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Practice with Clara

True Love (60-mins) Vinyasa – Audio Only

A slow and strong vinyasa practice that opens with Prostration Namaskars, this class features core and back body strengthening to prepare you for backbends.

Leg balancing, twists, and Forrest-inspired core work are featured as you progress toward salabhasana (locust) and dhanurasana (bow) pose.

Style: Vinyasa

Duration: 60-mins

Level: intermediate/advanced

Props: 2 blocks

Focus: backbends, hip flexors

Location: Vancouver, BC

Music: True Love Spotify Playlist 

Meditation

Come to a seat and close your eyes and deepen your breath.

Questions for contemplation:

  1. What is your definition of true love?
  2. How would you define love?
  3. How do you apply this definition of love to yourself?

Mantra

Bring your palms to stack over your heart.

Chant the bija seed mantra for the heart – YAM – 108 times

You can chant or be silent and receive the mantra.

Bija seed mantras do not have a definition – they don’t mean anything. It is a vibration that affects a particular point of the body; in this case, it is striking the heart chakra, Anahata.

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 back of your mat for a variation of Prostration Namaskars. Option to do the namaskars with your eyes closed or keep a soft gaze as you move.

May you move through the Protection Namaskars with the invocation of Prasad: an offering to something greater than you think you are.

2x Prostration Namaskars

Tadasana (mountain pose) with hands at heart

Urdvha Hastasana (hands to the sky) hold for 2-3 breaths.

Uttanasana (forward fold) hold for 2-3 breathes

Phalakasana (plank pose)

Chaturanga

Prostration pose hold for 2-3 breathes

  • Come onto your belly
  • Bring your palms to prayer and take your third eye to your palms
  • OR extend your arms out in front of you with palms facing upward

Balasana (child’s pose) hold for 2-3 breaths.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (down dog) hold for 2-3 breaths.

Come to Uttanasana (forward fold) at the back of your mat

Roll up to stand.

Tadasana (mountain)

Wave 1

Tadasana (mountain)

  • Take your heel to your bum and grab your ankle with the same hand
  • Extend the other palm to the sky
  • Lift the belly in and up, and draw your tailbone down to lengthen the low back
  • Hug your knees together and gently kick your foot into your hand
  • Hold and breathe here, lengthening the crown of the head toward the sky.

Tadasana Pavanmuktasana (standing knee-to-chest pose) variation

  • Keep your palms extended to the sky, and use your core to lift the leg
  • Extend the leg straight or keep it bent to protect the low back.

Virabhadrasana III (warrior 3) with hands at your waist

Tadasana Pavanmuktasana (standing knee-to-chest pose) variation

  • Keep your palms extended to the sky, and use your core to keep the leg lifted.
  • Extend the leg straight or keep it bent to protect the low back.

Ashta Chandrasana (high crescent lunge)

Anjaneyasana (low lunge) variation

  • Inhale and lift your chest a little higher
  • Exhale and twist to one side
  • Inhale and come back through the center
  • Exhale and twist to the other side
  • Repeat 2x on either side

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

  • Bend the knee of the lifted leg and hug it toward your bum
  • Square your pelvis, so both hips are even and face the earth
  • Flex the foot that is lifted and press it toward the ceiling

Eka Pada Phalakasana (1-legged plank pose) variation

  • Bend the knee of the extended leg
  • Press the heel toward the sky
  • Hug the belly in and up and draw your pubic bone toward your ribs
  • Press the fingertips into the ground and breathe into all that you feel
  • Hold this shape for 3-5 breathes

** You can always lower the knee of the foot on the ground and take this shape from a tabletop to lessen the intensity. 

Eka Pada Phalakasana (1-legged plank pose) variation with nose to knee

Patita Tarasana (fallen triangle)

Phalakasana (plank)

Chaturanga

Bhujangasana (cobra pose) OR Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (upward dog)

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog)

Uttanasana (forward fold) at the BACK of your mat

Utkatasana (chair)

**Option to use a block between the inner thighs if you have low back issues – in this case, you will bring your hands to your outer legs and not to prayer.

Parivrtta Utkatasana (revolved chair) to the right side 

Utkatasana (chair)

Parivrtta Utkatasana (revolved chair) to the left side

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Ardha Uttanasana (half lift)

Phalakasana (plank)

Chaturanga

Salabhasana (locust pose)

Roll over onto your back

Core Work – inspired by Forrest Yoga

  • On your back, root the back of the ribs into the earth
  • Take your heels toward the sky OR bend your knees so your shins are parallel to the ground – bent knees lessen the load on the low back.
  • Bring your hands behind your head.
  • Inhale and lift your tailbone away from the ground
  • Exhale and curl your head and shoulders away from the earth
  • Inhale and lift everything a little higher
  • Exhale and extend one heel to hover off the ground as you twist to take the opposite elbow to the thigh
  • Inhale and lift your heart a little higher
  • Exhale and take both heels to the sky and look up
  • Repeat four cycles alternating twisting to either side

Ardha Purvottanasana (reverse tabletop)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Roll up to stand and repeat the same sequence on the other leg.

**Skip the floor core work on the second set. 

Wave 2

Tadasana (mountain)

Parivrtta hasta padangusthasana (revolved hand-to-foot pose) variation

  • Keep the knee of the extended leg bent
  • Take the opposite hand to your outer thigh
  • Take the other hand to your tailbone OR extend it behind you
  • Each time you exhale, draw the navel in to activate obliques

Tadasana Pavanmuktasana (standing knee-to-chest pose) variation

  • Crisscross your palms at your thigh OR take them to your foot
  • Explore extending the leg, so the hip, knee, and heel all align
  • Lift the chest and breathe into your heart

Nataraja (dancer pose) variation

  • Take your heel to your bum and lace your hands at your ankle
  • Keep the opposite hand extended to the sky
  • Hug the navel in and up, drawing the pubic bone to your low ribs
  • Kick your foot into your hand as you lift through the chest
  • Try to keep the bicep of the extended arm at your ear

** This variation is less of a back bend and more to release the psoas (hip flexors) that worked really hard in the two poses before.

Tadasana (mountain) with a Kriya to release

  • Inhale and lift your hands overhead as you come up to your tiptoes
  • Exhale sharply out the mouth as you sweep your hands to the ground, lower your heels and bend your knees.
  • Repeat three times.

Backbends

Salabhasana (locust) OR Dhanurasana (bow)

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (bridge) OR Urdhva Dhanurasana (wheel)

Core Work 

Come to your back and bend your knees, interlace your hands behind your head

  • Inhale and lift one leg off of the ground so the calf
  • Exhale and curl your head and shoulders away from the ground
  • Inhale and lift the heart a little bit higher
  • Exhale and exhale and hug the navel in and up
  • Inhale and lift the heart a little bit higher
  • Exhale and lower your head and foot to the ground
  • Repeat 4x total, 2 on either side

**This neutralizes the spine after backbends and creates length and stability at the low back. 

Cooling Poses 

Pavanmuktasana (wind release pose)

Ardha ananda balasana (half happy baby)

Supta kapotasana (reclined pigeon)

Supported fish pose with one block between your shoulder blades and the other behind your head.

  • Option to use a bolster if you do not have blocks.

Savasana or seated meditation to close.