Yoga for Trauma Artwork
Season 2 - Episode 8

Listening In

60 min - Practice
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Description

Kyra guides us through a gentle practice designed to help us develop a kinder and more tender relationship with our inner self. With the support of props, we tune into the subtle wisdom of our inner organs. You will feel held and aware.
What You'll Need: Mat, Wall, Blanket, Block (2)

Transcript

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Namaste, I'm so glad you're here. This is a really special practice to me, and it's designed to help you help us develop a deeper, more tender, kind relationship with our inner self. It can stir some things up, so I just want to remind you, as with any of the other practices here or anywhere else you do your yoga practice, make sure you're listening to your needs. Pause when you need to pause. If you start to tune into sensations and it begins to feel overwhelming, want you to stop, hit pause, you can always come back.

This work is never going to be there. And always remember, you have options. You always have options. Eyes can be open, eyes can be closed, you can sit up, you can adjust, and I'm going to recommend that you actually check into the other really short, effective practices in this season that can help support you if you do tend to feel a little bit overwhelmed or triggered by this practice or any of the others. So now, going in, really take a moment to arrive here, notice that we're on the mat on this journey together, and I want you to see if you can take a breath in and clear it out.

And we'll do that one more time, just a deep breath in, health, nourishment, well-being for our highest good, and clear it out. So we'll come on to the back now, and if being on your back is not comfortable, that's completely okay. I'm going to give you an option for sitting up. You might also, because we're going to be doing some breathing into the lower body, take a blanket or a pillow, works fine as well, and just place it across your lap, and you might have your hands here, and this will give you just a little resistance or awareness of your mind for the area of the body to breathe in. We can also use the blanket when we come down onto the back.

So now adjust down, have your blanket next to you, and we'll take a full-body stretch. So if you're sitting up, just press the sitting bones down and reach your arms up, if you're on the floor, lengthen the soles of the feet away from the palms of the hands. Allow the breath to flow in and out as naturally as it can, and you may lengthen through your left side a little bit more. Press through the left sole of the foot and the left arm, and then return to your center, and then go through the right side. Press through the right sole of the foot and the right palm, breathing in and out, and back to the center, release.

Now for the next one, legs can either be straight or bent. Consider bringing your blanket across the hips or the lower belly for this. Place the hands where they're most comfortable for you, it might be over the blanket, it might be on the heart, and just start to become familiar with how your body is right now. What's supporting the back? Becoming aware of all points of your body that are meeting the earth, and again, reminding yourself and getting connected into the reality that you have 6,000 miles of earth underneath you.

Tuning into these subtle sensations, something might be spreading, something might be getting a little bit heavier, you might notice some energy through the legs or the arms, just really tracking through this whole practice what this inner interoception or information that the body has that's sending to the brain, what that's all about right now. You can have the option of this next one, actually bringing the backs of your hands underneath you, it's probably towards the low back ribs and the small of the back area, having the hands support your back. Now if that bothers the shoulders, it's not necessary, you can just release the arms. But sense the pressure of your own hands against the back body. You might here also begin to visualize hands that you really love and trust, that's very important that you not only love those hands, but you trust those hands and imagine those hands supporting your back in the same way.

So really just cupping the kidneys in the adrenals here, I'm going to move my hands back to the blanket and just work with the visualized experience of hands holding the kidneys in the adrenals, but if it helps to keep your mind's awareness in that part of the body, keep your hands there. Looking down enough to notice what it's like or how you could imagine it being like to have warm, trusted, supporting hands just holding your kidneys. The kidneys do so much to filter out toxins from your system to process the tremendous amount of fluid and energy that goes through you every single minute of every single day, and on top of those kidneys are little hat-like beans of the adrenals. Of course we know that with trauma our adrenals are working overtime and can actually get depleted from working too much. So again, bring your mind's awareness, this visualization, back to the idea of really being held and supported in your low back of warm, trusted hands.

You might sense just the right amount of pressure against your lower back body and how the connective tissue along the edges of your body around those organs and glands start to possibly settle, get a little heavier into these imagined hands. As you notice the back body beginning to release, beginning to settle, beginning to trust the support of those imagined hands, you might also notice the response through the rest of the system. Is your heart calming? How's the breathing? Even if it's shallow, just notice if it's there.

You might sense the weight of your own system against the earth. And then really tuning in on purpose with attention, with kindness and compassion and starting to have a dialogue with this part of the body that might be releasing. You might ask the adrenals or ask the kidney area, if you could talk, what would you say right now? What is it that you need, this part of the body that's probably had to work so incredibly hard for you? And again, this isn't asking the mind to tell a specific story or to figure anything out.

It's really just listening to the wisdom of your inner organs, of detoxification, of fight and flight, that give you that inherent sense of safety, what they need to know or they need to tell you. And slowing down enough to listen. If your mind starts to check out as you go into this area, it's completely normal. Just be aware like, oh, I'm checking out. And if possible, open the eyes, if they're closed, come on back.

If the heart starts to race as you get into this area, again, open the eyes. Do the orienting that we've talked about in the other episodes. Just one more moment, really listening as the lower back area that's so deeply connected to, at least in yoga philosophy of the first chakra, that's connected to the understanding of your worth and your safety in this world, of your belonging in this world. And you might even breathe some compassionate light, awareness and kindness to this part of the body. Then one more time, consciously bring the breath down into your lower back body and exhale, nice, and we'll begin to move from here.

So you might consider moving the blanket over to the side now and walking the feet a little closer in, we'll reach the right leg up towards the ceiling. And notice as you do this, your lower back and around the kidneys may actually depress further into the earth, giving you a sense more of stability. And just bend and stretch three times, that's it, bending and stretch three times. And on the third one, lengthen the leg up and catch where you can catch. Some of you might be able to reach your big toe, great, do it, some of you might be holding behind the knee, but allow the hips to settle down into the earth, press the top thigh forward ever so slightly, and lengthen up through the back heel, taking three more cycles of your breath.

And if you've finished before me, feel free to lower the leg. Tracking any sensation here, what's tight, what feels good about this, notice if you're pushing a little bit too far into sensation where it starts to become pain, in which case you always have the option to back off, and then set the leg down. Let's go to the left, send the left leg up, and again, notice that lower back, did it move into the earth? Three times, bending and stretching, bending and stretching, giving some information to your back body that, yep, we're moving. And hold behind, hold where you can feel most comfortable holding.

Your shoulders are lifting off the earth and your head's all tense, you're probably in too deep, so let the hands release down a little bit so the shoulders can soften. And notice that as you get into the sensation of the back of your leg, what is it? Is it tingling, is it fiery, can you still breathe as you feel intensity? Now, you may not feel anything at all, and that's okay too. What's it like to not feel anything?

Can you still breathe and not feel anything? Last one, and lowering down. And now let's just bring a little bit more circulation into the lower back. So we'll pull the knees in, and just do three circles with your knees on the ceiling. The lower back can take on so much strain when we're dealing with excess trauma or chronic stress.

So making sure we bring some circulation, some kindness, some compassion to it. And then lower the feet down. I'm going to bring the legs a little bit wider, and your hands can be either still on your center or maybe lifting them up into cactus arms. Breathe as wide as the mat, and then we'll drop the knees towards your right, allow your hip to lift a little bit, and then we'll go over to the left. Now, if you want to hang out a little longer in either side, of course go ahead.

But as we get into more circulation, hopefully more breath and awareness of our lower bodies, we also want to remember that we're not only working with our bodies that are present in this age, at this moment, but our bodies that have been every age we've ever experienced. So our little ones and what they experienced are a part of this practice as well. Our teenagers and what they experienced are with us cellularly in the muscles and the tissues and the patterns with us as well. Don't worry, they're not running the show. You are.

But just their experiences, so reminding yourself of how you might treat a young one, right? Particularly yourself, so if you can visualize your younger self throughout this practice from time to time and remind him or her that you got this and that you're breathing and that you're in a different space, yeah, great. So now onto the lower back, just doing little arches and flatten the back to the floor. So little arches in the low back, oh yeah, the spine can move and press down. Take that two more times, anchoring into the earth.

One more, great. Now take the right knee into the chest, interlace your fingers around the shin and send your left leg straight down. If this bothers the lower back at all, feel free to re-bend that left knee. Good deep breath in and extend on the exhale, change sides. Now I am cueing with breath.

If that tends to trigger you or make you feel uncomfortable, ignore me and just go into the physical movements. And then changing sides one more time. Right. But now as you bring the knee maybe to a little bit of the outside edge of your right ribs, you'll find that there's a bit more compression into the space. I want you to see if you could imagine your lungs being transplanted right down into this lower area that is actually a little bit more compressed.

And let those imagined lungs take two or three cycles of breath. Right. So what we're doing here is actually working with the digestion and change sides and elimination track, which is a part of your enteric nervous system. And we'll breathe again, imagining the lungs into this compressed space, knees slightly to the outside edge of the left ribs or hips, but draw it in. And the enteric nervous system sends information from the guts, from every part of your digestive process, the beginning and the mouth all the way down to the elimination track.

It sends information about how this tissue is experiencing the world, right? Up to the brain. So if your gut is feeling funny, if your digestion's off, this is the system that's telling your brain what's happening. Good. One more time, right into this area.

This is important because with trauma, our guts tend to shut down first as the fight and flight system takes over, as the adrenals plump, and we'll change sides one more time. Giving more energy and circulation and power to the arms and the legs in order to flee or fight a situation, which means that the digestive track, the gut information gets tighter. Yeah. Good. All right.

Both knees in. Place the feet down. So now we're going to shift more into the deeper lower belly core muscles, right? Reminding us to have a sense of agency and support from inside out. I'm actually going to bring the blanket back onto my hips.

And what we'll do is bring the heels directly underneath the knees. I want you to elongate the arms alongside of the body for a moment, just so you can readjust your shoulders, bringing the shoulder blades more underneath you and let the lower belly move down towards the floor so the low back can be long. Now push the feet into the earth like mad, like you're trying to make imprints, almost like imprints into sand. Direct the tailbone towards the knees and we'll lift the hips up, not to a full bridge, but to a half bridge. I'm also pressing my arms into the earth.

And now lower back down one vertebrae at a time. We're going to do this again, but instead of having the hands on the floor, you might consider putting your hands over your hip bones. So press the feet into earth, draw the tailbone towards the knees, and at the same time, bringing the hip bones towards your face. Now we're only lifting about halfway up. I'm going to walk the feet a little closer together.

And now give your hips a little bit of pressure. And I want your hips to resist the gravity and resist the pressure. Can you still breathe here? Can you still stay compassionate, kind, courageous in this? Either take a rest, take a few breaths and come back in, or press the left heel into the earth a little bit more, keeping your hips as stable and balanced as possible and stretch the right leg out.

We'll take two cycles, notice any shaking, it might be a sign of transformation and strengthening, and then place the foot down, lower the hips. Notice what you notice about that experience. You might find more heat or awareness in the back of that lower leg. And let's do that again. Lower back, moves towards the ground, drawing the abdominals in, press the heels, lift the hips halfway.

Shoulder backs of the shoulders are pressing into earth, and you're pressing the hands into hips, hips into hands, a little resistance. Now into this whole space of the lower pelvis and the abdominals, send some breath and awareness. Right heel pushes into earth and trying to keep the hips as balanced as possible as opposed to dropping one side, really extend the left heel, left foot, leg. You can lift it a little bit higher if that helps. Take one more breath here, stabilizing down through the right leg.

Notice anything about this experience that might feel strong or in the process of cultivating strength and then lower the leg, come on down. Yeah, and just check that out. And while you might notice a little bit more life or vibrancy in the lower body, you also might notice something opening up in the upper body. How's your jaw? Does it feel clenched or is there blood flowing through?

Upper back, neck. I'm going to move the blanket away so you can see this, but you can also keep it on for yourself at home if it's working for you. We'll draw the right knee in, and now we're going to interlace fingers behind the thigh. Try to bring the knee directly over your hip, so not really close to the ribs and not beyond, just about a 90 degree angle to the hip. Now flex the foot and start to press that top foot forward as you drop the hips down and keep the shoulders connected to the earth.

Okay, so just notice this pressure here. In the last exercise, we tried to stabilize the hips, keeping the right and left side balanced. Do the same thing in this practice if possible. We're going to extend left leg out now. You can keep it on the ground.

Start to really press through the ball of the foot. On your exhale, the next option is to lift your head and your heart up. If you need extra support, of course, bring your hand to the base of the skull. Let the head release a little bit as your center muscles are holding you. Press through the ball of the foot and maybe lift it up into the air and then keep this same energy as you reach the hands.

Five, four, three, two, one, down. Lower. Let the head turn side to side. So remember, you can pause and work at any part or any stage of this exercise. Interlace the fingers around the back of the left thigh.

Again, bring a right angle from the knee to the hip. Press the foot away as you draw the shoulders back. Draw the lower belly down. Notice if you're breathing. There's a lot of cues here.

Yeah, just what's feeling stable, if anything, this might be a great place to stay. If you are feeling stable and kind of organized, extend the right leg. Press through the ball of the foot. Draw the navel towards the earth and you may consider lifting your head and your heart. Again, having a little extra support of the hands at the base of the skull is completely fine but keep the energy of the foot pressing forward, the ball of the right foot pressing forward and then maybe float it off the ground and you'll hold here.

This time I'm going to bring the hands to the base of the skull. Three, two, one, knees in. Hands down, stretch the legs up. Good. We'll flex and point the toes a few times.

Flex and point. Maybe some ankle circles. Some ankle circles. Great. And if the hamstrings or the backs of the legs are very tight, it's okay to bend the knees fine but keeping awareness of this lower body or what we're really working into is kind of second chakra area.

Keep the lower back down into the earth as you move the feet slightly away from the face. As soon as the belly starts to kind of turn on, you feel a little bit of the stomach start to engage. Pause there. We'll just be here for five more counts. Four, resting when you need to rest.

Remember, this is all about taking care of yourself. Two, one, and then lower down. Do a few of those windshield wipers again, just side to side. Turn up some of that energy. Make sure that there's circulation down into the lower body and bring your hands somewhere onto your lower body.

Again, it may be more comfortable to place a blanket or a pillow over this area. We'll spend just a few moments allowing it to do nothing now. This general culture, at least I'm speaking from a Western culture in California, there's a lot of pressure on what this area of the body looks like, how either big or small it may be, and see if you can just take some of the pressure, take some of the judgment off of this area and just allow it to do what it does. Allow it to breathe and listen. In fact, if you could imagine just shrinking yourself down into a tiny micro-self and going deep down into your lower belly, into your back body, into the tissue, so this might involve the reproductive organs, sexual organs, the tissue of the legs, the guts, the digestion, and really just going around and looking and like, what is the tissue like in here?

What is the breath like in here? Where is there still pain here? And also, where is there health? And again, at any time, if this feels overwhelming, open the eyes, feel free to sit up, feel free to press pause. And at any time, remind yourself that you are here, that there is kindness and well-being.

And Mary Oliver, the poet said, you do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for 100 miles through the desert repenting. You just have to love what the soft animal of your body loves. Just have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves and just check out what does the softness and the space love at this moment? What does it need to tell you at this moment?

You may not be able to give it exactly what it needs, but you can hear it. You can hear it, you can not judge it, you can show up for it again and again and remind yourself that you will be here. Nice. And now before we leave this area and move up to more of the center, what's considered the manipura, the jeweled center of ourselves, I want you to bring in a quality of light, a quality of light that may evoke a sense of healing and well-being in your mind's eye and breathe it down all below your hands, breathe it into your hips, breathe it into the low back, breathe it into the internal tissue and organs as well as the more exterior tissue and skin and clear it out as you exhale. Great.

Bring the feet a little closer to your hips, lift your hips up an inch and you'll slide them towards your right, place the hips down, draw the knees into the chest and we'll let the knees fall over to the left side. We'll open up the arms and do any adjustment you might need here in order to keep your spine elongated. I usually have to kind of scoot my upper back up. If this is feeling tender on your back, you can also place a blanket, you might fold it in half again and place the blanket between the knees. Keep the arms open, you'll draw the right arm across, turn the palm up and you might notice that I'm keeping my head pretty heavy onto the earth.

Inhaling here with your exhale, peel the arm across the body and let it open. One more time, allow your back, allow your hips, your upper body to roll with this and exhaling to open. You're bringing the right hand now onto the flank side of your right torso and just two or three cycles of breath here. Really where the liver is, where the gallbladder is, kindness, compassion for everything it's had to digest, for all the physical materials, recreational or prescription drugs, food, energy of people, conversations, thoughts that have had to move through your body and be digested, just breathing in health and nourishment and well-being, thanking it. And on the exhale, release and come on back to center.

We'll slide the hips to the center again, lift them up one inch, slide them towards the left, draw the knees in, drop your knees over towards your left and again take a moment to adjust. If the neck feels tweaky, move the head around and then we'll inhale the left arm across. Consider turning the palm to the ceiling and allowing the head to be heavy. Exhaling to open. One more time, reaching, allowing the upper body to kind of open and exhale.

Great, pause here. Bring your left hand now to the left flank. This is more of the spleen side, more of the heart side, the descending colon side. So in all ways, toxic stress, challenging situations, trauma have impacted or asked your body to work extra hard to keep you present, to keep you functioning. You might just take a couple of breaths into the space.

Offer some gratitude for all the work it does. Offer some acknowledgement and say, hey, I'm here and listen to any information that might be coming back at you. Spend some more time here, in which case, pause this practice and spend some more time here. But if you're ready to move on, let's roll back to the center. Move the hips over to the middle.

We're going to stretch the legs now and finally, finally get off our back and roll over onto your belly. Take the hands a bit wider, almost shoulder in line with the shoulders, up onto the fingertips. Roll the shoulder heads back, engage the legs and lift the lower belly that you spent so much time with today. Just lift up and lower down. You might move the hands in a bit closer, roll the shoulders back and one more time.

Like, oh yeah, open up that whole middle body. Now bring the elbows directly underneath the shoulders. We'll interlace the fingers and press the forearms down into earth. Curl toes under and to start with, push into the forearms and lift up onto the knees. Now I'm directing my tailbone down towards my heels, seeing if I can imagine a light in the center of the chest reaching forward and taking another breath or two.

You can stay here or extend the heels back, five, four, release whenever you need, two or come down now, one. Take the feet a little bit wider apart, turn your head to one side. Notice if you can sense the breath of the belly breathing into earth and the rebound into the back body. Bring the hands under the shoulders here, press back into your child's pose. If putting the head down is not comfortable for mind or body, feel free to just rest the head into the hands or come up onto your knees.

Otherwise, we'll take a few moments just right here. Allow the head to release, allow gravity to help smooth out the low back and again, you're back into the kidneys and the adrenals. Now let's just continue this evolution and come on up. As your spine is upright, this might be a great moment to just practice that orienting. So the orienting, gently looking around, letting your eyes find what they find and also being aware of your inner experience.

Are the joints, they open tight, how's the heart rate? Once you really check in and be like, oh yeah, I'm locating myself here in this moment as best I can, then we're going to get our blocks out. Place the blocks if you're going to use them towards the front of the mat and come into taking the hands about shoulder distance apart, spreading the palms, curl the toes and lift the hips for an optional downward facing dog. If you'd rather skip this, this is a nice option instead to sit back onto the heels and just rest for a moment. If you are coming into downward dog, bend the knees for a moment and stretch the hips away from the hands.

Draw the outer arms in towards the face as you elongate the head towards the hands. You might bend the right knee and then the left knee. But we've done so much work into the lower body, from the legs to the lower pelvis to the gut area. We've turned up a lot of, I guess a lot of potentially stuck energy, if you will. And so what I want you to think of right now is just getting rid of some of that crap.

So we'll take a deep breath in and on your exhale open your tongue and send out a little lion's breath. One more. And then we'll walk to the front of the mat. Place the blocks in whatever position works best for you, unlocking the knees, letting the lower back be long so it might be the small way or the higher way. I'm going to go the middle route.

So lengthening, bowing as you lift the thighs, rising up to standing, press the feet into earth. Allow the tailbone to descend and come on down. Find that potent posture and then breathe the arms up. Flat back forward full. Halfway elongate your spine.

Maybe hands on the blocks here, step the right leg back and we'll keep it about hip bone distance apart. Bring your left hand to the thigh, draw the thigh forward and draw the left hip back at the same time. Take a long inhale. On your exhale start to twist your body towards your left. If you can stay here with the hand on the thigh or reach that left arm forward like you're shaking a hand, lift it all the way up towards out of the shoulder socket, towards the sky, hugging the outer thighs in towards the middle and then allowing yourself to twist from your center.

Is there something that's working right now that doesn't need to be like maybe your eyebrows or your face? And then exhale, release the hand back down to the block. We'll spin the back foot to your right heel onto the earth and generally now it's bisecting the front, if you were to draw a line, the back arch would be bisecting the front heel. Come on all the way back up, warrior two. Knee in line with second and third toes, so gently drawing the inner thigh back, bring the forearm to the thigh, press the forearm down so there's more energy in it.

Firm up overhead from the outside edge of your foot through the fingertips, notice the edges of yourself. Consider that you are a conduit of energy right now and what's it like to have blood flowing through you, breath flowing through you and capacity. Great, and then lower down, turn into the runner's lunge, step to the front, inhale halfway, bow the body, exhale. Lengthening your spine, left foot steps back, hip bone distance apart to stay onto the ball of the back foot and again, right hand to the thigh, draw the thigh forward and the hip back at the same time. Now the inner thighs are drawing towards each other and the spine gets long.

If you'd like to, reach the right arm forward as you twist and all the way up out of the shoulder socket. You might imagine pressing into an imaginary wall with that top arm and leaning back into another imaginary wall of support behind you. How's your breath here? Yeah, are there any areas that are getting a little tense that don't need to be like your neck? And then releasing the hand down, spin the back heel to the earth and you may need to slide it over so it's in line with the front heel and then rise up Virabhadrasana II or warrior II.

You might actually accentuate the energy in the arms or the energy in the legs here. Draw the right hip down and ever so slightly back as you bring the top arm alongside of the ear. And again, noticing if there is anything inside of this movement at this time that feels strong or has the potential for strength. Last cycle of breath and then release. Step all the way up, breathing in, bowing, breathing out, rising to standing, breathing in and breathing out.

Find your center, might be hand on heart, hand on belly and just notice for two breaths what's it like to have evolved up to standing? Yeah. All right. So we'll move the props out of the way and come to your center. And now I want you to really take a moment to track what's happening inside.

There might be a lot of bubbling happening. There might be a surge of flow, warmth, expansion, your heart rate might be up. And even though this wasn't the most vigorous of sequences, your body really, especially if you are coming from more of that kind of freeze state, dissociated state, checked out state or even if you have a lot of fight and flight, your body may be actually experiencing this as a lot. So slow down enough and this might be a really good place to press pause and let your system digest. So if you are feeling grounded and steady and you can feel your feet in your present time, you're breathing, we're going to go to the next practice.

And it's really about harnessing this energy that we've cultivated inside because it isn't all about just Zen and meditating your anxiety away. That's not it at all. It's actually about having the capacity to touch into these strong sensations of your own empowerment. So we'll take the feet a little wider apart and I'm going to have you bring the hands together and interlace your fingers. And this is the action.

We'll lift up and we'll come down. Some of you may want to swing all the way down. For just like back health, I'm going to stay a little bit more upright and make sure that I'm using my core. I'm going to recommend that as well. So we'll go about six times, it'll be ha, ha, let the sound come from belly, ha, maybe from earth, ha, ha, one more, ha, and ha, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, slow it down.

I just felt a wave of like heat and warmth come up through my system. My face even wanted to like curl and gnarl, right? So there's a little extra kind of like tiger energy in there. Just notice what it is for you. And there might be even waves of flow just moving through your body as well.

That's okay. Get connected to that. Now let's move up a little bit further and do a couple of shoulder rolls. Uh-huh, yeah. So remind this part of our system.

You might make it a little bigger. You might allow these to be a little smaller. Remind this part of the system, meaning the joints of the shoulders and the neck that they don't have to be stuck even when we have big energy inside. Great. Now let's lift the arms up and bring the right arm underneath the left arm.

We're going to try to interlace fingers. This doesn't work for you. You can grab a forearm or just cross the hands to the shoulders. But we'll lift the elbows up and slide them down one more time, pulse the elbows up, slide them down and turn the head in, dropping the head. See if you can allow the head to release almost as heavy like a bowling ball and allow the back body to stretch behind the heart and the lungs.

And as you're here, you may not need to go very far in order to get some sensation, but just bring your mind's eye to the back of the heart. And just as we did in the lower body, allow yourself to really go into the tissue of the back of the heart, the back of the lungs. Notice where it's still holding its wounding, its heartbreak. And you don't have to fix it or change it, just acknowledge your own heart. Send it kindness.

With all of the strength and capacity, almost ferocity that you might have just cultivated, step into this space, this emotional space, the psychological space of your life with courage and send it kindness and compassion. And then we're going to lift up, let it go. Just shake it out. And then you have another side, but you only have two. So we can do this.

Take the left arm underneath, interlace your fingers or find the variation that works the best for you. We'll lift the elbows, lower the elbows, lift the elbows, draw the elbows down, round the upper back, let the head release. And of course, touching into heartbreak, touching into grief, disappointment, rejection, shame, vulnerability is not necessarily what you would choose to do on any given day of the week, but it's necessary because if we don't touch into the hard things and don't touch into it with attention and consciousness and compassion and kindness, those hard experiences in our life will continue to shut us down or continue to show up and react instead of respond to our life. The only way to actually heal is to learn how to touch and make a different relationship to so to yourself that's hurting, that's still here, offer it sweetness, offer it presence. And then when you're ready, rising up, letting it go, just shaking that out.

So now we're going to come to the wall. Take the feet or take your body about a foot distance away from the wall, step the leg that's closest to the wall back, make sure the feet are about hip distance themselves. And then you'll place the backhand on the wall. Now if the shoulders up to the ear, this is not going to give you a lot of relief. So I'm going to recommend bending your elbow a little bit, place the hand, let the shoulder go down the back, nice, and then start to lengthen out through the back, elbow and fingertips.

Beautiful. Okay, just breathing into that and we'll allow the outer ear to drop down towards the floor. Bring the opposite hand to the chest, to the tissue of the chest, breast tissue, tissue around the lungs, the heart, allow that to open. One more cycle as maybe you lift the lower belly at the same time, then release and go to the other side. So again, not forcing or jamming against the wall, but giving yourself actually space.

We're going to bend the elbow a little bit, allow the shoulder to be on the back and then lengthen out. Other hand on the chest like around the heart area and drop the outer ear towards the earth. This whole space is connected with the heart channel. While it is important to touch into the hard stuff and to create more tolerance for sensations that are uncomfortable, so we know that they won't rule us in the future, it's also important to bring sweetness and kindness and love into that process. So maybe offer that right here to the heart and then rising up and we're going to move down onto the floor now.

Go ahead and grab a blanket as you're ready. Now as you come back to seated, just let yourself ground here, be mindful you're back on the earth settling, allow the spine to be long at the same time as you take two or three neck circles. And again, you get to decide how intense, how small, how big these circles are and go in both directions. Simply listening to where there might be sticky spaces inside, where it feels comfortable, where it doesn't feel comfortable and adjusting as it does and then back to the center. And then for a moment we're going to work with the face which holds so much emotional energy and I don't think anybody's there with you and I promise you I can't see this but I'm with you, but I want you to just squeeze your face and make it into the silliest most ridiculous and tense and then open it, yeah, and I'll just do that one more time.

Go ahead and squeeze the muscles of the face, imagine even squeezing the inner ears, keep breathing and then let it go, opening and closing the jaw, yeah, and then we'll take our hands and just bring the thumbs onto the temples and go ahead and give your temples a little bit of a massage, maybe the first finger and middle finger rubbing around the forehead. You can spend more time with this if you'd like or keep going down to where the jaw is. I know so many of us deal with TMJ or like the tight jaw syndrome from stress and just reminding your body and your joints that you're okay and then down through the striated muscles of the neck and to the base of the skull just a little circle, beautiful, and then from the top of the head all the way down through the tailbone just imagining the breath running back up again. Being aware of the vibrant system that you are. Now we'll move to our final rest and you can do this seated of course, you might actually want the support of a wall against your back or you may lay down, make sure you give yourself enough support under your knees if you need or maybe even put a blanket over you and I'm actually going to end the practice here in legs up the wall.

You'll bring the blanket, I usually give about an inch space, inch or two between the blanket and the wall. Set your hips to the very edge of the blanket, lower down and do a little twist. Press the backs of the arms into the earth and we'll go your hips up. The arms can be out, they can be in the center, and really starting to sense again all the places of the earth coming up to support you. You might offer yourself permission to release a little bit.

You might offer yourself permission to let go, let go of having to be perfect, to let go of having to do all the time even just in the muscles. You might allow that young piece of yourself or younger pieces of yourself that travel with you all the time to also notice the experience of releasing. Allow the tongue to spread and release in the mouth, the bottom and the top row of teeth, all of the tissues of the face, outer and inner ear releasing. The whole skull and back of the head and neck releasing. Down through the arms, the elbows and to the fingertips releasing any tension that's not needed, through your torso, inner body releasing any tension that's not needed, through the legs and even the feet releasing any tension that's not needed, and then I'll be quiet and just resting into this light of your true nature.

You are welcome to stay here if you've touched into something sweet and deep and you have some time, hang, or if you're ready, you can also begin to move your fingers and your toes if you're at the wall, bring knees into chest, you'll reach the arm alongside of the ear if you're on your back or at the wall and just roll over to the side. You might take a full cycle and then pressing up to sitting, take a moment to orient, let your eyes scan your space. As you do this, be aware of whatever sensations are inside, see if you can locate anything that allows you to know that it's okay, bringing palms together and a deep breath in, letting it go. The light in me recognizes the brilliant light of you, namaste.

Comments

Jenny S
2 people like this.
My ❤️ has been feeling very broken these days. This practice felt like a little gift from the universe (and you). I feel a bit lighter and more calm now. Thank you Kyra 🙏🏻
Kyra Haglund
Sending love and good thoughts to your heart, Jenny. ❤️
Erin C
1 person likes this.
I feel great after this. Thank you!
Rachel W
1 person likes this.
I’ve been surprised at how helpful this show has been. It has become an essential component of my recovery. Thank you for making this available ❤️
Moira C
Oh dear Kyra, I am coming to the end of Season 2 of your practices. Certainly tried others BUT, your voice, your cues, your validations are what fill my mind, body and soul. Please tell me how to find Season 3 with you, only YOU! Kindly, Moira
Kyra Haglund
@moira I'm so so glad to know this is a supportive series for you!  Season 3 is in the works (should be out in a couple of months).  Looking forward to connecting more.  In the meantime, sending a huge amount of love your way.  Kyra

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