This intermediate forward bend practice begins with standing poses to wake up the hips and legs and establish the relationship between the legs and the torso. Props are used to help define and open the front of the hip crease, creating separation between the legs and torso. Then come inversions, in which the legs are used to lift and support the torso, creating torso/leg separation in a different way. Single leg variations in Shoulder Stand are included to work with the relationship of the legs to the hips once again. Finally, simple seated forward bends are practiced, with and without props to explore the leg/hip relationship.
This intermediate inversions practice begins with reclined poses to soften and widen the chest and back, and open the shoulders. It follows with floor poses to integrate the legs and arms into the torso before going into Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand), Pincha Mayurasana (Forearm Stand), Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1), and shoulder stand variations.
This basic practice begins with floor work to create widening and lengthening of the torso and separation of the arms from the body. It follows with a short series of standing poses with a focus on the use of the arms and floor work to widen the chest and collarbones. Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) is threaded through the practice to create stability and connection of the arms into the torso as well as to increase range of motion in the shoulder girdle.
This advanced practice begins with standing poses and inversions to activate the torso and integrate the legs while strengthening the upper body and opening the chest and shoulders. It follows with a series of back bends over the chair to open the abdomen, hip creases, chest and shoulders while minting integration of the limbs into the spine, ending with Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow Pose) from the floor. It ends with a short series of supported forward bends and restorative poses to widen the back and settle the energy.
This intermediate back bends practice begins with wall work to wake up the shoulders, hips and torso. It follows with standing poses to strengthen and integrate the legs arms and back while lengthening the thighs and opening the chest. Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose) and Viparita Dandasana (Inverted Staff Pose) are included to deepen the opening of the front body before a floor sequence of baby back bends, using a bolster for support to encourage release of over-work in the back. The practice ends with some brief restorative work to bring the body back to balance.
This basic back-bending practice begins with simple reclined poses to soften and open the abdomen and chest. Standing poses follow to encourage the separation of legs and torso while establishing the dynamic oppositions necessary for the floor work to come. Warrior Pose 1 and lunges stretch out the fronts of the thighs and more explicitly open the hip crease. In the floor work, the opening of the chest in relationship to the widening and freeing up of the abdomen, and the lengthening of the thighs is introduced while breaking down the component parts of Dhanurasana (Bow Pose), before practice the poses on its own. A short sequence of restorative poses softens and widens the lower back in preparation for final relaxation.
This advanced practice includes work at the wall ropes. It begins with a sequence hanging from the hips to create length and width across the torso. It moves on to some floor work to develop strength and integration in the front and back body, which is then taken into Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1). The classic Iyengar Ropes sequence called “Ropes 1” is interweaved with Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand) practice. All that chest and shoulder opening is then taken into Pincha Mayurasana (Forearm Stand) practice, followed by the shoulder balance variations of Salamba Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand).
This practice beings with a sequence on the ropes that stretches out the torso, lengthening and widening the back while strengthening and integrating the legs. The poses that follow go around the torso creating strength and length, including a cycle focusing expressly on the strengthening and opening the upper body before focusing on the abdomen as a preparation for inversions.
This basic sequence begins with standing pose work facing into the wall for feedback and support, creating mobility in the hips and pelvis and length in the sides of the torso. It follows with reclined poses, seated poses and abdominal poses followed by restorative poses to release the abdomen and hips.
Advanced Practice: Balance the Pubic Bone and the Sacrum and Create Space inside the Pelvis (Forward Bends)
Today we will begin our practice with sun salutations and arm balances to integrate the torso and the limbs. After that we have Head Stand and Shoulder Stand with variations that emphasis the relationship between the torso and the legs at the hip and that open up the backs of the legs, buttocks and lower back in preparation for seated forward bends. We focus on some of the single-leg seated forward bends and Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose) before finishing off with a brief Shalabhasana ())Locust Pose) to reintegrate the back.