20-Day Yoga Body Challenge (Transformation Cont’d)

I tried to be a yoga person before but I never found a convenient way to practice. There were classes at my local Y that I liked before I canceled my membership, but the times weren’t convenient so it wasn’t often that I was able to go. I found a DVD I liked at the library but I haven’t bought it for lack of money. The one yoga DVD I own I’m not all that fond of.

As you know, my transformation has been with POP Pilates. If there’s a difference between POP Pilates and other Pilates, I don’t know what it is. I’m too new to this form of exercise and am content to just do what I’m told.

I don’t remember which month it was – November or December (or both) – but I stumbled across a 20-day challenge from YogaBody Fitness International (also at YogaBody Naturals) on Youtube. It was the 3rd day or so of the challenge and I was sure I could do the poses given so far so I signed up through e-mail. Every day they’d send me a video tutorial (which was also shown on Youtube) of the day’s featured move. Usually they gave variations on how to make it harder or suggestions on where to stop to make it easier. It was okay if you couldn’t do the pose so long as you tried.

Some days I nailed it like when they asked for a Fish Pose. I was able to give them the harder Fish In Lotus Pose.

Fish Pose

Other days I’d laugh at myself such as when I realized there was no way I was touching my toes in the Revolved Head-to-Toes Pose.

Revolved Head-to-Toes Pose

Usually I did a fairly good job (in my opinion)…

Camel Pose

(Camel Pose)

Bound Side Angle Pose

(Bound Side Angle Pose)

While other times I did a great job for me…

Dragonfly Pose

(Attempted Dragonfly Pose)

Bird of Paradise Pose

(Bird of Paradise Pose – my version is wilted…I guess it was out of season and the flowers were dying)

My most difficult, and therefore greatest, success was Crow Pose.

Crow Pose

I tried this move a couple years ago for the first time but couldn’t get my feet off the ground. It was an unbelievably hard move and something I never thought I’d be able to accomplish. As difficult as it was this time around, I was able to hold it for a solid amount of time without wobbling. I was so excited!

Except this move wasn’t part of the challenge. The real pose was to get into Crow Pose and then move into a Tripod Headstand before finishing off in Crow again.

I knew I didn’t have the upper body strength to do that so I broke it into two poses and tried them each individually. The first, as you know, was a tremendous success. The second was an epic failure.



Tripod Headstand Pose 2

I was in the process here of lifting my legs and I was thinking, “Holy Cow! I’m gonna do it! I’m really gonna do it!!!”

And then I freaked. And fell. Into the couch. Except my legs didn’t go straight back, they went back and to the side because my somersault was interrupted by the couch. My neck creaked and kind of crunched. There was pain. I pushed myself to continue to roll to the side into a sitting position. And then shocked momentum at what had just happened carried me down onto my back. I waited. Was there any pain? Numbness? Tingling? Could I feel everything? Could I move everything?

Yes, I was fine. But my neck was sore and a bit stiff, like I had just gone to the chiropractor to have it popped. It was worse the next day and the pain didn’t abate for about 4 days. After about 2 weeks, I was pain-free and able to do whatever I wanted again without fear. Of course, by that point, Cassey Ho’s calendars had the 9 Steps to a Headstand video on the relaxing/stretching days. HA! As if I was going to subject my neck to that kind of thing again. Not likely.

My husband was so scared because he was the one behind the camera. He got the fall shot by shot but I deleted them after examining them to see where I went wrong. He made me promise not to try it again. As exhilarating as the prospect of success was, I wasn’t keen on risking the fall again.

I tried. I failed. End of story. I’m cool with the headstand on your elbows against a wall, but I don’t think I’ll be trying the Tripod Headstand again anytime soon if ever again. However, if I was allowed to keep my knees on my elbows instead of raising my legs up straight, I’d be cool with trying it again.

Hubby Tripod Headstand

(My husband had no difficulties doing this pose. He’s been able to do it since childhood and flipped himself into it with no hesitation or practice that night.)

My poses (over 20 of them…sometimes I did both variations of a given pose) during the 20-Day Yoga Body Challenge are on Instagram (kstjshin) and on Facebook (CousinK8). If you want to see how to pretzel yourself up too, go to YogaBody Fitness International (or YogaBody Naturals…same thing)on Youtube and watch the videos. Or if you’re interested in repeating the challenge on your own, go to the same place.

I had a lot of fun during those 20 days. Some of the poses were easy and others were quite challenging. Watching the video tutorials gave me confidence that I could do them though because the ladies in the videos made it all look so simple. And, broken down into increments like that, they were simple. I simply followed the steps given and I would usually find myself in what I thought was an impossible pose (*cough*Bird of Paradise*cough*).

Always challenge yourself. Don’t shy away from something because you think it’s too difficult. If you go ahead and try it, you may be surprised at what you can do.

Speaking of yoga challenges, I was just sent an invite for another! The Absolute Yoga Academy is starting a new 10-day hot yoga challenge this Friday (1/23/15).

It all starts 23 January, and you can find more information about it here:

Your 10-Day Hot Yoga Challenge!  
Yoga tutorial videos will be released each day from the 23 January onward.

We have tons of great prizes (over $2,000 in prizes in total). Enter to win by posting your photo to Facebook and/or Instagram with tags #HotYogaChallenge and @AbsoluteYogaAcademy and that’s it! 
Prizes will be announced every day, and yes, we ship worldwide!

Next time I’ll get myself all caught up with my transformation through Blogilates and end with the JanYOUary Calendar.


About Katie St. John-Shin

I believe in living life and not letting it pass you by. I mean, come on, if you really want to do something but don't have the courage to do it so you let the opportunity disappear, you may regret it for the rest of your life. How can you know what you're capable of unless you go for it? Like every writer, I naturally plan on becoming world-famous (not really). I love reading, writing, fitness, coffee, watching my favorite movies/shows, listening to music, and trying new things even if they're sometimes terrifying. I'm a writer, a group fitness instructor, a personal trainer, and a nutter for doing all of the above.

Posted on January 20, 2015, in Fitness, Personal and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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