This Year of Yoga

A year ago I posted about how I came to love yoga and some of my strengths and weaknesses. The goal I made then was to focus on my arm and shoulder strength so I could get into handstands better. Before last year I had been regularly practicing only once a week. In order to achieve my goal, I upped my practice to 2-3 times a week. I made some good progress.

Since this January, I’ve upped my practice to 4-6 times a week. My focus has been to work the flexibility of my hamstrings and hip flexors so that I can straighten my legs more and maybe get into the splits by the end of the year. There has already been a marked improvement and it’s only March so I’m hopeful that I’ll make it. It’s pretty exciting to see the difference it makes when doing something regularly and frequently.

Fallen Angel – Devaduuta Panna Asana

I always do yoga at night either right after the kids go to bed or even later after I’ve had something to do. I work out for 30-60 minutes. I stretch almost every day in order to keep my body from tensing up. I refuse to try any serious pose without warming up for a good 20 minutes first. I don’t need an injury!  
On Monday nights I go to class which usually focuses on doing a lot of reps of something or holding poses for an extended time. This is the only time I listen to boring and annoying chiming music.  
Half of the other nights of the week I follow Method Yoga with Reed Taylor (advanced strengthening yoga, great quality videos) and Leigha Butler Yoga (lower quality videos but I like her style) on youtube. 
The other half of the nights I stretch and lengthen my muscles and relax. I do this when I’ve had a stressful day or my muscles hurt or I don’t have much time. I like to listen to something mellow and cool like Radical Face, Joshua Radin, or The Secret Life of Walter Mitty soundtrack.

One night a week I do my own practice in order to work on a particular pose or two. On these nights I love listening to something intense and fun like The Black Keys or something else to get me pushing myself harder. 

I’ve already decided that next year my focus will be on transitioning from one balance or strength pose to another and then another without stopping and with control.

Peacock in Full Lotus – Bandha Mayurasana
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Rob had borrowed an extra flash for a photoshoot so we took advantage and took some studio-style yoga portraits rather than just phone pics.

My “keeping it real” moments:
I’m not terribly vain but I made Rob give me a slight tan in the editing process. Wish it was that easy for me in real life! Also, I had him smooth the back of my upper legs.

The shoot was about an hour long and during that time I did around 30 poses. It was tough to do so many in a row! I had to hold them and sometimes do them a few times in order to get a good shot with the lighting and angles. It wasn’t easy and I was pretty pooped afterward!

I’m a pretty shy person so I don’t love posting these pictures of myself. I always fret and stress way more than I should. For days! But yoga is a big part of my life and I want to make sure I document what I do while I can still do it.

I didn’t want to post all 30 pictures at once and inundate everyone so I’ll just be posting a couple here and there over the next couple of months.

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