So Damn Good

What can I say, but damn good yoga today. I put off my practice all day, and was starting to get cranky from the irreconcilable simultaneous urge and resistance to practice (I wonder what's that all about... something needs doing, probably). But I finally made it to the mat, and it was great. The practice was lengthy and sweaty, but damn it, I'm feeling fantastic now!

I wrote the whole thing down. Maybe it was just my mood, but the sequence flowed really well. I seemed to find a place of ease just when I needed it in each individual sequence. My standing practice has developed such that trikonasana, ardha chandrasana, and utkatasana have become positions of superior comfort for me, opportunities during the standing sequence to really open the chest, recenter, and equalize the breath. In utkatasana, I've been working on shifting the weight more into the heels by lifting the toes, and bringing the thighs just about parallel to the floor (I'm not sure, but I don't think they're getting quite parallel yet). My parivritta trikonasana is improving dramatically. For the past week, I've been able to really ground through back heel and tuck the front hip under. It definitely feels different, in a good way, so I've been keeping at it with every practice.

As for the much hyped sequence I practiced today, I've listed it below. It's long, just to warn you. Also, I'm including both the English and Sanskrit names, as I know them, in an effort to make the sequence accessible to more potential readers, but also, to be frank, because this is how I'm learning the names of the asanas: by blogging my practice. Practicing at home these few years, learning from books, but mostly the pictures in books, I haven't needed to know the names of the asanas, particularly not the sanskrit names. It takes me forever to write these things down, needing to find the name of the asana in a book if I can't remember what it's called, but I'm quickly committing it all to memory... So if the names of the asanas are a little inconsistent, especially in regards to the school from which the names originate, I apologize. I use a variety of resources.

Anyway, if you've got a good while to spare, give this a try:

(note: as usual, I probably spent five breaths in each asana unless otherwise noted.)

- 4-6 Cat-cows
- Adho mukha svanasana - pedaling out the feet, swiveling hips, and generally loosening up
- Ragdoll pose (forward fold grabbing elbows) - hung around here for about two minutes
- Arm raises - inhaling the arms up and back for a tiny backbend, then exhaling the arms down
- 3 Surya namaskara As
- 3 Surya namasakara Bs
- Padahastasana (forward fold with forearm stretch)
- Uttanasana (standing forward fold) with hands clasped behind back

- Vinyasa
- Virabhadrasana I (warrior 1)
- Virabhadrasana II (warrior 2)
- Utthita parvokanasana (extended side angle)
- Utthita trikonasana (extended triangle)
- Ardha chandrasana (half moon)
- Vinyasa, repeat on the other side.

- Utkatasana (chair pose)
- Vinyasa

- Anjaneyasana (high lunge, arms reaching up)
- Virabhadrasana III (warrior 3)
- Ardha chandrasana (half moon) - first five breaths with lifted leg extended, then five bending the knee and grabbing the foot for a backbend
- Parivritta ardha chandrasana (revolved half moon)
- Urdhva prasarita eka padasana (standing splits)
- Vinyasa
- Repeat on the other side.

- Utkatasana (chair pose)
- Samasthiti

- Vinyasa
- Utthita hasta padangusthasana A (extended hand to big toe)
- Utthita hasta padangusthasana B (side hand to big toe)
- Parivritta utthita hasta padangusthasana ("Sting" pose) - Someone please tell me there's another name for this one. I was told it's called the Sting pose because it's his favorite... I want a pose named after me... I'll call it Supta Misanthropasana [pictured below, for your reference])

- Carrying on, embittered by the fact that you do not have a namesake pose, repeat that last bit on the other side.

- Vinyasa
- Anjaneyasana (high lunge, arms up)
- Parivritta parsvokanasana (revolved side angle) - First five breaths with the hands in prayer position, then another five with the bottom hand to the floor outside the foot and the top hand reaching up... slowly working toward binding this one.
- Inhale back to anjaneyasana, exhale palms to floor
- Lizard pose - Forearms on the floor, legs in a lunge -- does this have a Sanskrit name?
- Eka pada koundinyasana II (don't know the English name for this one, if it has one)
- Jump back to vinyasa
- Repeat on the other side.

- Parivritta trikonasana (revolved triangle) - both sides
- Parsvottonasana (intense side stretch) - both sides
- Prasarita padottanasana A and C (wide-legged intense stretch)
- Samasthiti (equal balance pose)

- Vinyasa
- Plank
- Chaturanga (four-limbed staff, or push-up position)
- Urdhva mukha svanasana (upward facing dog)
- Adho mukha svanasana (downward facing dog)
- Side plank - both sides, pushing back to down dog for one breath between sides
- Adho mukha svanasana (downward facing dog)

- Eka pada rajakapotansana (one-legged pigeon) - With a forward fold for about 2 minutes, then with the back foot in the elbow crease, hooking the fingers behind the head for 6 breaths
- Firelog pose
- Lift up, jump back, vinyasa
- Repeat on the other side.

- Bakasana (crow pose)
- Vinyasa
- Half hanumanasana
- Hanumanasana (yoga splits)
- Vinyasa
- Repeat on the other side.

- Bakasana
- Vinyasa, jump through to seated.
- Marichyasana (Sage twist) with a forward fold, grabbing the toes of the extended leg with both hands
- Marichyasana A - bound at the wrist, folding forward for five breaths, then twisting open for five
- Marichyasana C
- Lift up, jump back, vinyasa, jump through.
- Repeat on the other side.

- East stretch
- Lift up, jump back, vinyasa, jump through.
- Navasana (boat pose) - five times, lifting up between sets
- Lift up, jump back, vinyasa, jump through.

- Bridge pose
- Urdhva dhanurasana (upward bow, or wheel pose) - two times, 8 breaths each
- Eka pada urdhva dhanurasana (one-legged upward bow) - lifting each leg for 3 breaths each
- Paschimottansana (seated forward fold)
- Lift up, jump back, jump through

- Salamba sarvangasana (supported shoulderstand) - 10 breaths
- Plough pose
- Fish pose
- Vinyasa.

- Handstand - Six handstands, 1-3 breaths each
- Child pose
- Salamba sirsasana (Supported Headstand) - 28 breaths... yes, I counted.
- Child pose
- Vinyasa, jump through.
- Tolasana (scale posture) - 8 breaths each way
- Savasana (corpse pose) - 10 minutes


  1. I think my namesake pose would have to be Warrior III legs while one arm is flying back and the other is brushing my teeth! ;) It's a household favourite... I can call it Virabhadrasana Gitana Dantasana (according to 3.5 seconds spent googling it, 'danta' is sanskrit for tooth...).