Happy Humpday! I am on a complete HIGH after teaching my donation class tonight. So many yogis showed up to donate, flow and share energy. I am grateful to be surrounded by this community of love.
It’s week 3 of the yoga challenge! Besides annoying my family and friends to constantly take pictures and videos of myself, I really like this challenge! I still say it is anything but basic though…wait until week 4! AHHHHH!
Day 11: Pistol Squat…this is a lot tougher than it looks. When Kerri Verna (AKA Beach Yoga Girl) came to Charlotte she swore by these things in the workshop I participated in. These pistol squats obviously work the quads, glutes, and your entire core! I completely bombed this when my husband tried to take a video of me doing a pistol squat. You can check out that blooper HERE. Surprisingly enough, I received a lot of positive feedback when I posted that goof up. I am a real person, just trying my best!
Day 12: Bow Pose or Dhanurasana.
- Stretches the entire front of the body, ankles, thighs and groins, abdomen and chest, and throat, and deep hip flexors (psoas)
- Strengthens the back muscles
- Improves posture
- Stimulates the organs of the abdomen and neck
Day 13: Eight Angle Pose or Astavakrasana. I LOVE this pose…and there are several ways to get into it. I made a video of my favorite way (going through Sundial) to get into this. You can watch HERE. One of my favorite yoga teachers, Adam Whiting, taught me this pose, and told me the beautiful story behind it.
Ashtavakrasana (Eight-angle pose) is named after an sage called Ashtavakra, who was born crooked (vakra) in 8 (asta) places. The story starts in his mother’s womb when he was receiving teachings from his father, a famous scholar of his time. While still in the womb, Ashtavakra heard his father botch the spiritual texts and corrected his father. His father apparently had a problem with criticism, so he cursed the unborn child making him contort in eight different places, and Ashtavakra was born with a crippled body. Ashtavakra, although physically cursed, was blessed with incredible intelligence. He was very interested in philosophical conversation and decided to make the very long, uncomfortable journey to see King Janaka, When he arrived, however, the King and his assembly laughed at him due to the sight of his crooked body, and Ahstavakra burst into tears. Ashtavakra told the King how disappointed he was that he had hoped to find spiritual inspiration but instead, he only found people who were concerned with the outward appearance, and who did not see the atma or soul. The King became deeply embarrassed by these remarks and bowed down to Ashtavakra and took him on as his spiritual guide. This story behind the pose reminds us that we shouldn’t be so obsessed with the external world and our own external shell. We shouldn’t derive identity or self-worth from the physical body, because we’re so much more than the body. Ashtavakra didn’t let his physical limitations get in the way of his spiritual path. His flexibility and strength was demonstrated not by the look of a pose, but by his approach to spiritual and mental challenges. As we practice Ashtavakrasana and other poses, we embrace the challenge, but also let go of any attachment we have to this physical shape. Yoga isn’t just about the cool shapes we can make with the body, it’s about understanding oneself, transcending the physical realm, and connecting to the spirit or life force. –Taken from Imgur.com
Day 14: Anjanayasana or low lunge.
- Strengthens the quadriceps and gluteus muscles
- Stretches the psoas and hips
- Relieves sciatica pain
- Expands your chest, lungs and shoulders
- Develops stamina and endurance in your thighs
- Improves your balance, concentration and core awareness
Day 15: Sirsasana or headstand. I love inversions! (FYI: my next arm balance/inversion workshop on October 10th 2-4pm at The Cornwell Center!) I have been really into videos lately, so I posted another one on my Youtube Channel of me getting into this pose with some core work variations.
- Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression
- Stimulates the pituitary and pineal glands
- Strengthens the arms, legs, and spine
- Strengthens the lungs
- Tones the abdominal organs
- Improves digestion
- Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
- Therapeutic for asthma, infertility, insomnia, and sinusitis
Have a great rest of your week! XO
Next donation class: Friday 9/18 at Visions Dance Academy! Class starts at 6:30pm and all donations go to Thompson!