Highland Yoga 40 Day Challenge

The Transformation begins here… In texts and traditions from all over the world, 40 days represents a complete cycle. It is believed that with compassionate dedication over this length of time, we can create change. With this in mind, join us for a 40 Day exploration of one or all of the following Asana (poses), Pranayama (breathwork) and Dhyana (meditation).

Below you will find a short sequence of poses, with a “challenge” pose appropriate for each level of practitioner. Level 1 practitioners will be working toward Utthan Pristhasana (Descending Lunge), Level 2 will continue to Baddha Utthan Pristhasana (Bound Descending Lunge) and Level 3 to Eka Pada Koundinyasana II (Pose Dedicated to the Sage Koundinya). Feel free to add to the suggested sequence in any way that serves you, and after exploring the challenge pose, end with a favorite twist and savasana. If you prefer to create change by embarking on a more consistent pranayama practice, you will find instructions for Nadi Shodhana (Alternate Nostril Breath) listed below. The meditation being offered is a technique by Erich Schiffmann.
Please do choose either an asana, pranayama, or meditation, OR embrace an even greater potential for growth by choosing 2 or 3 of these options! We will begin our commitment to practicing them every day beginning Sunday, July 13 and ending Thursday, August 21. Practice at home, or get together with friends… and let the transformation begin!

Click here to download a copy of the sequence below and instructions for the pranayama and meditation.

Let us know how it’s going! Please do share your experiences and support for one another by commenting below. Do also feel free to contact either Carolyn or Stephen with any questions.


1. Supta Padangusthasana A


2. Supta Padangusthasana B


3. Ananda Balasana


4. Parsvakonasana


5. Ardha Baddha Trikonasana


6. Prasaritta Padottanasana C


7. Adho Mukha Svanasana Variation


8. Plank Variation


9. Lunge Variation


10. Level 1 Challenge Pose – Utthan Pristhasana


11. Level 2 Challenge Pose – Baddha Utthan Pristhasana


12. Level 3 Challenge Poses – Eka Pada Koundinyasana II


Nadi Shodhana (Alternate Nostril Breath)

Find a comfortable seat, close or soften the eyes and cultivate a long, smooth, even breath. Set the first two fingers of the right hand to touch 3rd eye – thumb rests alongside right nostril, last two fingers alongside left nostril. At the end of an exhalation, close off the right nostril and enjoy a long, smooth breath through only the left nostril. At the end of the inhalation, close off the left nostril and exhale through the right. Inhale through that same right side, then close off the right and exhale left. Inhale through the left side, then close off the left and exhale right. Continue with that pattern – exhaling and inhaling through one side, then closing that nostril to exhale and inhale through the other side. After the desired length of time, conclude the pranayama practice with exhaling through the left nostril, releasing hands comfortably to thighs, and returning to a natural breath through both nostrils.


Erich Schiffmann’s Counting Meditation

Find a comfortable seat, close or soften the eyes and set your attention to your breath. Silently count backwards from 50 to 0, beginning on an exhalation with 50, next inhalation 49, etc… until reaching 20. From that point, only count down on the exhalations – exhale 20, inhale no count, exhale 19, inhale no count, etc… until reaching 0. When reaching 0, continue to be aware of the breath, and remain several minutes more.

Enjoy!!!

 

Comments

  1. Day 5 – feeling good!!! Very much enjoying the consistency of practicing these specific poses, pranayama and meditation each day. How is everyone else doing? Namaste, Carolyn

    • I am definitely feeling stronger and more open in my hips! I’m doing the challenge in the evenings after I put my kids to bed…some nights have been harder to get myself started than others, but once I start, I’m happy I did 🙂 Will keep you updated…

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