Adventures in Yoga and at-home Cross Training

OK, so every time I go into the health food store to re-stock my kitchen cabinet for my admittedly ridiculous and extensive morning vitamin regimen, I feel compelled to roll my eyes at the other people shopping there. Now before you decide that I have no insight into my own behavior and that I am too critical of others, I am slowly embracing the fact that I might also be morphing into a granola-eating, patchouli-stinking, yoga lover like my health food shopping counter-parts… and I LIKE IT.

This summer I registered myself for 6 months of unlimited classes at a local yoga studio. My knees and hips take a serious beating every running season and I thought that this would be a great way to strengthen my muscles. This will hopefully keep my joints and ligaments happily cushioned from the repetitive pounding of my feet hitting the pavement. I also have the tendency to become a neurotic mess when triggered by stressors and internalize a lot of my anxiety (resulting in my blood pressure rising up to 170/ 102 in 2009!) I need to work on my mental well being as well and yoga is the perfect way to do both.

Today was a bit brutal… I was sweating up a storm and was not channelling very positive energy towards my instructor during a few poses, but I got through it and I feel amazing now. The instructor was new to me and I wasn’t used to her pose sequence. I came back home from class a little confused and asked my boyfriend, to clarify what I had been doing wrong.

He insisted that what I hadn’t been able to do was a one legged downward dog pose but it didn’t look exactly like what had stumped me during class. His 7 year old daughter strolled in to investigate what we were talking about and decided that what I was having difficulty with was, in fact, one of the stages of sun salutations. She then demonstrated how its done, along with some other complicated crazy poses, and then walked away after getting distracted by Max our yorkie-poo… this kid is just too hilarious, I love her.

Now, I realize that gyms and yoga studios cost A LOT of money and not all of us have access to them. Before I caved in this summer and signed up at the studio, I was doing some exercises at home to strengthen my calves, quads and hips and they were pretty effective. All you need is a pilates band, yoga mat and some free weights and you’ve got all you need!

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My at-home gym

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I anchor my pilates band with my coffee table to do some resistance exercises

Here are some awesome articles/videos that have helped me a great deal.

Hips:
http://www.runnersworld.com/injury-treatment/all-hips

Glutes and Quads:
http://www.runnersworld.com/workouts/body-shop-know-squat
http://www.runnersworld.com/injury-prevention-recovery/safe-keepers-half-squats

Abs:
http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/abs/exercises/top-10-abs-exercises/

As always, consult a doctor before beginning any exercise routine. These are just some ideas for you to think about.

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