We are already done with the first week of April and moving into the second week of April, and I am having so much fun hosting this month’s yoga challenge and getting inspired with all the different yogis and their yoga practices every single day. I really love this month’s theme on Intentions – because it really cultivates the habit of introspecting before the yoga practice, and that is something that keeps your practice grounded when you have an intention to your flow. Plus, I feel so privileged to be able to get a glimpse into so many people’s yoga practices, and that inspires my own practice so tremendously.
Anyway, I am doing a weekly round-up of the various poses for this month if you have missed out on the first week of the challenge. If you want to join us, jump in straight away! You don’t have to do all 30 poses, just as many as you can manage! There are no rules, only your own! Check out the challenge list here!
Day 1: Plank Pose
This is a intricate pose where form is really important! I always try to check my form in the mirror and make sure that my torso is straight, just like a plank! Remember to place your hands directly under your shoulder so that you don’t place unnecessary stress on your wrists. Shift your gaze to the top of your mat and tuck in your rib cage so you won’t find yourself sinking towards the ground. You should feel your torso shaking because it’s now fully engaged.
This is my go-to pose whenever I needed to start warming up my back. It is definitely part of the flow I have to start my yoga practice! This is a more active backbend (as opposed to baby cobra or sphinx pose) where you press the tops of your feet onto the mat and try to lift your thighs slightly the mat. Shift your gaze upwards to deepen your backbend.
As you get into your downward dog, remember not to place too much weight on your wrists and melt your chest towards the ground, opening up your armpits towards the side. Try to melt your heels onto the mat as well. It is totally find if you can’t reach the mat with your heels, what’s more important is to feel a nice stretch along the back of your legs!
Lean your weight on to the balls on your feet rather than your heels, and come into a deep forward fold. The point is not really to touch your forehead on to your shins, but rather, to experience a nice stretch along the back of your legs and your back. Use a yoga block if touching the ground is not accessible for you yet. As you inhale, lengthen your spine, and as you exhale, deepen the stretch by aiming your forehead towards your shins.
This is one of my favourite poses because it really helps me to calm down and ground my practice. Plus there are so many different variations you can take in your tree pose! Be creative, be wacky, and have fun <: Or you can come into a nice ol’ tree pose just like me! Remember not to place your feet on your knees – only either on your inner thigh, on your calves, or have your toes slightly touch the ground if you can’t quite balance yet!
Day 6: Cat + Cow Pose (with variations)
This is also one of my favourite poses to warm up my back and prepare myself for the practice. As you inhale, come into cow pose as you press your tummy towards the ground, opening up your chest and shifting your gaze up towards the sky. As you exhale, come into the cat pose where you round your back, touch your chin to your chest, opening up your back and shoulder blades. Make sure that your knee is stacked right below your hips, and your wrists are directly below your shoulders, with your fingers spread out like the rays of the sun.
Did you enjoy last week’s poses? This week’s poses are a little more intense with more inversions and arm balances, but as I’ve said, try out the challenge to the best of your ability and honour your practice! <: Remember, it’s yoga practice, not yoga perfect!