Sequence – Standing Poses

by Mona Keddy

In the workshop I mentioned in last week’s post, Kevin Gardiner worked with the image of a mountain to bring steadiness into our standing poses. How could we embody the steadiness and support of the mountain in legs? He instructed we imagine the triangular shape of a mountain extending from the base of our back diaphragm down and out through the legs, into the feet and then into the earth under our feet. The image of a wide, strong mountain structure within my body as I hold the standing poses creates a strength and steadiness that holds me centered inside myself.

Kevin used a block at the wall to encourage our understanding and implant this image more fully in our bodies. In Trikonasana, Virabhadrasana II and Parshvakonasana, we put our sticky mat at the wall (short edge at the wall). First we used the wall for the outer edge of the back foot and pressed that outer heel firmly into the wall (see photo 1). Then, we turned around and placed a block at the wall (short edge at the wall) for our front foot (see photo 2). With our front foot on the block, we pressed from the back of the diaphragm into the pelvis, legs and feet creating the steadiness and width of a mountain base extending down and out into the earth.

Below is a basic standing pose sequence. After warming up, use the following sequence as it is or with the additional work in the legs with the wall and block. You can use the wall for the back foot in all the standing poses and you can use the block at the wall in the * poses. If you are using the block at the wall, you may need to have a second block for your bottom hand in Trikonasana and Parshvakonasana.

SEQUENCE:

Warm-up for the standing poses using either the Shri Online Rise & Shine mini-practice or the Holiday mini-practice or another 10 minute warm-up you know.
(Hold the standing poses below for 30sec – 1 min)
Uttanasana – Standing forward bend (not at the wall)
Utthita Trikonasana* – Triangle pose (see photo 1 and 2 for the options)
Virabhadrasana II* – Warrior II pose
Utthita Parshvakonasana*– Extended side angle pose
Prasarita Padottanasana – Standing spread-leg forward bend (not at the wall)
Crescent side bend (not at the wall)
Virabhadrasana I – Warrior I (back outer heel only at the wall)
Uktasana  – Fierce pose
Parshvottanasana – Pyramid pose (back outer heel only at the wall)
Uttanasana – Standing forward bend (not at the wall)
Finish your practice with a supine twist, supported bridge pose or legs up the wall and Savasana.
Enjoy and let me know how it goes and if you have any questions.

1 - Trikonasana outer edge of back heel at the wall.

1 – Trikonasana with the outer edge of back foot at the wall.

mona 1

2 – Virabhadrasana II with the front foot at the wall on a block

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