I am well overdue for workouts. I have been a sloth for the past few months. No runs, no bike rides, nothing. I have been active in that I work around the house, installed a garage door opener for my mother in law, and other stuff.
I do feel we need to exercise. The feeling of being sore is a catch 22. It hurts, but it feels good at the same time. It stinks because you are weaker due to the pain, but you also feel great because you did something. I really like it.
I noticed that my shoulders have been bugging me. It is more around the neck and traps area. I noticed my posture has gone to junk. I am so out of balance. My pectoral muscles are far stronger than my traps, my abs and lats are weak as well. I am just a wreck and a physical therapists dream. So instead of paying money for physical therapy, I decided to work on it myself. I did do physical therapy for a bit, but I dropped it. Most of those exercises I already knew. I kept going hoping I would learn something new, but I did not.
This post is nothing more than to show you how I am going to battle this posture and out of balance problem.
There is a key word for this: yoga.
Now, now, I know what you are thinking. You are thinking of people in a room, full of yoga mats, incense in the air and music playing while people are all muttering a version of “OM”. No, not me. I have meditated in the past, but right now, I need results. I can meditate any time I want. Okay, not any time, I will not do it while driving or operating heavy machinery. haha
The other day I had a calm spot at work. I walked down to the gym. They have this room for aerobics. It is like a basketball court floor (probably what it was used for in the past), but it is now used for yoga, aerobics, pilates, etc. They have some cheesy mats in there. These mats would be suitable for someone who was 5’5″, but not for me. I am around 6′ tall, so I have to constantly adjust myself on the mat.
I am using workouts by Tara Stiles. I have been watching her do yoga since she was a model at Ford Models. I was watching her go from there to forming Strala Yoga in NYC. She is now a big figure in the yoga world. I also watch Rodney Yee, Baron Baptiste and Seane Corn. Tara has a grip on YouTube, so I went with her. It was easy and I am not bringing my yoga DVDs to work. Before you say it, I am well aware what these videos are titled. It is linked to LivestrongWoman. You also have to remember who the yoga community tends to cater to, women. Men somewhat frown upon it because it is not “manly” enough for them. I know the value of gaining strength and retaining flexibility. I do not wish to have muscles on top of muscles and not being able to scratch my own back with my hand. That is not for me. So I chose to go back to yoga to balance myself out. Yoga, after all, is all about balance.
Just remember, watch these videos before hand to get an idea about how it is done. She also goes through it really fast to keep the videos short, but it gives you a good idea on how to do it. I hold the poses longer than she does in these videos. Just tailor it for you. It does not need to be an exact copy of what she does. Your limit is your limit. It is a work in progress, you will get there.
I started with this workout to strengthen my back. If you do not hold anything back in these poses, you will feel a burn.
Since posture is a problem of mine, I did her posture workout.
I finished it up with her core workout video.
At the end I felt it all over. This showed me just how weak my back and core was. It was a total eye opener for me. I just need to keep at it because bad posture is bad. Not sitting correctly can easily spread out to other muscle groups. I am working on making new habits. To sit correctly at the computer, to not slouch, to strengthen my weak muscle groups, and anything else I find that I am doing wrong.
You do not need to adopt the spiritual aspects of yoga to benefit from it. Sure it teaches you to look at yourself, to think differently, but you do not need to adopt another religion to enjoy yoga. Philosophical aspects of yoga are a part of it at some studios, but not all. For some, you simply show up, work out, and leave. It is what you make it. I tend to ignore most of the philosophical aspects of yoga that are linked to Hinduism or Buddhism. Though I do feel it is good to learn new ways of seeing things. I think self reflection is key to being healthy. If your knee is hurting, you are not going to try to put 400-lbs on the squat machine are you? Of course that is a simple example.
I just think yoga is excellent in that it works both sides, and you are building muscles, then toning them over time. It develops balance, and balance is key. For example, you cannot be surrounded by stress 24-7. You need that downtime to relax. You cannot be awake 24-7, you must sleep. Balance. You must have night and day, sleep and awake, stress and relaxation, hot and cold…there must be balance. Just think, if we were happy all the time, how would we know what sadness was, or how would we know what happy was? Would it not just be how it is, and not know any different? Sadness makes you appreciate being happy. Stress makes you appreciate relaxation. I like balance in my life.
So I hope to continue this yoga workout for the next month. If I do not see any improvements in my posture or back issues, then I will go from there. For now, I have my goal. Goals are nice, they give us something to strive for.
Plus, if I can balance myself out, I will be so much more comfortable on my bicycle! It is a win-win!
Ride on my friends.