Friday, August 13, 2010

Back in the Flow

After almost three weeks of no weight lifting, modified yoga, a wrist brace and enough tiger balm to clear my sinuses for a year, I am back in action!    Despite my best efforts,  modified vinyasa classes without the whole high to low plank, up dog down dog flow have felt disjointed.  The flow was interrupted and my practice has felt weak.  Not today my blog friends! 

I showed up to Victoria's class today ready to rock and roll...or to flow, I suppose.  We actually ended up having a substitute yogini  - Evelyn the Ashtangi - who I have practiced with before and always enjoy.  Ashtanga  yoga, in my experience, doesn't have the rhythmic flow that vinyasa does.  However, there are the basic sun salutations and Evelyn always has us 'reset' our seated practice with the basic vinyasa (high low plank, up down dog).  It felt so good to be able to 'reset'.  ...  ...  ... I am struggling to explain to you the sense of fulfillment I feel from a complete practice.  I suppose its similar to how you feel after a good, strong run.  Or the accomplishment you feel after successfully cooking a multi-course is the calm after the storm feeling.  And it is great.

I am totally psyched for Power Yoga tomorrow morning.  No more cat-cow for this girl!!

I am also really excited to jump back into New Rules Stage 4.  I have felt dissatisfied with my whole work-out routine due to the lack of weight lifting.  I feel like my arms are back to square one and my metabolism has slowed to sloth speed again.  But no worries, come Monday I will be ruling the big boy weight room once again! 

**I promise to get the store up and running this weekend - look for the post on Monday.  Also, check back this weekend for an extra-special, un-work-out related post!**

Thursday, August 12, 2010


So after 5 days (including the weekend) of vacation, I had to drag myself out of bed this morning and get ready for work.  And it was painful.  What is it about getting up for work that is so hard?  I did not sleep in a single morning of fact, the latest I slept was 7:30am.  Yet getting up this morning was the usual ordeal of hitting the alarm for 45 minutes, laying on the couch and finally dragging my sorry self to the Keurig.  I have just got to get better at this whole morning thing.

Still, despite my groggy morning, it feels good to be back into the routine.  I feel like a giant dehydrated salt puff after vacation.  I drink a ton of water at work...on vacation or on weekends, no so much.  Then again, on vacation and on weekends I am not in front of a computer 10 hours a drinking water isn't nearly as exciting.  Still, I am excited to be hydrating again!  And I am excited to be eating a bland, veggie full, low sodium, wine-less lunch.  And I am excited to get in some kind of noon time workout.  And I would be excited for a yoga class and a healthy dinner except I am headed to the Pats game right after work, so we will just have to wait and see how that pans out.

I am also happy to be back to work because, as I have mentioned before, I like my days to have structure.  I like them to be planned out and have a purpose.  I find that having a routine, having a plan keeps me on track.  Without one, I am a complete mess.  If I do not have my snack and food choices planned out, I easily get derailed.  If I do not have a workout on my calender or in my  blackberry, it gets missed or pushed back for days.  I am a girl who needs structure...and I think that that is okay.  Though it would be nice if I could function without it.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What I Learned On My Summer Vacation

If you climb a mountain - any mountain - you will not be able to walk up and down stairs, lay on sand, or run for days without it feeling like a knife is going through your thighs.

If you go camping, bring a sleeping bag.  And a foam mattress.  And a cover for your tent.

Stop and appreciate a hike even if the climb is freaking you out.

Listen to your body and avoid power yoga and embrace YinYang Yoga while recovering from mountain hike.

Try not to drink wine at lunch everyday.  Try not to feel bad when you do.

Spending time with your mom is always a good idea.

Eat your vegetables...even if it means shoving them all in at night.

Balance ice coffees with water.  Also, balance wine with water.

A stop at a vineyard is always a good idea.

A week off of power yoga and weight lifting will do wonders for a bum wrist.

Covert Affairs is as good as I thought it would be.

Going back to work will be rough, but a two day work week is always a thing to celebrate.

Going back to work will be rough, but getting back into a routine always feels good.  And my body will thank me.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dude Yoga

Last night I went to YinYang Yoga and found something shocking -  I was the only girl in the class.  And there were four - four! - guys there.  Have you been to yoga class before?  Its chicks, man.  Maybe a guy thrown in for good measure, but mostly girls.  The fact that I was the only girl was a complete oddity.  Which lead me to wonder, why don't more guys take yoga classes?

Kim and I discussed this rare occurrence and she broke down the group for me:  2 dudes there for high blood pressure, 1 dude there for work related stress and 1 dude there because he is an athlete. And that breakdown makes sense - yoga is good for so many different reasons: agility, strength, flexibility, clarity and stress-reduction, to name just a few.  So why are guys and yoga (at least in the our region) such an rare breed?

I suppose that some guys may think that stretching is a girl thing.   Also, there is a lack of competitiveness that may deter some men.  Bill says it doesn't build strength for his particular purpose or needs...that it doesn't translate into his (read: 'boy') activities.

I am here to say this -

If you are an athlete, yoga will help your sport.  It will loosen your hips and add flexibility to your shoulders.  It will build your muscles and strengthen your core.  It will teach you mental toughness in a way you haven't learned it before.

If you have a stressful job, it will teach you how to manage stress.  It will teach you how to move beyond the everyday obstacles that clutter your time.  It will make you more focused and able to work with a calm mind.

If you have low self-esteem, it will teach you not to judge yourself by reflecting on others.  It will teach you to compete within yourself and to grow without judgment.  It will show you that you are strong where you thought you were weak.

Yoga is many things...but it is not just a 'chick' thing.  Yoga is for dudes too.

***Please note, an OpenSky Store launch post is coming.  I am having technical difficulties...namely that I am on vacation and have been at the beach instead of watching tutorials on how to set it up.  Patience my blog friends - it is coming. ***

Monday, August 9, 2010

Run, Camp, Hike, Breathe

Run:  Saturday morning I was up bright and early  to fit in a 5.7 mile run with my sister-in-law Meri.  We have been doing this same run the last few weekends and I think its fair to say that we have both been struggling with it.  The weather has been hot and humid, but more so than that, we just have not been getting in enough weekday miles.  This run, as we started out, we were both a little chilly which is a GREAT way to start a summer run.  We had also both made a conscious decision to fit in more weekday miles.  The result?  A great Saturday morning run.  I think that for the first time in awhile the two of us felt more in tune with our running. A little effort goes a long way!

Camp:  Soon thereafter, Bill and I left to go camping in New Hampshire.  Despite me forgetting to pack a few important, oh, the foam mattress or second sleeping bag...we managed to have a great camp out complete with a beautiful fire:

We had a typically camp-out dinner of hot dogs on sticks, crackers and hummus and grapes.  There are times when hot dogs are appropriate - camping is one of them!

Hike:  We slept awful - basically directly on the ground with roots under us.  Yuck.  But all that uncomfortableness helped us to get up early and we were on the road to the mountain a little before 6:00am and on the trail by 6:45!!  


Now here is the thing about hiking.  Bill is great at hiking.  Me?  Not so much.  We did Mount Washington last year and it nearly killed me ... I vowed to never go to the top of that mountain again.  Because here is the thing about mountains - they have 2 distinct areas:  The climb to the summit cone and the climb up the summit cone to the tippity top.  I do great up until the summit cone...the summit cone kills me.  It is a steep climb up what is basically a pile of rocks.  I suck at climbing up those rocks.  Its true that, physically, I am tired by that point -  2 hours of vertical climbing is no walk in the park.  But mentally, when I look up and all I see is a quarter mile of rocks and what appears to be the top of the mountain some what out of my view, I just shut down.  I start to believe that I am never going to make it.  On Mount Washington, the summit cone beat me.  I sat down and cried and had a totally break down.  Bill was good about it and I eventually hauled my butt up that mountain.  But I was defeated and it was a bad scene.  Which explains why this year we did Mt. Lafayette...a much smaller, more manageable mountain.  But the summit cone?  It almost beat me again.  I could feel myself shutting down, I could feel the tears coming on and the panic set in.  Bill asked if I needed a break and I admitted I did.  I stopped for a minute and drank some water.  Then I gave myself a stern mental talking to.  It was just a climb.  One foot in front of the other.  Thats it.  All I had to do was get out of that negative place in my head...and I did.  I got up that stupid pile of rocks and I was together enough mentally at the top to actually enjoy it!

(Oh hiking clothes, how unflattering you are)

Breathe:  We came directly home after the hike and this morning I was off to Awakening Yoga at Revelation...which is exactly what my tight hiking muscles needed.  Thankfully there did not appear to be power yoga after, so my legs got a break.  I can already feel them stiffening up again and I am looking forward to YinYang Yoga tonight!