Advance Your Practice Using a Yoga Block

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How many times have you heard someone in class say, "I don't need props" or have you been guilty of saying it yourself? There is definitely a stigma around props. We associate them with beginners. But it's time to break away from that mentality in order to progress your own practice.

SIGN UP FOR MY **FREE** 7 DAY YIN YOGA IMMERSION PROGRAM TO IMPROVE FLEXIBILITY! 

How many times have you heard someone in class say, "I don't need props" or have you been guilty of saying it yourself? There is definitely a stigma around props. We associate them with beginners. But it's time to break away from that mentality in order to progress your own practice.

In this post I'm going to show you how I like to use props, specifically a block, in my own practice. The way I most frequently use the block is to hug and squeeze it between the upper thighs.

Follow along with the 7 poses below to see what this prop can do for you.

1. Bridge Pose - To start, lower down on to your back, with your knees bent and soles of feet on the mat. Place a block at the thinnest level between your upper inner thighs. Relax arms down by your legs and walk feet in as close as possible. Set the feet at hip width apart, and also the knees. As you squeeze the block, feel your inner thigh muscles engaging. With your palms facing up, start to push down in to your feet, squeezing the block. Lift the hips, low back and mid back up from the mat. Squeezing in to the block will prevent your knees from opening to the sides here, as they are prone to do. Push in to the big toes and draw the tailbone down. Slowly lower back down, inch by inch, until hips return to the mat.


2. Anchored Bridge - From where you left off, lift the toes and walk your heels out, so that there is only about 6-10 inches between the floor and the back of your knees. Relax the arms down at your sides. Press down in to the heels, squeeze the block and lift your hips just an inch or so. Bend your elbows, so the forearms lift at 90 degrees, and push in to the back of the upper arms. Take 3 deep breaths here before releasing down.

3. Core Work - Keeping the block where it is, bend your knees and lift the feet. Extend your legs up straight to the ceiling. Interlace your fingers behind the back of your head. Flatten your low back down to the floor. Kick up through the balls of your feet, and spread the toes wide. Keep squeezing in to the block. As you inhale, curl the head and shoulders off of the floor. As you exhale, curl the tailbone off of the floor. Inhale, lower the tailbone. Exhale, lower the head and shoulders. Repeat this full cycle 5 times over.

4. Reclined Twist - Lift the feet from the mat, and bend your knees at a 90 degree angle (so that your shins are parallel to the ground). Check that the knees are aligned over the hips. Reach your arms out to the sides. Inhale, staying as you are. Exhale, dropping your knees 45 degrees to the left. If your right shoulder begins to lift from the floor, you have gone too far. Inhale, bringing the knees back to center. Exhale, dropping the knees 45 degrees to the right. Inhale to return to center, then exhale and lower the knees all the way down to the left. Use your left hand as a guide to bring the knees to the floor for a deep twist. After a few breaths here, return to center on an inhale, and drop to the right on your exhale.

5. Chair Pose -  Standing at the front of your mat, place the block at its lowest level between your upper inner thighs. Have your feet at hip distance. Bring the hands together at your heart, bend your knees and drop your hips, coming in to chair pose. Inhale the arms up to the sky, exhale bringing the arms over to the right for a little twist. Inhale arms to center, exhale arms to the left. Ensure your knees are staying in line and facing forward. Repeat this action twice to each side. Once the twists are completed, inhale the arms up overhead, then exhale dropping the arms and reaching them back. Start to rock your weight forward in to the balls of your feet. Lift the heels and hover. The more you focus on squeezing the block, the easier this will be to balance. Gently lower your heels to the mat, straighten your legs, and fold forward.


6. Revolved Triangle - Remove the block, placing it so that it is easily accessible at the side of your mat. Come in to downward dog, lifting the right foot up. Step it through to the front of the mat. Bend in to the right knee, drop the hips and lift your hands to the sky, coming in to high lunge. Bring your hands on to the hips, straightening the front leg and bringing back toes in a few inches. Square your hips and shoulders to the front of the mat. Inhale to lift and lengthen the torso. Exhale tipping forward, coming parallel to the floor. Check in with your hips, checking that they're still square to the front. Grab the block and place it to the left of your right foot. Bring the left palm flat on to the block, underneath the left shoulder. Draw your right shoulder back to initiate the twist to the right, opening the chest, then reach your right hand to the sky. Avoid letting your body weight sink in to the block, instead actively engage your legs. Return the right hand to the hip, and turn back towards the ground.

7. Half Moon - Bend in to the right knee once again, and bring your block forward about a foot (keeping your left hand on top of the block). Transfer your weight in to your right leg, then reach the left leg up and back. Once more initiate the twist by pulling your right shoulder back and lifting the right hand to the sky. Find a deep spinal rotation. Return the right hand to your hip, turn back towards the ground, and release the pose.

Repeat 6 and 7 on the other side.

Want a couple more poses and some vinyasa flows in between? Follow along with the full half hour practice below.


Namaste,
Kassandra

Please do subscribe
☮ Website: http://www.yogawithkassandra.com ☮ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kryoga ☮ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yoga_with_k... ✔ GET A FREE AUDIOBOOK - http://bit.ly/audibleywk ❤ Your donations help me improve my channel and the quality of my videos, thank you! http://bit.ly/ywkdonate Yoga with Kassandra - Disclaimer Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Kassandra from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Kassandra’s negligence.
How many times have you heard someone in class say, "I don't need props" or have you been guilty of saying it yourself? There is definitely a stigma around props. We associate them with beginners. But it's time to break away from that mentality in order to progress your own practice.

SIGN UP FOR MY **FREE** 7 DAY YIN YOGA IMMERSION PROGRAM TO IMPROVE FLEXIBILITY! 

How many times have you heard someone in class say, "I don't need props" or have you been guilty of saying it yourself? There is definitely a stigma around props. We associate them with beginners. But it's time to break away from that mentality in order to progress your own practice.

In this post I'm going to show you how I like to use props, specifically a block, in my own practice. The way I most frequently use the block is to hug and squeeze it between the upper thighs.

Follow along with the 7 poses below to see what this prop can do for you.

1. Bridge Pose - To start, lower down on to your back, with your knees bent and soles of feet on the mat. Place a block at the thinnest level between your upper inner thighs. Relax arms down by your legs and walk feet in as close as possible. Set the feet at hip width apart, and also the knees. As you squeeze the block, feel your inner thigh muscles engaging. With your palms facing up, start to push down in to your feet, squeezing the block. Lift the hips, low back and mid back up from the mat. Squeezing in to the block will prevent your knees from opening to the sides here, as they are prone to do. Push in to the big toes and draw the tailbone down. Slowly lower back down, inch by inch, until hips return to the mat.


2. Anchored Bridge - From where you left off, lift the toes and walk your heels out, so that there is only about 6-10 inches between the floor and the back of your knees. Relax the arms down at your sides. Press down in to the heels, squeeze the block and lift your hips just an inch or so. Bend your elbows, so the forearms lift at 90 degrees, and push in to the back of the upper arms. Take 3 deep breaths here before releasing down.

3. Core Work - Keeping the block where it is, bend your knees and lift the feet. Extend your legs up straight to the ceiling. Interlace your fingers behind the back of your head. Flatten your low back down to the floor. Kick up through the balls of your feet, and spread the toes wide. Keep squeezing in to the block. As you inhale, curl the head and shoulders off of the floor. As you exhale, curl the tailbone off of the floor. Inhale, lower the tailbone. Exhale, lower the head and shoulders. Repeat this full cycle 5 times over.

4. Reclined Twist - Lift the feet from the mat, and bend your knees at a 90 degree angle (so that your shins are parallel to the ground). Check that the knees are aligned over the hips. Reach your arms out to the sides. Inhale, staying as you are. Exhale, dropping your knees 45 degrees to the left. If your right shoulder begins to lift from the floor, you have gone too far. Inhale, bringing the knees back to center. Exhale, dropping the knees 45 degrees to the right. Inhale to return to center, then exhale and lower the knees all the way down to the left. Use your left hand as a guide to bring the knees to the floor for a deep twist. After a few breaths here, return to center on an inhale, and drop to the right on your exhale.

5. Chair Pose -  Standing at the front of your mat, place the block at its lowest level between your upper inner thighs. Have your feet at hip distance. Bring the hands together at your heart, bend your knees and drop your hips, coming in to chair pose. Inhale the arms up to the sky, exhale bringing the arms over to the right for a little twist. Inhale arms to center, exhale arms to the left. Ensure your knees are staying in line and facing forward. Repeat this action twice to each side. Once the twists are completed, inhale the arms up overhead, then exhale dropping the arms and reaching them back. Start to rock your weight forward in to the balls of your feet. Lift the heels and hover. The more you focus on squeezing the block, the easier this will be to balance. Gently lower your heels to the mat, straighten your legs, and fold forward.


6. Revolved Triangle - Remove the block, placing it so that it is easily accessible at the side of your mat. Come in to downward dog, lifting the right foot up. Step it through to the front of the mat. Bend in to the right knee, drop the hips and lift your hands to the sky, coming in to high lunge. Bring your hands on to the hips, straightening the front leg and bringing back toes in a few inches. Square your hips and shoulders to the front of the mat. Inhale to lift and lengthen the torso. Exhale tipping forward, coming parallel to the floor. Check in with your hips, checking that they're still square to the front. Grab the block and place it to the left of your right foot. Bring the left palm flat on to the block, underneath the left shoulder. Draw your right shoulder back to initiate the twist to the right, opening the chest, then reach your right hand to the sky. Avoid letting your body weight sink in to the block, instead actively engage your legs. Return the right hand to the hip, and turn back towards the ground.

7. Half Moon - Bend in to the right knee once again, and bring your block forward about a foot (keeping your left hand on top of the block). Transfer your weight in to your right leg, then reach the left leg up and back. Once more initiate the twist by pulling your right shoulder back and lifting the right hand to the sky. Find a deep spinal rotation. Return the right hand to your hip, turn back towards the ground, and release the pose.

Repeat 6 and 7 on the other side.

Want a couple more poses and some vinyasa flows in between? Follow along with the full half hour practice below.


Namaste,
Kassandra

Please do subscribe
☮ Website: http://www.yogawithkassandra.com ☮ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kryoga ☮ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yoga_with_k... ✔ GET A FREE AUDIOBOOK - http://bit.ly/audibleywk ❤ Your donations help me improve my channel and the quality of my videos, thank you! http://bit.ly/ywkdonate Yoga with Kassandra - Disclaimer Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Kassandra from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Kassandra’s negligence.
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Happy New Moon in Aries!
In Lunar Yoga, the New Moon means we begin a brand new theme (Leadership & New Beginnings) and a new book for our book club (Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes).
This theme is oddly fitting for me right now.. It's all about welcoming change rather than resisting it, embracing new chapters of our lives and stepping into the role of the leader.
Since my injury 2 weeks ago I've been forced to slow down and recognize the ways in which I push too hard and resist against what is inevitable.
Personally, my intention this month is to be a leader in the way I show how I take care of myself. Full stop and stillness, not powering through to show others how "strong" or "brave" I am but simply learning to be comfortably uncomfortable. (If that makes sense...?)
Together we'll be doing a special New Moon Yin Yoga practice, journaling exercise and guided meditation to set intentions that are from the heart and in-line with our soul purpose.
If you'd like to explore the ways in which you can step into the role of the leader or if you'd like community support while going through change and new beginnings just like I am, I invite you to join us.
Along with the New Moon bundle, book club and guest speaker interview, members also get access to our Full Moon bundle, a live group call and our private Facebook group.
Not to mention the entire Lunar Yoga library! That's every single yoga class, journaling exericse, meditation and interview since January 2017, yours to download and keep forever!
Every month focuses on a new area of life, a brand new theme so you can continually challenge yourself through spiritual growth and deep inner work. I don't know about you, but I want 2018 to be spiritually charged, transformative and heart-centered.
Today is Day 1 of a brand new cycle, making it the perfect time to join our beautiful community.
CLICK HERE to learn more about Lunar Yoga and use promo code MOONCHILD for a very generous discount.
If your heart is calling you to this uniquely transforming program, answer.
See you on the other side!
Kassandra
www.lunaryoga.tv

Download my NEW "Spring Into Yoga" April calendar
http://bit.ly/springintoyoga

One of my pet peeves as a yoga teacher is when students resist using props because they think they are too "advanced" for them.
I don't know who's responsible for perpetrating the idea that props are only for beginners, but I absolutely want to bust that myth!
Using blocks is one of the best ways we can evolve our yoga practice. While blocks are a wonderful way to help bridge the gap between your body and the floor, there are so many other ways they can be used!
In my new 30 minute intermediate vinyasa flow YouTube yoga class I show you how blocks can be used to strengthen the midline for more balance and strength. Placing a block between the upper inner thighs helps you connect to your core and engages your thighs, all of which is essential for balancing poses as well as inversions!





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☮ Website: http://www.yogawithkassandra.com ☮ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kryoga ☮ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yoga_with_k... ✔ GET A FREE AUDIOBOOK - http://bit.ly/audibleywk ❤ Your donations help me improve my channel and the quality of my videos, thank you! http://bit.ly/ywkdonate Yoga with Kassandra - Disclaimer Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Kassandra from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Kassandra’s negligence.
The extremities are oft forgotten or rushed over. Yet we use them all of the time in our day to day lives.   While there aren't that many poses in yin yoga for these areas, there are certainly enough to build a short practice, and to work in to your daily practices as you warm up.

SIGN UP FOR MY **FREE** 7 DAY YIN YOGA IMMERSION PROGRAM TO IMPROVE FLEXIBILITY!  

The extremities are oft forgotten or rushed over. Yet we use them all of the time in our day to day lives.

While there aren't that many poses in yin yoga for these areas, there are certainly enough to build a short practice, and to work in to your daily practices as you warm up.

Typically yin poses are held for 3-5 minutes, but the ones for extremities are not held as long. Just hold each of these for 1 minute to 1 and a half minutes.

So without further ado, let's get on the mat!


1. Finger Stretch - Begin by sitting in any way which is comfortable to you, nice and tall. Extend the right hand forward, opening the palm away from you and pointing the fingers downward. Spread fingers nice and wide, flexing the palm. Relax your shoulders down. Grab hold of your pinky finger, and as you exhale gently pull it back. Take one deep breath cycle while holding on here. Release and move through each finger in the same way, while continuing to spread the fingers wide. When you get to the thumb, bring the backs of both hands together and wrap the fingers around the thumb. Instead of pulling down and back, lift the thumb in the direction of the outer edge of your forearm, more towards the side. Repeat on the other hand. You may find that one hand (perhaps the dominant one) is more sensitive.

2. Wrist and Forearm Stretch (Palms Up) - Come on to your hands and knees. Begin by placing the backs of your hands on the ground. Spread your fingers wide. Bend your knees as you rock your hips back towards your heels. Try to keep the back of your palms flat to mat, pushing the wrists forward. You can keep the back of your hand to the ground the whole time, or start to lift the back of the hand from the mat. Starting at the wrist, leaving knuckles and fingertips down, and bending the elbows. Take 10 or so deep breaths. Slowly release the hands and take a few gentle circles with the wrists to release.

3. Soles of Feet Stretch - Tuck the toes underneath, and sit back on your heels. You may need to move your little toe out. To add a wrist stretch in here, reach your arms behind you. Either holding on to opposite elbows and opening through the chest, or taking prayers hands (pointing fingers down or flipping them up). Close your eyes. Notice if you are tensing up your shoulders or arms. Gently release the arms and ease off of the heels, wiggling the toes.


4. Reverse Wrist Stretch (Palms Down) - Returning back to table top, turn your hands so the finger tips are pointing towards your knees. Spread the fingers wide. Walk your knees in closer. Rock your weight back, bringing the hips toward the heels. Start by keeping the entire palms flat to the floor. Your elbows are straight, but don't lock them. If you choose to stretch deeper, start to lift the heels of your hands, bending your elbows. This will intensify the sensation in your forearms and wrists. This stretch in particular is great if you spend a lot of time typing at a desk (hi!!!), or if you suffer from carpal tunnel. Pushing your wrists forward, you can peel the heels of the hands up even further. Slowly ease out by lifting the hands from the mat, and shaking them out.

5. Front of Ankle/Tops of Feet Stretch - Sit all the way back on your heels, with your toes untucked. You may need to lift the hips up to tuck the tailbone under, and then sit back down. Walk your palms back behind you, until you can start to lift your shins and knees up off of the ground. Leave your hands behind you, rising up through the chest. For a balancing challenge, you can try to bring your hands to your knees. Again take 10 or so breaths here. Carefully set your shins and knees back down to the mat.

6. Neck Release Stretch - Come in to a comfortable cross legged seated position. Sit up nice and tall. Drop your left ear to your left shoulder, to stretch through the right side of your neck. Keep your chin rolling slightly up. Let your head be heavy. Hold as you are, or to intensify, walk your right fingertips out to the side and use your left hand to gently guide your right ear further from the shoulder. Don't use downward pressure with the hand, but rather a traction. To stretch in to the back of the neck, slowly roll the chin down towards the left shoulder. After holding here, use your left hand to cradle the head and gently lift it back up, before taking the other side.


7. Seated Meditation - Sitting tall, bring your hands to your knees. Return to your natural breath. Feel the breath traveling to your low belly and low back. Bring awareness to the extremities, and notice what feels different. Toes, ankles, fingers, wrists, neck, jaw, shoulders. Relax even more. Bring the hands together at your heart, take a cleansing breath in through the nose and out through the mouth.

To see the poses step by step the first time through, check out the video below.




Namaste,
Kassandra

Please do subscribe
☮ Website: http://www.yogawithkassandra.com ☮ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kryoga ☮ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yoga_with_k... ✔ GET A FREE AUDIOBOOK - http://bit.ly/audibleywk ❤ Your donations help me improve my channel and the quality of my videos, thank you! http://bit.ly/ywkdonate Yoga with Kassandra - Disclaimer Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Kassandra from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Kassandra’s negligence.

Download my NEW "Spring Into Yoga" April calendar
http://bit.ly/springintoyoga

Hey yogis, by popular request here's a quick 15 minute yin yoga stretch for your extremities. This sequence will target your hands, fingers and wrists as well as your feet and ankles. We also include a few neck stretches. Since the extremities are vulnerable and sensitive we don't hold these poses quite as long as others in yin yoga. This is great for anyone with carpal tunnel syndrome!



Namaste,
Kassandra

Please do subscribe

☮ Website: http://www.yogawithkassandra.com ☮ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kryoga ☮ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yoga_with_k... ✔ GET A FREE AUDIOBOOK - http://bit.ly/audibleywk ❤ Your donations help me improve my channel and the quality of my videos, thank you! http://bit.ly/ywkdonate Yoga with Kassandra - Disclaimer Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Kassandra from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Kassandra’s negligence.
It is true, binds are intense on the shoulders!   However, while some students tell me that they find binds very constricting they are also very expansive in different areas of the body. It's a matter of shifting your perspective and taking note of where in the body feels more free when you get in to the bind (i.e. the chest).

SIGN UP FOR MY **FREE** 7 DAY YIN YOGA IMMERSION PROGRAM TO IMPROVE FLEXIBILITY!  


It is true, binds are intense on the shoulders!

However, while some students may find binds very constricting they are also very expansive in different areas of the body. It's a matter of shifting your perspective and taking note of where in the body feels more free when you get in to the bind (i.e. the chest).

If your shoulders are tight and you find binds are challenging, I highly recommend having a strap or belt handy to make the poses more accessible.

This is an intermediate practice. While we will work through some shoulder openers first, please pay attention to how the poses feel in your own body. Do not force yourself in to a particular shape. If binds are new to you, take your time building up to the more advanced versions.


1. Chest Openers - Lay down on your belly, extending your left arm out to the side. Bend your elbow to 90 degrees, so that your elbow is in line with your shoulder and your hand is in line with your elbow. Rest your palm flat on the floor. Roll on to your left ear ear, left shoulder, and left hip. I like to take a bend in my knees here. Your right hand can press in to the floor for support. Relax your neck, draw the shoulder blades together on the back. Slowly ease back to the belly and switch sides. Return to the belly once more, then press to your hands and knees. Keeping your hips directly above the knees, walk your hands forward until you can bring your forehead down to the ground in puppy pose. Keep your arms extended straight ahead, hugging the forearms towards one another and keeping the low belly drawing in. Breathe in to the upper back, creating more space here.

2. Rag Doll Fold - Move through your first Vinyasa flow, ending in downward dog. From there, step your feet forward to the front of the mat. Take your feet a bit wider than normal, and generously bend your knees. Clasp your hands together behind your back. Bend your elbows, squeeze the shoulder blades together and lift your knuckles up and over. The sensation of having your elbows bent will likely feel different here than what you are used to. Shake your head gently side to side, releasing any tension from the neck. After holding here for a desirable amount of time, release your hands down to the mat, push in to the heels, and slowly roll back up to standing.

3. Easy Twist with Half Bind - Take another Vinyasa flow, resting again in downward dog. Kick the right leg up to the sky, bend the lifted knee, allowing the hip to open up nice and wide. Step the right foot forward between the palms. Keep your left hand on the mat beside your front foot, and extend the right hand up to the sky. To take in to a half bind, bend the right elbow and bring your hand to rest on your low back. As you bring your hand behind you, you want to feel your shoulder opening backwards so that you can begin to take your gaze upwards. Bring your right hand down inside of the front foot. Spin the left heel parallel to the short edge of your mat, and extend the left arm up. Effectively reversing the direction of your easy twist. You can take the same half bind here, bending the left elbow and bringing the hand to rest on your low back. Again feel the top shoulder drawing back as you twist and bind.

4. Reverse Warrior and Triangle with Half Bind - From where you leave off in number 4, keep your left hand on low back, push down in to your legs and rise up. Reach the right arm up overhead to come in to Reverse Warrior. With this lift you may find you are able to reach your left hand further in to the bind, maybe reaching for your right inner thigh crease. Straighten the front leg, and lower your right hand to the right foot for Triangle (still maintaining the half bind). The left shoulder draws back and your left fingers continue to crawl forward on the thigh. Rotate the chest up to the sky, keep the crown of the head extending forward. Even though you are in a bind here, take a moment to notice how this pose allows you to open up through the chest and lungs. Look down towards the ground and slowly release out of the bind.

Move through a Vinyasa before switching to take 3 and 4 on the other side.

5. Standing Series - Making your way back to downward dog, kick the right leg up and step it through between the hands at the front of the mat. Ground your back heel down, at about 45 degrees. Lift the chest and rise through the upper body. Square your hips towards the front. Inhale the arms up overhead, bending your elbows in to cactus. Squeeze the shoulder blades on to the back, to find opening through the chest. Sink deeper in to the front knee for Warrior 1. Bring your hands to your hips, and shift the back foot in a couple of inches. Bring your hands behind you, finding a reverse prayer. Pointing the fingertips up if possible, or clasping hold of a strap if needed. Hinge at the hips, folding over the front leg in Pyramid Pose. Reminder that a small bend in the knee here is totally fine. Push down in to the feet to come back up. Straighten your arms and clasp the fingers together behind the back. Stand down on the right leg, as you extend the left leg up behind you in Warrior 3. Keeping the hips square to the ground, try to lift the thumbs off of the tailbone. Inhale to rise up and swing the left leg forward. Cross the left ankle on top of the right thigh. Opening the left knee to the side, and sitting down as if in a chair, coming in to Standing Pigeon. Repeat through this standing series of poses on the other side.

6. Full Bind - From downward dog, extend the right leg up, stepping the right forward in between the palms. Spin the back heel down, bringing the foot parallel to the short edge of the mat. Rise up through the torso, extending your arms front to back. Take a deep bend in the front knee, for Warrior 2. Bring the right forearm on to the right thigh, and then bring your left hand to the low back (as in the half bind practiced earlier). You can hang out here, or if this feels good you may opt to try for the full bind. If proceeding, bring the right arm under the right thigh, clasping the hands together (or clasping on to a strap). As in extended side angle, think of drawing the left shoulder back. Again you can stay here, or if you wish you can try for Bird of Paradise. Look down, and while keeping the bind step your left foot to the top of the mat. Bring the feet a bit more than hip distance apart. Begin to lift the torso up, bringing the left leg up with it in the bind of the arms. As you draw the shoulder back, see if you can straighten the leg. Look to the ground, bend back down, and gently release the bind. Fold forward in to rag doll, shaking everything out before trying the other side.

7. Seated Twist with Bind - Coming to a seat, extend the legs out in front of you. Bend in to the right knee, and cross the right foot over top of the left thigh. If you can bend the left knee as well, drawing the heel in towards your sit bones. Option 1 is to hook the left elbow over the right thigh and bring the right hand to the ground behind you. To take the bind from here, thread the left hand over and under the right thigh. Then wrap the right hand behind your low back. Reach to clasp the hands together behind you, or hold on to a strap to extend your reach. Think of lengthening up. Ease your way out of the bind and twist, then take the pose to the other side.

Are you a bit confused and want to see each of the moves practiced step by step? Check out the full practice video below.




Namaste,
Kassandra




Please do subscribe

☮ Website: http://www.yogawithkassandra.com ☮ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kryoga ☮ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yoga_with_k... ✔ GET A FREE AUDIOBOOK - http://bit.ly/audibleywk ❤ Your donations help me improve my channel and the quality of my videos, thank you! http://bit.ly/ywkdonate Yoga with Kassandra - Disclaimer Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Kassandra from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Kassandra’s negligence.

Download my NEW "Spring Into Yoga" April calendar http://bit.ly/springintoyoga

Hey yogis, this week's flow is all about binds! Binds are usually thought of as being restrictive and constricting and while that is true, I like to think of binds as freeing too! When one part of your body contracts, another expands. As you bind the shoulders, you're able to open up into the chest and upper back. This is the concept we'll be playing with in this 35 minute intermediate vinyasa flow with binds. Make sure to have a strap and 2 blocks close by for this practice. Always take it slow with binds and don't push yourself. This is a really fun flow that will take you through different variations of Warrior 2, Triangle, Seated Twist and Bird of Paradise.



Namaste,
Kassandra

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