yoga every day

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This month’s new workout challenge! August is a time of preparation and new beginnings. A new school year, a new schedule, it’s the perfect time to take a look at your habits and routines and make changes. I hope that this challenge encourages you to start each morning with a bit of both peace and invigorating activity. Whether you have a daily yoga practice or have never tried it, sun salutations are accessible but challenging for everyone. You can add this onto your existing fitness routine or just make it a small part of your morning getting-ready routine. If it’s too challenging starting out doing the high plank into low plank between each standing pose simply go back to to down dog. Really just make this challenge work for you, your body, and your day!

I hope the picture guide helps you follow the sequence but I’ve also written it out here. If you have any questions, want feedback on your form (from an about-to-be-certified yogi, one more week!!!), or just want to show me your progress post a video to instagram and tag me @ piecesinprogress

Sun A: starting in downward facing dog, bring your feet to your hands & come halfway up to a straight spine (inhale), fold (exhale), rise all the way up hands reaching above you (inhale), fold (exhale), come halfway up (inhale), high plank–>low plank (exhale), upward facing dog (inhale), downward facing dog

Sun B: starting in downward facing dog, bring your feet to your hands & come halfway up to a straight spine (inhale), fold (exhale), bend your knees & sit back coming up to chair/utkatasana (inhale), fold (exhale), come halfway up (inhale), high plank into low plank (exhale), upward facing dog (inhale), downward facing dog, bring your right foot forward back heel spinning down & rise Warrior 1 (inhale), hands to the mat step back high plank–>low plank (exhale), upward facing dog (inhale), downward facing dog, bring your left foot forward back heel spinning down & rise Warrior 1 (inhale), hands to the mat step back high plank–>low plank (exhale), upward facing dog (inhale), downward facing dog

For more at home workout ideas go here! :)

How to do a headstand. This pose takes a bit of practice, but once you get the hang of it, it is so rewarding. Take your time in each step and practice daily! 

one: get on your forearms and knees. tuck your toes under. interlock your hands behind your head. this is important- it is your support. 

two: slowly walk your feet a little closer as your straighten your knees. shoulders need to be strong here. try not to sink in or slouch. 

three: as you find balance in your shoulders and hands, start to slowly lift your feet off of the ground. try one foot at a time. play around at this step until you start to feel comfortable and find the balance. it’s okay to stop here.

four: if you feel sturdy at step 3, you can slowly bring your legs up. focus on finding balance before you bring your legs all the way up. focus on pushing your interlocked hands strongly into your mat. 

five: lift your legs up. keep your focus on your forearms. you should be putting more weight on your arms than on your head. keep the balance and hold it! 

keep practicing each step daily! don’t move on to the next step until you are fully confident and have balance. you can do it! trust your body and always remember to breathe.  

peace and love, 

the yoga buddy 

Going upside down is not only fun, but also has so many health benefits! Try to go upside down once a day (or more!). Start with a shoulder stand, then try a tripod. Once you’ve mastered those, move into a headstand. If you can do a headstand, try a forearm stand. Finally, if all the earlier poses are mastered, then it’s time to work on your handstand. 

You’ll have fun practicing and learning inversion poses, but you will also notice perks like these: 

BALANCE. balancing while upside down takes a while to get used to. But, once you have the feel for it- it will come naturally. If you can learn to balance on your head or hands, you will be able to find balance in every area of your life. 

CORE STRENGTH. balancing upside down takes some serious abs. If you don’t have a strong core, you are about to get one. 

LESS STRESS. going upside down brings fresh oxygen and blood through your system. This makes you feel better within 10 seconds. Next time your feeling frustrated and stressed, go upside down. If you can hold it for a minute- even better! 

HAPPINESS. going upside down boosts your mood. Doing inversions releases endorphins which allow you to feel uplifted instantly. Turn your frown upside down! 

EASE OF BACK PAIN. inversions take gravitational pressure off of the nerve roots and disks in your spine. Going upside down actually increases the space between each vertebrae. Inversions help to realign the spine, and relax tense muscles. I know from experience that going upside down helps my back pain caused by scoliosis! 

LESS BLOATING. going upside down increases circulation through your body. Inversions allow extra space for your organs and intestines which helps with bloating. 

Not only will you have a blast going upside down- you will also experience some great benefits!

Have you experienced any of these benefits??? 

peace and love,

the yoga buddy

Kasyapasana, aka Side Plank (Vasisthasana) in Bound Half Lotus. Not only does it open the chest, shoulders and hips, it also strengthens the core, arms and legs. A definite challenge that is worth the effort. You may find yourself in this pose today and this weekend in all of my classes listed below.
Sangha Yoga Shala in Williamsburg
Fri 2pm - Power Hour Vinyasa
Sat 11am - Core Vinyasa
Sun 5pm - Vinyasa
Karen Lord Pilates Movement in TriBeCa
Sun 11am - Vinyasa