This session continues on from session 1. Here we will repeat some poses to consolidate what is being learned, and add a few poses to expand our yoga practice further.
Set up by putting two blocks one in front of the other, lengthways, and add a folded blanket on top. Lie back with the support under your back torso, placing the legs in simple cross legs. Have a blanket you can use under the head so that the head remains level. Hold for 2-3 minutes. This will bring life to the back of the body and settle you into the session.
Come up and, taking the big toes together, knees apart, extend the arms and trunk forward, hands on blocks. This helps to release the back and neck after lying back over support.
Stand and step the feet hip-width apart.
Raise the arms up, elbows straight and lift up through the side of the chest. Urdhva Hastasana.
1/2 Uttanasana with wall support.
Feel the same opening when you place the hands on the wall, hip height, and shoulder width apart. Step back bringing the buttocks over the heels and press back away from the wall lengthening the side and front of the chest.
Interlock the fingers and extend the arms up, elbows straight. Keep a sense of your feet being firmly on the floor. Two actions: be stable and conscious of your base as you extend the arms up. Change the interlock.
Now another variation to work into the shoulders: Garudasana (Eagle Pose).
Cross the right elbow over the left. Sternum up and shoulder releasing down. Change the cross of the elbows.
1/2 Uttanasana to the wall to emphasise the side chest length and chest opening. Elbows straight.
Place the mat horizontally up against the wall. Step the feet out for Trikonasana (Triangle Pose), one leg length apart. Turn to the R, L outer back heel into the wall. Extend the R arm out and take the hand to the shin. Top arm up. Change sides.
Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior 2). Place the heels against the wall, a little wider apart. Turn to the R side, and extending out through the arms, bend the front knee to a square, knee in line over the heel. Come up and change sides.
Parsvakonasana (Side Angle Pose). Take a block and place it on your mat towards the front of the mat. Step the feet out wide, turn to the R, and bend the front knee to a square. Have the block on the inside of the R foot and place the right hand down onto the block. Change sides.
Parsvottanasana. Now place the mat perpendicular to the wall, and have two blocks towards the front of the mat. Place the L heel against the wall and stepping the front foot out about one leg length away, turn the hips and chest to face the side. Place the hands onto your blocks, and extend the sternum forwards. Change sides.
Prasarita Padottanasana. The widest standing pose. Step the feet wide apart, placing the outside of one foot against the wall for stability. Hands onto your hips, lift your sternum and head to look up, extend the trunk forwards, hands to the floor or on blocks. Concave spine, legs straight.
Come up and take a chair for chair twists.
Sit on the chair with your trunk facing the backrest of the chair. Place the L hand onto the chair back and turn to the R, R hand reaching down to hold the front of the chair seat. Turn to look over the R side. Change to go to the L.
Now sit sideways on the chair seat, the R side of your hips parallel to the backrest of the chair. Place a block between the knees, knees over the heels. Turn the trunk to the R for a few breaths, turning the head along with the turn of the sternum. Using the block is helpful in keeping the pelvis level and more even. This is useful when the lower back is tight and the pelvis unstable. Change sides.
Do the same chair twist as above, but without the block. This will bring a bigger turn to the lower abdominal area as well as to the neck, shoulders, and back. Change sides.
Come to sitting on your mat for Vajrasana. Place a folded blanket between the buttocks and the heels to give more lift to the spine. Interlock the fingers and extend the arms up. Parvatasana arms. Change your interlock.
Extend the legs out in front, sitting on your folded blanket.
Dandasana (Rod or Staff Pose). Bring your folded blanket right up to the wall and sit up against the wall with the lower edge of the buttocks to the wall.
Go to Baddhakonasana (Cobbler’s Pose). Draw the soles of the feet together, keeping the back of the body and the head to the wall. Place your hands on your knees to encourage the knees to release to the sides.
Extend the legs out in front in Dandasana, this time with the back to the wall, and hands by the sides of the hips.
Now do the same poses lying flat on your back, legs up the wall. Take blanket support for your head if it is tipping back.
Legs up straight for 30-60 seconds, then bend the knees out to the side for Baddhakonasana. Feel how it comes now when the legs and the back are supported.
See how the inner legs respond when you now spread the legs out wide. Upavistha Konasana.
Bring the legs back up to 90 degrees, and then bend the knees into the chest to release the lower back, feet still against the wall, with hands onto the upper shin bones to draw the legs in.
Come up to forward Virasana. Big toes together and knees apart, extend forwards placing your palms onto a folded blanket this time,. Extend the arms and sternum forward, elbows straight.
To finish, lie back in Savasana (Corpse Pose), a folded blanket for under the neck and head. Keep warm.
Extend the legs out and let them release to the side. Stay a few minutes here in Savasana, following the prompts to release any tension from the face and observe your breath coming quietly in and quietly out through the nose.