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Rainbow Dragon's Dares

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    I need to make some changes. Chief amongst these are logging on here regularly and getting to bed on time. To facilitate this, I'll be shifting to a more informal style for many of my log posts, such as this one.

    November 7:

    hiking: 12.5 km in Rondeau, + .9 km @ Keith McLean + 6 km with the puppies in town = 19.4 km total
    workout w. Norma : 37:30
    dolphin-a-day: 2 minutes

    GOBOT this morning was a NO.
    GBOT tonight will be YES.

    À plus.


      November 8:

      hiking: 6 km with the puppies
      workout w. Norma : 28:40
      dolphin-a-day: 2 minutes

      GOBOT this morning was a NO. (I needed the sleep!)
      I'm cutting it close, but should have time enough left to brush my teeth and still make GBOT.

      À demain.


        Forgot to include for November 8:

        2 hours yard work, including sidestep squatting around the roof.


          November 9:

          hiking: 8 km with the puppies + an errand
          workout w. Norma : 29 minutes
          dolphin-a-day: 1 minute

          GOBOT & GBOT YES -- but cutting it freaking close again.

          À demain.


            November 10:

            consecutive days of working out: 567
            consecutive days of French study: 366
            consecutive days of eating only homemade food: I lost track of the number. I think it will be two years by the end of December.
            artwork: no streak here, but I did actually do the project for "Gettin' Sketchy" this day:

            apple drawn in coloured pencil on black charcoal paper

            hiking: 6 km with the puppies
            workout w. Norma : 27 minutes - Day 601
            dolphin-a-day: 2 minutes - Day 76

            GOBOT: no
            GBOT: close enough


            I need to do better. I'm still in a productivity slump, and I need to break out of it. But how? I feel frustrated with myself and frustrated with everyone else and I've been allowing myself to slide into maladaptive habits because doing so is easier than dealing with the sources of my frustration--most of which are out of my control. Still: I could do better at dealing with the sources of frustration which are under my control.

            I have a lot of projects on the go. I cannot possibly work on everything every day. And forces outside of my control prevent me from maintaining a rigid schedule. But I need to set some parameters or things will not go well. For now I am going with simple and 100% achievable (because, when I allow myself misses, things slide too far too fast). Here is my latest plan:

            1. GBOT. This is paramount. When my sleep schedule is messed up, everything else is too. When I'm tired I cannot focus on my work, and this is when I am most likely to slide into bad habits. GBOT is currently defined as 11PM. I'm not racing to turn out my lights by 11:00, flossing my teeth in the dark. I just need to physically be in my bed by this hour. If I am not sleepy, I am even allowed to stay up reading for as long as I like. (Reading in bed is pretty much guaranteed to make me sleepy fairly quickly, so no harm there.)

            GBOT for 10PM would be better, but may not be realistic. Let's consider that a stretch goal. Or maybe I can have levels, like in DAREBEE workouts:

            Level 1 GBOT = 11:00 PM
            Level 2 GBOT = 10:30 PM
            Level 3 GBOT = 10:00 PM

            2. GOBOT. This goes hand-in-hand with GBOT and is equally important.

            Level 1 GOBOT = 7:00 AM
            Level 2 GOBOT = 6:30 AM
            Level 3 GOBOT = 6:00 AM

            3. Daily Exercise.Use it or lose it.

            Level 1 = 30 minutes moderate to intense physical activity
            Level 2 = 45 minutes moderate to intense physical activity
            Level 3 = 60 minutes moderate to intense physical activity

            4. Daily French Study. I have been keeping up with this. But too many days it is only watching French-language programming on Netflix (or programming with a French dub). This is not without value. But I want to be doing more.

            Level 1 = 30 minutes French - can be any exposure to French, including Netflix
            Level 2 = 60 minutes French - must include at least 15 minutes of work on Fluenz or otherwise creating written and/or spoken French myself
            Level 3 = 90 minutes French - must include at least 30 minutes of work on Fluenz or otherwise creating written and/or spoken French myself

            5. Daily Yoga Teacher Training. I purchased a YTT which allows me an entire year to complete the course of study. And I've actually fallen behind. I need to get on the ball with this one.

            One of the challenges for me has been that each "day" of the course includes one or more assigned yoga workouts. (There are 60 such "days" in the program.) Because of how the course is structured, this sometimes means multiple days of hard upper body workouts in a row--which is too much for me on top of everything else I am doing. In a typical, immersion-style YTT, students would absolutely work themselves to exhaustion and end up sore afterwards. But one of my reasons for choosing a YTT with a longer completion time is so that I don't need to do this. I'm not doing the course as an immersion. I still need to workout with my mother, walk my dogs, do yardwork and housework and goodness knows what else every day on top of my yoga teacher training. Being too tired and/or sore to fulfil my other obligations isn't cool. But neither is failing to advance through the training program because I'm stuck in a week of workouts I consistently don't have energy for.

            Technically, I don't need to complete any of the assigned workouts to complete the YTT training. I just need to watch them. So I'm going to allow myself to do this from now on, so I can continue to progress through the course at a more even pace.

            Level 1 = 15 minutes work on YTT training
            Level 2 = complete a full training "day" of the YTT, including watching the assigned workout video(s)
            Level 3 = complete a full training "day" of the YTT, including practising with the assigned workout video(s) OR: complete a Live Pracice or Live Q&A session OR: complete a supplementary training/feedback activity assigned in the FB group.

            6. Daily Yoga Asana Practice. I don't need to complete the specific workouts suggested in my YTT program. But I really should be doing some form of yoga asana practice every day. My asana practice can be part of my daily exercise minutes when I'm doing a vigorous practice. But it can also be restorative yoga. My asana practice can also be the workout assigned for that day's training material. But it can also be something else entirely.

            Level 1 = 15 minutes yoga asana practice
            Level 2 = 30 minutes yoga asana practice
            Level 3 = 60 minutes yoga asana practice

            7. Daily Artwork. This is just like French, yoga, working out, etc. in that I need to be doing it every day in order to keep improving.

            Level 1 = 15 minutes artwork
            Level 2 = 30 minutes artwork + 1 Virtual Instructor art instruction video
            Level 3 = 60 minutes artwork + 1 Virtual Instructor art instruction video

            I think the above will suffice for now. It's not as simple as I had originally envisioned. But I like the Levels system. It allows me to have stretch goals while still being accountable to minimum daily standards. Let's see how this goes.


              November 11:

              GOBOT: - consecutive day 1
              Exercise: - consecutive day 568
              French: - consecutive day 367
              YTT: - consecutive day 1
              Asana: - consecutive day 1*
              Art: - consecutive day 2
              GBOT: - consecutive day 5

              * this was day 77 for A Dolphin a Day, but a day only counts towards my streak if I complete the minimum requirement for Level 1 (in the case of yoga asana practice: 15 minutes)

              hiking: 6.5 km
              running: 6K in 40:37 - in town
              workout w. Norma : 36:15 - Day 602
              dolphin-a-day: 1 minute - Day 77
              yoga flow: 24 minutes - "Happy Hamstrings"
              restorative yoga: 8 minutes - "Happy Hamstrings"
              French study: Netflix ("Good Girls"), correspondence, Fluenz 3.20
              YTT: finished up The Practice day 15
              Art: nature journal sketch


                November 12:

                GOBOT: - consecutive day 2
                Exercise: - consecutive day 569
                French: - consecutive day 368
                YTT: - consecutive day 2
                Asana: - consecutive day 2
                Art: - consecutive day 3
                GBOT: - consecutive day 6

                hiking: 7 km
                workout w. Norma : 41:00 - Day 603
                dolphin-a-day: 2 minutes - Day 78
                yoga flow: 26 minutes - "Be Present", "Relaxed 15"
                restorative yoga: 21 minutes - "Be Present", "Relaxed 15", meditation
                other: 7 minutes - handstand practice, eagle pose
                French study: Netflix ("Good Girls"), Fluenz 3.20
                YTT: The Practice day 16
                Art: added some colour to yesterday's nature journal sketch


                  Maybe I need to do something you're doing with the levels and my stuff. I feel like my life is out of control.


                    Originally posted by CODawn View Post
                    Maybe I need to do something you're doing with the levels and my stuff. I feel like my life is out of control.

                    I'm liking this system so far. It allows me to strive for ambitious goals on days when I have the time and energy while still acknowledging that I'm getting something done (and providing a framework for actually getting it done) on the more demanding days.


                      November 13:

                      GOBOT: - consecutive day 3
                      Exercise: - consecutive day 570
                      French: - consecutive day 369
                      YTT: - consecutive day 3
                      Asana: - consecutive day 3
                      Art: - consecutive day 4
                      GBOT: - consecutive day 7

                      hiking: 3 km
                      workout w. Norma : 52:30 - Day 604
                      dolphin-a-day: 1 minute - Day 79
                      restorative yoga: 10 minutes
                      other: 4 minutes - forearm balance, two-footed hops to tucked handstand (or attempting this at any rate), 2.5 hours yard work
                      French study: Netflix ("Good Girls")
                      YTT: The Practice day 17
                      Art: pen techniques


                        Are you doing the dolphin pose for 1 minute every day, now? That’s a challenge.


                          Originally posted by DorothyMH View Post
                          Are you doing the dolphin pose for 1 minute every day, now? That’s a challenge.
                          Sometimes for 1 minute a day, sometimes for 2 minutes, sometimes--like yesterday--just for a few seconds prior to each attempt at forearm balance. The pose was recommended to me by Bri for improving shoulder strength and mobility for full inversions (mostly for forearm balance, but it's helpful for handstanding too).

                          I am still working towards pressing to handstand, finding stability in handstand, and being able to kick up to a forearm balance in the middle of a room. (Technically, I can kick up to a forearm balance in the middle of a room now--if it was a large room with plenty of space all around me into which to fall out of the pose safely. Sadly, my workout space is not such a room. So...) Currently I only practise forearm balance against the bathroom door. I have pretty good stability in the pose once I'm up. But I need to use the door to help me find that stability to begin with.

                          I decided to give Bri's "a dolphin a day" suggestion a try for 100 days to see where it gets me. So far the only noticeable difference is that dolphin pose itself has become a LOT easier for me. I used to find dolphin hard and somewhat gruesome. It was definitely a pose that would cause me to curse under my breath any yoga instructor who left me in the pose for too long. Now a two minute hold in dolphin is nothin' for me. I probably need to commit to doing a feathered-peacock a day for at least 100 days to ever get to a point of being able to find stability in that pose without an assist, however. That is a bigger challenge because of the hassle of needing to go into the bathroom, and take my sticky mat with me. (On a VERY good day I can do feathered peacock on the bathroom linoleum. But most days I need a sticky mat.) Plus I have a tendency to leave this sort of thing until the end of the day, and I'm sometimes too tired by then to do feathered peacock at all.


                            All these pose names are fascinating! I simply have to look them up whenever you mention a new one. Dolphin pose. Let me see if I've got this right. It's essentially downward facing dog but on forearms, right? I gave it a go and found that my heels left the ground which they don't in the dog. Is this pose for stretching the calves then?


                              TopNotch yes, that is the pose. It is quite common for a person to be able to get their heels to the ground in down dog but not in dolphin. (I am the same way.) Part of that is ankle and calf mobility. If you think of the two poses as triangles, in dolphin you are shortening the length of the edge of the triangle opposite from your ankles. So the angle of your ankle vertex needs to be smaller (greater dorsiflexion) to keep the heels on the ground. Another factor is shoulder strength and flexibility (which is primarily what I'm using the pose to work on). The greater your strength and ROM in the shoulders, the more you can push your hips up and back, which brings your heels closer to the ground. (The same is true in down dog. Dolphin is just harder.)

                              Dolphin is great for stretching the whole backside of the legs, as well as stretching and strengthening the shoulders. It is also (usually) the starting position for moving into forearm balance. (In Sanskrit, Forearm Balance is called "Pincha Mayurasana", literally: "Feathered Peacock Pose", and Dolphin is called "Ardha Pincha Mayurasana', "Half Feathered Peacock Pose".


                                November 14:

                                GOBOT: - consecutive day 4
                                Exercise: - consecutive day 571
                                French: - consecutive day 370
                                YTT: - consecutive day 4
                                Asana: - consecutive day 4
                                Art: - consecutive day 5
                                GBOT: - consecutive day 8

                                hiking: none. icy-cold, wet snow, freezing rain, mixed precipitation mess all day long
                                workout w. Norma : 37:30 - Day 605
                                dolphin-a-day: 1 minute - Day 80
                                other: 5 minutes - forearm balance, two-footed hops to tucked handstand (or attempting this at any rate), handstands
                                French study: Netflix ("Good Girls"), Wingspan, Fluenz 3.20
                                YTT: pose review and assessment
                                Art: sketching