JunieBeYou Yoga Challenge Week 2 Recap

JunieBeYou Yoga Challenge Icon @jonesy.the.yogi

Click to go to @jonesy.the.yogi

For two weeks, I participated in the JunieBeYou yoga challenge on Instagram, which was the first yoga challenge I had ever done. I found out today that it’s also the first yoga challenge I’ve been a winner in. Cue Gir-like excitement. This challenge was hosted by @jonesy.the.yogi (Sarah J) and @erinpeoplesfitness (Erin Peoples) and sponsored by @FoxyMalas. If you missed my Week 1 recap, you can check that out here.

Today I’ll recap the second week, although due to traveling and hurting my knee a bit while traveling, I ended up catching up the last few a couple days late. Fortunately the hosts allowed time to do that before selecting winners. Here are the poses from the second week and my experiences with trying them.

Day 8: Eagle Pose or Garudasana

Erin gave instructions for getting into this pose, which requires standing with the feet together, bending the knees, putting one leg over the other, and hooking that leg’s ankle around the calf of the other. The elbows are bent at 90 degrees so the hands point upward. Then one arm is crossed over the other and forearms are rotated so the palms face each other. It can be modified in the legs by not hooking the ankle and resting the top foot on the floor and in the arms by leaving the backs of the hands against each other instead of rotating the forearms. This pose wasn’t especially difficult to get into (although I’m not sure if I got the arm position quite right), but it wasn’t super comfortable to hold.

Eagle Pose or Garudasana for JunieBeYou Yoga Challenge

Day 9: Crow Pose or Bakasana

Sarah said that she starts off this position in sort of a garland pose then positions her hands and arms to stack under the shoulders. I tried this and found it slightly easier than doing what I had done before with trying to approach from downward dog. I was able to hold it slightly longer as well (and this time the camera didn’t do that weird thing to my feet), but I still have a long way to go on this one.
Bakasana or Crow Pose for JunieBeYou Yoga Challenge

Day 10: Revolved Triangle Pose or Parivrtta Trikonasana

The original pose for this day was actually a regular triangle pose or trikonasana, but there was an option to do it like Sarah, which is a revolved triangle pose, so I did that. The revolved triangle is actually the same pose that was chosen as the pose for Day 8 of JuneOYourChakras, which was focused on the Solar Plexus Chakra (also called Manipura). I’ll tell you more about that when I do a recap for that challenge.

Revolved Triangle Pose or Parivrtta Trikonasana for JunieBeYou Yoga Challenge

Day 11: Dolphin Pose or Makarasana

This position is achieved by starting in downward dog, pointing the elbows out, and dropping the elbows slowly to the floor. Like Sarah I found it hard to keep my heels all the way on the floor, so there is room for improvement there. I like the fact that having a photo of this pose helped me see that I’m starting to get some muscle in my arms. This was also actually the picture that the hosts chose for my side of the winner announcement.

 Dolphin Pose or Makarasana for JunieBeYou Yoga Challenge

Day 12: Half Moon Pose or Ardha Chandrasana

I was able to align my foot and hand better and stay in the half moon pose longer than the last time, when I tried it for BecauseYogiSays. However, I didn’t look up, which I did do last time.

Half Moon Pose or Ardha Chandrasana for JunieBeYou Yoga Challenge

Day 13: Prep for Supported Headstand or Salamba Sirsasana

After what happened the first time I tried to do a headstand, which was during the YogaGivesBackChallenge, I decided this time to try a prep pose instead. Sarah offered options for those who couldn’t do a headstand yet, including a prep pose, a tripod headstand, and doing a full supported headstand against a wall. I decided to do the prep pose while lifting one of my legs.
Prep for Supported Headstand or Salamba Sirsasana for JunieBeYou Yoga Challenge

Day 14: Chair Pose or Utkatasana

The final pose of the challenge was chair pose, which apparently really confused my miniature pinscher Apollo, as you can see in his expression with the photo on the left below. On the right you can see more of the pose as well as Apollo sniffing my knees for some reason. I think he was trying to figure out if there was something wrong with me. If you like seeing my min pin, you can check out more of him as well as my corgi Gir (named after the robot dog mentioned in the intro) on @phoenixxphyre. The dogs also sometimes appear on Embracing Adventure.

Chair Pose or Utkatasana for the JunieBeYou Yoga Challenge with my Min Pin Apollo

I hope you’ve enjoyed this look back at my two week experience. Since joining JunieBeYou I have also been participating in several other challenges and am finding them to be great for practicing old poses and trying new ones. If you’d told me two weeks ago that I would be starting to try crow pose or headstands, I’d have thought you were crazy, but I’ve been working on, and even improving in, them. Although I’ve yet to be able to hold crow pose, or reach a full headstand, as Pattabhi Jois, creator of Ashtanga said: “practice and all is coming”.

The first time I tried the half moon pose, I fell over a few times before I managed to hold it and look up (and I didn’t hold it long). This time I was able to get right into it and hold it. It’s fun to experience progress, and having photos of it not only helps me to see it (as well as where I can continue to improve) but has helped me to connect to a larger community of yoga practitioners. You can follow my progress in other yoga challenges on @investinginfitness (and hopefully join in the fun as well).

Are you planning to participate in any upcoming Instagram fitness challenges? If so, let me know which ones below. 

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JunieBeYou Yoga Challenge Week 1 Recap

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.

Wild Thing Camatkarasana for JunieBeYou

 

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:

Warrior or Virabhadrasana for JunieBeYou Yoga Challenge

 

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.

Child's Pose or Balasana for the JunieBeYou Yoga Challenge

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.

Tiger Pose or Vyaghrasana for JunieBeYou Yoga Challenge

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.

Rabbit Pose or Sasangasana for JunieBeYou Yoga Challenge

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:

Garland Pose or Malasana for JunieBeYou Yoga Challenge

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.

Upward Plank or Purvottanasana for JunieBeYou Yoga Challenge

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!

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Join the JunieBeYou Daily Yoga Challenge

Screenshot of #JunieBeYou Photo from @jonesy.the.yogi

Click to go to @jonesy.the.yogi on Instagram

Lately I have been thinking that I should do more yoga. I enjoy getting a good stretch and increasing my flexibility. And, as I was especially reminded today, yoga can help me build strength.

Today I discovered the JunieBeYou Yoga Challenge on Instagram, which began today and continues through June 21st. Hosted by @jonesy.the.yogi and @erinpeoplesfitness and sponsored by @FoxyMalas, the challenge, according to host @jonesy.the.yogi (Sarah J) “revolves around feeling good physically, and feeling good about who you are.” Participants have the chance to win jewelry from Foxy Malas.

This challenge sounded like a great idea to me. And I happened to be just in time to participate with the first day’s challenge pose, “wild thing” also known as Camatkarasana. Sarah J said she picked this pose to start with because she thinks “we all have a little wild side”. The position requires beginning in side plank. From there you reach back with the top leg and point your foot toward your head. Then, slowly reach back the arm on the same side as the leg you moved, opening your chest.

Sarah J said to hold the pose for as long as you feel relaxed. That wasn’t long for me. This pose was harder than I had expected. I’m not sure if it was because I had done it toward the end of the day after doing Les Mills Pump‘s “Pump Challenge” and taking a 40 minute walk, or if it would have been as difficult to hold myself up even if I’d done it at the beginning of the day. However, I got the hang of it well enough to call my attempts good enough for myself. You can see my second-to-last attempt at the “wild thing” pose below, which unfortunately I only just noticed went a bit blurry with the arm. My last attempt, in which I got so far back with my arm it disappeared from the photo, is on @investinginfitness. You can see what the “wild thing” pose is supposed to look like in Sarah J’s photo here.

JunieBeYou Wild Thing Yoga Pose Attempt Investing in Fitness

For those who might wonder my shirt says “Keep Calm and Stay Shiny” which is a reference to Firefly.

If you want to participate in this challenge, follow both hosts and the sponsor. Repost the challenge intro photo above from one of the sponsors’ Instagram pages on your Instagram. Take a photo of yourself attempting the daily pose and post it to Instagram and include the tag #JunieBeYou. If you have difficulty with “wild thing” or aren’t comfortable attempting it, Sarah J posted a modification, which is to remain in side plank.

Want to participate in a yoga challenge but want to try more than one pose per day? Check out IGYogaChallenges, which details several different yoga challenges going on this June. I think I’m also going to attempt BecauseYogiSays, which is like Simon Says but with yoga directives, JuneOYourChakras in which the hosts discuss chakras and share related poses, and LightOntheMasters in which the hosts teach about a yoga master per day and individuals participating can decide what pose best honors the daily master and post a picture of themselves in their pose of choice. Namaste!

Will you be participating in this or another yoga challenge? Let me know in the comments below.

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