Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Week's Progress

Tuesday:  Morning led class in Ashtanga Yoga for Life, came home and worked out with medicine ball, two rounds of push ups, knee lifts on parallel bars, pull ups, then bicep and arms with bands, cool down.....

Monday:  Led class at Shanti Yoga and Counseling.

Sunday: Rest Day

Saturday: went to Power Vinyasa Flow class.  Instructor added arm balances at the end per student request.  Thanks.

Step 1 - Arms & Hands
Sit up on your heels, then catch hold of both your elbows with the opposite hands. Lean forward and lay your forearms on the ground, directly beneath your shoulders. Let go of your elbows, and clasp your hands together.
Step 2 - Head Down
With your arms in the tripod position, above right, lower your head so that the top of your skull touches the ground and the back of it is cradled in your hands. Do not make any abrupt movements. Take the next steps slowly.
Step 3 - On Your Toes
From the crouched position with your head resting in your hands, straighten your knees and push your hips up above your head. Then, keeping your legs straight, stretch up high on your toes.
Step 4 - Half Headstand
Now bend your knees, bringing them to your chest. Arch your back slightly, as you do when standing up; this will enable you to balance your body in this position. Do not proceed unless you can hold this position for at least 30 seconds without feeling any discomfort.
Step 5 - Knees Up
With your knees still bent, start to straighten your hips. Slowly and carefully, raise your knees until they are pointing straight up toward the ceiling.
Step 6 - All the Way
Straighten you knees and lift your feet up toward the ceiling. Support your weight by bracing your elbows against the ground. At first, hold the Headstand for 30 seconds; as you become more skilled at adopting this pose, gradually increase the time to 3 minutes. Always come down before you start to feel tired. Leave the pose slowly and under control (see below). Head in Hands: Rest the back of your head against your hands. Relax, breathing through your nose.
Coming out
You should leave this Asana as carefully as you entered it. Do not move jerkily or quickly, or you may lose control and fall.
    • Bend your knees and lower them.
    • Straighten your legs. Bring your feet to the ground, and then lower your knees.
    • Lower your body so that your buttocks rest on your heels as in the Child's Pose.
    • Finally, relax your hands and return to the full Child's Pose.
    • Do not lift your head up straight away. Rest for at least a minute.
    • Relax in the Corpse before continuing
The headstand is one of the 12 basic Asanas (postures) as taught by Guru of the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers
Definition: An asana in which you balance on your elbows, arms, and head Known as the "King of Asanas" because of its many benefits, the Headstand is the first of the 12 asanas and is considered by many to be a panacea for countless human ills. Sitting and standing for most of the day causes your circulation to become sluggish, so your heart has to work harder to pump sufficient blood to the upper parts of your body. Normally, your heart works against gravity; inverting your entire body lessens the strain on your heart, and allows a plentiful supply of oxygen-rich blood to reach your head and brain. This pose is not an advanced asana; even so, to begin with you may wish just to undertake the child's Pose and the Dolphin, progressing to the full Headstand later.

Side Crow - Parsva Bakasana
Side Crow - Parsva Bakasana
Photo © Barry Stone

Also known as: Side Crane Pose Type of pose: Arm balance
Benefits: Strengthens the wrist, forearms and abdomen. Improves balance.
1. Come to a squatting position with the knees into the chest.
2. Come up on to the balls of your feet and bring your palms flat on the floor in front of you about shoulder's distance apart.
3. Keeping the palms in place, turn your knees to face the right side.
4. Start to lean forward, keeping the head lifted, and place your hips on top of the left arm and your knees on top of the right arm.    (I must remember to place hips on top of arm.)
5. Take one foot and then the other off the floor so you come to balance with both feet up.
6. Come down and try the other side.
Beginners: Try lifting one foot up at a time to get a feel for how far forward you need to bring yourself. Do not let your head drop! This will cause you to tip forward and lose balance. Put a blanket in front of you so you won't be afraid of hitting your head if you fall. Most everyone falls when learning this pose.
Advanced: Try the following variations:
Straighten both legs, keeping the feet in line with the hips.
Straighten both legs, and move the right leg to the back (see photo).
Come down and this time center the thighs on the left arm bringing all your weight onto the left arm when you come up.
Jump back to chaturanga.

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