Monday, May 31, 2010

Rallying, Sort of

I woke up at 4:30am, on account of the birds, and thought about all the places I could go if I got up and drove - New Hampshire, breakfast on Cape Cod, etc. But then I realized I could also go back to sleep and rest my body, which is what I did. Until 9:30am.

I thought about riding my bike to World's End but the air is smokey and my lungs were a bit hackey this morning so I didn't. I did clean the kitchen and am boiling some golden beets and eating almost an entire head of steamed cauliflower with Bragg's amino acids on it.

I did not eat enough vegetables this week (unless pesto counts), which may be what led to my getting sick. I need to get back to having them as the base of my diet. Which means buying them. And preparing them so they are easy to grab and eat.

Also, even though I said I wasn't weighing myself, I have. I still haven't dropped a pound. I'm still right around 180 (never below.) And I'm realizing that even though this doesn't matter in yoga class, it might matter when I hike I think. I'm not going back to tracking my food and counting calories, as nothing changed then either, but I will just be conscious of the fact that these hikes will be different because I weigh more. But they will also be different because I am stronger. And older. So, who knows...

For now, I'm going to lie in the sun and read.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Not An Entirely Unproductive Day

I washed my yoga mat with some baking soda and water and hung it out in the shade to dry. I sweated my heart out on that thing on Saturday, and my little feet are always stepping all over it so it needed a wash.

That was the most productive thing I did all day. I lay around and read for a bit. Then went and got some beef noodle soup from the Vietnamese place but I forgot that restaurant beef scares me and they put liver in my soup, so I just ate the noodles.

My arms are still sore. I didn't go see a movie. And now I'm going to bed.

Tomorrow I will wake up well and healthy and at a normal hour, and do things like walk outside and some yoga. Right? Yes.

Rest Day

I long to be able to breathe through my nose. Despite my neti pot, a hot shower with eucalyptus soap and some good old cold medication, I am still whistling through my nose with each breath. My arms are sore. My legs are sore. I am out of eggs and the people I buy them from haven't had any in a while so I don't know what to do. My house is a mess.

I want to walk or hike. I want to put a blanket on the ground and lie in the yard in the sun with the dog until it's time to go see Sex and The City 2.

I want a bowl of pho, or bi bim bap or something spicy to clear all this congestion. But instead I'll have some fresh mozzarella and pesto on potato bread because that's what I have.

And I'll take all the recycling and trash to the landfill. And I'll rest today.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

There Are Few Words

There are few words to describe what yoga class was like this morning. I'll try. Hard. Arms. Side plank. Sweaty. So sweaty. Plank. More plank. Crow. Savasana. Tears. Yes, a class so transformative that tears came during savasana.

One of those classes where when you leave you feel absolutely high on life, while knowing that you pushed your body to its limits. One of those classes where in the first 15 minutes you think you are going to die. 40 minutes into it you have to leave the room for a paper towel to wipe the sweat that has been pouring off you, and somehow Sun Salutations become a place to rest and relax. Headstand is restorative and by shoulderstand you could fall asleep. And as you lie in savasana you can't believe what you've done. The poses are mostly all the same as all the other times. But the sequencing, the holding, the concentration. Lord have mercy.

Now, nursing a cold in the right side of my head. Hungry but not hungry. Hoping some ravioli with arugula and almond pesto will be helpful. Just wanting to lie down and wake up well.

I really wanted to hike tomorrow or Monday. My body (below the neck) feels fine. My head apparently thinks some resting is in order. And lots of nose blowing.

Because I Can

Woke up sore this morning. Am hobbling around making my coffee, readying my things for my day: shower, farmer's market, yoga, family get-together.

I briefly considered not going to yoga. But then I realized that the ability I have to move my arms and legs, and the access I have to a wonderful teacher are gifts that I should not turn away from and cannot take for granted. And the fact that I do not have children that need to be tended to or cows and goats that need to be fed means this time is all mine to do as I please. Again, a gift.

What gifts have you been given today that you will not waste?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Wring It Out

Today's class was all Parivrttas, revolved poses. Basically you take poses that are already challenging - trikonasana (triangle), ardha chandrasana (half moon) and you revolve them so that your torso is twisted the opposite way it normally is. Yes, it's about what it sounds like. Awkward and even more challenging.

Then Stacey and I had a the bright idea to take a two hour walk on the beach, and were both hobbling by the end and in desperate need of some stretching. Walking on sand works so many more muscles than walking on cement and our poor hips and legs were not happy. Thankfully our planned hike had already been moved to next week! I came home and read with my legs up the wall for a while, and tried to stretch out some more.

Now I shall list the parts of my body that hurt: the second toenail of my left foot which apparently does not like my sneakers and is threatening to turn purple, my ankles, my hips, my hip flexors, my glutes, my trapezius, 11 other muscles whose names I don't know. Thankfully my level 2/3 yoga class is not for another 14 hours so I should be fully recovered by then. Right?

My plan to steam and eat some cauliflower was thwarted by the drunk person who drove into a telephone pole near my house and made the electricity go out for an hour and a half. Now I'm too tired to cook and shall just finish the laundry, lay out my clothes for tomorrow and head to bed.

This is the glamorous life of someone who decided at age 37 to find out what her body was capable of and wring the life out of it (or, rather, back into it.)

No Sweat

I did not remain feeling like a beached whale the entire, despite my lack of posting. I went to the Tuesday night Foundation Class (where I realized that it is easier to balance if my friend with the paisley mat is in front of me, because my drishti can be on one of the paisleys and I don't topple over.)

Last night was the level 1/2 class and we did some forearm balance practice and I did 2 headstands. I worked on building the strength in my lats, triceps and lower arms since that is what I need to get me confident and strong enough to get up into hand stand and forearm balance. I felt nice and strong after class, and ready to go to the 8am class this morning. Just after my coffee and I spend some quality time together.

I bought a new day pack yesterday, in blue. When I first put it on, it felt all wrong but then the guy put a 10lb sand bag in it, and started adjusting all the straps and all of a sudden it felt perfect. Very glad I had help buying it or I would have left with nothing. My pack that I use now is, I think, a snow boarding pack. I bought it 5 years ago because it was smallish, but in the summer the very cushiony back makes my back very hot and sweaty and I get miserable about it. My new one has a mesh panel that sits away from the rest of the pack to allow air flow back there. This pleases me to no end. And it has a built in hydration bladder so I can hike without stopping for my bottles.

I think after 5 years, and all the little hikes I did last summer and so far this year, a new pack was just what I needed. The old one will be my winter pack, or a loaner if someone needs it.

Off to yoga!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Beached Whale

I decided to skip yoga class tonight and come home. I've decided that while I like tonight's teacher, I'm not crazy about her (and sometimes feel like she's phonin' it in) and so I should just come home, put on my yoga clothes and eat gorgonzola on baguette and drink rose'. And then make a bunch of sauteed leeks, mushrooms and zucchini and mix it with shrimp and put it over rice.

Which I did. And now I'm totally stuffed and feel like a beached whale. My belly is too full. Stupid delicious cheese that makes me lose all sense of when to stop eating. (But am hoping the veggies digest fast and I don't feel like this all night.)

My plan: go clean up the kitchen, get the clothes off the line, go visit with the dog, do a yoga journal podcast around 8pm or so, or just beach myself on the sofa and read.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

It Just Keeps Getting Better

Yoga was amazing this morning. I was kind of nervous to go to the Level 2/3 class with this teacher but I am so glad I did! I was the only person in class and we worked very hard. Well, I worked hard, she told me what to do and gently pushed and pulled me to get my hamstrings to lengthen. And lengthen they did (I iced them after class to prevent hobbling tomorrow.) She said I "rocked" the class, and coming from her I am very proud and glad to hear it. I have to say, the short hair was awesome. No more fiddling with my bandana during class, or adjusting some little pony tail. I just stuck on little clip on the side and proceeding to sweat my little heart out.

We experimented with bhujapidasana, shoulder pressing pose, which made me realize my wrists still need more strength. I was able to get up so that I was sort of sitting on my upper arms, and my feet were together, but they weren't quite ready to leave the ground. And really, more core work will help me in all of my poses. Like stupid tree pose that I topple over in.

I was famished by the end of class, and have found that whole goats milk is an amazing rejuvenator. The right amount of fat and protein and deliciousness to sustain me until the "Taste of ..." event which was basically a street fair of about 20 restaurants sampling their different wares -
  • a mini clam bake (above)
  • butternut squash and crab bisque (yum!)
  • 3 different pulled pork sliders, the ones with cole slaw were the best
  • some thai noodles
  • a little slice of pizza
  • a short bread cookie
  • gazpacho (awesome)
  • a bit of cheese & salami
All that was missing was a beer sample to settle my stomach after all that. I came home and had half a beer and took a nap. That's my yoga reward - food, beer and napping. And the clothes. I mean, inner peace is my reward. Om?

Weighing My Options

(me with my patented "take the photo from slightly above because it hides the extra chin" move. Sheet thrown over the back seat is to protect it from the dog.)

I'm lying in bed with my coffee, having just thrown little cookies about the yard to keep the dog occupied out there so I can have quiet morning time. I cut my hair short yesterday, and forgot for a minute when I woke up. Then I realized that short hair gets much more bed-headish than longer hair, which is easily rearranged into some sort of hip style.

I cut it because I was putting it back too much, in bandannas and hair bands while I walked or hiked or did yoga, and those things just started to annoy me and get fussy - so off it came. I love it.

I'm weighing my options for today - the day is chalk full of them: 9am beginning yoga, 10:30am level 2/3 yoga with a new teacher (wishing there was a some middle ground there), driving to a "Taste of..." event downtown, biking to the event (wishing I had a cruising bicycle with a big basket), driving to Cape Cod with my bike and biking there (probably won't happen), prancing around in my new yoga clothes and doing my hair. See, there are just so many things to choose from.

I fit into another pair of size 10 jeans yesterday. I had noticed my 12's were feeling baggier (remember "baggies"? those pants from the 80's that were all baggy and pleated and had elastic in the cuffs? um, no, I don't either), but I thought they just needed to be washed. I don't know if I've lost weight because I took the battery out of the scale.

Alright, it's 8:15 which is a proper time to get out of bed and make some decisions. Or at least go buy some hair products and do my hair all day.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I love practicing yoga at home. Because when I do a nice calming restorative practice I can just roll right into bed, no driving necessary.

The restorative practice needs a bunch of pillows or bolsters, so that you are fully supported in the postures. I did a supported shoulder stand, a nice long supta badha konasana (reclining bound angle) lying on bolsters, then a seated forward bend with a small pillow on my legs since I wasn't quite stretched out enough to rest my head fully on my knees. Then, of course, savasana with a bolster under my knees and a blanket on me.

Slept like a rock until 5:30am when the woodpecker and his friends decided to start tweeting and pecking for breakfast outside my window.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Slug Day

No class last night. Oysters last night. And soft shell crab over pea shoots. And a few mussels. Yum. And some cake. I was like the mother at the table finishing everyone's dinner so it didn't go to waste. Because you can't waste soft shell crab or mussels.

And I watched the Biggest Loser and got all teary eyed, of course.

Today is grey and rainy and I feel sluggish and lazy. Like I could start to slide off track. Skip class. Go home and have pizza and lie around.

It's the sort of day you wish you had your own little Heidi bed to cozy up in (like the one in the cabins we stay at when we visit my dad, pictured above. It's a little bed built into the wall with bookshelves around it. It's awesome to lie on with your sister or niece and drink wine).

And my yoga teacher is taking a little vacation which means I have to get used to a new teacher.

All these forces conspiring to send me home and aweay from the gray rain. I promise I'll roll out the mat when I get there.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Putting Myself Down for a Nap

I had the best nap today. I worked in the morning but was feeling all out of sorts in the afternoon. I came home and decided to take a nap. I slept from 3:30 to 4:40 which seems to be the perfect time for a nap, because you can wake up at 4:30 and have plenty of time for a trip to the grocery store and then yoga!

I must have needed the nap because I actually fell asleep. Sometimes, I just lie there, deeply relaxed but not relaxed enough to sleep. The last 2 days I have actually slept, which I think is good progress.

Class was good. They are starting to fill up now, which is good for the studio. We did some balance poses which I need to work on, and urdhva dhanurasana (upward bow, or wheel) which I love now. I feel so strong and good in it. We had a rushed handstand time, which I couldn't do after a few tries so I did headstand instead just to have some nice upside down time. I wish she'd given us more time to work on things. It wasn't the owner, who usually does give us lots of time to work on new things.

What else? I did not eat one vegetable today. Breakfast was rice and hard boiled eggs. Second breakfast was rice and a hard boiled egg. Lunch was cheese ravioli from the farmer's market. Post yoga snack was pita and hummus and an english muffin with goat cheese. Not sure what today's extremely unbalanced eating was about, but I got some broccoli rabe and leeks and yogurt and I know the rest of the week will balance out.

Also, I keep stepping on the scale because I think that something must change there. But it doesn't. I will take the battery out tonight. Then I can still step on it and will be about as useful as it was before.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Best dinner ever

Hike. Yoga. Eat. Nap. Eat. Perfect Sunday.

2 boneless chicken thighs.
A bunch of chopped mushrooms.
2 chopped leeks.
A little goat cheese.
Milk with cornstarch.
Salt, pepper, sage.
Whatever pasta you like.

Put pasta water on and cook as directed. Chop chicken thighs into bite size pieces and saute. Add mushrooms, leeks, salt, pepper and sage. Cook over slow heat so the leeks don't burn. Add some goat cheese (or parm if you don't have goat), capers and the milk with cornstarch to make a little sauce. Add a little pasta water if it needs thinning. Keep warm. When pasta is done, gently mix it into the pan with the chicken & veggies. Check seasonings and enjoy!

The perfect early Sunday dinner for a hungry girl.

Never Surrender!

(Boston in the distance)

Back up at it this morning. I don't know who I've become. This person who bounds out of bed on a Sunday morning for a quick hike with friends, and then stops at the free yoga class at lululemon on the way home because the timing worked out just right. Crow again, yay!

Or maybe this is who I've always been and it was hidden inside. Maybe this is my true nature.

Lunch was goodies from the farmer's market: pita with hummus, baba ganoush and some tuna spread. Perfect refueling food.

At one point during these last couple of weeks, I though "am I doing too much yoga? Is this safe" and then I realized that all those months and years I was doing nothing I never asked "am I too lazy? Is this safe?" I realized that as long as I'm listening to my body, feeding it well and guarding against injury (with things like safely aligned yoga poses) I can pretty much do whatever I can do. And it feels good! The soreness is just soreness, just new muscle fibers growning, just changes happening.

And even though I still haven't lost any weight (yes, I stepped on the scale again. Just to see.), I can fit into some size 10 hiking shorts I bought for $19 at lululemon a few months ago and could barely pull up past my hips. And now they fit and are comfortable. Which just reinforces the fact that the number on my scale has little to nothing to offer me.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Very little grows on jagged rock. Be ground. Be crumbled, so wildflowers will come up where you are. You've been stony for too many years. Try something different. Surrender. -Rumi

I feel crumbled today. Like my yoga practice over the past weeks has finally cracked the shell so my soul is starting to be exposed. It's exhausted my body so there's just a thin wall between my insides and the outside. I feel sad and tired. I think it's bedtime.

Sleeping in Shoulderstand

What can I say about class today? I was grumpy, cranky, sweaty, tired, sore, and when we attempted Vishnu's couch (anantasana) I became positively miserable because I couldn't balance and was very annoyed. I remained annoyed through Sun Saluation B (with chair pose) and too many planks to count, until she said we were going to do salamba sarvangasana, supported shoulder stand and my favorite pose.

Oh, how I love that pose. The teacher was helping the other people in class with it, so I just went up and rested there. It is such a peaceful pose, I could almost nap in it. It restored my energy and lifted my spirits and I felt much better for the rest of class.

Every single one of my muscles is sore right now.

I went to the farmer's market after class. Not too many veggies yet, but I did get hummus, baba ganoush, fresh pita and fresh ravioli.

My house is in desperate need of cleaning, which needs to commence now.

Why Walk When You Can Fly?

Crow pose yesterday. Along with lots of plank, chaturanga with no need for bent knees(!) and more things to make my core stronger.

Then a little after work stroll with Stacey which was actually a 2 hour walk on the beach. Towards the end my legs were feeling a little lopsided from the sloping sand so we got back on the pavement.

Today my entire body is feeling yesterdays work outs. The level 2/3 yoga class is today at 10:30am, but I think I have to skip it.

Dinner was cheese and crackers and a little wine at an open house afterwards. I seriously need to clean my kitchen and buy some groceries so that I can have actually dinner.

Oh, who am I kidding? I'm going to yoga! And then the farmer's market for veggies and homemade pasta and coffee and flowers!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Not a Fluke

(photo from yoga journal, link below)

My urdhva danurasanas (upward bow) poses the other night were not a fluke. We did more last night! And practiced dancer pose. For some reason last night my size 10 feet shrunk to the size of a postage stamp when I was trying to do balance poses. I swear I could feel one of them shrinking in on itself while I stood there.

We first practiced dancer just standing in the middle of the room, working on the balance and pushing our foot into our hand. Then we went over and stood in front of the wall so we could use the wall for balance with our front hand, and could then really concentrate on the back bend part of it and getting that feeling down while not worrying about toppling over. Then we practiced without the wall again. I need to work on more balance poses and visualizing my foot growing and rooting rather than shrinking.

I'm going to the 8am class this morning. It's only an hour and I might be the only one there so the teacher asked what I wanted to work on. I ran through my head of what I've worked on this week: forward bends, back bends, twists, inversions, balances. Quite a week. "Do you want to work on abs?" she said. Oh, yes, that's what was missing. So 8am core yoga it is.

I want to get some stretchy fabric and make myself some wide bands to hold my hair back. I have some bandanas but they sometimes slip out. And then I want to retrofit some of my yoga tops with an additional few inches of fabric on the bottom so they don't come up when I go upside down. I'll have to post a picture of the lululemon top I had to retrofit so that it actually fit a person with a large bust and not just what lululemon thinks a person with a large bust looks like. I'm going to be sewing eye pillows for the studio, so I might as well sew some more things if I'm firing up the machine.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Drop and Twist

I just dropped half of an english muffin with goat milk brie on it into the dog's water dish. Oh how sad. And sadder that I thought for a half second, "can I somehow still eat that?" Don't worry, it's in the trash.

Yoga was awesome tonight. It was a nice slow, quiet class. We did twists and forward bends which feel so good and wringy. When we were doing paschimottanasana (seated forward bend) the teacher came over and put her feet right in front of mine, so my feet had to stay flexed. Then she leaned forward and held my feet, and I leaned forward and held her feet. That definintely helped get me deeper into the pose (and put more of the stretch in my calves.) I love hands on (0r feet on) adjustments.

My left side is much tighter than my right. I notice it in so many postures, and even the rolls of flesh on that side of my waist seem to be more in the way. That might be because I'm collapsing more when I bend to that side so they just feel more in the way. I will try to remember during my home practice to give some more time to Ole' Lefty.

Good night!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Lazy Tuesday

(There is not a cryptic message in the anchovies, just a curly fish.)

Ah, Lazy Tuesday. One of my favorite days. The Savasana of the week. After 5 days of yoga and hiking, today is when I eat cheese, make pizza and watch The Biggest Loser. And by "make pizza" I mean buy dough at Trader Joe's, buy sliced mushrooms at Trader Joes, and arugula, olive tapenade, mozzarella and anchovies. And then just assemble it and bake it. But Lazy Tuesday means I don't have to slice my own mushrooms or make my own dough.

Later I'll practice my dolphin and forearm plank and some sit ups, but for now I'm celebrating Lazy Tuesday and loving it.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Wheel Pose, F*ck Yeah. Again.

This was me tonight. Not this actual picture, it's from Yoga Journal, but this pose. It was me. I was it. Three times in a row. Three lovely, uplifting, strong, joyous times.

I could hardly stand it. Not the pose, that I went up into with joy and surprise since it was the first time (and second and third) it has felt that good. But the joy I felt up there was amazing. Like, all this work - this is what it gets me. Up in the air, strong and happy.

The whole class got up. A motley crew of shapes and sizes, including the girl (of larger size) next to me who hovered in chaturanga like she was a bumble bee. She was so large and so strong and so light. It was a sight to see. I know you are supposed to keep your eyes and mind on your own practice, but as I plop to my knees in that pose I like to see where other people's arms are so I can get a feel for what to do. And I sometimes think "well, if I were lighter, this pose would be easier," but watching my neighbor yet again I saw that size has nothing to do with yoga.

It was an anusara class which means we flung open a bunch of the poses to open our hearts up, maybe that's what helped me get up into urdvha dhanurasana (wheel) and what I can't stop using the word "joy" to describe how I feel.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

This is Your Brain on a Mountain

Gorgeous day today! This is the spot on my hike that I like to sit and see how far I've come and have a little snack. It's far past the crowds, and just after a whole bunch of rocky up hill so it's a nice little spot, with a rock that is perfect for sitting.
The hike was perfect. Sunny, windy (no bugs), chilly (kept me cool) and 2.5 hours. I hike the same path every time, but each time it's different. The weather, the other people, me - we are each different every time. Although my thoughts about hiking are usually "ugh, I'm so out of shape I can't breathe...ugh, I'm hot....ugh, why do these people litter so much?....oh, I love my hiking poles...eep, that's steep...mmm, lunch...ooh, pretty....I should look into hiking the Appalachian trail, this is so lovely I could do it all day...ah, resting...mmm, flatness....Christ, I hate this part....effing sun, why didn't I leave earlier...I should have gone the other way, this is too steep and I hate it....oh, yah, there's the top again....get me out of here [as my speed picks up for the short trip back down the first hill]...yay, parking lot and fresh clothes and done!"

It looks like there's just a small window where I'm actually enjoying myself, which is sort of true. But it's that feeling that keeps me going back because it's pretty awesome. Plus the fact that moving and working feels really good and I know it will keep me healthy as I get older. And I know that hiking this small mountain is prepping me for longer, higher hikes this summer.

I now bring clothes to change in to after the hike, with a skirt for easy parking lot changing. Fresh clothes make things so much better!

And I made sure to stretch out plenty so I don't end up with sore legs like I did last time.

Dinner was perfect: quartered cremini mushrooms, leeks and chicken thighs chopped and sauteed. Then added capers (can't get enough of those), a little milk with cornstarch, and some small ruffled, trumpet pasta and a dash of Parmesan cheese. So earthy and tasty and healthy and I wish there had been 9 more servings. This dish may be dinner tomorrow as well.

Now I'm having these cookies from Kripalu, to which I should have added chocolate chips instead of sunflower seeds. Except that I had the latter, and not the former.

Move Because You Can

It is a gorgeous sunny and windy day today - quite a difference from yesterday's gray rain. I'm planning a hike (including those rocks in the photo above) even though the rugs need to be vacuumed, the floor swept and the kitchen cleaned. I'm heading out to move because I can. Because those things will be there when I get back. Because soon it will be too hot or too buggy or too rainy or too something and I won't go. Because I know how good it feels to trudge along that path. Because I've eaten enough breakfast (an entire pita, half with almond butter and half with butter). Because I'm going to pack an adequate lunch (as soon as I figure out what it is.)

How are you moving today? Walking? Running? Golfing? Swimming? Dancing?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

How Not To Eat

Just a reminder to myself, and a word of caution to others. The following meal plan is a sure way to screw up your stomach and spend most of a torrentially rainy Saturday inside and lying around.

3pm Friday: Fried clams. Sam Adams. So good.
Restorative yoga class Friday night. So relaxing.
9am Saturday: 1/4 pita with almond butter, coffee. Could feel on the way to class this wasn't enough.
1.5 hour Level 2/3 yoga class.
12:30 Saturday: glass of milk. Kept trying to figure out what to eat. Nothing seemed good.
2pm Saturday: 1/2 bowl of brown rice, cabbage, egg, butternut squash. Couldn't finish. Belly not happy.
7 pm Saturday: 2 slices of Upper Crust pizza. (Belly needed carbs.)

I should have had something small Friday night. I should have had a hard boiled egg or something more at breakfast. I should have had a yogurt drink maybe after yoga to get some easily digestible calories in. I should have planned the entire 2 days better.

The pizza helped and hopefully by tomorrow I won't feel crappy, but let this be a lesson to me: be prepared. And take care of your body so it can do what it needs and wants to do.

Now I'm just going to lie in bed and watch Netflix.

What are your tips for pre and post workout meals?

Butterflied Leg of Lamb

That's what today's class felt like. It was all revolved poses - taking regular poses and twisting them, so my muscles that were used to triangle and ardha chandrasana (half moon) got some surprises when we revolved the pose. But, it was an awesome class and I feel fantastic.

I had fried clams as a late lunch yesterday, at about 3pm. Then I wasn't hungry at all for dinner. This morning I had a little almond butter on pita before class, and it's 1:30 now and I'm barely hungry. I want to eat, and am roasting some butternut squash and eating pineapple and thinking about making some sort of olive, broccoli, leek pizza later. I guess those fried clams had enough calories to get me through quite a long time. And, man, they were good! Mmmm, bellies.

One thing I'm noticing is that the size of a person's body has little to do with their strength or flexibility. I am generally the largest person in class. And yet, through these last 6 weeks of consistent, dedicated practice I am also one of the most flexible and strongest. My weight hasn't changed, and yet my whole body is different. My hamstrings are longer, my hips more open, my arms stronger, my upper back more flexible. I love it. And I love knowing that I have so much further to go and so much more to learn.

Now I'm hungry. I think I'll have an egg and some rice and cabbage with sriracha. Yum!
Edited to add: I think I waited to long to eat. Now my stomach hurts and I'm barely halfway through my yummy lunch. Poor planning on my part. Sorry tummy!

Lamb Chops on a Bed of Mashed Potatoes

No, this was not last night's dinner. This was how the yoga teacher said we'd feel in one of the restorative poses, supported supta badakonasana (reclining bound angle) with our backs, heads, legs, knees and arms all supported on blankets.

It was a restorative class from 7:30 - 9pm. I had done my more intense practice at home - practicing lots of plank and forearm plank, headstand, bridge and prepping for wheel pose to strengthen my arms.

The class itself was all restorative - gentle poses held for a few minutes each. By the end of it we were like noodles, and I wished there was someone to drive me home. I slept like a rock.

Today's class is Level 2/3. No lamb chops and mashed potatoes.

A dreary rainy day which means that after yoga I can come home and cook and clean and maybe plan for a small hike tomorrow.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Miss Mat

Finally returned to yoga class today after 5 day absence. I thought it might be a low key class since the teacher had a broken toe and another student had a fused spine. But no. No breaks for the poor, black-fly-bitten slacker.

I don't know if it's because we were in a smaller room so it was warmer, or if it's because the class was more intense, but I was sweating more than I normally do. Like rolling down my forehead sweat. It was nice.

We did Vishu's Couch today. Side Reclining Leg Lift. Looks easy enough, right? Well, it wasn't the getting the leg part up that I had trouble with, I couldn't get myself to balance on my side for the life of me. It was like I was lying on one of those logs in a lake that you can run on (or slip violently off of). Definitely need to practice my side balancing. The teacher never lets me get used to anything, she is always keeping me on my toes!

And my homework is to do more forearm plank and headstands, and to build up the time I spend in head stand so that my trapezius and lats get stronger so I can eventually get up into forearm balance. And work on my core.

But right now I'm having wine, bread and butter for dinner.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


I meant to go to yoga class. But as the day went on I realized I just wanted to go home. Like, really just wanted to go home. So, I gave myself permission to go home, with the compromise that I'd use the time wisely by cooking, and doing some yoga later in the evening. And cleaning the kitchen while watching the Biggest Loser, of course.

I made whole wheat pasta, needing something other than brown rice this week I think. While that was cooking I sauteed sliced chicken thighs, added chopped cabbage, capers, a little Parmesan and then just some milk with cornstarch to make a nice sauce. Salting each layer lightly (and the pasta water heavily) makes such a difference in the flavor. I ate half, and half is lunch tomorrow.

I also roasted some cubed butternut squash for dessert. Just some oil, salt a pepper on 400 for about 30-40 minutes, flipping halfway through. Again, eating half and packing half for lunch tomorrow.

Dinner over, getting up off the couch and going to wash dishes with the Biggest Loser folks.

Home again home again jiggity jig

It's kind of funny that my last post was about being comfortable in your own skin, and right now the skin of my ankles and wrists is covered in bug bites from Maine! Not comfortable at all!

I drove up to Maine on Saturday morning, and since it is black fly season up there in the woods, we were pretty much inside if we were at my dad's. We did take a day trip over to New Hampshire, he's near the border, sort of, where it was cooler and there were no bugs, but I was with my sister and her kids so our activities were limited to those that appeal to a 2 year old and a 5 year old - playgrounds and looking at trains.

I think next time I might go on a private yoga hike in the mountains. They even have trips up Mount Washington (although you walk up the Auto Road which doesn't sound appealing...) However, if I plan on getting up any type of mountain, I need to get back on the trails, back on my yoga mat and up off the couch (to go to work!)

Plan: foundation yoga classes tonight and tomorrow, plan a hike for Saturday.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Nothing feels as good as being comfortable in your skin

“If anything is sacred, the human body is sacred” ~ Walt Whitman

I spoke at a conference for eating disorder therapists yesterday. I'm an attorney so I gave a talk about health care proxies and guardianships in the context of people with eating disorders. It was very interesting, but sad to think about all those people so uncomfortable in their bodies they are willing to die.

I then went to lululemon to get some longer tanks for yoga class. (I got this one.) As I was picking out my tank, there were 2 girls in their early 20's next to me. Both thin and in good shape, one about 4 inches taller than the other. They were discussing a tank top and whether it would make them look fat. The taller one said she like the tank "but look at the size I would have to buy compared to your size." The shorter one "Well, you're much taller than I am." I felt very sad for them to be so consumed by those thoughts as they tried to buy those clothes (as I was for way too long at that same age, almost 50 pounds lighter than I am now) and very glad that I could shop without a care for what the size of my shirt was, only that it would fit me.

Then I get up to the counter to pay and the girls have an open container of almond butter on the counter. They are talking about whether they are "allowed" to have almonds on the cleanse they are doing. The one who had been about to eat some looked disappointed as the others said "No, no nuts." "I thought it said no peanuts but we could have almonds", said the hungry girl. "Maybe you could adjust the cleanse to fit what your body needs", said the nosey lawyer waiting to check out.

Maybe my senses were on hyperdrive on the look out for people in various stages of disordered eating or body image issues having just come from the conference, but it was so sad to be that a place that should be filled with people who want strong healthy bodies, was instead filled with people who felt horrible in their bodies or thought that having "no energy at all for 4 days on the cleanse, but then on the 5th day natural energy arose" was good for you. I paid for my tank and skeedaddled.

Yoga class yesterday morning was amazing. We worked on heart-opening back bends, which I need. We concentrated on lifting the heart and bending from the upper back, rather than just collapsing through the lower back which is what I usually do since it feels like I'm bending back more.

I'm traveling today and bringing my food with me since I don't like road food - apples, bananas, cantaloupe, lentils, a ton of chicken wings from Whole Foods for my brother to bbq (yum!). And my dad will make ice cream and someone will bring bread and cheese and there will be wine and beer and much merriment. It should be a very fun family get together with yard work and yoga and woods and waffles with maple syrup from the trees in the woods.

I feel like a bad blogger with no pictures. I'll try to get some this weekend.