It is Day 24/30 of the Yoga Challenge.
I have completed 23 days of classes so far and tonight will be 24 with Alexis' 8pm candlelight flow. Just a few more days until Sunday when I can say that I successfully completed 30 days of yoga. I'm glad it's ending on Sunday because that is my 2 class day where I first take a vinyasa flow and then follow it up with a relax deeply/restorative class. I always feel ready for the week after those classes and since my job is ending on Friday I need to be ready to tackle whatever might happen next week.
So much has happened since day 1.
I began the process, you might remember, with a pulled rib muscle. It was one of the most annoying injuries as it made sharp pain shoot through my side in almost any asana. Eventually though, that faded away. These past two weeks I have had to deal with my bursitis in both hips and my shoulder blade. The hip pain is annoying, but honestly I'm pretty used to it by now. The back pain, however, feels like I'm being stabbed in the lungs every time I breath in. Throughout my day I can usually ignore it, but in yoga class when we focus on our breath it screams out for attention.
Injuries and pain aside, I am so ready to delve deeper in my fourth week. Each week it seems that something new has come up for me to explore. Something to think about, to meditate on. Last week, one of my teachers said that for her a challenge is to pull back and take it easy when her body is telling her to. That has always been one of my problems in yoga. When a teacher suggests that advanced students try an arm bind, I do an arm bind, regardless of how tired my arms are. Since the end of the first week every one of my muscles has been tight and achy. Without a rest it seems that I'm pushing them to their limits. The other day in an arm balance my arm shook uncontrollably and I was sure I was going to fall. Luckily, when the teacher said that in class the other day, I realized it has been true for me too. Therefore, throughout the 30 day yoga challenge I've tried to listen to my body and allow it to rest in downward facing dog or child's pose when I felt I needed to.
Child's pose (balasana) is the ultimate resting pose. While downward facing dog (adho mukha svanasana) is eventually a resting pose for people who practice often, child's is one that anyone can get into and feel comfortable right away. All there is to do is to sit back on your heels, feet touching, separate the knees, and lower your torso down to the space in-between the knees. Arms may be stretched our in front of you or pulled back alongside the body with palms facing upward.
In my restoratives class with the lights off and candles lit we often stay in child's pose with a pillow or bolster under our torso for ten minutes.
|balasana, arms back|
|balasana, with supportive pillows|
Another great asana is to flip the pose. Put the bolster behind you, underneath your back, and leave the legs out, soles of the feet touching each other. That's probably my favorite.