24 July 2011

It. Is. Hot.

Only two classes this past week. I went back to work after vacation and you know it always takes a few days to catch up and get back in the normal workweek rhythm. The great part about those classes was that my Sweetie got back in the room after six weeks! Her work schedule had been horrid (six day workweeks) and there had been precious little time for her to do much of anything. She had been missed at the studio, and it was great to have her back, practicing near me!

The biggest enemy to practicing right now is the heat. No, not the heat of the room, the heat outside. Today will be the 23rd straight day where the high temperature hits 100 (38 C) or more. Worse, there is no end in sight, with highs predicted to reach 106 (41 C) in the coming days.

With these extreme temps, it is even harder than normal to stay properly hydrated. Last Tuesday, I drank 3.5 liters of water during the day before the evening class... I drank 4 liters after class. The next morning, I still felt dehydrated. Thursday was better, but I still drank almost 6 liters of water/Gatorade that day. The two classes last week were really tough. My hips and legs screamed at me both nights... don't know if my body is finally beginning to open up or I wasn't hydrated enough.

I could go to class this afternoon, but have decided to take an extra day to rest before going back in  tomorrow night.

I cannot wait for that first good cold front of the fall to get here!!

In the meantime... hydrate!! 

Stay cool.   Peace.


19 July 2011

7 Day Mini-Challenge: Wrapup

OK, let me say right up front:

I was unable to finish my challenge of nine classes in seven days -- I was only able to complete six classes.

In the most basic terms, I failed.

I don't feel like a failure, though. I am disappointed, but not a failure. Read on....

Wednesday: No yoga. Couldn't get the car out of the shop until late.

Thursday: Fifth class of the week. As an added bonus, I took my stepdaughter and one of her cousins to class. She had taken class before, two years ago. He is spending the summer with us and was interested in seeing what it was like. I set them up on the back row while I was one row up. They both started out well, but the heat got to both of them very quickly, and they took a knee several times. To their credit, they kept getting back up and kept trying to do the postures. By Savasana, however, they were pretty spent. They both tried to do the floor series, and they both stayed in the room for the entire class! My stepdaughter was ravenous almost immediately after class (it was nearing dinnertime, after all). Her cousin said, "It felt like I was wearing a rubber suit I sweated so much!!". He reported that his biggest challenges were in the Balancing Series, and in Floor Bow (knees would not bend too well). He said he would like to try again, just not right away. The next day he reported that he woke up in the middle of the night feeling nauseous and dizzy. He realized he was dehydrated. After a couple glasses of water he was good to go. This after I preached for three days about hydration....

Friday: Our yoga on this day consisted of going to the hospital where my father in law was undergoing a procedure to check for tumors in his stomach and esophagus. He got a clean bill of health!!! Spent most of the day with him and got home too late for class. A great day, nonetheless!!

Saturday: Went to the 8:00 am class and had a true breakthrough!! In first set of Standing Head to Knee, my left knee was locked out to the point where I actually kicked my right leg forwards toward the mirror! Not straight, by any means, but WOW!! It was really cool and I was able to stare at my locked out knee without losing my balance!! I was so shocked that the rest of the standing series flew by. I kind of fell apart on the floor (bad Spine Series, no Camel, one very poor Rabbit) but I came out of class pretty happy!

So, while I am disappointed that I could not fulfill the challenge, there were a lot of cool moments. Off to class tonight.... Hope your next class is your best!!



13 July 2011

7 Day Mini-Challenge: Day 3

Since I am on vacation this week, I have challenged myself to complete nine classes in this seven-day span. Here is the second update.

 Tuesday: Another double today! The 6AM class was really good... it seems I was just as stiff as the previous morning but I loosened up much more quickly. In Standing Head/Knee, I actually tried to kick my right leg out in the first set. Didn't get far, mind you, but it was a start. Triangle improved... got three of four sides. Even my Spine-Strengthening set was better! Generally, I felt really good, and I am finding that when you can do a lot of classes in a short time, each individual class seems to go by a little quicker. The biggest problem about going to class so early is hydration. I get soooooo thirsty in that class, and I have to be really disciplined so I'm not chugging water during class. Fortunately, since I freeze my water bottles, they don't melt that fast, so I can only take in so much water at any given time.

So, feeling good from the morning class, I headed back for the last class of the day at 6:30PM. This was the first really hard class of the week. The balance I had in the first three classes deserted me. I was sore and a bit fatigued. I sat out one set of Triangle, then fell out of Separate Leg Head/Knee. Even Tree was difficult. On the floor, I felt a grab in the right side of my back during Locust, Full-Locust, and Floor Bow, then I came out of Camel really early. Our instructor believes it was a hydration problem since I told her that the evening class was much harder than the morning session. The other problem is one I found when I got home. The skin on my feet is cracking and it really hurt. A little lotion and a lot of water should take care of it.

As for today, I hope to get one class in... if I can get the car back from the shop..... If not, it will be doubles tomorrow AND Friday...




11 July 2011

7 Day Mini-Challenge: Days 1&2

Since I am on vacation this week, I have challenged myself to complete nine classes in this seven-day span. Here is the first update.

Sunday: Well, I didn't get off to a great start as far as yoga was concerned. This was the first Sunday in some months that every member of the family was home and had no appointments or plans for the day. In addition, my sweetie had worked six days a week for the past three weeks and finally could unwind a bit. So, instead of going to class, I made brunch and dinner for the family, and everyone whiled away the day watching movies, playing games, doing puzzles, and generally relaxing. Much needed by all, but it does turn my seven day challenge into a six day sprint. Which brings me to:

Monday: Up at 5AM for the 6AM class. This isn't a big deal to me... I normally rise at that hour to go to work anyway. Coolest part of the day, meaning that the room wasn't a flat out oven... plenty warm though!! I was quite stiff and sore during and after class. I did get through three out of four sides of Triangle, but Spine-strengthening was hard (again). I was happy to be there, though!! After Spine-Strengthening, the rest of the class was really good!! Got home and had a quick breakfast (toast, apple, water, Gatorade), and did laundry. Got everything done and got back to the studio for the noon class.

The noon class was taught by our newest instructor, Tammy. She went to the Spring training session and this apparently was her second class as an instructor. The class was really good! She was very calm and, although she seemingly held us in the poses for longer, it was fine with me. Unlike the early class, I was a little stronger and much more flexible (Standing bow was one of my best ever, as was Camel!) in the noon class. Overall, I'm pretty happy with today. Now, that I've had more water and a big salad, time to rest for a bit. Tomorrow, the plan is to once again attend the 6AM class, then return at 6:30PM (it's my work-study night). Haven't figured out Wednesday yet, but I am confident!!

I hope your class today is great!!!



07 July 2011


Only three classes since my last post. They have been so-so. Tuesday's class actually started out great... felt really strong at first... actually completed both sets of Triangle! Then the truck hit me in Tree Pose. Made it through but it was really hard. Had to be close to 120 in the room at one point despite the fact that our instructor cracked the doors open three different times. It has been so freaking hot here -- everyday 100 degrees or more outside.

So, how have I been handling my lack of yoga? Not well. Cigarettes have once again been my friend. I've been eating horribly -- junk food and fast food and eating at odd hours and eating when I'm not hungry and never enough water. I'm sore and tired and all I want to do is sleep.

Put succinctly, I'm struggling.

I'm going to class tonight, but only because I was asked to take another work-study shift tonight. Usually, I look forward to going. Now, however, I find that I am fighting the inertia from not going as much as I would like. I'm going tonight, and I hope to squeeze in a class tomorrow. Then, thankfully, I am on vacation for a week. I hope that it will be a time of rest and recommitting to my practice.

My yoga goal for next week: 7 days, 9 classes -- meaning two doubles.

My other goals for next week: no smoking, no junk food. Fruits and veggies and lots of water and juice -- no coffee.

I plan to go get my blood pressure and weight measured on Saturday, then on the following Saturday.

I am also looking into going to an acupuncture clinic next week... I'll let you know more if that comes to pass.

I am tired, bloated (OK, fat), and I'm not very happy with myself... after nearly two years of practice, I should be so much farther down the road than I am.

I read blogs from other practitioners and I am in awe of their accomplishments... especially those who have just begun their journeys as Bikram instructors. Well done to all of you! Through them I see how lives can be changed with a lot of work and sweat... and a few tears. I do not know if I will ever be a teacher, but I do understand that I am the only one who can transform myself into a better person. No one can do it for me. The only way to get started (or re-started) is to get off my ass and take a step forward.

Begin, please.



UPDATE: With three hours before class, the temperature is currently 104!!! It will definitely be a very warm chamber tonight!! Also, came across a website with nothing but Bikram Yoga videos -- posture tutorials, news videos, and more. Click on the "Bikram Yoga Videos" link on the right side of the page. Sweet!!