In March I learned that I am addicted to yoga challenges. The first one I ever did was in January – loved it. Did one in February – samesies. But then March came and the people who hosted the other two were doing a challenge around handstands, which I’m just not ready to add to my practice. So I thought – I can skip a month. Apparently not! I ended up doing two short challenges. And am participating in another month-long challenge for April.
I liked this challenge because each pose was offered with something we should think about while in the posture. Or use as a way to choose the variation of the posture being requested. It allowed for another aspect of yoga to come in to the challenge which was nice. And a reminder that yoga isn’t all about asana. It is, perhaps, all about that base (no treble). Still with me? Here we go…
Day One started the challenge with a request for a seated pose in which you can find stillness. It is next to impossible for me to find stillness in my life – hence the fierceness with which I guard my (almost) daily practice. Yoga classes are my way of coming back to myself. Of allowing myself an hour without requests, without demands. Or, in this case, five such seconds.
Day Two had us in a pose that makes you feel grounded – can’t think of anything better than tree pose. And the fact that my little squirrel can do it with ease? Lovely. My kids knock me down to earth every day. And then build me back up again.
Day Three brought with it a pose that you can “let go” and release in to – for me that is a wide legged forward fold. I am flexible and this allows me to showcase that ability – and then some. But we were also asked to THINK about letting go – something that I need to work on. A lot.
Day Four asked for a pose that demonstrates gratitude. Instead, I did a pose with someone who fills me with gratitude – my lovely daughter. She does yoga at school so when I asked for a downward-facing dog she did it! My fabulous small rabbit.
Day Five came looking for a heart opener and my favorite is Camel Pose. I love the give and take, the push and pull. And we spend so much time hunched over desks and phones it’s nice to open yourself up to a deep backbend. Yummy.
Day Six brought with it a pose that demonstrates strength and ease – so naturally I went with a Warrior pose (reverse warrior in this case). I love the entire warrior series, as I have mentioned many a time. I could honestly chill in warrior II for half an hour. I love the physical strength and mental ease it offers.
Day Seven was about balancing life’s priorities. I went with a Lolasana and a glass of wine, in that order. This was one of the harder requests – I blame my iPhone. It’s nice to always be available for work (in that I can work from home when necessary) but not so nice when it means that I answer emails while giving my kids a bath. This idea needs some love.
Day Eight asked for a posture that helps you be more open to love. Could not have been more perfect – my friend and I did Wheel Pose after an especially great Flywheel class (wrote a post about it!)
Day Nine asked for a seated twisting pose and thoughts around letting go of negativity. I went with Compass Pose – which I first tried during an earlier challenge. I do a pretty good job of letting go of people who are negative. I need to work on letting go of my own negative thoughts.
Day Ten, the final day, asked for an inversion and thoughts on changing perspective. I decided to go with a headstand because I love them and could hold the posture long enough to allow for my friend/photographer to decide which variation she wanted me to do. Allowing her to take control was my way of changing perspective. I am (admittedly) quite controlling.
Anyway, it was fun. And actually needed – the last few days have been tough.