Saturday, November 1, 2014

October 2014 Review

October started a few major life transitions.

1. Pain Free Daily Yoga - Practice happened all but 3 days of the month, with studio visits 3-4x per week. Pranayama a few times over the month. Home practice tended to be lower intensity, focused primarily on openers, opposed to strength work. Supta virasana was very common. A change in my work schedule made it easier to fit daily practice in. Headstand and shoulder stand are developing nicely. I've learned a lot in the premium yoga classes, the most important being headstand needs to combine with shoulder stand in the same practice.

I set the Anatomy Trains book aside, due to complexity. I did read Light on Life, which was excellent. The book introduces the conceptual ideas of yoga, but grounds them with modern day examples I can understand. It's one of the 5 texts in the yoga anatomy teacher's meditation course. I'm not ready for the course, but I may read the other books on my own over the next few months.

I expect studio practice to stay on a similar frequency in November, with home practice occurring all other days. Winter will eventually reduce studio frequency. I get to practice with Bob and Todd early in the month. David Keil's yoga anatomy book will arrive as well. They Iyengar teacher has assigned me "homework" of a 3 minute forward fold every day.

2. 1 2 3 at 145 - My strength continues to return. Lifting remains focused on balancing my shoulder girdle and resting my elbow. Both are often pain free. I have been going heavier in the big lifts as a result. To preserve my joints, I am experimenting with 45 second sets for accessory work, which tends to result in 15-20 reps and light weights. I have also avoided accessory exercises with high compressive load.

I tweaked my back at the gym early in the month. This was the same pattern as last time - I'd done a few hours of yoga on Saturday morning, but opted to lift in the afternoon anyway. At the gym and feeling good, I piled on the weight. Dumb. I should know better, but my ego won out. To prevent this moving forward, I've switched my lifting schedule so Saturday is a rest day and my gym sessions are in the early morning. It means I am weaker, but much less likely to do something stupid. Fortunately, my back has recovered to 100%.

Weight started to creep down by mid-month, so I increased intake to 2700 calories per day. Hitting that requires me to eat some higher carb / fat foods. I have struggled with moderation here, overshooting my daily target a little too often.  The hardest part of ramping my metabolism up is avoiding the extremes. I find it much easier to cram down 4000 calories of junk one day, followed by another day missing meals while I play on the computer. I need to find balance and will hold at 2700 calories until I do. Remaining under 160 is very beneficial to my physical yoga practice. That may provide the needed motivation.

Walks have reduced to 2-3x a week. Supplementation remains at: multi-vitamin, creatine, flax, D3 and 2 proteins per day. I ran out of DHA. I'll buy more next time I order from Amazon.

3. Advance my Profession - I am now a manager. October centered on scaling the QA process to take advantage of a new hire. It's early, but progress is promising. More of the same next month. This is important career growth, but not very exciting. I intend to resume work on increasing ALM maturity with TFS in November. Time off for the holidays could impact progress. I'd also like to change my personal email and hosting vendors.

4. Connect - I came closer to the objective metric this month, almost entirely due to the work change initiated in August. The impact has been dramatic and welcome. Another benefit of the change has been time to purge the house of un-needed things. Life is getting simpler, making it easier to focus on what I value.

Time with family, friends and co-workers remained similar. The only special event was a visit to the glass pumpkin festival at the arboretum. November will be more social.

Overall the month went very well. Given the major changes that are happening, I feel fortunate.