Intermediate Group Class

single leg king pigeon pose II
In this class the focus stays with the themes of the past few weeks:

• Strengthening and grounding the lesser trochanters and, wherever possible, moving them away from the midline of the body
• Moving the face of the sacrum (the inner surface of the bone that faces the organs) away from the lesser trochanters into the glutes
• Softening and widening the glutes (gluteus maximus) and the lats (latissimus dorsi)
• Lengthening the Ilia (pelvic bones) from top to bottom (rim to sitting bone)

The idea of softening and widening the latissimus and gluteals becomes especially important here. The muscles required to initiate and sustain the backbends lie deeper, closer to the bones than these two large, more superficial muscle groups. Gripping and hardening the lats and glutes will prevent the deeper muscles from functioning and the bones from moving with freedom.

The Sequence

Shoulder stretch at the wall
• fold forward at the hips and either rest the elbows on a ledge or place the forearms against a wall. Hold the position for a couple of minutes.

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose)
• Have a block between the feet and another between the inner thighs.
• Press the feet into the block and the inner thighs away from the block to strengthen the lesser trochanters and widen the glutes.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
• Block between the feet and the inner thighs.
• Press the feet into the block and the inner thighs away from the block.

Parivrtta Parshvakonasana (Revolved Side Angle Pose) simple variation with hand inside foot

Reclined Chest and Back Opener
• Lie back with a mat roll under the head and along the spine
• Have the arms alongside the head as for Vrkshasana (Tree Pose)
• Belt the upper arms to hug the arm bones close to the head
• Widen the lats and stretch evenly through the armpits

Virabhadrasasana 1 (Warrior Pose 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Pincha Mayurasana (Forearm Stand)

Lunge Sequence:
• Back knee down, hands on the floor
• Back knee down, hands on blocks under the shoulders
• Back knee down, front foot on one block, one hand on second block under shoulder so that trunk is lifted
• Back knee down, block under back foot, toes curled under, one hand on second block under shoulder so that trunk is lifted

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

Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
• Take hold of the shins closer to knees

Parivrtta Parshvakonasana (Revolved Side Angle Pose)

Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana 2

Marichyasana 6 (Marichi’s Pose 6)

Padangustha Dhanurasana (Big Toe Bow Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose)

Karnipadasana (Pressure On The Ear Pose) with shins against the wall

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)

Related Articles
Practice Lab 1/19/09
Intermediate Group Class 1/15/09
Intermediate Group Class 1/8/09
Practice Lab 1/12/09

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