Twenty-four weeks later...um, I'm still here! I need not explain the life of a mom of an one and three year old and why I've been vacant from the blog for so long!
I am still an aspiring yoga teacher.
I am still doing at least one yoga practice a week (usually nap time).
I want to still learn more!
The practice is typically at home with the lovely Yoga with Adriene. Here's what I did today...
Yoga with Adriene's 30-day challenge is great! I've dabbled with about 1/4 of the videos and hope one day I'll do the 30-day challenge in its entirety. Until then, here's what went down today!
Hero pose - aka Virasana - was a beautiful ending to the practice. About 6 minutes in, my little yogalini joined me after his nap, and he was entertained for a while. The coolest thing about hero pose today was I glanced back over my shoulder to find him in the pose too! Those little chubby legs were perfectly positioned!
I haven't always been able to do hero pose. I recall earlier in my practice when I thought "are you kidding me!?! You want me to do what?!?!". But over time and with flexibility, I've transitioned to needing no blocks for support and letting my hips sink into the pose. It is a tremendous stretch for the quadriceps!
So here's to more posts in the coming weeks. I'm still on my journey (with a couple yogalinis along for the ride!),
In my early days of yoga practice, I have to admit that I was a bit of a props snob. Maybe because of my age or maybe because my body let me do pretty much whatever I wanted, I thought props were for the weak. But within the last five or more years of practice I have gained great respect for all yoga props.
As my body morphs into the curvy, anterior ball shape of pregnancy, the use of blocks has been essential to my practice. The two most common types of blocks available are unique and each have there own purpose. Harder wood or foam blocks act more like support as opposed to the softer rectangular foam variety that provide cushion and give.
These are my modifications to practice this week using my foam rectangular blocks (still needing to buy wooden blocks for home!):
Easy Pose (Sukhasana) & Revolved Head to Knee Pose (Parivrtta Janu Sirsana)
As I've stated before, I love sitting on the ground. Yet, to give some relief to my low back, I do like to sit on my block(s). By raising the hips slightly, it causes less tension in the hamstrings and low back. These two poses were much easier with ease in my back!
Triangle Pose (Trikonasan) & Extended Side Angle Pose (Utthita Parsvakonasana)
Since my body isn't able to twist as easily these days nor bend over as far, I used my block to give some height to the pose. Placing my hand on the flat block, allowed the asana to be less strained than if I tried to reach for the ground. Not here to make leaps in my yoga practice, just wanting to maintain!
Deep Squat/Garland Pose (Malasana)
Interestingly, it is a day to day variation as to whether or not I can place my feet flat on the floor in deep squat. So on those days I can't, my best option is to place the blocks under each foot so that my heels have something to rest on. The blocks allow me to feel more grounded in a position that can be very tricky to hold and balance!
Hero Pose (Virasana)
It is nice to have variations for sitting poses. In about 1/8 of my practice do I actually sit in a kneeling position so it is a welcomed change of position. In this pose, I sat on two blocks to minimize the strain on my legs and quite frankly, allow space for the baby!
So, who knew that I'd love my yoga blocks so much. When I bought them for home, I was thinking they'd just gather dust. Now, they are a mainstay of my prenatal yoga!
Blessed to have my blocks,
34 weeks pregnant!
With my goal to practice the yoga poses I journaled about over ten years ago and reflect on how they feel today, I headed into three more poses this week. To be honest, I struggle with a home practice (read: it's not exciting by myself or when it's not lead by anyone else, AND setting time aside to go through poses correctly and slowly is tough to do). I really still appreciate being taught yoga in some format instead of just doing it on my own.
But I did practice three more poses on my own (I added corpse pose to the end as well). They were the following:
Hero Pose (Virasana)
With this pose, I had to page through my various books to remind myself what this pose is all about. Based on the book Yoga for 50+ by Robert Rosen, it is a sitting pose with the legs parallel to the thighs. It is likely that you've seen a child sitting in this exact position. And you might recall thinking, Ohmygoodness - how is he/she sitting like that!?!
I completed the pose for five breaths (approximately the 30 seconds recommendation). But in reviewing what I wrote 11 years ago, it just didn't seem to fit. Again back to the books (the class manual to be exact) and there in the schematics is the hero pose but it looks more like a warrior I pose. What?!? Well, needless to say, I just did both versions. Here's what I wrote many years back:
"At the start of the movement, I allowed myself to become focused by doing five diaphragmatic breaths. During the pose, I began to warm up and became hot. I realized that I was warming up my body after all it had been resting during the night. My muscles did not seem to be tight and the stretching of the hamstrings was not difficult."
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.