I started practicing Yoga in 2015, in the comforts of my home, learning from Youtube tutorials and articles available on the internet. Initially, it was just an attempt to stay fit due to the nature of my job, where I would spend all day sitting in one place. But as my practice became consistent, I grew fond of Hatha Yoga and it slowly became a part of my lifestyle. In this post, I have listed some of my yoga before and after photos.
One of the main reasons behind my consistent practice is tracking my progress, be it through videos or photos. For someone who workouts alone, this serves as a great motivation to exercise regularly.
Also, please do not compare your journey with anyone else’s. Fitness looks and feels different for different people. It has taken me years of learning and unlearning to be comfortable in my own skin and appreciate the body I own. 🙂 In the past 5 years, I have grown stronger, more flexible, both lost and gained weight, gave birth to a baby, lost, and gained back my strength. It has been a rollercoaster ride. 🙂
Forearm Stand or Pincha Mayurasana
I have been trying to do Pincha Mayurasana with parallel forearms for a very long time. I was able to lift my legs and support it against the wall with hands together, but with parallel arms, I could only progress uptil dolphin pose.
In the last few weeks, I had been practicing L-shape holds on forearms with wall support. This has finally helped me to jump and lift my legs with parallel forearms. I can barely hold it for a few seconds but glad to have made some progress.
Related Post – How I am learning to do Forearm Balance?
Splits or Hanumanasana Progress
Remember how I was trying to do splits before pregnancy (How I am learning to do splits). It’s been over a year since I seriously started working on my achieving splits. Depending on the time spent on the mat, a lot of people can train themselves to do this pose in a much smaller timeframe. This is my splits progress and where I started from. I am practicing to square my hips, a little bit more and I will be able to hold it with proper alignment.
Wheel Pose or Chakrasana
I used to think that I lacked flexibility in the spine to properly hold a wheel pose. But later realized that my shoulders were preventing me from achieving the full variation of the pose. Working on shoulder flexibility and strength has improved my chakrasana form and helped me to hold it longer.
Camel Pose or Ustrasana
This post is a great preparatory pose for Chakrasana. Working on the flexibility of back and shoulders has improved my alignment in Ustrasana over time.
Crow Pose/Crane Pose or Kakasana/Bakasana
This is one of the first arm balances that beginners learn. And many are able to improve their hold with practice. But I still struggle to hold this pose. My form and strength have improved over time, but I still haven’t unlocked the mystery of crow pose. 🙂
These days, I practice with a yoga block to hold the pose. Here’s a video of my attempt to hold Bakasana for 30 secs. On days when my core is well activated and feels strong, I am able to hold it for 50 secs. I am trying to gain strength to hold the pose without a block but I guess the fear falling is still holding me back. 🙂
Floating Camel Pose
When I first started doing this pose, there was hardly any proper tutorial available on Youtube or Instagram. It was one of those poses that I had to figure out myself. Initially, I didn’t have enough core or arm strength to hold the pose. Core-strengthening poses like plank variations, helped me to strengthen my arms to hold this floating variation of the camel pose.
Related Post – 5 Yoga poses for a strong core
This is one of the poses that I had seen on Instagram and decided to learn it because it looked absolutely beautiful. Also, it was much easier to achieve than other arm balances like side crow. With practice and working on my core strength, I can now transition into Fallen Angel fairly easily.
Bow pose or Dhanurasana
Although I usually do back stretches for flexibility, I don’t do Dhanurasana in every practice. So I was pleasantly surprised by the progress I had made in transitioning into this pose. Even though the first pose looks effortless, trust me, I was stretching every single muscle. 🙂
If you feel like you are not making any progress, don’t lose hope. One of the best feelings of practicing Yoga is when a pose “comes” to you out of the blue.
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