Here is the first week of poses for the Bend Into the New Year yoga challenge, hosted by @karma_bhakti and @missbcross. I really like the poses in this challenge so far. I like back bends because they make me uncomfortable, but not in a painful way.
I used to do back bends all the time as a kid, and I was pretty proud to get this far without falling into wheel pose, but I wasn’t brave enough to let go of my supporting leg.
For day 7 of the challenge, there is a prompt to reflect on gratitude. Today I’m grateful for so many things. I’m grateful for how bright and sunny it is outside (even if it’s only 5 degrees), and for the heat in our house. I’m also grateful for all the people that have to (or choose to) work out in the cold, like our mail lady and the trash guys. I’m grateful for hot showers and warm blankets!
Are you bending into the new year or doing any other yoga challenges?
I started 2015 off very casually, in yoga pants, sitting by the fire, drinking a mimosa-type drink with Buddha ice cubes, jotting down some notes in my new planner, and just talking with my husband. It was nice and relaxing, and we just barely made it to midnight.
I’ve pinned a couple of new easy at home workouts, and I’m doing the 100 push-ups challenge again. Last time I quit at the end when my max was 80 something because it killed my wrists. I’m using the app to track and it started me on day 1 of week 3. I think it’ll either move too fast or it’ll be good and won’t bother my wrists since it’s only 3 weeks.
I’m also going to try to do pull ups consistently. So far I’ve done them every day of January. 1 on the 1st, 2 on the 2nd, 3 on the 3rd, etc. I think I might work up to 5 then start at 1 again on the 6th.
This month’s yoga challenges are about strength and back bends, which is a nice combination. I’ve also been practicing handstands a lot lately (I’m still working towards my goal of bakasana to handstand) and I’ve been doing these handstand push-ups where you get into a handstand with your feet on the wall and bend at the elbows and then straighten.
Aside from the home workouts I found online, I’ve compiled a good number of Jillian Michael’s and Bob Harper DVDs, and a few Ballet Beautiful ones. I always find them at the library first to see if they’re something I’ll actually do. The p90x3 yoga and Dynamix are also great workouts I consistently come back to. Here is a 30 minute intro to Ashtanga yoga video from youtube that I’ve been doing. Usually the thing I dislike the most about yoga/exercise videos in general is how slow they go explaining stuff, this routine is pretty basic, but moves quickly so you don’t have a chance to get bored.
I’m not sure how interesting it would be to document my workouts here, but for now I’m going to try it weekly as a way to keep me on track.
30 minute intro to Ashtanga
30 minute intro to Ashtanga
30 min handstand practice including handstand pushups
For January, I’m going to do two yoga challenges, one hosted by Kino MacGregor and Kerri Verna (BeStrongIn2015), and Bend Into the New Year, pictured above, hosted by MissBCross and Karma_Bhakti.
The last time I did two challenges in the same month, they had a lot of overlapping poses, but I’m really excited to do this one because it’s hosted by a yogi that I’ve been following for a while. I’ve always admired Brandy (MissBCross) for her incredible bendy-ness. She’s really inspirational and great to interact with.
I’d been thinking about possibly hosting a yoga challenge myself (maybe with others), but have been kind of on the fence about it. I’m not a certified yoga instructor, and I know I don’t have perfect form for a lot of poses. I could possibly do a beginners or intro type challenge.
Yoga Teacher Training
This leads me to the fact that I’ve been thinking about yoga teacher training seriously for a while, but there are a few (self imposed) road blocks. One, it’s expensive, and I don’t plan on teaching afterwards to even justify possibly earning the money back. I usually think money is a silly reason not to do something (where there’s a will, there’s a way), but it would take me a while to save up the money, and I feel like there are other more important priorities at the moment.
Two, traveling to a studio to learn. I think the closest studio (not necessarily the best or most cost effective one) is just over 30 minutes away, and then there are other studios a bit further. That’s a huge time commitment and I feel like I’m already struggling to find time to do everything that needs to be done.
Three, the main reason I would like to do it is because I really enjoy yoga and I really enjoy learning. It would be awesome to study something I’m interested in and then end up with some kind of qualification. Does the fact that I enjoy doing something, but don’t really *need* a formal education to practice at home justify the cost (money + time)?
An option I’ve found is cheaper online courses that have certifications, but are not accepted by Yoga Alliance (because they’re strictly online without in-person training). I could take a course and earn a cert without spending $3500+, but if I did choose to ever go for formal training, the cert wouldn’t count for anything and I’d have to start all over again.
So that’s what’s been running through my head for a while, what do you guys think?