Overview of this sequence
Today’s session is a very miscellaneous session.
There are shoulder-opening poses, some inversions, a few standing and seated asanas, and several arm balances.
It’s interesting to see how a sequence made up of so many different groups of poses can stay coherent and how the poses can end up creating a harmonious whole by the end.
Step-by-step guide to the sequence
After Supta Virasana and Uttanasana, we start with some shoulder-opening poses: Baddanguliyasana, Urdhva Hastasana, and Paschima Namaskar.
Observe if this warm-up section has given a little more freedom for Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Full Arm Balance) and Pincha Mayurasana (Elbow Balance).
For the four standing poses, we work with blocks to turn the hand to face forward and backwards and find what this brings to the shoulder and upper body in the pose: Trikonasana, Parivrtta Trikonasana, Parsvottanasana and Prasarita Padottanasana.
Sirsasana 2 and then Sirsasana 1 follow, and we explore going from one to the other. Those not going into the full inversion can set up cross bolsters instead.
We then come down to sit in Virasana with Parvatasana followed by Ubhaya Padangusthasana to integrate the pelvis to the legs and the arms.
Gomukhasana preparation and then the full pose, as a lead-in to Lolasana. Tolasana, Padmasana preparation or another Lolasana come next.
To open the pelvis and release any tension from the balancing poses, sit in Baddha Konasana and Upavistha Konasana and notice how the lift of the spine affects the inner legs and groins. These also release the lower abdominal and diaphragm area from any residual tension.
Adho Mukha Svanasana to Chaturanga Dandasana and Urdhva Mukha Svanasana in a sequence, repeated twice. See what comes well, what may be harder at this stage and why. Notice the integration of the pelvis that may be felt from the previous poses. How do the shoulders feel now?
Lie back on your mat for Chatushpadasana. The upper chest opening is good preparation for Sarvangasana, Halasana and Karna Pidasana. The alternative to the inversion today is Setu Bandha over one or two bricks, with knees bent and then straight legs.
Simple Cross legs to release the neck and the lower back, and then lie back in Savasana. Use two half-folded blankets placed horizontally to assist in keeping the centre sternum and side chest open, whilst becoming still and centred through Savasana now at the end of the sequence.
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.