Advanced Backbend/Inversion Practice

Rope Shirshasana
• alternate pose: Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Right-Angle Shoulder Stretch
• elbows and forearms at wall at hip height, hips over heels to make a right angle shape

Half Down Dog/Half Up Dog on chair
• place chair against wall
• hands on chair with arms extended
• legs straight, heels on floor
• roll forward onto tops of feet for half up-dog
• 3-5 reps

Shalabhasana Sequence 1
• legs on floor
• lift trunk
• variation 1: arms by sides, hands on floor
• variation 2: arms out to sides
• variation 3: arms alongside ears
• variation 4: hands behind head

Shalabhasana Sequence 2
• trunk and head down
• raise one leg and then the other
• variation 1: arms by sides, hands on floor
• variation 2: arms out to sides
• variation 3: arms alongside ears
• variation 4: hands behind head

Shalabhasana Sequence 3
• trunk and head down
• raise both legs
• variation 1: arms by sides, hands on floor
• variation 2: arms out to sides
• variation 3: arms alongside ears
• variation 4: hands behind head

Shalabhasana Sequence 4
• trunk, head and legs raised
• variation 1: arms by sides
• variation 2: arms out to sides
• variation 3: arms alongside ears
• variation 4: hands behind head

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog pose)

Shirshasana Sequence
• Shirshasana 1
• Baddha Konasana
• Pindasana with Baddha Konasana legs
• Prasarita Padottana Shirshasana
• Urdhva Dandasana
• Eka Pada Shirshasana
• Parshvaikapada Shirshasana
• Parshva Shirshasana
• Parshva Vajra Shirshasana
• Parivrtta Baddha Konasana
• Prasarita Padottana Shirshasana into Parivrttaikapada Shirshasana

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog pose)

Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog pose)

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

Laghuvajrasana (Little Thunderbolt Pose) over chair

Parshva Dhanurasana (Side Bow Pose)

Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

Ushtrasana (Camel Pose)

Purvottanasana (Intense East Stretch Pose)
• table top variation

Purvottanasana (Intense East Stretch Pose)
• full pose

Kapotasana (Pigeon Pose) over chair

Padangustha Dhanurasana (Big Toe Bow Pose)

Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)
• Eka Pada Setu Bandha (Single Leg Bridge Pose) via drop-back
• Setu Bandha (Single Leg Bridge Pose) via drop-back

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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Real Age Calculator

I have tried the Real Age quiz at their website and it turned out horribly. The questions are skewed towards sedentary, overweight meat-eaters. (also the site tries to sell you stuff big time, so I wouldn't recommend going there.) This widget manages to reformulate the data in a way that a yoga-practicing vegetarian can get much more pleasing results. My "Real Age" turned out to be 14 and my life expectancy around 95.


Poodwaddle.com
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Core/Balance Practice

Rope Shirshasana
• alternate pose: Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose) into Halasana (Plough Pose)
• leg-lifts rolling through into Plough Pose
• 10 reps

Roll-Backs
• Ardha Navasana variation, with feet on floor, rolling from upright to shoulders on the floor and back
• 5 reps

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)
• leg straight up, shoulders and head on ground

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)
• leg to side

Supta Padangusthasana 3 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 3)
• shin across chest, arm behind head

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)
• variation: head up towards raised leg

Urdhva Badhanguliyasana (Upward Bound Fingers Pose)
• feet apart

Padangusthasana (Big Toe Pose)
• preparation only, lifting spine and broadening collarbones

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana 1 (Extended Hand To Big Toe Pose 1)
• leg to front

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana 2 (Extended Hand To Big Toe Pose 2)
• leg to side

Vrkshasana (Tree Pose)

Parivrtta Hasta Padangusthasana (Revolved Hand to Big Toe Pose)

Virabhadrasana 3 (Warrior pose 3)

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana 1 (Extended Hand To Big Toe Pose 1)
• holding foot

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana 1 (Extended Hand To Big Toe Pose 1)
• variation: turn foot out, bend knee and bring foot towards face

Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana (Half Bound Lotus Intense Stretch Pose)

Padangusthasana (Big Toe Pose)
• preparation only, lifting spine and broadening collarbones

Urdhva Badhanguliyasana (Upward Bound Fingers Pose)
• feet apart

Adho Mukha Padmasana (Downward Facing Lotus Pose)

Matsyasana (Fish Pose)

Uttana Padma Mayurasana (Intense Lotus Peacock Pose)
• block under sacrum

Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)

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Getting Back To It Practice

Well, my big practice series got derailed by an unfortunate Summer head cold. (By the way, Head Stand, Hand Stand and Bridge Pose good, Shoulder Stand very bad.) I'm over the cold but I've barely done a thing for a good week and I can feel my muscles starting to lose their strength. Here's a practice to help get you back up to speed. There's nothing complicated about it. It's designed to to get your muscles working, with sections for the legs, the core and the upper body.

Rope Shirshasana
• alternate pose: Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Utkatasana (Fierce Pose) - 1 min
• block between thighs

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) - 1 min
• block between thighs

Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior Pose 2) - 1 min

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose) - 1 min

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose) - 1 min

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose) - 1 min

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose) 90°/60°/30°/10° - 30 sec each stage

Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose) - 1 min

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) - 1 min

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand) - 1 min

Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) - 3 min

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) - 5 min
• over bolster

Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand) - 5 min
• over chair

Shavasana (Corpse Pose) - 15 min

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Featured Pose: Bakasana (Crow Pose)

Rope Shirshasana
• alternate pose: Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose)
• variation: feet hip width
• move front waist to back waist and lengthen back waist

Back Rolls
• simple rolls along spine from tailbone to shoulders
• 5-8 reps

Halasana/Pashchimottanasana (Plough Pose/Intense West Stretch Pose) Rolls
• 5-8 reps

Urdhva Mukha Pashchimottanasana 2 (Upward Facing Intense West Stretch Pose 2)
• move front waist to back waist and lengthen back waist

Ardhva Navasana (Half Boat Pose)
• move front waist to back waist and lengthen back waist
• narrow sides of navel and move back waist away from feet

Lolasana (Tremulous Pose)
• move front waist to back waist and lengthen back waist
• narrow sides of navel and move back waist away from feet

Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose)
• variation: lower back on floor
• move front waist to back waist and lengthen back waist
• narrow sides of navel and move back waist into floor

Urdhva Mukha Pashchimottanasana 2 (Upward Facing Intense West Stretch Pose 2)
• move front waist to back waist and lengthen back waist
• narrow sides of navel and move back waist into floor

Lolasana into Ardha Navasana and back
• variation: place hands on block to facilitate moving feet backwards and forwards
• 4 reps (twice with each crossing of the ankles)

Bakasana (Crow Pose)
• variation: start with feet up on blocks
• move front waist to back waist and lengthen back waist
• narrow sides of navel and move back waist up towards ceiling

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)
• variation: seated and forward extension
• broaden hip creases and hollow out pelvis
• draw lower abdomen back and lengthen sides of waist forward

Marichyasana 1 (Marichi's Pose 1)
• roll bent leg arch into floor and staight leg arch away from body
• turn pubic bone towards bent leg and navel towards straight leg
• broaden hip creases and hollow out pelvis
• draw lower abdomen back and lengthen sides of waist forward

Malasana (Garland Pose)
• variation: arms wrapped around shins and grabbing ankles, heels supported on blankets if not on floor
• broaden hip creases and hollow out pelvis
• turn lower abdomen towards chest

Bakasana (Crow Pose)
• broaden hip creases and hollow out pelvis
• turn lower abdomen towards chest and lengthen back waist

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
• expand inner thoracic wall of upper ribs
• broaden collarbones and deepen back towards tops of shoulder blades
• broaden evenly across spine between shoulder blades
• turn eyes of chest (space between collar bones and top ribs) towards thighs

Vashisthsasana (Vashistha's Pose)
• expand inner thoracic wall of upper ribs
• broaden collarbones and deepen back towards tops of shoulder blades
• broaden evenly across spine between shoulder blades
• broaden eyes of chest

Chaturanga Dandasana (Four Limbed Staff Pose)
• expand inner thoracic wall of upper ribs
• broaden collarbones and deepen back towards tops of shoulder blades
• broaden evenly across spine between shoulder blades
• turn eyes of chest (space between collar bones and top ribs) towards throat

Bakasana (Crow Pose)
• expand inner thoracic wall of upper ribs
• broaden collarbones and deepen back towards tops of shoulder blades
• broaden evenly across spine between shoulder blades
• turn lower abdomen towards eyes of chest and eyes of chest towards lwoer abdomen

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• practice hopping up with both legs together, knees bent or legs straight

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• practice rolling down with both legs together, knees bent or legs straight

Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)
• divide up the time by coming into Urdhva Dandasana (Upward Staff Pose) every minute or so and hold for 20-30 sec

Shirshasana 2 into Bakasana (Head Stand 2 into Crow Pose)

Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose)

Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Coprpse Pose)


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Featured Pose: Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose)

Rope Shirshasana
• alternate pose: Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Child's Pose
• loop and tighten belt around tops of thighs and ankles to deepen hip crease
• rest head on block so trunk is parallel to floor
• broaden hip creases and inner pelvis

Upavishtha Konasana (Seated Angle Pose)
• ground sitting bones evenly
• broaden hip creases and inner pelvis

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)
• practice pose as a balance with only sitting bones on floor
• ground sitting bones evenly
• broaden hip creases and inner pelvis
• narrow and lift sides of waist

Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose)
• variation: legs bent
• ground sitting bones evenly
• broaden hip creases and inner pelvis
• narrow and lift sides of waist

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)
• variation: raised leg vertical, holding on to belt around foot
• Strengthen arches and lengthen inner legs away from pubic bone
• broaden hip creases and inner pelvis
• narrow and lengthen sides of waist towards head

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)
• Strengthen arches and lengthen inner legs away from pubic bone
• broaden hip creases and inner pelvis
• turn navel away from the leg that is moving out to the side
• narrow and lengthen sides of waist towards head

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)
• variation: holding onto big toe and moving face towards shin
• Strengthen arches and lengthen inner legs away from pubic bone
• broaden hip creases and inner pelvis
• narrow and lengthen sides of waist towards head

Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose)
• full pose with legs straight if possible
• Strengthen arches, inner thighs and quads and lengthen them away from pubic bone
• broaden hip creases and inner pelvis
• narrow sides of navel and draw into spine
• narrow and lengthen sides of waist towards head

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana 1 (Extended Hands to Feet Pose 1)
• narrow and lengthen sides of waist towards head
• strengthen and lengthen inner sides of legs out of length of anterior lumbar spine

Virabhadrasana 3 (Warrior Pose 3)
• narrow and lengthen sides of waist towards head
• strengthen and lengthen inner sides of legs out of length of anterior lumbar spine

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)
• variations: legs at 90°/60°/30°/10°
• narrow and lengthen sides of waist towards head
• strengthen and lengthen inner sides of legs out of length of anterior lumbar spine

Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose)
• full pose with legs straight if possible
• narrow and lengthen sides of waist towards head
• strengthen and lengthen inner sides of legs out of length of anterior lumbar spine

Ubhaya Padangusthasana (Both Big Toes Pose)
• expand inner wall of upper rib cage
• broaden collar bones and deepen back from collarbones to top of shoulder blades

Ubhaya Padangusthasana (Both Big Toes Pose)
• variation: legs wide
• expand inner wall of upper rib cage
• broaden collar bones and deepen back from collarbones to top of shoulder blades

Urdhva Mukha Pashchimottanasana 1 (Upward Facing Intense West Stretch Pose 1)
• expand inner wall of upper rib cage
• broaden collar bones and deepen back from collarbones to top of shoulder blades

Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose)
• full pose with legs straight if possible
• expand inner wall of upper rib cage
• broaden collar bones and deepen back from collarbones to top of shoulder blades

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• variation: Eka Pada Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Single Leg Hand Stand)

Shirshasana (Head Stand)
• variation: Eka Pada Shirshasana (Single Leg Head Stand)
• variation: Parivrttaikapada Shirshasana (Revolved Single Leg Head Stand)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)
• blanket under shoulders
• high blocks under sacrum
• lengthen inner thighs towards knees
• lift and lengthen back of waist towards head

Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Eka Pada Sarvangasana (Single Leg Shoulder Stand)

Eka Pada Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Single Leg Bridge Pose in Shoulder Stand)
• dropping back from Eka Pada Sarvangasana (Single Leg Shoulder Stand)

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose in Shoulder Stand)
• dropping back from Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)

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

Rope Shirshasana
• alternate pose: Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)
• lengthen, narrow and turn the side waist

Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose)
• lengthen, narrow and turn the side waist

Marichyasana 6/F (Marichi's Pose 6/F)
• lengthen, narrow and turn the side waist

Ardha Matsyendrasana 1 (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose 1)
• variation: seated on blankets and not foot, no binding
• lengthen, narrow and turn the side waist

Virasana/Parvatasana (Mountain Pose in Virasana)
• perform pose with big toes touching and heels apart

Marichyasana 3 (Marichi's Pose 3)
• foot of straight leg against wall
• roll big toe mound and inner heel into wall, strengthen arch

Ardha Matsyendrasana 1 (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose 1)
• variation: seated on foot, no binding
• roll into big toe mounds and inner heels of both feet, strengthening both arches

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose)
• variation: seated between heels, with arms
• with right leg on top, lift left sitting bone, broaden inner surface of pelvis and move lower abdomen deeper into body

Marichyasana 1 (Marichi's Pose 1)
• with right leg bent, lift left sitting bone, broaden inner surface of pelvis and move lower abdomen deeper into body

Ardha Matsyendrasana 1 (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose 1)
• variation: seated on foot, no binding
• with right leg bent, lift left sitting bone, broaden inner surface of pelvis and move lower abdomen deeper into body

Bharadwajasana 2 (Bharadwaja's Pose 2)
• expand inner wall of upper rib cage
• broaden collar bones and deepen back from collarbones to top of shoulder blades
• when twisting to right, turn left collarbone down and right collarbone up

Parivrtta Parshvakonasana (Revolved Side Angle Pose)
• expand inner wall of upper rib cage
• broaden collar bones and deepen back from collarbones to top of shoulder blades
• when twisting to right, turn left collarbone down and right collarbone up

Ardha Matsyendrasana 1 (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose 1)
• variation: seated on foot, binding
• expand inner wall of upper rib cage
• broaden collar bones and deepen back from collarbones to top of shoulder blades
• when twisting to right, turn left collarbone down and right collarbone up

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
• expand inner wall of upper rib cage
• broaden collar bones and deepen back from collarbones to top of shoulder blades

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Parshva Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Side Hand Stand)

Shirshasana (Head Stand)
• Parshva Shirshasana (Side Head Stand)
• Parshva Virasana (Side Hero Pose in Head Stand)

Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose)

Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)

Halasana (Plough Pose)
• Parshva Halasana (Side Plough Pose)
• Parshva Karnapidasana (Side Pressure on the Ear Pose)

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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Sequence To Prepare For A Hot Day

We're looking at some filthy hot and sticky days here in New York City of temperatures in the 90's and heat indexes at around 100. I love the Summer (and I say that without irony). Here's a short practice designed to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system to keep you cool and hydrated. I'm off to do it now before heading out to my first class.


Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose)
• head resting on blocks

Prasarita Padottanasana 1 (Wide Spread Feet Pose1)
• head supported on floor or on blocks

Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)
• variation: over chair

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)
• over bolster

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)

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Featured Pose: Janu Shirshasana (Head of the Knee Pose)

Rope Shirshasana
• alternate pose: Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Vrkshasana (Tree Pose)
• do pose with bent knee against wall to stabilize
• balance inner and outer thigh
• strengthen arches
• broaden iliacus on both sides

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)
• do pose with leading arm up wall
• balance inner and outer thighs
• strengthen arches
• broaden iliacus on both sides

Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)
• do pose with hands at wall
• balance inner and outer thighs
• strengthen arches
• broaden iliacus on both sides

Janu Shirshasana (Head of the Knee Pose)
• preparation only (sitting up with legs in position)
• foot of extended leg against wall
• balance inner and outer thigh
• strengthen arch, pressing foot into wall

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)
• seated upright with back against wall
• lengthen inner thighs to knees
• draw outer thighs into hips
• turn soles of feet up towards ceiling
• broaden iliacus on both sides

Adho Mukha Ardha Padmasana (Downward Facing Half Lotus Pose)
• broaden iliacus on both sides
• balance pubic bone between inner thighs, so that it is equidistant
• draw lower abdomen back and move sit bones towards knees

Marichyasana 1 (Marichi's Pose 1)
• strengthen inner thigh and arch of straight leg
• on bent leg send inner thigh to knee and outer thigh to hip
• turn pubic bone towards bent knee

Janu Shirshasana (Head of the Knee Pose)
• strengthen inner thigh and arch of straight leg
• on bent leg send inner thigh to knee and outer thigh to hip
• bring weight evenly into both inner thighs
• turn pubic bone towards bent knee

Marichyasana 6/F (Marichi's Pose 6/F)
• strengthen inner thigh and arch of Virasana leg
• on raised leg send inner thigh to knee and outer thigh to hip
• turn pubic bone towards Virasana leg
• turn navel into twist
• broaden iliacus on both sides

Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)
• do pose with arms down and not behind back
• send both inner thighs to feet and outer thighs to hip
• turn pubic bone towards back leg
• turn navel towards front leg to even trunk
• broaden iliacus on both sides

Janu Shirshasana (Head of the Knee Pose)
• bring weight evenly into both inner thighs
• turn pubic bone towards bent knee
• turn navel towards straight leg

Shirshasana (Head Stand)
• variation: Baddha Konasana
• variation: Upavishtha Konasana

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Supta Konasana (Reclined Angle Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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Featured Pose: Yoga Mudrasana (Yoga Seal Pose)

This practice is a little different from yesterday's. Ardha Chandrasana is a fairly simple pose, whereas Yoga Mudrasana (Yoga Seal Pose) is pretty advanced. Rather than breaking the pose down we are building it up slowly in an attempt to make it more accessible.

Virasana/Parvatasana (Mountain Pose in Virasana)
• perform pose with big toes touching and heels apart

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)
• on bent leg, lengthen inner thigh away from hip and outer thigh towards hip

Adho Mukha Ardha Padmasana (Downward Facing Half Lotus Pose)

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)
• with back against the wall
• variation: block between feet
• variation: block under feet

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)
• on front leg: lengthen inner thigh away from hip and outer thigh towards hip

Parvatasana (Mountain Pose)

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)
• bottom foot against wall
• strengthen and ground the inner thigh of the leg on the floor
• soften and broaden both iliacus muscles

Supta Padangusthasana 3 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 3)
• bottom foot against wall
• strengthen and ground the inner thigh of the leg on the floor
• soften and broaden both iliacus muscles

Adho Mukha Padmasana (Downward Facing Lotus Pose)

Bharadwajasana 1 (Bharadwaja's Pose 1)
• full pose with bound arm

Bharadwajasana 2 (Bharadwaja's Pose 2)
• full pose with bound arm

Pashchima Namaskar Adho Mukha Padmasana (Downward Facing Lotus Pose with arms in Reverse Prayer Pose)

Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana (Half Bound Lotus Intense Stretch Pose)

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

Yoga Mudrasana (Yoga Seal pose)

Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose)
• blanket behind knees

Utkatasana (Fierce Pose)
• back against wall
• right angle legs
• block between thighs

Shirshasana (Head Stand)

Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)
• Pindasana (Embryo Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)

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Featured Pose: Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)

Ardha Chandrasana, Half Moon Pose
Rope Shirshasana
• Alternate Pose: Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)
• deepen the hip crease and lengthen the back leg side of the body

Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)
• deepen the hip crease and lengthen the back leg side of the body

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)
• balance the weight between the inner and outer thigh of both legs

Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)
• balance the weight between the inner and outer thigh of both legs

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)
• strengthen and ground the inner thigh of the leg on the floor
• soften and broaden both iliacus muscles

Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)
• strengthen and ground the inner thigh of the raised leg
• soften and broaden both iliacus muscles

Bharadwajasana 2 (Bharadwaja's Pose 2)
• turn the pelvis out of the twist as you turn the navel and chest into the twist
• expand the upper thoracic wall (the inner intracostal muscles) and pivot the shoulder girdle into the twist

Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)
• turn the pelvis down towards the floor as you turn the navel and chest up towards the ceiling
• expand the upper thoracic wall (the inner intracostal muscles) and pivot the shoulder girdle into the twist

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Parshvaikapada Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Single Leg to the Side Hand Stand)

Shirshasana (Head Stand 1)
• variation: Parshvaikapada Shirshasana (Single Leg to the Side Head Stand)

Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)
• blocks under sacrum, feet under floor

Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)
• variation: Parshvaikapada Sarvangasana (Single Leg to the Side Shoulder Stand)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)

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New Practice Series

I've found that my practice has been getting a bit stale of late. (By which I mean I haven't actually been doing it!) So I had to figure out a way of making it interesting. So for the next few weeks, we'll be taking a pose, one from each of the major categories, and breaking it down. We'll take a particular aspect of the pose and pair it with another pose that best expresses that aspect, for example, Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose) and Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side angle Pose) to go deeper into the lateral fold of the hip joint. This way we will practice the featured pose several times, going deeper into it with more intelligence each time.

I'm looking forward to it. It'll be fun.

Witold
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Sequencing

My first Iyengar teacher was extremely creative and unconventional in her approach to sequencing. She has a poetic way of sequencing that is both logical and intuitive, but she very much does not toe the line in terms of the way she sequences a class (bless her), so I never really got the hang of the classic Iyengar sequencing at that stage. Unfortunately, a subsequent disastrous and inadequate teacher training did very little to fill that gap. I have, of late, been studying with Donald Moyer in Berkeley, as regular readers will know. Donald is also extremely innovative and creative, while remaining intuitive and logical in his approach, but in some ways he is very old school when it comes to his sequencing. I've been teaching and practicing in his manner quite a lot lately, and it has been a wonderful exercise in getting inside the classical Iyengar mentality. Sometimes the method gets accused of being dry and repetitive, but there is an elegance to the sequencing. I offer you here my limited understanding of the form.

Here follows a breakdown of the major pose categories and where they fit in the scheme. This first chart is not an actual way of practicing. Think of it as a diagram of a hypothetical sequence including all the different possibilities:



This would break down into the following practice sequences for each of the four major categories. Obviously there are other types of poses -- arm balances, abdominals and such. Each of these has their own rationale, but think about how you are practicing them. How do they relate to standing poses, to twists, back bends or forward bends? This might give you an idea of where a pose such as Parshva Bakasana (Side Crow Pose) might go.











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Deep Relaxation

Here's a scratch track from a CD I'm working on of guided relaxations. Remember, don't listen to this while driving or operating heavy machinery!

Enjoy!


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A Short, Simple Practice

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) - 10 min

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) - 3 min

Shirshasana (Head Stand) - 2 min
• Baddha Konasana Variation - 2 min
• Upavishtha Konasana variation - 2 min

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) - 1-2 min

Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand) over chair - 3 min
• Supta Baddha Konasana variation - 3 min

Shavasana (Corpse Pose) 10 min
• legs on chair
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Upper Back/Shoulder Girdle Practice

As you go through this practice, focus on balancing the collarbones and the space between the shoulder blades, and balancing the bicep and the tricep:

• Broaden both sides of the upper thoracic spine evenly and both collarbones evenly.
• Activate and lengthen both biceps and both triceps evenly.


Rope Shirshasana
Alternate Pose: Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Shoulder Strecth At The Wall
• Stand at wall, folding forward at the hips with elbows and forearms on the wall.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog pose)

Makarasana (Crocodile Pose)

Vashisthasana (Vashistha's Pose)

Chaturanga Dandasana (Four Limbed Staff Pose)

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Pincha Mayurasana (Forearm Stand)

Shirshasana (Head Stand)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose)

Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

Parshva Dhanurasana (Side Bow Pose)

Ushtrasana (Camel Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)
• Blocks under sacrum, feet on floor
• Blanket under shoulders
• Arms Belted above elbows

Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose in Shoulder Stand)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
• with lift under trunk.

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Energizer Sequence

Rope Shirshasana
Alternate Pose: Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Surya Namaskar 1 (3-5 Reps)

Tadasana (Mountan Pose)
Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Hands Pose)
Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose)
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose)
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose)
Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Hands Pose)
Tadasana (Mountan Pose)


Surya Namaskar 2 (3 Reps)

Tadasana (Mountan Pose)
Utkatasana (Fierce Pose)
Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose)
Chaturanga Dandasana 1 (Four LImbed Staff Pose 1)
Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose)
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Rep 1: Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)
Rep 2: Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)
Rep 3: Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior Pose 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose)
Utkatasana (Fierce Pose)
Tadasana (Mountan Pose)


Surya Namaskar 3 (4 Reps)

Tadasana (Mountan Pose)
Utkatasana (Fierce Pose)
Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose)
Chaturanga Dandasana 1 (Four LImbed Staff Pose 1)
Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose)
Chaturanga Dandasana 2 (Four LImbed Staff Pose 2) - on tops of feet as for Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)
Urdhva Mukha Pashchimottanasana 2 (Upward Facing Intense West Stretch Pose 2)

Rep 1: Paripurna Navasava (Full Boat Pose)
Rep 2: Ardhva Navasana (Half Boat Pose)
Rep 3: Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)
Rep 4: Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose)

Chaturanga Dandasana 1 (Four LImbed Staff Pose 1)
Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose)
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose)
Utkatasana (Fierce Pose)
Tadasana (Mountan Pose)


Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Shirshasana (Head Stand)

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose in Shoulder Stand)
Halasana (Plough Pose)

Viparita Karani (Upside Down pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
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