Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Stretching Out April

When January rolled around and the calendar changed to 2014, I  decided I would not set health and fitness goals for the whole year.  Rather, each month I have chosen a different area to focus on and make some positive changes.

In April I have been working on flexibility and stretching… this has meant more frequent yoga sessions and an ongoing search for yoga DVDs.  I am thoroughly enjoying all the stretching and also practicing yoga with The Captain at home some mornings… yoga mats side by side on the living room floor.  The morning light in our apartment is fabulous and it is a really nice start to the day. 

I have been having some trouble finding just the right DVDs for our home yoga practice and I after purchasing one that I am a bit disappointed with, I have been taking them out of the library.  My own yoga experience is quite limited.  In March I attended  4 or 5 Flow Yoga classes and 4 Body Flow classes at the gym.  The Captain has never had the benefit of a live instructor.  Finding a suitable beginner’s yoga DVD has been a challenge for sure.  We have done some where the flow is much too quick for us… some don’t have any instructions at all… some have poses that are way too difficult.  We have discovered that we like Rodney Yee’s productions and voice, but not necessarily the actual routines.  

Thanks to those of you who have offered suggestions about DVDs we might try.  I am actively searching them out.

This week I borrowed one from the library called Yoga Zone,  led by yoga master Alan Finger. 

Apr 30 yoga zone 001

He guides the student through simple, easy to understand  routines and poses.  His instructions are so well-articulated that you do not have to keep looking at the tv screen to be able to follow along with the flow and that makes it so much better for the neck and head, I think.  He explains where to place your weight on your feet and hands, and when and how to move with your breath. I think the foundation in learning these basic poses will be good for us as we progress.     There is a second disc for meditation practice as well.

We did this yoga DVD for the first time on Monday morning… and we both relaxed so deeply near the end that we almost fell asleep during the Shavasannah.  On Tuesday, as we were stretching after our 4 mile  morning run, The Captain said he could really feel some of the places on his hips and legs that had been challenged by the yoga moves.  Great.   I think we will do this yoga session again on Thursday morning before I head to work. 

And as for me, I really noticed some tendency toward cramping in both my calves after our run.  I wonder if this was my own reaction to some of the yoga poses we tried on Monday.  After drinking several glasses of cold water, I made delicious berry-banana protein smoothies  for both of us to enjoy while we stretched… adding a spoonful of Fermented L-Glutamine to mine. I think it helps with muscle recovery from tough workouts.  My legs were quite tired and the stretch felt really good.

Apr 29 Smoothies 002

Then, after my shower I put on my Tommie Copper leggings.  This picture was taken last Summer but I want to show them to you.  They fit me perfectly.

Aug 14 TC 001
Right away I could feel the warmth building in my legs, and the cramps eventually subsiding.  When we went out later to do some grocery shopping, I kept them on… just pulled my jeans on over top.  I  wore the leggings throughout the evening and only removed them to change into my jammies for bed.    I must sound like a broken record by now, but if you get a chance to try some Tommie Copper compression gear, DO IT!

I am kind of sorry to see April and the focus on flexibility come to an end… but I am certainly not giving it up.  I have seen some slight improvements and that only encourages me to continue.  I love stretching and plan to never give that up.  But, it is almost May and time to move on.

How did April pan out for you?

Are you a fan of stretching?


  1. April wasn't the greatest for running, but it did go good for nearly everything else. You do look great in your Tommie Copper gear. I am a big fan of stretching but I have to admit I was not always such a big fan.

  2. I always stretch after a run but should do it daily:)

  3. I am not sure I feel this with Tommie Cooper but I keep trying my ones I got to see... is it subtle?

    I stretch a lot! :)

    1. Do you mean is the warmth subtle? I am not sure quite what you mean, but after I have had any of my TC clothing on for a few minutes, my skin starts to feel warmer ... not HOT, but definitely warmer. I love the comfort and coziness of these garments so much.

  4. I try to remember to stretch often, but I am really bad about remembering sometimes.

  5. I LOVE PANTS that fit PERFECTLY!!!!! That's the best thing EVER :) And I definitely do NOT stretch enough! I did go to pilates today though! ;)

  6. I was not at all a fan...until 40.
    and now? IM A HUUUUUGE FAN or Im too stiff to move :-)


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