this december, and in 2016, i am making a commitment to yoga. historically, yoga and i have had an unstable relationship; but the further along we get in our relationship, the more i’ve realized why i keep going back for more. i know where i want to go from here, and i have set some goals to help me get there.
to advance my yoga practice, i first have to take it back to the basics and master the asanas that are the foundation of the practice. from december 1 – 24 i will join a group of yogis in the Beginner Yoga 2015 Challenge. every day a new pose. i welcome others to join me.
habitually i try to run before i can walk. i get ahead of myself. i want to be better and i want to be better now. but i am breaking that habit. if i want to get better at yoga and advance my practice, i must force myself to take a few steps back.
the photo below outlines the poses that i will be practicing every day in december. they are not fancy. they are not complicated. but they are the basics, the building blocks toward advancement. once i have mastered these poses, i will take on a new yoga challenge that pushes me further.
if i am being honest, none of these yoga poses looking particularly difficult to me. however i know that it isn’t simply about completing the poses, but about allowing my body to fall further into them. once i have found my comfort zone in each pose, it is then about seeking the clarity of mind, peace, and inner self that i struggle to find in the studio.
i will push myself to achieve more, physically and mentally.
let me explain the physical element with a few examples. in looking at the photos above, i can already identify some of the specifics i will need to work on for each pose.
#3 – Warrior II AKA Virabhadrasana II (veer-uh-buh-DRAHS-uh-nuh
to get the most out of my warrior II i will need to focus on stretching my arms through my finger tips, and to drop my shoulders. i have a horrid habit of tightening my shoulders to the point where they are crowded up around my ears. i will have to remind myself “be long vanessa, be long.” and then once i have mastered my upper body positioning, i will sink lower into my lunge.
#11 Tiger Pose
anybody can do a tiger pose, but now i am going to complete it with the long-term goal of getting into more advanced poses in 2016 that require a flexible back and hip flexors. i cant wait for the day where i might be able to complete King Pigeon Pose AKA Kapotasana or King Dancer Pose AKA Natarajasana (not-ah-raj-AHS-anna). tiger pose is a building block to those more advanced asanas, and unless i increase my flexibility here, there is no way i will be able to move forward.
#19 – Frog Pose AKA Bhekasana
ok let’s be honest. i have a lot i can work on here. i don’t look anything like this when i am attempting this pose. i am sure the photos will be hilarious when i get to day 19.
#24 – Lotus Pose AKA Padmasana (pod-MAHS-anna)
she looks so peaceful, doesn’t she? when i try to stack my feet on top of my legs like she is in that image, it actually hurts me. no kidding. i feel like i am going to break my ankles when i attempt it. i blame my leg muscle.
needless to say, this will be an adventure. it will force me to slow down and focus. i don’t always have to go fast. sometimes going slow is good for me and hopefully going slow in yoga will carry over to other parts of my life where i could benefit from a deep breath.
to check out my progress, and to participate along with me, follow my INSTAGRAM where i will be sharing my daily photo.
if you would like to do this yoga challenge with me and the others leave a comment below. then, be sure you hit #BeginnerYoga2015 #thefirst2hours in your instagram photos, and tag me @thefirst2hours as well.
the more the merrier. let’s rock this december goal and prepare for new, more advanced yoga goals in 2016.