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Yoga for Beginners 101: Springing_Forward for Weeks 18-21
Learning how to do the crow pose to elevate your yoga practice
Last month, I’ve passed on going to my Wednesday, Thursday and Friday Yoga for Beginners/Gentle Yoga classes at the gym, due to cold freezing weather and tons of pouring snow. But that didn’t deter me from doing my yoga home practice. Although I didn’t do any On Demand video watching, since I was pretty much busy, I stayed true to the word and continued to do my Yoga home practice. It really did warm me up last month. I’ve finished the Yoga Journal’s beginner poses from the website and ventured on my own by taking a breather or two by not adding an additional pose. I did take a quick break from it, since I had fatigue and a nasty cold, before I added the intermediate level’s yoga poses, (the same ones that were mentioned in About.com’s Quickstart Guide last fall. So I’ve learned and grew by doing those sequences and poses by practice regularly every week, around the same time period. I’ve even changed the time I’ve practice from afternoon/evening to early morning, an hour after a wake up. (Except for Wednesdays, when I have to get ready to volunteer every morning, it would be bumped to early afternoon, and when I do Water Aerobics/Hydro Pilates in the mornings, it would be bumped to late morning or early afternoon to fit it in. I’ve even gotten better with meditation, breathing, and balancing on the tree pose.
Truth be told, time and practice would make you a better yogi in yoga practice For example, the daily stretch routine originally took me ten to fifteen minutes, when I now have it down pat to ten minutes tops with easy flowing yoga. For the longer routines that took me about a half-hour, it now takes me half the time at fifteen to ten minutes tops. (And when I returned back to class this week, I’ll keep my yoga time schedule consistent to do it before practice at the gym.)
Mastering the modified tree pose takes practice and patience
Tree pose poll
Have you mastered the tree pose in yoga class?
Doing the eagle pose is a tricky balancing pose in yoga
Breaking New Ground in Class
After a month off, I’ve returned to both of my Beginner Yoga classes this week. Due to inclement weather, I had to pass on Gentle Yoga and return to class next week. Though the class size was back to normal, we had plenty to learn in class and picked up the pace a tiny bit with a more floating flow on how to do those sequences. We started off with meditation and stretches for our back. Since there were no beginners this time around, we went right into the daily stretch routine and did the Sun Salutations four times with varied breaths from four breaths to one for the last. As for the balancing poses, I did get a bit better with the tree pose, but still have trouble focusing on an inanimate object in the room. But we did learn new poses, some I’ve already tried and done before at home, last fall. From the leg and arm balance, it was no problem for me to reach for my foot to do the kneeling dancer pose on both sides. But we did the plow pose and the shoulder stand, both poses at the intermediate level, that I’ve failed to do at home, and came close to doing in a class. Since my yoga instructor won’t be there next week, we’ve been having the same fill-in instructor from last fall to teach the class. (She also teaches Stretch-lates on Monday mornings and Yoga-lates (aka Pi-Yo) on Friday mornings.)
When I returned to yesterday’s Friday Beginner Yoga class, the class size was bit fuller and back to normal with a few new beginner yogis. We’ve started class with the stretches for the back and went to do our daily stretch routine with the sun salutations in a flow of lunge, forward fold, plank, knee-chest-chin, cobra, up dog and down dog a few times. We’ve added the warrior poses to do a few rounds with a star of jumping back and forth in a slow flowing pace. We worked on the tree pose, when she showed us how to master it by locking our feet in at home and at class with the wall. She showed me how and was proud on how far I’ve come, since last December/January classes, when I haven’t been able to get it this far. (I’ve managed to do it at home, this morning!) We worked on the eagle pose, another pose I”m getting closer to accomplish, the knee-arm balance and turning it to the kneeling dancer pose for both legs, too.) Other new poses we learned to do was the half moon pose, (I can do it pretty close with an invisible block on both sides), the crow pose, the fish pose, the frog pose (since we squatted), the boat pose (which was nothing new), and did some balancing poses on the block. I’m really getting the hang of doing yoga at home and at class. (In two weeks, my instructor will be away from class, when we have two subs to fill in—one for next Wednesday’s class, and a new one at the end of the month, when she might’ve subbed in for my instructor, back in late January.)
Since spring’s around the corner, I’ll be attending my first Stretch-lates and Yoga-lates classes next week. It would be a new feature to my yoga hubs every weekend, starting in two weeks.
Yoga foam blocks are handy for hard to reach poses
Winter home practice for yoga
Did you do any home practice this winter for yoga?
Fresh New Start for the New Year
On much happier news, I had my six-month follow-up visit with my Neurologist, three weeks ago. All around good news for me. My back pain have decreased and had been minimal. My last round of X-rays showed no signs of Scoliosis from my past and looks good. Overall, that means for me, no more visits at my neurologist’s office, no more X-rays, and hopefully no more flare-ups and reoccurrences of back pain. With my clean bill of health, as long as I stay active with Yoga, (and maybe even with Yoga-lates and/or Stretch-lates) and Swimming, no more back pain for me.
Overall, I know that with more time, practice, and patience, I would master some more poses, even in the intermediate level. And you can too as beginner yogis!