Category Archives: Yoga

PiYo Week 3 – A complete schedule rewrite

With school officially going, I’m finding my rhythm again. My body hasn’t completely accepted the 10 hour work days yet, so working out is currently exhausting. I know that in another couple of weeks my energy levels will even out again, but until then I have to be exceptionally demanding with myself to get off the couch. It always pays off though, and by the end of the workout I feel great and energized, and by bedtime I crash. 🙂

MONDAY – Upper… hmm…

I did some sort of upper body workout, but I have zero recollection of what it might have been. Then I ate nachos and had a margarita to celebrate surviving the first day of school (while also negating all calorie burn 🙂 ).

TUESDAY – Buns

Ooh wee! Bun is a good one! This was a hardcore squat and lunge workout that had my legs burning in the most wonderful ways. 🙂 In fact, it was so leg heavy that half way through (during a water break) I texted John that buns was kicking my buns, although I didn’t feel it in my butt. I definitely spoke to soon. No soon had I typed that, the workout changed and morphed into a glute burning incinerator. My quads and butt hurt for several days. 🙂

WEDNESDAY – Left late, had a date, no workout.

THURSDAY – Open House #2, Core

After getting home at almost 9:00pm, I decided to go ahead and workout. Having done Core before, I knew what to expect and figured I would at least survive. 🙂 Survive was the right word; I was tired, and while I did all the moves, I ended exhausted… and then slept hard! Core is incredibly hard on my wrists, even with my WAGS, and I end up modifying a large percentage of the moves. I don’t actually “pansy” on anything, but I utilize my power stands for virtually all planks and down dogs. It’s truly the only way I can get through the upper body intensive moves while allowing my wrists and forearms to heal from whatever stress or strain I’m currently experiencing.

FRIDAY – P90X3 Yoga

This was supposed to be Sweat, but I was super tired. My workout and work schedule has kept me flying by the seat of my pants, so I chose to have a yoga day instead. I haven’t done X3 yoga in FOREVER! That being said, it was interesting what poses I have improved upon and which have gotten worse in its absence. Crow is not an option. 😦 I LOVE crow… But my wrists/right forearm just won’t have it. Some of the standing poses, however, are MUCH improved. Twisted half moon was darn near impossible back in March when X3 arrived on my door one Sunday morning, but my balance and strength now allow me to at least pretend I’m in an incredibly mediocre version of what was once simply pitiful. 🙂

As a side note, it super sucks that my wrists – my right wrist and forearm in particular – are so messed up currently. I’m not totally sure when this happened. I’ve had a level of discomfort that then leads to numbness and general inflammation for as long as I can remember… at least a decade and then some. But this is something different. I am getting a sharp BURN in the base of my right hand that instantly jumps about an inch up my wrist. To be honest, I’ve only iced my wrist twice, so despite my frustration I’m not irritated enough to actually do anything about it. It’s just a bummer because I LOVE upper body, body weight floor moves of almost any kind. :/

SATURDAY – Sweat

I. Love. Sweat. It’s a great cardio! That’s all.

SUNDAY – Strength Intervals

This was my first go at Strength Intervals, and I have to admit it was far easier than I anticipated. Easy and short. :/ I ended up finishing Intervals and then adding in a round of X3 Isometrics. Man! That’s a great workout… I was never sure why it was employed so infrequently in P90X3, but it’s a great one and leaves your back and glute medius (upper outer butt) S   O   R   E. For this I will probably substitute a full body strength workout like Triometrics for this, as it was really too easy, or something like the bonus HIIT 20 that came with Piyo.

Summer Goals

☐Run at least 3 times a week (heat permitting)

☐Splits on both legs

☐Pigeon Pose every day

☐Single shoulder stretches every day

☐2 consecutive pull ups

☐4-pack abs 🙂

☐Handstands without the wall

☐Cut out added sugar entirely

 

AgilityX – Block 3, Week 3

block372I am getting wildly close to concluding my 90 day journey… That sounds completely cheesy, but I’m going to stay with that tone. 🙂 Today was Agility X which is definitely not my favorite activity. In addition to it simply being an exhausting workout, it’s pretty hard on my already bad ankles.  When I switched to the “right shoes” back in the first block, I felt a real change in how my left ankle in particular reacted to the workouts. However, shoes can only protect you so much from landing unsteadily or the sheer pressure put on those joints after a high knee tuck jump. I also don’t think I tied my shoes well, allowing my feet to swim a bit, and I feel the early sting of a blister… 😦

After my P90X3 “half hour” (I put this in quotes since I rarely spend only 30 minutes… pauses bring that number closer to 35 I’m sure), I did X3 Ab Ripper from the book since I don’t have the elite block DVD.

Let me pause to rant that it costs an arm and a leg for one extra DVD… I didn’t order the P90X3 Deluxe Kit because it seemed ridiculous to pay $125 extra for one DVD. No part of me was interested in the pre-workout drink mix, and I knew I could get resistance bands for a heck of a lot cheaper and Ye Olde Academy. So ultimately, this Deluxe kit was really an extra $125 for one singular DVD… And honestly, I really just wanted the Ab Ripper workout. It’s crap Beach Body… CRAP! Off my rant…

Dolphin Push Ups! These are fun and far more than just an ab workout. You can see how much upper body is engaged. Cool move.

After abs, I spent about half an hour stretching and watching bad TV. Opening my hips and lengthening my hamstrings are an endless pursuit. I spent a good bit of time in pigeon, and that logically also moved into some work on my splits. I’ve posted some pictures of my recent success with my right leg splits. Great! How about the reality of my UNsuccessful left leg splits! 🙂 I look like an awkward moron trying to get out of them! 🙂

Finally, I took a bit of time to work on hopping from crane to plank like a REAL yogi! 😉 By the time I taped it, my wrists were DEAD, and so my crane looks terrible. The whole point is that my upper body and core strength has improved to the point that I can do this move on a somewhat successful level. It’s super neat to see this kind of progress and makes me proud, even if it’s not the prettiest version ever!

For dinner: Morning Star corn dog 🙂 and 1.2 billion sauted green beans!

My Attempt at a Doubles Day & Eccentric Lower

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This has been a crazy week. Crazy is the wrong word; stressful is far more accurate. Despite the stress, or maybe because of it, I’ve enjoyed my 30 minutes with cheese-ball Tony. Tuesday morning I noticed that my right middle finger was aching a bit. I’ve mentioned my terrible joints, but this is a new development. Long story short, I think that in my efforts of catching myself in some moment of poor balance, I must have hyperextended my poor double jointed finger, and I’m now ending the third day of 3 brand new jacked up joints… It basically hurts my finger to breathe. 🙂

YOGA

Last week I mentioned how much I loved Pilates and Isometrics and vowed to make my yoga day a doubles day from now on. Well… Monday completely shredded my upper abs in a combination of pull/chin ups (which works my core like crazy!) and Ab Ripper X. They hurt like a bruise to touch. Once I finished my yoga, I flipped it to Pilates, and 3 moves in I realized this was a bad idea. My abs needed rest and recovery, so my doubles day will have to wait until next week. 😦

On a high note though, I had marked improvement on a few of the yoga moves! My airplane with your head aimed at the ground was MUCH better, as was my half moon on both sides. Twisted half moon was even decent on my right leg. 🙂 I still prefer my normal hour long Ashtanga routine, but it’s not bad for an abbreviated yoga workout.

ECCENTRIC LOWER

Today was my first round of eccentric lower. I was actually hoping it would be a little more hardcore that it was, but then again my left underbutt 🙂 has continued to cramp off and on all night, so maybe it will end up being rougher than I thought in the moment.

Just like eccentric upper, all of the moves focus on extended time in the tension half of the move followed by a burst out of tension.

  • Squats – Slow down, fast up, with weights
  • Lunge – Same as above, with feet remaining stationary
  • Sumo Squats – Wide leg squats
  • Weighted Pistol – One leg squats with opposite leg held out straight and high in front
  • Side Kick – Using a chair for balance, hold the outer leg parallel to the ground. Slowly pull knee into chest, keeping leg parallel, then quickly kick it back out. This is the move that is making my underbutt cramp.
  • Front Kick – Standing on one leg, hold the opposite out straight and high in front. Rest a dumbbell on the top of the extended thigh for resistance. Slowly pull foot toward butt and then quickly kick it back out.
  • Albanian Squat – One leg lunge with back foot resting on a chair.
  • Adductor Lunge – Step out into a wide leg lunge, bending knee slowly. As you return to standing kick stepping leg out straight to the side.
  • Cross Reach – Stand on one leg with the opposite knee held high. Holding a weight in the opposite hand, quickly punch it across your body while moving basically into Warrior 3. Return back up slowly.
  • TT Plus – Same as Tony’s T from pilates but with slow then fast movements.
  • Bridge Kicks – On your back, quickly push up into a one leg bridge, then slowly return to ground.
  • Hip Flexor Splits – THIS ONE WAS NOT DOABLE FOR ME CURRENTLY. I am discovering that my hip flexibility is comparatively poor. My hip flexors give me problems in lots of yoga poses. You are supposed to basically sit/balance on your power bars and then hold your body weight up into a split leg V. You then pull your legs in together and then quickly kick the legs back apart. I have the abs for it. I have the balance for it. My hip flexors said NO. I stopped the DVD, did some deep hip flexor stretches and then did my version of this move one leg at a time. :/
  • Calf Dog – While in down dog, stack one foot on top of the other. Quickly push up high onto toes, and then slowly lower heel back down.

This workout presents some moves I’ll need to improve for sure. Here’s hoping I hurt tomorrow!!! Maybe this will be the block that gives me some serious glutes! 😉

End of Transition Week: X3 Yoga + Dynamix

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I said it before, but I really loved the transition week. 🙂

I made Saturday my rest day and turned Sunday into a double day of X3 Yoga and Dynamix. John did them with me, and I’m pretty sure he enjoyed them also.

X3 YOGA

I’m getting much better at holding my upper body below my knee while in crescent. I attribute most of that to the fact that my legs are getting stronger in general. Half moon has gotten exponentially better on my right leg, though my left was terrible today. I did a great Ted’s chair on my right leg, but my left leg didn’t happen at all. I’ve discovered over the past couple of days that my left hip is far more open than my right hip, which I think is bizarre since everything else is looser on the right side of my body. My crow has consistently improved this last month as my arms continue to strengthen, but today I was almost able to straighten my elbows in the pose like a big kid! 🙂 🙂 🙂 It’s super neat to see improvement.

John and I are both used to doing MUCH longer, far more intense yoga routines than that of X3 so while there might be a couple isolated poses that need growth, the routine as a whole is not overly taxing. When we did Dynamix John commented that he worked up more of a sweat during that half hour that during the yoga.

THOUGHTS AFTER BLOCK ONE

  • All Yoga days are going to be double days of Yoga/Isometrix or Yoga/Pilates
  • Sometimes it’s better to take a breather so I can give more energy to the next move (Warrior).
  • Sometimes it’s better to push through without pause to keep my heart rate up (CVX).
  • I didn’t do enough push ups or pull ups if I can do another one.
  • Cardio days are not the days to start with a 30 minute Ashtanga warm up. 🙂
  • If you aren’t seeing results, you either A) didn’t exert your all or B) eat more than you need each day.

P90X3 is pretty great. 🙂 I’m excited for Block 2!!!

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Transition Week: Dynamix

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I’d like to start by saying I AM SORE… 🙂 Isometrix wore me out yesterday! I love finding a new workout that is both fun and effective, and Isometrix is that workout.

I’ve mentioned that I’m struggling with “bored” eating at work right now. This morning about 10:00, I hit a bit of an energy wall. I had a Lemon Cream Pie Quest Bar in my purse, and not only did it give me some energy, but I was less “bored hungry” for longer today. I also went for a bottle of water instead of a snack this afternoon. We’ll see how this strategy work in the next couple of days.

Image  I got home later than I have the last several weeks. It was a little after 6 when I walked in the door. Still, I chose to spend about 30 minutes on some yoga warm up, a little headstand action, etc before I jumped into Dynamix.

DYNAMIX

Of the previous 3 weeks of Block 1, I’ve only done Dynamix once. I remember enjoying it, but I had already forgotten what the workout entailed. After yesterdays Isometrixs, the dynamic stretching was welcome. While an “easy” workout, I found my body heat brought out a little sweat by the end. 🙂

The only part of Dynamix that was a bit taxing was the side forearm plank only because my shoulders are sore from doing the same yesterday.

All in all, I spent about an hour tonight gently working my muscles, and I really like that kind of time. It’s calming while allowing me to still feel productive. Good stuff. I CAN’T WAIT for Accelerator tomorrow! 🙂

After Dynamix I whipped up a new healthy vegetarian pizza and indulged in a crazy delicious mint chip mochi ice cream ball. 🙂 YUM!

TRANSITION WEEK! Isometrics

b1trans1.pngToday starts my block one transition week, which in actuality means that month one is almost done!

The sheer fact that the schedule is different is exciting! I really love P90X3, but different keeps it interesting. When I got home I changed into my favorite pair of leggings and newish bright green tank ( GapFit) and did about half an hour of yoga to warm up. I’m sticking with my goal of doing some headstands, backbends, and shoulder stretches everyday in addition to everything else. Just because I’m on a new fitness routine doesn’t mean my yoga goals should change.

My headstands were MUCH better today! Much straighter, and my Sirsasana B (legs @ right angle) was a lot stronger. Progress!!!

ISOMETRIX

loved this workout! 🙂 🙂 🙂 With my well established yoga obsession, this fits extraordinarily well into my fitness repertoire. I love it so much that it is incredibly disappointing to discover that it only appears 3 times the classic P90X3 schedule. I already told John that from now on my yoga day is going to be a doubles day with X3 Yoga followed by Isometrix.

Isometrix takes yoga poses and adds a 45 second hold to each, alternating between arms/core and legs/core poses.

  • Plank with Left Arm Reach THEN Standing Left Leg Extension (switch sides) – I did too many handstands before starting Isometrix, so my already bad wrists were shot. I very quickly modified all planks in this workout to forearm planks, which I assure you were still hardcore.
  • Plank Right Arm, Left Leg Lift THEN Chair with Left Leg Extended (switch sides) – I love all leg extension poses. I used to hate them until my ego embraced them for Ashtanga. 🙂
  • Forearm Side Balance Right THEN Royal Dancer Right (switch sides) ❤
  • One Arm Sphinx Right THEN Tree Pose Right (switch sides) – One arm sphinx is super hard to keep my hips parallel to the ground, and I feel like my body was not very straight… I should video this the next time I do it to see what my form looks like.
  • Side Arm Balance Right, Left Leg Lift THEN Warrior 3 Right (switch sides) – Despite my angry wrists, I did this anyway just because I like the pose

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  • Bound Dog, Right Hand Left Ankle THEN Inner Balance Right (switch sides)
  • Bound Dog Leg Lift Right THEN Moon Dog Right (switch sides) – My wrists and ankles were pulsing by the time I got to this, and there was just no way this time. I modified and just did regular Bound Dog.
  • Crane Burnout – My crane was AWESOME today!!! 🙂 At least more awesome than it has been!

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Yay Isometrix!!!

 

(and this week’s calendar is my Cosmos homage)

 

 

 

Week 3: X3 Yoga (+ some ashtanga thrown in there… and 3 chin ups)

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Wow! Today wore me out!

I had the lovely surprise of my dude coming over this afternoon unexpectedly and doing some yoga with me! He’s pretty sore/broken from his own incredibly intense workouts, so while he used the foam roller, I started the evening’s workout with some Sun Salutations and then flowed into a few of my favorite Ashtanga poses not included in X3 Yoga.  By the time I was sufficiently warm and stretched, we were both ready to “bring it” yogi style. 🙂

X3 YOGA

Probably because I had already done some of my own work prior, just holding airplane and then the bent over opening sequence was tiring… Lame-o… I was particularly proud of my left leg standing split as it’s my tight side. I had some success with the left leg today, and that means progress! 🙂

And then we got to arm balances. It was bad. I tried to show John how I’ve learned how to do Ted’s chair, and before I even had half my weight on my arms I knew to stop. That didn’t prevent me from doing crane in which I literally fell on my face… My actual thought process as my face hit the ground was, “Oh good! He’s doing crane too! Maybe he didn’t see that…”

Camel went very well today. I’ve decided that regardless the P90X3 workout of the day, I will do a couple different headstand variations, a forearm stand, and a backbend everyday. I want to keep the muscles and balance those moves take active even through this cross training period. My headstands were stellar. 🙂

After yoga, we ate some taco stew, and my dude had his first taste of my zucchizza. He seems to have found it delicious. 🙂

It’s funny… Here I literally fell on my face today, and yet I know with every fiber of my being that I am stronger, more flexible, and just healthier in general on this very day than I have been at any point in my life.

Neat.

Stay healthy!

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P90X3 Day 11: Catch up with Yoga & The Challenge!

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I just couldn’t stay a day behind… not this early on.

As I mentioned in my previous blog, I took Tuesday off and did Agility X on Wednesday instead. Great. But that still left me one day behind my ‘schedule’, so I decided to take perhaps the stupid route and double up to get caught up. 🙂 I mean, I specifically mentioned how short the yoga was last week, right?

YOGA

I went all out on the yoga. My thighs were seriously burning during the crescent-airplane sequence! During half-moon and twisted half-moon I used my yoga block (which rarely gets used anymore), but twisted is not happening. That’s fine. It will one day… maybe next year. I think I may have overdone my standing splits on one side as my “underbutt” (that’s a term all of my own 🙂 ) is a little unhappy right now. I have a hard time not wanting to perform a pose beyond what is acceptable for my body that day.

The bright spot in yoga today was Ted’s Chair. I did the arm balance successfully on one side!!! Woohoo! I love trick poses. 🙂 My crow was fairly exceptional (for me) also. For a more complete run down of the poses, see my previous yoga post.

THE CHALLENGE

Once I had completed the billion chaturangas in yoga, it was time for The Challenge! This time I had my fancy new pull up bands and push up bars to aid the process.

This week I set my numbers as 12 pull/chin ups and 16 push ups. I met my challenge, but boy was it hard, especially on the push ups. It got to the point that I would do about 6 and then complete the rest of the set 2 at a time with a brief pause at the top. In The Challenge, I’m still doing “girl push ups.” The pull ups were obviously far easier with the bands. I was sure to pause with the bands close to my body on each rep just like he tells the chick on the DVD. In fact, on many of my sets I did more than 12. Just for fun, and to see if I now magically had new found strength, I did a couple assisted pull ups and 2 unassisted chin ups.

No new magical strength yet.

BUT… I know that I have upper body muscles because they are exhausted. Tomorrow they’ll hurt. 🙂

Stay healthy!

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P90X3: X3 Yoga

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Day 3… Exhausted.

I’ve had a string of about 5 or 6 days in which I haven’t slept much for one reason or another. I’m a bad sleeper, and I easily fall into wake up habits… like waking up at 2 in the morning repeatedly. The combination of sleeping poorly, returning from spring break, being in the heat of UIL, and now starting P90X3 has left my body super tired.

I’m happy to report that yesterday’s Agility X left my butt and inner thighs getting progressively more sore as the day has progressed! 🙂

X3 YOGA

I’ve been excited all day to try out this incarnation of yoga, interested in how my own background would affect this half hour. This version is heavily influenced by Ashtanga and, while only 30 minutes, gives a good sampling of the Primary Series. Generally, when I practice, I’m doing the full series (with some other goodies mixed in) and spend a solid hour+ doing yoga. The 30 minute window seemed far too quick, but I’m sure for the non-yoga-geek it is wonderful! I was telling my dude afterward that, although short, I could totally see myself popping in this DVD on days that I want a quick/fairly intense yoga workout.

  • Child’s Pose
  • Downward Dog to Forward Bend
  • 3 Sun Salutations
  • Sun Salutation to Crescent
  • Airplane Over Leg – While in crescent, hold arms out like an airplane while leaning over bent leg.
  • Sun Salutation
  • Warrior 1
  • Warrior 2
  • Reverse Warrior
  • Bound Side Angle Pose
  • Sun Salutation B
  • Warrior 3
  • Half Moon – I HATE half moon… But it’s fun to work on. 🙂
  • Twisted Half Moon – If I hated half moon, then I despise this one. It’s really difficult, and I have a feeling I’ll have to address this in my daily practice if I ever plan on succeeding in this awkward balance pose.
  • Standing Splits – I’m getting much better at these!
  • Crescent Pose
  • Wide Leg Forward Fold with Toe BindMy head touched the ground today!!!
  • Triangle
  • Twisted Triangle
  • Tree Pose
  • Extended Leg with Toe Bind
  • Ted’s Chair – This was neat! I’ve done a posture like this at a Vinyasa class before, so the pose was not new. However, the variation of turning the posture into an arm balance was wildly exciting! I can’t wait to work on this new arm balance! It’s so fun to be upside down. 🙂
  • Crow – Love this one too!
  • Vinyasa to Floor
  • Child’s Pose
  • Cat-Cow
  • Bird Dog to Dog Dancer
  • Camel
  • Figure 4 Series – part of the seated series that works the hamstrings.
  • Plow or Shoulder Stand
  • Fish – Usually I’m afraid of fish, but my back has been getting progressively stronger through my daily yoga. I tried it today and was successful.
  • Shavasana

I was glad to see that a pretty solid mini-routine was designed for P90X3. Kudos to the the creators of this particular workout! Tomorrow is The Challenge… Push ups and pull ups… Time for bed so I can have any sort of energy to “Bring it!”

(Just FYI… I think saying “Bring it!” is super cheesy, and I only type it with the most severe and dorkiest sarcasm possible. 🙂  )

Stay healthy!

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