Tag Archive: shoelace

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!

Get it?  Relax plus Yin?  ugh…

I am starting to fall behind on these blogs, need to catch up! !!    !

Tuesday was my day off.  Not a day off from yoga, I am on a 30 day hot yoga challenge.  But a day off from resistance training.  Meaning the perfect practice to do that day would be a yin class.  Just some deep, mindful stretching.  Just flush it out.  Shorten the microtrauma recovery.  Clear your head.  Sweat it out.

After work, did some grocery shopping.  Picked up some good eats!  Have you heard of P28?

NO SILLY, that’s P90X.  Keep googling.

That’s it!  High protein bread.  I picked up a loaf of bread and some bagels.  why is it high protein?  They add whey isolate protein powder into it, so if you are vegan, this bread might not be for you (whey comes from milk).  The bagels are 100% whole wheat, I haven’t thawed out the bread yet, so I haven’t checked the wrapper on those.  I found them in the frozen food section at the Metro.

How do they taste?  Well, the bagels taste fine.  When you are on a low carb diet… well, let’s say I am grateful for any piece of bread I can get, so I haven’t set the bar that high in terms of taste, haha.  If it were up to me?  I would probably dip them in butter and spackle them with peanut butter.  But these actually taste just fine, all things considered.  They have the consistency of bread, they aren’t cardboard or styrofoam or anything like that.  So give them a try!  Quick boost of carb energy, guilt-free 🙂

After dinner and a nap, I headed off to Yin.  Katie was teaching this one too, just like last night.  She is a teaching machine!


It was a 60 min yin class (in the hot room, natch).  And how was it?  EVIL!  60 min of my least favorite yin poses, hahaha.  Half saddle, half happy baby, half sleeping hero, half shoelace, full shoelace.  Just 60 min of pure awkwardness.  Like, happy baby?  totally fine.  but half happy baby?  painful.  Shoelace?  I got fat thighs, man, my knees don’t stack unless I lie down, haha.  But honestly?  It was probably the class I needed.  It’s like massage sometimes, the tougher it feels, the more you are getting at the good spots.  So this was sort of a hip-heavy practice for me, it just hit the outside of my hips, which aren’t that flexible, vice the INSIDE of my hips, which are pretty flexible for my size.

And then came home, watched some tv, caught some snoozes, and that was that!  A tough but well-deserved recoveryin day.  Day 9 down!

Day 4 – the weakest link

As you go to the gym, the yoga studio, whatever, you start to learn what your body is capable of, and what it can possibly be capable of.  You also start to learn what parts are stronger than others, or which are weaker than others.  As it turns out, your entire body is connected to itself, and if one body part is lagging, it will hold the others back.  This can be a headtrip, since you can feel like your chest muscles are raring to go, but your shoulders or triceps will give out in a press.

muscles exercised in a chest press

As you explore resistance training, you will find out what parts are lagging, and you have to take a step back from your strengths so you can build up your weak spots.

When it comes to exercise, you really only are as strong as your weakest link.  Have strong legs and a weak core?  Your squats won’t be that good.  Strong back and a weak grip?  Bad at pullups.

Unfortunately, I am not that good at following my own advice.

I knew my shoulders had taken a pounding doing hot flow yoga classes 4 days in a row.  I knew my sprain was not that long ago.  But my chest still felt ready for chest day at the gym, so I got up Tuesday morning, ready to kill it, dimly aware that I should stop if my shoulder feels weak.


chest & tri day

dumbbell press (2 min rest) 60 x 16, 70 x 12, 80 x 7**, 90 x 4, 80 x 7, 70 x 11, 60 x 11

pec dec (30 sec rest) 135 x 14, 11, 7, 6, 2

straight bar pushdowns (30 sec rest) 120 x 15, 10, 5

assisted widegrip pullups (1 min rest)  6, 4, 4


notes:  I didn’t do cardio, since I was running late.  I did 3 warmup sets with light weight dumbbells to warmup the chest, and tried to explore some slow reps and deep ROM.  Everything felt fine.  When I got to the 80 pound dumbbells though, I felt a twinge in my left shoulder.  But because I was so focused on the exercise, I was mentally in the zone, my chest felt strong… I kept going.  Dumb on my part.  I would stop when it didn’t feel like the weight would go up, but my shoulder felt sore.  I did another 4 sets AFTER I felt the twinge, sigh.  Don’t do that.  By the time I made it to the last set, I felt my left shoulder “click” every time I lowered the weight.  That didn’t sound good.


Pec dec felt fine.  When it was time for triceps, I decided what would involve my shoulders the least were straight bar pushdowns, shoulders just resting.  What I find important with the straight bar pushdowns is to keep my wrists straight, otherwise I crank it a bit with my wrist and take some of the weight away from my triceps.

the stance looks silly, but it’s worth it


Unfortunately,  I felt a lot of strain right where the bicep meets the forearm, prob the pronator teres.


This muscle turns your forearm to make your palms face posteriorly, and helps flex your elbow.  Maybe in my attempt to put as much weight as possible on my triceps, I was also putting a lot of pressure on my elbow.


After I did some pullups, they felt pretty shaky, I knew I was done, and headed to work.


At work, that pronator muscle felt really sore, and my left shoulder felt really sore.  I became worried I  was maybe respraining my shoulder.  I kept testing out my range of motion in my shoulder with no resistance, and it felt fine, actually the soreness was more felt laterally  with my palms turned up than it was with palms facing down.  My original sprain was also focused mostly on the anterior, when I would lift my arm in front of me.  So I was relieved at least that it wasn’t a carbon copy of the old sprain, and was probably related to elbow stress as well.

I became worried that this was way too much exercise for me.  Maybe I can’t do resistance training 4 days a week and hot yoga 7 days a week.  My shoulder felt sore, but not blown out, so I had to make some hard choices.

I went home after work and slept for about an hour so I could think more, took a strong anti-inflammatory.  In the end I decided I would give my shoulder the rest of the week off from resistance training, no back or biceps either.  I would do a Yin yoga class Tuesday and Wednesday night and let my shoulder rest, and see how I felt for a flow on Thursday.  I dearly want to complete this 30 day challenge, but not at risk to my health.


I showed up for a late night 60 min Yin by Candlelight, with Mark teaching.


This was my first class with Mark.  He was really good!  I will admit, I have a personal preference to having females as guides, that is just my own thing, maybe some sort of Jungian anima animus thing, who knows.  But I needed Yin really bad, and Mark’s class was great!  He added a good element of humour, and worked the crowd really well.  It was mostly oriented on the hips and the middle of the back, so we had a few forward folds, pigeons, dragon pose, shoelace, gentle spinal twists.

shoelace – I have big thighs, so this one is hard


You know what?  When I left Yin, my shoulder felt a lot better.  I am at home now, about to settle into a long sleep, probably will sleep in late tomorrow, no gym, just try to let myself heal, work on my weak links for a bit 🙂


See you tomorrow!