Yoga Rag Round-Up: Yoga Journal

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I found four articles of note to tell you about in the February 2008 issue of Yoga Journal. And because, of course, I am a man of opinions, I have a few comments to make about them.


• BASICS: WITH A TWIST, by Richard Rosen (pp.50-56):

Mr. Rosen gives us a breakdown of the seated twist Marichyasana 3. He has some great things to say about the pelvis (keep it neutral) and the lower abdomen (keep it soft), with a nice little exercise using Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) with a block under the pelvis to explore the sacrum. There's also a great prone trunk lengthening exercise that he describes with a blanket roll under the hip joints. However, he tells us:

"...you'll press your sacrum the left side of the sacrum in to twist left and the left side of the sacrum in to twist right."

Ouch! Especially if you have sacroiliac joint issues (as do I). I imagine his idea is to have the twist evolve evenly across the entire length of the spine, but putting pressure on the sacrum like that is not a good idea in my opinion. Better to keep the sacrum and pelvis aligned with each other and squared off with the legs, allowing the twist to happen higher up the spine in the thoracic vertebrae, where they have room to turn.

And if only Yoga Journal would actually feature a picture of a real beginner doing the pose, rather than the advanced person they have presenting it, seated on a very thin blanket and binding. But this is a constant problem with the magazine.


• THE SECRET TO BETTER ARM BALANCES, by Jason Crandell (pp.91-97):

I really liked this article. The model's poses are beautiful and well executed by Iyengar standards. Mr Crandell's text includes a nice balance of precise instruction and imagery.


• MASTER CLASS: URDHVA PRASARITA EKAPADASANA, by Desirée Rumbaugh (pp.103-111)

This is without a doubt an article for the advanced student. Both the sequence and the instructions are not for the beginner, and really maybe only for the more advanced intermediate practitioner of Anusara Yoga. I think this is great. There needs needs to be more high-level writing about asana out there. This sequence to lead you into the standing spilt of Urdhva Prasarita Ekapadasana (Single Leg Extended Up Pose) is taught from the perspective of the Anusara Yoga Universal Principles of Alignment, which I'm not qualified to comment on, but Ms. Rumbaugh's article is very interesting to read and her poses are masterful.

There was one thing that really leapt out at me as being dubious, however. She presents a forward-bending variation of Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana 1 (Single Leg King Pigeon Pose) as a hip-opener, which is certainly very standard. (Although, I believe, not approved by Mr. Iyengar who feels it is a distortion of the pose. It's always hard to know what to do with these proclamations from the Mothership, as he has been known to change his mind.) My disagreement comes with this suggestion that Ms. Rumbaugh makes:

"Keep your front foot flexed and your hip lifted up off the floor...To build ankle strength, keep your front foot flexed, with it's outer edge strongly rooted in the earth and the outer anklebone lifted. If your front ankle collapses, the pose will be less effective as a hip opener, and you will risk knee pain and possible injury."

To my mind, flexing the foot and lifting the ankle will cause the muscles of the outer hip and thigh to grip. It will certainly increase the sensation in the outer hip, but if the muscles are engaged, they cannot possibly stretch, and the range of motion of the femur will be limited. Knee pain in this pose is likely to come from the femur not turning out enough to bring the top part of the knee joint into alignment with the bottom part. Gripping the outer hip muscles will do nothing to help that. Better to support the thigh with a prop (block, bolster, blanket) so as not to sink too deeply into it, relax the leg by allowing the sole of the foot to turn up towards the ceiling and the outer ankle to drop. Focus instead on turning the top of the femur out in the socket to bring proper alignment back to the knee joint.


• ANATOMY: SHOULDER SAVER by Julie Gudmestad (pp. 113-115)

Ms. Gudmestad addresses some foundational principals of how to use Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) to keep the rotator cuffs healthy and strong. Essential reading.


Related Posts
Yoga Rag Rag Round-Up: Yoga + Joyful Living
Yoga Rag Round-Up: Yoga Journal "My Yoga Mentor Newsletter"
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Year of Yoga: Week 5

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Welcome to week 5 of the Year of Yoga. If you consider the past 4 weeks as a preparatory phase, the next 4 weeks are a consolidation phase, where we will cycle through the essential intermediate poses, building stamina and endurance. An additional set of Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations) has been introduced, and the timings of held poses has bumped up from 3 minutes to 5 minutes. If this proves to be too much of a leap for you, adjust your practices accordingly.

Remember that these are just suggestions, so adapt them according to the time you have available. The Friday and Monday practices are restorative. If for any reason you feel unable to do the active practice on a given day, substitute one of these two, or rest completely.

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.

Tuesday, January 29


Quiet Practice:

• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) with breath awareness (5 min)
• Child’s Pose over bolster with breath awareness (5 min)
• Meditation Practice (15 min)

Active Practice:

• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 simple set, 3-5 rounds)
• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 challenging set, 3-5 rounds)
• Vrkshasana (Tree Pose)
• Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)
• Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior Pose 2)
• Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)
• Bharadwajasana 1 (Bharadwaja's Pose 1)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (5 min)
• Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose) (5 min)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (5 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (5 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (5 min)
• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (5 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Wednesday, January 30


Quiet Practice:

• Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja's Pose) over bolster with breath awareness (5 min each side)
• Meditation Practice (15 min)

Active Practice:

• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 simple set, 3-5 rounds)
• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 challenging set, 3-5 rounds)
• Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)
• Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)
• Prasarita Padottanasana 1 (Wide Spread Feet Pose) 1)
• Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose)
• Bharadwajasana 2 (Bharadwaja's Pose)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (5 min)
• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (5 min)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (5 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (5 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (5 min)
• Adho Mukha Ardha Padmasana (Downward Facing Half Lotus Pose) (1.5 min each side)
• Adho Mukha Padmasana (Downward Facing Lotus Pose) (1.5 min each side)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Thursday, January 31


Quiet Practice:

• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) with breath awareness (5 min)
• Child’s Pose over bolster with breath awareness (5 min)
• Meditation Practice (15 min)

Active Practice:

• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 simple set, 3-5 rounds)
• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 challenging set, 3-5 rounds)
• Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)
• Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)
• Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana (Revolved Half Moon Pose)
• Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose)
• Bharadwajasana 1 (Bharadwaja's Pose)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (5 min)
• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (5 min)
• Marichyasana 3 (Marichi’s Pose 3)
• Ardha Matsyendrasana 1 (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose 1)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (5 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (5 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (5 min)
• Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose) (3 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Friday, February 1


Quiet Practice:

• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) with breath awareness (10 min)
• Meditation Practice (15 min)

Restorative Practice:

• Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) (3 min)
• Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose) (1.5 min each side)
• Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja's Pose) over bolster (1.5 min each side)
• Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand) in chair (5 min)
• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (5 min)
• Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose) (5 min)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (5 min)
• Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose) (5 min)
• Ujjayi 4 in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)
• Ujjayi 8 in seated position (5 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Saturday, February 2


Quiet Practice:

• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) with breath awareness (5 min)
• Child’s Pose over bolster with breath awareness (5 min)
• Meditation Practice (15 min)

Active Practice:

• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 simple set, 3-5 rounds)
• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 challenging set, 3-5 rounds)
• Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)
• Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)
• Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)
• Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose)
• Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose)
• Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose)
• Bharadwajasana 2 (Bharadawja’s Pose 2)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (5 min)
• Viparita Dandasana (Inverted Staff Pose) on chair (5 min)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (5 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (5 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (5 min)
• Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose) (3 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Sunday, February 3


Quiet Practice:

• Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja's Pose) over bolster with breath awareness (5 min each side)
• Meditation Practice (15 min)

Active Practice:

• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 simple set, 3-5 rounds)
• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 challenging set, 3-5 rounds)
• Bharadwajasana 1 (Bharadwaja's Pose)
• Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) (2 min)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (5 min)
• Viparita Dandasana (Inverted Staff Pose) over chair (5 min)
• Shalabhasana (Locust Pose)
• Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
• Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose)
• Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
• Parshva Dhanurasana (Side Bow Pose)
• Ushtrasana (Camel Pose)
• Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja's Pose) (1.5 min each side)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (5 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (5 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (5 min)
• Paschchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose) (3 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Monday, February 4


Quiet Practice:

• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) with breath awareness (10 min)
• Meditation Practice (15m)

Restorative Practice:

• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (5 min)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (5 min)
• Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand) on chair (5 min)
• Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja's Pose) over bolster (3 min each side)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) with breath awareness (5 min)
• Ujjayi 4 in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)
• Viloma 2 in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)
• Ujjayi 8 in seated position (5 min)
• Viloma 5 in seated position (5 min)
• Nadhi Shodhana 1b (5 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)
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Intermediate/Advanced Twist and Arm Balance Practice

Here's another practiced based on the Donald Moyer ideas from a few weeks ago.

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana 2 (foot on ledge)
(Instructions for right side)
• Lift right pubic bone off thigh and turn it back.
• Roll left pubic bone forward and down.
• Line up left femur head into socket, move right femur head away from left.

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana 1 (foot on ledge)
(Instructions for right side)
• Raise arms over head.
• Lift right pubic bone off thigh and turn it back.
• Roll left pubic bone forward and down.
• Exhale and fold forward.
• Line up left femur head into socket, move right femur head away from left.

Parivrtta Hasta Padangusthasana (foot on ledge)
(Instructions for right side)
• Lift right pubic bone off thigh and turn it back.
• Roll left pubic bone forward and down.
• Line up left femur head into socket, move right femur head away from left.
• Broaden and expand rhomboid wall.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana
• If there is an imbalance, divide the pubic bones to create balance.
• Lift pubic bones off thighs.
• Stretch evenly from the inner and outer armpits.

Tadasana
• Lift pubic bones off thighs.

Utthita Trikonasana
(Instructions for right side)
• Line left pubic bone up with right ankle bone.
• Lift right pubic bone off thigh and turn it out to allow femur to turn in socket.
• Turn left pubic bone down towards left thigh.

Padangusthasana/Uttanasana
• Coming into pose, lift the pubic bone vertically up off the thighs so as not to sink back.
• If there is an imbalance in the pelvis, divide the pubic bones.
• In Uttanasana, turn the collarbones away from the head and broaden the rhomboid wall.

Utthita Parshvakonasana
(Instructions for right side)
• Line left pubic bone up with right ankle bone.
• Lift right pubic bone off thigh and turn it out to allow femur to turn in socket.
• Turn left pubic bone down towards left thigh.
• Broaden the rhomboid wall.

Uttanasana
• Coming into pose, lift the pubic bone vertically up off the thighs so as not to sink back.
• If there is an imbalance in the pelvis, divide the pubic bones.
• Turn the collarbones away from the head and broaden the rhomboid wall.

Parivrtta Trikonasana
(Instructions for right side)
• Lift right pubic bone up off the right thigh.
• Turn left pubic bone down towards left thigh.
• Strengthen the pubic symphysis and stretch the left leg away from it.
• Broaden the rhomboid wall.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana
• If there is an imbalance, divide the pubic bones to create balance.
• Lift pubic bones off thighs.
• Stretch evenly from the inner and outer armpits.

Parivrtta Parshvakonasana (simple variation)
(Instructions for right side)
• Instead of taking the full crossing of the left arm over the right thigh, place the left hand down next to and inside the right foot. Raise the right arm straight up towards the ceiling.
• Lift right pubic bone up off the right thigh.
• Turn left pubic bone down towards left thigh.
• Strengthen the pubic symphysis and stretch the left leg away from it.
• Broaden the rhomboid wall.

Bharadwajasana 2
(Instructions for right side)
• Lift the left pubic bone up off the top of the left thigh (which is in Virasana) and let the hip crease settle down.
• Turn the right pubic bone down towards the right thigh (which is in Padmasana).
• Broaden the rhomboid wall and turn from the sternum.
• Turn the left collarbone down and the right collarbone up.

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana
• Broaden the rhomboid wall and stretch the inner and outer armpits evenly.
• Lift the pubic bones up towards the thighs and lift the thighs up off the pubic bones.
• Strengthen the rhomboid wall deeper into the body and lift it up off the armpits.

Shirshasana 1
• Lift the pubic bones into the thighs and the thighs up off the pubic bones.
• Broaden the rhomboid wall.
• Stretch from the outer elbow towards the outer armpit to the ceiling.
• Stretch from the inner armpit down into the inner elbow.
• Move the sternal notch towards the front body.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana
• If there is an imbalance, divide the pubic bones to create balance.
• Lift pubic bones off thighs.
• Stretch evenly from the inner and outer armpits.

In each of the following poses, repeat the following actions. (Instructions are for the right side, where the right leg is bent.)
• Turn the right pubic bone towards the mid-line of the body away from the thigh and the left pubic bone up off the left thigh.
• Broaden the rhomboid wall and turn from the sternum.
• Turn the left collarbone down and the right collarbone up.

Marichyasana 3 (or C)

Ardha Matsyendrasana 1

Pashasana

Parshva Bakasana

Parivrtta Parshvakonasana

Eka Pada Koundinyasana 2

Malasana
• Lift the pubic bones up off the thighs.
• If there is an imbalance in the pelvis, divide the pubic bones.
• Broaden the rhomboid wall.

In each of the following poses, repeat the following actions. (instructions are for the right side, where the right leg is bent.)
• Lift the pubic bones up off the thighs.
• If there is an imbalance in the pelvis, divide the pubic bones.
• Broaden the rhomboid wall.
• Strengthen the outer (back) armpits down into the floor, the inner (front) armpits up off the floor
• Turn the collarbones towards the head and broaden the rhomboid wall.

Bakasana

Titthibasana

Eka Pada Koundinyasana 1

Halasana
• Lengthen the outer triceps towards the elbow and lift the inner triceps towards the ceiling.
• Turn the shoulder socket around the head of the upper arm.
• Deepen the sternal notch further into the body and turn the collarbones towards the head.

Sarvangasana
• Lift the thighs up off the pubic bones and the pubic bones up towards the thighs.
• Strengthen the pubic symphysis and stretch the legs up from them.

Eka Pada Sarvangasana
(Instructions for right side where the left leg stays vertical)
• Turn the left pubic bone up towards the left thigh.
• Turn the right pubic bone down away from the right thigh.
• Place the right foot on the floor to give you more of a push up through both legs.

Eka Pada Parshva Sarvangasana
(Instructions for right side, where the navel and chest turn to the right)
• Turn the left pubic bone towards the left thigh.
• Turn the right pubic bone away from the right thigh.
• Broaden the rhomboid wall.

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Drop Backs)
• Lift the pubic bones away from the thighs towards the head.
• Stretch from the pubic symphysis into the legs.
• Broaden and strengthen the rhomboid wall, bringing the lower border deeper into the body, away from the top of the sacrum.

Halasana
• Turn the pubic bones either towards the thighs (if the thighs do not turn in enough) or away from the thighs (if the thighs turn in too much).
• Stretch the legs away from the strength of the pubic symphysis.

Pashchimottanasana
• Lift the pubic bones off the thighs, balancing the lift if there is an imbalance.
• Turn the pubic bones up if the thighs turn in too much, turn them down if they need to turn in more to facilitate the pose.
• Strengthen the pubic symphysis and stretch the legs forward.
• Broaden the rhomboid wall.
• Deepen the sternal notch into the body and turn the collarbones away from the head.

Shavasana


Related Posts:
Intermediate/Advanced Class with Donald Moyer 1/4/08
Intermediate/Advanced Marichyasana Practice

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Intermediate/Advanced Marichyasana Practice

I've been working on the ideas from the classes with Donald Moyer I took a few weeks ago. Here's a practice focussing on some of the poses in the Marichyasana sequence.

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana 2 (foot on ledge)
(Instructions for right side)
• Lift right pubic bone off thigh and turn it back.
• Roll left pubic bone forward and down.
• Line up left femur head into socket, move right femur head away from left.

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana 1 (foot on ledge)
(Instructions for right side)
• Raise arms over head.
• Lift right pubic bone off thigh and turn it back.
• Roll left pubic bone forward and down.
• Exhale and fold forward.
• Line up left femur head into socket, move right femur head away from left.

Parivrtta Hasta Padangusthasana (foot on ledge)
(Instructions for right side)
• Lift right pubic bone off thigh and turn it back.
• Roll left pubic bone forward and down.
• Line up left femur head into socket, move right femur head away from left.
• Broaden and expand rhomboid wall.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana
• If there is an imbalance, divide the pubic bones to create balance.
• Lift pubic bones off thighs.
• Stretch evenly from the inner and outer armpits.

Tadasana
• Lift pubic bones off thighs.

Utthita Trikonasana
(Instructions for right side)
• Line left pubic bone up with right ankle bone.
• Lift right pubic bone off thigh and turn it out to allow femur to turn in socket.
• Turn left pubic bone down and in towards left thigh.

Padangusthasana/Uttanasana
• Coming into pose, lift the pubic bone vertically up off the thighs so as not to sink back.
• If there is an imbalance in the pelvis, divide the pubic bones.
• In Uttanasana, turn the collarbones away from the head and broaden the rhomboid wall.

Ardha Chandrasana
(Instructions for right side)
• Set the hip socket directly over the femur head and lift it.
• Lift right pubic bone off thigh and turn it out to allow femur to turn in socket.
• Turn left pubic bone down and in towards left thigh.
• Move the pubic symphysis forward, strengthen it and stretch the left leg away from it.
• Broaden the rhomboid wall.

Uttanasana
• Coming into pose, lift the pubic bone vertically up off the thighs so as not to sink back.
• If there is an imbalance in the pelvis, divide the pubic bones.
• Turn the collarbones away from the head and broaden the rhomboid wall.

Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana
(Instructions for right side)
• Set the hip socket directly over the femur head and lift it.
• Lift right pubic bone off thigh and turn it out to allow femur to turn in socket.
• Turn left pubic bone down and in towards left thigh.
• Move the pubic symphysis forward, strengthen it and stretch the left leg away from it.
• Broaden the rhomboid wall.

Bharadwajasana 2
(Instructions for right side)
• Lift the left pubic bone up off the top of the left thigh (which is in Virasana) and let the hip crease settle down.
• Turn the right pubic bone down towards the right thigh (which is in Padmasana).
• Broaden the rhomboid wall and turn from the sternum.
• Turn the left collarbone down and the right collarbone up.

Shirshasana 1
• Lift the pubic bones into the thighs and the thighs up off the pubic bones.
• Broaden the rhomboid wall.
• Stretch from the outer elbow towards the outer armpit to the ceiling.
• Stretch from the inner armpit down into the inner elbow.
• Move the sternal notch towards the front body.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana
• Move the pubic symphysis into the front plane of the body.
• Balance the lift of the pubic bones up off the inner thighs.
• Broaden the rhomboid wall and balance the stretch of the inner and outer armpits.

Baddha Konasana
• Draw the pubic bones up off the tops of the thighs, unless there is an imbalance, in which case, turn the higher pubic bone down and the lower pubic bone up.
• Broaden the rhomboid wall.
• In the upright phase, roll the collarbones towards the head. In the forward bend phase, deepen the notch between the collarbones into the body and roll the collarbones away from from the head.

Marichyasana 1 (or A)
(Instructions for the right side, where the left leg is bent)
• Turn the left pubic bone towards the mid-line of the body away from the thigh and the right pubic bone up off the right thigh.
• Broaden and strengthen the rhomboid wall.
• Deepen the sternal notch into the body.
• Roll the left collarbone down the length of the body and the right collarbone up.

Marichyasana 5 (or E)
(Instructions for the right side, where the left leg is bent)
• Turn the left pubic bone towards the mid-line of the body away from the thigh and the right pubic bone up off the right thigh.
• Broaden and strengthen the rhomboid wall.
• Deepen the sternal notch into the body.
• Roll the left collarbone down the length of the body and the right collarbone up.

Marichyasana 2 (or B)
(Instructions for the right side, where the left leg is bent)
• Turn the left pubic bone towards the mid-line of the body away from the thigh and the right pubic bone up off the right thigh.
• Broaden and strengthen the rhomboid wall.
• Deepen the sternal notch into the body.
• Roll the left collarbone down the length of the body and the right collarbone up.

Marichyasana 3 (or C)
(Instructions for the right side, where the right leg is bent)
• Turn the right pubic bone towards the mid-line of the body away from the thigh and the left pubic bone up off the left thigh.
• Broaden the rhomboid wall and turn from the sternum.
• Turn the left collarbone down and the right collarbone up.

Marichyasana 6 (or F)
(Instructions for the right side, where the right leg is bent)
• Turn the right pubic bone towards the mid-line of the body away from the thigh and the left pubic bone up off the left thigh.
• Broaden the rhomboid wall and turn from the sternum.
• Turn the left collarbone down and the right collarbone up.

Marichyasana 4 (or D)
(Instructions for the right side, where the right leg is bent)
• Turn the right pubic bone towards the mid-line of the body away from the thigh and the left pubic bone up off the left thigh.
• Broaden the rhomboid wall and turn from the sternum.
• Turn the left collarbone down and the right collarbone up.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana
• If there is an imbalance, divide the pubic bones to create balance.
• Lift pubic bones off thighs.
• Stretch evenly from the inner and outer armpits.

Halasana
• Lengthen the outer triceps towards the elbow and lift the inner triceps towards the ceiling.
• Turn the shoulder socket around the head of the upper arm.
• Deepen the sternal notch further into the body and turn the collarbones towards the head.
Sarvangasana
• Lift the thighs up off the pubic bones and the pubic bones up towards the thighs.
• Strengthen the pubic symphysis and stretch the legs up from them.
Eka Pada Sarvangasana
(Instructions for right side)
• Turn the left pubic bone up towards the left thigh.
• Turn the right pubic bone down away from the right thigh.
• Place the right foot on the floor to give you more of a push up through both legs.
Parshvaikapada Sarvangasana
(Instructions for right side)
• Turn the left pubic bone up towards the left thigh.
• Turn the right pubic bone down away from the right thigh.
• Place the right foot on the floor to give you more of a push up through both legs.
Halasana
• Turn the pubic bones either towards the thighs (if the thighs do not turn in enough) or away from the thighs (if the thighs turn in too much).

Pashchimottanasana
• Lift the pubic bones off the thighs, balancing the lift if there is an imbalance.
• Turn the pubic bones up if the thighs turn in too much, turn them down if they need to turn in more to facilitate the pose.
• Strengthen the pubic symphysis and stretch the legs forward.
• Broaden the rhomboid wall.
• Deepen the sternal notch into the body and turn the collarbones away from the head.

Shavasana


Related Posts:
Intermediate/Advanced Class with Donald Moyer 1/4/08

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The Anti-Back-Bends Practice

I made the foolish mistake (laziness on my part, really) of deciding to teach backbends in both my basic and intermediate classes this week. After three days of this, I'm not sleeping as well as I should be and my lower back is decidedly unhappy with me. So today I attempted this restorative practice to balance my body out. I think I'm going to have to practice this the rest of the week to keep myself sane. (Or I could change what I'm teaching, but that would be the sensible thing to do.)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose)
• 2-3 minutes
• Head supported on blocks

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
• 2-3 minutes
• Head supported on a block

Prasarita Padottanasana 1 (Wide Spread Feet Pose)
• 2-3 minutes
• Head supported on blocks or blankets if it does not comfortably reach the floor

Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja's Pose) over a bolster
• 3-5 minutes each side

Child's Pose on bolster
• 3-5 minutes

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)
• 3-5 minutes

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)
• 5 minutes
• Trunk supported on bolster or blankets

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) over bolster
• 5 minutes

Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand) on chair
• 5 minutes

Ardha Halasana (Half Plough Pose) on chair
• 5 minutes

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
• 5 minutes
• Trunk supported, knees supported

Ujjayi 4 (Victorious Pose) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
• 5 minutes
• Trunk supported, knees supported

Viloma 1 (Interrupted Breath) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
• 5 minutes
• Trunk supported, knees supported

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
• 5 minutes
• Trunk supported, knees supported
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Year of Yoga: Week 4

2008yoybanner2

Welcome to week 4 of the Year of Yoga. Here are your practices for the week. Notice that the level of intensity has increased slightly with the introduction of one set of Surya Namasakar (Sun Salutations). If for any reason you find this increase does not work for you, go back to a simple Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) and Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) to warm the body up.

Remember that these are just suggestions, so adapt them according to the time you have available. The Friday and Monday practices are restorative. If for any reason you feel unable to do the active practice on a given day, substitute one of these two, or rest completely.

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.

Tuesday, January 22


Quiet Practice:

• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) with breath awareness (5 min)
• Child’s Pose over bolster with breath awareness (5 min)
• Meditation Practice (15 min)

Active Practice:

• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutatation) (1 simple set, 3-5 rounds)
• Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)
• Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana (Revolved Half Moon Pose)
• Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose)
• Bharadwajasana 1 (Bharadwaja's Pose 2)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (3 min)
• Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose) (3 min)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (3 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (3 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (3 min)
• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (3 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Wednesday, January 23


Quiet Practice:

• Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja's Pose) over bolster with breath awareness (5 min each side)
• Meditation Practice (15 min)

Active Practice:

• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutatation) (1 simple set, 3-5 rounds)
• Bharadwajasana 2 (Bharadwaja's Pose)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (3 min)
• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (3 min)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (3 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (3 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (3 min)
• Adho Mukha Ardha Padmasana (Downward Facing Half Lotus Pose) (1.5 min each side)
• Ardha Baddha Padma Pashchimottanasana (Half Bound Lotus Intense West Stretch Pose) (1.5 min each side)
• Adho Mukha Padmasana (Downward Facing Lotus Pose) (1.5 min each side)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Thursday, January 24


Quiet Practice:

• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) with breath awareness (5 min)
• Child’s Pose over bolster with breath awareness (5 min)
• Meditation Practice (15 min)

Active Practice:

• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutatation) (1 simple set, 3-5 rounds)
• Bharadwajasana 1 (Bharadwaja's Pose)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (3 min)
• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (3 min)
• Marichyasana 3 (Marichi’s Pose 3)
• Ardha Matsyendrasana 1 (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose 1)
• Pashasana (Noose Pose)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (3 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (3 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (3 min)
• Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose) (3 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Friday, January 25


Quiet Practice:

• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) with breath awareness (10 min)
• Meditation Practice (15 min)

Restorative Practice:

• Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) (2 min)
• Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose) (1.5 min each side)
• Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja's Pose) over bolster (1.5 min each side)
• Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand) in chair (3 min)
• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (3 min)
• Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose) (3 min)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (5 min)
• Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose) (5 min)
• Ujjayi 4 in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)
• Ujjayi 8 in seated position (5 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Saturday, January 26


Quiet Practice:

• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) with breath awareness (5 min)
• Child’s Pose over bolster with breath awareness (5 min)
• Meditation Practice (15 min)

Active Practice:

• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutatation) (1 simple set, 3-5 rounds)
• Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)
• Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose)
• Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose)
• Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose)
• Bharadwajasana 2 (Bharadawja’s Pose 2)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (3 min)
• Viparita Dandasana (Inverted Staff Pose) on chair (3 min)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (3 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (3 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (3 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Sunday, January 27


Quiet Practice:

• Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja's Pose) over bolster with breath awareness (5 min each side)
• Meditation Practice (15 min)

Active Practice:

• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutatation) (1 simple set, 3-5 rounds)
• Bharadwajasana 1 (Bharadwaja's Pose)
• Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) (2 min)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (3 min)
• Viparita Dandasana (Inverted Staff Pose) over chair (3 min)
• Kapotasana (Pigeon Pose) over chair
• Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow Pose) feet on chair
• Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana (Two Leg Inverted Staff Pose) feet on chair
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (3 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (3 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (3 min)
• Paschchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose) (3 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Monday, January 28


Quiet Practice:

• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) with breath awareness (10 min)
• Meditation Practice (15 min)

Restorative Practice:

• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (5 min)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (5 min)
• Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand) on chair (5 min)
• Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja's Pose) over bolster (3 min each side)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) with breath awareness (5 min)
• Ujjayi 4 in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)
• Viloma 2 in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)
• Ujjayi 8 in seated position (5 min)
• Viloma 5 in seated position (5 min)
• Nadhi Shodhana 1b (5 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)
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The Science of Consciousness

From WNYC's Leonard Lopate Show:

"Please Explain: The Science of Consciousness

When you see a blue flower, do you see the same blue flower that I do? When you feel cold is it the same sensation I feel? On Please Explain we look at the biology of consciousness...and what brain science reveals about who we are and how we experience the world around us.

Gerald Edelman is a Nobel Laureate, Director of The Neurosciences Institute, and author of many books about the neurobiology of consciousness including Wider Than the Sky. Christof Koch is Professor of Biology and Engineering at the California Institute of Technology and author of The Quest for Consciousness."

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Year of Yoga: Week 3

2008yoybanner2

Welcome to week 3 of the Year of Yoga. Here are your practices for the week. Notice that the level of intensity has increased slightly with the introduction of one set of Surya Namasakar (Sun Salutations). If for any reason you find this increase does not work for you, go back to a simple Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) and Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) to warm the body up.

Remember that these are just suggestions, so adapt them according to the time you have available. The Friday and Monday practices are restorative. If for any reason you feel unable to do the active practice on a given day, substitute one of these two, or rest completely.

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.

Tuesday, January 15


Quiet Practice:

• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) with breath awareness (5 min)
• Child’s Pose over bolster with breath awareness (5 min)
• Meditation Practice (15m)

Active Practice:

• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutatation) (1 simple set, 3-5 rounds)
• Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)
• Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior Pose 2)
• Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior Pose 1)
• Bharadwajasana 1 (Bharadwaja's Pose)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (3 min)
• Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose) (3 min)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (3 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (3 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (3 min)
• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (3 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Wednesday, January 16


Quiet Practice:

• Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja's Pose) over bolster with breath awareness (5 min each side)
• Meditation Practice (15m)

Active Practice:

• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutatation) (1 simple set, 3-5 rounds)
• Bharadwajasana 2 (Bharadwaja's Pose)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (3 min)
• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (3 min)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (3 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (3 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (3 min)
• Triang Mukhaikapada Pashchimottanasana (Three Limbs Facing Single Leg Intense West Stretch Pose) (1.5 min each side)
• Janu Shirshasana (Head of the Knee Pose) (1.5 min each side)
• Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose) (1-3 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Thursday, January 17


Quiet Practice:

• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) with breath awareness (5 min)
• Child’s Pose over bolster with breath awareness (5 min)
• Meditation Practice (15m)

Active Practice:

• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutatation) (1 simple set, 3-5 rounds)
• Bharadwajasana 1 (Bharadwaja's Pose)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (3 min)
• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (3 min)
• Marichyasana 1 (Marichi’s Pose 1) twist only
• Marichyasana 3 (Marichi’s Pose 3)
• Ardha Matsyedrasana 1 (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (3 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (3 min)
• Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose) (3 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (3 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Friday, January 18


Quiet Practice:

• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) with breath awareness (10 min)
• Meditation Practice (15m)

Restorative Practice:

• Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) (2 min)
• Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose) (1.5 min each side)
• Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja's Pose) over bolster (1.5 min each side)
• Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand) in chair (3 min)
• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (3 min)
• Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose) (3 min)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (5 min)
• Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose) (5 min)
• Ujjayi 4 in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)
• Ujjayi 8 in seated position (5 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Saturday, January 19


Quiet Practice:

• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) with breath awareness (5 min)
• Child’s Pose over bolster with breath awareness (5 min)
• Meditation Practice (15m)

Active Practice:

• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutatation) (1 simple set, 3-5 rounds)
• Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)
• Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose)
• Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose)
• Bharadwajasana 2 (Bharadawja’s Pose 2)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (3 min)
• Viparita Dandasana (Inverted Staff Pose) on chair (3 min)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (3 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (3 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (3 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Sunday, January 20


Quiet Practice:

• Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja's Pose) over bolster with breath awareness (5 min each side)
• Meditation Practice (15m)

Active Practice:

• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutatation) (1 simple set, 3-5 rounds)
• Bharadwajasana 1 (Bharadwaja's Pose)
• Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) (2 min)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (3 min)
• Viparita Dandasana (Inverted Staff Pose) over chair (3 min)
• Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
• Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
• Ushtrasana (Camel Pose)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (3 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (3 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (3 min)
• Paschchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose) (3 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Monday, January 21


Quiet Practice:

• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) with breath awareness (10 min)
• Meditation Practice (15m)

Restorative Practice:

• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (5 min)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (5 min)
• Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand) on chair (5 min)
• Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja's Pose) over bolster (3 min each side)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) with breath awareness (5 min)
• Ujjayi 4 in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)
• Viloma 1 in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)
• Ujjayi 8 in seated position (5 min)
• Viloma 4 in seated position (5 min)
• Nadhi Shodhana 1b (5 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)
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Intermediate/Advanced Class with Donald Moyer 1/4/08

I was in Berkeley last week, taking class with Donald Moyer at the Yoga Room. Here's what I learned:

Ideas


1. Pubic Bone and Thighs

Even though the two pubic bones are fused to the fibrous pad of the pubic symphysis by adulthood, there is still a certain amount of movement possible in the joint. Working with that movement can help to create strength around the pubic symphysis and space around the hip joint.

In asymmetrical standing poses, the pubic bone can drop forward and down, limiting the range of motion of the out-turned leg. Thus in, say Utthita Trikonasana to the right, lift and turn the right side of the pubic bone off the inner thigh, while turning the left pubic bone down into the thigh. The working of the two sides of the pubic bone against each other will create strength around the pubic symphysis.

In symmetrical poses, create space around the hip joint by lifting the pubic bones (left and right) off the tops of the thighs. Stack the pubic bone up, moving forward and lifting off ankle bones creating a resist so as not to collapse into the hip and hamstring. If there is an imbalance between the two sides of the pelvis (one iliac crest shifted up or titled back relative to the other) make sure both are evenly lifted. This means that the higher one will have to be rolled down, the lower one rolled up.

Some people might tend to overly inward rotate, some to overly outward rotate in symmetrical poses (standing, seated and forward extensions). People who overly inwardly rotate might benefit from turning the pubic bones towards the abdomen in their poses (lifting), whereas people who do not inwardly rotate enough might benefit from turning the pubic bones towards the thighs (turning them down).

In Baddha Konasana-like asymmetrical seated forward bends—such as Janu Shirshasana—lift the pubic bone off the thigh of the straight leg while broadening the other side out towards the thigh of the bent leg.

In Virasana-like asymmetrical seated forward bends—such as Krounchasana—do the opposite. Broaden the pubic bone away from the straight leg and lift it off the bent leg.

Bear in mind that we want to keep the pubic bone/pubic symphysis approximately parallel to the floor. You might find that on one side the pelvis lists laterally and the pubic bone collapses sideways into the femur. In that case, emphasize the broadening of the bent leg side pubic bone over the lift of the straight leg pubic bone (in the case of Baddha Konasana-like poses, the reverse in the case of Virasana-like poses) to bring the pelvis back into balance.

2. Strength of the Pubic Symphysis

We want to use the pubic bone/pubic symphysis as a place to find the strength of the front line of the body). If the student is stiff in that region (a tucker), the symphysis is set back and narrow, the hip creases tight. Bring the symphysis forward and strengthen it by broadening both it and the hip creases. If the student is overly flexible there (a tilter), the symphysis will be in front of the plane of the body and needs to be brought back into line and firmed to find strength.

Once the symphysis is in the plane of the front line, then stretch the legs/arms/trunk away from it to strengthen the entire line.

3. Femurs and Hip Sockets

In symmetrical poses create room in the pelvic region by broadening the femur heads away from each other. This will help to broaden the sacrum and gluteal wall.

In asymmetrical poses, line the weight-bearing femur head in the hip socket and broaden the other away from it.

4. Lower Abdominal Wall and Face of Sacrum

Instead of gripping the lower abdomen, create depth between the lower abdominal wall and the face of the sacrum. Balance the weight between these two walls.

5. Rhomboid Wall and Armpits

Broaden and strengthen the rhomboid wall.

Stretching evenly from inner and outer armpit.

In Shirshasana: lengthen the inner armpit up off the inner elbow; lengthen the outer armpit down into the inner elbow.

6. Heads and Sockets

Turn the shoulder sockets around humerus head and the acetabulum around the femur head.

Turning inner clavicles either toward or away from head. (Comparable to pubic bones?)

7. Collarbones and Sternal Notch

In forward bends, deepen the sternal notch into the body and turn the inner collarbones away from the head.

In poses involving arm strength, bring the sternal notch to the surface and turn it away from the arms.

Sequence


Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana 2 (foot on ledge)
(Instructions for right side)
• Lift right pubic bone off thigh and turn it back.
• Roll left pubic bone forward and down.
• Line up left femur head into socket, move right femur head away from left.

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana 1 (foot on ledge)
(Instructions for right side)
• Raise arms over head.
• Lift right pubic bone off thigh and turn it back.
• Roll left pubic bone forward and down.
• Exhale and fold forward.
• Line up left femur head into socket, move right femur head away from left.

Parivrtta Hasta Padangusthasana (foot on ledge)
(Instructions for right side)
• Lift right pubic bone off thigh and turn it back.
• Roll left pubic bone forward and down.
• Line up left femur head into socket, move right femur head away from left.
• Broaden and expand rhomboid wall.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana
• If there is an imbalance, divide the pubic bones to create balance.
• Lift pubic bones off thighs.
• Stretch evenly from the inner and outer armpits.

Tadasana
• Lift pubic bones off thighs.

Utthita Trikonasana
(Instructions for right side)
• Line left pubic bone up with right ankle bone.
• Lift right pubic bone off thigh and turn it out to allow femur to turn in socket.
• Turn left pubic bone down and in towards left thigh.

Padangusthasana/Uttanasana
• Coming into pose, lift the pubic bone vertically up off the thighs so as not to sink back.
• If there is an imbalance in the pelvis, divide the pubic bones.
• In Uttanasana, turn the collarbones away from the head and broaden the rhomboid wall.

Utthita Parshvakonasana
(Instructions for right side)
• Line left pubic bone up with right ankle bone.
• Lift right pubic bone off thigh and turn it out to allow femur to turn in socket.
• Turn left pubic bone down and in towards left thigh.
• Broaden the rhomboid wall.

Prasarita Padottanasana 1
(Arms extended forward, then classic pose)
• If there is an imbalance in the pelvis, divide the pubic bones.
• Stack the pubic symphysis up over the inner thighs, move it forward into the front plane of the body and stretch the arms forward from it.
• Turn the collarbones away from the head and broaden the rhomboid wall into the elbows.

Ardha Chandrasana
(Instructions for right side)
• Set the hip socket directly over the femur head and lift it.
• Lift right pubic bone off thigh and turn it out to allow femur to turn in socket.
• Turn left pubic bone down and in towards left thigh.
• Move the pubic symphysis forward, strengthen it and stretch the left leg away from it.
• Broaden the rhomboid wall.

Uttanasana
• Coming into pose, lift the pubic bone vertically up off the thighs so as not to sink back.
• If there is an imbalance in the pelvis, divide the pubic bones.
• Turn the collarbones away from the head and broaden the rhomboid wall.

Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana
(Instructions for right side)
• Set the hip socket directly over the femur head and lift it.
• Lift right pubic bone off thigh and turn it out to allow femur to turn in socket.
• Turn left pubic bone down and in towards left thigh.
• Move the pubic symphysis forward, strengthen it and stretch the left leg away from it.
• Broaden the rhomboid wall.

Uttanasana
• Coming into pose, lift the pubic bone vertically up off the thighs so as not to sink back.
• If there is an imbalance in the pelvis, divide the pubic bones.
• Turn the collarbones away from the head and broaden the rhomboid wall.

Parshvottanasana
(Instructions for right side)
• Line left pubic bone up with right ankle bone.
• Lift right pubic bone off thigh and turn it out to allow femur to turn in socket.
• Turn left pubic bone down and in towards left thigh.
• Broaden the rhomboid wall.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana
• Move the pubic symphysis into the front plane of the body.
• Balance the lift of the pubic bones up off the inner thighs.
• Broaden the rhomboid wall and balance the stretch of the inner and outer armpits.

Shirshasana 1
• Lift the pubic bones into the thighs and the thighs up off the pubic bones.
• Broaden the rhomboid wall.
• Stretch from the outer elbow towards the outer armpit to the ceiling.
• Stretch from the inner armpit down into the inner elbow.
• Move the sternal notch towards the front body.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana
• Move the pubic symphysis into the front plane of the body.
• Balance the lift of the pubic bones up off the inner thighs.
• Broaden the rhomboid wall and balance the stretch of the inner and outer armpits.

Halasana
• Lengthen the outer triceps towards the elbow and lift the inner triceps towards the ceiling.
• Turn the shoulder socket around the head of the upper arm.
• Deepen the sternal notch further into the body and turn the collarbones towards the head.
Sarvangasana
• Lift the thighs up off the pubic bones and the pubic bones up towards the thighs.
• Strengthen the pubic symphysis and stretch the legs up from them.
Eka Pada Sarvangasana
(Instructions for right side)
• Turn the left pubic bone up towards the left thigh.
• Turn the right pubic bone down away from the right thigh.
• Place the right foot on the floor to give you more of a push up through both legs.
Parshvaikapada Sarvangasana
(Instructions for right side)
• Turn the left pubic bone up towards the left thigh.
• Turn the right pubic bone down away from the right thigh.
• Place the right foot on the floor to give you more of a push up through both legs.
Halasana
• Turn the pubic bones either towards the thighs (if the thighs do not turn in enough) or away from the thighs (if the thighs turn in too much).

Janu Shirshasana
(Instructions for right side)
• Lift the right pubic bone up off the right thigh and turn the left pubic bone out towards the bent leg.
• Strengthen the pubic symphysis and stretch the right leg forward out of it.
• Broaden and strengthen the rhomboid wall.
• Deepen the sternal notch further into the body.
• Turn the collarbones away from the head.

Ardha Baddha Padma Pashchimottanasana
(Instructions for right side)
• Lift the right pubic bone up off the right thigh and turn the left pubic bone out towards the bent leg.
• Strengthen the pubic symphysis and stretch the right leg forward out of it.
• Broaden and strengthen the rhomboid wall.
• Deepen the sternal notch further into the body.
• Turn the collarbones away from the head.

Parivrtta Krounchasana
(Instructions for right side)
• Balance the weight between the abdominal wall and the face of the sacrum.
• Turn the right pubic bone away from the right thighs and lift the left pubic bone up off the left thigh.
• Broaden and turn from the rhomboid wall.

Krounchasana
(Instructions for right side)
• Balance the weight between the abdominal wall and the face of the sacrum.
• Soften the lower abdomen.
• Cup the right hip socket up under the femur head to support the leg.
• Turn the right pubic bone away from the right thigh and lift the left pubic bone up off the left thigh.
• Broaden the rhomboid wall.
• Deepen the sternal notch into the body and turn the collarbones away from the head.

Triang Mukhaikapada Pashchimottanasana
(Instructions for right side)
• Turn the right pubic bone away from the right thigh and lift the left pubic bone up off the left thigh.
• Broaden the rhomboid wall.
• Deepen the sternal notch into the body and turn the collarbones away from the head.

Pashchimottanasana
• Lift the pubic bones off the thighs, balancing the lift if there is an imbalance.
• Turn the pubic bones up if the thighs turn in too much, turn them down if they need to turn in more to facilitate the pose.
• Strengthen the pubic symphysis and stretch the legs forward.
• Broaden the rhomboid wall.
• Deepen the sternal notch into the body and turn the collarbones away from the head.

Marichyasana 1
(Instructions for right side)
• Turn the right pubic bone away from the right thigh and lift the left pubic bone up off the left thigh.
• Strengthen the pubic symphysis by either moving it deeper into the body or towards the surface of the body. Experiment, as this action may be different in this pose.
• Broaden the rhomboid wall.
• Deepen the sternal notch into the body and turn the collarbones away from the head.

Upavishtha Konasana
• Lift the pubic bones off the thighs, balancing the lift if there is an imbalance.
• Turn the pubic bones up if the thighs turn in too much, turn them down if they need to turn in more to facilitate the pose.
• Strengthen the pubic symphysis and stretch the legs forward.
• Broaden the rhomboid wall.
• Deepen the sternal notch into the body and turn the collarbones away from the head.

Parivrtta Janu Shirshasana
(Instructions for right side)
• Keep the pubic symphysis in the front plane of the body. Do not let it push to far forward or collapse too far back.
• Lift the right pubic bone up of the right thigh, turn the left pubic bone out and down towards the left thigh.
• Broaden the rhomboid wall and turn from the right side of the body (the side closest to the ground).

Child’s Pose

Shavasana

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"River of Gods" by Ian McDonald

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"As Mother India approaches her centenary, nine people are going about their business—a gangster, a cop, his wife, a politician, a stand-up comic, a set designer, a journalist, a scientist, and a dropout. And so is Aj—the waif, the mind reader, the prophet—when she one day finds a man who wants to stay hidden.

"In the next few weeks, they will all be swept together to decide the fate of the nation.

"River of Gods teems with the life of a country choked with peoples and cultures—one and a half billion people, twelve semi-independent nations, nine million gods. Ian McDonald has written the great Indian novel of the new millennium, in which a war is fought, a love betrayed, a message from a different world decoded, as the great river Ganges flows on."


"River of Gods" by Ian McDonald doesn't have much to do with the practice of yoga, but for anyone interested in Indian culture, it's a wild read. A post-cyberpunk SF novel, it is set in the turbulent streets of Varanasi 50 years into the future, and recasts the usual ultra-modern SF tropes--artificial intelligences, alien contact, extreme body-modifications--in decidedly Indian terms. The imagining of a future centered not on America or Europe is refreshing, and his use of language, the merging and repurposing of old words and concepts is great fun to read.

Available from Amazon.com.
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Yoga Rag Rag Round-Up: Yoga + Joyful Living

YogaPlusJanFeb2008
Yoga + Joyful Living, the magazine run by the Himalayan Institute, is a little light and fluffy for my taste, but their heart is in the right place and it often features some great information. Here's a selection of highlights from issue 99 (January-February 2008) on newsstands now:


"Pilgrimage of a Lifetime! Journey to the City of the Gods" by Sandra Anderson

"At a spiritual festival in India every January, millions of pilgrims and adepts use the nexus of cosmic energy to empower their personal practices and to promote the welfare of all living beings. What can you expect if you join them?"

The link will take you to the text of the article, but it's worth checking out the magazine for the beautiful pictures of the festival.


"Sutra II.3: The Source of Suffering" Translation and Commentary by Pandit Rajmani Tigunait

Commentary on the kleshas, the five inherent causes of affliction.


• "Abs to the Rescue" by Doug Keller

"The health of your back depends on the support of your abdominals--but not the ones you think."


Doug Keller's article features a discussion of the structures of the spine and the supportive nature of the different parts of the abdominal wall. It also includes some strengthening exercises. Keller maintains an archive of his articles here, posting each one after it is no longer available on newsstands.
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Year of Yoga: Week 2

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Welcome to week 2 of the Year of Yoga. Here are your practices for the week. Remember that these are just suggestions, so adapt them according to the time you have available. The Friday and Monday practices are restorative. If for any reason you feel unable to do the active practice on a given day, substitute one of these two, or rest completely.

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.

Tuesday, January 8


Quiet Practice:


• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) with breath awareness (5 min)
• Child’s Pose over bolster with breath awareness (5 min)
• Meditation Practice (15 min)

Active Practice:


• Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog pose) (2 min)
• Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) (2 min)
• Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)
• Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior Pose 2)
• Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)
• Bharadwajasana 1 (Bharadwaja's Pose)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (3 min)
• Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose) (3 min)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (3 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (3 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (3 min)
• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (3 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Wednesday, January 9


Quiet Practice:

• Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja's Pose) over bolster with breath awareness (5 min each side)
• Meditation Practice (15 min)

Active Practice:

• Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) (2 min)
• Uttanasana (Intense Stretch pose) (2 min)
• Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch pose)
• Prasarita Padottanasana 1 (Wide Spread Feet Pose)
• Padangusthasana (Big Toe Pose)
• Bharadwajasana 2 (Bharadwaja's Pose)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (3 min)
• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (3 min)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (3 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (3 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (3 min)
• Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose) (3 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Thursday, January 10



Quiet Practice:

• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) with breath awareness (5 min)
• Child’s Pose over bolster with breath awareness (5 min)
• Meditation Practice (15 min)

Active Practice:

• Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) (2 min)
• Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) (2 min)
• Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)
• Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana (Revolved Half Moon Pose)
• Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose)
• Bharadwajasana 1 (Bharadwaja's Pose)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (3 min)
• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (3 min)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (3 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (3 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (3 min)
• Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja's Pose) over bolster (1.5 min each side)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Friday, January 11


Quiet Practice:

• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) with breath awareness (10 min)
• Meditation Practice (15 min)

Restorative Practice:

• Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) (2 min)
• Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose) (1.5 min each side)
• Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja's Pose) over bolster (1.5 min each side)
• Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand) in chair (3 min)
• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (3 min)
• Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose) (3 min)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (5 min)
• Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose) (5 min)
• Ujjayi 4 in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)
• Ujjayi 8 in seated position (5 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Saturday, January 12


Quiet Practice:

• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) with breath awareness (5 min)
• Child’s Pose over bolster with breath awareness (5 min)
• Meditation Practice (15 min)

Active Practice:

• Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) (2 min)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (3 min)
• Viparita Dandasana (Inverted Staff Pose) on chair (3 min)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (3 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (3 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (3 min)
• Adho Mukha Virasana (Downward Facing Hero Pose) (3 min)
• Triang Mukhaikapada Pashchimottanasana (Three Limbs Facing Single Leg Intense West Stretch Pose) (1.5 min each side)
• Janu Shirshasana (Head of the Knee Pose) (1.5 min each side)
• Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose) (3 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Sunday, January 13


Quiet Practice:

• Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja's Pose) over bolster with breath awareness (5 min each side)
• Meditation Practice (15 min)

Active Practice:

• Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) (2 min)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (3 min)
• Viparita Dandasana (Inverted Staff Pose) over chair (3 min)
• Kapotasana (Pigeon Pose) over chair (3 min)
• Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose) (3 min)
• Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow Pose) feet on chair
• Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana (Two Leg Inverted Staff Pose) feet on chair
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (3 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (3 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (3 min)
• Paschchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose) (3 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Monday, January 14


Quiet Practice:

• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) with breath awareness (10 min)
• Meditation Practice (15 min)

Restorative Practice:

• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (5 min)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (5 min)
• Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand) on chair (5 min)
• Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja's Pose) over bolster (3 min each side)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) with breath awareness (5 min)
• Ujjayi 4 in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)
• Viloma 2 in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)
• Ujjayi 8 in seated position (5 min)
• Viloma 5 in seated position (5 min)
• Nadhi Shodhana 1b (5 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)
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