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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Yoga Progress Shots | An Exciting Journey

Happy World Yoga Day everyone!

I didn't do anything to contribute to the project this year (heck, I probably won't even get around to doing yoga at all today ha) but I did want to highlight my yoga journey as of now.

Watching the progress of just six months has got me so pumped to see where my practice takes me in the next few years!

I haven't really participated in any yoga challenges (like on instagram) but I was definitely inspired by them to start taking photos of my progress.

It's exciting to watch myself grow!

One huge thing that yoga is teaching me is patience with myself.

It's humbling to realize that you can do something one day but not the next. Or that you can do a really deep stretch on one side of your body but not the other.

And you just have to accept and listen to what your body is telling you. I also have to listen to myself as I work on challenging poses. There are some shots I have taken that don't really show any progress at all in six months, and that's okay! It's all part of the journey!

Those lessons learned on the mat help ground me in the rest of my life, too. So three cheers for YOGA!

Downward Dog: I have been doing focused work on opening up my shoulders. And I'm noticing increased leg flexibility, too (see how my heels are almost on the ground now.)

Forward Fold: Not bad for a gal who couldn't touch her toes in high school! This pose has become really therapeutic and helpful as a counter stretch to all the work I've been doing to open up my back and shoulders for backbends.

Half Moon: It might not look like much progress going on here, but I can usually take my supporting hand and hold my ankle now... this requires a LOT of balance. Check out the long-term super awesome versions of this pose!

Crow Pose: Yeah man! I didn't think I'd EVER fly crow and I definitely didn't think I'd be able to do it within six months. This is one of those things you chip away at and once you fly on the mat, you feel like there's nothing you can't do if you set your mind to it! At least, that's how I felt ;-)

Wheel Pose: Significant growth here. I'm really proud of this because it can be a potentially difficult, even dangerous pose for someone with previous back injury. But with wise instruction from my yoga teachers at Grace Studio, I have been able to work into it carefully and mindfully. And now look where I am! My creaky old back that's been bothering me since high school is getting stronger and longer and bendier. Which I'm sure is a word.

And new (to me!) this year - Headstands! I was introduced to inversions at Grace Studio's summer intensives and I have to say I'm hooked. (Here are Laura's top 5 reasons to do a headstand every day, in case you're curious.)
I'm working on tripod (left) and forearm (right) and neither are very strong yet... which is why I do forearm headstands with a wall behind me for now. There is something super fun and empowering about being upside down.
So fellow yogis... what are you proud of this year? And even if you don't do yoga... whatever you do (and I hope you do something) take progress shots, or write down your run times or your weight training or how far you can walk or swim or bike (with the dates) so you can look back next year and say WOW I'm totally killing it!
Get up and move. And be proud of yourself when you do!

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