StrengthTEN Yoga Challenge!
Strength challenge, yoga is an excellent way to strengthen your body and we all need some new goals and inspiration to start 2017 🙂
This is for you who missed Lizettepompyoga’s first instagram strength yoga challenge. StrengthTEN II is coming up January 5th, don’t miss it!
I did this challenge for ten days focusing on different yoga poses and routines I do as a strengthening training. Please feel free to ask any questions you have and go ahead and give it a try.
Day one Chaturanga strength:
Day one is all about the basics and one of my favorite moves. #chaturanga. You need two blocks, one is going to go in front of your fingertips, the second one goes 3-5 cm behind your wrist (if you don’t have two is enough with one. If you don’t have blocks go and grab a book or something else that you can place behind your wrist.
Come to all fours and get your blocks in place, then step back into a plank (knees down if you need to). Be mindful about your back and shoulder blades, don’t sink down, press the floor away and spread your shoulder blades as much as possible, (think angry cat back). Inhale here as you move forward getting as high as possible on your toes and getting your shoulders over your fingertips, exhale as you lower.
Now, here is the thing, the front block will help you to keep your shoulders in place (arms on a 90° angle) and the back block will help you to keep your elbows on top of your wrists. If you start knocking down the back block you need to work on reaching forward more before you lower down.
Paying attention to the way you perform chaturanga is a game changer and develops tremendous strength. This is not about just doing it one time for the video and that’s it. I’m gonna ask you to work in this one doing five sets of ten. If you need to lower your knees, no problem, no shame on knees down ever!! Remember that this is not a push up, with a push up you can go all the way down to the floor if you want to and then push back up, this is chaturanga the way many of us teachers teach it in a Vinyasa class.
Now go ahead and practice, you can do this!! We are here together!
On day two we are going to work in our L-sit with 3 different exercises.
On the first one I’m using a towel on my heels just for an easier slidding purpose. So go ahead and sit with your legs together. Flex your feet and engage your legs (I promise your quads will be killing you after. Put your hands on the floor, infront of your hips, so not in line with the hips, a little bit forward, round your spine, engage your legs, pull everything together and press the floor away from you as you draw your heels back. Don’t think up with the hips, think back with the heels. Those two movements are completely different. Use blocks if you want to, they will help you a lot.
On the second one point your toes, engage the legs and come up on your fingertips, again, bring your hands forward from your hips, not in line with the hips. Now press the floor away form you and lift both legs as high as possible, if you want to use blocks under your hands do so, the point is to engage the core, legs and pull everything in to lift up.
For the third one palms flat on the floor this time in line with your hips (no blocks). Point your toes and engage both legs, then belly in and lift one leg at the time (keeping the other one still engage) the hands give you balance but your are not pressing the floor away, all comes from you core and legs. Then repeat with the other side.
I will let you guys work on this as you want, but make it at least 3 sets, you decide how long you stay on each one.
We come back to upper body strength and movement #DolphintoChaturanga So start on all 4 and lower your elbows down. Align your hands, elbows and shoulders. If you feel your hands squeezing in together place a block in between your hands. Lift you hips and come into dolphin. Tight hamstrings? Bend your knees and just focus on the shoulder action/stretch.
Look forward in between you hands, engage your core and lift your elbows from the floor into high plank, round the spine (angry cat spine). Lower your elbows again, if you feel this is enough for you stay here and keep working on these movements. If you feel you can go for more? Once you are in plank lean forward and lower into chaturanga (remember day1, same thing). then back to dolphin.
I love, absolutely love this combo. Take your time, it’s not a competition! Slow and mindful movement is what helps you develop strength. three set of 10 will do it. I know ten is a lot, so see what works for you.
I will share three more days with you next week, stay tuned and see you in class soon!