The yoga competition will be held on November 16th. Four months from now. Earlier this year, thoughts of contorting my body into various poses was nothing more than some distant task on my planner. When a friend asked me the other day where my skill level was at and how I felt I was doing, the progress I’m making… I had to take a moment and realize just how daunting this distant task will be. Four months sounds like a lot of time, yet I feel as though I haven’t practiced to my full potential up until now. I can feel the tiny nuances and changes within my body- but it’s not as visible to the outside world as I’d hoped it would be right now. A big wake up call.
In a sense, I feel as though I’m the underdog going into this competition. I have no sense of grandeur, really. I don’t need to be the champion. There will be others who are like Gumby and I’m far from that. My goal is to find the girl I used to be, the one who didn’t mind being center stage and having a light cast on her from above. The one who had a lot of self-confidence. I want to work hard for something and know that I kicked some serious ass by doing the best I could. My perfection will come from knowing I can do this, that I can get through this, and not feel terrified. If I can accomplish this, I can accomplish anything!
Tracking my progress:
Standing head to knee: Dandayamana-Janushirasana
Standing head to knee has been the easiest pose for me. What I’m working on now is lowering my elbows so they are below my leg when I’m in this position, and I’ve also lowered my extended leg so it’s perpendicular with the ground.
Standing Bow: Dandayamana Dhanurasana
I was falling forward when this picture was taken! Which is why my arm looks a little odd. My husband took the photos for me and said, “I think you’re cheating!” LOL! My leg has been lifting up a little more when I do this pose, and I’m working on lowering myself down so that my belly is parallel with the ground.
Floor bow: Dhanurasana
I’ve been trying something different. My instructor will say: “Going into this pose, make sure your legs do all the work.” So, I am playing first with my legs, in order to see how that feels. Then, I’ll work on bringing my chest back up towards the sky.
In this pose, you want to look like a doughnut. Not there yet, but I’ll get there.
The pose with the most progress, although my back needs to be straighter and not so rounded at the top. When I first attempted this, I couldn’t even grab onto my toes, let along pull my elbows down to meet the sides of my legs!
Time for me to get a little practice in today! If any of the above poses intrigue you, I suggest you check out your local yoga studio and see what they have to offer. Most will offer what you see here (Bikram) along with Vinyasa and Hatha- all great ways to improve on your flexibility and your health! If you’re interested in competing, check out USA Yoga.