I’ve been AWOL from yoga for over a month… closer to 6 weeks. This is my longest hiatus and it’s scary. I’ve gotten used to doing other things now like cardio. Much more convenient and flexible. I hurt my shoulder and so for a while I had to avoid yoga. I think it’s time I could return, the problem I’m having is motivation. I had to get up at 5:30 am to go to yoga. With fall here and winter coming, that’s hardly appealing. I can wake up at 6, get a strong cardio workout and be home and on my way to work, while I’d still be in yoga class… My studio is also establishing other classes (shorter yoga classes and a Yin Nidra class). I may try those, although the times are not idea. I am terrified what I should expect and how much slippage I’ve had. I’m more terrified that I’m stalling and continuing to delay my return. I’ve also lost more weight with cardio, so I’ll need to figure out some sort of balance. Any advice yogis?
Another hiatus from yoga (work travel largely) has resulted in a little over 2 week break from class. Went back today and it was anything but pretty. Remembering that on my best day I’m below average, you can only imagine what 2 weeks off does… It does get frustrating and I do get discouraged. The worst you ask: Where to start… pada hastasana–I’ve never been able to “scoop” my hands under my ankles due (I think) to very tight shoulders, however, now it’s pretty bad. My back bends are definitely not as deep, my head to knee-let’s not even go there. I didn’t try toe–just did 2 trees this time… On locust, arms are not going under my body…rabbit is a disaster and my flexibility appears totally shot at the end with head to knee pose… I mean, really! I’m sure tomorrow will be even more challenging as I’ll be achy and stiff to top it off.
However, I know this is a process. I know I’m doing yoga for me and not to be a champion. I know I can only get better if I can keep trying… maybe not good, but better. And through all the disgust and disappointment is a small voice that just keeps whispering… shhh. just go to class… so that’s my plan. Let’s see how many I can fit in this week.
OK. I feel like I’m whining about the heat again. It is close to unbearable in my studio and I take the first class of the day!! I’m so happy I finish the class that it dawns on me only later but progress is minimal. I can barely bend or grab or hold, so while the class is hard, I’m not working hard on my postures. I’m too busy trying to breathe and survive. This is kind of disappointing to me, because while I like the heat, I like to have enough energy to push myself. Now I’m happy if I’m still standing the first half of class. Before I tried to minimize fidgeting, now I tell myself to fidget away if it helps me get through the 90 minutes.
I’m still definitely not back to earlier days, especially on front folds/bends where I have added bulk and as a result, the postures are all more difficult. Going to try to up my attendance and see if that helps with: the heat, my flexibility and my weight. However, I keep trying. In part, because I’m dealing with a lot of stress and I believe that yoga is helping more than maybe I even realize to help offload it.
How’s your spring/summer yoga going?
I’ve been experimenting with water in class lately. The hot room has been especially hot (read earlier posts) so I initially thought I would need to drink more water to feel better. What I’ve discovered is that’s not necessarily true. I find the less water I drink in party time, the better. Although the balance series is intense, I seem to get through it stronger with very little water. I take a decent sip during savasanna between standing and the floor and again some water at fixed firm. I have found this seems to give me the most energy and endurance. I’m not exactly sure why, but it’s taken me nearly 2 years to figure it out. When I first started classes I would gulp too much water and then be extremely uncomfortable on the floor. A few times I felt something rumbling and ran out of class to throw up (always water). I think I was getting used to the heat and trying to balance water. I now tend to drink more water after class and drink throughout the day.
What’s your water rituals?
Of course I’m used to the heat, as that is what hot yoga is all about. But has spring has finally arrived (woot!) classes have got ALOT hotter. In fact, some of my teachers have even said, as the seasons change, be prepared, the room is going to be hotter… (news to me, isn’t supposed to be 105 degrees all the time?). How do you get prepared for super hot??
Over the weekend and this week the classes have been HAWT… even when the teachers open the windows (always too briefly alas). On Tuesday I thought maybe I was just imagining the class was hot… I looked around me and saw about 1/3 of the class sitting down.
I like the heat but not when it’s so overwhelming I can’t focus or do the postures properly. I want it to be a tool not a weapon. However, my guess is it’s going to be hot for summer! I don’t remember this last year around this time… but who knows. If anyone has suggestions for dealing with the mega heat, share away!
Got food poisoning 2 weekends ago. It was not fun. In fact, it was the worst case of food poisoning (or stomach virus) I’ve had in my 48 years. Suffice to say, I was up the whole night, ate toast and tea for 2-3 days and finally, gently got back to normal. Of course, it’s a good and humbling lesson to be good and gentle to your body and not feed it crap… Last Wed I finally made it back to yoga. I waited a good number of days given how intense the Bikram 90 minute class in and the fact I was dehydrated for a while and had a hard time imagining working my stomach at all. Wed class went fine happy to report. I skipped rabbit as that just felt too gross when I tried it. Class again on Thurs, also fine. Body was a little tighter than normal (which is tight!) largely because of all the clinching you do when you’re throwing up and grabbing on to the toilet bowl for dear life.
Classes Sat and Sun were a bit tougher. Hotter and longer. We had a sub on Sunday and the class went closer to 115 minutes. Thought I was going to drop. Several teachers have said the class will get hotter with hotter weather, which doesn’t make much sense to me, because I thought the room was supposed to be 105 degrees as a constant…
What the food poisoning taught me is:
- Eat carefully
- Eat healthfully
- Be gentler on yourself than you usually are
- Be grateful when you can go back to class
- Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t (a long list in my case)
- Work on your neck. I realized I keep straining my neck in class. I felt this more right after being sick, so I need to figure out the right angles for everything from back bends to triangle
It figures, trying to get my attendance back to a more normal level, I pushed myself to attend a class I normally sleep through. It seemed unremarkable at the time but I woke up this morning at around 3am in a lot of pain. Anytime I moved or switched sides, I felt a shooting pain on my left side, from under my armpit to my chest. After determining I was not having a heart attack, I tried to figure out what happened. Could I have slept in an awkward position? Was it my 6:30 am yoga class that took until now to act up? I wasn’t sure but yoga seemed the more likely culprit. Seemed odd as I felt no pain during or after class, but I do recall I pushed very hard in triangle. Could my “stretch up (especially) and stretch down” be partially to blame?
The incredibly sharp pain that kept me up since 3am reminded me that I have never seriously got injured in almost 2 years of yoga. Sometimes my left wrist acts up or my left hip aches if I don’t take a day off or if I just moved in a slightly off way. But that’s it. I canceled by morning class, realizing I could barely move. My husband helped me get dressed and I headed to work. The pain seemed to be a bit better as the day went on but my left side is clearly in pain. To make matters worse, I’m left handed.
I’ve been trying to think, do I take a hot bath when I get home? Do I ice my left side? Do I dare take a class tomorrow or wait and see how I feel?
Yogis, how have you recovered from an injury?
So, after an 11 day absence 2 weeks ago, last week I forged ahead and went to class. I write about it and it wasn’t pretty. Then last Friday night, I started to get sick. That tickle in the throat, a sniffle… Almost everyone I know has this devil of a cold. My sister has had something for nearly 2 weeks, my husband about 10 days, and my office appears ground zero with Dayquil the most in demand item around. So guess what, no yoga in over a week. In NY we say: Oy Vey. I have no fever but am very sweaty, tired and most significantly, congested, breathing mostly through my mouth. Today is the first day I’ve felt better, so I’m back at work, I’m thinking about yoga tomorrow, but more likely it will be Sat or Sunday. It’s really the breathing (ain’t it always) that has me concerned as it’s quite shallow and mostly through my mouth. Besides stressing that I’m practically repeating the same absence (and subsequent pain) all over again, I’m trying to stay calm. Feels like groundhog day. I’ll get through this and get back to yoga. It will not be pretty lord knows, but being big picture, this is all part of the journey right?
After trying to get back in the saddle from a nearly 2 week yoga absence, I did 3 classes in a row, took a day off and went back to an early morning class. Boom. It stunk. It’s amazing how much one regresses in less than 2 weeks (after all, I still went to spin a few times) especially when your diet goes up in smoke. So, the morning class was HOT and somehow I seem even less flexible then my first class back. (Hello?!) I am also convinced that some extra pounds have made the pose after triangle and rabbit much worse as my stomach seems to be getting in its own way. Lovely.
Balance is better so I’ll take that but today’s class was one of those dreaded classes where your breathing is off. This happens to be every once in a while but today was one of those days. I could tell I was breathing in a more shallow way starting right at pranayama breathing but from about eagle on, I was just having trouble with my breath. I was breathing too fast and couldn’t really slow it down before the next posture started. I didn’t panic but it did frustrate me. I sat out a set of locust to try and catch up and slow down by breathing. It helped but a pose or 2 later it raced away on its own. I felt like I was wearing an outfit that didn’t match–my breathing didn’t match the pace of the class. I made it through an ugly class where I couldn’t give it my all. I did ok, but I didn’t really push myself as breathing was just out of sync. I hope that chasing or catching your breath feeling will not come back anytime soon. Not fun!
IT is supercold in NY today, so waking up and actually getting up at 5:40am takes some conviction. After my 20 minute freezing walk to the studio, I was surprised tosee class pretty crowded. In class something was wrong with the heaters and the temperature was less hot than usual. It was still over 100 degrees, but not by much and in my studio, classes commonly hit 115 degrees with high humidity. So, the difference today was noticeable. I was still sweating but not dripping and I barely touched my water.
What did I notice? I liked it! It was hot enough that I was still able to stretch, sweat and feel warm, but not so hot that I got dizzy or dazed. This normally happens toward the end of class, where I’m just praying for the end. In this class, I feel I was able to better perform camel and rabbit, simply because I had more energy left in the tank. Triangle was still hard (it’s when i start to wilt) because it was still pretty hot and because it’s smack in the middle of class…
It’s interesting what just a few degrees (And % of humidity) can make. If it were up to me, I’d keep the temperature like this all the time. Of course it’s not, so I’m preparing myself for the normal inferno next time.