Enliven Your Senses: A 7-Day Yoga Challenge Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 4

Day 3: Deep Inner Listening

30 min - Practice
51 likes

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On Day 3, we explore holding familiar postures so that we might cultivate the sense of deep inner listening. We find holds in standing poses, Forearm Plank, and Bridge, before settling into hip stretches. You will feel quiet and calm.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Welcome back, and thank you for joining me for this class, this sequence on deep inner listening. So we're moving into the sense of sound. How we hear the sounds around us from the external also how we start to link that through the sound of the breath and then coming into the internal space that constant dialogue that we're having with ourselves in our mind's eye, that deep inner listening that will hopefully look at today in this practice. So let's begin in child pose. You can take your time to make your way into child's pose, invitation to have knees together, or it might feel good to take them a little bit wider.

Maybe even as wide as the mat as you start to let your torso drape down between the legs. And this practice will be a bit slower as we kind of linger within the postures so that we have that spaciousness to really begin to listen. And as you come into child's pose, perhaps the 3rd eye rests on the earth, reach the arms forward as the hip sink back. Maybe allow the eyes to close and start to focus in on the breath. Rise of the inhale, fall of the exhale.

And as you settle here, start to tune a listening ear to the sounds that are surrounding you in your space, both near and far. So maybe you're hearing Sound of a heater, falling water somewhere. Maybe it's raining. Crackling of the floorboards beneath you. And perhaps you could even notice sounds outside of the space that you're in.

Maybe a car going by, airplane up above, The wind. Can you reach for the furthest sound from where you are? And without becoming too attached to any one sound, It's kind of allowing them to blend together like a symphony. And as we start to draw the attention inward, noticing sound of your breath, starting to shift the gaze to the internal that deep inner listening perhaps hearing any thoughts or observing thoughts in your head? Again, without judgment, without attachment, it's becoming the observer, the witness, notice, It's coming back to the sound and audible sigh, the breath, And then slowly, we'll make our way through tabletop and then right away tucking the toes coming into our first downward facing dog, lifting hips up and back, and start by inviting in a little movement.

So maybe pedal it out through the feet, bending one knee straightening through the opposite leg as you let that heal melt down, maybe sway a little side to side And then eventually when it feels good for you and appropriate in your body, can you start to sync into stillness. Let's see if you can find that place where you can find stillness so that you can listen inward. Perhaps notice the desire to move and how that might take you out of that stillness. Out of that deep inner listening. Just allowing a few more breaths here.

Beautiful. And then slowly as you're ready, start to walk your feet towards your hands, coming to a forward fold. At the front of your mat, letting everything melt down, maybe put a nice big bend in the knees, maybe hold opposite elbows. Again, just taking a moment, maybe moving around a little bit. And then eventually, can you find a place where you can rest in some sort of stillness.

Bringing the attention. To perhaps the thoughts, watching them start to float by and back to the sound of your breath, like the ocean, And then take your time. We'll start to roll up to stand vertebra. Vivertebra. Take a moment up at the top.

Maybe roll out your shoulders a few times. In either direction. Good. And then drawing the hands together in front of the heart, stepping the feet together will move into a few sun salutations, finding that pause in between each round. As you're ready, inhale sweep the arms out and up, lengthen through the spine. X health soften the knees dive forward, uttanasana.

Good. On an inhale lift halfway up length and good for this first one. Plant your palm step back plank pose. Top of a push up. Take a moment to pause and plank. Good. Shifting. Wake forward.

Come halfway here all the way down. Inhale, cobra, or upward facing dog, exhale, meeting back, in downward facing dog. And let's hold for 5 full deep breaths and a big full breath in. Long full breath out. Breathing in.

Out. Allowing about 3 more breaths here. Maybe matching the length of your inhale with the length of the exhale. In that spaciousness at the top of the breath, slight pause at the bottom of the exhale. Beautiful as you're ready, rise up on toes, knees bend, look forward, step or lightly float front of the mat on an inhale lift halfway and lengthen.

Exhale release and fold. Gotta root down to rise. Arms sweep out and up. Exhale, draw hands to heart. Let's take 2 more rounds, surya namaskar a inhale arms lift, maybe gaze lift, Exhale Utanasana forward fold.

Good inhale lift halfway lengthen. Exhale plant palm step or lightly float back through Chaturanga. Inhale cobra or upward facing dog, exhale landing back, in downward facing dog. Let's take 3 to 5, full deep breaths. Breathing in.

Maybe audible exhale as you release something you might be holding that's no longer needed. Few more full rounds of breath here. Good. And then rising up onto toes, knees, bend, look forward, step or lightly float front of the mat. Inhale lift halfway lengthen, exhale release and fold root down to rise. Arms sweep out and up.

And gathering your intention, hands together in front of the heart. Go one more round. In hell, arms lift, gaze lift, lengthen, exhale, keeping the length in the spine forward fold, inhale to lift halfway, Excel plant palm, step, or lightly float back through your vinyasa, lower halfway or all the way down Chaturanga. Inhale cobra or updog. Exhale.

Downward facing dog. And from here, let's float the right leg up and back three leg dog. Exhale step the right foot through between your hands, and we'll set up for warrior 2. So spinning the back heel down, let the left arm guide you up and open to face the side of the mat. And then again, just as we kind of did to begin with. If you need a little movement to find your way into the structure of the shape, get the wiggles out, and then just take a moment to land and be.

Notice perhaps what you're hearing as you come into a place where you might be meeting your edge, where there might be a little discomfort. Just listening to that and becoming curious about what comes up for you. And then coming back to the breath without judgment, just noticing the thoughts, the sounds, Letting them all be a part of the experience. What might you not be listening to? There's a question. Allowing a few full deep breaths.

Beautiful. And then flipping the front pump as you tilt back this briefly will come into reverse warrior and then keeping the shape with the legs coming to extended side angle. I'm gonna let the elbow rest on top of the thigh. You might take your fingertips the inside or outside of the front foot, maybe a block. And then reaching left arm either straight up or maybe take it up and over your left ear, finding one line of energy from left fingertips to left heel. And then let's stay here and breathe.

Breathing in. Breathing out. 3 to 5 more full deep breaths. We all breathe differently. The length of our breath is differently.

So letting this be your breath, your practice. Maybe matching the breath to the sound of the ocean waves. If you're working with Beautiful. As you're ready, root down to rise back to warrior 2. We'll straighten the front leg. Parallel the feet face the side of the mat. You might shorten your stance a little bit.

Setting up for wide leg forward fold, hands to hips. Start to draw the elbows back as you lift up through the heart space. And then keeping that length in the spine moving into wide leg forward fold, maybe hands down on the earth or your ankles and just allowing the crown of the head to melt down. A couple full deep breaths here, listening to where you feel this in the body, and just what arises for you. And then coming out of there, she lift halfway up, walking hands under the shoulders, draw the hands back to the hips, come up with a long spine.

We'll come back to warrior 2, reaching the right toes forward. Arms open wide. Flip the front palm tilt back reverse warrior, and exhale circle hands down to the earth. Step back for plank pose, moving through Chaturanga, inhaled cobra or upward facing dog. And meeting back in down dog. Let's allow a big full breath in.

Wanna stick out the tongue for lion's breath. Inhale and exhale. Beautiful lifting the left leg all the way up and back. 3 leg dog, exhale to step through setting up for warrior to spin the back heel down, let the right arm guide you up and open, and just melting into this second side. Again, maybe there's some movement as you make your way into the shape. And eventually just finding that staying place where you can sink in a little deeper.

You might even close your eyes. And then breathe and meet yourself. Your shoulders can soften energizing through the fingertips, and then just listen. What do you hear? Beautiful as you're ready, we'll flip the left palm to tilt back for reverse warrior, fill the length, through the left side body, keeping the shape with the legs extended side angle.

The elbow might rest on the thigh or fingertips. On a block. Reach the left arm up or take it up and over, excuse me, the right arm up or keep it up and over that right ear. Spinning that right pinky down a bit. Find some space between the right shoulder and your right ear and feel the length. Find spaciousness, and just breathe.

And you might notice as you tune into external sounds, how that might evoke a feeling in the internal space. Or equality of awareness. Couple more breaths. And take your time as you root down. We'll come back up to warrior 2.

Hands to hips straight in the front leg parallel defeat. Maybe shorten the stance a little bit. As you inhale, draw the elbows back, heart lifts, exhale, wide leg forward fold. Maybe doing something different with your hands or arms this time. You could take peace fingers onto big toes.

Or you fold in the hat way. Maybe you have a couple blocks under your hands. Just notice what feels good for you. A few full deep breaths. And releasing as you inhale lift halfway.

Walking hands back onto hips with the long spine. Come back up. Turn the left toes toward the front of the mat. We'll land just briefly back. In warrior 2, and then flipping the front palm to tilt back reverse warrior and circle down, vinyasa, or feel free as always. To skip, find the transition back to down dog that suits you today. Meeting in downward facing dog.

Let's bring the feet together at the back of the mat. Lied forward into plank pose. Welcome to lower your knees. Otherwise, let's lower the forearms down. You might step your feet about hip distance as you come into forearm plank, feel free to interlace the fingers, hugging the elbows in, let the hips lower toward the height of your shoulder blades, and we'll be here for a few full deep breaths engaging through the core.

Find length in the back of your neck, engage your quadriceps, and listen to what comes up here. What comes up for you? Maybe it's that inner voice saying, okay. That's enough. And if so, on to that, when do you when would you like to lower your hips?

Otherwise, couple more breaths. Breathe in. Hips lower. Let that go. Breathe out. Sph sphinx pose.

Walk your elbows. Slightly in front of the shoulders, press through the palms of the hands, into the tops of the feet. Maybe drop your chin toward your chest and then draw right ear toward the right shoulder, stretching the side and the neck, Good chin to chest, left ear, left shoulder, stretching the right side of the neck. And as you come back through center gazing straightforward and then taking the gaze to the right. So over the right shoulder and just another stretch here sending to what you need in each moment.

Back through center. Take the gaze to the left. Beautiful. And then as you come back through center, slide your hands where your elbows were, hug the elbows in. We'll come up into cobra pose. Let's peel the chest up off the earth.

Feel that big, hard opener. Beautiful. And then slowly release and let that go. Gonna take a moment to press back hands and knees, hips to heels, child's pose, right, where we landed. And notice if there's right where we began, notice if there's a different quality of hearing in this child's pose, this time around, new now. Beautiful. And then gaze between your thumbs.

Well, pick up the right arm and start to thread it under your left arm a nice little shoulder stretch here, and it might feel better to take the knees a little wider as you gaze to the left, maybe letting the right side of the face rest on the earth. Hopeful deep breaths, grounding, feeling supported, Good. And then coming back through center, reaching right arm forward, you could pick up the left arm threaded under the right. Maybe the left side of the cheek comes down. Breathe into the left shoulder a couple full deep breaths. Beautiful. And then slowly unravel.

Let's meet back in downward facing dog, tucking the toes lifting the hips up and back. There's a few full deep breaths here. Noticing the quality of this down dog versus when we started. Beautiful. And then coming to seated at the front of the mat, you might hop your feet forward or just simply walk them forward. We'll bring the legs out in front of us, flexing through the feet, straightening up, through the legs, wiggle in for a moment, sit up nice and tall, find length in the spine as you inhale, sweep the arms up.

And then leading with the heart, Pashi Motanasana, forward fold, letting the hands fall wherever they fall. Think a moment to just bow and holding here as you breathe into the back of the legs. Noticing how the shape shifts as we stay and breathe. Lowing just a few more full deep breaths. And on your next breath in, Slowly come up.

We'll roll all the way on to our backs, taking a moment to bring the knees in with you massage through the low back by rocking a little side to side, maybe taking the knees in circles in either direction. Good. And then letting the soles of the feet find the earth about hips distance apart brushing the back of the heels with your fingertips And we'll set up for a nice long bridge pose. So pressing through the soles of the feet and the palms of the hands start to lift the hips any amount chest up toward the chin. You might press the palms of the hands into the earth or maybe start to roll the shoulders underneath you. You could find an interlace. Maybe hold on to the ankles. Stay for about 10 full deep breaths.

Feeling the lift happening from the hamstrings, feeling that opening and the in tire front line of the body. Deep in our listening. You have more full rounds of breath. As you're ready slowly. One vertebra at a time, lower, upper back, mid back, low back.

Okay. From here, let's cross the right ankle. On top of the left knee, find a figure for shape with your legs. Thread the needle. You might take hold of the back of that left thigh or the top of the left shin. Let your shoulders soften and then breathe into wherever you feel this.

Listening to what you need here. Maybe it's stillness, maybe it's rocking a little side to side. Softening into the shape. And the shapes are this way into a a deeper listening, noticing who we are within the shapes. Re leasing that side.

Stepping the right foot down. We'll cross left ankle on top of the right. Me finding that figure for shape flexing through the left foot, interlacing, threading the needle, softening shoulders, the gaze, the breath. Maybe start to bring the awareness to the sounds in the space beyond and around you noticing as you hear those sounds, how they land in your body. Any sensations that may arise, feelings, thoughts.

It's amazing what the sweetness of the right song can awaken within us. Very much connected. And then releasing that side as you're ready. There's anything else that you may need here to honor your practice. Feel free. Otherwise, we'll stretch the legs long coming into Shabasana.

Again, just that invitation for that deep inner listening. It's breaking your attention back into the body or breath, sounds, temperature of the space. Biting any gentle movement back in, fingers, toes, ankles wrists. And then take your time as you make your way to seated. You might roll to one side or just simply roll your way out.

Taking a moment as you come to seated to gather ham together in front of your heart, bowing in toward yourself and gratitude, thanking yourself, yourself are showing up for you practicing. Thank you so much for being here with me for taking this challenge together. Wishing you a beautiful rest of your day. Namaste.

Comments

Martha K
5 people like this.
As I age I feel more in my yoga practice. This class allows so much to arise. Slowing down can lead to a deeper experience. Very sweet 
Noreen S
3 people like this.
Thank you Sarah. A beautiful practice. ❤️
Kate M
2 people like this.
This practice allowed me to meet myself and honour where I'm at right now, to acknowledge what has transpired to bring me here, and to start to open to what will unfold. Thank you, Sarah.
Sarah Beston
Thank you so much for sharing, Martha K. I also feel the desire to slow down in my own personal practice and linger longer in the postures to see what arises. Thanks for practicing with me here. Warmly, Sarah
Sarah Beston
Thank you for sharing and for practicing with me here, Noreen S! Warmly, Sarah
Sarah Beston
1 person likes this.
Thank you for sharing that beautiful reflection, Kate M. I do love how the yoga practice is a consistent reminder to meet ourselves where we are with kindness and grace. 
Katarina V
Thank you Sarah for this sweet slow class. Lovely! 
Glenford N
Thanks Sarah. This practice awakened a sense of my inner child, my inner guide and a deep feeling of calmness which I could take into my day and all my interactions. Merry Christmas. Namaste.
Sandra Židan
Thank you very much, Sarah, for this lovely practice! I've enjoyed doing it! Namaste! ❤️💐🦋
Emily L
1 person likes this.
I just love your cues and all of your sequences.  The timing of your teachings resonates with my rhythm. 

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