Friday, July 29, 2016

Days 27 and 28 and a New Challenge

So Day 28 was kind of a 'save-the-best-for-last' pose. One of the hardest!! True what Carmen mentioned in her tutorial, this is literally 'splitting' your body in half. One side is strength/balance and one is flexibility, and the balancing was the most difficult.


And I wasn't even close to touching that left leg to my head.

Day 27 was Kalabhairavasana. Another Leg-behind-the-Head pose. Since I still can't get my leg behind my head that well, I modified this:

I'm sooooo happy I finished out this month. I never finish a complete month, ever! So I'm thrilled I stuck with it and at least tried even if I had to modify.  Loved seeing all the different modifications for the super hard poses.

August, I know will be insanely busy for me, but I will try as many days as I can for the next Lab Challenge.....

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Day 26

I thought Grasshopper was incredibly hard - and it is....until I tried todays pose which is Parsva Yogidandasana or Foot-to-Armpit Balance.

Here are the differences that I felt - with regular Grasshopper pose below, you have more support of both hands to maneuver your entire body and leg. But with the above version, you're literally using your elbow to do most of the balancing and shifting of the weight. Very interesting. I found that right arm on the above pose does very little except for keeping that foot on....all the work was really on my left arm.

Oh my goodness, after doing this, I definitely feel the classic version of grasshopper is much easier now! Learning so much from this challenge!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Day 25

Today is supposed to be Chin Stand with an added level of difficulty of Scorpion - Viparita Salabhasana - but I didn't bend my legs further, so regular chin stand it is. Almost the end of the month, and I hope to finish out this challenge.  One of the most difficult ones yet.

I may take a breather in Aug. and just do my own thing, but haven't decided yet. This month's challenge really tested me!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Day 24

Sunny, beautiful much going on ---> August - awwww, been planning our mini summer get-a-way, it's always a tradition, just something small, but simple - but we love it.  It's perfect for us because we have too tight of a schedule to go on a longer vacation, but that is ok.....maybe someday....the planning that takes place with just a mini-vacation is still an abundance of work. Everything has to be meticulous, so much goes through my mind when I plan each summer.  Just can't wait for us to get away...just the 3 of us.

Got to spend some time with mom this weekend and do some outdoor yoga at her place.  She's great, she always encourages me to do what I love, but at the same time, don't forget your roots, who you are as a person, stick to that. She's always been fair....strict but fair.

If I don't practice some poses that require some backbending, I definitely lose the flexibility, so I re-visit Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana every now and then for some good warm-ups.

And, challenge pose for today is a Handstand Pike or a Variant of Adho Mukha Vrksasana:

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Day 23

Today is supposed to be baby firefly - oooh, the struggle, I thought I was able to do it and I tried and tried and tried and I ....failed. I could place my legs and my forearms, but lift off on the feet and buttocks never happened.  The frustration was endless, I got mad and angry, and for what? It didn't get me anywhere. But I'm human....I'm allowed to feel frustration when I can't accomplish something....but I can't allow that to take my patience just meant my body was not quite ready for that pose yet.

So my modification is another variant of Firefly:

This one was hard too, a little bit of crow and firefly, but much more manageable.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Day 22

Today was supposed to be wheel pose but I opted for Ardha Purvottanasana or Reverse Table Top Pose, as I still work on my backbends:

This itself was super hard for's so hot and humid here and I'm getting attacked by mosquitoes....goodness.....every summer....the mosquitoes love to suck and suck on my blood, I have no idea why my blood is so attractive for them because I have bites all over my legs! UGH!! So nasty.  And they take forever to go heat, mosquito bites make for this girl to quickly do her yoga, shower immediately and then leave.....

Hopefully it gets a little cooler next week. Hooray for the weekend!!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Day 21

Oh my goodness, this is my best attempt for a Variation of Eka Pada Sirsasana.  I really need to work on leg behind the head, just by itself. I can do this a little better by sitting up instead of bending forward.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Day 20

It's scorching here in OC. I'm melting........Today was an interesting one. I've never done Child's Pose or Balasana against the wall in Handstand. A totally different feel.

Way more difficult, naturally. Loving this challenge though, I'm learning so much!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Day 19

Today is Visvamitrasana.

This pose requires some upper body strength, major balancing, and hip flexibility. I'm dreading the next few days - wow, these poses and the level of difficulty.  But I'm learning so much, so much I need to work on and also learning how to look at some of these poses in a different perspective.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Day 18

The asanas become harder and harder with each day. And today is definitely no exception.  I have never done this pose before and it took me a little bit of time to figure it out.  It's Karandavasana or Baby Bakasana with Lotus Legs. Super difficult.  I did manage to make a video for Insta-Yoga on how I executed the pose.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Day 16

Whoa. Today is going to be busy. Just finished up some power off to play tennis.....then grocery shopping with an 11 year old who wants to buy everything in sight and eat....then some errands.  I should be sleeping real good tonight.

Up for today is a Headstand variant or Sirsasana - but ofcourse I could not do what Carmen did, so I just did my own variant.  Fun to play around and experiment.  I'm outta here....

Friday, July 15, 2016

Day 15

Today is Vertical Splits against the Wall or Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana. Carmen went the extra effort and lifted her entire body - I think I'll just be happy with what I can do here.  Although would love to try lifting my foot like that.

The video is up on Instagram. I still can't get my videos to load correctly on this blog.  I'll figure it all out. I could do it as a Youtube video but I'm trying to use my Youtube account for my artwork only at this time. Sigh.

It's Friday, yay!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Day 14

Today is arm pressure pose but I chose the standard Titibhasana or Firefly.

I still haven't reached my goal of fully extending the leg upwards, someday!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Monday, July 11, 2016

Day 11

Parsva Garudasana or Eagle is up for today. Adding the twisted legs for this pose adds another level of difficulty.

And... Blogger is having some technical issues, apparently I'm not the only one who has complained about all photos being left justified on our blogs. Hope it gets fixed soon.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Day 10

Phew, this was a tough one....Oh, Carmen, you truly do challenge me!  Today is a combination of prep poses that lead into the full pose of:

Half Lotus --> Scissors - ArdhaPadmasana --> EkapadaKoundinyasana2:

This was a combination of so many components.....arm balancing, hip flexors, strengthening the lower back, core, engaging every muscle you have.

I have the full video up on Instagram on how I approached it......can't seem to get any of my videos to load onto my blog.....having so many issues with that. Need to look into it.

I have to note that getting out of the pose is super difficult, I have to remember to be careful on exiting and resuming a sitting position as one leg is still in lotus. You don't want to land on your knee.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Day 9

I've done many face plants with this pose - Galavasana or Flying Pigeon, although it does get easier over time, the never ending pursuit to raise my leg higher and straighten my arms always has a 'pending'  face plant nearby.  I just need to keep holding it longer and longer so eventually I can straighten my arm.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Day 8

A variant of a headstand - Parsva Sirsasana. This was hard and required a lot of concentration on my part. I'm tired. I need sleep.....this week really worked me in all different directions......glad this challenge pushes me a bit or else I wouldn't really do some of the poses in my normal, everyday practice.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Day 7

I'm slowly releasing my fear of the backbend....and I say s.l.o.w.l.y - although todays challenge - which is a variant of a Camel or Ustrasana, I really enjoyed.  This is probably one of the deepest back bends I've been able to do - probably nothing for most people who already can do fancy wheels and such - - but to me, it's a lot.  I learned to appreciate how much strength it took me to press against that wall and adjust my back, my arms, everything.

Still a long ways to go, but feeling so much more comfortable falling backwards.  I so wish there was someone next to me to guide my back, to re-position my arms as necessary.  But there isn't.....this is truly my own, personal and sole journey.  I am learning on my own, and sometimes that is very exhilarating - other times, scary....but if I had to be scared at something I'm willing to learn in my life, it would definitely be this discipline.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Day 6

This is incredibly hard. A variant for Table top pose and also a pre-cursor to L-sit....super difficult to lift for was actually easier to use my fingertips than my hands, although quietly inside, I know the hand is the more proper placement.

I really need to practice this more to obtain the height and stability that I want....and eventually do the L-sit.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Day 4

It's a beautiful day......It's the 4th of July here in the United States...a lot to celebrate.

So many thoughts....I also celebrate that my scars from my car accident have completely diminished and I'm so happy for that.  As I await for my car to be finished with its repairs and returned to me....I still continue to be thankful.

Today is supposed to be Un-supported Shoulder Stand or Candle or Niralamba Sarvangasana....

....but I chose to do the regular Supported Shoulder Stand or Sarvanagasana:

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Day 3

I hardly ever utilize this breathing technique called Uddiyana.  It felt so intense but I'm pretty sure I didn't do it right. A lot more work definitely that I could do on this exercise.  Very interesting!

I can't believe how much my stretch marks show during this exercise. yikes....

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Day 2

I'm slowly, very slowly learning the secret to holding my Chaturanga Dandasana.  In the beginning, I was never pinching my arms to the side but now I do it on both sides of my arms and closer to my body.  With such,  I'm able to have a much longer hang time.  So incredibly thankful for all these challenges, learning so much.

Need to practice more though. I can do about 5 seconds now. My goal - 10 seconds.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Day 1

Whoa! Day 1 was already hard! Isn't the first day supposed to start off slowly? ;))

Asymmetrical Crow or Bakasana is similar to regular Crow except one arm is placed normal and the other arm is bent closer to the ground. Made for some super hard balancing.  And in a dress was much harder.  Did not have much time today at all so here is my pose with the 5 minutes I had today.

Looking forward to more quality yoga time this weekend!