The Erich Schiffmann Show Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 3

Find the Mystical Note

45 min - Practice
24 likes
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Erich guides us through a Freedom Style asana practice. We begin by shaking out any habitual tension before moving into a sequence of postures, consciously exploring our options and choices along the way. He invites us to close our eyes, get into it, and allow our whole body to be a mystical note.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Okay, so this is the Simon Says part. With your right arm please, just small little arcs like this. Just small arcs with a controlled movement. Just little by little let each arc get a little bit bigger. But at this point definitely keep it a controlled movement so that wherever your arm is it's there because it got there by itself.

And at a certain point your arm will feel okay about going all the way over. Every once in a while you'll get the inner feeling to change the direction and so let it change direction. And then close your eyes. And just little by little let the movement get a little more slippery. So you're not quite as controlling.

You're still just doing arm circles. Little by little you let it get more slippery. And practice being attentive to when your arm feels like lingering. When it then feels like flowing on. When it then feels like changing direction.

And so like right here within this easy context of doing arm circles, you're learning how to channel the movement. Let the arcs get smaller, slow down, open your eyes, come to the second side. All arcs, controlled movement. And again just surrender and get into it. This is what's happening.

Little by little the arcs get bigger. At a certain point your arm will feel okay about going all the way over. Letting it change direction whenever it wants. And then closing your eyes. And just get into it a little bit more than you already are.

Letting the movement get increasingly slippery little by little. And again getting sensitive to the linger moments, the flow on moments, and the change direction moments. At a certain point your arm will feel satisfied, let the arcs slow down, get smaller, open your eyes, come to the first hand and just shake it loose. Add your forearm. Add your whole arm.

And then close your eyes. And get into it a little bit more than you already are. And just sort of like deliberately shake it up differently. Sometimes softer, sometimes stronger. And feel what you're doing to your arm.

You're shaking out all the habitual tension. Open your eyes. Come to the other hand, start with the hand. Add the forearm, the whole arm. Close your eyes and get into it.

If you're not getting into it, it can't be as fun as it could be. Open your eyes and then start it with the foot. Add your lower leg. Your whole leg. Try this with your eyes closed.

And then the other one, foot. Add the lower leg, the whole leg. And then try it with your eyes closed. I usually don't like that, I sort of squint usually. And then with your feet, exactly hip-width apart.

Remember there's only one place when your feet are hip-width apart. This is not hip-width apart, this is not hip-width apart. These are valid places, but at the moment, awareness training. Do it exactly where they're hip-width apart. And look down at your feet, look at the inner edge of each foot and practice making them exactly straight ahead.

Spread your toes as much as you can. I'm not implying that your feet should always be like this, but just as awareness. Okay, now from here, step a little wider, step a little wider, spread your toes, snuggle your feet, take a breath in, and then bend your legs first. Slide your hands over the knees, down the shin bones, and just feel your hands like merging into your ankles. Stuggle your feet more, snuggle your hands more, and then push your arms straight so that you actually lift up a little bit, and then be aware of the alignment of your head and neck.

It's doing something. The tendency is to retract the head backwards, squish the back of the neck. Do whatever you've got to do to put your head in a more of a neutral position, and then just be here and breathe for a couple seconds. Shift your hips over to the left. Move here, you snuggle the feet, you push the arms so you lift up a little, fix the head and neck, and get into it a little bit more than you already are.

Shift your hips over to the right, snuggle your feet, lengthen your arms so you lift up, fix your head and neck, get into it a little bit more than you already are. Just breathe. If you were to spell that, you would put like about six E's in there, breathe. Close your eyes, and then shift your hips over to the left, linger, and then shift your hips over to the right, linger. Shift your hips to the left, shift your hips to the right.

And just for a couple times, just go side to side, and be sensitive to the linger moment and the flow on moment. And as you're going side to side, practice getting as liquidy as you can be. Let it feel like even in this easy little movement, you're actually getting the hang of like channeling this. Shift your hips over to the left, keep them there, and then move your head and torso over to the right. You'll feel how your torso begins to get a gentle twist through it.

Your left hand is on your left ankle somewhere. Just gently push into your left hand, you'll feel your torso spiral a little more. Fix your head and neck, and just gentle here a couple seconds. Just get friendly with the shape. Shift your hips over to the right, keep them there.

Move the head and torso over to the left, pushing gently into the right hand, spiraling the torso, fixing the head and neck. Just close your eyes, you know, like a lot of the time. And again, just remind yourself, oh yeah, just get into it a little bit more. Not frantic, not intense, but friendly. You got to learn to do this so that you like doing it.

And then bring your torso back to the middle. Both legs gently bent, fall down through the middle, and just let your head dangle. Okay, and then bend your legs, come all the way down to a squat, you can let your feet come a little closer together. And bring your hands into mudra number one, now just for a couple seconds. Just practice getting quiet in your mind.

Mudra two, let your arms extend straight. Practice getting quiet in your mind. Mudra three, your hands will float up. Feel the energy in your hands. A better way to say that is feel the energy that is your hands.

And then your palms come together, let the left hand spin down, the right hand spin up, just sort of mudra size your fingers somehow, just so your hands feel like they're making a mystical note. And just feel the meaning of what you're doing, okay, and then come down under your hands and knees. You come into the all fours position, and just put your hands down accurately. Again, you've got options and choices about what you do, and at the moment, put your hands down so that the wrist crease of each hand is horizontal. Not the only way to do it, but just as, again, as awareness training.

Spread your fingers fully, snuggle your hands into the floor, and then look at your index fingers and memorize where they are. Where your index fingers are right now is where they'll be when your fingers are fully spread, and the wrist creases are squared. Let yourself sink down into your shoulders, and just liquefy here. This is the down extreme of the arm line. Most people don't teach this note, but you should know this note, it's a note.

And then lengthen your arms and lift up as high as you can. This is the up extreme of the arm line, liquefy. As you exhale, float down to the bottom, inhale, float to the top. Just go down and up a couple times, again, just get into it. This is cool if you can get into it.

You're either at the down extreme, or you're at the up extreme, or you're somewhere in the middle, but you're always somewhere. Now find a nice middle spot, shrug the shoulders away from your ears, fix your head and neck, and notice that at this point, your spine is straight, your spine's in a nice neutral, and your arms are straight, and as you slowly move your butt back towards your feet, you're coming into child's pose, your arms stay straight, but just feel how your back rounds gently. It's not as round as it could be, but it's no longer in neutral. Wobble gently, snuggle your hands into the floor, just have a nice grip with your hands, and then for a couple seconds, pull backwards with your hands, and feel all the little places that get activated when you do that. Do the opposite, push the floor away, feel the difference, wobble gently.

Do the first one again, pull, feel what's happening, and then push. Feel the difference, wobble gently. Without moving your hands, come up on your hands and knees again, and just move your shoulders forward until your arms are vertical. Keep your arms exactly how they are, turn the toes under, keep the arms vertical, lift your knees up, straighten the legs, and just linger here for a moment. Your arms are still vertical, there's more weight on your hands now.

Your arms are straight, your legs are straight, your spine is straight. Fix your head and neck, and now just slowly move your butt back and up until your straight arms and your straight spine click into a single straight line. That's right when your ears come in line with your upper arms. You can go through that straight line, but don't at this point. Click into the straight line, keep it straight, and then feeling your hands on the floor, push the floor away, feel how your butt goes away from your hands, and you just telescope the straight line.

Wobble gently, couple seconds, and then shift your shoulders forward until the arms are vertical, bend your knees down, point your toes, take your seat back towards your feet. Wobble gently, just keep staying with your actual now experience. Slide your hands back by your knees, curl your head in, hesitate, and then just slowly round your way up, feel how your spine comes to vertical, your head floats up to neutral, and then just close your eyes, and for a couple seconds, practice conscious immobility, sitting still without holding yourself still, do that by relaxing. It's sort of like the air is going out of your tire, sort of. With an inhale, let your chin float up.

As you exhale, hinge forward, slide your hands forward again, please. Lift your head peak at your hands, put your index finger where you memorize, and spread the other ones fully, theoretically your wrist creases will be squared at this point. Let your head go back down, and then pull for a couple seconds, push for a couple seconds, get into it remember, pull for a couple seconds, just surrender, get into it, push for a couple seconds, wobble gently. Without moving your hands, come up on your hands and knees again, shift the shoulders forward, turn the toes, lift the knees, straighten the legs, linger, fix your head and neck, and then without pushing, slowly make your way to the straight line. You're not straight, you're getting straighter, you're not straight, you're getting straighter, then it clicks into the straightness, telescope it, wobble gently, and then bend your left leg a lot, you get a toe stretch on that foot, and press the right heel down toward the floor.

Couple seconds here. So now your left foot is at the up extreme, your right foot's at the down extreme. Shift the feet, get the toe stretch on the right foot, leisurely press the left heel towards the down extreme, couple seconds. The heel that's up the right one, press it toward the down extreme, couple seconds, do it so you like it, and then get out of there. Shift the shoulders forward, bend your knees, point your toes, take it back to child's pose.

Smell gently, practice not talking about it very much. Slide the hands back by your knees, curl your head in, hesitate, and then slowly round your way up, just enjoy the ride up, your head floats up. This time let your chin keep going up and up and up and up, hit the top of the note up there, and as you exhale, hinge forward again. So third time, slide your hands, lift your head, peek at them, fix them, let your head go back down, and then pull, push, pull, push, liquefy, and without moving your hands again, come up on your hands and knees, turn the toes, lift the knees, straighten the legs, linger, fixing your head and neck, and without pushing, slowly go towards the straight line. If you're not pushing, you're just leaning, so you'll end up in the down extreme, hit this point, then push, lengthen it, and then this time come way up on your toes, so each foot is at the up extreme, and then just slowly take each heel towards the down extreme, like toward the floor, to the floor.

Now for a couple seconds, just hold it right here, but relax more, let it feel like you're just going slower, and then last seconds, accelerate it, feel the difference, and then get out of there, shift the shoulders, bend the knees, keep the toes turned under this time, as you take your seat back towards your feet, wobble gently, and then just walk your hands back and back and back, you'll be able to come into the squat from this direction, and just let your hands come into one of those mudra positions, or invent a new one, okay, and then your butt comes up, you fold over, let your legs just be gently bent, wrap the arms around your legs, hold your wrists lightly, and then just dangle. Couple moments here, okay, and then bring yourself up, walk forward to the front of your mat please, and start with your feet exactly hip-width apart, spread your toes, look down at your feet, look at the inner line of each foot, exactly straight ahead. Again, not that it should always be like this. Take a breath in, as you exhale bend your legs, and then hinge forward, and just let your hands come down. Now at this point your feet are hip-width apart, it's as though your left foot's on the left railroad track, the right foot's on the right railroad track, the toes are spread, the inner edge of each foot is pointing exactly straight ahead.

Step the right foot back, and land on the ball of your foot on the right railroad track. Peek at your left foot, theoretically it hasn't changed, and then peek at your right foot and just rig it so that the inner line of the foot is vertical or it's still pointing straight ahead like that. Slowly press the right heel towards the right railroad track, like down toward the floor. With the left leg you can just let it be gently bent, soft, fix your head and neck, and just give it a couple seconds here. The right foot step it forward, put it down accurately, the left foot step back, land on the ball of the foot, hesitate, check the right foot again, peek at the left foot, look at the inner line of the foot so it's vertical or pointing exactly straight ahead, slowly take the left heel towards the down extreme.

And again the right leg, just let it be soft, bent, you don't have to be pushing it fully straight, fix your head and neck, and for a few moments just like be here, just check everything out, watch yourself getting used to it, step the left foot forward, step the right foot back, check the left foot, check the right foot, again slowly press the right heel towards the down extreme, just a couple seconds, this is what you just did a moment ago, this is part one. Part two, come up on the ball of the right foot, but again keep an eye on the foot so you're training your foot to be accurate alignment, bend your left leg more and then let your chest just rest on your thigh, the left hand slide it backwards towards your back foot and now just slowly press the right heel toward the floor, couple seconds, slide the left hand forward, step the right foot forward, step the left foot back. Here's part first, take the left heel towards the down extreme, couple seconds, again keep it friendly. Part two, come up on the ball of the left foot, bend the right leg more, let the chest rest heavily, the right hand slide it backwards away from you and then slowly press your left heel towards the floor. What I'm doing on this one is when I let my right leg bend more and you let your chest merge with the thigh, you try to keep the chest and thigh together as you take the left heel towards the down extreme, but even right now you're not insisting that the right leg be straight.

Step the left foot forward, step the right foot backwards, hesitate and then do the first part again, heel down, couple seconds and I'm suggesting that you memorize this stuff. Come up on the ball of the foot, bend your left leg, let your chest rest onto the thigh, slide the left hand back and then again press the right heel towards the floor, couple seconds. Again keep it friendly and then third part, come up on the ball of the right foot, slide your left hand forward and then spin the right heel down towards the left railroad track. Put your left hand wherever you typically put it for triangle pose and bring your right hand to your right hip. So at this point your left leg is bent, both feet are on the floor, you snuggle your feet into the floor, pull the belly in, from your belly lift up into your chest and just spin your torso a little and a little and then just slowly start pushing your left leg towards straight and let your right arm float up into the position.

Notice that your right hand is a shape, mood resize it up there, let your hand make a mystical note and then close your eyes and get the sense that actually your whole body is the mystical note and just last seconds enhance it gently. Open your eyes, sweep the arm down, step the right foot forward, step the left foot back. First part first, couple seconds, check the accuracy of the feet, it's easy to keep track of that. Part two, come up on the ball of the foot, bend the right leg, rest the chest heavily, slide the right hand back and then take the left heel towards the down extreme. Couple seconds.

Come up on the ball of the foot, slide your right hand forward and then spin the left heel down to the right railroad track, reposition the right hand, bring the left hand to your hip, hesitate here, snuggle your feet, pull the belly in, lift into the chest, spin it a little and just little by little, straighten the right leg, let the left hand begin to float up, watch how the left hand morphs and then close your eyes or not, but be like a whole body mudra. Open your eyes, sweep the hand down, step the foot forward and then bend the legs, come down to a squat, sit all the way down on your butt and just lean back on your hands here. So from here, the left shoulder, start making big circles with your left shoulder and then the right shoulder, do it with feeling and then go side to side a couple of times so it feels like you're doing a big infinity shape. Look for the good spots, linger through them, squeeze the stuff and then roll both shoulders back through your symmetrical and just go for a nice big chest expander here, let your chin go up and up and up and just for a second or two, wobble it gently, emphasize it a bit and then bring your head up, let your arms bend and just let your spine round into a gentle C-shaped curve so you're sort of going for the opposite. Go for the chest expander again, up into the chin, dunk your head, you'll find that when you get into it, you know what to do.

Bring your head up and round it again. So this is stage one, going back and forth and you're sitting on your butt. Stage two is you move your knees forward until your butt comes up, you're still sort of sitting down, I usually shift my hands and get more into the ball of each hand just so my arms get a little longer and then from here go for the chest expander. Your head goes up and over and when you've had enough just come out of it, melt into the C-shaped curve, your butt will come down and then move your knees forward again and go for it again. So this is stage two, round your way out of it.

So stage one, your butt's on the floor. Stage two, your knees go forward. Stage three, you move your knees more forward and you'll start coming up on your toes. This is sort of what all those toe stretches were for. So you move your knees forward, you touch into it a little bit and then you back off of it, touch into it a little bit, back off of it, just touch into it a little bit, back off of it.

Usually you'll be able to touch your knees all the way to the floor but like don't insist on it and then come out of there. Your butt comes down, let your spine come down slowly to the floor. So your legs are bent, your feet flat, arms bent and have your hands pointing up towards the ceiling. I call this the cosmic grounded position. Snuggle your feet, snuggle your sacrum, your whole back, the back of your arms, the back of your head, like whatever's on the floor, let it merge more.

For a couple of moments here, have your eyes open and let it feel like you're a little baby on your back. You just arrived, you're in the crib, you're looking up at the ceiling. It wasn't that long ago, you had the experience and just let it feel like you're like wide open. And then let one arm go down to the floor, let the other arm go down to the floor. Take a smooth breath in and as you're exhaling, just close your eyes.

Just for a few moments here. Enjoy the fact that you're here, breathe. Be aware of the tension level in your experience. And as you're exhaling, just let the tension level diminish a little bit, anywhere, somewhere, everywhere. From there, be aware of the current level of tension in your experience.

And again, as you're exhaling, it's just easier to do as you're exhaling. Let the tension level diminish. Practice getting this tension free, hear where it's easy as you can be. If you're not doing it where it's easy, you're not going to be doing it where it's hard. If you do it here where it's easy, you'll get the hang of it and you'll be able to do it in more strenuous moments.

Now get familiar with what you feel like to be as tension free as you can be. And without wrecking the feeling, let your eyes open. And again, let it feel like you're seeing the world for the very first time, except you're not a little baby on your back. You're a fully mature adult who's learning to see life live clearly without tensing up against it. Okay, then just come up to a seated position, easy cross-legged position, and fall down through the middle here for a few moments.

I like to just hold my wrist behind me and just fall down through the middle and just sort of relax into it. You'll notice that because you are breathing, you will gently bob up and down here. If you weren't breathing, you wouldn't be bobbing up and down. You are breathing. You are bobbing gently up and down.

The inhale bobs you up a little bit, and as you exhale, you bob down a little bit. Last couple seconds, just let yourself relax into this a little more fully. And then put your hands on your knees, curl your head in gently, and just slowly push so that you come up to a seated position. Eyes closed for a couple seconds here. Feel the subtle joy of conscious immobility.

Be aware of your current level of tension, and then practice letting it diminish.

Comments

Jamie W
2 people like this.
Find the Musical, is simply an amazing practice. Loved how the lunge series moved into triange. It was a juicy nice surprize. Grateful for the practice.
Tesla Starr K
Love the sequences in this session.
Yinet G
2 people like this.
Wow, I was surprise to find this practice a bit challenging, I loved it, definitely felt that subtle joy all throughout, Thank you Erich!
Sarah N
3 people like this.
Finding Freedom Yoga has blown the doors off my practice!!! I will never look back! So glad to have found your online Teacher Training as well.So so much Gratitude🙏🏼
Summer
1 person likes this.
I love what you said about practice being tension free where it’s “easy”, get used to it. If you’re not practicing where it’s easy you won’t be doing it in the harder moments. As if you are lovingly preparing yourself for all of the beautiful challenges you will certainly encounter, be they emotional or physical. ❤️

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