Day 15: Urdhva Dhanurasana or full wheel. I felt pretty open here to push higher and even extend a leg in the air. This backbend improves spinal flexibility, while stretching the shoulders and the chest, and strengthening the arms.
Day 16: Bow Pose, or Dhanurasana, sometimes called Chakrasana. This pose strengthens the entire body, stretches the anterior spine, and improves posture. This challenge is so interesting, because it really shows how your body can be so different from day to day. This is only a day after my full wheel, and I can barely even lift up. (I am blaming the snow days. Too much cold and too much children.)
Day 17: Upward plank, or Purvattanasana is a great counter pose to seated forward fold, or staff pose. This asana stretches the chest, shoulders and biceps, while strengthening the wrists, arms, glutes and hamstrings.
Day 18: Scorpion Handstand, or Vrschikasana. This is an advanced variation of handstand and requires balance, strength, and flexibility. I feel pretty good about where I am in this pose, and hope to get my feet closer to my head in the future.
Day 19: Shalabasana or Locust pose. (cute dog not required to do this one…it just happened!) This is a mild backbend that prepares the body for deeper backbending postures.
Day 20: Wide Leg Forward Fold, or Upavistha Konasana. I was able to fold deeper than the floor would have been, and the pose felt good enough for jazz hands! This will stretch the inner thighs, hamstrings and groin, and stimulate the abdominal organs. Forward bending asanas are known for calming the brain and promoting relaxation.
Day 21: This was supposed to be Laghuvajrasana. I could not make that pose happen, so I opted for camel pose. And a pretty bad one at that. But this was Saturday night, and we went out for beer and buffalo wings, so this is all I had in me. 🙂
There was certainly a lot of backbending (heart-opening) poses in the challenge this week. What is your favorite backbend?