Thursday, June 3, 2010

Day 19. . . One day left of 20 Days of Hot Yoga!

I know I said I was going to go all mornings the last three days. Just didn't work out that way. Yesterday I didn't go at all. Went to dinner with a friend who was in town instead. A social priority.

Today I went to the 6:30 p.m. class. It was crowded as usual. There were a lot of new people and it was darn hot. The instructor was a female that I haven't had before. She was good. Of course, they are all good. Lots of people left class during and lots of people were sitting through some of the poses. It wasn't exactly a high energy class. I felt good at the end. Just getting through class is an accomplishment.

I got some great pointers tonight. The biggest one was, when your pulse rate is up and you are breathing hard, breath into your stomach. It keeps you calm. Breathing into your chest causes your fight or flight mechanism to go. She said this just as I was wondering, in my head, why I was feeling panicky. I was sucking air - something I do regularly after difficult poses - but didn't seem to be calming down. The second I breathed into my stomach, my whole body calmed.

The other thing I heard was, during Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose, to put your hands in prayer position even if you knee isn't straight. Totally different stretch.

And, if you have your hands in prayer position, it's also a balancing pose. Also a much deeper stretch, even if your knee isn't straight. Mine isn't yet. The important part is keeping your head on your knee. Let me just say that I can feel that stretch even now in the very tops of the backs of my thighs - right under my glutes.

My balance wasn't as good today as it was last time I went. I'm not judging it. It will be interesting to see how my balance is as I finish my 20 days tomorrow at the crack of dawn. I totally get that more than two days off a week does not serve me. I don't feel like I progress unless I do three days in a row. They rhythm of exercise that has always worked for my body is three days on one day off. Four days on is doable, but my body gets overly exhausted if I do more. Less is just maintenance.

For lunch I had a half of a turkey sandwich on whole wheat, thanks to a co-worker, and a multi-grain chocolate chip cookie. I get that an organic apple probably would have been a better choice, but that cookie was mighty good. They make them at the cafe next door to my work and they have oats, flax seed and nuts and a bunch of other "grainy things". I ate about 1:00 because that's just how my day went. And guess what? No digestion issues during yoga! I didn't feel nauseous at all.

I'm not crazy about going to the 6:30 class, not because it's crowded, but because I don't like eating late at night. I get home around 8:20 and by the time I throw some food together, I'm eating at 9:00 p.m.  That's way too late. It's much better for my digestion and my sleep to have all the food consumption wrapped up by 7:00. And not eating isn't a option. I'm hungry after 90 minutes of yoga! I don't need a lot of food, but I definitely need some.

I've been thinking about how to get more liquid nutrition. I think that might work better than eating solid food late in the evening. I'm not a huge fan of smoothies made with ice. They make my core temperature drop too low and I freeze. I'm going to have to figure out a way to make them without the ice. It has to be pretty hot outside in order for me to be interested in something icy cold.

I only have one more day left in my first 20 days. I definitely am going to continue. I don't want to lose the benefits that I have gained so far and I want to go further. I want to be able to balance for a bunch of classes in a row. I want to be able to hold a standing pose for an entire minute on both sides. I want to feel my strong lower and mid back flexing as my feet lift off of the floor in locust pose.

I have a long way to go. I don't want to stop now. How cool would it be to feel stronger than I feel right now when I'm 60? 80? 100? That's possible. I'll keep going.

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