Anne S., who I may or may not be related to

Our guest blogger today shares a couple of things with me: one is a last name (and a fine one it is). The other is that we are both Kripalu-ites. Her post, in fact, came in part from a request I sent out through a Kripalu email group looking for guest bloggers. Anne saw that most of the sequences I create would not be appropriate for anyone over the age of, well, let's say 21. They can be rough on the knees, I know it. So, Anne sent something to me for people that might not be that excited about going between Downward Dog and Plank 15-20 times (and what that can do to some wrists).

I am so so aware that there are a wide variety of populations practing hatha yoga out there; I've taught a pretty colorful range of them.  Because, however, my personal practice these days is pretty high on the pitta (ie firey) I need people like Anne who are willing to keep a clear eye on the millions of ways to practice. Someone once told me that a beginner teacher could teach an advanced student; it takes an advanced teacher to teach a beginning student.

Anne S.

Most of my student’s are female, 55 and older.  I’ve observed women trying to keep up with the younger students and how they aren’t carried out on stretchers is beyond me.  When told about the contraindications for the poses, I notice most not heeding the suggestions.  So, the practice I offer is very gentle with challenges infused.  A great deal of emphasis is placed on proper posture alignment & that seems to be appreciated by all! 
After  the centering, I do LOTS of warm-ups.
  1. Seated
  2. Press buttocks down, chin parallel to floor (sit hand on chin for awareness), crown of head to sky
  3. Chin drops to chest, raise chin to neutral. Repeat
  4. Right ear to shoulder, press left shoulder down.  Drop chin slightly down & up.
  5. Roll chin down towards chest, repeating on other side.
  6. Seated Sun Breaths (Not all arms reach overhead so one option is to bring up to shoulder, then lower; hands can go on shoulders)
  7. Seated Twist (Note: for those with Osteoporosis, just look to the side of room)
  8. Back
  9. Stretch like someone is pulling arms & legs
  10. Make the letter X with arms and legs
  11. Knees to Chest
  12. Both feet up to sky. Hold behind thighs, hamstrings; press legs into hands, hands into legs, heels press towards sky
  13. Bend Knees, feet on floor; Raise one leg and keep other knee bent or extend leg on floor
  14. Get tie  & place over ball of foot to pull slightly towards forehead
  15. Using tie, small leg circles to big, crossing over body
  16. Drop foot over to side, possibly changing tie  from hand to hand to increase sensation
  17. Cross ankle just above opposite knee in number 4 (can use tie to increase sensation or put hands through triangle formed.) Repeat other side
  18. Bridge (can hold interlace fingers and/or raise one leg)
  19. Cat/Dog (Note: for those with Osteoporosis, no cat, flat back)
  20. Chakravakasana (Sunbird Pose)
  21. Parighasana (Gate Pose)
  22. Table ( sometimes, circling knee to side, fire hydrants)
  23. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Dog Pose) or Dolphin (some have wrist issues) Can raise one leg to sky, of course, other leg next
  24. Plank/Down Dog, etc.
  25. Hands on thighs, press to flat back to standing
  26. Standing
  27. Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
  28. Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon) (for Osteoporosis, just lengthen on one side )
  29. Utkatasana (Chair Pose)
  30. Balancing: lift a foot, bend knee, Vrksasana (Tree Pose), Natarajasana (Dancer Pose) (challenging for most)
  31. Virabhadrasana I and I (Warrior 1 & 2)
  32. Kaliasana (Goddess Pose) to 5 Pointed Star
  33. Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide Angle Bend from Crease in Hips)
  34. Belly
  35. Sphinx
  36. Bhjuangasana (Cobra Pose)
  37. Back
  38. Spinal Twist  (Not for osteo)
  39. Ardha Sarvangasana (½ Shoulder Stand)
  40. Shavasana

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