Traveland RV Yoga Challenge-Week 2

Traveland RV’s 30-Day Yoga Challenge

Week 2 – Floor Poses (Flexibility)

Simply put, yoga is the movement, synchronization, and control of the mind, body and breath.

One of the best things about yoga is that anyone can do it, anywhere! All you need is a mat or a towel, and your body. There is no better time than now to start!

There are endless benefits to practicing yoga regularly, but here are our favorites:

– Calms the mind and body
– Reduces stress
– Increases serotonin
– Aids in the health and clarity of the mind
– Increases flexibility
– Improves and maintains muscle and joint strength, tone, and overall health
– Improves balance and posture
– Helps with sleep
– Improves cardiovascular health
– Injury protection and/or recovery

We have created an awesome 30-day yoga challenge that is perfect for beginners! Every Saturday, we will release a blog post with 7 new yoga poses, one for each day of the week.

Starting on Monday, try out the first pose and see how it feels and sit in it for as long as you wish. On Tuesday, do the first pose, then add the second pose to your sequence. Keep adding a pose every day of the week until you have a 7-pose sequence on Sunday.

Repeat this routine every week with the new poses we release until you are left with a full 28-pose sequence that will resemble a yoga class!

*If you have knee problems, add another towel or fold your mat directly beneath your knees to provide an extra layer of support.

Day 1

Camel (Ustrasana)
  1. Begin kneeling at the top of your mat with knees right under your inner hip points. Keep your shins parallel to each other.
  2. Place your hands on your lower back/sacrum with your fingers pointing down. Guide your tailbone down. Keep pressing your thighs back as you use an inhale to start lifting your heart up. Find extension through your heart by bringing the shoulder blades down and into your back ribs.
  3. Begin to lean back without dropping your head. Keep your chin in close to your sternum. With your hands still on your sacrum, find more depth by continuing to draw your shoulders together, focusing on length and extension of the pose rather than depth.
  4. Once you’ve extended as far as you can, option to reach back with one hand at a time to find your feet. Your hands will rest on your heels if your toes are tucked. Otherwise, they will rest on the soles of your feet.
  5. Draw your front ribs in to keep your belly soft and your spine long. Use your hands against your feet to lift more through your heart and sternum with each inhale. At this point, you can choose to drop your head back or to keep your head supported with the neck in a more neutral position.
  6. Hold for up to 60 seconds. To release the pose, return your hands to your pelvis and use an inhalation to come up, pushing the hip points down for support. Lead with your heart, head coming up last. Sit your hips on your heels for a few breaths to feel the residue of the pose.

Day 2

Seated twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
  1. Begin seated on your mat with both legs extended out in front of you (dandasana). Bend your right knee and step your foot to the outside of your left leg. Stay here, or bend your left knee so your left foot is next to your opposite hip.
  2. Place your right hand to the ground (or a block) behind your hips. Inhale to lift your left arm high, exhale to twist to the right and hook your left elbow outside your right thigh.
  3. Root down through your sitting bones and lift through the crown of your head. On every exhale, invite a gentle twist to the right.
  4. Option to take your gaze over your right shoulder.Hold for 5 breaths then release back to center.
  5. Pause in a seated shape for a few breaths, then repeat on the other side.

Day 3

  Seated forward fold (Paschimottanasana)
  1. Sit on the floor with your legs extended out in front of you. Flex your toes back towards your face as you press through your heels. Extend through the spine by lifting your sternum up and broadening across your collarbone.
  2. Hinge from your hips while keeping the front of your torso long and extended. Draw your tailbone back as your sternum reaches forward towards your toes.
  3. Find more depth by continuing to lengthen the front body and encouraging the sternum forward. If moving toward the connection of forehead to shins, the progression is lower belly to thighs, then upper belly, then ribs and finally forehead to shins.
  4. Allow the breath to move fluidly with you in the pose, using each inhale to lengthen and each exhale to hinge deeper.
  5. Hold the pose for up to 3 minutes before slowly releasing with an inhalation.

Day 4

Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)
  1. From your hands and knees, bring your right knee forward to the floor just behind your right hand.
  2. Place your right foot toward the left side of your mat, shin on the mat, with your knee at an angle that creates a stretch in the hip without pain in the knee. If your shin is parallel to the top of the mat, flex your foot back to stabilize the joints.
  3. Walk your left knee behind you until your leg is fully extended. Draw your inner thighs towards each other, slightly lifting your pelvis higher.
  4. Find the middle point where equal weight is between your left and right sides, and your pelvis is squared to the front of your mat.
  5. If the right hip is off the ground, use a folded blanket, foam block, or bolster under your right hip for support, keeping the hips square and level.
  6. Uncurl your left toes, looking back to see that your ankle is in line with your shin, and your leg is running in a straight line behind you.
  7. On an inhale, send your tailbone down towards the earth and the crown of your head up towards the sky.
  8. Exhale and slowly walk your hands forward in front of you, placing elbows on the floor or arms extended in front of you with torso on the floor.
  9. Breathe slowly for at least 5 deep breaths.
  10. Slowly walk your hands back up towards your body, placing your hands slightly wider than shoulder width. Send the head of the arm bones back, allowing your upper chest to lift slightly so that the collarbones are broad.
  11. Inhale to send your tailbone down and your crown up, walking your hands closer and closer to the body on an exhale so that the torso is moving towards an upright posture. Breathe here for 5 breaths or continue with the variation pose below.
  12. Variation A – If you are able to painlessly and evenly stay in this posture while removing your right hand from the earth, you may reach your right arm behind you with the palm up. Draw your lower belly in to stabilize your spine, inner thighs moving towards each other. Bend your right knee and grasp the flexed foot with your hand. You may stay here and breathe or progress to the next variation.
  13. Variation B – Point your foot and slowly shift your hand to the toes of the foot by outwardly rotating your arm deeper, slowly lifting the elbow forward, upwards, and eventually backwards so that the palm is facing down. Press your left support hand into the floor to lengthen your waistline, keeping even weight in the left and right sides of the body. Breathe here or progress to the next variation.
  14. Variation C – If you are able to maintain your balance and stability draw the lower belly in, move your inner thighs towards each other, lift your left arm up and back, grasping your foot with both hands. Send the head of the arm bone back into the socket, keep the action of your lower belly and legs, and breathe.
  15. Slowly, release your foot, place both palms on the floor and step back to adho mukha svanasana (downward-facing dog).
  16. Return to your hands and knees and repeat on the other side.

Day 5

Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
  1. Begin lying on your back with knees bent, soles of your feet on the ground and knees to the ceiling.
  2. Place your feet parallel to each other with heels right under your knees.Place your arms by your sides, palms face down.
  3. On an exhale, press your feet firmly into the ground. Lift your tailbone off the ground, then lower back, then mid back.
  4. Press your knees forward, away from your hips.
  5. Lift your chest toward your chin, and your chin away from your chest.
  6. Keep your thighs parallel, gently hugging the inner knees toward each other.
  7. Hold for up to one minute. To release, gently lower your hips back down to the ground.

Day 6

Reclined hand to toe (Supta Padangusthasana)
  1. Start standing with your hands on your hips. Draw your left knee in towards your belly and interlace your fingertips in front of your shin. Level your hips so they are equidistant from the ground. Pause here for a breath.
  2. Reach your left hand on the inside of your left knee and take hold of your big toe with your first and second fingers. Stay here, or lengthen your spine and extend your foot forward any amount.
  3. Hold for 3-5 breaths and release back to standing. Repeat on the other side.

Day 7

Happy baby (Ananda Balasana)
  1. Start on your back with your knees drawn in towards your chest.
  2. Grab hold of the pinky toe sides of your feet, with your elbows on the inside of your knees.
  3. Draw your shoulders toward the ground, tone your arms and flex your feet as you pull down on your feet.
  4. Draw your knees wide and toward your armpits and try to stack ankles above knees.
  5. Lengthen your lower back down to the ground.
  6. Stay here for up to one minute, and then release and draw your knees in to your chest.

End every yoga session with a 3-5 minute savasana to reset your mind and come back to any intentions you made at the beginning of your session.

Savasana is a relaxation pose. Lay flat on your back with your legs slightly apart and your arms comfortably out by your sides. Try to quiet the mind and focus on your breath during this time to completely relax and prepare the body for the rest of the day.

You have officially completed the first week of our 30-day yoga challenge, way to go!
Stay tuned for week 3 and share this with your friends!
Yoga pose descriptions by gaia.com