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Day 30 - Prachi Pranayama

Penultimate day and I woke up with a big to-do list buzzing around my head. It was strangely quiet all around, partly because I’m now alone in the apartment and partly a lack of the usual shenanigans outside. Didn’t make the slightest difference though, I still awoke very early and realised that adjusting to UK time will be fun as I’m now waking up at exactly the time I usually go to bed. My evening classes next week should be interesting, apologies in advance if I nod off!

I enjoyed a spacious backbend practice, followed by my Diabetes programme, both of which are very energising. It was wonderful to have Sushila’s home cooking after a weekend of eating out at restaurants in Goa. After a swift lunch I headed out to Laxmi Road for the final opportunity to find my daughter a sari, having failed on 3 previous attempts. This time I headed to Kalpana Saree and although I didn’t find anything there, one of their near neighbours came up trumps – it’s a handy thing here that similar retailers group together – so you literally have bicycle shop zone, kitchen shop zone and kids clothing zone etc . Fingers crossed it fits and she likes it – I’m getting very excited that the time to go home and see her is so close.

Heartened by my success I stopped by the Marriott for some work and a quick swim (got to make the most of this sunshine before I return to winter on Thursday). Dimpex is only a 10 minute walk from the Marriott, so that was my next stop, to pick up the studio supplies I had ordered. Sudhir is now stocking a much wider range of Iyengar props, including great cotton ropes, halasana stools (2 types folding and stackable) and good quality chairs. Also offer handmade batik yoga t shirts and shorts which can be personalised for your studio / intensive. I realised I would have too much to carry to walk home, so Sudhir offered me a lift. Assuming he meant in a car I agreed, but of course it was on the back of his bike and so I found myself clinging onto the back of a moped holding onto the yoga props, bolster propped in front of Sudhir, helmetless, zooming through the streets of Pune with a big smile on my face at the unexpected turn of events. 

 You can email Sudhir directly on  

Next stop Handmade to pick up the beautiful saree that Rima has made for me – almost my whole to do list ticked off and still time for a cup of tea before class, Hurrah! Tonight Prachi covered for Rajalaxmi and I was very interested to be taught by her, as she is being mentored by Abhi who will often ask her to demonstrate or teach a pose during women’s class. She always shows great composure and clear teaching in this circumstance. It was pranayama and a nice coherent class – I’m sure she is going to develop into an excellent teacher for the institute. Women’s class in the morning and Sandis Taxi picking me up at 5pm for Mumbai airport and homeward bound.                                                 

Prachi  - Pranayama

  • AMVirasana – 1)Palms Flat 2)Fingers cup shaped to better enable you to dig the shoulder blade in.

  • AMSvanasana – Focus on pressing the shoulder blades into you.

  • AMVirasana

  • AMSvanasana

  • Uttanasana feet apart

  • AMSvasasana – hands up on the ledge or platform (waiting group hands at the wall)

  • AMSvanasana – feet up on the ledge (waiting group feet at the wall) Inner and outer knee push back

  • AMVrksasana – keep lifting yourself UP UP UP! (waiting group paschima namaskarasana)

  • Uttanasana

  • Tadasana Paschima Namaskarasana at front edge of mat. Roll the shoulders back and completely seal the palms together. Step left foot back, upright parsvottonasana, raise the trunk, raise the head and look up. Exhale and come forward, half way only and extend the side trunk forward, maintaining the rolling back of the shoulders. Then exhale and bring the head down. Full parsvottonasana Inhale come half way up and then come up fully. Keep the hands in paschima namaskarasana and step the left foot forward to join the right. Step right foot back and repeat on second side.

  • Tadasana Step left leg back and raise the arms up straight Urdhva Hastasana in upright parsvottonasana extend forwards halfway, reaching towards the platform as though she is pulling your hands that way.  Exhale and release the hands down, extending the arms forward and lengthening the torso over the leg. Parsvottonasana. Head down. Inhale head up and cup the fingers, raise the arms half way only and then inhale and come up fully. Step back to tadasana and repeat on other side.

  • Uttanasana crown of the head towards the floor, arms bent and elbows out to the side. 2 mins with head down and then catch the big toes and look up, concave back padangusthasana extend the side trunk forward and open the chest. Exhale and widening the elbows extend down into the full pose Padangusthasana head down. Go further and further down. 2 mins here . Release the toes and insert whole palm under sole of foot and look up concave back pada hastasana shoulder blades in and lengthen the chin forward exhale head down pada hastasana.

  • Prasarita Paddotonasana – head support if head doesn’t reach the floor. Legs active, head passive, back of knees open.  Prasarita Paddottonasana 2 holding the ankles.

  • Sirsasana 8 minutes  Open up the armpits, move shoulder blades away from the neck. Inner legs long.  Back thigh skin broad, rolling inside out. Armpits long and open. Tailbone buttock region in. Separate the legs Inner and outer knee evenly moving back Sometimes the inner knee moves back more than the outer knee –maintain that evenness as you bring the legs together. Again feet apart extend the inner groin up to the inner heel . Virasana in sirsasana buttocks suck  into you.  Maintain the buttock suction and straighten the legs.  Absolutely firm legs. Bend the knees down to the chest Akunchanasana and hold there (30 seconds or so). Then come down slowly. Throughout the pose she repeatedly told us to “Stay up!” “Don’t come down!” until the final minute when she allowed those that needed to to come down.

  • AMVirasana

  • Here we split into 2 groups

  • Group 1 Chair Sarvangasana bolster or 2 pranayama pillows lengthways so narrow edge supporting the neck. She showed that the hands had to be inserted under the cross bar between the front legs of the chair AS you went down, it was too late once you were down. 1) Legs extended 2) Baddha Konasana

  • Group 2 – Setu Bandha Sarvangasana at the ledge or grille with 2 blankets under the shoulders, hands in the back chest like sarvangasana. She showed how the buttocks had to pump upward to expose the entire pubic area towards the ceiling.

  • Take thick mat, 1 bolster, 1 blanket

  • Bharadvajasana 1

  • Supta Swastikasana – Bolster and blanket – Ujayii 1 – do not adjust the breath, just quietly observe the inflow and outflow.

  • Supta Virasana – Those that cannot sit on the floor, take a second bolster staggered, so that you sit on the bottom bolster and extend over the top one. Feel the natural extension of the torso and chest.  Natural aeriation happens in your body and the organs receive the space. Ujayii 2 – extended exhalation, normal inhalation. Don’t force.

  • Dandasana to release the legs

  • Supta Baddha Konasana no belts. Ujayii 3 Extended inhalation, normal exhalation. Fill the lungs from the bottom to the top as you would fill a jug of water. Don’t forcefully inhale.

  • Savasana

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