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Season 1 - Episode 9

Spiraling Scapulae

25 min - Practice
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We apply the lessons of hand and scapula to a sequence of asanas—we peak with Purvottanasana (Intense Eastern Stretch). Chris' firm and smooth guidance will inspire new discipline and willingness.
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Hello, so now we'll do a practice where we go through some moves in which we make very clear and strong use of the scapula connectivity. Looking at how the hands, by way of the arms, in simple poses shape the shoulders. We're starting vajrasana, and slide your hands forward. As you slide your hands forward, spread the fingers wide. Hands as wide apart as your shoulders.

Exhale, droop your spine. Let your head hang, and let your pelvis just rock side to side. Be aware of the weight shift that happens with the sideward movement of your pelvis. Kind of like a big elephant moving it's hind quarters side to side, swaying side to side. Let your spine be as fluid as possible and just, now shift the weight up and down a little bit.

Close your eyes and just fell the weight shift, and feel the strength of your hands, your hands spread wide. The strength of the arms, and the release of your head and spine forward towards the floor in front of you. And then the hand scapula movement in the hands through the arms. And hover. Shift your weight forward and back.

Just moving. Feel from scruffing the hands up to the sit bone as the tail reaches down as you shift the weight down. And from the knees firming the shin bone, shin bone to the floor, the shin for the floor. Reach the head up as you come up. And then put all those movements together.

And play with, you can open the eyes now, drooping the spine as you do so. Keeping the hands and arms very strong. Keep you elbows straight so they don't bend. So the arms, your arms are like spiraling columns. And then droop again.

Take the spiral from the hands, to the wrist, externally to the forearm, to the elbow, to the upper arm, to the shoulder joint, shoulder girdle, hover. Stretch one leg down to plank pose. Exhale. Drooping in plank pose. Take the spiral from the hands, through the arms and the shoulders, hover.

Lower the knees forward and wide. Sitting down, walk the hands up. Scruff the knees apart. The knee skin sticks in the knee bones. Within the knee skin sticking, slide apart from each other.

Place the feet as wide apart as the knees. Bring your elbows to the floor and your hands together. Hanging off the elbow skin sticking, breathe in. Again be aware of the fluidity of your spine. You want to feel like you're hanging your pelvis over the back or down over the back of your lower legs, or rather to the space between your lower legs.

Bring your head back to look up. Pressing the hands together scruff the elbows, and take the scapula down the back away from the ears, toward this pelvis. Scapula down the back away from the ears, towards your pelvis as you hang. And then hang. Feeling as you bring your head back looking up through the area, the heart opening up.

And then pull the elbows on the floor, towards your pelvis to pull yourself up out of the pose. Hands on the floor again. Curl your toes and bring the feet, the knees and feet as wide apart as the width of the hips. Curl the toes again, exhale, droop. Take the spiral from the hand to the wrist, to the forearm, to the elbow, to the upper arm, to the shoulder joint, to the shoulder girdle, hover.

And then scruff the hands overhead to drive and take the scapula down the back away from the ears continue to hover. Hover, hover, hover and (popping) pop the pelvis back. Mini dog. Feel the hands firm, scruffing, spiraling the arms, and hovering. Scruffing, spiraling the arms, and hovering.

And then bring your legs into your downward dog. As you come into downward dog keep the head back looking up so the area of the heart stays open. Move the top of the thigh bones away from where your looking. Shake the feet and draw the weight down the back of the legs. Walk the knees up.

Sit at vajrasana for a few moments. Place your hands in anjali mudra and firm the hands with the elbows reaching to the side walls. And the hands firming, bring your elbows in to each other. And again from the hands firming, take the scapula down the back wide. Hands and knees.

Step to plank pose, or if you feel comfortable, flip catch to plank pose, hover. Drooping, hover. Vasisthasana. Setting up the hand scapula. Hovering.

Plank pose. Anjali mudra, with fingers spread wide. Elbows in. Feel the hands again by way of the arms shaping the shoulders, scapula down the back. Feel that the scapula doing the same thing on the back that the hands are doing on each other.

And now the scapula doing the same thing on the back that the hands are doing on the floor. Firm, firm, firm, hover. Step to plank pose or, from the shin foot flip catch plank pose. Vasisthasana. Hover.

Step or jump. Cross legs, sukhasana. Dandasana. Place your hands the same distance apart as they were for downward dog, the same rotation as downward dog. And then again from the weight from the hands, from the thumb, side of the palm, to the wrist, to the forearm, to your elbow, to your upper arm, to the shoulder joint, shoulder girdle, scapula down the back.

Slide the hands back together, firm the hands. Use the weight in the thumb side of palms to point your elbows to direct your elbows towards the side walls. Hollow the belly, C shape the spine. Use the weight in the thumb side of the palms to bring on the inhalation, your elbows in. Keep bringing your elbows in as you straighten the arms.

Scapula firm on the back ribs. Shape the feet. Exhale, on the inhale take the pelvis up. Hover, droop, hover. Contract the pelvis, contract the buttocks, take the pelvis higher, now relax the buttocks.

Soften the groins, hover. And keep the chest as it is. Take the pelvis back to the floor behind you and up to the space between your hands. Hold the back of the legs. Again using your hands, hooking onto your hands to bring the elbows in to draw the scapula down the back.

Exhale belly hollow. Sukhasana. Sukhasana on the shins. Interlace the fingers. Press the palms overhead from the sit bones reaching down and lengthen the waist.

Here again feel the scapula doing the same thing on the back that the hands are doing in relationship to each other, and with the spacial intent of the press of the palms. Pull the back of the legs. Use especially the little finger and the ring finger holding onto the back of the thigh above the knee. Tall sitting from the sit bones anchoring in the floor and issue out of the crown of the head. Exhale belly hollow.

Change the crossing of your legs. Sukhasana. Anjali mudra changing the lacing of the fingers. Press the palms overhead again feel the scapula coming onto the back ribs. Dandasana.

Continue to use the hands and feel by way of the arms how they shape the shoulders, making use of the thumb side of the palm pressing and firming. The spiral going from the hand to the wrist, to the forearm, to the elbow, to the upper arm, to the shoulder joint, into the shoulder girdle. Slide the hands back. Exhale. Hollow the belly, use the weight on the thumb side of the palm now to internally rotate the arms pointing the elbows to the side walls.

Point the feet, bring the toes back and use the hands firm to bring the elbows in to each other. Externally rotating, continually externally rotate the arms the spiral goes to the hand, to the wrist, to the forearm, elbow, upper arm, shoulder joint, shoulder girdle. Exhale. Inhale, take the heels back, thigh bones back. Hover.

Dandasana. Again slide the hands back. The same time, the same pace. The same rotation as they would be for downward dog. Except for they are behind you.

Long fingers pointing forward and take again. Exhale. Belly hollow. Sternum softer. Use the weight on the thumb side of the palm to bring again the elbows into each other.

Continue to extend the arms. Shape the feet, toes back, exhale. Hover. Hover. Dandasana.

Bharadvajasana. Take the legs around to your left side. Wrap the right toes around the back of the left ankle. Left hand on your outer thigh above the right knee. Right hand arm as in upward facing dog.

The spiral goes from the hand to the wrist, to the forearm, elbow, upper arm, shoulder joint, shoulder girdle. Take the twist. Soften the groins. The same hand scapula in the left hand arm as you did in navasana. The same hand scapula in the right hand arm as we did in vasisthasana.

Anjali mudra. Sink the right side of the pelvis. Bharadvajasana. Swing the legs around again wrap the left toes around the back of the right ankle. Take you right hand above the left thigh, on the left thigh above the knee.

The left hand as it would be in upward facing dog. Soften the groins. The spiral on the left hand goes from the hand to the wrist, to the forearm, the elbow, upper arm, shoulder joint, shoulder girdle, hover. The little finger and ring finger of the right hand connecting the scapula to the back as you did in navasana. Exhale, rotate your head.

Hands in anjali mudra, sink the right side of the pelvis back to the floor, and back to center. Dandasana. And then a gentle move to shavasana. Bend the knees up, hands firm. Come to the elbows.

Keep the hands in the same shape, spread the fingers wide. Scruff the elbows apart, scapula down the back and hover. And then on the exhalation begin rolling to the spot. Take the elbows apart, palms face the ceiling. Stretch the legs down.

Let's do supta tadasana for a few moments. Pushing the heels away. Lot of energy from the shaping of the feet. Coming from below the buttocks down the back of the legs through the heels. With lots of spacial intent towards the wall below you.

And then bring the heels very close very gently. Shavasana. Soften the breath pathway as much as you can, allow the body to take the breaths it needs. Being aware of the movement for the wave of your breath. Now in the way of the exhalation, as the breath leaves allow as much as you can the tension to leave, the muscles to soften and the bones to sink heavily back into the floor.

Now you can stay as long as you would like in shavasana. If you're going to come out, if you're ready to come out, let's just give each leg it's own breath. On the exhalation, when the belly hollows, the sternum softens, bring the leg up. Place the foot flat on the floor, the knee pointing to the ceiling. And on another exhalation, when the belly hollows, retreats towards the back body, the sternum and the throat soften, draw the second leg up.

You can take your arm up, roll to the side. Just rest comfortably. Let your weight settle. You can stay here as long as you like. If you're ready, and when you're ready to come up, give yourself good support, active support with the hand that's further from the floor.

And on the exhalation again when the belly softens, the throat softens, the belly hollows, the sternum softens, push the floor away, hang your head. Use your arm as it becomes available, try to keep the legs passive. And sitting in any comfortable position you'd like. Namaste.

Comments

1 person likes this.
Chris's lifelong dedication to yoga comes through in this unique sequence that ignites a connection of the hands to the shoulder girdle. I enjoyed getting a taste of his deep practice and greatly appreciate his work.
Thanks Christy. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Loved this Chris Hoskins! Especially your calm instruction with spaces between. Looking forward to more.

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