NagADay is Back with a 120 Day Handstand Challenge

handstand Yoga Nag is back, whether you like it or not. My August break is over. It was lovely. Time slowed down. A bit. I learned a bunch about myself and my practice, blogs to come. In the meantime, with the beginning of September, I am joining a handstand challenge. Two very smart, sweet, and powerful friends have just started a 120 day handstand challenge, and as of today, I am on board.  The full details are below. It is a wise and wonderful approach, with background in the martial arts. See what you think.  And join us if it resonates with you. The beautiful timing of starting now is that we will enter the new year with the experience and perhaps the results in our pocket.

Do yoga. Today. Everyday.

Peace and pauses,
Yoga Nag
http://www.YogaNag.com
#practiceeverydamnday #practice #handstand #120daychallenge #nostretchpants @likadc @extendyoga

What is the Ancient Okinawan Handstand Challenge?
Hundreds of years ago, Okinawan martial arts masters created a most unusual training methodology.  They started with the notion that performing a complex and challenging exercise (with complete sincerity) a certain number of times per day for a certain number of days will “change your blood.”  What is meant by this is as follows: blood is the sacred fluid of life.  A complex exercise performed in this manner will change not only the body and mind but will also cause a shift within the functioning of the practitioner’s central nervous system.  After trial and error the masters concluded that the optimal formula is to repeat such an exercise three times per day for a period of 120 consecutive days.     

Note that it has been explained that the actual number of days required if the exercise were to be performed with perfect sincerity would be 108.  In Buddhism and Hinduism this is a sacred number.  It is considered to be a “semi-perfect” number.  108 represents 9 dozen.  Due to the fact that humans are imperfect and incapable of performing with perfect sincerity the masters demanded 10 dozen days of repetitions to compensate for human imperfection in efforts.  Thus, there is in point of fact a method to the madness – a magic to the number if you will.

Rules of the Challenge:
The practitioner is to perform three handstand “sets” each and every day for 120 days.  For the sake of balance, a “set” will mean two handstands – one handstand from a standing split with the left leg rising first and a second from a standing split with the right leg rising first.  The sets can be done at any time in a 24 hour period.  They can be done all at once or one in the morning, one at lunch, one at night – or any which way at all.  As long as they are done every 24 hours.  In other words, the practitioner is to perform 6 handstands per day (and not more) for 120 consecutive days for a grand total of 720 handstands. If the practitioner fails to perform the three sets on any day of the challenge then he or she must start over from day one.  This is critical to the experience. As with all aspects of practice, safety comes first and foremost.  For this reason, the handstand challenge is not a “for time” exercise.  To do handstands for long periods of time under some of the conditions that might arise during 120 consecutive days could prove dangerous.  The student is encouraged during this challenge to work through illness, congestion, headaches, emotional disturbance, etc.  To attempt long handstand holds during challenging physical or emotional times could be dangerous.  Danger or risk of injury is not part of the program.

This exercise is about transitions into the handstand – not about endurance. The goal is to smoothly transition up into the handstand, get steady and balanced (however long that takes – 2 seconds, 5 seconds, maybe 10) and then come out of it with control.  Advanced practitioners can choose other methods of getting up into and out of the handstand.  But, let it be clear that this challenge is not about holding the handstand for long periods of time.  It is about transitioning into and out of the handstand with grace and ease. Those who need it are encouraged to use a wall to prevent themselves from falling.

PLEASE WARM UP BEFORE ATTEMPTING. A few sun salutations, some shoulder and wrist work, something that you know works for you. 

What can the student expect to experience?
At some point during the 120 days a student will experience what it would be like if yoga became equal to their very top priorities in life.  This is because the further into the challenge one gets the bigger the stakes become if a day is missed.  

Note that a set of two handstands might take only 20 seconds or so.  Then a moment of rest and repeat twice.  So we might only be talking about two or three minutes of work a day here.  But, these few minutes along with the challenging posture that is the handstand will be more than enough to put the experience into a student’s head – that for 120 days, yoga is a number one priority in life.  It is a unique experience that is well worth having.

Are you ready to accept the challenge?

Yoga Nag’s Updated Willow Street Teaching Schedule

Hey Willow Street yogis,

This is a reminder that Willow Street Yoga Studio is closed for a week starting tomorrow. I have a fun new schedule, including a flow class, another Level 2 class, and a 6 week PostNatal special, which is below or available at http://willowstreetyoga.com/instructors/daisy-whittemore/. Registration is currently open, or you can drop in anytime.  For the first week of classes, registered students can bring a friend for free AND if they register for my class, or any class, you get a $25 gift certificate.

New Willow Street Teaching schedule, BEGINNING SEPTEMBER 3rd:
Wednesdays in Silver Spring
—Yoga II (new class), 6:00pm-7:30pm
—Yoga I/II, 7:45pm-9:15pm

Thursdays in Takoma Park
—Yoga II, 8:00pm-9:30pm

Saturdays in Silver Spring
—Pregnancy Yoga, 11:00am-12:30pm (new time)
—Aligned Vinyasa Flow (new class), 1:00pm-2:00pm
—Postnatal Yoga (six week special, 9/20-10/25), 2:15pm-3:30pm

Next week, I am still teaching elsewhere:
Thursday
—Mixed Flow, 9:30-10:45 am at Extend Yoga in North Bethesda
—Open Flow, 12-1 pm at Allay Yoga in Kensington
Saturday
—Hot Power Yoga, 9-10:15 am at Extend Yoga in North Bethesda

More schedule additions and adjustments coming soon, including a brand new studio opening in Silver Spring in early September!

Do yoga.  Today.  Everyday.

Peace and pauses,

Yoga Nag
http://www.YogaNag.com

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Moon Salutations! Super Moon Love

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Beautiful yogis,

In honor of the upcoming Super Moon TOMORROW, August 10th, when the moon is not only full but super close to the earth, consider doing some moon worship in your practice in the form of moon salutations. There are many varieties, most with the tendency to cool, calm, and settle (as compared to their brothers, sun salutations).  I have videotaped three variations we have been doing in my classes this week: Moon Salutations: Chandra Namaskara.  Or https://yoganag.wordpress.com/practice/moon-salutations-chandra-namaskara/

Think and then feel watery, flowy, smooth, luxurious, silvery.  Use the practice to reflect, to connect to your inner feelings and wisdom, to the sweet current of you.

Who doesn’t love and believe in the moon?

So, bow down, offer a little moon love, a full body prayer to the moon.

Do yoga.  Today.  Everyday.

Peace and moonbeams,

Yoga Nag
http://www.YogaNag.com

NagADay Breather

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Yoga Nag is taking a breather, some time away from the daily internet play, the challenges, the constant connection to my phone and computer. August is time for me to turn it all off. And tune in. To me. Without the constant input and distraction the amazing electronic world provides.  I am sure I will pop back in but won’t be doing the daily nags and connection.

Thank you for your inspiration, your encouragement, your lessons. And for your love. It matters. It makes me a better yogi. A  better teacher. And a better human.

Please keep practicing. Keep shining your light and encouraging others to practice, all of us working together to show up, in this big, beautiful life, both on our mats and off.

Do yoga. Today. Every day.

Peace and pauses from my mat, and my world, to yours,

✨✨✨❤️💜💚💛💙✨✨✨✨

Yoga Nag

www.YogaNag.com

BIG P.S.  THANKS to http://www.kristenemmaphotography.com for the beautiful picture.  That girl has talent.  Check her out!

BIG P.P.S. THANKS to the great previous challenges, their hosts and my challenge pals, for teaching me so much, about yoga and myself, and helping me realize that I needed a breather.  xoxoxo #independenceARMy #publicdisplayofasana #PDA peeps: @laurasykora17 @beachyogagirl @kinoyoga @glyderapparel @extendyoga @yogioneandonly @yoginaomi @cardigansarah @macaronik @mackenzieyoga @danielscottyoga @andrew7sealy @nayitavp @mandukayoga @teekigram @earthkeeperorganics @rickaroons

#practice #yoga #yoganag #yogaeverydamnday

 

NagADay

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WILD THING, you make my heart sing.

Maha gratitude to the wild and wonderful Instagram community for a fun and super hard challenge, #independenceARMy. I learned a ton this month.

There are so many ways to learn and practice yoga, including online social communities. I find them helpful and inspiring most days. Some don’t. That’s okay.

Do your yoga. Today. Every day.

Thanks to
@laurasykora17 @beachyogagirl @kinoyoga @glyderapparel. And some sweet love to the fantastic angel ARMy: @extendyoga @yogioneandonly @yoginaomi @cardigansarah

Peace and pauses,

Yoga Nag
http://www.YogaNag.com
#practice #yoga #yoganag #yogaeverydamnday

NagADay

salabasana

#Salabasana/#Locust pose variations. When I try it with my legs together in this variation with arms facing palm down underneath me, my legs lift less than a foot off of the ground, my neck feels cranky, shoulders hunchy, low back tense, elbows screaming mad, and my chin gets raw. Whining? Perhaps. But also signs that I am not there. So, easy does it.  I back off, practice one leg at a time, building strength and opening the places that need opening, followed by some sweet child’s poses. Ahhh…..better.  That is my yoga.

Do yoga. Today. Honoring you. Where you are.  In your practice. In your life.

Peace and pauses,
Yoga Nag
http://www.YogaNag.com

#practice #yoga #yoganag #yogaeverydamnday Inspired by #independenceARMy  with

@laurasykora17 @beachyogagirl @kinoyoga @glyderapparel. And the fantastic angel ARMy: @extendyoga @yogioneandonly @yoginaomi @cardigansarah