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 – 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. 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.
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? 😛
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 🙂
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.
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 Kino – Beginner Yoga Backbend , 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 splits . 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.
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. 😛 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 🙂
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 🙂
What are some of your success and failures in terms of fitness? Do share in the comment section.