Monday, May 25, 2009

Bend Over and Touch Your Toes!

Don't worry. I'm not going to be admitting to liking me some Lil Jon. But I am just thrilled to report that I can touch my toes!! Doesn't sound like a huge accomplishment but just four months ago when I made up my mind to get in shape, I couldn't do it. Now I can touch my toes and even the floor. Even the hubby has remarked on how much more flexible I am and has become very encouraging of YOGA.

I enjoy yoga tremendously and I'm so glad that I started. I still haven't taken a class yet but soon. One of my goals this year is to extend and deepen my yoga practice but really this is a life long goal. It's not just about arriving. It's about getting there too. And I'm enjoying the journey. I have learned so much about my body in this short time, it's actually pretty fascinating. I know where my weak points are now (like my ankles), where I carry my tension (at the back of my neck and shoulder blades) and how to let it go, that I can balance better on my left side (even though I'm right handed) and so much more.

So far, I have a few yoga DVDs/routines that I do:
Yoga for Urban Living (I'm still having issues with this DVD but I like it enough that I will repurchase it)
Living Room Yoga (I just absolutely love this one--I highly recommend it once you're no longer a rank beginner)
Crunch Yoga (this is great for easing yourself into yoga--it's got modifications an is really a neatly packaged introduction. There is very minimal emphasis on the spiritual in this practice but spirituality still seeped into it for me. Maybe not for everyone though.

I also do the Great Salutation on my own sometimes. I love this website too for a listing and explanation of the various poses.

I have a couple of books on Yoga too: Light on Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar and Yoga Beyond Belief by Ganga White, two excellent resources to have. Another book that I don't own but regularly borrow from the library is Yoga Anatomy (those are links to the books on Google Books). Yoga Anatomy is a book you just have to see. It's fabulous.

Honestly, I do get frustrated sometimes because the weight is not coming off. While I'm stronger, I still don't see all that much definition because I'm holding on to the weight. I've started lifting more weights because muscle burns fat and I'm hoping to see a difference. I wonder if maybe I'm not doing enough cardio for long enough. My sistren recommended this The Firm Transfirmer system to me and I'm thinking about it. Do I need to do more though? Or something different? I actually would like to have a personal training session. I want to know will my belly button ever get back to the way it was before I had kids and if so, when.

Realistically, I know that while I'm nursing, I'm not likely to lose anything too fast. After I weaned Z1, I made absolutely no effort to exercise or lose weight but it dropped off and I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight in no time. I suspect it will be the same here.

Beyond that, I've been struggling with the challenge of getting enough sleep and getting up early to exercise. I'd been getting up at 5 religiously but ran out of steam mid-day. If I get up later, there's no guarantee that I will have time to exercise and chant/meditate/journal. And I hate having to make the choice between the two. But once the boys are up, really all my attention and focus is on them especially now that Z2 is so incredibly mobile (and daring). People suggest exercising with your children but honestly, I need to be in a certain focused mind space to exercise. I need to get into myself. My babies distract me. I noticed once when doing yoga while they were awake that my breathing was off and I found myself doing things in such a way that I could hurt myself. And we all know that not being well-rested is counterproductive to weight loss so . . . that's a challenge I'm working with.

But anyway, I love yoga and I encourage anyone and everyone to give it a try. It is truly for everyone. If DVDs don't do it for you, find a class and see. I saw that the local community colleges even offer classes now.

Photo courtesy of


Sabrina said...

I'm so glad to hear how you like yoga. My gf was just trying to convince me to try it and that I would really like it. They offer several classes at my gym and they seem super popular. I think that will be my goal. I'm going to give yoga a try. Thanks for the inspiration.

Anonymous said...

Well as you know, I recently started taking a yoga class and I love it. I think its definitely something that would be hard to do with your kids. Yoga at least for me is very much a mental thing and having my little one present would change things up.

Be patient with the weight loss, it took me 2 years to drop my weight.

Smokie said...

Thanks for the links! I took yoga a few years back and I absolutely loved it. I need to start again.

Anonymous said...

Chi-Chi, Touching your toes is a great accomplishment. Think about how many people can't and worse won't even do anything to change that. I love the physical arts (my term), because it really makes us begin to think about the mechanics of our bodies, and examine how we do what we do even when we are dealing with everyday life issues.
Blackgirlinmaine, its funny how it always starts off like that, I mean when you begin learning yoga. You know, you may even begin to practice at home when the little one may be napping. You can focus, then it hits you, that the more you focus on yourself, body and mind during yoga. Then you begin to even hear the clock ticking, or a drip down the hall and you know you hadn't heard it before you started your practice session. You are even able to hear the little one's breathing patterns as you practice. The more you focus in, the more you become aware of the out. Simple things just get louder.

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