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Supta Virasana

I’ve been asked by a couple of yoga students to teach them some ‘advanced’ asanas in a private session. These days I teach so cautiously that I rarely give advanced poses. Besides, I don’t practice them much myself, as I try to fit in all the categories of poses in a sort of holistic approach .

I do standing poses because they keep me grounded, which is good for my airy vata constitution.

I like up-side-down poses because, well, they give me new perspectives on the world, no matter how many times I’ve done headstands or shoulderstands over the years.

And, I can count on twists to be therapeutically joyful.

There are so many preparations for poses and the basic postures and variations on them that I never run out of things to do. Not to mention pranayama and meditation. Not advanced work, but constant and mindful, that’s my aim and challenge enough

So what will I teach tomorrow? A session that is hopefully intense enough and at the same time thoughtful….

Warm-up for hips and upper back:
Lying down, block pose
Supta Virasana
Pelvic lifts
Standing, urdhva hastasana
Garudasana
Dynamic:
Adho mukha svanasana
Step-back lunges
Tadasana
Parsvakonasana
Virabhadrasana 1
Trikonasana
Ardha Chandrasana
Prasarita Padottanasana
Pincha Mayurasana
Adho Mukha Vrkshasana
Salabhasana
Bhujangasana
Dhanurasana/Parsva Dhanurasana
Chair – Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana & Ekapada V.D.
Urdhva Dhanurasana
Parsva Uttanasana
Winding Down:
Sarvangasana, +variations
Halasana
Marichyasana 3
Janu Sirsasana & Paschiomattanasana
Savasana
Sitting
Here’s some tips for the “simple backbends” you do lying in the prone position:
  1. Make sure you use your deep neck flexors to lift your head.
  2. Hollow your abdomen as you lift up, but keep your bottom ribs on the floor.
  3. Squeeze your thighs lightly.
  4. Keep your buttocks firm but not clenched.
  5. Use your mid-back muscles to strengthen your shoulderblades.
  6. Keep your shoulderblades down toward your waist.
  7. Move your groins away from your kidneys and your kidneys toward your head.
  8. Most of all, don’t be pushy!