Sunday, February 27, 2011

back at 'er like a black adder

15 minutes of the yogatic bedtime yoga. my hips feel kind of awful, but I love that stretch. 

Monday, February 21, 2011


I guess I was supposed to be exercising for 20 minutes all week. Not sure that I did that. Today I danced pretty hard for 20 solid minutes which was awesome. Tomorrow extends to 25 minutes which might inspire me to do some tae bo. Might not. I definitely am against beating myself up over what I didn't do this week. I have, for what it's worth, been walking a lot almost every day. I said I wouldn't count walking, but I wish I had allowed it to count for something. Ah, well. 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Only women bleed

So I didn't do yoga last night. I'd already settled down and gotten too comfortable and didn't want to risk getting revved up/distracted the night before the market. I made a deal with myself that if I couldn't get to sleep, I'd get up and do yoga, but zzzzz...........

Long day standing at the farmer's market today. My feet felt like cold, heavy plastic bags filled with damp soil. First day of my period. Forgot my tea mug. Shiiiit. 

Anyway, I decided I'd look up some yoga poses for menstrual pain. It's amazing that I knew this kind of thing existed for oh, 13 years or so, and I never bothered to try it. I always felt like during ladytimes I didn't want to do any exercise no matter what. Anyway, after clicking on one really stupid video that was advertisy and required too much equipment and offered no substitutes, I found this gem. It's basically a lady helping another lady into a comfortable laying position where she's instructed to lay there for 15 minutes with a heating pad, all bolstered and bundled up. Bruce was beside me while I watched the video so when it came time to get myself into the "Queen for a Day" pose, he helped me out, jacked me up with pillows and covered me up. I asked for him to light incense for me and he said, "be happy with what you have, honey," and so I was inclined to do so.

So I laid there for close to a half hour, hangin' with the string of LED coloured lights and the sounds and smells of pasta boiling away in the kitchen. 

The best part me doing this "yoga pose" today was that in the past, having my period meant that I missed days during my exercise regime and it became super easy to fall off the wagon and not get back on. Sometimes I wouldn't exercise again until I felt bloated and gross before my next period. Now I have a placeholder yoga exercise so I won't get thrown off course. And it was relaxing and fun and MY MENSTRUAL PAIN IS GONE. Ok, it's about a 1 where it was a 7 or so before. Also radiating down my legs and killing my back. Can only feel it a little in my belly now. Awesome sauce. Thanks, InsideOutYoga. I was ye of little faith at first. 

Now for some more X-Files!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Yawning yoga

For some reason it seems right to do 15 minutes of yoga at night as my daily exercise. It's been an insanely busy week, so dancing mostly during the first week and now doing some winding-down style yoga seems to fit this week. I anticipate amping it up a bit soon when I start walking less too (I've been doing a lot of long trudges  through the snow lately).

Anyway, yes, Esther again tonight until my computer died and I had to finish the rest from memory. 
And yes, I yawned for the first half of the practise. Perhaps I should be going to bed even earlier than I have been, which is still super early for me. 


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

best. sleep. ever.

Yesterday's big ol' ten minutes of exercise was spent performing my new favourite pre-sleep activity (naw, not THAT favourite pre-sleep activity). Indeed it is Yogatic's Yoga: an evening practice, which I've mentioned before but not named. Pretty amazing stuff. The instructor is Esther Ekhart, who is as calming to look at as she is to listen to. She doesn't seem like she necessarily exists in the present day, which is as refreshing as it is untrue. Anyway, I practise this in the dark and it's been really great for me. I've finished the full video and sometimes only some of it (computer crashing, self-imposed exercise time constraint), and every time, including the notorious night before I work at the Farmer's Market, it's lulled me to sleep while watching X-Files episodes before bed (yes, even extra spooky and gory ones).

Esther: calming to look at, even hangin' with a tiger 

I'm excited that tonight marks the switch to a full fifteen minutes of daily exercise for this week, and I can finish this video every night if I wish. It's an incredibly easy practice. For someone who's never done yoga, this is as low-key as it comes. And it will put you to sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep, or at least it does me.

Monday, February 7, 2011

2 a.m. bed yoga

Grossly tired, grossly busy day. I did 5 minutes of yoga in bed. Did the other 5 minutes in dancing this morning. Will do today's 10 minutes later.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Yoga for boring people

I'm pretty zonked because we were at the market today. It was incredibly slow. The good news is: I slept straight through the night last night (and most of the way through the X-Files episode). The bad news is, thr 4.5 hours of sleep I got didn't feel like any more than the naps I usually get. 

So it's after midnight and still no exercise. I knew bedtime yoga (in the dark, of course-- I love this) was the only possibility. I tried this video. Normally when I don't resonate with the instructor, I keep searching until I find someone whose style, energy and voice appeals to me. Tonight, like an old wife with no libido, I just wanted it to be over. Got my ten minutes in. Felt about 10% inspired to bother, but I got 'er done. 



Friday, February 4, 2011

Rules are meant to be broken!

It's mostly because I broke my own (and Leo Babauta's) rule yesterday that I say that rules are meant to be broken. I actually totally forgot about my exercise committment yesterday, only 3 days into it! I had an insanely busy and stressful day teaching, walking around town for three hours carrying a laptop and a bunch of other crap on my shoulders, and hosting a Lunar New Year party. The party went late and I was so wiped that I didn't even think about it until 2 am as I was falling asleep. So I decided to do 20 minutes today to make up for it. So here I was, past 11pm today and I hadn't exercised yet. I really do need to get up early tomorrow (5 a.m.) to sell at the Farmer's Market, and I considered skipping it again. And then it occurred to me.... I have terrible trouble sleeping the night before the market. It seems like I've tried everything: tea, meditation, youtube sleep hypnosis videos, special sound hynosis whose proper name I can't recall, every natural supplement possible, a nightcap, smoking mugwort, sex, positive thinking, writing... the list goes on. Anyway, what the hell... I'll do youtube yoga in the dark. 

Yup, all that for you to find out I spent my 20 minutes of exercise today between two youtube yoga videos designed to help calm and turn your attention to your body to prepare it for sleep. I'll let you know tomorrow if it worked. As for now, I'm gonna watch X-Files, take some melatonin, and finally get some pre-market sleep.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

February's Challenge

February's challenge is to turn exercise into a habit rather than something I do every once in a while when I'm feeling sluggish, or something that I dread because I make it out to be a bigger deal than it really is. 

When trying to encourage a friend to eat better several years ago, he said, "You may eat better than me, but I've got the exercise thing on you." Zing. Totally true. I've always attempted to exercise, but growing up in a family where exercise wasn't really encouraged, and refusing to be part of any sports team (despite an actual soccer recruit, believe it or not), and with the lack of any issues of the overweight nature until I was in my 20s, exercise was an option for me, not a requirement or even an enjoyable passtime.

Luckily for my health, I've always enjoyed walking, and it's been my main source of transportation for the last 13 years. I usually walk 40-90 minutes per day 5-6 days per week. sometimes more, sometimes less. Ok, I used to when I had a job. Since I've been self-employed and trying not to spend money, I go out less and walk less. I'm definitely making a concerted effort to walk more, but for this month, walking doesn't count as exercise, as walking is a given. 

According to "The Power of Less,"  author Leo Babauta recommends to begin by exercising for only 5-10 minutes each day for the first week. NO MORE. What?! It's to make you want more-- but you're not allowed to have it. Save it for tomorrow! Increase by 5 minutes per week until you reach 25 minutes. Then go to 3- 30 minute sessions, the next week 4, and then maintain your routine at 25 minutes per week. You can then go wherever you want from here. Apparently it should be a well-ingrained habit by this time. 

You are NOT ALLOWED to miss any day. This is your most important appointment of the day! If you do, however, just get back on where you left off. But don't. Also, you're supposed to be held accountable for your actions, therefore it's recommended to tell a bunch of people and perhaps post your progress online. So here it is...

February 1:
-Danced vigourously to an 8 minute Madonna song and a 2 minute Beastie Boys/The Doors mash-up (10 min)

February 2: 
-10 minutes of interval training from February's Alive Magazine. JESUS! This was the first time I've attempted interval training. Listened to Pantera. That's how I knew 10 minutes were over. I found it difficult to count when doing this. 



 (I just can't seem to get this space to delete)

 As you may or may not remember, I only had three areas to declutter to finish my project. Here's the kitchen shelf, totally catching all sorts of bullshit we didn't seem to have anywhere else to put.

I finished this one a few days ago. The bottom shelf will eventually be the live kitchen-- home to fermenting vegetables and sprouts. You can see the antique crock on the bottom. She will hold my kraut, kimchi, etc. ;)

Wow-- luckily I didn't take a close enough shot to show you just how big of a mess my fridge and freezer were. I actually tackled this in two sittings. Last week I culled the fridge of all its dead and decaying matter which is one of my least favourite things to do in life. Ugh. Shudder. Anyway, that got the ball rolling. I obviously hate to clean the fridge and the freezer so much that I saved it until the very last minute and actually put it off two days past my self-imposed deadline. 

To my surprise, this didn't take as long as I expected, and I didn't hate it as much as I remembered. The fridge and freezer together took about 40 minutes. I didn't do a "damage deposit"-type cleaning, rather one whose result doesn't inspire shame in me when friends visit and ask me if they can put their beer in the freezer. After a few incidents with chorophyll ice cubes and an overflowing CSA-box turned freezer compost where whole rotten vegetables were thrown to the back of the freezer this summer, the bottom was quite a horrorshow. 

The fridge took a while. Fridges can just get gross quickly without regular maintenance. Anyway, it looks better now than when we moved in and found rotten meat and cheese in the crisper. Grody to the Nth degree! 

So, um, guess what? I'M DONE DECLUTTERING MY HOUSE! While I'm no master of cleanliness, and while I'm still light years away from Godliness,  I'm pretty pumped I got this finished at all. I went through every drawer, every piece of paper, every box and bag in this house. And I have a lot of stuff. I still do, but I did get rid of a lot of stuff and I have a pretty good idea where everything should and does belong now. 

I started this project off in the perfect way. I forced myself to tackle an area every day first thing in the morning. It left me with a sense of accomplishment and invigorated me for hours, inspiring me to get other stuff done. It became difficult, however, when I got an hour of sleep and had to get up for the Farmer's Market on Saturdays at 5 a.m. This threw me off point. I skipped days, even strings of days. This project took me twice as long to complete as I had hoped, but it's still something I'd never gotten around to in my entire adult life. Of course one declutters to an extent when one is packing to move, but it still never happens as thoroughly as it did during this project, when I was able to focus on one small project at a time. 

I still have to work on giving the house a rudimentary once-over every day. This has NEVER been a habit of mine, for many reasons, mostly because I thought it was a lost cause. I also have to get in the habit of putting things in their allocated spot when I put it down and to not just allow something to be put on a table, chair or other available surface. I'm kind of going against the rule that Leo Babauta has set out in "The Power of Less," while I tackle forming the habit of keeping the house clean as I begin my next habit which I have already mentioned, and I've already begun. Babauta stresses that one shouldn't try to form more than one habit at once. I cannot wait, and I've already begun both of them. Let's see if I'm actually up for these challenges.