Last updated in April 2019.
For anyone who might be interested, this is how often and what I’ve actually been training for the past few years. I wrote about my progress here, whereas this is more about the process.
In September 2015, just after I turned 24, I signed up for a local yoga studio (Triyoga) trial and started doing yoga seriously. I loved it and continued on their unlimited class plan. I took an average of 18 classes a month (at least 4 a week) in the first year. I know this because I was pretty obsessive about tracking it at the time to make sure I was getting my money’s worth – this was much more than I had previously been willing to spend on exercise. I didn’t do much exercise at home or elsewhere at this point, except occasionally running. Most of the classes were vinyasa based (either generic vinyasa or ashtanga), but I was also trying to try pretty much every different style they were offering (for example, Iyengar, Forrest, acro – that one was a mistake at the time…) and probably doing one yin/restorative class a week.
Aug/Sep 2016 I started doing some separate ashtanga classes with a teacher I liked at Triyoga once a week. So in the next 6 months, I took about 14 classes at Triyoga.
In Jan 2017 I first tried aerials at Flying Fantastic. Initially I just wanted to try aerial yoga, but the cost efficient thing to do was to get a 5 class intro offer, so I figured I might as well try all these other things. You can see how that turned out.
At that point (Mar 2017?) I cancelled the unlimited plan at Triyoga, as I had also just tried aerials and developed an interest, plus the price went up, and I was travelling more for work.
In the next 3 months, I did about 10 aerial classes (so roughly one per week) while still doing yoga on the side (proably about 12 yoga classes a month, so 3 per week). I really enjoyed aerial, but I was really weak and couldn’t progress beyond the most basic moves, so I decided to put it on hold briefly.
In June I wanted to try something different, so I did another unlimited trial at a different nearby yoga studio (Yotopia) and discovered rocket yoga. Despite the silly name, and the first class totally destroying me, it quickly became a part of my routine once a week. I liked the playfulness and arm balance exploration.
In July 2017, I tried pole for the first time again in many years, and started going about once a week. I had tried it briefly in college and enjoyed it, but felt too weak to do anything. I found pole a bit more welcoming to weak beginners like me than other aerials.
Later in autumn, I tried aerials again and was able to make some progress again. I was mixing a bit of everything, so a typical week might have had 1 aerial class, 1 pole, and 2-3 yoga sessions.
However, at the same time, my travel schedule at work started getting really crazy. I was away during the week (on average 4 days) nearly every week. I complained and was told it’d get better soon. It didn’t. Frustrated, I crammed in more classes on the few days that I had in London, often doubling up on several days. I tried to train on my own while away, but the hotel gym was pretty lacking, plus I had virtually no free time while there anyway. The one positive was that I developed a bit more of a yoga self-practice, instead of being fully dependent on classes. (In a surge of inspiration, I also started this blog in March 2018.) A typical week at this point (even though really, there was no typical week) might look like this: 1 pole, 1 aerial, and 2 ashtanga/rocket classes crammed into 3 days while in London. In addition, ashtanga practice once or twice while away (sometimes very short, maybe just sun salutations if I was in a rush), and a run or a trip to the hotel gym once.
Not surprisingly given the messy on-and-off exercise schedule, general work stress, and lack of sleep, I started feeling a twinge in my right shoulder in April 2018. For a while I continued at the same pace, hoping it’d just go away on it’s own. It didn’t. In May and June I started to take it a bit more seriously. I took longer breaks from training (especially during holidays and work travel). I slowly stopped doing pole and most aerials as I felt like that was aggravating it most, but I still did yoga, albeit more carefully. This was extra annoying because I left my job in June and suddenly had all this free time that I was hoping to spend doing aerials and other hobbies. Oh well…
Instead I started incorporating a bit more general fitness, strength and HIIT training, partially in preparation for the Spartan race I signed up for in October and partially as a way to strenghten my body and prevent future injuries. I started using Classpass in July with helped with breadth of training. My shoulder got better, and in August I felt comfortable adding some aerials back in. A week at this time would involve 1 aerial class, 1 HIIT class, 2 yoga classes, and 1 session of trying something different (pilates, reformer, barre…).
At the end of August I started a new job in a new location, so I spent the next couple of months exploring the options around there with Classpass. I ran my Spartan race in October and it went okay, but both there and in aerials I felt like I was still mostly blocked on upper body strength. In November I first tried calisthenics at Blok, and I liked it enough to do their trial 2 weeks unlimited in December. I really enjoyed it and slowly, calisthenics took over a large part of my training.
Currently (April 2019), my average week consists of:
- 2x calisthenics
- 1x hoop or another calisthenics
- 2x yoga (ashtanga or rocket)
Once I can do a pull up, I hope to add silks and pole back in. I’ve tried a couple of times but I quickly get paranoid about my shoulder. Will keep this updated as things change.