Best yoga poses for vulnerability 2020

Hello everyone. Welcome today we have a beautiful practice for vulnerability. So if you have a towel or a blanket and you want to bring it to practice, please do. If not, no worries. Hop into something comfy and let’s get started. (upbeat music) Okay, welcome. So if you brought a towel or a blanket to the practice today, you can go ahead and lay it out on your mat, perhaps for this first bit because we are going to begin today’s session in fetal position. So take your time coming down to the ground, and you can choose which side, left side or right side. And just gonna come to lay on your blanket or on the mat. And whatever arm is down, you’re going to use that one, bottom arm, as a pillow. And if you can, right, every body is different. So honor your body and the shape of your body here right away. But to the best of your ability, think about creating a

little curvature in the low back by bringing the knees up. So you don’t have to come super tight. Right, we can kind of honor a little bit of space for the belly. Let’s actually do that, all of us, embrace that gesture, that loving gesture. But best you can, bring the knees up just enough so you feel a little bit of length in the low back. Alright, and then just take a second to get settled in here. Can allow your top arm to rest wherever feels good. Either gently on the ground, maybe on the hip, the thigh, the booty. (chuckles) And here we are, man. We’re doin’ it. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath in. And as you exhale, my darling friend, just start to notice. Notice how you feel. And if you ever need to make any adjustments here, listen, listen to your body, even if they’re small so that you can kind of soften into this first shape.

Whatever brought you to this practice today, trust it. And let’s lean in. Often we get to a place where we feel vulnerable and it can be scary. (chuckles) If not downright frightening, so this practice is designed or the intention is to kind of hold you and support you in that vulnerability so that you can learn from it. Use it. Find what you need from this place of embracing vulnerability. As you’re ready, I’ll invite you to take a big breath in through your nose. Deep, deep, deep breath. And just feel the ribcage kind of expand as you breathe in. Feel a lift almost. And then notice the softening as you breathe out. This gentle fall of the breath. So we’re just going to kind of play with that, exaggerate that a bit. Again, a big inhale in. Feel the ribcage expand. This gentle lift. And a long breath out. And just notice the softening there, the fall of the breath. One more just like that. Big inhale. Feel a little bit of an expansion there. And on the exhale, soften. Wonderful. Just take one more cycle of

breath here on your own just to listen. What are you feeling? What are you coming on to the mat with today? Is there a pattern there that when you feel vulnerable, you tend to do the same thing each time? Whether it’s avoiding it, avoiding feelings of discomfort or sensitivity. Just notice how you feel. Then on your next breath in, begin to open your eyes. As you exhale, press the top hand into the earth first, and then the bottom hand and nice and slow move like you love yourself, you’re gonna slowly, slowly come up to a nice cross-legged seat. If you have a blanket and you want to use it here, you can double up on the blanket or towel to give a little lift in the hips. Then we’ll sit up nice and tall. Find that beautiful length through the crown. And even though for the most part, today’s practice is kind of low to the ground, we’re gonna work to really connect to this grounding sensation. So there’s this beautiful balance of embracing this feeling of vulnerability and not sweeping it under the rug but working to kind of use that

acknowledgement of that feeling to create some soft, simple movement that grounds you. So these things kind of working together so that we can propel ourself to the next present moment, which could be a beautiful courageous moment. It could be a beautiful breakthrough of honesty. There’s so many possibilities. Thinking of Bren√© Brown right now, actually. Some of her invitations and thoughts on vulnerability. So that said, we find this lift and length through the crown and we can already here find a little grounding, right? So grounding isn’t always like in a Tree Pose, right? Vrksasana or something like that. Can we find grounding even in a simple seat? Gently lift your sternum up high. Try to grow a little bit taller, a little bit longer through your side body. Whatever that means to you. It kind of just changes the way you carry yourself here, your spine. Then soften your gaze down

gently past your nose or you can close your eyes if you feel comfortable. Gently tuck the chin, finding a little more length in the back of the neck. Inhale in deeply. See if you can find that expansion in the ribcage. This kind of wide feeling as you breathe in, this widening. And then use the exhale to ground down. Dropping the shoulders tagging a little weight in the elbows, perhaps. Feeling all parts of the body that are pressing the earth, pressing into the earth. Continue to gently deepen your breath here and just notice where your thoughts go. And let’s let the practice today be about acknowledging those thoughts, acknowledging the feelings. And just putting a little power, a little love,

 

slow motion here. Syncing up with the sound of your breath. And if you can, soft gaze or close the eyes here so you can really feel what’s going on in the body today. Where you might be tight. Then whenever you’re ready, reversing your circle. Taking it in the opposite direction. And the tempo can pick up just a bit, but maybe it doesn’t, maybe you keep it nice and slow. Excellent, then bring it back to center. Align head over heart, heart over pelvis. You’re gonna take your hands, we’re gonna bring the fingers and we’re gonna bring them right to this strong trap muscle here. So if you are wearing clothes, what are you thinking? Just kidding. Then maybe you get your hands underneath any straps or any clothes and just get the hands on the traps and we’re just gonna kind of squeeze. Allow the shoulders and the elbows to relax down. So instead of being up here, keep them kind of down. And you’re just gonna kind of comb away at this muscle for a couple breaths. If you can try to keep a nice tall lift in the spine rather than collapsed here. We’re finding that inner support system.

That support from within. You can move the head a little side to side. Continue to deepen your breath. Eyes can stay closed here, you can open them and just start to notice the quality of light in the room. I lit a candle today. Maybe any sounds around you. Paying attention to the quality of air. Good, and then when you feel satisfied here, we’ll sit up nice and tall still bring the fingertips to your shoulders. And just a gentle heart opener here. You’re gonna inhale. Kiss the elbows towards each other. If they don’t, if they touch, great, they don’t have to touch though, kiss them towards each other. And then we’re gonna reach all the way up, open the chest, lift your heart up towards the sky, and then all the way back down. Inhale, elbows kiss, come forward. And exhale, up, around and down, down, down. Inhale, elbows come toward each other and lift up and exhale around and back down. Good, one more with the sound of your breath. Excellent, then slowly release fingertips to the earth. Just take a breath in here, inhale. And exhale out through the mouth, let something go.

Just notice how you feel. Acknowledge. Beautiful and moving on. So here we go. We’re gonna just keep the left heel hugging in as you extend the right leg out long. So we do want to invite a nice stretch into the groin here, but this doesn’t have to be like a gymnastics competition. So (chuckles) it doesn’t have to go super wide, it can be narrow. Then we’re gonna flex the right toes up towards the sky. We’re gonna take the right hand and bring it to the top of the left thigh. Just do your best. Then inhale, send the left fingertips up behind the left ear. And then we’re gonna go all the way up and over. And then from here, we’re gonna tilt, tilt, tilt. So we’re not jamming into the posture. We’re coming at it a different avenue, different way. Nice and slow. You’re gonna find this side body stretch. Really feel that length through the left oblique here. And then take your gaze, look down. Inhale. Exhale, draw a line with your nose, look up. Just as far as you can go. Good, and then send your gaze back down. Breathe in. Right foot is still flexed. And exhale to look up. And one more time looking down, breathe in. And exhale to look up. Nice, really feel a contraction in your right side body, your right oblique to maybe stretch a little more on the left side.

Working with opposition here. Beautiful and then slowly bend your left elbow. Let the weight of your left elbow coming all the way down be what brings you back up. Head over heart, heart over pelvis. Turn your palms face up. Take a second here to breathe in. And relax your shoulders as you breathe out. Awesome work. From here, we’re gonna turn our center and the heart center so your core center and your heart center over towards your right foot. And then nice and easy inhale, send both fingertips behind the ears. Think up and over. And as you exhale, draping over that front leg. So, if you’re feeling, if the veil is thin today, just notice how you feel and use these forward folds to kind of get closer to that. And then acknowledge how you feel. At the very least getting an incredible stretch for these big muscles. Finding maybe some relief in the low back. Take one more breath in here. Feel that nice wide expansion as you breathe in. And that softening, that surrender as you breathe out. Awesome, tuck the chin, engage the core. Hug the low ribs in and from here, slowly roll it up. Beautiful, right foot comes in. We’re gonna switch to the other side, send the left leg out. Stick with the practice, stick with the video. Keep using the sound of your breath as an anchor to kind of come back to the present moment.

So take a deep breath in here. Ooh, and a long breath out. We’re gonna flex the left foot and just feel it out. Feel the weight of the body pressing into the earth. If it feels hard to even hold yourself up today, know that you’re not alone. There’s someone else out there also feeling that so stick with it. You’re doing great. Just reconnecting to that inner support system. Sometimes the simplicity of just sitting up tall, right, how powerful that can be and also how difficult that can be sometimes, right? When our hearts collapse and when we feel vulnerable. So this is enough, doing great. When you’re ready, take that left hand to the top of the right hip crease or thigh, or just do your best as close as you can get. And then here we go, left fingertips are gonna come behind the right ear.

 

I like this move. And then we’ll just continue this line all the way over towards the left. Left foot still has energy as I slowly, slowly lean in, feeling that length, that stretch, in the right low back, right oblique, right side body. And send your gaze down. Keep reaching, breathe in. And exhale, draw a line with the nose, look up. Inhale, look down. Reach, reach, reach. Exhale, twist. Spiral your heart up towards the sky. Inhale, look down. Exhale, spiral it up. Good. Inhale, look down. And exhale, spiral it up. Good. Inhale, look down. From here, we’re gonna bend the right elbow, use the weight of the right elbow to bring you back up all the way to center. Head over heart, heart over pelvis. Flip the palms up towards the sky. Just kind of open, receptive, just notice how you feel. Lovely.

From here, we’re gonna send the heart center and the core center towards that left foot. You can kind of turn here. Feel that left femur kind of hug in. And here we go head-to-knee pose. Send the fingertips behind the ears. Inhale to reach up high. Length through the front belly, front body. And then exhale, coming into the fold. You can bend this knee as generously as you like. Let the right leg ground you here. So a little bit of awareness pressing down into the earth. Then come into the fold. Listen to the sound of your breath. Relax your jaw. Trust this time is valuable. To come out into the posture, take a deep breath in. Feel that expansion. Use an exhale to soften. And then slowly roll it up. Beautiful. Center yourself on the mat. Bring the left foot in to meet the right. We’re gonna allow the soles of the feet to kiss together. You can grab onto the ankles here. Find that lift up through the heart. You got it. Inhale in. And then exhale, navel draws in.

We’re gonna round through this spine. You can allow the shoulders to round forward. We’re just gonna let the weight of the head bow towards the soles of the feet. So some practices, we really kind of keep that flat back or we engage the arms to get a deeper stretch in the groin. Just let this be a little more passive, a little more loving. A little more gentle, perhaps. And returning to your inhale. Here we go, big inhale. Big exhale. Big inhale. Long exhale. Great, ground through the sits bones. Ground through the outer edges of the feet. Anything that’s touching the ground here. Press down and from there we rise up slowly, stacking up through the spine. Great, keep the hands on the shins or ankles as you align head over heart, heart over pelvis. Take a deep breath in. Feel that lift. And then exhale, a softening. Awesome. We’re gonna bring the knees together here. Cross one ankle over the other. We’re gonna come forward onto all fours. You can use your blanky here to pad the knees if you like, if it’s there, or you can toss it to the side. Come to Tabletop Position.

Take a deep breath in here. Then you use your exhale to just find that inner support again. So instead of just kind of spilling out, just notice how your body is doing today and then see if there are places where you can just create a little more support perhaps for the low back. Maybe by drawing the ribs in. Feeling that connection to your core, your center. Cool, then from here, walk your hands out in preparation for Downward Facing Dog. Upper arm bones rotate out. When you’re ready to curl the toes under. Inhale in, exhale, keep the knees bent as you peel the tailbone up high. Then bend the knees one and then the other. Keep clawing through the fingertips and see if during this first Downward Dog here especially, you can still keep that connection to the front body, that inner support system kind of hugging up and in to meet the spine. Just play, just explore. Then on your next inhale, let the left heel get really heavy as you lift the right leg of high. Three-Legged Dog.

And then exhale, bring it all the way up and through. Step the right foot all the way up, lower the left knee onto the mat or the blanket and then just hang out here for a second here, maybe finding some soft, easy movement in this nice low lunge. (neck cracks) Ooh. Front knee over front ankle. Return to the sound of your breath. Then here we go. Squeeze inner thighs to the midline, feel that lift up from the pelvic floor. So again, that inner support system coming into play here. Then we’re gonna be brave. We’re gonna be strong, we’re gonna lift our hearts to the sky. So on an inhale, send your fingertips forward, up and back. Strong here from the base of the spine, we lift up, nice Crescent Lunge. If this is too much, hands can be in prayer at the heart, or maybe hands at the waistline, just for a little more stability. Now breathe here. Inhale to feel the ribcage expand.

 

And exhale to find a softening, maybe relaxing the shoulders a little down away from the ears. Good, from here, palms are going to come together. Check it out, left elbow over towards the right knee. Do not crank here. Nice, easy, gentle twist. So remember we moved the head earlier, think about drawing a line with your nose all the way past your right elbow. Good, inhale in here to grow a little long, longer and taller in the spine. And then exhale to release. Fingertips come to the earth. Pull the right hip crease back. Should feel good in the left hip crease, too, to pull this back to this runner’s stretch. Just for one cycle of breath here, flex your right toes towards your face. Inhale in. Exhale out.

Awesome, then plant the palms here. Come back to that nice low lunge. You’re gonna bring the right hand over to meet the left. Little Lizard variation here. Inhale in, look forward. Exhale, come right back to all fours. Hmm, good. You can take a couple circles in the hips one way and then the other. Keep noticing how you feel. Hmmm. And when you’re ready to walk the hands out. Upper arm bones spiraling out. (laughs) Spiraling out? That’s me! Just kidding. Externally rotating out left to right. So biceps are shining towards the front. Let’s play with that today. Curl the toes under.

Hug those low ribs in and when you’re ready, inhale, use an exhale to peel it up. Nice bent knees as we lift up to Downward Dog. When you get there, pedal it out. Inhale deeply. And exhale completely. Okay. We’re moving it around. Here we go. Anchor through the right heel. So ground through the right heel first. That’s your anchor. Then inhale, lift the left leg up high. Exhale, step it all the way through. If it doesn’t make it in one step, use your left hand to guide it all the way up, no biggie. (floor creaks) What’s up creaky old floor comin’ to play? And here we are. In this present moment, just find a soft sway, maybe just an easy movement left to right. Stick with it, you’re doing great. Find your breath. And let’s engage front knee over front ankle. We’re gonna squeeze inner thighs to the midline. You literally feel this slight zipper up effect, right? We’re kind of lifting from the pelvic floor, finding that inner support system and then from there, everything starts to kind of hug in and that’s where we lift fingertips forward, up and back or maybe hands at the heart or hands on the waistline.

Breathe here. Opening up, fully vulnerable. (laughs) Lifting the heart to the sky. Long Puppy belly. Take a deep breath in. Feel that lift, that inner support system coming to play. Feel things turn on and then exhale, feel that soften. Relaxing any tension. Good, inhale in again. And exhale, palms are gonna kiss together and nice and easy, bring the outer edge of the right elbow to the outer edge of the left thigh. And you don’t have to crank today. You don’t even need to try to get the thumbs to the center. Just let this evolve nice and slow. So you’re gonna take your nose and draw a line nice and slow past your left elbow. Then find that wide breath here. Ooh. And slow and steady with the breath out, we will release. Excellent, excellent. Pull the left hip crease back. When you’re flex the left toes to the face. One cycle of breath here in the runner’s stretch. Big inhale. Long exhale.

Good, then rolling through that left foot. Bring the left hand around to meet the right. We’re in a nice, low Lizard here. Inhale in deeply. And exhale. Awesome. Use your hands on the earth and a connection to center to step the left knee back onto the mat or blanket, Tabletop Position. Again, just shake it out here. Bump the hips a little left to right. You can draw circles one way and then the other. Awesome work and then guess what, walk the knees together really together. Inhale in, exhale, send your hips back. And you’re gonna walk the fingertips all the way to the front edge of the mat as you allow your heart and your head to bow. Child’s Pose, your version. Now, let your breath move you here. See if you can feel the skin of the back body stretch as you breathe in. And that softening that gentle just dropping as you breathe out. And that’s it, my friend. A couple more breaths just like that. Feeling the rise and the fall. The rise of the inhale. And the fall the exhale. Couple more breaths here in your own private little love cave. What do you need, what can we just get out? What do we need to just get it all out on the mat? Maybe even leave it on the mat.

Excellent, carve a line with the nose, look forward. Claw through the fingertips, we’re gonna pull our heart forward. We’re gonna curl the toes under, we’re gonna extend the right leg back. We’re gonna curl the toes under, extend the left leg back. What? Plank Pose, why? Press away from your yoga mat. Hug the low ribs up and in. Try to find this hollow body. Gaze straight down. You’re not here for long. Breathing in, find that lift. Even in the hard shape. And then find that soften with this challenge. Soft bend in the elbows as you breathe in, feel the lift. You can exhale, feel the soften. One more time, inhale in deeply. And exhale, you did it. Slowly come to the knees, we’re gonna swing the legs around. We’re going to grab the blanket now, and we’re going to bring it to the front of the hips. You can also use it as a pillow if you need the neck support, but I’m gonna encourage us to bring the weight of the blanket or the towel to the hip creases here as you come to lie flat on your back. Great, and you can even put your hands there for a little more weight here on the hip creases. Or if it feels best to maybe have the hands on the belly or the heart, might give that a try.

Inhale in here. Exhale, relax the weight of your body completely and fully into the earth. Close your eyes. Allow the tongue to gently relax in the base of the mouth here. Soften through your jaw, soften through the skin of the forehead. And after a couple deep breaths here, just allowing the weight of your body to relax fully into the earth. Notice the parts of your body that are being held. By your yoga mat, by the ground. And then see if you can relax into that a little more, whatever that means to you. Maybe softening any areas where you might be holding or gripping. Just see if there’s little more give there. On your next inhale, listen carefully, you can move slow, slowly reach your fingertips up towards the sky. And as you exhale, you’re gonna cross one arm over the other. Doesn’t matter which one. We’re gonna end with a little embrace here. So you might give yourself a hug. And you might be like, “Oh man, Adriene, “this was so good until you asked me to hug myself.” But just give it a go. See what happens. Let’s tell our brains, “It’s all good.

” Even when it’s not seemingly (chuckles) a feel good moment. I’m allowed to feel the way I’m feeling. Take one more moment here to feel your own embrace. And then slowly, we’ll release. We’re gonna hug the knees up into the chest. So if you have the blanket, you can pull it to the side. Then from here, turn onto one side, any side, back to that fetal position. And if it feels appropriate for you, if not, it’s okay, but if it feels appropriate for you, begin to gently lift the corners of the mouth just slightly. Notice what thoughts come up here. And then using the top arm to press into the earth first, bottom arm to press into the earth second, we’ll rise back up to our seat. Bring the palms together in prayer. Thank you so much for sharing your time and your energy and yourself. You’re honest to God self with me and with all the beautiful people practicing around the world together. Let’s take one final breath. Inhale in. And exhale to bow. Take good care. Namaste.

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