Thursday, October 23, 2014

Reverse Warrior & Bridge Pose with Leg Extension

Oh, massive headache this morning, not sure why but as soon as I started up my regular routine, I felt better instantly. Amazing.
Today, I focused on the Reverse Warrior Pose:

Stretched my legs just a tad more than my original Warrior 1 Pose. Ah, this felt good.  Next up I also did the Bridge Pose with a Right Leg Extension:

Holy Halloween candy, this was hard.  I may have cried a few tears after I was done.  I'm not sure who claimed the definition of yoga to be a 'low' key sport, because in my mind, I don't really think it is. That term needs to be re-defined.  I find myself using pretty much all of my mental and physical strength - even with the easiest practices.   All in all, good workout, I also did a few stomach crunches and my headache is just completely gone.  Yay!!!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Making improvements

Today, I asked myself the question, "Have I improved my form and posture since starting yoga?" I've been practicing some of the older poses that I've already done to see if my form is a bit better. And when I question the word 'better', I certainly don't expect vast improvement very quickly.  This has to be a patient process of fine tuning. I also did 2 new poses at the very end.

With this Camel pose, I think my back and legs are positioned a bit better than THIS old pose, still not as flexible as I want it, but better:

I'm always trying to perfect the airplane pose or some call it the warrior pose...and the older version HERE:

Is this tree pose below better that this older pose?:

And a new pose today, the Eagle Pose:

And the last one:

I'm checking out until Thursday, too many obligations within the next two days. Can't wait to get back into the swing of yoga later this week.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Tired today....

I didn't quite have the super, high energy level that I usually have in the mornings today, but I tried to do a little yoga is my somewhat, bleak attempt at the Four Limbed Staff was hard:

My arms are not strong enough to position it exactly like the tutorial so I compromised and did it my way for extra support.  I need to work on getting my arms stronger. This is like a super difficult push-up x 10. Enough said. Literally took all of my energy.

Hope to be back at it with vigor on Monday. :)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Sometimes Life Demands.....

.......simplicity.....I love complex things, I really do. I love a challenge and I love to try new things.  That's just the way I am, but sometimes, simplicity is the best, as in these 3 poses, easy, but still as worthwhile and beneficial:

And below is the Bridge Pose:

I love to think of exercising and how it relates to my other hobby, card making.  With cardmaking, you can make a super complex design and give to your recipient, and they may not know how long it took you to make it or how difficult the technique was, but still, it made you happy that you made it for them.  You can also make a simplistic design and your recipient may know it, but again, if it's simple, yet, clean, and precise, it still makes you feel good inside.  That's how I felt with todays workout and these poses.

And here is the last pose, the Warrior 1 Pose, I could have stood a little wider out with my legs....

And I just HAD to share this - and also an answer to a question from one of my readers.....but here is my boy - I never do yoga with him.  I always practice alone so that I can concentrate.  But one day I left the mat out and hadn't had time to put it away.  He came home from school and did this.  Be still my heart, he knows momma loves yoga and he loves to try:

And, finally, one last thing - I love emails from my readers. I answer all emails truthfully and promptly.  I thought I would share the answer from one reader who asked - "Do you fix any part of your body on these pictures?" The answer is "No."  I may adjust the background wall for lightness and clarity, but I never adjust any part of my body.  I am NOT perfect.  You can see some of the photos where my stomach sticks out a bit.  I have many flaws and am still working on some of that tummy fat that I would love to get rid of.  I love to cook and eat - so against me but there are lots of exercises to trim the definitely working on that. :))  That's it for today.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Variation of the Plow Pose

Today, I did a variation of the Plow Pose which I did in this post HERE.  Instead of just both legs pulled forward and touching the ground, I maneuvered my hands, arms, and one leg a little more:

I stretched my right arm all the way back to reach my toes.  I pulled inwards my left leg and set it beneath my right leg in a triangular position.

And then I took my left arm and wrapped it around my back.  The goal is to eventually take that left arm and be able to touch and pull my left leg over and in to my stomach.  I'm not quite that flexible yet.  So this is as far as I could go with this move.

Hope to find some more time tomorrow for extra practice and meditation.  Too busy today.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Pigeon Pose and a Video on Simple Stretching & Breathing

Today, I kept my workout fairly light. Lol, I say 'light' but I'm still tired and sweaty when I'm done.  Lots of stretching and breathing - here is the Pigeon Pose:

And here is the video. I had to blast it out with some tunes by feat. - (Hall of Fame)- The Script - one of my favorite inspirational songs:

I concentrated on my breathing, I think, more than anything.  I just want to relax my whole body sometimes and that can be a very hard thing to do when you're very stressed.

That's it for today.  Gotta run.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Variations in the Airplane Pose

I took my workout to the outdoors yesterday.  Loved spending time at one of my most favorite parks.  It's truly the best one in O.C., well, I think so anyway.  I did my usual walking and then did 3 variations of the Airplane Pose. Only 2 of the poses are shown here:

I'm going to love experimenting on difference surfaces and wearing different gear.  Balancing with tennis shoes on is a lot different than with just my bare feet.  I haven't felt what that difference is or can quite describe it yet, but I seemed to be just as comfortable with shoes on, if not more?

I also just noticed that tree branch on the left side shaped like the letter 'Y' in 'Yoga'...hmmmm :))  I think this is going to be my spot.

Here is the 2nd variation:

A lot of back bending and stretching on this move.  And I had cooling down time afterwards with this gorgeous scenery, another reason why I love the outdoors, there's such a peacefulness that you won't find anywhere else:

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Shoulder Stand Video and Legs Up The Wall Pose

I've been practicing the Shoulder Stand for a while now and it's still not perfect.... but I'm comfortable enough that I can tweak my shoulder blades, my back, and utilizing my hands and arms to assist with my spine. In time, I hope to not wobble and stick it for 10 sec.:

It is, by far, the most difficult pose I've done so far.  After doing this pose several times, I cooled down with the Legs Up The Wall Pose below:

This pose is simple and helps me really relax.  Tried to keep as straight as I could with the arms and leg position.  

Lately, I've really noticed a difference in my posture when I walk. I don't slouch as much...I've always been such a sloucher to the extreme....but I really do take note of my stance as I walk whether it's just down the street or in my house.  That's it for today.....such a mess, need to hit the shower, clean up, and get ready for school pick up.  

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Shoulder Lift Video

2nd post of the day....whoohoooo....Here is the shoulder lift video I had mentioned in my last post.  I normally don't do videos because I can't stand my own thought I'd have fun with this one. It is inspired by one awesome gal that I follow over on Twitter and Instagram. Here is her handle on Twitter: and also same handle name over on Instagram.

Enjoy my video!  And be sure to check out her profile as well! She has some great ideas with her videos to help tone your body.

Dancer Pose

I have many stressors in my life, but boy, when I'm doing something like takes a lot of it away! My stress level still exists, as 'stress' does for most people....but this truly brings a sense of calmness and happiness that I look for on every level, it's my little moment where I quietly say, "I've always wanted to be a ballerina":

I was truly happy in this photo. One of the easier poses that I enjoy - didn't feel like doing too much yoga today.  But I did execute some other exercises as well.  

I made a short video on a recent shoulder lift exercise that I the process of editing it and hope to have it posted soon! Yay!! Hopefully, Blogger will be kind to me, it has given me problems with videos in my past. We'll see! 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Inverted Plank Pose and Locust Pose

Today, I worked every muscle on my body it seems.  These two poses, I felt it in my arms, legs and stomach muscles: - the Inverted Plank:

You could just feel it everywhere, oh my goodness. I held the stance for 20 seconds. Couldn't do it any longer than that.  The downward plank is so much easier.

Next up, I worked on the Locust Pose:

I liked this pose a lot. A bit easier and more manageable, wasn't too uncomfortable at all.  I've been asked by my friends if I take a class, and the answer is, 'no'.  I read up and watch a lot of videos/tutorials and view photos as well.  Maybe someday I will take a professional class, but for right now, it works fairly well at home. Taking the self-photos really helps me fix the errors and change what I'm doing wrong.  That's it for today.  

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Extended Side Angle and Downward Dog Extended

I love the solace of quietness in this house, especially right now - everyone is asleep and I had time to do some yoga.  Generally do this in the morning but today, I felt like practicing at night for whatever reason.

I feel I have surpassed the Beginner's Level (although I will always incorporate the basics of this level), and have moved on to the Intermediate Level.  I'll most likely stay at the Intermediate level for a long time. I will concentrate on mostly standing and sitting positions.

Extended Side Angle Pose:

Worked my arms and legs.

A little stretching before the Downward Dog Pose...hello, knees:

Below, the Downward Dog Pose:

My butt isn't up high enough....gotta get my butt pointed up more. 

Below, the Downward Dog Extended with left leg and left arm:

After looking at this, I'm not too crazy about my arm placement or leg extension, but I'll work on this one. Tired....good workout. Think this will help me sleep better at nights. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Straightness and Meditation

Today's workout was really quick, don't have much time, so here we go. Leg work:

Stretching it, keeping my back firm and keeping the leg as straight as possible as well as keeping the arms straight. Still need to practice this one:

Below, I'm practicing my meditation - I still have my 'love handles' - baby fat from child birth still peeking from my stomach and I would love to get rid of that.  It's going to require stomach crunches to flatten that tummy.  That - I'm having the most trouble conquering!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Todays workout - Back and Legs

Today, I hit it hard with my arms and legs.  I'm not so worried about trying to remember all the names of these yoga poses but I will be concentrating on my balance, technique, and form.  Precision is key.

Above, I tried to keep my legs as straight as possible.  Below, I pulled my legs all the way to the back to reach the floor.

Below, his was a fun one that I hope to practice more, it was great for my balance.

Overall, good productive morning with my yoga.