YogaByCandace

March Yoga Project

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Greetings from Ilulissat in Greenland, everyone! :)

 

I'm new to this forum and still kinda new to yoga (didn't take it too seriously when I first started sometime mid last year, but when I found Candace's blog in December, that's when I really got into it and my practice has become more consistent :D ).

 

So I'm taking part in the March challenge and I have selected to do the crow pose. Currently, I am able to comfortably stay in that pose for about 3-4 breaths and then something weird/funny happens...and that is I get super hungry! My tummy starts to rumble, my hands starts to shake and I feel really exhausted after that. And it's not like I do my practice with an empty stomach. I normally have a full meal an hour before I hit the mat. And this happens every time I do this pose.

 

I am almost embarrassed to ask, but does anyone else get really hungry mid yoga practice or when doing certain poses???

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For this challenge I have chosen Dancer's pose, which I had also chosen for February's challeng (maybe this time I will also start practising the Mermaid variation) and Crow pose... and since on Tuesday, with the 30min power flow video, I realised I can do the tripod headstand (with my legs folded for now) I think I will try to work on this too! However I'm a little hesitating about this pose, because I have a sciatica pain and I was wondering if maybe practising a headstand makes the back worse...

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I love how you phrased that.  That is how I feel about my forearm stand! I can do it without a wall 50% of the time but I just cant trust it to always happen and to last.  I am really hoping for the same feeling of "anywhere, anytime, no fear" that i have with headstand.  

I think you'll get there! For me it was a progression from headstand to forearm stand to handstand. Once I got headstand, then forearm was more accessible (but way wobbly). Then once I got forearm stand, I felt I could start working on handstand. Keep practicing, you'll get there!

 

I got into my headstand without the wall yesterday, WOOT! But, I'm finding it harder to do so in a supported headstand. Is that one more difficult due to the arms being closer to the body? I've got a pretty good handle on the tuck and roll though! :1: My BF was very impressed, lol.

YEAH! Go you!!  :24: I find tripod headstand to be much harder than supported by my 50 year old mom says I'm nuts and she thinks supported is harder than tripod! I guess maybe it depends on what kind of upper body strength you have. I find the lats are more worked in the tripod headstand than in supported headstand, and since my mom's a massage therapist with super strong arms/back maybe that's why she finds it easier?

 

Greetings from Ilulissat in Greenland, everyone! :)

 

I am almost embarrassed to ask, but does anyone else get really hungry mid yoga practice or when doing certain poses???

 

Woah, hello Greenland! Awesome! I haven't noticed that I get really hungry during certain poses but for sure after a rigorous practice I'll be ready to eat :54:

For this challenge I have chosen Dancer's pose, which I had also chosen for February's challeng (maybe this time I will also start practising the Mermaid variation) and Crow pose... and since on Tuesday, with the 30min power flow video, I realised I can do the tripod headstand (with my legs folded for now) I think I will try to work on this too! However I'm a little hesitating about this pose, because I have a sciatica pain and I was wondering if maybe practising a headstand makes the back worse...

Usually sciatica pain can be relieved with lots of hip opening and also core work. Maybe take a break from headstand for a bit and work on opening the hips just to get some relief first?

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Usually sciatica pain can be relieved with lots of hip opening and also core work. Maybe take a break from headstand for a bit and work on opening the hips just to get some relief first?

 

Definately following your advice! Tripod headstand will have to wait... but we'll meet again! haha!

I've already done some progress with hip opening in last month's project and I think it has helped quite a bit! So I think I will keep up with this!

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Hey everyone!  I've promised myself to spend more time on my mat for this challenge and I'm feeling freaking fantastic so far!  I've chosen dancer's pose and I'll be honest, I really dislike that pose.  I feel like a rather uncoordinated flamingo when attempting it lol.  That is the reason that I chose it; I need to improve and get past the dislike.  For whatever reason, I struggle balancing in this pose (but not in others, oddly enough).  I need to focus on my shoulder flexibility, as well as back and hips.  Here is to improvement!!

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I'd decided to do forearm stand but, once again, I ended up being too ambitious with my selection. I followed Candace's advice and took some photos of my practice and I noticed my hips were nowhere near being aligned with my shoulders. I'll keep on insisting, but my goal has become more modest. I was already including supported headstand as a warm up, now I'll focus on that pose even more. Hopefully I'll be able to build both strength and confidence toward forearm stand.

While we're on the topic of forearm stand, whenever I try to do the pose I get this pain on the skin/flesh of my forearms, as if it's being pulled away from my body. I keep looking for a way to place my forearms in such a way I won't get this pain, but so far I haven't had much luck. Is it just me? Should I look into getting a new mat? Should I try to do the pose so that the palms of my hands will be flat on the mat rather than the palms of my hands facing each other?

I'm still doing my attempts at full dancer's pose from last month's challenge, as well as grasshopper, from January's. Bird of Paradise has also made it into my daily practice, if only because it's proven to be so much fun. I find it's important to include poses I actively enjoy whenever I'm also working on more challenging asanas, if only to cheer myself up after I fall flat on my face (metaphorically speaking, most of the time anyway).

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Candace I know you say the schedule is just a suggestion but if we are following your schedule then do you recommend that we do it in the order you list?

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Striving to be progress with my handstands. Yesterday was an extremely busy monday, therefore, I wasn't able to get to my mat. However, this morning I'm up early and have completed the 5 minute guided meditation as well as the 30 minutes vigorous yoga video. Both extremely helpful, I actually broke a sweat too! Now on to practicing the pose. I wish everyone the best of luck with their practice and their day!

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While we're on the topic of forearm stand, whenever I try to do the pose I get this pain on the skin/flesh of my forearms, as if it's being pulled away from my body. I keep looking for a way to place my forearms in such a way I won't get this pain, but so far I haven't had much luck. Is it just me? Should I look into getting a new mat? Should I try to do the pose so that the palms of my hands will be flat on the mat rather than the palms of my hands facing each other?

You might want to try it with your palms flat on the floor and see if that makes a difference to you  - that is the traditional ashtanga way. What works for me is imagining that the arms are magnetized. What I mean by that is imagine that the arms are *trying* to come toward one another, as if they are magnets - but don't let them move. When you do this, you'll create a subtle energetic lift instead of sinking into shoulders and therefore allowing the elbows to kind of energetically drift away from each other which causes a little pull on the skin. It's all related to the core strength and the shoulder/upper body strength and I promise that as you continue to work with the pose you'll find that the skin pulling goes away as you grow stronger.

 

 

Candace I know you say the schedule is just a suggestion but if we are following your schedule then do you recommend that we do it in the order you list?

 

If you're following the schedule I would do them in the order in which they're put together because I put a lot of thought into the order of things (a warm up, the more physical practice builds on each other and then ends in a savasana or restorative sequence). :)

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I'm progressing SLOWLY in handstand but I'm good with the progress I've made. Gaining more confidence each time. Am now trying to get airborne in the middle of the room which is scary. I will try outside this week where there is way more room to fall without cratering out on furniture! My meditation is a hit and miss. I really need to put in as much effort in this as I do with handstand. Will focus more on that this week.

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I'm progressing SLOWLY in handstand but I'm good with the progress I've made. Gaining more confidence each time. Am now trying to get airborne in the middle of the room which is scary. I will try outside this week where there is way more room to fall without cratering out on furniture! My meditation is a hit and miss. I really need to put in as much effort in this as I do with handstand. Will focus more on that this week.

I've been following your progress on IG. It's incredible!! 

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Ok, so I am very new to yoga but I love your site. I need schedule in my life because I function better with it and it helps me keep moving forward (otherwise I just don't do it). I am following along with the March Yoga Project and have chosen something very basic as my pose. So basic in fact that I feel like I am cheating myself the balance part of this whole project, forward fold. Should I be doing something different or is this were I need to be at if I am just starting? I can already see an improvement, though slight, in the pose and how it is helping me get through other poses as well. What are your thoughts?

post-689-0-66749900-1426188097_thumb.jpg

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Ok, so I am very new to yoga but I love your site. I need schedule in my life because I function better with it and it helps me keep moving forward (otherwise I just don't do it). I am following along with the March Yoga Project and have chosen something very basic as my pose. So basic in fact that I feel like I am cheating myself the balance part of this whole project, forward fold. Should I be doing something different or is this were I need to be at if I am just starting? I can already see an improvement, though slight, in the pose and how it is helping me get through other poses as well. What are your thoughts?

attachicon.gif2015-03-12 14.19.10 (1).jpg

I see major improvement. It might feel like a slight improvement - and it might not even LOOK like much - but what I see is major improvement in your hamstring flexibility which is allowing the stomach to melt toward the thighs and it's eliminating the rounding in your low back that you had at the start. Good for you - you're doing great! 

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That happens to me too! I'm all, stay still! Then I try to remember to send the thought away without energy, which makes me feel like I'm cheating on a quiz in school, because I'm copying it down, but haven't learned how to do it. I like that it's sort of a short hand for setting an intention, though, which I've also not learned how to do well.

Crow question: if my knees are sliding down my arms as I try to balance up, does this mean I'm not using my core enough?

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Ok, so I am very new to yoga but I love your site. I need schedule in my life because I function better with it and it helps me keep moving forward (otherwise I just don't do it). I am following along with the March Yoga Project and have chosen something very basic as my pose. So basic in fact that I feel like I am cheating myself the balance part of this whole project, forward fold. Should I be doing something different or is this were I need to be at if I am just starting? I can already see an improvement, though slight, in the pose and how it is helping me get through other poses as well. What are your thoughts?

attachicon.gif2015-03-12 14.19.10 (1).jpg

I can't believe how much you have improved in just one week. Great job and keep it up!!   :24:

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Just finished up Week 2!! I feel great! Yin yoga is very relaxing but I tend to get distracted quite a bit. I keep telling myself it will go away with time but is there anything I can do to help with not letting those thoughts come to me?

 

You said to pick an aspect outside of yoga to practice for this project as well. I have chosen to just be happy with life and whatever comes my way. I want to look at things differently and not get so upset/emotional about things I cannot control. So far I have been improving in this area. I know that there will be times where I do get upset over something and I have to learn not to beat myself up over it. The meditations, reflections, and self-awareness have really helped out more than I thought. 

 

Can't wait for next week!!  :24:

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Just finished up Week 2!! I feel great! Yin yoga is very relaxing but I tend to get distracted quite a bit. I keep telling myself it will go away with time but is there anything I can do to help with not letting those thoughts come to me?

 

You said to pick an aspect outside of yoga to practice for this project as well. I have chosen to just be happy with life and whatever comes my way. I want to look at things differently and not get so upset/emotional about things I cannot control. So far I have been improving in this area. I know that there will be times where I do get upset over something and I have to learn not to beat myself up over it. The meditations, reflections, and self-awareness have really helped out more than I thought. 

 

Can't wait for next week!!  :24:

 

I think for distraction it's just a matter of practicing different techniques and seeing what helps you most. I try to think of my thoughts as clouds. When they come during a practice, I visualize them going by like a cloud without giving them any energy. :)

 

I'm so glad to hear the "off the mat" aspect is reaping the benefits of the practice as well!  :13:

Fantastic week 2 for me too.. Managed to balance away from the wall for a few breaths in my forearm stand!! Yippee..

Yeah! Great job!!! 

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I've been rotating between a number of poses as I've found that's what works best for me. I'd get very bored otherwise. Forearm stand sounds like a lovely idea, but not one I'm likely to achieve in the near future. On the other hand, both crow pose and supported headstand have improved. Dancer's pose is more stable, and I've just added the mermaid variation to the mix, which I believe will be the key into doing full dancer's pose in the near future. I'm loving bird of paradise and I look forward to perfecting that asana.

I've noted better balance overall. Just today I did a flow that included several variations on standing in one leg while grabbing the toes of your raised leg. I could feel much more in control of my body than usual. As for beyond the mat results, I've noticed I'm going to bed earlier than usual, which is no small feat (my sleep patterns are truly appalling). Being kinder to myself and doing what's good for me are some of my off-mat goals, so I like to think all the extra meditation and intention in my practice haven't hurt.

My only regret is that I'll go away on holiday this Wednesday and my internet access will be very spotty, so I won't be able to keep up with the program. A shame, really, but I'll do my best to come up with a routine to make up for the lack of guidance.

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Gosh today's schedule was touch.. I found mediation tough.. I loose concentration because my right hip starts to ache.. I cant sit in that position for that length of time. Otherwise I was enjoying and felt a real connection.. How do others sit?

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Just wanted to share my progress as week 3 is coming to an end! I am so glad that you suggested photos because I don't think I would have noticed a change otherwise but I can definitely see one! I'm so excited and happy that things are coming along so well!!   :54: 

 post-689-0-69450800-1426788498_thumb.jpg

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Gosh today's schedule was touch.. I found mediation tough.. I loose concentration because my right hip starts to ache.. I cant sit in that position for that length of time. Otherwise I was enjoying and felt a real connection.. How do others sit?

I generally just sit cross legged but I've also used a bolster before (just straddle it with the shins on the ground) or i'll sit with a block just under the sitting bones (not, like, FULLY on the block cuz that can aggravate the back). 

 

Just wanted to share my progress as week 3 is coming to an end! I am so glad that you suggested photos because I don't think I would have noticed a change otherwise but I can definitely see one! I'm so excited and happy that things are coming along so well!!   :54: 

 attachicon.gif2015-03-19 12.41.32.jpg

awesome job! i definitely see progress!

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Gosh today's schedule was touch.. I found mediation tough.. I loose concentration because my right hip starts to ache.. I cant sit in that position for that length of time. Otherwise I was enjoying and felt a real connection.. How do others sit?

 

I noticed your comment immediately. 

Translation of Asana - to sit without pain. 

Find any sitting posture that is comfortable for you. Like Candace said use anything that makes it comfortable. Maybe try some folded blankets under the knees, equal on both sides even if you feel one side doesn't need as much. After some time the blankets will seem too high then reduce the height. Holding right at the edge of our limit is not productive in long held poses. Finding a comfortable spot in the pose is much more beneficial in the present moment and will produce the best results longer term.

I sit in Sukhasana, Baddha Konasana, Virasana, Padmasana, sometimes a reclined twist. I don't know if the yoga experts would approve of the twist but I don't care :)

 

Just wanted to share my progress as week 3 is coming to an end! I am so glad that you suggested photos because I don't think I would have noticed a change otherwise but I can definitely see one! I'm so excited and happy that things are coming along so well!!   :54: 

 

   You are doing great. I am not talking as much about the pictures but because you are staying with it. The pose is coming along nicely as well.

There are endless little tricks in yoga. If I can offer a couple for you to try?

   Try Uttanasana (forward fold) with nearly straight legs. If the hands don't reach the ground put blocks under them or anything that is not too slippery,maybe the first step of a stair case. With your hands comfortably flat on floor or flat on blocks, gently push the hands into the floor and pull the hands backwards without moving them backwards. It is the effort placed on the hands, not actually moving the hands backwards. And maybe only half effort, don't try too hard. Hold this for 5-10 seconds then relax and notice the difference. And repeat several times. Or maybe follow the breath, push with the inhale and relax with the exhale.

   The next one is to move some of the weight forward in the feet, more on to the balls of the feet. Press into the toe pads (bottom of toe knuckles) and also put effort into squeezing the toe knuckles in towards center. Another way to think of it is to push the big toes towards each-other.

   Try doing both of these at the same time. If done properly it will set up a connection through the entire body. Hopefully if you would like to give it a try and let us know the results.

 

The simple version of this: press the hands down and back, press the toe knuckles down and inward.

 

Oh, and bye the way if you do this you just started working on your handstand as well.

 

I am proud of everyone for working on their practice. 

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Thank you Anahata! That is wonderful and detailed advice, I will def. give it a try! I look forward to seeing more improvement!

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