Tuesday, March 31, 2015

30-Day Challenge - Day 29

I'm really glad I've decided to try new poses for my last 2 days of the challenge.  This is a new move I saw one of my friends on Instagram do. Oh, I soooo want to be like him when I grow up, this man is so inspiring!!!  It's called the Flamingo Pose:

So I essentially bent forward on one leg, pressed and tucked my right leg up to my body. Took my right arm and wrapped it around my right leg and back.  Took my left arm and wrapped it around my back to meet and hold my right hand.  Press firmly, then tip toed on my left leg for the final pose.  Phew....someone hand me a plate of french fries. :o That was hard!

I'm trying to decide if I should go ahead with another fun challenge, it sure has helped me keep pace every single day and not skip a day of practice.  We'll see what I decide tomorrow.

Monday, March 30, 2015

30-Day Challenge - Day 28

Today - instead of focusing too much on how high I could hold with my pigeon pose, I focused more on endurance and alignment on my back and legs:

I, then, elevated myself just a little more to see if I could still keep perfectly aligned:

Then I just did the full pigeon pose to finish out:

The next two poses are just fine tuning and straightening out the legs, this is my version of pose #24:

I have 2 more days to complete my 30-Day Challenge and I think I will choose 2 poses that I have never done before, whether it be easy or hard. It should be fun!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

30-Day Challenge - Day 27

I didn't do anything too new today. Promised my boys a gourmet breakfast this morning, the younger boy some fun, spring time themed cupcakes later today, and some yummy braised pork chops for dinner. I'm pretty sure I'll be in the kitchen all day. Definitely another favorite place of mine that I enjoy.

But before all that happens, a quick half split for my stretchy time:

And then a full split:

And that's it 'til tomorrow.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

30-Day Challenge - Day 26

Hello, beautiful Saturday morning!! Awwww....I'm going to make it a great day!  I tried using a bouncey ball last night to help me with the half pike pose but the size just wasn't right, so I practiced with a chair instead and worked on it some more this morning:

Working on aligning my torso better.  I feel my legs are the strongest part of my body, so I really need to work on the upper part for now.

The camera caught the fast action - blurry part of my legs during my hopping and jumping sequences:

That's as far up as I can go for now.  I used the same technique for jumping as I do for the flying pigeon pose - pushing off with one leg first, then picking up the opposing leg - but it's way harder with totally upright arms.  The pigeon pose is actually way, way easier as I compare the two.   It will be fun to look back at these as I hopefully progress!

Friday, March 27, 2015

30-Day Challenge - Day 25

Superbly late today with my yoga, it's been one of those days I'd rather forget.  But running towards my yoga always helps me. It clears my mind and helps me re-focus.

I like doing fun variations of the side plank:

The Toe Stand is a great posture fix:

And lastly, my attempt once again at the half pike pose using the wall:

Meh, C-.  I can be so critical of myself. Oh,  I can't wait 'til tomorrow morning, I'm going to try a different avenue to help me with this pose but won't be using this wall.  It should help me further with floating and elevation.  I probably won't be able to sleep thinking about it.  Too excited to try it now....maybe I'll do it in the middle of the night while everyone is asleep. I'm so crazy.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

30-Day Challenge - Day 24

Well, I was able to lift my legs a little bit further up today than on Tuesday with my Flying Pigeon Pose, so I'm happy about that. I'm learning to pivot my head and place my hands in just the right spot as to lessen the intensity on the wrist:

And surely enough, it gave me a bit more power to thrust my legs upwards.  Still need to practice more though.

Next up, this is a good standing up twister for the body. Standing with one leg sideways, lift with opposing arm and hold:

I had to try the Elephant Trunk Pose again. I crack at the look on my face, so serious. I'm probably the most easy going type of person and yet I look way too serious sometimes:

And my last one that I threw in were some exercises to help with floating, hopping, jumping, not very good at this one yet:

I only have to do all of these about 1000 more times...that should do it....handstand here I come....someday.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

30-Day Challenge - Day 23

Today was busy and I didn't get in my yoga until 4 this evening. Pretty late for me, but some yoga is definitely better than none.

A new one - this is a Rabbit Pose:

I can now touch one part of my buttocks to the floor with the splits or the Hanumanasana Pose:

I feel this is as far as I can go for now, are you supposed to go lower with both buttocks?  If so, I still need to work on it then. 

And another new pose - the Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose:

That's it. Hopefully I can get in an earlier start tomorrow. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

30-Day Challenge - Day 22

So I was able to 'float' just a little bit today.  It was definitely a strange yet exhilarating feeling, as I am still working on obtaining arm strength and core strength.  This is a variation of the Flying Pigeon Pose:

I think I mentioned in a previous post that this is one of the hardest moves for the arms, it hurts and it required a lot of mental concentration. Definitely some progress.  

As pre-cursor to the above, I had worked on the same pose with lifting each leg one at a time and holding in place:

This is a fun kind of stretching for the stomach and legs:

Overall, good and challenging day today.

Monday, March 23, 2015

30-Day Challenge - Day 21

Whoa, it's Monday! To know me is to know that I heart my Mondays!! Still practicing my handstands, the arm strengthening exercises, and the core strength exercises that go hand in hand with it:

I feel the fear going away with each day and that I can straighten my back a little better.  Just concentrating on the back and arms for now.  But with each fall and thud on the floor, the doubt starts to settle in. Arrrghhhh.....I can't give up now.

The downward dog extended is always a fun one:

I mustered enough strength to do a crow pose with tucking my knees in my armpit as much as I could, so I'm going to label this under pose #30:

Definitely not as comfortable as placing my leg on the outside of my arm.

On to pose #3 which I haven't done yet:

Next up, the camel pose:

And the classic downward dog pose which I feel I'm not good at, I truly don't ever like my downward dog's:

Sunday, March 22, 2015

30-Day Challenge - Day 20

Wow, I can't believe I'm almost at my 30 day completion.  It's a great feeling to set some goals and try to stick with it as much as possible.  Todays stretching effort:

Awwww.....I can really feel it through your hips and spinal area! Ok, I'm off and running on this beautiful day! I hear a little boy asking me to get off the computer. ;)) 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

30-Day Challenge - Day 19

What a busy, crazy, kind of insane - yet wonderfully, delightful day it's been - I did manage to squeeze in 10 minutes of my time earlier this morning to satisfy my day 19.  All of the 3 poses below are locust poses in different variations:

This was actually harder than it looks. Lying straight - face down, keeping your arms straight, tight, and face not moving, I think the key was to use only your muscle strength in your leg to lift and hold. Very difficult.

It was even harder with trying to lift both legs without moving the arms:

That was as far up as I could go.  The last pose is the full locust which is a bit easier since I can use my head and arms to help elevate the legs, although it doesn't seem like I went that much further up:

It would seem as if some of the poses that look easy are actually the hardest. Interesting.  Off to bed.  Great day but I'm completed exhausted. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

30-Day Challenge - Day 18

Today, instead of strength, I focused more on clean lines and precision.  This is a standing, separate leg stretching pose or Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Paschimottanasana (I'm kind of glad that was never one of my spelling bee words back in grade school - ;)) :

You can really feel this one all over your legs and up into your hips and thighs.

Then I moved further down to the floor to do pose #7:

This is a full out body stretch and pretty much the same feeling as the above pose, almost like doing the splits but twisting your body sideways. I love the funky way that the light rays hit inside the room depending on what time of the day I'm practicing....

The Cobra Pose, a favorite for the back:

And pose #2, my mini back bend:

In closing, I'm sitting here thinking how scratched up some parts of my legs and feet are. Some bruises and cuts - some have healed, some haven't.  There's the aesthetic and beautiful part of yoga, and then there is the roughness that is intertwined - it's a balance I'm learning to deal with.  But all worth it! I'll take a few scrapes here and there if it means I can become a better, stronger person...

Thursday, March 19, 2015

30-Day Challenge - Day 17

Pose #9 - the Seated Boat Pose is not one of my favorite poses at all.  I really don't like it, you know there are some poses, I say to myself, "Oh, I adore you, and I will practice you forever."  And then, poses like this one, it....it just doesn't 'fit' my body? Not sure if that makes sense.  I treasure this picture so much because my son sneaked up on me and I had no idea:

I was really trying to concentrate with my eyes closed and lengthening my legs and getting my back to a position that felt comfortable, and then the blurry cuteness behind me that wanted to do the same pose.....it was just too adorable!  I love how he loves to join when he's at home and sees me.  It melts my heart.  I sooo love moments like this...

He tries all the poses I try and comes up to me and says, "Mommy, I'm advanced now." :))) Precious.

Next up, this pose..... I do like, it's more 'me' - so many variations to the Dancer Pose.  I like the clean, crisp feeling it gives me:

Took it easy today.  Maybe pull out a harder routine tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

30-Day Challenge - Day 16

It's been a busy week so far, I've really had to manage my time precisely in order to include bits and pieces of yoga here and there. Quickly practiced some more splits:

The pose for the day is #12, The Four Limbed Staff Pose:

And I fell several times today practicing the wall walk-ups, getting a little better....but landed twice on my buttocks and once on my arm sideways. Ouch.  Managed to walk away from it all with just a bandaid on my left foot at the end. 

I did, however, see progress in the wall support for my legs, for this pose, I was much straighter with my back and I'm learning to lean my head all the way down now:

I'm slowly learning to feel where my body is, my arms, legs, back, etc, since it's hard to 'see' upside down.

Cooling down and ending with more leg stretches and finger flexing:

Overall, not a bad day, off and running again.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

30-Day Challenge - Day 15

Today I woke up super, super early on purpose because I know I will be gone all day and won't be able to get in my yoga later.  And what do I get for it? Poor lighting and just very quick camera work to record my progress, BUT, overall, a fantastic workout!

I focused on everything to give my arms more strength.  This pose I've labeled it the 'death by levitation' pose, a.k.a. - The Elephant Trunk Pose:

Only because it is painfully hard and it requires a deep level of concentration.  I'm glad I was able to lift my body even this far up with both of my arms. Oh, that took strength....

I worked more on the Crow Pose:

I'm getting to like this pose.  It's intense and I'm loving it a lot.  And the last pose to help strengthen my arms:

All my life, I've complained of having a small upper body and breasts, well, now, I can officially say that at almost 45 yrs. old - YES, I'm so happy that I'm small up there, because this move would most likely hurt and kill me....lol.  I'm excited for the rest of the week.  I have a lot on my mind that I want to work on.  If only I had more than several hours a day......

Monday, March 16, 2015

30-Day Challenge - Day 14

Oh, boy....busy morning, tons of appointments done and completed, now moving on to my flex time. Todays practice pose will be #5:

The Goddess Pose. Not sure if I feel like a goddess, but this is a great hip opener.  And for good measure on this beautiful Monday morning, I threw in a second pose variation:

I'm starving! Need to go eat a full breakfast now.  I guess it's lunch already. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

30-Day Challenge - Day 13

I'm going to call this one pose #6 - modified.  It's fun to figure out different ways to do a pose within our means if we can't quite complete the full pose exactly.  This required a bit of concentration...some leg work:

So I placed one leg out as straight as possible, twisted my other leg over the extended leg, and used one arm to lift my body and one leg up off the floor.  Held for 10 seconds.  Alternated and held same position on other side.

That's it, all I had time for today.  17 more days to complete my personal challenge, let's do this! Work it, work it!