I haven’t taken part in an Instagram yoga challenge for a while now but a few weeks ago I decided to jump into a fun yoga challenge hosted by some of my favorite yoginis. All I had to do was post a picture of me doing a yoga pose based on the theme or topic for that day. After posting, I would visit the hashtag (#alotbetterwithyoga) of the challenge to find other participants. It’s a wonderful way to find other yoga accounts and practitioners who are on a similar journey as you.
Day 1 – Which yoga pose prompted you to begin your yoga journey?
If I have to pick one it would be Handstand. A close second is the wheel pose. I have spent many many hours jumping near the wall, trying to lift myself up, during the first few months of starting a regular asana practice. These days I follow sessions on Alomoves app and videos by Kino Yoga on Youtube to build my handstand foundation. I don’t do handstands every day, neither am I hung up on the pose. But I work on it, trying to get stronger.
Related Posts – Yoga poses for a strong core
Day 2 – Which is your go-to asana to calm yourself down?
Baddha Konasana or Butterfly Pose
I naturally go into this pose and sukhasana when resting, and that’s not just limited to asana practice. You will also find me doing this while watching TV. This pose is great for improving blood circulation in the lower body, especially after sitting for long hours at work. My other favorite calming poses are virasana, balasana and thread-the-needle pose.
Day 3 – Which yoga pose makes you feel strong?
Pincha Mayurasana or Forearm stand with wall support
Pretty much all inversions make me feel strong. But forearm balances are a whole different deal. I still can’t do them without the wall and hopefully, with time I will grow stronger. These days I focus more on building the foundation than doing the actual pose. I can see a lot of difference when I tried this variation after a long time.
Related Post – How I am learning to do Pincha Mayurasana
Day 4 – Which yoga pose took you the longest to achieve?
Hanumanasana or Splits
I have never been flexible to do anything close to splits. So when I started my journey in 2017 it took me a while to gain flexibility and reach a stage when I was a yoga block away from the floor. After that, I got pregnant and delivered my first baby. I was super scared to start practicing splits after episiotomy. But our body is magic. With time and patience, it can heal and make you stronger.
I restarted my practice last year but my progress came to a standstill when I was only a few inches from the floor. Nothing I did would make me cover the last few inches. I started including lots of active stretches in my practice. Then this year magically I was able to touch the floor. Square hips splits are hard but that is what I was aiming for instead of splits with open hips. I still need to do a lot of warmups and stretching (both active and passive) before I can come into full splits.
Related Post – How I learned to do Splits at home
Day 5 – Which yoga pose helps you sleep better?
Headstand splits or Sirsasana
A good stretch. The kind that wrings out all tiredness from the body. Stretching my spine in 6 directions in different planes is a necessity as I spend long hours at a desk. This Ostrich pose is one of the poses that I love to do. It stretches the shoulders, the back, and the hamstrings.
Day 6 – Which yoga pose makes you happy?
Ostrich pose or Bound Warrior Pose or Baddha Virbhadrasana
Headstand holds. Finding my breath and stability in headstands lifts up my mood almost instantly. Surprisingly, this inversion can be very calming. Breathe normally and focus your gaze on a single point. Use wall if necessary. That’s how I hold headstands for a longer duration.
Day 7 – Yoga pose combined with a Mudra
Padangustha Padma or half-lotus toe stand combined with Gyan mudra. I find Toe stand holds hard, but with a focused gaze, I am learning to hold them a bit longer instead of falling all over the floor.
Day 8 – Which is your favorite yoga pose?
Mayurasana or Peacock pose
This is my Everest. I can’t do it with ease yet and need much more strength to hold it. But I absolutely love how strong it makes me feel. It is a reminder for me to constantly work to my full potential.
Related Post – How I learned to do Mayurasana
I am hoping to participate in a few more Instagram yoga challenge/s. Given that Sydney is going to be in lockdown for many weeks, this would keep me entertained inside my home.
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