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Restore & Rejuvenate

Lesson 6 of 8

Restore: Hips and Legs

Carling Harps

Restore & Rejuvenate

Carling Harps

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Lesson Info

6. Restore: Hips and Legs

Lesson Info

Restore: Hips and Legs

welcome to your hips and legs. Restorative. This class is comprised of long in style holds designed to unravel some tension and unlock some of the biggest muscles in our body. Like our hips are glutes or hamstrings even down into the feet in the Cavs. For this practice, you'll want lots of props as many things you can have so you can build yourself a nice, comfortable place to arrest and release for these longer holds. We're going to start this practice from the ground up, which means with our feet. So you're gonna come into toes, pose, tuck the toes underneath you, right. Take your time to make sure that they all get flipped under and then set your way back onto your heels. So as you do this as usual, the ankles are gonna want to splay out and go a little crazy. So hugged the inner ankle bones together. And if just sitting here right now is really intense, like to intense, sometimes this could be one of the hardest yoga poses, right? This is harder than handstand. Um, but if it become...

s too much, you can take a blanket or a bolster maybe both and you can put that right in between your ankles and your hips, right, And this will lessen the amount of pressure and sort of dampen the intensity because I want you to stay in this post. It can be a lot. The soles of our feet gets so crinkled up and crunched up. We wear these shoes that are designed to sort of do all the work for us. And in turn, our feet often get lazy and they forget how to hold themselves up because we've got orthotic. So we've got Nike use and all this fancy stuff. So if you don't spend a lot of time barefoot and if you run, you do crossfit things like that. This may be fairly intense, right? What helps the intensity here is breath. So as you said the hips back, see if you can move those exhales right? That sort of release of the breath move that sensation all the way down into the soles of the feet. It's so envisioning the arches, sort of expanding and widening right, and not just top to bottom, but left her rights in north, south, east and west. Can you feel those muscles sort of releasing. Can you feel them stretching and letting go of those trigger points? Those really intense pressure spots that often you find sort of right in the middle of the arch or up towards the ball of foot. Drop the shoulders down, reach the crown of the head up if you can find as much light and this is possible in the upper body. Mm. Focus all of that breath down into the feet, taking long, slow, deep breaths, inhaling through the nose, then opening the mouth and letting it go. So as you feel that jaw release on the exhale, can you transfer that same sigh of relief down into the lower half of the body as well? Another one like that inhale open mouth audible. Exhale, not being afraid to let that sort of audible sigh come out. That softening of the vocal chords and that sound actually helps to release not only the jaw but a little bit of the pelvic floor, right and in turn, the lower half of the body. So don't be afraid of that sound of that audible. Exhale one more in hill, big audible release and then blink the eyes open think you've had enough. Lift your hips up. Remove that blanket and then hands come forward. As you untucked the toast. Go slow it. Slowly, slowly, slowly. You might roll the ankles outside, decide you might top the feet on the floor. Just get that blood flow back in, man. You know, it's a big one, and then we're going to set up for dragon pose. So this is just gonna be a low lunge like you might do in your regular classes and u n we call it Dragon. Um, it's intense in a very different way than a more active lunch would be. So I will encourage you to get us many things as possible. Or is that you might need Teoh fully support yourself on this one. So bring your props up to the top of the map and probably keep one blanket if you have. If you have multiple props, great, the more the merrier. Um, and one blanket is gonna come down towards the back of your met, and that's gonna be for your back to me. So with the right foot coming forward back left me on the blanket, right foot forward all the way to the top of the Met. Right? So this is a really long low lunge. And what I want you to see really quick before I get into it is typically and lunges we hear me over ankle 90 degrees. That's it. Right into the story. Got to do it. So in this one, though, we're gonna actually wiggle that foot a little bit further. So it's a little bit more open oven angle in the knee joint. And that is because as we're here and gravity changes, I would rather have you come into that degrees, then started 90 and end up way over. Yeah, So give yourself a little bit of wiggle room. And even as you're just sort of starting here, if he noticed that that right knee wants to splay way out, you could just wiggle that right foot out to the side a little bit, make it a little wider stance, right? You gotta work with your body. Don't try to force it into this perfect little box, right? Find a place where you get that opening, but it's not. It's still nice and safe. Okay, so this is our dragon post and you could be on the poems. You can keep that back, foot tucked or untucked. It's really about what's comfortable for you since we're gonna be here a while and then your props. So I am a firm believer in lots of things as much as you need to feel like you're bringing the ground up to you instead of trying to squash yourself all the way to the ground. So I've got a bolster, a blanket and a block. You can use whatever you've got available so that you've got a little bit more support and you're just gonna hang out here and with any impose and with any physical activity, I think it can be tempting to let our minds and our egos get the best of us. We're very used to for many of us. If you're an athlete, especially this mode of intensity of 110% of just do it right, and instead of instead of letting your brain switch into that mode where you're like, I could go further than this right and dropping all the way down or thinking I can be more flexible, I should be more flexible, right and said. I want you to try to really that Bacchus. Difficult as it may be, right, And instead, see if you can be okay with not doing 100%. Can you be okay with reining in with pulling back instead of letting go right? So reining in just a little bit. So there's some control. There's some stability is a big pose, right? We don't want to just flop into it. And as time progresses with any impose, gravity will start to take its effect. Time will start to take its effect, and that connective tissue the flat, the fascia and the big muscle groups will start to soften that you will start to feel a really real tangible change. Um, so your props meaning to change along with that your body position may need to change. Along with that, you might work your way down a little further. So you've got some support here that you might come onto the forms. Fidgeting is totally allowed. It's part of it, right? But do your best to try not to distract your to try to not distract yourself from what's going on by fidgeting, right? Try not to use those savages as an excuse to think about something else. Allow yourself to be present to be in your body, right? You're very unique body and feel What is going on? Let the breath carry you through. We've got a few more minutes here. I'm sticking with the stretch almost there. Slowly using a little bit of strength in your lower belly. Right, cause this is a big sort of open pose. I want you to begin to walk your hands back underneath you and then a slow is you can lift the little belly to help pull the hips back, back, back, back, back. Maybe straightening out that front leg give a little relief to the knee. Can roll out the ankle with your hands on the earth or on your props. Bring your knee back underneath. You see you in a bit of a tabletop when you might sort of to use this time to work out any kinks and then find your way to side, too. So adjust as necessary again back me on a blanket is probably gonna feel better, right? Maybe two if you need. If it's more sensitive on, then this time left leg comes forward and come into that long, low lunch. So again, ankle a little bit ahead of the me and then wiggle that foot a little bit further out to the side. If you find that knee wants to kind of plop open rate, try not to resist it to sort of go into that different rotations. Totally fine. And then whatever props you might need as usual, one side's gonna be different than the other. So set yourself up accordingly. If things need to adjust and then settling. You think it's very easy in these long holds to feel a bit of anxiety. Crop, right. How long have we been here? How long are we gonna be here? Why is this so intense? What did I do to deserve this? Right, Whatever it is that's going on, that narrative in your head, sort of just noticing. Right as that anxiety crops up, can you use that opportunity to instead of anxiety, find some insight, right? Cultivating that habit of insight over anxiety when it pops up allows us to instead of freaking out instead of getting caught in that sort of rough and tumble that like washing machine of thoughts that anxiety tends to be. We can garner some knowledge from it. So we learned about our bodies. We learn about ourselves. That's what this practice is really about, right? We learn what makes us anxious, whether it's being in the intensity or whether it's checking that ego right, whether slowing down in and of itself, it seems a little too hard to do, made all of those little cues those things we learn about ourselves. That's really the point, right? That's why we come on our Matt. So can you use these big long holds? While they may not be the same intensity as doing pushups or planks, right, they are intense in their own way. So what kind of knowledge and insight can you garner from that in those moments of difficulty? Well, your breath to carry you through this last seconds or so start to cultivate a little bit of that awakening in the low belly. Support yourself. Support your low back is you start to move the hips back, straighten that left leg just a little bit, using their bring some space into the back of the knee joint and then need back behind you find tabletop, so you can take a moment to fidget to straighten the legs. Whatever you need, we're going to set ourselves up for half pigeon, so adjust your props accordingly. Right? You might still want. I love having a bolster at the top of the mat to relate to. Rest your head on me. Really nice. Um, a blanket can stay underneath your knee. If that feels good, you can also use one or two whatever you got underneath the hip. So because we're gonna be here for a while, I encourage you to put something underneath your hips. Even if half pigeon is like no biggie for you, it can be really nice and allow you to stay here longer and actually release better. We've got something soft to relax into. Blankets bolsters are better than blocks. Because oftentimes your hips are going to get the cue that they can actually relax if they're sitting on something that's hard and pointed, you know? So we're gonna come back to that first side, so the right leg is gonna be forward and come into half pigeon right up to you. If you want that shin to be totally parallel with the front of the mountain. It's a much more intense version, right? You may need more props for this. You confined somewhere in between. It may be further back, depending on that Need flexibility. You also take care of yourself and listen to your knees. Listen to your hips. There's no need to force anything. So once you get yourself nice and supported blanket underneath that right hip, you're gonna release down and it may be still onto a nice big pile of cushy bolsters. Or it may be all the way down and just sort of letting yourself go into a big forward fold. And this is where we are going to stay, defending your variation of half pigeon as supported as possible. Who's your next few breaths to start to walk the hands back underneath the shoulders, similar to before? Use your belly to help move the hips back. Come all the way back into a tabletop. You can stretch that right leg back behind you as you come out of that half pigeon and sort of find a little relief. Congratulations. You've made it through your 1st minute half pigeon. Unfortunately, we have two sides So move your props over to the second side for your left leg. If you know that your hips are typically pretty imbalanced in this, you may want to give yourself a little bit more leeway a little bit more cushion on the second side. You know your body best, so check in and then set yourself up half pigeon side, too. So as best you can, trying to find some evenness and squaring in the hips allow the props to come in and support. Give yourself some softness. You can actually relax and release into it, and then you can stay upright as he would like. You can work your way down into a little softer, bigger forward fold. Take note that everything feels okay in that front knee, right? Adjust the angle of the shin if things feel like it's a little to tweak year off. But you know you're gonna be here for a while now, so allow you yourself to make any adjustments that you need so that you can spend those five minutes really deepening the posture and allowing those really tight muscles, like the glutes on that back quadricep to unravel and to release and let go right instead of constantly fidgeting because these muscles that were targeting and this practice are some of the biggest, most powerful ones in the body right there, some of the most heavily used and often really intense and really tight right, because we use them constantly on. Not only do we use them in our everyday life, we then target them in our workouts in our physical practices as well. So taking the time to undo and balance that work is not just a leisure or a gift to yourself. It's it's actually a necessity, right? So in order for these muscles to perform properly, they need to be mobile and strong, right? Same goes for the joints. So if we can take the time Teoh be in these postures to set aside the self care restorative, this actual stretching more than just two seconds of you know quads stretching against the wall after a run. If we can actually be honest and authentic with ourselves that we need a little bit more, um, it what? You will see tangible results in not only performance but just sort of in your well being. It's easier to sit it's easier to stand at all that all that really important stuff so well, five minutes may sound like a lot might feel like a lot in half pigeon in the grand scheme, UM, five minutes is so little toe to give your body so that it can move better for longer. It's something we all want. If you find your brain starts to wander, come back to those in healthy exhales. See if you can focus on physical sensations. How the length of time, how the unhealthy exhales effect hips your might notice some actual tangible release, right, that sort of dropping in feeling. That's what that is. Then spend about five more full deep breaths here. Then they start to make your way out of the posture. It's a slow as possible. Work your way up, right. We'll enhance their even. Tuck that back toe, lean the way back and pick up that front leg and sit back on the heels. So after those really long, intense hip stretches, right, the need to fidget and move and stuff is pretty natural. So if you need to take a down dog, anything like that, go for it. Listen to your body. We are going, Teoh, end our practice today in a passion Montanas No. So in a in a long forward fold but in the same fashion with all the props. So straighten the legs out in front of you and come to a straight legged seat. You're gonna take a bolster, blankets whatever you've got and just lay it across your thighs, your legs, and you can sort of build yourself this nice little skyscraper and all you're gonna do. It's just let yourself round down into the props, right? So very different from a typical posh emotion as know where you're focusing on lengthening and reaching this. I really want you to be round. And the idea is that by rounding were actually creating more space in the back body on moving through that thick connective tissue in that fashion. So that's what you really want out of this practice. You can let the feet just relax and be soft made. It's less about a big hamstring stretch and more about a fullback body. Stretch writes the full circumference and just let everything drop down and closed the eyes with the eyes closed with the forehead supported draw that breath all the way into the back body. So you feel that back rim of the lungs, the back rim of the ribs expand with every inhale right, creating with more space, fuller breath. And then, as you find new and more expansive breath across the back of lungs, can you shift some of that breath all the way down into the low back? Right? So expand not only across the back of the lungs but across the back of the pelvis. Right. See if you can sweep that breath around the inside edge of the pelvis. That inner bowl and expanding fully and deeply with every inhale as you create more space, more oxygen, more awareness throughout the whole body. And I would encourage you to stay in this Ford fold as long as your day allows. You could spend two minutes. You could spend five minutes could realistically spend 10 minutes here. Feels good if it's available. Make sure you get enough full breath. Enough time to really reset. Give your brain your body a break, coming back into that bit of balance. That bit of rejuvenation. Thank you for showing up on your mat today. With me now must stay

Class Description

Skill level: Beginner
Classes: 6
Time: 30 min
Cycle: 6 days

Before you can truly tap into your creativity, you need to clear your mind of all the noise and chatter of the surrounding world. A restorative yoga sequence helps you reach a level of calm, quiet and introspection so you can free yourself from the daily grind and explore the deepest parts of your psyche. In this restorative yoga for beginners series, you’ll learn how to:

  • Implement your own self-care routine
  • Counterbalance the hard, intense physical work you do every day
  • Release tension, increase mobility and relieve pain from overused muscle groups in your hips, legs, arms and shoulders
  • Reset and unwind to reduce stress, improve mood and help you sleep

Based in Los Angeles, Carling Harps is known for her lighthearted attention to detail and commitment to the growth of her students. She connects individuals to the practice through intelligent and informed sequencing, compassionate and intentional adjustments, and relevant alignment instruction. She has been featured in and contributed writing to publications such as Yoga International, Mantra Magazine and Yoga Digest. Carling will teach you a restorative yoga sequence that will help you:

  • Access your body’s unique needs
  • Create new connections and continue to find your center
  • Perform hatha postures and long yin holds

Workout Descriptions:

Active Reset
This low-impact, gentle flow yoga sequence is designed to build minimal heat and create space in your body through repetitive movement and opening.

Full-Body Yin
This yin yoga routine uses long relaxed holds to target fascia and tightened connective tissue in overused muscle groups across your body.

Nighttime Restorative
This evening yoga sequence is designed to cultivate a restful body and mind by blending calming postures, supportive props and deep breathing.

Restore: Hips and Legs
This calming yin yoga for hips and legs class combines hatha postures and long yin-style holds to help unravel the hips, glutes, feet and calves.

Restore: Shoulders and Arms
This yin yoga for shoulders and arms class combines restorative hatha postures and yin holds to target the upper back and shoulder girdle to relieve wrist pain and to soften overused muscles in the neck.

Restore: Side Body and Back
This yin yoga for back class combines hatha postures and long yin holds to help unlock the lower back and tired obliques, and create more space in the torso for fuller, clearer breath.