Consolidating and adding to basic beginner forward bends, this sequence helps teaches you to lift the spine out of the hips and keep the legs engaged as foundation for more forward bends.
Lie over bolster or folded blankets, belt looped around middle sacrum and feet.
Use height under buttocks as required to bend forward easily. Rest forehead on bolster.
Take hands to shins or to upright blocks.
Take heels up wall to create lift in groins and facilitate hamstring length.
Block into dorsal spine or just do head stand preparation lifting up the hips, head off floor.
Step up wall, buttocks in line over shoulders, legs parallel to wall.
Half Uttanasana if not going upside down.
Sit on height as required. Feet pointing straight back, metatarsals straight.
Keep elbows straight and arms well extended.
Focus on opening the backs of the knees and thighs to or towards the floor. Take height under buttocks if the spine is rounding.
Take height under buttocks if knees are up off floor and spine rounding back.
Extend the heels. Open back of the legs down to the floor.
Use height under buttocks if needed to keep spine straight and the inner groins rolling down towards floor.
With hands to the floor, extend the spine upwards.
If bent knee is up, take support under buttocks.
If knee still not on floor, use support under knee.
Have height under both buttocks as needed to keep bent leg foot going straight back and to sit upright.
Place a belt around the feet to draw back ribs in and lift chest upwards.
Use height for back hand if needed. Turn on the exhalation.
Repeat for other cross.
Use height under outside buttock if tilting.
3-4 blankets, belt for elbows. Lift up the back ribs.
Take feet to chair if needed.
Use height for buttocks as needed to go forward and rest head onto chair seat.
Lie back from sitting with knees bent and check for alignment. Head support.
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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.