The Vinyasa Show Artwork
Season 3 - Episode 4

Grace Under Fire

30 min - Practice
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Jessica invites us into a bendy balance practice that culminates in a fun, creative burst into a side plank variation of Dhanurasana (Bow Pose). Sometimes silly, always honest, you will feel the contagious joy of moving your body along your edges.
What You'll Need: Mat

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(wave crashing) Hi, welcome to grace under fire. This practice is meant to meet you at your edges. It's meant to push you just beyond the point where you feel you're comfortable, where your natural placement might be. And just like in life, we get an opportunity to practice grace. And in the body, this is a great low stakes place to practice that.

The peak pose here is a variation of side plank, where we catch the top foot and take bow pose. There's lots of stopping places. And I'm excited to see how we can move through this journey together. We'll come into all fours to start. Take your hands underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips.

And move through a little bit of cat cow action. This can look like the traditional arching spine, lifting the head as you inhale. As you exhale, rounding through the spine and releasing the head. You can also just add in your own variation of this. Rolling through the hips and pressing backward.

There isn't a way to necessarily do this wrong. You start to greet your spine and your body. Move in a way that feels intuitive to you. Let's take a few moments here, moving with your breath. Pressing back, and into the shoulders.

And getting into the spine. I like to do a little bit of rolling from side to side. A little bit into the feet, pressing back through an active child's pose. And landing back in your all fours. Reaching your right hand forward from here and your left foot back.

Reach forward and back, extending through both ends. Find the inhale. And then exhale, draw elbow and knee together. Inhale, reach forward. Exhale, draw together.

Inhale, reach forward. Exhale, draw together. Here as your reach forward, pause. This is a great place to stop and pause and work. Otherwise, it's thumb up, reach back.

Like you're hitchhiking. See if you can find pinky edge of the foot. And then press into the foot, open through the shoulder. Release, little wiggle wiggle. And then other side.

Left hand reaches forward. Right foot reaches back, find your breath. Inhale, extending out. Exhale, drawing in. Inhale, extending out.

Exhale, drawing in. Inhale, extending out. Exhale, reaching in. Pausing here, reaching forward and back. Or thumb up, find pinky edge.

Press the foot into the hand and spin. And release. Little wiggle wiggle. And from here, tuck your toes and come in towards downward facing dog. I always like to greet first dog with, again, same kind of action.

You can't do this wrong. Say hello. Lift up one leg. Lift up the other. Walk the dog, I like that expression.

(chuckles) A silly move. And then we'll inhale, take the right leg nice and high. Step through, virabhadrasana one. Warrior one, grounding through the back foot. Bending through that front knee.

Inhale, arms come on up. Breathing here. As you exhale, interlace the fingers behind you at the sacrum. Draw them down, open through the heart space, and turn yourself slightly to the left so that you can pass the thigh. As you exhale, fold on over.

Devotional warrior. The feet stay the same. Release the hands, surrender warrior. The hips draw back, the head goes forward. Arms are like a wide downward dog.

And then walk the fingertips around towards the left. Parallel the toes. Nice big inhale here. And then exhale, fold and prasarita. You can walk the hands through.

I like to bend into the knees and wiggle my hips, shake the head out. (sighs) Greet your posture. It's nice resting space as well. And from here, fingertips come back forward. Walk around towards the right and find a low lunge.

Lower the back knee down, release the back toe. And take your front foot out just a little bit. Maybe a foot width distance. The heel stays where it is, toes turn out towards the right. And your left hand walks off the mat with the fingertips pointed away.

Right hand presses into the knee. The heart spins. Again, thumb back. Maybe onto the forearm, revolving even more. Gaze goes over the shoulder.

All in one. Release. Toe heel the foot back toward center. Tuck the back toe, lift the back knee. And carry it back, three legged dog.

Chaturanga. Upward facing dog. Down dog. And we try the other side. Left leg comes high.

Step through, virabhadrasana one. Warrior one. Ground through the back heel. Inhale, arms come up. Find a breath or two here.

There's an inhale. The exhale brings the hands to the sacrum. Interlace the fingers. Draw them down to open. Turning slightly to the right.

Fold inside the thigh, devotional warrior. Release the hands, surrender warrior. My hips move back, front knee bends a little bit more. Let the head go. Walking around towards the right.

Parallel the toes, prasarita. Exhale, fold on over. Few breaths here. (chuckles) Inhale, take the hands out underneath the shoulders. Walk around towards the left.

Lower the back knee down. Release back toe, and again foot moves out just about a foot width distance. Heel stays where it is, toes turn out. Right hand walks off the mat. Fingertips point away, so the shoulders open.

The shoulders open, press the inside of the thigh. Ease comes up. All in one. Hips twist, heart. If you'd like, thumb up like you're hitchhiking.

Pinky edge, work here. Oh, hello sweet mama. (sighs) Love me some all in one. (chuckles) And come down onto the forearm. (groans) Revolve a little bit more.

(sighs) And release. Foot moves back through center. Tuck the back toe, lift the back knee. Downward facing dog, leg high. Gaze forward, three legged chaturanga.

Make it a shape, upward facing dog. Downward facing dog. (sighs) And then moving on, we'll take the right leg nice and high. Step through, virabhadrasana one. Warrior one, grounding through the back heel.

Inhale, take the arms all the way up. Breathe here. Next exhale, hands come to the heart. Collect your energy towards that front foot. Find rooting, connection there.

And then we'll tick tock it forward, bringing that back knee, the left knee, all the way up to the chest, coming to standing balance. Pause here. Root, collect through the foot. Rise up through the crown of the head. And moving into dancer.

Standing bow, drop the knee. Take ahold of the big toe side if possible. Press that right hand forward. Press the foot into the back hand. Lifting up through the knee.

Picking a spot to gaze that's steady. Find your breath. Tricky, tricky. Let this transition into virabhadrasana three. Release the back foot.

Hands come to the heart, extend through the back leg. It can be a lighter version. And then into ardha chandrasana, half moon. Right fingertips move down, the hips open. Left arm moves up.

A little fluffy bunny, landing that back foot. Like as if you are a fluffy bunny. Bend into the standing leg, land the back foot. Inhale, peaceful warrior. Reaching back.

Exhale, side angle. Starting elbow into the knee. Press down, lift up with that left arm. Gaze can lift. Inhale, peaceful warrior.

Exhale, straightening through the front leg. Trikonasana, triangle pose. Reaching left arm high. Inhale, peaceful warrior. Exhale here, pause, virabhadrasana two.

Warrior two. And again you're gonna collect the energy towards your front foot. I like to even just walk the back foot all the way in. Here you are, like modified ardha chandrasana Modified half moon. All the energy down here.

Reach out through the fingertips. Flex the back foot, pause here. Use your glute, find somewhere to look that's not gonna move. Lift. And then dip in just a little bit.

From here, see if you can bend that back leg and take ahold of the foot. A lifted out version. Whoa. Release, fluffy bunny. Landing that back foot.

Inhale. Spiraling the arms down, low lunge here. Lower the back knee down. Release the back toe. Take the hands on up to the top of the knee.

Pause. Coming into revolved side angle from here. You have this little basketball hoop. Slide your left hand through, take the palms together. Press the elbow into the knee and turn the gaze.

Gaze comes back down, hands come back down. Tuck the back toe, lift the back knee. From here, left hand's gonna move forward. This is important, that you're not directly underneath the shoulder. Left hand moves slightly forward so you're creating more of a diagonal with the arm.

And you come stack your feet, side plank. Lift. Plank pose, right hand comes down. Lower the knees, shift back, child's pose. A breath here.

As you start to inhale, round. Roll it forward. Tucking the toes, lifting the thighs. Upper facing dog. Down dog.

Moving on towards the left side. Take your left leg high. Step through, virabhadrasana one. Grounding through that back heel. Inhale, arms come all the way up.

A breath here. Find the exhale, hands come to the heart. Again, collecting energy into that front foot. Find a place to gaze. And then drawing your back knee all the way forward, tick tock.

Knee to the chest. Pause here, find the balance. Moving into dancer, standing bow. Drop the knee, take ahold of your back foot. If you can, get the big toe side.

And as you press the foot into the hand, reach your left hand forward. Knee lifts, heart open, shoulder opens. Tricky, tricky. Virabhadrasana three. Hands come to the heart.

A lifted out variation, press the back foot back. Opening on out, ardha chandrasana. Left fingertips come down, right arm reaches up. Hips open, use your glute. Fluffy bunny, bend into the standing leg.

Slowly, lightly landing your back foot. Inhale, peaceful warrior. Reaching back. Exhale, side angle. Elbow to knee, reaching that right arm nice and high.

A breath here. Inhale, peaceful warrior. Exhale, straightening the front leg. Trikonasana, triangle pose. Right arm high.

Inhale, peaceful warrior. Exhale, warrior two. Pause here. And again, moving weight in towards that front foot. Actually bring the back foot all the way in.

Straighten through your front leg. Flex the back leg. Little balance, mini ardha chandrasana. Mini half moon. And then use your butt, lift.

And just go in just a little bit. Keep the lifting, find the back foot. Pause. Release. Fluffy bunny landing.

Peaceful warrior, reaching back for the inhale. Exhale, spiral the hands on down. Lower your back knee to the ground. Release the back toe, take the hands on up to the top of the knee. Basketball hoop.

Thread the right hand through, collect your elbow to the outer thigh. Palms come together. Relationship here, relationship here. Pressing all together, gaze comes on up. Gaze comes down.

Hands come down. Step on back, downward facing dog. Shift forward, knees come down. Child's pose, breath. As you inhale, rolling vinyasa, tuck the chin.

Round roll yourself forward through cat pose. As you exhale, start to pull the belly through. Tuck the toes, upward facing dog variation. Gaze lifts. Exhale, downward facing dog.

Let yourself shift forward. Lower the knees down, shift back child's pose. Walk your hands towards your knees, coming to a seat on the heels. So here it is, peak pose. This is your edge.

Lots of places to stop. Stop where you're comfortable. I like to call them bus stops. Go to where you live. Don't go to your neighbor's house 'cause it's weird.

What you do is you start in plank pose. One of the important things is moving this hand a little bit forward. You hand a little bit forward so you're creating this nice diagonal. And it's not stuck underneath your shoulder. From plank pose, we'll start right side.

Take your right hand towards the center below your face, and then slightly forward. Then come on over into side plank. You normally do it pinky edge. Stacking the foot, press down. Hello.

Here's where it gets a little bit different. Take your top foot, step it behind. Keep it light. Take the bottom foot in and ground through the full foot. That action's really important.

Grounding through the full foot, lifting through the hips. Take the gaze up, helps. (groans) And then here's your edge. (groans) Can you lift the leg? (screams) Can you lift the leg, bend the knee, find the foot, press the foot into the hand.

Oh, it's so nice. (chuckles) Gaze comes down, foot releases. Plank pose. Child's pose. (sighs) And a nice breath in and out.

Walk the hands back towards the knees. Shake your wrists out. I like this one. First finger and thumb together. Find the skinny part, pull it up.

And then other side. Hands come down, plank pose. Left hand in front of the face and a little bit forward. Over into your regular side plank. Pinky edge of that left foot.

Reach up. Take your top foot, step it behind. Move your bottom foot, the left foot, in a little bit to ground through the full foot. Look up. Lift up.

Lift that top leg. Bend into the knee. (screams) Press the foot into the hand. Sing the heart forward. Plank pose.

Child's pose. Congratulations, you are awesome. (sighs) From here, shift forward, all fours. And then bend into the elbows and lower yourself all the way down onto your belly. Take your left hand forward and overhead.

And then roll on over to your left side. Take your right hand behind you. Badum gomukhasana arm. And make sure that the hand isn't all claw-y. (giggles) That you've got a nice open palm.

You can take your right foot for a little bit of balance. And then let yourself roll on over. (sighs) Sweet, glorious release into the shoulder. And relax. Recollect your breath.

Come on home to your body. See if you can find where there's any resistance. And can you soften a little bit more. And we'll bend into that right knee. Again, reach the left arm overhead.

Press into the foot, roll onto your left side. Right hand releases, and you're back down onto your belly. Turning your gaze over to the left, pause here. Moving on to the other side. Reaching the right hand forward, draw your left hand back.

Roll on over to your right side here. Take the top foot and step it behind for balance. Left hand, palm away, comes behind again. Nice open palm. And then roll on over to your back.

You can release the right hand off to the side, or wherever's comfortable. (sighs) Relax through the legs. Allow yourself to greet the ground. Let go of any resistance. Just notice if there is some.

You can always stay a little bit out of this by bending into that left knee and pressing down into the ground if need be. Otherwise, allow yourself to rest. And coming out. Again, bending into the left knee. Planting the foot.

Reach your right hand overhead. Roll on over to your right side. And then back onto your belly here. Turning the gaze over to the right, pausing. Gaze comes through center.

Take the hands back underneath the shoulders. Press down, shift on back. Child's pose. Back on up towards all fours. And we're just gonna transition onto our backs.

However you want to get there is fine and awesome. Lower yourself on down onto your back. And then draw both knees in towards your chest, giving a nice little squeeze here. Might be nice to rock side to side. Massage out your lower back, your sacrum.

Like we say here, you have earned this. Enjoy it. And we'll come into supta baddha konasana, a variation of happy baby. Keep the feet together, find the pinky edges of your feet. The knees go wide.

And find the sacrum, the back side of the pelvis. Press that in towards the ground, pulling the feet closer towards you. And even bend into the elbows just a little bit here. Breathe. If there's something intuitive that shows up, allow that to happen.

As you release the feet, extend the legs long. I like to think of this as a gingerbread cookie cutout. The most famous shape in the world. Space between the feet. Space between the hands and the body.

Allow some external rotation here. Let the eyes close if you feel comfortable. Checking back in with the back side of the body. Can you allow the back points that meet the ground to surrender and be held? Allow the earth, allow the mother to embrace you.

Where is there resistance, and can you soften? Check in with your hands. Check in with the jaw. Soften through the forehead. Allow the cheeks to move away from the nose.

And then surrender over to your shavasana. A practice of stillness for a few moments here. If you are happy as you are and you're inclined to stay a little bit longer, please do. Otherwise, just start with a breath. Allow that to be the first movement.

Calling back into the body. The bigger inhale, big round Buddha belly. Long, full exhale. Find a few more like that. Big round Buddha belly.

Inhaling. And as you exhale, full long exhale. Begin with a little bit of movement. Maybe it's fingers and toes. My favorite good morning stretch.

Reaching the arms overhead, pointing through the toes. (sighs) And allow yourself to roll on over towards your right side. Lean that left side channel. Open, receptive. Pause here.

Pressing down against the ground. Lifting yourself back up. Coming to a comfortable seat. Bringing your hands to the heart. Again, I really am into this mudra.

With one palm on top of the other, finding that gentle pressure. If it's comfortable, let the eyes close. Bow the head on in slightly. Check in. Ask yourself, and listen for the answer.

How are you doing, body? Head and heart. Let the palms come together, anjali mudra. Bow the head on in just a little bit deeper. Fire and grace.

Namaste.

Comments

3 people like this.
I love your humor, especially with the "fluffy bunny." :)
Thank YOU! Happy you enjoyed the offering :)
Where is the "Love" button?
Great however one question. Because of the architecture of my ankle & foot bones (my identical twin sister's too) the last side plank bow pose is impossible to get my standing foot flat. Can you give me a modification without simplifying the pose.
Dearest Lauri, you two are so beautiful! You might try simply keeping the lower foot on the pinky edge? Jessica might have a different answer. Glad you are here. xok
Thank you. We just celebrated 58 in Aspen together. Yes the pinky edge is workable I just thought there might be a more stable option. Wish I could get that whole foot down.
Look at you two beauties! I agree with Kira. You can most definitely practice this on the pinky edge of the foot. The more important component is to access connection through your leg line so that you can use it's strength for steadiness. Keep a strong flex in the ankle, press through the foot and down into the ground so that you can feel the opposite reaction of lifting upwards to find the top foot and the bow bind. You can also try bending the bottom leg at the knee to see if you can get a little more space in the ankle that way. Hope this helps! And no worries about getting that foot down. It's all about being with you just as you are and loving it. xoxoxo - j
1 person likes this.
Thank you
1 person likes this.
First time taking your class, and loved it! I loved the flow and your delightful energy. :)
Thank you Hannah! I'm happy you enjoyed it :)
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