25 March 2014

Twenty classes later...

Hello again!

Tonight will mark the 21st class since returning to my Bikram yoga practice 45 days ago.

What have I learned?

1) I still love it! -- I just feel so grateful to be able to practice on a regular basis. To see old friends, to make new friends; to meet, take class from, and learn from new instructors -- it has just been amazing.

2) I have far to go... just to get back to the level I was at when I had to stop practicing. However, that is OK, because...

3) I understand more -- Since I already know the sequence of postures and how hot the room can get, there was less fear or apprehension at actually performing the postures. My only fear was that I would simply be unable to do a lot to begin with. Further, because I already know what to expect...

4) Things are "clicking " faster -- especially over the last 10 days or so. Last Thursday was the best class I've had since returning. My focus was really good, and I began to do more of the postures for longer. The first set of Standing Bow that night ranked right up there with the best I've ever done!

5) While some things are different -- Most of the instructors stick to the dialogue exclusively, and I think there have been a few tweaks to the dialogue. The more senior instructors do include tips and "mind-vitamins" for you to think about. Also, I think there is more attention is paid to making sure we get into the postures correctly -- "The setup determines the posture."

6) Some things remain the same --  What can I say? Triangle Pose is still a bitch. However, I must say that in the last week it has gotten better. I still fall out on almost every set, but I'm getting stronger little by little. Same thing happens in the next posture (Separate Leg Forehead to Knee).

7) Any posture in which I must tuck my chin to my chest is agony -- Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee, Rabbit, and Head to Knee w/ Stretching -- these just suck. I think it's because of the bronchitis that sent me to hospital last year, but anytime I do those poses I automatically feel like I'm not going to be able to breathe and I begin to panic and come up for air. This will take a lot more focus and discipline on my part.

8) I used to love the Spine Strengthening Series -- now it gives me fits. Especially in Locust. Before the hiatus I was doing a reasonable Locust. Now, I can barely get one leg up let alone both. Then in Fixed-Firm, my hips have closed so much I cannot sit myself down on the floor. Soon, though. Soon.

9) Camel makes me feel really weird -- The fact that I can do Camel at all so quickly is mind-boggling. However, I feel really strange once I come out. You always hear how "things will come up... or out" in Camel, but it never happened to me previously -- or perhaps I simply wasn't aware of it. I don't feel ill when I come up and out of the posture, just "disconnected" for a few seconds. Or perhaps I feel "more" connected. I don't fear it, but I need to try and understand it.

And finally...

10) IT STILL WORKS!! -- Yes, the yoga still works. Question the man who put it together on many counts, but don't question the yoga. I feel better. I'm eating better. I'm learning (and re-learning) more about myself. I love it!!

Thanks for stopping by... leave a comment if you have been moved... would love to hear from you!!


PS: While on vacation this week, trying to go to nine classes in eight days... I'll let you know how it turns out.



  1. Hi Mark,

    I'm so happy to hear you are back to the hot room! I'm sorry my blog was blocked, not sure how that happened. I think I fixed it, if not, let me know!

    I too am getting back into appreciating both my practice and teaching. I just wish I had more time to practice -- I had last week off my fulltime job and I went 9 times in 7 days. Today I'm struggling to go to the 6:30pm class after a long day at work.

    Talk to you soon,

    1. Lisa: So glad to hear from you again! I will check your blog ASAP.