Posts Tagged ‘yoga’

Recently, a yoga instructor encouraged us to “not settle for the first position your body gives you.” It’s good advice to stretch yourself – figuratively and literally – a little more, hold a pose a few seconds beyond what is comfortable, and to be mindful of your position, posture and breathing. By not settling for what is comfortable and “good enough,” you gradually improve your yoga practice and become stronger and more flexible, and positions that were too advanced and too hard can become possible.

Her admonition has stuck with me this week, as I look back at last year and look ahead to the next one. There were days when “good enough” seemed to be all I had to give. But if I’m honest with myself, some days I settled for good enough when I knew I could do more. So instead of making specific resolutions this year, I think I might apply this concept to more areas of my life: don’t settle for good enough. That doesn’t mean demanding more from others, but to stretch myself:

To be a little more grace-filled, graceful and gracious to others, even when they don’t deserve it. (Even when I don’t feel particularly full of grace.)

To give a little bit more of myself than the task requires. Even when I’ve already gone above and beyond – give just a tiny bit more, especially when it will make a difference. And even when it won’t be noticed or appreciated by anyone else. I will know that I gave my best.

To remain more conscious of my inner attitude and the demeanor I reflect to the world. To look up and out past myself, smile more at strangers and laugh more, listen more, and love more with friends and family.

I can’t change the world.

I can’t demand change from anyone else.

I can’t end poverty, hatred, envy and strife.

But if I change me, by requiring just a little more than “good enough,” it’s possible to make a difference. Just as a single, nearly weightless leaf can land on still water and make ripples larger than itself, I can – perhaps – gently cHappy-New-Year-2014-HD-Wallpapers3hange my world, by refusing to settle. Even one tiny candle in a dark room can provide welcome light to everyone in its vicinity. But only if it’s willing to give up some of itself in order to burn brightly.

What will you do with 2014? It is a one-time gift and we will only have it for 8,760 hours. May this be one year we can all look back and say we are leaving it better than we started it.

Happy 2014,


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Week 4 Without Running: The Timeout Continues

Well, I did the bad thing: I pushed for a run on Monday (as soon as I hit week 4). “Surely the recommended 5 to 8 week recovery for a moderate calf strain doesn’t apply to me!,” said my optimistic self. Alas, it apparently does so I and my calf are back in timeout.

Hopefully it’s only a small setback, as I didn’t push it to another “pop” but in hindsight it was probably a foolhardy thing to do. I’m thankful for my live-in massage therapist who vigorously worked out the knotted calf while gently chastising me for not respecting the age of my ligaments and joints.  To which I say, “harrumph” (because it is too early to say “humbug.”)

This long timeout has forced me to get more creative with my exercise repertoire, which has turned out to be good:  who knew I could become a fan of group workouts?  Of course, next week, I plan to try another run. And the week after, and the week after, until I’m fully healed and running without pain (or Advil.)

Happy healing,

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Week 2 Without Running

I am really hoping that my calf injury is going to heal in record time – like in 3 weeks instead of 5 to 8.   Sheer force of will, mind over matter, and the massages, courtesy of my amazing, wonderful, awesome husband help a lot. (And I hope my over-the-top flattery will result in more massages.) But a quick dash after an escaping Sadie this weekend proved the injury is still there. It just doesn’t hurt as bad as it did when it went “pop” but there’s no way to run on it.

So what can I do in the meantime?

Mondays, I  am resigned to yoga/tai chi/pilates with the old geezers. (A seriously geriatric crowd shows up for this one. I’m thinking the instructor has had her AARP card for quite some time, too. To say there is any trace of pilates in this class is a mental stretch.) But it is peaceful and there is some gentle stretching going on.  And I feel like Ronnie “Sunshine” Bass in Remember the Titans.  (Except I’m not a guy, a blond, or outside on the grass while I’m crossing my arms and moving my feet.)

Tuesdays is a true pilates class. My abs are finally recovered from last week’s class, so I’m ready to go round two with the instructor.

Thursday offers a full hour of yoga. Not as good as a run, but it offers some good stretching. And I think I might try the abs/swimming class at 5:45 a.m. this week. It’ll be almost like my regular routine, except no treadmill.  And I’ll have to swim.  Sniff.  Lip quivering.

Wednesday and Friday might have to be take-the-dogs-for-a-walk days. At least the weather is good, their harnesses make it easy to maneuver with them, and the greenway is an awesome resource that is nearby.  Who knows, maybe that’s a routine I’ll stick with even after I can run again?

Happy Monday,

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Be careful what you ask for

Earlier this week I mentioned UT’s bye week (and whined a little about how busy we were on the “off” weekend.) I even joked about how maybe I would get my own “bye” day on Tuesday.  I’m not superstitious, but…

During fall break, I took a week-plus off from my daily runs to allow a pesky calf muscle some time to heal.  As soon as we were back home, I started my early mornings with a run once again, but by Wednesday of last week, I had to admit the twinge was getting worse after each run.  So, I hit “pause” again and took almost a full week off again for healing, this time with the addition of daily Ibuprofen and a quick DIY calf massage each morning.  On Tuesday morning this week, I hit the gym bright and early, hoping everything would be back to normal.

Even though I stretched extensively, the calf was still tight. I hoped it would loosen up as I got further into the run – instead, less than a quarter-mile in, I felt a “pop” in the calf, followed by excruciating pain up and down the muscle.

So it was off the treadmill, hobble out to the car, and ice it down when I got home. A pilates class later in the day helped somewhat, or maybe it was just doubling up on Ibuprofen throughout the day that made things feel better.

Mr. Official (who loves to diagnose injuries – especially sports-related injuries) was kind enough to give it a deep tissue massage. Here’s hoping he will take pity on me and repeat it nightly while the calf heals fully.

I guess I got what I wished for – according to the experts, a Grade Two strain can take several weeks to recover from.  So for now, it’s yoga, tai chi and pilates, but no running for me – looks like my wish for a “bye” week was granted, right on schedule.


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