Good Morning Yoga Artwork
Season 3 - Episode 3

Mood Booster

40 min - Practice
111 likes
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Description

What would it feel like to have more energy in the body and courage in the heart? Alana guides us in a series of Surya Namaskars (Sun Salutations) with an emphasis on backbending with ease. We explore variations of Salamba Bhujangasana (Sphinx), Purvottanasana (Upward Plank), and Setu Bandasana (Bridge) in preparation for Urdhva Dhanurasana (Wheel). You will feel more alive, uplifted, and energized.
What You'll Need: Mat

Transcript

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Welcome back, good morning, if it's morning for you. So this practice is designed to kinda help boost our mood in the morning, so there's some emphasis on some passive and active back bending as we move through sun salutations. The question that I'm inviting in is, what would it feel like to have a bit more energy in the body, and perhaps a bit more courage up through the heart and the front of the body? So let's explore it together. Join me at the top of your mat.

Just taking a few moments here to, drop into your practice, beginning to align with your breath, tuning from the soles of your feet, up through the spine, gently invite a uplifting quality through the spine, the heart, drawing towards the hands, and the back of the neck is lengthening, bringing your attention towards your breath, and as you bring your attention towards your breath, invite the breath to deepen a bit, lengthen. And as we ground through our feet, and feel a bit more centered in our bodies, you might invite an intention for your practice, in this moment. What would it feel like to have a bit more energy, vitality perhaps, a bit more courage or openness through the heart, through the front of the body? Moving with our breath, we'll find a variation of Surya Namaskar A, hands at the heart, as you're ready on your inhale circle the arms up, as you exhale forward fold, you might soften the knees as you fold forward and in, inhale half arch, lengthen, exhale, bend the knees, step back into your plank, from plank you might lower onto the knees, or lower through chaturanga, come all the way onto your belly, tops of the feet on the floor, soften the shoulders down the back, press down, elbows in, come up to cobra, tractioning the heart forward a bit, exhale, release, tuck the toes under, elbows into the rib cage, and firm the belly as you press up to plank, strong active plank, press back, downward facing dog, and let's find three breaths here, kinda wiggle, root through the fingers, reach the sit bones up towards the sky, pressing a bit through the outer edges of the feet, as you're ready you might hop, or walk forward between the hands, bend the knees, inhale half arch to lengthen, exhale, forward fold, inhale, come all the way up to the sky reaching, exhale and release, we'll find that again together, inhale, circle the arms up, exhale, dive forward and into an asana, inhale half arch to lengthen, exhale, bend the knees, step back into plank, from plank lower down, either on the knees, or again through chaturanga, all the way onto the floor, tops of the feet, softening the shoulders down the back, inhale, rise up to cobra, lifting up through the sternum, exhale gently, release, tuck the toes, strong legs, elbows in, press up to plank, press back downward facing dog, and three breaths here, as you root through the fingers, where can you find a bit more space and length, through the spine? Nice.

On your exhale, hop or step forward between your hands, inhale, half arch, exhale, forward fold, inhale, circle the arms all the way up, exhale, and release, hands at the heart. As you're ready moving through Surya Namaskar B, variation hands at the heart, utkatasana, bend the knees, circle the arms up to the sky, exhale, press down through the feet, uttanasana forward fold, inhale half arch, lengthen, exhale, step back into plank, from plank lower down, either through chaturanga or onto the knees, all the way onto the belly, cool broad, draw the shoulders down the back, press down, inhale, lift up, cobra, exhale, release, tuck the toes under, press up, press back, downward facing dog, root through the outer edge of the left foot, step the right foot forward, between the hands, inhale, rise up, warrior I, bend the elbows, scoot the elbows under and up, find cactus arms, sink down to the hips, lifting up through the sternum, exhale, release the arms, step back into plank, and then lower down, chaturanga dandasana, inhale to cobra, or upward dog, exhale, downward facing dog, from downward dog, pivot onto the outer right edge of the foot, step the left foot forward, on your inhale, circle the arms up, sink down as you reach up, and then bend the elbows, scoop the elbows under and up finding cactus, lifting up through the heart, exhale, release the arms, step back into plank, and then lower down, inhale to cobra or upward dog, exhale, press back, downward facing dog, finding five breaths here, rooting through the fingers, reaching the hips away from your hands, breathing, at the bottom of your exhale you might walk, or play with bending the knees, and hopping forward between the hands, inhale, half arch, exhale, uttanasana, bend the knees, chair utkatasana, reach the arms up, and then press down through the feet, come all the way up to standing, taking a moment to pause with the hands at the heart, you notice the, the energy, the sensation through the body, this miracle. Hands at the heart, we'll dig a second round together, as you're ready bend the knees for utkatasana, reach the arms up, exhale, press down, forward fold, releasing, inhale, half arch, this time as you exhale you might step back, lower into chaturanga or play with planting the hands, bending the knees and jumping back into chaturanga, inhale to cobra or upward dog, exhale, downward dog, pivot onto the outer edge of the back foot, step the right foot forward between the hands, inhale, rise up, warrior I, and you might play with that cactus variation of bending the elbows, scooping the elbows under and up, lifting the heart a bit. See, it's working. (laughs) Exhale, and release, step back into plank, again you might lower onto the knees or through your chaturanga, inhale to cobra or upward dog, exhale, press back, downward facing dog, root through the outer edge of the right foot, step the left foot forward, on your inhale rise up, sink down, root as you lengthen, and then bending, scoop the elbows under and up, cactus, breathing, inhale, exhale, and release, step back, and then lower down, inhale to cobra or upward dog, exhale, press back, downward facing dog, and about five breaths here. At the end of your exhale, you might walk or bend the knees and play with jumping forward, inhale, half arch, exhale, forward fold, bend the knees, utkatasana reach the arms up, exhale, press down through the feet, come all the way down with the arms, take a moment to pause with the hands at the heart.

Feeling that uplifting quality through the spine, that spontaneous rise of energy, widening through the base of the skull. Let's find one more round together, Surya Namaskar B, as you're ready, utkatasana, bend the knees, chair, press down, forward fold, uttanasana, inhale, half arch to lengthen, exhale, you might step back into plank lower down, or play with planting the hands, bending the knees, press down through the palms to jump back, inhale, cobra or upward dog, exhale, downward facing dog, pivot onto the outer left edge, step the right foot forward, on your inhale, circle the arms up, nice, from here bend the elbows, cactus, scoop the elbows under and up, nice heart lifting, breathing, exhale, release the arms, step back into plank, and then lower down, either on the knees or through chaturanga dandasana, inhale to cobra or upward dog, exhale, press back, downward dog, pivot onto the outer right edge, step the left foot forward, inhale, rise up, bend the elbows, scoop under and up, lift, exhale, release the arms, step back into plank, and then lower down, inhale to cobra or upward dog, exhale to downward dog, and let's rest five breaths here in downward dog, allowing the head to fully release, soften through the back of the neck, and you might play with rooting a bit more through the outer edges of the feet, at the bottom of your exhale, you might step forward or play with bending the knees, gazing forward, and hopping, inhale, half arch, exhale, forward fold, bend the knees, utkatasana, reach the arms up, exhale, hands release, hands at the heart, and taking a moment to notice the effects, from here making our way to the Earth, through a sun salutation, hands at the heart, simply inhale, reach the arms up, and exhale, forward fold, inhale, half arch to lengthen, and as you exhale, step back into plank, from plank, lower the knees, come onto the belly, soften the shoulders down the back, press up to cobra, heart drawing forward, sternum lifting, and then exhale and release, let's do that again, press down through the palms, chin into the heart, rolling up to cobra, and then drawing the heart forward as you release the head, one more time pressing down through the palms, letting the spine lift and rolling up, and then exhale and release, tuck the toes, press back, child's pose, balasana, hips towards the heels, wiggle the hips back, take a moment to pause and rest here. Okay, from child's pose, we're gonna make our way onto our bellies, and we're gonna slide the arms out in front of us, forehead on the floor, and then slide up onto the forearms for sphinx, so the elbows are in front of the shoulders, not underneath like this, and then let's work this a bit actively, so pressing down through the tops of the feet, and even press down a bit through the pinky toes, outer edges of the feet, as you press down begin to traction the heart forward, so working the forearms here to kinda draw the floor towards you, as you soften the shoulders down the back, feel that laying through the upper part of the spine, and then find a place where the head feels like comfortable, feels soft, it's not looking up or crunched down, but it's just nice and soft, and then relax through the back body, like soften a bit through the buttocks, if they're gripping, soften that effort, press down through the feet, soften a bit through the jaw, just take a few moments here to check in, notice how this feels, breathing, okay spread the elbows wide, forehead rests on the hands, take a moment to pause, relax the effort. Okay, we'll take one more round and we'll add on, so as you're ready, slide up into your sphinx again, and softening the shoulders down the back, now if sphinx is quite comfortable, and feels like natural, you might play with turning the hands out, and finding a variation of seal pose, which is often times explored in a yin practice, alright, and then letting the spine lengthen the heart, lift, now if you feel a lot of crunching or compression through the lower back, again you might lower down into sphinx, or you might try widening the legs, notice how that feels up through the spine, softening the shoulders down the back, if you wanted even more of a stretch, you might try with bringing the feet closer, and then walking the hands up towards the torso, keep a soft bend through the elbows here, okay and then, release, spread the elbows wide, forehead rests on the hands, allow for a exhale as you soften into the effects, notice, okay, we'll meet in child's pose, tuck the toes under, press back, round through the upper back, and as you find child's pose, tuck the toes, keep the toes tucked under, and then slowly traction the lower back, so hips drawing towards the heels, looks a little funky, but releasing the head towards the heart a bit, okay and then release into child's pose, softening the forehead towards the floor, good from here, we're gonna transition, so extending the legs out in front of you, finding paschimottanasana, just taking a moment here to press down through the palms, so we'll find dandasana on our way, lengthening up through the spine, and then beginning to lengthen first, before rounding and collapsing, so we're looking for a length, the navel drawing in, and then slowly beginning to walk forward, and then think about lengthening beyond the toes, so rather than looking down and collapsing, we're working on lengthening the spine, and then releasing the gaze of it, softening the back of the neck, again the hands might be on the shins, they might be around the big toes, or the outer edges of the feet, breathing here into the shape, notice what's alive for you in this moment, so it might be like the screaming in your hamstrings, it might be the dull ache through the spine, you might be in like complete paschimottana bliss, like super happy and comfortable here, just notice what has your attention, bring some attention towards your breath, breathing into the shape, as you're ready slowly rolling up, releasing, okay, we're gonna find tabletop, so a variation of purvottanasana, so this is one option first, come onto your sit bones, bring your feet in line with your sit bones, as if you're going into bridge pose, and then the hands pointing towards your hips, your sacrum, drawing the shoulders down the back, begin to let the heart lift, lengthening for the front line of the body. Now for this first round, I'm gonna keep my chin towards my heart, as I begin to curl the tail bone under, and lift the hips, okay?

So I keep my chin in, you might keep your chin in, especially if you're working with any mischief in the neck, some of you it'll feel good and appropriate to let the head release back, pressing down through the feet, lifting the hips, front of the thighs lengthening, okay as you're ready exhale, gently release, lead with the heart, come all the way back, and it'll probably feel good to extend the legs again here, coming back into that dandasana, okay for this next round purvottanasana, you might find that variation, tabletop, you might for purvottanasana, reach the hands behind you, shoulders soften down the back, hard lifting, chin might stay towards the chest, as you begin to play with drawing the feet towards the floor if appropriate your head might drop back towards the sky, press down through the palms, lift hips, breathe here, okay, chin towards the heart, chin towards the heart, lengthen through the spine, come all the way back up, nice, cross the ankles, roll onto all fours, and then press back into child's pose for a moment, kinda counter the back bend, good, slide onto the belly, we're gonna do this, reach the left arm out, and then begin to slide onto the left side, as you bend the right knee, you'll find a nice, for me it feels nice, shoulder opening here okay, the other option is to bend the elbow a bit, so you find about a 90 degree angle with the forearm, and then roll onto the left side, so my right elbow, my right arm is bent, and I'm pressing down a bit, as I roll a bit more onto that left shoulder, onto the left side, breathing, notice where you can soften a bit through the face, for me this is quite dynamic, quite intense through the shoulder, through the arm, it feels like a good stretching sensation, but for you if you feel any kind of pinching, or any kind of nerviness through the arm then back out, okay inhale, exhale gently, release back onto your belly, and then we'll find the second side, extend out through the right arm, again you might bring the hand straight out from the heart, as you begin to roll onto the right side, bending the left knee, foot might come down to the floor, and then for here on this side I'm pressing down a bit through that let hand, my neck is relaxed and I'm breathing, most likely the side feels different, depending on what you're working with in your shoulder, again if this is quite comfortable, you might play with bending the elbow, finding about a 45 or so degree angle, and then rolling back, it kinda changes the stretch, the flavor, through the shoulder and down through the arm, okay, when you're ready to come out, nice and slow, roll onto your belly, slide the palms underneath the shoulders, tuck the toes and then again press back into child's pose, last time, hips towards the heels, and then release the arms along your sides, good, slide the palms underneath the shoulders, chin into the chest and then gently if it's comfortable, okay on your knees, roll up to vajrasana just for a moment, check in, notice how you feel, from here we'll transition onto our backs, so coming onto your back, and then setting up for bridge pose, okay, so bringing the heels in line with the sit bones, feet about hip distance apart, arms along your sides, allow for an inhale, and as you exhale, we're gonna curl the tailbone under, press down through the feet, and then begin to draw the shoulders underneath the back, hands might reach towards your ankles, you might prefer to interlace the fingers, and lengthen along the spine, and right around the sacrum, press down through the feet, draw the inner thighs towards each other, instead of kinda collapsing out like this, press down, draw the inner thighs towards each other, as you lengthen soften the grip through the buttocks a bit, and can you find a bit more spaciousness through the throat, and through the face, let's take two more breaths, okay to release, come high up onto the balls of your feet, stretch your arms up to the sky, get round through your upper back, use your belly to slowly lower you down, releasing the spine, releasing the arms, and taking a moment to, relax, notice that there's a counter-pose that your body wants to go into, right? So you might prefer to extend the legs, and flex the feet, stretch the back of the hamstrings, you might prefer more of a baddha konasana, bringing the soles of the feet together, and knees wide, just another moment to rest in counter-pose of your choice, nice and then from here we'll take a second round of bridge, if bridge is comfortable for you, you might stay with bridge, for those of you comfortable with wheel pose I'll offer that to bring your heels in line with your sit bones, spreading the toes wide, and either setting up for a bridge or urdva dhanurasana, if you're coming into wheel bring the hands behind you, okay plant the palms, and then draw the elbows towards each other, right? So you're sliding the shoulder blades down the back alright? From here draw the chin towards the chest, again either pressing up into bridge pose, or coming up into wheel, allow for an inhale, as you exhale curl the tail bone under, I'm gonna press down and come up under my head at first, here's a great time to reassess the shoulders, again drawing the shoulder blades down the back, the elbows in towards each other, you might stay here, you might inhale, exhale, press up into wheel, nice breathing, now for me, I like to walk my hands up, it feels a bit more supportive than walking my feet up, and then drawing the elbows towards each other, press from the heart into both hands, and let the head fully release if you're in wheel, so the head's like fully releasing, thighs are drawing towards each other, breathing, beautiful, as you're ready to release, chin into the chest, chin into the chest, bend the elbows, keep the chin in as you come onto your back, and then again finding a counter-pose to rest in, it might be knees into chest, it might be baddha konasana, for me I'm gonna draw my knees in, and just rock a bit from side to side, nice okay, then releasing the feet, from here let's rock and roll to a forward bend, okay so as you draw the knees in, you might, rocking forward a bit on the spine, and then releasing down, and then rocking up, crossing the ankles we'll find just a simple sukhasana, just folding over ankle to ankle, shin to shin, finding a way to counter-pose the back bend, rounding the spine, releasing the head, okay slowly rolling up, we're gonna roll back onto our back, and then come into a supine spinal twist, from here rolling to our left, so you might prefer stacking both knees on top of each other or wrapping your right leg over your left leg, call this the eagle wrap, then rolling onto your left side, and then reaching the right arm up, and then letting it open, allow for an inhale, and as you exhale like, soften the belly, and find a place where the neck feels comfortable so lie between the eyes, and through the base of the skull, when you feel ready, inhale slowly, unwind back to center, and then pause and center, and reset, check in, notice, and then over to the right, again you might prefer to stack both knees on top of each other, or wrap the left leg over the right leg, as you roll onto your right side, stack the shoulders and the hips, and then let the left arm open, and as the arm opens allow the entire rib cage to open, so the rib cage, the belly, the heart, and then as you exhale, let the belly soften, let the left shoulder, the back body, soften and settle towards the Earth, and when you're ready to unwind, on your inhale slowly come back, and release, coming back into neutral, and then hug the knees into the chest, allow yourself to rock a bit from side to side, it might feel good here to draw the chin towards the heart, and draw the forehead towards the knees, and then release, you might rest here in savasana, if you feel like coming up towards a seat, you might join me as you roll onto your side, and then press your way up, coming into a comfortable seated position, and just taking a few moments to, settle, resting in the space, and the quality you've created in the practice, you've invited in, perhaps a bit more energy, perhaps a slightly more courage, up through the heart. Let's close with an om, guiding your hands together, take a clearing breath, breathe in, exhale, release, as you're ready inhale, (humming om) Namaste.

Thank you for your practice and your presence. Have a beautiful day, namaste.

Comments

YOu are a beautiful soul alana. Thank you
Kristine, Thank YOU for being here. It warms my heart to know that we are practicing together. Grateful for your presence.
Thank you Alana

I have been very ill for about 4 months and am still too fatigued to make it to a physical yoga class. So thank you, that was perfect. I particularly enjoyed the space between the poses and the length of breaths you used.

Angela
Hi Angela, I'm sorry to hear that you've been ill, and I so glad that your practicing at home with us. Thank you for being here! Please keep me posted on your yoga journey. xoA
1 person likes this.
Alana I have been opening so many days with you, such a good start from inside and out. Namaste from snowy Sweden.
Johanna, It warms my heart to hear from you. I am so happy to know that we are practicing together. Please keep me posted on your yoga journey. Namaste and love from Ojai, California.
Very energizing! Thank you.
Hi Tesa! Thank you for joining me! Wishing you and wonderful day.
Such a wonderful way to start the day. Loved the eagle twist :)
1 person likes this.
I just want to say a big thank you. You have managed to transform my morning practice into something joyful,
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