Tag Archives: Read Harder

Yoga Challenge: Day 22

Pose of the Day: Double Pigeon

It just occurred to me before sitting down to type this that this is my last full week! I am seven days away from doing 30 days of yoga!! (Okay, minus those two days off per week that I gave myself. But still, YAY!) I feel incredibly accomplished, even though it’s not as much as some other people do–I have a friend doing a squat challenge and she’s at about 200 a day right now–but it feels good to be doing something. A strange side effect has been that I’ve kept the bedroom much more clean and less cluttered because I need room for my yoga mat. That’s reason enough, alone, why I should continue to do yoga as much as possible when my challenge is through.

Last night, I made myself my own Yoga/Sleep mix on my Amazon Prime, so it was a little extra fun and relaxing at the same time. I continued with some chamomile tea in my special pot. It really made the routine more attractive and it felt less like work/exercise. I looked forward to it instead of saying, “oh yeah, I have to do this now.” I was enthused. I spent a lot of time on the floor. The past few days, I’ve been focusing more on my hips and shoulders and all my favorite poses for those happen to occur prone or prostrate on the mat: Cobbler, Child, Cat-Cow, etc… Apparently, my fave positions also start with C. Cobra.

Later this week, I’m hoping to attend a regular yoga class. I was excited to do it this morning, but circumstances just wouldn’t let me do it today. The next one I’m looking at is on Thursday, so we’ll see what happens. I’m really just hoping for some fresh poses and I want to see how I fare in an hour long class when I’ve been averaging 15-20 minutes at most. We’ll see I suppose.

Namaste!

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Yoga Challenge: Day 8

Pose of the day: Standing Forward Bend

To be honest, I was more interested in finishing Wide Sargasso Sea for my Read Harder challenge than I was in yoga yesterday. (Stay tuned for my post about this wonderful book later today on Jillie’s Bookshelf!) I did my stretches intermittently, probably getting my minimum ten minutes, but I never pulled out the actual mat. I really wanted to see what happened with my body and muscles when I did my yoga at the end of the day/before bed versus the morning. The problem, I have realized is that by the time the evening rolls around I am more interested in reading or watching tv and no longer have motivation to continue accomplishing tasks. So, I’m back to mornings.

What I have noticed is that I need to remain hydrated to be any sort of functional, yoga’ed or not. I barely drank any water yesterday and felt terrible by 3pm. Surprise, surprise as soon as I made some tea and drank a glass of water, I felt much better. I have to admit, though, that doing this challenge is very hard for me right now, what with my body not being at its best. (let’s face it though, even it’s best is pretty crappy on average.) I keep hoping I’ll feel a change like I did with my water challenge. So far, nothing. Not even reliable relief. Luckily, I’ve been able to find some poses that make me feel better. But I really didn’t start this challenge for minor maintenance; I really want to be a healthier person, or at least a more comfortable one.

Obviously, I’m going to keep it up, though. I can’t give up just because the gates of Heaven don’t open to reveal a choir of angels singing and cheering me on. The most change you can ever hope for is directly proportional to the amount of steadfastness you demonstrate, no matter the task at hand.

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Yoga Challenge: Day 3

*At some point, I’m not sure when, this blog started to feel like a captain’s log.*

Pose of the day: Cobbler’s Pose

Man, I had a rough third day! Thankfully, it had nothing to do with Downward Dog. I did my morning workout, opting for self-guidance with the aid of DoYou Yoga’s 8 Poses for Fibromyalgia Patients. It’s a pretty comfortable collection, mostly made up of old favorites like Child, Cobra, Corpse Pose, etc. One new one was Legs-Up-the-Wall, which promised:

Because you’re flipping the way gravity is working against blood flow in the legs, this pose can reduce swelling and fatigue in the lower extremities.

Here’s the thing: no. I honestly didn’t feel anything like that. It felt little more than weird, no big deal. I even swung my legs all the way over my head so my feet touched the floor behind me (a thing I’ve been doing since I was a kid that turned out to be yoga). I felt no better than usual.

In fact, by the afternoon I had a migraine that I nursed for most of the evening. When my body started aching badly, I did another round of yoga, actually. Just ten minutes of stretches and easy poses. My hips get really mad at me during a fibro-flare and all I could think about was getting into Pigeon Pose to stretch it out. While that didn’t really do much for me, Cobbler’s Pose provided some relief.

I would really like to get to the point (have I said this yet?) where I don’t feel sore all the time, where my muscles feel like Jell-O instead of wrung-out washcloths. In the meantime, between my yoga challenge and my Read Harder challenge, and the fact that I bought many bottles of wine on my last excursions to Trader Joe’s, I’m not watching as much tv, so I’m getting more done. Also, for those who’ve been following along, I’m still drinking all my water every day, though maybe not a full gallon 😉 That’s good.

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Back in the Cozy Armchair

I love what my Read Harder challenge is doing for me! I set upon this challenge as a way to get back into reading. The last few years I haven’t been able to keep myself as interested in books as I used to be. I definitely wasn’t as voracious as I used to be. I could devour a book as if it were a delicious meal and I nourished me as much as a meal would. I purposefully open all the curtains on a snowy day and curl up in a chair next to the largest window with a cup of hot chocolate and a Willa Cather novel just to be able to enjoy being the perfect cliché for a few hours. I’ve never stopped reading, but I kind of took a back seat to everything else in life.

What I’ve been noticing in the past two weeks or so is that I’m getting closer to the reader I used to be. I persevered through a book I wasn’t thrilled with, to find that the second half was totally worth it. I devoured a book in less than 24 hours. I’m even reading classics again… well, a classic. I reading Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein for one of my challenge tasks (a book published before the author was 25). I do plan to reread Jane Eyre for another (a book published before 1850), which will lead to a book I plan to read for yet another task (Wide Sargasso Sea: an imagined prequel to Jane Eyre focusing on the first Mrs. Rochester, a book that is a new spin on/retelling a classic story). The more I’m reading, the more I’m looking forward to the next book, and the one after that.

I’m also finding that the way that I read is returning more to the way I used to. I’m really interested in interpretation of the text, picking out the various symbols and references to other works of literature. (Mary Shelley seems to have been a big fan of intertextuality.) I’m making notes, I even write in a book because I wanted to underline a passage in the absence of my usual post-its. (If you know me, this is a big deal. I regard most marginalia as sacrilege, but I let it go because it wasn’t an expensive book and I don’t like mass market paperbacks anyway, so it didn’t hurt as much to deface it.)

What I mean to say is that I feel excited again. I didn’t realize that a simple challenge I set for myself last month (Gallon A Day) would lead to me setting new/more goals for myself. This Read Harder challenge came at the right time and I’m so happy about it. I want to write every day. I actually couldn’t wait to type this up because it felt weird not to have something to say.

I think the most important that we always have to remember is that there pieces that are integral to the core of who we are. They may break away a bit, but they’re always still there, even if only by a thread. As long as you know what those pieces are, you always have the opportunity to keep them strong and intact. If it takes a challenge or a kick in the pants to make it happen, so be it. You can’t let go of the things you love, especially when those things come together to make you who you are.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I still have 15 chapters to go on this one.

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