Year of Yoga: Week 48

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The practices are aimed at the basic level, suitable for anyone taking class on a regular basis. Regardless of your level, remember not to be reckless in your practice. Please consult your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine and do not attempt poses that you have not been taught in class by a competent instructor. The practices also include restorative work for a fully balanced expression of the yogic path.

The week’s sequences will be posted in advance of each week, giving you a chance to look them over and rearrange them according to your schedule. Wednesday’s practice will be a softer, restorative sequence. You should feel free to rearrange the order of the days, and even the practices themselves, according to your energy levels and your schedule. Take these sequences as suggestions and modify them as you will.

November 26


Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Child’s Pose

Urdhva Baddhanguliyasana (Upward Bound Fingers Pose) in Virasana (Hero Pose)

Pashchima Baddha Hastasana (Elbows Clasped Behind the Back) in Virasana (Hero Pose)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) arms in Virasana (Hero Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Adho Mukha Sukhasana (Downward Facing Comfortable Pose)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) legs only into forward bend

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Parighasana (Gate Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


November 27


Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Child’s Pose

Urdhva Baddhanguliyasana (Upward Bound Fingers Pose) in Virasana (Hero Pose)

Pashchima Baddha Hastasana (Elbows Clasped Behind the Back) in Virasana (Hero Pose)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) arms in Virasana (Hero Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Adho Mukha Sukhasana (Downward Facing Comfortable Pose)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) legs only into forward bend

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior Pose 1)

Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior Pose 2)

Virabhadrasana 3 (Warrior Pose 3)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


November 28


Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Child’s Pose

Urdhva Baddhanguliyasana (Upward Bound Fingers Pose) in Virasana (Hero Pose)

Pashchima Baddha Hastasana (Elbows Clasped Behind the Back) in Virasana (Hero Pose)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) arms in Virasana (Hero Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Adho Mukha Sukhasana (Downward Facing Comfortable Pose)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) legs only into forward bend

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)

Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Side Angle Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


November 29


Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Child’s Pose

Urdhva Baddhanguliyasana (Upward Bound Fingers Pose) in Virasana (Hero Pose)

Pashchima Baddha Hastasana (Elbows Clasped Behind the Back) in Virasana (Hero Pose)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) arms in Virasana (Hero Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Adho Mukha Sukhasana (Downward Facing Comfortable Pose)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) legs only into forward bend

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Janu Shirshasana (Head of the Knee Pose)

Triang Mukhaikapada Pashchimottanasana (Three Limbs facing Single Leg Intense West Stretch Pose)

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


November 30


Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Child’s Pose

Urdhva Baddhanguliyasana (Upward Bound Fingers Pose) in Virasana (Hero Pose)

Pashchima Baddha Hastasana (Elbows Clasped Behind the Back) in Virasana (Hero Pose)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) arms in Virasana (Hero Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Adho Mukha Sukhasana (Downward Facing Comfortable Pose)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) legs only into forward bend

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Marichyasana 3 (Marichi’s Pose 3)

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

Pashasana (Noose Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


December 1


Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Child’s Pose

Urdhva Baddhanguliyasana (Upward Bound Fingers Pose) in Virasana (Hero Pose)

Pashchima Baddha Hastasana (Elbows Clasped Behind the Back) in Virasana (Hero Pose)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) arms in Virasana (Hero Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Adho Mukha Sukhasana (Downward Facing Comfortable Pose)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) legs only into forward bend

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)

Eka Pada Bakasana (Single Leg Frog Pose)

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

Ushtrasana (Camel Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


December 2


Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Child’s Pose over a bolster

Side Stretch over a bolster

Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja’s Pose) over a bolster

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) with the head supported on blocks

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) over a bolster

Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose)

Ujjayi 1 (Victorious Breath 1--simple breath awareness) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)

Ujjayi 2 (Victorious Breath 2--gently extended exhalations) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)

Viloma 2 (Interrupted Breath 2--a gentle pause at the end of each exhalation) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


Related Articles

A Year of Intermediate Yoga: Week 48


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Basic Practice: Legs, Lower Back and Core

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In our last practice, we dealt with the front of the body, here we are going to focus
buttocks
on the back of the body. In particular, we need to think about the buttocks as we work towards some baby backbends.

Gluteus maximus, the largest, most superficial muscle of the buttock area, has two effects on the thighs and back when contracted. When the lower fibers contract, the thigh bones are turned out in the hip sockets and pulled away from each other, causing the back body to become narrowed. This action will be detrimental in poses where the hip joint is opening up, or extending, causing the lower back to crunch. Contraction of the upper fibers, however, is what makes the hip joint extend, so it is not helpful to have the buttocks completely soft.

When performing these poses, consider the following actions:
  • Strengthen and lengthen the inner thighs, the adductor muscles.
  • Soften the lower buttocks.
  • Widen and lengthen the upper buttocks down the length of the body, away from the head.
  • Lengthen the sides of the waist, drawing the abdomen up towards the head.
  • Soften and widen the back of the neck.


The Sequence:

Opening Vinyasa:
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Child’s Pose
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose)
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Adho Mukha Vajrasana (Downward Facing Thunderbolt Pose)
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Lunge With the back leg up
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Child’s Pose

Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Parighasana (Gate Pose)

Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior Pose 1) with the hands on the hips

Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior Pose 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Shalabhasana (Locust Pose) with a foam block between the feet

Shalabhasana 2 (Locust Pose 2) with a foam block between the feet

Sphinx Pose

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

Eka Pada Bhekasana (Single Leg Frog Pose)

Eka Pada Dhanurasana
• From Sphinx Pose, bring one forearm across the body, reach back and do bow pose on one side, then switch.

Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
• Do this twice.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

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

Ardha Halasana (Half Plough Pose)

Child’s Pose over a bolster

Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja’s Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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

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Here is a breakdown with links to each section of our series in which we pick apart an advanced sequence from “Light on Yoga”:

  1. The Full Practice
  2. Breaking Down the Practice and a Basic Expression of the Scheme
  3. An Outline of a Working Methodology and Breaking Down the Vishamanyasa Sequence
  4. Breaking Down the Arm Balance Vishamanyasa and Twists
  5. Breaking Down the Arm Balance Vishamanyasa and the Groin/Hamstring Openers
  6. Breaking Down the Inverted Back Bends
  7. Breaking Down Mandalasana (Mandala Pose)
  8. Breaking Down the Advanced Baby Back Bends
  9. Breaking Down the Combination Hip Flexion/Extension Poses
  10. Breaking Down the Deep Outward Hip Rotation Poses
  11. Breaking Down the Twists and the Extreme Hip Flexion Poses
  12. Edited Sequence 1: Vishamanyasa and Groin and Hamstring Openers
  13. Edited Sequence 2: Vishamanyasa, Twists and Deep Outward Hip Rotation
  14. Edited Sequence 3: Inverted Back Bends
  15. Edited Sequence 4: Advanced Baby Back Bends


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Practice Lab: Working with an Advanced Practice from "Light on Yoga", Part 15 [Light on Yoga]

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

In this, the final practice edited for time, and the final practice of the series, we will look at a sequence that focuses on the advanced baby backbends, poses such as Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana (Single Leg King Pigeon Pose).

The Sequence:

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose)

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Pincha Mayurasana (Forearm Stand)

Viparita Dandasana (Inverted Staff Pose) over a chair

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)

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

Pashasana (Noose Pose)

Paripurna Matsyendrasana (Full Lord of the Fishes 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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Intermediate Practice: The Pillars of the Armpit

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This practice marks the beginning of a multi-week series focusing on upper body strength and the use of the armpit. One can think of the armpit as being bounded by two pillars of strength, one coming from the front body via pectoralis major, one from the back via latissimus dorsi. These muscles both attach to the upper arm deep in the armpit at the same place on the humerus. When front and back are in balance, the sides of the body are then free to deepen front to back/back to front and become more supportive.

As you go through the poses, consider the following actions:
  • Soften and widen the deltoids, allowing them to wrap around the shoulder joints.
  • Soften and hollow out the armpits, allowing them to dome into the shoulder joint.
  • When the arms are weight-bearing, balance the weight evenly between each of the four armpit pillars: two on the left, two on the right. Some of us will sit more in the outer/back armpit, some of us will be more in the inner/front. Some people might even have one tendency in one shoulder and the opposite in the other.
  • Stretch evenly through both armpit pillars.

Very often the top of the chest/inner armpit area gets very bunched up and undifferentiated. To create more freedom in the chest and shoulder by considering the following sequence of actions:
  • Bring weight into the outer armpit pillar to free up the inner armpit/top chest.
  • Hollow out the armpit itself and excavate out space inside the inner armpit, separating it away from the underlying ribs.
  • Maintaining that space and separation, bring weight back into the inner armpit pillar, balancing out front and back.
  • Cycle through these action several times to help free and open the chest.

In some poses, such as Salamba Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand) and Chatushpadasana (Four Footed Pose) you will find that the weight falls into the back of the armpit rather than the front. In that case, begin the above sequence by bringing weight into the front/inner armpit first.

I’ve found that some people with very open chests and shoulders can over-work this and push further into their tendency. If you know yourself to be such a person, be vigilant not to overdo these actions. Focus on always keeping the weight balanced between front and aback, inner and outer.

The Sequence:

Opening Wall Stretches:
• Side stretch at wall: Lean the right side of the body into the wall with the right arm overhead. Bend the right elbow, take hold of it with the left hand and draw the arm up and over the top of the head. Hold for a minute or two and repeat on the second side.
• Chest opener: Stand with the right hand on the wall at shoulder height. Keeping the shoulder blade down the back, spread the fingers and palms and straighten the elbow. Hold this position for several seconds. Without lifting the shoulder blade, turn the chest away from the wall. Hold this for several seconds. Release and repeat on the second side.
• Shoulder Stretch at wall: Place the forearms and elbows on the wall with the palms together. Make a right angle at the hips with the feet under the pelvis hip width apart. Draw the inner thighs back and reach the arms forward.

Opening Vinyasa:
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose)
Lunge with the back knee up
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose)
Parivrtta Parshvakonasana (Revolved Side Angle Pose) simple variation: one hand down without crossing the arm over the front leg
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose)
Vashisthasana (Vashistha’s Pose)
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose)
Chaturanga Dandasana (Four Limbed Staff Pose)
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose)
Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Practice the pose once with the hands turned out.
• Practice the pose again with the hands on the regular position.

Pincha Mayurasana (Forearm Stand)

Salamba Shirshasana 2 (Head Stand 2)

Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose)

Purvottanasana (Intense East Stretch Pose) table top variation with the hands on blocks

Chatushpadasana (Four Footed Pose)

Sarvangasana Cycle:
Salamba Sarvangasana 2 (Shoulder Stand 2) variation
• Belt the wrists at shoulder width, press out into the belt and reach through the arms. Come up into the pose grounding down through the upper arms with a minimum of momentum.
Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)
Salamba Sarvangasana 2 (Shoulder Stand 2)
Niralamba Sarvangasana 1 (Unsupported Shoulder Stand 1)
Niralamba Sarvangasana 2 (Unsupported Shoulder Stand 2)

Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose)

Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

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

Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow Pose) preparation
• Lift up and place the head crown of the head on the floor. Hold this position.
• Repeat 2 or 3 times.

Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow Pose)
• Repeat 3 to 5 times.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) legs only into forward bend

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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Year of Yoga: Week 47

yoy2009banner

The practices are aimed at the basic level, suitable for anyone taking class on a regular basis. Regardless of your level, remember not to be reckless in your practice. Please consult your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine and do not attempt poses that you have not been taught in class by a competent instructor. The practices also include restorative work for a fully balanced expression of the yogic path.

The week’s sequences will be posted in advance of each week, giving you a chance to look them over and rearrange them according to your schedule. Wednesday’s practice will be a softer, restorative sequence. You should feel free to rearrange the order of the days, and even the practices themselves, according to your energy levels and your schedule. Take these sequences as suggestions and modify them as you will.

November 19


Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose)

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)

Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior Pose 1)

Virabhadrasana 3 (Warrior Pose 3)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose)

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


November 20


Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Prasarita Padottanasana 1 (Wide Spread Feet Pose 1) with the head supported as necessary
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (3-5 min)
Intermediate Alternative: Supta Virasana (Reclined hero Pose) (3-5 min)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Upavishtha Konasana (Seated Angle Pose)

Janu Shirshasana (Head of the Knee Pose)

Triang Mukhaikapada Pashchimottanasana (Three Limbs Facing Intense West Stretch Pose)

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)

Shalabhasana (Locust Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


November 21


Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (3-5 min)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)

Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose)

Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose)

Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


November 22


Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Marichyasana 1 (Marichi’s Pose 1) twist only

Marichyasana 3 (Marichi’s Pose 3)

Marichyasana 6 (Marichi’s Pose 6)

Ardha Matsyendrasana 1 (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose)

Parivrtta Parshvakonasana (Revolved Side Angle Pose)

Pashasana (Noose Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


November 23


Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (3-5 min)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Eka Pada Bhekasana (Single Leg Frog Pose)

Shalabhasana (Locust Pose)

Eka Pada Bhekasana (Single Leg Frog Pose)

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

Eka Pada Bhekasana (Single Leg Frog Pose)

Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose)

Eka Pada Bhekasana (Single Leg Frog Pose)

Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

Eka Pada Bhekasana (Single Leg Frog Pose)

Ushtrasana (Camel Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja’s Pose) over a bolster

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


November 24


Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) over a bolster

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose)

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) with a bolster across the back

Parvatasana in Virasana (Mountain Pose in Hero Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose)

Matsyasana (Fish Pose) with a bolster across the back

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Shirshasana (Head Stand) prep only
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Pashchima Namaskarasana in Virasana (Reverse Prayer Pose in Hero Pose)

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) with a bolster across the back
Intermediate Alternative: Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose) with a bolster across the back

Bharadwajasana 1 (Bharadwaja’s Pose 1)

Bharadwajasana 2 (Bharadwaja’s Pose 2)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


November 25


Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Child’s Pose over a bolster

Side Stretch over a bolster

Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja’s Pose) over a bolster

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) with the head supported on blocks

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) over a bolster

Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose)

Ujjayi 1 (Victorious Breath 1--simple breath awareness) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)

Ujjayi 2 (Victorious Breath 2--gently extended exhalations) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)

Viloma 2 (Interrupted Breath 2--a gentle pause at the end of each exhalation) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


Related Articles

A Year of Intermediate Yoga: Week 47


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Basic Practice: Legs, Abdomen and Core

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In each of these poses, think of the following three actions:
  • Strengthen and lengthen the inner thighs.
  • Widen the hip creases and lower abdomen.
  • Strengthen the sides of the waist and either stretch them towards the head (most of the poses), into the floor (Ardha Navasana/Half Boat Pose) or towards the ceiling (Setu Bandha/Bridge Pose and the Sarvangasana variations).

The Sequence:

Opening Vinyasa:
[Hold each pose for several breaths.]

Child’s Pose
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Child’s Pose
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) walking the hands back to the feet
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Plank Pose
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) stepping or hopping the feet forward between the hands
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Plank Pose
Plank Pose with the toes pointed
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) stepping or hopping the feet forward between the hands
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Plank Pose
Plank Pose with the toes pointed
Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose)
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) stepping or hopping the feet forward between the hands
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Plank Pose
Plank Pose with the toes pointed
Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose)
Plank Pose with the toes pointed
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) stepping or hopping the feet forward between the hands
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Child’s Pose

Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

Vrkshasana (Tree Pose)

Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior Pose 2)

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)

Virabhadrasana 3 (Warrior Pose 3) variation
• Loop a shoulder-width belt around the wrists behind the back.
• Press out into the belt to strengthen the arms and stretch the sides of the torso from the hips to the head.
• Go into the pose with the arms behind the back in this way.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)

Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose) Cycle:
[Hold each stage for a few breaths.]

Dandasana (Staff Pose) with a foam block between the feet
Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose) prep with the legs bent, feet off the ground and the hands on the floor
Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose) prep with the legs bent, holding onto the thighs
Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose) prep with the legs bent and the arms extended forward
Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose) Cycle:
[In this cycle, keep the lower back on the floor. Hold each stage for a few breaths.]

Resting Pose with the feet flat, the knees up and the hands on the abdomen
Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose) prep with the feet flat and the head, chest and shoulder blades curled up
Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose) variation with one foot flat and the other leg lifted, both sides
Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose) variation with both legs lifted
Resting Pose with the feet flat, the knees up and the hands on the abdomen

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)
• Feet up on blocks, holding on to the ankles directly, or with a belt.

Sarvangasana Cycle with a chair:
Halasana (Plough Pose) with the feet on the chair
Eka Pada Sarvangasana (Single Leg Shoulder Stand) with one foot on the chair, both sides
Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)
Halasana (Plough Pose) with the feet on the chair

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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Practice Lab: Working with an Advanced Practice from "Light on Yoga", Part 14 [Light on Yoga]

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

In this third of our sequences edited for time, we will focus on the inverted backbends, such as Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana (Two Leg Inverted Staff Pose).

The Sequence:

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose)

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow Pose)
• 2 to 3 repetitions.

Viparita Chakrasana (Inverted Wheel Pose)
• 3 to 5 repetitions.

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)
• If you are unable to grab your ankles in this pose, simple work on bringing your hands and feet closer to each other.

Kapotasana (Pigeon Pose)

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

Pashasana (Noose Pose)

Paripurna Matsyendrasana (Full Lord of the Fishes Pose)

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)

Next time, our practice will feature the advanced baby back bends.


Related Posts:

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


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Intermediate Practice: Moving From the First Four Ribs

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In this practice consider the following actions:
  • Expand the first four ribs evenly, softening and widening the upper back and the top chest evenly.
  • Allow the shoulder blades and collarbones to be supported by the first four ribs, but also allow them to move with the arms.

The Sequence:

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
• Take a few minutes to allow the upper body, head, neck, shoulders and arms to release.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) with the head supported

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Pashchima Baddha Hastasana (Reverse Bound Hands Pose) in Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
• Clasp the elbows behind the back and hold. Do both crossings.

Chaturanga Block Sequence:
[Cycle through these poses, resting the chest on a block in Chaturanga Dandasana (Four Limbed Staff Pose) and pushing it forward to come up into Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose).]

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Plank Pose
Chaturanga Dandasana (Four Limbed Staff Pose)
Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose)
• Cycle through these 5 to 8 times.

Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior Pose 2)

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)

Parighasana (Gate Pose)

Vashisthasana (Vashistha’s Pose)

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Pincha Mayurasana (Forearm Stand)

Salamba Shirshasana 2 (Head Stand 2)

Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Chatushpadasana (Four Footed pose)

Sarvangasana Cycle:
Salamba Sarvangasana 2 (Shoulder Stand 2) variation with the arms shoulder width and the wrists belted
Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)
Salamba Sarvangasana 2 (Shoulder Stand 2)
Niralamba Sarvangasana 1 (Unsupported Shoulder Stand 1)
Niralamba Sarvangasana 2 (Unsupported Shoulder Stand 2)
Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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Intermediate Practice: Freeing the Neck and the First Four Ribs in Pranayama

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In this practice, focus on freeing up the movement of the first four ribs. With each exhalation, allow them to drape down the body, retracting inwards away from the skin. With each inhalation, allow them to lift and open. Encourage this movement to happen slowly and evenly around their circumference.

The Sequence:

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) on ropes with the head supported

Rope Shirshasana (Head Stand)

Rope Child’s Pose
• Hang forward over the rope set up with the legs tucked in underneath you, against the wall as if in Child’s Pose.

Side Stretch over a bolster

Viparita Dandasana (Inverted Staff Pose) over a chair

Shavasana (Corpse Pose) with a roll under the neck for traction

Adho Mukha Shavasana (Downward Facing Corpse Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose) with a sandbag on the the sternum

Ujjayi Pranayama 4 (Victorious Breath 4) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
• Ujjayi 4 is an easy, full inhalation and exhalation performed in a reclined position.
• 5 minutes with a belt loosely tied around the waist at the level of the navel, softening and evening out the movement of the abdominal wall into and out of the belt.
• 5 minutes with the belt loosely around the lower ribs/diaphragm, softening and evening out the movement of the rib cage into and out of the belt.
• 5 minutes with the belt loosely around the upper ribs/top of the chest, softening and evening out the movement of the rib cage into and out of the belt.

Viloma Pranayama 1 (Interrupted Breath) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
• Viloma 1 is a full inhalation, divided into three increments by a brief pause before a long, easy exhalation.
• 5 minutes, filling first the lower abdomen, then the upper abdomen and finally the rib cage.

Ujjayi Pranayama 8 (Victorious Breath 4) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
• Ujjayi 4 is an easy, full inhalation and exhalation performed in a seated position.
• Place a tennis ball, or a rolled up wash cloth, under each armpit to support the arms and rease the neck and shoulders.

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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Basic Practice: Lengthening the Sides and Across the Diagonal of the Torso

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In this sequence, focus on lengthening both sides of the torso to separate the rib cage from the pelvis, providing the length and freedom in the spine necessary to move freely in twists. Make sure to keep both sides of the body parallel, not crunching one side and over-stretching the other, causing the sine to flex laterally.

In all of the poses, but especially in the twists, focus on lengthening across the diagonal of the body: left shoulder moving away from right hip, right hip moving away from left shoulder and vice versa.

The Sequence:

Adho Mukha Sukhasana (Downward Facing Comfortable Pose)

Child’s Pose

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Child’s Pose

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Child’s Pose

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) with the feet on blocks

Reclined Hip Stretch

Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose) simple variation with the forearm on the thigh’

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose) with the hand on a block

Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)

Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Dandasana (Staff Pose)

Marichyasana 1 (Marichi’s Pose 1) preparation, hugging one knee in at a time only

Marichyasana 1 (Marichi’s Pose 1) twist only

Marichyasana 3 (Marichi’s Pose 3)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose)

Ardha Matsyendrasana 1 (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Child’s Pose

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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Basic Practice: Strengthening and Lengthening the Sides of the Torso

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In this sequence, consider where the strength of the arms is coming from. Instead of the shoulders and shoulder blades being attached to the neck, think of them as dropping down and being supported by the ribs underneath them. Widen the ribs in the front and back body evenly, reaching the arms from them instead of pushing from the shoulders or the chest. Allow the collar bones and shoulder blades to widen into the arms.

The Sequence:

Side Stretch at the wall
• Stand with the feet together about eight to twelve inches away from the wall and lean the right hip, waist and ribs against it. Reach the right arm up. Pause here for a few breaths.
• Come up onto the balls of the feet. Stay here for a few breaths.
• Slowly drop the right heel, resisting up through the ribs and arms to lengthen out the right side of the waist. When the right heel is down, drop the left.
• Bend the right elbow and clasp it with the left hand. Draw the upper arm bone up towards the ceiling. Hold here for a few breaths.
• Take the tip of the elbow up and over the top of the head while keeping the outer armpit moving into the wall. Hold here for a few breaths.
• Turn the chest a slightly into the middle of the room to send the stretch towards the back. Hold here for a few breaths.
• Release and repeat on the second side.

Garudasana (Eagle Pose) arms with the back against the wall

Child’s Pose

Child’s Pose INTO Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Plank Pose INTO Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Pashchima Baddha Hastasana (Reverse Bound Hands Pose) in Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
• Clasp the elbows behind the back and hold. Do both crossings.

Chaturanga Block Sequence:
[Cycle through these poses, resting the chest on a block in Chaturanga Dandasana (Four Limbed Staff Pose) and pushing it forward to come up into Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose).]

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Plank Pose
Chaturanga Dandasana (Four Limbed Staff Pose)
Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose)
• Cycle through these 3 to 5 times.

Utthita Hastasana (Extended Hands Pose)
• Spread the arms in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) and hold.

Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior Pose 2)

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Parighasana (Gate Pose)

Vashisthasana (Vashistha’s Pose) with the elbow bent and the forearm on the ground

Vashisthasana (Vashistha’s Pose) with one knee down

Vashisthasana (Vashistha’s Pose)

Purvottanasana (Intense East Stretch Pose) Table Top Variation with the hands on blocks

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) with the feet on blocks

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) with the feet on the floor

Reclined Hip Stretch

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1) with the feet on the wall

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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Practice Lab: Working with an Advanced Practice from "Light on Yoga", Part 13 [Light on Yoga]

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

In this practice, the second of our sequences edited for time, we are focusing on the twists and the deep hip openers.

The Sequence:

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Arm Balance/Back Bend Vishamanyasa:
Urdhva Kukkutasana (Upward Cockerel Pose)
Viparita Chakrasana (Inverted Wheel Pose)
Parshva Kukkutasana (Side Cockerel 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)

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

Yogadandasana (Yoga Staff Pose)

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

Mulabandhasana (Root Lock Pose)

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle 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)

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


Next time, our edited practice will feature the inverted back bends.


Related Posts:

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


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Year of Yoga: Week 46

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The practices are aimed at the basic level, suitable for anyone taking class on a regular basis. Regardless of your level, remember not to be reckless in your practice. Please consult your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine and do not attempt poses that you have not been taught in class by a competent instructor. The practices also include restorative work for a fully balanced expression of the yogic path.

The week’s sequences will be posted in advance of each week, giving you a chance to look them over and rearrange them according to your schedule. Wednesday’s practice will be a softer, restorative sequence. You should feel free to rearrange the order of the days, and even the practices themselves, according to your energy levels and your schedule. Take these sequences as suggestions and modify them as you will.

November 12


Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (3-5 min)

Utkatasana (Furious Pose)

Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior Pose 2)

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Prasarita Padottanasana 1 (Widespread Feet Pose 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Janu Shirshasana (Head of the Knee Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


November 13


Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Virasana with Gomukhasana arms (Hero Pose with Cow Face Pose arms)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Prasarita Padottanasana 1 (Wide Spread Feet Pose 1) with the head supported as necessary
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Malasana (Garland Pose)

Marichyasana 1 (Marichi’s Pose 1)

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)

Janu Shirshasana (Head of the Knee Pose)

Upavishtha Konasana (Seated Angle Pose)

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


November 14


Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)

Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose)

Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation)
• Any simple variation.
• 3 to 5 rounds.

Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation)
• Any challenging variation.
• 3 to 5 rounds.

Bharadwajasana 1 (Bharadwaja’s Pose 1)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose)

Bharadwajasana 2 (Bharadwaja’s Pose 2)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Matsyasana (Fish Pose) over a bolster

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


November 15


Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Vrkshasana (Tree Pose)

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose)

Bharadwajasana 2 (Bharadwaja’s Pose 2)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Marichyasana 1 (Marichi’s Pose 1) twist only

Marichyasana 3 (Marichi’s Pose 3)

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

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


November 16


Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation)
• Any simple variation.
• 3 to 5 rounds.

Gomukhasana arms in Virasana (Cow Face Pose arms in Hero Pose)

Shalabhasana (Locust Pose)

Pashchima Namaskarasana Virasana (Hero Pose with Reverse Prayer Pose)

Makarasana (Crocodile Pose)

Chaturanga Dandasana (Four Limbed Staff Pose)

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

Purvottanasana (Intense East Stretch Pose) full pose or table top variation

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


November 17


Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation)
• Any simple variation.
• 3 to 5 rounds.

Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation)
• Any challenging variation.
• 3 to 5 rounds.

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)

Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Shirshasana (Head Stand) prep only
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Eka Pada Sarvangasana (Single Leg Shoulder Stand)

Parshvaikapada Sarvangasana (Single Leg to the Side Shoulder Stand)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Supta Konasana (Reclined Angle Pose)

Parshva Halasana (Side Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


November 18


Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Child’s Pose over a bolster

Side Stretch over a bolster

Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja’s Pose) over a bolster

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) with the head supported on blocks

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) over a bolster

Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose)

Ujjayi 1 (Victorious Breath 1--simple breath awareness) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)

Ujjayi 2 (Victorious Breath 2--gently extended exhalations) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)

Viloma 2 (Interrupted Breath 2--a gentle pause at the end of each exhalation) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


Related Articles

A Year of Intermediate Yoga: Week 46


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Year of Yoga: Week 45

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The practices are aimed at the basic level, suitable for anyone taking class on a regular basis. Regardless of your level, remember not to be reckless in your practice. Please consult your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine and do not attempt poses that you have not been taught in class by a competent instructor. The practices also include restorative work for a fully balanced expression of the yogic path.

The week’s sequences will be posted in advance of each week, giving you a chance to look them over and rearrange them according to your schedule. Wednesday’s practice will be a softer, restorative sequence. You should feel free to rearrange the order of the days, and even the practices themselves, according to your energy levels and your schedule. Take these sequences as suggestions and modify them as you will.

November 5


Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) over a bolster, 3 to 5 minutes

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Anantasana (Vishnu’s Couch Pose)

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)

Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose)

Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose)

Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose)

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Child’s Pose

Bharadwajasana 1 (Bharadwaja’s Pose 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


November 6


Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) over a bolster, 3 to 5 minutes

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Anantasana (Vishnu’s Couch Pose)

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)

Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose)

Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose)

Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose)

Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior Pose 2)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior Pose 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Child’s Pose

Bharadwajasana 1 (Bharadwaja’s Pose 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


November 7


Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) over a bolster, 3 to 5 minutes

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Anantasana (Vishnu’s Couch Pose)

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)

Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose)

Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose)

Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose)

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)

Virabhadrasana 3 (Warrior Pose 3)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Child’s Pose

Bharadwajasana 1 (Bharadwaja’s Pose 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


November 8


Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) over a bolster, 3 to 5 minutes

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Anantasana (Vishnu’s Couch Pose)

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)

Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose)

Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose)

Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose)

Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)

Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose)

Pashasana (Noose Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Child’s Pose

Bharadwajasana 1 (Bharadwaja’s Pose 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


November 9


Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) over a bolster, 3 to 5 minutes

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Anantasana (Vishnu’s Couch Pose)

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)

Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose)

Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose)

Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose)

Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior Pose 1)

Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

Ushtrasana (Camel Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Child’s Pose

Bharadwajasana 1 (Bharadwaja’s Pose 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


November 10


Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) over a bolster, 3 to 5 minutes

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)

Anantasana (Vishnu’s Couch Pose)

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)

Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose)

Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose)

Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose)

Chaturanga Dandasana (Four Limbed Staff Pose)

Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose)

Purvottanasana (Intense East Stretch Pose) table top variation

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart

Child’s Pose

Bharadwajasana 1 (Bharadwaja’s Pose 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Intermediate Alternative: Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Dolphin/Forearm Stand prep
Intermediate Alternative: Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


November 11


Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Child’s Pose over a bolster

Side Stretch over a bolster

Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja’s Pose) over a bolster

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) with the head supported on blocks

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) with the feet apart and the head supported on blocks
Intermediate Alternative: Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) over a bolster

Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose)

Ujjayi 1 (Victorious Breath 1--simple breath awareness) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)

Ujjayi 2 (Victorious Breath 2--gently extended exhalations) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)

Viloma 2 (Interrupted Breath 2--a gentle pause at the end of each exhalation) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


Related Articles

A Year of Intermediate Yoga: Week 45


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Practice Lab: Working with an Advanced Practice from "Light on Yoga", Part 12 [Light on Yoga]

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

Up to now we have been dissecting our advanced practice and exploring sequences to help us master the more challenging transitions and poses featured there. The full practice is quite long and very demanding from an endurance perspective. For the next few weeks we will take the practice as it stands and break it down into shorter pieces which will allow us to cycle through all the important parts over a series of days, rather than all in one big chunk. Each of these shorter practices will also include a few poses to prepare the body for the more advanced work,

In this first practice, the focus is elements of the arm balance vishamanyasa, the deep groin and hamstring openers and the deep forward bends.

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)

Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana (Half Bound Lotus Intense Stretch Pose)

Prasarita Padottanasana 1 (Wide Spread Feet Pose 1)

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Arm Balance/Back Bend Vishamanyasa:
Bakasana (Crow Pose)
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)

Hanumanasana (Hanuman’s Pose)

Samakonasana (Straight Angle Pose)

Supta Trivikramasana (Reclined Three Strides Pose)

Yogadandasana (Yoga Staff Pose)

Kandasana (Knot Pose)

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

Yoganidrasana (Yoga Sleep Pose)

Dwi Pada Shirshasana (Two Legs Behind the Head Pose)

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


Next time we’ll focus on the deep hip openers and the twists.


Related Posts:

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


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