Basic Practice: Legs, Abdomen and Core

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In each of these poses, think of the following three actions:
  • Strengthen and lengthen the inner thighs.
  • Widen the hip creases and lower abdomen.
  • Strengthen the sides of the waist and either stretch them towards the head (most of the poses), into the floor (Ardha Navasana/Half Boat Pose) or towards the ceiling (Setu Bandha/Bridge Pose and the Sarvangasana variations).

The Sequence:

Opening Vinyasa:
[Hold each pose for several breaths.]

Child’s Pose
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Child’s Pose
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) walking the hands back to the feet
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Plank Pose
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) stepping or hopping the feet forward between the hands
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Plank Pose
Plank Pose with the toes pointed
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) stepping or hopping the feet forward between the hands
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Plank Pose
Plank Pose with the toes pointed
Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose)
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) stepping or hopping the feet forward between the hands
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Plank Pose
Plank Pose with the toes pointed
Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose)
Plank Pose with the toes pointed
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) stepping or hopping the feet forward between the hands
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Child’s Pose

Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

Vrkshasana (Tree Pose)

Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior Pose 2)

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)

Virabhadrasana 3 (Warrior Pose 3) variation
• Loop a shoulder-width belt around the wrists behind the back.
• Press out into the belt to strengthen the arms and stretch the sides of the torso from the hips to the head.
• Go into the pose with the arms behind the back in this way.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)

Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose) Cycle:
[Hold each stage for a few breaths.]

Dandasana (Staff Pose) with a foam block between the feet
Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose) prep with the legs bent, feet off the ground and the hands on the floor
Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose) prep with the legs bent, holding onto the thighs
Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose) prep with the legs bent and the arms extended forward
Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose) Cycle:
[In this cycle, keep the lower back on the floor. Hold each stage for a few breaths.]

Resting Pose with the feet flat, the knees up and the hands on the abdomen
Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose) prep with the feet flat and the head, chest and shoulder blades curled up
Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose) variation with one foot flat and the other leg lifted, both sides
Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose) variation with both legs lifted
Resting Pose with the feet flat, the knees up and the hands on the abdomen

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)
• Feet up on blocks, holding on to the ankles directly, or with a belt.

Sarvangasana Cycle with a chair:
Halasana (Plough Pose) with the feet on the chair
Eka Pada Sarvangasana (Single Leg Shoulder Stand) with one foot on the chair, both sides
Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)
Halasana (Plough Pose) with the feet on the chair

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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Basic Practice: Oppositional Action Along and Across the Body

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Each of these poses require a certain amount of oppositional action in the body. As you go through the sequence, think about the legs reaching one way and the torso and arms reaching the other way to create length and strength. In the twisted poses, think of elongating across the diagonal: the opposite leg and arm/shoulder elongating away from each other.

The Sequence:

Opening Vinyasa:
Child’s Pose
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Child’s Pose
Lunge with the back leg straight
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

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose) variation
• With the arms reaching overhead, lift and lower one leg only five times. Then repeat with the other leg.

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose) with the arms down by the sides

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose) with the arms overhead if possible

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose)
• Do the pose with the knees bent and a foam block between them.

Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose)
• Do the pose with a foam block between the feet. Start with the knees bent and then work on straightening them once you have the twist well established.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)
• Flat back only, with the hands on the shin or on blocks.

Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)
• Flat back only, with the elbows clasped behind the back.

Parivrtta Parshvakonasana (Revolved Side Angle Pose)
• Simple variation, coming into it from Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose), stepping forward into a lunge and placing the hand down inside the foot rather than crossing the arm over.

Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Child’s Pose

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) with the feet on blocks

Reclined Hip Stretch

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) with the feet on the floor

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

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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Basic Practice: Widening and Strengthening the Abdomen

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So often we erroneously equate strengthening the core with squeezing the abdominal muscles and pelvic floor as much as possible. I grant that, in certain poses, it is important to properly engage the abdominals to support the strength of the hip flexors and torso, but indiscriminately gripping them can have negative effects in the long run: tightening in the hips and chest, and even consequences to the effective functioning of the internal organs. Better to have a strong and supple abdominal wall that can engage and support when needed, but also release and lengthen when appropriate.

In this practice, consider the following actions:
  • Keep both the upper and lower abdomen soft and wide at all times. I use the word “soft” to suggest toned and responsive, not flabby and unused or squeezed and gripped.
  • Keep the hip creases soft, wide and well-defined in your awareness in all the poses.
  • Find length in the torso by remaining elongated from the hips to the head to keep the sides of the waist long and engaged.
  • Increase the strength of the core by engaging the inner thighs to support the legs and hip flexors.
  • In the more obviously abdominal poses, draw the pubic bone up towards the navel and the navel in towards the spine, keeping the sides of the waist cinched and long.

The Sequence:

Adho Mukha Sukhasana (Downward Facing Comfortable Pose)

Child’s Pose

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Lunge with the back leg up

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Hands Pose) with the back against the wall

Half Utkatasana (Furious Pose) with the back against the wall
• Keep the torso upright and the back against the wall as you raise the arms and bend the legs.

Utkatasana (Furious Pose)
• Come into Half Utkatasana with the hands on the hips, keeping the torso upright, only bending the legs a little.
• Fold forward from the hips without pushing the lower back and chest forward or tucking the tailbone under.
• Reach the arms up.
• Then sink down into the full pose.

Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior Pose 2)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)

Utkatasana (Furious Pose)
• Come into the pose as above.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)
• 2 repetitions.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)
• Upright seated version only.

Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose)

Adho Mukha Sukhasana (Downward Facing Comfortable Pose)

Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) over a bolster with breath awareness

Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose) with breath awareness

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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Intermediate Group Class: Expanding the Rib Cage in Back Bends

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Continuing on from the idea of balancing the lumbar/thoracic joint of the spine, we will be working on balancing the joints of the entire thoracic spine, including the cervical/thoracic joint, by expanding the rib cage.

Think of the rib cage as having three bands:
  • The stomach ribs: the lower ribs that wrap around the kidneys, stomach and liver and that attach to the cartilage that leads up to the bottom of the sternum.
  • The heart ribs: the middle ribs that wrap around the heart and lungs.
  • The neck ribs: the first two ribs to which the scalene muscles of the neck attach.

We are going to be expanding each rib band both from front to back and from back to front to crate space three-dimensionally. In the back bends we need to pay particular attention to the back of the rib bands to create support for the spinal extensors and to create room for the spine to move into the body as it extends.

When expanding the neck ribs, the scalene muscles contract, potentially creating hardness in the neck. Think of the neck as having a core of muscle and connective tissue that is close to the spine and a sheath that wraps around it. In each of these poses think of keeping the neck core long while softening and expanding the sheath.

In addition, when taking the back bends, think of moving the sides of the chest, where the armpits and pectorals meet, and lifting them as much as possible. In addition, think of moving the wall of connective tissue surrounding the buttocks away from the head towards the feet to create a balanced arch in the spine.

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)

Shirshasana Cycle:
Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)
Eka Pada Shirshasana (Single Leg Head Stand)
Parivrttaikapada Shirshasana (Revolved Single Leg Head Stand) preparation only
• Bring the leg back into a split without turning.
Parivrttaikapada Shirshasana (Revolved Single Leg Head Stand) preparation only

Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose)

Supta Padangusthasana Cycle:
Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1) head down variation
Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1) head up variation
Supta Padangusthasana 3 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 3)
Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)
• Do the whole cycle all on one leg, then all on the other.

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)

Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose)
• 3 minutes.

Chatushpadasana (Four Footed Pose)

Sarvangasana Drop-Back Cycle:
Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)
Eka Pada Sarvangasana (Single Leg Shoulder Stand)
Eka Pada Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Single Leg Bridge Pose in Shoulder Stand)
Eka Pada Sarvangasana (Single Leg Shoulder Stand)
Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)
• Use only one blanket and belt the elbows. Take care not to try and get the same lift in the back and openness in the chest in Shoulder Stand as you would on three blankets.
• Do the whole cycle on one leg and then the other.
• Repeat three to five times for both legs.

Viparita Dandasana (Inverted Staff Pose) over a chair

Uttanapadasana (Stretched Out Upward Facing Pose)

Setubandhasana (Bridge Lock Pose)

Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow Pose)
• Come into the pose from Tadasana (Mountain Pose) walking the hands down the wall, then walking them back up.
• 5 times.

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).

Marichyasana 3 (Marichi’s Pose 3)

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

Pashasana (Noose Pose)

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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Intermediate Group Class: Balancing the Lumbar/Thoracic Vertebral Joint [Light on Yoga]

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The joint between the first lumbar vertebra (L1) and the last thoracic vertebra (T12) often gets a lot of abuse, getting gripped and hardened as we try to muscle through our poses. In this practice focus on these actions:
  • Soften and widen the lower ribs from front to back.
  • Soften and widen the muscle and connective tissue on either side of the spine from the tailbone to the back of the neck, even in the back bends.
  • Expand the lumbar/thoracic joint to support the surrounding tissue, rather than gripping the surrounding tissue to support the joint.

This sequence is adapted from p. 473 of the Schocken edition of “Light on Yoga”.

The Sequence

Side Stretch at the wall
• Stand with the feet together about eight to twelve inches away from the wall and lean the right hip, waist and ribs against it. Reach the right arm up. Pause here for a few breaths.
• Come up onto the balls of the feet. Stay here for a few breaths.
• Slowly drop the right heel, resisting up through the ribs and arms to lengthen out the right side of the waist. When the right heel is down, drop the left.
• Bend the right elbow and clasp it with the left hand. Draw the upper arm bone up towards the ceiling. Hold here for a few breaths.
• Take the tip of the elbow up and over the top of the head while keeping the outer armpit moving into the wall. Hold here for a few breaths.
• Turn the chest a slightly into the middle of the room to send the stretch towards the back. Hold here for a few breaths.
• Release and repeat on the second side.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Shirshasana Cycle:
Salamba Shirshasana 2 (Head Stand 2)
• Hold for no more than a minute.
• Come down out of the pose and without disturbing the placement of the head (if possible) go into the next pose.
Urdhva Dandasana (Upward Staff Pose)
• Hold for 10 to 20 seconds.
Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)
• Hold for 3 to 5 minutes.
Parshva Shirshasana (Side Head Stand)
• Hold for 20 to 30 seconds on each side.
Urdhva Dandasana (Upward Staff Pose)
• Hold for 10 to 20 seconds.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Mayurasana (Peacock Pose)

Baddha Konasana Mayurasana (Bound Angle Pose in Peacock Pose)

Nakrasana (Crocodile Pose)
• From Chaturanga Dandasana (Four Limbed Staff Pose) hop lightly forward 3 to 5 times, then back the same amount.

Shalabhasana (Locust Pose)

Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

Parshva Dhanurasana (Side Bow Pose)

Chaturanga Dandasana (Four Limbed Staff Pose)

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Salamba 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)

Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose)

Supta Padangusthasana Cycle:
Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1) head down variation
Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1) head up variation
Supta Padangusthasana 3 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 3)
Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)
• Do the whole cycle all on one leg, then all on the other.

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)

Chakrasana (Wheel Pose)
• Roll from Halasana (Plough Pose) to Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
• Try this from a 3-blanket Shoulder Stand set-up to protect the neck.
• DO NOT press the head into the floor to help the transition. Use the strength of the arms and legs.

Utkatasana (Furious Pose)

Parighasana (Gate Pose)

Ushtrasana (Camel Pose)

Malasana (Garland Pose)

Supta Kurmasana (Sleeping Turtle Pose) preparation
• Put the feet up on a block with the heels together.
• Make a square shape with the legs, reach forward and take hold of the feet.
• Lengthen the sides forward towards the feet.

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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Level 1 Group Class: Lengthening the Sides to Balance the Spine in Twists

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For the spine to twist it needs to be fully elongated with the curves balanced. The easiest way to achieve this is to make sure that the sides of the trunk are elongated and parallel to each other. Then there will be room in the trunk for the twisting action.

The Sequence

Reclined Hip Stretch Sequence

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) legs only into forward bend

Parivrtta Supta Padangusthasana (Revolved Reclined Big Toe Pose)
• Have the foot resting on a block. Keep the hips/pelvis facing the block.

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

Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior Pose 2)
• Come into the pose with the arms raised alongside the ears, then bring them down into position.

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)
• Flat back position with the hands on blocks only.

Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose)
• Come into it from Parshvottanasana.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)

Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose) with the knees bent

Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose) working on straightening the legs

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) over a bolster

Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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Intermediate Group Class: Core Poses [Light on Yoga]

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This sequence is adapted from p.474 of the Schocken edition of “Light on Yoga”. As you go through the poses, ">think about the sides of the body--the side waist and the side ribs. Strengthen and lengthen them, linking the two sides together by widening across the front and back body. Additionally, think about stretching them either towards or away from the head for additional strength and balance. Where no specific time is given, hold the pose according to your capacity.

The Sequence

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

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

Urdhva Dandasana (Upward Staff Pose)
• 1 minute.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

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

Halasana (Plough Pose)
• 5 minutes.

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)
• 5 minutes.

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

Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose)
• 1 minute.

Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose)
• 30 seconds.

Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose)
• 5 minutes.

Krounchasana (Heron Pose)

Malasana (Garland Pose)
• 1 minute.

Supta Kurmasana (Sleeping Turtle Pose) preparation
• Put the feet up on a block with the heels together.
• Make a square shape with the legs, reach forward and take hold of the feet.
• Lengthen the sides forward towards the feet.
• 1 minute.

Ardha Matsyendrasana 1 (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose 1)
• 30 seconds.

Pashasana (Noose Pose)
• 1 minute. (Yes, that’s not a typo!)

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• 1 minute.

Mayurasana (Peacock Pose)
• If you are unable to hold the balance for the full time, do the pose with the feet on the floor.
• 1 minute.

Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow Pose)
• 6 times, holding for 20 seconds each time.

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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Level 1 Group Class: Strength of the Ribs and Core

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I’m getting a little backed up here with the old class sequence posts. Hopefully this week I can get caught up. Here’s a Level 1 sequence where the focus is finding strength not just in the abdomen, but in the rib cage as well, providing strength and connection for the legs and the arms.

The Sequence

Side Stretch at the wall
• Stand with the feet together about eight to twelve inches away from the wall and lean the right hip, waist and ribs against it. Reach the right arm up. Pause here for a few breaths.
• Come up onto the balls of the feet. Stay here for a few breaths.
• Slowly drop the right heel, resisting up through the ribs and arms to lengthen out the right side of the waist. When the right heel is down, drop the left.
• Bend the right elbow and clasp it with the left hand. Draw the upper arm bone up towards the ceiling. Hold here for a few breaths.
• Take the tip of the elbow up and over the top of the head while keeping the outer armpit moving into the wall. Hold here for a few breaths.
• Turn the chest a slightly into the middle of the room to send the stretch towards the back. Hold here for a few breaths.
• Release and repeat on the second side.

Urdhva Baddhanguliyasana (Upward Bound Fingers Pose) with the back against the wall
• Keep the side of the waist and the side rib cage moving back into the wall.
• Do not let the chest and rib cage follow the arms up.

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

Lung with the back knee up
• Place the hands flat on blocks, pressing them firmly and evenly down

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Lung with the back knee up
• Fingertips to the floor

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

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

[Do the following sequence as a continuous flow]

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart
• Clasp the elbows and draw the upper arms down towards the floor.
Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart
• Bend the knees and place the hands flat on the floor, in front of the feet if necessary.
• Press the palms down and draw the hips up, shifting the weight forward. (You might not be able to fully straighten the legs,)
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
• Hop back into the pose.
Plank Pose
• Hold for 30 seconds.
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart
• Hop forward into the pose.
• Clasp the elbows and change the crossing. Draw the upper arms down towards the floor.
Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the hands flat on the floor
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
• Hop back into the pose.
Plank Pose
Plank Pose with the toes pointed
• Hold for 30 seconds.
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart
• Variations as above.
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Plank Pose
Plank Pose with the toes pointed
Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose)
• Hold for 30 seconds.
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart
• Variations as above.
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Plank Pose
Plank Pose with the toes pointed
Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose)
Plank Pose with the toes pointed
• Press up from Up Dog.
• Hold for 30 seconds.
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Child’s Pose

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) legs only with forward bend

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) arms and legs

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)
• Back against the wall.

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)
• Back against the wall.
• Block between the feet.

Dandasana (Staff Pose)

Upavishtha Konasana (Seated Angle Pose)
• Upright seated position only

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose in Shoulder Stand)
• 3 blankets under the shoulders and the feet on a chair.
• 2 repetitions, holding for 30 to 60 seconds each time.

Adho Mukha Sukhasana (Downward Facing Comfortable Pose)
• Sitting on the blankets and resting the arms and head on the chair.

Shavasana (Corpse Pose) with the legs on the chair


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Intermediate Group Practice: Direction of the Side body (adapted from "Light on Yoga")

Ashtavakra's Pose
This class is an adaptation of the advanced sequence from “Light on Yoga” I was ">practicing last week. It keeps the same basic structure, but I’ve made some edits and substitutions here and there to make it more manageable.

As you go through the poses, think about the sides of the body--the side waist and the side ribs. Strengthen and lengthen them, linking the two sides together by widening across the front and back body. Additionally, think about stretching them either towards or away from the head for additional strength and balance.

The Sequence

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)
• Spend more time with the legs at their lowest height.

Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Urdhva Dandasana (Upward Staff Pose)
• Do this three times from Head Stand.
• If you can’t do the full pose, then bend the knees and bring them into the chest instead.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

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)
Supta Konasana (Reclined Angle Pose)
Eka Pada Sarvangasana (Single Leg Shoulder Stand)
Parshvaikapada Sarvangasana (Single Leg to the Side Shoulder Stand)
• Do each of these at a stretch on a regular, 3-blanket set up.

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)
• Spend more time with the legs at their lowest height.

Chatushpadasana (Four Footed Pose)

Eka Pada Parshva Sarvangasana (Single Leg Side Shoulder Stand)
• Three times on each side, coming into the pose lightly without spending a lot of time there.
Parshva Sarvangasana (Side Shoulder Stand)
• Three times on each side, coming into the pose lightly without spending a lot of time there.
• Do all of these at a stretch on a 1-blanket set up.

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1) head down variation
Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1) head up variation
Supta Padangusthasana 3 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 3)
Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)
• Do the whole cycle all on one leg, then the other.

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)

Malasana (Garland Pose)

Supta Kurmasana (Sleeping Turtle Pose) preparation
• Put the feet up on a block with the heels together.
• Make a square shape with the legs, reach forward and take hold of the feet.
• Lengthen the sides forward towards the feet.

Eka Hasta Bhujasana (Single Arm and Hand Pose)

Ashtavakrasana (Ashtavakra’s Pose)
• See photo.

Mayurasana (Peacock Pose)

Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose)

Bakasana (Crow Pose)

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Chaturanga Dandasana (Four Limbed Staff Pose)

Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow Pose)
• Do this 5 or 6 times, going up and down on a slow, easy breath without holding.

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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Practice Lab: Core Poses (from "Light on Yoga")

I think I’m starting to develop a full-blown obsession with Mr. Iyengar’s sequences in the back of “Light on Yoga”. After a week of teaching a modified, simplified version of last week’s Practice Lab (see this week’s intermediate group class to be posted this Thursday), I’m starting to see how these sequences work. Remarkably, they seem to be all about core strength and organization. I thought I’d try a few more of them over the next few weeks. Here’s a slight modification of the next day’s sequence, day 6 from course 2, on page 474 of the Schocken edition of the book. This practice is more straightforwardly about core strength, featuring long holdings in the inversions, boat poses and twists.

The Sequence

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

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)
• In the book he calls for 15 minutes, I was only able to do 7 as my neck is a little weak at the moment.

Urdhva Dandasana (Upward Staff Pose)
• 1 minute.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

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

Halasana (Plough Pose)
• 5 minutes.

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)
• 5 minutes.

Upward Facing Intense West Stretch Pose 1
Urdhva Mukha Pashchimottanasana 1 (Upward Facing Intense West Stretch Pose 1)
• As illustrated.
• 1 minute.

Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose)
• 1 minute.

Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose)
• 30 seconds.

Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose)
• 5 minutes.

Krounchasana (Heron Pose)
• 20 seconds.

Malasana (Garland Pose)
• Mr. Iyengar class for Kurmasana (Turtle Pose) here, but I find it usually does a number on my sacrum, so I substituted.
• 1 minute.

Supta Kurmasana (Sleeping Turtle Pose)
• If, like me, you have troubles with this pose as well, do a preparation by placing the feet on a block or bolster with the heels touching. Open the legs up into a square shape, as if you were going to go all the way though them into the full pose. Instead, however, hold onto the feet and extend the trunk forward.
• 1 minute.

Ardha Matsyendrasana 1 (Half Lord of the Fishes 1)
• 30 seconds.

Pashasana (Noose Pose)
• 1 minute.

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (HAnd Stand)
• 1 minute.

Mayurasana (Peacock Pose)
• I was unable to hold the balance for the full time, so I did the pose with the feet on the floor.
• 1 minute.

Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow Pose)
• 6 times, holding for 20 to 30 seconds each time.

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
• 10 to 15 minutes.


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Intermediate Group Class: Balancing and Strengthening the Pelvic Floor

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

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

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

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

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

The Sequence

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

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

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

Krounchasana (Heron Pose)

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

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

Bakasana (Crow Pose)

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

Parivrtta Janu Shirshasana (Revolved Head of the Knee Pose)

Shalabhasana (Locust Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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Level 1 Group Class

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

The Sequence

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

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

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)

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

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

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

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

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

Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose) legs bent or straight

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

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)

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

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

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

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

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

Reclined Glute Stretch with one ankle on the opposite thigh

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

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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Level 1 Group Class

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

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

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

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

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Lunge with the back leg up

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

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Adho Mukha Vajrasana (Downward Facing Thunderbolt Pose)

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)

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

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

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

Shalabhasana (Locust Pose)
• 2 repetitions.

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

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

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

Shalabhasana 2 (Locust Pose 2)

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

Eka Pada Bhekasana (Single Leg Frog Pose)

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

Lung with the back knee down

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)

Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior Pose 1)

Virabhadrasana 3 (Warrior Pose 3)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Ardha Halasana (Half Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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Level 1 Group Class

Belly Turning Pose (Knees Bent)
Adho Mukha Sukhasana (Downward Facing Comfortable Pose)
• Do both leg crossings.

Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
• Simple variation, with the legs in Sukhasana (Comfortable Pose), lying back flat on the ground holding onto the elbows with the arms overhead.
• Do both leg crossings.

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)
• Sitting up on blankets.

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)
• Sitting up on blankets.
• Block between the feet.

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose)
• Legs only, with forward bend if possible.

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Dolphin shoulder/chest opener

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Dolphin shoulder/chest opener
• Second interlock of the fingers.

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)
• Foam block between the feet.
• Holding onto the sids of the mat.

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)
• Foam block between the feet.
• Hands under the shoulders as if about to do Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow Pose).

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)
• Foam block between the feet.
• Arms alongside ears with hands under sandbags or free weights to anchor upper body.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose)
• Hands under sandbags or free weights to anchor upper body.
• Knees bent.

Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose)
• Hands under sandbags or free weights to anchor upper body.
• Knees bent as you begin, then work on straightening the legs.

Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose)
• Hands under sandbags or free weights to anchor upper body.
• If able, with the leg straight. Otherwise repeat the previous version.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)
• Feet on blocks.
• Holding on to the ankles with a belt.
• Three repetitions, holding for 30 to 60 seconds each.

Reclined buttock stretch

Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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Intermediate Group Class

Crow Pose
In this practice we are thinking about the sternum and the two pectoral muscles: pectoralis major and pectoralis minor. Pec major is broad, superficial and more horizontal in direction. Pec minor is narrow, deep and more vertical in direction, especially when the arms are raised. Consider the following actions in each of the poses:
  • Deepen the sternum into the body, widening it as you do and broadening the back body behind it.
  • Widen pec major outwards across the collarbones towards the front armpit.
  • Lengthen pec minor towards the front armpit.

The sequence is a simplified version of this week’s Practice Lab.

The Sequence:

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)
• Lie back over a bolster arranged across the back.

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

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana 1 (Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose 1) with the raised foot at the rope wall or on a ledge
• First raise the arms, then fold forward.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with feet apart

Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with feet apart

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Practice kicking up with the second leg.

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)
• Place the hands under the shoulders as if going up into Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow Pose) and belt the elbows to keep the upper arms parallel.
• Place a sandbag along the sternum.

Mayurasana (Peacock Pose)

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)
• Place the hands under the shoulders as if going up into Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow Pose) and belt the elbows to keep the upper arms parallel.
• Place the sandbag across the sternum, approximately over the area where you were placing your elbows in Mayurasana.

Mayurasana (Peacock Pose)

Malasana (Garland Pose)
• Support the heels on a wedge or blankets.
• Put a belt around the body and the knees to act as a sling to support the legs. Release the inner thighs and widen the hip creases.

Bakasana (Crow Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Bakasana (Crow Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) over a bolster
• Hold for 5-10 min.

Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose)
• Hold for 5-10 min

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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Level 1 Group Class

Half Boat Pose
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
• Block between the thighs.
• Grip the edges of the mat and stretch it out.

Child’s Pose
• Grip the edges of the mat and stretch it out.

[In the following sequence, flow seamlessly from pose to pose.]

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Child’s Pose
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Lunge with the back leg straight, first leg
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Lunge with the back leg straight, second leg
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Plank Pose
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Plank Pose with the feet pointed
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

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) legs only with forward bend

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) sitting on blankets or a block

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) on the floor, balancing with the feet off the ground

Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose) prep with the knees bent, holding onto the thighs, balancing

Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose) balance, holding onto a belt around the feet

Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose) in stages:
• Knees bent, hands on the floor
• Knees bent, hands up
• Full pose

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Simple rolling along the back, catching the balance in the siting up position to keep the feet off the floor

Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

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

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1) rolling up into the pose

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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Practice Lab

Single Leg Galava's Pose
Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) over a bolster across the back

Utthita Hasta Padasana 1 (Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose 1) with the raised foot on ropes or a ledge
• Upright and forward bend variation

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

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)

Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose)

Bharadwajasana 2 (Bharadwajasana’s Pose 2)
• Simple variation with leg in Janushirshasana (Head of the Knee Pose) and binding with a belt.
• Full pose.

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)

Mayurasana (Peacock Pose)

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)

Mayurasana (Peacock Pose)

Malasana (Garland Pose)

Supta Kurmasana (Sleeping Turtle Pose) preparation with feet on bolster
• Make a square shape with the legs, place the feet up on a bolster and fold forward.

Bakasana (Crow Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Bakasana (Crow Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose)

Eka Pada Galavasana (Single Leg Galava’s Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Eka Pada Galavasana (Single Leg Galava’s Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) over a bolster

Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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Multi-Level Core Practice

Matsyasana (Fish Pose) - 2 min each side
• simple variation with the legs in Sukhasana (Comfortable Pose) and the arms overhead
• do both leg crossings

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Lunge
• back leg straight
• press inner thigh of back leg up and back
• soften lower abdomen and send inner thighs away from each other

Parivrtta Parshvakonasana (Revolved Side Angle Pose) Read More...
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