I recently began taking a group fitness class at University of Florida called “Power Yoga.” I have been doing yoga on and off since middle school, and I just love it. It is similar to dance in some ways, which I love, but also different in some interesting ways. One of my favorite poses, which we work on in Power Yoga, is “Plow,” where we place our legs above our head so our toes touch the floor. Before taking this class, I would always put my head to the right during plow pose, but my teacher suggested I should not do this because I could injure my neck. So now I keep my head straight, which feels fine to me. According to my teacher, this is a good neck stretch. I also feel an interesting sensation in my stomach during this pose too, and I always feel deeply relaxed coming out of this pose. We usually transition from this pose to shoulder stand, and then into staff pose. We fold over and touch our toes in staff pose before and after the plow/shoulder stand experience, and I always find that I can bend a lot easier after the plow/shoulder stand. I can release my head and neck into the stretch more and really “put my forehead towards my toes.” I am slowly working my way from being able to do shoulder stand while supporting my lower back, to now I can do shoulder stand with my arms on the floor (i.e., not supporting my lower back.) Ideally, I would like to get to the point where my arms are off the floor entirely and I have my entire body resting on my shoulder blades. I think it is actually easier for me to transition from bridge pose to shoulder stand pose for some reason. When I first got the shoulder stand without using my hands, I felt like I was flying. I really like shoulder stand for my stomach as well, because I have had stomach issues all my life, and I always feel better in that respect after shoulder stand. It was terrifying yet exciting.
I also am beginning to try crow pose. I would like to lengthen the amount of time I can spend in crow pose as well as in the crow pose variation, “side crow.”
One simple pose I enjoy is tree pose, because in this class we try all sorts of interesting variations on tree pose. My favorite new variation is where, in tree pose, you put your one hand on the bent knee and twist your torso to the side. You get a nice side stretch and your core is forced to activate because you need a lot of balance to stay afloat in this position.
I have always loved bridge pose. It feels great. One of the interesting variations that I am working on in bridge pose is lifting one hand or the other while still maintaining the bridge pose. I would like to increase the amount of time that I can hold this position with one hand, and also with one foot lifted as well.
Well, that is all for now, as I have class in a bit. More to come!