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– Hey, welcome back to Yoga with Tim. I’m here today with
professional surfer, Alex Gray. Hi Alex.
– Hi everybody. – Alex is joining us today. He’s going to do some poses for us, I’m gonna teach the
class and we’re gonna do some specific stuff to
help with tight hamstrings, to help with the lower backs. And, so I think this gonna be kinda good for especially guys
that watch the channel. And Alex, do you want
to tell them about how they can find you you
on Instagram and stuff? – @A_gray for some very elementary yoga. – Alright, check him out and also for some great surf clips, for sure. – Yeah, face plants for everyone. (laughs) – Alright, so we can start
today in child’s pose. – Yeah, I know this one. – Alright. – I think. – Alright, so take a
moment in child’s pose, just to, kind of like, shift gears. With your head down, start
to take your focus inward and start to feel your
breath in your back body. So, what happens is,
places where the breath doesn’t reach into, very evenly, those places tend to lose their huff. So like, they get tight,
they don’t open up well, they won’t fire long,
we want them to engage. So right now in this
position I want you to just feel your breath into your lower back. Feel your breath spread
across the back ribs. Just having a sense or awareness to the breath in the back body. So, we spend most of our time, completely unaware of the back body. Alright, so now that you’ve
spent a little bit of time there just breathing into your back body. Now lie down onto your back. Then, bend your knees and put
your feet down on the floor. So, let’s just find a neutral pelvis and a neutral lower back. Bring your hands onto
your front hip bones, and as you inhale, arch your lower back, stick your butt out, let the, so you could slide your hand
beneath your lower back. And as you exhale, start
to flatten your lower back and tuck your pelvis. And just two more times like that, inhale to arch your lower back, feel like you can breath down into there, and exhale to flatten. We talked about the breath
in, so if your breath is a little bit different, that’s fine, you can move with your own breath, if I’m moving too fast or too slow. Alright, and then come into
neutral with your pelvis, so that’s right in between
flattened out and arched. And just hold that neutral position. So we’re talking about
how in a lot of the poses when we do it full forward,
it feels like the lower back needs to round instead of staying long to get the flat back going,
so this is a great way to start to actually teach
your brain and your body what it’s like to hold
that long low spine. It creates a neurological
pathway where there isn’t one. Alright, so now with your
hands on those hip bones, just bring one leg up
into tabletop position. Good, and then set it down. And then the other leg up into tabletop without the hips twisting at all. Nice, this is like, setting
your lower back length 101. One more time, left leg
up, good, and right let up. Okay good, now hold that right leg up and without those hips twisting at all just stretch your right leg forward and then start to lower it half way. And so this will start to
make the spine muscles healthy and long and it will work your core, too, so it stabilizes you. Bring the leg back up, set it down and bring your leg back up and then set your right foot down on
the floor, next to your left. Then bring the left leg up into tabletop, and stretch your left leg forward, lower it down halfway, bring it back up, and set your left foot down on the floor. Okay, you’re getting really good at that, so we’re gonna try a level two version. So now bring both legs up
into tabletop position. Good, and just have your
knees bent like that, that’s great, and then
holding that low spine long, and in fact, visualize in your mind’s eye like your spine, the crown
of your head is reaching away from your tailbone and the tailbone is reaching way from the crown. Like it’s actually there
to, creating more space for your lumbar spine. And then slowly stretch
just your right leg forward, and lower it down half
way and bring it back up and change sides now. Re-bend the right, send
your left leg forward, and lower it down
halfway, bring it back up and bring it to meet the right. Cool, now take your arms up to the ceiling interlock your hands and
hold that tabletop position. Good, keep the low spine nice and long and then in the inhale, start to reach your arms back halfway, but as your arms go back, try not to let the inner shoulder
blades shrug up by your ears. Nice, and then pause
in the halfway position and let’s come back to
that breath technique from beginning of class,
breath into your back ribs, like letting your back body expand. And as you breath here, breath into the whole circumference of your rib cage. So you can actually feel the side body starting to expand. And then exhale, in your next exhalation bring your arms back up, inhale slowing take the arms back again, maybe a little more than halfway, as long as those inner shoulder blades
don’t shrug up by your ears. Turn the triceps towards each other. Exhale back up. Good. Okay, we’re gonna give it back to you. So now let’s go to the most
advanced variation of this, separate the hands,
we’re gonna do opposite of arm, leg stretch. So now stretch your right leg forward as you reach your left arm back and keep your spine long in
the middle, don’t let it twist. Exhale, back up. Inhale, change sides, nice. Exhale, back up. Inhale, change sides
and practice breathing into the back ribs as you reach. Nice, good job. Exhale, back up. Inhale, change sides. And, exhale, back up. Good, then hold your legs
up in tabletop position, crunch up to your knees and stretch both arms
forward and hold there. Then stretch one leg
out at a 45 degree angle and hold it, and stretch the other leg out to meet it out, both legs out now, really work those abs, tight, crunch them. Nice, and then lower yourself back down. – Are you supposed to go a little higher? – No, that’s good, that’s
good enough, great job. Okay, now just relax, set your feet down, let the knees open up wide apart, soles of the feet together, this is called Baddha Konasana, bound angle, for sure. So, just let those inner
legs stretch down, cool. Then open up your arms like cactus arms, let the chest open. This is really good, it’s
a great position to open up and if you have a tight
chest, tight shoulders. Tight groins for sure. – Is your lower back
supposed to be on the floor? – In this one, that’s a great question. So actually in this one, you just wanna have
that neutral lower back. Which is like not
flattened and not arched. And for everybody it’s like it can be a little bit different degrees, yours might not look like somebody else’s, so you just allow for that to happen. And when you allow that lower
back to be in that position that’s when your breath will be moving to it’s maximum capacity. If you start to tuck it
actually puts pressure on the diaphragm where it can’t expand. Cool, yeah so you can
see the breath just comes naturally into your belly like that. Alright, now we’ll roll
over to your right side. And let’s go back to child’s pose. And we’ll try going, we’ll do a little warmup
going from down dog to plank. Alright so let’s just make sure we’ve got our down dog dialed in, so that we’re building
health in the shoulder instead of straining the shoulder. So if you need help come up
onto your hands and knees, open up your hands evenly into the mat, spread the fingers, make sure that the creases
of your wrists are parallel to the front of the mat. And then start to roll
your inner armpits forward, outer shoulders back. And then let that spine set
into it’s neutral position. So you have the hip bones
reaching straight back instead of tucked, lower back is long, neck is long. Okay, so before we go back into down dog, we’re just gonna see if you can hold this long spine position with the knees lifted up. So curl your toes under Alex, and then lift your knees just one inch. Nice, good job. Alright and then we’re gonna
hold it for five breaths. Ready? Knees up, good. Roll your inner armpits forward, turn your outer shoulders back, and hold here, just
start to feel that heat building in your body. Nice, press down into your
middle three knuckles, make sure that the elbows aren’t locked. You need to put just a little
micro bend in your elbow. Yes this is teaching your
shoulder to stabilize, this is teaching your blades
to come onto your back. And it’s teaching the
length of the lower back. Nice job, and set your knees down. So when we stretch back into down dog, we’re gonna try to keep all
that length in the spine. So here we go, let’s try that. Curl your toes under. Alright so now put a
little bend in your knees, and if you look back at your inner heels, hide the inner heels behind you, so that it’s like your heel
almost points straight back. Keep that little bend
in your knees so we can kind of get that same length that we had in that
hands and knees position. Alright now this kind of
a common misconception in down dog. People think I should just try to reach my chest as close to my legs, like that’s putting me
deeper in the down dog, but in down dog we’re trying to get the spine to lengthen
as much as we can. Just like when you’re on the floor. So actually, shift your chest
forward just a little at home, and roll your inner
armpits forward like this. Then, lift the tailbone
towards the ceiling, so you get that same length
through the lower back. And this is like that thing
that I was talking about from the beginning, how like most people when they first start in yoga it’s hard to get the lower back to get that flat back position. And this is how you train it, by holding a good down dog. That’s good. Now, I know it feels like
I pulled you way out, and you probably feel at home
like this can’t be right, but this is really good. To get yourself deeper instead of reaching your chest to your knees, you’re gonna lift your hips up and back, but keep reaching your
chest towards your thumbs. And turn those inner arms forward, and draw those thigh bones up and back. Good. And then just let the neck hang. How’s that feel, a bit unusual? Alright, walk your hands all
the way back to your feet. And fall forward. Grab ahold of your elbows. Okay so in this pose
to relieve the tension in the hamstrings I really
like to bend the knees at first, so I can get the
whole spine to lengthen. So a little bend in the knees,
let your spine lengthen. And then as the hamstrings warm up, you might be able to start to straighten your legs a little more, or maybe not. Change the clasp of your elbows, grab ahold of the other one. Good. And just a little more bend in the knees and let your feet root evenly. The big toe and the little toe now in the center of your heel. Drop your hands down and as you draw your
navel back to your spine start to roll yourself up to stand. Come all the way up. Head and neck the last thing to come up. Cool.
(laughs) A little head change. Alright, so now bring
your feet close together, arms at your side. Inhale, stretch the arms out. Exhale and rotate your arms. And then raise your arms all the way up. And as your arms go up practice dropping those inner shoulder blades. So stretch the arm muscles long, without shrugging your shoulders. Okay and as you exhale,
little bend in your knees, tip your butt back like you’re
trying to do a swan dive, keep that lower back long. Dude, that’s great. Fall forward put your head down. What are you talking
about, you’re doing great. – Yeah, cause you showed me what to do. (laughs) – Alright walk yourself
out slowly into plank pose, one hand print at a time. Nice. So press those middle three
knuckles even with your plank. Make sure you don’t lock your elbows, that’s a huge tendency
I see, it’s very common. Set those shoulder blades on the back, and just feel the length of your spine. Just like when you were lying
on your back in the beginning. Hold there for a breath. Good, then set your knees down, and lie down onto your belly. And we’ll go into a little
belly backbend here. Kinda looks a little cobra at first. Press your pinky toes down. Spin your inner thighs
up towards the ceiling. And as you pull up your
belly towards your chest, set those blades on your back. Alright, so from your comments I know we got a lot of surfers
that watch this channel, and surfers often will be super flexible in this part of their spine, so if that’s the case, you don’t need to think about how much you can arch your back, instead in these back bends, think more about lengthening your spine. – So you don’t wanna go up to here? – Even though you can, that’s
gonna be a little too much, because you’re always
hinging when you’re surfing. This is actually going to
be better for your spine to work this position more. Okay good. And then slide your hands back under your elbows a little bit. Take a breath in. Okay now, keeping your chest open, let’s go for that full back bend. Come all the way up into your upper dog. And stretch back to down dog. That’s a solid one, that’s really good. Roll your inner armpits forward, and then lift those hips up
and away from your wrists. Great job. Walk your hands all the
way back to your feet. Inhale flat back and come all the way up. – Here I am. – Alright, let’s do it one more time. Inhale, arms out to the side, little bend in your knees, take a swan dive, fall forward. Inhale, slide your hands up your shins, stretch your chest forward. Exhale, one hand print
at a time walk it out. Okay good. Now a little bend in your elbow, nice. Okay, now we’re gonna make
this plank more challenging. Feet together, raise
your right leg one inch without twisting the hips. It’s like what you did at the beginning letting that core work. Trying to move one leg
without the hips moving. And change legs, lift the
left leg one inch, nice. Now breathe. Good, set the foot down, then lower yourself all
the way down to your mat. Stretch your arms straight back. We’ll do modified locust now. Turn your shoulder blades onto your back, and then lift your head,
chest, legs, arms up, and turn your thumbs out. And release your chest forward and try to get that lower
back to get even longer as you hold here. Where you feel the back
bend coming in most, in the lower back, start
to take it up the spine. Instead of letting pool
in your lower back. Turn your outer thighs
down towards the floor. Zip your belly up, And then hands next to your side ribs and let’s come into the up dog again. As you come into the up dog, where you feel in your lower back where the back wants
to kind of bend easily, take it up the spine,
up into your upper back right in between your blades. Good job, downward dog, stretch back. Okay cool, let’s do some standing poses. Step your right foot all the
way up to your right thumb. Then adjust your left
foot left a little bit, so you’re not on such a tight rope. Hug your right hip into the mid line and as you lift your
belly, raise your arms up. Nice job. Turn from your outer upper arms forward. Nice, and keep, you’re still
tracking that right hip with your right ankle. Good, and then just like
at the beginning of class, feel the tailbone and
the crown of the head get as long as they can
away from each other so that the breath will be more even. It’s like when we allow
ourselves to hunch over there’s too much pressure on
the front of the rib cage, you have to heave to take a full breath and already the arms are
up, that’s already taxing, so feel that you have to
work a little bit harder to breathe right now. That’s good, now we’ve got blood pumping. Nice job, hands back down onto the mat. Step back to the downward facing dog. Then step your left foot all
the way up to your left thumb. Good, hug the left hip in so
it’s aligned in with your ankle and keeping it hugged in with
your strong hip, come on up. Nice job. Turn those outer upper arms forward. Free up the neck to the reach of the arms. And then visualize your breath going all the way down into
the bottom of your lungs. Good, bring your hands
back down to the mat, and step right back to down dog. – How wide are your feet supposed to be? – Oh, good question. So it depends on how tight your hips are. It’s different for everybody, but generally if you take
your feet a little wider than hip distance it’ll help
your legs, your hamstrings to open up a little bit better, if you’re very flexible you
keep the feet closer together. But I like this distance for you, it’s a little bit wider than hip distance, it’s not too wide to where you’re sinking, but you’re able to still get
the length that you need. And then just keep remembering
to hide those inner heels behind you so the thighs go to neutral. Lift forward and what do you do? Step, walk, or hop up?
Let’s see. Go ahead, you’ve got the hop. Good, in, out. Hands to your shins, flat
back, reach your chest forward. Exhale, able the spine to
protect your lower back, let your head drop. Inhale, chair pose, bend your
knees, sit your hips back and raise your arms up. As you’re holding your chair pose, imagine you’re getting
pulled up to the ceiling through the crown of your head. Like you’re a marionette,
a puppet on a string being pulled up. Shift your weight to your heels, Same instructions for the arms, this is impressive, outer upper arms so that the neck is freed up. Make sure the inner shoulder
blades aren’t shrugging. So I know that you’re
working hard at home, you’re focused, but don’t
work so hard to where you work the wrong parts where
you start to shrug your neck. Good, and then come all the
way up to stand, arms up. And let’s do the little side stretch. Drop your right arm to your side, and as you press to your left heel, reach over to your right. And breathe through your left side body, like you have gills in your side body, in your waist, in your armpit chest, in your lat, in your side ribs, just breathe in all that
tension you feel there. Then come back up, drop
your arm to your side, inhale your right arm up. And as you press to your right heel, reach up and over to the side. Reach the right hip down towards the heel, breathe into the side
body, more space there. And then come back upright, both arms up. And as you lift through
the crown of your head, slowly sit back into chair pose. And fall forward, exhale. Inhale, flat back, hands to the shin. Step back one leg at a
time into the plank pose. Alright, set your shoulder
blades onto your back, then shift forward and lower slowly just to elbow height and keep those blades away from your ears as you lower. Up dog, inhale. Nice, down dog stretch back. Step your right foot
up to your right thumb. And now let’s go into Warrior 1, so turn your back heel in, hug the right hip in again, and then let your arms up. And let’s do little flow backs. Do you guys do flows
when you take classes? Where you open up to the side, okay, so we’ll do that. Rotate your foot back,
open up to your side. So adjust your feet so
that your back foot’s angled in a little bit, the right is turned straight out, and then for just a moment straighten your right
leg and stand up tall. Get all that spine up, because a long spine is a strong core. And if you can keep the
integrity of the core, then we’re gonna be stretching
all the hip stuff properly. So keep all that length, and then slowly start to rebend that knee, but keep your back heel anchored. So you don’t wanna go too deep to where you lose the
grounding of your back heel. It’d be like if you’re pitching a tent and just left one of the stakes off, it would just pull the other way. So we can open up all
the tissue in your body by anchoring the back heel, and then creating more
space with the right hip. And similarly with your arm reach, if you open up this left chest through the reach of the left fingers by trying to reach your left fingers back you’re gonna get a more
expansive body across the chest. Still breathing?
Good. Alright, now let’s go
into the side angle pose. So let’s put the hands
out onto a tall block. I forgot to tell you, darn it. Okay, have a block
ready, and maybe a strap for today’s class. We sure did, blowing it, they
always tell me in comments. Alright, put your left hand
on your hip for a second. Okay, cool. So in this position if you
try to go too low for yourself then your chest will start to collapse, so you don’t have the length of the spine. So let’s just try to get
your spine nice and long. Lengthen the tailbone
towards your back heel. And then reach to the side of your chest, away from your hips. Okay good. Then, when you learn to get yourself long, there’s a tendency to be rigid. So now just be in the pose and breathe. – What am I supposed to look at? – In this one? I like to to say stop straight ahead, because it’s less strain on your neck. And your neck, this is,
we call this Prana bayou, and if you start to close
or crunch your neck, your breath isn’t gonna move. It’s gonna start to get stuck. Eventually when you
get so good at the pose maybe you can look up and
not let the neck crunch, but still a lot of the time I
like to just look straight up. Alright reach your left arm
all the way over your ear now. So practice that same
shoulder blade release there, Okay now let’s see if
you can track your aim straight ahead and line up your ankle. Nice. So this is getting a nice
opening for the inner leg, but it’s also building a strong hip which is really important for your core, and to protect your
knees in your movement, so you have strong, healthy hips. But flexible too. Come back up to be in elbow warrior two. – You just held that thing
for like two minutes. (laughs) – Hands back to the mat, step back to down dog. Nice job. Alright here we go, the left foot steps, Warrior one, turn your back knee in, hands now come up, and then open up to your side. Straighten your left leg and stand tall. I think that you can do a wider stance. Take this back foot
back just a little bit. Good, stand tall through your spine. And then slowly start to bend
the left knee towards 90, but keep reaching, it’s
like you’re trying to reach the right side the other way. – So it’s not as much as you go up. – Yeah exactly. Because if you just
sink into the front leg, then you lose half the
stretch of the body. Right now the whole- Think of your body like
as a fabric connection. Your muscles are all cased
by this stuff called fascia. It’s like the of a t-shirt, if I want my t-shirt to get bigger, I wouldn’t just pull it this way, I would pull in both directions. And then this fair symbol
will become bigger. Okay, so it’s like you’re trying to expand the symbol on your shirt. Okay, then from here, put your left fingertips
down onto this block, right hand on your hip. Again this wider stance
is actually I think gonna make it easy to
lengthen your spine up. That looks really good. So connected to your back heel, press your left knee
back up against your arm, and then reach your right arm
all the way over your head. Okay, breathe better. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, all this gear that we’re rocking today is brought to us from our friends at Kozm. If you like it, check it out. They put this whole thing together for us. So, this whole house, coming
out here and everything, so thanks for setting us up and for hooking us up with this cool gear. You can check out their
website is The Kozm, and yeah get all the stuff. Okay, come back up to warrior hip. Bring your hands back down to the mat, and step back to down dog. Nice. Do you have one more standing foot in you? – I got them all in me. – Alright step your right
foot for press angle. So back foot up and reach your arms up. – I just need to keep your heel off. – Yeah, heel off the mat on that one. Hands to prayer. Okay, now keeping your
chest open and lifted, start to lean your chest over your knee. Then put your right hand
on your hip for a second, and then tap your elbow down to your knee. Alright, so in this position, breathe the spine long again. The tailbone towards your back heel, crowd the head forward. And as you exhale you can let your navel soften towards your spine and turn. That’s good, and then
join your palms together. And let’s just work this
knee a little more straight. Nice. You wanna adjust your neck just slightly. Good job, hands to the mat, step back, downward facing dog. Step your left foot, come up. Hands to heart, start to lean the chest. Left hand to your hip
to help keep it in track as you get the elbow to the knee. To get the elbow to hook, there’s some degree that goes
around the knee it goes on, so now it lengthens through
the line of your back ankle. That’s your mountain pose line. Open up to that way, extend
the belly, and palms together. Nice job, back leg looks good. Reconnect to your breath. And feel like in a twist, you’re not gonna be able
to feel that full movement of the rib cage, it’ll be
a little more restricted, but still feel like you can
allow the whole circumference, the whole all around the ribs to move all four sides of the rib cage. Then bring your hands
back down onto the mat, step back to down dog. Nice. – How’s that one look? Am I doing weird chest stuff? – No, it’s looking good now. Alright yeah, there’s
one part of the spine that just really wants
to round right here. And so this is really common, if you’re watching at home,
this is more common than not. So to help that, try to reach
your tailbone up a little more but then the chest will wanna sink, so the chest has to reach forward as the tailbone reaches up. It’s really good to see this at home, normally you have to take
a workshop or something to see something like this. There, you can see the spine
got a lot longer there. I hope you can fix yours too. Alright, great job. Now set your knees down. And let’s do one little
shoulder strengthener. So come down to your elbows and then take your hands a little apart. And I want you to turn
your inner armpits forward, and then lift your belly up to your spine. And then one leg at a time, stretch back into plank on your forearms, without the shoulders going in. Good, that’s it. And then set your knees down and stretch back into your child’s pose. Alright, in your child’s pose, walk your hands all the
way over to the right, so your chest leans towards your knee. And then again breathe into
the side line muscles there. And then walk your hands all
the way over to the left. Come back to center. Come up onto your hands and knees, and bring your right foot
forward, left knee down. Reach your chest forward
as you let your hips sink towards your heel. And then change sides. Left foot forward, right knee down. And then bring your left
knee back to your right, sweep your legs around,
have a seat on your butt, and lie on your back. Alright bend your knees, bring your heels close to your butt. And we’ll just start a
little finishing poses here. Lift your hips up, and roll up onto the
tops of your shoulders. Nice, good job. Then imagine you’re putting
a block between your knees, keep your knees pointed straight up, toes pointing straight ahead, and lower the inner thighs
down towards the floor. So that feels like the bottom of your butt cheek broadens. Good, then lower your hips back down. Cross your right ankle
over your left knee, and gently hug your left
knee in towards your chest. Perfect, you know this one? – Yeah. – Okay, so this is a very common pose that is done kinda funky if you let your hips twist with your leg. So imagine as you’re pulling
your leg in towards you, your two hip bones you’re
trying to reach them out of your lower back. And then start to bring
your leg closer to you without letting your hips twerk at all. – Are you pushing out
with your right knee? – Yeah, that too. But also turn your right thigh out, and flex your right foot
like it’s up against a wall. If you turn your inner
thigh to the outer thigh, yeah just like that. And change sides. Good, so let the butt
drop towards the floor. Reach the right hip bone
and the left hip bone out of your lower back. Let the shoulders relax. And breathe right into where
you feel the sensation. Alright, uncross that. And our very last pose we’ll do here, take your right leg, up in the strap. So to help with that lower back situation, the rounded lower back in the poses, you’re gonna work on this pose, keep dropping your tailbone down so you have that neutral lower back, and then stretching this
left leg out to the floor. So, more often I see guys
trying to bring their legs as close to their face as they can without making the lower back hurt. And that’s just gonna teach your body to keep doing that in all poses. So you wanna be able to
keep the tailbone down, and then let this leg go towards straight. Do you feel pretty straight? Alright, good. So this is a good one you
can work up to holding for a minute and a half or something, and this leg stays neutral. Change legs. – So you wanna flex this leg? – Yeah, so this leg you wanna keep it like a mountain pose like that, and the second leg can just chill out. The tailbone drops down,
the hips go even again. Good, you can relax. Alright, so now at home, really important, you’re gonna take your
five minute Savasana. We’re gonna say goodbye now,
thanks so much for watching. And again thanks to Kozm for
putting this together for us and supplying gear, check
them out thekozm.com and also check out Alex on Instagram, what was it again your Instagram? – @a_gray. – Thanks for watching,
I’ll see you next week.

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