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Life As Celebration (85-min) Vinyasa

May we become more present; may we choose to stay in the here and now. May we experience the poses in our body and our breath. 

A rhythmic Prana Flow Vinyasa class features heart and hip opening as you progress towards the peak pose, Matsyendra Virasana (reclined fish) with hero legs. The standing series features Prana Flow-style movements in breath and body, with leg balancing and side plank variations to build heat. Enjoy each successive wave as you move towards seated postures with pranayama, meditation, and prose to close practice.

Style: Vinyasa

Duration: 90-mins

Level: open

Props: 2 blocks, 1 blanket

Focus: Hip and heart-opening as you move toward a variation of reclined fish with hero legs, Matsyendra Virasana.

Location: Lila Familia Production Studio, Vancouver, BC

Spotify Playlist: Life As Celebration (PWC)

Opening Meditation

Come to a tall seat and close your eyes. Breathe deeply into your body and attune to every inhale and exhale. This class aims to practice letting go of all expectations and goals; we are not striving to get anywhere. Instead, enjoy the wave of your breath and feel each sensation as it arises.

Stay seated for a moving meditation with flowering arms:

  • Rub your palms together at your heart to create heat and feel the energy,
  • Inhale and bring your arms overhead,
  • Exhale and open the arms wide and down to either side,
  • Repeat this cycle five or six times as you breathe.

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 Uttanasana (forward fold) at the top of your mat for 8-10 breaths.

Tadasana (mountain pose).

4x Surya Namaskars following the cues or flowing at your own pace.

Wave 1

Utkatasana (chair pose)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Ardha Uttanasana (half lift)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Ashta Chandrasana (lunge)

Utthan Pristhasana (lizard pose)

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

  • Take swirls with the extended leg OR stay as you are for 5-8 breaths.

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog)

Phalakasana (plank pose)

Bhujangasana (cobra pose)

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog)

Virabhadrasana II (warrior 2) variation with Prana Flow arms

  • Cactus your arms wide,
  • Inhale and take the elbows slightly behind you and puff up the chest,
  • Exhale and bring your elbows together in front of your chest as your round your spine,
  • Inhale and take your hands overhead to lengthen the side body,
  • Exhale open your arms to a t-shape wide to either side of your torso,
  • Inhale cactus your arms and take the elbows slightly behind you,
  • Repeat several cycles of this motion.

Ashta Chandrasana (lunge) variation with fingertips on the ground

Anjaneyasana (low lunge) variation with two 90 degree angles in your legs

  • Take your arms up to the sky and grab opposite elbows,
  • Lengthen your elbows toward the sky as you breathe.

Tadasana Pavanmuktasana (standing one knee to chest)

Ardha Utkatasana (standing half chair pose with number four legs)

Utkatasana (revolved chair pose)

Parivrtta Utkatasana (revolved chair pose)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Ashta Chandrasana (lunge) variation

  • Inhale and take your hands to the sky,
  • Exhale and sweep the arms down and back as you take your ribs to your thighs,
  • Repeat several cycles.

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

Vasisthasana (side plank pose)

Ashta Chandrasana (lunge) variation with fingers on the ground

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Urdhva Hastasana (hands to sky)

Tadasana (mountain pose)

Repeat the same sequence on the other side.

Wave 2

Utkatasana (chair pose)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Ardha Uttanasana (half lift)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Ashta Chandrasana (lunge)

Utthan Pristhasana (revolved thigh stretch)

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

Parsva Vasisthasana (side plank pose)

Phalakasana (plank pose)

Bhujangasana (cobra pose)

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog)

Utthan Pristhasana (lizard pose)

Parivrtta Anjaneyasana (revloved low lunge pose)

Parsvottanasana (pyramid pose)

Tadasana Pavanmuktasana (standing one knee to chest)

Utkatasana (revolved chair pose)

Parivrtta Ardha Utkatasana (revolved half chair with number four legs)

Urdhva Hastasana (hands to sky)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Ardha Uttanasana (half lift)

Anjaneyasana (low lunge pose) variation

  • Create two 90 degree angles with your legs,
  • Add some padding under the back knee to support the joint,
  • Take your hands to your front thigh and lift your chest.

Option 1: Stay here and breathe into your back quadricep.

Option 2: Take one hand to the back leg and draw your heel toward your bum.

Option 3: Mermaid pose with your arms by taking your front hand to the back of your head, lift your chest and breathe into the frontline.

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

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Urdhva Hastasana (hands to sky)

Tadasana (mountain pose)

Peak Pose Flow

You have several options for this pose, depending on whether or not you have any knee sensitivity. Our knees take a bit of a beating in our day-to-day, so be conscious of the flexion and internal/external rotation around the knee joint to preserve longevity. Happy knees = happy people!

To set up your props:

  1. Take one block and place it vertically, length-wise, in the center of your mat to support the spine at the back of the heart.
  2. Take one block horizontally and place it above your other block for the back of your head.
  3. A chip-foam block or a folded blanket may be used under your bum.

Option 1: Supported Matsyendra Virasana (reclined fish) with hero legs

Option 2: Matsyendra Virasana (reclined fish) with legs extended

Place your legs in either hero pose OR extended down your mat as you recline with the back of your heart and head on your bocks.

  • Inhale and reach the arms overhead, so your hands are at the back of your mat,
  • Exhale and sweep the arms above the chest and down to the hips,
  • Repeat this 3-5 times,
  • Place your hands wide on either side and have a good breathe; we’re here for 15-20 breaths.

Cooling Flow

Come to sit with cross legs or on your shins to allow the spine to neutralize.

Janu Sirsasana (seated head to knee pose) with kumbhaka pranayama

Kumbhaka is a form of breath retention; do not do this pranayama if you have difficulty breathing or anxiety. Breathe normally with longer inhales and exhales. If you do take kumbhaka pranayama, hold to a point where you don’t feel any discomfort.

  • Take five cycles of kumbhaka pranayama.
  • Fold over your leg and allow the spine to round slightly and breathe.

Baddha Konasana (seated bound angle pose) supported with a block

Pavanamuktasana (wind relieving pose)

Supta Matsyendrasana (reclined spinal twist) variation

  • Option to keep both knees bent, OR
  • Extend the top leg to stretch your outer hip, glutes, and hamstrings.

Viparita Karani (legs up the wall) OR take your legs up on your mat.

Closing Meditation 

Seated meditation or a savasana to close your practice.

Delight in these meditations, my Adored One.

Play with creation as it plays with you.

Playing, become smaller than an atom,

Travel through the expanse of space,

Drink the elixir of immortality.

Bathe in the stream of these life-giving teachings.

Flirt with the tingling sparks of vitality

Surging through your body,

Live your whole life as a festival, a celebration,

Liberated in love and work.

— The Radiance Sutra, verse 141, translated by Lorin Roche.

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