I’m making progress? I’m making progress

The first time at the real yoga studio killed me.

The second time also killed me.

The third time killed me, but it took longer to pull off.

That’s progress, right?

While I’m used to getting in the swing of things, I didn’t expect to get into the swing of things this quickly, especially in a heated class where we’re going all the vinyasas for the sequences that we do (I’m guessing about 6-10 vinyasas missed today, but that’s the most I’ve done).

I’m still soaking through my shirts. The first session was bad enough that I’ve started taking a spare shirt to switch into afterward, and I’m putting a towel underneath me to avoid getting my carseat sweaty (not working well enough).

I say that to say this: It’s still hard. I’m still sweating profusely, but I’m hanging in there.

And why? Lifting.

That’s the only logical answer.

I’ve overlapped with lifting and yoga before, but usually it’s one or the other. For the first time, I’m able to do both (in part because I have to from the knee issue). And for the first time doing ashtanga, I’m able to lift at all. I started doing ashtanga after my shoulder kept me out of the weight room. Now I’m lifting during the week, which makes all those effing vinyasas a little more bearable.

In an ideal world, running would be added to the trifecta. Weights are getting me through the movement, but I need better cardio to sustain 90 minutes of 90-degree heat and about 50 vinyasas.

But progress is progress. I’ll take it.

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Progress Report: Weight Rooms & Dying in Yoga Studios

It’s been a little bit since I checked in, so I thought I’d share what’s been going on:

I haven’t fallen of the weight lifting wagon yet, which is good, especially if a 45-pound plate falls on you on the way out. I’m taking it relatively easy, not adding too much weight. I’m going for higher reps more so than anything else. Still legs as priority, with some upper body and core work thrown in so that I can ogle myself in the mirror.

Side note, I’m not historically a headphones while lifting person. I didn’t see the point. But then I bought wireless headphones for running only to find out that I wasn’t going to be running any time soon. Hated for them to go to waste, so they make the trip to the gym. That said, I’ve been listening to podcasts (and one audiobook) instead of music for the most part. It’s been a good way for me to stay caught up on my backlog of episodes. 99% Invisible, Nerdist, and Revisionist History are my go-to podcasts in case you’re looking for something to listen to.

As for running? Like I said in the last paragraph, I’m still not running. Enough said.

And I finally made it to the yoga studio in town. I’d made it to three rec center classes at the university gym. That was… interesting.

The first class was terrible. Calling it yoga is a bit of a stretch. Derogatorily, I’ve seen it referred to as McMommy yoga before. Basically, just exercising on a yoga mat. The second class was better, but that was a low bar to step over. The poses were on point, but they were out of sequence and the teacher was giving bad instructions. The third was much better, though she would hold the counts too long (it was fun to watch people collapsing into child’s pose because she would say 1, 2, say something for a count or two, 3, 4, 5). It was fine, but the class is still too short and there’s too much risk or spending time on my knee or getting stuck in pigeon for 5 minutes, which I can’t really do.

So rec center is out unless I’m desperate. That means I’ll be at the real yoga studio immediately, right?

Well, no.

There’s a problem: The studio’s schedule is a bit wonky, and the class I want to take is taught at noon. That’s after I want to eat lunch. Starting a 90-minute class then is less than ideal. Any productivity that’s going to happen has to happen before yoga, which is just weird. I’ll adjust. Eventually.

But I made it today. I’ll call it generally a win. It’s ashtanga, which I know I can do. The teacher was good, so I know I have a person I can go to as a teacher now. And most importantly, it’s off campus to lessen the risk of running into my students, thank you very much.

That said, it’s not all good. Again, the time is awful. Can’t get around that. Eventually college football games will actually interfere. Next, you can’t trust the website to be up-to-date enough to have the person who will be teaching listed. That’s problematic when you’re as picky about teachers as I am (so I don’t actually know the name of the good teacher I had class with today).

As for what happened when I actually got there, we’re now nitpicking. The place is carpeted, so it was a bit on the smelly side because it’s a yoga studio. Also because they heat the class to about 90 degrees. That causes a lot of sweating. So much so that I went through a liter of watered-down Gatorade and soaked through my shirt so much so that it was actually dripping by the end. Not a good smell. First time I was in danger of ditching my shirt in a yoga class. Nobody wants that. Not until I drop about 20 pounds, at least.

And most vainly, I was the worst person there. That’s not new. I was the least capable in ashtanga at my old studio, but this was amped up. Everyone (except maybe one) was either a yoga teacher or in teacher training. The class was more advanced as a result, so instead of floundering in my own sweat like I would have anyway, I was floundering in my own sweat as other people were fairly comfortable going much further than I could.

But all in all, it was a win. I have a studio to go to. I had Whataburger afterward. And I worked hard enough today to not feel guilty for not working out tomorrow. I’ll be happy to move at all tomorrow.

Pizza for 29 Vinyasas

Today was not a day for good decisions. It started with a late awakening, which was chased with Chick-fil-A for breakfast. Then I chased that with a 20-ounce Coke.

Not the best part of waking up.

Between the late start and then some packing I was doing at home, I missed my normal lunch hour. At this point, I realized I wanted pizza. Not like a slice or two. I wanted A pizza, not SOME pizza.

That’s also a bad idea. If you’re keeping score at home, I currently have diabetes. I don’t actually have diabetes, but at this rate, I’m not sure how I don’t have diabetes.

I made a deal with myself. Yoga for pizza.

I’ve been having trouble making it through full sessions since I returned from a trip a couple of weeks ago, so I was going for it as best I could. No pizza unless I was sweat-slicked.

Once I was covered it sweat, the deal was the rest of the workout was for me. Every little thing I could squeeze out of the workout, I was doing for me.

Of course, I was exhausted at this point. I’d eaten a decent breakfast, but that was about 4 hours prior, and I had a lot of caffeine in my system (for me) to spike my hunger. I’m dripping sweat, and I’m shaking as I did what I could.

And so it goes. I took a cold shower to help cool me down more quickly, and then I ordered my pizza (medium, thin crust, ham, spinach, and tomato).

Protect your loved ones

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Usually, I’ll split this into two meals. Not today.

Pizza never stood a chance

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I devoured that sucker. And I’m honestly still a little hungry. But Chick-fil-A and pizza were plenty, so just the two meals for me today. Let’s talk about why.

A relatively conservative calorie estimate still has me over the 2,000 calorie threshold. And most of it was crap.

For the yoga, 350 calories would be a generous estimate of calories burned, and that’s probably more than what actually occurred.

So did the hour of yoga justify the pizza? Nope. Not even close. That’s not how this works. Even if I did the yoga, it doesn’t entitle me to anything. The pizza just negated the work I put in. A good decision doesn’t negate a bad one. This isn’t a balancing scale.

But that wasn’t really the point. I was going to make a bad decision. I could feel it. I didn’t really do yoga to earn the pizza. I did yoga because I was going to eat something awful anyway, so I might as well do some damage control.

So 29 vinyasas for more than a thousand calories on that pizza.

29 vinyasas to leave me exhausted. 29 vinyasas to leave me covered in sweat. 29 vinyasas to feel in my shoulders tomorrow.

It’s the repetition. The pizza was going to happen because I’m stressed and I was going to make a bad decision. Yoga at least grounded me a little so that I wouldn’t feel like an entire sack of crap, just half a sack of crap. Because I know what I’m going to do with ashtanga every time, I can soak it in. There’s no intellectual load. It’s just movement. And breathing. Lots of breathing.

And hopefully I’ll do it all again tomorrow.