Keepin' it Real Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 5

Strong and Alive in Your Power

30 min - Practice
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Robert guides us in a dynamic practice of Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) variations that get progressively faster throughout the sequence. We move through modified push-ups, low lunges, and sumo squats to develop maximum strength and stability. You will feel strong, energized, and alive.
What You'll Need: Mat, Block (2)

Transcript

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(ocean surf on beach) Hey, how are you doing? This is Robert, welcome to Yoga Anytime. This is a 30 minute practice involving sun salutations that will require you to explore Low Lunge. We are not going to move down and through Cobra or Upward Facing Dog. We will be doing some pushup versions or varieties, I'll show you some modifications.

And we will be exploring some squats. The idea here is to get a good stretch, move with the breath but also build some overall whole-body strength. Okay? You're at home, I'm here, I've got blocks. What do you have that could resemble this that would give you stability, provide the height that this is providing?

If you do not have the blocks, you can still follow along. It might be a little bit different when you step up from Downward Dog, et cetera. Anyway, do what you can. If you've got the blocks, great. If you don't, order them from somewhere, but let's get started.

Get your mat out, come to the front of your mat, and if you do have blocks, place the blocks so if your feet are hip width, it's also a really nice measurement for placing your feet every time. They're a reminder of where you might want to place your foot. Your feet are hip width, place the blocks alongside the outer edges of your feet. (throat clearing) Inhale your arms out and up. That's the breath in, right?

Now exhale. Bring the palms together, pressed together, all the way down the midline, bend your knees, and fold into a forward bend. Inhale, palms into your shins, come up half way, get that flat back, get that extension and length. On your exhale, go ahead and plant your palms onto the blocks, step back into Plank Pose, pushup position. Now because this is the first round, I want to give you a couple of options, or at least two options.

From full Plank, without changing anything, set your knees down. What's important here, because we'll be doing three to five every time we come through, is that you're doing them correct so that number one, you don't get hurt, number two, they're done efficiently so you get maximum results. You're actually working and strengthening the muscles that are meant to be. From this position, notice I haven't changed anything. I just set the knees down.

Now, if the blocks or my hands were the base of a triangle, and the tip of the triangle were out here, you want to shift your body forward so that if I bend my elbows right now, that's where my nose would go is to the tip of the triangle. If not, you're going to do this and this is going to be terrible for your elbows, your shoulders, your wrists, everything. What you want to focus on is this type of movement, so I strongly encourage you, if you are learning this right now, to watch and then join in. Watch my elbows. First off, I'm not swayed in my back, I'm not shlumping in my shoulders.

I draw my tailbone back, secure the core, shoulders down and back, chest open. When I tip forward, this allows me some space or alignment to keep my elbows over the wrists and I come down not like this, I only come down about halfway down. Here you breathe in and breathe out. Breathe in, breathe out. You're going to use your knees, not because it's a girl pushup, but because it gives you the opportunity to do it properly.

If you're not quite ready for this version, bring the knees down. Make the best out of your time here. That's it. That's all you get for the modifications for the pushup. Now you know.

Once we step back into Plank, you decide. We're doing three pushups to start this round, so it's three pushups. Inhale when you lower down, exhale press up. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale, all the way to Downward Facing Dog.

Make sure your hands are somewhere on the blocks that feels right, hang out in Downward Dog for a moment, and when you're ready here, let's take the right leg, lift it up, inhale that right leg up, and you're going to step your right foot to the directly to inside of the block on the right. Shift your shoulders forward, draw the knee up into your body, come up onto your tiptoes if you can, and step the foot quietly. Bring your back knee down, hands up on your thigh for now. Notice how my back knee is directly below my hip. What we're set up in right now is called a 90/90 setup.

I learned that a while ago. But what's important here is that by doing this is it gives us the opportunity to put the pelvis in the correct alignment. Neutral pelvis here. Almost erring on a posterior and that'll really deepen up through the quad and your hip flexor region. What I want you to work on here is extending your tailbone down.

Instead of it looking like this and dumping forward, shoo! Boom. You've got that now and what that also does, just for your own, if you don't know this already, is here, pelvis forward, belly dumps. There's no core awareness whatsoever, or engagement we'll say. Here, shoo-uh puh! Boom, core alive. Now, take the arms up, bend them into like a field goal shape, field goal post.

Why we're doing this is basically to create a stretch across the chest and shoulders and to strengthen the back. Bring your arms like so. From field goal shape, arms leveled out. Now pull the elbows back and draw the shoulder blades toward one another. Keep that action there, then simply bring the arms up.

So many of us have this upper cross shoulder syndrome. You want to stay open. Stretched, strong in the back. Boom, there's your Low Lunge for now. You find a couple of breaths there.

Good, bring the hands down. (exhaling breath) Step back into Plank Pose. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. Breathe in, Downward Dog.

Take a couple of breaths. (deep inhalations and exhalations) Lift your left leg high. You can lift your back heel. This will give you a little bit more space, if you really wanted to explore lifting that leg high. Lift the leg up, inhale, and step it.

The two or three part move is knee into the chest, shoulders forward, high on your back toes. This will give you some space to step. Bring the back knee down. Pelvis gets adjusted. (deep breathing) This time, we're going to reach forward, inhale, and exhale.

(deep exhaling breath) Five times, breathe in. (whooshing breath) Breathe out. Three more, breathe in, breathe out. (deep exhaling breath) Breathe in. (deep inhaling and exhaling breath) I think that's four.

One more time, breathe in. (deep inhaling and exhaling breath) All the while doing this, I've got this crazy good stretch, all the way up through the quad, hip flexor, side body. There's a lot going on. It's very, very, very necessary beyond the practice for your it's relative to your life. Moving on, inhale, exhale.

Step back into pushup position again. Three more, inhale, exhale. Exhale. Downward Dog. (deep inhaling and exhaling breaths) We'll lead with the right leg.

You're going to step about as wide out to the outside of the block on the right. Lift the right leg up, step it. (deep exhaling breath) Take a moment to get a little stretch there and then you straighten the front leg as much as you can, bend the left, step up, as wide as your mat. Now open the feet, arms forward, knees wide, like a sumo. If you're familiar with that sumo position.

Breathe in. (deep exhaling breath) Exhale. These are going to get progressively faster. We want to elevate and increase the heart rate while doing these. Brings energy and a little bit more life to your body.

Get the alignment first. Arms forward, tailbone down, knees wide. Press through your heels. Press down through the heels. Inhale.

(deep exhaling breath) Strong exhale through the mouth. In through the nose. (deep inhaling breath) (whooshing exhale) We'll do 15. There's three. (deep inhales and whooshing exhales) Watch your knees.

Press through the heels, (whooshing exhale) Let that exhale. (whooshing exhale) Two more. Really release. Exhale. (whooshing exhale) When you come up your quads are firing, your core is braced, your arms are strong, your back is strong.

All right? You finished the 15th. (deep inhale and exhale) Pause. (deep exhale) Now in no particular way, we could start right here, but we're going to start by, do the same thing, we'll show you some other variations for the lunge. (deep inhale and exhale) Mountain Pose.

Inhale. (deep inhale) Exhale. (deep exhale) Inhale. (deep inhale) Step back into Plank Pose. Exhale.

Inhale, exhale. (whooshing exhales) Fifth one, Downward Dog. (deep exhale) (deep inhale) Right leg, inhale, step it to the block on the inside. Bring the back knee down, come on up. The reason we offer that first version, the one where you're in 90/90, is that so many times we come into Low Lunge and we're creating a lot of unnecessary compression in the low back.

Hopefully, the first one gave you a little bit of skill, little understanding of how to bring the neutral pelvis into place so that the low back doesn't bunch up. If you've got that awareness and knowledge, what I encourage you to try is bringing the back knee back a little bit farther. To alleviate any knee pressure, put a blanket, a towel, or press into the top of the back foot and that'll alleviate some of the knee pressure. Extend the tailbone down. (deep exhale) Take the arms up.

(deep exhale) Interlace or hands behind the head, and a little side stretch this time. (deep exhale) You're only, with the right foot forward, you only want to do the one side stretch. We'll do the side stretch on the other side with the left leg forward. Reach up, get that lateral bend. (deep exhale) Come back up, inhale and exhale, hands come down.

(throat clearing) Curl the back toes, step back into Plank. You're not just, keep in mind, you're not just banging the pushups out. You're moving slowly and deliberately, like you would in any other yoga posture. Let the breath be very much part of the situation here. Five more.

Inhale, exhale. (deep inhales and exhales) Downward Dog. Take a deep breath in here before you go on. (deep inhale) Exhale everything out. (deep exhale) Left leg lifts, inhale and now exhale.

(deep exhale) I'm going to go right into my second version of the lunge. I showed it to you on the first. Here we go, basic 90/90, I'm going to go back a little bit farther, I'm bringing the arms up. (deep exhale) I'm going to do everything I can not to compress here. Tailbone down and when you really learn how to engage your glutes and draw that tailbone down, massive, awesome stretch up through the hip flexors.

Arms up, tip to the left. (deep exhales and inhales) If anything doesn't, I mean this goes without saying, really, right? But any of this, if it doesn't feel right, you've got to modify, you've got to adjust. You have to really think about what's appropriate for your body. There you go, you've got the side bend, inhale, exhale.

Step back into Plank. Five more. Breathe in, breathe out. (deep exhales and inhales) (deep exhale) (deep inhale) (deep exhale) This time, I'll lead with the left. Lift your left leg up, inhale, and step it wide.

(deep exhale) (deep exhale) Breathe in. (deep inhales and whooshing exhales) You can take the arms a little wider. (whooshing exhale) And do the (whooshing exhale) (deep inhales and whooshing exhales) Careful. (whooshing exhale) Mindful of the knees. Keep pressing the knees out when you press up.

(deep inhales and whooshing exhales) Five more. Five, breathe in. (deep inhales and whooshing exhales) One more. (deep exhales and inhales) Step back. (deep breathing) Now we'll go a little bit more continuous.

Without a little less instruction. Inhale the arms up, exhale. Half lift inhale, Plank Pose exhale. Inhale, exhale. (deep exhale and inhale) Three.

Four. Five. Hold Plank for a moment. Inhale, exhale. (deep exhale) You're doing great.

I can't see you, but I know you are. (laughs) Take the right leg, lift it up. Inhale there, step it up for lunge. I'm going to go a little deeper now. Inhale, hold for a couple breaths. (deep exhale) Make sure your hips are aligned, your left thigh, your quads are facing forward and down.

You can get this kind of arm variation. (deep exhale and inhale) You can reach back behind you. (deep exhales and inhales) Inhale, exhale. (deep exhale) Inhale. (whooshing exhales) Five, good job.

(deep exhale) Left leg, inhale. Step it up inside of the block, nice and quiet. Back knee down. Situate yourself and then enter the pose, a nice deep inhale. I'm going to go with the arms back behind once again.

(deep exhales and inhales) Good, release, inhale. Exhale. Last round of pushups. When you're, I guess it's not too late to say it, but when you're stepping back, do what you can to lift the foot first to step back. Minimize the dragging.

It's not easy, but the blocks do help. When you do this, you lift the back knee, press through the blocks, maybe get a little quality of Cat Pose, and you lift, ah, it's hard. Good, Downward Dog, take a couple breaths. (deep inhale and exhale) If you feel stable and solid, you can always play around with bending the knees and launching quietly up into that malasana, that squat. You can try this.

(deep inhale and exhale) This time we're going to go nice and slow. There's one. Inhale. (deep inhale and exhale) Get a dead-set gaze. Skilled gaze.

Un (deep exhale) Like just pewww, all right? Now, like you would at the end of the practice, that gratitude for the breath, acknowledge it now. Acknowledge it now and feel what it feels like to breath in and get that feeling of that (deep inhale) That inhalation and almost just as good or even better is to haaah, let it go. We'll just do 10 here to finish off these. Breathe in.

(deep inhale) And (deep exhales and inhales) When you come up, press through the heels, get those glutes engaged, but don't drive your hips forward, there's that compression. Just gaagh, glutes, core, arms, upper back strong. Let's do five more. Breathe in. (deep inhales and exhales) Really engage, two more, engage, contract, squeeze.

Feel the strength you have. Two more, breathe in. (deep inhale and exhale) Last one. (deep inhale and exhale) Let the arms come down for a moment. (deep inhale) Feel the change from when you first started up until now.

The sweat, the heat on the skin, your heart pumping. (deep exhale) This is you right now. (deep inhales and exhales) Okay, good. Now make your way back to Mountain Po-, or actually, no. My bad.

We're going to stay right here. You're going to drop down into a squat for a few moments. Should be pretty warmed up in here. Drop down. (deep inhales and exhales) From here, we're going to move the blocks and put 'em off to the side for a few moments.

You don't really need them the rest of the time, at least the way I'll be offering it. Reach back behind you and set your seat down, get down to the ground. (throat clearing) Roll down to your back. Go ahead and roll on down. (deep exhale) Keep the legs bent for a moment, take the arms out and go ahead and just kind of windshield wiper those knees from side to side.

This will, if you have any funk in your low back, this will, or your hips after some of the movement, this will possibly, maybe help to adjust. Okay. Now, from this position, what I'd like you to do is keep your left foot in. You're going to ultimately bring the right in, but I want you to press through the left foot to shift your hips over to the right. Then extend so your hips are moved over to the right side of the mat, your neck is long, your shoulders, shoulder blades, create some space in your back.

Now take the right arm, reach it out, left hand on the right thigh, take a deep breath in, and exhale over to the left, a little spinal twist. You can keep shifting your hips over so you're on your outer left hip, essentially. Now my head and gaze are straight up. What I might do is take my gaze over toward the right. But then when I do that, I have to check in.

Hmm, it doesn't feel that awesome. So what I'm going to do is do this, create more space in my back, and then move in and out of the twist. Breathe in, breathe out. (deep exhale) (deep exhale) Back to center. The moments now, like that twist, for instance, it's an opportunity post more dynamic movement to come down to the ground and warm down.

Now shift your hips over to the left, extend the right out, left knee in and go ahead and twist. (deep exhale) If you have any feeling of snap, crackle, pop in the back, sometimes that feels like just a really nice release. Have to check in, though, when you do these twists. There's that difference between that good kind of tension or good pain and that injury-type pain. Okay, come back out.

Situate yourself back on the front of the mat or on the middle of the mat. Gently guide the knees in and when you do this, can you feel the sacrum, can you feel your low back come forward and up? There's this nice lengthening and stretching of your sacrum. (deep breathing) After you've done that, in whatever capacity you'd like, if you want to reach all the way around or just hold here, here, it's up to you. Keep that length you've got in your back, bring the feet together, arms out.

I'm not going to do it for this sequence, but if you do have those blocks available to you, you can place those blocks underneath the outer edges of your thighs. That's a nice, gives you some support. The arms out, neck nice and long. Take some time here to haaagh, relax. (deep breathing) Stretch your legs out.

You can roll over to your right side and push yourself up. (throat clearing) In that moment when you're on your back, keep in mind you can stay there as long as you'd like. I cannot because I have to come up and say "so long" to you. That's find a relaxation where you either are right now or you've just come out, so don't cut yourself short. Give yourself that time to relax, to really settle in and let go of everything.

Let go of the practice you just experienced. Let go. Once again, I'm a huge fan of making sure you acknowledge the fact that you showed up. That's everything. That's the biggest part is you showing up and making the effort.

I know it doesn't always look pretty, it doesn't feel great, but it's worth it. It's worth the try. Press your palms together, press your thumbs in towards your sternum, maybe let your forehead drop down towards your fingertips, thankful for your health, for your body, for your breath, for your friends, family, everything. For your life. Thank you.

You are amazing. Have a great day. Peace.

Comments

Joe
2 people like this.
cheers mate, great one to do early and get everything moving, but thought the balance with the relaxation was great as well! cheers so much!
Thanks for sharing your thought's Joe! Cheers back at ya!
1 person likes this.
I enjoy your variations and look forward to incorporating them into my own practice, as well as my teaching. Thanks! Very insightful and clear instruction.
1 person likes this.
Hi - I love the way you teach yoga, great clarity and easy enough speed for even me to follow along, lol.
Thank you so much Wendy and Linda for your supportive comments! I'm so glad my teaching resonates with you, it's important to me to be able to clearly and effectively instruct and teach something I care so much about:))
1 person likes this.
Great start to my day today. Thank you! Peace!
1 person likes this.
Thank You so much for this class. Very strong and many Informations
2 people like this.
Hey Robert! Just saying hi to let you know I'm still with you after the 30 day challenge :) Keepin' it Real!! Every day!!! Thanks for the great classes.
Luisa!! Nice to see you on new land:) So happy you are checking out other videos! How do you feel after the challenge?!
2 people like this.
Hello Robert Sidoti I've been practicing yoga for three months, and I feel so great, and your classes really help me so much cuz you explain every single movement or posture so clear, thank very much and greetings from Scotland.
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