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Practice with Clara

Drop Back (61-mins) Vinyasa

An advanced vinyasa practice features core and back body strengthening to prepare you for the peak flow. Move through Anuvittasana (standing backbend) and drop back into Urdhva Dhanurasana (wheel pose). Twists, lunges, hip opening, side body lengthening, and quad stretches prepare the body for heart-opening. This class ends with a longer cooling series and savasana.

This class is themed for surrender. Heart opening practices ask that we open the front line, typically associated with reception, vulnerability, and expansion. How much can you release to open and express?

** Learn how to do a yoga drop back from standing backbend into a wheel pose with this short tutorial.

Style: Vinyasa

Duration: 60-min

Level: Open

Props: 2 Blocks

Focus: twists, back bending with standing backbend as peak pose.

Location: Vancouver, BC.

Spotify Playlist: I Beg You to Have Patience

Opening Meditation

Come to a seat of your choice and close your eyes. Drop into your breath and feel your body. Inhale to lengthen and exhale to soften.

The theme for class is surrender. In the Bhagavad Gita, one of India’s oldest and most sacred texts, a conversation is presented around how to live our lives. Arjuna, the warrior, is in a conversation with Krishna — who represents the Divine, ultimate consciousness, and the inner teacher — expresses how to move through and do things that make us uncomfortable or that we find very challenging. Krishna tells Arjuna that we must surrender and let go of the outcome and all attachment to the outcome. We must do what we do with all of our hearts and souls without attachment to the product of our actions. We must act for action’s sake and not to bear the fruit for one’s actions.

Control creates constraints. The goal of yoga is freedom; we must soften the grip—soften our attachment to outcome and control—to attain space, liberation, and release.

A few questions to sit with before or after class: 

  • How would you define surrender?
  • What is your relationship to surrender?
  • Where in your physical body is it easeful to surrender?
  • Where in your body do you find it easy to soften and let go?
  • Where in your body is it a challenge to surrender? Soften? Let go?
  • Can you let go of your expectation of what is to come?
  • Can I surrender to the process of exploration?
  • Can I let go of the outcome?
  • How can I soften the grip of control?

10-15 breaths 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 stand at the top of your mat.

2x Sun Salutations – flow on your own or follow the cues

Tadasana (mountain pose)

Urdvha Hastasana (hands to sky)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Ardha Uttanasana (half lift)

Anjaneyasana (lunge)

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog)

Phalakasana (plank pose)

Chaturanga

Bhujangasana (cobra pose)

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog) variation

  • Take your feet as wide as your mat
  • Bend your knees generously
  • Tip both heels to one side
  • Turn your torso to face the same side as your feet
  • Extend the arm that is facing the side of the mat over your head
  • Take a couple of breaths
  • Switch sides

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Ardha Uttanasana (half lift)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Urdvha Hastasana (hands to sky)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Repeat the same sequence on the other leg.

Wave 1 

Tadasana (mountain pose)

Urdvha Hastasana (hands to sky)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Ardha Uttanasana (half lift)

Anjaneyasana (lunge)

  • Lower your back knee to the ground
  • Place your blocks on either side of your pelvis
  • Bend deep into your front knee
  • Bring your pelvis forward and down
  • Take your hands to your front knee and press them forward and down
  • Keep your hands on your leg or place your palms on your blocks
  • Shrug your shoulders onto your back
  • Lift the front of your chest and draw your heart forward and up
  • Tilt the chin upwards and breathe into the spine and front line

Anjaneyasana (lunge)

  • Take your blocks on the highest height outside the front foot
  • Lift the back knee
  • Press your palms on the blocks and breathe into this pose

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog)

Phalakasana (plank pose)

Chaturanga (x8)

  • Lower your knees to the ground
  • Or keep knees lifted
  • Inhale and lift up
  • Exhale and lower halfway
  • Repeat eight times

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog)

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

Anjaneyasana (lunge)

  • Inhale and lower the back knee as you reach your arms overhead
  • Exhale and lift the back knee as you sweep your arms forward and down
  • Repeat several cycles

Ardha Hanumanasana (half splits pose)

​​Tadasana Janu Hastasana (standing hand to knee pose)

Tada Kapotasana Chair (standing pigeon chair pose)

Utkatasana (chair pose)

Parivrtta Utkatasana (revolved chair pose)

Parivrtta Anjaneyasana (revolved lunge pose)

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

Vasisthasana (side plank pose)

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog)

Phalakasana (plank pose)

Chaturanga

Bhujangasana (cobra pose)

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog) variation

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Ardha Uttanasana (half lift)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Urdvha Hastasana (hands to sky)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Repeat the same sequence on the other leg.

Peak Flow

Balasana (child’s pose) or stay seated for a few breaths

Ustrasana (camel pose)

  • Take one block on the widest width and set it between your feet
  • Hug the block between your toes
  • Place another block on the widest width between the inner thighs
  • Hug the block between the upper thighs
  • Set your palms on the low back and lift the chest
  • Squeeze the blocks as you lift the heart up and back
  • Keep your hands on your low back or take them to your heels

Sit on your blocks or heels and take a couple of breaths to reset and feel.

Anuvittasana (standing backbend)

  • Take your feet wide on your mat
  • Turn your toes to face forward
  • Bend your knees a lot
  • Place your palms on your low back
  • Lift the chest as your root down through both legs
  • Keep your hands as they are, or walk them down the backs of your legs
  • Stay as you are or progress into wheel pose

Urdhva Dhanurasana (wheel pose)

Take one more backbend of choice:

  1. Anuvittasana (standing backbend)
  2. Urdhva Dhanurasana (wheel pose)
  3. Ustrasana (camel pose)

Cooling Flow 

Come onto your back and take your knees as wide as your mat.

Wash your knees gently from side to side.

Ananda Balasana (happy baby pose)

Supta Kapotasana (reclined pigeon pose)

Supta Matsyendrasana (reclined spinal twist)

Baddha Konasana (seated bound angle pose)

  • Option to hold and breath in a forward fold variation
  • Option to move through neck release

Savasana or seated meditation to close.