The Adventures of Now

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


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Cranky Yoga

Was it the “downward dog, please” every.single.time. ?

Or

The 500 mountain climbers in plank?

Or

The 300 “straighten&bend” while in warrior II?

Or

The squats that sort of resemble chair pose but not really?

Must have been the gym instructor microphone and the sighs (not exhales) that were broadcasted. I wasn’t entirely convinced she was a yoga instructor but rather a dancer who picked up some yoga moves.

I tried to be open-minded, I did. ….

Only, 10 min into the class and I had a full fledge crank face on.

                            {source}

In fact, I apologize to the rest of the class for my bratty expressions. But I don’t think I found my new Monday Night Yoga class.

I was not prepared for a boot camp. Did my arms & abs need a challenge? Yes. Did my hip flexor need to be tested out? Yes. But I was looking for a deep stretch – body & mind.

….

The guys behind me were getting a lot out of the class. What equally impresses me as the people who are moving gracefully into a pose, are the people who are stepping outside their comfort zone…those that know when they need to step back into child’s pose.

Hopefully they weren’t too thrown off by the girl in front of them that was one breath away from an eye rolling sigh.

Hey, not every class is guaranteed to be zen.


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Triple Threat Tuesday

It’s Thursday.

But let’s talk about Tuesday {as in 2 days ago}.

After my unexpected rest from exhaustion and shin splints last week, I was determined to get back on track with my run Tuesday morning.  I pulled out 4.16 miles in 43 min for an average of 10:20  …. I didn’t die but it wasn’t my best run. I wore my compression sleeves which I normally save for after and it definitely helped.

I also took my first ice bath. Sort of. With the freezer still broken {not anymore!} I haven’t been able to ice properly which is asking for trouble. And since pretty much all major points of my legs hurt, I figured an ice bath would work. Only minus the ice. Instead just really cold water. Really cold. I can’t imagine a full on ice bath. Especially since it was only enough water that a baby would be safe in it. But my shins were happier.

………..

I also knew that keeping up with yoga is a must these days. Especially since I “iced” but didn’t stretched.

So I went to my first lunchtime yoga class! It was actually my first lunchtime anything class. Or lunchtime gym session. Or lunchtime me time.

Mixed thoughts.

The teacher played music so faintly I didn’t realize that it was on until the 2nd half of class and I’ve discovered that really throws off my practice. I also had a giant clock directly in front of me which was not helpful when I knew I had to get back to the office.

While all the gym classes have mirrors, this one seemed to have twice as many.

So it seemed really hard to focus “on the mat.”

But she targeted hip flexors which was much-needed (even if she did refer to them as protagonists in books…I didn’t get it).

It’s worth it to go back but definitely not my favorite class/instructor.

{pin}

I only got 1 foot off the ground at a time {step 1 & 2} but the first time I’ve attempted headstand in a long time. 

………..

I finished up the night with soccer. In one of our more intense, well-played games.

Last week the other team forfeited and we played each other, everyone in for the entire time. It was actually the most fun game yet  – we have a good group.

So 3 different activities in 1 day … that’s a record. 

I was a little nervous that I would burn myself out after last week but having Wednesday off & being able to sleep in definitely helped.

Can’t say it will be the new routine but it’s possible!

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Your turn:
Do you break up workouts throughout the day?
………..
Related Links:
8 Ice Bath Dos & Donts

 

 


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Monday Night Yoga: Free time to Exhale

 So I had grand plans that if we were given the week off between Christmas & New Years I would take full advantage of all the fitness classes my gym offers which I don’t usually get to go to,  as well as finally use passes to Pure Yoga and my gift certificate to Exhale.

Sometimes too many options and too much time leads to little action. 

But I did get to 2 Exhale classes. Both Slow Flow – aiming for a restorative approach and working on the whole knee/hip/groin thing.

{pin}

I went Saturday to the UES 12:15 with Diana Rilov. I went to the gym for a quick 30 min cardio warm up first and since I’m awful with timing and estimating how long it takes to get some place (and thinking the studio was closer to the gym than it was) I had to hustle – when it started to rain – wtf anyone else get caught in that quick shower? I snuck into class (luckily I wasn’t the only one so I wasn’t completely disruptive). Maybe it was because I jumped in but I was out of synch with the instructor. It was also my first time in that location and it’s a lot brighter. In a true NYC moment there was a fight between two women that involved a (barking) dog. Channel that Zen! At one point we went into that 1/2 table top 1/2 wheel pose. I actually have no idea what it’s called – I’d go with reaching table – but when someone asked the instructor her reply was “I don’t know but we just do it because it’s fun!” At first I thought she was a little batty but as she kept on exclaiming “it’s fun!” I realized that sometimes being on the mat isn’t only about letting it go to find that center point – sometimes it’s just about letting go and not any deeper than that.

{urban yoga girl via pin}

Since I jumped straight into the practice I also didn’t really see who I was practicing with until 1/2 way through the class. I was the youngest one there which is how I started out but far different from my usual gym class. It’s actually easier for me to not compare / judge / be competitive in that environment.

….

Just as I ended the previous year, I started the new one off with another Exhale class. This time at the Central Park South location where I’ve been previously. This location is to me a more traditional studio – darker & quieter. The instructor was Danielle Lee and her style was what I needed – she focused on legs & alignment.

….

It’s cliché & all zen sounding but it’s true : there’s something to learn from each class. Whether it’s more mind focused like in Saturday’s class or deepening a pose like Sunday or testing your strength like often in Monday night classes.

Which I didn’t go to this week. Again. Having the day off, I went to the gym mid day and the idea of having an early night was too alluring and a rare chance.

Since both my snooze button & blood-sugars won this morning over the gym I’m going to attempt a yoga class at the gym – we’ll see how that battle goes against work.

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Your turn:

Any yoga goals for the new year?

Do you prefer a certain type of environment / studio ? 

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Favorite Finds

The cost (time & money) of becoming a yoga instructor (of which there are over 50,000 of in the US). {yoga journal}

I’m pretty sure my liver is healthy (that whole not drinking thing…) but here are some yoga poses to help detox from the holidays. {blisstree}

I have to say that tweens was the hardest age group I’ve taught yoga to. 3-6 was my  target audience and that one summer I taught high schoolers I had only graduated a year before but it was in a library vs. a camp so I had better control. Still traumatized by the girls who sat Macrame-ing on the mat ignoring yoga time. Maybe because I never had my camp experience? Anywayssss, I totally would have checked out this video for guidance Bendigirl Yoga for Girls  , {fitbottom mamas}


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Monday Night Yoga: Slow & steady like a Tortoise

 

POSE OF THE DAY

{source)

With a groin injury, knee flare up & pinched neck/shoulder (I think ?) this was soooo not my pose. Hell, my knee wasn’t even liking lunges last night.

This most definitely didn’t happen.

{source}

  There was 0.02 seconds where I tried but then realized it was not going to even come close – and that’s ok.

Nothing about that pose was in my cards for the night so I’ll accept how far I got.

Not my best class – things hurt. But that’s what being on your mat is all about – listening to your body. After changing, I had 15 minutes before class – that rules out any cardio warm up since the class gets so crowded. Last night was the first time I felt the difference. I didn’t break a sweat (a rare occasion), even though cold air was drafting in I wore more clothes than I did during my morning run.  My body missed the warm up and every move felt more disconnected & as if I was playing a game “what hurts.”

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Your turn:

What’s a fitness move / yoga pose that you think is “easy” but your body just goes “nah, not gonna happen”?

Are you more frustrated when you can’t get into an easy pose even though you’ve done it before or you can’t do a new harder pose?

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Favorite Finds:

Yoga Cookie Cutters | via Fit Sugar

My step-mom got yoga cookies from a student one year that were awesome, I couldn’t find them the following year – but how much fun would it be to make you own yoga class out of cookies? I would totally have a yoga cookie party if I was still teaching! 


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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 : Headstands & Cell Phones

Yoga postures Shirshasana

Image via Wikipedia

I think last night may have been the most crowded yoga class I’ve ever been in. I appreciated the girl next to me knowing to stagger our mats so we didn’t hit each other. She knows what’s up (the girl next to her not so much).

At the start the instructor said he wanted to focus on inversions – foreshadowing headstands. My oh my, did we have to work for that headstand. Tons of planks, chaturangas, plus the usual warriors & utkatasanas…it was a full body challenge.

I didn’t get into headstand … or even close really. But I’ve done it before and I can do it again, you know, if I start practicing & working towards it.

My new years resolution was to start building arm muscles…I have none – no seriously – those revolving doors are heavy. But I decided to throw myself down the stairs instead (ie: trip). Why yes it was during the office holiday party, no I wasn’t drinking and yes people saw. But I got clearance back in February so can’t use that as an excuse anymore.

Anyways….yoga wasn’t the only thing full. I got out of work on time which left 20 minutes for cardio (aiming for elliptical) but every single machine was in use. You know, except for the bike that I hopped on and then realized was broken. So no cardio for me, bloodsugars weren’t too happy about that one.  But I got some quality foam rolling time instead. #hurtssogood

Oh! And during class while we were in triangle I noticed two mats over a girl texting. Now I usually have my phone with me at all times, to the point of separation anxiety. And I bring it into the studio with me ( partly because it’s my music for cardio before hand). But everyone knows it’s common courteously to turn it off or on vibrate and to not go near it until class it over. The teacher even quietly said something to her. I mean I know it’s part of a Chase commercial or whatever but even people who’ve never done yoga before know better.

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Your turn:

Do you often have to wait for a cardio machine at your gym?

Does it throw off your game plan or do you quickly adjust? 

Has someone ever used their cell phone during one of your yoga classes before? 

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Favorite Finds:

This Kashi Indigo Morning cereal looks yummy, I bet it would be good mixed in with yogurt. | Hungry Girl

I really need to use mint more often | Yum Sugar