We’ll release you from the bind

Don’t let yourself be constrained by what others think.

+5Reclining breath, Reclining Garudasana Arms, Windshield Wipers, Cat & Cow, Regular (Indudulasana), Anjaneyasana
+20Virabhadrasana II, Ardha Hanumanasana > Parighasana, Parivrtta Adho Mukha Svanasana > Vasisthasana
+35Parsvakonasana > Trikonasana, Eka Pada Rajakapotasana, Anjaneyasana (Thigh Stretch)
+50Purvottanasana, Ab work on blanket, Ustrasana, Agnistambhasana
+65Omega, Supta Padangusthasana (I, II), Jathara Parivartanasana

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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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