Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wall Walking

Tonight was 6pm with Frank. There were a ton of new students. Teenagers from a local modeling/talent agency. Greg (Big G from "Another Version of the Truth") showed up to take class because he was running late and couldn't make the 5 at his home studio. I was very happy to see him. Sitting around with my yoga bff's and all of the regulars before class, I found myself wishing Greg could always be a part of our group. His enthusiasm for Bikram is reminds me of being in my first year. Now, three years in, my passion is still there, but the intensity of it is not always what it used to be. I guess me and Bikram are settling into a routine, sort of like an old married couple.
Before class, Greg went into the room to do some wall walking. I didn't go in until 5 til. When I arrived in the room he motioned me over to try it. For those of you who don't know what wall walking is, you basically stand in front of a wall, about arms length away and you do a backbend until your hands touch the wall, and then you start walking down the wall until you are in wheel. I'll be honest, this scares the crap out of me. All I can picture is me landing on my head. I guess I don't trust my own body to walk down that wall. I tried it anyway. Of course I wasn't going to attempt to walk down into wheel, but I thought I would at least do the bandbend, touch my hands and see what that felt like. It was scary and exhilarating all at once. I went over to kneel on my mat to wait for class to begin, thinking about wall walking. Imagining that someday I could walk all the way down into wheel. Sort of like "I will touch my forehead to my toes" someday (this is doubtful, but I keep thinking positive!).
Class started and Frank came in, full of his usual energy and spunk. He was awesome with the new kids. Half of them didn't want to be there (it was an assignment they had to do) so he joked around with them and made them feel comfortable. Greg, Mark and I lined up in the front row and fed off each others energy. Greg's dedication is really showing. His postures are strong and he has passed me up in many areas. So even though I've been doing yoga for three years, I see where I could start pushing myself harder. Greg really works at these postures, every day, full force. Me, well, sometimes I know where I can just "hang out" in the posture and cruise through class. Uh Oh! I guess I just called myself out!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Yoga tricks and a Sandwich

Tonight was 6pm with Dray. Mark and Tommie, my two yoga bff's made a Michelle sandwich with me in the front row. As we walked in to put our mats down we gasped. Yup. It was smokin' hot! It actually felt good in an odd "oh, I'm in for it!" way. I must be a masochist. Tommie set up to the right of me and actually ended up directly under a heater. He looked up at the vent with dread and then stepped toward the back of his mat, away from it. The expression on his face was funny. Trying not to giggle, I look over to Mark on my left. His face was not very happy either. He had been trying to demonstrate a posture to friends the night before and pulled something in his leg. While regaling us with this tale in the lobby before class Dray overheard and got a big smile on his face..."No yoga tricks!" he exclaimed, promising to tell us his yoga trick story during class. True to his word, he told us the story towards the end. He was with some friends and decided to demonstrate toe stand, completely cold, not stretched or warmed up at all. When he got down into the posture he head a very loud pop! He ended up hurting his knee so badly that he was limping around for two months. So the moral of the story boys and girls is bring your friends to class if you'd like them to see your awesome postures!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Tonight was 6pm with Toni Jo. I arrived to find her standing by the front desk holding an adorable baby girl. Before I go any further, I feel I must explain myself for those of you who don't know me. I don't do baby. I have an amazing daughter who will be 16 this fall. I've been a single mother her whole life. By the time she was two I decided I was not interested in having any more children. After that decision I never wavered. So I'm not the woman who gushes over infants. Sure, they are cute and all, but I'm not a gusher.
Until now.
This perfect 7 month old baby girl belongs to Sara, a visiting teacher from San Francisco. She was teaching the 4pm, so Toni Jo was baby sitting before teaching the 6pm. After changing into my yoga clothes, I spent the next 20 mins hovering around Toni Jo and baby. I oooh'ed and aaaah'ed. I gently squeezed little baby feet. I smiled as the baby cooed at me, flapping her arms, grinning and drooling. We laughed and commented on how good this baby is! A little yoga baby! Mom did yoga until 6 days before delivering.
I walked into class, visions of babies dancing through my head. I lay my mat down and thought about the cute yoga baby me and my yoga crush would make. Wait! What? Who said that! I spent the rest of the yoga practice breathing and stretching and telling myself I'm too old to have another child. I decided my hormones must be making some silly last ditch attempt...."last chance for a baby! You are 39! Last chance!!!"
The class ended up being perfect temperature and Toni Jo was full of lovely energy. Her timing was impeccable. I was able to work hard without feeling wiped out. I left with a ton of energy, buzzing out of there on a yoga and baby high....smiling at my yoga crush on the way out....

Monday, May 10, 2010

Cleansed by Fire

Today was 6pm with Dray. It's day.....something of my some amount of days of challenge. I'm being vague on purpose. The life changing event is getting in the way of even doing a little 30 day challenge right now. I would have to do 4 doubles to "catch up". Which is an option for me. If I so chose, I can get two of them out of the way this weekend, which quite frankly would be very good for me right now.
When I arrived at the studio tonight it was full of "old" and "new" regulars again. Another one from my old studio (which is no longer a bikram studio) signed up at Westside last night. He was all excited and told me I need to talk Reggi into coming up. She's the last holdout, as the drive is too long for her. We miss her terribly!
When I walked into the room to set my mat down I gasped. It was smokin' hot! I was not in the best mood as I have missed 4 days of yoga last week and the weekend classes I took were tough. Sunday when I raised my arms over my head for half moon they screamed with soreness, which is not normal for me. I slogged my way through that class, feeling tortured. So when I felt the heat tonight I immediately felt a bit fearful that I would again have a tough class. Class started and I felt safe...surrounded by familiar yogi's...Shelley, Tommie, Eddie.....they were all around me, as if the wagons had circled. Three postures in I was already in "slogging my way through" mode again. My body felt like lead and the heat was really getting to me. I tried to ignore my panicked thoughts and just keep breathing. My mind kept going back to all of the stress in my life right now. The "watcher" kept bringing me back into the heat. I felt like metal, being melted and reformed. Tears mingled with sweat when we hit the floor. Jolted by the unexpected rush of emotion I swallowed hard and tried to collect myself. "Just let cleansed by the fire" echoed through my mind. I took a deep breath and melted into the rest of my practice.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Day 9: The New Regulars

So today was day 9 of...ya, I still haven't decided. Let's just say 30 and go from there, shall we? Prior to starting this challenge I had taken 8 days off from yoga. The first three days back were very tough. I noticed the loss of strength most markedly in awkward and standing head to knee. I just did not have the stamina to kick out in standing head to knee at all and just holding my foot for the full minute first set was daunting. Second part of awkward was very hard too. My ankles were wobbling, I was falling out and pretty much just looked like a hot mess. Now, on day 9, I'm already almost back to normal. Kicking out for standing head to knee (can't hold it very long, but working on it) and today I did a pretty darn good second part of awkward!
Tonight was 6pm with Candace. Sitting in the lobby before class was a relaxing social hour just like old times. I miss the "regulars" from the old studio terribly...the joking, the easy rapport. Slowly but surely a new crowd of regulars has been developing at my new studio. We may not have each others names down pat yet, but there are smiles, hellos and easy conversation on the long couch outside the yoga room before class. Laughter, smiles, 'happy hour'. Today another familiar face from the old studio showed up. She had a big smile on her face and said "I missed Bikram yoga, I signed up here yesterday". We put our mats beside each other in the front row and rocked out the class, just like old times! Candace taught a nice "tough love" kind of class. I love her style! She does not let us get away with cheating ourselves out of a great class and she does it all with a kind voice and nice smile. I drove away from class on a lovely yoga high. Perfect way to end a Monday!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Taste of TT and Hair on Fire

Today I went up to my studio for 1pm with a special guest teacher. Dominic, who is on staff at teacher training was going to teach. Two years ago, Dom was passing through town (he is from London) and stayed for a couple of months. He taught at my old studio while he was here. I loved his classes and the thing I remember most about him was his insistence that we do not fidget, wipe or scratch during savasana. Today was no different. He was still insistent that we stay disciplined. There were no newbies in the class today so he proceeded to give us quite a run for our money. There were quite a few instructors in the room and I went over to the other side of the room to be near one of them, an awesome teacher named Noel who just graduated last fall. I'm not normally on that side and I think it's about 20 degrees hotter over there! I was standing under a heater in what was already a hot hot class. Oh vey! We were all dripping like crazy already after breathing! The energy in the room was very focused though and I hung onto that as best as I could while the heater blasted my ponytail. I actually did feel like my hair was on fire, and not figuratively this time!
Before class I had walked up to Dom and said "you probably don't remember me but I took your class several times when you taught at the rainbow studio two years ago". His face lit up and he said "I do remember you!" I said "wow you look great, what did you do?" He said (in his adorable english accent) "Ate less!" Ya, that's Dom. So down to earth so awesome! It's easy to see why the trainees were chanting his name when they were thanking the staff last fall.
I was planning to go take class tomorrow night with the trainees but I found out Bikram is out of town for the next ten days. Darn! I have taken class down there already (last fall) and what I really want is the experience of Bikram himself teaching. I think I will wait!