Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I Swear By the Yoga

After 10 weeks of 90-minute yoga practices twice per week, I'm happy to report the tight glute and hamstring are feeling, well...waaaay less tight. I'm sold on the yoga because after two years of trying various remedies, most of which were half-assed on my part, the yoga has really stuck and I enjoy the practice. I'm also happy to report that since that disastrous yoga class (some of you might recall this story), I've since found a class that is, well...less yoga like. The instructor has a good sense of humor and she often makes fun of yoga "traditions". The class is full of former gymnasts, dancers, and martial artists, and I constantly feel pushed. It's like the triathlon of yoga. I'm getting very close to lifting myself up into a handstand and holding it, something these two girls in my class do quite well, to the amazement of everyone else in the class. Check out FlyingYoga in the Temescal neighborhood of Oakland. Temescal is like the east bay version of the Mission in SF.

But yoga is not just about stretching and increased flexibility, it's also great for core strength. I did my first track workout last week and my mind kept coming back to how solid and strong I felt. In the past, as the speed and intensity picked up, I sort of felt like my legs and arms were slowly breaking apart and coming out of their joints/sockets (imagine a scene in an action movie where a car or plane slowly breaks apart as it nears combustion). But last week, as the effort picked up, I just remembered thinking to myself, I feel solid. I'm sure it is a combination of both the yoga and the weight program...or maybe I just wasn't running fast or intense enough.

The theme of this week is tired, not good since I'm racing a half marathon on Sunday. I did a ride with my teammates on Saturday, and not only was it my longest ride of the season, it was the most hard effort ride of the season. And every workout since, I am reminded of that ride. But this is ironman training, which means pushing through the physical and mental states of tiredness. The half marathon is not so much a race but more like a hard effort run with a lot of other people. The run is precluded by a full week of training including a 4 hour ride, swim, and weights the day before. Reality check...checked. Setting up excuses for a slow time...checked.


Beth said...

Good luck in your half marathon! You'll be nice and tired and I bet you'll surprise yourself wildly! :) Great news too about the yoga. Gosh darn it I wish I could make myself MAKE the time for it!! Good for you for sticking with it and seeing the results!

Kathleen @ ForgingAhead said...

I love that neighborhood - home of Bakesale Betty's and the best fried chicken salad ever.

I love the sound of this class you've found. I'll have to search out one here in the city.

Glad to hear you're feeling strong, if a little tired. Good luck Sunday!!

Tawnee Prazak said...

I need to get back to yoga, I love it and it did wonders for my injury! These days there just aren't enough hours to do it all and yoga is usually the first cut :/

Good luck in your half-mary! I'm in the same situation next weekend -- racing on tired legs just to have some fun and work hard.

Jill Costantino said...

When I read the title of the blog I wasn't sure if this blog was going to be full of yoga curse words - so glad that you have found "your" yoga. When we meet one day I will teach you how to do a proper handstand (maybe even 1 arm too) I've got the secret! hehehe! You will rock your 1/2 marathon on the weekend and just prove to yourself that you are in even better shape than you think you are. Go Kiet Go!

Libby said...

I really need to get back into yoga as well. good for you, I bet its going to help tons in the coming season.
get some rest to compliment all that training. I feel ya on the tired.
I've got a half in two weeks and I'm already lining up the excuses as well. haha, sometimes we surprise ourselves though :) good luck! have fun!

Charisa said...

I did yoga last night - love it! Hope you get some rest - you'll do great this weekend. Good luck!