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Monday, September 30, 2013

How do you get stronger arms? Do push ups.

I went to Gaia Flow today to get a little more arm and ab work than what we get in Bikram yoga. Gaia Flow has a "Weekend Warrior" class that is fairly warm, though certainly not as hot as Bikram yoga. They start the class with something like 300-400 ab moves. Seriously...300-400...I guess it depends who it teaching or what kind of mood they are in. Then they move into the good stuff, arm balancing, core working postures where even the fittest of people start to quiver before the teacher says to move into another posture. And if you aren't challenged, there are always variations of the posture..I stayed with the basics.

I've been several times, they always stop after the ab work and discuss something the studio is "working" on or "focusing" on for the week. This week it was moderation. Moderation in your practice and in life; letting go of the ego and knowing your limits that day. I thought it was interesting and perhaps not a coincidence that I am participating in a moderation eating group and he referenced attempting to practice moderation in your eating...like only eating a few chips at a Mexican restaurant. And many of the things the teacher used as examples of moderation in yoga were things I try to communicate when I teach.

Today in class I tried to practice moderation and not kill myself doing postures I am not totally familiar with or frankly, that good at. Downward dog is a favorite and a "go to" transition posture for just about everything we did today. After awhile my wrists started to hurt. I probably could have stayed in the postures but only to the determent of my ability to move my hands later. I opted to be safe and sit out a posture here and there, sip my water and wipe the streaming sweat off my face. Much of the arm balancing postures I couldn't do, arm strength is not something I have and though we do some arm work in Bikram, it isn't one of our top selling points.

After class a friend and I were talking about what we thought of the class and I got to the part about class when we did the arm balancing postures and my weak arms. I commented that I was trying to "work" on my arms by doing push ups at home. He asked how many I was doing. "Uh, 3-4 at a time at the moment." he laughed and the proceeded to tell me I should be able to do 100 push ups a day. 100?! After we both had a good laugh, he looked at me completely serious and said, "yes, you should be able to do 100 push ups every day." Dude, I can barely do 5, how the heck am I suppose to do 100? He was kind enough to break it down and say I could do 10 push ups 10 times a day which sounded more achievable. And, because we did so many push up moves in class he said I should shoot for doing another 50 the rest of the day to make my 100. 50?! Sheesh...uh...ok....

I know, you are wondering if I made it. It wasn't easy but I did 50 push ups. Ten at a time. Oddly enough, the last two "reps" I was able to pump out 4 solid without stopping, then a few more, then boom, was done. It was as if my arms got STRONGER as I did more. Shocker I know. I'm eager to see what tomorrow brings. I will either be able to do 100 or my arms might feel so weak I won't be able to lift myself off the floor. Check back tomorrow to see if I can still pull myself up to the computer to type.



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