It was exactly on the 1st November of 2016, when I started to practice yoga every day.
The initial reason for that? An instagram yoga challenge😂 I know, I know. It’s not very yogic, nor spiritual, or not even funny. But it’s the truth.
It was not my first yoga challenge on instagram. Before, I did one that lasted 7 days in October. And after that one I needed more! So I found a longer challenge, that lasted 28 days. It was a challenge by Carmen or @cyogalab. And after those 28 days, I couldn’t stop, I was addicted!
First, please don’t judge me. I know, that yoga is not supposed to be about the asanas, about how they look, and the goal is definitely not supposed to be to take a picture of yourself in a specific asana and post it for everyone on the internet to see… But, we are humans, we like what we see and we want what we see. So, naturally, if you see a beautiful yoga pose, you want to try it! Sometimes, you even wonder how do you get into it, or what do you need to do in order to master it in the future. And that’s how instagram inspires. The initial reason might have been superficial in my case, but once I started to practice yoga, I knew right away, that it’s not just about the physical part. Honestly, first two years, I wasn’t even tempted to take any pictures of myself.
And, although an instagram challenge jump started my daily practice (before I was practicing 3-4 times per week, so it’s not like it started from nothing, I don’t practice just to take a picture. Not at all!
But, why I am writing all of this? The same Carmen from @cyogalab does also another challenge on instagram. A yoga challenge, that repeats itself every year in January, with the same (some extremely advanced) poses. And I did it at the beginning of my daily yoga practice and now after a year.
So what did I manage to change with my daily yoga in one year?
A lot! But, it’s not just flexibility and strength. I feel like I know more. When I look at the pictures back in the 2017, I see this girl, that didn’t know so much! Again proving, that yoga is not only about the physical. And this knowledge is also not about how to move and what to do during yoga asanas, but also about photography (!!!), about people, about life.
Here are some of my highlights and favorite progress comparisons:
King pigeon II:
In this pose, it’s not just that I learned how to backbend this year. How I found that I own and can command the muscles in my upper back. But also, that I learned how to get safely into it. Learning to flip the grip is essential, and in this pose there is a special way to go there. Using a strap is an option, but walking the fingers closer to the leg is impossible in my case. Once you try to move your fingers, your shoulders will become stiff and they will not allow you to go further. Also my strap is not properly attached to my leg, so I probably had to be kicking the leg back, instead of forward…
The monkey pose:
Ok this one is about the flexibility. But, we know, that flexibility is not about the physical length of the muscles, but rather about adjusting the brain reflexes, to where is the safe range to move. So in this case, I did it, when I thought that I am capable, and also it was super warm, and I was relaxed and on a vacation…
The bow pose:
I am not against the props. They can give you the much needed lift, that is required in backbends. They should not be called backbends, but rather chest lifts😅 and in this case also leg kicks! Because, thats what you should be aiming for.
The crow pose:
At first glance, there is no change. But there is! Again all about the intention. The intention to lift and fly… A year ago, I was very comfortable, my knees were resting peacefully on my arms, my arms were comfortably balancing. This year, I want to lift from the arms up, rounding my back, making the knees slightly lighter on my biceps and my arms are pushing strongly down, extending the elbows almost completely.
The Visvamitra pose:
If you would tell me a year ago, I can look good in this pose, I wouldn’t believe you🤷♀️
And I saw people always having a salute to finish a blog, so here is mine.
The world exist in your brain and your brain only. No one knows the truth. So don’t forget: Everything is your choice! And choose wisely! (Haha, this is too long, I might write something different next time..)