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A short session focusing on hips and abdominals

Working on shoulders, hips, upper back, and abdominals.

Contents

Introduction

Start with a brief Supta Baddhakonasana, to open the chest and prepare for the session.
Come up to Forward Virasana, and then stand for Uttanasana, hands to the shins or to the floor.
Move into Adho Mukha Svanasana, Dog pose, once in the usual way, and one time holding the sides of the mat and extending one leg at a time back.

Stand in Tadasana, feet apart, and take the arms into three variations: Baddanguliyasana, Gardudasana and Namaskar.

Take your mat to the wall for Half Uttanasana, hips in line over the heels.

Reverse that movement and walk the feet up the wall, hands to the floor – Full Arm Balance preparation.

Step down and go to Virasana Forward, and then to Head Balance preparation: once with the feet on the floor, placed against the wall, and once walking the feet up the wall, head off the floor. These are also good shoulder opening movements and they help to release tension in the neck.

Come back into Adho Mukha Svanasana to connect the arms and legs back to the centre.

Now lie on your mat, away from the wall, and take the legs up to 90 degrees, back pelvis firmly o the floor; Urdhva Prasarita Tadasana Repeat twice, once with hands by the sides and once with the arms extending behind you.

Supta Padangusthasana, done quickly here, taking the Right hand to the Right leg, and then change to the Left. This starts to strengthen the abdominal area and to integrate the legs to the pelvis.

Come to sitting in Dandasana, and then bring the legs and arms up for Paripurna Navasana, Boat Pose, or V shape Pose. Try the same pose with the feet up agains the wall, which gives support for the lower back but also shows us how to stay focussed and clear with the leg action required.

To release any lower abdominal and lower back tension, sit in Virasana, and then move into Baddha Konasana. This broadens the area of the lower abdomen, and starts to work into the hips through its lateral upper leg opening.

Now go back to the wall, lying flat, with the legs at 90 degrees up against the wall.
After about a minute, bring the legs to Baddha Konasana, and then after some breaths to Upavistha Konasana, spreading the legs wide apart.

Then bend the knees into the chest, Pavanmuktasana, and finish with a twisting action, taking the knees to the side, to the Right and then the Left.

Roll to the side and set up for a short Savasana, bringing the eyes, face and body to quietness. Observe what the body feels like, and let your mind be still for a few minutes.

View sequence

Supta Baddhakonasana
Reclining Bound Angle Pose
Join your feet together, your heels pressed to your pelvis. Lie back over a bolster or other form of support. Relax and let your chest open. If necessary, use a strap to hold your feet in place.
Virasana Forward
Downward-Facing Hero Pose
Join your feet together under your buttocks and keep your knees far enough apart for your ribs to fit in between your legs as you fold forward. You can rest your head on the floor or on a block.
Uttanasana
Standing Forward Bend
Starting in Tadasana, exhale and reach down towards your feet. Let your spine release downwards. You can bend your knees or place your hands on blocks if you lack the necessary flexibility.
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Downward-Facing Dog Pose
Press evenly into your hands and feet. The main aim is to elongate the back of your body and lift your hips up as high off the ground as possible without losing the stable foundation created by your hands and feet. If you lack the hamstring flexibility, bend your knees a little.
Virasana Forward
Downward-Facing Hero Pose
Join your feet together under your buttocks and keep your knees far enough apart for your ribs to fit in between your legs as you fold forward. You can rest your head on the floor or on a block.
Tadasana
Mountain Pose
Stand up tall and straight, place your feet close together, with your heels and big toes touching. Imagine as if you are standing with your back against the wall. Extend your whole body from the heels up through the crown of your head.
Urdhva Baddanguliyasana
Upward Salute with Interlocked Fingers
Stretch your arms in front of you and interlock your fingers. Turn your palms inside out and lift your arms up overhead, making sure to keep your shoulders open. Change the interlock of your fingers and repeat.
Garudasana
Eagle Pose Arms
Spread your arms apart. Bring one arm over the other, joining them at the elbows. Cross your arms over, bringing your palms together. Make sure both your pinkies are facing forward. Keep your shoulders open as you lift your hands up to capacity. Change the cross of your arms and repeat.
Paschima Namaskar
Reverse Prayer Pose
Stand in Tadasana and spread your arms outward. Then bring your hands behind your back, join your palms together, and walk them up to capacity. If you lack wrist mobility, you can also simply grab hold of your elbows.
Half Uttanasana
Half Forward Bend
Stand in front of a wall. Keeping your back and legs straight, tip from your pelvis until your chest is parallel to the ground. Push your hands into the wall and stretch your hips backwards.
A short session focusing on hips and abdominals
Handstand Preparation
Stand a couple of feet away from the wall with your back to it. Fold into Uttanasana and plant your hands on the floor. Then, activate your arms, open up your shoulders and collarbones, and walk your feet up the wall until your legs are parallel to the floor.
Virasana Forward
Downward-Facing Hero Pose
Join your feet together under your buttocks and keep your knees far enough apart for your ribs to fit in between your legs as you fold forward. You can rest your head on the floor or on a block.
Headstand Preparation with Blocks
Headstand Preparation
Place your forearms flat on the floor next to a wall and interlock your fingers behind the back of your skull. Keeping your head on the floor and your back straight, start to walk your feet closer toward your trunk. Straighten your back and pull your hips up to capacity. This can also be done with your feet to the wall.
Virasana Forward
Downward-Facing Hero Pose
Join your feet together under your buttocks and keep your knees far enough apart for your ribs to fit in between your legs as you fold forward. You can rest your head on the floor or on a block.
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Downward-Facing Dog Pose
Press evenly into your hands and feet. The main aim is to elongate the back of your body and lift your hips up as high off the ground as possible without losing the stable foundation created by your hands and feet. If you lack the hamstring flexibility, bend your knees a little.
Virasana Forward
Downward-Facing Hero Pose
Join your feet together under your buttocks and keep your knees far enough apart for your ribs to fit in between your legs as you fold forward. You can rest your head on the floor or on a block.
A short session focusing on hips and abdominals
Upward Stretched Legs
Lie flat on your back and raise your legs up at a 90-degree angle. Keep the rest of your body in neutral, pressing evenly into the floor. Use a belt if necessary.
Dandasana
Staff Pose
Point your sit-bones down and extend your spine upwards through the crown of your head. Use support under your buttocks or bend knees if needed to get your back straight.
A short session focusing on hips and abdominals
Boat Pose
Start in Dandasana. Maintaining balance solely on the buttocks, recline your trunk slightly and lift your legs up. Keep your feet together, toes pointing up. Your feet should be higher than your head. Extend your arms forward past your legs.
A short session focusing on hips and abdominals
Hero Pose
Fold your legs under you with your heels on either side of your buttocks. Keep your back straight, avoid sinking forward or back. This pose is to be avoided if you lack mobility in your knee joints due to injuries. Cross your legs instead or assume the Baddha Konasana position.
Parvatasana in Virasana
Mountain Pose in Hero Pose
Sit in Virasana, stretch your arms in front of you, and interlock your fingers. Turn your palms outward and, keeping your shoulders open and ribs in neutral, extend your arms upward.
Dandasana
Staff Pose
Point your sit-bones down and extend your spine upwards through the crown of your head. Use support under your buttocks or bend knees if needed to get your back straight.
Baddha Konasana
Bound Angle Pose
Bring your feet as close as possible to your pelvis and join them together. Straighten your back and let gravity pull your knees down toward the floor. If necessary, use a strap to hold your feet in place.
Viparita Karani
Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose
Bring your hips up to the wall and lift your legs up. You can use a bolster or other form of support under your hips and lumbar spine to incorporate a mild backbend into the pose.
Savasana
Corpse Pose
Lie down on the floor. Spread your arms and legs slightly at your side. Relax and concentrate on your breath.