Thursday, February 26, 2015

Take 5

I'm liking that I can be flexible in finding time to do yoga when I want, when I feel for it, and wherever I want, albeit the appropriate place.  I, literally, only had '5' minutes of time today and squeezed in 3 short poses, one of them being the Downward Dog with Extended Leg:


Another fave pose where you can feel every part of your body stretch.  It's a good feeling!  I try to keep the back and extended leg as aligned as possible.  I also did a quick plank, and the Downward Dog with no extension.

At this time, I'm still struggling with the another, super hard plank that I mentioned in my previous post. I've been practicing for a while now and I still can't get it right.  Still need to keep at it, I suppose.  Always love trying new techniques!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Knees

What a gorgeous day after all the rain we had has dissipated! Aww, I beam with happiness when sunshine seeps through the window panes, it makes me super energized and gets me motivated for yoga.  Pretty much motivated for anything really!

After doing these first two poses, I definitely have a deeper appreciation for my knees:


As simple as it looks, balancing on one leg and balancing on the other leg against your knee bone is not easy.  

Balancing everything together and leaning for a slight head/back bend makes it even more difficult.  Not sure yet if I like this pose but it is challenging:


And I could feel the stretch and strengthening in my leg muscles.  

It's been a while since I've practiced a straight line reverse plank:


More back bending fun, I did a partial fish pose:


Quick note to the few fitness gal pals who follow this blog through email - I apologize, I went and changed my blog name - I know, I know...wreak havoc, right?  It is now officially 'Yoga in my 40's and Beyond'.  So if you have been following by email notification, please head to the right side navigation bar and re-enter your email address in the feedburner application in order to continue receiving my updates.....sorry!  I almost forgot to change out the feedburner part but I did....all necessary changes have been made! Yay!

If you don't re-enter your email address, there will be no updates as the 'old' blog address no longer exists.  

Have a beauuuuuti-ful day!!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Leg work

Today was just a lot of leg work - a 90 degree angle:


And a 120 degree angle:


A triangle with my head tilt:


Still a work in progress with my back bends and difficult planks. Gorgeous day - gotta get out of the house for a bit.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Reflection....

I've been working on a really difficult plank pose as of late and I'm still fine tuning it.  It's almost there, and I'm thrilled I've progressed this far with it.  Perhaps by next week...  It would be one of the very few advanced poses that I'm slowly immersing myself into.  In the meantime, this week has been a bit crazy, but I did sit down today and did some breathing and relaxation.  Don't know why, but I started really late in the day - at 4 p.m. and it was just not the right time for me.....I need to go back to my normal morning routine.

The lotus/seated pose is simple but really helps me with my posture.  It is THE biggest aid in my whole awareness of my posture:


In the past 6 months, I've been more aware of how I sit, how I stand, and how I walk.  It's amazing, the level of awareness has tripled.  If I find myself slouching - I correct myself.  It's almost as if I am a robot in public and walk really stiff, in order to have a straight back.....when in actuality, I don't think I really am.

The reverse prayer and arm stretch pose also helps with posture. The goal is to always keep the back straight as possible as I inhale and exhale.  My arm isn't as straight as I want it even though it felt tight against my back:


And since it's Valentine's, I really couldn't resist creating a heart:


:) Yoga is some serious stuff, it really is.....but I need it to be fun sometimes.  I know that I don't have to always be so serious and that letting in the humor and fun in life is what makes....well...life.  Without the fun and laughter, and playfulness, life would be way too stressful for me.  I love humor, it's a huge component for my sanity.  It's my #1 coping mechanism.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

My mind is racing.....

It's Sunday evening and I'm just sitting down finally... unwinding a bit.  What a fun and busy day, packed with spending time with my side of the family, activities with my own two boys, coming home really late and still squeezing in last minute cooking to finish my day.  I did manage to do some yoga in between all of it.  I love practicing outdoors, there's really something neat about the sun shining on your face as you inhale and exhale during the poses.


I don't think I could ever exercise inside a gym.  That seems like it would be confining to me, it would probably drive me bonkers. I either love open space, or complete solitude in my home.  But sometimes being inside practicing on carpet can get boring.  Different surfaces like cement, grass, and sand are super fun!

Alternated between both the left and right legs to make my less dominant leg stronger.


Looking forward to another beautiful week of sunshine...can't wait!!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Ballet....

Oh, I've been keeping such a secret, well, ok, maybe only very few people know, maybe less than the number of fingers on one of my hands......but I've always loved ballet, dancing, and gymnastics. Always.....I was in one ballet show in school just once where I played the lead Ballerina and that was the only time.

I've always fell in love with the overall gentleness and elegance of it.  I wanted to continue it when I was much, much younger, but never did.......and since yoga is a known component of ballet, I've been practicing ballet and incorporating it right into my yoga. And I've been practicing a lot....not really have said much of it to anyone 'til now.


I'm definitely not the young 20 year old who has the perfection of the body but boy have I been practicing. It's so invigorating.....it's similar - yet different from yoga.  The balancing is just as crucial.


I believe both sports have its own level of demands and challenges and I love that!!! I love that I have been meshing the two together.


I'm continuously practicing trying to be graceful with my style - at least whatever I can with arm posture and leg holds:



That's it for my week!  Back to it next week. It's been a nice week of reflection, motivation, getting sweaty, fine tuning, and learning new skills.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

3-Step Process

Today I worked more on poise and gracefulness than anything really, so I only concentrated on solely one pose.  I start off really easy with a variation of the dancer pose with a bent leg and foot resting on one arm:


Then, I slowly close the gap between my leg, foot, and head - more bending:


And finally, I am now able to pull my left hand across the back of my head to touch my right arm:


It has seemed to taken me forever to finally be able to reach this far back with my arms in the standing position. I'm so excited! This is much easier doing sitting down but to do it standing up took awhile for me to fully balance my leg.  It's an amazing feeling...

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Whoa, Whoa Wednesdays!

It's a gorgeous, gorgeous day outside, what am I doing inside right now? I'm so happy for the warm weather. Spent some time this morning with yoga and accomplished a lot today. I've been working really hard on this balancing pose in order to hold my leg with just one hand instead of two:


My right leg is not quite as straight as I want it but I'll take it for now with more practice needed.  Below, is the same pose but with the left arm extended into the air:


I did another version of the shoulder stand with crossed legs:


The next two are good twisting poses for the body. The Mariachi Twist:


And the Cow Face Pose:


Working more on my back bends:


And a difficult variation of the Half Moon Pose here:


I'm looking at that blue mat and thinking I need a new color. I need pink.  With flowers.  I always need flowers. Always.

Great day! So energized right now.