Ooh, what a cracker of a class. It was balanced, intriguing, challenging, and delivered with gentle ease and contagious joy. Perhaps it was due to jet-lag, but I found this combination pretty intoxicating. Usually a good sign when you can’t really speak or remember who you are for half an hour post-practice.
Disclaimer as per previous posts; this is a personal impression and mayn’t be accurate.
Invocation in swastikasana
Adho mukha virasana
Adho mukha svanasana
Adho mukha virasana- classical pose (knees together, feet apart, lean forwards. Support head if not on floor) Rest the head. Many of you have just flown in, so rest. Allow the brain to rest. Allow the para-spinal muscles to release. Allow the muscles of the back and the intercostal muscles to spread.
Urdvha hastasna in virasana
Dandasana and urdvha hasta dandasana Raise yourself up. Be on the front of the sitting bones. Lift!
Parsva dandasana (gripping foot) Grip the outer foot near the toes and then lift away. Lift up and turn.
Bharadvajasana 1 (x 2: first time hand behind to floor, 2nd time hold the heel) Feel the diagonal breath. From the outer groin to the top chest. Bharadvajasana is a good pose in which to feel the diagonal breath. If you get stuck, look for the air pockets. Like a bubble of air that is trapped. Do not try to move on a physical level if you are stuck. You have to find out where is the air-pocket and release it, then you will move.
Ardha matsyendrasana (x 2) You have all used a mixer? A blender? So you know how the sides of the container go up, parallel, and the contents inside, when you start the rotation, it goes out to the sides of the container, then up and falls back in on itself? Well in the twist here it is like that, only the contents goes the other way round; it has to lift up the inside, and then go down the parallel sides.
Parivritta trikonasana (x 2, hand inside the foot, then hand outside the foot. Palm to the floor). Press the fingers and press the palm. Root the hand to the floor. From there, lift. Spread the ribs. The back left ribs should be like icicles, how an icicle melts, dripping down. And the front right ribs should be like flames, how a flame rises up. Don’t twist to do the pose, spread to do the pose.
Parivrtta parsvakonasana (x 2, palm to the floor, back foot to the floor; as in parivrtta trikonasana, hand on the inside then on the outside). Same turning actions. Your wrist and your ankle should be together, like married. I mean, fresh married; newlyweds. But don’t give your hip to your friend on the right. Keep your hip to yourself. Again, the icicles and the flames.
Utthita trikonasana What is rooted and what is shooted?
Purvottanasana x 2 Press the fingers to the floor. Lift the hips more. And lift the hips more. Now, press the fingers down, lift, and curve. Like someone is pressing your chin back, but you have to do that yourself.
Urdvha mukha svanasana x 2 Again, press the fingers and curve back. What is the grip in the buttock region?
Urdvha dhanurasana x 2 (hold for timing) First time, lift the heels and walk in. Second time, lift the heels to walk in walk in, then, press the heels and lift the soles of the feet to make the shins go back. Take the shins back. Then, walk the feet out just a bit and straighten the legs. Take the shins back to straighten the legs. Stay there.
Utthita trikonasana (isn’t it amazing what can suddenly be considered rest 😉 )
Sirsasana, urdvha padmasana, baddha konasana, then pull toes and soles down in baddha konasana (heels still together. Try this if you don’t know it- it gives a very good opening for the hips and groins).
Janu sirsasana In janu sirsasana, in any asana in fact, we have to be soaring like birds. You know when there is a thermal rising, and the bird catches it, and it goes around and up in the thermal? Does it beat it’s wings all the time like this? (Flap flap) No, it doesn’t have to. It is rising on the thermal. But it is not still. It does not need the gross action of flapping its wings, but if it makes subtle adjustments of it wing-tip feathers that will affect its direction and it will glide further up. So janu sirsasana is like this. Elbows up, and glide forwards and turn on the thermal. Second time, same, then release the elbows. Rest the elbows down. Find the spreading on your back. Fold your wings, but keep soaring.
Pascimottanasa Do this like janu sirsasana on both sides. Do you know what I mean? Actually the sticky mat is not the best surface for forward bends. Try doing on the floor, on a blanket, even on a cotton mattress, so the legs can glide, and move down.
Sarvangasana on 2 rolled blankets (one for shoulders, one for elbows). Urdvha padmasana. Halasana. Karnapidasana.