Transforming Fear to Joy

Many years ago while I was beginning to practice at an Intermediate level, my Iyengar teacher of the day shared with me these six poses. His implication being — if you struggle with developing a consistent home practice, you could make them your ‘go-to’ yoga sequence.

For those of you interested in testing his theory, I suggest practicing this sequence once a week for at least a month. You could alternate weekly between the full expressions of the poses (this week’s blog) and the restorative expressions of the poses (next week’s blog). Of course, it would be of great benefit practicing other sequences three to four times each week as well. At the end of a month or two, you will have enough data (inner experience) to make your own informed decision.

While you are in each pose, practice the Yoga Actions below to deepen your inner experience and your self-awareness.


1.  INHALE up the inner faces of the tailbone and sacrum. Let your inhale pass through the sacral-lumbar joint.

NOTE: The inhale up the front of the tailbone scoops the lower abdominals into the body initiating the Mula Bandha (energy lift).
The inhale up the front of the sacrum scoops the mid & upper abdominals initiating the Uddiyana Bandha (energy lift).

2. EXHALE down the back faces of the sacrum and tailbone.

NOTE: The top of the tailbone draws down & away from the bottom of the sacrum.
The bottom of the lumbar lifts up & away from the top of the sacrum. 

  1. VIPARITA KARANI (Legs Up The Wall) 10 minutes
    – bolster is 2 to 3″ from wall

  2. SIRSASANA I (Headstand) 1 – 3 m
    – build up gradually to 3 minutes
    – legs actively lift torso weight off cervical spine & crown

  3. SARVANGASANA (Shoulderstand) 1 – 3 m
    – build up gradually to 3 minutes
    – legs actively lift torso weight up
    – little to no weight into hands

  4. HALASANA (Plow Pose) 2 – 3 m
    – with or without blankets as per your capacity & comfort

  5. SETU BANDHA SARVANGASANA (Bridge Pose) 3 Reps @ 10 breaths each
    1) hands not holding hips
    2) hands holding hips with thumbs pointed out
    3) hands holding hips with thumbs pointed in

SAVASANA (Corpse Pose) 5 – 10 m
– Repeat the following Awareness Meditation chant:
Awareness is precious.
May it arise where it has not yet arisen.
May it not diminish where it has arisen.
May it ever grow and flourish.

May your awakened mind ever grow and flourish. Namaste.

Picture of Author: Helen Maupin

Author: Helen Maupin

Helen is passionate about transforming fear into love — from her, for her, for all. She expresses her commitment to transformation through writing poetry, self-awareness and yoga books, co-designing organizations into adaptive enterprises and deepening her daily meditation and yoga practices.


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