Saturday, October 31, 2015

October Challenge - Day 31

Ending the month with Final Relaxation or Savasana or Corpse Pose:


I wish I could lay down like this all the time! Wouldn't that be nice? As I look ahead on my calendar - November - semi busy... December - VERY busy.  Ok, I won't think about December right now. Can't wait to start fresh tomorrow with the November challenge.

Friday, October 30, 2015

October Challenge - Day 30

So since a few days ago, I've been practicing more challenging flows with a great level of difficulty. Which tells me that I'm not ready for it yet.  Must keep practicing.  Yoga is a strange thing, you wake up one morning, more determined than ever to nail a pose, and sometimes it happens so easily.  Other days, you wake up and your muscles won't even move.

I'm still working on a split variation and it is still slow in progress.  I've managed to combine a split twist but that is about it for now:


And for the challenge pose for the day is Natarajasana or Dancer's Pose, one of my all time favorites - any variation:


Have already posted another challenge for November and ready to tackle something different as we head into fall.  As much as I love the challenges I've been doing, looking to branch out a bit and find new poses that I haven't tried yet.

Sooo excited for Halloween tomorrow. Can't wait to dress up with the family and enjoy with the kids! One of the best holidays ever!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

October Challenge - Day 29

My fave for the day is Eight Angle Pose or Astravakrasana:


Off to go practice flows that are a little more difficult.  I'm focusing on right now - from Crow to Eight Angle to EKAP 2 to Chaturanga.  I may just try for Eight Angle to EKAP for now.  But my ultimate goal would be the former.  So fun, so challenging. I'm so very pumped with energy today.


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

October Challenge - Day 27

Oh my goodness, busy - busy, don't know if I'm coming or going or what - but I've definitely been immersing play time in between work time - ha!!  Have been thoroughly enjoying some time outdoors lately and I've been practicing my yoga sessions on different surfaces....beach, sand/gravel, cement, grass.  Beach is tough, I find that the hardest surface to maneuver but I love the beach!

I made two different videos with the same flow routine to see which one was easier for me to work with.....Cement or grass??

I felt comfortable on hard cement:


My flow was a 10 pose starting off with Mountain, Warrior, Parsvakonasana, Lizard, EKAP 2, Cobra, Downward Dog, Cobra, Child, and ending with Hero.  On the cement surface though, I threw in a three legged dog after the downward dog.

I used almost the same flow routine on the grass surface.  I could definitely tell the difference in my comfort level and on which surface I was stronger.




There was one slight bobble before my EKAP 2 on the grass.  So thankful for capturing photos and videos so I can constantly improve.  Grass is definitely the most difficult for me.  And the added weight of wearing shoes is even harder on both levels!

And the pose for Day 27 is Chair pose or Utkatasana:


Sunday, October 25, 2015

October Challenge - Day 25

Today is the Low Lunge or Crescent or Anjaneyasana:


It's another one of my favorite deeper poses that I enjoy.  Although I'm still not proficient on bending my back, even this far feels super deep for me.

I've been doing a lot of transitional flows lately and have been enjoying it.  Recorded a few but they are way too long. I really need to shorten them a bit.  Ooh, I am thrilled at the weather that we've been having lately. Today needs to be a park day. Never end, seriously. I'm not a winter person and will wholeheartedly go outside every day to take in all the yoga I can before it gets cold......

Saturday, October 24, 2015

October Challenge - Day 24

Today is Parsvottanasana or Intense side stretch pose:


Honestly can't go any further or deeper than this.....still a major work in progress! It's Saturday, it's lovely out, we're all going for a swim!! Happy face.

Friday, October 23, 2015

October Challenge - Day 23

So busy today, I'm running late in every which way and direction but stopping in real quick to post my day 23. Viparita Virabhadrasana or Reverse Warrior:


I love all the warriors of the last 3 days. Tomorrow will be the toughie. I'm so not good still at the forward folds.  I seem to be able to do side to side bends better than up and down bends.  My body is funky that way.  So happy it's the weekend!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

October Challenge - Day 22

Virabhadrasana 2 or Warrior 2.  Makes me feel like a true warrior.  A good one, ofcourse, not a bad one.


It's not always that easy to level the arms and keep the bent leg at a 90 degree angle.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

October Challenge - Day 21

Everyday is a lesson in humility.  Especially so today, I feel like writing so I will.  I was driving my son to school this morning. Heading east, the sun is always happily shining in my eye.  Doesn't bother me that much, I love the sun.  I was already rushing as I usually do every morning, but always maintaining a sense of composure.  There was something ahead on the middle of the street, right in the middle of the lane that I was in.  I couldn't see until I got closer but it was a man.  A homeless man.  He was struggling, I could tell.  I braked a distance to figure out what to do.  There were swarms of cars on both sides of me, swooshing past with no regard as to what was in front of them.....he saw that I had stopped so he paused and started walking towards me.  My son asked me, "Mommy, who is that? Why is he in the street?"  I had not only thought of his safety but this man in front of me.....my heart sunk - not because I was fearful, because I did not know his story. What got him to this point.

He was, I could tell, mentally incapacitated. He was swerving as he walked towards my car.  He had a large soda cup in his hand.  He walked very close up to the driver side of my car and accidentally spilled some of the soda onto the car.  Didn't really phase me......I waited til he passed completely before I began to move the car forward.  There were cars behind me honking, as if saying, "Move, lady, just go"......so heartless.

And as I was finally able to move forward,  I thought of how this 'man' struggled.  I don't know what happened to him or how he got to where he is today.  I will never know. It made me sad.

With each experience, I gain knowledge, I gain more a sense of compassion and patience.  For any day, we could all become homeless, without any sense of being or any sense of direction.  Then what?

Who is to say we won't someday?

Take nothing for granted.

Todays pose if Warrior 1 or Virabhadrasana:



Monday, October 19, 2015

October Challenge - Day 19

Aw...it's a beautiful Monday morning....ooooh, I love you, Mondays! The sun isn't even out yet, it's a little chilly.  I'm still yawning and haven't quite woken up yet, but I have a million things to do today - but I love it! I love keeping busy, it keeps my mind strong.  I wouldn't want it any other way.  But this is my time, and even if I only get a few minutes to jot down my thoughts, or just 5 to 10 minutes of yoga......it's still my time.....I own it. You have to make time for it....I've slowly learned that through the years, there is no excuse for anything anymore....make the time for it....find your inner happiness because no one, and I mean - no one will find it for you.

Today is Bakasana or Crow Pose for me:


As I still work towards a Crane pose - I realize, continuously, in my head that this is still my sole journey.  I need to be patient more than ever before.  What comes will come, I can not force it.  One day, my Crane pose will come.  I am happy where I'm at now.....

Sunday, October 18, 2015

October Challenge - Day 18

Hero pose or in this case, I did a reclining hero pose or supta virasana - is an intense amount of movement for the hips, knees, pelvis, and the back.


There's some adjustment involved before I'm really comfortable in this pose and feeling its effect.

Friday, October 16, 2015

October Challenge - Day 16

This is one of my favorite poses to relax after a long day or even just to give my back some love and comfort.  Ardha Matsyendrasana or Half Lord of the Fish or Seated Spinal Twist Pose:


It's a little extra difficult with the arm bind in front and over the leg.  I don't feel much tension with doing this pose without the bind at all. But with that added arm bind + the twist, you can really feel the amazing difference.  So ready for the weekend.  Another beautiful week in So. Cal.  Felt a little like Fall today, but not much.  Gotta hit the outdoors a little more before the real winter comes.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

October Challenge - Day 15

I have actually never attempted this pose before - ever.  Not sure why I haven't since it is considered a beginner's pose, it really releases tension from your back, provides compression for the stomach, and is a great hip opener -


We love hip openers, don't we?? Yay!! Halfway through the month!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

October Challenge - Day 14

Paripurna Navasana or Boat pose.....awwwww.....my least favorite and I know the one I need to do more of....I opted for a little easier variation...I should probably stick with the more difficult variation if I am ever going to master this pose.


The half boat pose feels more comfortable to me.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Monday, October 12, 2015

October Challenge - Day 12

Padangusthasana or Big Toe Pose is up for the day:


Super difficult stretch for me. But I think the farthest I've been able to bend. Still have a long ways to go.


Sunday, October 11, 2015

October Challenge - Day 11

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana or Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose:


There's a lot of tough ones in this month's challenge.  This one is pretty hard for me.  Haven't been able to fully touch my head against my leg....one day. Still a great feeling stretch!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

October Challenge - Day 10

What a gorgeous Saturday morning! Lots of heat lately - we don't ever think we will have a Fall or Winter. And I'm perfectly ok with that. :)) Yay! Getting ready to get things done quickly this morning so we can all head out to the beach.....but before that, posting my day 10 which is another deep forward fold - Janu Sirsasana A:


It's such an amazing feel with the stretch.  I may never be able to completely evolve with my back bends and forward folds and I'm OK with that.  I'm quickly learning that I don't have to be able to do every single pose, and MORE importantly, I'm in no way required to.  It's not a competition with any one else.....this is a sole journey, it's a personal venture.  It's a journey in which I choose what I want to progress with and still have a lot of fun and learning in the process.  One needs to be thrilled with 'progress' and be happy simply in the moment.

Friday, October 9, 2015

October Challenge - Day 9

Marichasana A is a really deep forward fold and is even more complex with the added arm bind:


I can tell from my last photo of this same pose, that I have improved my bend just a bit....whohooo...super excited...it's not a huge difference but I can totally tell the difference when comparing the two photos.....so grateful for logging all of this....progress photos really provide that magical moment where you can actually say there has been 'progress'.  Such an exciting feeling!

And I've been working on back bends, not to any great length but the Cobra Pose or Bhujangasana, is always a good pose to open up those shoulders and the upper chest:


I'm not in any real hurry to progress with back bends.  It is strange, just like some poses are so inviting and I keep practicing them over and over.  And some, like back bends aren't specifically important to me at this time.  Perhaps they will be in the future but for now. I'm more interested in arm balances and leg balances.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

October Challenge - Day 7

How can I not love Day 7? It's Tree pose or Vrksasana - my first ever pose that I tried when I started this journey, and I admit, it looked easy and was considered a pose in the beginner category but I didn't think it was easy.


Love all the different variations that you can play with this pose.  I definitely have not scoured all the variations yet, but this one is my favorite.


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

October Challenge - Day 6

Day 6 is Lolasana or Pendant Pose:


There was no way I could lift my feet off the ground with just my hands and shoulders only, so I used my chair props.  I got a great tip that you aren't supposed to use the strength from your leg/feet, but more from your upper shoulder. Pushing and tilting forward.

To do this without props takes tremendous strength, wow!!! I hope I can get to that point someday. But this is such a great core worker.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Always fine tuning

Today, I concentrated on building up a little more strength and balance with my EKAP2.  I'm getting to the point of getting my right leg straighter.  Hope to start this pose on the opposite leg but my left leg has always been the weaker.


I don't necessarily care about lifting my left leg higher, more important is my balance right now and just focusing on alignment horizontally.

I'm super thrilled I've been able to progress with a variation of the splits that I have not accomplished yet.  I was finally able to bend forward today as much as I possibly could - and oh, it felt soooooo awesome, the feeling was just amazing:


I thought I was going to try bending my left leg at the knee but I opted, instead, to find and feel the deepness in a forward fold. It was just simply a stretch that you could feel working throughout your entire body.


October Challenge - Day 5

Awww.....Easy pose or Sukhasana:


Haven not been able to get in any extra yoga time during my weekends aside for the challenge poses so I'm going to whip out several hours this week if I can.....it's just so invigorating....

Sunday, October 4, 2015

October Challenge - Day 4

Chaturanga Dandasana or Four Limbed Staff Pose -


Crazy hard - great for the core, shoulders, abs.  It's definitely not one of the poses I do often, I really should though.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Thursday, October 1, 2015

October Challenge - Day 1

I can't believe it's October!!!! Next to Christmas - I love October - I love Halloween!!! It's so much fun, it's all for the kids ~ and it's the best feeling inside as a parent to see your kid so excited with trick-or-treating and all the festivities.

I just did this pose for the FIYH challenge and it's up once again for the new challenge going on over on Instagram.  Balasana or Child's Pose: