30-Day Challenge: Bikram Yoga - Update 5

Well the past several days have been interesting.  They always say that strange things can "come up" in your yoga practice and that was definitely the case for me this week.  These things can be anything from emotional to physical feelings.  

For me, it was physical.  Whether it was related to my practice remains to be seen, but I had some pretty unusual and painful pain in my abdomen on Wednesday.  So much so that, despite attempts to push through, I ended up not doing half of the postures.  I was quite upset, but after chatting with the teacher, I felt much better.  She explained that yoga is a practice.  Your body is different every day, and that means that every day each posture is different.  Some days your balance is rock solid, other days you can't keep balanced in a posture to save your life.  She told me on Wednesday that today my practice was doing the postures that I could.  My body just wasn't allowing the rest.  She insisted that the day still counted towards my thirty classes.  Relief!

The next five postures in the series.

17.  Salabhasana  (Locust Posture)
Strengthens the upper spine and can relieve tennis elbow.  It can also help with varicose veins in the legs. This posture is slightly difficult for me as you lay on top of your arms (palms down), and my elbow has given me a bit of grief since I broke it a few years ago.  But it does feel really good to get all of the congestion out of your arms.  We spend so much of our day with bent arms - at our desks, driving, etc. - and this helps to counteract that.

18.  Poorna-Salabhasana  (Full Locust Posture)
Increases strength in the middle of the spine. This posture opens up the rib cage and increases elasticity, while firming abdominal muscles, upper arms, hips and thighs.

19.  Dhanurasana  (Bow Posture)
This posture is a bit of a doozy.  It opens the rib cage, allowing the lungs to expand fully.  It is a 360-degree flexion of the spine, revitalizing all of the spinal nerves by increasing circulation and strengthening the entire spine.  Bow aids in digestion, combats bronchitis and diabetes while improving the functioning of the large and small intestines, liver, kidneys and spleen.

20.  Supta-Vajrasana  (Fixed Firm Posture)
This posture strengthens and improves flexibility of the lower spine, hips, knees and ankle joints.  It increases circulation to the lower limbs, is therapeutic for lower back pain, sciatica, rheumatism and varicose veins.  It also helps to prevent hernia.  Yet another that is slightly challenging on my poor knee, but I am noticing small improvement in this posture with regular practice.

21.  Ardha-Kurmasana  (Half Tortoise Posture)
This posture can actually help us live longer.  It is great for tense necks and shoulders, it increases blood flow to the brain, enhances memory and improves mental clarity.  It also stretches the lower part of the lungs and can counter indigestion, etc.  They say this posture also helps balance sleep/wake cycles for those who struggle with insomnia.  

I have reached single digits in the countdown of my challenge!  It feels like such a big accomplishment!  I am off to my 22nd class this afternoon!  So after today, I have 8 classes left to complete in 7 days!