The Bhakti Show Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 8

Bhakti Flow

55 min - Practice
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Ignite the heart. Julia guides us in a delightful Bhakti flow sequence to awaken the heart and create more space in the body. She shares a soft, gentle breathing technique designed to expand the heart energy and to relax the nervous system in preparation for meditation.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video

Oct 22, 2014
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Namaste dear yogi friend, so happy to be here with you today. I'm going to share a flow with you that with the intention of bringing the mind into the heart. In the yogic text they speak about the Hridaya which is a cave in the center of the heart which is the dwelling place of the Atman, the soul. Our true essence and a great sage Ramana Maharshi from southern India spoke of this and he said that it's located actually in the right chamber of the heart about a fingers width in from the midline of the body. So although our essential self, our soul is infinite and really without location there is this invitation to bring our awareness to this place in the heart and it is a doorway. It's a doorway into our true nature as we spend time resting here with our awareness there. There is an illumination that comes from within. It's like a doorway to to the soul. So let's just take a moment to place one hand on the heart center and just close your eyes and take a deep breath in feel the heart expand and exhale feel the heart soften. Inhale feeling the heart expand. Exhale feeling the heart soften. Just starting to drop your awareness from the mind from the busyness of the thoughts of the day and dropping your awareness down into this point in the chest. Just feeling the breath flowing in and out of this center. Then place the other hand on your lower belly. I'm going to take a few deep breaths filling the whole torso from bottom to top. So as you breathe in expand the belly front sides and back then expand the ribcage. Breathe all the way up to the upper chest. Exhale soften the chest ribs and belly. Breathing in and out through the nose gently. Inhale expand the belly the ribs the upper chest lifting the collarbones. Exhale softening the upper chest ribs belly. A few times just closing the eyes inhale expanding front back sides of the belly ribcage and feeling the collarbones lift as you inhale all the way up to the top of the chest and then exhale softening chest ribs and belly.

Just flowing like this a few times with your own breath as you inhale expanding the whole torso feeling the chest the heart open as the breath reaches the top and then feeling the whole body soften as you exhale. Continuing this a few more times this breath stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system which softens the the mind takes us out of that fight or flight syndrome and allows us really to rest into the body. Allows us to come towards something more subtle towards the direction of the heart. Beautiful one more breath in. Exhale everything and then just release the hands resting the backs of the hands on the knees or the thighs. Let the thumb and the index finger lightly touch taking a deep breath in and exhale everything out through the mouth. Let the belly soften again breathing in exhale out through the mouth and let the belly relax. One more time really dropping the belly on the exhale. Allow the pelvic floor muscles to soften. Allow the tailbone to drop back and down feeling the base of the spine grounding down into the earth and then as you inhale reach the crown of the head up to the sky like a flower reaching for the Sun and feel the spine lengthening gently drawing the chin in towards the neck feel the back of the neck lengthen. Inhale gently lift the shoulders hug the shoulder blades back onto the back so the heart blossoms open. Allow the inner body to be soft. Just let your attention your awareness rest in the heart center. Rest towards the Hridayam the right chamber of the heart feeling the breath expanding the heart gently softening it on the exhale and as we approach the heart always approaching with tenderness with softness allowing the palms of the hands to soften a little bit more allowing the face to soften the jaw to relax. Feeling the eyes relax. Deep breath in. Exhale everything and then with great tenderness bringing the hands to touch in front of the heart center and I invite you to set a San Kalpa which is an intention for yourself for your life allowing it to emanate deep within your heart. So San Kalpa is an intention that we set in the present tense might be something like I affirm radiant health, peace, well-being, joy in my body, mind, heart and soul. Whatever it is that your heart is calling for you in this moment.

Breathing into that. We'll send that out together with one Aum sound of Om. Breathe in exhale clearing breath then from your heart making the sound of Aum. Beautiful deep inhale and exhale everything. Just releasing the hands. We're going to move into a wide-legged child's pose. So just turning onto your mat and bringing the knees wide toes touch and extend the arms forward the forehead comes down towards the earth and take a deep breath into the lower back and exhale let the body soften and relax down into the earth. Deep breath in and exhale softening. So feeling as you're in this position feeling that inner alignment of surrender the mind surrendering down towards the heart and as you breathe in breathing into any resistance that's showing up in the physical body or in the mind and as you exhale just letting that soften and relax with the out-breath. Inviting this quality of surrender into your whole being. Inhale and exhale softening any contraction. Beautiful one more inhale and exhale. Inhale look forward we're going to come up onto hands and knees bringing the knees hip width and the wrist directly underneath the shoulders. So pressing down firmly through the hands firmly through the pads of the fingers finding a strong base and feeling the knees pressing down into the earth. So as we come towards the heart center it's important to feel this strength in the base this feeling of support. So feeling that connection with the earth inhale tilt the tailbone up to the sky let the heart move forward exhale tilting the tailbone down rounding the back and feeling the shoulder blades move away from each other the back of the heart expanding. Inhale arching the back the head looks forward and the heart shines forward exhale rounding the back. Just closing the eyes here and feeling as though you're moving from the heart center feeling it draw you open and the heart moves forward as you inhale and then feeling it the back of the heart lifting as you exhale.

It's flowing with the breath in the heart center. One more inhale and then on your next exhale we're going to round the back tuck the toes under and lift the hips up into a downward dog. So bend the right knee and take a breath into the back of the left leg. Beautiful and then inhale bend the left knee and take a breath into the back of the right leg just opening the channels in the legs. Maybe just alternating a couple of times and then eventually coming back to stillness. So press down firmly through the palms of the hands again finding this connection with the earth. Lengthen the side body we're going to bend the knees a lot here tilt the tailbone up towards the sky so we find lengthen the lower back and then allow the legs to come towards straight. Beautiful finding the breath in the heart center, softening the face. One more inhale and then exhale look forward and we're just going to walk the feet up towards the hands. So inhale look forward bring the hands to the shins. We're going to place the hands on the shins and manually with the feet pointing forward rotate the legs inward slightly. So what this does is it opens the sacrum and the lower back area and with the hands press down through the shins down into the earth. Lift the toes and so you get a strong grounding down through the legs and the feet down into the earth and then inhale let the heart shine forwards. Beautiful deep breath in and then exhale folding all the way forward and then bring the hands to the hip crease and pressing down strongly through the feet we're going to inhale come up with a flat back coming all the way up to standing. Just take a moment here to soften the knees, take a deep breath in, exhale let the belly relax. Beautiful one more breath in exhale let the belly relax. We're going to find Tadasana. So just have a look down at your feet make sure that they're hip width apart lifting the toes to activate the arches of the feet. Press down through the feet gently draw the belly in towards the spine inhale lift the shoulders slightly and hug the shoulder blades gently back onto the back so they feel the heart blossoming and brightening and then pressing down through the feet reach the crown of the head up to the sky. You're feeling this length activation in the body the hands are engaged and see now if you can soften the inner body. Can you allow the palms to relax? Can you allow the jaw to soften? And can you rest your awareness in the heart center? Just feeling the breath in the heart for one breath. Beautiful and with the awareness in the heart inhale reach the arms up exhale folding forward. Inhale hands on the shins look forward and then exhale hands on the earth and we're just going to step that right foot back on to the earth and drop that back knee down softening the hips forward. So inhale let the heart move forward to hug the shoulder blades back and then exhale and keeping the hands where they are in the front foot where it is just lift the toes and bring the head down towards the left leg feeling an opening in the back of the left leg. Inhale let the heart guide you forward soften the hips down. Exhale rocking back. Inhale forward and exhale back. Inhaling forward we're going to bring the hands up onto that left knee and just soften the hips down. Beautiful inhale reach the arms up exhale soften the face let the hips soften down gently lifting and engaging the pelvic floor muscles here. Inhale looking up let the heart look up and maybe finding a gentle back arch so the heart opens towards the sky. You're saying yes to truth yes to love yes to the heart and then exhale coming down placing the hands onto the earth we're going to step back into a plank position body is long and straight energy moves out through the backs of the heels legs are engaged and see if you can be in this active position with a soft heart and with a soft face maybe a smile a twinkle in the eyes one breath into the heart center and exhale slowly lower the knees down then keeping the elbows alongside the body the chest and the chin comes down and then inhale and scoop the heart forward just lifting the heart up off of the earth and feeling that light emanating forward beautiful inhale lift the hips tuck the toes under coming up into a downward dog one breath here beautiful and then inhale look forward and step that right foot forward between the hands drop that back knee down onto the earth we're going to soften the hips inhale let the heart open forward exhale just rocking back over that front leg feeling the opening in the back of the right leg inhale dropping the hips forward heart opens forward exhale back inhale forward and exhale back inhale coming forward we're going to place the hands on top of that right knee softening the hips down so just seeing if you can come back into this awareness in the heart center soften the face soften the hands beautiful drawing the belly in towards the spine lifting the pelvic floor muscles inhale reach tall exhale soften the hips down and then inhale reach up and maybe finding a gentle back arch shining the heart up to the sky finding that yes into the heart yes to love yes to peace yes to happiness and hell beautiful and then coming down lifting that back knee off of the earth and stepping forward we're going to place the hands on the shins inhale look forward exhale bending over and then inhale press down through strong feet lift the toes so you activate the arches of the feet and then coming all the way up reaching tall exhale hands down in front of the heart just closing the eyes for a moment taking a deep breath in exhale out through the mouth and dropping your awareness down into the body into the heart center and we're going to share I'm going to share with you the seed sound of the heart which is yum so let's take a clearing breath in exhale and then inhale for yum take an inhale and exhale we're just going to step that left foot back along the mat so that the feet are parallel and placing the hands on the hips beautiful inhale look up exhale just folding forward allowing the hands to come down onto the earth allow the whole torso just to hang the head and the neck to be loose feel the feet pressing down into the earth lift the toes to help activate that connection draw the inner thighs in and up strengthening the legs and see if you can soften the upper body soften the face the heart deep inhale and exhale beautiful inhale look forward and then exhale just slowly bringing the hands up towards the hips so extending the arms out shoulder height one way to find out if your feet are in a good position is just to extend the arms like this and then bend at the wrists and see where the fingers are pointing down and ideally the edges of the feet are about where your fingers are so just checking out your stance there and maybe widening or narrowing it just a little bit beautiful and then we're going to extend the fingers and imagine so Ramana Maharshi one of the things he said was may the lamp of all our hearts be lit by the flame of love so I invite you just to imagine this flame of love in the heart in the chamber of the heart maybe closing the eyes take a deep breath in let the breath ignite that flame in the heart and as you exhale just radiate that light out through your fingertips down through your legs up through your head out through your eyes and feeling your heart's light illuminating your whole body beautiful we're going to turn this right foot in the back foot in 45 degrees and then turn the left foot forward inhale and exhale reach that left arm forward as far as it will go just bending at the hip crease and let the left hand come down to the left shin the right hand you place at the base of the skull press the head back into the hand and as you do so press down through that back heel so that back leg is strong inhale as you press the head back into the hand feel the heart opening up towards the sky hug the shoulder blades back towards each other and then exhale and release that top arm up to the sky deep breath into the heart center feeling that heart light and as you exhale expanding it out through all directions letting that illuminate your posture beautiful inhale and exhale bend that front knee place the left forearm on the left knee bring the right arm alongside the body and so the fingers point overhead beautiful one more breath into the heart and as you exhale feel that light expanding and illuminating you activating the pose deep inhale and then exhale we're gonna bring that right arm up straighten the left leg and just coming back to standing closing the eyes take a breath in and exhale softening the whole body beautiful inhale expanding the arms shoulder height turn the left foot in 45 degrees the right foot forward and then inhale exhale reaching forward as far as your hips will invite you to go and when you get to that point dropping the right hand on the right shin bringing the left hand to the base of the skull and press the head back into the hand so the chest opens and the heart turns up towards the sky deep breath into the heart center illuminating that light that flame in the heart and as you exhale let that light shine out through every part of your body just feeling it lighting you up beautiful deep inhale exhale bend the right knee right forearm rests on top of the right knee left arm comes alongside the ear reaching the left fingertips forward beautiful back foot presses down into the earth lifting that back in a thigh reaching out through the top fingertips soft face soft heart one breath in and then exhale bringing you all the way back up to standing and just bringing the feet parallel the hands in front of the heart in prayer position closing the eyes so as we move through the postures repeatedly just coming back into the heart center over and over again see if you can soften the hands soften the face soften the heart deep inhale and exhale beautiful opening the eyes we'll turn again to the other side so bringing that right foot in at 45 degrees left foot forward bringing the hands to the hips there's a tendency in this position for this back hip to come up like this so actually what we want to do is have the hips even so just look down at your hands and make sure that the hips are in a straight line even line and then we're going to bring the arms out like this in cactus style with the elbows just slightly higher than the shoulders and what this helps is helps the shoulders to relax down the back feeling the head above the heart the heart above the hips so the torso is in a straight line inhale and then exhale and bend that front knee extending the arms now check out this knee we don't want it to go over that ankle because that stresses out the knee joint so you might need to bring that foot slightly forward so that the knee is directly over the ankle or just slightly behind it beautiful so finding warrior two and we're going to dance with warrior two igniting the heart with the breath so inhale straighten that front leg draw the breath up to the heart center and then exhale and release the heart light out through your whole energy field inhale straighten the front leg draw the breath into the heart and then exhale release it out do this one more time with the eyes closed inhale and then exhale shining that light around you and then maybe just looking forward over those front fingers find that strength in the base press the feet down in an opposite directions engage more abundant gently lifting the pelvic floor muscles and then soften the hands soften the heart soften the face rest the awareness on the breath in the heart for one breath and then inhale coming back up bringing the hands to the hips one breath in exhale just seeing if you can close the eyes and find this quality of tenderness in the heart the face the fingers the hands beautiful we'll set up for the other side so turning that left foot in at 45 degrees right foot forward hands on the hips just check out how your hips and line them up so they're in an even plane and then we're going to bring the elbows just slightly higher than the shoulders bending at the elbows feel the shoulders melt down the back inhale exhale extend the arms extend bend that front knee and just make sure that the knee is just slightly behind or over that front ankle and then inhale straighten the front leg draw the breath up to the heart and exhale release the light of the heart out through your whole energy field closing the eyes inhale straighten the front leg draw the breath up exhale expanding the heart's light one more time in silence beautiful looking forward over the front fingers press down strongly through the feet find that strength in the base see if you can soften the hands heart and face and rest for one breath in the heart center bathing in your own heart light beautiful inhale and exhale we're going to turn to the front of the mat bring the hands down onto the mat step back into a plank position finding that strength in the plank lifting the belly up towards the spine soft face heart actually moves forward here between the shoulders inhale and then exhale slowly lowering down and just resting on the earth for a couple of breaths just allowing everything to relax inhale bring the forehead to the center bring the arms just slightly in front of the shoulders place the backs of the feet down onto the earth and gently imagine inwardly rotating the thighs the inner thighs move up towards the sky so that you get some space in the sacrum and then inhale press down through the hands lift the heart up relax the bussic muscles and feel this opening in the heart center deep inhale and exhale coming down just resting on the other cheek letting everything soften letting the jaw relax belly relax and breathing into the whole body and feeling the whole body soften on the exhale one more breath in feeling the whole body fill with the heart light exhale whole body expands with this light inhale bring the forehead to center place the hands underneath the shoulders we're just going to push back bring the knees wide finding child's pose and just feeling noticing the quality of the body again coming back to this sense of surrender feeling those areas of contraction and restriction in the body in the mind just softening down even more into the earth jaw relaxes belly relaxes deep breath into the whole body exhale whole body softens beautiful inhale look forward we're going to come up to sitting so we'll begin by taking a clearing breath and inhale and an exhale and then we'll make an O with the lips and firm the cheeks and does it will make an exhale going forward that's activated by drawing the belly in towards the spine so I'll demonstrate it looks like this and so let me just show you how it goes we'll come forward so at the bottom exhale everything so that you completely empty the lungs and then inhale close the mouth and inhale through the nose coming up slowly pause with the breath held and then exhale through the nose release the hands and wait for a natural inhale to return and then rest into the after effects of the breath so let's do it together so bring the hands to the hips take a deep inhale exhale everything inhale they can over the lips firm the cheeks and then short sharp breaths out by bringing the belly in towards the spine exhale everything get completely empty close the mouth inhale through the nose come up slowly and then exhale through the nose release the hands wait for a natural inhale and then just rest into the results of the breath feeling this sense of the mind surrendering down into the body softening relaxing the whole body deep breath in and exhale let's do that one more time bring the hands to the hips inhale clearing breath exhale everything inhale making over the lips short sharp breaths out going forward empty the breath completely close the mouth come up inhaling through the nose exhale through the nose release the hands allow a natural breath to return in its own timing now yourself just to taste surrender as you relax down into the results of this breath softening down into the heart center deep breath in and exhale gently opening the eyes we're going to move to lying on our back extending your legs out and letting the whole body just soften down into the earth bringing the arms slightly away from the body palms face up deep inhale and exhale everything just allowing a side to relax you from the inside and softening the hands the jaw the heart center letting everything melt down into the earth inhale exhale soften bringing the hands in prayer position and resting the thumbs at the heart center just remembering the sankalpa that you made at the start of the practice and affirming that to yourself perhaps affirming radiant health peace love and joy in the body mind heart and soul I affirm radiant health peace and joy in the body mind heart and soul breathing into that exhale releasing the hands onto the earth beautiful inhale that the knees come up into the chest just hugging the knees wobbling gently from side to side we're going to place the soles of the feet just below the sit bones hip width apart so that if you reach down with your fingertips you'd lightly brush the heels beautiful allowing the arms to come alongside the body bending at the elbows fingers point up towards the sky take a deep inhale as you exhale press down through the feet and the upper arms and let the hips lift up towards the sky gently rock to the right bring that left shoulder underneath the back rock to the left bring the right shoulder underneath so you get a little bit more opening in the upper chest and then allow the arms to come down onto the earth either leaving them there or interlacing the hands underneath the back press down firmly through the feet maybe by lifting the toes activating the arches and keeping your thighs hip width apart press the thighs together so the legs are strong and see if you can then relax the buttock muscles so the legs are doing all of the work here deep inhale feel the chest the heart open exhale softening the face beautiful one more time inhale expanding the heart area exhale softening and then inhale coming up onto the balls of the feet lift the arms up to the sky exhale let the back melt down onto the earth let the arms come back down feet slightly wider than the hips knees resting against each other deep breath in and exhale just feeling the back of the heart softening down into the earth inhale bring the knees in towards the chest bring the arms inside the knees and let the hands find the outer edges of the feet or maybe the shins whatever is comfortable and then gently we're going to rock from side to side in happy baby just feeling the lower back massaging finding that sweet innocence of the baby's heart that joy that light and then releasing the feet and extending the arms out shoulder height the palms face down have the feet flexed the shins parallel to the earth belly draws in towards the spine inhale and exhale we're going to drop the knees down to the right allowing them to come down onto the floor bring that right hand to rest on top of the left knee and keep the feet flexed here keep the legs engaged draw the belly in towards the spine I like to just gently lift my shoulders towards the right side towards the knees to get slightly more of a twist deep inhale down into the lower back area and exhale soften just remembering that sense of softening the hands softening the jaw softening the heart finding that tenderness in the heart center allowing the breath to soften and open you from the inside one more inhale exhale everything and then inhale at the left leg come up to center the right leg follows arms out shoulder height just setting up for the other side feet flexed shins parallel to the earth inhale exhale dropping the knees down to the left so keeping the feet flexed keeping that right knee close to the left knee and then maybe just gently walking the shoulders slightly towards the left inhale and exhale the head looks up or maybe turns to the right deep breath into that twist exhale softening the face the hands the jaw the heart one more deep full-body breath exhale everything and then inhale let the right leg come back up the left leg follows hug the knees into the chest gently wobble from side to side and releasing the hands just make some gentle circles with the knees around the hips in one direction and then in the other direction and then just releasing the legs long the mat and coming into shavasana bringing the arms just slightly away from the body the palms face up deep inhale and exhale everything allow the whole body to soften here another deep breath in down into the belly feel the belly expand the ribs expand the upper chest expand exhale softening the chest ribs and belly one more breath like that inhaling belly ribs upper chest exhale softening chest ribs and belly and then take a natural inhale exhale everything allow the centers of the soles of the feet to relax now the hips to relax allow the centers of the palms of the hands to relax shoulders relax center of the forehead relaxes and then bringing the awareness to the cave in the center of the heart the dwelling place of the soul allow that to soften feeling the heartlight a flame of love burning brightly and allow your awareness just to soften and dissolve into that place just bathing in your own heart light you and taking a deeper inhale exhale everything gently start to wiggle the fingers and the toes find some circles with the wrists the ankles and then inhale reach the arms overhead just extending the body and then exhale and curling onto one side and just resting again into that light of the heart deep inhale exhale everything and gently make your way up to a comfortable seated position just finding whatever you need to sit on to be comfortable allow the backs of the hands to rest on the knees thumb and index finger lightly touch take it close the eyes take a deep inhale exhale release and soften the belly ha one more time inhale exhale soften the belly pelvic floor muscles relax tailbone drops back and down press down through the base inhale reach the crown of the head up to the sky so the neck length and spine lengthens allow the heart to brighten to open soften the hands soften the palms of the hands soften the face the jaw and an awareness resting in the softness of the heart center of unchanging bliss deep inhale exhale everything and gently bring the hands to touch in front of the heart center we'll finish with one ah on sound inhale exhale clearing breath inhale for on I bow to that light within you within all things my heart to yours so much love blessings on your journey namaste

Comments

Sherrie L
3 people like this.
Julie,
Your calm, gentle flow just resonates with my soul and body. The whole energy of YogaAnytime really nourishes me. I feel as though I am receiving my yoga practice vs pushing (the word 'struggling' comes to mind) through my yoga practice.

Thank you!
Namaste
Julia Berkeley
SO grateful to be able to share with you Sherrie, thank you for receiving!
with love, julia
Sarah P
2 people like this.
Great practice thanks Julie
Very calming and healing!!
Love and light, Sarah
Rachel G
3 people like this.
Thank you Julia, lovely flow. I am a new yogi and find your instructions and flow very achievable, peaceful and calming. Thank-you.
Julia Berkeley
So good to hear Rachel, happy to be on the path with you
Woranan D
it is very boring
Jenny S
1 person likes this.
Really loving Bhakti! A lovely cerebral flow that left me feeling refreshed and blissful 🌅
Julia Berkeley
So great to hear your feedback Jenny... Blessings!
Beth F
1 person likes this.
Hello Julia - thank you so much for this beautiful practice. The breath work is so powerful! I had to come back to do it again! I've been a Yoga Anytime member for several months now and you've been such a gentle guide for me as I've been getting back into yoga. Blessings to you - Beth
Julia Berkeley
Much love to you Beth
So happy for your return to the practices ... May they deeply nourish you.
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