Yoga for cranky hamstrings

This morning’s workout was very slightly half-assed: 2 miles on the treadmill followed by some quality time with the foam roller. As usual, foam roller time was both the best and the worst. A highlight was lying on it on my back and rolling out my sore shoulders.

It got to late o’clock tonight before I got to yoga, so I kept it short and did Jessamyn’s quick shoulder opener flow. I was thinking, “yay shoulder openers!” but I forgot that it’s also a ton of forward folding. Will my cranky hamstring make it another 11 days? I’m not sure. I feel like Yoga January also needs to keep open the prospect that sometimes “nothing” is the best thing you can do for yourself… but I’m not there yet.

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A dolphin tale

This morning’s workout: 2 rounds of barbell complexes with 55lb, followed by some biceps and triceps and weighted ball crunches. My arms and shoulders and hands are tired, and this evening that wasn’t helped by…



Yep, a practice of dolphin and dolphin planks with Jessamyn. It was a short one, only 15 minutes, but it was brutal. I really have no sense of where I am in this pose, so I asked Consort to take a picture. It’s flattering, ain’t it? My shoulder mobility is not great, so getting that nice straight, supported line from my elbows to my bottom is hard. Yoga January is slowly improving that, but I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to get my legs in closer…

Teetotaler January is also moving along; it’s getting easier as time passes. One thing that helps is finding a variety of novel beverages. I don’t drink soda much, and I didn’t want to replace alcoholic drinks with sugary ones, but having something besides plain water helps keep me from getting bored. So I’ve been drinking a lot of tea, and I’ve also been trying many different flavors of seltzer, the unsweetened flavored bubble water kind. I was skeptical of the blackberry tangerine, but I actually like it!

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Twingey all over

Sometimes when I don’t know what to do with myself I just default to getting on the treadmill and running. That was today’s workout, 3 miles with a couple short walking breaks for my twingey left knee and right legbutt, just under 38 minutes. Stretching afterward included some nice side bendy stuff aimed at my also twingey QL. Twingey all over, that’s me.

In the evening, I followed up on a tip from commenter Cansu and headed over to DoYogaWithMe for a Yin practice that my husband joined me for all of. Lots of seated folds– it seemed quite lovely in the moment, and it was very soothing, but now I’m slightly concerned about my twingey hamstrings after spending a while in the poses. This is starting to remind me of the time when I was convinced the cure for my sore shoulder was more chaturangas (that was not the case, it turns out, I just needed some rest). Not sure how I’m going to avoid more seated and forward folds in Yoga January.

Anyway, now I’m sleepy, so it’s time to pack up tomorrow’s lunch and get my gym bag together and turn on the coffeepot timer and go to bed.

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Overstretched rubber bands

Well, I started researching some different yoga styles and Iyengar caught my eye, since it’s focused on alignment and props. This practice was instructed by a dude (dude yoga) and I appreciated the basic poses with constant cues to keep my alignment, and the props ensured extra comfort in a lot of poses. Consort still quit after 10 minutes, though. His wrists are bugging him, which is a yoga hard stop. My ankles and feet are a little twingey today after sitting in virasana for what felt like forever– it’s not a pose I often do, and I needed like 2 blankets and a block under my bum to get the barest amount of comfort.

Today, by myself, back to Jessamyn for a core practice. I was expecting boat pose and plank holds. Those weren’t in there, but there was bird dog, chair and dolphin, along with more half moon and warrior 3. Dolphin is hard :(

I’m only half way through Yoga January, but I’m starting to feel a little tired and overstretched in places. When I started, my hamstring was unhappy at its upper attachment at my groin, and a zillion forward folds and down dogs haven’t helped at all. In fact, the quadratus lumborum that I injured a while ago is now talking to it in a bad way. It’s probably time to do some nice restorative practice for a couple days.

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2016 in review

Well, plenty of ink has been devoted to discussing how crap 2016 was. Now I’m looking back at my own year, as documented by this blog, and maybe it wasn’t so bad. Notable highlight: getting married to my favorite person in the whole world! And there was some other good stuff in there too. (Also, can you believe I’ve been writing this blog since 2010? That’s like a thousand in blog years.)

January: Bought a bunch of (expensive) dive gear, then went on a trip to Florida and couldn’t get to diving because the weather sucked. Deep thoughts for this month: the Weight Room Panopticon, or how I internalized the male gaze.

February: The wedding crazy begins!! I start the training plan for my April race, and then work travel throws a wrench into that, but I’m walking 7+ miles a day so whatevs. Deep thoughts: Misophonia sucks.

March: Started off sick after the trip. Wedding dress shopping– eee! I start trying to do something about my crappy sleep; this goes on for months. And the toenail that got all crunky on my AT hike finally says goodbye— I know you all wanted to be reminded of that again. And I couldn’t run in the race I’d trained for, oh well. Deep thoughts: my partner doesn’t need to learn all the diet crap I know

April: Dive plans hosed, again. Started protes life. Lifted a ton and did HIIT for workouts (and quit HIIT classes in a rage). Signed up for a wee powerlifting comp, because why not? And surprise race!

May: Protes life turns into stupid keto life; ate weird stuff and cried a lot; weight didn’t change before the weigh-in anyway.  Got my Advanced Deep Water Diver cert, which involved camping and quarry diving(brr!) Rocked my first powerlifting comp with a 585lb total :)  And finally got that Florida dive trip in. Deep thoughts: thin ladies with muscle aren’t challenging beauty ideals.

June: Buff bride lifts like mad all month. And pees a little bit. The pool’s open so it’s time to start lap swims! More wedding crazy. Deep thoughts: damn gymspreaders.  

July: I destroy the weight room. Yet more wedding crazy. (We still have leftover wine around.) My mom stops talking to me for choosing a lesbian officiant. Pokemon Go gets my partner to go for a walk. Hooray, the dress fits! Swimming shuts up my squirrel brain, and I learn how to do flip turns. Deep thoughts: why do muscle diagrams of women have boobs?

August: Wedding month and I just barely keep my shit together; the gym is an area I can let slide. My mom gets over it, finally. My dad picks the world’s schlockiest father-daughter dance song. Our first dance song gets a custom edit from the band themselves, omg! And the big highlight: I got married and everyone turned out happy. 

September: I gained weight after quitting my stupid wedding diet, no surprise there. Started half-assedly training for the Turkey Trot with a different plan. Deep thoughts: work is driving me nuts.

October: Earplugs are a sleep miracle. I finished an afghan I started crocheting 15 years ago. More scuba gear, and a warning. Deep thoughts: Stop treating fat people as your workout inspiration!

November: We went on a backpacking trip and I’m not sure a good time was had by all. Election mourning set in. A nasty cold derailed my training, but I did all right in the Turkey Trot. Deep thoughts: my parents came to visit for a Blue State Thanksgiving.

December: I’m not pregnant, just fat. More feels about dark times ahead. And I got that awful 3 week flu at the end of the year so that pretty much wiped me out. Goodbye 2016, don’t let the door hit you.

So: here’s to a better 2017, one filled with fun and fitness. Cheers! Thanks for reading, everyone :)

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a discouraged yoga guide

I’m starting to wonder if I will ever be able to pick a yoga practice that my husband will enjoy. Granted, today I picked a practice that I enjoy and use regularly but the instructor is kind of annoying. Oh well, I tried. He quit after 15 minutes, and I did the entire 40 and it was as nice as it usually is.

Do I need to start googling “yoga for dudes”? Anyone out in blog land have suggestions/YouTube links? I’ve got half a month left to go and I’m getting kind of discouraged. I’m trying not to let it get to me and just keep going after he quits. At least he lets me finish before he complains.

Now he says, “Maybe yoga’s just not for me.” I still think that there must be some style out there that will appeal to him. I probably need to expand beyond the vinyasa style I’m most familiar with.

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Nice-smelling placebo effect

We’ve got plans this evening and it’s unlikely we’d get a home practice in, so I took my yoga to the gym today and did my favorite flexibility practice there. In hindsight, I should’ve picked something a little more complicated since I was working alone. Oh well, it was a plenty nice way to spend my gym time!

Today’s struggle is how (or if) to respond to people in my life that hold harmful anti-science views, and if that can be done from a place of caring rather than anger.

My cousin-in-law is highly involved in some essential oil pyramid scheme, and every facebook post and family event is full of talking about how great they all are. Usually I try to ignore it, since it’s mostly nice-smelling placebo effect, but her claims that the oils will do stuff like cure cancer drives me nuts. And it’s a waste of money for the people who buy them!

At the end of the day I really don’t want to be confrontational and call it snake oil to her face, but I wish folks would be do a little more research before believing the miraculous claims.

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