Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Day 150: Class 138: Hot sweaty fun

Wanna do a summer 30 day challenge?  Adele asks this as I glide in the door for 530 yoga with Dominique.  Sure.  I answer breezily.  Why not.  I'm going on a trip next week, I tell her.  But I'll start it when I get back.  She smiles broadly.  
So there you have it.  I'll embark on a 30 day challenge when I get back from my trip.  It will truly be a challenge because I will have to force myself to go to 930 PM class every Thursday night after bowling.  That will suck....and make it interesting I suppose.
So I'll stop hoping to "catch up" (see title: I'm 12 classes behind still) and just go balls to the wall and do another challenge.
Duffy, Hannah, Dancing J, Corva, BJ, Shelley, Michelle, Reggi, George, Karen, Jenn, anybody who follows this blog!!.....(did I miss anybody?? )....any of you up for doing this with me?  
Summer yoga challenge!  Give me a shout out in the comments if you want to do it with me.  We'll start Monday July 6th.  

The reason for this post:  class tonight was awesome!  Instructors Frank and Adele were in second row behind Shelley, Reggi and I and regular Karen was also in second row, behind me.  The room was pretty full, Dominique was "on" and the temperature was pretty toasty.  We sweated and pushed and breathed and stretched.  It was awesome!  The camaraderie and energy was fantastic and I left the studio feeling like everything is and will be OK.  

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Day 147: Class 135 & 136~Save the drama for your mama

Yes! I did it!  A back to back double that did not feel like a slow painful death and had no yoga drama!  I sat out one set of camel and briefly put my arms down in half moon (second class of course) but other than that I survived and actually felt pretty damn good when I left the studio.
I took 1130 am with Connie, followed by 130 with Frank.  Pam showed up for both and we practiced near each other the whole time.  Dominique rolled in for 130 with Frank and my good friend Shelley showed up for Franks class as well.  Shelley set up right next to me and gave me smiles, pats on the arm (in full locust) and encouraging eyes in the mirror the whole time.  It really helped.  Plus looking over at Pam and seeing her so calm, so focused, looking like she was on her first class helped as well.  I had a zico during the 30 min break between the classes and put some ionic fizz into my water for the second class.  Aside from a bit of cramping in my back during spine series second class, I did fairly well and had no major foot cramps which is usually my problem.
Pam is doing doubles for 5 days in a row.  Today was day 3 for her.  She will be doing 530 and 730 tomorrow night.  Argh.  I didn't commit to doing the next two days with her but I must confess I'm toying with the idea.  We'll see.  I'll throw two yoga outfits in my bag just in case.
Oh, and I'm fit for human consumption again.  Well at least for family and old family friends.  I went to a bbq this afternoon with my parents after my double and swam, ate, relaxed and enjoyed being around people I've known since I was little.  It was good for my soul after the week I had last week.  

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Day 146: Class 133 & 134~ Not fit for human consumption....

That's the phrase that came into my mind on Friday.  Me, I wasn't fit for human consumption.  I've been walking around in a complete daze all week, still smarting from pulling the duck tape disguised as a leaf off.  My friends all hoping I'd snap out of it.  I didn't.  I couldn't.  It hit me harder than I expected.  So, taking stock of myself on Friday I just decided that I was indeed unfit for human consumption and promptly cancelled all weekend plans.  Last night was yoga at 5:30 with Dominique and today I did a split double.  After all, I'm the one who walks around bragging that yoga can and will fix everything, if you let it.  So I'm trying to "let it".  
This morning was 9:30 am with Oksana.  Aside from a stiff back (hey, who installed an iron rod where my back used to be?) from sleeping for TEN hours last night (Ok, I DO need to snap out of this!) my practice went fairly well.  I did some errands, ate a light lunch of a nice green salad, drank smart water and came back for 3:30 with Dominique.  I had another good class and the iron rod was gone, replaced with a supple spine again.   (thank goodness!).  Another yogi, Pam was there again (she was at 530 last night) getting ready to do her second class on a back to back double.  After talking to her a bit, I discovered she stayed for the 730 last night and is going to do another double again tomorrow.  I ran to the front desk, came back with the schedule of teachers for tomorrow and we scrutinized it carefully, very scientifically picking the best (easiest) combo for a back to back tomorrow.  We decided on 1130 with Connie, followed by 130 with Frank (oh dear God, what did I just get myself into??) and Dominique excitedly said she would join us as she is not teaching tomorrow and would like to do a double as well.  This is the only way I'll go do the back to back....if left to my own devices, I RUN from the back to backs as I am always a mess that second class.  I'm just really going to try to remember that the first class is a warm up tomorrow and not do a "regular" class.  I think that was my problem last time.  (I hope).
Well it's 530ish on a Saturday night.  I sit here listening to the washing machine downstairs, body tingling deliciously from 3 hours of yoga, house nice and clean, plans for the night cancelled.  What to do next?  I think I'll strap on the 'ol ipod and go outside and wash a car.  No reason to waste all of this energy (what? energy after 3 hours of yoga!! This is great!).
Be back tomorrow with a full report on my back to back double, which will hopefully not be filled with yoga drama, me laying down, moaning, throwing up,  cramping up get the picture.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Day 141: Class 130: Uncontrollable Laughter

Today was 530 with Roberta.  Toni Jo taught the class before and when it let out, sweaty red faced yogis staggered out with war torn looks on their faces.   Reggi and I looked at each other and didn't even have to say anything.  An already hot room + Roberta = PAIN.  As we are sitting on the benches, catching up, in comes "wild Bill".  One of the regulars, we call him wild Bill because he cracks us up.  He gets very angry when conditions are too hot, too painful and makes no bones about speaking up or just leaving.  He was signing in on the clipboard and Reggi snaps her fingers at him "Bill, you've got to set up by Michelle and I " and she points to the side of the room where we are at.  He walks over and her and I are laughing because we want him near us purely for the comedy.  We already know it's going to be ugly in there and that he will get angry and we want to witness it close up.  He goes in to set up and comes back out saying he put his mat as far away from us as he could.  We were bummed.
We get in the room 5 mins before class, and there he is, parked a row behind Reggi and I , right in between us with a shit eatin' grin on his face.  Another nice surprise was my coworker.  He came for the first time a few weeks back, did a one week pass and was back tonight having bought a package.  Yes! Another convert.  He parked himself on our side of the room , back row.  He did pretty good!  In fact, he razzed me in the parking lot saying "I think you took more breaks than I did tonight!".  I rolled my eyes, laughed and said "You'll get your turn in the barrel Duane!".  
Class did not disappoint.  The heat and humidity were cranked up, people were dripping by awkward and I was exhausted by eagle already.  Uh-oh!  I fell out of standing bow over and over, could not hold balancing stick and crashed to my knees during triangle.  Roberta called me out "Get up Michelle, I know you can do it!".  I did get up but I was seeing spots.  Triangle is pretty interesting when you are seeing spots!  Bill also did not disappoint. He left once during the standing series, came back, made alot of faces, alot of noise and was clearly suffering.  Then during the floor series he leaves and never comes back.  We are about to go into full locust when he leaves and Reggi and I take one look at each other and that was it.  We both are laying on our tummies in savasana, backs heaving with laughter.  I look over at Roberta, she sees Reggi and I trying to contain ourselves and she smiles, trying to hold in laughter as well.  Then as I am about to go into the posture I try to get serious.  Doesn't work.  Laughter is bubbling up and spilling out and I'm in the posture giggling quietly.  I can hear Reggi, she's having the same problem.  Finally the muscles start to burn and I am forced to focus on my breath to stay in the posture and the laughter finally stops.  Oh it felt good though!  That burst of laughter DURING class.  I've smiled, chuckled, giggled during class, but never belly laughter like this.  It was a blast. 
The rest of class was pretty uneventful with the exception of camel.   Camel swooped in like a dementor and sucked the last bit of energy out of me.  The remaining postures I literally felt like a ragdoll, no energy, no stamina, it was all gone....all sucked out.  I would've just lay down, spent, but I was afraid the class would go by too slow or that I would actually close my eyes and go to sleep.  It was that bad!  
This weekend I plan on trying Moksha yoga.  I blogged about it a few days ago, it's another form of hot yoga and others that have tried it say it really works your upper body, that my shoulders and back will be sore.  Looking forward to it!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Day 138: class 127~ Dynamite Dominique and 7 years of bad luck?

I've been stressed lately.  I woke up in the middle of the night when I was in redondo beach, didn't have a clue where I was and was grinding my teeth.  Once I got my bearings I calmed down, unclenched my jaw and its been sore ever since.  My bite is off now.  That's how bad I was grinding them.  Then last night I was having a very vivid, very surreal dream and I woke up to a boom and my house rattling.  It was 3:27 am.  I stared at the cat, he just started purring and I looked around frantically, putting my glasses on, trying to adjust to the dark, heart pounding, adrenaline racing, afraid to turn on my light.  I reassured myself with the silence of my alarm NOT going off and lay there for 15 mins listening in the dark.  Nothing.  I was too scared (read: big fat chicken) to even go downstairs to investigate.  I finally fell back asleep and woke up to everything in tact and normal.  
Then today I had a tough day.  That leaf I swore I'd never glue back onto my person?  It's been fluttering listlessly in and out of my life, with no intention or meaning, confusing and hurting me.  So I finally tore it off.  It hurt.  It was more like gray duct tape rather than a leaf to shed.
I stumbled into 430 yoga, needing it more than I have needed it in a long time.  Somebody new was teaching.  In the small torture room no less.  I was not looking forward to it, but needing it all the same.  Reggi was there and set up my mat while I changed.  Another regular set up behind us.  He was smiling happily when Reggi and I came in.  In comes Dominique.  A little blond fireball from Canada who just spent a few years in London.  She was fantastic!  And the weirdest thing was she knew my name.  I had never taken her class.  She corrected and encouraged me a bunch.  Even stranger, I was the only one she corrected or encouraged directly by name.  I was so surprised that I started to work even harder, wanting to do what she encouraged me to do.  I was just so pleased to have my practice turn out to be so wonderful, to feel so good, so strong. so flexible and to absolutely soak up her happiness, light and energy.  I left that room feeling like I just had a 90 minute massage and a major attitude adjustment.
And then I broke a mirror.  I had a hair appt at 7pm and when I was all done and rummaging around to get my checkbook out of my purse, this little hand mirror goes crashing off her station.  She looked at me, horrified.  I've had this hairdresser for years, we are friends.  I jump down apologize and start putting the long shards of glass on the plastic remains of the mirror.  I thought she was mad I broke it.  Oh no, her look of horror was because she was superstitious.  So she bagged up the remains carefully, making sure every shard was in there and begged me to take it home.  I'm supposed to crush it or bury it under a tree when there is a full moon or something.  I'm not superstitious, I delete chain letters all of the time and I do step on cracks on the sidewalk (wait, both my parents have bad backs....ahhhh..) but I sighed resignedly and took the bag from her figuring with the past few months I've had it couldn't hurt to find a tree and figure out when the next full moon is.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Day 136: Class 126~ Conversation Pieces?

Today was 530 with Oksana.  It was a little bit of suffering for me.  Halfway through the class I said to myself "f@#k,  Bikram is HARD!".  When I am doing a challenge and gaining so much strength, I forget just how hard this yoga is.   It's HARD.  I wasn't complaining mind you, just observing and sort of well, appreciating.
On a very very positive note:  My friend Leanna who lives in Redondo Beach, CA is on the brink of getting hooked on this yoga.   After our class Saturday in Redondo (her first ever) she focused those cool blue eyes on me and said "I hate you Michelle".  40 minutes later, she said "I feel pretty good, energized!".  And like I blogged the other day, she went back, all on her own.  I texted her today and she answered back with four other days she plans on going.  She was all excited and said "I attempted every posture and did not sit down!".  Yes!  Another possible Bikram addict.  I LOVE spreading the Bikram habit, it makes me happy!
On a personal note, I have two conversation pieces:  a brand new car and a burn on my forehead.  Both equally interesting and both stirring up alot of questions.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Day 135: Class 125~ Love and Yoga

Ah.  530 with Frank.  "Mish, where have you been!"  I just saw him Friday morning, we practiced together before I left for Redondo beach.  But that is Frank.  So warm, so genuine, so happy to see us "regulars".  I looked around my studio, Christian, Josh, Mark, all standing around me, talking up a storm, filling in the hole left by Reggi's absence and just took a big big deep breath.  Love.  I love this.  I love this place, these people, this yoga.   It's the same everywhere.  I went to yoga in Redondo beach and chatted up the teacher before class.  This is my friend Leanna, she's never done this before, and I practice in Las Vegas.  "Oh, which studio?".  I tell her.  "I know that owner, how long have you been practicing?".  I tell her, two years.  So Leanna and I set up our studio loaned mats, with the silly tiny studio towels (oh how I missed my "yoga gear" having flown and carried on a bag).  She proceeds to nudge, encourage, correct, adjust me the entire standing series...calling me by name, encouraging my first time friend Leanna by name.  It was awesome.  The studio was hot, humid, I filled my little studio towel with sweat faster than you can say "Eagle" and left that place, spent, happy, fulfilled.  Leanna commented on the "vibe" after class and said she might try it again.  I got a text today from her that said "I'm going to yoga tonight! Where can I buy a mat?".  That text made me soooo happy!
I missed Sunday and Monday, but came back today strong, happy, ready.  I had a hot, sweaty, difficult practice with Frank prodding, pushing, encouraging us.   The humidity was off the charts and I sweated, breathed, pushed, stretched, tried to get back in the saddle....back in love.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Day 131: Class 123~ Leave your Yoga Body at the Door

Today was 8:30 am with Connie.  I leave for L.A later this afternoon, and am on vacation from work today, so morning class sounded like a good idea.  I've done am classes on the weekend and there is certainly a difference.  Today it was more pronounced.  My back was so stiff I could hardly do the back or forward bends.   My hands felt thick and awkward during first breathing, and my hamstrings, forget it.  I've gone every single day since I came back from my trip and today was just a strange class.  My "yoga body" decided to stay home in bed I think.  What showed up in the room was the stiffest most inflexible body imaginable.  My spine felt like a steel rod, and my breath was interspersed with grunts and gasps.  Connie even commented during my fixed firm "Michelle is trying to adjust to an am class today, she normally comes at night.  She's all stiff!"  I chuckled and so did some other students.  Then she just continued to say each class is different and not to judge yourself, just do your best.  With a determined look on my face, I toughed it out and finished the class, collapsing onto my mat in stiffness and exhaustion.   
Future plans:  The owner of my studio opened another studio across town.  Its a different kind of hot yoga called "moksha" from Canada.  I will be trying that in the next week or two and blogging about it.  Also, I plan on "catching" up at some point this summer and getting my classes even with my days.  Just a little personal vendetta at this point.  I'll count the moksha classes, as they too are 90 minutes.  
I'm off to redondo beach now!  I'll be going to the Bikram studio there tomorrow, so I'll blog next week and let you know how it went.