Thursday, January 29, 2009

Training Yoga

Living with a competitive athlete for 20 years, unbeknownest to me, had given me an education about training that few non-athletic people get. And I didn't live with just any competitive athlete, I lived with, and have been married to, a man with such and incredible athletic resume, it's no wonder he's a Master RKC Instuctor.

Because of the example I've had the luxury of witnessing first hand, I tend to look at any physical activity I chose to do as an opportunity to train it like an athelete...approaching it as a "sport" and training it with depth, and thoughtfulness in a manner to continually progress, instead of simply going out and doing things I feel like doing that day "willy nilly". If that were the case I would probably start skipping workouts, eventually dropping them completely, as many of us do when it becomes uncomfortable, or "not fun" anymore.

That's the place I almost got to with my yoga practice. Yes, I showed up for class, semi consistently, some weeks more than others, letting my practice fall, at times last year, to only twice a week, and it wasn't until after my surgery, last Dec. when I was finished with my recovery period, that I recommitted to my Bikram yoga practice. And I have to say that getting back the strength and flexibility from yoga after taking 6 weeks off was much harder than regaining the strength and endurance that my kettlebell training required. But my Bikram yoga practice still didn't reach a new level until I started "training" it with Mark.

Although I was attending class much more regulary, perhaps 4-5 times a week, I hadn't realized that I was just "showing up", putting my time in, "checking off" the minimum requirement of a regular pratice, until I had my "Master Instructor" standing next to me in a 104 degree heated room, bringing the same intensity he always brings to his training. "Wow, you mean I can train yoga with the same intensity I train kettlebells?"!

Without getting into a long involved blogpost right now, I'll end it by saying that my practice has improved 200%, and my commitment to it the same. Everything we do in life is a metaphor for all of the things we do in life. The approach we take to the activities we choose many times run parallel to the attitudes and resposibilities we have to ourselves to grow and evolve and become better people, to become our best. And for me, as always, to live to my phyical potential, means to also to live to my spiritual potential....isn't life good?

Above photos shows that I can almost get my forehead to knee....I'm close to getting this on my right side, but my left that will be great! It'll happen! And just for fun, I thought I would include one of my "before" picures to remind us that miracles do happen....sometimes we make them happen.


Mark Reifkind said...

yes my love, you were around some serious athletes for all of our married life, but when it came time to train yourself you did it your own way! and brillian it is; truly original and revolutionary methods and you know I don't blow smoke!
when the dvd and book do come out it will shock people.of course most won't do it because it still is REAL work but hey, it works and you are the testimony to how well it does.

Mark Reifkind said...

and oh yes, your yoga practice was already beautiful when I got started with you, now it's just off the charts and I'm so glad I am something postive to do with it :))
It's also so great to be able to train with you and see how the postures should be done.

Beth said...

Just wanted to stop in and say hi--I haven't been in for awhile (I was out of state spending time with my daugher, SIL and new granddaughter!) I lost weight while I was there and came home with a more positive attitude and lifted spirits.

I really get so much from your blog and transparency about your journey! Thanks again!

JenG said...

I just wanted to say thanks Tracy. I get your rss feed and today I was excited to see two new blog posts! I have been slacking way too much lately...your before and after pictures are just way too inspiring! I went and busted out a KB workout! So, thanks for reminding me slackers get nowhere. ;)

And...Mark is right on with the comment about most people not doing it anyway! I have tried to get so many people into KB's and it's the same as trying to get them to walk or eat right...forget it, doesn't it come in pill form? That is so much easier.

Rainer said...

Do you already know when the DVD/Book will come out ?


Rainer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tracy Reifkind said...


What was different while staying with your daughter that allowed you to drop some bodyweight? Whatever it was, keep it up!

PS, I haven't announced it yet, but Mark and I are going to be Grandparents too! Can you believe it? I'm so freakin' know what this means, don't you? Yep, pressure cooking babyfood, LOL!!!!!

Tracy Reifkind said...


I've been a little bit of a "blog-slacker" lol

Keep up the KB's, since I started my Swing classes at Girya in Jan., three of my students lost weight! In fact I gained....I need to take my own advice....hmmnn, I feel a blog post coming on, lol

Tracy Reifkind said...


I wish I knew! If I would stop wasting my time trying to blog I might actually get it organized. Part of my problem is, do I write a book about my style of training KB's or diet and weightloss? Which are you interested in reading about? Both topics might be too long for one book....

I do have a "working title" for a weightloss book however, and have a few chapters in the works.