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Season 1 - Episode 3

Meeting Earth

35 min - Practice
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Sadie shares a dynamic warming sequence to tap into the Earth's grounding force. We learn how to contain and play with this energy as we move through a creative flow of low to high lunges, fierce warriors, and temple dancers. Mastery of the earth element is rumored to result in the skill of levitation, and we peak with Bakasana (Crow Pose). We settle and center with a luxurious Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) and Goddess Pose. You will feel beautiful, present, strong, and solid.
What You'll Need: Mat

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(wave crashing) Come into your easy seat. Let's get really grounded today. I want you to plant your hands on your thighs, hold the sitting bones really wide and own this space where you are right now. Plant your hands on your belly and let's practice this core transformer breath. So you're breathing down into the base of the rib cage and wide in a 360 degree circle all the way around the ribs.

So we wanna contact belly, sides and back, too, as well as the base. As if you've got a golden flame burning in the center of your belly. You're breathing down to it, letting it warm, expand, and widen in all directions. So as you inhale though the nose, give that little Ujjayi action at the back of the throat. So (breathing) as if you're fogging up a window but you're breathing in through the nose (inhaling).

So instead of breathing up, I want you to breathe down. As you inhale, envision that you are rooting down into the Earth for miles and miles, even connecting right down into the core of the Earth itself. So inhale down, root down, warm and widen (inhaling), and on the exhale, you can give a nice light hug to the pelvic floor muscles, lift up, even that low belly sweeps in and up and helps to press and detoxify the breath out of your body. So inhale down, root down for miles (inhaling). Exhale, draw that energy back up from the Earth to help you with your practice today.

Let's just bring hands to the knees now and practice that a few more times together, in silence and space. Good, one more inhale and send those tree roots down so we can reconnect to the Earth. So easy to get very airy and heady all the time and just, you know, out in the world, but just getting truly present today. Hands back onto the knees. On your next inhale now, as you breathe downward more, reach the heart forward and up.

As you exhale, draw into that Earth and lift up through the back of the chest. Inhale lean forward and up, thinking about breathing down a little bit more on the inhale and on the exhale, give a nice squeeze in and up. Very cleansing for the body, too. Inhale open up (inhaling). And exhale.

This time, inhale lean forward, bend those elbows, armpits back, and just let the arms unfurl so like the branches of a tree. But notice, as you really press down into your seat, as you drew up through that center place, you can get kind of get more light and free above. So no rigidity right now, but like a tree moves in the wind. Inhale lean forward (inhaling), grow up from the Earth there. Good.

Exhale, this time bring fists of fire down into the hips. Good. Press your sitting bones way down though and lift up, so you wanna be lighter and free above because you're so rooted today. Inhale lean forward, reach the arms up find that wave. Exhale press the sitting bones down, lengthen out through the whole body.

Inhale forward and up (inhaling). And exhale fists of fire, root down to the sitting bones and lengthen up. Good. Inhale, this time reach forward all the way up and then from that nice light place, keep that heart open and spin to the right. Take a breath in, lengthen up and exhale spin the chest a bit more.

Inhale forward and up, and then twist the other way. Good, inhale lenghten, and exhale. Now here's the trick, inhale return to that breath, return to that core transformer so you're inhaling down and wide. On the exhale, squeeze up from the root muscles and higher as you twist. Stay here, breathe down in that 360 expansion around the base of the ribs (inhaling) and exhale squeeze it up (exhaling) and that should should really give you even more of that cleansing power, that grounding power in each asana today.

Inhale lean forward and up, exhale and spin. Inhale breathe 360 down, warm, and wide (inhaling) even into the back, there you go. And on the exhale, squeeze and lift even more. One more like that. Inhale down, even to back of the base of the ribs.

Exhale hug, and lift, and spin. Inhale reach all the way up and bring the hands to the heart at namaste. Just take two inhales and exhales here, returning to that rooted breath, exhale gather up that new energy. Inhale down, this breath can really heat you up, too, if you're committed to the exhale. Alright.

Slowly plant your fingertips over to the side, near the front of your mat. Fingertips down, so when you really ground down, you'll feel the center of your palms rise up, almost as if your fingertips are rooting down and the center of your hands are lifting the energy back up. Slide the palms down now, so really mindful as we touch the Earth, and then come onto hands and knees like that. Again, you might wanna come to the fingertips and just give yourself that action, keep that, slide your palms down flat but think of that secret inner space inside the hands lifting up. Inhale bend the elbows back and hug them in.

On the exhale, press into your hands, lift up through the front of the spine, and arch the back. Inhale here (inhaling), and exhale (exhaling). Good. Inhale, so we're really getting this idea down of pressing into the core of the Earth, not just on to the mat itself, but through the mat. Inhale and exhale.

Keep going. When you do this, you press into the Earth, the Earth will give you what's called a ground reaction force, or a bounce, and it will bounce back up and help give you more lightness, more freedom and power in all your yoga poses. Exhale, one more time, inhale back and exhale up. This time, lift the navel and see if you can lift your knees a little bit. Inhale reach it back, exhale press the hands down, squeeze and lift, front belly, root pelvic muscles.

So give yourself some power from that grounded place in the hands. Good, toning the arms, too. Inhale, and exhale lift. This time, plant the hands down, inhale, give a nice little bend back, and on the exhale, press down, lift the belly, lift your right arm up to the sky (inhaling). And on your exhale, sweep it almost through without touching the floor.

Inhale lift all the way up (inhaling). And exhale. Pay close attention to everything that's on the Earth. That's your foundation. That left hand and the knees, maybe even the feet touching back there.

Press all the way down and lift, and on the exhale, slide it through this time, rest the shoulder down on the floor if you can and the head. Tent the fingertips of the left hand, this is helping to really strengthen your wrist and your palm. Roll your top shoulder on the back and return to that core transformer breath. So inhale down to the base of the rib cage (inhaling) widen everything, this is a nice place to feel it, and on the exhale, give a nice squeeze and lift with the pelvic muscles and the low belly. Good, one more time, inhale expand (inhaling), and exhale contract (exhaling).

Gorgeous, come back to center. Inhale bend yourself back there, and on the exhale, lift up through the belly with the left arm up this time, so reach way, way, way, up (inhaling) (singing) and exhale, giving it a nice little spin. Don't touch the floor yet, though, we're just gonna warm up the side waist here and practice the foundation pressing, right hand and the knees, exhale (exhaling). One more, so this is a wave of expression coming from the Earth, and then exhale plant the hand down, shoulder down, tap the right fingertips down, and roll the top shoulder onto your back. So be there for a few moments, and as you inhale, breathe into the base of the rib cage (inhaling).

As you exhale, give a scoop and a lift, this is a muscular action coming from the root upward. Inhale down and wide, and exhale spin the chest a little more. Come back to center. Plant fingertips to palms. I call this gecko asana, like a gecko or a tree frog.

And every time you plant the hands down, do it really mindfully like that. Inhale bend the elbows, and on the exhale, press hands down, lift up through the belly, and step yourself back downward facing dog, now mindfully meeting Earth in a new way. Bend your knees here, you can even bend your elbows a little bit, and let's pulse. Down dog pulses, inhale bend, exhale press the Earth, lift the navel. Inhale down, exhale two (exhaling).

Inhale down, exhale three, now lift the right leg up so that becomes a wave happening from the Earth to sky (exhaling). On your exhale, bend everything again, getting close to that ground, roll the right knee into your chest and press straight to get more power and lift as the right knee comes to your chest. If this is a lot, you can do this with the left knee down (inhaling). Inhale lift up through that front spine, lift the right leg, and on your exhale, bend everything, roll knee to chest, lift, lift, lift. Last time, inhale lift, exhale bend, roll that right knee into your chest, lift as high as you can, and then step the right foot to the right thumb.

Lift your belly and wave the spine out nice and long, and on your exhale, bend your back knee and just sweep forward and backward, bending the back knee and the front knee so we don't have to rush into our poses today, but just getting close to the Earth should be building some heat for you. Yeah. So give yourself this kind of groovy motion here, and as you begin to pulse on the exhale (exhaling), press your feet down, lift the front spine gently. So inhale down (inhaling), exhale (exhaling), inhale down, a little higher, exhale start to roll yourself up. And then inhale last time, exhale roll yourself all the way up.

So just drawing it up along that front spine there. Unfurl the shoulders (inhaling) and arms. You'll notice the back knee is still bent so the pelvis can sweep in and up, and then begin to stretch the leg a little longer (inhaling) if it feels good for you and you don't lose that center. And let's play with the Earth. Inhale press down, lift up.

Exhale fists of fire, you know I like that one. Inhale from the Earth, find that wave of power, exhale down (exhaling). Inhale lift (inhaling) and exhale (exhaling). Find that breath again, inhale down, all around the rib cage, sides, and back. Exhale it down (exhaling).

Now stretch the leg, reach up into your high lunge here, and on your exhale, plant both hands inside the front foot. We're gonna take a little walk as you turn both feet to paralleL-ish and come here into a low fan position, preparing for temple pose. It that's too low, you come up higher onto the thighs like this, and enjoy. Alright, so from here, inhale down into the belly, into the rib cage. On the exhale, round it up (exhaling), breathe it out.

So, a little catcow here in our temple. Inhale (inhaling) and exhale (exhaling). I want you to press your feet down so firmly on the exhale that you could maybe even lighten or lift your fingertips up. Exhale (exhaling), inhale down. This time as you exhale keep the knees bent and roll all the way up into your temple position, turn your toes out the same direction as your kneecaps.

Inhale reach all the way up to the sky, and exhale fists of fire (exhaling). Coming from the Earth this time, stretch a little straighter. Exhale down (exhaling). Good, feel the rooting down of the Earth (inhaling), holding that energy up through the feet, through the legs, through the pelvis and spine. Inhale (inhaling), exhale (exhaling).

Good (inhaling). Big inhales and exhales now as the heart rate rises. Inhale up, and exhale (exhaling). Inhale all the way up here (inhaling), and on the exhale, we'll do a little temple dancer so now hands come together and just moving from side to side, playing with the Earth itself. Roll yourself up, stretch all the way, exhale down (exhaling).

Coming into more of a liquid flow from the Earth, inhale reach, exhale (exhaling). And last time, stretch up, and exhale it down (exhaling). Come to center, roll yourself up to temple, and then begin to spread your arms out from the heart. Turn your palms down, front toes forward, back heel back, so I have my right foot forward right now inhale lifting up and out into my warrior two. Let's fly this warrior.

Inhale bend the back knee, pull it up from the Earth and stretch, exhale super fierce (exhaling), press out through the palms and come back into your warrior. Inhale lift up (inhaling), and exhale (exhaling). So you're not just reaching up with the arms and then exhaling out, you're pressing into the Earth and letting that carry you. Very powerful, to get you back into your presence, back into that grounded nature that you carry all the time (exhaling), so easily lost, though, I know. Inhale up (inhaling), exhale it out (exhaling).

Back hand to the back thigh, front arm, sweep it down, bend the back knee, and really roll yourself up and open, stretching out that front rib cage, bending in the front knee as much as you can comfortably, and express inhale here, around the rib cage (inhaling). Good, exhale front forearm to the front thigh, back arm, sweep it around, next exhale down, inhale up. Coming to the Earth and from the Earth, to fully express the pose. Last time, circle it down, draw through the belly, stretch over the ears, stretch long in all directions. Goodness, inhale here, and on the exhale, plant your left hand down, lift your back heel up, bring the back knee down if you want to, turn the front toes open a little bit, and spend some time in this counterstretch right here, opening up the front knee, but lifting the pelvis up so you're not dropping it down.

There's such a thing as too grounded in yoga practice, so we play the edge, keeping the hip joints open as we stretch. Good, inhale here (inhaling), and on the exhale, plant the foot, plant the hands, lift the belly, downward facing dog. Let's try that on the other side. Inhale bend the knees here. Exhale pulse it down (exhaling).

Inhale bend, and pulse. Being able to do this is going to really help you with some of your arm balances (exhaling), crow pose, handstand and jump forwards. Okay, inhale here, press down, lift the belly, lift the left leg sky high, and on the exhale, bend in, press your Earth, round up through the pelvis, left knee to the chest. Try it again. Inhale lift up (inhaling), exhale bend for power (exhaling).

Inhale lift up (inhaling), exhale bend, roll knee to chest, lift, lift, lift, lift, and step left foot to the left thumb. Inhale wave the spine long, and then begin to just rock back and forth. So often we're just like, okay, get up there, from the sky, from parts of the body which can be really stressful, so instead, take your time today, and see that you get so much help and lift from rooting down. Alright, come to center here inhale, and on the exhale, press your feet down and just gently lift up into that front spine. Inhale (inhaling), exhale (exhaling).

Feel the direction of your feet pressing down and the pelvis and front lumbar lifting up. And on your next one, follow that organic movement all the way up into your lunge. Reach your arms, when you're ready, stretch the back leg, you'll see where it goes today (laughing). Alright, inhale lift up, lift up, and exhale fists of fire. Come back to your breath, inhale down, around the rib cage, exhale hug and lift from the root pelvic muscles, belly and up.

Inhale down (inhaling), exhale up (exhaling). Two more, inhale (inhaling), exhale (exhaling). Last one (inhaling), and exhale (exhaling). Good, roll yourself up into that high lunge, always a press down into the Earth, on the exhale, plant your hands inside your front foot, I want you to walk to center again of your feet so I'll face you, and just take a moment here to move in what I call ninja lunges. Getting more warm now, so perhaps move lower from side to side.

We stretch out these inner thighs, part of your deep core muscle meridian, giving you more source energy. And this is good, getting to the source today on all levels. Alright, come back to center, and just kind of move back and forth between both legs until you feel the centered place. Turn the toes slightly open with the kneecaps, inhale here, and on the exhale, just pulse a little bit. Inhale down, you know the drill.

Exhale pulse, feel the Earth. And exhale pulse, and open it up into your temple pose this time. I want you to touch your first finger and thumb together, mudra of knowledge, there you go. And open the toes if you need to to face the knees even wider. Sit down a bit deeper, sitting bones back.

Take a deep breath in here (inhaling), and exhale (exhaling). Just sigh it out and really firm that rib cage. Inhale widen, (inhaling), 360 breath, exhale (exhaling). Good, say it, inhale (inhaling), maybe make a noise, haaaaaa, so it can get as loud as you need to. Inhale (inhaling), exhale, haaaaa, so we're really starting to express from that place.

Inhale (inhaling), haaaaa. Very good. Now stretch the arms all the way up, you can do it, exhale temple dancer side to side. You might go a little bit farther this time if it's available to you. Down inside each knee is where I'm at right now, even touching the floor, that's available to me, but you'll see where you're at.

Okay, so wherever you go, just side to side. And then come back to center, roll yourself up all the way, temple dance it again, find that liquid element to your grounding (breathing). Roll it up, inhale, one more exhale, building that fire, we need the Earth to build our bonfires on, roll yourself all the way up, and on the exhale, temple dance it down. Roll yourself up here, open up, left toes forward this time, warrior two, back heel comes back until you feel pretty comfortable in the hips. And then from here, inhale bend, roll it up to the sky, exhale (exhaling), fiercify.

Inhale here, use your ground (inhaling), exhale (exhaling). Good, inhale lift it up (inhaling), and exhale (exhaling). Plant those feet down, you can even lift the toes, I do that a lot, you'll notice, just drawing that energy through the arches of the feet, too. Inhale lift (inhaling), and exhale press. Back hand to the back thigh, bend both knees.

So I always do this anatomically to get really close to the Earth, and let the pelvis move as I circle. Exhale down (exhaling), and inhale up. Last time, exhale circle, press, roll that armpit back, draw in and up along that front spine and stretch long in all directions, as you exhale, front forearm to the front thigh. Back arm, sweep it down, bend the back knee, press the Earth to lift the spine and the arm. You don't just circle the arm around, it's stressful for the shoulder, so circle down, let the Earth carry you.

Inhale down (inhaling), good (exhaling). And just practice this (breathing). Stretch it long here, you can find that nice hold. Pinky fingers up there might turn down a little bit, external rotation, from the core of your pelvis, get longer, longer through the whole pose. Inhale here (inhaling), and on your exhale plant the right hand down, back heel's gonna lift now, front toes turn open, open the front knee, keep the pelvis up as you stretch, even if the back knee is down, too much grounding, okay?

That's called dumping and that's passive, too passive for right now. Lift up, keep the hip joints healthy, and then spin and twist. Heart can open towards that left knee (exhaling). Inhale back down to the rib cage (inhaling), exhale out (exhaling). Thanks for letting me remind you about the breath all the time.

I tend to forget it, so inhale all the way down and wide (inhaling), exhale (exhaling), and then slowly bring both hands to the inside of your front foot. This is a little bit of a different transition. You'll step the back foot forward into malasana simple squat, so I'll turn to face so you can see. Alright, so maybe you're up here or you can get all the way down, we did some nice opening for this today. Inhale down into the root, into the belly, into the chest, into the ribs.

On the exhale (exhaling), hug and lift it up. You're gonna need that for later. Inhale down (inhaling), and exhale (exhaling) hug and lift. Plant your fingertips forward on the mat, alright? So you're gonna plant the fingertips forward gecko asana, really strong fingertips lift the belly.

You might be here today, exhaling, strengthening hands and that core center, or you could slide down to the palms, lift up the belly here, walk in a little bit, and I like to keep my feet pretty wide, bend the elbows back, sweep those knees up onto the high arms, outer arms or outer armpits even, and then, check it out, you want to widen your shoulders against the knees, otherwise you're here, you're really constricted and you can't get that nice grounding through the shoulderblades and the hands, so we'd lose a lot of power in crow pose this way. So, surprise, we're doing crow (laughing). Alright, plant the hands down, lift the belly, knees in, shoulders really wide. Inhale get closer to your Earth, it's very important we don't start from the sky in here. On the exhale, press the hands down, lift up and round through the back, through the low rib cage, maybe you crossed the feet or bring the feet together here.

So we can inhale and just try that a few times. Wherever you are, meeting the Earth, squeezing shoulders out into knees and then using that bandha or lock to help you access and contain the power coming up from the Earth. So if you're totally not getting this and your crow looks a little bit like, kind of a limping crow, right, where you're just like that all the time forever and you've been at this for quite a while, then you gotta play with the Earth a little bit more mindfully, so it's just, it's physics at this point. Here's how you do it. You press the hands down and then you look at your elbow joints.

So you want your elbows to slide forward about over your wrists. That means the heart's gonna slide forward into a triangle point, and once you get your elbows about over your wrists, head is looking forward and slightly up, you may find more of a balance point because if your elbows are back, look at that, it kicks me right out of crow. So I want you to take a moment here, play with your Earth, draw in and up, and trust your groundedness a little bit more. Once you get that grounded and that contained through the knees and through the shoulders, you might find it a bit easier (exhaling) to trust and not make it as hard as it might seem to fly. Alright, I know, maybe today, maybe soon (laughing).

Once you're done with that, come on down and I want you to plant your feet together, so big toe mounds, balls of the feet come to touch, knees can be wherever they naturally are. Hang onto your ankles, take a deep breath in, lean yourself forward and up, kind of like before (inhaling), on your exhale, curl yourself in and back (exhaling). Inhale forward and up (inhaling), breathe it out exhale (exhaling). Inhale (inhaling), and exhale (exhaling). Take a deep breath in here (inhaling), reach up with the hands a little bit, now Yogi's choice, maybe the hands come back, I love this one, gives me nice traction here to fold forward or you might be walking forward, but please wave from side to side.

Alright, so I wanna find that water, that liquid element from the Earth with you. Inhale press down, lift up (inhaling), so find that lightness that comes from rooting, and exhale wave from side to side, this will help to open some of those old back muscles, some of that long-standing tension, and maybe in secret places that we don't always get from folding straight forward. Inhale up (inhaling), from the press to the sitting bones, exhale and wave. Good, one more, inhale (inhaling), and exhale (exhaling). Walk your hands or forearms forward, hang onto your head here, so let your head just rest on something, maybe it's a couple of blocks, maybe it's your hands, and give yourself three to five deep inhales here.

And you know where I mean by inhales at this point. Not up and wide right now, but down and wide. So find that inner space and allow yourself to ground through the Earth on the inhale (inhaling) and on the exhale (exhaling). So hug and lift (breathing). And slowly begin to walk yourself all the way back up.

Bend the knees forward, plant the hands out behind you, maybe a slight little external rotation here, opening up the chest from those crow poses. Inhale bend the elbows if you want to lift up, and you can do that for a breath or two here (breathing). Breathe in and widen (breathing). On your next exhale, travel all the way down to the Earth, stretch your arms forward, on the exhale, roll yourself down to a bridge pose preparation. We're not doing bridge, though.

I want you to press your hands into your thighs, press the thigh bones away from you. So heels of the hands are on your hip creases. See if you can press and give yourself that traction. Excellent. Releasing out from that junction between our foundation, the legs, and the core, pelvis and low back.

Hug your wrists out here, give 'em a nice massage all the way up the forearm (breathing). And then I'd like you to spend a breath or five (laughing) in goddess position, knees wide, feet together. If that causes you any discomfort, then reverse that, feet wide, knees knock in, one hand to the belly, one hand to the chest. And give yourself that super-presence of knowing that you're about to go back out into your world, but not yet, not yet and not now. And can you sink back, with every exhale, deeper into your own center, the middle of your brain, the middle of your heart, the middle of your belly, the middle of your pelvis?

Okay, come back home for a moment, and make all that new space around this idea of getting grounded today, of getting rooted in, of becoming more and more centered and aware of what's really going on now. Another word for grounding is reality (laughing), and reality is so beautiful when you just stay here. And when you're finished with your next breath or two, hug the knees in, give yourself a circular embrace, one way and then the other. And I'd like you to stretch out, get long and relax along your mat into shavasana, final resting pose here. So you can give yourself a nice lengthening through the spine.

Shoulderblades down the back here and your tailbone can go underneath of you a bit. Stretch out the arms and legs. Inhale through the nose down to the rib cage, down to the belly, the back, the sacrum even (inhaling), and on the exhale, completely relax all that away though the mouth (exhaling), as if making an impression down into warm sand on a beach. Let the breath breathe you, the sign of true presence. Receive the benefits of your practice here, and let's take a few inhales, just soft, natural, and on every exhale, relax deeper inside yourself, relax closer to the Earth that supports you.

After a few breaths here, I'll call you back to sit, so just investigate this moment of being here now. Inhale through your nose, please. Fill up completely. Brighten out that inner body, and on the exhale relax more than you ever have before. That's the aim (exhaling).

And if you'd like to stay here, please pause this or rest here and stay for as long as you like. Otherwise, we'll come up. You can begin to stretch your arms overhead, the legs long from the belly and spine (inhaling). And on the exhale, hug the knees into your chest, and find your way onto one side comfortably. Again, into your solid Earth, into this new place you find yourself, where you are literally on top of the whole world.

See if you can press down, into that security that's always right here for you, as you, and surrounding you. And roll yourself back up into your easy seat. Once you arrive, come to sit. Palms at this juncture are between the core and heart. And can you sense the roots that you've grown down, maybe feeling a little bit more solid, a little bit more here?

And just in a few minutes today, that's, that's a beautiful thing. Thank you so much for practicing with me and for getting we're grounded together. Namaste.

Comments

3 people like this.
This is a super-cool practice - really loved it. Thank you!
2 people like this.
Just perfect for letting the day go - thank you
1 person likes this.
Thank you. A lovely flowing dance
Thank you for this great reminder to ground down and for the crow tips. The cue for putting the elbows over wrists really helped me. I had completed your 21-day yoga body series last month and it was great to reconnect and take this class with you. Thank you so much for sharing.
1 person likes this.
Created some heat! Nice to have movement and yet create strength.. Always feel a welcome openness is lower back after your practices :)
1 person likes this.
Love it Sadie! Thanks...again.
1 person likes this.
This was the first practice I have done at home and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I am interested in adding yoga to my daily routine and look forward to more!!
Nice flow without one chattarunga making crow perfect at the end.
Thank you, I loved the breath and the moves, and yes! I tried the first crow in my life, haha, well...I´ll try again
Bless you for sharing this practise Sadie. A definite connection with Earth. And strong crow tips too. Shine on!
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