fbpx
Search
Close this search box.
Practice with Clara

Curves (32-mins) Hatha

A full-body Hatha yoga class that explores the curvature of the spine through gentle heart-opening, leg balancing, and twists. This class is an invitation to explore the subtle body through movement and includes a visualization practice, meditation, and pranayama with Kumbhaka (breath retention).

This class is part of the Lila Wellness Summit – the theme this week was the anatomy of meditation. 

Watch Ramesh’s lecture on The Anatomy of Meditation.

Read the highlights in the blog post.

Style: Hatha

Duration: 32-minutes

Level: open-levels

Props: 2 blocks

Focus: exploring the spine’s curvature via heart-opening, leg balancing and twists.

Location: Lila Familia Production Studio, Vancouver, BC

Spotify Playlist: Curves

Meditate

Come to a seat on your mat for a brief meditation and visualization practice to open the class.

You can take an easy sitting pose, sit on your shits, or use props to support your spine.

Bring your inner eye to your sits bones, and feel your body anchor on the ground or whatever it is touching upon.

Bring your internal gaze to each point in the body:

  • Pelvis
  • Rib cage
  • Chest
  • Throat

Visualize 

  • The spinal column, from root to crown.
  • The curves of your spine from the lower back, midback, and neck.

Move

  • Bring some rhythmic rocking motions through your body
  • Take a few seated cat/cows to express the chest and shoulders
  • Come to stillness, and observe how your body feels, specifically, your spine.

How does each curve align and feel after moving?

How do the spine and each curve change during the movement?

Can you use this as an anchor and consider the sensation of the spine and its curvature as you move through practice.

Opening Movement

Bitilasana Marjaryasana (cat/cow)

Phalakasana (plank pose)

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog)

Uttanasana (forward fold) at the back of your mat

Tadasana (mountain)

Wave 1

Tadasana (mountain pose)

Urdvha Hastasana (hands to sky)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Ardha Uttanasana (half lift)

Phalakasana (plank pose)

Chatarunga

Bhujangasana (cobra pose)

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog)

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

Parivrtta Anjaneyasana (revolved lunge) variation with wide arms

  • Inhale and take the top arm to the sky
  • Exhale and lower the arm to tap the opposite wrist
  • Repeat five cycles

Utthan Pristhasana (lizard pose) variation

  • Turn the front toes slightly out
  • Press your fingertips under your shoulders
  • Lift and lengthen your chest

Bharmanasana (tabletop) variation

  • Extend one leg long behind you and breathe
  • Add the opposite arm
  • Lengthen the spine by reaching the crown forward

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog)

Phalakasana (plank pose)

Chaturanga

Bhujangasana (cobra pose)

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog)

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

Parivrtta Anjaneyasana (revolved lunge) variation with wide arms

  • Inhale and take the top arm to the sky
  • Exhale and lower the arm to tap the opposite wrist
  • Repeat five cycles

Utthan Pristhasana (lizard pose) variation

  • Turn the front toes slightly out
  • Press your fingertips under your shoulders
  • Lift and lengthen your chest

Bharmanasana (tabletop) variation with one leg extended.

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog)

Phalakasana (plank pose) variation

  • Hold for 8 breathes, OR
  • Take 8 chaturanga pushups

Chaturanga

Bhujangasana (cobra pose)

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog)

Uttanasana (forward fold) at the back of your mat

Urdvha Hastasana (hands to sky)

Tadasana (mountain)

Standing Poses

Tadasana Pavanmuktasana (standing knee to chest) variation with eagle arms

Garudasana (eagle pose)

Urdvha Hastasana (hands to sky)

Tadasana (mountain)

Repeat the same sequence on the other leg.

Cooling Poses

Malasana (yogic squat)

Dhandasana (staff pose) variation with Kumbhaka pranayama

About Kumbhaka Pranayama (aka breath retention)

Kumbhaka is a form of breath retention; do not do this pranayama if you have difficulty breathing or anxiety. Breathe normally with longer inhales and exhales. If you take kumbhaka pranayama, hold to a point where you don’t feel any discomfort.

Benefits of Kumbhaka include:

  • Better oxygenation to improve overall health and concentration occurs when we retain the breath as it increases the carbon dioxide level. This event activates the respiratory center in the brain and leads to a greater exchange of oxygen.
  • Improvement of lung capacity
  • Strengthening of the diaphragm

Take a seated meditation or savasana to close.