The Virtual Yoga Challenge

Okay, so tomorrow begins the 3rd Annual Yoga Challenge at my studio. Some people have expressed a desire to do a Yoga Challenge at home, and participate “virtually.”  I think that is a great idea, and I want to support you!  If you want to commit to 3o days of yoga for the month of April, you can hold yourself accountable by commenting on this blog each day you do your practice.

Just put in the comment box that you practiced, and for how long.  If you want to say what you did (what postures, what breathing techniques, that would be even better –and inspiring for the rest of us!)  I will mark you down on a separate chart in the MSY Studio. I will also put your name in for the drawings at the party at the end!  So it will be just like you’re here, except you won’t be.

If you want a little more in the way of guidance, each week I will post a posture sequence that you might want to try for the week.  These will be sequences that I have used and are tried and true and I love them.  You are always free to modify them any way you wish.  The only stipulation for this Challenge is that you practice every day, or as many days as you can.  Aim for every day, or for 20 out of 30 days or 3 times a week, or as much as you can!

So, you ready, Virtual Yogarians??

Here’s a nice sequence you might like to try.

If you’ve taken a number of classes with me, you will recognize this sequence immediately.  This is the practice I devised to lure myself to my yoga mat on days when I thought to myself: “OMG, I don’t have time to do yoga!!  But maybe I’ll just lie on my mat for a few minutes and breathe…

And then it morphed into this:

Kath’s Default, All-Purpose, Great Yoga Practice

Rolling around on your back hugging knees into chest.

Extending legs up and wiggling toes and circling ankles

Wind Reliever with right knee bent

Knee down twist to the left

(repeat on the other side)

Hamstring stretch with a strap (with leg out to the side variation, and leg across the body variation if there’s time.) Repeat other side.

Long full body stretch

Bridge pose

Baddha Konasa (Butterfly)

Happy Baby

Rock up to seated

Come to hands and knees

Cat/Dog stretches

Thread the needle (both sides)

Downward Dog

Walk forward into Ragdoll

Explore standing forward fold (grab big toes and pull the stretch into legs and back)

Mountain Pose

Sun Salutes until a sweat breaks

Child’s pose

Savasana

**Namaste**  (insert beatific smile here)

Okay?  Comment below, give me your name if you’re in, and I’ll get a chart going for you in the studio.  All the Studio Challenge Yogarians will be keeping an eye on your progress, too, and sending you encouragements in the comments.  Check back every day and watch for pictures and videos!

Happy April!

101 thoughts on “The Virtual Yoga Challenge

  1. Hooray, count me in too! My goal is to practice 3 times a week. Since I have done NOTHING since January, I am sure I will notice a difference. I will keep you posted, Kath and make entries on my blog as well.

    *Namaste all*
    Nikki

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      1. sun salutations ,down dog, dolphin, plank, side planks, warriors, dancer thread the needle!! i love a challenge!!

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      1. nonstop. everyday !!! today suns, knee down twists, airplane loooong down dogs! more planks, gosh my arms are looking good!

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  2. Hail Kathleen, Bringer Of Light! Ms. No-Time-Like-The-Present…
    I’m in too. Threw myself on the mercy of the mat this morning. Sun salutations, a few extra poses, and some mental hygiene prayers. Good enough.
    XO

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  3. I’m in! Thanks so much for doing this. I have been doing some yoga in my Dad’s hospital room. He rolls his eyes at me and laughs. I plan to continue to do it each day in his room. Today I made my intention, worked on my breathing, hamstring stretches, full body stretches, stretches to the side, happy baby, downward dog, bridge, worked on tree pose and warrior pose then savasana. It was about 40 minutes.

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  4. Kath,
    What a great idea! I didn’t sign-up because I’m in Mansfield only until April 15th. I didn’t want to take someone’s place who could attend the entire month. I can do this at least 3 days a week.
    Nancy

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  5. Roll out the virtual mat yoga mama because I’m totally in. Aside from balancing poses while brushing my teeth and mountain in the elevator I haven’t done anything today, but my intent is some salutations to this beautiful day tonight. This is seriously wonderful! Thanks so much! Love, Brynne

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  6. 30 minutes, 2:30-3:00 pm, front porch, facing South, on my blue mat, in my green yoga outfit, oodles of poses including cow-cat, pigeon, happy baby, plank, butterfly, boat, tree, triangle, child, sun salutations … ooooooooooooooooooooo … just went with some spontaneous flow … nice little breeze out, I was in the shade, but the sun was out, of course! Beautiful day to start the challenge/commitment!

    I have a large piece of pink poster board that I’m going to create an April calendar with. Aria is going to award me a sticker each day. She likes this role-reversal since I used to do this for various rewards/progress reports including back to the potty training days! She says, “I’ll be your coach!” At some point, I’ll get a photo of the calendar & the 2 of us … and we’ll send it to you!

    I’m on my way, Kath! Happy April 1st!!!! THANK YOU!!!

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    1. You get a big CHECK on my wall chart. I can’t wait to see pics! And Aria? Keep you Mom on task! Go stickers! (I do stickers for my runs and they are an oddly effective incentive, considering I am (ahem) years old!

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      1. Fri. April 2nd: 40 minutes, 1:45-2:25 pm, back porch, facing East. Sunny, but I was in the shade; there was quite a bit of breeze here at Windy Ridge & it knocked my Tree over a couple times (or was that my poor balance as of late? can I blame it on the breeze?); I did all the stuff I did yesterday but added Bridge (cuz I forgot yesterday) & some seated twists that I don’t know their names. More deep breathing than yesterday. Feels great to be FOCUSED.

        Aria is not here, but on her way home now. I can’t wait to get my sticker for today!!! I LOVE my calendar! It was SO EXCITING last night when I got the calendar completed & she awarded me my 1st sticker – I closed my eyes while she placed it in my hand. It was a heart with blue pansies in it. Sweet. I felt very successful placing it on the calendar. The calendar does look bare right now, but I don’t feel intimidated by it at all … I feel optimistic about all the emptiness to be filled & all the fullness to be emptied! 😉

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  7. Good morning,I do so want to be a part of this challenge. I try to do yoga everyday, even if it is only 10mins. This will just encourage me to try harder. This morning I did about 30 mins. I start with 5 each side alternate breathing. Then your basic, incline plank, balance and a 15 minute meditation.

    You are an inspiration to so many. Thank you
    Namaste

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      1. Saturday I did 10 alternate side nose breathing,the basic stretches,a sitting forward bend each side(I believe is called great seal )followed by the slow leg descent, then I am still trying side plank (I’m not sure that is the correct name it maybe inclined plane) for each side, downward dog, into standing balance (Warrior 3)to 2sun salutations each side. meditation for 15 mins.

        Sunday I only did meditation. I planned on doing yoga when I returned home. I failed.

        Monday back on track did a repeat of Saturday -I like this practice –
        Namaste

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  8. Put in a precious hour this morning. Easing back in. This poor body needs it. Good to know virtual others are practicing with me!

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  9. I got up early to do Kath’s Default Routine before the holiday activities began. I added a series of plank, cobra, downward dog, and warrior I. It lasted about 35-40 minutes.

    Yesterday, April 3, I did 20 minutes and then family arrived so I didn’t get to post it.
    Nancy

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  10. I’m so grateful that I could start the challenge in person on Thursday and Friday. Those practices with you were a gift!

    Didn’t make it to Saturday morning’s class, but you’ll have to take my word for it that I did yoga 🙂 — mostly restorative poses with a little vinyasa series in between. Child’s pose was definitely my favorite yesterday!

    Now that I am back home it will be a “challenge” to keep it going, but I will find a way, knowing that I will continue to blossom like a spring flower, if you know what I mean, with the gift of yoga. Blessings to you, Kathleen!

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  11. Felt an incredible urge to nap this afternoon (jet lag) but decided to do my yoga instead. My hips and hamstrings were so stiff and sore at first, but then I felt my body forgive my long neglect and give in to a 4th day of yoga. The old energy and flexibility are returning… already. Hallelujah, amen.

    Honored the intuition to continue with restorative poses: legs up the wall, shoulder stand, wind reliever, spinal twist, the cool hip-rotating vinyasa that Kath did in class the other morning, bridge, fish, sitting forward bend, 4 suns, downward dog, child, piriformis stretch and Parisian side twist, mini shavasana. Namaste.

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    1. Woke up at 5:45 this morning to do my yoga, knowing that once the kids were up, peace would be difficult to find. I placed my mat to face the East and lit a candle for light and for my fellow yogis in Mansfield. I enjoyed being awake before the sun, listening to the much-needed rain and then the sound of the seagulls (which, incidentally, sound a lot like Canadian geese) as the sun came up.

      This morning I practiced “epiphany yoga.” My mind constantly wandered from one epiphany to another, until I finally let my body (instead of my brain) guide my practice and lead me where IT wanted to go from one pose to another. (This in itself is an epiphany!)

      Pranayam while the house warmed up, knees to the chest, wind reliever, hamstring stretch, side twist, bridge, cat & dog stretches, fire hydrants, downward dog, ragdoll, 8 suns, lunge-warrior I-triangle-warrior II-side bend-downward dog, child, U, “birthing the world” (can’t remember what it’s called, but we did it in power yoga back in… 2005? 2006?), bicycle, 12 accordions, piriformis stretch, side twist, Shavasa-“Mommy, can I get up yet?”-na. Namaste.

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      1. Jennifer: this was really beautiful & inspirational … I LOVE the word “epiphany” (one of my all-time fav words) so I LOVE that thought of “epiphany yoga”!! Delightful! Thank you! There were a couple poses that you mentioned here that I haven’t done in a long time; will do next time! Thank you for the ideas! PS I love the thought of you listening to seagulls! Sweet!

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  12. Thank you, Cindy, for your kind comments! It’s one of my favorite words, too. And please tell your mom I said hello!

    Yoga challenge, day 6: Woke up to frost this morning and felt like every single pollen granule that exists in California had taken up residence in my nose. Did 2 suns, but they are NOT fun when you can’t breathe. Decided to focus on flexibility of body with the hope that I will have more flexibility of heart and mind.

    Sitting forward bend (legs together then wide), Kath’s warm-up sequence, bridge (which felt exquisite and sexy when I activated the bandas), standing side bend, forward bend (legs wide), triangle, side bend, downward dog, pigeon, birthing the world, Shavasana. Namaste.

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  13. I was in a different mind set this morning. No basic practice, I felt like I wanted to start with the one where you swing your arms while in chair pose and breath as you touch your shoulder, then rag doll and right into downward dog, warrior I,II and III,standing side stretch, trying to keep aware of the breath and take at least 5 breathes in each pose. (I forget this part ) and finished with 3 suns on each side. To sitting twist. Into meditation.

    I’m ready for the day!!!

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      1. Thank you for your kind words. Meditation is an important part of my learning. I look forward to it. I do different kinds, I have cd guided, some just silence and sometimes I do only gratitude.

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  14. Somehow I managed to wake up at 6:15 this morning even though I was up so late for the Michael Bublé concert last night. 🙂 I thought about staying in bed and practicing after work this afternoon, but I didn’t want to break my momentum. Got up with the intention of doing 12 suns and then going back to bed, but I just couldn’t quite stop there. I took Nancy’s lead to do triangle and warrior until I got shaky. Thanks, Nancy!

    12 suns, triangle, warrior II, tree, side twist, wind reliever, hamstring stretch, lying butterfly, happy baby. Mmmm, happy indeed. Back to bed for Shavasana! Namaste.

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  15. It took a long time to find an intention on which to focus this morning. So many possibilities these days!

    Practiced slowly and indulgently today, incorporating a lot of side twists to squeeze out old energy. Interestingly, I used to dread bridge, but since I started activating the bandas, it’s become one of my favorite poses. The only thing is, my knees don’t like it. Any suggestions besides being patient? 🙂

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    1. First of all, I think you are amazing! Getting up, on your own, doing your practice…I’m not surprised, but I AM amazed.
      As for Bridge, don’t come up as high, or use a block. Another trick to try is to spread your knees wide and pull the stretch into your inner thighs and back and take the knees out of it. You never want to feel discomfort in your knees.

      Love you! K

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      1. Thanks, Kath! Taking the knees wide helped a lot — no more funny stretch in my knees. 🙂 Love you, too, most inspirational yoga master! J

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  16. I tried to enter this earlier but I was having trouble with my signal.
    This morning was another up and at em morning. I started with alternate breathing , tadasana to rag doll. I’m not sure what this was ( feet wide apart and forward bend trying to touch head to the floor while holding big toes) Oh well it felt great. Warrior I,IIand III, down dog, plank to side plane back to plank, child ,down dog to standing then sun salutations finished with sitting twist and side bends. trying to be aware of my breathing while in pose. Meditation.

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  17. I started my day with 40 minutes of the basics, sun salutes, warriors, and a few balance attempts. I am awful at balance poses so I think I need to try a couple everyday. Even if I don’t improve, it must help my sense of balance from getting worse.

    Yesterday I had fun attempting to work out while taking care of my 2 week old grandson. My daughter is sleep deprived like any new mother, so I agreed to take him for a couple of hours. When he seemed to be falling asleep, I got out the yoga mat and began with some stretches. Here was my routine:
    cat & dog stretches
    insert pacifier
    thread the needle left arm
    insert pacifier
    thread the needle right arm
    insert pacifier
    down dog 30 seconds
    insert pacifier
    roll up mat
    pick up baby and rock him

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    1. Nancy, I love the picture this creates, especially at the end. Snuggling with a baby is such good yoga! (And you remind me how grateful I am not to be a new mom anymore… it’s hard enough to be an old mom 😉

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  18. Find myself waking up a little later each morning (up to 6:30 now). I’ll have to adjust once school starts for the kids again next week. Boo.

    Felt like bringing back the vinyasas from the Power Yoga class I did so long ago. That was my favorite class ever! Not just because of the people and the comeraderie, but because the poses ROCKED.

    However, I’m not quite ready for the full sequence… gotta respect that. Did 8 suns, the warm-up sequence, and then modified the “Power” vinyasa. Those downward dogs were sweeeet! Realized during the ab sequence that the reason I love yoga so much more than pilates is because to me, yoga is for my whole being, and pilates is primarily so I’ll look good in a bathing suit and be good in bed, lol 😉 Got through almost the entire shavasana without being interrupted. I think the kids are grooving on my new energy. Namaste!!

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  19. I love reading everyone’s entry however it is making me feel pretty guilty. They all seem to have such busy days ahead of them. Yet they find the time for yoga. Cheers to each of you. My only challenge will start next week when I have to decide to do yoga outside or make my brother leave the RV.. How trivial that seems compared to the others. (My brother and I are retired and live in a motor home full time. He has been gone for the last 6 wks and I have had full run of the motor home.) Each of you will be a reminder to me that I have no excuses, and I am grateful! Namaste to each of you.

    Today I did alternate breathing, stretches and twists, wind release, forward bend, cobra, tried bow, down dog, warriors, standing forward bend. To meditation.

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  20. Today was a vicious warrior set followed by some strong downward dog, updog, pigeon,plank, knee down twists, and a long beautiful corpse!

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  21. OK, I’m not sure why I am having trouble with the signal here for the last few days -but I have it now so,
    Saturday the 10th I did the usual basic stretches and some warrior poses, forward bends and core workouts (leg lowering, boat,uddyana bandha)ended with couple suns and into meditation.

    Sunday was a slow day really just wanted to sip my coffee but I did get the mat out and did slow stretches, slow cobra,up dog , table to opposing arm and leg lift, back to table , child and into down dog, 3leg dog to standing. into meditation.

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  22. Saturday, April 10th, we attended a wedding in Bucks County. After a 12 hour day of driving both ways, the ceremony, and reception, I just wanted to be a couch potato. Instead, I got out the mat and did 20 minutes of stretching. Why is it that yoga feels the best when I’m too tired to do it? I’m hooked.

    Sunday, I did 40 minutes of the basics followed by warrior I for a long time, balancing on my behind with my legs and arms stretched in the air (what is it called?) and sitting with my feet on the floor while rocking my knees from side to side. I then took a 3 mile walk. My energy is improving.

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    1. YEAH!!! Good for you, Nancy, on all the exhausting traveling & celebrating, but STILL managing to squeeze in your work-out!!! That’s WONDERFUL that you didn’t say No, but, said YES!!! … hhhmmmm … I wonder what that would stand for if it was an acronym: Yoga Energy Surge??? Oooooo, yyyyyeah!!! Let’s make T-shirts!!! 😉

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  23. 4/12/10 it’s almost 4:pm and I just finished yoga. I can do the poses so much easier later in the day. It was a wonderful 40 minutes. I started with deep breathing to center as usual then did stretches, sitting forward bends, sitting side bends, cat & dog, sat back into child pose,stretched into cobra to updog, tried bow (not good)
    then remembered windshild wiper yeah, I can do that and I love it. Standing into temple stretched side to side, warrior I , down dog, 3 legged dog, into warrior I again down to plank and time for meditation.

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  24. April 12-14. Practice on the fifth floor of Caesers’ Palace, Las Vegas facing East with a beautiful view of the mountains and just to the right The Mirage Hotel and Casino with a picture of the Beatles’ All you need is Love on the side. Warriors, down and up dogs planks suns and some much needed meditation for centering myself in this crazy city!

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    1. Caesers’ Palace, facing East with a mountain-view?!? How cool, hot & luscious is that?!? LOVE it!!! I’m so happy “what happens in Vegas DOESN’T stay in Vegas” and you reported this to us!!! You are LUMINOUS Luminella! I bet you are more inner-lit than the entire Vegas strip!!! 0-:-)

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      1. Thank you, Cindy! It was definately a beautiful experience! I must say that no matter where I am, my practice is what keeps me “home”. Namaste!

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  25. Day 15: Took Kath’s advice to sleep more and accidentally set my alarm a little later than I intended, so I did my yoga in 2 stages. First I got up and did some pranayam and some warm-ups plus 4 suns. Then got up to make snacks/lunches and take the kids to school. Came back for stage 2. I finally tried out the full power yoga sequence we used to do now that I can actually remember it (forward wide angle bend, triangle, half moon, the warrior III where you try to fold over your leg, warrior I, warrior II, extended side angle pose, downward dog in between changing sides. I had to do downward dog over cat both times. (I guess the felines approve?) Ended with a long child’s pose and a mini savasana, about 40 minutes’ total yoga. I’m hoping to get more in tomorrow.

    Funny, my husband commented last night on my improved physique and energy level since I came back from my vacation. He’s ready to send me away again for another week (upon which I’ll happily take him), but I know it’s also because of the daily yoga. Now if only he’d take the incentive and get moving himself 😉

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  26. I was bad and did not do yoga on Weds. -Guess there is no excuse. I did pick my brother up at the airport at midnight and we talked until after 2am . Just getting back in the swing of having him here.

    Today I did my yoga outside. It was refreshing. Did tadasana, also did a pose I saw on TV called Rain Fall. You take your hands above your head in prayer then slowly lower them down each side (holding them straight out )with palms down -as you meet your hands in front of your thighs your hands turn to touch the backs together.Then as you move them up the center of your body you slowly roll your hands towards you, back to both palms facing as in prayer. I think this is so beautiful and graceful. Much better to see it than how I explain it. Some down dogs, warriors, forward bends, balances, bridge, up dog and ended with shoulder stand
    into 15 min. meditation ( with the warm sun shining on me ) yum

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    1. No, Sherry, you are not bad for not doing yoga on Wednesday!! Life happens. We all face challenges in many ways, and your Yoga Challenge challenge (?!) just happened on Wednesday. Hang in there and know that you are doing the absolute best you can, which is already a heck of a lot better than most. I wish I could be out there doing savasana in the sun with you, ’cause it’s been downright chilly here on the West Coast. ((virtual hug))

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  27. Kath, this virtual challenge is wonderful! I love reading about everyones’ personal experiences! How wonderful to “know” a bunch of people with the same love as me! I am having a sinfully delicious love affair with my Yoga practice!

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    1. “sinfully delicious love affair with my Yoga practice” … ooo ooo … I need to connect a little deeper with THAT! … thanks for the inspirational aspiration!

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  28. Day 16: Confession time.

    Today was a “whoa” day. I’ve been on the verge of it for a few days but finally found the “whoa” — the epiphany — this morning.

    Truth is, sometimes I’m on autopilot. I make my way through my poses, sometimes a little sleepy, do my breathing, vinyasas, etc., but I’m somehow not completely THERE, not totally present. So a few days ago I started to go more deeply into the poses, breath more into them. But it wasn’t enough. This morning I realized I needed to be ACTIVE in the poses.

    It was delicious. I’ve been avoiding 3-legged dog because I told myself I don’t really “enjoy” it, but you know what? When I activate my arms, both legs, and the bandas, I love it! I can even almost get my heels down in downward dog! Same thing with something so simple as a wide-angle sitting forward bend. It’s been torture, but if I keep my legs and the bandas active, I can take it so much further. If I activate tree from my butt muscles all the way down my leg, I don’t have to squeeze at my thigh so hard, and I have better balance.

    I didn’t get so to so many poses this morning, but I really feel like I did yoga, very vibrant inside. Namaste.

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    1. Oh, I really appreciated this, Jennifer. I’ve been on auto-pilot some days too. I have just been thinking about too many odd things this week due to “cycling issues” (no, no, not bicycling, not tricycling .. you know, that OTHER cycling). My mind has been muddied with a muckety monkey menagerie. I need to RE-FOCUS, RE-CONNECT, RE-COMMIT (even tho I just completed my 16th straight day of the challenge … certainly committed! … but, alas, while my BODY has “been there,” my mind has been elsewhere the last few days … and, while mindlessness is great, too much mind meandering is not …). So, yes, I will strive to be more ACTIVE & PRESENT in the poses. Thank you!

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  29. Today was a quiet yoga day. After having my sleep interrupted a few times by various children, I slept in until 8am and got in about 30 minutes. I wanted to explore yesterday’s revelation a little further, so I really tried to make sure I was “active” in all of the poses that I did. It was curious to see which muscles needed to be active in a pose and which ones relaxed. For instance, I felt my bridge get really strong when I let my chest and stomach muscles melt and engaged my lower core, back, and gluts. On the other hand, in another back bend, upward dog, I let my back muscles melt more and engaged my core. (Maybe I’m doing something wrong, but this is just what I felt.) I did the warm-up sequence, added fish after bridge, and then 3-legged dog. I even did side plank, the last of the postures on which I’ve been holding off. (One side was great, the other side, a little weaker.) Did a few downward dogs and child poses, then finished with triangle and a little meditation.

    A local mama friend of mine who is a yoga teacher said to me today, “Wow, you’re looking really trim!” Must be the yoga 🙂 Then my son said to me while we were out digging new beds in the garden, “Mommy, when I’m grown up, I hope that I’m as strong as you.” Must DEFINITELY be the yoga. 🙂

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  30. Today is day 149. Not one day missed with my new love affair! I almost cannot imagine my world without it! I think the real challenge would be to make me stop. Don’t even try! Not gonna happen! Yogamamma #2 in the making!! My practice makes me notice my body, breath, and my surroundings in ways I never thought. I feel revived, relaxed, excited, calmminded, and ready for what ever I decide to let into my life!
    Love, YogaSister

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    1. Dearest YogaSister,

      I believe you are in love with your newly yoga-ed self — and rightly so! If we don’t love ourselves, how in the world can we love anyone else? Thank you for sharing that love and light with us. You are an inspiration.

      Feeling the yoga love,
      Jennifer 🙂

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  31. 15th-19th I have been having some difficulty with my computer. It is partly the system and mainly me. ( I am just starting to use a personal computer and I really get frustrated, at which point I do a lot of deep breathing (just before I want to throw it). Sorry.

    I have been doing yoga each day -usually the same warriors, stretches, sun salutations, downward dog, falling rain, balances, and twist. However, the last two days we have had rain and I have tried to do the yoga at the foot of my bed in the RV. There is just enough room for my mat to lay down. I have not been able to do stretches, or suns very well. I have found that my triangle is better as I have my closet to make sure my shoulders and hips stay lined up. I do down dog,forward standing bends, sitting twist, warrior I and II, boat and that is about it. I did meditation sitting on my bed. It all works at least for a day or two.

    Yoga Ladies, you write so eloquently about your yoga practices and express true pleasure in every pose. Although I too feel the joy of my yoga, I don’t have the words to express it as well as you. I truly look forward to reading your entries. Keep them coming.
    Namaste

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    1. Sherri, I love reading your posts! What you show me is that it is possible to create a yoga space anywhere, so long as we believe it is possible. Thank you!!

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  32. Today was one of those weird days when I was just not in sync, when the universe laughed at me every time I planned to do something. I had a big day today working on a project, so I knew my yoga practice had to be short, sweet, and to the point, maybe 15 minutes. And I wanted to sweat. That seemed important.

    I finally got the mat out around 11:30 this morning and took it outside in the sun — what better way to sweat than to do sun salutations in the sun, right? Wrong. The universe had another idea for me.

    Before I even got into the first lunge, the cats decided my mat made a nice napping place. When I finally got the cats out of the way, I felt as if I weighed 300 pounds, or as if I were doing the vinyasa in quicksand. That makes for one unpleasant sun salutation! Then I thought, well, I just need to do the warm-up sequence before the suns, right? Wrong. I lay down on my back and was practically blinded by the midday sun even with the overcast sky.

    So then I just sat. First I sat in butterfly for several breaths. I began to feel something resonate within. Then I did a sitting forward bend. The endorphins were beginning to flow! Sitting twist, some sun breaths, fire log (that is one nasty hip opener), and then I just sat on my buckwheat Buddha pillow and meditated for 20 minutes, trying to ignore the sounds of the traffic while listening to all the sounds of nature in my backyard — the mother bird yelling at the cat when she got too close, the mockingbird yelling at everyone, the little bug clicking away from his happy place on the Tibetan prayer flags strung between the fig and olive trees, and the cat walking in the grass as she came over occasionally to rub my knee and say hello. I listened to the universe tell me to be quiet, to just sit still for once and listen. And so I listened. And I liked what I heard. 🙂

    I ended the meditation with three quiet Om’s (lest my curse-happy neighbor hear me from the other side of the brush that separates our backyards), but they were just loud enough for the mockingbird, who finally, after 40 minutes, stopped his yelling to listen. Namaste and much love from California, YogaSisters and YogaBrothers.

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  33. Today I used the yoga to complement a workout at the gym. Did some quiet meditation, sun breaths, then tree, eagle, butterfly, seated forward bend (legs in front and wide angle), seated twist, 10-breath bridge, and 10-breath fish. Ended with savasana.

    I am really enjoying the meditation. I need to be quiet more often!

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    1. Jen, thank you for words of inspiration. I can’t tell you how much it lifted me.

      Meditation, how I have come to enjoy my time with me. I have started to figure out so much about myself with the help of all those crazy monkeys running around. But at last they have started to vanish, slowly,ever so slowly leaving just a silent space here and there just for me.

      Namaste
      Sherry

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  34. 4/20 My brother was kind enough to find an excuse to leave me alone so I could do yoga in the living-room of the RV. It seems twice as big as it was last time I did my yoga there.

    I did alternate breathing -to center. Sitting side bends, forward bends, bridge, fish, then downward dog (tried the hangover thing – I don’t think my foot knows where my head is located) then warriors and suns. into sweet meditation.

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  35. TG4Y. Thank God for Yoga. I’m in the middle of a personal crisis/crossroads at the moment, and if it weren’t for yoga (and all you wonderful VYC souls), I don’t know where I’d be at the moment.

    Went to work out again this morning, so I stuck to restorative floor work when I got home, holding the poses as long as I could, usually 5-10 breaths. 38 Kapalabhatis, butterfly, sitting forward bends, shoulder stand, bridge, fish, savasana. (Darn those monkeys!) Looking forward to a long, indulgent practice tomorrow.

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  36. Sun salutations,pigeon, long, strong planks, knee down twists, happy baby, warriors, temple and some meditation. It is only Wed. and I am exhausted from this week! Thank goodness for my practice, it sure does keep me in line!

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  37. Day 22: I can’t believe I’ve done yoga 22 days in a row. I definitely can’t stop at 30. It’s like good… oh, well, you know what I mean.

    Yesterday was a Crappy day. With a capital C. This morning I woke up at 3:15, when the morning yoga class was starting in Mansfield, and I was tempted to get up and yoga too. I could feel all that energy the class was generating. It was amazing, like the universe’s way of telling me that today would be better.

    And it has been! Waited until the kids were off to school to indulge in a long hour of yoga. I started by saying thank you to the earth on behalf of Earth Day and then cranked up the heat to 75 so that I could build some heat!

    38 Kapalabhati, Kath’s warm up sequence, 4 suns, wide-leg forward bend, triangle, half-moon, warrior I & II, extended side angle, dog, child, frog, bow, 3-legged dog to pigeon to dog, child, upward boat, U, 10 accordions, piriformis stretch, Parisian twist, savasana. Namaste!

    I would love to hear from everyone how they silence the monkeys. Sometimes I have a zoo in my head!

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    1. Sorry to hear you were having a rough day. Sounds like you came back fully energirzed and ready to face a new day!! Good for you.

      You asked about silencing the monkeys. I acknowledge them by saying ” you’re in the past or your in the future. I am here now”. Then I start following my breath. Through the nose all the way to my belly and back. That seems to help me. I also have learned a Sanskrit prayer that I start saying each word as I breath, this is the first line, it goes like this;

      Sarve bhavantu sukhinah
      Happiness be unto all

      (sarve would be my first inhale, and so on until I feel quite inside.)
      I think this prayer is beautiful and says everything I feel–There are only four lines and I learn slow so I am still learning how to pronounce the last line . Hope that gives you some ideas. Everyone finds their own way to deal with those darn monkeys.
      Namaste
      Sherry

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      1. Thank you, Sherry! What a beautiful prayer. I hope you’ll post the rest of it when you get a chance. Today it was easier to listen during the meditation. I concentrated on my breathing and just said “thank you” every time a thought came in.

        Day 23: Came home to do 20 minutes of back bends and hip openers after working out at the gym. (I like the weight machines to a point, but they just don’t open things up.) This morning I thought to myself while doing pigeon, “If I do pigeon every day for a month, who will I be afterwards?” And then Kath posted today’s blog. Whoa.

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  38. Day 22, my yoga was interesting. I tried holding boat for the 10 breathes I only made it to 7 -I tried the other variations (wide legs & V) only to make it to 4— guess I need to practice those more. That was how most of my yoga went today. Just couldn’t get it together. I did manage some old faithfuls – downward dog ( 3 legged made me laugh) twist, rain falling , couple suns, forward bend, gave up and did meditation.

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  39. I have been working on holding my poses longer. This is difficult but I feel a great sense of accomplishment when I hold for even one breath longer than the last. I hear a little voice in the back of my head that sounds a bit like YogaMamma saying, “just 5 more breaths, isn’t this yummy!” Yes! Yes, it is!

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  40. The 23rd day -I did about 20 mins. of yoga -tried boat and 3 legged dog again. Really need to work on these. I did 5 suns on each side , thread the needle, laying side twist, 15 Uddyana bandhas, downward dogs, and forward bends–I wish I was brave enough to try back bends -(maybe if I get back to a class with Kath)

    then we went to the beach at Mebourne— I so wanted to find a spot to do yoga -there was hardly anyone there -but I don’t like to have people watch -I don’t mind in a class but then everyone is doing with me – so I didn’t BUT- man did I do gratitude meditation!!! It was 90 degrees and an absolute perfect day —I was even giving thanks for the sand fleas that bit me.

    24th did about 20mins.again -went back to breathing to center (alternate nostril) sitting side bends,stretches with strap, chair, warrior I, II, downward dog,to 3 legged dog held for 7 breaths, rag doll , triangle , boat 4 breaths, to wind shield wiper, up dog, down dog, into meditation.

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  41. Jen, I found that prayer at Sanskrit Prayers and Mantras, then click on Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah. It will list others that are also very nice –this one just stopped me and I had to keep going back to it. The website will pronounce each work for you . I really enjoy it.

    the rest of the prayer in English is ;

    Happiness be unto all
    Perfect health be unto all
    May all see what is good
    May all be free from suffering

    enjoy

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    1. Thanks, Sherry! That’s such a lovely prayer. I’ll look for the Sanskrit tomorrow. (It’s really late right now.)

      Don’t let the backbends intimidate you! I started off really easy with modified bridge and have worked my way up from there. Even a modified bridge (with a block if you have one, or a rolled up towel, or something) will get the neurons in your spine firing up. It’s worth it!

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  42. Day 24: Determined not to hit “the wall.” Today was crazy — b-day party for some friends on a farm at the coast, digging up more garden beds, dinner and bedtime for the kids, then “Goddess night out” for a friend’s birthday…came home full of good feminine energy and finally started the yoga at 10:45pm. Soooooo glad I didn’t flake. My back was really sore from hacking and shoveling, and the yoga helped to relieve some of the stiffness and soreness.

    Lots of child’s pose, cat/dog, downward dog, seated butterfly, sitting forward bend, seated twist, wind reliever/hamstring/twist, butterfly, happy baby, bridge, seated wide angle forward bend, 3-legged dog, pigeon (finally felt things soften!), long dog (10 breaths), child’s pose. Then a quiet meditation accompanied by purring kitting. Namaste and good night!

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  43. Day 25: got up early to get in an hour of yoga with the idea that it would be easier to interrupt working in the garden to take a 20-minute catnap on the hammock than to squeeze in an hour of yoga. Thank goodness! It worked out well. For the most part, the kids really tried to be quiet while I practiced (except of course, when the girls started fighting during savasana).

    kapalabhate, a variation of K’s warm-up sequence through happy baby, bridge, downward dog, forward bends, 4 suns, tree, warrior III, natarajasana, dog, 3 legged-dog, pigeon, downward boat, frog, upward boat, U, birthing the world, can’t remember what else, savasana. Namaste.

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  44. Suns, warriors, knee down twists, thread the needle, even tried wheel was only up for three breaths but I was so impressed with my body for just trying! These rainy days make it even easier to extend my practice! I love a rainy day!

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  45. Day 25 I found an article a while back in my Feb. Yoga magazine showing the 7 asanas,chants and the breathing for each Chakras. The title is”Breathe,Relax,Feel, Watch and Allow. This article is so full of information. I have decided that I will start using this as my yoga practice. I will start by focusing on the asanas with correct breathing for the next few days then add the chants.
    Today I did just 7 poses:
    Started with practicing the Dirgha breath(used in each pose)
    Great Seal
    Bridge
    Sphinx
    Fish
    Half Shoulder Stand
    Cobra
    Sitting in Lotus
    I have done these before, I am really trying to follow the article with their instructions going deep into each pose.
    Missed my downward dog -held for 10 breaths.
    I like this, its slow because I am reading about each pose as I do them to get the full benefit.

    Chakra guided meditation (cd)

    26th went through the same Chakra practice today -I am thoroughly enjoying this practice. Today I also did bridge with my block (Jen suggested I try the block to get higher and not be intimidated with back bends). It’s a start, Thanks Jen!

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  46. Day 27 I did the 7 pose Chakra practice again today. I see where I may not have been getting full benefit from Cobra. The instructions in the article stresses stretching from the crown of your head to the tip of your toes and keeping your shoulders down. I could feel the energy more today.

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  47. I have been asleep for such a long time. During what became a very challenging but satisfying practice this morning, I awoke. I know, sounds goofy, cheesy and kinda stereotypical, BUT, I did! We are encouraged to listen to our bodies during our practice and I do, I really do. Somehow, I forget to listen to my body when I am not practicing Yoga. Do this, do that, get it all done, NOW!! My brain needs to listen to my body! One thing at a time. So, maybe now is not the time to try to cram some pages of notes into the “book that takes 10 years to write”. Maybe it can wait. Why should I feel stressed to write, when I wanted to write for fun? I have always been a list maker. I think it is time for a new list. A daily list. What can I accomplish today and still feel great? What needs to be done and what can wait? My body is my temple and if my temple burns down, I am screwed! So, now that I am “awake”… I think Iwill go take a nap!

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  48. Day 28 & 29 I still have been doing the chakra series. I skipped the half shoulder stand tonight I just didn’t feel good when I first good my feet up in position. I am however thrilled with the flow and easy I am gaining with this practice.

    I love you virtual yoga friends!! It has been an honor to be apart of this journey. Jennifer, you are a delight! I truly hope to meet you someday -somewhere. Thanks for your help along the way.
    Namaste All

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  49. day 30— I finished my challenge with a full practice of :
    alternate breathing, sitting side bends, warriors I,II, III,forward standing bends, sitting forward bends, I have not done pigeon for about a year (knee injury) but after seeing others doing pigeon -I decided to at least try -I can do pretty well on the left side with my right leg straight but my right knee doesn’t like the weight of the bend. I just did one of very pose that popped into my head. Then I finished with the chakra sequence (even 1/2 shoulder stand felt ok -last night it made my throat uncomfortable) As I sat before meditation, I sent a prayer of gratitude out for all the support, kindness and wisdom we have shared for the 30 day challenge -I missed 2-3days but I have grown.that is what this was about for me. Reading everyone’s entries was a delight and gave me the feeling of being connected. It encouraged me to push harder to get at least some yoga in each day. I will continue to do my practice and meditation, only now I will be more diligent.

    Namaste
    May happiness be unto all!

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