A 28-Day Basic/Intermediate Course in Yoga: Day 11

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
• Head supported on block

Jatara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose)
• 3-5 blankets under legs, pelvis and lower ribs

Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja’s pose)
• Lie sideways over bolster/blankets with legs bent

Sarvangasana over chair (Shoulder Stand)

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose)
• Over bolster

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)
• Over Bolster

Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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A 28-Day Basic/Intermediate Course in Yoga: Day 10

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana (Revolved Half Moon Pose)

Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose)

Bharadwajasana 2 (Bharadwaja’s Pose 2)
Alternate Pose: Bharadwajasana 1

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

Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)
Alternate Pose: Prasarita Padottanasana 1 (Wide Spread Feet Pose 1) with the head supported

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)

Ujjayi 2 (Emphasis of Exhalation – Reclined)
• Lying in Shavasana with the trunk supported
• Gently emphasize and extend the exhalation without straining

Ujjayi 5 (Emphasis of Exhalation – Seated)
• Sitting upright on padding with the back supported
• Gently emphasize and extend the exhalation without straining

Pratyahara (Sense Withdrawal)
• Lying in Shavasana with a head wrap, focusing on releasing the sense organs

Dharana (Meditation)
• Sitting upright on padding with the back supported
• Simple focus: counting breaths, mantra repetition, etc.


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A 28-Day Basic/Intermediate Course in Yoga: Day 9

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)

Prasarita Padottanasana 1 (Wide Spread Feet Pose 1)

Bharadwajasana 2 (Bharadwaja’s Pose 2)
Alternate Pose: Bharadwajasana 1

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

Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)
Alternate Pose: Prasarita Padottanasana 1 (Wide Spread Feet Pose 1) with the head supported

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)

Ujjayi 2 (Emphasis of Exhalation – Reclined)
• Lying in Shavasana with the trunk supported
• Gently emphasize and extend the exhalation without straining

Ujjayi 5 (Emphasis of Exhalation – Seated)
• Sitting upright on padding with the back supported
• Gently emphasize and extend the exhalation without straining

Pratyahara (Sense Withdrawal)
• Lying in Shavasana with a head wrap, focusing on releasing the sense organs

Dharana (Meditation)
• Sitting upright on padding with the back supported
• Simple focus: counting breaths, mantra repetition, etc.

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A 28-Day Basic/Intermediate Course in Yoga: Day 8

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior Pose 2)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Bharadwajasana 2 (Bharadwaja’s Pose 2)
Alternate Pose: Bharadwajasana 1

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

Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)
Alternate Pose: Prasarita Padottanasana 1 (Wide Spread Feet Pose 1) with the head supported

Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)

Ujjayi 2 (Emphasis of Exhalation – Reclined)
• Lying in Shavasana with the trunk supported
• Gently emphasize and extend the exhalation without straining

Ujjayi 5 (Emphasis of Exhalation – Seated)
• Sitting upright on padding with the back supported
• Gently emphasize and extend the exhalation without straining

Pratyahara (Sense Withdrawal)
• Lying in Shavasana with a head wrap, focusing on releasing the sense organs

Dharana (Meditation)
• Sitting upright on padding with the back supported
• Simple focus: counting breaths, mantra repetition, etc.

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A 28-Day Basic/Intermediate Course in Yoga: Day 7

Complete Rest

OR

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
• 15 to 30 minutes

Ujjayi 1 (Breath Awareness – Reclined)
• Lying in Shavasana with the trunk supported

Ujjayi 5 (Breath Awareness – Seated)
• Sitting upright on padding with the back supported

Pratyahara (Sense Withdrawal)
• Lying in Shavasana with a head wrap, focusing on releasing the sense organs

Dharana (Meditation)
• Sitting upright on padding with the back supported
• Simple focus: counting breaths, mantra repetition, etc.

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A 28-Day Basic/Intermediate Course in Yoga: Day 6

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

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

Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)
Alternate Pose: Prasarita Padottanasana 1 (Wide Spread Feet Pose 1) with the head supported

Viparita Dandasana (Inverted Staff Pose)
• Over chair

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

Ushtrasana (Camel Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)

Ujjayi 1 (Breath Awareness – Reclined)
• Lying in Shavasana with the trunk supported

Ujjayi 5 (Breath Awareness – Seated)
• Sitting upright on padding with the back supported

Pratyahara (Sense Withdrawal)
• Lying in Shavasana with a head wrap, focusing on releasing the sense organs

Dharana (Meditation)
• Sitting upright on padding with the back supported
• Simple focus: counting breaths, mantra repetition, etc.

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A 28-Day Basic/Intermediate Course in Yoga: Day 5

HAPPY CHRISTMAS! Remember to practice! Winking


Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

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

Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)
Alternate Pose: Prasarita Padottanasana 1 (Wide Spread Feet Pose 1) with the head supported

Viparita Dandasana (Inverted Staff Pose)
• Over chair

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Adho Mukha Ardha Padmasana (Downward Facing Half Lotus Pose)
Alternate Pose: Adho Mukha Sukhasana (Downward Facing Comfortable Pose)

Ardha Baddha Padma Pashchimottanasana (Half Bound Lotus Intense West Stretch Pose)
Alternate Pose: Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) – forward bend

Janu Shirshasana (Head of the Knee Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)

Ujjayi 1 (Breath Awareness – Reclined)
• Lying in Shavasana with the trunk supported

Ujjayi 5 (Breath Awareness – Seated)
• Sitting upright on padding with the back supported

Pratyahara (Sense Withdrawal)
• Lying in Shavasana with a head wrap, focusing on releasing the sense organs

Dharana (Meditation)
• Sitting upright on padding with the back supported
• Simple focus: counting breaths, mantra repetition, etc.

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A 28-Day Basic/Intermediate Course in Yoga: Day 4

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
• Head supported on block

Jatara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose)
• 3-5 blankets under legs, pelvis and lower ribs

Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja’s pose)
• Lie sideways over bolster/blankets with legs bent

Sarvangasana over chair (Shoulder Stand)

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose)
• Over bolster

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)
• Over Bolster

Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)

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A 28-Day Basic/Intermediate Course in Yoga: Day 3

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)

Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose)

Bharadwajasana 2 (Bharadwaja’s Pose 2)
Alternate Pose: Bharadwajasana 1

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

Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)
Alternate Pose: Prasarita Padottanasana 1 (Wide Spread Feet Pose 1) with the head supported

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)

Ujjayi 1 (Breath Awareness – Reclined)
• Lying in Shavasana with the trunk supported

Ujjayi 5 (Breath Awareness – Seated)
• Sitting upright on padding with the back supported

Pratyahara (Sense Withdrawal)
• Lying in Shavasana with a head wrap, focusing on releasing the sense organs

Dharana (Meditation)
• Sitting upright on padding with the back supported
• Simple focus: counting breaths, mantra repetition, etc.


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A 28-Day Basic/Intermediate Course in Yoga: Day 2

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)

Prasarita Padottanasana 1 (Wide Spread Feet Pose1)

Bharadwajasana 2 (Bharadwaja’s Pose 2)
Alternate Pose: Bharadwajasana 1

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

Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)
Alternate Pose: Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the head supported

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)

Ujjayi 1 (Breath Awareness – Reclined)
• Lying in Shavasana with the trunk supported

Ujjayi 5 (Breath Awareness – Seated)
• Sitting upright on padding with the back supported

Pratyahara (Sense Withdrawal)
• Lying in Shavasana with a head wrap, focusing on releasing the sense organs

Dharana (Concentration/Meditation)
• Sitting upright on padding with the back supported
• Simple focus: counting breaths, mantra repetition, etc.

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A 28-Day Basic/Intermediate Course in Yoga: Day 1

682154_santas_elf_1
So the Holidays are in full swing and there has been much partying, wassailing and ding-donging merrily on high. And, certainly in my case, the old asana practice has very much falllen by the wayside. If you're like me, you may have gone well beyond the point where you can just pick it up again full-swing without major consequences. So here is a 28-day course to get back into the swing of things with a little dignity.

The practices are simple and unchallenging. They are pitched at an intermediate level, but I have offered options for poses that more basic students have not begun to practice yet. Also, as there are 28 of them, one a day for the next 4 weeks, there are no sexy full-color handouts, though I have made up a printer-friendly page for each of them.

These are part of a larger project I've been toying with, so we'll see how they develop.

Enjoy!


28-Day Course in Yoga: Day 1



Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)

Bharadwajasana 2 (Bharadwaja’s Pose 2)
Alternate Pose: Bharadwajasana 1

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

Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)
Alternate Pose: Prasarita Padottanasana 1 (Wide Spread Feet Pose 1) with the head supported

Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)

Ujjayi 1 (Breath Awareness – Reclined)
• Lying in Shavasana with the trunk supported

Ujjayi 5 (Breath Awareness – Seated)
• Sitting upright on padding with the back supported

Pratyahara (Sense Withdrawal)
• Lying in Shavasana with a head wrap, focusing on releasing the sense organs

Dharana (Meditation)
• Sitting upright on padding with the back supported
• Simple focus: counting breaths, mantra repetition, etc.

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Brian Kest talking about Power Yoga

From  vjintl on YouTube.com
"Celebrity Health and Fitness host Victoria Johnson interviews Brian Kest on Power Yoga."



Interestingly, Kest presents himself as the "creator" of Power Yoga. Hmm... I wonder what Baron Baptiste and Beryl Bender Birch (and Patthabi Jois!) would have to say about that. I think this must be a really old clip, because he's talking about his first three videos and the recent opening of his studio.
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Funny

From  Jennifer7114 on YouTube.com
"This looks so cool... Forget taking the subway!"

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Yogatainment

From  sisterparish on YouTube:

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The Wave

Christopher Oakley is a gymnast and performer based in New York:

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Softening the Abdominal Wall

Utthita Trikonasana Extended Triangle Pose

I had a question today from a former student who is a singer/actor about releasing the abdominal wall while still learning to engage the lower back muscles. It is an interesting and useful question for all yogis. Here is what I suggested:

In Iyengar yoga, the abdominal support comes not from gripping the belly in a bandha (lock), but from the proper use and arrangement of the limbs. The best poses to work on a soft abdomen and an engaged lower back are standing poses, the sideways poses such as:

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle)
Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)
Parsvakonasana Extended Side Angle Pose
Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)

In each of these poses, consider the following instructions:

- Ground the big toe mound of the front foot and turn the thigh out in the hip socket.
- Allow the pelvis to turn gently towards the floor. (Not all the way down, but allow it to turn as you turn the thigh out)
- Soften the lower abdomen and allow it to settle back into the pelvis.
- Turn the trunk up towards the ceiling from the navel/upper abdomen.

Half Moon Pose
So you have the lower abdomen and pelvis floor softening and turning down, you have the upper abdomen becoming toned and turning up to make the pose lateral and engaging the lower back, and you have the lower back broadening as you turn the thigh out and tilt the pelvis.

If you were to work with this in a practice, you could try this sequence:

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)
Child's Pose
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog)
Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle)
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog)
Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog)
Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog)
Child's Pose
Viparita Karani
Shavasana

In each pose, focus on keeping the pelvic floor soft and broad, the lower abdomen soft and settling back away from the navel into the pelvis. Whenever the abdomen has to turn, take the turn from the navel and above.
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Serious Sadhu

This video is from abuhmeid
on YouTube.

"Examine the world of Hindu yoga and watch a yoga master perform his art."




The Sadhu is clearly very acomplished, but the jerky quality of his movements are very intimidating.
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Readership

I'm very excited to report a readership of 17,678 page hits total since starting the blog just over a year ago, with a monthly high of 2,878 hits in November! Readers come from as far afield as China and New Zealand.

Next time you swing by and you see something interesting, or find something helpful to you, post a comment, even just to introduce yourself. It would be great to get an idea of whose reading.

Thanks guys for your support.

Witold



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Olympic Yoga?

I have no more than a superficial knowledge of Bikram yoga (I would keel over and die trying to exercise in that level of heat), but the school seems to be heavily involved in competitive yoga demonstrations such as the International Yoga Asana Championship. An article appeared recently in The Daily Telegraph in the UK reporting on a desire to make Yoga an event at the Olympics.

My knee-jerk reaction is that yoga should not be competitive in any situation and should definitely not be presented in such a format lest the general public (and those who might begin practicing yoga) think this is in any way the point of practice. As a practitioner, I have found it is very easy to fall into the trap of competitiveness, both with myself and with others. As a teacher it becomes so clearly apparent how any movement in that direction is detrimental to the student. A student with the slightest amount of competitiveness in their approach is completely closed off to new information coming from outside, and worse, from within.

Check out the article, see what you think, leave a comment and let us all know.
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