Practice Lab: Working with an Advanced Practice from "Light on Yoga", Part 10 [Light on Yoga]

[Part 1 of this series, in which we pick apart an advanced sequence from “Light on Yoga”, can be found here.]

The next challenge that we must tackle in our sequence is a collection of three deep outward rotations of the thigh in the hip socket: Yogadandasana (Yoga Staff Pose), Mulabandhasana (Root Lock Pose) and Kandasana (Knot Pose). Each of these poses are quite tricky, as they require not only open hip joints, but also mobile knees, lower legs, ankles and toes.

The Sequence:

Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose) with a blanket behind the knees

Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose) with the toes turned under

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) with the shins together

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) with the heels apart

Upavishtha Garudasana (Seated Eagle Pose)
• Sitting on the floor, cross the right leg over the left as for Garudasana (Eagle Pose).
• Turn to your left, bringing the right knee across the body and onto the floor. Turn to face the floor, supporting yourself on your elbows and walk the trunk around to face the wall behind you. Hold this pose for half a minute.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Vrkshasana (Tree Pose)

Utkatasana (Furious Pose)

Garudasana (Eagle Pose)

Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana (Half Bound Lotus Intense Stretch Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Shirshasana Cycle:
Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)
Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) in Head Stand
Upavishtha Konasana (Seated Angle Pose) in Head Stand
Eka Pada Sarvangasana (Single Leg Head Stand)
Parshvaikapada Sarvangasana (Single Leg to the Side Head Stand)

Sarvangasana Cycle:
Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)
Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) in Shoulder Stand
Upavishtha Konasana (Seated Angle Pose) in Shoulder Stand
Supta Konasana (Reclined Angle Pose)
Halasana (Plough Pose)
Urdhva Padmasana (Upward Lotus Pose) in Shoulder Stand
Pindasana (Embryo Pose) in Shoulder Stand

Janu Shirshasana (Head of the Knee Pose)

Adho Mukha Sukhasana (Downward Facing Comfortable Pose)

Ankle-to-Knee Cycle:
[Do each of the following four hip openers all on one crossing and then all on the other.]

Ankle to Knee Pose
Revolved Ankle to Knee Pose
• Twist to the side of the top foot.
Side Ankle to Knee Pose
• Extended forward over the side of the top foot.
Ankle to Knee Pose

Bharadwajasana 2 (Bharadwaja’s Pose 2)

Ardha Baddha Padma Pashchimottanasana (Half Bound Lotus Intense West Stretch Pose)

Eka Pada Mulabandhasana (Single Leg Root Lock Pose)
• This is also known as Janu Shirshasana C in the Ashtanga Vinyasa Primary Series.

Yogadandasana (Yoga Staff Pose)

Baddha Konasana Cycle:
Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) at the wall
• Come into the pose sitting up on one or two folded blankets with the back against the wall.
• Hold for 1 to 2 minutes.
Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) at the wall with a block between the feet
• From the above position, place a block between the feet.
• Hold for 1 to 2 minutes.
Kandasana (Knot Pose) at the wall with the feet on a block
• From the above position, place the block under the feet.
• Hold for 1 to 2 minutes.
Mulabandhasana (Root Lock Pose) at the wall
• Take the block away and turn the toes under and the heels up.
• Place a wedge between the heels and the pubic bone and use it to gently lever the heels away from the body.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Utkatasana (Furious Pose) with the back against the wall and a block between the thighs
• Make sure to keep the knees directly over the ankles.
• This will help to strengthen and stabilize the knee joint. (See Sandy Blaine’s excellent “Yoga for Healthy Knees.”)
• Hold for 30 to 60 seconds.

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose) with a roll under the bottom of the thighs
• Have the roll under the thigh bones just above the knees and press down into it, activating the lower thigh muscles.
• This is another excellent knee stabilizer.

Shavasana (Corpse Pose) with the legs elevated, either on a chair or a bolster


Next time we’ll look at the final two sections of our practice, the deep twists and forward bends.


Related Posts:

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


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