Monday, March 4, 2013

Getting My Yoga On - hard core training without the hardcore injuries

Tax season is here.  Which means vacation season is near.  Why, because all those receipts add up to plane tickets if I play my cards right, the beauty of the 1099 life.

This year it's a return trip to St Martin, the "Culinary Capital of the Caribbean".  Our annual family trip has not come together this year due to a merger at my dad's company (rendering them unable to commit to a trip till the dust has settled), my older sister's 40th birthday getaway to Mexico with her bestest childhood friends and little sister's construction dreams as her little fun wreckers outgrow their shared bedroom.

So we are doing a solo trio trip back to our beloved French Caribbean to catch up with friends who also make the pilgrimage for food and sun on the innumerable beaches of the shared French/Dutch island outpost.

Here's the catch. Our friends are marathon runners, bike racers and Iron men.  So on top of the regular emergency drive to shed winter pounds to prep for the pre-season swimsuit, now I've got that whole "don't be the fat girl in the picture" pressure that comes with traveling with older friends in better shape (oh who also have more kids than me). And also, it's a European Island, which means miles and miles of gorgeous, lean, topless French and Italian women who somehow live on bread and wine but do not look like I do in a swimsuit. UGH!

So booking my trip now means scheduling serious hardcore exercise starting NOW. 

I love exercise as much as I love food, which has always worked in a balancing-things sort of way.  But aging has presented a new set of problems - a slower metabolism and a whole host of injuries from years of psychotic exercise activities means it's harder than ever to get in bikini shape in the short term. Pushing myself to shed pounds fast without committing to that awful diet thing now means risking complete immobilization. I've got to get creative.

Know what burns fat, lengthens and sculpts muscles, creates inner peace AND doesn't require pounding, jumping or other dangerous impact on knees, hip and backs? Yoga.

Gloucester has a wonderful, beautiful yoga studio with first class teachers, classes for all levels and ages and great workshops for beginners and children.   The offerings are broad, detailed and very comprehensive, from one-on-one training to beginners workshops to kid's classes and a very intense heated vinyasa class with very wide schedule of times, there's literally something for everyone.

The studio is on Parker Street, with lots of parking, which is a huge plus when so many studios are hindered by limited spots on Main Street - I know, I owned my own place in several locations for years and it was ALWAYS an issue for classes happening anytime after dawn.

I started at Treetop this week, with a vinyasa class taught by Kat Mansfield. I haven't practiced in far too long, something made painfully obvious when we went over Chaturanga in acute detail.  My form improved immensely with the neurosurgeon-like attention of a very connected teacher, and my soul lifted as we really focused on those chakras that we are failing to serve, but my triceps and my abs, well, they were screaming when I left.  But not from injury, from attention. And it was the first time in a long time that I really worked out the physical and emotional kinks, and did so without creating new pain.  I'm an over-exerciser, I mentioned this, and to put in 1.5 hrs of intense work without hurting myself, that's mesmerizing, gratifying and sustainable.

I'll be heading back tonight for a heated Vinyasa class with Elizabeth, and am already nagging my thin but travel-tightened business dude husband to put yoga on his radar as part of our "new us" approach to 2013.  He studied with one of the owners before, when she taught in my studio, and was addicted.  And it's easier than P90X, that monstrous 12 week body sculpting program we attempted together last summer, till an old snowboard injury hobbled him. And I heard about THAT for weeks. See, yoga IS better.

I'll keep posting about my progress, and in all likelihood, my pain and (TRY) to start sharing some recipes and dietary tips I've collected along the way.  Meantime, read this list of yoga terms so you'll be a little less befuddled than I was when the teacher cued the next move (insert confused embarrassed expression here):

Then get yourself a mat, a reusable water bottle and some, ahem, "containing shorts", and join me at Treetop let your soul free while you keep your parts covered. I'll be the one falling out of crow, over and over and over, till I get it.

And I WILL get it.

NEW to yoga?  Treetop Yoga Studio offers a Beginner Basics Class going on now.

Raw Beginner Basics with Kat Mansfield

Want to start yoga but feel a little nervous and worried? Been practicing for awhile but have some some
basic questions you might be too embarrassed to ask in class? Have we got a class for you! Come spend a
few winter Sundays with senior instructor Kat Mansfield and get your practice started -- safely and in a fun, relaxed environment.
We'll cover the basics of alignment and breathing, meditation and stress reduction and get you started.
"Practice and all is coming," said the famous yoga teacher, Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois . Start your practice in 2013 and become
your healthiest, most flexible, most relaxed self.

3 Week Series
Sundays, 12pm-1pm
2/24, 3/3, 3/10
$40 for the series, $15 drop-in
Full Schedule of Classes and Workshops Here:


  1. I don’t really think that even the intense yoga routine hurts you during your exercise. If you have yoga continuously for a long period of time, it does not provide you any kind of injury.

  2. Your post is really good providing good information.. I liked it and enjoyed reading it. Keep sharing such important posts. yoga teacher training in india |yoga therapy teachers training in india |yoga courses in india