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Miscellaneous: shoulders, sitting and balancing for experienced students (415)

Poses to open the shoulders, some inversions, a few sitting and shoulder asana, and a few balancing postures. Led by Pixie Lillas.

Miscellaneous: shoulders, sitting and balancing for experienced students (415)

Overview of this sequence

Today’s session is a very miscellaneous, miscellaneous session.

There are poses to open the shoulders, some inversions, a few sitting and shoulder asana, and a few balancing postures.

It’s interesting to see how sequence made up of different groups of poses can fit together and how they can reach an harmonious whole by the end.

Step by step guide to the sequence

After Supta Virasana and Uttanasana, we start with some shoulder opening poses: Baddanguliyasana, Baddha Hastasana arm extension, Garudasana arms and Paschima Namaskar.
Then going to stand close to the wall, turn sideways with one arm stretching back and the shoulder close to the wall.

Now observe if this beginning section has given a little more freedom for Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Full Arm Balance) done with two different hand positions and Pincha Mayurasana (Elbow Balance), with palms to the wall and then palms facing into a block.

For the four standing poses we work with blocks to turn the hand to face forward and backwards and find what this brings to the shoulder and upper body in the pose: Trikonasana, Parivrtta Trikonasana, Parsvottanasana and Prasarita Padottanasana.

Sirsasana 2 and then Sirsasana 1 follow, and we explore going from one to the other, or setting up cross bolsters for those not going into the full inversion.

Come down to sit in Virasana with Parvatasana followed by Ubhaya Padangusthasana to integrate the pelvis to the legs and the arms.
Gomukhasana preparation and then the full pose, as a lead in to Lolasana, here practised without blocks. Tolasana, Padmasana preparation or another Lolasana come next.

To open the pelvis and release any tension from the balancing poses, sit in Baddha Konasana and Upavistha Konasana and notice how the lift of the spine affects the inner legs and groins. These also release the lower abdominal and diaphragm area from any residual tension.

Adho Mukha Svanasana to Chaturanga Dandasana and Urdhva Mukha Svanasana in a sequence, repeating twice. See what comes well, what may be harder at this stage and why. Notice the integration of the pelvis that may be felt from the previous poses. How are the shoulders now?

Lie back on your mat for Chatushpadasana with the feet under the palms, and then holding the ankles.

The upper chest opening is a good preparation for Sarvangasana, Halasana and Karna Pidasana. The alternative to the inversion today is Setu Bandha over one or two bricks, with knees bent and then straight legs.

Simple Cross legs to release the neck and the lower back, and then lie back in Savasana. Use two half folded blankets placed horizontally to assist in keeping the centre sternum and side chest open, whilst becoming still and centred through Savasana now at the end of the sequence.

Equipment required

  • Mat
  • 2x Bolster
  • 2x Block
  • 2x Blanket