Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Sept. Challenges _ Day 30

Last day poses are always the most relaxing and feels so good.  Balasana or Child's Pose:

And Paschimottanasana or Seated Forward Fold.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Sept. Challenges - Day 28

Today is Ustrasana or Camel Pose - I always like to look for different variations if I fun and really challenging:

I think I've been getting too much sun this summer! :/ Sun is great as long as you don't over do's definitely been hotter than usual this summer here in Calif.  Been trying to keep cool indoors but it is hard to not go outside and play often!  It is irresistible for someone like me who likes the warm weather much more so than the cold.  Can't believe this month is almost up.....excited for a renewal with yet another challenge month!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sept. Challenges - Day 27

I only did one challenge pose for the FIYH. It was a cow/cat movement.  I chose instead just the cow pose or Bitilasana:

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Sept. Challenges - Day 26

For the FIYH challenge, the pose is Chin Stand or Ganda Bherundasana:

This is a very challenging pose and I still need to have my elbows aligned better right under neath my belly area to be straight with my legs.  My shoulders should be a little more square and up more. Lots to improve on.

And the BYM challenge pose is FireFly or Tittibhasana:

I've improved a little on this pose and am able to lift just a tad higher, still would love to completely straighten that leg or go for the full upright legs.  So fun! So energized today!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Sept. Challenges - Day 25

Today is Fallen Angel and I just did this pose the other day for the same challenge - but it is definitely always good practice.  Devadutta Panna Asana:

I'm so tired today, not going to write too much, I need sleep. It's been a busy day. Swamped.  Next week should be a bit calmer.  Looking forward to the October challenge that has been posted on my sidebar. It's for charity. Yay!!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Sept. Challenges - Day 24

Todays challenge pose is the Compass Pose.  Also known as Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana. This pose is still very difficult for me.....I've been able to transition easier going into Compass from an Elephant Trunk pose:

Have lots to work on before I can really get the leg straight but I have much improved from my last progress photo.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Sept. Challenges - Day 23

In addition to the challenge poses I've been working on some other poses - especially trying to gain a bit more strength with Lotus variations.  The classic full lotus is a simple pose but is enormously difficult to maintain a sense of calmness and relaxation.  And I mean, for more than just a few minutes. I still have not mastered that yet.

I love it, though, for my back, and it has been an invaluable help with posture.  You don't want to slouch when doing a Lotus pose.  I wanted to try for the first time a Peacock Pose with Lotus Legs:

This was really hard - and the feeling at the moment was pure joy that I was able to lift off from the ground and most likely at the same time - 'Oh my goodness, I'm dying here!!!'  I'll be practicing this pose a lot more often.

On to the challenges - The FIYH challenge pose is Wild Thing or Camatkarasana:

And for the BYM challenge is Side Plank or Vashishtasana:

I'm super tired right now. Have been doing an exhausting amount of yoga.  Very sore but I feel good!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Sept. Challenges - Day 22

For the BYM, is the Supta Padangusthasana, I've got a long way to go with this one....someday, I hope to be able to pull one leg all the way back. Wouldn't that be quite the feeling? I can only imagine, it would be like an upward split but is way harder to do than a split with your legs on the ground:

Amazing feeling on the legs and spine, but so very hard.

And for the Fall Into Your Heart challenge pose, we have: Half Frog Pose or Ardha Bhekasana:

This pose feels really good, I'm going to try and tilt my head up and level my back just a little straighter next time.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Sept. Challenges - Day 21

Natarajasana or Dancer Pose with Mermaid Variation or Lord of the many names for this pose. Dancer pose will always be my favorite no matter what. I love all the different variations.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sept. Challenges - Day 20

Today has been busy, busy and I feel like I've had no time to get together my schedule correctly.  I'm such a disciplined organizer and yet, today just felt like too much of a play day - which was nice, oh, how it's always nice to play all day.....but hence why I'm sitting here late tonight journaling while every one else is asleep.

Todays unique pose is a Supine Twist with Eagle Legs or also called Supta Jathara Parivartanasana:

It's a relaxing pose but I did not find it as relaxing as a full Savasana or Corpse Pose.  Most likely because of the revolved leg.  Modified without the eagle legs would have been much more comfortable, but overall great for the back muscles.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Sept. Challenges - Day 19

Today is Side Crow or Parsvabakasana and I went ahead and took it to a Fallen Angel Pose or Devaduuta Panna Asana:

I love side crows, absolutely one of my favorites and it took me a long time before I could even do a side crow. I almost gave up on it.....I fell pretty bad a while back on a Flying Pigeon...messed up my right arm and was in a gauze for a stubborn....I waited for it to heal and thankfully, it healed without me going to the doctor...phew.....but sometimes I can feel the tinge in my elbow. You have to rest when you hurt.  Falls bring you down mentally, they really do. But you have to get right back up and just try it....and try it again.   

Friday, September 18, 2015

Sept. Challenges - Day 18

This pose looks easy, but is way more intense than it looks.  It's the Marichasana C.  And what makes it difficult is the leg and knee being tightly tucked and then you are pulling your arm out and over that knee....then you do the arm binding behind your back.

Turn your head, look the opposite direction of your extended leg. You can really feel it though, which is great....but one of the most strangest poses.

Next up is the One legged Locust pose or Shalabhasana:

I remember when I was first trying this last year.  You're really relying on the strength of your leg and a bit of your upper torso but not much.

Two pretty challenging poses......easy to look at but way more difficult to execute.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Sept. Challenges - Day 17

I had a hard time getting into Grasshopper Pose/Parsva Bhuja Dandasana for this particular day, for the most part, some of these poses do get easier over time, but others give you a different feel each time and/or they refuse to cooperate with you.

That was for the BYM challenge.  Now the challenge pose for FIYH is the King Pigeon or Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana:

I chose the one-legged king pigeon with a variation on the hand placement.  I can't for the life of me grab my foot with my hand, so still a work in progress with that.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Sept. Challenges - Day 16

Today for the BYM was Seated Wide Legged Forward Fold or Upavistha Konasana:

I still need a lot of work on this one.  I've been practicing on an easier approach for easing into this back bend by going in torso first and then re-positioning the legs.  I will try that next time.

And for the Fall Into Your Heart challenge pose is a different twist on the extended side angle pose - adding in a little back bend:

I'm really liking how the Fall Into Your Heart Challenge is mixing it up a bit with the classic poses and adding an additional element. Love it!  We are half way through the month....can't believe it!! So much to learn and so fun at the same time!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Sept. Challenges - Day 15

Today for the FIYH Challenge is the Bridge Pose with Eagle Legs.  What a fun variation on the bridge pose that I have never tried before.

Since I'm not allowed to do any inversions, I will not post any challenge pose for the BYM today.

I did work a bit more on other poses though and one was the Eka Pada Koundinyasana2.  I pretty much plowed through that and was able to extend my right leg out further.....I'm so happy that I'm beginning to lengthen my stance on this pose and hold longer than previous attempts:

It seemed like forever before I was able to execute this pose. I'm glad I just kept trying and didn't give up on it.  Now time to do some fine tuning with both leg balances.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Sept. Challenges - Day 14

Day 14 is Anjaneyasana or Low Lunge for the BYM:

AND the challenge pose for FIYH is Tiger Pose or Vyaghrasana:

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Sept. Challenges - Day 13

I got a tip from a fellow yogini on how to vary the 8 angle for todays challenge pose for the BYM. Instead of balancing with both legs straight with your body, take both legs - still keeping them pressed together at the elbow as tightly as possible....lower your entire body as low as you can, and swing your legs closer into your stomach into a V-shape.  Tilt your head and look at your legs......the feeling should be much more intense at the abs! You're almost as tightly wrapped like a shrimp:

In comparison to the straight body that's normally the position I do:

You can still feel the burn here but much more so in the first photo.

And the challenge pose for the FIYH is Camel Pose or Ustrasana:

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Sept. Challenges - Day 12

Beautiful Saturday morning! Ready for the weekend to start and here is the challenge pose for the FIYH - Fish Pose or Matsyasana:

And the BYM challenge pose is the Bow Pose or Dhanurasana:

Friday, September 11, 2015

Sept. Challenges - Day 11

Taking a moment today to remember all those who perished on this day - 9/11.  As with all worldwide, traumatic events, we remember exactly where we were and what we were doing at the moment that this event occurred.  I was driving to work down south and I heard it on the radio.  I couldn't call my boss, I didn't have a cell phone back then.  We still had to work that day....all the businesses around us were closing up and not even worrying about work.  I had several bosses and clients that were flying out and we had to worry about them and their safety.

It was eerie driving home that evening....not a soul on the streets, I felt my car was the only one on the road....

For the FIYH - an Arching Warrior with a low lunge:

And the challenge pose for BYM is the Pistol Squat:

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Sept. Challenges - Day 10

BYM challenge pose is One-Legged King Pigeon or Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana...the EP's are always the hardest in my opinion.....anything Eka Pada...takes so much time....I'm not even there yet

Reclining Hero Pose OR Supta Virasana is the challenge for FIYH:

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Sept. Challenges - Day 9

I practiced more leg strengthening and hipopening poses today.  It's been a while since I've done the splits and it didn't take too long to get back into the full splits after warming up a bit.  I was quite surprised. It normally takes me about 15 min. to get back into a split formation but today went much faster, I'm thinking because I may have been doing a lot of the EPK's earlier in the week.

For the FIYH - Cobra Pose with Lotus Legs

This is actually very hard. Do not do this if you have knee problems.  You're literally shifting your weight onto both knees for support. I was supposed to walk forward a little more on the knees but didn't.  My body should be more elongated.

And for the BYM is the Boat Pose or Navasana - one of my weakest poses that I need to practice more:

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Sept. Challenges - Day 8

Today for FIYH is Single Leg Swan Balance or Eka Pada Hamsa Parsvottanasana:

And for the BYM is Marichasana A:

This week will be extremely busy, keeping my posts super short and sweet. Will squeeze in my yoga time to my best ability. Oy Vey...

Monday, September 7, 2015

Sept. Challenges - Day 7

Today is Puppy Pose for the FIYH:

And the L-sit for the BYM Challenge - the L-Sit is a 'no' sit for me at this time so I opted for the easier pose which would be my modified pose - Elephant Trunk Pose:

I'm going to need some blocks/support and practice more on the L-sit.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Sept. Challenges - Day 6

Day 6 and other odds and ends.....I was finally able to progress a bit with the Eka Pada Koundinyasana 2. Although one of my legs could still be straighter, I'm somewhat satisfied with my attempt from yesterday. Much more work needed but I'm happy for now I was able to lift my left leg off the ground:

Hubs and I had a good chuckle over this photo....we both agreed I have 3 colors to my body.  My foot is ghostly white from no sun at all, my face is beet red from exertion through the arm balance, and the rest of my body is dark from all the sun from the outdoors this  Husband gets a kick out of my crazy photos, he knows I am obsessed with my yoga and he supports me so much with this hobby. He always gives me the time and the space whenever I want to practice my yoga.

I did this pose several days ago, a seated twist pose or Half Lord of the Fishes that is a favorite or also known as Ardha Matsyendrasana:

It's great for your back and if you just want to strengthen your posture and relieve back tension. Do an arm binding by looping one arm through your raised leg and reach behind the back for more intensity.

And the challenge pose for BYM is extended side angle pose or Parsvakonasana A:

And the challenge pose for FIYH is the Low Lunge or Anjaneyasana:

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Sept. Challenges - Day 5

For Day 5 - worked on two variations of Dancer Poses or Natarajasana/Lord of the Dance, the first one combines an arm bind:

The 2nd Dancer Pose has no bind and for some reason I didn't think it was my best one.  I'm much more careful about leaning forward when on hard surfaces like cement.

The challenge pose for FIYH is Reverse Plank/Upward Plank or Purvottanasana:

And the BYM challenge pose is the Crow or Crane or Bakasana....I chose the crow:

It's going to be another beautiful month of sunny weather....I seriously don't want summer to end...ever......I'm pretty sure we've been outdoors every day this summer.