30-Minute Vinyasa Yoga Artwork
Season 3 - Episode 7

Playful Dolphin Flow

30 min - Practice


This creative flow moves through standing poses and Dolphin to strengthen the arms and shoulders on your way to Forearm balance (Pincha Mayurasana). You will feel playful, energized, and focused.
What You'll Need: Mat, Wall, Block (2)

About This Video


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Welcome. Welcome. I'm Maeve. I'm very excited to do this practice with you today. You will need two blocks. If you have them, you can do it without, but we're gonna put them on the top of our mat and about shoulders distance apart. We are bringing our elbows onto said blocks.

Give yourself some distance here. Knees away from your elbows or from the blocks. And press your palms together. Allow your chest to gently drop toward the floor. Draw the belly back a little bit.

The front ribs back a little bit. And create a little resistance of your front body, of your your belly and your ribs lifting up as you soften a little more into your shoulders. Ideally, this is not an overpoweringly intense sensation. Instead, it just feels like, a nice introduction to having your shoulders in this position with your hands in this position, your elbows extending. I'm gonna request that you pay attention to sensation in your body.

As we move today so that you don't go anywhere that doesn't suit you today. Last two breaths here. Push to your elbows, lift up. Whoo. And we're gonna move the blocks off to the side. We will use them again later.

But for now, just have them off to the side We're gonna come down into a forearm plank. Knees are always accessible here, and they're always a good idea. Right? So I'm gonna still feel this with my knees down. If you want, you're taking your knees up We're gonna turn our palms up to the sky. Press your fingernails down. Draw your heart a little forward.

Look a little forward. Firm the legs. Use your feet. Push the floor away. Spread your shoulder blades on your back.

Pro traction. Last inhale. Slowly lower your hips down. And then point your toes back behind you. Nice. And you can keep your hands like this with your palms turned up.

Or if it feels better to you, go ahead flip them over. I don't have a preference either way, so it's whatever feels nice to you right now. Broad in the collar bones, Feel your shoulder blades moving into your back, moving in toward your spine. And I like the idea for me of my shoulder blades kinda tipping my heart forward or pressing my heart forward. Maybe not a tip, but a press.

Last inhale, and downward facing dog, please. His first few breaths in down dog, you are welcome. To just orient yourself, like, get connected to the ground. Pay attention to sensation, like I said before, start to build the strength of the posture. Inhale.

Exhale right knee comes to your chest step your right foot forward. Back hill turns down. Veera Badrasana 2, warrior 2. So in warrior 2, looking to get your spine fairly perpendicular to the floor. I find sometimes we wanna lean forward in this pose, and it's not necessarily wrong.

But for me, it just feels so much nicer if I balance my pelvis, And I get this sense of lengthening up and down, crown to sky, root to ground. Instead of holding the arms up, extend the fingers wide. Keep your right big toe, the base of your right big toe rooted down, but just gently feel this inner right thigh wrapping open and the knee tracking, the center of the foot, Sometimes it wants to collapse to the left. Just keep that tracking. Inhale rise.

Pivot your right toes to the left. And we're just gonna have this nice rising energy up. Breath in. And forward fold Excel. I'm just turning toward you.

Inhale halfway. And bow back down. Just a nice, beautiful, wide leg forward fold. Hug your elbows gently toward each other. Use your hands a lot in the floor to get this sense of rooting and engaging the arms.

1 more inhale, exhale soften deeply, inhale length and halfway, Pick up your right heel, turn your heel toward the back of your mat, and triangle. If you wanna block here, on the right side of your right leg. You can have your hand on your shin, if that's better for you, or hand gently on the floor. And then expansion. Feel hand to hand.

Nice line of energy. 1 more inhale. Excel left hand comes down a little forward on your mat. So I want a little bit of distance here so your shoulders in a really nice position when we come into Vashi Stasana. Step the right foot back. Keep this top hit pointing forward as best you can.

So try not to roll open instead. Keep all things pointing straight ahead. Well, in the direction we're looking. Last breath in. Right forearm comes down.

Left forearm comes down. Walk in dolphin. Okay. So now you might want to bring your hands together. You can either lace your fingers or have your hands in prayer. If you're comfortable with the hands apart, wonderful.

But if your hands are apart and you're finding your elbows are sliding out, just go ahead and bring your hands together. It's gonna give you another level of strength and kind of security in this posture. Look forward. Walk your feet back. And sphinx. Inhale. Downward facing dog exhale.

Inhale. Exhale. Left knee to your chest. Step your left foot forward. Right heel roots. Virav Adrasana.

2. Good. We've been here. It's in your body. Trust in what you're doing. Equal amount of strength.

Back leg to front leg, front arm to back arm, and then arms to legs. So we're working equally in all parts of our body. And now rise. Square off your left foot. Bring your hands to your hips, inhale, heart to sky, exhale, prosorita, potashanasana, release your hands down.

Inhale halfway and bow with your exhale. If you're fairly mobile in this position and your head is just bumping to the ground, consider bringing your feet a little closer each other so that you have somewhere to go. And if you're a little tighter in your body here and you wanna get that sensation of your head coming down, consider taking your feet a little wider, which I know seems antithetical to feeling tighter in your body, but it actually makes the pose a little easier. Inhale for length. Exhale hands to your hips rise up pick up that left heel, pivot the foot.

So I want those left toes straight ahead, and we are into triangle. On your left side. Feel the length of that left leg. Last breath in. Right hand comes around, reach it a little forward.

Vashi Stasana. Right hand, right foot. Inhale. Exhale. Left forearm down.

Right forearm down. We are in Dolphin. Hands can be together. Their fingers can be lace or if you like, hands can be or arms can be in parallel with your hands flat. If it feels okay to you, you can, in fact, turn your palms to the sky.

It might actually feel easier to be in this position when you add this element of extra rotation. Really nice. Bend your knees. Step back. Spinks.

Inhale. And downward facing dog, exhale. Lift your heels. Inhale. Exhale. Bend your knees.

Look at your hands. Bring your feet to your hands. Halfway up inhale and bow exhale. Rise. Inhale.

Hands to your heart. Exhale. Smoving and breathing. Inhale. Reach up. Halfway. Inhale.

Step to plank. Breath in. Chaturanga or the floor. Up dog, Cobra, if you prefer, down dog, exhale. Heels high, inhale.

Knees bend, exhale. Look at your hands. Feet to your hands. Halfway up inhale. Keep that length.

Keep that space. Bow forward. Inhale rise and hands to hard exhale. Rise and hail. Bow exhale. Halfway inhale chaturanga exhale.

Inhale rise. Dog exhale. Heels high and hail. Bend your knees. Look at your hands.

Feet to your hands. Halfway. Inhale. Bow exhale. Rise.

Hands to hard exhale. Inhale. Bow forward exhale. Inhale halfway. Right foot steps back.

Crescent pose inhale. Exhale hands to the ground. Now listen. Plant your hands. You're gonna sweep our left leg toward the sky into 3 legged dog except we're not gonna actually go to 3 legged dog.

We're gonna pass through it. So left leg goes up Stir to bend your elbows lower to your forms. Little pause here. Bring your left foot down. Bend both of your knees.

Look at your hands. Inhale. Rise to plank. If you need to put your knees down to make that happen, that's cool. Chaturanga exhale, rise inhale, and down dog exhale. Inhale. Right leg back. Exhale. Right foot forward.

Vera Bedross in a one. Route that back. He'll lift the pelvis to lift up and then drop the elbows wide. Right arm on top Left arm under Eagle Arms. If this doesn't work for you here.

Just bring the forms together. That's that's plenty. Heart to sky and hail. And exhale. Spell forward.

Come on to the back toes. Pull the left knee towards your left elbow and then rise up. Cross or wrap, garudasana. Mhmm. So we're not just trying to wrap our body into this kind of pretzel space.

We're creating energy by wrapping into yourself and and giving pressure, arm to arm, leg to leg. So that we ultimately feel stronger here. Your elbows are reaching forward. You're spreading your shoulder blades on your back. Same thing we're gonna do quite a bit of Nice and strong.

Inhail rise up. Bow forward exhale. Halfway, inhale. Left foot steps back. Crescent inhale.

Exhale. Hands down. Pick up your right foot. Keep your right leg lifted. Start to shift back, bring your forearms down, lift your right leg up.

Enjoy a few breaths here. Release right foot down, bend both of your knees. Inhale. Lift to plank. Chaturanga.

Rise inhale, and down dog exhale. Left leg stretches back and heel. Step your left foot forward. VERabedrasana 1, rise. And then arms out wide.

Left arm on top, right arm under, or forearms together. Inhale lift up. Exhale draw form. Come on to your back toes. Start to pull that right knee towards your right elbow.

Rise. And then cross or wrap. Instead of your gaze, steady your breath. Inhale rise up. We're gonna do that again with just a little more tempo.

Little add on in there as well. Forward fold exhale. Halfway inhale. Right foot steps back, exhale. Crescent, inhale.

Exhale hands down. Pick up your left foot. Lower to your forms. Now stay here, or we've got, like, a little, a little extra jazz on that transition. So if you want, you could just take a little hop here a couple times.

And then when you come down, you bring your foot down and just kinda pop up to plank. If not, just find your way to plank. Chaturanga. Rice, and dog. Breath in. Breath out.

Right leg back inhale, right foot forward exhale. Verabradrasana 1 inhale, Arms wide exhale. Right arm on top, left arm under. Inhale lift, exhale bow. Inhale. Take off.

Pull that knee in. And for Garudasana. Inhaler. Exhale bow forward. Half forward fold inhale.

Left foot steps back exhale. Crescent. Inhale. Exale hands down. Pick up the right leg.

Lower the forms. Pause, either stay here, or maybe just take a couple little, like, very mini hops. Oops. And then if you want, Pop down and up. I'll meet you in plank. Your pathway to downward facing dog.

Reconnect breath. Inhale, left leg back. Exhale step forward. Warrior 1. Arms wide, left on top right under, eagle arms inhale, And bow, back toes, draw the knee up, and eagle.

Inhale. Rise up. And hands to your heart. Beautiful work. Enjoy a few breaths here. Just feel the effects of that on your body, of that on your breath, Really nice work.

We're gonna move to the wall. Yay. I'm gonna ask you to have a block. And the way we're gonna use the block is we're gonna we're gonna actually hold it like this. So I've got my thumb wrapped around the top.

My knuckles are wrapped around the block. So we're not doing one of these jobbies. We're actually holding the block, and the outer edge of the arm is gonna be on the ground. So if you wanna watch once, you're welcome to I don't like being too close to the wall, but I also don't like being too far away from the wall. We're gonna take this up into pinch of my arsenal.

Of course, you can continue practicing dolphin It's beautiful. You can take one leg up at a time. If you're too far from the wall and you're kicking up and you're physically looking for the wall with your foot, it's gonna put you in a really big backbend. So unless we were actually purposefully practicing that, I'd like to stay away from it. But you do need enough space that you can actually get yourself up to the wall if you want to. So I like this a few inches away. Maybe, like, 6 or so. But you're gonna find where your sweet spot is, and I am open to what that is for you.

I'm hugging on that block. I'm gonna tuck my toes. My head is on this side of the block. Step 1 foot in closer. Pick up a leg. Maybe just stay here.

Maybe start to tip. Until you're lifting and tipping. And then if you want, you can use the wall And one way to use the wall without forcing this kind of banana shape is to bend one knee and put your toe just lightly on the wall and start to work that stacking action. We're gonna come down. Whoo. Enjoy your child's pose.

Kinda ask yourself, how'd that feel? If you enjoyed the block, we're gonna use it again. If you didn't, if you're like, not today, I don't like it. Just move it off to the side. Whatever leg you lifted with, who's probably your favorite one, we're gonna do the other one.

Come back when you're ready, and then and second leg, maybe just tipping, getting a sense of where you are in space, then if you wanna use the wall, go for it. You could bend one knee, whoopsies, and find your center. Push the floor away, energize the legs, Contain your center, and don't put too much stock in it. Like, just enjoy this. Whatever it feels like or looks like on your body today. Really stone. So nice child's pose.

This is one of those poses. That on some days comes really, really easily to me. And other days, I feel like I have no idea how I did that the other day. Today is a little more challenging for me. So just respect to where you are today.

And let go of expectation. Really nice. And then come on up. Good work. Good work. Okay. We are gonna take a lovely little twist now.

Bend your left knee. You can also do this really left leg straight, but I I like bringing this foot around. Few different ways you can be here. The right foot can come to the outside of your left thigh. Can come in front of your knee. And that's gonna be a little bit more spacious so that might feel better on your body.

I encourage you to try new things and see what you need today. Root down. So anything that's on the floor, root it down, feet, ankle, sitting bones, and then don't be rigid. Just let your body be where it needs to be. We're gonna hug this right knee with a left arm.

And just turn turn turn to your right, and then your right hand can support from the back to lift the spine, to lift the heart. Last inhale. Really through center. Beautiful. Let's just switch that. So right leg bends, or you can keep it straight.

Bring this left foot around, take a pause, and just feel yourself grounding down. Good. And then don't be rigid. Allow yourself some freedom here as needed hugging, right arm to left thigh, left knee, just kind of giving yourself a little outer hip stretch as you do this. Left arm. I always think of this this back arm like a second spine.

It's just guiding your spine up a little taller. You can add your head and neck as much or as little as you want. Your low back It's really not twisting here. It's really not twisting here. Your upper back is moving a lot.

Last inhale. And release that out. Really nice. Okay. Let's take our legs wide. Whatever your wide is.

Root your heels down. Pick your knees up a little bit. Just kinda activate the back of the legs a bit. Rise up. This might be, like, your spot. You don't need to leave this place.

If it feels okay, you can bring yourself forward any amount. My ask of you is that you are in control of where you go. So if you're going down here, you're in control of where you are. You're not having to, like, Get yourself out. Like, you need a crane to get yourself out. I want you to be empowered to own the space that you're in. You'll rise with an inhale.

Really well done and then bring your legs in. Since we've moved ourselves to the wall, I think it's really nice to finish at the wall. You can do this with a block. I'm gonna show it without, but just know that if you're using a block, just have the block that you'll slide under your hips. You can lie down in Shavasana if you are more interested in that than this But otherwise, you're gonna sit sideways to the wall.

Doesn't matter which side. You're gonna lie back and swing your legs up. Fit Berriti Karani, you can use your legs to kinda scoot yourself in a little bit more. You can just arrive and be here and feel lovely. And we'll use this as our finishing pose, if it's okay for you. I always feel like this is a little thank you to my legs.

Thank you, legs. This is your vacation. As always, I encourage you to stay for as long as you want. If you're ready, you'll come with me now. If not, just take in these instructions so that when you are ready, you'll know how to exit.

You're gonna start to bend the knees and take the knees wide, baddakanasana, and then roll to your right side. And then from your side, rise up to sitting. Hands in prayer at your heart. On or acknowledge yourself for this beautiful time you spent in your body with your breath. Connecting your body and mind as 1.

Rise with an inhale. Bow your mind to your heart with your exhale. Inhale. Lifts eyes open gently. Thank you for your practice. Thank you for playing with me today.


Christel B
4 people like this.
Another wonderfully engaging session. Great "playful" dolphin variations.
Kate M
4 people like this.
Loved the position of the hands on the block! (Works much better than having the thumbs on the floor.) Really lovely progressions! I had lots of fun with this! I'm off to teach in an hour and I will bring some of these ideas along: ) Thank you, Maeve!
1 person likes this.
Christel B I'm so glad you liked it and you found the playful side of dolphin, it seems to epitomize the nature. Thanks for practicing!
2 people like this.
Kate M isn't that hand position (arm and shoulder by way of the hands) a game changer? I wish I had thought of it myself, I'm passing on things I've learned that have created aha moments for me. I'm glad to hear you'll be passing them on as well. Thank you!
Sandra Židan
Thanks, Maeve, for this interesting practice! Namaste! ❤️💖🥰
Sandra Židan You're welcome! I love "interesting" as it sparks interest. :) Thanks for practicing with me.

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