Welcome to Your Breath Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 9

Lengthening Technique 2

10 min - Practice


In this class, Kira leads a practice of sama vrtti, or “same movement”. First, we explore this concept by stepping onto a block, before attempting to sense this balanced feeling between the inhales and the exhales.
What You'll Need: Mat, Block

About This Video


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Let's explore the practice of samma vritti, samma, same, vritti, movement, the same or equal movement of the inhale and exhale. But instead of forcing it, we'll find it through revealing it, uncovering it, and allowing it to be so. You want to have a block or something you can step up on. As you're ready, bring one of your feet up onto that block, and as you inhale, step up. Keep that foot on the block and exhale, step down.

Inhale, step up. Exhale, step down. If this is challenging your balance too much, move to swear you can have your other hand on something. Just a few more times like this. Step up.

Step down. On this next one, step up and stay. Hold there and get a sense of rooting down a little bit through the brick. Like, get a sense how you can root down through your foot and you can firm up that standing leg. Okay, keep that foot on the block and step down.

Keep that foot on the block and step up. And now, root firm up through that leg and feel how you can press into your foot and feel your heart bloom. Feel the relationship between rooting into the ground and your heart blooming. Nice. Keep that foot on the brick.

One more like this. Step down. Step up. Now, root, firm your leg, feel your heart rooting, and now see if you can get a sense of letting your head kind of find its balance point, like a little gooier in the jaw and the neck and set your ambitions a little further than a few feet out in front of you, like look more towards the horizon. Beautiful.

Okay, carefully step down, step off the brick, stand on both feet, deliberate inhale here and exhale, let a bit of a happen and soften, soften the knees, soften the low belly, and allow your awareness to run down that leg that you were just stepping up on the brick with. And sometimes as you stand here, sometimes that leg will feel more grounded, more rooted. Sometimes you can feel your intention go all the way down through the foot to the earth. Couple more moments, just like see if this reveals itself. Nice.

Okay, let's tune the other side. So move yourself or your brick, whichever is more convenient, step your opposite foot up onto the brick, place your hand on something for balance if helpful, and then step up. Keep that foot on the brick and step down. Keep that foot on the brick and step up. Keep that foot on the brick and step down.

Keep that foot on the brick and step up, nice. Step down, this time as you step up, root, get a sense of pressing down into the foot on the brick, firm your leg, get a sense of collecting yourself, nice. Now keep that foot on the brick, step down, push and step up. This time firm the leg again and see if you can establish this relationship between rooting through the foot and feeling your heart bloom a bit, yes. Really nice.

Gorgeous. Okay, keep that foot on the brick. One more step down and then step up, root, firm, feel your heart bloom. Now start to tune the alignment of your skull. So normally when we're trying to balance we look like right in front of us, got to set your ambitions a little further, more towards the horizon, throat is softer, base of the skull is wide, yes, a little like slacker in the jaw, okay, super nice.

Step down, stand on both feet, you can move the brick to the side, stand on both feet, big deliberate inhale, exhale a little bit of a hop and soften both your knees. As you soften your knees let your low belly relax and essentially what you're tuning here, the yogi is called the appanavayu, the downward flowing wind. Let yourself be like, let yourself feel grounded. And as you feel grounded, which can also have a sense of feeling safe, supported and held, here's how there's a natural inclination in the breath to hang out kind of around the bottom of the exhale, like there's just kind of a natural, yes. To compare, because sometimes our mind likes to compare, go too much in the opposite direction, so press too much through your feet, so your legs firm and almost like your heart jacks, so like a little bit too much, like as if somebody told you to stand up straight in an aggressive way, root and go too much, and as you do that, as you kind of overemphasize the upward flowing energy, okay, notice how there's sort of a feeling where you kind of get caught, or maybe you notice that there's a feeling where you get kind of caught up in the inhale, there's often an accompanying feeling of anxiety, like there's too much upward flowing wind, okay, so stop that, inhale here, exhale, let it happen, and maybe even cleanse it out a little bit more by bending the knees and sliding the hands down the legs and folding over a little bit and shake the head out, okay, bend the knees, hands on the legs, chin into the chest, roll it on back up, and let's see if we can start to sense finding a balance, again this word sama, so spread the toes a little bit, big deliberate inhale, exhale, let it happen, soften the knees, low belly easy, let the earth have you, trust that the earth has you and your body knows how to stay here, notice how the breath descends towards the bottom of the exhale, there's a settling, it's almost like if you've had a jar of muddy water and you put it on the shelf and it starts to kind of, and while this has a grounded feeling, you are a being of action and we need you, so root just enough through the feet, like just find the right amount so the heart starts to come online just enough, like you can, like just enough and you'll know you do it too much if it starts to feel anxious, right, we explored that, so just enough, like let your heart naturally blossom, find her natural generosity, let your shoulders sort of roll back and down, and this is a lot to do with how your anatomy is, but sometimes it just feels correct, if your arms allow it to be, and correct isn't quite the right word, but it feels quite natural to let the palms be open, okay, now find the alignment of your skull so you don't need your neck tension, and you'll know that you have found the proper alignment, this is the first principle in yoga, a hymns non-violation, not in violation with the truth of your alignment, when the inhale and exhale are naturally equal, and the length of the inhale and the quality of the inhale is the same as the length and quality of the exhale, and while you might be able to sense it, if you want to measure it you could just sort of count up your inhale, like one, two, three, and then see if it matches with your exhale, three, two, one, a couple more moments here, like sense this, because it's more like the breath reflects the quality of your alignment, rather than you trying to affect the breath, beautiful, this is one you can play with all day long, in line at the post office, in line at the grocery store, in line to vote, love.


Sandra Židan
Great, Kira! I loved this practice! Kind regards!
Kira Sloane
Sandra Židan, xoxok
Kate M
2 people like this.
Love the simplicity and call to deep focus in this guided exercise. And at the end I looked at the visual and saw sunbeams sliding down to earth... thank you for passing on the radiance! xo k8
Kira Sloane
1 person likes this.
Kate M, YOU! LOVE!
Linette C
1 person likes this.
Thankyou, energy really flowed downward and away from upper levels. Love 
David G-
I had an epiphany with this practice.  My energy does get stuck in the heart area for a myriad of reasons. My lessons this week seem centered around the heart center blooming and expanding, but also gaining so much more awareness of my hip joint, shoulder blades, and the movement of energy (add an acupuncture visit). Thank you for the homework as well. Tonight's homemade pizza night, so lots of standing in the kitchen and a larger mat to play.  Have a wonderful day whenever you read this. :) 

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