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Season 1 - Episode 12

Touching from the 3 Centers

20 min - Practice
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Touching another is a great privilege. We continue to attune our 3 centers of perceptions through the practice of touch. This lesson is slow and spacious and designed to be followed with a partner in real time. We suggest pausing the video before switching roles to allow for feedback and sharing.
What You'll Need: Partner

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Let's integrate these skills of our three centers, the belly, the heart, the head, with the skill of touch. Again, you'll need a partner, and we'll start like we always do. Alana, if at any time you want out of this experiment, please say stop. Kira, at any point if you want out of this experiment, just say stop. So one partner is going to lie down, so Alana, in this case, is going to lie down.

And the other partner, who I will refer to as the toucher, needs to find a comfortable spot to sit to be able to touch your partner's ankles. So for me, it's quite comfortable to sit with my legs wide like this. This is not the case for everybody. Also put yourself up on the propage, kneel, but really do make sure you're comfortable. Otherwise all you do is transmit your uncomfortableness.

Alana, are you comfortable right now? So before touching another, we've had our safe touch, exit route dialogue. Second step is to tune your hands. So like we did in the last episode, let your palms turn up. Keep deliberate, inhale and exhale, let it happen, and ground.

So now instead of seeing from my belly, I'm endeavoring to connect the quality of touch from my belly. So ground. And can you start to feel that quality of grounding in your hands? And weight. And then only once you really have that, you're going to let your palms turn towards your partner, towards her or his ankles.

And slow, be slow about this. There's a lot of feedback on the way towards touching the ankles. And if you get close and you get the hit to not touch your partner's ankles, trust it. So I like to rest my hands so that I've got the thumbs kind of around the ankle bone. And I've got the rest of the hand kind of, it's more like tops of her feet to her ankles is where I find that I naturally go first.

But once you've got your hands there, then check in with your partner and ask if the hands feel like they're in a good spot or if your partner would like them higher or lower. Does that feel like the right spot? Is the pressure okay? And then once it's been established that you're in the right spot and the pressure's okay, then again, ground. So really let your awareness come into your belly.

So now just like you did with your eyes, you're doing with your hands. My awareness is in my belly and I'm touching from my belly. It takes a while, so give it the time it needs. And partner who's the witness, if you're in Alana's rule, you're just doing your best to notice your experience of being touched from the belly. Now partner that's touching, let your awareness move towards your heart.

So just like we did in the last exercise, let your awareness move to your heart. And so now I'm really doing my best to be in my heart with my attention and allow that to move out through the hands. Now keep your hands on your partner and now we're going to take this a step further. So as you move your awareness up into the realm of your head, it seems strange and odd and not something you would want to do, but just really let yourself go up into your head so much that you even become distracted. Like let yourself even start to think on something else, like cleaning out your fridge or what you have to do later, like it feels really strange and almost wrong, but just like let yourself do it.

So recording the data, partner who's being touched, observed. Okay now partner that's touching, get back into your belly. You might have to let it happen and go all the way back into your belly, ground. And then for the last part, if you still have it in you, because I know this inner work can be exhausting. Can you stay grounded?

Can you really be in your belly? And for the last part here, can you bring the other two centers online? So grounded, generous heart, wide open mind so that you're with, there's a presence and there's a listening. Feel your experience of touching like that and partner on the ground, notice. Okay, nice, big deliberate inhale.

Feel everything and then only as you're ready, start to lighten your intention of your hands and then slowly peel your hands off. And allow your partner who's supine to just sort of like check in for a moment and absorb the experience. And if you're the supine partner, just as you're ready, you might just roll to a side and press up. If you have data to share, share, do you have anything you'd like to share? I felt when you were touching from the belly, there was like this steadiness, it felt like this warm steady grounded energy like this blanket and that there was nothing required of me that I could just be.

And then as you moved up into your heart, the energy I felt was that there was something being asked of me. Like I was kind of drawn out of that heavy grounded weighted experience and kind of being pulled like that was interesting and then touching from the head, my experience was the pressure was a lot lighter and it was cool rather than warm and just not really there. Like I felt your presence just kind of was there and then it left. And then touching from all centers, it just, there was like this sweet feeling of being held and supported and felt very balanced. Thank you.

So again, that might not be your experience, but in these lessons, we're just trying to share how we share. So my experience was almost similar to what you were experiencing was I felt like I could get nice weight on my hands when I was touching you from my belly. And I had that same experience that there was a lot, like I couldn't, my hands were just lighter as I went up. It was like less with, you know, as I went up into my heart and my head. But as I came into the three centers, it felt like I could be there forever.

Like there was something for me with the three centers where it felt like I was no longer the one doing it. I was more like being done. So it felt like it was longer lasting, which is interesting. So the suggestion is that you'll switch roles, okay? We're going to stay in our same roles because we talked about that it would be hard for me to lead if I was supine and I might pass out.

So you switch roles. Partner who's touching now comes into the position and the other partner lies down. Repeat the safe touch exit route. So Alana, if at any point you want out of this experiment, just say stop. The reason to repeat it is because it's a new round.

So partner that's sitting, make sure that you're comfortable. This is, I happen to be comfortable like this, most people aren't, okay? Second step, ground, okay? Big deliberate inhale, exhale, let it happen and get grounded. Third step, turn your palms up.

And as you turn your palms up, like we've been practicing this by allowing your attention to come into your hands, your life force will follow, your presence will follow. So you can use the potency of the mind, the dharana, the steady attention, the concentration, the focus to bring yourself somewhere. We need that pinpointing of the mind. So you're grounded and you're grounded in your hands. So that is eventually you feel ready and you turn your hands to find your partner.

Again, I like to kind of wrap my thumb around her ankle and let the palm rest where top of her foot and her ankle meet. Once it finds the spot, give it a few moments before you ask how it is because your partner has to register it. And then check in and ask, is this a good spot? And if your partner's not sure, then you ask, could it be higher or lower, how's the pressure? And then once you've been given permission, then you ground.

So that you are touching from your belly. And partner that's touching, observe what it feels like to touch from the belly. And partner that supine, observe what it's like to be touched from the belly. Keeping your hands on your partner now, partner that's touching, move your awareness up into your heart. So now your awareness is in your heart and you're touching from the heart center.

Observe what that's like, both as the person being touched and the person touching. And now keep your hands on your partner and move your awareness up into your mind. Now you might not be allowed to do this, so if it's enough to just kind of move your awareness into your head, stay there. If it feels safe and it feels okay, really let yourself go far out, like just let yourself be distracted. Maybe it's just something in the room or maybe there's something you need to do later, just like, so you're touching while you're somewhere else, experience what that's actually like both as the person being touched and the person touching.

Okay, stop that and come on back, you might inhale and exhale, let it happen so that you ground again. Really wait till you feel grounded again, do what you need to do. Like the skill of being able to get grounded again is so useful. And now stay grounded as you start to turn on the other centers, let your heart start to turn on, let your mind start to open so that you can listen and discern and translate the cues. Grounded, generous, open, like you'll know, you'll know if you're in alignment because it'll feel cosmic, it's good that when you're in alignment it feels good.

Okay, then when you feel ready, inhale, exhale everything. Let the intention of your hands remove and then slowly remove your hands. And partner that's been touching, give your partner that supine enough time to collect and integrate his or her experience. And then eventually partner that's on the earth, you'll find your way to a side and up to a seed and you can share. Did you have anything new you wanted to share since you...

Well it's interesting, I noticed when I was similar and then when you were touching from the mind, I was just checked out. Like I was thinking about dinner and what I had to do when I got home. Great observation. Yeah. Were you able to come back?

Yeah and then I came back. So these exercises are powerful and they can be tiring. We'll talk a little bit about what this has to do with your life and yoga teaching in the next episode and we're so grateful for your joining us. Thank you, Alana.


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