A new DVD and a new practice this week. And what I found was essentially a new pose. It was shocking that over the almost 20 years of on and off yoga practice, I had a pose that was new to me.
Sunbird (Chakravakasana) is a core strengthening pose that starts on the hands and knees and transitions into a balancing pose on hands and one foot. The one leg is extended back (with the hip extended) as the torso arches (like in cow pose) and the chest lifts. It is really a beautiful pose!
Interestingly, it was hard to find much online about this pose. What resonated was there is some confusion with this pose and two other poses - tiger pose (Vyaghrasana) and dog bird pose (opposite arm, opposite leg). All three poses start on the hands and knees but it is the appendages that do different things. Tiger pose is also an hip extending pose but the essential difference is that the knee is bent not straight. Bird Dog pose, on the other hand, incorporates the arms as well as the legs. Think table top with alternating arm and leg lifts. All excellent back and core strengthening poses but all slightly different.
Now back to my new posture, sunbird and what else I did this week!
Not only did I practice sunbird but also sunbird bow. The pose is transitioned into a harder posture whereby the upper body drops towards the mat kind of like in a push up position. See how the sun bird is bowing!? It intensifies the pose but it is a perfect progression without trying to do anything fancy.
And fancy I did do! After the sunbird bow, I was instructed to come onto the toes of my support leg and press up into a downward facing dog while maintaining my initial leg up in the air. Fancy? Yes! But also added more intensity and challenge (good thing I was up for that this week!)
Here is an outline of the actual sequence I did this week!
What an exciting week of practice! A new posture with some unique progressions and transitions.
I'm singing a happy tune,
This third week of practicing the past poses has been a journey in itself. It's forced me to remember what I've done in the past and theoretically should remember. Well, that is not necessarily the case. Once again, this week required some refreshing homework!
I recently downloaded the Songza app for my phone and decided to try it out during my practice. Maybe having music is that special touch I need for a home practice. It just made it that much better!
I had planned on a particular practice time but for some bazaar reason I had a stomach ache. I can't remember the last time I had a stomach ache! Maybe when I was pregnant back in 2011?!? Regardless, I sought out a stomach relieving pose first and found just what I was looking for.
Knees to Chest Pose (Apasana)
Not in my original practice from 12 years ago, but this pose has been in my life for many more years than that. I only recently knew that pose was helpful for stomach aches because it was primarily used, by me, for a low back stretch.
It did what it was suppose to do and I got relief. Now on to the three poses of the day...
Shooting Arrow (Akarna Dhanura Asana)
My recollection of this pose was using the arms as a bow and arrow. What I wrote in my journal does speak to the arms doing some form of work in a standing "mountain" pose but I'd be darned if I could find any information online about this pose that represented what I remembered.
Alas, I just went with this rendition and was happy for it. It too was active in the belly so I can't complain. And, I really noticed the imbalance of my hamstring flexibility from side to side.
"I began in the mountain pose with five diaphragmatic breaths. I continued into the pose feeling progressively warmer as I went on. My shoulders were stiff and cracked when I did the arm movements (on both left and right sides). Since I am getting used to the move, I forgot to bend at the knee initially, but I corrected it on the other side. My breathing felt controlled during the movement."
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.