Friday, October 12, 2012
The reason last night's class was so good, I believe, is that James really kept us focused on our breath. He was patient, encouraging, and focused. And no, I don't think he ever opened the door, but I didn't notice the heat as much as usual and I didn't drink as much water throughout the class as usual, nor did I douse my towel with water to cool myself (both are habits we are encouraged to let go of). So there it is, I learned one of the lessons of yoga. Let go of your expectations -- even expectations of yourself... the only goal you should have when you practice yoga is to be present and do your best. Not a bad goal for every minute of each day, whether practicing yoga or not, wouldn't you say?
And yes, I completed my 100 push-ups yesterday. Two days down, 98 to go.
Since I have no yoga-related images, I'll show you a pic of the kitty we adopted about a year and a half ago to torment Hans and Tinka (ok, not the goal, but he's awfully good at it!). Here he is... our little Gatsby when we first brought him home in May of 2011!
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Unfortunately, while doing my second set of 25 push-ups, I sneezed and tweaked something in my neck. Between yoga tonight and the massage I have scheduled for tomorrow night, I figure it’ll be feeling much better soon, and it didn't keep me from finishing my 100 push-ups. Tonight’s 6 PM yoga class is with the guy I was talking about yesterday, so maybe I’ll go to the 8PM class since I can sleep in tomorrow if I want.
Hmmmm… What to do? What to do?
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect that just because a person is an instructor that they can do every pose perfectly, or even do ANY pose perfectly. BUT, Bikram Choudhury stresses that you do it right if not completely… that is, you attempt it in the right sequence getting each element right before you try the next part. That is, if you are doing Standing head to knee pose (Dandayamana Janushirasana), then you don’t even attempt to pull your “up” leg in front of you until your standing leg is “locked, lamp-post, you have no knee.” It just bothers me a little… makes me want to not go to his classes. Which is fine, except, I want to go every night and invariably, he will be teaching some of the 6 PM classes. I am just going to have to let it go… because honestly, when I’m in there, I’m the only one I should be focused on anyway, right?
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
In my early/mid-twenties, I started having back pain… sometimes so severe that I would lie down nearly in tears, pressing my low back into the floor to relieve the pain. I had spasms that would make me suddenly bow forward, unable to stand up straight with pain so sharp it made me wonder at times if I was having a heart attack. At age 24, my primary care physician put me on Celebrex which he told me I would be taking for the rest of my life. I wasn’t really cool with that though, as there are a lot of issues with taking that kind of medication long-term. At one point, when even the prescription wasn’t working, a friend at church gave me a gift certificate to see a chiropractor. Since then, chiropractors and physical therapists have helped me significantly over the years and allowed me to quit taking prescription pain-killers altogether and only occasionally take a mild muscle-relaxer and over the counter pain relievers instead.
Thursday, September 20, 2012
1. I knew what to expect.
2. A sweet girl stayed after class Tuesday to give me some pointers: Breathe in and out through the nose ONLY except during the opening and closing series of breathing exercises (esp. when you feel dizzy). And, keep your eyes open until the final savasana -- esp. if you feel dizzy. (This helped SO much! I did every pose at least once -- only 3 times did I not complete all the poses in a series!)
3. The instructor -- her energy was so positive and encouraging! I was able to "hear" her instructions better since I wasn't focused on not passing out, and frankly, she was just amazing.
So, I will give my first instructor another try in a week or so when I feel stronger.... but in the meantime, I'm going to check out a few more classes with female instructors -- I have been told that, in general, the female instructors are more encouraging and nurturing (esp for new students), and frankly, that's just what I need right now.
No Bikram tonight as I have chiropractic and physical therapy appointments, but I'll be heading back to class tomorrow!
And here's what I'd like to share (not to worry, most posts won't be this long):
Tuesday, September 18:
I first heard about Bikram Yoga (or Hot yoga) some time ago. It sounded interesting, but I didn’t think it was for me. Well, I decided after we moved from Colorado to Maryland this past April (and then 4 months later, Virginia) that I needed to DO some things. We lived in Colorado for 5 years and only went skiing one day, whereas we used to go for a week at a time. In Colorado, we never went on a single hike, though we used to do that, too. We spent most of our vacation time flying back East to visit family for weddings, births, funerals, and general holidays (we love visiting family!). And I let that be an excuse for not joining a gym (we’re already going to be out of town a lot), or planning weekend getaways (at some point we have to clean the house, do the laundry, work on projects). Enough!