Monthly Archives: June 2015

Skinned Knees

It’s amazing to realize how a little knick or bruise can make such a difference in your practice. This happened to me once before when I had a cut on my leg. It took a lot longer to heal b/c every time I went to yoga, the scab opened up (From movement and the heat). Well, on Friday, graceful elephant that I am, I tripped and skinned my knees. Nothing serious but skinned knees with band aids on both. I tried standing bow at home and if felt ok and somehow felt if I could do that, I should be able to manage all the postures. Took class on Sat and the band aids lasted 2 seconds. I luckily was taking class with one of my fave teachers so told her about my earlier tumble and she mentioned rolling up my mat when I was doing postures on my knees… What postures I asked her? Camel,  Rabbit, Fixed Firm to name a few, she mentioned. Somehow I completely forgot about those. Oy vey.

Needless to say those postures really hurt! I rolled up my mat and put my knees above the roll to give my knees more padding, but between the heat and my pants and the rubbing against the mat, every posture on bent knees was extremely painful. The rubbing and irritation… On top of that, I had to unroll my mat for savasanna each time, resulting in me lying down for like 5 seconds instead of 20. I did final breathing with crossed legs and while completing the exercise I told myself to be thankful I can normally do the postures pain free and to be grateful for that. Funny how something as small as skinned knees can make yoga class so difficult. Like my other scrape, the scab is open and I expect it will take longer to go away as I attend classes. Seems worth the trade off.

Namaste.

 

scraped-knees

Heat Prep

As I continue to fear how the heat and humidity outside affects my energy inside the hotroom, I’ve adopted a multi-pronged strategy:

More water than usual which I am drinking all day in prep for a  7pm class

Vitamin D and B in the am

Having a replenish eletrolyte drink around 6pm (haven’t tried that before)

Adding coconut water to my HydroFlask (I do this normally, so nothing new).

I’m going to see if this combination helps any more than normal and also see if end of day class seems harder than first thing in the am (I’m going to guess yes).

Are there other things other people do or try when the heat seems to pucker them out more than usual?

In actual fact, I’m still doing most of the postures.  Lately if I do need a break, I seem to sit out one set of triangle and sometimes camel. I’m definitely starting to feel a little woozy at standing bow.

I am finishing my entire hydroflask, which rarely happens the rest of the year and generally am more tired after class. Trying to adapt and see what happens…

 

Namaste!

Adjusting

I have a busy week. More plans than usual in the evenings. Some social, some work. Last night I got home after 11pm. Tonight probably after 10pm. This may seem ordinary except for that fact I try to take early am yoga classes that require me to wake up around 5:30 am and I have chronic fatigue syndrome which makes me extremely tired lately and generally in bed before 10am. It’s not fun but it’s life.

The result. No yoga this am. I feel a little guilty but I needed to sleep.  I think the humidity is also making the classes more tiring than normal so I need to get to the bottom of it as best I can (e.g., more electrolytes? water? coconut water? different foods?).

The plan? Adjust and recalibrate. How can I get my classes in? What part of my schedule is not fixed/rigid? When (if possible) will it be the least hot and humid in the hot room? I’m learning to be less compulsive and rigid and go more with the flow. It does require some planning with hot yoga (when to stop eating/drinking/do I bring yoga clothes to work, etc.) but I’m pleased that I’m getting less angry when life happens and more practical. I’m realizing flexibility isn’t just in the postures…

So, looks like yoga Wed, Fri, Sat and Sun.

What’s your schedule?

Namaste.

Bikram Yoga Quirks

Here’s some quirks I’ve noticed from my practice:

I really cannot use moisturizer. If I put it on the night before a morning class, it melts all over

I still have trouble sleeping…

I constantly check my watch about when to eat before a class…to time it right

I drink water and pee constantly

I do a ton of laundry and my yoga towels still tend to stink

I mix coconut water in my HydroFlask. It seems to help.

I carry multiple bags with me at all times-my work stuff and my yoga stuff

I crave either green juice or seltzer after a yoga class

Crappy food doesn’t seem to affect my practice as much as booze

Many poses are easier (notably Rabbit) when I lose a few pounds

 

Namaste!

Meditate

I  hear this phrase a lot during class. I like that in Bikram yoga, you know what’s coming so you can sort of go on autopilot and meditate/concentrate a bit more. That’s not entirely true as sometimes I find if I truly listen to the dialogue I get new bits of information…and that makes it a bit harder to do anything but listen, which may still be a meditation of sorts. Also, sometimes I feel like I’m clinging to dear life to get through and that also makes meditation a bit of a reach.

So, yesterday I took a class at a different time than usual with a different teacher than usual. I took away three lessons:

1. This was a bad ass class. No one (NO ONE) sat down despite crazy heat and humidity. Thank god I didn’t see black but I was woozy. I  put my hands down on the floor during one set of triangle and did go down on one knee in between a few postures, but I did everything as did everyone else to the best of my ability.

2. The teacher emphasized meditation a lot. I found that interesting  so I went along with it. During the second set of every standing pose when we were getting out of the posture and taking a breath, she’d say “Look in the mirror. Meditate on where you are and what you’re doing.”  or “Meditate on your breath.” After about 5x of hearing this, I found I was starting to meditate a bit, taking myself out of the class and into a calm, quiet place. It felt like she gave us an extra 5 seconds or so when we were standing to meditate and it did calm me.

3. When I do several classes in a row (not doubles, just 1 each day) I definitely get a bit more flexible, but I also get more fatigued. Yesterday, I was a tad more flexible in some key poses, but I also just felt tired and couldn’t give my all.  I’m not sure how people on challenges balance that but I found I feel better with a day break after every 2-3 classes. I’m going to try not to do that at some point and see what happens, but for now, especially with the heat, that seems to be my plan.

Namaste.

treatments_for_insomnia

Hot Child in the City…

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.

Namaste.

 

 

Getting It Done

I went to class Sat and it was a mixed bag. A little warmer than usual. Had a snobby girl bitch at me in the changing room (unusual). Struggled with some of the balance poses, improved flexibility in others and still tight on my left side for the separate leg seated pose, where my head does not want to touch my left knee no matter how much I bend it.

I made it through all the postures for the class. They weren’t all pretty, however, I was focusing best I could. Mixed bag like I said. At the end of class the teacher mentioned to me that I had a great class. I thanked her but raised a quizzical eyebrow… and she said, “You were one of the few people who participated in the whole class. That’s a great class.”

Now, when I need a break, I take a short one and generally don’t feel bad about it. (We all have those days), however, it did make me think. I may not be able to control how deep or pretty my postures are, but I can control my effort. I have always been a workhouse and very determined and I can work as hard as anyone. That’s what I am going to take with me to class this week. My postures will catch up to my effort!

Namaste.

 

keep-calm-and-take-care-of-business-4

Stop Thinking

I’ve been telling this to myself a lot lately. When it comes to yoga, stop thinking (which really means stop overthinking, stop obsessing, stop making excuses, stop analyzing, stop interpreting). I find this pretty tough. For one thing, I’m paid to think. For another, my mind is the boss. Clear and simple. It doesn’t like being told what to do.  Here is a sample dialogue:

Me: Yoga class in 2 hours

Mind: You’re too busy for yoga. The apt needs cleaning, there’s no food in the apt, you should call your father and visit and there’s plenty you could catch up on at work. Oh, and you’re tired. You’re fave. TV show is on and yoga takes so long.

Me: Well, you make some good points. I am kind of tired. But I’ll go to yoga.

Mind: Really? You have time for yoga but not vacuuming? How about seeing your Dad?

Me: Well, yoga is good for me.

Mind: Well then just go to the gym and do cardio for 30 min. You want to burn fat don’t you?

If I make it to class, my mind doesn’t accept defeat. It keeps prattling away

Mind: I wonder if you’ll ever be able to grab your hands behind your ankles like everyone else

Me: Shhh. I’m concentrating.

Mind: It doesn’t seem to be helping you. Remember that party 2 weeks ago…

You get the picture… So lately, in class and before, I’ve been trying to not think. To just do, go and try.  To be in the moment, to knock conscious thoughts besides reminding myself to breathe out of the way. I’m planning on really trying this for 2 weeks and seeing if I notice any difference in my practice (or my sanity)

Namaste.

imtheboss4sm