Practice Lab

side embryo in shoulder stand
Iyengar nerds always tend to have tons of pieces of paper about the place with sequences scribbled on them. Sequences from classes they’ve taken, or ones from classes taught by other teachers that get passed around. Kristen and I have had an idea about trying to figure out a good sequence to teach/learn dropping back from Tadasana (Mountain Pose) into Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow Pose), but neither of us have quite been ready for it yet, so once again (third week in a row!) we found ourselves looking around for something else to practice. We came across a practice on a handout with a few different sequences leading into Padmasana (Lotus Pose) from different sources. We settled on a practice that I think was given by Geeta Iyengar and recorded by teacher Kathy Curran.

We modified it a bit in a couple of places, and I’ve never been able to do Padmasana in Head Stand, so I’ve included my modifications there. It turned out to be a really great practice that did wonders for the hips and ankles as well.

The Practice

Upavishtha Konasana (Seated Angle Pose)
• Seated upright only.

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)
• Leg supported by a bolster.

Upavishtha Konasana (Seated Angle Pose)
• Full pose with forward bend.

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)
• Rolling all the way to the side so that the leg is resting on the floor.

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana 1 (Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose 1)
• Foot up on a rope hook.

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana 2 (Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose 2)
• Foot up on a rope hook.

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana 1 (Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose 1)
• Full pose.

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana 2 (Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose 2)
• Full pose.

Utthita Bhekasana (Extended Frog Pose) at wall
• Stand with the back to the wall, one leg bent and tucked in behind you with the top of the foot against the wall.
• My quads are really tight, so I did a varition facing into the wall first, pressing the foot of the bent leg towards the hip.

Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana (Half Bound Lotus INtense Stretch pose) at wall
• Instead of going all the way forward into the full pose, stand upright with the back against the wall.
• Place one foot on the top of the opposite thigh and length.
• Lengthen the thigh down, the body up.

Eka Pada Bhekasana (Single Leg Frog Pose)

Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose)

Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose)
• Sit with the toes together and the heels rolling out, the buttocks resting on the soles of the feet.

Virasana/Parvatasana (Hero Pose/Mountain Pose)

Siddhasana (Accomplished Pose)

Dandasana into Janu Shirshasana (Staff Pose into Head of the Knee Pose)

Ardha Padmasana (Half Lotus Pose)

Padmasana (Lotus Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose)

Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)
Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) in head stand
Upavishtha Konasana (Seated Angle Pose) in head stand
Urdhva Padmasana (Upward Lotus Pose) or Baddha Konasana
Parshva Padmasana (Side Lotus Pose) or Parshva Baddha Konasana (Side Bound Angle Pose)
Pindasana (Embryo Pose) either in Padmasana or Baddha Konasana

Matsyasana (Fish Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)
Urdhva Padmasana (Upward Lotus Pose)
Pindasana (Embryo Pose)
Parshva Pindasana (Side Embryo Pose) with bolsters on either side of the head on which to rest the knees.

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)

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