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How to Begin a Yoga Practice

Hi. I'm Liz McDonald, taping at my studio, Brazilian Yoga and Pilates in Los Angeles. I'm here today to show you a basic practice that you can do at home. This is a short practice and each of the poses, you're gonna spend a few rest. I'll be talking you through it. Now, one thing that many yogis agree about is that Sun Salutations are a great way to give the body a complete stretch. A lot of people start saying all that acrobatics and they are like, no. So, we're gonna do it kind of a lazier, feel good version of the Sun Salutation. In fact, this is what I would call a wave or an Ocean Salutation and the first place I saw this was an Eric Schiffmann's class, an amazing teacher and it's a 4-part sequence. Kind of combining some of the poses that we've learned earlier today, including CatCow, including South Pose and including UpDog. So, we're just gonna make it dynamic and find out ways like motion. Again, this is something that anyone can do, regardless of age or shape or physical condition. Let me show you how it works. We're gonna start in Modified Child or Lightning Bolt Pose. This was kind of home based. So, about to rest in our Lightning Bolt Pose or Modified Child's Pose. You guys, you see the poses have their brilliant names because yoga is super old and a million people have come along and... And innovated it, which is... Which is beautiful. So, here we are. This is kind of our home based. It feels nice and... And yummy. Find space in the room. Inhale then... Then brought into the back, and kind of curve lift with it, like a Halloween cat. Exhale. Take your hands a little bit further out and then slowly low your hips, and now, it's the UpDog. Inhale. Take a full express of the pose, curve and stay on the chest up to the sky, like a lizard on a rock. Exhale, and push back the original pose. Again, an option here. Get to pad up the knees if your knees are hurting. So, it's a 4-part breath, or 4 breath movement. Inhale to rise, exhale to fall. Inhale for rise. Hard as the eyes. Exhale for us back. Nice and smooth. Again, trying to embody the ocean. Not only with the movement of your body, but with the movement of your breath. So, to recap. Inhale, the Cat. Exhale, entering DownDog or UpDog. Inhale, full expression of UpDog. Exhale back. Let's repeat this, twice more with our eyes closed. Take a moment or two once you've finished. If you would like to do a couple of more, you're certainly welcome too. I'm gonna rest here for a few breaths in Child's Pose. Nice. Then I'm gonna go on and straighten out my mat. You should already feel some warmth in your body. We're gonna work with that warmth now. To do this, a few basic stretches. Again, this is not a complete yoga routine, but this is definitely something that it's kind of a quickie to get you started. Inhaling. Exhaling. We're gonna go into forward fold. Again, you may not come down this far. In fact, I tell people don't start with your best. Start halfway. Continue breathing and allow your body to sort of organically start your (mouth?) into an Excessive Pose. Notice the energy in my feet and notice also, that I keep my thigh long, so my heart is moving towards my toes. What tends to happen, a lot in this pose, is that we start compensating and making a position for those shoulders. So, we're tied in a lower back and we start rounding here, that try to make it. But this is on, we're gonna stretch this in waves where we used to stretching in and it's not gonna help us correct our posture. So, it's much better. (Mucho mejor?), to sit up straight, act pale and come a little bit forward to the lower back as an extension. Better to be here, even if it's only one centimeter. Keep the fine, growing tall and keep your breath swelling. So, beginners maybe here. They're maybe working on simply getting the legs to lay flat on the floor. That's okay too. And the more it's bent, see to make over having just melt in and even grab. This thing... Go ahead and find your favorite spot and land on it, for 3 full breath. Kinda meeting to feel your wrist moving towards your thighs. Yogis superpowers. Inhale to come out nice long spine. Let's counter-stretch that, in plank or table. Yogis choice. So, you're gonna take the hands, nice and wide. The fingers are pointing towards (Das Lunda?). We're gonna open those shoulders and feel the shoulder blades back and down the back. Interesting to know, that the shoulder blade is the only floating joint in the body, so let them float. Freeze. Get to base. Open the throat and then bring the head up, point to the toes and find some energy in the legs. Press the hands and the feet into the earth to gently come up into inclined plane. We wanna make this a nice bed. You know why, from tip of toes all the way up to your shoulders. You wanna kinda imagine yourself as one of those chart you see like in an acupuncturist's office. Please get back to feel the energy moving throughout parallel accounts in the body. Now, this is too intense, you need to walk your feet in, and take the table. In fact, let's all do that, 'cause table is a nice... This is fun. Inhale. Press the ground away. You're gonna root down, then come up. And then advance off in here, or just to play with one leg. (Tada?). Anyway you want, you can get Pilates about it and make some circle. Keep the structure of your table. You need a balance without. All kinds of options, and then, this is the fun part. Our table gets to wobble or lean. Take the sacrum down towards the heels, (oh-la-la?). That's great one. When you feel your sacrum come into contact with the air, it's like... It's high, (I'm gonna leave?) it down. Thank you. Right. So, once you feel the thank you, come on to the forearms. Open the chest until the head back. I supposed it's not happening. This is my kind of a hybrid pose to open the throat and relax the lower back. Exhale. Slowly curl down onto the mat and then take Bridge Pose. You're gonna press the feet into the floor. Inhale to rise. The other choice of staying here or making it dynamic, if you're trying to get more of a workout by pulsing down, exhaling here. Inhaling to rise. You can do as many reps if that is you like, and then once you found the happy place, definitely take the full expression of the pose or take a supported version. Let's stay here for 3 breaths. And take the (Phoenix?) Route down, core working. Maybe a count of ten. Go ahead and shift your knees from side to side and take some gentle twist. This is really fun. Honestly, no one can object to this. You know, take your gauge in the opposite direction to the knee and just kind of allow the spine to twist. Interesting to know, that the spine can move in many different directions, right? It can bend forward, it can bend back, it can bend side to side and it can also twist around it so, or actually feel a rotation. The spine is amazing. And whenever you're ready, slowly roll back onto your back. Take your legs down and rest and (Chivasna?). At least, you were 3 minutes here, to let a work set. Enjoy the feeling of your breath, freely roaming throughout your body, of your blood, freely roaming, playing. Reaching all of the corners that it needs to. And once you're finished with (??), it's a great overall well-rounded warm up for you, about 5 minutes for back bending, side bending, which I guess you're ready for the day. I'm Liz McDonald, teaching at my studio, Brazilian Yoga and Pilates. Thank you for watching, once again our sequence. (??).