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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Day 4: Aligning and Refining

The 21-Day Challenge is totally doing it's job... I woke up this morning and my abs were sore! I love that feeling, especially when it's from a self-motivated workout.  The core sequence from yesterday will have to go into my personal yoga archive for future reference.

On to today's sequence:  Aligning and Refining.  This is just a fancy way of saying posture and balance.  Most of the asanas were standing poses that worked on, you guessed it, balancing the body and aligning the spine.  I would highly recommend using a block and a strap for this sequence, especially if you are a beginner or have tight hamstrings.  My left hamstring is pretty much blown from an old injury, (non-yoga related) so I appreciated having a block nearby for the triangles and side angles.

Tree... I had to take it in my entryway because it's the only area not obstructed by furniture.  I need a yoga area!

Another pleasing thing about today's video was that it featured males!  The yoga community is largely represented by females, so it was nice to see male yogis represented as well.  I also liked Jason Crandall's encouraging voice and how he made sure to move slowly through each pose (moving too quickly could possibly result in a pulled hamstring).  However, I was a bit disappointed when the video abruptly cut off at around 30-minutes (6 minutes are missing).  It had to be a mishap because it was in the middle of half moon, right side (I had to do the left on my own, don't forget to do both sides!) 

I do have a few of tips to help make today's sequence a little easier:  First, while in balancing poses, pick a focal point.  I usually choose one on the ground in front of me or possibly one of my hands.  Whatever you choose, just make sure it makes sense, doesn't affect your alignment, and isn't distracting.  Second, remember to keep you hips in line with one another in all the angle/triangle poses.  You are really doing yourself a disservice by popping a hip out of alignment.  Sure, you may be able to reach further, but in doing so you are compromising your alignment and stretch.  Last, remember to keep your shoulder away from your ear in the poses.  Once again, it's all about alignment!

I would also like to add that I may soon feature Carrie-approved yoga products on my site.  More on that in the near future.  Also, I would like to take a moment to share this particularly cute picture of my dog, Penny:

Penny doesn't mind working from the mat up to get into shape. :)
I hope that everyone participating in the challenge is enjoying it as much as I am.  And if you're not doing it yet, it's never too late to start (Well, it does end on the 31st.) Anyone can spare a max time of 45-minutes from their day to feel great.  Remember to watch the video and sign up for the daily newsletter.  If you have any questions or comments, leave me some love below and I'll get back to you asap. Om Namah Sivaya!

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