Tuesday, July 31, 2012

It All Started Off So Nice or Month-End Review, July

I've been doing the Don't Break the Chain situation for a while now. When I exercise, I put an X on the calendar which is sometimes way more motivating than I'd like it to be.

I usually rest on Friday but since I've been going to the pool that hasn't happened and when I see an unbroken chain of X's, well, I don't want to break it. I know that I overdid it this month. I have a lot of heat on the outside of my upper thigh which I feel when taking the stairs. It's not intense but I can tell it's there...

Sharon asked if anyone had any requests tonight at yoga and I asked her if she had any tricks up her sleeve for the IT Band and we did lizard pose at some point in the program. We also did this sequence of downward facing dog to plank to downward fd to hovering the knee to downward fd... As one of my classmates said, It all started off so nice...

  • Kettlebell Practice, 4 x's

  • Rock Climbing, 7 x's

  • Personal Training with Jackie: Power Training Circuit

    15-Minute Total Body Circuit, 1 x

  • Swimming, 17 x's

  • Walking, 5 x's

  • willPower & grace, 1 x

  • Dig this barefoot workout. It's squat-heavy & has elements of yoga.

  • Yoga, 15 x's

  • How did your July turn out? Did the triple digit weather inspire pool workouts?

    Monday, July 30, 2012

    Saturday, July 28, 2012

    The Gospel According to Pure Yoga

    Gloria a.k.a. Pure Yoga has a peaceful aura about her but, at the end of class, her face is even more serene as she gives a four-Namaste salute -- nodding to every area of the classroom...Yoga practice was a struggle as my hamstrings and just about everything else screamed at me but I don't regret rolling out my mat and can't wait to do it again...

  • May all beings be happy and free...Shanti. (Pure Yoga's usual invocation at the start of class.)

  • Make the pose comfortable. (Timely advice as I struggled with Downward Facing Dog)

  • Don't compromise the neck...

  • If you have big lats, this (eagle arms) may be a problem.

  • The aerial leg should be...

  • Your mind lives in your body so if you feel...

  • You clear the mind when you rest your eyes. (Gloria had us warm up our hands by rubbing them together then placing them over the eyes.)

  • Spread the chest, sink into the heels... (During Downward Facing Dog)

  • Most people only breathe from their chests. In yoga, you have an opportunity to explore the full capacity of your lungs...

  • Move the breath throughout the body especially during difficult poses. Most people have a tendency to hold their breath when the pose is difficult...

  • Favorite song on yoga playlist right now...

    Thursday, July 26, 2012


    Got home yesterday and had lag time before kettlebell class. I felt a bit sleepy but decided to read but after a couple of pages, closed my eyes and fell asleep.

    I should have skipped kettlebell class but I hadn't been in over a week and didn't want to miss out on strength training. I was off my game, sullen and could barely keep the stability ball underneath me while trying to do push-ups. Curling my biceps on a TRX-like situation? I couldn't get the movements down. My modified burpees sucked and there was no sting to my scorpion kick.

    When I did Russian Step Ups, I was inches away from the mirror and got incredibly disappointed by my reflection...

    As I sat in my office today, this woman that I have not seen in a long time, stopped by and she told me that I get smaller and smaller every time she sees me. I was dumbfounded and I told her Funny that you should say that... And cool as a breeze, she said Everything is good; you look good.

    What she said to me was so uncanny and it wasn't just what she said -- she kind of had this genuine, easy smile the whole time and she was so calm and warm that it put me at ease.

    Tuesday, July 24, 2012

    And Breathe...

    Hit the pool which was very refreshing then hit the yoga studio which was also refreshing. When I got to the latter, the class was pretty full and Sharon pointed me toward a space near the front. It’s just like church and school; no one wants to be near the front. I don’t know why. It’s not like I’m going to call on anyone.

    I head to the front and get pretty close to the yoga wall. This guy – let’s call him bind guy – scooted over. Are you sure that you have enough room?, he asked. I love yogis. I also love rock climbers, swimmers and kettlebellers…

    Sharon likes to frequently tell her class. And breathe. Don’t hold your breath…And breathe

    As we prepared for savasana, Sharon guided us through three-part breathing which I got annoyed with at first. Fill the belly then the ribs then the chest. My annoyance melted away and my breathing got deeper.

    Sharon gave us imagery of floating away on water. She encouraged us to leave our stresses on shore and said that they might be there when we got back but maybe – just maybe – the stresses wouldn’t have the same intensity or they would be gone.

    I’ll watch over you. This statement moves me every time Sharon says it and it allows me to melt deeper into the mat during savasana.

    Also moving -- earth salutations; I can see myself doing that sequence all the time...

    Sunday, July 22, 2012

    The School of Rock Climbing

    Time lapse photography. That's what I was reminded of yesterday as the cardio class let out and the yogis flooded in. Within one minute, all real estate had pretty much been claimed. I thought if you plan to attend this class, you better be on time. Ha-ha. About ten minutes into class, this woman parallel parked her mat between mine and the woman in front of me. The latecomer was so close that she had to readjust her mat when we did a balancing pose of extending our right leg and left arm because she was about to have a foot in her face...

    As I take more yoga classes, I become less and less annoyed by latecomers. There is also the fact that it is yoga class where we’re working on our minds and bodies. When I mentioned latecomers to Kristen as she prepared to ascend a route, she said that she would rather have someone come late rather than not come at all. In fact, she likes it when people come late because she thinks it’s a good lesson in detachment for other yogis. Ditto for Cindy – she prefers that people practice yoga than sit out because they can’t make it on time...

    Cindy on the "Green Holds" Route


    Cindy Practices Slackline Yoga

    As we climbed, some men set up the slackline at the climbing gym. Kristen said that climbing and traversing a slackline was her idea of safe, healthy fun. Cindy and Kristen tried out the slackline and Kristen, unfortunately, sprained her ankle and it was very painful but, as Cindy said later on, you can get hurt having healthy fun but what’s important is that you get back up again.

    Friday, July 20, 2012

    The Power of Om

    Went to restorative yoga the other day and almost turned around because there were so many women on the floor. I don't ever remember this particular restorative class being so full.

    The woman next to me asked Sharon, who was helping but not the official teacher, if the class is always full and she said no -- the capacity is 15; there were 19 people but it seemed like more. Guess lots of people were in need of restoration.

    It took me a while to settle down but before I knew it, 75 minutes had gone by. Got up on Thursday and felt really rested. Prior to that, my eyelids have felt like a ton of bricks in the a.m.

    The takeaway from restorative class via Madonna who was at the helm:
    Resting is not idleness.
    Speaking of Madonna, love to hear her chant Om. She takes a deep breath and just takes it away...

    Wednesday, July 18, 2012

    Lessons I Learned from Rock Climbers

    Lesson One

    Didn't feel particularly like climbing yesterday but one of my buddies wanted to go. I wasn't overly sore from Monday's kettlebell beat down but still didn't know if I would have the wherewithal to pull myself up the wall.

    As I'm getting ready to tie in and climb a route, I notice this woman a couple of routes over and her foot is slipping off the arête but it's because she had a boot on her foot!

    It was inspiring to see her climb. I even asked if I could take a picture and it didn't matter that I was without my camera. I borrowed my climbing partner's phone in my shameless pursuit of documentation...

    One of These Shoes Is Not Like The Other

    Lesson Two

    I tried out a new route and had to hoist all of my fabulousness over an arête. The guys who had just finished with the route watched my progress.

    David, my climbing partner, told me that I wasn't using my legs and, yes, I will try to muscle my way up a route instead of using my legs.

    I got stuck right at the arête and asked David to lower me. Russ, one of the watchers told me: You were right there; your hand was inches away. It was like you didn't even want to to reach it. I've done that too -- told myself I can't do it.

    So, I got myself back up on the route and over the arête; it was not pretty at all but I got myself further up the wall than I had anticipated.

    Lesson Three

    I talked to another one of my climbing partners who said that it would be at least another month before he is able to climb because of a lingering back issue.

    I asked him if he had tried any complementary therapies. Chris told me that walking has helped and is actually considered a form of Chigung. So, yes, he said; I suppose I am doing complementary therapy.

    Monday, July 16, 2012

    Double Your "Fun"

    Sitting Against the Wall Trying to Gather Myself
    Oh. My. God.

    Marisa had us do stations for the bulk of kettlebell class  last time. Today was doublemint day. Armed with two kettlebells, we did a set: swing-clean-squat-press 10 x's. Apparently, I clean a little better when I have two kettlebells; go figure.

    Mind you, I was pretty much done after the warm-up but sometime after the "10 circuit," we did the Turkish Get-up four times on the right, 40 swings, TGU four times on the left side (for balance and all) then 40 more two-hand swings.

    Oh yeah, there was supposed to be a push-up in that 10 series but Marisa saw that I was already punch-drunk and struggling and she wanted me to concentrate on cleans. As I finished with eight swings, cleans, squats and presses, Marisa saw that I was even more dazed and walked me through the final two reps. Um, thanks, I think...

    After the Turkish Get-ups and 80 swings, there was more swinging to do. Marisa had the nerve to pull the mind over matter card. I swear, I wanted to crawl into a corner and whimper. Gonna be interesting trying to roll out of bed tomorrow.

    Saturday, July 14, 2012

    The Hours: Rock Climbing Edition

    Some of the Clocks at Upper Limits Depicting the Time in Climbing Areas
    Managed to get myself out of bed and make it to Cindy's 9:30 a.m. yoga class in the park. It's pretty cool looking up at the sky and trees while getting your asansas on. Went to run errands after yoga then met up with Cindy, Kristen and Tim for climbing. Afterwards, as I headed to get food, I realized that we had spent four hours in the climbing gym. Now, it’s not unusual to clock two or three hours in the gym but we stretched things out today. I often sing a line from Culture Club’s Time (Clock of My Heart):
    Because time won’t give me time…
    But I didn’t mind spending that time in the gym because, frankly, it’s a relief not to be sitting down for a huge chunk of the day at work and we’ve all heard how damaging sitting can be even if you’re active.

    Kristen About to Hoist Herself Over Bouldering Wall

    Cindy & Kristen
    I just finished watching Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead. I liked it when one of the experts said that we’re not chasing animals anymore and we’re not running away from them – although we eat as if we are doing just that. So, yeah, even though we’re not chasing animals it felt good to chase a few climbing routes.

    Plus, it was a fun climbing session. We watched fearless children climbing the walls and smiling as they did. We watched a couple position a SUV stroller on the climbing floor then later got a kick out of the stroller baby who happily waved all of his or her limbs. We worked together and cheered each other on.

    Thursday, July 12, 2012

    Everything Is Okay

    Blurred vision again. Admittedly, I wasn’t in a good mood today but if my vision blurred every time I was in bad mood, I’d have the episodes more often.

    Hazira put her hands in motion and did energy work for me. As soon as she finished, the blurred vision disappeared. She did ask me, first, if everything was copacetic. Because I will keep working, she said. I love it when a Healing Touch practitioner sticks around until the job is done.

    I like to think that with all of the self-care that I do that the blurred vision thing won’t happen but this passage from an O Magazine (March 2012) article, The Vacation that Will Kick-Start a Healthier, Happier You, rings true:
    He (personal trainer Jorge) doesn’t say that everything is going to be okay – he says everything is okay. I give the workout my full energy. When it’s over, the foul mood is gone. I have my peace back. I finally grasp that keeping it isn’t effortless: I have to work for it. And I want to…
    Hazira, thanks; I appreciate it. :)

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

    Tell Your Body to Relax...

    A long time ago in a land far away, I went to a studio specifically for a yoga wall class. When the class was canceled for a period of time, something else quickly filled the exercise gap. Well, I still had classes remaining and I had a strong urge to swim and to practice yoga. This studio had a 7:30 class that would allow me to spend time in the pool and practice my asanas too.

    Sharon tunes into the class when it's start time and wants to know if we have any requests. For some reason her question makes me tear up. Seriously? People need to start asking me this question more often so that I get accustomed to it.

    Tell your body to relax; you're in control. Sharon certainly knows how to set a mood.

    We do earth and sun salutations. I really, really dig earth sal's and I need to do them more often at home.

    Towards the end of class we use the wall. I love the sensation of doing warrior one with my foot against the wall while holding a strap. Ditto for letting my sacrum melt into my mat while my legs are up the wall. When it's shoulder stand time, I keep my legs on the wall but I definitely want to work on my apprehension of being upside down.

    When we get to savasana, Sharon tells us give yourself permission to get nice and comfortable; give yourself permission to relax. Everyone took her advice as she watched over us as we snuggled under blankets and our eyes rested under pillows.


    Sunday, July 8, 2012

    Fear in the Body

    Went to Pure Yoga's  class yesterday and it was packed. When I quipped about personal space later on, Cindy reminded me that yoga is the art of ignoring; she expanded on the idea by encouraging me to make personal space in my mind, a concept I totally dig...

    Gloria (a.k.a. Pure Yoga) usually conducts a mixed-level class so she threw in elephant's trunk and crane poses. I have the whole squatting part of crane down but elevating? And we won't even discuss elephant's trunk.

    Gloria said it best: Sometimes there's fear in the body when we turn upside down. I immediately recognized the feeling as I attempted crane. Of course, that tiny moment of fear was mixed in with so many other good feelings... Gloria also told us about a yin yoga class that she teaches at 6 a.m. and I chuckled softly because I don't do anything at 6 a.m. but adjust my pillow...

    Saw this video about recycling on The Today Show. Check out what you can do with your yoga mat when it's time for a new one.

    Friday, July 6, 2012

    Determination, Grit, Perseverance & Other Trifectas

    Experienced a trifecta of deliciousness yesterday. Hung out with Hazira at the swimming pool, went home to refuel then headed out for climbing and yoga with Cindy, Kristen and Lisa.

    Cindy and I, A Little Tandem Climbing on Elephant Wall

    Eyes on the Climber
     Rooftop yoga in these parts in now equivalent to hot triple digit yoga. Wiser heads did prevail and rooftop yoga was moved from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

    So, there's roof one and there's roof two. We did yoga on the lower roof which had more shade. It was such a nice experience practicing yoga with friends underneath the sky.

    We set our mats up and Cindy, Kristen and Lisa readjusted and moved closer to the front. Lisa said that she was a dork like that and likes to be near the front. Cindy asked me if I was going to move my mat and I was like no thanks. I was perfectly fine with my back row spot. No one needed or needs to witness my awkward alignment.

    I soon realized why Lisa moved up front. She did Cirque du Soleil worthy chaturangas. No need to buy a $50 dollar plus ticket to the circus when Lisa is practicing illish asanas nearby. I know, I know. You're not supposed to be a lookie loo during yoga practice but girlfriend was all up in my peripheral vision.

    Lisa Rolling Up Her Mat
    Sometimes, I don't know what's more challenging -- chaturangas or downward facing dog. Agatha, the teacher, got on a little mantra about grit, determination and perseverance but I didn't pay any attention to her because she did some Cirque-worthy plank bind situation.

    Toward the end of class, Agatha had us in bridge which we would hold for a spell while making sure that our chins were away from our chests. As Agatha said, it's a good position for folks who work at a desk all day. After releasing the bridge, we'd close our eyes and put our hands on our bellies. Repeat bridge, release -- hands on belly. Yummy sequence. Yummy day, repeat...

    Cindy & Kristen with Post-Savasana Smiles

    Checking out the Arch from Roof Two

    Wednesday, July 4, 2012

    Patti's Horoscope

    Patti Taking It To The Tulip Wall


    "On July 3, revitalizing Mars moves into Libra, ending a sleepy eight-month cycle where you may have felt sick, tired and utterly unmotivated. Many Libras may feel out of shape as a result of this tough transit. With drill sergeant Mars blowing the whistle, you’re ready to get back in fighting form. Try a high-intensity cardio class, even one that incorporates elements of boxing, martial arts or dance."

    Crap... does this mean I am going to become you? ;)

    Monday, July 2, 2012

    The Golden Opportunity or The Gospel According to My Gentle Yoga Teachers

    My Expression of Gate Pose, Modified


  • It's very good to do shoulder shrugs and neck rotations. In China, people do this every day. This area (neck) is the connection between the mind and body and has a lot of nerves it. If this area is tight and tense, a lot of problems can occur.

  • You have a golden opportunity to improve yourself during yoga...

  • Forehead to the Floor................ During Child's Pose

  • Be gentle with the neck...


  • This hour is about you and only you.

  • The only person that you should be worried about is you on your mat.

  • It's your practice. Do whatever you wish or wish not to do...

  • In any class that you're in, if you're tired or don't feel like doing a pose, you can go into Child's Pose -- no questions asked; it's a restorative pose.

  • Extend your leg back and curl your toes under for a yummy calf stretch.

  • I don't know of any exercise where you hold your breath except for a breath-holding contest.

  • And now we come to the most important part...savasana.