Monthly Archives: April 2015

Bon Voyage

My vacation start this weekend and I’m going to a fitness resort with my husband. Working out 5x a day. They have stretching, although not sure about yoga. At least I’ll be active! Who knows what it will do for my yoga practice, being away a week, but I’m sure I’ll find it. At least I’ll get a chance to try other kinds of exercise. When I’m back next week I’ll provide an update on my adventures.

 

Namaste.

More of the same

Attended my morning class (now limited to once a week, see earlier posts) and it was pretty crowded! I was happy to be back after hurting my wrist and taking a few days off. This was what I call “more of the same” class. Not a bad class, I did nearly all the of the postures…yay!! but not a great class, meaning I saw little improvement or advancement. I did hold on and not fall out of standing bow as much, that’s the best I can find.

Same struggles, which has a much longer list than the strengths.Still cannot grab my hands under my ankles and after nearly a year and it’s starting to REALLY annoy me.  I am noting another odd thing. I cannot lift my leg and evenly put my shoulders/arms under or around my legs. It’s either my boobs or stomach that seems to get in the way (literally) of my knee, so it moves to the side, closer to my hip. I see this in standing head to knee, wind removing pose and the seated head to knee pose. Very strange! Anyone else have something similar?

Happy to have this class under my belt. Happy it’s spring. Happy I’m going away next week!

Namaste.

Locust Made Me Do It

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.

Namaste!

 

(this is not me  btw, but I can dream!)

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PM Classes

I returned to a 7pm class last night. I originally started Bikram doing night/evening classes when I began almost a year ago (!) but the past few months I have switched to morning. As some of you may have read earlier, I’m trying a slightly different routine b/c my sleep is really becoming a struggle (and I’ve always have struggles sleeping!).

Here’s my observations while I’m eating a yummy Vitality Bowl for breakfast (carrots, mushrooms, brown rice, sunchokes, beans and tahini)

Switching routines is hard and I bitched and moaned all day. What a waste of energy!

Certainly more crowded than the am, but I did get a locker and a shower fairly easily

The room was HOT. People, I know it’s hot yoga, but I mean HOT. It felt at least 10 degrees hotter than the am. Could have been the size of the class or the fact I was further from windows/doors.

The class was hard. I sat out one round of Camel, but otherwise did all the postures (although one lame set of cobra, I’ll admit it). Unsure if it’s b/c I’m not used to night, it was super hot or b/c it was a great and hard teacher, but I definitely felt like class was a bit harder and the teacher expected more (“If you can, then you must”)

As noted, this teacher is one of the best. He’s got a sarcastic personality, so not for everyone, but I find him excellent and I miss the fact some of the best teachers in my studio teach in the PM. That’s a plus

I was a bit more flexible, as expected by 7pm

Slightly less friendly, more serious crowd. I recognized 1-2 people, said hello. More business like it seems.

I still struggle with most of the postures in terms of my ability. That didn’t magically change in the evening 🙂

Got home around 9:15pm and struggled about dinner. Do I eat dinner that late? Have a lighter snack? Opted for a small portion of sesame noodles (leftover Chinese) which my husband told me was not a good decision (Eating carbs at night is the worst according to him)–whatever!

Overall, not as bad as I feared. I did miss my normal Thurs am class this morning, however, it was nice to sleep in a little so we’ll see what this new routine brings!

Namaste.

 

 

Clowns to the left of me. Jokers to the right.

Here I am, stuck in the middle with you. Funny how I rarely notice the people in class next to me once class starts. I find that comforting, thinking people don’t notice me either.  I do tend to notice the people in front me during poses like eagle or standing bow.  I used to glance at people a while back, especially new people, thinking I would feel better if I were better than someone. I would glance and think, I can do that posture better. Then I look at them later and they were kicking my ass.  I stopped doing that! Even when occasionally a teacher is taking a class and I want to watch and learn, I end up just focusing on me and the class. I think it’s hard to do anything else, which again, I like. That mindful meditation on survival. I like that even in a packed class (and they pack ’em in here in NYC), you are pretty much alone with your practice. Sure you have to navigate for airplane or other poses, however, generally you have what you need to focus on you. More people can make the room hotter but it can also create more group energy. I’m trying to psyche myself up for a packed night class tonight. Where finding a locker, getting a shower after class and locating a spot in the hot room and are infinitely more stressful than my am classes. However, maybe that’s part of the process. Being cool in a crowd, handling the hustle and bustle of prime time and dealing with the madness is all part of dealing with life right?  Wish me luck!

Namaste!

The Familiar

Happy Tuesday! I was thinking that one of the things I really like about Bikram yoga is the repetition of the same 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises every time. Sure, there a lot of interesting yoga poses I see all the time that I’m missing, however, for now, I’m content with the same old same old. I think knowing what’s coming is what let’s me have a bit more of a meditation and makes class more manageable. Yes, I often struggle with the same bloody poses (Compression postures, left side flexibility issues and lately, balancing, locust… most of them! ). However,  think you always struggle in class… always. Struggle to get better, struggle to make it through, to keep your cool, to balance your breathing, hold on to a posture a few seconds longer, to not coast…Maybe focus is a better word than struggle. The familiarity of the poses is comforting to me as well. I can pace myself. When I get the warm up, I feel a sense of accomplishment, when Camel is coming I psyche myself up, past Rabbit I am relieved. For me, progress is slow so I need to enjoy the process…

The familiar extends beyond the poses. I’m getting more familiar with the class -teacher and students. I didn’t make it to class last Thurs and today the teacher mentioned it . She remembered. I felt part of the team. A regular. I was getting friendly with a couple of guys in the class, but they’ve disappeared, hopefully only temporarily, so I can continue to find a collegial atmosphere. At night, it’s so packed and crowded that it’s hard for me to find that sense however since I’m planning to switch up my routine, hopefully I’ll find just what I need there as well.

Namaste

 

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Crazy Week

This week has been a crazy work week, resulting in a few late nights and unexpected stress. Yoga has been collateral damage and I’ll end up only going 2x this week. It happens. I’m trying to go with the flow as life has a way of throwing a few curves and the main thing is for me to get back on the wagon.

I’m also going to try to mix up my routine next week. I’ve been getting used to morning classes, but this has resulted in me not sleeping a lot and making it hard to focus. So, my plan is to try one early morning, 2 night classes and one weekend and see how it goes. I am a little nervous about the night classes as they are packed to the gills, it’s hard to get a locker, take a shower, etc. but I’ll manage. On the plus side, some of the best teachers are at night.

I’m also bracing for a holiday of sorts. The week of April 26th I’ll be at a fitness resort, god help me. For my husband’s bday, I got him (on sale 2 for 1) a week at a fitness camp where you work out for 4-5 hours a day. Yes, that is fun for him. Give me a beach. Anyway, I know they won’t have hot yoga, but hoping they have some sort of yoga and frankly, it can only do me good overall to do more cardio, weight, etc.

Have a wonderful weekend ya’ll. Namaste.

Scheduling Class

So, I’m just getting used to morning classes in my routine and was aiming to even try to attend the earlier sessions (6:30 am instead of 7am) one extra day a week. I’ve mentioned in earlier posts the mixed-bag that is early morning class.

The Pluses:

  • Classes are smaller and more civilized
  • Studio is not as packed, more relaxing and room for lockers/showers
  • Room is more comfortable, dryer and less stinky from a whole day of sweat
  • I get the class over with and have a sense of accomplishment
  • Less likely to cancel over work, last minute plans, etc.

The Minuses:

  • Stiff and less flexible first thing in the am
  • Have to guzzle water when I wake up to try and make sure I’m hydrated
  • Have to get up early and go to bed early
  • Harder to get ready for work from the yoga studio (I tend to look like a wet rat when I come in to my office)

Yesterday I was telling my husband I wanted to try to get up at 5am to take the early yoga class. He told me he’s starting to think these am classes are not ideal. First, I’m in bed by the time he gets home from work, am avoiding dinner plans and social things so I’m not out late and when I do go out, I’m yawning the whole time (what a social butterfly!). He’s also concerned as I have chronic insomnia and general fatigue, so getting up super early may make my already tired system more tired. He’s not entirely crazy here so I started thinking, what should I do? Brace the packed to the gills, stressed night classes where I get home at 9:30pm and haven’t eaten dinner? With a work schedule that is generally 8:30-6:30, I can take 7 or 7:30 pm classes or early ones… I’m nervous to switch up a routine that is semi-working, although decided, as a trial, next week to do one morning class, 1-2 night class and a class on Sat and a class on Sunday. We’ll see how it goes…

What works for you and how do you manage your yoga schedule?

Namaste.

 

Small Things

Sometimes you have to take a step back and notice and be proud of small things.

What do I mean?

  • I went to class 4 times last week. That was my goal and  I met it. What’s more, I did nearly all the postures in all the classes.
  • While I still struggle with countless postures, I have noticed a TINY gain in flexibility overall and I’ll take it.
  • I am learning even if you have a “bad” class, you’re still gaining strength and building on your practice.
  • I am slowly and casually talking to more people in my yoga classes, small talk, but nice given how much time I spend in a studio.
  • I may have to give up sleep to get to morning classes. So far I’ve been going to bed early, although I have become a total bore.
  • I am doing something good for myself by going to yoga so I need to be good to myself outside of yoga and not beat myself up
  • I am  learning what many others have already said: If you can, go to class.
  • Let it go. Once class is over, however you did, move on.  Try your best as often as you can, and once it’s done, it’s done.

Namaste!

Patience

This morning’s class reminded the importance of patience. Yes, we all want to see improvement, results, etc. however, a lifetime of sitting, injuries, etc. take time to heal. The teacher started by saying it was extremely humid today making the room super hot and it was early morning when we’re normally not warmed up. He said take it easy, take it slow. WHAT? I normally face the class like a Navy Seal ready for battle. Take it slow? Hmmm.

Next lesson was his constantly smiling face. It just made me smile without realizing it.

Last, during wind removing pose, he told me I had to move my thigh much further to my side, away from my middle. This caused my already tight shoulders to move further off the floor (where they are supposed to be). I asked him, do I need to try to push my shoulders down? He smiled and said, one thing at a time, your thigh is already moving back to the middle. Knowing what you have to do is good. Now you know and with each class set your intention toward doing this right. How long it takes you to do it right is irrelevant. Could be years. Just try every day.

 

Wow.

 

Namaste.