Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Wednesday, March 28th Yoga Basics 5pm

7 peeps
Sharon, Doug, Olie, Olivia, Kate, Jeff, Estella
Known Constraints: one student with a recent knee operation and one student with whiplash

Theme: Started with the tailbone and emphasized breath in the whole spine, ended up focusing on hip and low back opening. Similar Sequence to Monday, but some variation.

1. Attention to Tailbone
a) Cross Legged Forward Fold
With attention on moving from the tailbone, round and arch the spine a few times before folding forward. About 10 breaths. Roll up. Place hands behind you. Roll tailbone back and pelvis forward as lift chest up. Open throat and drop head. Hold for 5 breaths and release. Repeat with opposite leg in front.

b) Squat

c) Uttanasana
Paying attention to drawing tailbone under to round back and rolling it up to draw the legs to straight.

2. More Breathing Room
a) Side Waist Stretch
Interlock fingers in front of body. Turn palms to face away from you and bring arms over the top of the head. Lean right and left and twist hips back and forth to wiggle out of waist. Emphasizing the top side of the stretch, press up through left wrist and down through left heal as you take the body up, out and over to the right. To release, come back up to center and repeat other side.

b) Forward Fold Shoulder Stretch
Bring arms behind back and interlock fingers, stretching arms away from you. Tip tailbone up, as pelvis spills forward. Bend knees and allow the chest to rest on the thighs. Dangle your head and allow arms to reach up and away from you. To bring stretch into legs, draw tailbone up. 5 breaths or so. Bring arms back to sacrum, release interlock and roll back up.

Repeat above, but emphasize the underside of the stretches. Specifically, in the side waist stretch, lengthen the right side before bending towards the right. And in the shoulder stretch, feel the back body big before you compress it.

3. Moving with the Breath
a) Attention to tailbone
Practice drawing breath all the way to tailbone. To help establish this awareness, exaggerate the natural rhythm, allowing tailbone to lift a little on the inhale and descend a little on the exhale.

b) Quarter Salutations
Inhale arms over head, Exhale hands to the heart. About 5 rounds

c) Half Salutations
Inhale, circle arms over head. Exhale, fold forward over legs. Inhale, half arch. Exhale, forward fold. Inhale, use the legs and lead with the heart as arms circle back over head. Exhale, hands to the heart. Repeat about 5 times.

d) Modified Lunge Salute
From a half sun salutation, step right foot back and bend left knee into a low lunge. Explore the action of the tailbone and then relax into the lunge for about 5 breaths to create some space in inner groin and thigh. Lift back knee and step forward into a half arch and dangle Uttanasana. Roll back up to standing. Repeat other side.

4. Warrior 2 Breath Sequence
a) Step feet wide apart for Warrior 2.
b) Turn Left foot away from you, turn right foot in.
c) Lift arms over the top of head and focus on drawing breath down to tailbone as spine lengthens.
d) Take big inhale and move into posture on exhale, bending left knee and allowing arms to open out from shoulders. Inhale and draw front leg straight, reach arms over the top of the head. Move through 5 rounds like this. Repeat on the other side.
e) Return to original side with Left foot forward.
f) Move in and out of Warrior 2 again, three rounds, holding shape at end of 3rd round. Emphasis on feeling the breath and movement of the spine in the shape. Hold at least a minute.
g) Windmill the body to release hands around left foot and move into a Twisting Lunge.
h) Release into a low wide lunge, placing left hand on the inside of the foot.
i) Organize to step forward into a half arch, folding into Uttanasana.
j) Roll up to standing.

Turn on mats to face opposite direction and repeat entire Warrior 2 breath sequence.

5. Eagle Arm Spine Stretch
Wrap right arm under left. Press elbows away to stretch the upper back. Keep reaching elbows away as tailbone tucks under and spine rounds. Unfurl and stretch arms up. Release and repeat with opposite arm on top.

6. Eagle
Wrap right arm under left again. Bend knees and wrap right leg over left. Squeeze legs together and squat lower. Hold about 5 breaths. Unravel and repeat other side.

7. Hip Openers
Come to floor from Uttanasana into a Squat and roll onto backs.
a) Knees to Chest

On One Side
b) Hip Rotation Exploration
With left foot on floor, knee bent, allow right leg to extend up to sky. Bending the right knee slightly begin to explore the external and internal rotation of the hip. Use the foot as an indicator, but slowly direct attention and awareness to how the movement feels in the hip joint.
c) Eye of the Needle (aka Reverse Pigeon)
d) 1/2 Happy Baby
Release right leg up to sky and curl up reaching arms towards left foot. Slowly lower right leg to just above the floor and curl up more. Hold a few more beats, then release and straighten out through left leg.

Repeat other side.

f) Happy Baby

g) Supine Baddha Konasana Play
Pressing feet together, draw toes to third eye, rolling tailbone up off floor. Then bring heals to groin, sending knees wide. Release into Happy Baby.

h) Happy Baby towards Yogi Sleep
Explored different arm positions to help roll tailbone up and bring feet closer to head.

h) Knees to Chest
i) Easy Spinal Twist
j) Knees to Chest
k) Supine Baddha Konasana with Strap
For the backbend, we took Supine BK with straps around the back and feet. 7 minutes.

l) Restorative Twist
Using the bolster with took a supported face down twist. To do this, you place the bolster vertical from you. Sit side saddle at the bolster, with your left outer thigh against the bolster. Your right leg is bent. Use your hands on the floor to lengthen out of the waist, twist and lie torso down on the bolster. Easier on the neck to look at the bent knees. More intense to gaze away from the knees. We only lay here about 3 minutes. To switch sides follow the direction of the hips in a circle away from the bolster to arrive at the other side. Repeat.

m) Savasana
We released the last twist and placed the bolster under the thighs for Savasana.

n) Sit.

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