Tag Archives: yoga

Hot Times in Moksha Yoga

Kathleen and I went to a Moksha Yoga class on Monday, which was definitely an experience.  Moksha Yoga, for those not in the know, is one of those hot yoga classes, so the yoga studio is about 37 degrees Celsius (or whatever-whatever for people who know Fahrenheit) (OK, fine, 98, but only because I’m looking it up already) (hey that’s, like, body temperature, trippy).  Anyway, unsurprisingly, holy crap it was hot.  I sweat a lot when I work out normally, so hot yoga was insane.  My yoga mat was reaching slip-‘n-slide levels of wet.  They advised you bring a full-sized towel, and I didn’t realize until I got there that it was to cover your yoga mat.  Whoops!  A lady actually did pass out, but the instructor reacted so well it just made me feel better.  I’ve read about some hot yoga instructors being medically fuck-witted when it comes to passing out yoginis, but this guy was just swift and awesome.

I really liked the actual yoga practice.  We did not do a hundred million sun salutations (I’m looking at you, Ashtanga Yoga), plenty of the hip stuff I love because I don’t actually need to do it, and we weirdly did three savasana/corpse poses (this is the “lying on your back chilling” pose).  One at the very beginning, one in the middle, then the usual one at the end.  It was really cool, and probably necessary to keep everyone’s heart rates down in that heat.  Anyway, I would like to keep trying it, but I’m not sure if I can take the heat!  I felt on the edge of dizziness a few times near the end, and my heart rate was getting up.  It might be a matter of acclimation, or it might be a matter of ‘not meant for me’.

Bootcamp on Saturday!  We’re on the SMU football field, which means stairs!  And also, those terrible little bits of ground up tires they put on football fields that heat up in the sun!  I seriously hate those tire bits.  When you’re on your hands and knees, oh, how they burn!  It wasn’t too sunny on Saturday, but near the end it started heating up.  We did piggybacks, which I love.  We also did some strange thing where we had to lie on our backs and hold ourselves in a V shape, with our legs straight up, reaching our arms towards our legs, with our shoulders off the ground, for as long as we could.  If it sounds insane, that’s because it is.  It’s also super-hard, and I totally held it for 3:33 minutes, the third best time!  Whoo!

I must go out and census, soon.  The weather has been so nice and hot, lately, it’s been good for walking around and being charming with people.

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Jane’s Fighting Ships

This is my favourite new title for a book.  And there are several dozen books called Jane’s Fighting Ships, so I’m a pretty happy person right now.  It really just has pictures of military ships, but the title is great.  I’ve started work at the MMA Library!  I like to imagine it’s actually a mixed martial arts library.  Really, it’s the Maritime Museum on the Atlantic Library, where I am spending a few weeks hauling and unpacking boxes after their renovations.  The boxes are all labelled MMA Library, and that excites me terribly.  Now I really want to start a library dedicated to cataloguing sweet, badass moves.  I think I would be uniquely qualified!

The job is fun!  I get to tour the museum for free, which proves that I will take the least logical route to touring a museum (I toured the Art Gallery for free when I did library work for them, too).  I also get the inside scoop on ghost stories!  I learned that I know, like, way more about maritime issues than I thought I did.  And now I know more!  Sweet~

Moving boxes and hunching over books is invigorating, but hard on the back.  I’ve been taking a few breaths to do Wheel Pose in the stacks when I start feeling too caved in.  A quick stretch during physical work it totally legit, but it occurred to me that Wheel is probably one of the stranger looking poses to be potentially caught in at work.

Kickboxing update!  I learned a sweet new kick on Tuesday.  It’s a jump-back kick, or something, I didn’t catch the name.  Basically you stand right in front of your opponent, touching him, then you leap back on your front leg and use that force to propel your back leg forward into a really hard kick.  It feels great to do, it’s fast, and it works from punching range.  It’s a little hard to control and definitely needs more practice, but I love it to bits.  I was doing a snap kick, which was easiest, but Ray was demonstrating that you can do it with anything up to and including spinning back kick.  I think I need to practice just leaping up and spinning all the way around with one leg before I try to add a kick on there.

Because of the ways we were kicking each other, I now have a perfect, round bruise on the top of my wrist, right where my watch sits.  Just thought you should know, because my bruises are my precious children.

After about a month of rain, I finally bought rain boots.  It has now stopped raining.  Ya’ll can send me whatever cookies you like.

I had a conversation a few days ago that made me laugh.  Jill and I were complaining about how, in Nova Scotia, it’s impossible to find a bottle of wine for under $9, even the stuff that’s on sale, and doesn’t that suck?  After a pause, Jill was, like, “This is a real ‘developed world’ problem, isn’t is?”  Anyway, that cracked me up, and I wanted to share it with all of you.  And now I have.  Bam!

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Long Walk to the Gong Show

I had my birthday this week!  There were limited birthday shenanigans, in the form on birthday sushi.  The major shenanigans will occur later, in the form of a joint party with Deirdre.  I think sushi is the perfect way to celebrate a birthday.  Or any event, really.  “Successfully brushed my hair.  Sushi!”  I have found that buying sushi at a grocery store regularly leads to people asking me questions about sushi.  Then I get to play sushi expert, which is great, because my expertise in this case extends to “Sushi is delicious.  It is made of rice and seaweed wrapped around your fondest imaginings.”

I went to a surprisingly athletic free yoga the other day.  I always love trying different yoga instructors, because it’s almost like an entirely different sport (or… practice?  Whatever the hell noun yoga is).  This one was definitely the type to make you sweat and work for your yoga, which is good considering how lazy I’ve been the rest of this week.  I think it was the closest I’ve ever seen a yoga instructor come to making a class do pushups.  I didn’t bother bringing my towel, because it was just yoga, and then I was sweating all over the place because I am ridiculously sweaty when I work out.  Seriously, I know it’s because I stay hydrated and have apparently great kidneys or whatever, but a little less sweat, please, body.  And it’s not when I get hot or hang around, just when I work out.  Oh well, go kidneys.

I went on my very first hike yesterday!  I’ve been on long walks in the woods, to be clear, lots of them, but this was the first one of my adulthood where the path wasn’t, like, gravel and level and all that.  Anyway, it was great!  I missed my fightin’ classes this week, so I’m hoping a six hour hike makes up for it.  A lot of it was up-hill, and there was a lot of jumping on rocks.  I’m surprised, my calves are sore today, it must’ve been more of a workout than I realized.  Hiking is fun.  We found a fort some bored people had built out on a hill, and I declared myself king.  Then I left a log king in the fort, to rule in my stead while I’m gone.  I stuck him in the throne.  I’m pretty sure that log is planning a coup in my absence, though.

After hiking, we had a backyard bonfire that also involved sushi (because, I am telling you people, every event can be celebrated with sushi), and I took off early because I was meeting junior kickboxers to watch UFC.  This, however, turned into a bit of a fiasco, or, in the colourful terms of some of the kickboxers, a gong show.  Turns out last night was a huge UFC match and a huge hockey game, so every sports bar in town was filled up at, like, 8:30.  We had a good time walking all over Halifax, asking bars if they had any room for our poor little souls.  Alas, they did not, so we just went to another bar and talked and had a good time, like a bunch of dorks.  We should have celebrated with sushi.

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Extending the lesson

So many exciting shenanigans, I can barely keep up.  (Everyone please remember, I have a very loose definition of “exciting”.)  I went for a cottage weekend with various of The Girls last week, to celebrate our freedom from MLIS-dom.  I ate such a ridiculous amount of food, I am not joking.  If I ever want to become truly skinny, I have to stop being friend with people who are such good cooks, I swear to Christ.  But that would entail losing both wonderful friends and fabulous food, and I’m pretty sure I look awesome anyway, so I’ll just keep everything.

The cottage was lovely, even though I had to leave a day early for work, like a big big loser.  But I had some forest shenanigans.  I did nature yoga!  I did my tree pose on a rock by a still lake, then I found a rock in the middle of a running stream, so I did tree again on it!  It was harder in the running stream, because of the movement.  This is science with yoga I am doing, not fucking around in the woods on one leg.

Then I had to part with the most precious thing, my mother’s car.  Yes, strangely, after Mom got back from her Caribbean adventure she seemed to want her car back.  Also, her cat.  Madness.  I tried to make a run for it, me and the cat against the world, but I can only get places via Google Maps, so the cops can find me pretty fast if they just check my search history (“Come, Kitty, to the Amherst liquor store!  Then the New Brunswick border, and freedom!”).  Also, if I got lost (and I would), I would probably call Mom, which makes stealing her car a little unrealistic.

Hanging out in Truro was good times.  I again played board games with six-year-old Tyler, and again lost to him.  This time it was Trouble, so it’s less likely he was cheating, the little sneak.  Next time I go up, he wants to play chess with me.  God, as you may remember from this, I have played chess exactly once and did pretty badly (though eventually won).  And considering how much this kid kicks my ass, he’s probably going to be giving me pity do-overs.  I think I need to start studying my chess moves in time for my Easter chess beat-down from my tiny nephew.  I’ll play against the three-year-old after, to bolster my ego.  (He will eat my king and I will weep.)

Kickboxing on Friday!  We took a trip to Thai-land, as in Muay Thai, which is seriously fun.  The stance is different, with the hands out in front instead of up next to your face.  It feels very natural for punching, but defensively a little exposed, since I’m used to getting smacked for not having my hands next to my face.  Also, we were supposed to have our legs straighter and bouncier, but I’m pretty sure I immediately forgot that, the way I immediately forget my grappling stance in grappling, because apparently my legs only like to do one thing no matter how stupid that is.  So, we were blocking an overhand hook, grabbing the partner in a one-handed side-clinch, then kneeing him in the stomach.  Then, block the punch, push the face, knee the stomach.  Muay Thai apparently involves a lot of kneeing people in the stomach, which is a thing I can get behind.  We ended with a bit of the old spinning back-kick, which is fun to do once but hard to do, like, twelve times in a row.  I think I need to practice spinning without getting dizzy or something, if that’s a thing, Classy Erica probably knows.

Also in kickboxing, we did an exercise where we had five minutes for holding a plank.  You didn’t have to hold it for the whole five minute, but as soon as you dropped out of the plank, you were done.  My plank is so crappy, I usually can’t hold it for more than a minute, but then I go in and out of it.  So for this, I didn’t want to be the first person in the class to drop out, so I just tried and tried, and lost all track of the concept of time and anything else, and when I finally collapsed it was three and a half minutes.  Holy crap!  I thought I had the worst plank in the whole world!  That time isn’t the best by a long shot (a few people kept it for the whole five), but it’s way better than I ever even dreamed I could do, so I was pretty excited.  Apparently, according to the Plank Gods, if you can hold a plank for two minutes you are Officially Fit.  But the Plank Gods are kind of biased.

Saturday three-hour bootcamp!  Whoo!  We couldn’t go to the gym, so we did it at the club.  This just meant a little less weight-lifting, a little more whatever-insanity-Gerald-could-come-up-with.  The best insanity was a balance exercise where you stood on one leg with your other leg extended as high as possible, in front, to the side, to the back, while moving your arms up, to the sides, in front.  For a very long time.  Seriously working those balance muscles that I’m pretty sure just don’t exist on me.  My balance is so bad, I had to stand facing away from everyone else, so everything I was looking at was completely still.  I managed to zebra up my legs because I retarded when it comes to skipping ropes, as it turns out.  We also did piggyback calf-raises, and I actually collapsed when my piggybackee hopped on me the first time.  She was bigger than me, and my piggyback posture is apparently bad.  I’ve always been strong enough to power up from my bent back with partners my own size, but it’s different when they’re heavier than you.  So!  Long-time readers may remember my guide to being a piggybackee.  Now I will impart the lessons on giving a piggyback ride.

  • Keep your back up straight.  You’ll want to lean forward, to equalize the weight.  This will actually throw off your balance!
  • Have your legs bent and shoulder-width apart, with one in front of the other for balance.
  • You are strong enough!  Booyah!

Today I finally got back to grappling.  I missed it for the past few weeks because of crazy homework and the like.  But I’m back!  We learned a really cool take-down called the head-snap.  Basically, you just grab the back of your opponent’s head and shove it down quickly, and then they’re on the ground!  And if they only go halfway down, then you choke them.  If they don’t go down at all, then I don’t know what to tell you, my algorithm has failed.  Then we did the Fireman’s Carry Takedown, which is fun as hell but really not something I plan on busting out until I practice it a little more.  You wind up in a weird position after the person flips.  At the end, rolling!  I used the head-snap, which is so simple and effective, so much love.

Last night I went with various (former) classmates to watch some archival footage from the thirties in a church.  It was strangely engaging.  There were home movies of someone’s honeymoon from 1932, documentaries about porpoise hunters, and also the greatest short, ever.  It was about burglars and mushroom casserole and it seriously needs to be remade by Jerry Bruckheimer as a summer blockbuster stat.  No one else in the church seemed to find it as hilarious as us, though, which is weird, because it had the most bizarre plot, but everything hung together perfectly.  Like a perfect short story, that ends with a pile of burglar corpses strewn merrily across your livingroom while everyone laughs.

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MOTHER OF CHRIST MY ARMS!!!

I attended one of Gerald’s three-hour bootcamps on Saturday, for the first time in months.  So much fun, but holy mother of crap on a hockey stick my arms hurt.  I really got familiar with weights for the first time, this is the reason for my lovely pain.  We did a lot of weight-lifting “to failure”, which just means you keep lifting the weights until you can’t possibly lift them anymore.  Then other things, like doing sit-ups while holding a 20-lb weight above your head.  Now, I can pound out sit-ups like a champ, but ohmygod they are hard with the weight up there.  Go try it, I’ll wait.  I was tired by 12, and we had to do 50.  I was worried about dropping the weight and breaking my glasses, but then I was kind of, like, oh yeah, my face is right under my glasses.  Don’t smash my face, that’s my money-maker!

We also ran some laps around the Dal track, and I have no idea how far it is but I got almost all the way around four times (with craziness on the steps in between) before I had to switch to walking for a minute.  I figure that’s not too terrible considering I haven’t run since the last bootcamp.

Later that night, went out for drinks with kickboxers/bootcampers/fun people.  It was a Goodbye Maggie thing, as Maggie is leaving and won’t be punching me in the stomach anymore.  I discovered that ginger beer is an awesome mix, because you can’t taste anything over the power of ginger beer.  I also learned that, if you drink with Gerald, there is a good chance he will dare you to do pushups on the dance floor.  And, being as I’m me, there’s also a good chance I’ll do it!  Oh, there are pictures.  Maggie and I did it together, and in our defense, no one was dancing at the time.

Yoga was really interesting this morning.  Apparently, in addition to hips, another place I’m weirdly flexible is shoulders, so that was fun to learn.  Also annoying, because I was trying to stretch my damn shoulders and my stupid face was getting in the way.  My stupid, stupid face.  Anyway, where was I?  Oh yes!  We’re doing a 40-day yoga thingy, now.  We each pick a particular yoga position, preferable something we’re crap at, and do it every day for 40 days.  So, at home, we take out our mats and do the position, throw in a sun salutation, and the idea is that if you already have the mat out you’ll do some more positions because it’s there and yoga goddamned rules is what it does.  I picked tree pose, because it’s a balance pose and it’s become increasingly clear to me that I probably need three legs, my balance is so terrible.

My mother is away to exotic locales, and she’s left her cat and her car with me, which is very exciting.  The cat was pretty displeased with the arrangement yesterday, alternately hiding under my bed or wedged behind my stove somehow.  He’s calmed down now, though!  I swear to God, purring occurred.  Now to get used to have cat hairs wedged into every crevasse, ah, I had forgotten that irritation.  The car is exciting, though I haven’t used it much.  I hate parking!  Parking in Halifax is a pain in so much of my butt, seriously.  So, yeah, I could drive forever, I just never want to stop, is pretty much my problem.

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Valentine’s Yoga!

We had partners yoga for Valentines, so Kathleen was my yoga valentine.  I am really sucky at partners yoga, of course, but it is ridiculously fun.  My problem is I tend to freak out as soon as my feet leave the floor when a person picks me up.  I can give piggybacks until the cows come home, but I whine like hell if someone gives me one.  Also, for all my badass pushups, I am bad at benchpressing a person.  This must be fixed.  Anyway, Shanna had a lot of fun making all the poses into two-person poses, she’s a cool instructor.

My grappling tournament is in, like, three days!  My brother called me yesterday and said he wants to compete, too.  Yay!  I didn’t know he could grapple, his formal training is all in Karate Kenpo.  But it turns out he has some informal grappling, and the tournament is open, so he’s coming in.  He was worried he may go up against me, and was all, “I can’t get beat up by my little sister, I just can’t”, but men and women are separate (like God intended), so we’re good.  So, now I’m imagining some comic-book scenario in which my brother and I fight crime.  Or perpetrate it, I’m cool either way, I just want to wear a mask and have family time.

Other important grappling news!  I finally got a recruit!  I’m always trying to get, like, every woman I know to come to the women’s grappling class, and one of the ladies I bug finally came.  Judy, from kickboxing class.  Oh yeah, I’m gonna make a fellow MMA fighter, this will be awesome.  Maybe we can fight crime.  Really just looking to be Wolverine, here.  This is how I assess every single situation I encounter.

Fun thing at work!  I mentioned this article to my boss, about a legal guide to the apocalypse in New York, and he was all, “Hey, we should buy that!”  So I actually led to a book being bought at the library.  This is what being relevant feels like, my word.  I’m just bragging here, you can ignore me.

Oh yeah, I also accidentally revealed today that I’m an alien spy, sent under deep cover.  The problem, you see, is that whenever I try out a new hairstyle, I don’t really know if it’s a way humans actually wear their hair.  So I had to ask if I had a human hairstyle today.  I did, as it turned out, but the secret’s out.  Now, to return to the lonely vacuum of space.

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The Waterpolo that wasn’t

I was all het up to play some innertube water-polo tonight, and I showed up and our team wasn’t on tonight!  So sad!  I swam precisely one lap anyway, because my bathing suit was new and it was getting wet, goddammit.  Swimming in the Dal pool is less fun than the public pool with the nephews, because everyone swims in polite lines and I’m freaked that if I screw up a line someone will yell at me.  All I want to do is a cannonball.

Kickboxing!  This week is my week of learning new kicks.  On Tuesday I did some crazy hopping-on-one-foot kick that is really powerful once you get over the fact that you look like a cartoon character.  Tonight we did a variety of side kicks, which I was rocking pretty hard at.  Gerald was trying to get me to kick him with full power at chest-level, which is really hard.

In yoga, the instructor, Shanna, got me to try the sleeping yogi pose.  I almost got it, too!  I think I had my feet behind my head (honestly can’t remember), and I think if I give myself more time to work at it, I’ll actually be able to get my shoulders through my legs.  Sweet-ass!  It was so weird, anyway.  I was struggling really hard to get my shoulders through this circle made by my thighs, and just as I thought, “Holy crap, this is like I’m giving birth to myself” Shanna said, “Give birth to yourself!”  So I guess that’s the point of the pose?  I think the other point is that, if I ever get it, I need a photo of it to immediately become my new Facebook profile picture.

Some discussion of the art of job interviews, lately.  Some interviewers purposefully say mean things to test the candidate’s response to stress.  I think I should never perform interviews, because my version of this would be something like, “As soon as you sat down, and I looked in your eyes, I knew it was true love.  Fuck the job, just marry me.”  What else could I do?  Oh my, this could be fun.  “I need a kidney.  No, I’m not sick.  No, I don’t work for a charity.  Kid, stop asking questions.  Either tell me your blood type or get to the nearest homeless shelter with some ether and a hatchet.”

Also, if anyone reading this is ever in a job interview, and it’s going really well, and the interviewer says, “Well, informally, you have this job”, I will pay you money if you fart right there.  Juvenile, yes, but that’s what makes it so delicious.

Made valentines today in a crafternoon-type setting in the common room.  It will surprise no-one that my valentines are as ridiculous and stupid as everything else I make, but they have glitter glue, and dammit that is what’s important.  It’s the thought that counts.  And all my thoughts are of glitter glue.

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