July Accountability Challenge

We are wrapping up our July Accountability Challenge!  Unlike specific, workout challenges this one was self-administered.  Set a goal for yourself and track your results and let me know how you did at the end of the month. Easy peasy.  It’s summer after all so simple is sometimes better.

Don’t forget to share your accomplishments with me once the challenge is over!

My Accountability Challenge was to do yoga every day in July.  I run and do boot-camp so I couldn’t drop anything to add the yoga into my schedule so I just made room for a 15-45 minute practice.  Some days it was easier than others, for sure.

trezToday is July 27th and once I knock out my practice for the day I’ll have completed 27 out of 27 days.  Three more to go.

On vacation I was able to follow along to videos on my iPad and a few days I relied on memory and created my own 10-15 minute flow.  I am sure the true Yogis out there would be mortified at what I cobbled together but I figured something is better than nothing, even if it was 10 minutes of sun salutations.

Worth noting –  instead of going to classes at a studio I  hit the Internet and OnDemand by Xfinity as my resources.  I knew I couldn’t commit to a set class schedule so I had to be a DIYer 🙂

Online I found classes from Yoga JournalDo Yoga with Me, Cody Online Workouts (I purchased a workout bundle about a year ago that included yoga classes), and Yoga with Adriene  on YouTube.  She’s quirky and I like her.  The Internet is a treasure trove of workouts, you can do single poses and even find a stretching routine you can do in bed.

OnDemand has a ton of workouts.  Julie Montagu (I first saw her on Bravo’s Ladies of London) is a yoga teacher who is working with Grokker and MindBodyGreen and I enjoyed her free class through OnDemand.  Caveat – this class is the last class of her 30 day series and she moves quickly and has some advanced moves.

You can also  subscribe to yoga channels via OnDemand for about $7 to $9 per month but there are a variety of free classes you can try.

I experimented and checked out different  classes; yoga classes for runners, some for twists and bends and some restorative practices.  I also did one class with a teacher who was very flowy with his arms and moved like a bird.  I surmised that if I was standing next to him I’d have smelled patchouli oil, pot and a touch of burning sage.  But no judgement.

The reason I decided to do yoga is that while my running and boot-camp classes are great for fitness and strength I was starting to feel the effects of the pounding and intensity of my workouts.  I needed something to unwind me, for lack of a better description.

And what I’ve found is that taking time to building my foundation through various poses; making sure the heels are grounded, using all four corners of the feet, stretching through the index and second finger, reaching through the crown of my head, extending and connecting with my breath,etc. is the most important part of the practice.  In a nutshell, if your foundation is shit your body won’t be able to properly perform the poses.

Throughout the process this past month I’ve learned more about my body and what it can do. And can’t do.  But it’s (deep breath) ok.

Overall I am more flexible and stronger and have been able to go deeper into poses.  Most days. Some days not so much.   I have also discovered that my right side, tip to tail, is way more locked up than my left.  This would be a good time to meet with Dr. Ron for his magical chiropractic touch!

So once the challenge is over I plan to continue with my yoga practice.  Hot yoga is out of the question (I hate the heat) but I may venture into a studio a few times to check it out and see what I’ve been missing.   Namaste.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

 

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Yoga is for Posers

So I guess I’m into yoga now.

In full disclosure I’ve only been “practicing” for a week.  See, this is cool.  You don’t ‘do’ yoga, you practice it.  And you can bet your asanas (that means poses) that I quickly and painfully found out how much I needed to practice.

Since I’m a runner who doesn’t stretch I thought getting into a consistent habit of some body work would be smart. And  I needed something more structured than a self-administered foam rolling and stretch routine.

yoga kittiesHello yoga.

Every day I’ve committed to doing a 20-30 minute practice.  I’m a big fan of television so I’ve turned to OnDemand for my yoga instruction.  Grokker has some very good productions.  I like how they say “sitting bones” instead of “sits bones” and “holding your hands at heart center”.   They are nice to look at and have a pleasant demeanor.

One teacher asked me (well, it was through the tv so not me personally, but you know what I mean) to do some weird bendy thing across my leg.  I laughed.  And he said if that’s too easy you could add this and then that.  I laughed really loud because that’s exactly what I say in my boot-camp class.

Trust me when I tell you that I have a greater appreciation for my students who may feel the same way when I chirp “and if you want to take it to a level 2, add the hop”.   See, personal development comes anywhere.

To be very honest yoga is not pleasant for me.  I’m very inflexible.  Years of running and pounding the pavement have taken its toll on my flexibility.   My practice starts out ok (in a standing pose) moves very quickly to uncomfortable (ouch, forward bends) then settles in nicely to really uncomfortable (shoulder stands, yikes).  But I persist.

Today was great, even as I struggled with the hard poses I felt strong and that I could eventually, someday get there. Yesterday I was really sore and had a hard time even with Sun Salutation.  So it’s the ebb and flow.  Like anything.

But I will say I do love how I feel afterwards.

And that’s what I tell my class and my personal training clients.  If you focus on how you’ll feel when you finish you’ll have a much easier time starting.

And on that note.  Namaste.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂