Beyond Binary Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 5

Cultivating Space

30 min - Practice


Bask in that magical moment between poses, where the gold dust of the stars settles in your system. Miles guides us in a class exploring the space inside the structure of the poses. We begin prone over a rolled blanket, enjoy a centering mantra practice, move into Lunar Salutes, play in Ustrasana, and close in Savasana while Miles sings our mantra with his harmonium. You will feel spacious, settled, and anchored to your inner world.
What You'll Need: Mat, Blanket, Block (2)


Read Full Transcript

Hi, Yogis. Welcome to Yoga Anytime. I'm Miles Barrero. If you haven't met me yet, I'm super excited to practice with you today. We started this series with episode one looking at structure, that shape, because shape is something that we all need to navigate constantly in our lives. And sometimes that navigation is challenging. But today we're going to move into space, which is what's inside the shape. So we started from the outside looking in, and now we're going to move our somatic intelligence, our awareness, our little lens to the inside of the body, and move from the inside out and see if we can sense a difference in how that feels related to the opposite. All right, you will need a blanket and two blocks. So whenever you've got that stuff, I'm going to show you how to fold the blanket. You can bring the blanket into some semblance like this, and then you want to create a long strip that's about two fists distance or two fists width. What I mean by that is if you were to bring your two fists, it would be about that wide, not much wider. And then from there, you're going to kind of lengthen it out in front of you and make a burrito size with the bolster. You don't want it to be huge. In fact, it's a little bit better if it's smaller, if it's too big, it's not going to feel good. And in fact, it might not feel good anyway, because we're going to work into the psoas and some deep muscles. So come on to your belly, you'll bring the navel right above the bolster above the burrito, and the pubic bone below the burrito. So you're in the soft tissue right in between your navel and your pubic bone. And then you'll feel that your hip points kind of hug the burrito. And then from there, whenever you feel like it's doable, you can widen your arms out and let your forehead rest on your the backs of your hands. And you know, what I meant by it not feeling delicious is that it can feel kind of intense here at the beginning. And even as you work to feel that bolster right in the soft tissue of your belly. Now start to find your ujjayi breath, that breath that sounds like the ocean, it comes and goes through the nose. Let your weight drop down into the floor and use the exhales as a way to really allow that little burrito to melt into your body. And it's like your belly and your hips are melting to the outsides of the burrito, letting the burrito soften in and become a part of you. And you might hit little points that feel really twingy and intense and that's totally fine. And then from there, you're going to kick the tops of the feet into the floor and push your knees down. That's going to curl your tailbone toward your heels. So it feels like you're rounding your tailbone and then bring the pubic bone forward and lengthen your sit bones up and back. So it's like a very tiny cat cow in the bottom of your spine and the pelvis. Move with your own breath. If your breath is not doing what you think it ought to, just let it do whatever it will do. It's totally fine as long as you keep that ujjayi breath, the victorious breath, moving. And then when you hit neutral or you hit that kind of center point, you can start to rock your left hip point down toward the floor. The hip point is the front, that little bony protrusion at the front of your pelvis. And you can rock over to the other side and you might meet some intensity here depending on whether you've eaten recently, depending on whether there's any kind of blockage and your digestion. If there are points that feel sticky or rough, you can remain there for a couple of breaths and breathe into it. Sometimes you feel a release right there on the spot. With people that have back stuff, low back stuff, when we're done with all of this, it might feel like a really nice release. And right now as you work, it might feel like it gets a little tighter and that's okay. Breathe into it, floss side to side. And then cactus your arms out into a cactus on either side. The forearms are down on the floor.

Reach the toes pointing straight back, feet or hips distance apart, and then push down into the tops of the feet. On the inhale, bulge your belly out a little bit and lengthen, lengthen, and telescope your spine forward, forward, forward. And then as you exhale, ripple down and snake down. Keep that going. Inhale, snake up. And exhale, snake down. Inhale, snake up. This time lift your cactus arms, press the belly forward, forward, forward, get a little longer, and exhale, lower down. And then we're going to do that once more. Inhale, lift up, press the belly forward, forward, forward. And exhale, ripple down. Hands by your ribs, push into the hands, press back into a child's pose of your little burritos there. You can rest your forehead down onto the burrito or you can move the blanket out to the side. And now widen your knees a little bit and let the belly kind of flop down in between the knees and allow your breath to move into the back body as if you had a pair of wings back there and you could fill them with your breath. From there, take the blanket out to the side and then kind of leave it there for the remainder of practice. You're going to take your two blocks and we're going to set them up for a supported fish pose. One block at the medium level, no block for the head for now. So I guess you didn't need your two blocks, you just needed the one. And then from there, you're going to find the bottoms of your shoulder blades and interlace your fingers behind your head and then point your elbows up.

The tendency is to widen the elbows out. Instead, point the elbows up and then keep your bum on the ground as you inhale, come up and over, use the block to kind of scooch the shoulder blades down toward your tailbone. Take a few breaths here. And then on the exhale, you're going to curl your chin in toward your chest and roll yourself up. Look forward and on the inhale, rock up and over the block and back. And as you exhale, kind of rounding, rounding forward, press your vertebra into the block. If it's the cork block, it might feel a little intense, that's okay. Inhale, rock back, roll open as much as possible. On the exhale, chin into the chest, round up, pin the navel to the spine twice more. Inhale, rock back. And exhale, round up. Inhale, rock back. And exhale, round up. One last time, rock back. This time you can lift your bum and see if there's a little bit more reach of the top of the shoulders, kind of reaching down toward the floor. Keep that and lower your bum down slowly, slowly, slowly. On the exhale, lift your chin up.

And then from there, you can reach your arms forward and maybe bring yourself the rest of the way up or roll over onto one side and come up to sit. Sit up on your block. If you can, sit up in a supported Virasana with your knees pointing forward and your toes pointing back, do that. And if your knees are punky and you would rather sit cross-legged, do that. We'll start with a little mantra practice. A friend of mine has this joke. He says you can do a thousand hours of asana or physical practice and or you can choose to do one hour of chanting and it gets you to the same place. Mantra really is a finder of space in the body. It's like ringing a bell or a gong and it vibrates areas of you to create a little bit of space. The words are radhe govinda radhe, radhe go pala radhe. Don't worry about getting them right. The whole point is trying your best and instead almost like you're luxuriating and tasting the sounds in your body and that's what's going to help loosen things up and move the energy around. I'll sing it once and then you can join me when you're ready. Vadhe govinda radhe go pala radhe, radhe go pala radhe. Vadhe Vadhe go pala radhe. Palms to the heart, deep inhale.

You might feel the bindu which is the the end of the voiced mantra and something happens right after that like a subtle beginning of the continuation of the voiceless mantra and that's where the space happens. That's where the magic happens. Gently open your eyes. We will meet at the front of your mat with your two blocks on either side of the sides of your mat just in case. Standing up. Close your eyes for a moment. Find tadasana. If you weren't here last week try to find it as clearly as you can the shape and if you were here you have a bunch of things that you might remember that you can add in about the pose itself and then soften the soles of the feet. Soften the ankles and imagine that your breath is drawing up through the body from the feet on the inhale and that it's extending out down to the feet on the exhale and you can add your hands so on the inhale you might bring it up through the legs and on the exhale press it down through the feet. Inhale, draw it up. Exhale, press it down. One more like that. Inhale, draw it up through the body. Exhale, press it down. Notice how that sense of your inner space has shifted your relationship to the outer space, specifically the floor and the space that's in front of you, above you, to your sides, to your back. From there, hook your thumbs, right thumb over the left, on the inhale bend your knees, step down into the feet and reach up through the fingertips, extend the legs, roll open. As you exhale fold forward over your legs. Inhale your left foot back, lower the back knee down, grab your blocks at the medium height and on the inhale open your chest, lift your chest up and as you exhale extend the front leg and push back. Inhale, bend the front knee, pull your chest forward. Exhale, extend the front leg.

Inhale, bend the front knee, pull your chest forward and exhale, extend the front leg. Super nice. From there, bend your front knee, tuck the back toes under, take your blocks out to the side, set them on the floor, hands down to the floor and step back and downward facing dog. On the inhale, come super high up onto your tippy toes, bend your knees a little bit and think that it's almost like you're snaking through the whole spine. The tail is going to chase the head as you round, round, round forward, vertebra by vertebra, try not to be in a rush. It's super hard and awesome when you're not in a rush and then bend your knees a little bit, scrub your sit bones up and back, pull back, back, back, back, back and then chin into the chest, rounding forward vertebra by vertebra, crown of the head undulates forward, bend the knees, pull back, back, back, back, back. Beautiful. One more. Inhale, rounding, rounding, rounding forward and bend the knees, push back, downward facing. Inhale your right leg high. On the exhale, hug the right knee and toward your nose, push the hands down into the floor to make space to bring the right foot forward and then from there you're going to bring your left block underneath your left hand at the medium height, reach your right arm over, take a big inhale and as you exhale the right arm is going to reach forward as you extend the front leg, turn your right chest down, bend your front knee, reach the right arm back, inhale, reach the right arm up, you're circling and then extend the right arm forward, extend the front leg and fold, face your leg. One more, bend your front knee, reach the right arm back, open your chest to the right, inhale and as you exhale extend and fold. Inhale, bend your front knee, step the left foot forward, inhale, lengthen your spine, block off to the side, exhale through the mouth. Without rushing, roll up vertebra by vertebra. Once you get up to stand, take a moment to appreciate the differences between your right side and your left. My left feels more anchored and interesting enough my right side feels like it's ballooning out to the right. So let's see what happens when we do it on the other side. Left thumb over the right, bend the knees, stand tall, inhale, kick up, roll open, lift your chest, exhale, fold forward over your legs, hands to your blocks, inhale the right foot way back, lower the back knee down, inhale, lift your chest, roll open and on the exhale extend the front leg, your hands can remain on blocks as you pull the hips back.

Inhale, bend your front knee, pull your chest forward, exhale, extend and fold. Inhale, bend the front knee, pull your chest forward and exhale, extend and fold. Bend your front knee, walk the blocks off to the sides, hands down, tuck your toes under, press up and back, inhale high up onto your tiptoes, bend your knees and remember to articulate every vertebra as you roll forward, forward, forward. Then bend the knees a little bit, scrub your sit bones up and back, rounding, rounding, rounding, rounding, rounding, forward. Bend your knees and scrub up and back and one more inhale, rounding, rounding, rounding, rounding, rounding, rounding, forward. Bend your knees, pull up and back, inhale, left leg high, on the exhale hug the knee in, push through the hands to make space, step the left foot forward from there, right block comes underneath your right hand at the medium height, roll your chest open, inhale. Now as you exhale extend that left arm forward, turn your chest down as you extend the left leg, fold, bend that knee, reach the left arm back, inhale, open your chest, on the exhale extend, extend, extend and fold. Bend your knee, reach the left arm back, inhale, open your chest and as you exhale extend, extend, extend and fold. Super nice this time, bend that front knee, plant your palms, we're going to do it differently this time, bring your left foot back, lower your knees down and then sit up for a second just so that you can perceive now how the left side is doing after all that work and how it's meeting the right side. Can you be really generous with the breath and allow the breath to really have buoyancy from the inside out? Then from there you're going to take your mat or your blanket and bring it over once and then stand up onto your shins, the hands will come onto the hips, point your elbows back and press your hips down, not forward. From there kick the shins down, start to scrub your chest up, up, up, up, up. Maybe you come all the way into your camel pose or maybe you just come a little bit up and back breathing. Chin into the chest as you exhale, sink back down onto your shins, this is the magical moment. Don't squander it, this is the moment where you meet yourself in time and space. It's like the gold dust of the stars settling in your system. Come back up, press down through the shins, hands onto your hips, inhale, roll up, second back bend, maybe you come a little deeper this time, maybe not so much yet, maybe not so much ever, that's okay.

Breathe, keep pressing the legs down, chin into the chest, lift up and lower, close your eyes and bask in that wonderful moment between worlds. The moment of transition is so powerful right, the penumbra, the eclipse. Last one, press down through the shins, lifting up, coming up and over, go. Chin into the chest, lift up and lower. Oh, super nice. Take that moment. Oftentimes the tendency is to rush through that wonderful moment, but that's really, those little beads are the moments why we come, right? Come to sit, bend your left knee, your right foot will come outside your left knee, right hand is like a kickstand, inhale your left arm up and on the exhale bring the left elbow outside your right knee, stamp down on that right foot, lengthen your spine, think of the shoulder blades softening.

Can you ratchet yourself less and instead work from the space inside, so you're working from really finding a release to come into the twist. Inhale back to center, switch the legs, press, left hand like a kickstand, inhale right arm up, turn and twist, press that elbow shoulder blades down and then see if you can do a little less and build the pose from the inside out. So you're not so concerned with what it looks like, but rather with how the inner space is meeting the outer space. Yeah, inhale back to center, from there extend your legs out, you have your blanket, if you want to use your blanket today you can roll it up into a little bolster, slip that under your knees, it's a really sweet way to end and then you'll recline back into shavasana. Before you completely dissolve into empty space here into niruddha, turn your palms to face up and bring your shoulder blades in toward one another and then you're going to start to feather your feet, what that means is point and flex your feet, point and flex, point and flex, point and flex, it's going to be really quickly like you're dust dust dusting something and you're going to feel your back body move on the floor, it sometimes feels like a key machine, a chi machine if you've ever been in one of those, keep it going, keep it going, can you make it quite active and quite fluttery? Fluttery is not a word, feathering, feathering, feathering, feathering, feathering, feathering, keep it going for 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, can you really breathe here? 3, 2, 1 and stop. Notice what that did to your sense of inner space. Om Namo Mahavira Jai Hanuman Om Namo Mahavira Jai Hanuman Shri Vam Devam Jai Jai Ram Shri Vam Devam Jai Jai Ram Shri Dharam Shri Dharam Shri Dharam Shri Dharam Shri Dharam Shri Dharam Deepen your breath. Make small movements in your fingers and your toes. And if you want to stay down, you can stay down, you can bring one hand onto your heart, one hand onto your belly. If you'd like to roll up to sit and join me, you can do that.

Close your eyes and see how you feel. Sometimes it's nice to rest a hand on your chest, on your heart. Sometimes there's an imbalance, sometimes we lean more on form or the space outside of ourselves. Sometimes we lean more into the inner space, but if we don't balance those two spaces, like the pressure between those two spaces, they can become crushing. So see if there's a nice atmospheric pressure there for yourself that you've cultivated in this time. Palms to the heart, deep inhale. Namaste yogis. Love and light to all beings, no exceptions.

Thanks so much for joining me.


Jenny S
1 person likes this.
Ahhh…I wish this site had a “love” button. As always, your class was the perfect mix of mantra, movement and stillness. Feeling spacious and content….PS the “feathering” movement just before savasana was very cool 😎
Jenny S amazing! We gotta get in that button! Sooo glad you ❤️‍🔥❤️‍🔥❤️‍🔥! 🤗
Pamela  D
Nice practice. I like the pace which gives time to feel where your body is. Still can't get the mantras ... The om is indeed powerful, and that I can manage!
2 people like this.
Pamela D awesome, thanks! The mantras take time. It's ok to let them wash over you. They are a practice as much as everything else. Maybe I will offer a chant guide in the future for people who want to look at the words. Would that be helpful? Glad you enjoyed practice. 
Saige G
Thank you so much Miles for the really beautiful practice. You are a blessing. 
Saige G thanks so much sage! I’ve had really wonderful teachers. 🤗
Gina G
1 person likes this.
Your practices are perfect! “No exceptions”❤️🧡💛💚💙
Gina G where's the love button on this thing???💜💜💜
1 person likes this.
Super nice practice, with your guidance I could really find a new sense of spaciousness! And feathering my way into savasana is going to be my new favorite thing! Much love xoxoxo
1 person likes this.
Katrin amazing! so glad you enjoyed. Yes, feathering is one of my all time favorites. 💜
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