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Yoga for Beginners 101: Spring Renewal for Weeks 22-24

Updated on September 29, 2016

Spring Energy

This spring, I’m honing in on my home practice for yoga. I’m getting better with time, patience and practice, every day. It always helps to learn new things in class and to later apply it to my home practice class. Since the sunshine is out, the birds are singing, and the temperatures are warming up with a hint of rain, it’s the perfect time to take it outside with nature and meditate it. Since I don’t have a backyard in my new apartment, I’ll just opening my balcony door to get some fresh air. This April, I’ll be modifying any yoga practice I can if applicable, or retry those I couldn’t do in the fall and/or aim higher with some intermediate challenging poses.

I’ve also hit a milestone in my yoga practice, too. I’ve been doing home practice for five months, along with five months of going to class three times a week. To mark this milestone, it’s been a total of 121 days to be exact. That’s impressive for me, since I’m almost at the halfway point, too. Already I’m feeling good as my back is feeling stronger, too.

Doing the dancer pose, kneeling or standing, is a tricky balancing yoga pose to do for beginners to practice

Doing the camel pose is tricky to do this reverse back bend for beginners

Breaking New Ground in Class

For the Wednesday yoga class, we had the same sub we had last fall. Our class size was a bit smaller than usual with more wiggle room and had two new beginners to join our class. We started out with some deep breath exercises with meditation and did our warm up spine stretches. We started slow with the cat-cow pose and progressed to the downward dog pose, up dog and cobra. We also did the Warrior I and II poses, including the Reverse Warrior Pose, the half Fold and Standing Forward Bend and the Bridge Pose. We also did some new poses that I never done before in class, the Butterfly (I did it in my old Gentle Yoga class last fall including the Half-Butterfly), the Swatting Horse Tail (same deal for Gentle Yoga last fall), the Bed Bug, the Extended Child Pose, and the Reverse Table. Learning some new poses to do is the same old variety that’s the spice of life and modify our yoga routines. We didn’t do any balance poses that night. We ended it with the corpse pose and exhale stretch.

For last Wednesday’s Yoga class, it was pretty much back to normal for class size with a sprinkling of new yogis here and there. We’ve started out the session with meditation and warm-up stretches for the spine for a couple of minutes. We went to the cat-cow stretches, the down dog, the plank, the forward fold and standing forward bend, the lunges, and then did the warrior poses on both sides and the tree pose for balance, followed by the kneeling dancer/arm balance pose. We did learn two new poses to add to the practice, a camel and standing dancer poses, before we ended the session with the corpse pose.

After my five-week hiatus from the Gentle Yoga class, I’ve returned it to it and get ready to do some yoga poses. We started with some stretches on our back and massaged it by rocking our spine back and forth and going in circles. The background music was from an African tribe. From there, we did some spinal stretches to warm up. Then we’ve did this routine a few times: the cat-cow pose, the downward dog, the knee-chest-chin, the cobra, the plank and side plank, the bridge pose a few times with the Warrior poses that followed behind. We’ve added a couple of new poses, like the Crow Pose, The Frog Pose, the Swan Dive, the Goddess pose, and the Reverse Table, the boat pose, and followed by the Corpse Pose in the end.

During this week’s Thursday class, it was pretty packed and had one male yogi. We started out the same way on our backs with the Corpse Poses and the spinal twists and stretches. Then we massaged our backs with the knee rolls back and forth, side to side. Then we gradually went to the cat-cow, the downward dog, the planks, the extended side angle and triangle poses, the bridge and the reverse table poses once again, followed by the Warrior I, II and Reserve Warrior poses. We also did the crescent lunge on both sides, followed by a new pose by walking backwards to our hands. I believe it was the spider pose. We also did the monkey pose, before we stretched our legs again and ended the session with the Corpse pose.

For Friday’s Beginner Yoga class, we had a plenty packed full house for the class with a couple of beginners. We warmed up with some stretches by breathing and stretching and lengthening our spine. And with a slow gradual pace, we did the cat-cow, the downward dog, the plank, the warrior poses, the knee-chest-chin, the plank, and the full moon and revolved half moon poses with the boat pose with or without the blocks and massaged our backs by rolling up and down a few times. We did one star jump, the awkward chair/Eagle poses, the bound angle pose, and the arm balance/kneeling dancer pose, and learned two new poses towards the end of the class; the wheel and the legs up the wall poses, {instead of the corpse pose}, which you would need two blocks and the wall for them. (I’ve did them on my own last fall).

During yesterday’s Friday yoga session, it was a normal-sized class with a mix of dance mixes in the background. We started out with some shoulder shrugs and spine stretches to warm our bodies up from head to toe. From the full twist, we’ve worked our way to the cat-cow stretch, down dog, the reverse table, the forward fold, the seated wide-legged straddle and seated forward fold, and the standing forward bend, and the goddess pose and the monkey pose as well. We’ were seated to do the highway pose, (like I’ve done in Stretch-lates and Yoga-lates class this week), the knee-chest-chin pose with the cobra pose, and a few lunges on both sides with the child’s and extended child’s pose, the Warrior One and Two Poses with the Reserve Warrior, the extended Side Angle and Triangle Pose, the high and low clam poses, before we’ve finished with the Bed Bug, half-Camel pose, and the Corpse Pose. A few times, we’ve rolled on our backs and shook our legs and ankles.

Give a Yoga-lates class a try to get the best of both worlds of Yoga poses with Pilates exercises

Fusion class poll

Would you try either one of these fusion classes?

See results

Trying out Stretch-lates and Yoga-lates

Last week, I’ve started my first Stretch-lates class. Stretch-lates is a fusion class of stretches and Pilates exercises. We had an average-sized female class of middle-aged to senior citizens with a mixed ranged of music in the background from classics to today’s music. We’ve started out with doing a half twist to our bodies and then swung our arms back and forth in opposite directions. The stretches we’ve done were the Warrior Two and Reserve Warrior Poses, the downward dog, the cat-cow pose, the bridge pose, and spinal twists and stretches with her legs. We’ve used three-looped strap for our prop for three exercises. We did one called frog legs, when we’ve placed our feet onto the bottom loops and propelled our legs up and spread them apart a few times with our bent knees. Then we did one, when we moved our feet to the middle loop, when we’ve held onto the strap and moved our legs upward, outward, inward and downward a few times, too. The last strap exercise we’ve done was moving our hands up the strap and placing our feet to the top loop to pull our leg outward in a spinal twist. We’ve also shook her legs and used our feet as windshield wipers on the mat to go back and forth with the roll on our backs. We’ve done the corpse pose and exhale stretches in the end.

This week, it was another invigorating Stretch-lates session with the same-sized all-female class. We did the half torso twist by swinging her arms around and squatting down a few times. We did the warrior two-reaching pose on both sides and did some spinal twists by standing. For the straps, we’ve did two new exercises. We’ve placed it behind our backs and turned our backs like doing the saw back and forth. Then we’ve reached in front of us, raised them in the arms and lowered them down, a few times. We also did the hitchhiker pose, when we’ve sat down and guided our hand to the horizon and brought them back for both sides. We’ve also did a knee-arm leg balance as last week, when we’ve lifted our toes up an inch and tapped a few times. We also did the chair-plane pose to stretch out our back. We shook our legs and did the windshield wipers, before we did a couple of other exercises as well. We’ve also did the bridge pose towards the end, before we rolled on our backs.

As for Yoga-lates, when I attended my first two classes, it was a slower version of doing both yoga poses and Pilates exercises. For Yoga-lates, it’s a fusion class of both yoga and Pilates at the same time, (or Pi-yo for short). We started out on our backs, the same way for Stretch-lates, and stretched our backs with some spinal twists and turms. The class size was packed and all females, while the music was easy lightening and rock for the background. We’ve did the same yoga daily stretch routine of cat-cow, downward dog, plank, the Warrior Poses, leg stretches with pointing and flexing our feet, and added these Pilates exercises: side plank, side sashay, double leg lowers with one and two taps, the 100, the chest lift, the saw and spine twist and the chair-plane pose, the seated highway pose, the bed bug, the reverse table and bridge poses. We ended with the corpse pose, too.


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    • Kristen Howe profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Howe 

      5 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Hi Nell. It's never too late to learn. I'm learning new poses every class to kick it up a notch a bit. Thanks for stopping by this weekend.

    • Kristen Howe profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Howe 

      5 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Hi Alicia. Pretty much both, though due to sore knees, I'm holding off on my home practice for a bit. Anything to help my back pain.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I enjoy yoga, although I don't do it as regularly as I should. Thanks for sharing your experience, Kristen. It sounds like you're enjoying both yoga and Pilates!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      5 years ago from England

      Interesting stuff, I keep meaning to go to a lesson but stop myself, it sounds so good, love the names of the yoga positions, I would have to learn them all! lol!

    • Kristen Howe profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Howe 

      5 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Good for you Billy. I love yoga too. Good philosophy. Thanks for stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Interesting as always, Kristen. I do yoga and love it....I have to do something with this old body or just accept old age, and I refuse to do that. :)

    • Kristen Howe profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Howe 

      5 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      You're very welcome Patricia. I'm not seeing in on my side for preview these days. At least you're seeing it. Good luck! I'm heading out to my next yoga class in a tiny bit.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      5 years ago from North Central Florida

      thank you for sharing the 'names' of the yoga positions that you shared. I am getting ready to begin...

      Angels are on the way to you this afternoon. ps


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