I'm constantly busting the myth that yoga is easy. Errr... Far from it fam. In fact I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is to anyone who thinks it's just hanging out and making shapes with your body. It's been way more challenging than any race I ever trained for but I'm loving the process. I follow a few awesome people on Instagram, and whether you think they are cringey or not, there's always an online challenge in fitstagram world. Let's leave the negative aspects to this aside and focus on the POSITIVE. If you are embarking on something new, have just set some fitness goals or felt inspired, Instagram challenges can be useful.
To help you keep focussed
Make you feel part of a tribe or community (albeit online)
Help to hold you accountable
Inspire someone else in your life or that follows you to challenge themselves and do something different
Putting it out there to the universe, gives you a public goal and commitment and hopefully an amazing world of other like minded people to banter with. For me, there's nothing worse than breaking a promise, other than breaking a promise I've made to myself (I should probably add some T&C's here...).
So, thanks to the wonderful vibes of Yoga Racheal, I'm trying my best to do 31 days of August with a new pose and tagging #FoundationsofYoga. *side note* I found out about the challenge a little late, so I'm 3 days behind.
Self timer photo function aside, it's hard to photograph yourself when a) you're not sure if you can get in the pose in just 10 seconds and b) if you do, you could fall out of it at any time. So I called my homie and lured her to the Olympic park for an afternoon in the sun. These photos were a full body workout, served up with a whole heap of sweat, smiles and swearing. Here's my little photo diary for ya and some unqualified tips*.
THE PLANK. TIP - SQUEEZE EVERYTHING AND PUSH THE EARTH AWAY FROM YOU WITH YOUR HANDS. THINK SUPERHERO THOUGHTS, IT'S YOUR JOB TO KEEP THE FLOOR FROM SQUEEZING YOU AGAINST THE CEILING.
HALF PUSH UP INTO CHATURANGA. TIP - ERM... IF YOU THOUGHT YOU WERE SQUEEZING IN THE POSE ABOVE, THINK AGAIN AND UP THE NITRO x10. KEEP YOUR ELBOWS CLOSE TO YOUR SIDES AND B-R-E-A-T-H-E WHILST YOU COME UP WITH AN APPROPRIATE SUPERHERO NAME.
UPWARD DOG TIP - PUSH YOUR SHOULDERS DOWN YOUR BACK, OPEN YOUR HEART/CHEST AND THINK FORWARD (KINDA REMINDS ME OF A DOG BEGGING FOR A TREAT). SQUEEZE YOUR LEGS AND PUSH YOUR TOES INTO THE GROUND AND HANDS AWAY FROM YOU. (SHADOW NOT INCLUDED).
DOWN FACING DOG, TIP - DON'T WORRY IF YOUR FEET DON'T FULLY TOUCH THE GROUND THAT'S NOT THE POINT OF THIS. FOCUS ON GETTING YOUR BUMPER (ACTUALLY YOUR TAILBONE, BUT IT'S ALL IN MY IMAGINATION) UP AND HIGH. STRONG HANDS WITH FINGERS SPREAD, PUSH THROUGH THUMB AND INDEX FINGERS ESPECIALLY AND TRY TO TURN YOUR UPPER ARMS OUT AND FOREARMS IN. WHAT?!? USE YOUR IMAGINATION FOR THIS TOO, IT HELPS. A BEND IN THE KNEES IS TOTALLY ACCEPTABLE, REMEMBER IT'S YOUR YOGAHOOD.
THREE LEGGED PLANK VARIATION - TIP. WHEN YOU MOVE YOUR LEG, IMAGINE YOUR CORE IS LIFTING AND PULLING IT UP AND INTO YOUR BODY, HOLD IT THERE AND SEE IF YOU CAN LIFT HIGHER. TURNING TO THE LEFT AND LOOKING AT THE CAMERA IS NOT OBLIGATORY.
LOW LUNGE. TIP - IF YOU WANNA FEEL BADASS "SQUEEZE YOUR THIGHS INTO THE MIDLINE." WHAT? YEAH EXACTLY MY FIRST THOUGHTS. IMAGINE YOU WANT TO HOLD A HEAVY BUT PAPER THIN OBJECT (HUMOUR ME) BETWEEN YOUR THIGHS. ENGAGE, PULL UPWARDS AND INWARDS YOUR PUBIC BONE AND LOWER BELLY AREA. FIND STRENGTH AND STABILITY IN YOUR FRONT FOOT AND BACK TOES.
Every week I'm learning something new about myself and individual poses. I've deffo got my favourite yoga teacher list, but I've also been cheating on them a lot too because every teacher takes you to a slightly different place and has a different way of getting there.
*DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT A TRAINED YOGA TEACHER. MY TIPS ARE SIMPLY THINGS THAT I HAVE LEARNT THROUGH PRACTICE AND DIFFERENT TEACHING STYLES. SOME OF THE ADVICE I HAVE GIVEN ABOVE ARE BASICALLY JUST SOME LITTLE IMAGES I HAVE CREATED IN MY MIND TO HELP ME FIND MORE EASE IN THE POSE.
If you've enjoyed this little post, you can catch each pose on my Instagram and if you've got some advice for me and some visualisations to help me on my quest for ease, please don't keep em' to yourself. A sister needs help out here!
Holla! Sanchia. x