27 February 2014

Trying to get back in the flow....

Tonight marks my 8th class since returning to practice almost three weeks ago. I'm still trying to find a schedule that works so I can attend more classes, and I'm still trying to get comfortable again in the room. My classes are really inconsistent -- one class feels pretty good, the next I am down for the count at Locust pose. One night my Standing Bow is almost passable, the next I cannot even get into it. That will improve with time... Patience is the keyword here.

I am finding that one of the things I have missed is the little bits of knowledge or the stories that our instructors pass along during Savasana. To wit:

Why must we lock the knee?

Large supports small. Strong supports weak. When you lock the knee you use the large muscles of your leg to create a strong base. When you attempt to support large with small, you will injure yourself.

Why is water the best liquid to hydrate with? Why not load up on sports drinks?

Yoiur body's ideal pH is somewhere around 7.3. Pure water has a pH of 7 -- your body assimilates it very quickly. Drinks like Gatorade are very acidic with an average pH of 2.7 - 3.3 . So if you chug a bunch of it before class, your body is not only working to keep itself cool, it is also attempting to make itself less acidic. This will impact your experience in the room in a negative way.

When is the best time to hydrate? (This one made me think.)

While it is necessary to hydrate throughout the day, the best time is before you go to bed. All day long you are moving, working your muscles for hours on end. When you sleep, your muscles are relaxed, allowing the water you drink to work its way back into them. Yes, you might have to get up in the middle of the night, but you will feel much better the next day -- and during your next class.

Finally, the best thing I've heard in class so far:

Every person has three gifts: 

Your smile

Your compassion

Your love

Share these gifts every day!!


***NOTE: I'm neither a doctor nor a chemist. While I did research these figures, I cannot guarantee their veracity. DO NOT take them as gospel.***  


16 February 2014

This will (eventually) be fun!!

I'm back in the club!!
So, one week and three classes down... what have I learned?
That I am truly thankful to be back.
That it is wonderful to see old faces and meet new ones.
That I have a long journey ahead of me just to get back to where I had progressed before.

Last Sunday was my first class back. I was happy to be there and that energy carried me through. I didn't push too hard. I attempted all the postures. I learned just how much ground I've lost ( I couldn't get my hands to my heels in Hands to Feet... I couldn't even begin to do Camel -- I was able to bend back only slightly). I wasn't worried. Like I said, I was simply happy to be there.

Tuesday was... Let's just say that I got run over by the Yoga Train (not just a truck or a bus, a train). It was my first day of work-study, so I was up at 5AM to go to work, home by 3. Tried to take a nap but wasn't successful. So, when I got to class at 8:15PM, I was pretty knackered. I got as far as Triangle, then I hit the deck. Tried to do Cobra, but couldn't get off the ground. I stayed in Savasana  until Rabbit, when I waved the white flag and left the room. Felt queasy but recovered to do my cleaning shift.

Thursday was better. I was able to get some rest and so class went MUCH better! Still fell out a lot but I made it through and had energy at the end of class. AND I was actually to do a complete Camel!!

All in all, a week of re-discovery. The picture of my practice is becoming more defined. There is a long way to go. I have to get rid of this gut so I can do forward bends without gasping for air. I have to work through the pain in my elbows when doing Locust. And there is so much more.

I don't care. I'm back in the club. Next class starts in two hours. I'm there.

Wherever you are, whatever type of yoga you practice, I hope you make it to your mat today!!


08 February 2014


It's the night before I start again.

Tomorrow, I plan to be back in the hot room and starting back down the path of a regular Bikram yoga practice.

I'm nervous, to say the least. It's been 27 months since I had a regular practice. I've taken some classes here and there but my life has been largely void of yoga, or anything fitness related, in some time.

Stopped by the clinic and had my weight and blood pressure checked (253 and 126/84). BP is good and, surprisingly, I weigh less now than when I was first introduced to yoga. Still, long way to go.

I know I can do this.

I will persevere. I will work and stretch and breathe. I will succeed.

After a long detour, I'm back on the road.

If you're interested, follow along with me. Find your own mat. Get back on it. We can do it together.



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There is one thing I am sure of. Tomorrow, I will take class with a heavy heart. One of my first Bikram instructors passed away a few days ago. She taught some of the toughest classes I've ever taken (she held poses seemingly forever at times, and would turn the fans off at the start of class so things would get extra juicy). She also loved to play her guitar and sing and had a great laugh. She left us far too soon, and I will be thinking of her while in class.


04 February 2014

You just never know...

 You just never know...

Hello again! Once again, long time, no write (but that will soon change....).

A couple of anecdotes before the big news:

Way back when (when I was actually practicing regularly), one of my regular customers had commented on how much weight I had lost and asked how I had accomplished it. When I explained about Bikram yoga, she remarked that she wasn't sure if she could do hot yoga, but the idea of doing yoga in some form seemed interesting to her.

Fast forward to this past October. I see her in the store. She is in workout gear and looks like she has just finished up at the fitness club. I inquired as to what she had been up to.

"Just finished yoga!", she said.

"That's great!", I replied. "What type?"

"The bendy, stretchy type."

I laughed out loud at this. Then she asked if I was still practicing. I had to say, "No. Not for a while now." 

"You need to go back. I was inspired by you. You can't let yourself stop now."

I was stunned. I managed to stammer a thank you and she went on her way.

You just never know who will hear your story and try something new for themselves.

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Things have been extra stressful at work. Holidays, inclement weather, and a new competitor down the street have put the microscope on myself and my co-workers. One day not too long ago, one of my compatriots pulled me aside to vent on a few things. After listening to her I offered a way to take five minutes and calm herself down:

"Heels and toes together. Interlock your fingers..." I walked her through Pranayama breathing (at least, as well as I could remember). We did five breaths together and she wondered at how GOOD it felt. She walked away smiling and able to return to the task at hand.

You just never know when you can use the smallest bit of knowledge to help someone in need...

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I was checking Facebook yesterday. There was a post from my old Bikram studio looking for people willing to clean the studio in exchange for free yoga.

Work-study is back!!!

I sent off an e-mail immediately. This afternoon I got the phone call.


I will work my first shift next week, but I can begin practicing immediately. First, though, I need to step up my hydration and be prepared for class. Physically, I've regressed to the point I was at when I took my first ever class. At 46, I'm a little worried I won't be able to get back to where I had progressed before. At least this time, I know what I'm in for.

You just never know when that second chance will appear. Don't let it slip by...

I am so excited about this!!

For the first time in FOREVER, I get to write about a real yoga practice. MY practice.

I can't wait!!!