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Tina's 6 months yoga flexibility challenge

TinaZ2018TinaZ2018 Member, Premium Posts: 235 Member Member, Premium Posts: 235 Member
Tina’s flexibility challenge is finally here!
[June-December 2020]

I’m 34 years old and I haven’t been able to do the splits ever in my life. Having a desk job for the last 11 years, my flexibility has been slowly disappearing. Probably most of you are in the same situation.
In January I was as stiff as a stick but with two stretching workouts per week and some home workouts, I have noticed that my flexibility has improved. This got me thinking of a 6 months challenge.

How long does it take to achieve mobility? Years… but at least 6 months to see your flexibility improving. Be consistent and document your journey. Take monthly photos (be sure to be dressed in a tight comfortable outfit in which you can see well your posture and distance from the floor.
Before we begin... watch this: https://youtu.be/3lYx8LOvXHQ

When flexibility is ignored, muscles remain tightened and injury risk is much more prevalent. However, when a proper regime is enforced and proper techniques are followed, many benefits are seen. The benefits of flexibility include injury risk reduction, performance enhancement, stress relief, improved range of motion and relaxation. It is important to focus on full body flexibility and not focus solely on areas of concern. This will ensure optimal benefits.

These are the poses that I am challenging you (and myself) to test if you can do. For what you can’t do, follow the flexibility routines. For those than you can do (congrats!), check if your posture is perfect and if not, work on what can be improved.

WARM-UP WELL before attempting any of these poses. The ‘Beginner flexibility routine’ it’s a minimum and if you have the time, do 10 minutes of HIIT/intense cardio too. If you have any health issues consult your doctor before attempting this challenge!
Know the difference between pain and discomfort and listen to your body. If you feel pain, stop and check you are you doing wrong or if you should adjust the pose to an easier variation until you gain flexibility/strength.

Wear tight, comfortable clothes. This way you will be able to see your posture wear and the distance between you and the yoga mat/floor.


Step 1: I put my mobile on a tripod to record my moves and made screen shots from the movie afterward to check what I was doing wrong. You could try this to document your starting point. Or ask someone to take photos. It is very important to have monthly photos. If you are not to shy, you can show me your starting point (either make a collage, a gif, a movie with your photos).
Step 2: Test all the poses… even if you think that you can’t do them. I was able to do most of them on the 2nd or 3rd try (yoga beginner here).
Step 3: Eliminate those that you can do easily and perfectly.
Step 4: Of those that you can’t do well or not at all, choose at least 6 to work on and perfect by the end of the year.
Either use the links I’ve added for each pose or search the pose name on YouTube for other workouts.
Step 5: Do at least 3 yoga workouts every week to improve your flexibility for those moves. A good plan would be to pair 2 poses for each workout (make sure that they target similar weak spots). If you feel even more determined, add a 4th workout with a full body flexibility routine.
Step 6: At the end of December take new photos or a movie (be sure to wear the same clothes as in the first ones or similar and to use the same light and angle).
Step 7: Put in the effort to edit the photos and put them side by side to see how your flexibility has improved. Show them to me and to those who joined you along the way in this challenge.

Continue being awesome. Don’t stop doing this just because the challenge is over. Aim higher.

LET’S GET STARTED!
[CHECK THE PHOTOS with each pose at the end of this list.]


How many of these yoga poses can you do? And of those that you can do, do you do them correctly? Is your posture perfect or could it be improved?
I need a challenge to motivate and keep me responsible and committed, so that I will be consistent with my flexibility workouts and hopefully, by the end of this year I will be able to do most or all of these poses well. Some friends along this journey wouldn’t hurt. It is always fun to work in a team, to support, cheer and motivate each other.
So… will you join me? 😊

Here are some (general) flexibility workouts:

Full-body flexibility workouts:
• Yoga For Beginners ♥ Easy Stretch & Stress Release | Playa Barrigona
https://youtu.be/koUi-AgsowQ
• Beginner flexibility routine (Stretches for the Inflexible)
https://youtu.be/qULTwquOuT4
• Yin Yoga Fusion ♥ Best Yoga For Flexibility
https://youtu.be/-fac_iJ8Nw8
• Yin Yoga Class ♥ Best Yoga For Slow Deep Muscle Release
https://youtu.be/ICanFGTsW8c
• 10 min Morning Yoga Full Body Stretch
https://youtu.be/4pKly2JojMw
• 20 Minute Full Body Flexibility Routine V3! (FOLLOW ALONG)
https://youtu.be/2wYQhJdv2oI
• Yoga for Beginners At Home (30 min) Vinyasa Flow
https://youtu.be/W0FxPT0O0SA
• 4 Ways to Deepen Your Practice With a Yoga Strap (Tutorial)
https://youtu.be/8roo6mCDHYQ
• Full Body Yoga Flow (20 Min Yoga) Intermediate Yoga Creative Sequence
https://youtu.be/bhEmoX-qnAs
• Intermediate routine: 1 Hour Ashtanga Yoga (intro class)
https://youtu.be/2wYN1IhnXT4
******************************************

1. Wide child’s pose – beginner (Gently stretches the groins, hips, thighs, spine and ankles. Relieves back and neck pain when done with head and torso supported.)
https://youtu.be/NTnOSWaecNs
https://youtu.be/gO1rVAyaWBA
2. Standing forward bend – beginner (Stretches the hamstrings, calves, and hips. Strengthens the thighs and knees.)
https://youtu.be/VOPnBMKTbO8
3. Seated head to knee forward bend with one or both legs – beginner (Hip joint flexibility)
https://youtu.be/etwPBgN3bCE
4. Reverse prayer/ Reverse namaste pose - beginner (Shoulder, chest, upper back flexibility)
https://youtu.be/XWCAIgDPv0A
https://youtu.be/1gaLi2OBtZo
https://youtu.be/GMeIBCRO3eY
5. Downward-facing dog – beginner (Knee joint & hamstrings flexibility)
https://youtu.be/wS2b5yld004
https://youtu.be/j97SSGsnCAQ
https://youtu.be/Z9diEcFCFME
6. Goddess pose - beginner (It strengthens the entire lower body, including the glutes, hips, thighs, calves, and ankles. It opens the hips and chest, stretches the thighs, and elongates the spine. It improves balance, focus, and concentration.)
https://youtu.be/3kxxyl6vcSc
https://youtu.be/bLSMj6EgOLc
7. Half pigeon pose – beginner (Stretches the thighs, groin, psoas, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and neck. Stimulates the abdominal organs. Opens the shoulders and chest.)
https://youtu.be/2msg4jdu0vk
https://youtu.be/jj2AAH6jbHk
https://youtu.be/_lIMt1RbtG0
8. Tree with arms up pose – intermediate (Strengthens the legs, ankles, and feet. Improves flexibility in the hips and knees. Improves balance)
https://youtu.be/HpXz48nmuu0
9. Lizard pose – intermediate (Stretches the hip flexors, hamstrings, and quadriceps. Improves flexibility in hip ligaments and strengthens muscles in your legs.)
https://youtu.be/Sf3u1WWjUAU
https://youtu.be/gyS68CiPNcY
10. Cow face pose – intermediate (stretches the hips and shoulders).
https://youtu.be/RApbaPSOCno
https://youtu.be/svrTZ3baPyE
11. Supported shoulder stand - intermediate (stretches the neck and shoulders, and strengthens the legs, glutes, arms, and core.)
https://youtu.be/UjHTOW9x3WM
12. Camel pose - intermediate (Neck and shoulder girdle flexibility)
https://youtu.be/8q7GxnIFsQo
13. Reclining hero pose - intermediate (Stretches the hips, thighs, knees, ankles and feet.)
https://youtu.be/tL2jdEJ86a4
https://youtu.be/OOGarN0u5kI
14. Bow pose - intermediate (Bow Pose stretches the entire front of the body, while simultaneously strengthening every muscle in the back. This improves posture and spinal flexibility. Additionally, the pose helps to open the chest, abdomen, quadriceps, ankles, groins, hip flexors, and throat.)
https://youtu.be/FCuSE4oS9xc
https://youtu.be/Txxy7U0i5A8
https://youtu.be/-pgMaeaRqL4
15. Warrior III pose - intermediate (Is a strong, active pose that strengthens the ankles and legs, tones the muscles of the abdomen, and offers a stretch through the chest, shoulders and hamstrings. This pose also helps to improve balance and coordination and can assist with posture and general proprioception.)
https://youtu.be/_0K-Kuw6DOs
16. Wheel pose/bridge – intermediate (Shoulders, Chest, Quads, Hip flexors, Triceps flexibility).
https://youtu.be/0shrlcN8OcE
https://youtu.be/U-cBuYnVJBI
17. Eagle pose - intermediate (stretches the shoulders and upper back while strengthening the thighs, hips, ankles, and calves. It builds balance, calm focus, and concentration. This pose is therapeutic for those with lower back pain and sciatica.)
https://youtu.be/a-ng1A60c_I
https://youtu.be/9wwtGegsD4E
https://youtu.be/_MNiGagY0TU
18. Frog pose – intermediate (Strengthen the Back, Hips, Knees, and Ankles)
https://youtu.be/rjkA7rbClpQ
https://youtu.be/qNpyoQ4pwzE
https://youtu.be/sHMnhGruycQ
19. Front splits/monkey pose - intermediate (Hips and hamstrings flexibility).
https://youtu.be/7__5szNyObA
https://youtu.be/bMzEV_5kmR4
https://youtu.be/ErvWKrWlRCs
https://youtu.be/RttVsGmQjIA
https://youtu.be/3zAHANT3rVA
20. Simple Crow pose - intermediate (Crow pose is the foundation of most arm balances. It works the whole body, especially arms, wrists, abs and upper back, builds endurance and strengthens the mind. This balance uses full body co-ordination.)
https://youtu.be/xEoaoes9f7k
https://youtu.be/FBzWk1bx9P8
21. Lotus pose – intermediate (Hips and glutes flexibility).
https://youtu.be/r9wVNIIq1eY
https://youtu.be/Z8LOhZmuVaE
22. Deaf man’s pose/Ear pressure pose – Advanced (This pose stretches the neck, shoulders, back, glutes, and hamstrings.)
https://youtu.be/hdO-aQuNnHc
https://youtu.be/K3eRRtPOWlw
23. Lord of the dance/ standing bow pose - advanced (improving the flexibility and strength of most of the body’s muscles, opens shoulder joints, elasticity of the spine, strength and balance).
https://youtu.be/3hT2H0mMHNQ
https://youtu.be/V34lIKYpee8
24. Middle splits – advanced (Hips and hamstrings flexibility).
https://youtu.be/46FmXZkIoRQ
https://youtu.be/bs63okrxH8E
https://youtu.be/ChXCKV_Eg-w
https://youtu.be/OprCe6oi8sU
https://youtu.be/y0AyIsNPMk0
https://youtu.be/ph4MPuUAVK8
25. Shoulder pressing pose - advanced (Strengthens the arms and wrists, Tones the belly, Improves balance)
https://youtu.be/auTDGgztdUY
https://youtu.be/FPGND7wTQF4
https://youtu.be/XHg5YwuujCE

 If you are already able to do all of these, congratulations! You are amazing! Check out other yoga poses here and try out a new one: 82 Yoga Poses: https://youtu.be/zGpqwpF1DXo
 Also, if you want to see more variations/poses and the previous/next poses in a sequence, check out this website: https://www.pocketyoga.com/pose/
 Here’s a playlist with flexibility and mobility workouts. See what are your weak/tight spots and improve them: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLXi7slewxuMLpA5T5_G1aHCMCiZJ3LnHx

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Replies

  • TinaZ2018TinaZ2018 Member, Premium Posts: 235 Member Member, Premium Posts: 235 Member
    bo5o9jhawhls.gif
    First of all, note that I'm a beginner. I've never practiced yoga or any sports but in the last 6 months I've been working out at home and I've done 2x20 min of stretching per week and I've seen significant improvement in my flexibility and I've thought that a challenge wouldn't hurt to motivate me work on this with dedication.
    I've tried all the poses. I can do them (more or less) but even if I can do most of them, I don't have the correct form due to my stiffness.
    For example at forward bend, head to knee, downward-facing dog and lizard pose I can't fold while keeping my back straight (it's really hunched). At frog pose, front splits, middle splits I feel like I'm being ripped apart. I really need to work of those weak spots. The bow pose is forces (I have a huge vein showing the effort in my neck).
    I can do the warrior, lord of the dance and eagle but I don't last due to lack of balance, shoulder pressing and crow are more about balance than strength but they are hard on the wrists. Still, if I work on them, I bet I could stay for a few seconds like that. I can do the lotus but not perfectly. At the half pigeon I can't position my leg at 90 degrees yet. I can almost do the deaf man's pose but I can't touch the floor with my shins (I feel the exact spot in my spine where I'm stiff).
    I can do well and with no problems: wide child's pose, reverse prayer, goddess, tree with arms up, cow face, supported shoulder stand, camel pose, reclining hero pose and wheel pose, so I'll exclude them. Let's do this! :-)
  • TinaZ2018TinaZ2018 Member, Premium Posts: 235 Member Member, Premium Posts: 235 Member
    I've conquered the first pose: the deaf man's pose! :-)fyihca85lcoh.jpg

  • TinaZ2018TinaZ2018 Member, Premium Posts: 235 Member Member, Premium Posts: 235 Member
    Guys, I'm so happy! :-D After 2 months of 2h/week yoga for flexibility I was able to do the splits for the first time in my life! I can't believe it!
    I'm also doing the downward facing dog much better.
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  • supercpa999supercpa999 Member, Premium Posts: 198 Member Member, Premium Posts: 198 Member
    This was a great post, you should create a group for this👍
  • RandJ6280RandJ6280 Member Posts: 1,129 Member Member Posts: 1,129 Member
    I do believe that I need this.... for I am about as flexible as an iron bar. I am 58 year old man with very little mobility. Thank-you for post this @TinaZ2018
  • TinaZ2018TinaZ2018 Member, Premium Posts: 235 Member Member, Premium Posts: 235 Member
    This was a great post, you should create a group for this👍

    It spiked no interest here or in my Facebook group, so I did it alone. All I can say is that the benefits are wonderful and I recommend yoga to all who are willing to do it. It helps with flexibility, mobility, balance, well being and help's with having a better posture while doing strength workouts. Thanks!
  • TinaZ2018TinaZ2018 Member, Premium Posts: 235 Member Member, Premium Posts: 235 Member
    RandJ6280 wrote: »
    I do believe that I need this.... for I am about as flexible as an iron bar. I am 58 year old man with very little mobility. Thank-you for post this @TinaZ2018

    Your welcome. :-) Take it easy and gradually do what you can. In time you'll gain more mobility and you'll improve.
  • MaltedTeaMaltedTea Member, Premium Posts: 3,348 Member Member, Premium Posts: 3,348 Member
    TinaZ2018 wrote: »
    This was a great post, you should create a group for this👍

    It spiked no interest here or in my Facebook group, so I did it alone. All I can say is that the benefits are wonderful and I recommend yoga to all who are willing to do it. It helps with flexibility, mobility, balance, well being and help's with having a better posture while doing strength workouts. Thanks!

    I've had this thread bookmarked since the day you first posted. Just because it looks like nothing's happening doesn't mean you're not making an impression 😉 ~ your yoga non-enthusiast who is open to be swayed once and for all to this body stretching practice, MaltedTea
    edited November 21
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