{the life} Bathroom Yoga + Yoga-lates

by Rachel on June 19, 2012

I have to say, I am really glad I decided to take on this yoga challenge when I did; the last two days days have had all the makings of a “I’m just not going to work out today” day.

Day 30: 25 minutes of bathroom & living room Iyengar-inspired yoga

Things really didn’t go according to plan on Monday, which kinda had me worried. Like, we’re a day into this and already the excuses are piling up?! I had planned to take the Yoga Sculpt class; my backup option was a late restorative yoga class. Both are new at my studio and the owner had asked me to attend each (not on the same night) and then write about them for the studio’s blog. I was planning on getting started on Monday. Even if I didn’t make the first class, I could definitely make the late class, so I didn’t figure I’d have any problems.

Well, after a day at work that was sort of weird and left me really in the mood for yoga, we ended up having an important team meeting on Friday evening. We didn’t get started until after 5:00, so I knew I’d be cutting it close with Yoga Sculpt. Not only did I miss that class, I missed the restorative class too. I had a lot on my mind after leaving work, and I really just wanted to go home and talk to Eric and zone out on the couch, but I managed to do both, and do yoga! He had made dinner (pineapple-marinated steak + grilled corn + green beans), so we ate and talked. After enough eating and talking, it was yoga time.

One thing I’m realizing about practicing yoga at home, at least for me, is that because of the lack of a hard floor/good place to practice, I’m not very likely to do a typical Vinyasa flow class. (It’s hard to do a lot of poses when your mat is sitting on top of carpet, and it’s especially hard on your wrists.) It makes more sense for me to pick and choose poses that I can do…and then stop, move to a different part of the apartment where it makes more sense, and do a few more poses…and so on and so forth. Usually this means poses from my Iyengar classes, as those classes have a similar stop-and-start format. On Monday night, I used the living room floor and living room wall to do several poses, and then my bathroom for several turbo dogs. (The bathroom has a hard floor, making it an ideal place for poses that involve being on your hands. It’s fine for a few poses, but it’s a rather tight fit — I wouldn’t want to do an entire flow class in there.)

Since I didn’t have an instructor there to push me, I tried to push myself pretty hard, and I felt really good after I was done. Then I rewarded myself with the couch time I’d been craving.

Day 29: 75-minute Yoga-lates class

While I was happy with how things had gone on Monday, it sort of left me unsure what to do on Tuesday. I typically don’t go to my studio on Tuesday, as the classes on Tuesdays always seem to be my least favorite, or just at times that don’t work for me. I didn’t want to do another home practice (I really feel like mixing things up this month is going to be crucial) but I wasn’t sure about the classes on the schedule. There were three yoga + pilates classes yesterday, classes that have just never appealed to me. I hadn’t actually taken one…and I realized yesterday I’d actually been avoiding them.

I was avoiding them because my abs are my “problem area,” and not in the way that so many women’s magazines use that term. I don’t have a problem with how the area looks (not because I have great abs, but because I just don’t care anymore); it’s a problem area because my abs are weak. I feel really self-conscious whenever I’m in any class that has an abs section because I tucker out so fast. Everyone seems to be doing fine with it. People twice my age, half my age, people who are total beginners…I’m always left thinking, How does everyone have strong abs except for me!? I’m sure it’s just a self-fulfilling prophecy. I feel like my abs are weak, so I hate working on them, so then I don’t, so they stay weak. I’m also convinced that everyone else is secretly doing hundreds of crunches every night before bed, even if they aren’t doing anything else. How else would everyone have such strong abs?!?!?!

In an effort to avoid dealing with my abs, I looked at a few other studios I’ve been to to see if any classes seemed like a good fit for last night, but none were at great times and all would involve a drive across town. It seemed like a lot of work to avoid working on my abs. So finally I was just like, Ya know…this challenge is all about making it work, so…you’re just going to have to suck it up and do yoga and pilates this one time.

I’m actually really glad I went. First of all, I love this instructor and haven’t been to one of her classes in a while. Second, I had forgotten how much I actually like pilates. It’s ab-centric, but I actually really don’t hate it at all. And turns out, the ab section in this class wasn’t that much longer than it is in any other yoga class, and I liked the exercises better. (Probably because I actually did a respectable job of performing them!) It was a challenging class but I left feeling really, really good.

It rained all day here yesterday, which made it cooler; my apartment was pretty chilly when I got home. After walking the dogs, I was overly excited to put on leggings and a long-sleeved T-shirt. I was blissfully working my way through all of the awesome articles mentioned in “The 10 Best Pieces of ‘Pink Journalism’ I’ve Read This Year” when Eric got home from spin. He made steak fajitas for dinner and then after dinner, he grilled chicken to add to a recipe I had wanted to make for lunches this week — minted orzo salad with chickpeas and feta — while I made the pasta salad.

I am not sure what my day will be like today, so I have no idea what I’ll do for yoga today. Office yoga? Iyengar class? A free class in Houston? I’m really not sure! But even though it’s only been a couple days, I find that I’m kind of enjoying the unpredictable way things are unfolding! I don’t know why I’d be into that at a time when life feels extra unpredictable, but somehow, it’s working for me.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Laura June 20, 2012 at 10:01 am

I know EXACTLY what you mean about the abs thing – I am so often embarrassed when it comes to the abs section of a class where I was otherwise doing fine. My most recent strength training routine includes one move that I’ve found to be killer and really work them – “forward ball roll.” Kind of like this, except I keep my body (from knees to head) in a straight line instead of bending at the waist, almost like a plank. The stronger you get, the further out you can roll, until you’re full out forward.


2 Amanda @ Click. The Good News June 20, 2012 at 10:25 am

I’ve been doing “house yoga” quite often too lately. I’ll sit in the living room with hubby- just wanting to hang out with him, but still on the floor, stretching, doing forward folds, working in a lotus, stretching my wrists, toss in an occasional down dog, give hubby a kiss, move to cobbler when a good part of the show comes on, twist some & play with the dogs.

I’m really happy to be still moving, visiting, and stretching. It’s no substitute for a full class, but it’s a great filler. Great job on tackling the dreaded abs class :)


3 Caity @ Moi Contre La Vie June 20, 2012 at 12:46 pm

I ADORE pilates, I can’t wait for my back injury to go-away so I can head back to my favorite class.

Do you and Eric have a cooking schedule or plan to alternate or is it more of a whoever gets home first/has the energy/wants to cook type of thing? My boyfriend (partner? ug – hate that word) and I frequently cook separately (he’s paleo & I’m vegan), or I’ll make my main and he’ll cook sides & his main, or I’ll cook for both of us. Works for us, but I’m interested in how others manage! :)


4 Rachel June 20, 2012 at 12:58 pm

I used to do everything and would be asking him for help with small stuff, but still doing the bulk of it, but then I realized I didn’t have that kinda time. So we then went to the schedule of alternating days, but now he’s doing more nights when I need him to (like if I want to write/need to write, which has been frequently lately). We plan our meals for the week with kind of a “What do you want to cook on your night?” mentality, as we each have our strengths and weaknesses in the kitchen. And on our nights, it’s our own responsibility to cook/not ask for help, but the other just usually helps out during the last few minutes (i.e. I’m done writing and so I wander in to chat and then make the side). On weekends, we will both kinda pitch in. We both do cleanup duty too. It’s working for us and I really love having it this way rather than both of us contributing each night! Way more efficient!


5 Emilia June 20, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Super impressed that you managed to keep up even when things felt difficult, sounds like you are off to a great start! That’s great that you found a class that works the abs and is enjoyable. Abs are so important to yoga, but all the movements that strengthen them always seem just a bit too typical work-outy to be enjoyable when in a yoga mood.

Good luck as the month goes on! I embarked on a similar journey a couple of months ago and found that doing daily-yoga got significantly easier as I fell into a routine. Completely worth it! :)


6 Eszter June 21, 2012 at 5:50 am

Ahhh, I’m so happy I’m not the only one writing about yoga in such detail in a regular, not-strictly-yoga-related blog :D, I truly enjoy these posts, and I might even go ahead with this 31 day challenge-thingie… it’s definitely inspiring, Rachel!

It’s funny because I was beginning to feel a bit down as no one was reading, liking, sharing or commenting on any my yoga-related blogposts, but then this has changed just this week. I wrote about a free, midsummer-open air yogafestival I went to, it got shared on a yogablog, and there I was, with a fresh yoga-audience FINALLY appreciating these posts! :DDD It’s pretty hard to live life without any yoga-buddies, and go to these events all alone… but then again, you always get to meet nice people.


7 Jessica June 21, 2012 at 8:35 am

I really like the yogalets class at the studio I’ve been going to, but I haven’t always been a big pilates fan. I also hate ab-focused classes, but they have definitely paid off as far as core strength. Still waiting on that 6 pack though…
I do find the “percussive breathing” REALLY helpful though, especially on the last few reps of some of the harder moves.


8 Sarah June 21, 2012 at 8:46 am

Nice update! I’ve decided to go ahead and do yoga every day on top of my other stuff. I’ve been taking it too easy, and it’s time to get back into.. well, beast mode. Anyway, it’s not like I’m that busy – at least not until it’s time to start packing! Thanks for coming up with the challenge, I think it’s just what I needed.
Also, I woke up SORE this morning after a class last night that didn’t feel all that hard at the time. Many of my fit minded friends are still “yoga? no, I want a work out!”. From someone who ran a marathon two months ago and regularly lifts, let me just say that yoga CAN make you hurt! (know you Get It, but a lot of people still dont’!) I’m excited to see how this challenge makes a difference in the way I look and feel.


9 Rain June 21, 2012 at 9:03 am

Ha yoga in the bathroom huh? Well we have to do what we have to do! :)
Good work on getting it in!!


10 fionarwbl June 21, 2012 at 3:38 pm

Yoga in the bathroom? That made me laugh at lot, mainly because my bathroom is so small that I could maybe bust out a forward fold, and some child’s pose, but that’s it! I know exactly what you mean about avoiding classes because you are not good at them. I hate / cannot do inversions, so I skip the classes that have them, even though if I went to them, I would actually get comfortable with my feet being in the air. The mind plays tricks on us.


11 Becca June 21, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Shameless plug for my cousin:

He’s heading down the west coast with his traveling yoga show (I really don’t know what to call it) with his friend and sister/my cousin. Tori leads the class, and he provides the music. I got to try the class when they were in Grand Ledge and loved it, they were at SXSW, but probably not during the portion you were there for. Hope the link works for you :)


12 Becca June 21, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Here’s their website, might help explain it more?



13 Rachel June 21, 2012 at 9:54 pm

So cool! Thanks for sharing!!


14 Emily June 21, 2012 at 9:23 pm

I think your 31-day challenge is off to a perfect start! It’s all about making it work no matter what’s going on with your day, and you’ve done that. I started the year with a 40-day challenge, and it was amazing. You’ll be SO proud of yourself at the end, plus you’ll feel fantastic. For me, there was also the best unexpected side effect: doing yoga every day gave me SO much creative energy. I’m interested to hear all about your 31 days!


15 Rachel June 21, 2012 at 9:57 pm

I am so amazed by people who do 40-day challenges! Did you go to a studio every day? I always get the impression that it’s all studio-based, which sounds exhausting.

You’re so right about the creative energy too! I went to a lunchtime class today and was reminded how much going at lunch seems to just make my whole day more productive. I’ve been writing since I got home from work…totally giving credit to the yoga!


16 emily hassman June 22, 2012 at 8:33 am

Luckily, my 40-day challenge did not require me to go to the studio every day! The studio hosted the challenge, so I had opportunities to make friends and get support from my teachers, plus we had optional weekly check-in meetings that were amazing. I think I went to the studio every day for the first 2 weeks, then I realized that was NOT sustainable for my schedule or for my body. After that, I went to the studio 4-5 x week and did home practices the rest of the time.

Lunchtime yoga classes are amazing! I need to get back into the habit!


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