Monday, April 30, 2012

30 Day Yoga Challenge!! Day 30!!

Welcome to this, your final official day of the 30 day challenge!!  Just this one little practice and you will have a whole month under your belt!!  That is a full 4 weeks of daily practice to build the practice you want for yourself, for the future.

For most people, a good habit takes 21 days to form, and you have just done 29!  If that's not a way to get it in your mind that getting up and moving (in whatever way you like!) is a good thing, I don't know what is!

I know for me, I feel amazing.  My mind is clearer, my clothes fit better, and I am more in control of my random emotions as they come and go.  They are still there, of course, but I can more easily choose how to direct their energy, and can choose to be calm rather than upset, etc.

Anyway, so!  Where does your 30 days make you want to go?  Continue on?  Take a break?  Start from the beginning and do it all over again?  The choice is yours.

I congratulate you for making it this far!!!  It's no easy task.  There's always something that can get in the way.  But you made it.  Good for you!!!  That's amazing!!  I, for one, am proud of you.  *beams*

Okay, so here's your one last practice.  One more for the road, as it were.  ;)  Happy Yoga!!  Today, maybe focus on what you'd like to do from here on out, get into your mind and find your resolve or intention there.  You know what you would like to do from here.  Set out to accomplish it!

Today's is Yoga For Alignment, mostly because chiropractors and what they do are in the foreground of my mind this morning.  :)  Good stuff.

Namaste!  :)  Catch you on the flip side!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

30 Day Yoga Challenge!! Day 29!!!

So so so close!  Keep going!  It won't be much longer and you'll be there!!!

Fast post before work, so I don't forget or have to post from my phone again!  That didn't work out very well, LOL.

This is another video, Hatha style, with the girl who looks like a normal person.  :)  Here you are!!

Happy Yoga!!  One more day!!!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

30 Day Yoga Challenge!! Day 28!!

Happy Day 28!!  :)  Tension release is the focus of the day.  It goes hand in hand with the hip opener practice from yesterday.  Tension builds up and learning to release it is key.  It's a very good thing.  :)

Have a lovely day!  :)  (2 more days to go!!)

Friday, April 27, 2012

30 Day Yoga Challenge!! Day 27!!

So...  Close...  Almost...  There...

Okay!  We had a nice slow light practice yesterday, and that felt fantastic.  I fell asleep on my mat again.  I do that, lol.  Especially with night practice after a long day.  I like to have a blanket handy for savasana for that reason, actually.  I wake up really cold after, if I do fall asleep.  Blanket in savasana, and then when I sit up, I tend to move it around my shoulders for the final mediation in lotus.  Makes me look a little funny, probably, but no more funny than attack cat during meditation:

Okay!  Anyway, funny looks aside, blankets are awesome.  They could be used as a bolster too, if you needed one.  Not a bad thing to have handy.  :)

Video for today!  Yesterday we did shoulder tension and openers.  Today we'll go for hips.  Those are MY two problem areas, so that's what I like to focus on sometimes, joint-wise.  Backs of the legs being long is another area to focus on, so forward folding is another focus of mine.  Anyway, if you have problem areas, look for yoga practices or sequences that can help work with them nicely!  :)  There are loads of them out there.

Amazing the difference one little class can make, eh?  Have a lovely day!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

30 Day Yoga Challenge!! Day 26!!

Welcome to Day 26!!!  I'm super excited this morning, but that may just be my OVERDOSE OF COFFEE!!! EEEEEE!!

Okay, sorry.  *composure*  Four more days to go!!  You can do it!!  And how awesome will you be??  THIS AWESOME!!

I'm going to shut my caffeinated head and give you your video now.  And go do a little dance.  And maybe play a little World of Warcraft.  Because I'm a dork like that.  :P

Have a wonderful day!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

30 Day Yoga Challenge!! Day 25!!

Welcome to day 25!  Just 5 days to go!

Today's video is an intermediate level, so it may be a little harder than some others we've done, but give it a try!  Remember to modify as needed, if you are not feeling it today.

Namaste!  <3

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

30 Day Yoga Challenge!! Day 24!!

Good morning!  Welcome to day 24!  We're in the home stretch, only 6 days left of the challenge!!  How awesome are you for making it this far!?  THIS AWESOME!!  :)

As promised, we switch to a new teacher and a little more active practice today.  The last few days have been lovely and almost restorative, which has been really nice.  Nice slow break, while maintaining our flow.  That's the thing, even if you can't do a big practice like today's every day, doing the slow stretches, holding them longer, etc, really helps us keep up without feeling over-exerted.

But, enough of that, and back to the fun hard stuff for a day or two!  :)  So here we go!  This is considered intermediate, so if things are too hard, remember to take the easier pose variations.  Knees on the floor for the push up bit and cobra instead of up dog, etc.  Follow what your body tells you, take breaks if you need to, and do your best!  :)

Happy Yoga!

Monday, April 23, 2012

30 Day Yoga Challenge!! Day 23!!

Good morning!  Double checked today's video before putting it up.  (Brilliant ideas, I know, LOL)  This one IS an hour long, and the focus is discernment.  These are good slow classes that take a LOT of time on each pose, and that's a good thing when you're beginning.  You get a deeper stretch, and can feel the effects a little longer, I think.

I'm not really sure how I feel about the music used behind the videos, but that's just me.  I like some music, but maybe not quite as ethereal-sounding.  ;)  Anyway, here you go!

Will try and find some other long classes by a different teacher, with a different feel, for the next couple days, so you can branch out even more.  :)

Have a lovely day!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

30 Day Yoga Challenge!! Day 22!!

 I am trying to post this from my phone, which is being irritating.  will have to make this longer st hone tonight.       Anyway, video! 

 On the computer now! Loving that my phone was able to find and post a video, don't get me wrong, but my touch screen was NOT being responsive and I couldn't fix spelling errors or use swype. Or the sideways keyboard, which is easier to type individual keys with. One or the other please!  Lovely dying Android.  (I miss my iPhone!!)

In any case, the video today is another hour-ish long class with Dr. Melissa West.  This one focuses on gratitude, something we could probably all work on.  We have so much to be thankful for, after all, and how often do we take time to reflect on that?  Once or twice a year on holidays?  Let's make this a more common practice.

I hope your day was blessed, and we'll see you tomorrow!  :)  

ETA again!  I went to watch and follow this video, which was pulled up...  only to find out it is NOT a full class and I don't see the same one as full length at Yoga Yak's page.  So we're going to switch to a different class!

This one IS a full length class.  Sorry about that!  The focus today is, not gratitude, which we could still focus more on, but is "Yoga of Choice".  

These tend to have a little more time spent on the meditation at the beginning and end, I'm noticing.  It can be a little difficult to just "be" with so much talking...  or perhaps you enjoy the talking because it gives you something to focus on.  Again, if you are not liking the videos linked, go back to one we've done before!  Or choose one at the store and follow that.  Or even take your favorite bits from everything so far, put on some quiet music, and do a self practice at your own pace, doing what feels nice at the moment.  Work on a pose that's been giving you trouble, or work on your flow in Sun Salutations...  It's totally up to you.

The point is to try, to work at it, and try to promote a daily practice.  Even a little tiny bit of yoga every day can go a LONG way.  I always try to fit in a little tiny bit, even if I cannot do a full practice.  I feel better with the full practice, but I do what I can.  And standing poses while I make dinner are better than nothing!  :)

Anyway, I'll be quiet.  Long day.  Off I go.  :)  Practice time.  And again, check in!  Let us know how you're doing, if you have questions or comments, etc.  :)  I'd be happy to chat!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

30 Day Yoga Challenge! Day 21!!

Welcome to day 21! We're going to continue with the series we started yesterday. The videos are around 1 hour long, and should lean toward beginner levels. :)

 Take today's practice to focus on what you have achieved so far, and what does that mean to you? If you are so inclined, let us know in the comments area! I know we have readers, I see your views! Let's hear what you think!

 And hey, if you think some of the posts are full of crap, give us your opinion! :) I'm more than happy to hear your thoughts and would love the dialogue about it! :) Without further ado, today's video.  Yoga of Awareness:

Namaste!  Have a lovely day!  

Friday, April 20, 2012

30 Day Yoga Challenge! Day 20!!

We're well on our way! :) I am going to lead out with a series of classes by Dr. Melissa West. There are TONS of them, so if you are interested in continuing with free online classes daily after the challenge is done, this would be an easy way to continue on with hour-ish long classes.

Here is the playlist where they can be found, if you are so inclined! :) She leans toward more beginner level stuff, so if you feel like you need more, seek elsewhere or buy a disc... but she's a good starting point for sure. :)  This starts on page 3 of the list, so go to page 2 and 1 to see classes 2-100+.

Namaste!  :)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

30 Day Yoga Challenge! Day 19!!

Happy Day 19!!  Lots of videos from the yoga philosophy post yesterday, should check them out if you have not already!  :)

Today's video is another 40-ish minute one.  It's not so hard to keep up the long ones now, eh?  Maybe some days more than others, but the stamina is building!  Good stuff!  :)

They call this "heart expanding"...  you can take that to mean "chest openers" or you can make it a deeper thought if you like!  :)


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Yoga Philosopy Links & Videos

As promised, here is sampling of videos for going a little deeper.

This video here is about 10 minutes long, talks about the benefits of the breath, what benefits the poses themselves have, and goes briefly into expanding the practice off the mat.


This 13 minute one below has a yoga guru from Australia talking about several different things. He throws in Sanskrit rather often, but listen and wait for the translation, and you will be glad you took the time for it. Interesting stories! This says part 1, and I looked for part 2, but couldn't find it... but this, alone, is still good. :) He has other videos here as well:


This one talks a bit about energy, not in the "having energy to do ..." way, but in the "energies we put off" kind of way. Being around negative people, for example, can drain our energy. That is something that I think everyone can agree with. Being around positive people, in the same way, can help us be more positive, or maintain our energy. It could be said, then, these people each "put off" their energy, and we can sense it, in a way.

This kind of sounds hokey, I know, but take a moment and think about it. Is there someone at work or in your family, perhaps, who constantly puts you in a bad mood to be around? How is THAT person's mood? Can you see how their mood affects your own? And what about someone you just love being around? How is their mood, most of the time? How does their mood affect your own?

It's not just mood, that's just how I'm trying to explain it... but it is a way to approach thinking of things in a slightly different way. And it is something that most people can identify with, so it is a good one, I think. ;) Anyway, the video here is about 8 minutes:

Explanation of body prayer, and why it is a good thing:

Seane Corn talks about "body prayer", keeping with the energy frame of mind. She talks about taking that energy, and "sending" it to someone or a group of people. If you are a religious or spiritual person, think of it like a prayer. You pray for someone when they are doing poorly, either mentally or physically. Perhaps you don't pray, exactly, but you spend time thinking of a person and wishing them the best, perhaps.

This video shows Seane demonstrating how she does this with yoga. At the beginning of your practice, it is common and a wonderful idea to set an intention for your practice of the day. Perhaps it is to be calm. Perhaps it is to have more patience. Perhaps it is to breathe or move fluidly. But perhaps it can be to focus on someone, and think of them while you practice. Pray for them, in a way. Sean's demonstration was for her late father, while he was battling cancer. You can FEEL her intention through the screen. You'll know what I mean here in a moment:


This next set will not play here, so follow the links please! More Seane Corn, talking about "working the shadow". How we can learn things from those who are in the worst places we can imagine, but are still managing to get by. How we can face the darkness within, and learn from it.

Working the Shadow:
Part 1
Part 2


And finally, for the streaming videos for today, one last Seane Corn video. (I love her, seriously! And if she's not your speed, find someone you can relate to! That is key!! Find someone who inspires you and makes you want to do better. Someone to aspire to be. Follow them!)

This one's title is enough as an intro: There's no place to turn but within.


And here are a few videos to look up, watch streaming on Netflix (if you can find them still!), rent from your library, etc. They will be with the documentary videos, and are varying lengths, but I've watched all of them and found them interesting.

Ashtanga, NY ~ Was started as a film about Ashtanga practice, and following a well known teacher (created the Ashtanga style practice). He happened to be in New York during the 9-11 attacks. It follows how yoga helped the New York Yogis through it all. On Netflix. Preview:


Enlighten Up! This was a yogi documentary filmmaker following someone new-ish to the practice for an extended period of time, and watching to see how yoga transforms his life. Or doesn't. :)  On Netflix as well.


There are plenty of other yoga documentaries, but I haven't seen the following.  I'd be interested in doing so, though!  They're on my "later" list.  The above two documentaries were available on Netflix, so they were easy to get to and watch.  The others I will have to go out of my way to watch.  :)

  • Yoga and Me  
  • Yoga Inc.   is about the business side vs. the enlightenment side.  Can yoga come away with its core values at the rate it is going?  Interesting topic.  
  • Yoga Unveiled
  • Y
There are plenty more out there if you are so inclined!  :)  This just gets you started.  And it's not to say I 100% agree with everything said here.  But I am always willing to listen and try to expand my mindset.  Learn more.  Try and understand better.  And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!  :)


30 Day Yoga Challenge! Day 18!!

Moving right along, both literally and figuratively! :) Keep it up!! Only a few more days to go to reach that goal! 30 days... it seemed intimidating at first, didn't it? Not so scary now, eh?

Some days you are tight, some days you are sore, but every day, without fail, after your practice, you feel better, don't you? :) That is proof, my friends. Proof of the awesome powers of yoga. It has its amazing benefits! :)

And after a while, when you find yourself incorporating the breath and the mindsets into your other aspects of life (kids made a huge mess in the kitchen with flour... the dog escaped the backyard... that frustrating client at work who is difficult to please...), you'll begin to see how yoga is helpful beyond the practice. How it helps with maintaining focus and approaching life's challenges with calm and poise.

Yoga is the practice, indeed, but it is much much more. :)

Anyway, on the practice side of things! I've found you a 43 minute hatha yoga class. It's not too easy, not too hard. Give it a try, or redo a favorite practice from earlier this month! :)

I'm going to do some research and post some yoga philosophy videos for you if you are interested. :) And once I have my full 30 day list, I'm going to make a 30 day yoga challenge page up top, so you can come back here or link to it any time if someone else wants to try it for themselves! :) Keep it all easy and reachable.

Anyway! Happy Yoga! Hope you have a lovely day! <3

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

30 Day Yoga Challenge! Day 17!!

Morning!  Quick post, and off to work.  Still need to start coffee.  Not much time.  ;)

55 min today!  If you need to take breaks, hang out in child's pose for a few breaths and get back in there!  :)

Some of this is going to be harder than you've tried before, just because it's new or because of the nature of the pose.  Pigeon is hard because of how deep a hip opener it is, for example.  But try it out, try to relax, and see what you can do!  :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

30 Day Yoga Challenge! Day 16!!

Over the hump, it's all downhill from here. :) Today we'll do a little longer one but take it easy since we pushed ourselves yesterday. Sound like a plan? No? Too bad, that's the plan. Don't like it, you can find another video to follow today. :P So there.

(Don't mind me, I'm a bit ornery today.)

Anyway!! Here we go! This one is led by a lovely lady who looks a lot more like I do than some of the models we've been seeing! Shows lots of adjustments if you're new to the practice too, which is nice. :) This is 43 minutes long, but not too difficult. If you want a challenge when you're done, go back and try the inversions from day 14, or arm balances from day 15. :)

This practice would be a good one to try and remember poses from and use while reading, watching tv at home, or studying.  I use many of these poses while doing other things at home, myself, and it's a nice way to keep the practice going while doing things I need to get done (studying), reading for fun, or to keep moving while enjoying a tv show or movie.  :)

Anyway!  So that's that!  Hope you have a lovely day 16!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

30 Day Yoga Challenge! Day 15!!

Happy Half Way Point!!! :) Look how far you've come!! Be proud!!

Going to do 2 practices today again, for a total of 33 minutes. Stay in savasana as LONG as you like. After this practice, you deserve it. :) Just be sure to set a timer for yourself if you have somewhere to be afterward. I tend to fall asleep after the hard ones. :)

The first video is about 10 minutes and shows a simple morning practice. Core toning stuff, which will help with practice #2.

The second is our challenging one of the day! 23 minutes long, so today's isn't TOO long, but that's because it's harder. Second one is arm balances. Teaching us how to begin them and what we can do to make ourselves strong to achieve them one day, if today's try does not work. :)

I love the look of accomplishment on the model's face in this last one!  She's really good and she is struggling with these too!  That makes me feel better.  And I love Kathryn's approach.  Maybe it's a little kick, maybe a hover, maybe nothing, but the point is ...  you tried today.  That is the thing.  If you never try, you'll never get there.  Give your body the benefit of the doubt.  Maybe not today, but if you keep it up and keep trying, some day you will get there.  :)

You can do it!!  Happy yoga, and may your day be blessed!  :)  

Saturday, April 14, 2012

30 Day Yoga Challenge! Day 14!!

Day 14! And as promised, we're doing a little longer today... And also, a little upside down time! :)

First video we did on day 9. Standing Poses.
Second video is new, and is how I achieved a decent headstand. :)

I can't move away from the wall yet, and I am hesitant to do the tripod version with my back still not normal, but I'm trying! :) Give it a shot! :) See if you can do it, see how long you can hold it, and be proud of yourself for trying!!

Happy yoga!

Friday, April 13, 2012

30 Day Yoga Challenge! Day 13!!

Day 13. Getting into the 17-minutes-isn't-long-enough stage of the practice! So let's do two today! They add up to 35 minutes. I found a bunch of 40-60 minute practices we need to lead into, so we're getting our length a bit longer! :) Build up our endurance!

First video is inversions, forward bending and the like, in different leg stances.

Second video is shoulder opening, to work toward a shoulderstand. Yesterday's video showed one, with head and neck on the ground and the rest of the body up in the air.

Tomorrow we'll continue with the inversions and work on a headstand after a lovely warm up. It's not as hard as it looks, you use a wall for help. It will be fun!! :)

Happy day 13! Almost to the half way point!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

30 Day Yoga Challenge! Day 12!!

Day 12! Today's video is a 20 minute class done by the same people who did the video for day 8. Figured having a "down" day instead of an intensive one, considering yesterday's practice, would be nice. :)

Happy Yoga! Keep it up!!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

30 Day Yoga Challenge! Day 11!!

Day 11!! Core toning! Be stronger in just about every pose, be more balanced, and start to firm things up! :) But mostly, be stronger. It's a good thing.

This may be a little tough today, but that means it's working! It's not super long, though, (about 22m) so don't give up! Try and do your best, no matter how it burns! :) You can do it!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

30 Day Yoga Challenge! Day 10!!

1/3 of the way through our little adventure! :) How do you feel? Fantastic?? Odd if you don't stretch some? Sounds about right. :)

This is a practice you could easily start off with Sun Salutations in, transition to this in the middle, and finish off with some laying down twisting like they did in the day 8 video, and of course, as always, finish off with Savasana (corpse pose).  So that's how I'm going to put them up here.  :)  If you just want to follow the one for today, it's in the middle. :)

This will make the practice come to a total time of 50-ish minutes. It sounds like a long time, but this is about right for a full length complete practice. I know it's a lot at the very beginning, but see if you can do it! :) Take breaks in child's pose if that's what your body tells you to do, but give it a try! :)


Monday, April 9, 2012

30 Day Yoga Challenge! Day 9!!

This morning we're going to go with a standing practice.  These poses are probably ones we've done before in other videos (I'd have to check to be sure, but they're common enough!), and that's a good thing.  It means you're familiar with them already!  :)

You could do a round of Sun Salutations (a few repeats through to warm up), if you like, of course!  I always recommend this, unless you are sick.  Sun Salutations all by themselves could be a full practice, if you're short on time, and they do work nearly all the body's muscle systems.  :)  Anyway!

Have to run and get ready for work! Happy Yoga! :)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

30 Day Yoga Challenge! Day 8!!

Happy Easter guys! We're going to do just a light one today, just enough to keep moving, but not so much you have to take much time from family. :)

So! Without further ado...

Mostly gentle laying down type things. This is what I'd refer to as a "restorative" practice. Not strenuous, still moving, but relaxation is the biggest bit. Not strength.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

30 Day Yoga Challenge! Day 7!!

Today makes one week!  How do you feel!?  Yoga is not an easy thing, but it's one of those "worth doing" things.  You know, if a thing is worth doing, it's worth doing right...  And every thing worth doing will have some pain and difficulty involved.  There are several others, quotes and general ideas, but they all seem to apply.

Yoga is worth it.  And if you lapse in your practice and come back to it, you'll wonder why you ever stopped, because you feel so much better afterward!!  Been there done that, and trying to make it more of a daily thing for myself!  I do at least a few poses daily as it is, but doing a real practice is what I mean.

Anyway!  So today, we'll go with Rodney Yee!  This is a video that was taken from Discovery Health, so there are two short commercial breaks during the practice.  Use the breaks to breathe and maintain or return to "center".  This will also give you an idea of whether or not you like him for video purchase plans.  :)

Happy yoga!

Tomorrow, being a holiday, we'll go with a light simple practice.  Something restorative.  Give ourselves a little break.  :)

Friday, April 6, 2012

30 Day Yoga Challenge! Day 6!!

Morning all!  Hope your challenge is going well for you!!  We're almost through one whole week already, though!  And while the soreness or tightness in certain muscles may still be there some, it should be much less than it was on day two and three!  :)  It goes away, and I'm sure you've noticed by now, the best thing for it is another practice.  Slowly but surely!  :)

Anyway, today's video is another Yoga Journal video, it's about 20 minutes long and this one is a little more on the cardio side.  Today's will be harder, perhaps, but see if you can tough it out!

If it makes it so your breath gets high in your chest and you're having trouble maintaining the Ujjayi breathing, (slow in the nose and out the mouth, as though breathing through a straw.  Should be about 5 seconds in, 5 seconds out.  Takes some time to learn this and more time yet to remember to breathe that way for the full practice!)...  Anyway, if you are having trouble maintaining the breath, pause the video.  Sit back in child's pose.  Take a break.  Do less.  Continue when you have regained control of the breath.

Refresher on the Ujjayi Breathing, or intro if you have not seen or heard of this before!

Child's Pose. This is a resting pose that helps you catch your breath again. Use it as often as you need!

And finally, your video practice for the day if you want to try something new! Again, you are more than welcome to attend a class, follow your own video, or repeat a practice I linked earlier this week! The point is to get your body moving, not follow exactly what I share. :)

Again, this may be harder than the previous ones, (heh, it's way faster and much more invigorating!) but see how long you can go! Push yourself today! You'll love how you feel afterward! :)  Just when you feel like you absolutely can do no more, it slows down and gives you a break.  You can always pause your video and take a longer break if you need it!  :)


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Deepening the Practice (slowly but surely!)

Hey there! Back again, was going to talk to you about my personal progress! I'll try and keep this short, and will start by sharing a video that's a couple years old. My son (now 7) was 4, and I had just purchased my first yoga mat. I was doing things wrong and didn't know it, but looking back, I can see a lot of my errors!

I was rounding my back, not holding my shoulder blades down the back properly, and was reaching with the arms in forward folds. Even so, I could hardly reach the floor! I didn't hold poses nearly long enough, and it was a struggle just to do this much. I was out of shape, and having to work around the small living room space was difficult for proper poses. I had to turn the torso to lift arms up overhead when standing after a sequence, etc.

But still, I felt much better than I had, and was on my way to being healthier! I was doing the best I could, and slowly over time I started feeling the way my body was moving and realized it was wrong in little ways. I was able to take steps to correct, and now my body is better able to tell me if something is right!

This is the proper way to do a forward bend, for example. Bend the waist, and don't reach for the floor with the hands! Let the floor come to the hands. Don't stretch for it!

If you are new to the practice and cannot reach the floor without the backs of your legs screaming at you, bend your knees! Keep them bent, but with each out breath try to straighten them a little. A little more. A little more.

Eventually you'll be able to straighten the legs (maybe you'll still start each practice with bent knees, just to warm up, and that's okay!)... your hands will reach the floor without trouble, it will go from one fingertip to all of them to maybe getting your palms down. It takes time and consistency, but you will get there!

There will be "deeper" variations of poses you become familiar with, like extended side angle pose. When you're a beginner, you start with the elbow on the knee, but as you can do that without too much difficulty, try putting the hand on the floor by the front foot. It takes it a little deeper, and you'll find that edge again. And maybe after that becomes easier, try looping the arm beneath the leg and grabbing it from behind your back. There's always a way to take it a little deeper, and that's a good thing! It's a constant improvement process!

Beginning version

Hand to the floor...

And the bound version.

There are loads of variations for everything, and while we are trying to start off with the easier beginning versions, do try and push yourself a little! As something gets easier, push yourself to try the next step. If it's too hard and you are not ready, go back, but keep trying! One day, you'll be able to do it! You'll surprise yourself, and you'll have plenty to be proud of!!

Right now, I'm working on improving my wheel (or upward facing bow) and my headstand. I'm trying to be extra careful while working to make these better, hold them longer, etc, because of my neck and back issues. But I'm still trying! I was able to hold a wheel pose for the full three breaths the other day, and do that twice in a row! I usually could only hold for a breath or two, and my limbs were shaky, so I would lower down before I "lost" it. But I am getting better, and once I have wheel down, I want to start working on drop backs, maybe. :)


The headstand is tricky, but I'm currently using a wall to help support my feet so I don't fall over and hurt myself. I was able to hold it up with minimal help the other day, for a full minute. It's exciting stuff to finally be able to do some of these harder ones!! I wouldn't have even attempted them a few months ago. It was simply too hard.

So, I no longer struggle with getting my hands to the floor in forward bends. But I am still working on them! I want to be able to get my face to touch the legs, and be able to do full palms instead of fingertips. And eventually, I won't have to bend my knees to do any of it, even at the beginning of a practice. But I respect my boundaries and know I need to warm up slowly. And that's key! :)

The biggest thing I can say is to "find your edge". Find the place where it goes from easy to difficult, and walk the line there. Hold it as long as you can. When you feel like you are going to lose it, try and hold it one breath or one hair's breath longer. Just a little bit more. A little bit more. A little bit more, every day. You'll get it. It just takes time. And persistence.

You can do it! I promise! :)

For step by step pose information, check out Yoga Journal's pose library. If you have pain or injury, be sure to check the contraindictions area to see what you should avoid or modify while you are healing.  Or there is anatomical focus if you want to work on your arms, back, core, etc.  Check it out!  And there are loads of pose videos on their YouTube page, if you are more visually inclined.

And see, look how long this got.  That's why I shouldn't say things like "I'll try and keep this short!"  LOL

30 Day Yoga Challenge! Day 5!!

Morning!! Another slightly longer practice today, but again, nothing TOO long or difficult. There will be some challenging poses, perhaps, but remember to bend your knees if your legs are tight, take the easier variations, and try it out! You will be surprised at what you can do!

I have a chiro appointment, then I'll come back and do a post to tell you how my personal progress has gone! Where did I used to be, where am I now? :)

Keep it up! You can do it!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

30 Day Yoga Challenge! Day 4!!

Hey guys!  Was a long morning at work, finally home and able to post.  I hope you either have waited or followed one of the previous days' practices!  Here is your video for today, in case you were waiting!  :)

This is about half an hour, some of it may seem hard or like you need to be more flexible to do them, but give it a try!  :)  You'll be glad you did!

Happy Yoga!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

30 Day Yoga Challenge! Day 3!!

Good Morning again!  I have to get ready for work here in a minute so there's not much time to post.  But here's your video for the day!  :)  Might feel tighter today than yesterday, but keep it up!  It will pass, I promise!  :)

If the blocks are not an option for the very beginning, just lay back on the mat!  :)

Will touch base later!  I was able to do a headstand for a full minute yesterday, and was able to do a full wheel pose twice, for several breaths!!  :)  Looks like my chiro visits are paying off in unexpected ways!  :)  Those both really hurt before.  Slowly but surely!

Monday, April 2, 2012

30 Day Yoga Challenge! Day 2!!

Good morning all!  If yesterday was your first day with yoga or exercise for a while, you're bound to be a little tender today.  That's what we expect!  You may want to let it keep you from moving again today, but let me tell you, moving today is the very best thing you can do for those aching muscles!  So!  You are free to use the video from yesterday again if you like, or you can switch it up and try this one out!

Again, a little inspiration from Seane, because I mean it.  You can do this.  *nod*

And a new video.

Perhaps alternating today and yesterday's videos while you get used to the poses would be a good idea!  :)  Or do yesterday's first, then follow up with today's.  That would work well too!  :)

Happy yoga, everyone!  Remember to breathe!  Namaste!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

30 Day Yoga Challenge! Day 1!!

Welcome, welcome, to the first annual 30 Day Yoga Challenge here on Whole Food Fitness!

Sorry, that has a little Hunger Games in it, doesn't it?  (Good books!!)  Anyway!!

For random inspiration.  I would play this at the beginning of each practice for a week, actually.  I love listening to her.  <3  And she's so right!  You WILL get this.  You WILL memorize the poses, you WILL be able to touch those toes eventually, and without compromising your back!!  You can do this.  Just stick with it!  

You have your what you need post under your belt!  So!  We'll start off slow and easy.  There are some harder poses worked in toward the end here, but this is beginner level stuff, and a good place to start if you don't want to fork out $$$ for a class today.

Here you go!  Sun Salutations are a warm up for most yoga practices.  But on their own, they could also be a complete yoga practice!  Start there, and when you feel like you can do this without too much difficulty, time to add more!  :)

Feel free to do whatever practice you like, the goal here is just to do a little yoga every day for 1 month.  See where you stand when you're done!  You'll be surprised at how fast it takes hold and how little you need to encourage yourself to practice to get yourself on the mat each day.  <3

Happy Day One!!  You can do it!  And remember, if anything seems too hard, too fast, or too much, slow down.  Do less.  The breathing is the most important part.  :)

<3  Namaste!  <3