Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Day 9 - Bend and Twist Challenge

Came home late tonight but still wanted to catch up for Day 9 - Catherine laid on her back and pulled the leg forward more.  I decided to sit more on my buttocks and lifted my back upwards and folded my leg up to meet my head.

Hoping to finish up Day 10 before I leave on vacation! Whoot, can't wait!~

Day 8 - Bend and Twist Challenge

Went to bed super early last night, 10 p.m. - that's considered early for me. I told myself to just put everything down and just rest and so I did. I slept all the way 'til the sun came out, I couldn't believe it, I NEVER sleep all the way...ever.  I remember my dreams, which is good, when you dream, that means you're in a deep sleep.

Opened my eyes around 6 and fell back to sleep until 9. Oooh, that was amazing!!! I should do that more often!!! Then I realized I better finally wake up, start my day, and catch up on Day 8.  Only two more days of this short challenge - and it definitely has been a good challenge.....much more difficult than I thought it would be!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Days 6 and 7 - Bend and Twist Challenge

The Splits Bandits challenge is done so moving on with the Bend and Twist Challenge. Catching up on Day 6 is this arm/foot bind, fold, and then twist.  An intense warm-up session was needed before I attempted this pose:

The video of how I entered into it is up on Insta-Yoga. lol.....my husband chuckles at how I name my multiple IG accounts.

And here is the pose for Day 7:

Day 28

Final Day for the Splits Bandits Challenge which is a full split or Hanumanasana.

And Day 5. for the Bend and Twist Challenge.

I just saw Day 6. for the Bend and Twist Challenge, it's going to be a super difficult one. Oh boy.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Day 27

For the Splits Bandits Challenge - Today is supposed to be Eka Pada Viparita Dandasana - but since I can't do that one, I modified to a One-Legged Bridge Pose or Eka Pada Setu Bandha Sarvangasana. Hey, that works, right?

I need to run off, so I will do Day 5 of the Bend and Twist Challenge later.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Day 26

Goodmorning, Friday! It's so overcast this morning - where is my sunshine?  So I didn't get too much sun light through my room...
kind of a dark, dreary atmosphere this morning, but nevertheless, getting out the workout early when I wake up is the absolute best.

For the Splits Bandits Challenge - Ruchikasana - another leg behind the head, which I can't do yet, so I modified it as much as I could - my best attempt:

And Day 4. for the Bend and Twist Challenge - I really love this stretch - it feels exceptionally good right in the morning after doing initial stretching first!

This is similar to gomukhasana -  a variation of bending over and spreading your arms out as far as possible.  The extension of the arms plus the crissscross of the legs simultaneously is what makes this the FEEL GOOD stretch!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Day 25

Splits Bandits Challenge - A variant on EKPRK - Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana 3 - or Eka Pada in Splits.  Instead of doing a full bend and grabbing my foot. I chose the leg lift, a full back twist and arm placement to the side.

I've been working on my splits this entire year and it's never easy transitioning from a full split to lifting that leg. It took me a while to figure it out. There is so much twisting and balancing going on here.

And here is the pose for Day 3 of the Bend and Twist Challenge, which includes a back bend and eagle arms:

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Day 24

A variant on Bird of Paradise or Svarga Dvijasana. Had to use my trusty wall to be able to pull that leg with my hand.

To me, this seems so much like a vertical Visvamtrisasana - you're just doing it standing up instead of putting that arm against the floor.

Day 3. of the Bend and Twist challenge is not up yet, so I have no idea what the pose is.  Hope to see it soon and work on it later today.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Day 23 and adding on a Bend and Twist Challenge

For Day 23 - we have a most difficult one called Toe Taps or Adho Mukha Vrksasana Variant.  So I took the modification Carmen suggested of lowering down from a Crow Pose and then switching my feet to tap my wrists and then hold.....even this was excruciatingly hard, oh wow!!!

I also noticed an intriguing Bend and Twist Challenge that I wanted to try and since it is relatively short - I think I can fit it in!

Here is my Day 1. for the Bend and Twist Challenge.  Looks simple but is very intense on that right leg or whichever leg you choose to balance on:

And Day 2. A deep, seated half-lotus bind:

Can't wait to see what she comes up with for the remainder of this challenge.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Day 22

I modified today's pose and lowered my knee instead of keeping the leg straight - it is supposed to be a Natarajasana variation but now it looks more like a Tiger pose.  It's all good. It's getting a bit easier to 'flip-the-grip' now, I'm pleased with progress with that at least! Yay! Happy Monday!!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Day 21

Couldn't fit in the previous 2 days of the challenge since I had some personal obligations I had to attend to.....so I'm not going to make it up, just simply moving forward for Day 21 which is an Asymmetrical variation on EkaPada Bakasana 2.

Carmen mentioned that it wasn't as difficult of a variation, but I think it's just as hard as it combines half of a crow pose and half of a firefly. One leg is going backwards and the other leg is leaning forwards.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Day 18

So early this morning, I just want to go back to sleep, so tired, but need to get going, won't have any time today for yoga so I did this pose last night for Day 18. Parivrtta Upavistha Konasana or Revolved Wide Angle Seated Forward Bend.

This was an extremely intense side stretch with a full twist.  So good for the spine, groin, sacrum. That's it, I'm off to Jury Duty, my civic duty. Yay!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Day 17

Today is Splits or Hanumanasana in ForeArm Balance or Pincha Mayurasana.  I really struggle with forearm anything!!  I'm a bit stronger with just plain handstand balance but once the elbows go further down, I lack the strength.  So here is my best for today.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Day 16

Krounchasana is up for today. I did my best to keep my back straight and not too rounded.

Monday, August 15, 2016

2-year yoga-versary and Day 15

Two years ago this month, marks my 2nd anniversary since starting yoga.  It seems like it has been longer than that - but wow, what a journey! I've learned so much and will continue to forever learn, I hope!  How did it all start? Pretty simple, one day I looked in the mirror and said, "I really don't like this girl that I see."  It was an intense search for something new and refreshing. I had all the signs of a tired, worn out mother. The stressors showed on my face and especially on my body.  I still had baby weight and I really wanted to attack that first.

I had back pain.

And I drank soda. A lot of it.

So in 2013, I stopped drinking soda cold turkey.  I could tell how bad it was for me and it showed in my weight gain.  You could tell my face was puffy when I compared older pictures to new pictures. That decision, alone, was the first step. It was one of the absolute best decisions....it was way before I even knew about or was interested in yoga.

At the time, a lot of my friends whom I know through my love for art, were already doing their own thing - cardio barre, pilates, running, jogging...I didn't necessarily like any of those things. Until one girl I know, caught my attention, she was doing yoga!! I was definitely interested, curious....and inspired.  So just a few days before my birthday, I went out and bought a yoga mat.....what was this thing, anyway? It's big! It's heavy.....it can be unruly sometimes.....and what? I have to clean it?

I had no idea what I was doing, I started out with some beginner videos and photos and I thought some of them looked easy until I tried it. They weren't. But I wanted a change so I just decided to dive into it. My friend encouraged me and gave me tips and pointers....and before you know it, I started doing regular video tutorials and IG challenges. Crazy. What am I doing? Most of these yoga - these beautiful yoga people - were 20 years younger than me.  But to join the IG challenges, you have to take photos and do all these hashtags, what??? Pictures? Ok, to motivate and to look back to see our progress, right? Right.

2 years later -

My back pain - gone.  I haven't had back pain since. A-mazing. It's like it died along with everything else I wanted to get rid of.

And what about stress? Stress will always be there...but it helps knowing I can better manage it now.

I feel more energetic. The struggles - the bruises, the cuts and scrapes, the blood from toes and fingers scratched, the chin burns, the rug burns....looking back, oh, so worth it.  I'm not done yet.....I still have a long ways to go, I yearn to have more knowledge........I want to mix it up and try different things.....it's not a fast paced journey. I want it to last...I want it to keep going....

....because I never want to go back to that girl that I saw in the mirror....that girl was my past.

Day 15 is a Revolved Bound Triangle Pose or Parivrtta Baddha Trikonasana:

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Day 14

Today is a tough one but it's still such a feel-good stretch first thing when I wake up in the morning. It's a reclined variation of a split or Supta Trivi Kramasana - so hard to get that leg all the way past the ear and to the floor. Not even in my regimen at this time. Maybe someday! That's it for today. Time to get outside and play!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Day 13

It's the weekend! Whoot! Time for swimming, snorkeling for the kiddo, beaches, movies, lazy afternoons with family and food! YES, food! Today is Transversal Splits in Handstand or Samakonasana in Adho Mukha Vrksasana:

I aspire to conquer the middle splits one day, I think they are much, much harder than front splits.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Day 12

Today is a variant on Padangusthasana Dhanurasana, Carmen's tutorial shows that you alternate one arm to the opposite foot.  I can only do that in a sitting position in EKPRK.  I have no problems with that when sitting up....  It's just so hard lying down to do the latter. So I opted for the right arm to right foot.

Very challenging pose - next time I'll try to keep my torso more flat to the ground - gravity was against me today.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Day 11

Today is Vertical Splits and Twist in Headstand or Parivrtta Urdhva Eka Padasana in Sirsasana:

I didn't quite do the twist, but this is huge for me to just be away from the wall. I'm getting less fearful of backing away from the wall but it's still a long way to go.  Hooray for some progress! Yay!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Day 10

Skaters Pose or a variant of Malasana was insanely hard.  A feat of balancing and lifting the one leg at the same time.  That smile is deceiving. Such a tough pose. I really didn't enjoy this pose at all.  So, that's two for two poses in two days that I wasn't fond of.....but like they say, it's always the ones you don't like that are the best for you.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Day 9

Looking back on this, I think I did it wrong, I'm pretty sure the bind was supposed to be around both legs and not wrapped underneath one leg and crossing over to the other.....however, it still felt extremely awkward - felt awkward and looks awkward....so I will deem this pose as not a favorite at all!!  I will re-visit it later and see if I can correct it.

Baddha Parivrtta Uttanasana or Corkscrew Pose:

Monday, August 8, 2016

Day 8

With Standing/Vertical Splits or Urdhva Prasarita Ekapadasana - this was the first time I actually felt comfortable stepping away from the wall.  It's still a very scary ordeal to leave that wall of mine.  It lends so much support in so many ways.  But I decided to just do it. I did this pose a few days ago and was too tired to do a new one for todays challenge.

By the time I bend forward and fully press my head against my leg, it's at this point that I literally can't see anything.  I really have to rely on my senses around me.  My sense of balance.... I have to mentally feel where and how I'm positioned including the leg that is lifted. So very difficult. I'll definitely be practicing this pose more.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Day 7

Star Pose or Supta Matsyendrasana variation is up for today. Haven't had too much time to write about how I've been feeling with each of these poses. Hopefully can sit down longer and blog later. Too many things going on now. What a crazy, busy summer.

A funky little twist - I never would have imagined trying some of these poses or variations on my own without learning them from the challenges!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Day 4

Anantasana is the challenge pose, much like reclined, hand to big toe pose, this one you are trying to stay symmetrical by lying sideways.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Day 3

Day 3 is a super hard balancing act.... Ardha Baddha Malasana or Binding Crouching Tiger.  Yes, the binding with the hands is tough but the toughest is elongating the leg and keeping both feet firmly pressed on the ground. Now that was a challenge without constantly wanting to tip over or bend forward too much.

I seriously am going to start incorporating more of these poses into my routine.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Day 2

I always have a difficult time with this one....it's a Variant of Reclined Bound Angle Pose...facing down instead of up - otherwise known as Frog Pose.  Always been hard for me to fully press my torso all the way down.

It's still a very nice feeling stretch, though!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Day 1

Can't believe it's already August. Dropping in really quick for this morning! Today's pose is a mouth full - wow, Ardha Baddha Padma Ubhaya Padangusthasana or a Variant of Boat Pose....aw, boat pose - as always - my nemesis.

That's it, I must get going...duty calls......Happy Monday!