September 2014

Short (and potent) yoga sequence

I’ve been teaching these 2 poses in most of my classes lately — and assigning them as homework.  With so many of you interested in home practice, this post will help you get started.

Advanced Iyengar teacher Lois Steinberg gave me the idea, and I wanted to test it out.

This sequence is short & sweet — but don’t let that fool you!  The affects can be mighty:  you will stretch your legs, strengthen your quads, release your lower back, lengthen the sides of your trunk, open your shoulders, and spread your hands.

And the mental benefit — well, you’ll just have to try it now, won’t you? Let me know!

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Spread Feet Pose):

Lie down on your side with both buttocks on the wall.
Roll over and swing your legs up the wall.
Make sure your legs are centered in line with your trunk and head.

UrdhvaPrasPada.armsdown
Press your legs back toward wall.
Spread across soles of feet.
Turn your palms & inner arms up.

Lift shoulderblades up to spread chest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

UrdhvaPrasPada.wrongway
How close should you be to the wall?

Straighten your legs while keeping your buttocks down on the floor.

Move your buttocks away from the wall if needed to get your legs straight.

When you come to class, you will learn more ways to customize the poses to fit your body’s needs.

You should be able to relax before you begin the actions of the pose.

 

 

 

UrdhvaPrasPada.armsoverhead
Firm your thighs back toward wall.
Reach your arms alongside your ears.
Straighten your arms.
Straighten your legs.

To build strength, keep your hands hovering above the floor.

REACH!!!!!!!!

Now do it again!

And onto the next pose!

 

 

 

Ardha Uttanasana (Half Intense Pose):

ArdhaUttanasana.lkgfwd
Place your hands evenly on the wall.
Spread your hands into wall.
Press your thighs back.
Lift those kneecaps up!
Lengthen the sides of your trunk.

Look toward the wall to move back ribs in.
ArdhaUttanasana.lkgdownMaintaining the actions above, look down toward the floor.
Keep back ribs in.

Build strength by staying 30 seconds at first.
Work up to 1 minute.
Repeat 2-3 times.

Tight legs?
Step your feet wider apart.
Tight shoulders?
Place your hands higher on the wall.

 

 

 

Do this sequence every day and see what happens. You can do just this 2-pose sequence on its own. Or…do these 2 poses in preparation for a longer practice and see how you feel.

Namaste!

Leahsignature