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Season 2 - Episode 9

Deep Seated Postures, Part 2

60 min - Practice
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We continue deepening the Ashtanga primary seated series by generating heat with sun salutations and standing postures before moving into a variety of seated postures.
What You'll Need: Mat


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Welcome back. Today we'll deepen your seated practices. This is part two of our deepening of the seated series. Ideally you've been practicing our Stanga regularly and for some time. So as the earlier postures became more and more available to you, you were able to start looking deeper into the seated series. Now let's remember we're not just doing this yoga practice to make more difficult and eccentric shapes with our bodies, but in fact the actual art and the craft of going back to the well again and again, practicing continually, steadfast with as little interruption in your practice routine as possible, is matched with your detachment from the results. So it's not that we're trying to push you to encourage you to struggle to grasp some difficult posture or challenging pose, but instead that we're, I'm trying to encourage you to keep coming back to the Ashtanga practice, to keep finding comfort in your own body, in your own breath and in your own yoga sadhana, your own dedicated practice detached from the results. And we'll see what happens today. I hope to give you some instructive tips and techniques to help you approach the very interesting and somewhat challenging middle part of the seated series. Let's start together in Samastitihi, feet together at the top of the mat. In order to get into the material which we most want to look at today, we'll take some liberties and do a shortened standing and then dive right into the Janu Shishasna sequence. But for now, start in Samastitihi, exhale completely, making sure to align and find Bandha and breath. Take one full inhale here, feeling the chest spread and take an exhale, feeling the tailbone ground, the pelvis in neutral, legs strong. Surinamaskara A, Ekam, inhale spreading open the chest, allowing the breath to float the hands together as they rise. Dwe exhale, folding forward, feeling the belly hollow out as you draw your hands down towards the mat. Trini, inhale, allowing the chest to float forward, the shoulders to spread, collarbones broad. And Chaturwadi, exhale, stepping or jumping and lowering down to any Chaturanga position. Pancha, inhale, the chest forward through the shoulders, roll back and down, upward facing dog, and Chaturanga, exhale, downward facing dog, keeping the hips lifting towards the back corner of the room. One, still maintaining a steady focus on your breath. Two, and hearing the whispering sound of your breath measured at the back of the throat. Three, spreading fingers and toes aware of how you're grounding through the posture. Four, and as well grounding through Mula and Uddiyana Bandha. Five, Sapta, inhale, step or jump the feet forward, look forward with the head up. Ashta, exhale, fold forward, drop the head down. And Nava, inhale, rising up, feel the chest broaden, the collarbones are broad, the hands meet together as they rise. Exhale, Samastitihi. Next one, Ekam, inhale, arms up, see the thumbs, Dway, exhale, folding forward, drop the hands, drop the head. Trini, inhale, broaden the collarbones, look forward. And Chaturari, riding your breath back into a Chaturanga position. Dhanjha, inhale, the chest floats forward to upward facing dog, elbows stay micro bent, shot exhale, downward facing dog. Breathing here and finding the stability that's available to you one, ideally being able to find that internal stillness in and into and out of each and every posture. Two, so transitions as well allow you that stability. Three, as you return awareness to your breath, to your breathing mechanism, to your core. Four, mula bandha, udiyana bandha, drawing up the lower abdomen and pelvic floor. Five, sapta, inhaling, letting the feet float forward, looking forward, head up. Ashta, exhale, folding forward, grounding the palms if that's available to you, pushing onto the mat.

And Nava, inhale with strong legs and the pelvis going to neutral, rise the arms up together, see thumbs, exhale, samastitihi. Last one, ekam, inhale, arms up, dweh, exhale, fold forward. Trini, inhale, head up. Chaturari, exhale, jump back, Chaturanga. Panjha, inhale, upward facing dog. Shat, exhale, downward facing dog, letting the head dangle and hang as you breathe here. One, the fingers spreading, grounding the root knuckle index mound, down. Two, but still keeping the triceps rolling forward towards the face. Three, so you feel the shoulder blades melting away from the ears. Four, keeping that soft area at the top of the back of the shoulder, upper trapezius releases. Five, sapta, inhale, step or jump the feet forward, look forward, head up. Ashta, exhale, folding forward, drop the head. Nava, inhale, rise up, see your thumbs meeting together. Exhale, samastitihi. Surinamaskar B, ekam, inhale, bend the knees, squeezing knees together, see the hands meet and rise up. Dweh, exhale, fold forward, drop the head, grounding palms. Trini, inhale, broad collarbone experience, looking forward. Chaturari, exhale, to Chaturanga, keeping the shoulders back. Panjha, inhale, still with the shoulders back, the chest rising upward facing dog. Shat, exhale, downward facing dog. Sapta, inhale, pivot and step the left foot down, driving the right foot forward, the knee deeply bends as the arms come up. Ashta, exhale, the hands down, the foot back, Chaturanga. Nava, inhaling to upward facing dog. Dasha, exhale, downward facing dog. Nikarasana, inhale, left foot forward, arms up, see your thumbs meeting. Dwara, sha, exhale. Chaturanga dandasana, suspended above the mat. Trayog, sha, inhale, upward facing. Chaturg, sha, exhale, downward facing dog. Long, slow, full, deep breathing with sound. One, two, every exhalation, a great chance to refine and refine Udhyana Mulavanda. Three, so that you feel breath expanding the rib cage in five directions. Four, nadrishti, the eyes settling into one still spot, engaging that aspect of stillness through the practice. Five, panjara, sha, inhale, step or jump feet forward, head up.

Shodh, sha, exhale, fold forward, drop the head. Saptara, sha, inhale, bend your knees, rising up the arms, exhale, samastitihi. Last one, ekam, inhale, bend the knees, swing up the hands together, see thumbs. Dway, exhale, following the breath forward, look upon your nose. Trini, inhale, head up, long spine, look forward. Chaturi, exhale, step or jump back, lower to chaturanga, finger spread, bandha strong, panjara, inhale, upward facing dog. Shar, exhale, downward facing dog. Sapta, inhale, pivot and step, the right foot forward, hands together, see thumbs. Arshta, exhale, spreading the fingers and lowering to chaturanga. Nava, inhale, upward facing dog. Darsha, exhale, downward facing dog. Ekarasha, inhale, left foot forward, see your hands meet. Dwad, sha, exhale, chaturanga, dandasana. Trayog, sha, inhale, broad collarbones. Chaturg, sha, exhale, downward facing dog. Again, one, keeping the shoulders away from the ears, two, trying to find the subtlety in your practice. Three, so that as you take on the same postures over and over, four, they become more refined and the little cues will help instruct you to the postures that are yet to come. Five, panjara, sha, inhale, step or jump, feet forward, head up, shodhasha, exhale, fold forward, see your nose. Saptarasha, inhale, bend your knees, squeeze them together, see the hands meet, exhale, samastitihi. Into the standing asana, inhale, step or jump your feet, hips distance, exhaling, fold forward, grab your big toes, parangustasana.

And again, inhale, unfold the spine so that you reach the chest forward, shoulders back and down. And Dwaya, exhale, try to keep that length of the spine as you draw the top of the head towards the mat. One, gazing to the tip of the nose and parangustasana. Two, still able to measure your breath. Three, here that your breath is as smooth and easy as it was in the standing positions. Four, five, trini, inhale, head up, long spine, look forward, exhaling here, parahastasana. Place your hands under your feet, ekam, inhale, head up, long spine, look forward. Dwaya, exhale, folding forward, bending the knees as needed or if you're comfortable with straight legs, one, keeping the kneecaps lifted so the legs are still strengthening. Two, using the muscular engagements at the fronts of the thighs, the quadriceps. Three, to lengthen the back of the thighs, the hamstrings gently, gently releasing.

Four, or if there's difficulty, uncomfortability in the lumbar or hamstring region, you can bend the knees. Five, trini, inhale, head up, long spine, look forward, exhale here, and inhale, bend the knees, rising up, pelvis to neutral, and exhale, samastitihi. Uttitatrukonasana. A, ekam, inhale, step your right foot to the back of the mat, heels in a line, and then pivot on your right heel to face your right toes towards the back. Dwaya, exhaling, if you can keep the right leg straight, reaching out over the thigh, either the hand dangling or grasping the big toe and yogic toe lock, gazing up towards the left thumb. One, keeping the legs strong as in all the standing postures. Two, as in all the forward bends, the kneecaps lift up to the pelvis. Three, and at the same time, letting the shoulders roll back away from the ears. Four, getting that broad collarbone experience in every posture. Five, trini, inhale, coming up, pivoting on the heels to change sides, and jatwari, exhaling, reaching out over the left thigh, keeping the torso aligned over the thigh, drawing the right hip back, and the right thumb just above the right shoulder. One, strong legs. Two, broad collarbones. Three, all the while, udhyana and mula bandha. Four, stabilizing your very center. Five, punch, inhale, come up, pivot on the heels, square the hips to the back, B. Dwaya, exhale, reach the left arm down towards the mat, maybe grounding and spreading the left fingers and drawing the right shoulder above the left as you greatly encourage the twist, gazing towards the lifted right thumb. One, two, even in these positions, looking for the broad collarbones. Three, spreading the shoulders away from the ears. Four, and still grounding through the right big toe mound. Five, trini, inhale, come up, pivot on the heels, change the side, hips square to the front, jatwari, exhale, reaching the hand forward and downward to the mat, and then drawing the left shoulder back to create that deep twist in the spine. One, avoid the temptation to reach the arm back further than the shoulder. Two, instead, try to reach the left shoulder back further, shoulder back further. Three, to create that twist through the entire length of the spine. Four, and lengthen the top of the head, lengthening the spine.

Five, punch, inhale, come up, feet parallel, arms out, exhale, back to samastitihi, top of the mat. Take your right foot, step it very far towards the back of your mat, and then pivoting upon the right heel, exhale, bend the right knee deeply, bringing the right forearm onto the knee or the right hand down outside the foot. One, and if you're able to come down deeply into the posture, finding that the right knee and right shoulder connect into one another. Two, trying to establish that communication, that relationship. Three, between the shoulder and the knee. Four, so keep moving the right knee out into the right shoulder. Five, trini, inhale, come up, pivot on the feet to change the side. Hinchatwadi, exhale, go down, bending the left knee very deeply, either left forearm on the knee, the right arm arching over and forward. One, not back bending, simply keeping straight in one plane. Two, finding hip opening, as well as if you're going deeply in the posture. Three, finding that relationship between the left knee and left shoulder. Four, as the left shoulder moves into the knee and the knee moves into the shoulder.

Five, punchy, inhale, come up. B, pivot on the feet, change the side, bending the right knee very deeply. Take some time to set up the twist here, drawing the left elbow or even the left shoulder past the right knee. So now the knee and shoulder connection continues and the outside of the left shoulder reaches onto the outside of the right knee. And you could either place the hands in Anjali Mudra, the prayer position, or place the left hand down outside the right foot as you twist deeply. One, keep the right knee deeply bending to create that twisting sensation. Two, if you're deep in the posture with no gapping between the knee and shoulder, perhaps the right arm reaches forward and upward. Three, whatever position you're in, try to find Udi and Abhanda for scooping the belly away from the thigh. Five, three, inhale, come up, pivot on the heels to change the side. And Chaturwadi, exhale, bending the left knee deeply. Again, the outside of the right shoulder to connect to the outside of the left knee. As you twist deeply, see if the knee and shoulder can come into that communication and push off one another, deepening that relationship to deepen the twist. Hands can be in Anjali Mudra and that work can be done here. One, even if the shoulder is not outside the knee, you can still find a little pressure between the right arm and left knee so that the twist deepens. Two, or if you can get the knee well under the shoulder, the shoulder well past the knee. Three, then the arm might extend towards the mat, bending the left knee deeply. Four, then extending the upper left arm towards the top corner of the room. Five, punch, inhale, come up, pivot on the feet, open up the arms and exhale, step back to Samastitihi at the top of the mat. Having completed some essential standing postures as well as some important standing twists, we'll now take the liberty to vinyasa through to Janu Sheshasna A and look at that interesting and challenging part that occurs at the middle of the seated primary series. So from standing, Samastitihi, ayyakiminhale, arms up, see your thumbs.

Dway, exhale, fold forward, drop the head. Trini, inhale, head up, long spine, look forward. Chaturari, exhale, stepping and jumping, chaturanga. Pancha, inhale, the chest forward through the shoulders, roll back and down. Shadda, exhale, downward facing dog. Indijana, Sheshasna A we go, so sapta, inhale, stepping or jumping to the seated position of dandasana, your neutral pose. Exhaling, take your right foot back, the heel towards the perineum, the right sole and the left thigh. Left leg stay straight and engaged, just like the standing postures. Inhale, reaching forward, taking ankle or shin or probably taking the foot at this point.

And ashta, exhale, folding forward, looking towards your lifted left big toe. One, great thing about Janu Sheshasna, two, is that as a not so eccentric posture, three, you can be relatively efficient with the breath count, four, and it can help to remind you of the proper and correct flow into and out of postures. Five, nava, inhale, straight arm, straight spine, head up, exhale, and let go. Release the legs, cross the legs, plant the hands, dasha, inhale, lift up, ekadasha, exhale, jump back, chaturanga, duodhasha, inhale, upward facing dog, triyogdasha, exhale, downward facing dog, chaturdasha, inhale, jumping through, find your way to sitting with straight legs, and your next exhale draws the left foot back, knee open about 90 degrees, inhale, reaching forward to take what you can take, and pancharasha, exhale, folding forward, looking towards the lifted right big toe. One, still the legs are strong, the right leg, right kneecap, is drawing up towards the pelvis, two, to assist the lengthening of the hamstring down the back of the leg, three, and the thoracic spine, the area between the shoulders lengthens forward, four, and you're still aware of where your pelvis is in space, where the sitting bones are grounding. Five, inhale, lift the head, long spine, exhale, and let it go, cross the legs, plant the hands, saptadasha, inhale, lift up, ashtadasha, exhale, jump back, chaturanga, ekuna, vimshatihi, inhale, upward facing dog, vimshatihi, exhale, downward facing dog, januÅ?yasna, b, sapta, inhale, jump through straight legs, sit down, exhale, set up for januÅ?yasna a, the same way, the right foot towards the center of the body, the knee about 90 degrees, still exhaling, continue the practice of making januÅ?yasna b by lifting the entire pelvis up off the mat and scooting it forward, so that you'll sit mulabunda, the very center of the pelvic floor, just down on the heel.

Notice my knee might creep in a little, somewhat like 80 degrees or so, and there's some space, I'm not sitting on my sitting bones, I'm only sitting my pelvis down upon the heel, inhale, reaching forward, keeping mulabunda strong, ashta, exhale, and fold forward, looking towards the left toes. One, ideally the right foot stays dorsiflexed, two, so the right toes are pulled towards the center of the mat, three, you may have the right foot extended as a pillow for a little while, under the sitting bones and pelvis, four, but with time, you'll find mulabunda can sit just on the heel, five, nava, inhale, straight up, exhale, let go, dasa, inhale, lift, ekadasa, exhale, jump back, chaturanga, dvarsa, inhale, letting their chest move through the shoulders, trayodh, exhale, downward dog, refining the bandhas, chaturgdasa, inhale, stepping or jumping to find your neutral dandasana, exhaling to build the posture, the left foot back, the pelvis lifts, and you sit forward, scooting the knee slightly forward, and trying to keep the foot dorsiflexed, as best you're able, straightening the right leg, inhale, reaching forward, punch out a shot, exhale, folding forward, one, as you keep mulabunda really strengthening, two, you can feel the engagement in the heel helps to remind and to wake up and spark the engagement, three, in between the sitting bones, keeping that strength at the perineum, mulabunda, four, the root lock, awakened in januÅ?yasna b. Five, shoulder shy, inhale, head up, long spine, exhale, and release the drishti, release the hands, cross the legs, saptarasya, inhale, lift up, astarasya, exhale, jump back, ekuna, vimÅ?atihi, inhale, upward facing dog, vimÅ?atihi, exhale, downward facing dog, januÅ?yasna c, sapta, inhale, and jump through straight legs, sitting down, exhaling to make januÅ?yasna c, you draw the right foot back, just as you've done for the previous januÅ?yasnasas, I'm going to turn out to the side here so that you can more easily see, if you can come into the posture by yourself already, just come in, there's a eccentric posture here, we want to get the toes down next to the thigh and still have the sole of the foot pointing straight up on the left thigh, to do that, I take my right hand and reach under, below my right shin, wrapping the arm around, and then using the right fingers on the outside of the right big toe, then with my left hand on my right heel, I'm able to get a little twist to get the right toes down, of course if I felt pain, pressure in the knee, I would just stop there, that's fine, you can take the posture here, and release the arms, great, if it feels comfortable, you've been practicing for a while, hips are opening, etc, you can draw the toes down next to the thigh, and then you might even be able to employ the same technique you used in januÅ?yasnas b, keeping all the toes together and grounding, but lifting the pelvis and scooting forward a little, so that that right foot becomes more straight up and down, again I'm doing this and feeling no pressure in my knee, I've been doing this practice for a long time, if you're feeling pressure in your knee, don't do it, just take a modified position, so you're getting the heel and the foot into a comfortable place for you to approach januÅ?yasnas b, c, excuse me, and if the knee is coming down to the mat, fine, it'll come down with time, at no point are you going to start pushing that knee with your hands, inhale, reach forward, taking the left foot or left shin as best you can, and ashta, exhale, and reach the spine forward towards the left big toes, breathing here, one, now I'm deep enough in the posture that I'm actually resting udiyana bandha on my right heel, two, you don't need to have that pressure to remember udiyana bandha, anyone doing any modification of januÅ?yasnas c, three, could find every exhale, drawing the low belly in, and keeping the breath rising to the top of the chest, four, even remembering to draw the shoulders back and down as best you're able, five, now the inhale, long arm, long spine, lifting head, exhale here, and let go, if the knee feels like a lot's been asked of it, as you gently use the hands to release, straighten the leg forward and back in space, it's not part of the vinyasa, but you always take care of your knees, jumping back into the vinyasa, cross the legs, plant the hands, dasya, inhale, lift up, ekadasa, exhale, step or jump back, chaturanga, broad collarbones, dvarsa, inhale, the chest forward through the shoulders, triyugdasa, exhale, downward facing dog, chaturgdasa, inhale, stepping or jumping to dandasana, and your next exhale helps you to build janu shusasna, see the left foot coming back, so your left arm might come under, reaching the outside of the left toes and drawing those five toes down into the mat, it can be modified to whatever, position feels right, doesn't need to be super extreme, if it's comfortable, scoot the pelvis forward, if it's not, stay with the foot at an angle, inhale, reaching forward, and panchadasa, when you're ready, exhale, folding forward, one, so the knee might be reaching towards the mat or it might be lifting up high, two, anyway you take the position, remind udiyana bandha to draw the belly in, three, creating some engagement so the breath is floating upwards and forwards, four, five, shouldershine, heel, long spine, straight arms, exhale, letting go, consciously releasing the left foot from its positioning, making sure the left knee is back into a nice neutral natural engagement, saptarsha, inhale, lift up, ashtarsha, exhale, jump back, chaturanga, ekuna vimshatihi, inhale, upward facing, vimshatihi, exhale, downward facing dog, saptai, inhale, jump through, straight legs sitting down, and exhale, draw the right heel towards the right buttock, again I'm going to spin out so that you can see what I'm doing here, I like to have my heel just a touch wider than my sitting bone, there's space between the right foot and left thigh, and I want to keep that right root knuckle deeply grounding pushing into the mat through the marichyasanas, my right knee will always be the first side, so in marichyasana A, B, C, D, all these four postures the right knee will be lifted first, and we're going to break these down and go step by step so that you can experiment with how to build the postures mindfully and intelligently, if you've been practicing for a while of course it just becomes integrated in your daily practice and you're flowing on the vinyasa, but for today take a look at how this practice and how these postures can work, exhaling reach your right shoulder past your right knee, if you can get the shoulder low all the better, and here will be an interesting time keep breathing freely for you to internally rotate the upper arm, it's a rare time when you feel like there's a little closure at the front of the shoulder joint, it's temporary, it's unusual, so you've left your broad collarbone samasthiti position, and then from there with the deep internal rotation bending the right elbow, the right hand will come as high up the spine and up the back as you're able, your temptation will be to reach in and grab, but don't do it, slow down and be patient, go step by step to get the bind, draw the left shoulder back only, draw the left elbow back only, then the left wrist and left hand come in, and you'll grab some fashion of bind or you could use a towel or grab onto your shirt as best you're able, once you've got your deepest comfortable bind, inhale again and here try to broaden the collarbones, so that'll mean drawing the right shoulder blade back and drawing the right knee back, and it might feel like your right foot wants to lose its grounding, but don't let it, keep your foot on the gas there, draw your right big toe mound back onto the mat, even as you find the broad collarbone experience of samasthiti and related postures, and as you ashita exhale let the chest go forward through the shoulders as they roll back and down, gazing into the left big toe, one, your temptation might be to let the left foot start to curl out to the side and lose the engagement in the left leg, two, don't do it, internally rotate the left thigh, three, and draw the left kneecap strongly towards the pelvis, four, keeping strong leg on the left side here, as you go deep in the posture, five, nava, inhale, come up broad collarbones, the chest rises, and exhale letting go, back into the vinyasa, cross the legs, plant the hands, darsha, inhale, lift up, ekadasha, jump back, dwarasha, inhale, upward facing dog, triyul, disha, exhale, downward facing dog, chaturg, disha, inhale, jump through straight legs sitting down, and then keeping the right foot where it is, exhale, and draw the left knee back, the heel just wider than the sitting bone, space between the foot and thigh, still exhaling the left shoulder down low upon the left shin, internally rotating, breathing freely as we slow down this process to try to get the left hand up as high as you can on the spine. Notice that the right foot stays straight up, the internal rotation, strong leg are there, avoid the temptation to rush the posture, still breathing freely, draw the right shoulder back, the right elbow back, and then let the right hand come in for some fashion of bind. If you can bind the wrist all the better, just make sure that you change which wrist you're binding when you change sides. Inhale, broaden the collarbones so you draw the left shoulder into the left knee, that relationship continues, and then pancharasha, exhale folding forward, looking towards the lifted right toes. One, having the left shoulder go into the left knee here helps to assist the opening in the left hip. Two, so that will allow you to have a deeper posture, a deeper looking posture, sure. Three, but will also assist you for all the hip openers that are yet to come. Four, so do try to find the broad collarbone experience, opening the hips deeply, drawing the left knee back behind you in space. Five, shoulder shy inhale, coming up with broad collarbones, the left root knuckle, big toe mount grounding, exhale. And into the vinyasa, releasing the leg, crossing the leg, saptarsha, inhale, lift up, ashtarsha, exhale, jump back, chaturanga. Ekuna vimshati hi, inhale, upward facing. Vimshati hi, exhale, downward facing dog. Marichyasna, bhi, sapta, inhale, jump through, straight leg, sit down.

And the hip opening continues. As you exhale, draw the left foot, your left foot, into half lotus, Ardha Padmasana. You want to ideally place the left foot deep up high on the right thigh, so just the left toes are hanging off the thigh. And ideally, you want to see that your left inner ankle is open and smooth. If you have pain in the knee, modify the posture. If you feel like the left foot is being crushed and you see a lot of skin wrinkling up on the inside of the left ankle there, it's an indication that there might be tightness in the left hip. In which case, we really want to make sure the left knee is taken care of. Again, this is daily regular practice. It's not like you need to crush yourself and to make a shape today. Instead, just take the time, enjoy the breath. Maybe this will be deep enough for you for today. Or maybe you'll be able to start drawing the right heel off the floor and back towards the hips a little more, keeping the right foot towards the outside of the mat area and avoiding the temptation to draw the right foot towards the center. This might be a deep enough Murugyasana B for you. If there's tightness in the hip, or certainly there's pain in the knee, you could just stay here and really deeply enjoy the breath. If it's comfortable, keep drawing the right heel closer to the right sitting bone, keeping the heel just a bit wider than the sitting bone. And again, in all the Murugyasanas, the right knee will be up first. This is the first side with the right knee up first, the left foot in lotus. Conscious and careful of the left knee, making sure that it doesn't feel any pain, keep a good spread between the knees. Inhaling here and exhaling as you gently reach the right arm forward in front of the right knee. This could be very deep for you. This could be a great hip opener and a great place to breathe and practice here. If it's comfortable, employ the same binding technique that you've just used in Murugyasana A, getting the right shoulder low, breathing freely, and internally rolling the right shoulder so that the right hand can come up high upon the spine. And then step by step, opening the left shoulder to the back of the room, the left elbow comes back, and finally the left hand comes in and bind here. Inhaling, broadening the collarbones as best you're able, but keeping the right big toe mound grounding. Ashtown, exhale, fold forward, allowing plenty of room between the knees for the chest and collarbones to come forward and breathe. Every inhalation can broaden the collarbones, every exhalation can deepen your engagement at the Bandha too. You may find it helpful if you're binding deeply to grab the wrist, three, and even bring a little bit of length to the bent elbow, four, to help bring yourself more forward, opening hips even further in the position. Five, Nava, inhale, rise all the way back up, still binding with the hands. Exhale, and let go. Release the posture, release the knees, cross the legs, plant the hands, Darsha, inhale, lift up, Ekarasha, exhale, jump back, Chaturanga. Dvarasha, inhale, chest forward through the shoulders.

Trayogdisha, exhale, downward facing dog. Chaturdisha, inhale, jump through straight legs, sitting down. And exhaling, approaching the second side by drawing the right foot into lotus, seeing that the inner ankle stays smooth, just the right toes hang off, still breathing, and exhalation will start to draw the left heel towards the outside of the left sitting bone. Any of these positions can be a great place to breathe, take your time as you mindfully and wisely build Marichyasna B. If you can, getting the left shoulder in front of the left knee, that shoulder and knee connection relationship gets more interesting and developed, internally rolling the left shoulder to get the left hand up high, and then step by step reaching the right shoulder back, the right elbow back, binding however you're able, inhaling here, and then pancharsha, exhale, folding forward, leaning weight forward, spreading the knees. One, if you can, use all your fingers in each bind. Two, avoid the temptation to just bind with one finger because you want to strengthen every finger in every bind. Three, for the postures and binds that are coming later in the series, keeping the hands strong in every bind. Four, using all the fingers to bind as best you're able. Five, shoulders, inhale, come up, exhaling here, staying bound, and release the legs, release the hands and feet, and we'll vinyasa here, but I wanted to clarify what I'm talking about with the binding. One thing I see very common in practitioners is once the hands are able to reach in any binding position, they're taking one finger or two fingers, or even four fingers independently, so that it's very easy for that bind to break. Pop, pop, pop, pop. What I'm encouraging you to do is keep the fingers together, and though it might be easy to break one strand or stick of bamboo, four sticks of bamboo together, united, very difficult to break, your fingers are like the bamboo there, that if you can keep the fingers united and together, as you bind together, every finger will be getting stronger, and it will become important as you keep practicing that your pinky finger, your third or ring finger, will also be strengthening. So as best you can, find a way to use all the fingers in every bind so that the binds are deepening, developing, and the hand strength is also coming along. All right, back into the vinyasa then. Exhale, crossing the legs, planting the hands. Saptarasa, inhale, lift up. Ashtarasa, exhale, jump back, chaturanga. Ekune, vimshatihi, inhale, upward facing dog. Vimshatihi, exhale, downward facing dog. Marichyasna, si, saptai, inhale, jumping through straight legs, sitting down. The twists begin, and now the series takes a turn. So things will change. Exhale, drawing the right foot back just like you did for Marichyasna A, some space between the foot and thigh. The right heel, just a bit wider than the right sitting bone, with the right knee up on the first side, and the left foot staying active and aware and straight up. Twisting. So twist the entire spine. We'll break this down, going step by step. You can use the hands to create twist and get your whole chest past the left thigh. This may be a deep enough twist for you. Breathe here.

If you can, try to get the left elbow to the left shoulder on the outside of the right knee. Just as you did in standing, Parsha Vakonasana B, you want to be able to deepen and develop that relationship so that the shoulder pushes off the knee and deepens the twist, gazing back behind you. This may be deep enough as well. The right elbow bends, the right shoulder is drawing back and down. You find broad collarbones. If you're still feeling comfortable in the posture, you want to extend the left arm, internally rolling the left arm, so that the hand goes down low and then flips up onto the left thigh, trying to find the left abdomen. And that should cue you that you're ready to bind. But don't hurry yet. Go step by step. Still breathing freely, draw the right shoulder back, the right elbow back, and then glide the right hand towards the left. And again, not looking for a weaker bind, but looking for a stronger bind, using all the fingers or even grabbing the wrist if it's available and breathe. Once you're in the posture, just like the Marichyasana A and B previously, two, open the collarbones, look for samastitihi positioning. Three, the top of the head lifting. Four, the left leg straight and strong toes pointing straight up. Five, inhale here. And exhale, letting it go. Cross the legs, plant the hands. Ashtau, inhale, lift up. Navachatwari, jump back, chaturanga. Dasa, inhale, upward facing dog, taking the time to really open up the right hip flexor. Ekarsha, exhale, downward facing dog. Dwarsha, inhale, jumping through, straight legs sitting down. And exhaling, building the second side, breathing freely as you draw the left heel just outside the left sitting bone, right foot staying straight and up, avoiding the temptation. Let the right foot cruise over to the left side. Keep it over towards its right side. Twist, getting the whole chest past the thigh, doing whatever it takes to get the chest open and past the entire thigh. And then seeing about the availability of drawing the right shoulder outside the left knee. You could breathe here, twisting the spine deeply and dropping the left hand all the way down into the mat, dropping the left shoulder down away from the ear. Or keep looking towards the bind, internally rolling the right arm, so the right palm faces up to the sky, and the right hand finds its way over to the right thigh or even the right spine. And then draw the left shoulder back, the left elbow back, and bind using all the fingers, picking a drishti as you gaze back behind you, one.

One. Here, to help deepen the twist, the left knee could move out to the left side, too. So the left knee could push back into the right shoulder. Three, helping to create a deeper twist throughout the whole spine. Four, udiyana bandha. Five, inhale here, and exhale, letting it go. Cross the legs, plant the hands, triyodhishaya, inhale, lift up, jatyodhishaya, exhale, jump back. Panjarsha, inhale, the chest forward, through the shoulders, roll back and down. And shodhishaya, exhale, downward facing dog. Marichyasana d, it's up to inhale, jump through straight legs, sitting down. And the hip opening continues still. Marichyasana d is quite a watershed pose. It will require you to put together a lot of the components, which I've hoped to pass along to you, through Marichyasana a, b, and c, as well as throughout the entire practice. So up to this point, we've done a lot of twisting and binding, and now we'll take on a very developed half lotus posture.

You can stay where you are in the mat. I'll just turn out towards you so you can see this posture develop. The left foot, just like Marichyasana b, the left foot will come into lotus first. So you'll move your left foot first, and you'll notice the experience of the left knee being comfortable and calm and content. If at some point the left knee feels ouchy and there's some pinching, release from the intense posture or find a modification that works. Just like you did in Marichyasana b, drawing the right heel towards the right sitting bone. So you're looking to create comfort in this stable posture. If the left knee is pinching already, then it may be you may want to get the twist. You may take the left foot from lotus and place the foot under the right thigh. Now here, the left knee should be totally comfortable and content, and you'll be able to explore the twist. It's not exactly Marichyasana d, but it prolongs the health of the left knee, so that's the most important thing. If you're able, then at this point, to keep the left foot in lotus with comfort in the knee and draw the right heel just outside the right sitting bone, right knee is up first. First side is always with the right knee up. Coming into the twist, just using your hands to pull onto the right knee and the right shin, draw the whole chest past the right thigh and see if you can get your left elbow, your left shoulder, past the right knee. Continuing that internal rotation of the left arm, this might be a comfortable place or this might be at your limit of comfort with the right hand behind you, gazing back behind you and breathing. To keep the hand in place, you might even feel that you could step on the fingers using the right foot to step on the left fingers and breathe. If you're able to keep internally rotating, rolling that shoulder down, you could get the hand to flip up onto the left thigh or even work its way towards the outside of the left abdomen and then the right shoulder, the right elbow and finally the right hand come in and you could create some bind or use a towel as you gaze back behind you breathing. One, broad collarbones looking to find samastitihi. Two, that means looking to find a great length between the shoulders at the top of the chest. Three, even as the heel is deep in the abdomen, breath floats the chest upward and continues that rising feeling. Four, and the right knee pushing into the left shoulder to deepen the twist. Five, inhale here and exhale. Let it all go. Release the knees, release the posture, plant the hands and ashdow. Inhale, lift up, nava chatwari, jump back, chaturanga, dasa, inhale, upward facing dog. Vekadoshana, exhale, downward facing dog. Dvaadoshana, inhale, jumping through, straight legs sitting down. The second side, mindfully and carefully, building the posture, exhale, the right foot to lotus, the left knee up, the heel just outside of the left sitting bone, twisting to get the entire chest past the thigh, try to get the elbow, the right shoulder past the left knee and then wrapping the shoulder down. You might be breathing here, stepping on the hand if needed or simply coming towards or into the full binding position, taking your time, moving step by step, shoulder, elbow, hand and breathe. One, see if you can keep nice, long, smooth, full deep breathing, even during rajasana deep.

Three, two, the eyes gazing on a steady spot, remembering, of course, this is also a stillness practice. Three, so as much as the movements are involved and the body is asked to change shape, four, you're also looking for that constancy at the very center of the breath, mula bandha, udiyana bandha. Five, inhale here and exhale, let it go, release the legs, cross, plant the hands and vinyasa, triyogdasana inhale, lifting up, chaturgdasana, jumping back, pancharasana inhale, upward facing dog, shodasana exhale, downward facing dog, navasana, the boat pose, sapta, inhale, jumping the legs forward, sitting down on the bum and then straightening the legs in space. One, you'd like to have the toes the same level as the eyes and see that the knees are straightening. Two, trying to work this posture with straight legs as best you're available. Three, if you haven't done it before, you might be grabbing under the knees, then straightening the legs, then releasing the arms so that you're not holding the legs. Five, exhale, cross the legs, plant the hands, ashta, inhale, get some lift up off the mat, lift the hips, lift the feet, exhale, sit down. We'll look at arta navasana for the next one, if for some reason you have back pain when doing full navasana, explore the half boat pose. Put your entire lumbar spine flattened onto the mat, keeping the belly strong, keep the shoulder blades just tipping forward off of the mat and lift straight legs, toes the same level as the eyes. One, keeping the belly really scooped, the tailbone really tucked too, so that the lumbar spine is flat upon the mat. Three, four, five, exhale, cross the legs, plant the hands, ashta, inhale, lift up, exhale, sit down, using either option, half boat pose with the lumbar spine on the mat, sapta, inhale, or straightening the legs here, using the hands as little as needed and then dropping them away. One, so that you're no longer holding the feet. Two, just using strong legs and a strong core. Three, strong hip flexors and very strong bandha. Four, five, exhale, cross the legs, plant the hands, ashta, inhale, lift up, exhale, sit down, sapta, inhale, navasana. One, the secret to straightening the legs. Two, is straightening the legs. Three, the secret to doing yoga. Four, is doing yoga. Five, cross the legs, plant the hands, ashta, inhale, lift up, exhale, sit down. The last one, you could cup your elbows around your knees, draw your knees in and sapta, inhale, lift, straight legs. One, long, full deep breath.

Two, broad collarbones. Three, strong legs. Four, gazing on a still spot. Five, exhale, cross the legs, plant the hands and ashta, inhale, lift up, nava chatwari, jump back, chaturanga, dasra, inhale, a long, upward facing dog, lengthening the front side of the body. Ekaharsha, exhale, downward facing dog, and sapta. Inhale, jump or step through, find yourself to your seated dandasana position. Exhaling, lie down on your back for back bending. So after creating so much motion in the upper thoracic spine from twisting and so much stability in the lower belly, we're going to be able to take that with us as we take on Urdhva Dhanurasana modifications. Ashta, exhale, bend your knees, feet flat on the floor. Notice it's a lot like Marichyasana positioning, keeping the root knuckle, the big toe mound grounding, and the heels just wider than the sitting bones. Again, exhaling completely, tuck the belly under deeply, feel that the tucking of the tailbone might lift the pelvis ever so slightly, and nava, inhale, rise up. You can keep the hands by the side if you like, interlacing the fingers, rolling the shoulders under deeply. One, still grounding through the big toe mound. Two, or if you're familiar in conversing with Urdhva Dhanurasana, full back bending, planting the hands. Three, and making sure that the inhale lift creates space through the entire length of the spine. Four, five, exhale, you could come down just onto your head, walking your hands in, or just come all the way down into the spine, and then nava, inhale, lift up once more. Either variation totally reasonable and appropriate to making sure that you have comfort and length in the breath. Three, four, finding your big toe mound grounding and heels still wide. Five, exhale, you could come down, walk the hands in, or again, you could come all the way down into the spine, and either variation, nava, inhale, lift up. The last back bend here can be simply rolling the shoulders under, grasping the hands, or full Urdhva Dhanurasana. Two, three, opening the shoulder blades, getting space in the upper chest. Four, five, dasha, exhale, come all the way down. If you'd like to, you could bring the knees into the chest, do a little rolling. Full chakrasana is yours to explore, or roll up and take a vinyasa from the front of your mat, crossing the legs, planting the hands. Inhale to lift up, exhale, jumping chaturanga, dvarsa, inhale upward-facing, triyogdha, exhale, downward-facing dog, pashimattanasana, sapta, inhale, jump through straight legs, sitting down, exhale here, ashta, inhale, reach forward, and nava, exhale, gently fold forward into your counter pose. One, two, any counter pose that feels right for you, three, if there's pain or pinching in lower back, back off the posture, four, but it should be comfortable, free and easy, six, seven. You can use strong legs, keeping the toes touching, eight, the big toes touching one another, not bowing out to the side, nine. As the feet stay flat, as if they were on the floor, ten, dasha, inhale, long spine, straight arms, head up, exhale here, and let go, release the posture, and vinyasa, karasha, inhale, lift up, dvarsa, jump back, triyogdha, inhale upward-facing, triyogdha, exhale, downward-facing dog, salambhasarvagasana, shoulder stand, sapta, inhale, jump through, straight legs, sit down, and with straight legs, exhaling, lie down upon your back, keeping straight legs as you lie down, engaging the core. Take a breath here, make sure that you can reach both shoulders evenly back into the mat, keeping space for the cervical vertebrae so they don't touch. If you need to put a blanket under your shoulders, that may help, otherwise just use the power of drawing the shoulders back to keep that critical space, and the neck bones off the mat. Exhale completely, ashta, inhale, draw the feet up, the hips up above the shoulders, and the feet pointing straight to the sky, breathing here, one, the drishti down the tip of the nose, two, three, four, looking to make sure that there's still that five, internal awareness, six, finding the stillness inside, seven, so the finishing postures keep drawing awareness deeper and deeper internally, nine, ten, halasana, exhaling the straight legs back behind the head. If the feet are still floating, keep the hand supporting the lower back. If the feet come down and touch the mat, point the toes and interlace the fingers, rolling the shoulders under more deeply, three, four, five, the drishti, six still gazing down the tip of the nose, seven, eight, karna bidasana, exhale, bending the knees, knees could rest on the forehead or even come into the ears, one, two, take some time to really hear the sound of your own deep full breath, breath, smoothing out the breath, keeping it loud and long, seven, eight, nava, inhale coming up, returning the hands to the lumbar spine, lifting the legs straight up and from there, taking a modified matsyasana, exhaling, rolling the spine down, crossing the legs, the elbows push into the mat and inhale, lift the center of the chest, reach the head back, scooting the elbows forward if needed and breathe, one, don't sit on your hands, keep your hands free so that you can adjust the height of the elbows, two, you can even cheat the hands in and make sure to wrap around the front side of the abdomen, three, making sure that udiyana bandhas stays engaged, four, five, six, keeping the chest high and the top of the head reaching back, eight and release the entire spine, you could do chakrasana, the backward somersault roll or simply roll up to the front of your mat and taking a regular vinyasa, crossing the legs, flanding the hands, inhale lift up, exhale jump back, chaturanga, inhale upward facing, exhale downward facing dog, the final seated postures, inhale jumping through, straight legs sitting down, badapatmasana, exhale crossing the legs, you might be comfortable in lotus or half lotus position, whatever feels right, exhaling you may reach around behind the spine and take the tops of the feet if it's comfortable with the knees and again if that's not available to you today just simply take your elbows that's fine as well, inhaling here raise the drishti, raise the gazing point looking upwards towards the third eye or eyebrow center, yoga mudra nava exhale, folding forward, keeping the gaze somewhat lifted as you descend and breathe here, closing the practice for the day, sealing in all the benefits as well as reminding the awareness that this practice is not only in the physical body, the awareness rising to the eyebrow center, padmasana dashe, inhale rising up, releasing the hands, index finger and some lightly touch and chin mudra, the other three fingers extend, whatever comfortable sitting posture you're in, extend the arms, broaden the collarbones and breathe, measuring the breath, the back of the throat, allowing awareness to dive internally, receiving any more subtle benefits of the practice, utplutihi, plant the hands and inhale lift up, lifting the knees, lifting the hips and breathing here, if you'd like to keep the drishti down the tip of the nose that's ideal, if you feel like you need more help from the eyes they may rise up as you breathe and exhale come down and you could take one more vinyasa here on your way to their final resting postures, probably better if you release the legs, inhale to find some lift and a karasha exhale jump back to a out of shine heel upward facing exhale downward facing dog, inhale coming through to a sitting position and from there releasing and lying down on your back, letting the palms roll up to the sky, the broad collarbones simply release the hands downward and letting the feet roll out to the side so the external rotation of the thighs has actively been extended and accentuated and now you just release letting gravity pull the entire body open and downwards towards the earth, releasing the physical engagements of udiyana and mula bandha so breath can flow freely to the lower abdomen, releasing the drishti so the eyes close, the mind is free to wander and using a silent breath you freely let go after a deep diligent dedicated learning practice releasing into your resting posture you're most welcome to stay resting as long as you like here whenever you like you're most welcome as well to come up to a sitting posture enjoy some sitting practices and again recall that all these practices are not meant to physically simply shape the body but instead we're going to bring you to a place where you're more comfortable in seated practices and you're more comfortable with a daily diligent dedicated sadhana a practice that's consistent with as little interruption as possible and yet detached from the results not trying to achieve the most glorious asana but instead allowing the yoga to come to you allowing the yoga to come through you allowing the yoga to do you as you simply relax and receive the benefits blessings on your path


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