Families of Poses: The Thrill of Being Upended

Jul 10, 2013 | Families of Poses, Inversions, XPoses, Yoga practices | 0 comments

Upside down is such an interesting way of looking at the world. Beginners in yoga can get quite excited by turning upside down, and that can be good or bad. Too much excitement can take you out of your body; but just the right amount can make you feel elated. However, too much excitement might just give you the practice you need in calming yourself down.
Amazing things happen to your body’s systems and organs when you are inverted. It’s like the tide of a mighty river or ocean suddenly reversing.
For a change, you might want to split your yoga session into a morning and an afternoon practice. The sequence below works well for an afternoon session and will set you up with energy for the evening.
Just a few notes:

  1. If you are newer to yoga, limit your practice so you only do the preparations for headstand, shoulderstand, and plough poses until you build up the necessary strength and flexibility.
  2. Always follow headstand with shoulder stand, either straight after or later in the same practice.
  3. Avoid doing inverted poses during menstruation when your energy is lower, there may also be a risk of vascular congestion.

Inversions Program
Viparita Karani – 10 minutes, attention on breath
Forward Virasana – 2 minutes (Child’s Pose, with arms stretched forward)
Cat Pose with hip extension, flexion and abduction
Gomukhasana, stretching forward (Cow’s Head Pose)
Tadasana – 1 minute
Surya Namaskar – 5 rounds (Salutes to the Sun)
Vasisthasana – 1) standing, hand on wall, 2) kneeling for ‘half’ variation of pose, 3) full pose, moving into it from dog pose
Pincha Mayurasana – x2 at wall (Forearm Balance)
Adho Mukha Vrksasana – x2 at wall (Handstand)
Sirsasana – up to 5 minutes
Forward Virasana – Forehead resting on fists
Sarvangasana – 5 minutes (Shoulderstand)
Halasana, 3 minutes (Plough Pose)
Ardha Jatara Parivartanasana – x 5 rounds (Bent knee floor twist)
Janu Sirsasana – 2 minutes each side, head supported (Head to Knee Pose)
Paschimottanasana – 3 minutes, head supported (Great Western Stretch)
Savasana – 10 minutes


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