30 Days of Animal Name Yoga Poses OR How I Pretzeled Myself Into Feeling Better
BY TAL BINYAMIN · JUNE 24, 2020
This is a story of finding balance in unstable times.
About two weeks after the shelter-in-place started, I was feeling pretty drained. The shock of suddenly having to juggle so many balls was just overwhelming. For me, this circus act entailed parenting two toddlers (meaning keeping them not just alive, but active, happy and fed, preferably not exclusively frozen pizza), getting work done and maintaining a functioning house.
My fitness routine suffered. And when one is in survival mode, stressed and anxious, and on top of that not moving one’s body – that’s a disaster waiting to happen.
So I hit the pause button. Movement is such a major key to mental health; I decided that no matter what, I was going to be active every day. And once I got back on the fitness train, everything seemed much brighter and lighter. It’s not easy, and life is still pretty hectic and confusing, but I make sure I get in at least 15 minutes of movement every day. That’s doable for most of us, right?
Yoga is my main jam. It’s what I teach and it’s what I practice—almost every day in the pre-Covid world. To restart and recharge, I wanted to set an attainable goal. I thought to myself (with my son screaming in the background asking for a snack) “Tal, how can you spice it up?”And then it occurred to me that many yoga poses have a cool thing in common—they have animal-related names. So I challenged myself to 30 days of animal yoga poses. I also posted it on my Instagram account to get the support of my friends and family and make sure they kept me accountable towards my goal. At the end of the 30 days, I connected all the poses into one flow.
This exercise worked wonders for not only my body, but my spirit. I reconnected to my creative flow and received great encouragement from friends online (very deep and thoughtful comments included a smiley face and heart emoji). It also felt great to be able to inspire others on their own movement journey in the process. This made a huge difference in my attitude and my ability to be present for my family during hard times.
Below you can find the poses and the flow (see video). Most of these poses’ names are translated from Sanskrit, an ancient language of India. For example, the original name of Eagle Pose is Garudasana (garuda meaning eagle, and asana meaning posture). For the sake of simplicity, this post only shows the names in English.
What it your main jam? How can you challenge yourself physically? It doesn’t have to be a pretzely yoga move. Take a walk, a bike ride, an online fitness class or whatever type of movement speaks to you. Share your highs and lows with your tribe and ask for their support. They’ll cheer for your successes, but also lift you up and encourage you when it’s not happening.
There’s no time like the present. Start today. You got this!