So here's part 2 of my yoga pose challenge. Firstly, this post is later than I planned. Secondly, no, I did not post every picture online or on the right day, so it might not have looked like it, but I did do the challenge. *sips a glass of red*. I thought I would get that bit out of the way and out into the open.
The #FoundationsofYoga challenge was something that I was doing with a load of other instagram yogis. It was a chance to share my journey with new and old friends. In my Yoga Pose Challenge - Part 1 post, I talked about all the reasons why I was here for this yoga challenge and I think I can tick them all off with a big, fat marker. I stayed focused. I connected with some awesome people and I boy did I feel accountable. The last reason was to, 'Inspire someone else in your life or that follows you to challenge themselves and do something different.' I'm not exactly sure what I thought this would look like, but it opened doors to amazing conversations with friends and strangers. I realised that people were relieved to see someone like me doing yoga, that my journey had made yoga a little less intimidating to people and some had even tried a pose or two. Shout out to two of my sisters who told me they got their sweat on after reading my last post. That made me skin teet' (def. to smile and show ones teeth)
I'm not sure how others got on with the challenge, but somewhere during the middle, my Instagram posts started making me feel like the poses were becoming more important than what I was actually doing. So I backed off. I talked about my reasons for getting deeper into my yoga journey and it was to do, just that, get deeper. Not feel pressurised to post poses.
There were days when a particular pose just summed up how I felt, or put me in a comforting place when I really needed it. Then there were days when I really surprised myself, and days when even my usually beloved down dog would leave me feeling exhausted and spent.
I really enjoyed the challenge and would encourage anyone to give it a twirl. Here's the second series of photo's and unqualified* tips for ya.
LOW LUNGE. TIP - SO GOOD IF YOU'RE A RUNNER TOO. I KNEW I COULD GET MY FOOT TO MY HAND, BUT IN THE PROCESS 9/10 TIMES IT FELT LIKE SOMEONE HAD CLAMPED A VICE AROUND MY CALF. CRAMP. MY TEACHER TOLD ME TO GET MY FOOT UP QUICKER SO I DIDN'T STRESS SOMETHING (LIGAMENT???) IN MY CALF. THIS TIP MADE MY DAY. IT WORKS. SCISSOR YOUR THIGHS AND DON'T HAVE YOUR WEIGHT DIRECTLY IN YOUR BACK KNEE.
LIZARD. TIP - I THINK LIZARD AND I NEED TO GET CLOSER. ONE SIDE OF MY BODY IS NOTICEABLE FREER THEN THE OTHER. I STRUGGLED TO GET MY LEFT ARM AS FIRMLY PLANTED AS THE RIGHT. I HAD TO GENTLY WRIGGLE AROUND AND BREATHE SO THAT IT DIDN'T HURT. NEGOTIATE WITH YOUR HIPS AND KEEP YOUR FRONT LEG CLOSE TO YOUR BODY, POINTING FOWARDS. FOR ONCE, THE LENGTH OF MY LEGS WORKED IN MY FAVOUR. #WINNING
WARRIOR II. TIP - FOR YEARS I USED TO 'HANG OUT' IN THIS POSE, CHILLIN'.. THEN A YOGA TEACHER FINALLY BROKE IT DOWN FOR ME. WHEN YOU'RE IN POSITION PLANT ALL CORNERS OF YOUR FEET AND TEAR THE MAT IN HALF WITH THEM. TOGETHER, PULL YOUR LEFT BUTTOCK BACK AND RIGHT ONE FORWARD. SQUEEZE AND WRAP YOUR THIGHS TOWARDS THE MID LINE (???) JUST IMAGINE THERE IS A POLE RUNNING VERTICALLY THROUGH YOUR BODY - AND THAT YOU'RE A BADASS POLE DANCER TOO, OBVIOUSLY. IF YOU KEEP YOUR SHOULDERS DOWN AND BACK, YOU CAN MAKE YOUR ARMS WORK FOR THEMSELVES. GOSH IT MAKES SO MUCH MORE SENSE NOW.
REVERSE WARRIOR. TIP - DON'T BE ALARMED IF YOU FEEL A BIT OF HEAT DOWN THE SIDE THAT YOU'RE STRETCHING AWAY FROM. THE TEACHER ALWAYS SAYS TO IMAGINE YOU ARE LENGTHENING BOTH SIDES (REALLY?!?!) I HAVE TO RELY PURELY ON MY IMAGINATION HERE. KEEP YOUR LEGS FIRED UP.
CHILD'S POSE - I LOVE THIS POSE BEST WHEN MY THE TEACHER COMES ROUND AND APPLIES A LITTLE PRESSURE TO MY LOWER BACK. THIS HELPS MY HIPS AND TAIL BONE GET CLOSER TO MY HEELS. I AM DESPERATELY TRYING TO THINK OF INVENTIVE WAYS TO BE ABLE TO RE-ENACT THIS WHEN I'M ALONE. ANY SUGGESTIONS ARE MORE THAN WELCOME!!!
THREAD THE NEEDLE, CHILD'S POSE VARIATION. TIP - THIS STARTS OFF AWKWARD AS HELL FOR ME. I STRUGGLED TO LET GO ONCE MY SHOULDER AND FACE WERE ON THE GROUND, BUT TRUS' ME IT'S MUCH SWEETER IF YOU DO.
PIGEON POSE. TIP - THE HIPS DON'T LIE SO LISTEN TO THEM. KEEP YOUR FRONT FOOT ACTIVE, AND DON'T WORRY ABOUT YOUR FRONT LEG BEING COMPLETELY PARALLEL. HIPS SQUARE. FOR SOME EXTRA STABILITY I THINK OF MY HANDS LIKE LITLE STABILISERS ON A KIDS BIKE.
MALASANA (SQUAT). TIP - THIS COULD INDUCE SOME GRIN AND BEAR IT SMILES. GO SLOW, USE ALL THE CORNERS OF YOUR FEET ON THE FLOOR AND MOVE GENTLY SIDE TO SIDE AND SEE IF YOU CAN FIND A LITTLE BIT OF EXTRA SPACE. STAY THERE. USE EQUAL PRESSURE IN YOUR HANDS AND CREATE SPACE WITH YOUR ELBOWS. DID I MENTION BREATHE?
SAVASNA VARIATION. TIP - I CAN'T LIE, I LOVE SAVASNA, BUT I DIDN'T REALLY THINK THERE WAS ANYTHING TO LEARN OR MODIFY. I MEAN, IT'S JUST LYING DOWN, RIGHT? WRONG. THIS IS MORE THAN LYING DOWN TO ME NOW. I'M LEARNING TO LET THE FLOOR HOLD ME. TO SURRENDER AND TRUST. I KINDA FEEL SAFE IN THIS POSE. IT'S A BIT OF TIME FOR ME TO WIND DOWN EVEN IF I AM STILL WORKING ON SLOWING MY THOUGHTS DOWN. JUST BREATHE AND ENJOY.
*DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT A QUALIFIED/TRAINED YOGA TEACHER, I'M JUST TRYING, INNIT :-)
This challenge got me to play with the poses a bit more than I usually would have time to do in class. I have had friends ask me about poses to do after we have run together. It's been kinda cool sharing what I'm doing with them this way.
If you've done the #FoundationsofYoga challenge, something similar, or are thinking about it, let me know how you're getting on.
Holla at your girl, Sanchia. xox