I joined a challenge for yoga on Instagram. For one month to do 30 different poses. I didn't do 30 and I'll explain why as I go, but this is what I learned.
Pose 1: Triangle
I lock my knees and collapse my ribcage on the leaning side. I have to shorten my stance and my forward hip always pops. I can't stay in this pose for 5 breaths.
Pose 2: Forearm Plank
I use to be able to do a minute, last June when I did my 30 Day Push Up Challenge. I've lost that, but I am working on it again. My form is good here, at least in my mind. And while it's not the most comfortable pose. I've got this
Pose 3: Crescent Lunge with Backbend
I forget to lift my back heel a lot. I am not steady in this pose, which is the reason for forgetting to lift my back heel. But that front knee is 90 degrees, it's better than two months ago, and that curve! It's coming along.
Pose 4: Warrior 2
A favorite pose. I'm learning to bend more into my knee, lengthen my stance and my arms. Oh my arms are starting to become strong, there's slight definition. I can see the line I want my tattoo on. That tattoo isn't there yet but I feel like a warrior and that's all that matters. Yoga is mostly in your head.
Pose 5: Crow
In February I choose five poses to learn and strive for this year. This is one of them. I love this pose and it's amazing how much I've grown in it. It's stronger every time I do it. I even had the confidence to make a little video one day of me getting into crow and in that video is the first time I have ever fallen forwarded. Falling forward has been a huge fear of mine and yet I did and was fine. I'm currently working on getting into it without the block.
Pose 6: Side Plank Variation Leg Up
OMG side plank is hard and I didn't hold this for long. But until this point I had never tried this pose and didn't know it was possible to do so. This is the pose that really got me excited for the challenge because it suddenly felt like I could maybe do all the poses. There was potential for possibility. In yoga, belief is half the pose, fear is what holds us back. I've been trying to build this pose every since I took this picture.
Pose 7: Forward Fold
I can't wait to see my progression on this one. Legs straighter, chest on thighs. For now this is where I am and it's a beautiful butterfly when edited like this.
Pose 8: Scale
I need the blocks because I haven't figured out how to lift yet without. But I'm fully off the ground and steady.
Pose 9: Upward Plank
I love love how this picture turned out. Also I do this pose all the time after sitting at my desk for too long. My hips could always go higher and I need to remember not to drop my neck.
Pose 10: Camel
This was another fearful pose for me. Which is why I also put this pose on my five pose list. It's far from proper but I'm getting there. I need to lift my hips more, arch back more and lean less. But I love it! I don't know why I was so afraid of it. I thought my body couldn't support myself, but the fact, is your body is so much more powerful than you think. That's what this pose proved to me.
Pose 11: Boat
Love it or hate it, boat is good for the abs. I need to remember to keep my shoulders down. Also yoga outside is seriously the best!
Pose 12: One Legged Sage
I always forget to go into chaturanga arms and I can't lift off yet. My abs aren't strong enough and my arms can't handle the weight yet. Yet being the key word there, because while I truly hate this pose and it makes me feel terrible. One day I'm gonna rock it.
Pose 13: Revolved Head To Knee
I love poses like this and after pose 12 this one brings me back to a happy place. The stretch is getting longer and one day that top hand will touch.
Pose 14: King Pigeon
I wrote about this pose recently along with Body Image. King Pigeon is hard and my hips are not a fan, however I am slowly working toward opening those hips up. The looser they are the better I feel.
Pose 15: Upward Facing Dog
I can roll over my toes! Both directions from chaturanga to downward dog. It flows well. Though I tend to mix up my breathe. This pose has me feeling powerful and for some reason the song from Aladdin "A Whole New World" lines
I can show you the world
Shining, shimmering splendid
Always come to mind when I look on this picture.
Pose 16: Dolphin
Besides the fact that I have zero core strength. This pose holds a ton of fear for me. Fear of flopping right over. Fear of slamming my heel into a wall, if I'm against one. Fear of crunching down on my neck because my shoulders aren't strong enough to hold me up. Fear of not having a straight spine. Fear of the movement. I don't know what this means for me and this pose. For now, my rule is that if the teacher calls it, I try it. I listen to their instructions and go through it. Because fear is not going to hold me back and maybe one day I'll master this pose.
Pose 17: Bow
This pose is uncomfortable for me. My belly becomes hard and like a massive lump that causes pain. But not true pain. I feel like it's all in my head. Because if I do this in class after a really good teaching session, this doesn't happen. I am not sure, maybe I'm not warmed up enough all the other times I've tried.
Pose 18: Eight Angle
Another pose that I forget to do chaturanga arms. But this pose makes me feel strong. I'll get it one day.
Pose 19: Fish
This day is when things went wrong for me. I was not warmed up enough to even attempt this pose. I also didn't watch any videos for getting into this pose, something I normally do, if I haven't attempted it before. It looked easier, so I figured it would be. Take it from me, this is a bad idea. I twisted wrong coming out of it and spiralled into a mass amount of neck/migraine pain. Until my Chiropractor could squeeze me in and fix me. Three weeks later and I am still feel the results of that twist.
Pose 20: Half Moon Revolved
Half moon is my jam and then a teacher flipped it on me and all balance went flying out the window. This however, did not discourage me, it made me want to try harder and succeed at this version too. Also balancing poses on carpet are so much harder. Carpet really throws everything off.
Pose 21: Seated Forward Fold
I curve my spine too much and lock my knees. My biggest challenge is learning how to relax into the pose and not force it. I am not succeeding, yet.
Pose 22: Lotus
Like Pose 18, my tummy and this pose are not friends. This one is more comfortable the 18, but not enough to make it something I enjoy doing. The biggest thing though, is that I also pull my shoulders up to my neck and lift my head to far, crunching my neck.
Pose 23: Supported Shoulder Stand
I love this pose. I feel like it stretches out my neck. A big issue is that if you don't have proper boob support and you have rather large ones like me, you can get smashed in the face by them. I am working on getting this pose to a Lotus shoulder stand, which is why one knee is folded. I do feel unstable making that transition, so it's been slow going.
Pose 24: Dancer's
The first time I got my foot in my hand, I wanted to cry with happiness. It felt so good. To be honest I need to take this picture not on carpet because my form is so much better than this. Or at least it feels that way, I haven't actually seen it but when I am on a proper floor I can feel those toes above my head and my back arches more. It's a lovely place to just breathe, feel good about yourself and smile. This pose was also on my five pose list, mostly because it was fun and I didn't want all the poses on that list to be ones I was afraid of.
Pose 25: Wheel
When I was a child, I could do wheel. I could crab walk in wheel, I could move to standing from wheel. As an adult, I can barely lift myself up. I have to be very warmed up to even get this far. But nothing beats the feeling it gives you. And so I work on it and one day I'll get to where I was as a child again.
Pose 26: Cow Face
Is it weird that this is how I normally sit on a chair? The legs part at least, less so on the arms. It's comfortable and relaxing for me. The issue with it being a comfort pose, is that I've developed bad habits in it. Not ensuring my hips are level, being the main one.
Pose 27: Standing Hand To Big Toe
Another pose I didn't know I could do. I didn't know I could reach my toes, have the balance and almost straighten my leg fully. This was beyond exciting for me and makes me so happy.
Pose 28: Plow
From Support Shoulder Stand I always go into plow next. Usually when a teacher says you have a few minutes of free time at the end of class, this is where I go. I don't know why, but it feels like a good way to complete things for me.
Pose 29: Reverse Warrior
I don't know why but every time I took pictures of reverse warrior I lifted my back heel. Then I wondered why I was so unstable in the pose. My back foot should be firmly planted down. But even when it is, I still don't feel stable. Usually in class you move into this pose during an intake of breathe and then cartwheel your hands down to do a flow as you exhale. Meaning I am never in this pose long enough to make it feel strong. Something I obviously need to work on.
If you made it all the way to the end, thank you! Writing about my yoga journey has mostly been about watching my progress and I don't know how interesting it is for others. My goal is to revisit all these poses in 6 months with side by side comparisons on how well I've grown.
As I said at the beginning the challenge was for 30 Poses, but I did only 29. Pose 30 is something I wasn't comfortable attempting. Injuring myself in fish (pose 19) made me even more wary. That pose is the forearm stand. It's a combination of a few things for me. I know from doing dolphin (pose 16) that I don't have good upper shoulder strength and I know from doing almost every other pose that I don't have the core strength either. This pose is definitely on my one day list, but for today I am happy with where I am.
Do you practice yoga? I would love to hear you thoughts on my form. I would also love to know if you have similar challenges or fears as I do.
Lastly, don't forget to breathe.
I'm a lifestyle blogger, covering deep subjects including body images, battles with food, and overcoming how I was raised. I try to be as authentic as possible and I don’t sugar coat how I see things.