The Most Epic Yoga Transformation

Guys!!! This is going to be awesome! I hope you feel even just a little tiny bit of what I am feeling after accomplishing something in the yoga world today! I am so excited! But I also want to tell you guys how long it took me to get here.

You know when you’re browsing Instagram (and other various sites but a lot on that one), you see people in these super difficult yoga poses and they make it look so easy. You know what you don’t see? YEARS of practice leading up to that point. Yes, some people are more flexible than others and just have a naturally bendy back. Yes, some people have incredible arm strength without lifting weights. But most of them, most of us, have been practicing over, and over, and over, and not always posting the fails or mistakes.

I am guilty of posting all the “good” stuff but I have also posted quite a few fails or work-in-progress photos. So you shouldn’t be too surprised to know that I have put in the work. I have practiced the same poses over and over and thought that there were some I would never be able to do. Let’s look back at one of those.

April 14, 2015. I was hanging out with Isis and doing fun yoga stuff. She had just mastered “flying lizard” and asked me to try it. Look at this train wreck…

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We joked that we should have a safe word in case I got stuck. I used the safe word!!! LOL!! I was so stuck and didn’t even know how I managed to get into this half-eaten pretzel predicament. We even made a collage of she and I to show off our “skills.”

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Since then I have tried this countless times and was never able to get it. A few things…I could never get my bottom foot around my arm and off the floor. I SWORE that my calves must be too big and I’d never get it because I couldn’t wrap my leg around. I also couldn’t ever get my back foot off the ground without my head being on the ground. This takes so much strength in so many places. Even though I was 100% sure I’d never get it, I stuck it out. I kept trying. In the meantime, I also worked on other arm balances to fill the hole of flying lizard.

So here we are. 2 whole years later. That’s a long time. I have been able to stick some other arm balances and so I thought I’d try this again. Well, today was the day. 2 effing years later. Scroll up to look at the fail photo again just so you can really appreciate the transformation…go ahead….I’ll wait….

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Here it is! In all it’s flying glory!

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AHHHHHH!!! I DID IT!!!!! OMG OMG OMG!!!! Seriously!!! I can’t even!!!!

Basically, guys, don’t give up! Practice makes progress!!! Keep going! Practice til your arms fall off!! DON’T STOP!!!

Namaste. 🙂

12 Days of Yogamas #NamasteTuesday

Happy New Year, everyone!!! Welcome to the first blog post of 2017!!! Right back at it!

Over the holiday break I wanted to do something fun with yoga. I decided to do the #12DaysofYogamas where I did a pose that sort of went along with the “12 Days of Christmas” song. I cheated and looked online for help when I couldn’t figure out what to do but it ended up pretty awesome. The best part? My good friend Shari joined me! She’s a new yogi and is already embracing yoga and is doing awesome. I cannot wait to watch her journey. I think this must be what Isis feels like with me.

On the first day of Yogmas my true love gave to me, a partridge in a pear tree.

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On the second day…you know the song… turtle doves. We did pigeon for this one and like always I took the king variation. I love it too much.

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Our French hens look like crows. 😉

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For calling birds we did bird of paradise. This was only my second time trying this pose. I think I did fine but I did not stretch. Let me tell you how important warming up and stretching is when you’re doing yoga. I pinched something and had a knot in my back for a week. Not cool. Warm up, people!!!

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Fiiiiivvveeee golden rings!!! Wheel of course!

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Geese-a-laying was one of those hard ones where you can’t quite figure out what to do. I thought about doing a low squat so it would look like I was laying egg but went with child’s pose instead. Do I kind of look like a sleeping goose? LOL!!

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Swans-a-swimming! Swan is a neat pose. Lots of balance.

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The ONLY time it’s okay to associate milking a cow with a mom. Just sayin’.

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Dancing ladies!!

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For Lords-a-leaping I really had no clue what to do. I also got really busy this day and never posted or text Shari to tell her what the pose was. So she picked one and told ME what to do. So proud! And she picked a great pose!

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How do you do yoga to look like someone playing an instrument? You don’t. You just choose a pose like Warrior 1.

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For the 12th day, Christmas Day, I didn’t do yoga. But I did post a photo of Isis and I decorated as trees! (Hers is so much cuter than mine)

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Something I forgot about was this challenge that was floating around about a month ago called #WriteinPincha. You actually have to write something while in a forearm stand. Seems easy right? Not one bit! Holding a pen and focusing on writing rather than balancing totally throws you off, you guessed it, balance. I started by getting up and then grabbing the pen. Every time I grabbed the pen I’d fall. It didn’t even occur to me to hold the pen and then get up. But I did manage to put the pen to paper and smile. I didn’t actually write anything but I smiled.

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Right before the new year I did that #BestNine of 2016 on Instagram thingy. Not surprised that all 9 photos were yoga photos. 2016 was the year of backbends. I predict this year will be the year of arm balances. We shall see!!!

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Annnndddd….before I go…my first pose of 2017. Chair on a chair! This is a giant chair outside Duck Donuts where we enjoyed hot, fresh, custom donuts. MMMMMM!!!!!

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LDYBFF #NamasteTuesday

LDYBFF= Long Distance Yoga BFF. That’s what Isis and I call each other. Once I moved away and we couldn’t play anymore, we had to come up with some way to continue our yoga friendship. Most of our time is still spent talking about yoga. We share each other’s successes and failures and constantly send each other pictures and videos of what we’re doing and trying. But how do we show the world our love for each other and yoga? By doing fun yoga mirror pictures to share all over social media, duh.

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I am not sure which one of us came up with the idea first. I think she sent me a photo of some girls making the heart and we just thought it would fun to do it. Now that I think about it, I know exactly how it started.  (forgive the poor quality photos. I am copying from the interwebs and reposting and it takes away a bunch of quality each time you save)

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Before I moved, we went on a mini trip to San Diego together and tried the above photo. I just had to make a meme out of the awesome fail. I’m going to go on record and say that, that is when this started. We also did this one…

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The above ones aren’t yoga related but we finally got around to that. Here’s our first yoga one.

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Before I was doing inversions and arm balances, we started with something a bit simpler. Isis was at the beach when we talked about this one and we loved the idea of her being a mermaid at the beach, plus we love the idea that we live in totally different places now (desert vs forest) and we like to show that in the comparison photos.

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In this one we were clinking wine glasses of water. We kept looking for friend photos like these and we saw one of ladies clinking wine glasses. We are both mimosa drinkers and were going to do that but at the time of photo taking, Isis was at a yoga studio without champagne access so we went with cleansing, refreshing, rejuvenating water.

Before the next set of long distance photos, we got to see each other!!! So we did lots of stuff together!!!

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Talk about fun!!!!! But then I left again. Now we’re doing them sort of seasonally.

This was our first arm balance photo!! Eight Angle pose for summer!

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Next was our end of summer pose. Scorpion!

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For our fall pose, we made another heart, but this time while doing a backbend (my fave).

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And now that it’s Christmas time, we had to do something with a Christmas theme!

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It’s so awesome to be able to continue to do yoga “together” even though we live 3000 miles away from each other. We still learn from each other, well, I learn from Isis, and we grow together. And look at the progress in these photos. We went from standing up and  leaning to the side to inversions! I can’t wait to see what the new year brings for our LDYBFF posts. And maybe the military will bring us closer together again and we can do more together, like for real together. You just never know.

 

Thankful For Yoga #NamasteTuesday

If you don’t follow me on Instagram, here’s what you missed!!

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Everyone is doing “Thankful” challenges so I decided to do my own. I’m going to be thankful for yoga and all the things it has brought me!! To start off day 1, I’m Thankful for Yoga. Period.

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Today I’m thankful for the opportunity to share yoga with others in the form of teaching/guiding. I get such a thrill out of people coming to my class and experiencing yoga with me. I never thought this road was on my path, but I’m so glad it was.

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Today I’m thankful for the community center where I practice and teach yoga. I happened upon the building looking for the library when I first moved here. At the library I learned of the yoga and exercise classes. I immediately became part of the community. We frequent the community center as often as we do Starbucks (if you know us you know this is a LOT) and we get involved as often as possible. If I didn’t see the yoga sign that day, life here would be very different.

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Today I’m thankful for the opportunities my yoga teaching/attending has given my daughter. When the hub is home I go to yoga alone and the two of them get dad/daughter time. When hub is gone the daughter comes with me and spends time in the library. It’s so awesome! I don’t think about her the entire time. I know she’s reading, crafting, or busy gabbing with the two librarians, 60ish year old Ricky and 32 year old Mary. Gwen even says Mary if her bff. The opportunity this gives Gwen is so much more than library time. It’s time away from me and time for her to be extremely independent and adulty. Annnnddd, if one lady hadn’t ever come to my class, we wouldn’t have been invited to a Hoe-Down at a horse ranch and we wouldn’t have ever gotten Gwen involved in the FREE horse therapy/riding lesson program. Annnnddd I wouldn’t be the new craft coordinator for said program. All thanks to the yoga classes in a tiny community center. p.s. my money tree isn’t dead. She’s sad because she was outside in a freeze.

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Yoga in the biggest, comfyest (totally a word) pair of sweats I own. Today I’m thankful for what yoga has done for my soul. I feel like the philosophy of yoga (there’s so much more to yoga than being stretchy) unlocked a part of me that was always there but maybe not right on the surface. Ever since really embracing the yoga lifestyle I feel 100% myself. It’s a missing piece I didn’t even know was missing.

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Today I’m thankful for what yoga has done for my body. Not only am I stronger and more flexible, I love my body for both it’s flaws and awesomeness, and I’m more in tune with my body. I read somewhere that “it’s isn’t about using your body to learn a pose, it’s about using a pose to learn about your body.”

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I tried something new today. I’m continuing to try to figure out new things to do with my legs while in pincha. This was tough but I held it for a couple breaths.

Today I’m thankful for what yoga has done for my spirituality. I’m not religious, never have been. But I am spiritual. Not believing in one specific idea allows me to be open to a gazillion others. And yoga philosophy has really opened my mind and made me feel, again, like I am finally 100% me. I’ve been living this life for 30+ years but I am finally living it fully.

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Today I am thankful for what yoga has done for my marriage. I know that seems weird. But yoga gives me time away, mini breaks, time for myself. Yoga has taught me not to sweat the small stuff. Again, it’s one of those things that was there already but yoga has enhanced it. Yoga has really taught me that there are so many other important things in my life and to really enjoy everyday things. Which in turn has helped in the marriage department. Been married 13 years today (11/22)

#ThankfulForYoga

 

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