Archive for the ‘Yoga’ Category

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Yoga some more

September 1, 2011

Did you know September is National Yoga Month?  (It’s also Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, Ovarian/Gynecological Cancer Awareness Month, Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and Leukemia and Lymphoma Awareness Month. I’m still not sure why they couldn’t spread these cancer awareness months out a little bit.)

I’m still going strong with my consecutive yoga, although not quite as strongly as I had hoped. Once I finished my second challenge – 44 Mornings of Yoga, I wanted to come up with a third challenge to get me through 100 consecutive days.  Something that would keep my morning yoga, but add a bit more upmph and pow to things.  A bit more of a challenge.  But I didn’t do it. I’ve just be waking up and doing a bit of yoga and ladida that’s it.  I wanted to hit the donation studio for Alicia’s classes, but half-marathon training makes that not possible.  And then today Katie posted about doing Baron Baptiste’s 40 Days To Personal Revolution.  And I’m intrigued.  40 days of yoga and mindfulness.  Awesome!  Of course, the women’s center here in town is adding Tuesday Thursday morning yoga class that would also fit in my schedule.  Another intriguing option.  I want to do it all.

And that might just be the problem.  I need to chill out. I am training to swim a mile.  I am training to complete a half-marathon.  I have completed 86 consecutive days of yoga and am aiming for 100.  I’m tracking my calories in and out. I’m doing strength training again for the first time in ages.  Oh and I’m now two months away from starting to write a damn novel in 30 days, while leading and encouraging a like minded group of individuals to do the same.  It’s possible, maybe, that I just need to reign myself in a little bit.  But doesn’t mean I’m not now in my car on the way to the bookstore to check out that book!

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Just breathe

June 16, 2011

I’ve met my 30 for 30 Yoga challenge head on. Over a week so far. Sometimes, it’s hard. I can be so tired and all I want is to just climb in between my sheets and go to sleep. But I find myself rolling out the yoga mat anyway.

Plus, I’m finding so much on that mat. I’ve never been one to do a lot of yoga at home. I get bored easily with DVD’s and even podcasts just don’t do much for me. I’ll use them from time to time, but they don’t do anything for my practice. I’ve always depended on studio classes for that. But studio classes are expensive and when I’m trying to train for a triathlon it’s hard to fit yoga classes in with running group, spin classes, swim time, and strength classes – it’s near impossible.

That impossibility has turned out to be a blessing. I am going so much deeper into my practice on my own. I’m doing poses that fit my mood, my body, my day. I’m focusing on my breath. I’m holding poses for as long as I want to hold them, and that’s longer than one might expect. I’ve always assumed that I wouldn’t find my own yoga sessions challenging. That I’d let myself wuss out during Warrior II or *shudder* chair pose. And maybe I don’t go into those poses often, but when I do, I hold them for at least six breaths. Which are deep, slow, relaxing. And often let me hold the poses for even longer.

After five years of practicing yoga, albeit often sporadically, I am learning how to breathe.

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Committed

June 8, 2011

Last Thursday, I signed up for Speed work. One of my co-workers is also doing it, and the wife of a guy I went to library school with. I’m happy to know I’ll have at least a couple people who aren’t super fast.  People who say I’m slow and mean it.

Then on Friday, I registered for my second triathlon! Another mini one.

On Sunday – I gave up sugar, white carbs, processed food (or at least heavily processed food), caffeine, and alcohol.  In a few days I go diary and gluten free for a few weeks before I slowly start adding things back in.

I’ve also decided to do a 30 for 30 challenge.  I’ll do 30 minutes of yoga for 30 days.

I am committed on so many levels.  And so far, I feel really good about it.

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Yoga Love

May 12, 2011

Tonight I decided to splurge and go to my yoga studio. I haven’t been there in about six months.  I drove over after work and parked, then unloaded the bike for a 40 minute ride before class.  A stranger on the road suggested raising my seat a couple of inches. I think it would be good for my knees and probably give me more power, but I keep having problems with my wrists hurting and my hands going numb if the seat is too high.  Biking used to be so easy.  I’m not sure why it is so hard and complicated these days. But back to yoga.

As soon as I walked in the door of the studio I’m greeted with the sign “I have arrived.  I am home.” How can you not smile at that?  And it really does feel true.  My instructor remembered me and my name, which I consider impressive after such a long time.  When the studio first opened I went to her class the most and I have to say she has made such an impact on me and my practice.  Often if I’m thinking negative thoughts I can think of her saying “You’re a rockstar” and I feel better.

While I’m not going to be able to go as often as I want just now, just being able to drop in from time to time is going to be amazing. I just have such a better EXPERIENCE when I go to a studio. I push myself harder both physically and mentally in live classes.  While my flexibility has certainly suffered over the past six months, I was happy that four months of triathlon training means that I have gained some muscle.  (If I hadn’t stopped strength training two months in I would have even more gosh darn in!)  It’s been years since I’ve been able to hold the warrior poses like I did.  My legs burned, but it was good thing.

I might, MIGHT be able to get a few months of unlimited yoga for a great price this summer and if that happens … crow pose.  (Source)

This was the pose that I was most proud of when I was going to yoga regularly 4 years ago.  It’s possible that I would get drunk at parties and then do this pose.  In skirts, by pools, on concrete.  I might have created fear that I would fall and smash my face, but I never did. I was a rockstar. I want to be back to that place again.  And I could do it.  Three months of the plan I’m on now?  I could do it.  And I would love it.

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Back to the past

May 10, 2011

Yesterday I went to strength training class for the first time in about two months.  Today I am feeling it.  Ouch.  A certain reminder of what I have lost by not strength training for months.  Tomorrow I’m going back, but there is a new instructor.  I’m excited and nervous.  Yesterday’s class was familiar, the same moves that we did two months ago.  Tomorrow I don’t know what to expect.

Today I did yoga for the first time in six months?  Sure I do some stretches here and there.  (Hello forward bends and twists!)  But have I been in ANY warrior pose? Not so much.  Chair pose?  Hell no.  I think I actually heard my hips screaming during triangle pose.  It was hard, but I pushed through.  Because I need it.  I’m hoping to be able to fit in some classes at the studio soon, but even if I can’t – I have to yoga at home.  I have DVD’s, podcasts, free streaming classes on the Blueray player, cheap downloands there is NO reason I can’t make time for yoga at least twice a week.

For a long time I’ve felt yoga is actually the key to my weightloss.  When I first lost all my weight I was going regularly.  When I was keeping off my weight (and not doing nearly as much cardio or calorie counting) I was going 3-4 times a week.  In the past year when I finally broke back down into the 100’s, I was going to the studio and running.  For 4 months I ran, swam, and biked and never got back under 200.  Is the difference the yoga?  I’m thinking maybe so.  In any case, we’ll soon see.