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Practice with Clara

Crazy Eights (62-mins) Vinyasa

A dynamic vinyasa practice with Crazy Eights moving from Koundinyasana II (flying splits), Astavakrasana (eight angle), and Surya Yantrasana (compass) as the peak postures. This class includes several waves with hamstring and hip opening, core and inner thigh strengthening, and leg balancing poses to prepare you for the peak poses. Supported fish pose using a bolster or blocks under the back body concludes the class.

Poem from The Radiance Sutras

Worship does not mean offering flowers

It means offering your heart

To the vast mystery

Of the universe.

It means to let your heart pulse

With the life of the universe

Without thought and without reservation.

It means being so in love

That you are

Willing to dissolve

And be recreated in every moment.

— translation by Lorin Roche.

Style: Vinyasa

Duration: 60-min

Level: Open

Props: 2 blocks, 1 bolster

Focus: arm balancing and hamstring lengthening.

Location: Vancouver, BC.

Music: Crazy Eights Spotify Playlist

Meditation

This class opens with an excerpt from the Radiance Sutras translation by Lorin Roche.

Pranayama

Three cycles of kapalabhati breath (45-seconds each) with Kundalini kriyas.

Kriyas to perform with pranayama:

  1. Arms extended overhead with fingertips to palms. Each time you exhale, the fingers pulse outwards from the palm.
  2. Hands to shoulders with elbows wide. Each time you exhale, extend one arm at a time to the sky and flick the fingers.
  3. Fingertips to shoulders with the elbows wide. Each time you exhale, twist the torso to one side. Hold the gaze steady or keep them closed to avoid getting dizzy.

Kapalabhati translates from Sanskrit as Kapal, meaning the forehead, and Bhati, meaning light or knowledge. Kapalabhati is an energizing pranayama, also known as Skull Shining Breath, that clears the lungs. This pranayama brings lightness and clarity to the mind and frontal cortex of the brain.

This style of pranayama involves sharp, active exhales through the nose to stimulate the clearing of the lungs by clearing the stagnant air that collects around the sides of the lung cavity. The sharp exhale pulls the stale air in toward the center of the lungs and pushes it out. Energetically, we’re drawing the air upwards to revitalize the mind and body. The inhale is passive, and as kapalabhati breath is performed, the abdomen repeatedly contracts on the exhale and releases on the inhale. This pranayama is best done on an empty stomach during the earlier partition of the day as its excitatory and stimulates the digestive fire.

Benefits include:

  • Enhanced mental focus and clarity
  • Clearing of the lungs and nasal passages
  • Excitatory to stimulate blood flow and boost circulation
  • Tones the abdomen and lower organs
  • Sharpens senses and concentration
  • Balances nervous system
  • Stimulates the digestive fire and appetite
  • Purifies the nadis (energy channels) of the body through prana (breath)

Movement

Eight breaths to move as you like, options:

  • Balasana (child’s pose)
  • Adho Mukha Shvanasana (down dog)
  • Uttanasana (forward fold)
  • Bidalasana (cat pose)
  • Bitilasana (cow pose)

Come to stand at the top of your mat.

Wave 1

Tadasana (mountain pose)

Urdvha Hastasana (hands to sky)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Ardha Uttanasana (half lift)

Anjaneyasana (lunge) variation

  • Place your palms or the ground
  • Inhale and reach the chest forward
  • Exhale and straighten the front leg
  • Repeat five cycles

Phalakasana (plank pose) variation

  • Place a block between your upper thighs
  • Take eight breaths squeezing the block as you exhale

Balasana (child’s pose)

Upavistha Bitilasana Marjaryasana (seated cat/cow)

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog)

Eka pada adho mukha svanasana (3-legged downward dog)

Utthan Pristhasana (lizard pose) variation

  • Lower your pelvis toward the ground
  • Place your palms on blocks and lift the chest
  • Draw your shoulders on your back and breathe into your front line

Anjaneyasana (lunge)

Prasarita Padottanasana (standing wide-legged forward bend)

  • Take one hand to the opposite leg and twist your ribs towards the same leg.
  • Bring the opposite hand to your low back to assess the hip sway.
  • Hold and breathe before switching sides.

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog)

Phalakasana (plank pose)

Chaturanga

Bhujangasana (cobra pose)

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog)

Eka pada adho mukha svanasana (3-legged downward dog)

Virabhadrasana II (warrior 2) variation with tug-of-war

Trikonasana (triangle pose)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Ardha Uttanasana (half lift)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Urdvha Hastasana (hands to sky)

Tadasana (mountain pose)

Repeat the same sequence on the other leg.

Wave 2

Tadasana (mountain pose)

Urdvha Hastasana (hands to sky)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Ardha Uttanasana (half lift)

Utthan Pristhasana (lizard pose) variation

  • Lower your pelvis toward the ground
  • Place your palms on blocks, the ground, or come to forearms
  • Option to take the same shoulder under your front leg
  • Hug your knee toward your armpit

Malasana (yogic squat)

Surya Yantrasana (compass) variation with no hands

Astavakrasana (eight angle) with your butt on the ground

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog)

Phalakasana (plank pose)

Chaturanga

Bhujangasana (cobra pose)

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog)

Eka pada adho mukha svanasana (3-legged downward dog)

Virabhadrasana II (warrior 2)

Utthita Parsvakonasana (side angle pose)

Baddha Utthita Parsvakonasana (bound or half-bound angle)

Ardha Chandrasana (half moon pose) option to stay bound

Tadasana (mountain pose)

Repeat the same sequence on the other leg.

Peak Flow

Tadasana (mountain pose)

Urdvha Hastasana (hands to sky)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Ardha Uttanasana (half lift)

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog)

Eka pada adho mukha svanasana (3-legged downward dog)

Eka Pada Phalakasana (one-legged plank pose)

  • Take the same knee to your upper tricep.
  • Repeat 5 cycles from 3-legged dog to the tricep tap in plank pose

Utthan Pristhasana (lizard pose)

Crazy Eights: move through two arm balancing postures

Koundinyasana II (flying splits pose)

Surya Yantrasana (compass)

Astavakrasana (eight angle)

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog)

Balasana (child’s pose)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Repeat the same sequence on the other leg.

*** Second set:

Move from Koundinyasana II (flying splits pose) to Astavakrasana (eight angle).

Floor Sequence

Pada Hastasana (standing forward bend hands under feet)

Tadasana (mountain pose)

Urdvha Hastasana (hands to sky)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Ardha Uttanasana (half lift)

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog)

Phalakasana (plank)

Chatarunga

Bhujangasana (cobra pose) variation from fingertips

Matsyasana (fish pose) supported with blocks behind the head and shoulders.