(water splashing) Namaste, and welcome to our third pillar talk and practice. The talk will be focused around the subject of sex and brahmacharya and connection. And then we'll move into a practice together called Yoga For Date Night. So as we just recap the other two pillars and their importance in this tripod, which creates the foundation for our health. We have diet, and the important of eating the right foods for you, so that you're hopefully sleeping well, and when you get good night's sleep, you wake up and you feel energetic, and creative, and have the energy then to contribute something to the world.
So whether that's actually art, or whether that's sexual energy that you put out into the world, that usually happens after we've had good rest and the right food for your system, for your constitution. The third pillar is more traditionally taught as brahmacharya, which is a word used to describe somebody who is moderating, managing, their sexual energy. And we try to preserve our sexual energy, that vital juice, we call it ojas, in the ayurvedic system. Because that helps to preserve the stability of somebody's body and mind. We think of that as what gives somebody vigor and strength.
So when we manage our energy, that allows us then to be in the world, and to discover in the world what our purpose is in life. If our energy is all focused and distracted toward sexual energy, often times we'll feel more strung out. Somebody's aura starts to get a little bit darker, and somebody tends to struggle a little bit more potentially with who they are if their energy is always going out toward other people. So brahmacharya is a wonderful word to help us remember the value of managing our creative energy, our sexual energy. And then as we start to move into relationships with others, how important it is, in my opinion anyway, to first remember what our ground state is.
And to remember that our ground state is love. And if we can learn to be love, and not always be so focused on being in love, that often times we're more whole and complete when we actually enter a relationship. Erich Schiffmann said something I love at the last Ojai Crib, where he was encouraging people to love more. And I think that's such great advice and to start with the things that are easiest to love. And his example was his cat, he found that was the easiest thing to love.
So in your life can you look at what would be the easiest thing for you to love, and to practice loving more. I have a practice where I take pictures everyday, and my theme for the year is where I see love. And I've noticed a profound shift in my world, and my relations, by having these sort of rosy colored glasses now on, where I actually see love is all around. And I noticed without this practice that I wasn't really looking for it, and I didn't always feel it. So now I know how to look for it, I know it's out there everywhere.
And I hope that you too start to see love more. If we jump back into the science of ayurveda, there's often an encouragement to consider engaging in sexual activities, if or in that relationship, more at a time where the moon is waxing, more at a time in the winter, more at a time when the energy is internalized in the world. And then there's a lot of wonderful practices I think that help build more connection with a partner which then equal more trust and more fun, hopefully in our relationships and when we go out to our date night. So some of the things that I like to share with people are just some ideas of how to improve the quality of your connection. And I think that starts often with just actual face to face time with someone.
Which is really different than parallel play, where both people are doing something side by side, it's quite different than looking at somebody and actually engaging. So face to face time I think is really important, and in our culture to look at our transitions from work into our home lives, and to really honor the transition time that people might need a little bit of space to be on their own if they've been working all day, before they jump into relationship with another person. So looking at that space and honoring the space is helpful for a stronger connection with another person, to actually make the date night. A lot of people are aware of that, and I think that adds a lot of value to a relationship. And then when it's date night, something that can be interesting to observe is if you're engaging in sexual activity, that you actually have sexual encounters before you go out to dinner.
Because so often you can come home from dinner and now you're full and you feel tired and it's late, and then there's no longer any interest in sex. Or again, all of a sudden our stomach feels too full, and you don't feel very sexy when your stomach's really full. So that's one shift in priority. Something that's really nice to build more connection is just simply to hug more. To have more physical touch with someone is just just enough sometimes.
If you've been in a relationship a long time, something that is sweet to change the energy is just to have a long kiss everyday, and just to make that part of your practice to connect with your partner again. I also think some fun tings to share is like in your home space to make your bedroom more of an oasis, and to show up and present yourself in a way that's fun and different and surprise your partner with some fun outfits, so that you're not always showing up in the bedroom with your old pajamas with cat hair all over them. Just a few things that might be helpful to bring more spontaneity to the bedroom space. So those are just a few tips that I like to share in addition to hopefully having time to drench yourself in oil. An oil massage is a wonderful way for you to keep a connection to your body and to keep remembering to explore your body in relationship with another partner.
So exchanging oil massages is a wonderful way to build a connection. And I hope some of these ideas will be fun for you to take into your date nights. So exercise is one of the other things that's great to do with another person. And just to help again reduce stress by exercising, as well as improving your posture, and your confidence. So let's go ahead and do a simple practice that might help improve your energy and your stamina for a great date night.
We won't need any props for this practice. And I'm going to suggest that we start in a posture with your knees wide. The big toes touching. And then we simply sit back into what's called Mandukasana. If you need any height underneath your hips, if this is uncomfortable for your knees, then you might want a prop.
So otherwise we're just gonna sit for a moment. And a good way for you with hands on the knees. And sit down into your feet. And then try to lift your spine, and try to focus on your posture here. As you invite the breath to move down towards your hips.
And just trying to create open space in the belly, be more receptive to yourself. And giving this moment again, just to give yourself a little self love, and attention. And just simply be love. Take a few more moments to try to be open to that idea of being love. And then we're gonna take the eyes, if they've closed open the eyes.
So that when your hands come forward, just make a little way so that you can let your chest, your heart start to come down toward the floor, while your still stretching the hips. Open the arms wide to the side of your mat. And then bring your forehead to the ground. And just take a moment, try to focus your breath back towards your hips. And then as the head comes up away from the ground, we bring the hands in under the shoulder line.
And we'll start to slide the knees back. So the knees are underneath your hips, hands open wide under your shoulders. So just let your hips swing a little side to side. And just try to loosen up through the ribs, like you got a hula hoop around your rib cage that you're trying to move between hips, the shoulders. I always encourage people to close their eyes here, so that you're not self conscious about your movement at all.
And just start to go in reverse. And make some fun patterns of movement between your shoulders, your hips, just organic shapes. Couple more breaths, moving in your circles. Then we'll start to stabilize the circles. And walk the hands maybe a little bit forward so that you can rise up into your Downward Facing Dog shape.
Bringing some more energy and strength to the upper body. And then from Downward Dog, let your right leg come up in the air. And we're gonna try to take small circles with your legs to open up the side of the hip. And that small circle might eventually turn into a wider circle. And just noticing that that left leg your still balancing on is stable.
One more time, clearing out that side of the leg and hip. Park the right foot, lift the left leg up. And just start with little small circles. Slow circles, that then move into larger circles. And again, only as going as wide with the circle as you are stable in your right leg.
Another breath in to that circular movement. And then we'll have both feet down to the floor. And then lower your knees. When the knees come down, we'll take your right foot forward into a lunge. And then take a moment to sink your hips toward the floor.
As you inhale reach your arms in front of you. Lift all the way up into the air. Lift your chest and gaze, and big exhale as your arms spread out wide. We'll do that two more times. Inhaling coming up, big exhale open the chest.
Inhaling come up, and exhaling arms wide. And when we come down we'll set the right leg back, lower your knees for a moment, bring your feet toward the back of your hips. And then three times in a row we'll lower down into Little Chaturanga. Go down and come back up. To bring more strength into the upper body.
Exhale come down. And press away from the floor. Downward Dog is our transition before we bring the left foot forward, right knee down. And just take a moment, sink into your lunge. On the inhale breath when you're ready come up into the air, follow your gaze, follow your hands up.
Exhale arms wide. Inhaling coming all the way up, exhale arms wide. Last one, inhale come up. Exhaling arms wide. And we'll come back through that Downward Dog shape.
Separate your feet shoulder or hip distance. And then from Downward Dog we're gonna roll forward like a wave, from your Plank pose into a really early version of Upward Dog. So hips towards the back of your wrist. Lower your head towards your heart as you press your hips away from your shoulders on the exhale. A couple more times.
And we're gonna roll forward, hips sinking toward the back of the wrists. Legs and arms strong. Exhale back into your Downward Dog. Just one more time coming forward into that bridge wave, saying hello to the front of the hips. Long spine.
Exhale Downward Facing Dog. And then from the Dog we're gonna walk the feet up toward the back of the wrists. Keep your feet apart. And just take a moment to a bend your knees, allow yourself to round forward, catch an opposite elbow, and hang for a moment here. Shaking out the shoulders, the hips, and neck.
And then from our forward bend we'll let go of the opposite elbow, roll up to standing in a good way. Arms up on the inhalation. And then hands down in front of your chest. From here if you step your feet out wide into our Goddess shape. Sink down into your feet as your knees track out toward the line of your second and third toe.
So from here we'll bring the arms up into our Goalpost arm shape. And then as you inhale straighten your legs, straighten your arms, exhale as you sink down. And just a couple times going through that little squatting action of going up, and down. One more time, coming up and exhale as we come down. Lay the arms out to the side.
Open your feet a little wider as you turn your right foot out to the side and start to bend your right knee into a 90 degree angle. Lean over and rest your forearm here. And take the top arm around your back. And so your left hand is walking in toward your upper thigh. Let's see if we can create some space in this upper chest region, by releasing the neck, looking down towards your lower foot, and potentially even sliding your hand down your inner leg line, while maintaining the openness of the top chest.
Okay, so just take a moment to feel. Again the chest area open. And then as we come up, we press into your left foot. Spread your arms out to the sides. As we come up, press into your right foot.
Spread your arms out to the sides. And then turn your right foot in and turn your left foot out. And second side. Bend the knee into the deep lunge. Rest your forearm on your leg, and then take the top arm around your back.
Reach for the top of the thigh, or hold your shirt to your pants as you curl open the top of the chest. Okay, and then try to release the neck in a way to lengthen the muscles of the neck. And for some of you, you might appreciate sliding the hand down your inner leg line. Okay, so the emphasis is opening up the chest space here. Big breath in and out.
When we come out, go ahead and start to free your right arm first, left arm second. And with both feet turned in catch your waist with your hands. Big breath as you lift up. As you exhale come forward and down. So as your hands touch the floor, let your feet wiggle a little bit wider apart.
So we're opening the inner leg line as you press the outer edges of your feet toward the ground. So if you can keep your spine floating up above the floor. So it's not a forward bend, it's more like plank in your torso. Take one more moment, exploring the width of your feet you're comfortable with. And then we'll gradually slowly walk your hands over toward the top of your mat.
And when we face the top of the mat, hands on the ground, we'll come into Pigeon, with your right leg folded in and your left let back behind you. And then trying to find a comfortable seat as you come down to the floor with your hips and then neutral gaze forward in front of you. So take a few moments maintaining the upward lift of the spine as you bring some stretch and sensation down into your hips. Bug full breath in and out. Firming the arms, lift up through the chest.
If we slide your right hand to the center of the mat for a moment. Lean a little bit forward as you bend your left leg and reach for your foot to your toes with your left hand. We'll give the foot a little squeeze in toward the back of your leg or hip, to help open more fully the front of your left quadricep and the front of your left hip. If you still don't feel a stretch there move your hips back away from the floor. And hopefully by now you'll feel a little bit of a stretch through your quadriceps.
And when we release that first side we'll transition through neutral, and then to Downward Facing Dog, and then the other side. So left leg comes forward into your Pigeon. Adjust your front angle of the knee, so that you can sit down low in your hips, and feel some sensation from that left hip to the front of the right hip. Looking straight ahead, finding the lift through the spine. Couple moments breathing in and out here.
Firm the arms as you engage your back muscles. As we did on the other side we'll slide left hand to the middle of the mat, reach back with your right hand for the foot, and give your foot a little squeeze, or medium squeeze, or full squeeze down to the back of your hip. If the sensation's not clear enough move your hips back away from the front of your mat. And we tend to feel a little bit more engagement through the inner legs as well as your quadricep. From here, we're gonna let that side go.
And we'll sit over on this left side and take your top leg around for a little Gomukhasana to stretch the back of the hip area. So if I pull the feet out equal distance away from the hips, and have the knees stacked. So you can see that as an option. If the knees are tight you could roll into your back and do the same shape. In this case, we'll take the left arm up by your ear, right hand up between your shoulders blades, and try to lift through your chest.
Potentially reach down, catch the opposite hand, and then lift that chest up toward the elbow. We're taking a moment to try to again feel a little bit more opening through the upper mid back, as well as some stretch down into your legs. For some of you we can combine a forward bend with this stretch through the chest. And you might start to ease a little forward with your torso, and experiencing that outer hip awakening. And come up and out when you're ready.
The hands behind you so there's no pressure on the knees. And then switch the crossing of the leg. And try to see where your feet are, and can they be equal distance towards your pelvis or away from your pelvis, people have different preferences. We try to feel the knee, top knee, is dropping toward the earth. Okay, so in this case the right arm is up, left arm behind your back.
And try to lift the chest toward the top hand. Top hand eventually might release towards the lower hand and when we make the bind, or catch a strap, take the top chest toward the top elbow. In this case, the right chest toward the right elbow. Just take a moment here to sink into the hips, so we're rooted as we lift into the upper back. Some of you will enjoy combining two movements of forward bend, as we create what almost feels like a back bend in the upper body.
So we're folding forward from the hips, until the outer hips starts to give us a little feedback, and we have some sensations to focus on in the hips. One more moment there. We'll come up and out. And as we take the arms back and around, we'll just swing around as we undo the crossings of the legs. And then setting up for a little Navasana.
As the arms reach forward lift your feet up to the height of the knees and then as the legs go straight we lower the legs and the shoulders above the floor. And come back to that place where now Navasana might feel a little bit easier in comparison to when we stretch the legs out and lower the shoulders back. Again, come back up to where Navasana feels easy. One more time, go back, your version. And then we're gonna roll all the way onto the ground, knees above your hips, and the hands underneath the back of your head.
What we'll do from here as you exhale, is to stretch that right leg out parallel to the floor. At the same time we lift the head, shoulders, right elbow to left knee. Come back to center, drop the head. Left leg goes out. Lift up and twist.
As you use your full exhale breath. Back to center as you breath in. Again, right leg reaches long twist. Back to center. As you exhale left leg out, reach out and twist.
One more to each side. Exhale right leg forward, twist. Back to center. Left leg out, and twist. We'll come back to center.
From here, let your knees come toward your chest. Open the feet a little bit wider than your belly space and the feet up in the air as we catch ahold of the inner arches or outer edges of your feet. Let's let your hips rock a little bit side to side here. And settling the knees down toward the floor. Align the heels moving more and more away from each other.
As we relax the shoulders back into the ground. You can close your eyes and feel the support under your head. Feel the spine lengthening forward toward the tailbone. And trying to find the feeling of a really long waist here. As the back of the sacrum tailbone start to move more and more toward the floor.
One more breath in Happy Baby pose. And get ready to open your eyes, straighten your legs, draw them toward each other. As the heels drop down, rock and roll on your spine back and forth. Until we're ready to come all the way up. And cross the ankles.
And then get ready for date night. Have a great time, namaste.