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A tough yoga sequence for fun and enjoyment

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  • A tough yoga sequence for fun and enjoyment

    if you are new to yoga, then skip this altogether. go to a class once a week, practice at home for at least a year, and then revisit the thread.

    i teach my own form of power vinyasa yoga. i like to do fun and crazy things. my students -- when they are ready -- also like to do fun and crazy things.

    crack out your iyengar, most of these poses will be found in there.

    Warm it up:

    Mountain plus tune into the breath.
    Inhale/exhale through forward bend and into downward dog. wiggle around a bit.
    cat stretches
    gentle lunge (hands on floor, back knee up or on floor -- which ever. it's just a warm up).

    Sun salutations

    i like to do 10 a and 10 b for this practice, because you wanna build the heat. of course, the heat is going to keep building, so do at least 5 of each, and let it go from there.

    you can do 50 if you want. whatever. just do some. but more than 3. if you're only doing 3, and you can't do more than three without passing out, see the disclaimer at the top of the post.


    after sun salutations, i like to head into an utkatasana series (fierce pose). it usually goes something like this:

    fierce pose held low and long -- at least 10 deep breaths until thighs are on fire. then, twist to one side and hold that for about 10 breaths. then go into side crow pose.

    from side crow, pop back to chaturanga, then up dog, then down dog. jump forward and do the other side: fierce for 10 breaths, then twist, then side crow. then jump back and vinyasa to downward dog.

    now, its time for some warrior work: warrior I, warrior III (that's the balance posture), then take that to warrior II. reverse warrior (reaching up and back), and then side angle pose. then, if you want, bound side angle pose. then, step the back foot forward so that feet are hip distance apart. play with the hip/shoulder stretch and forward bend for a few breaths, and then stand up, lifting your (at this point, right) leg in the air. Extend the right leg up -- bird of paradise. reverse the process to release (keep arms bound and lower your foot to the floor, then release the arms) and go into padagustasana and do the forward bent. hold each posture about 10 breaths. then, crow pose, and jump back, vinyasa to downward dog, and repeat on the other side.

    good time now to do some balancing postures: jump forward, come to standing, start with eagle, then go into a flowing sequence of hand-to-big toe pose (out to the side, twisting) and then carry that back to daikasana, warrior III, standing split. work that balance all on one side, and then do the other side. dancers pose, tree pose. then, do the series from bikram -- he calls it half moon series -- lean to the left, lean to the right, lean back and see if you can touch the floor. then you come forward into an utkatasana sort of position (chest on thighs, arms reaching forward), and then take the hands to the floor and do a forward bend.

    next, time to get on some more arm balancing burns. totally fun.

    plank pose, then side plank on both sides. 10 breaths each. but here comes the real fun. take a break in downward dog, and then do the super-fun plank series: inhale plank, exhale chaturanga, inhale plank, exhale side plank. inhale plank, exhale chaturanga, inhale plank, exhale side plank. do about 10,000 rounds. or 5.

    finish this up with two more arm balancing sequences. choose:

    A. from downward dog, you want to work the abs first working half monkey and a twisted, extended arm balance (can't remember the name), you'll start just by bringing your right knee to your right tricep. then, take it up in the air (inhale), and exhale brnging right knee to left tricep. that might be all you do the first tiem out.

    next step, if you're feeling it, is to bring your right knee up to your right shoulder, lean in to your hands so that you make chaturanga arms. back leg will pop off the floor and into the air, and then you'll extend your right leg forward. then, after holding the pose, swing the front leg back to chaturanga, and vinyasa back to downward dog. then, do the twisted version.

    bring the right knee as high up on the left tricep as you can, extend the leg out, and lean into the arms chaturanga style. back leg pops into the air, and there you go. pop back to chaturanga, then vinyasa to downward dog.


    B. lower the forearms to the floor from downward dog. draw the nose over the thumbs, looking forward. keeping the tailbone lifting, back arching, start to walk the feet toward the hands. when the back starts to curl, tailbone drops, or knees bend, that's where you stop moving your feet. you're as far as you will go (for that day!).

    next, keep the head up and lift one leg into the air. lift it as high as you can. then move onto the toes of the other leg. just stay there, unless your body naturally wants to LIFT into forearm balance. no jumping. hold the leg in the air for a few breaths, then switch sides. then return to downward dog.

    Time for Triangles

    getting to triangle at this point is pretty easy: warrior I, warrior II, then align up for triangle. hold this for a bit. come up, turn to the side, and do wide leg forward bend. it feels good. come out of that, and bring hands to hips. step the left foot in so there is about 3 feet between them, left toes point toward the front left corner of the mat. right toes straight ahead. bring hands into reverse prayer, and then do side intense stretch (parsvottanasana). inhale to a flat back, and then release your hands to your shin. make sure hips and spine are properly aligned, thighs very strong, and then twisting triangle.

    bring both hands to the shin/ankle, and do another standing split (left leg in the air), and then half moon pose (ardha chandrasana in light on yoga). it's a balance pose where you are opened up to the side of the room. feels good. release hand and foot to the floor, do a forward bend, and then crow, chaturanga, updog, down dog. then do the other side.

    next, heading into back bends. so many ways to go. i like to really work my back in a lot of ways before going deep, so, i start off simple: more cat stretches.

    then, lower onto the floor. i do modified locust pose, then full locust pose (chest/chin on the ground, legs in the air), then some bow poses. then deep cobra poses.

    i then transition to do camel poses. i do several rounds of camel poses, and then eventually get into "full pidgeon" (sometimes also called diamond) pose. you'll find it under kapotasana in light on yoga.

    next, i move into my back. i do a number of bridges, and then a number of upward bows. then, i would move into wheel pose which is where the elbows are on the floor. then, you can grab your ankle if you wish, and send one leg into the air, and then switch. next, from wheel, i like to move into reverse plow, and then do the leg up thing again. it's just fun.

    taking rest in supta baddha konasana (reclining bound angle pose).

    after this super fun series, i like to do a fair bit of core work. i do all kinds, a lot of it coming from pilates. so, just throw in whatever pilates you know. too much to describe. jsut dont "pat" it's not necessary. that works triceps and stuff, and you've already done that. just work those abs.

    next, forward bending work. i rock up to seated and do staff pose, seated forward bend, janusirsasana series through marichiasana (sp?) series from the astanga series. i like to do vinyasas in between sets, but that's up to you.

    now, hip openers: half pigon pose, tortoise pose, fire log pose, then frog pose (facing the floor), and then on my back, i'll do happy baby, and yoginidrasana (feet behind the head).

    finally, i like to do wind relieving pose and spinal twists at two or three different depths, before heading into a long savasana. then, i do a pranayama session, followed by meditation.

    This whole thing -- if practiced in the 10-breath process should take about 2.5-3 hrs. My average challenge class runs about 2-2.5 hrs, and we typically hold most postures for 5-7 breaths rather than 10. but at home, i like to really go for it.

    10 breaths is your iyengar max, you don't need to hold any posture (other than easy pose for meditation and pranayama) for more than 10 breaths.

    ok, so there's that.

  • #2
    Wow--WOW!!!! You SO totally ROCK Zoebird!! Thank you THANK YOU for taking the time to write all this out. There is so much awesome stuff here I don't even know where to start commenting! I'll leave it at this--my favorite line from your post, which irt the plank series (which looks AWESOME!), is this: "do about 10,000 rounds. or 5."

    It will certainly keep me busy!!! I'm so excited!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!
    My Before/After Pics
    Are you new here? Be sure to check these links FIRST, before reading anything on the forum! Succeed & PB 101

    "I am a work in progress." -Ani DiFranco


    • #3
      you are welcome. this is fun stuff.

      i like to use numbers in a random way in my classes. like, i'll tell a class (that's 45 minute long) that we're going to hold X pose for the next 87 minutes. what i've found is that it disengages the mind thinking "omg! how long do i have to do this?!" well, time is totally meaningless when you are being present. it literally doesn't exist. there is no "class is ending" or "pose is ending." there is just pose.

      same is true with rounds of things. i always, always loose count when i'm practicing. i've learned ot just go with that. when my body wants to move on, it wants to move on. so, i move on.

      DH counted for me one time, and he noticed that i did 18 rounds before moving on one day, and then another day did 6, and then another day i just would not stop doing it (or so it seemed to him). my recollection of each time, once i got to downward dog was "about five" -- i literally had no clue how many i'd done.

      the plank series is everyone's favorite, until around the 9,567th round. LOL


      • #4
        im stuffed just reading that


        • #5
          i think you get credit just thinking about the poses. like, visualization.


          • #6
            This is very intense. Can't wait till I get some time to try it! =)


            • #7
              That is impressive. The disclaimer at the top is definitely key. I think we need to see a video of this .

              I now get to see my (ex) teacher practice, she was the substitute while the regular teacher was in Mysore. Now that the regular teacher's back, she's a student again. I know I'm not supposed to, but I take a couple of peeks at the others in the room during my practice, and there's the time it takes me to put my mat away when I'm done with my poses and everyone else is still going. Seeing where I'll be eventually is very encouraging.


              • #8
                it would be a very long video, but DH and i talked about doing photos of many of them.


                • #9
                  Zoebird, can you explain what daikasana is? I looked it up in Light on Yoga and couldn't find it--also had trouble when googling. I'm just going through all of this now in detail to get ready to try it all out!!

                  Also wanted to add that I had fun w/ your plank series a couple minutes ago. Goooooood stuff. Woo!
                  My Before/After Pics
                  Are you new here? Be sure to check these links FIRST, before reading anything on the forum! Succeed & PB 101

                  "I am a work in progress." -Ani DiFranco


                  • #10
                    yes, it's like warrior III. but instead of reaching forward, you are reaching back, and you squeeze your shoulder blades together. usually, the toe is pointed -- so it looks a bit like a ballerina's pose -- there s bit of an arch to the spine, heart lifting and heal lifting as high as you can get them (or, coming into a straight-ish line with each other).

                    i might have mispelled it or used a name from the gosh lineage by accident.


                    • #11
                      also, it can be done with fingers interlaced and wrists together, arms pulling back or with hands in reverse prayer.


                      • #12
                        Thank you!!! That is very helpful!! (As is this whole thread )
                        My Before/After Pics
                        Are you new here? Be sure to check these links FIRST, before reading anything on the forum! Succeed & PB 101

                        "I am a work in progress." -Ani DiFranco


                        • #13
                          TL;DR. Please post a video.


                          • #14
                            Nice sequence, Zoebird! You get all of that done in a 45 minute class?
                            "In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they couldn't be more different."

                            "You can have anything you want, but you can't have everything you want."

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                            • #15
                              make video I am veeery lost.
                              I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.