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
I was all focusing positively when boom… I had a really bad class yesterday. Due to scheduling, I hadn’t done much yoga this week so I knew class would be a bit atypical and maybe I’d be a little bit stiffer. Well, I was a lot more stiff and a lot more tired. It’s funny, cause sometimes when I skip a few days and come back, I have a really strong class… like my body has rested and is ready to go. Not this time.
Early I knew I was in trouble. In halfmooning, when you grab your ankles and pull.. well, I always have problems with that, however, this time I could barely grab anything and had to bend my knees MUCH more than usual. Could I have really lost that much flexibility in a week I thought? I barely got through triangle when I felt a dreaded gurgling in my stomach. Ran out of the room just was tree pose started, went to the bathroom, threw up a little, splashed water on my face and got back in time for savassana.
I made it through the rest of the class although all my poses were crappy and it was not my finest moment. I also was totally bummed when the teacher commented on another student during Standing Head to Knee. She turned her bent leg a bit to the side when she grabbed it and straightened it out when she extended it. This is the what I have been doing and the progress I made. Although it’s a bit awkward looking, I was able to extend, so I thought it was improvement. WRONG. The teacher told her not to do it that way, so if that’s the case, I’m back to the beginning. I still can’t place my two hands clasped together under my bent leg-my boobs and stomach seem to get in the way so if I can’t bend my leg to the side a bit, I’m back to the first phase of the pose, 8 months in. BUMMER.
These classes happen to the best of us, but they suck. I’m going to have a “light” yoga schedule week this week (2-3 classes), however, next week plan to be back to 3-4 classesand see how long it takes me to get back to “normal.” Not sure about the SH2K regression. That’s a blow.
In almost 8 months of Bikram yoga (BTW, I like to claim this closer to 6 or 7 since I was out sick for about 6 weeks-is that kosher?) I have noticed a few things about the toll of working out in 105 degree rooms. Everything stinks after a workout! Everything. I was initially shocked that I smelled like ammonia, although at least after a shower, I am fresh as a daisy.
My yoga clothes also seem to survive pretty well. Especially the yoga brands themselves, although pricey, the clothes dry quick and seem good as new.
It’s my mat and towels that I have problems with. Why is that? I follow instructions and have tried several brands, however, my towels (delicate wash, tumble dry, no dryer sheets) do not smell fresh and clean after laundry. Some towel brands are worse than others, however, none so far really seem to be smell free. It’s almost as if it’s now “baked in” to the towel… And my mat, whether I wash it or spray still has some kind of smell associated with it as well. I am thinking of trying to alternate between 2 mats, although I suspect that will just create 2 stinky mats instead of one.
If anyone has any tricks or great brands to recommend, let me know!
I have realized the first and most important goal I need to focus on is going to class. How I do in class is secondary. When I go is secondary. How quickly or slowly I get into savasana is secondary. My goal: 4x a week. I’d be happier with 5. This week I went 3x, which is why I am focusing ONLY on getting myself to the hot room… I prefer evening/after work classes, however, they are less of a sure thing since life/work seems to get in the way. So, I am aiming for am classes. You can read more about my carrying on about this in an earlier post… http://halfmooning.com/?p=32
Here’s what I need to prevent:
- The fact that classes are now packed to the gills with resolutions, etc.
- The fact that it’s freezing and sometimes less than motivating to shlep through rain, snow or cold
- Work or family obligations resulting in me canceling a class (more of an evening issue)
- Ignoring the fact that I have to do laundry all the time and/or buy more yoga outfits/towels
- A rough night of (no) sleep, resulting in not wanting to wake up early
- Seeing it’s dark outside and wanting to turn over and go back to bed
How do you motivate yourself fellow yogis?
As I’ve had a few classes under my belt for 2015, I’m realizing something obvious and probably (hopefully?) not unique to me: I have an issue with pacing myself. I tend to start strong and peter out as the class goes on. Despite my inability to get my hands under my ankles in half moon (grrr), I give the warm up my all. I’m still going strong with the balancing postures…falling out, yet trying to get back into the poses. After balancing series I start to falter…usually around triangle or separate head to knee. The result? By the time I’m in tree, I’m focusing on hitting on the floor. I’ve started trying to do toe pose. I just realized one of the reasons I’m struggling so much is I barely have any energy to work on it. I’m literally a hot mess by this point and while I try to hear what the teacher is saying, I’m fading fast. I wonder if toe pose were earlier, how much more improved I’d be…
There’s the 2 minute savasana as a reprieve on the floor. That helps and I hit the floor series with new energy. By airplane I’m generally out of it again and bow is always a challenge. Another super hard pose, that I find hard to really improve since I’m praying for it to be over. Occasionally fixed firm gives me an opportunity to regain my energy and then camel knocks me out again. The last 2 postures I also find minimal progress, largely b/c I’m out of steam…
I read in MyBikramYogaLife supplements made a world of difference (http://www.mybikramyogalife.com/2014/12/29/challenge-update-headed-into-the-last-week/). I already take vitamin B12 being a vegetarian, so maybe I’ll try the others as well. Other than that, I’m hoping continued practices makes endurance easier.
Do you practice yoga when sick? I’ve been sneezing and blowing my noise all morning. So annoying as this is the same cold I have re-caught several times over the past 6 weeks. Bikram is such a tough workout that going when I feel below par never seems like a great idea. On the other hand, I always feel better when I go. Do you find you get less sick when you practice yoga? Part of me wonders if it’s easier to catch someones germs in the hot room any maybe that’s why I keep recatching this… What do you do when you feel under the weather?