Monday, October 18, 2010

Think I'm gonna do a home practice tonight. Crank up the space heater and bundle up, and see (remind myself, really) what a third consecutive day of practice can do for my body and soul.

Thursday night, my left hip finally got itself figured out. A huge pop during Eagle, which was slightly, briefly painful, and then I was feeling loose, flexible, easy, comfortable... It's funny, though: I'd just been getting to a point where I could balance in various postures, and all of a sudden — POOF! — my body makes a major shift and I'm starting from scratch all over, once again.

It's never too late, right? That's what I hear, anyway. ;)

(Inothernews: Ticket bought for a quick visit to San Diego Nov. 4 [Thursday afternoon] to Nov. 7 [Sunday night]! I so hope to visit BKTT, and meet some of my blogger amigas. :) )

Monday, October 11, 2010

Awesome blog meets awesomer yoga

One of my favorite blogs/bloggers, Ryan over at Pacing the Panic Room, hooked himself up with The Gap to make a "Do What You Love" mashup ad campaign of amazing people doing what they love, while wearing Gap's new jeans line.

via Pacing the Panic Room. I can't figure out how to make this picture a link, so click right there, right below this, and check out Afton.

His first installation features a Bikram yogini rock star! My outdated work computer won't play the video, so you should check it out and then tell me all about it.

OK? OK. Go.

No, go NOW.

Friday, October 8, 2010

speaking up

Good class last night. I was dizzy every so often, but I stood and breathed and it passed. I stood in a new spot, too. (Lucky for me, I am not wedded to any particular spot. I am usually one of the last people into the studio so I stand wherever there's space, which usually happens to be the front right side. Whatever.)

I didn't want to be in the front row because I wasn't sure I'd be a good, strong example for the couple new students we had. I stood in the back right corner, and it was almost chilly! What a weird sensation, to *not* want fans blowing on me. Can't imagine feeling that way again. Usually I am trying frantically to send telepathic messages to the instructor, offering bribes in exchange for turning on the fans. (It hasn't worked, yet, but I'll let you know.)

I realized sometime between class last night and right now, that most of the time, I forget that the studio is hot (with rare exceptions; see previous post). That sounds crazy, but I'm dead serious. I think I just identify the yoga as hard. Heat has become less of a factor. Weird, eh?

Just got back from the chiropractor's office, after postponing Wednesday's appointment until today because I was just so dang sore. Figured that my body might be more receptive to manipulation if I had just taken class. It was, but I was also geared up to speak with her about the pain. It was empowering, in a small way. She did less-intense (I can't go so far as to say gentle) work, and so far I don't feel too bad. And she scheduled my next appointment 10 days out, which is nice, too. It's good to work on things, but it's good to know when to back off, too. This is the first time I feel like she's actually heard what I'm saying regarding pain.

Got back to work and I saw this article about Rolfing in the NY Times. I thought it was interesting, and share-worthy because it mentions yoga's benefits (woot!) but also something near and dear to my heart (and back): fascia.

One line at the end made me chuckle a little bit, and reminded me of my extreme gratitude for yoga:
"It's almost as if your body locks up emotions," he said.

You think? ;)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

frustration and discomfort (and things I actually do like about fall)

The thing about winter, and why it doesn't get my wrath, is because it's supposed to be cold. I'm simply resigned to that.

Well, it's been a little while since I've posted. I'm hardly on the computer at home, and this is the crazy-busy time of year at work.

First things first, I suppose:
While I did not come close to finishing 30 classes in 30 days, I think I did between 15 and 20, which is a far more regular practice than I've had in a long time. I think it really helped in getting better results with the chiropractor, too. On the 26th, I did my first class without water — I think it was the first, anyway. I didn't plan on it, but I got to the studio late and didn't have time to fill my bottle nor grab a bottle from the cooler.

I didn't die. Actually, it wasn't even that bad. I wouldn't want to make it a regular thing, as I like having the option of taking a sip when I (think I) need it. But water-free class went fine. Class on the 30th was cancelled because of flooding and a power outage in the area, and I was crushed that there was no class. I know, it surprised me, too.

These days... ohhhhhh, these days.
Like I've written before, the initial problems that got me in the door to the chiropractor's office are pretty much resolved, which is fabulous. But my muscles are quite, very, surprisingly, unbelievably sore in the hours and day after my appointments. Then my weird skin pain kicked back up into high gear. I scratched an itch on my shoulder one night, and it felt like I was digging into a deep bruise. Awesome.

The BF and I took the dogs for a hike this past Saturday afternoon, and although the scenery was stunning, the hike was really physically challenging for me. Within a few minutes, I was out of breath, and my muscles (HELLO, HAMSTRINGS!!!) were screaming at me. I kept up, and threw sticks for the dogs while he climbed, but on the trip back to the car, my legs felt like Jell-O. By the time we got home, it was all I could do to take a shower and pass out. This hike wasn't exceptionally long, either. Gahhhh... Couldn't help but think, What is wrong with me???

And over the past two weeks, it has felt like my back muscles have been slowly developing the texture of beef jerky. Everything in spasm, all of the time, especially between my shoulderblades and spine. And the exhaustion, oh mannnn. Normally, when I get on the train in the morning and evening, I get a little something done before I sleep for about 20 minutes, whether it's knitting, editing, reading, or playing stupid games on my phone. Now, it's hard to stay awake for a few minutes until the conductor checks tickets. Then, my head drops and I probably drool all the way to work (or home).

Something funny:
All last week, I felt bombarded by "I love fall" sentiments. I love that everyone else loves fall, and some people write about it just beautifully.

Me, on the other hand, well, I do not love fall. Not even pumpkin spice lattes. After about a week of glorious 60ish-degree days, I've had enough, thanks. It portends only colder things to come, and cold makes my body very, very uncomfortable. (I once read a piece called "You Know You're From San Diego If..." and it included "...if it's below 60 degrees, you're freezing, and if it's above 85, you're dyyyying it's so hot." It's pathetisad, but mostly true, for me.) So BF's mom was waxing poetic Saturday about how lovely fall is, and made the mistake of asking if I didn't love it. I'd had it. I said something to the effect of, No, I don't. It gets cold, and I don't like being cold. It makes my body hurt. I'm ready to move to Southeast Asia where I can love hot-and-wet and hot-and-dry year-round. (And the food!)

Well, my little friends, I've learned to be careful what I wish for.
I went to yoga Sunday, and the room felt extra-hot. Maybe it's me, I thought, as I took a knee for the umpteenth time (the HAMSTRINGS!!! from the hike, 'member?). But then I noticed my neighbor R, who I've never seen sit, was sitting. And he's usually on the hot side of the room, anyway! The teacher temporarily opened the door between the studio and the lobby, and put the fans on full blast, and generally tried to cool us down even a smidge. In the first, long, savasana, it felt like the bottoms of my feet were actually on fire. Which I've experienced before (the feeling, not actual combustion), but never at this studio. Thank goodness this was not an accidentally-water-free class: My lips were cracking.

Turns out it was 116 degrees.

OK, UNIVERSE! I get it. I will not express my disdain for chill any longer. I will accept the temperature as it is every day, and rock the heating pad as often as I need to in an attempt to stay reasonably pliable. I will invest in SmartWool and live another several months wearing their long-janes under my jeans (I heart SmartWool).

Stay Positive:
In an effort to be positive, the BF and I are going to come up with one thing every day that is good about fall. (He loves autumn because it is prime rock-climbing season here, and prime surfing season at home [amazing that I still call it that, but that's another post for another day].) This is an easy list for him.

Through the fog of my crankiness and crybabyness and general wahh, wahhh of the past few weeks, and which you've just read through, I've come up with a few things I like:
Fewer tourists in the way at Grand Central and hindering passage along the sidewalks on my walk to work.
The smell of wood-burning fires.
No mosquitos!!! (This is a big LIKE.)
Wearing beanies.
The crunchy noise leaves make underfoot.
Rain. (Which I realize isn't limited to fall, but it reminds me of my very favoritestest season "at home": winter at the beach.)
Rooting for the little guys in the baseball playoffs. (Go Twins! Go Rays!)

Another positive: After one particularly chilly train ride home, it occurred to me that as hot yoga has helped me learn to love the heat, perhaps cold yoga would help me better deal with chills. My plan: Start a worldwide empire of yoga studios, renting out old meat lockers wherein we can practice a predetermined sequence of postures to a dialogue delivered by someone wearing a snowsuit. Class temperatures will not exceed 40 degrees (Fahrenheit, to clarify for any non-U.S. readers I might have) — mind over the matter, right? Instead of coconut-water coolers, we'll have hot chocolate and soup ready to serve up after class.

I think it could work... you?