Tag Archive: warrior 2


Day 19 – Stepping Up

The plan was to do some back & biceps, and then some Friday night hot yoga.  And then Thursday night I had a massive bout of insomnia.  that giant post yesterday, Day 18?  Yeah, that was me staying up past 1 am.  Hard to wake up at 5 am when you went to sleep around 2, haha!

So I slept in pretty hard, then rushed to work, all unshowered and bummy.  I just hid out in the cube at work, preparing work and emailing it out, I was not ready to jump to the front stage and be an office hero today.  I felt sooo tired, I didn’t even want coffee, I was past that.  I have gone hard on the coffee this month, but I am feeling this growing sensation inside that I want to cold turkey for a bit, detox all that mess out.  Must be the yoga side of me getting assertive 🙂

After work, I headed home and napped for a bit.  I decided that if yoga went well, maybe I could find a late night gym and lift after.  That might have been a pipe dream, but w/e.

It was Friday night hot yoga, meaning all proceeds go to charity, and the class fills up with a more casual crowd.  Not to say they aren’t good, lots of great looking practice in this group, but they aren’t as formal, they have to be shushed occasionally, they leave their phones on, that sort of thing.

A funny thing happened to me tonight.  For most of the month I have stayed at the back of the class.  I don’t feel like my practice is any good, I feel rusty and OUT of practice, I don’t feel like I have “earned” a spot up front, don’t want people to see me, etc etc.  I just wanted to sweat and toil in the back for the most part.

And then tonight, I walked in early, I had the whole room to choose from, and I felt like moving up.  I wanted to be in the lights, with everyone looking at me, I wanted a strong and proud practice.  I found a spot to the right side but in the middle.

I wasn’t breathtaking or anything, but I was controlled and confident the whole class.  Sure there was a guy to my right popping up into a full back bridge when I was merely lifting my pelvis up, and there was a woman to my left popping out headstands while I was doing wide leg forward folds, but that didn’t matter.  I just wanted to be at the front of the pack tonight 🙂

As it turns out, I think the class was maybe a little TOO confident.  When we were in Warrior 2, and the teacher told us to flip our palms over, half the class was already leaning back into reverse warrior.  And when she said “trikonasana” (aka triangle pose, aka bend forward, not backward), the majority of the people leaning back kept leaning back!

Class grinded to a brief pause as she gently reiterated she wanted them to bend their torsos forward… “you guys are on yoga autopilot tonight”.  That might have been part of it, they might have done the same sequence so many times they were just going through the motions.  Meaning they weren’t moving mindfully.  It could also be that they were agitated and anticipating moving into reverse warrior because warrior 2 was unpleasant, or they wanted to speed through the practice.

At any rate, it can be hard to wait for the verbal direction.  I know sometimes in yoga class it seems like the teacher is just… talking… so… darn… slow!  We have all cursed under our breath, “hurry up!”  But in this case, the teacher was not prolonging the agony, the class was just being a little sloppy.  Not me of course! *pats self on back*  I waited for the verbal cue, went into triangle, and cocked my head quizzically as everyone around me did something totally different.

Inspired by this turn of events, the teacher threw a few different wrinkles into the practice, to keep us on our toes, so to speak.  Breaking up the pigeon on each side with some wide leg forward folds, for example.

And the best part about this practice?  I came out of it feeling strong, like I was ready to do more!  I haven’t felt that in a while, and this was a fairly forgiving sequence tonight, but still!  For once I walked out feeling energized 🙂  I hope I have more challenge days like this!

I was ready to go to the gym to do some late night lifting, but as if on cue, my neighbour texted me, asking if I wanted to go to an early morning spin class tomorrow 🙂  So I put back and biceps on the backburner, and came home to get some sleep!

Plan for tomorrow is spin, back, biceps, hot yoga!  Eek!  Full day!  See you then!

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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!

Day 3 – new growth

I subscribe to the Daoist (aka Taoist) belief that everything reverses direction upon reaching it’s opposite.  Take something too far and it snaps back, like an elastic.  This means 2 things to me, personally:

– everything will pass, all the good times, all the bad times, they will pass away; even the good times contain the seed of their own misery, and if you look really hard into your awful moments, rays of light will creep in

– if you want a good moment to last, change it up; take the root of your intention and graft it to a new plant, to encourage new growth.  if you want a bad time to end, don’t hide from it, face it and let it run it’s course

the classic yin-yang symbol

So here I am, trying to lose weight, get fit, get strong, be happy.  It’s been one long solid effort for about a year and a half, a few injuries and illnesses along the way, temporary derails at best.  How do you keep it from getting stale?  I took up hot yoga, found out I loved it.  Dabbled in bodyweight calisthenics.  I switch up my resistance training routine every few months, tried out a spin marathon.  And this month I find myself in the midst of a 30 day hot yoga challenge, complete with resistance training 🙂  New yoga teachers, generally speaking, every endeavour is a little bit different.  But I am always thinking ahead, thinking to what my next mini-challenge could be.

The above speaks to the second meaning of the parable.  As to the first, I woke up this morning and FELT GOOD.  The clouds had parted, the sun was shining in.  It was time for the good times 🙂

sunrise, sunrise

I headed off to hot yoga for a noontime class with Amber.  I even managed to take my pixx BEFORE the class!  Am I a genius or what?

Amber is one of the co-owners of this studio, and one of the most popular teachers in the city, so her classes are often packed.  Even a holiday Monday, even Labour Day, this was no exception.  Full room!  My personal intention for this class was to take it easy on myself, don’t force it, and ENJOY myself!

The class was SO much fun!  The room had a really good vibe, it was a good crowd.  I swear I could feel the positive energy in the room, noone was down on themself, everyone tried, sometimes they sat out, sometimes I sat out, but we were all HAPPY,  you could feel it.

60 minute power flow, linking movements to breath.  We started out with core and ab work, whaaaaa?!!  That was not unusual for an Amber class, but I am accustomed with most other people doing abs near the end.  Since it was the start, I had much more energy, so I wasn’t godawful – not awesome, just not awful 🙂

I should really write down the sequence right after, like take a notebook, it gets hard to remember it 9 hours later, haha!  a few sets of warrior 1’s, chaining the warrior 1 the second time to a 2, next time around the warrior 2 by itself, with eagle arms.  We squatted, for some people that meant crow pose, for me that meant more squatting haha.  short burst seated prayer twists, short burst chair poses.  towards the end we did bridges, and I opted for supported bridge, made it highly restorative for me 🙂  I stretched my legs out though, to get a better stretch for my spine.

I find this super comfortable! Except I always cactus my arms out to the sides.

 

During the final savasana, I kept feeling the good vibes, talk about day and night from the last few days!  My head was in a much better space.

I was supposed to do chest and tri on monday, but the gym has terrible hours on holiday monday, and I was going for a consult with a physical trainer at 5, so I told my shoulder it has worked hard enough for today, and gave it the rest of the day off.  Tomorrow though, chest and tris, and will do Yin in the evening, so I don’t overwork the ole’ delts.

So I met a personal trainer today for a consult, another person doing the 30 day challenge with me, Leslie Robertson.  (Hi Leslie!)  She actually has her own wordpress blog you should check out:  http://getfitwithles.wordpress.com/

I met with Leslie because I am thinking ahead to what comes next after the 30 day challenge, I need a new endeavour to graft onto, to find new growth.  She agreed to take me on for a 12 pack of sessions in October, and a test run next Wednesday (Sept 12) !  I haven’t had a PT in a while, and am excited to see how I have changed since the last PT, and what PT goodness she can extract out of me.  I liked the last PT I met with, but she wanted a full year commitment, and I still feel like I need to pilot my own vessel.  The 13 sessions with Leslie are an extended sample, and I am keeping an open mind, if I love them, I can always commit to way more!

Of course this means one more month with my current workout routine, so I am going to work that one like a rented mule all month!

Beast mode engaged

I love you guys SO MUCH today, I will keep this short!  So much more I could say, but I will save it for another time.  But today was awesome, just a smooth vibe all around 🙂

See you tomorrow.