Practice Lab: Working with an Advanced Practice from "Light on Yoga", Part 8 [Light on Yoga]

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

Our advanced sequence includes a series of five deep baby-backbends that include either an extreme flexion of the shoulder joint, an extreme extension of the hip joint or both:
To fully prepare the body for these poses, the quadriceps must be lengthened, the abdomen and chest opened in addition to properly organizing and opening up the hips and shoulders.

The Sequence:

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior Pose 2)

Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior Pose 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Pincha Mayurasana (Forearm Stand)

Eka Pada Bakasana (Single Leg Frog Pose)

Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose)

Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
• Cross the legs in any accessible variation: Sukhasana (Comfortable Pose), Ardha Padmasana (Half Lotus Pose), Padmasana (Lotus Pose).
• Do the pose with over a bolster under the back crosswise to create a back bend. Support the head and arms as necessary.
• Hold for 2 to 3 minutes each crossing of the legs.

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
• Have a bolster under the abdomen/lower ribs to support and lift the belly.

Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
• Have a bolster under the abdomen/lower ribs to support and lift the belly.

Lunge Series:
Lunge with the hands on the floor and the back knee up
Lung with the hands on the floor and the back knee down
Lunge with the hands on high blocks and the back knee down
Lunge with the hands on high blocks and the front foot on a low block
Lunge with the hands on high blocks and the back toes on a low block

Kapotasana (Pigeon Pose) over a chair

Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana 1 (Single Leg King Pigeon Pose 1)
• Use a belt to catch the foot if necessary.

Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana 2 (Single Leg King Pigeon Pose 2)
• Use a belt to catch the foot if necessary.

Padangustha Dhanurasana (Big Toe Bow Pose)
• Use a belt to catch the feet if necessary.

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
• Do the pose with the chest against the wall.

Rajakapotasana (King Pigeon Pose)
• If possible, from the above position, bend the legs and reach back to grab the ankles, thighs or knees.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Adho Mukha Sukhasana (Downward Facing Comfortable Pose)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) legs only into a forward bend

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose) with a blanket roll under the abdomen

Adho Mukha Shavasana (Downward Facing Corpse Pose) over a bolster

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


Next time we’ll look at deep groin and hamstring openers like Hanumanasana (Hanuman’s Pose) and Samakonasana (Same Angle Pose).


Related Posts:

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


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