Mexican Yoga Intensive, Abhijata Iyengar

April 27, 2019, 8:00-11:50 am

– Adho Mukha Virasana

Today’s Subject – Vinyasana in Iyengar Yoga; Abhijata talked about the importance of moving the legs and arms.

We did several jumpings:

– Uttanasana to Adho Mukha Svanasana to Uttanasana several times

– jumped from Uttanasana into Chaturanga Dandasana

– jumped from Adho Mukha Svanasana into the following standings:

– Utthita Trikonasana, Utthita Parsva Konasana, Ardha Chandrasana, Parsvottanasana and Prasarita  Padattonasana – 3 repetitions  for each.

– Utthita Parsvakonasana – place palm outside the foot from behind so that your bent  leg is resting on your shoulder and then lift the foot off the floor and stretch the leg.

For those not able to jump she gave the following options:

– moving quickly into Utthita Trikonasana and back up several times on one side and then the other

– facing the wall move back and forth into Ardha Chandrasana placing the hands on the wall for support

– Ardha Uttanasana, palms on wall lifting the right leg several times then the left; avoid bending opposite elbow. This is a modification of Virabhadrasana 3

– Standing in Tadasana throw the right arm vigorously behind you even if the torso turns, same with the left arm – we did Pashima Namaskar asana with ease after these movements

She talked about Virabhadrasana 3 being a preparation for going into Full Arm Balance. Virabhadrasana 3, Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana are both asanas that prepare for kicking the leg up into Full Arm Balance.

– Vasistasana – don’t let pelvis drop; variations – up leg in Baddha Konasana and then the classical pose lifting the up leg straight up

– Full Arm Balance – don’t allow the pelvis to collapse towards the ground

– Pincha Mayurasana – look at armpit opening; to encourage more opening put height under the elbows.

She talked at some length about not correcting new students. She compared it to the way Guruji taught children. The only time they should be corrected is if they are doing something dangerous.

– Sirsasana – she talked about the fear factor and how students should not get too many instructions

New students unconsciously put the weight on the forehead to protect the cervical spine. This is fine for beginners. Encourage them to maintain height of the shoulders and work their legs. They should hold it briefly.

She also talked about how westerners were very keen to do the pose in the center of the room and go up with 2 straight legs. She explained that they should learn Ardha Sirsasana in the center of the room; then stretch one leg up and then the other developing confidence in taking one leg off the floor at a time. As far as the relationship between the palms and the head goes we should not insist on this contact for several years. The hands and fingers  should not be rigid and the heels of the hands should not be responsible for the support of the head – if this is the case, how do you move into the variations where your arms are folded in front of you or stretched out in front of you?

– Sirsasana – integrating the movement of the legs first insisting that up leg should hold its place completely, then take the split leg position watching the balance back leg to front leg.

– Adho Mukha Virasana

– Bharadvajasana

– Ustrasana – a few times taking the head well back to free any tension in the upper back from Sirsasana

– Purvottanasana – with legs bent again taking the head well back to remove any stiffness in the thoracic from Sirsasana

– legs in Swastikasana – lean back on elbows, open chest and put crown of head on floor; this was done with the legs in Virasana and Padmasana as well

– Salamba Sarvangasana – from Halasana again working with leg movements; Halasana, Parsva Halasana and Supta Konasana.

Several movements from Halasana rolling into the following poses repeatedly:


– Janu Sirsasana

– Padmasana

– Marychiasana 1

The bent leg positions had to be performed in the air before coming on to the floor.

– Halasana moving quickly into many poses – Pashimottanasana, Uttanasana, Utkatasana, Ustrasana, Urdhva Dhanurasana, malasana into bakasana

Quite a lively end to the class.

– Setu Bandha – supported.



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