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Season 1 - Episode 15

Lesson 6: Sensations

5 min - Tutorial


In this final lesson we talk about tension held in the neck and shoulders and how we can release that tension in our inversions and backbends. We explore a shimy action to tune into the sensations in the body.
This lesson is designed to go along withPractice 6.
What You'll Need: No props needed

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So welcome to lesson six. Well, we'll talk about the neck and shoulders, inversions, and backbends. So with the neck and shoulders, I have not met or have yet to meet a single human being that at one point or another doesn't carry tension in the shoulders, the neck, and maybe even the jaw. I know at least I do. So as you move through that sixth practice, I want to really invite you to move at a slow steady pace. It helps to stay curious rather than to feel like I got to fix that sensation or that pain, but to really breathe into where you feel the sensation, be patient and then allow it to open and change on its own. At least I have felt that useful, found that helpful in my practice and useful. Creating a bit more space in the neck and shoulders can help prepare us for inversions. So we've been inverting this whole time. We've been bringing our head below our heart when we come into our standing forward bends. In the sixth practice, we also explore, experiment with bringing a block underneath us and bringing our legs up. Now for me, I find inversions being incredibly invigorating, nourishing, and energizing, especially midpoint during the day or if I'm feeling really tired or dull, bringing my legs up on a block or bringing my legs up the wall can feel really nice. So we start to, in the sixth practice, see what that feels like. So in addition to inversions, in the sixth practice, we begin to work with cobra. And we've been exploring backbends throughout our practice in Warrior I, in Locust, and in Bridge. So what's the purpose of backbending? Well, for me, I find it tends to be somewhat energizing and stimulating on the nervous system. It can also create a sense of anxiety and stress if it's not met with a breath. So as you move through your backbends, I want to invite you to notice the quality of your breath, of your breathing, and if you can meet the backbend with a nice inhale and exhale. So in addition to our breath, another point of feedback is our sense organs, softening through the eyes, the mouth, the jaw, and throughout the body. So let's make our way down to the ground and find a shimmy and see if we can find this there. So make your way down. And we'll start by bringing our legs straight, arms down along your side, and just begin to point and flex your feet. And then do it a little bit faster and a little bit faster. This is an experiment. And just begin to notice as you point and flex your feet, begin to notice the movement through your spine, through your pelvis, through your head, and a little bit faster. A few more moments. Good. And then stop. Relax the effort. And notice how you feel. All right. Let's bend our knees. Let's try it with the feet on the floor. Feet about hips distance apart. And then just begin to start by rocking up and down. So you're keeping your pelvis on the floor. The feet are on the floor. And you find that similar action, but you let your whole body begin to jiggle. Like you're trotting on a horse, right? And then moving perhaps a little bit faster here. Maintain a steadiness. A little bit faster, maybe. Shimmy. Let the whole body relax and jiggle. Good. A few more moments. Good. And then stop and relax the effort. Notice the sensation through the body. Notice how you feel. I notice where you can soften through the eyes, through the jaw, through the hands. Right? So as you find yourself moving through more complicated shapes and backbends, the play is can you find and reference this quality of ease through the sense organs, through the eyes, through the body, in addition to the breath. Okay? It's just something to play with in your homework as you move through the practices. So if you only have time for one thing, you might try the shimmy. Incorporate that into your daily routine and see how it feels. Right? So this concludes our course together. I sincerely enjoyed being with you on this journey. I hope you have found this useful and that you start to explore bringing it into your daily life. Notice how it feels. So stay close. I'd love to hear from you. And after 20 years of exploring yoga, I still feel like a beginner. So I hope that the magic of yoga continues to reveal itself forever. Namaste.


Jenny S
Loved this course! After 23 years of yoga, I too feel like a “beginner”, which is why I enjoy level 1 so much. There’s always something new to learn. To me the magic of yoga is the journey 💥✨💫☀️
Alana Mitnick
Hi Jenny! Thank you for sharing! Yes, this is exactly it... one breath at a time. You are an inspiration. xoA
Carole J
I did all of the practices and find I am now practicing everyday, even when I went on vacation. It's easy, because it's on my phone! Thanks for making this an easy challenge for me!!!
Alana Mitnick
Fantastic news Carole! What wonderful habit to start. :) Stay with it and keep me posted along the way! xoA
1 person likes this.
Loving every minute
Alana Mitnick
Wonderful, Karen ! This warms my heart. Stay close and keep me posted on your Yoga journey. Best wishes and love, Alana 
Bridgid M
1 person likes this.
Thank You Alana for the Wonderful Journey! ~ Bridgid
Alana Mitnick
Bridgid, Thank you for joining me in Yoga! So delighted to be on this journey together. Enjoy! Love, Alana 

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