Saturday, January 2, 2010

A War Between Equals

I don't really understand the contentious nature that exists between Bikram students and Hot Yoga students and to be honest, the more I learn the sadder I get. I understand why exists between Bikram, himself and those teachers that have chosen to go their own way. I understand why they would have hard feelings.  But for it to have carried over to so many have such tension exist because of politics that basically boil down to money and control is so disheartening.

Since I'm still a relative "newbie" to all of this I've been reading books, researching online, visiting studios when I travel...all things I was to continue forever, but, probably not with the same enthusiastic zeal...i.e. staying up till 4am reading a bikram forum. Lol! I've embraced the community with which I practice with and the greater yoga community as a whole and in turn I've been embraced. Which I guess makes my heartache even more for this divide...I can see what the "Bikram community" was like before "the great divide". What are your thoughts?

Day 1 Continued!

I was thinking about the changes that I see in my practice since my 3 week "break". It's interesting because some of my bad habits are simply gone. Such as:

  • Wiping Sweat
  • Obsession over water 
  • Wiping my hands on my shorts

I'm glad they slipped away!

Day 1's practice was once again a good session. I love practicing with the group that was invited to the private (Thanks again John!). They are all dedicated and the energy is one of pure commitment, determination and so supportive. I'm going to this morning's 9:30 and then hopefully the private tonight again. I'm going to try to keep an extra practice stored up for when I need it! 

I'm headed out to ski after this morning's session. We have a ton of tourists still in town from the holidays. On New Year's Eve there were a record breaking 17,000 skiers/boarders at Beaver Creek (CO). It was pure madness I tell ya! I can't wait for our quiet mountains to return to the normal serene state. 

Friday, January 1, 2010

Day 1!

I'm back...after a bout of strep throat, then pneumonia, my grandfather passing away, finding out I've been a victim of identity theft (what a mess!) and general Christmas/Holiday craziness, I FINALLY found my way back to the studio after 3 weeks off! I missed my yoga friends, the yoga high and the calmness I feel after practicing. Perhaps, it was a good thing though, in a way, to make me see what a gift to myself it truly is...they say that "absence makes the heart grow fonder".

My first day back was Sunday (27th) and it was not as tough as I thought it might be after such a long absence. The studio was definitely not hot enough...which was probably a blessing for my first day back! :D

Then I practiced with a teacher that I heard about from "everyone", Marcy, who no longer lives in our area, but still teaches when she's in town on holiday. Marcy was everything that I had heard. She's calm, yet energetic...changes the dialogue a bit (gasp!), which helped me immensely and was a just a joy to practice with!

Then I learned that there was only one class on New Year's Eve (9:30am) which I couldn't make and NONE on New Year's Day. I was so disappointed! I convinced myself that it was okay...there was nothing I could do about it as there are no other studios within 120 miles of where I live. Then I got a phone call from my studio inviting me to a "private" class on both New Year's Eve and New Year's Day!!! I was such a happy gal! It turned out a student that typically does private sessions was opening up his privates to a few people to join him for the holidays. What a nice guy, huh?! Thanks John!

So last night I went to the "private" and had breakthrough after breakthrough! It was nice and hot just like I like it.

Just for the record here's the changes I saw/felt:

  • Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Janushirasana--I felt something change in my hip alignment here. My balance was rock solid after this happened. 
  • Janushirashana--My legs finally locked out and head was firmly down on my thigh. 
  • Garudasana--My right leg is solidly curved around and foot is sliding down towards ankle. 
  • Poorna Salabhasana--I feel like I'm getting stronger in this pose and that I'm moving in the right direction. 

I'm off to do my measurements and weight so I can track any changes. I know I should have done them yesterday...but, between skiing, yoga and the then our New Year's Even snowshoeing I was beat! I'm SO looking forward to practice tonight! 

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I Prefer Wine

Ugh, I'm such a whiner right now. I've been sick for the last five days and have missed Bikram that entire time. I started out with Strep Throat, got antibiotics and that seemed to whip that and now I've got something else. Not good...not good at all. I'm hoping that I am better tomorrow and can head back to the studio and a nice dinner afterwards with real wine, not this incessant complaining I have going on in my head! Lol!

Well, I'm headed to my comfy cozy bed to watch Food Inc. I've heard it's great and very informative...


Friday, December 4, 2009


" Pleasure and pain alternate. Happiness is beyond both."

            --Deepak Chopra 

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Cruise Control

Have you ever had a class where you realized you were simply running on cruise control? I was reflecting on my practice tonight and came to the realization that was me tonight. I want a redo right now! Alas, I will have to wait for the 5:30 tomorrow night. I went to the 4:30 with Paula and was so looking forward to it....and then to just cruise through it! Ahhhhh! I'm a wee bit frustrated with myself!

I love Paula's classes because she is m.e.t.h.o.d.i.c.a.l! Which mean that normally even if I don't have my A-game going I'm still giving 110% and I know that if I'm not in precise alignment she is going to let me know about it!

Tonight I realize that I'm shifting the weight ever so slightly to my toes in the back bend in Half Moon. I didn't realize it until we got towards the end of the 2nd set. So, tomorrow night I'm going to work on that and see how it affects my ability to get my hips forward once my weight is in the heels.

Paula pointed out that my legs are too close together in Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Janushirasana. It was a great correction and helped my balance quite a bit. I think the remaining balance issues is due to weaker core muscles.

The Birds of Prey World Cup (Skiing) started today and I got to go see some of it this afternoon. What fun and how inspirational to see such amazing skill and fearlessness! It was a mere 11F, so it was to say the least a bit chilly!


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Rush, Rush, Rush

Gosh, tonight was one of those nights where I wonder how I lived before yoga?

I went and got my silly knee looked at before class by an Orthopedist. The imaging showed a bone bruise. So, all and all not bad news considering what it could have been. I had the bloody fluid aspirated from just below my knee cap and it feels loads better than it did earlier. Due to the procedure taking longer than normal I was running late to class, which meant I had to change clothes on the way to the studio while driving. Let's just say you can be very glad you were not was hilarious! I got the studio parking lot right at 6 when starts and quickly called and let them know that I was running in. Needless to say I was NOT in a calm, meditative mood walking into the hot box!

Ame, the studio owner was teaching tonight. I love when she teaches, she gives great feedback, awesome energy, has amazing stories and all in all is just a nice person. BUT...I wanted to screech (visualize an owl!) out at her tonight. During Pranayama breathing I was trying my best to let the craziness of my day go...but, it seemed like she was talking way more than normal at that stage in class. I tried to tune it out and just focus....I wasn't so successful. :( Obviously, that's my issue and my journey. I'm still having issues with controlling my breathing throughout class. Hoping, hoping, hoping for a breakthrough in that area soon. For a great quote on this subject check out dancingj's quote on lz's blog. I LOVE it!

I've got a sore throat so I'm going to make some hot tea and go to bed early for once!

P.S. Does anyone know if it's Arnica that helps with bruising?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

3 Month Yogaversary

Today marks three months since I've started practicing! To be honest my first 30 days weren't all that consistent. Once October rolled around I made a commitment to myself to do at least 5 days per week and have been pretty successful with that. Yeah, me! These are the changes I see in myself thus far:

  1. Increased endurance. When I first started I seriously thought I was going to die. I know, I know, EVERYONE says that (well practically everyone!). I'm still amazed that I love this and that I find it challenging day after day, discover new aspects and seriously can't imagine my life without Bikram.
  2. Count them peeps...9lbs down! Admittedly, I still have a long ways to go, but, I'm confident that I will get there!
  3. A more peaceful, confident, and open thinking me.
  4. I can feel my toes! To make a really long story short I had some severely frostbitten toes that I almost lost. The end results was that I got to keep the toes (yippee!), but I lost feeling in them. Which made it a tad bit, um, awkward do the the 2nd part of Awkward! I now have full feeling back in my toes. From a medical stand point this is unheard of this long after the initial injury (2 years in Jan 2010). As I've talked to doctors they think it is because of the increased vasodilation.
  5. My body is achangin', fats melting off, muscle is developing, posture is changing...all changes in the right direction!
  6. Eating Habits: Wow, I never thought I would willingly give up so many different types of food. Soft drinks are no longer appealing. Chicken and any "hunk" of meat absolutely disgusts me. I'm not craving carbs with nearly the intensity that I used to.
  7. I feel strong. Emotionally, mentally, physically (well that's a work in process!). In a word I feel Fireproof! Bring it on!
So where am I going from here? Well, I've decided to to join in on a 101 day challenge starting January 1, 2010! I'm super jazzed, aren't you too? In the upper left hand corner there is a lovely icon that will lead you to lots more info on the challenge.

Tonight the lovely, and oh, so, graceful, Sarah taught. I was a little off my game after traveling, visiting several new studios (Red Rock, well, it just rocked!) while on vacay and in general just getting back into the swing of things. On the positive front, I didn't drink much during class, kept my fidgeting to a bare minimum and didn't sit out anything. I had a bit of spill today and landed directly on my right knee with my full weight plus the 27lb toddler's weight that I was carrying. So, camel and rabbit were challenging, but, not impossible.

Sarah always handles 1st timers with such graciousness and humor. I was pondering as I drove home from the studio, what makes a 1st timer return? I know for me, Sarah, who was my 1st teacher, handled me well despite a very full class that fateful day back in September. It was a combination of enough attention, without overwhelming me, letting me know that yes it is normal to feel this way, and encouraging me to do what felt right (um, except dashing out into the temptingly cool air outside!). I think it would be interesting to have the teachers in my studio hold a contest amongst themselves to see who could have the best percentage of 1st timers returning. Thoughts?