Yoga Tips – Transitions – Down Dog to Lunge

– What’s up everyone? Welcome to Yoga with Adrienne! I’m Adrienne, and today
we have some yoga tips. So, this is a question
that comes up a lot, and I want to tackle it today. We’re gonna get started right away. Transitioning from Downward Dog to Lunge. Lunge, to Downward Dog,
how ever can we do it? Especially in a flow class, or a Vinyasa in a way that doesn’t hurt
out wrists and shoulders. Let’s play! So, the real answer to this question is that it just takes time, right? Integrating the body. But we have to know the cues
and things to pay attention to in order to grow our practice in a way in which we can do that. So, that means, is we have to
create a full body experience. So we can’t just go straight to the Downward Dog, here in my opinion. We need to start with a little Cat-Cow to open up through the front body, to open up through the back body. To begin this conversation with the hands which is super important
for this conversation, for this question. And also with the feet. Take one more with your breath, inhaling, drop the belly to your mat. Exhaling as you draw
the navel to the spine, tucking the tail. Awesome! Then curl your toes under, and send it up and back
to Downward-Facing Dog. Same thing, pedal in out here. And consider the space
that you’re creating in the side body. So you might shift the hips
a little, left to right. Then send your awareness to your hands. Now, notice if your hands
are starting to come up here if you can press into
all ten knuckles firmly. In particular, the space between your index finger and thumb. Draw the shoulder blades, in and together, down the back body. Create space between
the ears and shoulders. These are all super important
things, as we work on getting that leg up and into our Lunge, gracefully and swiftly. In time! Great, then take one
more deep breath in here and this time bend your knees. Take a big inhale in. And then exhale lower back to all fours. Awesome! If you need to take a quick rest, off the wrists, please do. And then we’re gonna come
to all fours, once again. So, tapping into the core is
kind of the biggest thing. When taking our leg all the
way up, into the Earth… Excuse me, all the way up into the sky. And then all the way back into the Earth. We have to activate the core. It’s not just about swinging
that leg up, and in. That’s why we end up coming short and why we end up having to use our hand. Which is totally fine. Sometimes we’ll do it our
whole life, our whole practice. But what we want to do is engage the core as much as possible. So, to play with that… And again, no judgement,
every body is different. So your solution to this problem, or the answer to this
question is going to be a little bit different for everyone. But, let’s just play and have some fun! That’s the beauty of the home practice. We get the time and the
opportunity to do this, together! So, we’re gonna play with that by lighting that fire in you belly. Lighting, kind of sparking
that match in the center. We’re gonna let this radiate
and heat up a little bit. So, don’t give up, stick
with it, stick with me. We’re going to go down on all fours. Wrists underneath the shoulders. Knees directly underneath the hips. First thing is first, press
away from your yoga mat. In Downward Dog, there’s a tendency to crash into the front body. So, we’re going to practice here, already. Pressing away from the Earth. Finding this yielding sensation and then drawing the
shoulders away from the ears. So, if you’re collapsed here, this is an example of the negatory. See if you can press away. Create space. Neck nice and long. Then stack knees directly
underneath the hip points. Press into the tops of the feet. (easy listening music) Inhale in. Exhale, lift the knees, let them hover. Inhale lower. Exhale, lift the knees, let them hover. See if you can maintain
the space in the shoulders. So, if you’re here, and
you’re trying to lift… I have no power there. It sucks, so badly. So, maintain the space you
created here and lift the knees. Breathing out. Lower as you breathe in. Let’s do two more. Exhale, lift! It doesn’t have to be a big lift. Just nice and low. Inhale with the bottom. Exhale, draw the navel up, lift the knees! This time stay here. Notice that shake, that heat, that prana that starts to flow. And we feel like, ok… From the crown of the head
to the tip of the tailbone, I’m alive and awake! And I’m pressing up and
out of my foundation, cultivating all of this
energy into my center, and gathering it up in my core to create a full body experience. Great, slowly release. Curl the toes under, take
a seat back, and rest. Shake it off! Maybe massage the wrists, rotate
one way and then the other. And then we’ll return to all fours. So that same integration of
the center, the core energy is now what we’re going
to bring our awareness to in Downward-Facing Dog. So we’ll come back to all
fours, when you’re ready. Send the hips up high. Nice and long in the side body. Now same thing that you did on all fours, press away from your yoga mat. So you can bend the knees
and literally look forward. Press away. Bend the knees as generously
as you need to, here and then engage the belly. Draw the navel up towards the spine. Great, from here, we’ll
lift the right leg up high. See if you can notice your
lower belly growing soft, here. And see if you can hug the lower ribs in and engage the belly. Just like in Hovering Table. Great, from here, bend the
right knee and squeeze it in. We’re back to that Hovering
Table, as you hover. Cultivate all this energy in the core. From here, send it back, Three Legged Dog. Now, rather than thinking about stepping your right leg up and into your lunge… Think about moving your center of gravity up towards the front of your mat. Draw a big line, all the way
up and over with your center. So my center is moving, and
my leg is just following. Following, following. And then I’ll step up into it. I’m on the ball of my back foot. This is as far as I, Adrienne, made it. Maybe you made it this far. Maybe you made it this far. Just notice how far you made it. And then we’ll lower the back knee, and come up off the wrists for a second. So, you may be like, I already knew that; to connect to my center. But it’s that practice. It’s actually slowing it down
and actually thinking about, what’s moving here? Am I trying to just task master? Bring my right foot up? Or can I lead with my center, I guess, is what I’m trying to say. Can I cultivate this energy in the belly so that I’m actually
taking my center forward and the leg just comes to follow. Let’s try on the other side. Plant the palms, step the right toes back, lift the hips, Downward-Facing Dog. Go through your checklist, foundation. That action, drawing the
shoulders away from the ears, pressing away from the Earth. Then when you’re ready,
lift the leg up high. Bring your awareness, cultivate
energy, to your center. This radiating ball of light, right here. Navel to spine. Or maybe by the solar
plexus, or just above. Then squeeze the left knee, up and in. Hover here. Remember that Hovering Cat-Cow. Hoo-hoo-hoo! Awakening full body! Then take it all the way back up. Then here we go! We’re gonna imagine taking
our center of gravity all the way forward. Think up and over. Center is moving forward. Center first, leg just comes to follow. And then I’ll step it up. Great. Just notice where you made it today. Smile, lower the back knee,
and come off the wrists. So really paying attention
to the alignment, kind of that action
and alignment marriage, so that you’re creating
a full body experience. So that you’re not just trying to sling one body part up to the front
of your mat for the Lunge. But rather, moving as one
connected part, right? So rather than all these
moving parts, one moving part. Ok, we’ll plant the palms,
curl the toes under, send it back one more
time, Downward-Facing Dog. One thing that I think really
helps with this transition for me, and this overall integration of core, to my limbs, and moving as one moving, breathing part are these Downward Dog to Plank hurdles. Now, these can be… You can take a break for a second. These can be tough if
you’re new to the practice because they’re very strengthening, they do rely on upper body. Uhh.. Body building! But I love them because,
for that very same reason they’re not just about
building strength in the arms. It’s really about cultivating strength from the soles of your feet, all the way through the awareness of the crown. So, this is how it goes. We’ll just do a couple. And then you can practice on your own. We’ll come to Downward-Facing Dog. Go through your checklist. Find your breath. Press away from your yoga mat. Careful not to lock the elbows. A little soft buoyancy here, is helpful. And soften in the knees,
speaking of buoyancy. Find a little bounce here. Come onto the toes, and
lift the hips up high. Draw a line with your center,
all the way up and over. As if it were climbing
or jumping over a hurdle, soaring over a hurdle. Then you might have to
widen your alignment here, so you come into a nice Plank. Breathe in, then same thing. Draw a line with your center. So imagine if I had a big flashlight, hanging from my navel,
here, with a little bell. You would see it travel up and over. Don’t worry about getting
the heels down, here. Worry about, am I moving from my center. Up and over. Great full body strengthener, to Plank. Then up and over, back. Downward-Facing Dog. Engage navel to spine. And back! Holy Smokes, let’s do one more. Navel draws in and up. To Plank. And in and up. Draw a line back up and over the hurdle. Downward-Facing Dog. Great! Take a deep breath in. Deep breath out as you lower the knees. And shake it off! So, that attention to detail
in the action alignment… That creating space in
the Downward-Facing Dog literally in the side
body and the shoulders. Finding that inner spiral in the thighs. You can go check out the
foundations of Downward-Facing Dog to go a little more in depth, there. And, again, just thinking about if you can move from your center. Moving from your center, so that your center is actually moving first and then the leg comes to follow. Your leg might not get all the way up when you’re moving from your center. So you need to be where
your body is, today. You need to be with your
body, and be on your own team. And if that’s the case,
and it only comes to here and you’re moving with your center. Take your hand, gracefully,
step the foot up. Yeah? Cool! So, together we’re working on transitions. We’ll do more yoga tips, more transitions as the weeks grow long. Free yoga videos every Wednesday. I love it when people as questions. I love that we’re having a conversation. You know, I always say that
this channel is, what it is because of the conversation
that we’re having makes it special, makes it different, and it really inspires me,
and hopefully inspires you to actually keep returning to your mat. To have an actual experience,
instead of this whole… (inaudible whoosh noises) So, awesome work everyone. Thanks for the questions. Thanks for the conversation. I’ll see you next week! Take good care. Namaste. (easy listening music)

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