Last year, as a fluke, our Coffee and Yoga crew created a yoga goal: Bakasana by the end of the summer. Each yoga practice involved asanas that helped prepare and strengthen for crow and we problem solved together different ways to get in and out of the posture. It was surprisingly fun and the crew decided to give it another try this summer.
A slight glitch is that our Yoga in the Park group is pretty varied when it comes to experience... so we decided to each choose our own personal goals.There are a few challenges with this decision, the biggest one being that we can't all work together through common prep asana's and sequences. So I'll have to think of sequences that include some prep for (hopefully) the majority of my peeps goals.
Although it looks chilly, it was warm in the mist at the beach that morning...
Weirdly enough, I'm kinda excited for the challenge.
As I'm blessed with many yoga teacher readers, I was wondering if there'd be some tips, thoughts, suggestions to help us on our yoga journey this summer. :) Following are the goals, my ideas and what I've read. I'd love to hear any feedback or thoughts from you. Also, if you haven't tried creating a Yoga Goal, give it some thought- summer and outdoor yoga is the perfect setting to try something a bit adventurous.
Yoga in the Park Personal Adventure 2011:
Lisa's Goal: Halfmoon (Ardha Chandrasana).
Oh I have been working on this one for YEARS. What I need to work on is forward folds, triangles (side stretching) and hips hips hips. My challenge is opening my hip and getting enough lift from my leg.
Jen's Goal: Lowering from plank-chaturanga
She's almost there, I've seen her! I'm thinking core to take some of the edge off the arms and shoulders and as her legs are uber strong, some arm and shoulder strengthening (such as Dolphin plank, side plank and downdogs).
Tips on correct placement:
From plank, keeping the elbows in, slowly lower until a few feet from the floor. Keep neck extended, shoulders open and tailbone tucked in (no dipping the belly or butt popping up).
Andrew's Goal: Wheel
He's succeeded in lifting up twice (maybe he says, when he was going to the gym every day...). I'm excited that with regular practice it'll be something fun to witness. Lots of Bridges, cobras and upward facing dogs. I'm also thinking Cow Face Pose (sans hips) and lots of chest openings (like forward folds with arms interlaced behind his back, fish pose) would be good to open up his chest-arms.
Chris's Goal: Handstand
Chris has fabulous upper body strength and has always loved the more adventurous postures. If anyone can do this he can! All descriptions that I've heard of learning handstand has involved a lot of up against the wall ideas and partner work. Now partnering can happen at YITP, but as there aren't any walls in the great outdoors, Chris may need to practice this one at home as well.
Tips involve regular hop ups, strengthening poses like planks, down dogs and crow and I'm also thinking core core core. I've heard the trick is to lift from your core and not from your arms.
Heather's Goal: Practice without shoulder pain
This one's tricky. Heather has a beautiful, strong frame but her shoulders have taken a lot from playing ball hockey and ice hockey (she rocks). Postures like downward dog and plank hurt her shoulders, but I'm also wondering if concurrently she could focus intensely on her core. Strengthening her may lessen the weight on her shoulders... She may also want to slowly build up her tolerance, taking a slightly opposite route from Jen and step back to using her knees for chaturanga dandasana.
Kevin's Goal: Reconnecting with Yoga
A few years ago Kevin and Heather were practicing with us regularly once and sometimes twice a week. Life has gotten in the way and now they're super busy with hockey, soft ball and ball hockey. Yoga can be challenging for tight hamstrings and hips and a busy mind (I have all these too, so I can totally relate). Kevin will work on finding just enough push instead of giving up the posture without hurting himself. That in of itself is a challenge.
Lori's Goal: Crow Pose
She can totally pull this one off. She's definitely a ridiculous yogini ready to take off. I never hear a peep or a complaint from her, which is more than I can say for myself. This one is another shoulder strengthener and we'll be working on core (and more core) for the lift needed, arm strengthening and malasana. I've always tried it by positioning, lifting up my core, sucking in my navel and leaning forward. Jen, last year, was successful by widening her stance and placing her knees on the outside of her arms. As each body is different we'll sure be trying a bunch of options (and a pillow in the park will be a must!).
Carla's Goal: Jumping to the front from downdog
One of the most open, honest and fierce yoginis in our group, Carla definitely will achieve this one. Of course, it's yet another core posture (geez, is there a theme here?). Jumping to the front generally involves a bunch of practice, sucking in your navel, looking forward, bending your knees and making that leap. A pillow can help and I think the soft grass will also help her confidence (although I've found it trickier to actually make a jump). We'll be practicing during apartment yoga too!
Any tips that may work for my peeps?
Got any personal adventures planned for this summer?
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