All of us who have studied for years with Laurie are accustomed to various projects around the abdomen (and the feet and hands!). This sequence is intended to show how the abdomen can be the engine at times but also the grateful recipient of actions in other parts of the body. Abdominal control can also bring the sense of ease and relaxation within a pose that is mentioned in one of the very few yoga sutras that mention asana. That sutra appears below, along with a relevant (and interesting) sutra from the yogic “superpowers” chapter of the sutras.
YS III.30 By samyama on the navel plexus of the body comes knowledge of the arrangement of the body.
YS II.47 Such posture should be attained by the relaxation of effort and absorption in the infinite.
Check back to our earlier post ” More than a little stretching” for a pdf of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and a quick click to buy Light on the Yoga Sutra’s of Patanjali by BKS Iyengar.
The sequence below sets a mental focus on the abdominal work that results in lighter inversions. The whole sequence should not be practiced while menstruating. If you don’t do head stand, the downward facing dog is an good alternative pose. Setubandha Sarvangasana (bridge pose), off bolsters or blocks, is a good substitute for shoulderstand.
Let me know how it works for you in the comments. Click on Daves-abdominal-engine-sequence to open the practice sheet.
The YouTube below has no images, but is an audio clip of Laurie reading Savasana instructions from Yoga:A Gem for Women by Geeta Iyengar. Click twice; it’s about a 10 minute Savasana