Sunday, October 31, 2010

I'm Official

Today was my fourth class back.  There was a few days lapse between class 3 and 4 mostly due to me savoring this 10 class card.  I didn't want to use it up too quickly.  That's not an issue anymore because today after class I bought three months of yoga.  So I'm officially back as a member who can do unlimited yoga again.  I went to 1pm with George.  He had a Halloween mask on for the first few minutes of teaching then said "forget it, it's too hot!" Dray had taught the 11am and boy oh boy was the room toasty!  I had to really focus on my breath.  My class went OK with the same issues I had the first three classes, with the exception of camel.  I can get into camel, both sets and hold it already.  Making progress feels good!  Now to work on fixed firm.  I really cannot even get my butt down, much less begin to lay back.  It's quite baffling, as I used to ease right into the full expression of that posture and just kind of "hang out". Now it's just complete agony.  It will just take more yoga.  Alot more yoga.
After class, while I was purchasing my three months, Greg from "another version of the truth" blog showed up for the 3pm.  Erika was teaching (in a cute bumble bee costume) and he said she's one of his new favorites.  I used to take her class alot when I was up at the Summerlin studio and she's fantastic.  It was really nice to see Greg, and I think it's awesome that he's doing a bit of studio hopping.  I'm a big fan of that and wish it wasn't so cost prohibitive.  Just imagine if all of the Bikram studios in town were linked and you could go to any if you were an unlimited member at one.  Heaven!  I would be in complete and utter heaven!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pass me a cigarette....and I don't smoke!

I miss my yoga friend Reggi. Her and I used to really live it up back in the old days. If you've been following me for any length of time, you are familiar with the day we could not stop laughing, us making an R and M sandwich with "looks-like-an-underwear-model " Christian, and our constant "pass me a cigarette" reference for hot yogi's and yoga instructors (think: old movies where they smoke after satisfying sex).  Last night I went to the 6pm class with Frank for day 3 on my journey back home to Bikram yoga.  I sat in the lobby chatting with the new group of regulars before class.  It's nice to see old friends and start to get to know the new batch as well.  Class with Frank was divine.  I still had the same issues (fixed firm, triangle, camel) but I didn't care.  I just did the best I could.  Frank was very sweet and told me after class that I'm still strong.  Love him so much.  He has been a huge part of my journey these past few years.  He always encourages and compliments me and he looks great in his yoga shorts.  I lay there in savasana after class thinking "pass me a cigarette" in Reggi's voice. Can't wait for round 4 tonight with Dray.  I'm going to the 8pm with two of my old yoga friends, Mark and Carmen.  I'm so excited I can hardly stand it.  Also, my baby girl turns 16 today!  We have all sorts of plans for this weekend.  Shopping, shopping, shopping!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Revenge of the Locust

Last night I headed back to the studio after work, eager to get day 2 out of the way.  For anybody who practices Bikram yoga regularly, you are probably familiar with the "second day back is hell" concept.  I find that after missing Bikram for over 7 days in a row, the second night back is worse than the first.  This may not be true for everybody, but other yogis have commiserated with me that yes, this indeed has been their experience.  I checked the schedule before I left and saw that Lacey was teaching.  Swoon!  Lacey is in my top 5 of all time teacher list.  She is right up there with Brandy, the current world champ.  Brandy has been one of my favorites for over 2 years now. 
I got to the studio early, as usual, and sat on the couch reading.  The 4pm class started to trickle out.  I saw some other students waiting but it didn't appear to be all that busy yet, so I waited a bit before going in to set up my mat.  When I finally did get up and carry my mat in what I saw as I opened the door cracked me up.   Already there were about 10 mats set up, all on the door side of the room.  No mats at all on the other half of the room.  It was clear that all 10 were jockeying for air space by the doors.  Chuckling and shaking my head, I went over to the other side and set my mat down.  I figured I was going to be a mess no matter what, so I'll take the "hot side with no air" and suck it up.  I will let the strong students who will be working hard get the nice blast of door air.  I figured I'd be on my knees most of the time anyway. 
I wasn't.  On my knees.  I was OK for most of the standing series, again having issues locking my knees and getting my hips down in triangle.  I just breathed, got into the postures as best as I could and put down the 10 foot long bat I normally beat myself up with mentally.  The floor series was a whole 'nother ball of wax.  I once again could not get my ass down in fixed firm.  Then came locust.  Salabhasana (Locust Pose) to be exact.  Sunday it hurt.  Last night it was excruciating.  My elbows hurt so bad that I could not shift my weight to lift both legs off the ground for the third part.  I just lay there, on my arms, legs on the floor still, face contorted, trying to breathe steady, trying not to scream out loud.  I wonder if it hurt this bad three years ago, when I was a newbie?  Just like the pain of labor fades from memory when you hold your beautiful baby in your arms, so does the pain of starting your practice.  So I don't know if it was this bad in the beginning, all I know is the pain will subside with regular practice and my practice will again unfold into that precious meditation I used to lose myself in daily.  But for now, I HATE locust!  The floor series ground on slowly, making me really have to focus.  I was in heavy second day detox mode and by the time I got to Camel I felt like I was going to projectile vomit onto the surrounding yogis.  I started to go back for camel and the world spun sideways, wildly spinning off its axis.  I sat back up and knelt down.  Kneeling was not comfortable, those tight knees barked at me.  So I sat indian style.  Boy oh boy do I have far to go to get back to where I was in my practice.  This does not depress or sadden me though.  Instead, it excites me.  I suppose it's because I have done this before and I know it's a given that my body will improve, strengthen, progress.  There is no "what if" factor.  It's just a truth.  A Bikram truth.  Can't wait until tonight!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Lock your Goddamn knee!!

After a three month hiatus, I ventured back into the Bikram room yesterday.  I plotted and planned my return.  Get up and eat a light breakfast.  Easy on the coffee.  Water, water, water.  Go at 1pm so I don't suffer the am stiffness.  (I hate morning practices! I am an afternoon/evening yogi through and through).  I arrived at Bikram Westside 40 mins early and was happy to see Noel was teaching.  I hadn't looked up the schedule on purpose.  I just wanted to show up and let everything else fall into place.  Noel was happy to see me and I her.  I changed and put my mat down.  Sweat trickled down the inside of my tank top as I was smoothing my yogi toes out over my mat.  Oh vey, I had forgotten what the Bikram room feels like!  Finally class starts and I stand up, nervously trying to place my feet properly.  I look at my reflection in the mirror and it looks foreign to me.  Ten pounds heavier than last time I was in the room, I see my generous curves reflected back at me, tank top covering my sports bra.  Yes, I used to wear yoga pants and sports bra only.  That won't be happening anytime soon.  It's not what other people think either, it's truly that I cannot bear to look at it myself right now.  The tank top will come off when I am ready, but who knows when that will be.
Breathing starts and my brain was doing a happy dance.  My stomach started to flip flop with joy.  I actually smiled during breathing, which is sorta awkward as you can imagine.  After eagle I felt like "ya boyz and girlz, let's get this party started!!"  Then the one legged balancing series commenced and my excitement diminished as I realized I could not keep my knee locked.  Yes, I still had the stamina and most of the flexibility to get into postures but No, I could not hold them as my friggin knee would not stay locked.  It hurt.  It burned.  I had to sort of shuffle from foot to foot, shaking out each leg after each set.  My knees ached so badly.  By the time we got to triangle I realized my hips were too tight to really get down there and form that L with my leg.  Then by fixed firm, the tight aching knees said "no more!" and I sat there, upright, trying to work my butt down and it wouldn't touch.  I opened my knees wider, but to no avail.  I didn't get frustrated with any of this.  I just took note of it so I could rejoice later when it starts to get better.  And get better it will.  This I know from three years of Bikram experience.  I was so happy to be there that during a savasana in spine series little tears leaked out of my eye.  I couldn't help it.  All sorts of emotions bubbled up to the surface and my heart and soul were singing with joy to be there.  The last three months have felt like a walking coma, but coming back to Bikram was truly an awakening.  Yes, this is what it feels like to be alive!  No, this doesn't happen in the gym, or running on the street.  Those feel good, but they don't wake me up and fill me with joy like Bikram does. 
I'm going back tonight.  I feel like a little kid, tugging on her mothers skirt with excitement.  I can hardly contain myself.