Intermediate Group Class: Balancing and Strengthening the Pelvic Floor

Bow to the Ear Pose
This week we are addressing the core, but without working with the abdominal wall directly. Instead, we will deal with those structures that encase the abdominal wall, allowing it to be free to do what it needs to. Consider the following:

Soften and widen the lower rib area around and below the xyphoid process (the bottom tip of the sternum). This area wraps around the diaphragm and is the anchor to which the upper abdominal wall attaches. Release the wall of connective tissue under the latissimus dorsi and widen it from back to front. At the same time, release and widen the wall of connective tissue between the front lower ribs and the skin from front to back.

The pelvic floor can be thought of as having a fan-like shape, with the hinge of the fan at the tailbone and the spokes at the pubic bone and the sitting bones. Keep the fan as wide and as balanced as possible in the following poses. Whenever taking the leg out to the side, initiate the movement in the pelvic floor by opening up the pelvic fan.

Consider the following actions to keep the pelvic floor balanced:
  • People who are habitually tucked under in the pelvis tend to be gripped in the back of the pelvic floor. They will need to stretch back from the perineum (center of the pelvic floor) to the tailbone.
  • People who are habitually tilted forward in the pelvis tend to be slack or over-stretched in the front of the pelvic floor. They will need to firm and lift from behind the pubic bone.
  • Widen the hip creases (the fold at the top of the thigh) and the buttock creases (where the buttocks and the backs of the thighs meet) evenly. Tuckers might have to widen the buttock creases more, tilters the hip creases.
  • People with an imbalance in the hips for one reason or the other might have to widen the hip and buttock creases and open the pelvic fan on one side more than the other.
  • Keep the pelvic floor either horizontal or vertical, parallel or perpendicular to the backs of the legs, depending on the pose.

In addition to these balancing actions, we are going to find strength in the pelvic floor and lower abdomen by finding grounding through the legs:
  • Widen and lengthen the wall of connective tissue between gluteus maximus (the buttocks) and the hamstrings and the bones and deeper muscles underneath away from the head and towards the feet.
  • At the same time, widen and lift the pelvic floor just behind the pubic bone as you allow the lower abdomen to settle back to wards the sacrum. This is analogous to a Mula Bandha action, but it is quite different from squeezing the perineum and pulling in just below the navel.

The Sequence

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) on the ropes
• Have a bolster and blankets on which to rest the head.
• Clasp the elbows with the arms overhead and rest the forearms on the bolster.

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart
• Place a block between the feet and belt the calves at the thickest part.
• Press the calves out into the belt while anchoring the feet back into the block.
• Balance out the thighs by widening from behind the pubic bone across the hip creases and from in front of the tailbone across the buttock creases, where the buttock and hamstrings meet.

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2) with the descended foot at the wall
• Put a block under the raised leg.
• Start with the leg bent, only straightening it once you have it resting on the block.

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2) with the descended foot at the wall

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) with the heels against the wall

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
Eka Pada Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Single Leg Hand Stand)

Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)
Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) in Head Stand
Upavishtha Konasana (Seated Angle Pose) in Head Stand
Eka Pada Shirshasana (Single Leg Head Stand)
Parshva Eka Pada Shirshasana (Single Leg to the Side Head Stand)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)
Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) in Shoulder Stand
Upavishtha Konasana (Seated Angle Pose) in Shoulder Stand
Supta Konasana (Reclined Angle Pose)
Halasana (Plough Pose)
Eka Pada Sarvangasana (Single Leg Shoulder Stand)
Parshva Eka Pada Sarvangasana (Single Leg to the Side Shoulder Stand)

Triang Mukhaikapada Pashchimottanasana (Three Limbs Facing Single Leg Intense West Stretch Pose)

Krounchasana (Heron Pose)

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1) with the foot at the wall
• Lift the head towards the raised leg, bringing the back off the floor.

Malasana (Garland Pose)
• Have a wedge under the heels.
• Loop a belt around the body and knees to support the legs and allow the inner thighs and groins to soften.

Bakasana (Crow Pose)

Akarna Dhanurasana (Bow to the Ear Pose)
• To make the pose more accessible, hold on to the foot that’s on the ground using a belt.

Parivrtta Janu Shirshasana (Revolved Head of the Knee Pose)

Shalabhasana (Locust Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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Year of Yoga: Week 18

yoy2009banner

The practices are aimed at the basic level, suitable for anyone taking class on a regular basis. Regardless of your level, remember not to be reckless in your practice. Please consult your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine and do not attempt poses that you have not been taught in class by a competent instructor. The practices also include restorative work for a fully balanced expression of the yogic path.

The week’s sequences will be posted in advance of each week, giving you a chance to look them over and rearrange them according to your schedule. Wednesday’s practice will be a softer, restorative sequence. You should feel free to rearrange the order of the days, and even the practices themselves, according to your energy levels and your schedule. Take these sequences as suggestions and modify them as you will.

April 30


Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior Pose 1)

Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior Pose 2)

Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose)

Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)

Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide Spread Feet Pose 1)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Virasana (Hero Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


May 1


Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)

Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)

Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)

Prasarita Padottanasana 1 (Wide Spread Feet Pose 1)

Virasana (Hero Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Prasarita Padottanasana 1 (Wide Spread Feet Pose 1) with the head supported as necessary
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (3-5 min)
Intermediate Alternative: Supta Virasana (Reclined hero Pose) (3-5 min)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Virasana (Hero Pose)

Triang Mukhaikapada Pashchimottanasana (Three Limbs Facing Intense West Stretch Pose)

Adho Mukha Sukhasana (Downward Facing Comfortable Pose)

Janu Shirshasana (Head of the Knee Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


May 2


Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose)

Ardha Matsyendrasana 1 (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose 1)

Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose)

Marichyasana 6 (Marichi’s Pose 6)

Parivrtta Parshvakonasana (Revolved Side Angle Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


May 3


Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined big Toe Pose 1)

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)

Shalabhasana (Locust Pose)

Makarasana (Crocodile Pose)

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)

Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior Pose 1)

Virabhadrasana 3 (Warrior Pose 3)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


May 4


Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Lunge with the back knee up

Lunge with the back knee down and the hands on the floor

Lunge with the back knee down and the hands on the front thigh

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Virasana (Hero Pose) with Urdhva Baddhanguliyasana (Upward Bound Fingers Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior Pose 1)

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose)

Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

Ushtrasana (Camel Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja’s Pose) over a bolster

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


May 5


Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Virasana (Hero Pose) with Garudasana (Eagle Pose) arms

Virasana (Hero Pose) with Urdhva Baddhanguliyasana (Upward Bound Fingers Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) any simple variation--3 to 5 rounds

Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) any challenging variation--3 to 5 rounds
• Include any variation of Vashisthasana (Vashistha’s Pose) in your sequence.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Shirshasana (Head Stand) prep only
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Virasana (Hero Pose) with Pashchima Baddha Hastasana (Reverse Bound Hands Pose)

Virasana (Hero Pose) with Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) arms

Virasana (Hero Pose) with Pashchima Namaskarasana (Reverse Prayer Pose)

Purvottanasana (Intense East Stretch Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


May 6


Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Child’s Pose over a bolster

Side Stretch over a bolster

Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja’s Pose) over a bolster

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) with the head supported on blocks

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) over a bolster

Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose)

Ujjayi 1 (Victorious Breath 1--simple breath awareness) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)

Ujjayi 2 (Victorious Breath 2--gently extended exhalations) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)

Viloma 2 (Interrupted Breath 2--a gentle pause at the end of each exhalation) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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A Year of Intermediate Yoga: Week 18


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Level 1 Group Class

Upward Extended Feet pose
We are working with two basic themes this week:
  1. Create strength and direction in the sides of the body (both the sides of the waist and the side ribs) so that they can become a third set of limbs connecting the arms and the legs.
  2. Expand the armpits and clear the back of the armpit away from the upper arm/bicep.

The Sequence

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Child’s Pose
Plank Pose
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)

Child’s Pose
Plank Pose
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Child’s Pose
Plank Pose
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose) holding on to a belt around the feet

Child’s Pose
Plank Pose
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose) legs bent or straight

Child’s Pose
Plank Pose
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)

Child’s Pose
Plank Pose
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

“Up and Over” chest stretches
• Hold onto a belt with the hands wide apart.
• Inhale and bring the arms up over head. Exhale, bring the arms down behind the back.
• Inhale and bring the arms up overhead. Exhale, bring the arms down in front.
• Repeat this for a minute or two.

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) chest opener
• Put a shoulder-width belt around the biceps just above the elbows.
• Bend the knees and lean forward, resting the abdomen on the thighs,
• Exhale and bring the arms overhead. Start with the elbows bent. Straighten them after a few breaths.
• Reach through the arms, but allow gravity to do most of the work for you.
• Try and clear the upper arms away from the back of the armpit to open the chest.

Purvottanasana (Intense East Stretch Pose) table top variation
• Hands on blocks.

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)
• Feet on blocks.
• Hold onto a belt around the ankles.

Reclined Glute Stretch with one ankle on the opposite thigh

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1) with the feet on the wall

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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Practice Lab

Reclined Big Toe Pose 1
Today’s practice involves a combination of reclined poses and Padmasana (Lotus Pose) as a preparation for inversion variations.

The Sequence

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Reclined big Toe Pose 2
[Perform the following Supta Padangusthasana sequence all on one leg, then all on the other]
Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)
Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)
Parivrtta Supta Padangusthasana (Revolved Reclined Big Toe Pose)
Supta Padangusthasana 3 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 3)
Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1) raised head variation

Revolved Reclined Big Toe Pose
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Pincha Mayurasana (Forearm Stand) at the wall
• 2 repetitions.

Pincha Mayurasana (Forearm Stand) in the middle of the room
• 2 repetitions.

Recliend Big Toe Pose 3
Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)
Parshva Shirshasana (Revolved Head Stand)
Parivrttaikapada Shirshasana (Revolved Sing Leg Head Stand)
Eka Pada Shirshasana (Single Leg Head Stand)
Parshvaikapada Shirshasana (Single Leg to the Side Head Stand)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart
Reclined Big Toe Pose 1 (variation)

[Do each of the following three hip openers all on crossing and then all on the other]
Ankle to Knee Pose
Revolved Ankle to Knee Pose
• Twist to the side of the top foot.
Side Ankle to Knee Pose
• Extended forward over the side of the top foot.

Bharadwajasana 2 (Bharadwaja’s Pose 2)

Adho Mukha Ardha Padmasana (Downward Facing Half Lotus Pose)

Ardha Baddha Padma Pashchimottanasana (Half Bound Lotus Intense West Stretch Pose)
• Do the bound variation for 30 seconds or so, then unbind and reach forward to take hold of the extended foot.

Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
• Simple variation, lying back flat with the legs in Padmasana (Lotus Pose).

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)
Halasana (Plough Pose)
Eka Pada Sarvangasana (Single Leg Shoulder Stand)
Parshvaikapada Sarvangasana (Single Leg to the Side Shoulder Stand)
[Do this Padmasana series all the way through on both sides with the legs crossed one way, then the other]
Pindasana (Embryo Pose)
Urdhva Padmasana (Upward Lotus Pose)
Parshva Pindasana (Side Embryo Pose)
Parshva Padmasana (Side Lotus Pose)
Eka Pad Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Single Leg Bridge Pose in Shoulder Stand) Drop-Back
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose in Shoulder Stand) Drop-Back
• 3 repetitions.
Halasana (Plough Pose) with the arms overhead holding the feet

Janu Shirshasana (Head of the Knee Pose)

Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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Intermediate Group Class

Reclined Hero Pose over a bolster
In this practice, think of keeping the back of the neck soft and wide, allowing the head to be heavy and passive wherever possible. Also think of softening and widening the area around and below the lower tip of the sternum--the xyphoid process-- and the lower ribs.

The Sequence

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)
• 5 minutes.

Child’s Pose with the head on a block
• 2 to 3 minutes.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) with head on a block
• 2 to 3 minutes.

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart
• Loop a belt around the base of the skull and the balls of the feet to draw the head down.
• 1 to 2 minutes.

Child’s Pose
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart
Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Child’s Pose
• Do the above sequence in one continuous flow, holding each position for a minute or longer and keeping the head heavy and the back of the neck soft.

Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)
• 5 minutes.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
• 1 minute.

Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose)
• 5 minutes.

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) with bolster across the back
• 5 minutes.

Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose)
• 5 minutes.

Adho Mukha Shavasana (Downward Facing Corpse Pose)
• 3 to 5 minutes.

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
• Allow the exhalations to soften and lengthen, getting slightly longer than the inhalations.
• Observe the diaphragm and allow it to release completely as you exhale so that the inhalations can be completely reflexive.
• Do this for 2 to 3 minutes.

Ujjayi Pranayama 4 (Victorious Breath 4) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
• Ujjayi 4 is a full and expansive breath in a reclined position where the exhalations are slightly longer than the inhalations.
• Place a belt loosely around the bottom of the breast bone so that it is around the rib cage at the level of the xyphoid process. Narrow it just enough to give you feedback, but not enough to restrict the breath.
• Soften and balance the movement into and away from the belt as you breath.
• Allow the upper abdomen/lower rib area and the mid chest to separate out in your awareness on either side of the belt.
• Do this for 3 to 5 minutes.

Viloma Pranayama 1 (Interrupted Breath 1) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
• Viloma 1 is a full inhalation broken up into 3 to 5 separate and equal volumes with a brief and easy pause before a long, easy exhalation, done in a reclined position.
• Do this for 3 to 5 minutes.

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
• 5 minutes.


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Year of Yoga: Week 17

yoy2009banner

The practices are aimed at the basic level, suitable for anyone taking class on a regular basis. Regardless of your level, remember not to be reckless in your practice. Please consult your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine and do not attempt poses that you have not been taught in class by a competent instructor. The practices also include restorative work for a fully balanced expression of the yogic path.

The week’s sequences will be posted in advance of each week, giving you a chance to look them over and rearrange them according to your schedule. Wednesday’s practice will be a softer, restorative sequence. You should feel free to rearrange the order of the days, and even the practices themselves, according to your energy levels and your schedule. Take these sequences as suggestions and modify them as you will.

April 23


Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Vrkshasana (Tree Pose)

Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior Pose 2)

Utkatasana (Furious Pose)

Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior Pose 1)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior Pose 1)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Virasana (Hero Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


April 24


Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Adho Mukha Sukhasana (Downward Facing Comfortable Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) legs only into forward bend

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)

Prasarita Padottanasana 1 (Wide Spread Feet Pose 1)

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)

Child’s Pose

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Prasarita Padottanasana 1 (Wide Spread Feet Pose 1) with the head supported as necessary
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (3-5 min)
Intermediate Alternative: Supta Virasana (Reclined hero Pose) (3-5 min)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)

Virasana (Hero Pose)

Triang Mukhaikapada Pashchimottanasana (Three Limbs Facing Intense West Stretch Pose)

Janu Shirshasana (Head of the Knee Pose)

Upavishtha Konasana (Seated Angle Pose)

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


April 25


Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extend Feet Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Malasana (Garland Pose)

Baddha Konasana (Seated Angle Pose)

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Purvottanasana (Intense East Stretch Pose) table top variation

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


April 26


Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose) simple variation with the legs resting on the floor

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose) with the knees bent

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose) with the knees bent or the full pose

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Bharadwajasana 1 (Bharadwaja’s Pose 1)

Janu Shirshasana (Head of the Knee Pose)

Bharadwajasana 2 (Bharadwaja’s Pose 2)

Janu Shirshasana (Head of the Knee Pose)

Marichyasana 3 (Marichi’s Pose 3)

Janu Shirshasana (Head of the Knee Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


April 27


Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Virasana (Hero Pose) with Urdhva Baddhanguliyasana (Upward Bound Fingers Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior Pose 1)

Shalabhasana (Locust Pose)

Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose)

Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

Ushtrasana (Camel Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja’s Pose) over a bolster

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


April 28


Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) any simple variation--3 to 5 rounds

Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) any challenging variation--3 to 5 rounds
• Include any variation of Vashisthasana (Vashistha’s Pose) in your sequence.

Child’s Pose

Virasana (Hero Pose) with Garudasana (Eagle Pose) arms

Virasana (Hero Pose) with Urdhva Baddhanguliyasana (Upward Bound Fingers Pose)

Virasana (Hero Pose) with Pashchima Baddha Hastasana (Reverse Bound Hands Pose)

Virasana (Hero Pose) with Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) arms

Virasana (Hero Pose) with Pashchima Namaskarasana (Reverse Prayer Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Shirshasana (Head Stand) prep only
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


April 29


Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Child’s Pose over a bolster

Side Stretch over a bolster

Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja’s Pose) over a bolster

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) with the head supported on blocks

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) over a bolster

Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose)

Ujjayi 1 (Victorious Breath 1--simple breath awareness) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)

Ujjayi 2 (Victorious Breath 2--gently extended exhalations) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)

Viloma 2 (Interrupted Breath 2--a gentle pause at the end of each exhalation) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


Related Articles

A Year of Intermediate Yoga: Week 17


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Level 1 Group Class

Vashistha's Pose
The theme of this class is keeping the back and chest wide and the shoulders and back of the neck soft and supple so that the shoulder blades and collarbones can move with the arms.

The Sequence

Opening Wall Stretches
• Side stretch at wall: Lean the right side of the body into the wall with the right arm overhead. Bend the right elbow, take hold of it with the left hand and draw the arm up and over the top of the head. Hold for a minute or two and repeat on the second side.
• Chest opener: Stand with the right hand on the wall at shoulder height. Keeping the shoulder blade down the back, spread the fingers and palms and straighten the elbow. Hold this position for several seconds. Without lifting the shoulder blade, turn the chest away from the wall. Hold this for several seconds. Release and repeat on the second side.

All Fours
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog)
Plank Pose
Child’s Pose
• Move seamlessly through each of these poses, holding each one for 30 to 60 seconds.
• Spread the palms and fingers, and seal the hands firmly into the mat in each pose.

Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose) with the elbows clasped behind the back

All Fours
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog)
Plank Pose
Child’s Pose

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) full seated variation with arms

All Fours
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog)
Plank Pose
Child’s Pose

Virasana (Hero Pose) with Garudasana (Eagle Pose) arms

All Fours
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog)
Plank Pose 2 with the feet pointed
Child’s Pose

Vashisthasana (Vashistha’s Pose) with the elbow bent and the forearm on the ground

Vashisthasana (Vashistha’s Pose) simple variation with the knee down

Vashisthasana (Vashistha’s Pose) full pose if possible
• Shown above.

Child’s Pose

Right Angle Forearm Stand at the wall

Right Angle Hand Stand at the wall

Child’s Pose

Purvottanasana (Intense East Stretch Pose) table top variation

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)
• Feet on blocks.
• Hold onto a belt around the ankles.

Reclined Glute Stretch with one ankle on the opposite thigh

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1) with the feet on the wall

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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Practice Lab

Side Bharadwaja's Pose over a bolster
This practice is a continuation of the ideas of a few weeks ago where we were releasing the ribcage. In addition, we will be dividing the trunk into four different segments, creating softness and fluidity in each.

The Sequence


Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) on ropes
• Come into the pose clasping the elbows with the arms and head resting on the support of a bolster and blankets stacked up to a comfortable height.
• Soften and widen the wall of the latissimus dorsi across the back ribs. Lengthen the outer armpits towards the elbows.
• With each exhalation, allow the rib cage to retract inwards, separating away from the latissimus in a soft and even manner.
• Soften the intracostal muscles
• Hold for 3 to 5 min.

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)
• Come into the pose with a bolster across the back, supporting the lower back ribs.
• Soften and widen the wall of the lower front ribs away from the xyphoid process (the bottom tip of the sternum).
• With each exhalation, allow the rib cage to retract inwards, separating away from the wall of connective tissue between the front ribs and the skin.
• Soften the intracostal muscles
• Hold for 3 to 5 min.

Rope Shirshasana (Hanging Head Stand)
• Soften and widen the walls of the front ribs and the latissimus.
• With the exhalations allow the entire ribcage to retract inwards away from the front and back walls of the body.
• Soften the intracostal muscles
• Hold for 3 to 5 min.

Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)
• As above.
• Hold for 3 to 5 min.

Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose)
• As above.
• Hold for 3 to 5 min.

Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose)
• Allow the exhalations to soften and lengthen, getting slightly longer than the inhalations.
• Observe the diaphragm and allow it to release completely as you exhale so that the inhalations can be completely reflexive.
• Soften and widen the very top band of the chest below the collarbones.
• Hold for 3 to 5 min.

Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja’s Pose)
• Soften and widen the upper back, spreading and releasing the wall of soft tissue between the shoulder blades.
• Hold for 3 to 5 minutes on each side.

Adho Mukha Shavasana (Downward Facing Corpse Pose)
• Soften the entire back body, but especially the full expanse of the latissimus, from the back of the sacrum to the outer armpits.
• As you exhale, allow the back body to fall away from the wall of the latissimus as a whole.
• Hold for 5 min.

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
• Allow the exhalations to soften and lengthen, getting slightly longer than the inhalations.
• Observe the diaphragm and allow it to release completely as you exhale so that the inhalations can be completely reflexive.
• Do this for 2 to 3 minutes.

Ujjayi Pranayama 4 (Victorious Breath 4) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
• Ujjayi 4 is a full and expansive breath in a reclined position where the exhalations are slightly longer than the inhalations.
• Place a belt loosely around the waist with the buckle just below the navel. Narrow it just enough to give you feedback, but not enough to restrict the breath.
• Without pushing the breath into the abdomen, observe how the waist expands and releases into and away from the belt as you breath. Soften the circumference of the waist to allow the movement to be completely even in all directions.
• Allow the lower and upper abdomens to separate out in your awareness on either side of the belt.
• Do this for 3 to 5 minutes.

Ujjayi Pranayama 4 (Victorious Breath 4) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
• Reposition the belt so that it is around the rib cage at the level of the xyphoid process. Soften and balance the movement into and away from the belt as you breath.
• Allow the upper abdomen/lower rib area and the mid chest to separate out in your awareness on either side of the belt.
• Do this for 3 to 5 minutes.

Ujjayi Pranayama 4 (Victorious Breath 4) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
• Reposition the belt so that it is around the top chest, just under the armpits. Soften and balance the movement into and away from the belt as you breath.
• Allow the mid and upper chest to separate out in your awareness on either side of the belt.
• Do this for 3 to 5 minutes.

Viloma Pranayama 1 (Interrupted Breath 1) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
• Viloma 1 is a full inhalation broken up into 3 to 5 separate and equal volumes with a brief and easy pause before a long, easy exhalation, done in a reclined position.
• In this case, divide the breath up into 3 segments, expanding into each of the three areas we worked on in Ujjayi Pranayama.
• Do this for 3 to 5 minutes.

Viloma Pranayama 2 (Interrupted Breath 1) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
• Viloma 1 is a full exhalation broken up into 3 to 5 separate and equal volumes with a brief and easy pause before a full, easy inhalation, done in a reclined position.
• In this case, divide the breath up into 3 segments, releasing away from each of the three areas we worked on in Ujjayi Pranayama.
• Do this for 3 to 5 minutes.

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
• Allow the exhalations to soften and lengthen, getting slightly longer than the inhalations.
• Observe the diaphragm and allow it to release completely as you exhale so that the inhalations can be completely reflexive.
• Do this for 2 to 3 minutes.

Ujjayi Pranayama 8 (Victorious Breath 8) in any comfortable seated position
• Ujjayi 8 is similar to Ujjayi 4, except that it is performed seated upright.
• Practice this in 3 stages, just as when reclined, with the belt in each position.
• Practice each stage for 3 to 5 minutes.

Viloma Pranayama 4 (Interrupted Breath 4) in any comfortable seated position
• Viloma 4 is similar to Viloma 1, except that it is performed seated upright.
• Practice this as you did when reclined, in 3 segments expanding into each band and maintaining the independent separation of each part.
• Do this for 3 to 5 minutes.

Viloma Pranayama 4 (Interrupted Breath 4) in any comfortable seated position
• Viloma 4 is similar to Viloma 2, except that it is performed seated upright.
• Practice this as you did when reclined, in 3 segments releasing each area and maintaining the independent separation of each part.
• Do this for 3 to 5 minutes.

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
• Allow the exhalations to soften and lengthen, getting slightly longer than the inhalations.
• Observe the diaphragm and allow it to release completely as you exhale so that the inhalations can be completely reflexive.
• Do this for 2 to 3 minutes.


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Intermediate Group Class

Seated Angle Pose in Head Stand
The pelvic floor can be thought of as having a fan-like shape, with the hinge of the fan at the tailbone and the spokes at the pubic bone and the sitting bones. Keep the fan as wide and as balanced as possible in the following poses. Whenever taking the leg out to the side, initiate the movement in the pelvic floor by opening up the pelvic fan.

Consider the following actions to keep the pelvic floor balanced:
  • People who are habitually tucked under in the pelvis tend to be gripped in the back of the pelvic floor. They will need to stretch back from the perineum (center of the pelvic floor) to the tailbone.
  • People who are habitually tilted forward in the pelvis tend to be slack or over-stretched in the front of the pelvic floor. They will need to firm and lift from behind the pubic bone.
  • Widen the hip creases (the fold at the top of the thigh) and the buttock creases (where the buttocks and the backs of the thighs meet) evenly. Tuckers might have to widen the buttock creases more, tilters the hip creases.
  • People with an imbalance in the hips for one reason or the other might have to widen the hip and buttock creases and open the pelvic fan on one side more than the other.
  • Keep the pelvic floor either horizontal or vertical, parallel or perpendicular to the backs of the legs, depending on the pose.

The Sequence


Rope Shirshasana (Head Stand)
or
Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)
• Belt the calves at the thickest part and put a block between the feet.
• Press the calves out into the belt and anchor the feet into the block.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
• Belt the calves at the thickest part and put a block between the feet.
• Press the calves out into the belt and anchor the feet into the block.

Virasana (Hero Pose)

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) sequence with the back against the wall
• Stage 1: Have a folded blanket behind the lower back.
• Stage 2: Remove the blanket, bring the back to the wall and put a block between the feet.
• Stage 3: Place the block under the feet.

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)
• Have the descended leg’s foot at the wall, pressing into it firmly.
• Support the raised leg on a block so that the hips stay absolutely level,
• Start with the raised leg bent as you bring it to the side. Balance the pelvic floor and then straighten, balancing once again in the finished pose.

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)
• Have the descended leg’s foot at the wall, pressing into it firmly.
• Bring the straight leg out to the side.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Eka Pada Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Single Leg Hand Stand)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)
Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) in Head Stand
Upavishtha Konasana (Seated Angle Pose) in Head Stand
Eka Pada Shirshasana (Single Leg Head Stand)
Parshvaikapada Shirshasana (Single Leg to the Side Head Stand)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)
Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) in Shoulder Stand
Upavishtha Konasana (Seated Angle Pose) in Shoulder Stand
Halasana (Plough Pose)
Supta Konasana (Reclined Angle Pose)
Eka Pada Sarvangasana (Single Leg Shoulder Stand)
Parshvaikapada Sarvangasana (Single Leg to the Side Shoulder Stand)

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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Year of Yoga: Week 16

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The practices are aimed at the basic level, suitable for anyone taking class on a regular basis. Regardless of your level, remember not to be reckless in your practice. Please consult your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine and do not attempt poses that you have not been taught in class by a competent instructor. The practices also include restorative work for a fully balanced expression of the yogic path.

The week’s sequences will be posted in advance of each week, giving you a chance to look them over and rearrange them according to your schedule. Wednesday’s practice will be a softer, restorative sequence. You should feel free to rearrange the order of the days, and even the practices themselves, according to your energy levels and your schedule. Take these sequences as suggestions and modify them as you will.

April 16


Child’s Pose

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana (Revolved Half Moon Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Virasana (Hero Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


April 17


Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Adho Mukha Sukhasana (Downward Facing Comfortable Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Child’s Pose

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Prasarita Padottanasana 1 (Wide Spread Feet Pose 1) with the head supported as necessary
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (3-5 min)
Intermediate Alternative: Supta Virasana (Reclined hero Pose) (3-5 min)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) seated variation only

Malasana (Garland Pose)

Upavishtha Konasana (Seated Angle Pose) seated variation only

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) seated variation only

Malasana (Garland Pose)

Janu Shirshasana (Head of the Knee Pose)

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) seated variation only

Virasana (Hero Pose)

Triang Mukhaikapada Pashchimottanasana (Three Limbs Facing Intense West Stretch Pose)

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) seated variation only

Malasana (Garland Pose)

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


April 18


Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) any simple variation--3 to 5 rounds

Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) any challenging variation--3 to 5 rounds

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extend Feet Pose)

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose)

Malasana (Garland Pose)

Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose)

Baddha Konasana (Seated Angle Pose) seated upright only

Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


April 19


Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Adho Mukha Sukhasana (Downward Facing Comfortable Pose)

Marichyasana 3 (Marichi’s Pose 3)

Triang Mukhaikapada Pashchimottanasana (Three Limbs Facing Intense West Stretch Pose)

Marichyasana 6 (Marichi’s Pose 6)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) legs only with forward bend

Ardha Matsyendrasana 1 (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose 1)

Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose) simple variation with the legs resting on the floor

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


April 20


Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (3-5 min)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Shalabhasana (Locust Pose)

Chaturanga Dandasana (Four Limbed Staff Pose)

Shalabhasana (Locust Pose)

Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose)

Chaturanga Dandasana (Four Limbed Staff Pose)

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

Purvottanasana (Intense East Stretch Pose) table top variation

Ushtrasana (Camel Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja’s Pose) over a bolster

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


April 21


Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Virasana (Hero Pose) with Garudasana (Eagle Pose) arms

Virasana (Hero Pose) with Urdhva Baddhanguliyasana (Upward Bound Fingers Pose)

Virasana (Hero Pose) with Pashchima Baddha Hastasana (Reverse Bound Hands Pose)

Virasana (Hero Pose) with Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) arms

Virasana (Hero Pose) with Pashchima Namaskarasana (Reverse Prayer Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior Pose 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Vashisthasana (Vashistha’s Pose) full pose or with one knee down

Purvottanasana (Intense East Stretch Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Shirshasana (Head Stand) prep only
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


April 22


Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Child’s Pose over a bolster

Side Stretch over a bolster

Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja’s Pose) over a bolster

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) with the head supported on blocks

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) over a bolster

Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose)

Ujjayi 1 (Victorious Breath 1--simple breath awareness) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)

Ujjayi 2 (Victorious Breath 2--gently extended exhalations) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)

Viloma 2 (Interrupted Breath 2--a gentle pause at the end of each exhalation) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


Related Articles

A Year of Intermediate Yoga: Week 16


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Level 1 Group Class

Bound Angle Pose
Opening Wall Stretches
• Shoulder Stretch at wall: Place the forearms and elbows on the wall with the palms together. Make a right angle at the hips with the feet under the pelvis hip width apart. Draw the inner thighs back and reach the arms forward.
• Parshvottanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the arms up the wall.
• Utkatasana (Furious Pose) with the hands at the wall.

Utkatasana (Furious Pose) with the feet apart INTO Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

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

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart
• Bend the knees slightly to lengthen the trunk.

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

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Adho Mukha Sukhasana (Downward Facing Comfortable Pose)

Baddha Konasana (Seated Angle Pose) upright with the hands by the sides

Baddha Konasana (Seated Angle Pose) upright with the hands by the sides
• Place a block between the feet.

Bharadwajasana 1 (Bharadwaja’s Pose 1)

Upavishtha Konasana (Seated Angle Pose) upright with the hands by the sides

Parshva Upavishtha Konasana (Side Seated Angle Pose) upright with the hands by the sides

Reclined Glute Stretch
• Lie on the back with one ankle on the opposite thigh. Draw the legs in.

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) legs only with forward bend

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) with forward bend

Upavishtha Konasana (Seated Angle Pose) with forward bend

Parshva Upavishtha Konasana (Side Seated Angle Pose) with forward bend

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)
• Feet on blocks, holding ankles with a belt.

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1) with the feet on the wall

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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Practice Lab

Half Bound Lotus Intense West Stretch Pose
Once again, Kristen and I found ourselves both exhausted. (A common occurrence for yoga teachers in the city, it seems.) I just got back from teaching a workshop out of town and Kristen has an infant (no more reason needed). We wanted to do something more than just flopping around, but we needed a practice that had a strong restorative effect, so we opted to do forward bends. While we were practicing, we were discussing how when the sympathetic nervous system (the fight or flight response) is active, the back of the neck grips. Kristen had the idea of doing the poses with the head well supported and a sandbag on the back of the skull. Boy, was that effective. We both felt like we’d woken up from a deep nap. The key is to make sure the the head is firmly supported with enough height underneath it that the sandbag puts no pressure on the back of the neck.

The Sequence:

Rope Shirshasana (Head Stand)
• 5 minutes.

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)
• 5 minutes.

Ardha Halasana (Half Plough Pose) with the toes on the chair
• 2 minutes.

Ardha Halasana (Half Plough Pose) with the thighs on the chair
• 3 minutes.

Adho Mukha Sukhasana (Downward Facing Comfortable Pose)
• 2 minutes each side.

Adho Mukha Sukhasana (Downward Facing Comfortable Pose)
• Head on support and weighted with a sandbag.
• 2 minutes each side.

Janu Shirshasana (Head of the Knee Pose)
• Head on support and weighted with a sandbag.
• 2 minutes each side.

Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana (Half Bound Lotus Intense West Stretch Pose) unbound variation
• Head on support and weighted with a sandbag.
• 2 minutes each side.

Virasana (Hero Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose) with the feet apart
• Loop a belt around the base of the skull and the balls of the feet to draw the head down.

Adho Mukha Virasana (Downward Facing Hero Pose)
• Head on support and weighted with a sandbag.
• 2 minutes.

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)
• Head on support and weighted with a sandbag.
• 2 minutes.

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) on support
• Have he kidneys on the edge of the support so they can get toned.
• We did this with the body supported by two chairs and blankets and bolsters under the head, neck and arms. By the time we had built ourselves up, however, we could have just used a bolster and a couple of blankets.
• 5 minutes.

Shavasana (Corpse Pose) with the legs on a chair
• 5 to 10 minutes.


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Intermediate Group Class

Four Feet Pose

We go to great lengths to strengthen the upper body and the core and lower body, but the middle back often gets neglected and can become rigid and relatively weak. In this sequence we will think about the upper and lower limits of the psoas, the deep hip flexor that links the upper and lower body. While practicing, consider the following actions:
  • Move the lesser trochanters away from the midline of the body.
  • Widen the buttock flesh.
  • Widen the hip creases.
  • Widen and strengthen the lower back ribs from the level of the bottom of the sternum down.
  • When twisting, turn from the lower back ribs, keeping them even.

The Sequence:

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) on the ropes

Parivrtta Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Revolved Downward Facing Dog Pose) on the ropes

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart on the ropes

Parivrtta Uttanasana (Parivrtta Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart on the ropes

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) legs only with forward bend

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart
• Belt the calves and put a block between the feet.
• Press the calves out into the belt and the feet into the block.
• Widen the buttock flesh and the hip creases evenly.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
• Belt the calves and put a block between the feet.
• Press the calves out into the belt and the feet into the block.
• Widen the buttock flesh and the hip creases evenly.

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)
• Belt the calves and put a block between the feet.
• Press the calves out into the belt and the feet into the block.
• Place a sandbag across the lower ribs and widen the back ribs into the ground.

Marichyasana 6 (Marichi’s Pose 6)

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)
• Belt the calves and put a block between the feet.
• Press the calves out into the belt and the feet into the block.
• Place a sandbag across the lower ribs and widen the back ribs into the ground.

Parivrtta Parshvakonasana (Revolved Side Angle Pose)

Ropes 1, 5 to 8 rounds

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Ropes 1, 5 to 8 rounds

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) sequence with the back against the wall
• Stage 1: Have a folded blanket behind the lower back.
• Stage 2: Remove the blanket, bring the back to the wall and put a block between the feet.
• Stage 3: Place the block under the feet.

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)
• Support the leg on a block, bolster or blankets.

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)
• Bring the leg all the way down to the floor.

Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose)

Kapotasana (Pigeon Pose)
• Support the middle and lower ribs on a bolster across the back.

Kapotasana (Pigeon Pose)
• Add more support to the bolster to lift the trunk higher.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Chatushpadasana (Four Footed Pose)

Reclined Glute Stretch
• Lie on the back, place one ankle on the opposite knee and draw the legs in.

Chatushpadasana (Four Footed Pose)

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)
• Support the leg on a block, bolster or blankets.

Chatushpadasana (Four Footed Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
• Place a bolster under the knees.


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Year of Yoga: Week 15

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The practices are aimed at the basic level, suitable for anyone taking class on a regular basis. Regardless of your level, remember not to be reckless in your practice. Please consult your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine and do not attempt poses that you have not been taught in class by a competent instructor. The practices also include restorative work for a fully balanced expression of the yogic path.

The week’s sequences will be posted in advance of each week, giving you a chance to look them over and rearrange them according to your schedule. Wednesday’s practice will be a softer, restorative sequence. You should feel free to rearrange the order of the days, and even the practices themselves, according to your energy levels and your schedule. Take these sequences as suggestions and modify them as you will.

April 9


Child’s Pose

Adho Mukha Sukhasana (Downward Facing Comfortable Pose)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) full pose

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) forward bend only, no arms

Utkatasana (Furious Pose)

Garudasana (Eagle Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Vrkshasana (Tree Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Virasana (Hero Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


April 10


Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Adho Mukha Sukhasana (Downward Facing Comfortable Pose)

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) seated variation only

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Bharadwajasana 1 (Bharadwaja’s Pose 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Prasarita Padottanasana 1 (Wide Spread Feet Pose 1) with the head supported as necessary
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (3-5 min)
Intermediate Alternative: Supta Virasana (Reclined hero Pose) (3-5 min)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) no arms, forward bend only

Janu Shirshasana (Head of the Knee Pose)

Virasana (Hero Pose)

Triang Mukhaikapada Pashchimottanasana (Three Limbs Facing Intense West Stretch Pose)

Malasana (Garland Pose)

Marichyasana 1 (Marichi’s Pose 1)

Upavishtha Konasana (Seated Angle Pose)

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


April 11


Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) any simple variation--3 to 5 rounds

Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) one simple round,
jumping or stepping from Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog pose) into Dandasana (Staff Pose)
and then going into
Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose)

Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) one simple round,
jumping or stepping from Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog pose) into Dandasana (Staff Pose)
and then going into
Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose)

Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) one simple round,
jumping or stepping from Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog pose) into Dandasana (Staff Pose)
and then going into
Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extend Feet Pose)

Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) one simple round,
jumping or stepping from Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog pose) into Dandasana (Staff Pose)
and then going into
Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose)

Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) one simple round,
jumping or stepping from Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog pose) into Dandasana (Staff Pose)
and then going into
Malasana (Garland Pose)

Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) one simple round,
jumping or stepping from Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog pose) into Dandasana (Staff Pose)
and then going into
Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


April 12


Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Bharadwajasana 2 (Bharadwaja’s Pose 2)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Marichyasana 3 (Marichi’s Pose 3)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Marichyasana 6 (Marichi’s Pose 6)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Ardha Matsyendrasana 1 (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose 1)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


April 13


Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Pashchima Namaskarasana Virasana (Hero Pose with Reverse Prayer Pose)

Shalabhasana (Locust Pose)

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose)

Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

Parshva Dhanurasana (Side Bow Pose)

Ushtrasana (Camel Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)

April 14


Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Virasana (Hero Pose) with Urdhva Baddhanguliyasana (Upward Bound Fingers Pose)

Virasana (Hero Pose) with Garudasana (Eagle Pose) arms

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Utkatasana (Furious Pose)

Garudasana (Eagle Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Virasana (Hero Pose) with Pashchima Baddha Hastasana (Reverse Bound Hands Pose)

Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Vashisthasana (Vashistha’s Pose) full pose or with one knee down

Purvottanasana (Intense East Stretch Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Shirshasana (Head Stand) prep only
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Pashchima Namaskarasana Virasana (Hero Pose with Reverse Prayer Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


April 15


Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Child’s Pose over a bolster

Side Stretch over a bolster

Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja’s Pose) over a bolster

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) with the head supported on blocks

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) over a bolster

Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose)

Ujjayi 1 (Victorious Breath 1--simple breath awareness) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)

Ujjayi 2 (Victorious Breath 2--gently extended exhalations) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)

Viloma 2 (Interrupted Breath 2--a gentle pause at the end of each exhalation) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


Related Articles

A Year of Intermediate Yoga: Week 15


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Level 1 Group Class

Single Leg Frog Pose
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
• Have a block between the thighs and pull it back.
• Grip the edges of the mat and pull them forward.

Child’s Pose
• Grip the edges of the mat and pull them forward.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
• Seal the hands into the mat.

Child’s Pose
• Seal the hands into the mat.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Lunge with the back leg up

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart
• Have the knees a little bit bent.
• Hold onto the elbows and draw the upper arms down towards the floor.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Adho Mukha Vajrasana (Downward Facing Thunderbolt Pose)

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)
• 3 rounds.

[Perform the following series flowing from pose to pose, holding each for 30 seconds or so.]

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Plank Pose
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Plank Pose
Plank Pose on the tops of the feet
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Plank Pose
Plank Pose on the tops of the feet
Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose)
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Plank Pose
Plank Pose on the tops of the feet
Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose)
Plank Pose on the tops of the feet
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Shalabhasana (Locust Pose)
• 2 repetitions.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Plank Pose on the tops of the feet
Lower yourself with control to the floor

Makarasana (Crocodile Pose)
• 2 repetitions, both finger crossings.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Plank Pose on the tops of the feet
Lower yourself with control to the floor

Shalabhasana 2 (Locust Pose 2)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Plank Pose on the tops of the feet
Lower yourself with control to the floor

Eka Pada Bhekasana (Single Leg Frog Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Plank Pose on the tops of the feet
Lower yourself with control to the floor

Lung with the back knee down

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)

Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior Pose 1)

Virabhadrasana 3 (Warrior Pose 3)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Ardha Halasana (Half Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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Practice Lab

Pasted Graphic
At the studio in Brooklyn two of the teachers (Eve Holbrook and Jen Kagan) are teaching a series of workshops of sequences that they were taught in RIMYI, the Iyengar center in Pune, by Geeta Iyengar. I have yet to make it to them, but Kristen has and she’s been wowed by Geeta’s sequencing. So she had the idea of us doing a sequence from Geeta’s book “Yoga: A Gem for Women.”

“Gem” is a tough book to read. It’s full of great information, but it is really badly laid out, which is a shame. Published in 1990, it has tips and sequences that are useful not just to women. Her sequencing is extremely interesting and unconventional, by the standards of what is thought acceptable in the Iyengar community at large. In the sequence that Kristen and I practiced (reproduced below from p.112 of the 2002 Timeless Books edition) Head Stand is this first thing you do, without a warm-up, and you do twists, ropes and back bends after Shoulder Stand. All of these things would be considered no-no’s in a class taught in the West these days. And this sequence is part of what she calls the “Elementary Course.”

Geeta is, however Mr. Iyengar’s successor and what she says, goes. I find it interesting how there is a constant discrepancy between the way things are supposed to be done and the way senior teachers and the Iyengars themselves actually do things. Iyengar yoga is increasingly presented as this rigid, militaristic practice in the West, when the truth is there is still a great amount of playfulness in the way it is taught in India. [There are, of course, horror stories of aggressive and damaging behavior from senior teachers that filter back from Pune, so let us not paint too rosy a picture of the mothership.]

Try this sequence out and see how you feel afterwards. I’m writing this the morning after the practice. My back is sore, in a good way, and I had an excellent and refreshing night’s sleep. There’s definitely something in this way she is sequencing that makes me want to explore it more.

The Sequence

Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior Pose 1)

Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior Pose 2)

Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose)

Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)

Prasarita Padottanasana 1 (Wide Spread Feet Pose 1)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana 1 (Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose 1)

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana 2 (Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose 2)

Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose)

Virasana (Hero Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)
• Toes on a chair.

Ardha Halasana (Half Plough Pose)

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) seated portion only

Bharadwajasana 1 (Bharadwaja’s Pose 1)

Bharadwajasana 2 (Bharadwaja’s Pose 2)

Ardha Matsyendrasana 1 (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose 1)

Shalabhasana (Locust Pose) on the ropes (She calls this Yoga Kurunta I)
• Leaning forward holding onto the ropes with the feet away from the wall.

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) on the ropes (She calls this Yoga Kurunta 2)
• Leaning forward holding onto the ropes with the feet at the wall.

Viparita Dandasana (Inverted Staff Pose) over a chair
• She presents it over a bench so that the body is horizontal. We used 2 chairs.
• Reach the arms through the front chair legs to grab the back chair legs.

Viparita Dandasana (Inverted Staff Pose) over a chair
• Still on the two chairs, slide off until you can get your head and arms to the floor in the classic set-up.

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose in Shoulder Stand)
• This first variation is presented with the hands on the back as in Sarvangasana the hips and legs horizontal and the feet pressing against a bench at the wall. We just used the wall.

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose in Shoulder Stand)
• This second variation is presented lying over a high Setu Bandha Bench so that only the pelvis is on the bench. We used two chairs and bolsters under the shoulders. IO found this really hard on the sacrum and had to come out of it pretty quickly, though Kristen didn’t have a problem

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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Site Update: Back Bends

Two Leg Inverted Staff Pose
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Intermediate Group Class

Marichi's Pose 6 or F
Developing the theme of working with latissimus dorsi and pectoralis major, in this practice we are going to look at twists. If you remember from previous practices, the lats continue through the back of the armpit to the upper arm bone, just as the pecs continue through the front of the armpit attaching right next to the lats on the bone. We will be taking our twists from these two muscle groups, so that means we need to take the armpit into consideration as well as we turn. In addition, the whole lumbar/sacral area tends to get a bit thick and fibrous. We need to ensure that the lat fibers widen and move towards the head in a uniform manner, rather than getting stuck and crunched in that area.

Consider the following actions as you go through the poses:
  • Soften and widen the palms, the pecs and the lats.
  • Think of the inner and outer armpits as four pillars of connection and support of the arms into the trunk. Distribute the weight and/or stretch evenly between each of the four pillars of the armpits.
  • Soften and widen the deltoid (the shoulder cap muscle), wrapping it around the shoulder joint.
  • Hollow out the armpit deep into the joint.
  • Stretch the apex of the armpit, where the lat and the pec come together, towards the palms as you either take the sternum towards or away from the head, depending on the pose. Generally, when the arms are overhead move the sternum away from the head. When they are in front of you, move them towards the head. When the arms are clasped behind the back, widen the sternum and move it deeper into the body.
  • Initiate twists in the lat--the left lat, for example, when turning to the right-- and complete the thought by widening the opposite--the right when turning to the right--pec.
  • Complete the twist by firming the back of the left armpit (when turning right) and moving it across the body, while widening the front of the right armpit.

The Sequence

Shoulder Stretch at wall: Place the forearms and elbows on the wall with the palms together. Make a right angle at the hips with the feet under the pelvis hip width apart. Draw the inner thighs back and reach the arms forward.

Utkatasana (Furious Pose)
• Do the pose with a block between the thighs.
• Set yourself up close to a wall so that you can place your elbows and forearms on the wall without leaning forward any more than you would normally be in the pose.

Parivrtta Hasta Padangusthasana (Revolved Hand to Big Toe Pose) with the raised foot on a ledge

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
• Have the hands up on blocks set to the lowest level. You might want to set yourself up with the blocks against a wall and the mat folded over the blocks if you find yourself slipping.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
• Have the feet up on the lowest level blocks.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
• Hands on the blocks turned up one level.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
• Feet on the blocks turned up one level.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
• Hands on the blocks turned up to the highest level.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
• Feet on the blocks turned up to the highest level.

Uttanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose) with the feet apart
• Have the hands flat on the floor on either side of the feet. If you are unable to get the whole of the hand down, put blocks underneath.

Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose) with the hands on blocks
• Two stages: first the hands under the shoulders; second the arms alongside the ears.

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand) with the hands on blocks

Bharadwajasana 2 (Bharadwaja’s Pose 2)
• Simple variation with the Padmasana (Lotus Pose) leg in Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) against the inner thigh of the opposite leg instead. Bind with a belt around the foot.

Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose)
• Have the hand that is on the floor flat on a block turned up as high as you like.

Bharadwajasana 2 (Bharadwaja’s Pose 2)
• Either the full variation, if possible, or some other modification as necessary.

Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose)
• Have the hand that is on the floor flat on a block turned up as high as you like.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)
Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) in Head Stand
Upavishtha Konasana (Seated Angle Pose) in Head Stand

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)
• Support the thigh with a block, bolster or blankets.

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)
• Back against the wall, sitting up on blankets as necessary to get the sitting bones underneath you.
• Place a narrow-folded blanket behind the lower back.
• Spend half the time with arms down by the sides, then raise the arms overhead.

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)
• Back against the wall, sitting up on blankets as necessary to get the sitting bones underneath you.
• Remove the blanket in the back and place a block between the feet.
• Spend half the time with arms down by the sides, then raise the arms overhead.

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)
• Back against the wall, sitting up on blankets as necessary to get the sitting bones underneath you.
• Place the block under the feet.
• Spend half the time with arms down by the sides, then raise the arms overhead.

Utthita Marichyasana (Extended Marichi’s Pose) variation
• Bind the arms as if twisting away from the bent leg in Marichyasana 1 (Marichi’s Pose 1).

Utthita Marichyasana (Extended Marichi’s Pose)

Marichyasana 5 (Marichi’s Pose 5) twist only
• Bind the arms and twist away from the raised knee.

Marichyasana 6 (Marichi’s Pose 6)
• Two stages: first with the elbow to the outer knee; second binding the arms, using a belt if necessary.

Chatushpadasana (Four Feet Pose)

Reclined ankle-to-knee glute stretch

Chatushpadasana (Four Feet Pose)

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Chatushpadasana (Four Feet Pose)

Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose)
• 5 to 10 min.

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
• 5 to 10 min.


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Year of Yoga: Week 14

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The practices are aimed at the basic level, suitable for anyone taking class on a regular basis. Regardless of your level, remember not to be reckless in your practice. Please consult your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine and do not attempt poses that you have not been taught in class by a competent instructor. The practices also include restorative work for a fully balanced expression of the yogic path.

The week’s sequences will be posted in advance of each week, giving you a chance to look them over and rearrange them according to your schedule. Wednesday’s practice will be a softer, restorative sequence. You should feel free to rearrange the order of the days, and even the practices themselves, according to your energy levels and your schedule. Take these sequences as suggestions and modify them as you will.

April 2


Adho Mukha Sukhasana (Downward Facing Comfortable Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)

Parighasana (Gate Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Virasana (Hero Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


April 3


Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Adho Mukha Sukhasana (Downward Facing Comfortable Pose)

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) seated variation only

Upavishtha Konasana (Seated Angle Pose) seated variation only

Bharadwajasana 1 (Bharadwaja’s Pose 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Prasarita Padottanasana 1 (Wide Spread Feet Pose 1) with the head supported as necessary
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (3-5 min)
Intermediate Alternative: Supta Virasana (Reclined hero Pose) (3-5 min)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Janu Shirshasana (Head of the Knee Pose)

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)

Janu Shirshasana (Head of the Knee Pose)

Upavishtha Konasana (Seated Angle Pose)

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)

Shalabhasana (Locust Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


April 4


Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) any simple variation--3 to 5 rounds

Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) any challenging variation--3 to 5 rounds

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


April 5


Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose)

Bharadwajasana 2 (Bharadwaja’s Pose 2)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Marichyasana 3 (Marichi’s Pose 3)

Marichyasana 6 (Marichi’s Pose 6)

Ardha Matsyendrasana 1 (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose 1)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


April 6


Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior Pose 2)

Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior Pose 1)

Virabhadrasana 3 (Warrior Pose 3)

Pashchima Namaskarasana Virasana (Hero Pose with Reverse Prayer Pose)

Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

Parshva Dhanurasana (Side Bow Pose)

Ushtrasana (Camel Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


April 7


Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) any simple variation, 3-5 reps

Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) any challenging variation, 3-5 reps

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Shalabhasana (Locust Pose)

Vashisthasana (Vashistha’s Pose) full pose or with one knee down

Purvottanasana (Intense East Stretch Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Shirshasana (Head Stand) prep only
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Pashchima Namaskarasana Virasana (Hero Pose with Reverse Prayer Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)



April 8


Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Child’s Pose over a bolster

Side Stretch over a bolster

Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja’s Pose) over a bolster

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) with the head supported on blocks

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) over a bolster

Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose)

Ujjayi 1 (Victorious Breath 1--simple breath awareness) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)

Ujjayi 2 (Victorious Breath 2--gently extended exhalations) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)

Viloma 2 (Interrupted Breath 2--a gentle pause at the end of each exhalation) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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A Year of Intermediate Yoga: Week 14


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