Sports and Fitness

Day 20 – Pause | BREATH – A 30 Day Yoga Journey

– Hello, everyone. Welcome to BREATH,
your 30 day yoga journey. It’s Day 20. Pause. Let’s get started. (bright upbeat piano music) Okie doke, come on
down to the ground. Let’s sit up on
something if you have it. If you don’t, no worries, but again it is
nice to lift the hips so that the thigh bone and the
knees can drop down in space. So if your knees are up here,
completely normal, we will drop them with
more regular practice. But if your knees are up here, I do encourage
sitting up on something. Sit up nice and tall. Pause a moment out of the
day to pause and check in. I know you’ve been doing a
lot of great physical work, so we’re gonna take a little
bit of a breather, wink wink, today, and kind of stay
off the wrists and the hands, for the most part,
work on breath. But like to start
with a little self massage of the hands and the
wrists and the forearms and even the shoulders. So take your thumb. We’ve done this before. Interlace the fingertips, take your right thumb to
the base of your left palm, just to give you
a starting point, and massage your hand there, and then switch
to the opposite hand and then just
keep exploring, right? Don’t decide where it ends. And you can start to
just bring your focus inward. No need to look at
me unless you want to. Or you can look at Benji, see he brought a
stick to practice today. I tell ya. And after you’re
taking a peek at that, do drop your head, and
just kind of go inward. And I guess what I’m trying to coerce or lovingly
invite you to do is, we’ll see this
little self massage in the beginning
of this practice as a really sweet moment
with yourself, you know? Kind of pausing the busy exterior, all the lovely
things and difficult things that are going on outside
the four corners of the mat. And for this pretty
swift practice today, just really
relishing in the pause, the moment in between,
what is happening, you know, before you get on the mat
and what is going to happen after you step off the mat, really relishing in this
magical moment in between. Fingertips can crawl on up to
the neck, the shoulders, traps. Maybe even the
muscles of the chest. And then when you’re ready,
you take your hands. You’re gonna
separate at the index finger and middle
finger here if you can. And we’re going to bring
it just underneath the ears. And you’re just going to massage
a little up and down here, relaxing the jaw. If you really want
that good lymphatic drain, you can trace
the fingertips down. Oh yeah. And then we’ll
release that, finish up, and then we’ll release that. And then we’re going
to uncross the legs, bring the soles of
the feet together. Bring the hands to the ankles. If you want to sneak in a
little foot massage here, you know what? Let’s just do it. Let’s get a little
foot massage in here. A little goes a long way. Maybe ankle. And then eventually
we will grab the ankles, loop the shoulders
forward, up and back, find that lift in the front body and then actively anchor down through the tops of the thighs. So let your legs
get really heavy here as you come into Cobbler’s Pose. Lift and lengthen from
the tip top of the head and energetically, right,
we are always kind of considering the energetic body as we move in and
out of these gestures, these shapes with our
breath to find more support. Lift up from the pelvic floor. Think about your
awareness or your energy lifting you all the way up
through this center plumb line. So we have the alignment,
we have the action, kind of the, the musculature, but we also have
the awareness of energy that can support
us and hold us up. Period. (chuckles) Okay, that’s the
end of that sentence. Alright. Take a deep breath in. Exhale, lean forward,
shift forward. Feel these thigh bones
snuggle up into socket. As you look forward,
take a little gander down into your
imaginary pond here. See your reflection. Whisper, “Darn, I’m beautiful.” And then walk your
hands to your toes, send the elbows left to right, and then use this bind to maybe,
maybe, be careful now. Lean a little bit more forward,
get a little closer, get a better look at
yourself and your beauty, that beauty that is just so
unique to you and only you. It’s just incredible. It’s gorgeous.
And then slowly lift back up. Hands come behind us. Walk the feet hip
width apart on the ground. Shift the legs to
one side, any side. Keep the feet wide as
you come back to center and shift to the opposite side, windshield wiper the
legs a little back and forth. I like this move because you get a little bit of a glute massage. Might feel good after
yesterday’s practice. And then we’ll
come into Sukhasana, back to that cross-legged seat. So you can take
variations of half Lotus or Lotus if you like, if
you know what you’re doing. But often I find that
when I’m really wanting to work with Pranayama
it’s best to just have a nice wide base for me. So careful, if you’re
really bound up tight, might just experiment
with a little more space. Lift up through the
front body, breathe in. Ground through the back body. Breathe out. Lift up through the heart,
the armpit chest, feeling that
length in the side body. Good, so today we’re
gonna introduce retention, or that pause, that
moment between the breaths. We call this Kumbhaka in
the hatha yoga tradition. And I think this is really fun. And if you are
already experienced in playing with
breath retention, just use this time
to kind of come into it with that beginner’s mind kind
of really slow everything down and just mindfully experience it maybe as if it were
for the first time. So first let’s just
slow down the breath and make it a little
bit longer here together. We’re going to inhale for
five and exhale for five. I’ll count us out. So one cycle of breath,
just to begin, inhale in through the nose. and out through the nose. And inhale to
start on one, two, three, four, five. Exhale for five, four, three, two, one. Now inhale for one, two, three, four, five. And exhale for five, four, three, two, one. One more like this.
Inhale for one, two, three, four, five. Exhale for five, four, three, two, one. Notice how you feel.
Relax the shoulders. Soften through
the skin of the face. Notice how you feel. Alright, so now we’re
going to add the pause. Kumbhaka, the retention. And this is
going to be in between the inhalation and exhalation and in between the
exhalation and the inhale. So if you think of
it as a circular motion we’re pausing and
holding for a moment at the top and at the bottom of
this circular breath. Let’s play. So we’re gonna
stick with the five seconds or the five count, rather. Here we go. Just inhale, exhale for nothing. Inhale in and exhale and inhale to begin. One, two, three, four, five. Pause, retaining the breath. Exhale for five, four, three, two, one. Beautiful pause. Retain the breath. Full inhale for one, two, three, four, five, pause. Exhale for five, four, three, two, one, pause. Inhale for one, two, three, four, five, pause. Relax the shoulders. Exhale for five, four, three, two, one. Kumbhaka, hold the breath. Retain, shoulders relaxed. Inhale for one, two, three, four, five, pause. Soft fingers here. Hands are grounded
or palms face up. Exhale for five, four, three, two, one, hold. Inhale for one, two, three, four, five, pause. Head over heart,
heart over pelvis. Slow exhale, five, four, three, two, one. Pause. Capture the magic. Inhale for one, two, three, four, five. Kumbhaka. Exhale for five, four, three, two, one. One last slow round. Inhale for one, two, three, four, five, pause. Exhale for five, four, three, two, one, pause. And inhaling nice and easy, letting your breath return to a nice easy
rhythm and easy flow. Let’s turn the palms face up
or down based on how you feel. So start to listen to your body. Do you need grounding? Do we need to surrender
or lift of the heart here? Grounding of the shoulders. Good, and then
dropping the chin to the chest. Bat the eyelashes open. And then gently lift
the head over the heart. And sit up tall. How did it go? I want to know. ♪ I want to know if
he really loves me. ♪ (humming) Alright. So we’re gonna come forward
on all fours nice and slow. And tap into that ocean breath. One Downward Dog, curl the toes, send the hips up high,
head below the heart. Nice and slow. Feel it as if you’re
coming into the shape for the first time. Hug the low ribs in
for a little support and just go through your checklist, your sensation. Notice what it feels
like to be alive today. Notice if this Downward
Dog feels any different. After doing that breath practice,
that pranayama. Lift the hip points
up high, high, high. Breathe in. And exhale to lower the knees. Breathe out. Send the legs to one side. I’m gonna give you the option. You can come to lie
flat on your back here or come right back to your seat. Your choice. And then when you’re ready, bring the palms
together at the heart. What a gift it is to
take a moment for yourself, to have the tools
which we do here together in which we can explore
the practice of really pausing before we react to
things and taking a moment to assess and notice and then move or react, respond, rather, with intention. Benji, come here,
come here, buddy. You want to close
this practice with us? Come here, mi amore, come here. Come with us. So, yeah,
so there’s a lot of ways we can interpret
these themes on purpose, especially with this
particular 30 day series. And I love this one
because it will start to bleed into your
day moments of pause, and it could be, yeah,
before you react to something. It could be just to notice how blue and
beautiful the sky is or how sweet someone
looks folding their laundry or hanging their
laundry on their patio. Could be, you know,
witnessing the journey of a bug on the ground. Just kind of pausing
to be present, right, in, in whatever’s
right in front of us. Instead of constantly
seeking and constantly reacting. There’s a lot there. I could go on and on,
but you don’t need me to. You have it all within. And I hope you enjoy exploring moments of pause off the mat. I’ll see you tomorrow. We can now play with this
breath retention together. ‘Til then, let’s lift
the sternum to the thumbs or the thumbs to the third eye. Take one final
breath in. Breathe in. Pause, hold it. And exhale to bow the head. And whisper, Namaste. (bright upbeat piano music)
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