Chaturanga Practice – Yoga For Beginners


– What’s up, everyone?
Welcome to Yoga with Adriene. I am Adriene, and today we’re going to learn
a short, little sequence, a quick, little practice
to help prepare your body, and your mind, for chaturanga. Chaturanga can be this,
sort-of like, panic thing for a lot of people. So, here are three things that
we’re gonna practice today to just help build strength
and integrity in the body, so that we can perform chaturanga one day, with ease, and with a happy
mind, and body, and heart. Let’s hop on the mat
and learn it. (laughs) (music) Alright, to begin we’re going
to come to all fours today. The first thing we’re gonna
learn is called hovering cat. So, you’ll come to a table top position and just check in first
with your foundation, pressing up and out of the palms, pressing to the tops of the feet, and we travel up to check in
with our alignment, making sure the wrists are directly
underneath the shoulders, knees directly underneath the hip points. So we combine those two
here in table top position, Now, what’s our action?
Drawing the navel up, making sure that the
neck is nice and long. So the gaze is straight down, perhaps. We draw the shoulders away from the ears, so rather than clenching
here, we create space. Now, we take a deep breath in, and on an exhale, I engage the core, I wake up my center by
lifting the kneecaps. Now, it doesn’t have
to be a big lift here. It can just be a small hover, and that’s all you really need
to check in with the body. Now, things are wanna
break down really fast. See if you can, instead of
letting things break down, you can go through your
checklist, finding integrity by perhaps drawing the navel
up towards the lower back, by maybe letting the
tailbone lengthen down, almost as if you’re
tucking the pelvis here. Again, we already talked
about drawing the shoulders away from the ears. Instead of collapsing
into the wrists here, I’m pressing up and out of the palms. I take one more breath here,
and then exhale, release. Great! Curl the toes under.
Walk it back for a rest. Yeah! Take a second to maybe loop
the wrists if that feels good. You can kinda breathe into the feet here, and get your money’s worth. A little yoga for the feet moment. Let’s take a deep breath in, and on an exhale, we let
it go. (exhales loudly) And then we dive back
onto all fours for more. Alright, let’s try again. Again, going through our
checklist, alignment, action, drawing that navel up towards the spine. Couple of things, since I can’t be there
in real life with you, at this moment. Tendency is for us to kinda
forget about the neck. We’re either here (straining) or we’re here (groaning) and I want us to be
considering, again the neck a nice, long extension of
this line of the spine. So check in with that before
you even let the knees hover. The other thing is, the belly usually, there’s a tendency here,
especially in the gals, to drop. So, see if you can tuck the pelvis, and draw the navel up
towards the lower back. Then, another tendency is to
kind of let the shoulder blades just kind of collapse in,
back body is not awake. This is more common in men, but this is a great tip for everyone, to press up and out of the palms, draw the shoulders away
from the ear lobes, to open the chest, and
then see if you can broaden through your upper back so that we’re not collapsing
into the shoulder joints here. But rather, lifting up,
finding that energetic lift up. So after all that, and that
was a lot. I do realize. We’ll take a deep breath in and exhale. Try again. Let the knees hover. Going through our checklist. Again, everyone’s different. You might notice a shake here, or a little tremble in the body. That’s prana, the energy
moving throughout the body, waking up those muscles. Use this as an opportunity
to deepen the breath, even if it sounds like this. (loudly inhales and exhales) Alright, and gently release. Curl the toes under.
Walk it back for a rest. (inhales and exhales) Alright, let’s do one more. Three of them, we got this! Here we go. Diving back to all fours. Finding our table top position, inhale in, on an exhale, a
small hover, a barely lift. Again, so we’re not
lifting super-duper high, but just enough, and that’s all it takes. Imagine you’re in a plank pose here. Visualize. Imagine what this
feels like as you hover. Imagine what it might do to your plank. I guess I’m trying to say, visualize what’s happening internally. Inhale in, and on an exhale, release. Great! Awesome, guys! Take a second to roll the
wrists, and then shake it out. Alright, the second thing we’re gonna do is a little vinyasa. So, we’re gonna start on all fours, table top position. Find your integrity. And then this time, we’re
gonna walk the knees towards the midline. So
walk your knees into center, and find yourself in a half plank here. So the wrists are directly
underneath the shoulders, but I’m able to tuck my pelvis. I might even lift my toes
and my ankles here, for fun. This is also, sometimes,
just kind of helps me when I lift my toes, helps me
remember to tuck my pelvis. So take a deep breath in here, and exhale out. Just kind of finding the half plank here. This nice, long line from
the crown of the head to the tip of the tailbone. My shirt’s kinda bagging here today, but I’m drawing my navel
in towards my spine. And then I’m gonna draw my
shoulders away from the ears, and look forward. Take a deep breath in on an exhale. Bend the elbows, keep them
hugging in towards the side body, bend them halfway. Then inhale, press back up. Then we’re gonna send it
back, curling the toes under, into kind of pranam here,
or a child’s pose variation. Then we come back to half plank. Inhale in. Look forward, gaze
is forward, chin is lifting. Exhale. Hugging the elbows
in to the side body, we slowly lower down, halfway. Inhale. Press back up. All 10
fingerprints, pressing down strong. And exhale, we send it back. Pranam. Forehead might release to the mat here. (inhales and exhales) And now we continue on,
moving with the breath. Inhale to half plank. Exhale, looking forward,
chin slightly lifted. We bend the elbows, hug them
into the side body halfway. Inhale, press in to the
palms to lift it back up. And exhale, send ‘er back. Inhale up through… exhale. Hug the elbows in, lower halfway. Inhale, Press back up,
keeping the extension as long as you can in
the crown of the head. And then exhale, we release. Inhale to half plank. Draw the
navel up towards the spine. Tuck your pelvis. Notice that the elbows
are wanting to go out, like a military push-up. Keep them hugging in, lots of integrity. Inhale in, exhale halfway. Pressing back up. Then sending it back. Pranam. Inhale, half plank. Looking forward, exhale, halfway. Inhale, press back up. And exhale. Pranam. Let’s do one more. We got this. Inhale, navel draws up towards the spine. We shift forward. Gaze is forward. This is gonna
help us in chaturanga later. We hug the elbows in, and lower halfway. Inhale back to half plank. And exhale, relax. This time, you can take
the palms together, and draw them up and over
the back of the neck, walking the elbows forward. We just take a moment
here to breathe and rest. Alright, the final thing
we’re gonna learn today is a pose called knees, chest and chin. And we actually recently
did a Foundations video for this pose, so if you like,
you can check that out too. Alright, we just go a
little bit deeper into it. So, again, I’m gonna start on all fours. And then, I’m gonna curl the toes under, draw the navel to the spine, and send it up to
downward dog for this one. Ok, so find your downward dog here. This might be your first
downward dog of the day, so make sure you don’t rush yourself. Again, don’t let anyone rush you. Pedal your feet. Now, knees, chest, chin is
the order we’re gonna move in. I’m gonna draw my navel
up towards my spine, come up onto my tippy-tip toes, draw the navel in as you shift forward. I slowly lower to the knees first. I take my gaze forward, just
as I did in the vinyasa before, keeping the chin lifted. Moving nice and slow here,
just for demonstration. I hug the elbows in. I
keep the pelvis rocking, the hips high as I slowly lower the chest, and the chin. Pause here, breathe. Slightly awkward to talk
to you from here, sorry. And then I’m gonna slowly
release by sliding the toes out, coming on to the pelvic bone, and then you might loop
the shoulders and lift up, to a baby cobra, here. On an exhale, we release,
curl the toes under, come back to all fours. Nice. Let’s try that again. Here we go, sending those
hip bones up to down dog. Deep breath in, and long exhale out. (loudly exhales) Great. Inhale, draw the
navel up towards the spine, shifting forward, we
come up onto the toes. Slowly, we lower the knees.
Keep the hips lifted. Then comes the chest, and the chin. Hip points stay high. Inhale in, and then
exhale, sliding through. Inhale, lift up, and
exhale back to all fours. Ok, so we’re gonna do it one
more time, but quick note, when you start to sink down,
knees, chest, especially chin, there is this tendency
that once the chest hits, you’re like, “Whoa! I made it!” Spill all your guts everywhere. So, on this next one, see if you can keep the
integrity that you have here in that lowering down. so rather than just spilling
everything into the earth, rather than letting all your weight go, see if you can keep an aliveness, particularly in the back body, and as we squeeze those elbows in. So, let’s try it one
more time. Here we go. Coming to downward facing dog. Deep breath in, and long exhale out. (loudly exhales) Great. Inhale, coming up
on the tippy-tip toes, navel draws up. We begin to shift forward,
knees, chest, and chin. Deep breath in, and then
exhale, sliding through. Deep breath in as you
come up to your cobra, or maybe your up dog, and
then, exhale, release. Awesome! Bring your hands in front of you, and maybe use your forearms as a pillow. Okey-dokey Smokey, so
that was a short sequence that you can either practice on its own, or you can maybe implement it with other practice in your day. I do believe that it’s important to work from the inside out, so hopefully these things are
helping you kind of connect to your insides. (laughs) That sounds weird, but I think you know
what I’m talking about after what we just did. But hopefully, this’ll just
help you grow awareness from the inside out. So, it’s not just about these
guys all the time, right? It’s about core strength and
working from the inside out. If that makes sense. If it doesn’t, hop on over to my blog, and I’ll try to make it make sense for ya. Leave questions and comments below. Sign up for the newsletter if
you’re not already onboard, we’d love to have ya, if ya wanna be. And, we’ll see ya next
time. Have a beautiful day! Namaste. (music)

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