My Yoga Journey … so far

Hello there! let’s talk about my Yoga journey today – the struggles, success and my journey so far.

The month of February wasn’t so exciting in terms of working out or doing yoga. I slipped and fell on the street, on my way to the office. Since I was wearing a dress, my knee got skinned pretty bad which reduced my mobility for the better part of the month. Can you imagine, I never got hurt while doing arm balances or hiking or climbing, but this happened while I was leisurely walking down the road, enjoying a cup of hot chocolate. Btw I totally saved my drink, didn’t spill a drop!

I am a lot better now – the wound looks unbelievably ugly but I have resumed my yoga practice, along with other abs and leg workout. This phase reminded me of how extremely grateful I should be for limbs that are functioning, and how it is my responsibility to maintain their healthy state.

My yoga journey so far as been extremely fulfilling. I started in 2015, learning on my own by watching youtube tutorials and reading online articles. Today, I can transition into arm balances and inversions, which I used to think would never be possible by someone like me. By someone I mean a girl whose physical activity, while growing up, was limited to walking to the nearby school-bus stop and back. I also wrote about learning arm balances here –Β How I learnt to do arm balances?

This year I have set new yoga goals, which includes a number of asanas that I hope I would be able to hold. In January, I was finally able to do a full Grasshopper Pose, but only for a few seconds. And since I haven’t been practicing, I can’t get into it now.Β  I still remember my struggle to do the beginner version itself – called baby grasshopper (image below). Do you remember my Ghost Crawl post? The hips simple refused to move up. Maybe at that time I didn’t have enough core strength to hold the hips above the ground. As I practiced more flexibility poses, and core workouts (mostly planks variations), I was slowly able to hold baby grasshopper for long.

yoga pose baby grasshopper

I started practicing advanced Grasshopper pose in January. Now, this isn’t just an arm balance, it requires a lot of flexibility too as the foot needs to rest on the triceps. No, try not to imagine it. My friend broke into hysterical laughter when I told her how I can’t even get my foot rest on the elbows. Her only question as -Why? πŸ˜›

The below picture is the only proof of that one time when I was able to balance this pose. Since, I am working really hard to do splits, I do a lot of hip and leg flexibility exercises. Probably that is why my foot could reach the triceps area.

Strange how you are able to do something fabulous one day, and turn totally clumsy all other times! Yoga is pretty darn hard on the ego πŸ™‚

Chaturanga Dandasana, also called Yoga planks are something I always struggle with – to align the body in straight line, to get the arms right and mostly … not forgetting to breathe. My go-to video is the one by Kino – Chaturanga Dandasana. I do practice this in front of a mirror or take a video on my laptop to check the alignment. The arms should be parallel to the ground and perpendicular to forearm. This is the best I can do for now.

Tip – If you are a beginner, practice this pose on your knees first. It will slowly help you build your strength. Don’t forget to warm up your wrists.

yoga chaturanga dandasana

Backbends

I love backbends, and for some strange reason, they scare me the most. Poses like Cobra, Sphinx, Lunge and Camel are excellent backbend warmups. I follow a Beginner level video by KinoΒ  – Beginner Yoga BackbendΒ , where she demonstrates warmup poses and how to transition into a wheel. This year I will be working on my shoulder and upper back flexibility, so that my palms are under my head.

You must have already read on how I am learning to do splitsΒ . I am a couple of inches away from going into a full split, but I have been stuck there for many weeks now. I am raring to see more progress. Here’s a bunch of flexibility and core exercises that I include in my practice.

yoga poses

 

Handstands – I am slowly trying to hold it without the support of the wall, but the fear of falling over does grip my heart. Frankly, I have fallen a couple of times too – not pretty at all. πŸ˜›Β  So, now I first jump into a handstand, rest against the wall and then slowly move my feet away. It took me a long time to get where I am now.

Doing lot of plank holds and L shaped hold against the wall helped to build the strength. Here’s a photo from a post I wrote on Inversions.

And this was taken a month back πŸ™‚

handstand

I didn’t want to bore you with too much information in this post, so will continue writing on my journey and publish it as separate posts πŸ™‚

What are some of your success and failures in terms of fitness? Do share in the comment section.

Related Post – 7 Tips to Stay Motivated

41 thoughts on “My Yoga Journey … so far

  1. I have started strength training, mostly by using body weight, not the professional weights yet, but I am slowly transitioning, and adding weights to my basic exercises. Cardio is still a challenge, especially in the winters. What do you do for cardio?

    1. That’s brilliant! I too use dumbbells at home πŸ˜€
      Oh yes! Winters turn me into a bear. The maximum cardio I get is going to the kitchen to make tea πŸ˜›
      I follow fitness blender and blogilates workouts for cardio, and mix and match till I am totally exhausted.

      1. I have heard about both of those ladies and I am subscribed to Fitness Blender. Will check out her Cardio Workouts too. Thanks Raj.

  2. Hope your knee is better now, Raj! Look at the bright side, you saved the drink! Awesome! πŸ‘πŸ‘ Your dedication is admirable. I am still struggling with the basic poses. Like the dolphin pose, lizard pose, downward dog, cobra, etc are my favorites and I can do a decent one of these, but chaturanga dandasana and me never see eye to eye. Hand stands, don’t even ask me! Your yoga photos are hard on my ego, dear. πŸ˜€

    1. Knee is a lot better, except it has now left an ugly mark.
      hahaha Dandasana bugs me too πŸ˜€ The alignment is so hard to achieve.
      Glad to hear about your practice too πŸ™‚ Thank you for stopping by.

  3. Hope you are better now. You have come a long way and this is all your hard work and persistence. I don’t like camel pose. I think it goes too hard on my back but one of my highs has been good shoulder stand. I am slowing progressing towards Halasana but I am also terrified of it. So I need to work on that. I think my flexibility has improved and for a couple if seconds, I can hold kakasana which is good πŸ™‚ You are amazing Raji! Keep practicing.

    1. Oh Halasana makes my spine feel so good. I am sure you would be doing it in no time. You won’t believe, but the main problem for me to get into Halasana is my hair. The pony is always in the wrong place and strains my neck.
      Glad your flexibility is improving. Doesn’t it feel good to see improvements? It’s quite addictive πŸ˜€ Good luck for you practice.
      Thank you for writing in πŸ˜€

  4. My my my. I think you are an alien. :O
    You know you are an inspiration to many like me who can;t even imagine doing these. Hats off, girl!

    1. hahahaha I am laughing so hard πŸ˜€ You know my friends still call me that – Alien πŸ˜›
      Thank you πŸ˜€

  5. You started learning Yoga on your own? From Youtube. I have tried, failed, tried and failed. This is truly and inspirational post. Marking your blog in my must read list. This is a huge motivation for me. Thank you.

    1. I am glad you liked this post. I started learning on my own to get a hang of it. But then I just kept on practicing at home πŸ™‚ Thank you so much for writing in.

  6. You know, Raj, whenever I hear the word Yoga it is YOU who comes to mind. Infact, I show
    *show off, to be honest *your pics to people who kind of boast about being ‘experts’ . Shuts them up right!:))))

    1. ROFL you are so sweet πŸ˜€ I am still learning new stuffs … Thank you so much. Your comment gave me a good laugh.

  7. Your journey is an inspiration to me, Rajlakshmi. I’ve only done the most basic yoga but it’s benefits are undeniable. Sorry to hear that you fell down, but glad to know you’re back to yoga practice.

  8. You have a upper body balance. And that yoga plank looks amazing.
    I do hope you are better now. Also, how on earth did you fall bad enough to have an ugly wound yet not spill one drop of your drink! You really are amazing.

    1. hahaha strange ways of the world. I drank that hot chocolate all the way to the office πŸ˜›
      Thank you so much πŸ˜€

  9. I’ve been an athlete all my life… I’ve been a gymnast, cheerleader, basketball player, sprinter, volleyball player and at 50 I’m still competing at a decent level of tennis, but YOGA is NOT easy! You go girl!

    1. I am so impressed by the activities you were involved in. I have never done any of that. So glad to know that even at 50 you are that active. Inspiring !! Thank you visiting my blog.

  10. I really don’t know what to say, Raj, except that I am in awe of you!
    β€˜I haven’t been doing any Yoga since more than a month now. There is too much on my mind just now and I know I won’t be able to focus. I do walk in the evening, that’s something I never miss, not even on the day I get my periods. I walk for 40 mins (brisk walk) and then climb up three floors and then take the lift to my 7th floor apartment. I began with climbing 1 floor, then two, and now three floors. Soon, I plan on climbing four floors, and move up to five. Let’s see how far I reach. About the Yoga, I will begin soon, I know. Just when will that β€˜soon’ be, I am not sure! πŸ™‚

    1. Wow you already have a good plan in place … that’s a lot of activity you have incorporated in your life πŸ˜€
      Yoga would be just an add on πŸ™‚ . Hope you are able to sort out things in your life πŸ™‚ Take care.

  11. its been mostly failures so far 😦 in my case , I want to loose weight but not happening fast enough.. Some of the Good things that have happened is that I am able to run for 10 km now , it use to be a lot of huffing and puffing but managing now … I do want to start yoga and get the old limbs working but not finiding time .. god willing soon I hope ..

    You are a inspiration indeed Keep up the work.. and Best wishes alwaysssssssssssssss

    1. woa 10 km. I have never done that. I am a really really bad runner. Almost Kills me :P. Kudos to you.
      Good luck for starting your Yoga journey.

  12. If I put in the kind of dedication you do towards yoga, I would be much fitter, I know. A shift is happening but at a turtle’s pace. Incredible how much you have learnt on a self-taught basis.

    1. I am sure with your energy and enthusiasm you will reach all your goals πŸ˜€
      Thank you so much πŸ˜€

  13. I admire you, lady. I do Yoga but have never tried all the headstands and bends that you do. But sure, I do credit Yoga for increasing the flexibility of my really stiff limbs. Also, Yoga with all its breathing is so relaxing for the mind. Of late, I restarted Pranayams and chanting. Fingers crossed that I continue.

    1. Thank you πŸ™‚ Over the time, I have felt a great difference in my mobility and strength and I am happy I started doing Yoga πŸ™‚
      Good luck for your practice.

  14. I hope you are better now, Raj.

    I love your dedication to Yopa. It’s like the purest form of worship, following one’s passion. And you set such a great example for all of us πŸ™‚

    Keep at it and keep sharing your journey with us.

  15. Do I need to say it? You are indeed awesome . Yoga has immense benefits for one and all, and we all know this. Yete here I am seeing a person master it so well… Have read so many of your posts in this journey of yours and let me tell you once again you are awesome

  16. Wow I’m speechless!!! You are really perfect at it. And, it look you are enjoying yourslef. Being consistent is so necessary to ace any art! Lot to learn from you!

  17. Though I have been practicing Yoga for many years now, never knew about the β€œGrasshopper” asanas. And their level of difficulty seems to be really high. Keep it up girl…more power to you!
    Yoga indeed is very hard on β€œego”. The more we let of go of things from our mind space, the body becomes more flexible.

    1. hey glad to find another Yoga practitioner. Yup, always hard on the ego πŸ˜› Thank you so much for stopping by.

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