Monday, September 3, 2007

The rest of the real busy day

So.  After stripping for weight loss and checking out my psychic powers, I met dad for lunch.  After that, it was back to the gym for non-stop classes.

At 1:30, I took "Meditation Express" (stupid annoying therapist dude had said I should look into meditation for stress relief).  We lay on our yoga mats while someone guided us through various thoughts.  At one point, we were supposed to breath and count our breaths backwards from 100.  I couldn't count more than 3 or 4 in a row without my mind wandering to something else -- in an almost-dreamlike state -- although I wasn't actually asleep because I was always conscious of the fact that I should've been counting my breathing.  I would find out later in the day that this was actually a good thing.

At 2:00, I took yet another dance class.  This one was straight up jazz, to '80s music -- which was a real flashback for me as I actually took jazz dance classes in the '80s.  Impressed myself with how well my body remembered steps I hadn't actually done in 20 or so years, and was also pleased that my ankle held up to most of it.  (There were a couple of moves that were probably a bad idea -- but so much went down with my ankle yesterday, it's hard to say what was actually at fault.)  Class was a heck of a workout for me -- I wasn't only breathing heavy, but my whole face was flushed and felt hot.  I didn't have the heart rate monitor on during the class, but I imagine my widdle heart was pumping away at speeds it hadn't seen in quite some time.

At 3:00, I took "Yamuna Body Rolling."  It's sort of a stretchy thing where you take a ball -- somewhere between 4 and 8 inches in diameter -- put your weight on it (e.g., sit on it with one side of your butt) and then roll it up or down a muscle (e.g., slide yourself along the ground so the damn thing is partway down your thigh).  It's surprisingly uncomfortable (you discover tightness in your thigh muscle you weren't aware was there) but also surprisingly effective (feels all nice and loose when you're done).

By 4:00, I was reading for a full hour of "Guided Relaxation," so I was back on the yoga mat -- this time wrapped in a warm, cozy blankie.  I ended up in the same sort of awake-but-nearly-awake mindset (the leaders was having us focus on some 61 chakras, one by one -- I was paying some vague sort of attention to him, but it was really hard to keep dragging my mind back from wherever it was over to the chakra of the moment).  At the end of this class, the leader asked if anyone fell asleep (the woman to my left!  I heard her snoring!) and a lot of us, like me, weren't entire sure if we did.  He said that if you were in that could-be-awake, could-be-asleep zone, that meant you had enhanced beta (or alpha -- I forget) little brain waves going and that's where you're supposed to go when you meditate.  Yay!  I meditated!  Go me!

At 5:00, we went to a joint pain lecture.  It actually wasn't a lecture, it was a sales pitch for their method of joint pain relief -- although the first half of the lecture talked about how traditional methods of joint pain relief (NSAIDs, immobilization, steroid injections, etc.) don't actually work in most patients.  I thought about the history of my ankle and considered that he might actually have had a point there.

After dinner (dessert was pomegranate sorbet -- totally yummy), I had an evening "Watsu."  This is a really bizarre sort of massage done in the pool.  I didn't quite know what to expect, so I showed up at the Aquatic Center wearing my swimsuit.  Your Watsu Tech (mine was a dude named Keith) takes you into a private pool.  The room actually has four private pools in it, but they're all separated by potted greenery that acts like hedges, and the new age music piped in drowns out all other sounds.  I went in the pool with Keith and he put little floaty things around my thighs.  (I told him I can float pretty good, but I didn't fight him on the floaty things too much, as I figured we were about to get in fairly friendly positions, so I might as well get used to him while I was still standing up with my eyes open.)  So then he puts his hand under my head and tells me to just lean back into his hand whenever I'm ready.  I drop back, and the rest of me starts floating.  (About a minute later, he removes the floaty things.)  From then on, it's about 45 minutes of -- yeah, words really do escape me.  It's a cross between massage, yoga, and perhaps synchronized swimming.  I kept my eyes closed during the whole thing, which was slightly disorienting in a really cool way.  Keith always kept my nose and mouth above water, so breathing was easy and I didn't have to worry about staying bouyant.  Meantime, he's pulling me in various stretches and pulling me through the water -- allowing the resistance of the water to do a lot of the work. 

It was all fairly nifty, although he kinda forgot the promise to stay the hell away from my ankle -- and by the time he was pulling on it, I figured: (a) the harm was already done; and (b) it would totally ruin the whole spiritual relaxation element of this experience if I opened my eyes and said, "Dude, stay offa the ankle."  So I really don't know who to blame for the ankle not being great today -- well, other than ME, of course.

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