EASY POSE (SUKHASANA)
Sit in meditation for 5-10 minutes. In meditation, keep your eyes open, gaze downward, and breath natural. Do not manipulate your breath as you would in pranayama. Consciously place your mind on the sensation of your breath. When you notice that your mind has strayed—which will happen and is totally fine—gently, but firmly, replace your mind on the feeling of the breath. This is not about holding any particular state of mind; it is about waking up, letting go, and coming back.
CORPSE POSE (SAVASANA) VARIATION, WITH A BOLSTER
Rest here for 10 minutes. A bolster on your thighs grounds them (landmark 1). Here the added weight of the bolster also helps to enhance apana, the downward-moving energy that is related to letting go.
LEGS-UP-THE-WALL POSE (VIPARITA KARANI) VARIATION, WITH AN INVISIBLE WALL
Apply landmark 4, moving down to go up. Press your shoulders, arms, and palms down to open your chest. Come out through Bridge on the block—one foot at a time. Feel the very moment each foot touches.
CAMEL POSE (USTRASANA) VARIATION, WITH BLOCKS
Press your toes down to lift your chest. Also, moving the fronts of your thighs to the backs of your thighs and NOT letting your pelvis tuck under will support and protect your back (landmark 1). This is what we discovered in the yoga “don’t.”
BRIDGE POSE (SETU BANDHA SARVANGASANA)
Press down with your shoulders, hands, and feet to go up from the belly button (exploring the dynamic pairing of tucking and tilt- ing and landmark 4). Many people get confused and try to lift up by tucking the pelvis and leading with the tailbone. But you cannot create a back- bending shape in the spine by tucking the pelvis. If you do tuck, you’ll create external rotation in the thighs, which makes it impossible to properly use your legs.
STAFF POSE (DANDASANA) VARIATION, WITH ROLL DOWN
Breathe smoothly as you roll down. Press your palms on the fronts of your thighs (landmark 1). See if you can roll down without letting your feet pop up. Think of your front body moving into your back body.
EAGLE POSE (GARUDASANA) VARIATION, WITH A FOLD AND A BLOCK
This pose counters Half Moon and Figure 4 with a twist. It widens the back body and is a great prep for the upcoming back- bending sequence.
HALF MOON POSE (ARDHA CHANDRASANA)
This is a big expression of Standing Leg Rotation #2 (landmark 1). Many mistakenly think the top leg is externally rotated, but it hasn’t moved from Mountain Pose alignment, even though it’s in the air. It’s the bottom leg that is externally rotated. (Just look at the relationship of the thigh, or femur, to the pelvis).