Thursday, July 16, 2009

Some Poses You Just Can't Fake....and cutting back on my Bikram yoga practice

I've recently added Spinning classes to my weekly training and trying to drop the number of Bikram yoga classes I do. Training Bikram is easy for me, and I, like most people, tend to overdo the things that I'm good at! I was averaging 9-10 classes a week and that means double yoga classes at least twice a week, sometimes three times a big deal really, because like I said it's relatively easy for me. Can you imagine if I only did Bikram? Good Lord, many times by the time I get to Bikram it's already my 3rd workout of the day, after training kettlebells and walking, in fact, since I've added spinning lots of times it'll be my 4th workout of the day, (like yesterday!)

Bikram is usually the last workout of the day for me and that means my legs are shot! Sometimes I don't know if I can make it through a class at all and I think maybe I'll just try and "cruise" through and at least get a good stretch! But there are alot of poses in Bikram that require the strength of your legs and you just can't fake it! The first hour of the class is spent in standing poses held for as long as 1 minute balancing on one leg. But for me the poses that require any squatting or lunging just about kill me!

This photo shows the 2nd part of a 3 part pose called "Awkward". In this part of the pose you balance first all the way up on your toes (your big and second toe of each foot), and then while pushing your feet forward and your knees toward the ceiling you lean back, as if you were leaning against a wall, and squat down until your legs are parallel to the floor.....and hold it there! Try that after 60 minutes of Spin class, and 1 hour + of kettlebells! So much for just getting a good stretch, lol!

My Bikram yoga studio started their "Summer 60 Day Challenge" and I don't participate in the challenge because as I mentioned in an earlier blogpost it's not a challenge for me....I already have a daily practice, in fact I'm trying to cut back! I'm trying to cut back to 6 days a week because I'm finding out that I'm going though a period where my practice is not improving, in fact I think it's going backwards. There may be a few reasons for this.....adding spinning is part of it. But the biggest part is my bodyweight.

Ironically you would think you could lose weight training yoga for 90 minutes in 104 degree heat everyday, much less 9-10 times a week, but I've actually gained weight. Not from yoga, of course, but from increasing my daily calories. My daily calorie increase may be from my increased training, or it may be emotional or mindless doesn't matter why right this second! What matters is that I know the only thing that is going to move my practice in the direction of improvement is to get some of this extra bodyweight off, and I'd rather focus on that, instead of ignoring it, and trying to compensate by overexercising. Exercising, training, seems easy for me in comparison to controlling my eating habits. I'm finally tired of beating myself into the ground trying to "out-snatch a donut".

So I have to decide what it is that I want to work towards. I almost said, " I have to decide what it is that I really want", but I have what I really want right now....I created it one held a gun to my head. So I have to accept where I am, right now, decide if I want to change it, and then change it or shut up. Stay tuned.......

"You can't out-snatch a donut" is a phrase that, I believe, was originated by Senior RKC Dave Whitley. It's a phrase I use often because it perfectly reminds me that no matter how much a person (me) exercises, unless you have your eating, and food, in order your bodyweight will reflect bad eating habits.....bottomline.


Amber said...

This is just a great picture. Wow!

Olive Green said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Olive Green said...

I have a pretty crazy workout schedule and I could totally relate to this post. I find that if I'm overtraining I sometimes gain weight because I get so hungry; it's much easier to eat light when I'm injured and training less. It's a tough balance. Speaking of tough balances, that is an awesome pose!

Tracy Reifkind said...



I can't believe that more yoga practitioners don't regularly photograph some of their postures. Doing this has improved my practice so much as it helps to identify the small of details.

This particular posture requires so much leg strength that I remember being one of the first people at my studio to be able to doit at all (thanks to my kettlebell training).....alot of the teachers can't even get all the way down into this pose, much less hold it for 20 sec.

Tracy Reifkind said...


I suspect it's not the actual training that increases my hunger, but the "reward" I give myself for training so long and hard! I rearely need an excuse to "treat" myself with foods I love.

What I need to focus on is "treating" myself to a leaner does the phrase go? "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels?" Easy to forget until you step in the scale, or you can't get into your jeans, lol!

Diana said...

OK, that pose would totally kill my already "fractured" feet!
I too have put on a few "extra" pounds that I'm not happy about-shit food decisions. But, I spent 3 hours with a sports dietician and I pretty much HATE dieticians, but this one was cool, it was a real eye opener and how I really need to start eating to continue my tri training. I'd be anxious to hear your 2 cents on what I learned!! I have a lot to learn with food, that's for sure-I have the bike, run, swim and swinging shit down-now to eat right to make them all work in my favor!!
I liked the idea of a possible "practice" snatch test in Sept! Knowing me though, I'm sure I'll try it once on my own just to see if I am able to come close to anything decent to show to the "experts!"
Working on that flex arm hang shiz is awesome for my core-I'm liking that!!

Tracy Reifkind said...


My 2 cents about dieticians?.....I hate dieticians that have never had to lose a large amount of weight trying to tell someone that has to lose, or has lost and has to maintain a large amount of weight how to eat.

A diet specifically designed for sports performance doesn't address the reason why you've put on "a few extra pounds".....oh, it may give you some motivation by providing you with a structure and a new eating plan....that's why structure is so important, not only with an eating plan, but a training plan too.

I mean think about it. If you are carrying around more than 20lbs of extra bodyweight you're not starving, right? You're obviously getting more of everything you need, proteins, fats, carbs, etc. unless you're eating habits are so horrible and all you eat is highly processed junk foods.

Eating to make all of your training work in your favor....that's wat this blogpost is about! What will make your training work in your favor is the same thing that will make my yoga practice "rock" again.....STOP OVEREATING! Breaking your body down by making it work so hard carrying that extra weight around, instead of building it by being light and lean, therefore helping it perfom better.

And that's my 2 cents!

PS....and what did that 3 hour consultation cost you, by the way?