Sunday, May 3, 2015

April 2015 Review

April centered on the new approach to time management.

1. Pain Free Daily Yoga – Practice happened 5-6 days a week. Pranayama most evenings. I complete reading the Yoga Sutras and attended two workshops. My yoga month was pain free.

Asana centered on overcoming my fear of falling out of headstand, and backbends. I think if I can fall out of a headstand into a backbend, all fear will be removed. I have avoided backbends for a long time, since they are especially hard for me. I am seeing immediate benefits. I also picked up the subtle movement of flexing the lateral body in quarter moon.

Pranayama has been interesting. Many of the questions I had were answered just by doing it for 20 minutes a day. My key takeaway from the yoga sutras commentary was, they are intended as a collection of practical experience. Yoga is about the experience of the practice. The more I learn, the more I see it. I am finding the pace in the Light on Pranyama course is a little aggressive. I may extend some of the lesson durations, based on my frequency of practice and proficiency with the specific skills.

I ended up in a few vinyasa classes at my original yoga studio. I saw again how I got hurt while learning there. With more experience, I also see the other limbs of yoga presenting in their practice, and how to participate without getting hurt. I enjoy some vinyasa and may end up there once every week or two.

Both of the yoga workshops were entertaining, and I picked up a few new tricks in each of them. Neither was practice changing. I am beginning to observe that the workshop circuit caters to a very specific level of yoga student, and I may not be that level any more.

May will focus on asana and pranayama practice. No workshops are planned. I am getting both of Carol Horton's books, which I expect to be light reads after the yoga sutras. Anatomy of Hatha Yoga is next in my serious reading queue, but I'd like an easy break.

2. 1 2 3 at 145 - Lifting itself was uneventful. With the reduction in calories my strength stopped improving. It may have even dropped a little. That's very hard to judge while hungry.

I started the month at 2500 calories per day, which wasn't too hard, but didn't result in any changes in weight. The last week I dropped to 2200, which has proven more challenging. My body will adapt with a little time, but thus far I have a depressed heart rate, energy levels and temperature. In my experience, this is the feeling of getting lighter, and it becomes easier as the weeks go on.

Scheduling my carb intake around my lifting sessions is much more critical now. There were a few sessions where I failed to do that, and my performance suffered. I'll be more conscious of it in May. Low energy levels prevented me from shortening the lifting sessions.

No lifting related pain. No cardio. Supplements were protein twice a day, creatine, flax oil, DHA, D3 and a multi-vitamin.

3. Advance my Profession - I will devote 100% of professional development in 2015 to my current employer. This will no longer be a public goal.

4. Connect – I did poorly at my objective metric. Time with family and friends was consistent.

The new time management approach has more of a learning curve than I'd originally anticipated. I will continue working it through May. Two key problems:

- Despite the frustration I felt at cutting "so much" from my schedule, I did not leave any slack. If I honestly follow the schedule, it burns me out. I need to find slack.

- I uni-laterally decided where every piece of the puzzle fits. For time with others, that does not work as well as I'd hoped. I need to collaborate more and watch for ways to add flexibility.

The revisions:

- Work days require a choice between lifting or yoga. Weekend or vacation days can have both. I was trying to squeeze both in 2-3x a week, and it eliminates the potential for any slack. This will require limiting yoga to 5 days a week. As a result, I will be more selective about the yoga classes I take.

- Bed time is now 10:15. This requires totally separating my bed time from my wife's. I cannot force her to come to bed, but I have at least 3 days per month that require waking at 5:45. I think this will lead to more consistent and higher quality sleep, reducing schedule burnout. Waking early also allows for 2.5 hours of focused work before breakfast.

- On a weekly basis, I am reviewing the upcoming schedule with my wife, so we can align our days.

I expect progress from these changes.

I will stay the course in May. Life is going well.