Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Self-Practice Journal, Week 6

For one of my RYT classes this semester, I'm required to keep a weekly self-practice journal. This is for yoga practices I do on my own, not guided in a studio, gym, or via video. Each week I'll have a post that details at least three of my self-practices.

Week 6
Practice 1
Date: February 19, 9-9:45p
Intention: Move with the breath, but slowly.
Content: Seated warm up- raise the arms with breath, neck rolls, arm circles, lateral stretch.
Cat-cow, cat-cow with leg extension, supported side plank, gate pose, Downward Dog, Hero's pose for wrist rolls and shoulder rolls. Child's pose.
Forward fold
Tadasana
Sunflower
Half-Salutes (3x)
Sun Salutation A (4x)
Sun Salutation B (2x)
Warrior II (with lifts on the inhale)
Reverse Warrior to Side Angle (4x)
Forward Fold
Tadasana
Repeat other side
Tree Pose
Squat
Boat
Bound Angle Pose
Sage Twist
Half-Lord of the Fishes
Staff Pose
Spinal rolls
Supine twists
Legs to chest, circle knees and hips
Supine Bound Angle Pose
Savasana
Reflection: I know I usually breathe too quickly (and shallowly) when I practice on my own. So I created a sequence that asks me to move with my inhale and exhale to make me more aware. If I was zipping through it, I knew I wasn't breathing deeply enough. If I felt like I was deliberately moving between poses, I knew I was breathing deeper and slower. It was a good exercise in mindfulness.

Practice 2
Date: February 21, 11-11:50a
Intention: Slow the breath and hold poses for a number of counts.
Content: Seated warm up- raise the arms with breath, neck rolls, wrist rolls, lateral bends.
Cat-cow, cat-cow with leg extensions. Child's pose.
Forward Fold
Tadasana
Sunflower
Half-Salutes
Sun Salutation A
Sun Salutation B
Lunge
Warrior II
Reverse Warrior
Side Angle
Forward Fold
Tadasana
Chair
Lunge Left
Warrior II Left
Reverse Warrior Left
Side Angle Left
Forward Fold
Tadasana
Tree Pose
Squat
Boat
Bound Angle Pose
Sage Twist
Half-Lord of the Fishes
Staff Pose
Spinal rolls
Supine twists
Legs to chest, circle knees and hips
Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose (each side)
Supine Bound Angle Pose
Happy Baby Pose
Savasana
Reflection: For this practice I wanted to remember to breathe more slowly, and to hold poses for 4-5 breaths. I felt good about my earlier practice of moving slowly from one pose to the next (with inhale and exhale) so my challenge was to breathe more deeply without moving and linking with poses. I benefit from making myself hold still. I benefit from reminding myself to breath "into the belly" when I usually just breathe into my chest.

Practice 3
Date:February 22, 9:35p-10:15p
Intention: Prep for supported headstand
Content: Half-Salutes (4x), Chair, Standing Bow and Arrow (4x each side), standing lateral bends, Star Pose to Goddess Pose (8x), Wide-Legged-Forward Bend with lateral stretch each side. Lunge left and right, followed by Downward Facing Dog.
Plank
Chaturanga
Cobra
Child's Pose
Kneeling Plank
Supported Side Plank, Left and Right
Downward Facing Dog
Plank
Chaturanga
Cobra
Child's Pose
Side Plank, Left and Right
Downward Facing Dog
Revolved Lunge, Left and Right
Wide-Legged-Forward Bend to Wide-Legged-Downward Facing Dog
Prep for supported headstand- pad the mat with a folded blanket, cradle the head, place the elbows (using couch behind me for additional support).
Child's Pose
Thread the Needle, and prone shoulder opener
Fish Pose on blankets
Spinal twists
Happy Baby
Savasana with blankets to open the heart
Reflection: I enjoyed doing a flow, and then workshopping a little with the supported headstand prep we learned in class recently.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Self-Practice Journal, Week 5

For one of my RYT classes this semester, I'm required to keep a weekly self-practice journal. This is for yoga practices I do on my own, not guided in a studio, gym, or via video. Each week I'll have a post that details at least three of my self-practices.

Week 5
Practice 1
Date: February 10, 8:40p-9:10p
Intention: Stretch the quads (a friend asked for a practice to help her with sore legs)
Content: Seated neck rolls, wrist rolls, forward fold, Sage twist, Dandasana with soft knees. Cat-Cow, Child's Pose, Downward Facing Dog, standing Forward Fold, Tadasana.
Goddess Pose (up and down 8 times) // Utkata Konasana
Sunflower Pose (8 times each side) //
Low Crescent lunge left (hands on the mat) // Anjaneyasana
Low Crescent lunge right (turn to face the opposite end of the mat) // Anjaneyasana
Side-to-side low lunges (4 times each side) // Skandasana
Low Crescent lunge left (hands on the thigh) // Anjaneyasana
Low Crescent lunge right (turn to face the opposite end of the mat) // Anjaneyasana
Side-to-side low lunges (4 times each side) // Skandasana
Low Crescent lunge left (hands elevated) // Anjaneyasana
Low Crescent lunge right (turn to face the opposite end of the mat) // Anjaneyasana
Side-to-side low lunges (4 times each side) // Skandasana
Pigeon left leg // Kapotasana
Downward Facing Dog // Adho Mukha Svanasana
Pigeon right leg // Kapotasana
Downward Facing Dog // Adho Mukha Svanasana
Hero's Pose (on a block) // Virasana
Child's Pose // Balasana
Camel Pose // Ustrasana
Child's Pose // Balasana
Downward Facing Dog // Adho Mukha Svanasana
Standing Forward Fold // Uttanasana
Tadasana
Tree Pose left leg // Vrksasana
Dancer Pose left leg // Natarajasana
Tree pose right leg // Vrksasana
Dancer Pose right leg // Natarajasana
Forward Fold // Uttanasana
Downward Facing Dog // Adho Mukha Svanasana
lower to the mat
Sage twist
Supine twists
Supine Bound Angle Pose // Supta Baddha Konasana
Happy Baby Pose // Ananda Balasana
Savasana
Reflection: I enjoy the challenge of sequencing for others. It's satisfying to know I can give them something to help complement their existing workouts, and help them better understand the benefits of yoga. This practice was invigorating and fun with the two balance poses.

Practice 2
Date: February 12, 2-3p
Intention: Create an athletic practice for runners
Content: Seated neck rolls, wrist rolls, and raising the arms with breath. Sage twist, cat-cow, and cat-cow with leg extensions/knee curls under the torso. Child's pose to cow, and back to child's pose (moving with the breath). Downward dog to plank, and back to downward dog (moving with the breath).
Downward Facing Dog // Adho Mukha Svanasana
Three-legged Dog // Eka pada adho mukha svanasana
Warrior II // Virabhadrasana II
Reverse Warrior // Viparita Virabhadrasana
Low Crescent Lunge // Alanasana
Three-legged Dog // Eka pada adho mukha svanasana
Switch Sides
Sun Salutation A // Surya Namaskar A
Tadasana
Forward Fold // Uttanasana
Plank // Chaturanga
Chaturanga Dandasana
Cobra // Bhugasana
Downward Facing Dog // Adho Mukha Svanasana
Repeat
Sun Salutation B // Surya Namaskar B
Tadasana
Chair // Utkatasana
Forward Fold // Uttanasana
Plank // Chaturanga
Chaturanga Dandasana
Cobra // Bhujangasana
Downward Facing Dog // Adho Mukha Svanasana
Warrior I right side // Virabhadrasana I
Downward Facing Dog // Adho Mukha Svanasana
Forward Fold // Uttanasana
Tadasana
Repeat left side
Figure 4 Standing Balance // Eka Pada Galavasana
Crow // Bakasana
Wrist rolls
Knot (like threading the needle, but prone. With one or both arms)
Bow Pose // Dhanurasana
Seated Figure 4 or Gomukhasana
Bound Angle // Baddha Konasana
Sage Twist (with fold over the leg added)
Supine rolls
Supine twists
Happy Baby // Ananda Balasana
Supine Bound Angle // Septu Baddha Konasana
Savasana
Reflection: I haven't done much power yoga lately since I've been sick, so it was challenging to come up with a practice that would appeal to an athletic group (I plan to use this practice for a volunteer opportunity at Salt Lake Running Company). But I like the movement in this practice, and using Salutations within the practice instead of right after the warm up. I'm not an avid runner, so catering a practice to those who are required me to think about the anatomy of running and what stretches might be most beneficial.

Practice 3
Date: February 13, 8-830p
Intention: Create a practice for kids aged 5
Content: Standing warm up: inhaling arms overhead and exhaling to release (like a balloon), axial extension and forward fold (like pulling clouds from the sky and placing them on the ground), starburst (exploding like fireworks into star pose), walking in place, chair pose, shooting cupid's arrows (standing bow and arrow pose).
I told a story to the kids and had them act out the yoga poses that correlated
Child's pose (sleeping cat) // Balasana
Cat-cow pose (waking cat) // Dhurga-go
Downward Facing Dog (dog walks by the cat) // Adho Mukha Svanasana
Tiger's Pose (cat arches its back, then releases and extends its tail) // Vyaghrasana
Forward Fold (cat finds a waterfall on his walk) // Uttanasana
Kneeling lunge and fold over leg (elephant drinking from the stream)
lunge both sides
Cobra (a snake hidden in the grass scares the elephant and cat) // Bhujangasana
Bridge (the cat gets away from the snake by going to the other side of the stream) // Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
Squat (the cat sees frogs on this side of the stream) // Malasana
Seated Bound Angle (and there are butterflies) // Baddha Konasana
Tree Pose (the cat watches the butterflies land in the leaves of a tree) // Vrkshasana
Child's pose (cat is tired and needs to take another nap) // Balasana
Savasana (hand on heart and hand on belly to create awareness of the breath).
I did each pose with the kids for four breaths as I told them the story. Then I had ten minutes with the kids to explore animal/plant-related poses of their choosing.
Reflection: I'm nervous to teach to kids for the first time, so it was good to go through this practice a few times to prepare. Kim McKellar suggested I approach teaching this class with a story, and I'm glad I did. Telling a story helped me decide on a sequence of poses to teach the kids. After a couple of run-throughs on my own, I decided I needed to break it down into a smaller chunk of time. I didn't want to lose the kids' attention or overstimulate them. I worked on doing just 15-20 minutes of a practice, and then gave myself time to be free-flowing and give the kids some power to choose what kinds of poses we'd do

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Self-Practice Journal, Week 4

For one of my RYT classes this semester, I'm required to keep a weekly self-practice journal. This is for yoga practices I do on my own, not guided in a studio, gym, or via video. Each week I'll have a post that details at least three of my self-practices.

Week 1
Practice 1
Date: February 4 10a-11a
Intention: Practice for teaching later today
Content: Moon Salutation // Chandra Namaskar
Warm Up: seated intention setting, neck rolls, gather the breath, wrist rolls, cat-cow, leg extensions and curls under the torso, Downward Facing Dog.
Tadasana
Standing Crescent Moon
Goddess Pose // Utkata Konasana
Star Pose // Utthita Tadasana
Side Angle Pose // Parsvakonasana
Standing Wide Legged Forward Bend // Prasarita Padottanasana
Side Angle Pose // Parsvakonasana
Star Pose // Utthita Tadasana
Goddess Pose // Utkata Konasana
Standing Crescent Moon
Tadasana
Repeat 2x, 3-4 breaths per pose. On 3rd time through, bring some movement, transitioning from Goddess to Star, and adding Sunflower Pose. Rotate torso down and up in Side Angle Pose, floating the arm toward the floor and then the sky.
Cool Down:
Seated twists
Fire log
Seated Bound Angle Pose // Baddha Konasana
Prone knot arms
Prone shoulder opener
Supine spinal rolls
Supine twists
Savasana
Reflection: This was a nice, restorative practice for me, and perfect for babying the cold I've been suffering from. It was still invigorating, but without too much stress on the body.

Practice 2
Date: February 6, 9:30p-10p
Intention: Calm before going to sleep
Content: Moon Salutation // Chandra Namaskar
Warm Up: seated intention setting, neck rolls, gather the breath, wrist rolls, cat-cow, leg extensions and curls under the torso, Downward Facing Dog.
Tadasana
Standing Crescent Moon
Goddess Pose // Utkata Konasana
Star Pose // Utthita Tadasana
Side Angle Pose // Parsvakonasana
Standing Wide Legged Forward Bend // Prasarita Padottanasana
Side Angle Pose // Parsvakonasana
Star Pose // Utthita Tadasana
Goddess Pose // Utkata Konasana
Standing Crescent Moon
Tadasana
Repeat 2x, 3-4 breaths per pose.
Cool Down:
Bound Angle Pose // Baddha Konasana
Seated twists
Supine twists
Happy Baby // Ananda Balasana
Savasana
Reflection: I enjoyed going through this practice again and taking it slow and steady. I didn't add dynamic movement into the salutations this time since I was doing it before bed. I took it a little slower and went through it less times just to take it easy on my body since I'm still feeling pretty sick.

Practice 3
Date: February 8, 8:30p-9p
Intention: Slow the breath; focus on moving with it dynamically, but giving each pose 3-4 full breaths after the warm up.
Content: Standing Warm Up: Tadasana, Standing Crescent Moon, Chair pose (in and out with inhale/exhale), Forward Bend, Twisted Forward Bend (side to side with inhale/exhale), Plank, Kneeling Plank, move through Child's Pose to Cat, arching back for Cow to Child's Pose, Downward Dog.
Warrior I // Virabhadrasana I
Warrior II // Virabhadrasana II
Reverse Warrior // Viparita Virabhadrasana
Downward Facing Dog // Adho Mukha Svanasana
other side
Warrior I
Warrior II
Reverse Warrior
Repeat another time on each side after Sun Salutation // Surya Namaskar
Tadasana
Chair // Utkatasana
Squat // Malasana
Crow Pose // Bakasana
High Plank // Chaturanga
Low Plank // Chaturanga Dandasana
Cobra // Bhujangasana
Child's Pose // Balasana
Cool Down: Cow Face Pose // Gomukhasana
Seated Twist // Ardha Matsyendrasana
Spinal Rolls
Happy Baby // Ananda Balasana
Supine spinal twist // Supta Matsyendrasana
Savasana
Reflection: I tend to take shallow breaths going about my day-to-day, and I'm trying to train myself to deliberately deepen my breathing. In my practice, I rush too often and I'd like to be better about holding poses for longer periods of time. This practice gave me a chance to go slowly, especially since I only planned to do a few staples on each side.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Self-Practice Journal, Week 3

For one of my RYT classes this semester, I'm required to keep a weekly self-practice journal. This is for yoga practices I do on my own, not guided in a studio, gym, or via video. Each week I'll have a post that details at least three of my self-practices.

Week 3
Practice 1
Date: Friday, January 27, 7:42p-8:30p
Intention: Practice for volunteer class tomorrow, as well as practicum class next week.
Content: Seated warm ups- gathering up the breath, Sage twist (with variations)
Cat-Cow (also side-to-side lateral stretch) // Durga-go
Child's Pose to Kneeling Plank (alternate between the two for a few breaths) // Balasana to kneeling Chaturanga
Downward Facing Dog // Adho Mukha Svanasana
Standing Forward Fold (with twist variation) // Uttanasana
Mountain Pose // Tadasana
Sun Salutation B, adding Pyramid and Revolved Triangle after Warrior I // Surya Namaskar B, Parsvottanasana, Parivrtta Trikonasana
(Repeat the series 2-3 times, gradually going deeper)
Cow-Face Pose (with variations) // Gomukhasana
Half Lord of the Fishes // Ardha Matsyendrasana
Bridge (with or without block) // Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
Supine Eagle Pose (or supine spinal twist) // Supta Garudasana or Supta Matsyendrasana
Corpse Pose // Savasana
Reflection: I may need to cut poses in order to fit this into a 50 minute class without losing time in Savasana. I also tend to go faster than is beneficial for beginners, so I'll use tomorrow's class as a way to gauge my outline (tomorrow will be 60 minutes, so I'll definitely adjust my timing regardless). I like this flow for working on the hips, and since I'd like the intention of the practicum class to be "Letting Go," I went with poses that could release tension/emotions from the hips. There are a number of poses that require surrendering, and I feel it goes with the overall theme.

Practice 2
Date: Sunday, January 29, 8:30-9:20p
Intention: Practice for teaching practicum on Tuesday
Content: Seated warm ups- gathering up the breath, Sage twist (with variations)
Cat-Cow (also side-to-side lateral stretch) // Durga-go
Child's Pose to Kneeling Plank (alternate between the two for a few breaths) // Balasana to kneeling Chaturanga
Downward Facing Dog // Adho Mukha Svanasana
Standing Forward Fold (with twist variation) // Uttanasana
Mountain Pose // Tadasana
Sun Salutation B, adding Pyramid and Revolved Triangle after Warrior I // Surya Namaskar B, Parsvottanasana, Parivrtta Trikonasana
(Repeat the series 2-3 times, gradually going deeper)
Chair Pose (with twists) between salutations // Uttkatasana
Half Lord of the Fishes // Ardha Matsyendrasana
Cow-Face Pose (with variations) // Gomukhasana
Bridge (with or without block) // Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
Supine Eagle Pose (or supine spinal twist) // Supta Garudasana or Supta Matsyendrasana
Corpse Pose // Savasana
Reflection: I feel more confident about the flow, and have a better feel of how I can help students transition through poses and tackle variations. I still feel I may be giving too many options, so after the first time through with the class tomorrow night, I'll gauge whether or not people still need so many choices as we continue with the sequence. I don't want to spend the whole time talking about all the choices, but I want people to be informed that they can find a successful version of a pose.

Practice 3
Date: Tuesday, January 31, 4-4:50p
Intention: Practice for teaching in the practicum class later in the evening
Content: Set intention, seated warm ups- gathering up the breath, Sage twist (with variations)
Cat-Cow (also side-to-side lateral stretch) // Durga-go
Child's Pose to Kneeling Plank (alternate between the two for a few breaths) // Balasana to kneeling Chaturanga
Option to go from Plank to Downward Facing Dog (alternate between the two for a few breaths) // Chaturanga to Adho Mukha Svanasana
Downward Facing Dog // Adho Mukha Svanasana
Standing Forward Fold (with twist variation) // Uttanasana
Mountain Pose // Tadasana
Sun Salutation B, adding Pyramid and Revolved Triangle after Warrior I // Surya Namaskar B, Parsvottanasana, Parivrtta Trikonasana
(Repeat the series 2-3 times, gradually going deeper)
Cow-Face Pose (with variations) // Gomukhasana
Half Lord of the Fishes // Ardha Matsyendrasana
Bridge (with or without block) // Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
Supine Eagle Pose (or supine spinal twist) // Supta Garudasana or Supta Matsyendrasana
Corpse Pose // Savasana
Reflection: Going through this right before teaching it to the group calmed me down a lot. I felt like I could go through the flow without having my notes in front of me, and that everything sequenced smoothly. I felt comfortable with the transitions and satisfied that I would have enough time to take everyone into final relaxation for 3-5 minutes.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Living a Yoga Life - Being Present


It took me a long time to understand that one can practice elements of yoga off the mat. It's not just about exercising and breathing for an hour, and then lying down on the mat for a nap (although that's pretty awesome). I'm learning to implement elements of yoga in my everyday life, and to help others understand what it means to live a yoga lifestyle, I'll share an experience I had in the last couple of weeks.

For my Yoga IV class, I get to read the text, Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving Into Stillness by Erich Schiffmann (affiliate). In the beginning of chapter one, there's a line that reads, "When you are not wholehearted, when you'd rather be someplace other than where you are, parts of you shut down and begin not to participate." In application to my regular life, I noted that on the days I'm home with Lincoln, without the interruption of work, school, or other obligations, I have a hard time sitting with him playing for 12 hours. It's a loooooong day. We butt heads and I don't get a moment's peace. I sit on the floor with him and just wish away the time until he goes to bed. I love him, and I'm so grateful to be his mom and have so much time with him, but playing with a two-year-old all day is sometimes super boring and exhausting.

So I experimented with something after reading this chapter from Schiffman. I sat with Lincoln and told him a timer would sound in a little while (usually 20-30 minute increments). When we heard it, I'd take a break from playing with him. My break might consist of taking a shower, brushing my teeth, doing homework, working from home, or just sitting on the couch and not allowing myself to be bossed around for a few minutes. We kept it up for most of the morning, and by afternoon Lincoln could no longer handle the timer dictating our interactions (which is understandable since he's two). Giving myself those guidelines helped me be present during the time I was spending with my son. It helped knowing we were putting limits on how much time we'd be together, and how much time I'd have "on my own" (which I put in quotes because there were times I was trying to work and he'd stand at my side repeatedly asking when the timer would beep so we'd play together again).

Being present in the moment can be difficult for me. There's so much going on in my head; school and work assignments, church responsibilities, ideas for the yoga community I'm nurturing, family responsibilities and so much more. I have lists and a planner and notifications in my phone to remind me of all the things I aspire to do in a day... and I get distracted by those tasks looming before me. That affects the quality of my attention for the task I'm actually involved in.

So this little exercise gave me an opportunity to be present. To forget, for twenty minutes at a time, about what was next on my list. I hope it will continue to work in some form for me, and that perhaps the transitions will be more organic in the future (i.e. I won't need a timer to tell me to stop and move on to the next thing).

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Self-Practice Journal, Week 2

For one of my RYT classes this semester, I'm required to keep a weekly self-practice journal. This is for yoga practices I do on my own, not guided in a studio, gym, or via video. Each week I'll have a post that details at least three of my self-practices.

Week 2
Practice 1
Date: January 21, 9a-10a
Intention: Practice for the class I'd be teaching later in the day (for Practicum hours). I wanted to feel confident and prepared and ensure the sequencing made sense. I knew I'd probably end up improvising based on the requests of the students, so I kept my outline basic and beginner.
Content:
Seated warm ups: shoulder rolls, gathering up the breath with the arms, gentle seated twists and folds over the crossed legs (each way), cat-cow, and downward dog with the knees bent, pedaling the feet.
Sun Salutations A & B with variations // Surya Namaskar A & B
Warrior II // Virabhadrasana II
Reverse Warrior // Viparita Virabhadrasana
Pyramid // Parsvottanasana
Revolved Triangle // Parivrrta Trikonasana
Pigeon // Kappottasana
Prone arm stretch
Supine spinal twists
Happy baby pose // Ananda Balasana
Seated Eagle variation on the back // Supta Garudasana
Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose // Supta Padangusthasana
Savasana - Read the linked quote HERE

Reflection: I'm nervous to teach again, since it's been such a long time. But I think I have a group of poses that will offer a lot of options for those who attend my class today. I know most of them say they're at a beginner level, so I want to be sure they feel challenged but not overwhelmed. Additionally, if they have specific requests, I'll be able to use some of the poses as jumping off points for variations or other poses that meet those needs. I also deliberately have a longer Savasana planned (than I would have done in the past when I taught regularly) and I hope it's well-received.

Practice 2
Date: January 22, 945p-10:05p
Intention: Relieve neck tension from shoveling snow
Content:
Seated warm ups: butterfly arms, bow and arrow, lateral stretches, neck rolls, shoulder rolls.
Cat-Cow // Durga-go
Downward Facing Dog // Adho Mukha Svasasana
Plank // Chaturanga
Chaturanga Dandasana
Bow Pose // Dhanurasana
Child's Pose // Balasana
Hare Pose // Shashankasana
(Repeated the above three times)
Downward Facing Dog // Adho Mukha Svasasana
Warrior I // Virabhadrasana I
Plank // Chaturanga
Chaturanga Dandasana
Bow Pose // Dhanurasana
Child's Pose // Balasana
Hare Pose // Shashankasana

(Repeated the above three times)
Prone arm stretch (arms to a T)
Supine Hand-to-Toe Pose // Supta Padangusthasana
Happy Baby // Ananda Balasana
Supine spinal twists
Savasana
Revisited the seated warm ups to check in with the neck.
Reflection: Sometimes my natural tendency is to avoid movement if I'm sore from some activity. I don't want to feel the discomfort leftover from the hard work I previously did! But tonight I knew I'd feel better if I focused on my neck. Building up heat in the body and going from Bow to Hare was really good for my neck and upper back muscles. It helped work out the kinks and soreness I'd been holding onto since yesterday. It was worth taking the 15-20 minutes even though I was ready for bed!

Practice 3
Date: January 23, 9:50p-10:20p
Intention: Prepare for a LovingKindness meditation
Content: Kneeling Moon Salutation, Meditation
Seated warm up: shoulder rolls, neck rolls, lifting arms with the breath.
Kneeling Prayer Pose // like an elevated Virasana
Kneeling Back Arch
Extended Child's Pose // Utthita Balasana
Extended Cat Pose // Utthita Marjaryasana
Downward Facing Dog // Adho Mukha Svanasana
Extended Cat Pose // Utthita Marjaryasana
Extended Child's Pose // Utthita Balasana
Kneeling Back Arch
Kneeling Prayer //
Repeated the above twice, three breaths per pose. On third round, substituted Camel Pose for Kneeling Back Arch.
Child's Pose // Balasana
Seated Spinal Twists
Seated Bound Angle Pose // Baddha Konasana
Spinal Rolls
Waterfall Pose // Viparita Karani
Supine Spinal Twists
Knees to chest
Savasana
Loving Kindness Meditation from Grow Well 
Reflection: I want to continue to grow familiar with the concept of Moon Salutations. It's not what I usually practice, and the cycle appeals to me. This kneeling series (from The Yoga Bible) always feels restorative to me. It was good prep for the LovingKindness meditation.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Self-Practice Journal, Week 1

For one of my RYT classes this semester, I'm required to keep a weekly self-practice journal. This is for yoga practices I do on my own, not guided in a studio, gym, or via video. Each week I'll have a post that details at least three of my self-practices.

Week 1
Practice 1
Date: Friday, January 13 9:40p-9:55p
Intention: CALM MY BRAIN

Content: Meditation, Kneeling Moon Salutation
-Started seated on a bolster to find the breath
-Seated: neck rolls, shoulder rolls, bow and arrow (arms), gentle spinal twists
-Kneeling Prayer Pose // Anjali Mudra
-Kneeling Back Bend // Ardha Ustrasana
-Extended Child's Pose // Balasana
-Stationary Cat Pose // Marjaryasana
-Downward Dog // Adho Mukha Svanasana
-Stationary Cat Pose // Marjaryasana
-Extended Child's Pose // Balasana
-Kneeling Back Bend // Ardha Ustrasana
-Kneeling Prayer Pose // Anjali Mudra
-Supine Waterfall Pose // Viparita Karani
-Happy Baby Pose // Ananda Balasana
-Supine Bound Angle Pose // Supta Baddha Konasana
-Supine Spinal Twists
-Corpse Pose // Savasana

Reflection: I'd been stressed all day. My youngest was very needy, even when his sister came home from school and two playmates joined us. He just wanted me to watch everything he was doing and listen to everything he said... for 11 hours. I needed quality me-time at the end of the day, and also wanted to help put myself in a good state for going to bed. I've been having trouble falling asleep this week so I planned a Moon Salutation series to help calm my brain and my body.

I enjoyed moving and playing around with the poses. I didn't force myself to stick with the outline I designed, and I let my body move a little differently (like from Cat to Cow, or from Cat to lateral side bends) each time through the Moon Salutation.

The best part was Savasana. The clothes dryer was rhythmically circling in the room next to me so I let the thumps become part of the meditation. I imagined a heart beat, calming and strong and steady. With a towel over my eyes and warm slippers on my feet, I was so relaxed. All the stress of catering to the demands of my minions melted away and I wanted to roll over and go to sleep on my mat. I spent about five minutes in Savasana before coming to a comfortable seated pose and allowing for a few more deep breaths, concluding my practice.

Practice 2
Date: Friday, January 16 7:51p-8:22p
Intention: Relieve sore muscles from practice on 14th (21st Yoga)
Content: Meditation, Standing Moon Salutation
Seated Warm ups: warming breath, forward folds, bow and arrow, gathering the breath, cat-cow pose, leg extensions from hands and knees, downward facing dog.
Mountain Pose // Tadasana
Standing Half Moon Pose // Urdhva Hastasana
Goddess Pose // Utkata Konasana
Star Pose
Triangle Pose // Trikonasana
Pyramid Pose // Parsvottanasna
Low Lunge // Anjaneyasana
Side Lunge
Squat // Malasana
other side
Side Lunge
Low Lunge // Anjaneyasana
Pyramid Pose // Parsvottanasana
Triangle Pose // Trikonasana
Star Pose
Goddess Pose // Utkata Konasana
Standing Half Moon Pose // Urdhva Hastasana
Mountain Pose // Tadasana
Janu Shirshasana
Baddha Konasana
Supine Spinal Twist
Savasana
5-minute guided meditation (via YouTube)


Reflection: I've been sore since the Power class I took on the night of the 14th, and wanted a gentle flow with lots of deep poses. The lunges, Goddess Pose, Triangle and Pyramid all gave me a chance to release the tension in my hips and thighs I had a result of that Power class. I haven't done a lot of Moon Salutations before now, and I enjoy using them for a short but effective practice. I like the cyclic flow. Being really new to deliberate meditations (beyond a few minutes in Savasana), I was worried it'd be difficult to sit still and focus for five minutes, even following a guided meditation. I was surprised the five minutes FLEW by and it was over before I expected. I love the opportunity to breathe more intentionally and do remind myself I'm capable of overcoming trials, both big and small. And thanks to the deep stretches in my Moon Salutations, my hips were ready to sit in meditation without complaint.

Practice 3
Date: Wednesday, January 18, 8:55p-9:15p
Intention: Open the shoulders
Content: Forward Fold variations (knees bent, twists)
Plank // Chaturanga
Cobra // Bhajungasana 
Child's Pose // Balasana
Cat-Cow Pose // Marjaryasana
Downward Facing Dog // Adho Mukha Svanasana
Hero's Pose // Virasana
Child's Pose // Balasana
Repeat with deeper variations
Supine Bound Angle Pose // Baddha Konasana
Savasana
 
Reflection: My shoulders tend to draw forward so this practice was intended to open them. I focused on opening the chest, and using my back muscles deliberately. It was rewarding to go deeper into Hero's Pose after a couple of rounds, reclining slightly, stretching my quads and chest. I always enjoy a few moments to focus on my shoulders and encourage better posture.