THE BODY UPDATE: MARCH 2014
I don't know why it's taken me so long to update you on my work outs, things kept happening and I was waiting for it to be a little conclusive, but that's just life isn't it? It's a constant change and adaptation.
As you well know, I went into a bit of a yoga tangent in November. It was a revelation, life-changing, it taught me so many things. I had always been meaning to mix up my exercise routine, and I finally took the plunge and replaced my tried-and-tested with new things. It was good but it was scary, I felt very much out of control, and after two months of no targeted-muscle exercises I could see it in my body. It was strong, and it was flexible, but it wasn't tight.
By the end of January I slowly started integrating Tracy Anderson into my life again, alternating it with yoga. And at this point I fit in a 40min yoga session about twice a week, and I do Tracy Anderson five days a week. I am also dedicating a lot of time to stretching, more on that later.
I really like what Yoga does to my body in terms of strength and balance. My upper body and arms look and feel amazing. My hips are open, I feel like my body can "breathe". I am strong and I can do things I never would have imagined (like a headstand) and makes every other exercise effortless. But it doesn't function as the only source of exercise if you want to keep your butt tight, at least not for me. I could really see my butt getting softer and I'm not gonna tolerate that with all the time/money I spend on exercise. I guess this is also because I don't eat like a yogui, I eat butter and toasts and Cookie Dough ice cream, so I need something to counteract my western habits.
I still wouldn't give it up for the world, and I've started studying manuals and old scriptures to make sure I'm following the doctrine properly for maximum healing benefits (I recommend the book Yoga Mala, it's super interesting). But now what I'll do is yoga for my general body balance and arms, and then specific things for thighs/bum which is where I put all the crap I eat- Tracy Anderson Designer Series is good for this.
So back to January: the brief period when my body was softer after only-yoga-phase I was not a happy girl. It's not like I had turned into a whale and nobody noticed anything but to me it felt very strange, I wasn't self confident, I didn't feel like seeing anyone or doing anything. I didn't feel sexy or like myself, I didn't like how clothes fell. I decided I couldn't do so much yoga, I had to get back on track and I needed the time for other things, things that are not as interesting or fulfilling but they keep your body firm. So I constructed a hardcore back-in-shape routine: Yoga session at home + Tracy Anderson + running = 2 hours almost everyday.
I think it was a combination of everything (but mostly that TA Omnicentric dvd where you're on your fours for 30 minutes) that busted my knee. So here I was, getting my body back to super-hot, when my knee brings me to a halt. You cannot imagine how furious I was! It turns out, my knees are not the strongest and I need to be super careful with things like a) running b) kneeling on my fours c) swimming breast stroke, the three things which are the core of my work outs. I couldn't walk or bend my legs in the least so that was a good wake-up call to take it easy. After a lot of hours in the physio and resting and icing knees for about three weeks, I've slowly gotten back to "normal". I'm adapting exercises so that I'm not on my knees so much, I'm not running, and I'm being aware basically.
One of the things that physiotherapists emphasized to me was the need to stretch and relax the muscles. When you exercise a lot muscles get contracted which may push on the joints, tendons can get aggravated, scar tissue can form, it is quite common. Stretching sufficiently is SUPER important, massaging the muscles (either a physio or using a foam roller which I've started using). All in all, you're looking at 20 min of mindful stretching and foam rolling every day. It's a pain in the ass, what can I say, but if it has to be done then I will do it.
That brings me to today. My knees are still recovering so I'm not doing anything hardcore, or rather I'm going slower than usual and adapting exercises. This seems to be working well, my joints are okay, and my body looks just fine (considering I'm eating like a ten year old boy). I'm at my fattest (47kg) right now, and my aim for the next few months is to eat better, and exercise an hour a day : ) And swim more, since running seems out of the question right now. I bought a new mat, the thickest I could find by my favourite brand Airex. It's amazing! Great to protect your knees if you do a lot of floor work.
Bottom line advice of the day: Mixing up your exercises is encouraged. I fully recommend yoga to everybody, it's a lifestyle change. But you still need to do the boring stuff if you want to have a tight body. And don't overdo it because if you break something you won't be able to do anything at all.
Update me! What workouts are you all doing at the moment?