Yin Yoga Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 6

Find Comfort with Peace & Quiet

45 min - Practice


Yin is about finding the place that allows for an interesting edge, while also finding a quality of ease. Kira leads us in a juicy Yin sequence with 3-5 minute holds in each posture so that you can begin to listen in and find intimacy with peace and quiet.
What You'll Need: Mat


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(waves crashing) Nice to see you again. So in this episode, we'll start to introduce a few more shapes as well as offer ourselves to the shapes for just a little bit longer. Again, remembering, though, that you know what's best, so even though I might be suggesting that we're somewhere for up to five minutes, if you get the internal information that you've been in a place long enough, please, please, by all means, honor your internal clock. Okay, we'll start in what usually in Indian yoga practice gets called butterfly, you might know it as Baddha Koá¹?Ä쳌sana. And it's a little bit different than it is in a more active class, so the heels are together, the soles of the feet are moving towards each other, but the heels are maybe, like, a foot and a half away from the groin.

Basically, the further I have my heels away from the groin, the more strain I'm gonna be putting in the area that I'm trying to give attention to. The closer the heels are into the groin, the more supportive, so you're gonna wanna dial this distance in for you. Wobble a little side to side, now we're gonna be offering ourselves to this shape for about three minutes. So I like to start out by wobbling a little side to side, and just kind of snuggling myself in. And this, for some of you, might be good, and this might be about as deep as you need to be, you're gonna actually let your back round a little bit, and you're gonna let your head hang.

And again, I like to kinda lean over to one side, and then I like to lean over to the other, like, I've found that if I just kind of rush into a shape and hold it, it doesn't work out so great. So that might feel good there, some of you, it just kinda depends on how you're put together, you might come down onto the forearms. And you know, you might rest them on the feet. Your hands might be extending out in front of you, but you are letting your back round, you're letting your knees get heavy. Okay, and again, I find that little bit of gentle rocking and wobbling really helps, especially when you're newer.

Head starts to get heavy, and as the head starts to get heavy, that weight of the head is gonna just sort of increase the opportunity of the stretch. Now, my particular body shape was made to forward fold, like, certain people are made to be backbenders, certain people are made to be forward folders, I'm a forward folder, so it's just very natural for me... To start to find the pillow of my feet from my face, but that might not be what's happening for you. Okay, so you're finding out the shape that you land in, you're allowing yourself to round. It's soft in the upper palate.

It's wide across the back. Let the tops of the feet relax, let the ankles get heavy. Let the knees get heavy. Yeah... Beautiful.

Soft across the tops of the feet again, ankles heavy, knees heavy. Wide across the back. Again, remember our discussion of that perpetual question of is this pain good for me? So generally, that sense of kinda dull, achy, stretchy, wide, unspecific sensation is okay. That hot, sharp, piercing...

Specific... (whines) is generally not okay. Okay, last ten full moments. Super nice, chin into the chest, slow, let yourself roll all the way back up, slow, let the belly open. Let the heart open, the throat and the face, and pause, there's kind of a sweet brightness usually, after coming out.

And while it might feel perfectly delicious for you to stay right here, for some of you it'll feel good to draw the heels in a little bit, bring the hands behind you... turn the palms so that the fingertips turn back, and just kinda wobble a little bit, and maybe just let your heart brighten a little bit. This is just kind of a nice counter pose, if that would feel good, some of you might let the throat open. If, if, if it feels quite comfortable, a couple of you might let your head fall back, but that's not always awesome. Okay, slow, lead with the heart, let the throat open, let the face brighten, let the head come back up.

Nice, and we're gonna make our way into a pigeon, most of you know it as swan. We're gonna be offering ourselves to it for about five minutes. I'm gonna start with my left leg forward, my right leg back, you choose whichever side makes the most sense for you. Okay, now in an earlier episode... We showed how some of you might use a blanket underneath your hip, or some support.

So if that's helpful, you might do that. Just kinda start to acclimatize yourself, wiggle in, wobble in, and again, five minutes is what we're gonna be here, we've already been here... Okay, for almost half a minute. So... Get used to it, like, how you approach a relationship is a lot of how it's gonna be, so if you rush the relationship, the relationship is gonna rush back, we're always training ourselves.

Soft in the low belly, easy in the eyes, make the adjustments that you need to make. And then again, only as you've been invited in, come down onto your forearms, perhaps. And wiggle, and snuggle until you feel like... (clicking) You've found a place that holds you. Okay, it's like, like, and if there's, if it's too intense in the back right leg, sometimes a nice modification is to just kinda let the right knee come out to the side, sometimes people call that the funky pigeon.

The right knee kinda bent out to the side, and you're softening that, that reduces the demand in the inner groin, in the inner thigh. Okay, so only if it feels correct, that leg is back behind you. (deep breathing) Shoulders back and down, easier in the mouth. Easier in the eyes. And as I've mentioned before, I like to be up on my forearms, I just...

It feels... Brighter for me. Some of you might be coming out wide on the elbows and letting your head rest on the hands. You could have your forehead on the hands or one of your ears on the hands. Okay, some of you, though, might prefer to extend your arms out, and while palms down might be an option, again, as I've mentioned, I always like palms up.

And the forehead, or an ear might rest on the ground. Okay, softer in the belly, kinder in the eyes. Again, this is a bit of a, you know, it's a relationship, it's like, where... Where is the place that allows you to be at an interesting edge and also maintain a quality of ease? Soft in the mouth, easier in the eyes.

Be aware of where you're feeling the intensity. And yet, if that intensity is so overwhelming that you can't be aware of subtler details, then it's too much. Because while you wanna be aware of where you're feeling the intensity, perhaps in that left buttocks, or somewhere else, and you wanna be able to increase capacity there, we're trying to increase our sensitivity to the subtle, so at the same time, can you be aware of the feeling tone in the base of the skull? Can you be aware of the quality of ease in the jaw? Can you be aware of a kindness in the eyes?

A delight in the forehead. And an openness in the ears, last few moments. Super nice, hands are gonna come underneath the shoulders, as you're ready to come up you're gonna roll on up. Okay. Now we're gonna do this 1960s style, so instead of coming back into child's pose, I'm gonna suggest that you roll to the left.

Extend out through that left leg. And lie back down in the shape of Savasana. And as you lie in the shape of Savasana, you'll get a greater hit on the effect of what you just did, like, so soft in the palms, wide in the eyes, and just, like, be aware of the feeling tone down through the hip and the leg that you just offered yourself to. And soak, and marinate. Nice.

So there's a whole lot of different ways to get up. Maybe try this one, draw the knees into the chest. Wobble a little bit, and then cross the ankles, inhale, roll back, exhale, roll it on up. Nice, so we'll find pigeon on the other side. I'm gonna come onto all fours again.

Now, I'm doing my right leg now, but you might be doing your left, so that right knee comes forward, or the opposite knee comes forward. Back leg snuggles back, maybe you're using some support. Wobble a little bit here. This side's a little stickier for me, so I'm gonna bring this right heel in. Now, we're gonna be offering ourselves to this situation for about five minutes.

And when it's five minutes, like, in relative scale of yoga postures, you know, and some practices hold yoga postures for five breaths, five minutes is a long-term relationship. So you wanna pace yourself, you wanna be attentive, lies will become real problems when it's five minutes. Big deliberate inhale, exhale, let it happen. And just make sure you're really, truly being invited in. Okay?

Like, really wait for the green light. Okay, like, again, part of this is moving into a relationship with reality, and the reality of the body is something we often try to deny. Okay, but when we don't listen to the good information that the body's trying to give us, like, two things generally happen. Okay, just like for any of us when we don't listen, okay, or somebody doesn't listen to us... Okay, sometimes we just start to talk louder.

The more likely scenario, though, for most of us, if somebody doesn't listen to us, the tendency is to kind of shut down a little bit. And stop communicating as clearly, so listening to the information your body has to tell you is one of the key elements of this practice, deliberate inhale. And exhale everything. Gooey in the back of the neck, and soft in the eyes. And again, how you have your arms really depends on you.

So some of you might bend your elbows, some of you might have your hands clasped. You might widen the elbows and rest the head on the hands. You could extend the arms out. And then really notice what's really goin' on, and today, I am really finding that it's gonna be better for me to bend that back knee a little bit, bend that left knee a little bit, and just kinda let myself rest in more what sometimes gets called the funky pigeon, and that allows me to roll my weight a little bit more forward into this right hip. (breathing deeply) And follow the movements, because as you start to spend time in the posture, you're gonna find out, like, oh, I'd feel better if I extended out through that left elbow a little bit, or...

Which I'm finding right now, and it's sort of surprising, and it's gonna feel good if I just hold on to that right wrist as I sink in, and so again, these postures are approximations of where you might end up. And so by doing that, now it feels good to extend back through my left leg again, so please, what I'm allowing myself to wiggle into the shape that would feel better, to just help encourage you to do the same thing. Okay. Notice where you might still be in anticipation of the shape, and where can you offer yourself just a little bit more. Nice, we're coming up upon our last minute.

So softer in the mouth. Kinder in the eyes. Easier across the upper back. Beautiful. Okay.

Now only as you feel ready, the hands are gonna come underneath your shoulders, you're gonna come on back up. Pause. And then, you know, be slow on this, again, the suggestion is the shape of Savasana, if you're not into that, child's pose is fine, but otherwise you kinda roll over towards your right. Let your right leg come back to your left, and then lie down, shape of Savasana. And as you lie down in the shape of Savasana, rest, and allow yourself to absorb...

And marinate in the sauce that is now available. This whole Savasana after every action, this is very 1960s. It's, like, fun to reach back to our earlier brothers and sisters. Okay, couple more moments here, like, really feel the juice of you... Nice.

Okay, beautiful, when it feels right, let the knees come into the chest and wobble. Cross the ankles, inhale, roll back, exhale, roll it up to sitting, and let's meet at the back of our mat in child's pose. Shuggle on down in there, wiggle on back through the hips, walk your hands forward. Nice, now we're gonna make our way towards a lunge, let your heart come forward, shoulders over the wrist, let your left foot come forward and through, now in earlier episodes, we explored how you might use a blanket underneath the knee, and we talked about the possibility of bricks underneath your hands. Regardless of what props you might be using, introduce yourself, draw yourself back a little bit, and sink in, now we're gonna be here for about three minutes this time, which is a little longer than we've done before.

Which, again, means that that may or may not be correct for you, sink in. Both hands might be on either side of the foot, or you might adjust, widening the foot, both hands on the inside. But what I like to do lately is just kinda, like, sometimes I just kinda like to let this left, this hip open a little bit, so I like to kinda come onto the edge of the foot and let that hip open a little bit, and kinda roll around like that. That can just feel really good, your body may or may not appreciate that opportunity. Okay, it might make way more sense for you to stay right in the center.

Okay, but just kinda know that it's... It's okay to be you. In fact, we need you to be, otherwise we don't really get to meet you. Okay, so you kinda sink in, you might stay up on your hands, or you might be inclined to come down onto your forearms. You gotta kinda let it feel right for you, now, as I come down on my forearms, it becomes more about that outer hip and less about that front thigh, so I kind of lose that front thigh stretch.

Which I still really want. (sighs) Yeah. You've already been here about two minutes. Sinking in, and I'm finding that even though this is where I wanted to be in the beginning, I kinda wanna go back to more of that standard shape... Nice, let the buttocks get heavier.

Little softer in the pelvic floor. Little kinder in the eyes. This is not an easy one, as we've talked before, the modern life is trying to sort of curl you up into a little ball, so this area through the front thigh spends most of its day compressed, and so the passive lunge, this is one of the number one things you can do after a long day in a car, in a desk, in a plane. Nice. Okie-dokie, as you're feeling ready to get out of there, you're gonna draw your hips back, nice.

You're gonna pull this left knee back to meet the right, and then you're gonna wiggle back into child's pose. Okie-dokie, other side, let yourself come up onto all fours, let the opposite foot come forward in through, so for me that's the right. Back it off a little bit and sink it in. Backing it up... And sinking it in, so this is not an easy area.

Most of us spend a lot of our day really compressed in here, and so starting to stretch this area out is not so easy. Okay, sink in, let a bit of a (exhaling) happen, again, as I've mentioned, rolling a little bit from side to side can feel good. Some of you are gonna keep both hands on either side of this foot, you might be using bricks underneath your hand, or a blanket underneath your knee. Okay, it might feel good to widen the foot out a little bit and bring that right hand on the inside, that's just, anatomically, for a lot of people, that just feels more natural. Again, hands might be up on bricks.

And then maybe letting that hip open, now, this is something that is easier at home than in a public situation, because in a public class, it can seem like you're supposed to be the same on both sides, because generally, your teaching, what's taught is the same on both sides. At home sometimes you can get a little bit more permission to not let the tyranny of the symmetry get you down, and so you might be finding out, "Wow, that might've felt good on "that first side, but this side is "probably a little different," and something a little different might feel good, and so please, if there's anything I can encourage in these yin shapes is to really be honest with what would feel actually, for real, good on that other side, like, I'm finding that on this side it feels a little bit better to sink that left hip a little bit more and let the heart lift a little bit more. I did come down onto my forearms on the other side, so I'll test it, but I'm kinda knowing that it's actually not correct on this side, I'm... I've got this 20-year mischievous injury in that hip, and it's like, "Mmm, nah!" (chuckling) Okay, so you're seeking yourself, not a version of yourself that you imagine you wanna be. Yeah...

Okay. It might feel good to bring that foot back in, both hands on either side. You're just, like, letting your hip get heavy. Soft in the jaw, easy in the eyes. (sighing) Let the buttocks relax, it's trying to kinda keep you back out of there, let the pelvic floor ease, yeah.

Not much longer. Okie-dokie, when you feel ready, you're gonna start to let the hips come back. You're gonna let that right knee find its way back to the left, wiggle on back through there, child's pose, forehead towards the Earth. Nice. It's real nice.

Okay, from here, let's make our way onto our bellies, let your hips come forward. Come all the way down onto your belly, and we're gonna start in sphinx pose, which for most of you is gonna be a better place to stay. Wiggling back, legs about as wide as the hips, or maybe even a little bit wider, and letting that spine start to hang, letting the buttocks ease. Okay, so if this is enough compression in the lower back, we've explored this posture together, if this is enough compression and feels correct, you're gonna stay here, okay? Otherwise, if it would feel good to start to explore something a little bit spicier, we can make our way to seal pose.

Turn the hands out... As you come down onto the palms, and then you start to press your arms toward straight. Now I should mention that we're gonna be here for about three minutes. Now, if I keep my arms out at about this length away from the body, the curve's gonna be at its greatest sort of around in the thoracic spine, the mid-back, and so that has one feeling. As you wanna bring the intensity down a little bit lower, you can walk your hands in a little bit closer, and the closer the hands come in towards the torso, okay, the closer they come in towards the torso, the more I'll be able to bring that intensity down into the lower back and down into the sacrum, and this is where it gets a little weird, you allow your arms to be straight so that you're really letting the bones hold you, the shoulders actually come up.

It goes against all that you've learned about backbending so far... As you relax your lower buttocks and you kinda let your spine hang. Again, we've talked about this before, but if your knees are sensitive, you can tuck your toes under. (breathing) If you've come into the seal and you kinda wish you hadn't, you walk your hands out again and you come back down into the sphinx. Okay, but this is, like, soft in the buttocks, soft in the lower back, again, what do you do with your neck, maybe let your head straight forward, maybe let your head hang.

Kind in the eyes, yeah, beautiful. Super nice. This is an amazing counter pose, again, to the modern life. It's just, like, it puts your back in the opposite of what it has been doing most of the day. But it only will work if it feels safe and good, and you can feel kind here.

Yes. Just a handful more moments. Beautiful, soften the buttocks again, easier in the base of the skull, last few beats. Okay, pretty, then you're gonna let your elbows bend, and you're gonna slowly start to lower on back down, slow, slow, slow, slow, slow, slow, even slower. Okay.

Elbows go wide, rest your head on your hands, and really rest, like, wait, there's such an immense tenderness after coming out of the passive backbending, you wanna be so gentle with yourself. Beautiful. So nice. Okay, so only as it feels right to do so, and only as you feel ready, you're gonna roll onto your back. And once you're on your back, pause, big deliberate inhale and exhale, let it (exhaling) happen.

Keep your left foot on the floor as you let your right knee come into your chest, we're just gonna hold the right knee into the chest for about a minute, so as you interlace your hands where the knee and the shin meet, that might be the perfect spot. Some of you might prefer to interlace the hands underneath the knee, on top of the thigh. Keeping the left knee bent generally is more supportive on the back. Letting the left leg draw a little straighter might feel better for some of you. For me it feels better to keep the left knee bent.

Soft down in that right inner groin, easier in the mouth, kinder in the eyes. And then release the right foot back down to the floor, pause, big deliberate inhale, exhale everything. And I'll repeat that on the other side, so bring the left knee into the chest. We're gonna hold about a minute, you're either holding right where the knee and the shin meet, or interlaced underneath the knee. It just kinda depends on what feels good for you, like, not all knee joints like this extra additional pressure.

You're drawing that left knee in, you're softening the grip in the shoulders and the eyes and the face, you're letting the hips be heavy. You might keep this right knee bent, or you might let it draw straight. It's up to you. Soft in the eyes. And release that left foot back down to the floor.

Big deliberate inhale, exhale, let it happen, low back easy, wide across the pelvis. Okay, and check in with how your lower back region, sacrum region, pelvis is feeling. For some bodies, the spinal twist is not actually really all that awesome, it's just too destabilizing in the sacrum, and so for some of you, it might be nicer to move towards Savasana now. Okay, only if you know the spinal twist feels good, let the knees come into the chest and wobble. And again, we're just increasing the amount of time we're holding things a little bit, so far we've held the spinal twist about two minutes, and now we're gonna see how it feels to hold it for three.

I'm gonna offer the eagle wrap spinal twist, but you might simply bring knee on top of knee, so let's bring the left leg over the right, tight wrap, maybe that foot hooks around the back of the right calf. Arms are gonna come out from the shoulders. As the arms come out from the shoulders, let the knees come over to the right. Let the left palm come on top of the right palm, organize yourself, keeping the knees over the right, circle this left arm back over to the left, let the elbow relax. We're gonna be here for three minutes.

As the elbow relaxes, the shoulder blade might drop back and down, and experiment with this a little bit, like, draw the arm down a little bit, and see if that feels better, and this right hand might rest on the top of that leg wrap. Or it might come out to the side. Lengthen out through the back of the neck. Widen the upper palate, kind in the eyes. Letting this left arm get heavy.

Yeah. And be aware, now, you know, you've been in this yin yoga practice now for an extended period of time. Can you observe the quality of your breath... And the quality of your attention. And the quality of your heart.

And the tonality of your mind. It's like one of the plays of letting the external practice be a little simpler... A little less is so that we start to remove some of the, what we call the external distractions. And you can start to practice being in a more intimate relationship with what we sometimes call the interior. Relaxing the lower belly will sometimes help the sacrum.

Let that left knee feel heavier. Let the left shoulder blade feel heavier. Okay, to get out of there, you're gonna unwrap, left leg rests on top of the right. And then when you're ready, that left knee comes back towards your chest, as the left leg leads, the rest of you will follow. Rest your feet back down on the floor, knees bent, and pause, like, pause in between the sides, there's, like, such great...

Juice available there, and if you rush, you'll miss it. Knees might stay bent, or you might, one leg at a time, straighten the legs. Just like, take a hit off yourself. Okie-dokie, knees come into the chest, wobble. We've a problem here at Yoga Anytime where...

The teacher filming gets yoga drunk in the middle of the session, okay, right leg comes over the left, I'm not saying that's happening to me or anything, right foot hooks around the left calf. Arms come out from the shoulders, and then slowly you're gonna bring the knees over to the left, that right palm is gonna come on top of the left. Once you feel organized, you're gonna circle this right arm back over to the right. The elbow might bend, so the shoulder blade more easily plunks in. And we're gonna be here about three minutes, so again, remember, you have the option of removing the wrap and simply resting the top right leg on the left.

Shoulders are relaxed, back and down, elbow is soft, wide in the base of the skull. Kind in the eyes. And play with where this arm wants to be, like... Like, experiment a little bit, if you let the elbow come down a little bit, that will change the flavor... If you let the arm straighten a little bit, that will change the flavor.

You gotta find out where it wants to be. And you're telling yourself where it wants to be, because there is a spot that will just hum in a way that feels superior today. And you trust that. Let the gaze be where it feels right. And if you'll know your practice is working if just without much effort at all...

The breath has softened. The mind has just quieted a little. And the yearnings and the longings of the heart feel more... Met. And if you're teetering on the edge of boredom...

Then you know you've almost made it. (chuckles) Yeah. Peace and quiet will never reveal themselves unless we actually start to feel comfortable with peace and quiet. Heavier in the right shoulder blade. Softer in the low belly. Now, to get out of there, you're gonna unwrap the legs, right knee on top of left, pause.

And then you're gonna lead with that right leg, she comes toward your face and up... Place your feet down on the ground, knees are bent. And just, like, rest in the resulting juice, like, marinate in yourself, sacrum wide. Soft in the pelvic floor and the low belly. Knees might stay bent, or they might straighten, just like, really soak up the juice of the twist.

Yeah. Okay, then from here, knees come into the chest, and wobble. And some of you might choose to extend out for Savasana, that might be the best sort of way to bake here. But some of you might choose to take just a slightly longer sit, so you know, either stretch yourself out for Savasana, and if you've got a nice long time for Savasana you might even... Say goodbye now.

Or you might cross your ankles, inhale, roll back, exhale, roll up to sitting. And then just set yourself up for a comfortable sit, and... We'll just sit together for a few moments. Place any support underneath your hips that you like. I like to sit with my heels in line with each other.

Okay, big deliberate inhale. Exhale everything, soft in the low belly, soft in the back of the heart, wide up through the base of the skull. Let it feel domed up through the palate. Yeah. Like, let yourself rest within the results of your willingness...

To be in a slower... More receptive... Longer term relationship with yourself. Like, become more aware of what's available when you spend a little bit more time... Nice, beautiful.

You might choose to sit here a little bit longer. Namaste.


Haille H
1 person likes this.
What a lovely treat Kira, thank you! Still learning to be more "comfortable with peace and quiet" :). Love!
Christine L
What a beautiful practice! I really enjoyed this to get my day started. I love yin for meeting myself exactly where I'm at, in this particular moment. Thank you so much for your loving, accepting presence.

Kira Sloane
Dearest Hallie, so sweet to continue to practice together. xok
Kira Sloane
Christine, your words are so tender. thank you. xok
Julia H
1 person likes this.
So lovely Kira - just what I needed this morning thankyou xoxo
Kira Sloane
Julia love. Happy to still connected. xok
Tesa Urbonaite Dunn
Wow Kira, what an amazing practice!!! I so appreciate having your voice of peace and encouragement in my ear during 5 minute pigeon/swan. On challenging days, I find myself looking at my timer often;) Much better to practice with you:) Thank you very much!!
Tesa Urbonaite Dunn
Did this practice again with a dear friend this morning. Fantastic!!! Thank you again:)
Kira Sloane
Oh Tesa, sweet to be together. xoxok
Frederic M
Thanks Kira for this wonderful flow. I love the concept of trying to slow down, starting with our breath.....
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