Burn Bright: A 14-Day Yoga Challenge Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 11

Day 10: Ignite

25 min - Practice


Consistently show up, in your life and on your mat. Devotion to our practice and to our goals means to show up on a regular basis, evenly igniting the tinder to sustain your inner fire. On Day 10 of your challenge, Ashley leads a class to help find space, range of motion, and strength in the shoulders as we move towards Headstand with the help of a chair. You will feel present and peaceful.

Journaling Prompts for Day 10: What things do you lovingly commit to with ease? What things are harder for you to commit to? What do you think the disconnect is between the two?

What You'll Need: Mat, Chair, Block (2)


Read Full Transcript

Welcome to day 10. Ignite the tender. So for practice today, you'll want a chair and a couple blocks. And we're gonna start out in a little supported heart opener over our two blocks. So taking on medium height, this will go against your shoulder blades. And the second one tall underneath your head.

So as you lie back, you wanna find that place where the first block feels flat against your shoulder blades, and your shoulder blades feel flat against your back. Again, the second block is simply there to support your head. And if you find this is a little too much resistance across your chest right from the start, turn each of your blocks down one notch. Either keeping knees bent feet on the ground, hip distance apart. This is often kinder if the low back is tender. Otherwise, stretch your legs out long, separating your feet, the distance of your front hip points.

Spin your inner thighs down so your toes point up and then coil the pit of your abdomen in and lengthen your lower back. Like you could smooth the top of your bum to meet your heels. Close your eyes a moment or find a point to softly focus on. And set an intention for the practice ahead. Why this now?

Once you have that gathered, if you'd like from this place of support, You can join me in an opening home. Nice full breath in. Blink your eyes back open. Clean up the flex in your feet if you lost it. And then reach your hand straight up to the sky.

Interlace your fingers. Slip your palms skyward straighten through your arms. And how it reach your arms overhead as you draw your front ribs down and into your body. Again, lengthen through your low back, like you could stretch your tailbone to touch the space between your heels. And then exhale palms back up to the sky.

Separate your hands, switch to the less natural grip opposite thumb on top. Once again, slip your palm skyward and straighten your arms. In how it reach your arms overhead. As you draw your front ribs down and in. Breathe into the added expanse through your heart.

And exhale, firm, your abdomen, bring your hands to the sky. Separate your hands and lower them by your side. Bend your knees, place your feet on the ground, roll carefully onto your side off of your props, and press the floor away. Set your blocks off to the side and make your way to your hands and your knees. Walk your hands a few inches ahead of your shoulders and parallel the creases of your wrist to the top of your mat.

Spread your fingers evenly wide and with an inhale glide forward, lift your chest. X, hug your toes, lift your knees, take your hips up and back, adomukashvanasana downward facing dog. Try to hold the stillness this morning straighten through your arms And if you're feeling any stress through your hamstrings, please feel free to bend your knees as generously as you need in order to maintain the length in your spine. Take your time. Walk your hands back to meet your feet. Once you're there, grow your heart forward elongate through your spine.

If you're rounding through your back to keep contact with the earth, Please feel free to put your hands on props, bring the earth a bit closer to you. Bend your left knee. Try to keep your right leg straight and place your left hand right underneath your face. Take your right hand to your sacrum, that last triangular shaped bone just above your tailbone, and now stretch from naval to sternum. As you exh, how revolve to the right. If and when you're ready, take your right hand skyward, maybe let your gaze follow.

And then, x, I'll take your right hand down. Bend your right knee. Place right hand right underneath your face, left hand to the top of your bum, reach your heart straightforward. And as you exhale, revolve to the left. If and when you're ready, take your left hand skyward.

If it feels alright in your neck, look skyward. And, x, how fold it in, straighten both legs to your comfortable edge and in how draw your chest forward, lengthen your spine. Firm your abdomen, take your hands to your hips, broaden your chest. Root down hinge from your hips to stand upright. And then take a walk to the top of your mat, Ta Dasana, mountain pose.

Classically, we bring our feet to touch. As always, if it feels more stable in your body, feet hip distance apart. Press into the earth in how reach Skyward, Exhale, wait a little forward in your feet, fold in half. Inhale, grow your heart forward are. Bend your knees enough to get your hands down, step it back to plank pose, top of a push up.

Take a full breath in, glide forward, and lower all the way to meet the mat. Brush your toes back. Come on to your fingertips like you had tennis balls below your palms. Direct your tailbone a bit down between your legs as you draw your heart forward and up. Pause at the top.

Roll your shoulders up, set them on your back, and then exhale. Return it to the mat. Plant your hands, tuck your toes under, walk them in. Inhale to plank or hands and knees. And then exhale, take your hips up and back, downward facing dog. Inhale, lift your left leg.

Lead from your inner thigh so your toes point straight down. Keep your leg long as you glide your body forward to plank, top of a push up. Press the earth away, hug your knee to your nose, lift the pit of your abdomen, and then step your left foot forward between your hands. Stack knee on top of ankle, pivot your back heel down, and align yourself heel to arch. Draw your left cheek under you press down in Windmill up and open to Vira Badrasena 2, Warrior 2.

Rotate your front arm so your palm faces the sky reverse your warrior, vibrate a virabhadrasena. Bend your top elbow and cradle the base of your skull in your hand. Sit half an inch deeper. Feel the imprint of the block at your upper back, guiding your shoulder blades up and into your heart, as you wrap your outer arm toward your face. Restrate in top arm.

Bring your body up. Right? Reach out over your front leg. Take forearm to the thigh and now slice through the air with the thumb side of your hand. Reach your arm in line with your ear. Revolve open through your chest. Bend your top elbow. Put your hand at your upper back.

Use the hand now as a little reminder. To firm shoulder blades toward your chest as you draw your front ribs in. In how we straighten your top arm. Take your hand to the sky. Ex how look down.

Take both hands to the mat. Find the ball of your back foot. Step yourself to plank, top of a push up. Briefly, right hand center, roll to the pinky edge of your foot, turn open through your heart. Reach your top hand skyward. Rotate top arm.

Reach long in line with your ear. Inhale hand to the sky, exhale both hands to the mat. Glide forward, lower all the way to meet the earth. Brush your toes back. Take your fingertips to the back of your head, elbows wide.

Press down through the top of your feet smooth your bum toward your heels. Lift just your elbows and then draw your heart forward and up. Muckrossana crocodile pose. And excel set it down. Bring your hands alongside your rib cage.

Tuck toes under, inhale to your plank, and exhale back to downward facing dog. Inhale lift right leg, Keep your leg long as you glide your body forward to plank pose, top of a push up. Breathe out of your knee to your nose. And then step your right foot forward between your hands. Stacked knee on top of ankle, pivot your back heel down, and align yourself heel to arch.

Bring your right hip under you till front knee tracks with second toe, and then windmill yourself up and open 0 Bedrasana 2, warrior 2. Rotate your front arm. So palm faces the sky. Reverse your warrior. Bend your top elbow.

Createle the base of your skull in your hand. Again, sit half an inch deeper. Wrap your outer right arm toward your face as you broaden your chest. In how we straighten your top arm, bring your torso up. Right? Reach out over your front leg. Take forearm to your thigh.

Slice through the air with a thumb side of your hand. So you end up with palm facing the wall at your back. Bend your elbow. Take your hand to your upper back. Press your shoulder blades forward as you draw your front ribs in.

Revolve open through your chest as you wrap your outer arm toward your face. Inhale. Restrate in top arm. Take your hand to the sky. X, I'll look to the earth. Take both hands down.

Find the ball of your back foot. Step. It's a plank. Walk your left hand center about an inch roll to the pinky side of your left foot, stack your feet, turn all open through your heart. Rotate top arm and reach long in line with your ear. Inhale, top hand to the sky, exhale both hands to the mat.

Rock forward, again, lower all the way to the mat. Brush your toes back. Reach your hands forward. Smooth your bum toward your heels. Draw your chest forward and gaze at the earth between your hands.

Reach back for the legs so much they come lightly away from the mat. If you can hold the integrity in your spine and do so, reach forward with your hands and ex How sad it all down? Bring your hands back alongside your rib cage, your wrists under your elbows. Tuck your toes under. Press to hands and knees.

Alright. Grab your Two Blocks once again and set the medium height in front of you. Alexo. Shoulder distance apart. Stack your hips directly over your knees and take the back of your arms the back of your elbows to your blocks.

Walk your elbows forward a bit and take your hands to your upper back. Now if you don't have blocks to do this with, instead shift your bum back to child's pose, rotate your arms so palms face the sky, and then same thing from here, hands to your upper back. Okay? Wherever you are, wrap your outer upper arms down and in toward your face, you're trying to broaden your upper back initially. And then send the bottom tip of your shoulder blades up and in toward your heart.

Creating a touch of extension like the tiniest little backbend in your upper back. Balance that opening through the heart by drawing your front ribs and your navel in. And breathe into the link through the back of your arms. And take one hand off the block, put it on the mat. And then the other.

Set your blocks to the side once again. Set your forearms down elbows right underneath your shoulders. Interlace your fingers, wrap outer arms toward each other, reach your heart toward your thumbs, and then draw your chin in. Tuck your toes, lift your knees, push the earth away with the length of your forearms coming into doff and pose, or ardapinchamayarasana. From shoulders against the back as you first tippy toe your feet in, and then walk your feet back to a forearm plank.

Set your front body down. Brush your toes back and briefly separate your hands. Lift your heart. Open your chest. Sphinx.

Reinterlace your fingers. Tuck your toes under, walk them in. Press back through the heels, hug navel to the spine. And then lift your hips from shoulders against your bat as you tippy toe your feet in. Inhale, lift left leg pick your right hip up, pin it in, and set that foot down.

Do the same thing on the second side. Lift your right leg. Pick left hip hop, pin it in. Set your foot down. Come on down and just briefly rest.

Child's pose. So in 90, the tender, To set a fire properly, you have to ignite the tender evenly from all sides. And as we move towards our headstand here, the same is true. We have to contain front body in, back body forward, side body drawing in. Little light from every side. If you haven't already, roll yourself up, grab your chair.

And if you like the security of a wall, when you're working your inversions, hit pause for a moment, move yourself to a wall, and then hit play. I'll be here waiting for you. Alright? So I'm gonna set my chair up toward the back end of my mat with the front seat of the chair facing the top of the mat. From here, take your feet a bit wider than the legs of the chair and scooch in a little closer than feels natural. This is just gonna help you with the stacking of your body. Alright.

Set your elbows down right underneath your shoulders and interlace your fingers. Cup your palms like you're holding a little baby chick. So close enough that the chick is held, not so close that you're squishing the chick. Right. Tuck your bottom pinky in so you give yourself a flat base, wrap outer arms back, and then bring the crown of your head to the ground. And the back of your head right against the heels of your palms.

Tuck your toes under, lift your knees, and then step your feet onto the seat of your chair. Shift your hips forward so they feel aligned a little bit more over your shoulders. Firm your abdomen and take one leg up, reach actively through the ball of that foot, and invite your second foot to meet your first. And if this doesn't feel stable in your body today, by all means, keep one foot on the chair the whole time, reach up through the opposite leg. Press down for the length of your forearms, lift your shoulders away from your ears, and reach really actively up through the balls of your feet.

As you're ready to leave, one leg at a time comes right back to the chair, and then step your feet off the chair. Take your knees down. You can scooch yourself a little bit further away. Bring your knees wide. Your big toes to touch and once again, fold it in child's pose.

So yesterday, I shared a little bit from the yoga sutra's about practice. Practice becomes firmly grounded when well attended to for a long time without break and an all earnestness. So without break was patience. Today, we talk a little bit about devotion. Slowly roll yourself all the way up.

Move your chair off to the side. And come lie down. Have a block in reaching distance. Bend your knees, place your feet on the ground. And then press into your feet, lift your hips, and slide your block underneath your sacrum at any height that feels stable in your body.

Press into the back of your arms, walk your shoulders underneath your chest. Rotate your upper arm so your palms face the sky. Pick up your feet, stack your knees, and line with your hips. You can keep knees bent or stretch feet up to the sky. And notice if you lost the lift in your heart, if the answer's yes, press to the back of your arms, walk your shoulders under your chest a touch more.

Fan your toes. Practice becomes firmly grounded When Well attended to, for a long time, that was actually the patient's piece. Without break is the devotion. I talk often with students that are like, oh, I've been doing this practice for years, for decades. And I can't do x, y, or z.

Rebend your knees. Reset your feet on the ground. Stretch your legs briefly out long. If your low back doesn't care for that, rebind your knees. Take your arms overhead, finding little cactus arms for a moment, and breathe into the opening through the whole front of your body.

And after a little bit more investigation, oftentimes, it's like, I've been practicing for years. I mean, I didn't for that 6 months when such and such was going on, etcetera, etcetera. There are little gaps in the work. Rebend your knees. Place your feet on the ground.

Lower your arms back down by your sides. Press into your feet and lift your hips just enough to slide the block out from underneath you. And set it off to the side. Right. Take your feet as wide as your mat.

Maybe giving a little sway to release slow back. If you're craving a more traditional simple twist by all means, honor that. Otherwise, in your own time, stretch your lags out long. Take your feet a bit wider than your side hips. Allow the feet to flop open.

And once again, walk your shoulders a touch underneath your chest, adding to the lift of your heart. As you invite your arms to spill long at the sides of your body. So devotion without break. It doesn't mean that you have to go with full intensity, with full fire into the practice every day, every moment. But it does mean that you are consistently showing up.

When I say practice, I'm meaning more than what we're doing here together on the mat, just in the way you're showing up in your life. Can you commit to your goals? Can you do even just 1% each day? So that we are evenly igniting that tender. And building a full rich fire within.

If you're at ease as you are, stay as you are, as long as you'd like. Otherwise, bring a little movement to fingers, to toes. Bend your knee. Sweet. Your left arm long in line with your ear.

And today, let's roll on to the left side. Just mixing it up. Bringing a little bit of that light, that heat, that power as we move into our day. Press the earth away. Bring yourself up to seed in.

Join your hands at heart center. Lift your chest. We bow our chins and gratitude. Namaste. Thank you for sharing your practice


Lina S
4 people like this.
I've "lost" the ability to do headstand. I've always been fearful of headstands. However, you've shown an interesting way to familiarize with the posture. I tried it with a chair. Although I didn't feel to lift one leg, I felt hope. Maybe with practice, I will be able one day to overcome my fear.
Ashley R
3 people like this.
Lina S, the fact that you tried today is huge!!! I’m so happy to hear that today’s practice gave you hope❤️🤗  Be patient with yourself and it will all unfold in time. If you didn’t already try it this way today, the next time you attempt your headstand with the chair, set yourself up at a wall. Set up with your knuckles against the wall so that the wall is at your back when you bring your feet onto the chair. Then, if you feel comfortable taking one, or both, of your legs up, you have the wall there to support you.  If you’d like even more support, set yourself up in a corner so you have a wall at your back and sides
Sandra Židan
Hi, Ashley! Thanks for this challenging and interesting practice! I couldn't do the headstand and instead of it I have made a dolphin pose. I am looking forward to practice with you tommorrow again! Namaste! ❤️🥰
Jenny S
6 people like this.
Very cool practice!  I love how inversions offer a fresh perspective 👍 and for whatever reason, headstand and I have always had a nice working relationship.  Every time I encounter this pose in a practice I ask myself “why don’t I do this more often?” Thank you for these practices with their innovative sequencing! 🙏🏻❤️
Ashley R
2 people like this.
Sandra, dolphin is an excellent alternative to headstand. Thanks for listening to your body🤗 Have a beautiful rest of your day!
Ashley R
1 person likes this.
Jenny, maybe this will be your year of more headstands🤗 Thanks for shifting your perspective with me today!
Kelly B
4 people like this.
I really liked this one! I often find myself confronting ego in the persuit of an elusive asana like headstand, especially as I age and my body works differently than it used to. The beauty of devotion and patience in practice over time (coming up on 30 years now!) is that you learn it’s always changing. What’s elusive now may come easily tomorrow, and what’s easy today may be impossible tomorrow! The practice is really to just keep showing up 💪🏻
Ashley R
2 people like this.
So beautifully said, Kelly B. I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed class and thank you so much for this poignant reminder❤️
Sharon R
4 people like this.
This definitely goes in my favorites! Love the mix of movement and the headstand felt great. It's been toooo long since I've been upside down. Thank you! I am so grateful for you and this!
Ashley R
1 person likes this.
Thank you, Sharon R 🥰 I’m honored to have a class on your favorites list and glad the headstand was a welcome treat. Nothing like flipping your world upside down to offer a shift in perspective❤️
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