Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Advanced Yoga with Rodney Yee

This DVD is freaking awesome. The 50 minute total body routine features a bunch of advanced headstand variations and arm balances--flying turtle, anyone?--and some great hip openers that'll get most people sitting comfortably in lotus position in less time than you'd expect. There's also a 25 minute routine exclusively for the hips that I probably should be doing almost daily.

The way the poses are sequenced makes even the most advanced moves more doable than you'd think, although I'm still very far from being able to do most of them. The arm balances come easier than the headstands because I don't really like inversions. I had to take them out of my practice when my blood pressure spiked because of issues with the birth control I was using, and then again when my eye doctor told me he thought I might be developing glaucoma. My blood pressure is fine now, and my current eye doctor thinks my interocular pressure is okay also, but it's hard for me to think of headstands and handstands as being safe and effective moves for me.

Still, I'd like to become more proficient at them, and to that end I downloaded the York Handbalancing Course ( It's got some helpful progressions as well as analysis of exactly what's going on when you do a handbalance. It really is about finding your balance, not about brute strength, although strong wrists and forearms certainly are useful. In other words, most weightlifters have the physical strength to do a handbalance, but most of them can't because they don't have the necessary proprioception to be able to maintain their equilibrium when standing on their hands. My proprioception, however, is pretty good, so I think if I work at it consistently, preferably with a spotter in the vicinity, I should be able to defy gravity along with Rodney in the not too distant future.

So, anyhoo, Monday's workout was the two routines from the DVD, and Tuesday's workout was Turbulence Training Advanced Bodyweight Workout A (the one with the 1-arm pushups).

I also taught cycling. Since it was Election Day I inflicted the following "fair and balanced" playlist on my class:

Born in the USA, Bruce Springsteen
Don't Stop, Fleetwood Mac
There Goes My Hero, Foo Fighters
Soul Man, ??
Barracuda, Heart
Won't Get Fooled Again, The Who
Even Better Than The Real Thing, U2
I Predict A Riot, Kaiser Chiefs
Long Road To Ruin, Foo Fighters
It's The End Of The World, REM
Landslide, Dixie Chicks
Not Ready To Make Nice, Dixie Chicks