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.
The practice begins with seated poses to wake up the ankles, feet and knees. It follows with reclined poses to stretch out the backs of the legs and to open the hips in outward rotation. After that come lateral standing poses, in which the theme of the day, the spirals in the legs and torso, can be optimally employed. It ends with restorative poses to settle and center the system.
This advanced practice behind with Shavasana (Corpse Pose), breath awareness and reclined pranayama to free the ribcage, shoulder girdle and arms. It follows with seated pranayama in which the practice is to maintain that freedom in the upright. After that comes an inversions practice with an awareness of the breath and organization of the arms, shoulders, back and chest.
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 twisting practice begins with standing poses to open up the backs of the legs and the back of the torso and follows with twisted variations in inversions. After some floor poses to reintegrate the limbs into the torso and to allow the spine to lengthen in the horizontal, Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose) is introduced to restablish the twisting of the torso. This is then taken into seated twists and Parshva Bakasana (Side Crow Pose).
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).