Hi Yogi, it's Bri. Welcome to Movement Flow.
In this class, I'm going to lead you through a sweaty, but accessible flow
where I'll make sure to give you some beginner modifications and variations.
Let's get started!
Let's get started in Child's Pose.
Bring your big toes to touch. Your knees can be together
if you're looking for more support in the back of your body.
If you want some more space the knees can be apart.
Take your torso over your thighs
and your arms forward, your forehead down onto the mat.
Relax your arms first,
just allow the skin on your forehead to gently crease towards your nose.
I will offer a couple of Child's poses throughout the flow but just know that
anytime you need a rest feel free to come back to this position.
Let's use this pose, the first pose in our practice, to just bring our awareness into our body,
onto the mat, into the practice.
One of the best ways to do that is to bring your focus toward your breath.
In yoga we use the ujjayi breath,
restricting the muscles just slightly at the back of your throat so you can slow down
your inhalations and your exhalations and quite possibly even make them as equal
as possible in length
With each inhalation, imagine you're inhaling this very present moment right
here on the mat. With each exhalation trying to create a little more space
between you and your distractions
And just to create a little more space between us and those distractions, let's take a clearing breath.
Inhale fully - open your mouth - sigh it out.
And now that we're here on the mat I invite you to join me in tabletop position.
Coming on to your hands and your knees,
hands underneath your shoulders, knees underneath your hips.
We spend a lot of time on our hands in our practice, so just make sure you're bringing awareness
to the correct alignment for your foundation. Hands shoulders distance,
index fingers forward, fingertips grip, base knuckles root down, really squeeze
in with your hands and your forearms, take a deep breath in and as you exhale
push down through your hands, draw your ribs and navel in, your chin towards your
chest, spread your shoulder blades round. Then begin to inhale and do the exact
opposite. Tilt the sitz bones up, pull your chest through the gateway of your
shoulders, maybe even look forward. We'll take a couple more rounds like that.
Exhale round, inhale back bend. So you really want to feel as you back bend the
muscles in your back engage and as you round exhale the muscles in your front
engage. One more round inhale the muscles in your front lengthen, the back engages.
As you exhale round the muscles in your front engage contract and the back lengthens.
Great way to mobilize the muscles around the spine. Inhale to a
neutral spine, move your knees back just slightly, tuck your toes under and exhale,
lift the knees up just a little bit - I know this is hard but keep your
attention in your base knuckles, push down, grip firmly with the fingertips, and
keep that action of gripping down as you press the
chest back and lift the hips up. Keep your knees slightly bent if you're extra
tight in the back of your body. Now keeping your right knee bent straighten
your left leg, bring your left heel towards the mat. It doesn't matter if it
touches or not just stretching into the calf and the hamstring, inhale back to
the balls of your feet. This time bend your left knee, straighten your right leg
rooting down through that right heel whether it touches or not doesn't matter.
And then a little bit faster switching sides, switching sides, all the while
still feeling the attention in your hands, fingertips grip, base knuckles root
down, then inhale rise high to the balls of both feet lengthen through the sides
of your body, sides of the ribs, sides of the waist, keep the ribs and navel in and
then both heels towards the mat. If you find that your heels are hovering, know
that's completely fine, you're human, and that's okay.
Put a little bend in the knees and breathe here.
The first part of our flow is going to be vinyasas.
Vinyasas are a great way to warm up the entire body and as well as begin to link
your breath with your movement, so inhale and shift your shoulders over your
wrists for plank pose. You might need to step the balls of your feet back so that
they're underneath your heels. Now really push down so that the shoulder blades
spread wide for a bit of a high plank, that'll help you hold it. Keep the ribs
and navel in and even engage your glutes to help hold up from the center of the
body. Now for chaturanga, that yogi push-up, shift forward to the tips of
your toes, put your knees down, keep the ribs in as you draw the shoulder blades
down and bend your elbows. Elbows really begin to squeeze into the side ribs
shoulders in line with the elbows. Put your pelvis all the way down, untuck your
toes and inhale, lift your heart up into your Cobra position. Your pelvis stays on
the ground, your shoulder blades move down the back, and your shoulder tips
move back. Inhale, exhale, keep the knees down, push back in to Child's Pose. My hands and my arms
were burning, so I'm sure yours are as well. Relax the arms for a second.
Relax the whole body, take a deep breath in, sigh it out, back to downward-facing dog
tuck the toes under, inhale, exhale, downward facing dog.
One more vinyasa really linking breath with movement. In fact, let your breath
guide your movement. So begin to inhale, shift into plank pose, as you exhale
shift forward to the tips of the toes, bend the elbows, chaturanga, knees can
always come down. You can have the hips down and lift up into Cobra, great
modification if you're just starting out with these back bends or push down to
the tops of your feet, lift the knees up, the pelvis up, and pull the shoulder tips
back as you drive down through the hands, upward facing dog, looking forward is way
more comfortable for the neck, but traditionally we look up. Exhale, use your
core lift the hips up, downward facing dog,
great job let's get off of our hands. Feet hips distance apart,
walk your hands back towards your feet, a little bend in the knees if you're extra
tight, grab a hold of opposite elbows and just fold down.
This is one of my favorite poses. It's a great way to get rid of that tension that lives in the
muscles around your spine, your shoulders, your neck, your hips, your legs, even your
calves and your ankles. So keep that bend in the knees if that feels better
especially if you're more perpendicular to, or parallel to the ground I should
say with your spine. Bending the knees gets you to fold a little bit more. If
you want to deepen the sensation of the stretch you can begin to lift your butt
up towards the sky, lift your quadriceps, your kneecaps, feel
the tone in the front of your legs that'll protect the stretch in the back
of your legs. Then fingertips underneath your shoulders or on your shins, this is
also great, especially when you're looking for that flat back but you can't
reach the ground. Find the flat back, inhale and then
exhale, put a big bend in your knees, fold over the legs, let your head hang.
Use your next inhalation to slowly drive down through the heels, unravel and roll
all the way up towards standing. I like to keep my chin to my chest just to
stretch the muscles around my neck, and then then slowly lift your chin. Roll the
shoulders back and let's walk to the front of our mat to begin Surya Namaskar A.
I'll make sure that the pace stays a bit more accessible and giving
you some of those modifications that are important for you at this stage in your
practice. Remember that keeping your big toes
touching and a little space between your heels in Tadasana Mountain Pose is the
traditional stance if you need a little more stability and space feet hips
distance apart, hands by your side, turn the hands out,
inhale, sweep the arms out to come up, bring the palms to touch and exhale, you
can always fold with your hands coming through prayer down through center, or
you could even fold by turning your hands out and diving down, it's really
just up to you, I think it's just more style points. Inhale to a flat back,
exhale, step back into plank position, hand's underneath the shoulders first
balls at the feet underneath your heels. First shift the shoulders past the
wrists, then put your knees down, shoulder blades down the back, ribs in, chaturanga
dandasana, inhale, remember you can always do Cobra, make sure to push down through
the feet, roll the inner thighs up so you don't hurt your low back or upward
facing dog, exhale, downward facing dog.
Coming back to the alignment points that stick for you is going to be so
important. Those are your building blocks, so I'm telling you a bunch of things
throughout this practice, but you might really get one or two things. Stick with
that, come back to that like a checklist and then once those become second nature
then you can maybe adopt a few more. Grip firmly with the fingertips, spread the
shoulder blades wide, ribs and navel in, bring your feet together because we need
to make our way to the front of our mats. Look forward as you inhale, come to your
toes, then bend your knees. For this first one, I invite you just to take a few
steps towards the front of the mat. The more you can push through your hands and
lift your hips the easier it is to bring your feet forward. Big toes touching,
little space between the heels, find the flat back, so if you can't reach the
ground remember fingertips on the shins. Inhale, little bend in the knees if
needed, exhale, fold it down, inhale to rise all the way up to standing
sweeping the arms out to come up, exhale, to bring the hands down you can always
come straight back down through center, feels like the easiest. Sometimes you'll
see people from the top bring the hands turn them out once again and bring them
all the way back down. Style points, but also the more you take your arms out and
around, the more mobile you make your shoulders, so if that's what you're looking
for do that. Let's do another round, inhale, arms reach.
Choose - are you gonna come down through center or are you gonna sweep the arms out wide and dive down?
Fold. Inhale to a flat back, now if you're taking your hands to your shins
in the flat back before you step back to plank you need to bend your knees, put
your hands down and step back into that plank position. Plank is not just about
your arms, it's also about your legs and your hips, so really squeeze your butt,
pull the navel in, then shift to the tips of the toes, either knees up or down
chaturanga, exhale, Cobra or upward facing dog, exhale, downward facing dog.
You'll notice on the last round I did a lot of talking in the downward facing dog and
this is because down dog is a great intermission between all of that
movement and that's a great thing about yoga is that we could move and flow and
then we can also hold, and it's when we hold
these postures that we're really challenging ourselves to stay present.
So breathe here, remembering that being a beginner means that you have the
opportunity to choose the variations that work for you and you can still do
that throughout your practice even as you advance to doing handstands or arm
balances, you don't always have to do the hardest variation. So in the last round
we stepped forward. I invite you to keep stepping forward if that's calling you.
You can also jump forward, so if you're gonna do that, bring your feet together,
shorten your stance a little bit, look forward, come to your toes, inhale, bend
the knees. You don't have to jump that high, just bring your heels to your butt
and land with bent knees. That'll stop you from landing with a big crash on the
ground, then inhale to a flat back, hands on the shins is fine or on the ground,
exhale, fold, bring some awareness to your feet. What are they doing? Are they
together? Are they hips distance apart? Are they still parallel? Put a little
bend in your knees, inhale, sweep the arms all the way out to come up, exhale. You
choose, more mobility in the shoulders? Take the arms around to come to the
heart. Great job, one more round. I'll introduce to you a little more
about the jumping and the reason why I want to do that in a beginner flow is
because if you practice in studios or even in other programs here on Alo Moves,
you're going to see people jumping back and jumping forward and I just want
to let you know that's fine you can do it, but how to do it safely and whether
you even need to do it at all. One more round, inhale, arms reach out to come up,
exhale, fold any way you want, down through center or arms out wide.
Bending the knees is always welcome, inhale to a flat back, hand's underneath the
shoulders or on the shins, step back or actually we're gonna jump, that's what I
said before so if you're going to jump- and you might just sit down and take a
quick look - what you'll notice is that you might see people jumping back into
plank, and the problem with jumping back into plank is that a lot of compression
goes into the low back. We want to jump back into chaturanga,
so that our arms, the muscles in our arms become our shock absorbers. So what
I suggest you doing is planting your hands flat down, bending your knees and
squatting low, feet together. Start, because you want to land in bent arms
you're going to lean forward and start with your arms slightly bent already,
then jump back, inhale, upward facing dog, and then exhale, downward facing dog.
You're doing great, remembering that you have so much
opportunity to learn new things, apply them to your body, choose the things that
work for you. You might be using your eyesight quite a lot at this stage in
your practice. You might be turning your head, looking up at what I'm doing rather
than listening to what I'm saying, so I invite you for this last round of Surya A
to really try to use your your listening skills so that you can really
be present in your body rather than allowing your eyes to distract you.
Bring your feet together. You choose whether you want to jump or step forward.
With your strong arms, look forward, come to your toes, inhale, bend your knees and
either step or hop to the front of the mat, landing with bent knees if you hop.
Inhale to a flat back, fingertips either on the shins or on the ground,
exhale, fold, remembering bent knees are always welcome. Inhale, reach the arms out
to come up and for this one exhale hands straight down through center to your heart center.
Wonderful job. Just take a moment to bring your attention back to your breath.
My hands are still at my heart center but you can always rest them by your
side if that feels more comfortable.
Then let's move on to Surya Namaskar B. If your eyes are closed, open them.
Tap the ground with your fingertips and bend your knees. Now take a moment to look at your feet.
This is a great way to see if your feet are doing what they should,
what they are supposed to be doing. If they're not parallel, if they're
kind of between hips distance and feet together, pick one. Big toes
touching, little space between the heels or feet hips distance. Move the weight
back into the heels, sit low, squeeze your butt and reach your arms up,
utkatasana, chair pose. Arms nice and strong, try to find the length in your arms
from the sides of your waist. Inhale, exhale, fold down,
inhale to a flat back, step back to that vinyasa. You can always jump back as well.
If you're stepping, it's to plank. Shift to the tips of your toes, chaturanga,
shoulder blades down, inhale, Cobra or upward facing dog, exhale, lift your hips
up, downward facing dog. Bring your feet together, your knees down,
hips back, take Child's Pose.
Just relax your arms, your forehead can relax, it's
so important to rest in between because as we're learning all of these new
things, sometimes our body goes into autopilot. We're really not, as we get
tired and fatigued, we end up not doing the right thing. We end up not too
connected to our body. So just take a moment rest, and if you really don't want
to rest, you can hold your downward-facing dog.
Now stretch the arms forward, inhale, lift the hips up as you tuck your toes under, downward facing dog.
Let's continue through this first round of Surya Namaskar B. Bring your feet together.
Shorten your stance just slightly, engage your core and inhale,
lift your right leg up. So important to engage the end of your right leg, so the
toes. It doesn't matter how you're doing it - if you point, if you flex, if you
dorsiflex and spread your toes - it really really helps to find that length
that's needed. Now lift up onto the ball of your left foot, lift your right leg up
higher, inhale and exhale, pull your right knee into your chest. We're gonna step it
forward. The key to this is really pushing down, lifting the hips up, flexing
your right foot, stepping the right foot forward, and if it doesn't quite get
there, grab the right ankle with the right hand, move it forward. Let's warm up
the legs a bit. Place your left knee down onto the ground, make sure your feet are
hips width apart. The left knee is behind the point of the
left hip and if your knees are a bit tender you can always fold the mat over
like so and place your knee on it. Take your hands onto your right knee,
push your torso up over your pelvis, lift the lower belly then inhale, reach your
arms up. I like to keep my left toes tucked under, it keeps the weight off of
my left kneecap, but you can always untuck the toes, that does tend to change
the shape of the kneecap, and for some make it more comfortable. Try to squeeze
the inner thighs together, take a deep breath in, lengthen up through the sides
of the waist and exhale, take your hands down onto the ground. Stay on the
fingertips though. Tuck your left toes under, lift your left knee up off the ground,
making sure the right shin's in a straight line, the left heel is right
over the ball of the foot. Put a little bend in your left knee, try to find your
balance as you inhale, rise the torso up over the pelvis. You're probably feeling
that right quad working. Make sure the hamstring's working, squeeze the glutes
together and maybe if it's accessible to you, straighten the back leg, so press the
left heel back, lift the inner left thigh up, try to smile, take a deep breath in,
lift the chest, exhale, take your hands down, step your right foot back into
plank pose. Now I make that transition look really easy. If you're struggling
with stepping back into plank, especially when you're coming from Crescent, place
your back knee down then you can begin to step back, you can step that right
foot back, tuck the toes under, lift the knees up, You can shift the shoulders
over the wrists, knees up or down, chaturanga dandasana,
cobra or upward facing dog, exhale, downward facing dog.
Hopefully you're starting to sweat a bit just like I am. Let's move it to the
other side, you've got this. Bring your feet together,
slightly shorten the stance. I like to rise onto the balls of my feet and then
lift the left leg up. It just gives me so much more lift. Squeeze the inner thighs
together, engage the left toes, pull the navel in, inhale. Exhale, bring the thigh
into the chest. The more you push down through your hands and right foot, the
easier it will be as you flex the left foot to step forward. Right knee comes
down, left shin in a straight line, feet hips width apart. Take your hands onto your left knee,
and push your torso over your pelvis. From here, as you do that, you'll notice you'll probably arch back quite a lot
with the shoulders. Think more about lifting the back ribs up, squeezing the
inner thighs together, rolling the right inner thigh back. Find a comfortable
position for your right knee. Toes tucked under or untucked. Inhale, reach your arms
up, find that length. It's so important even as you stretch into the front of
that right - or the right side of the front of your body, it's so important to
find length in the back of your body. Inhale. Exhale. Bring your fingertips down
onto the mat. Tuck your right toes under, lift your right knee up off the ground.
So we're gonna go for challenging our balance. If you keep the back leg
straight in Crescent pose it also deepens the stretch in the front of the
thigh. Put a little bend in the right knee, drive down through the left heel,
take your hands off the ground. Rise up, arms up into Crescent pose, finding a
focal point or a Drishti, something that doesn't move, out in front of you tends
to help with your balance because it makes you super focused in your body.
Feel the left heel root down, press back through the right heel, lift the inner
right thigh up, find mula bandha - this is pelvic floor
toning. Squeeze the inner thighs together, lengthen the sides of the waist, lift the
chest. Inhale. Exhale. Take your hands down. Step back into plank and remember if you
need some help the right knee can come down, the left knee can step back into a
tabletop leg position, and then you can step your feet back into plank pose.
Remember what these poses are for. Plank is to strengthen your arms and shoulders,
your core, your glutes, and your legs - everything. Then shift to the tips of
your toes, knees can come down, especially at this point. Shoulder blades down, ribs in,
chaturanga, either pelvis down for Cobra or upward
facing dog. Exhale. Downward facing dog. Now I know you're tired because I'm
tired too, but instead of a child's pose, I'm going to invite you just to make
your way to the front of the mat so we can stand in Tadasana together.
Bring your feet together, slightly shortening the stance, look forward as you inhale to
your toes, bend the knees and either step or hop to the front of the mat. Big toes
touching, a little space between the heels. Find a flat back, fingertips on
shins is fine. Little bend in the knees, as you exhale, fold down.
Bend your knees into utkatasana just for a moment -chair pose, fierce pose - and rise all the
way up to standing. Exhale hands to your heart center.
Take a moment, close your eyes, let your hands drop by your side and just feel,
observe the body. Maybe you're sweating a bit, quite possibly even shaking, but the
beauty of it is that you're right here, right now. Your mind hopefully is present.
We'll take one more round, adding on a couple of poses. Open your eyes.
Choose a position of your feet, either together or apart - hips distance. Bend
your knees, inhale, chair pose. As you exhale, fold all the way down.
Inhale to a flat back. Plant your palms. Always feel free to step back, but remember if you're
jumping back into chaturanga, this technique is really great, bend the knees,
bend the elbows, shift the shoulders forward. You're already halfway to
chaturanga, just hop the feet back, then take that back bend of choice. Exhale.
Downward facing dog, lifting your hips up. From your downward facing dog, bring your
feet together, bring your knees down, untuck your toes, shift your hips back.
Take a quick child's pose, remembering why too. You might like making yourself
super tired, but right after a fatigue in the muscles usually comes injury, so
taking a rest allows for you to refocus.
Deep breath in, sigh it out.
Let's keep it moving.
Stretch the arms forward, tuck the toes under, inhale, exhale, lift the hips up,
downward facing dog.
Bring your feet together, slightly shorten your stance,
keep your arms super strong and your ribs in. Inhale, rise high to the balls of your
feet and lift your right leg up towards the sky, engaging the toes. Exhale, bring
your right leg in as far as you can, as tight as you can, lift the hips up, step
your right foot forward. If you can't quite get the foot between the hands,
use your right hand on the ankle, step it forward. Spin your left heel down so that
your left toes face towards around ten o'clock.
Line it up about hips width and distance and inhale, rise up into warrior one.
Reach your arms up. Now the arms up does definitely make the pose, but if it's just too much for you,
and your shoulders are really tight, and you feel really really uncomfortable in the position,
you can always practice it with your hands at your heart or even your hands on your hips. Really beginning
to allow your legs to strengthen in this position, pulling that right outer hip
back and in towards the midline, rolling the left inner thigh back, lifting the
lower belly. Take a deep breath in, bring your palms to touch, and then your hands
to your heart. Turn your torso towards the left and heel-toe your right foot to
the left one step. Turn your left toes slightly out towards the left side of
the mat. Now your pelvis, the front of your hips should be facing around the
left side of the mat to slightly forward. Bend into your right knee. The purpose of
this pose is to open the inseam of your legs as well as the front of the back
leg hip but also to strengthen the front leg outer hip, so make sure you're
feeling all of that. Outer right glute is engaged, bend deeply into that right knee
to really begin to strengthen the hamstring, lift the lower belly and then
open the arms out wide - warrior two. Gazing over your right fingertips, try to
soften the shoulders. Keep the ribs and navel in, bend a little bit deeper, you've
got this. Flip the right palm, take your left hand to that left leg and
straighten your right leg, you deserve it!
Find reverse warrior, try not to turn your chest to the front of the mat. Keep
your chest facing the side of the mat. Inhale. Exhale. Come back to center with
the torso, bend back into the right knee, and windmill your hands down, shifting to
the ball of your left foot. If needed, left knee comes down,
right knee comes down, step back into plank pose through your vinyasa. Knees
can be up or down for chaturanga, find that back bend of choice and downward
facing dog. Doing great, let's go straight to the
other side, keeping movement and flow in our practice. Feet together, slightly
shorter down dog. Rise to the balls of your feet, lift your left leg up, engaging
the toes. Ribs in as you inhale, exhale, bring that thigh as far forward into the
chest, I should say up into the chest, as possible. Step your left foot forward.
Make sure your feet are hips distance apart.
Spin your right heel down and then rise up into Virabhadrasana I. If it's too
much with the arms up or you just feel like there's a lot of tension in your
neck, hands can come down to the heart or the hips, you could even take your arms
out a bit wider, even have them forward, alright. Take a deep breath in, lengthen
up through the sides of the waist, bring the palms to touch. Exhale, hands to your
heart. Begin to turn your torso towards the right now, heel-toe your left foot to
the right one step, so traditionally in warrior two our left heel's aligned with
the arch of the right foot and bend into the left knee. Rooting back firmly
through the outer edge of your right foot and feeling some space along the
inseam of the leg. Lift the lower belly, open the arms out wide, gazing past your
left fingertips, feeling the collarbones smiling open, maybe even the lips curl up
into a smile. Breathe, then begin to straighten your left leg. Flip the left
palm, right fingertips to the right leg. Find a reverse triangle pose, it just
feels really really good. Inhale and exhale. Bend back into your left knee
when milling your hands down towards the mat. Coming to the ball of your right
foot, stepping back into plank any way you like.
Shift forward to the tips of your toes. Bend the elbows, chaturanga, inhale, upward
facing dog. Exhale, Child's Pose.
Great job, Yogi!
You made it. Take a moment, just letting the skin on your forehead crease
towards your nose, relaxing your jaw, and just allowing your ujjayi breath to melt
away, instead just taking normal recovery breaths here, feeling the weight of your
body on your thighs, allowing that weight to be held up by the mat, by the ground beneath you.
Take a deep breath in. Sigh it out.
Bring your fingertips underneath your shoulders. Inhale, sit up. Sit to the side, take your legs out in front of you,
and lie down onto your back.
Hug your knees into your chest. Give yourself a loving squeeze.
Since we were focused mainly on movement in this class, I'm only gonna do one stretch,
but it's one of my favorites. Keep your right knee in, send your left leg forward to straight,
and then begin to shift onto your left
hip as you take your right knee over to the left using your left hand. Open your
right arm out to the right and just begin to twist. It's safer for your lower
back to keep the right shoulder blade down, thinking about lengthening through
the right side of your body and isolating that twist right around the navel.
And inhale, come on back to center, switching legs, left knee in, right leg
extends forward, right hand to left knee, left arm out towards the left. Twist. As
you twist you want to shift on to the right hip at the outside of the hip that is.
Keeping your left shoulder blade down, your jaw relaxed, think about lengthening
through the left side body and twisting around the navel once again.
And inhale, come on back to center. One last little squeeze, pull the knees in, take a deep breath in
and as you sigh it out, relax the legs
forward to straight. Take the feet as wide as the mat, let the feet drop open.
Open the arms out and close your eyes.
Savasana is one of my favorite parts of any practice. Please feel free to stay
here as long as it serves you, as long as you can feel present. If any distraction
comes just acknowledge it and slowly, gently, direct your focus back to this present moment.
Thank you so much for practicing with me.
See you again soon. Namaste.