Practice Lab: Working with an Advanced Practice from "Light on Yoga", Part 1 [Light on Yoga]

In the back of “Light on Yoga” by B. K. S. Iyengar is a series of progressive courses that start from the most basic and go to the most advanced. The courses are arranged in practices that the yogin is supposed to repeat over a number of weeks, adjusting the sequence according to time and capacity. Sometimes I like to be completely brainless and just follow a program without thought and let the sequence tell me what it requires, sometimes I like to follow my own path and investigate a particular action or pose as inspiration takes me. And sometimes I like to walk a middle path. I was looking through the courses for inspiration for what to teach this week and I found a rather fun sequence which features a bunch of stuff that is well within my capacity and a bunch of stuff that is massively beyond my capabilities.

As I was editing this down into something I could teach my intermediate groups, I thought it might be fun to stick with this practice for a while and experiment with breaking it up and modifying it to unpack its secrets. In the book he calls for doing this for 25 weeks (week 201 to 225 of the complete 300 week epic). I doubt very much that I’ll stick with it for that long.

The Sequence (from p.483 of the Schocken edition)

Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Urdhva Kukkutasana (Upward Cockerel Pose)

Viparita Chakrasana (Inverted Wheel Pose)

Parshva Kukkutasana (Side Cockerel Pose)

Viparita Chakrasana (Inverted Wheel Pose)

Bakasana (Crow Pose)

Viparita Chakrasana (Inverted Wheel Pose)

Parshva Bakasana ( Side Crow Pose)

Viparita Chakrasana (Inverted Wheel Pose)

Dwi Pada Koundinyasana (Two Leg Koundinya’s Pose)

Viparita Chakrasana (Inverted Wheel Pose)

Eka Pada Koundinyasana 1 (Single Leg Koundinya’s Pose 1)

Viparita Chakrasana (Inverted Wheel Pose)

Eka Pada Koundinyasana 2 (Single Leg Koundinya’s Pose 2)

Viparita Chakrasana (Inverted Wheel Pose)

Eka Pada Bakasana 1 (Single Leg Crow Pose 1)

Viparita Chakrasana (Inverted Wheel Pose)

Eka Pada Bakasana 2 (Single Leg Crow Pose 2)

Viparita Chakrasana (Inverted Wheel Pose)

Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana (Two Leg Inverted Staff Pose)

Mandalasana (Mandala Pose)

Eka Pada Viparita Dandasana 1 (Single Leg Inverted Staff Pose 1)

Eka Pada Viparita Dandasana 2 (Single Leg Inverted Staff Pose 2)

Chakrabandhasana (Wheel Lock Pose)

Kapotasana (Pigeon Pose)

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

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

Padangustha Dhanurasana (Big Toe Bow Pose)

Bhujangasana 2 (Cobra Pose 2)

Rajakapotasana (King Pigeon Pose)

Hanumanasana (Hanuman’s Pose)

Samakonasana (Straight Angle Pose)

Supta Trivikramasana (Reclined Three Strides Pose)

Yogadandasana (Yoga Staff Pose)

Mulabandhasana (Root Lock Pose)

Kandasana (Knot Pose)

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

Pashasana (Noose Pose)

Paripurna Matsyendrasana (Full Lord of the Fishes Pose)

Yoganidrasana (Yoga Sleep Pose)

Dwi Pada Shirshasana (Two Legs Behind the Head Pose)

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


Related Posts:

Practice Lab: Working with an Advanced Practice from "Light on Yoga,” Round-Up


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