This is an active forward bend sequence that is aimed at finding what are the markers for going deeper into the forward bend action. When to go more forward and when to stay more upright. Look to maintain length at the front of the body in every pose and see how it can bring lightness while also helping us work deeper into the hips, legs, and back.
Start in Supta Baddha Konasana and notice specifically when the breath begins to settle and how the upper back and chest can expand and open. Come up and go to Forward Virasana.
To keep the length in the front of the body, today take two bricks or two other supports (stool/chair/books) for the hands to be in Uttanasana with a concave spine. Follow with Adho Mukha Svanasana (Dog Pose) and then come to the wall for Full Arm Balance. You can modify this and do Half Uttanasana hands to the wall (Menstrual Cycle) instead, or walk up the wall hands to the floor. Continue with Pincha Mayurasana preparation, or go all the way up to the full pose.
A few standing poses with an emphasis on opening the chest and creating length in the front of the body: Trikonasana with bottom hand to a block or stool; Parsvottanasana with two bricks or chair for the hands and Prasarita Padottanasana with hand supports to find the front body length.
Get ready now for Sirsasana, full pose, or preparation. If not going into an inversion today, take 2 blocks in a T shape to lie over to open the back ribs and give a lift to the chest.
Now for the forward bends. Have a belt and blanket nearby and set up in Dandasana. Use the blanket as needed for extra height under the buttocks to give a lift to the spine and length to the front body. Continue with supports as required to keep the front chest as long as the back body and the hips going forward in Janu Sirsasana, Triangmukhaikapada Paschimottanasana, Marichyasana 1, Paschimottanasana, Baddha Konasana, Upavistha Konasana, and Parsva Upavistha Konasana to initiate the turning action. Take support for Bharadvajasana to move into the open twist and then add the full version taking one arm behind you to bring further release for the shoulders and neck.
Finish the sequence with Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand) and Halasana, or Setu Bandha with feet on bricks or other supports for those not going upside down today.
Come down and go into Virasana Forward, and then finish with Savasana.
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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.