Friday, September 17, 2010

The Right Way

I know a few of you have begun practicing yoga and it is inevitable that you will (or have) practiced under different yoga instructors.  Once you have practiced regularly under a few different instructors, you will notice that you are receiving different instructions and your instructors will use different words.  Oh yes fellow blog readers, no two yogis are the same.  Here is a brief example of the different instructions I receive from Kim and Victoria:

1)  Chair Pose/Awkward Pose/Lightening Pose - 1) knees apart or 2) knees together

2)  Warrior anything - 1) Front foot should intersect the arch of the back foot or 2) your heels should intersect

3) Breathing - 1) soft stomach when you breathe in or 2) tight stomach all the time

4) Eagle Arms - 1) thumb to center of forehead or 2) forearms up and out

At first this mish mash of directions freaked me out.  Which way was the right way? 

I believe that the answer is simple - the right way is whichever way your body is telling you to move on that particular day. 

Truth be told, I tend to practice which ever way I am being told to just to challenge my body and to not become too comfortable with any one style.  The different instructions give me a great chance to explore the different poses and see how my body and mind react.  In fact, I think it may be very beneficial to seek out different instructors, not only for different variations of poses but for different focuses and sequences.  One of my vinyasa classes features a lot of high to low plank, balancing poses and back bends...the other of my classes tends to hang out in crescent warrior and chair pose for minutes on end.  Those classes combined allow me to experience a full range of motion and poses and have taught me what I love and loathe about particular poses.

Now, I know that I am constantly urging you all to give yoga a try...but if you already are maybe you should consider trying out different instructors and styles, see what fits you best.  Explore your practice.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Eeyore Yoga

It has been no secret around this blog that I have been a little off lately - in a funk, feeling bad, basically just walking around with a giant Eeyore cloud.

Now, do not get me wrong.  For all intents and purposes I am fine - I just have a lot on my mind.  And while I was expressing all of this mind-stuff to a friend Tuesday night she offered some sage advice: "Meditate or Medicate."

This was said in jest, but it was like a slap to the head.  I hadn't practiced yoga in a week!  A Week!!  Its no wonder I felt drained...I needed time on my mat.

Needless to say, I dragged myself to Power Yoga at Revelation last night...and I do mean dragged.  This lack of energy thing is killing me.  But once I walked through the door, it was like my Eeyore cloud had lifted.

(Yoga Eeyore!!)

At the start of class, Kim asked us to really feel what our intention was, not to think about it.  The only thought or feeling that came to me was to breathe.  My intention was to breathe slow and deep and to focus on that breathe.  We ended up having a medium hard class and I was able to really focus on my breathing and the result was a calmer mind and a better mood!  In fact, last night I slept better than I have in days and I woke up this morning in a great mood.  I'm so glad to be practicing again, I may even put myself through the torture that is Internal Muscle Shift class tonight.

It is really easy sometimes to forget the habits that make us happy...I'm just glad someone reminded me of mine!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Negative Energy

I have been in an on and off again disagreement with one of the trainers in my gym.  Without getting into the overly long and ridiculous details, the basic problem is this:  I do not want a trainer.  This particular trainer is insistent that I need his services and has tried to bully me, sweet talk me, embarrass me and harass me into using his services.

His last display of downright unprofessionalism (think making an example out of me to his client such as "she would have better results with me right? You would never waste your time with those workouts" and publicly discussing my financial situation with his client, loudly, in front of about 8 other people) I decided to take action.

What kind of action?  I filled out a comment card.  Yup, thats it. Who knows if anyone even read it.  But ever since that last exchange and the comment card, things have changed.  The harassing has stopped.  What has also stopped is my being polite.  I tend to be friendly with everyone in the gym but now I make a point of giving him dirty looks, of avoiding his area of the gym and of not saying hello.

I hate how that feels.  I cannot stand negative energy and make it a point to avoid negative people...and it bothers me immensely that this person has driven me to be negative.  Negativity and anger really drain your energy, they bring you down.  They are useless emotions.

Today instead of doing my New Rules workout up in the big boy gym (Yay Stage 5!) I stayed down in the regular gym.  I finagled some open space and basically created my own workout station.  As you can imagine, this sucked up a ton of time.  And I felt bad for avoiding the big boy gym.

So basically, I feel lousy for all the negative energy and I feel lousy for avoiding the negative energy.  Awesome. 

I could smile and be nice like before...but that has previously just led to more advances despite my clear message that I am not interested.  The only answer I can come up with is to remain neutral and not angry.  To not let this person destroy my downtime in the gym.  To not be beat down by my own mind and the imaginary situations (and infinite screaming matches) it creates.  This trainer, I suppose in a way, has created a unique opportunity for me to practice all that I preach.  To not be controlled by my mind and to not be controlled by my emotions.

On Thursday I will go up to the big boy room.  I will remain neutral.  I will not be afraid.  And I will have a good workout.

Monday, September 13, 2010


I am back from vacation and had a great time!  Hopefully there are pictures to come soon! 

Usually at the end of any vacation - even a 2 day one - getting back into normal eating and fitness habits is tough.  Here are my tips for getting out of vacation mode and back into normal mode.

1)  Put away or give away any leftover vacation food. In my case, I gave away two boxes of snack cakes and brought a box of cookies to work.  You are probably wondering what I was doing with the items to begin with?  V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N ... it sometimes includes junk food.

2)  Make your next meal SUPER healthy!  My afternoon snack yesterday was Quaker Squares mixed with plain unsalted peanuts - satisfying and healthy.  My dinner with grilled chicken and eggplant along with roasted broccoli.

3)  Do not deprive yourself.  I usually go for something sweet after dinner (usually a scoop of dark chocolate peanut butter or a handful of sweet potato chips).  Last night was no different...except it has half of a leftover cookie.

4) Get a good nights sleep. It makes everything easier.

5)  Get back into your weekday food added snacks if necessary.  If you are like me, you maybe eat a little more when on vacation.  I think that that is normal.  Now, what happens is you show up at work the next day armed with a granola bar, some almonds, a peach, tuna and salad...not bad.  But you are going to be need to ease back into your normal routine or you are going to be cranky and may crash and burn.  I added some crackers and peanut butter to my usual lunch.

6) Get to the gym.  Go for a run.  Do SOMETHING to burn some calories and get rid of that vacation-is-over funk.

7)  Drink water - TONS.  You probably ingested a ton of sodium over vacation.  Flush it out.

By the end of your weekday, you should hopefully be back in your normal routine and not craving bizarre vacation food and drinks.  In fact, you should be feeling lighter and have a bit more energy.  I personally have a few more of these steps to complete before I am normalized!