your fingertips by your sides, see if you can lift the butt up and press yourself back for it onto your Gomu Kasana all fours. Reorganize yourself so the legs are still as they are that left knee is behind the right knee. Right hip is back. Left hip is forward. From here, I'm gonna start to walk my hands back and come to stand.

On my gomukastana shins. Right hips drawing back. Left hip is drawing for it. This is challenging on balance. So if you feel challenged, you fall in and out, it's okay.

Keep coming back. Trick is to really find the tops of the feet which will support the balance here. From here, reach the arms up to the sky. Send your thighs forward. Send the tailbone down.

Let the pubic bone go forward, lift up through the navel through the sternum and think that you are back bending. You're moving forward. You're moving up and slightly back. 2 more breaths. Size 4.

And then carefully, carefully, carefully bring your arms down, slowly transition the hands down, Unwrap the right leg. Circle your hips. That should feel really nice. And now let's do the other side. So the knees are together.

Left leg swings around that right leg, right knee, fits behind the left knee. Feed open up y. Go forward and back. Forward and back. Next time we come back, as best we can, we're gonna sit down in between the feet and this side is gonna feel like whole different world and that's okay. So organize yourself as best you can so that we really find that we are seated on both buttock bones.

Feel the left buttock bone plugging down. Feel the right buttock bone plugging down. Wrap your hands around the knee or the shin. And start to tip the pelvis forward and back. Nice and easy.

So it's in this forward tilt where we're lifting through the chest where we actually find the freedom in the shape where the hips starts to actually find space. So key plugging that left buttock bone down, close your eyes. Breathe, directing the breath, all the way down into the pelvis. Keep lifting through the chest. And then opening your eyes, keep the lift in the chest.

We're gonna twist to our left. I like my right hand on my left knee. You might like a different variation, but we're bringing our left hand behind us. And I'm thinking that I'm throwing my left knee into the right hand to keep that lift of the chest and to help me turn so that I'm not overworking my back. Gens softly and towards the chest.

Few more breath. And let's carefully come back to center. Plant your hands or your fingertips by your sides. Use your strength, lift the butt up, slide forward onto your Gomu Kasana all force. Crawl your hands back towards that front knee and then allow yourself to stand up on your shins.

So left, hit back, right, hit forward. I'm gonna reach the arms up, throw the thighs gently forward, slide the tailbone down, send the pubic bone forward, lift up through the navel, up through the sternum. So I'm thinking that I'm moving forward. I'm moving up. And slightly back finding this back then. And again, give yourself the grace if you're falling out of this.

It's okay. Find the tops of the feet. Lift up and go back couple more breaths and then very carefully releasing the arms down. Hands come down, unwrap the legs, circle out your hips a few times, And let's find any comfortable seats bringing your hands on your thighs or hands on the knees, lifting through the chest, close your eyes. Draw your awareness in, noticing any shifts. Noticing where we are feeling more expansive, more space.

And as you breathe, just filling every corner of the body. And let's take a big breath in through the nose. Hold the breath at the top. Long slow exhale release. Push all of your air out.

Hold the breath out at the bottom. Inhale. All the way up to the sternum. Hold the breath once you get there. Exhale release.

And return to a natural, steady rhythm of breathing. Bring your hands onto your heart and take a moment bow your head, look into your heart and acknowledge your effort, acknowledge the joy inside of you. That you have held on to with gratitude. Thank you for sharing your practice with me today.


M Angela C
2 people like this.
A creative and expansive practice. I was truly absorbed, focused and appreciative of finding more space in ‘new’ areas.  Thank you!
Sarah-Jane Stephens
Brilliant! Hard but very enjoyable
Jenny S
3 people like this.
Wow Justin!  Who knew there were so many ways to enjoy Gomukhasana?  You did, of course!  Love your creativity ❤️
Sandra Židan
Hi, Justin! It was a bit scary experience for me to stand up with legs in Gomukhasana but I did it anyway! Thank you very much for this interesting practice! Namaste! 💖
Kate M
2 people like this.
Wow! That took me into some places I've never been before! Always a good thing!!
Marisa W
Wow. Love this for the space in hips and the extra balance challenge! Also love the micro guidance and reminders to focus on certain body parts that are inevitably tensed up or lifting. Thank you! 
Michelle F
Hi Justin,
Thnks so much for this intense exploration - wow I could not stand up on my knees, with one knee in front of the other-no way whatsoever - it really made me go ..."WHAT!!!!????"  - will be trying again tomorrow...it was such a surprise!
Have a beautiful day

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