Tuesday 4 August 2015

5 months of yoga

I'm into my sixth month of doing yoga daily. Five straight months of being dedicated to a workout is completely nuts for me. I have never before in my life been able to do that! The secret why it is working this time when it never did before is this: Yoga is not a workout for me. I'm not doing it to lose weight, or to get washboard abs, or to fit into a certain item of clothing. Whenever these things were my focus in the past, it didn't work out. I have been trying to figure out why that is, and I came up with only one reason: It was never important enough for me. Honestly, who cares if you have a six pack or not? Not this girl. 

I have touched before on the mental and spiritual part of the yoga practice and why it is so important to me, so I won't talk about it today.
The physical part of what has gotten me hooked on yoga is the fascination I have with body control. Being able to twist and bend your body into crazy positions and being strong and balanced enough to hang out on your hands seems impossible. I want to see if I can do it! Everyone says it will come with enough time and dedication, so I'm giving it that. It's awesome to work towards your own transformation!

I love doing these monthly updates to see what/if there are any changes. It's difficult to see it yourself, so it's great to go over the photos together with you guys.

One thing I did for the very first time last month was to strike a pose in (somewhat) public. I was at a friend's pool, which is part of the complex she lives in. There were about 10 other people there when I realized I had yet to post that day's Instagram challenge pose. I asked her if she could take my picture, she agreed, so I quickly did the most hurried wheel ever and it was over before anyone reacted. Nevertheless: I did yoga in public! It's a milestone.
There are a couple of things I have figured out by now. One of them is: arm balances come somewhat easily to me. They look impressive, but honestly, my body doesn't have a difficult time to learn them. 
Side crow with a side of Corgi
Funky side crow
Eight angle pose
Crow progress

Splits on the other hand? They are hard.
Still the same, despite working on it almost every day.
(Cute puppy though.)

So are backbends.
The top wheel is a really, really good one (image found here). The bottom one isn't. 

There are poses I work on regularly, but is there any progress? I'm not sure.
Forward bend. The goal is straight legs and straight back. 
Bow pose is hard.  The goal is to be able to fold yourself in half. Yeah, right
Goal (source)

I also fall a lot.

My handstand is still at the same level as the last time I checked in, which is that I can sometimes hold it for a few seconds, but most often, I cannot. So frustrating. Never mind, I won't give up. I want to be able to look back at this post one day, smile indulgently, and tell my younger self: "You just needed more patience with yourself. I tried to tell you, but you wouldn't listen."
(My future self seems to be a bit of an insufferable know-it-all.)

A few things worth mentioning have happened over the last five months:
  • I started to have yoga dreams. Last night I dreamed of being in a yoga camp, hosted by Kino, "my" yoga teacher. We all had to be upside down, suspended from the ceiling in big, flowing skirts (which didn't fall down btw, like gravity didn't apply), dancing. It was utterly terrifying and bizarre. I kept trying to tell the other participants that this was impossible, but they wouldn't listen. What does it mean??
  • Other people have noticed some changes in my appearance. Apparently I look "fit" now. I dig it.
  • I have developed this new, totally amazing love for my body. I really like my body. A lot. Including my old nemeses, the stomach rolls, sturdy thighs and big bum. I love 'em all. Because they work so hard for me, and have stayed healthy for the last 35 years. I feel like my body is a Porsche that's capable of going 200 mph, and so far I have only asked it to go 60. Over the last few months I tentatively stepped on the gas pedal a bit, and saw the possibilities. I need to see it at its peak performance!
  • I have bruises all over my body. I'm sore all the time. I went to my massage therapist, and he was astonished at the tight muscles in my neck and shoulders. "What did you do?" he asked me curiously. "Forearm stands and handstands" was my reply, which is surprisingly embarrassing to admit to a stranger.  
  • My Instagram followers doubled. There is this amazing, supportive, totally magnificent yoga community on IG who cheers you on, picks you up when you feel down, and pushes you ever further. My yoga journey exists because of these people and their big hearts. I love you. 

Overall, I feel that progress will be more subtle from now on. A few centimetres deeper in one posture, a few seconds added on to another. We'll see. This whole journey is so astonishing, I never quite know what to expect around the next turn.



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