stillpoint yoga

yoga meditation and philosophy with Lynn Fraser
in the Himalayan Tradition of H.H. Sri Swami Rama


What’s New?

Himalayan Tradition

Swami Rama

What Is Yoga?




Off The Mat

Daily Practice

Children’s Yoga



Sample Daily Practice in the Himalayan Tradition

Makarasana/Crocodile. Use as a transition from external to internal world. Begin with awareness of body then breath (smooth, even, silent, without pauses, breaks or jerks) then mind (watch the thoughts without getting attached, train your concentration).  Roll over into shavasana/corpse pose for a few minutes – maintain awareness of relaxed body and breath, alert, focused, calm mind. 

1:1 then 2:1 breathing – after establishing equal length and force of exhalation and inhalation with no pauses or gaps, gradually let the exhalation lengthen to twice as long as inhalation.  Take time to let this happen without sense of effort or strain in breath. 

Joints and Glands with eyes closed and on your back in shavasana, from head to toes. Do 3 repetitions each side with 3 complete breaths in between each.

  • Turn head side to side, moving to side on exhale, to center on inhale

  • Arms in basket (palms holding opposite elbows or wrists) and circle to side, toward navel, to other side, up toward the head – to warm up shoulders, elbows, mid back

  • Rotate hands to open wrist joints and stretch fingers to open finger joints

  • Rotate/circle right leg then left – circles with thigh first to open hip joint then keep thigh stationary and rotate lower leg to open knee joint then keep leg stationary and rotate foot to open ankle joint. Stretch and wiggle your toes.

  • Hip opener – exhale right knee toward left ankle, inhale knee up to center, exhale left knee toward right ankle, inhale knee up to center.  Move with the breath five times on each side then hold position for three complete breaths on each side.

  • Shavasana – release holding in body, awareness of breath at navel center

  • Turn to left side for 3 breaths then onto hands (under shoulders) and knees (under hips) with spine straight.

  • A & P (akanchana prasarana) – from hands and knees.  With movement of breath – on exhale, strengthen the movement of the lower abdomen and navel center toward the spine, release and relax on inhale. Start the exhale at the lowest part of the abdomen and squeeze from there gradually up to the navel center – release in opposite direction (like a rolling pin from pubic bone to navel center and back) – then move into

  • Cat stretch – exhaling, tuck tailbone, arch up through LOWER back. Inhaling come to neutral spine position, elongate spine, open collarbones. Move with breath.

  • Cat stretch to side – with torso parallel to floor, exhale looking over one shoulder to look back at your heel, inhale center, exhale to other side etc. Finish off with some regular cat stretches.

  • Tuck toes under and walk your hands towards your knees, push up into a squat.

  • Bring weight to heels and come into supported standing forward bend -rest chest on thighs, knees bent, release head and shoulders, roll up to standing.

 Tadasana/Standing Mountain Pose – aware of base of pose – balance of 3 points on each foot, legs relaxed, pelvis not tipped front or back, spine long and relaxed, shoulders down, arms and hands relaxed. Length through back of neck, chin parallel to floor.  Relaxed abdomen, breathe diaphragmatically.

 Warm ups from Tadasana

  • Neck warm ups: head to side – exhale and look over right shoulder inhale to center, exhale to left side, inhale center. With movement 3 times each side.

  • Neck warm ups: ear to ceiling – with chin parallel and neck long then exhale right ear toward ceiling (left ear comes towards left shoulder), inhale to center, exhale side to side, inhale to center.  Arms and shoulders relaxed and down.

  • Neck warm ups: turtle – inhale bringing chin directly forward, exhale bringing chin directly back, making a double chin. Repeat several times with the breath.

  • Shoulder rolls – inhale shoulders to ears, exhale shoulders forward and down, inhale back and up.  Repeat several times with arms relaxed. Rotate in opposite direction ending with shoulders down and back.

  • Standing side stretch – Inhale right arm up to shoulder height, turn palm up then bring arm up above head.  Inhaling stretch up, exhaling release palm toward top of head head. Keeping this softness, inhale and stretch up and a bit to left, feeling stretch along right side from lower ribs through underarm, arm and hand.  Breathe. Exhale right arm down to shoulder height, palm down then bring arm back to side.  Repeat with left arm.

  • Clasp hands behind hips. Relax arms and let shoulder blades move down while lifting collar bones.

  • Arm Swings – swing arms in front of body. Alternate arm on top.

  • Standing spinal twist – feet a bit wider apart, arms swing freely side to side 

Standing poses (choose one/some)

  • Tadasana to begin and finish all standing work
  • Agni Sara and/or stomach lift
  • Standing balance eg tree, pose of 4 directions, eagle
  • Warrior I, II and/or III
  • Extended Side Stretch – Parsvakonasana
  • Lunge
  • Uttanasana (forward bend)

 Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar) optional

 Back extensions (choose one/some)

  • Cobra – Bhujangasana
  • Boat
  • Downward Dog – Adho Mukha Svanasana

Always follow back extensions with a forward bend!


Forward Bends 

  • Child’s pose or
  • Seated wide leg forward bend

 Pranayama – from a relaxed seated position so head neck and trunk straight

Lying twist – lay on your side with knees bent to about 90 degrees and bring palms together directly out from chest; move top palm forward and back a few times then lift top arm and settle behind your body. Relax entire body and breathe smoothly. Before finishing – bring the mind up through the spine from the tailbone to the top of the head.


  • Legs up the wall (viparita karani variation) or
  • Viparita karani – begin in legs up the wall then place soles of feet flat on wall with knees bent. Using the legs as support, lift pelvis slowly off floor until you are resting on back from shoulder blades to near top of shoulders (don’t come up off of shoulder blades).  Bring elbows in and palms to lower back/hip area.  Release one then both feet off wall and extend legs upward through soles and balls of feet.  Feet come above head and body shape is in a wide V.  To come out, place one then both feet on wall and slowly return spine to floor.  Rest then move knees to side and come out of pose.

 Align spine with Little Bridge On the back, knees bent and heels close to buttocks.  Begin by exhaling navel and spine toward floor, release on exhale.  Then begin to move the pelvis and abdomen up off the floor.  Work slowly moving the back off and onto the floor one vertebra at a time. Let the breath flow smoothly. 

Shavasana – progressive systematic relaxation then you could add counting the breath 1:5:5:1. Other shavasana practices include blue star, 61 points, shitali karina and yoga nidra. When you finish, roll onto your left side for a minimum of 7 complete breaths, then  sit for 5 minutes with awareness of breath at navel center and flow of breath in the nostrils and/or practice meditation.

Principles throughout: maintain complete awareness of body from head to toes and of the breath. Move with the breath whenever possible. At all times, be sure there is no holding in the breath. Keep the breath flowing in a smooth, even rhythm. Keep the mind focused in the present moment. 

The perfect pose is one you enjoy!