Monday, May 31, 2010

Monday, May 31, 2010 = Missed (Again) Today

I woke up to a cold, rainy morning. Again it looks and feels like autumn out there! I had an excuse not to go to my 6:00AM class as I had to drop my daughter off to her school early for her year-end field trip to Camp Thunderbird. I guess I could have gone to an afternoon or evening class. But, these times are hectic for me. I SHOULD make time for yoga, but this time around, I chose not to. Am I loosening up on my practice? Maybe a little, in that I have been taking little breaks here and there. It might be due to the weather. It's so nice to sleep in on cold, wet days! I should be careful not to slack off though, as I know I will be paying for it later!

I practiced on Sunday (May 30th) and I really enjoyed our 7:30AM class. Abbey was teaching, and it was great to have her. Again, I had the luxury of taking my usual front row corner as I was first to arrive at the studio, but I chose to be right beside Abbey. It's great to have the mirror right in front of me. I was excited to see an old yoga buddy from the earlier days of my practice. It has been a few months since I've last practised with her. I'm glad that she is still around, it's just that she has been attending the afternoon or evening classes. She is very sweet; she noticed that I didn't have my water bottle and asked if I had forgotten it. I said that I haven't been taking water during class since March; her jaw dropped, she couldn't imagine how I can survive without water. I explained to her that it can be done, as you can control your urge to drink. I wonder if she'll try going waterless during class. We shall see.

Good night, Mommy. I love you.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Saturday, May 29, 2010 = Back Today!

I missed yesterday's practice and I was looking forward to being back today. It is almost June, but the weather this morning was not typical for Victoria. It was cold for Victoria standards, more like autumn weather. Entering the hot room felt quite nice, actually.

I parked my mat up front, but not at the corner, even if I was the first one in the room and had first dibs. I decided to be right beside our teacher. I don't know, but somehow I felt quite pumped this morning. Maybe because I gave myself a rest day? I felt more flexible, even though it was only 7:30AM. I was very pleased with my Standing Bow Pulling Pose. I am able to bring my body down and keep my feet kicking up and arms stretching forward. I think I rocked the standing series today. Woohoo!

I will be back tomorrow at 7:30AM again. I will be trying a different spot yet again to see how my practice goes.

Good night, Mommy. I love you.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday, May 28, 2010 = Missed Today

Well, I decided not to go to class today. I got up at 5:15AM, went to the washroom to get ready, but I didn't feel like practising today. Just like that. The thought of sleeping in an extra hour was more appealing today than being in the hot room. I was happy with my decision. I must admit though, that I never stopped thinking about the yoga all day. I was even considering to attend a later class. I haven't been to a Karma class for so long. Oh, maybe next time. One day, I will just feel like it.

I missed the 6:00AM crew. I missed the envigorating shower with the peppermint soap. The highly anticipated water with Emergen-C. The supernatural feeling from an early morning practice that keeps me going for the rest of the day.

Tomorrow, I have the day off. I am looking forward to the 7:30AM class. Really. No backing out this time.

Good night, Mommy. I love you.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Thursday, May 27, 2010 = New Digs in the Hot Room

I woke up much later than usual...okay by about 5 minutes BUT it took me about 10 to BE AWAKE. I arrived at the studio with 10 minutes to spare, therefore, I lost my usual spot by the back door and decided to move up to the front. I must say that it's not bad at all being at the front at 6:00AM. It has been a habit of mine to stick to the same spot for my 6:00AM weekday practice. As much as I like being at the back of the room, being up front allows me to see myself better. I am paying very close attention to my hip alignment for the Half Moon Pose. I am also trying very hard to lean my upper body back more during the Awkward Pose, and am quite chuffed when Anastasia praised me for the improvement since she saw me last. Peter's "suggestions" certainly paid off! :)

I will park my mat up front again tomorrow. I've always stayed on the right side of the room--who knows maybe in the near future, I'll be on the left side. Stay tuned!

Good night, Mommy. I love you.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wednesday, May 26, 2010 = Breaking the Bad Habits

Weronika taught the 6:00AM today. It's so nice to be in her class. She said in class today that we are all creatures of habit. Our mission in the hot room is to break the BAD habits, and keep or make good ones.

What are my bad habits in or out of the hot room? I could think of:

*Making unnecessary movements before and after each posture, like wiggling my hands, fixing my hair and/or costume.

*Not following the dialogue, i.e., I execute a stage in a posture before the teacher says so.

There have been good habits I have formed since I started my practice:

*I have stopped taking water during class since March 9th. I find that I can focus more on my practice. My tummy does not have that excess baggage which gets in the way of my forward and back bends.

*I am able to maintain stillness during Savasana. Plus not having to drink gives me more Savasana time!

*I have learned not to sweat the small stuff!

Good night, Mommy. I love you.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 = Second Time Lucky!

Ahhh, to be in Peter's class two days in a row is quite something. As soon as I pulled into the parking lot and saw his truck, I thought to myself, oh boy, I will be working hard this (early) morning. Don't get me wrong, Peter is a great teacher. He has this eagle eye for proper alignment. You will definitely be reminded to execute the pose 100% correctly even at only 1% depth. I thought I've been rockin' the Awkward, but I still need to lean my upper body back MORE while maintaining the "cobra" spine. Oh and get this, he makes you hold the Camel Pose FOREVER during the second set. I do meet his challenge, but I cannot help but grunt when FINALLY he gives the okay to release.

This is why I love Bikram Yoga. Yes, it's the same 26 postures day in and day out. If you're on the 30 Day Challenge, how can you keep the momentum and enthusiasm going when all you do in that hot room are the same old 26 postures? The answer lies in your own body. It never fails to surprise you both positively and negatively. There are days when you are a superstar, then the next day, your body feels like lead and you feel like a newbie again. I love change, and I am glad that my body keeps changing to keep me interested. I would hate to lose interest in this yoga. I have gained so much from it. This will be the subject for my future blog entry :)

Goodnight, Mommy. I love you.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010 = Lucky Seven

I was going to attend the 9:30AM class today, but I got overruled by my daughter who wanted to see the Victoria Day Parade, now on its 112th year! I gladly acquiesced since it's my daughter who had asked :), and I love to see the marching bands and the bagpipers anyway. These guys always give me goosebumps all over, and I am still very moved to tears whenever I hear them play. No, I am not Scottish at all; maybe in my previous life :)

So, I was relieved that there was a 1:45PM class, as it will not cut into dinner time with my family. Boy, oh boy, lo and behold, it was a class of us lucky seven, five ladies and two gentlemen, with Peter as our instructor. I anticipated Peter to give me a few tips and pointers on proper alignment, and my Half Moon and Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Poses were in need of adjustments. I consciously remembered Aleya's pointers on Standing Head to Knee, and I was very pleased with how I executed it today. My Standing Bow Pulling has improved; I'm pretty sure my hips were aligned properly as Peter did not say anything otherwise :)

It was pretty hot in that room this afternoon, which is weird because there were only eight human bodies in the room. But it was so sunny outside that that probably made the difference. All I was thinking about during Savasana is an ice cream cone, and where I will go to get it: Dairy Queen or McDonald's. Or maybe an Iced Mocha Capp from Tim Horton's would hit the spot right on...

As it turned out, I was very satisfied with my Emergen-C water and a cool shower with Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Liquid Soap after class. It was still sunny out, I had my practice tucked under my belt, I feel great, then it's off to Thrifty's for our dinner grub and plus they do have Breyer's Ice Cream on sale! :)

Goodnight, Mommy. I love you.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday, May 23, 2010 = Good Vibes, Great Class!

I was looking forward to this weekend. First of all, it's the Victoria Day Long Weekend, therefore, with having Saturday off, I could go to the 7:30AM class. It was so nice to see Bettina again, and to practice right beside her at our usual spots right up front. She has been very supportive during this difficult time.

I woke up this morning to a beautiful Sunday. The sun was shining, and the air was cool. Being the first student to arrive, as usual, I was able to secure my favourite spot on the right corner up front where I have the luxury of two mirrors with which to check my alignment, especially during Trikanasana. The highlight of the class today was the Standing Head to Knee, of all postures! I can't say it was perfect, but I think I am on my way, thanks to a great tip by Aleya. The key she said, is to bring the outstretched leg higher, just relax and bring it up, she said.

With today's practice done at 9:00AM, I have the rest of the day to enjoy with my family. And what a great way to start it with--90 minutes in the hot room, with good people, and a re-energised, recharged, and detoxified body!

Goodnight, Mommy. I love you.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Soldiering On...Without My Mommy

May 21, 2010 - 23 Days Since My Mommy Passed

I completed 29 days of the Challenge, then my world shattered.  On the evening of the 29th day, my dearest mother ended her earthly journey, leaving me, her youngest, my father and siblings, to mourn her passing.  When I got the call from my sister, letting me know that Mom's in Emergency again, I had expected her to say that she'll be fine, not to worry.  However, when she asked if I could come right away as she may not make it, I couldn't believe what I've just heard.  Upon arriving at the hospital, I was expecting to see her lying there, with her smiling face greeting me.  Instead, she was unconscious, eyes open but seemingly unseeing, breathing shallow breaths, obviously hanging on to a few more minutes of life, waiting for me to arrive at her bedside, in order to bid a final goodbye to me.  She slipped away quietly and with dignity about half an hour after I got there.

The day that I have dreaded for so many years has finally arrived.  When my Lola (my mother's mother) passed away, I was devastated.  I cried and I cried and I cried.  After my mother, she was the most important, most loved female in my life.  I thought, what would happen when the time comes when it's my mother's turn to pass on?  I remember thinking that I would be shattered, heartbroken.  And so now, this is what is happening to me.

I practiced 2 days after Mommy died in the city she called her second home after we emigrated from the Philippines.  I thought I should go to the hot room in order to escape the grief, to be away from my family who were all grieving.  I thought I did well, but during Savasana, when I was still and alone in my thoughts, I found myself tearing up, my throat constricting in my conscious attempt to control myself from sobbing.  I simply could not eradicate from my thoughts the image of my mother slowly slipping away from this life...

I'm back to my regular routine, practising at 6:00AM during the week, drawing comfort from the presence of the "6:00AM crew" and from my practice.  It's been 23 days since that dreaded day; I am functioning, I am laughing, but deep inside I am sad. 

Day 28 = One More Day...

Day 29 - April 29, 2010 - 6:00AM with Laurel

It's nice to have a smaller class this morning.  You can have your pick of a good spot, and if you're lucky, no one will park his/her mat right in front of you.  We had the luxury of our instructor Laurel being able to see everyone and make corrections to our alignment when necessary.

So with Day 29, I have one more day to the magic 30.  As much as it would be nice to take a break--especially since a Free Yoga weekend is coming up at my studio--I feel that I must keep on going.  I am personally challenging myself to go for a 60 Day Challenge.  It's hard to quit now.