Social media can be a daunting place if you start comparing yourself to others. People achieving goals much quicker and faster than you can dampen your spirit. But stay strong, trust the process and trust your instincts. I know many practitioners see results within months but it has taken me years to build my strength and flexibility. And the journey has just begun. Sharing with you some of my yoga before and after photos.
Koundinyasana 2/B or the Flying Splits
There’s a gap of 4 years and a pregnancy between these two pictures. In fact, I even wrote about it here in my blog – Hook knee in the shoulder. I truly did not understand any instructions. How was one supposed to lift the other leg at all? It felt like an impossibility. I smiled at the camera but had no idea what I was even doing. It was a part of the challenge which is the only reason why I tried the pose.
I don’t do this pose in every practice. I generally practice a lot of strength and mobility flows, which over time helped me to gain strength to lift my legs and fly. Here’s a post on how I learned to do Koundinyasana at home.
This pose was a tad easier to hold than Koundinyasana 1, but I lacked the flexibility to extend the leg. I also had a hard time holding the pose for more than a few seconds. As my strength and flexibility improved, I learned to use Dhristi and arms to stabilize myself.
Related Post – How I learned to do Koundinyasana A
Upavista Konasana or Pancake pose
There’s a gap of 3 years between the photos. I was never actively practicing this pose, but a lot of my practice involves doing leg stretches, hip mobility, and side bends. I was actually surprised when one day my chest touched the floor. I always try this intense stretch at the end of my practice when my body has completely warmed up.
Urdhva Dhanurasana with straight legs
I have never neem comfortable with backbends. And I still give myself a pep talk before going into Urdhva Dhanurasana or the wheel pose. Of late I do wheel pose only after 1 hour of practicing yoga. I have also bought a yoga wheel to assist my backbends. So one day I decided to give the straight-leg variation a try. It happened on the first attempt.
I did not try this before because I knew I lacked flexibility and would end up overcompensating. But the long practice gave me the courage to try it out. Again, this is not something I do every day. Only on days when I practice backbends and feel like going deeper, I practice these poses.
Laghu Vajrasana or Little Thunderbolt Pose
I had made little progress in this pose before pregnancy, but after delivering my baby I had to start over again. I lacked core strength and back flexibility to do a lot of yoga poses. But with time, I gained my strength back. The first picture is from my post-partum period and the second picture taken last year.
Related post – 9 Months Post Partum fitness progress
We are all in different places in our journey. It is unfair to compare someone else’s journey to ours. Trust that you are making progress with every practice. Also, understand that Yoga isn’t about only Asana practice. Do explore other limbs of yoga and its wonderful philosophies.
Stay safe and enjoy your time on the mat.
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