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Showing posts from April, 2011

Class 21 Oh No!

I left work in a rush to make it to my class, and I did, barely. I asked Dan to set me up so I could come in even if he just started. I didn't have time to get into the zone. I barely made it through the warm up postures before I had to take a knee. Then a mat. Then I got up for the second set of standing bow and managed to grab my feet! I got excited, and then the room spun and my stomach turned.

I lay on the mat. I got up to do the separate leg forehead to floor and while I felt release in my lower back, I almost fell over. I lay on the mat. My stomach didn't feel right and I was overwhelmed by the heat. I nearly panted trying to get some relief. I felt foolish for laying there and barely wanted to move into the floor postures. I tried some, but I felt bad. Sick. I wanted to leave the room, get some air, get out of the heat.

I don't know why, but I attempted Camel Pose. One back bend and I did something I have never done - I left the room and threw up. I was ashamed and …

Class 20 and the H2O intake

At Easter dinner with my family, my brother (chiropractor/martial artist/yogi) turns to me and says "You should be drinking half your body weight in ounces of water a day." I though, that's a heck of a lot of water. Then he continues, finger to his chin "but since you are practicing Hot Yoga every day, you should really increase that to 75%. Yes, you should sim for intake of 75% of your body weight in ounces." WTF?

He went on to let me know that the increase will have me living in the potty for about two weeks until I reach a sort of stability.  Then I will be used to it. My sister in law thinks he is nuts and two large bottles should be enough or about a gallon a day. I did the math. I will need to drink almost 7 liters a day,or 1.71 US gallons.

I drank 2 liters yesterday and went to Pilates. I was my own personal shower. I think I will have to bring 3 towels and a squeegee for the floor if I drink more.  So as I am writing (gulp) I am on my first (gulp) liter…

Class 19: Sunday Funday Bikram

An 8:30am Sunday Bikram class is not my idea of ideal, especially when the morning person in me is still at the house wanting black coffee and rye toast. The yoga me was in the room, prepping for class, I guess.
I think it is in the second set of deep breathing that I actually came into my practice in the room. It is jarring to realize just how absent I was until that moment.

Class progressed as usual today, no major breakthroughs, save for less pain in my lower back. I want to say it is moving forward, improving due to practice, but I am careful not to get all excited. When I was able to get all the way up on my toes in Awkward Pose, I did a little cheer to myself, then wiggled and shook and went down to my flat feet. A small win and I will take it. This is an incredible feat of feet as anyone who knows me well knows of my nubs of toes; they are so short and tiny it is as if I am missing a knuckle. The two little ones (my ring and pinkie toes?) stick out like kickstands when I am on …

Classes 16, 17, 18: Barken meets BikramX2

In the Barken class Thursday night I felt sore, but good. I am not getting the flow portion yet and I modify to my knees a lot. I still am drenched and my heart pounds in my ears. It is funny that the one posture I can totally do with little strain is square pose (agnistambhasana). Because of my thick legs I stack ankle above knee without gaps. My hips have always rotated in a way that allows my knees to fall down in butterfly. I feel success, but know that if I had thin legs, my ankles and knees will have further to go. Still in a room of flexy bendy bodies, it feels like a little win. Sure in fixed firm, kneeling in Japanese style trying to get your butt to the floor between your feet, well, those thick legs totally prevent that from happening.

When I got up Friday morning I ached all over. I walked to the bathroom, towel in hand (because I seemingly shower endlessly these days), well it was less of a walk and more of a waddle with my toes to the ceiling and stiff legs. I felt stif…

Classes 13, 14, 15 - Long week of Yoga

I had my laptop on my lap after yoga and dinner last night, planning on updating the blog since I have been lax this week...but....I was too tired to type. Can you believe that? I couldn't think of what to write about (mental block) something I haven't had in a long time.

Classes this week, well here's a quick recap:

Pilates Mat - holy hell the lunges and ab work is killer. I have never felt such jelly in my legs and weakness in my abs, so when we were sitting on our sacrums, legs straight 45 degrees above the floor, leaning back halfway between sitting and laying down, it was a challenge. I spent a lot of time cursing core weakness and trying to do the moves.

Bikram Yoga - I am getting better and better, at very least in the warm up, where I have more range than before. I have been trying to get myself into standing bow and have a small strap that assists. My Quads are still so tight. I need an adjustment of my left lower leg which cramps on me. I found balance in tree po…

Class 12 - Bikram Weekend complete

Do you know that little voice in your head that talks you into things? Mine talked me right out of the 8:30am and 10:30am classes on Sunday, but I bitched it out and took it to the 5pm Bikram class. Between the whining and moaning, that little voice got all quiet and when my heart was the only thing I heard beating in my ears, I cheered.

The class was packed, and that was great. I was more focused on myself than ever before.  I think this is partly due to the full mirrors and it is hard to get distracted by how great that other person is in that pose. For a newbie like me, distractions abound, bringing myself into the hour and a half with myself is a challenge in itself.

I am a fidgeter, endlessly fighting the urge to "fix": the creases in my clothes, how they hang on my sweaty body, the insanity of my hair, the towel going from smooth to wrinkled, the sweat in my eyes, etc. My brain sometimes wants to do anything by look in my own eyes in the mirror.

On this last statement,…

Class 11 - Bikram in the Morning

After my knee adjustment yesterday, my right leg was so much better bending, standing, and stretching, my left leg however, sucked. I got a MAJOR cramp running up the outside of my left leg from the ankle to the knee which brought me to tears. Yes folks, that was me crying to myself in class. I kept working through it, it continued to cramp up; I stretched, I rubbed, I sat and stretched, rubbed, stretched. It was a charlie horse on the side and even now, 3 hours since class, it is still aching.

Even so, I refused to commit to Savasana today during the standing series and tried to breathe through the bumps and fight to keep in the moment. I kept falling out of standing head to knee but I kept trying. I had Dan hand me my foot in standing bow and I was able to do the first set. He was letting me balance on him as I tried to grab my foot myself for the second set, but the cramp was too bad and I had a hard time. I still did my first bow in years though! Thanks for the assist Dan.

On the …

Classes 9 and 10 - Barkan v Bikram

My brother taught Barkan Method Thursday night and Sue taught Bikram Friday morning, so in a little over 12 hours I got a good comparison. Without going into the whole Barkan learned from Bikram and then branched off to modify his own way of teaching Hatha Hot Yoga, lets say they both are tough in their own ways.

Barkan, at least they way John teaches, is fast paced and it moves and grooves. You are flowing through postures into other postures and then holding. It is cardio intense at points. It also has more upper-body weight bearing postures and inverted (or inverting into your front) moves.

Bikram is all about holding, squeezing, and pressing deeper into postures. You heat up from the holding and the squeezing. At points the air is limited because your throat is compressed, at other times you are breathing deep into your toes. While less of a flow, I enjoy adjusting into the postures and trying to get there.

The pools of sweat in Barkan are on your towel, around your towel and ever…

Class 8 - Hot Hot Hot Vinyasa Flow

Fighting trough the postures, again. The humidity in the room was almost like a sauna, and before Anayra turned it down halfway through class, I thought I saw a cloud forming near the duct work.

I like this class. I like the music and the full room of sweaty folks that are working it as hard as they can. I think I feel my lower back opening up some, maybe a half inch, but it is progress.  I was able to hold some of the lunges and though my legs were shaking like crazy, I was able to stand in tree and Warrior III on one leg. I may not have had the other leg resting in my inner thigh or parallel to the floor (it was more like my calf and a few inches off the floor, respectively) but this is improvement from last week when I was laying on the mat or stumbling through it.

The downfall for me was the weight bearing positions involving Down Dog, really anything that involves me supporting half my body weight (or more) on my arm(s).  It is really hard for me. I watch some of these women stru…

Class 7 - Hot Yoga Fusion - Barkan Method

Oh nausea, how I loathe thee.


First-off, Dan is a tough teacher, but he participated in the first half of class (a quite full class) so more props to him.  Somewhere around the Revolving Triangle (Parivritta Trikonasana) and theStanding Seperate Leg Head To Knee Pose (Dandayamana Bibaktapada Janushirsasana), I got a wave of nausea. It was awful. I laid down in Corpse Pose and it made it worse. I breathed, I tried to calm my stomach, I breathed, I tried to get back into postures, it was no use for almost 15 minutes. But I worked through it and didn't leave the room. Eventually, I was able to get back up and finish the standing series and chose not to lie in Corpse while transitioning to the floor series, to avoid getting sick.

I was not parting or anything the night before, though perhaps that Bacon-Party I hosted on Saturday came back to haunt me. (I swear I did not consume that much bacon, but hosted a potluck with the central theme.)

I was feeling some stomach thing during the …

Class 6 - Hot Pilates Mat take 2

How many years have passed since I did 4-5 dance classes a week and could plie for hours and hours without the quivering legs? It is hard to believe it was 15 years ago, and boy how my body has changed.

I feel some hope that I will regain that dancer strength because in class tonight, though it was more intense than last week, I did better. I still can only make it through some of the poses and pilates moves, but I can do more than a week ago. I found myself correcting instead of trying to get by in any way possible. I only went down to the mat with the spins twice - and for that, boy am I happy with myself.

However, I totally hate that my job has me sitting at my desk looking at the computer for hours because I am so locked up in the shoulders and hamstrings. I swear it is like a block of wood in my upper back and wayyyyy to tight behind my legs. My hammies are less like rubber bands and more like plastic zip ties.

These are two areas I am constantly fighting in class to release. For…

Weekend Update

I abstained from yoga this weekend because I sorta messed up my right knee. I fell out of that head-to-knee standing pose Friday (with a twist and unlocked knee) which hurt, and a few hours later could really feel the soreness build. When I woke up Saturday morning, my knee looked like a swollen melon.

After ice, heat, and stretching at home, the swelling has gone down a lot, but it still feels stiff and sore. I am back at class Monday after work, and will take it easy on the knee. I have to focus on my balance because I am rockin' and rollin' when I try to stand on one leg.

I have noticed my joints, like my ankles, are not strong/practiced enough to keep still/locked, and my feet spread and try to compensate when in toe-stands or on one leg, to try to aid weak ankles and shaky limbs. So much going on at once! Suggestions? Anyone? I'd like to figure out how to keep my mind in this yoga thing while my body seems to be flailing about!

Day 5 - Bikram in a small class is fine by me

I felt the soreness in my whole body when I got up this morning. My first thought was "I do not want to go to yoga today." Then I think I thought "I do not want to get out of bed." When I stood up and stretched I felt like a tight ball of sore, but I realized that just like it was inevitable that I get out of bed, I will also go to yoga.

I dragged The Hubs with me since he missed last night because he went to a job testing pre-interview. I think 

Thanks to Jody who assisted me into the stretch to help work my way into the bow pose! I had hope today that one day I will be able to do it properly.

Day 4 - Hot Yoga Fusion Barkan Method

It was HOT tonight. Oh lordy.

The flow portion of class, the movement through the sun salutation into the pushups and upward then downward dog add even more cardio and heat to my body. I think I did okay for myself. I was able to stay upright more than I did the other night. That was an improvement.

I swear that I will get into the floor and standing bow before the end of these 60 days. It is like y back refuses to let me grab my feet. Not to mention my body getting in my way. I totally want to get into the poses and stretch further, it is just that I have a lot of ME that hinders my movement.

My forehead ain't getting to my knee until my belly is a lot less - likewise folding in half or doing some of the bends. It is tough on my body with all the extra weight and flesh, sometimes I feel like I am working out with a heavy bag strapped to my front/side/neck/back. You think a position is tough? Imagine doing it 2x or 3x your body size.

That reminds me, I think I am dusting off the j…

Day 3 - Hot Vinyasa Flow

Wow was this class something. I liked the concentration on breathing, being an asthmatic. I didn't stop as much as yesterday, but I definitely modified some of the moves because I wasn't able to grab my feet or legs in certain poses and I had a hard time flowing into Chaturanga; Chaturanga Dandasana did not exist for me.  I had my back knee down in later Warrior poses because I was straining and dizzy as all heck. BUT I felt better at the end of class than I did at the beginning.

I think that I need to focus more on hydrating during the day and limiting the salt. My head spun and I had to lay in Shavasana once during the balancing portion again. Then then I stood up, my head was in the clouds and spinning, but bringing my focus back to my breath, I was able to get back into the flow.

I find that I have to figure out modifications for my body on my own, which is frustrating because I feel like I am not doing it right, and I don't get feedback from the instructors that lets…

The New 60 Adventure

A while back I said I was going to get into a new 60 day thing, and so I have. I just finished day 2 in fact. What is the adventure?

Hot Yoga. 60 Classes, 60 Days.

A room heated to 105-110 degrees (that's 40.5 - 43.3 Celsius folks). Add 60% humidity and you have my little room of magical hell...I mean heaven, but for now, hell.

I did a Pilates Yoga Fusion class on Monday, day one, and my abs are definitely under all that fat. I feel them today, especially when I went to try the balancing series in my Bikram class today - dear Lord. I got so dizzy over and over I ended up on the mat so I wouldn't fall. I will get better. I am no guru, in fact I a quite a mess really.  But I try my best and do what I can with the body I have. The body I am intent on changing one sweaty yoga class at a time.

I am the picture of a rosy beginner, but I made it through the class without vomiting or leaving the room to escape to the cool air of the lobby. Three other beginners left during the sitting…