Monday, November 30, 2015

Friday, November 27, 2015

November Challenges - Day 27

One of my favorite challenge poses is Camel Pose or Ustrasana:

I am not proficient at back bends but I have felt and seen my progress with back bends. Most likely the toughest for me at this time.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

November Challenges - Day 26

It's Thanksgiving! What a lovely day with my little family. I'm so thankful for so many things. Small things in life that we, perhaps, take for granted. I'm thankful for change.  Because without change, I wouldn't be happy. That didn't come easy.....I can't say that yoga alone changed me.

It was a combination of things that has made me a better person.  Not just one. I 'learned' to be a better person, to be more mature, and more patient. That doesn't just come instantly.  It's a process...

Today is Bow pose or Dhanurasana:

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

November Challenges - Day 25

First time ever doing this Frog Pose or Bhekasana:

Oh my goodness, this is much harder than I thought, but very much similar to the bow pose, I suppose once I gain flexibility in this position, I'll be able to lift my chest a bit higher.

December Challenge is up and I'm excited! But taking it easy on the challenge so I'm kind of glad it's a month of simpler poses.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

November Challenges - Day 24

Flying Lizard or Uttana Prasithasana:

And I chose a simpler form for the Boat pose - I did the half boat pose or Ardha Navasana:

Monday, November 23, 2015

November Challenges - Day 23

This first pose is not even close. I gave it my best attempt though. Butterfly pose with a shoulder stretch....It's as far as I could bend forward and lift my binded arms from behind. So difficult.

And Astravakrasana or Eight Angle:

My EKAP 2 isn't as solid on the beach surface as I wanted it to be - but I still, very much, enjoy testing my arm strength on the unevenness of the sand, and boy does that sand make me feel like I'm twice as heavy:

Excited for the holidays coming up, it will be crazy, insanely busy but I love it!!  Appointments, parties, school activities, family, Christmas shopping, etc. I've decided to only join one challenge for the month of December, just don't think I will have the time for any more than that.  Plus, this is the time of the year, I love to make a lot of holiday cards.  And I hate rushing holiday cards. The process of making handmade specifically for each person, and writing my thoughts down 'specifically' for that person, it's something that is so enjoyable for me.  It is truly the most wonderful time of the year to think of others....

December, I shall conquer you, and will sleep my way through January, I hope. Ha!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

November Challenges - Day 22

Straddle leg lifts are really hard to do.  I couldn't really reach any heighth or strength by pressing alone with my body pulled forward and hands to the ground, so I opted for holding my legs in place with my hands at my ankles:

And I've progressed somewhat with Revolved Head to Knee Pose/Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana, actually - I forgot to place my right arm in front of my legs. Oops.  I do feel myself being able to lean closer to my legs, I just need to twist my torso a bit more.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

November Challenges - Day 21

I haven't so much been falling behind on my poses, but have been faltering with taking time to slow down and write down thought, journal....really write like I used to.  It's been so busy and I hope it calms down after the holidays.  For now, very quick dropping in and post:

Bhujapidasana or Shoulder pressing pose:

and Wide Angle Side Stretch:

Friday, November 20, 2015

November Challenges - Day 20

Day 20 was the Splits - Hanumanasana:

And Supta Padangusthasana or Reclining Hand to Big Toe Pose.  I think I manage this pose a bit better when I'm standing:

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

November Challenges - Day 18

Today is Humble Warrior....this pose was super difficult as I can't get my leg over my head yet.

Definitely challenging indeed and I have yet to try the other Humble Warrior variations that look a little more promising at this time! :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

November Challenges - Day 17

Kasyapasana or Side Plank with Bound Half Lotus:

Almost touched the foot with my hand, but not quite. So close, perhaps next time around.

And a Lizard Variation:

Monday, November 16, 2015

November Challenges - Day 16

What motivates you to exercise when it gets into the colder months? The thought of changing from my everyday clothing into my workout clothes in this weather is a little less inviting for me than perhaps snuggling underneath a comforter, having the heater turned up, and a huge bowl of soup in front of me.  I'm not a fan of being bundled up too much when it comes to exercising either, way too uncomfortable and restricting.

I'm not really complaining, more like assessing the thought in my head.  Different people are motivated by different things.  Perhaps I should see that the minutes in-between where it takes to warm up and feel the heat in my body, won't feel so long. Perhaps that is more worthwhile than the bone chilling feeling I have before I begin my yoga for the day.....winter is going to be interesting.  It always is......I yearn for 5 more months.

Day 16 is a low lunge or Anjaneyasana:

And I did a prep exercise to improve my core for the Jump Back technique.  This was really, excruciatingly hard. Starting from a boat pose, breathing in and exhaling, then bending forward, pivoting my arms and legs for the jump back - did this 10 times and I was already super tired.


It will be a long time before I am ready for a full Jump Back into Chaturanga.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

November Challenges - Day 15

I've progressed a bit more with my variation of splits or Hanumanasana, slowly incorporating backbends into the mix.  This is as deep as I can go for now.  It was such an intense stretch for me. I now need to learn how to pivot my knee and would like to lift up one leg.

I haven't figured out quite how to do that yet.  And for the Liquidspine Challenge, a super intense seated, revolved side stretch with one bent leg or Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana:

Saturday, November 14, 2015

November Challenges - Day 14

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana or Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose:

And this pose, I should do more of, a Horse Stance/Goddess Pose or Utkata Konasana:

Thursday, November 12, 2015

November Challenges - Day 12

I am progressing a tiny bit with my Firefly or Tittibhasana:

I used to be scared to death of falling on my buttocks, but it isn't so bad anymore, every land is a learning cue, you mentally just sit and stare at the wall and say, "Get up and do it again, but do it differently."  Lift more, keep lifting. And straighten that leg........the thought swirls around in your head over and over, constantly until you get the heighth that you can at that moment.

Next up is a Forward Fold with a Twist, super hard too:

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

November Challenges - Day 11

Grasshopper Pose or Parsva Bhuja Dandasana:

And Revolved Bound Half Moon.  Oh, this was soooo hard, I obviously do not practice this pose enough:

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

November Challenges - Day 10

Ooh, I'm sore. Really sore.  All for the good though. Practiced a lot of yoga today.  The weekend compounds my soreness today. Played football with someone about 20 years younger than me. I figure that was added arm work that I really needed. lol.  Not to mention, we were at a park and was chasing kids around, then pushing about 8 kids on one of those twisty merry-go-round things, whatever they are called. 8 kids x 40 lbs. each, my kid about 95 lbs. and what does that equal to? Good wonder I'm tired.  Arms, legs, I'm dying here....

Day 10 is a High Lunge Pose or Crescent Pose:

And also a Bird of Paradise Pose or Svarga Dvijasana:

Monday, November 9, 2015

November Challenges - Day 9

Three Legged Downward Dog or Adho Mukha Svanasana:

And Marichyasana A:

Progress on my Marichyasana is up and down at times. I felt tight on this one today. Some days I can bend lower, some days are harder. Very inconsistent on this pose.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

November Challenges - Day 8

Weekend mornings, I love....morning cuddles with the little one. I love the feeling in the morning when you open your eyes first and then you start hearing the bits of noise from the room down the hall... then the pounding footsteps of your sweet little child, as he bounces into your room and hops onto the bed - crushing you with his huge hug. Yes, my boy still does that....He'll be 11 soon and he still rushes into my room to say Goodmorning and hugs me to no end.....It's the's the moment I look forward to each time.  The little things....

The never ending wanting to stay in bed because it's so cold, the quiet moments when you say nothing to each other and yet, their presence is felt.  There's the breakfasts that we share together that doesn't happen on weekdays...the fresh, fluffy eggs, the smell of food cooking as I set the's the most simplest of happiness with my weekends...

Day 8 is Gomukhasana or Cow Faced Pose:

And Wild Thing Pose or Camatkarasana:

Saturday, November 7, 2015

November Challenges - Day 7

Both poses for today are within the same category - Planks! Yay, I love planks of any variation! Upward Plank for the LiquidSpine Challenge:

And a Side Plank for the CoreofGratitude Challenge:

Friday, November 6, 2015

November Challenges - Day 6

I don't really practice the one armed balances as often as I do the two arm balance poses, so Day 5's challenge was a good one for me.  I played around a lot more today with just balancing on my left arm and varying it up with a lateral kick with my leg. Super hard - definitely got the feel of the shift in my body:

For the liquidspine challenge, the challenge pose is Standing Half Moon or Ardha Chandrasana or Crescent Moon Pose:

And the challenge pose for CoreofGratitude is Lolasana or Pendant Pose:

Haven't progressed much with Lolasana, but I think my air time here was about 1 second before I dropped.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

November Challenges - Day 5

I thought the side crow/crane - Parsva Bakasana was hard until I tried the balancing on only one arm:

At least with the easier version, you have two arms to stabilize your, supporting both legs on one arm is increasing the level of difficulty.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

November Challenges - Day 4

Oh, what a busy day. Popping in super quick for my day 4. A Forward Fold or Uttanasana.

I'm getting a little better at this one and being able to close the gap between my upper chest and legs. Still working on not rounding the back, but this is as good as it gets for now.

And Bakasana or Crow pose for the other challenge pose:

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

November Challenges - Day 3

Puppy pose or Uttana Shishosana is up for today.

And I'm very far from progress when it comes to day I will be able to lift just with my core only.  So many goals:

Monday, November 2, 2015

November Challenges - Day 2

I love planks - all variations:

I opted to do leg shifting intervals.  And this next one, I don't know where to even begin, arch ups:

It's about as far as I could reach upwards into the air.  Oh, this one was so hard.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Two November Challenges - Day 1

So this is reality - I'm sure it's the same for millions of people....but it's interesting to actually sit here and think about it for a moment for myself. My eyes...wide open at 5 a.m.  - after Daylight Savings and me thinking it's 6 a.m.  Super fun evening before of trick-or-treating with the littles and family. Dressing up, because your kid loves it when you share the moment with him....the only day of the year where we really get to 'be' someone we really want to be....our alter ego. ;) It sustains us, it empowers us, it makes us happy!

Then there's the eating...lots of yummy food, conversation, laughter, neighbors.  Retract back to 5 a.m. - I'm a real life 'zombie' - I can't move from my bed. I'm tired. I'm exhausted. I have an 11 a.m. meeting I have to be at. Another place to be later in the day. I have to get up, feed my child, do yoga, feed myself, brush my teeth, shower, edit my photos, post. I have laundry. I have dishes to do, a house to clean, I have forms to fill out.........where and how do I fit all that in before 11? My mentality has to change and say - ofcourse I can.  You just do it. What gets me through all of it? Seriously, it's always gets me through that 5 a.m. thinking....

I decided at the last minute to try and join 2 challenges this month. For the one that I always participate in and a new one! It will be fun. First up, is Lotus pose or Padmasana:

And for a new challenge called is a Front Body looks so much easier in the tutorial, but is pretty hard.  You feel like lifting the feet off the ground but it must stay firm.  My arms could have been a bit straighter....all in all....such a tight, intense feeling. It felt good.

Another beautiful Sunday morning. Bliss!