Video sequence overview
A sequence aimed at stronger foundation students.
We go through a selection of poses, using twists and supported forward extensions to give release to the lower back.
Step by step sequence
Set up for Supta Baddhakonasana over a bolster, using bricks for support under the knees if the hips are tight. Come up and go forward in Virasana, rolling the buttocks down towards the heels and extending the arms well forward from the waist.
Now come up for Uttanasana, using a block between the thighs to bring greater symmetry to the two sides of the hips and sacrum.
You can then step back into Dog Pose, Adho Mukha Svanasana, keeping the brick between the thighs if it feels as if it is adding stability to the lower back. Next, repeat Dog Pose again, this time with the heels to the wall and the feet on bricks.
Release, and set up for Supta Padangusthasana, with feet to the wall. Right leg up and then to the side. Repeat on the Left side.
Chair twists follow. Take a chair and step the two feet through the chair, facing back towards the backrest of the chair. Place the feet as wide as the chair legs, and then turn using the exhalation. 3-4 breaths for each side.
Step out of the chair and sit side-on, with the right side of the hips parallel to the backrest of the chair. Place a block between the knees and turn to the Right, and change sides to turn to the Left.
Come to standing and set up for Standing Marichyasana.
Place the side of the chair up against the wall, with one or two bricks on the chair seat. Place the Right foot onto the block, Right hip against the wall, with both arms to the wall. Turn with the exhalation, keeping the outer hip against the wall and the two sides of the pelvis even.
Now sit on the chair, facing outwards, and with the feet a little wider than the chair legs, bend to take the hands to the shins or down to the floor. Keep both buttocks rolling down onto the chair seat.
A final twist.
Sit upright, and then bring the legs and feet together and take the Left shoulder across the Right knee or thigh. Place the back hand to the back of the chair, and turn to the Right. Then place the Right shoulder across the Left knee or thigh and turn. Come up and place a second chair (or go forward to a bed or low table) and lean forward resting the whole torso from pubis to sternum onto a bolster with extra height if needed. The trunk should rest fully onto the support.
A few last poses with the legs up the wall to further work on opening the hips and groins and to rest the back muscles.
Lie on your back and bring both legs up against the wall, and place a blanket under the head as needed. First keep the legs upright, and then change bringing the legs into Baddhakonasana with the feet and knees to the wall. Straighten the legs again, and now place a bolster or small weight onto the abdomen just below the navel. This will further help to lessen any tightness in the lower back. Also try stretching the arms overhead to lengthen the spine. Arms by the sides will bring more quiet broadness.
To finish, lie out in Savasana with the knees bent and the calves comfortably resting onto the chair seat.
You can place the bolster/weight onto the lower abdomen again for further release.
Save PDF and print
You are welcome to download the PDF of the sequence and print and distribute it freely. You may have to wait up to 30 seconds for the PDF to generate. Please credit the teacher who created it. All illustrations from Dona Holleman’s ‘Yoga Darśana’, RIMYI Institute texts and Yoga Vastu illustrators for original asana drawings.