Yoga in Umbria, Italy: Part I

This is the first of three blog entries devoted to Yoga in Umbria September 2012.  I am pleased to say  I will be offering another retreat at Villa Visentium in Umbria, Italy in September, 2013.  Dates to be announced!

We danced, wined and dined, toured, laughed, learned, meditated before sunrise, practiced yoga in the most beautiful of environments, deepened existing friendships and  made new lasting friendships, experienced the magic of Italy,  and lived every moment fully.  We felt beautiful.  We felt strong and limber.  We felt healthy. We felt alive!

Just today, one of the retreat participants, Tom Macmillan, sent this beautiful poem he wrote which recaptures one of the many morning outdoor yoga session at the villa.

Yoga in Perugia

In the tree above my head a crow flaps roughly.
Branch to branch he moves but doesn’t call.
I close my eyes to hide the sight and turn my thought
To the grass beneath my feet.
The dewy chill has not yet seeped into the mat,
But, it will soon if our leader does not move.
Never mind – she glides smoothly to a new posture.
I move toward the pose – never quite the same as she.
We strive to emulate the Warrior
Gazing at the hills beyond the lake.
Inhale – exhale – the air smells slightly aromatic,
A bit like coffee when it brews.
All this breathing makes me hungry,
I think, as I bend forward to look between my legs
Toward the house where I know the kitchen lurks,
Hiding cake and fruit and eggs.
Breakfast is the greatest meal, coming at the perfect time to eat.
Now the others are in Eagle pose
With svelte arms and legs in twist embrace.
I do not bend the way the limber do,
But, am reminded of the crow.
My friend, who fluttered in the tree, flies off
As I lie in corpse pose, practicing together and alone.

Below is a collage for your perusal.  Don’t miss the yoga sequence after the photo collage. For simplicity’s sake, in most cases, I have not used the Sanskrit names of the postures.  The focus of the sequence written out below is “symmetrical poses” held for one minute in duration for building strength, flexibility and stamina!

Click on Play and once the collage appears, bring cursor over each photo to enlarge:

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Movements to a breath sequence:  tadasana, hands overhead (inhale), forward bend (exhale), extended forward bend (inhale), come to standing hands overhead (inhale),  tadasana (exhale).  Do as many rounds to the above as you like until you feel warmed up. Sun salutations:  one  round without variations and another round which includes strengthening poses such as a twist from Warrior I with arms outspread at shoulder height, Warrior II, side planks, cobra with ankles crossed.Sun Salutations are followed by the asanas listed below, which are each held for one-minute:1) Standing wide forward bend2) Horse Pose

3) Uttanasana (forward bend, feet together)

4) Downward Facing Dog

5) Plank Pose

6) Upward Facing Dog

7) Plank Pose on elbows

8) Cobra

9) Frog (like child’s pose but with knees wide)

10) Camel (modification can be done by clasping hands behind the back)

11) Plough (halasana)

12) Bridge Pose

13) Block under the sacrum and legs up in the air  (works the lymph system)

14) Fish Pose  (can place a rolled blanket or block under the shoulders)

15) Shoulderstand (or can do the modified pose with block under sacrum and legs up in the air)

16) lying on the back and grab hold of both feet, legs together for a hamstring stretch, can use a strap to catch hold of the feet

17) dead bug pose

18) lying on the back and grab hold of feet and take lets wide for an inner thigh stretch

19) block or bolster under the shoulder blades (arching pose, opens chest)

20) block under sacrum and legs extended with heels to the ground and arm overhead (floating bridge pose)

21) Seated forward bend (legs together)

22) Table top or reverse plank pose

23) seated forward bend (legs wide)

24) Bridge pose again or a full back bend

25) Seated Bound Angle (Cobbler’s Pose)

26) legs-up-the-wall pose (Viparita Karani)

27) Shavasana

 

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2 Responses to “Yoga in Umbria, Italy: Part I”

  1. Rick Says:

    Outstanding, Fran. Made me tear up. Tom’s poem made me crack up, too. I hear is voice. Totally you, Tom. Thanks for the laughs!

    Love to All,

    Rick

    Like

  2. Nora Brown Says:

    What wonderful memories! Thanks Fran for the yoga sequence, I will use it next week for some of my classes 🙂

    Like

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