November Yoga Challenge (part 1)

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With the October ab challenge coming to a close, it’s time to start thinking about November.

It’s (obviously) taken me a while to get this all sorted out as I wasn’t entirely sure how we should approach this. Do we merely increase the number of sun salutations? Focus on strength? Mix it up?

In the end I decided to divide this into 3 parts of 10 days each (how handy November has 30 days!).

Our first part will focus on yin style yoga; long holds and relaxed movements. As a runner, I truly love yin yoga because it focuses on the fascia of our muscles (the connective tissue that groups muscles, blood vessels and tissues together) and long holds to help stretch the fascia.

I also wanted to focus on hips and holds to open up hips. Like many runners, my hips can get extremely tight, so including poses that help to open up hips is a good way to start this challenge.

Sivananda Sun Salutation

The first 90 seconds of the above video shows one full sivananda sun salutation. In order to fully warm up and ready the body, complete 5 full cycles (right leg and left leg) before moving on the to the last three postures.

Frog

This pose can be very challenging, but is an excellent hip and groin opener. It’s very important to breathe deeply and relax into the pose.

This page has great suggestions for modifying frog and getting in and out of the pose.

Start by holding the post for 40 seconds, increasing by 5 seconds for each of the 10 days.

Swan/Sleeping Swan

If you’ve practiced vinyasa yoga, you’ll know this pose by it’s other name, half pigeon.

For me, if I attend a yoga class and don’t perform this pose, I feel cheated. This pose helps to open your hips and glutes and can also lightly stretch your IT band.

Again, this page has suggestions for getting into and out of the pose, as well as modifications.

It’s extremely important to remember to keep your forward foot flexed (toes pointed toward the knee) and the back leg in-line with your hip when in swan/sleeping swan.

For all 10 days we’ll hold for 60 seconds on each leg.

Shavanasa

Or, corpse pose.

Once all the above is completed, lay on your back with your legs and arms pointing out from your body and every thing relaxed. Try not to think too much, or let your mind wander; it can help to repeat a mantra for the duration to keep your mind focused on the here and now.

Tell me: are you joining in for 30 days of yoga? Have you done yoga before?

11 thoughts on “November Yoga Challenge (part 1)

  1. I will totally join you for this!!! I have been telling myself (or at least my hips have been telling me) that I need to get back into the yoga routine. I used to be so good at it, but that was when I was only running for 1/2 hour at a time. By the time I’ve got an hour in I feel so rushed to get dinner ready that I am pretty neglectful of the stretching aspect. Ergo, screaming hips. Must. Do. Better!

    • I am AWFUL at stretching. I get home and want to shower and eat FOOD. I think that’s partially to blame for my butt getting mad at me during my marathon. I mean really, we can all spare 10 minutes to stretch – we’re just lazy 🙂

      • I actually took about 1/2 hour to stretch after my run last night. It probably wouldn’t have taken that long, but the second I was prone on the floor, Jake had one foot on my belly (he was lying on the floor next to me) and Bandit was rubbing her face through my nasty, sweaty hair. Animals are not helpful when it comes to stretching appropriately. 😀

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