Articles, Blog

Yoga For Actors – Yoga With Adriene


– Hey everyone and
welcome to Yoga with Adriene. I’m Adriene and today
we have a special yoga for actors practice. This is really great for anyone. I’ll tell you why in the video. Just an opportunity to
connect to your whole body, to your breath and to
something big so you can serve the world and have a
voice with consciousness. Let’s get started. (upbeat music) Alrighty, my friends,
let’s begin standing feet hip width apart. We’re gonna start
with feet hip width apart and the toes pointing
forward to really connect to the feet right away
’cause we’re gonna allow this awareness of the
feet to travel all the way up through the body,
slowly but surely throughout this little practice because this is how we
honor and recognize the body as a tool for
storytelling as an actor, as a performer but also
in any aspect of your life where you’re getting
up in front of people and you’re communicating. Whether that is at work
or in some sort of activism or even communicating
with your family. Having this awareness
of your full body and the body language is awesome and yoga’s a
great tool for that. So, it’s really not about
the yoga poses today or ever. But especially today
it’s really about creating an experience and cultivating
this full body awareness. Toes pointing forward,
feet hip width apart. Then lift all 10 toes
and feel all four corners of your feet really root
to the ground and then draw some energy up through the legs. You can release the toes down. And then travel past
the hips and then up through all four sides of the torso. And then all the way
up through the crown. Just notice
where you’re at today and in my opinion,
a smart actor, smart performer, always takes a
moment to really just notice where they are each day. So you have to
really show up as you are so that you know
what you need to do to tell your story
to transform and create hopefully a real experience. So kind of ignoring
what’s going on in your body and in your real life
is for me not very helpful. Kind of checking in and going
okay this is where I’m at today, showing up as I am. It’s kind of a
great place to start. When you’re ready,
let’s connect to the breath. Another very powerful tool. As we squeeze the
shoulders up to the ears and take a deep breath in. Then exhale, relax the
shoulders down, deep breath out. It’s very simple. But we’re using this
little Vinyasa here to connect and show up as we are. Squeeze the
shoulders up to the ears. Squeeze, squeeze,
squeeze, breathe in and then exhale,
let everything go. Relax the shoulders down. Keep this going really
feel your feet as you squeeze the shoulders up to the ears. Squeeze and lift through
all four sides of the torso and then exhale, let it go. Now keep this going to
the rhythm of your own breath and see if you can find
different flavors in each one. One can be
really soft and smooth. One can begin to
integrate the neck. Maybe you shorten the
tempo, squeeze the shoulders up to the ears and then
exhale, drop on the exhale. Then do one more
wherever you are. Squeeze and lift,
squeeze and lift. Then exhale, release
everything, beautiful. Reach the fingertips around
to interlace behind your tail. You’re just gonna
draw the knuckles down and away here, so
knuckles go down and away. We open up through
the chest and you can play with whether you square
off through the hands here, to stretch the
forearms or if you slowly begin to bring the palms together. Then as you’re ready,
inhale, lift your heart. Exhale, draw your
chin to your chest. Beautiful, inhale,
lift your heart, lift your chin, open your throat. Then exhale chin to chest. One more time, inhale,
lift your heart, lift your chin, throat back, open,
then exhale, chin to chest. Fabulous, break free. We’re gonna reach the
fingertips all the way forward and then up and back
and then just really drop the shoulders down into socket,
just like you did before. Take a nice, big,
full body stretch here. Feel your feet on the ground. Think of the body
as one moving part. Then on the exhale, we’re
gonna slowly tilt to one side, any side you can grab the
opposite wrist, if you like. Breathing deep, just
feeling that side body stretch. Inhale to come back up. Exhale, sending it
to the opposite side. You can grab the opposite
wrist if you like, stretch. Then inhale back to center. Exhale, hands to heart. Keep lifting the
sternum to the thumbs. You’re gonna
close your eyes here or come to a soft gaze. You can look out
just in front of you and I’ll use my voice to guide
you here in this next beat. So really feel your
hands together at your heart and start to deepen your breath. See if you can listen
to a nice audible breath. For any performer, but
particularly for actors, we really have to
cultivate this relationship to something real so
that you can play real, right? My training in acting actually
comes from a very physical form called Suzuki Viewpoints. Both really invite us to
connect to something real and something
that’s really present. You’re gonna keep your
hands at your heart here and with the eyes closed,
bring your awareness to the space between
your naval and your spine. Oddly enough, we talk
about the same thing in yoga. In yoga we call
it Uddiyana Bandha. It’s a slight drawing
in of the navel, in and up, we find this
little lock or bandha here and for today we’ll
just let it be an awareness. An awareness in your
center is what we’ll call it. Then slowly lift the
sternum up to the thumbs, even more, open your eyes,
find one point to focus on and from your center, so
from the middle lifting up, imagine there’s like a
marionette cord right on your center and it’s just
gonna slowly lift you up and you’re gonna come
on to the tippy tip toes. You’re gonna press
the feet, the toes down, and draw the naval in and up. If you need to take
your hands up for balance, you absolutely
can but otherwise, try to keep the palms together and we’re creating
lots of length up and down the spinal cord. We’re starting to breathe. You can imagine
these two little headlights in front of the hip
creases, not shining forward but shining up so
lengthen your tail bone down. We’re here for one
more breath cycle, in, tuck the chin
slightly as you breathe out. Then nice and slow,
with control, lower it down, with control, nice and slow. Sweet, one more time,
inhale from your center, so practice drawing the naval
in and up and that’s what slowly lifts you up. Hold on to your
focal point, out in front. We lift, lift, lift. Again hip creases
shining up towards the sky. Finding length through
the spine, deep breath in and then exhale with
control, slow release down. Awesome, okay from here, we’re
gonna take the feet wide now and turn the toes out. Heels are gonna be now a little
bit wider than your hips. You don’t have to go super wide, but just a little bit
wider than hip width apart. Then again think of
those headlights on the hips, not going front
but all the way up. Whoa, yeah, all the way up, so that the tail
bone’s lengthening down. Hands come back to the
heart, head over heart, heart over pelvis. So we’re cultivating
this full body awareness, we’re just warming up,
shaking off the day thus far as we can prepare
for our work, for our craft. We’re also
wanting to prep the body to have lots of
spaciousness for breath so that we can speak,
right, with a consciousness and with a powerful voice. Imagine you’re leaning
up against a wall here. You’re not gonna
let the butt go out or the heart go froward. You’re gonna keep
the sternum lifted and the tail
bone lengthening down. We’re gonna inhale
in and then exhale, bend the knees and
just slowly from the middle, imagine this part,
just moving down, you’re just gonna slide
into a little Goddess Pose or Horse Pose here. But again make sure the pelvis
stays right underneath you so you may not go
as low, maybe in time and then just make
sure that the knees aren’t coming in,
you’re really gonna press through all four corners of the
feet and sit down nice and low. Connect to your center. We start to light a little fire, a little aug-nee
in the belly here. You can press
the palms together, or if you need to take
them out for more stability, then do it but
make it a choice, right. (chuckles) Yeah. So lean back a
little more, breathe deep. See if you can really
calm the skin of the face. Marry a little ease,
a little grace. One more breath
here, you got this, maybe sink a little lower. And then with
control, don’t rush this, even if your legs are burning, as slow as you can go, rise up. Awesome, keep your
chin lifted, throat open, without looking down, you’re
gonna bring the feet together, without looking down. So my mentor is so wonderful, but he used to
always say, see feelingly. This is for the actor. You don’t need to
look with your eyes. You don’t need to point
to things with your eyes. You have eyes on
the soles of your feet. Bring the feet
together without looking, we’re going to
shift to one leg, any leg, and you’re just gonna
interlace the fingertips and catch one knee. Squeeze up and in. And then exhale, take it
back, nice quad stretch here. Bring the opposite hand to
your heart and breathe deep. Stay on that standing leg,
squeeze that knee up towards your chest. Then take it back, quad stretch. One more time, squeeze and lift. Quad stretch. Next time you’re in the
quad stretch, stay here. You’re gonna slowly flip the
hand to the arch of the foot and just play here,
squeezing into the midline, a little dancer variation. You can also go through
a little Tree Pose here. I want you to keep a nice,
calm, audible breath going here. And again we’re just
organizing brain and body here with the balancing pose. Uniting the two
which is gonna help us when we work, when we play. Take a couple of breaths
playing here, dancer pose. Then we’ll slowly release,
you’ll come back to center, don’t look down, see feelingly eyes on the soles of your feet. Get head over heart,
heart over pelvis and we’ll do the same
thing on the other side. Nice and easy, you’re
gonna release the finger tips, catch your knee
and then take it back. Nice quad stretch here,
hand comes to the heart, breathe, tuck your
pelvis underneath you. Stand up nice and tall. Sweet, interlace the fingertips, come through center,
squeeze and lift. Back to the quad stretch. Squeeze inner
thighs to the midline. And squeeze and lift. Quad stretch. Excuse me, then
squeeze and lift, let’s just do it one more time. ‘Cause usually the
second side is the one we’re not as stable on
and then as you’re ready, you’ll flip that hand
to the arch of the foot. We’ll just play with
the little dancer pose. Really not about
the pose today or ever. Just really organizing
brain and body to unite. You’ll kick the foot out, maybe take the
opposite hand forward. See if you can keep this
awareness through the neck. If you fall, it’s kind of a
great check in as well, right? So there are no mistakes, right? As you’re ready, release,
squeeze that knee up again and then let everything go. Rotate the ankles,
one and then the other. And the wrists,
one and then the other. Let any stress or tension that
you’ve been carrying with you go here so that you can
create spaciousness to work. I guess you may
not be on a yoga mat, so you don’t need to come to
the top of the mat, never mind. Never mind. But without looking,
we’re going to bring the feet together one more time. Big inhale to reach for the sky, think of this as one
moving part, so press your feet into the earth, reach
your hands to the sky. There’s just like one
moving part, not a bunch of disjointed parts here,
but one moving part. Reach, reach, reach,
really maximize the stretch and then exhale, bring
everything down Forward Fold, all the way down to the earth. Bend your knees generously. Take a couple of breaths
here to shake the head loose, maybe clasp the elbows,
rock gently side to side. Then release the arms,
take a deep breath in, then exhale out, then
tuck the chin into the chest, slowly roll it up as you roll
up, really feel your feet pressing into the earth. That’s why you’re
rolling up because your feet are pressing so firmly
into the core of the earth that you stack up through
the spine because energy is just reverberating
up through your feet. Your awareness of the
full body is starting to expand and you might even
start to feel a little joy, a little gratitude or just become more
present with what is. Without looking, bring the
feet together, really together and once again we’ll
inhale, reach for the sky. Exhale, relax
the shoulders down. Then here we go. Keep the heart lifted,
draw the naval in and up, try to move from your center. We’ll slowly begin to come
up onto the tippy tip toes, you can hold on to your
focal point out in front. Squeeze the legs together
and then exhale, lower down. Now consider your
audience, so yoga’s really about your inner ecosystem
but for today, really close your
eyes or soften your gaze and see every finger tips so
there’s either energy there or softness as you lower down. Then one more time,
sending awareness through every finger as you
lift up and then lower down. Then release the arms
and feel the blood flow opposite direction, amazing,
getting that healthy flow of energy going. Without looking down,
widen the legs, toes are gonna turn out once
again, hands come to the heart. We inhale, lean back,
exhale, bend the knees. One last time, we
come into this Goddess Pose or this Horse Pose. This time, you can take
one fist, one had into a fist and one hand over
for a little resistance. We’re gonna get
down nice and low, okay? So get your center
really underneath you, your bum’s gonna kind of hug
in towards the midline too. We breathe deep. Just notice what comes up and we’re gonna
sink down even lower. If you were practicing
a monologue or a speech, this is a really great
place to practice your lines because the body is actually
having a real experience. Think upward,
lift through the front, think grounding
through the back, we’re here for a couple more
breaths, you got this. Do not give up, stick with me,
lengthen through the crown. Breathe deep. Sink a little lower. Sink a little lower,
last time, you got this. Now with control, slowly
rise up, press into the feet. Feel that power of
the foot to earth connection. In yoga we call it Para Bandha. Beautiful, and release the
arms when the legs straighten and interlace them
behind, this time opposite, thumb on top so the weird one. Again, we’re connecting to the
brain in a different way now. Then we open the chest. Squaring through the wrists, we’re bringing
the palms together. Without looking, bring the
feet together, nice and slow, don’t look down. Alright, last beat here. So stand up nice and tall. When you’re ready,
drop the chin to the chest. Then here we go, lift the heart, open the throat
and lift the chin. One more time, drop
the chin to the chest, feel that great
stretching the back of the neck. When you’re ready,
shoulders back, lift the heart, open the throat
and lift the chin. Fabulous, break free. Take a second here to just
open the mouth really wide. And then close. Using the breath,
open the mouth really wide. And exhale and close. One more time, open, as big as
you can, as wide as you can. And close, maybe
little horsie lips here. (blowing air) Bring the palms together,
thumbs to third eye. Stand up nice and tall. Repeat these
mantras quietly to yourself. I can. I choose. I will. I love. I create. I thrive. I enjoy. Namaste. (upbeat music)

100 Comments

  1. Michelle webb Author

    Adriene, what a great practice to acknowledge self and create thoughtfulness and space for clarity in having a voice. I really needed this today! As always, thank you.

    Reply
  2. Rebeca Hernández Author

    Thank you so much for this video. Yoga is a great tool for actors, and seeing a special practice for us made by you made me happy. This was amazing. I felt my body connecting to so many great sensations.

    Reply
  3. Macey • Author

    Been away from yoga for too long, for me! Have about nine minutes left and my cat decided to leap onto my shoulders :3 lol
    She's being very needy tonight and wants me to lay in bed haha. I'll try again in the morning 😀

    Reply
  4. Sophie Duncan Author

    Hiya Adriene I've signed up to your newsletter several times and never receive any. was just wondering is it because I live in the UK? P.S. your videos keep me going every day. it sound proper cheese 🧀 but it's like having a friend. thank you for your hard work. it's much appriciated ❤

    Reply
  5. Gill Smith Author

    This practice was a surprise to me, not knowing what to expect, but I call it a complete awareness exercise. I concentrated on every word, slow and purposeful. Apart from gently energising the body, it really left me thinking ! You got to me Adriene, I’m feeling so positive, Namaste 🙏💞

    Reply
  6. Laura DeMelo Author

    Thank you so much for today’s yoga video! This one was really great! They all are and I haven’t missed a day this month yet! This one was really wonderful! I was basically smiling through the whole thing and now almost want to cry. You are amazing! Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I hope you are having the best time in Mexico! 😊💗

    Reply
  7. Pretty Thoughtful Author

    This one really got my lungs going at the end! I didn't think I could sink lower in the last goddess pose but I did! Learning to lean in and trust ♥

    Reply
  8. Julia Leonetti Author

    Hi Adriene, comin atcha from a cottage weekend filled with new faces, new conversations and some of which I am out of my comfort zone with. I took my time away to be with myself, and I'm so glad I did. I love this practice because it actually gets me giddy in the stomach and makes me believe in miracles. It was a blessing that I found this practice and even though I am in a stage of my life where I have never been I am so proud of myself for making this a priority and a thing to do for myself. Thank you <3 Namaste <3

    Reply
  9. Chrissy Schebilski Author

    I loved this sequence! Thank you for sharing it. I have to admit I wasn’t totally focused because I was multitasking. I had this video playing on my iPad and the Royal Wedding on mute next to it.

    Reply
  10. Rhiannon Nia Author

    The actor in me bows to the actor in you. Thank you, Adriene. After a 12 hour day working – you guessed it – in acting, this felt like the perfect way to round off. Jaw stretches and chest openers a plenty!!! Yum yum yum. More rehearsals tomorrow, so I’d best head off to bed. This has left me a happy actor! Namaste xxx

    Reply
  11. Lureeality Arts Author

    I love this video, and I use it frequently before singing. I do wish that you had a yoga for singers practice of around 20 minutes separate from acting and musicians, which are both close but not quite…

    Reply
  12. Pretty Thoughtful Author

    My goddess was so low I thought I might as well sit on the floor! Really felt like this was what I needed today (figured I'd do Saturdays practice tomorrow) and I was right. Goddess pose makes me feel balanced in body and mind and I love it!

    Reply
  13. Ashley EM Author

    Such a great practice! I got back from holiday yesterday, didn't sleep well while away and am so stiff. This was perfect to gently waken my muscles and foster connection through my body. Thank you, Adriene.

    Reply
  14. Marina Redon Author

    whao that was amazing. I didnt know what to expect from this video as I was looking for shoulders release and help my balance today. I got attracted to this video and i m not disappointed. Thanks adrienne !

    Reply
  15. Gill Smith Author

    I am surprised again ! This practice is a real workout for the legs and yes no need for a yoga mat, an on the spot exercise which really tones the body, focuses the mind and builds a real awareness of my posture. I know many with a confined space, barely room for a yoga mat and this is a perfect little workout. Thanks Adriene, see you tomorrow for lovely Truesday !! 🧘🏼‍♀️🧘🏻‍♀️🙏💞

    Reply
  16. sarahgrin Author

    I love those mantras at the end — I’m going to write them up and put them on my desk at work. I’m a full-time professional musician and yet I deeply fear that I am unqualified (not creative enough, not deep enough, not skilled enough, etc etc etc) to do my job. The end of this practice is incredibly empowering and I want to remember it! ❤️🧘🏻‍♀️✨🌊

    Reply
  17. Shayna Trachten Author

    Nice class for applying core work/strength to asana, finding your center, and exploring foot-to-earth connection. Nice break from arm work and downward-facing dogs. As a performer, posture is very important as well as expressing confidence. Nice confidence-booster; I really felt great after this class.

    Reply
  18. Sara Bihaouline Author

    a boost of energy to go through your day bravely, this practice can help anyone to cultivate courage and confidence, i really loved it and i'm extremely surprised with its beautiful content.

    Reply
  19. Anna Gavenčiaková Author

    Gee, I almost Tangeled my feet and my tongue at 4:13 and 10:17 of this amazing piece, luckily avoided the programmed neurology. The guidance of the 'soft gaze' you provided in the next speed was great. Keep playing reel,, right? Thankfully, I had no 'czech-in' fall MISTAKES.. Little Goddess pose, horse pose with the headlights at hips creases, 'little' dancer variation, 'little' tree and starting the 'little' fire in the belly, blood flow opposite direction – what an amazing 'new' stuff we are learning through you about yoga, unreal 'cultivation'.. which actually brings on a lot of very very 'little' practically 'right out of the womb little' memories.. you were placing your hands more on your neck rather than on your heart on bringing the thighs back. BUT overall, what a performa. Fresh and so 'sweet'. Have you tried this aas a 'party session'??

    Reply
  20. Pretty Thoughtful Author

    Always love the challenge of goddess! This video and practice always fills me with so much joy and when I'm saying the mantras at the end I'm feeling it so much ♥

    Reply
  21. Liz Beardmore Author

    I chose this practice this morning, my 65th birthday, so I can walk tall into the day with grace and lightness. Thank you dear Adriene xx Namaste 💟

    Reply
  22. mm Author

    I am from India and I practiced this video today as per the November calendar. I love every video you post, Adriene but this video was fun to practice, specifically that horsey lips part 😁 thank you for all you do. Love you.. Namaste.

    Reply
  23. Daphne Troost Author

    20/365
    Perfect timing 🙂 Yesterday I was thinking about the fact that I want to use my voice more confidently 🙂
    Thank you, Adriene! Namasté <3

    Reply
  24. Jishnu Warrier Author

    when you said dont look at the foot I thought "it doesnt matter". But by the end of the video I understood why you said that. Loved it😍😍😍

    Reply
  25. Alison Jenkins Author

    Oof, Horse Pose reminded me of that burn in the legs from the last Suzuki/Viewpoints workshop I did! I have an audition this morning, so I skipped ahead a few days in the April playlist to do this one today because it just felt right. It's a great warmup. Thanks!

    Reply
  26. Heidi Hollis Author

    I had to jump on and say a big THANK YOU for the mantras at the end. These really spoke to me. I'm a trained performer, but also do lots of facilitation, writing, collaborative projects with artists and children…. I'm at a point where I really have to choose what to focus on to take my practice deeper and make it more effective in the world. . . . I can hear how rooted these mantras are as a sequence. I will be carrying these with me in the days and weeks that follow, and returning to this particular practice often. Thank you.

    Reply
  27. Gill Smith Author

    I always think how something so slow can be sometimes quite challenging and afterwards I feel I have had a workout. Maybe it’s just my body and everyone else is breezing through ? My balancing continues to improve with breath control and your words, always more difficult on the left than my right. I think next time I’ll start on the left and see how it goes. Feeling ready for my busy day, thanks Adriene 🧘🏼‍♀️🧘🏻‍♀️🙏💞

    Reply
  28. Rachel Taylor Author

    Very interesting not done anything like that before. My balance is getting better only fell out of the poses a few times! Lol Have a super Friday Adriene x

    Reply
  29. TheGraziella1987 Author

    Adriene. that was Wonderful!
    I love when you challenge me.
    Thank you.
    I had the same socks on, bought them on my Ireland trip in 2016.
    Funny how didn’t feel like taking them off this morning and then realized you didn’t too.😊
    Felt so grounded this morning.
    Must have been having breakfast with my Fiancée who is in England right now, soon to be my husband in May.❤️
    I did fall a couple of times but Enjoyed every moment of it.
    Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.

    Reply
  30. Cara Glowacki Author

    April 2019 Act "I can, I choose, I will, I love, I create, I thrive, I enjoy"…. YWA and finding what feels good! Thank You. xo

    Reply
  31. Wendy GivingbackDavis Author

    ACT,day 5! What an interesting practice today, the balancing poses were really awesome, I'm getting better and better with my balance! Thank you Adriene, as always! Have an amazing Friday and even better weekend! NAMASTE 🙏

    Reply
  32. Sara Anderson Author

    This landed on the April calendar on the same day that I have my first shoot for a short film, after years of not acting. Perfect timing. Thank you for the grounding practice. <3

    Reply
  33. D a w s a c Author

    ACT day 5

    I am no actor but I have found the self-confidence aspect really useful.

    I can. I choose. I will. I love. I create. I thrive. I enjoy.

    Namaste.

    #ywaACT #FWFG

    Reply
  34. Liz R Author

    Day 5 of April ACT. Nice to work on my feet/balance as that is the part of my practice that I struggle the most with. As always, thank you, Adriene. Namaste.

    Reply
  35. Katie Bugz Author

    I felt so discouraged after not being able to even half way succeed with dancers pose and then we got to goddess pose… something just clicked and i just let it go. I felt amazing after that!!! Thank you so much Adriene 🙂

    Reply
  36. Samantha Shaw Author

    Amazing practice not only for actors (of which I am not), but for dancers, public speakers, and even college students nervous to present their final project (of which I most certainly am). All the love and gratitude from my heart to yours, Adriene. Namaste.

    Reply
  37. Pretty Thoughtful Author

    To think, I almost skipped this one just to do my own flow! I love this video and really getting my goddess on! 🙇🏼‍♀️🤙🏻

    Reply
  38. Kristen Author

    5/5 for April! I thought my balance was pretty good, but this showed me how much further I can go! My thighs about gave out there at the end 😀

    Reply
  39. Vanessa Morris Author

    Wonderful practice I felt great after, i fell a few times but it was worth it thank you Adriene for this one , love yuh and Namaste Everyone 💗💞💕💞💓🙏

    Reply
  40. Amrei Dizon Author

    I belonged to a theater organization in college and this practice is nostalgic and reminiscent of the actors workshops that I joined in before 🙂 thank you for this theme! Day 5 of ACT – April Calendar done! Namaste!

    Reply
  41. Paul Evans Author

    Fab, just practised this before heading out to an acting class, after a half-week of shooting a short film, feel fab, thanks muchly! 🙂

    Reply
  42. LaLaVa 333_Healing Highway Author

    Sooo gooood. I was a little resistant because of the title but this is one of my favorites for sure. Great Mind Nourishment! Thank you.

    Reply
  43. Alejandra Palacios Author

    loved the practice and loved the mantra! thank you adriene !!

    mantra:
    i can
    i choose
    i will
    i love
    i create
    i thrive
    i enjoy

    Reply
  44. Hannah Curry Author

    This video truly helped me out today. While I'm not an actor, I'm in radio, and I'm glad I chose to do this video before our big event today. I am grateful for you and all that you do for the community, for all of us. You truly are a rock star, Adriene. ♥️

    Reply

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