The Erich Schiffmann Show Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 7

Let's Start the Same

45 min - Practice
18 likes
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Erich guides us through an asana practice. We begin with the usual arm circles to shake out habitual tension, and then move into a series of postures where we consciously explore what movement arises. This practice is easy and advanced. Allow your whole body to sense and experience the subtle joy.
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But let's start the same, okay? So it's controlled movement at first. Controlled is not very free for me, but it's the way you get into it. Then you let the movement get increasingly slippery. Close your eyes at a certain point, or not.

And get sensitive to the linger moments, the flow on moments, the change direction moments. And when that arm feels satisfied, just let it slow down, open your eyes, get it going on the other side. We're going through this again so that it's not just a blur. Be aware of what your feet are doing. Notice there's this whole intricate dance going on down there.

Notice what your other arm and hand is doing. And when that arm feels satisfied, start the shaking on the first hand. So first the hand, add the forearm, then the whole arm, and then close your eyes. You don't always have to do it like that, but it's a good sequence of events for getting someone into the intuitive mode. And then oh yeah, just keep getting into it a little bit more than you already are.

When that one feels satisfied, go to the other one. Close your eyes at a certain point, that'll help you get into the experience more. The whole trick, remember, is get into the experience because you'll find that the inner feeling starts telling you what to do at that point. And it's sort of like you haven't actually learned how to do yoga until the inner feeling is telling you what to do. When that arm feels satisfied, then start with the foot and your whole leg, and then the other one.

Feet hip width apart, practice looking at the line of your inner foot, toes spread. Your foot placement is a main variable. Big hip width apart is a main option. You could have your feet together, try that. This is a little more advanced.

The base of support's smaller, the balance is a little trickier. You could have your foot turned out a little bit, the other foot turned out a little bit. You could pivot on the ball of each foot and spin the heel out. Wow, now your feet are back at the starting spot. And so teach people different options and choices at each main variable.

Step a little wider. From there, step a little wider. Take a breath in, and as you exhale, bend the legs. Slide the hands over the knees, down the shin bones. Just feel your hands sliding down the legs.

They merge into your ankles. And watch what you're doing to actually merge your hands into the ankles and your feet into the floor. See that's what I anger what's so good at, of verbalizing the non-verbal. Lengthen your arms so you lift up a bit. Fix your head and neck.

Breathe. Notice that even now, your body is bobbing with breath. Shift your hips to the left, linger here for a few moments. Notice that with your arms, you could sink towards the down extreme. You could lift towards the up extreme.

You could be somewhere in the middle, and you're always doing something. Even right now, your head and neck is doing something. If it's not in neutral, find neutral here. Lift your hips to the right. Lengthen the arms, fix the head and neck.

Train yourself, remind yourself to stay with the breathing. It's sort of like whenever you're not sure what else to do, come back to the breathing. The breathing will put you in touch with the feeling, and then bingo. The inner feeling starts telling you what to do. Shift your hips to the left.

Shift your hips to the right. Go side to side a number of times, practice getting liquidy. Notice where you're not so liquid. Let's see if you can liquify a little bit, like in your neck, in your shoulders, through your back. It takes skill to be liquidy.

Shift your hips over to the left, keep them there, move the head and torso over to the right and just gently spiral your torso into this. Be aware of what your head and neck is doing right now. Find a nice neutral place, elongate your spine. And feel how the shape is pulsing with your breathing. It's been happening the whole time.

Shift your hips over to the right. Keep them there, move the head and torso over to the left, just gently spiral. Notice your right arm, it's doing something. You could sink more towards the down extreme of that arm, you could lift more towards the up extreme of that arm. Even your left arm is doing something.

Bring your torso back towards the middle, fold down through the middle, let your head tangle. Oh yeah, breathe. Okay then bend your legs, come down to the squat, you can let your feet come closer together. Mudra number one, just sort of dial into it for a moment. Mudra number two, wait for the right moment and then just let your hands float up into the third one.

Feeling the energy in your hands, the energy that is your hands. And then the palms come together, let the left hand spin down, the right hand spin up and just mudrassize your fingers. Okay and then take a seat. So this is an easy cross legged position, sukhasana with your left leg in front. Take the left leg out to the side, pull the right foot in tight so you're in a position like this.

When I first started sitting like this a lot, I like to meditate in this position a lot. It's comfortable, it's easy to have your pelvis level and your spine erect, your legs don't go to sleep. When I first started sitting like this, I kept thinking I should be as open as possible. My mindset was that, but actually like trying to be as closed as you can be. You'll end up with each thigh pointing out at about a 45 degree angle.

You'll be facing down the middle. Tip forward so you can wriggle the butt back and then just bring your spine up to vertical and put your head on so that you think your head's on in neutral. When your head's on in neutral, it'll be like you're looking straight ahead and doing mirror gazing with yourself. Your eye beams will be level and you'd be looking into your own eyes like perfectly. Ten movements starting from neutral.

This is sort of like learning the alphabet. Just slowly turn your head to the left. This is one and then it comes back to the center. Two is to the right, comes back to center. Just keep your chin level.

One is to the left, two is to the right. Just go a couple times. Be as effortless about it as you can. Keeping the chin level and then you just come back to neutral. Your gaze would be straight ahead.

One, three is tipping to the left, four is tipping to the right, just go side to side a couple times. I say the numbers to myself, four, three, four, three. I would do this in front of a mirror so you can see what you actually look like. Come back to neutral. One is to the left, two is to the right.

Three is tipping left, four is tipping right. Five is from neutral. You just slide your face forward. Six is you slide your head back, five, six. Make it subtle.

One is to the left, two is to the right. Three is tipping, four is tipping, five you slide forward, six you slide back, seven your chin will go up, eight your chin will go down, but do that by slide your chin forward and then take the chin up. Let your chin come down, find neutral, slide your head back, let the chin go down. So that makes sense. So you slide it forward a little bit to take it up and you slide it back a little bit to take it down.

Do it with your eyes closed some of the time so you just get familiar with the feelings. And again, this is easy, but it's way more important than it seems. With your eyes closed, one is to the left, two is to the right. Three is tipping left, four is tipping right, five you slide forward, six you slide back, seven you slide and then take the chin up, eight as you slide back and take the chin down. And then just find a nice neutral.

So know you're in neutral because your head will feel buoyant. Just let your chin go up a little too far, just feel the difference. Let your chin go down a little too far, just feel the difference. And then just find the buoyant place, like a perfect neutral. Part nine is you keep your head in neutral and just like go up through the top of your head, sort of like your whole spine grows up.

Really there's just nine movements but I like to say ten. And the tenth one is you just sort of let everything like land into a perfect neutral. Now your head is always doing something. And what it's doing is just some combination of those main choices. Okay, switch the legs please.

Tip forward, wriggle the butt back, bring your spine up. And then without using your hands, just rotate to the left as far as you can go. Notice that when you're not using your hands, you can't rotate as far as you know you could rotate. Let the right hand go down to your right knee, the straight leg. Let your left hand go down to the floor behind you, to sort of be on your fingertips or something.

And just notice the tendency to start cranking with your arms right away. Lift your hands up and just like prove you're not doing that. Put them back down, don't use them. Now in order to twist any further, you'll have to use your arms and so use your arms and just wind yourself one notch tighter, just like one notch. And then try to minimize your arms.

From there use your arms to wind yourself one notch tighter, minimize your arms. You'll still need to use them but you'll be minimizing them. Wind it a little further, a little further, a little further. Use your arms as much as you need but then try to minimize it in order to stay here. Notice that your head is somewhere.

Turn your head to the left as far as it'll go, movement number one. So everything's spinning to the left now. Both shoulders back, shoulders down, belly in. Keep spinning to the left like that, turn your head to the right as far as it'll go like movement two. From here let the chin go up, take a breath in and as you exhale just fold out over your left knee and let your hands land at a comfortable spot, just sort of like a gentle push-up position.

Keeping your hands where they are, just slowly push your arms straight so that your torso comes more up to a mid-range spot. The right leg is straight, spread the toes down there and then keeping your arms straight like this, just gently curl your head in and round your back. So now you're in a round back extreme but gentle. This is the main option at this variable. Keeping your arms straight, keeping your hands where they are, lift your chin up and just gently go for a back bend here, just sort of look for this sweet spot here.

Still keep the right toes spread. With an exhale pull the belly in, gently curl your head in, rounding your back gently but just keep the arms straight and keep them where they are. With an inhale take your chin up and go into the back arch. So at this mid-range spot I'll just go back and forth like this, like round back, arch back, I don't know like 15-20 times. It's easy, it's safe.

Notice when you feel like lingering, notice when you feel like flowing on. One more time each way please. And then just keep your hands where they are, your arms straight, start moving your belly around in just like little circles, one direction or the other. Doesn't matter which direction, you're going to go the other direction in a second. But you start low, start small and just gradually start making the circles bigger.

Little by little start bringing the spirals, the circles up through your torso, like through the ribcage. Just notice you're making all of that stuff malleable, up through your shoulders, your head and your neck and then change the direction. Start low, slow, small, just be pushing the circles out through the outer edge as you spiral it around. And start to be looking for your little tight spots. Remember do this with feeling and get into it.

Then with an inhale take it up into your chin, hit the top of the node up there and as you exhale just let your arms bend, you'll fold out over your knee, curl your head in, slowly push your arms straight to bring yourself up and then switch the legs. Tip forward, wriggle the butt back, bring yourself up. And without using your hands just start rotating to the right. Again, you won't be able to twist as far as you know you can. Put the left hand down, put the right hand down, don't use them.

Lift them up, prove you're not using them. Put them down but don't use them. And now use them, one notch, try to minimize, just relax your shoulders down. Another notch, try to minimize. Partly what happens when you try to minimize is you're just relaxing in there.

If you're not relaxed then you're sort of uptight trying to do this twist, be malleable. Wind it, wind it, wind it, wind it. Both shoulders back, both shoulders down, belly in, pelvis level. Your head's in a nice neutral. Keeping your chin level, turn your head to the right as far as it'll go.

Keep everything spinning that away. Turn your head to the left as far as it'll go. Wait for the right moment and then take it up into the chin inhaling. And as you exhale fold out over the knee. Let your hands find a comfortable spot, sort of like a push up position.

Really push your arms straight so your torso comes more up to your mid-range. Pull the belly in, curl your head in, round your back and just sort of feel where the stretch points are on your back. You can usually find a main one or a couple of good ones, just sort of like press into them gently. Don't attack. Breathe into them.

Take it up into the chin. Find a nice back bend here. The left leg's straight, the left toes spread. With an exhale pull the belly in, round the back. So again just go back and forth like 10, 20, 30 times gently.

Sometimes going to the full range of motion. Most of the time just sort of being mid-range about it. Round back extreme and then arch back extreme. Watch what your head and neck is doing as you do this with your spine. Your head's going down and then it's going up.

One more time each way please. Just keep getting into it. And then start with the belly circles, low, slow, small circles, little by little making them bigger, little by little bringing the spirals up through your middle, your low torso, your middle torso, your shoulders. Notice what your head and neck is doing here. Again practice getting liquidy feeling in there and then change the direction.

Start low, slow and small. And since you're doing this get into it a little bit more than you already are. Notice how some of the time you just go more slowly through it, especially when you find a good spot. You're trying to make it as sensual as possible so that really you like the way it feels. Let your head and neck get liquidy and then take it up into the chin inhaling, hit the top of the note, exhale fold out over the knee.

Curl your head in, hesitate, slowly push your arms towards straight and bring yourself up. Switch the legs, tip forward, wriggle the butt back, bring yourself up and start rotating again. No hands, put the hands, one notch, another notch, another notch. Chin level, turn your head to the left as far as it'll go. This is the same as what you did a moment ago.

Keep everything spinning left, turn your head to the right, wait for the right moment and then take it up into the chin, exhale fold out over the knee. Let your hands land in a comfortable spot, slowly curl your head in, push your arms towards straight, just plug the right sitting bone into the floor. Take your chin up, so those are the two extremes. Do the belly rolls, I'm just trying to remind you the pattern. Bring the belly rolls up through the torso, watch how your head and neck gets liquidy and then change the direction.

With an inhale, take it up into your chin and as you exhale, fold out over the knee. This is what you just did the first time. This time, keep your left hand pretty much where it is and walk your right hand over to the left, walk it, walk it, walk it, walk it. The right leg is straight, the toes are spread, the right arm is straight, the fingers are spread. Just notice that you're getting this nice long twist, the left hand is on the floor.

As you push the left hand down, just spiral into this and just wring yourself out. Notice that because now you're deeper than a moment ago, as you now try to round your back, you're not going to get much movement, but it's going to feel pretty huge. You try to arch your back, you're not going to get much movement, but it's going to feel huge. Take a breath in and as you exhale, just fold out over the knee and then bring yourself up, keep the legs the same, lean back on your hands, roll. You've got the left knee bent, so like roll the left shoulder back first, roll the right shoulder back.

You do a couple of those circles and then roll them both back and go for a big chest expander. Take the chin up, dunk the head over or not. If you don't like dunking your head back, don't, but keep the chest thing happening. And just before you're done, emphasize it and then bring yourself up and come right down through the middle. You'll come down to about a 50% spot.

The inhale will bob you up a little bit and as you exhale just bob down a little bit further. The inhale will bob you up a little bit, exhale go down a little further, so you just ride the bobbing breath. Notice that your head and neck is doing something. Focus it more towards a neutral and just last seconds without pushing your way down. Just let yourself go down.

Curl your head in, push the arms straight to bring yourself up, switch the legs. Tip forward, wriggle the butt back. Bring yourself up, no hands, go for the twist. Put the hands, don't use them and then use them. Head to the right as far as it'll go.

I hesitate saying as far as it'll go. I'm wincing slightly as I say that. Turn your head to the left as far as it'll go. With an inhale take it up into the chin and with the exhale you fold out over the knee. Let your hands find a comfortable spot.

Keep the hands where they are, curl your head in, push your arms straight. So again you bring yourself up to the mid-range spot first. Plug the left sitting bone into the floor, round back extreme, gently, breathe into any tight spots that you can find, lift your chin up, arch back extreme, and then start with the belly circles, low, slow, small, gradually getting bigger. So I'm recommending that you memorize this pattern, you learn the pattern and then go the other direction. And then as you're doing it, just let yourself start getting inventive but then take notes.

With an inhale take it up into the chin, with an exhale let your arms bend so that you fold out over the knee, and then walk the left hand over to the right. As far as it'll go, as far as it'll go, the left toes are spread, the left leg is straight, left fingers are spread, and then push the right hand down and spiral into it. I think that's awesome, that's strong. Try to round your back, try to arch your back just like you're familiar with what your choices are here, what the options and choices are at this main variable. With an exhale fold down as far as you want to go, and then bring yourself up, lean back on your hands, the right knee is bent, so let's just start with your right shoulder, left shoulder, couple of infinity circles, and then huge up into the chest.

Let the chin go up, emphasize it gently so you like it. And then bring yourself up and come right down through the middle. The inhale will bob you up, the exhale will bob you down, like don't be in a rush to get as deep as you can. Just little by little let yourself get more down. And then without forcing it, just let yourself go more down.

You'll still be bobbing. The inhale will be bringing you up a little bit, so don't be trying to go down as you're inhaling. Curl your head in, gently push with your arms, stick the right leg out to the side, wriggle the butt back, take a breath in, and then just fold right down through the middle. Come to what seems to you to be about a 50% spot, so you're not at your maximum but you're feeling something and just park here. Some of the time you just let your legs be soft, some of the time you push your legs stronger or you spread your toes a lot.

When it feels like the thing to do, let yourself go down a little. If it feels like what you should do is put it in reverse, put it in reverse a little. In other words, the progression is not always deeper, deeper, deeper. Sometimes you'll back up and acclimate there and then you'll go after it again. So that's been a minute and a half so far.

You're going for three minutes on this one. I would vote that you do a lot of this one at home, just sit around like when you're watching TV or whatever you do, read the encyclopedia. This one was always really hard for me until I had a girlfriend who was just always sitting around like this and I just started copying her and just sort of be relaxed about it. Put the time in, more and more it gets easier and easier. We've got 45 more seconds.

Comments

Sally E
5 people like this.
Loved this beautiful class 😌 I used a cushion under my right bent knee as my pelvis is ‘wonky’ due to my scoliosis. This beautiful, feeling into it class allowed me to ooozzzee into those (very) tight spots & now I feel free and happy. Yes I’ll be doing this class again (and again). I found Eric’s book 9 years ago - and this wriggly, liquidey yoga is my jam and it’s such a massive treat to have these videos 💚 thank you!
Sheila
2 people like this.
I had the privilege of practicing for Erich in 2012 in Venice Beach, Freedom Style YTT. I forgot how much I love his  voice , pacing, exploratory style .. and how great the practice feels in the body! 
Erich Schiffmann
Hi Sheila!
Michelle F
1 person likes this.
Dear Mr. Schiff - I so hope this finds you well? Wow - 7 years on and starting again s ever more attractive! ---lets start the same, constantly  coming back ...ever fresh ever new ever thankful to you!
Michelle
loveandpeacexxx
Erich Schiffmann
Thank you, Michelle ... always new!
Michelle F
so- if it´s not too cheeky! any chance of an update on your downloads? haha - would be just lovely to have a new series with you - seven years is long enough!
have a wonderful day!
loveandpeacexxx

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