April Review:

Tossed off course April 17.

Without going into too many details — never know who might read this — debauchery took place in that April 18-April 29 window. Of course, right?!

Who cares! It’s done with. Out the window. No more obsessing over it.

Progress was lost yet also gained. “A wise man sees failure as progress / A fool divorces his knowledge and misses the logic.” (Canibus)

For one finds it is through the so-coined failure where one sees most clearly the progress and perspective gained.

Falling off so starkly is not new; what is new is how quickly I got back up. Two weeks is a record for me! Honestly, it felt much longer than two weeks. But hey, that’s why we log things: data, and dates, don’t lie.

Why? What happened? Hmm..

Let’s say that I am not surprised I stumbled. I could feel it coming, and I managed it for a good month or so. I shall recalibrate, fine-tuning the wonderful servo-mechanism of the brain, and become that much stronger from it.

One of the primary reasons I fell off was the pursuit of perfection. In the end, this unattainable perfectionism is a truly a constant source of stress. It built until I could not take it anymore. The muscle of willpower collapsed, needing recovery. Fair enough.

This was one of the strongest lessons of bathing in the morass of “failure”: I released from the binds of perfectionism, at least a little bit. Obsessive-compulsive tendencies die slow, however.

At the track a middle-aged runner dropped some wisdom on me re: the nature of habits and mental blocks. To make a long story short, he reinforced that it is wise to go slowly. More specifically, he stated that the goal is to run (or otherwise practice) as hard as you can without strain. This allows you to increase your volume, as well as initiates a positive feedback loop for your brain.

When one goes all-out, one is establishing boundaries, limits, to one’s potential. So eventually you reach whatever your limit is — two miles, five miles, 90 minutes of yoga, whatever — and psychologically and biologically your brain prepares for “failure.”

That registers with me because I feel that is largely what happened in my case!

I was prepared to redouble my  efforts and start up exactly where I left off. But that is stubborn, obsessive and, in the end, counter-productive.

Start over again, but build up much more quickly. Go slowly. The body remembers and will click into the swing of things again, no doubt.

This month is about re-establishing baseline. Yoga is the number one priority. Lifting no longer has a seat at the table. I will probably resume lifting July 1. Yes, this was the original plan, synthesize back in March. Why didn’t I just stick with the original plan?! Better late than never, I s’pose.

Did I mention I plan to fast for 30 days? El oh el! Today is Day 2!

Week 1

May 1, Thursday:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, x5

Running:

.5 mile

Biking:

Light

May 2, Friday:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, x5

Standing Sequence:Padangusthasana, Padahasthasana

Tons of sweat. Very hot here in SoCal.

Running:

.5 mile

Biking: Light

May 3, Saturday:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, x5

Standing Sequence:Padangusthasana, Padahasthasana

Hiking: ~3 miles.

Had juice before the yoga. Worked up a lather. Felt incredible after! Initially intended to add the next two poses, but we’ll do that tomorrow.

Incredible how light and airy yoga left me!

May 4, Sunday:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, x5

Standing Sequence:

Padangusthasana, Padahasthasana

Utthita Trikonasana; Parivritta Trikonasana

Absurdly strong practice, as if the more focused and exact I was, pushing myself in the process, the more energy resulted — efficacious!

Plan on running and biking later.

Update: half mile run. Light biking.

May 5, Monday:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, x5

Standing Sequence:

Padangusthasana, Padahasthasana

Utthita Trikonasana; Parivritta Trikonasana

.75 mile run

Light biking

May 6, Tuesday:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, x5

Standing Sequence:

Padangusthasana, Padahasthasana

Utthita Trikonasana; Parivritta Trikonasana

Utthita Parsvakonasana; Parivritta Parsvakonasana

Six mile hike

Moderate biking

May 7, Wednesday:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, x5

Standing Sequence:

Padangusthasana, Padahasthasana

Utthita Trikonasana; Parivritta Trikonasana

Utthita Parsvakonasana; Parivritta Parsvakonasana

Tackled it sort of early-ish (9 AM); recently it had been in the evening. A bit tighter than I became used it. The past couple of practices have been exceedingly strong; this was more of a struggle.

Tempted to start lifting one day a week. But I will resist. I forgot just how good it feels to practice yoga, and predominantly only yoga, daily. How the body adjusts and becomes limber. How the mind becomes supple. It’s a gift; treasure it!

Will run .75 miles and include some light biking as well.

May 8, Thursday:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, x5

Standing Sequence:

Padangusthasana, Padahasthasana

Utthita Trikonasana; Parivritta Trikonasana

Utthita Parsvakonasana; Parivritta Parsvakonasana

Prasarita Padottanasana A, B, C, D

Running: .75 mile. Very fast pace. Inspired by the track team practicing, I s’pose. Been a while since I’ve ran when they were there. We missed each other in our own unspoken way.

Light biking.

May 9, Friday:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, x5

Standing Sequence:

Padangusthasana, Padahasthasana

Utthita Trikonasana; Parivritta Trikonasana

Utthita Parsvakonasana; Parivritta Parsvakonasana

Prasarita Padottanasana A, B, C, D

Blase. Not up for it today, but I got up and did it before I got too far along in talking myself to delay it. Buoyed by making the same decision yesterday.  The only difference is yesterday’s practice, mentally speaking, was pretty good.

Still feeling blah afterwards, though.

StrongLifts:

Squats: 175× 5
Bench Press: 155 x 5
Barbell Row: 125 x 5

Have been oscillating in my decision whether or not to lift. Surprising that today is the day I go with considering I felt depressed.

Yet the decision paid off: I feel like myself afterwards.

Will run .75 miles later.

May 10, Saturday:

6.7 mile hike in the AM.

Yoga in the evening, during sunset:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, x5

Standing Sequence:

Padangusthasana, Padahasthasana

Utthita Trikonasana; Parivritta Trikonasana

Utthita Parsvakonasana; Parivritta Parsvakonasana

Prasarita Padottanasana A, B, C, D

Parsvottanasana

Pretty sore today from the lifting. That was the main reason I procrastinated wrt yoga. But once I got warmed up I didn’t feel any pain from the soreness.

Inspiring practice as a result. It’s all in my mind. My body is amazing. Do not create self-limitations. Shatter them. Break through them. Conquer.

May 11, Sunday:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, x5

Standing Sequence:

Padangusthasana, Padahasthasana

Utthita Trikonasana; Parivritta Trikonasana

Utthita Parsvakonasana; Parivritta Parsvakonasana

Prasarita Padottanasana A, B, C, D

Parsvottanasana, Utthita Hasta Padangustasana A, B, D

Running: .75 miles

Moderate biking

May 12, Monday:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, x5

Standing Sequence:

Padangusthasana, Padahasthasana

Utthita Trikonasana; Parivritta Trikonasana

Utthita Parsvakonasana; Parivritta Parsvakonasana

Prasarita Padottanasana A, B, C, D

Parsvottanasana, Utthita Hasta Padangustasana A, B, D

Finishing Sequence:

Baddha Padmasana, Padmasana

Light biking

May 13, Tuesday:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, x5

Standing Sequence:

Padangusthasana, Padahasthasana

Utthita Trikonasana; Parivritta Trikonasana

Utthita Parsvakonasana; Parivritta Parsvakonasana

Finishing Sequence:

Baddha Padmasana, Padmasana

Light biking

May 14, Wednesday:

Full Moon in Scorpio!

I thought the 15th was the Full Moon. If I knew it was today, I would’ve done yoga up until balancing, and went for a run to boot!

Oh well. I do need this rest. I have noticed an increase in stress recently. It’s time for maintenance.

May 15, Thursday:

Off

Unplanned and impromptu. Stayed up playing Smash at Ben’s, eschewing discipline. Got about 3 hours of sleep and was so tired the following day I just slept. It was also 100+ degrees. There was no motivation. I took the day off and felt depressed. I could feel the increase in cortisol, making me ravenously hungry.

Fortunately I did not compound the poor decision-making and instead ate well.

May 16, Friday:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, x5

Standing Sequence:

Padangusthasana, Padahasthasana

Utthita Trikonasana; Parivritta Trikonasana

Utthita Parsvakonasana; Parivritta Parsvakonasana

Prasarita Padottanasana A, B, C, D

Parsvottanasana, Utthita Hasta Padangustasana A, B, D

Finishing Sequence:

Baddha Padmasana, Padmasana, Savasana

Muscle memory got me through this. I perform best when I am not looking ahead. My mind is so restless.

Light biking.

StrongLifts:

Squats: 175 x 5
Overhead Press: 105 x 5
Deadlift: 175 x 1

Started the day off feeling quite blah, but now I feel like myself. The lesson is clear: exercise is my medicine and must be respected. Want to feel good? Work good.

Stress nearly derailed this month’s positive momentum. Dodged a bullet and came out stronger for it. Let’s keep it up tomorrow.

This evening: .75 mile run. I’ll be running eight of the next nine days.

May 17, Saturday:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, x5

Standing Sequence:

Padangusthasana, Padahasthasana

Utthita Trikonasana; Parivritta Trikonasana

Utthita Parsvakonasana; Parivritta Parsvakonasana

Prasarita Padottanasana A, B, C, D

Parsvottanasana, Utthita Hasta Padangustasana A, B, D

Finishing Sequence:

Baddha Padmasana, Padmasana, Tolasana

Savasana

Light biking.

.75 mile run.

Light soreness from lifting.

May 18, Sunday:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, x5

Standing Sequence:

Padangusthasana, Padahasthasana

Utthita Trikonasana; Parivritta Trikonasana

Utthita Parsvakonasana; Parivritta Parsvakonasana

Prasarita Padottanasana A, B, C, D

Parsvottanasana, Utthita Hasta Padangustasana A, B, D

Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana

Finishing Sequence:

Baddha Padmasana, Padmasana, Tolasana

Savasana

Light biking.

.75 mile run.

Residual soreness and fatigued. Had a busy day so attacked the fitness early. Well worth it

May 19, Monday:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, x5

Standing Sequence:

Padangusthasana, Padahasthasana

Utthita Trikonasana; Parivritta Trikonasana

Utthita Parsvakonasana; Parivritta Parsvakonasana

Prasarita Padottanasana A, B, C, D

Parsvottanasana, Utthita Hasta Padangustasana A, B, D

Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana

Finishing Sequence:

Baddha Padmasana, Padmasana, Tolasana

Savasana

Running: .75 mile

Light biking

Writing this Wednesday. Can hardly remember what Monday was like. Believe yoga practice was in the evening.

May 20, Tuesday:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, x5

Standing Sequence:

Padangusthasana, Padahasthasana

Utthita Trikonasana; Parivritta Trikonasana

Utthita Parsvakonasana; Parivritta Parsvakonasana

Prasarita Padottanasana A, B, C, D

Parsvottanasana, Utthita Hasta Padangustasana A, B, D

Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana

Finishing Sequence:

Baddha Padmasana, Padmasana, Tolasana

Savasana

5:30 AM practice. Had school business to attend to. Earliest practice in quite some time.

What tenacity! I miss these early morning practices. Character building. Today’s practice inspired me to be a little more disciplined about when I practice. No later than 9-10 AM, I told myself. I preceded to break this rule the very next day, el oh el.

No running. Kind of wanted to lift but for time restraints.

May 21, Wednesday:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, x5

Standing Sequence:

Padangusthasana, Padahasthasana

Utthita Trikonasana; Parivritta Trikonasana

Utthita Parsvakonasana; Parivritta Parsvakonasana

Prasarita Padottanasana A, B, C, D

Parsvottanasana, Utthita Hasta Padangustasana A, B, D

Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana

Utkatasana

Finishing Sequence:

Urdhva Dhanurasana (x3), Paschimottanasana B

Baddha Padmasana, Padmasana, Tolasana

Savasana

Bit scared of adding Urdhva Dhanurasana, one of my favorite and least-favorite postures. But the energy of the practice was well above-average, so I did it. And I’m glad!

I won’t reach the goal deigned for the month — I’d need to add Utkatasana, Virabhadrasana A & B, Primary Series up to Janu Sirsasana A, and the entire Finishing Sequence — but I figured that out a few weeks ago. Getting through the entire Standing and Finishing would be quite the accomplishment.

Going slowly and minimizing strain is the most important part. It is a marathon, not a race! I must constantly remind myself of this because insecurity and my general impetuous nature impels me to go forward until I collapse. Yet collapsing is no fun, and more progress is made the slower I go. Seemingly contradictory to my linear thought process yet entirely accurate.

I’m also a bit wary of adding the lifting once a week. I have been sore for days after the first two weeks. I’m hoping it goes away. But even if it doesn’t I will keep lifting once a week, for I know I handled two and even three times a week for months at a time.

There is stubborn belly and oblique fat to burn, chest muscles to round out. My lower body looks fantastic but my upper body  and torso are still lacking a bit. I’m very close, however. Anywhere from six to twelve weeks, I tell myself.

StrongLifts:

Squats: 175× 5
Bench Press: 155 x 5
Barbell Row: 125 x 5

Running: .75 mile.

Light biking.

May 22,  Thursday:

P1010488

As a poor judge of myself, I’ve decided to upload pictures once a month or so to gauge aesthetic progress.

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, x5

Standing Sequence:

Padangusthasana, Padahasthasana

Utthita Trikonasana; Parivritta Trikonasana

Utthita Parsvakonasana; Parivritta Parsvakonasana

Prasarita Padottanasana A, B, C, D

Parsvottanasana, Utthita Hasta Padangustasana A, B, D

Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana

Utkatasana

Finishing Sequence:

Urdhva Dhanurasana (x3), Paschimottanasana B

Baddha Padmasana, Padmasana, Tolasana

Savasana

Practice is beginning to improve quite a bit!

I didn’t even feel particularly good, but wow, this was a strong, decisive, flexible practice.

Light biking. Running: .75 mile.

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