Good Morning Yoga Artwork
Season 3 - Episode 6

Open and Fluid Hips

35 min - Practice
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Description

Alana guides us in a vinyasa sequence designed to promote open and receptive hips. Moving with our breath, we invite a fluid quality through the spine as we explore variations of Surya Namaskars (Sun Salutations), and standing and balancing postures that target the legs and hips. You will feel more grounded, focused, and centered in yourself.
What You'll Need: No props needed

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(waves crashing) Welcome back. Good morning if it's morning for you. Good afternoon, good evening. This practice will be centered on the hips. We'll find variations of Surya Namaskar A, some flow standing postures.

The invitation is to find and feel fluid and receptive hips. We'll see what happens. Join me at the top of your mat. Now we'll just take a moment to drop into our practice. So inviting your awareness down into your feet.

Again, as you begin to drop down to your feet, this quality of grounding for the feet and also receiving from below. So as you spread the toes and ground a bit, feel that receptive kind of resilient, buoyant quality up through the spine. Feel that quality of uplifting and then a gentle settling within. Beautiful. Allow the feet to spread a little bit wider.

And just to bring a bit more room through the side body, I call this picking fruit. We have lots of orchards in the town of Ojai, so begin to reach up through the right arm and let the right arm move across the body as you lengthen. And then release and extend up through the left arm. So super simple, just to begin to get into the side body. inhale and reach the right arm across the body, that left arm can dangle.

Exhale, release. Inhale, press down through the left foot, reach out through that left arm. Exhale, release. And do this a few times with your breath, finding your own rhythm down through the feet, up through the spine, reaching through the fingers. Nice, we'll take one more round, reaching up and release and reaching up and release.

And then go ahead and shake it out a little bit through the arms and the shoulders. Bringing your feet towards each other, we'll find Tadasana a bit. Let the palm's open. Again, find that lengthening up through the spine, let the hands join together at the heart. Bring your awareness back towards your breath, wide through the base of the skull.

And then together, moving with our breath, three half sun salutations just to begin to warm up the body. As you inhale, circle the arms up. As you exhale, you might soften the knees as you fold forward, releasing the head and the arms. Inhale, half arch lengthen. Exhale, Uttanasana.

Inhale, strong legs and back, reach the arms up through the sky, lengthening. Exhale, hands at the heart. Two more rounds, inhale, circle the arms up. Exhale, forward fold. Release, Uttanasana.

Inhale, Ardha Uttanasana, half arch. And exhale, forward fold. Inhale, circle the arms up to the sky, reach maybe a slight back bend as you lengthen. Exhale, hands at the heart. Last round, inhale, circle the arms up.

Exhale, dive in. Inhale, half arch. Get long. Exhale, Uttanasana. Inhale, circle the arms up to the sky, reaching.

Exhale, hands together at the heart. Spread the feet slightly wider apart, interlace the fingers, go down through the feet, go up through the spine. Again, lengthen a bit from side to side. As you exhale, release the arms, rotate the shoulders forward, interlace the fingers behind the back. Inhale, go up through the heart.

Exhale, bend the knees, forward fold, Uttanasana. Let the head release, let the arms release. You might play with softening the knees, rolling the weight into the balls of the feet, sit bones lifting up a bit more. Good, exhale, bend the knees, release the arms, forward fold. Soften the back of the neck, let the arms and the head gently dangle here.

From your toe heel the feet wide for Malasana, squat pose. Bend the knees and you might play with sitting down into the hips. The heels might lift or be on the earth, right? If you're sinking down into the hips, the hands might begin to find each other at the heart, drawing the thumbs into the sternum, the heart, softening the shoulders down the back, relaxing the jaw. Inhale, exhale, Uttanasana.

Toe heel the feet underneath your hips. Good, soften the back of the knees, we'll gently roll up together slow, stacking each bone's vertebra and then feeling the heart, the shoulders and the head. And taking a moment to pause here, you might drop your awareness back down into your feet to ground and connect. Letting the hands join together at the heart. From here, finding Surya Namaskar A variation.

Hands at the heart. As you inhale, circle the arms up. Exhale, forward fold, releasing the head and the arms. Inhale, half arch, lengthen. Exhale, bend the knees, step back into plank.

And from plank, lower down. You might lower onto the knees or lower through Chaturanga. Come all the way onto the belly for cobra, draw the shoulders down the back, peel the heart forward. Press down a bit through the palms and rise up, lengthening through the sternum. Exhale and release.

Tuck the toes under, elbows into the rib cage, press up into plank. Press back, downward facing dog. Taking three breaths here in dog, rooting through the fingers, pressing through the outer edges of the feet a bit, breathing. (breathes deeply) And as you exhale, take a look forward and step between the hands. Inhale, half arch to lengthen.

Exhale, forward fold. Inhale, circle the arms up to the sky, reaching. Exhale, release the arms along your sides. Hands at the heart, taking a moment to notice, feel the sensation of the breath through the body. As you're ready, inhale, circle the arms up.

Exhale, forward fold. Inhale, half arch, lengthen. Exhale, step back into plank. You might lower onto the knees or through Chaturanga. This time, either cobra or upward facing dog.

Exhale, press back, downward facing dog. Three breath here. (breathes deeply) And then as you're ready, step forward between the hands, inhale, half arch. Exhale, forward fold. Inhale, circle the arms up to the sky, reaching.

Exhale, release. Hands at the heart. And then together, adding on from here. As you inhale, the arms come up. Reach.

Exhale, forward fold. Inhale, half arch, lengthen. Exhale, step back into plank, lower onto the knees or through Chaturanga. Inhale to cobra or upward dog. Exhale, press back, downward facing dog.

On your inhale, reach the right leg behind you, bend the knee, let the hip open. Take a moment, you might extend and reach through that right leg, letting the hip open. Good. As you exhale, draw the knee towards the forehead and step forward between the hands. From here, pivot onto the outer edge of the back left foot, we're gonna spiral up to Warrior II.

As you inhale, reach through that top arm, left arm, come all the way up to Warrior II. Sink down into the hip. And as you sink down, invite this fluid quality into the body. So beginning to settle, feel that support through your legs, softening the shoulders down the back. From here, finding reverse warrior, slide the back hand down the back leg, reach the right arm up.

And then exhale, bring the right forearm onto that right thigh and sweep the left arm up for a variation of partial Konasana. We'll dance with that a few times. Inhale, reverse peaceful warrior. And exhale, partial Konasana. A few times like this, moving with your breath three more times.

Exhale, sink down into the hip. Inhale, peaceful warrior. Exhale, release. And as you release, pause. Extend, reach through the outer edge of the left foot through the fingers.

Good, inhale, come back up to peaceful warrior and then press into the ball of the right foot towards Trikonasana. From here, begin to extend and lengthen towards your right foot. The emphasis is to lengthen the underside. Eventually, you might find the hand, the shin, the ankle, the foot, and then reach the left arm up, breathing. Softening the right shoulder down the back, reach from the heart into both hands.

Find a place where the head and neck feel comfortable. So you might be looking down towards that right foot or straight ahead or towards your hand. Good. From here, rotate the left arm forward. So find that internal rotation. And then you might tuck the hand around that right thigh, finding your rapi variation of Trikonasana.

Just taking a breath here and then playing with Ardha Chandrasana if it feels fun and inviting. Bend the right knee, take a look down. Bring that back foot a little closer. As you find a spot to focus on, extend through the right leg and you might reach the left arm up towards the sky. Breathing.

Nice, inhale, exhale standing, so let's bring the left hand down, square the hips, extend the left leg up towards the sky, breathing. And you might play with bringing your head towards your right shin. Good. From here, bend the right knee a lot. We'll step back into a lunge. And then step back into downward facing dog.

From downward dog, inhale to plank pose, shoulders over the wrists. Again, you might lower onto the knees or through Chaturanga. Inhale to cobra or upward dog. Exhale, downward dog. Nice.

From here, stepping forward between the hands, inhale, half arch. Exhale, forward fold. Inhale, circle the arms up to the sky, reaching. Exhale, hands together at the heart, taking a moment to, again, pause, feel the breath. Notice the sensation through the hips, the legs.

(exhales) As you're ready, inhale, circle the arms up. Exhale, dive forward and in, Uttanasana. Inhale, half arch, lengthen. Exhale, step back into plank. From plank, lower down.

Chaturanga. Inhale to cobra or upward dog. Exhale, downward facing dog. Second side, inhale the left leg high, bend the knee, let the hip open. You might extend and reach that left leg up towards the sky, breathing.

Good. And then as you're ready on the exhale, float the foot between the hands, pivot onto the outer edge of the back right foot, we'll spiral up for Warrior II. Reach the arms up to your side, sink down into the left hip. Again, allow the body to move a bit from side to side as you find the right spot for you, softening the shoulders down the back, breathing, letting the sit bones settle a bit more. Good.

As you inhale, flow back into peaceful reverse warrior. And then as you exhale, left forearm onto that left thigh, right arm sweeps up, Parsvakonasana. Inhale, flow back, lengthen. And exhale, again, Parsvakonasana. Three more times like this, inhale, float back.

Exhale. Inhale and exhale. Inhale, pause. As you're ready, pressing the ball of the left foot, left leg towards straight. And then for Trikonasana, extend and lengthen the left side as the hand finds perhaps the shin, the ankle or the foot, and then reaching the right arm up towards the sky, softening the left shoulder down the back, breathing.

Again, notice what you choose to do with your head. From here, you might play with rotating the right arm forward, finding that internal rotation, and then bringing the back of the hand to wrap around that left thigh. From here, spiraling the heart up towards the sky if it feels inviting. Breathing. And then from here, you might play with bending the left knee, taking a look down in front of the left foot, bringing the back right foot a little bit closer as you play with your focus, your gaze towards Ardha Chandrasana.

Half-moon. And the right arm might reach up towards the sky, reaching through the outer back foot, breathing. It helps to smile. Good, inhale, exhale, release the right hand, square the hips, standings slits for a moment. You might bring the face towards that left shin.

Good. And then bend the left knee, find the shape of the lunge gently lightly. Step back, downward facing dog. Inhale to plank, shoulders over the wrists and then exhale through a Chaturanga. Inhale to cobra or upward dog.

Exhale, downward facing dog. Let's take three breaths here. (breathes deeply) As you're ready, walk the feet to the hands, Uttanasana. Inhale, half arch. Exhale, forward fold.

Inhale, circle the arms up to the sky, reaching. And exhale and release. Hands at the heart, taking a moment to pause. Nice. From here, let's play with tree pose.

So some balancing. From here, grounding through the left leg, letting the right hip open, you might be working in a sapling tree with a right heel towards the inner ankle. You might play if it feels correct to press down through the standing leg, lift up a bit more through the heart, finding a spot to focus on, and then reaching the right foot towards the left inner thigh. And the hands might rest at the heart, or you might reach the arms out to the side or over the top of the head. The play is to invite this fluid quality into the body.

So allowing the energy to move, the movement to move through you. Noticing the breath, as you're ready, gracefully releasing. Bring the feet wide, Malasana, bend the knees, sink down. Now wash that out. From Malasana, toe heel the feet underneath the hips for Uttanasana, forward fold.

And then soften the knees and gently roll up to standing chin in heart, lifting shoulders and head. Okay, we'll find the second side. Grounding down through the right leg, spreading the toes, as you feel, allow the left hip to open. Again on the side, you might bring the heel towards the inner ankle and find tree right here. Some of you might play with bringing the foot towards the inner thigh.

Most likely, this side is different. As you feel that connection, begin to lengthen and lift, wide through the base of the skull, breathing into the shape and feeling the energy move through the body, allowing it to occur. And then somewhere, you might begin to settle and rest into it. It helps to smile here. Okay.

When you feel complete and ready, releasing gracefully, (sighs heavily) you might shake it out a little bit. Good. And then bringing the hands together at the heart flowing down through the earth, sun salutation. Inhale, circle the arms up. Exhale, forward fold.

Inhale, half arch to lengthen. Exhale, bend the knees. Let's step back into downward facing dog. Beautiful. From downward dog, as you're ready, we're gonna float the right foot between the hands and come into pigeon.

So sliding that right knee forward, slide back through the left foot and then settle down into the hips. And you might tuck a blanket or a bolster underneath that right thigh for extra support and stability. Take a moment to kinda wiggle in there, lengthening, softening through the jaw. You might stay here, you might begin to walk forward, coming onto the forearms a bit. And then releasing the head and the neck, breathing into where you feel the stretch, the sensation.

And depending on your body, your knee, your hip, you might keep the foot closer in towards the inner groins. You might prefer to toe heel the foot slightly wider. For me, it feels better to keep it in for my knee. Notice what you choose to do. Again, breathing here.

And you might choose to walk the arms out a little bit further and the head might eventually release towards the earth. Notice what you choose to do with your hands. Slowly, when you're ready, bring your palms underneath your shoulders, chin into the chest and gently roll back up. Nice. From here, moving into cow face.

So you're gonna lean onto your right hips, swing the left leg across the body. And then stack the left knee over the right knee. You might prefer to sit up on a blanket here to elevate the hips. I like to lean forward a bit and then bring my sit bones evenly down to the floor. I'm just settling, grounding through the sit bones and then feeling the length up through the heart.

All right, so cow face, Gomukhasana. Nice. From here, let's find some opening through the shoulders. So a bit of Garuda eagle arms, wrapping the right arm underneath the left arm. And then you might wiggle and reach the elbows up towards the sky.

Might feel good to draw the chin a bit towards the heart. Breathing into the back body, into the back of the heart, letting the hips continue to settle, soften. Again, notice the quality of your breath here. Where can you find a bit more ease through the body? Okay, inhale, exhale, gently release the arms out to the sides.

Reach and then release. To release the legs, bring the hands behind you, lean back and then release the legs into Upavistha Konasana. So nice and casual here, just to kinda reset and open the hips. You might stay right here. You might begin to walk the hands out in front of you if you want and need to feel more of a stretch.

And it helps to pause when you feel the sensation and then invite the breath in. (breathes deeply) A few moments here. Okay, and then slowly release. Okay. Then lean back, cross the ankles.

We're gonna roll onto our hands and knees, come on to all fours and then press back into downward facing dog just to stretch out the back of the legs and to even up the hips. Take a breath here. And then let's find the second side, sliding that left knee forward into pigeon, sliding back through the right leg. And then settling down into the hips. Again, you might tuck a blanket underneath your left hip for padding and support.

Just taking a moment to notice how it feels on this side. It'll feel different. You might stay here, you may continue a bit further as you walk the arms out in front of you. Again, notice what's happening with your breath, where can you soften and relax any maybe tension through the body? Softening a bit through the belly.

And you might continue to walk the arms out a bit further, head releasing towards the earth and breathing. (breathes deeply) In the last few moments here, notice what might have your attention. Any thoughts or sensations and coming back to the quality of your breath in this shape. As you are ready to come out, bring the palms underneath and then we're gonna slowly roll up, chin in the chest and then rolling up. As we come into cow face or Gomukhasana, we're gonna lean onto that left hip.

Slide the right leg across the body and then stacking it over the bottom left knee. Again, you might sit up on some support. From here, I like to lean forward and then lean back, settle into the hips. Readdress the feet. Allow for an inhale, exhale.

(exhales heavily) Ground down through the sit bones. Take a moment to lengthen through the back of the neck, soften through the face and then Garuda eagle arms, reaching the left arm, the left elbow under the right and then beginning to lengthen and reach the elbows up towards the sky. Inhale, and then as you exhale, it might feel good to draw the chin into the chest a bit, lengthen the back of the neck and breathe into the back body between the shoulder blades back at the heart. (exhales) Where can you soften and settle through the hips, through the jaw, through the face? Good, allow for one more breath.

And as you exhale, (exhales) release the arms, reach from the heart into the hands. Ding. Then release the arms. And then lean back and release the legs, Upavistha. Wide leg, forward fold.

Again, the hands might rest on the legs, the shins. You might feel the pelvis roll forward. The temptation is to internally rotate and collapse the feet. See if you can find some resistance through the thighs. A bit of an external rotation as the pelvis tilts forward and the head might release towards the earth, breathing.

Okay, you might find some gentle movement through the spine like a sea kelp. Kind of just swaying a bit from side to side. Super subtle. Good. And then as you're ready, walk the hands back up.

Good. And then we'll lean back and again, roll onto all fours and then come back into downward facing dog. From downward dog, lower the knees, press back, child's pose, forehead towards the earth, arms out in front of you. You might rest the hands alongside the body. And then palms underneath the shoulders, chin into the chest, gently rolling up to Vajrasana for a moment.

And then finding a comfortable seat, we'll close in a seated position. So find a seated position that's comfortable for you. And then releasing your arms along your sides, maybe you're resting on the knees, feeling that uplifting quality through the spine, gently allowing your presence to expand a bit and then a softening, a settling in the mind. As you're ready, joining the hands together at your heart, namaste. Thank you for your practice and have a beautiful day.

Namaste.

Comments

I love practicing with Alana! This was a great sequence after many hours on a plane. It left me feeling open and grounded. Thanks Alana!
Hi Cheri, What a surprise! I'm so delighted that you enjoyed the practice. Thank you for being here! xoA
Thanks Alana. Enjoyed this class very much today.
Hi Aparna, Lovely to hear from you. I am so delighted to know that we are practicing together. xoA
Thanks Alana. Beautiful practise
Hi Jane, Thank you for being here! So delighted to be practicing together. xo Alana
Such a lovely class! Thank you!
Namaste Fern! So delighted to be practicing together on your world journey. Your pictures are breathtaking! xo Alana
Lovely soft and gentle practice. Thanks!
Hi Frederic, I'm so glad you enjoyed the practice. Wishing you a wonderful day! ~ Alana
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