Level 1 Group Class

Cow Face pose with the legs together
This week we took some time to stretch out and warm up all the leg joints. Then we broke down forward bends into three elements:
  1. Folding at the hips.
  2. Lengthening forward through the sides of the body.
  3. Stretching out the backs of the legs.
Instead of starting with the legs straight, we came into poses with the legs bent, focusing on the depth of the hip crease and the length in the sides of the trunk. Then we practiced straightening the legs, but without losing the first two elements. That meant that we were not necessarily doing the poses with the legs fully straightened.

The Sequence:

Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose) with the elbows clasped behind the back
• Come into the pose with the ankles belted together and a blanket behind the knees.

Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose) with the arms in Urdhva Baddhanguliyasna (Upward Bound Fingers Pose)
• Curl the toes under.

Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose)

Calf massage:
• Come to all fours and take one shin and wedge it into the crack behind the opposite knee.
• Gently press down on the back of the knee to widen and release the flesh there.
• Work your way down the back of the calf in three or four stages, pressing into the soft tissue and releasing any knots.
• End with crossing one ankle on top of the other and sitting back.
• Repeat on the second side.

Arch massage:
• Sit back with one instep pressing into the opposite arch.
• Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds, releasing the flesh of the arch.
• Repeat on the other side.

Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose) with the toes curled under
• This should be a little easier now.

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) variation
• The common variation is to cross one knee behind the other and sit back in between the heels.
• In this variation, press the shins together and sit back without letting them come apart.
• Do this variation twice. The first time, support your self with a block. The second, try to balance.

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose)
• Do the common variation, keeping the hips level, sitting up on a block or blankets to achieve this if necessary.

Seated Garudasana (Eagle Pose) twist.
• In a seated position, cross the right leg over the left and hook the foot behind the left ankle.
• If you are unable to hook the foot, press the shins together.
• Roll to you left, so that the right leg is on top and walk the upper body around to the left so that it lengthens out behind you.
• hold for 30 to 60 seconds and then do the other side.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Utkatasana (Furious Pose) with a block between the thighs

Utkatasana (Furious Pose) with a block between the thighs INTO Uttanasa (Intense Stretch Pose)
• Once in Uttanasa bend the legs, deepen the hip creases and lengthen the sides of the trunk down towards the floor.
• Work on straightening the legs without losing the depth in the hip crease, perhaps not straightening them all the way in the pose if necessary.

Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior Pose 2) INTO Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose) INTO Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose) INTO Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose) INTO Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose) flat back only
• Start with the front leg a little bent to get the depth in the hip crease.

Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose) flat back only INTO Virabhadrasana 3 (Warrior Pose 3) INTO Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose) full pose

Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose with a blanket behind the knees

Virasana (Hero Pose) with a blanket behind the knees and the hips on a block.

Virasana (Hero Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Dwwnward Facing Dog Pose)

Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand) on the chair

Ardha Halasana (Half Plough Pose) on the chair

Shavasana (Corpse Pose) legs on the chair


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