Sunday, 25 December 2011

Day 85 : INVERTED : Handstand subroutine from Vinyasa Krama Inverted sequence

This handstands subroutine takes a considerable amount of strength and stamina as well as good balance, it is something we can work towards however. Pincha mayurasana, the forearm stand from Day 83 is excellent preparation, individual vinyasas from Day 83's Niralumba Sirsasana subroutine might be included in our regular daily practice to build strength.

In this subroutine the full handstand is achieved by pushing up from kapliasana, the tripod headstand, this is particularly challenging and may take regular practice. 

Another entry to handstand is from Downward dog, jumping with the feet together bringing the hips over the shoulders, the legs straight out in an inverted dandasana then unbending the waist to bring the legs vertical. We may prefer to practice this at the wall.

Another option, is again from downward dog to kick first one leg and then the other vertical.

The trick is the bring the shoulders over the hands as we kick or jump up bringing the hips over the shoulders.


Handstand from tripod
Lift the head from the mat and bring it through the arms taking the legs over the head, exhale hold and push down ion the mat engaging and stretching up through your legs to press up to handstand.

In working towards this entry we might kick up to the wall in handstand and then, with the feet against the wall, bend the elbows slightly to allow the head to lower, with control, towards the mat. Lower just a little at first and then push back up to handstand. Lower a little further each day or each week.

Vrishikasana (pic 4)
A backbend, bring the head and chest through the arms and the feet as far over the head as possible. 

Engage mula and uddiyana bandha as if your taking a firm grip on the tailbone which you then tuck in as much as possible.

Push the hips forward as much as possible, stretch out through the full length of the spine, bring the chest through even further, stretch out through the hips, legs feet.

Allow the hips to drop arching the back, allow the knees to bend bringing the feet towards your head.

To return to regular handstand, unbend at the waist pushing up through the legs.

Bhuja peedasana (pic. 6)

Returning to Kapilasana, the tripod headstand, bend the knees, engage mula and uddiyana bandha drawing in the belly to allow your knees to come as high up and close to the chest as possible.

Bend at the waist and bring the knees to the outside of the armpits. Squeeze the knees as if trying to bring them together although your torso, of course, is in the way.

Allow the hips to drop at the same time bringing your head off of the mat.

Drop the shoulder blades down the back, Engage the shoulder girdle. Press down into the mat, bring the shoulders ever further forward to counter the weight of your hips. Straighten the arms and try to bring the feet as close to your bottom as possible.

To exit, bend your elbows slowly and lower your head gently to the mat, take the knees up and then unbend the knees back into kapilasana.

Bhuja peedasana variation (pic. 7)

Precede as above for buja peedasana but being sure that the knees are as far up on the outside of the armpits as possible, unbend the knees and stretch them around in front of your body and bind at the ankle. Drop the hips and bring the feet up higher and hold for three to six breaths.

To return.
Unbind the ankles, raise the hips high, bend the knees and bring your feet back behind you and up towards your bottom. Return to kapilasana as for bhjua peedasana above.

Urdhava Kukkutasana (pic 8)

This vinyasa demands a nice tight lotus.

Open your legs or drop back the left leg and bending the right knee rotate the hip joint to allow the left foot to come onto the left thigh high up near the groin. Drop back the right knee, rotate the femur head in the left hip joint to allow the left foot to come up onto the right thigh.

Try to work the right foot high up the thigh to make as tight a lotus as possible.

Engage mula and uddiyana bandha, draw in the belly to create space for the forward bend. Bring the knees as far up into the armpits as possible.

Visualise pressing your knees through your armpits so the protrude out through your arms.

Allow the hips to drop at the same time pressing down through the hands. Move the shoulders forward beyond your hands to counter the weight of the hips. The shoulders blades are dropped down the back the shoulder griddle engaged as the arms straighten and you settle for three to six breaths.

To return
Bend the elbows slightly at first and lower your head slowly and with control to the mat by bringing the hips up.
Once the head is on the floor take the hips back and unfold at the waist raising your lotus, unbind and stretch out through the legs.

Bend the knees towards the chest as if in Bheeja peedasana but twisting bring the right knee (with the let above it) across the chest towards the left armpit, take the knee beyond the arm and resting the knees abut the arm stretch-out the legs on the exhalation while raising the head.

Stretch out through the legs at a right angle to your bay while  raising your chest and head, stretch out through the head and chest as much as possible.

The return is challenging. Lower the head back to the mat as you bend your knees and bring your feet back as close to your bottom as possible while lifting the knees off the arm and untwisting. Take the hips high to bring the knees back to the chest and return to kapilasana.

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