Thursday, May 26, 2011

I Downward Dog Dare You

187.8 lbs. Where’s that dynamite? I was THIS CLOSE to 184.6 (40 down) and I will not be denied.

You can tell a woman is not serious about her upcoming workout when she arrives at the gym wearing as much makeup as a toddler beauty pageant contestant. Today, I saw such a woman.

Checking my diary entries from the last time I had a spike plus plateau combination, it took a day or two for things to get back on track.

Don’t tell Torquemada, but I’m cheating today: I only did yoga, no hour of cardio. HA!

Since tomorrow’s going to be another monster weight training day, I figured I could slack a little bit. Only  a little bit. Part of it was a number of errands that needed to be done, part was an experiment. I’ve been frustrated with my lack of balance. I don’t expect to pass for a Cirque du Soleil performer, but I would like to see or feel a difference, you know?

Tuesday’s class, Lila had us to a shoulder stand. If you’re a kid and goofing around on the lawn with your sisters or friends, this is the one where you’re on your back and you bring your legs up and over your head, so basically, you’re ass over teakettle with your feet on the ground over your head, but since you’re 9 years old and hopped up on Kool Aid, it’s hilarious.

Not so much when you’re closing on 50. Doing it the yoga way, I couldn’t get my legs over my head. Before class started today, I thought I’d give it a shot the old fashioned way: just whip my legs over my head. I’m here to tell you that I didn’t harm myself and I could get my legs back there. I will not be doing it again though, because due to the presence of the Great White Belly and the White Mountains, I nearly suffocated. Oh sure, you don’t think about it when you’re sitting upright, but when you bop yourself in the face with your own tits and belly…

You get the idea.

There was some progress, though. My shoulders still get tired with holding arms up and/or out, but it takes a bit longer. My upper back rebels against sitting up straight for too long, but the time period before I feel the muscles start to complain is getting longer. I was told I have nice looking legs (not by a guy. They don’t notice. I am invisible to the masculine eye). All the cardio and leg presses are paying off. If only GWB would shape up as quickly…

When we got to the sun salutation, there was the transition from Downward Dog to Plank and then the option of going back to Downward Dog (which is hands in front of you, butt in the air and trying to get your feet flat on the floor. If you can do that, you are quite stretched and flexible) to Plank (which is hands under shoulder and a long sloping line from your head back to your feet, butt below rib cage) and then there are two roads back to Downward Dog: either go directly to it by pushing back (do not pass Go, do not collect $200) or do the vinyasa: from Plank, do a push-up, then bend into Cobra (legs straight out behind you on the floor, back is arched and arms/hands pushing torso off the floor). No belly flopping allowed and Lila has pre-emptively told me to take the modification and just go straight to Down Dog from Plank. Now, I THOUGHT that it was necessary to go all the way down to the floor on the move from Plank to Cobra. HOWEVER, I saw Lila do one and she only went halfway down. HA! I CAN DO THAT! I CAN GO HALFWAY DOWN ON A PUSHUP! (Don’t expect me to come back up; it ain’t happenin’) So, as we got to the right point in the next Sun Salutation, (drumroll, if you please) I TOOK THE VINYASA. You should have seen the look on Lila’s face when she saw me in Cobra. The push up was not graceful and pretty, but damn it, I got it done. Yeah, Boy! And Lila told me it was magnificent. That made up for damned near offing myself with a boob up the nose (Seriously, I know we all have to go some time, but I’d prefer not to end up as a Darwin Award).

Without the hour of cardio before class (I usually give myself about 15 minutes in between cardio and yoga), I actually could hold a Tree Pose (before class) without a lot of shaking. It was a brief, shining moment, but I could hold it and hold it steady. Part of the issue with balance is the need for an extra mat under my yoga mat. With the screwed up kneecap, I need to put padding between it and the floor. Not so good for staying steady on one foot. On the bare floor, I did all right. It’ll come, I keep telling myself.

Chair Pose (or Fierce) aka the Methane Torpedo Tube was a bit easier. I pushed myself to go a little lower in the squat (butt clenched against disturbing the tranquil atmosphere. Never eat Mexican before yoga). My shoulders gave up before the core and leg muscles did. This is an improvement. I’ll take it.

I feel a bit restless for not having pounded out an hour on the elliptical or Rotating Staircase of Death or the treadmill and that’s okay.  For future reference, do the exercises requiring strength before you’ve exhausted your muscles with cardio. That may seem like common sense, but I tend to learn things the hard way.

Like it’s better to keep your nose above your boobs.

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