Stupid Yoga Tricks

One-Legged King Pigeon Pose

Back in October, I took part in Grow Soul Beautiful’s Yoga-A-Day Instagram challenge. It was fun to find new and interesting settings to practice yoga as well as new perspectives on the various asanas or poses – all through the lens of a camera. I learned to be more forgiving of myself (and how I expected to perform each of the poses) and most importantly, it rekindled a deeper love and connection to yoga.

I also discovered an amazing and supportive yoga community on Instagram, people who inspire me to deepen my practice and to continue to challenge myself. I also discovered more yoga challenges and decided to play along with some of them. Last week, as I was attempting one of these “challenge poses,” I managed to pull my hamstring. When I heard a slight “pop,” I was *so* mad at myself because it was completely my fault. I was stupid.

grasshopper pose

Here’s the thing. I tend to be a Type-A, competitive person which means that I often get caught in the comparison trap – comparing myself to other people and wanting to do as well or better instead of being proud of my own accomplishments and progress.

I thought that I had moved past this during the last year. As I recovered from knee surgery, I let go of my expectations for my recovery and my need to measure myself against the performance of other people, and I just let myself be in the process of recovery.


Then I started to get better. I started to run and to get back to “normal”. I started to feel normal and want to push myself a little bit more. At times, it felt like I had something to prove – that I’m back, that I’m normal, that I’m healed.

So I performed a stupid yoga trick when I probably shouldn’t have. I pushed myself a little bit harder and further than I probably should have.

I happened to have an appointment with my orthopedist scheduled for the day after I pulled my hamstring. After he checked out my knee and said it look good (still loose but the ligament is holding up and healing), I asked him about my hamstring. He examined me and asked me what I was doing. After I told him, he said, “Well, stop doing stupid yoga tricks.”

Yes sir.

Standing forward fold

In the new year, I’m going to step away from challenges and focus on my own body and my own workouts. I’m going to settle back into my own routine and find MY equilibrium again.

Do fitness challenges push you in a good way or do you tend to push past your limits? Do you know any stupid yoga tricks? 😉




  1. says

    I love this post! I realized as I was doing a “do something every day for 2 weeks” challenge for the second time, that some days I shouldn’t be doing anything — I should just be resting completely. I love the support you feel when doing a challenge, but I do think it can push you outside your safety zone physically, so it’s a delicate balance. For now, I’m avoiding any fitness challenges that involve doing anything every day!
    Jen recently posted..Travel TipsMy Profile

    • admin says

      I totally agree Jen. Whether with this yoga challenge or even other fitness challenges, I started to feel “bad” about taking rest days when really, our bodies need rest too!

    • admin says

      Thanks Danica. I agree that we need to push ourselves and continue to challenge ourselves but I think that it has to be for the right reason, no? For ourselves versus just to prove something. Hope you are well and happy holidays!

  2. says

    I think challenges are good to start you off on the right foot… but comparing yourself to others and pushing yourself in a bad way is no good. I think your new year of no challenges will be a great one :-)
    Andrea recently posted..MindfulnessMy Profile

    • admin says

      Yes, my doctor feels free to speak his mind. haha. It’s also because he’s a friend of my sister and so he doesn’t feel the need to hold back with me. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2013!

    • admin says

      Thanks my friend. I’ve gotten better about listening to my body in some realms but not others. Work in progress, right?

  3. says

    Oh dude, OUCH. I’ve done that before when doing a very deep seated forward bend (I quite liked the idea of being totally folded in half, I know, weird). I couldn’t practice for nearly a week.

    Feel better soon, and yay for working with your body and your needs/ wants.

    Happy Holidays!
    Alison recently posted..The OrdinaryMy Profile

  4. says

    I have never done a fitness challenge… I know crazy but, sometimes my life is so overwhelmingly busy the thought of adding one more thing is just too daunting… even if it’s only a few minutes of my time. Hope you’re doing well…. I have been taking a small break from blogs and SM to spend more quality time with my family. xoxo
    Lisa @ RunWiki recently posted..Tell me about your 2012My Profile

    • admin says

      Not crazy at all. There’s no reason to ad something on top of an already hectic life or to do a challenge just to do it, you know? I’m glad that you are spending quality time with your family and unplugging. Happy holidays my friend. xoxo

  5. says

    Ok so I have to say, while this is an excellent reminder to always listen to your OWN body when it comes to challenging yourself in new ways, I totally admire your desire to always challenge yourself…I’m WITH you on the Type A thing and totally get how you’d wind up caught up in the worldwind of the yoga-pose-a-day challenge thing, I am sure I would’ve done the same without intentionally doing so too. BUT I love what this taught you — to look inward more, but also to remember that you are very strong, in your own unique way, embrace that even more my friend!
    Jess recently posted..My voice.My Profile

    • admin says

      Thank you Jess. I agree that challenges are great and pushing yourself is great if it comes from within versus trying to prove something or outdo someone else. But you’re right – it has taught me to look inward more and to respect my strength.

    • admin says

      I remember reading that article and was one of the first things that came to mind. It’s funny because I do a great job keeping myself in check when I’m in class at a yoga studio but I guess I get into trouble when I’m left to my own devices. Luckily, my hamstring feels better and I’m going to give myself some more time to heal.

  6. says

    You mean like throwing myself into an extreme cardio conditioning program after months of doing nothing and suffering one asthma attack after the other? Yeah, I do stupid tricks like this all the time. I hope your hamstring feels better.
    Michelle recently posted..Blogger Day of SilenceMy Profile

  7. says

    Oh man. I’m sure you’ll heal up in no time. Your doctor sounds like a character. I went to yoga for the first time last week thinking it was going to be easy. Man did I look ridiculous. That stuff is much harder than I though. You look like a pro to me.

  8. says

    Hear hear. I’ve been so tempted to join in. Quite honestly I’ve stayed away since I have very little experience and don’t want to look like an idiot. But you also hit the nail on the head. I’m not ready for many of the poses. Yoga is something I want to fall into not push into. Great post.
    Heidi @BananaBuzzbomb recently posted..Trying Something NewMy Profile

    • admin says

      Yes – “yoga is something I want to fall into not push into.” So perfectly said. And it’s definitely my own fault for putting myself in that position and being stubborn.

  9. says

    Oh, no!! Fortunately (or unfortunately) I am not the most flexible person and have avoided the yoga challenges because, like you, I am a competitive person and know I would get hurt. But I can’t get myself into most of those positions in the first place, so I was too tempted to try. In general, though, I do jump on board with fitness challenges and need to pay more attention to what is good for ME. Is it something that will heal quickly?
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted..2012 Running Recap Link upMy Profile

    • admin says

      Thankfully, it’s feeling better now and not too sore. I going to lay off it a little bit and try to pay more attention to me.

    • admin says

      Yes, I also have the problem with running – seeing everyone running X miles at X pace and PRs. It makes me want to get after it so badly but I know that I can’t, not yet. A challenge-less future?

  10. says

    I push past where I should in my training but not in a way that can cause injury. In general, I’ve learned what I can and can’t do in training, and my notion of pushing past means going beyond exhaustion instead of straying near to injury.

    I’m going to try to integrate one yoga class a week to help with flexibility. Until then, any trick I do is stupid.
    Jonathan Aluzas recently posted..Fitness Confidential: 7 Ways I’m Completely Full of Sh**!My Profile

    • admin says

      See, this is my problem – I think that I know what my limits are i.e. to stay away from injury but then I’m stubborn and when those alarms go off in my head, sometimes I ignore them. Terrible. I look forward to hearing about your experience with yoga.

  11. says

    I’m working on finding the balance of pushing, but not pushing too hard! I’ve been doing yoga for a little over a year and I’m still fairly inflexible, though I am getting better! I was just getting to headstands before I had surgery and been scared to try them since because of the incision on my neck. (Note to self, must clear that w/ doctor next visit). I do love me a good pigeon pose though!
    uglyrunnerfeet recently posted..$5 worth of uglyMy Profile

  12. says

    Ummmm….I totally understand this. I’ve tried many of the more advanced poses thinking if I just pushed a little farther it would look perfect. I tweaked my hamstrings a couple of times. Nothing intense but enough that I felt very tight and sore for at least a week. Not smart. at. all. I’m competitive and it gets the best of me. I have to keep myself in check even in yoga class.

    Hope your hammie is feeling better soon! If it means anything, I think your yoga pics are beautiful no matter how advanced. :)
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted..Street FoodMy Profile

    • admin says

      Those more advanced poses and the bendy challenges are just so enticing, aren’t they?? It’s funny though because I find that I do a better job of keeping myself in check in class. I guess I shouldn’t be left to my own devices :-) Luckily, my hamstring feels better.

      And thank you. I love all of your photos too.

  13. says

    Ha! This made me laugh! You are so true in so many ways. Especially with the community on IG, easy to get caught up with it. I have to hold myself back at times. I’m glad your ligament is ok!!! I can already see progress… And, plus as I remind myself where will doing a full split get me in life ;). This is such a great post, and good for others to hear. Will publish on my FB page next week!
    Ali recently posted..Happy HolidaysMy Profile

  14. says

    It is hard not to do too much too soon. Remember the pushup-a-day challenge I participated in. Yup I was able to do more pushups at one time than ever before in my life. Now I have elbow tendonitis and have to restrict my workouts and am having trouble getting my house in order for our holiday celebration. I hope I finally learnt my lesson and in the future will focus only on what my body can do. This is the 4th time I’ve hurt myself from overdoing it. I feel your pain.

    • admin says

      Oh no!! I’m so sorry about your elbow! I hope that it feels better soon. Let’s make a pack to listen to our bodies more, OK?

  15. says

    Oh, Christine – I have been *there.* I hope you feel better soon! I have learned the hard way to not push my self – but then I do again and again and again, I hope your hamstring heals quickly!
    ilene recently posted..Coming HomeMy Profile

    • admin says

      Thank you my friend. Fortunately, it feels better – not 100% but getting there. Just have to remember that before I start sprinting off for a run :-)

  16. says

    I know I go to far so have only done a few of the crazy bendy poses. I like that the challenges motivated me to take yoga seriously instead of lamenting not running. I have been afraid that i will screw myself up so going pretty easy.

  17. says

    I love the Grow Soul Beautiful challenge but haven’t been participating as of late. I have a similar issue as you, I compare myself, get upset, work harder. My issue lies in the fact that if I believe I won’t be as good or better than someone else then I give up. My follow through is horrible. Although it sounds weird I wish I had the gumption to push through until I pulled my hamstring. Only without pulling my hamstring. :)
    Carli recently posted..Inspired You by Miss Mustard Seed (Marian Parsons)My Profile


  1. […] you all for your kind words of encouragement even though I was doing stupid yoga tricks. One thing that I just wanted to say was that I was in no way shape or form criticizing the […]

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