On Monday morning, I went to my Yin Restorative style yoga class at Just Be Yoga & Meditation in Beaconsfield. Our instructor Kelly Wallis talked about how we have a tendency to hibernate during the winter months, which leads to physical stagnation and generally feeling sluggish. In the context of yoga, winter is associated with the moon and water. Today’s poses focused on the spine including the areas of the kidneys and bladder. These poses help to stimulate chi (lifeforce energy) in the body. The poses we did include the following:
- Sun salutation…Beginning in extended child’s pose, raise your arms up towards the ceiling and lift your thighs up so that your back is straight. Next float your hands back down towards the yoga mat and back into child’s pose. Then swoop your body towards your hands into cobra pose. Stretch back into downward facing dog pose, drop to your knees and align your arms straight under the shoulders into cat-cow pose. Finally, fold back into extended child’s pose.
- Supported Dragon pose…Using a bolster in front of one knee and a folded blanket underneath the shins for support, bend the opposite leg forward into a lunge position. Extend the hips forwards and place your palms onto two blocks either side of the bolster. To deepen the stretch, move the block to the inside of the lunged foot and lean over the blocks, placing the elbows onto them and clasp your hands together.
- Seated forward bends…With your legs extended wide into a V-shape, turn your body to face the right leg and gradually bend over the leg, place your hands on either side. Repeat for the opposite leg. Returning to center, fold your body forwards between your yoga mat from the hips.
On Tuesday morning, I planted my Asian stir-fri veggies in the garden bed that I bought on the weekend. Gardening is only something I’ve recently gotten into this year and it’s given me a new appreciation for plants, nature and life in general. I still don’t know what I’m doing half the time but at least I’m trying to learn something new. I try to make a habit out of watering the garden once a day and give my plants a prune and some fertiliser when needed.
On Tuesday night, I went to my multiplayer fitness session at Tri Force Training in Narre Warren. Thankfully I’m over the flu from last week but I was feeling pretty sluggish and unmotivated all day. Somehow I pushed myself to go tonight. You can only use so many excuses and laziness is the poorest of them all. Tonight I was joined by the likes of Caitlin Lonski, Mitchell Pasmans, Bonnie Bradley and Jessica Mesa.
WISDOM…Tonight’s warm up involved playing a game of stick master. We basically stand in a circle holding a PVC pipe vertically and then release it in a random direction. Nick then calls out either left or right and we have to catch the pipe in that direction before it hits the ground. If one or more pipes drop, then the whole group has to do a number of movements as punishment e.g. squats, burpees, star jumps.
POWER…This was the hardest part of the session for me. We each had to do 5 reps of 30 second holds of the following: ring row hold, protracted hold, ring lift, German ring hang and overhead bar hold/hand stand. My palms and arms were definitely feeling it after this.
COURAGE…The final part of the workout involved partner exercises including: hi five push ups (20 reps each), butterfly sit ups (20 reps each), a 20m tyre flip, 400m run, a 20m sled pull, continuous skipping and under/overs (10 reps each). I have to say that the most challenging part of this workout was the sled pull. It took me a long time to get it done but I managed it in the end. By the time I got to the under/overs, I was exhausted but in a good way.
On Thursday afternoon, I decided to try a completely different style again for my drawing of a poinsettia plant. Using a HB pencil, a fine liner and a black sharpie, I first drew the shapes of the various red and green leaves. I broke each up into segmented patterns when going back over it in fine liner. Then I shaded parts of the leaves in black sharpie. My focus here was to create a stark, black and white silhouette effect going into more graphic design territory than visual arts. It shows that I have a diverse range of artistic styles when it comes to my work.
On Thursday night, I attended my second multiplayer fitness session at Tri Force Training in Narre Warren. After many weeks, I finally feel like I’m connecting at a basic level with the people coming to these sessions. The social dynamics have gradually shifted and I have slowly relaxed a little, even laughing and trying not to take everything seriously.
That’s not to say I’ve suddenly become loud and extroverted all of a sudden, no way. I’ll always be quiet and introverted, more I’m trying harder to enjoy the company around me. And unlike last week, I actually felt like a part of the team. Tonight I was joined by Jessica Mesa, Kris Vega, Ivan Inguersin and Jazz Hayward.
WISDOM…We played a game of crawl tiggy for our warm up tonight which involved either bear crawling or gorilla crawling around to avoid the person that’s been “tagged”. Of course our personal trainer Nick Bradbury spiced things up a little by honing in on us like a missle and making sure everyone got tagged it at some point. My knees and thighs were definitely feeling it but still it was a lot of fun.
POWER…Tonight we did some push up development which really helped break up all the individual movements required to do a push up properly. We started by losing up our wrists by twisting a PVC pipe around in a couple of positions. Then we worked on pushing our shoulder blades together whilst keeping our arms straight. Next we did 5 rounds of 30 second protracted holds. And finally we did 3 reps x 3 rounds of slow push ups, making sure that our core is held tight, tilting the pelvis up towards the belly button.
COURAGE…For the workout, we did a variation of HIIT (High Intensity Individual Training) with four different exercise stations set up including: box jumps/step ups, kettle bell swings, 20m sprints and medicine ball squat throws. We had to do 4 rounds of each exercise for 20 seconds with a 10 second rest in between. As much as I wanted to do box jumps tonight, the fear just took hold of me and I quickly decided to do step ups instead. It gradually got more and more intense with a stitch quickly developing and my panting increasing rapidly.
On Friday morning, Mum and I attended the Morning Melodies function at the Waltzing Matilda Hotel in Springvale. Today’s performer was John Brown with a show called “Songs of your life”. He was wearing a vibrant, bright blue suit jacket and black pants. He played several covers ranging from country to ragtime with artists including:
- Johnny Cash (Folsom Prison Blues)
- Roger Miller (King of the Road)
- Credence Clearwater Revival (Lookin’ out my Backdoor)
- John Paul Young (Love is in the Air)
- Willie Nelson (On the Road Again)
- Lloyd Price (Over and Over)
- Tom Jones (It’s Not Unusual)
- Neil Diamond (Sweet Caroline, Cracklin’ Rosie)
- Buddy Holly (That’ll Be The Day)
- Nancy Sinatra (These Boots Were Made For Walking)
- Billy Fields (Bad Habits)
- Van Morrison (Brown Eyed Girl)
- The Beatles (All My Loving)
“I wake up put on my face. Identify with the human race. I go to sleep take off my face. Somehow the light can’t keep up the pace. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You’ve got so much to pull off the shelf. Pack it away then pack it in. Life’s too short, the air’s getting thin.” Delerium feat. Kirsty Hawkshaw – Fleeting Instant (2006)