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Intermediate/Advanced Practice: A Journey Round the Mountains

A mountain is a permanent fixture in a landscape and can be used by the traveler as a reference point to help them find their way. In this practice sequence, Tadasana (Mountain Pose) will become your guide. After a short restorative sequence to get you up out of the valley of daily life, with every handful of poses, the practice returns to Tadasana to give you an opportunity to find balance and expansiveness before pressing on to the next leg of the journey.

About Intermediate/Advanced Practices: These are for those who have been attending classes regularly for five years or more, who have a consistent and regular home practice. Some other guidelines are: to be able to balance comfortably and safely in Head Stand in the middle of the room for 3 minutes or more; to be able to kick up safely into Hand Stand against the wall on their own and/or who are able to straighten their arms in Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow Pose). In these practices, the information is more technical and begins to incorporate more detail. Always seek out the guidance of a qualified teacher before you attempt new or challenging poses, especially inversions and Head Stand, so that they may instruct you in the safest way to approach them. There is no substitute for instruction from a seasoned teacher.

The Sequence

Constructive Rest – 5 min

Child’s Pose – 3 to 5 min

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) – 5 min

  • Restorative variation with torso elevated and support for the head.

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1) – 30 sec each side

Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2) – 30 sec each side

Simple Back Bend over bolster – 1 min

  • Lie back across bolster or folded blankets with head supported so neck can be free.

Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

  • Allow your back to be long and wide
  • Allow your legs and torso to release away from each other

Utkatasana (Fierce Pose) with arms down – 30-60 sec

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) – 1 min

Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Hands Pose) – 20 sec

Utkatasana (Fierce Pose) with arms up – 1 min

Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

  • Allow your back to be long and wide
  • Allow your legs and torso to release away from each other

Vrkshasana (Tree Pose) – 30 sec each side

Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior Pose 2) – 30 sec each side

Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior Pose 1) – 30 sec each side

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose) – 30 sec each side

Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

  • Allow your back to be long and wide
  • Allow your legs and torso to release away from each other
  • Allow your knees to release forward away from your hips and ankles

Utthita Trikonasana (Triangle Pose) – 30 sec each side

Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose) – 30 sec each side

Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose) – 30 sec each side

Prasarita Padottanasana 1 (Wide Spread Feet Pose) – 1 min

Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

  • Allow your head to release up away from your torso and allow your torso to follow your head.
  • Allow your back to be long and wide
  • Allow your legs and torso to release away from each other
  • Allow your knees to release forward away from your hips and ankles

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) – 1 min

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand) – 30-60 sec

  • Do twice, kicking up with your habitual leg first, your non-habitual leg second

Pincha Mayurasana (Forearm Stand) – 30-60 sec

  • Do twice, kicking up with your habitual leg first, your non-habitual leg second

Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1) – 1-5 min

  • Do twice, changing interlock of fingers for the second time

Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

  • Allow your head to release up away from your torso and allow your torso to follow your head.
  • Allow your back to be long and wide
  • Allow your legs and torso to release away from each other
  • Allow your knees to release forward away from your hips and ankles

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) – 1 min

Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand) Cycle:

  1. Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1) – 3-5 min
  2. Salamba Sarvangasana 2 (Shoulder Stand 2) – 30 sec
  3. Halasana (Plough Pose) – 1-3 min

Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

  • Allow your head to release up away from your torso and allow your torso to follow your head.
  • Allow your back to be long and wide
  • Allow your legs and torso to release away from each other
  • Allow your knees to release forward away from your hips and ankles

Shavasana (Corpse Pose) – 5-10 min

  • Support under head and knees, or any comfortable variation

Have fun with your practice! If you enjoyed it, subscribe to the Craft of Living newsletter so you don’t miss out, and receive a free guide to the practice of Constructive Rest.

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Additional Reading

“Yank-and-Crank” Yoga No More!
Do Less, Not More
How to Stand with Poise and Ease, Part 1
How to Stand with Poise and Ease, Part 2
Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
Fundamentals Yoga Practice: Growing Your Mountain