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An Exercise in Patience

Tonight I attended my least favorite yoga class that is offered at my studio – Long, Slow, Deep. In LSD you warm up with a little bit of standing flow and then move to the floor for loooooonnnngggg holds (3-5 minutes) in the poses. I think I’ve completed a grand total of maybe five LSD classes because they are so ridiculously hard for me.

That said, it’s a good thing to force myself through on occasion. If you have been following my blog for a while then you know that I have a hard time sitting still. I love to be busy and on the go. Long, Slow, Deep forces me to calm down for 90 minutes and deal with whatever is going on in my head and in my body. I like to call it, an exercise in patience.

The occasion for tonight’s LSD class was a sore shoulder. Without going into too much detail, I have been battling some discomfort in my shoulder since last weekend. This is forcing me to stay off my mat and I just couldn’t take it anymore tonight. LSD was the only class that I knew would force me to take it easy on my shoulder.

There are plenty of people who love LSD. If you think you might be one of those (crazy!) people, here is an overview of what we did tonight. Replicate it at home, should you feel so inclined! Hold each pose for 3-5 minutes and use blocks when needed to rest your head or chest. You want to find the point where you reach your edge and then back off a bit to where you can relax. A general rule of thumb…when you are ready to come out of it, stay for at least another minute or two! Things will tingle, fall asleep, ache…all normal! Just stay with it!

Warm Up
Child’s Pose
Cat/Cow
Spinal Balancing
Down Dog (three point and open up through the hip for additional variations on each side)
Forward Fold (rag doll)
Chair (with a twist on each side)
Standing Split

Seated Postures
Half Dog
Low Lunge (see photo above)
Head to Knee
Revolved Head to Knee (we did this with the knee bent out towards the glute instead of in towards the leg)
Pigeon (see photo above)
Ardha Matsyendrasana (hold for just a minute)
Reclined Hero Pose (with one leg bent and one leg straight)
Shoulder Opener (lay on your belly and extend one arm straight out to the side, roll over so that chest is facing up and bend the knee to anchor, you should feel a big stretch in your shoulder. Let me know if you don’t get this, I will post a picture!)
Dragonfly (lay on your belly and thread one arm under the other – you should be laying on your crossed arms with palms facing down and chin resting in the nook between the elbows)
Supported Shoulder Stand
Final Rest

Okay, it took me quite a while to type all that out so please let me know if you try it! 😛 This type of practice is very restorative and relaxing!

Quick overview of some of today’s food (breakfast and snacks unpictured!).

I didn’t have time to go home for lunch today so I ran to my favorite quick lunch spot, Berrybrook Farm. It’s a natural foods market with an awesome little food counter. I got a bowl of their French vegetable soup with white beans and pesto. It was seasoned beautifully and so delicious!

Dinner after yoga was leftovers reinvented.

The Rustic Chicken Pasta minus chicken and plus sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts and spinach.

What kinds of activities are “an exercise in patience” for you!? I know I’m not the only one who can’t sit still! 😉

{ 14 comments… add one }
  • 1
    Lindsay von March 30, 2011, 11:11 pm

    I used to love taking yin yoga classes on Sunday night, a nice mellow way to exit the weekend and start the week with centering. Running is an exercise in patience for me, I find it mind numbingly boring…so pretty much the opposite!

    I’ve been following your blog for a while, love seeing it pop up in my reader right before going to bed. You mentioned at one point doing a BodyPump 101 type post. I haven’t been able to find it in the blog archives. Did I miss it or any chance we might see one in the future? 😀

  • 2
    shelby March 30, 2011, 11:28 pm

    I can’t imagine doing yoga while holding posts for 3-5+ minutes! Yikes. I do enjoy the stretch I get when we hold crow and cow-face for, like, a minute or two in my vinyasa class…but I think I’d have serious mental hurdles with anything longer than that.

    Funny, I don’t have any trouble running for 2-3 hours and am happy to let my mind wander, but those long stretches of time in a yoga class kind of scare me!

  • 3
    Megan@eatmybeets March 30, 2011, 11:35 pm

    Agreed on the long holds. I just cannot do it. Some poses are just waaay to uncomfortable. (like pigeon) Good for your for enduring it!

  • 4
    Becky March 31, 2011, 8:04 am

    I can imagine that LSD is quite the challenge. It is often a mental battle for me to get through any yoga class, so I can imagine that it would be particularly difficult to push through a slower flow. It does seem like a very restorative practice. Thanks for sharing! I just may unroll my mat tonight. I’m sure my post-marathon body would appreciate it.

    • 5
      Jen March 31, 2011, 10:10 am

      I bet it would be so beneficial for you post-marathon!

  • 6
    Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner) March 31, 2011, 8:27 am

    3-5 minute holds?! SO tough!! I might try that…although I bet I last only a minute or so! 😛

  • 7
    kayli (Running on Sunshine) March 31, 2011, 9:21 am

    My studio has a class like LSD, but it is called Restorative Yoga. I am a busy bee, so this type of class is difficult for me too! It takes “being in the moment” to a whole new level! I force myself to go to it every now and then because I feel so relaxed and sleep great afterwards! I also think it’s a great class for injury-prone runners like myself.
    Happy Thursday!

    • 8
      Jen March 31, 2011, 10:09 am

      Kayli – I agree! It’s definitely extremely beneficial for those of us who struggle with injuries. It’s also a great supplement to intense training.

  • 9
    Sydney Robyn March 31, 2011, 10:00 am

    I find Yin (or LSD/Restorative) yoga classes to be such an excellent practice in silencing mind to body – you really come to realize how much your mind holds you back in postures! I like to try to get to one or two a week to balance out my more aggressive workouts.

    I agree with Lindsay Von – running is much harder for me. My mind ends up focusing on the time and how each part of my body hurts, counting down how far I’ve gone and how long until I can justify taking a rest. That said, the most mentally challenging “workout” I think I have ever done is the military beep test. Has anyone ever had to run one of those things? My mind always gives up before my body does.

    • 10
      Jen March 31, 2011, 10:07 am

      Sydney – I totally agree that the classes are effective and you can learn so much when you dig down deep and figure out why you want to come out of something, move past it and surrender to the posture.

      I haven’t done a military beep test but I’m totally intrigued. I just googled it and I MUST do one now!

  • 11
    natalie March 31, 2011, 10:41 am

    Gah, I can’t stand classes like this either!! I’m all for a good stretch and a fulfilling workout, but I just do not mesh well with holding poses for hours [ok, it feels like hours!] on end!

    Exercise in patience for me, would be anything that is too repetitive or makes me wait my turn… I don’t even like bowling, but waiting for my turn is too time consuming for me, haha!

  • 12
    Kristy@RunTheLongRoad March 31, 2011, 11:47 am

    This class would be my worst nightmare too! I like to hold poses but 3-5 minutes is a bit extreme! My mind would wander too…like, I would start to think about my “to do” list. Doesn’t that defeat the purpose?!?!

  • 13
    Phoebe Lee April 1, 2011, 9:28 am

    Hi!

    Is this sort of like the “Yin” yoga? I took it once, and although I adore the more vigorous ashtanga yoga, I found yin yoga to be amazingly relaxing and really opens one up!

  • 14
    Brittaney @ Fit Chick Britt April 1, 2011, 6:53 pm

    I think I need this kind of yoga! Thank you so much for sharing.

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