20-Minute Yoga Flows Artwork
Season 7 - Episode 3

Joy of Imagination

20 min - Practice
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This dynamic class weaves together metaphor and insight from the Katonah yoga practice with Vinyasa flow to awaken your internal awareness. We move through a creative sequence to find space in the hips, explore Sun Bs, Humble Warrior, and Warrior 3, and play into back bends. You will feel inspired and enlivened.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Hello. Thank you for joining me for the joy of the imagination. Let's go ahead and get started. We're gonna come onto our hands and then to our knees. Finding a nice table so that the hands are under the shoulders, the knees are under the hips. We're gonna begin in pigeon. So let's start on the right side.

Slide your right knee forward behind the right wrist to make sure that your knee is quite wide. And let's go ahead and slide down onto the top of the back leg and top of the back foot. And before we come down, just tent your fingertips nice and wide and lift through your chest. And see if we can find just a little bit of a bounce so that we know that we're not too deep into the stretch. And then walk yourself forward coming down into your forearms, perhaps adding a layer of support for your forehead to rest on or stacking your fist and resting your forehead on that top fist.

Close your eyes if it feels comfortable. And just begin to drop your awareness into the breath. So start to notice the breath in its most natural state as it moves through the body. Feeling the heart rate beginning to slow down for a moment. And allowing the mind to really begin to meet that calm of the breath.

And here in our pigeon as we begin with a clear call mind, We're gonna open up the imagination. And I would invite you to imagine a line running all the way through the crown of the head, through the throat, through the chest, through the belly, out the tail. Those of you who are dancers, you know, this is called the plum line. And I want you to find in the imagination, the crown of the head reaching forwardness, the crown of the head reaches forward, Feel your coccyx or your tail reaching back at the same time. And you wanna keep imagining that.

So we're putting space in the spine. And now go to your left shoulder in your mind. And from your left shoulder, draw a line to the right buttock bone and imagine those two points moving away from each other. And then we'll go to our right shoulder. And from our right shoulder, we'll go to the left buttock bone and imagine those two points moving away from each other.

So crown of the head 4, tail back, left shoulder, right buttock bone moving away from each other. Right shoulder left buttock bone moving away from each other. Just feel all of that space. And take a couple of big, full deep breaths into that space. And then when you're ready, let's come up into our hands. Tens your fingertips quite wide. So if we're on a clock or hands are at an imaginary 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock, So we're gonna inhale, arch the back, lift the chest, pull the shoulders back, keep moving the heart forward, the tail back, And then it's gonna feel quite small.

We're gonna tuck the tail and curl and round draw the navel in and up. So really pressing into that right shin. We'll do a couple more of these cat cow pigeons. So inhaling arching and opening. Exhale rounding.

Last one. Inhale. Open up. And exhale round. And bring your hands back. From here, tuck your back toes.

Lift your back knee and slide it forward just slightly so that we can take our right leg and swing it around the front of the left leg so that The left knee as well as it can and can fit behind the right knee. Open your feet up quite wide. So these are gomo costs in the legs. We're gonna flip our right wrist forward. So we find a full turn of the right wrist, the right shoulder head hugs back.

Before we start to move, come back to the crown of the head reaching forward and the tail reaching back. And we'll start to circle clockwise. So imagining we're on a clock just really feeling the pelvis, feeling the hip joint doing this movement. So if your feet are lifting, If your shins are lifting, try your best to really plug into the tops of the feet. So the only thing that's really moving aside from the torso is really the hip joint and the pelvis.

And we notice kind of if we imagine going around the clock, what numbers are hips like to skip, We need to spend a little extra time there. And then we let it get a little bit faster. Let the torso get involved. Start to move. I like to say bring out your inner salsa dancer as best you can here. So we'll just take a few more circles And then we'll slow it down.

Find stillness. Flip your right wrist around. Now we're gonna keep the legs crossed. You're gonna tuck your toes, find a cross legged downward facing dog. So make sure your knees are bent so that your left knee can fit into the back of the right knee, and we can sharpen the right buttock bone back. You may need to walk your hands slightly forward But we're gonna keep the legs crossed and roll forward into a cross legged plank, come back to a dog, Couple more times.

Cross legged plank. Back to our dog. Last time. Cross legged plank. Keep the knees lifted. And back to your dog and then lower back down.

Uncross your legs. Just circle your hips a couple of times to flush that out. And then we'll move into our pigeon on the left side. So you're gonna guide the left knee forward behind the left wrist, slide down onto the top of the back leg and foot, Lift your chest. Let's find that little bit of a bounce again just so that we're not sinking too deep into the hip joint.

And then we'll come forward onto our forearms. Let the forehead be supported if you would like with the block, maybe with your fist, One more time, close your eyes, reconnect to your breath on this side. And just notice the difference between the right and the left side and awaken that imagination again. Coming back to imagining a nice line running through the crown of the head out the tail so that the crown of the head is reaching forward and as the crown of the head reaches forward, the tail is reaching back. Draw a line from the left shoulder to the right butt bone, move those two points away from each other.

Right shoulder left buttock bone, move those two points away from each other. And then feel and allow the crown of the head to move forward, the tail to move back. So with awareness, we are creating space. Couple more breaths here. And when you're ready, we'll come up into our hands.

Tensor fingertips. Why? 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock? In how arch the back. Exhale very softly tuck the tail. It's okay if it feels very small. In how arch open?

Exhale curl. One more time. Arch and open. Exhale curl. And then bring your hands back.

Tuck the right toes, lift the right knee, slide it forward just slightly so that we can swing our left leg this time around the front of the right leg so that the right knee is fitting behind the left knee. Press into the tops of the feet. We're gonna flip our left wrist. So full turn of the wrists. So fingers are back.

Left shoulder hugs back. Remember, Crown Ford tail back. We're gonna circle counterclockwise. So just move nice and slowly at first just to check-in on the hip joint. Notice if your toes are squeezing and scrunching, see if we can find the spread to the toes. So everything's pressing down.

The knees the shins are down on the earth, and then we can go faster. Try to hit every number on the clock so we free up the hip joint. And again, it's that inner salsa dancer lives inside of all of us and do a few more circles. And then let's let it slow down. Flip your left wrist. So we're gonna keep the legs where they are, tuck your toes, cross legged down dog, last one. So fit the right knee behind the left knee draw all the chest backwards in these towards the thigh. So it should feel like a a nice deep downward facing dog, and then we're gonna come forward into our plank with our legs cross, back to our dog, forward, and back.

And last time, come forward. Come on back. And let's lower the knees uncross the legs. Stir out your hips a few times. And now let's find a regular downward facing dog.

Tuck your toes, lift your knees, and your hips up and back. Take a moment and just pedal through the feet, wake up the backs of the legs. Shaked the head. Yes. Shake that. No. Keep a nice bend to the knees.

So the tail is reaching up. The chest is moving back. Towards the knees and back towards the thighs. And same sense here, even though we are upside down in our down dog, I want you to feel as if the crown of your head can still move forward and your tail can still move back. On your next inhale, let's come forward into a plank and pause.

So puffing up through the upper back. Imagine that line through the crown of the head out the tail. So a piece of us is moving forward and a piece of us is moving back. So imagine someone's hands are cupping your heels and you're pressing your heels into their hands and you're reaching the crown forward at the same time. Couple more breaths here.

Draw the navel in and up. And then let's lower all the way down. Keep the hands by the chest. Press into the tops of the feet, lift through the chest, finding a baby cobra, inhale, Exhale forehead comes down. Again, we're gonna press into the feet, lift the chest, slight pullback of the hands pushing down into the mat as if I'm trying to pull the mat back so that I can move the heart forward. Forehead comes down, hips to heels, child's pose, and downward facing dog.

So from down dog, let's raise our right leg high to the sky. You're gonna step the right foot forward between the hands, lower the back knee down. Crescent lunge on Janae asana reaching the arms up high to the sky. So let's move our right hip back or left, hit forward, lift up the navel, the sternum, take a big breath in, as you exhale, bring your hands down to frame the front foot. Keep the foot down as you extend your right leg for a half split. Moving again, right hit back, left hit forward. I would invite you here to feel Crown of the head moving forward and tell moving back. And then rebend the right knee, tuck the back toes, lift the back knee, step forward, and fold.

Halfway up, hard forward, butt back, exhale fold. Inhale, let's rise up, reach up arms high, exhale palms to the heart. Inhale reach up, exhale fold down. Step back into your high plank, top of a push up. Let's lower all the way down.

Press into the feet, lift through the chest, use the hands to pull the mat back to move the heart forward. Good. Forehead down. Tuck the toes. Press up to plank and downward facing dog. Inhale. The left leg high. Step the left foot forward between the hands, lower the back knee down, reach the arms up, crescent lunge, on Janayasana.

So left hit back, right hit forward. Take a big breath in. And then exhale, bring the hands down. Keep the left foot down as you extend through your left leg for half splits. So left, hit back, right, hit forward.

Move the heart forward. Feel the tail moving back at the same time. So we keep finding that space through the spine. And then re bend the left knee, plant the hands, tuck the back toes, lift the back knee, step forward, and fold. Inhale heart forward butt back, exhale fold, inhale rise, reach up, Exhale palms to the heart.

Inhale reach up. Exhale full on down. Step the feet back. Plank. From here, halfway down elbows in for Chaturanga. Upward facing dog or baby cobra.

Fold the hips up and back downward facing dog. Raise your right leg high to the sky. Take the knee to the nose, right foot between the hands. We're gonna spin our back heel down. Take your back foot a little more over to the left side of the mat.

Warrior 1. Arms reach up high to the sky. So when I move my right hip back, my left hip forward, I'm moving that right knee forward so it's right on top of the ankle. Tail is moving down. Arms are reaching up. From here, bring the arms behind the back, interlace your fingers, lift the chest, and dive it down devotional.

I like to let the right shoulder just tap onto that right side. And then I want you to look out in front of you. Feel the heart moving forward. Feel the crown of the head moving forward. Spin up onto the ball of your back foot.

Keep the palms interlaced. Shift forward. Warrior 3. So playing and finding with our balance here. So the heart's moving forward.

That left foot is pressing back. So a piece of us moving forward a piece of us moving back fold halfway up lengthen, exhale fold, inhale rise up, exhale hands to heart. Inhale reach up, exhale fold down, step back to plank, halfway down, chaturanga, upward facing dog, downward facing dog, inhale the left leg high, Left foot between the hands. Back heel's gonna spin down, and we're gonna take our right foot over to the right a little bit more. Warrior 1 reach the arms up.

So same thing here. The left hip's moving back. Right hip is moving forward. Tail bone is tucking slightly. There's a lift through the navel.

Through the sternum, bring the arms behind the back, interlace the fingers, lift through the chest, and then start to dive down devotional warrior. So let that left shoulder tap that upper left thigh. And then look out in front of you. So I wanna feel the heart moving forward. I'm gonna spin up onto the ball of the right foot Keep moving forward through the chest.

Keep the palms reaching back. Shift into the left leg, warrior 3. Finding that left big toe, press back to that right foot. So the piece of us moving forward and a piece of us moving back. Two more breaths, and then forward fold.

Halfway of plankton, Exhale fold. Inhale rise. Reach up. Exhale palms to the heart. Inhale. Reach up. Exhale. Fold down.

Step back to plank. Halfway down, Chaturanga, upward facing dog, downward facing dog. Let's come forward into plank. Lower all the way down. From here, come up under your forearms for space.

So we need to press down into the forearms and then press down pull back like you're trying to pull the map back to move the heart forward. And as removing the heart forward, squeeze the glutes gently. Feel like you're tucking the tail so we find that link through the spine. And some of you are gonna stay right here because this is enough. Some of you're gonna bend your knees, and that might be where you need to be. Some of you might move into the seal pose or full cobra, bringing your hands as wide as the mat, pressing into your palms and lifting through the chest.

But same thing. If my hands are down, I'm imagining pulling the map back to move the heart forward. 3 more breaths. And then you're gonna lower down, stack your palms, rest your forehead on your palms, whisk your hips, side to side. Press back into a child's pose. I like my knees wide.

Hips to the heels, arms forward, forehead comes down. And just a few breaths here to come back to the imagination to move the crown forward. And to move the tail back. Press into your left hands and your right hip back to the right heel, Press into your right hand and your left tip back to the left heel. And then slowly slide your hands back.

Bring your knees together. Set up on your heels. Reach your left arm up to the sky. Simple twist. Left hand on the right knee or right thigh, right hand behind you. Nice tall spine.

Let the twist come from the left side of the belly turning to the right. Chin softly into the chest of the sides of the neck or long. And then we'll come back to center. Reach your right arm up to the sky. Bring your right hand to your left knee or left thigh.

Left hand behind you, lift the chest up, and turn from center, right side of belly over the left side. And then come back through sensor. Bring your hands right into the center of your chest. Close your eyes and bow your head in towards your heart. And just feel all of that space that you have opened up from the crown of the head all the way out the tail.

And honor your practice today with gratitude. Thank you for sharing your time with me today.

Comments

Jenny S
4 people like this.
In a nod to its title, this class had one of the most imaginative opening sequences I can remember in 25 years+ of my yoga practice.  And while this was a cerebral practice, I also found it to be very grounding.  I can only “imagine” what an hour-long practice with you is like! A heartfelt thank you ❤️🙏🏻
Justin R
2 people like this.
Jenny S Thank you so much for practicing with me!  I'm so glad that you found the grounding quality in the practice, this is one of my go to sequences when I need that grounding.  A heartfelt thank you for your wonderful comment! Much gratitude to you for practicing with me! 
Angel
3 people like this.
Such a gift of a practice, thank you for the imagery and the pigeon opener. This was a great way to start the day. 
Lauri K
3 people like this.
Loving you Thanks
Justin R
2 people like this.
Angel Thank you so much for practicing with me! I'm so glad you enjoyed and it was a great start to your day. 
Justin R
2 people like this.
Lauri K Sending you a big virtual hug! Looking forward to practicing with you more. 
Annalu V
5 people like this.
Loved this class and will definitely come to it again! It provided the perfect amount of challenge and awareness for my morning yoga routine. Justin - the way you teach is heartfelt. The instructions are on top and, as a latina, the"inner salsa" comment made me smile! Looking forward to explore other classes with you. 
Justin R
3 people like this.
Annalu V Thank you for joining me for the practice, I'm so glad it was the perfect amount of challenge and awareness for your morning routine. Looking so forward to having you join me for the other practices! 
Christel B
2 people like this.
Love your innovations. Amazing so much in 20 minutes. Makes the body feel alive.
Kate M
2 people like this.
Nice cueing in this lovely exploration of the expansive quality of the central axis! Thank you : )
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