The Adventures of Now

exploring the mix of fun, fitness & health…as a diabetic


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Monday Night Yoga: Core Strength & Exhale

{source}

Exhale Slow Flow {taught by Stefanie Eris}

This class is perfect for you if you are just starting out or want to work on improving form and positioning. Exhale slow flow is a dynamic series that will breakdown yoga postures and focus on alignment. Enjoy an experience that can help to deepen your practice, build strength and flexibility, and at a level of challenge that will be determined by you.

I forgot what it’s like to do yoga in a studio.
Dark. Soothing. Quiet.
After spending so much time away from a studio I was intimidated by Exhale, it’s poshness, advanced classes and the devoted cries from Core Fusion.
{Silliness}
Convincing a co-worker of mine to come to a class, the 1x yogi  & I opted for the slow gentle class over Core Fusion.
Even though, I’ve long ago over come any intimidation or self-doubt in yoga practice  (what’s going on on my mat is my situation – what’s going on on yours is yours) I still needed someone to walk through the door with.
{Silliness}

One thing I couldn’t figure out : Do you bring a mat or is one provided? And not in the rent a mat for $2  type way. Answer: They have everything you could need  – props, water cooler, mat, locker room – all provided.

Already tight from skipping the past two weeks and my morning run, I was ready to sink into my muscles and feel the deeper stretch. Oh boy. I forgot how studio instructors will help make adjustments to your positioning. Some people may feel that as invasion of space – I think of it as close to a massage as I’m going to get as they help me reach deeper into the pose.

Lots of hip openers. I’m so use to my IT bands being the cause of attention to my legs. This week it has been every other muscles.

 I should be aiming at one class per week at Exhale.

 So despite the fact that I winced in that #hurtssogood kind of way all Monday morning, I knew more yoga would only make it better.

Lucky for me it was all about the core.

Boat Pose Yoga Journal{source

When I saw that the pose of the day was Boat Pose I sighed with relief, yay nothing crazy for when I was already hobbling. 

Again, little did I know. 

Hello abs, I know you’ve been a little neglected, time to get worked.

Early into the class we were holding planks and the instructor calls out “push through it” only to walk over and play some 80s hip hop “push through it song.” Planks are hard. Planks while laughing are harder. 

And my yoga adventures continue as I have another Urban Girl Squad event at Pure Yoga tomorrow night with a former co-worker.

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Your Turn:

 

 Have you ever been intimidated to take a group class? 

Are you a studio or gym yogi?

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Favorite Finds

The Domino Effect | Blog Her
Your actions have impact on others – no matter how small they are. 
Co-workers facing burnout | The Grindstone
 Oh boy have I seen this from all angles. all angles. 


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Monday Night Yoga: Breathing, Balancing & Boys

Tonights we took a break from planks and strength poses and focused on balance and breathing.

I’ve learned to carry over yoga breathing into everyday stressful situations (ie: work) – like how some people count to 10 – as a pause button. But I haven’t fully developed my breathing practice on the mat. I’m often out of sync, thinking about other things, or aim my attention at the poses …. I know, I know, that’s missing a big focus of yoga.

It’s just not my favorite part which is why I steer clear of Kundalini classes.

[ Funny note: I was trained in the Kundalini method for teaching kids – some how when you get to imagine colors & bubbles & fire-breathing dragons it’s more fun.]

After some alternate nostril breathing (by the way – 16 counts is long!) we moved on to balancing.

The class was crowded and I definitely felt that having limited space and being so close to people added a challenge.

The pose of the day was lord of the dance.

lord of the dance , natarajasana

{source}

At first glance this seemed super easy in comparison to the recent challenges, this is something that I do variations of while waiting for the subway or at the office.  One of those “stretch while you brush your teeth” poses.

But what’s nice about doing a “simpler pose” is digging a little deeper and really finding the right alignment . And sometimes even taking it a step farther

 and it goes even further. But we didn’t go there  – I had trouble even grasping my foot in both hands so I just worked on the details of the basic version.

mens yoga{source: not my dad, wasn’t in my class either but find out what a man should wear to yoga}

My dad was the one to introduce me to yoga so while I know yoga can be perceived as girly, I also know that real men do yoga too. My favorite instructor is male.

But that said, I do have to agree that  majority of my classes are filled with women.

Sometimes I see guys with girlfriends or girl friends.

Last night, next to me were a group of guys. I couldn’t tell if they were completely new or just starting out.

In my anthropological nature, I found it interesting to see how these guys handled the challenges. To me there’s something almost more impressive with someone wobbling through a pose but figuring themselves out  than a person who effortlessly & beautifully transforms.

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Your turn:

Do you find balance or strength poses more challenging ?

Do you enjoy breathing exercises?

 Is your yoga class pretty balanced in gender?

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Favorite Finds:

5 reasons you can’t do a headstand yet | Fit Sugar

Yoga proven to relive back pain | Fit Sugar

My first yoga poses were for back pain – my dad taught me stretches to counteract the heavy weight of my books & backpack. 

6 things to know before buying your first yoga mat | Fit Sugar

ok ok, maybe you should just go check out Fit Sugar because they have tons of great features.


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Monday Night Yoga : Holy Binds & finding a new goal

I think my yoga teacher somehow got the notice that I need to build arm strength.

There has been a lot of planks lately!

And arm balances.

And binds.

 

{yoga journal}

My ribs hurt on Tuesday, in that I didn’t know I even had those muscles kind of way.

But! What needs to go in bold is that I held this pose…only for a max of 2 seconds but feet were off the ground!

Take that arms.

Actually while doing the pose, there was a lot of sighing from the class and giving up but I didn’t feel defeated because I actually got closer to it than I thought I would. I realized that step of finding support on your triceps is crucial, once you’re comfortable there it’s easier to complete the movements.

Crow has been one of the poses I like to challenge myself the most with, I think this will also become one of my new goals.

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Your turn:

Do you have a goal pose? 

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Favorite Finds:

While none of these really fit my daily routine, here’s 26 ways to reuse an old yoga mat  | fit sugar


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Monday Night Yoga: Planks, Handstands & Newbies

I lied last week when I said there was a ton of planks. I didn’t know what I was talking about. Tonight had a ton of planks.  Like before we even got into some downward dogs. My shoulder was not a fan of this idea but I was determined to give it a worthy try. I knew that even  aside from the shoulder – my arm strength is nowhere near handstand level (goal?).  But! But that didn’t mean I wasn’t going to try. You’re never going to get anywhere if you don’t practice right? Isn’t that what they say?

Yoga Journal: Adho Mukha Vrksasana

I got as far as donkey kicks {what? I used to teach kids, they will always be donkey kicks to me}

Some other things I noticed in tonight’s class:

The girl next to me was wearing socks.

I also think she’s a beginner – I’m not judging I’m just saying that was a hard class to walk into & I hope it didn’t discourage her (b/c have I mentioned I love the instructor?)

There were two girls who were chatting before class that seemed knew as well – kind of that “what should we expect / what are we getting into” vibe – it made me smile – like welcome to the club.

{gah, sound pretentious much?}

Since last week was crazy packed, tonight when I got to the gym 25-20 minutes before class I decided to forgo cardio so that I could properly line up 15 min before hand.

Go figure, it was a 1/3 crowded.

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Your turn:

Have you ever worn socks during a yoga class?

Have you ever wanted to encourage someone next to you during a class?

What’s your favorite arm toning pose ?

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Favorite Finds:

Speaking of kid’s yoga : The Value of Kids Yoga Classes | NY Wellness Guide


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Monday Night Yoga: Crowded Shoulder Stands

I know I say this often but : I love my Monday night yoga class, and I’m not alone.  I was in line 10 minutes before class which got me one of the last mats & a make shift spot. And people squeezed in after. Short of being mat-to-mat, I think that may have been the most crowded class yet.

source: yoga journal

 

The pose of the day [I never paid attention to this but my teacher is now on twitter and has made official poses of the day] was shoulder stand. Boy did we work our way up. LOTS of chaturangas and upward dog. Despite the crowd , it was a great class; I felt strong, built up a sweat and worked my arms.

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Your turn:

Do you walk out of a crowded class or squeeze into a spot?

Do you know the longest you’ve ever held a shoulder stand?

The instructor mentioned how 15 minutes was recommended from Light on Yoga

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Favorite Finds: 

There’s a great article in the October issue of SELF magazine : The trials of a chubby yogi.

 Having been the kid in an adult class from the start I learned not to compare myself. But now more among peers, I can’t help notice at times that I’m often the line-backer of the class: a head taller and far from the slimmest & most graceful of the bunch.  Thought the article was a refreshing perspective. 

 


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Monday Night Yoga : I made a friend!

I made a friend last night!

Ok, it might be a little creepy/premature to pull out such labels but anyways…

While I’d like to think I’m friendly at the gym, I usually stay in my zone 

with my headphones on & nothing more than a smile or a nod.

Tonight, after a quick boost on the elliptical, as I was waiting in line for Yoga the girl in front of me & I started to chat. She was just starting her practice again after a long break, I’ve come & gone to this class for over a year now. After some talking I realized she was new to the gym & still figuring out what classes she liked. We bonded over mutual fear of spinning.

After class, we walked out together swapping gym preferences & small talk. We even built up a little networking, showing appreciation for each other’s industry & how we could help one another. A possible future gym buddy & someone to talk business with? Score!

Oh and Yoga tonight?

I packed a long sleeve pullover, a pair of shorts, a pair of capris and a t-shirt. ….. No sports bra. And I was wearing my worst strapless. Fail. Forget support (not much required)…I just feared it falling down… so needless to say, I was a little preoccupied during class & didn’t really get into the poses. Also, my hips and knees decided they weren’t quite ready for all the chair poses and my arms & core were definitely not ready for this:

Flying Crow

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Your turn:

Do you make friends at the gym / in a fitness class easily ?

What’s the most challenging pose / move that you’ve done recently?

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Favorite Finds:

Did you know that Pop-tarts was one of the top foods purchased for the hurricane?

According to Hungry Girl, today is National Toasted Marshmallow Day …should have had this for breakfast


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Monday Night Yoga : Where bloodsugars said no go

Monday Night Yoga.

The one class that I try to keep anything from getting in the way.

Only yesterday was a yo-yo of a day with bloodsugars and after several drops I cried mercy and headed home after work instead of the gym.  I just didn’t have it in me. I was worn down & out of [glucose monitor] strips.

What was worse, frustrated with a useless day, I over-treated last night.

Me: 0  Bloodsugars : 1

“]

One day ...

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Your turn:

What bums you out the most about missing your favorite fitness class?

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Favorite Finds

I may have missed my Monday night yoga class but here’s some poses before you go to bed | Fit Sugar