It’s the weekend before Halloween, and we’re seeking out things that scare us.
Like, arm balances, back bends, and intense hip openers.
In my yoga world, these poses are what can traditionally cause a room full of flowing, breathing, practitioners to pause their momentum, maybe look at each other in the room or stare themselves down in the mirror.
So a couple amazing yogi friends and I created an event where we could break down some of the intimidation from these challenge poses and invite some courage and playfulness into our practice. We tag teamed a three part yoga class that included warm up poses, vigorous vinyasas, mini-lessons for three challenge poses, and a well earned cool down and svasana.
And of course, after all of these tricks, everyone deserved some treats.
Fresh pressed juices and pumpkin spice proteing bites were provided by a local juice bar, 4 Roots, and additional fruit, energy balls, carmel corn, and chocolate were brought in by us, the instructors.
Oh, and did I mention we were in costume? Dang, we were so hilarious. I was a cave woman as a companion costume for my toddler’s dinosaur costume, one instructor was a witch, and our hilarious friend dressed himself as the parody vlogger, JP Sears. Hilarious.
So here’s the pose breakdown of the challenge pose that I taught: Eka Pada Koundinyasana (Flying Lizard).
1.) Warm up with low lunge and lizard for hips and inner thighs, spinal balance and warrior three (for hamstrings), and chatarunga for shoulder placement and arm strength
2.) Start in a right leg forward low lunge. Thread the right arm underneath the right thigh and place it outside of the right pinkie toe or wider. Start to press the back of the thigh into the back of the right arm.
3.) Begin to walk the right foot out and lift it off of the floor, drawing the shoulder blades down and back and leading with the heart forward. When enough weight is on the right leg to relieve some pressure off the back left foot, work the left elbow right inside of or above the left hip.
4.) Come onto the toes of the left foot and engage the hamstring. Float the back left leg as pressure is added onto the left elbow. Find a balance between the pressure on the back of the right arm and the left arm inside of the hip. Extend the right leg out to the right side to extend the counter balance.
5..) Release all that fear.