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Finishing Postures Alignment & Adjustment

13 October 2018 @ 13:30 - 15:00

Organised by : Martin Thompson

sold out! This workshop covers the finishing postures of the Ashtanga Vinyasa Primary series, and will include alignment, anatomy and adjustment for all levels. The asanas included are shoulder stand…

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sold out!

This workshop covers the finishing postures of the Ashtanga Vinyasa Primary series, and will include alignment, anatomy and adjustment for all levels.

The asanas included are shoulder stand (Sarvagasana) plough (Halasana) ear pressure pose (Karnapidasana) upward lotus (Urdvhapadmasana) embryo (Pindasana) and fish (Matsayasna)

The workshop will cover the alignment and modifications for each posture in turn, and includes the breath sequence. Pattabhi Jois stipulated that the finishing sequence was a vital element of the practice and should always be included.

The finishing sequence although is recommended to be included, is not rigid and can be adapted to all levels. This workshop will especially look at the variations of shoulder stand, and how it can be adapted to almost any level. One of the biggest errors I encounter with shoulder stand is the preconception that we need to be completely straight. This generally means pushing the chin to the chest, which will only cause the ligamentum nuchae to over stretch. This is identified by a straight back of the neck. The Cervical spine (back of the neck) should retain its natural curve at all times. This means you should see an inward curve in the back of the neck even in shoulder stand.

The answer is to lift the chest to the chin, while relaxing the back of the neck. Even then we should avoid trying too hard, as this will cause the elbows to stay wide, and the result is straining to stay up. One way of modifying this posture is to place a folded blanket below the top of the shoulders which will allow the head to fall back keeping the cervical spine in neutral.

I would suggest keeping shoulder stand softer and more relaxed, while allowing the legs to bend slightly. This will soften the whole posture, and take out the force which is as a result of trying to lift to high on the top of the shoulders, and forcing the chin into the chest.

Hands on adjustments can include supporting a student who lacks confidence in going up on their own. Allow the student to place their feet into your chest, and with their legs at a right angle they can then push against your chest. Your hands support student, and pushing the feet into the adjusters chest will create resistance. This allows the student to feel how easy and approachable the posture can feel. It allows the student to progress at their own rate with the support and advice of the teacher.

This workshop will not only benefit a student teacher, but will aid the understanding of the dynamics and alignment of the posture for any level of student.

This workshop is aimed at all levels. Appropriate adjustment and modifications with or without props will be included.

Martin Thompson

Yoga Dharma





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