30 min Intermediate Yoga with Blocks – CURIOSITY OVER JUDGEMENT

Let’s strengthen and stretch with this complete 30 minute intermediate yoga class using 2 blocks.

Hi everyone, thanks for joining me. I decided to bring my blocks out today and use them to help us get a bit creative on the mat and explore traditional poses in a different way. This is a fun dynamic yoga class suitable for intermediate students who want to switch things up a bit and make use of their yoga props.

Grab two blocks and meet me on the mat with an open heart and open mind! This class will help you gain strength physically and mentally while also giving you lots of great stretching breaks.

Lately I’ve been focusing a lot on the concept of choosing curiosity over judgement and expectation. When things get tough or when you step out of your comfort zone, can you be curious about the experience rather than judgmental about it? Regardless of the end result! Now THAT’S a spiritual practice! Enjoy xx

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Yoga with Kassandra – Disclaimer
Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Kassandra from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Kassandra’s negligence. #yogawithkassandra #30minyoga #yogawithblocks

Hi everyone thank you for joining me my Name is Cassandra and today I'm going to Guide you through this intermediate Practice that is going to be using two Blocks so this yoga with blocks practice Is a way for us to become curious about Poses and curious about our practice Again so maybe if you've been in a bit Of a rut or you tend to practice a Little bit on autopilot this happens to Me you know when you've been practicing And teaching for a certain amount of Time Um you might feel like you know Everything there is to know about the Poses or you might kind of tune out of Your practice and just go through the Motions so we're going to try to shake Things up a little bit today and do Things differently than you're used to Doing them so that we can come back to Our beginner's mindset we can develop a Bit of curiosity for our practice and we Can go out of our comfort zones a little Bit you know where the real yoga tends To begin so a great mix of flexibility Strength balance but also really paying Attention to our intro internal dialogue Practicing mindfulness and just finding Curiosity for our practice again Obviously you will need two blocks you Can just place them at the top of the Mat mat with distance apart and we're Going to do a child's pose but with our

Hands on the blocks to help stretch out Through our shoulders a little bit more I'm going to keep my knees about hip Width distance apart hips towards the Heels and as you extend your arms I like To have my pinky and my thumb wrapping Onto the blocks and then I'm just Melting myself down So forehead comes down to the mat and I'm just trying to press my shoulders Down while still shrugging them away From my ears And come to a steady breath rhythm As you feel this opening Through your upper body My intention for you in this class Is to get you out of The autopilot mode And when you breathe here I want you to Feel your rib cage expand front to back And also side to side Take two more breaths right here And we'll meet in tabletop pose keeping Our hands on these blocks you might need To readjust your stance a little bit so That you have your hands and blocks Under your shoulders just for cat and Cow as you inhale drop your belly lift Your gaze curl tailbone up Then on the exhale round and contract Chin to chest Just keep going through these two poses That you are most likely used to doing But can you find something new from this

Movement Can you push into your fingertips and Knuckles to take the weight out of your Wrists Three more full Cycles as you merge your Breath with the movement Foreign A little bit more space through the Front and back body And we'll come back to neutral tabletop Pose really wrap your fingers around the Block in your right hand and just lift It all the way up So bicep is along the ear this is going To strengthen your right obliques you Need to actively push into your left Hand And set it down same thing on the other Side really grab a hold of that block Lift it up You want to keep a slow steady breath Here And release slide your blocks forward a Little bit so that we can come into our Downward facing dog Lifting your hips up and back and Pressing your chest towards your thighs So you might notice that having a bit More of a lift under the arms helps your Heels get closer to the mat make use of That by really stretching out through The back of your legs And let's extend our right leg up Towards the sky bend your right knee

Open up your hip get your knee to be the Highest point here And now straighten your right leg again And see if you can bring your right foot Kind of in a tree pose variation in this Downward facing dog so my right foot is Resting to the inside of my left leg and I'm going to come forward into plank Pose shifting vashi stasana to the left You're going to lean onto your left leg Onto that left block So Rick shasana vashistasana tree pose In your side plank and you can extend Your right arm bicep along the ear Lifting up tall And we'll come from here into our low Lunge so right hand comes back to the Block right foot steps between the palms And the back knee comes down Ah really Just let your hips melt here Roll your shoulders back You can tuck the back toes under if They're not there already we're going to Take a wide variation of our pyramid Pose and you can always change how you Have your blocks here if the floor feels Like it's a little bit too far away prop Yourself up a little bit more and fold On down You can absolutely have a bend in that Front knee here doesn't need to be Perfectly straight Just trying to open up through our

Hamstrings And I like having them on my highest Level with the blocks I'm going to walk Them forward a little bit so I can step To the top of the mat into my forward Fold uttanasana Halfway lift flat back lift and lengthen And exhale to fold grab a hold of your Blocks in any way and just come all the Way up to stand lifting up So in this mountain pose you're going to Take one block and you're going to place It in between your upper inner thighs on Its the thinnest way And the other block on the widest Section between your palms and you're Going to extend your arms up overhead so Your hands end up being about shoulder Width distance apart I want you to Squeeze your block as much as you can With your inner thighs and I want you to Push your palms like a good five pounds Of pressure into that block and we're Going to lean into a side Bend Over to the left keep squeezing and Pushing Come all the way up and lean over to the Other side Standing side Bend push into the block Notice how this changes the pose Coming back up and through to Center Utkatasana your chair pose Bend Into Your Knees rock your weight back into Your heels and we're going to reach our

Arms and our block as we twist over to The right Inhale back through to Center Twist over to the left Back through to Center and you can bring Your block and your palms to your heart Here really push in we're coming from Here into navasana boat pose so lowering Down And picking the legs up so let's play Around a little bit here see if you can Bring your block and place it in between Your feet squeeze your feet against the Block to hold it Into your low boat so you're hovering Off the mat keep squeezing and holding Your block Come all the way back up bend your knees Grab your block again you can do this Squeeze into that block with your knees Bent And we're going to cross twist over to The right And twist over to the left And let's release bring your feet flat To the floor and release your blocks so From here I'll give you an option you're Either just going to sit with your right Shin in front of your left one or you Can cross and stack one Shin on top of The other so I have my right ankle over My left knee right knee over my left Ankle and I'm going to stretch my arms And my blocks out in front of me to

Encourage my chest to melt down And stretch through the upper body So starting to Find your breath rhythm again This is an activating practice Switching things up a bit Try to really stay present to your Experience My favorite phrase lately has been Curiosity over judgment Hmm And go ahead and lift your upper body up You're going to uncross your legs Feet flat to the floor I'm just going to Shift back a little bit because I'm too Far forward we're going to do reverse Tabletop pose but on our blocks So hands go back behind you push your Feet into the floor and squeeze and lift Up Into our l-sit pickup so you're going to Straighten your legs and shift your hips Back and see if you're able to lift up Your legs Squeeze tight through your core And release all the way back down Let's Fold forward I'm making this a passive Yin style forward fold so I'm not Flexing not pushing I'm letting my spine Round And I'm softening into it You're welcome to do a more activating And engaged forward fold About three more breaths here

Slowly rolling up inch by inch grab your Blocks we're going to make our way back To downward facing dog so you can cross At your ankles Place your hands down lift your hips up And back and you either can stay here or You can take a Vinyasa if you'd like Inhaling forward through plank exhale Chaturanga Inhale Your upward facing dog Exhale Down dog lifting it up Let's reach our left leg up to the sky Second side bend your left knee open up Your hip just get a nice thigh stretch Here And then you're going to straighten that Left leg and bring your left foot Somewhere alongside the inside of your Right leg We're going to come forward into plank And then over into our tree pose side Plank so lean to the right and reach Your left arm up Pressing your hips up as high as they Can go and maybe reaching Left arm alongside your ear Into our low lunge left hand comes down Left foot steps between the blocks back Knee comes down to the mat Ah So if you've noticed the way that I've Sequined this sequence this we have a

Few poses in a row that are really heat Building really activating really Require strength but then you get a Little breather and an opportunity to Reconnect So even though this is a challenging Practice can you stay with it Can you stay curious as opposed to Judgmental And with the back toes curled under you Can lift your back knee off the mat Straighten that front leg and you can Change how you have your blocks here if You'd like I like to have them on their Highest level Makes this pose a lot easier Try to keep your hips squared to the Front of the mat I know that's very very Challenging We're going to bend into our front knee Just so we can step to the top of the Mat and you can bring your blocks with You Oh it's an Asana forward fold Arda uttanasana halfway lift inhale flat Back And fold come all the way up to stand Bring your blocks with you So just like last time one block goes in Between your inner upper thighs the Other one goes between your palms on the Longer Edge Lifting up push your hands into your Blocks keep your rib cage pressing in

Squeeze really squeeze with your inner Thighs and this time we're going to bend Into our elbows bring your block behind The back of your head keep squeezing and Pushing as you lift up and over a little Bit of a back bend here So engaging the upper inner thighs is One of the ways that we can protect our Spine in back bends Super important Lifting up And come all the way back through to Center straighten your arms utkatasana Chair pose Breathe deeply here and this time let's Twist over to the left so reach the Block down and back Up through to Center Switch sides over to the right keep Squeezing your thighs against the block Lift all the way back up and you know Where we're going with this we're Lowering down into our boat pose Lifting up through the legs and just use And place that second block between your Feet really squeeze against it lift your Arms up Low boat Back the boat bend your knees so you can Grab that block again keep your knees Bent twist over to the left And to the right Back through Center and release grab Your blocks let's find that fire log

Pose on the second side so easier Version is to just bring your left shin Staggered in front of your right one and Fold otherwise you're going to stack Your left shin on top of the right also Sometimes called Square pose Which is funny because it's more of a Triangle shape Extend your arms out crawl the blocks Out in front of you And fold on down Letting go Two more breaths And you can lift yourself back up we're Going to take our reverse tabletop pose With the help of our blocks Feet flat to the mat hands shoulder Width distance apart squeeze through Your glutes as you lift on up Into our L sit trying to hover up and Off the ground you're going to Straighten your legs send your hips back Push your hands into the blocks squeeze And lift And release on down so instead of doing The same forward fold I'm going to take A straddle fold instead And still making this more of a passive Fold in my case just letting myself Naturally round letting gravity do the Work for me here Foreign Two more deep belly breaths Lifting yourself back up Bend into your

Knees we're going to come into our last Downward dog last Vinyasa hands on the Blocks at the top of the mat Make your way there and either hang out Exactly where you are or take this one Last flow From plank To lower Into your back bend roll your shoulders Back And lift your hips up and back Stretch it out here one last time And let's bring our knees to the floor Starting to slow things down we have two Blocks so we might as well go into Supported fish from here First block goes in between shoulder Blades or towards the upper back And the second block supports the back Of your head And you can do this with your arms and Legs straight out or you might prefer to Do your butterfly pose Soles of the feet together knees fall Apart there is another alternative where You can reach your arms up overhead just Make sure this isn't too much for your Shoulders your arms and even kind of Like in your mid back I'm just going to keep them wide and Down So a challenging little flow Start to notice the effects of your Practice

Feeling where this is resonating in your Body Three more breaths Will be coming from here into supported Bridge pose you're only going to need One block for this so you can move one Off to the side And just come down to lay on your back And start maybe just at the first or Second height of your block as you place It underneath your seat really make sure It's not under your lower back although Some people really like that variation For me it feels off for my sacrum so I Prefer to keep it kind of Underneath More of my tailbone You can play around a little bit at home But we're just looking for a gentle Inversion getting our hips higher than Our heart shrug your shoulders down and Away from your ears And just take a few moments here to Ground in And if you had your block on its second Level let's all place it on the lowest Level so it's not quite as high and you Can pull your right knee to your belly And straighten your left leg out in Front of you Knee to chest stretching through That left thigh And let's switch sides pull your left Knee in towards your belly straighten Your right leg really reaching out

Through your right heel trying to push It into the mat [Music] And we'll release let go of your blocks Find shavasana our final resting pose Together Letting yourself be fully supported And completely leveled to the ground Relax your facial muscles as you close Your eyes And get so so so heavy here A little bit heavier every time you Breathe out And we'll stay here for just a few Minutes in silence and Stillness Before coming out and closing our Practice together Thank you Let's breathe a little bit deeper Wake yourself back up with a little bit Of movement stretch your arms up Overhead really stretch out here And you can turn to one side lifting on Up I'm taking a seat Let's bring our palms together at the Front of the heart Settling in Take a moment to really honor yourself To thank yourself for persevering For being willing to do things Differently And let's chant om together one time Inhale to chant breathe in

Oh foreign [Music] Thank you so very much everyone for Doing this class with me do let me know How it went leave me a comment before You go if you don't subscribe already Please do so and hopefully I'll be Seeing you on the mat very soon

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About the Author: Kim Johansen