Monthly Archives: March 2015

It’s a New Day!

OK, so the week didn’t go exactly as I had hoped and I only made it to class once! Yikes.  I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (or whatever it’s new name is) a few months ago and every so often it acts up. This was one of those times. In the wise words of the always inspiring Mark Quast (check out his blog,  Do the Posture ) “Rest. Reset. Regroup.” So yoga is on the schedule for tomorrow am. I’m sure it will take a few days to catch up…what I continue to notice is how much more flexible (in relative terms of course) my right side is from my left. I see it most obviously at the end of class in the separate head to knee pose on the floor. With some minimal bending, I can get my forehead to my knee on my right side fairly easily. On the left, I have to bend my knee all the way and even then I look like some crazy jellyfish trying to get my head to my knee. Usually I can just get the tip of my nose. I know my left hip has been through a lot from my running days, with physical therapy 3x, so I guess I can’t be surprised it’s being stubborn.

I am going to really try to push the next 2 months of so, since May 18th will mark my one year to Bikram. Still trying to add in the cardio. As you can see, I added in nothing last week, so one thing at a time.

I’m sort of looking forward to Bikram in spring/warm weather again. It’s nice not to have to wear coats and so many layers. On the other hand, opening the window in spring is not nearly as refreshing as in winter.

What are you goals for the next 2 months?

Namaste.

 

its-a-new-day

End to the Cleanse

The cleanse is over ladies and gentlemen! Praise the most high!! I got a little sloppy the last day, however, overall happy.  I do feel a bit more refreshed, clear headed and hopefully all my vital organs got a break! Yesterday had lentil soup for lunch and some grilled fish for dinner. Had coffee this am (organic)…Later today, I think I’m going to have the eggplant parm I’ve been dreaming about. To offset that, I’m having green juice for breakfast and green juice tonight. Have a yoga class this evening, it’s the once a month class to music my studio does, so that’s a little more festive. I’ll be interested to see if my yoga strength picks up any now. I attributed sitting down in some postures to the low cal/low energy resulting from the detox.

Hoping to get in 4 yoga classes this week. In general, I’m holding steady. I still struggle to be judgement free and continue to have envy when I see people (especially new people) able to do things I still cannot. I know we are all different and that’s life…

Lately, balance seems to be a challenge, I’m falling out of bow a lot more than usual. On the plus side, I seem to be getting a tiny bit more flexible… finally! Compression postures are the devil to me (my gut seems to interfere) and I’m still trying to figure out how to include Spin into my routine.  It’s a good low impact cardio routine for me, although does seem to tighten up my already tight shoulders.

Have a great Friday everyone.

Day 5

So, day 5 of the cleanse.  Two more days. Had my berry concoction and green shake this morning. Scallops and steamed veggies for lunch and another shake for dinner.  Not easy however, I’m holding on. A little easier since today I’m skipping yoga. Hoping to take the Thurs am class, with Friday pm as a back up option if I feel wonky tomorrow am.

I actually have a decent amount of energy (until, it seems, I get in the hot room) and generally feel pretty good. I am drinking a lot of water, which I am already used to with Bikram. This am, indicated I had lost 5.5  lbs. We’ll see what the total is at the end. Hoping for 7, however I think things slow down as the week goes, so we’ll see.

My mind continues with food orgies, all of the same variety: carbs. Wonder what this suggests… A baked potato, mounds of pasta and the odd craving for eggplant parmesan abound. I have been looking at recipe sites today as well in some odd source of torture yet delight (I can make this in 2 days…)

Protein continues to be tricky for me, since ideally I prefer to eat no fish and stick to a vegetarian diet.

I think the detox is working as I hoped. Yes, it’s severe, however, it’s also resetting my diet. I am not going to jump back into eating as I did before. I think I have a better sense of portions, “clean vs. processed” food and my control.

Stay tuned. Namaste.

 

Cleanse Day 4

So, Day 4 on the cleanse. I had a glass of green juice and some sort of berry shot and then hightailed it in freezing cold weather to class. I will be glad when the cleanse is over as I’m dreading those chalky protein shakes. Bleh!

Class was definitely not 100%, sat out 1 set of a few postures, but did most of the class. Even saw some tiny improvement in bow pose. And rabbit is definitely a bit easier (although still hard).  Had a lot of problems with standing bow pulling pose. The balance. Go figure. My mind is as manic as ever, even on a cleanse and lightheaded. My day ahead was buzzing through my thoughts, sticking to the cleanse, etc. The morning classes are starting to grow on me, mostly b/c the studio is calm and not a madhouse. It puts me in a better frame of mind. On the plus side, I played no mind games with myself last night or this morning, deciding and undeciding whether to go to class. The alarm went off and up I went!

Today I brought my morning shake to work. Normally, I’m a vegetarian that occasionally eats fish. Here I’m eating a little more fish since it’s my best option for 4 oz. of protein. I tried tempeh already and need some variety.  I can do this for 3 more days although I think I’ll be done with fish for a while after that.

Did I mention I continue to have day dreams about food, glorious food. And odd mix if I say so myself since it’s not candy, ice cream or cake! Totally craving pasta, eggplant parmesan and I keep eyeing the menu of a vegan restaurant I found (Peacefoods, for those in NY), that delivers. Many dishes to try!

My next yoga class is slated for Thurs, followed by Fri, Sat and Sunday, hopefully giving me 5 times this week. Not bad for a cleanse week. Let’s take it one day at a time.

Namaste and  Nachos!

 

Unknown

Cleanse Day 3

After 2 super hot and dizzy classes on my first 2 cleanse days, I’m taking today off and have a class slated for Tues. I was going to try to do a spin class tonight, however, decided just to rest and go to bed early (It’s 3:19 am I’m already tired!). I’m a little dizzy and can’t say I’m loving my protein shakes or my 4oz  of plain protein with salad. Yuck. I am adding in some green juice, just for energy.  A little nervous that come tomorrow  I’m going to collapse in a sweaty heap when standing bow pulling poses comes around (this seems to be the trend)… however, I’ve decided a partial yoga class is still better than no class, so I’ll give it my all.  I’m also a little more understanding of myself, although still frustrated when I need to take a break. Given this cleanse is fairly taxing, I’m pleased with attempting to do what I can. I  could be a little over hopeful, but I did think my rabbit pose was a tad bit easier, that’s one of the poses with weight gain I found to be much harder (my tummy gets in the way), so maybe dropping even a few pounds helps…

While on my cleanse, I’m learning some patience and discipline. I’m feeling a  few steps slower but still able to think. Here’s what I’m missing: FOOD! eggplant parmesan, Juice Press’s yummy vegan soups (especially cauliflower millet) and carbs of all varieties. I wouldn’t be surprised if I dream of pasta tonight!

Namaste.

Day 2 of Cleanse

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!

Namaste

Yoga and Cleansing?

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?

Namaste.

 

 

Relax Your Mind

I have a teacher who in savasana always says “Relax your mind. Relax your mind. Relax your mind.” I have also heard a Bikram quote about your mind being a bad neighborhood to reside in. That’s me.  I continue to play mind games with myself and it’s exhausting! Getting to class these days is hard enough, with my constant canceling and rescheduling classes online and setting and unsetting alarm clocks–some sort of wacky yoga OCD. (See my earlier post on Mind Games) I’m still trying to figure that out… then on top if it, I continue to be frustrated with myself in class.  It starts pretty damn early when I can’t grab my hands under my ankles in warm up. I have tried and tried. I think it’s my shoulders, however, for whatever reason, at nearly 10 months of yoga, my hands can’t shovel behind my ankles but sort of to the sides of my feet.

I am going to consciously working on just being in class and observing my practice vs. judging it. As you can see, I have a ways to go :).My thought process is something like this in class:

Breathing: Gee, I hope I get my shoulders higher one of these days.

Halfmooning: I’m moving pretty well side to side. Lock your elbows

Hands to Feet: Grrr, why can’t my hands scoop up under my ankles #$%$

Awkward Pose: Why does it hurt when I go up my toes? Go higher on your toes and balance.

Eagle: Why is my leg no where near wrapping around my ankle? Why is everyone else able to do this? Is it my hips? I suck.

You get the picture…

There will always be people who are better, who are more flexible, who have an easier time with their practice. No point in comparing them to me.

I have read that with practice comes improvement, so I just have to trust in the process. I also have to try to find the right balance. I mentioned earlier my cardio level has really declined so I’d like to add a few spin classes to my week. I’m also hoping that helps me drop a few pounds, which in turn will make some poses a little easier to do. Attendance in cardio classes will likely come at the expense of yoga, however, I think while easy to get obsessive about it, you need balance in all things. If it slows down my yoga progress a little, then I’ll just have to deal with it.

Namaste y’all!

 

images

Facing Fears

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!

Namaste.

 

Challenge

I was talking to a girl after yoga class in her 4th day of a 30 day challenge. She said challenges in the past were the most effective way for her to make progress. It got me thinking. I really don’t have interest in a challenge right now, although I do have an interest in making progress. I thought going regularly was my plan ( and a challenge in itself!)

I find when I take class for many days in a row, I get exhausted. My classes end up weak, I’m on the verge of catching a cold and I stress about getting everything done in my life. Maybe it’s because I’m not used to it. I also find it extremely demanding from a time perspective when I have other commitments at hand (10 hour work day, husband, stepson, parents) to take 3 hours a day for yoga. Is it possible? Possibly.

Last, I’m trying to get a little more balanced. I was shocked when I took a spin class recently and so how crappy my cardio had become, so I was hoping to add a few spin classes or elliptical workouts to my routine. And I haven’t even added any weight or resistance training.

Have you done a challenge? How did you feel about it and the results and how did you make it work?

 

Namaste.