How’s the yoga challenge going? Are you getting the hang of a home practice, or maybe dropping in on classes at the gym or yoga studio? We can only do so much in the course of a month, and you can really dedicate years to reaching some of the more ambitious asanas. So at this time of year, it’s great to turn an eye toward the future.
I want to talk about goal poses, things that you’d love to be able to do, but you aren’t quite there yet. Maybe you need to be more flexible, maybe you need to be stronger, or maybe you just need to spend more time and learn how to make the pose work for your body.
I’d love to hear what goal poses you have, or ones you’ve managed to do recently. I love arm balances, and I might not be good at Crow (bakasana) but I feel like a total beast any time I can make it sort of happen.
When I first tried this pose, I did it with my forearms flat on the ground, which means your shins and nose are just an inch above your mat. That’s a great way to gain confidence to try it in the more traditional position. From there you can move on to the same pose with better form, or try one of these variations. Once I took a class that, over the course of an hour, worked us up to a relative of crow called flying pigeon pose (you can see a diagram at this link) which was an amazing new goal pose.
Some goal poses that might be worth trying:
For flexibility: forward fold, garland pose, dancer’s pose (see these and more here)
For strength: get really deep into chair pose or chaturanga, or focus on holding any tough pose for a longer time (some ideas here)
For balance: besides arm balances like crow, it’s always great to work on standing balances like Warrior III or tree pose.
Practicing a new yoga pose in these last days of December might be just what you need to distract you from holiday chaos, but as always, go slow and be aware of your own abilities. What are your goal poses?