Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Problem with Clothing

Ugh! Can never find the right kind of clothes for yoga. Sure, my yoga instructor has some. But the reality is that she has very limited space to hold clothing. But I'm not complaining, I can always ask her to order something I want. My primary complaint is that I can't just "go shopping" for hot yoga clothes. (And I often just like to go shopping)

As this is something that bothers me often, I am including a list of websites that carry good (and slightly skimpy) hot yoga clothing:

Monday, June 28, 2010

June 28th-July 4th

Monday: Wow. What a great class. It was stuffed full of peeps but there was a lot of energy with so many people there. However, I did notice something that may have to become a goal. I have noticed that many times during any given standing posture, I turn my feet out. I have always had more balance with my feet turned out (like a ballerina), but this is a habit that needs to be broken right away.
Side Note: I have noticed over the last couple of weeks a side stitch in my right side. After doing some research I have found that it often can be caused by the stretching of the ligaments holding the liver and pulling down on the diaphragm. I plan to ask Beth about this and the possibilities of what I can do to fix it, hopefully, this week.
Tuesday: ALSO an awesome class! I think I got tha FEVAH friends... Yoga Fevah. I was completely sore on Wednesday due to all the correcting I asked Justis to do, knowing what looks incorrect to the instructor really helps me understand what the posture is trying to accomplish. I really tried to pay attention to my standing foot placement. I did notice a couple of times that it was hard to completely relax during Savasana.
Side Note on the side stitch: I informed Justis about the side stitch, he suggested that it might be my rib cage. Often times in yoga, you learn to change the shape of your rib cage to take in more air. He suggested that perhaps during Pranayama Breathing and Half Moon Pose that it could be the act of tightening my abs and trying to take in lots of air that could be causing the side stitch. He also suggested that perhaps it's just my body not being used to that whole act. I still plan to ask Beth what she thinks.
Wednesday: Holy wow, I did a lot. I did hours of walking and a full hour of cardio. By the time I got home, my legs were so so fatigued. I have to tell you though, cardio is so boring after getting used to doing yoga all the time. Ugh.
Thursday: Ummm... Hmm. This did not go well at all. I was exhausted and my back was really giving me a rough time. 
Side Note on Side Stitch: I did talk to Beth about the side stitch as well as the simple fact. She suggested the same issues that Justis did, she also suggested that perhaps my viscera has been shifting due to all the compression of my abdominal cavity. She also suggest that I limit the working out (cardio work) I do to work on what is good for my body.
Friday: No workout!
Saturday: Yoga went amazing. I ate an apple and drank a ton of water beforehand and felt amazing during yoga. It was just enough and didn't feel like I had too much in my stomach during.
Sunday: No workout, just floated the river with beer... I may regret that choice today during yoga.

Monday: Yoga
Tuesday: Yoga
Wednesday: 60 mins cardio (maybe.. I might not lol)
Thursday: Yoga
Friday: 60 mins cardio (probably not actually, I kinda just want to get my girlfriend to go on a walk with me)
Saturday: Yoga
Sunday: Hiking with dad!

Follow up on Goals:
-Triangle Pose (Trikanasana): I still focus on putting my weight in my straight leg, but I feel like I better understand this posture... Especially where the hips are to be angled, it really is helping me understand how my weight is supposed to be positioned.
-Concentration: Not good. But definitely trying!
-Lock the Knee: Getting better. I really should try to keep the knee locked for a full set before trying to execute Standing Head to Knee.

New Goals:
-Coming to a complete rest and relaxation in Savasana (Dead Body Pose)
-Lock the Knee, lock the knee, lock the knee.
-Standing Bow Pose (Dandayamana Dhanurasana): I want to be able to hold my concentration, and not fall out of the posture for one full set before moving on. So much of the time I spend concentrating on kicking my leg out, but I would like to concentrate on bending from the spine as well.
-*Focus on keeping my foot straight during standing postures*

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Fear

Every day, I get closer to my goal. The biggest fear I have right now, is not being able to maintain my weight. It got so out of hand so quickly back when I gained it all, and I truly fear it becoming an unruly problem for me.
I went to the Weight Watcher's meeting last night and my current weight is 129 lbs. It was my first meeting in almost a year and it is a wonder that I have managed to lose weight through the program but without going. I was asked what my secret is, but it is no secret that Weight Watchers works. They are the ONLY program that has a success rate of over 50% of people who reach their goal keep it off. And not only that but the success rate is 72% keep their weight off! I have been arrogant in the past thinking I could do it myself, but really Weight Watcher's is the only physician approved weight loss program as it is designed to re-teach people how to eat. And it has more than done that for me.

I secretly hope that my leader is proud of me. Because it certainly helps me knowing that my family is proud.

I hope to never lose my love for yoga or for a good sweat. I pray that I never lose my need for fruit and good food and foods that make me feel good. Right now, I would like to say that I have a plan, however I just don't. The Fear is on my mind often lately, and I am really hoping and praying that when the time comes, I can ante up and keep that weight off. The hard part is NOT getting the weight off, it's keeping the weight off.

Monday, June 21, 2010

June 21-27th

Follow up on my working out for this last week:
Monday: Yeahhhh, didn't do anything. I take that back, I did do quite a bit of walking while I was shopping. And then I made the mistake of eating flatbred pizza and red wine. In case you've never experienced this, alcohol the night before yoga isn't fun during yoga.
Tuesday: SO GOOD to be back at yoga. I sincerely missed yoga on Monday. It's so odd because I was going to go workout and do some good cardio, and the idea of doing the same thing over and over for 60 minutes didn't sound near as fun as going to yoga. Strange when priorities and preferences change.
Wednesday: I didn't work out. And decided not to feel bad about it. As much as I do love a good workout and staying active, we all need rest.
Thursday: This day was good. I really enjoy making new friends at Yoga, it really helps keep in perspective that it's yoga and it should be fun altogether. I would just like to say that my standing hands to feet pose is starting to really come together. I can feel my face touch my legs and my elbows coming together behind my calves. So amazing!
Friday: Nope. No workout again. And again, I didn't feel bad about it. I had more of a restful week and just reveled in the yoga... but honestly, I can't wait to get back to a heavy workout schedule.

Time for some follow up on my goals:
Sit Ups: Nope. This is going to become a goal that sits in waiting for a while. I don't think I'll be able to do a strong sit-up for a while.
Triange Pose (Trikanasana): This feels amazing. My hip flexors have been incredibly sore. But it is really an amazing sore, a sore that you never thought you would experience.
Hold my gaze: Bad kitty. I like to watch other people and gain knowledge from seeing them. But it also breaks my concentration! There is a woman who only comes to yoga every Tuesday, but she goes into balancing stick SO EARLY, and falls EV-RY-TIME. And since I watch and notice that, I fall too. Ugh. Not her fault though, she's still a baby and I am obviously the toddler that has to watch everyone. :P But on the upside, I also really enjoy watching the directors when they practice and seeing what I can take away from their postures.
Lock the Knee: What is this trickery? Trick goal, and it will always be a goal... As the quest to lock the knee is neverending.

Monday: Yoga
Tuesday: Yoga
Wednesday: 60 mins cardio & Weight Watcher's meeting
Thursday: Yoga
Friday: 60 mins cardio
Saturday: Yoga (depending on if I can get in) or 60 mins cardio & hopefully some kind of weights set. Patrick is out this weekend, so I can get in a good morning work out!
Sunday: Rest

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Importance of Being Earnest

You can always find something more important.

But in reality, your body IS the most important thing. It's all you've got for the rest of your life. And you can't take care of anyone else or anything else until you take care of you.

Make your body and your self the important thing. Because you can always find something more important.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Like Yourself

Something my yoga instructor, Beth, always says during class is,"Look in the mirror. Like what you see. Like yourself." And it is interesting, because I have always thought Beth was beautiful. And its not just her outward appearance. But you can tell that internally, she is calm and peaceful.

Last night I watched a documentary called America the Beautiful. Obviously this documentary went into what affect magazines and television have on a young girls' perception of herself. But then it explained something I had never thought of. The documentary explained that mostly, little girls get their self-worth from both parents, but self-perception primarily from their mothers. Ordinary little girls grow up thinking that their mothers are beautiful and perfect. But when a woman puts herself down in front of their daughters, the girl decides that she was wrong and maybe her mother isn't beautiful and her mother isn't perfect and therefore, her perception of what is beautiful and perfect was completely false.

I don't ever specifically remember my mother putting down her own body, but somewhere along the way I lost my own perception.
Today I decided I was going to look in the mirror and like what I see. To like my body. So I did. And I smiled at myself and stared at my back for a good long while. I looked at my back and decided that I was proud of my back. Very proud. Proud that it could become strong again, and so happy that it held me together when I absolutely needed it.

Do you like yourself? Do you already like your body?

Monday, June 14, 2010

June 14-20th

This last week was amazing.
Monday: Yoga was intense. Class wasn't unitl 530 and I'm pretty sure I stopped eating too early, I was a bit shakey during class however! I got some pointers on Triangle Pose! I was experiencing some pain in my hip and felt that it was due to sitting too wide into the posture, but now understand where I'm supposed to put the weight. And Score! I got into a permanent spot on Monday!
Tuesday: Triange Pose... Gotcha betch! My next focus will be on Standing Bow Pose! Lock the knee, lock the knee, lock the knee. Standing head to knee is really starting to become promising as well!
Thursday: Rockin! My ass was seriously sore.
Saturday: We ended up going for a 7.5 mile/moderate instensity hike... Today, my ass and legs are killin! (The pic is from the hike)

Nutrition: This is rockin my world! Doing water and coconut water is rockin and really helping me in yoga. :) Also, I started back up my membership to Weight Watchers so I can go lifetime in a few more pounds!

Monday: 60 mins cardio
Tuesday: Yoga
Wednesday: 60 mins cardio
Thursday: Yoga
Friday: 60 mins cardio
Saturday: Hiking with the family!
Sunday: Rest

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Bikram Pointers! (for beginners)

When I was a Bikram infant (as I like to call it), I found myself wishing that someone could give me good pointers on how to succeed (or make it easier) in Bikram. I would go to class and could NOT figure out how the pros make it through the whole class without breaking a sweat (seemingly... Haha!). I still marvel at some of these yogis and admire their concentration.

So I put together a few pointers that I try to follow in regards to my practice...
Before class:
-Lots of water before and after
-If you don't feel like going, that's when you need it most

During class:
-Don't wipe your sweat
-Drink warm or room temp water (the temptation is to drink cold water as it is super hot in the torture chamber, but room temperature water hydrates quicker as it doesn't take your body as long to bring the temp of the water to the body temp and can therefore utilize it quicker)
-Follow the instructions of the teacher exactly, and at the exact moment he/she says it
-Use the Bikram towel, as it will help with slipping
-Try wearing less, even if you're self-conscious... seeing your belly will help you concentrate on using it and wearing less will help with overheating

After class:
-Try the coconut water, it can taste a little funny at first but is amazing for re-hydrating and getting in potassium which will help with muscle fatigue
-Evaluate yourself, look at what you didn't do so well on and try using that as motivation for your next class
Also an option: -I also like to evaluate what I ate that day as compared to how I felt during yoga and think about how I can still eat healthy but bring up my energy level in my next class.

Take your practice seriously, and yourself lightly! :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Hydration Issues

-Since I HATE being told something, and not understanding what it really does to my body, I will go into the science of what it does to the body- :)

One of my biggest issues is what to hydrate with. In the beginning, I started just drinking gatorades and life waters and such. However, I often still did not feel hydrated. As high blood pressure runs in my family, and for those of you that don't know, high sodium intake can increase blood pressure. I would go to yoga, get nausiated during class, and for a long time couldn't figure out why.

I spent much time pondering what in my diet could be causing such things. I started out thinking about my hydration. Although a SoBe Life Water only had 25g of sodium per serving (with 2.5 servings in the bottle, that's about 62.5g per bottle), I was also consuming about 3 bottles per day. The idea was that perhaps all the sodium intake was increasing my blood pressure and perhaps causing the nausea.

So I switched to just water. However, it seems like one has to drink a TON of it, to keep your mouth wet during yoga.

I've tried coconut water before, but didn't really dig the taste. And I'll admit, it is something to get used to. But for those who are new to yoga or want to try something new that WILL absolutely hydrate your body with minimal intake. It also helps in preventing and relieving urinary problems, helps in breaking up kidney and bladder stones. Coconut water is an antibacterial, which aids in flushing the liver and helps in controlling vomiting! Regularly drinking coconut water helps with boosting the metabolism, reducing stress, nervous and emotional imbalances.

Coconut water is considered nature's sports drink and is better for hydrating the body due to its high potassium, no fat, little sugar, no sodium, little calories but very high in antioxidants. To give you an idea, here's some stats on it:
  • 1 bottle of coconut water has 569 mg of potassium which is more than a banana and would take 15 sports drinks to equal.
  • Rehydrates faster than water, so powerful some countries use it in place for medical saline in hospitals.
  • Contains more calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus than sports drinks.
  • Lower acidity than a sports drink which helps with burping and flatulence.
Now, I am obviously not trying to get you to buy anything! :) However, I just know that I like to have my options laid out and why something is obviously the best choice. I am all about getting the job done, and if I can consume less and have the same effect... I will pick that.

Monday, June 7, 2010

June 7-13th

Monday: Yoga
Tuesday: Yoga
Wednesday: 60 mins cardio
Thursday: Yoga
Friday: Relay for Life (Tons of walking!)
Saturday: 60 mins cardio
Sunday: Rest

Again, I am trying to move into doing more yoga every week. I am still trying to get into a permanent spot on Mondays... But for now, I'm just excited that my body is feeling strong and my clothes continue to feel larger and larger.
Bikram Goals this week:
-Do all sit ups
-Focus on tightening my hips in Triangle pose
-Meet my own gaze in the mirror and hold my concentration
-Lock the knee, lock the knee, lock the knee!
Nutritionally, I have been steering clear of electrolyte filled drinks to keep my sodium intake down, which could have been raising my blood pressure and therefore, making me extremely nausiated during yoga. Other than that, I really haven't been watching my intake closely... However, I am joining Weight Watcher's this weekend, which should help me finish hitting my goals, and have been focused on eating a lot of fresh foods to help my energy and performance in Bikram. I plan to watch how I am feeling in Yoga this week to really determine if the gatorades and food intake were affecting my yoga performance. :)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Bikram, In a Nutshell..

Weight: 131 lbs! Woot woot! 10 lbs to go!!!

Last year, right after I was divorced, I met a good friend who introduced me to Bikram Yoga. When I went, I was a bit scared about doing yoga in the heat... Yoga can be hard enough, and not only that but I was 40 lbs overweight. I took a break over the winter and lost 30 lbs by doing cardio and weight training. But as I have my last 10 lbs to lose, I have been thinking extensively of where I want to go from here and how I want to continue my exercise regimen.

I have found that I truly do love Bikram. It's difficult. But it's absolutely rejuvenating!

In a nutshell!
Bikram Yoga is a 90 minute yoga session in a room at about 105F with the humidity at about 40% (Bikram calls these "torture chambers "but I swear the heat and humidity does everything for your body) developed by a man named Bikram Choudhury. Its a set of 26 postures aimed at "compression" and "extension" of all organs, muscles, and joints of the body. The idea is that these two dynamics are to work together to deliver fresh oxygen every inch of the human body. While performing a posture, the body is stretching or compressing a certain part, thus cutting off circulation temporarily. This restriction of circulation causes the heart to pump more blood in reaction to the shortage, the pumping itself of fresh blood is called extension. Once the posture is complete and the person comes out of the posture, new oxygenated blood is able to rejuventate the arteries that were being compressed.
It is said that because of the volume change and influx of fresh blood that infection, bacteria, and toxins can be released and flushed out into blood and filtered through the kidneys in this process.
For those interested in spine strengthening also, this process is said to flush the cerebro-spinal fluid, which brings immunological protection (your immune system) to your brain and spinal cord!

My current troubles that I am working through are mostly due to getting dizzy and sick feeling during yoga. Although I am able to do more, I feel like a beginner again. Just wanting to gorge on water and wipe the sweat from my face (which they say not to do during class)! My whole last class I spent in large part lying down trying to calm the nausea. After class I spoke with Beth (the owner and instructor). Explained that I had made sure to hydrate enough and eat enough during the day, and couldn't figure out why I was so dizzy during class. She suggested that I pay attention to my body, what I crave, and possibly what could be causing the change. Also, I have been having muscle spasms in my right side (even though the scar tissue from my surgery is on my left...?), Beth also said it could be that my body is fighting a breakthrough. After losing so much weight and really working on my postures, the spine bending could be wanting to go farther to continue to be strengthened.

So! In effort to restore my stamina to Bikram, today I have tried just drinking water over electrolyte filled drinks (I was thinking that the sodium in the drinks might have something to do with the nausea). Also, I had a protein shake after lunch and quit eating at that point, and lunch was mostly vegetables. Normally, I would have had a protein shake around 230 and stop eating around then. My other idea was to not have coffee on days I have yoga, as coffee is a diuretic and might be dehydrating me. I love coffee, so it might be fair to say that I love Bikram more if I even THOUGHT about giving it up for yoga days! However! Last resort! :)

Awesome. I went to class having made up my mind that I was going to have an amazing class and go farther than I ever have. And not only that, but I felt amazing when I got home. My back didn't even hurt as much as it normally does after yoga. I would enjoy trying to go up to 3 classes a week, I'd love to see how that would work for my body, well-being, and exercise regimen. We'll see how next week goes. :)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Busy Week Ahead.. Time to Plan Ahead

I ate BAAADD this weekend, and didn't get in a ton of exercise. But! I am ready to win it! And I really want to... size 6 is feeling pretty good, actually its feeling really good... But now I just feel up for the challenge!

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Yoga
Wednesday: 60 mins cardio, Lower body workout
Thursday: Yoga
Friday: Relay For Life Walk, may possibly get in a core workout
Saturday: 60 mins cardio, Upper body workout
Sunday: Rest

Monday was a bad eating day, and the weekend is almost ALWAYS bad... So, my goal is to plan my dinners for the weekend before they actually come, so I can plan on at least some good eating! :)