This is the second session in the balance, stability, and bone density series. Here we’ll be looking at motions that can help us to extend and stretch out our muscles softly yet effectively. A great complementary session in case you’re looking to create flexibility, length and space so as to facilitate your practice overall.
Come up and go forward in Virasana with your hands on blocks to create length in the spine.
Place two blocks on the floor, perpendicular to the wall.
Place your hands onto the blocks, thumb and little finger to the outer edge of the block. Press back into Adho Mukha Svanasana, palms firmly down onto blocks, heels back to the floor.
Adho Mukha Svanasana with feet on blocks heels up the wall. Feel the extra height and ease in lifting the hips.
Adho Mukha Svanasana with whole foot on the block and heels down and against the wall. Observe how the back pelvis feels wider and the weight comes further into the legs.
A few standing poses with a block or chair.
Trikonasana, back heel to the wall and a block to the outside of the front ankle. Go to Trikonasana pressing the bottom hand down onto the block and reach up to the top hand and fingers. Press into the back heel to anchor into the back foot. Change.
Parsvakonasana with a block just forward of the front ankle.
Back heel to the wall, bend the front knee and place the R hand onto block. Press the front knee outwards and raise the top arm over the L ear. Change.
Virabhadrasana 1, front ball of the foot up against the wall.
Face the wall and place the ball of the R foot up against the wall. Fingertips of both hands to the wall. Bend the front knee, lift the sternum up and release the R buttock still more to bring the front lower thigh parallel to the floor. Change.
Parsvottanasana with the hands on the chair’s back.
Place the L heel the wall, R leg forward. Have a chair just a little ahead of the front foot.
Turn the hips to face the chair and place the palms, face down, onto the backrest of the chair. Feel the length in the back ribs and space along the sides of the trunk.
Then try moving the hands down onto the chair seat to bend further forward and down, maintaining the length in the front body. Push the chair further away as needed. Change.
Utkatasana, just the tailbone (lower end of the spine) against the wall, feet about 1-1.5 feet away from the wall.
Bend the knees and raise the arms up, taking the thumb side to or towards the wall. Hold 5-6 steady breaths. Repeat.
Now a few poses to open the shoulders and create space in the upper back.
Have a ledge or tall bench nearby.
Take a block between the hands and place the bent elbows onto the ledge. Hold a few breaths and then extend the fingers with the block behind you. You can press the edge of the block onto your upper thoracic vertebrae to move the top vertebrae in and down a little more. Sternum forward.
Turn away from the ledge and place your hands or fingertips on the ledge behind you. Walk a little forward to get the back ribs to move in towards the front chest. Legs straight.
Headstand (Sirsasana) preparation to bring confidence and weight bearing into the arms.
Knees down with your toes near a wall and interlock your fingers.
Press down onto the forearms and lift the hips up. Head off the floor. Stay 30-60 seconds and release down.
Repeat, or this time step the feet up the wall to come to a 90-degree angle. Press the forearms down, the feet to the wall and keep the legs active and straight. Head off the floor.
Sit in simple crosslegs with support as needed. Turn to the R side for 3-4 breaths and then back to the centre and turn to the L side. Change the cross of the legs and repeat.
Lying on your back with the feet to the wall, bend the R leg and loop a belt around the ball of the foot. Extend the R leg up and hold it straight. Both hips remain evenly on the floor.
Then extend the R leg out to the side keeping both sides of the back pelvis, waist and shoulders level. Change sides.
To finish, place a bolster folded over up against the wall. Put one or two half-folded blankets onto the lower part of the bolster. A blanket for the head.
Place the buttocks and back pelvis onto the bolster, shoulders and head on the floor and the legs up at about a 70-80 degree angle, heels to the wall.
Stay for 4 minutes and then bend the knees to simple crosslegs.
Slide the buttocks down onto the floor and change your crossleg. Rest your outer ankles against the bolster.
Stay here in bent leg Savasana for 5 minutes.