Do Yoga Every Day of January! Days 6-10

6. Saturday 6 January. Yesterday, all empowered from my run and yoga I went to work and taught some private lessons (it’s wedding dance season, so many happies were shared), then met up with my business partner to make some plans and decisions. Solidly happy with ideas, contingencies and action plans, I headed home – only to receive yet another phone call of calamity at 10pm. I took a deep breath, ranted slightly, laughed, then blasted Marilyn Manson through my headphones and got to work trying to fix the situation until 2am.

Today, I woke up sooooooooore. DOMS from the run wasn’t as bad as expected, but the tendons behind my right knee felt a bit fragile (my right knee is mostly scar tissues, so lots of odd compensations happen when I run. My left instep was also feeling a bit tight, and surprisingly the worst stiff muscles were in my neck and shoulders – which probably has a lot less to do with running and yoga than it has to do with hunching over a computer listening to rage music and cursing until 2am. I decided to make today my rest day from running, and my partner and I walked the dog up around a gentle 1.5km loop of bush and fenceline instead. I also decided to make today my rest day from my food plan so that I could have a couple of much needed drinks, but surprisingly even with those I haven’t exceeded my calorie limits! I think my experimentation with low GI recipes is paying off in the fullness-to-calorie ratio. But anyway! I worked a lot today, though I desperately didn’t want to, and I got a lot done. Things are looking more manageable. I lay on the couch a lot, ate some tasty food, drank some bourbon which is quite a novelty for me these days, and did a lot of writing and organising. I actually left yoga until quite late! But today was Day 4 – Floor, and my sore creaky little body was pretty thrilled with that idea. The techniques being talked about are really interesting to me as a dancer – working with the floor or against the floor, using the floor to hold you up and balance or finding those things in your own body instead, keeping connection with your body as a whole rather than isolating parts – and I appreciate having the time and space to play with the ideas. The downward breath, pelvic floor and sit-bone connection were really practical, interesting things to experiment with and find new physical ideas. Plus, I got the giggles at the beginning at all the random stuff Adriene was saying which was delightful.

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Ella was not in the mood for coaching

7. Sunday 7 January.  Back on the running train! Nothing was feeling too bad this morning, so I headed back off up the fenceline track for the 4km loop via the gun emplacements and Highbury Fling. It was bloody hot but feels like it’s getting shorter every time. There are three big hills, and each one is progressively more evil…. but there are only three. Here is the view across the harbour today (full disclosure: not exactly the same spot I usually take it from, because we met a family with adorable children having a picnic there and if I had stayed too close the children and Ella would have formed their own pack of weird quasi-wolf kids and gone to live in the wild together, such was the love between them, so I had to move away).

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North from the Polhill gun emplacements 7 Jan 2018

When I got back and started yoga (True Day 5 – High) I was feeling pretty tired and a bit distracted, which really came to a head mid practice when I realised that it was the middle of the day and instead of eating anything I’d had a cup of tea then run up hills in full sun and gone straight onto yoga. Terrible idea! So there were some mental wobbles going on. BUT! High was really cool. It took patience and focus to really engage with the conscious exhales, but once I got in the zone they were really helpful. I definitely felt pretty ace afterward – as I raced to the kitchen to finally grab food and coffee to get rid of the shakes!

8. Monday 8 January. The day of truth (lolllll see what I did there). Today was the day I would find out whether the weekend of work at all hours, sleepless nights and a hell of a lot of screaming death metal on full volume had paid off and pulled us from the precipice of bad luck disasters (AKA the day classes at the studio started back).  So I got up early, I learned from yesterday’s mistakes and ate breakfast, then set off for my run to calm the nerves. I think yesterday’s practice stuck with me, and instead of trying to run up the hills as fast as possible just to get them over with and getting super exhausted and puffed, I decided to go as slowly as possible (while keeping my footfall bpm high) and try stretching out my breaths. It was really cool to play with, trying to control the breaths (especially the exhales) the way Adriene had been talking about, while running up hills! I found that four footfalls per inhale and exhale was too short and settled on five which was a nice weird number to concentrate on.  I’ve always heard you should run in 3/4 time to even out the stress over both sides, but maybe I’ll have to switch to 5/4 until I get fancy enough for 6/8. Music and running, it’s MATHS! Who knew.

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North from the Polhill gun emplacements 8 Jan 2018

I did the same fenceline/gun emplacements/Highbury Fling loop, got back and was like yay today’s True practice is only 21 minutes, how aweso- OH SHIT Adriene lied to me, she called it “Kindle” but of course, it’s day 6, so it could only ever have been one thing… SIX! PACK! ABS! I was already committed. It was too late. I crushed those fucking 21 minutes and sweated and swore. I like that some things are easier, and I guess I like that some things will always always suck. Anyway. With running and yoga done, off I went to face the music… and it worked. All the work worked. Thank god for that. Let’s just call 1-7 January a false start and say 2018 starts here, ok? You have to count in to 8 before you start dancing anyway. Sweet. Glad we’re agreed.

9. Tuesday January 9th. So yesterday was not only run and abs day, it was also the first day back teaching classes, and by the time I’ve run, yoga’d, walked all the way down to work, taught two energetic solo classes and walked all the way back up the hill home, plus the nervous tension of hoping like hell everything would hold… well, this picture of Ella once we got home pretty much sums it up.

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I was totally fubar-ed, so was the pup, so I drank a glass of wine, had a shower, kinda slumped for a while then went to bed. When I got up this morning and asked if Ella wanted to get up and go for a run, this was the reaction:

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And I was like GURL SAME so I got us both brekkie and we sat in bed and she snored while I did admin for the morning. She got her walk though, my workmate and I took her for our old tradition of a dog park stand up walking meeting, and she played very happily with other more giant dogs and ran herself silly.  SO! No run for me today, just a casual stroll around a dog park. I practiced, planned and taught my two classes tonight though, and they went great. For some reason (probably tiredness) my brain packed it in and although tonight our classes were full just like last night’s were I somehow decided that maybe we hadn’t succeeded after all. Who knows, I think I’m just a very tired very stressed human.

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Willis St in the rain

Anyway, I did not feel like doing yoga tonight when I got home (and getting home at 9.30-10pm every night because of classes does NOT help). But I huffed and puffed and got on the mat and I can’t say today was my most mindful, most technically good or most pleasant practice, but I practiced. Did it! Got there! Held tree pose rock steady on both sides with eagle arms and then a backward stretch. Touched my nose to my knees. Realised my hips are way more flexible than they used to be. Pretty good, even on zonked days. Wine, salad, and early to bed 🙂

10. Wednesday 10 January. The day after no run is always hardest, it’s so easy to be like welllllllll it was just FINE not running yesterday, I still don’t feel like it today… but we went (after I had stocked myself up with delicious creamed rice and fruit and coffee). Up up up in the rain which felt delightful, the controlled breathing wasn’t working so well this time but I did my best to focus and apparently it worked because we were suddenly at the top way sooner than I expected and I didn’t feel like we’d done all the hills yet?! But we had, and were rewarded with spectacular city views.

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North from the Polhill gun emplacements 10 Jan 2018

The run back was a piece of cake. I finished the last episode of season 1 of Crimetown, which has been a really awesome running companion. Looking forward to season two, and APPARENTLY A MUSICAL?!

Day 8 of True: Salve was exactly my speed today! Very thankful for both the stretch and the rest, and of course the hug. That crossed arms hands on knees back curve stretch is the most incredible thing it felt AWESOME.

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And with that? Day 10!

Days of Yoga so far in 2018: 10

Kms run or walked so far in 2018: 37

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