AKA Fitness Goals Update 2.5 (since I was going for this every-two-weeks thing and it’s only been a week – but it was a great excuse to wear these ridiculously awesome leggings!)
My introduction to yoga preceeds my introduction to ballet. Unlike ballet though – and not counting the single class that my college friend Lina dragged me to back in 2001 (yikes! Now I feel ancient!) – I haven’t really had any training to speak of in yoga. It was more like ‘hey, I’ve heard yoga is good for you’ and my friend Lindsey (same one from my Ballet, Hike, Eat, Repeat post), who had been doing yoga since she was 18 – she’s my age – was like “Oh, you’ve got to let me teach you some yoga!” Since I had nothing better to do at that moment, I said “Sure!” Oh, and this barely happened about 3 years ago – as opposed to my 1 year and 9 months of so of ballet.
So that’s the disclaimer, I haven’t actually taken a yoga class in the last 14 years (and the one I did take was at 6:30 a.m., an ungodly hour for a new-adult, so logically I hated it and never returned. Was definitely not interested in health benefits back at that age! No, had to get slapped around a bit by my 20’s to decide to take care of myself.).
Anyway, my friend was training me, and she wasn’t exactly strict. So there I am thinking ‘I can do yoga!’ not realizing that perhaps I was not doing it correctly (not my friend’s fault, I’m just naturally weak).And looking back now, I know for a fact I wasn’t doing it correctly – so many bent knees that needed straightening, so many tight muscles with low flexibility and reduced range of motion. No wonder I was thinking that it was somewhat easy!
Up until I took my first ever ballet class, I continued sort of studying yoga, mostly with Lindsey and using the yoga program Wii Fit on the Nintendo Wii. The first time I attempted any of the poses I was so stiff and back then I couldn’t touch even my toes. I did feel some improvement, and increased flexibility so I was satisfied with my progress. Going into my first ballet class I remember thinking ‘No big deal, I’ve been doing yoga!’
Well, if you’ve ever done ballet, or been reading through my blog, you know that I was nowhere near prepared!
When I took my first ballet class ever it went horrible, but somewhere in there I fell in love with ballet. It became my new obsession, and since I’d honestly never felt that way about yoga, I put yoga on the back burner. Sure, I do some poses after I finish practicing at home as a cool down, but nothing serious.
This past week, I found myself youtube surfing and felt inspired to do a yoga session. Not as a cool down or to loosen up my stiff back before embarking on my day, but just, like, on it’s own merit.
It felt great! Sometimes all my body needs is a nice long all-body stretch. It was so relaxing, just holding the poses, remembering to breathe. To amuse myself, I was trying to transition between the poses in a dance-ish kind of way, making it smooth and flowing. And it reminded me of the apparent superficial (to the untrained eye) similarities between ballet and yoga. I still remember for the first 6 month or so of doing ballet I thought that passe and the yoga pose with your foot resting on the standing leg’s thigh (possibly called Tree Pose?) were the same – though now I know they most certainly are not!
So as part of my Getting Fit For Ballet Challenge I will probably be doing a longer session of yoga once or twice a week, as well as a few poses regularly as I have been doing for cool down.
In other (fitness) news, this past week I’ve jogged twice. The first time was last thursday morning, interspersing some bouts of jogging with my uphill walking. On the jogging parts I made sure to go on the (softer) asphalt rather than the sidewalk, both to not overstress my knees with the impact and because the uneveness of sidewalks at every driveway really irritates me (and my ankles). With walking it’s ok, but with jogging – given the higher forces of impact – I didn’t want to take any chances.
Jogging exhausted me! My thighs were sore all the way until saturday (or was it sunday?), and I made copious use of the arnica massage oil I had made for my ankle. I have so much newfound respect for people that jog or run!
Finally, today I decided that enough time to rest and recover had passed and I jogged again. This time I found this nice grassy – yet uphill – field near home in which to jog. I only did one lap, but by the end I was gasping for breath and glad that no one was around to ask me if I was ok. The whole jog took about 4 minutes – don’t laugh, last time I went jogging before last week was years and years ago. Let’s see how long it takes me to work my way up. I’m thinking of increasing the number of laps I jog on a weekly basis, assuming of course that my recovery from the soreness keeps up.
As an added bonus, the field is adjacent to a park – I love parks – and I was thinking at the deserted hour of 7 a.m. I can totally practice my sautes there. Or just jumping in general. I really need to do something about my weak, crappy jumps.
Oh, and that blue X on the wall? The one that appears in all my pics? I use it for spotting when I practice my chaines.