This uplifting sequence helps to boost your energy and improve your mood when you are feeling physically and/or mentally lethargic and flat. It aims to open the chest and get the body moving.
Start off in Supta Virasana, lying back over a bolster to passively promote a good chest lift. Come up to Virasana forward, bringing attention to the extension of the arms.
Now stand up for Uttanasana forward, and then bend to Virasana forward. Continue with dog pose “on the breath”, synchronising your inhaling and exhaling with each movement. Go from forward Virasana back to Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward facing dog pose) and back down again. Repeat several times and then hold the last dog pose for a few extra breaths to stabilise.
Now, more dynamically, go from: Tadasana, Urdhva Hastasana arms up, Uttanasana head down, step one leg at a time back to dog pose, then step forward to uttanasana, and up to Urdhva Hastasana, and back to Tadasana. Repeat several times.
Having created a bit of momentum, go to the wall for Full Arm Balance, Adho Mukha Vrksasana. Come down and set up for a few back arching poses. From Adho Mukha Svanasana, move to Urdhva Mukha Svanasana, repeating several times. Then lie back onto the floor, knees bent and come into Chatushpadasana, holding the ankles or a belt looped around the ankles, getting a good lift in the back ribs.
This will prepare the body for Dvi Pada Viparita Dandasana over the chair. Step the legs through the back of the chair, feet to the wall on the floor, and slide the shoulder blades just off the edge of the chair seat. Take the arms underneath the chair and hold the back legs of the chair to assist the shoulders to get further opening.
Now to release.
Come out of the chair, turn and face outwards and sit on the chair with feet as wide as the chair legs. Keeping the buttocks moving down to the chair seat, bend forwards and take the hands to the floor or to the shins, according to capacity. Let the trunk hang forward to release the back muscles.
Then sit up, bring the legs together and take one shoulder across the outer knee and the back hand can extend to the back rest of the chair.
Hold for a few breaths each side, before coming up for supported Uttanasana, with the arms and head resting onto the chair seat.
To finish, lie back over a bolster half folded up the wall. With blankets on top of the bolster for extra height as needed, keep the pelvis onto the bolster, shoulders and head to the floor and the legs up the wall at about 60-70 degrees.
To finish: slide back to the floor, bend the knees to simple cross leg and do Savasana with the bent legs resting onto the bolster, pelvis and torso to the floor.
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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.