#YogaGoals – The Poses I’m Working On Lately

Here is the long and the short of it: I FINISHED!

That's me and my hair on the far right, looking way too excited for life!
That’s me and my hair on the far left, looking way too excited for life

After eight weeks of work, (some) tears, plenty of sweat and, thankfully, an absence of blood, the Scorpions completed the 200-hour Certified Yoga Teacher program. Much love to my fellow students, our trainers and the loved ones who dealt with our absence for those weekends. Although I’m convinced the BF secretly loved the training program because he got to watch college and professional football undisturbed all weekend!

Now that I’m finished, I’m seeing friends, sleeping and enjoying life. Even though I’m not in a studio 12 hours a day, I’m still working on my (semi-) daily practice because that’s the only way I’ll grow and start sequencing series of my own. In yoga training, we studied more than 100 poses, which only scrapes the surface of the full range of yoga poses and the ways your body can express a posture, from beginner to advanced. Below are some of the poses I will be focusing on as I commit to a daily practice, deepening my range of motion and moving to a higher level of understanding.

Camel Pose (Ustrasana)

Photo from dahon (Flickr)
Photo from dahon (Flickr)

This pose gave me the blues for the longest time. I was making the mistake of thrusting my head back to reach for my feet without first learning how to open my chest and lift up out of the lower back. Best advice I got about Camel: Squeeze your glutes. Harder than you think, squeeze them, and press your hips forward. Use your inner thighs to stabilize and press into your shins.


Crow/Crane Pose (Bakasana)

It’s me, preparing for Crow
Still me, working on that Crow

I have a confession. I’ve fallen out of Crow pose, onto my face, no fewer than two times. Since I have cat-like reflexes, I managed to get an arm in front of my face before it met the floor. The damage from embarrassment was done. As you can see from the photos below, I have some work to do before I can achieve two goals in this pose: knees in the armpits and straight arms. Again, this is why I practice. I’m excited to see the progress in this, since I have dated photos of where I have been.

Handstand (Adho Mukha Vrksasana)

Seeing the world upside down.
Seeing the world upside down.

This is one of those lifetime goal poses for me. Inversions scare most of us – the thought of being upside down, supporting oneself completely, can be scary. Once I learned about the proper alignment, I stopped throwing my legs over my head. Best advice I’ve received: engage your mula bandha (root chakra). Using the muscles in the center of your body helps to align the body, engage the thighs and torso and stay centered in an upside down position. Next step for me is to find my center and balance without the use of a wall.


Now it’s your turn: What is your challenge? Is it a specific posture? Finding an inspiring series? Tell me your favorite posture and how you’re working it in practice.

Inspired Post – Planning for Success in October

Entrepreneur and fellow Dallasite Courtney over at Think & Grow Chick inspired this post outlining September’s results and October’s goal planning and challenges. I appreciate the simple way she outlined her post and we all know that accountability helps move the needle. Here I go!


I didn’t set goals for September the way that Courtney did so this section will be lean. Speaking to accomplishments in September, I did manage to post about my yoga journey not once but twice. At my 9-to-5, I got plenty of face-time with department leadership by proposing new projects outside the scope of my role. Finally, I managed to learn quite a bit by falling on my face – I might write about that experience – and saying “No” to a volunteer opportunity that I knew wouldn’t be fulfilled to the level needed by the organization leader.


This quarter of the year is all about development, from professional learning to expanding knowledge of yoga philosophy.

  1. Attend an industry learning and/or networking event – Like most people, the idea of networking fills me with a certain dread. Knowing that the benefit will be bringing back useful information that I can share with the department makes the idea (slightly) more palatable. I’ve pitched two organizations and will follow up to attend as many as my manager allows me.
  2. Increase my knowledge of yoga philosophy – As I learn about the pedagogy of yoga and develop a greater understanding of the physiology of the practice, I must supplement my understanding with historical texts and the latest research.
  3. Update my personal website, develop marketing materials – ROI is the name of the game. While I’ve enjoyed the yoga teacher training on a personal level, it was also a business decision to earn certification. Now I must press further to define who I am as a yoga teacher, my ideal clientele, pricing and availability, working with a studio or a gym and beyond.


  1. As much as I enjoy talking, I hate talking about myself, marketing myself, all of the above and beyond. Even the thought gives me heebie jeebies. I have to move beyond that.
  2. Recognizing that it’s okay to not have the answers. Often we feel like the best path should be illuminated instantaneously. This sets us up to be disappointed when the path is more winding than straight-and-narrow. Reading “Mastery” by George Leonard puts these concerns in perspective: it’s about the long haul, not instant gratification. Patience, grasshopper.


  1. Saying No from time to time – One of the more difficult things I’ve done this year with fantastic results. I wouldn’t call myself a people pleaser so that’s not the issue. I struggled with thinking that I wasn’t following up on what I signed up for. After evaluating my workload and how much I wanted to add, it was best for me to step away and I managed to do so without damaging the relationship.
  2. Talking to my network – In the past my circle has been so small that everyone in it shared my DNA. I’ve begun to realize that I’m limiting opportunities for feedback and connections by staying so close to home in creating my network of advisers, entrepreneurs and associates. Setting up coffee time and shooting out catch-up emails has netted me useful feedback about upcoming plans.

Next week we graduate from the teacher training – I expect it to emotional and exciting – and the real adventure begins. Eight weeks has flown by quickly.

Check out Think & Grow Chick and join the B-Side Facebook group for inspirational discussions with female entrepreneurs!