Archive for the ‘yoga’ Category

Out of Practice

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks completely avoiding my yoga practice. Right now, I’m on my ladies’ holiday and it’s the full moon today, so maybe I’ll get back into things on Wednesday. With my husband out of town, I just haven’t felt like doing yoga, PLUS I’ve just felt run down and icky for a couple weeks. Definitely reached a head late last week with a truly nasty bout of PMS.

I’m feeling better today. Went back to the weight room, even though I did things a little differently. I’m thinking of shifting my weight routine to doing 3 sets instead of 5 and trying to use heavier weights in the second two sets. Maybe use one set for warm-up, then one set at a heavier weight, and if I still feel like I have it in me increase again for the third set, so that I’m pretty wiped after the third set.

Today I actually had a guy “come to my rescue” after my third set of squats. I hadn’t bothered to change the height of the rack so it was ever-so-slightly too high for me. No worries, I could get the bar back up there, but when I bumped it on my first try, this guy felt the need to leap to my rescue AND point out that it was set too high. Yes, thanks, please go away. I’m not a damsel in distress.

Tonight is the full moon.  I’ll probably do a meditation, maybe a tarot reading.

I’ve still been cooking.  Keep an eye on my Tumblr for some pics later on.  Dunno if anything I’ve cooked is posted-recipe-worthy.  But it’s still yummy.  Husband got back on Saturday night and has said that all he wants right now is home cooking and snuggling, both of which I’m more than happy to provide.


Weekend Shenanigans

My coworker overuses the word “shenanigans,” so I’ve picked it up.  Here’s my brief recap of the weekend, mostly documented by the food I ate.

Started Saturday morning well, with a spiced oat porridge.  I added cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, almonds, and flax to it.  Delicious with some cream and honey.  And I had a raspberry-yogurt-cream smoothie on the side.  That was after a 5-mile run in beautiful sunny weather.  I went dancing and then got a book (Boneshaker) and a pot of tea (Dragon Well) downtown while waiting to meet my husband for a dinner date.

Post-run breakfast

We went to Nora’s in Dupont Circle, which was fun.  I like the idea of an all-organic, local restaurant, but I have to say that I was a little disappointed that their “Bellini” was made with pineapple juice, rather than peaches, which are a.) traditional, and 2.) in season locally.  Seriously, all you can get at the fruit stand is watermelon and peaches.  And you go and make a cocktail with pineapple?  But the dinner was delicious, despite the killer migraine I developed earlier in the day.  Pretty much the only effect of the migraine was that I only had a few bites of dessert and had peppermint tea with it instead of coffee.  I probably wouldn’t go back on my own dime (we had a gift certificate), but it was a nice dinner.

Sunday, I made more porridge, for me and my husband.  Almonds, coconut, Rapadura, and raspberries cooked into it, with butter on top.  Yum.  Went to the market, saw the new MOM’s Organic Market in College Park, fresh and renovated.  They’ve moved everything around, but it’s worth it because they’ve got so much more now.  I sampled some local cheeses, and even got a mini quiche off a farmer who made them with his fresh, local, pastured eggs.  Wow.

And I got a bottle of bitters, which I’ve discussed earlier.

Cucumber, ginger, and shallot salad (i.e., lunch)

Home again to make lunch, make almond power bars, and do my yoga.  I worked through the whole Primary series, which was fun.  Still not doing any jumping, since my wrist is healing, but there was no pain at least.  I have to say, I’m probably going to stop at Bhujapidasana for a while before trying to get through the whole series again, but it was nice to feel how it flows through to the end and into the finishing sequence.  And since it’s my first practice since finishing my moon time, I thoroughly enjoyed inverting once more.

Black bean burgers? Yum!

Dinner was black bean burgers with salad.  My husband even said “Ooh, black bean burgers?  Those are yummy!”  It’s nice to be with a guy who appreciates delicious, healthy food.  And then we ended the weekend on a sweet note with peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.  Yum.

This post is part of the Weekend Gourmet Blog Carnival at Hartke is Online.

On Jewelry and Pain Support

Earlier this week and last, The Nourishing Gourmet had a giveaway of two gift certificates to a store that sells hazelwood and amber jewelry for health purposes. The idea is that the hazelwood releases compounds that help cure skin disorders and amber jewelry can release compounds that help with pain relief.

Amber bracelets

Intrigued by this idea, I shopped around and found myself some Baltic amber chips to make my own jewelry. Since I started doing yoga more regularly, specifically Ashtanga, I’ve had some trouble with pain in my right wrist. I’ve been modifying my practice and taking other lifestyle steps to heal and support my aching wrist, and I thought amber bracelets would be a good addition to this.

I had my first practice with amber this morning, after sleeping in my new bracelets last night, and I have to say that I noticed a difference. Rather than feeling like an injury, my wrist pain felt like it was due to a healing injury.

As a runner, yogi, and martial artist, I’ve had my fair share of injuries, so I’ve noticed some interesting patterns to my healing process. First, I ache. I rarely back off at this point, so eventually I end up hurting, the pain so bad it forces me to make a change to my routine. When I start to rest and take healing steps, the pain lessens, but never quite goes away. In fact, the pain never completely goes away until I start using the muscle/joint again. I have to re-introduce the exercise that hurt it in the first place in order to strengthen my body and eliminate the pain. So when I think of the healing process, I think of it as pain support, rather than pain relief, as pain is an important part of healing.

As a natural wellness practitioner and herbalist, I appreciate the importance of a holistic view of pain and injury, as well as healing.  The idea that a simple piece of jewelry, which I can make myself, could help heal and prevent pain appeals to me.  Even if the effect is a placebo, some of my pain is mental, so placebo is legitimate medicine in those cases.

This post is part of Simple Lives Thursday at GNOWFGLINS.

Primary Sunday, Ladies’ Holiday

I got through most of my normal practice on Sunday.  I’m still sticking with only Surya A to warm up, then standing poses, then Primary to Navasana.  And no jumping, still.  But it felt good, adding back the vinyasas.  And Navasana, traditionally a pose that I’ve found tough, is really strong.  I feel strong and calm at the end of my practice.

Moon beads

But today, I’ve taken a step back.  It’s my ladies’ holiday right now which is a fantastic phrase, I think, though a little reminiscent of men not being sure to handle women bleeding.  Moon time.  Ladies’ holiday.  On the rag.  So many slangs and euphemisms.  Either way, I haven’t been meditating and I think this “holiday” would be a perfect time to start up again.  I’ve finally remembered my red beads.

I’m getting supplies to remake my moon time beads tomorrow, along with some Baltic amber to make other jewelry.  Other than bracelets, for my ailing and unhappy right wrist, I’m also getting bloodstone, moonstone, and carnelian.  The moonstone and amber, in particular, will make a lovely piece of jewelry.  I think for my moon beads, I’ll just restring the ones I have with a real clasp, but I’ll have bloodstone, moonstone, and more carnelian if I feel like updating it a bit.  It’s all a work in progress.

I’ve had a request for my soaked zucchini-walnut muffins, so I’ll post that recipe tomorrow.  They were massively delicious and moist even a day or two old.

Steam and Musings

Sometimes I just like to write a post about my day.  This time, I’m not even whining about anything, like I did earlier this week.  Yesterday was Wednesday, so we went out to lunch.  Half-price burgers.  Yum.  I got a burger and sweet potato fries and an ice cream on the walk back to work.  A lot of food, but I had a nice evening planned to make up for it.

First, I went for an evening swim.  Forty minutes, followed by ten minutes in the steam room, which was heaven.  It may smell a little funky, since it’s at the campus rec center Natatorium, but once the steam filled up the room, and the vents shut off, there’s this delicious silence that washes over everything.  I can’t even see another person in the steam room with me (though I did hear the door open at least once).  And for some reason, steam doesn’t heat up my body jewelry like the sauna does.  Probably some sort of specific heat thing.

So, pink and glowing, and tired from my swim, I retired to the locker room, showered off with cold water, put clothes back on, and combed my hair out.  I just kind of let it fall where it did when I was done combing it and I realized as I walked out of the locker room, because there are mirrors everywhere, that it looked kind of sexy, in a carefree way.  Nice.

Drive home.  Healthy dinner.  Salad and kamut pasta with a creamy tomato sauce.  No dessert, but I did have a glass of Italian red wine.  Montipulciano d’Abruzzo.

Finished the evening by reading up some of Neil Gaiman’s online journal.  I can’t bring myself to call it a blog.  I keep a blog.  My favorite writer keeps a journal.  He’s such a fantastic crafter of words and yet still comes off as a down-to-earth guy.  I need to poke around and see if there isn’t anything of his I haven’t read.  Honestly, I think I own every book he’s written for adults, plus Coraline.  I read Anansi Boys in Rome and it was fantastic.  I agree that it’s kind of underrated, and I liked it better than the first time I read American Gods.  Gods, I need to work on my own book.  My goal is to get it published, get recognized and noticed (if not rich), and get a guest spot on Top Gear, though I doubt the reasonably-priced car would ever be the same.

Oh, my wrist is doing a little better.  I got through the Primary series this morning, through Navasana, and did some Surya A to warm up before standing poses.  I only modified a little.  Still avoiding headstand, though I’ve always had mixed feelings about practicing that one at home.

Sunday Without Salutation

Started my day with what was supposed to be a long Sunday practice, only my wrist has been getting progressively more painful when I try to put weight on it. So no Surya Namaskar OR linking vinyasas the entire time. It felt weird. But I worked through the Primary series after completing a slow standing series, getting up through Navasana. I’ll add Bhujapidasana when my wrist feels better, I think.

But first, I set up a loaf of Passionate Homemaking’s soaked whole grain bread up to rise. I had mixed up the flour and wet stuff yesterday to soak for about 18 hours, so I just had to proof the yeast and add it. It’s a beautiful dough, if funny-feeling due to the oats and flax in it. My only changes to the recipe were that I didn’t add millet (but increased the flax to compensate) and I cut the amount of honey in half. Honestly, 1/4 cup of honey per loaf sounded like way too much sweetener for me. If it works, I might post my recipe, if only because it gives a cut-down recipe that makes just one loaf.

Really, it’s in the oven right now and it looks and smells just amazing.  Fresh, healthy, homemade bread for my breakfasts and lunches this week!

The rest of the day will be taken up with going to the markets and then attending a baby shower party/cookout, for which I’m making a big tossed salad with homemade citrus dressing.  Then, soup for dinner.

I Bow To the Lizard Feet…

My new running shoes, resting

I did my first run in my Vibram Five Fingers today! I got them about a week and a half ago, but I’ve been wearing them around to get a feel for where they might rub my feet. Yesterday, they just felt great all day, so I went ahead and ran in them. I did 2.5 miles and felt great. We’ll see if my calves agree later today.

After I turned in my lizard feet (seriously, look at that color combo!), I went ahead and did a short yoga practice, just Surya A and B, standing poses, paschimottanasana, and inversions before shavasana. Felt good. I was a little worried about doing Surya right after a run, but I put down my yoga towel and just went for it. No weakness and no slipping. Sweet.
Now I’m unwinding with breakfast and a cup of milky chai. I’ve modified 101 Cookbooks carrot oatmeal cookies to use the zucchini that has exploded in availability right now. I might post a recipe later this week, or I might tweak the recipe just a bit. But they’re a yummy breakfast. I’ve brought a nettle infusion to drink mid-morning if I feel drained, since it really felt like my body was just screaming for nutrients yesterday.