A *Bhujapidasana Class

visvamitrasana

get a little funky with visvamitrasana

What the heck is that word, bhujapidasana, you might be wondering? It means “shoulder pressing pose”. I taught a class focused on it this week from a sequence I got from Shiva Rea (surprise, surprise) back in 2009. I was taught the sequence back then, ignored it because it scared me, and have recently re-discovered it. Like shopping in your own closet, shopping in your own yoga library can be quite fruitful. I’ve been so inspired by my students willingness to play with it this week. While teaching it I realized just how much I was letting my own perceived limitations of my abilities get in my way of sharing really fun, inspiring, albeit challenging yoga. I must admit too that part of my resistance to teaching this was that it’s just plain HARD to practice on a regular basis when you have a demanding full-time job. I’m the first to recognize that!  I’m thankful I have the space to dedicate more time to my practice now and may we all be appreciative for the moments we get to spend on the mat.

So, here is the class sequence. I share it in hopes that my students who’ve practiced it with me might try to play on their own. I would not recommend teaching it without having practiced it quite a bit to get the flow and transitions. As with all yoga practices, omit what doesn’t work for you, or make modifications, be smart, be nice to yourself, listen to your body. I tried to be clear about my modifications. I tried to include English translations of poses but if you don’t know the poses by name, you can look them up at Yoga Journal’s Pose Finder. It’s a great little resource.  I found a great article from Shiva on one of the peak poses in this practice, Visvamitrasana and she talks about how it has related to her surfing.  There is also a video from Jason Crandell teaching the pose with progressions.  Thanks for keeping me inspired my student friends & Shiva!

Bhujapidasana Sequence

Surya Namaskar A 3-5x
Surya Namaskar B 3-5x
Core Cultivation

Standing side waist opening
Mulasana (yogic squat) w/pulsation
Padangusthasana (forward fold w/toes)
Connecting Vinyasa

Ardho Mukha Svanasana (Down Dog) to
Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I) to
Vira II (Warrior II w/shoulder opening) to
Parsva Vira II (reverse warrior)
Utthita Parsvokonasana (extended side angle w/optional bind)
Vira II
Connecting Vinyasa w/Cobra pulsations as backbend
Repeat other leg w/connecting vinyasa, end at top of mat

Standing Anahatasana (standing backbend)
Forward fold / yogic squat
Bhujapidasana Prep to Bhujapidasana
(first in forward fold with shoulders squeezed by knees, web of hands holding back of heels, to optional twisting with shoulder opening, to optional bird of paradise to full shoulder pressing pose w/both arms bound)
Padahastasana (gorilla pose, forward fold with hands under feet, palms face up)
Connecting Vinyasa

Prasarita Padottanasana A (wide forward fold with arms at right angles) to
Malasana (yogic squat, standing with side opening) to
Prasarita Padottanasana C (wide forward fold with shoulder opening)
Connecting Vinyasa w/ Dhanurasana as backbend (bow pose)

Parighasana (gate or side opening pose w/arm pulsations) to
Ardha Ustrasana (half camel) to
Visvamitrasana Prep to (low lunge, hands inside foot, shoulder under front leg, to turn back foot in take outer edge of foot with hand, extend half or full visvamitrasana or visvamitra’s pose) to
Eka Pada Koundinyasana
Connecting Vinyasa to other side to

Urdhva Dhanurasana (wheel)
Setu Bandasana (bridge)
Supta Padanghusthasana (supine leg extensions with strap)
Baddha Konasana (butterfly)
Salamba Sarvangasana (shoulderstand series)
Matsyasana (fish pose)

xxxoxoxoxoxo  -Roxy

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