Monday, April 25, 2011

If a Tree Does Yoga in the Forest…

A Tree Doing Yoga

…it looks a little something like this!  (See Figure 1, above.)

Yoga Update (4/18-4/24/11)

I have discovered something very dangerous or very wonderful, depending on how you look at it.  It turns out that in the evening, sitting on a chaise lounge in front of a pool is even more relaxing than yoga.  Dangerous and wonderful, no?  Last week I had to bring out the big guns to deal with my stress and frustration: poolside reclining, wine, and too much time on the bike.  Strangely, I didn’t really turn to yoga, perhaps because right now it feels a bit like a chore, and to relax, I was looking for something that didn’t resemble a chore in the least.  No cooking, no housework.  But something cold to drink, a bikini, and a good book?  Yes, please!

I didn’t abandon my yoga completely last week; I just spent some time away from it.  I’m looking forward to yoga tonight, and I’m looking forward to a better week altogether.  What goes down must come up…or something.

Without further ado, the highlights of my yoga practice last week: 

Monday (4/18): I am completely sick of looking at a screen, so I decide to do a DIY yoga instead.  It feels so good to turn off the computer and focus on stretching my limbs instead.  Om…

Tuesday (4/19): I have a horrific day at work and desperately want to do yoga.  Instead, I spend an hour on the phone being comforted by someone who has the utmost of confidence in me, which makes me feel much better.  I devote the rest of the evening to dinner, kitchen clean-up, and trying to read a paper for journal club the next day.  I do a tiny bit of pajama yoga before going to bed, exhausted, and I promise myself that I’ll do a “real” yoga session the next day.  (FYI: I don’t count today toward my 40 days.)

Wednesday (4/20): Making good on my promise to myself, I do Morning Flow #1, and it feels amazing.  I find myself going even higher (deeper?) into wheel pose, which is one of my favorite poses.  Wheel pose is quite challenging, but it’s such a mind- and body-bending experience that I love it, no matter how hard it feels.  I think this is one of the benefits to doing the same yoga class over and over again—you start to own it, wheel poses and all.

Thursday (4/21): I have a Self magazine clipping for a yoga abs routine, which I used to do more frequently.  It’s a fun set of moves and a nice alterative to Pilates.  I don’t do “yoga abs” too often any more, but tonight, during my DIY yoga, I decide to incorporate some of the yoga abs poses.  I think these poses really do build abdominal strength, but I’m not going to lie: I do yoga abs as much for abdominal strength as I do for those nights I spend sitting around in a bikini top.  Oh, vanity…

Friday (4/22): I skip yoga in favor of doing…nothing.  I sit in front of the pool for a while, and it feels great.

Saturday (4/23): I skip yoga again in favor of…nothing.  In my defense, I’m tired after bike commuting, working, grocery shopping, and cooking dinner.  Actually, I’m not just tired but drained after my week from hell and a busy Saturday.  So no yoga tonight, just some time to putter around and nurture my exhausted self.

Sunday (4/24): After three hours on the phone, my head is spinning and I decide that yoga is the perfect before-bed calm-me-down, so I do a few minutes of pajama yoga.  It does the trick.  And those crescent lunges are still hard to balance in, especially if I try to lean into a backbend in them!  Practice, little yogi, practice.

* * *

One last piece of yoga news.  Did you see Chrissy’s review of Poser: My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses by Claire Dederer?  I really enjoyed the review, though I haven’t read the book yet.  Not to overstate the obvious, but I enjoy conversations about how physical activity affects our mental and emotional well-being, so this book and Chrissy’s review of it are right up my alley.  Now I’ve got another book to add to my reading list!

Have a wheel pose kind of week, my dears!


  1. Thanks for linking my review! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I tend to write more about running on my blog because it's more exciting - there are Garmin stats and race reports and action photos - but I actually do more yoga than anything else. I just never really write about it, and I'm not sure why. Maybe because it's such an inner thing to me - my practice is personal and I feel like it won't interest my readers. Then again, I love reading your yoga week recaps and I loved writing that review and thinking out loud about yoga. So maybe I will write about yoga some more. We'll see.

    This is a long comment to say: thank you, for both your kind comments and yogic inspiration!

  2. Aw, thank you, Chrissy! I think I know what you mean about running. Running is seen as a tough sport, a sport for hardcore athletes. And it's true that it's more easily quantified than yoga, which makes it easier for people to compare each other. At first, writing about yoga made me feel a little vulnerable and hippy-dippy, but the more I write, the more comfortable I become with it. Yoga is part of me and my life, and I'm grateful for what it has given me. That's the main thing I'm trying to capture when I write about it.

    I like it when you write about yoga! It may be infrequent, but for example, I could totally relate to your thoughts about wheel pose and the way it feels like such an accomplishment--just like running a sub-two-hour half-marathon felt like a huge win.

    Namaste, my dear.