Tuesday, February 19, 2013

It's a wrap!

Well, this past Friday was the final day of our 30 day challenge.  Jimmy and I went to the 530 at the hotter studio.  The teacher knew it was our 30th day and acknowledged us at the end of the class.  The students clapped and we received many congratulations in the lobby after class.  I'm so glad that Jimmy wanted to do this together.  It was amazing to practice next to him and spend time with him.  He doesn't have a membership anywhere, just some classes left on a groupon.  So we'll use those up and then see what the universe sends his way.  Meanwhile, I just renewed my annual at the hotter studio and look forward to "renewing" my practice by committing to at least 3 days a week, preferebly 4 going forward.
It's been a few years since I've done a challenge.  What I learned this time around is the discipline and focus required to do this yoga 30 days in a row is really a great way to step up your game and prevent stagnation.  I have decided that a once a year challenge is for sure in order.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Day 28: Sick Yogis

I like to walk around bragging about how I never get sick.  I've been practicing bikram for six years this april and that has been true for the entire time.  Until I started dating Jimmy.  For the second time in the past three months, he picked up a cold and then gave it to me. (Thank you honey).  So instead of being this "super healthy bullet proof sick proof yogini" that I thought I was, I guess I just didn't pick up bugs because I was usually single and had no, ahem, contact with people.  Whatever the case, Jimmy got sick last week, gave it to me and we've been chugging along through our yoga challenge with colds.  This really freaks non yoga people out.  They think it's dangerous to practice hot yoga while sick.  I find it soothing.  For 90 minutes I don't cough.  For 90 minutes my nose doesn't run.  For 90 minutes, I forget I'm sick.  Now I'm on the tail end of the cold and we are also at the tail end of the challenge.  I feel slimmer, stronger, better all around.  I'm so glad Jimmy wanted to do the challenge.  I had forgotten how great an everyday bikram practice makes a body feel!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Day 23- The first time ever

Today is day 23.  Two nights ago, in the owner of the studio's class I had a major breakthrough in my practice.  Standing head to knee is something I have never been able to master.  It took me two years just to kick out.  Once kicked out, it took even longer to be able to hold it.  Then working on getting the elbows down.  This april will be 6 years of practicing bikram.  You get the picture.  Let's just call standing head to knee the "six year posture" for me.  Lately I've been able to get my elbows down and slowly lower my forehead down to my knee......and then fall out sideways right away!  It's been frustrating but I just keep trying and trying.  Well, two nights ago that all changed.  Not only did I stay put with my forehead on the knee, kicking out solid, breathing, but I stayed there until he said "change" and then I came out slowly, the opposite way I came in.
I couldn't help it, I stood there with a giant grin on my face, dizzy and intoxicated with excitement.  I felt like I had just got off an awesome rollercoaster at an amusement park.  I was flying high!
The next night I was back to falling out sideways.  It doesn't matter, I know that I can do it so I will keep trying again!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Day 20- Sadness

Last night was day 19.  In class, I felt sort of like, really.....this again?  I didn't really want to do it, yet I DID want to do it.  I was torn.  Then halfway through class I felt like crying.  For no reason.  I was just suddenly very very sad.  There is nothing in my life to be sad about, so the strong feeling of hopeless sadness caught me off guard.  My eyes were tearing up and I just felt like I needed a good cry.  Probably if Jimmy wasn't with me after class, I may have let it all out.  Instead, I just sat with it, wondering where it all came from. 
All in all, the challenge is going very well for both Jimmy and I.  He likes bikram but for some reason, he says he is losing muscle in his arms, that he can tell when he golfs.  That doesn't make sense to me, as it hasn't been my experience with Bikram, however, I'm also not a man, so I don't know.  I do know that when I combine my body pump class, which is weights with Bikram that I get great results.  I haven't gone to body pump for over a week now.  It's just too much with the challenge.  When the challenge is over, I'll do 2 body pump and 3 bikram a week plus my hiking on Sundays.  That seems to be a great combo!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Day 15: Halfway there and Gifts

Well last night was day 15.  Halfway there!  I couldn't help but peek over at Jimmy several times during practice.  Wow! He has improved in leaps and bounds.  The teachers keep asking him if he will continue to practice and he says "nope, I'm done after the challenge!"  I just shake my head and smile.  The seed has been planted and I have the feeling he will bikram again someday. I am happy that he is able to experience something that has been so important in my life and he now understands why I love it so much. I was also thinking about how you never know if somebody is in your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.  For many years I was so hell bent on getting married (it never happened, I'm 42 now) that I tried to force each boyfriend into the "lifetime" category before even assessing if that person was right for ME.  Instead, I tried to be right for THEM.  What an exhausting approach!  These past 9 months with Jimmy I have just gone with the flow, understanding that the relationship will go it's own direction and appreciating that he is in my life right now.  Ultimately it will be revealed to both of us what path we are on....reason, season or lifetime.  Until then, if it's the first...reason....then we both get to leave with gifts from each other.  He has given me the gift of love and support through my fear of heights while hiking and he now has the gift of yoga in his life from me.  Even if he doesn't keep practicing right now, he knows how great it feels to have a consistent practice.  With this new point of view, I can now see the gifts that other men have left me with.  One of them was even instrumental in my introduction to yoga.  I am grateful to him for that.  What a freedom to look back and see the gifts instead of carrying around resentments! 

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Day 14: I can't hear a word you are saying

Yesterday's class was brutal.  It was day 14.  Jimmy and I went to the 530 class.  I thought I had enough water in me.  We were at the hotter studio in town.  I thought I was used to the heat in that studio by now.
I thought the teacher was keeping us in postures forever, yet we finished 3 minutes early.  By the time I got to the floor I was a wreck.  I couldn't stay in the postures during spine series and camel about killed me.  Pushing my hips forward for camel just felt like too much.  Like I would crack open my chest and just vomit as soon as I came out.  I was restless, noisy and not a disciplined practioner like I usually am.  I was lucky to make it through class and get out alive.
Sitting on the bench after class, talking to Jimmy, I just looked at him and said "I can't hear you, my ears are plugged for some reason".  He just laughed and said "you are dehydrated".
Day 15, please be a good class! 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Day 11- Old Ideas

The past two sundays, in order not to cut into our hiking adventures, Jimmy and I have been doing the 7am class.  Now I have no problem going to the gym two mornings a week at 5am for body pump class, but for some reason, I hate morning yoga.  Any bikram class prior to 10 or 11 just hurts.  My arms don't want to straighten out in half moon, my back moans and won't do the backbend, and I feel weak overall.  Last Sunday I was grumpy after the 7am class and started to snap at Jimmy and our friend David while in the starbucks drive thru on the way to hiking.  They laughed at me and David leaned forward from the back seat and looked at me earnestly with his big blue eyes.  He said "Michelle, your thought about morning classes being hard is an old idea.  You need to let go of it".  Well, being in a bad mood after a train wreck of a class, I poo poohed him and continued being in a bad mood for a good hour, compounded by finding a screw in my tire that day.  Fast forward to this week.  Yesterday was 7am again on Sunday.  The teacher walked in and I stood up on my mat.  I looked over at Jimmy and he shook his head and smiled at me.  I smiled back and put my toes and heels together, listening to the teacher get the class ready to start.  As pranayama breathing began, I heard David's voice in my head....."Michelle, that's an old idea" and I surrendered to having an open mind about class.  I was not nearly as strong and flexible as I am during the evening classes, but I decided to enjoy the process of waking up my body.  Seeing the sun peeking in through the studio windows, sharing morning energy with my classmates.  After class my body tingled with life, ready to face the day.
The teacher led us through a lovely 90 minute moving meditation.  When she closed the class and said "It looks like it's going to be a beautiful day, Namaste"....I said Namaste back with a smile on my face.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Day 9- The Power of Suggestion

Today will be day 9.  I'm taking class at 5:30.  As I sit here writing this post, I shiver in anticpation and not in a good way.  You see, I was feeling soooo strong.  Then I wrote about how strong I was feeling in yesterday's post.  I wondered if the yoga bus was going to come run me over and thought I better enjoy these strong classes.
The bus read my post.  The weather here was a light rain, cloudy, humid.  When I got to the studio, the room was like a tropical rain forest.  Jimmy and I just looked at each other, a bit nervous.  By half moon, I could hear the bus getting heading toward me.  It tried to run me over in triangle.  I came out of second side, second set a few seconds early.  Being stubborn, I would not take a knee.  But alas, by camel the bus had caught up with me, run me over and left me laying on the floor in a puddle for second set of camel.  I just lay in savasana for second set, not able to move. I slugged my way through the rest of the class feeling like a water logged bag of sand.  After class, I put my flip flops on and I was still dripping so much that my flip flops were soaked, with little puddles forming in the bottom.
I should have never wondered about the yoga bus....I suppose I manifested that damn thing myself!
Let's hope tonight is better!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Day 8- Strength and Determination

Today is day 8.  With 7 classes under my belt, I'm amazed at how much progress I've already made in this challenge.  My strength is through the roof.  I'm three months short of practing Bikram for 6 years and I am just now getting into the full expression of standing head to knee consistently.  I fall out pretty quick and I can only get the forehead contact to the knee on one side, but I can do it.  So far, I have done every posture in all 7 classes.  No sitting out, no drama, no taking a knee.  Just quiet determination, strength, truly a 90 minute moving meditation.  It's beautiful.  I've been down this road before though.  I know that the yoga bus is probably lurking around the corner, ready to run me over, back up and throw a cigarette butt out the window on my tired ass.  So I will enjoy this quiet strength and appreciate the amazing things my body can do.  Amazing for me, because I know where I started.  I could not even pick up my foot to do the first part of standing head to knee 6 years ago.
My boyfriend is doing really well.  He does every single posture and is making that leaps and bounds type of progress which is typical when you are new.  He feels great and is really having fun with the challenge.  He does still say "I hate you" after every class, but 30 mins later, he is on top of the world.  I just smile at him, as I know exactly what he's talking about.  Of course, he's not doing Tues and Thurs 5am body pump ON TOP of bikram every day like I am.  :)

Monday, January 21, 2013

5 Days In......

Today will be day 5 of our challenge.  Here's what I've noticed so far, after just 4 classes:
1) I am sore all over my entire body
2) 30 days feels like it's going to be FOREVER
3) I forgot how much planning goes into a challenge and how you really have to put your life on HOLD.
4) My washing machine is getting a first class workout and I'm sure my water bill will increase.

In addition to the bikram classes I've also done a body pump class, hiked 6 miles and hit a bunch of golf balls with my boyfriend.  I am not a golfer, therefore, hitting the balls made my forearms sore.  It hurts just to type this post.  I'm a mess!  My boyfriend is in the same boat though.  His right hip hurts and his back is sore.  He says "I hate you" after every class.  I just smile and remind him that this was his idea.  His competitve male ego won't let him back out though.  This should be interesting!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

30 Day Challenge

I didn't think this would happen.  My life organized itself in a space not conducive to doing Bikram yoga for 90 minutes every single day.  In the back of my mind I had the desire to do a challenge.  I put the idea on the back burner, trusting that when the time was right, the universe would re-align my life in a manner fitting for a challenge. 
Today is day 1!  I will be doing 30 days of bikram with my boyfriend Jimmy.  He has done 6 or 7 classes and loves the moving meditation aspect of it.  He also got pissed looking at himself in the mirror, deciding his mid section looked like the mid section of a man his age (really, he is being hard on himself...he is tall and lean).  Ageing is not for the weak of heart, that's for sure.  At 42 years old, I am already discovering my body, face and hair changing in ways that are not, well, sexy to say the least.  A friend of mine is in the middle of a 30 day challenge and when I was relaying that to Jimmy he said "let's do it!" 
So here I go....bikramyogachick rises from the dust to do a much needed challenge.  I still went to my 5am body pump class at the gym before work today and we will still be hiking on Sundays.  Let's see just how far I can push this middle aged body!