Sunday, November 13, 2011


If you are a regular reader of this blog you remember my residence to hanumanasana (splits) and my dedication to practicing the dreaded slits pose until it no longer remains my least favorite pose. This strategy may sound a bit weird for you but it has worked for me in the past. I have done this in the past taking my least favorite poses and practicing them until they become doable maybe even enjoyable. Poses that have made the transition include virabadrasana three (had to practice kidney and pelvic loop), handstand (had to practice good foundation of hands/arms, kidney loop, trust), parvrita trikonasana (had to work on foundation of feet, side body long, attitude).

 My current mission has been hanumanasana. For about 2 months I have been working hanuman every day here is a typical practice. I have been warming up through standing poses that help wake up the hamstrings: pasvotonasana, trikonsasana, ardha chandrasana + chapasana, urdhva prasarita eka padasana (standing splits) + chapasana. After my warm ups I move to the wall.  At the wall I do some handstand work, maybe some forearm balance work, then I move into quad work (can you say "ahhhhh") I put one shin against the wall and the knee at the baseboard as I swing the other foot forward into a low lunge variation, I work my butt toward my heel, after a few minutes I bring my hips lower and reach my arms up (while maintaining my back thigh bone integrated to the back body), then after a few mins I do ardha hanumanasana, then after a few mins a I do a variation of pigeon. All of this happens with the same shin up the wall. To release from this I work the same back foot up the wall and do a variation of splits up the wall, then I press my lifted for into the wall and I draw my lower leg toward my face and come into a handstand variation. After that I switch sides and repeat. Next I move into a ardha hanumansana (1/2 splits) on the first side, I place my back foot on the baseboard with my back knee on a blanket (preferably on a hard floor for easy sliding). Then I press out towards full hanumnasa (splits). In my opinion once your hips are hoovering below 6  inches off the floor I think it becomes a mind game. For 2 years I practiced splits regularly and could get pretty low but there still remained a big gap between my hips and the floor. I soon learned this was a mental gap. It was my mind yell "Oh hell no, I cant get my hips any lower then this". But I found if I paused and reminded myself of the continual practice I have had over a period of time that has build me up for this occasion (no i don't recommend hopping hips to the ground in your fist splits) to get lower to the ground, and normally when I pause, slow down, and calm my panic then to my suprise my hips sink and I get a "touch down".

One of my teachers, Anusara Certified Teacher, Amy Ippoliti, recognizes the importance of practicing a pose over and overs again. One of her teachings are offered through a face book page: 30 day yoga challenge (click here to visit the site). In this Amy provides a yoga posture and a Eco friendly practice to perform for a whole month, EVERY DAY! Here are some of the last months challenges.

October challenge was: Do a timed Handstand every day starting with 30sec and then post your record by the end of the month! Eco: Put your phone in airplane mode or off when you practice and when you sleep. Strength increases when you don't have those waves, and we get them enough during the day. Get a respite from them at night.

September challenge was: Do 5 minutes of pranayama in the morning and 5 minutes of pranayama before bed. Use simple ujjayi breathing, keeping the inhale and exhale lengths even. Eco Challenge: Bring your own utensils! Get in the habit of bringing your own with you everywhere. No plastic! On your mark... get set... go!

November challenge:  Do a timed Pincha Mayurasana (Forearm Stand) every day starting with 30sec and then post your record by the end of the month! And....Are you drinking enough water? We all could use a boost in our water intake.

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Intention and Testimonials

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