Sunday, May 29, 2011

Just Plain...Fantastic.

Sunday. 8:00AM. Beautiful Spring day in the capital city. I'm in the hot room. I took yesterday off, reluctantly. I worked until 3:15, and making the trip home to retrieve the car to drive the 10 minutes to the studio was a bit of a stretch. However, it would have been a different story if I were doing the 30 Day Challenge. I would have made the extra effort to show up for class.

Today's practice was just plain...fantastic. Did I touch my forehead at last during Standing Head to Knee? Nope. Did I hold Standing Bow Pulling the whole time? Nope. Was my Half Moon a true half moon? Nope. And the list goes on. So why, you may ask, was my practice fantastic? Well, it's because I felt that I had given it my 110% effort today. I yoga-tried, not just yoga-did. I felt great. The room was hot, but not stifling or unbearable or crippling. The class had fantastic energy. Sure, the joints and limbs were not at their most flexible this time of the day, but at the end of the 90 minutes, nothing can describe the feeling of accomplishment and how much our bodies are thanking us all for giving it the workout it so terribly needs to function the way it was created for. Lungs expanded, muscles stretched, joints moved, monkey minds controlled with meditation, what could be a better way to start the day?

It is my practice. On my terms. In my time. Namaste.

Good night, Mommy. I love you.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Hot Rants

A few of us have been venting (no pun intended) about how hot it has been at our studio. A couple of teachers do open the doors from time to time to cool the room down a tinge and believe me, a few seconds of this does help us a lot. The fans don't really help much. It has been so hot lately that I have been tempted by monkey mind to retrieve that water bottle from the change room.

Today I practiced at 6:00AM. It was really nice to have a chit-chat in the change room with the other ladies before class. So the hot topic of the morning was the hot room. It was raining outside, and one of the ladies commented how the rain increases the humidity. Oh boy, here we go. When Pranayama breathing started, I started feeling this very hot draft from the ceiling. I started to feel a bit anxious. I took it easy as I want to finish strong. After a few breaths, the hot sensation started to fade. Relief.

My Floor Series has been at its strongest today compared to what it has been during the last few practices. What kick-started it was the Cobra Pose. I made up my mind to give it 100%. After that, everything fell into place. I had a little anxious moment in Camel, but after focusing on my breath, I was able to hold it a little longer. Relief.

Today the hot room was just right. The doors weren't opened, the fans were turned on and off, but the temperature was just right. All is well. Relief.

Good night, Mommy. I love you.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

2011 May 25 = Second Coming

Not of Christ, but of this yogini. Didn't feel like going to the 9:00AM, and was ready to chill out at home on a gloomy day like today, but lo behold! The hot room beckons. Or more so, it was that million dollar feeling AFTERWARDS that got me going. Luckily for me, there was an 11:00AM class. It is usually quieter, but lo and behold again! It was quite a busy class! And a very hot one to boot! I thought I was going to strike this one out as a write-off yet again. But surprisingly, although I took it really easy, I was happy to finish strong. My Sit-ups were strong, with strong exhales.

Thank goodness, teacher J. kept opening the doors to let those cool drafts waft in. She said she didn't want to fry her students! There is no shame in opening the doors, teachers.

Good night, Mommy. I love you.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Today was (Sort of) a Write-Off

I say this with a double-meaning. Today's practice...sucked. All the more so because I was so pumped, so looking forward for today. I was up front, I was wearing a favourite outfit, I have my Yogitoes. I didn't have to rush at all. I had an amazing start. Pranayama was strong, the Standing Series was strong. Until I got to Toe Stand.

I always rock at Toe Stand. I can balance well, holding the posture properly, no flat tires. But today, well, my feet quit before it was due. I had my two minute Savasana. Usually I start the Floor Series strong, and finish strong. But today, well, the heat got to me. Big time. The arms started to feel heavy, like I was carrying a ton of bricks. I looked at my face. It was red. I was hot, very, very hot. The fans were going, but the doors were kept shut the whole time. It would have been nice to have some cool drafts wafting in from time to time. I was very tempted to leave the room. But instead I hung on, and I tried to do at least a set of each of the postures, but I was so drained that I couldn't even finish ONE set at all.

I was so relieved to leave that hot room. My mat was soaked so much that there were little puddles around it. I've never sweated so much until today. I think I must not have hydrated enough. Or maybe I just had an OFF day. Maybe, maybe...So why the "sort of a write-off"? In my books it was. But in yoga, no. I was there, I practiced. I sweated, I de-toxified. I stretched. Only good things happened, despite the discomforts.

So that was today. No practice tomorrow. But there's Wednesday...

Good night, Mommy. I love you.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

All Better Now

I have a 60 Day Challenge sticker sheet on the board at my yoga studio. I completed my 35 days, was feeling great and gungho, then all of a sudden my body suddenly crashed. I got stricken with a cold which totally drained me of energy. I didn't feel well enough to go to my beloved 6:00AM classes. What really grounded me was a 3:45PM class last Sunday. It was brutal. It was so hot and crowded, that I sat out a set of each of the Floor Series postures. After that class, I took a couple of days off. All the while, even when I was feeling crappy, I totally missed my practice. It felt like missing my husband when he's away, or my daughter when she's at a sleepover. I couldn't wait for my day off, when I can take it easy and practice at 9:00AM. During this time, I could feel my body slowly getting better. I felt well enough to go to the 6:00AM class last Friday. It was so nice to be back and see my early morning yoga peeps again.

This weekend is a long one, being the Victoria Day long weekend. Three straight days off means an extra three straight days of practice. Woohoo! I am giddy with excitement. I was very pleased with my practice yesterday and today especially in that albeit a slow start I finished strong during the latter part of the Floor Series. My Sit-ups were executed well with very strong exhales, and I managed to bring my elbows down beside my calf muscles during the Stretching Pose. I am slowly getting back to my normal self. I do appreciate the times when I take it easy though, and having a reason to do so :)

Good night, Mommy. I love you.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Patience and Pacing

By "pacing" I meant taking your time, not the nervous back and forth walking. It's like long-distance running where you should not expel all your energy from the get-go. It's all about having a strong finish.

This was what my practice today was like. I am still nursing a sore throat, which was a little worse compared to yesterday. When Pranayama breathing started, I could not give it my all. I felt tired. There were a lot of bodies in the room. It was hot. I was thankful to be at the back, by the door. I was sweating from the get-go. I had doubts about my staying power. I had thought about why I even showed up today. I should have stayed home and rested. I was buoyed by my strong practice yesterday that I had assumed it would be the same today. How many times have I blogged about no practices being the same, day in and day out?

There were three newbies in class today. Teacher N. advised them to take it easy, and to pace themselves. I took those words to heart. I'm not a newbie, but since I am not 100% well, I thought better to focus on the integrity of the form for each posture, and worry about depth later.

By the time the last lap was to be run, I still had lots of energy left. I noticed that the sore throat was kept at bay the whole time. Even without my water bottle (still) close at hand. Patience and pacing surely paid off today.

Good night, Mommy. I love you.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

English Bulldog Determination

My mind was in a turmoil this morning. I was nursing a sore throat yesterday, and smart brain was telling me to skip class today and rest. I knew that the 6:00AM will not be happening. 9:00AM, maybe. As the morning dragged on, I thought of skipping the 9:00AM and maybe going for the 1:45PM. I drove the kid to school, arrived home and enjoyed my morning coffee. I looked at the clock and it was 8:15. I was feeling fine, my yoga bag is packed, so why not go for the 9:00AM? Get it done, then I have the rest of the day to enjoy.

The English Bulldog won. I did not want to skip practice today. I knew that if I did, I will miss it terribly. I am so glad I went ahead and just did it. I had a strong class. I had chosen a very good spot in the room. The room was just the right temperature, hot yes, but not stifling. The sore throat was practically nonexistent by the end of class. I did have to clear it a few times, but not too much that it was distracting. The 9:00AM really suited my body today. If I had gone to the 6:00AM, I'm pretty sure I'd feel totally the opposite.

Teacher C. this morning said that yoga is all about the breath, and that it is more mental than physical. How true, especially today. I did listen to my body, I did not force the issue. I knew that a later morning practice would be better suited for it today. When class ended, I was feeling much, much better. I don't know, I'm pretty sure that it's one of the best remedies for any discomfort.

Good night, Mommy. I love you.

Monday, May 9, 2011

I Surrender...

I am hardly ever sick. My kid and hubby can be sick and I would just sail on by like I have an impenetrable bubble around me. However, it seems that the bug that my kid caught over the weekend managed to penetrate my shield. This morning I woke up with a slight sore throat. I did persevere and managed to show up for the 6:00AM class.

I was going strong until I got to the Floor Series. Suddenly, I felt my legs feeling heavy. My animals had to be corralled. I had no energy left in me to have a strong finish. I couldn't wait to get out of the hot room. That shower never felt better. That Kombucha never felt more refreshing.

I made it to work, and was relieved that it was a short shift and that I have the next two days off. Despite not feeling 100%, I am still contemplating on practicing tomorrow. Not at 6:00AM, but at 9:00AM. That's the plan, anyway. I will get up and listen to my body. Maybe take the day off; there's always the following day.

Good night, Mommy. I love you.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day Practice

So I drive into the studio parking lot, and lo and behold! Yogis waiting to get in...ha! No teacher has shown up yet! Long story short, for some reason, scheduled teacher has gone AWOL, so substitute teacher will be on her way to cover. By this time, a few have already left. The rest of us stayed, and eventually, the class got underway at 8:15.

I had a better class this morning. My gams cooperated this time, so Standing Bow Pulling Pose was better. But Floor Bow was a write-off. Maybe tomorrow, everything will be back to normal? We shall see.

Okay, I do have one rant. I do understand that the studio closes 1/2 hour after class. Maybe today, because we started late, therefore ending late, that there would be some sort of leeway for us to get showered, dressed and maybe have a little bit of a chit chat before leaving? No, we didn't plan on staying TOO long, but maybe it would be nice if we didn't have to listen to someone barking that the studio will be closing in 10 minutes...then having to listen to yet another barking at 5 minutes??? We have in the past, pulled the door shut so it's locked. Give us a break, puh-lease!!!

So yes, my peace was stolen by that somebody this morning. I'm usually pretty calm, just ask my colleagues...but today, I don't know. I guess I should be allowed a few meltdowns once in a while.

Happy Mother's Day, Mommy. I'm sure you are having nice chit-chat with Lola up there in Heaven. We still miss you...A LOT.

Back in the Saddle with the Boss

Yesterday, I was back in the hot room after a three-day hiatus. It was a special class with the Boss...on CD. My studio played the CD for the 1:45PM Karma class. I thought it would be fun to have him leading the class, although it would have been a treat to have him on the podium as well!

So this was what being away for three days got me. Legs that wouldn't put up with Standing Bow Pulling Pose! I simply could not extend either leg without the standing leg screaming at me! But you know, it was such an eye opener, how one's body is never the same at any given time. How one day, your legs are almost way up there no problem, then three days of rest later, they simply refuse to move.

It was interesting to have Bikram Choudhury teach. I found some of the sets very quickly executed. Some, quite longer than usual, like second set of Rabbit Pose. He does talk a lot. Second set of Half Tortoise Pose was very long...then we were on to Camel Pose, no Savasana. At least some of us thought so. Either we didn't hear him say "Change!" or he simply decided to forego Savasana altogether.

I wonder what it would be like to go to Los Angeles and take a class with Bikram in the flesh. I just might jot this one down in my bucket list.

Happy Mother's Day, Mommy. Kisses to you, to Lolo and Lola, and all our loved ones there with you.

Day 35 and the Three Day Hiatus Thereafter

Day 35 is now a blur. I started blogging, then stopped. Reviewing it, I reported feeling very tired and off balance. The challenge has caught up with me. So, with so much hesitation, I skipped three days. We also had company this week, which I was thankful for, and did not regret spending time with in lieu of my practice. It was fun just getting up, and having an early coffee and breakfast (which I refrain from having before class).

I had put up a 60 Day Challenge Calendar on the studio board, and managed to fill in five days. I spelled my daughter's nickname on it. Then, I stopped. But with no regrets. I have the rest of my lifetime to practice.

Yesterday, I was back. Post to follow...

Happy Mother's Day, Mommy. I miss you, and will love you forever.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Days 33 and 34 - No Pressure

In case you have not noticed, I am STILL at it...from 30 to 60. I am still feeling strong, with no inclination to rest...yet. I am buoyed by little successes, like in today's Standing Bow Pulling Pose and Toe Stand (thank you, Mr. S!). My only drawback is that at 6:00AM, my joints are still asleep, and need to be woken up very carefully. However, by the time we get to the floor, and after the two minute Savasana, my body has been refueled and re-energized.

My yoga buddy J. commented that there should be no pressure to do the challenges. That can never be more true, as you don't want to your practice to be a chore. My hubby said too, that it should rather be like brushing your teeth after every meal because IT IS GOOD FOR YOU. Namaste, honey. If only I can get you into the hot room with me.

Good night, Mommy. I love you.