Posts Tagged ‘Viparita Dandasana’

Beijing, China: November 21 – 24, 2018

March 8, 2019

Workshop at the Iyengar Yoga Institute of China, Beijing

Practicing Uttanasana with the legs separated allows for more mobility and a deeper forward extension than when the legs are together.

Practicing Uttanasana with the legs together compresses the abdominal area against the thighs (except where the student has tight hamstrings, and the trunk moves away from the thighs). This massages the abdominals, and helps keep the area healthy.

Tadasana. To ensure that the abdominal organs move up, roll the tops of the thighs back and take the tailbone in.

Uttitha Trikonasana. Revolve the tops of the femur bones out at the sockets. This ensures that the thigh bones will move into the sockets in a healthy way.

Rope Sirsasana. To ensure a deep internal alignment of the abdominal organs, make sure the belt is place exactly on the sacral bone.

Parsvakonasana. Similarly to Trikonasana, turn the tops of the thighs out.

Ardha Chandrasana. Turn the trunk and pelvis away from the standing leg. Can you touch the lifted leg shoulder blade and buttock to the wall?

Parsva Upavista Konasana. Turn from the navel toward the front leg. Everything below the navel is influenced by the activation of the left foot — press out through the left foot big toe mound.

Sirsasana. To avoid eye pressure, be exactly on the center of the crown of the head. Press the forearms down. Lift the shoulders.

Chatush Padasana over a chair. Raise the pelvic area off the chair, and placing the trapezius on the front edge of the chair, curve it around the edge of the chair. The upper back/shoulder skin will  get dragged away from the head and area just below the collar-bones will open.

Supta Konasana/Chair Halasana. This gives low back relief. It’s also a better way to go for those with long spines, where it’s not so easy to climb through the chair.

Coming out of Viparita Dandasana over Crossed Bolsters. Allow the lower back to spread.

Bolster Supported Setu Bandasana. Make sure the shoulders just touch the floor (and that you haven’t slid too far off the bolster).

 

© 2019 Bobby Clennell

Taipei: November 2 – 5, 2018

February 25, 2019

Workshop at Shelly Yoga

Pincha Mayurasana makes me look thin.

Raise the left leg hip maintaining it level with the right as you move into Eka Pada Sirsasana.

Photo bombed by my interpretor.

In this version of the head-up stage of urdva prasarita ekapadasana, the belt provides a fulcrum from which the spine can be curved and extended forward and upward. Sometimes, it’s hard to find the strength to do this without the belt.

Parivritta Svastikasana at the wall. These students are maintaining the fixed inteligence at the base of the pose by pressing their right knee to the wall as they rotate to the right.

Parivritta/Ghomukasana, legs only, combined with a spinal rotation.

In this Celestial Beings class, we practiced Ghomukasana again, this time the complete pose. Cows are held in high esteem in India.The reason has to do with cows’ agricultural uses and gentle nature. Hindus rely heavily on cows for dairy products, for tilling fields, and for dung as a source of fuel and fertilizer. So, cows are seen as a ‘caretakers’ or maternal figures.

More Celestial Beings – Eagle Pose,  Garuda was the mythic “king of the birds,” the vehicle of Vishnu.

Supported Backbends. Knees and shins against the wall. Upper arms turned in.

Supported Backbends. This pose, Baddha Konasana in Viparita Dandasana over Crossed Bolsters helps deal with abdominal scar- tissue, associated with endometriosis.

More supported Backbends.

Pushing up from Viparita Dandasana with Chair into Urdhva Dhanurasana.

At the end of the Active Restorative Class: from Halasana,

…roll…

….up ….

….and over….

….into Paschimottanasa X 6!

 

© 2019 Bobby Clennell

London: May 2

August 11, 2016

Workshop at The Iyengar Yoga Studio, East Finchley.

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Uttitha Hasta Padangustasana 1 on The Ropes. We help her roll her outer thigh down while moving her standing leg thigh back to the wall. She presses her standing leg foot down, and raises her spine and chest.

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Uttitha Trikonasana on the ropes. Anchoring your back foot to the wall, and holding the rope will help give you the momentum needed to extend your torso away from the wall.

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Ardha Chandrasana on the ropes. Turn your head back, move your dorsal spine and tailbone forward.

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Rope Sirsasana. Secure the upper arm bones into the sockets — overlap the triceps onto the deltoids, and the deltoids onto the shoulder-blades.

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Rope Urdhva Mukha Svanasana. Similarly, maintain the connection of your upper arms and shoulders.

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Viparita Dandasana. Firm your shoulder-blades onto your upper back ribs. Walk your hands along the belt toward the wall.

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I always enjoy teaching for Patsy Sparksman at her studio in East Finchley, London,

© 2016 Bobby Clennell.

Utrecht: April 1– 3

July 3, 2016

Workshop at iYoga Utrecht

Supta Padangustasana variation 2

Supta Padangusthasana 2, with one leg bent: To maintain an even weight on both sides of the pelvis and torso, and to extend the inner thigh muscles evenly, place a thinly folded blanket under the straight leg.

Urdva Mukha Svanasana

Urdhva Mukha Svanasana. Spread the fingers and press the hands down.Move the upper arms and shoulders back, and the inner elbows forward.

Parsva Sirsasana

Parivrttaikapada Sirsasana: without disturbing the central position of the head or the hands, twist the spine in the direction of the front leg. When turning to the right, hook the right shoulder-blade deep into the back.

The bicycle parking lot was overflowing.

The bicycle parking lots in the city were overflowing.

Hidden in the historical centre of Utrecht, the Saint Willibrord church (Willibrordkerk) figures as one of the concealed treasures of the city. It is an example of the best preserved neogothic churches of The Netherlands and its stunning ornamentation reflects a superb richness.

Hidden in the historical centre of Utrecht, and right next door to iYoga Utrect is the Saint Willibrordkerk church. Its rich ornamentation is stunning.

Decorative column in the Willibrordkerk.

Another decorative column in the Willibrordkerk.

© 2016 Bobby Clennell.

February 2014, Pune.

March 10, 2014

The Institute.

At the RIMYI we have three classes with Geeta Iyengar per week: two women’s classes (one of which if there is room, the men may attend) and a pranayama class. Prashant Iyengar teaches at 7am, four mornings a week. If you want to experience B.K.S. Iyengar in action you had better get yourself along to the medical classes in the afternoons. In addition, there are six open practice sessions per week where Guruji practices along with local and visiting students, most of them teachers. He invariably interrupts his own practice to instruct someone else and oftentimes this someone is his grand daughter, Abhijata. We gather round to watch, listen and absorb. Then when Guruji returns to his own practice, we drift back to our mats and our own practice.

Prashant Iyengar.

“Rivers of breath” pranayama class.
Just as rivers nourish the land, Prashant says, the breath also provides us with nourishment. These days people flock to the cities to live, but there was a time when people settled along rivers. He talked about how the Amazon flows fresh into the ocean for miles and miles, providing sustenance for all who live along its banks. Similarly, when we practice pranayama, we become energized, re-vitalized, invigorated.

Geeta Iyengar. Wednesday February 19: excerpts from Geeta’s second back bend class.

Adho Mukha Virasana
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Sirsasana:

  • Be independent. If you lean against the wall, you will never learn.
  • For those who practiced rope Sirsasana; it’s a horizontal pose as well as a vertical pose. Even in Rope Sirsasana, place your palms on the floor the width of the shoulders to create that space. Don’t just hang – lift your shoulders up away from the floor and widen the collar bones.
  • Always move the front of the leg toward the back of the leg.
  • Forehead quiet, but the body should be very much active. Raise the whole body up from the inside.

(Many, many) Urdhva Dhanurasana’s into Viparita Dandasana: Men usually sit at the back, but today Geeta asked them to move to the front of the class. Geeta talked about some of the differences between men and women. Women are more supple then men. In these back bends, they can easily open the front ribs and lift the chest, but they tend to drop the buttocks and pelvis, which strains the lumbar. In addition, they tend to get tired. Men are strong, so they can hold themselves up more easily; but they push hard into the chest and don’t get the natural lift that women get. Some of us, myself included, had a wall to hold the elbows against and a workable mat (from the donated mats in the prop room), which held my feet well, enabling me to access my back muscles and raise my spine.

8-5“Lie on your back, with your head toward the platform.  With feet apart, walk your feet in and hold ankles. Bend your arms. Place your hands on the floor, close to your shoulders. Distribute the weight evenly between the palms. Broaden the palms. Push up into Urdhva Dhanurasana. Walk in with your palms. Raise the chest to walk the palms toward the feet.”

  • Open the armpit chest. Walk in with the feet and be on the arm side. Lift the side trunk!
  • Raise the heels and tailbone up; walk the feet in.

MEN

  • Men always take the knees out – roll them!
  • Shinbones are short, they should be long – knee to shin, elongation.
  • Navel should be up.
  • Suck the elbows straight – die at the elbows! Tighten the elbows! We strapped the elbows – yes, it really has to break into pieces! Have the belt close to the elbow joint.
  • The lightness has to come – lock in the elbow joint. All the men have a belt on the elbow.
  • The flexibility can be seen in Guruji’s photo from Light On Yoga, but the stability is not seen.
  • Pump the body close to the platform.

Viparita Dandasana

  • Push the back ribs forward. At first, keep your head up. Open chest with the head up. Then place head to floor, but keep the chest tall.
  • Men: in back bends, you don’t open your chest.
  • Women; your buttocks drop.

Savasana – stretch your legs out.
Adho Mukha Svanasana, hands to wall.
Sarvangasana
Either Halasana or Karnapidasana (depending on space available)
Pachimottanasana
Savasana

Acknowledgments:
Thank you Julia Pederson who observed the class and took notes, and
Richard Jonas who contributed to these notes from his memory of the class.

Guruji, Wednesday February 20: morning practice.

Guruji spoke of citta chidra or ‘perforated mind’ meaning fissured consciousness. Abhijata, his granddaughter called it ‘leaky consciousness’ as in  “Something slips out; the awareness does not hold itself inside.”

For we students, says Guruji, the mind goes to pleasure; “I like this, I don’t enjoy that, I enjoy this!” In that state, we work from the brain, of which the mind is but a part. When you work from the brain, you sweat in the face, you remain locked in the head, your consciousness does not penetrate the body.

Guruji explains we have to ‘expand from the center to open the four lobes of the brain.’

Guruji showed us the sole of his foot. He expands the arch so that the skin across it is sharp, not dull and not sinking. When one works like that, one does not sweat, one is not stuck in the brain; awareness permeates the areas of the body to which it is directed.
Verse II. 47: ananta samapattibhyam. The balanced state of awareness (samapatti) is endless (ananta).

For us, sadly, it is antara (different, other, outside) samapattibhyam.

The mind goes out, looking for pleasure. It is ‘antara’, different, other. Then, of course, it fluctuates and moves around.

We have to learn ananta (endless) samapattih, a balanced state of consciousness.

Yoga is a spiritual practice. Ananta – or endlessness – is a spiritual state.

When instead, you practice Antara – other, different – you are jumping from one thing to the next. “I like it, I don’t like it. Where is the discipline? There is none.”

One has to go beyond that kind if mind, beyond, ‘leaky consciousness.’

Ananata – endlessness – comes from discipline.

Read about chitta cidra on page 57 of The Core of the Yoga Sutras, B.K.S Iyengar’s most recent book. Those who want to look will see what he says on that page in the light of his little talk during the open practice at RIMYI that morning.

Acknowledgments:
Thank you Zoe Stewart who relayed Guruji’s discourse from the morning open practice.
Many thanks also to Richard Jonas for his sensitive editing.

Kids Love Yoga…and so do pets!

January 23, 2014
Serafina won't even let this go at the Magritte exhibit!

Serafina Raggaza Sciorra won’t even let this go at the Magritte exhibit!

She really wanted to do fish pose but the garden was closed. She vowed to return…

She really wanted to do fish pose but the garden was closed. She vowed to return…

Serafina teaching her sister Katyana and brother Enrico.

Later, at home, Serafina teaching her sister Katyana and brother Enrico.

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On Christmas morning, 2 year old Grayleigh Smith from Boston unwrapped her gift, Watch Me Do Yoga, and immediately started her yoga practice. This is Adho Mukha Virasana (Downward Facing Hero Pose).

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Candice, preparing for Parsvottanasana (Extended Side-Stretch Pose), at the Parent & Kid Yoga class, the Iyengar Yoga Institute of China, Guangzhou.

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Careful placement of feet as a preparation for Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose).

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Anna Uribe’s little boy, Martin (at Natural Yoga in Bogota, Columbia) preparing for Virabhadrasana I (Warrior Pose I).

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Seven-month-old Olivia, in Brisbane, Australia, practices an impromtu Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose). She’s the granddaughter of Narelle Carter–Quinlan, a certified Iyengar Yoga teacher. Narelle, an anatomist by accademic training, specializes in yoga for scoliosis.

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“Come on! The props are out — let’s practice!” Photo of Cecil, her cat and Peaches her dog © by Judi Lanszberg Friedman.

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Judi Landzberg Friedman and her dog Peaches from Bedford Corners, New York, practicing Parsva Upavistha Konasana (Seated Wide-Angle Sidebend Pose).

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Jarvis Chen and a dog called Boo practicing Viparita Dandasana (Inverted Staff Pose). Jarvis is practicing a supported variation. Boo’s pose is combined with a slight twist and is independent of props.

Snow on Snow

February 8, 2011

To quote Jennilyn Carson of YogaDork.com “ Winter is so serious about winter this year”. New York, and it would seem much of the rest of the US has surrendered to the fact that this is a very harsh winter indeed. Just as the city clears up from the last snow-storm, another one hits.

Lindsey and I narrowly missed the first storm; we flew to Florida on the evening of December 25th. I taught two classes at the Yoga Sanctuary Punta Gorda: an inversions class (my favorite thing to teach) for the teachers, and a ‘holiday restorative class’. Over forty students turned up for this class, so it had to be moved to a larger space, a lovely old historical building nearby. Toward the end of the class, the students lying in their final savasana, a little mouse could be seen cavorting around the edges of the room. It wasn’t what Floridians would consider to be a warm evening and I guess the mouse had come in from the cold.

I also taught a class for my friend, Suzy Muchnik at Postures in Naples, where as always the students were strong, appreciative Iyengar Yoga practitioners.

On January 15 and 16, I travelled to Andover MA to teach a women’s workshop at EssentialYoga Studio. Roberta Macarty Dell Anno’s studio is situated in some beautiful New England countryside. Nestling in the woods, it is directly over the road from her house.  A women’s yoga group always has so much to share, we all got to know each other pretty quickly. We worked hard. We were serious and focused, but we also laughed and enjoyed each other’s company.

© 2011 Bobby Clennell.