So I started doing yoga – real yoga this time! ^__^ And instead of trying to do one of those crazy videos that claims to be for beginners (but is actually for people who are already in shape and probably have been doing yoga for a while), I thought I’d start by finding some poses online and doing them slowly in my own time. Because, really, is yoga supposed to be aerobic exercise? No. Of course, I’m not 100% that I’m doing things the best way and I’m still working on the order that I do them, but so far I feel great. I feel powerful. I’m doing things slowly and focusing on my breathing before, during, and after each movement. And I’m still working up a sweat. Which surprised the heck out of me when I finished – I didn’t even notice while I was doing it!
I did decide today to do a little more research about the order of doing things and maybe add a few more steps in there, because I felt like I could have happily gone a little longer and that rather than doing the moves I had longer, I would have rather a few different moves so I was stretching everything out. Here’s what I did today.
Tadasana – which basically means standing up perfectly straight at attention without tension and without locking your knees. I was in marching band, doing this move right was easy for me (I could tell horror stories), so it was a great way to start to help me focus on my breathing.
Urdhva Hastasana – which means stretching up (they have names for everything!), and I added standing up on my toes. It’s not nearly as dismissively easy as it sounds when you’re trying to do everything slowly and with your mind constantly on your breath.
Standing Side Stretch – (okay, so this one doesn’t have a cool name, but still) which is simply stretching to the side while thinking long thoughts (so you don’t just scrunch up on the underside of your stretch). More slow and steady with lots of breathing.
Kamarchakrasana – (I do not know if this is a proper name, as others from the site that I got this name were wrong, but I haven’t found an equivalent elsewhere – if you know for sure, let me know!) this one, you sit with your legs spread and basically stretch to touch your toes; with the same ideals of slow and stead, breathe, and stretch long rather than scrunched.
(this part was more Pilates than yoga, but I found them on the same yoga site as the above sitting position)
Markatasana – you lay on the floor with your knees bent up, hands behind your head, and then slowly lay your knees to one side and your head to the other, shoulders never leaving the ground. This actually felt awesome on my lower back. Did this with feet together and feet apart.
Pawanmuktasana – still laying on the floor, this are leg lifts – right leg, then left leg, then both legs – still slow and steady, still with controlled breathing – holding each time for three slow breaths…which is freaking hard when you’re out of shape, but made me feel good when I pushed myself to keep my breathing slow and hold it for the full three breaths.
Uttanpadasana – another on your back, bringing your knees to your chest – one at a time and then both together – and holding it before slowly letting it back down. Now, mine didn’t quite reach my chest, but doing this slowly was the hardest part for me.
(now back to some normal ones)
Bhujangasana – now over to the stomach, hands at the shoulder, this is the “cobra pose” where you inhale and lift yourself into a kind of back bend. While I’m not going to say this was the most comfortable move, it definitely felt good.
Salabhasana – this one I did in two different ways, first by placing my hands face down (which is freaking hard, btw) and then slowly lifting my legs into the air and holding it – made harder by the fact that it’s freaking hard to breathe while laying on your stomach with big boobs in your way. Did this a couple of times and took a break. Then I clasped my hands behind my back and lifted my legs and upper torso.
Baddha Konasana – sit up, bringing your feet together and as close to your body as possible, sitting up straight, and then bending forward (remember, long not scrunched). This was an awesome way to finish my yoga and the point where I realized I was actually sweating.
I really enjoyed doing this series, but like I said, it wasn’t quite enough. So I’m trying to work out a series that is a little more involved. So what I’m gonna try is this.
Standing Side Stretch
Trikonasana– this move involves standing with your feet spread wide (4 feet by most websites, though I imagine as I get better, mine will be slightly further than that considering how freakishly long my legs are), lifting your hands to shoulder height with palms down, and forward foot perpendicular to the back, and then stretching the front arm down to the front leg and back arm into the air. I’ve done this one before and like the way it makes me feel.
Ardha Mandalasana – this is moving on from the above into a forward lunge putting (or attempting to, anyway) the hands on either side of the forward foot.
Virabhadrasana I & II – better known as the warrior pose, I’ll probably do II first – which is the lunge with arms extended forward and behind, and then doing I, where you bring your hands together above your head and extend backwards.
Upavaitha Konasana – this is the closest to the above Kamarchakrasana and since I’ll be doing Trikonasana I don’t feel I’ll be loosing anything. Quite simply, it’s seated, spreading the legs, and stretching forward (thinking long) – though I may also do this standing (Prasarita Padottanasana)
Bitilasana – hands and knees, tilt the head back and bend the back “down”
Marjariasana – hands and knees, tilt the head down and bend the back “up”
(these two are done together, Bitilasana on inhale, Marjariasana on exhale)
So, what do you think? Any of y’all that know yoga please give me an idea if I’m royally screwing anything up, I would greatly appreciate it. In the mean time, I’m keeping it up, because – like I said – it makes me feel powerful. ^__^