Yoga, the ups and downs

It’s been a full year of consistent practice. A full year of Yin, Wheel Flow, TRX, and a smattering of other classes I could fit in.

Yin is a focused practice of holding passive poses to open up joints, increase flexibility, and improve blood flow.

Wheel Flow is a new thing. It incorporates a Vinyasa flow with a yoga wheel to improve strength and balance. We do inversions, it’s generally done warm 83+/- degrees. Lots of sweat and swearing. Plank is a resting pose in this class. It is vigorously challenging.

TRX is my favorite. Hard rock blaring, lots of sweat, body weight movement, developed by Navy Seals. It’s gritty, rough, challenging and I dig it.

I know my body has changed, because I used to wear the same sized clothes top and bottom. Now, I require 2 sizes larger on top to make room for my shoulders and today in Yin, we got into table top. When I looked in the mirror…..

Yep, I resemble a pit bull. I think I’ve got to do something about this. I just really dig the strength.

During my Zumba weight class today, we did some shadow boxing with weights. I was digging the muscles that were drenched in sweat.

If course,when I got home, I was still sweating after my shower, and every time I put my glasses on I fogged them up for the next two hours.

Great work out.

Plank anyone?

How do you sweat? With music, or without? What kinda music keeps you going when you sweat?

For me, it’s Hard driving rock for TRX, classical for Yin Yoga, and something deep bass and bluesy for wheel.

Three legged dog, wheel class, where plank is my resting pose.

My Sunday, Fun Day yoga classes. 

I love my yoga wheel, it’s a great prop.  The studio where I practice has whole classes that uses the yoga wheel for the Vinyasa flow. 

This is my wheel….A picture of it anyway, I bought it on Amazon. 


It has a little weight, so as we move through the flow, we have some weight to work our muscles in a different way.

Today our challenge was to take warrior one with the wheel, pivot forward to use the weight of the wheel to work our backs and thighs, go to plank, then down dog, to three legged dog, to one leg plank.


Here in Warrior 1, we would be holding wheel overhead, pivoting from the hips to point the wheel forward to hold the upper body parallel to the supporting thigh.  It was very hard. Dripping sweat difficult. 

After three rounds of pointing the wheel forward to upright Warrior 1 on one side we moved to down dog, then three legged dog. 


From here we had to move forward to the 1 legged plank.


These aren’t my photos. I snagged these off Pinterest.  I don’t take my phone into class.  Needless to say I was huffing and puffing by the time we got through three rounds of this flow.  Of course we had to do three rounds on each side.   My instructor thought she would kick up the challenge  by pulling on my wheel during my back work.  I had to stick my tongue out at her and make funny faces. At least she has a sense of humor. 

This is one of those classes where plank is my resting pose.  I always get an amazing work out, and have a good laugh because of the fun gals in the class. 

We always end our practice with inversions, and I’m really close to releasing my wheel on my headstand.  My shoulders are getting stronger by the day.


What are you doing today to challenge yourself, have fun ,or relax?

Slow and comfy Sunday


Cleaning house a little bit.  Going through the drawers and closets, letting go……giving up on some of the old things.

Since Harvey, and Irma I’ve had a bit of an awakening.  There is so much clutter that doesn’t matter.  

I’ve cleaned out so much of what “no longer serves me”.  That is a phrase that I’ve come to know in my yoga practice.

You have days when your strength, attitude, ability, and flow work.  You exit the class better than you were when you went in.  You have other days when you can’t keep your balance, your body rebels, and you wonder why nothing is working.  It’s all ok.  It’s important to let go of what isn’t working.

Breathing


Breathing, something we take for granted.  Air in, air out.

One of the focuses of my recent practice is mindful breathing to either energize or calm the body.

Mine has needed calming.  The recovery from Harvey is Horrific.  People are still displaced, the clean up and reconstruction will take a long time.

In a City of 5 plus million people; 150,000 homes have flood damage.  There are two schools of thought on that number, the first is the devastation of the sheer number.  The second is the pragmatic view that the number, no matter how big, is exceedingly small compared to the entire population of Houston.

The traffic has been horrible as one of the major toll roads just re-opened this week.  

The euphoria of charity, help, and heroism has dissolved into traffic jams, short tempers, and the “we’re so done” attitude toward pulling out dry wall, carpet, and flooded debris.  Let’s not even talk about mold.  That’s a whole book in itself.

So today, let’s take a few minutes to breath slowly and deeply. In and out.  Be calm, and someone buy some bleach.

Fitness goals, minor victories

It’s been 5 months since I started a regular exercise routine. 

Nothing big to report.  No miracle transformation, but there have been small milestones that I’m so happy to have reached. 

1.  There was the headstand. 

2. The 1 minute plank.

3.  The strength moves in the headstand.

4.  Coming to really enjoy my work outs.  My change in attitude astounds me.

5.  Touching my toes!


This might seem like the smallest of markers, but in all actuality….it’s huge for me.

Growing up taking dance lessons, being on the dance team (drill team) in high school, doing aerobics, maintaining my flexibility and splits now into my 50’s….why would touching my toes be such a big deal?

With all that flexibility, there was a tightness in my back that limited my range of motion in the forward fold.  With Yoga, I’ve now stretched and strengthened to the point where I can fold, and touch my toes.  It was a happy day.  A little milestone that had always eluded me, but now, it is mine.  Hello toes.

A happy Monday reaching a long overdue milestone.

When yoga makes you cry

This is the beginning of a journey, and I bit off more than I could chew.  Are you still beginning 4 months in?  How long did it take Louis and Clark to get to the Pacific?  Dang it, I’m going to cry again. 

As strong as I’ve gotten since March, I wasn’t prepared for today’s class, a hot class 96 degrees and far more advanced than I.  I’ve always been strong, until I wasn’t. This is a very long journey back. 

Needless to say, I was shaken, exhausted, and ready to barf at the end of the hour.  

Crow?  No….not yet.  No Chataranga yet.  No Ashtaranga yet.  No, I’m not into my wheel yet.  You want me to grab my big toe, and do a one arm one leg side plank?……Ok.  I actually did that move, now I will just get into my child pose, and catch my breath.  After 20 Vinyasa ( the rest portion of the class –which is plank, to up dog, to down dog in a fluid movement), planks held , 3 legged dogs to plank, runner’s pose, wild things, side planks, chair twists, tree on blocks, dancer’s pose on blocks, and whatever else turned me into a pile of weeping mush.

Tomorrow is another day, Scarlett.  If I can move tomorrow, I will try again.

Yoga made me cry……yoga is not for sissies.  Expletive here#%\\€£¥!!!

A Journey begins

Letting go of weight, focusing on strength, and being just who I am.

Transforming myself from the inside out.  Getting stronger by the minute. 


Daily practice, includes inversions.  The headstand is the beginning.  Adding the strength moves.  Then, letting go of the wheel.  Next the Forearm Stand.

This will be my 2nd month of regular 3x a week practice.  Strength and Flexibility are the goals. 

Stories behind the black eye!

I woke up extra tired today.

It didn’t seem like I could get going.

So I took my shower, and what did I see in the mirror when I got out?

A black eye!  Well a nasty black spot under my right eye.  The make up just can’t cover it up.

What the heck?  What an odd little patch?  I think the make-up makes it look worse.

The only thing I can think of that might have caused the odd discoloration would be practicing my headstands.

I got a new Yoga Wheel, and yesterday I showed off some of my headstand skill to my husband.  Let me tell you, he was impressed.

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Truly, he thought it was cool.

I must have busted a blood vessel, and ta-da, a little black eye.

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I need an awesome story to go along with it……it’s such a little patch.  Maybe I got hit in the eye with a sparkler?  Fight with a Fairy Princess with a tiny little fist?  Poked myself in the face with a pencil?

I almost hope it gets a little bigger, so I can come up with a better story.

Finding the humor in my workout

Image from Pinterest. 

Getting through the sun salutations yesterday, huffing and puffing only to find a little humor.

I wonder where I can get a set of these?

In my warrior yestday, the instructor is pushing down my shoulders, and straightening my arms….that was funny.

In my down dog, she tries to flatten the middle of my back, and push my shoulders down.

It was like I was one of those toys where you push one side and another side goes silly?  It was very Lucille Ball.

I didn’t quite get into my headstand.  I couldn’t figure out how to relax the muscles in my legs.  It wasn’t like I was using my legs, I just couldn’t relax them.  It didn’t seem like they were flexed.  It was a quandary.  “Clear your mind, relax your legs, engage your core, flex your feet.”  Sorry, I cleared my mind, what was after that?

I live to fight another day I guess, and try again at lunch on Friday.

Today I’m grateful that my planks are getting stronger, and I actually got my leg into a half lotus.  Trying not to think about my age does make Yoga a little easier.

Have you ever had a funny work out?