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.
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.
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.
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.
Day 12: Half Moon Pose or Ardha Chandrasana
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.
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.
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.