Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Day 2

Such a hard class today. Really really challenging. I don't think I was hydrated enough. Or maybe I hadn't eaten enough. I don't know why but I felt physically gross during class and had to lay down more than I would have liked to.
Oh well - trying to practice non-attachment... so class is over and I am trying not to be attached to how bad I felt during it.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Day 1

Nice small class today so the instructor was able to give lots of corrections and adjustments. He pulled up and back on my arms in half moon, pushed my foot behind my calf in eagle, pulled up my legs in bow pose... and it was totally awesome! Any instructor who wants to touch my sweaty body to help me get into poses is ace in my book :)


Due to an unfortunate event, I find myself with more time on my hands as of today. So my 30 days of Bikram is officially starting today. No more excuses. Class every day. I have wanted to do this for months so although I am not pleased about what happened, I am grateful for the opportunity to devote myself more fully to my Bikram practice.

Friday, July 11, 2008

toe stand, camel and other yoga victories

Had a private Bikram tutorial last weekend with Jenn and it was fantastic! Long and challenging but definitely improved my practice. I had my hands on my feet in camel (and Jenn took an awesome picture which I have emailed to my mom and a few friends), did toe stand (although I still can't quite get up from toe stand!) and refined a bunch of my postures. I got compliments from my instructor on Tuesday on a few poses and far less corrections. Yay!
As my social life picks up, it's harder and harder to make time for yoga but I find that setting up a recurring Bikram appointment on my mobile phone definitely helps.
I can't complain too much - my yoga practice is improving and overall life is pretty good.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Life has been getting in the way of yoga

Life, both good and bad things, have been getting in the way of yoga. But I really enjoyed the class I went to on Tuesday and last night I had a little dance party in my room so I'm trying to stay active and happy.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Lost my yoga mojo...

Only did one class last week, but if I do one today as well (woke up too late to get to the 10am class though), that will be a total of two. And I did a trail run that kicked my ass and left me oh so sore. And I drank some wine and had some laughs.
So overall, a bad week yogawise but not so bad in general.

Friday, May 30, 2008

yoga funny

Ok, these have got to be the funniest illustrations of the Bikram poses EVER! I want to move to New York and go to Bikram Yoga Lower East Side - they seem to have a better sense of humor than Bikram yoga studios in Seattle! :-)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Lite yoga week

Made it to Bikram on Tuesday. It was a really good class. I arrived a bit late due to forgetting my mat at home and remembering it only after I was already in my car driving to the studio. Since I was late to arrive, all of the "good" spots (translation: spots in the corners away from the instructor) were already taken. So I ended up almost directly in front of the teacher. And that was intimidating but it was also really good. I care about my form and I want to improve. So really I was getting my money's worth by having the teacher see me and help me with my postures. Although I was definitely dreading hearing my name :-)
Didn't make it to class last night. Drank wine with coworkers after work instead.
Was planning to go to a class directly after work but I just realized that I didn't actually bring my yoga stuff with me... so that's obviously not going to work. Ugh.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Ok, so the grand total is actually 5

I went to 5 Bikram yoga classes this week. Yes, that is 2 shy of my goal of 7. It is also more classes than I've ever gone to in a week before. I didn't make it to a class today. I went to Bainbridge Island today with some friends and shopped and walked around and I was exhausted by the time I got back. I didn't feel like I was hydrated enough to do yoga and I just couldn't handle the thought of going to class.
I now have a better idea of how much commitment goes into practicing every day (a lot) and how much planning it requires to eat properly, drink properly, do more laundry, etc. so that it's possible to get to Bikram every day.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Class 4 (of 7 - or should I just admit now that it's going to be 6)

I only drank water during times when the teacher specifically said it was ok to have some water... and I felt better during class. That's going to be my goal from now on - to only drink water during the designated times. My concentration was a bit off during some of the standing postures. Oh well - no biggie.
And my roommate told me that my face looks thinner. I have cheekbones now :)
If I were to actually get to 7 classes this week, I would be at a class right now, but I needed an extra hour of sleep since I have a bunch of fun (non-yoga) stuff planned for today. I'm still planning to go to an afternoon class which will be class 5 and then tomorrow's class will be class 6.
So what's the plan for after this week is over? I'm really working on getting my life back on track and I think Bikram yoga should be a part of that. Am I ready for a 30 day challenge? Probably not right now. Am I going to change the name of my blog? Probably not. Basically, I'm not ready to give up running completely. While there is something to love about a hot, sweaty funky yoga room (and I'm actually becoming quite attached to my yoga mat and towel), I love the feeling of the wind in my hair when I'm out for a run. And to be honest, I think the way I've pushed myself in Bikram classes is going to make me a better runner. Running seems easy in a lot of ways.

Friday, May 23, 2008

What should have been day 4...

But wasn't because I went running and lifted weights. So that means that I will do my 4th class today (Friday), my 5th and 6th class on Saturday and my 7th class on Sunday.

Running was good.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Day 3 of 7 days of Bikram

I got scolded for drinking water. I probably deserved it.

Looks like I'll be going for a run after work on Day 4 which means that in order to get 7 classes in during 7 days, I'll have to do 2 classes on Saturday... which is a maybe...

We'll see what happens. Even 6 classes in 7 days (+ one day of running) is a lot more exercise time than I'm used to.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Day 2 of 7 days of Bikram

Went to a class after work at the new studio. There was a different instructor who I liked better except when she got kind of wishy washy. I'm realizing how important the confidence of the instructor is. When I'm focused on the poses, I don't want to hear stuff like "you guys" or "sort of" or anything that seems like filler or uncertainty! And it seems normal at that studio for there to be a lot of opening and closing of windows. In the savasana after the standing poses, I was actually cold because of the breeze from the open windows. But there is way less funky smell in the room. I guess that makes sense - air and open windows lessen funk significantly. The carpet doesn't seem to get as wet either. So I guess I need to figure out what's right for me... but I'm leaning towards returning to the funky smelling studio after my week trial at the new studio is up.
The class last night was pretty good. I feel like I'm finally ready to start pushing myself in some of the postures and my flexibility is still nothing to brag about but it is improving. I'm still struggling with staying hydrated and fueling before class. My stomach is way more sensitive in yoga than it is when I run.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Day 1 of my 7 days of Bikram

I went to Bikram at the new to me studio last night. It was small and the facilities aren't great. They charge $1 if you want to fill up your water bottle. It smelled slightly when you entered the registration/changing area but it was very subtle compared to the other studio. The instructor kept fiddling around with opening the windows and turning off the heaters. It was odd because there are points in other Bikram classes where I've prayed that a window would open and a cool breeze would appear... but then when it actually did, turns out that I didn't like it because it was super distracting. And also now that I've been reading Jenn's blog about Bikram Teacher Training, I feel like I know more about how a Bikram class is supposed to be. Let's just put it this way - the instructor last night was not sticking to the dialogue. I'm starting to see beauty in a proper Bikram class even if the heat is tough and the language is sometimes funny.
I found myself really distracted in class last night. While I didn't miss the funky smell of the other studio, I did miss how orderly and predictable classes are there. I pushed myself on some postures that I usually just sort of phone it in for. Didn't do camel though - felt too gross by that point in class. Still struggling with how much I can eat before class and when.
I'm going to continue to go to the new studio as much as possible for the rest of the week. They have other instructors who I'm hoping are better than the one I had last night. Plus I've already paid for unlimited classes for the week.
Another big thanks to Hot Yoga Mama for convincing me to wear the right kind of yoga clothes. I'm in love with the Prana Lola top and I picked up a bunch of other new workout stuff on my mini-break last weekend. And yes, I am the kind of person who is motivated by having the right gear for my hobbies.

Monday, May 19, 2008

7 days of Bikram Yoga starts today!

I am not ready to commit to 30 days of Bikram in a row but as of today, I dedicate myself to 7 days of Bikram yoga in a row. Tonight I will leave my regular Monday night activity early and head to an 8:15pm class. Tomorrow I'm thinking a 6pm class. Wednesday an 8pm class. Thursday a 6pm class so that I can be home for "Grey's Anatomy." Friday an afternoon class. Saturday a morning class. Sunday an afternoon class.
And I'm just realizing how much life can get in the way of my grand yoga plans even if they're just for 7 days of yoga in a row. A friend who lives in San Francisco just emailed and said she's in Seattle this week and wants to do happy hour on Thursday... UGH! Love my friends but I often find it hard to put myself first!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Did a little internet research and...

I'm going to try a new yoga studio next week. It's slightly further away from the studio I currently practice at but it's also slightly cheaper... and according to Hot Yoga Mama's review, doesn't smell funky.
They have a great new member special - 7 days unlimited for $15. I'm going to try to do 7 classes in 7 days... sort of a mini 30 days of yoga since I haven't actually started my real 30 days yet.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Was thinking of going to Bikram tonight but by that time, it was too late to eat anything substantial and I hadn't eaten since lunch... and I've tried both eating too close to class and not eating since lunch enough to know that both suck but in different ways. So I was at home with my thoughts. Self-destructive, negative thoughts. I left the ex a long rambling voice mail. I'm not proud of it. But I'm trying to sort through it - and by it, I mean the dark stuff that remains from our relationship.
In the time that I was with my ex, I kept lots of secrets. To this day, I still keep some secrets about what went on. And they aren't really my secrets - they are his secrets but I took them on. That is a huge weight, a huge amount of pressure to live with. I want to feel free again. I want to feel optimistic again. I want to be able to trust people again. I don't feel like I can tell those secrets to anyone but I need to figure out a way to cleanse my soul and release that tension and worry. I still worry about him. I worry that he will never be happy. I guess part of that is because I know that I will be happy at some point. I know that I'm evolving and that I learn from my mistakes and that I have incredibly high standards. There is still part of me that loves him and wants to protect him from himself. I can't do that. I need to start trying to get MY sense of self back. I deserve people in my life who care about me and won't make me keep their secrets.
I want to write all of the secrets down on paper and burn them. I need to rid myself of them. He's not going to take them back from me. He's not going to ever be able to be the person I want(ed) him to be.
I could be smart and funny and successful and good enough (oh wait - I am all those things) and it wouldn't matter because he wouldn't think that he deserves me. That's what it all comes down to. He had to sabotage our relationship because he doesn't think he deserves to be happy. I truly believe that he loved me. And it wasn't that he didn't love me enough - he loved me too much so that he didn't know what to do with himself. And he was afraid I would leave so he had to destroy everything before I would have the chance to leave.
And I do think I deserve to be happy. But there is also a part of me that thinks that being happy and being there for people requires a huge amount of hard work and effort. I'm not very comfortable with just being.
Being me is enough.
And I'm tempted to apologize for how long this post is and how much it rambles and how it's not really about yoga. But I'm not going to apologize for that - this is what I need to do tonight.
Now I'm going to go drink a beer.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

last post for today - i promise

Lots of people at my work have nicknames. One guy's nickname is Hot Yoga - and yes, it's appropriate because he is a yoga-loving hippie. He's leaving work for a few weeks to go on a trip so some of the guys have started calling another guy (who doesn't do yoga) Cold Yoga because he doesn't have a nickname and he's going to be taking over a lot of the work that Hot Yoga does.

might have found a solution to the funky smell situation

I think I might have found the answer. A few drops of lavender oil on a towel that I can take with me to class. I'm sure Bikram wouldn't approve, but if it can stop me from getting so skeeved out by the smell of the room, I think it's a good thing. A huge thank you to Jenn for writing about this technique on her blog. Speaking of Jenn's blog, it's about the Bikram Teacher Training that she's going through right now. She's from Seattle so maybe I'll even get to take a class from her once she finishes. I went back and read through all of her entries and I have to say that I have a new level of respect for my Bikram instructors. I'm not sure that I agree with all of Bikram's techniques, but it does make fascinating blog material! :)

still struggling with the fact that my bikram studio smells like feet

My mom's request for Mothers Day was a Bikram yoga class. No, I'm not kidding. So while all normal people were having brunch on Mothers Day, we were sweating and looking back, going back, way back. We went to a nice, new Bikram studio closer to where she lives. It seemed so clean compared to where I go normally and there was no smell of feet AT ALL. It was lovely.
Then last night I went to a class at my normal studio and it absolutely reeked. It was terrible. The room was so hot and humid which I think was due to the weather yesterday and the fact that it was the last class of the day. It was really foul. On top of the extreme heat and funky smell, my finger started bleeding. I chopped into my finger on Sunday when I was chopping an onion. I wore a bandaid Sunday night and Monday and I thought it was fine. Then randomly last night in the second or third pose, it started bleeding again. The sight of blood (even from a silly little cut) didn't exactly help me get all zen.
So basically last night was probably the most challenging class I've done besides my first ever Bikram yoga class. But I wore my cute Prana tank and shorts that I bought on sale from so that was good!

Friday, May 9, 2008

the work

I went to Bikram yesterday and it smelled like feet. I wore my new shorts and tank top and it did help. My first instinct was to get judgmental about myself and start thinking that my tummy area has gotten really flabby but later in class, I felt like I was able to concentrate more on my position in the postures since I could see my shoulders. I've been every size from size 6 to size 14 in the past 5 years (I'm somewhere in the middle of that right now) and I can honestly say that there has been little to no connection between my clothing size and my happiness. So I'm going to keep wearing shorts and tank tops to Bikram even though I'm not totally comfortable with it right now.
I've been working from home for the past two days and it's been giving me way too much time to get caught up in my thoughts. I've been feeling really overwhelmed by my (negative) thoughts. After a tear-filled session last week, my life coach recommended that I try Byron Katie's The Work. So I finally started reading the Byron Katie book I checked out from the library... and I've been bawling my eyes out while reading. It's made me look at myself in a different way - highly recommended to anyone who feels stuck in their own head.
No yoga for me today - I'm going to get my eyebrows waxed instead.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

i've been sick

I caught some sort of nasty cold and it's knocked me on my ass for the past week and a half. I missed a few days of work, haven't been running or doing yoga, basically it seems like life is passing me by.
Did buy a cute tank top at the REI sale though. Hot Yoga Mama recently posted about how important it is to wear less clothes to Bikram yoga even if you don't feel that great about your body so that has inspired me. If people at Bikram don't like seeing more of my wobbly bits, too bad! When I do finally get well enough to do yoga again (which should be in a day or two), I'm going to be wearing less clothes than ever before! We're not talking anything super scandalous, but normally I would wear a t-shirt and capris and now I'll be wearing a tank top and shorts instead. I'll be out of my comfort zone but I suppose that part of the point of Bikram yoga anyways.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The 30 days of Bikram yoga has not started yet and I'm not sure when it will start. I have been absolutely exhausted lately. I think it's a combination of a 1/2 marathon "hangover" as well as stress in other areas of my life. I read online about some Bikram studios that do a 25 classes in 30 days Bikram challenge and I think that might be more realistic for me at this point in my life.
However I did do a class on Sunday and a class yesterday. I still feel like such a beginner sometimes. But I guess that's ok - must work to focus on having "my" class, not someone else's class. Gotta put aside the ego and try to enjoy the process and just disconnect from my competitive side or my side that wants to be teachers pet and be perfect.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


I was planning to start my 30 days of Bikram on April 15th but due to some scheduling conflicts, I think it's going to be pushed back to April 17th. Sometimes life gets in the way when you're making plans. Or whatever.
I read the most amazing blog post yesterday called Survival of a Broken Heart: A How-To Guide. Really good stuff. Early last week, I was back in the thick of it - confronting that deep, dark horrible stuff. But I think that was the final bit of it. I feel much more centered now. I feel ready to move on. I feel ready to be in control of my life - I'm not waiting for him to come back. I'm not waiting for anyone - I'm just living. And for right now, I'm living without a partner and that's totally ok.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

yoga blogs

I've gone through a lot of blog reading phases. For a while, I was really into craft blogs. Then knitting blogs. Then personal finance blogs. Current favorite is self-improvement and spirituality blogs. And I'm slowly exploring the world of yoga blogs. Stumbled upon Hot Yoga Mama who is here in the Seattle area as well. She's obviously much further along in her yoga journey than I am, but I really like her blog. It's honest and funny... and filled with great yoga info as well as studio reviews.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

exercise extremes

I ran in the snow and slush this morning. Ok, run may not be totally accurate, but my trainer called it a trail run. I ran and walked and struggled and slipped my way through 6 miles of trails today.
Being out in the snow is pretty different from Bikram yet both push me past my physical comfort zone. And both make me feel stronger and more alive.
Yoga tomorrow. Half marathon a week from tomorrow.

Friday, April 4, 2008

i deserve new yoga clothes, right?

If I'm going to do 30 classes in 30 days, I'm going to need more yoga gear. I went to Lululemon on Wednesday and I was a bit shocked by the prices. But their stuff is so cute and comfy. I'm going to buy a couple of Yogitoes towels on eBay and then I figure that I need 2-3 more pairs of yoga capris or shorts and 2-3 tops. The tops I can probably get a Target so that should lessen the Lululemon sticker shock somewhat. And I do love new gear. When I first started running last year, I was so in love with all of my running stuff! I'm such a nerd.

A place to document my Bikram journey...

I've been trying to get into yoga for about a year and a half because I want to control stress better as well as improve my flexibility. Yoga and I aren't really in a serious relationship yet. I successfully completed one intro series of classes (hatha at the Yoga Tree) and dropped out of two others (vinyasa at YogaLife and hatha at 8 Limbs.) It's Seattle so there's lots of yoga to choose from! I went to Bikram for the first time with a friend about 5 months ago. It seemed to click more than the other yoga classes did. I've been busy with being depressed about life (end of 2007) and half marathon training (beginning of 2008) so I've only been to a few Bikram classes since the first one. However my half marathon is in 9 days so after my race, I want to do a 30 day Bikram challenge. I haven't told my running trainer that yet... but I think I need the structure and challenge of Bikram yoga more than I need running right now. I feel like it's relevant to mention that I'm not actually a sporty person, but working out helped keep me sane in grad school and since then, I've been trying to get in better shape. I've been trying to turn to exercise instead of cupcakes over the past few months... with limited success. It hasn't totally worked but I am making changes.

Breakup of a long term relationship (4+ years) + significant birthday (30) + stress at work = gotta do something different because the old way just isn't working.

Soooo... that leads to my 30 day Bikram challenge which I'm thinking will start on April 15th. Until then, I'll probably post randomly about preparing for the challenge and strategizing on how I plan to fit 45 hours of yoga (30 x 90 minute class) into a one month period.