Thursday, April 20, 2017

Self-Practice Journal, Week 14

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 14
Practice 1
Date: Saturday, April 15 7:30-815p
Intention: Brahmana practice
Content: Forearm plank to Dolphin, transition to hands and knees, then prone.
Baby Bhujangasana to Sphinx
Downward Dog
Virabhadrasana I and II, transition to hands and knees, then kneeling.
Virasana (on block), then recline (Supta Virasana)
Bridge
Matsyasana on block
Legs-up-the-wall (without block first, then add block)
Ananda Balasana (Happy Baby)
Reflection: I LOVE doing Matsyasana on a block or bolster. It's still challenging, but it lends enough support that I can work on puffing my chest (I have a tendency to forget about that element of back bends). This was a good practice to do to cement the concepts we discussed in class; back bends are warming and need good prep. And after the discussion we had about not immediately countering a pose, I'm more aware of how I sequence things and the effects the poses could have if done from one extreme to the next. This sequence definitely felt like it was building up to something and then giving my back a chance to relax/neutralize (legs-up-the-wall) before going into something considered a counter to the back bend. I felt less discomfort in my back after prepping it more thoroughly, using a prop, and neutralizing.

Practice 2
Date: Tuesday, April 25, 8:30-9:30p
Intention: Yoga for menstruation
Content: (taken from Yoga Sequencing by Mark Stephens)
Supta Baddha Konasana (blocks under thighs), knees to chest, Ananda Balasana
Supta Padangusthasana, each leg (with a strap)
Supta Virasana (with block, partial recline)
Cat-Cow, with alternate-leg-extensions
Downward Dog to Balasana (5x)
Bridge Pose (with a block)
Supine spinal twists
Gomukhasana
Wide-Legged Forward Fold
Seated Forward Fold (with pillows on the thighs to support the upper body)
Legs-up-the-wall (without block)
Savasana
Reflection: This definitely worked through some of the discomfort I was experiencing in my lower back earlier in the day. Having a bolster would be nice for a sequence like this since I wanted the poses to be more restorative. I can make due with about three pillows, but it's not the same. After doing a back-bending seqeunce last month in an attempt to help with cramps, I see how doing more to compress the front of the belly is beneficial.

Practice 3
Date: Wednesday, April 26 7:30-8p
Intention: Samana practice
Content: Seated lateral stretches, easy seated twists, Cat-cow with variations (extending arms and legs for balance), low lunge (each side), downward dog, forward fold.
Tadasana
Utkatasana
Lunge over right, then revolve
Parivrtta Trikonasana (over right)
Trikonasana (over right)
Lunge over right, then forward to fold
Tadasana
Utkatasana
Lunge over left, then revolve
Parivrtta Trikonasana (over left)
Trikonasana (over left)
Lunge over left, then forward to fold
Malasana (transition to sit)
Marichyasana I (left leg extended 1st), then bind the twist
Marichyasana I (right leg extended 2nd), then bind the twist
Dandasana
Seated forward fold
Legs-up-the-wall
Knees to chest, supine spinal twists, ananda balasana, windshield wipers with bent knees (more gentle spinal twist)
Savasana
Reflection: I'm a Pitta, so I love twists. And now that I know more about the energetics of poses, it's fun to experiment with them. This felt especially good as I work through my cycle; today the back pain wasn't present, so I felt ready to twist. This was a nice sequence for paying attention to either side of my body, and acknowledging the changes after doing the sequence on one side.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Yoga for Busy Moms on PS i adore you

Today I'm thrilled to share that I've teamed up with the incredible site PS i adore you to sell my online yoga course at a 50% discount.

If you're not family with PS, I'll give you a brief run-down: they're a flash-sale site that donates a portion of their proceeds to children with cancer. They have fun, practical, cute, amazing products that change out weekly, and it's for such a good cause.

Photo via PS i Adore You website
For the next week on PS, you can purchase Yoga for Busy Moms for 50% off retail, and the coupon code you receive can be redeemed at any time on Udemy (the site that hosts the yoga course). This is a great deal that I'm so happy to be able to offer to you! If you're not interested in yoga for yourself, or if you've already purchased it, you can buy the course as a gift for someone. Think of the women you'll be celebrating on Mother's Day this year... *wink wink*

Head over to PS and check out this amazing deal! You just have a week to save some $$$. See the deal by clicking right HERE.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Self-Practice Journal, Week 13

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 13
Practice 1
Date: Monday, April 10 7:30-8:45p
Intention: Practice for teaching practicum class Tuesday night
Content: Seated warm up- lateral stretches, hip circles, neck rolls, cat/cow with child's pose variation, downward facing dog, half sun salutes, chair with bow and arrow, wrist rolls, sunflower.
Chandra Namaskar
Goddess pose
Star pose
Virabhadrasana II
Utthita Parsvakonasana
Crescent lunge
Wide-Legged Forward fold (supported with blocks under hands/head, and twist after surrendering for a few breaths)
Malasana (use a block under the sits bones first time through)
Bakasana
Wide-Legged Forward Fold (supported with blocks under hands/head, and twist after surrendering for a few breaths)
Crescent lunge
Utthita Parsvakonasana
Virabhadrasana II
Star pose
Goddess pose
Garudasana
(Repeat twice, with progression. Second time through, add Ardha Chandrasana after lunges on each side).
Static side lunges
Sage Twist
Ardha Virasana
Lizard
Prone shoulder stretch (but share variation: seated shoulder opener for pregnant classmate)
Marichyasana I (with strap for the class, without strap personally)
Legs-up-the wall (with or w/o block)
Ananda Balasana
Savasana
Reflection: I originally planned this sequence with Pyramid to follow side angle, but I didn't like having to adjust my feet to go into lunge afterward. I wanted lunge to prep for Ardha Chandrasana, so I pulled out Pyramid pose. I liked that flow so much more and felt my alignment wasn't compromised when I played around with that change. Also, even though I won't have time to teach Bakasana or Garudasana in my 50-minute practicum, I included it in this practice for myself.

Practice 2
Date: Wednesday, April 12 8-9p
Intention: Enjoy the moon sequence without worrying about tweaking it for teaching. Be present.
Content: Seated warm up- lateral stretches, hip circles, neck rolls, cat/cow with child's pose variation, downward facing dog, half sun salutes, chair with bow and arrow, wrist rolls, sunflower.
Chandra Namaskar
Goddess pose
Star pose
Virabhadrasana II
Utthita Parsvakonasana
Crescent lunge
Wide-Legged Forward fold (supported with blocks under hands/head, and twist after surrendering for a few breaths)
Malasana (use a block under the sits bones first time through)
Bakasana
Wide-Legged Forward Fold (supported with blocks under hands/head, and twist after surrendering for a few breaths)
Crescent lunge
Utthita Parsvakonasana
Virabhadrasana II
Star pose
Goddess pose
Garudasana
(Repeat twice, with progression. Second time through, add Ardha Chandrasana after lunges on each side).
Static side lunges
Sage Twist
Ardha Virasana
Lizard
Prone shoulder stretch (but share variation: seated shoulder opener for pregnant classmate)
Marichyasana I (with strap for the class, without strap personally)
Legs-up-the wall (with or w/o block)
Ananda Balasana
SavasanaReflection: Doing this sequence again, but without stopping to make notes, was so much more relaxing. I was able to move through the poses without thinking of my breath or cues. I was able to listen to the music that I had specifically picked for the flow and to notice how it connected with my poses (for example, while in crow the lyrics of an Iron and Wine song were "flightless bird." I could appreciate that when in the moment). It was also fantastic to have a longer savasana.

Practice 3
Date: Thursday, April 13 11:55a-12:25p (I took advantage of today's late start and did a flow!)
Intention: Regroup after rushing all morning to get errands done and son to sitter before class.
Content: Warm up- sunflowers, Downward Facing Dog, cat-cow, Chaturanga to Downward Facing Dog (5 times), baby cobras (3 times), child's pose, Virabhadrasana I to II (3 times), Virabhadrasana II to straight-legged variation (3 times), forward fold, Chaturanga, Chaturanga Dandasana, Upward Facing Dog, Balasana.
Reflection: It's amazing how a few minutes of "me-time" can help me center and feel refreshed. I had been stressed all morning and practically ran to class to get there on time. Then I realized I wasn't late, and that I had even more time because class would be starting late. It changed my perspective and I realized that stressing about a few minutes lost here and there didn't mean my entire day was shot. I really appreciated having time to go through some poses and literally catch my breath.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Self-Practice Journal, Week 12

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 12
Practice 1
April 3, 8-9p
Intention: Vishudda practice
Content: Seated warm up- gather the breath in easy pose, drop and lift chin slightly, ear to shoulder, shoulder rolls, lateral stretches, seated hip circles, dandasana with roll ups, cat-cow with variations (side-to-side, through child's pose), downward facing dog, forward fold.
Surya Namaskar 3x
Warrior I, cactus arms, tuck chin and bow over lunging leg 5x
Salutation
Warrior I other side, cactus arms, tuck chin and bow over lunging leg 5x
Chair, forward fold, plank to salabhasana (start with legs, then do arms, then full expression)
Child's pose
Ustrasana
Child's pose
Hare pose
Hero's pose on block with forward folds
Child's pose to belly
Prone arm stretch, half-knot
Child's pose to transition to seated
Dandasana, Seated forward fold
Janu Shirshasana
Matsyasana
Legs-up-the-wall (hips on block)
Supine pigeon, spinal twists
Savasana
Reflection: I'm working on being creative and thoughtful with my practices, and not having a physical concern or goal in mind when practicing. This practice gave me the opportunity to experiment with Jalandhara, which is something I haven't done on my own before. It's wonderful to have a fuller experience with yoga that goes beyond just the asana.

Practice 2
April 5, 10-11a
Intention: Apana practice
Content: cat-cow with variations, downward facing dog, Surya Namaskar
Pyramid with bows, 3x
Warrior I with bows, 3x
Forward fold with twist
switch sides
Wide-legged forward fold, with twist
Lunge over left, Warrior III
Wide-legged forward fold, with twist
Lunge over right, Warrior III
Supine pigeon and twist
Sage twist with fold over front leg
Legs-up-the-wall with block
Savasana
Reflection: My body appreciated the forward folds in this practice because I made the mistake of indulging in too much dairy earlier in the week. It helped get things moving!

Practice 3
April 6, 7-7:30p
Intention: Just move my body
Content: Seated warm ups- neck circles, ear to shoulder, wrist rolls, foot massage, dandasana with roll ups, cat-cow, downward facing dog, Surya Namaskar (5x)
Baddha Konasana, janu shirshasana, seated wide-legged-forward fold, virasana on a block, child's pose, supine spinal twists
Savasana

Reflection: It was nice to move at my own regular pace tonight instead of disciplining myself to go slower than I naturally tend to in my practice. Sometimes it's nice to go with my old flow!