I've made a few posts about the meditative and spiritual aspects of yoga, but what about the physical? Well Stacy is definitely helping me to develop my muscles. I got some triceps coming in! Here are some photos:
High crescent lunge: When I started yoga, I couldn't do this move with the right foot back, because I had broken my toe shortly after starting my yoga practice. So glad I can do it now! The alternative is a low crescent lunge where the knee comes to the mat.
Half moon: some days, this is just not a good one for me. I usually have to use a block under the hand at the bottom. I'm surprised I was able to hold this long enough for the picture. LOL! I probably fell out like a ninja right after the flash went off.
Down dog: this is a pose a lot of people are familiar with. When you first start doing yoga this may seem like a pose that takes a lot of work, but after a while you'll come to appreciate it as a resting pose. :)
Dancer: In this pose, you start out with the leg bent and the opposite arm up in the air. You reach back and grab your ankle, and then slowly bend forward. You really have to find a focus point so that you don't fall over.
Crow/Crane: This is one of my favorite poses. I think because I can vividly remember crashing and burning the first time I tried it. I was up for all of one second - if that. Then bam! Hit the mat. LOL! Sometimes after holding this for 5 breaths, we will kick out into a high push up. That took me a minute to learn as well. I had the bruised knee to prove it. :)
Tripod: I have an easier time going into this pose from crow...but I'm sure there are folks who can just get right into it with no issue. The next step from here is to try to use my abs to get my legs up into the air for a headstand. I've tried...I can get them up, but then I roll right over like a weeble-wobble. FAIL! LOL!
Chair pose, with an extra kick: up on the toes! Always have to keep it interesting!
Bow: not my favorite...it's hard for me to keep my knees in close, and I can't lift very high, but it's a work in progress!
Canoe pose: It works the abs. We lower our torso and legs and hold, then bring them back up and hold. Rinse, repeat. Whoo!
Crescent twist: after getting into the aforementioned crescent lunge, we may hold for one or two breaths before twisting and holding.
Warrior 3 aka Airplane: We were trying to do this in class the other day, but instead of prayer hands, we had our hands out to the side...like the wings of an airplane. Then we were supposed to move our arms down/together, and then back up. I couldn't hold my balance and was apparently flailing everywhere...which sent my classmate Kiesha into a fit of laughter...gotta love 5:30am yoga!
Triangle: This is actually a triangle with a twist. If this were a regular triangle I would have had my left hand on my left shin, and my right arm straight up in the air (I'd have been facing the camera). Twists are good for the spine, so I don't mind doing them.
Toe hold: Some days, I have to use a strap for this. Especially after I've already been in class for 20 -30 minutes working. It's something else to try and muster balance that early in the morning. LOL!
Three point: We will usually go into this and then bring our leg down and through to the top of the mat, to get into a warrior pose. For some reason, I didn't taken any Warrior 1/Warrior 2 poses.
Wheel: Sometimes we used to do this in high school, as part of track practice. I never knew it was a yoga move. Go figure! And lemme tell you, it was much easier at age 18. LOL! The first time I tried this with Stacy, it was all I could do just to lift myself up. Now, I can get up there pretty easily, so we may hold for 5-10 breaths.
Supported wheel: When coming into wheel, we push up and first rest on the crown of our heads. But if you're comfy there, you can stay there by bringing the hands behind the head and clasping them, and bringing the elbows in. The idea is to rest on your forearms, not your head. This also took some getting use to, but I'm much better at it now. Especially when my mat cooperates and my feet aren't sliding!
Supported wheel with leg up: This one here? I thought Stacy was CRAZY when she introduced this. I was just trying to get used to being in wheel, and now she's talking about bringing a leg up? What?!? It really requires focus and a mind-body connection. In the beginning, my mind was telling my leg to go up, but my leg surely was NOT listening. I could get my knee up for a few seconds, and then right back down. I can't tell you how happy I am that (on a good day) I can get my leg up there. Whoo hoo!
Happy Baby: This is one of several inversion poses - feet are up above the heart. We always come into an inversion at the end of class, before going into savasana. I usually chose this one.
So, that's what I've been doing! We don't do every pose in every class. It depends on what we're focusing on for that week. I am really loving yoga. I love learning new things, and challenging my body to do new things. I especially love that I'm achieving it at THIS size. Curvy girls most definitely CAN do yoga!