#everydayposer Holiday 108

In yoga, the number 108 is considered auspicious–mathematically it is the total of 1x2x2x3x3x3 (each digit being auspicious alone, too). If you repeat a practice 108 times, it is believed to bring about change. On Winter’s Solstice, we repeat 108 Sun Salutations to bring change to the length of our days. Well–hopefully that would happen regardless, but it’s nice to take some credit 🙂

Okay, so there are LOTS of ways to bring about change besides repeating a series of asanas. Mantras, repeated 108 times, can bring about a change too. Or how about listing something and including 108 items on the list? Last year I listed 108 reasons why I love what I do. It really created a sense of gratitude within me for the wonderful opportunity of the practice and community of yoga.

This year, I want to list 108 ways we all can become an #everydayposer–and change habitual patterns for better health. I’m doing this in one attempt and without taking a break or planning or proof reading! Here goes:

  1. Sit on the floor rather than the couch
  2. Change your seated position every 30 minutes–get creative!
  3. Wiggle your toes RIGHT NOW! Even if they are in shoes
  4. As soon as your toes are out of shoes, stretch your toes apart from one another
  5. Try to lift your toes individually–even if you have to help them
  6. Roll a ball around under your foot–moving from the toes to the arch slowly
  7. Stretch the bottom of your feet by pressing toes down and lifting your heel up
  8. Stretch the top of your feet by turning your toes under and pressing your ankle forward
  9. Stretch your calves (I do this at the bathroom sink–try a rolled up towel!)
  10. Rotate your ankles in complete circles–if there is a part of the circle that is choppy, go slower there
  11. Flex your feet strongly and try to move your shin bones by turning feet out an in.
  12. Put a small soft ball behind your knee and do #10 again
  13. Stand up and see how that feels now! Then do the other leg/knee
  14. See if you can lift and lower your kneecaps while sitting
  15. See if you can lift and lower your kneecaps while standing
  16. See if you can balance on one foot and count to ten without wobbling
  17. See if you can balance on one foot while lifting and lowering your kneecap (on the balance leg)
  18. Stand up and close your eyes–notice any movement or discomfort when you do
  19. Try it again while balancing on one foot.
  20. Read about proprioception
  21. While standing, place weight in your heels and see if you can lift the front of your feet (one at a time)
  22. Check your toes and see what direction you are pointing them
  23. Compare that with what direction you would LIKE to go
  24. Align your “wheels” (ie feet)! Honestly, we do this to take care of our cars–but what about our bodies!!
  25. When you bend over, notice what part of you bends
  26. Next time you need to bend over, try a different part (ie–bending at your hips rather than your back)
  27. See how many ways you can bend over!
  28. Bend over at your hips and hold it for 30 seconds at least 3 times per day–you can totally hold on to something!
  29. While hanging out for that stretch, feel the back of your knees. There will be two indents in the knee “pit”–try to move them so they are pointing straight back (you will need to rotate your thigh a bit).
  30. When you are ready to stand up, try to use the back of your hips to do so
  31. While you are sitting on the floor, tuck and untuck your pelvis–try to sit on the front edge of those “sit” bones (the pelvis will be untucked and you will feel your back of hips stretch again!)
  32. Roll a ball around under one of your butt cheeks along the sit bone.
  33. Check out how that feels! Do the other one
  34. While standing, try to press down more on one foot and see if you can feel the other leg float up off the floor (don’t bend the knee or try to “lift”–just press down enough to make your standing leg longer)
  35. Do that whenever you are standing in line at Meijers instead of reading People. Switch legs when one gets tired
  36. Walk sideways rather than front ways down one hallway in your house. Every time you go there.
  37. While waiting somewhere there are chairs, kneel on the seat with one leg. Press your hips forward slightly until you feel a stretch at the front of the leg
  38. Always chose to do something different than sitting if you can!!
  39. If you need to sit to be polite, don’t lean back–use your core musculature rather than the chair back
  40. To activate your abdominal muscles, rather than doing a “crunch” move–which would make your pelvis tuck (and remember # 29!) try pulling your front ribs down. Blowing hard will give you the “feel” for this
  41. Try to get the feel and also be polite by not blowing hard all the time!
  42. When your ribs are in the correct position, your sternum will be vertical
  43. Now try to sit up “straight” without moving your rib cage.
  44. So let’s get into shoulders, shall we?
  45. Look at your hands when you stand up. What part is facing forward?
  46. Do you like slapping your legs when you walk?
  47. Or what movements DO your arms make when you walk?
  48. Try to turn your elbow points back and thumbs forward–see how that feels at your shoulder
  49. Notice how your feet and knees should point forward and elbow points should point backwards. Think about this often–check where they point whenever you think about it.
  50. Stretch your fingers apart right now!
  51. Stretch your knuckles by interlacing fingers and pressing your fingertips into the back of your knuckles
  52. Do it again with your fingers interlaced the “weird way” (switch which index finger is on top)
  53. Stretch one finger at a time with the wrist underside pointing up and the finger pressing down
  54. Spread your fingers apart and flip your hands palms up/palms down slowly. Notice any stretch sensation in the shoulder.
  55. Now, with fingers spread and palms up, bend at the elbow, press your elbow into your sides and then slowly turn the hands outward–rotating at the shoulder. Hold when you feel a stretch. You might want to have a cookie platter in each hand while doing this. It’s nice to feel useful.
  56. Go out into the snow and make snow angels!
  57. Pretend you are a dog and crawl around on the floor
  58. Pretend you are a monkey and hang from a branch
  59. Pretend you are a bipedal human and go for a long walk
  60. Pretend you are a cat and take a nice nap (or try to jump up on the counter in one easy leap–your choice!)
  61. Try to move your shoulder blades around on your back. Move them up, move them down. Move them toward one another and move them apart.
  62. Hold them down and apart and now move your arms all around.
  63. Find out which movement of your arms also moves your shoulder blades. Slow down and move in tiny little circles in that area (still keeping your shoulder blades in place)
  64. Be ready to ask a question if you are called on 🙂
  65. When you are driving, try to press your rib cage back into the car seat while lengthening up through the back of the neck.
  66. With the new air bags, your hands should be lower than 10-2, so at a stop light, check your hand position–switch to 4-8, turn your fingers out and stretch your wrists. Then please place hands firmly back on the wheel to drive, but maintain the lower hand position.
  67. If you are stopped for a longer time and don’t need to watch for a light, keep the back of your neck long and rotate your face as far right and left as you can. Then tip your head down on the right and left sides. If someone DOES honk, just waive friendly-like.
  68. Check your chin position right now! Is it jutting forward? Give it a little tuck in and back. Do this EVERY time you look at a screen–computer, tv, or phone.
  69. Right now! Look outside if you can and soften your gaze, letting your eyelids relax a little bit.
  70. Play “eye spy” and name all the things you can in your peripheral vision.
  71. Bring your thumb up in front of your eyes and focus on it. Slowly pull it closer and farther away. Then to the right and to the left. Let your eyes follow.
  72. Then roll your eyes around in circles.
  73. Rest your eyes and close them gently.
  74. Find a place to sit outdoors and listen to all the sounds you can. Name them as you hear them. Then see if you can listen to the quiet within you and soften your hearing.
  75. Breathe through your nose. Notice the air on the edge of the nostrils and list as many things as you can about the sensation of breathing there.
  76. Now, check out what position your tongue is in inside your mouth. Is it pressing anywhere? Can you soften it and feel a gentle presence all around your soft palate? How does that change your nostril breathing?
  77. Stick your tongue out as far as you can.
  78. What tongue tricks can you do? Circles? Can you make it wide? My favorite–can you make ripples in the edge?
  79. What about your jaw? See if there is any tension and try to relax it.
  80. Then belt out a few Christmas tunes! Pretend you are Bing Crosby and move your jaw all around while you do!
  81. Stand up right now and stretch! We’re almost there!!
  82. Now sit down as far as you can without a chair. Hold please.
  83. See if you can make your shins vertical
  84. See if you can untuck your pelvis
  85. See if you can press your ribs back and spread your shoulder blades.
  86. See if you can lengthen the back of your neck
  87. See if you can move your arms all around
  88. See if you still like me 🙂
  89. Okay, now stand up again
  90. And then try #82-87 on one leg
  91. Now I know you don’t like me
  92. Remember the season is about loving everyone and peace and good tidings
  93. Now sit down and find a comfortable posture
  94. Close your eyes
  95. Let your head hang down a bit
  96. Follow your breath from your nose to your chest and focus on the movement of your breath around your heart
  97. Feel the movement of inhale, and then the movement of exhale
  98. Imagine that whenever you inhale, your heart opens a little bit
  99. Imagine that every time you exhale, you let go a little bit of anything that isn’t really important
  100. Focus on what IS really important and let it move into your heart space
  101. Pay attention to what you are feeling
  102. Listen to what your heart is saying
  103. Forgive yourself
  104. Accept where you are and be fully present to everything that is happening in this moment
  105. Imagine a future that is in line with your heart’s desire
  106. Allow your imagination to run wild
  107. Know that your intuition is very wise and that it speaks through your imagination
  108. Write down 108 ways that you can become the change you wish to see in the world