Basic Practice: Legs, Lower Back and Core

In our last practice, we dealt with the front of the body, here we are going to focus
buttocks
on the back of the body. In particular, we need to think about the buttocks as we work towards some baby backbends.

Gluteus maximus, the largest, most superficial muscle of the buttock area, has two effects on the thighs and back when contracted. When the lower fibers contract, the thigh bones are turned out in the hip sockets and pulled away from each other, causing the back body to become narrowed. This action will be detrimental in poses where the hip joint is opening up, or extending, causing the lower back to crunch. Contraction of the upper fibers, however, is what makes the hip joint extend, so it is not helpful to have the buttocks completely soft.

When performing these poses, consider the following actions:
  • Strengthen and lengthen the inner thighs, the adductor muscles.
  • Soften the lower buttocks.
  • Widen and lengthen the upper buttocks down the length of the body, away from the head.
  • Lengthen the sides of the waist, drawing the abdomen up towards the head.
  • Soften and widen the back of the neck.


The Sequence:

Opening Vinyasa:
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Child’s Pose
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose)
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Adho Mukha Vajrasana (Downward Facing Thunderbolt Pose)
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Lunge With the back leg up
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Child’s Pose

Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Parighasana (Gate Pose)

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

Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior Pose 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Shalabhasana (Locust Pose) with a foam block between the feet

Shalabhasana 2 (Locust Pose 2) with a foam block between the feet

Sphinx Pose

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

Eka Pada Bhekasana (Single Leg Frog Pose)

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

Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
• Do this twice.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

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

Ardha Halasana (Half Plough Pose)

Child’s Pose over a bolster

Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja’s Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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