YOGA FOR THE ELDERLY

I have always found myself more drawn to the elderly, in which has also probably led me to specialize more on the geriatrics department and found myself working in a nursing home. With the growing aging population in Singapore, more research is also looking into non-pharmacological approach in tackling the problems that comes with ageing. One common approach on the rise is Yoga, especially interested within groups of elderly who are still ambulant/ physically active who wants to make a change in their lifestyle. Because yoga recognizes that that body is not just a physical body, it incorporates the mind and spirit and raise questions of existentialism and philosophy, it has a higher draw to these group of people who recognizes that the span of their lifetime is nearing death.

 

Problems of aging

The ‘problems’ of aging (as compared to the younger self) is that, although it does not equate to developing medical conditions, they tend to be more at risk of fraility. There is lesser joint range of motion, strength and balance, which puts them at risk of falls and other secondary problems that comes with it. Some of the common conditions seen in this age group are osteoarthrisitis, Hypertension,hyperlipidemia, diabetes,  low back syndrome(mostly kyphosis), which may deter them from doing the actual asana pose properly and modifications needs to be done.

In a recent randomized controlled trial done by Osth et al (2019), showed that a 12 week yoga programme improved the health and well being, mobility, mood and cognition in physically inactive elderly age 65-85 years old.

They used the same treatment intervention (YESS-yoga empower senior study) that was previously done by Greendale et al in 2013.

 

What is the Yoga Empowers Seniors Study (YESS): Design and Asana Series?

YESS is formed by a group of people with knowledge in physical therapy, yoga, and movement science. They developed a hatha yoga asana series (included pranayama and asanas) meant for ambulatory participants of age 65 and had medically stable condition in their criteria group for 2 days/week of 1 hour session for 32 weeks. There were 2 series-series 1 progressively increase intensity to series2.

The main key points of designing the series is based on

  • Ensuring safe yet challenging pract (exclusion criteria on those whose medical conditions are not well controlled/ acute musculoskeletal injuries/awaiting for surgery)
  • Target major muscles that assist in their functional daily activities (eg reaching overheads to carry groceries, sitting to standing). Making the exercise more meaningful to the participants.
  • Asanas that improve balance
  • Asanas that increase their joint ROM.

 

Series 1 and 2 is described in detail in this website for more reference. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3639444/

For Series I : Chair, Wall Plank, Tree, Warrior II, Warrior I, Downward Facing Dog, Side Stretch, Chair Twist, Cobra, Bridge and Abdominal Cultivation.

For series 2: Chair, Wall Plank, Tree, Warrior II, Crescent, One-Legged Balance, Side Stretch, Chair Twist, Recumbent Leg Stretch, Bridge and Abdominal Cultivation

 

What kind of modifications was done for the elderly?

Props and hands on tactile cues were given for exteroceptive feedback to achieve better alignment in poses. Some of the examples were:

Series 1 Series 2(more advanced compared to series 1)
·         Chair pose done with yoga block inbwetween knees and back against wall for support

·         Chair pose

 

·         Planking against the wall instead of the floor to reduce upper extremity loading

 

·         Chaturanga with feet placed further and hands more caudally     

·         Tree pose done with hand on wall for support and 1 leg just slightly lifted

·         Tree without wall and on lifted leg on other side of medial foot
·         Warrior 1 and 2 done with rear foot against wall-floor and hand on chair for support

Warrior 1 and 2 without wall and chair support

·         Downward dog done on wall to reduce demand on hamstring flexibility

·         Uthita hasta pandangusthasana modified to 1 legged balance with back against wall and blocks under feet

·         Side stretch same with wall ·         Side stretch with use of chair instead of wall. Increase trunk forwards and hip flexion.

·         Bharadvjasana twist seated on chair to reduce hip and knees flexion demand and using the chair as a lever to twist from the trunk

·         Same as series 1

Most of the other sitting and supine poses uses towels/blankets to cushion the parts of the body which has more pressure (eg hip, pelvis, knees), and modifications of lesser ranging were done.

 

EVALUATION

Overall in the scientific research arena, there is still no exact yoga exercise prescription (frequency, intensity, time, type) for the elderly whether healthy or even those with medical conditions. The supposed gold standard of exercise prescription is ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine). In which the guidelines recommend elderly to participate in minimum 30 mins/ day of moderate intensity aerobic  , at least 3-5 days/week to total of 150mins/week and supplementing resistance, flexibility and balance exercise training.

Therefore, this YESS intervention study is useful in providing a starting framework for development of a yoga class for the elderly. However it is important to note that the 2 studies -Greendale et al (2013) and Osth et al (2019) were done on generally healthy elderly population with controlled medical conditions. It is best to get medical clearance from doctors and screening of each individual elderly is a must. Assessing their balance,joint range, strength, flexibility and physical function can give the instructor an idea of their impairments which will determine certain asanas to be more difficult to manage/needs modifications.

As yoga is not just as exercise intervention, explaining to the elderly the theory and philosophy aspect is equally important. Explanations like how the chakras can be stimulate for each pose, importance of pranayama and breath with movement can help them better understand the purpose and apply even on their daily function (eg, being more mindful and balanced with walking/standing/bending to pick things). This can translate to benefit them in the long term and may even help in preventions of falls and fraility, also reducing the reliance on pharmacological treatments.

 

 

References:

-Effects of yoga on well-being and healthy ageing: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial (FitForAge). Osth et al (2019)

-Yoga Empowers Seniors Study (YESS): Design and Asana Series. Greendale et al (2013)

 

Make Your Hamstrings Strong and Flexible

Hamstrings are the three muscles (bicep femoris, semitendinosus, semimenbranosusat) at the back of the thighs and they’re the third biggest muscles in our body. Their function is the opposite of the quadriceps muscles on the front side of the thigh.

Hamstrings have to be strong and flexible

While you’re training your hamstrings, it leads to an increase in your metabolism and helps prevent injuries or pain during yoga (or any sports).
Tight hamstrings cause poor posture, back pain and other various problems such as sacroiliac joint pain, as they will tend to pull the pelvis out of its normal position.

Function

– Hip joint: thigh extension, thigh external rotation
– Knee joint: leg flexion, leg external rotation
– Stabilizes pelvis

Application on Yoga poses

It works to stabilize the lower body when performing powerful asanas such as hero poses.
Contracted 
– Chair pose (Utkatasana)
– Warrior 3 (Virabhadrasana III)
– Bridge (Setu Bandhasana)
Stretched 
– Downward facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
– Standing Wide Legged Forward Bend (Prasaritha Paddottanasana)
– Half Splits (Ardha Hanumanasana)

Anterior Abdominal Muscles

The abdominal muscles play a big role to stabilize, rotate our trunk and protect the abdominal organs. It has the airbag effect to protect our lumbar spine and prevent the hyperextension of the lumbar spine when we do the backbend in the yoga postures.

The anterior abdominal muscles can be divided in to four groups:

Rectus abdominis

External obliques

Internal obliques

Transverses abdominis

Rectus abdominis

It is a long flat muscle which originates bilaterally from the pubic and pubic crest, inserts on the xyphoid process of the sternum and cartilage of the 5th, 6th and 7th ribs. It is divided into four muscular bodies, separated by the horizontal fibrous bands, resulting into a six pack shape for those who have low body fat.

The main tasks of this muscle is the movement of the trunk, stabilization of the vertebral column and the tension of the abdominal wall. The abdominal press increases the intra-abdominal pressure which occurs during defecation or vomiting. It also support the exhalation by pulling down the thorax through their contraction. Contracting the rectus abdominis brings the trunk forward or ventral flexion, elevation of the pelvis, lowering the thorax. The yoga asana navasana can strengthen the rectus abdominis.

External obliques

It is the largest and most superficial abdominal muscle which is located on each side of the rectus abdominis. It originates from the front of ribs 5 through 12 and lower section of latissimus dorsi, inserts on lower ribs, linea alba, inguinal ligament and anterior half of the iliac crest. When the external obliques are contracted, the same side of the shoulder will be drawn forward. It is responsible to the twist of the body by combining the contraction of the external obliques with the contraction of the other side internal obliques.

Internal obliques

It is located under the external obliques and originates from the lower borders of the lateral 1/3 of inguinal ligament, iliac crest, thoracolumbar fascia and linea alba, inserts on linea alba and ribs 9 through 12. The contraction of the internal obliques brings the opposite side of the shoulder forward, example parivrita trikonasana.

Transverses abdominis

It is the deepest abdominal muscles and originates from the iliac crest, inguinal ligament, thoracolumbar fascia and inner surface of lower six costal cartilage and their ribs 7 to 12, inserts on xyphoid process and linea alba and pubis. The contraction of the transverses abdominis compresses the abdomen and tones the abdominal organs, example santolasana.

 

The abdominal muscles plays an important role in the stabilizing of the body. The weakness in the abdominal muscles may cause the bad posture and the lower back pain is the most common symptoms especially the seniors. There are some yoga poses can strengthen your abdominal muscles.

1 Navasana (boat pose)

Lie down on the back, feet together and hands by side of hips. Inhale, lift both legs up to 60 degrees. Raise the hands points fingers towards the feet. Exhale, pull in the belly, engage the transverses abdominis and peel the upper body off the floor, leaving the sit bones in contact with the ground.

2 Parivrita trikonasana (revolved triangle pose)

Stand in utthita tadasana. Inhale, bring the right leg to 90 degrees and turn the left foot inwards to 45 degrees. extend the both arms at shoulder level, raise the left arm up and lengthen the spine. Exhale, place the left palm on the outside of the right foot. Twist the mid and upper body and gaze at the extended hand.

3 Dwipada uttanpadasana (double leg raise pose)

Lie down on the mat. Inhale, raise both legs up to 90 degrees slowly. Exhale, release both legs down slowly. There are some variation where any one can hold the legs on 30 degrees, 45 degrees or 60 degrees.

 

 

The tightness of the abdominal muscles limits the depth of backbends. The stretching of this muscles can help you to relax and ease the muscles stress and tension.

Bhujangasana (cobra pose)

Lie down on the belly and and bring the hands below the shoulders, palms down, elbows close to the ribs. Inhale, slide the upper body forward and up. Extend the elbows, push the ribs and lower abdomen up, roll your shoulder back. Gaze between the eyebrows.

“Can I do yoga when I am getting old?”

 

By the time when I walk along the road or travel by MRT, I noticed that there are a lot of seniors have a stooped posture known as kyphosis. The most common cause of kyphosis is due to the weakness in the spinal bones that causes them to compress or crack and it may lead to breathing problems, limitation of physical functions, digestive problems and osteoporosis. Aging is the main cause of osteopenia, and it does increase your chances of developing osteoporosis. This bone disease causes fractures, stooped posture, and can lead to severe pain and loss of height. The seniors are also more likely to have the other health concerns such as heart diseases, diabetes, respiratory diseases, falls, arthritis, stroke, depression.

Everyone knows exercise is the best way to stay young and health. How can the seniors begin to exercise if they don’t have the regular exercise habit? I will recommend yoga which is less likely to get injured than running and weight exercise.

Yoga is a joint friendly exercise if you’re doing the proper technique and it combines the strength, balance and flexibility which can bring a lot of benefits to your physical, mental and spiritual. Practicing yoga can increase the muscles tones, the balancing and the flexibility to protect us against falling down. It will also prevent or slow down the process of bone loss by increasing the bone density. Practicing the asanas with pranayama increases the lungs capacity and improves the respiratory system. The back pain can be prevented and treated by strengthen our core muscles. It does help us to strengthen the brain function to keep the mind sharp, and decrease the risk of many diseases e.g. heart diseases, diabetes, blood pressure, headaches.

Yoga means “union” and it is a way to integrate the mind and body together. Yoga move the body stronger, flexible and balance and the seniors will feel capable and stronger when they can maintain a pose in association with the breathing. Hence, the seniors can gain the confidence and independence and makes them happier. Joining a yoga studio let them have more time to meet with friends and new people. In addition, yoga can help to alleviate sleep disturbances and improve the sleeping quality and duration.

Beginning a yoga practice, it’s better to seek a well-trained teacher to guide you a correct technique of the postures. The poor postures may cause a serious injury that you may be unexpected. It’s very important to consult with the doctor or the instructor if you have any diseases, e.g. glaucoma, spinal disc problems, high or low blood pressure, heart diseases. You may start a yoga practice with some beginner asanas such as child pose (balasana), downward facing dog pose (adhomukha shvanasana), plank pose (santolasana), cobra pose (bhujangasana), mountain pose (tadasana).

 

We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing. – George Bernard Shaw

 

Stay healthy and happy 🙂

Acro Yoga

What is Acro Yoga?

Originating in San Francisco, this form of yoga establishes yin and yang through the fusion of  gentle movements found in traditional yoga, acrobatics, and Thai massage. 
Acro Yoga is meant to be enjoyed in pairs, but there must be three people in a practice session. It is also referred to as the “yoga of connection” from it strengthening you and your partner by enabling you to form a connection with others, help each other, and support each other, in both mind and body.
  • Base(the person on the bottom)
  • Flyer(the person elevated by the base)
  • Spotter(support for the base and flyer)

The benefits of Acro Yoga

Its basic benefits of strengthening muscles and increasing flexibility are accompanied by connection and love felt through physical contact with each other. 

Solar and Lunar

It is comprised of the elements of yang and yin, with its acrobatic “Solar” practices and therapeutic “Lunar” practices.
In Lunar practice sessions, you can experience the maximum effects of healing, such as loosening up your body through massages that utilize the whole body, relieving muscle tension, and releasing energy, while making physical contact.
In Solar practice sessions, you increase your energy, strengthen muscles, and improve your flexibility. You can also firmly feel your center of balance from being in unstable positions, correct imbalances, and understand how to properly utilize your body.

Acro Yoga Poses

  • Front Bird Pose

  • High Flying Whale Pose

  • Folded Leaf Pose

  • Jedi Box Move

May You Be Free, Aparigraha

Aparigraha, listed as 5th in Yama, Yoga Sutra, means non-possession of anything that gives suffering for someone and abstention from greed. In psychological terms, it means a state of non-attachment, non-craving and self-satisfaction.

It is seemingly hard to practice this in this modern world, where we are dominated by materialism. Aggravated by social media, we are trapped in a vicious cycle of “Pursuit of wealth – New creation of desires – Pursuit of more wealth”. Our individual happiness has become more and more dependent on external factors such as luxury lifestyle, significant public influence and so on. As a result, our attachment towards materialism has constrained us from achieving internal peace and happiness. The endless creation of temptations in this modern world has made us become impatient and feel easily unsatisfied. Without practice of Aparigraha, it is hard for us to reach a status of Santosha as mentioned in Niyama.

Other than materialistic aspect, Aparigraha also entails “detachment from the past”. It reminds me of a book called “The Courage to Be Disliked” written by Japanese writers, Fumitake Koga and Ichiro Kishimi. The book leverages on the psychologist, Alfred Adler’s theories, explaining how we are all free to determine our own future, regardless of our past experiences. One may believe that his current status is affected by his past trauma, which has shaped whoever he is now (this is under Freudian Psychology). However, Alder believes that we can change who we are at any given moment. This is the application of Aparigraha, which if we choose not to possess ourselves in the past trauma, we can direct ourselves to the way we want to head to.

To practise Aparigraha, we can start to pay attentions to the things that we have pinned our expectations on. Try to let go of these expectations and allow ourselves to live in the moment. Besides, we can also let go of physical things that we do not need. Try to clean out the clutter by getting rid of the things we do not need. Finally, hope we can free ourselves and let inner peace come with us.

Discover Kundalini

As we know, Kundalini is a form of divine energy that is believed to be located at the base of spine, muladhara chakra. Kundalini awakening is way of tapping into a deep and powerful energy that exists within us all. When one experiences Kundalini awakening, he or she will experience a significant boost in confidence. It also gives one a razor sharp intuitive judgement and great enhancement in empathy.

For ages, Kundalini has been represented by symbol of serpent. This is because in Sanskrit, “Kundalini Shakti” means serpent power. This coincides with the energy that is released from the base of spine up to the crown. It is said that Kundalini energy is like a snake coiling at base of spine and waiting to be released to the highest power. Hence, what is the underlying symbol of the serpent? Since in ancient times, the spirit of the serpent represents a rebirth, a transformation and healing of old form since it sheds skin and regenerates a new form.

There are many ways to awaken Kundalini, for example, by mediation, yoga practices and pranayama. During Kundalini awakening process, one can experience tingling down the spine, feeling of deep connection with all living things, relief of any negative emotions and thoughts. It is seemingly tempting to unleash this potential energy in our body, however, there are dangers associated with Kundalini awakening if it is not adopted correctly. Physical symptoms include headaches, hallucinations, fevers and chills while mental symptoms include intense fear, bipolar mood and paranoia.

So what is the scientific explanation for individual’s disorder caused by inappropriate unleash of Kundalini energy? There are many school of thoughts. Researchers refer this as “Physio-Kundalini Syndrome”. Some believe that it is resulted from an electrical polarization spreading along sensory and motor cortices, in turn induced by acoustical standing waves in the cerebral ventricles. While some believe that spiritual evolutionary features are still important part in defining this process. Some doubt the actual activation of Kundalini in the process and believe it is more of profound effect of bioenergy. Although there is no common agreement on the scientific aspect regarding to Physio-Kundalini Syndrome, it is a fact that some people do experience this because of incorrect practice of unleashing Kundalini energy.

Therefore, if one would like to explore the potential energy in himself, it is of ultimate importance that he should be mentally ready for it. It would be better to consult professionals to check if the practice adopted is suitable or not. In the last, I believe that one should not have excessive attachment to the outcome, but the enjoyment of the journey in self-discovery.

Pelvic Tilt and How Yoga Helps

Today, many people live in a sedentary lifestyle. The prolonged sitting has led to some musculoskeletal disorder such as knee pain, scoliosis and pelvic tilt. Today we will zoom into pelvic tilt and study its causes, symptoms and how yoga postures can help improve it.

Anterior and posterior pelvic tilts are two main types of pelvic tilt. Pelvic tilt, other than prolonged sitting as mentioned previously, some are caused by genetic factors while some are also caused by poor postures over the time. This results in increased curvature of lower spine and upper back of the body. Muscle imbalances is another symptom caused by anterior pelvic tilt and lack of stretching and strengthening activities further contribute to pelvic tilt.

There are some yoga poses that help correct pelvic tilt. For anterior pelvic tilt, one is Setu Bandha Sarvangasana/ Bridge Pose. Bridge pose requires one to engage his glutes and hence the pose helps to strengthen the glutes. Weak glutes, on the other hand, may result in hamstrings working overtime and hence are more prone to injury. Meanwhile, anterior pelvic tilt makes hamstrings feel even shorter and one would be trapped into the cycle of anterior pelvic tilt – shorten hamstring – difficult in stretching and overwork of hamstring – more serious anterior pelvic tilt. Practicing bridge pose allows one to strike a muscular balance between glutes and hamstring.

Another yoga pose that helps with anterior pelvic tilt would be Santolasana/ Plank Pose. Anterior pelvic tilt means that hips consistently pull down, having strong abdominal muscle helps pull hips back up. Santolasana strengthens one’s abdominal muscles and hence help improve anterior pelvic tilt. To deepen the practice, one can add side plank during the practices.

For posterior pelvic tilt, one yoga pose that helps is Bhujangasana/ Cobra Pose. It helps to stretch tightened abdominal muscles and hence lengthening them and pull the pelvic bones to a more neutral position.

Another pose to correct posterior pelvic tilt would be Eka Pada Rajakapotasana/ Pigeon Pose. This is because pigeon pose is a great drill for opening up through glutes and outer hips. It is easier for individual to maintain a neutral pelvis and hence correcting posterior pelvic tilt.

Today, with our lifestyle being more sedentary, we have encountered many musculoskeletal disorders which affect us daily mobility if being serious. By engaging these yoga poses in our daily life can help gradually improve the situation.

Comparison Between Yoga and Qigong

As we know, Yoga comes from India and Qigong comes from China. Interestingly, although they originate from 2 oriental civilisations where the culture, history, and philosophies are different, we can find some similarities in the philosophy and practices of Yoga and Qigong.

The Energy System – Prana (Yoga) and Qi (Qigong)

In both Yoga and Qigong, there is a concept of “vital life force”. It is referred as “Prana” in Yoga and “Qi” in Qigong. In Yoga, there are 5 main categories of Prana: Apana Vayu, Samana Vayu, Prana Vayu, Udana Vayu and Vyana Vayu. Comparatively, the idea of “Qi” in China has been applied to Traditional Chinese Medicine, which refers to 6 common types of weather, “Feng”(Windy), “Han”(Cold), “Shu”(Hot), “Shi”(Humid), “Zao”(Dry), “Huo”(Heaty). The disturbance in the energy results in diseases.

The Storage of Energy – Chakra (Yoga) and Dantian (Qigong)

In Yoga, there are 7 Chakras in human body, which are Muladhara Chakra, Swadhisthana Chakra, Manipura Chakra, Anahata Chakra, Vishuddha Chakra, Ajna Chakra and Sahasrara Chakra. However, in Qigong, it is believed that Dantian is the only place where stores “Qi”.

The Channel of Energy – Nadi (Yoga) and JingLuo(Qigong)

In Yoga, there is an idea of “Nadis”, which are channels that energy flow through the body. There are 3 principal nadis that run from the base of spine to the head, and are the ida on the left, sushumna in the center and pingala on the right. Ida is associated with the lunar energy, it controls more mental process. Pingala is associated with solar energy which controls more vital process. Sushumna interpenetrates the cerebrospinal axis and it refers to both nostrils being open and free to the passage of air.

In Qigong, energy is channelled via JingLuo, aka meridians. There are 12 main meridians which connects between organs in the human body. There are 2 types of meridians, “Yin” and “Yang” respectively, where Yin can be mapped to “Ida” in Yoga and “Yang” is mapped to Pingala.

Conclusion

We can see the similarities and differences behind Yoga and Qigong. There is no concrete rule saying which idea is superior to the other. Today, we can see that both practices are adopted for individuals’ health and wellbeing. And one may see a trend of convergence in these two practices in the future. Adoption of whatever practice depends very much on individuals’ preferences. The ultimate idea is to achieve the balance among individuals’ mind, body and spirituality.

 

 

Journey to Front Splits: A Hip Opening Flow

Source: Yoga Dharma

 

Hip openers powerfully stimulate and balance the muladhara, or root chakra. By physically rooting our pelvic floor and the base of our spine into the Earth, we plug ourselves into the vibrational current of the planet. It also activates the sacral chakra, Svadisthana, which is translated as dwelling in a place of the self. This energy center relates to fun, freedom, creativity, flexibility, and pleasure. When we open our hips, we restore our reproductive organs, which at a base level represent the original force creating existence. Through creating balance in these chakras we can become grounded, comfortable within our own identity, inherently creative, and flexible in changing environments, not excessively holding on to what you thought before. Before you start this practice, meditate on something you would like to let go of that you feel prevents you from expressing yourself fully.

Each asana holds meaning that’s intended to connect us to our deeper beings. This hip opening flow ends with Hanumanasana, the yogic name to the famous front splits. Hanuman, the ancient Monkey God in the mythological times, was famous for his powerful leaps, as he was able to jump over South India to Sri Lanka to rescue Sita, the Queen, who was kidnapped by the Lord of Darkness. Such leap is memorialized in the pose. Similar to Hanuman’s devotion in saving the queen, this asana expresses the expansiveness possible when you fully commit to your practice.

This flow will focus on the following major movements and muscular engagements:

(1) Opening the Hamstrings

(2) Opening the Hip Flexors

(3) Lengthening Your Stride

(4) Engagement of Glutes, Pelvic Floor, Psoas, and Core

(5) Keeping the spine neutral while performing all (important to prevent lower back injury, don’t go into anterior tilt).

It’s important to note that any hip opening pose must be approached with humility, even if you’re already quite flexible. Many flexible people further stretch their already-open hamstrings but allow their pelvis to tip forward (anterior tilt). This creates an imbalance and leads to lower back pain when students attempt, as they should, to lift the spine.

Hanumanasana requires the work of the hips and hamstrings, while balancing the upper body on the pelvis. With the hips and the legs moving in opposite directions, the hip flexors and hamstrings need to be strong and flexible to attain the required balance and stability.

 

Warmup (5 mins)

  • Table Top Cat Cow (1 min)
  • Table top with leg pulsing on each side (1 min)
  • 5 rounds of Surya Namaskar A (3 mins)

Main Sequence

Standing Sequence (25 minutes)

  • Prasarita Padottanasana ABCD (3 minutes)
  • Parsvottanasana
    • Praying hands (1 minute)
    • Hugging and kissing knee (1 minute)
  • Surya Namaskar A Half til Downward Dog (30 seconds)
  • Vinyasa on Both sides: Downward dog – Three legged downdog with knee flexing- Active pigeon- Sleeping Pigeon- Child’s Pose- Repeat on left side (6 minutes)
  • Vinyasa on Both sides: High lunge- Warrior 1- Skandasana- Warrior 2- Birds of paradise- Tadasana (8 minutes)
  • Surya Namaskar A Half til Downward Dog (30 seconds)
  • Lizard pose + Quad Stretch Both sides (2 minutes)
  • Active Malasana (2 minutes)
    • Active Malasana Level 2: For more adduction stretch, step on the blocks while still pushing the thighs back and engaging hamstrings
    • Active Malasana Level 3: place forearm and palm flat on the ground, flap legs sideways
  • Goddess Pose (1 minute)

Seating Sequence (10 minutes)

  • Paschmitonasana A (1 minute)
  • Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana Both sides (2 minutes)
  • Triang Mukha Eka Pada admotanasana (2 minutes)
  • Split drills with blocks (Get two blocks. Put them near your pelvis. Keep on placing one block in front of another until you extend your arms to its maximum. Once arms are at maximum, fold forward) (2 minutes)
  • Hanumanasana (3 minutes)
    • Focus on leveling the pelvis instead of reaching to the ground
    • Keep hips squared; try to avoid going into an anterior tilt
    • Press your inner thighs towards each other to help support the pelvis.
    • Engage hip flexors, glutes, pelvic core, psoas, and core

Counter Pose/ Closing (5 minutes)

  • Hug knees in supine pose
  • Supine twist
  • Shoulder stand
  • Shoulderstand Lotus Pose (Padma Sarvangasana)
  • Inversion: Headstand or Tripod

Shavasana (5 minutes)