Friday, September 30, 2011

Day 5 - Breakthrough

I didn't have a perfect class this morning, but it was the best class ever since I started the challenge on Monday. Day 5 I would label a "breakthrough" for the following reasons:

1. Strong Pranayama = for a 6:00AM class where I have to haul myself out of bed at 5:20AM to get ready, having a strong Pranayama IS worth a lot!

2. I didn't feel dizzy during Hands to Feet Pose, and I am a few inches away from locking my knees with my face pressed against my legs and chest pressed to my thighs.

3. I was able to hold the Eagle Pose for 1 FULL set = I used to fall out on both of them!

4. I was able to hold Balancing Stick for 1/4 set = I couldn't hold 2 full sets at all!

5. My Trikanasana is getting stronger for 1 set = because I had been putting too much weight on the bent knee, I had been falling out of the posture as it hurt too much. I discovered that if I try to focus on stretching up and down more, there is less pressure on my knees.

6. My Toe Stand is getting stronger everyday. I am now able to balance with both hands in Namaskar, and my balancing foot does not hurt as much doing so.

Notice how the Standing Series is more challenging for me than the Floor Series. Known as the warm-up postures before the TRUE yoga, i.e. the Floor Series, I believe these postures were tailor made to wake up the body. Maybe the reason why I do better with the Floor Series is because by that time my body has already been through the wringer.

I appreciate the little corrections and words of encouragement that teacher L. consistently does during her classes. Thank you! I truly believe she pays very close attention to each student, and never fails to acknowledge the efforts we all put in.

Although I was up when it was still dark, worked a full day, came home to get dinner ready, I still feel energized and not tired at all. My day at work was very busy, I met a lot of clients, there were a few challenges, but I was able to muster through thanks to the energy that my practice today had given me. I was very reluctant in the past to go the 6:00AM classes on days when I had to work a 9 hour shift, but today's practice proved that this yoga will give you energy to get you through a tough day.

Good night, Mommy. I love you.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Day 2, Day 3, Day 4 - What A Difference Three Straight Days Make!

I have no posts for Days 2 and 3. I didn't have much to report. Feeling stiff, dizzy, and sore pretty much summed up those days. Both were 6:00AM practices; inasmuch as timing wise, it IS the best class to get into as you get your practice in first thing when everyone else is asleep! Your day is set. At least for me. It is definitely not my best practice, BUT nothing compares to having a great workout first thing in the morning. For the remainder of my day I have so much energy, I walk like I am 10 feet tall--my posture is pretty admirable these days--and my overall disposition is summed up by one word: CALM.

Today, due my schedule, I couldn't go to the 6:00AM. I managed to squeak into the 3:45PM class, right after work. Oh I just hate driving to the studio in a rush, worrying whether or not I can find a parking spot pronto, getting into my yoga outfit, all in the space of 15 minutes!!! But I made it in time. So on with the program.

Oh what a great Pranayama I had, but boy, I truly sucked at Hands to Feet and Awkward. My arms felt like lead, and my legs were crampy. I used to rock these postures. BUT! I managed to hold the Eagle Pose longer than usual. I usually fall out before it ends, but I managed to hold it together for a set.

What a difference 3 consecutive days of practice make! I touched my forehead to the floor for the first time in months! Since my sporadic practice started in the summer, I had lost valuable depth in a lot of the postures. It just goes to show that flexibility is not a prerequisite to yoga. It is the goal in yoga. That is what you will achieve in yoga. It WILL happen. It's only a matter of when.

Good night, Mommy. I love you.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Day 1 - Let's Get This Party Started

...and how it started! I made it to the 6:00AM, and it wasn't difficult for me to get up early this morning. I guess I've psyched myself up enough and I made sure I had plenty of sleep. The night cap with the hubby had to be put aside, though :(

I had a rough start. I was stiff--at 6:00AM this IS a given. I felt dizzy a few times. My hips wouldn't open for Trikanasana. I couldn't keep the posture steady the whole time. I was focused on making sure my alignment was correct, and resigned myself to the fact that even if I kept falling out, at least I tried to keep proper alignment. My knees are still buckling during the Awkward Poses. I fared much better during the Floor Series. I always do anyway. I guess getting warmed up during the Standing Series helps.

I have been very careful not to push myself too hard these days as I haven't been consistent with my practice during the summer months. The main reason why I signed up for the challenge this month is so I can get myself back on track again. No need to rush things. There's plenty of time for that. Like the rest of my lifetime.

Good night, Mommy. I love you.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Eve of the 30

I was determined to practice today, to prepare myself for 30 straight days of yoga starting tomorrow. The yoga does not scare me; it's the reality and necessity of having to get up at 5:20AM on most days to make it to the 6:00AM class. It is so hard for me to leave the comfort of my bed at such an early hour, despite the fact that I am a morning person.

Today, I felt stiff. I was very surprised that my knees have not been cooperating during Fixed Firm Pose lately. They feel like they need a good lubrication, in order for my feet to stay put beside my hips. I used to do the Awkward Pose quite well, but my knees have been buckling and my balance has been out of sorts.

Hopefully, I will be back on track again. Our instructor this morning hit the nail on the head when she said that sometimes we don't feel like practicing, as we are tired, we don't have the time, or just plain we don't feel like it. But, think of the feeling you will get AFTER the class is over. Oh I know all about that feeling. It's the reason why I have been coming back again and again to that hot room for the past 27 months.

Good night, Mommy. I love you.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Psyching Up for the 30

My name is on the list. Starting on Monday, September 26th, I will be embarking on my 3rd 30 Day Challenge. I had originally planned on doing one every year during the month of April, but upon seeing the sign-up list on my studio's board, I couldn't help but join. My practice has been erratic since the summer. This inconsistency has resulted in many steps back, instead of strides ahead. The yoga itself, for me, is easy. It's finding the time that is a bigger challenge. Schedules and commitments get in the way. I know that the 6:00AM classes are my saviour in this regard, but I have been avoiding them lately. I just love my bed too much to leave it that early!

Today at practice, I was relieved to find a spot at the back beside the door. For the first time, in my two-year practice, I decided to wear crops to class. I was a little concerned about overheating, but thankfully it didn't happen. I had a bad case of the dizzies today. It happened, it wasn't pleasant, but I let it go.

The rest of my day went really well. I had almost forgotten how 90 minutes in that hot room sets up the rest of my day perfectly. It's time to get my groove back.

Good night, Mommy. I love you.