Edited: Winners are 1. Gina at Book Dragon 2. Bonnie Jacob 3. Cessie. Thanks everyone for playing!
Congratulations for being awake and jammin’ this far into the read-a-thon!! You are doing great!! We bring you the Yoga Mini-Challenge to give you a boost of energy to aid you through the final stretch of reading. You’ve probably been sitting for hours. Perhaps your eyes have gone a bit bleary and you feel a bit tired and droopy. Now is the perfect time to take a little break and get the blood moving again. For this challenge, I propose five to fifteen minutes of yoga. This will give you an opportunity to get re-energized.
Note: You do not need to be flexible, be a yogi(ni), or have had any prior experience in order to participate. Yoga is for everyone with a willing spirit and an open heart. (note: I offer myself as proof.)
uttanasana: see all that space? haven’t mastered the fold yet.
However, I absolutely love and adore yoga. It makes me feel calm, centered, relaxed, and energized, all at the same time, which I think is pretty amazing.
First up is Legs-up-the-Wall. This is a great pose to do when feeling sluggish. It is simple, easy, and completely refreshing. This is a good one to do after standing or sitting all day. When coming out of the pose, you may want to slide your feet down and let your knees flop out to the sides and rest there for a few moments. When you are ready, extend your right arm over your head and gently turn to the right, head resting on your arm, knees curled into your chest so you are in a half-fetal position. This just feels divine. (Note: You could do this one pose for five or fifteen minutes and be good. It is that delicious.)
Another simple and restorative pose that is great for relieving fatigue is child’s pose. You can do this pose supported, if you like, with your head on a block or a folded blanket. You can have your arms at your sides or stretched in front of you. You can also get a good side stretch by stretching your arms in front of you and gently walking your arms to your right side, keeping your left hip grounded. Repeat on your left side, then return to center.
For a more energizing pose, try Downward-Facing Dog. This is a great posture. It energizes the body while calming the brain, and it also relieves stress. It gives a good stretch to the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, and arches while strengthening the arms and legs. (Fun fact: I like to do this pose at work when I am feeling out of focus, tired, or have been sitting too long and need an energy boost.)
my work-in-progress full wheel pose
If you are up for more of a challenge you could do a few rounds of sun salutations. Sun salutations are great as they hit all the major muscle groups and warm the body. It is an active sequence so it definitely gets the heart pumping. If sequences are your thing you could try dancing warrior or moon salutations, which are two of my favorites.
Once you’ve completed your mini-yoga session, end with the mother of all poses, the yummiest pose, the reason we come to our mats in the first place: to enjoy this final relaxation-corpse pose (savasana.) It doesn’t look like much, but don’t let that deceive you. Savasana allows you to feel all the benefits of your practice. It allows the body to sink fully into relaxation while the mind slips into a meditative state. When coming out of it, roll onto one side into a half fetal position and then slowly push yourself up to a seated posture. You might like to end your session with one round of om or a simple namaste.
wide angle seated forward bend, yup, that’s as far as i can go.
Don’t forget to breathe, relax, and have fun with it. Try it for as little as five minutes, as long as fifteen (or more if you are really getting into it.) When you have completed your session, don’t forget to come back here and leave a comment with the length of time, poses you did, and a note about your experience. (I’d love to know what you thought about it!) Or you can write it up on your blog and leave a link in the comments instead. Whatever floats your boat.
This challenge starts at 12am PST (midnight) and ends at 3am PST. (hour 20 to hour 23) Three Prizes: 1. a ten dollar gift card to the winner’s online bookstore of choice, 2. a yoga inspired ipad/kindle/nook bag, and 3. Micheline Berry’s Liquid Asana yoga DVD.