Waves are Rowdy, Sand is Hot, I Need a Mat.

I’m going to tell you right now that beach yoga and photography made me feel foolish. Just in case you haven’t caught that yet. My experience made me feel like I was unreasonable. I mean it was a nice quiet beach and I had nowhere else to be. I’ll admit the photography wasn’t necessary. At all. I have one great video where I’m flowing and huge wave came up and I had to chase it to get my phone before it drowned. With that, I leave you with this:

 

I Would Show You a “Fancy” Pose, but I’m Dying

I love looking at other people’s complicated and sophisticated yoga poses on the beach. Show me how bendy you really are. I think it’s so cool! Obviously the physical part of yoga is just a small piece of a bigger puzzle. Therefore, I can’t compare myself to others based on their physical practice. It’s not healthy. Sometimes we all do it anyway. I think. I DO have funny stories of me doing stupid shit that prohibits me from obtaining ultimate bendiness. Let me tell you about it.

Anyway. Here is my warrior 2 with eagle arms, and that’s because from jumping on the bed and sleeping funny and sitting on airplanes, my shoulders actually felt like they were going to pop. After a huge long $50 90 minute Mexican massage, I still had a knot the size of Montana next to my spine were I landed in bed-jumping a few days prior. I may never actually jump on a bed again.

I DO win extra yoga points in my head for attempting to cure this horrible problem by breathing into that knot and acknowledging that ignoring it will not help. Always pay attention when shit hurts. I learned that the hard way. Also knew attempting a pose I’m not ready would be silly.

Can you hold poses like warrior 2 with strength, love and integrity? That to me, is good yoga. Can you notice what makes you uncomfortable and accept it? That’s what’s up.

Next Class is 12pm at http://www.igniteyogact.com

Beach Yoga: So Many Of My Favorite Poses Are Sitting On My Bottom

I feel like my last post was pretty insightful. Now let’s get a little silly, but still realistic.

A towel never would have withstood the wind, and I didn’t even mess with attempting to bring a mat on the plane.

One of the problems I encountered during my beach flow is I just really wanted to lay down and flop around. I will mention something about waves in another post- but the sand was WAY too hot.

Too hot for my feet, never mind if I was going to try sitting down for a forward fold or butterfly. All poses that I would have liked to do sitting down, had to be attempted standing up. This includes getting kinks out from sitting on airplanes to get to Mexico City and then to the beach.

The conclusion and point is, my practice usually includes me rolling on the floor in my sweats, so in this way beach yoga was not good for my low-key (maybe sometimes lazy…) yoga lifestyle.

Come practice with me Wednesday’s 6:30, Sunday’s at 12pm @ http://www.igniteyogact.com

Beach Yoga Lesson 1: Find Stability When Something Is Slipping Out From Under You

 

If you want to read my beach yoga insights- cool! As always, I like to share my good, bad, and funny thoughts about stuff. I love yoga. BUT I like to keep it real. I have the words “Hold your ground” tattooed across my belly. Those are Gorilla Biscuits lyrics about being yourself even if it means you don’t find in with everyone. This post is about holding my ground physically in sand but also in terms of sharing this experience with people. I tried yoga on the beach this week in Mexico.

Practicing beach yoga for me was more uncomfortable than running in downtown Mexico City at 6am. This blog will always be more of the tone “This is what I’m up to. Here is what I’m learning and I want it to help you!” Rather than “Look at what I can do!”

As you can see- I am wearing a bathing suit! My personal practice I like to roll around in my sweatpants (more on that in a later blog), but yes I am a female who likes to wear a bathing suit at the beach! Actually, I’ll talk more about that later too! Cool!

Of course being a relatively shy, married, and personally conservative low-key person I had to decide whether or not it was something I wanted to post. I’m going with “yes.” For a few reasons. First, I just have a regular kind of athletic body and I’m not a stick. I don’t have a six pack. My spirit animal is a bowling ball. I like eating food. Secondly, it’s not like I’m in the studio wearing my bikini. That would be weird and I hate that idea.

Before I know it I’m in a weird freshly-dug grave-looking/sized hole. I don’t know why but I found this to be ironic and funny.

I have a brand new respect for people who can do inversions in the sand. Especially if it’s hot, and definitely if there are waves! That shit is hard to do! I can’t do a hand stand yet, and even holding down dog in the sand which tricky.

Inversions have kind of been on my to-do list beautiful so who knows. Maybe one summer I’ll have a handstand in the blue waves. Or not. Honestly who cares?

In all seriousness it was interesting to find foundation and stability when something is literally moving out from under me. Especially when I was also hot, uncomfortable, and the sun was starting to burn a little. Hold the pose, finish the sequence? Or say, “Fuck it I knew I’d hate this. Let me sit by the pool and run in the morning!”

That translates into life like most of the stuff on my mat. What subtle adjustments can you make when you feel unstable in your life? Whether it’s physical like changing your routine, or immediate like taking a deep breathe in a moment?

Sometimes a voice inside my head makes me feel corny like “What business do YOU have doing yoga and showing people? You’re not that bendy and you look weird. Don’t share those pictures keep your practice private.”

So physically yes it was hard to hold poses at the beach. Mentally it was challenging to stick to the idea that it was OK to share something like this with people. If you like doing something, or you’re trying something new or challenging – I say share it with people.

Daylight Savings Will Save Me

….From going crazy soon. I want a full day of light and warmth. A lot of my social media stuff has been about working out lately. Working out is cool but what’s going inside everyone’s heads right about now? SPRRRRIIIINGGGGGG!!!!

Most of us tend to look inward during the winter. Me? I’m around people so often that once the days are short and cold you’d be hard pressed for me to respond to a text, let alone see me in person or catch me ready to hang out. Once March rolls through and the snow begins to melt (ahem, except when we have last minute nor’easters!), I feel happy and hopeful. My favorite seasons are May and June. Once that Justin Timberlake meme starts rolling through my social media I know it’s “GO” time again.

Daylight savings means spring is coming. I tend to wake up and move outward. Clean out my house (sort of), open the windows, and reconnect with anyone I may have neglected during the winter. Last spring I *really* tried to be the best person I could be- but hey shit happens. All the warm weather and yoga and running and sometimes we still lose our shit. Watching my dog slowly die for several months being one of them. Getting injured in Boston- and beginning my spring with a big rain cloud over my head. What will change this year?

As I turn a new leaf I want to make space to foster positive energy. My intention is that I think about things I like to do and what I’m passionate about- and do them with purpose, grace, and love. My hope is that everyone else can do that, too.

Angry Poses: Lotus

In this picture I’m sternly contemplating how I️ can painlessly undo this pose- so not mindful here. Also I️ have a crooked hip. Also extremely uncomfortable.

I’m going to release this series with a disclaimer: these are all in jest. A pose is different every time you do it. If you change the way you approach and perceive a pose, use your body to breathe into it, and let go of your shit- you can transform any pose. That being said, different poses hit different meridian lines that may trigger different feelings. Some of these just make me uncomfortable.

It doesn’t necessarily make me angry, mostly just nervous. I️ don’t even know how I️ got my feet as far into Lotus as they are for this picture!

The biggest problem with Lotus is if I️ my hips are flexible that day chances are my ankles are stiff. Once I tie my legs up into their spot my other problem is staying that way. Every second in Lotus is like an eternity for me. Then, whenever I️ come out, I️ have to physically pry my feet apart. Then they snap into the floor and make a loud bang and it hurts.

My Favorite Poses… Runner Up

Ever since Chicago my hamstrings have really been telling me to go fuck my self. Actually my right one is a lot more angry at me than my left. As you can see I️ can’t get very far. Shit hurts. Can’t fold over my leg- and this is my agreeable side.

I’ve never been a “split” person. It’s amazing when you’re looking around the room (bad bad yogi- just focus on yourself) at who can and can’t do a split. I️ think you’re either a split person or you’re not. I️ see 90 year old ladies just pop into splits. What! Splits are mind blowing to me.

I️ may have told this story before. Oh well… The only time I️ ever almost did a split I️ was doing it out of anger. I️ was thinking about how much I hate racism, not focusing on my breath, and pushing down prying my hips open with my fists digging into my mat with every ounce of strength and anger I️ had. Yeah no. Anger works with all my other hobbies but not really yoga. When I️ realized I️ was going to pop my hip off and go to the hospital in one more second I️ laughed and stopped.

Favorite pose #3: low lunge with side bend

Ok full disclosure I️ didn’t learn this from some yoga guru I️ actually just stole it out of a sleazy fitness magazine a few weeks ago.

Sometimes I’m so used to keeping poses “standard” I️ don’t think how a small twist (or bend- haha) can really change everything.

When I️ do low lunge it opens a little… but I️ like subtle bending. Then when I️ begin to reach over to the side I️ can feel the stretch shift over in my inner hip flexor to the tips of my fingers. It’s hard to get into the psoas sometimes too, and I️ can feel it get in there. My friend and I️ were just talking about how our inner hips are messing us up. This has really helped!

I️ put this in many of my yoga for athletes sequences.

Favorite pose #3: Legs up the wall in general but especially in wide straddle

I’ve been looking at Instagram yoga lately and I️ hope you’re getting the feeling that my message is “let me share with you what I️ like to do!” Rather than “look at what I️ can do!” Most of these pictures are of me flopping around in my sweatpants, haha. That being said my good friends at Crossfit will make fun of my spread eagle and say it’s sexually inappropriate. The joke about that is- also what makes me love my friends- is they’re the inappropriate ones! If I️ do this at the gym there is a 90% chance someone will make fun of me (in a nice way) but it’s worth it.

I️ like happy baby too but I’m not even going there!

Haha if you can keep your mind out of the gutter this is awesome. When I️ played roller derby and squatted and did Crossfit I️ would hold this pose and my inner thighs felt like guitar strings. Nowadays with running and Crossfit it opens my hips more and my thighs aren’t the problem. When I️ would do this pose WITH my roller skates on I’d let gravity do the rest. I’d sit for five minutes and see where my legs would go. On bad days it’s a little excruciating. I️ also like to just lay on the flat floor and open up my arms.

I️ like throwing my legs up the wall and I️ stare at my ankles and try to breathe into them. I get really focused and I️ watch the blood pump through the veins on my ankle and I try to send them healing vibes. Yeah if you don’t do yoga it might sound corny. I️ still think it works. Besides if you know how shitty my ankles are you’d know how much help they need.

My right leg hates me so I just keep doing yoga and making food in my new Instant Pot instead of running

I’ve now been out for a three miler, a two miler, and two five milers since the race. Some yoga, and a walk or two.

Last night Josh put me on the table and tried to help me… because last night that pain was shooting from the top of my hamstring/bottom of my flute to behind my knee, getting tied up in my right calf, and even pulling into the arch of my foot. Basically something is pulling something that is pulling something that is making my whole leg angry. This is the same problem I had *during* my race that caused me to drop my pace to almost 9 minute miles towards the end and cover my entire lower half in biofreeze at every aid station.

So needless to say I think officially Philly is a bad idea. Before my five miler yesterday it was still possible in my brain, but the shooting pains from last night say “no.” Even if I made it through I can already tell the recovery would be ugly.

Anyways I got this fun Instant Pot. It’s a crock pot, rice cooker, pressure cooker… it also sautées for you and does everything else. With my extra time I’ve been trying to eat healthier more healing whole food vegan recipes. Ok ok also some recovery beers still. I made pumpkin chili, lentils, butternut squash harissa stew, tofu veggie dishes, and only had one big fail. Made more tofu scrambles and rice and beans. One food goal will be to not eat any nutrition bars while I’m not training. I have the RP vegan template but I still just feel like having fun vegan cooking and recovering and relaxing first.

Josh is going to intro to yoga with me at West Hartford Yoga, and the grand opening of Ignite was yesterday. It was fun and I met some new friends and got to chat with some old ones. I went to yin with Melissa first and it felt amazing to twist my back. I think the studio will be awesome for North Haven and Wallingford. I’m also having fun writing gentle and power classes.

We’ve been playing with the idea of a running and yoga class- the tricky part is just figuring out logistics. What time? How much if anything? Leave from studio before gentle? Then where to run… down state street? We have two more months of nice running weather I just need to focus my brain to hash that stuff out.