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Season 1 - Episode 5

Clear and Strong

25 min - Practice
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Bex stirs up some heat in this core-focused sequence. She begins by holding the space for us to clear our minds with a short 3-minute meditation before we wake the core and invigorate the breath and body. From here we flow into a sequence of standing Warrior Poses tuning balance and focus and strength. We open the heart with Ustrasana (Camel Pose) and refresh with Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose).
What You'll Need: Mat

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(ocean waves splashing) Welcome, I'm Bex and this is a sequence for clearing. Find a comfortable seat and prepare for meditation. Close your eyes. When the eyelids come together and they seal, you open the inner eyes and you see the landscape inside that has everything. All the answers, all the questions, residing within you.

You utilize this time to deepen the quality of the breath and then you follow that up with finding your grounding like you're cording yourself, a long cord down plugging in to the earth. And you're feeling that feedback rise all the way up through the spine, through the crown of the head. Organically allowing yourself to tune in to that frequency that is yours. (deep breaths) So you provide yourself with space. And within that space you reclaim that illuminated quality of your essence.

As you delve into the center of where you are in this moment allow that to be the space from which you will move in this practice. Take your hands to your heart center in prayer. Pick your intention, dedication, motivation, mantra. And you can always use the theme of centering as your intention, coming back to the breath and the moment. Lift through the center of the chest and draw the chin in.

Slowly open your eyes. With your eyes open you will come onto your back. You lie onto your back, comfortable. Hug your knees into your chest. Just let your knees come into your chest, not anything about rushing, just giving them the permission to release.

And then slowly, knees together, Tabletop your legs. And with the Tabletop, interlace the hands underneath the base of the skull. You bring your elbows gently into the frame of the body and breathe. If you notice that there's a lot of resistance with the feet up you can simply place the feet down so that that's from where you work. Otherwise, knees up, take a deep inhale to prepare, exhale curl head and shoulders up.

Inhale come down and then exhale up. Generating a little bit of heat from the core. Inhale down, exhale come up. Inhaling and then exhale come up. This time adding on by simply straightening the left leg.

You can point or flex the foot. If straight is too difficult, bend the knee. Come across with the left elbow and then down. Bend the left knee, extend the right, come across. It's just a little twist, it's early, you're waking everything up.

Extend the left leg, come across as you exhale. Inhale back through center, bend left, extend right. And then back through the center. Now bring your feet together as if you were going into Baddha Konasana. And right there you'll feel, hmm, a nice sense of something happening.

You hold there, you inhale, and you'll exhale curl up. Lower the lever of the legs and then inhale the legs up, exhale curl. You're staying up in the torso if you can, holding the head, lower and rise, lower and rise. It's just the legs, the torso stays up. You're breathing deeply, soft face.

And then very slowly, the legs come up, baby toes touch, head and shoulders lower down, knees come together. Final one here, extend the right leg, lengthen and lower the left leg so it's about six-eight inches off the mat. Curl up and then add a twist so it's left elbow toward right leg. Come through center, both legs up, lower the right leg, twist across to the left, come up a little more, both legs up. Two more times, across, up, inhale center, exhale.

You thread the breath into the twist, inhale. Final round, exhale, inhale. Last time, exhale, inhale. Gentle hug of the knees in. Right back where you started, you rock side to side.

Feel yourself getting warm just through that simple sequence. Slowly roll over onto your belly. Come on to your forearms for the lovely Forearm Plank. Today we'll do what I call the Planking Bridge. Your feet are flexed, you will lift your ribs, your naval, your pubic bone, your thighs, flexed feet, float the knees.

And then like a parenthesis you'll lower the left hip and then come up and rainbow over to the right. And then lift and rainbow over to the left. Up and over to the right. Up and over to the left. One more time to the right, back to center.

And then walk the feet in and come into Downward-Facing Dog. Pedal your feet here and breathe. (deep breaths) And walk your feet to your hands, Uttanasana. Grab for an opposite elbow and fold. Let the hands hang down, heel toe, the feet together.

And just hold here in the Uttanasana and breathe. Recognize that if the hamstrings are resisting you can take a little bend in the knees so there's a more supple quality back there. And you breathe. Little bend in the knees, come up with a straight spine. As you come up with a straight spine, hands at your heart center in prayer.

Shimmy anything that needs to be released out. And then feel the recalibrating happening for you. Open your eyes, inhale your arms up. Reach up, exhale fold forward and down. Inhale lift the chest.

Exhale the right leg back and then the left leg back. You'll find your way into the Plank here, steadying yourself, nice long limbs, arms like pillars, legs long. Feeling those points of contact and the feedback from the floor through the arms and the legs. And then slowly, gently lower all the way down. Thigh bones roll in, weave the hands behind the back.

Inhale lift for the Low Cobra. And then exhale release, place the hands on the floor. Push back through Child's Pose if you like, or if you want a little more vigor, Plank in reverse. Know that you can come to Child's Pose at any time during the practice. And then find your way into Downward-Facing Dog.

Step the right foot forward. As the right foot comes forward, come onto tented fingertips. There is an option here to jump switch or to step switch. Stepping and switching just means left foot forward, right leg back. Jump switch means you call on the breath, you're composed, and there's not a sense of rushing.

You're not throwing your limbs into place, you're just taking your time. You inhale and then you exhale, right foot forward, left foot back. You'll do this a handful of times, I'd say five so you end on the left leg. This is again to follow up with that generating of heat and that breath and also to feel a sense of play on your mat. After the final one you end on the left leg.

The right foot steps forward, inhale lift the chest. Ardha Uttanasana, and then exhale folding. Take a deep bend in the knees for Utkatasana. You come into Utkatasana, arms are up, seat is back. As the seat goes back, soften in the front of the hips so the crease is deep and the arms come up.

You will inhale onto the tip toes and then exhale lower the heels. Inhale onto the tip toes, exhale heels. Final one, inhale tip toes, if you wanna be daring see if you can come up straight onto the tip toes and then lower the heels, exhale fold forward and down. Inhale lift the chest. You could step into the Plank, or you can exhale and slowly lower through Chaturanga.

Inhale Upward-Facing Dog, exhale Downward-Facing Dog. Step the right foot forward, left heel in, and come into Warrior I. In Warrior I, I think it's fine to move the right leg a little right and the left leg a little left so you feel open through the pelvis. Sit deeply, breathe. (deep breaths) Exhale the hands to the heart center in prayer.

Hands down, cycle through Down Dog or hold Plank for three rounds of breath. (deep breaths) Step the left foot forward, come in to Warrior I. Once again, outer parameter of both feet sealed. Feel the right ribs slide forward as the left ribs slide back and inhale the arms up. Pelvis descends, sternum is rising.

(deep breaths) Hands come down, you can hold the Plank, you can cycle through Chaturanga, Low Cobra, or Upward-Facing Dog and then Downward-Facing Dog. Right foot steps, Warrior I. (deep breaths) Hands come to your heart center in prayer. Come onto the back toes, prepare to shift the weight and then slowly lifting. You have two options: One, keep hands at heart center in prayer.

Two, extend the arms, find your center. The right knee can be bent or straight. And then you extend into Warrior III. Hands back to the heart center, land the left leg way back, then both hands on the mat, Plank Pose, Downward-Facing Dog. (deep breaths) Left foot steps, right heel in.

Inhale up, Warrior I. (deep breaths) Hands come to your heart center in prayer. Off of the back toes and then, mindfully, shifting and lifting, and you might need a stutter step, I know I just did. Then you lengthen, you have a natural curve in the spine. And you can extend into Warrior III or you can stay with hands at the heart center.

(deep breaths) Land the right leg, both hands down, Plank Pose. If you're feeling a lotta energy, move through Chaturanga, Low Cobra or Up Dog, Downward-Facing Dog. Right foot steps, left heel in, Warrior I. The hands will come together either elbows, wrists, and hands in prayer, or take the left elbow underneath the right, vining the arms for Ardha Garudasana. The arms are in Half Eagle and the legs are in Warrior I.

(deep breaths) You come on to the back toes and then you shift the weight, you get very excited, you think, "yes, I can do this!" And you shift and you lift. And then you fly just like the eagle and you breathe here. (deep breaths) Then you will land the left leg way back and open up to Warrior II. Feel how you can expand into your extremities. Sit deeper and reverse the Warrior.

It's like you're rinsing and flushing and this is how you clear things out, right? You go into the expansion, you go into the contraction, and you know all the while it'll all be okay. Inhale come up, windmill the arms down, Plank Pose. You can stay in the Plank, you always have Child's Pose. Chaturanga, Low Cobra, Up Dog, Downward-Facing Dog.

Step the left foot forward, come into Warrior I. Inhale the arms up. Again, there's the option for the elbows, forearms, palms or right elbow underneath left, wrapping. Breathe coming on to the toes, preparing for flight. And then shifting and lifting and smoothing the breath out.

(deep breaths) Right leg lands, nice wide stance. Settle in to the feet, arms reach. Tracking the knee on the left over the ankle and feeling lifting through the arches. So you lift through the arch of the feet, reverse the Warrior, you imagine that the core begins at the arch of your feet because it does. (deep breaths) Inhale come up, swim the arms forward into the Plank.

And then slowly lower all the way down to the floor to the Cobra. Fingers are weaved with the opposite thumb and then you'll inhale up, breathing here. A little bit of a uniform back bend, so see if you can avoid dumping in the neck or the lumbar. And then release the hands and add a lift of the legs as long as it feels safe for your lower back. Breathe here, breathe breathe.

And then slowly release. Press up through the Plank in reverse or Child's Pose. Downward-Facing Dog with the knees bent, because the knees are coming to the floor. You're preparing for Ustrasana Camel. You could do it with flexed feet and hands on hips and you could stay right here and look up, and just bring your gaze there.

If that feels like that's what's available for you today, embrace it, otherwise point the toes tops of the feet. Press the tops of the feet into the floor, lift. And then bring the gaze back. If there's more, breath and cascading, grab for the inner ankles. If there's more available, lift and brighten up around the heart center as if a divine hand is massaging between your shoulder blades.

(deep breaths) One hand to the hip, the other hand to the hip, and then slowly come up, sit down. Place your right hand on your heart, your left hand on your belly, close your eyes. A lot is revealed in deep back bends so just be with whatever sensations are happening for you right now. And then slowly open your eyes, come on to your seat. Take your left heel outside your right hip and your right foot outside your left knee for Ardha Matsyendrasana.

If this is uncomfortable for your bottom leg, the modification is to just extend the left leg forward. Slowly place the right hand behind you and remember the right hand isn't a kickstand, you're not leaning your torso. The right hand is supporting you in propping yourself more upright. Take the left elbow outside the knee and then gently revolve, rotate, feel the rinsing happening. (deep breaths) Slowly release and switch legs.

The left foot is on top now, right heel outside. If you're extending the bottom leg, totally fine. Find the space where you can grow up and become really vertical and then ground down with that left foot and the sit bones. Right elbow and then a gentle twist. (deep breaths) Slowly release, as you unravel place your legs out in front of you and just shake 'em out a handful of times, inhaling and exhaling, deepening the breath.

And then very slowly take your time and roll back, as if you could just allow everything to uncoil. Turn the palms of the hands up. Shake the head no and yes, lift the chest and roll the shoulder blades in like pillows for the heart. (deep breaths) As always, you can stay here as long as you like. Or with a more awake sense, wiggle your fingers and your toes, wriggle your wrists and your ankles.

Stretch the hands, reach. Roll to the right side. Coming up to seated. Inhaling. â?« Ohm â?« Thank you for this practice, namaste.

Comments

1 person likes this.
I really liked this class but wished it was longer…60 min would be great next time!
1 person likes this.
Great flow, thanks Bex!
1 person likes this.
I loved the statement, "move your scapula in to be like pillows for your heart." How sweet sounding. :)
1 person likes this.
Fabulous coaching through the jump-switches! I needed that.
1 person likes this.
Thanks Bex. Great class. I enjoyed being in class (in my home) with you again today! I always miss working with you when not in California.
Great way to start the day

I am so thankful
Rebecca I love returning to this practice thanks
Namaste my sweet Rebecca

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