fitness · yoga

More impossible yoga poses, by Gracie and Bethie (and bad Yogi)

Bad yogi is one of my preferred online yoga teachers (although I admit that yoga wth Adriene is my absolute fav). I like Bad Yogi because there’s a real variety of short yoga practices, done with a sense of humor and lack of reverence. About 90 days ago, I signed up for Bad Yogi’s 100 poses 100 days email– each day for 100 days, you get an email with a link to one yoga pose, and a short youtube video for that pose. I’ve written some about this: yoga poses I simply can’t do. Some of these poses are ones that non-contortionist people with certain types of bodies can do (but others happen not to be able to do). Sam just wrote about one of them (that neither she nor I can do): Hero Pose. I think that anyone who does yoga knows that there are some poses that their body just balks at, and some poses their body finds easy or fun or relaxing. Everyone’s mileage varies.

And then there are the poses that just about no one can do, except maybe Bad Yogi on a good day. At least that’s what I thought, until I was on vacation with my sister and her kids and some of their friends. I enlisted my niece Gracie (17), and her good friend Bethie (18) to test-drive a few of the more advanced-looking poses. You can judge for yourself how doable you think they are in real life.

First up, sundial pose:

Bad yogi in sundial pose: seated with leg leg behind head, left arm holding it.
Bad yogi in sundial pose: seated with leg leg behind head, left arm holding it.

This pose involves first getting one of your legs behind your shoulder, and then using your free arm to grab the foot and extend the leg. Here’s Gracie and Bethie doing sundial:

Gracie and Bethie, with left legs up, kind of behind their arm, extending a bit, with artful other arm over head.
Gracie and Bethie, with left legs up, kind of behind their arm, extending a bit, with artful other arm over head.

I think they’re doing great.

Then, there’s the standing split:

Bad yogi in standing split-- head below knee, one leg almost straight in the air.
Bad yogi in standing split– head below knee, one leg almost straight up.

Gracie and Bethie got to work on this right away:

Gracie and Bethie in standing split. Each has a leg in the air, and neither is falling down.
Gracie and Bethie in standing split. Each has a leg in the air, and neither is falling down.

We decided to mix things up and try a balance pose next: side crow. Here’s bad Yogi:

Bad Yogi in side crow, balancing her thighs on her left upper arm. Really.
Bad Yogi in side crow, balancing her thighs on her left upper arm. Really.

Gracie and Bethie struggled a bit, and I couldn’t get a shot with both of them doing it at the same time, although both did do it. Here they are:

Gracie's in the air, and Bethie just finished a short but true side crow.
Gracie’s in the air, and Bethie just finished a short but true side crow.

Gracie and Bethie can totally give Bad Yogi a run for her money on standing balances. Here they all are in standing big toe hold:

Not all of the pose attempts sparked joy for everyone. Fair enough…

However, some other poses that I found too hard to do, they moved into gracefully and fluidly:

We could’ve done this all day long, but had pre-arranged plans for mini golf with the rest of the family, so I had to wrap things up. Just to show you all that there’s a yoga pose day out there for everyone, here’s Bad Yogi in child’s pose:

Bad yogi in child's pose, arms down by her side.
Bad yogi in child’s pose, arms down by her side.

My sister and I decided to show the younger generation that we can be bad Yogis too:

Me and my sister in child's pose, arms in front in variations.
Me and my sister in child’s pose, arms in front in variations.

In summary, we are all Bad Yogis, probably in all senses of the phrase. I’m okay with that.

Readers, is there a yoga pose that you love, that’s hard, or that makes you crack up or makes you feel like a swan or crow or nightingale (or other animal of your choosing)? Let me know- I’d love to hear from you.

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