So, I hope those of you who downloaded the Down Dog podcast enjoyed it. It took awhile to put together, but now I know what I am doing (mostly). Here’s my idea: I will post a sequence with directions and pictures, so you can see what I am going to “teach” and will follow up a few days later with a corresponding podcast. This way you can have an image in your mind during practice, but don’t have to crane your next or mess up your alignment to see the screen.
Since I’m on a Parivrtta Janu-Sirsasana kick, let’s do a series of poses that naturally lead to Revolved Head-to-Knee. It is a very intense twist and forward bend, so it requires some preparation.
1. Sukhasana (Easy Pose) Concentrate on lengthening the side ribs to create space in the lower half of the torso. Balance the pelvis so you are resting on the center of the sit bones, not rolling forward or back.
2. Dandasana + Hastasana (Staff Pose + Overhead Arm Stretch) Extend the legs out in front of you, pressing the soles of the feet away evenly and engaging the thigh muscles. Raise your arms to the side and keep the shoulders away from the ears as you lift your arms overhead. Interlock the fingers and turn the palms towards the ceiling. After your initial stretch, bend the elbows slightly and let your palms come further back to deepen the rotation in the shoulder joints. Try to straighten the arms.
3. Seated Twist Come back to Easy Pose and check your alignment. Starting with the lower back, start twisting gently to the right, then move the twist into the rib cage then the shoulders. Change the cross of the legs and repeat to the left.
4. Padangusthasana (Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose)-Lie on your back and breathe deeply into the back of the legs as you draw your right foot towards you with the belt and press the back of the left thigh to the floor. Try to keep the pelvis balanced (there will be a small curve at the lower back). Lower the leg to the side and rest the thigh on a block so you can concentrate on opening the hip joint instead of tipping over. Bring the leg back to center and lower. Repeat on the other side.
5. Upavistha Konasana (Seated Wide-Angle Pose) Extend the legs out to the sides, but only so far that you can keep your toes and knees pointed to the ceiling. Lift the side ribs and lengthen the spine. Stretch your arms towards the ceiling to get extra length in the torso. Start folding forwards from the hip joints as you stretch the arms out…don’t collapse the chest and keep the spine long. Lower the arms but continue to lengthen the side ribs as you fold a bit deeper.
6. Parivrtta Janu-Sirsasana (Revolved Head-to-Knee Pose) See Saturday’s post.
7. Supported Forward Bend Sit with the legs in Staff pose under a chair or stool. Relax the upper body onto the support of the chair and breathe into the stretch in the backs of the legs. Try to keep releasing the legs in this comfortable position and maybe you can fold further forwards.
8. Savasana (Corpse Pose) Extend onto the floor and try and keep your legs and hips totally relaxed. Hold for as long as you like.
Talk to (at?) you soon!©Brenda K. Plakans. All Rights Reserved.