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Developing stability and focus using supports

This session aims to bring awareness to the peripheral limbs and core of our bodies. We use the touch and support of props to highlight certain areas. Even the floor is a prop in this sense. And Mr. IYENGAR often reminded us that the body is our first prop.

Developing stability and focus using supports

This session aims to bring awareness to the peripheral limbs and core of our bodies. We use the touch and support of props to highlight certain areas. Even the floor is a prop in this sense. And Mr. IYENGAR often reminded us that the body is our first prop.

Start by lying back over T shaped blocks to lift and open the chest. This also helps to get us in touch with the unseen back of the body.

Come up to standing with the feet apart and place a block between the two feet and ankles. Observe how this simple prop brings life to the inner legs as you interlock the fingers and raise the arms up.

Then add a block for the hands, bringing focus to the hands and the feet simultaneously.

Place your hands against the wall at hip height for half Uttanasana, using three hand variations to wake up the wrists and shoulders.
Then go to Adho Mukha Svanasana (Dog Pose) and take the hands to the wall against two tilted blocks for further wrist and shoulder work. Notice the different actions in the shoulders that come in each variation.

Now we move more into the legs and hips, using the wall to provide support and enhance focus: Vrksasana with the knee to the wall, Utkatasana with a block between the knees, and Garudasana with the lower buttocks touching the wall. The props used will bring our attention to specific points, increasing overall awareness.

Now come down on the mat for a few sitting poses: Virasana with interlocked fingers stretching the arms up; Gomukhasana preparation and then the full pose will help to open the shoulders and hips.
Paripurna Navasana, first with the heels to the wall, then using a belt to get the V shape with the legs, and then without support. We use the props here to help understand the actions in the pose more fully. Paripurna Navasana also tones the abdominal muscles, connecting the lower back and pelvis to the front of the body.

To release the lower abdomen, sit with the back to the wall in Baddha Konasana.
Then lie back for Supta Padangusthasana 2, with the foot of the laterally extended leg placed against the wall. This helps to both engage the leg into the hip and to give us an awareness of what is needed to keep the back body even as the leg goes to the side.

Come up for Virasana Forward, resting the whole of the torso onto the bolster or blanket support. This will release the lower back and bring quietness inside.
Instead of Savasana, today we finish with another pose where we rest the abdomen on a support, with a slight turn of the chest. This pose helps to relieve any residual tightness and it has a soothing quality to it that brings us back to our centre as we finish the session.

Video stills from this sequence

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Developing stability and focus using supports
Developing stability and focus using supports
Developing stability and focus using supports
Developing stability and focus using supports
Developing stability and focus using supports
Developing stability and focus using supports
Developing stability and focus using supports
Developing stability and focus using supports
Developing stability and focus using supports
Developing stability and focus using supports
Developing stability and focus using supports
Developing stability and focus using supports
Developing stability and focus using supports
Developing stability and focus using supports
Developing stability and focus using supports
Developing stability and focus using supports
Developing stability and focus using supports
Developing stability and focus using supports