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Perfectly Free (60-mins) Slow Flow

There are times when we need to create change consciously, and there are other times when we need to let things be. Wisdom is cultivated when we know which one to choose and which option feeds us here and now.

A slow flow class to dance and open the body, this class was inspired by Rumi. Heart and hip opening build to Anuvittasana (standing backbend) as the peak. Move through several rhythmic waves to build heat and lengthen the side waist, hamstrings, and hip flexors. This class includes kumbhaka pranayama (breath retention) to stimulate prana (vitality) in the body to boost energy. Close your practice with a grounding seated meditation or longer savasana.

Style: Slow Flow

Duration: 60-minutes

Level: intermediate

Props: 2 blocks

Focus: backbends and back strengthening

Location: Lila Familia Production Studio, Vancouver, BC

Spotify Playlist: Perfectly Free

Opening Meditation and Mantra

Come to a seat on your mat or a reclined pose and close your eyes. Invite a deeper breath and connect to how your body feels right here, right now.

This class opens with a poem by Rumi:

Dance, when you’re broken open. Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you’re perfectly free.

Open your voice with three calls to Aum and a simple chant to Vishnu, the Sustainer, and Lord of Preservation.

Om Vishnu Namah Mantra:

Om = the primordial sound that connects us all

Vishnu = Lord of Preservation

Namah = I bow to you, I honour you

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)

Wave 1

Tadasana (mountain pose)

Urdvha Hastasana (hands to sky)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Ardha Uttanasana (half lift)

Anjaneyasana (lunge)

Vajrasana (thunderbolt pose) variation with toes tucked

  • Inhale and arch the spine
  • Exhale and round the spine
  • Stay here for seated cat/cows OR take cat/cow from tabletop.

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog)

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

Parivrtta Anjaneyasana (revolved lunge) variation with wide arms

  • Take your top arm over your ear and relax the arm from elbow to wrist

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Urdvha Hastasana (hands to sky)

Tadasana (mountain pose)

Tadasana Pavanmuktasana (standing knee to chest)

Āñjaneyāsana (cresent lunge) variation

  • Inhale and extend the back leg and reach the arms overhead
  • Exhale and bend the back knee, so it hovers above the ground
  • Repeat several cycles

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog)

Phalakasana (plank pose)

Bhujangasana (cobra pose) variation on fingertips

  • Inhale and lift your heart and crown of your head
  • Exhale and twist to lower one shoulder to the earth
  • Repeat several cycles twisting to either side

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Tadasana (mountain pose)

Repeat the same sequence on the other leg.

Wave 2 

Utkatasana (chair pose)

  • Inhale and lift your hands and heart a little higher
  • Exhale and lower your bum
  • Hold for several breaths

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Ardha Uttanasana (half lift)

Anjaneyasana (lunge) variation using the blocks

  • Place the blocks on either side of your waist
  • Take your hands to the blocks and lift your chest
  • Express the backbend from the heart and not the low back
  • Hold and breath here

Vajrasana (thunderbolt pose) variation with toes tucked

  • Kumbhaka pranayama (breath retention)
  • Inhale and reach the hands overhead and hold for five seconds
  • Exhale and take the arms wide to either side
  • Do several cycles on your own, gently retaining the breath after the inhale

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog)

Parivrtta Anjaneyasana (revolved lunge)

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

Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana (standing splits) at the back of your mat

Tadasana Pavanmuktasana (standing knee to chest)

Parsvottanasana (pyramid pose) in the middle of your mat using blocks for support

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Tadasana (mountain pose)

Repeat the same sequence on the other leg.

Peak Pose Flow

Anuvittasana (standing backbend) with your feet a little wide

  • Option to take your hands to the small of your back
  • Option to take hands to the back of your thighs
  • Option to take hands to your calves

Tadasana (mountain pose)

Uttanasana (forward fold) variation with bent knees for several breaths to release

Cooling Flow

Parsvottanasana (pyramid pose) variation with crisscrossed legs to express the outer hips.

Baddha Konasana (seated bound angle pose) with variations:

  • Neck release
  • Forward fold using blocks for support

Seated meditation or savasana to close

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