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Practice with Clara

What I Seek (60-min) Vinyasa

A vigorous vinyasa class that moves through arm balancing and leg balancing poses to build heat and strength in the body. This class works with Durga’s Tiger and Shiva Nataraj to express the hips as you dance forward and back on your mat. Open and close your practice with a short reading from The Moon Garden breathwork, visualization and meditation.

Style: Vinyasa

Duration: 60-minutes

Level: open-levels

Props: 2 blocks

Focus: leg balancing and hip opening.

Location: Lila Familia Production Studio, Vancouver, BC

Music: Spotify Playlist, Create A Strong Foundation

Quote to anchor the class: 

The Goddess Charge by Karen Marie Sweikhardt

Great Mother of all time, distant future and Ancient’s past, of star matter and your spirit’s flame, I AM born! I breathe of your cosmic winds and feel your pulse in my veins and in the ocean’s tide. I am your reflection in the light of the luminous moon and radiant sun on the rich plains and in the fertile valleys of this earth. I AM of your essence and from this, when I came, to return in the end and begin and anew. The circle is cast!

What I seek, I AM.

What I learn, I have always known.

In the mystery of your seed, I have discovered the inner garden. With reverence in my heart, I plant these seeds of wisdom to flower in an empowered world, one of beauty, wonder, mirth and bliss.

So mote it be.

Opening Meditation

Come to sit on your mat and close your eyes. This class opens with a reading from The Moon Garden Tarot Deck by Karen Marie Sweikhardt.

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)

Tadasana (mountain pose) at the top of your mat with a simple pranayama

This pranayama practice includes a visualization called Shushumna (spine) flossing

  • Inhale and envision the breath moving up the length of the spine to the crown of the head
  • Exhale and envision the breath moving down the spine to the tailbone

2x Sun Salutations 

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  

Utkatasana (chair pose)

  • Exhale and sit low; bring your hands to prayer
  • Inhale and rise, hook your thumbs and reach upwards
  • Exhale and bow, lace your hands at your low back

Uttanasana (forward fold)

  • Keep the hands clasped
  • Bend one knee and take the same shoulder to the knee
  • Gently twist to open the side body
  • Bend the knee at your shoulder and breathe into your outer hip
  • Stay for a few breaths, then repeat on the other side

Ardha Uttanasana (half lift)

Anjaneyasana (lunge)

Durga’s Tiger (variation of lizard pose)

  • Bring your front roof to the middle of the mat
  • Turn the knee out to the side
  • Take your hands wide and come onto your fingertips
  • Inhale and lift the chest as you look upwards
  • Exhale and take your forehead to the ground
  • Repeat several waves of the torso with your breath

Phalakasana (plank pose)

Chaturanga

Bhujangasana (cobra pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (down dog)

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

Virabhadrasana II (warrior 2)

  • Keep your palms on the ground
  • Walk your hands inside your front leg
  • Take your front hand to the inner thigh and press your leg away from you
  • Manually roll your thigh outwards and send your breath into your groin
  • Take your back palm halfway to the back of your mat
  • Option to use a block under the palm on the ground

Anjaneyasana (lunge)

Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana (standing splits)

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.

**Second set:

Malasana (yogic squat) with Kapalbhati breath

  • Feel free to use a block under your sits bones.

Kapalabhati translates from Sanskrit as Kapal, meaning the forehead, and Bhati, meaning light or knowledge. Kapalabhati is an energizing pranayama, also known as Skull Shining Breath, clears the lungs. This pranayama brings lightness and clarity to mind and frontal cortex of the brain.

This style of pranayama involves sharp, active exhales through the nose to stimulate the clearing of the lungs by clearing the stagnant air that collects around the sides of the lung cavity. The sharp exhale pulls the stale air in toward the center of the lungs and pushes it out. Energetically, we’re drawing the air upwards to revitalize the mind and body. The inhale is passive, and as kapalabhati breath is performed, the abdomen repeatedly contracts on the exhale and releases on the inhale. This pranayama is best done on an empty stomach during the earlier partition of the day as its excitatory and stimulates the digestive fire.

Benefits include:

  • Enhanced mental focus and clarity
  • Clearing of the lungs and nasal passages
  • Excitatory to stimulate blood flow and boost circulation
  • Tones the abdomen and lower organs
  • Sharpens senses and concentration
  • Balances nervous system
  • Stimulates the digestive fire and appetite
  • Purifies the nadis (energy channels) of the body through prana (breath)

Take Kapalabhati for 45-seconds. If this doesn’t serve, take ujjayi breath.

Wave 2  

Tadasana (mountain pose)

Tadasana Pavanmuktasana (standing knee to chest pose)

Ardha Chandrasana (half moon pose)

Shanti Virabhadrasana (peaceful warrior)

Anjaneyasana (lunge)

Durga’s Tiger (variation of lizard pose)

  • Option to take your back knee off of the ground
  • Bring your front roof to the middle of the mat
  • Turn the knee out to the side
  • Take your hands wide and come onto your fingertips
  • Inhale and lift the chest as you look upwards
  • Exhale and take your forehead to the ground
  • Repeat several waves of the torso with your breath

Phalakasana (plank pose)

Chaturanga

Bhujangasana (cobra pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (down dog)

Malasana (yogic squat) at the back of the mat

  • Keep your hands at your heart
  • Take the half bind
  • Take the full bind

Tada Bala Malasana (standing bound garland pose)

Tadasana Pavanmuktasana (standing knee to chest pose)

Shiva Nataraj at the back of your mat

Uttanasana (forward fold) with your feet crossed

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Bakasana (crow pose) OR Malasana (squat)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Ardha Uttanasana (half lift)

Phalakasana (plank pose)

Chaturanga

Bhujangasana (cobra pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (down dog)

Step or hop to the front of your mat

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.

Cooling Flow

Dhanurasana (bow pose)

Come up to sit at the back of your mat

Pranic cat/cows → connect to your breath as you undulate the spine

Gomukasana (cow face) with forehead on a block

  • Other options are pigeon pose or thread the needle

Parivrtta Sukhasana (seated spinal twist)

Paschimottanasana (seated forward fold)

Seated meditation with visualization pranayama → Shushumna flossing.

Savasana.