We are itching to share how we teach with you and thought this sequence would be the best one to start with.  This one is tough, because it emphasizes fluidity and curvature as opposed to creating straight lines in the body.  You’ll find that the purpose of this it to help you find balance that comes from sharp focus and deep work in the stabilizing core muscles and deep work in the feet.  We’ve set up the postures so that you do not be prop up on your joints like when completely straightening a leg.  This ensures that you rely on muscle work.
  • You’ll notice that throughout this sequence we emphasize rolling up and down through the spine as opposed to the more traditional extended spine one sees in yoga classes.  We prefer to do this here so as to keep the movement focused throughout the spine as opposed to in the hips (hinging with a “flat” back).
  • Also, there are many ways in which to modify and progress this sequence.  If you have questions about that feel free to ask us!
Enjoy!  Let us know what you think!  We promise, soon this will be on video.  But we hope that you will print this out and take it with you to the vacation places where a computer is not accessible.  Those are the best vacations! And aren’t our cartoon yoginis nifty?!  They were done by the magnificent Kira Greene.  For that reason alone you should be marveling in awe 🙂
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Please note: Throughout this sequence the toes of the back foot are aligned with front of the mat.
Small Step back into a short (stance) High-Lunge.
Lower the arms, roll down and then roll up back to High-Lunge.
With the arms up step the back foot forward and switch sides (repeat from the rolling down and up)
Move into a forward bend (rolling up and down)
1) Set up the short High-Lunge
#1, short-stance high lunge
Lower the arms, roll down and place the hands on the floor (hands framing the front foot). *Extra points for not using your hands; let the back of the hands dangle and touch the ground.
2) Work towards straightening the front leg back; stop when you feel sensation in the belly of the hamstring (2 breaths)
#2 inactive hands while straightening the front leg
On an inhale bend the front leg and roll up returning to High-Lunge. (Keep in mind that the bend in the front leg will not be anywhere near reaching a 90 degree angle; you are setting up for a short-stance High-Lunge)
With the arms up step the back foot forward and switch sides (repeat everything from the roll down)
Forward bend (rolling up and down)
*If people want a variation the can hold on to the ankles, extend the spine and relax back into flexion and even use the arms to deepen the bend (knees soft/bent, not straight)
3) Set up High-Lunge with a longer stance; front leg will bend more now.
Lower the arms, roll down and place the hands on the floor (hands framing the front foot).
#3 Much larger stance now.
4) Take the back knee to the floor and work towards straightening the front leg back; stop when you feel sensation in the belly of the front leg hamstring.
On an inhale bend the front leg, lift the back knee off the floor and roll up returning to High-Lunge.
#4 knee is on the floor while you try straightening the front leg back
With the arms up step the back foot forward and switch sides (repeat everything from the roll down)
Skipping forward bend…
Set up High-Lunge with a longer stance.
Much larger stance now.
Lower the arms, roll down and place the hands on the floor (hands framing the front foot).
Take the back knee to the floor and work towards straightening the front leg back; stop when you feel sensation in the belly of the hamstring
Now put the hand that is on the opposite side of the front foot on the top of the front foot.
The other hand moves to the hip or rests on the sacrum
5) Twist (closed twist; twisting towards the front leg) keeping the back knee still on the floor and while trying to straighten the front leg.
#5 twist towards you front leg
*You may not get to straighten the front leg as much as you are used to.
(3 – 5 breaths)
Untwist, replace the hands to frame the front foot
On an inhale bend the front leg, lift the back knee off the floor and roll up returning to High-Lunge.
With the arms up step the back foot forward and switch sides (repeat everything from the roll down). Try to keep your gaze on the floor the entire time.
Set up High-Lunge with a longer stance.
Lower the arms, roll down and place the hands on the floor (hands framing the front foot).
Take the back knee to the floor and work towards straightening the front leg back; stop when you feel sensation in the belly of the hamstring
Now put the hand that is on the opposite side of the front foot on the top of the front foot.
The other hand moves to the hip or rests on the sacrum
Twist (closed twist; twisting towards the front leg) keeping the back knee still on the floor and negotiating the stretch in the front leg.
*This time try picking up the back knee off the floor, if you can keep it up even as you untwist
(3 – 5 breaths)
Untwist, replace the hands to frame the front foot
On an inhale bend the front leg, lift the back knee off the floor (if it wasn’t already up) and roll up returning to High-Lunge.
With the arms up step the back foot forward and switch sides (repeat everything from the roll down)
Forward Bend here with whatever variation feels best in the moment.
While in the forward bend and with as passive hands/arms as possible move back into a long lunge, moving into a straight front leg stretch.
6) Inhale front knee forward into a bend. Extend through the spine (head to tail, or tail to head), place the hands on the sacrum and lift up into Warrior  3.  (hold for at least 3 breaths)
#6 Warrior 3 with no arms
Prepare to return the back foot to the floor, While doing so place the opposite hand on the top of the front foot, other hand stays on hip or sacrum.
#7 staying twisted while landing
Twist while landing into Twisted Triangle
(This is where all the movement being explored before comes together)
7) You can let the top arm float up or not, depends on how well aware one is of the spine, ribs, scapula, sternum and shoulder girdles and where they really are in space (fancy way of saying don’t fling the top arm back).
#8 voila: twisted triangle
Untwist to passively laying the torso over the front leg
Try not to use arms/hands as you return to a forward bend stepping the back foot to the front.
Roll up, Roll down, repeat.
To finish one can cool down with forward bends with bent legs, or lay down and do knee circles, or lay down and do pelvic movements.

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1 Comment

  1. I have been told that rolling down and up can put tremendous pressure on discs having to hold the weight of the entire upper body against gravity so I did have second thoughts about this sequence. However, I did try it and quite enjoyed it but I have been practicing for a long time and I am not sure I would be comfortable sharing this. What are your thoughts? Maureen .

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