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“Hi, I’m Lin,” “And I’m Leo. Welcome back to ‘Yoga with Lin and Leo.” Yes and today we’re going through three short… Well it’s not actually today, [Laughter] but it’s Day one of three short sequences for the change of season. So we hope you’re on your mat.” “And this should get a little bit of energy flowing through your body today.” “You start on all fours, so that’s on the knees and the hands because we’re starting in Adho Mukha Svanasana. So hopefully you’re joining us now. So if you’re unsure of any of these poses please do go to our Pose Directory.

When you’re in this position be sure that you’re getting a really good action in the palm, pressing down into the earth side. Keeping those arms really nice and straight. So the elbows in this pose need to be absolutely locked and strong; because at the elbow there’s a change of direction. So under the elbow it goes down above the elbow, the energy goes right up. Because you’re going to lift up and extend through your spine.

So off you go. So we’re in Adho Mukha Svanasana. For some of you this will be the first Dog Pose that you’ve practiced today, so be sure that you just gradually scan the body. We’ve already talked about the hands, the arms. Now extend all the way through the armpit chest, all the way through the side waist. You can see here, this all needs to extend. And then go on lengthening through to the buttock. Once you get all of that length and you come to a little bit of a boundary, then push those thighs back to get a little bit of action. Action in the legs, pushing the thighs to the bone. Action in the knees, lifting them up towards the thighs. Action in the shins, extending them back to the calves. And then go on, see if you can lengthen the sole of that foot, and finally extend the heels towards the floor. Now this may not happen today, but keep at it, keep the consistency and reach back. And again there’s some ideas to help you with this in our Pose Directory. We’re coming for Uttanasana which is a forward bending action.

Jump or step the feet to the hands. So if you find when you get to this point that your arms are off the floor with the straight legs, and this quite often happens if you haven’t worked the legs so much, then see that your hands go onto your shins. If you have no yoga equipment, don’t worry about it just put your hands to your shins. If you do, if you’ve got two bricks then put your hands onto two bricks.

But when you’re in this position if the hamstrings are really tight, make sure you get this length through the side waist. So you have to see that this extendslike you were in your Dog Head Down (Pose). So with this Uttanasana action be sure that you’re lining your legs up so they’re perpendicular. And the front thigh has got to really support the back thigh. So the front thigh has got to lift so much, these legs have got to be pulling up, so much, so that you can lengthen through the whole of the body. Now once you get that length, push the roots of the thighs back, open the back of the buttock and go on lifting those hamstrings. And be aware of your breath. So once you’ve made those adjustments, just be in this action. Just take one or two inhalations and exhalations. So I’ve kept you here for some time. So we’re going to go a little stage futher. Lifting the abdomen, seeing that the pubic plate, the lower abdominal area, moves towards the sacral area. It kind of fits in like a glove. Don’t push the sacral area out, but see that the whole of the lower abdomen moves in an upward direction.

And now you’re ready at the next step. Walk those hands back towards your feet, the sides of the feet if you can. Notice that Leo’s got her legs hip width apart. Now this is really a good way for working when you’re trying to loosen up the muscles. The classic pose is with the legs together. But be in this position. Now you can see that Leo’s doing a bit of a rocking, and she’s rocking forward and back – I’m just helping her to go forward and back [Laughter}. So this will really initiate those hamstrings and get them moving. But also remember, listen to your body because you are in charge. If you feel that you’re over stretching overdoing, then just go to that stage where you can start to feel a little bit of the hamstring working and see if you can make those adjustments and release a little.

So let the head go down. Now we’re coming up into Utkatasana, so some of you will be familiar with this, it’s Chair Pose. So you will need to take the feet together now. Soften your knees and reach your arms up in line with your ears. So this is quite a challenging action. Keep there, keep the abdomen moving towards the spine, keep the weight back into those heels. Yes that’s it! So we take a little bit longer in these poses so that you get quite a deep action. Keep that chest lifted and now come up to Urdhva Hastasana, which is standing with the arms extending right up. Now keep the length through the side waist as you take those arms down. So take those arms down beside you for Tadasana. So just be in this pose, just recover, be in Tadasana. And start scanning the body from the base. Take the weight right back into the heels.

See that you ignite that abdominal area, that lower abdomen, to lift up. Lift up through the side waist, lift up through those ribs, and broaden across your collarbones. Soft inhale and exhale. Just take a moment or two to listen to that breath. See if you can listen inside, take yourself deeply within. Just soft inhale, soft exhale. Be aware of the breadth and the broadness of the breath as you inhale and you exhale. So we’re going to stand in the centre of the mat now. So hopefully you’re following this routine, come into the centre the mat. And we’re coming for Trikonasana. Be in the centre of the mat, take your fingers towards your chest, take a nice inhalation, jump the legs. Extending those arms then turn the feet to your right. So left foot in, turning the whole of the right foot and leg out. Lift up, chest up, side waist up. So remember all of those actions in that Dog Pose where there was a really nice long extension through the side waist.

Keep that as you hinge at the hips. So grip those hips in, as you extend over. And if again you want more instruction on Trikonasana (Triangle Pose) then go to our Pose Directory. So see that you’re getting this rotation on your front thigh, and see that this front thigh is not dropping down. Leo is going to just show you this drop here – that – Yeah, you see that drop. Familiar? [Laughter] So you’ve got to try to keep this lift in the leg. And just be in this position for several counts. In “Light on Yoga” we normally say 30 seconds but just be here for a few breaths. Inhalation, exhalation. And then when we come out, be mindful. This lower abdomen, (remember what we were saying in Uttanasana), needs to move to the spinal side; to give you that little bit more support, to stop you falling over.

Take a breath in and come up. Come into the centre, and turning your right foot in, your left foot and leg out. Extending up, chest up, releasing the shoulders down – shoulders down, and extend so much. Keep that length as you extend over. Notice that I’m holding Leo’s arm, so that these elbows are locked. These elbows need to be locked, you need to extend right through to the fingers, opening the palms. Be in this position and again keep that front leg absolutely straight and strong and soft inhalation, exhalation. So it’s so difficult to think about your breath when you’re making your adjustments, So just make this next adjustment in your back leg. Keep the energy in the back leg, keep the energy rooting down to the outer foot bone, and now be aware of your breath. Inhale, exhale.

And remember that’s what makes yoga. When you’re in your pose’s that’s when you acknowledge your breath.That’s when you know you’re coming into a yoga practice. Take a breath in and then coming up. Remember the abdominal action. Turning the feet to face forward, bring the legs together. Stand in Tadasana. And just be in your tall Mountain Pose. Scanning the body from the base all the way through the body, all the way up towards the chest. And then be aware of your breath. So at this stage we don’t close the eyes, but we soften the eyes, so that the eyes draw back. We’re still working on non-attachment. You’re not thinking about what’s around you, what needs to be done, what’s been done. You’re in your Mountain Pose being aware of your practice.This is where you’re feeding yourself with your practice. We’re coming for Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose). It’s a little bit tricky one this one. This is when we bring a revolving action into the pose.

So Leo is going to go with her back to you, o she can turn and face you. Okay take a breath in and jump the legs apart. When you turn the feet for the Parivrtta action, turn that back foot in really well This is a very important thing. And then turn all the way round. Just put your hands on your hips for a moment. We are doing that because there’s not much room to spread these arms out here. Now this is a really key point, I want you to remember that when you come into the Parivrtta action, then you’re not dropping this outer left hip. This (hip) stays in Parsvottanasana action. So again, tutorial. When you start to turn, I don’t want you to take your arm up, just turn, turn, turn.

As you hinge forward, in that rotational action do not drop this hip. This hip has got to stay upright. Now take that left hand either to the floor or a yoga brick you can use. But see that you remain in your Parsvottanasana as much as you possibly can.Lifting that lower abdomen towards the sacral area. Go on lengthening from the hip joints all the way through to the chest cavity. And then rotate that top arm, and if you’re able to get that rotation, keep the abdomen lifting. Don’t forget to lift the abdomen. Keep that action. Really solid action in the back leg. This may take a few attempts to achieve. And then taking a breath in and coming up. As you can see, it’s quite a lot of balance involved there. If your heel does come up, then you can always put a yoga foam pad underneath your heel to give you a bit more stability. Come to the other side,. But remember in any of these poses, if your find them challenging, you just keep practicing. Alright, so that back leg is back. Hands on your hips, lifting up through the centre of the body and then getting that rotation Turn, turn, turn, turn, turn, turn, and then extend.

Lengthening along your thigh; so this right side of the waist lengthens along the thigh as you turn, as you turn. But remember Parsvottanasana hips here. And if you’re not sure what that pose is, then go to our Pose Directory. And then get that rotation, get that rotation. Yeah! This is such a good pose for the hips, for the lower back region. It is a fantastic pose so do keep practicing. And it’s really good to blow out the cobwebs and to get the agility in the spinal column. And then extending that arm up, extending. Soft inhalation, soft exhalation. Take a nice deep breath in and come up. Standing up and just digesting.

We’re coming for, shortly, Bharadvajasana. Now you can see we haven’t got any equipment today, so we will show you without equipment. But we will show you exactly where you would need to have a prop and of course, if you’re not sure, I’ll say it again [Laughter]- the Pose Directory!” “The Pose Directory is a a really good resource if you’re not familiar with any of these poses. Just have a look at our playlists and you’ll find it in there.” “Okay so just recovering in your Tadasana. Lifting up and again make those facial features really nice and soft. So we’re practicing yoga – so we have to keep the softness in the skin.

The skin needs to be soft to create movement. Just a few deeper, longer inhalations. Alright so we’re going to come for the floor work now so we’re just coming into one twist, which is Bharadvajsana. When we come for this action the feet go to the left and then we turn to the right. You can see here for Leo, she’s placing…” “Shall I do it from the back actually?” “Yeah that’s a good idea.

So it’s when you place the top foot over the lower foot. Even for many experienced practitioners who’ve been practicing this for a long time, they can still struggle with this pose. And this action. And this foot needs to be in a Virasana action. This little toe needs to move down so strongly. So there’s lots to remember and also, this outer buttock, left outer buttock, needs to be grounded. So this is when we take the hand to the outer thigh and the back hand back. So once you’ve created that space, then we have to work at releasing the tension in the shoulder firstly and then going up from the sacral area. Extend through the spine without overly lifting the buttock. So the buttock stays grounded, and then you keep on lifting through the side waist. Lift up, chest up. Extend. And just keep the chin in line with your chest, just for the time being, until you get a little more extension and a little bit more rotation, and then you can turn a little bit more.

So the full action, see if you can go for that, you’re going to take the arm round and catch. Now if you’ve got long arms, or you’re quite agile, then this is quite an easy action. But we find in the classes that this is really, really tough, for so many people. So we tend to recommend to have a belt around the arm so it brings a little bit more length to the arm, so this is a little bit more achievable. So when you are connecting with it either a belt, or the upper arm, then you do find that is there a deeper sensation and a deeper awareness. Also remember, if your hips are really un-level then do use a support underneath the front buttock. In this case that would be the right buttock. And releasing, and then we take our legs to the right side. So it’s really nice if you do practice with just a little bit of support, to see what it’s like to practice without the support.

So it’s always good to change the way you are practicing. Our body gets very used to the way we work. We’ve always got to keep it really alive and active. So taking your right hand to the outer side of your left thigh, take your left arm round and just be in the initial stages of the pose. Lifting up, chest up. See that the shoulders release down, the shoulder blades down, and keeping that the nice lift. And remember keeping that right hip down as much as you can. Okay so we’re ready for the catching bit now. So see if you can reach around and catch that upper arm, and just keep lifting. Keep the chin in line with the chest, keep open. Keep the chest open. And again the soft inhalation and exhalation. This a wonderful pose to observe your breath. All the twists; it’s really good because you’re in the position. You can then start to find that breath in the pose itself. Releasing. Sitting in Dandasana. Sit in Dandasana. You can see that Leo’s pulling the buttock flesh away from the bone, so that the hamstrings are a little freer. And sit with straight legs.

Bring your toes towards you, extend your heels away from you. Ground down with the thighs and lift up through the chest. Keep the facial features soft and observe your breath. Okay so we’re coming for Savasana now. So you can come into this pose, as you can see, Leo has bent legs. Always come into it with bent legs preferably. And then see that you are extending all of the neck muscles.As you can see, Leo’s got her hands to the base of the skull, and lifting it. And then roll your shoulders back and down so that those shoulder blades are deeply connecting into your back and the chest is lifting. Soften the abdomen and then lift your toes up and slide, with resistance, the legs down towards the floor. And then finally just let the feet move apart. Be in your Savasana. This is the end of the sequencing so just be soft in the facial features, soft around the jawline.

Soft breath, inhalation and exhalation. Stay in this pose, just observing the relaxation and the softness of Savasana. Namaste..

As found on Youtube


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