(ocean waves) So this brings us to the sense of touch. Now according to the Yogis, the hands are the motor organ of the heart chakra known as the anahata. The skin is the sense organ. Now in the interest of understanding a little bit about how the heart works, lets just touch a little bit into our list of yamas. So one of our key yamas is aparigraha.
Now aparigraha gets defined as non grasping. And this is really the call of the heart and the hands. So often we speak about the mind holding on to things, but really it's the heart that refuses to let go, so tight is her grip. And so when we think about opening the heart, we're creating a sense of spaciousness, we're being able to touch more, become more sensitive. Absolutely key, right?
Isn't trying to make more room by getting bigger. Absolutely key is letting go what no longer serves us. So in this practice what we'll do is we'll try to tune this relationship between the anahata and the hands. And we'll set up and sequence towards the posture that usually gets named wheel. The sanscript name is usually urdva dhanurasana, upward bone pose.
As we sequence towards wheel, if wheel is not really your cup of tea, its not really the medicine for you, once we land there if bridge pose or camel, or another back bend would make more sense, please feel welcome to find what works for you. Okay? Okay. We'll start standing, move through our sequence, and then we'll finish together in a meditation. So start on your mat or whatever surface you might be on.
Feet about hip distance apart. Big deliberate inhale, exhale at a (breath), and soften. And like we've been playing with for a long time now, let yourself feel grounded. Okay? Because as we've been talking about we use tension as a way of feeling held, okay, as a way of feeling known.
And if we can trust a little bit more into the possibility that we are already supported, we're already held, it's much easier to have the experience of letting things go. Press into the feet enough to feel the heart begin to bloom, and as the heart begins to bloom let her feel both generous and receptive. And tune towards the alignment of the skull, where the mind feels light. And we'll begin with the pattern that most of you know by now, okay? You will swamp monster and hallelujah, let your elbows bend.
Inhale here, and as you exhale let the shoulders roll and round forward. So you feel yourself big across the back of the body. And then as you inhale, let the shoulders roll back, so you'll feel the elbows draw under, and you'll feel the shoulder blades become altars for your heart. Okay, exhale, get round, and if you really wanna get into it, you bend the knees, you draw the sit bones under and you really reach the arms forward. And as you inhale, you roll the pelvis a little bit forward.
You let the elbows drop back. The shoulder blades become altars for your heart. Awesome, one more. Exhale, get round. Inhale, shoulders roll back, elbows drop.
Super nice. Let the arms come back down along your side, inhale, squeeze your shoulders up and around the ears, exhale, drop. Inhale roll the shoulders up and around the ears, exhale, drop. Let's get a little bit more room. Put your arms out to the side, rotate your shoulders swamp monster style, let the hands come behind you, interlace your fingers behind you.
Okay, with your fingers interlacing behind you, wiggle one shoulder back and down, wiggle the other shoulder back and down. Those go behind, inhale. Exhale, bend the knees, chest find your thighs. As you bend the knees and the chest find your thighs let your head drop. Roll the little bit weight into the balls of the feet.
Let your arms come up over the top of your head. Dangle your head and neck. Nice. Let the hands come back tothe hips. Let the hands come down towards the Earth.
Bend your knees like you're sitting in a chair. As you sit down in that chair, curl your sit bones under, reach your arms into the center of the room. Soften the elbows. Stay low in the legs as you inhale your arms up towards the sky. Little bit of enthusiasm through the fingertips, inhale here.
Exhale, press into the feet and come all the way up. Super nice. Inhale, squeeze your shoulders up and around the ears, exhale, drop. Inhale, roll your shoulders up and around the ears, exhale drop. One more time like that.
Put your arms out to the side. Soften the elbows. Rotate your shoulders forward. Once you have that, bring your hands behind you funny knuckle on top. So it feels like you have someone else's hands there as you wiggle your shoulders back and down.
Heels of the palms might come towards each other. Inhale here, exhale, bend the knees. Chest finds the thighs, head drops. Some of you keep knees a little bit more bent so the hamstrings aren't really a part of it. Some of you roll the weight into the balls of the feet, let your arms reach out and over.
Super nice. Let the hands come back to the hips. Let the hands come down toward the Earth. Bend your knees like you're sitting in a chair. Stay low in the legs, hip bones draw under, reach your arms into the center of the room.
Soften the elbows, shoulders back and down. Yeah. Stay low in the legs, reach your arms up. Tune onto the fingertips. Inhale here, exhale, press into the feet, come all the way up.
Nice. Inhale, squeeze. Exhale, drop. Inhale, squeeze. Exhale, drop.
Beautiful. Now that you have a little bit of warmth, and a little bit of opening, let's tune a little bit more into this connection from the heart to the hands. So one thing that's kinda nice is if you make your fingertips into like a little (sound effect), and you just begin to tap slightly on the heart. And I'm sorry, just to be more specific, I'm not actually on my physical heart, I'm more in the center where the breastbone sits, more on what the yogis call the spiritual heart. Okay, this isn't so easy if you have one of these sports bras creating like a uniboob, but if you happen to not have one of those it's a little easier to find your breastbone.
(laughs) Okay. Now, for most of you this is deep enough, okay? Especially if you work with some heart mischief, okay, meaning like excessive palpitations, don't go beyond this. But some of you it'll feel good to kinda find little like kitty paw fists. Okay, and you find that little kitty paw fist, and as you find that little kitty paw fist your gonna start to pump a little bit more.
Gentle of course. Okay, some of you might be more inclined to have both fists. And what really feels good and especially if you're home alone, it feels so good to be like aaaahhhhh. Like, let it get loud. If I get it too loud this microphone will freak out, but you can really let it get loud.
Yeah, couple more moments, and then stop. And as you stop, let your arms relax down along your sides and then let them come out and like feel that warmth. Spread the toes wide, soften the elbows, shoulders roll back and down, and reach. And feel, I can reach through the pinky, middle, ring, index, thumb, like really feel your ability to extend. Okay, now we've done this a lot, so some of you aren't new to this.
Flex the fingertips, turn the hands, and re-reach. And what I like to do ever so often is bend my knees, soften my elbows, soften my shoulders, and then press. This is good training for making our way to wheel. Turn the fingertips and stretch through the tops of the wrists. This is also good preparation for a wheel.
Beautiful. Release your fingertips back up, turn the fingertips behind you, and reach. Yeah, super nice. Now turn the fingertips down towards the Earth, pull the fingertips in, and re-extend. And again, I like to bend the knees a little bit, soften the shoulders, and then press into the Earth, and reach out through the hands.
Yeah. Curl the fingertips in again, swan head stretch again. Super pretty. Now release the fingertips back up towards the sky, soften the elbows, re-extend. And now from here spread the toes a little bit, let the elbows bend, let the hands turn toward each other.
Soften the jaw, soften the eyes. The eyes might close or look down. And as the hands start to come towards each other, sometimes you can catch this gentle force. This natural flow from the heart out through the hands. It's not always available, but when it is it's so sweet.
And the play here as you might become more sensitive to this, let it become fascinating. And the play here is to start to notice that there are many things that we're touching and are touching us, and they're not always obvious. Yeah. Beautiful. Beautiful.
Now stay tuned, stay tuned to this, okay? Spread the toes wide. Stay tuned to this quality in your hands, and now find hallelujah arms again. Let your elbows draw under. Find your shoulder blades back and down.
What happens as we find hallelujah arms is the pelvis sometimes will go kind of over forward. So you got a little (breath). Sit bones getting heavy and low back widening. Now draw your elbows in front of your shoulders. And turn your palms forward and then flex your hands.
And just see if you can have a sense of just shoulders rolling back and down. Okay, and you're flexing your hands. Now you're very much, okay, with your hands kind of in line with your head, this is very similar to the positioning of your arms before you press up into wheel. You might also recognize it as the position of shavasana two, head stand two. So see if you can have a sense of wrapping the shoulders back and down.
Inhale here, and then so slowly start to press up through the heels of the palms. Slowly start to reach up through the heels of the palms. So now you're literally pressing up into wheel. Like this. Beautiful.
Inhale here. Exhale, release the arms. Rotate the shoulders forward like we've already been doing. Interlace, wiggle. Inhale here, exhale forward.
Fold chest to the thighs, head drops, reach the arms over. Let the hands come back. Let them come towards the Earth. Bend the knees, sit down in the chair, curl the sit bones under, reach. Stay low in the legs.
Inhale, lengthen. Exhale, press into the feet, come all the way up. Okay, inhale, squeeze. Exhale, drop. Inhale, squeeze.
Exhale, drop. Now I'm gonna repeat that. I'd like to introduce one little extra detail that'll probably be helpful. Okay, tune the quality in your hands. And just notice like, there she is.
The truth is more sensitivity towards the subtle makes the subtle not so subtle (laughs). Okay, hallelujah, elbows under. Draw the elbows forward. Now keep the elbows where they are as you bring your hands to press together. Okay so my elbows are staying where they are, the shoulders are wrapping back and down, the hands are pressing together.
And now you press, we've done this in other episodes, you press. Okay, and you're creating a contraction in these outer pecks, it's a little bit like an old fashioned 1950's bust exercise. Press. Okay, now you maintain that sense of press, right? So you maintain that sense of contraction.
As you allow the hands to separate again, keep the shoulders wrapping and flex the hands. So now the extra detail here is as the shoulders are wrapping back and the elbows are squeezing, you can feel this little bit of contraction here. Now maintain that as you inhale. And as you exhale with the shoulders rolling back and down, start to press up through the heels of the palms. Nice.
Lengthen. Beautiful. Inhale here. Exhale, release the arms. Rotate the shoulders forward one more time here.
Interlace, wiggle. Inhale, exhale. Knees bend, chest finds the thighs, let your arms reach up out and over. Let the hands come back to the hips. Let them find their way down towards the Earth.
And then one more time (yoga term) and then knees bend, sit down in your chair, reach your arms forward. Soften the elbows. Nice. Inhale here, exhale stretch the arms up. Inhale here, exhale out, press into the feet.
Ccome all the way up. Nice. Inhale, squeeze. Exhale, drop. Inhale, squeeze.
Exhale, drop. Okay, so we're on our journey toward wheel, right? We've got some opening up through the chest. We've got an understanding in the arms. We've got a sense of pushing into the feet, right, from our Utkatasana.
So the last piece now is a little bit more opening through the thighs. So what we'll do now is we'll move into just a very simple sequence of a few lunge salutes. And then we'll make our way toward the Earth. Okay. Come toward the top of your mat.
Now we're gonna be putting our knee down on the floor. So if you're practicing on a hard surface and some padding might be nice, this would be an awesome time to find your padding. Okay, feet about hip distance apart. Spread the toes. Big deliberate inhale.
An exhale let (breath), and soften. And you have these skills now, right? The reason these series are progressive is so we can reference these skills. You can relax down through the belly, you can feel grounded. From that grounded place you root just enough til you feel that generous receptivity of the heart and find the alignment of your skull.
And as your elbows relax and your shoulders roll back and down, you can remember the quality in your hands. Yes. Beautiful. Beautiful. Hands find each other at the center of the heart.
And the beeja, beeja means seed. The beeja sound of the heart chakra is rumored to be yum. So let's try chanting that. The sound of yum. Let your awareness rest in the heart, tune your palms.
Let your hands find each. Clearing breath, deliberate inhale. Exhale everything. And then inhale. Yummmmmmm.
Hold the hands at the heart, inhale. Exhale, press your hands towards the Earth. Inhale, circle your arms open. And exhale, swan dive forward, knees might soften, fold down over your legs. Let an inhale create a half arch.
Let an exhale step your right foot back as your left knee bends. Come into the shape of the lunge, we go back through. Curl the sit bone under, let that right knee find the Earth. Okay, you might introduce yourself a little bit, inhale draw back a little bit, exhale sink in. Do that a few times until you've got acclimatized to the situation.
Inhale draw back. Exhale sink in. And today I'm finding that I wanna widen my front a little bit, like I'm just finding that a slightly wider stance is feeling better. K? Now feel free to simply work here, drawing that sit bone under letting the opening happening.
The play, if appropriate, is to bring the hands up onto the front knee, and now back off. Now remember when we were finding hallelujah arms standing. So find hallelujah arms. Let the elbows relax, shoulder blades draw under, and now draw the elbows toward each other, turn the forward and flex the hands up. Okay, so shoulders are back and down, elbows are squeezing toward each other, soften the jaw, kind in the eyes, tune the hands a little bit.
And as you're ready now start to draw that right sit bone under as you slowly start to press the heels of your palms up. And as you do this, right, like pretty much 75% of you is in wheel pose. Lengthening. Okay, couple more beats. Nice.
Inhale here. Exhale, hands come back down around the front left foot. Lift up through the back right leg and as you feel ready step back downward facing dog. Okay, high up onto the balls of the feet, wiggle back through there, get long. Now root through that left foot.
Let an inhale lift your right leg high, and as you exhale float your right foot forward between your hands. Wiggle back through there. Curl the sit bone under, knee down to the Earth. Okay, introduce yourself, inhale, draw back a little bit. Exhale sink in.
And then I'm finding it's the same on this side too for me. I just wanna toe heel this right foot out a little bit more today. Sink in. Inhale back off. Exhale sink in.
If you would prefer to stay low, stay low. If it would feel okay, hands come up onto that front right knee. You back off, so you come out of the munchiness. Okay, as you feel stable, you let your arms find hallelujah so you get a sense of the shoulder blades drawing under, elbows drawing under. You draw your elbows in front of you.
Turn your palms forward, flex your hands. You might feel that little squeeze. And then time it so that you're drawing your sit bone, that left sit bone under, as you're pressing up through the heels of the palms. So there's a simultaneous physiological connection between those actions. Shoulders drawing back and down, reaching up through the heels of the palms, and now tenderize your hands a little bit.
Awesome. Inhale here, exhale hands come back down around that front right foot. Lift up and through the back leg, now kind of rock and roll step forward. Inhale half arch, exhale forward fold Utkatasana. Bend the knees like you're sitting in that chair.
Curl the sit bones under, reach the arms out in front of you, easy in the shoulders keep it low. And the legs let just the arms lift, reach. Inhale here, press into the feet, come all the way up. Nice. Moving through that one more time just to make sure we've got it.
Big deliberate inhale, exhale let a (breath) and soften. Get good at feeling supported. Okay, otherwise like we've been talking about, we create our own support by crunching up. Press into the feet, feel your heart. Feel you sit bone, find the alignment of your skull.
Tune your hands. Nice. Hands find each other at the heart. And as you're ready, inhale. Exhale, press.
Inhale, open. Exhale, swan dive forward. Inhale, half arch. Exhale, left foot steps back as the right knee bends. Curl the sit bone under, knee down to the Earth.
Stay low if you prefer, otherwise hand up onto that front right knee, back off. Let your arms find the action of the hallelujah. Elbows in front. Turn the palms back. Coordinate the effort slow, pressing up through the heels of the palms as you sink in.
Lengthen. Reach a little bit back up through that heel. Gorgeous. Inhale here. Exhale, hands lands, lift up through the back of the left leg, step back, downward facing dog.
Root through the right foot, left leg lifts high. Exhale, left foot floats between your hands. Wiggle wiggle. Back through that right heel, curl the sit bone under, knee down to the Earth. Stay low if it's better.
Otherwise hands up onto the front knee, back off. Hallelujah. Elbows draw in. Flex the hands. Coordinate the timing.
Feel the sit bones draw under as you reach the heels of the palms up. Feel the relationship, stretch back through the heel. Yeah, tenderize the hands. Beautiful. Inhale here, exhale hands come back down, lift up through the back of the right leg, we'll find our way back, downward facing dog one last time.
Lengthen. Super. In child's pose, drop your knees down, hips come back to the heels. Snuggle in. It might feel nice to let your arms come down along your side, face down to the Earth, and rest.
When you're ready, chin into the chest, and slowly let yourself roll back up. Feel the belly, feel the heart, feel the throat and the face. Sweet. Let's find our way onto our backs. I like to roll back down like this.
See how I'm just reaching my arms out and slowly rolling back down like this, just feels nice. Okay. Draw the heels in line with the chest. Sorry, that's not true at all. Draw the heels in line with the sit bones.
Spread the toes wide. Reach your arms up over the top of your head. Now pretty much, we've already done wheel, like 75% of it. The only last piece is letting the hands press us up, okay? So step one here, big deliberate inhale, exhale everything.
Feel how you can kind of organize your shoulders back and down your spine. Step two, feel how when you draw your elbows up to the sky and turn your fingertips under, you're in that same sort of shape that we've been doing. Okay, so feel the shoulders draw back, and then feel the elbows squeeze toward each other. Now most people, especially if you're a guy and you have broader shoulders, most people find, that having the hands a little wider in the beginning helps. Okay, but most of you it'll feel fine to have them in close to the shoulders.
Okay, so this is the position. So before we even play with coming up, just sort of get a sense of what it's like. Big deliberate inhale, exhale everything, and feel from your heart into your hands. Let your hands feel more sensitive. And then from that sensitivity, begin to just gently push, but you're not pushing up, you're just sort of pushing into the floor, and then simultaneously pushing into the feet.
So I'm pushing into my hands, I'm pushing in the feet, I'm not coming up, but just get a sense of this. Soften the jaw, kind in the eyes, easy in the forehead. Like just get used to this. This is a really weird awkward position. Okay, give yourself a break.
Inhale, arms up to the sky, exhale, arms come down along your side, and hug your knees into the chest. Okay. Now there's many ways to come up into wheel as there are people coming up into wheel, so as we explore this, if it isn't your method, go ahead and find your own method, okay? Or slip into a bridge pose instead. Okay, heels in line with the sit bones, arms up over the top of the head.
Big deliberate inhale, exhale everything, let a (breath). Lean a little to one side and shnuggle that opposite shoulder underneath. Lean a little to the other, shnuggle that shoulder underneath. Spread the toes wide. Set your arms up, elbows come to the sky, turn your hands under.
Find the placement that's gonna work for you. Shoulders draw back and down. Now we inhale here, as you exhale let the hands be sensitive. Start to press into the hands, start to press into the feet, draw your hips up. For some of you right here is the awesomest bestest place to stay.
Some of you are gonna inhale again as you exhale, you're gonna press into the feet, press into the hands, and you're gonna lift up. I like to come up on the balls of my feet because it feels good, it doesn't feel good for everyone. Root through the hands, and then you can kind of walk your feet in a little bit if that feels good. Heels might get heavy. Soft in the hands.
So you're pressing, but you're sensitive. A few moments. Inhale here, exhale up onto the balls of the feet, let the elbows bend. Slow, slow, slow, roll it on back down. Upper back, mid back, low back, hips, heels.
And here's where it really gets good. Widen the feet a little bit, let the knees fall together. Softly let the palms turn up, and slip into the resulting sauce (laughs). I mean post back bend's like hot pancakes off the griddle. And you're like the butter.
Like don't loose this, like don't rush this one. It's so nice. And so if you're smart, you'll detain here (laughs). If you're a little greedy, and you suffer like most of us, from a sense that more is better, you'll do another. (laughs) And I'll help you tap that addiction.
But for most of you like blah, right here is like awesome. Awesome sauce. If it would be nice to do another or if somebody on the video screen is telling you to, let the heels come in line with the sit bones, spread the toes. Reach your arms up over the top of the head. Lean to one side side, shnuggle that shoulder.
So I'm leaning to the left and shnuggling the right shoulder then lean to the right shnuggle the left shoulder. Shnuggle, check. Inhale here, exhale, press into the feet, let the sit bones draw under. Now just kind of pause here, such a nice place to pause. You get this sense of like rooting through the feet, all of the big toes kind of a wiggle a little higher.
Shnuggle the shoulder blades under a little bit more, and as you pause here you might be like, it's pretty nice here, okay? So some of you might hang here. Some of you it's gonna feel good to let the elbows bend, flip the hands under. Okay, find the right spot. Now remember the actions, shoulder blades drawing under like that little hallelujah action, draw in the elbows toward each other, and before you press up, can you remember the connection from the heart to the hands.
And as you remember that connection inhale. And on exhale press into the hands and the feet and come up. Wobble a little bit. Shoulders drawing up and under, and play. Sometimes you're gonna wanna press your hips up a little higher, sometimes not.
Sometimes it's gonna feel good to walk your feet in a little bit. Sometimes it's gonna feel good to let the heels get heavy. Nice. When you feel like you've had enough you bend the elbows, come up onto the balls of the feet, start to lower on back down. Upper back, mid back, low back.
Release your feet wide, let your knees fall together, elbows bend, palms turn up, and then like pwah. Our teacher calls this cosmic rest pose. This is where the action is. Like see if you can sense that like pwah, massiveness. From the relief in the heart.
And literally the relief of coming out of the back bend. Like coming into that sense of pwah. Okay, like tender in the palms. Like really really give yourself time here. So nice.
Yeah. Notice the quality in your lips, notice the quality in your eyes. Make the adjustments, if you're not catching that flavor of the cosmos between your heart and your hands make some adjustments. The hands are how so many of us do our heart's work in the world. Shh, okay.
Now please please, if you wanna hang here longer, by all means you have my blessings on that one. Okay, only only only if it's started to dim a little bit and it's time to give your back a release, then you'll let your knees come into the chest, and you'll start to wobble. Now, our plan is to roll up and to allow ourselves into a forward fold. And then into a seated meditation. At this moment you might know that a different plan is happening, okay.
If this is one of those moments where you're like aw, I wanna do something else, then go ahead and do it. Okay, but this is our plan, cross the legs, inhale roll back, exhale roll up. And again, you find the forward fold that works for you. Somehow (yoga term) has my name on it today. So I'm letting the legs go straight.
You might prefer Badhakonasana or upavistha. Big deliberate inhale exhale let a (breath) and soften. Soften the pelvic floor, soften the, like really feel how you can relax down through the pelvic floor, particularly that front mudra. And just notice, if you let yourself wobble a little side to side as you come into your forward fold. Whoops, if you let yourself wobble as you come into your forward fold heel, you'll just find more room.
So for some of you this might feel pretty good. I'm gonna, this time what would feel nice to me today is to let the elbows bend, palms turn up, and actually kind of find more like the 1960's style forward fold. So I'm actually gonna let my back round more. Okay, so instead of a big flat back extension, I'm gonna actually draw my sit bones under a little bit even. I'm gonna let my head dangle towards my knees.
Because if I want to stretch my back, I've got to round my back. Nice. Okay, again, you might prefer to hold your feet and lengthen forward. These postures are like any fashion, they change. (laughs) Some of us get stuck in a particular era.
You might be here longer. Just depends how much medicine or counter pose your back needs. But when you're ready chin will come into your chest and you'll roll back up. Feel the belly, and feel the heart, and feel the throat, and the face. Nice.
And now find your way into a comfortable seat. So if that means finding a blanket to sit on or a chair to sit on or something else, do that. Shnuggle in. Okay, big deliberate inhale, exhale everything. So, (breath) back bends are wonderful preparation for meditation.
Okay, 'cause one of the usual consequences of seated meditation is falling asleep. And so the back bend because of it's actual energizing slightly stressful quality, okay, it helps one stay awake. So most likely you can feel the space around your heart. Align the mind. And as you let the shoulders roll back and down and your elbows bend, try this today, let your palms turn up.
Now remember the sensitivity in your hands. And actually we'll start with the left hand. Let the left hand feel so open and soft. Tender. As the left hand feels so open and soft and tender, let the whole left arm, be aware of the whole left arm.
Can you touch the feeling of what seems like breath? And as you touch the feeling of what seems like breath, start to let your awareness encompass the left lung. And as we've talked many times, the left lung that tenderly receives the heart. Offers of that space to the physical heart, and the heart graciously accepts. Like just be aware of the left lung wrapped around the heart.
And just in the interest of tuning some of the relationship, can you be aware of where the physical heart is, and can you just move it around as a little bit more central. More of the region of the breastbone and become more aware of where the yogis say the anahata, the more energetic heart sits. Okay, the roots center rests in the T7, like back behind the should blades, it's usually pointed at T78. And the flower in the breastbone region. And now stay with her, keep an eye on her, as you bring your awareness into your right palm.
Tender tender tender in the right palm. And keep an eye on that sense of that region of the breastbone as you soften the right palm. Be aware of the feeling of the arm like breath. Be aware of the right lung. And now be aware of the center of the anahata, the lungs, the arms, the hands.
Just be aware of this mechanism of receptivity and really embrace. And just really like, back to this word aparigraha, non grasping. And you let the quality in your hands be even softer. Like this quality of letting go. Few more moments.
Beautiful. Little softer in the belly, little softer in the jaw, kinder in the eyes. Last few moments here. And then as we've been doing in the last few episodes if you would like to be here longer please be here longer. Thank you for your practice, your willingness, your intention.