The first day of Sadhana went off without a hitch. In fact, from where I sat, it felt comfortable and familiar.
I know I wasn’t the only one. On her way out the door, Rosaria said: “It feels like we just picked up where we left off last year.”
Savasana was short, and for reasons of time, we didn’t do two of the standing poses and one of the twists.
I’m optimistic that by this time next week, we’ll be sailing through the full practice with 10 minutes for Savasana at the end.
The first few days always take extra time.
First, I have to give “the talk”: we all work at our own pace, we do nothing that the body says “no” to, we are all free to come into a rest position at any time.
Then each person needs to find their appropriate variation of headstand and arm balance.
And there’s the general early-days phenomenon: it’s all slower when you do it for the first time.
Tomorrow’s practice is the essential pattern for Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays as set out in Geeta Iyengar’s Yoga: A Gem for Women.
What’s different from day one?
Variations in headstand and shoulder stand replace the standing poses, and forward bends replace backbends.
Because most of us are working to simply balance and hold in headstand, we won’t be practicing headstand variations.
We will, however, work to our capacity in shoulder stand variations.
Day 2: Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday
(Poses in brackets are for more experienced practitioners.)
Sitting/ Invocation 5 to 10 minutes
Child’s pose 1 minute
Dog pose 2 minutes
Arm balance (or preparations) 3 – 5 minutes
Headstand (or preparations) 3 – 5 minutes
Sarvangasana, (shoulder stand) 5 minutes
Halasana (plow pose) 2 minutes
Karnipidasana 1 minute
Supta Konasana 1 minute
(Parsva Halasana) 1 minute per side
Eka pada Sarvangasana 1 minute
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (with brick beneath sacrum) 3 to 5 minutes
Abdominal poses: hold 20 seconds, building to 30 seconds, repeat
Urdhava Prasarita Padasana 1-2 minutes
Jathara Parivartanasana 1-2 minutes
Seated Forward Bends 1 minute each side
(Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana )
Triang Mukhaikapada Pascimottanasana
(Parivritta Janu Sirsasana)
Baddha Konasana Cycle one minute per variation
Forward bend in Baddha Konasana
Virasana cycle: one minute per variation
Virasanana (hero pose)
Parvatasana arms in Virasana (fingers interlaced, palms out, arms up)
Forward bend in Virasana
Malasana one minute per variation
Malasana upright, hold ankles
Malasana forward bend/clasp
Paschimottanasana 2 to 4 minutes
Savasana 7 to 10 minutes
Photo courtesy of chispita_666, via Flickr.