So let's begin with a practice for drawing our awareness into the earth element in our body. This practice may require a blanket or a strap. If you want to grab one, then go ahead and do that now, but it's not necessary. So, slowly close your eyes and bring your attention inward. Perhaps the most important part of this practice is the breath.
We will move into a type of breathing called Sama Vritti. Sama means same, vritti means wave. So feel that your inhale, you can draw in for a count of four, and exhale out the same amount, a count of four. That number may be perfect for your breathing pattern, but you may want to use six, or eight, or even two, whatever feels natural for your breath. The main importance is that you are cultivating this super steady, even flow.
Beautiful. The next time you breathe in, bring your attention in and down to where we have the most of this earth element. That is the deep lowest part of our pelvis and our legs. As you breathe in, sense that your inhale can inhabit this area. As you breathe out, feel the way your naval draws back, solidifying you, grounding you, stabilizing you.
Keep that happening and gently open the eyes, and start to make your way over onto all fours. Coming onto all fours, we're gonna bring our knees underneath our hips, our hands right underneath our shoulders, and our toes can tuck under for this sequence. As you inhale, feel the heart lift and expand, and hold that for a second, and just feel the inhale inhabit in and downward into the pelvis. Exhale, curl and round, and really hug the belly up, and then inhale and repeat that. Exhale, curl and round.
Inhale, mind drops downward into that realm of the earth, and you can even shake the hips a little bit slowly side to side to connect you. Exhale, curl and round, and now reach back, and draw the hands forward. You're gonna lift up, reach the hips high, and press back downward facing dog. Inhale, then move, come all the way back down onto all fours, lift your chest. Exhale, we're gonna move right back into downward facing dog.
Really take your time here as you warm your body. Inhale, in and down. Exhale, curl and press the hips up. Do it one more time. Exhale, this time downward facing dog.
We're gonna hold the pose five breaths, and really as we work this practice, when you hold these poses after the dynamic movement, that is when you are cultivating that stable, steady earth energy. Every inhale, I drop my attention in and down. If you want to bend the knees to reach the hips higher, that's fine. Exhale, naval draws in and back. Now on the next inhale, I'm gonna take my knees down to the floor, bring them a little bit wide, and now exhale, walk the hands backwards towards your feet.
This would be a place where you could place the blanket underneath if you had one, but you don't require one. The heels may be slightly lifted, and that's fine as well. You can bring the palms into prayer, and I'm gonna use the energy of the arm bones to push into the inner knees, and the knees press back. You can stay here, finding that beautiful way that this pose really brings us into connection with the earth. If it feels comfortable for you, I want you to take your left hand and you're gonna grab for that right shin bone.
Inhale, lift the right arm into the air. Exhale, tone the belly in and back. Exhale, come back through center. Take the right hand, grab for the left shin. Inhale, the arm over the ear.
Breathe in and down. Exhale back through center malasana. Beautiful, and now you're in this beautiful perfect position to just start to bring your hands to finger pads, feet come to parallel and you're in a forward bend. We're gonna inhale, come up halfway. Exhale and fold.
Now, the next thing I want you to do may be a little bit strange, but I want you to lift the right inner arch, lift the left inner arch, and just sort of settle into that, and you can see how in my body I kind of come up onto the finger pads to really access those lines that run through the legs, and as you hold this, you're gonna feel how it's a little bit awkward, but all of a sudden these entire channels of sensation start to really wake up. Breathe in, come up halfway, and breathe out full. One more time, inhale, come up halfway, and breathe out full, take the arches to the floor. Bend the knees slightly and we're gonna do the same thing this time with the heels lifted, so I'm coming up onto my finger pads to help give me that support, and then I'm gonna slowly start to straighten the knees. Inhale, extend through the spine, exhale, fold forward, and keep that.
If any of this is too much, you can just keep the heels down on the ground. Taking about five breaths here. I'm really taking the inhale into the sensations in my legs, taking the exhale back to the belly, taking the inhale into the sensations, those channels that run through the legs. Taking the exhale back to the belly, and then very slowly, start to lower the heels, and you can hold here for a few breaths in your nice long Uttanasana. Beautiful, so on the next inhale, you're gonna let your hands come to the back of the calves, and just sliding the hands up the backs of the legs, long spine, you're gonna come all the way up to standing.
Inhale and raise the arms. Exhale, lower the hands to the heart. Walk your feet wide on the mat, and you can let your feet externally rotate a little bit. I'm gonna inhale, raise the arms, and as I exhale, come all the way back down into that squatting position. You kind of rock it from left to right, just start to open up the joints, lubricate things.
Inhale, crawl forward like a cat. You're gonna crawl your hands all the way forward, press back downward facing dog. As you breathe out, you're gonna take your right foot, step it forward in between your hands. Again, coming back into the breath, the most important thing here. I'm gonna pulse forward, and as I breathe out, I'm gonna really exaggerate it.
I'm gonna curl and round, and hug the belly up and in, and repeat that one to one breath. Inhale, exhale. In, exhale. This time inhale, stay in the pose, but let your hands crawl out in front of you, and so you may want to walk the right foot over a little bit, just to give you a little bit more room. Inhale in and down.
And when you're ready to come out, just gently walk the hands back, and we're gonna just turn the right toes to face inward, the left come out, and I'm gonna crawl to the other side. Inhale, pulse the heart forward, exhale, remember you're gonna exaggerate, curl and round. Two more, even breath, mind dropping deep and downward. All right now this time, walk the hands out. You can transition that left foot over a little bit.
It's kind of like you're doing a downward facing dog in lunge. Five breaths. Then gently walk the hands back. We're gonna move right back to the first side and step back downward facing dog. Inhale then move, come down to all fours, lift the chest, exhale, walk your hands back to your feet.
Now again, we're gonna stay low to the ground, because this is all about connecting to earth. You're gonna walk forward, press back downward facing dog. On the inhale, let the right leg lift up into the air, and as you exhale, bend the right knee. You can even bend the elbows a little bit. Inhale.
Straighten the right leg, exhale down. In, and exhale. Then inhale, hold the pose, and now the mind is really drawing into that long line that runs from my deep right belly all the way through the top of the right leg. Exhale, lower the leg down, and just feel that pulsation and aliveness. As you inhale, left leg lifts.
Exhale, bend. In, and ex. In, and hold the pose, mind in the body, earth element. Exhale, lower the left leg. Inhale, bend into the knees, lift the chest.
Exhale, you're gonna crawl, walk your hands back, earth energy wants to stay low to the ground, and then inhale, slowly come all the way up to standing, exhale, hands to heart. Good. Now, at the back of the mat I want you to again turn your feet wide. These are called vayu salutes. I'm going to move through them with you really slowly.
It's a variation on sun salutations that keeps the energy moving downward, so on the inhale, raise the arms. Exhale, hands through the heart, come all the way down, right from side to side a little bit, shake it out, malasana, inhale, come forward all fours, lift your chest. Exhale, walk your hands back and your feet back, your hands forward, and then on your inhale, come forward into a high plank pose. If that's too much, you can take your knees to the ground. Breathe in, draw the heart forward, breathe out, take the knees, chest, and chin down.
Inhale, low cobra, exhale, tuck your toes under. Plant the palms, lift the belly, go back downward facing dog. Inhale, come down to all fours. Exhale, walk your hands back, stay low. Inhale.
Feet adjust to parallel, exhale, fold forward. Inhale up halfway, exhale, fold forward. Bend the knees, inhale, come up, Utkatasana, chair pose. Exhale, hands to heart. Feet walk wide.
Inhale, raise the arms. Exhale, malasana squat, and feel free to just really let yourself enjoy right here. Opening it up, inhale, come forward, crawl like a cat. Exhale, press back, downward facing dog. When you feel the inhale happen again, you're gonna come forward, belly lift, tops of the thighs lift, exhale, knees, chest, chin are Chaturanga, really slow.
Inhale, baby cobra. Exhale, downward facing dog. Inhale, bend your knees, lift your chest. Exhale, walk your hands back to your feet. Inhale, stand all the way up, knees straight and you're gonna bring your feet to parallel.
Exhale, fold forward, Uttanasana. Inhale, halfway. Exhale, fold, bend the knees, inhale, Utkatasana, chair pose, and hands to heart. Good, just one more round. Feet walk wide, inhale.
Exhale. Inhale. Exhale, downward dog. Inhale, come forward, plank, and exhale, come all the way down. If you want to now you can transition into the upward facing dog here.
Exhale, downward facing dog. Inhale, bend into your knees, lift your chest. Exhale, take it back, malasana squat. From malasana, inhale, come all the way up. Feet walk parallel, exhale, fold forward.
Inhale up halfway, exhale, fold. Bend your knees, inhale, long spine, long waist, Utkatasana. Exhale all the way, hands to heart, and then lower the arms. Find the breath. Exhale.
So feet firmly planted down on the ground. We're gonna slightly walk the left foot out. Step the right foot forward. Just whatever feels comfortable really, be natural, and then on the inhale, I'm gonna reach the left arm forward as I reach those right fingers back. Breathe out, exhale, fold forward, and I keep reaching and extending through the fingertips.
Inhale, come up, but first, just bring the arm parallel to the ear, access the belly, reach through the right fingers, come all the way up. Exhale. Inhale, and exhale. This time, we're gonna bring the hands down, and if you'd like, you can hold lightly at the shin bone, and think about drawing the right hip down and back slightly. This is one of the best poses for accessing all those channels along the legs that have become stagnant, and feel those lines of sensation, you can penetrate them with the mind's eye.
Even breath, inhale, half way up, and now exhale, fold, hold the pose. Bend into the right knee, and we're just gonna walk the hands forward, the left leg lifts. Great, bend the right knee, place the left leg back down on the ground, and you're gonna stay really nice and low, transition by turning the right foot in, point the left foot out. Great, and there you are again, right on the other side, so I'm gonna reach through the right arm, reach to the left, come all the way up. Inhale, even breath, exhale.
In, and out. In. Exhale, fold, hold the pose, hands come down onto your finger pads. They can be flat, you can hold the shin bone for a little bit more support. Let the upper back slightly round.
Just relax into this so you can really feel the energy circulating in the legs. Bring your mind into the sensations in the legs. Bend into the left knee. Walk the hands forward, and we're just gonna lift the right leg into the air. Good, just as we did before, slowly lower the leg, plant the right foot on the floor.
We're gonna transition right back, and press back downward facing dog. Inhale, bend into the knees, lift the chest. Exhale, walk your hands back, right back into that malasana squat pose. Inhale, come up, and exhale, fold forward. Inhale up halfway, exhale, fold, bend the knees, Utkatasana.
Breath in, find your attention downward. Inhale, stand up, but your mind's moving into the belly. Exhale, hands to heart. Good, inhale, feet walk wide, raise the arms. Exhale.
In, exhale downward facing dog. Right foot steps forward. We're gonna come back through center now. My feet are parallel. Inhale, come up half way, exhale, I'm gonna take my left hand and grab for my right shin bone, and so it's nice if I can bend my right knee to kind of give my body a little bit of support to start to make my way into a nice deep twist, and maybe the right knee starts to straighten.
Take a breath, inhale, straighten the arms. Take a breath out, find the belly. Take a breath in, straighten the arms. Take a breath out. Inhale, exhale, hold the pose.
Good, inhale, come back through center, lift the chest. Exhale, fold forward. I'm gonna repeat that pulsing the breath. Inhale. Exhale.
One more, pulsing that even, steady flow of breath grounds the mind. This time, exhale, bend the left knee. Take your right hand, grab for the shin bone. Inhale, up halfway. Exhale, bend the elbows, take the forehead towards the shin.
Two more. In, and then exhale, hold the pose. Bring the mind right down into those lovely, strong lines of sensation. Feel the way that your consciousness can start to penetrate any of those blocks or tensions as you move through the legs with your awareness. Good, inhale back through center, and then I'm gonna transition by turning towards the right foot, press back downward facing dog.
Breathe, inhale, breathe exhale. Notice how we're staying really low to the ground this whole practice. The outer edge of the back foot plants onto the floor. I bend into the right knee, and I'm gonna take my hand somewhere, so it might be on the inside of my foot. Some of us prefer the outside.
Another great option is just to place it on top of that right thigh, all right? If you can get it onto the inner edge, what I'd like for you to do is use the right upper arm bone to press into your right inner thigh. It just feels so yummy and juicy, and grounding. Now I've got my right hand free, right? Some of you can keep it down on the ground if this feels like too much, but if you can get the right hand free, now you get a bend in the leg, that left knee, and I can take the heel of the palm and really press.
Ah, that feels so great. That's gonna really help you feel that access of the earth energy of the legs. I can activate it with my hand, and maybe the arm lifts just because it feels joyful, right? I'm not trying to do anything, or I can bend my elbow, bring it behind me. Finding breath.
Good. Now to come out, that same transition we've been working with. The right foot's gonna go in, left out. I stay very low to the ground when I practice for the earth element. I'm kind of like a tigress prowling the earth, you want to stay low, so here you are again.
Maybe the hand's coming down. Maybe I'm taking the palm now of the right hand, and I'm pressing into that right inner thigh. It's just so beautiful to be able to access that energy before you lift the arm, and maybe you don't even lift. Good, and then take your time. Come back through center.
Inhale, come up halfway. Exhale, fold forward. I'm gonna repeat that again. Inhale, come up halfway. Exhale, fold forward, and I'd love for you to just stay here, right?
This is where we really access the earth. If you've got the flexibility, you can start to widen that stride. I call this the James Brown pose and you'll see why in a moment. You may be right here. You can keep going.
Try to keep the outer edges of your feet grounded. For my body, it feels good to bring it down on four arms, and so for me, I'm kind of right at the edge here breathing in and out. Good. Now to transition out it might be your least eloquent yoga moment, you can bend the right knee, and bend the left, and there you are, and then walk your hands in. Inhale, exhale.
We're gonna transition back to all fours, and then into downward facing dog, and just feel the legs. Maybe even walk your feet a little wide. Shake it out, downward dog, it's so nice to open up the energy of the legs. Good, inhale, bend into the knees. Exhale, walk the hands back, malasana.
You're in this perfect place now to be able to just effortlessly have a seat down on the ground. Lower down onto your back. Just take a breath or two here just to feel the practice in your body, and maybe a little bit more of the aliveness of that earth element. It's inward and downward, maybe more pulse in the legs. So let's bring the arms into a cactus shape, and I'm just gonna lift my hips slightly, shimmy them over to the right, and then draw the knees in, really simple twist, exhale to the left.
I can take my left hand to the outside of my right thigh and I can press downward, and that just gives me a little bit of leverage to turn and look over that right shoulder. Remember, every pose is about connecting with this earth energy, and so what I'd love for you to do is take the inhale into the sensations you're feeling as a result of these different movements of the body. We can access different parts of us that have gone to sleep, become stagnant. That prevents the natural flow of prana life force from moving through these channels that take us into the earth that make us feel grounded. Then gently inhale, come up, exhale, you're gonna touch the toes down again, shimmy the hips to the left, knees come together, and we're just gonna roll to the other side.
Same thing, the right hand's gonna come, and I hold and I press the top of the left thigh down so that I can get more leverage to keep the left shoulder blade grounded. Once you become established in the body, really let that become secondary to you consciously channeling, moving your attention down into that earth center, low belly, the sacrum, into the legs. Inhale, come back up. Exhale, we're gonna touch the toes down again, and shimmy to the right. Draw the knees in.
You can repeat the exact same twist that we just did, or you can start to move into a little different variation where I take the right hand, and I grab for the top of the left foot. Then I move into the twist, and that left knee can reach down as I open up, such a deep beautiful twist. Find the breath. Good, a few more breaths. A little deeper variation.
I can take the right sole of my foot, you'll be able to see it better on the other side, and I plant the sole of the foot into the floor and again start to open up, even deeper into those channels of the groins, and the tops of the thighs. Really take your time coming out of this, and just again, just spend a minute here just feeling that pulse, that new aliveness maybe of prana flowing through the earth channels. We'll repeat the other side, so you're gonna shimmy to the left, knees draw in, my hand's gonna grab for the top of that right foot, and I'm gonna take it over to my right. The sole of the foot, if you can, can plant down on the ground. If that's too much, you can just gently let the knee drop, but if you can, get the sole of the feet on the ground, and those of you that have the flexibility can even start to walk it up, up, up, up towards the armpit.
It's almost like I'm doing like a scissor shape with the legs. You'll really feel that opening up some of those sleepy channels in the buttocks and the groins, and the tops of your thighs, and maybe turn your head to the left. Even breath, mind deep and down and low in the body. Start to transition out, touch the does down, come back through center, just feel that pulsation, the fruit of the asana is energy moving now unimpeded. Knees draw in, and now, we're gonna extend the left leg out on the ground.
I'm gonna actually lift my head up as I grab for the outside of the right foot, and then sort of cradle that shin bone into my arm. So if some of you are holding the foot, those of you that have a little bit more flexibility can actually take the foot and hold it in that crux of the left elbow. Here, my left foot, I'm gonna start to push, push, push, push out through that left heel, and that pressing through the left heel starts to open up all those juicy channels in both the legs. Keep the right toes active, and it's almost as if I'm pushing my right big toe mound into my inner arm. If this is too much on your neck, you can always lower your head or even hold your head in the back of your hand.
Find breath, and really use the pose as a means to meditate on the sensations. Then gently start to lower down, and release the right leg. Feel the fruit of the asana, that awakened prana as you bend into the left knee. Hold that little half lotus leg. Again, I like to bend the knee to really feel this.
Exaggerate it, push to the right heel. Again if you want to use a little pillow. Even breath, coming into the sensation, slowly lower down, extend both legs. You're gonna feel that nice opening, the tingling, the awakening of prana. Draw both knees in, claspe hold, we're gonna move into this little happy baby.
I'm grabbing for the outside of the feet. You can also take the inside. The knees draw wide, the shin bones are parallel to the walls to my left and right, and I'm just gonna breathe here, and this pose, although we use it kind of as a easy, sort of relaxing pose, this pose is one of the very best for opening up earth energy. As I breathe in, I can really feel my pelvic floor widen and open, and relax. As I breathe out, I can feel my belly drop in and back on the spine.
Keep doing that. Inhale in and down. The whole pelvic floor soft and relaxed. Exhale, naval drops in and down in the spine. Great.
Now, you can stay there. If you want a little more challenge, you can grab for the big toes, or the outsides of the feet, or you can even hold the shin bones here if you'd like. I'm gonna extend the legs up into the air and then out wide. Another beautiful pose for accessing the earth energy, because it brings me into direct contact with those stagnation points in the legs. Breathing, inhale, pelvic floor widens.
Breathe, exhale, belly draws back on the spine. Exhale slowly, take your time. Draw the knees in, maybe give it a little rock from side to side. So, with the feet firmly planted on the ground, arms by your side, just a little bit of that counteraction for all the downward flow. As I breathe in, I'm gonna lift the hips, the buttocks off the floor, and my arms are gonna come with me and reach up, and back.
Then exhale, they come down. Repeat that a few times. In, and out. Last time, inhale, come up. Exhale, stay in the pose, but bring the arms underneath you, walk the upper arm bones together, and then clasp the heads, inhale, press up.
Exhale. Even though we're now moving into this back bend, I still want you really readily available. Your consciousness in the feet, the balls of the big toe mounds pressing down, the heels without moving my feet squeeze back towards me. My knees press forward as my heels squeeze back and it creates this real sense of stability, and the potential for liftoff in the heart. Great, to come out, this nice little juicy trick here.
First release your hands. Stay in the back bend, press the palms towards the ceiling, interlace the fingers, push the fist up, up, up, up, up as you slowly lower down, and you'll get this really nice massage all along the spine. Exhale, knees draw in. We're just gonna rock up to a set seat, transitioning here. Extend both legs out in front of you, and then we're gonna bend into the right knee.
Take the right sole of the foot to your left inner thigh. Inhale, I'm using my finger pads, I can come up and just do a little twist to the left. That just prepares my spine to really drape over the left leg. Exhale, tone the belly in and back, and now inhale, extend the arms. Exhale, fold forward.
Inhale, come up. Exhale. In. Great, this time we're gonna fold forward and hold the pose, so for some bodies, you're gonna grab for the outside of the left foot. Some of us will grab for the outside of the shin bone.
That's totally fine. Inside of the left foot with your left hand, and now my elbows are gonna bend so I can fold into this. This pose, what it does is it accesses these new and beautiful sensations in the left leg, and I can feel my awareness running through these sensations, so inhale, bring your mind into the sensations in the legs. Exhale, return the awareness to the belly. Repeat that, repeat that two or three more times.
Inhale, mind in the sensations in and down in the legs. Exhale, belly draws up and in. My entire being is dedicated to expanding my attention in and down in my pelvis, legs. Good, now inhale. I'm gonna reach the arms and come all the way up.
Exhale, lower the arms, and just feel that fruit of the practice pulsing through you. Exhale, switch sides. Dynamically moving the body, inhale, raise the arms, prepares us, exhale, fold, for longer holds. Inhale, up. As much as you can, keeping the arms parallel to the ears, and if that's challenging, like you can really see the arms, you can bend them like a cactus shape.
Let's do one more. This time as you exhale, fold into the pose, and do again that nice little transition twist. Hold the outside of your right foot, or shin bone, right hand grabs to the inside. Bend the elbows, fold forward, Janusirsasana. Now I'm here, I've established myself in the physical body, so I can let that go.
I don't have to move. In fact I'd prefer you not. Inhale, mind in the sensation in the legs. Exhale, naval draws in and back. Hold this pose, continue with that practice of moving your awareness and therefore your energy.
The more you commit to that, the more this pose may start to really purify the mind. You may have old thought, old memory, all of that is absolutely wonderful, and normal. You stay with the practice. Then inhale, reach the arms, come up. Exhale, lower the arms, and just take a minute to feel the fruit, the freedom of the energy's release, which is really why we do these poses.
Extend both legs out in front of you. This a moment where you may want to sit up, taking your sit bones on the blanket if you need it. Again, you can hold the strap if you use that in your practice, that's fine. We're gonna do the exact same thing, and in my body, and in a lot of bodies, we actually want to bend our knees a little bit, because what it enables me to do is really drape the belly forward, and I can work then slowly to relax the knees down. But that's the least important thing is to have them flat.
We're really working the spine, so feel that draping in your body. Extend the arms up parallel to the ears. Inhale, come up. Exhale. Stay here, breathe in, and now exhale, bend the elbows, drape the lower belly forward.
Inhale. Exhale. In, and this time, exhale, fold forward. Grab for the outside of the foot. You can also grab for your big toes.
You can also grab for your shin bones. Breathe, inhale, beautiful, now hold the pose. This really is the moment to let the upper back relax and round. We do so much work in yoga with lengthening. You can also just let it lengthen here rather than strengthen.
Let yourself go, let the head be a little bit heavier. Belly's still drawing forward, and this is the pose of this practice truly. As I breathe in, all of me drops into the sensations in the legs, the lower belly. Five more breaths, and just let your conscious intention, your breath inward, your focus on the sensations start to soften any resistance. Take your time to come up, and walk your hands back, and just feel the fruit of the practice.
When you're ready, we're gonna lay down on our back. Drawing the knees in, just give yourself a little rock from side to side. Hug the knees to chest. You can take little circles with the legs. Good, and then release the legs down on the ground.
We're gonna move into Shavasana. This is a really important part of practice. Shavasana is where I feel all the liberation I've worked so hard for in asana, so let yourself relax. All the effort and all the control we use to do Pranayama or breath work in asana, let that go, so the breath is completely effortless. The breath completely effortless.
I can witness the inhale happens, whether I try or not, the belly will rise. The exhale will happen without any effort on my part, and the belly will fall. So, your practice for the next few minutes of deep ease is to not try, but to watch the miracle of the thing that breathes you in, and breathes you out. Feel free to relax here, to just spend as much time as you want, letting prana, this life force that you've liberated just pulse through your legs, and now your whole body, but when you are ready, you can gently draw the knees back into your chest. Just roll over to the right.
Press your hand into the ground to come up to a seat. Really, before you end, just feel the way that you feel. How did this short little practice change my experience of energy, my experience of myself? And perhaps I feel a little more grounded and stable. Namaste, thank you.