Yin Yoga Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 7

Soften and Listen In

40 min - Practice


Kira guides us through a soothing Yin sequence, holding postures for up to 5 minutes to allow us time to experiment and spend more time with ourselves. Listen in and feel the magnificent, subtle details of the body.
What You'll Need: Mat

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(waves rushing) Sweet to be together again. We'll continue our exploration of offering ourselves to hold a little bit longer and start to introduce some more shapes. Meet me at the back of your mat. Snuggle in, we'll find child's pose. Knees slightly wide.

Let your chest come down to rest on your thighs. Let your forehead come down to the floor. Maybe start with your arms down along side of you. Big deliberate inhale and exhale. Let a (exhales) happen as your hips get heavy.

Do that again, inhale. Exhale, let a (exhales deeply) happen. Nice, one more time. Inhale (inhales softly). Exhale, let a (exhales softly) happen.

Snuggle a little bit. Wobble a little side to side. Nice. Okie dokie, let the arms come out in front of you. Let yourself come up onto all fours.

We'll start our sequence with a lunge for about two minutes. Left foot comes forward. Sink in and then back off a little bit. Then sink in and then back off a little bit. Then sink in.

Do that at least one or two more times. Just like we've been doing, introducing yourself. This next time you sink, sink in, let that right sit bone get heavy, top of the right foot to the floor. Let your jaw slacken. This might be enough intensity down through the front of that front thigh, okay?

If it would be interesting to offer more, the hands might come up onto this front left knee. I usually like to back up a little bit, kind of let my right sit bone get heavy, and then sink in again. By keeping your hands on your knees, your front left knee, you offer a little bit more support. If this feels too spicy or too difficult, then you can come back down. It will be more spicy if you let your arms come down along your sides.

Some of you might even explore just a gentle interlacing behind. You're not reaching so much, but you're just holding your arms behind as you begin to sink in. Right sit bone heavy, soft up through the base of the skull, kind in the eyes. If bringing the hands behind was too much, then you just bring them on back to that front left knee. Not much longer now.

(exhales) Okie dokie, hands come back down to the earth. Draw that right hip back bring the left knee back to meet your right. Snuggle back down into child's pose. Reach the arms out and wobble. Nice, as your ready, let an inhale bring you back up onto all fours.

Opposite foot comes forward. For me, that's the right. Then you introduce yourself. You inhale, draw back. Exhale, sink in.

Inhale, draw back. Exhale, sink in. Do that at least one more time. Again, if it makes more intelligent sense for you to stay low, if that's where you can stay like easy, and the mouth, the eyes, the face, the temperament, then you stay low. Only if it feels correct to increase the spice.

The hands come up onto this front right knee. I like to back out of it a little bit and kind of let my left sit bone get heavy. (exhales) I like to create a little bit of space in this front thigh and then you sink in. As you sink in, this (purring) widens. Soften the back of the heart.

Kinden the eyes. Keeping your hands on the front knee offers a nice support and it can kind of help the shoulders relax back and down. It can help the throat feel open and the upper palette widen. If increasing the opportunity of intensity makes sense for you, you can release your hands down along the side. Some of you might let your hands come back behind you.

A gentle interlace, you're not reaching back through. You're just kind of letting them be behind you, or maybe even palms to the elbows. Soft in the face, kind in the eyes. If you're not able to stay fluffy in the lips, it's not working. Because if it's too much, the hands will come back onto that front knee or maybe back down to the earth.

Last few beats. Super nice. Let the hands come back down onto the earth. Then, as you're ready, draw your hips back. Bring your right knee back to meet your left.

Snuggle back in there. (exhales deeply) Sweet. Let yourself come forward and come forward more towards the front of your mat so you have plenty of room behind you. Widen your feet a little bit and start to snuggle on down between your heels. Now, for some of you, it's going to make good sense to have a blanket underneath your hips.

If it feels all right, you're going to lean a little bit to the left, free the right foot, bring the right heel in line with the left, and sit that left booty cheek on back down. Again, maybe there's a blanket underneath there. You're seeing how this is and it may be too much already. Some of you are going to lift your hips up again and you're going to put some support underneath the buttocks. Now, the classic sort of decision on the alignment of this posture was that the foot should be pointing straight back.

One of the brilliant things about the Yin Yoga offering is the suggestion that, well maybe, but maybe for you, it feels better to have your foot like this. Again, you're trying not to let the tyranny of somebody else's idea of what the shape is get you down. Hands plant, scoop the hips under. You're drawing your sit bones under. You're drawing your buttocks under so you can lay more of that buttocks on the earth and this might be intense enough for your front thigh and your knee.

For some of you, it's going to feel good to come down onto your elbows. Pause and this might be the spot. Press into the foot on the, press into the right foot. Press into the left top of the back foot and tuck the sit bones under. You're lifting, you're tucking under, you're putting that buttocks back down on the floor, and this might be the spot that you're going to hang in.

Okay? If you happen to be lucky enough to have a bolster, you might have that underneath your upper back. Some of you, it's going to make sense to start to explore coming on back. Now, if you start to come on back if you wish you hadn't, you just come on back up. Use your right foot, scoot your hips under.

You can let your left knee come up off the floor. Put the hips back down. Let the left knee get heavy. Now, for most of you, we've reached the spot that's like bing, primo, yummy, delicious. Hang here.

Something that can feel good too is just letting your right knee open up into that butterfly shape, that Baddha Konasana. Sole of the right foot up against your left knee. That can feel really nice. If you still haven't found a sensation, if you're that kind of gal or guy, you let your right knee come into your chest, you let your left knee come up off the floor. You hold your right knee into your chest and then you slowly let this left thigh get heavy back down to the floor.

Most of you will have now found an opportunity. Drawing the sit bones under, left knee heavy, right knee into the chest. If you happen to be of the variety where you still aren't feeling enough for yourself, you can decide to bring this right leg straight, letting that left knee come up off the floor and then letting the left knee get heavy, or maybe even letting this right knee come into the half happy baby, as you let the left knee get heavy. Okay, beautiful. Now we've been offering, nine, 10, 11, we've been offering ourselves to this shape for about three minutes already.

I'm hoping that you found a place that you can hang in. Maybe you're in the happy baby with that left thigh getting heavy. Maybe the knee is into the chest with the knee getting heavy. Maybe you're in the half butterfly, but you're in a spot where you can feel an opportunity through this left thigh. You might feel it in the IT band region.

Sit bones are relaxed, jaw is soft. The plan is to be here for a total of five minutes. Of course, we spent some of that time dialing in where you might be, but that's okay. One of my favorite things about one of my primary teachers, Eric Schiffman, is he really knows how to drag things out, so that you can be there a lot longer. (giggles gently) Your hands might be resting on your belly like I have them or they might be over the top of your head like this.

(exhales slowly) We're moving in towards our last minute of this. Just notice where else you might soften. The low back might soften. The buttocks might soften. Beautiful.

Notice how the ankle's actually feeling. Is that foot really in the correct position for you? This is a play here. What I have found about the joints is their range really relies on you. If we don't give our joints an opportunity to be in their full range, like if we don't give our knee an opportunity to bend a lot, then it doesn't actually get better at bending.

Again, always, even though we've got a particular clock going on in this sequence, you're in there, not me. About 20 more seconds. Softer in the low back, easier in the eyes. Yeah. Beautiful.

Beautiful. Now, if you happen to be supine, you're going to want your elbows and your abdominals to help you get out of here. It often helps to grab ahold of yourself, so I like to hold onto my left ankle and my right ass. (smacks) Grab on, press in your elbows, and use your abdominals to help you come up. Then come onto your hands and come all the way up, and like, pause.

Now, how to come out of this big knee bend. You have the choice of either bringing your leg forward or behind you. I prefer going backwards. I like to roll my weight forward, come onto my hands, bring my right knee down to the floor, and then I like to slowly stretch back out through the left leg. Ball of the foot on the floor and lengthen back through that left heel.

Allow the back of that knee to open. Yes. Then while you could make your way into child's pose, what's probably going to feel better is actually downward facing dog because it's going to help open up through the back of that leg. Let your right foot find its way back towards the left and lengthen. Of course, you could prefer child's pose, but for me, it's like my knee has been bent that way enough.

(exhales) Heels get heavy. Super nice. Okie dokie, other side. Come down onto your knees towards the front of your mat. Widen the feet a little bit and then start to snuggle on back.

Then lean over to the right and free your left foot. My left heel is in line with my right knee as the sit bones get heavy. Again, you might have a blanket underneath there. Right now, we've been playing with different ways to stretch the thighs. We started out supine, holding the heel into the buttocks.

We've moved on to the lunge. This is obviously a more intense demand. If at any point during these sequences, you feel like stretching your thigh in a different way, you find that. This might be enough demand on the knee, on the joint, on the thigh. Maybe the hands plant.

You tuck your hips under. You draw your sit bones forward. This will increase the stretch and then you let your hips come back down to the floor and maybe perhaps you come back down onto your elbows. You're going to know if this is right or not. You're going to get the good information.

From here, make sure it feels okay. Pay attention to what you're doing with this right foot. Maybe it wants to be out to the side. Maybe it's resting on the top of it. Some of you might have a bolster underneath your upper back and be resting on the bolster.

Press into the left foot. Press into the right foot. Draw the sit bones under. You will feel the stretch through the front thigh as you kind of (blubbering) down through the back of the body. Maybe coming back down onto your back.

Then even once you're here, pressing into the left foot, lifting up through the hips, letting that right knee come up off the floor, and then letting her come back down to rest will offer so much more. For most of you, this is enough. Again, through this whole sequence, we're basically asking the right knee to be bent like this for about five minutes. Soft in the mouth, and the tongue, and the eyes. For most of you, this is enough and maybe opening up your left knee, sole of that left foot to the right thigh and resting here.

Again, this side might be different and if you're finding out that you need to feel more, we'll go through the options on this side. You might let the left knee come into your chest. Holding onto the left knee, you let your right thigh come up of the floor. You let your right knee come up off the floor. You keep your left knee into the chest and now you're just going to let your right knee, thigh get heavy.

That's really all you have to do. You can give the slightest reach through there, but just that letting gravity have you. (exhales) For most of you, we're at the point, okay? For a couple of you, maybe this left leg needs to draw straight and you let the right knee come up off the floor again. You hold onto that left leg where it's convenient and then you let the right leg get heavy.

There or maybe in the half happy baby, letting that right leg get heavy. (exhales) There's no rule about not touching yourself. Sometimes as you can feel the opportunity in your leg, it's like (groans). It feels good to acknowledge it with your other hand. You're finding the spot that's right.

We've talked about this. Don't let the tyranny of symmetry get you down. Another thing that some of you might do, some of you might bring that left leg into rock the baby. What's difficult about that is, for most of us, it requires that little bit of abdominal. It's not so easy to lie down and do that at the same time, but it's kind of great.

It's just there's so many parts involved. It's not the easiest thing to kind of relax, but it's actually kind of great. You kind of let yourself play and experiment. I'm going to go back into the, what I did on the other side, just because I can still talk (laughs) while I do it. Hold the left foot to the right knee.

Left knee heavy. Sit bones are long. Easier in the eyes. (exhales) Good. Not much longer now.

Not much more than less than half a minute. When you're ready to get up, that left foot comes to the floor. You've got to use your elbows and your abdominals. Hold on to your left ass with your left hand. Right hand on your right ankle.

Press the elbows into the floor. Then use your hands to come on up. Now to get out of there, the version I'm suggesting is to roll your weight forward carefully. Bring your left knee down to the floor. Extend back through the right leg.

Nozzle the ball of that foot onto the earth and stretch back through that right heel. You're opening up the back of your knee there. (exhales) While child's pose might be your thing, my sense is that downward facing dog would feel better. On the balls of the feet, lengthen back through the hips. Rooting.

(exhales) So nice. Really beautiful. Let yourself come back down onto your knees and come onto your belly for seal pose. Let yourself lower. Now, while we're doing seal, if you know sphinx from the earlier episodes and would prefer sphinx, you find sphinx.

Feet about as wide as the hips or a little bit wider. In fact, I like to bring them a little wider because it goes a little bit more into the low back sacrum. Hands come underneath your shoulders. Let the shoulders roll back and down to begin with and start to press on up. Hands are turning out.

Wobble a little bit side to side. We want to be in a spot where you can let your arms draw straight. Pressing into the hands, let your arms draw straight so that you can let your buttocks relax, hips sink. Shoulders kind of rise up. Allow the buttocks to soften.

Allow the thighs to soften. Let the calves feel heavy and wide. Let the back of the heart relax. Upper palette open. I'm going to suggest that we be here about four minutes.

It's already been a minute. Sometimes when I'm here, I like to wobble it like so slightly side to side. There's just like the slightest sway. Again, that helps me avoid becoming rigid. You might let your face be slightly lifted or you might play with letting your head drop.

(exhales softly) It's a strange thing to offer yourself for a passive back bend. Four minutes is a long time for most of us. As I mentioned before, if you, at any point, get the, "It's time to come out," you come out. Eyes might be closed or softly focused. Most likely, after that big half hero supine stretch, you can feel this cool spaciousness down through the thighs that kind of meets the heat that you might now feel in the low back.

Again, I'm suggesting what you might feel, but what's important here is recording what you feel. Beautiful. We're coming into our last minute here. Wide at the base of the skull. Open up through that upper palette dome.

(exhales softly) Notice where you're still waiting for the shape. Can you notice that you're already here by softening some of the resistance? Yeah. Super nice. Now, to get out of there, you're going to slowly, slowly, slowly let your elbows bend.

Lower yourself on back down. (exhales) Elbows go wide, face rests on your hands. Pause and really allow the results of the shape to be revealed down through the low back, across the buttocks, down through the legs. Be aware of the temperature. Be aware of the quality of the feeling, the quality of your mind, the tonality of your breath.

Beautiful. Hands underneath the shoulders and so slowly, you're going to find your way back into child's pose. Knees wide. Hips going back towards your heels. Wobble yourself on down.

Beautiful. The transition is going to be towards the seated forward fold. Chin into your chest, roll on up. Lean to a side and free your legs gently out in front of you. Now, we're going to offer ourselves to a forward fold with a rounded spine.

Wobble a little bit side to side. Some of you might be sitting up on a blanket just to kind of help this. Some of you, not everybody's legs like to go straight. Some of you might have your knees slightly bend with a blanket rolled underneath. Let your hands come down onto the legs.

Wobble a little bit from side to side. The play here is to let your back start to round. Don't tell anybody. (laughs) Your back won't stretch unless it's round. The tyranny of the flat back removed any opportunity to (exhales).

You let your back round. You let your elbows bend. You're going to let your chin come in towards the chest. Again, I'm going to suggest that we're here for about four minutes. This might be the spot.

As the chin rolls into the chest, the head drops. The elbows are on the legs. If you're feeling like this is too much pressure in your low back, or your neck, or the backs of your legs, you can come onto your back and bring your knees into your chest. Some of you are going to let your arms come down along your side. Palms might turn up.

You're letting a little bit of a (exhales slowly) happen. Just this rounding. Rounding. The rumor, and you know, you have to really understand all of these things as rumors until you have personally verified it for yourself. The rumor is that this, we have these bands of these connective tissues that start in our feet and move up through the backs of our legs up around the back.

Some of them descend into the tip of the tongue and some of them descend into the inner eyeballs and probably elsewhere. So that you imagine you're allowing this whole band of you to stretch. As you let your head get heavier, you're going to feel it more. Forehead may be coming towards the knees. Again, you will remember that I mention that I was born to forward fold.

If I flatten my back and reach, I'm going to get more in the backs of my legs, but I'm going to lose the stretch in my back. (exhales gently) If it's uncomfortable for your head to be hanging like this, you can use your blanket or your bolster underneath there. Nice. (exhales gently) Letting that head get heavy. Feeling the opportunity of the back body stretching.

(breathing gently) Just a handful more moments. Let's see if you can have a sense of the thighs getting heavier. Yes. Beautiful. As you feel ready, chin comes into your chest.

Let yourself roll on back up. Feel the belly, and feel the heart, and feel the throat, and feel the face, and pause. Coming out of that rounded forward fold is going to be pretty amazing. Nice. Scoot yourself forward and let yourself roll on back onto your back and hug the knees into your chest.

Wobble. Nice. We're going to offer ourselves to the eagle wrap spinal twist, but we're going to add a slight twist to the twist. We're going to change the direction our legs go in relationship to the wrap. The request here now is wrap your right leg over your left and hook your right foot behind the left calf, maybe.

Let your arms come out from the side and let your knees come over to the right. Bring your left hand on top of the right palm. Let your knees stay over to the right as you circle your left arm back over to the left. Now, we're going to be here about two minutes. Let your left elbow relax.

That will help the shoulder blade drop back down and in. Or you might choose to reach out through the left arm. This right hand might help weight the legs. Let the neck lengthen a little bit and you might find that it feels good to have this left arm reaching out to the side. For some of you, it'll be preferable to have that left arm reaching up over the top of the head.

Soften the left elbow so the shoulder blade is back and down. (exhales) Wide across the sacrum. If it makes sense, relax the floor of the pelvis. That will help open up some of the juice that can be a little too bound. (breathing gently) Now, to get out of here, I think it's nicer to unwrap the legs.

Let that left knee come on top of the right and pause. Let things settle a little bit. Then draw that left knee up and in as you then roll back. Pause, let both feet come down to the floor, let the knees bend. Nice, like feel the results.

Beautiful. Beautiful. Okay, knees into the chest. Left leg over the right, hook maybe. Arms out from the shoulders and now bring everything over to the left.

Right palm on top of the left palm, organize. Inhale, reach this right arm back over and around. We're going to be offering ourselves to this for about two minutes. That right elbow might bend a little bit to help the shoulder blade sink back and down. You might prefer to have that arm straight.

Your left hand might help weight you slightly. Let a bit of a (exhales gently) happen. Maybe this right arm keeps reaching out to the right. For some of you, it'll feel much more natural and comfortable to let the arm reach over the top of your head. If you've never experimented, please begin now.

Kind in the eyes, soft in the face. Be aware of the resulting quality of your mental state, of your emotional state, of your breath. Be aware of the result of (exhales quietly) spending more time with yourself. (breathing gently) As micro-movements reveal themselves, listen. Now to get out of there, unwrap so that you've unwrapped the bind.

Right knee comes on top of the left knee and pause. Then lead with your top right leg. Let the right knee come back. Let the rest of you follow. Relax both feet back down on the ground.

Knees are bent and pause. Just pause and feel the results of the twist. Feel the medicine of the twist. Then it'll probably feel good to hug your knees into your chest and wobble. (exhales) Nice.

Let your feet come back down to the earth, palms turned up. One leg at a time, let one leg stretch out. Let her rest. Let the other leg stretch out. Let her rest.

Let your shoulder blades draw under a little bit. Palms turn up. Wobble your head. Let your eyes close or be soft. Be deliberate.

Inhale, exhale everything. Can you really let yourself be aware of the feeling tone down through the sacrum region? Can you feel the space around the tops of your thigh bones? Can you feel the temperature and quality down through your thighs? Be aware of your knees.

Be aware of the whole knee joints. Down through the shins, calves, down through the ankles and the feet. Like (exhales). Soften the floor of the pelvis. Beautiful.

(breathing slowly and deeply) If you're allowed to, rest here for longer, and if you're ready, slow. You're going to let the knees bend. Soles of the feet on the floor. Perhaps reach your left arm over the top of your head and roll onto your left side, pausing. Then use your hand to start to press yourself back up.

Find a seated position. Deliberate inhale. Exhale everything. Feel the upper palette dome. Wide at the base of the skull.

A little slacker in the jaw. Fluffier in the lips. Hands find each other at the heart. Namaste.


Haille H
1 person likes this.
So grateful to have the opportunity to continue this practice together! I especially loved today what you said about everything being rumor until we experience it for ourselves. Such a lovely practice once again Kira, thank you for helping me come back to and discover myself. Love!
Kira Sloane
Hallie! LOVE! xok
Tesa Urbonaite Dunn
Lovely practice! Ahhhh. Such a gift, thank you. I saw our dear friend, Angel, in Ft. Worth last weekend. She and Michelle Landy did some fantastic workshops at her studio, Temple Road Yoga. Angel and I discussed how much we both appreciate you and Yoga Anytime!
Kira S
Dearest Tesa, oh lucky you to get to see Angel! Thank you for being here! xok
Tesa Urbonaite Dunn
Soooo Nice..... Thank you again...
Karin D
1 person likes this.
Just what i needed ! Thank you, Kira ....
Kira Sloane
Hi Karin! Sweet to see you here. xok
Kira-your yin practices are such a healing gift. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and kind energy.
Kira Sloane
Thank you, dear TS. xok
1 person likes this.
Kira, what an opportunity to grow in awareness of where I am physically and spiritually. I appreciate your calmness and encouragement to try even difficult poses in my own space and time.
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