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  1. Oh I'm so happy I stopped by, even though I've missed a few days. I need a challenge to get back into the swing of things after I allowed the heat to make my excuses. Mindfulness is a good theme for me right now, and I'm excited. Can anyone recommend a pose for me to work on? I find I've been unconsciously arching my back in normal life, and so I think I should try to counteract that, but I'm also in the mood for a balancing pose of some sort. The mental theme I'm going for is feeling grounded and secure in myself despite what else might be going on with other people, but also being up for adventures. I'm usually more focused on where I'd like to go physically, so I'm drawing a blank. Any advice would be welcome! Also, what fabulous photos, already!
  2. Managed my first headstand against the wall in class today. And I was in control of my crow for the first time ever. I guess this time around I'm actually ready for a strength challenge!
  3. My instructor at class today mentioned that we get flighty in springtime, and so grounding poses are good. This resonated with me, because my focus has been shot recently, in more ways than just yoga. I've been modifying the schedule for this challenge, but honestly I haven't been working with focus on my chosen pose. Neverthless, my flexibility has improved a lot this month. My heels floated down simple as you please in downward dog this morning, as if it wasn't a new achievement or anything, and what a difference it makes! It was much more grounded and comfortable than it's ever been for me before. And my hand found my toes in the one legged forward bend where you twist the torso up and over. Having my hand not floating out in space was just what I needed, and I was astonished it was available to me. Now hopefully I can be equally open and focused at work this week!
  4. That happens to me too! I'm all, stay still! Then I try to remember to send the thought away without energy, which makes me feel like I'm cheating on a quiz in school, because I'm copying it down, but haven't learned how to do it. I like that it's sort of a short hand for setting an intention, though, which I've also not learned how to do well. Crow question: if my knees are sliding down my arms as I try to balance up, does this mean I'm not using my core enough?
  5. I am not at all qualified to respond, but I somehow feel compelled to add that I personally have never had a big emotional release in a home practice session, but I have in classes. I think in my case it might be the animal part of myself responding to the support implied by practicing with other people and with someone leading. Best wishes to you and your family.
  6. I wanted to thank you for this challenge. I've been very quiet, and haven't posted any pictures, but I've been practicing with this challenge and it's been lovely. Also, you must have been correct when you answered my question about easy pose, because I have found that working on opening my chest has helped. The more metaphorical aspects of heart opening has been something I have needed to spend some focus on, and so it has felt good. Also, I participated in a holiday challenge at my gym that began in November. So suddenly I look up and I've been consistently working on fitting exercise in a busy and stressful life for four months, which is an achievement all on its own. I (over)reacted at something at work today, and even though I couldn't quite keep myself from crying, I do credit the yoga I've been doing with being able to exist inside the moment better than I might have done, and even though my productivity was easily derailed after and never really recovered, I am grateful that I haven't beaten myself up over it and actually feel that tomorrow is a new day. I will start with your morning meditation video, though, that's for sure! Thanks, and I'm looking forward to March.
  7. Thanks for this discussion--I needed it, I think. All of a sudden this week, my body or mind or both have been asking for a restorative practice. I can't tell if it is work stress or just needing a break from strength. I'm okay with the idea of not following my initial plans, but: Listening to your body is hard. How do you know when you need to slow down and when you should challenge yourself more? Warrior 2 is usually my favorite, wonderfully grounding and empowering, but last night it felt impossible and foolish, so maybe I should have been hanging out in reclined bound angle, which is what I did when I got home from class. But it also seems like it might be fear justifying itself, because I have made progress toward my headstand, and before too much longer I'll be working on getting both knees up at the same time, and there's a part of me that probably never really believed I could do it. Mind-body ambiguity! Good news: my shoulders are asking for a bit of work, so maybe I'm about to enjoy a more vigorous practice today.
  8. Easy Pose question: It feels comfortable to keep my hips even, my spine long, and my shoulders straight, but my stomach tenses up like crazy. More, I think, than is really necessary to sit straight. I try to relax but it keeps tensing right back up again, and I find I spent the beginning, meditative part of the session obsessing about it instead of setting myself up for a good practice. Do you have any recommendations? Seriously back to the basics, here, but this has caused me to wonder how much extra tension I carry there through a normal day. Thanks!
  9. First day back to work, so today was a challenge. I had to split the program into morning and evening sections, but that worked out for me alright. I hope everyone who is sick feels better soon! Not a fun way to start the year.
  10. I'm so happy we're doing this! Yoga class yesterday left me sore, so usually I would have been very easy on myself today if I did any yoga at all, so I was surprised to see that I actually felt better and more energetic after Day 1.
  11. Hello! I've just joined for this challenge, thank you for having me. I'll download Instagram tomorrow when I've got wifi, but I'm a bit nervous about that portion. Is it really ok if I don't pose a picture of myself in the pose? (I don't have anyone to take a picture of me anyway.) Also, headstand has been my dream goal in general, but I'm not strong enough yet, though I've been working on it both on the mat and at the gym. I have no sense how long it will take to get there. Would it be ok if I just ended up in dolphin the whole month, or would it be better to pick an easier pose? Thank you for organizing this challenge, I'm really quite excited to find a new community to help me achieve the strength building goal I already set for myself.