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Season 1 - Episode 8

Looking From the 3 Centers

15 min - Practice


Together, we find out what it feels like to look at another from our three different centers—the belly, heart, and head. We also explore what it feels like to be seen from these centers. Our lesson is slow, deliberate, systematic, and meant to be practiced along with us in real time. So find a partner and drop in. We suggest pausing the video before switching roles to allow adequate time to share your experiences with each other. Becoming comfortable speaking from the subtle realm is one of the key skills of a yoga teacher.
What You'll Need: Partner

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So, in this lesson, we're really going to start to dial into noticing the differences between these three instruments of perception. What it feels like to look from the lower belly, from the heart, from the head, and also what it feels like to be looked at from the belly, from the heart, from the head. We're going to be very systematic in this approach. You do need a partner for this. Absolutely essential to the practice of yoga is to be willing to be in relationship.

So at this moment, if you don't have a friend to practice with, pause, go find one, bring them back. I'm grateful that I have my good friend Alana with me. So step one, find a way that you can sit and face each other comfortably. So if sitting on the floor is not comfortable, sit up in chairs. Make sure you're comfortable.

So if sitting up on something would be useful, do that because your discomfort will come through. Second step is this exit route safe touch. Alana, if at any point you want out of this experiment, please say stop. Here at any point, if you'd like out of this experiment, just say stop. So in this first round, and we're going to be doing it twice because we'll be switching rules.

So in this experiment, Alana is going to be the innocent bystander and I'm the looker. In the role of innocent bystander, Alana is not going to specifically do anything. She's not trying to move her awareness around in her centers or try to stay grounded or try to stay in her heart. Her job is to simply observe what happens in her as I practice observing. I hope that makes sense.

So before you begin with your partner, establish who's doing what because some confusion can arise there. Both of you now, big deliberate inhale and exhale let it happen. If you're the looker, your eyes are down to help you ground. Alana's eyes are at eye line level. So I'm the looker and so my job is to really get grounded and so all those skills we've been practicing so far this season, soft in the pelvic floor, drop down in the low belly and really, really wait, like let your exhale feel plunged, like really wait so that you're really in the belly.

And then only once you really feel like you're there, then slowly maintaining your attention in the belly, you will let your gaze lift to find your partner's eyes. So you're doing your best to look at your partner from your lower belly. And like just notice the quality of what you see from your belly and if you're the one being seen, like notice how it feels to be seen from the belly. And now generally move your awareness, if you're the looker, move your awareness up into your heart. So usually you kind of end up rooting into your sit bones a little bit to do that and now like maintaining your awareness at your heart, so really like hold your awareness at the heart region and look from your heart and like really notice what it feels like to see from your heart and notice what it feels like to be seen from the heart.

And now if you're the looker, lookers move your awareness like move your juju, your prana up into the region of your head. Okay, so now like really like move your awareness up into your head and now look from your head and so notice what it, notice what might happen, like notice how you may or may not see differently. Imagine being observed, notice what it's like to be seen from this region. Okay now lookers, deliberate inhale and exhale, do your best to bring your awareness back into the belly. Can you ground again, nice, okay both of you, deliberate inhale, exhale everything and now the request is that you share with each other and if you're not sure what I mean it's like this, so Alana what did you notice during that experiment?

I felt when you were in the belly looking from the belly I felt just a soft open energy and when you were looking from the heart it felt more, I noticed my breath around the heart and around the chest and it felt expansive and full and I noticed from the head there was a moment where I didn't feel seen. Wow, yeah and so from my witnessing like when I'm in my belly looking at Alana I feel this infinite patience like and she can do anything, there's like everything's fine. When I'm looking from my heart the temptation is to kind of want to even go towards her like I can feel the sense of like and when I'm looking at her from this region I start to notice all these details like I notice how her left and right eye are different like my mind just starts to like pinpoint on all these little details like that are not really her. Now that may or may not have been your experience you know and so we just wanted to share ours in this moment so that you could compare contrast like yes that was the same or it was different and we'd love to hear what your experience is right this is how we create a dialogue of this now so that the second person doesn't get gypped we're going to switch roles and do it again so do it along with us so this time I'm going to be the innocent bystander and Alana is going to be the looker but I'm going to still guide it okay okay so you've switched roles big deliberate inhale and exhale let all happen and so if you're the innocent bystander you're just comfortable and your your eyes are just held at what will eventually be eye level with your partner and looker the stage one is really ground so whatever you need to do with your breath with the floor of the pelvis with your being until you really feel like you're held there down in the belly I'm like wait for it and then once you have it you'll let your head lift and your eyes open and you will look from the belly noticing what it feels like to see from the belly noticing what it feels like to be seen from the belly and then if you're ready is the looker now make an effort to bring your prana your life force your attention up to the region of your heart sometimes you'll find that you'll sit up a little straighter to do that now look from your heart it's like it's as if the set you're perceiving from your heart notice how it feels to be seen from the heart notice how it feels to see from the heart if you're the looker as you're ready move your attention your more of your life force up into your head region and now look more from the region of the head and feel what it feels like to be perceived from this region feel what you notice when perceiving from here okay and then if you're the looker make an effort to go back down into your belly so find your skills of grounding ground back down in there and look one more time from the belly okay get out of there big deliberate inhale exhale everything and so what I observed when Alana was looking at me from her belly it was like this ocean it felt like this ocean of acceptance it just felt like I felt like I belonged and when she came up into her heart I doubt you could see it at home but she got this watery beautiful kind of compassionate joy in her eyes and then I could feel that in my being and it almost hurt when she went up into her head it was like almost painful I'm sort of sitting here being looked at from the head wanting to be like so I almost cheated and got us out early because it hurts so bad what what was your experience how would you share your well I noticed in my belly like my belly just got fuller like it felt really full and quiet and calm my heart I felt this burning sensation it's like a watery burning overflowing love for you and then up in my mind it felt kind of painful and disconnected like there's no body just a head so we're trying to share our experience in the interest of being transparent and vulnerable and just give an example of how you might share and to be able to judge your experience off of something sometimes helps one of the things that happens a lot in this experiment when we've done this with groups of people is sometimes people notice that they just follow along with the person observing so if you're the innocent bystander there's a sense of whoa like if somebody's going up into their heart and up into the head it's hard not to just go with them we're naturally empathetic we're naturally doing what the other person is doing so in our next episode thank you by the way for being here for this one in our next episode we're going to play with being in not opposition but with the person observing staying grounded and seeing how that works out love.


Lydia Zamorano
omg I love you both so much. Thank you for sharing.
Kira Sloane

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