Our first YBC Community Yoga Project was a huge success. It was about flexibility, and the results were awesome. So many of you wanted to do another project, and I figured I'd better get to work, since the New Year is approaching and it's the perfect time to jumpstart our practices.
SO. Without further ado, I present the January Yoga Project: Strength.
That's right people, we are looking to get strong. Why?
For so many reasons. Let me count the ways.
- building strength may help to prevent injury
- building core strength may alleviate minor back pain and sciatica
- building upper body and core strength may improve your posture
- building strength may burn fat, if you're looking to tone up
- building strength may fuel the progress in our practice
I mean I could go on, but let's get to the good stuff. First of all, who is invited?
That's right, even you. Doesn't matter if you've never tried yoga before, or you're a seasoned student - everyone is welcome to join in.
Mission: Maintain a consistent yoga practice for the month of January focusing on strength building, and see how it impacts one strength pose.
1. Pick a strength pose that you'll use to document your strength progress. Not sure what a strength pose is? Don't worry, I have some suggestions below. If you have another pose in mind but aren't sure there's a major strength component to it, feel free to tweet me or leave it in the comments below and I'll be happy to help you out!
- Total beginners: Utthita hasta padangustasana C (first picture here) where you'll see how high you can get the leg (requires major core strength!), baby grasshopper (requires core, leg, and upper body strength), regular downward dog, or 3 legged dog (requires upper body strength)
- Intermediate: headstand (requires upper body strength and core strength), crow pose or crow pose jump backs (requires upper body strength and core strength, forearm stand (requires upper body strength and core strength), grasshopper pose (requires upper body strength and core strength and lots of hip work).
- Advanced: handstand (requires upper body strength and core strength), scorpion pose (requires upper body strength core strength), press up to headstand/forearm stand/handstand (requires upper body strength and core strength)
Important note: Nearly all of the above also have a component of flexibility to them, which is why it's important to practice yoga consistently, because not only will the strength develop, but the flexibility will come as well.
2. After you have picked a strength pose, decide on a plan of action. I would suggest practicing between 3 - 6 times per week for between 20 - 60 minutes each session. Does this mean each practice has to be a power practice? Most definitely not. You will still get benefits from a restorative or gentle practice, but I would up the power practices because that's where the strength will come from. Not sure where to start? I've created a suggested schedule and every Thursday I will post a pinnable version of that week's schedule along with the links to the videos and sequences, and some tips to help you through the week. Make sure to check back every Thursday for your weekly schedule if you'd like to follow the one I created.
Support and accountability
Head over to the Yoga Forum where we've created a dedicated forum for support. You can chat with other participants, get motivated, share inspiration, ask questions and offer advice if you have it. It's a good place to check in and hold yourself accountable. If you're one of those people who works best with a buddy system, this is the place to find one! Everyone over there is so nice.
Official check ins
Official check ins will be every Thursday in January plus the last day of the month, but feel free to check in more often. All you have to do to check in is hop on instagram, snap your pic (and this can be of anything: your yoga mat, yourself in a yoga pose, whatever!), write a caption telling us how you're doing, your thoughts, how the practice is going for you, etc, and then hashtag #YBCprogress and #YBCstrength. We'll use these two hashtags to find everyone in the community. Then, click on the hashtags and say hey to your fellow participants and cheer them on.
A suggested weekly schedule will be posted every Thursday in January, starting January 1st (woah, that's this week!). This is an opportunity to jumpstart your practice and get support and encouragement along the way! So, who is in?!
Shop the look from this shoot below: