Cool off for Summer Sequence
On hot, lazy days, who wants to do an active yang practice? My students come along asking if they can just lie down and have a snooze. You've also got to be careful not to feel faint or dizzy in this hot weather. So what better than a whole sequence at the wall and a spare half an hour! All you need is a nice spare wall to practice against, and for posture 5 a bolster and blanket (rolled up pillows within a towel can make a good alternative).
1. Legs up the Wall - 5 minutes
Sit side on to the wall and take the bum cheek nearest the wall slightly up the wall before then flipping the legs up the wall and body down onto the floor. This restful posture can help to drain fluids out from swollen feet and ankles, improve blood flow to the respiratory and circulatory systems and provide a relaxing start to your practice.
2. Dragonfly at the Wall - 5 minutes
Separate the legs out as wide as comfortable away from each other into Dragonfly. If your legs come too wide you can use your hands on the outside of your thighs to stop them falling so far apart.
3. Butterfly at the Wall - 5 minutes
With knees wide still, bend the knees so the soles of the feet come in towards each other, legs still resting up the wall to come into butterfly at the wall. Variation can be distance of feet higher or lower up the wall.
4. Pretzel at the Wall - 3 minutes each side
Move the bum back about shins distance from the wall and bring the soles of the feet up onto the wall so the shins are at right angles to the thighs. Cross right ankle over left knee and then push the right knee towards the wall to create a sensation in the right bum / thigh area. If there is limited sensation, move the bum closer to the wall, if it is too strong, move it further from the wall.
5. Waterfall pose - 5 minutes
A challenge to get into, but a release for diaphragm and belly to enable full belly breathing, as well as creating a back bend. Place a bolster and folded blanket stack at the wall, As in posture 1, sit side on on top of the stack, and then flip the legs up the wall, using your arms to support you to lie back over the edge of the bolster stack. If the back bend feels to strong you may remove the blanket from the stack or remove the bolster and just use a blanket folded several times. Take the arms out to the side or into cactus arms and rest. To come out roll off onto one side to remove the stack and then hug the knees into the chest to release lower back before coming into posture 6.
6. Revolved belly twist at wall - 3 mins each side.
With bum by the wall or a few inches away from the wall, you can move from knees into chest into a revolved belly twist, letting the knees fall over wtih control to one side. The wall will restict the feet and knees being able to move too far away from the body and so will create a twist further up the spine.
Once you've completed the twist on both sides, you can come into a final relaxation posture for Savasana.