Reclined Poses and Forward Bend Practice

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

Rope Child's Pose
Alternate Pose: Child's Pose

Rope Urdhva Mukha Paschimottanasana
Alternate Pose: Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose)

Rope Urdhva Mukha Baddha Konasana
Alternate Pose: Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)

Rope Urdhva Mukha Upavishtha Konasana
Alternate Pose: Upavishtha Konasana (Seated Angle Pose)

Rope Urdhva Mukha Kurmasana
Alternate Pose: Adho Mukha Sukhasana (Downward Facing Comfortable Pose)

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Supta Padangusthasana 3 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 3)

Anantasana (Vishnu's Couch Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downbward Facing Dog Pose)

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

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downbward Facing Dog Pose)

Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
• any leg variation
• over bolster

Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)

Supta Konasana (Reclined Angle Pose)

Upavishtha Konasana (Reclined Angle Pose)

Ardha Baddha Pada Pashchimottanasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Janu Shirshasana (Head of the Knee Pose)

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)

Shavasana (Corpose Pose)

|

Restorative Heat, Lower Back and Neck Practice

The past few days have been filthy hot and humid days, so I wanted to teach something to refresh and restore. On top of that it turned out that there were a handful of neck, shoulder and lower back issues to deal with. I had my work cut for me. This is what I came up with:

Matsyasana (Fish Pose) - 2-3 min each crossing of the legs
• over bolster
• legs in simple cross-legged pose with the knees belted for support
• roll buttock flesh towards heels
• elbows clasped, with arms over head, except for those with shoulder issues, who should keep arms by their sides

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Child's Pose - 2-3 min
• belt loop pulled tight around tops of thighs and ankles
• head on block if neccessary

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) - 3-5 min
• legs belted
• thin folded blanket across upper back
• blanket under head

Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana 2 lunge
• hands on blocks

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2) - 1-2 min each side
• leg to side, resting on bolster
• bend knee of raised leg if necessary to maintain depth of hip crease

Utthita Marichyasana (Extended Marichis' Pose)
• foot on chair

Ardha Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Half Downward Facing Dog Pose)
• hands on chair
• heels on floor
• push chair away from you, pull thighs back

Bharadwajasana on chair
• seated sideways on chair
• block between knees
• keep knees even

Bharadwajasana on chair
• with bolster on chair seat
• block between knees
• keep knees even

Ardha Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Half Downward Facing Dog Pose)
• hands on chair
• heels on floor
• push chair away from you, pull thighs back

Hip Opener on chair
• sit on chair with one ankle on opposite thigh
• roll thigh of raised leg out in hip socket
• hinge forward from hip creases

Pavana Mukatasana on chair (Wind Relieveing Pose) - 1-2 min
• sit well back in chair with heels outside chair legs and fold forward

Adho Mukha Sukhasana (Downward Facing Comfortable Pose) - 1-2 min each corrsing of legs
• sit up on 2 or 3 folded blankets
• cross forearms and rest head on chair

Simple back bend over roll - 2-3 min
• lie back with rolled up blanket under shoulder blades/upper back

Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose)
OR
Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) over bolster
• hold for 3-5 min
• people with neck issues do Setu Bandha
• people with lower back issues to Viparita Karani on low blankets

Shavasana (Corpse Pose) 5-10 min


|

Psoas Stretch Practice

In this practice, focus on keeping iliacus soft and broad while lengthening both quadratus lumborum and psoas.

Rope Child's Pose
• alternate pose: Child's Pose

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

Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior Pose 2)

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Urdhva Prasarita Ekapadasana (One Leg Extended Up Pose)
• single leg lift
• 5 reps each side

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (One Leg Extended Up Pose)
• leg lifts
• foam block between feet
• 5 reps

Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose)

Ardhva Navasana (Half Boat Pose)

Ardha Navasana 2 (Half Boat Pose 2)
• waist on floor

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Anantasana (Vishnu's Couch Pose)

Supta Padangusthasana 3 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 3)

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

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)
• bolster across back

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
• bolster under abdomen

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

Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana 2 (Single Leg King Pigeon Pose)
• lunge only
• front foot on block

Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
• bolster across back

Padma Viparita Dandasana (Lotus Inverted Staff Pose)
• over chair

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

Viparita Karani (Upside Down pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
• legs on chair


|

Pranayama/Meditation Practice: Diaphragm and Temples

The goal of this practice is to bring sensitivity and balance to both the diaphragm and the temples. Softening the diaphragm and keeping it soft during pranayama allows for efficient breathing and the fine-tuning of the breath, the powerhouse of the energy body. The temples act as an energetic bridge between the senses of hearing and sight. Maintaining softness and balance in the entire region from the opening of the ear to the outermost corner of the eye is pranayama in its most fundamental sense of the regulation of fluctuations of the energy body.

We begin with a few poses to open up and bring intelligence to the abdomen and ribcage. We follow that up with simple pranayama both reclined and seated. The practice ends with a Shavasana (Corpse Pose) that focuses on pratyahara, the withdrawal of the senses, in preparation for a seated meditation.

Perform all these poses with a head wrap, if available, unless otherwise noted.


Rope Shirshasana - 5 min
• alternate pose: Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) - 3-5 min
• head resting on blocks

Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose) - 3-5 min
• over bolster

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) - 3-5 min
• over bolster

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

Child's Pose - 3-5 min
• over bolster

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

Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose)
• 3-5 min: breathing with full tidal volume only
• 3-5 min: Ujjayi 4 breath
• 3-5 min: Viloma 2 breath
• use the exhalations to find release in the diaphragm

Any comfortable seated pose
• 3-5 min: breathing with full tidal volume only
• 3-5 min: Ujjayi 8 breath
• 3-5 min: Viloma 5 breath
• use the exhalations to find release in the diaphragm

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
• without head wrap
• 5-10 min: successive release of skin, tongue, nasal passages ears, eyes and brain
• 5-10 min: soften and balance the diaphragm and the two temples

Any comfortable seated pose - 5-10 min
• without head wrap
• soften and balance the two temples
• draw the wandering mind back to the sounds that come into your awareness. Allow all the sounds to wash over you without singling out any one of them.

|

The Tension-Free Mind

My very dear friend Kristen Davis came over to practice yesterday and we were both pretty wiped out with exhaustion, so we did an old favorite restorative practice from Mira Mehta's excellent book, "Health Through Yoga." Ms. Mehta calls the practice "The Tension-Free Mind."

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)
• over crossed bolsters

Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
• any leg variation
• over a bolster

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

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
• head resting on a bolster

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose)
• head resting on blocks or on a chair

Shirshasana (Head Stand)

Janu Shirshasana (Head of the Knee Pose)
• with head wrap
• head on bolster

Triang Mukhaikapada Pashchimottanasana (Three Limbs Supported Intense West Stretch Pose)
• with head wrap
• head on bolster

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)
• with head wrap
• head on bolster

Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)
• with head wrap
• on chair

Ardha Halasana (Half Plough Pose)
• with head wrap
• on chair

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)
• with head wrap
• on bench or bolster

Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose)
• with head wrap
• on chair

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
• with head wrap
• bolster under trunk

Viloma 2 (Interrupted Exhalation)
• with head wrap
• in Shavasana with bolster under trunk



|

Advanced Marichyasana/Arm Balance Practice

Rope Child's Pose
Alternate Pose: Child's Pose

Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior Pose 2)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana (Half Bound Lotus Intense Stretch Pose)

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Marichyasana 1 (Marichi's Pose 1)

Marichyasana 2 (Marichi's Pose 2)

Marichyasana 3 (Marichi's Pose 3)

Marichyasana 5/E (Marichi's Pose 5/E)

Marichyasana 6/E (Marichi's Pose 6/E)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Bakasana (Crow Pose)

Eka Pada Bakasana 1 (Single Leg Crow Pose 1)

Parshva Bakasana (Side Crow Pose)

Shirshasana 2 (Head Stand 2)
with transitions into:
• Bakasana (Crow Pose)
• Eka Pada Bakasana 1 (Single Leg Crow Pose 1)
• Parshva Bakasana (Side Crow Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Tree Pose)

Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
• any leg variation
• over a bolster

Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


|

Men's Restorative Practice

The purpose of this practice is to soften and create space around the abdominal organs in general, and the prostate and adrenals in particular. Yesterday having been my 40th birthday I thought it might be prudent to include such a practice in my regular routine. This practice contains elements to help support the health of four key organs, the prostate, the adrenals, the testicles and the heart, in light of some serious conditions that men tend to suffer from as they advance in years:

Please bear in mind that this practice is intended to support general health only and is
not intended as medical treatment for any of these illnesses or conditions. Only seek medical advice from a qualified health care practitioner.

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

Rope Child's Pose
Alternate Pose: Child's Pose

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose)

Prasarita Padottanasana 1 (Wide Spread Feet Pose)

Shirshasana (Head Stand
• variation: Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)
• variation: Upavishtha Konasana (Seated Angle Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Virasana (Hero Pose)

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)

Upavishtha Konasana (Seated Angle Pose)

Child's Pose
• over a bolster

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)

Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)
• variation: Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)
• variation: Upavishtha Konasana (Seated Angle Pose)

Supta Konasana (Reclined Angle Pose)

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
• any comfortable leg variation
• over a bolster

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)
• over a bolster

Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)

|

Advanced Back Bend Practice

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

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Pincha Mayurasana (Forearm Stand)

Shirshasana (Head Stand)

Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose)

Kapotasana (Pigeon Pose)
• over chair

Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow Pose)
• feet on Chair

Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow Pose)

Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana (Two Leg Inverted Staff Pose)

Eka Pada Viparita Urdhva Dhanurasana (Single Leg Inverted Staff Pose)

Eka Pada Urdhva Dhanurasana (Single Leg Upward Bow Pose)

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

Natarajasana (King Dancer Pose)

Parshva Bharadawajasana (Side Bharadwaja's Pose)
• over bolster

Ardha Halasana (Half Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)

|

Advanced Arm Balance/Forward Bend Practice

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

Rope Child's Pose
Alternate Pose: Child's Pose

Rope Urdhva Mukha Paschimottanasana
Alternate Pose: Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose)

Rope Urdhva Mukha Baddha Konasana
Alternate Pose: Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)

Rope Urdhva Mukha Upavishtha Konasana
Alternate Pose: Upavishtha Konasana (Seated Angle Pose)

Rope Urdhva Mukha Kurmasana
Alternate Pose: Adho Mukha Sukhasana (Downward Facing Comfortable Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Shirshasana (Head Stand)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Bakasana (Crow Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose)

Eka Pada Galavasana (Single Leg Galava's Pose)

Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana (Half Bound Lotus Intense Stretch Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose)

Eka Pada Bakasana 1 (Single Leg Crow Pose 1)

Tittibhasana (Firefly Pose)

Eka Pada Bakasana 2 (Single Leg Crow Pose 2)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)

Janu Shirshasana (Head to Knee Pose)

Parivrtta Janu Shirshasana (Revolved Head to Knee Pose)

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

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)

|

Advanced Back Bend Practice

Rope Shirshasana (Head Stand on ropes)
Alternate Pose: Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana 2 (Extended Hand and Big Toe Pose 2)
• Leg to the side
• Foot on ledge

Parivrtta Hasta Padangusthasana (Revolved Hand and Big Toe Pose )
• Foot on ledge

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Vrkshasana (Tree Pose)

Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior Pose 2)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior Pose 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Pincha Mayurasana (Forearm Stand)

Shirshasana (Head Stand)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
• Bolster under abdomen to lengthen lumbar spine and psoas

Rajakapotasana (King Pigeon Pose)
• Bolster under abdomen to lengthen lumbar spine and psoas

Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

Parshva Dhanurasana (Side Bow Pose)

Ushtrasana (Camel Pose)

Bekhasana (Frog Pose)

Kapotasana (Pigeon Pose)
• Over chair

Eka Pada Bekhasana (Single Leg Frog Pose)

Padangustha Dhanurasana (Big Toe Bow Pose)

Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana (Two Leg Inverted Staff Pose)

Gherandasana 1 (Gheranda's Pose 1)

Gherandasana 2 (Gheranda's Pose 2)

Matsyasana (Fish Pose)

Uttana Padma Mayurasana (Intense Stretch Peacock Pose)
• Block under sacrum

Parshva Padmasana (Side Lotus Pose)

Ardha Halasana (Half Plough Pose)
• Over chair

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)

|

Advanced Studies/Teacher Training Beginning This Fall

I am happy to announce that I am going to be Associate Director of a very exciting 2-year, 500+ hour Teacher Training/Advanced Studies Program at Yogasana Center in Brooklyn that will begin this Fall. Click here for more information.

Witold
|

Forward Bend Practice

Rope Shirshasana (Head Stand on ropes)
Alternate Pose: Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana 2 (Extended Hand and Big Toe Pose 2)
• Leg to the side
• Foot on ledge

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana 1 (Extended Hand and Big Toe Pose 1)
• Leg to the front
• Foot on ledge

Parivrtta Hasta Padangusthasana (Revolved Hand and Big Toe Pose )
• Foot on ledge

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)

Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose)

Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Shirshasana (Head Stand)

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Upavishtha Konasana (Seated Angle Pose)

Eka Pada Shirshasana (One Leg Behind the Head Pose) Preparation
• Come into Janu Shirshasana (Head of the Knee Pose) with bent leg heel on a block level with the opposite knee

Janu Shirshasana (Head of the Knee Pose)

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

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
|

Pranayama Practice

Simple Supported Backbend - 5-10 min
• Fold two blankets lengthwise and two blankets widthwise.
• Take the long blankets and place them under the upper back and the short blankets under the head. Leave a small groove in between for the shoulders to hang into. Lie back with the soles of the feet flat on the floor and the knees up in the air.
• Soften the muscles of the neck, chest, shoulders and upper back.

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) - 5-10 min
• Soften the lower abdomen and hollow out the pelvis, releasing the muscles that line the pelvic bones.
• Soften the ribcage and all the muscles that line the inner ribs.
• Soften the lungs, allowing them to deflate evenly, retracting inwards away from the ribs cage.
• Soften the diaphragm

Shavasana (Corpse Pose) - 5-10 in
• Use same set-up as simple back bend above, with a bolster under the knees.
• Soften and observe the movement of the diaphragm.
• Allow the stomach and the liver to move freely, descending as the diaphragm moves down with the inhalation, and rising as the diaphragm releases with the exhalation. Soften the organs and the ribs as much as possible to allow the most freedom of movement.

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) - 5-10 min
• Restorative set-up over a bolster or folded blankets, with thighs belted.
• Balance the movement in the abdomen with the movement in the rib cage so that neither one overpowers the other.
• After several minutes of this, begin to increase the inhalations and exhalations to a full tidal volume (the amount of air you can inhale and exhale without the muscles of the chest, back or core engaging to assist) for the remainder of the time.

Viparita Kaarani (Upside Down Pose) - 10-15min
• First establish a full tidal volume and continue for several minutes.
• With the exhalations, imagine the bottom of the lungs chasing away from the diaphragm and the diaphragm chasing away from the liver and stomach to create some separation between each of these three parts.
• Ujjayi 4: Increase the breath to full Ujjayi breathing. Use the inhalations to create room around the stomach and liver, the exhalations to separate lungs, diaphragm and organs. Continue for 3-5 minutes.
• Viloma 2 (Variation): At the bottom of each exhalation, create a brief pause where the breath is suspended, without hardening the breathing muscles. Use the pause to increase the separation of lungs, diaphragm and organs. Continue for 3-5 minutes.

Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja's Pose) - 3-5 minutes each side
• Lie to the side over a bolster.
• Ujjayi 4: Use the breath to increase the space around whichever organ is elevated. On the inhalation, expand the ribs from the spine to the front. On the exhalation allow the organ to slide up and expand into the space created.

Seated Breath Observation - 3-5 min
• Establish a full tidal volume.

Ujjayi 8 - 3-5 min
Increase the breath to full Ujjayi breathing. Use the inhalations to create room around the stomach and liver, the exhalations to separate lungs, diaphragm and organs.

Viloma 5 (Variation) - 3-5 min
At the bottom of each exhalation, create a brief pause where the breath is suspended, without hardening the breathing muscles. Use the pause to increase the separation of lungs, diaphragm and organs.

Shavasana (Corpse Pose) - 5-10 min
|

Advanced Back Bend Practice

Rope Shirshasana (Head Stand on ropes)
Alternate Pose: Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Shoulder Opener
• Right angle with elbows and forearms on the wall

Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior Pose 1) -- Variation
• Block between shin and wall
• Arms extended up the wall, leaning forward

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior Pose 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Pincha Mayurasana (Forearm Stand)

Shirshasana (Head Stand)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Sayanasana (Pose of Repose - Elbow stand)

Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana (Two Leg Inverted Staff POSe)
• feet on chair

Vrischikasana 1 (Scorpion Pose 1)
• feet on chair

Vrischikasana 1 (Scorpion Pose 1)
• drop-back to chair

Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand)
• drop-back

Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand)
• hop-up from chair

Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow Pose)

Viparita Chakrasana (Inverted Wheel Pose)
• walk-over from wall

Vrischikasana 2 (Scorpion Pose 2)
• drop-back/hop-up from stool

Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja's Pose)

Ardha Halasana (Half Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
|

Advanced Lotus Pose Practice

Rope Shirshasana (Head Stand on ropes)
Alternate Pose: Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana 2 (Extended Hand and Big Toe Pose 2)
• Leg to the side
• Foot on ledge

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana 1 (Extended Hand and Big Toe Pose 1)
• Leg to the front
• Foot on ledge

Parivrtta Hasta Padangusthasana (Revolved Hand and Big Toe Pose )
• Foot on ledge

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior Pose 1)

Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana (Half Bound Lotus Intense Stretch Pose)

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Pincha Mayurasana (Forearm Stand)

Shirshasana (Head Stand)
• Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)
• Parshva Baddha Konasana (Side Bound Angle Pose)
• Prasarita Padasana (Wide Spread Feet Pose)

Eka Pada Shirshasana (One Leg Behind the Head Pose) Preparation
• Come into Janu Shirshasana (Head of the Knee Pose) with bent leg heel on a block level with the opposite knee

Adho Mukha Ardha Padmasana (Downward Facing Half Lotus Pose)

Eka Padmasana Mula Bandasana (Single Leg Root Lock Pose)

Adho Mukha Padmasana (Downward Facing Lotus Pose)

Tolasana (Scale Pose)

Pindasana (Embryo Pose)

Matsyasana (Fish Pose)

Simhasana 2 (Lion Pose 2)

Adho Mukha Matsyasana (Downward Facing Fish Pose)

Uttana Padma Mayurasana (Intense Lotus Peacock Pose)
• Sacrum on block

Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)
• Parshva Sarvangasana (Side Shoulder Stand)
• Urdhva Padmasana (Upward Lotus Pose)
• Parshva Padmasana (Side Lotus Pose)
• Uttana Padma Mayurasana (Intense Lotus Peacock Pose)
• Pindasana (Embryo Pose)
• Parshva Pindasana (Side Embryo Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
|

Advanced Twist Practice

Rope Shirshasana (Head Stand on ropes)
Alternate Pose: Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana 2 (Extended Hand and Big Toe Pose 2)
• Leg to the side
• Foot on ledge

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana 1 (Extended Hand and Big Toe Pose 1)
• Leg to the front
• Foot on ledge

Parivrtta Hasta Padangusthasana (Revolved Hand and Big Toe Pose )
• Foot on ledge

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)

Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana (Revolved Half Moon Pose)

Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose)

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Shirshasana (Head Stand)
• Parshva Shirshasana (Revolved Head Stand)
• Parivrttaikapada Parshvakonasana (Single Leg Revolved Head Stand)

Marichyasana 3 (Marichi's Pose 3)

Marichyasana 6 (Marichi's Pose 6)
• Also known as Marichyasana F in the Ashtanga Vinyasa system

Eka Pada Shirshasana (One Leg Behind the Head Pose) Preparation
• Come into Janu Shirshasana (Head of the Knee Pose) with bent leg heel on a block level with the opposite knee

Eka Pada Shirshasana (One Leg Behind the Head Pose)
• Once this is mastered proceed to Marichyasana 8/H

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

Pashasana (Noose Pose)

Parshva Bakasana (Side Crow Pose)

Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
|

BKS Iyengar Personal Restorative Sequence

My friend Erin gave me this sequence, given by Mr. Iyengar in a class in Pune, India on 2/18/94. The holdings are wicked long, and not to be attempted unless you are very experienced, especially head stand. The sequence is great, though, ending in Tadasana. Modify the timings according to your capacity.

Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide Spread Feet Pose)
10 min

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose)
10 min

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
5 min

Shirshasana (Head Stand) 25 min, including:
• Parshva Shirshasana (Side Head Stand) 2 min
• Parivrtta Eka Pada Shirshasana (Revolved Single Leg Head Stand) 2 min
• Parshva Virasana Shirshasana (Legs in Hero Pose) 2 min

Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose)
10 min

Viparita Dandasana (Inverted Staff Pose over chair)
10 min

Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)
10 min

Halasana (Plough Pose)
10 min

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
5 min

Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide Spread Feet Pose)
5 min

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose)
5 min

Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
5 min

Total = 120 minutes
|

Basics for Everyone: Lift the Thighs

Importance of the theme


In any pose we want to begin by organizing the base. As the quadriceps are the largest muscle group in the legs, it makes sense to devote a fair amount of attention to them, especially at the beginning.

When the legs are straight in standing poses, such as Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose) or Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose), or in forward extensions such as Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) and Upavishtha Konasana (Seated Angle Pose), activating the quadriceps will stabilize and energize the legs. In such cases, engaging the quadriceps causes the end of the muscle, at the knee, to draw up towards the hip. Given that the idea in yoga is always to be creating space in the body, we do not generally want to be thinking in terms of words like “grip,” “contract” or “tighten.” Better to think of lengthening in the direction of action. In this case, think of lifting up out of the base towards the heavens, hence the idea of lifting the quadriceps.

Key Poses


Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)



Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)



Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)



Upavishtha Konasana (Seated Angle Pose)


|