Saturday, February 1, 2014

January 2014 Review

January was lopsided. Starting the month with a week of vacation skewed my time heavily towards yoga.

1. Learn the Ashtanga Half-Primary Series - I've reduced this goal to half-primary. I started the goal year "doing" half-primary, but with destructive alignment. My new goal is to practice half-primary constructively. Until I feel close, I'll stay away from the Mysore Ashtanga classes and focus on alignment based yoga.

I was able to take one restorative class with the yoga anatomy teacher - well worth my time. I tried the free yoga offered by my company. It was more fun than working, but that's I'll I can really say for it. My other classes were with my primary teacher at the local studio. He's doing a great job. On average, I practiced 4-5 days per week. Home yoga was limited, with no video work.

I attended a weekend Iyengar workshop with Laurie Blakeney. If my goal was "obtain lineage based instruction," I succeed. She's been making trips to India, to study yoga under BKS Iyengar, for decades. I learned a lot. The time spent on pranayama was the most interesting. Under her guidance, I got the yoga high without doing any asana. Pretty cool. I am going to explore it further and have ordered several books on the subject. Her advice on headstand also got me off the wall, finally.

I consumed a big pile of yoga anatomy media due to vacation, primarily from David Keil and Paul Grilley. All emphasized that each body has unique needs, and the yoga must be tailored. All, especially the DVDs, offered great return for the time and money investment.

The month was scattered with so many different resources. Next month, my focus is on simply practicing - asana and pranayama. I'd like to spend more time on home yoga, designing my own sequences (maybe find some software), taking the practices from my DVDs and working with the video camera. When my studio membership expires in April, I might reduce attendance to 1-2 classes a week, with the rest of my yoga at home. I spent too much money on yoga over the last year and need to start controlling costs.

The new bed is allowing deeper, longer sleep. Coupled with eating more and the changes in my yoga, shoulder and elbow pain is highly manageable.

2. Post a Class IV Powerlifting Total - Eating more feels great. My strength is slowly returning. I am never cold. My weight has settled right around 160. My intent was to eat 2500 calories a day, but I'd say I'm averaging closer to 3000. I'll keep with this plan for the next month or two, before finishing the drop to 148.

I am taking my multi-vitamin, vitamin D, creatine, flax oil and DHA most days. Due to my shoulder I am pressing overhead only once a week, using getups as an alternative. For the sake of time, I've been lifting to music instead of Netflix. I spent less than 3 hours a week lifting this month.

I modified the home firewall settings to take the internet offline after 6:30pm. I am going to bed earlier and sleeping better as a result.

3. Advance my Profession - I used my vacation in the first week of January to improve my working environment. Those changes have yielded a minor productivity boost. Otherwise, I have little progress here. Coming off a two week vacation left little free time for long term investments in my work. Catching up has been extremely difficult. I am still struggling with it.

4. Connect - Based upon my most objective metric, making time for my wife, I did 50% better than December. Unfortunately, that's not even halfway to goal. There were some difficult circumstances this month, but things always come up. I need to figure it out.

The change to simplify our money management is working and provided a minor improvement in day to day quality of life.

Outside of the home, I spent less time with family and friends than I would have liked. The winter weather was limiting. I did make some good connections with new students at yoga classes, but that's about it.

My selection of non-social media for the year is working out nicely.


I used yoga to hide from other stuff that wasn't going so well in my month. It's a healthy coping mechanism, but I'd prefer next month be more balanced.