AKTour: Ariel Hoffman’s Diary. Week 2.


Tip #6: Try something new!
Vacations are always a fun way for me to discover something new that I have never tried before. i.e. Kayaking down a river into the open sea for instance, can be quite physically challenging, and, whenever you try something new, there is almost always a newly found sense of accomplishment. So scope out those activities that might be available such as a kayaking tour, a longer, more challenging hike, surfing, or an ocean swim. If you are inexperienced at these activities, always find a guided tour to assist you in getting you out there.

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Tip #7: Finding your Zen
During my stay in Gisborne, I was invited to take a yoga seminar from a man named Peter Sanson, and I was lucky enough to have had the opportunity to attend two blocks of his workshop (which was a total of 8 days of practice). Within that time, I had come to learn that this man is apparently a well renowned yoga guru, who has over 30 years of training and experience, and for whom people fly from all over the world to places all over the world in order to attend his workshops. Not knowing much about this yoga workshop, I went in with no expectations and no agenda. After this experience, I can honestly say that my perception of Yoga is now completely transformed, and I am now going to find a way to incorporate this practice into my regular life once I return home. I have finally found what I have been searching for.
I have always found it difficult to find my zen in the middle of a crazy bustling New York City, and I had also yet to find a yoga practice that I connect with, and had the desire to continue on with, mainly because there are now so many different types of Yoga, where do you begin? Well, I have finally found it. Mysore Ashtanga Yoga. This practice emphasizes the original fundamentals of how it initially began, which is through the breathe, one can cultivate a consciousness that brings you in to a present state of focus. Another way of saying, moving away form all of that chatter of the mind (regardless of who, and what is going on around you) Here, you are packed in a room, the warmth and heat in the room only created from all of the bodies in the space, standing right next to one another. It’s simple: you stand on your mat, and you just start your Vinyasas (Sun salutes). You then continue on through the asinas at your own pace, breathing at your own pace, not moving on until the body opens, letting go at your own pace, all while listening to the guru telling you to “breathe” and “yes” and “breathe” again, you somehow know that he is talking to you even though he is speaking to everyone, and often times he will come around and help you into a pose/position you may be struggling with, still chanting “breathe” to you and everyone else in the room. The idea is simple: vinyasa means movement with breathe, it’s all about energy, and with that you can unlock your body step by step.
Mysore Ashtanga Yoga is an experience and a practice, it is not a workout in the sense that I know a workout, and it has connected with me because it’s about letting go, through accepting the discomfort and attempting to maintain the poses (asinas) without strain, slowly releasing tension and emotion that has been held onto by the body for years. The purpose is not about performance, or the “what’s next”. It’s about coming away from distraction, staying in the present, and coming into a state of deep concentration, and letting go. For me, I find the meaning in these fundamentals, and it’s the Yoga way of saying, movement with a purpose.

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Tip #8: My workout plan
With work travel and some vacations, I see the opportunity to basically put together my own little version of summer camp. You know, when you were a kid in summer camp, and you had a bunch of activities lined up, one after another. Well, why not incorporate this idea into travel workouts. Try THIS! Today, I did the following:

1. After I wake up: Go for a run (30min) with a strength circuit training mixed in.
2. AKT Progressive Happy Hour.

Early evening:
3. 25min jog
4. An evening swim (pool or ocean) for 35min. Moderate to hard intensity.(providing a little kick before dinner)
Guaranteed to make you feel good and refreshed!

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Tip #9: Nutrition/ Food
Taking advantage of the many orchards that are around here in Gisborne, I was able to make my own salad using the following ingredients, some that were picked fresh from the trees!
Recipe: Beat/ Avocado Salad:
1. Raw Spinach greens, or mesclun
2. Fresh beat, roasted in the oven
3. Avocado, freshly picked from the tree! And my favorite thing to eat!
4. A Lemonade citrus fruit (it is like a lemon, it grows on trees, and it tastes JUST like lemonade without the added sugar!)
It’s so wonderful to find new fruit, as they should be found in nature, and that is tasty, all natural,
I think that the road to good nutrition starts from learning about what you eat, and having an appreciating for where it all comes from.

Tip #10: Outdoor Circuit #2
Find a set of stairs, and just as the last circuit, you can do ex’s 1-6, 3x thorugh in row after a 30min run, or, you can do ex’s 1-6 after 10 min running intervals, and repeat 3x through.
1. Heel Clicks 16x
2. Twisting Knee ups 16x each side
3. Passe Jumps 10x each side
4. Cross Karate Kicks 16x each side
5. Handstand kicks 16x each leg
6. Standing Side Abs 20x each side

These exercises will be sure to get you dripping with sweat, get that heart rate up and add a little pizzazz to your outdoor run! Let us know how it goes!

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