Eeyore and Yoga

eeyore34Rain, flash flooding and high humidity make me grumpy.  The weather is also making my back ache.  (I’m sure Sissy’s sudden return to pulling on our walks has nothing to do with it.  Hem.) 

But I wanted to talk about my return to regular yoga practice, and then I found this image of Eeyore in a headstand.  I can’t do those – too hard on my back – but it made me smile…

So, I’ve made several yoga purchases in the past few weeks.  Before we went to the beach (in April) I bought Yoga for Runners: Intermediate Program.  I love it.  I’m doing the whole, 120+ minute program twice weekly, and I can see/feel a difference.   I really like Ms. Flestead’s style, and she has a diverse group of models.  (All wearing Lululemon, interestingly enough, even the men.)  She stresses that yoga is not competitive and that you need to appreciate where you are and where you’ve come from, which is critical to my own yoga practice.

You see…  I am competitive as all-get-out by nature.  If there’s an advanced option, I want to do it, whether I CAN or not.  Ms. Flestead keeps reminding me to adapt to my own body’s needs and capabilities.  Key for me, and for most of us.  However, this is DEFINITELY not a beginner’s program.  If you aren’t familiar with basic yoga principles and if you aren’t naturally flexible, you should start with her “essentials” version.  I may order it too, just for variety’s sake, and because some days my body just needs to take it REALLY easy. 

While the program targets a runner’s flexibility needs, they’re exercises that would benefit any body.  Most of us need to open our hips and stretch our hamstrings!

Yesterday, I also bought the Kindle edition of the 2nd edition of my favorite yoga resource, Yoga for Dummies.  The first edition’s back program gets the credit for my recovery from a less than successful back surgery and for avoiding additional surgeries.  The “new” lower back series of poses in the 2nd edition is indeed gentler and offers more detailed warnings and suggested adaptations for those with specific back injuries, and honestly, it isn’t challenging at all for me, even on a morning with a twitchy back.  Of course, some days, a challenge isn’t in order…

Favorite new vertical workout top/dress by Nike

Favorite new vertical workout top/dress by Nike with a zippered pocket

I don’t have separate yoga attire.  For yoga and Pure Barre workouts, I think more about comfort and coverage, while for walking, hiking and running, I think more about functionality.   Clear as mud?  For “inside” mat work, I want to not flash people and have my body parts stay where I put them.  (Actually, a life mission of mine, but it requires more thought when you’re kicking your heels in the air with 20 other women potentially watching.)  For “outside” higher impact workouts, I want those parts to stay put, not get itchy-sweaty, and have my house key and the iPhone secured on my person.

So.  While some workout “skorts” say they’re great for yoga… um… no.  I reserve my skirts/skorts for times I’m staying vertical.  Sure, the skirts either have built-in shorts or I wear my own, but seriously…  there’s just something wrong about wearing a skirt “for coverage” when you know it’s going to flip upside down when you plank.  I wear capris or leggings when I am doing mat work in public.  (At home I’ll wear shorts if that’s what I already have on, because Sissy is going to paw at me no matter what I’m wearing.) 

Tops.  I’ll wear whatever I put my hands on for vertical workouts.  I am REALLY picky about my “support” (read: sports bras) if I am running or walking briskly, but after that, unless it’s really cold or really hot and I specifically NEED a shirt in a fabric that wicks the sweat away, I don’t care.  Same goes for mat workouts at home; my biggest concern there is not to wear anything Sissy’s bear paw with sandpaper pads can hurt.  But for mat work in public, the shirt is what I worry about the most.  It needs to be mid-hip length precisely (long enough to cover my back even in a forward bend but not so long that it gets in the way).  Additionally, it needs to have a modest neckline and be snug enough that nothing is revealed in downward dog.

I laugh when I read that loose clothing is recommended for yoga.  Really?!  Clearly, that writer isn’t petite and has never stumbled over the hem of her flare-legged yoga pants, nor has she ever found herself looking at her own “support system” in downward dog.  I’ve done both, probably in the same workout, and trust me, it ruins that yoga-mellow when you lurch off your mat and into the sleeping basset at the edge of said mat.  It also ruins that zen moment when the wee Jack Russell who already does a far better downward dog sticks her head up your shirt while you’re planking.

Okay, so maybe loose clothes are fine if they really fit and you don’t have dogs as workout partners, but I think most of you who are still reading relate more to me than the polished yoga professional in her big city yoga studio, who has never even had a dog hair on her mat. 

LW3746S_4006_1So, I’ve already shared that Yogasmoga’s crops are my favorites (too bad they’re so expensive), but I’m still in search of the perfect top.  Lululemon’s Run Swiftly is darned close for favorite top status, but it’s too long, especially after some sweating.   (Please note that for it to hit high hip on the model, it’s bunched up from the chest down.)

I’m intrigued by Skirt Sports tops/dresses that have a “cleavage alley pocket” and might have ordered a dress this weekend, just so I can “meet” said pocket, but again, I won’t be wearing a dress to do mat workouts, not even at home.  I also own two Danskin Now tees I adore, but I haven’t tried them for yoga/pilates/Barre yet…

Okay.  Far more than enough on a Monday morning about stuff most of you probably don’t give a hoot about! 

How was your weekend?

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15 comments on “Eeyore and Yoga

  1. Walden121 says:

    Sorry your weather was is so crappy. Ours is going back and forth between rainy and humid to sunny. It’s driving my allergies batty!!

    I love yoga, I like yoga fusion workouts.

  2. kathy boyer says:

    I think Fireman should look into YOGA for Runners!!!!!! He misses running. Zach runs now and so does Al. Fireman’s calf feels like it is going to SNAP when he runs….:(
    WHo doesnt love the LULU line????

    Happy moNday. Feel better friend

  3. I actually loved this post, Channon. I’m so glad you went through every aspect from your point of view:)

    I have thought many times about attempting Yoga. As a matter of fact, Michele’s friend in Idaho is starting a Kids & Mom Yoga class for the summer. She was inspired to do so because she thought it would be a good idea for Michele to start yoga while getting chemo. And why not bring the kids!

    I love that you went through a Yoga wardrobe too. You know me, I would never consider such things, lol…

    Thank you so much for sharing this post. Now, I have something to share with you. Please check out this link for the girls. I think they will LOVE it!
    http://jennifersikora.com/2013/04/bone-appetit-bakery/

    P.S. I pinned this post to my Chit Chat Board!

  4. Kathy says:

    I can totally see your dogs helping you out when you do yoga at home.

    I wore a swiftly tank top to run this morning. When I finished the shirt had not a dry spot on it and had grown enough that it was past the hem of my shorts. Highly annoying! I won’t be buying any more of them.

  5. Katherine says:

    I love the fuchsia sports dress!! I also love the image I have in my mind of Gg doing downward dog! Macy does a great downward dog and when she stretches out on the floor on her belly with back feet behind and front feet pulling her into a stretched position we call it her proud warrior pose. She does it really well. We can learn so much from our pets about stretching, especially cats!!

    Great post Chan! I remembered that I have the Yoga for Dummies book and will go looking for it tonight. I can always use a little boost.

  6. Marjie says:

    Brutus was standing around the other day, snuffling the corner, in a posture much like Eeyore’s. That’s what your first picture made me remember.

    I’m glad you think about and try out so many different workout garments. I agree that sometimes people say we “should” wear this or that for some activity, without thinking about the person actually DOING it, and how that garment would work with them. Loose garments and Gretchen? Right. If you want someone trying to shred your hems, maybe…

  7. AlisonH says:

    Cleavage. Alley. Pocket. Wait… I looked at the picture too and I’m still doing the sideways-dog head tilt. Too funny!

    My husband used to work at a company that hired a yoga teacher to teach yoga on company time to de-stress the employees; it was a great perk and he loved it, everybody did. I got a good chuckle at my big guy learning yoga–so, he’s taken lessons and I haven’t.

  8. Nancy says:

    I’ve never tried yoga. My body is not very flexible.

    • chanknits says:

      Mine either. But when we had our UBBER comprehensive physicals as firefighters, my hamstrings were remarkably tight for a woman, to a point that it was considered a problem, despite the fact I was a power lifter at the time. So… I think Mark bought me the Yoga for Dummies book after my back surgery, and I give it the credit for keeping me going.

      I still lurch and wobble and can’t do advanced poses, but I am pretty sure I’m better for what I have done and can do now.

      Chan

  9. Our weather has been a bit of a roller coaster for the last few days. Friday and Saturday were just plain HOT, with temps of 104 & 108….then yesterday was a lovely 85, and today….72, windy and cloudy as all get out! Wish I thought I could yoga…then I’d worry about what to wear.

  10. Blond Duck says:

    I’m totally checking that out. I’ve been doing Yoga off youtube. Have you ever checked Athleta for cute work out clothes?

  11. gMarie says:

    Oh workout clothes. I totally thought of you and ‘pinged’ you on Instagram when I saw an ad for Columbia Sportswear as I was hoofing it back to the office today after my meeting. I’ve been doing a small yoga routine in the mornings – sun salutations, warrior, triangle and the one where you stand on one foot with the other foot in your groin (although my other foot only gets as high as my knee). This morning Abby decided I needed help with sun salutations and Beau was positive I was stuck while doing triangle. Thanks for the help guys.

    Tonight we walked the dog and now I’m beat. g

  12. Barbara says:

    I wish I could do yoga. Too hard on my shoulders….pilates worked for a while, and then I had to give that up too. Workout clothes are always of interest, Chan. Although if my daughter didn’t buy me shirts once in a while I’d probably stick with my old fashionedT’s.

  13. Sue says:

    A hundred years ago when I did yoga I wore a leotard at home and sweats when out somewhere. I haven’t done any poses for a very long time but with the stress I’m feeling lately I think I’ll check out a couple of those books and do some stretches. Thanks for reminding me of a way to deal with the physical part of stress.

  14. Such amazing to read it. It is like you start it yourself but only the end of the article will allow you to stop. Enjoyed it 🙂

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