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i mytonic.ca halfway to your hands. Then inhale and gently push off that foot as the left leg lifts to the wall, with the right leg following. Lengthen toward the ceiling equally through both legs, flex your feet, and shimmy your heels up the wall. Spin your inner thighs toward the wall and keep the same neutral position ofyour legs that you had in Aclho Mukha Svanasana. Move the flesh of the buttocks toward your heels and direct your gaze in front of you.

Begin to repeat the actionsyou took in Adho Mukha Svanasana, and root down through every knuckle in your hands as a way of moving energy up toward your feet. Every breath or two, shimmy your heels up the wall again. Continue to cultivate mindfulness by paying attention to maintaining balance in the pose. Draw your inner shoulder blades away from the base of your neck and gently press your shoulder blades in toward your chest while directing your front ribs toward your frontal hipbones. Observe how this prevents you from sinking into the lower back or the armpits. Stay for 8 to 10 long, steady breaths.

To come down, keep one leg reaching up the wall for as long as possible as you gently release the other leg toward the floor. You can lift back into Handstand from here two or three more times. Practice switching your lead leg, and take Balasana to rest between lifts.

KING ARTHUR'S POSE

For this sequence, you'll practice King Arthur's Pose in two stages. In the first stage you'll stretch the iliopsoas (the muscle that runs from the lumbar spine through the pelvic region to the top of the thighbone). In the second stage, you'll stretch the rectus femoris (the front of the quadriceps). Lengthening these muscles will open your lower body in Urdhva Dhanurasana, but it can feel intense. Remember to remain present and calm in the face of these sensations.

Have two blocks and a blanket nearby. Start in tabletop position with your feet at the wall. Tuck your toes under, with the balls of your feet touching the wall. Stack your hips above your knees and your shoulders over your wrists. Take your left knee to the base of the wall where the floor and the wall meet (you can use a blanket to pad your knee). With your left shin against the wall and your left toe pointing straight up, step your right foot forward until your right knee is at 90 degrees. Plant your palms on blocks on either side of the right foot to bring openness in the chest. Drop your tailbone and lift your lower belly and chest. Hold for 10 to 12 breaths.

Move slowly and deliberately to the next stage, remaining attentive and responsive to your body's messages. Use support from the blocks to shift your hips back to the wall. Take your left hip to the inside of your left heel so your left leg is in Virasana. Shimmy your right foot back, bring your right knee to 90 degrees, with your buttocks and back at the wall (be mindful and back off if the sensation in your left knee becomes more than a dull ache). Ifyour buttocks are at the wall, lift your arms to a parallel-arm Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Salute), reinforcing the parallel arms and the 180-degree angle in the shoulders you'll need for Urdhva Dhanurasana. Keep dropping the tail-bone and move the front ribs toward the frontal hipbones, lengthening the lower back and directing the stretch to the hip flexors. Slowly release and change sides.

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