Friday, December 30, 2011

An Oldie But A Goodie

This post was written by me last year (March 2010).  It appeared on day 90 of the Bikram 101 challenge blog (which to my regret I was not able to complete and will revisit someday)
I came across it and found it fitting for this time in my life.  Yoga has always brought me peace, but even more so now.  For approx 6 months I did not practice yoga.  Coming back to it last summer I was so aware of what a gift it was.  Absence truly does make the heart grow fonder.

The Watcher

Social Media serves many purposes. I find it interesting because I feel like I'm getting a peek inside of my friends heads. Take facebook and twitter for instance. People type in thoughts and hit enter, many times before thinking it through. "Do I really want to post THIS?" Twitter is almost like a strange little collective stream of consciousness. One hundred and forty characters at a time of disjointed thoughts, ideas, opinions, and emotions. If we could truly get into each others heads and hear what goes on in there for a full day we'd probably think our friends crazy and they in turn would be appalled at what goes on in ours!


We are not our thoughts though. That stream of consciousness that flows during the day is not truly who you are. Good thoughts, bad thoughts, songs that rattle through your mind, all of the "noise" is not you.

Yoga helps us to tap into that deeper layer of consciousness. I like to think of it as the ocean. The top of the water is choppy, churning, sometimes violent, always moving. At the bottom of the ocean, where all is still, quiet and deep, lays "the watcher". This is the other part of us that observes. This is the part that takes over during the 90 minute moving meditation that is Bikram. The watcher is what pulls us through a tough class. Our minds, like children, will start to wander. "It's hot in here. My shorts are riding up. That girl has amazing postures. Man she's keeping us in postures forever today. My contacts are jacked up today. Crap I can't balance today. Look at mr. cutie in the back row....." The watcher interrupts the chatter and reminds you to breathe. You are brought back to the room, your focus returns and your mind quiets. If you are like me, the mind does not stay quiet. The 90 minutes is an exercise in constantly returning to focus. When it's all over, we lay in savasana, quiet, sated. If we are lucky, we are able to take that gift and use it the rest of the day. Able to stay calm and focused in other segments of our day, not just yoga.

The mind chatter is what makes us human. The watcher is what reminds us we are also spiritual beings, able to connect with something beautiful and powerful. Able to get out of our own head and find peace, even if just for a moment. Yoga is the gift that brings us closer to that peace.





"When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained."


Mark Twain



Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cracked

Last night was bikram at 5.  The studio owner taught.  It was a nice, juicy, fast paced class.  Everybody was focused and determined.  The layout of the class was comical.  For some reason people only went to the right and to the left of the room, leaving a big gaping hole in the middle from front to back.  As Steph stood up on the podium in the center of the room and led us through the class it sort of looked like she had just parted the red sea....of yogi's that is.  The sweaty sea. 
I had a fairly strong class and by the time we got to toe stand, I was in the zone and unprepared for what happened next.  I'm getting into tree, preparing to go down for toe stand and as my fingers hit the ground in their normal "tent like" placement, I felt and heard horrible cracking noises in EVERY SINGLE finger of my right hand.  A whole bunch of thoughts flashed through my brain in mere milliseconds.  "OMG, did my fingers just break?" "They don't hurt"  "If I jerk my hands off the mat, I'll face plant" ....along with some other thoughts, too fast for me to even remember and record.  I ended up just sitting up into the posture, hunched over as usual, balancing on my fingertips, as usual.  To the outsider, nothing happened.  To me, I'm balanced on my fingers amazed they were not broken.  It was THAT loud and horrible.   As I lay in savasana when the posture was over, I moved my fingers carefully, trying to asses the damage, if any.  There was none.  They all just cracked, severely, and all at the same time.  That has never happened.  After four and a half years of practicing, new things can still happen!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hey YOGA GIRL!




This video is hilarious.  Enjoy!

I flipped my dog!

Last night I did hot power vinyasa with an instructor named Martin.  This was my third class with him.  The great thing about Martin, besides the fact that he looks like a Greek statue, is that he sets up an atmosphere in class where you truly can believe in yourself.  He encourages us to play with the postures, take them to where we can and then stop and just feel where we are. 
The first time I ever did Baptiste I was overwhelmed by some of the postures.  They did this thing where you are in downward facing dog and then you "flip your dog"**.  I remember dropping to my knees to watch and thinking "there is no way in hell I will EVER do that!" I was tired just being in down dog and I was afraid to even try.  I had visions of falling and somehow maybe even breaking my neck during the transition.
Last night in Martin's class I decided to set my intention to play.  Have fun with it.  Listen to my body.  So when he said "ok, now flip your dog" I just did it.  The gentle tap as my foot landed and the stretch in my body as I stayed in the landing position felt amazing.  I dropped my head back and saw myself in the mirror and a huge smile splayed across my face.  All I could think was "OMG I just flipped my dog!  Holy cow, I flipped my dog!"  Something that felt impossible in Feb of 2010 during my first Baptiste class suddenly just happened, effortlessly. 
God I love yoga.
Tonight it's back to Bikram.  Lacey is going to show me how to train for the splits.  I'm so excited I can hardly stand it!

**for a you tube demo of flipping your dog, click the link

Monday, November 28, 2011

Yoga is "Play Time"

I've been having fun with yoga lately.  The Bikram Yoga Summerlin studio is becoming my home away from home.  Just like days of old, when I would hang out with the "regulars" and have a blast during challenges, the same is happening up at Summerlin.  We facebook "tag" each other when we "check in" via facebook.  We do facebook "shout outs" to see who's going.  We save spots for each other.  We breathe as one, we help each other up in full locust.  After class we play around on our mats a bit, practicing postures, stretching, our bodies like a built in jungle gym.  And of course, there are the sweaty hugs after class.  At 41 years old I am suddenly more curious than ever about my body.  I was always the kid in gym class who got picked last.  I could not do cartwheels, handstands, headstands or splits like the other girls.  I was very uncoordinated, completely not flexible and just non athletic period.  In high school I swam and ran cross country but I was not great at either.  Now I find myself going through a process.  "I want to learn how to do handstands".  "Could I ever do the splits?"  These thoughts have been rolling around in my head, bright spots of "what if".  What if?  What if I could, at 41, learn the splits, a handstand??  What else could I learn?  What other postures can my body do with practice?  So I asked for help, from a teacher.  She's going to show me what to do, everyday, to work up to the splits.  I'm excited, because instead of what if....it's when.  If I practice everyday I will do the splits!  I don't know how long it will take, and it doesn't matter.  What matters is progress! 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sampling

I feel like I've been sampling a fitness buffet this past week.  I've taken hot 90x yoga/pilates, hot Venus (similar to bikram in a sense) and hot pilates twice.  The second pilates class I did much better and already saw some improvement.  Tomorrow I'm going to back to my one true love, Bikram, then Wednesday, it's back to get tortured and maimed in 90x.  What I've learned so far from this experience is that 1) I was getting way to comfortable and complacent 2) my overall fitness level is low 3) I am determined and when pushed, my body responds and 4) I'm enjoying new experiences and staying open minded.
What will I do going forward?  I'm not sure.  It would be awfully expensive to maintain memberships at both studios.  Awesome, but expensive.  For now, I've got some classes left at both and I'm going to enjoy the crap out of this fitness buffet.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

In over my head

Last night I took a class at Vegas Hot.  It was a "90X -Hot Yoga/Pilates" class.  The instructor is the guy who teaches kettlebells there and is very popular.  I walk in and set down my mat, not having any clue what to expect.  I should have known, by looking around, that I was in the wrong place.  I mean, the instructor is ridiculous.  I mean that in a good way.  He has not an ounce of fat on his body and muscles in all the right places.  He looks like a statue of male perfection.  I was looking around for the elf with the chisel that must follow this guy around and carve out those perfect abs.  Seriously, he's ridiculous.  That's just the instructor.  The students, well, let's just say I didn't see any overweight people in that room.  Except for me.  That should have set off all sorts of alarm bells and warnings.   But like the lobster that sits in the cold water pot, letting the heat rise slowly, I wasn't prepared for the boil. 
I can't even remember what we did.  I can't rattle off pilates moves and yoga postures.  I do remember lots of plank type stuff and I can't do plank.  Like at all.  The first 45 minutes was some sort of hot pilates boot camp hell with a little yoga mixed in there.  I was on my hands and knees, staring down at my mat, dripping sweat, panting, thinking "oh my God, I can't do this.  I'm in way over my head, I need to leave right now!"
I looked over at my friend Carmen and whispered what I had just thought.  She encouraged me to stay.  So I did.  I'm quite sure I looked like a train wreck even attempting that class but in the end, when it was over, I was proud of myself for sticking it out.
I've got to try that again!

Friday, October 21, 2011

So Strange.....

I clomped up the metal stairs, still in work clothes and shoes.  "These stairs are still loud!" I thought as I went up to the second story.  I opened the door and walked into the studio.  I was assaulted all at once by colors and smells and music, all different, all unfamiliar.  How many times did I come into this very space?  Practicing Bikram, doing challenges, blogging daily.  Memories.  Making an R and M sandwichlaughing uncontrollably inside jokes,  and just lots and lots of hours in this place.  It was my home studio for quite some time.  When it changed from a Bikram studio to just a regular hot yoga studio I started roaming around to other bikram studios, never quite planting myself permanently like I did for the first couple years of my practice at the old Bikram Southwest. 
I took in the browns on the walls, the new names on the yoga room doors (Mars!) and the new faces at the front desk.  Well, new to me because it's been some time since I've passed through those doors.  I handed the friendly girl at the front my groupon.  "I need to activate this, it expires tomorrow".  She handed me a scan card for my keychain.  Vegas HOT! it read.  I chuckled as I added it to my keychain, for it now sits next to the old bedraggled Bikram Southwest one that I never removed.  It's still on there, dead, gone, never to return.  So I'll do a few classes here.  Use my 30 days unlimited for 30 dollars.  It's a good deal, and as long as I get over there 4 or 5 times I'll feel it was worth the 30 dollars.  Hot pilates anyone?

Friday, September 30, 2011

A slice of heaven

Last night was 5pm with Lacey.  She is leaving for a trip to Peru soon so I was glad to be able to take her class before she goes.  After the first set of half moon, she went over the form for the backbend with us.  I paid attention and applied everything she said second set and made some major progress.   I was upside down looking at the wall, then the ballet bar, then the floor!  Ahhh, the floor!  Now that was a little slice of heaven.  I came out of the backbend totally yoga stoned and happy.  I was practicing next to my "comfort" friend and we both had great classes.  At the end of savasana we lay next to each other quietly, holding hands.  Another slice of heaven.  Yoga friends are the best!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Creepy Camel Smile

Tonight was 5pm with Stephanie.  My friend Chris was practicing next to me.  The one I wrote about the other day, who says I give him comfort just by being next to him.  Of course, I receive the same from him, so we feed off of each other.  I had a great practice overall and was feeling especially supple in the spine.  By the time we got to camel I really focused on how I got into the posture.  When I put my hands on my "hips" I made sure my arms were not sticking out like chicken wings.  Then I took a deep breath, pushed my hips toward the mirror put my head all of the way back and eased into the backbend.  By the time I got to the part to put my hands on my heels, it was not a far reach by any means.  I breathed, pushed my hips toward the mirror more and pictured my spine being like a waterfall.  I suddenly realized I could see my own mat and towel!  I've been that deep before when I used to practice daily and do challenges, but it's been over a year since I've been able to get that far in.   I was so happy that I almost laughed out loud and when I came out of the posture I had a huge grin on my face that actually looked kind of comical.  Well, maybe even a bit creepy, since I was hanging upside down at the start of the smile.  I lay in savasana afterwards and the smile remained on my face.  I felt like I had found bliss!

Friday, September 23, 2011

The worst class is the one you don't go to

Last night was 5pm with the lovely Lacey.  She warned me via facebook earlier that I would get special "love" in standing head to knee.  She's been working with me on that posture and is hoping I will nail it when I'm in her class someday.  Alas, it was not to be last night.  I kept falling out as soon as I kicked out.  I couldn't balance to save my life.  But I kept getting back in, kept trying.  The class was small for some odd reason, only 11 of us.  We were spread out loosely each enjoying plenty of our own space.  In a way, I prefer a busier class, I think it helps me balance!  All of those yogis holding me up!
I finished class disappointed in my lackluster performance, but as always, grateful that I was there.  I've heard it said "the worst class is the one you don't go to".  I agree wholeheartedly!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Comfort

Last night I took the 5pm class.  The owner of the studio was teaching.  She has a nice voice, it really puts me into a good frame of mind.  She also kept the room perfect.  I wanted to melt into my practice and wash away in a tide of good warm feelings.  I wasn't all that strong for some reason, but I did not get out of breath either.  So I sailed through a mediocre practice, happy just to be in the room.
Two very good yogi friends were present.  One had just returned from Peru, in fact he just landed two hours earlier and came straight to yoga!  The three of us practiced together, in a row, feeding off each other.  The guy in the middle is a good friend of mine.  We know each other from other places outside of yoga and find such joy in practicing next to each other.  During final savasana he reached over and hooked his pinky around my finger.  We lay there, breathing and resting as one yogi.  At the end of class he remarked happily "I had my slap buddy (they like to swat at each other during full locust) on one side and my comfort on the other."  I just smiled, because I knew I was the comfort and it made me feel good. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Hope

Who is out there that you affect?  Do you make clothes or art?  Cars?  Is there something you do that affects lives of people you will never meet?  We are all connected, never alone, even when sitting in solitude.  Yesterday I was talking with a friend and he asked me if I had hope.  I looked at him and said "for what?"  He said,  "do you even know what hope means?  It's the expectation of a positive outcome." That floored me and stayed with me the rest of the day and I woke up thinking about hope.  I used to have hope, then for while, it left.  The great thing about the human spirit is that it rebounds.  It is resilient, just as our bodies, minds and even hearts are.  I went to yoga, hopeful.  When I arrived, one of my facebook yoga buddies asked if this was my blog.  She found it five months ago and read it.  She encouraged me to keep writing, in fact she challenged me, with a twinkle in her eye, to post today.  I went into class, thinking about hope, and thinking about affect.  My blog, in some way, affects those I haven't met, and some I have or will.  Perhaps it provided information, encouragement, maybe even....hope.
Class ended up being a nice, juicy, 90 minute moving meditation.  I stretched, pulled, sweated, breathed and listened to Jason lead us through with grace and style.  He has grown so much since coming back from teacher training.  That's one of my favorite things about teacher training time.  Watching fellow yogis leave and then watching their journey, to find their rhythm and style when they return.  It's beautiful. I lay on my mat at the end of class, sated, happy, hopeful and encouraged to dust off this blog and continue my journey with you.

Monday, August 29, 2011

I had to leave.....

Last night was 5pm with Jason.  I arrived with a feeling of doom and gloom hanging over my head.  It was blazing hot and more humid than normal.  The day before was the same and I powered through class no problem, but Sunday, well it felt different.  I was hopped up on caffeine, had eaten only one bowl of cereal, ingested water but not enough and had sat outside in the blazing heat for 40 mins talking with a friend before heading to yoga.  A recipe for disaster. 
Of course, like a self fulfilling prophecy, I fell apart.  I hit my knees during standing bow (that's pretty bad, I don't normally have problems that soon) and all in all I sat out maybe 40 percent of the entire class.  I just couldn't keep it together.  I even.............LEFT THE ROOM during 2 min savasana to go fill up my water.
Shame on me!
I have been practicing since April 1st, 2007 and can count on ONE HAND the number of times I have left the room.
Tsk tsk!!!!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Guess I'll stay awhile....

As my 2 month groupon special gets closer to wrapping up at Summerlin, I find myself feeling nostalgic.  I'm having so much fun with the instructors and with my yogi friends.  Practicing together, messing with each other's "airplanes" in full locust, suffering together in the lobby after a beating and also celebrating (last night after Lacey's class!) after a great class.  I left last night wanting to stay just a little bit longer....I only have 2 weeks left. 
The universe is good.  On my way to work this morning a coworker forwarded me the Summerlin newsletter.  They are having a "this weekend only" 2 mo. unlimited special for a kick butt price.  I jumped right on it and purchased it online!
So I think I'll stay for awhile......

Friday, August 5, 2011

Counter intuitive or an excuse?

I have been going to the awesome Bikram Summerlin studio for the last month.  In that time, I have averaged 4 classes a week.  Not as many as I'd like, but I'm so happy to be back doing bikram that any bikram is better than NO bikram.  I have noticed, since I've been back, that my two month absence from yoga set me back far in my practice.  So, to get up to speed, I'm LISTENING very carefully to the dialog, that quite frankly, when I was going everyday I would tune out from time to time.  This has helped me tremendously.  In fact, I am making progress that I did not make before, when I was on auto pilot. 
One of my favorite instructors, Lacey, teaches up at Summerlin.  She has eyes in the back of her head.  Seriously.  I think they must install them at teacher training.  I cannot get away with anything when I take her class!  She noticed, right off the bat, that I don't kick out first set of standing head to knee.  Here is my logic on that::  when I do kick out first set, I can't hold it very long.  Then I get super tired from trying to kick out both sets and my bow sucks, so I'll just hold my foot the whole time first set.  Makes sense, right?  (you can laugh, it's ok)
Soo....she started to call me out on it.  "bikramyogachick, kick out!".  EVERYTIME I took her class. So I started to kick out first set all of the time, whether or not she was teaching.  I could hold it a little better each time and eventually I got stronger and was not wiped out by standing bow because my endurance improved by leaps and bounds.  Oh, and on the right side.....can almost get my forehead to my knee.  WOW! 
So thank you Lacey.  For encouraging me to push to my edge and breakthrough my excuses!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Wild Eyed

I redeemed one of my groupons.  It is for 2 months at Bikram Yoga Summerlin.  I went Sunday night at 5pm after missing two months of Bikram.  I was a bit nervous.  I brought a friend, it was his first time ever.  I went towards the back and put him in the row behind me.  Normally summer in Vegas is hot and dry.  Sunday it was cloudy, hot and HUMID outside, which made it even worse in the room.  I have no idea what the stats were in the room, but I'm sure it wasn't pretty.  I was dripping during pranayama breathing and quite frankly was tired by the end of the second set.  TIRED at the end of breathing! Oh boy, I knew I was in trouble.  I tried to focus, tried to breathe, but ended up having to take a knee a couple of times in the standing series.  I didn't stay down for long, like a tired boxer I popped back up, ready for more.  My friend was funny.  He staggered up to my mat after eagle and whispered "Do I have to stay in here the whole time?"  I nodded yes and he went back to his mat, his eyes dazed and wild.  He was panicking.  I tried to give him a reassuring look, but he wasn't paying any attention to me.  I thought "uh oh.  He's on tilt!"  Then, he took a giant breath, took his shirt off and focused.  He made it through the whole class and paid for one month afterwards.  He LOVED it!  We are going back Wednesday night.  Yay!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Groupon and Living Social

I have a ten class card to Bikram Westside, a 2 month unlimited card to Bikram Summerlin and a 30 day unlimited at Vegas HOT!

Thank you Groupon and Living Social.  You rock!

Back to yoga here I go! 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hips Don't Lie.....

I tried Zumba last night.  Here are the highlights:
1. The class was approx 70 women and 1 gay male wearing a cut off tank top (and he was rockin' it out let me tell you).
2.  The instructor can move her hips like shakira.
3.  I can't.
4.  Men stand outside the room and peer in at us (I was at the gym)
5.  My friend and I looked retarded but could not stop laughing.
6.  It's a great workout...kind of like doing jumping jacks for an hour solid.
7.  I am totally uncoordinated.
8.  What my eyes saw and what my mind tried to translate down to my feet and hips was completely wrong. 
9.  Did I tell you we looked retarded?
10.  IT WAS FUN. 

Yes, I think I will go back!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Shut up and breathe

Me: "F@#k it's hot in here!"
Me back to me: "Well done Captain Obvious, you are in Bikram after a four week absence.  Now shut up and breathe"

Shut up and breathe I did.  Looking at myself in the mirror in wonder at my flexibility being in tact but not my strength.  I had to constantly remind myself not to sink into my joints.  That has never been a problem before.  Strange how the one thing I didn't start with (flexibility) stays with me now after my breaks.

After class I lay there and a bikram-ism popped into my mind "operation successful, all patients dead" and a huge smile played across my face.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Fear

Dear hot room,
I have not visited you in 3 and 1/2 weeks.
My yoga bag is packed.
I have smart water.
I have emergen-c packets.
I'm hydrating NOW for a class 22 hours from now.
I must confess, I feel something strange about our upcoming visit.  It feels a bit like......fear.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Checking in and letting go......

I'm still around.  Reading your blogs.  Practicing yoga.  My challenge?  Well, I did 24 classes in 27 days.  I have no excuses for not making 30.  I could have made 30.  All of the things that have been blocking me from completing challenges are still there.  The thing is, they are inside of me.  I can't seem to figure out how to get out of my own way lately.  I feel a bit lost, a bit adrift.  So when you are a tiny boat being tossed around the giant waves of your own making, what do you do?  You go deep.  Dive down....deep, deep, deep, until you are laying on the bottom in the peaceful stillness, far away from the waves.  The only place I know where to do that is yoga.  So I keep dragging my mat back into the studio.

Tonight was an amazing practice with Dray leading us.  I had two girls to the right of me and one to the left  that were all very strong in their practices.  I noticed, during standing head to knee we all kicked out and looked like steady upside down letter L's, breathing in sync, waiting for the instruction to bring our elbows down.  It was beautiful.  I felt connected to those three women in that moment.  It was an incredible feeling.
Recently I stumbled across a poem that I am IN LOVE with.  I want to share it with you.


She let go.


"She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.

She let go of the fear. She let go of the judgments. She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head. She let go of the committee of indecision within her. She let go of all the 'right' reasons. Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.
She didn't ask anyone for advice. She didn't read a book on how to let go... She didn't search the scriptures. She just let go. She let go of all of the memories that held her back. She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward. She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.

She didn't promise to let go. She didn't journal about it. She didn't write the projected date in her Day-Timer. She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper. She didn't check the weather report or read her daily horoscope. She just let go.

She didn't analyze whether she should let go. She didn't call her friends to discuss the matter. She didn't do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment. She didn't call the prayer line. She didn't utter one word. She just let go.

No one was around when it happened. There was no applause or congratulations. No one thanked her or praised her. No one noticed a thing. Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.
There was no effort. There was no struggle. It wasn't good and it wasn't bad. It was what it was, and it is just that.

In the space of letting go, she let it all be. A small smile came over her face. A light breeze blew through her. And the sun and the moon shone forevermore."
- Ernest Holmes

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Day 23: ONE

Tonight was 6pm with Dray.  There were SIXTY yogis in the room.  Kneeling in the second row on the side of the room that I don't normally go to (far from the door!) and looking around I felt a low hum of anticipation.  Energy was circling, almost visible, like a thin smoke, weaving around the yogi's and yogini's kneeling at attention.  Dray started the class out with a little pep talk and then got right into it.  I stood up expecting to be in the way of most people behind me and admired how everybody was staggered nicely, getting a little slice of the mirror.  I met my eyes in the mirror, noting it was already pretty humid and remembered all I need is to breathe.  Normally during a packed class you experience somebody crashing into you because they don't understand staggering properly.  Not tonight.  It was effortless.  Bodies just moved into place and continued on into posture.  There was hardly any room, yet there was plenty of room.  We were packed in, yet instead of feeling like sardines I felt like I do at night when I crawl into bed and burrow down into my comforter.  I felt safe.  I felt energy.  I felt....dare I say...love?  I know, it sounds corny.   But it was there, in that room tonight.  Yes, there were 60 yogis and 1 incredible teacher in that room, but really just 1 body and 1 voice.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Day 22: Stay in the room

Wow.  What a rollercoaster this challenge has been.
I get knocked down.
Then I get up again.
Then I get knocked down.
Then I get up again.
There is no consistency to my classes....I am all over the board.  A great class, then the yoga truck runs me over the next day, then a good one, then the yoga truck again.  It's been so different than anything I've experienced previously.  I must say it's good though.  I'm sure it's because I did so little yoga the past year.  This feels right.  I have 8 days to complete 30 days and would need to do 3 doubles if I'm going to make the 30 in 30.  I haven't been feeling good enough to conquer a second class right after any of my 6pm's.  I keep thinking if I feel good one night I'll just stay and do 8.  I'm not "planning" my double because I'd rather not put that pressure on myself given how often the yoga truck has been tormenting me this time around!
We'll just see what happens.  I'm most likely going to go for 60 and would have more time to make up the three missed classes anyway.  30 just feels too early to end.  It's already just 8 days away and I haven't even hit my stride yet!
So tonight was 6pm with Marie and I got knocked down again.  It was pretty humid and after standing series was over I really started to feel it.  My mind went bonkers and I actually was wishing I could leave.  "You always stay in the room Michelle" drifted around in my head and I realized that after 4 years of bikram I've left the room a total of 3 or 4 times at the most.  So yes, I stay in the room.  That thought got me through the rest of a very tough session.
Phew!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Friday, February 25, 2011

Day 18: Breakthrough

The past few classes have been rough.  The thing that has been blocking me from yoga surfaced last weekend and robbed me of two classes.  So I have two missed classes to make up already.  I panicked, wanted to throw in the towel and felt so frustrated.  But I didn't.  I just went back the very next day and kept going back.  I got my butt kicked in that room everyday this past week since last Sunday (I missed last Fri and Sat).  I just kept going, kept my focus and decided to do my best even if it meant lying flat on my back the last 20 mins (last Mon in John Sal's class!).
The payoff was tonight.  Tonight was 6pm with Sharon.  The room temp was perfect.  The amount of yogi's and their focus was perfect.  Sharon was spot on with her timing and encouragements.  I melted into the class.  Melted into the mirror, into my own eyes, into my sweaty limbs, into my breath that finally was not ragged and uncatchable.  It was one of those classes that truly is a 90 min beautiful moving meditation.
I feel like I just got a massage.
Aaaaaahhhhhhhh

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Day 17: Michelle gives Michelle a pep talk

Tonight was 6pm with Marie.  My lunch was sitting in my tummy like a giant ball of lead.  Not a good sign starting off.  I ate too late...it was almost 1:30.  First forward fold I had to come out and then go back in, trying to breathe.  I've never had to do that.  By the time we got to triangle I wanted to take a knee.  I just said to myself "look, you need to do this posture, it will help burn off that ball of lead in your tummy.  Sitting out you miss that opportunity, now suck it up!"  So I did...suck it up and complete the standing series without missing anything.  Spine series was not fun but I did the best I could given my discomfort.  When it was all over I was so glad I was able to be my own cheerleader and get through.  It felt great!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Day 15: An old friend

Tonight was 6pm with Marie.  Class was hot, humid, hard....typical Marie.  I like to refer to her as "Satan in a Sunday Hat".  Because she's little and cute and has this really sweet voice.....then she kills you in that room....all the while still sounding cute.  You have to work for it in her class.  I was such a mess that I actually fell backward in triangle and ended up sitting on my butt in shock.  I got up and got back in, but falling backward out of triangle, that was a first for me!
When I first started this blog I used to write about my friend Reggi.  Her and I were there everyday at 5:30.  There was a core group of us that I referred to as "the regulars" and we had alot of fun.  When I left that studio (it became a non bikram studio, offering other hot yoga and hot pilates now too), Reggi stayed behind.  Tonight she showed up at Bikram Westside and bought a 3 month pass!  She's going to go back and forth between the two studios for awhile.  Oh boy was I excited!  Her and I have alot of catching up to do.  And it was awesome to practice next to her again, even while getting killed!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Day 14:What is it about Johnny?

Johnny Salvatore.  An awesome teacher.  Other teachers go to his class.  Seriously, this guy is amazing,  I've only been able to take his class 3 times now because he teaches Monday at 11 and 1 at my studio and I'm normally at work.  So today I went to his 1pm class.
I about puked in my mouth.
I was flat on my back the last 20 mins.
I couldn't move.
I was so sick, it was unbelievable.
This has happened to me 2 out of the 3 times I've taken his class.
Why?
I have no idea.  Now I feel compelled to take a vacation day on a Monday and try this again.  I will not be flat on my back.  I will complete his class!  I've had tough classes, tough teachers, hot rooms, all sorts of challenging conditions.  So what is it about his class????

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Day 10: Ran out of Gas....

Today was 6pm with Michael.  I was feeling kinda "blah" walking in the door and tried to keep an open mind about class.  No expectations either way.  I pretty much got my butt kicked right off the bat.  I tried to focus on breathing and just keep up but I was exhausted by triangle.  Interestingly enough, I didn't take a knee.  I was so tired that I felt like it would be more effort to kneel down and get back up rather than just "hang out" in the posture w/out pushing to my edge.  By the time we got to the floor I could feel my energy waning.  Usually that halftime 2 min savasana is my gas station.  I get more energy laying there and can usually recover from a tough standing series.   Not tonight.  There was no gas to be had from the station and the needle dropped below E by the time I was on the second to last posture.  Like a wind up doll on it's last leg I could barely execute the final few postures.  When it was over I was extremely grateful that I made it.  I dug deep and finished.  What a great feeling!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Day 9: Disconnect

Tonight was 6pm with Dray.  It was one of those classes where you all of the sudden go "wait, what, we are in half moon already?  Did I do both sets of pranayama breathing with everybody??"  I just wasn't fully present.  I kept yanking myself back into the room during standing series but floor series my mind checked out again.  I made it through the class, I don't think I did anything weird (gosh I hope not!) and felt good when it was over.  Laying in final savasana I could hear the wind whipping around outside.  As I was leaving it almost blew me down the stairs.  "Power" I thought to myself.  Most of the time Las Vegas weather is pretty innocuous.  It makes me miss the fierce east coast weather of my childhood.  Thunder storms, wind, snow, ice.....you can feel natures power.  Here in the desert, it's easy to forget.  The wind pushed me along to my car and just like that I was fully present again, the disconnect was gone.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Day 8: Feelin' Frisky.....

Tonight was 6pm with mr. tall, dark and handsome...Michael.  Class was amazing!
I can't believe I stayed away from Bikram for so long.  My body, mind, emotions and spirit have been asleep and I didn't even realize it.  It's only day 8 and I'm already waking up....especially my body.
My body feels like this:
Now if my outsides matched my insides we'd have a problem.  Single men in a five mile radius would need to run tonight.....

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Wife Beater

Today was day 7.  After missing, well, pretty much a year of my bikram yoga practice, it's been pretty tough trying to convince myself to get back in the saddle.  Last year after my aborted attempt at the 101 day challenge I fell off the radar.  Not just with blogging but with yoga, and with life.
So back to mat I go.  I've been wanting to come back, but something was blocking me.  I still have not figured out what that block was, but it seems to have been removed.  Now that the block  has been lifted I feel like a dog, joyously riding in the car, head out the window, tongue lolling out and eyes partially closed.   Ahhh!
The first few days back were me getting used to what I can no longer do in the postures due to my excess weight (look at my profile pic and add 27 pounds, that's me right now).  What I can't do in the postures does not bother me at all, it's more like taking inventory mentally so when I start to improve I can celebrate it.  I know what my body is capable of and I look forward to taking the poor car back out of the garage!
So, the first milestone in this challenge will be the removal of "the wife beater".  You see, I used to wear hardly any clothes to yoga.  Now, self conscious about my weight, I've got layers on, ending in the long tank top, aka "wife beater" over the sports bra.  I realize that nobody in that room would care if I took it off now.  They are not paying any attention to me and are there for themselves.  But I just can't do it.  Not yet.

Challenge

I've already blown the whistle on myself in twitter.  Also, I will need to blog, because it helps me get through.  What am I talking about?
A challenge.
I'm on day 7.......
Will post tonight after class.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Camaraderie

Last night was 6pm with the lovely Lacey.  The class was pretty packed.  The studio is of course doing a 60 day challenge to kick off the new year.  I looked at the challenge poster with longing when I walked by it.  I would like nothing better than to run up and put my name up there and say "yes! yes I will do a challenge!!"  I won't do that to myself right now.  I'm just trying to get back to a balance of going 4 to 5 times a week and do not feel like "failing" another challenge and getting frustrated with myself. 
The classroom felt pretty hot and I was next to a couple of yogi friends.  As things got rolling I tried very hard to just focus on my breath.  I felt every little ache and pain of my under worked body and felt the lack of strength and endurance.  Patiently I endured the standing series, giving myself permission to take a knee for a few quick seconds when I finally could not take anymore.  The end result was sitting out one set of triangle.  We hit the floor and suddenly things got......fun!  Lacey was correcting Eddie (who was next to me) on getting his heels together in savasana.  It got to the point where we were laughing with Eddie because he kept forgetting each time.  Finally I nudged him and said "heels together!" before Lacey did.  In the spine strengthening series we were really goofing off.  Grabbing each other in full locust, blowing on each other's shoulders during the tummy down savasana's and just really having fun.  It was really hot and the fun just ended up giving us the energy we needed to get through.  At the end of the class I lay in savasana with a huge grin on my face.  It doesn't matter how long I stay away, it's always the same when I come back.  I'm always welcomed with smiles and open arms and I'm always back home, among my people.