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Lesson Plan – Theme – Prasaritta Padotanasana A .
Duration – 60 minutes
Prelude (20 minutes)
Morning greeting – Namaste.
Chanting of Om 3 times.
Explain that we will be doing a sequence of asanas and exercizes to prepare the body to finally do Prasaritta Padottanasana A followed by a cool down sequence. The asana requires that the hip flexors and hamstrings be stretched, hip joints are opened, spine is extended and wrist joint is loosened.
Begin with stretches to loosen up all parts of the body with particular emphasis on leg swings, arm swings and rotation of wrists.
Surya Namaskars (5 minutes)
Surya Namaskar A (Ashtanga) 5 times. Hold in upward dog for a second longer to stretch the back. As always, elongate the spine pushing shoulders down and backwards (depressed and retracted).
Modified Virabhadrasana I Step feet apart (about 3-4 feet). Rotate right hip out so that right foot is 90 degrees to body, left heel in line with right heel, hips are square to width of mat. Flex right knee to lower body but knee should not go beyond ankle. Hands at hips. Now pulse the back leg down and up slowly 3 times by planta flexing the left foot which would bring the torso closer to the floor, then dorsi flex to come up. Swivel to the opposite direction and repeat. Come back to original position (right foot in front at 90 degrees , left foot behind) for
Virabhadrasana I This time raise both arms above head, elbows extended (straight, not hyperextended) with palms placed against each other in ‘Anjali Mudra’. Bend slightly backwards to look at thumbs. Keep arms straight and up for 5 breaths and sink down deeper with every exhale. Inhale and come up. Swivel to the opposite side so that left foot is in front and right foot behind and repeat.
L-Shape against wall (stretching the spine) Stand facing wall about 3 feet away. Hands at hips, breathe in looking upwards, drawing breath into the spine, extend spine, exhale and come down half way, folding from the hips, maintaining uddhiyana bandha. Flex arms at shoulders bringing them to the same level as the back, placing the palms on the wall. If the elbows are bending step back a little bit so that palms are just touching the wall and elbows are straight. Back and arms should be 90 degrees to legs. Outside hip bones in line with ankles. Bring the awareness to the spine lengthening by looking in front and slightly retracting shoulders. Hold for 5 breaths. Inhale and bring hands to hips, exhale and come back to full standing.
Padangusthasana Feet hip distance apart and bend forward as before coming down fully this time, to hold the big toes with 1st three fingers. Try to get as deep a bend as possible. Keep the spine extended while coming down, folding from the hips. Slightly contract the quadriceps to lift the knee caps, keep the tail bone in. Keep Moolabandha and Uddhiyana Bandha. Body weight should be more on soles of the feet. Hold for 5 breath, inhale and come up half way before going into –
Padahasthasana – Exhale and fold down fully again, bringing both palms under the front soles of the feet. Hold for 5 breaths. Inhale release and place hands on hips coming up half way, exhale and come up fully to standing.
Prasaritta Padottanasana -Now get into the position for Parivritta Padottanasana. Step both legs apart, hips slightly rotated inwards. If you are short keep feet slightly wider apart in order to be able to reach crown of head to floor. Hands on hips, inhale looking upwards, stretching the spine and exhale bringing spine down half way (90 degrees to legs). Ensure the back is not rounded but kept elongated by pulling away and forward while folding, retracting the shoulders. Then fold all the way forward and downward bringing both palms to rest on the floor in line with both feet. Try and get your crown touching the ground. Gazing at nose tip or close the eyes. Try to get as deep a stretch as possible on every exhale. Hold for 5 breaths. Now bring hands back to hips, inhale coming half way up, exhale to full standing. Come back to Samasthithihi.
Cool Down (15 minutes)
Sethu Bandasana (Baby bridge version) – as a counter asana
Marichyasana A and C – for a stretch and twist of the spine
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