Tag Archive: cat/cow

Day 23 – recovery

Finally!  A recovery day!  Not a day off per se, but no resistance training, just a yin class, just some stretching.  I needed a low tempo day.

Slept in, did a day of work, came home, and napped for a good long while.  Woke up, headed to the studio for some late-night stretchy.

festive Katie

Katie was teaching this Yin, and posed by the Xmas tree for a shot or two.  Get it?  Tree pose.  Xmas tree.  Decoration hanging from her hand.  Decorations hang from Xmas trees.  Christmas.  Tree.  Plus her top says Roots.  Trees have roots.


Got changed out, stood by the hot room waiting for it to get cleaned.  Dude leaning against the wall, looks like Joss Whedon.  Stares at me.  I stare back at him.  nonverbal dude communication ensues.

me – “No, you don’t know me, what now Chief?”

him – “Just now waiting to see who will look away first”

me – “Underneath my pleasant public demeanor lies a lot of unresolved anger issues.  So don’t push it.”


As a guy, I both accept these male dynamics and am amused by them.  Are women aware of how many staredowns the average man goes through as he walks down the street?  It would blow your mind, you get sized up multiple times a day.

But I digress.  Back to Yin.

60 min class, lots of free space, I’m in luck!  We did child’s pose for a while (the deep kind, where you stretch out your hips, not recover), then we did cat/cow, then pigeon then a seated twist then a half shoelace then supported fish then wind relieving pose then a prone spinal twist.  I think that was it, time flies!

I was much happier with my pigeon tonight, much more serene.  This I took as the barometer of my recovery, I am closer to feeling better.  Now, shoelace… shoelace I find quite hard, but half-shoelace?  I felt nothing…  Katie came over and made some suggestions, but I still felt nothing.  Maybe half shoelace isn’t where my edge lies.  Next time I might do some monkey splits instead (not full ones, that is beyond me currently).  Just like how double pigeon is more restorative for me than stressful, I feel pretty much nothing.  Like how now instead of doing “thread the needle”, I do dead pigeon instead.  Your practice is your own, it won’t look like everyone else’s, and it is a sign of your experience that you don’t feel the need to conform.

Day 23 down!  Looks like it’s back to the weight training!  The break is over!

Start of New Things

shoulders, core, spin, yin.  that was the plan for today.

then I slept in.  then I realized I gained an hour from the clock changes!  then I slept in more.

by the time I made it to the gym, I only had 30 min before spin class started.  So I started in with the shoulders, do what I could, do the rest after spin.

Today was a day for new things.  First up, new shoulder workout!  Quick and nasty.


superset DB shoulder press and slow cadence alternating front raise (2-2-2):  45 x8/20 x6, 45×8/15×12, 45×8/15×12, 45×8/15×12

drop sets of lat raises:  20×12, 15×10, 10×8, 5×10

drop sets of reverse flys:  25×12, 20×10, 17.5×10, 10×10

notes:  if you don’t know what I mean by cadence, I mean you raise the weight over 2 seconds, hold it at the top for 2 seconds, and lower it for 2 seconds, 2-2-2.  If you have never tried that with front raises before, it is rough, lol.  I started off with 20s for the front raises, but could only pump out 6.  So I went down to 15s, and it started our easy, but got tough near the end, especially tough not letting my shoulders creep up and bringing more muscles into play.

The drop sets of lat raises burned like heck!  When it came time for the reverse flys, I went with the dumbbells that were available.  The problem with drop sets with the lighter weights is that the lighter weights tend to be more popular.  So it’s time to drop down to the 15s?  Oh sorry, some girl is doing bench press with them, haha.  These are light weights, but if you do the light weight exercises, and up the time under tension like I did, you can get a good workout, especially for a guy with gimp shoulders like me 🙂

After the flys, I realized it was 7 min left until class, so I had all this cool stuff for my traps, and core work, but stuck a pin in it.

Spin!  Turns out we got new bikes!  Second new thing of the day!  Hooray!  Spin was good, I went easy at the start, but there were some good tracks in there, track 2 was hard, and the final working track was hard, lots of long standing climbs without drops in tension.

check out the bikes!

As you can see, they are fairly light, lighter than the old ones.  This has good and bad points.  Easier to move them around physically, that’s good.  On the other hand, I suspect the flywheels on these are physical pressure, and not magnets like the ones at the Queens St club (spin bike flywheels, HOW DO THEY WORK?!?).  So you put a heavy guy on a lightframe bike, when you go into a standing climb and there isn’t enough pressure on a physical flywheel, the bike lurches at the bottom of the pedal stroke.  The bike jerks a bit when you switch from push to pull.  If you turn up the tension enough, that jerkiness goes away, but then that means you have to make it hard as heck just to make the standing climb not awkward.  Magnets are just more smooth, physical flywheels sometimes make the bike react in different ways.  Ie. the wheel might squeak if the tension is too high and it needs to be cleaned.

The knob is also smaller, which I don’t like.  “Chunky” is easier to grab when you are doing quick transitions.

The handles are great though.  Lots of handle choices, thicker handles for dudes with big hands like me.  The middle half circle there makes arrow grip MUCH easier.  2 spots for water bottles is nice I suppose, not a big deal.  Maybe 1 water bottle and a cellphone, haha.

So I was going to do traps and abs, but my neighbour invited me to a movie.  I decided yes to the movie.  I watched Man with the Iron Fists.  Rather ridiculous.

After the movie I only had time for a quick bite, then headed off to hot yoga!  Hot yoga isn’t new, but it has been about a month and a half since I went, so that is sorta new.  But beyond that, I have signed up for another 30 day challenge!  30 days of hot yoga, scary!

For me, it is not only the start of a new challenge, but I am hoping for revenge.  My last 30 day hot yoga challenge was September, and well… my shoulder gave out.  So it is November now, time to climb back up on that horse!  Wish me luck!

The 30 day challenge starts tomorrow, so I went today as a warmup.  I signed up for a 90 min yin class at the end of the day, led by one awesome teacher, Ghislaine (Gigi)!

Gigi and I before class

Gigi suggested I might use this photo to enhance my stud status.  So consider it official, a picture of my new girlfriend!!  Haha, kidding.  Hmmm… I should go through my blog and gather all the pictures of ladies, and send Mom an email letting her know yoga has turned me into Hugh Hefner…

Yin was 90 min, and it was awesome.  Mostly spine, and some hips.  Decompression, hips, compression.  I love doing spine work in yoga in general, it’s all good.  We did seated butterfly (I often call it cobblers), then half butterflies with some seated twists.  Then caterpillar/snail, then cat/cow.  Then hips:  dragon and then pigeon and then “cat pulling its tail”.  Then compression, seal/sphinx.  Then we did some lying on our back spinal twists.  Then savasana, then it’s over already!

Doesn’t sound like a lot of moves, but when you hold each side for like 4 or 5 min, it adds up, lol.

Overall, really good.  I was so rusty, I could really feel it in my legs.  But still got my head to my feet on butterfly, the half butterflies felt pretty good.  Got back into snail, I didn’t feel shaky or offbalance.  Snail is also hard because it locks my throat up (this is normal), but I kept calm, tilted my chin a few different ways, and breathed past the lock.  Not panicking is a big part of it, feeling your throat get squeezed.

Seal was good, felt really nice to compress after all the decompression.  Hips surprisingly didn’t stress me out.  Dragon tends to drive a lot of people crazy, and while it was hard, I felt calm and felt focused.

I could not have asked for a better first class back!  Hope this bodes well for my challenge.

See you next time!