14 Days • 14 Practices
If you are new to Yoga, or are returning to Yoga after some time away, this 14 day introduction is the perfect place to begin or reawaken your practice.

Welcome.

If you are new to Yoga or are returning to Yoga after some time away, this 14 day introduction is the perfect place to start. You will find that the practices we’ll explore together are very accessible with detailed instruction and explanations.

Besides movement and physical poses, we also discuss and practice other elements of Yoga; breath work and meditation will broaden your understanding of this rich practice.

DETAILS

TEACHER:   Ellen Cremer

STYLE:   Beginner

LEVEL:   Active 1

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.

Here are a few extra videos that provide some detail and background on the various practices you’ll encounter in this Challenge.

This Challenge invites you to spend a little bit of time each day (10-60 minutes) to learn about and practice various elements of Yoga. When exploring something new, it is always helpful to stay curious and open to what you might discover; I invite you to allow these qualities to be an important support over the next two weeks.

Before you start, take a few minutes to prepare.  It can be helpful to look at the time frame of each suggested practice and plan what time of day you’d like to practice. Making changes to your lifestyle by adding something good and supportive opens an opportunity to consider things you might want to let go of.  For example, in order to fit a 60 minute Yoga practice into a busy day, would it be helpful to spend a little less time reading news or watching TV?  Of course sometimes life just happens and gets in the way of our intentions and you may have to take a break one day and resume again. But do your best to follow along with the suggested practices and adjust as needed.

Enjoy yourself and good luck!
— Ellen Cremer, Owner

Day 1 • Introduction to Yoga #1

Here is a short overview of the different elements and practices included in Yoga such as movement, stretching, breath work and relaxation. We will also explore our first practice with a focus on feet and legs to help you establish a strong foundation. 

 Morning • 59 min
Active & Instruction 1

Day 2 • What is Yoga?

Today I offer some inspiration to help you reflect on What is Yoga.  Is there a specific intention that made you want to try Yoga?  What is your ‘Why’ or reason for being here?  Take a few minutes to journal and explore these questions for yourself!

Anytime • 9 min
Instruction Only

Day 3 • Extra Easy 1

Let’s dive into some easy movements today!  Be mindful of yourself and adjust as needed when your body asks for it. Follow up with an optional Guided Relaxation to round off your practice.  But most importantly, enjoy yourself! 

Morning • 37 min
Active Movement 1

Day 4 • Wall Wind Down

While movement is important, today we’ll take a closer look at the world of Restorative Yoga, cultivating relaxation and stillness.  Please note that the first pose in this video can be done without a bolster under your back. 

Evening • 32 min
Relaxing 1

Day 5 • Introduction to Yoga #2

How can we accept limits and old injuries?  Let’s have an important conversations around how to be with the uniqueness of our bodies.  In practice we’ll explore hips, twists, lower back and core.

Morning • 61 min
Active & Instruction 1

Day 6 • Breathwork 1

You may have noticed by now that there’s a strong emphasis on Breathwork in Yoga practice.  This conversation and practice will help you understand some of the reasons behind this important part of Yoga. 

Anytime • 21 min
Instruction & Breathwork

Day 7 • Extra Easy 2

This short practice combines movements and stretching. For a bonus you can add this 12-minute class called Guided Relaxation 2

Morning • 32 min
Active Movement 1

Before we dive into Week 2, let’s take a few minutes to reflect on your experience so far.  What are some of the elements in Yoga you enjoy?  Others that you perhaps don’t like quite as much?  After spending 7 days learning and thinking about Yoga, and having explored different ways of practicing, there is a good chance you’ve begun to notice some personal preferences by now. Perhaps you feel more drawn to the more active classes and don’t resonate with relaxation or meditation? Or maybe the other way around? There may be some poses you like better than others.

It can be helpful to get more clarity on our preferences, but I’d also like to encourage you to keep exploring these different layers of Yoga even if you sometimes notice some resistance (unless you are taking care of an injury, other health concerns or pain). But just because we don’t love something doesn’t mean it’s not helpful; these moments can offer a valuable moment of reflection—perhaps the greatest benefit of Yoga.

So the next time you notice ‘not liking’—whether you feel bored, restless or frustrated—instead of not doing the suggested practice or pose, it might be helpful to ask yourself: Is there a small change I can make that allows me to be with this a little differently?  You may observe different choices around props or changing your breath slightly; and exploring these moments with awareness, rather than turning away from them, can be a doorway to self discovery.

Day 8 • Stretch and Unwind

Here’s an easy practice focused less on movement and more on floor-based stretching postures to relax and wind down.

 Evening • 32 min
Relaxing 1

Day 9 • Introduction to Yoga #3

Today we’ll talk more about the shoulder and upper back area, common causes for imbalances, and how to address these issues with Yoga.

 Morning • 62 min
Instruction & Active 1

Day 10 • Meditation 1

Let’s let the body rest today and spend a few minutes turning inward with this guided mediation.

 Anytime • 17 min
Guided Meditation

Day 11 • Extra Easy 3

Let’s try an easy practice of active movements and floor-based stretching combined with a guided Meditation—and meet the cats 🙂 For a bonus add the 12-minute Meditation 2 practice for a deeper experience.

 Morning • 35 min
Active 1

Day 12 • Bonus Back Care

Let’s treat our lower backs in this short practice today!

Evening • 21 min
Relaxing 1

Day 13 • Gently Energize 1

By now you are likely more familiar with most movements and poses in this practice; enjoy yourself!  For a bonus add a 15-minute guided relaxation if time allows: Guided Relaxation #3.

Morning • 30 min
Active 1

Day 14 • 30-Minute Restore 2

Well done! On this last day enjoy this 30 minute Restorative Yoga practice. It’s time to reward yourself with this Yoga treat and let the last two weeks of exploration settle and integrate a little more!

Evening • 61 min
Relaxing 1

Congratulations! You finished the Challenge!

This is a great achievement and I hope you take a moment to acknowledge your dedication, interest and ability to follow through. Let’s take some time to explore together what your next step might be; and to start, it’s so important to first clarify where we ARE in this moment. So, how are you doing? How does your body feel after several Yoga practices compared to two weeks ago? Are there any changes in your energy level, sleep patterns or emotional well-being? What else did you notice? Being aware of these changes really are the awards of a regular Yoga practice and can motivate you to keep up all the good work.

And finally, take a moment and ask yourself what place Yoga and self care will have in your life going forward? What are small changes you’d like to make, or what would you like to continue? Thank you for joining me on this journey. Feel free to reach out and let me know how this challenge landed for you!

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