I'm not gettin' any skinnier these days. It would be nice if I could shave off a few of those pounds I gained in my ten weeks off--but I'm not losing sleep about my rotund belly. Nope, not me!
(cough. sputter. Well, ummm, yet.)
But I am getting ripped...And it's not from lifting. Or from doing TRX. or kettleball. or CrossFit.
It's from doing yoga.
I'm going to admit something here. I always thought yoga was a wimpy girl way to keep in shape. I knew it was good in terms of gaining flexibility and helping you to breathe deeply and ohmmmm and stuff. But it wasn't anything I thought might be challenging enough to actually shape my body. I assumed yoga didn't break you down and make you suffer--and, well, I only really have respect for things that break you down and make you suffer. (I'm kidding. I have respect for reading, for example, and that doesn't break you down and make you suffer, right? Actually, I suppose that depends on what you are reading....)
I wasn't that wrong about yoga. Yoga doesn't break your body down, and though sometimes you are required to dig deep--even suffer--it's not the same as the suffering and digging deep involved in racing triathlon.
However, what I've learned is that yoga is not easy. It's not easy, and it's challenging me in ways I need to be challenged. It requires emptying my mind; it requires focus, balance, control and strength.
Adding to its merits is that it doesn't mean anything in terms of triathlon. If I can ever manage to do, say, firefly pose, triathlon doesn't care. I will not be a faster triathlete if I can do firefly pose. However, I might become a stronger triathlete if I keep trying to achieve firefly pose. For those of you wondering, this is firefly pose:
And there it is. Yoga is not measuring how far I've come. I need to be averaging 1:15 pace for my threshold 100s in the pool by April if I want to get close to swimming one hour for the swim at Lake Placid. But if I can't do firefly pose by April, it doesn't matter. It only matters that I keep trying to do firefly pose, because doing so will force me to work on my focus, my balance, control (oh... that is a big one for me) and strength.
Isn't that beautiful?
Not only that, but I also really dig chivasana at the end of class. I love it so much I've tried to do chivasana at the end of all my workouts. So far the closest I've come is floating silently in the water after a swim. I'm sure it thrills the people waiting for a lane that I feel the need to float instead of just getting my ass out of the pool.
More on the MBTI stuff in my next post. You have all been awesome about responding. Thank you. If any of you have NOT taken the test or have not told me your type, then do so! I am still collecting responses. Gracias.