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Season 4 - Episode 5

Guided Asana, Day 4

50 min - Practice
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Learn from how you're being guided. Erich encourages us to learn and practice the Opening Three pattern on our own. He then guides us through a gentle floor pattern to find ease in the body and mind. We finish in a relaxed version of reclining Buddha. You will feel spacious and happy.
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And then watch what you do to conclude the meditation. You know you're about to slide into opening number three. Just observe, learn from how you're being guided, how you get yourself going with this. Okay, so like just zero talking for the next few minutes and just go through the pattern. Have fun.

Who knows, I might even watch you. Definitely going to watch David. Okay. Okay. Okay.

Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay.

Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay.

Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay.

Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay.

Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay.

Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay.

Okay. Okay. Okay, one more minute. Okay. Okay.

Or not. But closed. You're sitting absolutely still without holding yourself still. And again, that requires initially anyway, that you be gently busy letting go. So scan through your experience and wherever you detect even a subtle feeling of tension or holding or gripping even just a smidgen.

Notice it let it soften. Be aware that even now with your eyes closed, you are having a visual experience of some kind. You might begin to see a point of light in there, a brilliant sun, a star. Relax your ears, your throat, the crown of your head. Let your whole face get more and more open.

Get familiar with how this feels for you. And without wrecking it, let your eyes come open. Okay, legs bent, feet flat, slide your seat in your feet and bring your spine down to the floor. I'm skipping a couple chapters. Ideally, I would have done more stuff right at this point.

I would have done triangles specifically to get the legs stretched out. But I just want to illustrate a certain theme here. Bring the right knee into the chest, extend the leg up. This is the one we've been doing. The basic choices are foot neutral, neutral with the toes spread, pointing the foot, flexing the heel, spreading the toes, pushing through the ball of the foot, curling the toes in like making a fist, and then twisting the foot, relaxing it back to neutral, and let the leg come down.

Other leg, bring the left knee in, extend the leg up. Conscious neutral, then toes spread, still neutral, then point the foot, flex the heel, spread the toes, push through the ball of the foot, curl the toes, make a fist, twist the foot, release the foot back to neutral, and then let it come down. The first pattern, and you don't have to push this hard because you're not as ready for it, but just to review, bring the right knee in, extend the leg up, put your foot in one of those choices. Most of the time, just tell your people to spread the toes. Take the leg away, down to the right railroad track, put the right thumb in the hip crease, be pushing the thumb away from you as you slowly bring the leg up, linger at 90 degrees, look at your foot, look for the glow increasingly, bring the leg further, further, further.

Most people can't get very far, the sacrum is at the down extreme at this point, then curl the sacrum up, the right leg comes more over, lift the left heel so you come on the ball of the foot, push into the ball of the foot, the right leg goes more over, reach up, grab the leg, don't pull it in, just slowly put your spine back down to the floor, sacrum down extreme, let the left heel come down, and then you walk the foot away from you, keeping the foot flat, lift the toes, and then slide the heel away from you, pressing the leg toward straight, and then both toes are spread at this point. Bend the left leg, bend the right leg, side two please, bring the left knee in, stick the leg up, look at where your foot goes naturally and then customize it deliberately, spread the toes, and then take it away from you, put the thumb, press with the thumb as you bring the leg up, look anew, linger through 90 and then bring it further, sacrum down extreme, start curling the sacrum up, come onto the ball of the right foot, then push, reach up, grab the leg, don't pull it in, and then roll the spine down sequentially, sacrum down extreme, right heel comes down, walk the right foot away, lift the toes, and then slide the heel away, pressing both legs straight, both toes spread, bend the right leg back to the starting position, bend the left leg to the starting position. So again, that's an excellent pattern, memorize that, do tons of that, teach tons of that, do lots of that one. The second part is taking the leg out to the side. Now, that's the pattern that I started off with doing a lot.

And I would teach it in class, and you know, it's not that hard, but some people have difficulty with it. And so based on that pattern, you got to find things that are similar to that, but are easier, and then even easier, and then even easier. And then things that are harder, and things that are harder, and things that are harder. So you start coming up with six or seven patterns based on this initial pattern that you find yourself doing. So the first easier pattern that I started practicing was, let's go through that, and you'll feel the difference.

Bring the right knee into the chest, please. So this is what you do when you're at home tinkering around. Stretch the leg up, spread the toes, take the leg away from you. Just like you were doing before, put the thumb, and then bring the leg up. Linger through 90, and then bring it further, further, further, start curling the sacrum up.

Come under the ball of the foot, push. So until now, it's sort of the same. Now, at this point, you're on the ball of the foot, your hips are trying to lift up. Keep doing that, but now bend your right leg, grab your shin bone, and just pull the knee tight into your chest here. It's sort of like the knee to chest thing, but it's a little different.

It's sort of cool doing it when your hips are up like this. Keep hugging the right knee in tight. Now just slowly put your spine down sequentially. So you're coming into this position from a different direction than normal. The left heel comes down, and then you walk the foot away, and you spread the left toes down there.

So you end up in this nice easy-ish position. This is a good one. This is more important than it seems also. This is an excellent splits preparation, as easy as this is. Bend the left leg back to the starting position, and then instead of having the right leg straight and taking it out to the side, at this point I just keep the leg bent and open it out to the side. At first I'm holding my shin bone from the outside of the leg, from where it already is, and right about here I shift my right hand to the inside of my knee.

That way I can get more leverage, and I just gently pressurize the leg out and down. You'll notice as you do this, you start to tip to the right knee down extreme. The sacrum becomes unlevel. Allow that to happen some of the time. Some of the time keep the sacrum anchored and try and squeeze the right knee out to the side.

You won't be able to go very far. And then from here, walk your left foot away. Lift the toes, slide the leg. So this is similar to the other pattern, but now because the right leg is bent, it's a little easier. Bend the left leg back to the starting position, take the right leg to the starting position.

And then the second side, please. Bring the left knee in, stick the leg up. Attend to bend the foot. Take it away from you. Put the thumb, bring the leg up.

Sacrum down extreme first as you bring the leg. And then curling the sacrum up, coming onto the ball of the right foot, pushing. And now instead of reaching up, grabbing your leg, bend the leg and hug the knee into your chest. You wait for the right moment and then just vertebra by vertebra roll the spine down. That's cool.

Feels nice. Sacrum down extreme and then you take the right leg towards straight. And you slide it all the way straight. Now for the second part of this one, where the left knee goes out to the side, you could start with the right leg already straight and open the leg out. But it's a little easier actually if you bend the right leg back to the starting position and then open it out.

Shift your left hand to the inside of the knee. Gently apply out and down pressure. Mostly keep a sacrum at the down extreme and then walk the right foot, slide the leg. And then bend the right leg back to the starting position, left foot to the starting position. So I started teaching that as an easier version and I do that a lot.

It's fun to have easier versions. But then I wanted an even easier version but still interesting. And so from where you are now, legs bent feet flat. As you inhale, you sweep the arms up over your head to the floor. And as you exhale, sweep the arms up again and just lift your head, sit up into the abdominal position here.

Every time you inhale, you rock back a little bit. And as you exhale, you sit up a little bit. And fade back, inhaling, sit up, exhaling. And I usually do like three breaths here. And then from here, you bring the right knee in, grab the shin bone.

And instead of leaning back and pulling the shin bone in, you'll do that in a moment. But before pulling the shin bone in, push your shin bone into your hands so your arms go straight. And keep pushing your shin bone into your hands so you actually curl up off the floor more. And you're just sort of like lying in your hammock like this. As you inhale, you fade back a little.

Exhale, push your knee into your hands, you'll rock up. Inhale, you rock back a little. And again, this isn't hard. I like this, though. And it's with your breathing. Every exhale, you push, you rock up.

And then as you inhale, you lie backwards sequentially, like all the way down. And as you exhale, just hug the right knee into your chest. As you inhale, let the right knee float away from your chest a little bit. And as you exhale, put the squeeze on again. So every inhale floats away a little, and every exhale you squeeze.

And then you walk the right, sorry, the left foot away. Notice what your right foot is doing. Put it in one of those choices. Notice what your left foot feels like doing. Put it in one of those choices. They don't have to be the same. And then try it from here. Just slowly start opening the right leg out to the right.

Just go sort of slow. Shift your hand to the inside of the knee and apply out and down pressure. And then from here, what I do is I bend the left leg back to the starting position. It sort of makes it easy. And then I lift the right foot up until I can grab the heel.

And I'm right there and I just tip into the reclining lunge, right knee down extreme. Again, it's sort of easy at this point. Now you've got two basic choices here. You're at the right knee down extreme. You can walk the left foot away from you.

Lift the toes here on the back of the heel and then slide the leg straight. If I keep the right knee down and my left heel on the floor, I can't get my left leg straight. So right at the last moment, I let my left leg float until I can get it straight. So now I'm in the extended leg reclining lunge, right knee down extreme. And I let the right knee float to get the left leg down.

And the left leg float to get the right knee down. And I would vote do tons of this stuff, okay? The other side, bend the left leg down, put the right foot down. So you're back at the cosmic grounded starting position. As you inhale, sweep the arms up over your head to the floor.

These are in the manual. And as you exhale, sweep the arms up, sit up into the abdominal. Lots of easy abdominals is a smart idea. If you do a lot of these three breath things, they add up. Bring the left knee in, grab it.

Instead of lying back, push the left knee into your hands and curl up. Inhale, rock back a little bit. Exhale, push. You've got to find ways to make what you're doing easy for your people. And so you just make variations that play off of what you were going to teach them anyway, but like easy.

With the inhale, you lie all the way back. And with the exhale, you hug the knee into the chest. Ease up a little as you inhale. And with the exhale, you squeeze. Walk the right foot, slide the leg straight.

Be aware of your left foot. I usually point the foot more. Be aware of the right foot. I usually go for the spread toes and push through the ball of the foot more. And then just start opening the left leg out to the left.

Shift your left hand to the inside of the leg and apply out and down pressure. And then bend the right leg back to the starting position. Lift the left foot up until you can grab the heel and tip to the left knee down extreme. The other choice on this one, which is what we did yesterday, is you bring the right knee into your chest, extend the leg up, and then take it away from you until you hit the float moment. So you're coming into the pose from one side or the other side.

Let the left knee float to get the right leg down. And you let the right leg float to get the left leg down. Okay, bend the leg, bend the other leg, come into the cosmic grounded for a moment please. Go ahead, close your eyes. And use your thinking to remind yourself to feel what's going on.

Oh yeah, exhale, relax. Especially the more you get clear on the fact that the energy is love, you become more willing to feel the truth. Okay, sweep the right arm only up above your head please, and then tip over on your right side for Buddha number one. And lift your head up for Buddha number two, prop your head up. Okay, now from here please, just float your left arm up until it's vertical.

Keep your arm exactly vertical. It's not crucial, okay? But try to keep your left arm exactly vertical and just slowly rotate it counterclockwise. And then slowly rotate it clockwise. Keep it exactly vertical just so it's awareness training. Rotate it out as far as it'll go.

That's one extreme, rotate it in as far as it'll go, that's the other extreme. You're always doing some rotation up there. Just get clear on what the choices are and start being aware of what you are doing. Now slowly lower your arm down towards your hip. Rotate your arm counterclockwise to the left so your palm faces up, okay?

At this point, if you were to bend your arm, your elbow would go up towards the ceiling. As you extend your arm again and then rotate your arm in clockwise, spin it, spin it, spin it, keep it spinning that way. Then bend your elbow, your hand will come down behind your back, up your back, wriggle it up, wriggle it up, wriggle it up, wriggle it up your back. Then just slowly, and just watch how your legs know what to do, just slowly tip over onto your back. It's sort of like you're coming into the cosmic grounded position here, but now your left arm gets pinned down behind your back.

This is a great way to work on this opening in your shoulder. I like to drive around like this. I just put my arm up behind my back, lean back into the seat. I said that once in class and somebody said, well, how do you see where you're going? Okay, then tip back out of it coming to Buddha 2 and just let your left arm slowly exit back to the beginning and then float it up to vertical again.

Now notice that right now your arm is rotating somewhere. It's rotated to be where it is. Just remind yourself of what the choices are. Spin it out, spin it in a couple of times. Again, try to keep it exactly vertical.

Again, you could have it anywhere and rotate it, but again, just awareness training. Lower it down, spiral it in again. Bend your arm down so it comes up behind your back. Wriggle it up, wriggle it up, wriggle it up. This is not a repetition.

It will be a little easier this time though. Now every little wriggle higher you can get it, the more comfortable your near future is going to be. This time as you slowly tip onto your back, try to reach down with your other fingertips and touch your fingertips together or get them closer together. So now the weight of your body is pinning your arms into the Gomukhasana, our position. If this is difficult, then like now you know a good one for you to be working on.

Watch yourself getting used to it. And then again please, just tip out of it, back to Buddha 2. You prop your head up, let the left arm exit back to your hip to serve slowly. And just pause, savor how it is for a second. And then you tip on your back, sweep the left arm up over your head, tip onto your left, Buddha on the other side.

Buddha 1, Buddha 2, and then float the right arm up. Okay, so just do the rotations. Try to keep the arm exactly vertical. Again, it's not crucial. Lower it down towards your hip, spiral the arm in, bend the arm, it comes to your hip, your lower back, wriggle it a little higher, a little higher, a little higher.

Wait for the right moment. And when it feels like a thing, just slowly tip over. If going all the way over is too intense, just go to where it's smart and let it cook there. Stay with the breathing, watch yourself getting used to it. And then tip out of it.

Let your arm exit slowly back to your hip and then float it up again so it's vertical. And again, do the repetitions, the rotations. I mean, if this was crucial that your arm be vertical, then you would feel why if it weren't vertical. It's just training, lower the arm down, spiral it in, bend the arm, go little by little by little, wriggle, weight, wriggle, weight, wriggle, wriggle, wriggle, weight. At the right moment, go for it.

And this time with the left fingers, reach down, try and get your fingers closer together. There's usually a difference on your sides. And then get out of there. Let the arm exit and just close your eyes here for a moment. Be the reclining Buddha.

Comments

Jamie W
2 people like this.
Thank you Erich. Feeling grateful for the reclining Buddha..it is divine.
Erich Schiffmann
I agree :))))))))
thanks Jamie
Sarah N
1 person likes this.
Buddha ll to reclining gomukasana arms is interesting and brand new :)

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