Welcome to Your Breath Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 4

Exhalation

10 min - Practice
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Description

Kira leads a practice to help us feel into the exhalation of the breath, in particular the bottom of the exhale. We learn that there are 4 parts to the breath - the inhale, the top of the inhale, the exhale, and the bottom of the exhale. Moving through Bridge pose, we attempt to become more acquainted and comfortable with the “empty” part of the breath.
What You'll Need: No props needed

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Hi, friends. Let's explore the exhale, particularly the bottom of the exhale. So go ahead and lie yourself down. Widen your feet a little bit, knees are bent. Let them fall together if that feels good. Bring one hand onto your navel and bring the other hand on top. If you're smooshing your navel, unsmush it a little bit. And just become aware of the movement of the breath. So far, we've talked mostly about two parts of the breath, an inhale and an exhale. The yogis often refer to the breath as having four parts. There's an inhale, there's a top of the inhale, there's an exhale, and there's a bottom of the exhale. Mostly what we're going to be playing with in this next sequence is becoming more comfortable with the bottom of the exhale, the empty. Okay, we're going to do that by working with bridge pose. So with the heels a little bit in closer to your sit bones, spread the toes wide, reach the arms up over the top of your head. That's not comfortable for everybody. So if you find yourself wanting to bend your elbows a little bit, do so. The reason for the arms up over the top of the head is to help assist in what the yogis call the jalandhar bandha, the chin lock. Okie dokie. We're going to roll with our breath. So first step, big deliberate inhale. Exhale everything. Nice. Then as you're ready, inhale. And as you exhale, press into the feet, draw your sit bones up, lifting your hips up. Nice. Pause here as you inhale. And as you exhale, perhaps come up onto the balls of the feet and roll back down sequentially, upper back, mid back, low back, hips land and heels land. Let's do that again. Inhale. And as you exhale, press into your feet, draw your sit bones up, lift up through the hips. Stay in the shape of bridge on the inhale. And as you come across your exhale up on the balls of the feet and roll on back down, upper back, mid back, low back, hips land, heels land. Let's do that one more time. Inhale. As you exhale, press into the feet, draw your sit bones up. Stay in the shape as you inhale. And as you come across your exhale up onto the balls of the feet and roll on back down, upper back, mid back, low back, hips land, heels land. Super nice. Let the knees come into your chest and hug your knees and wobble a little bit. Sometimes that can be a little hamstring crampy. So if you're feeling that, extend your legs up, flex the feet a little bit and feel the backs of the legs open. Now we're going to repeat that same movement pattern, but we're going to change the breath a little bit. After we've come up into bridge pose, we're going to stay in bridge pose as we inhale. And we're going to stay in bridge pose as we exhale. And we're going to come back down on empty. What that's going to do is it's going to create a super strong stretch in your diaphragm, that muscle we've been exploring and talking about, which will essentially create what the yogis call Udi Aada Bandha. Let's go ahead and get into it. Any more discussion will be a waste of our time. Reach your arms up over the top of your head, knees are bent, heels in line with your sit bones. Big deliberate inhale, exhale everything. Then as you're ready, inhale here. And as you exhale, press into the feet, draw your sit bones up. Now wiggle here a little bit, stay in the shape of the bridge. Inhale, stay in the bridge as you exhale everything. Like fully, fully, fully, fully get empty. Get as empty as you possibly can. Like go all the way to having no breath. Then once you're bonafide, certified empty, up on the balls of the feet and roll on back down on empty, upper back, mid back, low back, hips land, heels land, relax the contraction. Let the inhale come and exhale everything. Nice. Okay, if you've never done that before, it can feel a little weird. It's natural to feel kind of a tug at your throat when you do that. That's why you just kind of want to let the chin like drop in, let the back of the neck get long. And then if my pace is too fast for you, slow it down. If my pace is too slow for you, speed it up.

We're going to do two more like that together. Okay, as you're ready, inhale, exhale everything. Nice. Inhale. And as you're ready, exhale, press into the feet, draw the sit bones up, lift up through the hips. Now stay in the shape as you inhale. Stay in the shape as you exhale everything. Like Country Fair, Blue Ribbon, award winning, empty. And then up on the balls of the feet and roll it on back down, upper back, mid back, low back, hips land, heels land, relax the contraction. Let the inhale naturally come and let the exhale fall. Be a little bit aware of the feeling tone in the heart that results from that much emptying. Yeah. Okay, we're going to move through one more of those together. As you're ready, inhale, exhale, press into the feet, come all the way out. Now stay in the shape as you inhale. Stay in the shape as you exhale everything. Exhale a little bit more. And then once you're sure you're empty, up on the balls of the feet, roll it back down on empty, upper back, mid back, low back, hips land, heels land, relax the contraction. Let the inhale occur. Let the exhale happen. Let the elbows soften a little bit. Be aware of the feeling tone at your heart. Sometimes the feeling tone after that big emptying in the heart is like this wide open field of joy. Okay, let one of your hands find its way to the navel again or lower belly, whichever feels safer. Let one of your hands find its way towards the heart region. And with the hand on your belly, just again become aware again of the movement of the breath. But with a little bit extra attention to the bottom of the exhale. And by placing a little bit extra attention on the bottom of the exhale, the bottom of the exhale will start to reveal more of its mystery. And as you study the bottom of the exhale, what becomes really intimately available is that sweet moment of the rise of the inhale. And just for a few more moments here, as you start to become aware of that transition like that, what turns you from the bottom of the exhale to the rise of the inhale? Maybe if you've if you're in this series progressively, and you've just done the episode before this, maybe as you as you hit that rise of the inhale, can you drop your mantra in there? Like, if you're not sure, maybe just try as you start to feel the rise of the inhale, just try the word freedom. Or whatever the mantra is for you that picks your breath up like a giant exhale. And then just let it be quiet and fall back down to the bottom of the exhale, resting, waiting for the turn, and then falling. Beautiful. Okay, explore this. See you in the next episode.

Comments

Agnes Gerritsen
Lovely sequence to start the day refreshed and focused. Thank you Kira🙏🏼
Anne C
4 people like this.
That was amazing Kira. I am learning so much about the breath  from these sequences. Thank you.
M Angela C
4 people like this.
Truly appreciative of this series. Practice, skill and complete presence.  An amazing tune up for body and mind.  I literally felt “whole hearted” after the practice today. Thanks Kira!
Jenny S
3 people like this.
I love that M Angela C - feeling “whole hearted” ❤️ it never ceases to amaze me how such a short practice of mindful breathing can be so transformative!
Kira Sloane
1 person likes this.
Agnes Gerritsen, so happy to hear! Thank you for being here. xok
Kira Sloane
Anne C, right? The breath is incredible! xok
Kira Sloane
1 person likes this.
M Angela C, how wonderful! Thank you for connecting! xok

Kira Sloane
Jenny S, me too! I am always blown away! xok
Sandra Židan
Beautiful! Thanks, Kira! Regards!
Kira Sloane
Sandra Židan, LOVE!
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