Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Yoga - Be smart!

Over the weekend I ran across an article from the New York Times titled, "How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body" but William J. Broad.  Since I practice yoga at home and in class settings this sparked my interest.  While reading the article, I just kept thinking people be smart.  I do not agree with the article; I see very little research to back up the authors claims.  However, going to a few classes last week I witnessed students being plain dumb and the size class was so large that the teacher could not possibly stop the stupidity. (The problem was persons doing poses with improper form and no foundation; my thoughts during the class was someone was going to get hurt.)  I am sure it has to do with many all the new persons wanting to try yoga in the new year.  Great, love to see it but stop being stupid.  Since reading the article and after the displays last week; I have a few opinions & hopefully ways for us to be safe while practicing yoga.

  1. Start yoga with a beginner class or private lessons with a reputable teacher. Ask friends. Do your research.
  2. Find the right class.  What is the teachers experience?  How many students are in the class?  Do they do individual corrections to help with proper alignment?  Do you mind them touching you to help with a correction?  Do they ask if you have any existing or previous injuries?  How do you learn? (Visual, Verbal)
  3. Know your limit in the poses, leave your ego at the door.  Most poses have alterations for those that can not do a pose without proper alignment.  For example my bulging disk causes me to do most of the bends with my feet hip distance apart. 
  4. Use props, they are there to help you out.  Get a block.
  5. Set your intention at the beginning of the practice.  I always set my intention at the beginning of the class as: use for opening hips, stay in the moment, relax into the movements, do not to push anything; by doing this I take away my competitive nature and enjoy the class.
  6. Inversions, personally I do not like inversions other than legs up the wall.  Whenever a class is doing inversions, I lay with my legs up the wall.  Am I missing out?  Maybe, but I know my limit.  I am a klutz I have enough issues on my legs.  
I believe that yoga is a great activity when done properly but as with any other physical activity there are inherent risks.  The participant needs to make the decision if there are more rewards for the given risks.  I would love to see data of injuries of team sports, endurance sports, weight training and yoga.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Work ABs at the Pool

Since I am swimming alone to avoid contact with other swimmers while my dislocated finger heals; I am taking the oppurtunity to try some new drills/challanges.  Wanting to do some ab work; the usual butterfly kick on back with fins is my goto drill.  Easy enough... Lets make it harder by raising my arms out of the water.  OUCH, it made my abs burn.  Here is a fun way to work your abs!  Of course, there is a youtube of it from GoSwim.  Have fun! (Watch you head at the end of the pool!)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Looking back at 2011

Thinking back over 2011, it was a year of change for me... moving, marriage, job; a complete life change that has made me the happier than ever.  (Well, maybe not ship my race wheels with UPS to Kona, HI.)

Top 5 Experiences for 2011
1. Marrying my best friend, the greatest day of my life.

2. Spending month in Kona including a fabulous honeymoon on the Big Island after a race that had a mechanical issues but there is no finish line like running down Alii and sharing the experience with family and friends.

3. Surprise visit to see my mom while she was on vacation in Charleston.  This vacation was the last time she felt normal in 2011 after dealing with shingles then falling breaking her shoulder; I appreciate the moments I get to spend with my family.  Okay, this picture is not from this time in Charleston but from getting ready for the wedding.

4. Running Louisville Marathon with friends, Shelby and Sarah.  Sharing a race experience with friends can not be beat; what an awesome experience.  Can not believe I have no pictures from the fun filled weekend!

5. Biking in the North GA mountains.  I am blessed to have the mountains so close to enjoy with friends.  One of the first rides I ever did with Kris was here; he had patience to practically have to walk his bike up each of the gaps.  Now this year, I managed to drop him a few times this year climbing; okay he was injured but I have to take the victories from him when I can!!

Top Lessons Learned
1. True family and friends will support you on your decisions; if they do not it is their issue to work through not yours.
2. Never give up.  Such a cliche and easy to say until you are faced with adversity and want to stop.
3. Hard to follow own advice.  Advice that I have give many times, I did not follow myself. 
4. Late nights are not good for my health.  My circadian rhythm gets thrown off ...I get ill.  Each time I have been sick over the past few years I can usually track it back to requiring working through the night.

Now that chapter 2011 is closed; it will be remembered as a year with some of the most memorable moments of my life and a few I would rather forget.  Thanks to everyone who played a role!