A shoulder and neck practice

Intended for Wednesday, but you can really do it any day you need some backbends.

Centering

Reclining breathing

Reclining, knees up, take 10 breaths.

Warm-up

Reclining neck twists

Gently turn your head from side to side. Try to keep your chin from deflecting to your shoulder.

Recling Eagle arms

Cross one arm over the other, bend both elbows, work to bring the palms of the hands to press into one another.

Arm lifts with a block

Holding the block firmly between your hands, raise straight up and lower down to the floor.

Cat & Dog flow

Thread the needle

Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar)

  • Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
  • Forward Fold (Utthanasana)
  • Half forward fold (Ardha Utthanasana)
  • Lunge
  • Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
  • Plank (Palankasana)
  • Lower down (Chaturanga)
  • Cobra (Bhujangasana)
  • Downward Dog
  • Lunge (Second Side)
  • Forward Fold (Utthanasana)
  • Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

Regular

Lunge with back knee down and arms raised (Anjaneyasana)

Lift the heart up and out of the pose while being sure to keep core engaged by extending the tailbone down

Lunge with Twist (knee down for Parivrtta Parsvakonasana)

Hands together in front of the heart. Life the back knee if you wish!

Neck release with strap

Stand on your strap. Hold one end taut, with your shoulder somewhat depressed. Take the other arm over your head to your ear. Press the head into your hand (do not pull on your head)–you’re trying to engate the muscles, not force them to stretch.

Standing Poses

Try to hold these few several breaths on each side.

Warrior II with shoulder opening (Virabhadrasana II)

Clasp the hands behind the body, and fold forward, taking your shoulder to the inside of the front knee.

Wide legged forward fold with neck release (Prasarita Paddotonasana)

Folding forward from a wide-legged stance, let the neck release while turning it from side to side.

Hip Opening

Pigeon Prep (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)

Backbends

Locust Pose with feet down (Shalabhasana)

Interlace the fingers behind the back. Keep the tops of the feet on the floor.

Locust Pose with feet up (Shalabhasana)

Same as before, but with the legs lifting as well. Remember to hug them toward the midline.

Locust Pose with fingers interlaced behind the head (Makarasana)

Try to keep the shoulders back as you press the back of the head into the interlaced fingers. Actively stretch the tailbone toward the heels.

Bridge pose (Setubandasana)

Remeber to extend the tailbone toward the knees as you lift the hips.

Passive heart opener over a blanket roll

Wheel pose (Urhdva Dhanurasana) DOUBLE BONUS?

If this seems at all sensible, you already know what you’re doing.

Seated

Fire-logs (Agnistambhasana)

Cow-faced pose (Gomukhasana)

Take the arms back as well

Omega

Soles of the feet together as you lengthen the spine and fold.

Supine

Supine twist (Jathara Parivartanasana)

Shoulder Stand (Sarvangasana) DOUBLE BONUS

Happy Baby (Dwi Pada Yogidandasana)

Shavasana or Meditation

Take at least five minutes for Shavasana

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A backbend practice

Intended for Wednesday, but you can really do it any day you need some backbends.

Centering

Reclining breathing

Reclining, knees up, take 10 breaths.

Warm-up

Bridge pose (Setubandasana)

Remeber to extend the tailbone toward the knees as you lift the hips.

Windshield wipers

Knees bent, feet on the floor, take the knees first to one side then the other.

Cat & Dog flow

Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar)

  • Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
  • Forward Fold (Utthanasana)
  • Half forward fold (Ardha Utthanasana)
  • Lunge
  • Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
  • Plank (Palankasana)
  • Lower down (Chaturanga)
  • Cobra (Bhujangasana)
  • Downward Dog
  • Lunge (Second Side)
  • Forward Fold (Utthanasana)
  • Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

Regular

Lunge with Twist

Lunge with Twist and backbend BONUS

Lift the heart up and out of the twist to take it into a small backbend

Lunge with back knee down and arms raised (Anjaneyasana)

Lift the heart up and out of the pose while being sure to keep core engaged by extending the tailbone down

Standing Poses

Try to hold these few several breaths on each side.

Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)

Triangle (Trikonasana)

Triangle with Backbend (Trikonasana) BONUS

Walk your bottom hand six inches away from the shin, and work toward a backbend.

Hip Opening

Pigeon Prep (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)

Pigeon Prep with Thigh Stretch BONUS

Reach the same hand back toward the back foot

Pigeon Prep with Thigh Stretch, Twist and Backbend DOUBLE BONUS

Reach the opposite hand back toward the back foot. Try to incorporate the twist element from Lunge and the backbend element from Trikonasana

Reclining Hero’s Pose (Supta Virasana) BONUS

Make sure the knees are in line with the hips, but the feet are wide enough that the heels graze the outer hips.

Backbends

Locust Pose with feet down (Shalabhasana)

Stretch the arms alongside the dears, or alongside the body, or Interlace the fingers behind the back, as feels most appropriate. Keep the tops of the feet on the floor.

Locust Pose with feet up (Shalabhasana)

Same as before, but with the legs lifting as well. Remember to hug them toward the midline.

Fingertip Cobra (Bhujangasana)

Try to keep the shoulders back, even though the hands may be forward. Actively stretch the tailbone toward the heels.

Bow pose (Dhanurasana) BONUS

Grab the tops of the feet, then stretch the tailbone toward the heels, then try to maintain that as you press the feet into the hands.

Wheel pose (Urhdva Dhanurasana) DOUBLE BONUS?

If this seems at all sensible, you already know what you’re doing.

Seated

Childs pose (Balasana)

Doesn’t that almost make all the backbends worth it?

Simple cross-legged twist (Sukhasana)

Fire-logs (Agnistambhasana) BONUS

Fire-logs with Twist (Parivrtta Agnistambhasana) BONUS

Twist towards the top foot, perhaps taking the upper arm to the arch of the foot.

Omega

Soles of the feet together as you lengthen the spine and fold.

Supine

Supine twist (Jathara Parivartanasana)

Happy Baby (Dwi Pada Yogidandasana)

Shavasana or Meditation

Take at least five minutes for Shavasana

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A core practice

Intended for Saturday, but you can really do it any day you feel like you need to do some core work.

Centering

Reclining breathing

Reclining, knees up, take 10 breaths.

Warm-up

Cat & Dog flow

Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar)

Hold Plank for 10 breaths each time MEGABONUS

  • Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
  • Forward Fold (Utthanasana)
  • Half forward fold (Ardha Utthanasana)
  • Lunge
  • Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
  • Plank (Palankasana)
  • Lower down (Chaturanga)
  • Cobra (Bhujangasana)
  • Downward Dog
  • Lunge (Second Side)
  • Forward Fold (Utthanasana)
  • Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

Regular x 2

Lunge with Runner’s Stretch (Ardha Hanumanasana)

Porch Swing BONUS

From Downward Dog, lift one leg (keeing the hips level), then shift forward to plank pose, each time taking the raised leg to:

  • Hover the foot over the floor
  • Take the knee to the outside of the same arm
  • Take the knee to the outside of the opposite arm

Standing Poses

Try to hold these for several breaths on each side.

Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)

Wide-legged forward fold (Prasarita Paddotanasana)

Wide-legged forward fold jumps (Prasarita Paddotanasana) BONUS

From a wide legged forward fold, bring your palms down to the mat, and, leaning your weight into the support of your hands, hop your legs back to center, and then wide, and then back to center…you get the idea. Try to be light with your feet by being heavy in your hands.

Triangle pose (Trikonasana)

Suspended Triangle Pose (Visvamitrasana Prep) BONUS

From Trikonasana, bring your palm to the floor or a block, and try and lift your front foot off the mat and stretch it across the room. For DOUBLE BONUS, put it back down in the same place it srated without using your hand.

Sliding floors

With your feet on a blanket on a slippery surface (or, for DOUBLE BONUS, on your mat), press down through your hands so your feet get light enough to slide them forward to your hands, then reverse the process.

Hip Opening

Pigeon Prep (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)

Crow (Bakasana)

With your knees hugging your upper arms, remember not to look at your feet, but forward. You can stand on a block to make it easier. Don’t jump.

Crow to Chaturanga DOUBLE BONUS

Float. Remember, floating starts with total commitment to your hands on the floor.

Core

Toy Soldier

Recline on your back, feet and legs stretched straight up. Giggle. Then exhale and take the opposite arm and leg down to the mat, inhale to bring them back up, then do the other pair.

Boat Pose to Locust Pose (Navasana to Shalabhasana)

Starting with your spine long and your legs lifted, lower your legs almost to the ground but keep your arms stretching towards the toes. Then take one arm alongside its ear, roll over to your belly, sweep both arms forward as you lift them and your legs. Reverse back to Boat Pose, then do the second side.

Boat Pose to Crow (Navasana to Bakasana) BONUS

Tuck your feet in tightly as you try to use momentum, not your hands, to come up to a squat.

Boat Pose to Crow to Headstand (Navasana to Bakasana to Sirsasana II) DOUBLE BONUS

This is just foolish. Trust me.

Seated

Simple cross-legged twist (Sukhasana)

Fire-logs (Agnistambhasana)

Half lord of the Fishes pose (Ardha Matseyandrasana)

One heel tucked next to the sitz bone, the other leg crossing over with the sole of the foot on the ground. Twist.

Omega

Soles of the feet together as you lengthen the spine and fold.

Supine

Supine twist (Jathara Parivartanasana)

Happy Baby (Dwi Pada Yogidandasana)

Shavasana or Meditation

Take at least five minutes for Shavasana

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