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Slow Flow: Awaken Your Spine

Beginner I
In this class, Guy takes you through a gentle hatha yoga flow, while helping you understand and experience the key movements of your spine: extension, forward bending, backward bending, side bending and twisting. He teaches you how to apply the principles in standing, lunging and reclining poses, leaving your spine feeling vibrant and relaxed.
Equipment:
  • Block
  • Blankets
Style:

Comments

Existing Comments

Gilly Vanilly
Gilly Vanilly
November 18, 2022
Fivestar Rating:
5
Comment:

Thank you Guy, that was a lovely, stretching class. Gentle and rewarding, I`m looking forward to the next one in this challenge :-)
Namaste

PhoebeL
PhoebeL
October 10, 2022
Comment:

hadn't done yoga for a few weeks and was in a terrible mood. This was perfect for decompressing my spine and letting go of the negativity stuck in the tight places! there was a good bit of explanation in the beginning, so I doubt I would go back to this for a while, but wonderful. I find Guy's classes so soothing and appropriate for everyone. Thank you!

JMacDee
JMacDee
February 20, 2022
Fivestar Rating:
5
Comment:

Really enjoyed this spine focused class. Thank you Guy, another good one!

Guiness
Guiness
October 28, 2021
Comment:

Simple but effective, it really did waken up my spine - so good. Thank you Guy

LaurenKita
LaurenKita
October 10, 2021
Comment:

A really nice practice, breaking down the different types of spinal movement. Sometimes less is more, which this practice really demonstrates. Thanks Guy.

LaurenKita
LaurenKita
October 10, 2021
Comment:

A really nice practice, breaking down the different types of spinal movement. Sometimes less is more, which this practice really demonstrates. Thanks Guy.

weltengaengerin
weltengaengerin
July 4, 2021
Comment:

Loved it. The first time I tried to get into yoga half a decade back, I was trying and wanting too much to be "perfect" and hence grew overly frustrated with myself and stopped coming to the mat. This time I approach yoga with a beginner's mindset and from a place of curiosity. This practice as Day 1 of the 14 day challenge was stellar for that. Just understanding the hip-shoulder relations and how they move relative to each other, was super helpful. Thank you!

Kinshelc
Kinshelc
April 1, 2021
Comment:

Great class! Very clear instructions and good beginner pace!

Melissa Krieger
Melissa Krieger
October 20, 2020
Comment:

Great class, Guy! It was an excellent first practice for my partner for him to learn the basics and a good stretch for me. Thanks!

Janrcostello@yahoo.com
[email protected]
October 2, 2020
Comment:

Excellent review of fundamentals. When I am in the lunge pose with one knee on blanket and the other leg behind me, I have trouble with the extended foot. It cramps when I try to keep the top of the foot against the floor I have to bend the foot and use my toes. How can I develop the posture you show?

Guy Friswell
Guy Friswell
October 5, 2020
Comment:

Hi there -- thanks for the question. The first thing I'd say is that there's nothing particularly special about the back foot being flat or toes tucked. Both work, and indeed with toes tucked you might get better feedback into the legs. The basic idea in yoga is to adapt the pose to suit your body rather than to adapt your body to suit the pose. Whatever works best for you is the best thing to do. However ... if you're experiencing foot cramps and would STILL like to try to get the top of your foot flat ... you probably need to do some work on both strengthening and releasing the muscles of your foot. I like to stand up and use a small "bouncy ball" and roll around the bottom of my foot into various pressure points. Also sitting in a squat with toes tucked under can really stretch the bottom of your foot -- neither of these are very comfortable, but they are effective! Anyhow, keep practicing! All the best, Guy

margotkeyes
margotkeyes
July 23, 2020
Comment:

Excellent no matter what your level is! My husband and I have been doing yoga together for years and sometimes it is vital to step back from all the vinyasa and power yoga and focus in and attune ourselves to essentials like proper spine alignment. Even we in the fitness world sometimes can get sloppy and practices like these really assist us in concentrating on proper movement. Guy also has a very calming voice and smooth easy flow, so it is overall an excellent, essential practice. Thank you!!

terri53226
terri53226
July 20, 2020
Comment:

Thank you Guy. Great movement and guidance. I took this class as day 1 of your 14 day challenge. Looking forward to all the other days.

JMacDee
JMacDee
July 6, 2020
Comment:

A nice beginner's class for moving the spine, and that always feels good. Great for more experienced yogis also to go back to the basics. Thank you Guy! James

PianoWire
PianoWire
June 10, 2020
Comment:

Back stretches almost always make me wince or grimace, but your approach generated far fewer "argh" moments than usual. Thank you for that!

A question about banana pose: Your elbows look as if they're resting on the floor, but my elbows come off the floor as soon as my arms go above my shoulders. What's more important, to raise my arms over my head or to to keep my elbows on the floor?

Guy Friswell
Guy Friswell
June 12, 2020
Comment:

Hi -- I'm glad to hear that this was less "grunt-worthy" for you! My general view on pretty much all yoga poses is that they should be adapted to suit your own body. If it doesn't fit, change it, I'd say. How? Change it in a way that stays with the general intent of the pose. In this case - banana pose - the intent is "passive lateral flexion of the spine" or in other words, a relaxed side-bend. Bringing your arms overhead can (sometimes) facilitate extension of your spinal column so that you can relax further into the side bend. Having the elbows bent or straight, or on or off the floor, doesn't really matter. Indeed, you could even keep your arms by your side if it causes those "argh" moments when you have them overhead! So, in banana pose are you achieving an optimal side-bend given the various conditions in your body? Yes, great! No, change it! All this is simply a long-winded way to say the most important point is the side bend itself. Play your arms the way that feels best for you. I hope this helps and enjoy practicing! All the best, Guy

NatalieNZ
NatalieNZ
April 21, 2020
Comment:

Thank you SO much, Huy. This is maybe the third time I’ve done this class with you. Wonderfully refreshing. As a relative newcomer to Yoga (I started about 4 years ago), I find the poses helpful, but so is « the voice » which is speaking to me, both mine, of course, but as well - yours. Your voice and guidance are particularly soothing when my back is acting up. Thank you again!

cbmilito
cbmilito
April 16, 2020
Comment:

This is a great fundamentals class but I feel like it should be categorized as Beginner 1 instead of 2.

Nouran Jerjous
Nouran Jerjous
April 6, 2020
Comment:

Thank you so much . The small instructions are fundamentals, that by time we might forget. they making big difference on how I understand and do the posture. Lots of thanks.

Piecat
Piecat
February 20, 2020
Comment:

Just a little edit type thing: the note says 'no equipment' but in the video you say 2 blocks and a blanket.....none of which i have with me :-)

kellyglostott
kellyglostott
February 6, 2020
Comment:

I have a lifelong shoulder deformity and cannot reach straight up over my head with my arms next to my ears - my arms always reach somewhat forward. I am not able to lace my fingers and reach over my head. All the focus on putting arms straight up in preparation for a movement puts a lot of strain on my neck and back. Do you have any classes for people with physical limitations?

Guy Friswell
Guy Friswell
February 6, 2020
Comment:

Hi Kelly -- Thank you for your comment. While I haven't fully addressed physical limitations in this class, I have a suggestion that may make this and other classes a bit more accessible. Generally, the idea behind bringing arms overhead is about extending the spinal column in advance of further movements of your spine. That is, before bending forward, backward or to the side -- or twisting -- the idea is to create some separation of the spinal vertebrae so that the movement is easier. Taking the arms overhead is a bit of a "hack" to facilitate this lengthening. So, my suggestion would be that whenever there's a cue to take your arms overhead, you could instead put your arms in a more comfortable position for you (perhaps "cactus arms" with elbows near your side and hands lifted?) and focus on lengthening your spine. Ultimately, the practice and the movements have to feel right in your body. Move from a place of ease and comfort first and foremost. I hope this helps ... and thank you for pointing this out. Finding and making the practice work for you in your our body is so important.

Reineira
Reineira
November 7, 2019
Comment:

I enjoyed you class and your guidance was very useful. Thank you.

Jessielhona
Jessielhona
September 26, 2019
Comment:

Would you recommend this class to a person with a slipped disk? I am interested but don't want to make things worse.

Guy Friswell
Guy Friswell
September 27, 2019
Comment:

Hi there — good question and I’m glad you’ve held off from doing the class. The first thing I’d say is that I’m a yoga teacher, I’m not a GP, chiropractor, physiotherapist or other kind of credentialed medical professional. I teach people how to come into wholeness of body, breath and mind. So, truly understanding slipped discs and what might be safe for YOUR body should be a discussion between you and a medical professional. That said, this particular practice is is slow and if approached with caution and mindfulness on your part should be soothing for your spine. But any sense of gripping or numbness or pain should be an immediate signal for you to back off! I hope this helps and I hope that you get to enjoy this class when you feel ready. All the best! Guy

handstoheart
handstoheart
August 12, 2019
Comment:

That was a really interesting class, it is amazing what feels different when you slow down and pay attention to what seem to be simple stretches.

Guy, I find I am a bit wobbly on the lunge poses. What can I do to strengthen this foundation?

Guy Friswell
Guy Friswell
August 13, 2019
Comment:

Hi there! I’m glad to hear that this class brought my attention to your inner experience. Thrilled in fact! On the lunges, there are a few points I could suggest:
* On your rear leg, play with putting more pressure into your big toe mound, moving your heel higher or lower, and moving your hip more forwards.
* Rotate your rear foot to allow your whole foot to be on the ground — so Warrior 1 stance.
* Drop your back knee to the ground and build stability there first.
* Accept the wobbliness as something that your body wants to work on!
I hope these are helpful and thanks for practicing with me! All the best, Guy

annalisa2
annalisa2
July 4, 2019
Comment:

Great class! I appreciated Guy's clear instructions and easy to follow pace.

kelly-kicks
kelly-kicks
June 28, 2019
Comment:

Morning spines stretches yes please thank u very relaxing

rberg
rberg
April 22, 2019
Comment:

I enjoyed your nice calm approach and your clear instructions to the movements of the spine.

Melanie Lichtinger
Melanie Lichtinger
April 17, 2019
Comment:

Great foundational spinal awareness & awakening.
Agreed with the previous commenter - for yogis on all levels.
Thank you Guy! Loved your calm and clear guidance.
Good to 'see' you again, and do Yoga with you here on this platform.

Dnakagawa
Dnakagawa
April 15, 2019
Comment:

This was a lovely start to the morning.
A good awakening practice not only for beginners, but for any yogi of all levels.

Thank you.