Day 13 of #HolidayHarmonyYoga is Supta Samakonasana, Reclining Straddle (leg flexibility). Here’s a nice and relaxing, passive stretch you can use to stretch your middle splits/straddle. You will need a nice area of cleared wall space for you to place your legs up on. In order to get nice, up-close and personal with the wall, I suggest starting in a seated position with the wall at your side. As you lean back onto your elbows, lift your buttasana and legs sideways up onto the wall and rotate around so you’re facing the wall and your back is on the floor, resting in a neutral, comfortable position. See my video of my crafty and silly way to get on the wall. Bring your legs into a comfortable straddle on the wall, allowing gravity to open up your hips. Try walking your feet down the wall, opening your legs into a wider straddle if you need more of a stretch. This is one of my favorite ways to prep for middle splits if I have some time on my hands. I also want to give a big thank you and shout out to all the ladies participating in my challenge.
Day 14 of #HolidayHarmonyYoga is Astavakrasana, Eight Angle Pose (balance). I remember when I first got this pose and felt the elusive balance, felt amazing. This is one of my most favorite hand balances and I personally find it easier than regular crow. Begin in a seated position with one leg bent inward. Take the opposite leg and place it behind the same side arm as high up on your arm as you can, keeping the knee bent will make it easier. Push through your shoulders and hands to lift your buttasana off the ground and lean forward like you would for crow or a tricep push-up (elbows in). Take your free leg (will become the bottom leg) and hook this foot underneath and around the top leg foot.Your two legs will be on either side of your arm. Push out and to the side to straighten your legs. Lean far forward to find balance and keep your buttasana off the ground. If this is just simply not happening for you work on bakasana, crow pose to help build the strength and balance for astavakransana. Enjoy the feeling or being balanced!
Day 15 of #HolidayHarmonyYoga is Urdhva Dhanurasana, Lifted Bow or wheel pose (back flexibility). Start by lying on your back, knees bent, feet parallel to each other on your mat about hip distance apart. Bring your arms up overhead and bend them so you can place your palms flat on your mat above your shoulders. Finger tips should be pointing towards your body. First push up through your legs and feet using your glutes and leg muscles like we did on day 5 for bridge pose. Then proceed to push up through your hands and shoulders to lift into wheel pose. If this isn’t happening I have two modifications for you: a) use a yoga ball to assist you in this stretch by sitting on the ball, extending your spine along its curve, and bringing your arms up over head towards the floor or b) use a wall to walk yourself down into a bow pose. Once you’re in your bow, push your weight over your shoulders to get a great upper back and shoulder stretch. If your back is super bendy, walk your hands and feet in closer to one another and maybe touch your feet! Have fun and listen to what your body wants today from this pose.