Happy Holidays Everyone. I went to yoga on Xmas eve, Xmas day and Sunday. Can I just say those were some of the 3 hottest classes I’ve ever had!?! I’m not sure if my studio is having issues or it’s the unseasonably warm weather, but my Xmas eve class was so humid that the teacher kept the windows and door open the entire class. I rarely see that. Many people were dropping and I had to take a few breaks. The humidity seems to be my kryptonite, but I’m working on it! Xmas day was a bit better. The class was packed and the room was like a swimming pool. The teacher lowered the room temperature in some way as to balance the humidity and it seemed to work. I learned humidity without the heat is easier to manage (although not easy). Last on Sunday, class was not crowded. I walked in and saw the room temperature was over 120 degrees. Lord have mercy. I was going to tell the front desk but honestly didn’t want to use the energy to climb up and down the steps. Plus I figured the teacher would manage. In this case, I found it hotter than humid, which is personally easier for me to manage. The teacher didn’t open the windows or doors until late in the class, which was sort of surprising, but she did turn on fans. I was managing ok and then looked around and saw at least 1/2 the class sitting down. I have mixed feelings about all this. I figure on some level, it’s all challenges and you deal with them the best you can. On another level, I feel like teachers or studio managers should be on top of these things better so it doesn’t get to the point where half the class is down and out. Especially when the class is crowded, creating even more heat! On balance, as rough as those classes were, I’m glad to have gotten them in, glad that I was able to participate in the vast majority of poses, and glad that my year is ending well.
I had one of my humid classes on Sunday evening that i’m still recovering from. Then I took a Monday night spin class, which seemed to make my early Tues am yoga class a little rougher (dehydrated? tired muscles? not sure)… So, I could tell this was not going to be one of my best all time classes. That’s ok. It’s all part of the grind. I sat out one set of triangle, but more than that, I could tell I just “didn’t have it.” It’s hard to give 100% or your best everyday, but I did keep trying. I find there’s a general rhythm to class in general…stuff and achy through the warm up. For me on the hardest periods is balancing and getting through the long 60 second postures, right into triangle… half way through class and usually where I’m the weariest (like today). I can usually manage to stay strong through the remainder of the standing series, although there have been times toe stand is extremely taxing.
After savassana, I’m usually good until locust when my elbows revolt and don’t want to stay straight or under my body. Airplane is usually a hot mess and seated bow is the hardest but I try. For me, I then see two “break” postures… I like them both because I can breathe easily… fixed firm and tortoise. I have issues with each but I find them energizing. But then the party is quickly over as camel takes over and I try to keep my cool. Usually I feel dizzy. I made it to rabbit, and so far my head does not touch my knees. Working on it…
After rabbit, I know I have stretching and more sit ups, but I’m almost always able to finish class. I tend to divide the class in my mind this way … warm up over, almost done with balancing series, oh good, triangle done-class half over… etc. Strange the way we (or at least) I need to send myself progress messages. I’m my own cheerleader!
How are your classes coming along?
I’m on another cleanse, I went on a 3 week one in July. During that period I really felt my yoga get stronger. This cleanse is one is only a week but I thought that it would be interesting to see how my yoga fared. Well today (on Day 3), not so well. I had trouble controlling my breath and I sat down for half a posture. Is it because of the cleanse? Who knows. Could be due to my spin class the yesterday, stress or any number of things. I do believe that hot yoga must help any cleanse, as you can sweat out more stuff you’re trying to get rid of and I learned 70% of toxins are removed through the lungs so I especially paid attention during the 2 breathing exercises.
We’ll see through the week is my yoga is declines or not. I’m drinking enough water to sink a ship so I certainly shouldn’t be dehydrated… Regardless, I am committed to my cleanse, which is an alkaline one, trying to lower acid/inflammation in the body. I often feel like when life gets more challenging and stressful, things like diet and exercise become all the more important as outlets of relief and ways to strengthen. Of course, it’s always during stress that I want chinese food and pizza, go figure.
I will say I had my best standing head to knee experience today (on one side), so although my practice overall was shaky, I did have one standout. How about you?
Had a rough class today. Not the end of the world, but it is my second class this week where around triangle, I started to fade. Don’t mind the random crappy class, we have all those and it’s often out of our control, but when I start to detect semi-patterns, I get a little nervous. For a while I got super dizzy right around Standing Head to Knee. That passed. Now triangle seems to signal trouble, I sat out a pose or 2 and managed to do the rest of class, still feeling tentative and dizzy. Annoying because you (or at least I) don’t give 100% in those moments. I’m just happy to have the energy to do something. My camel today was definitely on the lame side, with “Lord, let me get through this and not vomit” going through my head. I am planning on class tomorrow and hoping this “trend” of the week will break. The other big news I got is that our studio will be offering 75 minute classes as an option. When I first saw it, I thought, fine it’s an option if I want to try it, but I prefer the classic 90 minutes. Then when I read on, the note said that morning, night and lunchtime classes would be the 75 min version. Since I’m in the morning zone now, I started to panic a bit. Most likely due to the idea of any change to the familiar. And b/c the shorter classes tend to be more flow, which for reasons I have no idea, I’ve traditionally not been a fan of (all I remember is a sea of chatarunga and enormous arm pain), I also started to feel some dread. Then I told myself, myself the classes are will be fine. All is fine and it will be what it will be. From what I can tell (happily) my class is not affected, but I’ll manage if it is. Maybe some of yoga’s life lessons are finally seeping in.. or maybe it’s the Pope’s visit!
It’s here in NYC and boy can you feel it. As if Bikram yoga isn’t hard enough, doing it in a super humid room during Spring/Summer can really take the life out of you. I have mixed feelings about this actually b/c while I obviously like the heat and hot yoga, I don’t like when it’s so humid that it becomes a distraction from the postures (e.g., I prefer hot but not crazy hot). Yes, I know these are all challenges and help us with improving our lives but for now, I am primarily concerned with improving my yoga and when it’s so hot that I need to sit down, I’m not optimizing my time in class. I then wage an inner battle that says Get up, get up, get up.
Last night’s class was HOT and PACKED. The teacher left the door ajar the whole class and you could not even tell. I started to feel woozy during standing bow (you know that’s the worst b/c it’s so early in class), I took it easy but did those postures. Oddly all my balance postures were off last night. That’s ok. Each day is different I guess. I was flopping around in balancing stick, but did it. Oddly, I sat out the first set of the next posture, which I’ve never done before-the standing separate leg stretching pose. Had a good second set, got my hands to my ankles but my spine is definitely rounding vs. staight. Triangle -dropped down and sat first set and completed a lame second. Balance off again in Tree, but here’s a doozy, I had a semi-decent toe stand on the one side I can go down. The other, my hands hit the ground but I can’t see to bend and go down…odd, I always feel like a kid afraid to ride a bike or dive into a pool. Gulped water before savasana (always a little nervous to do that because a few times it’s caused me to throw up later)…
Was glad to be on the floor the rest of class, especially with my balance and dizzy issues. Nothing too notable on the floor, except I did inch my elbows a bit closer on locust and think I’m getting a better sense of pushing into my arms and chest as well. Seated bow was rough. Besides finding that one of the hardest postures, it’s also at one of the hardest times in class when I’m wiped so I always feel that postures gets the least of my effort. I did both camels and made it through class. Again, not pretty, but getting it done.
I’m thinking about trying the Fri am class tomorrow, something I don’t normally do.
I am still recovering from an annoying cold smack in the midst of my birthday. No yoga this week so far…ahhh… However, I was thinking about my recent class where a woman fainted and started to convulse right before triangle. I’ve seen lots of people not feel well, but this was the worst. Normally they lie down or they leave the room. It was this woman’s first time at a Bikram class, though she had done a lot of other types of yoga and clearly looked in shape. Of course, I do not know if she was hydrated properly, if she slept well, how she was feeling that day, etc. but I know she was trying to get out of the room and didn’t quite make it. Scary. Scary to see it right in front of you. The teacher moved quickly. Got her water, put it on her face. Sat her up after a few minutes and with the help of a couple of guys in class, got her out of the room. Another teacher came quickly to help and sat with the woman, helping her… more water on her, toweling her off, talking to her, keeping her alert. I saw a paramedic check her out, but left as the woman seemed ok. Our teacher in class told us the best thing we could do was not stare but continue our class and send positive energy. I did. I sent her healing energy and reminded myself we are all fragile and need to trust ourselves about when to take a break, to take it easy and when to push. I also found comfort in how the whole class rallied together to help this woman. It’s a nice community. I was glad to be there that day and glad the woman turned out to be ok.
I think I can claim my first yoga injury… about 11 months in! My left wrist (and I’m left handed) is not happy. I have a lot of trouble not cupping my palms in locust (not too mention keeping my elbows underneath me) and somehow my left wrist since last week has been increasingly painful. I must have clearly done something to irritate it. Even moving my left wrist to check the time hurts. I took 2 days off as a result. I could feel it in poses like standing and seated bow, but could still do those. I am going back to class today with my hardest teacher (oy!) so will see how it goes. Wonder if I am better off skipping locust this week or trying it nonetheless? Any veterans out there? I am aiming for 4 times this week since my attendance was low last week and I’m heading out of town next week!
Luckily this doesn’t appear to be a major injury, however its the first for me that hasn’t gone away in a day or two like my usual aches and pains.
(this is not me btw, but I can dream!)
So, made it class for Day 2 of my detox. Yesterday was rough as the class was packed and the room really hot. Today started a bit better although I was probably a bit tentative for fear of burning out before class was over. Oddly, I seemed to hear things better in class today or maybe it was just new things I heard. I got more clearly that the warm up Hands to Feet is more of a compression with chest on stomach and only pulling on legs when you have that first compression…of course, I still can’t place my hands under by ankles… (I got this tip earlier from Sefatia… check out her awesome blog… Yoga and Donuts )
Started to get in trouble around triangle. Sat out a set. It dawned on me the room was super hot. This was confirmed by some people leaving and the teacher saying the room was too hot. Finally right before camel the heat got fixed, however it had taken it’s toll. I sat out one set of camel and then trudged through the rest of class. Not by best, however, I can add it to the list of having made it.
The teacher in class said yoga is for the long haul and in my case at least, I think she’s right!
So today I started a one week cleanse/detox that I’ve done before (I tried it right before I got married). The first two days are the hardest, where you’re basically just drinking juice. Then for 5 days you have 2 protein shakes (1 with greens) , some sort of berry drink and 1 meal which consists of greens/salad (no dressing) and 4 oz of protein (no oils). I’ve been struggling with weight I’ve gained (written about frequently here as it relates to my yoga practice) and so I thought this may help make a dent and motivate me. Obviously not a long term solution, however I’m willing to give it a try.
I took a yoga class this am. I thought since I am day 1 of very few calories, I’d probably be ok. I was a bit dizzier than normal, sat out 1 set of standing bow (that rarely happens!, one set of triangle and 1 set of head to knee after it) and it was hardly my best class, I did it though.
I’m a bit nervous for tomorrow as I normally take a 4pm class (I have my stepson with me all day) and I’m unsure how I’ll feel in the hot room with just 2 days of some juice!
I figure the rest of the cleanse I should be ok, since it’s more substantial, although I’ll find out. Anyone do a cleanse and Bikram before and can share any insights?
I am taking a Bikram class tonight with the hardest teacher I have found at the studio. Keeps the room super hot, really pushes you, does not like when you take a break, etc. You probably know the type. His class is prime time, so on top of it, the studio is packed to capacity. Since I’ve switched more to classes in the morning, I have not taken his class in probably 3 months. I decided to remind myself what a really hard class is like and I signed up for tonight. I am slated for a crack of dawn class tomorrow, so it will be interesting to see if I can actually do a late evening and super early morning. In general after a night class, I do find it takes a while to fall asleep, so we’ll have to see what happens when the clock strikes 5:30am tomorrow. Yikes.
I’m also looking forward, in a sick way, to pushing myself. Not that I don’t try every class, however, this guy really makes you work. While I do more yoga, in many ways, I realize how far I have to go. While I can attempt every posture, there are several I still can barely do the first stage in (Hello, Standing Head to Knee, Separate Head to Knee, and any compression posture)… however, I’m learning more and more not to care and to just compare myself to me. This can be tricky when someone on their first day can get into toe stand, however, that’s life.
This was posted by my studio and I found it comforting:
Bikram Yoga, while done with a group, is an individualized practice. It’s about you, done by you and for your benefit. There is really no need to compare yourself to others in the room. Keep a regular practice, focus forward on your breath and alignment, and the tremendous physical and mental benefits will work their way into your life.
Wish me luck tonight!