Stephenson Hall Recreation & FItness

Hey Gamecocks! We wanted to let you guys know that this account is no longer active or being used, so go check out and l...
JSU University Recreation

Hey Gamecocks! We wanted to let you guys know that this account is no longer active or being used, so go check out and like our main page, JSU University Recreation!

**Please keep in mind this account will be deleted soon, so go check out our active page for the latest classes, updates on our new recreation center (coming Spring 2019), and more!

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Lindsey Poppins - Bilquis Lab

Lindsey Poppins - Bilquis Lab

Modifications for fish pose 🐟

Lindsey Poppins - Bilquis Lab

Lindsey Poppins - Bilquis Lab

Day 7 is fish pose 🌙🌙🌙

Begin by lying on your back with your legs extended and your arms resting alongside your body, palms down.

Press your forearms and elbows into the floor and lift your chest to create an arch in your upper back. Lift your shoulderblades and upper torso off the floor. Tilt your head back and bring the crown of your head to the floor.

Keep pressing through your hands and forearms. There should be very little weight pressing through your head.
Keep your thighs active and energized. Press outward through your heels.

Hold for five breaths. To release the pose, press firmly through your forearms to slightly lift your head off the floor. Then exhale as you lower your torso and head to the floor. Draw your knees into your chest for Knees-to-Chest Pose (Apanasana) for a few breaths, and then extend your legs and rest.

Modifications & Variations
Fish Pose can be a great way to open the front of your body and gain spinal flexibility. There are many variations of this pose, so try these simple changes to find a modification that works for you:

If you feel any strain in your neck, lower your chest slightly. You can also place a folded, firm blanket beneath your head to support the back of your neck.

For a deeper chest and shoulder opening, begin by lying flat. Lift your pelvis and hips, and then bring your hands beneath your buttocks, palms down. Tuck your forearms and elbows alongside your torso, then rest your buttocks on the backs of your hands. Finally, lift your chest and come to the crown of your head.

More experienced students can practice Fish Pose with the legs in Lotus Pose (Padmasana). Begin by lying flat, then bring the legs into Lotus and complete the pose.
For a restorative variation of the pose, place a yoga block underneath the middle of your back. Drape your torso over it and let your arms, throat, and legs relax.

For a greater challenge, perform Extended Fish Pose:
Perform steps 1-2 as in the Instructions, above.
On an exhalation, lift your legs off the floor at a 45-degree angle. Reach through your heels.

Lift your arms and raise them to a 45-degree angle, as well. For even more of a challenge, lift them directly up toward the ceiling. Then press your palms together in prayer position (Anjali Mudra).

Practicing Fish Pose can be a great way to regain balance at the end of a long practice. Keep the following information in mind when performing this pose:
Keep your neck extended and comfortable throughout the pose. Be careful not to bring your head back so far that you strain your neck.

Keep your legs strongly engaged and active. Press your thighs down firmly on the floor. This will help you lift your chest higher in the pose.

Do not press firmly through your head. Instead, lift yourself into the pose by using the strength of your back muscles and by pressing down through your thighs.

Remember, it doesn’t matter how deep your backbend is! Focus instead on evenly distributing the curve of your spine and breathing smoothly throughout the pose.

Lindsey Poppins - Bilquis Lab

Lindsey Poppins - Bilquis Lab

DAY 6 of our challenge is dancer pose 💃🏻💃🏻

Begin standing in Mountain Pose (Tadasana) with your feet together and your arms at your sides.

Shift your weight onto your left foot.
Bend your right knee and bring your right heel toward your right buttock. Reach your right hand down and clasp your right foot’s inner ankle.

You can also loop a strap around the top of your right foot, and then hold onto the strap with your right hand. Draw your knees together.

Reach your left arm overhead, pointing your fingertips toward the ceiling and facing your palm to the right.
Fix your gaze softly at an unmoving spot in front of you. Make sure your left kneecap and toes continue to point directly forward.

When you feel steady and comfortable, begin to press your right foot away from your body as you simultaneously lean your torso slightly forward. Keep your chest lifting and continue reaching your left hand’s fingertips up toward the ceiling.

Raise your right foot as high as you can. Bring your left thigh parallel to the floor, or higher if possible. At the same time, press your tailbone toward the floor to avoid compressing your lower back. Do not let your right knee splay open to the side.

If you are comfortable and steady here, you may go into the advanced pose. Swivel your right elbow forward and then up, so it points toward the ceiling. You will need to drop your right shoulder slightly as you make this adjustment. Hug your right bicep toward your right ear. Your right forearm should now be reaching overhead and behind your body to hold onto your foot or the strap. Bend your left elbow and reach your left hand back to hold onto your foot or the strap. Draw both arms inward toward your head as your keep your shoulder blades pressing down your back.

As you press your raised foot back, keep your chest lifting. Do not let your torso drop forward. Keep your pelvis square and your right knee drawn in toward the midline of your body.
If you are holding a strap, walk your hands down the strap toward your foot until you can clasp the top of your foot with both hands.

Hold for five breaths. To release, very slowly and gently return to your starting position. Then lower your right foot and come back into Mountain Pose. Repeat the pose on the opposite side for the same amount of time.

Modifications & Variations:
King Dancer Pose can be a great way to gain flexibility, strength, and poise. Be sure to modify the pose as needed, and ease up if you feel any pinching or jarring pain, especially in your back or neck.

Here are a few simple modifications that will lighten or deepen the pose for you:

If you can't hold onto the ankle of your raised leg, use a strap. Wrap a yoga strap around the top of your foot, then bend your knee and come into the pose. Hold onto both ends of the strap with your same-side hand.

If you are brand-new to the pose, practice Standing Thigh Stretch to gain the flexibility and strength needed for this pose.

If it’s difficult to balance, rest your free hand on a wall, chair, or any other stable object.
For a deeper stretch, hold your outer ankle with the opposite hand. For example, if your right ankle is raised, reach your left hand behind your body and hold onto your right foot’s outer ankle. Then extend your opposite arm forward and up.

Practicing King Dancer will benefit your body, mind, and spirit! Keep the following information in mind when practicing this pose:

Keep your gaze fixed on an unmoving spot in front of you.
Make sure your bent knee does not splay open to the side.
Keep the knee and toes of your standing leg facing directly forward.

Firm the muscles of your standing leg, but do not lock or hyperextend your knee. Resist your standing-leg calf muscle against the shin; this micro-movement will stabilize your lower leg.

Keep your neck relaxed, not stiff or compressed. Reach forward through the crown of your head.
Evenly distribute the backbend across your upper, middle, and lower back.

Avoid jerking, pulling, pushing, or forcing any movement in this pose. Let your movements be slow and smooth.
Keep breathing throughout the pose. Do not hold your breath.

Move slowly and don't be afraid to fall! If you do fall, simply get back into the pose and try again.

Lindsey Poppins - Bilquis Lab

Lindsey Poppins - Bilquis Lab

DAY 5 🌷Remember you can still participate on any of the challenge posts through out the week! To join in, just take a picture of yourself doing that day's pose and share it in the comment section! Every day that you share your pose with us, your name will be put into the drawing again. The winner of our challenge will receive a yoga mat and another surprise gift!

Start in the cat cow position with your shoulders above the wrists and hips above the knees. You can flow through cat cow a few times until you feel that your back is warming up.

Extend your right arm in front of you and lift your left leg straight behind you. You are welcome to stay here for today's pose. Keep the hips square and do not strain the neck looking up.

If you would like to go into the heart opening side of this pose, bend the back leg and reach your arm towards the ankle. Keep opening the chest, pushing the bend out of your lower back. Push the ankle into the hand as you lift your foot.

For balance, keep pulling the thighs towards each other, and gaze at one place. Keep breathing that beautiful ocean breath, in through the nose and out through the nose. Don't forget to do the other side!

Lindsey Poppins - Bilquis Lab

Lindsey Poppins - Bilquis Lab

These are other options you can take for today's pose! Do what feels right for you. There's no rush to be anywhere. The most important aspect you can bring is awareness of breath. Be patient with yourself, be grateful for your body, and all is coming. 🙏🏻

Lindsey Poppins - Bilquis Lab

Lindsey Poppins - Bilquis Lab

These are other options you can take for today's pose! Do what feels right for you. There's no rush to be anywhere. The most important aspect you can bring is awareness of breath. Be patient with yourself, be grateful for your body, and all is coming. 🙏🏻

Lindsey Poppins - Bilquis Lab

Lindsey Poppins - Bilquis Lab

DAY 4 🌙🌷

One-Legged King Pigeon Pose or Eka Pada Rajakapotasana and Mermaid Pose both evolve from Pigeon Pose, which is why they both begin the same way and require the ability to safely bend the back.

The Difference Between Mermaid Pose and One-Legged King Pigeon Pose:

Mermaid shifts off to the side, and serves as a great starting point before entering One-Legged King Pigeon, which will feel more centered.

While these variations work well together, you don’t have to do them in succession. In fact, focusing on just one per practice can keep you from overusing the same muscle groups. Below are some tips to help you warm up properly before executing these variations.

Preparation and Safety Tips

1. Shoulders

Shoulders work as synergists or movers for the chest muscles (pectorals) and back muscles, specifically the latissimus dorsi. Prepare for this pose with a sequence full of heart openers (Bridge and Wheel variations) and side body lengthening postures (Trikonasana).

2. Hips, Psoas, and Quadriceps

The iliopsoas and quadricep muscle groups work together to stretch the back leg during One-Legged King Pigeon, while the front leg primarily stretches the external rotators as well as the muscles and tendons that run along the lateral side of the leg.

Ideally, both hips face the front of the mat to ensure balance in the spine. Note, however, that squaring off the hips forcefully may create pain and even injury in the lumbar spine, sacroiliac joint, knees, and ankles.

Each practitioner has his or her own unique bone structure and range of motion in the hip socket, so listen to your body and heed any pain as a warning that you’ve gone too far. Consult your teacher for assistance in finding your “ideal” alignment.

Some helpful preparation poses: Half Lotus and Half Frog Pose.

3. Ankle and Knee Stability

The joints in the lower part of the back leg during these poses must move together. You don’t need to contort yourself. Practice patience, and if you feel the need to twist your knee or sickle your ankle too far off to either side, you may risk spraining a ligament.

The joints do not need to stretch: they provide stability and structure. Sensation in your joints usually indicates overstretching and is an indication to stop. Practice building strength and stability in the Warrior Poses and Chair Pose.

Setting Up: Getting into Pigeon Pose

From Three-Legged Dog with the right leg up, bring the right knee forward between the hands.
Settle into Pigeon by adjusting the front foot—heel closer to the pelvis for tighter hips and groin, or right shin more parallel to the short edge of the front of the mat if you feel more flexible.
Do not twist the ankle and refrain from holding any position that creates pain in the knee joint.
Align the left leg, keeping the front of the foot pressing into the mat and gently rotating your left hip bone forward.
While squaring off the hips sets you up for an “ideal” posture, make sure that when you make this adjustment, the low back, knees, and ankles remain pain-free; otherwise, proceed slowly. If you don’t feel comfortable in this portion of the pose, please do not progress towards the following variations. You have plenty of time to evolve your practice. Stay compassionate to yourself.
From Pigeon to Mermaid

From Pigeon, bend your left knee, moving your heel toward your glutes.
Reach for your left foot with your left hand, slightly moving your foot to the lateral side of your left leg and eventually hook your left foot in the crook of the elbow.
Extend your right arm upwards, lifting tall through the spine, and interlace your right fingers with your left.
Look down toward the left foot or straight ahead, careful not to tilt your neck too far off to one side.
Release after five to 10 breaths and repeat on the other side.
From Pigeon to One-Legged King Pigeon

From Pigeon, bend your left knee, moving your foot toward your spine rather than shifting off to one side as you would do in Mermaid.
Extend both arms overhead, keeping the spine tall.
Bend your elbows, reaching back for your foot. Make sure you keep your foot active (slightly flexed or pointed) to protect the ankle.
Lift your gaze toward the sky without collapsing the cervical spine.
Release after five to 10 breaths and repeat on the other side.
These are advanced poses that you can build over time as you increase your overall flexibility and strength.

Information by Judy Rukat 500RYT

Timeline Photos

Timeline Photos

Lindsey Poppins - Bilquis Lab

Lindsey Poppins - Bilquis Lab

Lindsey Poppins - Bilquis Lab

Lindsey Poppins - Bilquis Lab

DAY 3 of our yoga challenge is wheel pose, which can be modified to a bridge pose if that works better for you!

Begin by lying flat on your back with your arms at your sides. Bend your knees, keeping your feet parallel and aligned with your hips. Draw your heels close to the edges of your buttocks.

Reach your arms up overhead, and then bend your elbows so that you can place your palms on the floor at either side of your head. Your fingertips should rest beneath your shoulders. Keep your forearms parallel as you extend your fingers toward your heels. Reach your elbows directly up toward the ceiling.

Inhale as you press your feet firmly into the floor and lift your hips upward toward the ceiling. Contract your buttocks, thigh, and abdominal muscles to support your lower back.
Keep your feet and legs parallel. Press through the palms of your hands and lift your shoulders off the mat.

Realign your arms to make sure they remain parallel — do not let your elbows splay to the sides. Hold for a few breaths.
On an exhalation, straighten your arms and lift your head completely off the floor. Press the weight of your hands equally through your index fingers. Draw your chest toward the wall closest to your head.

Do not rest your bodyweight on your head. Do not crunch your neck. As you gain strength and flexibility, you will be able to lift your head off the mat!

Lift your chest even more toward the wall behind you. Straighten your arms and legs even more. Turn your thighs slightly inward. Broaden your shoulder blades across your back. Let your head hang. Gaze at the floor between your hands.

Hold for up to 20 breaths. Release the pose by first bringing the crown of your head to the mat, and then your whole body. Rest on your back with your knees bent and dropped together.

Lindsey Poppins - Bilquis Lab

Lindsey Poppins - Bilquis Lab

DAY 2 is upward facing dog 🐶 post your photo in the comment section below! 🌙

Begin by lying face-down on the floor with your legs extended behind you, spread a few inches apart. The tops of your feet should rest on the mat — do not tuck your toes, as this can crunch your spine.

Place your hands on the floor alongside your body, next to your lower ribs. Point your fingers to the top of the mat and hug your elbows in close to your ribcage.

Inhale as you press through your hands firmly into the floor. Straighten your arms, lifting your torso and your legs a few inches off the floor.

You can also enter the pose by starting in Plank, then lowering into Chaturanga. From Chaturanga, draw your body forward by pressing through your palms and rolling over your toes. Align your shoulders directly over your wrists and straighten your arms.

Press down firmly through the tops of your feet. Strongly engage your leg muscles to keep your thighs lifted off the floor.

Keep your elbows pressed alongside your body. Drop your shoulders away from your ears and lift your chest toward the ceiling.

Draw your shoulders back and your heart forward, but do not crunch your neck. If your neck is flexible, tilt your head to gaze toward the sky. Otherwise, keep your head neutral and your gaze directly forward.

Your thighs should be firm and turned slightly inward. Your arms should also be firm, slightly turned so that each elbow crease faces forward.

Only straighten your arms as much as your body allows. Deepen the stretch as your practice advances, but avoid straining to achieve a deeper backbend.

Actively press your shoulder blades into your upper back. Keep your elbows hugged in to your sides. Broaden across your collarbones and lift your heart. Glide the tops of your shoulders away from your ears. Distribute the length of the backbend evenly through your entire spine.

Hold the pose for up to 30 seconds. To release, exhale as you slowly lower your torso and forehead to the mat. Turn your head to the right, resting your left ear on the mat. Relax your arms alongside your body. Repeat the pose up to five times.

Those practicing Sun Salutations should move directly from Upward-Facing Dog into Downward-Facing Dog by lifting their hips and rolling over their toes to press the soles of their feet on the mat.


215 Stephenson Hall 700 Pelham Road North
Jacksonville, AL

Opening Hours

Monday 06:00 - 21:45
Tuesday 06:00 - 21:45
Wednesday 06:00 - 21:45
Thursday 06:00 - 21:45
Friday 06:00 - 17:45
Saturday 11:00 - 16:45
Sunday 16:00 - 20:45


(256) 782-5072


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