Monday, June 1, 2015

May 2015 Review

May centered on simplifying my time.

1. Pain Free Daily Yoga - Practice happened 4-5x a week, with pranayama 3-4 evenings a week. Most yoga was alignment based studio classes, though I dabbled with a weekly vinyasa class and a little home practice. No yoga related pain. I took a yoga and anxiety workshop right at the end of the monthly, mostly for entertainment, but did not have any major take aways.

Carol Horton's books were more influential than I'd anticipated. She got me thinking about expectations from the yoga practice, beyond just "going deeper". Getting better at yoga for the sake of "advancing" is missing the point. It's a way to hide from the real work, and something I am quite prone to. I am taking a more relaxed approach to alignment and progression as a result, letting myself simply be present in the current practice.

Her books also drove home the idea that investing a daily hour or more in deeply introspective work is selfish. I'm ok with indulging my narcissism, but do wonder about directing the resulting focus and energy more effectively. Managing my time more carefully is part of acting on this.

Anatomy of Hatha Yoga now tops my reading queue. I'm about 20% through the book and it is excellent. The author establishes a precise vocabulary, then describes yoga in specific anatomical terms, instead of the generic "cater to the public" descriptions that are frustratingly common. I expect it will hold my interest through June and July. I might be ready to give Anatomy Trains another try once finished.

The senior teacher workshop I scheduled for July was canceled. I looked into another, but decided the opportunity cost of a week away from home was too high. I also like the idea of keeping my yoga dollars local. I signed up for a yoga philosophy afternoon in June as a consolation and will watch for other events.

June I will start the progression into seated pranayama. I'd like to do more home practice, especially in the early morning. The meditation teacher suggested it is both possible and desirable to spend the entire day in a state of heightened awareness. I found doing so made finding motivation to work difficult, but I'd like to give it another try. When centered and motivated, I am especially productive.

2. 1 2 3 at 145 - May saw completion of another 5/3/1 cycle. My strength is slightly improved, despite the lower calories. I consistently ate against a target of 2200 calories per day, but estimate 20% of days were well over. Weight remained stable in the low 160's. Resting heart rate was often in the high 40's, and I was more tolerant of the heat.

June I will continue eating the same, possibly with fewer high calorie days. I start my next cycle of 5/3/1 and have shifted the lifts around to better align with my real schedule. I think this will help with the energy problems I was experiencing during some sessions, and minimize lifting related limitations during yoga class. I may try eliminating caffeine on my off days, to increase my sensitivity and get an extra energy boost on lifting days.

Supplements remain constant - flax, dha, protein, creatine, multi-vitamin. I did run out of vitamin D, so that's off the list until my next Amazon order. Since it is Summer, I am not in a hurry.

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.

Progress was made with the new time management approach. Reducing the number of events in my day (yoga, lift, work - pick 2) helped to make the pacing feel natural. It created enough slack that I was able to avoid burn out. I am not sure if there is benefit beyond the point where my calendar is both accurate and sustainable, but I am close to finding out.

My wife and I discussed our priorities for the 20-25 hours a week we have to share. We roughly established expectations for that time, and talked about what we've been doing instead of things we value. We've made some changes, and so far see a positive impact. We'll refine our understanding and expectations over the next month.

De-coupling our bed times has proven difficult. Going to bed, especially by myself, is not fun. I often stay up past 10:15, which creates problems in my schedule the next day or (more typically) results in missing needed sleep. I am still adjusting to the idea that 9pm is late. Long term I think it is an important pattern, and I am going to keep working it.

June will be very similar to May.