Total Body Stretch Strengthen & Lengthen – Mindful Yoga | Yoga Dose

Total Body Stretch Strengthen & Lengthen – Mindful Yoga | Yoga Dose


– Hey welcome back to Yoga with Tim. Today I’m here with Stacy. She’s gonna be demonstrating the poses and I’ll be teaching you. We’re gonna do some really
nice stuff to open up the shoulders, upper back and the neck, so let’s get started. Start off today lying down on your back. So just lie flat down onto your back. And then take Supta Baddha Konasana, bring the soles of the feet
together, the knees wide apart, and take your arms like
cactus arms out to your side. So a lot of the tension that
accumulates in the upper back and the neck comes from sitting
the way that I’m showing from the upper back being
hunched over and then needing to look at things, the head will
have to like move forward and the upper back stays round,
so you can see there’s like this disconnect from my
upper back and from my head and my neck. So before we started doing
anything advanced in yoga, we wanna be able just to
get the spine to open up and lengthen, so we’re gonna
do some things to help to open up and lengthen the spine today, and then we’ll do some
really nice stretches to help to work out shoulder,
upper back neck kinks. So here we’re just
allowing the chest to open and allowing the belly to
rise and fall with the breath. So this will start to
open up the tight chest, the tight hips. All right so from here, now
being your knees together, and take your feet a little apart. And we’re just gonna start to
do a little cat cow movement for the lower back, so as you
inhale, arch your lower back, and as you exhale, flatten
your lower back back down. Inhale, arch your lower back. Exhale, flatten the lower back. Now let your neck start
to move with this movement so as you inhale, arch your lower back and bring your chin into your chest, do the opposite curve for your neck. Exhale, flatten your lower
back, chin away from the chest. It’s like a wave going through your spine. Inhale, arch your lower back, chin in. Exhale, flatten the lower
back, stretch the chin away. Then come into neutral, and
now we’re just gonna try to undo that forward neck
head carriage that I was talking about, so now gently
tuck your chin into your chest and stretch the back of the
skull away from your butt. And release. Do a few more of those,
tuck the chin into the chest and stretch the back of
the skull, and release. Again, tuck the chin in and
stretch the back of the skull, hold it. And release. One more time, tuck chin in,
stretch the back of the skull. And release. All right now let’s get
a little bit of movement for the hips, so now take the
feet just a little bit wider so they’re about the width of the mat, and now stretch your arms up and overhead, turn the thumbs down into the floor, stretch the arms back. And then re-bend your elbows. All right, now slide your
right knee over towards your left ankle big toe and slide
just the right arm overhead. Reach that thumb through
the floor and stretch down through your hip as you
plug from your navel towards your chest, and come back up. Change sides, left knee over
towards your right foot, stretch the left arm over. And back to center. Inhale, change sides, right
knee over towards your left foot, stretch your right arm over. Back to center. Change sides, left knee
over toward your right foot, strength your left arm over. And back to center. All right now bring your
knees together in table top. So keep the tailbone down. Okay now here, press your
hands into your knees. Press your knees into your hands. So like isometric thing here. So feel the lower back lengthen. Now visualize your spine getting longer, so we wanna be able to
activate the spinal muscles. That’s really important for
getting the health of the spine in your core again. You wanna think of your
core not just as like your six pack muscles, but of the whole, the muscles that run
up and down your spine, your erector spinae. So as you push with your
hands and your knees, push with your knees and your hands and visualize your tailbone
lengthening away from you and the crown of the head
reaching the other way. And all the spine getting long in between. All right now bring your
hands out to your side, like cross position and then
spread from your shoulders onto your fingers, and then
keep lengthening your spine at the same time. Visualize the spine getting longer, the chest getting more open,
the backs of the shoulders and neck opening through
the reach of the fingers. Good, then take your
arms up to the ceiling, clasp your hands. All right and as you inhale,
slowly start to reach your arms back towards the wall behind
you, but keep, other way, keep your elbows straight and
don’t let your ribcage tip up so keep that spine pulled long. If the rib’s tipping up,
then the spine isn’t as long anymore, it’s arching. Keep the lower back long. Bring your arms back up. And we’ll just go back
and forth a few times. Inhale to reach the arms back,
keep lengthening the spine. Exhale, bring the arms back up. Inhale to reach the arms
back, keep lengthening the tail and the crown. Exhale, back up. Change the interlock, other pinkie on top. Inhale, reach the arms back. Exhale, back up. Inhale, reach the arms back. Exhale, back up. Last one, inhale, reach the arms back. And exhale, back up. Good then set the arms
down, set your feet down. Hug the right knee into
the chest and stretch the left leg out along the floor. Reach through the left foot,
descend the left thigh. Change legs, hug the
left knee into the chest, stretch the right leg out. Now hug both knees into your chest. Let the lower back spread. Then set your feet down onto the floor, roll over to your side. Press yourself up to seated
and come onto your hands and your knees. All right so on the hands and the knees, we’ll do a couple rounds of cat cow. As you exhale, round your back
and look back at your navel. Inhale, arch your back,
especially your upper back and roll your chest through. Exhale, round your back and
look back at your navel. Inhale, arch your back and
wheel your chest through. One more time, exhale. Inhale. Good, then come into neutral
spine, curl your toes under and start to sit back into child’s pose. Sit the hips back to the
heels, stretch the arms. Good. Then come back up onto
your hands and your knees. Position the hands right
under the shoulders and knees right underneath your hips. And without your ribcage twisting, stretch your left arm forward. Then stretch your right leg
straight back behind you. Good, firm this left outer
hip so that the lower back can lengthen, so your hips,
like your center of gravity, if the hips are strong
and working properly, you’ll help the lower
back and the spine to get nice and healthy. Then lower the hand
and the knee back down. Change sides. Right arm forward, and left leg back. Firm that right hip. And let the spine lengthen. Then lower your hand
and your knee back down, and change sides. Lower your hand and your
knee back down, change sides. Exhale, lower down. Inhale, change sides. Exhale, lower down. Inhale, change sides, and keep that idea, lengthening through the crown, lengthening through your tail. Lower your hand and your knee. Change sides. Lower your hand and your knee. And stretch back into child’s
pose, this time keeping your toes pointing back. All right, then come back up
onto your hands and your knees. And come on up to stand. All right, so now stand with
your back against the wall. Take your arms into a cactus position. Now take just the slightest
back bend to your upper back, like you’re trying to lift
this part of your chest, the upper sternum towards the ceiling, like it’s trying to
look up to the ceiling, but stretch from your
hips down into your heels. Then as you inhale, start to
slide your arms up the ceiling. Keep that lift of your uppermost chest and as you exhale, re-bend
your elbows out to the side. Inhale, slide your arms up to the ceiling. Keep that lift through
your uppermost chest. Exhale, re-bend your
elbows out to the side. Inhale, slide your arms up to the ceiling, keeping that lift through
your uppermost chest. Exhale, bend your elbows out to the side. Couple more times. So these exercises that we’re
doing are great if you have like a kinked upper back or neck, if you wake up with a stiff
neck and you’re not sure why, this is a great way to
relieve some of this tension, this sequence today. All right. Then bring the arms to your side. And we’re gonna do a couple of neck rolls, so step off of the wall,
roll the shoulders back, and then roll your right ear
towards your right shoulder, and then chin towards your chest, and left ear to left shoulder. Chin to your chest, right
ear to right shoulder, and keep the upper collarbones broad. And chin to chest. Left ear to left shoulder. And back to your chest. Bring the head up on top. Okay now for this one,
it’s gonna be kinda weird, it’s gonna feel like it’ll
create more tension at first, but it’ll help to relieve
if you have like a strained upper trap neck situation. So take your shoulder head, lift them up, then drop them back. Then, chin up to the
ceiling, roll your right ear over to your right shoulder,
and tip the head up to the ceiling. And then come back to center. Roll the shoulders up and back. Roll the left ear to the left shoulder, tip the head up, look up. And bring it all back. So you can do that as
many times as you need to until you feel the kink in your neck start to get worked out. And if your upper back and
neck don’t feel really good after having done all that stuff, then you can just add a few more rounds, get it to open up better. Okay now let’s practice
child’s pose again, come onto the hands and the knees. Okay so for this child’s
pose, this is kinda gonna be like a hybrid child’s pose down dog. So come back up onto
your hands and your knees and maybe Stacy scoot back a little bit so you have room for your hands. So keeping your hips
stacked over your knees, start to walk your hands forward. So just like eliminating
weight bearing on the arms so you can just work on opening. And it’s just a little
bit of weight bearing, still working the turn of the upper arms, lengthen through the upper spine, and then visualize the
spine getting longer, don’t let it round anywhere. Don’t let it sink anywhere
but just nice and long from your tail to your crown. And you can see like Stacy
wants to round a little bit here so she’s gonna try to unround
that part of the spine. (mumbles) Geez. Wish my spine moved like that. Okay, then come back up onto
your hands and your knees and slide your, we’re gonna go
into side plank position now with the right knee down. So right hand right knee
down, open up to your side, left leg stretches back. Bring the left hand to the hip at first. Okay so your nerves for your arms, they all start here in
the back of the neck. So I want you to visualize
from this plexus of nerves from the back of the neck that
you’re stretching from there down through your shoulders,
down into your fingers, and especially ground
your middle three knuckles and spread your hand. Then lengthen the neck,
like you got pulled like you’re in some type of
medieval traction device, getting longer and that’ll also help in, helpin’, that’s not a word. That will help the neck to open
up, the joints for the neck. It’ll help the arms to relieve tension cuz a lot of the tension that
you feel in your upper back is coming from this neck getting crunched. So lengthen the neck, lengthen through your middle three knuckles,
and then take your left arm up. If you’re very tight back
there like I get from paddling, you might even start to feel like tinglies because it’s not used to
nerves, not used to getting pulled that long, they’re
used to getting bunched up and hunched over. All right. Then if you wanna make it
a little more challenging, add a little strength to
it and lift your left leg up an inch, but keep, don’t
lose any of that opening. The left leg. Yeah, that’s good (chuckles). Even the professionals get
a little confused sometimes. So if you’re at home and you get confused, you have to look at the
screen, don’t worry. Okay, lower your foot back
down, lower your left hand down. And left knee down. All right, great, now let’s
open up to the other side. The left knee down, left hand down. Bring the right hand to the hip. So this is good, cuz you’re
getting like an opening for your left hip here
and then we’re gonna work from the back of the neck all
the way down into the fingers. Stretch the middle three
knuckles, open the upper chest, let the head lean back
like you’re up against a wall right now, and then
stretch the back of the skull, buttocks, root those
middle three knuckles, and then take the right arm up. Good, keep all that space there. Okay now it’s good to
challenge your body by trying to move things while
you’re practice stability and creating space, so this next part, see if you can lift that right leg without the neck bunching up,
the neck is cuz it’s used to being bunched up will try to
bunch back up to lift the leg. Don’t let it. If you feel it bunch up to lift the leg, set the foot back down and then mindfully, take the leg back up again. Might like the name of the
video today, the mindful yoga. Okay, then lower the foot back down, lower your hand back down and
stretch back to child’s pose. Ah, let the neck release. The shoulders open again. Okay good, then lie down onto your back. And for this next thing,
for this psoas stretch, you’re gonna need a block. If you don’t have a block,
you could put a firm pillow or a bolster underneath your hips, but a block really works good. You’re gonna lift your butt
up and slide your block underneath your sacrum. That’s the thick part
at the top of your butt. The pelvis goes into neutral,
the arms go at your side. Okay now it’s really important, this part, if you visualize where your sit bones are, you want them both to stretch
evenly out of your lower back. And then without the
pelvis twisting at all, like I put quarters on
each of your hip bones, start to slowly stretch the right leg out. But don’t let the pelvis twist at all. Yeah see how slow Stacy’s
going to make sure that she doesn’t just whip the leg out. I see that all the time
when I show people this. They wanna whip the leg. Don’t whip the leg, otherwise
you’ll lose the integrity of the pelvis, and remember
this being like a center of gravity, this twist,
then the whole spine twist, so we wanna keep the pelvis nice and even as you’re stretching. Then your psoas, you wanna
visualize the psoas… As a muscle that runs on all,
I’ll show from the strap, from the inside of your femur bone. (mumbles) Inside the femur bone. Up, into the side of the spine. So if it gets very tight,
it’s gonna like wanna pull your spine one way or
the other and make you twist, make you over arch, make you tuck. So we wanna get this muscle
start to lengthen out through here, so you
can even use your breath because it attaches at the
bottom of your diaphragm too as you breathe deeply,
you can stretch from the belly of the muscle,
the center of the muscle which would be represented on this strap. Here’s one end, here’s the other end. Right here, like just below your navel, stretch in opposite directions
there, you’ll stretch from the center out through your foot and lengthen out through your head. Good, so it’s very subtle,
you’re not gonna feel like intense sensation. Re-bend your right knee,
unless it’s very tight, then you might, and then
slowly start to stretch your left leg out. And just hold there for a
minute doing the psoas stretch. So use your breath and
elongate from the center of the muscle, always when
we go for a deep stretch, we wanna feel the belly of the muscle, the middle of the muscle stretching, not near the attachments. When you feel that the
attachment’s pulling, that’s a sign that you’re
getting into the connections, the ligaments, the tendons,
and that’s not a good idea to try to pull on those things. Cuz they’re plastic, once they
stretch, they don’t go back. The muscle will give and
move along with the fascia, but not those connections. You don’t wanna be pulling into those, that’s how we actually
injure the body when we’re trying to stretch. And overstretching can
cause just as much injury as any sport or activity,
so we wanna be mindful when we’re stretching to be
stretching in a healthy manner, not overdoing. On a scale of one to 10,
you’re looking for like a five with the stretch,
and this yoga series just says that we’re
looking for a steady quality in the asana, a firm, yet
relaxed, steady quality. If you’re like going to a
10, that’s not very steady. That’s too much, okay,
so re-bend your knee. And now lift your buttock up off of there and move the block out to the side, and lower your buttock down. Okay now let’s take the
right leg up in the strap. So first, keeping the idea
what we learned with the hips. Without the hips twisting,
bring your right knee towards your chest. When the right knee
comes towards your chest, if you just try to jam it to your chest, your hips will twist, your
lower back will twist. Instead, think of both
sit bones, buttock bones, reaching out of your lower
back as the knee comes in. So then you see Stacy can’t
pull the knee in as far. That’s okay. Then she’s gonna take this
right leg up in the strap, but she’ll keep practicing that action of keeping the hips released,
and then she’s gonna start to slowly extend the right
leg maybe all the way, it doesn’t have to go all the way, depending on how tight the hamstrings are, so she’s like mimicking
someone who’s a little more, who has less hamstring
mobility than herself, which is very good, it’s
a good teaching technique. Thank you, Stacy, for demonstrating that. Then she slowly starts to
stretch the left leg out, but without losing this
neutrality of the pelvis. Think of the pelvis,
it’s like Switzerland, has to stay neutral, because there’s a lot of money involved (chuckles)
with the pelvis goes weird, then the whole lower back,
it can be very expensive. Okay. Stretch through the left
leg, descend the left thigh. And if you’re tighter in your hamstrings, you can allow the leg
not to come so close, or work with a bent knee, and either one, you’re stretching your hamstrings,
and you wanna feel that, you feel all of the hamstrings stretching all the back of the leg stretching evenly. Okay, re-bend that knee. And slowly change legs. I often get people messaging
me on the comments like, “I can’t get my legs straight in this.” Well, that’s not the aim,
to get your leg straight, the aim is to stretch your hamstrings. So whatever you have to do
to keep the pelvis even, and then slowly start to
stretch the bottom leg out. Based on your genetics,
you might not ever be able to get the hamstring perfectly
straight like Stacy does. Or you know, maybe if
you start practicing, say six days a week, then eventually, the legs will get straight,
if you do it mindfully and slowly and don’t
force your way into it. Both of Stacy’s parents are dancers too, so take that into
consideration, she’s got these dancer genetics where
she came out of the womb just doing head to knee pose and stuff and things like that, so… All right, then re-bend the knee. And set your foot down. Open up your arms out to the side. Cross your right ankle
over your left knee. Okay now slowly start to take
your legs over to the left. If you’re very tight in
your hips, I’d recommend putting a prop under the
foot so that you twist less. Why? Because you think about
your sacral joints, they’re gonna wanna give up
and the stretch will just go into your joint instead
of feeling the stretch into your hip muscle. So we wanna feel that
the hip muscle is opening along with the muscles in your back, instead of going into the joints. So someone who is newer to yoga, someone who is less flexible,
their leg will just fall over cuz they don’t have the control, and then they’ll feel it
going to their joints. So instead, we can move ourselves
out of the pose a little so that you feel it into the
place you’re looking for, like in your hip, you feel
your spine twisting evenly, that’s what you’re looking for. And then to help, if you
breathe your spine longer when you’re doing this, like
you actively stretch your hips, out your lower back and
out through your crown, that also helps to ensure
that you get the stretch into the muscle properly. And then let the opposite shoulder, the right shoulder drop down and spread, then slowly bring your legs back. Uncross, change sides. And you know, once you
start doing the sequence more regularly, take the
legs over to the right. Once you start doing the
sequence more regularly, then you know, eventually
you’ll take the block away, or if you’re very tight,
you take the block higher and then work it lower. Feel that left shoulder
release back down and spread. And keep actively
stretching your hips out of your lower back. Okay then bring your legs back to center. Hug your knees into your chest. Then roll over to your side. Let’s do the finishing sequence now. Press yourself up to seated. Sweep your legs around,
lie down onto your belly. Put your hands next to your
waist, roll your blades onto your back and then start
to roll your chest forward, and up, and back down. Three times, inhale, come up. Now work your upper back,
turn the blades onto the back, pull your chest string forward. Exhale, lower back down. The inner thighs spin up,
the outer thighs turn down, and the buttocks stretches
out of the lower back. Lift from your belly and
roll the chest up again, and stretch the elbows back,
stretch back through your toes. Lower back down. The last one we’ll hold, roll yourself up. Now visualize your shoulder
blades in your mind’s eye coming onto your back,
down your back so that the chest spreads and lower back down. Good, then stretch back into child’s. And then come into Dandasana. Seated stick pose, it’s called
seated stick, seated staff, because the spine should
be upright like a staff, and the legs eventually. So I’m mimicking someone who
has a very tight back body, like myself, mimicking myself here. Where if you try to sit in this position, the spine gets all pulled back and under, versus Stacy, she’s able
to sit upright right up over her sit bones, so
someone like me could put a block underneath their
butt or could bend the knees so that they can look more like this. So I’m gonna do both, a
little bend in the knees and a block. Now visualize, go inward. Important to be able to
visualize things in your body. Your sit bones, (mumbles),
the little bones at the bottom of your butt
that you’re supposed to be able to sit on often
get trained to tuck under, so we’re just reaching both
sit bones straight down into the floor, instead of
tucking, and then growing as tall as we can up over the sit bones. And already, man, I’ve
been like all hunched over while teaching this stuff and
this feelings so much better to sit in this position. It’s a very powerful position. All the organs are nice and upright, so we have nice flow of
fluids through the body now. The body is a more efficient
pump when you’re able to have good posture, otherwise
there’s lots of strain on the front, from the
front body on the organs, so then things can’t work properly. So a lot of the organic body can be influenced by our posture. Okay. That felt really nice. Now we’re just gonna do this
in a more relaxed variation, which is just legs up the wall. So, you’re going to take your
buttocks close to the wall, not all the way up against the wall, especially if you’re
like me, and then just, you sit with your hip, you
just lay the legs up the wall. You don’t need to explain
that, legs up the wall. Okay. So, since Stacy is very
mobile, she can take her butt pretty close to the wall,
and the legs will relax into this straight position. But for me, like how I
was showing how I was all tucked under, I would
give myself maybe like a block’s distance, six, eight,
12 inches away from the wall so that the legs can release nicely. So you’re not trying to jam
yourself into stretches. If you try to jam yourself,
your body too quickly, again, things pull, get torn, so
we don’t wanna do that. And this is just about relaxing. So this is a great pose
to practice before you go to sleep at night. If there’s just one pose
that you have time to do, this is the go-to one. Just lay with your legs up
the wall, it’s really good for the muscles in your legs. It’s like teaching you
a very basic inversion. So we’re just gonna finish
in Shavasana like this today. I’ll stop talking, I’ll let
you relax and go inward. So as you start to relax in this position, just visualize, as you’re relaxing… Visualize that the breath
can become more rhythmic. And can start to slow down. And as you relax your body, notice what’s happening with the breath. So the yogis were trying to determine, what can we have influence over, what should we try to
influence, what shouldn’t we? And we found that by doing
certain positions of the body, we could have some influence
over the organic body, over the organs and their functions. But then also, over the nervous system, over the autonomic nervous system, and that’s through the breath. So we’re starting the
activate the parasympathetic nervous system by allowing
yourself to slow down, and that’s a lot of the
benefits you hear from yoga are from this, from that
parasympathetic response, the rest to digest response, calming, where your body can start to heal itself. And it comes from this deep sense of calm and relaxation that
comes after you practice. Sometimes like even when
you go to bed at night, your mind is racing because
of what you’ve been doing, the body still feels like
it’s in like almost a fight or flight response because of the activity of the mind. So just feel how calm you
feel, how calm the mind and the body feel together
after having done some nice stretches, and by
actively allowing yourself to slow down, let the breath slow down. Feel how the mind is
still from the breath. All right. Then bend your knees and
roll over to your side. And press yourself all
the way up to seated. All right. I thank you for practicing today. Sit up tall with your eyes closed, feel how good the body feels. Feel the quality of the
mind, the shift that comes at the end of the practice. Lower your head to your heart. Lift your head and open the eyes. Namaste, thank you. And thank you Stacy for coming out. Appreciate that. I’ve been having some
friends fill in while my shoulder’s getting better,
it’s almost all the way better, so I should be back next time we film. Hey, make sure to
subscribe to the channel. Hit the like button and leave a comment, let me know how this video went. This is a little bit of a change of pace from what we normally do,
so maybe you have a friend that’s newer to yoga or
somebody who you know needs something like this,
make sure to share that with your friend. I appreciate it, and
I think they will too. I’ll see you next time.