View From the Mat (Part 1)

Posted: May 31, 2012 in Yoga
Tags: ,

Something was bound to give and, unfortunately, it was my yoga practice.  Sad but true.  Let me explain as it does have a happy ending.

Since moving Ridgeway it has become nearly impossible to get back and forth to my beloved Yoga by Sarah studio, not to mention that the daily rigors of Ironman training simply have not allowed for the dedicated time specifically.  By the time I’ve swam, ran and biked for, like, hours, I’m lucky to plunk my exhausted rear end down on the couch to catch some quick news before falling asleep, much less drive another 40 minutes to attend a Hot Vinyasa yoga class.  It just isn’t possible.

My secluded beach-side studio for the day…

I am still sold on the whole ‘yoga is the tits’  as far as conditioning and recovery is concerned, so I vowed that despite letting my studio membership lapse for the summer that I would valiantly carry on by myself at home instead.  Except that hasn’t gone so well either.  There’s either some forgotten urgent task to complete, the kid to entertain, cuddle time with the girlfriend (not that I’m complaining mind you) and, yeah, I can be a bit lazy as well since sitting alone in my basement ‘studio’ staring at four blank walls is not as much fun as I had initially thought it was going to be.  Sure I can listen to some heady vinyl mid-pose, but it still blows.  As a result, I’ve gotten away from anything resembling a regular routine and I’ve become a bit stiff while developing some, shall we say, ‘kinks’  here and there.  Definitely Not Winning!

View From the Mat…

But no more!  As of today, I have now penciled in regular yoga sessions into my new training schedule ‘Revenge of the Big Suck’.  Yup, no more pussy-footing around; it’s time to get back to business.  So today, I took the opportunity to get back outdoors and enjoy a good stretch in the sunshine along the banks of Lake Erie in Crystal Beach.  There are enough secluded scenic spots in this area that I am aiming to find a new one each week for a quiet, slow, restorative yoga session.

“Cottages to the left of me…”

I tried this outdoors philosophy last summer and got out once or twice to Port Dalhousie and even went so far to set up my own little Yoga Garden, but it never really translated into a regular habit as I continued to go to the studio anyway as I enjoyed the social element to it and appreciated the gentle guidance and encouragement from the awesome instructors there.  But now that the studio is not as easily reached, I’m going to again make a serious effort to resuscitate life back into this good intention.  Here goes nothing.  So today, I gate-crashed the back porch of someone’s still vacant beach house, spread out my mat, plugged into my iPod tunes (Nice Cave’s Abattoir Blues Tour’  CD2) and proceeded to Sun Salutation  my ass off.

“Beaches to the right…”

What I instantly felt was a total wash of stress, tension and  cloudy focus.  Damn, I missed my yoga.  It was simply heaven to get lost in my practice while watching the gulls surf the air currents, witness fish splashing in the shallow water off shore, and soaking up the warm rays of the evening sun while enjoying the cool breeze blowing in off the lake.  De-fucking-lightful.  I felt absolutely invigorated; rejuvenated even.  Yeah, I can do more of this.

“View from bridge pose…”

While doing these self-sessions each week, I am also going to try and create my own asanas, or ‘flows’ based on where I feel the need is.  I guess this is what the instructors also referred to as “setting your intention”.  If my legs are sore after a long run, I’ll focus on those; if my shoulders are stiff from swimming endless laps I’ll shift my attention to them, and so on and so forth. Although I am no Baron Baptiste, I know enough know to fudge my way through enough poses to positively affect the area I’m looking to address.  Worse comes to worse, I always have my ‘Athlete’s Pocket Guide to Yoga’  book to refer to.

“The beach”. (i.e. that’s not sand).

In closing, I’d like to sincerely thank all the awesome instructors at the YBS studio that set me on this path: Catherine, Amanda, Darlene, Andrea, Jackie, Angela (x3), Allison, Diana, Julie, Marlie, Ashley, Jeanette, Paula, and of course Sarah herself for providing that open door in the first place way back when I was still a nervous and reluctant practitioner.  This is certainly not goodbye, folks, only a temporary ‘see you later’.  Wish me luck.

Onward and forward…

  1. Jan says:

    I’d say “Squatter’s Rights” apply on that gorgeous house. Hoooolyy! Any chance you’d have time to pick up some of those beautiful shells for Annika’s turtle aquarium? She’d love that!
    Suggestion: How about asking Sarah to make you a video of one of her yoga classes and you could follow along with it on a portable DVD player? You could just include the “sore spot” routine when it’s appropriate?

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