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Sadhana, Day Nine: the last twists

Sunrise in Vourvourou, Greece

Sunrise in Vourvourou, Greece

This morning we worked our way through the twists practice for the last time.

Tomorrow morning, for the 10th day of Sadhana, we’ll do a  restorative practice.

There was some discussion of starting late, because of the July 1 holiday, but it turns out that at least two people wouldn’t be able to come. So that leaves us with one  last day of getting out of bed at 5 and starting practice at 6:30.

We all know it’s going to be, if not easy, then at least doable.

Ten days of early rising looked like such a stiff  climb when we started, but here it is, coming up to day 10 and the mountain has turned into something more like a stepladder: steep, for sure, but short.

Casting around for a good restorative practice to tackle early in the morning, I found myself looking at the practice in the back of Light on Life. (There’s a drawing of each pose, if you’re unsure of what the props would look like.)

Although the heading on the page is “Asanas for Emotional Stability,” each one of these poses is a mainstay of restorative practice. And in the sequence that Guruji gives, they lead to Viloma Pranayama, which, he writes, “allows you to experience inner silence.”

I know we won’t be doing the whole practice, in part because of time, in part because we have eight rope sets and 17 Sadhanistas. I’ll let you know how it goes when I get home on Thursday morning.

So here’s the dream plan for tomorrow:

Restorative: Day 10

Adho Mukha Virasana (downward facing hero)  2 to 3 minutes

Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward dog) in sling at rope wall or with head support and hands to the wall.  2 to 3 minutes

Uttanasana (standing forward bend) head support, to chair, 3 to 5 minutes

Sirsasana (headstand) in the ropes      3 to 5 minutes

Viparita Dandasana (inverted stick pose) on two stools, with two bolsters, or one bolster and blankets. 3 to 5 minutes,

OR chest opening on horizontal bolster, support for the head if necessary

Salamba Sarvangasana (shoulder stand) on a chair, set up with your head to the wall and move from the chair to Nirlamba Sarvangasana,   5 to 10 minutes

Nirlamba Sarvangasana (unsupported shoulder stand) feet to the wall,  5 minutes

Half Halasana (plow pose) with thighs resting on a chair seat with bolster on the chair seat, five to 10 minutes

Setubanda Sarvangasana (shoulder stand bridge pose) on long bolster, feet to the wall, strap around the thighs, blanket under shoulders. 5 to 10 minutes

Viparita Karani (inverted lake pose) legs up the wall, bolster under pelvis, 5 minutes

Paschimottanasana (seated forward bend) with head support   3 to 5 minutes

Upavistha Konasana (wide-angle seated forward bend) head resting on chair seat or bolster,  2 minutes

Baddhakonasna (bound angle pose)  3 to 5 minutes

Supta Virasana (reclined hero pose) using bolsters or chair   3 to 10 minutes

Viloma Pranayama with interrupted exhalation, seated or lying down, 5 to 8 minutes if seated

Savasana (corpse pose) with chest elevated, 10 minutes

Photo courtesy Phillipp Klinger, Flickr Creative Commons.

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