weekly workout recap: jul 13 – 19

Long time readers know that I’ve had a challenging relationship with yoga. I desperately wanted to like it. No, scratch that. I desperately wanted to connect to it. Despite trying various yoga classes in a variety of studios, and umpteen at-home versions, I never felt that thing I was longing to. i.e. the ‘so what?’.

Last week I read a post from Martha at Boring Broad Runs, where she reviewed a yoga series she had done the prior week. Since she is a fitness blogger I respect, I decided to give the yoga series a try.

And it was a game changer for me.

So thank you Martha, from the bottom of my sweaty heart, for turning me onto Dr. Melissa West and her Namaste Yoga. I can honestly say that for the first time in my life, I get that yoga is about more than just the poses.

During a week that could have upended me to the disheveled state of my home, this series brought peace and restored calm. So much so, in fact, that I chose to forego all other forms of structured exercise this week in favour of getting my yoga practice in, five days in a row.

Imagine that.

lotus

untitled

Sun Jul 13:

Walking (Recovery day):

  • 5.55 miles / 8.9 kms

FitBit Stats: 14,778 steps

Mon Jul 14:

Demolish one bathtub surround: Remove tile by wielding a mallet, hammer, crowbar and other assorted tools. Rip out drywall with many of these same tools. Carry heavy pieces of tiled wall downstairs for disposal. This was hard and sweaty work.

Yoga: Namaste Yoga 54: Listening With Your Whole Body This yoga practice focused on listening with our minds by tuning into our insights. In this class we practiced present moment awareness with special yoga asanas to stimulate and calm the mind. Check out the video in the link to see a beautiful yoga practice out on the beach at Lake Ontario, a spot you often see in my pictures.

Walk: 4.25 miles / 6.85 kms

FitBit Stats: 11,641 steps

Tues Jul 15:

Yoga: Namaste Yoga 55: Listening With Your Whole Body This practice focused on observing and connecting to our emotions, paying special attention to how our body feels when it accepts, rejects or holds onto certain emotions. This session was taped along the shore of Lake Ontario, this time just slightly east of my home.

Walk: 5 miles / 8.06 kms

FitBit Stats: 13,918 steps

Wed Jul 16:

Yoga: Namaste Yoga 56: Listening with Your Whole Body In this practice the focus was on our spirit and inner wisdom. We were asked to think about what inspires us, nourishes us, sustains us as a means to tune into our spirit. I know, I know… way too air-fairy, right? Wrong. I finally found myself getting lost in a yoga practice, something I’ve waited a long time to experience. Also, the should stand was pretty awesome.

Elliptical: 40 minutes; 3.5 miles / 5.64 kms

FitBit Stats: 10,516 steps

Thurs Jul 17:

Yoga: Namaste Yoga 57: Listening with Your Whole Body In this practice we explored the theory that how we live our life is how we do our yoga. That there is a connection between the way we act in our yoga class and the way we act in our lives. The final pose of this program nearly killed me. If I can master that one (feet behind ears) I will be one popular chick, I’m sure.

Walk: 4.02 miles / 6.48 kms

FitBit Stats: 10,506 steps

Fri Jul 18:

Yoga: Namaste Yoga 58: Listening with Your Whole Body This was the final session of the 8-part series on listening with your whole body. The only extra piece of equipment needed in this practice is a yoga strap. If you don’t have one, you can always use the tie from a bathrobe, or any other long and sturdy strip of material available. This class reviews everything we learned in the previous 7 classes: finding your edge, focusing on your breath, your body, your thoughts, your emotions, your spirit, and your life connections. We practiced relating to our body from the inside out. Rather than worrying about what our bodies look like to the world, we listened to what our bodies are trying to tell us. We focused on the quote from the Bhagavhadgita, “See now… in this My Body, the whole universe centered in One…”

FitBit Stats: 10,312 steps

Sat Jul 19:

Home Reno Stuff: Move furniture, sort stuff into giveaway, trash & sell piles. Climb stairs from basement to 2nd floor about a million times. Not really, but it felt like it.

hoarding

FitBit Stats: 11,118 steps 

untitled

Hope yours was a great, healthy and happy week!

Keep moving…

xoxo nancy

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67 thoughts on “weekly workout recap: jul 13 – 19

  1. I am very impressed that you connected with yoga!
    5 days in a row is amazing!
    I still can’t quite disengage the inner (outer?) cynic! I shall look at your links and see if they help 🙂

    • The first few minutes of most of the practices from last week feel REALLY weird, I won’t lie. And I thought several times, what a waste / this isn’t a workout. And then the next day I realized I was sore in a number of places. Teaches me not to prejudge.

      I just started a new series by Melissa West today, it was tougher physically, but still felt bigger than just the workout, if you know what I mean…

  2. I wish I could work through that yoga series, but after watching a few minutes of the first clip, I know I’d grow too bored. I also know that’s the wrong attitude to have, but I get restless and like to move when I exercise. I do do yoga at least once a week, but I prefer the power kind. Not much patience to sit and just breathe. I know, I know, I should. Type As like me should really search for their inner zen. If you can do it, I should at least give it a try. On the other hand, I find my zen every time I flip open a book or settle into my favorite TV show. In fact, I’m about to go read right now. Do you feel my zen permeating through this comment?…

    • This particular series of 8 practices, not 5, as I had thought it was, won’t be for everyone, Carrie. Hell, it wasn’t even for me for the first couple of days. There were many moments where I had to really fight the urge not to snort at what I was being asked to do. I struggled big time to give it a chance, but by the 3rd practice I felt myself wanting to explore further.

      I never wanted to connect with yoga because of its exercise value. I can get exercise from a variety of other sources that are better suited to me. Rather, I craved experiencing that mind-body-soul connection I heard so many others talking about.

      As Martha noted in her comment, “I know some of it feels silly or arbitrary or maybe not even a work out at all, but I think about it as a work out for my soul.” <– Exactly! I didn't consider the yoga practice itself to be the be-all, end-all of workouts – it just happened that I found it during the week I started the reno, so circumstances were good for me. Between it and the general house stuff I've been doing all week, I did find myself more than a little sore a few days there – so I guess I worked something in the process. Mostly I'm glad I worked that whole mind-body-soul connection though.

      Yoga may not be for everyone. It wasn't for me, for 47 years. 🙂 I guess perhaps the piece that clicked for me last week was that I didn't question the process, I just went with it. I didn't obsess over whether it was a compelling enough form of exercise, I just went with it. And I didn't pout or bitch if I couldn't get the exact pose. I told myself it would come over time.

      Yeah, this was a breakthrough week for me. 🙂

      If you feel like you get that deep body-mind-soul connection through other activities, that is awesome and I applaud you!

      • I think you hit the nail on the head–we just need to go with it. I need to quit worrying that it’s not burning many calories and just get into the process. Maybe if I tried it after a regular workout, I’d feel better about it. But then there’s the time factor. Have to get on with my day. But I won’t stop doing yoga. Despite my lack of enthusiasm for it, I’ll still practice it at least once weekly. And probably grumble the whole time…

      • Or maybe keep poking around to find a yogi that resonates more for you. That is what *seems* to have made the difference for me.

  3. Nancy, you are too too kind! Like I said before, I am just so happy that anything I could share could resonate with or help someone. Especially you… Because you have things pretty well figured out!
    What series are you working on now? I started tackling the benefits of yoga series last week… That one’s definitely a mind bender. The “energy” episode rocked my entire day, but while I was doing it, I couldn’t help feeling a little silly. It’s only like 3 asanas the whole time paired with multiple different kinds of breathing, and then this wild aura clearing ritual towards the end.
    I know some of it feels silly or arbitrary or maybe not even a work out at all, but I think about it as a work out for my soul. A lifestyle upgrade.
    Ok, I’m running at the mouth again. I tend to get really really excited about stuff I love. Again, I’m so glad Melissa spoke to you and changed your mind about yoga. You are amazing!

    • Martha, it has been an amazing experience. I can’t thank you enough. I actually look forward to it each day, and felt weird when I didn’t practice on Saturday. 🙂 Yeah, me, the former yoga eschewer. 🙂

      I just started the 3-part Kriya Yoga series with a guest yogi, Paul Gangadeen. Kriya Yoga is 18 poses, but they’ve broken them out into 6 poses in each of the 3 practices. (It starts at session 49 if you’re interested.)

      The series you’re doing sounds pretty interesting! I might have to have a peek after I finish up this series. thanks for the tip!

      p.s. Your comment about this being a ‘workout for my soul’ is spot on. You’ve captured into a few simple words what this feels like to me. It’s not about the exercise value. It’s about FINALLY connecting my mind-body-soul.

      • I feel the same way about actually waking up and looking forward to it! In the past, yoga was something I just did if it crossed my mind and I had time. Now I want to make time. I love it!
        I will definitely check out the kriya series. I think the whole “series” thing is nice for type A’s like us because we get that sense of working towards finishing something finite. I’m so happy to have you along for a zen journey 🙂

    • thanks Laurel. I struggled at the beginning, I won’t lie, because parts of the practice still seemed very ‘out there’. I just kept trying to focus and give it a chance and…BOOM…it just clicked. I couldn’t be happier. This series was actually filmed 4 years ago, I believe, so I’m thrilled that there is such a huge catalogue of her practices to choose from. I hope to feel this passionate about the rest of her stuff!

  4. I don’t know much about yoga or Melissa West but why start with lesson 54? If you are a beginner where do you start?

    • I started with 54 because I mistakenly thought it was the first in a series called Listening With Your Whole Body. It turns out Lesson 51 was the first, I think. I felt I got enough out of the final 5 sessions in that series, so I jumped to a new series this morning. I’ll bet if you visited her website you could find an area for beginners.

  5. What a week, Nancy! I really enjoy Yoga and have been looking for a new series to experiment with, I’ll take a look at Melissa West tonight. 🙂 For quick and easy at home Yoga I like Baron Baptiste because there is enough variety that I don’t get bored and believe it or not I also like Jillian Michaels Yoga as a hybrid combining Yoga and traditional fitness workouts.

    • Thanks for the recos Lisa! I’ve found some good fitness yoga – the kind that leaves me spent and sore, but had never felt that yoga glow like I know so many others experienced. I never hungered for yoga the way friends do when they miss a practice. I’m sure there are some crazy practices (difficulty wise) in Melissa West’s portfolio on youtube, and this series wouldn’t fall under that category. 🙂 This was less fitness workout and more workout for the soul. Something I really needed last week. Kismet!

  6. Sounds fantastic, except for feet behind ears. Have to think that might bring on some kind of prolapse in the Southern Hemisphere. John

  7. I’m internally jumping up and down squealing right now. But you knew I would be, right? I knew you would connect to yoga when the time was right….it’s very…well, you 😉 so happy you had a wonderful experience. Yoga is life and preparing the body for meditation really is far beyond asana. Xoxo

    • I was so happy to share this with you, in particular, Kerry! And I know you JUST announced your break from blogging, but one of these days, whenever you’re ready, I would love to have you guest blog over here, about your breakthrough moment with Yoga. Was it love at first sight, or did it take you time to get there? I would really enjoy hearing about your game changer, if there was one, and how you’ve integrated Yoga into your life, even during times of turmoil.

      Jumpy claps here on Wednesday too, when I found myself dying to get to my practice. 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • I would love to guest post, especially about that! Thanks for the invite. I just needed a break from my schedule and the feeling of pressure I was putting on myself to post. But I still love to write and don’t want to get out of the habit too much. The novel will likely not get focused attention until my daughter is back in school anyway.

  8. I’m so very glad you made a connection with yoga, Nancy. My yoga practice is so incredibly important to me. You are so right that it goes way beyond the poses. It has been difficult for me to explain it to anyone who hasn’t at least given the practice an honest try. I don’t consider yoga part of my exercise, but what comes to me through yoga practice does make me care a lot more about my total well-being, and that does include exercise. I wish I could persuade a few of my friends to take the leap…just give it a try! 🙂 I hope you have a wonderful week, my friend.

    • You and Martha have both hit the nail on the head with each of your comments. Going forward, this definitely won’t be ‘it’ in terms of my exercise, but to get myself fully immersed (and to avoid losing the excitement I was just starting to develop about the practice) I chose to take what little free time I had last week and pour it into yoga rather than driving to the gym. Between the home reno stuff, my long evening walks and the yoga practice, I didn’t feel like I had shortchanged myself. It was the right choice for me last week. This week, I’ll incorporate in more fitness, but still try to get in as much yoga as I can. I like the way it makes me feel long after the I’ve finished the practice.

      May your week be awesome too, Debra!

  9. I really like yoga – in a class setting. I simply am not disciplined enough to do it alone. My goal is to find a really good yoga studio that I can bond with.
    Glad you finally found a yoga ritual that works for you 🙂

      • I made it 20 min before I bailed. :/

        But as I’m typing this… I see where you said “Fight the urge to quit” an “It’ll be worth it in the end”. So, I’m going to go back and try – despite the fact that during most of the first 20 min all I could think about was how she couldn’t do that move if she had my big boobs.

      • Mine aren’t small… It’s a process. Modify as much as you need to. I can promise you that yesterday, after 7 yoga practices in 8 days, I was WAY more flexible than I was 9 days ago. I think a big part of the connection that happened for me this time was because I FINALLY stopped judging my ability (lack there of) and just did what I could – at the modification needed – but held the poses just as long. If I’m truly ‘getting’ yoga, what I’m getting is that it’s not about mastering poses, it’s about learning about your body, respecting your body, finding that personal ‘edge’ — that point where you are challenging yourself enough. I hope you give it another go!

  10. You’re amazing Nancy! I’ve never tried yoga seriously because many of the poses look impossible to me. I’ve figured out the mind-soul connection pretty well, but body is walking behind the curve, so to speak. Happy for your break through!

  11. I’m so happy you found a yoga practice you enjoy! I love yoga, but I personally don’t like doing it in a class setting because I’m too self-conscious which stops me getting the relaxation benefits from it. Hope the DIY has gone well!

  12. I’ve been wanting to get serious with yoga. I was supposed to enroll at the sports center near our house so I don’t break my neck anymore attempting those poses on my own but life happened. Sigh.

  13. Pingback: finding calm in the chaos | my year[s] of sweat!

  14. ” I can honestly say that for the first time in my life, I get that yoga is about more than just the poses.”

    Wheeeeee! I am SO excited for you!

    I agree that yoga is the workout for the soul, but also love the way it makes me feel physically. I went to class last night, just dragging and worn out, and after an intense alignment class, left feeling so great. It was amazing, and hard to describe to someone who hasn’t felt it.

    Plus I have a new source for yoga videos when I don’t have a class. 🙂

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