labelleizzy: (yoga)
Body has been tightening up and giving me pain. Have only had one even half-serious workout in the last month, today was my second time in the gym since before Burning Man.

I didn't task myself with making up for lost time. I climbed on the elliptical machine for 18 minutes, made a point of keeping it at a rate that raised my temperature and heartrate without making me stressed ... lunch was too close to when I went to workout, but I modified accordingly. And I was sufficiently warmed up before heading to the Gentle Yoga class, which was a LOT of what I needed. Not everything, not quite, but gave me a great workout and let me check in with all the tight places to see what they wanted. (more moving, of course!)

And there was a substitute teacher who was really quite excellent. She was kind enough to give me a good demonstration of bakasana (Crow Pose) which several friends have been practicing and posting photos of on FB and now I have a fairly good idea of what I need to do in order to have the basics down. I need a strong tight core, strong triceps, strong inner thighs... and a willingness to fall on my head while practicing this radical arm-balance.

Okay.
Time to work on looking ridiculous sometimes. And since I also wanna get to the point of doing forearm, head and handstands? this is a good intermediate step, feels like to me.

so I will work on moving enough tonight that today's yoga won't make muscles too stiff, and try starting to practice the things I need tomorrow.
labelleizzy: (i dance)
Monday was a giant success in the Moving My Body department.
Matter of fact, I'm more than a bit sore today, in ways I haven't in weeks and weeks, so that's good.
(it's good because SORE is different than Injured or Impaired.)

Monday morning I met [livejournal.com profile] wrenb at the gym for to try a new yoga class. Hadn't had a Hatha Yoga class in, well, at least a couple of years. *shrug* been doing other things, haven't had enough interest to go there, and it had seemed that the so-called Gentle Yoga was serving my yoga needs... But this Hatha class was very enjoyable and a good amount of challenge while not being a huge strain. Even if the teacher did look at me among others (I think I was the only roundy woman in the room) when she asked if any of us were new to yoga, I didn't mind. I was mildly amused, and smiled gently at her.

And then it was quite a good and thorough workout. The sacroiliac joint, where my chiropractor was working on me previously, made quite the series of long crackly readjustments toward the end of the session during a hip twisting stretch before savasana. It never hurts, but it still feels strange, like ... like pulling apart warm rice crispy treats. Only with a crunch with every stretch.

After Yoga, I spent some time with [livejournal.com profile] wrenb, her husband, and her kids at a local park for part of the afternoon, then went home, took care of various personal and house things, and had something to eat before meeting [livejournal.com profile] wrenb again for dance...5Rhythms in Mountain View. They meet, WE meet, at the Masonic Temple and use their ballroom for dancing. It's a HUMONGOUS lot of fun, although it's also challenging. Claire, the teacher, encourages all kinds of heart-centered meditation practices, and often has us try new exercises meant to break through the walls around our hearts, or break through our fears and engrained habits of self-image.

Claire ran an exercise last night that I know as a theater game... Everyone circles up. Then the teacher starts with simple statements: Walk across the circle if you identify as male. ...as female ... as somewhere in between (two people I like, crossed the circle at that point, visually seeming as one of each gender).

Questions moved to a popcorn format eventually: Have you ever had your heart broken, have you ever been divorced, have you lost a parent, are you a grandparent, did you have a challenging day, did you have a good day, did you identify as other than heterosexual? (I walked for that one.) Have you lost an SO or a child? Are you now or have you been dealing with cancer. (I walked for that one as well, though a tiny bit of skin cancer hardly feels /worthy/, you know? But my little brother Scott died from cancer, so did my uncles Leo (leukemia) and Dino (skin cancer gone metastatic) and my cousin Jeff (testicular, he was only 6 months older than me), so fuck that, I will keep it in mind)

I danced a LOT. and I made an effort to dance with other people. 5 Rhythms isn't like ballroom or country dances, everyone dances alone most of the time, but people play together occasionally, in twos or threes or occasionally in hug-circles kind of things. It was good.

It wasn't an effort, like it usually is, to let someone come ask me (nonverbally) for contact or play. It flowed well, and was fun, silly, joyful. My native state. =D

More of this. Moving is joyful.
labelleizzy: (yoga)
Today's workout was a check-in day to start with. Did a weigh in, body fat percent check. Both are down, weight and body fat. That's because now I have some muscle to work with.

*nodding* YEEEEAH. *flex*

Lots of dynamic-stability work today. Squats into biceps curls, inverted rowing (where you let your body plank backwards and row up using handles suspended from the structure above you), backward lunges into knee-up and twist at the waist. Wow. A lateral leaping from side to side that makes me feel like an Olympic speed-skater. Jogging in place by hop-touching my toes to one of the lower boxes (or sometimes the Bosu half-ball)

Rats. I wish that I listed all my exercises every time I worked out. I know how to DO quite a few exercises, but I'm not necessarily going to remember them in a useful sequence when I go to do them for myself.

Well, doing something is a damn sight better than doing nothing.

Oh! and today, Tal actually had me RUN. 4.0 mph on the treadmill. We did intervals: it was something like 4 minutes of walking to get up to 3.5 mph fast walk, then kicked it over and started to jog for one minute, walk one minute, jog, walk, jog, and then walk to cool down, making note of heart rate both on the way building up to running, and during the cool-down.

But RUNNING! *SQUEE*

And now I have two homeworks.

One is to write up my food intake like I've been supposed to for like three months.
Two is to do that jog-walk interval training at least three times a week for the next three weeks. (and probably beyond that.)

Here is the progress-check since I started to seriously work out again last April (with Tal).

Surgery knee: stable, and up for all kinds of walking, dancing, even slipping and falling. Also up for running and full strength lateral movement. *thumbs up*
Back: Strong, though I do want to work more on the limberness/flexibility. Hurts a lot less than it used to, bends a lot easier than it used to, and I am more interested in moving in new ways.
Arms/Shoulders: Stronger and more flexible, have some muscle definition. My shoulders, more than any other body part, resent it and protest loudly with crunchy discomfort when I do not get enough work out time in. Interesting.
Feet: Have had little to no pain in the foot since I went for four sessions with Dr. Larry, the chiropractor who is also a member at my gym. The main adjustment at the sacro-iliac joint is something I can reproduce in a different, slower/more gradual way, on my own with a particular twisting stretch (the one my brother Scott called the "shortstop stretch") that makes my back make the most UNEARTHLY noises but it feels so much BETTER when I am done.
Neck/head tension: Notably decreased. Head rotation is natural and smooth (unlike some other times in my life), the airline-cable muscles have softened and are more flexible and amenable to stretching, and I can actually get traction on the times I feel like massaging my neck (unlike some other times in my life).

+*+*+*+*+*+*

The JCC that includes my gym, is having a Happy New Year! Post your fitness resolutions on the wall!

They advised being very specific, because you could win a prize, like having the gym pay your registration for a race you said you wanted to finish.

I was very specific.
I want to be able to do headstands and handstands, with good core strength and control, and SLOWLY.

On the back of the card we are supposed to say WHY we have this goal.
I said something about I loved headstands when I was a kid, but never had the strength or courage to work up to doing cartwheels; I'm stronger now than I was then, and more intentionally building that strength.

And then I said that someday I want to teach yoga.
I didn't consciously realize that is something I want, till I wrote it on the card.

So the goal manifested, in part because I have an intention of working with two girlfriends' less-flexible spouses, because they need some yoga, and I need to be teaching so I can remember that teaching itself doesn't suck. Other stuff AROUND teaching sucks, but teaching does not.

Teaching yoga wouldn't suck. I could do that. I want to do that.
labelleizzy: (Artists are Dangerous)
Ow ow!
So I went to yoga Tuesday afternoon, had a pretty good workout with Tal yesterday and going to yoga again today because *today* my thighs and shoulders are yelling at me and moving more is what's going to help.

Seriously, there's three steps down to the laundry room and I almost have to hang onto the doorframe to get there, my thighs ache and are that stiff.

Dammit!

At least I do really love yoga, and am meeting a friend this afternoon who is going to try yoga, maybe for the first time.
labelleizzy: (greatness)

back to yoga class for the first time in many weeks.

 

I can do a few things now (what with working out with Tal) that I didn't use to be able for, and a few things I used to be able to do, I can't anymore. Not really surprised.

 

I do need Capri length yoga pants so I can see my feet and ankles, and these yoga pants go up my butt (grrr) so I think that I will retire them ASAP and pick up something different.

 

Stretching every morning: added to goals list.

labelleizzy: (strong)
I forgot/ran out of time to blog Wednesday's workout, and yesterday's workout, well, I got slammed by busyness afterwards.

1) had to go over to the framer's to sign my collage-paintings for the county fair because I had forgotten to do that
2) had to grab some kind of quick lunch that turned out to be just fruit and tea, because I...
3) had promised to come volunteer with Anastasia, the Waldorf school gardening teacher, and help the third grade plant All The Grains.
(oh that was fun... and I got to plant and water in a row of amaranth, which are just gorgeous tiny purple seeds, squee!)

So.

Results of workouts are:
1) the hamstring I pulled/strained on Monday during dance class is a bit more flexible/capable now, and hurts less
2) my ANKLE muscles are hella sore. Like all the way around my ankle is sore. I keep waking up and rotating my foot/feet and they're still sore.
3) I'm starting to see muscle definition in my forearms again, even underneath the fat I still have. I have pleasing curves going from wrist to elbow, and the hollow place at the inside of my wrist is longer and more defined than it was.
4) I'm learning that when a muscle is sore from the workout, I need to do more with it later that same day, intentionally, to keep it from going all stiff and inflexible. Stretch AND work it. Oy, my pectoral muscles. I had to stretch and work them last night before I was able to sleep
5) I can do more than I think I can. Speed and bounciness of legs/ankles/calves varies by day and by how much those muscles have already been worked.
6) Tal does a good job of helping me feel like we are doing choreography drills at least some of the time. She also does a good job of finely judging how far to push me, and we have been finishing JUST before I fail, i.e. muscles haven't yet given out in the middle of a set.
7) I have discovered I like free weights MUCH better than machines. And Tal confirms my belief that free weights are better for more all-round muscle strength, since you have to use more of the little muscles surrounding the major muscles to control free weights properly. Dynamic stability!
8) the sides of the long leg muscles (calf and thigh) need some more concentrated work. I think hiking in uneven terrain would be a good job for them. Again, Dynamic stability... and working the overall system rather than the specific large muscles.
9) Tal helped me specifically stretch shoulders and pecs in a way which I can't do. She groks partnered stretching. I may yet be able to consistently have open shoulders and reach my arms directly vertical over my shoulders, and I may yet be able to open my hips enough to have my knees flat on the floor when I sit pretzel-style (and maybe even someday in half-lotus or proper lotus position for yoga class!)
10) I told Tal that I have a personal goal I expected her to say was ridiculous, which is to do unsupported headstands and maybe someday handstands, and a) she was impressed when I told her I'd sorted out how to do yoga style shoulderstands, and she said your body can do anything you set your mind to do.

Tal gives me hope.
I shared with her that I used to have "a relative" who was so sarcastic in how he spoke to me that I had internalized his voice and used to speak very unkindly to myself. And I also said how I had to learn how to stop that voice from being how I spoke to myself, and had to learn to speak kindly and encouraging to myself.
I was to embarrassed to say that the relative was my dad. =(

But she's been great about listening to the little snippets of personal stuff that come out when we are working out together. She's great at correcting my form so I do the work correctly, and at encouraging me gently.

I have hope of gently reshaping this body and coming into pride in self that I haven't had in nearly 20 years.
For the right reasons, this time, not for fitting into a wedding dress.

I'm doing it for ME this time.
labelleizzy: (changing habit)

I did my happy dance last night, went to the 5Rhythms class. Best possible thing for my tight and painful shoulders and hamstrings. I stretched out late in the class when I got too tired to dance and needed a rest. Friday's intense workout with Tal (or maybe the intense stretching after) had left me with painful hips and thighs and had made it challenging to climb stairs or crouch, all weekend. Plus my knee was tender and sore. Dance class (an ecstatic dance form) let everything get warmer and looser.

 

Today's class is yoga. I'm still not totally loving this new teacher but she does give us a decent workout, usually the whole body. Shoulders and hips are even more mellow today after the class.

 

Scheduled a workout with Tal for tomorrow. I am somewhat apprehensive but know I have to work the body, or at the very LEAST, the knee hurts. Worst case for the future? not something I want to happen, I see weak, inflexible elderly bodies, and strong, vigorous and trim elderly bodies all through this gym.

 

I have no doubt which set *I* want to be part of when I start to get old.

 

Do The Work.

labelleizzy: (yoga)
Yay, and go, me! I finally made it back to a yoga class!

...after three months of not-going. *embarrassed*

And I tell you what, I'm gonna be sore again tomorrow. I have much less strength and less endurance than I did in December, which was the last time I was doing yoga and dancing regularly once a week...

the yoga class has a new instructor. I'm definitely going to miss Chihiro's meditative openings and closings, this lady is much more, I dunno, businesslike. While she does seem to have enough knowledge to get us through a pretty good class, (and she's injured, herself, which I give her kudos for being 20 years older than me, injured (too), AND kicking my ass to boot) I think I will explore the other yoga timeslots at the gym and maybe give [livejournal.com profile] tiger_spot's YMCA class a try.

AND there are Zumba classes! At my gym! Which I'm not going to attempt until my knee stops twinging, thank you very MUCH, but whee! (someday soon I hope.)

and okay, NEVER AGAIN that long between proper workouts!

*ow*
labelleizzy: (strong)
Made it to the gym again today. Woot! twice in one week!

I had a lovely LOVELY massage first. I will never know how it was we managed to spend most of 90 minutes just on my torso, and only the back side of my torso... except it was indeed rather painful in parts, and I had to do deep breathing, and he worked in exquisite detail on gluteal muscles and under my scapula and on those little and very painful muscles in my neck. I think I love him, it's a platonic and grateful love. =)

so after the massage I got some miso soup and some tea and a couple of hand-rolls (scallops and hamachi) for mid afternoon snack and electrolyte refresh, checked email, and then headed over to the gym. Where I only did about 22 minutes of cardio, only adductors/abductors machines (you'll note that I missed those during my last workout) and a wee bit of yogic stretches and a few hits at downward-facing dog, before spending my last little bit of endorphin-generation on rolling the muscles of my legs on the foam core rollers...

as I said on FB, "there are many ways of earning your endorphins. This one is mine."

edit: Note to self: You can now hold Down-Dog indefinitely, with flat hands and feet, at a more acute (sharper?) angle than ever before, and can adjust shoulder posture while still in the pose. Also: today during the massage you adjusted for comfort while lying face down and aligned your leg bones STRAIGHT, not splayed duckfooted. Your body is finally learning what balance and proper knees and hips really feel like and look like. this is SO FREAKING AWESOME.
labelleizzy: (yoga)
Yoga class today!
Aww yeah.

Got there early enough to set up in the empty yoga room and start stretching and warming up 20 minutes prior to the class. *whew* that was so very very needed. And I managed to go Boat into Shoulder Stand again, which pleases me so very much. (especially as a fat broad in a room full of skinny 60 year old ladies. Okay, I was "proving myself" in front of the audience, so sue me. I *am* more flexible than many if not most, which is reassuring to me.)

I love this class. It's called Gentle Yoga. It is. It is also quite thorough in many regards. Neck and shoulders get a thorough warmup, and twisty stretches are a regular part of the schedule.

Pleased I went even though I couldn't find my ID badge. They'll lend you a badge in exchange for your keys or an ID so it wasn't a problem. I realize I could have put it off... didn't have to though!
labelleizzy: (yoga)
Yoga kicked my ass in a good way today (Tuesday though I'm posting after midnight), and helped me stretch out some of the delicious soreness from dancing for THREE HOURS yesterday. I win. And I feel really flexible, and my foot doesn't hurt

Body's still sore though.

I love my gym.
labelleizzy: (stoutness)
Made it to the gym kind of late for me tonight... lots of, I guess you'd call it social interaction and/or networking and/or problemsolving happening around the late afternoon when I originally intended to go. Very quiet space in the evening after 7 pm.

only there for a brief visit, about 10 minutes on the ellipticals again, damn! that makes me pant like a dog who's been running on the beach. got my pulse up past 150, that's pretty rare, especially for only 10 minutes.

Light work on upper body on the nautilus-style weight machines, and light yoga work out in the foyer, still I was there almost an hour, and left the place in a much mellower and more centered frame of mind than when I went in. Working out is a good way of helping me manage my stress and mood, I'm glad I have the chance to get myself to such an attractive space. Since it's a beautiful place, it makes it more restful and appealing to actually go and move (and sweat).

Time to wash the workout clothes, methinks, and (le sad) the pretty new bright blue brushed cotton trousers I got on the recent shopping trip with [livejournal.com profile] runeshower. First time wearing them, and I think I got peanut butter all down the leg. Argh.

I'm also dead pleased to be 1/4 of the way through my 100 things posts. I was hoping that engaging in this posting endeavor would be of help in actually building a regular habit of exercise, and it seems to be doing so.
labelleizzy: (yoga)
Having a few thoughts about this fitness journey.

1. It feels weird doing "self-care" at all, but "self-care that involves moving my body", I only have one model for in my childhood, not from my own childhood, but from fiction: The Secret Garden by wosshername... I'll remember it in a bit. I don't have a lot of "moving feels good" memories from when I was a child, most of them happened when I was alone and exploring the capabilities of my body... I used to hold my breath for ages... stand on my head for long minutes at a time just for the hell of it... swim for hours in the pool.

So moving now, because it feels good and makes me feel BETTER when I DO IT? well. It's kinda revelatory.

2. On THAT note, yoga today ROCKED. My first yoga class since just before the knee surgery, so about ten months. It was just the right amount of gentle and the right amount of challenge for where I am. My right hipflexor and right outer thigh were cramping during a mildly challenging pose, it's a good indicator that I still have work to do to balance out the damage and imbalance from years of a broken ligament. Okay. It's data, I can work with it.

I do want to do some kind of workout and weight training earlier in the day before having a formal yoga class again next week, I was wobbly-as-heck during the balance poses (Tree was particularly difficult) and I do seem to have better balance when my muscles are warm and loose. So that's something else to bear in mind.

3. Lots of the body feels better now. Very exciting to feel warm and stretched even three hours after the workout. And my heel doesn't hurt either, thanks for the advice on that, [livejournal.com profile] blacksheep_lj! Hips and side muscles need more work and stretching, shoulders and the under-behind of the shoulders still need to be stronger and more flexible.

4. Got a date with a massage therapist on Thursday, I can't WAIT... saw him two weeks ago and he worked wonders on my neck (the airline cable previously mentioned) when paired with a nice hard workout just after the massage (only I think I will try to do it just before the massage this time and compare the results)... Hips and calves and neck again, I think. This time I get a 90 minute session and I think we can do really good work... he had an excellent delineation technique where he got into several of the tiny neglected support and balance muscles very deeply, and it was just incredibly therapeutic.

5. Food in my house is phenomenal right now. I'm so blessed and lucky. Brand new lasagna and fresh green salad last night (and sooo much leftovers), leftover red peanut curry, seafood pasta salad, and the go-to sandwich fillings just feed me right. I love [livejournal.com profile] eeyore42's cooking...


that's all I have for right now. I can't wait to have a regular yoga practice again!
labelleizzy: (yoga)
Aww yeah baby.

Gym today was SPECTACULAR.
And not just because my right hip and leg desperately needed the workout. I started with the adductor and abductor machines at 50#, ten pounds down from my usual, just to try and give those complaining muscles some immediate love. That was a good thing. Then a wee bit of stretching before moving on to cardio...

There was a fun new machine, which is kind of like the love-child of an elliptical trainer and stationary bike, that was just too damn much fun, it goes REALLY REALLY FAST which is something I hardly ever do, but it didn't have a lot of resistance, so it wasn't HARD exactly. It was just hella SILLY. I was grinning like a loon (as they say.) 17 minutes was "ten laps" for whatever value of laps this machine uses. It worked upper and lower body, so I just did a little light work with the hamstring machine (because my hamstring was part of the OMG YOU'RE NEGLECTING US!! brigade) and then a little flexibility work for shoulders and core, and THEN I got on the bosu-ball, it's a balance ball, with like half an exercise-ball topped by a flat platform; you stand on the platform and it's OMG-hard. I did good stuff there, bent knees and straight, holding my core muscles, until I was making with the wobbly-knees only it wasn't my *knees*, I'm not sure what was wobbling but all of me was wobbling, and then I hopped off. I felt the muscles in the bottoms of my FEET being tired. Wow. That would explain the recent bout of foot-cramps I've been having this last few days when I haven't been working out... Okay!

Ok, now, now, is my favorite part, my most bragging part. =D
I went into the foyer, which has become kind of my default stretching and yoga-work place at the end of a workout. Got a mat, and went from Cobra to Child's pose and back a few times to limber my spine, kicking my right hip out in Crescent Moon to stretch the hip muscles (still sore, I need to get up and move again once I finish this post) ... Up-dog, Down-dog. Rolling my pelvis around on the mat to massage my lower back, I kicked my legs out and rolled up to my feet. This made me remember how much I liked rolling from Boat forward and back... and then I started to roll and kick my feet up, back toward my head, and then I almost made a shoulder stand, and then I DID make a shoulder stand. =D =D =D

And then I had to do it twice more to make sure I had really done it. I did! I did make a shoulder stand!!
This FAT CHICK did a shoulder stand! This OLD BROAD did a shoulder stand! THREE OF THEM!!

So. Much. FUN!!

And then to cap off my triumph, I got the foam core roller and pounded on my IT band and the sore hip and butt muscles, and then I rolled my SPINE, which I always forget how it hurts so, so very good. And makes me feel like I'm at least an inch taller.

Now, now my ducklings, I must go have something to eat, and some more water, and figure out What's For Dinner, because I inspired Jeff to go for a bike ride on the New Bike (which is hella nifty machine, let me tell you) and I plan to reward him by having something delicious ready when he comes home. I think scallops on linguine will do nicely.

Dance music and cooking, ahoy!
labelleizzy: (Yay)
If you always do what you always did,
then you'll always get what you always got.


Yeah, today it's hard to get out of the house, but I've promised myself that I will go seek exercise pants and then spend at least 45 minutes at the gym, even if I am embarrassed about how long it's been since I went.

I'm no longer needing to have a Kleenex box next to me 24/7 (for which much YAY) and my joints are feeling creaky. Must move. Must needs schedule some gym time so I can start checking out the available classes at the gym: they have Zumba and Nia and Pilates and Yoga, and that is also full of Yay.

My friend Kim just posted a video to FB about a guy in NYC doing a "Dance-Walk" thing with his iPod. Such dorky fun... but shameless though I am I do not have *quite* that much shamelessness.

Okay, here I go.

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