20 February 2011

Teaching Script for Salamba Sarvangasana

To prepare for Salamba Sarvangasana, fold 2 to 4 blankets in quarters and lay at the edge of your mat with the fringe pointing inward. Fold your mat about halfway over the blankets – enough to ensure your upper arms will be on the mat, but not your shoulders. Lay down with your shoulders fully on the blankets with your head over the edge – your neck should move freely just past the edge of the blankets. Take a moment here to just breathe; bring your focus to your breath. Remember not to turn your head at all while entering, in, and exiting this pose.
When you are ready, bend your knees, firm your core muscles, and lift your legs overhead to Halasana. Relax your neck, maintaining the natural curve, and avoid pressing your chin into the neck. Bring your hands to your low back for support and ensure your arms are no further than shoulder width apart. Anchor the top of your shoulders into the floor, and on an exhale, use your core muscles to lift your right leg, then your left leg, into the air. Inhale, expanding across the collarbones as you press the shoulder blades toward the heart. On your next exhale, work to bring the back of the body into the spine, and on the following inhale, draw your core in and toward your feet. Press your tailbone toward the pubic bone and send their center in a straight line toward the sky. Inhale and again expand across the collarbones while grounding through the upper arms; on the exhale, press the shoulder blades toward the heart. Inhale and lengthen the spine, sending the tailbone to the ceiling. Exhale and reach toward the sky firmly with the legs, using both the front and back leg muscles. Hold the pose for five more breaths, expanding the chest and grounding into the earth on each inhale; lengthening the body to the sky on each exhale.
Slowly lower the feet overhead into plow pose, controlling their descent by keeping an active core and reaching the feet toward the wall. Hold here for one breath, maintaining the expansion in the chest and the strength in the shoulders. On your next exhale, slowly roll your back onto the floor, controlling the legs until the spine is fully on the ground. Bring your legs down with bent knees and set your feet on the floor. Take a breath here and then we will prepare for Savasana.

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