14 Days • 14 Practices
Ready to take your practice to the next level?  This challenge is for those looking for a stronger and deeper experience!

Welcome.

Ready to take your practice to the next level?  This challenge is for those of you that have been practicing Yoga for a while, enjoy some deeper and stronger work but more importantly are interested in creating a more dedicated and regular practice.  The classes in this challenge start with an accessible intermediate level to give you a chance to get familiar with postures and sequencing but will gradually offer more challenges. While there will be plenty opportunity to build strength you’ll notice Yin Yoga and Meditation practices woven into this challenge so you also have an opportunity to dive deeper into the quiet side of Yoga!

DETAILS

TEACHER:   Ellen Cremer

STYLE:   Strength Building

LEVEL:   Active 2-3

DURATION:   14 Days

COMMITMENT:   Daily

TOTAL PRACTICES:   14

PROGRESS

INTRODUCTION

Your Weekly Practices

SETUP YOUR PRACTICE SPACE:  Is there one dedicated space where you can leave your props so they are readily available?  Or do you like the flexibility to practice on your deck on sunny days?  Some privacy is helpful; plus consider turning off your phone, asking for some quiet time from family and keeping excited pets in another room.

PROPS: Here's a general list of props you should have on hand; you may not need all of these depending on the Challenge you're doing.  Plus, I announce at the beginning of each practice what you'll need that day.  Yoga props are easily found online or at a local sporting goods store.

• Yoga mat
• Two foam Yoga blocks, 4 inch width
• Blankets or pillows (optional: household blankets)
• Yoga bolster (required for most Restorative practices)
• Yoga strap (optional: belt or scarf)
• Therapy balls (only needed for self-massage practices; tennis balls work too)

SHOULD I EAT BEFORE PRACTICE? Try to avoid eating 1-2 hours before any activity; but as with all things, adjust to suit your needs and lifestyle.  Avoid caffeine before any relaxation practices.

PRACTICE EVERY DAY?  WHEN?  It's ok to skip days, take breaks and adjust the schedule to fit your needs!  Also each day has a suggested practice time (generally active in the morning, relaxing in the evening); but as always listen to your body and don't be afraid to experiment and modify.

RESPECT YOUR LIMITATIONS: It’s important to remember that not every single Yoga pose offered here is right for everyone, especially with old injuries or other limitations. Please be patient with yourself as you begin this journey and feel free to take breaks or modify as needed.

PRACTICE DETAILS and PROGRESS:  Next to each practice you'll find some notes on length, time to practice and what to expect (see sample to the right).  When you complete each practice, click the Mark Complete button to save your progress. As you move through the Challenge, you'll see the Progress pie chart change to reflect your progress.  You can always click the COMPLETED button again if you want to do that practice over again.

Increased strength and flexibility are great benefits of a deeper and more dedicated practice.  But I believe there is a lot more to the idea of an ‘advanced’ experience of Yoga.  Over the next two weeks I invite you to be curious not only about physical challenges, but also about the more subtle experiences throughout your practice; perhaps a closer connection with your breathing or a deeper awareness of finer sensations that arise in your body along the way.  By paying attention to details we begin to cultivate a more heightened awareness of the ebbs and flows of experience, our tendencies to grasp or avoid, and ultimately moving deeper into the equanimity and wholeness that is our natural state by holding space for ALL that arises.

With that in mind you may find it helpful to also take a few moments and reflect on your intention around this challenge. What moved you to be here ready to dedicate yourself to your practice? I invite you to listen deeply. Personalizing your ‘Why’ will help you create a clear focus around what really inspires you to be here. I believe when we are inspired there is no need for discipline. We are moved to do something from a much deeper place.

Enjoy yourself and good luck!
— Ellen Cremer, Owner

Day 1 • Rise & Shine

Let’s ease into our challenge with this balanced, hour-long class combining movement, stretching & relaxation.  Enjoy!

 Morning • 59 min
Active 1-2

Day 2 • Yoga Warm-Up + Core Moments + 30 Minute Yin

After a short, active sequence let’s start building more core stability. If time allows treat yourself to 30 Minute Yin Yoga.  You’ll need to click on each class to play them in sequence.

Anytime • 63 min
Mixed 1-2

Day 3 • Shoulder Tune-Up + Yin Yoga for Shoulders

Learn more about the shoulder joint and explore some great mobility and strength exercises.  Your shoulders will appreciate some deep stretching afterwards.

Anytime • 69 min
Mixed 1-2

Day 4 • Yoga Warm up 2 + Core Moments 2 + Guided Relaxation 1

After a short warm-up sequence we’ll start adding onto the recent core practice, followed by some relaxation.  Play each of the 3 classes in sequence.

Morning • 49 min
Mixed 1-2

Day 5 • Deep Yin Yoga + Meditation 1

While we let the muscles of the body rest today let’s dive deeper into a quiet Yin and meditation practice!

Evening • 46 min
Relaxing 1-2

Day 6 • Yang Yoga for Strength 1 + Hips Hooray!

Today we have a stronger 40-minute practice focused on leg and hip work, followed by some deep hip-opening postures.

Morning • 72 min
Active 2-3, Relaxing 1-2

Day 7 • Yoga Warm-Up 3 + Core Moments 3

Let’s go deeper into core stability!  Make sure to spend a few minutes to stretch and relax after your active practice.  Repeat any recent Yin or Relaxation practice from earlier this week (or create your own) to round out the day.

Morning • 37+ min
Active 2-3, Relaxing

Before you dive into week 2 let’s take a moment to reflect on your experiences so far.  How did you do?  What were some of your celebrations on the mat?  How about any challenges? What were your responses or choices in some of those more significant moments?  This may apply to the challenge of certain postures or how to be with yourself on the mat when feeling tired or unmotivated. I believe that what appears as an obstacles can be an opportunity for growth and self-discovery.

While we learn to be more present and mindful, we begin to observe different emotional responses or beliefs more closely. With a maturing Yoga practice we have an opportunity to develop an inner strength and a different capacity to be with some of those patterns in ourselves.  Can we meet feelings and thoughts with awareness?  Are we willing to even acknowledge the underlying beliefs?  Take some time to reflect on these questions, journal if you like — and remember that this inquiry is Yoga too!

Day 8 • Sunny Salutations 3 + Guided Relaxation 2

Ease into this great Yoga sequence, but expect some challenges along the way 🙂  Treat yourself with a guided relaxation.

 Morning • 52 min
Active 2, Relaxation

Day 9 • Yang Yoga for Strength 2 + Meditation 2

This 33 minute practice focuses on some deep shoulder work; follow it up with a guided meditation.

Morn/Eve • 45 min
Active 2-3, Meditation

Day 10 • Yang Yoga

This hour-long Yoga practice is focused on twists, and combines all the goodness Yoga has to offer: movement, stretching, breathing and relaxation.

Morning • 60 min
Active 2-3

Day 11 • Deep Yin Yoga 2 + Meditation 3

Today take a deep dive into stillness with this rich Yin Yoga practice, followed by a Guided Meditation.

Evening • 40 min
Relaxing 2

Day 12 • Sunny Salutations 2 + Open the Chest

Enjoy this active movement practice to warm up and strengthen the body; follow that with some deep chest opening postures.

Morn/Eve • 61 min
Active/Relaxing 2

Day 13 • Yang Yoga for Strength 3 + Wall Wind Down

After a short warm up we’ll dive into some creative core work today. Enjoy some delicious restorative inversions after your workout!

Morn/Eve • 62 min
Active 2-3, Relaxing

Day 14 • Yang Yoga

Let’s finish this challenge with a balanced hour long class focused on shoulders and upper body.  Savor your last day!

Morning • 60 min
Active 2-3

Congratulations!  You made it!

Spending this much dedicated time on your Yoga mat is certainly an accomplishment.  Take a few minutes to reflect on your experience.  How does your body feel?  Do you notice any changes?  How do YOU feel?  What were some of the more important discoveries you made along the way?  And what did you learn from those?  I believe when taking a moment to acknowledge any changes we get to receive all those gifts a little more fully!

And finally, are there any choices you’d like to make going forward? Maybe there were certain elements of practice that you’d like to explore more deeply? What role is Yoga going to play in your life?

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