The Vinyasa Show Artwork
Season 4 - Episode 2

Fireball Core Blast

35 min - Practice


Brenda guides a playful and energetic sequence with variations of Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations) that incorporates core work, fire balls, lunges, and standing splits, building towards Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Handstand). This practice is designed to generate heat, build abdominal strength, and inspire a creative burst of energy.
What You'll Need: Mat

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(wave lapping) Welcome back. I'm super excited to share this playful, energetic sequence with you. So just take a moment to check in, to feel what kind of energy you showed up with on the mat today. 'Cause this gonna be a really practice if you showed up with high energy to kind of meet that energy (exhales) to bring you back down to a balanced state or vice versa if you're feeling a little bit more lethargic and need to build some heat. It can help kind of bring you up.

But so I just encourage that you check in, feel free to turn this up or turn this down at any time. And we're gonna play with some Fireballs, a little bit of core, a little bit of handstands. So let's go ahead and meet at the top of the mat. So starting in Tadasana, just feeling your feet root. Taking a few rounds of breath here just to ground.

And just feeling a little softness behind the knees, through the shoulders. Beginning to slow the breath. On an inhale, taking the arms up, Urdhva Hastasana. On an exhale, folding forward, option of taking the arms wide or you can take 'em right through heart center. Inhale, rise up halfway.

Exhale, fold. Root through the feet, strong base. Inhale, rise up just a few times through of a half Sun Salutation. Exhale, folding forward. Inhale, halfway.

Exhale, fold. Root to rise, inhale coming up. Exhale, folding forward. Inhale, halfway. Exhale, fold, keeping the eyes soft, a little softness behind the knees.

Inhale, rise up one more time through. Exhale, right back in Uttanasana. Inhale. Exhale, fold. This time come halfway up on an inhale and we'll just step right back into plank pose and just pause here.

Alright, starting a turn on the legs, draw the inner thighs up just a bit, and still draw the outer thighs up a bit so it's equal action. Taking the crown of the head forward so the back of the neck's long. Feeling the heads of the humerus kinda slide in. A little press up behind the shoulder blades. And then really slowly lowering down, option of straight down or knees.

And inhale, rise up, low Cobra. Press the pubic bone down, seal down the tops of the feet, and just pause. Right, try to draw the heart forward. Exhale, release. Curl the toes under, come back up plank pose.

And then exhale, lower down onto the knees. On your next inhale, take the right leg up, so keeping heel and sit bone in align. Instead of taking it up as a back bend, we're gonna go straight. On an exhale, draw the knee into the nose, round the spine, spine towards the sky. Inhale, reach back.

Good. Exhale, draw it in. Spine towards the sky. Inhale, reach back. Good. Exhale, draw it in.

Inhale, reach back. Curl the right toes under to the floor, draw the left knee into the nose, reach the spine towards the sky, maybe knee to nose. Place the foot down, rise up high, Crescent Lunge. Arms come up to frame the ears, and just pause. Hips lifting, shoulders softening.

And you can play with a little softness in the back knee. Good. Exhale, palms down. Option of Chaturanga or right back to the floor. Inhale, Urdhva Mukha or a low Cobra.

Exhale back, Downward Facing. Good. Slowly on an exhale, lower down to the knees. Left side. Inhale, left leg lifts, crown forward.

Exhale, knee in towards the nose or forehead, spine towards the sky. Inhale, reach back. Good. Exhale, draw it in. Inhale, reach back.

Good. One more, exhale. Inhale, reach back. Left toes curl under, right knee to nose, spine presses up. Place the foot down, high Crescent, the arms come up.

Right, so check in here. Hips lift and a little softness in the back knee or you can fire up through the back leg. Just two more breaths. Nice. Exhale, lower down.

Chaturanga or plank to the floor, your choice. Right, long strong line. Inhale, upward or low Cobra sweep the heart forward. Exhale back, Downward Facing. Heels pressed, thighs pressed back.

So one more time through, just like that on each side. Exhale, knees come down. Inhale, right let lifts, heel even with right sit bone. Exhale, draw it in. And reach back.

Exhale, press the floor away. Try to tap into your upper spine, up into the thoracic spine. Inhale. Good. One more.

Exhale, knee in round. Inhale, reach back. Right toes curl under, left knee to nose. Place the foot down, rise up, high Crescent, arms can come out to the side or in front. Exhale, palms down, taking it through your transition, Chaturanga or lowering to floor, option of knees or straight.

Inhale. Exhale back. Good. On your next exhale, come back down to the knees. Inhale, left leg lifts.

Exhale, knee to nose. Inhale. Good. Exhale, press the spine high. Inhale.

Exhale. Good. And reach it back, curl the back toes under right knee, opposite knee comes to the nose, place the foot down, high Crescent, arms sweep up, hips lift. Exhale, take it through a transition here. Chaturanga or plank.

Inhale, Urdhva Mukha. Exhale back, Ahdo Mukha. Good. Five rounds of breath here. My thighs press back.

Spread through the toes, spread through the fingers, just lightly, so it's not overdoing it, just a lightness. (breathing deeply) Good. Two more breaths. (breathes deeply) On an inhale, taking the right leg up. Exhale, knee to nose, draw it in.

Place the right foot down, rising up, Warrior 1, just one breath per movement. Nice, slow, and grounded. Exhale, palms down. Chaturanga or the floor, warming up through the shoulders. Inhale, upward.

Exhale back downward. On your next inhale, left leg lifts up. Exhale, knee to nose. Place the foot down, Warrior 1, arms sweep up. Exhale, palms down, Chaturanga.

Right. Draw the outer arms in. Inhale, heart forward. Exhale back, pause. Five rounds of breath in between these sets.

Right, so we're gonna repeat that two more times. Just allowing the rhythm and the repetition to help us get out of our heads and just to be more present. Good. Two more, torso long. On an inhale, taking the right leg up.

Exhale, knee to nose, just a small Sacred Pause here. Place the foot down, Warrior 1, outer edge of the back foot places. Exhale, palms down, Chaturanga. Your inhale upward or low Cobra. Exhale back, Downward.

Inhale, left leg lifts. Exhale, knee to nose, take that short pause, place the foot down, Warrior 1, outer edge of the back foot presses. Exhale, palms down, Chaturanga. Yet you can always skip the Chaturanga and go right back to Downward Facing Dog, building a little bit of heat, a little bit of fire. Five rounds of breath.

Just in between finding that grounding. (breathing deeply) It's on an inhale, taking the right leg up. Exhale, knee to nose, slight pause. Place the foot down, Warrior 1, strong base to rise up light. Exhale, palms down, your choice in transition to the floor or Chaturanga.

Inhale, sweep the heart forward. Exhale back. Inhale, left leg lifts. Exhale, knee to nose. Place the foot down, Warrior 1, sweep it up.

Exhale, palms down, Chaturanga or the floor or skip. Inhale, heart light. Exhale back, hips lift. Good. And taking a few breaths here.

Then connecting with the base of your thumb, base of the pointer finger and inner wrist, feel that connection there. For the arms setting, so you're drawing the inner upper arms forward, outer arms back. For your last few breaths here before we transition, just check in, what is the energy that you carry right now. Right. So now for a little bit of fun, walk the feet in about six inches.

So we're gonna play a little bit with Fireballs. So they might look like little Donkey Kicks, right. The goal is that we're gonna take both feet up into the air and the hips might shift over the shoulders. So from here, you walk the feet in about six inches. Bend the knees deeply, take the Gis forward and shift forward, so hips over, you might hover you might not.

Right? Remember, it might look like a Donkey Kick. So we're gonna do about three more. Just nice and light. Right. Maybe catch a hover,

maybe not. Right? Just playing a little bit here Right, letting go a bit and play. One more. Right. So press, press, press.

Step back, Downward Facing Dog. Good. Just soften a little bit here through the elbows. This time take your Gis forward. You're gonna jump, either across the feet and take the bum down, or you can take a jump through all the way, so soft through the knees, take the Gis forward, shift, maybe right into Navasana, ha.

Take the hand behind the legs, lift up. So your taking that low back (exhales) in. You can bend the knees if you'd like. Option, take the arms out. Right? Remember, you can always

come back here, you can always come back here. On an exhale, lower down, draw the belly button down (exhales) and pause. Good. Right knee comes in. Take a lift, reach the hands beyond the feet.

Softly lower. Left comes in, right long. Lift, curl. Good. Both knees in, legs up, and then take 'em down (exhales).

Now we come up, woo. That's one, four more (laughs). Exhale, down (exhales). Take a pause, right knee in. Lift, curl.

Release. Left comes in, right long. Lift. Release. Both knees in, legs up, and then lower 'em down slow, slow, slow, shoulder blades still up and then we come back up.

Ah! Three more. Lower down. Right knee in. Lift, reach. Soften.

Left knee in, right leg long. Lift, good. Soften, bring the right knee in. Legs up. Lower 'em down (exhales).

Now we come back up. (exhales) Two more. Lower down, belly button down, tailbone comes down a little bit on the lower. Draw the right knee in. Lift.

Soften. Left knee in. Lift. Soften. Both knees in.

Legs up, lower 'em down. Ah, come back up (exhales). One more. Lower it down. Right knee in, lift.

Soften. Left knee in, lift. Soften. Both knees come in, take 'em straight up, lower down, strong through the core, belly button to spine. And then come on back up.

Ah. Lower it down. Knees to chest and just pause for a moment or you can take the knees wide, you can draw 'em in. And we're begin to rock back and forth on the spine so a little bit of rock and roll. If this does not feel good on your spine, feel free to just press to the side to roll up.

We're gonna come all the way into a forward fold, standing. Move the hands neat behind your back, interlace. Take the fists up, soften through the elbows and let the head go. Alright. So you can have the Yoga Mudra where your hands are interlaced here or bringing in Shiva Mudra where the pointer fingers reach up.

And just a little different energy. Alright, so my flexy friends, still keep a little softness behind the knees, a little softness in the elbows. Shake out the head just a bit. (breathing deeply) And exhale, release the hands down. Inhale, rise up.

Plant the palms, choosing your transition, maybe it's Chaturanga, maybe it's stepping back into plank. Inhale, upward or low Cobra. Exhale back, Downward Facing. Alright, five breaths, feeling the rooting in your hands, heels pressing down. And again feeling the energy.

Alright, just working the core, building a little bit of fire. And that same action we used in the core, we're gonna use for our next round of Fireballs (chuckles). So bringing the feet six inches, again closer. Bend the knees, take the Gis forward, and shift, little hover. Wee little kick.

Another two or three. And then coming on down, meeting Downward Facing Dog. So at anytime you can come down into child's pose. Alright. So if you feel like you need to kind of recoup, recheck in.

So moving into a little variation of Surya Namaskara B, a Warrior 1 series. Without coming up to the top of the mat, we're gonna play with a hop up and a hop back. So an inhale, take the right leg up. Take a full exhale. Take your Gis forward, we're gonna step or hop the left foot forward, so it might be like 20 little hops, right.

Or you might take the Gis forward, shift, place the foot down, Warrior 1 as you rise up. Right, really reach up, one breath. On an exhale, bring the palms down. Lift the back heel, shift forward, back into a hover to the right leg lift, left knee comes in. From here, Chaturanga, elbows bend, lowering down.

Inhale. Exhale back. Two breaths and transition the other side. Good, on an inhale, left leg lifts. Take the Gis forward, step or hop the right foot forward.

Right. Step, left foot steps back, Warrior 1. Exhale, palms down, lift on the ball of the back foot, shift forward, left leg leap to reaches. Right knee comes in. Now Chaturanga, elbows bend.

Good. Inhale. Exhale back. Good. One more round of that.

(breathing deeply) Nice. On an inhale, right leg lifts. Gis forward. Step or hop the left foot forward. Right foot comes down, rise up.

On an exhale, palms down. Back heel lifts, shift forward, back into a hover. Whoop (chuckles) Chaturanga, inhale. Exhale back. On an inhale, left leg lifts.

Take the Gis forward, step 20 steps or one little hop. Warrior 1. On an inhale, really big, deep. Palms down, back heel lifts, shifting back up. Elbows bend, try to lower softly.

Good. Inhale. Exhale back. Heels pressed, thighs press back. (breathing deeply) So again, just feeling the energy here.

Building the fire, building the heat. So one more round of Fireballs. Bring the feet in about six inches. Bend the knees, Gis forward. Again, it might be a little Donkey Kick and it might be hips all the way up and over.

Maybe it's a hover, maybe it's not. One more. Whoop (chuckles). Downward Facing Dog. Right, so all of that we just practiced that little jump and hover so that's where we're gonna start to practice that jumping forward, that lifting, that little engagement of Uddiyana Bandha, Mula Bandha, a little upward lift.

So jumping all the way forward, feet to the hands. Inhale, come up halfway. Toe-heel to feet, hip distance to mat distance apart. Lower down into Malasana Squat pose. Just bring your hands to your heart.

You can also choose to keep the hands down. Right, if you choose hands to heart, press the outer arms into the thighs and then soften the sacrum down and just close the eyes. Right, allow the breath to just kind of (exhales) settle. I'm just taking a few more breaths here. Just feeling equal weight in your feet.

Just feeling the heart lifting lightly. And slowly on an exhale, take the palms down, lift the hips. Toe-heel your feet back in. So all this playing, getting upside down, we'll have an opportunity to play in handstand or just holding standing split. Both getting lots of the benefits of getting upside down.

So on an inhale, come halfway up. Exhale, fold. Just let the head go. Inhale, come halfway up. Root through the left foot, take the right foot up.

And then softly lower the torso over the left leg. So a couple options, you can hang out here, left hand behind. You can play right hand behind if you usually do the left, just a little change. For those who wanna get upside down, bring the palms down, right leg lifts, and then draw the left knee in. When the left knee's in, you can start to take (exhales) both legs up.

So you're pressing through the earth, but there's this sweetness all the way through the torso. And light energy, lifting, reaching, rooting. And slowly bring the left knee back down to get back into standing split. Let the head go. Let the right leg meet the left.

Grabbing opposite elbow, Rag Doll. (breathing deeply) Exhale, hands back down. Opposite side. So root through the right foot, on an inhale, take the left leg up. So again you have your options keep a little lightness behind the knee draw the torso in, right hand behind.

Draw the torso in, left hand behind. Or for some who want to get upside down in a handstand, left leg's gonna reach up, draw the right knee into the chest, and then start to reach up. Right, so your playing with strength, playing with a sweetness. Toes reaching up, you can flex the feet, you can filate (chuckles) them. Draw the right knee back in, whoop, I think that was the left knee.

Oh, one of those (giggles). Then we can (laughing) lower it all the way back down. Feet down, let the head go. We're gonna transition through letting the hands drop down, inhale. Come up halfway.

Plant the palms, stepping back either to plank or taking one last Chaturanga. Inhale, lift the chest. Exhale back, Downward Facing. Pressing through the palms, feeling the hips lift up and back. On an inhale, take the right leg up feel softening of the right outer hip down as you press through the left hamstring back.

On an exhale, bring your knee towards your right wrist, setting up for Pigeon Pose. So the right shin's gonna move towards parallel the top of the mat, but not forcing it. So it's gonna be anywhere from the top of the mat to back by your hip. And start to create this relationship with your right hip, draw it back and then the left hip softens down. So just (exhales) breathing, softening, coming down onto the forearms.

So again keeping this relationship with your right hip, drawing it back so this might be plenty as we start to bring the practice down a bit, cooling it down. For some, you can start to lower the belly and chest, maybe coming onto the back of the palms. For some you can start to lower down even more, maybe hands out, forehead down. So tuning in, we then do a whole ton of work in the hips here. So just be easy, be kind.

This is one of those poses that we can often abruptly come into some resistance. So see if you can just meet it with kindness, a little softness. Finding the opportunity to settle in. And I'm feeling all that energy, all that heat more of the rajasic side of things, high energy. Feeling that kind of settle.

And slowly walking the hands back, lifting the torso. You're gonna bring your right knee across and then slide the left knee behind, just snuggle it up behind for Gomukhasana. Flex the feet and just sit on back. Right, just a little press of the calf down, a little press of the thighs down, flexing the feet. So choice. You can hang out

right here. You can also take your left arm up and grab ahold of the right. Or you can start to come into full Gomukhasana arms, taking your right thumb, spin it down, bend the elbow, bring it up behind the back. And then same thing with your right hand, the thumb's up, then spin it behind you. Bend and reach back.

So it's like your right hand is reaching up to scratch as high as it can on the back. And then just pause here. Feel your hips get heavy. You can also use the strap or just stay in that first place. So a little softness, sweetness to this right shoulder.

Good. Two more breaths. Good. Exhale, release the hands (clears throat) excuse me we're gonna go all the way around to come back into Gomukhasana on the other side. So you're gonna place the hands down, lift the hips, spin it all the way around and if that doesn't work for you (chuckles) feel free to just sit on up and switch.

Okay. So now we've got left on top, right underneath. Flex the feet. And then coming in to the opposite side, so either bend the elbow, reach back. Left hand to the top of the right elbow like you're scratching down your back.

For some it might be available to take the left thumb down, bend the elbow, reach behind like you're trying to scratch as high as you can on your back and then grab the hand. You can use a tie, you can use a strap, you can use a shirt to help out. I'm just keeping the feet flexed, softening through the hips. And trying to create a little bit of space between your right arm and right ear. And so as you get into these more steady hip openers oftentimes it can play out in our jaw and eyes so see if you can really soften your gaze.

Soften through the jaw, maybe even bringing in Jiva Bandha, taking the very tip of your tongue into the roof of the mouth. Touching the roof of the mouth behind the two front teeth. So try not to touch the enamel of your teeth. So a super light touch, like you're trying to pick out one grain of sugar. Exhale, take the arms down (exhales).

Just roll out the shoulders. And now we're gonna come into Pigeon on this side. We're gonna take left leg forward, so just gonna slide forward, left knee shin's forward, right leg back. Take a moment to adjust again, drawing the shin up towards the top of the mat or you can have it come back a little bit, right. So not forcing, no pressure on the knee.

Curl the right toes under, create this relationship with the left hip drawing back, right hip forward, and then softly lower down, start on the forearms. Right, no rush, no running. Just ease in. And then just breath right there. And then if available, you can start to lower down coming onto the forehead onto the back of the hands maybe.

And then for some you can take the arms out, chest down, forehead down, and just pause. Once again noticing if any resistance is coming up. And meeting that resistance with kindness. And I always think about when I feel that little edge that comes up in my mind, my body starts to say, "Ah, I want out." I think of Brene Brown saying, "Don't puff up," right, so don't let the ego in, "don't shrink, don't run away, "just hold your sacred ground," simply finding ease and kindness. And slowly bringing the hands back.

So evening out, balancing out, press up, we're gonna take it back, three legged dog, left leg lifts. Exhale, left leg down. And slowly just step the feet forward (exhales) so you can come onto your bum. Take it all the way back. Slowly lower down.

Take the legs out, heading right into Savasana. So palms up, let the head get heavy, the eyes heavy. And just playing with the softness in the belly, playing with the softness right in your throat, the base of your throat. And slowly begin to take a deeper breath. Slowly wiggling the fingers, the toes.

And if it feels good, you can take the arms up over our head, just creating a big stretch from fingers to toes. And choosing to roll to one side and just pausing for a moment. Let the head get heavy and keeping the eyes heavy. And slowly pressing up into a comfortable seat. Try not to disturb yourself very much.

As we arrive in a seat, just bring the hands to the heart, keeping the eyes closed down. And then tune in, again just checking in with the energy that you have right now and what you showed up with on the mat today and just see the difference and recognizing in our practice at anytime, we can play with this energy. You know, if we wanna leave with more energy, if we wanna quiet down. How we approach our practice can really help. With so much love, gratitude and respect, Namaste.

Thank you for sharing your practice with me.


1 person likes this.
This was really nice change! :) Flow was fun and energizing!!!
Melisse R
Brenda, I love every one of your online classes. I delight at your creative, playful sequences with poses that build on themselves. Your cueing always speaks directly to me. I love the way to integrate everyday, applicable dharma into your flow. Your voice is strong and clear, yet soft and smooth. I've got a question about the breath during the Navasana sequence in this class. Will you please clarify here the inhale and exhale, if you can?
Brenda Lear
Thank you Melisse, what a sweet compliment. Thank you for sharing. To answer your question, I might have to watch the sequence to remember what I did in Navasana...I forget the details...Is your question when to inhale and exhale on a lift into navasana and then a lower to hoover?

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