Asana Year

a yoga pose per day

Week 1: Seated Poses

Week 1: Seated Poses

A series of six seated poses, compiled using the Yoga Sequence Builder on YogaJournal.com.

Week 1: Sukhasana (Easy Pose) | Agnistambhasana (Fire Log Pose) | Dandasana (Staff Pose) | Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) | Janu Sirasana (Head-to-Knee Forward Bend) | Virasana (Hero Pose)

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Reboot

I slacked off for a bit, but thanks to several forces at work (Hi Bridget, Hi Megann!) I’m motivated to do awesome things with my body again, ergo, I’m back.

I’ll be posting the week’s round of poses one day per week, and I’ll give reports back on how I did — and if you are working along (which some folks may be, how exciting!) please comment on those pages! If it gets active enough, this may become a group blog, which I am 100% in favor of doing.

Note: it seems that I get most inspired to kick my own ass at 1 a.m. No clue why that is, but gift horses and all.

Vinasana: Hero Pose

Vinasana

Pros: probably will be good for my ankles.
Cons: Not the pose I wanted to do, but the other one had no modified version, and was, well, obviously more advanced than I was prepared to attempt.

Result: Ankles v. swollen tonight. Not much progress, but at least I tried, and didn’t skip.

Tomorrow night: review.

No pic today.  I need to start illustrating these things myself, I guess.

Baddha Komasana

Pros: kind of like ballet stretches I did years ago.

Cons: I should have done this an hour ago.  At least it’s not 1 in the morning.

Result: BETTER.  I did two sets of tonight’s and last night’s asanas, and got further both times on each.  This is working.

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Dandasana Pros: I really need to work on my hamstrings. Cons: I really need to work on my hamstrings. Result: Putting my back up against the couch, I felt the stretch in my calf muscles, and raising my hands over my head, palms together, brought the stretch into that particularly tricky region of my upper-mid […]

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Padmasana Pros: good for ankles; working earlier tonight that last night. Cons: I’m not to full lotus yet.  This will be half-lotus, only one foot above the leg, the other tucked under like for Sukhasana. Result: Sat in Sukhasana for a couple of minutes, then lifted one ankle to top of leg, held for 15 […]

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Sukhasana Pros: simple, not strenuous Cons: sore back, swollen ankles, 1 a.m. Result: Maintained the position for about 2 minutes.  Breathed quietly.  It’s a start.

Status: Day 1

These are the things that will not change:

  • I am female
  • I am 5’9″ tall
  • I am the parent of one child.
  • I am not interested in weight loss schemes.
  • I want to improve my feelings of health.
  • I want to be strong, agile, and flexible.
  • I want to know what my body can do, and give it the opportunity to do it.

These are the things that may change:

  • I weigh about 260 lbs, and wear a size 18 to 20.
  • I am less flexible than I was a year ago.
  • I have a tricky back, which requires chiropractic care every two weeks or so.
  • I occasionally have problems with my hips and other joints.
  • My ankles are swollen most nights when I get home.
  • I can sprint short distances, but even running a block makes me winded.
  • I am not as strong or muscular as I have been before.
  • I find it difficult to roughhouse with my child without injuring my back.
  • I frequently experience digestive complaints like heartburn.

I write these things in the place of the usual opening statistics.  This experiment, and this accompanying blog, focus on different goals, ones that will not trigger compulsive behaviors, in the hopes that giving myself both realistic goals and realistic expectations will help me actually stick to this business.  I have no doubt I may miss a few days, but I hope I will not abandon it completely.

A Pose Per Day

A friend of mine, Steve Rowles, posted a video on Facebook tonight, an inspirational feature, showing an overweight, late-40s veteran who had been told he would never walk unassisted again.  Ten months of yoga transformed his life.

When I have done yoga, even after just a few minutes, I can tell the difference.  Last week, while I was still getting up at 4:30 or so to catch the early train/bus, I got up just ten minutes earlier and stretched.  Simple, seated stretches, a mashup of yoga, ballet, and phys ed class.

That first morning, I didn’t trudge down the steps to the train platform: I bounced.

I need that difference in my life.  I can’t afford to wait until I’m no longer faced with 12-hour work+commute days, and I can’t afford to go to a class of any kind.  I do things best when I do them simply.  I’ve gone through Richard Hittleman’s Yoga in 28 Days course before, but I need something even more simple than that.

I need an asana per day.

I’m going to commit myself to this, to posting here the name of each asana I complete, and what my progress is.  I will have periodic review days: I’m not certain how frequent they will be, but I will have them.

Perhaps I will progress through them like I am with teaching my almost-four son the alphabet in ASL: Learn one pose per night. The next night, review the poses I know, and follow with learning the next.

And Friday will be my day of rest, not from yoga, but from learning a new pose.  Each Saturday, maybe I will start with a new pose, make a new series.

So.  Here is my commitment to a better, more agile life.