And then about this time on a Tuesday afternoon (it's 4pm here), the Heroes reaction posts start appearing... at which point K *headdesks* and curses her timezone for the n-th time.
So, I'm killing time by posting some I'm currently taking a six-week Intro 2 course in ashtanga yoga. Don't let the 'intro' part fool you--it's damn hard. I'm four weeks in and very proud of myself for having made all 8 hour-and-a-half sessions so far. I've learnt a lot about myself even in this short spell--my teacher is amazing. And I've been meaning to record my progress in some way so that I can (hopefully) track my improvement throughout the rest of the year. For I certainly plan to continue with ashtanga, although I'm not sure 'where to' after the Intro course: I may have to repeat it, as I'm not sure I'm ready for the 'regular' classes yet.
- strenthened arm and shoulder muscles: this is a huge thing for me, as my upper body's always been weak
- lost 1kg in weight
- bending at hips a lot easier
- finding it easier to consciously push my shoulderblades down my back to correct my posture
- can do three Surynamaskar A and three Surynamaskar B relatively comfortably (again, a big improvement for me given upper body issue)
- more conscious of engaging abdominal muscles
- steadier in my balance
- can do reversed triangle poses fairly respectably now.
- (the good first) I have oddly flexible hips. We're working on forward bends at the moment, most of which I have no problem with, while the rest of the class struggles. Half lotus on my right side is quite comfortable for me.
- (the bad, now) I am ridiculously weak in the arms. So much so, that I can't even do stage 1 of headstand preparation, let alone headstand itself, *lol*. Basically it hurts for me to put my arms in the basic position even when I'm on all fours.
- Backbends are a real bitch for me. Thankfully my teacher is extremely bossy about overstretching, so he's taught me to modify positions accordingly. Apart from the public humiliation factor, this is fab, as I am now working constructively to slowly improve my back flexibility, rather than straining myself.
So there you have it. Flop forward, and K is all bendy and happy. Flop backwards or demand something from arms and you can forgettaaboutit! This does make a strange sort of sense to me. I was born with dislocated hips, so perhaps they always have been inclined to stretchiness. And on top of that, I spent six years training my legs in tae kwon-do, while my upper body was (somewhat) neglected. Anyway, yay hips, boo arms!
I can't wait to know what I'll be like with a month or two more of practice! It really is rather exciting.
And while I'm at it, some brief Friday Night Lights
I'm all caught up on episodes again, and could easily fill a post on each, but I'm lacking in time. The main thing I want to squee about is just how much heart there is in this show. The issues (overt or implicit) in the recent episodes are very weighty--race, sexism, teen sex. And while I cringed at some characters' actions or reactions at moments, I never lost my love for any of them. The conflict is so well crafted on this show, because they continually show us different sides of the same issue. At times this is a little clumsy or obvious (suddenly we learn that the racist coach is 'crucial' to the team's success and that he's a product of his upbringing and is self-aware of that), but it almost always wins me over (we see the coach actually do something constructive for the team in protecting Smash).
Another thing that fascinates me and sucks me in is the way that the conservative politics are so present, so there, and yet I just can't hate the characters because or the show--they're so beautifully, realisticly drawn. For example, I hated the coach and wanted him sacked, but I found I loved the plot overall because of what it did for Smash--he learnt how to balance his team loyalty with his personal (and political) dignity. And I also loved Mrs Coach for her absolute condemnation for his words.
Yet, on another matter I found myself out of sympathy with Mrs Coach. While I think her panic about Julie's impending sex with Matt was very well drawn and acted, her initial approach had me worried. Coach and Mrs Coach often seem like perfect parents and her close relationship with Julie is admirable. However, as the only child of a single mother, I can easily remember how hard it was as a teenager to forge an independent approach to relationships. There are some things you just do not want to share with your parents--and I don't think that's unhealthy. In fact, the opposite--suffocating intimacy--can be emotionally damaging. So for a little while in this episode, I had alarmbells ringing. However, Mrs Coach won be back with her 'we raised a strong, smart daughter and we need to trust her' speech. That is good parenting.
And I loved that Julie was smart enough and strong enough to ultimately make her own decision about the sex. And I had a lot of sympathy for Julie's desire to have 'control' of that first experience, and to get over that social hurdle. I don't actually think it would have been dreadful for her if she had had sex with Matt. But I would have felt for him, since I think that would have turned the relationship into something different. As it is, Julie's been courageous enough to take it to a deeper emotional level first--and that can be scarier than sex, imo. And since I know Matt adores her, I'm really happy for him. He could not be a bigger sweetheart. That shed scene made me love him more than ever!
I can't talk about FNL and not mention the feminist issues, of course. *g* As you might expect, the powerpuff (sp?) episode set my teeth on edge. Is that serious? Does that actually happen? That 'feminised' American football as novelty-event? Yuck! Having said that, it may just possibly be my favourite episode of FNL so far! Contrary, I am. *g* Because nothing could have been more fabulous than Tyra taking on Tim's team almost single-handedly! I do love that girl SO MUCH. I also heart Matty for picking Tyra first, even if it did hurt Julie. I'd pick Tyra too, dammit! She's about twice as tall and twice as strong as any of those other girls! And those training scenes were hysterical. Tyra all gung-ho and Matt all flail-y. I loved the rivalries in that match too--Tyra versus Lyla (yes, Lyla, you are a stuck-up snob) and Tyra versus the Garritys, and Tyra versus Tim. Oh, Tyra!
I also loved Julie getting to play quarterback. There was that subtle sense of Julie and Matt being shown as two-of-a-kind at the same time as Tyra and Tim were shown to be. (You could see Tyra wishing she was on Tim's team--his training style was far more in line with her personality.)
Oh, and disaster-zone Tim continues to charm me, mainly because he brings out Tyra's protective instincts. I love, love, love that she's still keeping an eye on him and that she puts out fires all over the place--running from sacked-and-dumped-mum to drunk-and-bashed-Timmy. I found Tim's self-destruction painful to watch in its transparency, but at that age self-destruction is such a common response to the world. I love it being shown in all its ugliness. And that corridor scene between Smash and Tim was absolutely wonderful--Tim acknowledging his lack of leadership skills compared to Smash. Oh, and there's nothing like a common foe to bring two enemies together! ;-)
Sometimes watching FNL feels like giving one's heart a warm bath--it's my chicken soup show.