Opening, balancing within

I attended my regular Hatha Yoga class with Baxter tonight. I really look forward to that class. He makes yoga fun while making us laugh.

His class isn’t as intense as the other classes I take. But that’s OK. Variety is good. And don’t get me wrong, I am still working.

Tonight Baxter asked us to try our Vinyasa Flow with our eyes closed. I am normally not steady with my eyes closed. But I went with it. Eventually Baxter had us hold some poses with our eyes closed as well. Such as Triangle,Warrior II, Side Angle and Reverse Warrior.

Baxter had us hold the poses and make adjustments and keep balance internally instead of relying on what we normally rely on. It was definitely a challenge to maintain balance (something I struggle with even with my eyes open). But I appreciated the practice of it.

When something new is proposed in class or a pose I find difficult or dislike (such as Happy Baby)  is asked of by the instructor I have recently tried to adjust my attitude or feelings toward it and stay open and appreciate it. It’s a works in progress …

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Hatha Yoga on Sunday morning

This morning I attended the Hatha Yoga class instead of Vinyasa because we had brunch plans with out of state friends.

Hatha isn’t as intense as my regular Sunday Vinyasa class. But it was a good class and I like the teacher. I have had her as a sub before and she teaches the Sunday Restorative Yoga class.

I do regularly practice Hatha with a  class taught by Baxter on Wednesday evenings.

Vickie had us hold Downward Dog for 5 minutes in class this morning. It felt a lot longer than that. And it was rather intense. My arms and shoulders are a little sore after doing weights yesterday in body conditioning.

And my hands kept slipping on my mat. I have a cheap mat. I have been thinking about getting a new spendy yoga mat. I need to do a little research before I make the investment.

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Do I practice yoga or drink beer?

It was a super tough day at work today. It was just one of those days.

Normally on Wednesdays I attend a Hatha yoga class with Baxter.

Before I left work today I decided that I was skipping yoga and was instead going to partake in some adult beverages.

I wouldn’t have made to to my class on time tonight as the commute back to the East Bay took longer than normal. And I knew I would be too tired for the later yoga class.

I wanted to hit McNally’s for a drink or two to relax, unwind and forget about my shitty day. But Curt wanted to watch a football (soccer) match on TV and I wasn’t in the mood to hit the bar alone. And Curt came home with beer. So I am watching Lifetime Movie Network and drinking beer.

I am no on my second-ish beer. I feel relaxed and good and not guilty at all. Sometimes you need those breaks from the gym, from the yoga studio, from life, whatever.

Lately I have been trying to NOT drink during the week. I don’t want it to be a crutch. I feel it is healthier to not … Continue reading

Soaking in the sleep

It is 8:45 and I am getting sleepy. Well, it is just about my bedtime. I try to get in to bed between 9 and 9:30. Though sometimes it is closer to 10. Once in bed I usually fall asleep pretty quickly. (I get up at 5 a.m. for work.)

Last week I talked about how I was going through a bad cycle of sleep. Well, writing about that must have unjixed my sleeping curse. Because since that post I have slept pretty well.

Maybe I am just on a good sleep cycle. Maybe my very regular exercise and conscious healthy eating (no alcohol during the week) are helping me sleep. Though I do tend to sleep well after even just one glass of wine. Maybe my post really did lift a bad sleep curse. 🙂

Am I now cursing myself with bad sleep for the rest of the week? Nah, I don’t believe that stuff.

While waiting for Baxter’s 6 p.m. Hatha Yoga class at Namaste I snapped a shot of my toes and yoga mat–pictured to the left. In case you were wondering what that photo had to do with sleeping. Well, it has nothing to do … Continue reading

Changing up routine a bit

The commute on the shuttle bus from South San Francisco took more than an hour. Traffic was bad, likely because of the Giants baseball game.

I didn’t get home until about 5:50, just 10 minutes before my regular Wednesday night yoga class. When we were sitting in traffic I made up my mind that I would try the later class at 7:30. I have been wanting to try it–so this seems like a good reason to do so.

The class goes until 9, which is when I usually start winding down for bed. So I have already done my routine stuff: clothes ready for tomorrow; exercise clothes ready for tomorrow; light dinner (spicy black bean Morningstar burger, which was really tasty, and side salad with Salad Spritzer).

Hopefully I won’t get too comfy before I have to leave for the yoga studio. I have about a half an hour before I start my walk over.

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Exercise back in full swing after vacation hiatus

Since Wednesday I have been on track with the exercise (the food is another story, but it usually is).

I had planned to hit Vinyasa Yoga class (and take my mom) on Sunday. But we had flight issues and instead of coming in Saturday night about 8 p.m. we came in on Sunday at almost midnight.

I wanted to go to the noon spin class on Monday. But I felt pretty wacked out and I didn’t want to drive anywhere. So I just hung around the house doing laundry, going through the mail and paying bills and watching TV.

Wednesday was Hatha Yoga with Baxter. Man, I really love that class. Baxter is great. Thursday I did the spin bike in the work gym. I only had time for a 30-minute workout as I had something to do after work. But 30 minutes is better than nothing. Friday was Forrest Yoga with a sub. I normally like the regular teacher. But I think I liked it even better with the sub. That was an intense class. I could feel my thighs and shoulders today. And, of course, today, spin; abs/core; and body conditioning. I almost ditched the third class. But … Continue reading

Getting the stink out of my yoga mat

Recently in yoga as I was lying on my stomach with my forehead to my mat I noticed that it didn’t smell so great. I hate to admit this, but I am pretty sure I have never washed it.

I should at least use some disinfectant wipes on it. Which I, of course, never think of until I am lying face down on it.

I heard someone one time in class talking about how they washed their yoga mat and then they couldn’t use it for a while because it was still drying. At the yoga studio you can rent a mat for $1. And they seem pretty clean. At the gym, they have mats you can use. But they are pretty nasty. At least my yoga mat is my own nastiness.

So, disinfectant wipes are better than nothing, right? I went to that magic page of Google and asked how one cleans their yoga mat.

Here are some ways:

Wai Lana Yoga tells you why (and how) you should clean your yoga mat.

Daily Cup of Yoga talks about the stinky mat. And the introduction pretty much sounds like the experience I have with my mat at … Continue reading

Ouch! Sore arms, burning thighs

On Monday I did about 45 minutes of hills on the espinner at the work gym. After that I did a little bit of weights for my arms. I did the Butterfly Press and Chest Press. I also did some tricep work.

I skipped exercise yesterday as I had a work dinner to attend. But my arms were sore, especially where the armpit kinda is. Ouch! Whatever that muscle is where the shoulder meets the under arm? (According to this link, it looks like what I am trying to describe is part of the pectoralis major.)

Today still a little sore. I attended my regular Hatha Yoga class with Baxter at Namaste and I could really feel it in my arms and shoulders today when we were in particular poses. Man, the burn.

Also for some reason my thighs were on fire. Though that is a pretty regular occurrence when in particular yoga poses for more than what seems likes hours, but it is probably only 30 seconds, maybe a minute.

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Taking a day off from exercise routine

I came home from work today with every intention to attend my 6 p.m. Hatha Yoga class.

As soon as I stepped in the door I started not feeling it. I am a little tired and it is warm today. My evenings are normally so short because of my long commute and the fact that I get up so early and go to bed so early.

Plus I have worked out the past eight days in a row. So I think it is OK to take a break.

So I am lounging, watching Lifetime Movie Network and sipping some water. I feel a nap may be coming on as well.

Don’t forget about Comment Contest Tuesday. Comment and you could win a prize.

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Improving yoga poses, practice

Yup, another yoga post. Who knew I could write so much about yoga?

I have been practicing yoga semi-regularly for about four years now. There are poses that I feel I have made vast improvement with and others that come more easily. And there are those that are still difficult for me to do.

Until yesterday I didn’t realize I had been doing Upward Facing Dog incorrectly this whole time. Once Kristin, my Forrest Yoga instructor, pointed it out I made the correction. And I have to say it is much more intense and difficult than it was before.

I love that I am always learning something more about the practice of yoga, myself and my capabilities. I credit this to taking a variety of yoga classes with a variety of instructors.

The classes I am regularly taking right now are Hatha Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga and Forrest Yoga. I would also like to regularly add the Restorative Yoga class as well.

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