Backward-bending Arm Balance

It was a lovely core day yesterday. Part of me is very thankful for my students that were in class because I needed it. I told them not to curse my name and so far no calls…yet! Lol On my morning off, I caught up on sleep and started cleaning my house. My furry monsters are everywhere! If you like black clothes, don’t come to my house except the day after cleaning day. Both my fur babies have tan hair and love up on anyone with black clothes! 😊 If you could only see my clothes in this pose, they are all over it as I didn’t clean before the picture, but after!

Scorpion has always been a pose I can’t wait until I have the right amount of strength (and guts) to practice in the middle of the room. I can hold it well enough once I’m in it but the security of the door/wall behind me is very comforting. This is a cross between forearm headstand and the pose we are practicing tomorrow. So I will leave that right there.

Today’s pose: Vrschikasana- Scorpion pose- start off against a wall or door for the first few times at least. Place your forearms on the floor and kick your legs up as with forearm handstand. Engage your core as you start to bend your knees and bring your feet to the back of your head. They don’t have to reach or touch. They hang right above you. Stay here for a few breaths. Then slowly bring your legs back down.

What this pose works: triceps brachii, deltoid, rectus abdominis, rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, and the psoas major muscles.

A Little Help From the Birthday Girl

Only 7 poses left to do!

Today is a very happy day. It is my little sisters birthday! You, my readers, get the extreme privilege of seeing her for the first time in my blog picture as she holds my feet. Sorry to say but I did not master this pose before I had to perform this one. I’ve tried my hardest but I don’t have the core strength to make it happen. Regular handstands I can do all day but not forearm ones. I think it might also be my bad shoulder that prevents me from completing this one. Also I took down my 9 foot tree and carried a ton of boxes downstairs with my Christmas decorations in them. But today you get to see that I’m human and some poses require assistance.

This is called the feathered peacock pose. Anytime you want to practice a pose and aren’t 100% sure about something its always ok to have someone hold you up so you can get a feel for the pose. This is one where I needed help. You can also use a door or wall to help you.

Today’s pose: pincha mayurasana- feathered peacock pose- start off with your forearms on the floor and kick your legs into the air. Stay here for a few breaths. Use a wall, door, or another person to help you if you need it.

What this pose works: Triceps brachii, pectineus, adductor longus, Gracilis, iliacus, psoas major, diaphragm, quadriceps, rectus abdominis, deltoid, pronators, hamstrings, gluteus Maximus, and serratus anterior.

Handstands on a Rainy Day

A very rainy day here in Illinois.  I’m beginning to think that the calendar is wrong.  We had our cold and snow back in November and now 40’s and rain in late December.  It feels so strange that New Years Day is less then a week now and this is our weather.  It feels so much like spring that I cannot wait until I get my house back together. I usually take down Christmas decorations on New Years Day. A few of my neighbors have already turned their lights off.  I think that is too early.  Most people, like me, have multiple Christmas gatherings and haven’t had Christmas with everyone yet.  This Saturday is Christmas with my Dad.  At my store and restaurant, I am still playing Christmas music.  Not ready to give it up yet. 

Todays pose is an experiential pose.  It is our own experience. Our pose. We can make of it what we can do.  You can try it out and play with it.  They say to start off by practicing handstand rocks.  That is where you practicing going into a handstand without the feet both going up in the air at the same time.  The other thing you need to do is practice this against a wall or door.  I love to practice handstands but I have to say I was a little afraid of doing a handstand in the middle of my jewelry store with all those showcases.  I can sometimes control what I am doing but with the fear of falling into the glass, I wasn’t as stable as I should have been and can be.

Todays Pose: Adho Mukha Vrksasana- Downward-facing tree pose- Start off on your feet.  Spot where you want your hands to go and place your hands on the floor.  If a full handstand is out of the question, try pushing yourself up for a moment and then coming back down.  Once you are up in the air, breathe the entire time.  Slowly come back out of it by bringing your feet back to the ground.

What this pose works: rectus abdominis, triceps brachii, pronators, spinal extensors, psoas major, gluteus maximus, latissimus dorsi, trapezius, deltoid, internal oblique, external oblique, and the flexor carpi radialis muscles.