Sunday, November 28, 2010

Yoga Roller Coaster

Yoga bus...I call it the yoga roller coaster.

It has been 23 days(!) since I last practiced. It was time. My body was sending me signals that it is craving this yoga. My right arm at times has been feeling numb, tingly, like it's not getting enough circulation. No chest pains this time, thankfully. I started psyching myself up last night to make sure that I do not miss today's class. I was also determined to attend Bettina's class this morning. She just got back from Teacher Training, and I didn't want to miss the opportunity to see her today.

Today's practice sucked, as expected. Every joint of my body was rusty. My balance was totally off. For someone's sake, even my Toe Stand was a disaster. I initially dreaded the Camel, based upon how I was performing up to that point, but luckily I survived it, and not having told to hold the posture for a few (excruciating) extra seconds! Thanks, Bettina! :)

When the 90 torturous minutes were over, I was happy to lie in Savasana and take my time to enjoy my rest. I was very relieved to have survived this class after being away for so long. I am still not taking water during class, thank goodness, although I must admit that in the close to 9 months of being waterless, there were times when I wished that that security blanket was within reach. How I wish I can come every day. If I can't, I will somehow make up for it. May take longer than usual, but I'll get there. I have the rest of my lifetime to do so.

I am determined to do another 30 Day Challenge. I am thinking of doing it again in April 2011, to make it an annual April Challenge. My dearest mother passed away in April of this year, the day before the last day of my 30 Day Challenge. I am anticipating that every April from now on will be a sad month for me, so hopefully the Challenge will help me deal with my loss. And to pay tribute to the woman whom I adore, and love so much.

Good night, Mommy. I love you.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

I discovered this yoga 17 months ago, and while I have had my lazy/not wanting to go days, I find myself being drawn to the hot room. What is it that brings me back to that hot, humid, sweaty, smelly room and be "tortured" for 90 minutes. I sound like a broken record each time I write this, but it is true. After that 90 minute torture, I feel like a million bucks. A bonus for me is that since I have not been taking water during class for the past 8 months, that first sip of Emergen-C spiked water feels like heaven. Another bonus is having to shower off all that sweat, cool off, and that million-dollar feeling is complete.

I consider this yoga as a gift that keeps on giving. I continue to share my experience outside the hot room and the studio. I have a bounce in my step, and my posture is very good. I share my blog entries to my friends and family, and I am ecstatic to hear that I have inspired some of them to try Bikram Yoga or for those who are already practicing, to continue to do so. For those who have tried it and conclude that it is not the workout for them, I still feel grateful that they did try. I am still hoping that one of my colleagues will one day overcome her fear of the heat and come with me to class.

I am in awe of my fellow yogis who are in their fifties and sixties. They look great and I admire their determination to keep up with, and/or inspire, the twenty-, thirty-, and forty-somethings to keep up with them! :) I will age, but I would like to do so gracefully, and I intend to keep practicing until I can no longer stand. If I can be a good example on how one can continue to feel young, then I know that I have given the best gift, the one that keeps on giving. Namaste.

Good night, Mommy. I love you.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

When A Yogini Falls...

It happened at Standing Separate Leg Stretching. I planted my feet right on my mat sans towel, bent over, grabbed the sides of my feet, leaned forward to try to touch my forehead to the floor, then swoosh!!! The feet, by now slippery with sweat, had lost their grip on the mat, and down I go, backwards, then landed on my bum. I worried more about knocking Nancy over who was behind me, but luckily she was far back enough to be spared the domino effect. Oh my goodness, what a comedy! But, I am not one to dwell on mistakes (although sometimes, depending on the mistake, I tend to beat myself up), so I went right back into the posture. Second set was great, as I managed to get my forehead to touch the floor.

It was such a gorgeous day in my hometown of Victoria, BC today. The sun was shining, the air was cool and crisp, no rain, and one could get away with wearing a T-shirt and skirt (especially after hot yoga). I felt like a million bucks as I have just had the best workout ever!

Good night, Mommy. I love you.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Five Straight Days of Yoga = BLISS!!!

How can hot yoga be bliss, you ask? Ninety minutes of torture. Minimum 105 degrees Fahrenheit heat. 40% humidity. Sweaty (and smelly at times) bodies. Towels soaked to the max. Sweat splatters on the mirrors, obscuring your view of YOU. Aching joints and muscles. But my friend, as what our yoga teachers would always say, pain kills pain. No pain, no gain. Believe me, the moment you step out of the hot room, you will feel like a million bucks. Guaranteed.

I had planned on completing the 30 Day Challenge. I have had five straight, blissful days of yoga. While I tanked in the Standing Series, I finished strong during the Floor Series. Thank goodness for that. Unfortunately, though not feeling an ounce of regret, I had to take two straight days off, which broke the Challenge. My schedule just would not allow me the time to practice everyday. Doing doubles is out of the question. Personally, I believe that the Challenge is about 30 Days of Yoga...miss one day, then it's off. There are debates about this, as doing doubles will qualify one to complete the Challenge if some days are missed. But I will not dwell on this today. To each his own. Anyway, I digress. It's just too bad that I didn't complete my Challenge, but I let it go. I'm back tomorrow anyway. Thank goodness for Wednesdays off. Hubby will be home on Thursday, so I will try an evening class. I am curious as to how my body will perform at night time.

Those five consecutive classes were a mixed bag. My balance was definitely off. I still could not hold the Standing Head to Knee the whole time, although I can now hold my leg horizontally and sometimes bend my body down from the lower back with my elbows bent. Still not quite there, but I've made steady progress since I started practicing a year ago. My arms felt very heavy that I could not keep them parallel to the floor in preparation for Trikanasana. On the fifth day, I was successful in touching my forehead to the floor during Standing Separate Leg Stretching. My hamstrings are slowly getting stretched and the pain is lessening. So you see, one can never know how each class is going to turn out. There will be ones where you feel like you're in the best form, then the next day, you feel like walking out. The trick is to just hang in there and let each posture go once it's over. Just remember that you have the rest of your life to GET THERE. For now, just enjoy the journey. Namaste.

Good night, Mommy. I love you.