Total Body Yoga for Flexibility (30 min)

Total Body Yoga for Flexibility (30 min)


– Welcome to Fightmaster Yoga, where it’s not about the pose and you don’t have to be perfect. I’m Lesley Fightmaster. Today’s class, Total Body
Yoga for Flexibility. There will be some work involved as well. Now if you think these yoga classes help make the world a better place, then share it with a friend. Start sitting nice and tall. Bring your hands in front of your heart. May you connect to the
light and peace within you. Allow it to quiet your
mind, relax your body so you can live with ease and comfort. And release the hands. Now, if you have two yoga blocks, get those handy. If you don’t, you can use rolled up blankets or towels or you can just mime it and not use anything. Lie down on your back. Have your props handy next to you, if you’re using them, and just breathe here for a few moments. Start to inhale, fill the belly, expand through the rib cage, take it up to the chest, and exhale, chest, rib cage, belly. And then start to notice the
natural curves in your spine. Your lower back lifts away from the floor, middle back touches, upper back touches, back of the neck lifts. Now see if you can keep
that as you inhale, take your arms up and over by your ears, as far as you can. Notice if your rib cage
puffs up toward the ceiling and if your low back
lifts away from the floor. If it does, draw them back in. Maybe your hands won’t
go all the way behind you to the floor. Maybe they’ll be up a little
bit away from the ears. See what works in your body. And then take ’em down. So if you do have a block or blocks or rolled up towels, put one between your thighs and the other one between your hands. Point your toes to the ceiling from the legs, inhale,
lift the arms up and over, keeping the elbows as straight as you can, and keep your ribs and
your belly drawing in. Lengthen your sitting
bones to backs of knees so that you’re keeping those
natural curves of your spine. Now feel the length throughout your body, reaching from the heels all the way to the tips of your
fingers and breathe here. As you exhale, make sure to
draw those front ribs in. Keep the leg muscles firm. Inhale, take the arms
up towards the ceiling and exhale, release. And if you’re using those props, put ’em off to the sides. Hug your knees into your chest and gently roll yourself side to side, giving the low back a little massage, and then roll to your right,
use your left hand to press up. And then make your way forward
onto your hands and knees, with your wrists
underneath your shoulders, knees under the hips. Spread out your fingers
as you take an inhale, bring your chest forward, lift
your chin and tailbone up. As you exhale, round your
back, chin toward chest, press away from the floor, pulling the belly and ribs in and up. And do this a few times, just warming up. Inhale, widen your collar bones, bring your heart forward,
lifting chin and tailbone. Exhale, rounding your
back, chin toward chest, tuck your tailbone in gently. And again, inhale,
bring the chest through, gently lift up, arching the back. Exhale, rounding through the upper back and pulling in through
the ribs and the belly. Once again, inhale, heart comes forward through the gates of the arms. Exhale, pressing, rounding,
lifting the pelvic floor, lifting the belly. Now bring yourself to neutral spine. So remember, we’re not gonna
overarch that lower back. Extend the right leg back but drop the outer right hip down so
your hips will stay level. Pull the ribs and belly in. Inhale, lift the right leg up
without letting the hip lift. So you can point your
toes straight to the floor and that will help keep
your hip from lifting or you can check on it. Breathe here, keep all
that length in your torso. And then set it down. And we’ll do the other side. Keep the belly lifted so you make sure you’re not sinking down,
or rounding too much away but you have a nice, neutral spine. Extend the left leg back
but drop the hip down so your hips are level. Keep that engaged core,
the core muscles engaged, and lift the left leg up but
drop the outer left hip down. So you’re not arching the back and not letting that hip lift. It helps when you point your toes straight to the floor and flex the ankle so you can see that they’re
pointed straight down and that usually will tell you
that your hips are in line. Release back to table. And then we’ll do the right side again but this time we’re gonna add the arms. So first, extend the right leg back, toes tucked under, pull
the ribs and belly in, lift it straight up off the floor. Drop the outer right hip. Inhale, extend the left arm forward but draw that arm right
into the shoulder socket and keep the ribs and
belly pulling in and up as you breathe here. It’s really good for
strengthening your core muscles in your body. It helps to keep them
working and your back nice and happy. And release and back to table. And we’ll do the second side. So as you extend the left leg back first. Tuck the toes under, make
sure your hips are level. Pull your ribs and belly in. Lift that leg but
without arching the back. And then right arm forward
but draw the right arm into the shoulder socket but continue to extend through the arm and the leg while you pull your ribs and belly in. And don’t forget, keep breathing. I know that’s a lot to do at once and it looks a lot easier than it is. But it doesn’t have to be perfect. And then release back to table. Take your hips back to your heels, child’s pose, keep your
arms extended in front. Spread your fingers. Get as much length as you can, pressing into the base of the fingers so that your hips are pressing
back toward the heels. Keep spreading the fingers, start to turn your upper arms, the biceps,
up toward the ceiling, and the outer upper arms down, triceps. And then come up to the knees,
tuck the toes for down dog, keeping the knees a little bit bent. Stretch back, pull the ribs and belly in. Arms are shoulders distance,
feet are hips width apart. Slowly begin to straighten the knees or you can also bicycle the legs. Make sure the outer edges
of your feet are parallel. So the triceps, outer upper arm still spinning back a little. Inner, upper arms, biceps spinning forward and then press a little
extra to the thumb, first finger sides of your hands. Gaze between your knees or your feet. If your legs are straight, make sure to firm the leg muscles. Look forward and step
your feet to your hands. If you’ve got your props, you’ll bring ’em by the front of the mat. And inhale, come halfway up, lengthen. Hands to shins or on your blocks. And then shifting the weight
towards the balls of the feet, if the legs are straight, fold forward. Draw your belly in. You can always bend the knees though. Inhale, come up with a nice, long spine. Stretch up tall to make sure the ribs and belly are in
and exhale, hands to heart. At the top of the mat,
take your rolled up towel or your block, put it
between your inner thighs, and take the other block
and hold it in your palms. Inhale, take the arms up by the ears, just like when you’re laying down but make sure your back isn’t archy and your rib cage isn’t puffing out. So maybe your arms won’t come
all the way up by the ears. Totally okay. Breathe here a moment and
soften around the neck. Keep the belly pulling in and as you hold the block or the towel, hold it by firming your outer hips in. Take another breath here,
stretching, stretching, reaching, up, up, up,
as you’re pressing down through the feet evenly. You’re finding some flexibility
through the whole body by stretching up through the arms, through the torso, and the legs. Release the arms, still holding that prop, if you’ve got one. If you don’t, just mime it. Inhale, take the arms up again, watch that your ribs are drawing down and you’re lengthening the sitting bones towards the heels as you firm the legs and the inner thighs bend back. Still keeping those natural
curves of the spine, making sure you’re not arching the back or puffing the ribs out. This is good for your posture, it’s good to practice
knowing those natural curves and keeping them engaged
with your muscles. The body wants to go to the
path of least resistance. Release the arms. So we want to try to fight
that path of least resistance. Inhale, keep the block
between the legs or a towel, reach the arms out, exhale,
hinge from the hips and fold. If you do have a block,
you want to have the back of the block away from
the front of your body. Inhale, come halfway up, lengthen. You’ll see why in a moment. Exhale and fold again. Make sure the hips are
right over the heels, if the legs are straight. Then carefully, little baby steps, walk yourself to down dog
and then come to plank, still holding that block. Now pause here a moment,
pulling the belly and ribs in. Lengthen sitting bones to heels. Shift forward about an inch, lower all the way to your belly and that’s why because otherwise the block is gonna hit first. Bring your hands by your low ribs, inhale, peel the chest
up for a little cobra, draw the shoulder blades
gently towards the waist. Keep lengthening sitting bones to heels and then come up onto your
knees and tuck your toes and make your way into
downward facing dog. So if you do have something
that you’re holding between the inner thighs,
you may notice that you’re using your leg muscles a lot more than you normally might. So pay attention and see if you can use the leg muscles more. Now we’ll walk the hands back to the feet. Inhale, lengthen halfway
and then fold as you exhale. Bend the knees, if you need to. Press with the feet. Inhale to rise up, making
sure the ribs and belly are drawn in. Exhale, hands to heart. So now we’re at the back of the mat. Get that block or that
towel in the right place. Inhale, sweep the arms up
so right in the upper thighs but so it doesn’t touch the floor first. Exhale, hinge from the
hip creases and fold. Bend the knees here, if you need to. Look up, lengthen, inhale. As you exhale, walk
yourself out to plank pose, top of a pushup. Notice how much your
legs are working here. If this is too difficult, put
your knees onto the floor. Otherwise, keep ’em up, shift forward, slowly lower halfway, chaturanga, and then inhaling to upward facing dog, thighs and knees off
the floor, then exhale. Let the knees drop a moment
so you can tuck the toes and then make your way to down dog. Stretch back here, arms and
ears in line, if you can. But make sure that the rib
cage is not puffing out and that the low back isn’t arching. Firming the legs by holding
that block or towel. As you exhale, walk the hands
all the way back to the feet. Inhale, lengthen, exhale
and fold, hips over heels. Press through the feet, rise up, inhale, feel that stretch all the way up, ribs and belly in. Exhale the hands down by your sides. Again, inhale, sweep the
arms out, around and up. Feel that length you’re creating. Exhale, hinge from the hip creases, tops of the thighs and fold. Feeling the stretch here,
try to straighten the knees as much as you can. Inhale, lengthen, look up halfway, get that nice stretch. Exhale, walk yourself to plank pose. Keep your belly lifted, press up between the shoulder blades, lengthen sitting bones to heels. Take a breath in, exhale start to lower, chaturanga, shoulders no
lower than the elbows, and then inhale to up dog,
shoulders are above the wrists. And now exhale, make your way to down dog. If you can lift up and back, roll over the toes, do that, otherwise, drop to the
knees, then tuck the toes and then go back. Even out the breath. Notice how much you’re using your legs when you have something
that you’re holding there. Now onto the knees, grab the
other block or rolled up towel and if you have blocks, they
will work best for this. If you don’t, then you
can use rolled up towels but you might need thicker ones. Come to plank pose. One block will be below your thighs, the other below your chest. As you lower, want to find a chaturanga where you’re supported
underneath your thighs and your chest. So now you can roll your shoulder, head’s away from the floor, and make sure that your shoulders are no lower than your elbows. And then you can press to up dog and then stretch to down dog. So this is a way to check and see if you’re going too
low in your chaturanga. So it’s a nice little trick. And you might need to put the blocks at different levels or use different props to find your place. Shift forward from plank
again into chaturanga. So the shoulders want to
roll down toward the floor. So instead of letting them, we’re gonna roll them up and back and then draw the shoulder
blades towards the waist. Keep your belly pulled in,
keep your pelvic floor lifted and then you’re gonna
press into a little up dog and then stretch to down dog. And then come to the
knees, put your blocks off to the sides and make your
way again to down dog. Then we’ll step or hop the feet forward. Inhale, halfway lift, exhale fold. Press through the feet, inhale, reach and exhale, hands to heart. Coming back to tadasana, taking a breath and then sweep the arms up, inhale, remember the ribs in,
exhale, hinge from the hips and fold, keep your
belly pulling in and up. Inhale, look up, lengthen halfway. Exhale, stepping back into plank pose. Lower chaturanga, remember
roll the shoulder, head’s back, shoulder
blades away from ears, then inhaling to upward dog, and exhaling back into down dog. Inhale, float the right
leg up with level hips, so drop the outer hip as you lift it. Exhale, step it up by the right hand, right in the middle of the hands, spin the back heel down, Warrior II. Line up heel to arch, make
sure the right knee over ankle, shoulder’s just above hips, reach and stretch through the arms. Stretch and lengthen
and finding flexibility through the whole body today. Reaching through fingertips, drop the left arm, side stretch. As you exhale, bend into the right knee. Inhale, come up, now straighten
the leg, triangle pose. Keep your legs as long as they
were for Warrior II today. Hinge from your hip, reach, reach, reach as far as you can with that front arm. When you can’t reach
anymore, then set it down wherever it lands, reach
up through your left arm. Now find the stretch, the
flexibility in the bottom side of your torso from your right hip crease through your right armpit. Bring your bottom ribs
forward, top ribs back. Look up only if it’s okay on your neck. Lengthen through the neck first. Inhale, reach the left arm forward, in line with the ear,
stretching the top side of the rib cage as well. Exhale, sweep it down
and then inhale, come up. As you exhale, bend the
right knee over the ankle. Windmill the arms down, step to plank, and the next exhale, you’ll
lower through chaturanga, the shoulders no lower than the elbows. Inhale, press through the hands and feet. Thighs and knees off the floor for up dog. You can do cobra, if that doesn’t work. Exhale, down dog. Left leg lifts, level hips, inhale. Exhale, look between the hands, lightly step it up in the middle. Spin the back heel down. Rise up, Warrior II,
make sure your front heel is in line with your back arch. Stretch through the arms. Lengthen through all
four sides of your waist and drop your front sitting
bone underneath you. Press your back by back but lift up through the back inner thigh, just like if you were standing in tadasana holding that block. There’s a little bit of an internal rotation of the back leg. Breathe here. Drop the right arm, reverse your warrior. As you exhale, bend into the left knee. Inhale, come up,
straightening the left leg, let’s keep that nice, long stance today, hinge from your hip
crease, reach, reach, reach with that left arm as far
as you can comfortably, and then just let it
come wherever it lands. It could be on the leg,
it could be on the floor, it could be on a block. Stretch up through the right arm and now see if you can find that length from the left hip crease
through the left armpit. So we’re creating some
flexibility in the side body, a lateral stretch. See if you can keep the
bottom side of the torso just as long as the top
side of the torso is. Drawing your left sitting bone under you, press into the big toe
mound of the left foot. Lengthen the neck, look up
if it’s okay with your neck, reach the right arm forward, inhale, stretching a little bit more. Nice, lateral stretches, feels so good. Now sweep that arm down,
come on up, inhale, and then bend the knee,
exhale, Warrior II. Take a breath, as you exhale,
windmill the arms down, come to plank, inhale, and lower
through chaturanga, exhale. Inhale, press through the hands and feet, shoulders above wrists. Exhale, use the belly
muscles to transition into down dog and now
stretch out your spine. Press the weight up and back, right leg up, inhale. As you exhale, step it by the right hand and then stay on the
ball of your back foot for crescent. Now bend your left knee,
tilt your pelvis forward, pull your belly in and up, zip that belly. Pull the right hip back. Keep all of that and
then straighten the leg. Keep the length in the
low back as best you can. Stretch up through the arms,
finding the flexibility in the hip flexors but
make sure the front ribs are drawing down and the
back ribs are lifting up. So now we’re stretching out the
hip flexor on the left side. As you exhale, lean forward. Now just like when we
were on hands and knees, in the beginning, pull
your belly in and up, step onto that right
foot, lift the left leg and drop the outer left hip, Warrior III. Just like when were on
our hands and knees, it’s that same action. Pull the ribs and belly in, making sure you’re not
overarching in the back. Stretch through the arms,
stretch through the back leg. Slowly bend the knee
to set that foot down, toes tucked under, and then exhale, hands down to plank, inhale. As you exhale, chaturanga. Inhaling, upward dog. Exhale, back, downward dog. Inhale, float the left leg back and up. As you exhale, step above the left thumbs. Stay on the ball of your back foot, coming to high lunge crescent. Now bend your right knee,
tilt your pelvis forward, drop your tailbone down,
pull your belly and ribs in. Keep all of that, the
left hip pulling back as you straighten the back leg. You’re gonna want to overarch
in the lower back probably. But when you lengthen
through the lower back and keep the front ribs in,
that’s where you get the stretch in the psoas muscle, in the
hip flexor on the right side. So see if you can feel that. As you inhale, coming
forward we’ll begin to lift the right leg up from the inner thigh and drop the outer hip down. Warrior III, keep the ribs and belly in. Now if you wobble or
anything, it’s no problem. This happens all the time,
so just come back to it. Slowly bend the knee,
come back to crescent. Do the best you can. Exhale, bring the hands
down, come to plank, and lower, chaturanga. Hug your elbows in, if you can. This time we’ll come all
the way to the belly. Reach your arms forward by your ears, press your pubic bone down and lengthen sitting bones to heels. All 10 toenails on the
floor and then inhale, lift it all up. Now lengthen and reach. So stretching the front of the body, reach through the fingertips,
outer hips drawing down, and then rest, let everything go. Just relax. Now arms again in front. Inhale, lift everything up. Lengthen sitting bones to heels. Inner thighs are spinning up as if you’re holding a block there. Soften around the neck but keep lifting. Pull your belly away from the floor and then release. Bring your hands by your low ribs, inhale to cobra or to up dog. Thighs and knees up if you’re in up dog. Exhale to down dog. From here, we’ll come onto the knees. So if you have those blocks
or those rolled towels, put ’em on the outsides of your ankles. Ustrasana, camel pose,
stretching the front of the body. But first, lengthen sitting
bones to backs of knees. Roll the shoulder, head’s
back, lift your chest. Inner thighs spin back, as if
you’re holding a block there. Now start to lean back. As you lean back, you’re still
gonna lift your hip points toward the lower ribs. Maybe find those blocks
back there or the towel or towels. Now let your head go any amount. Lengthen it and then let it go. If it’s not comfortable, then you can keep your chin in towards your chest. But press and lift chest towards ceiling. Come on up, both shoulders
at the same time. Now get a rolled towel or a
block between the inner thighs. Bring your hands to the
tops of the hips and lengthen your butt toward
the backs of the knees. Then press the pubic bone gently forward. Roll the shoulder, head’s back. Start to lean back. Imagine my hand is in your
upper back pressing up so that your chest is widening and lifting towards the ceiling. Coming back any amount
and then come back up, both shoulders at the same time, always. So you can do that same thing, you don’t have to go any deeper. If you have a thick blanket or a bolster, you can put it over your heels
and take your hands to that. Lift your frontal hip
bones toward the lower ribs as you lean back. Inner thighs spin back. Imagine there’s a string
attached to your chest and is pulling you up toward the ceiling. So if your hands are touching something, they’re touching lightly. Let your head go any amount back. Inhale, come up both
shoulders at the same time and then make your way into
a child’s pose, stretch back. Breathe here. Relax everything. And then make your way up,
take your hips off to one side and stretch your legs in front of you, flex your ankles. Now if it’s hard to sit up nice and tall, then sit your buns on
the edge of a blanket. Otherwise, you can sit right on the floor. Inhale, take the arms up. As you exhale, hinge forward
from those hip creases and reach your arms forward. Try and keep your spine long. Imagine I’m holding onto your hands and I’m pulling them straight forward so you’re not rounding your back. Now we still want the hands
not touching anything. It’s a little more work, I know, but it helps with the flexibility. But with flexibility we
have to have strength. So pull the toes back,
flexing the ankles firmly in the leg muscles, keep the belly lifted, and then inhale, come on up,
arms in line with the ears, and then take the hands down. So whenever you stretch anything, you must engage your muscles. Sit up nice and tall here, dandasana. Keep pulling the toes back. Pull the front ribs in,
pull the belly in and up. So if you’ve got your blanket there, you can move it off to the side, come onto your back and hug your knees in. Gently rock yourself side to side. Take your arms out and
take the knees to the left, look over the right shoulder, twist. Turn your belly up toward the ceiling, take deep breaths into the belly. Bring your knees to center,
hug ’em into the chest, and then drop ’em over to the right, looking over your left shoulder. Try and turn the belly
up toward the ceiling, take deep breaths in your twist. Inhale, knees to center, head to center, and happy baby. Grab the little toe, sides of the feet, or grab your ankles, draw
your knees toward the armpits, and lengthen your sitting
bones toward the floor. And now, take your feet to the floor, lengthening sitting bones
toward backs of knees, drawing shoulder blades
away from the ears, shavasana. Relax, let your feet flop open, arms by your sides, palms up, release any tension in your face. Our quote today comes from Rodney E. “That’s exactly how it is in yoga. “The places where you
have the most resistance “are actually the places
that are going to be “the areas of the greatest liberation.” Quiet mind, quiet body, shavasana, rest. And to deepen your breath, start to move your
fingers, toes, hands, feet. A long stretch through your body. Bend the knees, roll yourself
onto your right side. Pause and thank yourself
for showing up today. You did a great job. Use your left hand to carefully come up, head comes last. Sit up nice and tall, crossing your shins, hands in front of the heart. Bring your hands to your forehead, reminding you to have a
clear and loving thoughts. Hands to heart, reminding you to have clear and loving intentions. Hands to the mouth, reminding you to have clear and loving communications, sending positive energy out
to all beings everywhere. Namaste. Your core muscles are the key to unlocking so much strength in your body, plus it’ll help to keep
your back free from pain. I’ve created a special class just for you and if you click the
link below or it’s pinned at the top of the comments,
you can get that class right away and start
strengthening those muscles. Now, for some reason, we made
a class a couple of weeks ago, Hatha Yoga, and it’s
getting so many views, more than we normally get. I guess people really like it. So if you want to check it out, go right here and practice this next.