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Practice with Clara

Carried by the Rhythm (66-mins) Vinyasa

Let’s ride the wave of divine sensation.

Join Clara for a rhythmic vinyasa practice inspired by her teacher, Shiva Rea’s Prana Flow Yoga. Dance in your breath with a classic moving meditation to open the heart; this class starts with a reading from the Radiance Sutras and invites you to breathe into the rhythm of your body. Ride a vinyasa wave that strengthens the legs and core with leg balancing poses. This class progresses towards ustrasana, camel pose, with several variations. Inversions and hip opening close this class.

Spotify playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6kMN2blLNcI8LRjpEyqlJx?si=IZEJNQWNTDuqxnEe46UAvQ

For the condensed (45-minute) version of this class: https://practice.clararobertsoss.com/programs/carried-by-the-rhythm-condensed

Style: Vinyasa

Duration: 66-mins

Level: intermediate/advanced

Props: 2 blocks, 1 blanket

Focus: Prana Flow yoga with heart-opening as we build toward ustrasana, camel pose.

Location: Lila Familia Production Studio, Vancouver, BC

Opening Meditation

Come to a seat on your mat using as many or a few props as you prefer.

Close your eyes and connect to your breath. This class invites you to move gently in your seat to connect to the breath and the energy that’s constantly moving within us. Stillness is never possible; our heart is continually pumping blood through our bodies. The energy within and around us is always vibrating and pulsing; in Tantra, we call this the Spanda.

Today’s class is meant to connect you to your inherent rhythm; let’s move and breathe and be carried by the rhythm.

Open practice with a seated meditation inspired by one of Clara’s favorite books on Tantra. The meditation is guided based on this expert from The Radiance Sutras, translated by Lorin Roche.

“Rocking, undulating, swaying,

Carried by rhythm,

Cherish the streaming energy

Flooding your body

As a current of the divine.

Oh Radiant One,

Ride the waves of ecstatic motion

Into a sublime fusion

Of passion and peace.”

– The Radiance Sutras, translation by Lorin Roche.

Tantra is all about experiencing the divine within the body, contrary to traditional yogic texts. Patanjali spoke about transcending the limitations of the body to connect to the divine. This is one approach; another method to experience the divine is to feel and fully experience the body. Listening to the body, feeling the breath, and movement, such as yoga, are ways to dance with the divine within.

From Shiva Rea’s Prana Flow Yoga:

Prana = life-force, breath, movements of life

Vinyasa = evolution, wave, cycle, lineage teachings of flowing yoga

Yoga = to unify, the state of unified consciousness

Prana Vinyasa is a journey to greater embodiment, vitality, enjoyment of life, living flow, creative fulfillment, natural happiness, and a connection to one’s sva dharma: inherent purpose in life.

Read more about Prana Vinyasa by Shiva Rea here.

As you sit in meditation, think about what passion means to you. Where does passion live in the body, and how does it feel? Bring your breath into that space in the body.

Next, consider the word peace. What is your relationship to peace? Where does this word live in your body, and can you bring your awareness there as you breathe.

As you sit and breathe, slow down the gentle undulations and rhythm of your breath moving through your body. Come to stillness where your spine feels very long.

As you come to stillness, allow your breath to be the current traveling up and down the spine. Move the wave of the breath from the bowl of the pelvis to the crown of the head; breathe up and down Sushumna, your spine, and image light moving up and down the body.

If this feels too restrictive, bring slow, gentle undulations to the spine by rocking forward and back. Rub your palms together, create a little heat between your hands, bring your hands to your heart, and bow your head softly to your chest.

Opening Flow 

10-15 breath to move as you like, options:

  • Balasana (child’s pose)
  • Adho Mukha Shvanasana (down dog)
  • Uttanasana (forward fold)
  • Bidalasana (cat pose)
  • Bitilasana (cow pose)

Come to Tadasana at the top of your mat.

2x Sun Salutations – following the cues with Clara or moving at your own pace.

Wave 1

Tadasana (mountain pose)

Utkatasana (chair pose)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Ardha Uttanasana (half lift)

Ashta Chandrasana (high lunge) variation

  • Inhale and lengthen your back leg and arms overhead,
  • Exhale and bend your back knee and lower your arms in line with the shoulders,
  • Repeat several cycles.

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog)

Phalakasana (plank pose) undulations

  • Inhale and come forward to plank pose,
  • Exhale and press back to downward dog,
  • Repeat several cycles.

Bhujangasana (cobra pose) OR Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (upward dog)


Phalakasana (plank pose)

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog)

Eka pada adho mukha svanasana (3-legged downward dog)

Virabhadrasana ||  (warrior 2) variation with dancing warriors

  • Inhale and come into a peaceful warrior,
  • Exhale and come into modified side angle pose,
  • Repeat several cycles.

Lahari Flow from Prana Flow Yoga

  • Hold this variation of side plank, option to come to your forearm if you have wrist sensitivity, OR
  • Inhale and take your hips to the sky,
  • Exhale and lower your hip to the ground,
  • Repeat several cycles.

Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana (standing splits)

Ardha Matsyendrasana (seated spinal twist) variation with arms extended.

Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana (standing splits)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Ardha Uttanasana (half lift)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Urdhva Hastasana (hands to sky)

Tadasana (mountain pose)

Standing quadricep stretch with heel to bum and hands to the sky

Standing twist with the same leg to the chest and wide arms

Ashta Chandrasana (high lunge) variation keeping arms wide as you twist

Anjaneyasana (low lunge) variation

  • Take your hands to your low back and lift the chest to the sky,
  • Take a deeper backbend from the mid and upper back as you breathe.

Anjaneyasana (low lunge) variation with eagle arms

Garudasana (eagle pose)

Tadasana (mountail pose)

Repeat the same sequence on the opposite leg.

Peak Flow

Tadasana (mountain pose)

Urdhva Hastasana (hands to sky)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Ardha Uttanasana (half lift)

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog)

Come to downward dog and lower the knees to the ground.

We’ll move through several variations of Ustrasana (camel pose).

Feel free to use a blanket or padding on your knees.

If this shape doesn’t serve, take another backbend of choice.

  1. Camel with hands at the low back
  2. Camel with hands on your heels
  3. Camel with a half hero with one heel to your bum

Take a tall seat in between each backbend.

Cooling Flow

Inversion of choice: after opening the spine with backbends, we’ll compress the spine with an inversion. Here are your options:

  1. Viparita Karani – legs up the wall
  2. Sarvangasana – shoulder stand
  3. Sirsasana – headstand

Hold your inversion for 10-breaths and then come to a seat, child’s pose, or happy baby.

Deer pose (90/90 legs) OR a hip opener of choice, options:

  1. Supta Kapotasana – reclined pigeon pose
  2. Kapotasana – pigeon pose
  3. Agnistambhasana – double pigeon pose

Come to a seat or reclined on your back using props if you prefer for pranayama.

This pranayama is called Nadi Shodhana, aka alternate nostril breathing.

Nadi Shodhana set up:

  • Take your thumb to your right nostril,
  • Take your ring and pinkie fingers to the left nostril
  • Place your index and middle finger to your third eye between the brows.

Nadhi Shodhana how-to:

  • Plug your right nostril and inhale on the left side
  • Plug both nostrils and hold at the top
  • Release the right nostril and exhale from the right side
  • Pause at the bottom
  • Inhale on the right nostril
  • Plug both nostrils and hold at the top
  • Release the left nostril and exhale
  • Pause at the bottom
  • Repeat several cycles on your own.

To do this with Clara, you’ll inhale for the count of six, hold for four, and exhale for the count of eight as you alternate between each side.

Nadhi Shodhana benefits:

This style of pranayama carries more oxygen to the blood than regular breathing; it also soothes the nervous system, helps create calm in the body and mind, and balances the subtle body.

Seated meditation or savasana to close.