Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Why yoga?

I'm dead, dog tired tonight. I have no pearls of wisdom for you, I'm empty. I've been sitting here staring at my screen trying to think of something intelligent to say, or even something stupid to say, anything, but I'm just drawing a big, fat blank. It's like I've run out of words.

Why yoga?
I wanted to mention why I was thinking about a yoga class. Not so much for spirituality or chanting to the supreme guru guy (whoever that's suppose to be, I have no idea). I have my own guy I pray to, and he's not some guru in India.

The reason I'm thinking about a yoga class is because I realized last week at the Kundalini yoga that I'm totally out of touch with my body. Even though I didn't like the chanting and weird breathing in Kudalini, there was something kind of cool about actually noticing my body. Paying attention to my breathing, to the stretching, to how it feels to move my body very slowly, to acknowledge my body.

When I hit the gym in the mornings, I hit it hard. I don't stretch to start, I just jump on that StairMaster or a spinning bike and away I go. My intent is to burn as many calories as quickly as possible in 30 minutes. According to my Polar Heart Rate monitor, it's usually around 220 calories for the StairMaster or 300 for the spinning bike. My goal is to get my heart rate up to around 150 and an average of 129. My resting heart rate is 54.

Then I hit the weights, trying to go as heavy as I can manage. Recently I've backed off a little on the size of weights since hurting my right shoulder and left elbow. Today my trapezius feels kind of shredded (thanks to Seated Rows with 67.5 pounds).

I'm still lifting 20-pound dumbbells and using 50-pound barbell for my lunges, but no crazy stuff like the 25-pound dumbbells. I doubt I'll ever work up to the 25-pound dumbbells. I think maybe I'm just not built like a guy and will never lift guy-sized weights.

I rarely stretch afterwards, simply because I don't have time. I'm in a hurry and stretching is a luxury. So that's why the yoga, and that's the only reason. I don't expect it to change my life or make me happy, I thought it might help my balance and make me more limber.

Squat machine
I discovered a cool new machine at my gym today that I had never noticed. It's a squat machine. I hate doing squats (next to lunges) because I have this fear that I'll squat down and not be able to stand back up, or just fall over. It's part of a small, ongoing fear that the old lady (me) that works out with all the young, buff guys is going to embarrass herself one of these days.

The machine is a MaxiCam (one of the big boy toys) and it's called a squat/calf machine. I totally loved it and my buttocks are super sore tonight.

I guess I need to mention the elephant in the room. The binging. So far so good. Last night was fine even though I slept the sleep of the damned. In other words, I'm not sure I actually even slept last night. Yet I still didn't go crazy with the eating. I had a couple small snacks, but I didn't eat any cheese (even though I know where to find it now). Actually, it's kind of lost it's appeal. It's just cheese, not crack or something.

Strength Training Book
I bought this book at Costco a few months ago and just started using it. I love it and it was only $11.99. I have six other books on strength training but this one is my current favorite. I love that it shows you which muscles you're working, and exactly how to do the exercises. Great book for a beginner or a pro.

Long post for someone out of words.


The Merry said...

"Why Yoga"? I asked myself that. Actually, I wrote a post on Cranky Fitness asking if yoga should be considered exercise. And oh boy, did several people write in to tell me, at length, that it damn well should be considered exercise.
After trying a yoga DVD for a few months, I have to say that I don't find it aerobic exercise at all, but it provides some flexibility and most of all, it is a /great/ way to check in with my body to see how it feels.
I won't even notice that my legs are stiff from jogging (or whatever) until I start a yoga session. Just that makes it worth doing!

Pink Panda said...

Can I recommend a good book to you Diana?

The New Rules of Lifting for Women.

MizFit said...

ooh Im with PINK PANDA Tony and I used to mock the book relentlessly too.

(loathe the title.)


Sweety On A Diet said...

I always wanted to try yoga - I think it has some really nice benefits apart from the fitness aspect. But so far I have been too scared to go to a class. Looking forward to see if you do go!

Helen said...

So, now I have to share my favorite yoga DVD with you, if you're willing to try at home. You can find it on Amazon, here:


Sage Roundtree is a yogi who also runs and competes in triathlons so I find she really has insight into the body.

The DVD is fabulous because you can either do the workouts as is, or go through a menu and design your own workout.

I love this DVD.

bbubblyb said...

I know what you mean about getting in touch with your body I could probably use some of that too. I do floor exercises before or after weight training so that does help. I use to love pilates for me it was my "in touch with my body" thing but I haven't done it in ages. I know what you mean about embarrassing yourself in the "boys section" of the gym lol. Your book sounds similar to "The Book Of Muscle" that I use. I also have the new rules of lifting for women which is also a good book.

Sandra said...

I'm into the Yoga for the flexibility as I really really need it. I've spent so many years building (or trying to build) up my muscles but forgot to stretch. Now I'm suffering because of it.

~ugly girl with a beautiful heart~ said...

Yoga is great, if the hatha yoga doesn't fly then try pilates! I adore pilates and it's very much akin to yoga, just more movement. It doesn't help tons with flexibility though and lots of core breathing, etc.

I still haven't completely conquered my night time monster. But I think I'm getting there. PMS seems to have gone so I should be back to my regular non craver self. Okay sometimes craver lol.

Take care!

lindalou said...

LOL...about the "not being able to get back up or falling over". What about "passing gas"?? That's what I'm terrified of back in the weight room with the big boys!!!!!
OMG...that makes me laugh!!

antgirl said...

I feel like such a mouse. I struggle still with 5 lbs for my arms. You are lucky to be in such health to be able to handle the weights you do. It's excellent for the health of your bones.

Does the lack of stretching make you sore? I have to stretch or I turn into a hobbling old person. LOL

Graciela said...

I'm just catching up on blogs after being sick for a few days. Sometimes I read your blog and I get such a sense of...I don't know what it is exactly...it's like we are on parallel paths. So much of what you go through and think and feel are so familiar to me.

I also dislike yoga in general because it seems like such a waste of exercise time. (And I agree with you about hot yoga...I absolutely hate it)

Also, thank you for the Beautiful Blogger award…you are so sweet to give that to me. I'll have to get around to figuring out 7 things about me that aren't super boring!