A. SUPINE, SIDE-LYING AND PRONE WORK ON THE BED:
1. Lying on my back in supine Tadasana, flex and point my feet 30 times. Slowly, working the arch, the toes and the ankle. No scrunching of toes when pointing foot.
2. With a pillow beneath my knees, pressing the knee down which raises the foot up. Holding for 3 counts. Do a total of 20 on each side.
3. Lying on back in supine Tadasana, drag right heel toward right sitting bone, engaging back of the leg. 20 x on each side.
4. Both legs bent. Bridge up and pulse up and down 30 times. (When I started I could only do 5 and then I got scared that I would hurt my incision.)
5. Both legs bent. Arms by sides with fists. Press fists down, engage low belly and inhale/exhale 5 times, breathing above the belly button only. Do this 2-3 times.
Repeat #4 and #5 three times.
6. Both legs bent. Put a pillow between my legs and squeeze in and out 30 times.
7. Then wrap a yoga strap around legs and press out 30 times. The first time I did this I got really sore and then I remembered, Not Too Tight, Not Too Loose. No need to push into the yoga strap with all my might. Just enough is a good guideline.
8. Both legs bent: Straighten one leg and lift it 20 times. I can only do the right leg now. Too much arthritis pain in the left. A few weeks after surgery on Tuesday, I will be able to work on left leg lifts.
9, Lying on my left side and do 20 right leg clam shell lifts.
10. Lying on my tummy, 20 leg lifts, each side. At first, I had to lie on a pillow and it was scary because of my incision. Now it is just totally fine.
Push onto hands and knees on the bed and do some yummy cat/cows.
B. SEATED WORK:
(click image below to zoom in)
C. STANDING WORK:
Hands on the wall, feet back a couple feet. 30 wall push-ups. These push-ups get peppered throughout the day. I do them against the kitchen island counter, against the porch fence, wherever and whenever, aiming to do a minimum of 100 wall push ups a day. Acutally when I just typed that I accidentally typed 200 so maybe I will try to do more. This method of exercising is VERY IMPORTANT. Its called toggling and has zillions of benefits. I’ll tell you more about that later.
In front of the full length mirror to check my alignment:
Arms up into Utkatasana.
Hands on hips and Stand up on left leg, lift right heel and press into ball of right foot.
Repeat these two 6 times ending with left hip up.
Very slightly lift the left leg, externally rotate it and come into tree pose. More fear but I managed to keep a balance of soft and strong, and it turned out just fine. Hands in anjali. Hold for 5 breaths.
Repeat Utkatasana, and standing foot work series.
Second tree pose, only with left leg lifted in front. It doesn’t go very high and that is so ok. I take my arms up with interlaced fingers facing the ceiling. Hold for 5 breaths.
Keep arms up and come back into Utkatasana, holding it for 5 breaths.
Third “tree” pose only this time with the left leg bent up behind me. 1-2-3-4-5 breaths.
Stand in Tadasana. First time I did all this my heart was beating strongly. It took a lot of will.
D. ON THE MAT:
Roll down through standing and go right into hands and knees. Sit in vajrasana on two blocks or one block with a blanket folded on top of it. Slowly breathing. I can stay here for about a minute, maybe two minutes.
Hands and knees. Cat/Cow.
Down Dog. Tread in place, 10 times.
Inhale to plank, back to Down Dog. Repeat 5 times.
Hands and knees. Thread the needle.
Down Dog into Plank, Knees, Chest, Chin, Baby Cobra which feels better than ever thaks to all those prone leg lifts I’ve been doing on the bed. Hands and knees to Down Dog. Repeat 3 times.
Side Plank with feet apart.
Swing legs around and lie down on my back. Lift hips and slide block under. Legs up for several minutes. Maybe I circle ankles or play with my toes. I’m exploring what kind of rotation and bending I can do here.
Slowly, slowly, slowly, I lower one foot at a time to the floor, feeling the very moment they touch. I stay in this higher bridge for a little while. Not too long.
The block is removed and then I rock up to sitting as if I was in boat pose, only with my feet criss crossed, knees bent. Arms reaching forward. It’s a fun balancing place. Then I rock back and legs go up to the ceiling and then rock forward into this balance. I do this three times and then dedicate the merit of my practice.