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Season 2 - Episode 6

Standing in the Subtle

10 min - Practice


With the purpose of letting ourselves be amazed by the small details, we continue this lesson of hip rotation and subtle currents while standing. From Tadasana, we explore the positioning of the feet to see if we can sense the change in the movement of prana in the nostrils. Kira then shares a mini anatomy lesson to help ground the experience in the usual yoga terms and language.
What You'll Need: No props needed


Read Full Transcript

(waves crashing) Welcome back. We'll continue this lesson standing. Many find this much more effective than supine so we'll see if the same is true for you. So step one, we want to find tadasana, mountain pose. I'm going to suggest that today we start out with the feet about hip distance apart.

Lift and spread your toes a little bit. Inhale here and exhale, let a (exhaling) happen and soften the knees. As you soften the knees, do you remember how to relax your belly and have it feel grounded? Like wait for this. Then only once you feel grounded, just press enough unto your feet so you feel this natural generosity of heart.

We have let this brighten and then let the skull find her alignment so that your mind feels expansive and there's this quality of listening. Nice. Okay. Now step one of this lesson is to tune back into the channels of the nostrils and see if you can sense. So just, here right now, with your awareness, with your awareness, see if you can feel into bringing your attention to the inner channels of the nostrils as if you brought both sides towards the septum.

Now just so gently, just see if your mind lets you move to the outer channels of the nostrils. Just see, sometimes this is available, sometimes it's not. This is just step one, just see if your mind let's you come to the inner channels of the nostrils and just see if this is available. Now just notice, see let your mind come to the outer channels of the nostrils and just see if this is available. Okay now relax this effort.

Now we're gonna be a little bit more obvious about the lesson. So we're gonna start to work with the feet so very similar to what we were doing at the wall, but the play here is just to make sure that you and I are clear. When I say roll to the inner edges of the feet, what I mean is something like this. Now I'm exaggerating a little bit but some of you will find that that's helpful and when I say roll to the outer edges of the feet, this is what I mean, you're gonna roll to the pinky side and let the big toe side lift. So let's just make sure we're there inner as you roll towards the big toe, you let the pinky side lift, outer as you roll to the pinky side and you let the inner arch lift.

So just do that a couple times. Just make sure that that makes sense just on a very basic physical level. Now what we'll do, come back to neutral and now what we'll do is we'll add an awareness of the subtle realm with an experience and a action in the grosser realm in the more obvious form. So tadasana again, big deliver inhale, exhale, let a (exhales) happen and soften. Now just wait till you're really grounded like if you rush this, its hard to feel grounded if you feel rushed.

Press enough into the feet to feel the heart bloom, shoulders back and down, back of the neck is long and now here in tadasana, just tune into the feeling tone of the breath in your nostril. Just tune into where she is and really stay close to her, I suggest closing your eyes or just at least letting them be so soft so that there's this, we've talked about this before, this inward draw and just tune in into what's happening in your nostrils as you now roll unto the outer edges of the feet. See if you can sense where the breath is in the nostrils. Then see if you can sense as you roll into the inner edges of the feet. See if this might be available.

Okay and just continue as you roll onto the outer edges of the feet, notice, maybe, maybe, there's a sense of the breath moving more into the outer channels of the nostrils. Maybe as you roll into the inner edges of the feet there's a sense of a breath moving into the inner line of the nostrils. Just back and forth a couple of times, just see what you may or may not notice. The purpose of this is to start to let ourselves be amazed by the small details that are literally right, not even under our nose, but in our nose that we might be missing. Okay, let the feet come back to neutral, spread the toes, big delivered inhale, exhale, let a (exhales) happen and then soften again ground.

Then just so gently, just so gently, like press into the balls of the big toes just a little bit, feel the heart generous, see if you can tune to the inner channel. Okay, soften the sit bones a little bit and to soften the back body, try tuning into the outer back channel. Mm-hmm. Okay, find the alignment of the skull. Just a few more moments, again, these are just short little baby lessons, just starting to tune our awareness here and then it will probably feel good for most of you here is to interlace your fingers.

Turn your palms forward and go up. What I like to do is let my elbows bend a little bit so my shoulders roll back and down and I like to just kind of stretch up through one side and as you stretch up through that one side like, so for you, since you were mirroring each other, this is your left side. As you lengthen up through your left side, see if you notice more through your left nostril. Okay, like stretch up through the other side so for you, this might be your right side as you lengthen up, like see if you might notice more through that right nostril. I can wiggle a little bit longer, nice.

Now inhale here, exhale, release the arms wide, rotate your shoulders for enhanced, come behind you, interlace your fingers behind you if that's available. Bend your knees. Just find your thighs. Head drops. Okay, and then for most of you keeping the knees a little bent as you roll your arms up over the top of your head is the way to go.

You know, for some of you, for like some of you for home it makes sense, you might let your legs draw a little straighter but only if that feels pretty good. Okay, then you release your hands back towards you hips, you release your hands towards your toes, bend the knees, chin into the chest, let yourself roll all the way back up. I'm hot. Nice. So I think on the play here is we're just starting to try to notice like, we're just trying to tune the sensitivity that where the feet are, okay, might have an effect in the nostrils.

Now I'm just, this might have been enough for you but just because it might be interesting, okay. Just the slightest Yoga anatomy lesson, okay. That what the yogi say, the text, the older text, will speak of 350,000 nadis of which they then slowly whittle it down to three that matter. Now in the yoga text we can find 14 named nadis but there are three primary ones that we get the name of usually which is the ida, the pingala, and the sushumna. It's always hard not to say Santa Maria after that but it's ida, pingala, and sushumna and most text will agree that these three start at the base, chakra the muladhara with the ida and the pingala weaving their way up on the left and the right respectively and the sushumna running up through the center.

Now even, there's disagreements on this. Okay, like sometimes you'll see diagrams where the ida and the pingala seem to like crisscross applesauce through the chakras. Sometimes if you see more three dimensional diagram you'll see them spiral. One of our teacher's teachers, one of, Paul Grilley's primary teacher, Doctor Motoyama, suggest that what they do actually is (makes ricochet sound) repel each other off the chakras. I don't really know but it's so wonderful to have different ideas but where most of the diagrams and most of the yogis agree is the possibility that these three nadis converge in what we call the ashna chakra.

With the ida and the pingala descending into the nostrils and the sushumna continuing out through the top of the head. So the reason I bring in this sort of number, this transparency analogy we were using, the reason I bring in this transparency is just because like, just to start to have a sense of the more subtle currents that are occurring depending on where you're aligning so again as we start to practice more complex asana together that there's a language, that there's more happening than we might be able to see. That things are actually quite magic in here and to start to be curious about that which we might might not already know. Thanks for being here. Reporting.


Marijana R
This is amazing! As soon as I shifted my attention to the inner channels of the nostrils, my center of balance shifted a little bit (more centered). And I thought it was already centered! I love these subtleties. So thankful I found you.
Kira Sloane
1 person likes this.
Marijana R wonderful wonderful wonderful!!! I am continually amazed by the immensity of the small details. Xoxok
Angie B
1 person likes this.
Love these practices and teachings so much. Hoping you will be doing more teaching, perhaps workshops someday…
Kira Sloane
1 person likes this.
Angie B! Makes me happy to hear that you also resonate in the subtle. Love, Kira

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