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Season 2 - Episode 3

Yielding to Earth

40 min - Practice
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When we yield, we offer our weight and can receive support. Suniti gives our feet some love before moving us through a flowing sequence designed to allow for a more balanced relationship with the earth.
What You'll Need: Mat, Block

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Welcome. This will be a well-rounded practice with an emphasis on our feet. So, whatever part of our body touches the ground, has the potential to yield. When we yield, we offer our weight and we receive support. So we're not collapsing, nor are we pushing.

It's this really dynamic beautiful balance, offering and receiving. So let's just take a moment and become acquainted with our feet. So please take hold of your right foot and just give yourself a little massage. So to move your thumb down the inner arch. Often times you hear a root down through the four corners of your feet.

So take a moment to notice that. You have a big toe mound and a pinkie toe mound. And then the inner heel and the outer heel. Bring your hand to your heel and just give it a little massage, and notice the space between your bones. And now with this one, we'll take our fingers and start to move them between our toes.

Keep going, until you've moved all the way up, towards the webs of your fingers. And now, squeeze your toes to your fingers or your knuckles and then squeeze your hands back. So they're relating. Kind of creating a bind of sorts. Squeezing toes, squeezing fingers.

And release that, and just circle out your ankle and then reverse that circle. And release your fingers and pat out the bottoms of your feet. Hello. Great, and let's find the second side. So first just getting acquainted.

Finding your inner arch, finding your outer arch. Identifying the four corners of your feet. Big toe mound, pinkie toe mound, inner and outer heel. Squeeze out your toes, shake out your heel. And then this is again that, cramming sensation of moving your fingers through your toes, all the way up towards the webs of your fingers.

And then squeeze toes towards knuckles and then squeeze your hands towards your toes. So really letting those two points meet. And release, and just find a circle. And reverse that circle. And release your fingers, pat out the bottoms of your feet.

Hello, hello. And we'll release from that. Let's transition to all fours for cat cow. Bring your hands underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips. And let's tuck our toes for cow pose.

And inhale, reach head and tail up towards the sky. And now point your toes, press down to the tops of your feet and round your back for cat. Inhale, tuck your toes. Reach your head and tail up towards the sky. And exhale, point your toes back.

Press down through the tops of the feet and let the belly draw back. So continue like this, flexing and pointing your feet and your cat cow. And imagine here that the air around your feet is thick, so there's some resistance. Notice all the small articulations in each foot, as you arch and round your spine. (breathing deeply) And you'll exhale and reach your head and tail up towards the sky, tuck your toes and then press into your hands and reach your hips back for downward-facing dog.

On the inhale, reach your heels way off the floor. Exhale, lower your right heel and bend your left knee. Inhale, lift your heels way off the ground. And then exhale, lower your left heel and bend your right knee. Inhale, heels lift.

Exhale, right heel lowers, left knee bends. Inhale, heels lift. Exhale, left heel lowers, right knee bends. Do that a couple more times on your own. And again, imagine that there's some thickness around your feet, like your pressing through warm sand.

Allow for this resistance to create a deeper articulation through each joint, of each foot. So once you're feeling balanced, we'll meet up in a steady downward-facing dog. Inhale, and exhale, step your right foot forward between your hands. Lower your back knee down to your mat and then grab hold of your block. Make a little ramp with your block.

So you're gonna bring your block towards the edge. You'll bring your block's edge to the floor and then bring the ball of your foot onto the side. Have your heel planted. And now allow your thigh bones to glide apart. Bring your attention to the front of your ankle and allow it to crease and soften.

And you allow the front of your ankle crease to deepen, as the back of your ankle gets longer. Just a couple more breaths with this. Allowing for some curiosity, to allow your right shin to come forward. And gently lift your hips, release the block to the side, plant your hands, and step back to downward-facing dog. Step inside, step your left foot forward between your hands and lower your back knee down to the mat.

So let's take hold of our block again, and bring our block to the edge. And then bring the ball of your left foot to the side your block and have your heel planted on the floor. And now allow your thigh bones to move away from each other. Bring your attention to your front ankle crease. Allow it to deepen, allow it to soften as you reach down through your heel.

Gathering more length through the back of your ankle, more ease through the front of your ankle. We're here for a couple of breaths. Lift your hips, move your block to the side, plant your hands and step back to downward-facing dog. So now in downward-facing dog, bring your attention to the front of your ankles. And allow that space to soften and deepen in crease, just like we did moments before with the block.

Allow the inner heels to have weight. Allow the outer heels to have weight. So the front of the ankles, crease as the heels descend. Inhale, lift your heels. Exhale, bend your knees, look forward and please step forward to the front of your mat.

Inhale, half way lift. Exhale, fold. Inhale, press down into the ground, rise all the way up to stand and reach your arms up to the sky. Exhale, release your hands down. Bring your hands roll alongside your body and just take a moment to feel yourself standing.

Stand well. Allow your feet to truly relate to the floor. And look for this quality of yield. Where your offer weight, but receive support. So we're not collapsing, we're not pressing.

It's that sweet spot right in between. So organize your feet on the ground and then bring the weight of your pelvis right over your feet. And find the weight of your shoulders and bring it right over your hips. And bring the weight of your head right over your shoulders. Another breath here to stand.

Now reach into the ground and inhale, reach your arms up. Exhale, fold forward, Uttanasana. Inhale half way, left Ardha Uttanasana. And exhale, step back to plank. In plank pose, bring your legs together so the inseams of your legs are touching.

And now begin to reach back through your inner heels. And begin to notice how your feet relate to your legs and how your feet relate to your pelvis. So as you reach back through your inner heels, can you feel your inner thighs? Shift slightly forward, bend your elbows so we're all the way to your belly, come to the tops of your feet. Inhale, low cobra.

Feel your hands reach down into the ground and reach them back and reach the sides of your sternum, forward and up. One more inhale. Exhale, lower and find child's pose. Inhale, rise up onto your shins. Reach your arms up to the sky for celebration pose.

Exhale, come forward to all fours. Bring your legs together, tuck your toes and have a seat on your heels. So sometimes with broken-toe pose, I need to get my pinkie toes involved. So just reaching over, so that all my feet are spreading to meet the ground. On an inhale, reach your arms up.

Exhale, sweep your right arm underneath your left for Garudasana arms. Inhale, reach your fingertips up and back. Exhale, bring your elbows towards your chest, bring your chin to your chest. Now pause here for a moment and feel the weight of your arms, feel the space in the back of your lungs, feel the space in the back of your heart. And let's find just a touch of movement.

So on an inhale reach your fingertips up and back. Exhale, elbows towards your chest. Two more goes like this. Inhale. Exhale.

Inhale. Exhale. Release your arms, inhale reach them up to the sky. Exhale, come forward to all fours. Release your feet, pad 'em out.

And then transition back to downward-facing dog. Inhale, lift your heels. Exhale, bend your knees. Look forward, and please step or lightly hop to the front of your mat. Inhale, half way lift.

Exhale, fold forward. Inhale, rise all the way up to stand. Press into the ground, reach your arms up. Exhale, hands come down. Inhale, arms sweep up.

Exhale, fold forward. Inhale, Ardha Uttanasana, half way lift. Exhale, step back to plank pose. This time in plank, open up your feet nice and wide. So maybe as wide as your mat or even wider.

And start to feel how this relationship with the legs wakes up your outer hip. So connect your feet, to your legs, to your pelvis. Reach back through your outer heels. Reach back through your inner heels and then reach forward with the center of your belly. Forward with the center of your heart.

Forward with the center of your throat. Press back to downward-facing dog. And then bring your feet a little bit closer together. More towards your normal stance. And then now come forward to plank like that.

Exhale, lower all the way to your belly. Inhale, low cobra. Exhale, child's pose. Inhale, celebration pose. Rise up on your shins, reach your arms up.

And exhale, come forward to all fours. Bring the inseams of your legs together, tuck your toes one more time, toe pose. Inhale, reach your arms up. Exhale, sweep your left arm underneath your right arm. Eagle arms.

Inhale, fingertips reach up and back. Exhale, elbows towards your belly button. Pause here for a few breaths. So feel the weight of your arms. Let your shoulder blades move apart.

Listen to the sound of your breath. Let's find a touch of movement here. On an inhale, reach your fingertips up and back. A little back bend. Exhale, elbows towards your chest.

Chin towards your chest. Inhale, fingertips reach up and back. Exhale. Last time, inhale. Exhale, draw in.

Release your arms and now reach your arms up high to the sky. And exhale, come forward to all fours. Release your feet, pad 'em out. And down-dog is where we'll meet. Feel free to stay here or inhale breath come forward to plank.

Exhale, Chaturanga Dandasana. And then from the feet, roll into your upward-facing dog. And feel the feet as you travel back to down-dog. Inhale. Exhale, bend your knees, look forward and please step forward to the front of your mat.

And now half way rise. Exhale, fold forward. Inhale, rise all the way up to stand, press into the ground to rise up. And exhale, hands come down. Bring your legs together and reach your arms up to the sky.

So to rise up through your inner heels, rise up through your inner thighs, rise up through the upper palate of your mouth and lift your heels way off the ground. Now keep buoyant, keep bright and start to bend your knees. So be kind to your knees, you might stay higher. If it's comfortable, lower your sitting bones all the way down to your heels. But stay bright.

Keep rising up through your pelvic floor, keep rising up through the top of your head. And now slowly, start to come back up. Keep your heels way off the ground. Heels stay lifted. Heels up, arms up.

Reach, reach into space. And lower your heels, lift your heart nice and high. Exhale, fold forward. Inhale, half way lift. Exhale, slip your left foot back into a lunge and prepare your back leg for Warrior 2.

So bring your back heel down and rise all the way up for Virabhadrasana B. Feel your right foot kneading the ground and on an inhale, straighten out your front leg and reach your arms up to the sky. And exhale, open up and lengthen back into Warrior 2. Inhale, right leg straightens, arms reach up. And exhale, open back up into Warrior 2.

So do that a few more times on your own. And start to feel how this action can come from your feet. So press into the earth to rise, and radiate out through your limbs, as you soften into Warrior 2. (breathes deeply) We'll meet back up in Virabhadrasana B. Inhale breath, reverse your warrior.

And exhale come forward for Ardha Chandrasana, half moon. We'll bring out right hand out in front of us, a block is great for this. Start to walk your left foot in, and stack your left up on top of your right. Reach your left arm up to the sky. Feel your weight on your right foot and can you reach down through the inner foot as much as the outer foot?

Can you reach down through all four corners of your supporting leg? Your supporting foot? Look down, bend your right knee and slowly transition back to Warrior 2. Press into your front foot, straighten your front leg. Turn your right toes in so both feet are now parallel to the sides of your mat.

Bring your hands to your hips. Inhale, open up your chest. Exhale, fold forward. Bring your hands to the floor and now lengthen. And exhale, fold in again.

(breathing deeply) Inhale, breath lengthen up half way and bring your hands underneath your shoulders. So see if you can have weight moving down through the knuckle ridge of your hand as well as the heel of your hand. So you might need to walk your hands slightly forward or slightly back. Shift your weight into your hands and begin to lift your heels off the ground. Keep shifting, and extra credit here, walk onto the tippity tips of our toes.

Keep reaching into the knuckle ridges of your hands. And gently lower your heels back down. Come up onto your fingertips and start to lengthen, your heart center forward. Exhale, fold forward. Inhale, lengthen half way.

Exhale, take a quarter turn to the front of your mat. Plant your hands, step back to plank, option for Chaturanga Dandasana and upward-facing dog. We'll eventually meet up, in downward-facing dog. Step your left foot forward between your hands. Bring your back heel down, preparing for Warrior 2, and rise all the way up, for your Warrior 2.

So feel your left foot on the ground, feel your right foot on the ground. Reach into the floor. Press into the left foot, straighten your left leg, reach your arms up, and exhale open back up for Warrior 2. Inhale, left leg straightens, arms reach up. Exhale, Warrior 2.

So continue like that. Find your own pace, follow your breath. And feel how this action comes from the feet. Relate to the ground, to reach out through your limbs. Relate to the ground, to reach out into your edges.

We'll meet back up in Warrior 2. Inhale breath, reverse your Warrior, left arm rises. Exhale, Ardha Chandrasana. So walk your back foot in, bring your left hand to the floor, walk it in, and stack right hip on top of left, right arm reaches up to the sky. Can you reach down through all four corners of your supporting foot?

Really important to energize your lifted leg as well. Reach out through your hands, reach out through your feet, but then hug back in towards your center. Look down to the floor. Take your time, bend your left knee, reach your right foot back, find the floor, come back to Warrior 2. Straighten out your left leg, turn your left toes in.

Organize your feet so they're parallel to the sides of your mat, bring your hands to your hips. Inhale out, open up your chest. Exhale, fold in. And you'll half way lift. And exhale, fold forward again.

Inhaling thin half way. One more time with this hand stand prep. Bring your hands underneath your shoulders. And start to shift your weight into your hands, bring your shoulders over your hands, and now lift your heels off the ground, feel your belly strong. Shift even farther forward and come to the tippity tips of your toes.

Point your feet. And lower your heels all the way down. Take a quarter turn back to the front of your mat. Plant your hands, step back, downward-facing dog. Inhale forward to plank.

Exhale, Chaturanga Dandasana. Inhale, cobra or upward-facing dog. And exhale, downward-facing dog. Inhale, lift your heels. Exhale, bend your knees, look forward, step or lightly hop to the front of your mat.

Inhale, half way lift, and exhale fold. Inhale, rise to stand. Press into the ground. Reach your arms up and exhale, hands come down. Once again, feel yourself standing.

Feel yourself standing well. Yielding, relating to the ground. And allow for receiving energy and lengthening up through your spine. Separate your feet so they're hip width distance. Open up your chest.

Exhale, fold forward. Take your first two fingers, wrap them around the big toes. Inhaling, then half way up, and exhale fold forward again. So even though you have your big toes, can you press down through the big toe mound? Can you press down through your inner heel?

Inhale, lengthen your spine. Straighten your arms. Exhale, bring your hands to your hips. Inhale, come all the way up to stand, and then bring your legs back together. Shift your weight into your left foot, bend your right knee and take hold of your big, right big toe with your first two fingers.

Start to power down through your left leg and then reach your right leg forward out in front of you. Utthita Hasta Padangustasana. So notice if your swerving out through your left hip, can you draw your outer hip towards your midline? Notice if you're leaning forward with your shoulder, can you move your shoulders back over your hips? Reach your right leg to the side.

Come back with your right foot and release your right foot back down. Stand on both legs. Shift your weight into your right foot, bend your left knee, take hold of your big toe with your first two fingers. And begin to explore straightening out your left leg. So of course your left knee can always stay bent.

Really stand on your right leg. Stand, meet the earth. Press down through the inner leg as much as the outer leg. Send your left leg to the side. Bring your left leg back to center and release.

Stand on both feet. Inhale, arms up, feet presses down. Exhale, fold forward. Inhale, half way lift. Exhale, step back to down-dog.

Lower your knees down to the ground and have a seat on your heels. This next shape, is a really nice release for our feet. We're gonna bring the top of one foot into the arch of the other. So I'll show from the back so that you can see. So my knees will open up.

And then I'm gonna bring the top of my right foot's arch, into the bottom of my left foot's arch. And then I just shift my weight back, my sitting bones move towards my heels. So for me, this is pretty comfortable. For you, you might want to be a little bit farther forward on your hands. So just see what's working for you.

If it feels too intense, you can slide more of your toes towards the arch. If it feels not intense enough, you can bring it more up, towards the ankle. So once you're here, take a moment. Bring more attention to the sensation in your foot. And often times, the sense is to move away from it.

And see if you can actually moves towards it. Doesn't mean you have to get deeper, you're just letting yourself feel what's there. Relax your jaw, relax your tongue. Come forward to all fours and just unravel your feet. You can shake 'em out a little bit.

And then we'll come into the second side. So bring the top of your left foot into the bottom of your right foot, and then you're gonna reach your sitting bones back towards your heels. If it's comfortable, rise up and bring your hands to your thighs. (breathing deeply) Notice where the loudest sensation is and then bring your attention there. And invite it to open, invite it to broaden.

Invite the bottoms of your feet to let go, of any tension, so they can become more receptive. Relax your mouth, relax your eyes. Come forward to all fours, unravel. And then let's meet up. You can sit on your shins.

Bring your hands right alongside your shins, press down, and come up to the tops of your feet. And just take a moment to stretch out the tops of your ankles. And then from here, we'll just make our way to our seat. Reach your arms forward out in front of you and then slowly transition onto your back. Bend your knees so your feet are on the floor.

Preparing yourself for Bridge pose. Before you come out, just take a moment to organize your feet, and make sure that your feet are on a parallel rotation so they're facing straight forward. And now just press into your feet and feel how your hamstrings start to engage. Feel how when you reach into the floor with your feet something happens to your pelvis. So do that a couple of times for yourself.

Release your feet, and then just press your feet onto the ground. Then your hamstrings wake up, feel the power in your lower glutes. So we're one whole piece, connect your feet to your pelvis. And now keeping that strength through the hamstrings, lift your hips up off the ground. Roll your shoulders underneath your back, and clasp your hands.

So again feel the power, pressing your feet into the earth. Feel your hamstrings strong. And release your hands, lower your hips back down to the ground. Grab hold of your block. So your block can either be on the first level or the second level.

We'll press onto our feet, and slide our block underneath our sacrum, more towards our tailbone than to our lower back. And then from here, allow still for some weight, allow our pelvis to still have weight, and then reach your feet up towards the sky. You can keep your hands right alongside you, you can allow your palms to roll open, if that's more comfortable. So again, allow your pelvis to have weight and then begin to reach up through your inner legs, tenderly, delicately. You don't wanna over-emphasize that.

Just allowing the legs to be wakeful. Allow for the shoulders to have weight, and your head and your face. Let's take another five long breaths. (breathing deeply) So here are the tension, if there is any tension in our feet, just let it drain out. Bend your knees and place your feet on the ground.

Pause here in supported bridge. Press down into your feet, lift your hips, slide your block off to the side, and lower your hips back down. Hug your knees into your chest. Shift your hips just a touch on over to the right and allow your legs to move over to the left for a supine twist. Come back to center and shift your hips slightly to the left and send your legs over to the right.

(breathing deeply) Come back to center, hug your knees in, find happy baby pose, hold onto the pinkie toe edges of the feet. And now please prepare your body for Shavasana. Notice what it feels like to yield. What does it feel like to offer the weight of your body to the ground? As you offer weight, receive support, yield.

(breathing deeply) (quiet breathing) (low breathing) Bring your attention back to your breath. If you have the time, feel free to stay in Shavasana a bit longer. Slowly begin to invite some movement to come back into your body. And begin to transition to your side. Press down into your hands, rise all the way up to your seat.

Once again, notice all the parts of your body that's making contact to the ground. And can you yield? We're offering weight, receiving support. Bring your hands together in front of your heart. Bring your chin down to your chest, bringing your brain into your heart.

Take a big rounded breath and slow your practice in. Thank you for sharing space, namaste.

Comments

1 person likes this.
Enjoyed this practice, it will be a good practice to share with the
yoga students at the gym were I lead classes. Thank you! Yoga Any time is a favorite site of mine!
1 person likes this.
Your welcome Dana! I'm glad you enjoyed it. Yoga Anytime is a favorite of mine as well. :)
Another wonderful class. Thank you so much Suniti.
I found this practice so integrating - deeply grounding and uplifting at the same time. Thank you.
1 person likes this.
Thank you, Suniti -- I really appreciate the love for feet & ankles, which opened up everything. So happy I chose this practice!
2 people like this.
Suniti is the reason I’m on Yoga Anytime. Please, please bring her back, so we can enjoy more of her guidance from anywhere in the world. Love this practice.
1 person likes this.
Such a treat. Thank you
1 person likes this.
Genius! So juicy!
Thank you!
2 people like this.
Beautifully grounding practice...waking up the roots... finding that dynamic exchange of energy: "falling up"
1 person likes this.
Thank you so much... I really dig your teaching/instruction/softness/creat ivity. My feet are sooooo happy at the moment!
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