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…
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.
So, 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?