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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2 Comments

Pick me, choose me, adjust me

ReflectionsfromtheMaticon

Not everyone likes a hands on yoga teacher. I love it. Sometimes it can be a little nerve-wracking, you’re already shaking in the pose and you see the teacher making her way over and all you can think is “I can’t reach my toes / my arm is extending as high as it can / my heart is as open as it’ll ever be / yoga is torture “ (and if something doesn’t feel right then you should definitely speak up!). Other times a little helping hand can open you to a pose in a whole new way. But mostly for me it’s the little touches. Helping you to further release into downward dog or child’s pose. Adding weight to you shoulders (and if you’re anything like me they’re permanently glued to my ears) in savasana.

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Perhaps it’s growing up with a dad who would teach me some basic poses to deal with heavy backpack aches and getting the one-on-one attention.  Or may it was growing up massage therapy and later physical therapy. Definitely the influence of being around yoga teachers and becoming one myself to children. I even took the practice of rubbing lotion on the kids feet which was something I picked up from my yoga teacher mentor & stepmother. Ok maybe not when I taught at the camp. Ps. have you seen children’s feet during the summer after a morning full of camp and beach to come to the yoga studio?

Hello hand sanitizer.

So when I realize that a teacher does adjustments, from that moment forward there is a constant replay in my mind:

Despite not having watched Grey’s Anatomy since like the first season, all I can hear a-la-Meredith at :50 is

::: pick me, choose me, adjust me :::

YourTurnIcon

Do you like hands-on teachers or see it as an invasion of space? 

 

 

 


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Yoga: 6/20

The first couple of June Wednesday yoga classes haven’t been awesome for me. I’ve been late or not had time to settle in. The teacher, who I normally enjoy, came across as pushy to me and I had trouble getting in synch. 

Last week redeemed it all. There was the 5 min discussion before the practice began that set the tone. 

I randomly checked my horoscope after reading HTP’s post. I don’t usually put too much belief into horoscopes but enjoy checking them out every once in while. 

Part of it was echoed during yoga :  

You are loving everything that your life is showing you. It’s revealing new ideas and options. – source

Not only was it mentally a good class but there was plenty of hip-flexor loving lunges. Silly bruised knee (still!) had me sitting out of crow but still got plenty of hip openers. 


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Yoga: Water Flow {6/18}

Most of the yoga classes I take are Vinyasa. However, as I’ve increased my practice and started taking classes during the day I’ve explored my options. Mondays there’s a Hatha class at my gym, I’ve taken it a couple of times and didn’t notice much difference than a studio class. The instructor had a very familiar approach plus she used eucalyptus which is a relaxing touch. That said, I’m not overly dedicated to the time & class. However after some rough weekend runs I decided to go this week.  

There was a sub, apparently he had been there last week and would be there next and viewed it as a three part series in which each class would have a focus. This class was water flow and energy. Now, I don’t get too far into energies and the deeper spirituality of yoga but I am opened minded to it and usually just take away what works for me. 

I had a hard time really “getting” what he was saying in terms of energies …. but it didn’t bring out my bratty yoga face! Maybe it was the small class size, maybe it was the sincerity and knowledge that he demonstrated (he had the control and strength over poses that I aim for) or maybe it was having no expectations for the class. Who knows.

We started off the class with massages! Massaging our faces, legs (shin splits still suck) and shoulders (still ridiculously tight). 

It wasn’t like a class that I’ve ever taken before,  I didn’t even break a sweat! 

 I don’t know if I’ll go back next week, but I definitely prefer that over Monday’s evening potential : yoga boot camp lady!


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Yoga: return of boot camp lady {6/7}

Since I skipped my usual Wednesday morning yoga class I decided to go to the Thursday morning, one I haven’t been to in a few weeks. I typecast my yoga instructors (hey, it’s not judging!) and Thursday’s I had decided was a massage therapist as well (no idea if that’s true). I was really looking forward to the deep practice, my back & shoulders were feeling the decrease in yoga and I wanted a good stretch before our final soccer game.

The last few classes i had been she was 5 min late so I didn’t think anything of it. My heart sank when a women came bustling in complaining about talking to NYSC staff and started tinkering with the stereo. I thought the class was canceled.

Worse – it was the yoga boot camp lady! I had one previous class with her when she was subbing…and refused to return until I knew the original teacher was back. I’m all for finding something to gain from each class but there are times when it’s just not worth it – and this was one of them.

If I wasn’t in the middle of the class with my own mat all laid out I would have left. Instead I was a brat again.

But here’s the thing: it wasn’t just the instructor’s personality that wasn’t clicking – I didn’t agree with her teaching style. I’m pretty open and I’m no super yogi but her warrior II arms were all over the place and during tree she had her foot up against her knee. Sounds silly but all basic things, things I taught 3 year olds. And because it’s easy to forget minor adjustments during practice (which is where instructor’s reminders are helpful) I looked around and noticed some of the class with their knees subject to injury. And what confuses me is that the entire time she was verbally guiding about injury prevention – just in a way that was hard to absorb.

My typecast for her is theater dancer, she had show hands (turned out arms), overly cheerful & dramatic.

I know I sound dramatic and negative but I was truly horrified. I understand it’s a gym yoga class and therefore maybe less experience or dedication but I thought I might injure myself by following along.

And don’t get me started on the mountain climbers, “we’re almost done” use of microphone and “drills.”

And yes, I should have just found my own place on the mat and done my own practice (without being a disruption). But the entire class had a little bit of “what-the-…” going on. One woman was in and out (& rude about it), some people were left standing on their mat wonder what exactly the “flow” was.

It wasn’t until the end of class that I noticed a woman a few mats over that would take the cue from the instructor and then work on her own strong practice…..I should have watched her.


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Yoga: 6/1

Rocked my knee pad during yoga last Friday, which came in handy during lunges.

It was a super crowded class (whoops, didn’t reserve a spot before hand).

The class focus was on the alignment of Triangle Pose {Trikonasana}

{image source / pose instructions}

I really need to work on opening up my shoulders …

My arms were struggling holding them up during all of the poses. 

I was feeling it in my sides from all the twists on Saturday morning.

Should keep up with this pose outside of the class room – targets abs, arms & stretches hips – perfect!

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 I have (secretly) (and admiringly)  started referring to my Wednesday yoga instructor as kickass Gumby. This women has such strength that not only can she quickly jump into a pose but she does it with control and grace. Much like the video above. The type of instructor that can easily contort into a pose that has 1/2 the class sighing in awe and 1/2 the class laughing in doubt. And while you know it will take a lot of practice to get to that level it opens up the room and encouragement to try new poses, to trust yourself to challenge yourself.