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    Hey! I'm Beth - a 27 year old foodie living and working in the Washington, DC area who has lost almost 90 pounds through Weight Watchers. I love good food, wine and getting creative in the kitchen, and then balancing that out with running, The Shred, and yoga. Please feel free to browse around and hopefully you'll find some ideas, recipes and motivation!

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Yoga Pose May

Good morning and happy Friday! I am SO excited for the 3 day weekend that lies ahead, even though I have no concrete plans.

Tina and Kate are hosting a blog-wide challenge called Yoga Pose May where each day a few bloggers feature a different pose, and today is my day! The idea behind it is that readers of all different blogs may be inspired to give yoga a try.

Now let me start with this… I have only very recently started doing yoga. Before the last few months, I only was running or working out in the gym with the stationary bike, elliptical, and weights. While this helped me to lose most of my weight, I really wanted to start trying new things. I consider myself to be one of the least flexible people I know and was sooooo hesistant to try yoga, I can’t even explain it. I started doing some On Demand videos on ExerciseTV of different beginners yoga because I wanted to figure some things out on my own before venturing to a studio. Then, after a few weeks of doing random videos, I decided to give Bikram a try. You can read about my first experience here. That was April 28th – one month ago yesterday! (Thank you blog for helping me know that) Since then, I’ve become sort of obsessed with it and love going to Bikram and seeing myself get better at the postures each time I go. It’s small victories like being able to hold the Bow posture for the whole 40 seconds yesterday (first time I could do that!) that makes me want to go back for more.

Moving along, my pose for today is Eagle Pose, which I think is one of the more challenging poses to get right.Β There are several different varieties of this pose depending on which practice of yoga you are doing, but I walked through the Bikram way because that’s all I know! I had my friend Amber from last night do it along side me so you could see the difference between someone who has been practicing for 10 years (AMBER) and someone who’s been practicing for one month (guess who).

Step One is to cross your right arm under your left arm.

If that’s enough, you can stay there.

Step two is to have your palms facing each other while keeping your elbows crossed.

We interlocked our fingers because its easier to hold that way, but eventually you want your palms to line up against each other exactly, and have the tips of your fingers below your nose.

Step three is to keep your arms like this, and bend at the knees.

Step Four is to bring the same leg as the bottom elbow go over the opposite leg. So, when you have your left elbow under your right elbow, you want to move your left leg over your right leg. When you reverse the posture and have your right elbow under your left elbow, you want your right leg over your left. Make sense?

It’s kind of hard to see, but my left foot (I’m on the right) is right next to my calf, but you really want to move your toes around your calf so they’re peeking out the other side. Ambers toes are much more behind her calf and if the picture was at a better angle you’d probably see her toes peeking out. The important thing is to point your toes/leg in the direction you want it to go. Each time you practice, your leg/foot will move a little deeper into the posture and with consistent practice, you’ll eventually get completely into the posture. I’ll definitely post a follow up shot once/if my body has changed enough that I can do this posture fully and my toes are peeking out, too! PS: Check out the gorgeous scenery in the background! We took these photos last night at our picnic while the sun was setting. πŸ™‚

So, bottom line, give yoga a try!! There are sooo many different types of yoga, so it’s good to experiment with different practices so you can find one that’s right for you. Many studios offer intro specials where your first class or week is free, or offer discounted intro weeks. Sample out different studios so you can find one that’s a good fit with your body and your fitness goals! The thing that really convinced me to take on yoga was that there are three pilars of fitness: cardio (which I’m in great shape with), Strength (Decent but needs work) and Flexibility (needs a lot of work). It’s also an awesome change of pace from our busy everyday lives, especially for someone like me who can be a little spastic at times… πŸ˜‰

Now, onto breakfast! Nothing new, but I just love eating these Vegan Overnight Oats.

Into the mix:

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 scoop protein powder
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 sliced banana, on top

So good but not terribly exciting, I know. πŸ™‚

What is your favorite type of yoga practice? If you’ve not yet tried yoga, which kind would you be interested in trying? What’s your favorite pose/posture if you have one? I like Bikram but only because that’s the only practice I’ve tried. I plan to venture out a little bit once my package is up that I just purchased at my Bikram studio. My favorite posture in Bikram is the Bow Pose but I’m still working on it, and my favorite non Bikram pose is downward dog, because it just feels so good to stretch out!

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32 Responses

  1. I love eagle pose! I also like the one where you put one foot up above your knee and stand on the other leg like a tree trunk. they help teach me to engage my quads and core, and work on balance. what i learned abotu eagle pose from bikram is that you should be actively twisting in the pose, which makes it feel very different. it starts to engage the obliques and really stimulate the internal organs, which is what leaves me feeling flushed and invigorated. nice photos, BTW!

    • I’ve never heard that about twisting while in the pose – good to know! My friend Amber (whos doing the pose with me in these pictures) says that even after 10 years of practice, she learns something new every time she goes!

  2. Love the pics of you guys doing the pose.

    I’ve only done yoga in videos, I am really liking it more and more and thinking about finding a studio.

    • I love doing it in my house so I don’t embarrass myself by falling over or whatever happens… but being in a studio is really nice because the instructor can come by and fix your posture and that helps me know I’m doing it right.

  3. I’m still very much a yoga newbie in how I feel about it… but I do enjoy the warrior poses… love the stretch in my legs on those.

  4. My favorite kind of yoga is vinyasa yoga! I like it because you flow through the movements and it is all tied to your breath. I think it has really helped me in other areas of my life, not only in exercising but also in relaxing–I just remember to take a big breath! I think it has also helped a lot with breath control in running, etc. I really suggest it! You can do heated or non-heated classes.

    Also, love your blog and thanks for all of the ideas!

    • I’ve heard really good things about Vinyasa but have never tried it. My friend goes to a hot vinyasa power class here in DC and is trying to convince me to try it with her… maybe I will! Glad you love the blog!!! Thank you!

  5. i used to call it the crane… until my teacher was like WHAT!?! lol i just couldnt wrap my head ‘eagle pose’ hehe.

    love the first one… give urself a good yoga hug ❀

  6. I don’t think it’s really a pose…but I love at the end of the class where you lay flat on your mat. Then the instructor goes through different body parts (starting from the bottom up) and tells you to relax one body part at a time. LOVE IT!!! You don’t realize how tense you keep your body until someone tells you to relax. πŸ™‚ In the near future a friend and I are going to be trying out a Bikram class in Greenville, SC.

    • Ha yes my second favorite Bikram pose is called “Corpse” or Savasana where you lay flat on your back and don’t move for 2 minutes after the standing series! I forgot about that. πŸ™‚

  7. I love those vegan overnight oats too- they almost taste like ice cream!! And I have been getting into yoga lately and love it. I tried hot yoga which was interesting, but I think I’m gonna stick to more “basic” stuff for the most part. Love the eagle pose!

  8. oh lorrrrd i remember the first time i did the eagle pose i was like “WHAT am i supposed to do w/ my arm!?!? your description is perfect-o!

  9. Love the poses by the water! πŸ™‚

    Jenn

  10. Love the pics of the pose!

    I am not digging yoga very much. I got some workouts from yogadownload.com, which were good, but not very inspiring to me. I do some of the poses for stretching purposes, but I don’t really do yoga practice. I find it rather boring.

    I like the pigeon pose and the tree pose. Those are probably my favorites. And child’s pose.

    • I do find it a little boring when I do regular yoga, but I could not use that word to describe Bikram. It requires so much physical/mental attention that there’s no way to get bored!

  11. i love eagle pose-one of my favs for sure……still wish i could hold crow though. i am with you on the 3 day weekend-so excited!

  12. I have never done yoga but I know it would probably feel amazing. Honestly I am intimidated by it!

  13. I just discovered your blog and am enjoying it. I also LOVE yoga. I really enjoy vinyasa yoga. It is quite addicting and really helps relax my mind. I always sleep amazing after a good yoga session. Good for you for trying something new!

  14. I haven’t done yoga in years but yoga pose may is really making me want to get back into it!

  15. I love the pose by the river!

    I can’t get into yoga 😦 I try and try but I always get bored and then I can’t focus. When I can manage to do it, I feel awesome but I’m horrible at being so *meditative*

    Have a wonderful weekend and hopefully it won’t rain too much here!!

  16. eagle yoga pose buddies! love your step by step post πŸ™‚

    • HA. my friend Kara read it and saw the first pic and was like OMG THAT IS SO EASY. I COULD TOTALLY DO THAT. She thought it was the whole posture. ahaha!

  17. I have a lot of trouble with eagle pose but once I get into it and hit that balance point it feels so so so so good!

    This post was a great idea!

    • Yeah it’s definitely hard to stay in it – there were lots of pics that I had to delete where I was tilted to either side! πŸ™‚

  18. Happy Friday Beth,

    So I FINALLY tried your sweet potato/black bean combo and I have so say, I’m one half of the way through it and it’s absolutely delicious! Thank you for giving me the recipe! I did add low fat sour cream, and I think it adds a certain creaminess to the dish. I’ll have to try it sans the sour cream to compare.

    Hope you have a great weekend!

    • I’m so glad you tried it!! I’ve never had it with sour cream before but I bet that does taste awesome. Salsa is also really good on top. Hope your weekend is fab too!!

  19. Eagle pose rocks. I used to have the hardest time crossing my arms, but Ive worked on it (and my boobs have shrunk!) and now its a fave! Enjoy your long weekend.

  20. […] Beth’s Journey […]

  21. Hi!
    I, like you, have lost a lot of my weight through regular exercise and diet (Weight Watchers). I started yoga (hot yoga, though not Bikram) in May 2010 and came across your blog today.

    Thanks for the Eagle Pose pictures and explanation!

    Torri

  22. […] I was just really feeling it. For the first time ever, I was able to get my toes behind my calf in Eagle Pose!! It was such an exciting moment when I actually saw my toes poking through! Sometimes when I go I […]

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