Practical Magic Artwork
Season 2 - Episode 10

Make Love to the Mystery

30 min - Practice
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Kelly shares a floor practice to help us drop deep into our center. Guided by curiosity, we explore subtle and bold movements, investigating sensations in the body. We build towards a supported Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose). You will feel more alive and expansive in your own skin.
What You'll Need: Mat, Block (2)

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Hi, I'm glad you're here. In this sequence, we are going to drop deep into the core, and we'll be building on some of the core work that we did here together in season one of Practical Magic, and the same rules still apply, and we'll be adding on to those as well. So you might remember that the rules of this sort of deep, subtle core work are to stay curious, always to be guided by that inner sense of investigation, curiosity. And the second key rule is to befriend boredom. So if something at first blush seems too simple, so simple it's boring, there's something there.

Go deeper, drop deeper. And this season, season two of Practical Magic, we're going to add on to that, and we're going to get into this soft quality, soft at the skin, watery everywhere, super exploratory. We are making love to the mystery. So I'm glad you're here. And we'll begin in Shavasana, lying flat on our backs, extend fully.

Do what it takes to sort of get sturdy and stable in Shavasana. And then relax into the support that you are receiving already. So you might feel the back of the body drop into gravity, and you might feel the front of the body just in this beautiful embrace with the sky, maybe the sun is on your cheek. Any places where you're tensing or holding or gripping, invite softness. We'll separate the feet so that they're a bit wider than the sitting bones, maybe as wide as the outer hips.

And as you exhale, start to point the toes. As you inhale, flex the feet, drawing the toenails toward the torso. Exhale points. Inhale flex. And we'll move like this at your breath's own pace for a handful of breaths, like really dropping in to sensation.

And your process here might be first to figure out how to do this. How do I point my toes? How do I flex my feet? And from there, you might drop into this question or this part of the process that is, what am I feeling? Where am I feeling?

You might be surprised, like, oh, the sensation against the back of the skull, the sensation against the sacrum, how the body engages and relaxes. So the next time you're exhaling and pointing the toes, we'll pause. And at the bottom of that exhale, we'll internally rotate the hips. So the toes point in, the knees point in, and as you breathe in, we'll start to flex the feet, sort of bringing them back to the center, externally rotating the hips, so the toes point out, and exhaling pointing. And so we're making some circles now at the pace of your own breath.

The bottom of the circle is an exhalation, the top of the circle is an inhalation. Notice what you feel. Notice where you feel. And at the bottom of your next exhalation, as you're pointing your toes, we'll switch directions. So we'll externally rotate the hips, drag the toenails toward the torso, back to center, internally rotate, point, exhale, circling around at the pace of your own breath, noticing where in your body you feel that.

Maybe two more breaths just like that. More slowly coming back to neutral and pausing, going deep into this reservoir of strength and stability in the core, we'll start to bend the knees, dragging the heels toward your backside and then placing them on the floor, about as wide as your sitting bones. And if you need to reach down and figure out where those are, do that, it's not weird. So on an inhalation we'll reach arms, hands and fingers toward the sky. And as you exhale, we'll bend at the elbows bringing the backs of the arms to touch the earth, sort of like cactus arms.

Inhale, reach arms, hands and fingers toward the sky. And exhale, hug yourself. Inhale, reach up, exhale, cactus arms, inhale, reach up, exhale, hug yourself with the opposite arm on top, inhale, reach up, exhale, cactus arms, inhale, reach up. Exhale, hug. One more time all the way through.

This time as you're reaching arms, hands and fingers toward the sky, we'll exhale and reach up overhead, bending at the elbows so that you have enough room for ease to happen in the ear lobes, in the neck, in the jaw and in the shoulders. And at the pace of your own breath here, we'll inhale, press the feet into the floor, press the small of the back into the floor. And as you exhale, start to lift the hips, the low back, the mid-back into bridge. And we'll take a full breath in. And as you exhale, come up onto the tippy toes and roll back down.

Heels release. As you inhale, press the feet into the floor, press the small of the back into the floor. And as you breathe out, curl the sitting bones under as you lift the hips, low back, mid-back. Full breath in here, come up onto the toes and as you exhale, roll down. Let there be that sense of softness in the skin like you and the world are really making contact, pressing the small of the back into the earth and exhaling, lifting up into bridge.

And let's pause here for two breaths. So breathe in fully. Let the tailbone sort of drop and start to notice the distance from the belly button to the center of the heart. And at the top of your next inhalation, we'll come up onto the tippy toes and exhale, roll back down. Release the heels, pause, and take stock.

Just sort of notice, is my skin still soft? Is my jaw still soft? Am I still open to this sense of curiosity? And from here, we'll start to work with the feet and imagine that with your feet only, you're sort of picking up a bunch of marbles or a bunch of pebbles and you're sort of almost like hungry hippo with your feet, like, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah. I don't know if that's the noise that they make.

It might be more like spreading the toes, picking up the marbles, and then relaxing the effort, softening the top of the feet. Reach arms, hands, and fingers toward the sky on an in-breath, and as you exhale, we'll open the arms up wide. Now, depending on your shoulders, you might turn the palms to face down or the palms to face up, and I think it's good to test out both. As you exhale, draw the knees in toward the chest, and here, we have lots of room for experimentation with what works best. Your heels might be heavy and close to your tush, or they might lift up.

The tops of the thighs might be close to the torso or farther away. You might perk up the feet a little bit. I like to keep about a block's width between the knees and between the feet for some stability through the pelvis, but that's not necessary. Do what works for your body in this moment. We'll take in a full breath here, and as you exhale, we'll start to lower the low body over toward the right as you look to the left.

Inhale back to the center, and as you exhale, lower the lower body over to the left as you look to the right. Inhale back to center, and we'll stay at this for a handful of breaths. Let yourself have that internal process of figuring out, how do I do this? Remember, whatever you're doing is the right thing. The how do I do it is, what engagements are required in the body?

If you stay with that, then you might be invited into this space of, oh, well, what do I feel? And again, don't worry about whether it makes sense, or whether you can tie the feeling to an anatomical landmark. That doesn't matter. And so from what do I feel, we move into this wild, mysterious place called what happens if, and in the spirit of that, we're going to change this movement ever so slightly. With your next exhalation, we'll extend the right leg down toward the bottom of the mat, we'll extend the left leg over across the body toward the right, we'll inhale, knees back to the center.

As you exhale, extend the left leg down, the right leg over, gaze to the right, inhale back to center, and we'll switch as you exhale. Right leg down, left leg cross, gaze to the left, inhale back to center, exhale, extend left, extend right, gaze right. And we'll do this, we'll keep this up at the pace of your own breath. Try some things that might not work if you're called to do that. Let it be an experiment.

Where is sensation the strongest? The next time that you're inhaling back to the center, we'll pause here, and we'll change this pattern again. As you exhale, we'll start to lower the low body toward the right, and at the bottom of that, we'll extend the left leg, sweep it toward the sky as you inhale, let that carry you onto your back, extend the right leg as well, and as you exhale, start to roll to the left, bending the left knee, bending the right knee, looking to the right. Inhaling, extending the right leg, sweeping it skyward, extending the left leg, and exhaling, rolling right, bending, bending, looking left. As you inhale, extending left, extending right, exhale, bending left, bending right, looking right.

We'll practice this at the pace of your own breath. However, we're making love to the mystery. And if we have everything planned out to the T, there's no room for that. If we have to have it look a certain way, the mystery, the magic won't happen. And so the next time that you're rolling over to the right, we're going to roll all the way over like you're rolling over in bed.

Take your left hand, press it into the floor next to your face, and come up onto your right elbow, and we'll sort of sag into this right side body, and I like to call this Betty Boop. So imagine yourself in red sequins on top of a white piano, sagging in. Now for lots of us, this is enough of a project. If you want to be experimental, you might start to sort of twist the upper body, settling in up top, almost into Ayurchakrasana. But for me, Betty Boop is enough of a project, and in time we'll start to kind of climb out of it, very Betty Boop-like, sweeping the legs toward the sky, rolling all the way over onto the left side, pressing the right hand into the floor, coming up, side two, sagging into that left side.

Betty Boop might grab her head too, and do something glamorous, mysterious. Now from here, we're going to come over onto the belly, but we'll grab a blanket on the way and we'll sort of bring it over onto the floor, organize your body so that belly down, your pelvis is resting on the blanket. Bring the forehead to the floor, bring the hands just above the shoulders and at least as wide as the shoulders. Heels are about as wide as the sitting bones. Press the tops of the feet into the floor so that your knees lift away from the earth.

Invite the tailbone to gaze down toward the feet. Belly button moves a teeny bit closer to the spine and the heart blooms. Now from here, let's start to peel up into this nice supported cobra, pelvis is supported. My arms are very active here. My booty and my legs are active so that I'm protecting this bendy lumbar curve.

Feel around for a neck and head position that feels good, magical, mysterious. And exhale, release. Bring the hands on either side of the chest, we'll press up, move your blankie out of the way, and we'll organize the body in Vajrasana. You might tuck the toes, let the hips settle back. Tailbone is heavy, attentive to the gravity that's happening.

Sitting bones are heavy. Heart blooms. And so from here, we'll press the balls of the feet and the knees into the floor and we'll climb on up. Organize your body so you feel stable and we'll press down into the earth, knees and feet and reach down with the hands as your tailbone just feels the gravity that's already happening. Let the heart bloom.

So here's the essence of our shape. We're going to soften at the skin ever so slightly but keep that like engaged waxing toward full sensibility about you as we then inhale and reach arms, hands and fingers toward the sky. Lift through the fingers and exhale, bend at the elbows. And let's do that two more times. And this time we'll remain in this cactus arm shape and we're going to tweak it just a little bit.

So we have this anchor in the tailbone and lightness in the heart. Let your hands take on a softer quality and if you can imagine that you have eyeballs in the heels of your hands in the best possible non-weird way, invite those soft hands, the backs of the hands to soften, invite those eyeballs to start to gaze. Notice what that does to the back of your body. As you inhale, reach up and exhale, release your arms, pause either here or back in Vajrasana and just notice, am I open to that mystery, am I remaining in curiosity? So from here we'll come down to the floor onto the back and we'll add two blocks and potentially a blanket depending on your body and what feels best.

So take your time, ease your way back onto the back, organizing again in constructive rest where the knees are bent, the soles of the feet are on the floor, heels are about as wide as the sitting bones and as you inhale press the feet into the floor, press the small of the back into the floor and as you exhale lift the hips, low back, mid back just enough so we can slide this unit of two stacked blocks underneath the sacrum. If you would like additional padding which is really nice, add a blanket on top of the top block, reach your hands around so you're making contact with your blocks and from here invite the tailbone to gaze between the knees, invite the belly button to move just the teeniest bit closer to the heart and invite the heart to bloom. The gaze is straight ahead at the sky so your chin is neither tucked nor flexed and we're pressing the backs of the arms into the floor so you have this blooming across your chest. As you inhale draw your right knee toward the chest and as you exhale draw your left knee. Notice my pelvis, my tailbone stayed stable, I didn't collapse into the belly.

On an exhalation extend the right leg and the left leg toward the sky. You might sort of play with foot position here, maybe barbie feet, maybe some spreading of the toes and once you have the essence of this shape let there be a little softness at the skin, a little softness between the toes. So we have this core of structure and stability. We have this thera and at the skin we're soft, we're open, we're receptive, we are overflowing. In time let the heels become heavy, knees bend, slowly release the feet back to the floor, press the feet into the floor, lift the hips just enough so you can slide your blocks out of the way, reach arms, hands and fingers toward the sky and let the upper back curl as you roll down.

We'll scooch the feet closer together. As you exhale separate the knees, bring the soles of the feet together and we'll release the arms. Bring one hand to the belly, one hand to the center of the heart and at the pace of your own breath as you inhale press the soles of the feet together, press the small of the back into the floor and as you breathe out relax all of the effort and we'll do that maybe two more times, breathing in press feet into the floor, press the small of the back into the floor. Breathe out relax all of the effort even more, one more. Let yourself just sort of rest in the softness of your own skin here for a couple of breaths.

Bring the hands to the outer upper legs and we'll help them to close, we'll help them to draw in toward the chest and you might hug them casually and sway. From here if there are any other movements that need to be made then make them and ease your way into a shape of rest or a shape of integration that could be on the back or the side or the belly or with legs up the wall. Install into the support you're receiving in this moment and expand into the softness of your own skin and let yourself sort of be swept away by the contact that air and space and wind and sky are making with your skin. Linger here as long as you are able. When the time to come out has arrived move with curiosity, move with reverence, you might find your way to a seat where a hand comes to the heart and a hand comes to the belly.

Breathe into the fullness that is you and your experience. Breathe into the mystery that is only possible with curiosity. Thank you so much for being here, for sharing this space to mystery.

Comments

Angel B
1 person likes this.
Kelly Love, this "Mystery Lovemaking" class was pure bliss! Thank you. xoxo
Kelly Sunrose
Dearest Angel! Your words just MADE my day! Thank YOU for being here. xoxo
Silke S
2 people like this.
Isn´t our body not a wonderful mystery? As I practice and teach Yoga more and more, I felt more and more in love with the mystery of our bodies. Thank you for sharing this practice. Especially for the pose with the straight - corssed legs for the center. A perfect Mix, not too intens and not too less for me today. Have a wonderful sping break week!
Kelly Sunrose
Yes, Silke! That is a wonderful place to be in...ever-curious about this body we spend so much time in and with... and there is always another layer to discover. So happy to read this.
Michelle F
1 person likes this.
Kelly, what a wonderful gift to find this practice today, almost 5 years on from when it was first shared  ...almost one year into Covid lockdown the "befriend the boredom" made me smile almost as much as your hippo impersonation. So mysterious how synchronicity guides us if we can just embrace it! I hope this finds you well and ever curious!
loveandpeacexxx
Kelly Sunrose
Dear Michelle F, Thank you so much for practicing with me and writing this note. This is still one of my own favorite practices at home and I am smiling so happily to read that it resonated with you. All love, Kelly

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