I kicked off National Yoga Month with a 10 day yoga photo challenge via Kathryn Budig & Instragram! Kathryn Budig is such an inspiration to me so I really wanted to try this challenge. It was so much fun to think of a pose that best fit the theme of the day then try to get a good picture of it! I loved this challenge because it reminded me why I love yoga so much. Each pose does something for my spirit.
Now… the rules. There is one cardinal rule to a yoga photo challenge… IT’S NOT ABOUT WHO CAN DO THE MOST ADVANCED POSE!!! A yoga challenge is about finding poses that go along with the theme and that fit your practice best right now, in this moment. It’s about the descriptions you give to the photo explaining why the pose is important to you. It’s about the real you.
Here are my 10 days of yoga pictures and description of why I chose each pose…
Day 1… EMPOWER
Day 1 is a pose that makes me feel EMPOWERED. One day in class I told my teacher, “I don’t have the upper body strength” and he had a surprised look on his face and said, “Lindsey, you are so strong.” His sincerity made me realize that most of my weaknesses were mental. I finally landed the pose and I feel so empowered and strong.
I had to squish this picture to make it fit into Instagram so here’s the original… That’s my Bailey girl in the picture with me! She’s my yoga buddy.
Day 2… CHALLENGE
Day 2 is any pose that CHALLENGES me. I chose handstand because it’s the hardest inversion for me. The fear of falling and fear of my arms and shoulders not being strong enough were debilitating. Every time I kicked up on the wall my elbows would buckle and I would fall down. My confidence started to build while doing this pose first in a doorway, then on the wall, and now I can’t hold it for very long… but I am taking steps in the right direction! I used a spotter behind me so I’m still working on trusting my own strength and balance…
Day 3… COMFORT
Day 3 is any pose that COMFORTS me. I chose Viparita Karani aka Legs Up the Wall Pose because it feels so good on my back! I spend my days working with children with special needs so I spend a lot of time hunched over, sitting on the floor, sitting in child-sized chairs, and picking up children. By the end of the day I can really feel it in my upper back and this pose gives the perfect mixture of backbend and relaxation!
Day 4… COMMUNITY
Today’s theme is COMMUNITY. I can’t think of any better community than my yoga community! But I have a confession to make… When my first wave of grad-school-ness hit me I thought about cancelling my yoga classes for “me” time. Extra time to study, extra time to sleep, extra time to just do nothing. But I realized that these spunky yogis are the reason I teach yoga. I love coming to class and seeing them touch their toes for the first time and fall in love with inversions! And most of all, who doesn’t need friends that will meet you at the yoga studio after hours just to take a silly picture???
Day 5… ENVIRONMENT
Today’s theme is ENVIRONMENT so I chose my everyday work environment… the playground! I chose a balance pose because being a teacher requires lots of balance in many different ways. I have a plan to create a special needs yoga program at work so hopefully there will be lots more yoga happening around this wonderful little school very soon!
Day 6… NO STRETCHY PANTS ALLOWED
Today’s theme is NO STRETCHY PANTS… That’s right no Lululemon allowed. And to be truthful, I usually travel in my stretchy pants… But today I’m traveling like a lady… in my new dress! This is me dropping off Bailey at my parents house for the weekend because we’re headed to North Carolina for Susan & Mike’s wedding!!!
Day 7… EMBARRASSING YOGA PHOTO
Today’s Aim True Challenge is to pose an EMBARRASSING yoga photo… I usually get on to Darren for taking the before-the-pose and after-the-pose photos of my butt… but all in the name of National Yoga Month & the Aim True Challenge here they are! It’s hard to pass up doing a yoga pose in an old-timey phone booth!
Day 8… OTHER LOVES
Today’s theme is OTHER LOVES. I had to think about this one because I have many other loves than yoga… But I really love spending time with the little ones! I just happen to be spending time with this precious baby on the beach today and I asked her mother/my good friend what to do for today’s theme. She said, “Lindsey, you love kids! I can’t ever get Sophie away from you!” Precious babies are not only my occupation, but a true love!
Day 9… YES I CAN!
Day 9 of the Aim True Challenge is a YES I CAN! pose. Bakasana aka Crow Pose was one of those poses that I idolized when I first started a yoga practice. The funny thing about yoga is the more I did the basic poses the more confidence I had to branch out and try the more difficult poses. I started to believe in my own strength and play around… And it might take a while for it to be pretty (still working on that), and not to fall on your face (I recommend a crash pad), but it feels so good when you balance for a half second! I can now hold this pose for a few deep breaths and I’m working on a jump-back into plank. It’s so fun to challenge myself and try new things!
Day 10… AIM TRUE
Today is the last day of the Aim True Challenge and for today (Day 10) I am to pick a pose that embodies what AIM TRUE means to me. Aim True to me is a heart opener. I chose a variation of Ustrasana aka Camel Pose with my hand over my heart because I can’t even begin to explain how much yoga has helped me open my heart and at the same time taught me to listen to my heart. I realized my purpose in life during my RYT200 training and made some pretty radical changes in my life to serve that purpose. So what Aim True means to me is to be true to myself. To be the real me and not who anyone else thinks I should be.
Not only were these pictures fun to take and I had a re-connection with my love for yoga… but I had a few people reach out to me and ask if yoga was a good fit for them. My response was that yoga truly is for EVERY BODY. I love setting off new yogi’s on their new yoga path. My only want for you is that your ride is as amazing as mine.