Sunday, June 6, 2010

Kung Fu Flexi

Hey Team Crane! We're in our roaring 20's. I hope you're all feeling fabulous, light, and flexible.

Here's what I've noticed since beginning the plan:

1. I've lost about five pounds. This may be partially related to my sickness, but I do notice that my arm muscles are less bulky, more wiry, and that my hips are narrower.

2. CALM. CALM. CALM. A few mini-crises have arisen, but I've yet to breakdown, scream, or polish off a bottle of wine.

3. Letting go of the past. This is a big one for me. More on this later.

Here's my goal for this week: conscious stretching.

I'll admit. When I'm hungry and tired and at the end of my workout, I don't always give the stretches the attention, love and time they (and I) most certainly deserve. I count my breaths faster, and my inner monologue tends to have nothing to do with what my body is doing.

My gaze just wanders around my living room, drifting between the pile of bills and paperwork and the computer, where I'm sure emails I don't want to read are popping up. I'm like, "This kind of hurts. I've done this before. Should I have fish or chicken for dinner? I wish someone would tell me if I'm doing this right. Can I go now?"

Maybe I should play Enya, light a candle, or close my eyes, or...just be SUPER SORE so that by the time the stretches roll around I'm dying for them.

Today is that day. I can barely walk without my quads screaming. I can't really move my neck that well. We just came back from our capoeira school's summer retreat at Ananda Ashram. Lots of capoeira, dancing, stretching, sit-ups, push-ups, a yoga class, swimmin', meditating in my tent, and some jump roping with Emily/Pingo overlooking a lake and a field full of geese and sometimes, one of these: an amazing run on a dewy Appalachian trail.

I left town on Friday morning, so I never received this week's diet and exercise plans. I didn't panic too much because I figured that once again, Emily would have all the information (she always knows what's up!) and I was confident we'd be doing lots of kicks, strength training, and stretching (hello revitalizing 7 am yoga!).

Also, in terms of diets, we have no control over the food at the ashram, which is lacto-vegetarian. I.e. there was not an egg white in sight.

My non-panic is a definite sign of progress. Three months ago, not knowing my damn grams would have thrown me through a loop. I probably would have obsessed about the unknown amounts of salt/oil/sugar lurking in my food.

This weekend, I actually enjoyed relinquishing the responsibility of controlling what I was eating and how I was moving. How awesome was it to have my meals prepared for me? And to not have to wash pots and pans? And then, to attend amazingly fun classes in which we didn't have to count kicks, just dodge them. To live music! With friends! Sure, I didn't always know exactly what I was consuming, but somehow I intuited (based on the way my body responded) that I wasn't straying too far from the plan. Of course there were some processed slips - hello tempeh! I've missed you, my friend - but I think I did quite well.

I will say this. After two days of sweaty activity without real protein, I was ready to inhale a roast chicken upon arrival in Brooklyn (I settled on tilapia).

Hmmmmmm....wonder if this guy ever did the frog pose. Speaking of, am I the only one who feels like a bowlegged superman in frog?

So back to the flexibility.

I'm proud for not obsessing about whether or not I was following the plan to a T. I plan to do what I can from the workout tonight, but if I feel like my legs are going to fall off, I'm going to stop. What I will concentrate on are the stretches - keeping my mind in the present moment and taking full, long breaths so I don't cheat myself of the release and relief these poses bring.


  1. Thanks for the comment about conscious stretching - I think I'll make it my motto and goal for this week too. Great post!

  2. Indeed, what a fun weekend! I'm noticing a lot of the same things. But I, too, am going to heed the conscious stretching. Thanks for the reminder!

  3. Glad to hear you're feeling better - sounds like a great weekend!

  4. Good to hear you are back and full of power. You're right about paying attention to stretching. When I do so it feels like a mind warm up for meditation.

  5. It's so nice to read about people taking care of their bodies and minds like this.