Saturday, March 30, 2013

Doing Yoga on Your Back

 Supine Yoga Poses are a great way to do Yoga that is gentle on the legs, removing the weight of the upper body and torso and lets you focus on alignment and strengthening from the core. These movements work the body gently and allow the breath to power the movement from the core helping to establish a strong and balanced body for further Yoga poses to be added in! While coming onto the floor remember that it is already a very big movement to come from a standing position to a supine, so move gently using the body to properly distribute weight and move from the muscle belly, not the joints! Get any props, blankets folded, blocks, and a folding chair. ( For an optional Vrksasana- Tree Pose, Warrior 1 Variation on Chair or a Savasana with feet on the chair.) Come down to the floor from a standing pose either gently hinging at the hips and bending at the knees, with control, distributing the weight to the heels, as to NOT COLLAPSE. Use the block under the palms and bring yourself to the floor, SLOW WITH CONTROL.

These are the poses we will work with:
Supine Tadasana (Mountain Pose) and variations
Setu Banda (Bridge) 
Ananda Balasana (Happy Baby Pose)
Pelvic Tilts, 4- 6 total
Supta Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) with props
Apanasana (Wind Pose) 
Roll to Navasana
Navasana, (Boat Pose) hold for 6 breaths
Reverse Table top, hold for 6 breaths
Paschimottanasana, (Deep Forward Fold), Hold for 6 breaths
Combine and mix them up to spend anywhere from 10-20 minutes on the mat!

Take a Supine Mountain Pose. And initiate Supine Sun Breaths A & B & C This pose will be exactly the same as the Standing Mountain pose gently flex the feet towards the knees (activating the legs), hips and shoulders parallel to the front of the mat chin slightly dropping to chest. Arm to a 45 degree angle away from the hips palms spread and facing up to the ceiling,
REMEMBER: Let the breath move freely through the body to all the areas that feel sore or tight. Use the bolster or a rolled up blanket behind the knees to help them relax and to relive tension from the weight of the legs.
ADJUSTMENT: Take the left hand and reach to the right armpit just to the back ribs and holding the flesh pull the shoulder blade down lifting the right chest slightly. Do the left side using the right hand. Supta Tadasana A: From this adjustment initiate with and inhale the arms palms face each other and disengage from the floor up and exhale them over the head letting gravity take them top the floor. Breath and let the body lengthen from heels to fingertips. Breath and on a inhale take your time and using the core release the fingertips and bring the arms perpendicular to the floor and exhale them to the floor.
Supta Tadasana B: This can be done inhale to the sides up and over the head. Remember to use the natural rotation of the shoulder: inhale palms face up and arms and fingertips reach out and up parallel to the floor exhale continue to raise the hands out and up over the head palms face each other. Supta Tadasana C: Let the arms drag along the floor and come from the hips at a 45 degree angle to the extended upward position. Breathing and initiating the movement from the core.

TRY: Bending the Knees, & bringing the feet to a level position with the knees to hold or and use the abdominals to straighten the feet up and lower the feet down 2- 6 times and then take a twist on the right and left sides. As you need to!

Bridge: Lower the feet to the fleer with bent knees walk the heels back to touch the fingertips arms along the sides of the torso palms flat against floor inhale push the arms from fingertips to shoulders back to the floor lift the chest up. Push the feet to the floor lifting the hips and flesh of the buttock off the floor engaging the abdominals hold, let the breath move, on an exhalation release and let the spine come down slow with control one vertebra at a time.

Pelvic Tilts: In the Bridge Pose with the back completely on the floor, the natural curve of the low back is naturally curving, inhale hips up lifting the flesh of the buttock and low back and releasing downwards to place the tail bone down and straighten out the low back curve. 2-6 times breathing and lifting exhaling and straightening as slow or fast as you like depending on your body!

Supta Baddha Konasana: With as Many Props as you need, let a certified teacher show you how to use!

Ananda Balasana (Happy Baby Pose) Type of pose: Supine Benefits: Releases the low back, stretches the hamstrings Instructions: 1. Come to lie on the back. 2. Bend the knees into the chest. 3. Open the knees, bringing them towards the armpits. 4. Stack each ankle directly over the knee, so that the shins are perpendicular to the floor. 5. Flex the feet. 6. Hold the outer edges of the feet at you draw the knees towards the floor.

Apanasana: Apana Pose, Wind Release Pose, 2-6 times Inhale: Exhale: Let the body come to a natural breath, then Use the weight of the legs, Rock back and forth tail bone to shoulder blades, 3- 4 times if possible balance on the rock forward and come to ½ nivasana. Hold and breathe Release your hands and your feet, push palms and feet lift the hips to


Navasana (1/2 Boat): roll, use your legs to get a nice long roll from shoulder blades to tail bone working and let the breath move you too. inhale rock back to shoulder blades exhale roll up to the tail bone, hold in 1/2 boat.
 Reverse Table Top: With your feet and palms flat on the floor and the arms straight, hips on the ground, inhale lifting the hips up letting the head gently come back.

Reverse Table top:  Release your hands and your feet, push palms and feet lift the hips to as flat a back as possible while continuing to breath and hold for a few breaths, releasing slow with control. Repeat as you like!

Paschimottanasana: Sit down on the floor or folded blanket knees bent inhale exhale reach for the feet letting the body naturally come down to the thighs and the forehead resting on the knees (Keeping them bent is a healthy modification for weak knees) stay for 6 breaths and come out straighten the crown of the head to the ceiling for another or however many or few you like!

Take a SAVASANA with shins and feet resting on the seat of a chair, or legs up the wall or use as many props as you like to lay in SAVASANA for 10-12 minutes