02 March 2011

One Step Forward....

Wow, almost three weeks since my last entry. It has been a crowded schedule, and my practice has suffered for it.Only six classes since my last post, and three of them were this week. Of those six classes, one was bearable, but the other can only be classified as brutal -- the types of classes where I am completely gassed, or overwhelmed, or both.

After getting hit by the "yoga truck" (see Feb 10.), I returned to the scene two days later. THAT class was really relaxing -- felt fine, did most of the postures, no real problems. The next five have been problematic, so much so that I think it's getting to be more of a mental hurdle than a physical one. It goes like this: the opening set is OK, most of the time by balancing series is decent for me. I am getting better at keeping my knee locked, but I still have far to go. Anyhow, the dread starts in Balancing Stick and keeps getting worse through Triangle. Triangle is always the same -- I get into the first part (legs spread, arms outstretched) and my thighs and hips start to hurt. Not terribly, just sore. Then, when I try to bend my knee, everything from waist to knee just wants to seize up. Even when I am able to stay in long enough to move my arms perpendicular to the floor, I lose my balance and fall backwards. Sometimes, I try to get back in and do the other side but usually I just sit and keep my head down, trying to stare through my mat. In the last two classes, that pain/stiffness has stayed with me into the floor series. The entire spine-strengthening set is miserable for me. Last night it hurt to even try to do those postures. I ended up laying out for most of the floor set because every time I would try to get up, my hips, thighs, knees, and lower back just got so tight. I was not a happy person at the end of last night's class. I asked the instructor about it and she told me that (a): I did the right thing by just staying in the room, and (b): to remember that "pain kills the pain" in Bikram's words and the only thing to do is keep trying. There was one epiphany last night. I am getting better at Hands to Feet pose. In that pose, you are supposed to put your hands under your heels and pull your head to your legs while trying to lock out your knees. Well, I have never been able to get either hand under my heel -- I usually have to grab the outside of the feet. Last night, though I was able to get my right hand under my right heel in the first set, then my left hand under the left heel in the second set. Doing both at the same time was unsuccessful... for now.

The instructors always say that in the room, and in life, you must "... be open to everything and attach yourself to nothing." Also, "No judgments, no expectations. Your body is different every day you come in." Those are my mantras for the moment. I simply need to go in that room and do the very best I can. I need to drag myself in there when it's the last thing I want to do and work as though it is my last class ever. I need to hydrate and keep my diet in check.

As far as my goal of 200 classes for the year, it is still attainable, but a lot of days have slipped by. Spring is nearly here and I haven't gotten to 30 yet. Must step it up.

For anyone that does stop by here, I hope you find something at least mildly interesting. If you are a practitioner, I would love to hear your stories or thoughts. If not, I hope you try Bikram Yoga soon. It will change you -- FOR THE BETTER!!!

17 down, 183 to go.


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