the One Down Dog yoga team dancing together in the studio

Yogis Who FLOW Together, GLOW Together

Mar 29th, 2024 oddfam Blog, Community, Education

Because you made it through winter, you deserve a little treat – a bit less gray and a lot more play! At One Down Dog, we believe there's more to yoga than meets the 3rd eye. Beyond asana and meditation, you'll find a blueprint for living a more joyful life. Without further ado, let's dive feelings-first into a pool of love, compassion, and play with a few treats of ancient wisdom. It's Playpril, after all.

 

The first treat is for your ears. The ODD Fam has curated a kinda silly, kinda nostalgic, and entirely playful playlist (say "play" again) to inspire you to take chances and experience something new in your practice. Fall out of a handstand in Steven's Inversion Workshop and giggle, participate in our April Bingo Challenge and challenge yourself with an unfamiliar class, or make your family playtime an ODD time at a Family Yoga or Partner Prenatal Workshop. However you play, may this soundtrack brighten your day!

Listen to 'Yogis Just Wanna Have Fun' on Spotify >>

 

 

 

We love all yoga poses equally, but we won't pretend that some are just more fun than others. One of the keys to a strong and enduring practice is to come to the mat like it's the first time every time, and there are certain poses that can help remind us to do just that, like Happy Baby! When you roll around on the floor, you can't help but imagine a simpler time, when everything was new and your only "era" was curiosity. In addition to awakening your inner child, you'll get a lot of other benefits, too:

  • opens inner thighs, hips, and groin
  • stretches the spine and hamstrings
  • helps manage back pain
  • eases stress, anxiety, and fatigue

Here's a quick guide to getting into ananda balasana:

  1. While lying flat on your back, bend your knees to your chest.
  2. Inhale and grasp your feet from the inside or outside – or adjust to how you're feeling today by grabbing the ankles or behind the thighs instead.
  3. Open your knees to either side of your torso, stacking your ankles directly above your knees, flex the heels, and push your feet into your hands.
  4. Draw the navel in and imagine a string is pulling your tailbone in one direction and the crown of your head in the opposite direction.

 

Fun to say and fun to do, Kapalabhati pranayama helps energize you for a playful practice. Begin in a comfortable seat or "Sukhasana," keeping the spine straight, sit bones firmly rooted into the ground, and awareness in the core. With the hands resting on your knees either downward (to ground) or upward (to receive), inhale deeply, then, as you exhale, draw your navel in toward the spine. When you relax the abdomen, your inhale will happen passively. Try this for about 10-20 cycles of fast-paced breaths.

 

 

 

First, please don't strain to read this in Sanskrit – that's far too much work and not enough play for Playpril's liking. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are the foundation of our beloved yoga practice, and there's so much wisdom to be found in their meanings. Patanjali asserts that there is no perfect life, and that we are often clouded by misunderstanding. Rather than get down on ourselves and give in to negative emotions, we can live in complete contentment – Samtosa – by accepting and appreciating what we have. In class, you may have heard teachers talk about "Niyamas," which are Patanjali's rules for engaging with ourselves more positively so that we may engage with others just as beautifully – the rules for our relationships are called "Yamas." Contentment is the second Niyama, so you know it's a big deal. In this moment, you are enough. Keep that little mantra in mind as you play through your day.

 

If you've made it this far, and you're feeling extra playful, we have a special bonus for you – a journal prompt of the month!

Think of a recent challenge you've experienced. How could you have incorporated a sense of play to help resolve the issue in a way that doesn't result in a migraine?

If you mention the journal prompt to your friends at the front desk, they'll give you 5 extra stickers to boost your April Bingo Game!

 

 

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