Running · Yoga

November Yoga Challenge

Before I get into things I need to brag a little. I had one of the most productive weekends at home on record. This productivity included cleaning out my drawers and closet, the top and floor of it as well, filling documents, paying bills and vacuuming the entire house while moving furniture around. I’m not sure what caused it but the motivation hit Saturday afternoon and refused to dissipate until nearly midnight. While I adore sleep, I can’t help but take advantage of those rare moments of motivation, as they’re few and far between.

When you work from home for a living, you typically rotate the same types of clothing and even articles, week to week. This usually looks something like… pajamas, sweat pants, yoga clothes, running clothes, jeans and a t-shirt – you get the drift…Considering I worked in an office setting for the first 6 years of my career, I’m not at a loss for business casual clothing. It’s difficult walking into my closet each day and seeing those beautiful, expensive clothes sitting and gathering dust. I’m confident I won’t always work from home, so aside from a casual purge of clothes that never really fit well in the first place, I refuse to let them go. Anyway, in this purge in particular, I finally let go of clothes I may have worn to parties, clubs, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I prefer to dress to the nines when I leave the house for a social gathering, but my idea of what that looks like has changed drastically over the last few years. Low, backless tops with tiny straps, don’t really cut it when you’re closing in on 30. I’ve really noticed my wardrobe and taste in clothes becoming more sophisticated and mature over the last year, and I admit, I’m a fan but my wallet is not.

For the month of November, I’m going to take part in a 30-day yoga challenge. I hope this will get me back on a schedule where I post each day on my blog.. but we’ll see how it goes! I gave this challenge – one with a different focus – a shot back in August. But after 11 or 12 days, I became tired of seeing myself all over my Instagram feed and stopped participating.

image

The November challenge is healing hearts, and each pose focuses on opening your shoulders and chest and the organs that correspond to those part of the body.

Day 1

I appreciate that this challenge, like all challenges I’ve seen with this group, starts simple. The first pose of the series is Downward Facing Dog. While this is a recovery pose, it’s important to keep all five fingers and all five toes activated, pressing equally into the ground, and ‘pressing’ your chest up and back into your thighs. This allows your body to reach that beautiful V shape seen in the photo above.

photo 1
My Downward Facing Dog, in front of the fireplace on this cold mountain evening

Day 2

Day 2 of the challenge is Cobra or Bhujangasana. I did this pose incorrectly for many years, simply because the yoga instructors I practiced under didn’t ever verbalize this as an active pose. I recently took a ‘playshop’ where I worked on stretches and movements to improve my wheel and back bends. During this playshop, the instructor noted that a few of us looked flat and limp in the pose, rather than active and pulled up. It was if the stars aligned at that moment, and the pose suddenly went from just a pose, to a beneficial stretch and transition. It’s just as important to keep your feet pressing to the ground, as it is to have strength in your hands and arms. Similar to Downward Facing Dog, there is also an active pressing of your shoulders up and back, allowing your shoulder blades to press down and in.

photo 2
Cobra

Cheers to a beautiful week everyone. Do something kind for one another!

-S

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