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Practice with Clara

So Hum (60-min) Vinyasa

A vigorous vinyasa practice that works with the root and abdominal lock as you move through deep core stabilizing postures. This class includes sun salutations using a block between the inner thighs. Handstand hops, abdominal exercises, and back bending using a block help build strength in the inner thighs and deep core muscles attached to the spine. This practice concludes with a long cooling series, Nadi Shodhana, a mantra, and meditation.

Style: Vinyasa

Duration: 60-minutes

Level: intermediate

Props: 2 Blocks

Focus: core and glute stability with handstand hops, backbends, twists.

Location: Vancouver, BC

Music: Take Flight Spotify Playlist

The Mythology of Brahma: 

Brahma created the universe that we experience. He is born out of Vishnu’s navel, in a lotus flower. He slowly opens his eyes and does not recognize or understand what he sees. He sees nothing but red petals as he looks to the North, South, East, and West.

He opens his eyes that looks skyward and sees blue. He asks himself, Who am I? Where am I? Where do I come from? What am I here to do?

He looks outward for answers and sees none. So he closes his eyes and looks inward. Through his mind’s eye, he goes deeper into the flower and the lotus. He goes down the stem and into the roots.

From the roots, he melts down into the water, where the lotus flower takes hold. This lotus flower is the ocean of continuousness. He realizes that the ocean of consciousness encompasses all things.

He remembers who he is and why he is here: to create the universe—anchored in his connection to the ocean of consciousness. He goes through the roots, up the stem of the flower, and into his body seated at the hear of the lotus. He opens his eyes and remembers who he is and what he is here to do.

The gift of this practice is to remember who we are, where we are, and how we came to be. May this practice remind you of what you are here to do.

Opening Movement

Come to recline on your back. Bend your knees and place the sole of your feet on the ground. Place a block between your inner thighs between your knees and pelvis.

Squeeze the block each time you exhale. Lift the pelvic floor each time you exhale to work with mula bandha, the root lock, to draw the kundalini energy upwards from the root to your third eye. Lift the belly button in and up to engage uddiyana bandha. Try to maintain mula bandha and uddiyana bandha as you work through the practice.

Keep breathing and draw your feet from the ground. Squeeze the block between your inner thighs and engage the root and belly lock.

Option to bring your palms to your thighs, press the palms away, and draw the legs toward your torso.

This is a fiery pose that works the deep core stabilizes. Be still and breathe, adding as much intensity by the force of leg to palm or taking the intensity away by releasing the hands to the ground.

Remove the block and wash the knees from side to side.

Draw your knees to your chest and rock side to side or roll up to a forward fold.

Opening Flow

Tadasana (mountain pose)

Urdvha Hastasana (hands to sky)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Ardha Uttanasana (half lift)

Anjaneyasana (lunge)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (down dog)

Phalakasana (plank pose)

Chaturanga

Bhujangasana (cobra pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (down dog)

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

Anjaneyasana (lunge)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Ardha Uttanasana (half lift)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Urdvha Hastasana (hands to sky)

Tadasana (mountain pose)

Repeat the same sequence on the other leg.

Wave 1

Tadasana (mountain pose) add the block between your inner thighs

  • Connect to a gaze point
  • Draw the belly button in and up
  • Squeeze the block between the thighs

Utkatasana (chair pose) with the block

Uttanasana (forward fold) with the block

Ardha Uttanasana (half lift) with the block

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (down dog) with the block

Phalakasana (plank pose) with the block for 8 breaths

Chaturanga with the block

Bhujangasana (cobra pose) with the block

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (down dog) with the block

Uttanasana (forward fold) with the block

Ardha Uttanasana (half lift) with the block

Uttanasana (forward fold) with the block

Urdvha Hastasana (hands to the sky) with the block

Tadasana (mountain pose) with the block

Repeat the same sequence one more time.

Wave 2

Tadasana (mountain pose) remove the block and bring the heels together to touch

Urdvha Hastasana (hands to sky) variation

  • Bring the hands together above your head and clasp the palms
  • Come up to your tiptoes
  • Bend your knees and come halfway down
  • Hug the navel in and up
  • Keep your knees together
  • Bring your heels down to the ground

Utkatasana (chair pose)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Ardha Uttanasana (half lift)

Phalakasana (plank pose)

Chaturanga with the block

Bhujangasana (cobra pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (down dog)

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

Virabhadrasana II (warrior 2)

Trikonasana (triangle pose)

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

  • Handstand hops forward and back on your mat

Parivrtta Utthita Ashwa Sanchalanasana (revolved lunge pose)

Parivrtta Utkatasana (revolved chair pose)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Ardha Uttanasana (half lift)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Urdvha Hastasana (hands to the sky)

Tadasana (mountain pose)

Repeat the same sequence on the other leg.

Wave 2 

Tadasana (mountain pose)

Urdvha Hastasana (hands to sky)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Ardha Uttanasana (half lift)

Phalakasana (plank pose)

Chaturanga with the block

Bhujangasana (cobra pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (down dog)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Backbend Flow

Come to your seat and lay down on your back

Place the block between your inner thighs

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (bridge pose) with the block

Eka Pada Setu Bandhasana (single-legged bridge pose) with the block

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (bridge pose) with the block

Eka Pada Setu Bandhasana (single-legged bridge pose) with the block

Urdhva Dhanurasana (wheel pose) with the block

Cooling Flow

Supta Baddha Konasana (reclined bound angle pose)

Upaviṣṭa Koṇāsana (wide-legged forward bend) variation

  • Bend one knee in toward the groin
  • Take the opposite hand to your bent knee and twist toward that side
  • Hold for 5 breaths
  • Twist to the opposite side
  • Hold for 5 breaths
  • Come to the center and fold between your legs
  • Hold for 5-8 breaths
  • Option to place a block under your arms or forehead
  • Switch legs and repeat on the other side.

Baddha Konasana (seated bound angle pose)

Upaviṣṭa Koṇāsana (wide-legged forward bend)

Pranayama – 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.

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. Nadi Shodhana lowers the heart rate and reduces stress and anxiety as it purifies the subtle energy channels so the Prana (breath, life-force) can flow with ease.

Sushumna is the body’s central channel and largest energy line. It is the home to the seven chakras. Two energy lines traverse Shusumna—the spine—called Ida and Pingala. Ida and Pingala represent the other two main energy lines that move from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. These two energy lines refer to the right and left sides of the brain; through these energy lines, or Nadis, we create balance in the body and connect the two hemispheres through the breath.

Pingala represents solar energy, masculine, extroverted, bright, left hemisphere.

Ida represents lunar energy, feminine, introverted, dark, right hemisphere.

We need both energies to be whole. We need both energies to feel balanced in body and mind. When we connect such dualistic expressions, we create our reality. Without the opposition of the other, there is no creation story.

Seated meditation or savasana to close.

Mantra:

So Hum – I am That/That I am

Questions to sit with:

  • Who am I?
  • Where am I
  • Where did I come from?
  • What am I supposed to do here?