Year of Yoga: Week 31

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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.

July 30


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

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

Pashchima Baddha Hastasana (Elbows Clasped Behind the Back) in Virasana (Hero Pose)

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

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Adho Mukha Sukhasana (Downward Facing Comfortable Pose)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) legs only into forward bend

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Parighasana (Gate 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)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


July 31


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

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

Pashchima Baddha Hastasana (Elbows Clasped Behind the Back) in Virasana (Hero Pose)

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

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Adho Mukha Sukhasana (Downward Facing Comfortable Pose)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) legs only into forward bend

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior Pose 1)

Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior Pose 2)

Virabhadrasana 3 (Warrior Pose 3)

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)


August 1


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

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

Pashchima Baddha Hastasana (Elbows Clasped Behind the Back) in Virasana (Hero Pose)

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

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Adho Mukha Sukhasana (Downward Facing Comfortable Pose)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) legs only into forward bend

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)

Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Side 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)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


August 2


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

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

Pashchima Baddha Hastasana (Elbows Clasped Behind the Back) in Virasana (Hero Pose)

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

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Adho Mukha Sukhasana (Downward Facing Comfortable Pose)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) legs only into forward bend

Baddha Konasana (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)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Janu Shirshasana (Head of the Knee Pose)

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

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


August 3


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

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

Pashchima Baddha Hastasana (Elbows Clasped Behind the Back) in Virasana (Hero Pose)

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

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Adho Mukha Sukhasana (Downward Facing Comfortable Pose)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) legs only into forward bend

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Marichyasana 3 (Marichi’s Pose 3)

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

Pashasana (Noose 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)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


August 4


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

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

Pashchima Baddha Hastasana (Elbows Clasped Behind the Back) in Virasana (Hero Pose)

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

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Adho Mukha Sukhasana (Downward Facing Comfortable Pose)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) legs only into forward bend

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)

Eka Pada Bakasana (Single Leg Frog Pose)

Bhujangasana (Cobra 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)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


August 5


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 31


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Practice Lab: Working with an Advanced Practice from "Light on Yoga", Part 1 [Light on Yoga]

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In the back of “Light on Yoga” by B. K. S. Iyengar is a series of progressive courses that start from the most basic and go to the most advanced. The courses are arranged in practices that the yogin is supposed to repeat over a number of weeks, adjusting the sequence according to time and capacity. Sometimes I like to be completely brainless and just follow a program without thought and let the sequence tell me what it requires, sometimes I like to follow my own path and investigate a particular action or pose as inspiration takes me. And sometimes I like to walk a middle path. I was looking through the courses for inspiration for what to teach this week and I found a rather fun sequence which features a bunch of stuff that is well within my capacity and a bunch of stuff that is massively beyond my capabilities.

As I was editing this down into something I could teach my intermediate groups, I thought it might be fun to stick with this practice for a while and experiment with breaking it up and modifying it to unpack its secrets. In the book he calls for doing this for 25 weeks (week 201 to 225 of the complete 300 week epic). I doubt very much that I’ll stick with it for that long.

The Sequence (from p.483 of the Schocken edition)

Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Urdhva Kukkutasana (Upward Cockerel Pose)

Viparita Chakrasana (Inverted Wheel Pose)

Parshva Kukkutasana (Side Cockerel Pose)

Viparita Chakrasana (Inverted Wheel Pose)

Bakasana (Crow Pose)

Viparita Chakrasana (Inverted Wheel Pose)

Parshva Bakasana ( Side Crow Pose)

Viparita Chakrasana (Inverted Wheel Pose)

Dwi Pada Koundinyasana (Two Leg Koundinya’s Pose)

Viparita Chakrasana (Inverted Wheel Pose)

Eka Pada Koundinyasana 1 (Single Leg Koundinya’s Pose 1)

Viparita Chakrasana (Inverted Wheel Pose)

Eka Pada Koundinyasana 2 (Single Leg Koundinya’s Pose 2)

Viparita Chakrasana (Inverted Wheel Pose)

Eka Pada Bakasana 1 (Single Leg Crow Pose 1)

Viparita Chakrasana (Inverted Wheel Pose)

Eka Pada Bakasana 2 (Single Leg Crow Pose 2)

Viparita Chakrasana (Inverted Wheel Pose)

Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana (Two Leg Inverted Staff Pose)

Mandalasana (Mandala Pose)

Eka Pada Viparita Dandasana 1 (Single Leg Inverted Staff Pose 1)

Eka Pada Viparita Dandasana 2 (Single Leg Inverted Staff Pose 2)

Chakrabandhasana (Wheel Lock Pose)

Kapotasana (Pigeon Pose)

Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana 1 (Single Leg King Pigeon Pose 1)

Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana 2 (Single Leg King Pigeon Pose 2)

Padangustha Dhanurasana (Big Toe Bow Pose)

Bhujangasana 2 (Cobra Pose 2)

Rajakapotasana (King Pigeon Pose)

Hanumanasana (Hanuman’s Pose)

Samakonasana (Straight Angle Pose)

Supta Trivikramasana (Reclined Three Strides Pose)

Yogadandasana (Yoga Staff Pose)

Mulabandhasana (Root Lock Pose)

Kandasana (Knot Pose)

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

Pashasana (Noose Pose)

Paripurna Matsyendrasana (Full Lord of the Fishes Pose)

Yoganidrasana (Yoga Sleep Pose)

Dwi Pada Shirshasana (Two Legs Behind the Head Pose)

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


Related Posts:

Practice Lab: Working with an Advanced Practice from "Light on Yoga,” Round-Up


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Intermediate Group Class: Separating the Armpits and Chest, Softening the Work of the Arms [Light on Yoga]

sq_int
This class is a modification of the practice from “Light on Yoga” found on p.466 titled “second day of the week” in the Schocken edition.

Think about the following actions as you go through the sequence:
  • Widen the upper back and the top chest as evenly as possible.
  • Soften and widen the deltoids around the shoulder joints.
  • Balance the weight evenly between each of both inner and outer armpits, stretching through each of them evenly.
  • Excavate out space between the inner armpit and the underlying ribs while widening the very top of the chest to differentiate the chest from the armpits and strengthen the arms.

Energetically speaking, focus on making the arms less manipulative, less grabby. Instead of pulling yourself into the pose with the arms, allow the hands to do no more than hold on and move the upper arm bones either out or back, depending on the pose. Allow your exhalations to be long and easy, the inhalations, soft and smooth. With the gentle movement and freedom created by the breath, allow yourself to fall deeper into the pose.

The Sequence


Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Virasana (Hero Pose) with the following arm variations
• Urdhva Baddha Hastasana (Upward Bound Hands Pose), clasping the elbows overhead, both crossings.
• Pashchima Baddha Hastasana (Reverse Bound Hands Pose), clasping the elbows behind the back, both crossings.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) full pose with arm variation

Shirshasana Cycle:
Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand)
• 5 minutes.
Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)
Upavishtha Konasana (Seated Angle Pose)
Eka Pada Sarvangasana (Single Leg Head Stand)
Parshvaikapada Sarvangasana (Single Leg to the Side Head Stand)

Sarvangasana Cycle:
Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)
• 5 minutes.
Salamba Sarvangasana 2 (Shoulder Stand 2)
Niralamba Sarvangasana 1 (Unsupported Shoulder Stand 1)
Niralamba Sarvangasana 2 (Unsupported Shoulder Stand 2)
Halasana (Plough Pose)
Eka Pada Sarvangasana (Single Leg Shoulder Stand)
Supta Konasana (Reclined Angle Pose)
Parshvaikapada Sarvangasana (Single Leg to the Side Shoulder Stand)

Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose)

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana a(Upward Extended Feet Pose)

Maha Mudra (Great Seal)

Janu Shirshasana (Head of the Knee Pose)

Ardha Baddha Padma Pashchimottanasana (Half Bound Lotus Intense West Stretch Pose)

Marichyasana 1 (Marichi’s Pose 1)

Marichyasana 2 (Marichi’s Pose 2)

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)

Urdhva Mukha Pashchimottanasana 1 (Upward Facing Intense West Stretch Pose 1)

Marichyasana 3 (Marichi’s Pose 3)

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

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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Level 1 Group Class: Standing Forward Bends

sq_basics
In this practice, focus on deepening the hip creases and stretching from the hips to the head. Engage the inner thighs as you work to encourage the outer hips and thighs to soften. Do the straight leg poses with the legs slightly bent if it helps deepen the fold.

The Sequence


Child’s Pose

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Adho Mukha Vajrasana (Downward Facing Thunderbolt Pose)

Urdhva Baddhanguliyasana (Upward Bound Fingers Pose) in Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose) with the toes turned under

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart
• Have the balls of the feet up on a blanket roll or blocks to stretch out the calves.
• For half the time, do the pose with the legs bent, half with the legs straight.

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose)
• Do the pose first with the knees bent. Press the hands into the calves to resist the legs straightening as you draw the legs up.
• After half a minute, slowly release the resistance and straighten the legs without locking the knees out.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Utkatasana (Furious Pose) with a block between the thighs

Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior Pose 2)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) full pose with arm variation

Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)
• First, come into the flat back variation, bend the knee, deepen the hip crease and re-straighten the leg without locking out the knee.
• Then go into the full forward fold.

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)
• Bend the knee, deepen the hip crease and re-straighten the leg without locking out the knee.

Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)

Virabhadrasana 3 (Warrior Pose 3) with the wrists belted and the arms by the sides of the trunk

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Child’s Pose

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) over a bolster

Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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Year of Yoga: Week 30

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.

July 23


Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) over a bolster, 3 to 5 minutes

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Anantasana (Vishnu’s Couch Pose)

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)

Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose)

Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose)

Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose)

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Child’s 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)

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)


July 24


Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) over a bolster, 3 to 5 minutes

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Anantasana (Vishnu’s Couch Pose)

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)

Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose)

Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose)

Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose)

Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior Pose 2)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior Pose 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Child’s 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)

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)


July 25


Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) over a bolster, 3 to 5 minutes

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Anantasana (Vishnu’s Couch Pose)

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)

Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose)

Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose)

Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose)

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)

Virabhadrasana 3 (Warrior Pose 3)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Child’s 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)

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)


July 26


Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) over a bolster, 3 to 5 minutes

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Anantasana (Vishnu’s Couch Pose)

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)

Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose)

Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose)

Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose)

Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)

Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose)

Pashasana (Noose Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Child’s 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)

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)


July 27


Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) over a bolster, 3 to 5 minutes

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Anantasana (Vishnu’s Couch Pose)

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)

Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose)

Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose)

Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose)

Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior Pose 1)

Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

Ushtrasana (Camel Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Child’s 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)

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)


July 28


Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) over a bolster, 3 to 5 minutes

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Anantasana (Vishnu’s Couch Pose)

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)

Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose)

Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose)

Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose)

Chaturanga Dandasana (Four Limbed Staff Pose)

Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose)

Purvottanasana (Intense East Stretch Pose) table top variation

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Child’s 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)

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)


July 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 30


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Practice Lab: Forward, Around and Back [Light on Yoga]

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This practice, adapted from the one found on p.481 in the Schocken edition of “Light on Yoga” (fourth day of the week) features inversions followed by extremely deep forward bends, followed by extremely deep back bends.

The Sequence

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Shirshasana Cycle:
Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)
Parshva Shirshasana (Side Head Stand)
Parivrttaikapada Shirshasana (Revolved Single Leg Head Stand)
Eka Pada Shirshasana (Single Leg Head Stand)
Parshvaikapada Shirshasana (Single Leg to the Side Head Stand)

Sarvangasana Cycle:
Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)
Halasana (Plough Pose)
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose in Shoulder Stand ) drop backs
Eka Pada Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Single Leg Bridge Pose) drop backs
Urdhva Padmasana (Upward Lotus Pose)
Parshva Padmasana (Side Lotus Pose)
Pindasana (Embryo Pose)

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• 3 times: kicking up with primary leg, second leg, both legs together.

Pincha Mayurasana (Forearm Stand)
• twice: kicking up with primary leg and second leg.

Sayanasana (Pose of Repose) at the wall

Mayurasana (Peacock Pose)

Hamsasana (Swan Pose)

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)

Parivrtta Janu Shirshasana (Revolved Head of the Knee Pose)

Malasana (Garland Pose)

Supta Kurmasana (Sleeping Turtle Pose)

Yoganidrasana (Yoga Sleep Pose)

Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana (Two Leg Inverted Staff Pose)

Mandalasana (Mandala Pose)

Eka Pada Viparita Dandasana 1 (Single Leg Inverted Staff Pose 1)

Eka Pada Viparita Dandasana 2 (Single Leg Inverted Staff Pose 2)
• In this variation, you lift your head off the ground, walk your foot in and hold on to your heel with your fingers.
• To work up to this, set your mat up at the wall and place a chair on the mat against the wall. Come into Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana and lift the head off the floor. Place one foot on the chair for support and walk the other foot in towards the hands. Repeat on the other side.

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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Intermediate Group Class: Separating the Armpits and Chest to Create Upper Body Strength

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This class features what Mr. Iyengar calls a vishamanyasa. Whereas vinyasa is the sequential placing of similar poses one after another to create a continuous flow, vishamanyasa is the placing of radically different poses together. In this case, arm balances are mixed with Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow Pose). It is a modification of the practice from “Light on Yoga” found on p.484 of the Schocken edition that was featured in last week’s Practice Lab.

Anatomically speaking, this sequence offers a perfect opportunity to play with the arms, shoulders and trunk. Think about the following actions as you go through the sequence:
  • Widen the upper back and the top chest as evenly as possible.
  • Soften and widen the deltoids around the shoulder joints.
  • Balance the weight evenly between each of both inner and outer armpits, stretching through each of them evenly.
  • Excavate out space between the inner armpit and the underlying ribs while widening the very top of the chest to differentiate the chest from the armpits and strengthen the arms.

The Sequence

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Virasana (Hero Pose) with the following arm variations
• Urdhva Baddha Hastasana (Upward Bound Hands Pose), clasping the elbows overhead, both crossings.
• Pashchima Baddha Hastasana (Reverse Bound Hands Pose), clasping the elbows behind the back, both crossings.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Shirshasana Cycle:
Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)
Parshva Shirshasana (Side Head Stand)
Parivrttaikapada Shirshasana (Revolved Single Leg Head Stand)
Parshva Bakasana Shirshasana (Side Bound Angle Pose in Head Stand)

Sarvangasana Cycle:
Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)
Salamba Sarvangasana 2 (Shoulder Stand 2)
Niralamba Sarvangasana 1 (Unsupported Shoulder Stand 1)
Niralamba Sarvangasana 2 (Unsupported Shoulder Stand 2)
Halasana (Plough Pose)
Eka Pada Sarvangasana (Single Leg Shoulder Stand)
Supta Konasana (Reclined Angle Pose)
Parshva Eka Pada Sarvangasana (Single Leg to the Side Shoulder Stand)
Eka Pada Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Single Leg Bridge Pose in Shoulder Stand) drop-backs
• 3 sets.

Malasana (Garland Pose)

Viparita Dandasana (Inverted Staff Pose) over a chair

Bhujapidasana (Pressure on the Arms Pose)

Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow Pose)

Ashtavakrasana (Ashtavakra’s Pose)

Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow Pose)

Bakasana (Crow Pose)

Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow Pose)

Parshva Bakasana (Side Crow Pose)

Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow Pose)

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Pincha Mayurasana (Forearm Stand)

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)
• 3 minutes.

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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Level 1 Group Class: Standing Twists

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In this practice we need to find balance in the standing poses by using the strength of the inner thighs. This has the added benefit of allowing the outer hips and thighs a chance to soften, which, in turn, allows the trunk to elongate, allowing for a more effective twist.


The Sequence:

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet hip width apart

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Child’s Pose

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior Pose 2)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Adho Mukha Sukhasana (Downward Facing Comfortable Pose)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) kegs only into a forward bend

Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)
• Flat back first, then into forward fold.

Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose) with the hand on a block

Virabhadrasana 3 (Warrior Pose 3) variation
• Come into the pose with both hands on high blocks.

Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana (Revolved Half Moon Pose) with the hand on a block

Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose) with the hand on a block

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Child’s Pose

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) over a bolster

Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja’s Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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Year of Yoga: Week 29

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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.

July 16


Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Child’s 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 simple variation.
• 5 rounds.
• After Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog) step forward into one of the following poses in reach round: Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior Pose 2), Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior Pose 1), Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose), Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose), Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose).

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Child’s 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)

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)


July 17


Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Child’s 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 simple variation.
• 5 rounds.
• After Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog) step forward into one of the following poses in reach round: Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose), Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose), Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose), Prasarita Padottanasana 1 (Wide Spread Feet Pose 1), Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose) for a second time.

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) arms in 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)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Janu Shirshasana (Head of the Knee Pose)

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) legs only into a forward fold

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


July 18


Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Child’s 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 simple variation.
• 5 rounds.
• After Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog) hop or step forward into Dandasana (Staff Pose) and do one of the following poses in each round: Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined big Toe Pose 2), Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose), Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose), Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose), Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose).

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Child’s Pose

Bharadwajasana 2 (Bharadwaja’s Pose 2) simple or full variation

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)


July 19


Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Child’s 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 simple variation.
• 5 rounds.
• After Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog), go forward into Plank Pose or Chaturanga Dandasana (Four Limbed Staff Pose) before lowering yourself to the floor on your abdomen and go into one of the following poses in each round: Shalabhasana (Locust Pose), Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose), Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose), Dhanurasana (Bow Pose), Parshva Dhanurasana (Side Bow Pose).

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Gomukhasana (Cow Face 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)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


July 20


Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Child’s 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 simple variation.
• 5 rounds.
• After Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog), step forward into one of the following poses in each round: Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose), Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose), Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose), Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana (Revolved Half Moon Pose), Parivrtta Parshvakonasana (Revolved Side Angle Pose).

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Baddha Konasana (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)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


July 21


Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Child’s 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 simple variation.
• 5 rounds.
• After Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog), go forward into one of the following poses in each round: Plank Pose, Vashisthasana (Vashistha’s Pose), Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose), Chaturanga Dandasana (Four Limbed Staff pose), Purvottanasana (Intense East Stretch Pose)> Come into this last one from Dandasana (Staff Pose) and either do the bent-leg Table top variation or the full pose.

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Gomukhasana (Cow Face 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)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


July 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 29


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Practice Lab: Arm Balances and Back Bends

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This practice features a challenging sequence of arm balances interspersed with Viparita Chakrasana (Inverted Wheel Pose) where you go from Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand) into Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow Pose) and back. It’s a great workout for the chest and arms. This is another modification of a practice from “Light on Yoga”. You can find the full practice on p.484 of the Schocken edition).

The Sequence

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Shirshasana Cycle:
Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)
Shirshasana 2 (Head Stand 2)
Shirshasana 3 (Head Stand 3)
Baddha Hasta Shirshasana (Bound Hands Head Stand)
Mukta Hasta Shirshasana (Free Hand Head Stand)
Urdhva Dandasana (Upward Staff Pose)
Parshva Shirshasana (Side Head Stand)
Parivrttaikapada Shirshasana (Single Leg Revolved Head Stand)
Eka Pada Shirshasana (Single Leg Head Stand)
Parshvaikapada Shirshasana (Single Leg to the Side Head Stand)
Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) in Head Stand
Parshva Baddha Konasana (Side Bound Angle Pose) in Head Stand
Pindasana (Embryo Pose) in Head Stand

Sarvangasana Cycle:
Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)
Salamba Sarvangasana 2 (Shoulder Stand 2)
Niralamba Sarvangasana 1 (Unsupported Shoulder Stand 1)
Niralamba Sarvangasana 2 (Unsupported Shoulder Stand 2)
Halasana (Plough Pose)
Karnapidasana (Pressure on the Ear Pose)
Supta Konasana (Reclined Angle Pose)
Parshva Halasana (Side Plough Pose)
Eka Pada Sarvangasana (Single Leg Shoulder Stand)
Parshvaikapada Sarvangasana (Single Leg to the Side Shoulder Stand)
Parshva Sarvangasana (Side Shoulder Stand)
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose in Shoulder Stand)
Eka Pada Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Single Leg Bridge Pose in Shoulder Stand)
Urdhva Padmasana Sarvangasana (Upward Lotus Pose in Shoulder Stand)
Parshva Urdhva Padmasana Sarvangasana (Side Upward Lotus Pose in Shoulder Stand)
Pindasana (Embryo Pose)
Parshva Pindasana (Side Embryo Pose)

Bhujapidasana (Pressure on the Arms Pose)

Viparita Chakrasana (Inverted Wheel Pose)
• Walking down and up the wall.

Ashtavakrasana (Ashtavakra’s Pose)

Viparita Chakrasana (Inverted Wheel Pose)
• Walking down and up the wall.

Bakasana (Crow Pose)

Viparita Chakrasana (Inverted Wheel Pose)
• Walking down and up the wall.

Parshva Bakasana (Side Crow Pose)

Viparita Chakrasana (Inverted Wheel Pose)
• Walking down and up the wall.

Urdhva Kukkutasana (Upward Cockerel Pose)

Viparita Chakrasana (Inverted Wheel Pose)
• Walking down and up the wall.

Parshva Kukkutasana (Side Cockerel Pose)

Viparita Chakrasana (Inverted Wheel Pose)
• Walking down and up the wall.

Dwi Pada Koundinyasana (Two Leg Koundinya’s Pose)

Viparita Chakrasana (Inverted Wheel Pose)
• Walking down and up the wall.

Eka Pada Koundinyasana 1 (Single Leg Koundinya’s pose 1)

Viparita Chakrasana (Inverted Wheel Pose)
• Walking down and up the wall.

Eka Pada Bakasana 1 (Single Leg Crow Pose 1)

Viparita Chakrasana (Inverted Wheel Pose)
• Walking down and up the wall.

Eka Pada Bakasana 2 (Single Leg Crow Pose 2)

Viparita Chakrasana (Inverted Wheel Pose)
• Walking down and up the wall.

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Pincha Mayurasana (Forearm Stand)

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)
• 5 minutes.

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
• 10 minutes.


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Intermediate Group Class: The Head, Neck and Top Ribs

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This week we have our last exploration of the head and neck for the time being. In these semi-restorative long holdings we will be thinking about three things:
  • Embodying and releasing the atlanto-occipital joint, the joint between the skull and the top of the spine, located behind the cheekbones/roof of the mouth/root of the tongue and between the ears.
  • Expanding the neck ribs, those first two ribs to which the scalene muscles attach.
  • Expanding the neck ribs causes the scalenes to contract, so we must then think of lengthening the core of the neck--everything close to the cervical spine--while softening and widening the sheath of the neck--the soft tissue and organs that are more superficial.

The Sequence

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) on the ropes
• Hands and head supported by blocks.
• 3 to 5 minutes.

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) on the ropes
• Hands and head supported by blocks.
• 3 to 5 minutes.

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

Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose)
• 5 minutes.

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

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

Halasana (Plough Pose)
• 5 minutes.

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)
• 5 minutes.

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
• Tie a long belt to the middle hook of the rope wall and use it as a sling in which to rest the head.
• Make sure that the head is not too far off the floor. The back of the neck and the throat need to remain balanced.
• 5 minutes.

Ujjayi 4 Pranayama (Victorious Breath 4) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
• Ujjayi 4 is a complete inhalation followed by a complete, slightly longer exhalation.
• 5 minutes.

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
• Tie a long belt to the middle hook of the rope wall and use it as a sling in which to rest the head.
• Make sure that the head is not too far off the floor. The back of the neck and the throat need to remain balanced.
• 5 minutes.


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Year of Yoga: Week 28

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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.

July 9


Adho Mukha Sukhasana (Downward Facing Comfortable Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Child’s Pose

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)

Virabhadrasana 3 (Warrior Pose 3)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)

Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior Pose 1)

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)

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)


July 10


Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Vrkshasana (Tree Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Utkatasana (Furious Pose)

Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior Pose 2)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Prasarita Padottanasana 1 (Wide Spread Feet 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)

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)

Upavishtha Konasana (Seated Angle Pose)

Janu Shirshasana (Head of the Knee Pose)

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) legs only into a forward fold

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


July 11


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

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose)

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)

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Anantasana (Vishnu’s Couch Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)

Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose)

Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose)

Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning 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)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


July 12


Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Adho Mukha Sukhasana (Downward Facing Comfortable Pose)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)

Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose)

Parivrtta Parshvakonasana (Revolved Side 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)

Marichyasana 3 (Marichi’s Pose 3)

Pashasana (Noose Pose)

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


July 13


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

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined big Toe Pose 2)

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior Pose 1)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose)

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

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (Upward Facing Dog 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)


July 14


Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose)

Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation)
• Any simple variation.
• 3 to 5 rounds.

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose)

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

Vashisthasana (Vashistha’s Pose)

Chaturanga Dandasana (Four Limbed Staff Pose).
• From Plank Pose.

Chaturanga Dandasana (Four Limbed Staff Pose).
• From the floor.

Parvatasana in Virasana (Mountain Pose in 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)

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

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) with a bolster across the back
Intermediate Alternative: Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose) with a bolster across the back

Purvottanasana (Intense East Stretch Pose) table top variation

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Salamba Sarvangasana 2 (Shoulder Stand 2)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


July 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 28


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Level 1 Group Class: Elongating the Trunk to Protect the Lower Back

sq_basics
In this class we will be opening the hip crease in back bends. To lengthen the thigh and open the abdomen, keep the back leg in the standing poses strong, modifying your poses to accommodate this (bringing the feet closer together in standing poses, for example). To protect the lower back, work on the following actions:
  • Widen and lengthen the buttock flesh away from the head.
  • Reach the legs away from the head.
  • Lengthen the abdomen and sides towards the head.

The Sequence

Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
• Simple variation: legs crossed in Sukhasana, lying back flat on the floor with the arms overhead.
• 90 seconds each crossing.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Child’s Pose

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Lunge with the back leg up

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

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

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Lunge with the back knee down and the hands on the thigh, the trunk lifted

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

Utthita Hasta Padasana (Extended Hands and Feet Pose)

Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior Pose 2)

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior Pose 1) with the hands on the hips

Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior Pose 1) with the arms raised

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Sphinx Pose

Eka Pada Bhekasana (Single Leg Frog Pose)

Eka Pada Dhanurasana
• From Sphinx Pose, bring one forearm across the body, reach back and do bow pose on one side, then switch.

Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
• Do this twice.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) legs only into a forward bend

Child’s Pose over a bolster

Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja’s Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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Practice Lab: Mandalasana [Light on Yoga]

sq_adv
Mandalasana (Mandala Pose) is a tricky and topsy-turvy pose where you come into Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana and walk your feet around in a circle. This is a modification of a practice from “Light on Yoga” that features the pose. You can find the full practice on p.481 of the Schocken edition).

The Sequence

Side Stretch on a chair or ledge
• Place the elbows on the chair (from a kneeling position) or ledge (from a standing position) with the arms bent and the hands together in Namaskarasana (Prayer Position).
• Hold the pose for 2 to 3 minutes.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• 1 minute.

Shirshasana Cycle
Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)
• 5 minutes.
Parshva Shirshasana (Side Head Stand)
Parivrttaikapada Shirshasana (Single Leg to the Side Head Stand)

Sarvangasana Cycle
Salamba Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand 1)
• 5 minutes
Halasana (Plough Pose)
Eka Pada Sarvangasana (Single Leg Shoulder Stand)
Supta Konasana (Reclined Angle Pose)
Parshvaikapada Sarvangasana (Single Leg to the Side Shoulder Stand)
Eka Pada Sarvangasana (Single Leg Shoulder Stand)
• Come into the pose from Sarvangasana.
Parshvaikapada Sarvangasana (Single Leg to the Side Shoulder Stand)
• Come into the pose from Sarvangasana.

Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior Pose 2)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)

Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior Pose 1)

Virabhadrasana 3 (Warrior Pose 3)

Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana (Half Bound Lotus Intense Stretch Pose)

Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

Shalabhasana (Locust Pose)

Chaturanga Dandasana (Four Limbed Staff Pose)

Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)
• 1 minute.

Parivrtta Pashchimottanasana (Revolved Intense West Stretch Pose)

Akarna Dhanurasana (Bow to the Ear Pose)

Uttanapadasana (Stretched Out Upward Facing Pose)

Setubandhasana (Bridge Lock Pose)

Marichyasana 3 (Marichi’s Pose 3)

Marichyasana 4 (Marichi’s Pose 4)

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

Pashasana (Noose Pose)

Mayurasana (Peacock Pose)

Yoganidrasana (Yoga Sleep Pose)

Eka Pada Shirshasana (Single Leg Behind the Head Pose)

Dwi Pada Shirshasana (Both Legs Behind the Head Pose)

Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana (Two Leg Inverted Staff Pose)

Mandalasana (Mandala Pose)

Kapotasana (Pigeon Pose)

Viparita Chakrasana (Inverted Wheel Pose) at the wall
• This refers to coming into and out of Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow Pose) from Hand Stand.
• Come into Hand Stand at the wall several times, each time getting a bit further away from the wall and sliding one leg and then the other down the wall until you can get the feet to the ground in Urdhva Dhanurasana. Come out of the pose each time by walking the feet back up the wall swinging the legs back overhead into Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) or Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose).
• 8 times.

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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Intermediate Group Class: Balancing the Neck and Dropping the Thighs

sq_int
This week our journey up the spine continues as we work with the atlanto-occipital joint, the joint between the first vertebra and the base of the skull. It can be a tough one to locate as it lies deep within the head. If you soften back from the cheekbones, behind the roof of the mouth and the back of the tongue towards the base of the skull you will find the plane of the joint. As you practice the following sequence, soften and release the joint and think of it rising towards the crown of the head.

As you do this, find your femurs and allow the bones to drop away in the opposite direction. (In the case of the inversions, the two ends still move away from each other, just in the opposite direction relative to gravity.) These two are not so much muscular actions as they are thought directions. Within the dynamics of each pose, find softness and freedom in the muscle and connective tissue to allow the release to happen.

The Sequence

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)
• Lie back over a small mat roll or a thin- and narrow-folded blanket to create a very gently arch of the back.
• 3 minutes.

Side Stretch on a chair or ledge
• Place the elbows on the chair (from a kneeling position) or ledge (from a standing position) with the arms bent and the hands together in Namaskarasana (Prayer Position).
• Hold the pose for 2 to 3 minutes.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana 1 (Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose 1) with the raised leg on a ledge or a rope hook

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana 2 (Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose 2) with the raised leg on a ledge or a rope hook

Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior Pose 2)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose Arms) in Virasana (Hero Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)
• 2 minutes in the regular pose.
• 1 minute with the fingers pinched, touching the shoulders.
• 2 minutes in the regular pose with the second interlock of the fingers.

Shirshasana 2 (Head Stand 2)
• From the floor.
• 30 seconds.

Shirshasana 3 (Head Stand 3)
• From the floor.
• 30 seconds.

Baddha Hasta Shirshasana (Bound Hands Head Stand)
• From the floor.
• 30 seconds each crossing.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Salamba Sarvangasana 2 (Shoulder Stand 2)
• Include the different arm variations.

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) legs only forward bend

Pigeon Pose forward bend

[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.
Ankle to Knee Pose

Padmasana Cycle [either in full Padmasana, Ardha Padmasana with the legs bound or Sukhasana with the legs bound]
Padmasana (Lotus Pose)
Tolasana (Scales Pose)
Simhasana 2 (Lion Pose 2)
Gorakshasana (Cowherd Pose)
• Support yourself with one hand on a block if necessary.
Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
Yoga Mudrasana (Yoga Seal Pose)

Upavishtha Konasana (Seated Angle Pose)

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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Year of Yoga: Week 27

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.

July 2


Urdhva Baddhanguliyasana (Upward Bound Fingers Pose) in Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose)

Child’s Pose

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

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)

Parighasana (Gate Pose)

Bharadwajasana 1 (Bharadwaja’s Pose 1)

Baddha Konasana (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)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


July 3


Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Vrkshasana (Tree Pose)

Utkatasana (Furious Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

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)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Virasana (Hero Pose)

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

Malasana (Garland Pose)

Marichyasana 1 (Marichi’s Pose 1)

Adho Mukha Sukhasana (Downward Facing Comfortable Pose)

Janu Shirshasana (Head of the Knee Pose)

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) legs only into a forward fold

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


July 4


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

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose)

Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation)
• Any simple variation.
• 3 to 5 rounds.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)

Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose)

Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose)

Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning 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)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


July 5


Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog 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)

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

Parshva Virasana (Side Hero Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Adho Mukha Sukhasana (Downward Facing Comfortable Pose)

Parshva Sukhasana (Side Comfortable Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) legs only into forward fold

Ardha Matsyendrasana 1 (Half Lord of the Fishes 1)

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)

Malasana (Garland Pose)

Pashasana (Noose Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


July 6


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

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined big Toe Pose 2)

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior Pose 2)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior Pose 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

Eka Pada Bhekasana (Single Leg Frog Pose)

Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (Upward Facing Dog 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)


July 7


Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose)

Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation)
• Any simple variation.
• 3 to 5 rounds.

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose)

Vashisthasana (Vashistha’s Pose)

Chaturanga Dandasana (Four Limbed Staff Pose).
• From Plank Pose.

Chaturanga Dandasana (Four Limbed Staff Pose).
• From the floor.

Parvatasana in Virasana (Mountain Pose in 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)

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

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) with a bolster across the back
Intermediate Alternative: Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose) with a bolster across the back

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) over a bolster

Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


July 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 27


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Level 1 Group Class: Deepening the Hip Crease and Releasing the Lower Back and Buttocks

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In this sequence, think about softening and widening the abdomen and hip creases as you deepen them. At the same time, soften and widen the lower back and buttocks.

The Sequence

Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
• Simple variation: legs crossed in Sukhasana, lying back flat on the floor with the arms overhead.
• 90 seconds each crossing.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Child’s Pose

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Lunge with the back leg up

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Adho Mukha Vajrasana (Downward Facing Thunderbolt Pose) with the head on a block

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior Pose 2)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Malasana (Garland Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Prasarita Padottanasana 1 (Wide Spread Feet Pose 1)

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) over a bolster

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) over a bolster

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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Practice Lab: Head Stand Variations and Restorative

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With all of this intense practice of late, I found I needed a bit of a break from the 10 to 20 Urdhva Dhanurasanas (Upward Bow Pose) at the end of each practice that Mr. Iyengar calls for in his sequences in “Light on Yoga”. The following is a semi-restorative sequence that includes the different arm-variations of Shirshasana (Head Stand). Whenever I’ve had them taught to me, we’ve always come into Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1) and then changed arm position while balancing. I’ve never been able to do that very well, so I thought I would look and see how he recommends doing it in the book. (I just realized that whenever you talk to an Iyengar yoga practitioner, you will always hear us referring to “he” and “the book” without further explanation. It’s a cultural shorthand where it’s a given we are always talking about Iyengar and Light on Yoga.)

In LoY he presents a variation of Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1) where you pinch the fingers together, turn the fingers up and touch the shoulders. It forces you to really reach through the shoulders and engage the upper back muscles to preserve the balance. After that, each arm variation is presented coming into the pose from the floor, so I thought I would try it. It makes a huge difference. The arm and upper back strength required to come up prepares the body for balance in the pose itself. The only one I was not able to come fully up in was Mukta Hasta Shirshasana (Free Hand Head Stand). I only made it up into Urdhva Dandasana (Upward Staff Pose), which is still something. Probably if I had done this variation first, when I was fresher, I might have made it up.

The Sequence

Shavasana (Corpse Pose) with a roll under the neck for neck traction
• 5 minutes.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Virasana (Hero Pose) with arm variations:
• Urdhva Baddhanguliyasana Upward Bound Fingers Pose).
• Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) arms.
• Pashchima Namaskarasana (Reverse Prayer Pose).

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)
• 2 minutes in the regular pose.
• 1 minute with the fingers pinched, touching the shoulders.
• 2 minutes in the regular pose with the second interlock of the fingers.

Shirshasana 2 (Head Stand 2)
• From the floor.
• 30 seconds.

Shirshasana 3 (Head Stand 3)
• From the floor.
• 30 seconds.

Baddha Hasta Shirshasana (Bound Hands Head Stand)
• From the floor.
• 30 seconds each crossing.

Mukta Hasta Shirshasana (Free Hand Head Stand)
• From the floor.
• 30 seconds.

Supta Virasana (Hero Pose)
• 5 minutes.

Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
• Legs bound in Ardha Padmasana (Half Lotus Pose).
• Lying back over a bolster across the back.
• 2 minutes each crossing.

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) with Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)
• Over a bolster, legs bound with a belt.
• 5 minutes.

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)
• Over a bolster.
• 5 minutes.

[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.
Ankle to Knee Pose

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)
• 5 minutes.

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
• 10 minutes.


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