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We went behind the scenes at Yoga Journal LIVE New York to bring you this intention-honing wisdom and practice from master teacher Seane Corn. Want to take a chakra-themed class with Seane or learn more from internationally renowned yoga teachers? Come practice with us in person at YJ LIVE San Francisco, Jan. 13-16. Sign up today!
Everyone is intuitive—it’s just a matter of finding the confidence to trust it. Honing intuition is going beyond the literal, the logical, our normal perception. Intuition is a feeling of being drawn to something that is in our best interest even when our conscious mind wants to resist it.
At Yoga Journal LIVE! in New York, world-renowned yoga teacher and activist Seane Corn led a powerful class on inner visioning and explained that our work in this lifetime is to awaken that inner knowing. By reconnecting with who we really are, she says, we can move forward, navigating the physical world with patience, kindness, and compassion. “We are that magic we seek,” Corn says, “We are light. We are love. We are primordial essence, without form or substance. There is nothing that we don’t already know.”
When our intuition is blocked, however, we often limit ourselves and our abilities. We second-guess our value and sense of self-worth. By opening ourselves up to our inner knowing, we are able to see the signs and symbols that show up along the way, guiding us toward our purpose and shedding light on the limiting beliefs and the voice of the ego that block us from clarity and influence our decisions.
Seane Corn’s Intuition-Honing Sequence
The following selection from Corn’s YJ LIVE! sequence emphasizes moving energy through the spine and shoulders to recharge the central nervous system and deeply ground us. From that stability, we are able to connect with and trust our intuition, she says. This healing practice is both energetically clearing and energizing. It is specifically designed to prepare us to sit for a longer period of meditation afterward and set powerful intentions.
BEFORE YOU BEGIN turn your inner gaze to the third-eye (ajna) chakra. This is the energy center within the physical body that provides a gateway to cosmic consciousness. Corn reminds us that it’s here we expand our inner knowing and access our true teacher. “There is no guru except the one that is guiding you from within,” she says.
Andrea Rice is a writer and yoga teacher. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, SONIMA, mindbodygreen, and other online publications. You can find her regular classes at shambhala yoga & dance center in Brooklyn, and connect with her on Instagram, Twitter, and on her website.
“For us to speak our truth, our head and our heart need to be congruent. If what we think and what we feel are in opposition to one another, the words we speak are going to be deeply influenced by that incongruence. A lot of times when we experience conflict it lands in our hearts and shoulders and upper back—and blocks the flow of energy. Shoulder openers create a broad channel between head and heart,” Seane says.
From Downward Dog, step your right foot forward and turn the back heel down. Inhale to come up to Warrior I. Then interlace your fingers behind your back. Take a deep breath in, then exhale to bring your right shoulder inside of your right knee and draw the palms overhead. Relax your head, neck, and shoulders.
Wide-Legged Forward Bend with Hand Clasp
From Humble Warrior, inhale to lift your head and heart—keeping the fingers interlaced, and then straighten the front leg and parallel the feet to the left. Inhale to open up the chest, then exhale and fold forward—continuing to stretch through the arms.
Here, Seane reminds us to observe any tension in the mouth and jaw. Next, take a deep breath in and exhale with a Lion’s Breath.
Wide-Legged Forward Bend with Big Toe Grab
“Open energy in the third eye and crown chakra here by getting the hips above the head and heart to flush the pituitary and pineal glands,” Seane says. “This helps to ignite the heart and stimulate. Imagine your head getting filled and flushed with blood—the heaviness elongates the cervical spine.”
Release your hands from behind your back and yogi toe-lock your two big toes with the two peace fingers of each hand. Inhale to look forward and lengthen, then exhale to release your head and relax your neck. From here, place your hands on your hips and then inhale up to stand. Step forward to the front of the mat with your palms at your heart. Inhale, arms reach overhead, exhale, and fold forward. Inhale, look up and lengthen, exhale to step or jump back to the top of a pushup and lower. Inhale to Upward-Facing Dog, then exhale back to Downward Dog. Repeat the first pose on the left side.
Warrior I with Cow Face Arms
From Downward Dog, step your right foot forward and ground your back heel down. Inhale and come up to Warrior 1. Press your right hand into the nape of your neck and bring your left hand behind your back—and try to clasp. If you can’t clasp, don’t force it. Take 4 deep breaths here and observe any sensation in the hips. Try to keep the tailbone in. Sink a little deeper.
Wide-Legged Forward Bend with Cow Face Arms
Inhale to straighten the front leg, then exhale to turn the right foot parallel and fold forward with hands still clasping behind your back. Take a deep breath in and soften. Breathe deeply. Inhale to stand up nice and slow, using your core and then release your arms, bringing them out to the sides. Step to the front of the mat and inhale, arms reaching overhead to open the chest, and exhale to fold all the way forward. Take a vinyasa and repeat the last two poses on the left side.
Wide-Legged Forward Fold with a Twist
From a Wide-Legged Forward Fold, inhale to stand and release the arms out to the sides, then exhale with your hands on your hips and fold forward, bringing your fingertips to the ground. Bring the tips of your thumbs to touch and inhale to look up and lengthen, then bring your right arm to the ceiling and twist. Press down into the left hand and reach through the right. Lengthen the sternum away from the navel as you breathe. Switch hands and repeat.
Then with both hands down, deepen the forward fold by walking your hands between the legs. Release your head and neck, let the blood flow. On an inhale look up and lengthen, place your hands on your hips and come to stand. Step to the front of the mat with your palms at your heart. Inhale, arms reach overhead. Exhale, fold forward and take a vinyasa.
Revolved Lunge Pose
From Downward Dog, step your right foot forward with arms overhead and inhale into Crescent Lunge. Exhale and bring your palms to Namaste, with your hands at your heart. Take a deep breath in, then exhale and hook the left elbow outside of the right knee. (Optional: Bring the left palm down and right hand straight up.) Pull the sternum forward and take a deep breath in. Then exhale both hands down, step back to the top of a pushup and lower. Return to Downward Dog and repeat on the left side.
Dolphin Pose with Hand Clasp
From Downward Dog, lower to your knees and forearms, then interlace your fingers. Straighten through your legs to come to a Dolphin pose variation, and begin to walk your feet in. Push down into your forearms and keep stretching your chest back. Breathe deeply, then lower back to your knees.
“There are a variety of ways we can nurture and nourish our mind and our intuition, and connecting with nature takes us out of materialism and exposes us to the natural world—the expression of our own nature,” Seane says.
Lower all the way to your belly and interlace your fingers behind you. Inhale to lift your chest and legs. Send the knuckles toward the buttocks. Breathe deeply as you stretch back and open up the chest. Release and turn your chin to one side. Repeat up to 3 times.
Optional: Follow with Bow Pose.
Come back to all fours then inhale to your shins and separate the knees. Curl your toes under if you’re tight in your lower back. Support your low back with your hands and inhale to lift your chest, then exhale and drop your hands back to your heels. Gently release your head and neck back if it’s comfortable for you. Allow your heart to open wide and lift your sternum high. (Optional: Place one hand on your heart and with the other hand, tap three times on the 3rd eye center. Follow with three cascading OMs.) When you’re ready, lower your hips to your heels and close your eyes. Repeat up to 3 times.
Upward Bow Pose
“What is it that you want to leave behind? Maybe it’s a limited belief, or a series of limited beliefs. What is it that you know in your heart no longer truly serves you?” Seane asks. “Intention can eradicate limited belief—it arrived you to this moment, but it’s time to create new space for a broader interpretation.”
Come to lie on your back. Bend your knees and place the soles of your feet on the floor. Bring your hands behind you, fingertips pointing toward the shoulders. Inhale to the top of your head, then exhale to straighten through your heels. Repeat up to 3 times. Then squeeze your knees into your chest and take a deep breath in, exhale through your mouth.
Release the spine by following with a gentle supine spinal twist on each side, letting the knees drop to the left first, then the right.
Double Pigeon Pose
“Intuition is a skill, not a gift. Inner visioning—the commitment we make to ourselves to let go of limited beliefs that block our ability to see ourselves beyond the literal and logical realm—allows us to reclaim our power. We let go of attachments to certain narratives, we move toward a place of understanding and forgiveness. We mature our soul into its awakening,” Corn says.
Roll up to a seated position and pull the flesh back from your sitting bones. Cross the legs by bringing the left shin down and placing the right shin on top. Take a deep breath in, then exhale and fold forward. Observe the sensations that arise, as well as your thought process. Allow yourself to get as quiet and still as you can. Relax deeper into the shape and close your eyes. Breathe into any tension. Hold this pose for a few minutes before switching sides, then finish with a long seated meditation.
Think about what it means to align your body with cosmic consciousness—awareness, imagination, ideas and intuition—and move into direct dialogue with your inner wisdom. “Take a moment to sit and bear witness to the aspect of your consciousness that is illuminated and the aspect of your humanity that tries to deny that connection with source,” Corn says.
Andrea Rice is a writer and yoga teacher based in Brooklyn. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, mindbodygreen and a variety of music magazines. Her teaching style is a blend of her love for music and intuitive movement, with emphasis on core strength. You can find her regular classes at Shambhala Yoga in Brooklyn and connect with her on Instagram and Twitter.