Sunday, May 17, 2009

Uh Oh

Well, before attempting to hurt any students with yoga, I managed to hurt myself. This is not helping my confidence level at all. I was practicing my yoga routine in my office this week and my hand slipped in the middle of my vinyasa (as I was heading down to push-up position.) In an attempt to recover and prevent myself from landing flat on my face, my left arm and shoulder had to respond quickly. Not sure what my muscles did to recover, but whatever it was, it left me with quite the sore shoulder. I think I just learned an important lesson about cheating and doing yoga without a yoga mat. I've been doing this for years with no issues, but this little incident sent me immediately packing to the store to buy an extra mat to leave in my office. This was a little bonus lesson not covered in my studies. No extra charge, unless you count the cost of the BenGay.

Monday, May 11, 2009

P90X Abs Core Plus

I finally got around to trying out another P90X Plus video, Abs Core Plus. After my last Kenpo X disappointment I guess I wasn't all that thrilled to try more. But since my husband is out of town and I'm out of our normal routine I thought it was a good time to give it a whirl. I had expectations that I wouldn't be able to keep up. With the nice weather and the endless home chores, we've fallen off the P90 bandwagon. I figured I would do my fair share of cheating, with no work-out buddy keeping an eye on me, but was I ever surprised. I did every move on the video and I must say, I did them pretty effortlessly. I didn't even break a sweat and I enjoyed the whole thing. Ok, maybe not the whole thing.

The only parts that I found uncomfortable and difficult were the hanging moves. I did the first 3 or 4 sets with no gloves, which was unbearable. I don't have a nice cushiony bar like the folks on the video and my already-sore painting hands were being shredded. So I threw on some gloves for the remaining hanging sessions, but I still couldn't figure out how not to swing. I must have the wrong technique because my body seemed to swing much more than it should. I'll have to work on that.

Overall the video was excellent. The moves are all one minute each with no idle chatter in between. You just flow from one move right to the next without wasting any time. The 20 minutes flew by and I was pleasantly surprised at how well I did. I can say, without a doubt, that it's yoga that has keep my abs and core in tip top shape. Many of the moves involved balancing and I found them easy as can be. Yoga is solely responsible for my balance and stability. I will definitely add this video to my normal weekly routine.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Anatomy for Yoga

I spent an hour going through some of my Anatomy for Yoga lectures yesterday and it was fascinating. It left me with such mixed feelings. On one hand I feel much better about the parts of me that I consider "inflexible." I've always felt that I would never make a good yoga instructor because I'll "never be able to bend like that." I always thought it was because I just wasn't doing something right, or my muscles just aren't as limber as they should be. But I was completely wrong about that. In these lectures the instructor discusses the terms tension and compression. When you hit the wall and can no longer bend or flex your limbs any further it is because of one of those two terms. If it was tension, it would indeed be a tight muscle preventing you from stretching deeper. In these cases, the muscles can be worked on to increase the motion.

But much more often it is because of your bone structure. Literally one bone is hitting another which is called compression. In this case, no matter how much yoga you do, or how much you stretch, you're just never going to be able to move any further. This made me feel so much better about my yoga inadequacies. The instructor said repeatedly, "you either have it or you don't" meaning great flexibility. He also explained how everyone is built differently and how you could really hurt yourself if you don't understand this concept. The best part was watching him move a skeleton around to really understand what bones where hitting and how.

So that left me feeling much better about myself and what I can and can not do. However, it completely terrified me as far as instructing students through a class. How on earth will I know if they are hitting tension or compression? When you see a student not doing a pose 'properly' how do you know if you should try to make an adjustment or just assume they can't bend any more than they are already bending? I will be very happy to get my certification and I am really enjoying all this knowledge that I'm gaining, but I'm still not sure if I will ever be brave enough to put my certification to use. I have a whole new admiration for all you yoga instructors out there!

Monday, May 04, 2009

The Netflix Gym

A few months ago I discovered a great free sublemental training resource. I, like many, subcribe to Netflix movies in the mail. For years my husband and I have enjoyed the DVDs showing up in our mailbox every week. I knew that you could rent workout DVDs but I rarely did that as it took away from our weekend movie watching. But I recently discovered the Watch Instantly tab along the top of the Netflix page. After clicking on that you are presented with a long drop-down list of Genres, one of which is Sports. And inside that Sports category you will find another header called Workouts. Wait a minute, does that mean I can instantly stream workout vidoes right in my office? Upon further investigation I found even the Workouts section to be broken down into the following categories:

This was too good to be true. For the past 3 months I've been using Netflix approximately 3 times a week during my lunch break. Within just a few minutes I can natigate straight to my choice of workout. I shut my office door and have a great little workout. Sometimes I'll watch the full video, but other times I'll just pick my favorite parts. The more I do the different workouts the more familiar I'm getting, allowing me to scrub right to the section that I want to do. These have been a great supplement to my P90X evening workouts. And I have to say, and I'm not sure if I'm embarrassed to admit this, some of those Crunch workouts leave me sore every time. I'm hooked. For $8 a month I watch a current movie every weekend, I stream older movies and some TV shows at home, and now I'm doing free yoga, pilates, and more in my office. I love it and I highly recommend checking out Netflix for an inexpensive gym alternative.