For some reason I like to go upside down and I like to put some power in my yoga sequences when I practice on my own (and when I teach as well). It probably has to do with my background as an athlete (just for fun).
I used to be a long distance runner. 10 English miles, half marathons, a full marathon every second year. But an ankle injury (tarsal tunnel syndrome) and an operation that didn’t really solve the problem ended my running career. Running kept my mind sane. Na matter what kind of problems I had or how much stress my job was costing me, I would go for a run, have a hot shower and everything would be fine again.
I’ve tried a lot of sports, but nothing gave me the same ‘runners high’. Up until I discovered yoga. Vinyasa flow yoga. I was pretty skeptic when I started. I looked at yoga as a thing for hippies. For girls. My first teacher was everything I expected. A sweaty, old hippie in a pink shirt and purple trousers. When I gave him a hand and said: ‘Hi, I’m John’, he directly corrected me: ‘No, your name is John, you are love.’ I just smiled at him and thought: ‘Yeah, but not for you mate.’
I only went to yoga to do a female friend a favor, so she didn’t had to go alone. At the same time I hoped it would help me with my back problems. After this introduction I lost all hope I would ever like yoga. 75 minutes and a hard work-out later I totally changed my mind. My body felt good, I had worked hard and the philosophy the teacher told during his class made sense. I decided to give it a chance.
Strong, slow class
That’s eight years ago. I now do yoga more or less every day. I’ve started to appreciate slow forms of yoga, like yin yoga. But still: you make me happy with a strong class. I doesn’t have to be a fast one. I love to be in poses, but hit me with strong poses. Lots of planks, chaturanga dandasanas and arm balances. Pincha Mayurasana being one of them. I’m still not super stable yet. One day I’ll stand it easily, the next day I’m struggling, but I do love it. My shoulders are working, my core is working. I’m using strength and at the same time building endurance.
I’ve combined all of that in a little yoga sequence, which you can do with me on You Tube . It ends with Pincha Mayurasana. Just to try it. The rest is building strength and some flexibility to get into it and to open and strengthen your chest.
Pincha Mayurasana sequence
- Anahata asana – puppy pose
- Thread the needle (- Sucirandhrasana)
- Vasisthasana – Plank
- Scapula push ups
- Marjaryasana-Bitilasana – cat-cow
- Ardho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog
- Hanuman Sun Salutations
- Shoulder pumps
- Alanasana – high lunge
- Virabhadrasana – Warrior II
- Viparita Virabhadrasana – reverse warrior
- Trikonasana with bind – triangle pose
- Parsvakonasana with bind – extended side angle pose
- Dolphin push ups – (ardha pincha mayurasana)
- Gomukhasana – shoelace with cowface arms
- Paripura Navasana – boat pose variation
- Pincha Mayurasana – peacock
- Setu Bandha Sarvangasana – brige
- Sarvangasana from bridge
- Supta Matsyendrasana or variaton – reclined twist