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Erich Schiffmann Standing Pose Flow

Practice on the right side first and then the left, flowing from one pose to the next, staying in each pose for about 30 seconds. Once you have the sequence memorized, you might like to stay in some poses longer than others or even change the sequence to more suit your needs.

1. Stand in Mountain Pose (Tadasana) with feet together. Center and feel the smooth, flowing breath. Bring the palms together at the heart center (namaste).
2. On an inhale, sweep arms until horizontal and step left foot to the left, wide leg stance, feet facing forward. Spread your legs 4-5 feet apart so that when you bend your knee, it makes a square.
3. On an exhale, turn left foot inward 45° and the right foot outward 90°. Pull the kneecaps up, tighten the quadriceps, push downward into your feet, grounding.
4. On an inhale, sweep right arm alongside ear, lower left hand to left thigh. Pull the abdominals in, lift chest, stretch straight up through the right arm. Energize the vertical line through the arm.
5. On an exhale, lean to the left, sliding left hand down left leg. Reach outward through the right arm, turn the head, look down, stretch sideways, breathing smoothly.
 6. On an exhale, bend the right knee until it forms a square. Aim the knee directly over the toes. Pull the abdominals in, expand the chest as you inhale, then exhale and spiral the chest toward the ceiling. Reach outward throught the right arm and gaze upward - a strong curve of energy.
7. On an exhale, stretch into Triangle Pose (Trikonasana). Keep the length on the right side of the body as you come into the pose. Bring the right hand to the right ankle or floor, make the left arm vertical, and gaze upward. Breathe.
8. Exhale and take the left arm behind your back. This is Triangle Pose, Stage Two. Take a moment to wriggle the hand in and catch the right thigh. Pull the abdominals in, breathe upward into the chest to lift the rib cage away from the waist. On an exhale, rotate chest toward the sky. Gaze upward. Breathe.
9. Flow into Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana II). First, turn head and look down. Exhale as you bend the right leg and slide the left foot closer to the right. Place right hand on the floor, lean until left foot leaves the floor - now balannced on right hand and foot - and inhale and float the left foot upward until the leg and torso form a straight line. Exhale as you slowly straighten the right leg, pressing the right foot straight down into the floor. Inhale and lengthen the right arm - the head and body will lift upward away from the floor - then exhale and roll left shoulder and elbow backward, spiraling chest toward the sky. Continue looking down. Be here and breathe.
10. On an exhale, come down into a bent knee side stretch (stage three of Parshvakonasana). Bend right leg, touch left foot to the floor near right foot, then step back to original wide-stance position. Bring right arm in front of right leg and bend the right knee until it forms a right angle. The left arm is still behind the back. Pull the abdominals in, lift upward into the chest, and rotate body toward the sky. Gaze upward. Breathe smoothly.
11. Release the left arm. Bring it forward, up, and around until it is alongside left ear with palm down. This is Stage Four of Parshvakonasana. Move left hand and foot away from one another. Gaze upward.
12. Flow into Warrior I (Virbadrasana I). Inhale as you sweep the left arm up, straightening the right leg. Exhale and turn the body to face the right foot. The arms are extending outward from the sides. On an inhale, sweep arms up until vertical, bring palms together, and turn head to look upward. On an exhale, bend right knee, coming into the pose. Pull abdominals in, lift chest, and gaze through fingers. Reach enthusiastically upward! Breathe smoothly.
13. On an exhale, sweep arms to the sides and fold forward into a variation of Pyramid Pose (Parsvottanasana). Straighten the right leg and walk hands forward away from you, fingers pointing forward, palms flat. Rest the face on the shinbone. Breathe.
14. Walk hands backward toward the left foot into another variation of Pyramid Pose. Keep arms straight, palms flat, and fingers pointing away from you. Breathe smoothly.
15. Bring the left hand to the outside edge of the right foot, sweep the right arm up, and rotate into Revolved Triangle Pose (Parivrrta Trikonasana). Gaze downward toward the left hand some of the time, then turn head upward and gaze toward the right hand. Breathe smoothly.
16. Turn to the front into stage one of the Standing Spread Leg Forward Fold (Prasarita Padottanasana). Turn feet to the front and place hands on the floor directly below the shoulders. Press the arms straight, make back flat, and gaze down. Breathe.
17. Walk hands forward into stage two of Standing Spread Leg Forward Fold (Prasarita Padottanasana). Press forward into hands and stretch backward through the sitting bones to bring head town. Try to form a smooth curve through arms and spine.
18. Walk the hands forward into stage three of Standing Spread Leg Forward Fold (Prasarita Padottanasana). Have palms flat, fingers forward, then bring elbows inward toward one another until upper arms are parallel. Stretch crown of the head straight down toward the floor. Breathe smoothly.
19. Bring the arms around behind the torso into stage four of Standing Spread Leg Forward Fold (Prasarita Padottanasana). Clasp hands, straighten arms (if possible), then elongate arms before squeezing them downward toward the floor. (Ok, I had a little problem trying to get the last two stick figures drawn - this is the best I could do!!! Mary Esther)
20. Release hands, sweep arms to the sides, and on an inhale, come up. Exhale and step feet together. Bring hands together at heart center (Namaste).
21. Lower hands and stand quietly. Mountain Pose (Tadasana). Close the eyes, breathe smoothly, be aware of how you feel. Be motionless without holding yourself still. Be relaxed.
22. Repeat on other side: Step to right, turn feet to the left, and then sweep left arm up and flow. Be in each pose an equal length of time. Then stand quietly and experience the way you feel.  


Mary Esther Middleton

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