Twelve Days of Yoga: On the first day

“On the first day of yoga, my guru gave to me…
            A Hanuman in a coconut tree…”

In trying to get into the holiday spirit, let’s have some fun with the 12 days of yoga.

I know that most people will be jumping on the “get fit” bandwagon and many yoga studios will be doing 30,40, even 60 day yoga challenges, which I think are not very sustainable or healthy for you physically or mentally. If we’re motivated to “get fit” by brute force alone and trying to check it off the list, whether it is yoga or another activity, we are more prone to injury, struggle, and pressure and less likely to enjoy, receive, appreciate and create lasting change.

I also know that in reality, this time of year is FULL and it’s tempting to neglect our bodies and give away our time for yourselves in order to meet the fullness this season brings. So here’s a reasonable and fun challenge for you:

Can you create a sustainable and lasting yoga practice for 12 days? It could be anything from 15 minutes of sun salutations to 15 minutes of meditation or pranayama or a full one hour class. If you can’t make it to your studio, can you do a podcast or video at home or move your body in a different way like going for a walk or playing outside with your kids? The purpose is to do mindful movement or find stillness in the busy-ness and shift perspective to believing that you don’t have to sacrifice yourself and fight the holiday madness to find that perfect gift because when you’re mentally and physically healthy, your presence is the best gift you can give your loved ones.

Here’s a “take it way back Tuesday” to the days when I had too much free time to monkey around and get into a playful sequence.

Or enjoy this sequence to practice Hanumanasana, forward splits.

Child’s pose
Cat/Cow
Downdog
Standing forward fold
Upward Salute
3 Sun Salutation A’s
3 Sun Salutation B’s
Crescent Lunge, 5 breaths
Revolved Crescent Lunge, 5 breaths
Warrior 2, 5 breaths
Triangle, 5 breaths
Wide straddle forward fold, 5 breaths
Vinyasa
Repeat Left side: Crescent Lunge to Wide straddle forward fold
Vinyasa
Standing extended hand to big toe pose (A and B variation), 5 breaths each variation
Half Moon pose (still standing on same leg)
Standing Splits
Vinyasa
Repeat on left: Standing extended hand to big toe pose to standing splits
Vinyasa
Low crescent lunge to half splits (front leg straightens and hips shift towards back heel)
Start to move front foot forward and come towards forward splits.
Do both sides
Vinyasa
Half pigeon on both sides
Happy Baby
Savasana

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