Does Cross Training = Recovery Time? — My Yoga-to-Dance aha! Moments! – # 4

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“a beginner’s view – the intent of this blog is to incrementally build a body of thought that works toward integrating various topics, yoga, fitness, and the arts – it’s a process…”


does cross training = recovery time? — my yoga-to-dance aha! moments! – # 4


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The Crux of It

the obvious, literal answer, is – no, but…

Cross Training Chaos

cross training is defined many ways, but seems to boil down to doing an activity differing from your norm, thus working either different muscles, or working them in a different way (like: aerobic vs anaerobic, stretching vs strengthening)

one could probably add group work vs individual work, as the mind is further worked differently re attention-direction

one could even get silly, though within definition, and add hot vs cold vs humid or dry conditions

depends on the person’s idea of what is being “cross” trained 😉


The End-Around the Crux of It

recovery itself, especially exercise recovery, implies the body’s (especially the musculature) ability to resume the previous same activity, either becoming too fatigued to continue, or to at least continue at some level

conditioning, getting fit, or doing your routine more regularly, evidently increases both your recovery ability, and your recovery time

again, recovery can be applied to the mind, as in restoring interest, thus avoiding burn-out  [1]


implied in a cross training effort, is that something gets to recover, at least some…

so if i mix one part cross training doesn’t = recovery time, with one part yes it does, i get, for me, a limited time offer…

i can, to a point, switch and pitch myself a new fitness routine, promising myself eternal interest, energy, and commitment –  [2]

swap yoga for elastic bands then jazzercise for yoga, to senior chair stretches for yoga (my favorite way to do a light recovery workout) til i can’t remember what i’m swapping for what…so i rest….


The Brick Wall We Build Past the End-Around of the Crux of It

each time i swap out an exercise activity for another, no matter how smartly timely or fortuitously, i lay a brick upon a rising wall of resistance to further work

Organized Chaos

each time i (finally) rest, sleep well, cuddle with my wife, pet my pet (in my mind), i remove a brick –

…sometimes exposing the earth to much needed air and rain and light

and i rest…

so this game can go on for quite a long time, and it did – so long i began to think i’d beat the recovery variable of the formula


practicing a couple days before my two wed yoga classes, one am, one pm- gives me lots of time to rest, i said to myself –

practicing intensely, i should add…

and not just “getting down” a series of anatomical moves [3] i’d been reading about on ray long’s blog, “daily bandha” –

not just sequencing the various asana enhancements he so carefully depicts –

not just trying to remember the sanskrit-like latin names of muscles i didn’t know i had, much less used –

but also “working” the nuances that relax my hamstrings, or straighten my pelvic bones over my femurs knees and feet, or broaden my breathing –

then working the nuances that rose from the nuances –

fitting it also for those who’ll come to class –


then, i taught the my yoga classes, incorporating much of what i’d practiced, into the class routines –

in my classes, that means, as i mentioned in a comment on yoga journal’s “beginner’s mind” blog :

Simplified Chaos

“it has lots of start and stops and talk about, not just alignment, but muscles involved (incl, sometimes, agonist & antagonist), which energy system’s being used (aerobic or anaerobic), ROM (range of motion options), and lots and lots of breath work variations and options” –

my two current classes are focussed on a blend of learning and doing, great for us beginners, teacher & class 😉

bottomline-starting-to-form – wednesday night, after my second class, i was sorta sore, but, said to myself, not too bad 😉


thursday i did some box-sorting from sheila’s and mine’s 30+ years of stored stuff  we’re determined to dump donate or divvy up with family 😉

did i mention i worked in a 1/2 hr elastic band workout, for fun?

well, friday morning i didn’t feel too good, but i suited up (here in galveston, early march, that usually means an extra t-shirt and either heavy shorts or thin exercise pants) and headed to jazzercise – i really had missed not having a great aerobics for almost a week!

a funny thing happened part way into my movement routine, another yoga-to-dance aha! moment, only it wasn’t the smile-on-my-face little light bulb look i’d come to expect, no…

i hit a six foot brick wall – i’m 5’6″

thud – i was out of juice..


my recovery time was not equalling my cross training

that old concept from college days, point of diminishing return…returned!

my yoga work was saying, screaming, whispering, speaking in sanskrit, english, and spanish, saying, dude, you gotta rest

i don’t usually say “dude” so i figured that was an echo of how lex spoke at my immersion 😉

but i’d got the message, or, more accurately, heard it and heeded it

i rested….


i finished my friday morning aerobic routine, but only by dialing down my ROM, my intensity, by deepening slowing my breath…

i paced…

i knew about pacing from my old (decades old!) running jogging days

and 1/2 hour into the hour long routine, i was already pacing…

i’d begun to rest before i knew i would be resting –

lubricating my joints and cooling down…

i was listening to my body…


Candle at Rest

so what was the yoga-dance-aha! moment, really?

i’d gotten tired before, couple years back, where i had to force myself to rest; and a few other times, way way back, when my kids were born and i’d stayed up all night (yea, i know, i had it easy 😉 )

i’d rested between workouts before, taking a breather, cross-training, or dialing down the intensity, or my ROM, my time or even my mindfulness

but this time, it was that i’d begun to really listen to my body, it seemed to speak more directly to me since i decided to also teach yoga

it’s like the change from doing yoga at home (active home practice of over a year), then adding teaching to weekly routines of zumba and jazzercise and resistance work, woke up another part of me

i’d begun to see it happen when i woke, waking up in tree pose

i’d started seeing it happen whenever i did do a cross-training routine

I’d begun to see, more and more, a crossing-connecting pattern between the motion or muscles or holding – something would click from what i was doing while working with elastic bands, or dancing a salsa…that connected to yoga –

and now this, a sorta need-to-rest-your-aging-body meter 😉

my “mission” statement for my website is “integrating yoga fitness and the arts”

i knew i’d wanted to do that with my blog, yoga-adan

i didn’t know it’d also do it to me…

well why not? we’re all one

namaste – con dios – god be with you 😉


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[1]  “10 way you know you’re burned out on exercise” from

i esp liked # 8 “Getting out of bed feels like an anaerobic workout” 😉

[2]  though the article is titled, “Making the Cut, Training Techniques” and is mostly about “options for progessing” resistance work, jillian michaels does a nice job including ways to rest and let muscles or muscle groups recover (which then is part of the training techniques!)

American Fitness, Nov-Dec 2010 issue (via AFAA), pp. 24-29

this article is also avail for ceu afaa credit online

[3]  ray long is fairly emphatic on his site about recovery needs when learning or doing some of these learning exercises, “Allow about 48 hours for recovery before repeating the technique on any given muscle group….”



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  1. […] to watercolors to digital – helps. But there’s limits to that too (see my 2011 post, Does Cross Training = Recovery Time? — My Yoga-to-Dance aha! Moments! – # 4) . Sometimes rest is, well, the only thing one may really need right then.So what’s that got […]

    Liked by 1 person

  2. cross training is a great idea as it works different muscles. i have a lot of students that run to class and then practice yoga as a way to counteract the tight hamstrings that they get from the running. I also have a lot of gym yoga students that do Zumba or some other practice before class. It seems to work beautifully for them.


    • hi nancy, yes, cross training does seem more the norm than in even 5 yrs ago –

      at my teacher immersion in jan, lex our teacher asked how many of us cross trained, and almost all of us did – he said it was the largest % doing that in one of his classes ever!

      it sounds like you have quite an cross-active group yourself there, seems like folks that do find a real appreciation for the things yoga brings

      glad you checked out the site, thank you 😉

      sundays i publish a recap of the week’s posts, so please feel free to check it out

      i have such a mix of art and poetry and fitness and yoga, and “letting” myself mix and integrate them in me, is proving to be a real enabler for me

      thanks again nancy


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