YogaByCandace

31 Day Strength Project!

126 posts in this topic

Boo hoo I've caught a cold off my son and feel a bit pants.. Didn't have the energy to do any yoga last night not even restorative or mediative yoga..

aw just take care of yourself. rest up and drink lots of fluids.

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Somehow I developed a sore neck this morning and it just wouldn't go away, no matter what. Thankfully today's practice didn't call for headstands or any similar poses, so I didn't have to adjust my routine. Besides, I figured that doing yoga would help me breathe better and relax, or that at least it would keep me from obsessing over the discomfort. It worked, until the sore neck developed into a full-blown tension headache.

I'm afraid I'm feeling a bit stuck with my chosen pose. I know it hasn't been that long since I started doing grasshopper, but after a few days when it felt like I was moving forward this week has been very flat in terms of results. My support foot stays on the ground, doing grasshopper on the left side remains stubbornly more unstable than the other. On the other hand, variations of king pigeon are my new friends. If I lift my back leg I can grab my toes (pro tip: don't do it until your nail polish has dried. Oops), so at least I'm making progress in different areas.

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Somehow I developed a sore neck this morning and it just wouldn't go away, no matter what. Thankfully today's practice didn't call for headstands or any similar poses, so I didn't have to adjust my routine. Besides, I figured that doing yoga would help me breathe better and relax, or that at least it would keep me from obsessing over the discomfort. It worked, until the sore neck developed into a full-blown tension headache.

I'm afraid I'm feeling a bit stuck with my chosen pose. I know it hasn't been that long since I started doing grasshopper, but after a few days when it felt like I was moving forward this week has been very flat in terms of results. My support foot stays on the ground, doing grasshopper on the left side remains stubbornly more unstable than the other. On the other hand, variations of king pigeon are my new friends. If I lift my back leg I can grab my toes (pro tip: don't do it until your nail polish has dried. Oops), so at least I'm making progress in different areas.

When it comes to strength, sometimes we get stuck for a bit before we make a big step forward. Case in point: lifting weights. I mentioned to my husband last week that I didn't understand why it was so taxing to put up the weight I had on the bar even though I had done the exact same weight the week prior and did it easily. He said that when you switch it up, it sometimes takes the body a bit to get used to it, and it might feel like you're going backwards when really it's just body sort of recalibrating and understanding what's going on. The following week, I easily put up the weight, so I guess he was right. 

 

Go easy on yourself. There are so many other factors that go into it when it comes to strength as well: proper sleep, eating enough beforehand, stress levels, focus, etc. And grasshopper is crazy hard. Besides the upper body and core strength, we need to have major openness in the hips. It's like a triple whammy! One of the most challenging poses, if you ask me! If you want, I'd be happy to look at yours on instagram and offer some feedback if you want to tag me in a photo and let me know you're you.  :)  Otherwise, just keep practicing, keep listening to your body, and try to enjoy the journey. 

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Thanks for this discussion--I needed it, I think. All of a sudden this week, my body or mind or both have been asking for a restorative practice. I can't tell if it is work stress or just needing a break from strength. I'm okay with the idea of not following my initial plans, but: Listening to your body is hard. How do you know when you need to slow down and when you should challenge yourself more? Warrior 2 is usually my favorite, wonderfully grounding and empowering, but last night it felt impossible and foolish, so maybe I should have been hanging out in reclined bound angle, which is what I did when I got home from class. But it also seems like it might be fear justifying itself, because I have made progress toward my headstand, and before too much longer I'll be working on getting both knees up at the same time, and there's a part of me that probably never really believed I could do it. Mind-body ambiguity! Good news: my shoulders are asking for a bit of work, so maybe I'm about to enjoy a more vigorous practice today.

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When it comes to strength, sometimes we get stuck for a bit before we make a big step forward. Case in point: lifting weights. I mentioned to my husband last week that I didn't understand why it was so taxing to put up the weight I had on the bar even though I had done the exact same weight the week prior and did it easily. He said that when you switch it up, it sometimes takes the body a bit to get used to it, and it might feel like you're going backwards when really it's just body sort of recalibrating and understanding what's going on. The following week, I easily put up the weight, so I guess he was right.

That's very helpful advice, actually. It makes perfect sense that my body is adjusting to the pretty outrageous (yet so fun!) things I'm asking it to do. I don't have a lot of upper body strength, but I'm getting there.

Go easy on yourself. There are so many other factors that go into it when it comes to strength as well: proper sleep, eating enough beforehand, stress levels, focus, etc. And grasshopper is crazy hard. Besides the upper body and core strength, we need to have major openness in the hips. It's like a triple whammy! One of the most challenging poses, if you ask me! If you want, I'd be happy to look at yours on instagram and offer some feedback if you want to tag me in a photo and let me know you're you.  :)  Otherwise, just keep practicing, keep listening to your body, and try to enjoy the journey.

Ugh, I have such a hard time getting enough sleep. I'm definitely going to try to focus more on that.

Thank you so much for your kind offer. I'll probably ask for your advice on Instagram one of these days. In the meantime, I'm truly enjoying the journey :)

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I did Monday's routine today instead as I would find it very difficult to do 3 x 30 minute routines on a work night! It was just the right mix of routines together. I don't often get chance to do 90 minutes of yoga together but I felt "epic" after.. The core routine was great.. Can't say I love the routine as working the core is really not my favourite or strength but an area I do really need to work on. Perhaps that could be my mantra.. "I love core work" ....

I haven't taken a picture of my strength pose for ages. I was trying to get my 6 year old to take a photo but after several failed attempts I ran out of strength to hold the pose!!

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Second day of my fourth week and I fell over doing forearm headstand. Surprisingly enough it didn't hurt. One moment I was trying and failing to do the pose, then I was trying to stabilise myself and then I was flat on my back. I woke up my cat from her nap, but that was it. I did child's pose, checked that everything was in its right place and did forearm headstand again, no problems.

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I haven't been able to get up to forearm stand without using the wall which was my goal but during this challenge I've been able to do baby grasshopper and 8 angle pose which I hadn't planned on even trying! I'll snap a couple of pics tomorrow and post on Instagram. Being unhappy with my progress with one pose led me to try others. Forearm stand may or may not be in my future. I'm ok with that!

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i've been doing these workouts along with a fitnessblender program for the past two weeks and im definitely exhausted lol

 

but i sleep so well now

 

excited to finish this challenge and start the next one in february...

 

i've seen more improvement with these challenges than i have with my sporadic interest in yoga over the years...thanks candace

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So I'm one day off the final day and I've gone backwards. I'm sore and tight all over. I think as a result of my son starting school again after the long Summer holidays so I'm doing a LOT of walking/riding/running around. I had opened my very tight hips up a fair bit during this challenge, but it seems today I'm even tighter than when I started! I don't know what's going on, the only thing I can attribute it to is the new routine. 

 

I'm not going down without a fight, before bed I'm going to do some hip stretches and tomorrow I'm going to attempt my final grasshopper posture in the evening when I'm hopefully a bit looser in the hips and hamstrings! 

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This challenge has been going great.  I have been able to lift and hold in baby grasshopper and even able to hold on to my foot (in the beginning I was at mid shin).  I would call myself a beginner in having a more continuous yoga practice and practiced 3 days a week during this challenge and basic stretches everyday.  Now I am not sure if I just pushed myself because I got so excited in baby grasshopper but the next day my middle finger was swollen.  Not broken just a sprain or a strain I think (swelling has gone down in a day after a Epsom soak).  With just 2 days left I am hoping to be a little better to at least instagram my last day progress pic :)  Can't wait for February's project!

 

You all are awesome! Although I do not post much I read the forum almost everyday and it gets me pumped up to practice! :24:

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Another great challenge thank you Candace.

I've managed to accomplish baby grasshopper which is great. Although sometimes I still need the block to get me up and can only hold for a few breaths but without this programme I probably would never have achieved this.

Roll onto February heart opener programme!! Yippee I'm loving all these yoga programmes..

YogaByCandace, Mana and yogagrammy like this

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I'm so happy to hear all about your experiences and ups and down (well, wait, that came out wrong - not happy to hear about your downs, but you know what I mean). So glad you have stuck with it and have seen improvement overall. 

 

To share my own personal experience w this project: I didn't follow the schedule mostly because I do a LOT of yoga for custom DVDs and shooting videos etc each day so to add a full out personal practice each day would probably leave me with very little time in the day. However, I did my own personal practice focusing on strength building this month. I practiced when I could, for whatever duration I could (sometimes just ten mins, sometimes an hour), and I tried to let go of expectations for myself. I had set out with the intention to even out my left side (weak side), work on tick tocks (which I hate), and work on handstand (which I love/hate). I feel like overall my strength has improved - what a difference just ten mins a day focusing on tick tock and handstands made! I noticed the added bonus of a more smooth forearm stand (I think I might be getting to the point where I could begin practicing pressing up), so that was awesome, too. 

 

By far my favorite part of the project has been going through the instagram hashtag and seeing people's growth. It's incredible what our bodies can do with a bit of consistency! So proud of everyone!! 

Reggi, Jasmine, mimisouth and 8 others like this

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Hello! I'm starting very late but here goes nothing! I recently discovered this project through Pinterest and I'm really excited to jump in. I'll be following the suggested schedule for the upcoming 31 days. I just did day 1 and I feel great! Thank you Candace for all the effort you made to create and share this project.

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2 hours ago, SarahYCh said:

Hello! I'm starting very late but here goes nothing! I recently discovered this project through Pinterest and I'm really excited to jump in. I'll be following the suggested schedule for the upcoming 31 days. I just did day 1 and I feel great! Thank you Candace for all the effort you made to create and share this project.

Enjoy, Sarah!! 

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So I'm starting my second week and I thought it would be good to post an update:

The pose I chose to practice (as a beginner) is downward facing dog and, let me tell you, I can already see a big difference after just one week ^_^ My heels are slowly but surely making their way down to the floor and my neck and shoulders are becoming more comfortable in this pose. What I'm having trouble with so far is the fact that I put my weight on the base of the hands. I'm finding it hard to plug my fingers into the mat but hopefully, through mindful practice, I'll get there.

I hope you're all having wonderful yoga experiences! Namaste :D

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3 hours ago, SarahYCh said:

I'm finding it hard to plug my fingers into the mat but hopefully, through mindful practice, I'll get there.

Yes, that is a tough one, especially when you're first starting out. It also helps to have a great mat so you won't slide and you can firmly root the bases of your fingers into the mat. Keep working on it, though, and you should see improvement.

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On 6/23/2016 at 11:07 AM, SarahYCh said:

So I'm starting my second week and I thought it would be good to post an update:

The pose I chose to practice (as a beginner) is downward facing dog and, let me tell you, I can already see a big difference after just one week ^_^ My heels are slowly but surely making their way down to the floor and my neck and shoulders are becoming more comfortable in this pose....

I am far from an expert (and expect one of our instructors to chime in and correct me) but most newer practitioners think the goal is to get the heels down to the floor. While it's a long term goal (a year or two...seriously), that's not as important as forcing your hips skyward, bringing your belly towards your thighs...th.jpg

keeping a straight back and pushing hands forward.

 

This is what it will look like...in a few years

downward-dog-technique1.jpg

 

Candace's dos and don'ts

yoga-tips-for-men-down-dog.jpg

 

note to Mr. BH...baggy flowing shirts and downward dog are a rough combination :P

 

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On 6/23/2016 at 9:28 PM, LarryD517 said:

This is what it will look like...in a few years

Wow, thank you for this comment! I had been a little worried about getting my heels to the ground while trying to keep my arms and middle section aligned. Here's my answer! This is really very helpful. I had been trying to be as patient with myself as possible but now I know that I shouldn't be so hard on myself. I'll let the heels take the time they need to reach the ground and I'll focus more on my thighs and hips being in the correct position.

 

Also, I have such mixed feelings about being almost done with this challenge. I feel sad that it's ending (because I loved it) but at the same time I'm truly excited because it means 2 things:

1) I've definitely made some progress (I feel a considerable improvement in my strength and I'm actually pushing my weight into my index and thumb now instead of my palms) and

2) I can start another project soon and there are so many great ones to choose from!

 

Thank you so much, Candace, for creating these programs and sharing them with us. You have no idea how important yoga has become in my everyday life thanks to you.

 

I hope you are all having a great 2016 so far!

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Don't worry about what you can't do. Celebrate what you can. Work slowly and learn as much as you can about the elements. You have the rest of your life to master it, do it one day at a time. 

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Hello everyone!

I'm in week two of re-doing the strength project. My chosen pose is forearm stand, but I find it very hard to do it off the wall. I find myself kicking up more than I like, but I'm not sure whether I still lack core strength, or that I need to focus on balance more.

In the picture I look like some sort of banana but I was off the wall there for a split second. Any tips for improvement?

6tag_310816-143010.jpg

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