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  • - Hello everyone and welcome to Yoga With Adriene.

  • I am Adriene and this is Benji and today we have an awesome

  • at home yoga practice that's gonna help you learn

  • the foundations of shoulder stand.

  • So hop into something comfy, grab two blankets or two even

  • towels if you have them and let's get started.

  • (gentle music)

  • Okay, welcome everyone.

  • Thank you so much for being here.

  • We're gonna begin seated on your two blankets

  • or your two towels today.

  • If you don't have them and you still want to experience this

  • practice, it's okay but just be really mindful.

  • If you do have them, let's go ahead an put 'em to use by

  • sitting up on them now.

  • Just getting the hips higher than the knees and right away

  • taking this time for you.

  • You're amazing for taking this time.

  • That's really the hardest part, truly.

  • So start to enjoy yourself.

  • Start to bring a little awareness to the body

  • as you sit up nice and tall.

  • And then start to relax the shoulders as you just start to

  • settle in and we're gonna ease in.

  • So even though we have a focus today of breaking down the

  • foundations of a beginner's shoulder stand we're gonna

  • create a little practice so that you can feel really good when

  • you get off the mat because time is valuable and you deserve it.

  • We're gonna start with a little warm up together and then I'll

  • break down the pose with the demonstration that you can watch

  • and then we'll take some time to practice it together.

  • And the reason for this is we want to be just super mindful

  • and aware of the neck as we learn and practice shoulder

  • stand so you don't want to be looking at the video while

  • you're in the posture.

  • Same with Bridge Pose which we're also gonna do.

  • But for now, let's unite, connect,

  • me and you and all of the beautiful people around the

  • world taking time to practice in this very moment.

  • As you're ready, once you're in your nice comfortable seat,

  • take a nice deep breath in through your nostrils

  • and then exhale out through the mouth.

  • And again, inhale in through the nose

  • and as you exhale through the mouth,

  • this time really, really relax your shoulders

  • down, down, down.

  • And maybe for this last one you close your eyes.

  • Here we go, big deep breath in.

  • Oh yeah, exhale, relax the shoulders.

  • Be open to just dropping into this moment.

  • Again, hardest part is done.

  • You're here.

  • Let's have some fun.

  • Nice and slow, dropping the chin to the chest.

  • Nice and slow,

  • lifting nose to the sky.

  • Careful not to crunch the back of the neck.

  • Nice and slow, chin to chest.

  • And nice and slow carving a line with the nose all the way up.

  • So continue this loving gesture.

  • And I say loving because once you reach this highest point

  • looking up, you don't want to take it so far back

  • that you're out of control.

  • So nice and mindful.

  • And whether you're brand new to yoga practice or you've been

  • practicing for a long time you just want to

  • work on your shoulder stand,

  • or you're a part of the KULA and you do the free video every

  • Sunday as it comes out live, which is something we've all

  • been doing, then welcome.

  • But essentially whatever brought you here see if you can use this

  • moment to think of integrating the neck

  • with gestures like this.

  • So rather than just nodding the head up and down,

  • what would it look like, feel like to consider this that I'm

  • actually integrating my neck into every posture?

  • Whether it's a sweaty 90 minute vinyasa or a foundations of yoga

  • practice at home with me.

  • Always integrating the neck.

  • Alright, and then when you're ready we'll bring the head back

  • to center, right over the heart and nice and easy you're gonna

  • drop one ear over one shoulder and then come through center

  • and over to the other side. Very simple.

  • And same thing here.

  • Rather than just going through the motions,

  • getting warmed up through the neck,

  • stretching out, see if you can right away peel back another

  • layer of the onion and think of this gesture as a way,

  • a warm-up, a focus of integration,

  • integrating the neck

  • into the entire shape.

  • And if you're like,

  • "I don't really understand what this lady's talking about."

  • Then you can enjoy the stretch.

  • You can enjoy this time for yourself and maybe another

  • moment in your journey you'll

  • hear that and maybe not.

  • Integrating the neck.

  • Something we're really going to be talking about

  • in the next 30 Days of Yoga.

  • If you're watching this is in real time

  • which will be in January.

  • Oh my gosh, I almost said the name.

  • Okay, bring it back to center.

  • Hands are gonna come to the heart, Anjuli Mudra.

  • Take the deepest breath you've taken all day.

  • In through the nose.

  • And this time out through the nose.

  • Inhale, sit up a little taller.

  • Exhale, out through the nose.

  • And one more, you got it, big breath.

  • Exhale.

  • Awesome, you're gonna interlace the fingertips now.

  • Take them behind the head.

  • Elbows wide.

  • So we're stretching through the shoulder girdle,

  • girdle, here.

  • Use your breath here to start to feel

  • expansion through the chest.

  • Something we're really gonna need in that shoulder stand even

  • when we take our legs over the head,

  • over the torso.

  • So the action points here are opening elbows wide.

  • Lifting sternum up.

  • Drawing the shoulder blades together and then allowing them

  • to melt down, down, down even if it's just an awareness.

  • And then use your breath here to breathe into

  • all four sides of the torso.

  • And you're not gonna catch that big,

  • beautiful, buoyant yogi breath on the first try so just

  • remember it's a practice, it's a journey.

  • And if you have tight shoulders it might help

  • to extend the thumbs here.

  • Just give yourself a little support.

  • A little more space.

  • And you're gonna want to maybe give up,

  • particularly if you're a little tired so think about lengthening

  • from your hip creases to your armpit chest

  • and think about the weight of the legs grounding down

  • as you lift up through your heart.

  • So make it active, basically.

  • (clicks tongue)

  • Yogi secret.

  • And then the great thing about after making it active,

  • drawing the navel in and up is finding the softness, right?

  • That Sukha, that ease.

  • If you haven't already, give it one more go trying to find that

  • big full body breath, filling the lungs with air.

  • Sweet and then release, let's rain it down side to side and

  • then just one time to each side.

  • (chuckles) Benji's very Zenned out today.

  • Inhale to reach up and over, big side body stretch.

  • Aw.

  • And then bring it back to center.

  • And other side, up first and then over.

  • Creating length.

  • Awesome.

  • And you're gonna come back to center,

  • take one more cycle of breath.

  • Inhale lots of love in.

  • Exhale, use it to relax the shoulders down.

  • Great, okay so from here we're gonna come on to the back for a

  • little Bridge Pose warm-up.

  • You can use the blankets if you want.

  • I'm gonna push mine to the side and just save them.

  • If you have never done a Bridge Pose you can watch this one

  • first and then pick up on the second and third.

  • If you know Setu Bandhasana well we can do all three together.

  • (snaps) Okay.

  • Oh, also I was not gonna say this but I am nursing a little

  • soreness in my low back so if you see me moving a little

  • funny, that's why but I still wanted to do

  • this pose for you today.

  • It's a big request and so that's that.

  • I'm human.

  • And it's a good thing to kind of just tend to it instead of try

  • and fake it and you know do that thing.

  • That's not gonna work for me anymore.

  • Gotta be mindful, gotta honor what is.

  • Okay, but this is gonna feel good.

  • So here we go.

  • We're gonna walk the, you're gonna come on to your back.

  • You're gonna walk the heels up in line with your sits bones

  • and you're gonna reach your fingertips

  • down towards your heels.

  • Right away I'm gonna snuggle my shoulder blades

  • into my heart space.

  • In and underneath my figurative heart space.

  • You can think about drawing your shoulder blades

  • together to touch, to kiss.

  • Then a little bit of a tendency here is to get up into the pose

  • before we've set up the foundation.

  • So if the feet are too wide or a lot of times I'll just see

  • them a little bit too close, you're gonna want to think about

  • bringing them in alignment with your hip points.

  • So not the outer hips but your hip points.

  • And the truth is the more that I

  • lead yoga and experience that exchange,

  • the less exact I think it is.

  • I think every body is different

  • so you're gonna use these as guidelines

  • but also it is important to learn the alignment

  • and the action so that you can stay safe,

  • especially with at home yoga.

  • So hip points are in line with the knees or rather knees are in

  • line with the hip points.

  • Ankles are in line with the knees.

  • Alright, so not here, not here.

  • You'll walk 'em in.

  • So I'm on two parallel lines.

  • I know it seems like I'm obsessing but for beginners it's

  • like you can't really see down there so have to just keep

  • saying careful not to go too wide,

  • careful not to go too narrow.

  • Okay.

  • Then fingertips are gonna actively press into the earth.

  • And we're gonna press into all four corners of the feet firmly.

  • Right away you're connected before you

  • even lift any weight up.

  • Shoulder blades continue to draw together so you feel

  • that active opening the chest.

  • So you're already active before you even lift up.

  • Then we'll take a deep breath in.

  • Filling the lungs.

  • Big chest expansion here.

  • And then on the exhale you'll use it to re-anchor your

  • foundation and begin to slowly lift the hip points,

  • the hip creases up.

  • Then as you come about halfway you're gonna pause re-assess,

  • re-connect and maybe draw the shoulder blades together

  • a little bit more and then we'll continue the journey,

  • this time really thinking of sending the shins forward.

  • Shins forward.

  • Now knees are gonna want to come in here.

  • Imagine you're holding or squeezing an imaginary block

  • between the thighs.

  • You're holding on to your foundation

  • and you're breathing deep.

  • Great, then chest is gonna lift to chin.

  • I might find more space here and then chin to sky.

  • If I want, I can interlace the fingertips behind

  • my back for a bind.

  • I'm active.

  • I'm thinking about sending my sits bones towards

  • the backs of my knees.

  • I'm sending my shins forward.

  • And once again, chest to chin and chin to sky.

  • Breathing deep.

  • Breathing deep.

  • To come out, I'll take a deep breath in.

  • Exhale, slowly release, slowly come down.

  • When you release, take a deep breath in and a long breath out.

  • So if you're observing you can come now to join me.

  • <