Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Bathing Buddha

Buddha, Kamakura, Japan
Image via Wikipedia
Were you looking for a large man in a speedo? Sorry, that's not what this post is about. But I appreciate your imagination.

The yoga studio is closed this week, and I am on vacation. No, I haven't gone south to get out of the snow or to some exotic yoga destination. I'm having a "stay-cation" at home. It's just a week to catch my breath, catch up on some projects and permit myself a day or two of laziness.

Today I was in the studio, not practicing asana but washing the floor, scrubbing the toilet and, yes, giving Buddha a bath. All the statues got washed, rinsed and dried before they went back to their places of honor, dust-free. I also touched up the paint and had an in-depth discussion with my father about how to fix a sagging curtain rod.

Yes, this is a yoga studio owner's vacation.

No, I haven't spent my entire vacation scrubbing floors.

Last week I took, and passed, the ACE personal trainer certification exam. My personal training services will focus on at-home training for outdoor activities - running, hiking, cycling, kayaking - and will, of course, incorporate lots of yoga.

Since I'm on the topic of at-home training, I have to admit that my own training suffered before the exam. I was getting up early to study rather than to train. Then I was having those lazy days I mentioned earlier. I am back on track, though.

I've made an addition to my training schedule this week. After having a long sit-down with my calendar, counting back from the planned half-ironman distance triathlon that I have decided to attempt, I realized that I really don't have enough time to build to a 1.2 mile swim if I can't start swimming until the lake melts. There is no pool, so that's not an option. I'm sure I could finish the swim - eventually - but I don't want my day to start pathetically slow.

What I decided to do was design a dry land workout that would strengthen all the arm, shoulder, back and hip muscles that are used in freestyle swimming. By doing lots of reps with fairly light weights, I can build up the endurance of those muscles so when I do finally get into the water I'll be able to focus on form and speed without getting too tired (hopefully).

I'd been doing some resistance training already, but the additional moves tapped muscles that haven't been worked in awhile. It may not have been the best timing to start that the day before my studio cleaning frenzy. My shoulders reminded me of the workout with each circle of the rag on the floor.

During my vacation I also got to spend a lovely evening with my dear friends life coach Anne Gregson and freelance writer Beti Spangle while they put the finishing touches on their plans for this weekend's Adirondack Women's Empowerment Retreat. I'll be teaching yoga classes to a full house, because the retreat is sold out! Anne and Beti will be helping the participants to create a plan for their lives based on their values and inspirations. It's going to be an amazing weekend and I am so happy to be spending the end of my vacation watching an incredible group of women transform their lives.
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