No pics today, just my ramblings. Also no yoga today; mostly because I wasn’t able to do all of the Belly dance that I wanted to before I went to class so I did it when I got home (after my parentals went to bed) and now I don’t have the time or energy for yoga. It’s no big, I have skipped yoga before, I figure as long as I don’t skip it two, three, four, five…ten days…you get the idea.
So second day of Belly dance and wow, can I feel it. I am not doing a lot right now, just basic arm movements and hip circles. So I feel I slight tightness in my shoulder, upper arms and, oddly, calves. I think I feel a tightness in my calves partly because of the yoga postures but also because the belly dancing I’m doing right now isn’t a lot of movement, there’s a lot of standing and moving the hips and arms, so even though my legs aren’t locked (’cause that’s bad) I’m having to concentrate on not moving.
I’m learning that a lot of belly dance is isolating movement to one part of your body which is hard! Whereas yoga is holding your body still in a position, belly dance has movement but it is more isolated. That’s not to say that belly dance doesn’t have movement throughout the body but the movement tends to be isolated. So, for example when you are moving your hips back and forth, you don’t want to be leaning with the movement, so your hips move, and your legs move slightly but your upper body remains still. At least that’s the idea.
Both the yoga and belly dance are a definite workout just in slightly different ways. And I can definitely feel it in my muscles. I’m a sore, as would be expected with any new activity, but I’m not in pain. Which, to me, is preferable. If I’m in pain I’m not going to be motivated to do any physical activity, whereas if I’m a little tight I’m willing to work through the tightness and loosen up.
So I’m doing both the yoga and belly dance off of DVD’s and I wanted to talk about that a little bit. First of all, the reason I’m doing that is because I have a weird schedule since I’m finishing up my AAS in Paralegal Studies I have class at night and do homework during the day. And, yes, I could go to a yoga or belly dance class during the day but I’m not good at doing things by myself. I always feel a little awkward doing anything by myself even something as simple as going grocery shopping and it’s, like, x1000 when it’s some sort of physical activity. Since my only free time is during the day and the only person I know (aka my mom) who would do some sort of workout or something like that works during the day, I’m low on options.
My sister-in-law would probably do yoga with me but she lives in California so, I’m bust.
Hence, DVD’s!! Hooray for options for socially awkward people to get fun and relaxing and rejuvenating physical activity!
I like the ones I’ve got because both of the instructors on them are very encouraging. They both tell you not to push yourself too far, they tell you “if it hurts, stop, take a step back and do smaller or go back to the beginning.” Which I prefer, and personally think is safer, to the whole “PAIN IS GAIN,” ‘IF IT HURTS THAT MEANS YOU ARE DOING SOMETHING RIGHT RAAA!!” shit. And I’ve done a Jillian Michaels workout DVD, there was no understanding of people’s comfort and/or current activity level, it was all “push, push, push, don’t stop, if you’re tired keep going, there’s no time for weakness.” It was exhausting and, because I couldn’t go, go, go, I felt like a failure and stopped doing it.
So, I appreciate that these instructors tell you not to push too hard or go too far too fast and that if you’re in pain to stop, that pain shouldn’t be part of the yoga pose or belly dance movement.
I also really like the woman who does the belly dance instruction because you can tell she really loves what she is doing and there’s so much joy. And, she also mentions a few times that you’re movements are going to look different from hers because your body is unique.
One last thing, the movement I’ve had the hardest time with is the shoulder shimmies. I can get the shoulders going forward and back one after the other but it falls apart when I have to go faster. I know a lot of it is that because of my acculturation I feel like having the fat (what little of it there is, but it’s there) under my upper arms along with my little pooch and chest shouldn’t be moving and flopping about so I try to control it when I really shouldn’t. I appreciate the instructor though, ‘cause she points out the Western ideal that the fat under your arms shouldn’t move and points out that in this style of belly dance it’s actually considered part of the movement and there’s nothing wrong with it. It makes me feel better that she points out that it should move and it kind of makes me feel less awkward.
Day two done, sorry for the super long post.