I would love to know who decides which poses are “beginner” and which are “intermediate.” How is something classified as level 1 vs. level 2? Was that person more flexible than I am? Do I just find inversions easy because I have good balance but other postures hard because I have zero core strength? Yoga is such an amazing practice in that it is different for everyone and never ending in its challenges. As always, I am interested in the detoxifying properties of each of the postures in this challenge. But in researching them, I also looked at how difficult they are “supposed” to be. And couldn’t help but wonder how these decisions were made. Because some just seem insane to me!
Day 24: Bharadvajasana massages the abdominal organs and as such, improves digestion. Yoga Journal lists it as a level one pose however, I think that would depend on where you place your feet and whether or not you choose to take a bind. Kino MacGregor calls it an intermediate twisting pose – offering different options in her video. It is one of those postures that looks simple enough but is actually quite challenging.
Day 25: Same with Marichyasana C – which helps with things like constipation and other digestive issues in that it massages the internal organs, including the liver and kidneys. Depending on which variation you choose to go with, it can be seen as a beginner twisting posture or one that is quite challenging. I had to go with the basic version but will work towards the bind. Practice and all is coming.
Day 26: Compass pose is seen as a challenge pose but as I am quite flexible, it is easier for me than Marichyasana C. The twisting and compression stimulates digestion and cleans up the organs. The pose is such an amazing hip opener and it just makes me so joyful in its full expression. It’s like I instantly feel the detoxification and the fresh blood just rushes to my heart, making me super happy. Or something like that. Maybe it’s just pride?
Day 27: Kapotasana or king pigeon pose brings me back down to earth. While I can get deeper in to the posture than some, I really need to work on arching my back more. The posture stimulates organs of the abdomen and challenges me every time I attempt it.
Day 28: Boat Pose exposes my need for core work. Seen as a level one posture it was the hardest for me this week. I need to work on it though as it has many benefits: strengthening the abdomen, hip flexors, and spine, it also stimulates the kidneys, thyroid and prostate glands, and intestines. Boat pose helps relieve stress and improves digestion. And it doesn’t allow me to hide behind my natural flexibility. Damn you, boat pose.
Day 29: Paschimattanasana or forward fold is normally done on the floor but was presented in this challenge as a balancing pose and it was fun to try that way. As with all of the postures in this challenge, it massages the abdominal organs and stimulating circulation and digestion. Doing it as a balancing pose forced me to engage my core even more than when done on the floor. I love these challenges because they make me look at poses that I have done a million times in a new way.
Day 30: Utkatasana or Chair Pose stimulates the abdominal organs. Adding a twist, as I did, helps deepen the compression – massaging the upper and lower intestines. It is seen as a level one pose but it has so many variations, I would disagree with that classification. The Bikram variations, for example – called Awkward Pose – will challenge anyone.
And with that, this challenge comes to an end. The next one I am doing looks at what would be considered some beginner poses. I am super excited for it as it is always good to go back to basics and really refine your alignment.