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Season 2 - Episode 6

Touching Inspiration and Worry

20 min - Practice
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Kira and Alana guides us through an experiment with the breath—holding both inspiration and worry. As yogi scientists, we share and discover the results. You will need a partner for this experiment.
What You'll Need: Partner

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So we'll continue our exploration of the breath and how she responds to us with our friends. So thank you Alana for being here. Make sure you have a friend. So as we begin, it's very similar to our last lesson but with a few extra details. Step one, Alana, if at any time you want out of this experiment just say stop. Step two, if you're the breath holder, tune your hands. Both of you can take a moment to ground. So big deliberate inhale, exhale, let it happen. And then only once your hands have communicated that you're ready, that you're here, only once you feel that internal green light, then with your partner's permission you'll move in closer and you'll bring your hands around to where you imagine his or her diaphragm to be, about that fifth rib like we explored in the last episode. Give enough pressure so that he or she knows you're there. How's that feel? And check in, make sure you're in the right spot. And then start out as we did before. Just like give yourself some time to get comfortable so if you're the supporter, you're not working quite so hard. Your hands are at a comfortable spot.

And if you're the breather, your eyes can be closed if that helps. And just letting your breath find your partner's hands. Just start out here, let yourself be at quote-unquote neutral for a little bit so that you have a baseline for your experiment. And then the breathing partner, so in this case Alana, only as you're ready and only as it feels safe to do so, begin to find your mantra at the base of the inhale. And both of you observe.

A couple more moments. And then as you're ready, gently relax your hands. And then check in and share and so we'll do that. What did you notice? I found, so the mantra became spaciousness and I felt the breath just move even higher and wider in my rib cage. Yeah, I actually was surprised at how inspired my breath became. It was like I couldn't help but get kind of on your ride. It was like, whoa! And yes, because as we discovered in season one, you're such a naturally grounded person and your breath tends to stay lower.

And we were sort of talking about how your collarbones didn't move so much. This was like, this is like a volcano of like excitement. Nice. Okay, so switch roles. So here at any time in this experiment, if you want out, just say stop. Thank you. And then partner that's now going to be the breath holder. You're going to tune your hands. Like really make sure you're there. This is just, it's respectful. I mean to touch another's breath is...

And then only as you feel like you're there, you'll find your partner's diaphragm. Snuggle in with with firmness. You know, actually you can squeeze, you can just take sperm, you can squeeze as hard as you can. Like you can squeeze quite hard and the rib cage is a good solid support structure. Does it feel like it's in the right spot? Perfect. And then just begin with neutral. So partner that's the breathing partner. Just let your eyes close maybe so you're really inward. Partner that's the supporter. Maybe eyes fall at your partner's collarbones. And start at neutral so that you have a base.

And then partner that's the breathing partner. Only as you feel ready and inspired to do so, you'll begin to insert your mantra into the breath. Okay. Both of you are observing. A few more moments. And then gently relaxing the experiment. Release your hands gently. And so I noticed that it was like my word is freedom.

And for me it was just like I couldn't even really contain the breath. I felt like it could go on forever. And something about having you there as my witness helped even more. It made it more real. It was like no this is really happening because I have a witness. Does that make sense? Did you have any observations? I felt this incredible amount of strength in your being and in your body. This inner strength. And it felt like you were grounded and just continuing to expand. First off the wheel of samskara right here in yoga anytime. So you know share and discover one of the benefits of having a friend to share these things with is that you start to establish this language of deliberate verified faith that these things work. Because if you were only practicing on your own it's sometimes difficult to communicate what's happening. So we're going to take it a step further. The second part of this episode is way more vulnerable and way more difficult because we're going to go back into the experiment of holding. But this time instead of asking Alana or you at home to move into your inspiration I'm going to invite you to be in your worry. And this is way more vulnerable because we don't like to reveal our worry to others so other so much. But trust me on this. This is this is part of how we help each other okay. This is part of how we know the effects of worry for real. Okay so same idea face each other Alana. And this is extra important in this experiment if at any time you want out just say stop.

And then if you're the breast supporter you tune your hands. And if you're the breather and you're already starting to be nervous about going into your worry let yourself ground. So big deliberate inhale. Exhale let all happen. So as the breast supporter I wait until my hands are tuned and then once they're tuned I come in again. I find where I imagine her diaphragm to be. And don't think that just because you've touched the diaphragm once you know where it is. Okay this is part of establishing safety is to be willing to check in and find out does this feel right this time little see there we go. Okay and then you'll start with neutrals. So step one is just again establish what the neutral spot is essentially the controlled experiment. Partner that's the supporter relax your unnecessary tension. Hopefully by now you're getting more comfortable with the experiment.

Partner that's breathing you're reaching your breath into your partner's hands without trying to overdo it. And then if you're in Alana's role if you're in the quote unquote the breathing role okay maybe with the eyes closed does it feel safe to do so and only as it feels safe to do so. Begin to move into your favorite latest worry or fear. Partner that's observing just observe. You're observing your partner as well as you.

Okay now stay in the position but get out of that worry so if you're in Alana's position start to breathe deeper again use your partner's hands to help. Use your mantra to help just start to ground back out of that like let the breath and your mantra and your sense of support around you help. Okay and then gently as you're ready relax the experiment let your hands fall from your partner. I'm gonna share first because what I experienced as you went into your worry it was like first of all you were just gone like I didn't even know where you were your breath got so shallow it was like it was like you got vacant almost and then I was really surprised how much my neck started to hurt like the tension up in my occiput was so like wow it was like so amazing and then as you came back and as you grounded it was like oh there's my friend again yeah what did you notice? Well I noticed that my breath in the beginning was like hardly there like I didn't even really I couldn't even breathe and then it was the breath was random like erratic and I would go into this quiet not breathing space and then I'd get anxious and the breath would kind of move up into your hands and then just kind of shrivel back down like so there was a struggle it was like either shrinking or struggling. It wasn't rhythmic it was just like really erratic and yeah every so often there would be like almost a gasp for air was sort of how it felt yeah wow so maybe that was a similar experience that you had maybe you had something different again like help us know what you're coming across we're in this we're in this data collection together so just switch roles other person goes now so here at any point any moment if you went out of this experiment just say stop okay and then tune your hands if you're the new breathing supporter ground both of you ground especially if you're about to be the breather sometimes there can be anxiety about the anxiety you're dedicating yourself to yogi research and as you both feel ready step in you find your hands around your partner's diaphragm and does that feel like it's in the right a little just a tad lower feels better on me yeah thank you and then start neutral so partner that's the breather start neutral so that there's a baseline partner that's the supporter you have your hands there you're grounded you're watching the collarbones if that's a good spot and then breathing partner only as you're ready you're going to let yourself go into your worry all those of you are observing just a few more moments okay and now keep your hands there as your partner tries to bring him herself back so use the relationship of your partner's hands to come back use your mantra and wait until you're really back and then as you're ready you can release your hands do you want to share first what you observed your breath it felt like your breath just disappeared for for like the first half of the experiment i was like are you okay and then the breath came like just in your upper chest and i felt this like almost like a panting kind of a lift rather than like the wide breath in the beginning and at the end of the experiment that interesting yeah what did you notice something i really noticed is is referencing back to our season one where we were really playing with the instruments of perception is i don't know that i'd ever really gotten so much that all the worry is in here like it's not in my body does that make sense like i could really feel like i was like up here and yeah i could feel myself just gone and it's not so easy to so deliberately make yourself worry you know because you know better um that was really helpful and it was so helpful to have your hands when i was asked to come back or say oh i feel there's somebody here there's support here i don't have to hold this yeah so thank you like i i hope we hope so much you have someone in your life um a yogi friend or a loved one who's willing to play in these realms with you because we tend to think of worry as a way of helping you know especially when we're worrying for others and yet when you really start to feel what that worry does to the breath to the body to the mind of the heart it becomes less and less compelling of solution um again though this this isn't trying to tell you what to do it's record the data for yourself so you make the decisions that work best for you okay let us know love


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