January Review:

Added two asanas. Went back to Addicted to Yoga and am practicing the entire Primary Series once a week with Polina.

Tough month, all things considered. Focused primarily on consistency. Broke through a mental wall re: yoga practice — Marichyasana was previously the furthest into the Primary Series my personal practice maintained.

Emotional burnout at the end of the month forces a spontaneous one-week break. A much-needed break, in hindsight. Part of me still feels a bit guilty since I just had a two-week break in December. But on the other hand: a) I exericse, what, 10-15 hours a week? b) I’ve been going through a lot the past 2-3 months and have not given myself as much of a break as needed. It’s only natural — and healthful — that my body, the wonderful self-regulating organism it is, will eventually make it abundantly clear, in a fashion I am unable to ignore, that rest is needed.

Fair enough. I realized in the second half of January I needed to add another rest day every week, but it was a bit too late.

I am still in very good shape, however. I have built a not-insignificant amount of muscle as I’ve been back on StrongLifts the past two months, and it’s increasingly evident. Giving myself a break from progressively adding poses every week was a wise idea, as my body needed time to adjust to an hour-plus daily practice. Now I’ve had about six weeks to adjust to what is fairly grueling, non-stop exercise. Have you ever undergone an hour of exercise without any breaks? It can be quite demanding. Now continue that five times a week for a couple of months.

February Goals:

Yoga:

I am giving myself about a week to ease back into my current 90-minute practice, and maybe another week of consistency before I begin to add a couple of poses a week.

I have fifteen poses left: Kurmasana, Supta Kurmasana, Garbha Pindasana, Kukkutasana, Baddha Konasana A & B, Upavishta Konasana A & B, Supta Konasana, Supta Padangusthasana A, B & C, Ubhaya Padangusthasana, Urdhva Mukha Paschimottanasana, and Setu Bandhasana.

Of those fifteen, I am extremely comfortable with five of them (Baddha Konasana A & B; Supta Padangusthasana A through C). I am somewhat comfortable with eight of them. The last one, Setu Bandhasana, is one I’ve never done before, but looks pretty fun.

So this month I’ll take things a little slowly and add Kurmasana, Supta Kurmasana, Garbha Pindasana, Kukkutasana, and Baddha Konasana A & B: six asanas total.

StrongLifts:

After much deliberation and back-and-forth, I have decided that, until I am practicing the entire Primary Series for about a month, I am taking a break from lifting weights. Even one day a week has proven to hold me back. While I am no longer dealing with soreness, I can feel the tightness in my muscles, particularly my hips, quadriceps and hamstrings, for three, and sometimes four, days afterward.

I am at a critical portion in my yoga practice. I am near accomplishing a goal dear to my heart, that I have been striving towards for almost two years now. Throughout this journey I have seen the effect one-pointedness concentration has on both the process and results, as well as seeing how quickly things stray when I underestimate the practice and scatter my devotion.

There was a brief period where I had quit lifting and was focusing almost entirely on yoga. After a few weeks of struggle, my body began to feel light, supple and strong. The practice was no longer such a mental burden because physically it was as prepared as it could be. Poses felt natural.

While I feel a bit guilty about seemingly abandoning StrongLift when my goals there are within sight, the fact is I am a yogi first. It only makes sense that, as my practice grew from 10, 20, and 30 minutes a day to 40, 50, 60, and now 90, that StrongLifts would only further impinge on my flexibility.

A typical pattern I have is an overestimation of my abilities. Do you realize just how much ninety minutes a day is, Adam? No, I honestly don’t. I still feel like I will be able to practice 100-120 minutes a day and lift one day a week until I meet my StrongLift goals. But if I have to sacrifice the latter, I do it willingly. For at least the next two, and possibly three, months, StrongLifts is on hiatus.

Biking/Running:

Due to needing to prioritize my time, I have been driving to school a lot more often than planned. That will change. I thoroughly enjoy biking to school, and only enjoy it further as my fitness level increases. The 25 mile-a-week biking goal is within sight as I steadily chug along on the path.

As far as running? I ran — using “ran” liberally; there were extended walking breaks — about six miles on a trail two weeks ago. The past week I have only run a mile or so.

That more or less encompasses my relationship with running: I enjoy it, and when the opportunity arises, I am loathe to pass it up. But as far as making the opportunity? I am less gung ho about doing so. It is something I thoroughly enjoy and so will always be around, but it’s also something that is hard on the body: 1.5-2x your body weight pounding with every step. As a result it is a bit antithetical to my yoga practice. I am sure that, eventually, running five or ten miles a week will become standard, but I do not have any formal goals for running, merely keeping tabs on my mileage.

Thursday, February 5:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, 5x (each)

Baddha Padmasana, Padmasana, Tolasana

Savasana

A mile run, too.

Friday, February 6:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, 5x (each)

Baddha Padmasana, Padmasana, Tolasana

Savasana

Was torn with whether to do the entire Series today or to continue easing back into it. My body is tighter than it is used to feeling, so I have a bit of anxiety to overcome. Tomorrow? I will do at least Standing and Finishing. Sunday I will be at ATY, practicing the entire Series. That will, at the latest, be my kickstart back into the routine. đŸ™‚

Saturday, February 7:

C’mon Adam, you’re updating this Monday?! Get with the program, broseph!

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, 5x (each)

Standing Sequence

Finishing Sequence

Yes! I did what I said I would!

And it wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be!

Sunday, February 8:

Yoga:

Entire Primary Series (ATY)

Polina had a sub. I did not like her. Asian lady. Monotonous. Boring energy. But workman-like efficiency. At least she knew all the poses.

Erica chatted me up after, interested in Acro Yoga. Hmm…

Monday, February 9:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, 5x (each)

Standing Sequence

Primary Series:

Dandasana; Paschimottanasana A, B, C

Purvottanasana; Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana; Trianga Mukhaipada Paschimottanasana

Janu Sirsasana A, B, C

Marichyasana A; B, C, D (modifications)

Navasana (x5) (including handstand)

Bhujapidasana

Finishing Sequence

Quitting lifting is already paying off. How do I feel so good?! What a great practice! Time flew by! Very soon it will be time to add the Kurmasanas.

Hike with Jonathan. About two miles.

Tuesday, February 10:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, 5x (each)

Standing Sequence

Primary Series:

Dandasana; Paschimottanasana A, B, C

Purvottanasana; Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana; Trianga Mukhaipada Paschimottanasana

Janu Sirsasana A, B, C

Marichyasana A; B, C, D (modifications)

Navasana (x5) (including handstand), Bhujapidasana

Kurmasana

Finishing Sequence

Didn’t work up much of a sweat. And my left knee was off. Got a bit bored somewhere between Ardha Baddha Paschimottanasana and Marichyasana D. Starting to dig Navasana; I love how much it warms one up.

Added Kurmasana. Feels uncomfortable. It’s not very good. But gotta start somewhere.

Also focusing on doing this earlier. Today I began at 7:55 AM. Beginning before 8 AM is my current goal.

Biked to and from school. Twenty-two miles, according to Google Maps.

Wednesday, February 11:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, 5x (each)

Standing Sequence

Primary Series:

Dandasana; Paschimottanasana A, B, C

Purvottanasana; Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana; Trianga Mukhaipada Paschimottanasana

Janu Sirsasana A, B, C

Marichyasana A; B, C, D (modifications)

Navasana (x5) (including handstand), Bhujapidasana

Kurmasana, Supta Kurmasana

Finishing Sequence

I had a dream involving turtles … Glorious turtles. Kurmasana is tortoise posture, right? Hmm…

Good practice. Began around 8:05 AM. Good sweat from Surya Namaskaras but little sweat afterwards.

Left knee felt a bit better.

Quitting lifting was a great decision. I’m beginning to feel more limber. It will take a few weeks, however.

Biked to Sprouts and to the track. Probably 6 miles total, if not more.

Ran 1.5 miles.

Thursday, February 12:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, 5x (each)

Standing Sequence

Primary Series:

Dandasana; Paschimottanasana A, B, C

Purvottanasana; Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana; Trianga Mukhaipada Paschimottanasana

Janu Sirsasana A, B, C

Marichyasana A; B, C, D (modifications)

Navasana (x5) (including handstand), Bhujapidasana

Kurmasana, Supta Kurmasana

Finishing Sequence

7:55 AM.

Biked to and from school. Another 22 miles. Damn, that’s 50 miles this week. Cool.

Friday, February 13:

Acro yoga for ~30 minutes with Erica.

Saturday, February 14:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, 5x (each)

Baddha Padmasana, Padmasana, Tolasana

Savasana

Running short on time today. Feel slightly bad for not having a full practice today or yesterday, but I did say: a) I would incorporate more off/easy days and b) I would ease back into it this week. I didn’t ease back into it much at all, for I went right into full practices Saturday through Thursday!

I had the slightest inclination that my body/mind would appreciate a bit of a break, so I’m actually listening for once.

Next week, beginning tomorrow, there will be six days of full practice, as well as rejoicing on my off day as the energy of the New Moon proliferates.

Sunday, February 15:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, 5x (each)

Standing Sequence

Primary Series:

Dandasana; Paschimottanasana A, B, C

Purvottanasana; Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana; Trianga Mukhaipada Paschimottanasana

Janu Sirsasana A, B, C

Marichyasana A; B, C, D (modifications)

Navasana (x5) (including handstand), Bhujapidasana

Kurmasana, Supta Kurmasana, Garbha Pindasana

Finishing Sequence

At Addicted to Yoga. Polina once again out. I’ll call ahead every Sunday from now on. No Polina, no me.

The substitute was mediocre at best.

Monday, February 16:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, 5x (each)

Standing Sequence

Primary Series:

Dandasana; Paschimottanasana A, B, C

Purvottanasana; Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana; Trianga Mukhaipada Paschimottanasana

Janu Sirsasana A, B, C

Marichyasana A; B, C, D (modifications)

Navasana (x5) (including handstand), Bhujapidasana

Kurmasana, Supta Kurmasana, Garbha Pindasana, Kukkutasana

Finishing Sequence

Chea, boi!

Biked to the track and ran 1.5 miles. Which is probably more like 1.75 miles, ‘cuz I run in the outside lane. The biking is probably 6-8 miles, total?

Was up at 5:15. Practice by 7.

Tuesday, February 17:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, 5x (each)

Standing Sequence

Primary Series:

Dandasana; Paschimottanasana A, B, C

Purvottanasana; Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana; Trianga Mukhaipada Paschimottanasana

Janu Sirsasana A, B, C

Marichyasana A; B, C, D (modifications)

Navasana (x5) (including handstand), Bhujapidasana

Kurmasana, Supta Kurmasana, Garbha Pindasana, Kukkutasana

Baddha Konasana A & B

Finishing Sequence

Chea, boi! So limber today!

Biking to school, and then from Ben’s to home. That’s probably 15-18 miles.

Was up at 5. Practice at 6:40.

Wednesday, February 18:

New Moon! Off day!

Went for a run with Nathaniel. One mile. ‘Cuz our runs are speshal.

Thursday, February 19:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, 5x (each)

Standing Sequence

Primary Series:

Dandasana; Paschimottanasana A, B, C

Purvottanasana; Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana; Trianga Mukhaipada Paschimottanasana

Janu Sirsasana A, B, C

Marichyasana A; B, C, D (modifications)

Navasana (x5) (including handstands), Bhujapidasana

Kurmasana, Supta Kurmasana, Garbha Pindasana, Kukkutasana

Baddha Konasana A & B

Finishing Sequence

7:05 AM. Woke up at 6.

A bit tired but that went away quickly. Worked up a nice lather of sweat by Surya Namaskara B, third repetition. All downhill from there!

Yeeeeah! Feeling great!

Friday, February 20:

None. Impromptu day off! -.-

Saturday, February 21:

Yoga:

Full Primary Series with Janus!

Oh how I’ve missed thee, Janus! Janus is my old teacher from ATY. Nikkie notified me where she’s teaching now and also gave me a free month’s pass! So I’ll be going to as many of Janus’ classes as I can.

Sunday, February 22:

Yoga:

Full Primary Series with Polina!

Monday, February 23:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, 5x (each)

Standing Sequence

Primary Series:

Dandasana; Paschimottanasana A, B, C

Purvottanasana; Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana; Trianga Mukhaipada Paschimottanasana

Janu Sirsasana A, B, C

Marichyasana A; B, C, D (modifications)

Navasana (x5) (including handstands), Bhujapidasana

Kurmasana, Supta Kurmasana, Garbha Pindasana, Kukkutasana

Baddha Konasana A & B

Finishing Sequence

Late start (11:45 AM). Good practice.

Tuesday, February 24:

Yoga:

Primary Series with Janus

About 80-85% of it. One hour 15 minutes. Not a great practice. Wasn’t really into it. Not a bad one either, though.

Wednesday, February 25:

I think I took the day off. 90% sure.

Ran with Nathaniel.

Thursday, February 26:

Yoga:

Surya Namaskara A & B, 5x (each)

Standing Sequence

Primary Series:

Dandasana; Paschimottanasana A, B, C

Purvottanasana; Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana; Trianga Mukhaipada Paschimottanasana

Janu Sirsasana A, B, C

Marichyasana A; B, C, D (modifications)

Navasana (x5) (including handstands), Bhujapidasana

Kurmasana, Supta Kurmasana, Garbha Pindasana, Kukkutasana

Baddha Konasana A & B

Finishing Sequence

I don’t even remember doing this, but I know I did it. It was a blurry practice. Not great. Mentally I’ve been out of shakes this week.

I biked to and from school.

Friday, February 27:

Didn’t really practice. Taught Ashley for an hour. So some yoga but not enough to say it was a practice.

Saturday, February 28:

Yoga:

Full Primary Series with Janus

Okay, we’re finding ourselves here. Good practice. Chadd showed up! I liked his energy. I liked Janus’ energy. Irina’s energy. Strong energy in the room today.

I was feeling blah going into it, but not too blah. Just slightly mentally exhausted.

But now I’m feeling solid. The only solution is to keep practicing. My body is coming along nicely. Poses are feeling easier. The pain in my left knee is dissipating. I have no idea where it came from but it’s nice that it’s healing. Running or biking hasn’t negatively affected it at all. It’s not nearly as flexible as it was when healthy, but I can put a little pressure on it, take it to the edge, and it’s still quite alright.

I am transitioning in and out of poses with aplomb. The muscle memory. Soon it’s time to learn more advanced transitions and the final six poses.

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