Good Morning Yoga Artwork
Season 3 - Episode 7

Your Natural Flow

35 min - Practice
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Description

What would it feel like to experience more flow, circulation, and movement through your body? Alana guides us in a slow and steady twisting sequence where we tune our awareness towards the inner currents and align from within. We find more space through the chest, shoulders, and heart, before flowing into Surya Namaskar A & B variations (Sun Salutations). We continue to move with our breath through a series of standing twist postures, closing with a dynamic Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana (Revolved Head-to-Knee Pose). You will feel calm, stretched, and at ease in your natural flow.
What You'll Need: Mat

Transcript

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(water swooshing) Welcome back. Thank you for being here. So, in this sequence, the question I want to invite and encourage in is how can we begin to feel a bit more flow? What would it feel like to have a bit more circulation and movement through the body? So, we'll explore variations of sun salutations, Surya Namaskara A and B, and some standing postures.

Just begin to get into some twisting and see how we feel. So, please join me at the top of your mat. Again, as usual, taking some time to drop our awareness down into our feet, just to begin to arrive here, in this place, on our mat. Spreading the toes. And again, lots of emphasis on grounding down through the feet and the Earth, while simultaneously allowing the bottoms of the feet to open to feel that receptive resilient quality up through the spine.

So, that quality of support. And then, from here, aligning from within. So, perhaps lifting from the inner arches of the feet, feeling that lift up through the spine, and the heart, widening through the base of the skull. Chin drawing in slightly. Feeling a long neck and long fingers.

(breathing) And before we move into sun salutations, just take a moment here to notice where your weight is in your feet. And can you begin to get a sense of spreading and rooting through all four corners or sides of the feet? So, there's a sense of equal weight, equal balance in rooting. Again, with open feet, lengthening up through the spine. Good, from here we'll play with bow and arrow arms.

So, reaching the arms out in front of you. Softening the shoulders down the back, with the left hand, I'm gonna begin to draw this bow back. So, allow the gaze to be soft and focused as you draw the bow back, the hand might rest with the heart, you might extend and reach the arm out. Again, this emphasis of reaching from the heart into both hands. And then, begin to play with drawing the left hip forward.

So, often times, the left hip likes to open. And a little bit of control here and action through the belly of squaring the hips. Now, last few moments here, as you reach from the heart into the hands, notice how it feels all through your neck, and can you find a bit more ease through the neck. So, for me the neck is like floating over the heart. Inhale, reach, exhale, release the left arm.

Release the arms down, inhale, draw the shoulders up. Exhale, drop them down. Okay, inhale, reach the arms up. Again, soft, relaxed, and focused attention as you draw the bow back with the right hand. You might stay here at the heart, or extend and reach the right arm out.

Press down through the feet, feel the length up through the spine, and then, play with drawing the right hip forward, squaring the hips. Feeling that twist through the mid back, upper back, and as you reach from the heart, into both hands, again, connect back in with the cervical spine, the neck. Breathing. Good, inhale, reach, exhale, release the right arm back. Release both arms.

Inhale, squeeze the shoulders up, exhale, and release. Interlace the fingers, go down, go up. And then, release the arms, by that internal rotation, interlace the fingers, inhale, go up through the heart, exhale, bend the knees, and forward fold, chest towards the thighs, head drops. And then, reach the arms up, out, and over. See what it feels like to draw the belly, the navel up towards the spine a little bit more as you fold over.

Beautiful, bend the knees, release the arms. Forward fold, knees are soft. Chin into the chest, gently rolling up toward standing keeping the chin in. Feeling the heart, the shoulders, and the head. Again, last time inhale, squeeze the shoulders up to the ears, exhale, soften the shoulders down.

Nice. (breathing) And then, moving here through sun salutations, we'll find a variation of Surya Namaskara A. Begin with the hands together at the heart. And drawing your awareness back towards the breath if it's shifted. (breathing) As you are ready inhale, circle the arms up.

Exhale, forward fold, Uttanasana. You might keep the knees soft here. Inhale, half arch to lengthen. Exhale, step back into your strong plank, alright. From here, you might lower on to the knees, or lower down through a Chaturanga.

Inhale to cobra, or you might find upward facing dog. Exhale, press back downward facing dog. Let's take three breaths here, rooting through the fingers. So, really feeling that connection through the palms. The outer of the edges of the feet rooting.

(breathing) From here, walk or hop your feet to your hands. Inhale, half arch lengthen. Exhale forward fold. Inhale, circle the arms up. Exhale, release the arms.

Hands at the heart. Again, inhale, circle the arms up. Exhale, dive forward, and in Uttanasana. Inhale, half arch. Exhale step back into plank.

Again, from plank, you might lower down, or nice and slow Chaturanga, keeping the elbows in. Inhale to cobra, or upward dog. Exhale, downward dog. Again, three breaths here, and downward dog. (breathing) From downward dog, you might hop or walk your feet again to your hands.

Inhale, half arch, exhale forward fold. Inhale, circle the arms up to the sky. Exhale, release the hands. Again, inhale, circle the arms up. Exhale, forward fold.

Inhale, half arch lengthen. Exhale, step back into plank, and then, lower down, keeping the elbows in. Inhale to cobra or upward dog. Exhale, press back downward dog, okay. This time, we're gonna inhale, lift the right leg high.

And then from here, as you extend the leg up, you might open the hip if that feels nice and juicy. Good, inhale as you're ready, exhale, get round. And then, step the right foot forward between the hands. From here, we'll find a high twisting lunge. Extend back through that left foot.

Inhale, begin to rise up, hands at the heart. And then, exhale, twisting towards the right. Elbow towards the right knee. Reach back through the left heel length, and forward through the crown of the head. Navel towards the spine twisting.

Take one more inhale. Exhale, release. Let's walk the hands over to the left. Find hammock. So, turn the toes in, about parallel.

Walk the hands out in front of you, and then, root through the hands, the fingers, as you reach the hips away from the hands. (breathing) Let the spine hang here. Let the head release and breathe. (breathing) From here, walk the hands underneath the shoulders. From here, we'll find that bow and arrow action as we plant the right hand down, and then twist, and begin to reach the left arm up towards the sky.

Press from the heart into the hands. You might gaze up towards the left hand, or find a place where the head and neck feel comfortable. Inhale, reach, exhale, and release. Walk the hands back to the shape of a lunge, around the right foot. Step back into plank, and then, lower through either on the knees or through Chaturanga.

Inhale to cobra, or upward dog. Exhale, downward facing dog. Three breaths here. (breathing) Let's find that on the left side. As you're ready, lift the leg high.

You might open the hip, extend through the foot, reach and lengthen. As you're ready, exhale, get round, step the left foot between the hands. Wiggle back through the ball of the right foot, strong supportive legs. From here, you might play with letting the hands come to the heart, and then exhale and twist. Right elbow towards the left thigh.

Extend back through the left foot. Lengthen through the crown of the head. Ah, see if you can find a bit more space. Inhale, exhale, release. And then, walk the hands over to the right hammock.

Such a nice release from that. Walk the hands out in front of you, and then release the hips away from the hands again. (breathing) Find a place where the neck and hips feel comfortable. (breathing) And then, bring the hands underneath you. We're gonna root through the left hand, and then reach the right arm up towards the sky twisting.

Reach from the heart into both hands, and extend through the crown of the head. Inhale, reach, exhale, and release. Walk the hands back to the front foot. Come back into plank, and then, lower through. Inhale to cobra or up dog.

Exhale, down dog. Three breaths here. (breathing) And resetting. From down dog, you might walk or bending the knees on the bottom of the exhale, jumping forward between the hands, inhale, half arch, exhale forward fold. Inhale, circle the arms up to the sky, reach.

Exhale, release the hands. Hands at the heart. From here, we'll play with a variation of Surya Namaskar B and finding a twist here. Ready, Utkatasana, inhale, reach the arms up. Exhale, begin to twist towards your right.

So, again, that left hand. Excuse me, that left elbow towards the right thigh, and then twisting. Lengthen through the crown of the head, soft and through the belly. Inhale, come up into Utkatasana. Exhale, twisting towards the left.

Lengthening through the crown of the head. Inhale, Utkatasana, press down through the feet. Come all the way up to standing, and then forward fold, releasing the head and the arms. Inhale, half arch, exhale, step back into plank. And then, lower down.

Inhale to cobra or upward dog. Exhale, downward facing dog. Pivot on the outer left edge of the foot. Step the right foot forward between the hands. Inhale, rise up for your Bhadrasana one, warrior one.

Exhale, release, step back, and then lower down either through the knees or Chaturanga. Inhale to cobra or up dog. Exhale, downward dog. Pivot onto the outer right edge. Step the left foot forward, inhale, reach up, warrior one.

Exhale, release, step back, and lower down. Inhale, and exhale downward facing dog. Three breaths here. (breathing) On your exhale, you might play with stepping or jumping forward between the hands. Inhale, half arch, exhale, forward fold.

Bend the knees again for Utkatasana, reach the arms up to your pose. Exhale, press down through the feet. Come all the way up to standing. Taking a moment to feel your breath. Feel your heartbeat.

Notice the sensation through the body. Nice. From here, we'll open up. We'll find a standing pose. We'll coming into Parsvottanasana.

Bending the right knee, and then, the right forearm might come onto that right thigh, might reach the left arm up. Or, you might begin to play with bringing the hand towards the floor, rooting and reaching, breathing. (breathing) On your inhale, come all the way back up. Other side, turn the right foot and the left out. Bend the left knee.

Again, you might find the forearm and extend through that right arm, or hand to the Earth, extend and reach. Most likely, there's one side that feels a bit different more open than the other. Breathing into the shape here. Good, as you inhale come all the way back up. So, setting up Parivrtta Parsvottanasana, revolve extended side angle.

So, turn and face towards the front of your mat. Keep your legs long, wide stance. Inhale, and then, as you exhale, bend the front knee, and begin to (breathing) twist towards the right. So, this time, we're rooting for the outer edge of the left foot, and twisting. And the same idea is to reach back through that left foot as you lengthen forward through the crown of the head.

Softening the belly and breathing. (breathing) On your inhale, come all the way back up. Reach with that top left arm, and then, we'll find the second side. Square the hips, bend the left knee, reach the right arm up, and then twist. On the exhale, soften the belly.

Again, press for the outer edge of the back foot. Feel that connection as you begin to lengthen, and then, settle into the hips. There's a slight action through the belly, lifting as you lengthen and twist. And then, notice what you choose to do with your head here as you breath. (breathing) As you're ready, inhale, reach up with the right arm.

Bring your feet parallel, feet wide, and then slide the hands down the legs. Bring the hands underneath the shoulders, inhale lengthen. And then, exhale, gently bring the head towards the floor. You might bring the heels of the palms in line with the heels of the feet as you lengthen, and then exhale. Release the head towards the floor.

Draw the shoulders up the back. And then, press down through the balls of the feet of it here. (breathing) Root through the feet. Hands on the hips, strong legs, inhale, come all the way up to standing. Okay, one more.

We're gonna reach the arms out to the side. Find that internal rotation. Bring the hands together, clasping, inhale, go up through the heart. And then, exhale, forward fold. Head towards the Earth.

And then, reaching the arms up out and over into the center. (breathing) Breathing. Pressing down through the feet. (breathing) You're gonna take one more full inhale, breathing in, exhale. From here, bring the hands on to your hips.

Then strong legs, and come all the way back up to standing. Lovely. And then, bring the feet together. Make your way towards the top of your mat if you can find it. And then, we'll make our way down to the floor with the sun salutation.

Hands together at the heart again. Always so helpful to like, find yourself in space. Like grounding through the legs and the feet. And as you ground, again receiving that support from below. (breathing) Back of the neck is long, let the hands find each other at the heart.

Making our way to the Earth with the sun salutation. As you inhale, circle the arms up. Exhale forward fold, releasing Utkatasana. Inhale, half arch, lengthen. Exhale, bend the knees, step back into plank.

And then, last time, you might lower onto the knees, or through a Chaturanga. Inhale to cobra or upward dog. Exhale, downward facing dog. (breathing) And then, coming on to your knees. Press back, child's pose for a few breaths.

Softening the forehead towards the Earth. This from child's pose, as you're ready, slide your palms underneath your shoulders, and then, gently chin into the chest, and rolling up to Bhadrasana sitting on the heels for a moment, if it feels okay on your knees. Just taking a moment to, in this, from the center place to (breathing) notice. Okay. From here, coming on to your sip bones, we'll find a Baddha Konasana.

Bring the soles of the feet together, letting the knees go wide. Taking a few moments to settle into the hips, bring the hands around the ankles or the shins. And inhale, go up through the heart of the spine, lengthen. And then, as you exhale gently, you might fold forward. (breathing) Notice what might have your attention.

And then bring your attention back towards your breath. And it's kind of the ultimate practice to be with what is, so just as you observe any sensation, breathing into the shape. Good. As you're ready, come back up. We'll find revolve head to knee, bring the right foot in, the left foot out.

And as we approach this, take a moment to inhale lengthen, and then, as you exhale, bring your left hand on to your right thigh. Again, inhale, lengthen, let the spine lift. And then, exhale, gently twist towards the right. So, not cranking it. We're not trying to crank into the twist.

But really, this more subtle action from within a grounding through the sip bones, lengthening up through the spine. And maybe without even using your hand, you're twisting, and you're lengthening, and you're lifting. And the gaze might be over that right shoulder. Flex the left ankle and breath. Beautiful.

Let the gaze come over your left shoulder, and then, slide the left hand down the leg. Might stop and rest at the shin, the ankle, or the foot. And then, reach the right arm up, out, and over. You might be extending and reaching across the room. Heart might spiral up towards the sky.

Grounding through that right sip bone. This is such a delightful stretch through the side body, through the lower back, through the hip. Inhale to lengthen, exhale, gently twist, and enjoy your breath. Another variation, if your head is like floating in space, you can bring that left hand, and then, rest it. It's very Buddha in nature.

(breathing) I've also heard this pose called like the desert island pose if there was one pose. If you were on a desert island and there was one pose, it would be this. Just to really get into that side body, the lower back. Okay. Inhale, come all the way back up.

But don't quote me on that. Okay, and then switch. So, left foot in. Settle into your sip bones. Inhale, lengthen, and then exhale, softening the belly.

Right hand towards that left thigh. Left hand behind you again, inhale, lengthen. Flex the right foot a bit. Exhale, twisting towards your left. And see if you can initiate the twist from the tailbone up through the spine, rather than cranking it with your shoulder.

Root, lift, exhale, gently twist. Beautiful. So, let the gaze come over the right shoulder towards the foot, and then, releasing from the twist. Sliding that right hand down the left towards the shin, maybe the ankle, the foot. And here, lengthening through the underside.

So, often times, we kind of collapse to get the foot. The invitation is to lengthen. I like to use my hand to lengthen the right side, and then, reaching the left arm up. Again, you might be rooting through that left sip bone, as you reach through space. (breathing) And then, perhaps twisting up towards, spiraling up towards the sky.

Again, that right hand might come in handy for the head. Breathing. You can be patient here. Eventually, the hand might find the foot. Breathing.

Okay, when you're ready, take a look down. Inhale, come all the way up with the left arm. Exhale, release. Lean back, and find a comfortable cross leg position. And before we make our way towards a seat, we'll just round forward, finding a simple Sukhasana shin to shin, just to kind of even out the spine.

Forward fold, soften the belly, let the head fully release. (breathing) Take a breath into the back body. (breathing) Good, slowly rolling up. Bring your hands on to your shins. Roll the pelvis forward, lift the heart, lengthen.

Take a breath, release. And just taking a moment to sit together to close. Finding a comfortable seated position. Again, you might invite this quality in. What would it feel like to have more movement, circulation, flow?

(breathing) Guiding your awareness back towards your heart. The hands joined together. Gratitude for your practice. Namaste. Have a wonderful day. Thank you.

Namaste.

Comments

Thank you, Alana! So great.
Hi Kelley! I'm so glad that you enjoyed the practice. Thank you for being here. Wishing you a beautiful day.
Thanks for this sweet practice Alana!
Hi Heidi, What a sweet surprise! I'm glad you enjoyed the practice! xo
Absolutely wonderful. Thank you
Hi Enny, So delighted that you are here! Wishing you a wonderful day. xo
Hello! I am still a level 1 beginner and have a question about how the feet are aligned in the twisted lunge poses in the middle of the routine beginning at minutes 17 and 19. Are the feet in one line (as in the warrior positions) or are they in line with each hip? And how is your weight supposed to be distributed ? I can't tell, and find this very difficult to do. ( I keep falling over!) Thanks.
Hello Meredith! Great question. First of all, being willing to fall over in your yoga practice is key to learning and transformation. So great job! As far as the standing width between your feet in twisting lunge, it really depends on each person's body type and preference. I suggest starting with your feet hip-width apart for a more stable stance, which means as you step back into your lunge, pause, and try toe-heeling your foot slightly wider, plant your opposite hand on the floor, and then move into your twist. Let me know how it goes!
Thanks Alana. Great class - I felt so deeply grounded afterwards. Perfect instruction as well.
I love the elegant simplicity of your morning yoga practices. It helps me to start my day with ease, and to remember that everything doesn't need to feel complicated and rushed. Thank you for the great tone to start the day.
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