– Howdy, everyone. Welcome And today we have a yoga to heal stress. So I need it, you need it, he needs it, and together we’re going to get it. So bring a pillow to class today if you have one. If you don’t have one, don’t worry. If you want to be extra though and bring two pillows, bring one for your neighbor, just kidding. It doesn’t really work on a digital platform, does it? Or does it? Hop into something comfy and let’s get started. (upbeat music) Alrighty, my darling friend, let’s begin today’s practice in Extended Child’s Pose. So if Extended Child’s Pose is not awesome for you, you can just start today’s practice in a nice comfortable seat of your choice. Benji has selected this shape.
You can select your shape to really just get comfortable and find your breath and tune in, because today’s practice is of course an invitation to really look at the ways in which we might be stressed. And understand and remember that we always have an opportunity to tend to that, to circle back to that awareness, and eventually to heal from that so that we don’t get really sick. Okay, let’s not worry about all that for now.
Let’s start with just tuning into the breath in an effort to bring more loving awareness to our life. Shall we? In your comfortable seat, in your Benji pose or if you want to join me in Extended Child’s Pose, take a second to get settled in. And once you’re there, right away bring your awareness or your attention to your breath. And really, don’t skimp out on yourself here. Right away listen.
What’s it like today? Is the breath shallow? Is it hard? Remarkably sometimes it’s hard to breath. And let this invitation to focus inward on your breath, let it do its thing. Invite more presence into the body by allowing one moment to simply bleed into the next. So you start by noticing the quality of your breath. But then that might inspire you to reach the arms a little wider, to notice if you feel a bit tired, to notice if you actually wanted a fiery practice today but you find yourself here, maybe you can trust that you might need this too. Now gently begin to deepen the breath. Notice the thoughts that come up here. And you know what to do, but I’ll just remind you. As those thoughts come up, because they will. It’s just a matter of if it’s five times or 500 times in our practice here today.
As the thoughts come up, acknowledge them, notice them, and then return back to your breath. And that’s the dance that we’ll practice. That’s the dance that we aim to get good at. Continue to gently deepen your breath. Notice how you feel. Is there love in your heart today or are you tender hearted? And yes, of course, you can be both. And if you’re like, “I just want to chill my nervous system,” “Get a nice little stretch in,” that’s great too. Wherever you are, take one more cycle of breath to really land. Then slowly we’ll carve a line with the nose to look forward. And ever so slowly press in to the tops of the feet and from your heart, lift forward. Walk the knees underneath the chest.
I said chest. Walk the knees underneath the hips. Sorry, I got distracted because what I wanted to tell you was after you walked the knees underneath your hips, carve a line with your nose to look to the screen.
And look at Benji’s paw on my hand. Alright, now bring your gaze straight down. Spread the fingertips evenly. Walk your wrists underneath your shoulders. Let’s move with the breath, so synchronize the breath with the movement and the movement with the breath here as you inhale, drop the belly, open the chest, look forward. Broaden through the back of the neck, so careful not to crunch. Then exhale, round through the spine, chin to chest. Really create a contraction in the center of your being as you broaden through the upper back body. Let the neck kind of hang here and the head be heavy. And then here we go. On an inhale, drop the belly, open the chest. Let your heart open forward, forward, forward. And then exhale, tailbone goes down, chin to chest.
Breathe out. Inhale, drop the belly. Exhale, round. Inhale, claw through the fingertips, open the chest. Exhale, claw through the fingertips, navel draws up. Inhale, last time, drop the belly. Exhale, chin to chest. And now just take it off the railroad tracks a little bit here, bumping the hips a little left to right, finding a soft or generous bend in your elbow. Checking in with your hips, your shoulders, just kind of going freestyle a little bit here today. And see if you can soften your gaze and start to move with the sound of your breath. You can curl the toes under here, checking with the feet, checking with the neck. Get a little freaky here. Find what feels good. And then bring it back to Tabletop Position, nice, neutral spine. And we’re going to slowly press the left foot into the ground, curl the right toes under and send the right toes out. Right heel, really reaches, extends back. And you’re going to work to press into your right pinky toe so that your right ball and socket can really get snugly here.
Right thigh bone, femur, down towards the ground. Then rock front and rock back, rock front and rock back. And the next time you rock front you’re going to drop your elbows exactly where your hands were. Then interlace the fingertips out in front. So now I’m on my forearms. Good, you’re going to lift the right toes now, bend the right knee, press into your left foot firmly. Careful not to collapse into the shoulders here. And then baby pulses here with the right foot up towards the sky, breathing deep. Baby pulses. Gaze is straight down, lifting the right knee. Waking up the body so we’re building a little bit of heat but nice and low to the ground mindfully here today.
Take a deep breath in. Long breath out. One more time. Big breath in. Long breath out. Release, knee comes underneath the hip. We’ll press back up to Tabletop Position. Press into your right foot, curl your left toes under, and send your left leg out. Rock front, rock back. See if you can bring your lower belly in just a bit, hug your low ribs in. So finding that center.
Stretching through the fascia of the foot, the Achilles, the calf. Upper arm bones rotate out. So creating space between the ears and the shoulders, working to create a whole body awareness. Then the next time you rock front, connect to your center. Draw the low belly in, drop your elbows where the hands were. Interlace the fingertips, this time opposite thumb on top, the one that feels kind of funky. Then you’re going to press up and out of your foundation here. I’m pressing into both elbows evenly. So there may be a tendency to rock onto your right side. See if you can hug the midline. We’ll lift the left toes, bend the left knee, and find baby pulses. Yes, this is good for your booty. Yes, this is good for your core. But we’re trying to create a full body experience, right? A 100% full body experience. So tuck your chin, we’re fine. Press into both knees evenly. Find your breath.
If you get thrown off balance, return to the breath. Welcoming that heat. Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in, breathe out. Good, release. Hop back up to the hands. Bump the hips to your left. Turn to look past your right shoulder, yes. Come back to center. Bump the hips to the right, turn and look past your left shoulder. Sweet, come back to center.
Place the hands mindfully. Spread the fingertips evenly. Index fingers pointing towards the front edge of the mat. Claw through your knuckles. Here we go, curl the toes under. Deep breath in. With your exhale, peel the tailbone up towards the sky. Downward Facing Dog. Find what feels good here.
Breathe deep. Close your eyes. Let any stress, tension melt down the back as you continue to firmly press through your hands, working from the ground up here. Inhale in. On your next exhale find stillness. And then slowly release to the ground. Awesome, walk your knees up just a bit. Cross one ankle over the other. We’re going to come through all the way to a nice flat back position. So come onto your back. We’ll join Benji here. Excellent. Then when you’re ready we’re going to plant the palms and slowly lift the right leg up high to the sky. Good. Bend your right knee, squeeze it up towards the chest. Breathe. Then take your right hand. You’re going to grab either your right shin, calf, right ankle, or right big toe. If you want to use a blanket or a strap, even a dishtowel works great here, you can.
We’re going to inhale, start to kick the right toes out towards the right side of your yoga mat.
Use your left hand on the ground or on your left ribcage to slowly, slowly keep a mindfulness in the left hip. So we’re opening up here. You can use a strap, you can use a towel, you can clasp the big toe if you can. If not, just make it your own. We want to just play a little bit here. Don’t have to master the shape. Again, keep a nice firm awareness in the left thigh bone, left hip. Flex your left toes up towards the sky. And then slowly bring it back over. We’re gonna squeeze the right knee up towards the chest once again and then cross it over the body, Supine Twist. Breathe deep here. Close your eyes. Relax your jaw. Then slowly come back to center. Extend the right leg out. Excuse me, extend both legs out. Bring your hands back to the earth. And then keep the right leg extended as you bring the left leg up. Hug the left knee into the chest, breathe. And then here we go grabbing the left shin or calf, the left ankle, maybe grabbing that big toe or using a towel, a tie or a strap.
We’ll start to extend left toes out, up and out. Breathe deep here. Try to keep your shoulders on the ground. And then slowly reeling it all back into center. Keep the right leg extended. And here we go crossing the left leg across the body, finding your Supine Twist here. Breathe deep. Inhale in. Exhale to slowly melt it back to center. From here you’re going to hug the knees into the chest, cross the ankles, grab the outer edges of the feet, and we’re going to rock all the way up to a seat again. Send the legs out long, Paschimottanasana. So here’s where you might want to grab your pillow. Hike the edge of your pillow all the way up to your hip creases. Bend your knees generously. And if you want to use more than one pillow you can. Really bringing the earth up to you to rest your forehead. Alright, inhale in,
reach for the sky. Exhale, draping forward, Paschimottanasana. Start with a nice bent knee. Toes up toward the sky. Heels in line with the hips to start. If you want to work to bring the feet together, that’s up to you. I’m going to go feet hip-width apart. Inhale, everyone look forward. Exhale to melt into the posture. So there’s going to come a point here where you want to get out. See if you can layer in a depth of breath here, that you’re in the breath instead of coming out of the posture. See what happens. Pay attention to that moment between the inhalation and the exhalation here. Soften the skin of the forehead. Lean in.
Check it out, take five more breaths here. Count ’em out. Relax your shoulders. To come out of the pose, move slow. Keep the feet and the legs active. Move down through your sits bones, and with soft fingers tuck the chin and slowly roll it back it up. Bring the hands together at your heart, Anjuli Mudra, and just notice how you feel here in Dandasana. Toes up towards the sky. Inhale in. Exhale, bring your fingertips or your palms down to the earth. And just a couple of seconds here to find soft easy movement in the neck. Cool, grab your pillah, as we say in Texas. Grab your pillow, you’re going to come onto one side, your favorite side. If you have an extra pillow here, you can grab it and use it for your head or your neck. But your main pillow is going to go between your legs. Get comfy. So set yourself up for support here for our final posture, a little relaxation. When you’re ready, close your eyes. Lift the corners of the mouth slightly. And once again, bring your awareness to your breath. Allow your breath to soften and just return to its natural rhythm, its natural flow here. Notice if you might be holding or clenching anywhere in the body.
See if you can soften and relax that too. If it’s bright in your space and you want to bring your top arm over to cover the eyes, you can do that here. And just take a second here to chill. And if you’re already thinking about your next meal, your next task, or your next to-do list item, that’s totally normal, but that’s what we kind of want to get at here today. Just notice if that’s happening. Return back to your breath. Choose to stick it out with me here on the video and with Benji. Commit to your practice. If you’re feeling good here and you have nowhere to be next you might pause the video and stay here for a little bit longer. If you’re ready to rock and roll, let’s slowly take a deep breath in. Use the top arm to press into the earth, bottom arm to press our bodies all the way back up. Move your pillow to the side. Bring your hands together at the heart space. Let’s take one final loving inhale in through the nose. And exhale through the mouth. Inhale to draw the thumbs up to the third eye. And exhale to bow. Thanks everyone. Namaste.