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Day 23 - Anjali Recuperative

I had a quiet day today, just making the most of my last few days here to practice on the sunny terrace and luxuriate in the space and time to reflect on life. When I get back to the UK I have to 'hit the ground running' - I leave Pune at 6am on Tuesday morning and get back home at 4.30am Pune time which'll be 11pm in the UK, starting work at 8.30am on Wednesday morning. Some might say this is bad planning on my part, but honestly I wanted to maximise my time here and sod being sensible and arriving home with a few days to recover. Who knows when I'll get the chance to come back?

When we arrived for Gulnaz's class this evening, she was away and Anjali was standing in. She taught a simple, but lovely restorative session which everybody appreciated, full sequence below.

Day 23 Anjali – Recuperative

  • Keeping body active, but brain passive throughout

  • AMVirasana – Forehead supported on edge of bolster. Skin of the forehead should not be scraped towards the hairline – draw the skin towards the bridge of the nose.

  • Keeping forehead in contact with the bolster and smoothly transitioning into AMSvanasana with head supported on bolster, gripping outer edges of mat if hands were slipping. Heels down if possible. Dorsal spine into the body.

  • Keeping crown of head in contact with bolster (if poss) Uttanasana elbows resting on the bolster (I folded my blanket on top).

  • Chair + blanket or bolster - Uttanasana – arms folded on chair head supported, dorsal in.

  • Chair Prasarita Paddottonasana.

  • Sirsasana

  • Virasana to observe demonstration of Eka Pada Sirsasana with chair.

  • Come down and take a chair for Eka Pada Sirsasana – first foot hovering slightly above the chair and observing the state of the body, brain and breath and then extending the big toe to rest on the chair and observing the state of the body, brain and breath. It was immediately obvious how the contact with the chair took the load off.

  • The following forward bend sequence with head and arms supported on chair, maintaining dorsal in, extension of side trunk, armpits open and skin of forehead towards bridge of nose on the supports.

  • X legs to chair, not putting chair too close so that sides of the trunk had room to extend forwards and dorsal had room to move in. Skin of the forehead should not be scraped towards the hairline – draw the skin towards the bridge of the nose. Here she got us to sit up and use our palm to first scrape the skin of the forehead the wrong way and feel the mental state and then draw the skin down towards the bridge of the nose and feel how this action is quietening.

  • Baddha Konasana first seated, bringing the heels in to touch the bolster and using the hands behind to extend the sides of the trunk and lift and open the chest. Then forwards to chair (using blanket or bolster to support the head as required).

  • Upavista Konasana to chair. Legs central, extending so that back of thigh comes closer and closer to the floor.

  • Janu Sirsasana to chair, straight leg outside the leg of the chair.

  • Dandasana feet outside the chair. Pressing palms down into seat and keeping back concave.

  • Chair Sarvangasana – Straight legs extending over the back rest of the chair, Baddha Konasana and Swastikasana legs (both crosses) resting the crossed legs against the back rest of the chair. Viparita Karani legs pressing buttocks into seat of chair (quite a long stay here).

  • Bent leg Viparita Karani calves resting on chair, bolster under buttocks.

  • Supta Swastikasana – back thighs supported on side of bolster, crossed feet resting on top of bolster. Second folded blanket on the forehead. Soft, smooth, steady breaths.

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