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."
Jack Knife Pose (Padahastasana)
Ever feel like things unfold in a patten? The exact same thing as with the Hero Pose happened when trying to figure out what Jack Knife Pose was too. One name but two different poses. If memory serves, the pose was similar to this but with all my other searching it was like that. So, again I just did both! The original pose I remember is significantly more difficult (lower legs one at a time in a V-sit versus the easier standing forward bend) so my description below is more likely the V-sit pose. I suppose both poses are forward bends but one is standing and one is sitting - not sure but in time I'm sure to find out. If you know - please comment below!!!
"This pose seemed to be more difficult for me to perform. I tried to keep my knees extended as much as possible, yet my knee that was on the ground seemed to want to bend. I forgot that the pose was to be done twice so I had to redo the full pose. I think I like someone else guiding me through the poses rather than having me reading about the pose and then doing it."
Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
Okay, now I can't get this fundamental pose wrong! And I didn't. I use to really dislike this pose but over the past three or more years of practice I've really grown to love this pose. One of the best ways to help stretch my calves and hamstrings.
"I found that during this pose I was having trouble keeping my feet flat on the floor. Even after doing the movement three times, I was not able to stretch my calf muscles enough to get my feet flat. I did enjoy the head movement as it allowed the blood to flow to my head and provide more oxygen there."
If you haven't noticed already, I am a very ordered and structure in my yoga practice (and life in general!) I find it challenging to keep the Sanskrit names and the English names straight, let alone poses that are fundamentally different but for some reason have the same name.
This is just part of my weekly journey.
Regardless of my order and structure issues this week, all three plus poses were the perfect match to a sore body after a weekend run. They were a good stretch post Sport Chek's Mother's Day Run and Walk.
To more past to present practice,
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.