Tag Archive: chaturanga


Day 12 – good & bad heat

The plan for today was an upper body workout and then one of the more active hot yoga sessions.  Get all my resistance training going.

Showed up for an upper body session with Leslie, and noticed very quickly the burning sensation in my left thigh.  I have an inflamed IT band, it has happened before.  When I first got it, I didn’t know what it was and kept pushing until the burning became very intense, like pressing up against a hot cooking pot.  It is a sign for me when I feel it to ease up on the leg work, get a massage, take care of myself!  Luckily this wasn’t leg day, so I pressed on (get it?)

warm-up with the battle ropes for 2 min

flat bench press w dumbbells:  warmup, 150 x10, x10, x9

incline dumbbell flys:  70 x12, x12, x12

pushups:  12, 15, 15

BREAK:  foam roller massage

Australian pullups:  10, 10, 10

t-bar row:  125 x12, 135 x12, x12

try not to sack yourself!

widegrip pulldowns:  200 x12, x12, 220 x12

cooldown:  5 min on elliptical

 

notes:  the ropes reminded me that my biceps were sore 🙂  Somewhat the biceps, moreso the forearms –> the brachioradialis.  Curse you, zottman curls!  Right at the tendon where the brachioradialis connects to the elbow, that was sore.

The pushups were a mix of real ones and knee ones.  I started off with ones from my toes, and as Leslie saw my back sag, we kept going with ones from my knees.  That is a good point to note for my yoga, as Leslie noted I still sag a lot during chaturanga, and put too much pressure on my shoulders. (She came to yoga with me on Monday, and observed.)  This is common, lots of people have saggy backs in chaturanga, but if I want to rehab my shoulders, I need to tighten up on my form, or just do chaturanga (and pushups) from my knees.

After pushups, we took a break from resistance training to apply the foam roller to my IT band.  It was needed, even getting up and down was sore in my left leg.  The rolling hurt, but hurt in the way that makes you laugh.  Well, it makes ME laugh.  After about 5 min of that, I felt loosened up, so we continued.

My mind waqs still occupied with my IT band, and thinking ahead to yoga, so I sort of went through the motions with the Australian pullups.  In retrospect, my feet should have gone out further, and made it harder.  As fallout from that, I was nudging Leslie towards adding a little bit more weight here and there on the rows and pulldowns.

Then I showered up, hopped on the bus, grabbed my yoga gear and headed to hot yoga!  Friday night, typified with a full room of newer people.  That means being mindful of your neighbour, it means the room heats up an extra degree or two from all the people grunting and sweating (like I do, but even moreso).  New people tend to heat up the room more than crafty old vets.  But this kind of heat is the “good heat”, all those hot hairy water bottles surrounding you, steaming up the air, help open your pores and dilate your bronchials.  I resolved to take the class mindfully, to keep an eye out for my left IT band, aka the “bad heat”.

I found a spot next to the wall so I would only have to watch one side for flailing limbs and stumbling bums.  It was a 60 min class, leading us through the basic sequence.  Kelly was teaching!

sweaty shot after class

The class itself was quite forgiving, with lots of 5 second downward dog “rests” in between the juicy poses.  To my open side was a young woman and her 2 male friends.  I think she might have been new, because she was getting hammered by the class, to the point where she kept muttering, “jesus christ” to herself under her breath.  I smiled to myself, we have all been through the “trial by fire”, where the hot room just makes the awkward exercises and poses just THAT much harder.  Before you first went to yoga, did you EVER do dancers pose or half-moon balances?  exactly.

At one point she lost her balance, and fell forward, instincetively grabbing my buttcheeks for balance!  She profusely apologized, I told her it was ok, and chuckled.  I wonder if this was the middle of the room… could she have created a domino effect?  Have a bunch of yogis in a packed room ever toppled like dominoes?  Could I stumble forward and grab a yoga girl’s butt without a write-up from the front desk??  hahaha

My leg didn’t hurt too bad, my shoulder held up ok (why is it always my left side?), and then headed home.  Day 12 ovah!

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Day 16 – Double Down

When I say Double Down, I am NOT referring to cheese and bacon stuck between 2 pieces of fried chicken.

doesn’t that look appetizing?

Whatever happened to food that actually LOOKS like food?  And when was the last time KFC DIDN’T give me diarrhea??

Sorry, where was I?  Oh yes, when I say double down, I am referring to that moment in a workout when you have had SUCH a good time and enjoyed the experience so much you decide to go right back in and do it again immediately!  You are gambling against the law of diminishing returns, that if spin class was SO awesome, then 2 spin classes will be twice as awesome, right?

I should note:  I do NOT double down on resistance training.  When I lift weights, I am quite certain that the benefits go south quick after the one hour mark.  One full session is it for me.  But for spin, for yoga, sometimes I decide to go back to the well for more awesome.

I have talked about spinoga in the past.  But lately I have been really sick, and I was lucky to get in a single workout, much less two.  Well today, Sunday, I felt free and clear of the flu.  So I thought to myself, “hmmm, maybe when I go to hot yoga today, if I am feeling good, why not do 2 classes?”  I used to do 2 classes in a row quite often.  However, usually those 2 classes would be a flow then a yin, which has been a very natural-feeling combo for me.  Rarely do I do 2 “yang” type classes in a row, multiple flows or power classes sounds like murder!  Well, one time I did 3 non-yin hot yoga classes in a row, but that might have been temporary insanity on my part 🙂

getting fitted for the newest yoga gear!

Today I noticed a combo that might be a nice transition for me though.  The studio was hosting an “intro” class followed by a regular flow class.  Perfect!  I could do a class where we do one pose at a time in relative isolation, perhaps followed by a few minutes of Q&A, I stand a good chance of not being obliterated after my long absence from the hot room, then if I am feeling squirrelly still, I could do the reg flow right after!

For the record, I think intro classes are a good idea once in a while regardless.  People hear “beginner” or “intro” and they assume it will be of no value.  This is the wrong way to think of it.  Call it a “fundamentals” class instead.  So often in the vinyasa classes we move from one pose to another, maybe you get an adjustment, maybe you don’t.  Maybe over the months you build up some bad habits that noone notices.  In your head, you are imitating the person next to to you, and it has become comfortable through repetition.

So with a fundamentals class, you can spend some time honing and polishing the mainstays of your asana practice:  Warrior 1 and 2, chaturanga, runners lunge, forward folds, maybe some triangle, maybe even the transitions between those poses!  For most of the casual yoga attendees, transition is a race to the next pose.  They might be clear on the poses, more or less, but the transitions are often any which way you can get there.  A fundamental class can help you with the moves you do in between your moves.

So I like to do an intro class once every couple of months, as long as it doesn’t break the bank to do so.

I showed up at the studio, ready for the intro class with Tiffani.

tree with flair, sort of a flamenco dancer tree. Ole!

The class actually had a lot of men in it, which was good for me to see.  A lot of guys feel intimidated to try yoga, despite all the good things they hear about it.  Guys don’t like looking like bumbling fools in a female-heavy environment, haha.

We practiced Warrior 1 and 2, we did a few sun salutations, some cobra practice, some triangle, some reverse warrior.  It felt good!

reverse warrior

Went to the changeroom, realized I wanted MORE.  Unfortunately, not being a genius, I had not packed any extra clothes!  So I would be wandering into a brand new class in my sweaty gear from last class.  Oh well.  A wise yoga teacher once tried to drill this into my head, “Jeremy, bring extra shirts.”  Looks like I still have a lot to learn…

Took some pixx with Tiffani who taught my class 1 and Megan who is teaching my class 2!  worlds collide!

yoga sandwich!

This was a “karma flow” class for Megan, where she waives her teaching fee, and all attendance is by donation, and all donations go direct to working with local orgs in India fighting sex trafficking.  Megan is about $12,000 of the way towards her $20,000 goal, and she works darn hard for it!  I only wish there were more people in the class, a great class for a great price and the $ is going to a great cause!

This flow, it sort of felt like Warrior 2 was our “home base”.  Most of our routines had Warrior 2 as the common point.

lots of tensing and strength flowing through this “still” pose

Warrior 2 is also a nice challenge for my sore shoulder.  Kind of sad saying holding my arm out in front of me is a challenge, but look around during the avg hot yoga class.  After a few planks, a few pushups, someone in Warrior 2 is always dropping their arms and fighting to bring it back to parallel.  It is always a sobering realization to know that yoga is helping you to do something as simple as holding your arms out stright in front of you, or straight up beside your head, or whatever.

Warrior 2 also reminds you the importance of putting your shoulders “down and back”.  Also known as “shoulder packing”.  I think shoulder packing is a huge point for life in the Modern World.  We spend so much time hunched over our computer, shoulders rounded, back curved, core not engaged.  We practice this poor posture sometimes for hours every day!  So when it comes time to do yoga, or lift weight, we have weak cores, weak back muscles, poor posture, and rounded shoulders.

Practicing putting your shoulders “down and back”, puts your shoulders in a more natural position, it corrects your posture, it helps you lift more weight, it helps you hold Warrior 2 longer, it is just better all around!

down and back

So once we made it through the karma flow, I walked out of the change room to a nice surprise, someone had made healthy brownies!

I had eaten 2 pieces already before I realized they were healthy!  Hey!  It’s the golden hour after a workout, I eat guilt-free 🙂  But these brownies were made out of zucchini?  I didn’t taste any zucchini… sneaky zucchini!  The brownies were made by fellow 30 day challenger Manon, who it just SO happens, has her own awesome blog!  Check it out!

http://theblissprojectblog.wordpress.com/

 

Double classes always leave me thirsty and sleepy, so I came home and drank about 3 litres, haha.  Going to get a good sleep tonight.  See you tomorrow!

back to the mat

I put my game face on today.

got a good sleep the night before, went off to work, ate well, headed to the gym after work.

shoulders & triceps first

I grabbed the 25s, and supersetted front raises and side raises.  Then I supersetted front raises and reverse flys.

12 front, 12 side, rest 2 min

12 front, 12 side, rest 2 min

12 front, 12 reverse, rest 2 min

12 front, 12 reverse

Then I grabbed the 50s for some slow shrugs.  Shrug, hold for 4 seconds, then lower.

12, 60 sec rest, 12

Then triceps (60 sec rests)

close grip bench 135×10, x10

T-bar pushdowns 130×12, x12

DB kickbacks 30×12, x12

dips…. ugh, let’s talk.  1, 1, 3

I am not used to doing kickbacks so I kept the weight low.  They didn’t feel comfortable, so I am going to borrow a trainer friend next chance I can and get some pointers from him on form.

Dips – I used the dip station, and I normally do them seated.  I was VERY uncomfortable, lol, I kept swinging and I coulnd’t lower all the way, so I stopped.  I became worried about how they felt on my shoulder as well, dips are risky for me, so if I am not comfortable with the form, if I am unstable, I wouldn’t continue.  So my reps really suck.  Next time I will do assisted dips so that I can work the triceps without risking my shoulder.

Then I loosened up:  joint circling, then as the mat was full of people stretching, I tried one-arm fingertip pushups against the wall, lol!  Those were hard!  2 sets of 5, on the pads of my fingers, moving the hand closer to the center of my body for the stability.

Then 2 sets of 10 eagle claws.

Then I went to go hang from the chinup bar.  25 seconds widegrip, 18 sec closegrip, 15 sec hammer grip, 12 sec widegrip.  Widegrip was really the most comfortable, the other grips I was too close to the backpad, and I had to pull my legs back when they hung, which made my hamstrings want to cramp, lol.  But the times weren’t too bad for me.

But it’s not over!  Then I headed to Spin class, 1 hour.  At the end we did some HIIT Spin: 1 cycle of 7 repetitions, 2:1 ratio.

But it’s not over!  Then I went to a yoga class right after, not hot yoga like I normally do, some regular temp stuff.  It was my first time back on the mat in close to 3 weeks, since I hurt the shoulder.  It felt good, but downward dog was wearing me out, and my chaturanga was pretty sad.  But considering I had a shoulder workout before, I didn’t judge myself too harshly.  We had some great stretches for the hips, Pigeon feels good!  Reverse Warrior also felt really good, decent backbends on my Warriors.

So yeah, I pretty much ran wild all over that gym tonight, lol.  Let’s see if I wake up dead tomorrow…