Practice Room Yoga | Yoga to Wind Down

Practice Room Yoga | Yoga to Wind Down


Hey my friends! Welcome to Practice Room Yoga. My name is Claire, and this is yoga to wind
down. So whether you’re about to go to sleep, or
finishing up a really difficult practice session, this video is designed to help you slow down
your heart rate, turn your focus inward and really calm the body and mind. So, if you like Practice Room Yoga and you
want to help support what I do here, please subscribe to this channel, check out my website,
read my blog, and maybe even subscribe to my email list. It would mean the world to me. And please don’t be afraid to leave a comment
below this video. Let me know what you think, what helped, what
didn’t. And thank you so much for watching! Let’s get started. So, as you can see, you’ll need to be seated
for this video. Go ahead and take a seat, relax, and let’s
wind down together – whether that’s from a chair or a piano bench. So, to begin, to find this comfortable seated
position, I would recommend sitting on the edge of your chair or on the edge of a piano
bench. If you need the support of the back of the
chair, that’s fine. But sitting on the edge of my seat allows
me greater stability in my pelvis, to ground down through my sitz bones so that my spine
can rise up tall. My thighs are parallel to the ground here,
and my knee is stacked over my ankle. So I’m finding lots of alignment in the body. From this place, you can place the palms palm-down
on the knees. Close the eyes, take three breaths here to
really sink in to this space. Notice how you feel right now. Beautiful. With your next inhale, press the palms into
the knees, and allow the pressure of the arms to help you draw the heartspace forward, gaze
turns toward the ceiling. As you exhale, round through the spine, drawing
the heart through this space. You can even use the grip of the hands here
to pull the shoulderblades apart. Inhale as you find a smiley-face shape with
the spine, taking your gaze toward the ceiling. Exhale as you round through the spine. So, if this placement of the hands doesn’t
feel great for you, you can also do this with hands away from your knees, opening across
the chest and rounding. You can even hook the hands together if that
feels nice. I invite you throughout this practice, as
we wind down together, to move as slowly and as mindfully as you can. You may have done cat-cow a few times before,
but what kind of newness can you find here today? What is new? What can you discover? One more breath here. And with your next inhale, find a neutral
spine once again, that comfortable seat. Inhale to sweep the arms out to the sides,
reaching tall, taking up as much space as you possibly can. Take hold of the right wrist with the left
hand. Draw the right wrist over toward the left. Imagine gluing the sitz bones down to the
chair, making a lot of space in the side of the body. Inhale through center. Exhale – switch the clasp of your hands, take
hold of the left wrist with the right hand, reach up and over toward the right. Glue the sitz bones down toward the ground. One more time on each side, moving as slowly,
mindfully, and lovingly as you can. Inhale here. Clasp the hands together so that all of the
fingers are clasped except for the index finger, and then press the index fingers toward the
ceiling. Shoulders can come up toward the ears. Create a lot of heat here in the shoulders
so that when you relax, it’ll feel awesome. Keep alignment in the spine – notice if you’re
arching in the back. Imagine pulling the arms apart here, allowing
heat to build. One more breath here. Exhale to release the arms out to the sides
of the body. Move or shake however you need to. Beautiful job. Slide the hands to the hips, or they can rest
on the thighs if that’s comfortable. Inhale to lift the right leg. If you can lift the leg parallel to the ground,
that’s perfect, but this video is all about winding down – so we don’t want to create
any competitive energy, like “oh, Claire’s lifting her leg parallel to the ground, so
I must, too!” That’s not necessary here. If it feels good to be at a 45 degree angle,
stay right here. Stay where you’re comfortable. From this place, whether hands are on your
hips or on your thighs, point and flex in the foot. Rolling through the ankle, wiggling the toes,
invite a little release and fluidity in the joints of the foot. Beautiful. Draw the knee in toward the chest, clasp hands
on the shin, drawing the knee in close. Maybe this feels nice for your hip flexor. If you’d like to come a little deeper here,
you can take the foot into the opposite elbow and cradle this shin like a baby. Here is one option. Drawing the shin in close to the heart can
create sensation in the hip, or you can experiment with range of motion with a push and pull
here, or just rock side to side. Take a moment to tap into your hips here,
say “thank you, I love you.” Moving slowly and with a lot of intention. Finally, release the shin if you have it in
your arms, and rest the ankle on top of the knee. If you look down at your legs, it looks like
an upside down four shape. Hands can be on the foot and the knee. Inhale to find length in your spine, exhale
as you hinge forward, sending heart toward the shin. This kind of forward fold is very calming
for the body, so if at any point during your day, you are feeling a little stressed or
a little ungrounded, you can always come into some kind of a forward fold – whether that’s
standing and hinging from the hips, folding forward, or sitting down and making it into
this shape. Nose bends toward the shin, you can even send
crown of the head toward the ground. You may feel some sensation in the hip. One more breath. And rise all the way up. Exhale to release the foot from the knee,
return back to your comfortable seat. Check in with your hip, check in with your
energy here. When you’re ready, hands can be on the thighs
or the hips as you lift the opposite leg. Extending that leg long, point and flex in
the foot and ankle, wiggle the toes, extending a lot of love here. How slowly and mindfully can you move? Draw the knee in toward the chest, clasp hands
on the chest to draw the knee in tight, making a little compression in the hip flexor. Feel free to cradle this shin, as well. Send the ankle to the top of the other knee. Figure four shape here – and this may be enough
for you right here. So if you’re like “oh my gosh, I feel a lot
of sensation!”, this video is all about you. So I’m only here to provide suggestions. If you’d like to stay in a seated position,
that’s great. If you’d like to hinge from the hips and fold
forward, heart toward the shin, that’s great too. And if one side feels different from the other
– also great. You guessed it. Find whatever place feels most comfortable
for you. Take one more breath here. Inhale to rise all the way back up to your
seat. Uncross the leg. Send both feet down toward the ground. For our next posture, as you inhale, lift
the left arm up overhead. Take your gaze to your right pinky toe. Send the left hand to the outer edge of the
right foot. Press the palm into the ground. If the palm doesn’t reach, you can hook the
elbow on the outside of the knee, or you can place something on the ground that you can
touch. As you inhale, stack the shoulders, reach
the right fingers toward the ceiling. A little twist – taking gaze toward the ceiling
or the toes. Twists are really good for the digestive system. I’ve also heard them called sponge-wringing
postures – imagine that your internal organs and your spine is a sponge, and you can wring
out everything that you’re carrying with you, everything that you don’t need here. One more breath. Exhale, send the right arm down toward the
ground. Allow the belly to rest on the thighs, heart
on the knees here as you forward fold. Chin can tuck into the knees, crown of the
head melts down toward the ground. Maybe you’d like to shake the head yes and
no, or even clasp hands on the back of the neck to add pressure and release the cervical
spine. One more breath. Inhale to slowly, slowly rise up to your seated
position. Exhale here. Inhale right arm sweeps up overhead. Take your gaze to your left pinky toe. Send your right hand to the outer edge of
the left foot. Don’t forget this is always an option. Inhale to stack through the shoulders, open
through the chest, left fingertips reach tall. Take two breaths here. Beautiful job. As you exhale, both hands come forward – little
forward fold. Invite space in the cervical spine here. Invite freedom through the shoulders, allowing
gravity to take hold. If you’d like, you can also widen the stance
of the feet to allow your body to move through this space. Maybe this is a deeper fold, a little more
inner thigh sensation. One more breath wherever you are. Inhale as you mindfully rise back up to your
seated position. Palms are palm-down on the knees. Eyes can be closed or softly gazing at the
floor. Invite yourself to notice sensation in your
body here. Allow yourself to feel relaxation, to prepare
for whatever is next, whether it’s bedtime or class, some task that you have to do. Allow yourself the next one breath. Gently open the eyes, bringing palms together
at the heart center. Thank you so much for watching Practice Room
Yoga today. Happy practicing, friends.