This particular journey is almost over, and I must admit I’ve learned a lot during the past four weeks.
Firstly, it gave me the chance to explore what I want (and what I don’t want) to do with this blog. Reporting my progress in this challenge on a daily basis kept me motivated and accountable, but that wasn’t always what I wanted to write about. Now that the challenge is almost over, I hope I’ll be able to focus more on specific issues that catch my fancy. It may lead to posting less often, but I believe the content will ultimately be more meaningful.
Secondly, I managed to get a feel for how my body responds to muscular stimuli. So far, I’ve figured out that two strength workouts per week are all my body can handle at this point; that my muscles are practically begging for a combination of foam-rolling, trigger point therapy, and restorative yoga after hard workouts; that I can cut back my Yin Yoga practice to a couple of times per week and still reap all the benefits; that I enjoy conventional/Yang Yoga just as much as I do Yin Yoga.
Where do I go from here? Well, one thing I’d like to incorporate to my fitness routine – and I’m pretty liberal with that label – is cardio. I don’t really care about burning calories or increasing my VO2max (even though my cardiovascular conditioning is abysmal), but I do feel the need to move my body more often through walking, cycling, dancing, even more vigorous flow Yoga practices – not to mention that with Spring right around the corner, I think I’ll enjoy getting outside and basking in the sunshine.
PS. For my practice today I followed Ken Nelson’s Yin Yoga CD. I’d go as far as to call it “hardcore” Yin since this 75-minute practice goes through only four poses and still manages to target all the body parts I’m used to dealing with in Yin Yoga. A nice feature is that in each of the four pose tracks instructions for alternative poses are given – e.g. you may choose to do Butterfly, Dragonfly (Straddle) or Frog – so that, ultimately, the practitioner has nine poses to choose from and can vary the sequence based on ability or needs. Nine poses may seem too few, but remember that, variations notwithstanding, Yin Yoga revolves around a mere two dozen poses.
Compared to Erin Fleming’s Yin Yoga CD, I can’t say I like one more that the other. Erin’s class goes through more poses, and puts more emphasis on forward folds, while Ken’s class is more balanced and involves longer holds. Both teachers are pleasant to listen to and the background music in both CDs is mild. Each class is taught in a distinct way, but both are equally good. In the end, if I want to do a led Yin Yoga class, I’ll pick between the two based on the mood of the moment.