Tuesday, August 26, 2008

cross training, susan style

"So, what do you do for cross training?"
this from a thirty-something hunk of an orthopedic surgeon in my cycling "power camp." He is slender yet solid with muscles glistening everywhere, and his smile is enough to knock you off your saddle. If you notice things like that.
"um... well... does yoga count?"

cross training in my dictionary is a synonym for "overachieving." is it not enough that I work really hard to be competent in ONE athletic endeavor? do I really have to add another? or two more, like all of my triathlete friends/acquaintances? I know people who actually RUN and SWIM and BIKE, and then they go compete in these things. no kidding.
you know about my running fantasy, and I fear it will remain in the fantasy realm for some time to come. I can only imagine trying to fit in enough workouts to keep becoming a better cyclist, plus more to become a (better) runner. I don't think so.

so I will stick with yoga.

I find two different definitions for cross training: first is the one I like, then the one I don't like as well.
1. To train in different sports, mainly by alternating regimens.
2. Doing two or more aerobic activities such as jogging, bicycling, and swimming on a regular basis.

I'm sure you detected the difference: the "aerobic" part. I can't really say that yoga always puts me in an aerobic zone.... so once again, I prefer the moderate, less intense definition. I will hang on to the belief that cross training just means focusing on different aspects of physical fitness instead of exclusively on one activity.
which means the weight training, the core-strengthening exercises, and yoga can all be considered cross training for me. see, isn't it nice to bend definitions and beliefs around so that they meet your needs?

cross training is on my mind this morning because it's yoga day, which is always a favorite. my shoulder has healed enough that I can again do cobras and crocodiles, though I am still careful. in a month or so, I may even return to power yoga on thursdays . . . but tuesday (gentle yoga) will probably always be my favorite.
I am fortunate to have an instructor who shares the easy translations of position names as well as the traditional Indian names: since all of the Indian names seem to end in "asana" I often fail to recognize them at all. which makes me wonder why it is that I don't try harder to learn them. I am a curious person, and I love to learn. so why is it that I don't put effort into learning these names? at times I give it a little try, and then I just let go. why am I not more eager to understand more deeply the world of yoga, when it is something I am so grateful for? I've been attending yoga classes regularly for over a year now; how difficult would it be to learn one name a day? or even one a week? perhaps I will take you on this journey with me . . .

let's start with a great one: Sukhasana. suh-KAHS-anna.
This means "easy pose," which is quite similar to sitting "indian style." of course there is much more to it ~ that's what yoga is all about ~ but it is not one of the more challenging positions.
"sukh" means happiness or delight, and I can't think of a better way to end this and set you on toward the rest of your day.


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