DANDASANA TO PURVOTTANASANA
Staff Pose to Upward Plank Pose
BENEFITS Warms your body and strengthens your torso, arms, and hip flexors; simulates the floating aspect of the final pose
INSTRUCTION This dynamic two-pose vinyasa is best done while wearing socks on a slippery floor—or with washcloths under your feet to assist sliding. (Do not do this vinyasa if you have wrist issues, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, disc bulges, a herniation, or are pregnant.) Sit on the floor with a long, neutral spine and your legs straight in front of you. Stack two blocks on each side of your hips (you can also try it without blocks, but the backs of your upper arms will need to work much harder to support your torso). Press your palms down firmly into the blocks. Straighten your arms to lift your hips off the floor into a modified Dandasana. Start to swing your hips back and forth, increasing momentum and range. Slowly lift your hips higher in both flexion and extension according to your strength and ability. As you pass through Dandasana, begin pulling the bottoms of your shoulder blades together, lift your chest, and push back behind you with your hands—all while pulling in toward you with your feet to lift your hips up and away for Purvottanasana. Exhale as your hips swing back, and inhale as you lift up into Purvottanasana. As you increase your endurance, transition from A to C (see right) up to 20 times. If you become short of breath, pause to rest.