Week 221: Tip Over Your Yoga
A anticipated practice this week that unexpectedly tipped me over. It was long in duration and welcomed many yoga props.
Recently focusing on staff pose (dandasana), I thoroughly enjoyed doing it again this week with Do Yoga With Me, in Align, Stabilize and Stretch video. But...with a twist…or shall I say tip...
I was cued to flip the pose to the back, or into a supine position. My legs and heels floating in the air (and not on the ground), soles of my feet parallel to the ceiling. Nothing like turning a yoga pose on its head! How did I accomplish staff pose with my body totally out of space from the traditional upright position?
A glorious strap!
I can’t got on about how much yoga props are so helpful!!!
By placing the strap around the balls of my feet and holding on to the ends with my hands, it allowed the strap to work its magic! The tension of holding the strap against my feet and weight of the arms provided the pull down required to the ground (thank you gravity too!) The pressure of the strap aided in the lengthening of the leg and thus the lengthening of the hamstrings.
Not only did my hamstrings love it but my low back sure did too. I can see doing a supine staff pose with those individuals who have low back pain. Essentially the back tension is removed as the back rests on the floor. Not something I am bothered with in the upright position but I clearly found it took the low back out of the equation. So much so that I felt I could lengthen through the entire spine while it rested on the ground.
I truly took away power from the position and space of the supine staff pose!
Now, I would have loved to proceeded with trying the seated version to see the impact on my hamstrings but not this time around.
What we did do, however, was move into standing poses which covered the hamstrings, iliotibial band, and adductors. Slightly different that the traditional sequence, it was interesting for the body to adjust to standing after working through the lying pose. I wonder if the supine work helped me stand better. I can habour a guess that it did!
This practice provided many other juicy poses and props which I will need to save to write about for another day! I will most definitely be returning to this practice (soon)!
Nothing better than tipping yoga poses over and making my brain work over time by figuring out the slight variations of each,
Week 220: Celebration!!!
What is better than starting a practice that is called I Celebrate! Doesn’t that just want to make you jump on the mat as fast as possible!
It sure did for me this week!
Let me back up…
Honestly, I make my Tuesday morning practices quite soothing and relaxing. I’m not super alert in the beginning but slowly move into practice. This week was different.
Why you might ask?
Well, this past Tuesday was a Tuesday I was looking forward to for a long time. Let’s just say since July when I learned I was named to Avenue Edmonton’s Top 40 Under 40 list. I wasn’t able to tell anyone (except my husband) and had been dropping white lies to my parents (to make sure they would come to the event).
This morning I was charged and ready to start the day!
So, hence, why not start the day in celebration!? It is not everyday someone gives you an award recognizing you are making an impact in your community!
Thank you to Adriene, for providing the perfect jumping point to my exciting day!
The great thing about the practice was how Adriene was able to weave in such powerful, celebratory poses. Two come to mind…
Nothing like a proud pigeon to start the day. What I loved about the version we did this week was the option to flex the rear knee and clasp the foot with the corresponding hand (One-Legged King Pigeon Pose [Eka Pada Rajakapotasana]). A mighty hip opener, I was able to sink into the pose (with the help of a foam block for support). I actually surprised myself how nimble I was in getting into the pose. My hip flexors got a nice stretch not just a massive (read: painful) pull!
Wide legged seated forward fold (Upavistha Konasana).
Another dignified pose of celebration. What isn’t better than bowing forward in humility when celebrating success. The wide legged seated forward fold does have some personal challenges for me but it truly symbolized being humble during a day of recognition. This pose too had variation from the original, which Adriene called turtle pose. With a quick search, I found Tortoise pose (Kurmasana).
Essentially, Adriene cued to place the palms of the hands under the calves while extending the knees and lifting the heels off the ground. Almost like a bind, this was a electrified pose that seemed to be an intense eccentric stretch for the adductors. I can say with certainty that I’ve never done this pose before!
Two poses, lots of energy and vigour to start the day.
Nothing like a little self-care on a day that I knew would be busy and end with my (sore) feet in flashy heels!
Yoga, again, has been beside me during the ups (and downs) of life. It afforded time for some inner work before the day began and help lay the platform and mindset of humble celebration!
P.S. Here is Avenue Magazine's article on me!
Aspiring Yoga Teacher
I've practiced yoga since I was a pre-teen and have always found it to keep me centered. I will be a teacher one day and this is my journey to discover teaching and practice.