Soothing the Nervous System Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 3

The Silver Thread

60 min - Practice


Draw attention back into the central channel, aligning the antennae to better manifest. Follow Kristin along a journey into the Sushumna Nadi, the energetic central channel of the body. We begin in seated meditation, tethering the awareness to the present moment. Kristin discusses the Central Nervous System, then guides us into our Yoga Nidra practice, through a body scan, mental alternate nostril breathing, and visualization of the “silver thread”. You will feel centered and recharged.

You can follow along with the Grounding Mantras at the end of each class by accessing the PDF attached below.

What You'll Need: No props needed

About This Video


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Welcome. I'm so happy you're here. Thank you for practicing with me. Once you both get started in just a minute or so, take this time to gather up all of the props and blankets and pillows and camping supplies that you might want for our seated meditation and a little bit later on our back resting yoga nidra practice. And if you're so inclined and you want to get a pad of paper and a pen to jot down some reflections throughout, you can grab that now so you can have all of that set up before we start. We'll start today by coming into the most comfortable seat that will work for you for just a few minutes. You can sit in a chair or on a piece of padding, couch cushion, pillow, folded blanket, anything that you can set up for yourself so that you can remain comfortable and tall in the spine. If you're in a chair, you can place your feet flat on the floor, maybe scoot the butt towards the edge of the chair. And once you've arranged your body, let's place the palms face down into the lap or onto the thighs. And as you're ready to do so, we'll close the eyes. Taking what sometimes feels like the considerable effort to hug the level of your attention in towards your own body. So of course, aware of the sounds around you, the things that need to get done, the things that happened earlier. But as soon as you notice yourself kind of following that thought, just tether your awareness back into your own physical body, a particular unique arrangement of your body here in this moment of now. And keeping your spine tall, just tip a little forward in your seat. So you're leaning forward and feel the front half of your body. I always have those visuals like you're turning the lights on in a dark room. So as you feel the front body brace and support and engage and hoist the body from tumbling forward, just awareness of the front half of your body.

Maybe you see it as light or warm, just awareness of the front half of your body. And then gently bring yourself back upright. And then leaning back, leaning back just a couple of inches until you feel the back half of your body start to kick in, to brace, to contract, to support. Again, you might feel it as a warmth and energy, you might see it as light. Just awareness of the back half of your body. And then negotiating back towards center. And then we'll tilt or lean to the right, just a couple inches, just tilting to the right. Maybe there's some awareness of the right half of your body. You can feel the right half of your body brace or support or get lit up. And then back to center and then leaning a bit into the left. You can feel the left sitting bone pour down as you lean to the left, lighting up the left half of your body. Just awareness of the left half of your body. And then coming back towards center, what you know of a center. You can feel front, back, right, and left. And start to hug your awareness in towards where those four quadrants converge. Very center line or center axis of your body. I feel it like a line from the top peak of my skull, crown of the head. And it draws down through the two hemispheres of the brain, down through the soft palate, down through the throat, down through the torso in front of the curvy spine, all the way down into the pelvic floor, that area between the pubic bone and the tailbone. See if it's possible to feel like you're held on that center line as the outer periphery softens. Now imagine as if you had like a pair of nostrils on the crown of the head and the top peak of your skull. I know that sounds odd, but just kind of go with it. A little pair of nostrils at the crown of the head. And let's take some deeper breaths. And as you breathe in, imagine as if you're breathing in from the crown of the head down that center line all the way to the base, all the way down to the pelvic floor or lower belly. And as you exhale, feel that light contraction of the belly moving in and feel that which you're drawing in, that air, that inspiration, that connection or awareness. On the exhale, it's allowed to move through you, radiating out in all directions. Inhale, the breath draws down through that center line as if the doors of the body are just thrown open to receive the breath in. And as you find that longer exhale and the belly moves in and up, that which you're drawing in gets to now spread through you into each cell, each space in between. Let's just take two or three more of those deep breaths down the center line as you inhale, drawing down from crown to base. And as you exhale and the belly moves in, you allow that awareness to move through you, that presence moves through your form. One more big breath on your own. Relax your breath and just take a moment to observe anything there is there to observe. I promise you there's no right or wrong. Just awareness of this new moment of now. Bow your chin towards your chest. Take your time as you're ready, just flutter your eyes open and just gradually moving yourself back into this space. All right, feel free to stretch your legs. So in our last practice, we talked a little bit in general about the nervous system as it is the main controlling communicating system of the body with its long tentacles into every part of your body, every organ gland system innervated by the touch of the nervous system. And if we'd like to break the nervous system into some parts for further investigation, we've got two big branches of the nervous system. We have the central nervous system, or CNS, and we have the peripheral nervous system, or PNS. And today we're going to be talking about the central nervous system and how it is really poetically correlated to what's called in the energy body, sushumna nadi, or the center channel. And the central nervous system in Western anatomical speak is really the combo platter of the brain and the spinal cord. And honestly, these two special organs are connected, continuous material. Like if I were to hold up a brain, the spinal cord would be attached. It would also be very strange, but there you go. It would be attached, right? And in spinal cord. And they're housed in more or less the center of the body, the brain and its majesty. We're going to spend lots of time in our other classes talking about the brain, but it's three pounds of semi gelatinous material housed in the cavern or cave of your skull. And then continuing down the meat of the spinal cord, running down through the vertebral column of the body, terminating around L2, L3, or the upper parts of the lower spine, the lumbar spine. And then it starts to branch off and web through the lower half of the body into the peripheral nervous system. Now, the sushumna nadi is also called this center channel, and its location is sometimes said to be in various different places. According to different texts, it's said to be the center axis of the body, the center line, which is slightly different than the central nervous system. If you think about it, cutting yourself into front and back pieces, the central nervous system would be more so in the back compartment of the body, even the spinal cord a little even further back into the back of the body. But I experienced this sushumna nadi as being in the center of my body, the center axis from the crown down through the midline all the way down into the pelvic floor. But whether you're talking about central nervous system or sushumna nadi, they both act as a relay station, right? The central nervous system, the spinal cord itself acts as a relay station between the periphery and the brain, right? So it's taking all of this information from the outside world, from the body position, from the organ health, or all of the outside information, and it's shuttling it up through the central nervous system, up through the spinal cord for the brain to figure out what to do with it all. The brain figures out a response, shuttles it down through that spinal cord out into the periphery, out into action, right? Whether it's a gland being told to release a certain hormone or your body doing a movement, right? Sushumna nadi is the same. It acts as a relay station between a conceptual or what we call in tantra shiva awareness, which is said to have his throne at the crown, poetically resonant to the brain here, and shakti. Shakti means manifest consciousness or she who makes available shakti, right? So she who takes the conceptual and brings it into reality, interprets it through her living, right? Is this realm of shakti. And this kind of telephone wire of communication between conceptual and manifest or shiva and shakti is this cord, this silver strand called sushumna nadi. And when you look at the little words that make up sushumna, s-u meaning well or virtuous, good, beautiful, and mana, m-n-a, meaning to think. So when shiva and shakti have good communication, I like to think of this, sushumna is like the antenna, right? And so when the antenna is aligned, you get really good reception.

There's good communication between shiva and shakti or between all this conceptual stuff of our philosophy and actually how we live it, how we move it through our living into each action relationship, each moment of our living. We want to be in that well of good virtuous thinking when we're in our center, when we are aligned, right? So in the practice that we're going to do today, it's a practice of yoga nidra about allowing ourselves to take all of the scattered information, all of this action and moving out into the world. And we're going to start to sequentially move it back in, hug it back in towards the center cord and charge it with our presence, align our antenna so that we can have better reception, right? That we can both transcend and manifest, right? We can kind of move up and down through this center cord with ease, right? Okay. So you won't need anything too fancy for this practice, but you do want to make sure that you're both warm and comfortable for the next, what could be about 40 minutes or so. So I suggest setting up a throne. You can take a folded blanket on top of your mat, a cushion, anything that you like to be comfortable resting on your back. If resting on your back is not an option, you're welcome to do this seated in a chair or even resting on your side if on the back is uncomfortable for you. If you're on your back, I'd suggest sliding something underneath your knees, like a yoga bolster or a couch cushion or rolled up towel or blanket. And then because it's a little bit longer of a yoga nidra practice, you might want a flat folded blanket underneath your head and maybe something on top of you like a sweatshirt, socks, a blanket, just so that you can be warm. Maybe blocking out some of the lights or either turning off the lights in your room or taking a scarf or something light across the eyes to block out some of the ambient light and give you a few more moments to get cozy. And then as you start nestling in, make any final adjustments that you think you might need. Don't tough it out. Otherwise those things tend to nag at you and just pull you out of the practice. And so do the best you can to find comfort and warmth. As you settle in, widen your heels a little wider than your hips. And maybe take the time to roll your legs in and out and in and out a few times just to find that they can really relax into an open position. Take the time to adjust the buttock flesh so it feels mostly symmetrical and supportive underneath you without having to get too fussy about that. Move the arms away from the sides of the body, sliding the two shoulder blades just a tiny bit underneath you and down. No need to overly rotate or shove your shoulders down, just an easy placement of the shoulder blades on the floor. Softening tops of the shoulders, the chest. As your arms and hands naturally relax, the fingers might curl inwards towards the palms. Take a moment maybe to move your head a little side to side. Maybe make a weird face, stick out your tongue. And then find the perfect positioning of your head. You might feel a little breeze running underneath your neck bones, forehead smoothing out, eyes closing. Your lips might even part as you soften the sides of your jaw, hollows of your cheek. The tongue falls into the floor of the mouth. As if the tunnels of the ears could deepen, the body growing more relaxed, quiet, still. Even allowing the breath to relax so there's no fancy technique. The breath on its own grows very quiet, very shallow, very subtle. It's perfect natural state. You might only be aware of a very subtle presence of the breath in your body. You might feel just this very subtle movement of your belly as you breathe, tiny rise and fall. No effort needed, just awareness of any breath at the belly.

Now just bring the awareness to any presence of breath that you feel in your chest. You might just notice the smallest movement of your ribs, collarbones, any movement of breath in your chest. No efforting or trying, just awareness of breath at your chest. And now bring the awareness to any movement of the breath that you might feel in the walls of the nostrils. As if the breath is easily sliding from the tip of the nose to the bridge of the nose, the walls of the nostrils. It's almost like two independent streams or rivers that merge back to a point in the middle of the brain. Now move the awareness just easily through the body. I'll name different parts of the body for you just to drop your attention into. Bring your awareness into your right hand, right thumb, second finger, third finger, fourth finger, fifth finger, palm of the hand, back of the hand, right forearm, upper arm, right shoulder, underarm, right ribs, right waist, right hip, right groin, right thigh, right knee, right chin, right ankle, top of the right foot, sole of the right foot, right big toe, second toe, third toe, fourth toe, fifth toe, left hand, left thumb, second finger, third finger, fourth finger, fifth finger, palm of the hand, back of the hand, left forearm, upper arm, left shoulder, underarm, left ribs, left waist, left hip, left groin, left thigh, left knee, left chin, left hip, left ankle, top of the left foot, sole of the left foot, left big toe, second toe, third toe, fourth toe, fifth toe, back of the head, right shoulder blade, left shoulder blade, right buttock, left buttock, right heel, left heel, spine, abdomen, right chest, left chest, center of the chest, throat, chin, bottom lip, top lip, space between the lips, tongue, roof of the mouth, right cheek, left cheek, right ear, left ear, tip of the nose, bridge of the nose, right eye, left eye, right eyebrow, left eyebrow, space between the eyebrows, forehead, crown of the head, feel the entire back of your body. Feel the entire front of your body.

Feel the right side of your body. Feel the left side of your body. Feel your whole body resting here. Your whole body resting. Feel the movement of breath easily through the walls of the nostrils.

Begin a mental alternate nostril breathing. As you happen to inhale, feel the breath rise through the left nostril. You happen to exhale, feel it descend down through the right nostril. As you next inhale, it rises through the right nostril, as you exhale out through the left. No effort, inhale through the left, as you happen to exhale through the right.

All inhale through the right, as you exhale through the left, just alternating the current of breath. Mental alternate nostril, please continue. Thank you very much. You Breath staying easy and relaxed mental alternate nostril breathing You Let the technique go and technique just dissipates No effort in the body or breath Feel your awareness now magnetized in to that center line Breath prana mind awareness converging in that center silvery cord Can see or visualize it as the finest silken thread Running down from the crown down through the center line of the body to its base Feeling it infinitely charged with your presence Feel that center line now grow to the size of your own thumb Charged with your presence center line expanding to now the size of your own thumb See it now grown to the width of your own hips Center line now the width of your own hips Glowing and charged with your own presence center line the width of your hips Feel it grow even larger more radiant it now fills the entire room Your entire room that charge that presence You might see it as light or feel it as vibration electricity To happen to inhale you can feel it moving in permeating your skin hugging towards your center cord to happen to exhale you can feel it radiating out into your body into your room surrounding you should happen to inhale it's charging towards your center growing into exhale it easily moves out into the body into a field around you You can feel it moving in permeating out into your body into a field around you Feel as if you can hug that light that awareness in towards your own body charging it in and feel or visualize that line the width of your own hips Then lie now the width of your own thumb And now see or feel it like the finest silken thread the center of your body as long as you understand your body Thank you. Without changing the thing, clearly see yourself resting here.

Resting perfectly. Without opening the eyes, just clearly see yourself here in the room that surrounds you. Just awareness of your own body here. Begin to deepen the breath. Brushing your thumbs over each fingertip.

Sliding your tongue across your teeth. And then taking your tongue and just pressing it to the roof of your mouth. Keeping your eyes closed, just take your hands in front of you and just rub your palms together. Just creating a little bit of heat in between your hands. And then scoop the palms over your closed eyes.

And feel a sense of that heat or remembrance of your practice, state of ease or connection you felt. Begin to permeate the eyes, the brain. And we'll move it methodically, slowly, grounding it down through the center line by using the grounding mantras. So I'll sing them and you can just feel, to bring it back into that midbrain region. Om Namah Shivaya, Om Namah Shivaya, Om Namah Shivaya, Om Namah Shivaya.

You can slide your hands down the sides of your face and jaw into the back of your neck. You can give your head maybe a little turn side to side. You can give your neck a little massage, maybe tops of shoulders. And taking one hand over the other hand, lightly over the throat, feel a sense of that recognition or remembrance of the practice moving down through the soft palate, mouth, down through the ears, all of the tools of speech, articulation, hearing into the throat. Om Bhaimsar Swatiye Namaha, Om Bhaimsar Swatiye Namaha, Om Bhaimsar Swatiye Namaha.

Now slide the hands down to the center of your heart, center of your chest. Sense of the practice moving down through your chest and arms, bathing the heart. Om Namah Shivaya, Om Namah Shivaya, Om Namah Shivaya, Om Namah Shivaya. Slide your hands down over your belly, navel. Feel energy, awareness, the practice move down through the heart, abdomen, down through the spine, bathing the belly.

Om Namah Bhagavate Vasudevaya, Om Namah Bhagavate Vasudevaya, Om Namah Bhagavate Vasudevaya. Gently moving the legs, you can bend one knee at a time, placing your feet onto the pillow or floor. You might feel good to hug the knees into your chest and give yourself a moment to rock a little side to side, or stir the knees, massaging your sacrum. Taking your time to roll to one side, whatever side is convenient, and just roll into a fetal position. You can make a little pillow with one of your arms for your head.

As you settle into that fetal position, feel the warmth on the sacrum where the floor was. Let that bring your awareness down into the region of your lower belly, pelvis, sacral region. Om Lakshmi Vamsri Kamalaramsva You can keep the eyes closed, keeping the head heavy, just using your hands to help you lazily peel yourself back up to a comfortable seat, whatever seat works for you. Take your hands and just drag the hands back into the crease line between your hip and thigh and just give a little press down. You can draw your elbows back, lift your heart a little higher in your chest.

Bring your chin down towards your chest, just rerouting, regrounding into your hips and legs to the base of your spine, pelvic floor, the roots of your body. Om Gam Gam Gam Ganapataye Namaha Om Gam Gam Gam Ganapataye Namaha Just sliding your hands from hip to knee, just kind of rubbing the hands down. It's as if you're smashing it down the legs, around each knee. You can squeeze your calf, your ankles, even the soles of your feet and each toe. Tantra, it's important to not just find this transcendence, this silence, this reconnection to source, but to not leave it there, to bring it back down into your body, into your living. As you're ready, taking a tall spine, palms can be faced down onto the knees, eyes closed.

Just remember that pair of nostrils at the crown of the head. Just take a few deeper breaths on the inhale, feeling the breath slide down through that center line. The body opens to receive it. Long exhale, feeling the belly invited in and up. That which you're taking in gets to move through you. Taking three more breaths just like this, the inhale, breath awareness, consciousness, source, inspiration, moves down through the center line into your base. Exhale as your belly moves in, like a giant sunburst at the base, it gets to radiate through you.

One more time, deep breath in. Deep breath out. That awareness moves back through the body into each cell, each space in between each moment of your living. You can bring your palms together in front of your heart, bowing your head. Just take a moment to bow down to your inner teacher. In Sanskrit, omboloshri sat gurubhagavan ke.

Jai. Namaste.


Jenny S
I’m always amazed at how quickly these yoga nidra classes fly by...I’m pretty sure I didn’t fall asleep, and yet this felt like about 10 minutes...and my nervous system system definitely is feeling soothed 🌺
Kristin Leal
Jenny for me too!!  I'm so happy  to hear that the Nidra is helpful:)
Amy  F
I think I may have found my new favorite Yoga Nidra teacher! Thank you for such a beautiful practice. 💖🙏
Kristin Leal
Oh that's so kind Amy F ! Thank you for practicing with me! I have a whole Yoga Nidra show too if you are interested in more Nidra practices:) Let me know how it's going for you

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