Rope 1 & Variations – Weekly Intermediate Class 115

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This class explores some commonly practiced variations on what the Iyengar method refers to as “Rope I”. It follows a sequence that starts with this basic upright rope position and develops it towards a chest and shoulder opening variation of bhujangasana. Eventually a flowing sequence of movements are introduced where you transition from this pose to a version of urdhva mukha paschimottanasana in a back and forth swinging action.

This can be a great way of bringing energy and lightness into your practice. However, if the process of entering the movement is rushed, without preliminary stages being considered, the pose can also place a sudden and intense work load on your shoulders. This class shares some commonly practiced ways of gradually transitioning towards the final position. Initially some distance is maintained between your feet and the wall to soften the weight bearing aspect of the pose. Keeping your elbows bent as you enter and eventually exit the pose gives you more incremental control as to how your shoulders are drawn back by the ropes, and also adds a biceps strengthening aspect to the pose.

Key Poses

Rope 1.


Mat, ropes.
rope 1

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