Welcome to this intermediate 25-minute 'Balance & Binds' yoga practice, perfect for the Fall Equinox 2023. Flow through poses like half butterfly, half bow, eagle side plank, side angle with a binding option, and the grounding pyramid pose. Explore the beautiful energy of half moon and optional sugarcane, challenging your balance and focusing your mind. During the calming savasana, I'll guide you through a 2 minute meditation.
The intention I suggest during this class is 'My soul is a sanctuary of self-compassion and kindness, where I can gently release and heal.' 🍂
For more support and variations using yoga blocks to ease into some poses, keep reading!
I hope you enjoy this intermediate Yoga class. Feel free to share this video with friends and loved ones and let me know how you liked it in the comments below!
Yoga Blocks for Support
Yoga blocks are wonderful companions on our yoga journey, serving as versatile tools to enhance our practice. I use them in my own practice and also when teaching Yoga classes. They offer so much support, making poses more accessible, and aiding in proper alignment while they can also help to deepen certain poses. Embrace the blocks; they act as an extension, bringing the ground a little closer or lengthening our reach. Please don't hesitate to use them – it's a testament to your commitment to a safe and fulfilling practice. Below, we'll explore how these simple blocks can beautifully modify poses, providing the support needed for a transformative yoga experience.
Now, here are some ways you can use blocks in this practice:
Eagle Side Plank
The only variation in this list without a block, but I wanted to offer this variation:
Instead of eagle side plank, you can do a kneeling side plank for less pressure on your wrist.
For the lunge twist, you can place a block underneath your front hand. You can also lower your back knee; if you're knee is down, you can curl your toes under or extend them along the mat, depending on what feels better on your knee. Another great option if your knees need more support is to place a folded blanket underneath your knees.
Extended Side Angle
For side angle, you can place the block in any height underneath your front hand. This is a great way to gently deepen the stretch.
Half Moon & Sugarcane
Placing a block (or seat of chair) underneath your grounded hand in half moon allows you to focus on alignment and brings the ground a bit closer to you. You can use any height you wish.
If you're trying sugarcane pose for the first time, I highly recommend using a block! Even a little bit of elevation makes it a lot easier to reach your foot (it's surprisingly far away 😅).
Twisted Warrior 3
The block underneath your front hand helps to keep your upper body parallel to mat (of course, everyone's anatomy is unique, so it depends). Placing your free hand to your hip makes this challenging balance slightly easier and more comfortable if you hold a lot of tension in your shoulders.
Twisted Pyramid & Lunge
In this class, we transition from twisted pyramid to lunge, so using two blocks can be helpful if you prefer to elevate both hands in your lunge. But, since our upper hand circles down and up, one block beneath your grounded hand is enough.
For pyramid, remember that you can keep your front leg (softly) bent and adjust the height of the block. If you can extend your front leg, make sure your front thigh is engaged (you should feel it if you tap your leg) and your knee is not pressing back. Pyramid and especially twisted pyramid is a very intense pose, so be gentle with yourself
Low Lunge with Quad Stretch
A pose that's loved and hated at the same time – I know that this stretch can be really intense. However, a block underneath your front hand makes it so much easier to get a hold of your foot (you can also use a strap/belt/dog leash around your back foot). From there, you can work on lowering the height of the block. It will get easier ;)
Malasana can be quite challenging, so a great option is to place a block unter your seat (I actually used two here so it's more stable). That way you can work on your range of motion without feeling so much pressure on your knees and ankles.
Malasana: Extend & Bind
If those variations don't feel good in your body, you can stay in Malasana with your hands at your heart. If at some point, you'd like to add an extension and/or bind, feel free to start with a block under your glutes so you can explore those variations without worrying about balance.
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