Anyone that does yoga knows that there are yoga poses you love and yoga poses you hate. I prefer to think positive so here are my favorites.

I took the long road to really discovering yoga.  Really discovering because I gave it a couple tries over the last couple years but it never stuck. The first time I ever did yoga, I went to a yoga class with my mom at the local community center, we went once. I remember feeling like all that breathing was going to make me faint and being bored. I wasn’t ready for yoga yet.

Fast forward a couple years. I started the P90x program and part of the program was yoga. I finished the P90x program and was able to see a real change in balance when doing the yoga, yet still yoga was the afterthought of the program.

Full discloser, I am a Beachbody Coach and I have only ever finished two programs. P90x as mentioned above, long before I became a coach and the 3 Week Yoga Retreat last October. It’s not because I don’t like the other programs I do, I just absolutely love yoga. While I was completing the 21 days of yoga, I found myself looking forward to yoga everyday. In 21 days, I was hooked. I now crave that place I go into when I am focused on my breathing and feeling myself go deeper in poses than before.

Eighteen days ago I challenged myself to 30 days of yoga. I chose 30 days because; one, a month of yoga sounded nice and two, research shows that it takes 66 days to form a new habit. So 30 days seemed like a good jumping off point.

Eighteen days in, these are my five favorite yoga poses and why I love them

Goddess Pose

Goddess Pose, because I mean what’s not to love? Just the title makes me feel like beautiful goddess when I am doing it. Then, after about three seconds in the pose, you realize that you are using just about every muscle in your lower body, your core, shoulder, arms and lower back. While my muscles shake I feel open and big.

Learning to take up space has been something that has always been hard for me. To be big and be present. When I was younger I wanted nothing more than to be a small petite girl. Instead I was 5’6 by 6th grade, basically a giant. When I am in goddess pose I am challenged to extend my body, open myself up and be present in the moment. I am challenged to be proud of my body and love it for its strength and its size. It’s not easy but that is why, out of all the yoga poses, goddess is one of my favorites.

Warrior Three Pose

This one is here because it challenges me the most (so far), of all the yoga poses I have tried. I run into tables and trip over nothing, I have always been a bit of a clutz. I am that girl, I joke and tell people that I have mastered falling safely. Really though, I have learned to fall with out getting hurt because I fall so, so often.

As you can probably imagine, I fell a lot when learning warrior three, in the 3 Week Yoga Retreat the instructors tell you to fall with a smile. So I fell a lot and I smiled a lot. And then I mastered it. Just kidding I still fall. But what I did learn was that I didn’t have this broken center of gravity, it just needed to be developed. Warrior three taught me to focus and control my center of balance.

Camel Pose

Camel pose is one of those yoga pose’s that when I first saw it I was like, nope, not going to happen. I been blessed with flexibility in all places, except by my back. My back hates me. Instead of turning off the video or just sitting there waiting for camel pose to be over I decided to give it a honest shot.

In the spirit of total honesty, I could not do the first, second or third time I tried. But I did keep trying, and now, while my back is still tight, I can get into this pose. It makes me feel like a badass, and reminds me that in yoga, slow and concentrated is the best way.

Pigeon Pose

This one, I fell in love with immediately. Like I said my back has always been tight and my lower back specifically. The area of my sciatic nerve causes me frequent pain and discomfort. I firmly believe that this pain is as a result of me wearing my backpack super low in school because I wanted to be cool. Do not do it kids, it’s not worth it.

I  have tried everything under the sun, in the past, to alleviate the pain but nothing really did the job. Mostly I just irritated my back more and made myself more uncomfortable. Then, I discovered pigeon pose. This is one of the yoga poses I go into outside of my typical yoga practice. It targets the hip rotators and the hip flexors, stretching the buttocks area and the long muscles on the front thighs and pelvis. Basically, the part of my body that is the tightest and most in need of yoga love. My body craves this pose.

Seated Leg Cradle

Super simple sounding I know, but it’s in here because, for me its crucial. This one is very similar to pigeon pose and that’s probably why I love it. This is a great recovery yoga pose. I like to think of it like a hug for my glutes. Whether I just ran 3 miles, did some serious squatting or just spent way to much time sitting at my desk, this pose saves my life. It opens my hips and releases the built up tension and pressure.

Sometimes, if my lower back and glutes are feeling especially tight I do this pose at bedtime. It helps release that tension in my glutes helping me to sleep better.

Have a favorite yoga pose you think I should try? Comment below and let me know!