The Tao of Weights

New equipment at the gym!  They replaced all the old Precor stuff with Hoist!  So exciting!  And best of all, this Hoist stuff moves as you push it, and press it, and pull on it, which makes it almost, (but not entirely,) amusing.

It was good to get back to it today, I must say.  Though I am weak as a kitten and there were times when I was just pretending to lift but in reality Tim was doing all the work.  He’s such a good guy. He didn’t have to do this.  And it was especially impressive since he had just swam 133 laps in the pool.

(So if you’re reading this: Thanks Timbo!  I really appreciate it.

(And people, I am not making up that number.  He really did swim 133 laps.)

But the important thing for me was that I did it. I got gym clothes on and walked there and presented my ID and changed my shoes and did it.

woot.

I now feel rebooted and that all systems are “GO.”  The challenge now is to be consistent. Consistency is the whole game.  I can’t lift everyday, because I need a day to recover, but every other day. Consistently.

The other thing  I have to remember is to forget.  I have to remember to focus on the now and forget about “cuts” and “guns” and all that other bushwah.  Because if I’m all focused on that end results-y stuff, there will be too much hard, and I don’t deal well with hard.

For me, it’s all about learning to love the path.  Because if I can’t love the path, I will never get into “flow,” and if I never get into “flow” then I won’t do it at all, and that will blow holes the size of grapefruits in the consistency thing.

Then the whole enterprise will have turned out to be a colossal waste of time and expensive Hoist equipment.  Am I right?

(Of course I am.)

 

Picking Up The Ball

Newton's Dynamical equations. Reference: Sande...
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The longer the ball stays on the ground, the heavier it gets. Ever noticed that?

One day of not posting grows into 2, then a week, then the whole month skitters by annnnnd …there you have it. Fumble.

An object in motion stays in motion, but an object at rest will stay at rest until some force causes it to move (The law of inertia).

One of my readers commented yesterday: “Update your blog, already!” and so here I am, properly ass-kicked out of inertia.  (Thanks Mo.)

I really can relate, too. I know all-too-well the annoyance of getting into the habit of checking on certain bloggers and then when they mysteriously stop writing, feeling like some kind of an agreement has been broken.  It’s like calling someone and always getting their voicemail.  It’s annoying. It feels like a rebuff.  You start to wonder: have they given up their blog entirely? Did something happen to make them stop? Will they suddenly log back on and announce: I moved! I got a divorce! I became enlightened! I converted to Hinduism! I lost my hard drive!

Or will they, like me, just confess to a raging case of the lazies?

Truth is, I haven’t become enlightened or anything dramatic; I’ve just entered “Winter Contemplative Mode” in which all I want to do is snuggle into to my Poang chair (which I’ve self-upholstered with a heavy fleece-backed Woolrich blanket) and read.

But even I miss me when I’m not here.  Was it V. Woolf who said, “How do I know what I think until I read what I write?”  That’s what happens with me: writing forces me to organize the spaghetti mess of thoughts in my head and make a little story out of it. Then and only then can I understand what I’m doing and what I think about it all.

So to any of you who have been checking here expectantly, I apologize.  I’ve just been feeling lazy and boring.

Winter has set in here and  I’m now wearing my North Face coat and my skin is totally drying out.  I’ve been dry brushing and applying this Vata Massage Oil all over to both ground me and keep me from totally flaking out.  I also found this stuff called argan oil from a tree in Morocco of the same name and I’m slathering that on my face as well.

Thanksgiving was good but there were food booby-traps everywhere and I got nailed, so tomorrow it’s back to the ED (Elimination Diet), plus I have a weight training date with Tim which I know will catapult me back into high gear.

I read this piece in the Times magazine today about this 91 year-old track star named Olga Kotelko who scientists are studying to figure out how she can still perform at such a high level at that age. As part of his study this scientist has found that after 6 months of twice weekly weight training the biochemical, physiological and genetic signature of older muscle is turned back nearly 15 or 20 years!!  (whoa.)

Looks like I’m going to have to get over my hatred of weights, eh?

Okay, I picked up the ball.  I’m back.  Feels good.  More tomorrow.

 

What I Have Been Doing While I’ve Not Been Here

Cover of "The Happiness Hypothesis: Findi...
Cover via Amazon

Last week I finished reading Gretchin Rubin’s The Happiness Project and now I am deeply involved in Jonathan Haidt’s The Happiness Hypothesis and I went to the new Victoria theater in Blossburg and saw the movie Social Network and today the plumber was here all day installing a new kitchen sink and faucet.

And last week I also started a new meditation streak and tonight I start a new series of Meditative Posture Flow yoga and this weekend I am teaching a workshop on How-to-Meditate called: Meditation: It’s Not What You Think.

Oh, and leaves!  I almost forgot about the leaves!  Raked leaves yesterday.

Love raking leaves!!! So much more fun than shoveling snow!  So much lighter, crispier, drier, warmer!  Leaves!  Yesss!  Snow!  No!  And today the big sucker machine came and sucked them all up: thwoop!

And speaking of suck, my vacuum doesn’t.  So it does. I put out a request on Facebook for vacuum suggestions and holy comment stream!  35 people weighed in on vacuums.  I clearly hit a nerve.  Nothing I have ever written on FB has gotten such a response.  People are inordinately in love with their Dysons, that’s all I have to say.  (People: You and your Dyson’s should get a room. Srsly.)

And Lowes opened in Mansfield and I like home improvement stores (not as much as bookstores and office supply stores and Starbucks, but I do like them, even though I don’t understand most of the stuff.  (For e.g. Dremmels.)  But tile and carpet and red washing machines are pretty, for sure.  And certain wood. And certain plumbing. And the maze of sample kitchens that I always get lost in.

Fun.

That’s what I’ve been doing, more or less when I’ve not been writing here.

Oh, oil.  Forgot about the oil.  Oh well, I’ll leave that for tomorrow.

 

Pudding, Podcasts and a New Series of Beginner Yoga

Let me start with the pudding.

It was rice.  Made with milk and half-and-half and sugar and I stirred it endlessly and carefully and tenderly and added vanilla and raisins and cinnamon at the end.  I followed the recipe in the Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook, which, as I’ve mentioned before, is the Scientific American of cookbooks.

Newly off my cleanse, I was jonesing for pudding.  I made this concoction  with high hopes and a watering mouth. I never let the milk come to more than a simmer.  I used the right rice, the right everything, I babied this pudding like it was triplets in the last trimester. I never let it get out of bed.

And it was a crashing disappointment.  An utter pudding fail. It was borderline tragic.

Maybe I cooked it down too long? Maybe I have lost my taste for sugar? For pudding? Maybe too many raisins, too much cinnamon?  Whatever it was, it was decidedly off.  I had a small bowl, got a bellyache, and threw the whole mess down the disposal.

Kah-pudding!

Beginners Yoga

Last Thursday I had my first class in the new Beginner’s Series.  I have now taught Beginner Yoga maybe 10 times, and every time I sort of freak out.

Beginners are so fragile.  Beginners are apprehensive, wary, insecure, nervous.  Beginners want to wear their socks.  Beginners do not smile.  They most of all do not want to sit in the front. God forbid they get there late and only the spots in the front are left.  This is a major freak out moment for a beginner.

Beginners tell me right from the get-go all the things they cannot do– just so I know.  They will never be able do a headstand. (“It was just a joke; no headstands. Promise.”)

And that’s the other thing. Beginners are hard to joke around with. They think yoga is very serious business, what with all the “Om-ing” and the Sanskrit and the right way to say “asana”  and the freaky nap at the end with the gongy music.

To them, this is very serious shit people, so if the teacher starts to goof around (that’d be me!) beginners become very uneasy.

And this is why I freak out about teaching beginners.  I DO take my yoga very seriously, and more than that, I take their yoga even more seriously.  But I am naturally ebullient and happy and, I daresay, sometimes even charming. And winsome. And goofy. And garrulous. And let’s not forget irreverent.

Irreverent. But not about the yoga. About myself.

So I have to watch myself like a freakin’ hawk in the Beginner class. At least in the first few weeks, or until I can get them relaxed and at ease and somewhat “Kathinated.”

This week will be week #2.  Baby steps…

Podcast

I did it!  (or I should say we did it).  We figured out how to do it, put music behind it and save it as a file that can be downloaded.  I need a better mic, and I need to figure out how to adjust the volume on the music behind my voice, but for a first try, I think it is really very, very decent!  I uploaded it to Virtual Yogarians, the website I set up during the Challenge so that anyone who wanted to could have a place to post about yoga stuff.

Here, go check it out and let me know what you think:

http://virtualyogarians.wordpress.com/

The Power of Intention

Cover of "The Power of Intention"
Cover of The Power of Intention

It’s been disturbing me that I’ve gotten rather spotty in my posting here.  Every morning I wake up and check on myself, mainly to read (and cringe at) what kind of sleepy nonsense I managed to type into this space before I hit “publish” and then the pillow.

It’s just that it’s November, and I am not a fan of November. My skin is dry, my lips are chapped and I am already wearing down clothing, albeit just down vests at this point, but down nonetheless.

When it’s November I want to curl up and read all the books on my bed table. I want to join NaNoWriMo. I want to go to Springwater for a month and meditate. I want to wake up at the ass crack of dawn and do ashtanga with Christine again (but not feel ass-draggy all day as a result.)

I’m reading more these days (and writing less).  I’m reading Wayne Dyer’s the Power of Intention at the moment and trying to the apply its principles to my life: creativity, kindness, lovingness, beauty, expansiveness, abundance and openness. In that vein:

What if I am an infinite being in a temporary physical incarnation?  How does that change things? And what if my life is magic?  And what if everyone I contact and connect with is being brought into my life to teach me something, or point me in a particular direction?

And what if they’re not, but I pretend as if they are anyway? And what if I pretend as if everything I want is already mine (because it is)?  How does that change how I roll, how I operate, how I live?

This is the stuff I’ve been thinking about, so do you see how it might be hard  sometimes to sit down and write a blog post, especially at night, when I am newly home from my class, and tired?  Do you see how it might be hard to know where to begin?

I wonder what I’ll think of this when I read it at 5:30 tomorrow morning? Remember Rule #6, Kath.  Rule #6.

**Rule #6: “Don’t take yourself so damned seriously.”

November One-to-One

Mall of Louisiana, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Int...
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This past weekend we took a fun + business-y little over-nighter trip to Rochester.  I had an appointment on Saturday at the Apple store for a lesson on podcasting.

People have asked me from time to time to make a yoga CD that they can use at home when they can’t get to class.  I like that idea, but I like the idea of podcasts better because they are easier, they can be short and sweet, and I can change up the routines all the time.  Unlike a CD which has only one workout, with podcasts my students can have access to lots of “mini” classes. And best of all, I can offer them for free.

When I bought my Mac just about a year ago, I was really nervous about transitioning from years of working with PCs.  Turns out there was nothing to worry about.  And although I am sure I am not exploiting all the wonders of my MacBook Pro, I’m definitely getting there.

The guy at Apple who gave me my “One on One” lesson was great.  Not only did he know the program (Garage Band) but he knew how to teach it to me.

That’s a really important distinction, too, because a person can be the most talented programmer, or guitar player, or chess master in the world and not know thing one about how to teach that skill to another person.

In order to teach, you have to know how to break the material down into easily digestible bites so your student can absorb it.  Otherwise he or she will just sit there being wowed by how much YOU know about your instrument or whatever, but never learn how to do it, or play it herself.

Because of the excellent teaching of Brian, I think I can actually do a podcast now. And it was fun learning!

And speaking of “digestible bites,” we took a little “time-out” from The Cleanse while we were away.  We had our usual big meal at lunch time at P.F.Chang‘s, a Chinese place, where we really didn’t go off the plan at all, but then at The Bonefish Grill we had wine with dinner, and then dessert.  It tasted really good, and best all there were no gastrointestinal repercussions afterwards.

The official end of the cleanse is this Friday, but I will probably continue with it.  I feel like an old pro at this now.  By the middle of last week, I was feeling absolutely no cravings for anything and I was just starting to see results in the mirror.  It feels stupid to quit now, just at the beginning of the “dramatic results.”

One thing I have learned this time through Clean is that if I want to see dramatic results in my body, I have to strength train.  No two ways about it.  Must be done.  My fancy scale is showing a significant weight drop, but my body fat percentage hasn’t moved at all.

That’s gotta change.  I have to stop crying whenever I so much as think about lifting.  Why does lifting weights make me feel like I’m being unfairly punished?? I need to get to the bottom of that one.  Quick!