The Adventures of Now

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


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Goal Pose: Headstand

ReflectionsfromtheMaticon

One of my goal poses (not to be confused with fear pose) in yoga is to be able to hold a headstand. With my fear pose(s) it’s often over-thinking that holds me back from, with goal pose(s) I’ve given it lots of thought … I just haven’t gotten quite there yet.

Headstands are one of those poses that I’ve always been surrounded by but often forget about practicing it myself.  I always remember when my Dad and step-mom introduced yoga to my high school my senior year (soooo glad it wasn’t freshman) and while my step-mom was guiding us through one thing or another, my dad silently extended in to headstand  slowly catching the awe of everyone in the room – for me it was just dad being dad. He’s 6’6″ so it made for quite an impressive site.

When I taught children, they would happily flip into headstand – often a little too quickly. I’ve done plenty of donkey kicks myself and taught many. But the strength in headstands comes from the control.

Like  from 0:22  – 0:40 in this video from Equinox (but perhaps not in your underwear)

Control takes a little more concentration. So I’m trying to pay attention to certain steps and poses in my current classes that can help me gain that control and strength (looking at you core).

10 steps to a headstand from FitSguar

Wide-Legged-Forward-Bend

  My favorite yoga class has included a wide-legged forward bend in almost each one since I’ve been practicing in April. Looks simple enough – my hamstrings tell me otherwise. My head is not on the ground. Not even close. But through the guidance of the instructor, I’ve really tried to be more mindful of the pose. It’s getting there! Slowly but surely.

Dolphin-PlankAnother  pose that is a huge support is not just plank but Dolphin Plank and with babysteps, inching my feet forward. This is part strength and trust, as my feet move closer to the front my trust needs to build in the strength of my arms for the foundation of my headstand.

                                                                                                                                                                  Bound-Headstand-Against-Wall

 What I should be doing, is practicing at home – and this would be an excellent way to do so (not really an option at the gym).

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:: Related Links ::

How to headstand || Lululemon Blog

5 Reasons you can’t do a headstand yet (#fearpose) || FitSguar

Yoga Inversions 101 || Whole Living

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YourTurnIcon Headstand : challenge or child’s play? 

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Fear Pose: Wheel

ReflectionsfromtheMaticon

                           

  

 I’m scared of wheel pose.

 

I have been since gymnastic days … right there with cartwheels.

(Those still don’t happen)

Perhaps it’s a lack of confidence in my arm strength …. with good reason.

I start in bridge, really reaching my arms away, shoulder blades in, feet grounded. Maybe, just maybe lifting one leg in the air…and then the other.

Then it’s time to transition into wheel. Panic starts to set in.

I place my hands by my ears, ok I can do this, today will be the day, I will lift off the ground. 

My brain got the message, why hasn’t my arms?

Oh crap, I’m stuck in that awkward moment of arms not pulling lifting enough weight and my head is still on the mat – not quite reaching the crown of my head either but the back of my head which my neck says is a bad idea.

More panic, I can’t do it. I’m not strong enough, I’m going to hurt myself.

This has been an internal dialogue for quite some time.

Teaching kids yoga, this was one of their favorite poses. Luckily many knew it from gymnastics already and I was able to use a model student rather than myself – and when I didn’t I just had to cross my fingers that I would actually lift into wheel to show them.

Silly really.

This is definitely mind over matter.

Last year I added it to my list of goals – thinking that if I worked on arm strength (yeah, about that…) I would be able to pull it off.

But wishing doesn’t make something happen.

And I would often chicken out of the pose in class, out of fear of discomfort (not to be confused with pain).

So I kept it for a goal this year. I have just over a month to finish out with my favorite yoga classes before I move. I wanted to get back to the practice I had last spring, especially if I was taking a break from running I could give it more focus and really try poses.

While that hasn’t quite happened yet, it still remains a very achievable goal for March 1st.

(I have a feeling my arms might be a little sore from dragging boxes down 5 flights after that …I say I have nothing to wear now and that I got rid of most of my magazines … wait until moving day and I’ll be singing a different tune  complaining other wise) 

Last Monday I was in a relatively new yoga class, one that’s more restorative  where the teacher provides adjustments and a sense of soothing. It hadn’t been about finding the challenge in each pose but about listening to my body and really paying attention to what it needs (hello hipflexors).

And then she said the evil word : wheel pose.

But it was what she said right after it that made a difference: don’t even think about it.

Wheel pose. don’t even think about  it. just do it.

Alright Nike.

Don’t think. Just do. Ready set…

Go.

And I did.

Up up up & away into wheel.

Boy did it feel opening.

For the whole two breaths that it lasted.

This past Monday she called out wheel pose again.

And I blocked out the panic and remembered that brief moment I was in wheel  – I wanted that.

Don’t think, just do.

As my hands started to slip, I slowly lowered down, grabbed my towel and tried again.

Only for two or three breaths, but it was up.

Wheel is uncomfortable [to me] and there’s a lot to be worked on but I think before I leave NYC I should be able to hold a solid wheel for 5 breaths.

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:: Related Links ::


  40 min yoga session leading up to Wheel Pose || Yoga Journal 

4 steps to one-legged variation of Upward-Facing Bow Pose (pic above) || Yoga Journal

What not to do in Wheel Pose || Fit Sugar

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YourTurnIcon

                                                   What’s your fear pose?

 


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Stupid shin splints

They’re baaaaack.

Stupid shin splints.

What up shins : 

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While there’s some hot spots along the area for Anterior Stress Syndrome that reminds me of my high school sports days, the bigger issue is MTSS. Basically if anyone were to touch where the arrow points, I couldn’t be held accountable for my actions. At a standstill it’s tender with occasional light throbbing. On impact I can feel it jarring and travel more towards my Tibia (do I get my PHD now?). This is the same pin point spot that I thought might be on the verge of stress fracture back  in the spring.

 Interesting fact I just learned : shin splint pain is usually vertical where stress fracture pain is usually horizontal. Noted.  

So what’s the cause? Well here’s the perfect formula for nagging shin splints, no surprises here:

  • Running on the road
  • Hills
  • Picking up the pace
  • Not wearing compression sleeves
  • Not doing calf stretches aside from downward dog
  • Icing less
  • Not giving enough recovery time during last little phase.

In the past few weeks I’ve been running less around the reservoir (soft surface) and more on the road, whether it’s the central park loop (hello Harlem hills), east river or the side walk itself (worst offender). That alone means I should have been prepping my calves.

While I’m still figuring out pacing and have some seriously slow moments, I’ve also been picking up the pace on some miles. Another major contributor to beating up my calves & shins. Should have seen it coming.

Then add in hills? Yep, that’ll do it.

I only did 2 or 3 runs with out compression sleeves and had no major issues but against the other factors add support would have been helpful. This problem should be avoidable now. I found my second pair of sleeves (under my bed of course) which are the newer and therefore tighter. I also just got a pair of Pro Compression socks for recovery.

Stretching. Sigh. This may be one of the biggest reasons I should not run alone. So I don’t cop-out on stretching. I’m better than I use to be but I’m some one who needs to put some serious effort into stretching….in addition to yoga…right after my run. The key is to do it before I get back to my apartment. In Central Park, at the gym, hell on the sidewalk (like I don’t already).

Ice. I actually have been icing my left shin the most. But I need to do it more. And all those little ice cups taking over my freezer door? They’re ready for some ice massage. Nightly.

Ice door – check.  Prepping ice cups – check.  Ice pack (from a lunchbox), compression sleeves & sweatpants – check. 

Recovery. So shin splints are what kicked off the injury avalanche during my half marathon training. I ignored them. Then I thought I had a stress fracture. That was fun. I’m still not entirely convinced there wasn’t one to some degree. Meaning that I cut “recovery” pretty close. Part of me feels guilty & weak for cutting back lately,  by now I’ve officially skipped 2 runs and 1 option one, especially as I was just starting to pick it up. But knowing what ignoring the pain does, I’m trying to remember the long-term goal here. I’m going to take it day by day. If a run can happen – great, my mind will be even more in the game (once you can’t have something…). If cardio cross-training needs to happen then ok. Maybe I’ll get serious on the bike. If neither of those are making me happy between my ankles and my knees then more yoga it is. There will also be some serious sticking and foam rolling.

Stupid shin splints.  

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Have you ever battled with shin splints?

Any annoying re-occurring injuries?

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{Related Links}

Changing her stride got rid of shin splints || life of bylss

Fit Sugar has a bunch of advice re: shin splints that I’ve pinned


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Is that a bruise or shin splints

I don’t wear shin guards during soccer. I have them but have never worn them.

To be honest the socks don’t really fit over my calves – and it was hard enough finding that pair.

But it’s not required and not really necessary.

However, I did get a nice bruise on my shin the first few games and a nice one on the ankle last week {don’t I feel tough}. Therefore, when I started to feel tenderness on my left shin I assumed it was part of the bruising.

I had shin splints in the summer and my calves are next in line to my IT band of getting mad at me. So I knew it was something to pay attention to but since I only felt it near where I was kicked I didn’t think anything of it.

{source}

I was wrong. Posterior & Anterior – I’ll take them both.

After falling off track of training due to pure exhaustion by Sunday my shins were screaming at me. Both legs.

Lesson learned. Again.

Downward Dog time.

And time for me to take another look at Training for a marathon with shin splints from Fit Sugar.

With my freezer still broken I can’t use Ice Massage but I was using any ice I could get my hands on (ie: left over from my iced coffee).

And I put my compression sleeves to use – a friend even commented on my “hot pink leg warmers” at brunch yesterday.

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Losing Count: Why I stopped Food Journaling

I first learned to read nutrition labels when I was old enough to read (or sometime in elementary school), if sugar was one of the first 3 ingredients it wasn’t going in the shopping cart. I started paying attention to the numbers over ingredient list around 5th grade…when I was first introduced to carb counting. Gushers, Goldfish, Chewy granola bars, Rice Krispies treats, Dunkaroos – give me a kids snack from the 90s and I can probably tell you the carbs, serving size…..and calories.

I’m still learning how to deal with a sweet tooth & cravings. Growing up I walked a fine line of restriction when it came to food. Forced to eat when I didn’t want to, not being able to eat when I did. Trading one thing for another, making compromises, testing what I could get away with, trying to fit in but knowing early on that I knew better than most grownups. Control. It’s a funny thing.

I kept loose food journals…of all sizes. Not necessarily diligent in keeping a proper record didn’t hide the fact that the information constantly consumed my thoughts. Is that what stock brokers feel like ? Planning their next move, debating risk & rewards, watching for the next big trend.

It was high school that calories became constantly counted. Again, never fully diligent in writing it down but constantly consuming my thoughts – providing fear, anxiousness and guilt. Not enough to cause drastic actions and under the guise of basic nutrition it led to binging of sorts more than anything, yo-yoing between guilt, rebellion and force.

I love my iPhone, yes one might call me dependent. It has apps! Apps that record your blood-sugars on the go, that can count your calories, give you nutrition information instantly…it’s endless! I’ve tried the looseit! app and it’s great.

But here’s why I had to let it go:

It was a battle. One low blood-sugar could ruin my entire day. And it would make me feel defeated. An unplanned granola bar could put me 120-200 calories past my daily allocation, 60 calories could be stolen by an unwanted juice-box. It was another reminder of restriction. Like the times when I wanted a snack and couldn’t have the carbs.

Or the times when my blood-sugars were normal or even high yet I wanted a snack by choice – the guilt of eating when I didn’t have to.

In adapting to a crazy work schedule, frequent meals at the office, NYC dining and the world of Healthy Living Blogs, I discovered both spectrums of “whole foods.” After struggling with the vulnerability of “open” food from restaurant ordering, I finally connected with the various mind sets of wholesome eating.

Growing up with a health nut father I learned early on about honey vs white sugar or the benefits of whole grains. But growing up in the 90s where I had buyers choice at my moms it was all about the pre measured & pre packaged snacks – my dad’s kitchen would throw me off and scared me.

Restriction is a difficult thing. If you don’t know what you’re missing you may be ok but once that door of temptation opens you become vulnerable. It goes hand in hand with food. As much as I try to control food, often through restriction, it strongly controls me. My health, my decisions, my actions.

So in letting go of the obsessive calculations, I’m aiming to focus on the things that I can enjoy – and truly enjoying them. Seeing food as an experience rather than a controller.

And where does that leave me now? I still hate grocery shopping, am constantly picking up packages to look at nutrition labels and read the latest news. Energy bars, granola bars and protein bars still make up a large part of my diet. But that may equally have something to do with my lack of cooking.

I’ll never be able to let go of planning, knowing and calculating – but now I’m trying to manage it in a more wholistic approach.

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Related Links

I knew that just because every time I see a new product I instantly look at the nutrition label doesn’t mean that everyone else does. But only 9% look at calories and 1% (!!) look at other nutritional information ?? With the diet trends in America I would have expected more. | Fit Sugar

Calorie-Conscious without counting | Fit Sugar