Monday, March 11, 2013

ONE YOGA 2013- March 11, 2013

Great class tonight! Brief Review for home time yoga practice!
  We started with standing poses; first tuning into our feet, and observing how our posture is impacted by changing where we focus our contact with the mat.  Example, standing on the right half of both feet, then left; into the heels, then into the ball and toes. 
Then we began standing warm up stretches... first reaching for the ceiling and stretching one side of the body and alternating sides, and then both arms reaching high!  Coming down from lengthening the body, we flexed into forward fold, held for several breaths.  Next, we rolled up to standing position, drawing the hands up the anterior legs, abdomen, chest, head and to the sky again.  We repeated this several times, forward fold and rolling up. limbering the spine....
Next we began side bending routine.  Right hand along your right thigh, Begin side-bending to the right, avoiding rotation of the hips; now take the left hand up towards the sky, perpendicular to the floor. Hold for several breaths.. Come up slowly.  And repeat on the other side.
Now repeat the above, but instead of maintaining the upper arm at 180degrees toward the ceiling, allow the upper arm to move past the midline toward the opposite ear that you are side-bending away from.  Hold for several breaths and then do on the other side.
Next, we moved into rotational twists.  Again, standing tall, arms at shoulder height extended out to your sides, then twist to one side, pause, look over the back hand, breathe, then turn head toward forward hand; return head toward back hand and rotate forward to neutral.. Maintaining the hand and arms at shoulder heights, now rotate in the other direction, and keep your eyes with the arm moving backward, pause; and breathe.  Now, turn head forward, maintaining arms outreached.  Then, turn head back towards backward hand, and rotate the whole body forward again. 
AH, now time for backward bending with arms extended upward palms facing each other. Hold and breath, lengthening your spine.. Now, rotate the hips to the left, rotating the whole body from waist up, maintaining the back ward bend.  After a few breaths come forward again and when ready rotate to the other side, again maintaining backward bend.  Then, bringing the hips forward, come upright; stretching forward towards the ceiling.   Interlacing the fingers, turn the palms towards the ceiling, and rotate to one side and then the other.
turning the palms downward towards the floor, bring the hands down onto the top of our head.  Sidebend the left elbow to your left; then side bend to the right.  Repeat a few times on each side.
Next time when you get to the gentle edge of the  left sidebend, add twist to the left posteriorly, Come out of the rotation and then out of the sidebending and try repeating this on the other side. 
Return to mid line, fold forward in flexion again and breath, observing how much ease you feel compared to the beginning of this routine.  Bending your knees, lower your seat towards the floor; then straighten your legs, bringing forehead to the knees.  Repeat, three to four times.
Transitioning now to high lunge with right foot by your right hand on the mat, knee bent, let your left leg go straight back towards the wall behind you on the mat.  Lowering your seat and raise your head high.  Hold for several breaths, then bring your left foot forward, into forward fold again.. Now repeat the lunge on the left side, with left foot next to the left hand, the right straight leg stretched behind you toward the wall behind you...
Lets transition now into pigeon pose, one one side first upper pigeon for 3-5 minutes and then go down into lower pigeon for several minutes... Ready to repeat on the other side?  Go for it, be gentle with yourself but deep in your practice.
Try to leave time for you to do a final relaxation before you finish your yoga routine.  Enjoy a brief inventory of your body, releasing, relaxing and breathing.
Yusuf Quddus Erskine DO

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