Leaps and bounds

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I think that part of the reason that I’ve had some trouble posting over here lately is that I don’t want to inundate my blog with yoga, yoga, yoga. And sometimes all I want to do is talk about yoga, yoga, yoga. Then I realized that this is my blog (duh, I’m slow on the uptake sometimes) and so if that’s what I want to talk about, I can go right ahead and do that.

So let me talk to you about yoga!

Back in January I got started on yoga after literally YEARS of meaning to try it out. Why it took me so long, I don’t know, but I guess that’s the way it was supposed to be, because that’s how I lined up to find myself an amazing yoga instructor (who also hired me awhile back to help her out with online management, which is awesome). On the last day of January, I took a photo of myself in mid-sun salutation and as I sit here seven months later, I can see that I was still stiff and not overly flexible.

5/52 - Sun salutations

I’m certainly not being courted by Cirque du Soleil with my amazing contortionist abilities, but I’ve definitely improved a lot over the past seven months. I do some yoga just about daily; the only times I’ve missed it were a few days when I really hurt my back (not doing yoga – I was fighting with my sliding doors!) and last week when we had insane temperatures in the 41-43C range. Too ridiculous to breathe, let alone do yoga. Clearly I would not fare well doing yoga at an ashram in India in summer.

Anyway, (almost) daily yoga has helped me motor along in my desire to learn how to do poses that amaze me and sometimes I can’t believe the things I can make my body do. Not only that, it keeps my legs from aching which is something they did almost every day since I was pregnant with Breanna. It’s also been helping to keep my panic attacks down to a dull roar courtesy of the chakra meditation I’ve learned. If you’d told me about chakras this time last year I might have rolled my eyes. I don’t roll them anymore.

Being a photo junkie works out well with becoming a yoga junkie because it means I can not only feel my progress, I can see it as well. The other day it was still pretty hot but it was reasonable after supper so I went to the park with the kids and took some shots since no one else was around. I’m happy with the way my practice is going and growing.

One of my favorite poses, Natarajasana:

29/52 - Natarajasana

(Natarajasana is the Sanskrit name for Lord of the Dance Pose, but I have to call it by its proper name because seriously, “Lord of the Dance” just makes me dissolve into giggles.)

Crow pose:

Leaps and bounds

The first time I saw Crow Pose I laughed and said there was no way I’d ever be able to do it. Now I don’t even have to think about it.

My holy grail pose (so to speak) is Scorpion. Scorpion looks like this:

ICP

Before I get to that point, I’ll probably get to this, which is a peacock pose variation:

peacock

When I look at those two poses I think I may be nuts, but it’s something I’m working on. I practiced in the park for a bit and I get into a dolphin pose, then carefully kick up. I don’t get my legs straight up yet, but there’s a moment – just a brief one but a moment nonetheless – where I can feel myself balance:

Practice makes perfect

It takes a lot of upper body strength and core strength to do it but I’ll get there one day. I can’t wait!

(I have a yoga set on Flickr if you’re curious enough – you can see it over here.)

Yoga is something that I was always interested in and somehow it’s become something that is an important part of my daily life. I can’t imagine stopping anytime soon.

For those of you who do yoga, here’s a question: Who do you like to follow and learn from? My favorite of course is my instructor, Dashama, but I also like to do yoga via DVD or YouTube with Shiva Rea, Sadie Nardini, Tara Stiles, Rodney Yee, and I recently tried some Hillary Rubin as well. I prefer vinyasa type yoga because I like to move with the breath, and I didn’t like Kundalini at all, but other that that I’m pretty open to new experiences so if I’m missing someone that you think is awesome, please let me know!

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3 thoughts on “Leaps and bounds

  1. April

    Wow…I remember when you started and was curious if you would stick with it – Yoga is NOT as easy as it looks. That being said, I gave it a try a few years back and have been feeling the pull to actually invest myself into the practice of yoga mainly for flexibility and stress relief as I also suffer severe panic attacks. How did you get started? Any suggestions on DVDs? We only have one Yoga studio where I live and they charge $45 a day – not something I can really afford!

    Anyway, keep it up and I am looking forward to seeing you master the scorpion pose!

  2. Barbara

    I love your posts here about yoga. You inspire me! I ask the same as April – any suggestions on DVDs? I can’t afford a studio, either, and would love to get fit through yoga. I watched to clip of Salutation to the Sun, and loved Dashana. Would her DVD be a good one to start? You’ve already led the way – and I thank you for that! Have read you for years (long before you were a mama of two) and love your life, your writing, and the inspiration you provide.

    Thanks for all!

    Barbara

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