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Tend the Soil (60-min) Vinyasa

A watery class inspired by Ana Forrest Yoga, you’ll move toward Dhanurasana (bow pose) as the peak pose. This class uses a bolster to support core strengthening and resistance; by pressing into the bolster, this action brings awareness to the abdominal muscles. Back and gluteal strengthening are balanced with side body and quadricep lengthening. Move through a fluid and dynamic flow to create heat and space across the chest’s front and back.

*** If you have digestive issues (IBS), are pregnant, or on your moon, please do not press your belly against the bolster. Instead, take camel pose or cat/cows when the bolster is suggestive throughout the class. Modify as you need; we are on the belly a lot in this class, so the offering would be to lay on your stomach without the bolster or do things on your hands and knees if pressure on the abdomen doesn’t serve.

Spotify Playlist: Tend the Soil

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/2UX42DelBjCdveWJ2t0UhG?si=8b2fd37776fa4b27

Style: Vinyasa

Duration: 60-minutes

Level: open-levels

Props: 2 blocks, 1 bolster

Focus: Core, back, and glute strengthening with back bending as the peak pose

Location: Lila Familia Production Studio, Vancouver, BC

Opening Sequence

This class opens with a posture from Forrest Yoga.

Create a little snail by rolling your mat up.

  • Fold the edges of the mat inwards.
  • Roll the mat up from one end until you have a small roll.
  • Place the snail roll at the center of the navel.
  • The further you extend your arms and legs, the more you will feel this in your belly.
  • You may feel a pulsation around the lower abdomen and the navel.
  • Breathe deep into your body.

***If you ate in the last hour, please take child’s pose, OR make two fists and tuck your fists into the lower abdomen and then take the child’s pose. The fists create stimulating knots on the lower abdomen; it’s less pressure than the roll.

Stay on your roll or in child’s pose for 4-5 minutes.

Benefits of this pose:

  • The snail roll softens the muscles around the lower abdomen to give the organs an internal massage.
  • Relaxing the abdomen gives access to the psoas muscles; this provides the psoas with an excellent release. The psoas (hip flexors) become tight and stained from sitting.
  • As the psoas release, you may feel a rush of energy down the legs (tingling or heat).

Come off of your roll and lay your mat back down on the ground.

Balasana (child’s pose)

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

Tadasana (mountain pose)

Urdhva Hastasana (hands to sky)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Ardha Uttanasana (half lift)

Anjaneyasana (low lunge) variation

  • Inhale takes arms forward and up,
  • Exhale take ribs to thighs, arms back behind you.

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog)

Phalakasana (plank pose)

Chaturanga

Bhujangasana (cobra pose) variation on fingertips

Phalakasana (plank pose)

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog)

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

Anjaneyasana (low lunge) variation

  • Inhale takes arms forward and up,
  • Exhale take ribs to thighs, arms back behind you.

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Urdhva Hastasana (hands to sky)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Ardha Uttanasana (half lift)

Ashta Chandrasana (high lunge) variation with the breath of joy

  • Inhale hands out to the side and extend the back leg
  • Exhale, wrap your arms around yourself and bend the back leg.
  • Repeat several cycles

Parivrtta Anjaneyasana (revolved lunge) variation with arms wide

  • Inhale roll chest open to the sky with the front knee bent,
  • Exhale round the back, take chin to chest, and straighten the front leg

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

  • Stack the hips and bend your extended leg

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog)

Take knees to the ground and place the bolster on the ground in front of you.

  • Set your belly on the bolster and relax the abdomen on the bolster as we did in the snail roll pose
  • Stack your palms and put your head on your hands
  • Breathe into the lower abdomen

FIngerstand cobra using the bolster on the lower abdomen

  • Press your abdomen against the bolster for resistance
  • Repeat several times

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog)

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

Ashta Chandrasana (high lunge) variation with the breath of joy

  • Inhale take hands out to the side and extend the back leg
  • Exhale, wrap your arms around yourself and bend the back leg.
  • Repeat several cycles

Parivrtta Anjaneyasana (revolved lunge) variation with arms wide

  • Inhale roll chest open to the sky with the front knee bent,
  • Exhale round the back, take chin to chest, and straighten the front leg

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

  • Stack the hips and bend your extended leg

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog)

Wave 1

Tadasana (mountain pose) at the back of your mat

Quadricep stretch with a heel to your bum

  • Take both hands to the sky and grab opposite elbows with your hands.

Take the knee to your chest of your lifted leg and extend from the heel.

Virabhadrasana III (warrior 3) variation with both knees bent.

Take the knee to your chest of your lifted leg and extend from the heel.

Virabhadrasana I (warrior 1) variation with the hands at opposite elbows

Garuda (eagle pose) variation with hands at opposite elbows

Utkatasana (chair pose)

Parivrtta Utkatasana (revolved chair pose)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Anjaneyasana (low lunge) variation

  • Lower the pelvis toward the ground
  • Place both palms on the front thigh.
  • Breathe into your back quadricep

Bharmanasana (tabletop) variation

  • Extend one leg behind you off of the ground
  • Extend the opposite hand toward the front of the room
  • Option to keep the hand on the ground

Come to sit with your heels on your bum for 1-cycle of kapalabhati breath.

Place your bolster on your mat and come to lay down with the belly on the bolster.

Two options:

  1. Fingerstand cobra with the bolster at the abdomen
  2. Lifting with no hands with the bolster at the abdomen

Repeat the same sequence on the other side.

Backbending Sequence 

Place your bolster on your mat and come to lay down with the belly on the bolster.

Option 1:

  • Fingerstand cobra with the bolster at the abdomen, lift with no hands.

Option 2:

  • Ardha Shalabhasana (locust pose) variation with feet on the ground.

Option 3:

  • Dhanurasana (bow pose) variation with thighs on the ground.

Using the bolster, take one of the above options to backbend using the bolster to engage the abdominals. This form of resistance brings more space to the low back to support the spine as you backbend.

Take rest with the head on the hands before doing one more backbend using the bolster to assist your progression OR rest.

Cooling Sequence 

Come to sit on your heels for a cooling breath meditation.

Option to also sit on a prop or take a child’s pose.

Breathing meditation:

  • Inhale for the count of six,
  • Hold for the count of four,
  • Exhale for the count of eight.

Ardha Matsyendrasana (seated spinal twist)

Marichyasana (Sage twist pose)

Inner thigh opener of choice, options:

  1. Baddha Konasana (bound angle pose)
  2. Supta Baddha Konasana (cobblers pose)
  3. Viparita Karani (legs up the wall) variation with legs wide
  4. Upavistha Konasana (wide-legged seated forward fold)

Savasana or seated meditation to close.

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