September Review:

To quote the announcer from Marvel vs. Capcom 2: Wonderful.

September was all about getting back up to speed. Smile, breathe, go slowly. Consistency and discipline are the watchwords, not ambition and maximization.

That was successful! Now in October we will slightly increase things and see where I am at. Slowly but surely. In my mind I figured it would take me six weeks of slow-and-steady to achieve my old prowess or better. We’ll see if that will be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

For the curious, my supplement intake has become quite bodacious over the years. After nine long, hard months, I finally have three long sought after supplemental additions worth sharing:

PlantFusion: I have been waiting to use all my old whey (thanks, Christina, for giving me yours way back in, I dunno, May?) and hemp. I liked hemp, but PlantFusion seems like the real deal.

After experimenting it has become clear that protein powder makes a significant difference in strength and recovery gains. Slightly off-topic but I always love linking to this article dispelling the myth of 1g/protein per pound of body weight. Largely due to that article my routine has become: protein shake three times a week: the day of and the following two days after lifting.

Phood: PlantFusion’s buddy. Apparently “ModCarb” is combined from six organic grains: oats, amaranth, buckwheat, millet, quinoa and chia. Baobab is, again apparently, a superfood. Phood appears to be a souped-up version of PlantFusion. It has PlantFusion’s protein (“near-identical”), the aforementioned ModCarb and Baobab, and cruciferous greens.

Superfood Extract: As if I needed more ORAC per serving, amirite? This has 18 berries, fruits and vegetables, including coffee, acai, pomegranate, green tea, passionfruit and watermelon (save your Black people jokes), none of which I consume more than sparingly. As the product page claims, one teaspoon is equivalent to 10 to 12 servings of fruits and vegetables.

I am consuming superfood extract with the same frequency as Phood and PlantFusion. Three other days of the week I am juicing fresh fruits and vegetables (and ginger root). If anything I am going overboard. Watch, I’m going to start aging in reverse!

Finally, I consume shilajit, moringa, chlorella, spirulina and maca powder daily. Hello, my name is OCD. The pleasure is all mine.

To help recovery, I take hot baths with Epsom salt and Lavender essential oil 5-7 times a week.

October Goals:

Yoga:

Add 15 minutes of Ashtanga poses. To be specific, let’s just toss something out there: Standing Sequence up to (but not including) Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana and the entirety of Finishing Sequence. Actually, that’s more like 30 minutes than 15.

Go slowly, Adam! Okay, how about this: Standing Sequence up to Parsvottanasana; entire Finishing Sequence. Now that’s probably 20 minutes, but that’s fine: the Finishing Sequence is not particularly challenging. (Standing Sequence is, however, brutally challenging!)

Okay, that’s 14 poses added. Hell, if I add 14 poses this month, I’ll be proud! Then 10 in November, 5 in December, and… -slapping myself-

This is what I call going slowly? Sigh.

StrongLifts:

One day a week

Squats: 190 5×5
Deadlift: 190 1×5
Overhead: 115  5x 5
Barbell Row: 140 5x 5
Bench: 170 5×5

In other words: 5 lbs to all my lifts. That is my plan every month: five pounds a month. I am not married to that plan, either. If I feel a bit worn out I’ll add five pounds every six weeks.

This is an adjustment. I was doing SL two to three times a week. This is the primary reason I burned out, in my opinion. I am a yogi, not a body builder. Focus on yoga first, second and third. Everything else is a distant fourth.

I am also adding extra work to the end of my StrongLift sessions:

Reverse Forearm Curls: 65 lb, 2 x 5
Wide-Armed Pull-ups: 2 x 5
Wide-Armed Push-ups:
2 x 15
Chin-ups: 2 x 5

No, my upper body is nothing to write home about. These are modest goals. I am a beginner here!

Assuming the curling bar weighs 25 (I actually have no idea; I simply Googled) I am reverse curling 65 lb. Sounds about right. Again, I’m not a bodybuilder and do not aspire to be one. I just want to be, look and feel well-above average in strength.

Biking:

50 miles a week

I love biking! I bike to school twice a week, which is an easy 40 miles right there. It’s 20 miles one-way. So when that starts feeling like a breeze, I’ll simply bike home, too, adding up to 40 more miles without needing to change my routine or finding the time. The other ten miles a week is fairly conservative: that is accomplished simply biking to stores for groceries, to the track, for fun, etc.

Running:

One mile a week

This is another reason why I feel like I burned out in the past: too much running. I was running 3.5 times a week for 1.25-1.5 miles a spurt, not including warm-up and cool-down (another half-mile). So that was about five miles a week.

Modest amount, yes… for a runner, which I am not. It’s something I enjoy doing, and therefore something I want to keep in the repertoire, but it’s not something I want to detract from my more serious pursuits.

It’s a lot of pounding to put on your body. I would find myself sore or, more often, tight during my yoga sessions. So I’m cutting back and replacing the high-intensity workouts (lifting and running) with more low-intensity (biking and yoga).

When I write all of this down it seems like a lot. Am I biting off more than I can chew? Perspective is appreciated. If it turns out I am, what will be the first to go? I don’t know! Indecisive Libra…

Let’s get on to it!

Wednesday, October 1:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, 5x (each)

Standing Sequence:

Padangusthasana, Padahastasana

Utthita Trikonasana, Parivrtta Trikonasana

Utthita Parsvakonasana, Parivrtta Parsvakonasana

Finishing Sequence:

Urdhva Dhanurasana x3, Paschimottanasana

Baddha Padmasana, Padmasana, Tolasana

Savasana

Mentally challenging. Physically I am becoming as light as a bird. Getting my ole elasticity back. Fluid! Agile! Lithe! Torque! Precision! Endurance!

Endurance is my biggest weakness, actually. That always comes last, it seems. Sure, my endurance is pretty good, but yoga requires great endurance, not just pretty good. Once my endurance comes back, all the aforementioned qualities become second-nature and we can truly begin the meditation which is, as B. K. S. Iyengar describes, a complete simultaneous awareness of all points of the body, not just a “single-pointed” awareness.

Oh boy.

Let’s just stay consistent. One day at a time.

StrongLifts:

Squats: 185 lb x 5

Bench: 165 lb x 5

Deadlift: 185 lb x 1

For the first time since starting back up my squats were explosive! My power is returning! Wow!

Bench? Not as simple. But I’m still getting stronger. When I started September, I benched 165 x 5, yes, but I weighed 162 or so. Now I’m still benching 165 x 5 but weigh 156 or so.

The “x 5” part wasn’t smooth. There were two instances of failure. Not the complete definition of failure, as I do not have a spotter, so that failure is quite uncomfortable. By failure I mean I simply stopped the consistent reps, for I highly suspected if I did not, the next rep would be complete, can’t-even-lift-the-bar-off-my-chest-enough-to-remove-myself-from-the-bench failure.

Deadlift was much stronger. But I still need to stay at this weight for another week or two.

Was going to bike ~10 miles but I am learning how to cut back. Imagine that! Tomorrow I’m biking 20 miles to school, so…

Thursday, October 2:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, 5x (each)

Standing Sequence:

Padangusthasana, Padahastasana

Utthita Trikonasana, Parivrtta Trikonasana

Utthita Parsvakonasana, Parivrtta Parsvakonasana

Finishing Sequence:

Urdhva Dhanurasana x3, Paschimottanasana

Baddha Padmasana, Padmasana, Tolasana

Savasana

6:30 AM.

Tight and sore but not too tight and sore. Can handle this once or twice a week.

Biked ~5 miles.

Friday, October 3:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, 5x (each)

Standing Sequence:

Padangusthasana, Padahastasana

Utthita Trikonasana, Parivrtta Trikonasana

Utthita Parsvakonasana, Parivrtta Parsvakonasana

Finishing Sequence:

Urdhva Dhanurasana x3, Paschimottanasana

Baddha Padmasana, Padmasana, Tolasana

Savasana

7:15 AM.

Much more sore than yesterday but not nearly as tight.

Maybe another half week of this and then start adding a pose or two.

Biked 15 miles (total, not consecutively).

Saturday, October 4:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, 5x (each)

Standing Sequence:

Padangusthasana, Padahastasana

Utthita Trikonasana, Parivrtta Trikonasana

Utthita Parsvakonasana, Parivrtta Parsvakonasana

Finishing Sequence:

Urdhva Dhanurasana x3, Paschimottanasana

Baddha Padmasana, Padmasana, Tolasana

Savasana

I don’t remember doing this, to be honest. But I know I did it… right?

Sunday, October 5:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, 5x (each)

Because I know it was Sunday where I only did Surya Namaskara.

Monday, October 6:

Two mile run w/ Omar.

Tuesday thru Thursday:

Cold.

Friday, October 10:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, 5x (each)

Still recovering from the cold. Also recovering from lethargy.

Saturday, October 11:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, 5x (each)

Standing Sequence:

Padangusthasana, Padahastasana

Utthita Trikonasana, Parivrtta Trikonasana

Utthita Parsvakonasana, Parivrtta Parsvakonasana

Prasarita Padottanasana A

Finishing Sequence:

Urdhva Dhanurasana x3, Paschimottanasana

Baddha Padmasana, Padmasana, Tolasana

Savasana

New pose! New energy! Weeeee!

Sunday, October 12:

Tears.

Monday, October 13:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, 5x (each)

Standing Sequence:

Padangusthasana, Padahastasana

Utthita Trikonasana, Parivrtta Trikonasana

Utthita Parsvakonasana, Parivrtta Parsvakonasana

Prasarita Padottanasana A

Finishing Sequence:

Urdhva Dhanurasana x3, Paschimottanasana

Baddha Padmasana, Padmasana, Tolasana

Savasana

Practice has never felt this light. Something fundamentally changed today. It felt closer to yoga than anything ever before.

Tuesday, October 14:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, 5x (each)

Standing Sequence:

Padangusthasana, Padahastasana

Utthita Trikonasana, Parivrtta Trikonasana

Utthita Parsvakonasana, Parivrtta Parsvakonasana

Prasarita Padottanasana A, B

Finishing Sequence:

Urdhva Dhanurasana x3, Paschimottanasana

Baddha Padmasana, Padmasana, Tolasana

Savasana

First thing in the morning. 7:30 AM.

Biked 20 miles.

Wednesday, October 15:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, 5x (each)

Standing Sequence:

Padangusthasana, Padahastasana

Utthita Trikonasana, Parivrtta Trikonasana

Utthita Parsvakonasana, Parivrtta Parsvakonasana

Prasarita Padottanasana A, B, C

Finishing Sequence:

Urdhva Dhanurasana x3, Paschimottanasana

Baddha Padmasana, Padmasana, Tolasana

Savasana

7:30 AM.

Biking around the city. Nothing too major. Five to ten miles, depending on if I go to WinCo and Sprouts.

Thursday, October 16:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, 5x (each)

Standing Sequence:

Padangusthasana, Padahastasana

Utthita Trikonasana, Parivrtta Trikonasana

Utthita Parsvakonasana, Parivrtta Parsvakonasana

Prasarita Padottanasana A, B, C, D

Finishing Sequence:

Urdhva Dhanurasana x3, Paschimottanasana

Baddha Padmasana, Padmasana, Tolasana

Savasana

One added pose a day keeps the doctor away! Practice coming along nicely!

7:30 AM.

Biked ~30 miles.

Friday, October 17:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, 5x (each)

Standing Sequence:

Padangusthasana, Padahastasana

Utthita Trikonasana, Parivrtta Trikonasana

Utthita Parsvakonasana, Parivrtta Parsvakonasana

Prasarita Padottanasana A, B, C, D

Parvottanasana

Finishing Sequence:

Urdhva Dhanurasana x3, Paschimottanasana

Baddha Padmasana, Padmasana, Tolasana

Savasana

11:15 AM or so.

Will likely add the rest of Finishing tomorrow. New goal: All of Standing and Finishing by Nov. 1.

Biked ~5 miles.

Saturday, October 18:

Ran with Nathaniel. 1 or 1.25 miles. I think it was 4 laps, he said 5. He was quite confident. I was not at all. I still think it was four, however!

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, 5x (each)

Standing Sequence:

Padangusthasana, Padahastasana

Utthita Trikonasana, Parivrtta Trikonasana

Utthita Parsvakonasana, Parivrtta Parsvakonasana

Prasarita Padottanasana A, B, C, D

Parvottanasana

Finishing Sequence:

Urdhva Dhanurasana x3, Paschimottanasana

Sarvangasana (10 breaths)

Halasana; Karnapindasana

Urdhva Padmasana; Pindasana

Matsyasana; Uttana Padasana

Baddha Padmasana, Padmasana, Tolasana (7 breaths)

Savasana

Details. It slipped my mind to number the poses that need numbering, such as the number of breaths on Tolasana (traditionally one is supposed to take 100 breaths!) and Urdhva Dhanurasana (I’ve been doing it x3 for a while but forgot to log it until now). And Sarvangasana, which I believe is traditionally 15 breaths but am not sure.

So that is seven poses added, and ya know what? I felt like I could’ve done a lot more. I was not tired by the end. Not at all.

So I’ll do all of Finishing tomorrow, as well as my favorite (slash least-favorite) postures in all of Ashtanga: Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana!

Sunday, October 19:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, 5x (each)

Standing Sequence:

Padangusthasana, Padahastasana

Utthita Trikonasana, Parivrtta Trikonasana

Utthita Parsvakonasana, Parivrtta Parsvakonasana

Prasarita Padottanasana A, B, C, D

Parvottanasana

Utthita Hasta Padangustasana A, B, D

Finishing Sequence:

Urdhva Dhanurasana x3, Paschimottanasana

Sarvangasana (10 breaths)

Halasana; Karnapindasana

Urdhva Padmasana; Pindasana

Matsyasana; Uttana Padasana

Sirsasana A (10 breaths), Sirsasana B (5 breaths)

Baddha Padmasana, Padmasana, Tolasana (7 breaths)

Savasana

Strong!

Monday, October 20:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, 5x (each)

Standing Sequence:

Padangusthasana, Padahastasana

Utthita Trikonasana, Parivrtta Trikonasana

Utthita Parsvakonasana, Parivrtta Parsvakonasana

Prasarita Padottanasana A, B, C, D

Parvottanasana

Utthita Hasta Padangustasana A, B, D

Finishing Sequence:

Urdhva Dhanurasana x3, Paschimottanasana

Sarvangasana (10 breaths)

Halasana; Karnapindasana

Urdhva Padmasana; Pindasana

Matsyasana; Uttana Padasana

Sirsasana A (10 breaths), Sirsasana B (5 breaths)

Baddha Padmasana, Padmasana, Tolasana (6 breaths)

Savasana

Tuesday, October 21:

Biked 10 miles.

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, 5x (each)

Wednesday, October 22:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, 5x (each)

Standing Sequence:

Padangusthasana, Padahastasana

Utthita Trikonasana, Parivrtta Trikonasana

Utthita Parsvakonasana, Parivrtta Parsvakonasana

Prasarita Padottanasana A, B, C, D

Parvottanasana

Utthita Hasta Padangustasana A, B, D

Finishing Sequence:

Urdhva Dhanurasana x3, Paschimottanasana

Sarvangasana (10 breaths)

Halasana; Karnapindasana

Urdhva Padmasana; Pindasana

Matsyasana; Uttana Padasana

Sirsasana A (10 breaths), Sirsasana B (5 breaths)

Baddha Padmasana, Padmasana, Tolasana (6 breaths)

Savasana

Took all the mental fortitude to do this. My brain is foggy. Low on concentration, willpower, focus, motivation.

Dopamine.

Thursday, October 23:

New Moon

Solar Eclipse

Friday, October 31:

Have gotten lazy updating this. Let’s recap:

I took three or four days off, then picked up right where I left off. Actually, I added a few poses and reached my October goal of the entire Standing and Finishing Sequence. A goal I did not think I was even going to achieve!

I achieved that with three days to spare.

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