Bringing Flexy Back Challenge (Part One)

I have been focusing on my handstand practice for almost a year now but I try to pepper in a different challenge from time to time.  Hosted by some of my favorite Instagram yogis, I decided to give this one a try.

For days one through three, I did something I never have before – posted a video. It seemed that Garland Pose, Wide Legged Forward Fold and Dolphin Pose went together so nicely.  And I will take any excuse to pop up in to a headstand!  Yoga is also such a fluid practice, it’s a shame to just show a pose on its own when I almost always at least work through chaturanga before getting in to the posture at hand.  I really enjoyed putting the four postures together and will try to do the same in challenges to come.

Day four was Camel Pose which I have to say has always been a favorite for me.  It is such a beautiful heart opener.  If I find myself not looking forward to it in Bikram, I know it is because I am going through a tough time, and this posture is going to make it impossible for me to hide.  It’s also one of those postures where I feel like the full expression is actually easier than going half way.  So if you think you’re close, ask a friend you trust to help you with a very gentle stretch

Day five asked for a low lunge which is such a lovely stretch and is honestly much harder than high lunge.  There is something about tapping the back knee down that makes me need to engage my core that much more in order to keep my balance.  Of course, Yoga Journal still lists this as a level one posture.  But I’ll try to forget about that as a fall out of the posture.

There are some poses that you just feel are forever going to be out of reach for you.  Firefly Pose (day six) is that one for me.  I normally give an idea of what I am doing, or tried to do to get in to a posture.  But for me, this one is a lot of fumbling and laughing.  And as such, I present the lovely Kathryn Budig.  And will keep on trying.  In private.

Day seven asked for Cow Faced Pose.  This is one of those poses where I always focus on the wrong thing.  I need to remember that my feet don’t need to come anywhere close to my bum.  It is easiest if you start on your hands and knees in table position, then cross the right leg in front of the left, and use your arms to support you as you slowly lower your hips to the floor. Try to reach your left fingers between the shoulder blades and your right hand around the back to grasp the left fingers. I write TRY because I can not do this with my left arm on top while it’s easy as pie with my right arm on top.  So listen to your body and work with what you have.

Day eight was bow pose – seen above.  Oh, how I hate this pose with all I have.  I have heard that the pose you dread is the one you need the most.  I must need this posture more than anything ever in the history of the world.  I count the postures coming up to it in Bikram.  I consider Child’s Pose whenever it is called for in a vinyasa class.  But I honestly think that if I got out of my own head and remembered to use my thighs to get my legs up off the floor instead of yanking on my feet with all I have, I might improve.  My kids can do it without issue!

Tune in next week for part two of the challenge.




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