We passed our 3 year anniversary of doing Bikram Yoga (27 Feb 2012 was when we started). We wanted to start posting posture progress pictures again but then realised that:
a) we always feel completely shattered after a class and have no energy to do another posture just for a picture so have been lackadaisical about getting any pictures done and
b) improvements from last year are microscopic if not, non-existent!
Here are the photos of Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana), you’ll see what I mean.
Tones looks like he’s going deeper in 2014 but if you look carefully at his lower back you can see he’s collapsing and pinching into it. We’ve learned since (through the Mary Jarvis Workshop) that you have to lift up and out of your waist and push your chest up, before dropping back so you get a curve rather than a fold in the lower spine. He’s done well with that advice as you can see! I suspect his posture will look like this until he learns to lift his chest up even more and get a deeper curve in his middle and upper spine.
Joy in Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)
It could be partly the angle of the photo but it looks like in the time between 2014 to 2015 I’ve learned to have a much more solid foundation in the legs and am not collapsing as much into the lower back either.
Like Tony, my spine also needs some curving – the difference between ( and c but if you look closely where my arms and shoulders are in relation to my ears you will see some progress! Tight shoulders make it very hard to keep the arms with the ears when you drop back but in a year I’ve managed to inch those shoulders and arms closer to the ears so I’m very pleased to see that difference 🙂
We have come a long way from where we started but definitely the progress these days is visually minute – it’s all in the detail.
Much of the change has actually been internal. In 2014 I was “showing you” the pose and in 2015, I’m doing the pose. Another thing we learned from Mary Jarvis during her workshop. She kept saying, “Stop showing me the pose! I know what it’s supposed to look like.”
It’s subtle but so important. Pushing in a posture to look good or because you want to show others or the teacher what you can do is all very external and not really yoga. It took 3 years for me to finally get it but I’m grateful to have finally learned the lesson.
You may get a hint from the photos if you look at them again and you’ll see ever so slightly that 2014 was more: “Check out what I can do and how low I can go” vs 2015: “This is me doing this posture.” It could be lighting but I know inside and can tell you with certainty that we’re both a lot more grounded and comfortable with ourselves these days. Now that is the type of progress I’m happy with 🙂