November 27, 2012 · 10:39 pm
I’ve made it to the half-way point of my 30-Day Challenge! Already I feel a million times better than I did on Day 1 (that is a technical measurement). Now that my practice is pretty much back to where it used to be, I feel as though I can finally get back to goals that I had set for myself a while back. One of those goals was to attain a full Hanumanasana, or split pose.
Not me…my hair is curly…
Since I have been noticing greater flexibility in my hammies, I decided to choose a practice that would stretch and lengthen my hip flexors, which are extremely important factor in whether or not you can do Hanumanasana. I chose Lunging into Freedom from Yoga Today. It is a shorter practice, and feels even shorter because she includes a guided savasana in there (often they will lead you into savasana and then advise you to stay for 5-10 minutes) but man, was it effective. Some of the lunges (including lizard pose) were extremely intense and had me focusing on my breath to get through them. Yet, unlike some hip-focused classes, this one was quite balanced, with plenty of vinyasas to get in a bit of upper body strengthening and bridge poses to clear the hips after the deep lunging. Next up, I’ll choose a class that includes Hanumanasana to see if I’ve made any progress!
Yoga Snax Remix: Remember this scrumptious treat that I wrote about last year? Well I was really in the mood for some avocado toast today, so I made quick work of toasting some good 7-grain bread and mashing a perfectly ripe avocado…only to realize I didn’t have any lemons or limes! It crossed my mind to just salt the avo and put it on the bread, but that seemed boring. I scanned my kitchen cabinets, saw the balsamic vinegar and was reminded of the awesome bruschetta I shared with my best friend last week at Eataly. So with that inspiration, I drizzled a little balsamic over the avocado-blanketed toast (rather than mixing it in with the avocado like I would the lemon–a little balsamic goes a long way, trust me) and I have to say–it was pretty delicious. Creamy avocado mixed with a little salt was nicely complimented by the sweet balsamic. Give it a try some time!
Filed under Avocado Toast, Food, Goals, Recipes, Yoga
Tagged as 30-day Challenge, avocado, food, hanumanasana, healthy-living, hip-openers, splits, yoga, yoga today
November 15, 2012 · 4:53 pm
Remember yesterday when I said I was going to get up for my roommate’s 7am vinyasa flow this morning? Well, that didn’t happen. I couldn’t quite get my act together so early in the morning, especially since I would have had to leave straight from the studio to go to the hospital where I teach yoga in the Pediatric department to renew my “volunteer” status (I use quotations marks because, as I talked about in this post, I am sponsored by the wonderful Starlight Children’s Foundation).
However, the wonderful thing about yoga is that it not only improves your physical flexibility on the mat, but also helps you to be flexible in your every day life. The fact that I didn’t make it to the studio was not an invitation to beat myself up over it; after all, my practiced hadn’t been sacrificed, just changed. Instead, I pressed snooze two extra times (my best friend will tell you that’s quite an improvement from college), got up, grabbed my laptop and rolled out my mat in my living room. In just a few clicks, I’d found my favorite g0-to quick practice from Yoga Today, which I actually access through YouTube: Adi’s Primary Series Express. Though I definitely prefer at least a full hour of practice, if not more, this is a really well-rounded class to do when you are pressed for time.
The Primary Series Express is a shortened version of the 90-minute Primary Series of Ashtanga yoga. Ashtanga is a really powerful style of yoga that incorporates a lot of push ups and lift ups and jump throughs, of which the latter two I am still working on. In case you aren’t sure what a lift up or a jump through look like, you can see examples here and here. And no, it is not lost on me how ridiculously easy both of these yogis make it look.
Aside from a mat, yoga blocks are probably the best investment you can make for your practice–they are extremely versatile and can bring your yoga experience to a whole new level!
Oh sure, Michael Taylor, I will just bend my knees a few extra times and take a big deep breath to warm up and then I will lift myself up light as a feather. No problem. Except…that advice kind of helped me. You see, recently when I practiced my jump through (using blocks under my hands of course!) I would end up majorly stubbing a toe or falling over completely. This was strange only because I used to be able to do it (again, WITH blocks!) without much of a problem. Something was getting in my head and I wasn’t sure what it was. So today, after watching (…and scoffing) at these two videos, I gave it another go, taking some deep breaths before and voilà! My legs were through. It wasn’t pretty, but I got there, and now I can continue moving forward. Which just shows how powerful taking a deep breath and focusing on the task at hand can be; it’s something I tell Charles all the time during school, but clearly need to work on myself.
What’s a pose that has been challenging to you?