30-Minute Vinyasa Yoga Artwork
Season 3 - Episode 9

Spacious Twists

30 min - Practice


Find space in the upper body in this twisting class. Our flow stabilizes the legs and core to find length and twist in the torso in Revolved Half Moon, arm balances, and a Camel twist. You will feel spacious, calm, and invigorated.
What You'll Need: Mat, Block (2)

About This Video


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Welcome. Hello. I am Maeve. I'm so happy you're here today. We've got some really delicious twists coming our way, and I don't usually refer to yoga is delicious, but I think these are gonna be really nice in your body. We are going to start in child's pose, please. I would suggest having a block or 2 as we start to get into this practice.

You don't need it now, but have it handy. Arms overhead. Just arrive on your mat. Walk your right hand over to the right. Left hand over to the right.

Plug your left hand down into the ground. Do the same with your right, actually, but we're getting this beautiful side bend in your left side. So the more pressure you give to that left hand and gently draw your left hip back, you're gonna get a lot of nice feedback here. I think. If it's not, just ease up on it.

That's kind of the sensation in this practice is that there's nice tension. There's nice feedback And when it's not nice, I want you to ease up on it. Come back to center. And then left goes to the left. Right goes to the right. And we do the same thing.

Stretch the fingers long, press down into that right hand, especially left hand also. From that nice connection of your hands down, especially the right hand, you're drawing your right hip back. Doing a nice side bend and expansive sensation on your right side. Come back through center. I like to think of my hands like suction cups here.

So it really kind of suction cup your hands down. And if you think about a suction cup, the edges of the suction cup draw toward the middle to create that sense of power of strength of suction. So using your fingertips in that way to kind of get that sense if the arms are really powering up. Hands powering up. Tuck your toes. Come into a short down dog, please. So feet are gonna be a little closer to your hands than your usual setup, and we're gonna take the feet pretty wide here. I like to go as wide as my mat.

Right arm. Nice and strong. Left hand. Maybe to your knee. Your cough or your heel. And then just start to turn to the right, maybe tuck the chin toward your shoulder a little, you're holding your right leg. If it feels okay, bend your left leg, the leg you are not holding, and it might not feel okay.

So don't do it if it doesn't feel okay. Press the heel down if you lifted it, release the left hand, re center, resuction cup those hands, and then we'll go to the second side. So right hand to the left leg, anywhere that it feels good. And draw yourself. Almost like you're trying to draw yourself under that left arm, and the chin can tuck up toward shoulder a little and maybe bend the right knee, the leg that you're not actually holding.

Press the heal town, release the hand. You're gonna lengthen your dog out. Inhale come into up dog on the balls of your feet. Just open up the chest here. Right knee to right shoulder, and then step your right foot nice and wide.

Take your left hand a little wide as well. Maybe even off your mat. I want tons of space here. I want the biggest most grandiose twist you can muster in your body. Back leg is nice and strong.

If it feels nice, bring your right hand behind your head and then maybe lean back a little bit. Last inhale. Exhale. Release your hand down. Resenter the arms, plank, inhale. Root down with your exhale.

Up dog on the balls of the feet, inhale. And left knee to left shoulder exhale and step your foot forward. I'm gonna take my right hand nice and wide. My left foot nice and wide. Powerful back leg.

Use your toes. Open up. And if it feels good, hand gently behind the head, and then lift the elbow open. So I think sometimes we trick ourselves into thinking we're in a deeper twist than we actually are by just taking the arm back. So when I shorten my arm here, I'm a little more aware of where I'm twisting, and that I'm opening from my upper back and not just by taking the arm back behind me. Last inhale.

Release your hand down. Step back, plank, Inhale. Lower to your belly, please. Cobra. Inhale. Push your hands down. Nice little suction cup cup action here.

To draw forward and down dog. And how lift your heels, bend your knees, walk step or jump your feet to your hands. Halfway. Inhale. Bow forward, exhale, rise to stand inhale.

Enhance to your heart exhale. Inhale. Rise up. Sidebend to your left. Inhale center.

Exhale side bend to your right. Inhale. Lift up. Bow forward exhale. Inhale halfway. Offer your heart forward.

Find this length. Step back plank, inhale, chaturanga, or the floor, cobra, or upward facing dog inhale, Downdog exhale. Breath in. Breath out. Lift your heels and ham.

Bend your knees. Look at your hands. Feet to your hands. Inhale, heart forward, lengthen out, bow deeply exhale, rise, inhale, Hands to your heart, exhale. Inhale.

Right arm reaches up and over. Left arm reaches down. Release that inhale left arm up and over, exhale, release it down, inhale straight to the center, And forward fold. Exhale. Halfway. Inhale. Chaturanga, exhale.

Inhale. Lift and open. Downward facing dog exhale. Inhale. Right leg stretches back. If it feels nice, lift a little higher, open the hips. You might even lower down onto your left forearm. Maybe bend the knee.

Inhale stretch back up, lift the elbow, bring your right knee over to your left elbow. Keep both hands down, and then just simply kick this right foot out to the right side. Push the pinky side of the right foot down, stay high on the left toes, push the floor away, draw your gaze a little forward. And the more pressure you give into the pinky side of this foot and kind of hug the right hip over to the right side. You're gonna give a lot of sensation in the outer hip down the outside of the right leg.

Last inhale. Exhale. Just slide the knee the foot across. Release the shin down. Now we're not going to be passive here. We're going to be very, very strong.

So Energetically pull your front shin and your back knee toward each other. So you're getting this rise up. If you don't need your hands, you're gonna rise up here and get nice and long, long through the leg, through the spine, through the arms. You could also use blocks here. Last inhale. Exhale hands down, plank and hail your pathway to downward facing dog.

Inhale left leg back. It feels nice. Open the hips. Maybe bend the knee, maybe lower to this right form. Do your best not to be floppy here. Really engage if you're choosing these offerings.

Inhale extend, straighten the arm if you bent it, left knee, right elbow. Stay here. Extend this left leg out to the side. Pinky toe side of your left foot is down. You're on the right toes, the ball of the foot, push the floor away, take the gaze a little forward, And then whatever amount of energy you give into this left foot, you're gonna get more feedback in the left hip in the outer leg. So you decide what amount is right.

Last breath in. And the next, I'll just slide the left knee and foot across We've got our active pigeon here. So lifting, drawing the legs toward each other, reaching up if it's okay, but also if you need to using blocks or using your hands on the floor so that you feel safe and stable. Last breath in release your hands down. Blank, inhale.

Chaturanga. Marise. Open the heart. And downward facing dog. In how right leg back Right foot down the center. Have your feet wide enough that you feel stable here.

So maybe put this right foot pretty close to your right hand. Rise up to crescent. We're gonna add a twist here. So if you're not stable going into the twist, it's gonna be a lot harder to maintain your center, draw your hands to your heart, breathe in, tip forward, and then left arm outside of your right thigh. Good. Now one of the things I notice in twisting, and there's nothing wrong with it per se, but I don't want it for what we're doing now, is that we do a crunch when we're twisting.

We start to come this way. Like, we're trying to bring our chest to our hip. Instead of that, do the exact opposite. Stretch your heart forward. So we get this amazing line of energy from the upper back heel through the legs, through the leg, rather, through the spine out the crown of the head. And then we have all this space to gently arrive in the twist.

We don't have to force it. Your feet are pressing down and gently drawing toward each other. One last inhale and release your hands down. You are welcome to use blocks here. I'll show you with blocks at any height Your back leg is going to straighten, and your back heel can be lifted or rooted down.

And I'm gonna leave that up to you. As far as what feels the best to you. Instead of folding toward your front leg. I'm gonna ask you to draw your heart forward. Start to energize this back leg a lot.

If you rooted your heel down, pick it back up, soften the front knee, you will most likely wanna block onto your left hand. This is my favorite way to practice this pose. I'm gonna actually back my block up a little bit and my whole being and lifting. So left leg is gonna lift Let's bring your right hand to your hip. Roll the shoulder open. Roll open.

And then reach the hand back. And then up an overhead. Not really overhead, but above her body. And then press into your right foot. To reach the right hand higher, stretch the left foot away from the crown of the head, the crown of the head away from your left foot.

Revolved half moon. This is a toughie for me. But it feels so good. The work of it feels really good on me. One more breath in and out, bring the feet together.

Toastan. So pick up your heels, outer ankles squeeze gently inward. Beautiful. Keeping that nice and strong. Left arm outside your right thigh. And we're just gonna add a little twist here.

This is perfect. You could take this into chair if that feels more stable for you, or we're gonna reach this right hand pretty far back. And and a shift into that arm. So this is definitive, like, I'm switching weight back. Hands at about shoulders distance, And I'm gonna start to frame my hip with my arms.

Really high in the toes, outer, right thigh, to left tricep, lift your hips, bend your elbows. And then in that action, you might just float your feet up off the ground. And it really kind of happens naturally. You don't have to force this, hug the elbows in. Release down.

Come back through center. And Navasana. Come on down to sit. Whoo. Listing up. Broaden the chest.

Right leg extends up. Left leg extends out. Shoulders drop back now. Lift up. Reach the hands away. Try to draw this right leg up on your left tricep.

Power up your left leg. One more inhale, exhale, knees in, rock up, make your way to downward facing dock. Breath in, Breath out. I have lots of control in how left leg back. Drop heavy into that right heel.

Step your left foot. Next to your left hand, and you might even decide that you wanna take your stance a little broader, a little wider. Right arm outside your left thigh power up that right leg, hands and prayer, Find that beautiful extension. Heal. You don't have to push your heel back, but your heel is energetically stretching back. Press the ball of the back foot down.

Stretch the head forward. But it's not just those two points. It's everything in between. So belly heart head draw forward. And let the subtlety of the twist be more important than the visual.

Last breath in. Release your hands down blocks are so wonderful here. Straighten your front leg. You can root the back heel, or you can keep it high. And then when you kind of situated yourself, start to draw the heart forward.

I really like using my arms with as much energy here as my legs. So that's another reason I suggest using blocks that you can make that connection. You can close the loop from your hands to the ground. If you have your back heel rooted, you will lift it up. I suggest finding a block Have it ready from your right side.

I'm just gonna slide my left foot back to lift into this. Right hand down. Left hand to your hip. Extend. If it's in the floor, if it's on, like, on the block, use it, push down, start to turn open, reach the left arm back, and then take the hand up.

Last two breaths. And then bring the feet toward each other. Come up onto your toes, outer ankles in. I'm just gonna flip over to face you here. Good. And then twisting.

Right arm outside of left eye. I'm gonna give you a little little different angle here on this side crow. So stay there or bring the left hand out to the side. Right hand comes down, lift the hips, and then start to swing the legs out. Feat come back down.

And then lower down. I'm just moving all over my mat here. I sometimes find myself, like, on the other side of the room, if I don't have the constraints, good. You're gonna take your left leg up. Your right leg extends. Control it down, reach to the left, see if you can get this left thigh up high on the right tricep.

Lift the shoulders. Extend the legs, and these come in. Really nice. Rock up. Make your way to downward facing dog. I like a little shorter stance, just a smidge, not Not a whole lot, just a little, little shorter.

Inhale, right leg back. Right knee, right tricep. Now stay here, or start to push from the back toes, bend the elbows. Kundenasana. We just did this on your back.

3 legged dog inhale. And step your right foot forward. Whoo. Nice work. I suggest finding a block Pinky side of your right foot or big toe side. You decide. Pinky will be a little more intense.

Back heel roots down. I like feet at about hips distance here. Right hand to your right hip. Roll the right shoulder open. Left hand to block.

Almost fell over. Pull your heart forward. Open up. So we're working the legs strong and straight. Reach the right hand back.

Keep this right shoulder open. Hands this guy. Now the same principles I've been talking about. Like, don't just take the arm back and think I'm twisting. Twist. Do your best not to find that crunch?

Extend. This is such a spacious pose if you let it. Let it be. One more inhale. Release.

Bend your front knee. Plank, inhale, and Chaturanga. Rise, inhale. Down dog exhale. Pause. Take all that in.

Fresh eyes, second side. I like a little shorter stance here. Left leg back inhale. Left knee, right elbow, this doesn't have to change. This is perfect, but maybe tip forward.

And lift up. Inhale, 3 legged dog, exhale, step your left foot forward. Find your block. I'm gonna go big toe side on this side. Root the back heel.

Check the spacing. I like a wide stance here. Left hand to your hip. Good. Start to turn. Let it be subtle. Left hand reaches back, and then left hand up.

And you don't have to take this left hand up. I think it's really nice to sometimes keep the hand the hips You get a little more feedback there as far as where you are in space. Last inhale. XL release. Flank inhale.

Knees to the ground exhale. Whoo. Rise up. So nice. Really well done. Alright. If you wanted to, you could use blocks here.

Just put them by your feet. In how reach out. Right hand to right heel. It's nice. Easy camel twist.

In how rise up? Lift that. Little pause. Let's go over to the other side. In high rise up, if this feels good in your body, We're just gonna flow from side to side.

If you prefer, you could take any other backbend, including just a static camo. Reach back, open up, inhale, exhale, release, inhale, Exhale. If you wanted to, you could drop into it and open from here. And then let's go one more round each way. Beautiful.

Child's pose or just sit back on your heels. Take a moment. Just feel how that feels. Really nice. Come to sitting.

Right leg extends out. Left foot towards your inner right leg. Inhale. Reach up. Good. Now turn. And you have as much freedom as you need to in your hips. They can shift however you want them to turn.

And coming forward. Revolved, head to knee. If the space is there and if it feels good on your body, You can take your left hand. You can catch hold of your right foot and then use your right arm to give yourself a little pressure And now you've just got this nice big connection, this big sideband connecting foot in hand together, which gives you a little tension to pull against. I think we think tension is a negative thing.

It doesn't have to be negative. In some ways, it can be really positive. You get feedback from it. Rise, inhale, And let's switch. Good. So same thing, lift up tall, and then let yourself turn.

And please let your palvis be free here. Let your hips be free. Reach. Overhead. Same thing if the space is there.

You are welcome to take the foot, and you can use this left arm for a little leverage. On my body, after twisting, it really feels nice to me to get these big side bends. Now we have done a lot of twisting, rise with your inhale. Bring your legs in. If you feel like you need a soft twist, like you want that nice, passive twist at the end of your practice, go for it now. I don't feel like I need it, so I'm not gonna take it.

I'm just gonna lie down and give myself a little squeeze here. But if you want, twist to each side, stay for a few breaths. I think it's important for us to Knowledge why we do things. Sometimes we do things because we've created a pattern of or a habit because it really works for us. It's something that really suits our body. But sometimes when we create that habit or pattern, we don't assess if we still need it.

Right? So I think we often think we need a twist here at the end, and you might have, but we don't always need it. Alright. Now, Shavasana. Allow your breath to quiet and still When we quiet instill the breath, our body might follow, our mind might follow, Our whole being might take on that quality of quiet and still. This is not an easy place to exist.

We fight it sometimes. I encourage you to stay with it. Just as we stay with challenging postures. You can stay as long as you want enjoying this quiet and still. But if you need to come out, Bend your knees.

Roll to your side. Gently rise to sitting. Bring your hands. And prayer at your heart. Honor your practice today.

I am so thankful that you chose to spend it with me. And I appreciate you. Namaste.


Laura M
1 person likes this.
Great practice! Thank you!
Peggy L
1 person likes this.
Fun and challenging practice!
Christel B
1 person likes this.
Enjoyed all the twists 🥰
Kate M
1 person likes this.
This practice held lots of challenges for me! And that's so good. There are several things that I want to explore further on my own - to find ways "in" that work in my body. This is a creative approach to twists that draws on strength and flexibility!
Sandra Židan
Thanks, Maeve, for this great practice: I feel so calm and relaxed after doing it! I couldn't do the side crows but I did the ordinary crow instead. Namaste! 💖❤️🌹
Robin P
My body wanted to move today after a lazy day yesterday. Thank you.
I really enjoyed this creative twist class, especially active Pigeon and Revolved Half Moon & Triangle. “Suction cup” hands approach is very helpful. Not reaching up the arm helps to avoid rotating only from the shoulder up and to remember to twist the torso. “Not to crunch but open up” really promotes extensions and feeling of the freedom. Thank you very much! 
Catriona M
Thanks so much Maeve. I enjoyed every single one of these challenging classes and your down to earth, practical and inclusive approach. Hope you do another season/show on Yoga Anytime

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