Tag Archives: yoga at home

asana of the week- wheel

my wheel… more of an ellipse.

Chakrasana

Oh yes, we’re back-bending on this fine Friday. I recently did a yogathon at Urban Yoga Spa– two hours of hot power vinyasa, two hours of hot hatha, and two hours of yin/yang yoga. Sometimes I think I’m a special brand of insane. During the first two hours of power vinyasa, we did 5 wheel poses.

The teacher, Odessa, quoted Baron Baptiste saying: “Wheels are like pancakes. The first two are never any good” So we did two more. And when called up for the fifth, she invigorated us with another Baptiste quote. “This last wheel…is the difference between walking out of this room, and FLYING out of this room.”

I can’t say no to that, I want to fly.

  • Begin setting up for bridge pose, heels drawn close enough to the sit bones that you can brush your heels with your fingers.
  • Bring your hands mat-width next to your ears with your fingers pointing towards your feet.
  • Press into the four corners of your feet, inhale and on your exhale life your tailbone to the sky.
  • Push firmly into your hands and forearms to lift yourself up. I like to take a little pit-stop with the crown of my head on the floor, so I can go up with strength rather than momentum.
  • Draw the shoulder blades down the back, straighten the arms as much as possible.

More articulate instructions here.

Troubleshooting. If you think you’re going to die, stick with bridge for a while strengthening your back by NOT clenching your glutes. If your low back is yelling at you, make sure your feet are parallel in a number 11 and experiment walking them closer or further from you.

More. Come to your tippy toes, bring one leg into your chest and straighten it to the sky. Repeat on the other side. If this still hasn’t got you sweating, try some wheel pushups by simultaneously bending arms and legs…as if you’re doing an upside down pushup on the ceiling?

I’m still perfecting this one, any tips?

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Home Practice

AM Yoga. Yes, I’m in my PJ’s.

I regularly practice yoga at home. It’s a great way to start, and I’ll admit that my first experiences with yoga were with Patricia Walden and Rodney Yee in my bonus-room when I was 14. Even though I go to class about 6 days a week at my yoga studio, schedule permitting, I still love to practice at home.

Things I love about my home practice

-You can try things out. I was not confident in my ability to not knock somebody over in my headstand or fall on my face in crow. I love to use the wall in my room to practice inversions.

-If you do hot yoga like I do, there’s not always time in the day to commute to your studio, practice, shower, and get home. Life gets in the way sometimes. I think we sometimes forget that we can throw down a mat anywhere, anytime, and get the wonderful benefits of our practice.

-You can make your own mix! I hear songs all the time that I think would settle my mind during my practice. At home you can control every aspect of your practice.

Tips

-Clean up your space. I find it difficult to focus when my room is messy, so clean it up and create an ambiance.

-Get rid of distractions. Turn off your phone, email updates, etc. I am definitely guilty of not doing this, I always have to remind myself that this is time for me on my mat.

-Try something new. You will surprise yourself and feel strong and like some kind of yoga bad ass.

-For an amazing substitute for a yoga class if you find it hard to guide yourself, I strongly recommend you subscribe to the YogaDownload.com podcast. The classes are free, there’s wonderful variety, and they’re about 20 minutes long. I often do 2 or 3 adding in some sun salutations to get really warmed up. They offer everything from power vinyasa, meditation, and jivamukti to gentle restorative classes. I prefer the just audio ones because I don’t like to compare myself to the hyper-flexible fitness models on the videos and it distracts me.

Podcasts Here

-For an A.M. Metabolism kick-start, check out Slim, Calm, Sexy Yoga, by Tara Stiles.

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