REVIEW – 3 Week Yoga Retreat – Day 8 & 9 – Core & Stretch (Expansion)

Day 8 – Core (Expansion) – approx 31 minutes.

Day 9 – Stretch (Expansion) – approx 33 minutes.

Meet Elise – she is your guide for expansion week.


Hi Elise – please don’t break me.

The core day starts out with some work in the seated position. I’m growing to like this. Between the yoga practice and my foam rolling (I did more FR on Sunday), I’m finding that my hips are really opening up. I can actually fold forward from a seated cross-legged position now.

Rock and Roll!

The work in balancing table position was surprisingly nice. Side plank to a side plank twist was a new move for me. I’ve done side plank with both legs off the ground before, but never did it with a knee down, and then twisting away from the knee. It was very interesting. Side plank hold with a floating leg was a new challenge too.

We did some more sun salutation A flow work, and then spent some time in low lunge positions. Following that, we transitioned into some side stretch to warrior 2 to some side angle work. I liked the cues here. Allowed me to clean up some stuff I was doing inefficiently. After that, we transitioned to some plank work, did some boat pose, boat twist, bicycle work, and then some bridge & reverse table top work. We wrapped up with some figure 4 and thread the needle work (yea hips!).

I really liked day 9 (stretch). Probably because we spent about 4 minutes at the end doing and learning about corpse pose. The name doesn’t have the morbid roots you’d imagine. Elise explains that she learned it means the death of the old to allow the birth of the new. That is a very zen/yoga type of thought.

Again – I really liked starting out in the seated (cross-legged) pose and focusing on mobility here. I really feel like I’m getting stronger here. We were basically on the ground for the first 8 minutes or so.

THEN, we moved into YOGA SQUAT. Since Shaun T is a big fan of this type of pose in his stretching, I have a lot of experience and range here. And, coupled with my personal single leg squat work, I can go hella-deep. I’m basically as low as she is. But, my big focus here was to make sure my knees weren’t collapsing in. I really emphasized keeping my joints stacked (ankle/knee). The yoga squat twist was a new experience and challenged me in a new way. After this, the wide legged forward fold felt awesome.

We then spent some time flowing between triangle and warrior 2. We also practiced reverse warrior for the first time in this program. I’m a big fan of reverse warrior if you do it correctly. Its meant to be a side bend, so you should feel it along the entire side of your body that is expanding (oblique, lat, shoulder, etc). She pointed out some cues to ensure that you are getting this sensation. I liked the verbal cue about the posing striving to create length and extension between the front foot/toe and the extended fingers. That helps to emphasize the “extend” and “lengthen” experience.

length in reverse warrior.JPG

Get length, but don’t collapse your posture. Keep your heart up.

The goddess flow was a nice new move for me. Doing the flow in the lower portion of goddess is certainly a challenge. I had some flash backs to Shaun T’s pulses in the Insanity routines.

We finished up with some crescent pose work, some downward dog work, and then some bound pose work before moving into our corpse pose “work” (aka: savasana).

This session felt very nice on my lower body. Specifically my hips and glutes. I moved right into some foam rolling afterwards. I used my tabata timer app to set 17 intervals of 2 minutes each to just focus on foam rolling the crap out of my body. My right hip/glute, and left shoulder/lat/rhomboid need some MAJOR pressure.


Are you an aspiring yogi? Do you enjoy mixing yoga workouts into your fitness plan? If so, please let us know about it in the comments. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” and share. Thank you!


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