Sunday, April 7, 2013

Body Aches: It's Hot Room Time!

I've been practicing Bikram Yoga since June 2009. My very first 90 minutes were overwhelmingly hot and sweaty. But nothing compares to what I felt after I left the hot room. I came back the next day, and the rest is history. My practice has been bouncing up and down for the past 4 years. I've done four 30-day challenges so far. At this point I am not up for another challenge. I would have to come to 6:00AM classes during the week to accomplish this, and I am not sure I am there right now. I have had 3-week absences from the hot room. Once of my friends said that I am a "binger and a purger." My excuse is that I am too tired to make the commitment. I just want to chill and not do anything once I get home. My work schedule has been killing me lately. But you know what, the body does not take immobility lightly. It needs to stretch and flex. The blood needs to circulate everywhere. The joints need to move, be used. When these things don't happen, it cries out. Loud. Suddenly, getting up in the morning is slow and painful. The muscles start seizing up. All of these happened to me this week. So despite the temptation to sleep in and chill out this weekend, I got up at 7:00AM and made my journey back to the hot room. I felt nervous, concerned that the absence will manifest itself by not performing well, by not being able to do the full expression of the postures. Surprisingly though, while some postures were challenging, overall my practice this weekend turned out great. There is nothing more exhilarating and energizing than a hot, sweaty, vigorous 90 minute yoga practice. My day is set. So there. If you have been absent from class, do not be afraid to come back and start over. No one else will judge you. The people around you have their own issues to get through. What's important is for you to be mindful of what your body is telling you. We need to slow down and look after ourselves. Once you've done that, you will touch the next person in a positive way. Namaste. Good day, Mommy. I love you.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Patience, Persistence, Perseverance

So if you have been following my recent posts, you would know about my bothersome right shoulder/neck area. Pranayama, first backward bend, and Camel have been no shows in the hot room for me. Today my practice turned out to be much, much better. Sort of back to "normal" for me. Pranayama was not a challenge, the first backward bend happened, as well as two sets of Camel. Right on the money! I practiced Yoga for Runners last night. So today marks two straight days of practice. Tomorrow will be Day 3. I'm not doing a 30-Day Challenge. Just merely taking advantage of 2 straight days off from work. Yoga does one good. I've experienced doing it everyday for 30 days and reveled in the results. I know what it feels to stop for 3 months, and how my body did not waste time "telling" me that it badly missed the practice. I am toying with the idea of practicing every other day, or every weekday and taking the weekend off. We'll see how it goes. Good night, Mommy. I love you.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

5 Glorious Minutes of Savasana

Yesterday I practiced at 5:45PM. Not my usual time, but I felt I had to be in the hot room. My right shoulder/neck area has been out of whack lately. My doctor advised to keep stretching, as maybe a nerve is pinched. It was a hot class. Pranayama breathing again was out the door. My neck just would not stretch far back enough and I still couldn't keep my elbows above the heart. I kept on getting out of the whole posture. I was worried that the rest of the session will go down the drain. The Standing Series for me has always been touch and go, but the Floor Series is a whole different ball game. I always have more energy and success on the floor. I guess it's the 2-minute Savasana. I am still not drinking water during class. When the rest of the class is taking water after the Standing Series, I am already on my back enjoying Savasana. I have the whole 2 minutes to reap its benefits. When it's all over, I am ready to rock and roll on the floor. Yesterday, I was able to do the Camel Pose, although I had to get out of the posture a few seconds early. But I did it, and I am happy with that. When the class ended, I decided to stay in Savasana for a whole 5 minutes, instead of my usual 2 minutes. I counted 300 seconds, then left the room, and cooled down with my water before showering. When I got home, I had some dinner, and hydrated well. I am amazed at how my body felt renewed, like having a "reset" button pushed. Usually I feel so tired and ready to just lie down in bed and do nothing. Yet last night, and all of today, I felt more energized. I think it's that 5 glorious minutes of Savasana that made all the difference. Of course if one is on a tight schedule, this may not be possible, but 5 minutes is not really that long compared to having the rest of your day feeling like a million bucks! Just sayin'... Good night, Mommy. I love you.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Today, the Mind Won

I practiced at my home studio today, taking my usual 9:00AM class. It felt like a homecoming. It felt good when people notice that you haven't been around. When they asked where I've been, I said, "I quit practicing for 3 months." What have these 3 yoga-free months accomplished? While I relished sleeping in and being able to do other things, my body protested at once. Suddenly, the aches started to arise. I couldn't get out of bed without feeling sore. The worst part was that my body started to seize up, so much so that mundane everyday movements, like shampooing my hair, triggered painful tweaks in my muscles, or joints, or nerves. Right now, my shoulder/right upper back area hurts. Sometimes it is so bad that my right arm becomes numb. Today's practice "sucked" from the physical standpoint. In Pranayama, I couldn't look back and keep my elbows raised above the heart. The first backbend was impossible. My neck hurt so much that there was no way it was going to be stretched back. While I was happy with Standing Bow Pulling Pose, for the first time ever since I started practicing 3 years ago, I couldn't do the Camel Pose. All because of this sore neck. But today, the mind won. I listened to my body. While I know it was thankful that I am getting back to a regular practice again, it told me that I have to take it easy. While I was failing to do some postures that I had been able to do in the past, I willed my mind to accept what my practice was TODAY. Today is all that matters. Yesterday's already past, and who knows what tomorrow will bring? What I so love about my Bikram Yoga practice is that I achieve this sense of peace and acceptance even outside the hot room. Right now, the cold, grey, autumn-like weather is very unusual for Victoria. A lot of people are complaining about it. So what will one achieve by complaining about something that cannot be changed. Same with my practice. I had come so far in the past by practicing on a steady, regular basis. And then I quit. So now, I know what it's like to quit. So now I know that I must keep a steady pace. Maybe a daily practice at this point in my life will not happen, but one day, when life changes, I know I will practice everyday...for the most part. Namaste, friends. Good night, Mommy. I love you.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Count Your Blessings...Live Life to the Fullest

Last night I received a text message that one of my friends from years past has breast cancer. This piece of news is very grounding for me. This friend of mine happens to be a few years younger than me. And now she is battling the big "C". It brings to mind MYSELF. It is a wake-up call. so far, I am healthy. I am getting back to my regular Bikram Yoga practice after a 3-month hiatus. I make sure I do not lead a sedentary life. I laugh a lot. I tease. I do not sweat the small stuff. What about you? Are you counting your blessings? Are you living life to the fullest? 'Cause you never know. Life might throw a curve ball at you, and three strikes you're out. Good night, Mommy. I love you.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Return of the Yogini

Welcome back to the rejuvenated ME. I took a 3 month break from yoga. It had come to a point where my life revolved around it--the time commitment, the financial commitment. I missed sleeping in on Sunday mornings. I missed just taking it easy. Preparing for a morning class starts the night before: I make sure I am well-hydrated with water, therefore I had to take it easy with the before-bedtime wine with the hubby. I make sure I have everything in my gym bag, so I don't have to scramble in the morning. I had grown tired of the yoga routine. But then, as soon as I quit practicing, my body went into yoga withdrawal mode. All of a sudden, I started to feel the aches and pains. My joints and muscles seized up. It seemed like my body started to panic. I have always been an active individual. I love sports. My Dad, who played tennis every Sunday, took me to the courts with him. I played softball and volleyball. Living in Victoria, one would always come across people doing their daily run. I would walk our dog every morning, and I would see people running. My sister-in-law runs, and I thought I should give it a try. She signed up for a yoga class for runners. I did the same. To date, I've been to two sessions. It was during these sessions that I started to REALLY miss Bikram Yoga. To be honest, I couldn't wait for the sessions to be over--eight more to go! I guess I am a Bikram Yoga loyalist. I have been back to the hot room three times. On my first day back, Pranayama breathing was torture. It didn't help that a few days prior I had somehow tweaked a muscle between my shoulder blades while shampooing my hair! Could you believe that? I could not look back at all! I was back to square one. Two and a half years of regular practice, going, going, soon to be gone it felt like. Surprisingly though, overall I was very satisfied with how the first class turned out. Three classes in, and I am so happy to be back. I couldn't wait to show up for my next class. I am learning to be more patient with myself. Slowly but surely I will get to where I was and further, as long as I don't push myself too hard. Good night, Mommy. I love you.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Days 23 and 24 - The Body Speaks Out

I'm back to blogging. Been away for a while. Haven't had anything significant to write about.

My body has been crying out lately. It has been subjected to 22 days of yoga--I missed days 15 and 16 though--so I can't really blame it. It has been telling me to take it easy. I've been feeling some tweaky pains on my left side below the waist, from my hamstrings to my glutes. Any posture that involves stretching the hamstrings is a struggle, save for Standing Separate Leg Stretching where I can now touch the floor with my forehead, no problemo.

So today when I would normally attend the 6:00AM class, I decided to sleep in and go to the 9:00AM instead. Best decision made so far. In my mind, I totally rocked it. Worth noting was my Standing Bow Pulling Pose. I pushed past my edge, and tried to level my torso parallel to the floor with my leg kicking back and up towards the ceiling. When I reached that edge, I felt a tweak in my leg, and for a few seconds I was able to gain an inch or two maybe of depth. I did fall out, but boy, did that ever felt great! It is simply amazing how much one's body can achieve if you set your mind to it.

It has been a great Challenge. Although a part of me would like to get this done and over with, I have to admit that it will be very difficult to let go of the routine. My practice has come a long way, and it is very evident that one must keep a semblance of a routine in order to enjoy the benefits of this yoga. A friend once told me that I am a "binger and a purger"...I have to chuckle...what, an anorexic and bulimic yoga practitioner? I guess so, and we all know what the effects are of this. A consistent, regular practice is the key to a happy and healthy life.

Good night, Mommy. I love you. Namaste.