September, 2014

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Day 23 – Leap

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

A morning practice today, and potentially another one tomorrow.

Practice is a deep one.  With 14 blocks.  Literally.  A record for me.

A back bend on (only some of) those blocks is cued with an invitation to stay longer if interested.  And I know I’m not moving.  I don’t make my habitual dash for the shower after class.  “It will work out.” …and does.  I end up actually having to stop back at the condo after practice, but again, I don’t overanalyze the loss of valuable, productive morning time.

And the day unfolds pretty wonderfully.  Great classes.  Lots of marking done and returned.  A forgotten sweater retreived from the weekend.  An evening of Pecha Kucha (one of my favourite things… that I’m determined to do one day). I even got to share the experience with some colleagues and pretty cool people.  At many points though it could have spiraled into hecticness in a bit of odd storm of events.

The day was one I was actually was trying to engineer pretty carefully.  As often happens, though, what was intended–or expected–was quite wildly different from the reality of what ended up happening in execution–before school, during school, and especially afterwards.

A quiet moment of boldness though had me readjusting and reaching out.  (Cryptic, I know.)  And then smiling.

And for all of that I give a good portion of the credit to this consistent round of practice.

Who knows maybe without any practice at all I would have been just as able to avoid the reactive, to avoid the rushedness, to avoid the disappointment. …avoid the drama.  And it’s all a potential case of the Post hoc ergro proper hoc fallacy-phenomenon. But now I don’t have to find out.

AND that extra backbend time has me feeling pretty good.

 

Day 22 – Endeavour

Monday, September 29th, 2014

I’m learning.

…that with openness comes possibility.  …to tap into some independence and an ability for freeplay in this practice.  …that life on the mat is affecting (very possitively) my life off the mat.

Tonight I head to restorative after trying to rescue my sweater (that I left at an [awesome] event yesterday).  I have an awesome practice.  A really awesome one.

I reflect on the weekend.  Complete last night with a cat leaping into my life and me losing some sleep until it gets rescued–I don’t live on the ground floor.  I also did some leaping.  And who knows what will result from all that.

Friday night when I didn’t know what instructor I was unrolling my mat for, it ended up being Lisa W.  And she provided an invitation I really connected with very early on in the practice, in the opening meditation.  She invited us to watch our practice like we would watch nature, and not nitpick, not try to constantly adjust, and not try to over-analyze.  I found myself doing that on my run.  Somewhat successfully actually.  What helped maybe was that I was in Banff, so the nature cue/link was front and center.

Now Monday, at work and on the mat, I still have some of that invitation with me.  It’s stuck.

The physical practice and these sorts of lessons provide some pretty neat unexpected “perks” at different points along the way.  Tonight, a lesson in letting go.  Tomorrow morning maybe a lesson in sharing with Lisa how her teaching has stuck as I check in with groggy eyes before an evening doing yet even more learning downtown.

Day 21 – Celebrate

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

Sunday at noon and an awesome morning already!  Woke up to an amazing practice.  Headed for a coffee and then to the school to organize my life a bit.

I feel…………. actually pretty great.  Better than yesterday already, and sometimes it’s that day-after that can be intense.

I didn’t make it to group practice (the one reserved for 30 and 40 dayers) which was disappointing but I have to admit the 8:00 Shanti class was just right.  Even with an utkatasana or two (haha, yesterday had them too).  A shout out made me blush and a fellow 30/40 dayer asked how my legs were.  Before practice they were actually more rough than now, but I just laughed and said, “alright.”  Savasana legs and life, well, awesome.

It’s an awesome fall day.  Birthday party ahead (which I’m quite excited for!).  Then some marking hopefully.

Life is good and aligning in some really neat ways.

Day 21 is one filled with lots and lots of gratitude both for the ability to do some of these neat projects that make life meaningful and for the support that makes it all immeasurably better.

Day 20 – Fullness

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

Half way this morning was 10.5k.  Tonight it was the end of yoga practice.

  1. Melissa’s.  21k.  We did it!  Coffee.  Banana.  Head to the mountains… and run!  It was a bit of a cooler day but I was able to get it done (good motivation, because walking through water stations would cool of my calves enough to have them hint at some cramping).  The run went really smoothly actually.  Wasn’t my best time.  But was maybe my least resistance run?  2:10.53.  And the group did amazing.  Definitely not first place but some great highlights including a high five with a random girl with a few k left.  Where I “felt” my run kept shifting but fitness wise I felt great, and was able to finish hard.  Korean food afterwards was a good celebration of the 3rd annual before heading back into the city for yoga.
  2. Yoga.  This was an interesting.  A new [to me] instructor.  And a temptation to take it easy but stretches that felt really good with a body that was warm and open in a really novel way.  I literally couldn’t hop to the front of my mat (I was going to try twice).  I did some extra childs posing (during eagle).  But, really, it was a great practice.  I sat down for a bit at the condo before going and getting up was the hardest part really.  No wheels.  But lots of great twists.

Today, all in all, was a good reminder related to capability.  It was a milestone day benchmark wise and really a great day with friends and for practice.  I’m not 20 days into straight practice very often.  At all.  I’m also not 20k into a run very often either.  There are some strains and interesting moments being in uncharted territory, but really these sorts of moments are kind of exciting.  And awfully memorable.

A great way way to head into fall.  Know when my next practice will be…………. tomorrow. Now.  Wonder when my next run will be.  And when my next longer one.

AND.  Will I ever do a full?  Hmmmmmmm…

Day 19 – Courage

Friday, September 26th, 2014

Well, tomorrow’s the run.

I raced to get to 4:00 p.m. and for one of very few times in my life, I didn’t know who the instructor would be.  I always look online.  Honestly, I didn’t think it would matter because I thought I’d only be opting in, with cues, a little.  I’d be taking it easy.

But the class is perfect.  (…and I’m happy when I see who the instructor will, a great one for today.)

I opt in for most.  Long holds and stretches (have I mentioned I’m loving Deer pose… tonight I even got into a new part of my hips).  I drink lots of water to hydrate for tomorrow.  …even do my utkatasanas, just in a way I’ll be invigourated for tomorrow and not sore.

I’m nervous for the run.   More than I realize probably actually.  I mention it to everyone I see today.

But: Strategy.  Story.  State.

I’ve practiced.  I can do this.  One breath at a time.

Signing up in February and August were the easy parts.  But Melissa’s and these 40 Days, here in the doing phase… immersive.

Day 18 – Rest

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

It’d been awhile since a Nidra class.  It was also my first 9:00 p.m. in a very long time, and in the 40 Days.

To be honest, I was going to 9:00 p.m. mostly because I was picking up my race number (or as those in the biz say, bib) for Melissa’s Saturday and grabbing appetizers in the autumn sun afterwards.

I sank into the restful practice, though.  Ending the class was a total resurfacing.

I might have had questions related to whether this was the right class for me for today while walking in, but walking out I had no questions at all.  My only regret was not bringing different shoes so I could have scooted out without having to change.

Being honest with myself, I’m a bit nervous about my run.  Stage fright nervous. Edge of the unfamiliar nervous.  Tomorrow, will be all about not overdoing it too.  I don’t want to take on Saturday morning sore, or stiff, or less than my best.

Some of the visualization/intention aspects of tonight’s practice had me connecting to Saturday’s endeavour. Starting.  Finishing.  Being in the yellow leaf and deep green evergreen mountains.

I don’t want to rush either this 40 Days or Saturday.  I want to experience them.  This isn’t about having either over and done with.  It’s about experiencing both.  And somehow, tonight, I’m reminded of that aspect.

Oh, ya, and getting that bib… now it’s especially real.  I’m in this.

Day 17 – Noticing

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

I wanted to get a Hot Foundation in tonight because Thursday and Friday I am going to have to be really considerate of Saturday’s run.

  • “My left hip is tight.  Maybe before class, I’ll do some folding forward and see how that goes.
  • “My left hip is gripping.  Maybe I should do butterfly-legs with bricks first to see if it lets go first.”
  • “Okay.  Now I can try that forward fold.”
  • “Oh. My left hip is fixed.  It just needed a fold.  Way better than before.”
    • Practice begins.
  • “This pose will be good for my left hip.”
  • “Breaks aren’t always painful.  My left hip is broken.  Definitely broken.”
  • “I won’t be able to run on Saturday.  I will be compounding the fracture.”
  • “I’ve probably made it worse by practicing.  And running. What have I done?!”
  • “And the 40 Days has gone so well.  And I was just starting to feel prepared for the run.”
  • “This heat??!”
  • “Sundial?! Tonight?!  With all that is happening??!”

So.  This is marginally overcharacterizing tonight’s experience.  I was actually reasonably able to bring myself into breath and be present throughout practice.

I am prone to a bit of this-then-this-then-this-then-this thinking so yoga is a welcome chance to notice that and take back some control.  I am a little bit worried about some hip/glute/hamstring stuff.  And the worry did creep in like above.  But the worry didn’t derail me.  I’m mindful that some strength building and flexibility building there is probably a good thing, but I’m also taking in what each pose does there, because distance runs tend to compound-compound-compound as they go.

I did bow out of sundial (and did last time it came up with a different instructor too actually) which isn’t usually my style.  I’m not sure if it’s from not feeling like I have to prove myself or muscle through practice or if something about not getting my legs over my shoulders (and maybe not even my elbows) makes me not want to attempt or start-out.  There’s something about the “peak pose” especially that makes me wonder if imagining the pose really qualifies.

But tonight it did.   And sometime in the next 23 practices I’m taking on sundial… even if it’s freestyle time towards the end.

Two more practices before the run.  I’m in this.  I’m not in this to win this.  I’m in this to be here and see where the physical–and mental–aspects of the practice takes me.  This time.

Day 16 – Freedom

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

The whole practice actually breezes by but it doesn’t feel like a breezy one either.  Yet another yoga dichotomy.

The non-heated class is a bit of a reprieve.  Asanas are still challenging but the challenge is processed a bit differently when the mat underneath isn’t fast becoming a puddle.

A hamstring stretch at the beginning with legs-up-the-wall gives me a grounded start.  Deer pose with a forward recline on elbows taken into pigeon is just what I need.  Savasana to close practice is perfect.

So all in all, a great night.  One to look back on because not all practices are smooth like this.  I took last night for some restoration so I was ready for some movement and longer holds tonight.  Not the rest of the city though, it seems; the small studio is lined up out the door with people ready for tonight’s restorative.  I’m grateful I got my practice in (both now and yesterday) so seamlessly.  My mind drifts to work and this weekend’s run a bit, but all an all I’m super grounded and present.  Cues seem like they’re just for me.  I’m not overdoing anything but I’m not bowing out either.

A sweet [day] 16.