Overview of this sequence
This week’s miscellaneous class focuses and investigates poses that work with the shoulders and abdominals. Some inversions are also practiced. These poses aren’t practiced so commonly in regular classes but should find their way into your regular routine.
Step by step guide
This session starts with shoulder opening after first lying back over a support for Supta Baddha Konasana. From Tadasana with feet apart, take the arms to Baddhanguliyasana, Garudasana, Namaskar and Gomukhasana.
Then step close to wall and place the hands in different positions from half Uttanasana: palms straight, fingers pointing out and fingers pointing down.
Then stand side on to the wall and place your Right hand to the wall, shoulder close to the wall, and turn half way. Feel the shoulder opening and rotation. Change sides.
Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana with hands onto blocks placed perpendicularly to the wall.
Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Full Arm Balance) and Pincha Mayurasana follow, with modifications for those not going all the way up in the pose.
Two standing poses, emphasising the shoulder work: Parsvottanasana with back foot to the wall and hands on blocks, concave spine. Turn the hands forward out, and then back and observe the change in the shoulders and upper back.
Prasarita Padottanasana, with two blocks and repeating the same hand variations here.
Prepare now for Sirsasana, paying proper attention to the palm/hand and elbow position. If not doing the full inversion, two ways of lying back over blocks to open the upper back are given.
Sit in Virasana, using a support as needed. Bring the hands to Parvatasana and then go to Dandasana to release the legs.
Now for a few abdominal strengthening Asana: Ubhaya Padangusthasana with or without a belt; Paripurna and Ardha Navasana (the boat poses) and then lying on your back a few variations of Urdhva Prasarita Padasana, with the legs at 90 degrees.
Next go into Supta Padangusthasana 1 with motion, keeping a pace to your movements and holding the pelvis down onto the floor.
To release, you will again practise Supta Padangusthasana 1 and then 2, but this time with block supports placed under the outer thighs as you go to the second variation. This will open up across the lower abdomen after the Abdominal poses and release any tension held in the groins and abdomen.
Finish with Sarvangasana, Eka Pada Sarvangasana and Halasana to a chair or to the floor. Alternatively, if not doing a full inversion, set up for Setu Bandha over a bolster or folded blankets, feet to the wall and shoulders to the floor.
If not in your menstrual cycle, try extending the legs up 90 degrees for a minute or two before going to simple cross legs on the bolster and then sliding back to the floor.
Simple cross legs forward, and then lie out for Savasana.