This episode is part of a course.
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Season 1 - Episode 3

3 Centers of Perception

10 min - Practice


We begin to establish our relationship with three distinct centers of perception: our lower belly, our heart, and our head. We then start to experiment with seeing from each of these centers, noticing the differences in our quality of perception. You'll need a yoga block or other surface upon which to step up on. You do not need a partner for this lesson.
What You'll Need: Block


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Thanks for being here. Our first lesson has two primary purposes. To start to establish the three centers of perception, which we'll be studying throughout the rest of this season, as well as start to establish how you might look from these centers. These three centers, particularly the low belly, the heart, and the head. And thank you, Alana, for being here to help.

So step one, you'll want to have a brick or something you can step up on, because step one is grounding. So find your brick, place it in about the center of your mat, and then bring your left foot up onto that brick. Find a spot for your eyes to rest on the horizon, and as you're ready, gently on an inhale, step up on the brick. Let your right foot lift up off the floor, and then step back down, keeping your left foot on the brick. Keep your left foot on the brick, step up, keep your left foot on the brick, and step down.

Again, keep your left foot on the brick, and step up. This time, stay here. And start to see if you can establish a rooting down through the left foot a little bit. See if you can feel a firming of your left leg without a grip. Nice! Keep your left foot on the brick and step down.

And then keep your left foot on the brick, and step up. time again press down through the left foot like really get a sense of rooting firm your left leg and can you start to feel a sense of letting your heart brighten so can you start to get a sense of rooting through the foot and how that affects up through your heart beautiful keep the left foot on the brick step down one more time and then keep the left foot on the brick step up beautiful root down through that foot feel the firming in your left leg allow your heart to blossom and now start to play with tuning the alignment of your skull a little bit more so see if it makes sense to widen the base of your skull right around the the region of your occiput let your upper soft palate dome uh-huh see if you can establish a widening through the crown of the head yes beautiful now gently and carefully step down stand on both feet behind the brick feet about hip distance apart big deliberate inhale exhale let a happen let your knees soften a little bit let your sit bones relax and see if you can start to feel a sense of of grounding down through that left leg can you let your awareness really run down through that left leg towards your left foot and some of you might even notice a sense of your left foot going beyond the earth along is nodding like record this record this beautiful really nice work now let's do that on the other side so as you're ready you'll bring your right foot up on that brick stand on the other side of you find a spot to catch your eyes on the horizon and then as you're ready inhale step up keep the right foot on the brick and step down keep the right foot on the brick and step up beautiful keep the right foot on the brick step down and this time as you step up this time just like the other side get a sense of rooting down into the right foot like get a sense of of pressing down into the right foot get a a sense of firming the right leg, like establish this. You don't really have to worry too much what your left hip is doing, you might even it out but it's okay if it's not even. Now keep your right foot on the brick, step down, keep your right foot on the brick and step up. This time root down through the foot, feel your ability to firm the leg, so pretty, and they'll start to establish the relationship between your foot and your heart. So feel how as you root down through the right foot, you can brighten the region of your heart center, like feel the relationship, like as we root we bloom. Yes, beautiful, keep your right foot on the brick and step down, keep your right foot on the brick and step up again, and this time feel the firmness, yes, feel the brightening in the heart, and now start to align your skull so that the neck tension is not so necessary, so beautiful. Let the base of the skull widen, upper palate domes a bit, so there's more quality of blue sky. Beautiful, gently and tenderly and with care, step down off the brick, stand behind the brick, feet about hip distance apart, and yes, big deliberate inhale and exhale, let all happen, and let your knees soften, and can you really start to feel this sense of grounding, like can you feel where the breath is in the lower belly perhaps, and you'll know that you really started to trust the earth underneath you, the ground underneath you, when the breath kind of is almost hanging out at the bottom of the exhale, there's almost a sense of that it's it's just almost like you're at the bottom of the pool. Now we learn so well through opposites, so in order to establish what this grounded feeling is, let's do what is somewhat its opposite, so the request now is press so much down through the feet that your heart jacks up a little bit, like as if somebody just commanded you to stand up straight, okay, so you're pressing down through the feet, you're letting your heart jack up like you're overdoing it, and see if you notice where your attention goes, as it goes up into the center of the heart, do you maybe notice how the breath might start to kind of get stuck up at the top of the inhale, you can sometimes even sense a little bit of anxiety here, a little bit of like tension and stress, yeah, okay nice, so stop that big deliberate inhale, exhale, let all happen, get grounded again, so soften the knees a little bit, yes, and and there's even a quality of like a little bit of a dumpy butt, like let the sit bones drop, yes, and and see if you can really get a sense of going back down into that lower belly, and so now this is not as easy as it sounds, can you maintain that sense of grounding and just press into the feet enough to feel your heart begin to brighten, feel the back of the heart widen, and you'll know you're finding a more even relationship when the breath is equal, when there's an equal sama same between the inhale and the exhale, and as you start to let your skull align, base of the skull wide and and and you let the upper soft palate open, yes, as opposed to making the stance happen, there's a listening quality, you'll get a little feedback in the sacrum region, a little feedback in the base of the skull, but it's the breath, it's the evenness of breath that we're looking for, does that make sense? Beautiful, okay, inhale here, exhale, let yourself fall into a forward bend, uttanasana to relax for a few moments and drop the head, nice, okay, only as you're ready, let the knees bend, chin into the chest and roll back up, feel the belly and feel the heart and feel the throat and feel the face, sweet, now we're gonna play a little bit, now that we've kind of tuned these centers a little bit, we're just gonna play with letting the eyes connect to them, so again establish your grounded stance, feet about hip distance apart, big delivered inhale and exhale, let it happen and ground, like let yourself feel like and even look down at the earth to establish this connection, and now here's the request, can you keep your awareness at the low belly, so it's like keep your attention, your prana, keep your focal point here, so that as you so slowly start to allow your head to lift and you let your eyes find a spot to focus on, can you have a sense that you're looking from your belly, almost like you were a little sub putting its little eye up above the water, now keep your eyes on what it is you're focusing on, keep your eyes on this and can you press into your feet enough to bring more up into your heart, so not trying to be even so much like we were earlier but kind of just trying to really look from the heart, so it's almost like your heart has the eyes, so you're looking from your heart, like notice what might have changed in what you see, really nice and now see if this makes sense, keep your eyes on what it is that you're looking at and can you move your awareness more up into the region of the head, so now you're really looking from this center of perception the head and just see, see if maybe things came into sharper focus or maybe a measurement dialogue started, beautiful, big deliberate inhale, exhale let it happen and let yourself go back into a forward fold uttanasana and just kind of shake that out a little bit, so as you're ready let your knees bend, chin into the chest and slow, let yourself roll all the way back up, feel the belly feel the heart, throat and face, nice, so thank you Alana for helping to demonstrate these actions, so maybe that made total sense, maybe you've got it, you got your sense of grounding, you got your sense of the heart, our next few lessons though are designed to dial a little bit more into, you know, let's really ground, you know, let's really find the heart, just to kind of really help establish these centers before we continue our lessons, love.


Lauri K
2 people like this.
I really felt rooted. Great practice. Thanks
Kira Sloane
Great to hear, Lauri!
Kate M
1 person likes this.
That felt sooooo good. I just stayed there after the video concluded, for a while. I felt grounded, but in a soft, luminous way. mmmmmmmm
Laura E F
1 person likes this.
Thanks for this course. Loving the pace and the clear instruction.
Kira Sloane
Kate, so fun to be practicing together.
Kira Sloane
Laura, wonderful to see you here.

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