Thursday, June 03, 2004

Yoga = Good

I did a shoulder stand last night! I can't remember when I last achieved that, I can barely remember trying it. It was right at the end of class, so I was tired but very well warmed up. At another point I also got my foot above head level while stretching one leg out behind me and standing on the other leg. THAT was a real surprise.

I wasn't so surprised to find that my leg and arm strength is already depleted from lack of work, and I'm definitely not a bendy stretchy rubber band person when it comes to yoga. There were a few real rubber bands around me, and it surprised me greatly when I realized that though they were able to do all the more challenging variants when it came to strength or flexibility, I was one of few who could take on the extra balance challenges. I'm so used to being bad all around at any sort of physical challenge, it really helps me to know that I have some real strengths. I know yoga is not competitive, not about comparing yourself to others or "beating" them. The only reason I use them for comparison is that realizing I was one of three people in the room still holding the pose is the only way I knew I was managing anything special.

Today I'm pretty achey, I definitely got a full body workout, my lower back hurts a bit, but I'm pretty sure it's because it got stretched well last night, not actually an injury. I need to keep doing this yoga class, it challenges me a lot, but I still walk out surprised at how much I managed to keep up. There's something about the rhythm of it that enables me to warm up well and keep my body going for longer. It may be hereditary, my Mum did yoga for a long time, it may also be because she taught me a little when I was a kid and it seems familiar.

So now I have been to this class all of twice, and found it a very good thing both times, hopefully I will be able to KEEP going, without the months-long gap between attendances either. It won't kick start me into loosing weight, but I'm worrying about that less and less now, it's far more important to me to focus on feeling stronger and more flexible, I know from experience that my weight will go down a bit with that, especially if I keep working on tweaking my food habits.

Work has been slow paced this week, but in a welcome way: gearing up for being busy next week, not twiddling my thumbs and being bored. We have one big experiment to do which should finish off one project, and then another repeat of the interminable timecourse, which should...WORK this time. Meanwhile I'm learning more on the paper-writing end, which means more boring desk time and tired eyes, but it's stuff I need to be able to do if I'm going to move up the ladder in this field.


Me said...

Curious about your science- biochemistry, cell biology or physiology of brain? Are you a grad student, postdoc or lab tech?

Rosemary Grace said...

It's a neuropathology lab, so we have some people doing autopsies to remove the brain, some following a clinical study (linked to the autopsies), some people autopsying the brains, and then people like me, trying to mimic in vitro what we find in the patients. I did a BSc Biomedical sciences, focusing on physioligical and cellular levels, and specializing in Neuroscience. I'm in a staff position, managing a lab of 3 people, the idea is to keep working here and get my name on papers, then to switch over and do a PhD in this lab. I like it here. The area of focus is the long term effects on the brain and BBB of PI treatments taken by patients with HIV. There's also an Alzheimer's branch and a Parkinson's branch, some of the mechanisms are similar between those conditions and neurodegeneration related to AIDS.

Day-to-day I do cell culture, treat the cells with various drugs and proteins, harvest and run western blots. Then I swear a lot when the antibodies crap out.

Me said...

Very cool! I took the same path you're on... worked as a researcher in my current lab then joined the PhD program. It's an excellent way to go because you avoid having to TA and waste time doing lab rotations. And you have a jump start on your thesis project which looks good when you can graduate quickly within 4 years with several papers under your belt. I just started writing up my thesis. I'm studying the biochemistry of these homologous proteins: AID (mutates the Ig gene) and Apobec3G (mutates HIV viral DNA).

I'm on an aging training grant so I get to hear all about the news of beta-amyloid plaques in the brain and etc at seminars. That area of work is very interesting!!

And there's nothing better than working with cell cultures. Those little pets that need so much attention all the time!! It's fun! Biochemistry in vitro is great, but no one cares if it isn't happening in the cell.

Love your blog! Keep writing!