Asana Technique: My Love-Hate Relationship With Parivritta Parsvakonasana

In most of the yoga classes that I attend, Parivritta Parsvakonasana (Revolved Side-Angle Stretch Pose) is always ever present to taunt the flexibility and strength of my legs and hips joints and to stretch the limits of my ankle mobility.

 

In trying to keep my hips square to the front of the mat and in trying to maintain a perfect 90-degree angle in my front leg, I often find my both legs trembling, tilting my body and making me fall to the ground. The next tricky part is in staying focused with the trunk twisted and the chest open. I would chant to myself “Just breathe… breathe…” hoping and praying that the pose will be over soon.

 

Something happened the other day in one of our YTT class, Master Paalu changed my perspective on the pose and made me aware of what I should be doing. The master teacher tried to knock off each student from this standing pose. That is when I realized that I relaxed my hip and thigh muscles as I try to lengthen my spine and do the twist. This caused more of my body weight to shift forward to my front leg, loosing grip of the back foot, triggering the wobbling of the legs.

 

I must create first a stable base with my hips even before I start to lengthen my spine and do the twist. For EACH breathe and twisting of the spine, I must go back and re-check if my front leg’s hip and thigh muscles are still contracted; if my back hip are connected with back leg/foot; if the back foot is still pressing firmly on the floor; if my back leg are still straightened and engaged — that not even a strong nudge will topple the body from this twisted pose. 

 

These are some of the variations that one can do to execute the pose:

 

a) Variation for the back leg:

– If it is pretty challenging to keep the back leg lifted while keeping the toes on the mat, one can gently lower down the back knee to the floor. Un-tuck the toes and rest the back of the foot on the floor.

 

b) Variation for the back foot:

– The full pose is to position the back foot in a 45-degree angle to the back of the mat. If this is not anatomically possible, lift-up the back foot’s heel and keep the toes touching the mat. As you inhale and exhale into the pose, slowly try to ground the back foot to the mat but consciously maintain the engaged hips in its square position (to front of the mat).

 

c) Variation for the arms:

– Hands are in Prayer pose or Namaste position, or,

– Front hand is on the floor (or on a block) while the other arm extends over the head, or,

– For those with more open shoulders and chest, they may do the bound variation: wrap the top arm around and under the backside of the torso and grasp the bottom hand at the wrist if possible.

 

Parivritta Parsvakonasa has lots of benefits for the body. As much as I dread to do it, I have much respect for the pose. It has to be there in my yoga practice. It opens the chests and shoulders, strengthens the core, tones the thighs, stretches the abdominal muscles, detox the abdominal organs, increases blood circulation, improves balance and increases the mental focus. I simply love ♡ the pose as it keeps my ego grounded – it makes me accept the current state of my hips, shoulders and ankle joints. Most importantly, the pose reminds me to be always present at the current moment…

 

Melissa J (200hr YTT – July 2017 batch)

CHAKRA

Class batch: RYT200hrs, P/T, Apr – Jun 2017

Project title: Philosophy

Project theme: Chakra

Project by: Andre Neo Tai Chin

High res download link for image (Detail view) below: https://goo.gl/oaJYkw

1. Muladhara, 396 Hertz, MP3 download link: https://goo.gl/BVw8kQ

2. Swadhishthana, 417 Hertz, MP3 download link: https://goo.gl/odS1Xa

3. Manipura, 528 Hertz, MP3 download link: https://goo.gl/cX3kAQ

4. Anahata, 639 Hertz, MP3 download link: https://goo.gl/uj9bX4

5. Vishuddha, 741 Hertz, MP3 download link: https://goo.gl/IZ6UD7

6. Ajna, 852 Hertz, MP3 download link: https://goo.gl/o6H2VA

7. Sahasrara, 963 Hertz, MP3 download link: https://goo.gl/CICJKa

8. All 7 Chakras Hertz, MP3 download link: https://goo.gl/XDOL9M

Summary

CHAKRA
Chakra literally means a wheel or disc, that enables energy to flow through or around it at various speeds, different directions, at different orbits, with a centre that is anchored to a fixed point. Each chakra represents a state of consciousness. It is a centre of subtle awareness and has a specifc feeling, tone, bliss or joy or emotion. It is, in effect, a storage place for energy forces. The summary chart explains and compiled in a nutshell for your easy reference use.

ROCKET YOGA 1 LED (ARM BALANCE INCLUSION)

Class batch: RYT200hrs, P/T, Apr – Jun 2017

Project title: Asana

Project theme: Rocket Yoga 1 LED (Arm Balance Inclusion)

Project by: Andre Neo Tai Chin

High res download link for image (Detail view) below: https://goo.gl/GnDXUp

Summary

ROCKET YOGA 1 LED
It follows the style of yoga developed by Larry Schultz, which derived from the first and second series of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga.  I have included arm balance variations/sequences where its origin (Rocket Yoga 1) was not introduced. Rocket Yoga 1 is an intense physical practice that works with the nervous system, building strength in both body and mind, and creating a transformative experience that make practitioners feel more alive. Practitioners are encouraged to make modifications of the postures according to their level of practice and physical abilities. Some pranayama, chanting and meditation may be included.  

Oh my goddess pose!

This is the pose to do for everyone who wants to leave negative feelings behind, be opened and overcome a broken heart. Goddess pose reminds you that you are in charge of your happiness!

The sanskirt name states how strong this pose is working for you – Utkata Konasana, where utkata means powerful or fierce (kona means angle). Fierce is represented in the angle of the legs but also in the strength and determination built through mastering this pose. In addition to lighten your emotions, drawing energy form the universe and empowering yourself for challenges to come, this pose also gives a nice workout on your quadriceps, hip groins, chest and inner thighs.

To get into the pose start in Tadasana, place your hands on your hips and then bring your feet about three to four feet apart. Turn your heels in and toes out to pointing in the corner of your mat. Bend your knees deeply so that they are aligned directly over your toes and lower your hips into a squat. Work your thighs to be parallel to the floor. Keep your hands on your hips, place them at heart centre or extend your arms out to the sides at shoulder height with your palms facing down, before turning your thumbs up toward the ceiling, so that your palms face forward. Bend your elbows and point your fingertips toward the sky; your upper arms and forearms should be at a 90-degree angle. Tailbone is drawn in slightly and hips are pressed forward, while drawing your thighs back. Roll your shoulders down your back and fix your gaze.

Utkata Konasana heats your body and allows a good circulation. This is a pose which develops outer and inner power at the same time and balances the body inside and out. The main chakra tackled in this pose is the svadisthana chakra (second chakra) that sits in the lower abdomen and pelvic area. This chakra is linked to self-esteem, fertility, loving yourself and consciousness of the own body. Practice this pose at seaside to really feel the drawing of energy from the universe when staying in Utkata Konasana.

 So next time you want to say oh my G…. just inhale and exhale deeply and get into goddess pose to balance yourself inside and out!

BG

Asana: The Beginning of the Journey

“and I said to my body, softly. ‘I want to be your friend.‘ it took a long breath and replied, ‘I have been waiting my whole life for this‘” – Nayyirah Waheed.

 


 
After chancing upon the weekly yoga class (Denise Chew) at the gym I was at, a relationship began to form between my mind and my body.  In time, I began to feel my body speaking to me. Perhaps it wasn’t quite as poetic in the way Nayyirah Waheed describes it, but there was an unmistakable feeling of doing something positive and nurturing for myself, as well as a definite sense of gratitude and serenity from my physical body resonating in reply.
 
As a person who enjoys physical activities, I have always had a regular habit of exercising, including running, interval training, racket and ball games – all of which I found enjoyable, but none of which gave me a calm, centered, and serene disposition the way yoga did. Curious, I began to question why.
 
At this point in time, my life took a turn in the direction of Chiang Mai, and I began practicing at various yoga shalas there (Yoga Tree and Wild Rose).  It was in Chiang Mai that I was fortunate enough to come across who I consider to be my first teacher – a British man called Rupert J, who was once a successful businessman, but gave up most of his material possessions to travel through India and thereafter Thailand. His classes were markedly different from any class I had attended in Singapore.  He spoke about compassion, cultivating an attitude of gratitude, surrendering to Mother Earth, and said that the ultimate goal of yoga was to attain liberation from the suffering mind and worldly desires (kaivalya). My interest piqued, and after a pranayama session with him, asked him point blank: “What really is this yoga thing?”
 
He sat down with me and gave me a brief introduction on Raja Yoga, talking about the 8 limbs, starting with the yamas and the niyamas.  Thereafter, he pointed me towards the introduction in “Light on Yoga”, the Yoga Sutras, and guided me through my first seated meditation. My journey with yoga slowly began.  At this point, the first clue as why the practice of asana calms the mind was revealed to me in verses 2:46 – 2:48 of the Sutras.
 
Fast forwarding a couple of years, I’m still learning about yoga, the chakras, the nadis, kundalini tantra, as well as actively developing my meditation practice. I also have had the privilege of studying under great teachers from the Krishnamacharya lineage like Yogacharya Bharath Shetty (disciple of B.K.S Iyengar), Master Paalu Ramasamy and Master Satya Chong Wei Long (disciples of B.N.S. Iyengar). On the swadhyaya front, my first readings of the Yoga Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita honestly raised more questions than provided answers – but I’ve learnt to accept and embrace this while not judging myself on this account.  In so doing, I’m beginning to learn to trust the process and not be too attached to the outcome.  All this wouldn’t be possible without the first instance of trying out yoga asana at the gym.
 


 
My point is, the way we can reach out to the masses, and in so doing, spread the joy of yoga, is to be well versed and trained in the practice of asana.
 
After people feel the benefits of the physical practice, it would be natural for them to inquire further.  Then, they will be able to experience the healing powers that yoga can exert on our emotional and mental planes, and appreciate the sense of serenity it brings to the mind – hopefully, they will start to seek, and eventually embark upon the practice of ceasing the fluctuations of the mind (yogash chitta vritti nirodah) – beginning to see the world not through the lens that modern society at large has programmed us into, but to see the world as it is – without our ego colouring and distorting the picture (thereby ridding of the illusion which falsely identifies our bodies as the seer, when it is merely the instrument of seeing – Sutras 2:6).
 
Asana is the first vehicle that we can use to touch a great number of people’s lives. The journey inward into our subtle bodies begins with the physical body in its gross form. After all, B.K.S. Iyengar has said (in an interview in Aligning to the Source), in the context of the widespread proliferation of yoga in the modern world, that “after touching the gross, probably they may see the subtle and the subtlest as time goes by….
 
Wishing you peace and contentment,
Adriel
 
 

Yoga was about physical exercise for me

Yoga is more than just a form of physical exercise. The modern understanding of yoga does great injustice to it. If you ask any other person on the street about their understanding of the word, there is a high chance that their replies would generally be that it is a stretching workout for really flexible people or that it is a highly dangerous workout that causes a lot of injuries among its practitioners.
To those who have some Sanskrit language knowledge, they would know that the term Yoga comes from the Sanskrit root word “Yug”, which means union. Union? Union of? That’s a very vague terminology. Yoga practitioners seek union of their physical body, mind and soul with the divine through the practice of yoga. There are a number of types of yoga. The one that we conveniently have thought it to be is only one of the eight aspects of the Ashtanga Yoga. The physical exercise that is made up of various poses is called Asana.
Another confusion in the field of yoga is the definition of the terms “hatha” and “vinyasa”. Through this course, I realize that practitioners of hatha yoga practise their asanas by holding a particular pose for a longer period of time. Sequence of poses is not highly important in this category. On the other hand, vinyasa yoga is more demanding. The execution of each pose must be precise, the sequence of poses must obey a certain set of guidelines and the transition between poses must be smooth in terms of movement, breath and energy flow.
The other aspects of yoga that are still overshadowed by the overly emphasized Asana are Pranayama, Dhyana, Yama, Niyama, Dharana, Pratyahara and Samadhi. In this article, I would share my understanding of the other two aspects, which are overshadowed by the practice of Asana; Pranayama and Dharana.
Pranayama, which is often treated as a secondary aspect of yoga as compared to Asana, is often being undermined as a mere breathing exercise. Modern science and medical studies could only draw conclusions in terms of physical, chemical and biological effect of breathing, the exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen in alveoli and the importance of oxygen in our body for sustenance. But from pranayama’s point of view, the western philosophy on breathing is only the tip of the iceberg. The word “prana” has already made it obvious that the practice involves energy, more than just the energy derived from the food that we consume. Similar to the traditional Chinese medicine’s concept of Qi, “prana” is the vital energy that is intangible, abstract and almost mystic. However, this abstract form of energy is the key difference between a living man and a dead one.
The practice of pranayama is claimed to have physical, mental and spiritual benefits to the practitioners. If spiritual advantages are considered beyond your comprehension of logic, then do at least consider the immediate and obvious benefits of the exercises.
For example, the practice of Nadi Shodana, which consists of alternate nostril breathing and breath retention, does directly or indirectly makes the body (circulatory system) especially the heart and lungs to work more efficiently. With a doubled time of exhalation, a doubled time of breath retention and a doubled time of void of breath (after exhalation), the lungs would be “forced” to be more efficiently in absorbing the oxygen from every breath that the body takes. Indirectly, the heart would need to pump more blood (that carries carbon dioxide) into the lungs for the gas exchange and get the oxygen-rich blood cells to deliver oxygen to various parts of the body. A specific time to breathe, such as 5 seconds, is generally longer than our regular breathing. This means we train ourselves to develop deeper breathing habits. Deeper breathing would lead to more oxygen in every inhalation. Longer time of exhalation would mean that a higher percentage of the air exhaled contains carbon dioxide. Thus lesser oxygen would be released through respiration as compared to our regular breathing. Longer breath retention time would mean more time for the lungs and blood to exchange carbon dioxide for oxygen. Lastly, longer time of body without breath would train the body to be more efficiently in the delivery of oxygen-rich blood cells to vital organs and parts of body, it would create “hungry” oxygen deprived blood cells that would absorb oxygen faster and it would train the mind and body to not be in a state of panic in cases where there is an unexpected trauma.
The third aspect of yoga is somewhat being overlooked or misunderstood by its more abstract cousin, dhyana. General public often fail to recognize that the link between the state of conscious and meditation is the art of concentration, Dharana. Perhaps it is easier for the people in the past to practice concentration. The reason for coming to such conclusion is that in this current age, we have reached to a stage where we are constantly being surrounded by distractions of all sorts. It could be the television or the Internet. It could be pop culture or fashion. Surrounded by sky-high buildings that seem trying to reach the heavens and media that bombard us with endless flow of information 24/7, one would not be surprised at how short the attention span of the younger generation is. Mankind has become so accustomed to fast changing landscape that their patience grow thinner and their knowledge is skewed towards superficial subjects. Mankind becomes more and more entrapped and enslaved in this illusion-world.  Weakness in dharana is revealed in situations when the mind takes the reins of your body and gives you an emotional roller-coaster ride. The failure to keep the mind under your control means that your concentration is weak.
Dharana trains the body to be disciplined. Concentration comes in various forms such as determination, perseverance, endurance and focus. But the essence is same which is concentration. It helps to prevent the mind from overtaking the body. Concentration would aid us from becoming easily affected by external factors. When we are no affected by external factors, our tasks would be easier and faster to accomplish. Being concentrated does not mean we become oblivious to the surroundings. We are still well aware of what is happening around us but we have an option to turn off those that are not pertinent in our lives.
In practice, there are many ways to train our concentration. One of the ways is to use visual or imagery to train the mind to focus. In Buddhist practice, mandalas are used to aid the believers to focus and concentrate before transcending into a state of meditation. Some rely sounds, from chants or bells, to get into meditation. Others use the sense of touch, such as hand mudras, as point of focus. Only after we have successfully practise dharana, we would then be ready for dhyana, meditation.
 
Riesal
(200hr Yoga TTC – July 2013)
“But I could be wrong.”
― Carl Sagan

UTTANASANA (Deep standing forward bend)

Meaning: Intense stretch
–  This is one of the poses within the sun salutation sequence
Dristi: Nosetip
Preparation poses:
1)   Paschimottanasana  (West posterior stretch pose)
2)   Ardha Uttanasana (Standing half forward bend)
3)   Forward bend leaning on a chair
4)   Uttanasana with knees bent, then slowly engage quads to straighten
Steps:
1)   Stand in Tadasana with feet hip width apart and hands on the hip
2)   Breathe in and lengthen the spine by arching back
3)   Exhale and flex the hip forward by contracting the hip flexors (including psoas, pectineus and rectus femoris muscles)
4)   When bending forward, shift weight slightly to the toes
5)   Pronate both arms and press palms into the mat
6)   Activate the lower part of the trapezius to draw shoulders away from the neck
7)   Contract deltoids and biceps to flex the elbow
8)   Contract rectus abdominis muscles slightly to deepen the stretch and to protect the lower back
9)   Engage the quadriceps by pulling the kneecaps (patella) up to prevent knees from bending.
10)  Aim to flatten your torso against your thighs
11)   Hold in Uttanasana for 5 Ujjayi breaths, with eyes gazing at the nosetip
12)   Attempt to deepen the stretch with each exhalation
13)   After 5 breaths, slowly inhale and extend the hip joint by engaging the abdomen
14)   Return to Tadasana
Variations to Uttanasana:
Padangusthasana (Standing forward bend with bound toe)
Padahasthasana (Standing forward bend with palms under the feet)
Counter poses to Uttanasana:
Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)
Purvottanasana (East anterior stretch pose)
Muscles lengthening/Stretching:
Erector spinae, quadratus lumborum, gluteus maximus, gluteus minimus (posterior), hamstrings, gastrocnemius
Muscles contracting:
Psoas, pectieus, rectus femoris, trapezius, deltoids, biceps, rectus abdominis, quadriceps
Stretch reflex in Uttanasana:
When bending forward, the muscles being stretched (namely hamstrings, gluteus maximus and erector spinae) will involuntarily contract in order to resist over lengthening. This is a protective response to avoid injury to the muscles. When the erector spinae contracts, the back rounds and this prevents deepening of the stretch in Uttanasana. When the hamstrings contract, the knees flex and this again prevents deepening of the stretch. Rounding of the back and flexing of the knees are very common mistakes when executing this Asana. In order to lessen the stretch reflex, relax into the stretch and practice passive stretching in forward bend. This allows the muscles to adjust to the stretch.
Contraindications to the pose:
1)   People with back injuries – Attempt pose with bent knees and move into the pose cautiously
2)   People with neck injuries – Always lengthen the neck and avoid compressing the back of the neck as you look forward
3)   People with Osteoporosis
Caution:
A disc bulge may occur if too much weight is borne by the Lumbar spine. To prevent this, avoid rounding the lower back.
Benefits of the pose:
1)   Helps to reduce stress and calm the mind
2)   Stimulates the Pineal, Hypothalamus and Pituitary endocrine glands in the brain
3)   Stimulates the liver and kidney
4)   Improves digestion
5)   Relieves headaches, menstrual cramps and insomnia
6)   Helps correct spinal problems such as scoliosis

Sirsasana

Sirsasana or headstand is a pose that predominantly uses isometric contraction as the muscles contract to stabilize the body. In this pose the prime mover is the serratus anterior, shown in the image in red. This muscle originates from the ribs and inserts in the scapula with contraction drawing the scapula away from the spine and allowing the hands to extend above the head. The serratus anterior combines with the lower trapezius to depress the scapula. At the same time the rhomboids contract to prevent the scapula from rotating too much. The latissimus dorsi help prevent the winging of the scapula, but are also stretched.

Image

The arms are flexed above the head and slightly externally rotated. The pectorialis major flexes arm up while the infraspinitus assists in external rotation of shoulders. Engaging medial triceps brachii prevents movement of elbows out to sides. The triceps stabilize arms and shoulders. Forearms help to balance body, hands slightly supinated. Rectus abdominus slightly engaged to ensure neutral, or slight posterior tilt of the pelvis. Other core muscles such as the transverse abdominus also provide stability and protect the spine.  

The gastrocnemius and soleus contract to point the foot while the tibialis anterior stretches.

The inverted position of sirsasana has effects on a number of systems in the body. If a student is calm and relaxed in sirsasana the inverted position will increase the stroke volume, that is, the volume of blood ejected by each ventricle during a single contraction. This is because gravity assists in the blood leaving the ventricles rather than pushing against it as it does when we are standing. If the student is calm their heart rate will should lower as more blood is leaving the heart so fewer stroke per minute are required. This takes some of the stress off the heart. The inverted state also makes it easier for blood from the toes to return to the heart.

According to yoga theories sirsasana is also one of the best poses for benefiting the pituitary gland which regulates many of the bodies hormones, particularly those relating to the thyroid, affecting our metabolism; adrenal cortex stimulating the release of glucocortoids and thus increasing blood glucose; hormones such as follicle stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, prolactin and oxytocin which are involved in reproduction and human growth hormone which stimulates our growth as the inverted position directs a greater quantity of blood to the head.

Image

Halasana technique

The name comes from the Sanskrit words hala meaning “plow” and asana meaning “posture” or “seat. The plow is represented in the myths and traditional stories of Egypt, China, Tibet & India. In the Ramayana, King Janaka uncovers a beautiful baby girl as he is plowing the earth in a sacrificial ground. He adopts the baby and names her Sita, and she later becomes the beautiful wife of Rama. This story relates the power of the plow as a tool for revealing hidden treasures.

 
Benefits:

  • Calming, restorative effect on the sympathetic nervous system
  •  Assists in balancing the glandular secretions adrenaline and thyroxin
  •  Improve in the elimination of toxins in the digestive and urinary tracts
  • Relief from hypertension in the pose for those with high blood pressure
  • helps nourish the thoracic and lumbar regions of the spine by increasing circulation and suppleness
  • Promote mental clarity and increased vitality

 
Finishing sequence:
Halasana  is part of the finishing pose as it helps to prepare the practitioner for relaxation, pranayama and meditation. This pose taps into the body’s natural processes of relaxation by pacifying the nerves, soothing the brain and heart , and regulating the breath. All this preparation helps to develop the stillness and alertness needed for pranayama and meditation.
 
Cautions:

  • Take care not to overwork and possibly injure the vulnerable cervical vertebrae.
  • Practice on a thicker yoga mats else if you are using a thinner mat, try folding the mat in half to create a double thickness under your head, shoulders, and arms, or use two mats, one on top of the other.
  •  Additional support will be needed in the event of serious neck problems
  • This pose can put significant strain on the cervical spine, which does not normally undergo this type of stress, and can cause injury if not performed properly.As alternatives, simply lying on the back and raising the legs into a hamstring stretch, or doing a seated forward bend may be appropriate.

Step-by-step:

  • Lie flat down on your mat with arms at your sides, palms down pressing into the floor.
  • Spread your shoulder blades apart with a slight inward rotation of the arms.
  • With an inhalation, lift your legs up to vertical, keeping your spine flat on the floor.
  •  Take several breaths here, feeling the release of any tension in the throat, shoulders, and chest with each exhalation.
  • With your next exhalation, slowly draw your navel toward the spine and lift your legs over your head, lifting your hips off the floor.

Beginner’s  tip:

  1.  move near a wall and with your legs vertical,
  2. bend your knees to 90 degrees &  press your feet into the wall, and practice raising your hips.
  3. When you feel a softness coming to your frontal body, move away from the wall to work at lifting your legs over your head until they are parallel with the floor.
  4. Keep your legs firm, your knees straight, and avoid hardening your buttocks.
  5. With your toes on the floor, lift your top thighs and tailbone toward the ceiling and draw your inner groins deep into the pelvis. Continue to draw your chin away from your sternum and soften your throat.

 

  • Once you can maintain your balance( shown in the above pic), focus on the rise and fall of the breath, filling the back of the lungs as you inhale
  •  As the spine lifts, the toes will sink toward the floor.
  •  Keep normal breathing and  with each cycle, try  to release tension in the frontal body while supporting the lift in the back body (spine).
  • After 10 cycles of breath, slowly bend your knees and roll the spine down until the whole back side of your body rests on the floor.

Beginner ( first timer) lesson plan

5 min:

  • Introduce your self
  • Ask for medical history, not feeling well

20 min:

  • Do OM X3; explain OM

It is believed to be the basic sound of the universe, the cosmic vibration and contains all other sounds. When repeated correctly it penetrates all and creates harmony and unity with all that exists – with mind, body and spirit and that to all others

  • Start on breathing; show them how to breath, exhaling sucking in the belly and inhaling expanding tummy.

Warm up :
Legs:

  • Move your legs on the spot( jogging style)
  • Swing your left leg forward and backward x5 ( do the same with the right leg)

Hip:

  • Stretch out your hand and move up ( inhale ) & move down ( exhale) with hands touching the mat x5
  • Stretch your hand up and interlock your fingers. Inhale and stretch. Do the same on the left side and right side (holding breath for 3 counts)

Shoulder:

  • Rotate your shoulder clockwise and anti clockwise

Neck:

  • Rotate your neck, left to right and right to left x5

30 min:
Asana:
Sun salutation A

  • Stand at the front of the mat, place hand together in prayer position.
  • Inhale, arms up and As you exhale, hollow out your belly and fold into Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend), connecting down into the earth. Keep your legs firmly engaged.
  • Inhale half way up, look up , hands placing on the mat, step right leg backwards followed by left leg.
  • Stay in plank position
  • Inhale and exhale normally
  • Exhale,8 limbed staff pose on the mat  where  toes, knees, chest, chin are touching the floor
  • In hale , lift the knees, moving slightly forwards into upward facing dog.
  • Exhale into downward facing dog.( adho mukha svanasana)-breakdown as below:
  1. Come into all fours
  2. Place your knees right under your hips, making sure first you have fully extended your spine.
  3. Place your hands on your mat, shoulder-width apart
  4. Light spread your fingers and making sure your middle finger faces directly forward.
  5. Lift your pelvis to the ceiling and draw your hips back, look at your feet. They should be hip distance apart.
  6. Your heels may / may not touch the ground- try to ground your heels ( you will be able to feel your spine being stretch and your hips, hamstrings & shoulders)
  7. Press hands and stretch your hips back from the tops of your thighs.
  8. Shift your weight back into your hips and look towards your belly
  9. Ensure the crown of your head is aligned to the natural line of your spine
  10. Breath slowly X5
  11. On your 5th exhale, bend your knees & look between your hands.
  • In hale, look up place right leg between the palms and repeat the same for left leg.
  • Exhale back into uttanasana ( standing forward bend)
  • Inhale and stand up in praying post.
  • Remain here for a few breaths & continue your next  salute

Standing pose:
Trikonasana=Triangle pose;Utthita trikonasana:
(Do take a block if needed)

  • From Tadasana( mountain pose) facing the long edge of the your mat.
  • Step your feet wide apart and turn your left foot out so it is parallel to the front of your mat
  • And turn your left foot in slightly.
  • On inhalation, raise your arms parallel to the floor, extend your arm bones away from your center with all your heart.
  • On exhalation, bend towards right leg, keeping hip square. Place your right hand on your right leg / on a block/ hold the ankle.
  • Keep your gazing point towards the your left thumb; keep your breast wide apart and look up. Breath for x5 . Repeat on the left side.

Savasana/Cool down( 5 min):

  • Lie down, spread your legs apart, your palms facing towards the ceiling.
  • For instant relaxation, in hale & tense your toes, ankles, thighs, buttocks and abdomen. Exhale
  • Inhale and make your hands into fist, tense your chest, biceps/ triceps , facial muscles, crown of your head and exhale
  • Relax and focus on your right feet, relax your toe, thigh, ankle. Relax your left feet, toe, ankle, thigh.
  • Relax your abdomen, and focus on your hands. Relax your shoulder, hand, ankle, wrist, fingers.
  • Relax your facial muscle, your eyes, your head crown
  • Bring the awareness back to body and sit in Sukhahasana. Bow gratitude.