Mandala Yoga Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 5

Stoked with Fire

60 min - Practice


If we can stay easy and stable within the heat, we know our practice is working. Now that we have established our rootedness and fluidity in Episodes 1 & 2, we can start to play with fire and a sense of single point focus. We dive right in to the navel center with a creative and powerful sequence weaving twists, hip and hamstring openers, and core strengthening, with continual attention to generating heat. We peak with a fantastically challenging Svarga Dvijasana (Bird of Paradise) pattern and cool down with Salamba Sarvangasana (Supported Shoulderstand) and Halasana (Plow Pose). You will feel stoked and vibrant.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video

May 18, 2015
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(ocean surf) Namaste. So this next series is dedicated to a sanskrit word called tapas, tapiasa, and it's a challenging series, and it asks us to bring our sense of discipline and staying power as we move. Now, ideally, you've already done the series dedicated to stability, and you've done the series dedicated to ease because now we're looking at incorporating stability and ease and a sense of one pointed focus. The tricky part here is to not be attached to the posture, the shape, because the shapes themselves are, they're just shapes, and essentially, we're doing the yoga within the shape. This is something that Judith Lasater says that I just love.

It's not that the posture is the yoga, it's what going on inside the posture that is the yoga, so we have lots of opportunity here to investigate what's going on inside here, and probably, there will be times where there will be some heat, and we want to direct our attention constantly down toward the navel area because this is really the area where we're taking, I like to look at it like all of the impurities, all the stuff that's going on that anger, frustration, fear, sadness, whatever I've got going on right now in my life, I take here to the mat, and then I work with those things, and I use the practice as an internal inquiry, what's going on inside me, what are the root of those things as I'm moving through these postures, remembering that there are still stability and ease, and I spent a lot of time in India, and I go down to the river, to Ganges. Now when we go down to the Ganges, there are these little offerings that have flowers and a candle, and the offering's really there to River Ganga, to the goddess, which can mean many different things for all of us, but essentially, we're taking whatever it is we have going on, and we're imagining that we're placing it into the vessel of our practice, like an offering, and we're saying okay, please accept this. This is sort of my gift, so if you go to Bali or India, you'll see these little offerings, and the flowers, the flowers actually represent the element of fire, right? So we take that that is before us, and we burn it up, and we're using this practice now to burn up whatever's kind of in the way, okay? The shapes themselves, they come over time.

We do this with patience, we do this with one pointed focus, we do this with a sense of humor, we do this with steadiness and with ease. Ready? Alright, so let's begin. So we'll come to child's pose for a moment. So let the forehead come down to the mat.

And as always, we check in to see well what circumstances today exist, and what do we feel in our body that we might be carrying with us, any concerns, emotional issues. Where does our mind go when it's let rest? We're kind of interested in what that is, and then we notice, too, the sensations that we just include, include everything that's there. Feel the breath. So once we see, ah yes, this is the weather, today's weather, and today's weather we can just turn our palms out, roll the thumbs out, and we offer it away, so that we can dedicate ourselves to being fully here, present on the mat.

Good, hands come down. We're slowly going to rise up. Now if you just had a big lunch, you shouldn't be here on the mat right now, but you especially don't want to do this practice because we're going to make fists, I learned this in southern India, I'm gonna put them lower belly, so this is for an empty stomach, and we inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. (exhaling loudly) Slowly return to center. And just feel now what's going on inside like we've talked about before, receiving the benefits of that practice.

And then slowly bring the hands forward and the legs back, beginning on hands and knees. Toes can be tucked under. Let's inhale, send the right arm all the way up, exhale bring the right arm underneath, the left hand presses, you got your left forearm again in a vertical. You can take the left leg, tuck the toes under if you like, or you can extend the left leg up and back. Drop the left hip as you make that movement.

Keep it out of the shoulders. Inhale here. Exhale knee down. Left hand presses you up, come right back. The left arm out to the side and up, inhale.

Exhale come in underneath. Lay the head down lightly, and maybe the right leg goes up and back. You can look right down the right leg. Be sure the toes are turned down. You're moving the breath into parts of the body that might not go.

That's what the spiral, this twist is for. Inhale here. Exhale knee down, slowly we rise back up. Good, pausing on hands and knees. So we gotta take our attention to the lower navel right now.

In the last series, we talked about zipping up the tight jeans. Good chance we'll be talking about that a lot in this series. Take the left leg up and back behind you, the right arm moves forward. Inhale the full length. Exhale, elbow to knee.

Inhale, open. Exhale, touch. Fluid motion inhale. Exhale. Two more.

Good and hand down, knee down. Take a breath. Good, right leg back. Left arm forward, lower ribs to hips, inhale. Exhale.

Inhale. Good, lay the hand down, lay the knee down, tuck the toes under, let's move back to downward facing dog. So you're anchoring the outside of the heels downward, the inner arches lift upward, like you've got zippers on the inside of the legs, so there's going to be a lot of zippers in this series, but here, we definitely want those zippers to come up. If you can, you're gonna play with taking the right arm to the outside of the left calf or ankle. Just turn twist.

Draw the sit bones back, just lengthen the armpit. Inhale here, exhale right hand back, left hand grasps. Inhaling, exhale, left hand lands. So here in downward dog, if you just look toward your navel, we want to intend as much as possible to keep the breath in the top chest area, so the pelvic floor is going to lift, which is often referred to as mula bandha. If you're brand new to yoga, you're just thinking about those muscles drawing in and up a little bit.

Just keep the breath top chest. If it goes to the belly, just notice, and then invite it back. We'll come forward to plank pose, and you're going to roll to the outside of your right foot, and you might be bringing the knee to the floor here. Please do that if necessary. Left arm goes up.

Vasisthasana, push the ground away, squeeze the hips together, feel the all five finger tips pressing. Inhale here. Exhale, with the breath, slowly lower the left hand. Let's come to the other side. Outside of the left foot, squeeze the legs, hips can be high, right arm goes up.

You feel the space between your hands. A lot of the work in this practice is about directing energy. Inhale here. Exhale slowly lower. Downward facing dog.

Inhaling, exhale take a step. Flat back inhale. Exhale fold. So interlace your fingers behind your back into a fist. It's always nice to take the uncomfortable way.

Inhale lengthen. Exhale fold in. Keep the kneecaps lifted. The arms go up. Draw the shoulder blades together.

And breathe into that space. Coming forward onto the toes as much as possible. And inhaling, exhale release your hands. Bring your hands to your shins. Inhale lengthen, flat back.

Exhale palms down, step back to plank pose. Pause and plank. Inhale, exhale slowly lower, or knees, chest, chin. Inhale, cobra or upward dog. Exhale back over the toes.

Downward facing dog. Three breaths. Inhale here. Exhale, bend your knees, look past your hands, step or float forward between your hands. Inhale lengthen.

Exhale folding. Now bend your knees right here, and come to utkatasana, sitting back as if you're sitting in a chair, legs are together, look down. See your toes. In fact, take the toes off the floor, widen the spaces between the toes, sit deeply into the heels. Sometimes I'll literally take my hands, to the outside of the shoulders, and draw these guys out and down.

Inhale rise up. Exhale palms in prayer position. Now I'm counting on you to have taken, done the last series 'cause it's gonna make this next step a little bit easier. If this isn't comfortable for your knee, take note, and you can take a tree variation here, okay? So we're gonna bend the knees, and I'm gonna lift up and cross.

Bring the foot over the thigh. Again, lower navel's drawn in. If that's not right for you, then go ahead and take tree pose right here. Sit down, palms come together, elbows can lightly land, send your sit bones back. Good and you notice kinda being with some heat.

Might be getting a little bit warm. You just hang out with it. Keep the shoulders drawn back, the heart forward, and then inhale rise back up. Exhale release the foot. Take a breath.

Good, sitting down. Let's cross, lift up, cross, sit, place lightly. So the lower body's doing the work. The upper body's soft. You're very spacious in the mind, just observing.

And inhale rise back up. Exhale, release the leg. Standing in mountain pose, take the toes off, widen the toes, remember the central axis of the spine. Everything revolves around the central axis. This is exciting news.

Let's take the arms up, inhale. Exhale fold forward out and down. And inhale lengthen. Exhale step or float back and lower through your vinyasa. Inhale, cobra or upward dog.

Exhale back over the toes downward facing dog. Take your right leg up and back behind you. And we'll have the hip square, create lots of space. Look forward beyond the hands. The navel, now, it's almost like you're zipping your navel to your pubic bone, which means that you're drawing the pelvis back.

Use your fingertips. Take your left hand off. Inhale. Exhale left hand lands, right foot lands. Left leg up and back.

Zip up. Feel your left fingertips. Right hand off. Steady gaze. Steady breath.

Inhale, exhale hand down, knee down. Good, just let the neck relax. Take your right leg up and back behind you. Inhale, exhale right foot forward between your hands. Back heel is stacked over the ball of the back foot, so that the fascia on the foot can spread and lengthen.

Slowly rise up. Remember, the rib cage towards the hips. Strong back leg. Palms in prayer position, inhale. Exhale, we're going to cross, come around.

Left tricep comes right to the outside of the thigh, and watch, the hips don't really move here. It's in the upper body. Slowly we revolve. Good, inhale here. Exhale, we're gonna spin the left heel down, open out, come to warrior two.

And we're gonna use this warrior two to take the left arm back behind us. The right arm goes up, and we reach back. There might be a hand back there to find, and if not, a strap can work really nicely here, or a towel. Point, turn, extend the elbow up, and be very attentive to the sensations you feel in your shoulder because pain in the shoulder usually not a good sign. Good, inhale here.

Exhale, we're gonna bring the right hand down to the inside of the right foot. Now, take a look at this thigh 'cause it loves to turn in here. Open the thigh out, so keep, remember the zipper? Zip up from the arch all the way to the inside of the leg. Left arm goes over the ear, extend.

Grow. Externally rotating the thigh bone. Good, inhale. Exhale, we slowly rise. Just come to reverse warrior, one breath here.

Inhale, exhale. Walk the left foot in just a little bit. Come forward out and down. Coming right into trikonasana. The hand to the ankle or the foot or the big toe, wherever you go.

Watch hypermobility in the knee. Make sure the knee is forward if you tend to go, flex if you get lax in here. Good, now inhale rise up. And just, we're going to come to like a reverse trikonasana. The left arm slides down, the right arm goes out and up, so big length, lots of length through the right side body.

Good, and then take the right arm forward, and the left arm over, way over, and push into the sole of the left foot. You can roll the rib cage open. Watch the right knee. Good, then simply look down, hands to the floor, right leg back behind you, slowly lower through, inhale cobra or upward dog. Exhale back over the toes, downward dog.

There's three breaths here. Good, so find stability. Find ease. Be aware of what's going in the navel, so we're moving energy around the body with our attention, and the gaze is steady. Good, left leg up and back behind us.

Inhale, exhale look beyond the hands, foot forward. Back heel over ball of foot. Gradually rise up. Palms in prayer position. Inhale, exhale rib cage towards hips, and we come in.

Good, keep the shoulders away from the ears, long line. Inhale here. Exhale, spin onto the outside of the heel, slowly come right into warrior two. Good, then right arm can come underneath, left arm can go up. See if the hands can hook.

If not, you can be right here or with a strap. Sit down deep, extend the left elbow. Good, slowly releasing. Left arm can go up, inhale. Exhale bring the left arm right to the inside of the left leg.

Spin the right thigh open, come lightly onto the hand, turn, revolve, open the rib cage. Gather length. Good, inhale rise back up. Exhale, straighten the left leg. You might walk the foot in slightly.

Take the arms wide, inhale. Exhale come forward, out, and down. Good, inhale rise up. Take the left arm. Look up if you can.

Exhale, the hand comes forward once again. This time, the right arm goes all the way over, push into the back foot. That's where your stability is. Have the breath be soft in the body. Good, inhaling, exhale let's bring the hands to the floor.

Take the left leg back, pause in plank pose. Inhale, exhale slowly lower. Inhale cobra or upward dog. Press the feet open, open, open. Exhale back over the toes.

Inhale here. Exhale bend your knees, look past your hands, step or float forward between your hands. Inhale lengthen. Exhale fold. Take the right leg up and back behind you.

This time, we're gonna open the hip. Just go ahead and let the right hip come on top of the left hip. Some of you have a block, you might want to have it for your hands. Bring in the face toward the shin. Inhale, exhale lightly now on the fingertips, bring your right knee toward your left heel.

Good, and then inhale back up. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale.

Exhale. Inhale up. Exhale, we'll cross the knee behind the ankle, slowly come down onto your sit bones. So you've got your left foot on the outside here. And if this doesn't work comfortably, some people like to have the left foot on the left side of the shin.

Good, so again, you've zipped up, right? The navel's drawn into the spine. Take your left hand back behind you. Right arm goes up, inhale. Exhale, let's cross.

Bring the arm around, or you could hold the knee like this, crossing. Good, and then you could just turn the gaze back. You'll see, your left sit bone's gonna want to pull back. See if you can keep the sit bones in the same line, especially if you have SI issues, sacroiliac joint issues. Do the work with the upper spine.

So as we inhale, we lengthen. As we exhale, see if we can keep that length. Inhale, lengthen the spine. Exhale, just turn. Remember the central axis.

We're sort of revolving around the central axis. Inhale. Exhale. Good, looking forward, lightly take the hands to the floor. We're gonna take the weight back into the left foot, send the right leg all the way back behind us, go ahead and stack.

Inhale, exhale set your right foot down, come to the outside of the right foot, turn, take a look. So this maybe enough. You don't want to go any further, please feel free to stop. Gonna grasp your left big toe, we'll have an experiment. It's all about the belly right here.

Zipper all the way up. And I like to call them, in my classes I call them old man pants, so you want to wear, you want to take the zipper all the way up to about the chest, okay? Grasp your big toe. Here we go. Inhale up we go.

Good, fire away. Shoulder blades down, extend, extend, extend. Gaze can go up. You got fingertips. You're using them.

Inhale, exhale release. Left hand down, left leg can fly if you wish. Inhale, exhale slowly lower. Inhale, exhale back over the toes. Three breaths.

Inhale here. Exhale bend your knees, look past your hands, step or float forward, inhale, lengthen. Exhale fold. Good, grasp your elbows for a moment. Feel your feet rooting.

Feel a fluid, easy breath. You feel your heart beating, this is good news. Good, and we've got one more side, don't we? Take the hands to the floor. Left leg up and back.

Good, go ahead, stack the hips, reach up. You watch this inner arch. Some people are flat footed, it'll drop. Keep this lifted in here. And then your heart, your rib cage, your head is heavy, and that helps to counter.

You gotta find your stability somewhere, so let this become heavy, so this can become light. Inhale here. Exhale we come in, touch. You want to come low, don't miss this. Inhale up.

Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Two more. Good, one more for good measure.

Inhale. Exhale, knee behind, slowly sit down. Good, anchor both sit bones downward. Take your right hand back, left arm up, inhale. Exhale cross.

Turn, root the sit bones. Good, and whatever it is you're looking at, just notice it like you've never seen it before. Brand new. Good, rooting the sit bones, growing the spine on the inhale, exhale revolving. Just notice where you can soften.

Inhale here. Exhale, look forward, take the fingertips to the floor, come lightly up. Good. Lots of length. Like you've never been here before, and you're exploring it.

Inhale, exhale. We're gonna set that left foot back down, but we're going to turn to the outside. Put your left hand down on the ground. Good. Rotate back.

Maybe grasp the big toe. Lower navel draws in and up. Remember the zipper. And up we go. Up we go.

Good, so the knee might be bent, and you might just come to a normal vasisthasina here. Playing with taking the leg off. Inhale. Exhale, slowly lower hand to foot to the floor. Inhale we open.

Exhale back downward dog. Three breaths. We enjoy them. Good, each breath, fascinating practice to attempt to be present to each breath. Inhale here.

Exhale bend your knees, walk your feet towards your hands, inhale lengthen, exhale fold. Inhale let's come all the way up. Exhale. Palms in Anjali mudra. Okay, so let's look at bird of paradise.

It's one of my favorite postures, but there can be some challenges with it, so let's bend the knees, fold forward. We've spent a little time folding forward. Sometimes that's the key. We want to be able to get this right shoulder in on the inside of the thigh. Take the right arm out to the side, and see if you can, like you're grasping on a friend's hand.

You're taking your hand behind the back, you're grasping the left wrist. Now you're putting all your weight into your very stable left foot, and you're zipping up your jeans, remember? Bend the knee look forward. Your gaze is everything. We're going to lift right up.

Now there comes a point, you know the bird of paradise, that flower, how it opens out. Open out at the shoulders, and then play with maybe maybe maybe the right leg extends, your attention is up at the right foot and down at the base at the same time, and you are lengthening. And you're aware of every bit of your body all at once. Inhale. Exhale.

Now we're gonna fold forward. You're going to take the top of your head forward, and you're gonna reach out through the ball of your right foot at the same time. Inhale. Exhale, now you're gonna lower the right foot. You're gonna want to get go of your hands.

Don't do that. Stay with it. Drop your chest, drop your head. Now this is an experiment for all of us. Some days good, some days challenging.

You're gonna draw a huge circle with your left foot, lift it all the way up, keep your head heavy. Lift up. Inhale. Exhale. Set the left foot down.

Release the hands. Fold forward. Whatever happened there, let it go. If we carry the past with us, it's really heavy. Let it go.

Bend the knees, slowly rise up, come back up to mountain pose. Okay, so we've got the stability again, and we've got this ease, and we've got our attention, and you can see how you've got your drishti, your focus, where your eyes go externally, but then interally, you've also got these points that you gotta attach your attention to, like you're a puppet being held by strings of your own making, okay? So feet hip width apart, bend the knees, fold forward. Good, left arm comes in. You're finding the friend in the other hand.

Grasp whatever you can here. Bend your right knee. Zip up your tight jeans. Inhale, come up. I like to point my left toes so that my foot is actively engaged.

Up, push. Stabilize. Broaden. Maybe the left leg goes up. Good, like an elastic band between the two feet.

Gracious. Inhale, exhale. Left foot slowly, slowly. We're going to take it out to the side now. Push, push, push, push, send your head forward, send your sit bone back, kind of like creating a right angle with the body.

Inhale, exhale, slowly lower the left foot. Now root the left foot. Root it and drop your head and your rib cage. Again, big circle with the right foot. Big big big circle, draw.

Weight the rib cage, weight your heart. And down. Good, release the hands. Grasp the elbows. Enjoy the exhale.

Good, so in that last set of movements, I'm betting that at some point, you felt a little bit heated there, a little warm. And that's what we're looking for. We're looking for being able to just hang out with that heat 'cause we got all these circumstances in our lives that have got heat, and if we, often we either run, or we fight. We just want to hang out with it because that's where great learning takes place, opportunity in heat. Okay, so we're gonna slowly take the hands back, come back to downward facing dog.

Set yourself up again. Stability, root. Ease, softness. Feel the whole body at once. Take your right leg up and back behind you stacking the hips again.

Inhale, exhale bring your right foot to the outside of your left hand. We flying star, gonna open out, get the whole sole of your right foot down on the floor, and then just relax from your heart to your mouth. Open open open. Inhale, exhale left hand slowly comes down, stack the right leg once again. Watch the shoulder girdle.

Bend the knee. Good, inhale, exhale three pointed wheel. We come around pivoting. Soles of both feet down. Inhale, lift the hips.

Good, like a waterfall through the torso. Just let the whole front of the body release. Inhale here. Exhale hand down, right leg right back up. Inhale.

Exhale, we bring our right knee to our right wrist. We're coming to pigeon pose. New to pigeon, you know calf under thigh first. Slowly see if you can keep both hips down as you rotate this leg out. Always loving to these knees.

Careful with the knees. Fingertips to the floor, lightly. Inhale. Exhale, let's fold in. Coming down.

And resting in softness. Good, now hands under shoulders, let's slowly come back up. Good you can go really light here. Allow the rib cage to be buoyant. Inhaling, exhale roll onto your right hip, and then we're gonna bring this left leg all the way around, and we're going to attempt to stack the left knee on top of the right knee, so if you find in your body that that doesn't work, I suggest lying back and crossing the ankle over the thigh, but for the most part, we'll be here.

You can take your hands to your knees on either side, just pull them in. Good, you can take your left arm underneath. Remember with the strap or grasp. Inhale lengthen, lift up through the elbow. Exhale, we fold our navel right over our thigh.

Keep your sit bones rooted, inhale. Exhale fold in. Just watching the breath. Counting is nice too. Inhale come back up.

Exhale release your hands. Okay so from here, we're gonna take this right shin and have it be parallel with the front of the mat, okay? And we're gonna take hold for a moment of this left calf. You've got your foot flexed, you kinda treat it like a baby. Some of you actually will find more value in just holding the leg like this and rocking back and forth because this action, bringing your ankle bone to your knee bone with your foot flexed, the knee may very well float up here, so if it's up here, hold on, and love it, but be sure this is flexed.

Otherwise, knee on knee, inhale lengthen, exhale fold in. Good slowly rising back up. Alright return to gomukhasana. You want to have a little bit of mat space in front of you, so we have two choices here with this next maneuver. The easier choice, hands to the floor, tuck the toes under, lift the knees off, and we call this the hokey pokey.

You're gonna turn yourself around, coming all the way down to gomukhasana, okay? Or, the more challenging variation, which in earlier in that water series for sure, we dealt with this with the arms, the hands come to the floor, the elbows turn in, the top of the head comes to the floor, tuck the toes under, lift up, up, legs off, go wide, cross, come back down, okay? Choose wisely. Okay so now that we're here, we come back to fire log posture, take hold of this leg. Don't make any assumptions.

This side could be completely different from the other side. Either hold it here or find this outer ankle bone, put it down on the knee, watch this shin, keep it parallel, and just set the legs, good. Navel draws in, and we slowly fold forward, and we're all about looking for sensation here, and then when we find sensation, which shouldn't be difficult, we approach it slowly and with some compassion. Good, and then with some respect, the sensation begins to communicate a little bit, dissipate. Take your breath there.

Good, and slowly rising up, and let's take one knee on top of the other, come in close, maybe the hands come to the knees. Good, left arm goes up, inhale. Reach back, right arm comes around. Inhale here. Exhale folding forward.

It's common to lose connection to the sit bones with the floor, keep them rooted, and it's common to let the left elbow just drop, keep extending. Good, navel draws in. Inhale rise up. Exhale, let's release the hands. Good, now we're gonna swing the right leg back behind us.

You need to check to see where this left leg belongs for you, either the calf is underneath the thigh, or come out as long as this hip stays down, okay? Both hips are square. So let's lengthen up here first now. Draw the rib cage up. You can use the mat to pull.

Inhaling, exhaling slowly slowly rolling down. Resting on a cheek or forehand to your hands. You could feel there's so much going on in the hip girdles, fascinating. Draw the right hip forward, the left hip back for a little more sensation. Good, and then hands to the floor.

Inhale slowly rise up, tuck your right toes under. We're gonna send the left leg up and back behind us, stack the hips, and maybe it's obvious by now, but we're coming back in the way we came in, so bend the knee, and we'll come to three pointed wheel. Come all the way around, shoulder blade down, hips up, let this whole thing relax. Good, feel that stability, ease, and an awareness of the whole body. Inhale, exhale left hand down.

Take your left leg up and back behind you. Exhale to the outside, sole of the foot down, sole of that foot down, turn, pivot, open. Good, inhale here. Exhale lower your hand, take your left leg back, pause in downward facing dog. Good now take a look at your wrist creases.

Turn them in so your outer upper arm bones turn in, in fact you can bend the elbows a little bit. We're gonna play this game called can I set my elbows down on the ground. The navel draws in, I can assure you, this is a challenge to do on both at the same time, slowly land. Good, take a look at your navel. It's still in and up, the legs are active, pelvis up.

Okay, we're gonna play another game. The game is called can I lift off both elbows at same time. Good, so remember that angry cat going to employ the shoulder blades. See if you can come up, inhale. Exhale slowly lower again.

You don't even have to come all the way to the ground. Play with that, inhale up. Exhale lower. One more, inhale up. Exhale lower, come all the way down, pause in dolphin.

In fact, you can walk your feet in a little bit, lift your hips up, relax your head and neck. Inhale, exhale knees to the floor, child's pose, let's come down, pause for a moment, and feel the body. Okay so we're gonna just simply come to a seat for a moment, and bring your knees in close to your chest, give yourself a hug. It's like child's pose on a seat. Toes are wide.

With that same sense of ah, yes stability, this time, the pelvis drops. The breath is soft. Navel draws in. Peace fingers grasp big toes, and we're gonna take the legs out, and the question is where will they go? So we're gonna find out.

Will, they may need to be bent like this, sort of like a happy baby on our seat, shoulders draw in, and maybe the legs will extend, so just find out where yours go. Now we've got this tension of pushing into air, which is sort of our stability, keep it soft, remember the big man pants because you're gonna need them right now, so this zipper is going to go all the way up, and you're going to release. See if you can just touch, touch, touch, touch, touch, touch, touch, touch, good, grasp. Alright, so we've been working a lot in this series on directing our attention, and this posture's really good for directing the attention, and when I teach it in my classes, students don't believe me, but so help me, when you move your gaze to one place, you can use your gaze to move toward that place, or you can hold your gaze in a place, and move your body against the gaze. So that's what we're gonna practice now.

We inhale, exhale, look way beyond, and you're going to slowly see if you can send your left leg up, keep your gaze steady. Good inhale, exhale come back to center. Gaze comes to center, body comes to center. Inhale, exhale, gaze way out, lift up. The whole time you're gazing out, but you're also really aware of your navel.

Navel draws in and up. You gotta angles here inhale. Exhale, come back. Inhale, exhale, gaze. Inhale, center, exhale, gaze.

Good, inhale center. So we use all kinds of things. We've got our body that we've gotta move in different directions to balance, but we've also go this gaze, okay? So soles of the feet come together, pause in our good friend Baddha Konasana. Good, close the eyes for a moment.

Feel the sit bones root. Steadiness, ease, and attention, awareness. Good, take the hands back behind the thighs, and let's take the feet to the edge of the mat, and again, navel draws up and in, slowly, slowly, slowly. We make our way down onto our backs. Walk the feet in close, good.

And for this one, let's take the heels off. We're gonna come into bridge pose. Take the tailbone, have the tailbone lead the way. I like to think about these wheels here at the hips, the wheels come up and then roll down and down and down and down, and then here at the chest, the wheel goes this way at the hip, and this way at the chest. Make a lot of space, then anchor the heels downward, slide the upper arm bones down, push, find your inner thighs.

Inhaling, lift the heels off. Exhale, slowly release. And once again, soles of the feet together, knees go wide, receive the posture. Good, take hold of your thighs. Draw the knees into the chest, give yourself a hug.

Good, remember your navel. And we're gonna roll a little bit, so just simply roll up, take the legs up, arms forward. Good, maybe straighten. And then roll back. Roll all the way back into plow.

And this time, we're gonna take the hands to the back, zip up, and send the legs up one at a time, or both. Check out your toes. They're wide. You can learn so much about your legs here. Have the kneecaps point directly back behind you.

You might need to slide the shoulder blades in, get more and more length. Okay, so you promise yourself you're looking straight up at your toes, and you are not turning your head to the side, okay? So from here, you're gonna switch your hands, so your thumb tips come toward your spine, and your fingers wrap around your ribs or your side, the sides of your torso. You're gonna bend the knees. Now you're gonna want to probably bend the knees, so you bring your thighs toward your face, don't do that.

Bend the knees so the kneecaps point up to the ceiling. Now the toes are going to hunt for the floor as the chest moves toward the chin. In fact, the game we're playing now is how slowly can we go. Chest to chin, feet hunt to the floor, and we land, okay? Employ all those principles that you know, stability through the legs, ease in the breath, chest toward the chin.

If you're going on, hands come under the shoulders, elbow tips point up, lightly on top of the head, elbows in, check them, push up. Good, if you chose not to go to wheel, take bridge here. Now if you'd like to go on in either bridge or wheel, move your right foot toward the center, toward your left foot about two inches, okay? And get light, you're pressing into your right foot, you can just bring the toes of your left foot down, and then lift, lift, lift the left leg. You can take a look at it.

There it is, straight up. You'll feel the right knee wants to turn in. Have the relationship, the inner thighs have a relationship with one another. Inhale. Exhale land your left foot, draw it to center.

Good, press the floor corners of the left foot down. Right leg lifts, straight up, point the toes, lift everything upward. Inhale, exhale right foot lands. Pause here in wheel. Inhaling, exhale slowly make your way down.

Soles of the feet together, knees wide, feel that. Sometimes, it's very tempting to just move from one thing to the next in life and not really feel. And there's something so amazing when we take our focus, and we exert, for a period of time, what happens as a result of that. Take the hands to the outsides of the thighs, draw the legs in. Good, lift the hips up, slide the arms in underneath, lower your legs to the floor, point the toes, lift the chest, come lightly on to the top of the head.

You can also float the head if you wish. Root the sit bones. And if you'd like to take the legs up, you can. Kneecaps point up, point the toes, open the heart, the whole chest area, have your shoulder blades support the heart. Clear and clean from hear to mouth.

Inhale here, exhaling, slowly releasing, lift your hips, release the pelvis to the floor, turn the palms up. Good, and we enter the death of this practice, shavasana, corpse pose. Releasing one bit at a time. Releasing the bones, the tendons, the ligaments, the muscles. It's feeling all the fluid in the body transporting itself through the body.

And as if we could soften those passages to make the transport easier, we imagine that that were the case. And feel the vital energy that you are inside this container, this vehicle. And if your mind wanders, just guide it back to observing sensation. Just feeling now the navel and the pelvic floor lifting in and up a little bit. And then gradually bring one knee at a time into your chest.

And give yourself a hug, wrapping the arms around the legs. Send your right arm up over the head, roll to the right, let your head rest here. And the left hand brings us up to a comfortable seat. And the eyes can close, root, and soften. And we feel all of ourselves in there at once.

So in this practice, we learned a lot about how to move our attention around our body. Sometimes, in life, we want to have things be a certain way, or we get graspy, we want to hold on. Sometimes we push away experiences that we don't want to have anything to do with. In either case, we're moving then into reaction. And the idea of the practice to be able sit with, and be with whatever's there.

All of us, the whole thing. So we practice on the mat being able to be fully present in our body. So that off the mat, we can be fully present in our body. Let's bring the palms together in anjali mudra. We'll bring the hands to the forehead, right thought, may we be steady, present, and joyful.

Bring the hands to the mouth, right speech. May our words improve upon the silence. And our hands come to our heart, right action. May we be the change that we wish to see. Namaste.


Kathleen S
2 people like this.
Nice! One to grow with...lots of challenge for me. Zippered up! Thank you again!
Christy Li
1 person likes this.
As always, Jennifer keeps it fun, challenging, mindful, educational, and playful. She has an amazing gift to push you further than you think you can go. Thank you Jennifer for being an inspiration to me both in your live classes at Breathe and here at YogaAnytime!
sue  hansen
I was unable to get from 17mins to 26mins into the practise, is this because I'm in the UK? I was practising Stoked the fire series.
Gia C
Sue ~ I'm sorry you had trouble with this video. I recommend restarting your computer to clear away the other processes that are running. If you continue to have trouble after trying this, please email us at
Tanya K
Sue - I viewed (and completed) the practice from the UK, so your problem definitely lies elsewhere! Hopefully you were able to resolve it.
Frederic M
Wonderful practice! Thanks so much Jennifer! I loved the gaze flow!
Jennifer Prugh
Thanks Frederic! And thank you all of you for practicing along with me!!
Gigi M
So Lovely!
Jennifer Prugh
Thanks Gigi! Glad you are enjoying yourself!
Jasmine T.
Super fun and challenging practice, I enjoyed zipping up! Namaste :)
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