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Today is day 21 of my 40 day meditation practice. Notes from the journey will come after I complete the last day on July 11th. My home vinyasa practice has been rather interesting. On Wednesday, I did three hours of vinyasa flow and meditation. This is out of the ordinary…and a privilege but a chunk of time like that is such a blessing. I like to sweat and I love to experiment; I’m rereading Gabrielle Roth’s Sweat Your Prayers. Apparently, she once said, “Being a free spirit takes discipline.” And that’s what those three hours were all about. And like they often do, it started with me wanting to eat a huge burrito so that I could avoid it…and figuring out, as I often do, that yoga is usually even more delicious than Chipotle.

I was shaking a lot with my first plank, and I remember thinking, “I’ve gotten so weak from taking a week off.” I felt ridiculous when I realized that I did a very energetic practice on both Saturday and Sunday, and I had only taken two days off from asana practice.

Marion Clark - Bakasana

Here’s the current 75 minute Bakasana sequence that I’m teaching. If you have questions or my lingo doesn’t make sense, please let me know. Comments and feedback are appreciated:

warm-up:
sivasana with ujjayi pranayama
happy baby inhale to lengthen the spine – exhale to round like Halloween Cat – dyn. x3
malasana or camper’s squat – 9 breaths
uttanasana – 3 breaths

building the foundation/bone work:
ardha surya a x 3
ardha surya a – AUMing from urdhva hastasana to uttanasana
plank – 9 breaths
chatarunga prep (on knees, exhale to lower half way, inhale to lift) dyn. x3
adho mukha svanasana
plank
chatarunga prep
chatarunga prep to the floor
bujangasana dyn. x3
through bent knees
adho mukha svanasana
walk to
uttanasana – ardha uttanasana dyn. x3
uttanasana –urdhva hastasana – uttanasana – plank…

working towards a specific shape (bakasana):

round 1:
adho mukha svanasana
knee to nose (exhale knee to nose, inhale to pause, exhale draw the knee closer to the nose) dyn. x3 (stepping the foot forward after the third breath)
low lunge prep 6 breaths (hands are on the floor, emphasis is on drawing the belly in and the lower back long on the exhale)
repeat 2nd side
plank
chatarunga prep (w/ knee down) x3
chatarunga prep to floor (sliding the heart forward to come onto belly)
bujangasana dyn. x3
adho mukha svanasana

round 2:
ams
kn to n
low lunge prep 2nd variation 6 breaths (bring the arms forward in line with the ears)
repeat 2nd side

-skip Chatarunga prep (w/ knee down)


“”

round 3:
ams
kn to n
low lunge prep 2nd variation 3 breaths – to high lunge 6 breaths
warrior II 1 breath
parsvokonasana 6 breaths
peaceful warrior 1 breath




“”
walk back to uttanasana
‘tippy toe standing series’ step 1 (urdhva hastasana ‘tippy toe variation’ – ‘tippy toe’ utkatasana 3 breaths -back to urd. hast. ‘tippy toe variation’ lowering to heels – dyn. x3)

round 4 (does not build on 1-3):
ams
dolphin ‘core’ prep (forearms are down on the ground, and knees down and toes tucked, place a block between the thighs, roll the inner thighs back) inhale to lift the knees off the ground and exhale to lower dyn. x3
dolphin ‘core’ prep ‘step 2’ (lifting on the inhale, holding for 6 full breaths)
balasana
forearm crow (come onto all fours, place the forearms onto the ground, come onto your toes, and walk your legs in until your knees touch your armpits, lean forward and lift into a very strange, low crow shape)
malasana/wide camper’s squat 9 breaths
uttanasana 6 breaths
urdhva hastasana
standing ‘happy baby’ variation – utthita hasta padanghustasana a – standing split –eka pada halloween cat
repeat 2nd side

round 5:
ams
knee to tricep on exhale (inhale to pause, exhale to empty all the way to step the foot forward)
lizard 6 breaths
repeat 2nd side
walking back to…
uttanasana
‘tippy toe standing series’ step 2 moves to BAKASANA (no repetition, start the series on a block with the toes completely supported and the heels hanging off the back off the block, lower down to ‘tippy toe utkatasana,’ inhale place the palms shoulder distance apart, exhale lift the hips, inhale look down at the ground, exhale empty the belly to shift forward and place the knees right behind the arm pits lifting into BAKASANA)

moving towards cool down:
pigeon variation (eka pad raja variation, agnistambasana, thread the needle or garundasana variation, 2 minutes each side)
setu bandha sarvangasana (1 minute)
supine twist (2 minutes)

savasana

2 Responses to Sequencing to Bakasana: Tapas on a Summer Day

  1. Adrienne says:

    Looks like a terrific sequence- I have not tried it yet, but I am playing with my bakasana, and I will. In round 1, I’ll try the low lunge on finger tips to activate the muscles in my arms and connect my shoulders on to my back, and in round 5, what is lizard? Thank you for posting! A

    • thursday says:

      Round 1 – for me, I love the low lunge on fingertips just for that reason – helps me ‘connect shoulders on to my back’ and find a very slight bujangasana in the chest.

      Round 5 – Lizard is a very wide low lunge ‘step 1′ has the hands or fingertips on the floor, and in ‘step 2′ the student can come down to the forearms. I think most people feel it in their psoaz and sometimes their piriformis, but of course where a student feels it ‘depends’ on the student.

      I should start illustrating these sequences; trouble is I don’t have a photographer or a yogi readily available.

      Any thoughts on the cool down? I think I fell short. I tend to neglect that part of class because I’m struggling with teaching mainly 1 hour classes when I’d like to be teaching a 90 minute class.

      Thanks for reading and sharing always Adrienne,
      Renee

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