Strike a New Yoga Pose—and Photograph It

Make this your Healthiest Year Ever with this month’s tip from Laura “Sykora” Kasperzak, renowned yogi on Instagram and photographer.

Laura-Sykora-3Choose a new pose to focus on over the course of a month (like any of the poses in the #BalanceBasics Yoga Challenge). Then, once a week, like every Saturday, say, snap a photo of yourself doing it, recommends the renowned yogi and photographer, who inspires more than a million people to practice yoga via the handle “LauraSykora” on Instagram.

“You’ll be surprised at how taking a photo helps you keep focused on your practice. You don’t have to show it to anyone or share it on Instagram. It’s just great to see your progress.

We so often don’t register our accomplishments. I’m doing an Instagram yoga challenge this year that I did a year ago, and I can really see how far I’ve come, it’s amazing. I’ve amazed myself,” she says.

How to choose a pose:

“This method is how I’ve worked on my backbends and inversions, but it can be anything, like a tricky balance pose or something as simple as a forward bend. So many people can’t touch their toes, because we sit all day long. I know this well, as I work 9-to-5 for a software company.

The most questions I get from people who follow me on Instagram are about handstands or inversions. Most of the time it’s because it’s a cool thing to do, or it’s an appealing challenge. For some people it’s not in their practice, and this is a great way to add it. I’ve found it necessary to work on handstands outside of class, as there’s not much time devoted to them unless you’ve signed up for a workshop.

Regardless of your goal pose, and whether it demands you gain physical strength or flexibility, you’ll get emotional rewards by improving on something you never knew you could do. I’m upside down every day now, and it’s peaceful for me.”

On being a “goal-oriented” yogi:

“Yoga’s brought me a lot of happiness off the mat—and taking photos to share on Instagram has been a supportive experience for me, not a competitive one. I never thought yoga would be so important to me or that my yoga practice would help others. That’s a reward of doing this. I love helping other people.”

How to take a rad yoga photo of yourself:

“Set an interval timer on your camera, so it goes off every few seconds. (I use a Nikon). Or download app like TimerCam for your iPhone. You can also take a short video and grab a screen shot of yourself from there, and, of course have a yoga buddy snap a photo for you.”

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