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,
Although I didn’t have a big event coming this week, I dabbled in Adriene’s Confidence Boost Yoga practice. Who doesn’t want a confidence boost?!
I surprised myself since I hadn’t done this video before. I am usually on the hunt for a video that is at least 30 minutes in duration so I can’t believe I’ve missed this one. This practice brought forth the idea of standing in your own skin. Recognizing what you, as an individual, can do to set the stage for your own confidence level. To quote the Youtube description, “add mindfulness and consciousness to your life”.
Two key yoga asanas stood out for me in this practice:
1. Balance (standing flamingo pose into dancers pose [Natarajasana])
My balance was unbelievably off this week. The typical strength and pose I feel during balance sequences was totally absent. As we progressed from one side then on to the other, Adriene had this gem of wisdom:
So whether you just need a little lift, or you’re preparing for something, an audition, an interview, like I said a date, a conversation, this is your time to really find support from within. So balancing poses can be a little brutal because they kind of show us when we’re not connected…so the lesson here is to just tend to it.
I wonder what caused me to falter. Was it the early morning practice (I’m not fully awake)? Is there really something else that is taking my attention? I’m not gonna lie, life is hectic at the best of times. Or was I just distracted by the rockin’ leggings Adriene was wearing during this practice?
Absolutely not the leggings! ;) Loved the leggings!
Maybe more likely that coming into stillness and focus this week was much more difficult than I let myself believe. The past six weeks have been ramped up with activities and life so was it finally presenting itself in my yoga practice? Possible conclusion…
2. Stick pose or is it Staff Pose?
The simplicity of sitting on the ground with the legs outstretched is very deceiving. I suppose I haven’t really blogged about Staff Pose (Dandasana) before as it may not always show up in practice and/or it is a asana that could easily be overlooked - dare I say! Yet, in this week’s practice, something struck me…
Initially Adriene called it stick pose. It confused me as I had thought it was called staff pose. Funny enough, it can be called both. This was the first time I had ever heard a reference to Stick Pose, and thus, I needed to know more.
Fittingly, Adriene went into great detail on how staff pose is SO essential to yoga and life.
[In] Dandasana, we kind of just always come to this shape but we forget that Danda, the Danda is the line from the base of the spine to the crown. The line of our energy centers. The line of energy that we move with and that supports us. And when we take a second to really connect to this or your whole practice, it really does serve us and it really does alter the way we carry ourselves and the way we walk into a room and the way that we meet and greet experiences. Whether we plan for them or not.
Ding! Ding Ding!
Danda? This was another new thing to me. I’d never even heard of that word before. Well, what learnings I am getting this week. I’ll tuck that one away for another week!
All in all, who knew 30 minutes of yoga would open me up to so many new things and a renewed sense of confidence,
For more on Staff Pose...for me to still try too...
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.