Well, I had a nice day yesterday. I spent some time on my mat in the morning, made lunch for mom and dad and then ran some errands in the afternoon and even managed to get my nails done before heading up to The Castle for practice.
The theme of the practice right now is basics and building a foundation. While it is an intermediate/advanced practice, the idea is to spend a few months getting grounded in the basics and building a foundation from which to move into deeper work. I am really into this consideration these days... How do we go from intermediate practice to advanced practice? What are the distinctions between intermediate asana and advanced asana?
Without a big long exploration into this right now, a huge thing we need in order to go into deeper, more advanced asana is strength and focus. Certainly, we need flexibility but for many people, the missing link is strength. I am passionate about this as a teacher. For instance, if you want to balance in the middle of the room in handstand, get good at holding handstand for two minutes at the wall. Looking for balance at that point will be a whole lot easier once you have that kind of strength.
Also, I used a conversation I had with Noah and Darren when I was planning this practice. As we were planning the first back bend day of the advanced intensive recently, we all agreed that good strong standing pose work can be excellent preparation for back bends. It does not have to be anything fancy, just get into your legs and stretch your spine and get ready to bend. So with that basic strategy in mind, I wrote this sequence. Also we worked with timings and using basic poses to prepare for somewhat basic backbends. Basic, in this case does not mean easy or simple but foundational and important.
Along with these foundational concepts, we worked with the key actions of "root to rise" so as you practice concentrate on strong rooting action in the legs to yield strong stretch and extension in the spine.
Have at it...
Surya A 3x
Standing poses-1:08 minute timings
Standing head to knee
Natrajasana variation with back shin perpendicular to back wall, thigh parallel to floor, toss upright
Urdhva prasarita eka padasana
Handstand-3X- 1:08 minute timings
Handstand with Shins on wall-3x- set pose up about a shin's distance from the wall- phot entire shine and pinky toes on the wall, knees face straight up to sky, massive melt in upper back
Pinca Mayurasana -3X-1:08 minute timings
Shins on wall-3X- 1:08 minute timings
1:08 minute timings:
Lunge with quad stretch and a twist
Eka pada rajakapotasana
Eka pada raja kapotasana with quad stretch
Push up to straight arms from supta virasana- walk hands as close to feet as possible- 3X
Urdhva danurasana-5X- 1:08 timings
Urdhva danurasana on ridge tops
Stand up from urdhva
Drop back and stand up
Agnisthambasana with twist