If the fullness of the classes at my yoga studio are any indication, many people in Calgary have made yoga related New Years Resolutions. I myself don't typically make umbrella resolutions, although in the tradition of stuffing myself for two weeks straight over the holidays, I do typically declare January an eat healthy/get back to fitness month.
This year, however, I have a number of Yoga Resolutions in the form of particular Asanas I'd love to achieve in 2015. Here are my top five.
1) Adho Mukha Vrksasana or Handstand
OK for some people Handstands are no problem at all. For me, it's another thing entirely. You can read about my first handstand as an adult (heavily assisted of course) and my journey to headstand in this post. But the short story is, I am terrified of falling, and although I've concurred the headstand, handstands leave you a full arms length further up in the air. Or a full arms length further to fall. However, with my ever patient Kevin agreeing to be my assistant on this one (catching my flailing legs as I kick up towards him) I'm determined to cross this Asana off in the next month or so.
2) Hanumanasana or Splits
First I'll tell you that I was in dance lessons literally my whole life, and I never even came close to managing a full split. Second I'll tell you that after the last 6 months of consistent yoga practice I am now closer to full splits than I've ever been before. Really I'm so much more flexible in general. In addition, this month at the Yoga Shala Calgary, the hips and hammies class is focused on developing this posture. Now I don't have any illusions that I'll cross this one off before the end of the month, but I think if I work at it, it'll be this year for sure.
3) Yoganidrasana or Legs Behind the Head
I am so close on this one. But still so far! I've been gifted with really open hips (or maybe it came from all those dance lessons, or both) but I would definitely say this is my Yoga strength. And I can just almost get a foot behind my head (either side). Also the first time I learned turtle pose, I neatly folded myself right into it, ankles crossed and all....just not behind my head. However, I feel like I haven't seen any progress here in months. So all I can do is keep working at it I guess.
4) Jumping back from Bakasana or Crow Pose.
Yoga isn't just about flexibility for me, it's also been a journey of building my physical strength. Throw all those sun salutations and lowering myself through Chaturanga, I've gone from someone who laughed at the idea of push ups to someone who can rock them with the best of them. Jumping back from crow pose is all about upper body and core strength and stability. Plus this motion is essential to developing the strength to flow through all of the postures in the Ashtanga Primary Series.
5) Jumping Through and Back to and from Seated
Ok so while just like number 4, this is really a transition and not an asana, it is still a lofty (yet achievable) goal. In a good class, I can manage jumping through 2 out of 3 times, but jumping back doesn't seem close yet. Again however, I really aspire to be able to flow seamlessly through my practice, and this is one hurdle along the way.
I'll keep you all posted throughout the year as I check off each of these yoga goals. But I'd love to hear from all of you, what are you Yoga goals or Resolutions for 2015. What pesky postures have been eluding you lately?
The lovely Yogi in all those videos is of course the amazing Kino MacGregor. You can check her out on her YouTube Channel KinoYoga. She is one of my yoga heroes and I have been learning indirectly from her through her books and her lessons on CodyApp, and can't wait to meet her when she comes to Calgary later this year.