Practice Notes and Seated Sequence

Good, solid practice sessions on Friday and Saturday after a day off on Thursday. I've been a little pressed for time, and because of this, the practices have been really focused and flowing. Yesterday, I thought I only had about an hour for practice, but somehow, I made it an hour and 45 minutes, and still got to work on time. It's amazing how time just seems to manifest from nothing for me some days. I guess I don't need nearly as much time to get ready for work as I thought I did, and that's A-Okay with me.

I packed most of my standing sequence into a single flow. I tried coming into warrior III from ardha chandrasana, something I normally do in reverse. I exhaled both arms down from ardha chandrasana and squared my hips to the floor, then lifted the arms up. It was tough. The right side felt okay, I was stable through the transition and held for five breaths, but on my left leg, once lifted into warrior III, I could feel that my center of gravity was much further back than it is when I enter the pose from anjaneyasana, and I couldn't seem to adjust it. It was like my left leg was completely locked in place. I stayed for five breaths, but when I bent the knee to come back into warrior II, the joint felt strange and buckled a little. Very weird. It hasn't bothered me since, though, so I'm sure it's fine.

For more damn good twisting and hip opening, which have been heavy in my practice lately, I've been practicing my seated twisting sequence on a single side before switching legs. It goes like this:

- Marichyasana A - Right knee bent, 5 breaths
- Keeping the bind, inhale the spine upright and twist open to the left for 5 breaths
- Marichyasana C - 5 breaths
- Ardha Matsyendrasana - 5 breaths
- Stack the right calf over the left and exhale forward to Firelog pose for 5 breaths
- Inhale back up, cross the ankles, lift-up, jump back
- Vinyasa, repeat on the other side.

Good stuff. Backbends were big and long yesterday. I started with ten breaths in ustrasana, then vinyasa-ed my way to my back for 10 breaths in bridge, then 10 in the first urdhva dhanurasana, and 15 in the second, with each leg extended for five breaths. My backbending is getting very strong... it's not the desperate, balls-out plunge into perspective-bending stimulation that it used to be. There's much more focus, more control, and more accuracy to the bends.

I practiced just one full inversion yesterday: 30 breaths in salamba sirsasana. And it was damn good. I'm beginning to find ease in this pose. My bandhas are getting stronger.

Speaking of bandhas, I skipped tolasana at the end of my practice yesterday because of the time, but I've been wondering about the notation in Swenson's book that the recommended duration for the pose is 100 breaths. I've been wondering... I mean, I just want to know... Has anyone actually done this? It's an understatement to say that this seems like a long time. I'm a firm believer in slow and steady progress, so I believe that it can be done. But as the final asana before savasana, that's asking a lot.


  1. hiya.... would you mind if i link to this post (and sequence)? i would be much obliged :)


    emma (thejoyofyoga.blogspot.com)

  2. 100 breaths in Tolasana??!! Wow, that sounds crazy intense. I'm sure if anyone can do it, Swenson can... Personally my teachers taught us 10 breaths.

    Nice seated sequence!!

  3. I have Birch's "Power Yoga" book, and she recommends starting with tolasana at 5 breaths and working up to 25. I can not imagine 100!

    Oh, and I had to post how much I like your sequences. Thanks for sharing your practice.