Monday 28 September 2015

Four unexpected yoga side effects nobody talks about

locust pose with puppy
Exhibit A
Welcome to my monthly yoga check-in! On October 1 I will be entering my 8th month of consistent practice. {Insert wide-eyed emoji here.}
I rounded up some pictures of this month's practice. Exhibit A is a typical example for what's happening when I'm outside: The dogs having no appreciation of what I'm doing and no sense of personal space.  

See also Exhibit B: Dogs all over the damn place. 

Exhibit B

What I want to talk about today is four surprising side effects of the yoga practice I had never heard about. 

1. You may gain weight.

Tragically, this is true. Over the last seven months of consistently working out 6-7 times a week I have gained 5 pounds. Say what?! You may say that it's the muscle gain (the version I usually stick with, because self love), or you may say it's the excessive consumption of Chinese pork buns and candy. Nobody knows.
compass pose progress
Compass pose. A hamstring stretch that I had a really hard time with until last week. Yay for a straight leg!

forward fold with puppy
Forward fold (look how tiny Nina is!)

2. You will stupid-grin way more often than you ever thought you would.

Because, progress. There is no better feeling than trying something over and over again, until suddenly - it works.
tittibhasana progress
Firefly pose
king pigeon pose in progress
King pigeon pose

3. You continually run out of space on your phone because there is a bazillion yoga videos and photos on it. 

You may say this is excessive, and you are right of course. But you never know just when you will balance in handstand or do a magic transition, now do you? And as we all know, if it's not documented, it didn't happen.  

8-angle pose into Eka Pada Koundinyasana transition (almost)

splits progress

4. You will develop major girl crushes. 

Oh yes, you will. My heroes are the strong, accomplished women I follow and admire on Instagram. There are many of them, but I want to highlight just three for now:

Laura is incredible. There are hundreds of unbelievably stunning shots, so I had a really hard time choosing one - that's why you get two. 
Laura's Instagram
Here is one of her progress pictures:
natarajasana progress
Found here
And here is one of mine (I'm somewhere between the two top pics of hers):
natarajasana progress
Lord of the Dance pose

Cassie is the queen of the press-up handstand. You have to check out a few of her Insta videos, they are so inspiring! I have a serious crush on this beautiful and funny girl. 
Found here
@jen_es_care Jen is an accomplished athlete. She does amazing acro yoga, mind-blowing human flags and is the most flexible and strong girl I can imagine. Again, photos do her no justice, so check out her Instagram videos!   
Found here

Whenever I see these girls I'm motivated to get on my mat and practice, practice, practice. The fantastic thing about yoga is that I'm not jealous of other people's progress. I believe 100% that with enough practice I will be able to do these poses too, and I am prepared to work for it and be patient. 

Yoga for life!


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