This holiday season- we decided to have a little fun on Instagram-
We created a challenge to unite and inspire the Bowspring community. We had so much fun- it was amazing to hear your thoughts and see your poses and movement.
May we all continue to inspire each other to each of our highest potential.
Until next time- here’s my recap!
Day 1 of the Sleigh Bells and Bows Primal Bowspring Instagram Challenge!
The Pose: BACK CAT
I chose the word: EXPANSIVE- hips drop low, heart reaches into the sky… open belly makes expanded engagement… roots to the rise.
Back Cat: From twisted cat right, sneaky slide right foot behind left. Sit hips down toward heels, hips stay low as heart reaches high. Micro bend left elbow (as you can see from my photo… I failed at this micro bend. This will compromise the alignment of your shoulder). Ecstasy right arm- elbow hugs into cheek. Drop left ear toward left shoulder to lift right ribs high to the sky. Find a pulse- sit hips toward heels, and reach ribs high with each extension. Head presses back into hand- open the throat, open the belly. Keep your tube long- pelvic floor to crown of head. Back cat can stay in a right side extension, or pulse it to spin it open. Keep ear dropping toward shoulder, keep this connection as you start to rotate heart toward the sky. Rooting down through the paws… earth to sky.
Music in video by: Rampa – Mascha
Day 2 of the Sleigh Bells and Bows Primal Bowspring Instagram Challenge!
The Pose: TRIPOD
TRUST… trust that if you let go… you will be supported. Letting go creates infinite freedom and space. Trust the process, the ups and downs… trust the pushes and pulls… you will be held… root down. The universe has a plan… even when you don’t see it. 💓
From tribal right foot forward- seaweed sway arms, hands in seed. Sway right arm and hand far to the right, sit hips low, place right pad down- dome to bright. Check the distance, space is nice. Too close will feel crunchy, no room to bend or open the heart. If you need more space- twinkle your fingers further until you have the room to pulse- sitting hips low, left hand ecstasy-press head back into hand, open the throat. Lift up left ribs, drop right ear to right shoulder, lift the ribs some more. Keep your tube long and strong- pelvic floor to crown of head. Option to spin it open- always… keep connection- ear to shoulder, and then pulse hips to heels, spin it open, heart to sky.
Music in video by: MODA – Ad Adel
Day 3 of the Sleigh Bells and Bows Primal Bowspring Instagram Challenge!
The Pose: ONE ARM ONE LEG SIDE BALANCE w/ PAD TO PAW CONNECTION
Blissful- because I adore this pose. The rooting of the paws, the directionality… the yins and the yangs- … this pose is bow-you-tiful. 💓
One arm one leg side balance to the right (toes and knees to the right)- From Side Chair or Twisted Cat to the right- pick up the right leg, hero foot to maintain engagement. Drop left ear to left shoulder, lift right ribs high to the sky. Keep your tube long and strong- from pelvic floor to crown of head. Root down through the paws, find the pulse- root to rise. Right knee pulls in and narrow to open the pelvic floor- keep your belly open- bowing to the right, lower lumbar moving in, paws rooting for engagement. Micro bend into left elbow- keep hollows strong. Right pad (hand) to paw on the inseam of the leg- make the connection, hug the knee/leg narrow into the arm, extend leg forward and then rotate up toward the sky.
Music in video by: Four Tet – Two Thousand and Seventeen
Day 4 of the Sleigh Bells and Bows Primal Bowspring Instagram Challenge!
The Pose: KING FALCON w/ BIND
Connected- as this pose requires all parts to engage and connect and it requires complete mindfulness to be aware of all the intricacies of this pose- to feel strong and supported… in a pose that isn’t known for its stability. The back bend is delicious- and meeting the pad to paw connection makes you feel grounded.
From Falcon Pose (right side start)- two seeds to the ground- lift up with a radiant heart, dome hands twinkle back to balance, hamstring curl left heel to glutes, hero’d right ankle press into thigh- thigh back into ankle. Right knee stays narrow toward the top right hand corner of the mat. Both hands to ecstasy, head presses back into hands- open the throat, open the belly. Root down to rise up, keep hips moving back as heart begins to lift to the sky. Support neck and keep your tube long- no crunching in the spine. If you feel a crunch- come back- lift up again- root the base and find more length. Keep lifting up to lean back- maybe catch your left foot behind you if its there for you.
Music in video by: Lionheart – The Truth
Day 5 of the Sleigh Bells and Bows Primal Bowspring Instagram Challenge!
The Pose: STANDING OPEN LEG POSE w/ PAD TO PAW CONNECTION
Flying – is the word I have chosen. Because when I am teaching my students and we move into open leg pose I joke to them that they’re flying… because it kind of does feel like you might just superman / superwoman yourself into the sky. A pose fit for power and expansiveness… open belly… lengthened limbs… engaged… counter balancing all over the place. 💓
From standing open leg pose (right leg out)- Dig drag right foot (dig to send hips back, drag to engage posterior chain of leg, hero foot to maintain engagement), lift with hero’d ankle. Open the belly- bowing forward and to the left. Lift the chin, open throat. Keep hips moving back and left leg bent, paw rooting down. Left hand extends forward in seed hand to the left. Narrow right knee toward the ground to open the pelvic floor, right hand to the top of right knee- hand pushes into knee, knee back into hand- use this to open the belly some more. Take right hand/arm to the inseam of right leg- keep the knee narrow and forward, catch pad (hand) to paw. Paw presses into pad, extend leg out to the side, keeping hips moving back, rooting through the left paw, engaging into both glutes. Belly long and bowed, chin lifted, eyes on the horizon… pulse it if you want it! 💥 🎶
Music by PhaRo – Her Blues
Day 6 of the Sleigh Bells and Bows Primal Bowspring Instagram Challenge!
The Pose: PHOENIX
Because- Phoenix rising! This pose requires complete focus, commitment to binds, and balance. We find our roots through a single paw, and strengthen by the wrapped bind. Hips move down and back as the belly begins to open forward… Rooting into the rise- we elevate- like phoenix rising.
“In Greek mythology, and in the Talmud, a phoenix (Ancient Greek: φοῖνιξ phoînix; Latin: phoenix, phœnix, fenix) is a long-lived bird that is cyclically regenerated or born again. Associated with the Sun, a phoenix obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor.” – Wikipedia 💓
Phoenix pose with phoenix arms (right leg wrapped). From Earth Pose- dig/drag to lift right leg forward, root left paw down, bend into left knee… keep hips back, belly long and open. Cross right leg over left, wrap leg all the way around the left calf if possible (kickstand is always an option!) Sit low and drag right leg back into left. Belly bows forward. Take arms wide- and then swing them together to wrap left over right- find hands linking at the top. Chin stays lifted, throat stays open. Arms squeeze tight, pressing forward and up to expand through the back body and shoulders. Find a pulse, begin to root hips down and back as you lift heart to the sky. Keeping left paw rooting strongly, find your back bend/ belly opening… notice the precise focus and balance you need to maintain in order to lift this up into a back bend! Tough stuff.
Music in video by: Bonobo – Figures
Day 7 of the Sleigh Bells and Bows Primal Bowspring Instagram Challenge!
The Pose: CUPIDS BOW
CUPIDS BOW. This is definitely level 2-3. It is an intricate pose with a lot of counter balancing going on in a precarious position- but! so rewarding when you can figure it out. Good luck! HIPS DON’T LIE… and this pose means it!
From twisted cat to the right- Drop the left foot to pick up the right leg- one arm one leg side balance. Find the pulse, hips root back and right ribs lift up to the sky. Keep the connection- left ear to left shoulder, begin to spin it open- heart toward the sky. Tube stays long and strong- don’t crimp the tube, dude. Once you are able to fully revolve the opening- place right hand down, PARALLEL PARK the right hip to the right. This is SUPER important in order to find that counter balance. Left hand lifts and reaches to catch right paw- pad to paw connection- keep right hip moving to the right as you begin to extend the right leg toward the left. Cupids BOW! Keep heart lifting high, chin lifted and throat open, hug right ear in toward right shoulder. Yow Yow!
When I was learning this pose- I fell about 900 times. I was so frustrated- until my love, @bowpringabriela, told me that I needed to parallel park my hip in order to counter balance the pose and have it feel stable. With a radiant heart, all sides expanding- the hips can move separately from the ribs- the hips don’t lie! Move them the opposite direction that you want to extend your leg toward. Cross bind beauty- this is no easy pose. Falling is okay!
2 videos with slightly different angles!
Music in video by: Bonobo – Samurai
Music in video by: Compuphonic – Metropolis
Day 8 of the Sleigh Bells and Bows Primal Bowspring Instagram Challenge!
The Pose: NINJA & AROUND THE WORLD // WALL WORK
From a deep squat- butt on the wall, hands meet the ground- dome to bright. Heart hop or walk up. You want to be able to keep a bend in your knee and your paws on the wall- but be able to push your hips past your heart.
Twisted cat on the wall- same as on the ground, except upside down. Twisted cat to the right- toes and knees twist to the right. Hips move back to the left. Left ear drops to left shoulder, pick up through the right ribs. Belly stays long, bowing to the right. Hips stay lifted and moving left.
Around the world- From twisted cat to the right: externally rotate left hand so that the thumb points up to 1PM ish. This helps you coordinate when you start moving upside down, as well as gives more space for shoulder rotation. Back cat- right foot slides along the wall to place behind left foot. Paws stay rooting on the wall. Left ear hugs left shoulder, keep this connection- ear connects to the shoulder as you begin to spin your heart toward the sky. Once you have fully rotated- place both hands down on the ground and balance yourself. Two paws on the wall- hips drop low, regroup. Keep the circle going- complete the trip around the world. Right hand internally rotates (fingers face more toward the left hand), hips move to the left, spin back to face the wall.
Ninja- From heart hop on the wall- twist cat to the right. Left shin to the wall, as high as you can get it- hero foot. Really root the top paw onto the wall- to keep the hips pulling back (to the left) and the glutes engaged. Left ear to left shoulder, pick up the right ribs. Catch the heel with your hand- hug the arm to the inseam of the leg. Once you’ve caught the heel- extend leg to the right- leg doesn’t have to go straight. Keep belly long, ribs lifting, hips up and back, rooting top paw pushing into the wall. Don’t collapse in the shoulders- hold that radiant heart. Ninja style!
Video sped up to 1.5. Go slow. Watch the hands! They set you up properly and give you a solid sense of where you are going when your perception is mixed up.
Music in video by: Animal Trainer – Dragon Games
Day 9 of the Sleigh Bells and Bows Primal Bowspring Instagram Challenge!
The Pose: FULL EXPRESSION CAMEL
This one is ALL about the roots. When I say roots- specifically (in this case), I mean the feet. Hero foot is your biggest priority. The strong push down of the top paw (top paw= top of your foot- as hero foot has you root the top paw down to find the hollow in the ankle) and the pull back toward the knee to find engagement into the posterior chain/glutes. This is your driver; this is your torque and control.
Once you’ve warmed up with a few belly extensions- long belly, strong belly, bow belly… finding all the length, then give this a try. Take two seed hands to the base of your thigh- the place that your hips and thighs connect. Root down SO solid with the feet. This is a major focus. From here- find the pulse. Hips root back (and hips STAY back, almost on the heels the whole time), seeds push into the thigh to first lift up and lengthen. Once you find the length- start to go back. Its this up and back game, focusing on the fascial lines in your belly- a lifting UP and then leaning back- with the support of seeds pushing into thigh to create length in the spine and belly. Take it to your edge. Use your feet as control. The force to lift back up comes from the feet. Feet are magical. Push the top paw down and pull it back toward the knee… this is where you find the strength to control this bend. Not from the core or the back, but from the feet. Root down to rise up!
Give it a try. You might be surprised. This is a personal AND student fave. It is smart. Its all about the feet.
Music in video by: Kerala Dust – Untitled (Another Shade of DWIG Remix)
Day 10 of the Sleigh Bells and Bows Primal Bowspring Instagram Challenge!
The Pose: BOUND DANCER
Integrated- because all parts must integrate to feel the lightness of this dancing flight. 💓
Dig drag right to lift up right foot to square leg behind you. Right seed hand meets the heel for a heel press to engage the posterior chain. Left seed hand reaches forward with engagement. Root down with the left paw, slight bend in the left knee. Long belly, lifted chin, open throat. Try some rebounds- right hand holds the outside right ankle, hero right foot. Hinge forward at the hips half way or all the way, your hamstring will tell you when. Kick into your hand to lift back up. Keep your gaze inline with your movement- move at your hips, not your arm, chin stays the same distance from sternum. These are hard! Tendency is for the right knee to splay to the right- hug it to the midline. Standing leg stays bent and strong. Next level- Catch right hand to inseam of the right foot. Revolve the elbow into a twist… Elbow moves to the right to lift up to the sky for a hand to paw extended bind. Catch paw with left hand too… fix your grip if necessary… and then find your pulse. Kick into hand to extend leg up. Yow Yow!
Music in video by: Truth – Echo Chamber
Day 11 of the Sleigh Bells and Bows Primal Bowspring Instagram Challenge!
The Pose: HANDSTAND
Lets get lifted… I know I love Bowspring for its dedication to inversions… at least, I have gained a huge inversion game through this practice. And, I’m addicted.
So- without further ado- Inversions!
Handstand: Hop light. Land light. Press the mat away so strong with each hop, hands grip strong- hollow in the center of the palm- like you’re protecting a lady bug in there, and grip the fingers strong. Keep knees bent at 90 degrees so that you don’t flail in the air with unruly legs. Land with the paw of the foot and a spring in the knee. Hop until you fall. Hop too far… and fall! Truly. If we never get out of our heads to hop past the point of no return, we will never get confident enough to find that special balance point. Hop further. Falling is okay. To balance, hips want to be past the heart. Knees energetically pull down- that isometric engagement into the posterior chain. Gaze is helpful to be a bit forward while you are finding your balance. Once you have the balance… you can relax your neck a bit. (at least, this is what I have found to be useful). Keep knees low and bent at 90 degrees. Belly bows. Hips back.
🔹Try stag leaps- hopping one leg extended, one knee bent and tucked in, switch side to side.
🔹Touch downs- try lowing one leg to the side and down as low as you can, counter balance with your other knee bending and hip moving back.
🔹Handstand scorpion- once you have handstand- play with scorpion- a pose of counter balance, focus, and intention. Eyes begin to walk forward as feet begin to creep past your head. Belly bows in the opposite direction that the feet are going… gaze stays forward and strong. Keep pushing the mat away ultra strong to stay full and radiant through the back and shoulders.
🔹Falling is okay- its how we learn. We only expand and grow when we dip past our comfort zones.
Music in videos by Truth: Inside Your Thoughts
On the last 12th day- my word is LOVE… I freaking love the community Bowspring creates. I love the intelligent, curious, inspired, forward thinking minds. I love the people who jive on evolution!
You guys are blasting paths with me… and I am so thankful to have you by my side.
Let’s flow. In love. In peace. In furthering the practice to our highest potential… 2018 is going to be brilliant.
A compilation of most of the poses we’ve done this past 11 days.
Music in video by: Serum, Paul T & Edward Oberon – Take My Breath
Thanks for playing- may we continue to inspire and support each other on this beautiful journey. All my best wishes to each and every one of you for 2018.