The Teachers Practice (Fall 2021): Akunchan, The Contracting Action

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Nikki Costello

Nikki Costello is a Certified Level 3 Iyengar Yoga Teacher (CIYT) and a Certified Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT). For 28 years, her teaching has been inspired by annual trips to India including RIMYI (Ramamani Iyengar M...
Nikki has created and taught her signature class for over 10 years. She will lead you through an inquiry into all the nuanced aspects of yoga practice. The class will include asana, pranayama and meditation, woven together with yoga philosophy. Dedicated students and teachers from all traditions are welcome. Teachers are encouraged to spread the word and extend an invitation to your peers and colleagues. This class is a unique opportunity to come together in a vibrant community that will educate, challenge and progress your studentship and enhance your teaching skills.

Note: this class features a lot of abdominal action, therefore, people who are menstruating will follow an alternative sequence at a slightly different pace 

Begin seated 
Om 3x
Adho mukha virasana (AMV) 
  • Knees wide 
  • knees together
  • For menstruation, keep knees wide 
  • Legs wide 
Lie on the back with knees bent, taking one leg in at a time for akunchana action 
  • Repeat, with variations, ending in supta pavanamuktasana
*for menstruation, take parsvottanasana, Prasarita padottanasana, then uttanasana with wide legs, then sit in upavistha konasana 
Jathara parivartanasana
  • For menstruation, upavistha konasana and parsva upavistha konasana 
*alternative sequence for menstruation during abdominal poses to follow:
  • Janu sirsasana right and left
  • Triang mukha eka pada paschimottanasana, right and left 
  • Marichyasana, right and left
  • Stay in each pose with the head resting for minute and a half to two minutes
Urdhva prasarita padasana 
Adho mukha svanasana 
  • STEP forward parsvottanasana, coming back through AMS to the second side
  • 2x 
Supine akunchanasana
  • Head to knee, straighten the legs
  • Both sides 
  • Coming through AMS   
*alternative for menstruation:
  • Upavistha konasana and then coming forward onto support 
Urdhva prasarita padasana 
Jathara parivartanasana 
  • Straight legs if possible, otherwise bent legs 
  • Repeat with bolster and belt/belts 
  • Several repetitions, coming through UPP 
*for menstruating:
  • Supta virasana 
  • Supta baddha konasana 
  • Supta swastikasana or supta padmasana
Parsvottanasana to parivrtta trikonasana 
Prasarita padottanasana
  • Knuckles at the wall 
  • Akunchanasana action, one leg at a time 
  • Both legs akunchanasana, hover, go back up 
  • Akunchanasana in sarvangasana 
  • Halasana
  • Karnapidasana 
  • Roll out into uttanasana 
  • Take support under the backs of the legs