Saturday, November 30, 2013

Coasting? or Month-End Review, November

I've been thinking about yoga goals lately. The few that I have are "modest." I want to make sure that I have a solid understanding of basic poses and, beyond asanas, I want restoration. Who doesn't want the latter?

As I sat in easy pose while Gloria led the class into crow and side crow, Bobby Brown's My Prerogative popped into my head. After class, Linda (an avid bicyclist et al.) told Gloria that she was thankful for her. Don't know if I was more tuned in this year but I heard a lot of people expressing gratitude...

Had a car dream the other day. The front window became totally fogged up and the engine didn't work but I was able to coast through the streets without crashing into anyone or anything. I was relieved when I woke up.

I feel good about November because the body and mind felt strong. Ellen Barrett says that movement is a treat and here's how I treated myself this month:

10 Minute Solution: 5 Day Get Fit Mix
*Cardio Kickboxing, 1 x

10 Minute Solution: HIIT
*Rock Bottom HIIT, 1 x

10 Minute Solution: KnockOut Body!
*Knockout Body Blast, 8 x's

Love again...

10 Minute Solution: Rapid Results fat burner
*Power Sports Drills

Bicycling, 1 x

Ellen Barrett Live: Sleek Sculpt Express, 6 x's

Give Me 10!
*Fat Blasting Cardio, 4 x's

Just Walk
*Mile 1: Classic Low Impact, 10 x's
*Mile 2: Walk & Tone, 3 x's
*Mile 5: Ab Walk, 1 x

Just Walk: Walk to the Hits*, 1 x

Kettlebell, 4 x's

Latin Cardio Party
*Samba, 1 x

Stretch Max (with stability ball), 2 x's

Swimming, 3 x's

Treadmill, 1 x

Walking, 6 x's

Yoga, 13 x's

Also raked the leaves today. If I ever go on a retreat in the fall, I want to be assigned to leaf raking. What would you want to do?

**Disclosure: I received this video without charge.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Something I Would Never Ask Marisa

Went looking for pants and brown shoes and, of course, I ended up in the active wear section.

When I saw this Nike shirt, I knew that it was a question that I would never pose to Marisa.

Went to select a kettlebell but Marisa said that there was no need. She had everything ready for our pyramid workout.

Pull-Up (On Bar or TRX), 10 x's
Heavy Swing, 10 x's
Alternating V Sit-up with 8 lb Medicine Ball, 10 (each leg)
Squat Jump, 10
Bulgarian Bag Swings, 10 (each direction)
Snatch, 10 (per arm)
Squat, 10
Push-up, 10
Plank (knee to elbow), 10


Pull-Up (On Bar or TRX), 9 x's
Heavy Swing, 9 x's
Alternating V Sit-up with 8 lb Medicine Ball, 9 (each leg)
Squat Jump, 9
Bulgarian Bag Swings, 9 (each direction)
Snatch, 9 (per arm)
Squat, 9
Push-up, 9
Plank (knee to elbow), 9

Well, you get the picture. We made it to the four rep point precisely when class was slated to end.

During the workout, I put my mat down for the push-up station and Julia asked me if it was okay if she used my mat. I told her yes and she said I'm thankful for Andrea.

Later on Julia told me that she was going to need a sip of water at some point. It was a workout that I felt invigorated by so I kind of bulldozed through it. I think that when I'm faced when this kind of workout, there is part of me that doesn't want to stop because I don't know if I'll be able to resume the workout.

I kept glancing at Marisa's whiteboard but didn't really study it so Julia caught me off guard when I heard something that sounded like ass to grass (squats). Marisa thought I might be offended but Julia straightened her out -- She's not offended. Julia was on a roll tonight.

After kettlebell, I soaked for a bit and caught up on magazines that have been accumulating in a wicker basket. I read a short article (Health, October 2013) called Sports Bras Don't Have to Hurt. What caught my attention is LaJean Lawson's credential. She's a leading expert on breast motion. Didn't know there was such a field.

Monday, November 25, 2013

I Have Yoga Guilt or Stuff People Say To Me

  • When I look at you, I have yoga guilt. 

  • Rosie

  • You are muscular. 

  • Aunt's friend

  • Whenever I hear the word yoga, I feel guilty.

  • Sarah

  • You are strong. 

  • Jeanne to me after I effortlessly picked up her massage table and placed it on a carrier.

  • Maybe I'll look like the folks on your Yoga Journal calendar in 10 years... 

  • One of my colleagues on trying to work out the plantar fasciitis kinks...

  • Me: I can't believe that I organized a yoga party.

  • Hazira: You can't believe it?

  • Me: You have Zumba and yoga at your clubhouse? What's preventing you from taking the classes?

  • Patti: Inertia.

  • That was quick.

  •  The lifeguard to me after I exited the pool at lap 15.

  • Can someone tell me why this woman has this book?

  • A question that Hazira posed, more to the universe than to me, when she spotted the book below.

  • Oh my God, you still look the same.

  • Dale, Irma J. & Rhonda

  • You're strong

  • Elle as she gave me tips during triangle pose...

    Saturday, November 23, 2013

    I Want What Ellen Wants

    Thing one...not talking about the root chakra -- associated with survival and security or maybe I am.  I lost one pound and it's ridiculous how satisfied I feel.

    First, the scale moved and not in the direction that I wanted and the needle stayed in the same place -- apparently stuck.

    I've tweaked the diet a bit and I've tried to make more of a commitment to discomfort i.e. high intensity interval training.

    I feel better. I think my clothes fit better. We'll see.

    I've been into Sleek Sculpt Express lately. It's a 30 minute workout but I usually tack on bonus exercise as well. In my world, I feel more comfortable when I can get in at least 60 minutes of exercise.

    Almost each time that I exercise with Ellen Barrett, her words capture my attention:

    I think of movement as a treat.
    If you need to sit on the floor, you can do it...If you need to carry a heavy bag, you can do it...If you need to sprint through the airport, you can do it.
    I want to be highly functional. In essence, I want my comfort zone to be large.
     I want you to feel invigorated not irritated.

    I want what Ellen wants. Her comfort talk reminds me of a season two episode of Louie. Louis CK's character says that he only has the stamina for a life of comfort.

    Went to a fundamental yoga class this afternoon and thoroughly enjoyed it. I felt so content afterward; thanks Elle for guiding...

    Wednesday, November 20, 2013

    For The Most Part

    It's traditionally a swimming night said my coworker who seldom stops in my office but when she does, stops to chat about injuries or events.

    She threw me off because she pounced into the office and I thought it was National Swimmer's Night Out or something and that it was fortuitous that I planned to go swimming on such an occasion. I soon found out, though, that Tuesday is the day that my colleague usually swims. She didn't feel like swimming, hasn't felt like swimming in a while and feels guilty. I told her that she's just more into running now and that, eventually, she will return to the pool and that there is no need to feel guilty.

    You've told me that before and I try to think about that... she said but my colleague worries that she will struggle the next time that she hits the pool even though she's been swimming for 25 years.

    I, on the other hand, was looking forward to hitting the pool. Hadn't been in two weeks.

    Enjoyed my shoestring fix. My suit is starting to deteriorate and one of the straps likes to fall off my shoulder and down my arm. The lifeguard told me that I could use a shoestring for a quick fix and it worked like a charm. No more falling strap. I had a good time. Even the post-swimming sound of water rustling in my ear moved me.

    I bundled up and, again, rode home with the windows down to combat the congestion that I've been experiencing and it worked -- for the most part.

    Went to kettlebell and there were only three of us which made for a quiet night. I missed Crazy Lats and Paige. Having a lively group makes the workout go by much faster. On tap tonight -- 45 seconds for each maneuver:

    High Pull, L/R
    Dive Bomber Push-Ups
    2 KB Squats
    TRX Rows

    Planks (to knees)
    Slam Ball Squat (with a jump)
    Mountain Climbers
    V Sit-ups
    Heavy Two-Hand Swing (20 kb, I think)

    We repeated the circuits and somewhere in between we also did cleans and presses... Feeling the need to pull out Cathe's Stretch Max but, first, the dishes...

    Sunday, November 17, 2013

    Breathe When You Get There or Stuff My Yoga Teachers Say

    Gloria told us that we were going to do a gentle practice because it was a full moon and that in Ashtanga...

    I didn't need to hear the rest. I was all in Billie Holiday mode: Don't explain. I am down for the gentle cause.

    Yesterday, at the end of a remedial yoga class, Alison started taking about breath and gratitude. It was a simple talk but I found it moving and today I find myself grateful. As I walked, I noticed that half of the sky was dark and the other half sunny. Got caught out in the storm tornadic weather. I was soaked from head to toe but pretty lucky that I did not get crushed or impaled.

    Stuff My Yoga Teachers Say


    If something hurts, stop doing it....

    This is the second chakra...Your hips are like water (complete with water-like motions)...

    Before we start, does anyone have any injuries that I should know about?... Does anyone have any injuries that they want to tell me about? As we get older, we all get injuries...we fall off our bikes...we...

    One of my teachers made me stay in Warrior I for 45 minutes. I didn't think that I'd be able to do it but I did...

    We opened our hips and now we're going to close them...


    We take 26,000 breaths a day -- which ones are you present for? Which ones are you making sweeter? 


    You make progress on the exhale...

    Ride the wave of the breath.

    Modify. Be gentle. Be compassionate.

    We are not trying to do some extreme yoga posture...

    Jim (as he talked us into a high lunge with arms extended skyward):

    Breathe when you get there.

    Rebecca (during triangle):

    There's no weight on that hand; it's an energetic extension of the hand.


    Relax the muscle between your eyes. I see some of you during savasana and that area is still all tightened up.

    You are so busy thinking about this and that -- what you'll do after class...I'll watch over you...I'll watch the clock.

    Take that peace with you and share it with others so that one day we may have peace on earth...

    Friday, November 15, 2013


    Got to work on Wednesday and the building had no water. After returning from my second field trip, we got word that the building would close. One of my coworkers squealed and many smiled. Even though I had to do some work from home, I was happy too. I looked for a yoga class to jump into but the timing didn't work. Hashtag -- can't have everything.

    But wait...the water folks wouldn't finish until noon the next day so we reported at 1. It was an unexpected gift that I appreciated tremendously since my reservoir was about depleted.

    I slept beautifully, stretched like a cat in the morning then rolled out. I had time to make it to a yoga class and time to stop by Trader Joe's.

    Alison had already given me intel on Jim, the yoga teacher. I wrote her back to say that, yes, he is a slow, smooth operator.

    During class, I realized how much I like gate pose.

    Poses that I remember that I like:



    Half Moon 


    I've been reading an old O: The Oprah Magazine (June 2013). In that issue, Oprah interviews Brene Brown who talks about foreboding joy and dress-rehearsing tragedy. Brown mentions this man, married for 40 years, who never got too excited about anything because he didn't want to be disappointed but when he heard that his wife had been killed, he realized that he should have leaned harder into those moments of joy.

    Maybe joy is what I was leaning into in gate pose...

    Wednesday, November 13, 2013

    Yes, 38 Of Them

    The B-day Girl Demoing the B-Bag for a Newbie
    It's Marisa's birthday but she wanted to give us a gift.


    Marisa wasn't sure if she had divided everything up properly but I told her Don't worry. Tiffany is going to take care of any discrepancies or logistics when she arrives.

    Jumping Jacks, 38
    Two-Hand Swings, 38
    Push-ups, 38
    Goblet Squats...
    Presses, 38
    V Sit-ups (Alternating with Med Ball)
    Mountain Climbers
    Tactical Lunges
    Snatches (19 L, 19 R)

    Did I mention that I'm digging the kettlebell snatches? They wear me out but I feel powerful when I do them.

    After the first circuit, we all reported to a station.

    Slam Ball (30 lbs)
    Bulgarian Bag, (19 -- each direction)
    Battle Ropes, 38
    Military-style Push-ups
    Triceps Extension on TRX

    It was kind of a cool workout because we did it together and counted off reps. Julia told me, in so many words, to slow my roll when I counted of presses and I wanted Tiffany to slow down during tactical lunges. It's cool that we're strong in different areas.

    The last official task of the workout was burpees. Yes, 38 of them.

    Paige and Jessica Rabbit a. k. a. Crazy Lats and Bowls were clowning. I did a modified version of burpees like I usually do. At some point, I asked Paige where she was at in the count and knew that I was going to stop when she did. I give mad props to Julia who's been working on burpees. It took her a while but she did 38...

    Marisa said that she got the sweetest greeting from her brother who said that she looks younger than she did five years ago and that, surely, working out is contributing to her youthful countenance.

    Guess what Marisa bought herself? An orange 70 pound kettlebell. I'm sure that it will be featured in a future workout.

    Sunday, November 10, 2013


    The Little Bunch
    Woke up whimpering this morning which is just about as startling as a dream that seems frighteningly true.

    Maybe Sunday (fall) malaise manifested as whimpering...

    I was looking forward to yoga. Well, who doesn't? Just kidding... I hadn't been since Monday so it was time to get on the mat.

    During lizard pose, Gloria said If your body sends you an invitation, go deeper. Alas, my body wasn't sending out any Evites.

    During three-legged down dog, one should be able to use the momentum to get the aerial leg from the back of the mat to the front betwixt your hands. Hasn't happened for me yet though.

    I did realize that I dig Ardha Chandrasana (half moon pose). I like playing with this pose even when my balance is off.

    My YogaQuote for the day:
    Don't move the way fear makes you move. Move the way love makes you move. Move the way joy makes you move. -Osho

    Wednesday, November 6, 2013


    Rough start to an at home* workout on Monday but I eventually found my groove then went to yoga afterward where I heard someone call my name. As I turned around, I was pleasantly surprised to see Alison's familiar face in the crowded class. As I thought about how I could position my mat near Ali's, this yoga dude made room for me. His gesture is high up on the cool chart.

    Donna, the teach, stopped in mid-stride when she noticed that I was on the opposite side of the room. Not that you're territorial or anything, Alison quipped.

    Yoga dude turned out to be a beautiful breather -- so much so that his breaths relaxed me and made me strive to be a better breather.

    The pool called my name last night. I was bummed out thinking that a dip in the pool might aggravate my allergy to the point of who knows what...

    I've been reading up on pool-related congestion and I'm thinking about buying a humidifier but since I haven't had time to get one, I took someone's suggestion and bought Benadryl but didn't take it last night because I wanted to see if something else would work.

    I bundled up and rode home with most of the windows down and kept Benadryl and essential oil beside me just in case but "being outside" after swimming helped a lot. I still experienced congestion but it was very mild.

    Tonight's kettlebell practice was a serious hodgepodge:

    Two-hand Swings
    "Around the World" Prisoner Squats
    Around The Body with a Catch and Lunge
    Russian Twist
    Skater Hops

    We all got to pick a station. I went with a slam ball. Paige chose the ab wheel. Julia chose the snatch and Princess Tiffany went with a modified pistol squat. I don't remember what else that we did but it's been that kind of day. I barely got out of the house this morning and was late for kettlebell practice. When the Princess commented on my glasses, I wondered why then realized that I normally have on contacts while working out.

    The Princess is taking prenatal yoga. She said it's one of the proven activities that shortens labor. About kettlebell, I joked with The Princess that her baby is probably like What in the world is going on out there?

    *Mad props to people who exercise at home most of the time.

    Sunday, November 3, 2013

    Fall Slump

    Slept in late yesterday and expected to bounce out of bed this morning but it didn't happen. It was okay though because Gloria woke me up with a flowy class.

    Tammy and Mike, the first couple of yoga, walked in as I was walking out and Tammy invited me to stay for round two. No, thanks, I responded, Had enough during round one. It was true. The sweat rolled by the time we got to chair pose with a twist and all of that flowing from cobra to downward facing dog to plank, was enough for me.

    I had a smile on my face at the end of class so everything was all good.

    Felt sleepy close to three and told myself that it was okay to lie down for a while. A while ended up being a two-hour "nap." At some point, I kicked the phone off the bed among other things. Wasn't quite sure what I had done with my glasses but I did realize that Birds of the Rainforest should come off my relaxation playlist; the birds screech too much.

    After yoga, went for a walk -- all I've wanted to do lately. The foliage and sun have been amazing.

    Checked out the happenings on Twitter and someone that I follow retweeted something from the account:
    Each day demands we create our whole world over, disguising the constant horror in a coat of many-colored fictions.
    That passage stopped me in my tracks and also made me go in search of a book a poetry by Henry Dumas which I couldn't find but I know that I didn't give it away...