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Chapter One

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  • 1. 1 2the art of attention reduce tension / find forgiveness the art of attention reduce tension / find forgivenessLEVEL 2 60 minutes “I forgive, heal and release everythingReduce Tension & Find that consciously or unconsciously could delay or block the complete evolution of my being.”Forgiveness – Mario LianiFast-paced flow sequence; focus on increasing speed and stability whiledecreasing tension in your body. Applicable to your poses, interactions, andrelationships, this sequence will make you feel more porous, more light, morestrong, more soft and more forgiving of yourself and others.
  • 2. ॐ3 4the art of attention reduce tension / find forgiveness practicing reduce tension / find forgiveness the art of attention reduce tension / find forgivenesssankalpa opening chantwelcome, Take a nice seat.Close your eyes, rest your hands on your thighs and Fold your hands in front of your heart. Call to your heart, connect to your heart and slow it down.bring your chin to your chest. This is a sequenceof flowing, delicious, increasing speed. We are If at anytime you feel disconnected,practicing how to increase speed while decreasing that is your sign that you are longing for more connection.tension in the body.Once there was a man who described painting Inhale deeply.houses during his teens with his father, who was ॐ O M M M M M M M M M (3x)an expert house painter. His father was in his 60s,almost three times his son’s age, yet was able towork twice as fast. The son inquired how he wasable to work so quickly and efficiently; his father Om Namah Shivayareported that the goal is to increase speed while I bow to my deepest heartdecreasing tension in his body.There are definitive turning points in our days, in Bring your chin to your chest. Stay close to yourself throughout theour poses, in our thoughts, when we can choose practice no matter how quickly we seem to be going; the closer you stay to yourself, less contraction you will experience, the moreto turn the tension level down, even amidst an connected and forgiving you will feel.increase in velocity.Practice this; feel sharp, more awake, more porous,more lit up, be spacious enough to stay forgiving,no matter the context.
  • 3. 5 wave onethe art of attention reduce tension / find forgivenessreducing tension and finding forgiveness Begin at the top of your mat.wave one Palms facing forward. tadasana | mountain posesun salutations and Breath into sides of ♥standing poses upper body = jump / space + patience making switch Close your eyes, and feel where there is tension in your body. Soften Soften your toes, breathe into the back of your belly. jump / switch Connectॐ feet 2(x) Stay in the flow, Get sensitive Stay close to the earth, without slowing the speed stay close to yourself In down dog observe the quality of your neighbors hands—the willingness to press down Smiling! we are so lucky to be practicing yogawave twohips and shoulderopeners 2(x) Notice GROW TALLER the pace and the ease through inner legs in your body Surya Namaskara A | Sun Salutation Slow everything down Reduce the tension space between thoughts one one without slowing Become more sensitive to your own breathing. Send your breath to the minute Water Breath minute the speed spaces in your body that need your attention the most; this will have Breathing the effect of slowing down time. Our aim is to slow ourselves down No thinking enough to truly listen to what is going on - to the people around us, and to ourselves at the deepest level. one minutewave three Be soft,INversion and backbends be reverent Keep this empty sweet void really listening baseline of softness and openness always present Stay close, connected Get sensitive and supportive of yourself without slowingLegs are like the speedlightening bolts
  • 4. 7 wave onethe art of attention reduce tension / find forgiveness Soften Utkatasana | Chair virabhdrasana II | warrior II Soften your eyeballs, the sockets of your eyes, and the spaces behind Practice reverence here. Even as you expand through every limb in every your eyes. Soften your thigh bones down into your groins, soften direction, close your eyes, soften your skin and let there be reverence. back of belly and lift it up towards your lungs. Gently spread your Reverence is a form of listening, a sensitivity. And that listening is what collarbones. stops contractions of any kind in your body, in any way—celluarly, muscularly, in your nervous system—allowing you to stay in the flow of the present moment. Reverence = sensitivity Stay close to yourselfStayin the flow Listening stops Sensitivity contractions is a form of listening cellulary, musculary, in the nervous system Stay close to the earth Your legs are, at all times, sturdy, steady, concentrated and earthy. The rest of your body is open, sweet, soft, listening, reverent. Bend your front knee more deeply by bring the middle of your front seat all the way beneath you. Lift your inner thigh up and around to your outer thigh and bend your front knee a little more deeply. Feel for any place in your body where there is tension; soften, keep your legs strong. Your legs should be the only place in the body where there is work.
  • 5. 9 wave one the art of attention reduce tension / find forgiveness jump jump switch switch Uttitha Parsvokonasana | side angle Trikonoasana | triangle For side angle, place your fingertips on the little toe side of your front foot. Hug your feet in energetically toward one another. As though drawing a Press your front knee into your upper right arm; this stabilizing point of line upward, lift up from your inner heels to your inner groins, and move contact helps you wrap your right seat underneath you more deeply. Keep your inner, uppermost groins back and wide. Lengthen your tailbone down. the outer pad of your back foot rooted down into the floor, and feel the inner Curl your upper body softly and respectfully back. Lift your lower belly edge of that outer pad of the foot. Nikki Costello, my Iyengar teacher, offers away from the floor and receive your breathing for a few breaths. Then this distinction, subtle yet so powerful. To connect to your foundation in this bend your front knee deeply and jump to switch the feet. way grants access to the back of your body, opening your heart. It makes us softer, more sensitive without losing groundedness or strength. Bend your See the beauty in this transition as you jump to switch your feet. front knee more deeply, breathe into the back of your belly, and curl into a slight backbend as you lengthen your tailbone down and beneath you. The most profound impact of this type of attention is in our interactions Expand energy from your hips downward and outward. Soften your eyes. and conversations; we more readily feel the ground beneath us. Begin to hear without imposing or insinuating assumptions or opinions. Jump to switch your feet. In such a state of listening, we feel more porous, more receptive. upper body = Cultivate pure strength and stability in the lower half of your body. space + Practice complete listening, space and patience in the upper half. curl up into patience upper body 4 in a way that brings more lengthen 3 softness tailbone down upper, inner groins back 2 and wide grant access 3 to the back of your body draw a line 1 up inner heel to upper arm +1 inner groin outer knee is a point of contact press down 2 the inner edge of the outer pad of foot
  • 6. 11 wave twothe art of attention reduce tension / find forgiveness one minute Ashva Sanchalanasana | Galloping horse adho mukha shvanasana | downward facing dog Long trajectory forward, stay strong through your legs and get softer Strong legs; send your upper inner and outer thighs back. in your upper body. we can change the way we see everybody in our lives, and the way they see us notice how this increases your sensitivity, keeping you soft your mouth is slightly open, just barely parting your lips. Water Breath by sally kempton
  • 7. 13 wave twothe art of attention reduce tension / find forgiveness Uttanasana | standing forward fold Hanumanasana | splits Step your left foot all the way to the back of your mat; and shimmy your front foot all the way to the front of your mat. Pause. Almost in Hanumanasana, splits pose, hug your feet energetically toward one another, creating strength and clarity. Then fold your upper body forward onto your front leg. The distinction:soften your face and your neck. Dare to do this in your conversations; hold your ground but be very receptive. Listen. You will have the same reaction over and over unless you know where your ground is. Smiling! Practice trusting. Soften your upper body to receive this understanding. we are so lucky to be Every single one of us has the capacity to “see” beyond what our senses practicing yoga perceive; with this practice we get quiet enough to do so. Urdhva Prasarita Ekapadasana | Standing splits adho mukha shvanasana | downward facing dog your legs have never Step your right foot forward, lift your left leg high, and flex your left foot. been stronger Press the ball of your left foot up. Hold the back of your right heel with and your upper body your left hand. Lengthen upward from your inner left thigh to your inner has never been softer left heel, and draw the top of your head in towards your right shin. Soften the features of your face and receive your breathing throughout your upper body. Breathe several breaths, and then switch sides. increasing speed without increasing tension
  • 8. 15 wave two the art of attention reduce tension / find forgiveness downward facing dog | adho mukha shvanasana Your hands are part of your foundation; make your hands and arms strong, keep your internal organs soft and spacious. Care of my dear friend and one minute colleague Christina Sell, enjoy a one-minute down dog, When practicing, ask - can I get softer in my brain, my eyes, my heart? pavritta Anjaneyasana with Anjali Mudra High lunge with hands to heart twist From Downward Facing Dog, step your right foot forward. Inhale, and exhale hands to prayer. Take a deep breath to make space inside and twist to your right, left elbow outside of your front knee. Hug your back foot and front foot together, lift your back leg inner left thigh. Get softer in your upper body so you can receive another full breath in your top lung, then twist from your bottom lung as you expand from your hips out through your feet, decreasing tension. Notice the pace and the ease in your body for 2 more breaths. Release hands to floor, Downward Facing Dog, and do the second side. Utkatasana | Chair Interlace hands behind you to open up your shoulders. Bring your hands closer to one another. Breathe space between and beneath your integrated shoulder blades, below and behind your heart. Breathe to become both more integrated, and more soft. Fold down to bring your arms up and over your head. Straighten your legs, relax your toes. Lift from your inner heels > your inner knees > your inner groins; grow taller through your inner legs. Also from Nikki Costello, to lengthen the space between your inner knees and yourtaller inner thighs stabilizes your sacrum and allows you to receive more breath andthrough inner heels space in your lower spine.
  • 9. wave three17the art of attention reduce tension / find forgiveness Vrksasana | Handstand Bakasana | Crow Go to the wall, or work in the middle of the room. Keeping your lungs open and receptive, from Downward Facing Dog, place Keep your arms strong, your legs strong and your your knees onto your upper arms and walk your feet together behind you foundation clear. Soften your organs, your belly, on the floor until your toes touch. Breathe into the backs of your lungs your face. Keep your legs and arms strong so the and squeeze your knees into your upper arms; exhale your heart and gaze rest of your body can receive your breathing. forward. Inhale again, hug your knees in, lift your feet as you round your back slightly. Exhale to life your feet and seat higher, and send your gaze and heart forward, take two more spacious breaths here.Legs are like Keep this empty sweet voidlightening bolts between your thoughts by keeping your organs and your upper body really open and really listening. Breathing. No thinking. jump switch Return to Downdog. Parivritta Anjaneyasana | Modified twist From Downward Facing Dog, bring your right foot outside your right hand, raise your right arm high to the sky. Keeping your legs strong, fill both lungs, stay soft interiorly. Lift your top lung to twist your bottom lung forward and up for 5 breaths, expanding from your hips out through your feet, no tension in your body. Return to Downward Facing Dog, switch sides.
  • 10. wave three19the art of attention reduce tension / find forgiveness SECOND TIME HANUMANASANA | Splits right side Invite more patience into your upper body even as you make the effort to strengthen and expand; you become From Downward Facing Dog, place your right foot between your hands. Notice the anticipation, the speed in your mind. Slow everything down in more and more beautiful. Your face softens, your facial your brain; put a space between this thought and the next. As you hug your muscles ease into the sweetest neutral, and there is such feet towards each other, create the conditions for alignment by bringing beauty. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look muscles to bones. Notice the patience in that action. As you widen your left seat to the left, wrap the middle of your right seat back and down - feel the like, there is more beauty when you invite more space and participation of the right side of your belly and breathe into your right lung patience into your upper body even amidst moments of more fully and extend your legs longer. Feel the patience in your entire body. effort and velocity. Return to Downward Facing Dog, switch sides. Use muscle energy to slow down time, widen your right seat to the right, wrap the middle of your left seat back and down, and extend your legs as you breathe into your left lung. Downward facing dog to hanumanasana | Splits left side Step your left foot forward, use muscle energy to slow everything down slow down time, widen your right seat to the right, space between wrap the middle of your left seat back and down, thoughts and extend from your hips out through your legs actions as you breathe deeply into your left lung for 5 breaths. Notice the space between your thoughts, notice the space between each action and the next. Notice the softness in your face; that is your practice, your contribution, your perfection. Return to Downward Facing Dog.
  • 11. wave three21the art of attention reduce tension / find forgiveness oneminuteadho mukha shvanasana | downward facing dog Practice Downward facing dog > PLANK > UPWARD FACING DOG > patience COBRA > LOCUSTStrong foundation, strong limbs, super soft organs: heart, belly, kidneys, in transition,digestive system. Make your inner body more porous, more expansive. Notice From Downard Facing Dog, keep your arms straight, so you canthe quality of attention, of acceptance, of forgiveness that wells up in your curl forward into Upward Facing Dog. becomeheart and send that light down your arms out to your hands, and to your hips, an expertdown your legs, to your feet. Bend your elbows to lower your ribs down into Cobra, in patience and then lower your chest onto the floor; no matter Lift into small Cobra. where you are. Keep your upper body exactly as it is, slightly lifted, Interlace your hands behind you for Locust. Now from the very top of your thighs, right where your thighs meet your hips, Lift your legs up off the floor. Lift from your thighs, then Lift your feet. Feel the effort, the speed, and decrease any tension remaining interiorly. Hug your knees toward one another and bring your feet closer. Keeping your neck long and your eyes soft, Lift your upper arm bones and head, high away from the floor. Lengthen your tailbone long and soften your kidneys and adrenals to soften your entire upper body even as you strongly lift. Keep your tailbone long and invite your breathing into your lower back, connect to yourself with full acceptance. Take 5 breaths with soft eyes. Gently release down and rest, with your head to one side.
  • 12. wave three23the art of attention reduce tension / find forgivenessDhanurasana | Upward Bow With this distinction in your physical body, Supta tadasana Urdhva Dhanurasana | full wheel see the presence of both groundedness and Reclined MountainBend your knees; reach back to hold your feet. complete release. In any situation, we can apply Place your hands by your ears, and bend your knees to place your feet onBring your knees closer together. Forehead on either or both qualities - in our interactions, our Roll over onto your the floor. Draw energy up from your inner heels, to your inner knees, to youror near the floor, chin to chest. Breathe into your relationships, our ways of communicating with the back. With your legs inner thighs, and then root back down into the floor. With strong legs, lift upheart circumferentially, all the way up underneath people near us. There are some people with whom long and straight, flex into full wheel, and send your heart forward over your wrists. Lengthen youryour collarbones. Lift the tops of your thighs. we should be more grounded, more stable - with your feet, root your legs, press your feet down and soften your whole upper body to receive theAt the same time and with the same velocity, them, our foundational awareness will positively thigh bones down, feel breath. Take 3 steady, open breaths in, even as it feels fast and strong in yourlengthen your tailbone towards the back of your impact our time with them. There are others in our the earth beneath you. body in the pose.mat so that your legs are doing all the work. lives with whom we are completely unable to listen; Draw energy up from everything inside contracts and speeds up when your inner heels, up Gently lower down. Rest with your knees together, feet apart.Lift up and back through your thighs, your knees, we are in their presence - with them we can be into your inner knees,your feet. And let your upper body just hang and more receptive, and cultivate this quality of release, up to your inner thighs. Every time we rest, every time we do the poses themselves with thebe lifted with the movement of your legs. With of allowance, of acceptance. In both cases, even as Root your inner thighs slightest bit of intention, we have the opportunity to heal generations ofyour upper body, just receive the breath. Two more things get amplified or hastened, we can reduce down, inner knees people, generations of fear, of haste, of disconnection. This healing is a realbreaths ~ then gently release down. Turn your the tension in our bodies and generate profound down, inner heels down. phenomenon, happening in our bodies right now. In honour of all the peoplegaze to the opposite side, palms facing up next to healings for everyone involved in that moment. Root your outer hips, who’ve preceded you, make space for true patience, for real release, foryour hips. your outer knees, your the healing. Where you feel the most resistance is where outer heels. Maintain you can place attention. Listen for those little your strong, deliberately Second time, place your hands to come up: reiterate the strength in your legs resistances, they will give you the guidebook to grounded legs, and and arms, and the sweetness and open receptivity in your heart. where you can put more of your steadiness or notice how the rest of more of your listening. your body is completely open, spacious, accepting, receiving. Keep that awareness Take 5 breaths here, and bend your knees, say close, connected and lower down. place your feet on and supportive the ground. Barely of yourself possible, but you see the level of sensitivity they want us to work from.
  • 13. wave three 25 the art of attention reduce tension / find forgiveness Supta Padangusthasana B shavasana Reclined big toe corpse Lengthen your legs long on the floor, flex your Lie flat. Place your feet, root your right thigh down into the floor hands on your body as strongly. Bend your left knee into your chest, then you wish; left hand on interlace your hands behind those hamstrings, your heart, right hand Notice the baseline of down close to your groin. Lengthen your left leg on your belly - or if your long. Bend your elbows to peel your back body mind is still rushing, softness and openness off the floor, and lift your nose all the way up to place your right hand always present. your shin. Stay strong in both legs and soften on the top of your your face, your neck, and your shoulders. Extend head with your elbow from your pelvis out through both feet for a few resting on the floor, and more breaths, then release down slowly. Rest for breathe some space 2-3 breaths. between your thoughts.When you feel ready, Root your left thigh and bend your right knee to Rest.switch sides. hold the back of your right hamstrings, peeling your back away from the floor to bring nose to right shin. Strong left thigh grounded; send your right thighbone into the hamstrings, expand from your hips out through both feet and breathe 3 slow, patient breaths. We are cultivating a certain consistency, so no matter what the circumstance, your upper body is soft, and your foundation is clear, with a quality of stillness. No longer are you strong with one person and soft with another; we’re reducing tension and moving towards healing no matter what the context.
  • 14. 27 28the art of attention reduce tension / find forgiveness the art of attention reduce tension / find forgivenessAwakeningVery gently begin to deepen your breathing.Slowly draw your knees into your chest.Come up to sitting through your right side.Fold your hands in front of your heart in prayer.Our ability to increase speed and remain stable whiledecreasing tension has so much to do with the softness,the porous spaciousness we’ve cultivated in thispractice - which yields profound forgiveness. Practice it on yourself. Silently in your own heart say at least twice: “I forgive, heal and release everything that consciously or unconsciously could delay or block the complete evolution of my being.” – Mario LianiBring your chin to your chest. To all of our teachers,to our family and to all the ways in which we canbring patience and forgiveness to every realm,every moment of our lives.NAMASTE.

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