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Season 2 - Episode 6

Space Flow

50 min - Practice


Body steady, mind vast like the bright blue sky. Katie leads us in a flow to find a quality of spacious expansion in our body, mind, and heart. She works with Jalandhara Bandha (Chin Lock) to find an openness in the throat, weaving mantra and tantric practices into the sweet flow. You will feel calm and spacious.
What You'll Need: Mat


Read Full Transcript

(waves crashing) Let's do a practice for connecting to the ether or space element. Both inside the body and outside of us. The space element is amazing because it is actually the container in which all the other elements take life and play. One of the super powers of the space element is it enables us to connect to not only one another but our biggest ideas and our grandest dreams. It creates space or room between what we want to create and our limitation.

It really shortens that distance. And the seat of space in the body is this place right here in your throat. So we will work this area primarily in terms of where I want you to contain or hold your loving focus. And therefore your prana. So the first thing we're gonna do is lower our arms.

Connect a breath. And just sense that you can already begin to bring your attention into this area of the throat. And as you breathe in feel it expand. And as you breath out just continue to feel that expansion moving out of the throat. On your next breath in, slowly raise the arms and I want you to life up off of your heels.

As you breathe out, press the palms towards the ceiling. Drop the shoulder blades down the back. Take a deep breath in and just a little teeny tiny pause. Mind in the space of the throat. And then exhale.

Your heels are lifted. Lower your arms and your heels at the same speed. We're gonna do two more of those. Inhale. Breathe out.

Breathe in. Teeny tiny pause. Mind in the throat. Body steady. Mind vast like the bright blue sky.

Exhale then move, lower the arms. One more round. Tone the belly. And in back feel stability in the body. Body steady.

Inhale and pause. Teeny tiny pause. Mind vast body steady. Exhale, lower the arms. And just take a minute and start to feel already there's just a little bit more spaciousness starting to come through in the throat.

We're gonna step forward to the front of the mat. Take a breath in, raise the arms. Exhale we're gonna settle into chair pose. Inhale here, exhale straight in the knees. Keep the back nice and long.

If it's too challenging to keep your arms extended that's totally fine. Just bring them out wide. But have the intention of keeping the spine really nice and extended. Exhale fold forward. Knees can slightly bend.

And now the work here, really want you to be aware of in the subtle body is this here right here at the throat. So as I breathe in I'm gonna inhale, come up half way body lifts the chin is still down. At the top of the inhale I release and open the throat. Breathe out. I'm gonna engage downward.

Chin towards chest. The body doesn't move, just the head. And then at the last part of the exhale I surrender forward. Okay? Bend into the the knees utkatasana chair pose.

Exhale fold forward long spine uttanasana. Remember your work in your throat. In heel half way up. Release the throat at the top of the inhale. Exhale drop the chin.

Engage the bandha of the throat. And fold forward. Bend the knees utkatasana chair pose. Exhale fold forward one more time uttanasana. Halfway up engage the throat and at the top you're gonna release and open.

Exhale engage. And fold. Good. So we step back downward facing dog. Good and just bicycle it out a little bit.

And as you do that bend right knee. Left heels towards the floor. Repeat. And as you do that I just want to comment on what is happening when we do that work in the throat. It's really beautiful if you can connect to that subtle chin to chest we call jalandhara bandha in the yoga terminology.

If you can connect to that the net effect is that it really soothes the mind. And opens us up into that spaciousness. So right foot steps forward. You're gonna come into the lunge. Right.

So I'm gonna do the same thing. Chin slightly in and really the collar bone's lifting up. Inhale lift the head. Exhale engage. Inhale.

Exhale. One more time inhale. Exhale. Drop the back foot to the floor. Plant the other edge firmly on the ground.

Let's just bend into your right elbow. Take the right palm point it up towards the head. And we're gonna do the same thing. Inhale extend the arm over the ear. Chin slightly draws down.

Take a breathe inhale. As you breath out bend the elbow turn the head and let the throat open up. So we're gonna repeat that. And if it feels just more comfortable for your body you can always bring the hand down. Inhale arm draws over the ear.

Exhale bend. Working the area of the throat in terms of where you're holding your tension. Last time I want you to stay in the pose. And again mind in the throat area. I breathe in.

Tiny pause. Feel the throat expand. Body steady mind vast like the bright blue sky. Really feel that in your body. It's not just a yogic visualization or a platitude but call that in.

My body is steady. Mind vast throat vast blue sky. Good. And then gently release. You're gonna turn forward press back downward facing dog.

Left foot steps through. Inhale draw the heart forward collar bones lift. Open up in the throat. Exhale jalandhara bandha. In.

Exhale. In. Mind in the throat. You're opening up. And then exhale you're containing.

Plant the back foot on the floor. Bend the left elbow and so in my body it's actually nice to walk the left foot over just slightly. So you're not really on a tight rope. You're more kind of on a plank. And it just gives you this steady sense of being held.

So feel free to kind of open up in a little bit. And then stack the left elbow on top of the left thigh. Inhale the right arm into the air. Exhale remember you're gonna turn to face upward open the throat. Inhale jalandhara bandha.

Exhale turn the gaze upward. In. Exhale. This time stay here extend the arm over the ear. Pause and that teeny tiny pause at the top of the inhale.

Throat expansive and you can see it behind me. Body steady mind vast like the bright blue sky. Great slow slow. Release back downward facing dog. Coming back always.

Today's practice is this place of spaciousness. The throat and really the head are weightless. Empty. Step forward as you breathe out. Inhale extend come up halfway but remember we're working the throat.

So the last part of the inhale open and expand. Exhale engage drop into the pose and bring your arms behind you for this one. Even one to one breath. Mind penetrating this layer of the being that is physical but also subtle. When we pour our attention into these areas of our body there's this immediate energetic shift even if you're not necessarily feeling it.

Where I drop my attention prana flows. Bring your hands to your hips. You can bend the knees a little bit. And just really slowly you're gonna inhale come all the way up to standing. Raise the arms.

Exhale hands to heart. Good let's just move through a couple sun salutes. Inhale breathe in. Raise the arms slight lean back. Exhale fold forward.

Aware of the throat. Inhale halfway up. Last thing to rise especially in the sequence is the throat itself. Exhale press back to plank post. Stay here feel it.

Exhale knees come down chest comes down chin down. And just I want you to stop just for this one. Feel what it feels like to have that opening. Good crawl through into cobra. Exhale tuck your toes under.

Lift your thighs then the belly press back downward dog. And five breaths here. If you want to walk the feet a little wider that's fine. And then keep the body steady. As I breathe in body steady.

As I breathe out mind in the throat vast like the bright blue sky. Good step forward as you breathe out. Mindful of that bandha we're working. Inhale come up halfway. Throat opens and expands.

Exhale engage the bandha fold forward. Bend the knees inhale utkatasana. This time looking upward. Exhale hands to heart. Inhale.

Exhale. In. Throat opens exhale engage. Plank pose. You can take knees chest chin breathe in.

Or chaturanga exhale. Upward facing dog inhale again I want you to hold it. And then if you want opening up slightly in the throat. Downward dog. Now down dog is when I can feel the energetic fruit of that.

Body steady mind vast like the bright blue sky. Breathe in at the last part of the exhale step forward. Breathe inhale jalandhara bandha awareness. Engage. Utkatasana.

Exhale hands through to heart. Okay last round. Inhale. Exhale mindful here. In.

Engage throat first then fold forward. Press back plank. Hold here breathe. Chaturanga knees chest chin. Inhale let's hold upward facing dog.

Down dog find throat. Body becomes steady like a mountain. Mind vast like the bright blue sky. At the latter part of the exhale step forward. Breathe inhale halfway up.

Remember the bandha of the throat. Engage it. When I engage it that's really when the mind gets super soft and sweet. Utkatasana look up. Hands to heart.

Just take a moment to feel. This class may be feeling really different than some of the others. Just notice if you have that sense of I have more room. Okay so now we're gonna do a practice called agni sara. Let's just really light up this flame.

Inhale. Inhale. Exhale out all the air. And one more round. Exhale out all the air.

And exhale now breathe in and then breathe out fold forward. Let the breath adjust. And then take your time to come up and just let yourself really feel that. And if that felt totally confusing don't worry about that. We have a beautiful tutorial in another video going in depth teaching you how to create that in your belly.

For now just feel and sense is there more energy and now can you start to direct that upward again. Throat area inhale. Exhale just moving beyond even the boundary of the skin with your attention. A couple more breaths. Just really let that ignition start to move its way upward.

Good. And then the right foot's gonna plant. Bring the left foot back behind you for trikonasana. So the right knee is straight. Inhale the palms into the air.

Exhale I'm gonna hinge off the right sideways. Take the right hand down to the floor. Some of you may want to just hold the shin bone or grab the big toe. Just what feels right to really start to move. But sideways the lateral body really open okay?

So then once we have the body steady now I'm gonna bring the left arm into the air. The right shoulder blade's also dropping down the back. And then I'm gonna extend the arm over the ear. So I breathe here mind again sideways in the throat. And now as I exhale I want you to bend the top elbow.

Like kind of like a cactus shape. Inhale the arm over the ear. This time we're gonna add the sound om. Mind in the throat. Om.

Two more. Om. Really chant in the throat. Om. Arm over the ear.

Inhale in. Pause the breath. Mind in the throat. Mind vast like the bright blue sky. Body steady.

Breathe out belly in. Two more inhale in. Pause. Blue sky at your throat. Breathe out belly in.

One more inhale in. Pause blue sky in the throat. And exhale. Come all the way up inhale. And I want you to just feel that and you can really feel the way one side is space.

Right the side you were opening up. You can just sense that freedom that comes from the asana plus the focus. Right foot and left out. Inhale in. Exhale trikonasana to the left side.

Okay and so what tends to happen here is that left shoulder can kind of drop in. So really think about drawing the left shoulder blade also down the back. Inhale the right arm draws over the ear. Breathe in again and we're gonna do the exhale bend of the elbows. And now we're adding the om in the throat.

Om. Om. Om. Inhale in. Pause.

Vast blue sky at the throat. Breathe out. Exhale. Two more. Exhale.

In. All of you merging into the blue sky. Throat area. Breathe out. Inhale come up.

And exhale let's just feel that together for a second. So what I hope you're feeling and seeing is that you can do really simple movements and poses and yet there's just this huge energetic return Right when you add mantra, when you add focus, when you add visualization. All these tantric tools. It just starts to unfold really quickly. Great.

So let's move into warrior one. I'm gonna bend into my right knee. Inhale raise the arms. Exhale I want you to bend the elbows and then bring the arms back behind you. Interlace the fingers.

You can point downward towards the earth. Inhale. Here just slowly start to move into the back bend. I'm still aware of the outer edge of my left foot grounding into the floor. Navel draws up and in.

And now my concentration isn't so much about squeezing my shoulders together. But lifting the collarbones upward and from this place the throat might just want to open and expand but it doesn't have to. So if you're having any neck issues this may not be what the doctor ordered. Right foot in left foot out. So as you're holding it even though I wasn't saying it I still want you to continue with this visualization.

Body stable so that the heart and the throat and really the mind can be empty. Vast like the sky the teachings say. Body like a mountain. Mind vast like the sky. So you contain.

Come back through center and feel that again for a second. And just notice how this practice is different maybe than the other elements. Okay? So step forward to the front of the mat. Inhale raise the arms.

Exhale just transitioning quick. Just a little forward bend uttanasana. Inhale halfway up. Exhale I want you to push back in the plank pose. Hold this for a moment.

Belly up. All that back bending just feels stabilized here. Knees chest chin down. We're just gonna hold here. Inhale cobra.

Exhale back downward dog. Then again body steady mountain. Breathe even mind vast. Right foot steps forward. We're gonna bring both feet parallel.

And again this beautiful work of pulsing jalandhara bandha. So I'm gonna fold forward. Hands can be in the middle, out in front of you. Whatever feels just right. And then on the inhale I'm gonna come up.

And look forward so the throat expands and then I'm keeping my spine totally steady. My body steady. The only thing that's gonna happen is the chin's gonna draw in. When I find that maximum length in the spine then I let the rest of the back fold. So let's repeat that.

Now we're gonna add sound. Om. Om. Om. Hold the pose.

Body steady. Mind vast like the bright blue sky. Good. Alright. Inhale bring your hands to your hips.

Microbend the knees. Inhale come up and again just feel. What's happening physically but also is there's this sense of freedom. Expansion is the gift of the space element. There's room for me to grow in.

Inhale in. Exhale fold forward. Just really simple twist here. What I'd like for you to do is I want you to turn your fingers to face towards the right wall. And for me I like to come up on the finger pads.

So with the inhale come up halfway the elbows straighten. And I'm leaning over towards that right wall. As I breathe out I'm gonna bend the elbows. And deepen the twist. Now sound.

Om. Om. Om. Good hold the pose. If you want to bend into that left knee to get a little deeper on the belly that's fine.

Good. Inhale back to center. We're gonna stay low. Exhale the fingers are gonna face towards the left wall. You're gonna bend the elbows as you exhale.

Inhale. Om. Om. Om. Transition slow.

Maybe walk the feet slightly in. Take your time. Hands to hips. Knees can bend. Inhale come up.

Exhale and just feel that fruit of your effort. Body steady mind now I hope in you a little bit more vast. A little bit more spacious. My teacher says there's more room between you and your problems. Right.

So feel that. Okay so let's step forward to the front of the mat. Breathe in raise the arms. And look up. Exhale fold forward.

Remember your jalandhara bandha pulsation here. Inhale up halfway. Throat releases and then engages. Just directly press back downward facing dog. And then the right foot will step through in between the hands.

Take your time. Take the back knee to the floor. If that's too much you can always do it right here. That's totally fine. This is the back bend practice.

Right. Knee drops. Okay and we're gonna keep the top of the foot really pressing in and grounding down into the mat. And this might be the practice. Beautiful right?

But then from here I'm aware I'm not losing my connection to the earth element or the fire or the water. I'm gonna contain that. Remember space can hold all the other elements. But then if I want to I can just start to lean back into it. Maybe my hands reach back behind me.

Can interlace. I'm going slow. Body steady. Mind vast like the bright blue sky. Good.

Take your time. Stay low to the ground. And then to transition we're just gonna come back through center. Left foot turns in right out. Same thing.

And please hear me. Right here this is it. This is the practice ground. Right there's no, there are no yoga poses actually. It's just relationship, relationship, relationship.

Feel the navel drawing up and in. Sometimes I even hug it up. And I feel safe. And then when I feel safe the arms can release. It's like falling in love.

You can't fall in love unless you're grounded on the earth. And the reality of who the person is that you're in love with. Right? Otherwise it's just a fictitious thing. So feel.

I'm falling in love. From the legs being firm. Body steady mind vast. Take your time to come out. Good.

Alright. So now bring your feet parallel. Come back through center just for a moment. I want you to just feel it. Inhale halfway up.

Exhale fold. Inhale halfway up. Exhale halfway fold. A few breaths. Maintain that steady.

Now even one to one. Good. Right foot's gonna point forward towards the front of the mat. Press back downward dog. Okay so the sequence we're about to do these are poses that you probably are very familiar with.

But we're going to add these elements of breath retention. And visualization to really supercharge their energetic potencies. So I'll guide you through this. We'll do it a couple of times. From downward facing dog navel in.

I'm just gonna directly come forward to updog. And then as I breathe out I'm gonna directly come into chaturanga. Inhale upward facing dog. Pause. Body steady mind vast.

Exhale chaturanga dandasana. Inhale up. Pause. Exhale chaturanga. Inhale up.

Pause body steady mind vast. And downward dog. Hallelujah. From downward facing dog I really want you to give give yourself an experience and just a opportunity to feel all that spacious work in the body. So just take a seat.

Seat to heels. If that's too much just any comfortable seat. I just want you to take a moment to just sense into what's happening. And also let the energy, really this practice is about upward flight. So let it come back into the being.

Okay and then slowly let's lay down on the belly. Salabhasana really simple back bend prep here. Just bring your arms back behind you. Stack the hands. On the breath in you're gonna lift the chest.

Shoulders head off the floor. Keep the legs grounded. Inhale lift the throat. Chin lifts. Exhale chin down.

Then release so it's super tiny movements but very powerful for the mind. Inhale. Chin first. Head and shoulders. Three more.

On this last one we'll add mantra. Throat inhale. Om. Turn the head to one side and feel it in your body. Feel that pulse in the throat.

The opening maybe. And then we'll roll over on our back. So fish pose. This is really the quintessential throat opening pose. So to get into it I just want you to roll to one side.

Place the arm underneath you. Palm facing down. Hopefully you don't have a mike right here like I do. And then you're gonna roll the other side. Palm facing down.

So I'm just really laying on the upper arm bones. This might be where you hang out. This is a beautiful preparation right. Just getting the body ready right. This is a mild back bend.

So feel free to stay here. Then to come into the pose a little deeper. I'm gonna lift the head and when I do that the elbows can bend. I can walk the heels out a little bit more. I can walk the elbows together a little more.

And then it's just nice to easy let the head relax back. And here we are again in this place and so really come into. We call it visualization but it's not. It's a feeling-ization. I feel.

Body steady. Heart open. Throat is empty. Vast like the sky. To come out don't move the body.

Just lift the head. Look at the toes. Take a moment. And then unbend the elbows. Take a moment here.

Breathe. And then release the arms. And again feel the energetic fruit of your work. Before you move on. Okay.

Knees draw in. Give a little rock from side to side. And then plant the soles of the feet. On the inhale we're gonna raise the arms. Lift the hips.

Arms drop up and back behind us. Exhale. Then move. Come down. Two more.

Add sound. Om. Om. This time inhale. Come up.

Arms walk underneath us. Pull the pose. Body steady mind vast. Throat empty blue sky. Alright.

To release stay here. Reach the arms up. Make a fist. Push push push push push. It feels so good if you really push.

And then you can slowly come down. You get this juicy little massage all along those vertebral spaces of the spine. And relax. Okay. Draw the knees in.

You can use them to rock up to a seat. Turn to face forward. And then I'm gonna extend the right leg out in front of me. I'm gonna bend the left knee. And instead of a 90 degree angle I want you to let it open up space right.

Give yourself a little bit more room here. And then I'm gonna extend the right palm out away from me. Reach reach reach reach reach. And then the right elbow is gonna bend. And it's just gonna go somewhere.

For some of you it might be here. For some of you here. Some of you have more length or flexibility. A little more deeper right. And so I'm in that same place I've really been all through out practice today.

Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Om. Om.

Om. Keep the arm lifted. You can bring the arm back behind you. Clasp hold of something. Maybe your t-shirt.

Maybe your inner thigh. Maybe your pant leg. And then this is the really beautiful juicy part. Take your right ear to your right shoulder. Chin slightly drops down.

Crown reaches towards those right toes. Even breath. Body steady mind vast like the bright blue sky. And come out. You can just again feel the difference left and right.

Right foot draws in. We're gonna extend the left out. Right arm over the ear. Three times with sound. Om.

Om. Om. Chin drops to chest. Left ear to left shoulder. Crown reaches towards those left toes.

Body steady. Feel feel feel. Mind blue sky. Throat endless blue sky. Alright take your time to come out.

And both feet extend out in front of you. And just spend here just a moment. Just feeling it in your body. Great. Hope it's working.

Inhale raise the arms. Exhale fold forward. Clasp hold of the toes. Shin bones inhale. Exhale fold.

Inhale pulse up. Remember jalandhara bandha. And open and then engage. Let's hold the pose. Same work of feeling and visualizing.

Body steady mind vast throat bright blue sky. And if you want now you can even here silently the sound, Om. Om. Om. Om.

Inhale come up. Exhale hands to heart. Take your time. Move slowly lay down on the mat. So we're almost there.

Almost to the last most spacious pose. Stretch draw the knees in. Rock from side to side. Clasp hold of the outside of the right foot left foot. Happy baby pose.

And again just maybe rock from side to side. Give the spine a little massage. Grounding the lower back after all that nice open back bending. And then we move in asana. We are dynamic in asana so that we can prepare.

We can prepare the spine but more importantly we can prepare the mind. So once you've moved prepared. Then hold so we can really challenge the mind and see what's there when everything else holds still. Alright let's let the soles of the feet come together. Let the breath really settle.

Deep long smooth ujjayi breath. And then when you feel ready we'll come into shavasana. In this final moment really let the body give way into the pull downward of earth. Make no effort at all on your breath. In these last few minutes of our class here's what I would like for you to do to enter into even more of a surrender into the ecstasy of spaciousness.

Without you trying at all your belly's gonna rise. And then your belly will fall. And then there's just this space. There's this pause at the end of the exhale. And let the mind drop like an anchor into the pause at the end of the exhale.

Mind wanders off if it does just gently guide it back. You have the breath in. Melting into the breath out. And then there's just space. And the more surrendered and relaxed you become in your body and in your mind the more that space will deepen and even appear to be longer.

Almost as if there were no breath at all. And that's totally okay. Okay so I want you to feel free to just stay here. And continue at this practice of surrendering into that kumbhaka. That spaciousness of no breath.

But when you do feel ready you will gently draw the knees in. Roll to the right. And then we'll come up to a seat. So I hope you feel more spacious. That you have more room.

More energy for growth and expansion. And thank you. Namaste.


thank you
Thanks Katie. Very relaxing class. My mind was so still by the end of it. Hari Om
i actually cried towards the end. thank you for this simple genuine lucid feeely spacious practice. there is so much beauty and love in your offering.
1 person likes this.
Thank you for incorporating Agni Sara into this practice.   It’s wonderful to feel that spaciousness inside my belly too!

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