30-Minute Vinyasa Yoga Artwork
Season 3 - Episode 4

Grounded and Light

30 min - Practice


Play with expansion and contraction on your way to Single Leg Crow, a shape that requires both of these concepts at the same time. This challenging, creative, and engaging class moves through core work, Sun Salutes, and standing poses towards our peak pose with the support of our blocks. You will feel accomplished, strong, and capable.
What You'll Need: Block (2)

About This Video


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Hello, and welcome. I'm Maeve. We have a fun practice ahead of us today. We're gonna work on this sense of ex expansion and contraction, and we're gonna see what comes up with poses as we do that. We're gonna start on our backs. You will need a block today. Not yet, though.

We're gonna start on our backs now. And you can have your hands anywhere, but maybe consider bringing them onto your body. So you have a little more tactile relationship with your breath. Just inhale expand. Exhale.

Empty the breath. At the end of the breath, just a little bit of a drawing in of the belly. Inhale, expand, exhale, contract, on your own 3 more times. I'm gonna let this breath carry us through our practice today. You're next inhale.

Reach your arms forward. Curl your shoulders up off the ground, bring your legs in, and if they're not in toward each other already, and then just float the legs up. We're gonna come into a low boat. No. The expansion here is gonna be a little bit harder when we have this much abdominal engagement, and that's totally fine. Release your left leg down.

Stretch your right I'm sorry. Your arms up and draw your right knee toward your right shoulder. Push your left leg down nice and strong. And then reach the right leg. Press it down to place it with purpose and then draw the left knee in. Reextend, inhale, exhale, contract, inhale, expand, exhale contract.

Inhale. Place it. Press down. Exhale draw in. Last one. Inhale and exhale. Inhale.

Exhale. Bend both knees. Stretch the legs forward. Let the legs lift you up in to Nava Sinha, bent or straight leg. Bend your knees in, cross your shins, downward facing dog. Inhale glide forward to plank.

With your exhale, you can use your knees. You can lower the hips or you can lower down in one straight line. Come on down to your belly. Gonna slide your forms forward. Elbows under your shoulders.

Palms spread open. Inhale. Pull the heart forward. Chantply draw the elbows toward the back of your mat. Spinks.

One more inhale. Shoulder blades. Nice and hugging into the back. Color bones broad. Exhale. Tuck your toes. I know that was a long inhale.

Come up and some flank. Now spread your shoulder blades. Press your hands down. I'm just gonna scoot back so I'm even on my mat. Stay here. If you need to, you can put your left knee down. Inhale.

Right leg stretches back. And if it feels okay, point the toes, really lift the leg back and a little bit of extension in the hip, now push the floor away. Release the foot down. Right knee can come down if you need to. Push the floor away.

Split spread the shoulder blades, tried to combine two words there, and then stretch the left leg back. Same thing. Reach it back and lift it up a little bit. Release the foot. Lower down. Nice work.

Slide your hands back by your rib cage, hug your elbows in, Lyft the shoulder heads, cobra, inhale, down dog, exhale. Inhale. Right leg reaches back if it feels nice. Open up the hips. Get a nice twist here.

Try not to dip into the left shoulder, though. Lift that left shoulder up equal pressure in the hands. Breath in, right knee, right tricep exhale. Inhale. 3 legged dog. Exhale place your foot forward.

So I'm gonna give you some options here based on How warm you feel, how comfortable you feel on the pose. We're taking a twister. So you can keep your left hand where it is here. That's beautiful. If you want, you can sneak that left arm outside the right thigh, hands into prayer, or you can expand the arms open. I'm gonna go here.

And then reach the crown of your head forward. One more inhale. Hands release down. You're gonna find those blocks. You're gonna bring them to the top of your mats.

Could have set that up, but that's okay. Gonna push off the back foot and pull from the front leg and lift into warrior 3. I'm gonna scoop myself back a little bit here. The positions of locks is based on where you can get the most length here in your spine. So you don't want the blocks right on top of you because you can't lengthen forward if you're doing that.

So bring them forward. Pull the heart forward. Pull the top of the head forward. Breath in. Exhale. Contract.

Bend both knees, bring your left knee to your left tricep. Inhale. Virab address and a 3 supported. Exhale contract. Inhale.

Exhale. Hold here. Inhale. Rise up to stand. Take this left knee wide and then reach the arms forward. Work your standing like real, real strong.

Pull the knee up. Pull the knee up. And Malasana sink down. Really nice work. Enjoy a couple breaths here.

I'm gonna move my blocks a little forward, but you can just scoot back if you want. Hands come down, and I want some distance between your hands and your feet, please. Come up onto your toes. Knees come to your triceps. This is beautiful.

This doesn't have to change. Push the floor away round the upper back, scoop the belly, and feel the expansion and contraction, maybe tip, tip, tip, come into crow, You'll start to take your left leg back. Right foot comes down. Half moon. Option to take the top leg, foot to hand, and expand.

If you have the foot, Gently release. Try not to snap it back. Bend your standing leg. Reverse warrior. Just your stance however you need to when you get there. So even here in this static pose, there's this element of expanding and contracting, not just your breath, your body.

So the feet are pulling toward each other gently. This right side of your body. Really beautiful big expansion. Last inhale and hands to the ground. Exhale. Plank and hail, lower down to your belly, Shalabasa, Open up.

Really reach those feedback, reach the hands back. And down dog. Pause and breathe. Feel all of that. Inhale. Left leg back.

If it feels nice, open the hips. Try not to dip in this right shoulder, right arm. Pull the heel towards your sitting bone. Inhale. Exhale.

Left knee. Left try some. Inhale. Straight back. And exhale, place your foot forward. We have our lunge twist here.

So all the same options. Hand can stay down. And I didn't give you this option on the first side, but you could use a block here as well. You can have the right arm outside the left thigh. And you can open the arms up here.

Twists. Truly are an expansion and a contraction, right? We're turning our body. But we're still expanding. So rather than taking your body crazy over to the left, give yourself enough space that you can feel that reach of the head away from the back foot back foot away from the crown of the head. One more inhale.

Ex. I'll release the hands. Find your blocks. And then supported warrior 3, rising up, feeling this right leg really, really stretching back. Crown of the head, expanding the spine forward. Breath in.

Contract, exhale, right knee, right tricep. Inhale back. Exhale drawing. Inhale. Exhale.

Inhale. Rise up. Reach the arms forward. See if you can pull this knee up So this is the shape of single leg crow. So if you didn't think you could do single leg crow, Hi. You're doing it. One more inhale.

Malasana. Exhale. Enjoy this moment. Reconnect to your breath. And we are going to move into crow again.

So hands a little forward. I like to bring my feet together, split my knees, You do not have to leave the ground. You do not have to leave ground. Bring your shoulders forward. Maybe there's just a natural tipping, spread the shoulder blades, push the ground away, You're gonna start to stretch the right foot back.

The left foot comes down. Chipasana, if you'd like. Really nice. If you have your foot release it, bend your standing leg, reverse warrior, inhale. Breath in.

Hands to the ground. Blank and hail. Either Chaturanga or the floor, updog or repeat Shalabasana or COBRA. And downward facing dog. Inhale to your toes.

Bend your knees. Look at your hands. Bring your feet to your hands. Come right down. Navasana.

With control. Arda Nivas. Arms up, right knee, right tricep or shoulder. Really bring it up there. Stretch this left leg long.

Curl the shoulders up. Push your hands up. Rounder upper back. And switch. Both legs. Reach.

Rise into votes. Cross your shins. Make your way to downward facing dog. One more breath here. And just bring your knees to the ground.

And find a block. Okay. So I am a big well, when I say so a lot, but it's usually become about to say something really but I'm a big fan of your own perception of a pose, your own interpretation of a of a pose and you feeling like it's enough. It doesn't have to be, photograph worthy. To be the pose that we're looking for.

We're gonna use this block as a support, and it's gonna give us the freedom to be in the pose without having to exert as much energy. Doesn't mean it's not still work. I'm just gonna give you that as a disclaimer. The pose is single leg crow. So we're gonna have it off to our right side.

We are going to put our right shin on said block. So I'm gonna bring my hands forward. I'm gonna bring my right shin onto the block. Push the floor away, scoop the belly up, And then left knee is gonna come on to my left tricep, and now I'm in single Ed Crow pulling my heel, my foot toward my sitting bone, working the arms like crazy. I'm even off the ground with my lower body. You can just pretend that block's not even there.

Last inhale. Carefully bring it back down. Mawasana. Just a nice little break here. And we'll use this time to switch the block over to your left side.

Now let's do it on the left side. So left shin comes onto the block. Hands come forward. Right knee to right tricep. Pull this foot up.

Press the floor away. You're not passive in this bottom leg, Push down to give yourself more leverage. Release that. Malasana again. And forward fold.

Inhail rise. Exhale bow. Halfway inhale. Fold exhale. Rise.

Inhale. And hands to your heart. Beautiful. Alright. 2nd variation. Block.

I like middle heights. You can play with this. You're gonna have it on your right side again. This time, we're gonna put our right foot. Instead of our shin, we're gonna put our right foot on the block.

So hands are gonna come forward. Bring your foot onto the block. Need a tricep. And then extend this left leg back leg crazy. Hug your elbows in.

Work this back leg like you're in warrior 3. Knee comes in, release, and Malasana. Really nice. Now there's no way that I could hold that pose for that long without the block. Just so you know, this isn't like my strongest post, so I really enjoy using prop.

To make the pose accessible to me. Okay. 2nd side, move the block over to the left. Take the hands forward. Left foot on top, knee into tricep, and then right leg extends back. Bring the knee in. Malasana.

You can move the block to the top of your mats and downward facing dog. So that was not easy in any way for me. But I still feel really successful. I feel the work I just did. I feel strong.

And really capable. Right leg is gonna extend back with your inhale. Expand Exhale, contract, knee down the center, right foot steps forward. You're welcome to use your blocks here. Back leg is in a lift.

Standing splits. One of the reasons this pose is very challenging is you have this tiny little balance point for your knee. You're a little I mean, I'm not saying your triceps are little, but in general, they're the upper arm is not that big of a platform. And then, of course, there's a whole plethora of other reasons. It's hard. Left knee comes to your left tricep.

You are going to either stay here We're gonna bring your hands down to the ground, and then you just let your weight kinda shift into that left side. Come on to the right toes, and then maybe hug the knee in, possibly extend the leg back. Step back, right foot, left foot, Vinyasa, whoo, if you want. And down dog. Nice job.

Inhale, left leg back, down the center with a knee, place the foot forward, inhale expand into standing splits. I like to think of this pose as a single leg forward fold. So you can stay here, or at any point in time, you can jump ship. Write me to write tricep. Hug the elbows in.

Shift some of your weight off to the right, hug the left knee toward your heart, and then extend that leg back. Left foot steps back, right foot back, lower to your belly. Nice. Good. Stay here or bend your knees. Reach back for your feet and blow pose.

Don, your arsenal. Really good. One more inhale. Release down. Child's pose.

Yay. I'm gonna give you the option to stay here. Like, you need this quiet. It feels good. Or come forward. And one more bow. Release.

Back to child's pose just to transition and then come to sitting. Nice work. I truly hope you feel like you did the pose because you did. We don't have to put an asterisk next to using props where it looking different. It's perfect.

K. Left foot in. It actually doesn't matter which side, but I'm gonna go left foot in right leg extended. Open. If it feels nice, Big expansion here. I'm gonna use my right arm against my inner right leg to get a little more opening. Y'all, I could stay here all day.

This side specifically. Which is probably why I picked it to go first. Rise up inhale and switch. Inhale, and let's take it to the other side. Again, I'm gonna use my left arm.

It's a little leverage to wrap open. You're in how it brings you up. And come onto our backs. Really nice work. Okay. This is up to you.

You can either hug your knees into your chest Just a nice, easy up in Asana. I am going to take a chat. I'm sorry. A happy baby. One of those children's poses, a happy baby. Dropping my sacrum heavy.

If it feels nice to you, you can straighten your legs out. And then using the hands, pulling against the feet, the feet pressing into the hands, creating a little tension to give you a little bit more sensation and perhaps a little more opening. And then bring the knees back into the center. Release the legs out and arrive in Shavasana. You just did a lot of work.

Let it fall away. Encourage your body. Not to fight gravity. But really just to come to it and allowing the weight of your body to increase as you are here. You can stay as long as you want in Shavasana.

If you're ready to come out, bend your knees. Reach your arms overhead and roll to your side. From your side gently, Bring your body up to sitting. Sit in any comfortable position. And as we close our practice today together, acknowledging how strong you are, not just physically, but mentally, for trying something new that might be a little challenging.

I hope it builds your confidence in your body, in your focus, and in your practice in general. Bring our hands together and prayer together. Bow your mind to your heart. Rise. Allow your eyes to gently open.

Thank you so much. For practicing with me today.


Catherine A
Hi Maeve, this practice together with the previous 'Empowering Crow Pose' have proved really helpful to me and transformed my 'crow pose' which has absolutely never been a thing of beauty ........! Flying crow was beyond me, but something to work towards and have fun with in the future nevertheless. Many thanks for these very practical sessions. Best Regards ❤️💖🥰
1 person likes this.
Thank you so much, Catherine A. Remember that the poses need NOT be a thing of beauty. I am much more interested in you having fun and working toward something! Imagine if it was beautiful and not fun? Blaghk! I'm glad you put the practices together and have felt some form of transformation. I feel like each practice has similar threads that speak to each other. I would suggest trying them again down the road and see what emerges. All the best.
Kate M
2 people like this.
Empowerment in action. 
Another incredible sequence! 
Something I have noticed as I get older (I'm 65) is that inertia is a thing I have to constantly work against. This practice gave me so much to work with! And your guidance is a blend of intelligence, empowerment, and compassion! 
Thank you Maeve M !!
1 person likes this.
Great sequencing and use of props Maeve. I’ve not thought of using them to get into challenge poses. Thank you! Robin
Sandra Židan
Thank you very much, Maeve, for this beautiful and interesting practice! I couldn't do single leged crow without the block and I did ordinary crow but it was also interesting and challenging! Namaste! 💖❤️🌹
1 person likes this.
Kate M wow, thank you. It's interesting how age plays into our practice. I am so much more easeful than I was when I was younger in so many ways, yet I can't (or don't want to) do all the things I once did. This is why our practice is such a timeless thing; it meets us wherever we are in life and brings a new set of factors! 
1 person likes this.
Robin awesome! I'm glad you liked the use of the props. They really give a new view to so many poses. Thanks for practicing with me!
1 person likes this.
Sandra Židan There is nothing ordinary about crow. :) I love that you use the word interesting (now twice) in reference to my classes. I appreciate it! I find "interesting" (for me)  is a gateway into learning more about ME! I hope you feel the same. All the best. 

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