Beyond Binary Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 8

Changing Perspective

30 min - Practice


As we change perspective, we become more malleable, more flexible, more adaptable. Miles leads a practice to help us change our perspective and get unstuck, on and off the mat. We strengthen the core, find space and stability in the shoulders, and warm the body in a standing flow before playing into Headstand variations. You will feel more centered and spacious, with a more curious and compassionate outlook on your obstacles.
What You'll Need: Mat, Block


Read Full Transcript

Hi, everyone. I'm so happy to be here with you on Yoga Anytime. My name is Miles Barrero. If you've been with me for the whole series, we've looked at form and what it means to fill a form or a shape. We've looked at space, the sort of insides of the shape and the form. And we've looked at how to negotiate a sense of relating one to the other. So there's more of a zoom effect that we can move from shape to space and vice versa. And then we took that into some balancing play. And today, we're going to add to that by changing our perspectives. Oftentimes, especially when our minds get into a funky place, it's really hard to get out of that place. So we feel like we get stuck. And part of my idea for practice today is using the physical practice to find ways to do what artists call breaking your eye, which is a way of changing your perspective. And when we're able to change our perspective, then we are able to see other possibilities that perhaps we hadn't been able to see before. And we're able to play with other choices and other ways in. So yeah, that's what we're going to do today. You'll need one block for practice. And we will meet on our on our backs. Separate your feet as wide as your mat. Let the knees knock in toward one another, rest one hand on your belly, one hand on your chest. And settle into your Ujjayi breath. The Ujjayi breath is that breath that sounds like the ocean. And already that breath is going to help you relate the sense of your inner space to the boundaries of your shape. And vice versa. You can feel how the space inside of you meets the sort of wall of the body and how the outside of you meets the wall of the body. And maybe, maybe, maybe this breath can help you become a little bit more fluid so that that wall starts to dissolve a little bit and maybe becomes more flexible like that of the wall of a cell. Take three more breaths. While you breathe and hang out with yourself, you might think of perhaps a place in your life that feels kind of sticky right now. Notice that it probably feels sticky because you don't see a way out or an alternative. We can't change the world necessarily always to be the world that we want it to be. We can definitely try. But we may not always get there. But what we always can change is our perspective. And that's one of the greatest gifts that the ancient yogis have imparted to us. This idea that we can expand our consciousness around a certain thing or an object or a person. And then from there, you'll bring the feet together, interlace the fingers behind your head, and then bring your knees up toward your chest. And you can floint your feet, which means a pointed foot with flexed toes. Lift the top of the spine up toward your knees so you're pressing the back body into the floor. The elbows point toward the knees. I know we're moving a little slowly, so be patient. And then from there, the right elbow comes toward the left knee. Reach the right leg in a diagonal, but lift yourself a little higher. And then from there, switch that left elbow toward right knee. Reach the right leg long. Lift a little higher. And then we'll make it a little bit more with the breath on the exhale coming in. Curl your tailbone up at the last moment. That accent is hard. And then switch left elbow to right knee. Curl up and switch right elbow to left knee. Curl up and switch left elbow to right knee.

Curl up. Two more. Switch right elbow to left knee. Curl up and left elbow to right knee. Curl up. From there, hug your knees in toward your chest. You can hold onto your inner ankles and let your knees explode out a little bit into a soft appanasan. And then hug your knees in round, back and forth. Bring your feet out in front of you, hips distance apart. The fingertips will be underneath your shoulders and the fingertips might point forward or if your wrists are kind of punky, they can point out to the sides. Narrow the elbows in toward one another. Lift your chest as you inhale. And then as you exhale, lift your bum up into a table pose. Slide the shoulder blades in toward one another. Think of the sternum reaching toward the back of your space. The shoulder blades reaching toward the backs of the knees down the back. Take two more breaths to spread the abdomen wide. And lower your booty down. Grab your block. You'll slide it onto your mat. And then take a seat in a supported virasana if that's available to you. If that feels like not a great deal for your knees, sit cross-legged. But maybe choose the opposite leg than the one that you always put out in front. Plug your sit bones down into the block. And we'll start with a little bit of shoulder mobility that then will extend into the thoracic spine. The thoracic spine is the ribcage spine. So we'll start really simply. The inhale will lift the shoulder blades up. And the exhale will draw the shoulder blades down even further than they used to go. And then inhale up. And exhale down. Inhale up. And exhale down. One more. Inhale up. And exhale down. And then leave that find neutral where your shoulder blades just kind of rest on your back. Reach your arms out in front of you and flex your hands as if you were in a plank pose. And then from there, push me away with your hands. You'll feel the shoulder blades wrap forward and round a little. And then as you exhale, squeeze the shoulder blades in toward one another. You'll feel the arms come onto the back again. And as you inhale, sorry, as you exhale, push forward. And then as you inhale, draw back.

Slide the shoulder blades in a little closer toward one another. And then again, pressing as you exhale, round, round, round, as if you were someone was hugging you from very high in your ribs. And then squeeze the shoulder blades in toward one another. Super nice. From there, let that go. And now we'll start to make spinal undulations. So it will go like this. You'll start to let your chin drop down in toward your chest. Round yourself down, down, down, down, down. And then once you get to where you're almost at the floor, imagine that you're pushing a large ball away with your nose. Open your chest and lift yourself up, up, up, up, up. And then curl your tailbone under and round yourself down, down, down, down, down. Press the nose forward, roll, open, lift, and then curl, curl, curl, and round, round, round, pressing, forward, forward, lift your chest. And one more. Round, round, round, let it be slow and luxurious. Try not to rush. Lift up, stay with an open chest. So now we're going to reverse it. Folding forward and then feel your tailbone curl under as you round yourself up. Inhale, open your chest and fold forward. Round, round, round as you curl up. Inhale, open your chest, fold, and round, round, round to come up. And then close your eyes and land in whatever's happening for you. See if you can find the context of your spine, the sort of scaffolding of your spine and the scaffolding of the shoulder girdle in the place of where effort and ease meet. So there's that tension, but it's the good tension that keeps you upright. And then there's also a sense of softness or malleability to your situation. Settle into your breath. Notice what has changed. You might recall that place, that person, that situation that has you feeling a little bit stuck. And know that there's no need to fix it or change it right now. Simply have it in your landscape and let the, leave some room for magic. You never know. By the end, you might feel like you have a little room around that. We'll sing together. The words are Radhe Govinda Radhe. Repeat after me. Radhe Govinda Radhe. Radhe Gopala Radhe. Radhe Gopala Radhe. Radha and Gopal or Govinda are the impersonations, the masculine and feminine impersonations of compassion. So we're really calling into that full circle of all of the everything that life has to offer in its scope as far as compassion goes. And we're calling to that part of ourselves so that we can be a little sweeter, a little gentler around whatever is sticky. Listen. Radhe Govinda Radhe Gopala Radhe. Radhe. Radhe Govinda Radhe. Gopala Radhe. Radhe. Radhe Govinda Radhe. Radhe Govinda Radhe. Gopala Radhe. Radhe. Radhe Govinda Radhe. Gopala Radhe. Radhe. Radhe.

Palms together. Feel the right palm meet into the left. Feel the left palm meet into the right. Notice if there's one that's pressing a little bit more actively. And can you almost meet as if you were going to pull them apart but they were still touching. So there's flexibility as far as pressing and pulling. Take a deep inhale. Ahhhh. Gently open your eyes. We will meet on your hands and your knees. Spread your fingers nice and wide. Knees underneath the hips. Hands right underneath the shoulders. Pin the navel to the spine. And then as you exhale, push the floor away from you with your hands. Round the top of the spine. And then as you inhale, squeeze the shoulder blades together. Try not to bend your elbows. Exhale, push down. Round. And inhale, squeeze the shoulder blades. And one more. Exhale, push down. Round. And then inhale, squeeze the shoulder blades. Super nice. From there, tuck your toes under and press the thighs up and back. You may have to walk the hands forward a little bit or the feet back. Feel your palms meeting the ground, your feet meeting the ground. Lift the sit bones up and back. Let your head release. Inhale, your right leg high. On the exhale, hug the knee in toward the nose. Step the foot in between the hands. Cup your fingertips. And on the inhale, round your spine. Let your head go. And on the exhale, left heel back, heart forward. Inhale, round, round, round.

And pull the chest forward. And one more. Round, round, round. And pull the chest forward. Spin the back heel down. Reach the left arm forward and up. Come all the way up into your warrior two. And then as you inhale, extend your front leg arms. Lift up by your ears. Lift the right hip off of the right thigh. And then bend your right knee. Open the arms out into a T. Inhale, extend. Lift high. Exhale, bend. Inhale, extend. Lift high. And exhale, bend. Inhale, extend. Lift high. Turn the right toes in. Turn the heels in. Bend your knees and slide the hands down the insides of your ankles. And then as you inhale, round your spine. And on the exhale, pull the heart forward, butt back. Inhale, round. Exhale, heart forward, butt back. Inhale, round. Exhale, heart forward, butt back. Hands down to the floor. Walk yourself forward. Step the left foot to meet the right foot.

Inhale, lengthen your spine. On the exhale, fold. Round yourself. Slowly, slowly all the way up. Bend your knees a little. Good. And then from there, bring the feet all the way together. Interlace the fingers behind your head. And then think that the thumbs are kind of touching those notches right at the bottom of the skull. And then press your head into the hands. Lengthen the back of the neck up and back so you're not crunching your neck back. You're actually getting taller. Imagine that there was a book on the top of your head. Point your elbows forward. And then pin the navel to the spine. And try to firm the legs in toward one another without completely squeezing everything. So there's that same sense of tension, of ease, and also of action. From there, inhale, reach the arms up. Get a little taller. And then as you exhale, fold forward. Inhale your right foot back. Exhale, step back. Downward facing. And then from there, lower your knees down onto the floor. Come back into your child's pose. Now listen, you're going to push as if you were pushing a ball with your nose. Bend your elbows. Keep your chest low and press your heart forward, forward, coming into a cobra. And then push back. Lift your bum, press back. Child's pose. Twice more like that. Scrub your heart forward. Keep your elbows low to the ground. Pull forward through knees, chest, chin, cobra. And then push back. Child's pose. Oh, you've got one more. Keep your chest low. Press forward, forward, forward into your cobra. And then push back into your child's pose. Inhale, pull forward, cow pose. Tuck your toes under, press up and back. Inhale, left leg high. Mommy, exhale, hug the knee and toward the nose. Step the foot right between the hands. Inhale, round your spine, cup your fingertips. Exhale, heart forward, bum back. Inhale, round. Exhale, heart forward, bum back. Inhale, round. Exhale, heart forward, bum back. Spin the back heel down. Right arm reaches forward and up. Warrior two second side. Inhale, extend your front leg. Arms lift. Exhale, bend the knee arms out into a T. Inhale, extend. Lift high. Exhale, bend. You got it. Inhale, extend. Exhale, bend. Inhale, extend. Turn the left toes in. Turn the heels in. Bend the knees over the toes. And then slide the hands down inside your ankles. Inhale, round your spine.

Inhale, bum back, heart forward. Inhale, round. Bum back, heart forward as you exhale. One more. Inhale, round. Bum back, heart forward. Hands down. Walk yourself forward and this time step your foot back. Downward facing dog. Lower your knees down onto the floor. From here you're going to lower the forearms down. Narrow your elbows a tiny bit narrower than your shoulders. Interlace the fingers. And if the thumb, sorry, if the pinky finger is kind of bugging you, you can tuck it under the other pinky finger. From there you're going to tuck your toes under and lift your legs up and back. Now listen, walk your feet forward, forward, forward. I know that it's looking like a headstand more and more, but we're going to take it step by step, which means you stop where the subway stops for your house, not for your neighbors. You know what I mean? From there, walk your feet as far forward as they'll go. And then as you exhale, lower the crown of the head down. And then press through the forearms to lift the crown of the head. I know. And then lower the crown of the head down and press down to lift the head up. And then lower the crown of the head down. If that's challenging for you, this is where you stay with the head lifted and pressing into the forearms. If you'd like to continue, lower the head down. The back of the skull will come to the heels of the hands. Walk your feet a little further forward. If this is already a lot, this is where you stay. If your cervical spine is bothering you, lift your head and just press into your forearms and stay there. Now you've walked your feet forward. Hug your left knee in toward your chest. Squeeze the heel up toward your bum. Come high up onto your right tiptoes and maybe, maybe you bend your right knee and squeeze the other right knee. If that's not quite happening, you stay with the right foot down and you lower the left leg down. And then you try the right heel. If that is happening and you're getting lift off, you're going to squeeze the knees together, flex your feet, and imagine that you're kicking the ceiling away, like in a sci-fi movie.

Like the ceiling is trying to crush you and you're like, no, with your feet, flex your feet, kick the feet into the floor, which is now the ceiling. Take a few breaths. If you're very adept at your headstand, you might even try closing your eyes and balancing. Take three more breaths, wherever you are. One more. And then slowly lowering the knees in toward the chest. That's going to curl your tailbone in and then lower either one foot at a time or both feet together. Down. Come into a child's pose, interlace your fingers behind your skull, widen your elbows out and let the weight of the hands traction your neck spine out. Roll yourself up to sit. Good work, yogis. We're going to come to a seated spinal twist. So you're going to slide the left knee bent and the right foot outside of your left knee, right hand right behind you, left arm lifts, take an inhale. And on the exhale, twist to the right. The inhale lengthens the spine. The exhale twists you a little deeper. Do more. Inhale, reach the arms back up, untangle the legs, switch the sides, left foot outside your right thigh, cup your left fingertips, inhale the right arm up and then twist. And you drop your left outer seat down. Two more. Inhale back up, bend your legs out, toes point up, inhale, lengthen your spine and fold forward. You can keep your eyes open. You could also close your eyes. And whether you've played with that a million times or this was the first time you've ever played with even attempting a headstand, notice if it created a little bit of space for you around what you think you can do, you know, around what you think the reality is and what the reality actually is. And also how imagination can alter your reality and creativity can alter your reality. You're going to lift up, round yourself onto your back for Shavasana. Vajagovindam, vajagovindam, vajagovindam, vajagovindam. Vajagovindam, vajagovindam, vajagovindam, vajagovindam.

Vajagovindam. Vajagovindam. Vajagovindam. Deep in your breath, wiggle your fingers and your toes, soles of the feet onto the floor. Take the time you need to round yourself over onto one side and come up to sit.

Once you come to sit, find a tall seat. Honor that you took the time to create the shape in some ways, so meet it with the space inside yourself. And then come back to that thing that you were thinking about, that person, that situation, and see if perhaps there's a little bit more space or wonder or curiosity around it. Oftentimes when we harden, that stops. And built within the yoga practice is this awesome thread of changing perspective that's in every aspect of the yoga practice.

If we become good at changing perspective, we become more malleable, more flexible, and more adaptable. Palms together, deep inhale. Love and light to all beings everywhere, no exceptions, namaste yogis. Thank you so much for your company, I'll see you soon.


Michelle F
1 person likes this.
Buenas dias preciosa!
loved this - your tone of voice  during the headstand when you talked of imagining the ceiling pressing o the soles of the feet and said " nooooo" made me burst out laughing, wobble and fall! What I took from that is that a little sprinkle of humour  would go a long way in alleviating  my sticky situation....or dejar de tomarme tan en serio!!!
Gracias Miles - es un placer estar aqui contigo virtualmente!
loveandpeac exxx
1 person likes this.
Michelle F jajaja, ay no! Te tumbe! Pero me gusta mucho la conclusión que sacaste del caso. I always try to approach things with a little humor. Life is so difficult, I don’t think I could’ve survived this long without it. 🤗

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