I’ve been practicing Ashtanga lately pretty hard core, as in the traditional 6 days a week with one day break. It has been making me stronger.
As you can see, I don’t have a fancy house or giant living to practice in. You are looking onto my living room and my daycare. When I practice my flows, I’m in the kitchen, on the floor, the flattest, most stable surface to put my mat. Believe me, just because Instagram has all these beautiful models practicing yoga in gorgeous studios or exotic locations doesn’t mean that that’s the end all be all. I would urge you to practice any where you damn well please and can.
After having my youngest daughter, I was left with an abdominal diastisis, a separation of the rectus abdominus. It’s not like my core was a total powerhouse before I had her, but after it was obviously not going to fire like it should. I gave it rest.
Here I am, doing astavakrasana (8 Angle Pose), one that has been illusive to me for years. I credit the ashtanga practice for getting me there. The bandha engament of mula bandaha (or if you just wanna call it your pelvic floor) and the uddiyana bandha (the area right below your naval center) is critical and has made these arm balances so much easier. Squeeze the thighs, and there’s leveraging on both arms with my body.
Arm balances are not all upper body strength. Get those bandhas to work, breathe, and engage the legs as well. All the muscles of the body work together!