Sunday, August 30, 2015

Happy Feet!

There's nothing like hopping right out of bed on a beautiful Sunday morning and doing some yoga. Who cares if I haven't even showered and my hair is a mess.....love getting in some sweat time before the day begins.  I'm so excited to start fresh again in September with some more challenges!  I have to admit, skipping a few days in August made me kind of wobbly and out of focus.....but I'm back.


The toe stand is much easier when placing the arms in front in a prayer position.  Much more difficult to balance when twisting the arms or raising the arms above the head.  I love this pose, it really challenges my balancing.

Our heat wave continues, another scorcher today but should be waning off this week!!  I just love summer too much.....

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

I'm really happy!

It's taken me a long time to state those three words above - and genuinely mean it.

But I would have to say that at this time in my life. I'm at my happiest as a mom, as a wife, as an individual....... I'm not perfect at any of those mentioned.....but I've progressed at all 3! I figured out what I was doing wrong and what I was doing right....and I changed the 'wrongs'.......

You go through a lot of struggles in your life where you have to make a lot of heavy decisions, choices that you think are best for you and your family....decisions that are difficult to imagine....but through the helpful guidance from those around you......you just do it and hope for a positive outcome.  And through it all, you have to learn - you have to change - you have to adapt - and you have to forgive. You can not stay 'still' and be the same person you were - or else that 'happy' word? It will never come your way....

I was trying to do a variation on this grasshopper pose but it didn't really turn out the way I wanted it - haha....so it's just a simple grasshopper:


I was trying to get my left leg to wrap around the front of my right arm, but it just wouldn't do it.  I'm still figuring out how that particular pose works.

And I did a Flying Lizard pose today as well:


I'm excited for another challenge coming up in September.....for now just kind of doing whatever I feel like - but definitely want to get back into a strong, daily yoga routine next month!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Intertwining the basics

Yesterday evening, I did a basic Mountain Pose or Tadasana. Can you find me amongst the trees? :)


This seems so simple yet it is one of the many foundational poses that sets the stage for the more advanced poses.  Without them, we can't build up our strength, our core.  I still do my beginner poses as much as I can remember to, but I think I still need to practice them more.  Sometimes I forget the need to insert foundation poses into the mix of the more difficult ones that I enjoy and hope to improve and progress with time.  It is Saturday morning already, and I haven't really gone to sleep. Must get some rest. 

Friday, August 21, 2015

Day 7 - Dog Days of Summer Challenge

Todays challenge pose is the Three Legged Dog Pose or also know as Tripada Adho Mukha Svanasana or Ekapada Adho Mukha Svanasana:


And I also did about 20 sets of the eight angle pose - I was trying a new variation of it, still working on it......gaaahhhh!  I LOVE the 8 angle, it's like a favorite food you want to eat all the time, the 8 angle is like the move I want to practice all the time -- such a good workout for the arms, I literally sweated like crazy with the legs.


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Yearning for some creativity in variations

What a beautiful day today.....accomplished a lot more than I thought I would and have a little downtime right now to journal.

I don't have a challenge pose today, but yesterday I was working on some of my most favorite poses - namely the side crow and the grasshopper pose, and trying to find some creativity with any variation that I haven't attempted or would like to try.  It's hard coming up on your own with a pose that will enlighten your senses as well as challenge you physically.

I spent a bit of time with the side crow and decided on a leg twist extension:


Sometimes I have no idea what I'm doing and don't know how to position my legs, which ultimately leaves me feeling exasperated.  And since I am limited and not supposed to be doing any major inversion poses, the exasperated feeling can be a bit overwhelming. I'm also scouring through tutorials to search for that 'spark' of something new ~

Still working on the foundational poses though to keep me strong mentally.

That's it for today, I should be back soon with the last day of the Dog Days of Summer Challenge.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Day 5 - Dog Days of Summer Challenge

Feeling really good today.....I was super tired last night and went to sleep really early.  Woke up with tons of energy this morning....ready to conquer......Todays pose is Camatkarasana or Wild Thing Pose.  I did two separate variations of it.


And a half leg bind with the variation:


And I tried the Spiderman Pose today - just because...do I really need a reason? Except all I can think of is.... if you feel good with some energy and you feel like going a little out of your comfort zone, then do it. I can never be challenged if I always stay within my limits.   I do have my boundaries of safety but I do love my challenges as well.


This is super hard and I definitely know I can improve and try other variations of this pose.  It took a tremendous amount of arm balancing! Phew!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Days 3 and 4 - Dog Days of Summer Challenge

Back from vacation and although I sooooo miss the quiet, solitude, and intimacy of being with just my little family....I am glad to be back home and sleeping in my own bed.  Hotels, no matter how nice or comfortable they are....I just can not sleep in their beds. :)  The boys slept beautifully, while I caught up on late night TV re-runs of Hawaii Five-O, and cooking and house flipping shows. lol.

A lot of sunshine to be had, maybe a bit sun burnt on the top of my nose and forehead......way too much good food, and laughter ~ but I am ready to get back into yoga and challenge myself once again.

Jumped into the middle of a charity challenge called Dog Days of Summer, for the charity called Pet Haven Rescue - an organization that rescues and rehabilitates dogs. The challenges will be all poses named after dogs. And every post on Instagram helps to raise the funds needed.

Day 3 was Puppy Pose or Utthana Shishosana:


And Day 4 is Upward Facing Dog or Urdhva Muka Svanasana:



I've really got to get running. Off to a meeting....aw....back to the grind once again.  Cheerio!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Day 7 - Planks around the world challenge

Last day of the plank challenge is a Side Plank with a Bound Half Lotus:


And that's it, I am out of here....finally taking a mini break with my family.....it is so strange seeing a lot of my friends' children going back to school already and we are just 'starting' our summer vacation. Whoa! So late.....most likely will not be posting to the blog until we get back on the 17th. May do some bits of yoga while I'm gone just to keep up my momentum!  Cheers!!!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Day 6 - Planks around the world challenge

What a beautiful day it was today....loving this weather even though a little rain drizzled while I was out and about.  Today is Vasisthasana or Side Plank.


Much harder with one leg up in the air. I did not opt for the full leg hold with my left arm.   Just one more day of the mini plank challenge and then I would like to look for an ABS challenge.....yes!!! I desperately need to work on my abs....the never ending quest to achieve the firm stomach ~ it's taken me years and years to get my stomach weight down. Some fat tissue still left from having a baby but there is a lot more work that needs to be done. Women - having children - and the goal of losing the muffin top.....it's an exasperating journey as any woman will tell you......I may not ever really dive into that conversation, but I know I have done some things to help with this goal - aside from exercising......

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Day 5 - Planks around the world challenge

Day 5 is Purvottanasana or Upward Plank or also known as Reverse Plank:


This plank engages the hip flexors, shoulders, core, abs, everything!  It's a great plank as so are the others in this challenge. I think this is one of my favorite planks though.

I have so many thoughts on my mind right now.  There are days where I just have nothing to say - and then there are days like today in which my thoughts roam at an unimaginably fast pace.  That is the great thing about journaling - you can do it at anytime, anywhere, write as little as you want, or as much as you want....it is HIGHLY therapeutic....if you've never actually sat down and neither have hand written inside a journal or typed via a blog....you should.  I've been blogging for 8 years now and it never ceases to amaze me how writing down your thoughts is the #1 source of relief - an important coping mechanism for adults as well as children.

And in this society of social media, we selectively choose what we want the world to see, don't we? Yes, I am on a lot of social media venues. I am everywhere, and I say a lot but it is only a minute fraction of who I am and what I share with the world.  The remaining part of me is deeply private and personal that I share with no one.  My 3 blogs (two of them a public entity and the third is private) have sustained, over time, my thoughts.....at times, seemingly unimportant and trivial matters and at other times, very deep, personal struggles.

Since what I'm about to write about today involves the process of Yoga and how it has changed me - I thought I would indulge - I thought of not really writing it but I will now.  Yoga is a process of finding your inner self....it is a journey.....there is no evil in yoga, it is an all becoming discipline that reflects only the good. When you do yoga or pretty much many disciplines that involve exercise or training....you want to achieve not only a spiritual awareness but an emotional well being that is beyond who you already are....one of the 'thought' processes that I've been trying to achieve through yoga is the process of 'forgiveness'.  Forgiveness is not an easy task. Some may never learn to forgive in their lives.  Some may do it easily.  We tend to hold on to the hatred and hurt that has been sustained from another person and we hold on to it tightly and for what reason?? It just makes us more miserable.

It took me a very long time - and I mean, a very long time for me to learn how to forgive someone - who in the past has done wrong or brought harm upon me.  I'm not saying I'm perfect, because I'm not. If I have ever insulted someone or have hurt them, then I hope that they have forgiven me.  But just recently ~ I have learned to let go of my frustrations with this person.  I will not reveal who or what the problem was, but I have finally decided that at this time in my life, to forgive this person and let it be at peace.  Only this person and I know what the issue was - I have not told a single soul.  But to be able to let go of my frustrations and just say, "It's ok, I forgive you and I want to move forward."  It has been THE most exhilarating and liberating feeling ever for me.  I feel content and happy with my decision.  I feel a struggle that was once bearing down on me - lifted away.  I feet comforted.  I am going to have a good relationship with this person now because of it and I'm going to make sure it happens.

Try to forgive someone today or tomorrow if you can. It's a pretty empowering feeling. Find it in your heart to be only 'good' and never 'evil'.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Day 4 - Planks around the world challenge

The Samanasana or Equal Balancing Pose looks easy in the video tutorial but is actually way harder to do:


I didn't get my left arm all the way underneath my body and I'm tilted too far back.  Will be practicing this pose more often.  Oh, soooo very hard.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Day 3 - Planks around the world challenge

Busy, busy today so a real, super quick post for Day 3 - the Single Arm/Leg Plank:


Even harder when you rotate between each arm and leg - and lift each one after another......great challenge pose!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Day 2 - Planks around the world challenge

I did a more serious plank pose for Day 2 and then I did some other more playful ones, and I must say, why am I always so serious on some of my poses? Although - yoga is no joke at all....it's hard and it's hard work, but I learn to be playful and have fun at the same time.


After all, I am the most easiest going person if you get to know me, and I like to be..... playful, who doesn't?

August marks a milestone for me, exactly one year ago this month - I started yoga.....what have I learned this past year? Definitely a lot!  Not just about becoming more flexible and stronger, but it was about renewing myself, it was about becoming a new me, opening my mind and my body to things that I thought were initially impossible.  If there was a way to turn back the clock, I would have started this journey of mine much, much sooner when I was younger ~ but I have no regrets ~ I am pleased with my progress and I still have an abundance to learn and improve.  It is and always will be a continuing effort to progress and 'find' myself.

Since starting yoga, my back pains have completely been erased.  I am energized, I feel youthful - I feel more efficient. I feel daring. I feel at times, inexplicably wild - yea that word 'playful' comes around again.... I feel I can handle stress better than before.  I hardly ever become ill which is a wonderful thing because there are little people that I couldn't take care of if I was always sick.

I've met new people who encourage and are helpful with feedback on what I'm doing and how I could improve.  I've been able to inspire a few old friends, a husband, and once-in-a-while - a 10 year old. (and he's pretty cute when he does a plank).  In turn, others have inspired me beyond imagination. The inspiration from others is a motivating tool that keeps going.....

If I were to honestly say this as I sit here typing....I'm better now mentally and physically than I ever was in my 30's or dare I say, even my 20's?  How sad that I couldn't have felt this way back then??  Perhaps because it was the really 'early' child rearing/professional working years, and I was so stressed and worn out - but I can't think back to that too much. It's done and I'm moving forward, I can't wait to see what lies ahead ~~ Yoga - It's been an amazing journey.....

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Day 1 - Planks around the world challenge

It's August, yay!!! Another month and this year is zooming by way too fast for me....so much going on this month. Ha - I say that every month, don't I?

The new challenge for the next 7 days will focus on variations of plank poses.

Todays pose is the Dolphin Plank or Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana:


I love planks. They really work your entire body!