Sunday, January 30, 2011

Yesterday and Today

I am wrapping up two practices in one blog post, just so I can keep track of my progress.

Today's practice was the end of a three day run. I almost didn't make it this morning. Thanks to my hubby who constantly egged me to get out of bed at 6:30AM on a SUNDAY and make it to class. I think he just wanted the whole bed to himself. Ha ha! Anyway, I have two days rest, back on Wednesday and Thursday, one day rest, then Sunday. I hope I can continue practicing at least three days a week.

It was not a busy class. It was just us crazy people who chose to be in a hot room over sleeping in :) Well, I did appreciate the extra room to accommodate all our wings taking off for Full Locust.

I am still struggling with Awkward, Eagle, and Triangle Poses. I used to be able to nail these ones last year. I feel frustrated, but on the other hand, other postures that I've had trouble with are the ones now that I have improved upon: Standing Head to Knee and the Stretching Pose.

Faced with these "setbacks", I guess I should not consider them as such, but think of them as challenges. One must not remain stagnant. It is good to go outside the comfort box. Our instructor yesterday hit the nail on the head when she said that for us who have been practicing for a while, we must constantly look to improve upon other things. I think this won't be difficult to do as this yoga seems to know when to throw a curveball, when to bring us back to earth and not rest on our laurels. This yoga is meant to be practiced for a lifetime, and I believe the journey will be pretty exciting and humbling. Namaste.

Good night, Mommy. I love you.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

It's A Good Day

So very happy to show up for class this morning. I was given a treat of a Friday off which doesn't happen very often. I have had other opportunities of having the "odd" day off (meaning, other than a Wednesday and Sunday) and I have "squandered" them. So today I decided to show up for class. I am so glad I did.

Whew! It was a HOT and BUSY one! I showed up pretty early, well, early enough to secure a good spot up front. I was able to relax and even try on (and later purchase) a new top and bottom which I was very pleased with. By the way, I still am not taking water during class. This month marks month #10 of no water. I look around the room and everyone else has their water bottles. It's amazing how I've come this far without taking water during class. Even during really hot classes--well, by the time reality kicks in, the class is well underway and I don't really want to leave the room. As long as I come well hydrated, I am good to go. It's a mental thing. And a breath thing. Really. Trust me.

Standing Head to Knee is still going strong. Balancing Stick is better; Eagle and Triangle, not so much. My knees still can't seem to hold these postures the entire time. My feet hurt during Toe Stand, thus creating "flat tires"--this is Bikram's way of describing those who rest their bums on their heels rather than stretching up and keeping a gap between the bum and heel. Separate Leg Stretching is getting better, although my hamstrings hurt.

So, there goes another day, another practice. As I finish this post, I must get some shut eye as I plan on getting up in about 5 1/2 hours to get ready for my next class. Namaste.

Good night, Mommy. I love you.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Trying to Stay on the Saddle

I have my Wednesday off back!!! AND! I get to practice yoga TODAY!

I always get Wednesdays off. But for the past two Wednesdays, I've been scheduled to work. As much as I welcome the extra dollars, having the middle of the work week off breaks the monotony of having to show up for work for five days straight. My Wednesday yoga practice is always something I look forward to.

I had two rest days since my last practice. My practice today was certainly a lot better than the last time. As I moved from posture to posture, I started to notice where the Christmas goodies have gone to rest: my waistline, my thighs, my neck. My flexibility has been compromised; I still have a few inches to go before I could touch my forehead to the floor in Separate Leg Stretching. However, my Standing Head to Knee seems to keep going strong. I tried to touch my head to my knee and I almost did for a split second before I had to release. I know one day I will be successful. Looking back on how my very first practice was and where I was, and comparing it to where I am now, I know that anything is practice at a time. Namaste.

Good night, Mommy. I love you.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Back in the Saddle Again

I've been enjoying my sleep-in weekends, which is why I haven't been going to yoga. It has been a month, it's long overdue, and my body is looking more like s**t each time I face the mirror. I also have not had a day off during the work week for the past couple of weeks. I used to be able to go to the 6:00AM classes, but since my daughter started middle school, her schedule has changed too that it's just way too hectic of a morning to squeeze an early class in. After school is a busy time too...yah, you know the drill.

So today I decided to attend a 3:45PM class, after I've simmered the meat sauce for our lasagna dinner tonight. I got in with just a few minutes to spare, glad to see that my yoga buddy B. will be teaching, then horror of horrors I walk in and scanned the room for a spot. Lo and behold it was nearly packed, that I had no choice but to put my mat down up front and pretty darn close to the ladies on both sides and behind me. I didn't want to be right up front today, but not many spots are available to choose from if you don't arrive early.

Boy, was I "punished" today. I had great hopes after doing well in Pranayama, but I started to crumble from the Eagle Pose and beyond. All those Christmas goodies and turkey and all the trimmings just weighed me down today. I had to sit out and catch my breath a few times. The room was especially hot today, and I'm sure that my prolonged absence did not help.

BUT, and I do mean it with the CAPS LOCK on...BUT when it was over, yes, I sound like a broken record, I felt like a million bucks. It is so nice to sweat and stretch and give these dormant joints and muscles a great workout. I plan on staying fit and limber right up to my eighties. I don't want to be a vegetable when I get old. It is so depressing, especially to the people around me. I would like to continue inspiring those around me that it's never too late, you're never too old...

Good night, Mommy. I love you.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Yoga Competition

My daughter and I attended a Hatha Yoga competition at my home studio yesterday. I was very excited to be there, as my yoga buddy J. was one of the competitors. I didn't know until it started that two of my teachers were competing too!

The whole experience was inspiring. Yoga champ and teacher Ida R. gave a little talk and what she had said gave me a different perspective about competition. Before I continue, let me give you a little background about my level of competitiveness.

I went to high school in the Philippines. The education system there is pretty much moulded by the American way. Therefore, school sports teams are VERY COMPETITIVE. We have rival schools. We competed in cheering competitions--yes, complete with the uniforms with short skirts and fluffy pom-poms. We didn't compete FOR FUN. It was all for the glory of the Alma Mater.

Going back to Ida's speech, she mentioned how a competition may seem to be out of place in yoga. What she said next inspired me: It is not so much a competition against the other competitor, but more so it is a competition against YOURSELF. Asking the question, "How CAN I do that?" instead of saying, "Oh, I can't do THAT!"
A lot of people are scared to try Bikram Yoga, because they are concerned about what the other people in the room would think of them, how they may not measure up to the level of others who have been practicing a long time. In reality you only have yourself to answer to.

I have always struggled with performing in front of a lot of people, especially during a sporting event. I seem to crumble during the day of competition. Seeing those nine yogis compete yesterday, being so composed and determined to do the best they can provided me with the inspiration to consider competing next year. Now I am faced with the task of getting my practice back on track again. I have a year to prepare. I will take it one practice at a time.

Good night, Mommy. I love you.