Monday, May 31, 2010

Women, Food & God [VIDEO]

Women, Food & God via my friend @suebob

Right along the lines of my most recent post, Hooked on Social Media? From Addiction to Discernment

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Iron Gym [VIDEO]

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Legs. Ride 'em Cowgirl: Week 2

This week my high school ROTC training kicked in a few times. That girl in the photo? She was in marching band, ROTC, every club under the sun and had 6-pack abs (ish) under that pleather jacket. She also didn't ride horses and in no way was a cowgirl, so who knows what the photo's all about.

Back to the workouts. This week I had to channel the internal drill sergeant. Five more. Push on. Fix form. Breathe. (Ok, that last one is the yoga instructor in me. I don't know that many sergeants that would remind you to breathe while you're dropping and giving fifty.)

Abstaining v Moderating

I'm an abstainer. Which is great to know. (What are you?)

It means that when I decide I should scale back on something it means I'm going to have to quit first. It's possible to moderate once I have quit completely. But I need to have abstained for a year or so in order to be sure I've really broken the habit.

Coffee/espresso was the first stop. Sugar was the second. (This I've been able to solve in an abstain-during-the-week fashion. No refined sugars of any sort M-F with small doses on the weekends - usually in the form of a dark chocolate.) Alcohol is third.

So this week on I'm off alcohol until the end of the KFB. Then I get to open a bottle of Gigondas. It's on the counter to remind me of my reward. And tempt me through another set of kicks and punches. Maybe I enjoy the punishment?

Body Fat Down

Right. Body fat is down already. No surprise. If you were following along for the Peak Condition Project you know my take on being a skinny gal. If not, let me summarize: skinny doesn't bother me. Slim/skinny/thin is all I've known all my life (I weigh now what I weighed in that photo - and I've heard everything: are you anorexic? Do you diet? Do you have a tapeworm? No, no and gross). I'm telling you this so you know - I'll probably lose a little more weight during KFB but not because I'm trying to. The diet shifts to nearly all vegetables in week three. And vegetables keep us slim. Add an hour plus in workouts a day, you see how slim happens.

The Legs

Already noticing more tone in the legs and feet. Kicking up into handstand (one of my goals with the KFB is to practice Adho Mukha Vrksasana with confidence - not what's pictured here, this is tripod headstand) is moving towards becoming effortless. At least I can see how it will eventually become effortless. Because I have long legs I find myself in the posture and feel out of whack. My feet seem so far away. And, honestly, having your feet in exactly the opposite place of where they usually are is awkward. Anyway, this is something I'm still working with.

Thanks for following along. Let me know if you have questions on anything. I'm always happy to clarify or expound or return to the drawing board if need be. Your participation is welcome and appreciated.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Base: Week 1 [VIDEO]

I'm one week into Kung Fu Body and want to get you all up to speed on where I'm at on the health, wellness, strength, flexibility and agility fronts. This is the base of it all, and I think it'll be helpful for you to know what my base health practices are to see where I get to at the end of the 90 days.

I plan to post just once a week here because I also hold down daily posts at The Mindfulist, 5 posts a week at and once a week or so at Elephant Journal. I'll do my best to make the weekly update worth your while!

I'm in great shape health-wise. (130lbs/lean mass 110.6lb/5'10.5")

I gave up coffee/espresso in October of last year. That has had a positive impact on my life. Here's how. Because I'm not buying coffee, I'm not spending as much time in coffee shops. Coffee shops have a lot of sugary/fluffy white foods. Since I'm not ordering a daily Americano I'm not eating a daily scone. Also, I'm not regulating my emotions/energy peaks and troughs with a "hit." It has been amazing to see the positive results of giving up coffee. (Note: I'm not suggesting you do the same, I'm just letting you know my results. Also, if you're drinking Starbucks Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha with Whipped Cream on a daily basis, you need to read this.)

Energy levels (as mentioned above) are solid. The workouts aren't easy, but they're well within my comfort zone. Day seven's 750 jumps was a bit exhausting, but when I put down the jump rope I feel like I've done great work.
Cutting out carbohydrates has been straightforward. I had already eliminated refined sugars except for on the weekends (after reading Michael Pollan's Food Rules I realized that was one of my final hurdles. So, I've been cutting back to just sugar on the weekends. Next (and final?) frontier for me: giving up alcohol altogether. We'll see how that goes. I love a cold stout after a day at work.


This is one area I'm aiming high in with KFB. I've been increasing the amount of work I do in arm balance postures and am showing signs of improvement, but I still have a way to go. I add arm balances to the end of each KFB workout (at the moment, hand stand and moving slowly from tripod to head stand and back down with control). Legs not the issue - always the arms.


Easiest aspect of KFB for me. Because of my yogic background, this is the one portion of the workout where I don't feel awkward at all. Punches/kicks aren't something I'm naturally good at. The short video clip at top is from a recent one-on-one yoga session with Skanda Yoga founder Ken von Roenn. It was the first time I've come into the full expression of King Pigeon, Eka Pada Rajakapotasana. My plan is to come into and out of that more gracefully at the end of KFB.

State of mind. State of body. State of balance-in-motion.

Happy to be on this journey with you, fellow balance seeker.

To kung fu as a way of life!