Monday, July 31, 2006

The laughing wanna-be-yogi

OK, normally when I'm doing Ashtanga (the kick-butt branch of yoga), I'm in exquisite agony. That's what I love, though. There is no doubt in my mind: I am building muscle, endurance, flexibility, and balance. I can't not be, as long as I'm trying my hardest.

Every once in a while, however, I become fondly convinced that my instructor has lost it. "Push your chest towards your toes, while pushing your shoulders back."

Um... do you realize that my chest and shoulders are relatively attached? Where one goes, the other can't help but follow?

Okay, okay, I know what they mean, but sometimes you just have to laugh.

(This is a big improvement, by the way. I've had to temper my determination and perfectionism after ending the first few classes so absolutely physically and emotionally drained that the slightest adjustment would put me in tears of frustrated exhaustion.)

On the flip side, I can't help but smile when she gives instruction for Forward Fold (think touching your toes, but more intently bending from the hips). She never fails to emphasize that our bellies should be pressing against our thighs. "No daylight," she'll admonish.

Yeah! I got that one down! Of course, the belly is actually getting in the way and preventing me from folding forward as much as I probably could otherwise, but man... no daylight indeed. I've mastered that.

Speaking of mastered, I'm mentioning just for the sake of it that I'm getting a bit better in coming down from Push-up Position. Before, I would *always* put my knees down before coming down. Now I'm not putting my knees down at all, but I am kind of flopping down onto my belly and chest at the last moment. (They are nicely padded, after all.) So, far from perfection, but much improved.

OK, my run today was pretty uneventful except for the wind. Man, wind is a bear. Whether running or cycling, wind is a force to be reckoned with. I just had to keep telling myself, "It's making me stronger, it's making me stronger, it's making me stronger." I just have to have faith that I wasn't lying.

Today's Run: 2.62 miles in 36:04. Overall pace: 13:45/mi. Flat course.

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