Yoga Challenge: Day 3 – One-Legged King Pigeon Pose

Screenshot courtesy of YogaJournal.com

Screenshot courtesy of YogaJournal.com

I didn’t sleep well last night. I slept better than Monday night, but I was up at 3:30 AM this morning. I promised myself that the next time I had insomnia I would get up and do a meditation rather than laying in the bed tossing and turning. It just makes me anxious, and I start associating the bed with NOT sleeping. So, I got up and completed a Yoga Nidra practice. Since it was yoga, I could’ve checked that off as my yoga practice, but I really wanted to practice tonight in a more physical way. Besides, it might help me to sleep better tonight.

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Photo courtesy of Yoga Download.

My friend and fellow blogger, Tara Mae, decided to join me in the challenge, and she joined Yogis Anonymous for her classes. I used to be a member of Yoga Download when online yoga first came out. It began with audio only which I liked because I could keep focused internally rather than watching an instructor. They eventually went to video, and I opted out of it. I got curious about what is out there these days, and so today I went looking. I googled ‘best online yoga classes’ and found an article on About.com that had several reviews. You can view the article here. The first site I went to had photos of the yoga teachers on the home page. The first photo I saw was a picture of the yoga teacher who had an affair with my second husband at the end of our marriage. Ugh … I’m not joining that one. I watched the start of one of her videos just to make sure that she is not aging as well as I am – she’s not – and moved on to the next site.

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Screenshot of tonight’s class

I finally decided to go with my old site Yoga Download because they seemed to have really upgraded their selection and had a couple of my favorite teachers, Ana Forrest and Les Leventhal, in their line-up. I got to renew with my 2009 cost, so I joined for $60 per year. The current rate is $90 per year, so it’s still not bad.

Les Leventhal’s Class in San Francisco … His class is HOT and so is he!!

Tonight, I came home and chose a backbending class. I thought maybe it might give me some energy and help with my somewhat low mood. I loved the teacher, Channing Grivas. She had such a soft voice and gave such gentle and steady instruction. My strength was good but not quite good enough to do every pose. I used the modifications, and I was able to get through the class. My knees were creaking a bit, and I hope as I continue to practice and get stronger, they will be more stable. My flexibility seems to be really good. I really enjoyed the class for it’s backbends and hip-openers. We did lots of low lunges combined with heart opening backbends. I felt really stretched out and loose by the time we laid down in Savasana.

One of my favorite moves we did tonight was Pigeon Pose. It has always been one of my favorite poses. Running keeps my hips tight, and I love that this pose uses gravity and my own body weight to move me further in the pose. Sometimes I’m so tight it hurts a bit, but tonight I felt really good from the previous hip-openers we did. I never push myself past where I need to be. I learned a long time ago that yoga is about playing with my edge – not pushing past it. After sitting slumped over a computer all day, the combination of hip-openers and backbends felt really good.

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Variation of King Pigeon’s Pose from tonight’s class. I was somewhere in between the two of them in completing the pose. I’ll get back to the full pose again someday!

You can learn more about the One-Legged King Pigeon Pose in this Yoga Journal article. It has other amazing benefits to the body beyond just feeling good. Namaste, y’all. Let me know how your practice is going if you are in the challenge. I’ve heard from a couple of people already.

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