The Vinyasa Show Artwork
Season 4 - Episode 3

Spacious Warrior Flow

45 min - Practice


Change is the only constant. With an emphasis on creating spaciousness in the side body, Brenda guides us in a steady, strong, and rhythmic flow to enliven your day. You will feel totally alive and satisfied.
What You'll Need: Mat

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(water gently lapping) Welcome back. So change is the only constant. We're 100% sure it's gonna happen. Sometimes in our life, it's great. Sometimes, it throws us for a loop.

So our time on our mat is the perfect time to practice acceptance, right? 'Cause sometimes we show up and we feel really good, light in the mind and body, and sometimes we show up and everything feels, really, a struggle, our mind is moving quickly. So in those moments with resistance and trying to instead of pushing through it, we can just ease, bringing in that loving-kindness, peace. So today, as we move into our practice, we're gonna tap into our side bodies, a bit where often in our yoga practice it's much more linear, so we're gonna do a bunch of movement incorporating a little bit of an EDGU practice, the spinal maintenance practice. So let's stay open and hitting our practice with soft ease.

Alright, let's start in Balasana, Child's Pose. So big toes touch. Just let the upper body get heavy. Mmmm, just allow your breath to soften. Beginning to scan, head to toe, any places that might need a little bit more ease.

And very slowly walking the torso over to your left. And just let your hands travel in that direction. And then the right hand is gonna reach a little bit further, so we're starting to tap into our right side body. Again, still focusing on smoothing out the breath. And slowly let the hands travel back across center.

Torso comes over the right thigh. Let the left arm reach a little bit further. And again, you might be up a little bit higher, or your forehead can start to come down onto the floor. And just breathing into the left side body. And slowly come back to center.

Just take one last reach here, finding neutral spine. And then inhale, rise up to all fours, stacking shoulders over wrists, hips over knees, and then begin to move in Cat-Cow, so instead of just inhaling, lifting the chest, exhaling rounding, moving in a way that feels good. So Sahaja, a free-flowing movement. So it might just be little circles. Alright, you can also move with an inhale to lift and exhale, pressing all the way back.

Okay, so just taking a few moments to find a little bit of freedom here. Without direct instruction. And if you're playing with the side rolls, just being sure that you're changing directions every once in a while. And as you play here, just see if you can feel your entire spine, is there any place that's a little harder to tap into? If you're swaying side to side, does one side feel a little bit better?

It's that whole idea, get curious. Then when you're ready, start to curl the toes under, lift the hips, take it back, Downward-Facing Dog, Adho Mukha Svanasana. And then just for five breaths, either finding a little sway, or you can find complete stillness. Just tuning into you, to your body, and each moment. And on your next exhale, taking the gaze forward, just slowly walk the feet forward between the hands, alright, take your time, just a number of steps to get there.

And when you arrive, inhale, come up halfway, lengthen through the spine. Exhale, fold forward, grabbing opposite elbows, just coming into Rag Doll. Alright, feeling all four corners of your feet. Start to lift up your inner arches, start to lift up the inner ankles. A little draw of the outer ankles in.

And just working up the legs, a little softness behind the knees. And finally softening through the shoulders, through the crown. And on an exhale, release the hands down. Bend the knees, let the upper body get heavy, and just slowly rolling up. See if you can tap in low back, middle back, upper back, and then roll the shoulders.

On an inhale, take the arms up. On an exhale, let the right arm come down, left arm reaches up and over. So you can either let the right hand just dangle down, bring the right hand to the hip, just giving a little support and press. And so depending on how the neck feels, you can start to turn the chin upward. You can keep it neutral or even keep it down.

So when you start to move into a lot of these side stretches often what happens is one hip will come forward, or one shoulder, so really working to keep them even, up down and side to side. On an inhale, come back up to center. Exhale, left arm reaches down. And bump the hips a little to the right, and your choice, you can keep the arm down, or press against the hip. And find this little rep of pinky finger down, but do it from deep in the right shoulder joint, and slide the right shoulder down.

Good, inhale, come back up to center. One breath, exhale. Inhale, reach up and over. Good, come on back up to center. Exhale the left hand down, reach the right arm up.

Inhale, back up, this time we're gonna take the opposite hand across the chest, so exhale, start to dip. Press the right hand across the chest. Right, so you can go Palm, you can bring in a Mudra. And inhale, come back up to center. Exhale, start to dip to the side, take the left hand across the chest.

Go one more each side, inhale. Dip, and exhale, press. Good, inhale to rise. Exhale, dip and press across again, keeping the shoulders neutral. Inhale back to center.

Exhale, fold forward. Inhale, come halfway up. Place the palms, step back into Downward-Facing Dog, so we're not gonna do any Chaturangas today. So for this first part, we're gonna step back, and then we'll move through our sequence and I'll teach you the transition. On an inhale, take the right leg up.

Take a pause in this first one, working the left thigh back. Exhale, knee to nose, nice and slow. Place the foot down, rise up Warrior II. And then settle. Alright, with breath, we're gonna turn the right palm up, lift it up and back, reverse.

On your exhale, come forward into Parsvakonasana. So legs are steady, upper body is soft, light. Your inhale, come up and back. Exhale, come forward, right legs don't change. Inhale, rise.

Still right inner thigh reaching towards the ceiling. Exhale, last one. Right outer thigh rolling down. Inhale, back to Warrior II. On your next inhale, come into Divanasana, so you're gonna take the palms in.

Turn the heels in, knees over heels. Palms out. So just nice and slow, you're gonna start twisting, so bringing in a little bit of this EDGU movement. Alright, a little more dynamic than our regular practice. And working to keep the chin in line with the sternum.

Alright, so as you get a little bit more warmed up and you feel a little bit more comfortable, you can start taking the back elbow, and throw it back just a bit. It's kind of like a little self-chiropractic move. Just gentle. Alright, chin in line with sternum. And then slow it down.

Settle in the center, open it back up, Warrior II. When you're ready, transition down to Plank, pause, remember we're not moving to Chaturanga. Roll on an inhale, side plank, to the right. Left arm lifts up. Exhale, dip the hips, it might be a little dip, it might be all the way down.

Inhale, rise up, let the left arm reach over, so a variation here, of Vashistasana. On your exhale, let the hand travel down, lift the hips. Press back, Downward-Facing. On an inhale, left leg lifts, right thigh back, left leg high. In this first one, let's just pause.

And exhale, knee to nose, nice and slow. Place the foot down, Warrior II. Drop the back here, I like Warrior II heel to heel alignment, you can also go heel to middle arch, and pause. Turn the left palm up, take it up and back, reverse. Exhale, side angle, nice and steady.

Inhale, seal down the outer edge of the back foot. Exhale. Soft through the shoulders. In, good, exhale. Inhale, rise back up Warrior II.

Divanasana again, bring the hands down in front. Toe heel one foot at a time, heels in, toes out. Palms out. And this time again, turning like you're carrying plates. Chin in line with the sternum.

Alright, rooting through the feet. Alright, slow this one down. We're gonna change it up, add another here. Imagine you've got this giant ball of taffy in front of you, on an inhale, take the arms apart. And dip.

Inhale, come back to center. Open up. Good, back to center. Inhale, open to the right. Draw the outer thighs back.

Exhale, hands to center. Inhale, open. Good, exhale, move with your own breath. One more, each side. Back to center and pause.

Open up Warrior II. Exhale, transition down. Step it back to Plank, this time left side. Vashistasana and pause. Hips dip, it could be a low dip, can be just a little millimeter.

Lift up and reach on the inhale. Your exhale, palm down, Downward-Facing Dog. Three breaths. On your next inhale, take the right leg up. Nice and slow, knee to nose.

Place the foot down, Warrior II, coming back up. Right into reverse, three times, from Reverse Warrior, to Parsvakonasana. Right here, exhale, reach. Good, in. And again, moving with your breath time.

If I'm too fast, too slow, honor your own cues. On your next inhale, rise up Warrior II. Heels in, Divanasana. On an exhale, take the right forearm down, left arm lifts up, pause. Inhale, come back up.

Exhale, dip and reach. Inhale. Good, exhale, really tapping into the left side, draw the outer thighs back. Real steady. Okay, embracing any little shake in the legs.

Good, one more. Inhale, back on up. Come back to Warrior II. Windmill the hands down, step it back, Plank pose. Roll it to Vashistasana on the right.

Exhale, dip the hips. Inhale, reach the hips, stretch to the left side body. Your exhale, bring the left hand down. Downward-Facing. Inhale, left leg lifts.

Exhale, knee to nose. Place the foot down, Warrior II, rise up. Left palm lifts, right into reverse. Exhale, Side Angle pose. In, exhale, feeling now the right side lengthen.

Good, switch. Last one. Inhale, Warrior II. Heels in, back into Divanasana, and pause. From here, bring the arms out to the side, and you're just gonna create these figure eights, so follow your gaze, with your hands.

So at first it's, real slow, steady. And as you feel more confident, you can start to pick up the pace. And again, tapping into a little bit of a spinal and shoulder movement. Still drawing the outer thighs back. Slowing it down.

Coming it back to that carrying plates. And slow it down. Open it up, Warrior II. Transition, Plank. Left side Vashistasana, inhale arm up.

Exhale, dip the hips down again, it might be a little dip, it might be a hover. Inhale, reach, expand all the way through the right side. Right hand down, Downward-Facing Dog. Slowing down the breath. Good, complete your exhale, take your gaze forward, step or hop the feet between the hands.

Inhale, come halfway up. Exhale, fold. Reach the arms up overhead. Exhale, release the hands down. Inhale, come halfway up.

Take your left leg back, turn the toes towards the side, walk the hands in. So setting up Prasarita Padottanasana, but we're gonna add a twist into it. Bring the right hand right under the nose, wrists under the shoulder. And inhale, start to peel the left arm up. Right, so notice as you do this, the right hip wants to dip, but the left hip wants to lift up.

See if you can press through the left foot a little bit more to balance out the hips, and sometimes taking your left hand to the hips can help. Good, exhale. Take the left hand all the way through, like you're threading the needle, and maybe you can reach to the shin, or down towards the ankle. Right hand's gonna walk away, so you're gonna start to twist through, looking up under your armpit. Okay, come back to center.

Left hand lines up right under the nose. Wrist under the shoulder. Inhale, peel the right arm up. Feel that left hip start to dip down, see if you can keep it lifted. Again, you can place your palm right on your sacrum to even out.

And exhale, take the right arm through. Reaching either towards the shin, maybe it goes to the floor, or for some, towards the ankle. Left arm reaches away, so check in again, 'cause the hips start to dip. See if you can even 'em out, balance 'em out, adding the twist. Good, hands back to center.

Walk back towards the top of your mat into a Runner's Lunge. Curl the back toes under, step the left foot up to meet the right. Inhale, come halfway up. Exhale, fold. Root through the feet, inhale, rise up, Urdhva Hastasana.

Exhale, dip over towards your right, take the right hand across the center. Inhale, come back up. Exhale, head over to your left, left hand comes over to the right. Inhale, back up to center. Exhale, fold it in.

Inhale, a halfway lift. Place the palms, step back, Downward-Facing. Remember, no Chaturangas today. Good, adding into our sequence a little bit here. On an inhale, take the right leg up.

Exhale, knee to nose, just to find control. Place the foot down, Warrior II. Right palm, let's take it up and back. Exhale, press the left hand through. Good, inhale, come back to center.

Right to side angle, press the right hand through. Good, in, take it back. Press right hand through. Shifting side angle again, right hand comes through. And one more, each side.

It's like your inhales lengthen, reach, and your exhale, press. Good, back up to Warrior II. Returning back to Divanasana, so left toes turn out, one foot at a time, palms in. So this time bring the hands in front, sit down a little deeper, draw the outer thighs back. One hand in front, one hand behind, so like you're turning open a doorknob.

And you're just gonna shift through the spine. And again, let the chin follow the sternum. And wherever your balance is best, you can take the gaze downward, you can take it outward. Alright, so reaching low, right down through our Root Chakra. And then take the hands up a little bit higher.

Alright, a little bit higher right around the belly center. Again, like you're trying to open up that door. Really reaching behind you. Up through the heart center. Try to reach behind you.

And then continue all the way up, right between the eyes. Right now the arms and the back start to go down. And then all the way up. So we're reaching up, we're reaching down. Ah, and slow it down.

Back to carrying plates. Open it up, Warrior II. Good, take a pause. Left hand comes in front, right into High Crescent. Take it down into a Runner's Lunge.

Turn the toes to the right, reach back. From here, bring it all the way forward, Skandasana. Let the hands slide across the floor, almost like you're painting the floor. Good, hips shift on an inhale, take it across. Good, back across, right toes turn up, lift the hips to face the front of the mat.

Walk forward, back into a Runner's Lunge. And then walk the hands out to the left. You're gonna take your right hand out further, so now we're tapping in again, through the right side of our body. You can keep the left knee up, or you can start to lower it down to add into a little bit more of a thigh stretch. So really your choice.

And slowly come back to center. Hands frame the front foot, step back, Plank pose. Right side, Vashistasana. Left arm lifts. Hips dip on the exhale.

Inhale, reach up and over. Place it down, Downward-Facing Dog. Good, inhale, left leg lifts. Exhale, knee in. Place the foot down, Warrior II, back heel drops down, arms sweep up.

Inhale, left arm lift, press the right through on the exhale. Inhale, shift. Exhale, press. In, alright, moving with your breath, exhale press. Good, inhale transition.

Exhale, press. One more each way. Good, inhale, come up Warrior II. Back into Divanasana, heels in, toes out. Imagine you've got, again, this big thing of taffy in front of you.

On an inhale, pull it apart. Exhale, hands come back down. Your inhale, pull it apart. Good, hands back down. Inhale.

Hand is finding, big length. So as we're reaching through the left side here, don't forget about the right. Back to center. Arms open out, Warrior II. On an inhale, take the right hand in front, lift the back heel so you bring the right hip with you.

Exhale, hands down, Runner's Lunge. Turn the toes to the left, so you're starting to drop onto the right heel, take the left arm back behind you, reach. Good, as you come all the way back around, Skandasana, right knee bends, and pause. Good, switch it, left knee bends, and pause. Come all the way back around, left foot lifts, face the front.

Good, crawling forward, come into a Runner's Lunge. And again, this is where we take the hands out, left hand's gonna reach a little further. So again, you can choose to come down, or stay up. So working the right leg up is a little bit stronger in the musculature, bringing it down's a little deeper in the stretch. So really opening up through the left side.

Checking in, left knee's still in line, either over the ankle or starting to drift over the middle toes, but traveling in that direction. Good, come back to center. Step the feet back, Vashistasana. Inhale the arm up. Exhale, dip the hips.

Inhale, lift, rise. Let the right hand travel down, Downward-Facing Dog. We'll move through that sequence one more time. Just taking four breaths in between. On an inhale, right leg lifts.

Exhale, knee to nose. Place the foot down, Warrior II. Inhale, reaches up. Exhale, take it up and back, and then press the left hand through. Inhale, shift.

Exhale, press. Good, in, exhale, press. Inhale, rise up. Shift it back into Divanasana, palms up. This time, coming back into the figure eight, try to remember which way you went the first time, or which way you naturally start to go, and then try to go in the opposite direction.

Won't kill you if you do the same side twice. Alright, let the gaze just follow the hands. You're trying to keep the legs steady, strong. Alright, the knees tend to want to drift forward, see if you can draw the thighs back. And then start to slow it down.

Come back into Warrior II, facing the front. Good, inhale, the left hand comes in front, bring the left hip, back heel lifts with it. Exhale, Runner's Lunge. Right toe, left toe, both turn to the right, swoop the hand back. Come all the way around, Skandasana, you can choose no hands.

You can also use the hands for support. Inhale to transition, turn the right toes up, this time we're gonna come all the way down. Alright, so just pausing here. Take the right hand to the shin. Slide the right shoulder inside the right thigh.

So now we're focusing on both sides. We don't want to forget about the right, but the left, come up and over. So you might dangle the hand, it might reach the foot. And just two more breaths. Inhale, come on up.

Turn the torso to face the front of your mat, crawl forward. Right side, palms down, step back, Vashistasana. Hips dip. Inhale, lift. Good, exhale, back Downward-Facing.

On an inhale, left leg lifts. Exhale, knee to nose for control, and step down, Warrior II. Inhale, left lifts, exhale press through. Inhale, shift. Exhale, press.

Your inhale to lift. Your exhale to press. Good. Slow and steady. Good, back to center.

Toes start to turn out, heels in. Bring the hands down. Just settle in here. On an exhale, you're gonna press the right thigh away, gaze over the left. And just soften here.

Inhale, come back to center. Exhale, press the left thigh away, gaze over the right shoulder, trying to dip the left shoulder down. Inhale, back to center. Exhale, press, dip, twist. Inhale.

Exhale. And in, exhale. Good, one more, inhale. Exhale. Inhale, center, lift the palms.

Take the right hand in front, shift it to Warrior II. Right hand'll come down and then up, High Crescent. Exhale, hands down. Turn the toes to the left. Left hand reaches behind.

Inhale, sweep it all the way across, Skandasana. Hands can drag, or you can open up through the arms. Alright, and then pause. Left heel lifts, lower down. Start to take the left arm across under to the shin.

Shift your weight forward so you can start to drop the forearm down. Maybe the shoulder comes inside. So there's like a press of the right thigh, back and away. And the right sit bone might lift, for some of you, you might be able to keep it downward. But it's a light press, it's not fighting it.

So remember, when we get into those places of resistance, just softening, softening, no need to push. The more we push, the more we aggravate. And having to sit on the left ribs, up. Good, slowly coming up. Turn the gaze forward, crawling forward.

Left side, step back, Vashistasana. Exhale, dip. Inhale, lift, reach. Let the right arm dangle over. And then shift, Downward-Facing Dog.

Taking the gaze forward, either stepping, hopping, we're gonna come all the way through, so for some, you can take the gaze and hop all the way through, or just walk the feet up and sit onto the bum. Good, scoot on back on your mat. Coming to Janu Sirsasana, you're gonna take the left foot inside the right thigh. So it's just a little bit of a twist, you gotta turn the body over the right thigh. So start out finger pads behind, just to lift the chest, lift the low back.

So hang out here if this feels like this is your limit, if you start to roll in. For some, you can start to walk the hands forward. Alright, chest reaching, back of the neck soft. Alright, for some you can hang out, drawing the foot back. For some you can reach around, grabbing the left wrist.

And that kind of just draws and opens up through the left side body a little bit. And keep working the torso over the thigh. Just see if you can ease into it a little bit more. And easing into it might not be going deeper, it might be backing out of it a little bit. In your next inhale, come on up.

We're just going to turn it into a bit more of an opening side body, bring the right arm inside, similar to what we did earlier. I like to take my form down, if available, you can kinda tickle the bottom of the feet. Open up, draw the ribs in just a bit. Left arm up and over. So you can let it dangle, you can start to spin open.

Also what I find helps is when I bend my elbow and I press my palm, my back of my head into my palm, I'm gonna start to open up through my chest through my upper back, feels nice. Okay, two more breaths. And take the left arm long if you have the elbow bent, inhale, rise on up. Take both legs long and change. Right leg, right bottom of the foot comes in towards the inner thigh.

Lift up with finger pads turned behind you. Turn the torso over the left thigh. And your choice, staying right here, finding that lift through the low back, or for some you can start to walk it forward. Just find a moment, find a place, where you can still reach the torso long. And for some, there might be grabbing hold of the shin or foot.

For some, reaching forward, grabbing the right wrist. Drawing the torso down. So there's still a play of shifting, a little twist. And noticing when you find that soft edge, just to ease, ease, ease. So that might be just backing up a little bit.

Alright, and a good way to kinda measure this is the breath. If you feel that your breath gets tight and short, it means you've gone too far. You want to find a place where the breath can easily flow in and out. Alright, inhale, lift the torso. Take the left arm inside again, I like to come down on the back of my forearm.

And again, it might just hang out right here, you might be able to reach down for the bottom of the feet. Start to spin the torso, so lower left ribs start to come up. Inhale, take the right arm up. And you can start to reach it overhead. And for some, you can hook the foot, taking the gaze up.

And I like to bend the elbow, bring the back of my head into my palm. 'Cause then I can get into my thoracic spine. Into my shoulders that tend to be a little more stable. Hmmm. Good, softening if your elbow is bent, inhale rising up.

So let's go ahead and take both legs long. You're gonna slowly lower onto your back. And we're gonna rise up into a counterpose, into a light back bend. So we did a lot for the hips, a lot of the side bodies, not a ton for our back. And the back bending motion, so just go easy, be thoughtful.

I'm gonna choose Bridge, rooting through my feet. Turning my palms up, sliding my shoulder blades under, just gently. You know if it's available, you can interlace the hands. I like to work my shoulder blades under. So checking in here, if you're choosing Bridge.

C7, right at the base of your neck. You just wanna make sure that that bone is not driving into the earth. It can touch lightly. But you don't want a lot of pressure there. You want a little space behind the back of your neck, and the floor.

A little space between your chin and the chest. So even if you're trying to lift the chest, there's still space with the chin lifting up lightly. Just taking a few more breaths here. And when you're ready, slowly lowering down. I'm just gonna take bottoms of the feet together, let the knees spread out wide.

Supta Baddha Konasana. And when I get into this, I like to take the heels of my palms, and press right into the crook of the hips, just a little light traction might feel nice. And then just easy, choosing however your hands might fall, it might feel good to have them out, it might feel nice to have one on the heart, one on the belly. Just tuning back into the breath. So choosing either to stay right here, or sliding right into Shavasana.

And again, you can just let your palms fall out. And just bring your full awareness to your breath. And just see if through Shavasana, you can stay with each moment, each piece of your breath. Helping us to stay ever so present, not getting in front of it, not drifting behind. Just noticing each part.

It's beginning to tune in, and check in. If you'd like to stay here in Shavasana longer, please do. Or you can start to meet me in a seat, taking your time to arrive. And when you press up, still keeping your eyes closed, staying tuned in. Meet with hands at heart, bowing in lightly.

And knowing that change is the only constant, we can continue to practice acceptance. Right, on and off the mat. Bringing loving-kindness and ease, into those places that are a little uncomfortable. Thank you all for joining me. Namaste, until next time.


Anne J
3 people like this.
A very juicy and sweet practice - thank you!
Senada S
3 people like this.
Brilliant practice, feel present !
Christy Li
3 people like this.
I enjoyed doing a beautiful sequence of flow, using side breath opening with no chaturangas, thank you
Shuvani Safir
Sweet and light flow. Feels really relaxing. Instant bliss... :)
Frederic M
1 person likes this.
Thanks Brenda for this beautiful practice!
Briana N
2 people like this.
great! I loved the variety. These were poses that I've never tried!!
Virginia F
1 person likes this.
Nice flow. I'm dealing with arthritis in my knees. Staying in goddess pose is no longer best for me.
I don't mind chatarangas! Do you teach another class that might work for me?
Kira Sloane
Virginia, until Brenda gets back to answer this one, you might check out these which have no horse stance. These are from Season 1 and Season 4 of The Vinyasa Show.

Positive Flow

Let it Go Flow

Fireball Core Blast

Shine Bright
Annie T
wonderful creative flow
Narciss G
Having no chaturangas was great for being in the third trimester of pregnancy. This is a great video if you're looking for an accessible prenatal workout.
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