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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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.

{image}

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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Dear (left) kneecap,

Dear (left) kneecap,

I’m sorry. Ever since that night (May 17th I believe)  in soccer when I slammed in the guy on the team, smashing you in to a shin guard or body part, you have taken quite the beating. It seems like there’s a gravitational pull to knocking you against something.

The moment it first happen I felt a sense of “oh crap what did I do?” because there were only a few games left and my main goal was to end the season injury free, ready for marathon training. While there was some intense throbbing you let me finish out the game (feeling tough might I add). I was in physical therapy at the time and in between games I thought about getting a knee pad to protect you – PT didn’t think it was a silly idea.

    though I kind of wish I had these :  {there’s such things as crawling knee pads??}

Boy was my outfit silly, hot pink compression sleeves, black knee pad & either yoga shorts or one time bright blue compression shorts (that was a sexy outfit).

Yes, one of those annoying self portraits … mostly for the vibrant one on the left…yes that is what I wore to soccer one night (our team shirt was the same blue color) + the knee pad. 

But it seems I need the knee pad even more off the field. I really did a number Memorial Day Weekend. You were still pretty painful, nothing like the usual knee pain – this had nothing to do with tendons and all about knee cap. I was out with friends on a boat (yay!) weary of any knee slapping – and trusted me – I moved hands many times as we were all squished in cars. Speaking of cars: the time we snuck a 5th person into a cab and she rested right on you – sorry about that, you weren’t too happy. Anyways, back to MDW, we were doing good until we stopped for lunch. As I climbed onto the dock I managed to slam you straight into the side of the boat. The little girl in front of me prevented me from some serious explicits. I made sure to get a cup of ice straight away at the bar, which wasn’t awkward at all, no not at all.

My physical therapist called me a klutz – he’s right. I have proceeded to hit you with my laptop numerous times, knock you into the bathroom wall, hit you on bathroom cabinet, as well as a few other corners. Never the right knee, oh no, only you, so that you are still bruised and have a lump after months.

Despite all that – thank youthankyouthank you for not interfering with my running! I have the rest of my knee ( and hip and groin and hip flexor and IT band to deal with …wow left side, really??) to deal with.

I promise to keep on icing you (you get more love the rest above when it comes to icing/heating) and wearing the knee pad for yoga…I know we’re still trying to figure out all those lunges but my hip flexor really needs them. I’m ok with holding off on crow pose.

Look, I’ve even started to use the knee pad as a mat holder so that I wouldn’t forget it. Pretty nifty of me if I do say so myself. And why yes, that is my own little PT corner.

So I’m sorry left knee cap, I really really don’t mean to be beating you up. Let’s work together to get healed up pretty soon ok?

{source}

– me


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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!