Building a Yoga Foundation- Day 4

IMG_3578Good morning! It looks like it is going to be a gorgeous autumn day! After a chilly and wet start to autumn, we have been lucky to have such warm and sunny weather here in Pennsylvania in the US. Having the warm and bright sunlight stream in through the patio doors has made my yoga practice extra nice. I am soaking up as much warm sunlight as I can because I know soon the weather will grow cold, the bone-chilling rain will start and the snow will begin to fly.

But that is not today! So for now I ma going to enjoy every moment we get of this bonus late summer-like weather. :)

RISE- Day 4

Today's RISE practice started out by gently waking up the body. Adriene definitely likes to start out her day as I do by slowly easing into it. No need for craziness first thing in the morning! There is plenty of time for craziness later; the day is still young. ;)

IMG_3602 After gently waking up the body and moving it through some series of cat-cow and other poses, we moved on to Three-Legged Dog. I love the way this pose opens up the side body! I feel like this pose is able to stretch out all the little tight areas of the body that don't get stretched regularly. It feels amazing.

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From there we moved on to some other poses to stretch the side body in a seated position and poses to relax the neck.

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Now it was time for Triangle Pose. Love this pose! And the wide-legged forward fold twist that came next. Are you sensing a theme here? Basically I love any pose that stretches out those hard to reach muscles. :)

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Time for a cat break before moving on to the core wake up portion of the practice. Today it is Gracie joining me on the mat. I know she looks like Black Cat from yesterday's post but she's not. She is actually Black Cat's baby. Maybe one day I'll explain how Gracie got a normal name and Black Cat got stuck with...well, Black Cat.

Time to light the fire in the core! Makes it easier when you are imagining you are holding Simba, am I right? I will probably never be able to do this pose without thinking about Adriene. :D

Next, a variation to engage the core even more. Yay burning abs!!

And just in case the core is still asleep, let's move on to Boat pose! Guaranteed to wake up your abs and remind you later that you woke them up too!

After all that, now it is time to be still and be grateful for this practice and for this day and all it has to offer.

Foundations of Yoga0 Day 4

The foundations of yoga poses I practiced today were "Table Top Position" and "Extended Child's Pose" or Utthitta Balasana. Table Top is a pose that we come back to often in our practice. It looks like a basic pose, and in a way it is; however that does not take away from the value of this pose.

There are so many points to this pose that are important to get right. Proper positioning is important to get the most out of all the practice has to offer and to prevent injuries. Don't rush past the basics; your practice and safety depend on this.

A member of the FWFG community posted an article the other day that highlights some of the potential injures that can occur during yoga practice. Check out that article here. Don't let the article scare you; use it as a reminder to build your foundation and grow your practice safely.

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Here is an example of a way to be in Table Top Position if your wrists start to hurt. This was as great tip by Adriene and it really helps to take the pressure off the wrists until they build up more strength.

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And of course, we can't cover Table Top without a little Hovering Cat-Cow. :) This is one of those poses that most practitioners seem to either love or hate. I like the feeling of hovering so I am always excited when Adriene says we are going to do it next.

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After all that Table Top work it felt really nice to move into Extended Child's pose. This pose reminds me that yoga is an active practice. There is nothing passive about it. When in this pose, it is important to keep the shoulders pulled down and back, not hunched up around the ears. (*see above about the reason to do poses properly, even the "easy" ones.).

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And lastly, after all that work, I ended my practice by going into another Child's pose variation. This one relaxes any tension in the upper back. Perfect ending.

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