For the last week I’ve been participating in the JunieBeYou yoga challenge on Instagram. The challenge is hosted by @jonesy.the.yogi (Sarah J) and @erinpeoplesfitness (Erin Peoples) and sponsored by @FoxyMalas. According to the hosts, this yoga challenge, “revolves around feeling good physically and feeling good about who you are”.
I had started to feel better physically after getting back into working out regularly with Les Mills Pump, but I’ve really been enjoying adding yoga from this and other yoga challenges to the end of my day. It’s nice to get in a stretch, revisit old poses and try some new ones. Taking pictures of these poses not only helps me see where my pose is on target or a little off but to see the muscle development I’ve been gaining in my other workouts and I’m sure I will continue to develop through yoga. Although the Sanskrit name isn’t listed with the poses in this challenge, I’ve been looking them up to help me learn those in addition to the English names.
I’ve also really been enjoying the yoga community on Instagram and it does help me to feel good about who I’m choosing to be in that I’m finding like-minded and encouraging people. Today I’ll share the first seven days of poses with you including some information about the poses and my experience with them.
Day 1: Wild Thing or Camatkarasana
Sarah says this pose was chosen because she thinks “We all have a little wild side”. You start in side plank, then reach back with your top leg and point your foot toward your head. Then slowly reach back with your arm on the same side, opening your chest. For those who aren’t comfortable with this, side plank was also an option. I went for Wild Thing and found it harder than I expected. I had to try it a few times to get the hang of it, but it was a fun pose I’ll probably do again. Here’s the version I put on Instagram where my arm was far enough back not to appear in the picture. You can see another one in this post.
Day 2: Warrior II or Virabhadrasana II
This pose was chosen by Erin because she believes “everyone has a warrior inside of them, and when things get though that’s when you have to dig deep inside, find the warrior within, and fight through whatever is against you”. I really like the sentiment of that, and I have always identified as a fighter. Here’s my warrior pose:
Day 3: Child’s Pose or Balasana
Sarah said that this pose reminds her of her personal practice in that she likes to “keep a beginner mindset while practicing and learning more about yoga”. She also said that she always finds enjoyment in the pose. I do too, especially as it often comes up in a workout after some kind of hard work. It gives me a much needed chance to relax.
Day 4: Tiger Pose or Vyaghrasana
I followed Sarah’s process for this pose and did a few cat/cow poses in preparation. I thought I’d had trouble with this pose previously, but it was pretty easy to get into and comfortable for me so either I’ve improved or, more likely, I’m thinking of a different pose. This was actually one of my favorites poses of the first week. For those who can’t grab their back leg, just lifting the leg was suggested by Erin.
Day 5: Rabbit Pose or Sasangasana
This pose is achieved by reaching back from child’s pose and trying to reach the heels. Only if this is comfortable, then one can scooch the head back, trying to get it between the knees. Erin indicated that one could also lift the hips, but I did not attempt that.
Day 6: Garland Pose or Malasana
Erin says that this pose is great for opening up the hips, which of course it is. It also happened to be the same pose for Day 3 of another challenge I am doing, JuneOYourChakras, in which it was used to focus on the root chakra. One of the hosts of that challenge @alekmp7 said she chose the pose because it bring us close to the ground and helps us calm down. I’ll tell you more about what I learned about the pose and chakra when I do a recap for that challenge. For now, here’s the pose:
Day 7: Upward Plank or Purvottanasana
The actual pose for the day was Inverted Staff Pose or Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana. Sarah said she usually gets into this pose by starting in wheel pose, lowering her elbows, and extending her legs out as much as she can. That wasn’t happening for me, so I joined Erin and her daughter in doing upward plank.
If you want to follow along with my daily progress in this and other yoga challenges, you can do so on Instagram @investinginfitness. If you want to join the JunieBeYou challenge, it’ll still be going on until June 21st. You can find more info on how to sign up for it here. Best wishes on your fitness journey!