This session will broaden out the way of exploring the Standing poses done so far, plus add one new Standing pose. We will also continue to add work for the shoulders and to develop our sitting poses and hip opening.
Set up Supta Baddhakonasana, using a bolster or firm long cushion (or use your blocks as we have done in the last two sessions).
Lie back over your support, placing a block under each outer thigh to support the hip opening that comes in the pose.
Come up and go forward into Virasana, placing a blanket between the buttocks and heels if the knees or lower back feel tight.
Stand in Tadasana (Mountain pose) with the feet hip-width apart. We will combine Tadasana today with some shoulder-opening movements to increase the benefits of this pose.
Baddhanguliyasana: Interlock your fingers and raise the arms up to bring the elbows in line with the sides of the head. Keep the elbows straight. Change your interlock.
Garudasana (Eagle Pose) for the arms, standing in Tadasana.
First, cross the R arm over the L and bring the fingers of the bottom hand to the palm or thumb of the R. Feel how more width comes between the neck and the outer shoulders. Change the cross of the elbows.
Namaskar (Prayer position) with the hands behind the back.
Join your palms behind the back, and slide the little fingers, to capacity, up along the spine.
If this is too strong for your shoulders, hold the elbows behind your back instead.
Observe the spreading across the front of the chest and the opening into both shoulders.
Half Uttanasana to the wall. Hands to the wall, hip-height and shoulder-width. Step the feet back under the buttocks, keeping the palms flat against the wall. Sternum forward.
Standing on the L leg, place the R knee firmly into the wall. Turn the hips and chest to face forward. Raise the arms up with straight elbows. Change to stand on the R leg, L knee to the wall.
Standing poses with the back outer heel to the wall.
Trikonasana – Place the L outer heel against the wall, step the R foot forward, one leg length away. Extend out through the R arm and place the R hand onto the shin. Turn the chest to the front and raise the L arm up. Look forward and, if the neck allows, look up towards the top hand. Change sides.
Parsvakonasana – place the L outer heel to the wall and step the R leg forward, a little wider distance than for Trikonasana. Bend the front knee 90 degrees and take the R hand down to the inside of the R foot, on the floor, or onto a block. Take the top arm over the ear. Change sides.
Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior 1) – Turn to face the wall, placing the ball of the R foot up against the wall. Step the L foot back a good distance, foot turned about 70 degrees. Turn the hips and trunk to face the wall, placing the fingertips on the wall at about shoulder height. Bend the front knee to bring the front thigh parallel to the floor, keeping the back leg straight. If you feel too compressed, step the back foot a little further away. Keep the hips and trunk facing the wall and raise the sternum up. Change sides.
Parsvottanasana – Back outer heel against the wall, foot turned about 70 degrees. Step the R foot forward and turn the hips and trunk to face the opposite wall. Join the palms behind your back in Namaskar, or hold the elbows. Bending forward from the hips extend your sternum forward and bring the trunk parallel to the floor. Keep the back leg straight. Change sides.
Prasarita Padottanasana – Turn to have the outside of your foot up against the wall and step wide apart. Place the hands on your hips, and keeping the knees straight and kneecaps lifting, bend forward from the waist. Drop the hands to the floor, and then pull back to the waist a few times. Then stay with a concave spine, hands to the floor or on blocks.
Have your blocks and a blanket nearby and come down onto the floor.
Sit in Vajrasana, feet and knees together. Place a folded blanket between the buttocks and the heels. Interlock the fingers and raise the arms up. Change the interlock.
Extend the legs forward into Dandasana.
Virasana – Take a block and bend the knees, feet pointing back. Sit on the block, feet on the outside of the hips, toes facing back. Interlock your fingers and raise your arms up. Change the interlock.
Leg forward into Dandasana.
Place a folded blanket near the wall and sit in Baddhakonasana, back right up against the wall. Place your hands on the outer knees and feel how the inner thighs open more.
Now move away from the wall for the same pose, without the wall support. Place your fingers behind you, facing away from the body. Raise the chest up and release the knees towards the floor. Spine straight.
Spread the legs out wide for Upavistha Konasana, sitting on the edge of a folded blanket as needed to keep the inner groins down. Keep the knees straight, the toes pointing up to the ceiling, hands by your hips.
Sitting Twist – Bend the knees to simple crosslegs and place a block behind the buttocks. Turn to the R, placing the L hand onto the R knee to help to turn the chest to the R. R hand onto the block behind you. Turn to both sides, and then change your crosslegs and turn to the R and then to the L.
Extend the trunk forward after each crossleg twist.
Legs up the wall to open the hamstrings and hips more passively.
Place the back flat onto the floor and bring the legs to 90 degrees, with the back of the legs up against the wall.
Change to Baddhakonasana
Change to Upavisthakonasana, legs wide apart.
Bend the knees into the chest.
Turn to the R side and lie back for Savasana, blanket for the head as needed to stop the head from rolling backwards.
Lie in Savasana for a few minutes until you feel the face and the breath have become soft and quiet.