A 28-Day Intermediate Course in Yoga: Day 1

This new cycle of practices is aimed squarely at the intermediate practitioner, though many of the sequences could be downscaled for the more basic practitioner. If you have been doing the first cycle, this is designed to increase stamina and to fold in more intermediate poses.

Note that the pranayamas may have to be broken out and practiced at a different time of the day if you are unable to rest for a good 7-10 minutes in Shavasana beforehand. Even so, if you find you are unable to practice the pranayamas without straining, you should go back to the simpler pranayama practices of the Basic/Intermediate course. There are different schools of thought with regards to the practice of pranayama, even in the Iyengar tradition. Some feel that there should be no active asana at all before a pranayama practice.

Here's the practice:

Surya Namaskar (2 sets/3-5 rounds)
·              2 sets/3-5 rounds each
·              One simple set, one more challenging
Vrkshasana (Tree Pose)
Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)
Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior Pose 2)
Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)
Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)
Parighasana (Gate Pose)
Bharadwajasana 2 (Bharadwaja’s Pose 2)
Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)
Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose)
Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)
Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand)
Halasana (Plough Pose)
Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
Viloma 1 (Interrupted Inhalation – Reclined)
·              Lying in Shavasana with the trunk supported
Viloma 4 (Interrupted Inhalation – Seated)
·              Sitting upright on padding with the back supported
Pratyahara (Sense Withdrawal)
·              Lying in Shavasana with a head wrap, focusing on releasing the sense organs
Dharana (Meditation)
·              Sitting upright on padding with the back supported
·              Simple focus: counting breaths, mantra repetition, etc.

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