The Yoga Show with Kira & Friends Artwork
Season 4 - Episode 9

Yin into Kindness

60 min - Practice


Kindness takes a little bit of work. Kira guides us into softening holds in this comfy Yin practice centered around Loving Kindness towards self and others. Ease into supine twists, snuggle into hip openers, sink the spine into passive backbends, and find openness in forward folds before closing in a seated Metta meditation. You will feel a sense of warmth and equanimity.
What You'll Need: Mat, Blanket


Read Full Transcript

Hi there, friends. So good to be together. Turns out today is World Kindest Day. And I don't know who decided it was World Kindest Day or what they meant by it, but we'll go with it as our theme. So I promised my friend Petra that we would do yin yoga today. So it always helps if you have a blanket to make it a little bit extra cushiony and maybe an extra blanket to stick under bits and pieces that would like a little extra support. I have my phone with me for two reasons. One is we're kind of testing our new participant chat. And so I can see that Wendy is here and Sylvia is here. And Petra has just signed up. Petra, I just mentioned that we're doing yin yoga because of you. And Martha and Jodi and Alex P is also here. So a huge shout out to our production, our engineering, our content, our customer service team. Love all of you guys so much. And this being our last live class of the season, it feels extra special and extra sweet to have gotten here together. Okay, so we're going to start supine with reclining Buddha. I am going to lie down on my right side. Whatever side you're lying on also works. You're going to lean in, you're going to bend one hand, you're going to place it underneath your head. That other hand, that top arm is just going to come down and rest. I also want to mention that I'm wearing my work suit today because kindness, if you haven't become aware of this, does take a little bit of work. Okay, so if this hand bent underneath your head isn't quite comfortable, you can also choose to lay your whole head down, letting that arm be straight. For the purposes of audio technology, I'm going to stay like this. Deliberate inhale, exhale, let a happen and kind of soften in. Do that again. Inhale and exhale, let a bit of a happen. Let the belly soften, let the jaw soften. Part of this first invitation of this reclining Buddha shape is to start to allow the earth to have you. Start to kind of let the earth have your weight. Nice. Now we're going to get into the shoulder a little bit. You're going to lift that top arm up, soften the elbow so the shoulder's a little easier to access and you're going to roll your shoulder forward and you're going to roll your shoulder back and you're going to roll your shoulder forward and you're going to roll your shoulder back and we're going to do this for, you know, maybe about another half a minute or so and you're just kind of getting a sense of flossing the joint. You're just getting a sense of what's in there. Okay. So again, back to like what we're working on on our theme today. Today being World Kindness Day. And so what is kindness? So just give that a thought to yourself. Like how would you define kindness? What does kindness feel like, smell like, taste like to you? Just a few more moments and it, you know, you might even kind of reach the arm overhead if that would feel good and let it come back. Now eventually the request here is that you're going to roll your shoulder forward. So as you roll your shoulder forward and then you're going to bring your hand behind your back, palm facing away from you. Okay. And then how far you snuggle that hand up your back kind of depends on your particular anatomy combined with your J job. So if it's quite sticky, keep it down by the sacrum.

If you know, if people refer to you as a noodle, you might slide it up a little higher. Okay. So my palm is facing away from me. And then I'm going to do something that I have to do because one of the things about yin yoga is that you it's the suggestion is that you hold things about the same amount on each side. So I've set my timer for about three minutes. Now you're just going to gently lie on your back and pin that hand underneath you. Okay. As you've pinned that hand underneath you, big deliberate inhale and exhale, let a bit of a happen. And if this is your non-dominant hand, you might not feel much, but if it's your dominant hand, you might feel a lot. Now what to do with your legs? For me, I'm going to widen my feet a little bit and let my knees just fall together because that feels the nicest on my low back. But bring your awareness to this shoulder. For me, it's my left. I'm not sure which one it is for you. Bring the awareness to the shoulder that you're gently maybe creating a slight opening in. Big deliberate inhale. Exhale, let a happen. And without too much instruction just yet, when the instruction is, can you be kinder towards your shoulder? Like when that's the instruction, like can you be kinder towards what you might feel in the shoulder, the arm, the elbow, the wrist? Notice what you just naturally do with that suggestion. And then just notice what happens if you relax your jaw a little bit. Let your eyes feel softer. Feel softer in the forehead. Feel softer in the ears. Can you allow that shoulder blade to sense that there's ground underneath for support? Let the arm actually feel heavier. Yeah, beautiful. And again, if you're feeling a lot of sensation, if this happens to be your dominant arm, there can often be a sense of that it should be other because it might feel quite sticky. And if it's your non-dominant arm, you might not feel much. It's sort of this difficulty here. It's like pain, which we think we're trying to avoid, is so brilliantly focusing. And when there isn't pain, we don't pay much attention. Okay, that's been about three minutes. I can feel my wrist buzzing.

So to get out of there, you're going to roll away from that arm. You're going to free your hand and then just lie on your back. Palms up. Big deliberate inhale. Exhale, let it happen. And just notice the effect of holding your hand in a position that it normally isn't held in. Feel the effect. Often there's this wonderful kind of sweet rush down the arm, out through the wrist, out through the palm. Yeah, a couple of beats here. Because one of the things of Vinyoga that sometimes gets left out is to really soak up the results of your focused patient attention. Beautiful. Okay, you're going to roll to the other side. And this is going to seem a little awkward. I'm going to roll away from you, just also so that you can see what I do with my back arm. So I'm going to roll away from you, but I'm still thinking about you. You're still right here in my heart. Coming to reclining Buddha on the other side. So you're on the other side and either that hand that's underneath you is supporting your head. It's either supporting your head or the arm is extended. All right, so step one, big deliberate inhale and let a exhale happen and just kind of sink in a little bit. Like see if you can find out how to let the ground have you. Let this top arm rest. Soft in the belly, soft in the eyes. Easy in the jaw. Yes. Beautiful. Nice. Okay, now you're going to lift this top arm up. You're going to soften the elbow. It's about a minute here of flossing. You're going to kind of roll the shoulder forward and you're going to roll the shoulder back. And by bending your elbow, you'll give your shoulder joint a little bit more room, but you don't have to take my word for it. You can straighten your arm and see how that works. You know, all of these yoga instructions are simply suggestions that various yogis along the way have found that help to access what is really going on, which brings us to a definition of kindness. One of the first stages of kindness perhaps is the willingness to be with what is, to accurately see and feel and know what's happening. You might reach the arm overhead a little bit, bend it a little bit. And then as most of you know, especially if you've been practicing yoga a little bit, there is being able to see and, and be with what's happening. And then there is also the capacity to be with what's happening. Because when we don't have the capacity to be with what's happening and we want to change it. Okay. So roll the shoulder forward, let the elbow bend and let the hand come behind you. And maybe the palm is facing away from you down near the sacrum. Depending on your particular anatomy and flavor today, you might snuggle the hand up a little higher. Okay. It just kind of depends on what's happening. I am going to, as I mentioned before, I'm sorry for the distracting nature of it. Set my timer. And then once you find out where that hand wants to be, you're going to roll over and you're going to gently pin that arm underneath you. Widen the feet a little bit, let the knees fall together or put the legs in a position that feels quite right for you. Now for me, this is my right arm now. So it's my dominant arm. And so there's quite a lot of sensations. So notice you'll notice that this side is different than your other side, unless you are mystically, magically ambidextrous in your life. Let a bit of a happen. And step one is to really just allow the shoulder and the arm and the elbow and the wrist to reveal themselves. And so perhaps the instruction is, can you be kinder to what you're experiencing? Can you be kinder towards the shoulder, the elbow, the wrist, the hand? And when that's the instruction, what do you notice that you do? Maybe softening the jaw a little bit, letting the eyes feel a little dewier, letting the lips feel more kissable, forehead more open, skull wider. Because where we get into trouble or where I'll just own it, where I get into trouble particularly, is if I imagine that I know what the kind action is in advance.

Because when the kindness is somewhat premeditated or designed, chances are we want something from our kindness. We want some kind of recognition or credit. Let a bit of a happen. Or we're interested in the appearances of being kind, which to be interested in the appearances of being kind is to want something from it. Let a bit of a happen. Let the shoulder blade, is it possible that the shoulder can sense that there's a ground beneath it and it can be received. Yeah. Nice. Nice. That's been three minutes, so gently roll away from that arm. Let your hands come down along your side. Let your palms open and be aware of the effect. Big deliberate inhale. Exhale, let a happen. Be aware of the feeling, the rush, the flavor of you that is now perhaps more accessible. Okay. Because there's been time spent. Time spent. Okay. Yeah. Okay. So nice. Let your knees come into your chest wobble. Let's offer ourselves to a supine spinal twist. I'm going to find an eagle wrap. For me, I'm wrapping my top leg, my right leg over my left leg. Okay. If eagle wrap is too demanding on your sacral joints, then simply bring the knees together. Bring the knees. So if your right leg is on the top, bring your knees over to the left. Kind of organize. Let your right palm find your left palm so that your spine isn't in line. We're going to be here for about three minutes and I'll circle that right arm back about and over. Let the elbow bend and let a bit of a happen. If it would feel nice to have some support. If your knees have kind of floated off the floor and you're kind of wishing your elbow and your knees both had equal support, then just throw one of those blankets underneath or your couch cushion or pillow or whatever you might have. Joseph Lepage, who's a teacher out here up in the hills of Santa Barbara, or at least that's where he used to teach out of. He used to call yin yoga, restorative yoga for people that can't afford props. I still think that's funny. Okay. Deliberate inhale here and exhale at a half. And so kindness in the sutras, the Sanskrit that is close is this word maitri. Say that with me, maitri. And often you usually, most yogis know it from sutra 1.33, often translated as friendliness. Now when these teachings find their way into Buddhism, the word seems to, and this isn't a historical reference, but it seems to become the word metta, which is often translated as loving kindness. Most of you are familiar with the practices of loving kindness. The Tibetans have, the Tibetan Buddhists have an amazing marketing machine. A little bit of a, notice what's going on in the neck and just like where you feel the sensation most. So where the pull is the strongest or the stretch is the twangiest. Again, like when the instruction is like, can you find more kindness or can you tap into a flavor of kindness? What do you notice that you do? Can you feel the ground beneath you? Can you allow yourself to feel the support? Can you relax the sense that there is something specific about to happen through which you must be attuned? Yeah, that is three minutes. So the suggestion now is unwrap your legs. Okay. And then just lead with the top leg, let yourself unwind. And unless you absolutely need to counter, see if you can place your feet on the floor and just let your legs go straight. And the reason for that is to really feel the effect of what you just did. Be aware of what you can sense in you after spending some attention. A couple more beats, like really allow your mind, the mind, one of the mind's favorite things to do is compare. So use that measuring instrument to your advantage. Be aware of the one side versus and I know this creates a duality but it helps versus the other. Okay, nice, nice. Okay, hug the knees into the chest. Now that'll feel a good wobble. Super great. And then other side. So for me, the opposite now is unwrapping my left leg over the right. And I'm going to set the timer again for three minutes, bringing the knees over to the right, kind of organizing my left palm on top. And then circle that arm about and over. Let the elbow bend a little bit and let a bit of a yeah, this side is going to be different. Really like tempting to let the tyranny of symmetry get you down. We're not symmetrical inside. We can look symmetrical at a quick uninterested glance. We can look symmetrical on the outside. It can look like we're even. But as soon as you start to dive in there, you only have one heart and it leans left and you only have one liver and it really weighs heavily on the right. You only have one pancreas and stomach, which kind of hang out on the left. Does that make sense? Like things are not equal on the inside and so we don't grow equally. And then we have our day jobs and our lives and genetics and disease and the ravages of the just the daily modern life. Let a bit of a. So go to the area where you can feel the tension the most like go to the area where the sensation is. That's where the action is. Sometimes we don't think things should be intense, but wow, that is where the opportunity is. Go there with your awareness and then what does it what do you do when the request is? Can you offer kindness? And the Tibetans have really helped us hone in on this. And so if you're not sure if you're not sure of the sensation or what to do, then they have given us this beautiful mantra. May you be happy. May you be free. Go to the area of the tension. May you be happy. May you be free. And maybe there are other words like may you find ease. May you find relief. May you let go. But it's this genuine prayer of a wish. For the ease, the happiness, the health. For yourself or for another or for the whole world. Okay, that's three minutes. So unwrap the legs and then gently unwind. And if it's okay to not counter, just extend the legs straight so that you can really feel the effects. Feel the results of what you just did. And let the mind do it. It loves to do the most. Compare. Be interested in the feeling of you. Because to be interested in the feeling of you is a funny word, but we're going to work with it. To be interested in the feeling of you is to start to be more tuned into the second step of kindness, which is what is the appropriate action here? Okay, nice. Hug the knees into the chest and wobble.

Cross your ankles and you might roll to a side to come up to sitting or you might just rock and roll. I'm going to rock and roll. And we're going to make our way into a lunge. So if your knee is a little extra sensitive, and you know, that word sensitive can be a bad thing, but it's not a bad thing. If your knee wants a little extra padding, then throw a little extra blanket there. I'm going to start with my left knee bent and my right leg forward. And as I come into this lunge, I am going to set the timer again for three minutes. So I like to widen my foot a little bit and I'm just going to come in and out of it a little bit. I'm going to lean back and I'm going to sink in and I'm going to lean back and I'm going to sink in. I'm going to do that a few times. We often joke that this is kind of the polite thing to do. It just sort of lets the hip and leg know what's coming. So as you as you sink in, let a bit of a happen and up in the jaw and see if you can get a sense of like letting that hip have you. And you could keep both hands on either side of the foot, but some of you might want to bring both hands on the inside of that foot. I find I get more action if I stay upright. Some of you might come down onto the forearms. And then like you can feel that in your hip and your thigh, especially if you have a day job like mine, where it actually involves you curled up in a little ball in front of a glowing box for hours and hours and hours. And if that's your day job, then this area gets quite sticky. And so again, just playing with this, this situation is like, what does it feel like to be like, what if you were asked to be kind to what you were feeling in that hip? And some of you might be like, then I'm out. That's one response. But what happens if you soften the jaw, soften the eyes, soften the ears? And what happens if you actually play with this Tibetan Buddhist prayer of, may you be happy? May you be free? And like literally communicate that in through what you're feeling. May be easy. May be spacious. While also being aware of what really is. Something that's really easy to notice is sometimes we imagine that we want what's best for another. Sometimes we imagine we want them to be happy, or we want them to be reduced in their suffering. But often upon close attention, it becomes more obvious that we're interested in them be happy. So they stop being so annoying to us. These are not bad things to notice. These are really useful when we notice these moments in ourselves, the practice is working because the main point of these loving kindness practices, which are the beginning of Tong Lin is to notice our small selves. Okay, that's been three minutes. So we're going to make our way to a pigeon. So pull it back a little bit. And now toe heel this front foot over. And you might have some padding to throw underneath that hip to give a little bit more support, but you're going to come into your version of the pigeon. And we're going to be here for three minutes. Just make sure I set that timer right because I wouldn't want to cheat you of a single moment. Yes. Okay, snuggle in. Okay, snuggle in, let a bit of a happen. And now what's the kind thing to do here for the sensation, right? Like easy in the jaw, easy on the mouth. You might kick it right here. Okay, some of you have that kind of situation where it's going to feel good to get a little lower. If you do that, and immediately you can feel this like grip in the in the face and the jaw and the neck, then it's not working. It wasn't the kind thing to do. You're going to come on back up, let a happen, feel the ground underneath you. And then again, like play with that chant, like right into where you feel that in your buttocks, in your hip.

Maybe it's your knee and your thigh. It's like, Oh, may you be happy. May you be free. May you be easy without simultaneously wanting it to be other. This is the tricky thing. This is the tricky thing. Yeah. And you know, you might still be up in your hands and suddenly you get the screen light, this invitation to be that you're invited in to experience a little bit more intense sensation, but it's only as you can meet it with kindness, easy in the mouth, kind in the eyes, gooey in the lips. Let the earth have you beautiful. Beautiful. Yeah. Notice, you'll notice if you're wanting something, you'll feel the tension in your hands. You'll feel the tension in your face. And one of the keys to getting out of that grip of wanting is to be more curious and interested in what's actually happening. Yeah. Okay. Nice work. That's three minutes. So this is going to be a slightly different suggestion that some of you might be used to. As you come up out of the shape, the suggestion is to roll back onto your back. So extend that leg behind you and roll back onto your back and find Shavasana. This is kind of 1960s yoga style, like Shavasana after every action.

And the reason for this is Shavasana, corpse pose, provides such a great neutral sense of being able to sense of what just happened. How does that feel down through that side that you were just on? Does it feel cool? Does it feel warm? Does it feel fluid, tingly, available? What are the words you find to describe this feeling that is the result of being curious about what is for an extended period of time? Okay, super nice. Hug the knees into the chest and rumble. And we're going to make our way back up for the lunge, pigeon combo on the other side. Cross your ankles, rock and roll up. Nice. And finally, lunge on the other side. So now it's my right knee behind me and my left foot in front. If you're not sure, just go into a side and you'll know if you just did it or not. I'm going to set the timer for three minutes. I'm going to just change the positioning of my mic pack to the other side. Once you're in that lunge, let yourself move in and out. And so back to this working definition of kindness. Sort of the willingness and capacity to be with what is. And then the ability to make the appropriate action. Okay, so once you've introduced yourself enough, okay, you've introduced yourself enough, start to sink in a little bit. Let a bit of a happen. Let that hip get heavy, soften the buttocks, soften the jaw, soften the eyes. If it's too much to kind of hold in one shape, sometimes it can feel good to kind of wobble it a little side to side. You'll find different points of interest across the landscape of that front hip. But one of the key things here in this is it is not up to us, our kind of our small self, our little self, our particular parentheses to be kind. It is not up to us. It is up to us to slip into the kindness that is. Let a bit of a happen. And one of the ways that we do that is to all these yoga teachings, let go a little bit, soften the grip, easier, which can sound like you do nothing. Let a happy, kinder. Let the ground have you. And again, just practice the mantra. We're going to bring this mantra into our seated meditation at the, towards the end of our asana practice. So practicing now as you direct it towards yourself, just like practice, like allow yourself to inhale. And as you exhale, you kind of like reach the prayer towards that hip. May you be happy. May you be free. May you find ease. May you find space. And just see if your hip responds. Kinder in the mouth, kinder in the jaw. Nice. That's three minutes. So now we're going to make our way towards our pigeon. So pull it back, toe heel that foot over and start to make your way into your version of pigeon. Any kind of opportunity that would feel good to put underneath that hip. I'm going to set the timer for three minutes. Let a bit of a happen, sink in. And as you sink in, like let the ground have you. If you rush it, you'll know that you're rushing because the intensity will rush back. You'll feel in your mouth and your jaw and your face and it will not feel kind. And so right away, like tune into the mantra and do it for real. I mean, what else are you going to do? May you be happy to your hip. May you be free. May you find ease, space. And notice at the residue of thinking that the hip should feel otherwise. If thoughts and ideas come up that your hip should somehow be less tight, feel different, more open. That's narrowing. When we do that, we narrow our capacity and curiosity to what is. Yeah. Super nice. Beautiful. And so this prayer, this loving kindness prayer, this meta practice is resting on the understanding, understanding coming from years of yogi scientific study. That what each of us seeks, what each of our heart seeks is the desire to be happy, the desire to avoid suffering and the desire to be free. And so in the wish, the sort of the basis of the wish is that what we're wishing for each other is the fulfillment of what we each wish for without knowing what that looks like. Let a bit of a happen because we all have friends and loved ones for whom we wish they could be happier, less agitated, be reduced in their suffering. And we also often think we know what they need to do to be that way, to feel that way. And we make the innocent mistake of offering advice. Okay. That's been three minutes. Slowly start to come up out of there. And again, we're making our way towards Shavasana. So just kind of rotate so that your legs are behind it, you know, your legs are on the ground and you can lie down into the shape of Shavasana. Relax your legs and let the ground have you.

And this is really, this is key to the practice. Big, deliberate inhale. Exhale, let a practice trusting that something larger and more mysterious than you could possibly grok has you. And as you allow the ground to have you feel the effect of that practice. Okay. Hug the knees into your chest wobble. Let's rock and roll. And we're going to roll it up into sphinx and maybe cobra for some of you. You might add a little extra padding underneath your bones, but the invitation is to come onto your belly. And we're going to start in sphinx. Three minutes again. And you know, the other day was Paul Gurley's birthday. Paul Gurley, we like to call him the godfather of being yoga. So let the elbows be on the floor. The legs are behind you. I am going to just move that to the side. Inhale here and as you exhale a little bit of a hop in and like wobble your hips a little bit, the booty loves to grip. So you got to kind of like jiggle. Okay. Nice. And the play here, it can feel really weird if you're not used to it, but this passive back bending, you just let the low back ease up. Let the spine hang. Make sure the knees feel comfortable as you kind of relax the thighs. And if your knees are sensitive, sometimes checking the toes under can help. So this is really the place to stay, especially if you're newer at the yoga thing. But some of you are going to make your way to the cobra or seal. You're going to turn your hands out. And as you turn your hands out, you're going to press into the palms and you're going to let your arms go straight. And then you let another happen and you hang. And if you kind of have your hands slightly in front of you, you're going to get more action in that mid back, that thoracic spine. If and as you want to feel it more in your low back, the closer you bring your hands in towards you, the lower that focal point, that intensity point will go. Yeah, sink in. Super nice. Softer in the jaw. And passive back bending is weird. It can be kind of intense, but let's just use the same mantra right into where you feel the intensity. May you be happy. May you be free. Soften the buttocks again and soften the jaw. Soften the eyes. Easy. Hey, what's up, may you? Most of you know my cat by now. Thanks for coming by. And again, like to notice what you do because these instructions of kindness and compassion and sympathetic joy, equanimity, these instructions that you find in Sutra 1.33 and then again throughout Tibetan Buddhism. They're meaningless unless you know what they mean for you. Last few moments, we've been here just a tick over three minutes.

So the last few moments, what does it feel like to be kinder to yourself here? What happens? Okay, nice. Let the elbows bend and let the elbows go wide and rest your head on your hands and just rest here and feel the effect. Was that worth it? Okay, we're going to make our way through child's pose towards a seated forward fold. So let your hands come underneath your shoulders and let yourself round back into your version of child's pose. Letting your hips get heavy towards your heels. And then eventually roll on back up. And I'm going to suggest a yin bada canasana, the yin butterfly. But if you would prefer to be with your legs straight or wide, that is, of course, completely great. We are going to be here for three minutes. And then we are going to make our way into our meditation. So have your heels about, I don't know, a foot or more, maybe 18 inches away from your groin and let yourself start to round over. Let your elbows bend, let a bit of a happen and offer. And the first stage of the meta practice of the loving kindness practice is to genuinely wish yourself happiness and freedom. And trust me on this, unless you are happy and free, you will not be much use to anybody else's happiness and freedom. And so as you genuinely wish yourself, and you might find that you use the word, may I be happy and free, or you might notice that you find that you refer to yourself as you that creating a little separation is easier. But just here with your head dropped, palms up, rounded back. See, just start to gently like, may I be happy? May I be free? Because you are your number one companion in this life journey. And it will be to your benefit if you're having a nice time. Again, where we get into trouble is when we think we know what will make us happy and what will result in our freedom. And we pursue these things. Or even more silly, we think we know who I or what we are. So part of the wish may I be happy and may I be free. Part of this prayer is also to start to chip away, to turn around, to investigate, and to question what we mean by happiness, freedom, and I. Let the ground have you a little bit more. Okay, slow chin into the chest. Let yourself roll all the way back up. Awesome. Now set yourself up for a successful seat. So if sitting on a chair would be better or any kind of proppage you would like. I always like to have this handy little zafu cushion. Big fan. It's like a yellow blanket extravaganza today. And we've got like just a little smidge over 10 minutes left in our practice. And again, using the blessing of today being World Kindness Day, we will continue our loving kindness practice. So snuggling in and big deliberate inhale and exhale at a bit of a hop. And so we've practiced the first part. We've actually been practicing the first part of wishing ourselves loving kindness this whole practice as we've wished different parts of our body and then towards ourselves. So snuggle in and just leaning into my teacher John Dunn's suggestion of trust that the body knows how to sit. Eyes are softly focused and open or they're closed. Let your shoulders relax back and down, elbows heavy. Let the skull find its placement where it feels spacious. And the second stage of loving kindness is to gently allow yourself to think on somebody in your life who you genuinely and easily care about. And as you think on this person, they will immediately appear and with as much sincerity as possible, reach this prayer in this person's direction. And again, notice there's temptation of advice will start to rise up. Just laugh at that.

And as we've talked about, as you start to open your heart for business, other people will show up. And so there's no need to try to resist and to stick with that first person to let your heart be open. As you open your heart for business, people will show up. And so as people come in, it's like, may you be happy. May you be free. And almost naturally, the third and the fourth stage will start to happen. We don't even need to try to do them. Because the third stage, the third stage, just stay with this. Like if you have people in your heart, like just allow the instruction to kind of be in the background as you kind of stay with this. But if you, if you've reached a point where it would be nice to take a break, certainly like thank whoever has been here for being here. And then big deliberate inhale, exhale at a bit of a, this is like interval training. Like I mentioned at the beginning, I'm wearing my work suit because this takes work. The third stage is to imagine somebody with whom you have a neutral relationship. Somebody who you might see in your daily life, but haven't given much thought to their happiness one way or the other. And this is one of one of our the ugly truths of ourselves unless we want something from somebody or don't want something from somebody will rarely even notice them. It'll be impossible to remember their names. So in your life, maybe there's somebody that you see all the time. Maybe it's one of the nice young people that bag your groceries at the grocery store or somebody at the farmer's market at a stand you never stop at or somebody you see at the coffee shop every day. Think on this person. Maybe it's somebody you work with. Bring this person in this person to just like you wishes for freedom and happiness. And so eyes closed or gently focused and with this person tethered. I'll spend about a minute on this. Just gently like may you be happy. And may you be free. And again, you might riff on this. Like sometimes there's a suggestion to stay on the highway of these instructions, but you know, you're all artists out there and you might find yourself may wishing for all of somebody's dreams to come true. And this neutral, this more neutral person might be replaced by a different neutral person. It's okay. Just keep it flowing. Sometimes the realization that you've never given this person's happiness much thought can be quite painful. That's you're on the right track. And I gently thank this person or people for being here for your practice. Let the project of this go and big deliberate inhale. Exhale everything. Kidneys aren't easy. It's kindness interval training kit. The fourth stage, as most of you know, and even just you can feel yourself if you're already aware of what the fourth stage is, you can feel yourself anticipating it. The fourth stage is to allow somebody with whom you might have difficulty to come into your realm. And as you kind of even start to reach out and think on this person, whether it's somebody quite close, like a family member or somebody in your work or somebody who has the entire attention of the world, as you think on this person, you can feel yourself tightening up and even like, oh, I'm assisting. And so if you need to kind of place them a little further away or under a glass jar, it's okay. Again, capacity for what is, is one of the qualities of kindness. Big deliberate inhale. Then exhale everything. And can you imagine that this person too wishes for happiness and freedom? And can you just kind of play like feel an inhale and as you exhale, can you gently wish this person may you be happy and may you be free? And if it helps to know that this will work out for you, if it helps to tune into the selfish motivations that if this person is happy and free, they might bug you less, go with it. Whatever works. Laugh about it. Like laugh at the complexity of it. Like enjoy it. Soft in the jaw and the mouth. It's usually easier to stay with somebody we don't like than somebody we like. It's just grittier. A few more moments. Big deliberate inhale, exhale everything. Thank this person like for being intimate to your practice. And the fifth stage is to kind of go beyond these individual and sometimes the instruction is to wish the whole world happiness and freedom. Sometimes that's a little much. So if you have the capacity to just be like global or even galaxy or beyond the galaxy, you go. But sometimes maybe it's your town, maybe it's your country, maybe it's the world.

But you'll know, you'll kind of open up to something bigger. Sometimes it can be helpful to kind of imagine that you have this embrace, that it's a soft handed embrace. Relax that project and for the last like just under two minutes for the last minute and a half. Big deliberate inhale and exhale that will happen. It's like eyes soft, closed, maybe soft jaw just rest in the effect. And if you'd rather lie down in the shape of Shavasana to really notice the effect, do so. Rest in the effect of your efforts. Rest in the effect of the practice of kindness. Let your hands find each other at the heart. Thank you, my dear yogi friends. Thank you team. Thank you, Julie, Elizabeth, and everybody else who makes this possible. It's been so sweet to be together this season. Namaste.


Sara S
2 people like this.
Thank you for your practice

Louisa C
2 people like this.
Thank you Kira ! That was heavenly! I live your humorous, comments and blending of lessons wisdom!
Jenny S
1 person likes this.
Lol “someone who has the attention of the whole world”...if only someone like that came to mind...😉 But in all seriousness, this was a much-needed practice today as we are heading into the holidays during a time when many/most of us will be missing the closeness of others we have almost come to take for granted. Sending loving kindness to others near and far seems just about perfect right now 💟☮️🕉 PS Savasana after each pose = bliss!
Kira Sloane
1 person likes this.
Dearest Jenny S , yes, such a peculiar and specific moment for so many of us. Wishing you a warm and satisfying Thanksgiving in however you might celebrate. xok
Sandra Židan
Beautiful practice and a beautiful cat! Thanks, Kira! Regards!
Kira Sloane
1 person likes this.
Sandra Ž, hahah, I do love that cat! xok
3 people like this.
Of course I would find the perfect practice when I am feeling jaded and full of cold. Thank you so much for always being here with the perfect yoga offering. I love your work suit, Kira!
Kira Sloane
Ali, hi! Me too! xok
1 person likes this.
This felt genius. Kira you're amazing.
I did this with a hot water bottle and cried my way through. Healing. So good x
Kira Sloane
Amanda P, my cat is also black! LOVE LOVE! xok
1-10 of 16

You need to be a subscriber to post a comment.

Please Log In or Create an Account to start your free trial.

Footer Yoga Anytime Logo

Just Show Up

Over 2,900 yoga and meditation practices to bring you Home.

15-Day Free Trial