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Create a Strong Foundation (55-mins) Vinyasa

Clear some space in your home studio for a class against a wall to strengthen and lengthen the legs’ muscles. This practice focuses on resistance using the wall to open the hamstrings and lunges, warriors, and leg balancing against the wall to strengthen the core and leg muscles. This class is simple, focused, and intense—be prepared to build heat slowly!

Dedicated to Lord Brahma, the Creator of the Universe, this class invites you to create the Bhavana (mood) you want to honor on your mat today. We move slowly and hold the poses for 5-12 breaths, so cultivate an attitude that helps you commit to a stong.

Brahma is one of the Gods of the Trimurti. The Trimurti consists of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva to honor the cycles of the universe. We need to create, sustain, and destroy to keep the rhythm of the universe.

The wall practice is foundational; this yoga style brings more awareness to the back leg as we use the back foot to press up against the wall. We tend to focus on the front part of the body, as it’s in the direct line of vision. Using the wall to anchor the back foot and feet in various poses, we create more awareness and strength in the leg by applying pressure. The wall as resistance also allows us to create more length in the spine from our legs’ power.

Place your mat up against the wall with the short edge against the wall. Have two yoga blocks on-hand as well.

Spotify Playlist: Create a Strong Foundation (online)

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/2NmYvIKanRhmvSXNaUzgBM?si=acb1ba968d534ca2 

Style: Vinyasa

Duration: 60-minutes

Level: open-levels

Props: 2 blocks

Focus: leg strengthening and leg balancing using the wall

Location: Lila Familia Production Studio, Vancouver, BC

Opening Meditation

Come to a seat on your mat on a block, bolster, or any other position that’s comfortable for your legs. Close your eyes and feel your breath. Arrive in the here and now by breathing deep into your body. Today’s class is all about creating a solid foundation. Brahma is the archetype for creation. As we move toward spring, we see the world wake up as things are made and manifest in the physical world.

Questions to consider: what would you like to create? What will you create right here, right now, on your yoga mat? What will you create today? What will you create this spring or this year?

Three sounds of Aum to open practice.

There are four aspects to Aum:

Ah represents Brahma, the creation.

Oh represents Vishnu, the preservation.

Um represents Shiva, the destruction.

Silence at the end represents the pause before the cycle begins again.

Opening Flow

10-15 breath to move as you like, options:

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

2x Sun Salutations opening to your breath.

Follow Clara’s cues or move at your own rhythm.

We’ll meet in mountain pose.

Wave 1

Tadasana (mountain pose)

Urdhva Hastasana (hands to sky)

Utkatasana (chair pose)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Ardha Uttanasana (half lift)

Ashta Chandrasana (high lunge) variation with the back heel pressed into the wall.

  • Inhale and reach your arms forward and up
  • Exhale and sweep the arms down and back
  • Repeat several cycles

Parsvottanasana (pyramid pose) variation keeping back heel pressed into the wall

  • Place the blocks at the highest height on either side of the front foot.
  • Place your hands on your blocks.
  • Inhale to bend the front knee and reach the chest forward
  • Exhale to straighten the front leg and lengthen the spine
  • Repeat several cycles

Bharmanasana (tabletop)

  • Place a block on the second width between your thighs.
  • Hug the block

Phalakasana (plank pose) to hold for 8-breath

Balasana (child’s pose)

Phalakasana (plank pose)

Chaturanga

Bhujangasana (cobra pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (down dog) variation with both heels pressed to the wall.

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

  • Press heel of the bottom foot into the wall
  • Press the ball of the foot on the lifted leg into the wall
  • Square the hips to face the wall as if you had a block between your thighs
  • Stay here and breathe, OR
  • Walk your hands back to your feet for standing splits at the wall.

Virabhadrasana II (warrior 2) variation with the back heel and the foot’s outer edge pressed to the wall.

Trikonasana (triangle pose) variation with the back heel and the foot’s outer edge pressed to the wall.

Utthita Parsvakonasana (extended side angle pose) variation with the back heel and the foot’s outer edge pressed to the wall.

Balasana (child’s pose) OR Adho Mukha Shvanasana (down dog)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Ardha Uttanasana (half lift)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Urdhva Hastasana (hands to sky)

Tadasana (mountain pose)

Repeat the same sequence on the other side.

Wave 2

Tadasana (mountain pose)

Urdhva Hastasana (hands to sky)

Utkatasana (chair pose)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Ardha Uttanasana (half lift)

Ashta Chandrasana (high lunge) variation with the back heel pressed into the wall.

Parivrtta Anjaneyasana (revolved lunge) variation with the back heel pressed into the wall.

Parsvottanasana (pyramid pose) variation keeping back heel pressed into the wall

  • Keep the hands extended toward the front of the room.
  • Lower the torso ¼ of the way down, so you’re on a diagonal
  • Option to keep hands at the heart or on hips
  • Hold and breathe

Balasana (child’s pose)

Phalakasana (plank pose)

Chaturanga

Bhujangasana (cobra pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (down dog) variation with both heels pressed to the wall.

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

  • Press heel of the bottom foot into the wall
  • Press the ball of the foot on the lifted leg into the wall
  • Square the hips to face the wall as if you had a block between your thighs
  • Stay here and breathe.

Virabhadrasana III (warrior 3) variation with back heel and foot pressed to the wall.

  • Bring the hands to blocks under the shoulders, OR
  • Bring the hands to the hips, OR
  • Bring the hands to the heart, OR
  • Extend the arms in line with the ears

Uttanasana (forward fold) variation with toes crossed to release the outer hip and glutes

8-breath to do as you please, options:

  • Tadasana (mountain pose)
  • Uttanasana (forward fold)
  • Malasana (yogic squat)

Repeat the same sequence on the other side.

Cooling Flow

Setu Bandhāsana (bridge pose) using a block to support the low back to release the hip flexors

Viparita Karani (legs up the wall) or a symmetrical pose of choice before closing the practice.

Savasana or seated meditation to close.

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