Katherine of Blissful Body

Today I'm heading to Asheville, NC, hoping that it feels like home. In honor of this beautiful city in the mountains, our guest post today is from a Ashevillian: Katherine of Blissful Body, an Asheville Pilates studio and corresponding blog.

Her guest blog post is so awesome that I am genuinely humbled. I changed nuttin'... didn't even add italics. That's how good it is. And her blog is great (I especially appreciated today's offering for lady bloggers). So, here, unchanged in its glory, today's guest post. Hopefully, we'll see more from this amazing yogini in the future!


Hello everyone! I am so excited to share my practice with you on the Joy of Yoga blog! Thank you Emma! What a joy yoga is to me! I have been practicing since college and became a certified instructor in 2003.  I have since explored all kinds of yoga and am believe movement of all kinds has the power to heal! As you can see from the pictures, I am also blessed with a loving dog and rarely have a home practice alone!

I live in the NC mountains and am blessed with fresh air and beautiful snow capped views as I travel around these days.  They are a constant reminder of all that is greater than myself!

Mountain Visualization

Picture a majestic mountain, any mountain that you can clearly visualize – the more detailed the better.  The mountain is standing tall and strong; it has been there for thousands of years.  All around the mountain the weather changes from beautiful sunny skies to hurricane force winds to snow and ice, but the mountain always stands firm – the activity just whirls around the mountain, but does not affect it day by day.  Notice your breath moving in and out of the body.  Allow the breath to be soft and relaxed….as the thoughts come in and out picture yourself as the mountain standing tall and firmly grounded to the earth.  Let any thoughts, stress or anxiety to swirl around you without affecting your calm, rooted place.  Know that the thoughts are just thoughts and you are the mountain standing strong. You are who are and who you have always been, regardless of the “weather” happening around you.  Stand with this feeling of power and majesty breathing in and out; welcoming your practice. 

Here’s my yoga sequence from this mornings practice:

  1. Tadasana (mountain pose)
  2. Roll Downs -> Utanasana  (Chin to chest and follow the spine down into loose knee bent Utanasana.  Roll up one vertebrae at a time to revisit the strong mountain for a few breaths. Repeat 3-5 times.)
  3. Surya Namaskar (any variation) – 4 times.  Each time you find Tadasana ground into your mountain visualization. 
  4. Tadasana (Visualize strong mountain & connect to the feet)
  5. Half Sun Salute to Plank hold
  6. Vasisthasana (Side plank on both sides)
  7. Lower through chaturanga onto your mat: 3 baby cobras with breathe
  8. Ardha Shalabasana
  9. Bhujangasana with hands interlaced behind back & arms straightened
  10. Balasana
  11. Table balance on hands & knees: lifting opposite arm and leg
  12. Knee hovers***
  13. Adho Mukha Svanasana
    [Katherine in Downward Dog... with her dog!]

  14. Step right foot forward & windmill arms up into Virabhadrasana II
  15. Virabhadrasana II with Garudasana arms (cross right arm over left for 1st side)
  16. Trikonasana
  17. Arhda Chandrasana II
  18. Virabhadrasana II windmill arms down & step right foot back to plank
  19. Repeat 11 through 15 on left side
  20. Adho Mukha Svanasana
  21. Hop feet forward to outside of hands
  22. Lower into malasana
  23. Bakasana
  24. Janu Sirsasana
  25. Baddha Konasana
  26. Navasana (3 times)
  27. Dandasana (find “mountain” feet, rooted sits bones and tall spine.  Reconnect to earlier visualization)
  28. Figure 4 stretch (Cross right ankle over left knee.  Hold on to left thigh and bring in towards your chest. Repeat on opposite side.)
  29. Supported Setu Bandha Sarvangasana with block underneath sacrum.  Add single leg variation.

    [Setu Bandhasana variation]

  30. Supta Viparita Karani with hips on a bolster (or for me, a stack of clean towels!)
  31. Savasana

***ok – I heart “knee hovers” because they really connect me into my core and always shape my downward dog. Stay on your hands and knees with the knees under the hips and the wrists under the shoulders.  Inhale, tuck your toes under on the mat. Exhale, press strongly down into your hands as if you were pushing the floor away from you and lift your knees an inch or two away from the floor (keeping the knees under the hips, so no straightening of the knees yet!). Inhale, hold the position with the strength of a mountain! Exhale, in slow motion as if you’re knees were made of glass, gently lower the knees back on the mat and relax your toes. I like to repeat this 3-6 times!

Thanks for letting this southern yogini share a bit of her practice with you!  Have a blessed and peaceful day! Om Shanthi Shanthi Shanthi!

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