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Season 3 - Episode 2

The Nose Knows the Way

40 min - Practice


Deep inner sea diving requires immense curiosity and patience. Kira explores the link between nostril awareness and the muladhara, or root chakra, by building on the pelvic floor lesson of Season 1. She begins by introducing us to a map of the subtle anatomy. We then move through a few simple seated postures with an eye on tuning the sensitivity of nostrils to begin to touch the ida and pingala nadis, the channels of prana believed to run on the left and right channels of the spine. We then we sit together in exploration of these more subtle realms of us.
What You'll Need: Mat


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(waves crashing) So we'll begin tuning our awareness towards the nostrils. Now we've already played a little bit with this in earlier seasons, but this time, we're gonna connect it towards the Muladhara, the root chakra. So the rumor of the chakras is that each one, or at least the first five, correspond to a sense organ. And the rumor of the Muladhara is the she corresponds to the nose. Now the Muladhara is said to be located near the, sometimes you'll hear people say that it's located with the root at the tail bone and the flower at the perineum.

These always have to be possibilities. You know, we really can't take this subtle anatomy rigidly. That would defeat the purpose, okay? And just like as we've explored in earlier seasons, everybody has a different rotation of the hip joint depending on their particular shape of their femur that fits in their hip socket. It would be weird to assume that everybody has a Muladhara in exactly the same place.

Okay? So this is an exploration. The moment but we think we know something, we've stopped our learning process. Okay, in fact, that's like a quick way to end the engagement is to assume we know everything there is to know. So find a comfortable seated position because the way we'll start is we'll just start by relaxing the pelvic floor.

Again, as I mentioned in the introduction, a lot of these lessons build off earlier lessons. So if you missed the pelvic floor lesson, go back (laughs). So I'm sitting up on a blanket. My heels are in line with each other and you might have a slightly different position. And you can also do a lot of this sitting in a chair.

Snuggle in. Big deliberate inhale. Exhale everything, let a (exhales loudly) happen. Soften in the low belly. Okay, do that again.

Inhale, exhale, let a (exhales loudly) exhale, happen drop. And as you drop in the low belly, see if it makes sense. In general, I'm gonna say, let the floor of the pelvis relax. If it helps to be more specific, feel the region of the ashwini soften. Sit bones get heavy.

Feel the perineum lighter. And then feel the front mudra. For women, it's Sahajoli. For men, it's Vajroli. Feel the front mudra ease.

Now you'll know you're really doing it when the mind starts to get quiet, because to really relax the belly and relax the pelvic floor, what essentially you're doing is you're letting the prana descend. What makes these practices difficult is as the mind gets quite, if we're not used to the mind quiet, we can feel like it's boring. So quiet-tude is an acquired taste. Okay, so soften a little bit more. You really just spend some time here.

Nice. Now the play is staying wide and open here while you root just enough to feel this natural receptive generosity of the heart we've explored. Shoulders rollback and down. I like to have my palms turned up at me when I'm not using them to talk with. I like to have my palms turned up.

And then find the alignment of your skull, so she feels quite light. So there's this little spot that you'll find when the base of the skull widens. You get this slight little Jalandhara Bandha. And the neck tension is no longer necessary. Sweet.

Let your eyes close or just softly focus. Like, little fluffier in the lids. And step one, step one, just start to become aware of the little space between the lips and the nose. There's this sweet little divot, here. Start to become aware of this space.

And start to be aware of the feeling of your breath, here. Okay, just feel the warmth. And the movement of your breath. It's super nice. And then, like we've already been tuning and playing with each other on this one, just slowly move your mind, your attention, your awareness over towards the left nostril.

And as you move your mind and your awareness over towards the left nostril, just start to be aware of how the breath seems to follow. Okay? Super nice. So gently, so tenderly move your mind and your awareness over to the right nostril. Yes.

And while we're letting the breath, okay, be the main point of focus, as many of you have started to notice, the breath is just the beginning layer of what we call the prana. So, while some of you might feel it in the breath, there's a slightly deeper layer that starts to become available. Okay, gently move your mind back, over to the left nostril. And just like we've played with before, just start to become a little bit more sensitive to some of the details, how you can be aware of the back of the nostril, closer towards the face. You can be aware of the inner channel of the nostril, closer towards the septum.

You can be aware of the front channel. You can be aware of the outer channel. Okay, just a few more moments. Become more sensitive to the interior of your nostril. Okay, be right in the center.

Excellent. Let your awareness come back towards the center and then over to the other side. Okay, and so, same idea. You're just tuning, becoming more sensitive. And just see, see how you can become more aware of the back channel, interior channel, front channel, side and again, it's subtler than the breath.

It is the deeper layers of breath, start to be called, prana, life force, okay? Feel right in the middle of the nostril. Beautiful. Let your awareness gently encompass both nostrils. Let's just be quiet, here.

And if you've already achieved such a quite-tude, there's no reason to move on. What we're gonna do is just move through a very simple, easy movement sequence to see if we can stay tuned to this subtlety while other things are happening. But if you've already dropped in and it's sweet, like, hang. Okay? Nice.

If you'd like to offer yourself to a little bit of movement, what we'll do is we'll find Janusirsasana. So I'm gonna move this blanket out of a way. I'm gonna extend my left leg out to the side. Bring the right foot into the inner thigh. Now, snuggle in a little bit and this might be the perfect spot.

Some of you might be setting up on a blanket or sometimes of these, this knee doesn't quite find the earth and so, there's no major problem with that, but what happens when something doesn't feel supported, it will create its own tension. And so then you might just (clucks) support. Okay, so you just make it work for you. I'm gonna put this blanket back behind me. Janusirsasana.

Janu, head. No, sirsa, head. Janu, knee, head-to-knee pose. Give a little ju-ju through the extended leg. Let this other leg, let the hip role open of the right leg.

Hands come alongside the knee. Now, pause. Now there's an invitation of a twist, here. So just start on this left side. Start on this left side for you.

Root a little bit through the foot and just tune to the nostril of the extended leg. And as you tune to the nostril of the extended leg, like, just see if you can find out how to draw that side's sacrum back a little bit. See how you can lift up through the heart. And then tune a little bit to the hip of the knee you have bent. Okay, so maybe that's your right side.

Tune into that nostril. Okay, particularly if you tune into the outer edge of her. And for some of you and what you're working with today, this might be the perfect amount. Okay, only if it's inviting to do so, start to let your hands walk forward a little bit. But keep tuning into the play of the nostrils.

So if the leg that's extended, see if it makes sense play with breathing into the back channel of that nostril. Mhm. And of the knee that's bent and externally rotated, play with the outer channel. Now, you'll notice, classically, you'll see the posture attempting to bring the heart right over the knee. That's quite demanding in the sacrum in the back.

So let yourself go into the more natural position which is usually somewhat on the inside of the leg. Little ju-ju through the foot. Gooeyness in the heart. And because if we began any of these relationships with a sense of how they should be then it's harder to notice how they are. Okay, soften the jaw.

Peace. And then let this shape more for you So some of you might stay upright. Some of you might choose to let the elbows bend and the palms turn up. A couple of you might be inclined to let your head drop and round. Okay, we'll be here for just about another half minute or so.

Tune to the nostril's last few moments. Beautiful, now let your chin come into your chest. Roll on back up. We'll find our way into what we usually call half cow phase. Okay, so you're gonna bring this right knee on top of your left knee, okay?

Bring that foot behind you, so it's very similar as Janusirsasana. It's just asking a little bit more in the hip and it's gonna be a little bit more intense in the hamstring. So for some of you, you might stay up right as you root. Relax the floor of the pelvis again. As you relax the floor of the pelvis, you'll feel the support of the earth.

Feel the heart bloom. Tune to the nostrils of the leg that's extended. Try breathing into the back channel. Of the leg of the hip that's rotating, Try breathing a little bit into the outer channel. And so, the play here is that, yes, you're in a shape, but the exterior is not the point.

The exterior is helping you be more sensitive to the relationship. Okay. So some of you are gonna stay right here, for some of you, and the bodies you happen to be working with today, walking your hands forward makes sense. That will increase the intensity through the back of the leg. That will increase the intensity in the inner groin.

Soften the pelvic floor and particularly that front mudra. So for women, that's Sahajoli. For men, the Vajroli perineum. Snuggle in. Soften the base of the skull.

Again, for many of you, this is deep enough. You know, if you have the kind of body where it makes sense to fold forward more, then allow yourself to. Okay, last few moments. Beautiful. Chin into the chest, slow.

Let yourself roll back up. Nice, and then we'll tune one more shape on this side, just a simple spinal twist. So bring the soul of that right foot on the outside of that left knee. Snuggle in. Bring the right hand back.

Bring the left elbow around that right knee. Now root through the sit-bones. Feel your heart open, okay. Now pause here. Before you go too deep into the twist, just tune into the nostrils a little bit.

So first, on that right side, the side that you're twisting towards, let her open a little bit and like notice the inner channel. Okay, notice the outer channel. And like really let her feel expansive. Yeah. And then before you go too much deeper, tune the opposite side, that left side.

Let her open. And then the last little detail, before you begin to twist is relax the floor of the pelvis. Nice. Okay, gooey in the back of the neck. Easy in the eyes.

This, for many of you, is deep enough. For some of you, as you draw this knee in and you allow the heart to lift, like keep that, remember that alignment of the skull. Let that stay gooey. You know, it may or may not feel good to turn the head. When you're working like this quietly and this interiorly, it keeps you in a safe place because it allows you to stay in alignment with what's correct.

Now one of the temptations, I have these long arms and so the temptation, right, could be that (cracking sound effect with voice) press and jack up a little bit. I'm starting to slowly learn that that doesn't really work great (laughs). Okay, last few moments. Nice. Inhale here.

As you exhale, lead with the gaze. Let yourself unwind. Okay, now pause. Okay, the medicine of the twist is really available when you come out so you got to pause so you can sip that. Awesome.

Okay, now we're gonna find that very similar sequence on the other side. So you come back to the center. One foot draws in. Other leg extends. Okay, so now maybe it's your right leg that's extended and your left knee that's bent.

Again, remember this side is different. And so it might be appropriate, in fact, naturally, like, unless I really work this side, I have some mischief in this side. So unless I am really work it down, it really wants to be here. And so, on this side, I'm gonna place a little support underneath there. Because, again, as I've mentioned, if I say to put some support underneath you and then I never do, it makes me a liar.

Okay (laughs). Hands come alongside the knees. I like to flex my foot. You might do something different. Tune to the side of the extended leg, so tune, perhaps, to the right nostril.

Tune to the side of the extended leg and let her open. Like feel the interior to help your spine lift. Feel the exterior to help the hip drop. Feel the back channel to let the back of the leg open. Relax the pelvic floor.

And as you turn this other leg, feel, you know, in this other left knee, feel the exterior of the nostril. Yes. And for some of you and what you're working with, this is deep enough towards a forward fold today (clucks tongue). Stay right here. When you're really working interiorly, there's so much more happening and it's not as necessary to do so much.

Okay. So stay here if it's appropriate. Otherwise, you can start to come forward a little bit, and again, like a lot of the instruction alignment has the direction of (cracking sound effect with voice) kind of breaking the heart over the knee, which isn't a bad thing. It can feel really good some days. But today, I'm just suggesting to notice more where you naturally tend to go.

And most of us naturally, without adding that twist, the heart tends to come slightly to the inside of the leg. Okay, so be aware of that. It's so useful to notice where we naturally go before we start trying to do things that aren't natural. (laughs) Now tune into the nostrils. So some of you are like, maybe play on the back side of the nostril of the leg that's extended.

Maybe play a little bit more on the outer channel. Gooey in the back of the neck. This may be deep enough for some of you. If you have the kind of body that invites you to go more further forward (laughs), then allow that. Okay, but for most people, there's nothing relaxing about this.

Okay, so if you come into a spot where you feel yourself resisting, tensing, hardening, it's not working. You gotta come back a little bit. Okay, about another half minute here. And just like playing with the name of the posture, right, Janusirsasana, which actually, knee-to-head pose, but, you know, if I was really following the name, I would curl my chin in and bring my head to my knees. So some of you might actually feel like that's better for you than this lengthening.

Pause a few moments. Okay, so nice. Chin into the chest, slow, let yourself a role all the way back up and pause. And we'll make our way into that half-cow phase. Okay, so keep that extended leg extended.

Bring that back knee over and you're placing that knee on top of the other one. And it may or may not look something like this. This is an approximation of how you might look. Okay, big, deliberate, inhale. Exhale, let a (exhales loudly) happen.

Now, this is more intense in the hamstrings and the backs of the knee tendons in this leg. And it's a little bit more demanding in the hip in a different way. So remember how to relax the pelvic floor. Ashwini perineum. Sahajoli, Vajroli.

Like, let that help you kinda snuggle in. Like feel supported. And then some of you might be staying right here. Some of you might be starting to lengthen a little bit. You're tuning into the nostrils.

You're becoming, like, to work this slow a pace, to become sensitive to these details, takes time. Takes willingness. It's not so easy. So far, I can claim that I feel that it's worth it. Like, you just start to notice so much more.

I mean, truly, the purpose, here, is to increase our capacity to enjoy our life. A couple more moments, about another like, less than half a minute. Again, if it's more appropriate for you to be rounding in forward folding, then you let that happen. Maybe the head is dropping. Okay.

Okay, nice. Chin into the chest. Let yourself roll back up. Feel the belly, our throat, face. Making our way to the twist.

So I'm placing this left foot on the outside of that right leg. Snuggle in. Bring one hand behind you and wrap. Okay, now pause before you go to far into the twist. Big, deliberate inhale, exhale, let a (exhales loudly) happen.

Soften, like, (exhales loudly) Nice. Relax that pelvic floor. And start with this left side, so start with the left side. Open up through the nostril and, like, can you feel, as you're tuned to the interior of the nostril, can you feel that closer to your spine? Can you feel the exterior of the nostril to help that hip drop?

(grunts) Nice. Ah-huh, now tune a little bit to the other side, maybe that's the right side, the side of the extended leg. Let her be a part of it. Okay, let an inhale happen and just so tenderly, as you exhale, you'll begin to twist. Then you'll notice I've chosen to keep the hug as opposed to bring the arm over.

Again, just to like help resist the temptation to rush the situation. Okay, like, twisting is really one of those plays where the temptation is to go after it. There's a hunger that comes from the twist. And if you have no idea what I'm talking about then, psh, psh, psh, blow it off. Okay, throat is soft, neck is soft, eyes are kind.

You'll notice too, that I've chosen to keep my heart and my gaze more in alignment. Like, I'm choosing to not necessarily turn my head to look over my shoulder. You might feel differently. I just find that it, it helps me listen. If my threat is open, it's easier for me to listen.

Okay, softer in the pelvic floor. Easier in the jaw. Be aware of what you're doing with that back arm. If you've jacked yourself up. And all of a sudden, you'll find that you need to make a slightly bigger adjustment.

You go with that. Okay. Nice. Okay. Inhale here and as you exhale, you lead with the gaze.

You let yourself unwind. Now, bring the hands under that front knee and pause, like sit in the sauce of the twist. Nice. Good. No rush.

It's like so nice. Mhm. Okay. Now find your way back into the center. And what I'm gonna suggest is that you find yourself back into a comfortable seated position.

So I am going to bring this blanket back. And I'm choosing to sit with my heels in line with each other. Okay, you might choose differently. And the play, here, now is, what we're at tempting to do is become more sensitive to the rumored connection. Okay.

Of the nadis. From the Muladhara, up through the nostrils. We're gonna take this so slow. This is gonna be frustrating if you're in a rush. Okay, so baby, baby, baby steps.

Snuggle in. Big, deliberate inhale. Exhale, let a (exhales loudly) happen. Soften the lower belly. Relax the pelvic floor, like, can you tune to the tail bone?

Can you literally let the region of the tailbone and it helps if you really know ashwini. Can you really feel the region of the tailbone, ashwini, soften? Nice. Excellent. Excellent.

Beautiful. Heart generous, mind light, eyes closed. Your softly focused out in front of you. And we'll just, we'll start, okay, we'll start with tuning the left nostril. Okay, so, so tenderly, so gently, just let your awareness come to the left nostril and if there's no need to force the breath.

Just be aware of the breath in the left nostril. And let your imaginal realm turn on a little more, here. And without force, just start to see if you can sense the possibility, okay, of being able to draw your awareness from the nostril towards the root of you, and then back up again. Now the difficulty here is if I suggest using your breath to do that, if I suggest inhaling down towards the root and exhaling up, then the temptation is to use the breath and it really won't work (laughs). So it's a little bit more, it has to be more subtle than that.

There has to be a sense of drawing in and up and what I find is, in the beginning, most of us kind of are able to get down to like sort of a midway torso point (laughs). And then you come back up. So just start to let your mind, like, just on this left side, just like see, and I'm not telling you not to use your breath. It's just that I find that it generally results in force. It's got to be subtler than that.

Okay, a couple more moments. Just see if there's a finding of the map. These maps have been made by our yogi friends. The play is to start to notice that you're connected to the same source from where these maps have come. Nice.

Okay, relax some of the effort on this side. Rest. Tune you awareness to the other side, your right nostril. And, like, again, like, so sensitive, just see, like, just play with, like is there an awareness from the nostril down towards, towards being the operative word, the root of you. And then you come back up and out.

Okay, and most of us, when we first start doing this, most of us get lost somewhere around here. Like, it's just not quite accessible. So you just, you're just playing. Okay? You're just playing.

And, again, and you can use a sense of the breath but if you're really (inhales loudly) inhaling, exhaling, it's just, it becomes forceful and frustrating, because, you'll run out of breath because it's deeper than the breath. Good. Nice work. Okay, relax that effort. Be aware of both nostrils.

Second step, we're just gonna start to play with gently feeling the inhale through one nostril, the exhale through the other. Okay, then the inhale through the other and the exhale through the first one. We'll just see how that goes, but again, it's a little gentler than the breath. And all I can do is point to that sensation. For me to actually try to explain it, I would be shirking the experience down for you.

So snuggle in. Big, deliberate inhale. Exhale, everything's soft in the pelvic floor. And then just see, this may or may not be available, but as you tune into the left nostril, okay, as you tune into the left nostril, is there a sense of being able to, so tenderly, follow the inhale into the left nostril? And then, as you exhale, is there a sense of being able to follow the exhale through the right nostril?

And is there a sense of tenderly being able to follow the inhale through the right nostril? And follow the exhale through the left nostril. So just play with this, now, just so tenderly, again, if you're really in a intensity with the breath, it's too much. It's so, it's below that. Okay.

Nice. And, for most of you, this is deep enough. Just sort of keep this alternating current right here. Perfect. And some of you will start to experiment with, if it's correct, okay.

Next time you, so tenderly, feel what seems like the inhale through the left nostril, you'll let your awareness move down towards, okay, towards the Muladhara, and then wherever you stop, wherever you stop in the body, just gently cross over and let your awareness move back up through the right side as you exhale out through the right nostril. Does that make sense? You don't have to go all the way to the bottom. And you'll inhale through the right nostril or something like the inhale. You'll reach you're a awareness down in towards you.

Wherever it is you land, maybe it's at the heart maybe it's at the naval, (clucks) cross your awareness over to the other side and then, so tenderly, so gently, let that come back up out and through. Okay, so let's hang with this for like, you know, maybe another two minutes. You just, you're not versing. Its like, it's just like if you've ever gone deep sea diving. If you dive too far, too fast, you'll pay for it a little bit.

So you're just drawing the awareness up and down and letting the awareness move down that central, like on the side of that central channel. Some of you might be touching down towards the root. Cross over. And your gently, so tenderly, begin to experiment with coming back up. You've got to use your imagination.

Continuing, and as you really are in your imaginal realm, you'll find little unexpected twists and turns in there. You'll find that you need to go kinda this way and that way, a zigzag. Trust those. Okay, maybe about two or three more rounds, depending on your pace. Soften the mouth, easy in the jaw.

If you're forcing, it's not working. Go ahead and stop. Yeah. Now we want to finish on an exhale out through the right nostril. So whatever round you might be on, take it all the way to exhaling through the right nostril.

And then pause in the center. Feel, again, this little spot between the lips and the nose. And see if you might have a sense of, what the yogis call, the Sushumna, the Gracious Channel. Rumored to run from the region of the Muladhara up through the top of the head. And, if this has become available, let your awareness be held right in the center.

And usually what feels good after these alternate nostril play is just a few rounds of really feeling the inhale move down through the central channel towards the root and feeling the exhale move back up. Gentle though, again, more subtle than the breath. The breath is just a pointer. Let that happen a few times. I mean, really, what the yogis say the point of working the right and the left side nadis, particularly the ida and pingala, the point is to have more awareness of the Sushumna.

Okay, nice. Eventually you'll reach a point where you've done that enough, when you reach that point, where you've done that enough, when you've slipped into that sweet quiet spot, this is where you'll now rest and slip into your seated meditation. Beautiful. Be here for as long as it feels correct. So grateful to be in this together.



Heidi Fokine
Thanks Ms Sloane
Kira Sloane
1 person likes this.
~~heidi...just practiced with you the other you. xok
Heidi Fokine
My 2nd visit to the nose knows. This is magical masterful teaching. I will be back again :)
Kira S
Thank you. I experienced much more availability and ease of flow on the left side, more murkiness on the right. Will continue the gentle inquiry. :)
Kira Sloane
1 person likes this.
Lori, I love your generous sharing of results! Check in with the nostrils through the day; they change! xok
Corinne N
Hi Kira, I'm new to the site and have done a few sessions now; yours particularly resonate with me; they are so gentle, so subtly tuned in and give so much freedom and encouragement. I lay with my 10 year old daughter, her cousin and my ex husband in a spontaneous session of your Yin series last week. Thank-you
Kira Sloane
Oh Corinne, I love the image of your whole tribe together. Thank you so much for sharing. I am so glad you are here. Love, K
Sindhu S
The sahajoli mudra has the power to suppress ovulation. it should be done under supervision of a experienced teacher only only for yogis who want to be totally in spiritual does teaching that to general public help?
Emily L
Thank you for this discovering encounter.
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