Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Could It Be?....

...that my tennis elbow is on a true mend after only 2 1/2 weeks? I've practiced twice without the brace, and although I could still feel some painful twitches, I am now able to position my arms underneath my body in Locust. The Rabbit Pose, which was the most painful, is now do-able.

Love it or hate it, in my case, it's true love that I feel for this yoga. I've read a few sentiments about it, both positve and negative. As much as I am an advocate--yeah, I was called Crazy Woman by a couple of friends--I do accept that it is not for everybody. All I can do is to continue practicing and be the walking proof of its benefits. The most notable ones that I could think of are: 1. I've never had a bad case of a cold or cough, or the flu since I started practicing; 2. I've had people compliment me on my good posture; 3. My clothes are fitting better; 4. I just feel damn GREAT!!!

Good night, Mommy. I love you.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

This Week in Retrospect

Great, great, great! It feels so good to be back on a regular basis, that is, a 3-days-a-week practice. I would love to practice EVERYDAY, you know, make it routine like taking a shower and brushing your teeth, but unfortunately, the way my life is right now, I can only manage 3 days and depending on how my work schedule is laid out, 4 days tops. I would love to raise my hand whenever our teacher asks who among us is doing the 30 or 60 Day Challenge. Fellow yogis have been asking me if I am doing the challenge. Well, I am aiming for April and making it an annual April 30 Day Challenge. The significance of April is that I did it in April of last year, and that my Mom passed away on Day 29. I missed Day 30, but I somehow, miraculously, managed to practice on May 1st. It was surreal. I was in tears for the most part, but I pulled through. I thought of making it my personal tribute to her, as she is very special to me. No, she was not a yogi, but she lived her life with honesty, integrity, and grace...virtues that I hope I will emulate and impress upon my daughter one day.

How has my practice been? Well, I am happy to report that it has "kickstarted" into gear after being on hiatus during the Christmas holidays. Instead of feeling reluctant to get up and go, I now couldn't wait to get back to the hot room again. I have been called "crazy" by some friends, crazy for loving this yoga, crazy for spending 90 minutes in the heat and humidity (well, I do have the advantage of being born and raised in a hot and humid country, though), crazy for not minding the body odours, crazy for not minding being sometimes hit by sweat beads flung by other yogis, the list goes on. Oh yeah, and crazy for not drinking water for 90 minutes. Oh my friends, you have not discovered the power of being able to master your monkey minds. I was reading Bikram's Beginning Yoga Class book and he pointed out the saying, "The mind is willing, but the body is weak" as not true. Rather, it is the body that is willing, and the mind is weak. I do agree with him. During conversation with a fellow yogi after class, she wondered how I could "survive" not taking water during class, and eyes got even wider when I told her that it has been 11 months of doing so. All I said was, pointing to my temple, "It's all in the mind. Personally, it is a distraction." I will say it again. Anything is possible, if you just put your mind to it.

Good night, Mommy. I love you.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Four Classes After the T.E. Incident

So far so good. I've had 4 classes tucked under my belt since injuring my right elbow last Sunday. Full arm extensions are still painful in Half Moon and Locust. Eagle and Rabbit are still not "there", but I am still thankful to be able to last 90 minutes.

At last! I survived Trikanasana (Triangle) at class today! And the forehead also touched the floor in Separate Leg Stretching once or twice. I guess my hips are opening up and the hamstrings are waking up. It is such a great feeling to experience even a centimetre or two of progress.

I have a couple of days off from practice so I hope that this won't set me back. Well, even if it does, one just has to start again. Even with all these setbacks and challenges, nothing beats coming to the torture chamber, being "killed" for 90 minutes, then feeling like a million bucks afterward.

Good night, Mommy. I love you.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A New Challenge: Practicing with a Tennis Elbow

I am not a tennis player. My Dad was, and an avid one at that, until he reached his 80s and realised that he could no longer run as fast as he should in order to return the ball. When I was a teenager, he would take me with him to the courts on Sundays. I didn't get the chance to watch him play competitively, though. Basically, this Sunday ritual was his way of keeping fit. He also hoped that I would take on the sport. I was not made for tennis, rather, I preferred to play volleyball.

Last Sunday, while preparing supper, I acquired this tennis elbow. That really hurt. I've never had an injury this bad before, considering that I was a very active kid. I was worried that my yoga practice will be put on hold during the healing process.

I saw my doctor and he advised me to wear a brace. I also asked my yoga buddy/instructor B. if I could still practice, and she said that it's okay to do so as long as I take it easy. I felt so relieved! I can't imagine myself not practicing, and I do know that I will terribly miss it.

I practiced yesterday and today, wearing the brace. I took it really easy yesterday. The postures I went easy on were the Half Moon, Eagle, Locust, and Rabbit. The Rabbit posture hurt the most. Today, I decided to push myself a little bit, and I made some progress with these postures. I listened to my elbow, and backed off when I had to.

When we were in Savasana today, our instructor C. said that we kill ourselves for 90 minutes in the hot room so we can feel great AFTER. Yeah, she hit the nail right on the head. No pain, no gain. It's all good. I've never been more inspired to continue practicing. Even with this injury. Anything is possible. Namaste.

Good night, Mommy. I love you.