Sunday, December 20, 2009

Planning for 2010...

Have returned to the world of work which leaves less time for the world of yoga and blogging... but I'm gearing up for the Bikram 101 challenge which starts January 1, 2010. I'll have some new Lululemon yoga gear under the tree at Christmas. I'm very much looking forward to the physical and mental "work" that comes from that much yoga - I think it will be a great experience. Join me? Bikram 101 blog -

Sunday, October 4, 2009

They call it practice for a reason

I'm continuing to practice. Continuing to experience the ups and downs of the hot room. I'm getting better at experiencing ups and downs in the hot room but still not so good at experiencing them in life! Some of my postures are getting better, I tried 6am yoga for the first time (it's awesome by the way and deserves a full post of its own!), and I got a new Breathe yoga mat/towel combination which kicks major ass. Life is hard though. I'm looking for a job, trying to figure out if I want to stay in my field, trying to push myself to explore some new exciting (but scary) opportunities.
Who knows what's around the corner? I don't but there is part of me that has been dragging my feet instead of running ahead.
Ok, for the next post I promise more yoga, less rambling about life!

Friday, August 21, 2009

The last few days in review

Didn't practice Wednesday because I was an extra in Lynn Shelton's newest project. She's a local filmmaker who made the movie "Humpday." It was an interesting experience - not sure I would do it again, but I liked learning a bit more about how movies are made.
Didn't practice yesterday due to car issues. My car key would open my car door but wouldn't start the engine. Not cool. Had to be rescued with an extra key.
PRACTICED TODAY! Great class taught by Jenn. She's awesome! Didn't get down to my elbows in fixed firm, but that's ok. I've got the rest of my life (and maybe my next life or twelve) to practice yoga.
I'm feeling kind of dehydrated and gross at the moment. I really need to focus more on my diet. I've been living on junk food for the past few months. Not cool at all.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Get your money's worth

For the most part, I like my studio, but it's not the most welcoming place in the world. It doesn't really feel like a community. There's not a lot of conversation between the instructors and the students. But today before class, I decided to ignore that fact and I went to talk to the instructor to get more info on how to get down to my elbows in fixed firm. I told her that I got my butt down on my mat for the first time ever yesterday. She explained what to do - I had apparently been oblivious to the part of the instructions that talked about putting your hands on your feet. So during class, I got down to my elbows! Yay!
Long story short - the instructors are there to help and even if they are standoff-ish, go up to them and ask questions when they aren't busy. You're paying for the class and you're showing up so you might as well get your money's worth!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Note to fixed firm: watch out because you're going to get pwned!

It was very hot in the yoga room today. While this did, at times, make me feel like I was going to die, I also had to look on the bright side and see that it made me feel bendier. Unlike some lucky folks, I don't have great natural flexibility. Also I have long legs and a short torso - not exactly a great yoga physique! I struggle with the postures. I love the yoga. I like reading the Bikram blogs. I put yoga classes on my calendar so I make sure I go to classes taught by teachers I like. But I have a LONG way to go on quite a few of the postures. Fixed firm has been my nemesis for quite some time. Before getting into Bikram, I was running quite a bit and I have some foot issues which I probably should go to a podiatrist for but have been avoiding it. Long story but basically that means that I have some foot/ankle/knee issues. However I was finally able to get my ass down on the floor completely in fixed firm today and was able to sort of kind of go backwards. My teacher was trying to get me to go back on one elbow first which felt kind of awkward but I guess it's similar to how you go back for camel. I'm looking forward to improving at some of my more difficult postures. I guess I've got my whole life to perfect my practice. And also I've got to remind myself that in the grand scheme of things, IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT MY POSTURES LOOK LIKE! It doesn't even matter in terms of getting the full benefits from the yoga.
Ok, I'm keeping perspective on this, but am also excited to make fixed firm my bitch!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Another one of my crazy Bikram theories...

No, this one isn't about sex. It's about my other favorite topic - - - FOOD! :) Back in college when I was young and foolish, my friend and I had this idea that we should only eat when we were drunk. This isn't an idea we actually implemented, but the basis for it was just that everything tastes really good when you're drunk. Even random cheap trashy food can be quite nom nom nom after a few beers. I kind of feel the same about food after Bikram yoga - things tend to taste really good to me. French fries from McDonalds taste ridiculously salty and delicious. A can of Coke is so yum that it's ridiculous that it costs less than a dollar. Tonight I'm eating Greek yogurt with sliced apricot and a bit of almond butter and even that is pretty darn tasty.
Maybe I should go to Bikram teacher training... then I would pretty much only be eating after yoga. I bet everything tastes delicious! (kidding - I'm sure Jenn or someone will chime in here about how that isn't the case!)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Good class today

It's been a while since I've had a good class. I know that any Bikram class I actually get to is good, but today was a *good* class. Didn't sit out any postures, got some helpful corrections from Jenn and she said that my half moon backwards was "looking good." Just had a green smoothie at Chaco Canyon and now I'm feeling healthy. Now if only the boy would stop being busy all the time...

Monday, August 3, 2009

Have I told you about this theory I have about Bikram yoga?

The main reason I haven't been on my mat much lately has been the heat. Also I think I got slightly burned out after my 30 days but was in denial that I was burned out. But the fact remains that my body and mind are much happier when I'm on my mat most days. And I really need the yoga these days because I'm a single lady with a crush on a boy who is playing hard to get.
Things with the boy are kind of limping along. We got ice cream and saw a movie last week. And that's great. Really. When we see each other, it's good and I feel like we have chemistry and we send each other silly little emails and texts sometimes. However, the bad part is that he's been out of town and super busy with work stuff but he says that things should calm down in a week or two and then he will be social again... but until then, I am pining away a bit. It's not that I'm sitting home doing nothing - I even went on a date with another guy last week, but of course this one particular guy is the one who I like.
That brings me to my theory. I have this theory that Bikram yoga is the perfect activity for the sexually frustrated woman. Not only does it help one burn off a bit of extra energy as well as get more toned and fit for the dating scene, there is also the added bonus of seeing men of all shapes and sizes in Speedos. I don't know about you, but seeing men in Speedos (especially ones with long ponytails, gross tattoos and/or big bellies) really turns me off and makes me question whether I am even attracted to men at all.
So that is how my renewed Bikram practice is going to help me deal with liking a boy who is playing hard to get. Thank you Seattle men in Speedos for being such a huge turn off - especially those of you at the 4pm class I went to today.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Finding it hard to get on my mat...

Have been seduced by summer. Leisurely walks around the lake. Drinking beers on patios. Trips to Target to get SPF 70 sunscreen.

But I miss the yoga. And I miss reading @MeiNg and @ilovesweat's blogs every day. And I am intrigued by the fact that one of my favorite Bikram Twitterers (@yogaballs) now says he may not even want to teach Bikram even though he just finished teacher training. There's got to be a story there and hopefully he'll share it with us.

But for now I'm going to enjoy summer...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Still thinking about the water situation...

Practiced today. I didn't feel very flexible, but I felt pretty strong. No ice in my water today... and this shouldn't be a surprise, but I didn't want to drink as much after Eagle because it wasn't cold, frosty and delicious. Did every posture. Is it because the thought of sitting out a posture without icy cold water waiting on the floor for me just isn't as tempting?

I think further testing is in order, but I think there definitely could be something to this...

After class, I went to the new Trader Joes in Ballard. It's so spacious! I picked up almond butter and some other healthy-ish food that I've been reading about on The Hungry Yogini. Trying to get more into cooking healthy food. Supposedly it can be fun and tasty?

Friday, July 3, 2009


Haven't managed to get back on the mat as much as I wanted to, but summer is difficult because hot days mean the yoga room is funkier and it's harder to stay hydrated outside of class. Speaking of water...

I met a boy a few weeks ago and we went out this week. He has many good qualities - one being that he listened to me babble about Bikram yoga for a while :) I was telling him about the controversy over water in class. Some people, like the legendary Mary Jarvis, suggest no water during class. Lots of us students enjoy water with ice (me!), but that is supposedly harder on the body than drinking room temperature water. The boy suggested that ice water might have the added benefit of lowering core temperature a bit which could help the body in the hot room. I don't really know what the "right" answer is on the water question, but I hadn't considered the core temperature idea. All of the yoga blogs I've read have been negative towards ice water from both a physical and mental perspective so this was an interesting perspective. I suppose that could be an added physical benefit of cold water although I am still unsure whether my feelings toward water are more physical or mental. I suppose I should try a water-free class and then I would have a better idea about how I use water.

Hope this late night water rambling was semi-coherent...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Second day back..

Went to class again this evening. The instructor told me that my floor bow was "wonderful." :) I know that corrections are really more useful than compliments but that comment really helped me power through the rest of class.
Today was an incredibly stressful, disappointing day but I feel stronger and less stressed after class. Yay for Bikram yoga!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Off the mat...

I've been spending far more days off the mat than on the mat. And I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that I've been feeling much more stressed, having trouble sleeping, etc. Yes, the things I'm worried about are real and they are important, but I truly believe that Bikram (or other intense physical activity) has a way of helping to balance things out.
I'm listening to the audiobook of Haruki Murakami's "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running" and so much of what he says could be applied to Bikram yoga and a lot of it actually is in line with the way that Bikram himself talks about the yoga.
I'll leave you with this thought from Murakami's book (I can't remember who Murakami credits it to and since I'm listening to the audiobook, it's not convenient to go back and find it!) -- Pain is inevitable but suffering is a choice.
So true!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Class + outside of class

Yesterday I went to a great class taught by Jenn. She puts so much energy into class and really tries to keep everyone motivated. Yesterday she emphasized stillness between postures. I find that really hard because I'm one of those people who will futz with my hair or pull down my tank top or whatever. At one point during class, Jenn said something like, "A. - stop fixing your hair. It looks fine." Ah yes, a reminder that no one cares what my hair looks like in Bikram class :) I do try to push myself in class no matter what, but a well-timed correction from a caring instructor really does help!

I've been reading some yogi blogs today and it kind of makes me wish I had more yogi friends, but I suppose I can just read blogs to obsess over yoga and nutrition and do other things in my "real life."

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Back on the mat

Dragged myself back onto my yoga mat today for the first time in a while. I did feel a little stiff and not super hydrated, but it was good to sweat a little.

Last night, I was browsing Netflix's Watch Instantly and found a documentary called Ashtanga NY. It covers Sri K. Pattabhi Jois' visit to NYC which happened to coincide with 9/11. Gwyneth Paltrow and Willem Dafoe are in it along with lots of non-famous yogis. I've been more interested in Ashtanga after reading an Ashtanga blog which was written by a former coworker's wife. I know that Bikram yoga faces a lot of criticism as being very restrictive but to me, Ashtanga seems so much more strict. I've never practiced Ashtanga so I'm definitely coming at it from Bikram yoga. Anyway, the documentary isn't the best thing I've ever seen but it's less than an hour long and if you have nothing else to watch, you might want to check it out.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Thoughts on the challenges of my challenge

Now that I'm done with my challenge, I can reflect back on the experience. I've put together thoughts on a few of the difficulties I experienced during my challenge and have categorized them as mental, physical or logistical challenges.

Challenge: mental: Getting to class EVERY DAMN DAY
I read a post on the blog On Common Ground which jokingly suggested to quit your job before starting a 30 day challenge! I'm unemployed at the moment so having plenty of time on my hands definitely helped me get through the challenge. But obviously I would never recommend that people do that. However for me, even though I have time on my hands and experience following a training schedule, going to class EVERY DAMN DAY was still a bit hard to get used to. Last year I trained for a half marathon which meant I ran or worked out with my trainer Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday after work + early (7am-ish) on Saturday mornings. Sundays I ran on my own. The training schedule was intense, but I had Mondays and Fridays off and that was always something I could look forward to. So for me, getting past the mental block of getting to class every day was definitely a challenge.

Challenge: mental: Loving my practice
Yes, I practiced for 30 days in a row, but my practice is not pretty. I have a couple of postures that are respectable, but overall, I am not a Bikram posture superstar. I get hot and tired in class and I sit out postures. Sometimes I get angry when I get hot and tired. Some of my postures still suck! To keep on going with the challenge, I had to accept that for me, it wasn't about having pretty postures. It was about getting myself through class.

Challenge: logistical: Lots of sweaty clothes/towels
Bikram classes create laundry galore. I'm lucky in that I have a washer/dryer "in unit" (sorry - I've been looking at lots of rental listings lately because I'm moving soon) so I didn't have to go to a laundry room or laundromat to do laundry but even so, it was kind of a pain in the ass to have so much sweaty stuff around all the time. I know that some studios have reasonably priced towel rentals, but that's not done at my studio so I just got used to doing laundry all the time. And I had to switch laundry detergents. And I started filling my washer with hot water when I was washing my Bikram stuff and then switching the washer to warm water for the rest of the wash. But yeah, I worked it out.

Challenge: logistical/mental: Food/weight
I'll be honest, I had some crazy food cravings during my 30 day challenge. I pretty much ate whatever I wanted which is not what I normally do. Did I lose weight during my 30 days? No, I did not. Did I eat an insane amount of food and not gain weight? Yes, I did. I tried to eat healthy but for me, I think 90 minutes in the yoga room every day just made my body freak out. I find that if I practice 4-5 times a week, I can eat "normally" but the every day practice just did not work with my body as far as having any restraint re: food. I wouldn't recommend a 30 day challenge as a way to lose weight, but that's just my personal opinion.

Challenge: mental: Explaining what you're doing to friends/family
For me, this is one place where this blog and the online Bikram community provided so much support. My friends and family are great but they didn't really "get" my 30 day challenge. So to be accountable here and on Twitter was so helpful for me. To keep records and see progress really helped me keep going and suceed.


I feel like there must be lots of things I've missed in this post, but I just want to get it up there now that I'm almost one month out from finishing my challenge. EDIT: Just realized I didn't touch on the physical challenges. To be honest, I had some aches and pains, but the physical stuff wasn't as tough as the mental stuff for me!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A week off

I haven't been to class since last Sunday. Last Sunday was one of those classes. One of those classes you hate. Or rather, one of those classes that I hate because I am not spiritually evolved enough to not hate classes. It was one of those classes that made me wonder why I would choose to be in a hot, skanky room with a bunch of strangers (and a friend from knitting.) My friend came to class with me. It was her third Bikram class. After class, I asked her about the class and whether she would have ever gone to another Bikram class if that had been her first one. She said probably not. That's how bad it was. And it's been such nice weather in Seattle this week. I just could not drag myself into the yoga room.

But I will get back. I'm struggling with a lot of non-yoga things in my life and doing more yoga would probably help me deal with them. And I read a funny Bikram quote on thedancingj's blog which cheered me up a bit. "Or as Bikram (definitely!) says: If you feeling great and everything is perfect in your life, you'd better watch out, something bad it coming. But if things are going terrible and you feel like shit, be happy!! Good things are going to come soon!"

I guess it's time to start being happy about feeling like shit.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Yesterday + today + today

Drove to class yesterday. Signed in. Said hi to the instructor. Went into the changing room. And realized I didn't have my shorts with me. Le sigh. Went to get lunch instead. Couldn't make it to class in the evening so I didn't practice yesterday.

This morning
Went to class up north with my mom. It was hot, but not as hot as last time. Not much to report.

This afternoon
Went to class at my regular studio wtih my friend who came to her first class over the weekend. I think she may be hooked - she's coming to class on Sunday as well. WOO HOO!

So yeah, two classes in one day. It took up loads of my time, but other than that, it was fairly uneventful. I mean, the second class wasn't especially hard or exceptionally awesome - it was just a middle of the road class. But I'm happy that I've done it!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Class this morning

It was hot in the room today and the instructor was not generous with fans or cold air! But I just tried to remind myself that I don't go to class to enjoy the experience of class - I go to feel better in the rest of my life outside of class. If I happen to enjoy parts of class, that's just a bonus. And hey - it wasn't as bad as last night!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Hellish class + funny things instructors say in class

Since finishing my 30 day challenge on May 1, I practiced occasionally for a week (class on 5/3 and 5/7) and then have been trying to get back to a daily pratice. Today was my 4th day in a row of being back on my mat. So yay! If I was doing another 30 day challenge (don't worry - I'm not!), I would be more than 10% done :)

I had a hellish class tonight. I was putting off going to class. Didn't make it for the 4pm. Saw that I wasn't going to make it for the 6pm... so I ate an Amy's Cheese Tamale Verde around 5:45pm. Total amateur mistake! WHAT WAS I THINKING?!? Ok, I wasn't thinking and I think I might have been trying to give myself an excuse to skip the 8pm class. But I didn't skip class. And as I was driving to class, I was rocking out to the Kings of Leon and thinking that maybe life isn't so bad. And class even started out good. I did what I think was my best pranayama breathing ever. All of the pieces of the dialogue seemed to make sense. And then during awkward, it all went downhill. I started to feel really gross. My stomach hurt and I felt like I couldn't breathe. Yes, the room was hot, but it was more like it felt like there wasn't any oxygen. I read an article from the Trib a while back and one of the comments mentioned lack of oxygen in Bikram studios. Not sure if there is any factual basis to back that up, but tonight was hell for most of the class. I practiced a lot of savasana and felt like I couldn't breathe normally.

During the official savasana before wind removing pose, the instructor told a funny story. He said that the heat of the room may be uncomfortable sometimes but that ayurveda says that it's very healthy for the skin to sweat. He said that one of the owners of the studio said that some yogis think it's better for your skin to shower before class and then just let the sweat evaporate after class because it will make your skin really nice and soft. He suggested that we all try it for a few months! Umm yeah, I'm sure that would make me really popular around town.

That made me think of another thing one of the instructors said a few weeks ago. I just realized that I didn't post it here on the blog - I just told a bunch of my friends about it. One of the instructors said that we shouldn't skip the final savasana after kapalbhati breathing because it's one of the most important parts of the class. She said that one of her instructors said that doing Bikram yoga without the final savasana is like having sex without an orgasm.
And with that, I will end tonight's Bikram ramblings...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Apologies for my long absence

I have to say, it's been a bit weird to not be living the Bikram lifestyle anymore. I've only been to one Bikram class since finishing my 30 days, but I have plans to go at noon today and to accompany a friend to her first class on Saturday.

I miss the heat. I miss stretching my body out. I miss feeling a sense of accomplishment and purpose with every class. I miss connecting with Bikram people on blogs and Twitter.

I don't miss the masses of sweaty laundry. I don't miss certain sights and smells of the yoga room.

So overall after a bit of space from my Bikram practice, it seems like the pros definitely outweight the cons. But I do want to branch out into some non-Bikram yoga as well. Not quite sure when that will happen due to (boring) financial and other issues.

I have a draft of my 30 day challenge tips blog post, but I think it kind of sucks so I want to rewrite it. Basically I look at the challenges as falling into 3 categories - mental, physical and logistical, but the post got sort of jumbled. Anyway, I will rewrite that and get it up soon-ish.

Friday, May 1, 2009

30 DAYS!!!!!

Day 30, Class 30

Never did any doubles - just plodded away with a class a day and slowly but surely, I made it to this point - - - DAY 30! Class today wasn't anything spectacular. Did every posture except the second set of salabasana/locust. The instructor described the room as "Louisiana in the middle of summer" which seemed pretty accurate. Not sure what else to say - not really having any deep thoughts at the moment. Just looking ahead to things that I've been avoiding or putting off during this month that I sort of hid out in the yoga room. And I'm looking forward to going out with friends this evening. Although they don't get what I'm doing in the same way as my fantastic Twitter/blog online yoga crew does, I do appreciate their support!


A HUGE THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU! I appreciate the comments you left here on the blog as well as on Twitter. As you may have seen on the sidebar of the blog, this isn't the first time I've wanted to do a 30 day challenge, but it's the first one I've completed and having support and encouragement was so helpful in keeping me going to class even on those days when I didn't want to go!

If there is anyone out there who has been thinking of doing a 30 day challenge but hasn't tried yet, I'm planning a post for tomorrow with a few tips that I wish I had known before starting the challenge.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Day 29

Day 29, Class 29

Started out feeling fairly strong, but then let little things rattle me. It's kind of funny how little things (like some sun shining on one's mat) seem like a big deal in the heat of the yoga room. But hey - I made it to class. And quite frankly, that's all I'm after at this point. I am ready for tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Day 28 + HotYoga

Day 28, Class 28

I felt really strong during the standing series... and then was wiped out for the floor postures. And it was super humid in the room. And it was the one instructor I haven't grown to appreciate over the past 28 days. I still don't appreciate her style.


and this instructor apparently has a thing for good ol' HotYoga. (note: if you haven't read previous posts, HotYoga is my former coworker who our other coworkers nicknamed HotYoga.) He got 4 or 5 compliments on his postures during class. He's not bad at the yoga by any means, but he did not deserve that many compliments in a fairly crowded class. Seems like this instructor likes Mr. HotYoga.
I was telling this story to another former coworker tonight and his response was, "But his name is HOTYOGA - of course he's going to get compliments!" Uh, right - his WORK nickname is HotYoga and he was given that nickname by someone nicknamed TempGuy. It means nothing in the "real world" except that it can be a talking point in one of my Bikram blog posts.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Day 27

Day 27, Class 27

Not much to say except I dragged myself to class even though I didn't really feel like going. My standing postures were pretty strong, but I felt like I ran out of steam on the floor. The floor series is hard for me because locust pose and fixed firm are really uncomfortable. Yes, I know that means I need them even more, but they still don't feel good (even after 27 days in a row) and I'm not seeing myself making much progress on them. Oh well. It's a yoga practice, right? So I just need to keep practicing...

3 MORE DAYS! ONLY 3 MORE DAYS! and then i get a day off from yoga!!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Day 26

Day 26, Class 26

Not one of my more mature or evolved classes. The woman in front of me kept interpreting every pose as wind removing pose - SHE WOULD NOT STOP FARTING. I let it get to me. I became annoyed by it. I wondered if other people were aware of it. I just didn't remain zen about class. And it was really hot in the room and I had eaten less than usual before class because I haven't gone grocery shopping in a while. Overall it was basically a mess. But alas, there's always tomorrow to improve mentally and physically...


Only 4 days to go! I'm getting together with friends on Friday night for beers and pub grub to celebrate!!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Day 25

Day 25, Class 25

It was hot hot hot. And steamy. And the room smelled slightly like stinky feet and slightly like snickerdoodles. Totally weird! But I just went with it. I sat out a few postures. I was oh so sweaty. But overall, I just did the class... and was happy when it was over.

Just to clarify the "getting yelled at in the yoga room"

We were not talking during class. It was not an instructor who told us not to talk - it was another yogini. We whispered a sentence or two to each other while we rolled up our mats after class. If that is the kind of behavior that merits being scolded in the room as well as on this blog, well, that just seems silly to me.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Day 24 + my new laid back attitude

Day 24, Class 24

Things were going fine until triangle pose when I just felt so tired and drained. So I laid down on my mat. And I spent quite a bit of quality time there during the rest of class. And I'm totally ok with it. I felt quite strong in class yesterday and I've got 6 more classes until the end so maybe my body just needed a little break today.


Another reason I have a new laid back attitude is due to some conversations I've had with people on Twitter. One of my Twitter acquaintances @yogaballs makes me laugh so much. Really the combination of yoga and balls is just hilarious! Plus he's an insightful, witty guy who is starting teacher training any minute now. He's obviously serious about the yoga, but also wants to lighten things up a bit. And I'm right there with him. My friend and I got yelled at for talking in the yoga room yesterday. We knew we shouldn't have been talking but we did it anyway and someone asked us rather rudely to leave the room. C'mon people - let's keep things in perspective. It's just yoga. If I laid on my mat for the entire class, it wouldn't really matter in the larger scheme of things. And quite frankly, I do the yoga so that I can feel good in the rest of my life, not because I want to have a kick ass balancing stick pose.

I think I'm rambling. Time to go make some dinner...

Friday, April 24, 2009

Day 23

Day 23, Class 23

My pal who came earlier in the week for her first class came back again. Yay! She didn't seem like a happy camper after class though. I should have brought coconut water for her. I felt better in class than I have in a few days. And I've definitely taken it on board that getting there and doing the yoga is the important thing. Looking good in class or even feeling good in class is secondary. Showing up seems to be about 95% of the battle! One week to go. Already planning a little celebration for next Friday night to celebrate the end of the 30 days!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Day 22 + what's next

Day 22, Class 22

Not a fun class today. It was crowded and it wasn't so much the heat that bothered me as the fact that it seemed like there was no oxygen in the room. There didn't seem to be any air flow. Lots of people were sitting out postures and the instructor was saying really stupid stuff like, "I'm a yoga instructor and I can read your minds. I can tell what you're thinking." TRUST ME - anyone, even someone who wasn't a yoga instructor, would have been able to tell that people were just fucking miserable and hating life and wondering why they came to class at all.

Hmm... seems like yoga is kicking my ass at the moment!


I still plan to keep doing Bikram after the 30 days is up, but I'm not going to go to class every day. I'm thinking of giving Crossfit a try because I want to get more toned and I think I need to do more weight bearing exercise in order to do so. Anybody tried Crossfit?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Day 21

Day 21, Class 21

Ah, the ups and downs of Bikram yoga! Tonight was definitely a down. I had a terrible headache last night and felt a bit fragile this morning so I didn't go to class until late this evening. I had to drag myself there. I've been feeling a bit out of sorts today. My skin looks absolutely gross - I have 3 nasty pimples on my face which is not normal for me. I feel like I'm going through round two of detox or something. Ick. Felt like crap in class tonight. The heat was getting to me and time was dragging and I was hot and not happy so the instructor was annoying me. Ugh.

I guess now it's time to leave my practice on my mat and live in the now. Got a couple of new projects in the works that I'm pretty excited about. And I've got some tv to catch up on. Here's to hoping tomorrow's class will be better! Namaste

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Day 20 + I get by with a little help from my friends...

Day 20, Class 20

Felt the heat for the first time in a while today which was rather unfortunate considering that one of my friends came to class with me today. It was hot hot hot - very ovenlike, but she did awesome! A lot of people were spending lots of quality time on their mat, but my pal was not one of 'em - she did great for her first class. She said that the last few minutes were rough, but after class, we drank the coconut water I brought and she was back to laughing and joking around. I don't think she hates me for convincing her to come along. I think it's even possible that she'll come back! :)

Going to get a little touchy-feely here...

When thinking about my 30 day challenge so far, it's been good in so many ways. But one of the things that has been most helpful is having a sense of accomplishment at the end of each and every day. Both my personal and professional life has floundered quite a bit over the past year and a half. I don't really know what I'm doing with my life. But for the past 20 days, I've been able to check something off my list. And that has been great. Makes me want to encourage others who may be feeling down due to being over 30, single, unemployed, or just down for whatever reason to do a 30 day challenge. Doesn't even have to be a Bikram yoga challenge - it could be 30 days of anything that helps change your body, your mind and your perspective.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Day 19 + thanks so much for all of your support!

Day 19, Class 19

My knee was feeling very tender today. Contemplated not going to class. But @ilovesweat gave me great advice which was to take it slow. And take it slow I did. People were dropping like flies in the class so I didn't feel too bad about taking it easy and sitting out a few postures. I do have to say that I don't notice the heat as much anymore - the body does seem to get used to it! So yay for day 19 just for the fact that I made it!


And I wanted to take a minute to thank all of my new internet yogi friends for your support! It has been amazing. Most people in my "real life" don't really get what I've been doing so it's been so great to get your comments and @replies on Twitter. You guys and girls have definitely kept me accountable for what I set out to do and I appreciate it so much! Namaste :)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Day 18 + another new theory

Day 18, Class 18

Did class with my mom this morning. She loves the yoga but doesn't get to do it much because she lives about an hour away from a studio. We meet up for class 2-3 times per month. We did fine in class, not great but respectable I think. However some of our fellow classmates were hating life. One girl told the instructor she thought she was going to throw up and then ran to the bathroom. Another girl left the room twice. And yet another girl was in the bathroom so long that the instructor went to check on her. A bit distracting and also makes me worry a bit about my friends who are coming to class with me for the first time this week. My knee is hurting a bit today. I think it's more from driving my car (old car -> smooshed down seat -> bad knee position when driving) than doing Bikram, but still I'm going to try to be gentle with it for the next few days. Thought about doing another class this evening but I don't want to push it with my knee.


I have another new theory. I used to hang out with runners. I did a half marathon last year and went on a lot of group runs. Runners like to eat after runs - people would always bust out their sandwiches or Power Bars or whatever and on runs of 8+ miles, people had their Gu, Sport Beans, etc. Occasionally you see people with Emergen-C or something after Bikram class, but not often at my studio. I always have a juice box or coconut water or small cup of applesauce after class. It makes me feel a million times better and I know that the sugar right after a strenuous workout will be used by my body more efficiently than the Coke I drink while sitting on the couch watching tv. I was talking about this with a few of my runner friends and one suggested that maybe yogis like feeling exhausted after class because then they know they've done something! I think that's an interesting theory. The cultural differences between runners and yogis are pretty fascinating and I think this is yet another example of it.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Day 17 + a new theory

Day 17, Class 17

Ok, I've got to admit that some of the instructors I previously complained about are growing on me. Everyone has a different style and we can learn something from all of 'em. Wow - I'm starting to really feel like the bigger person here - less judgmental, etc. Whoa - gotta get back on track... Class 17. I really feel like I'm starting to get used to the heat. In the locker room after class, I heard people complaining about the heat, but the room felt normal to me. I am seeing improvement in my posture and in my shoulders which is great. Also I've noticed that class seems to go faster now. When I did yoga 2-3 times per week, class really dragged on. Now, it seems like class flies by.


Now on to my new theory. My new theory is that if you're doing Bikram every day, it's ok to eat some junk food, especially junk food of the salty variety. Yes, it would be better to eat wholesome, fresh, nutriotionally balanced food all the time, but if you're me and that's not totally realistic, you can eat some junk food. WHAT YOU CANNOT DO IS HAVE DRINKS ON FRIDAY NIGHT. You can have a drink on Friday night - one drink - a small, weak one. But having more than that will wreak havoc on your tenuous grasp on hydration. I think I might give up alcohol full stop until the end of the 30 days. Not giving up junk food though - that will have to be a 30 day challenge of its own :)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Day 16

Day 16, Class 16

Went to a morning class. It was hot and crowded which seems to be the usual routine these days. The instructor told me that my balancing stick posture was very good! YAY! I get way more corrections than compliments on my postures so when I get a compliment, it's exciting because I am a yoga dork.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Day 15 + will my friends still like me after I make them do Bikram with me?

Day 15, Class 15

HALF WAY!!!!! Woo hoo! I'm proud of myself for making it this far and I look forward to the next 15 days! The instructor gave a demo of triangle pose today and encouraged us to get down lower on the set up. I did so and she told me that my triangle looked great so that was nice because triangle is a pose I have struggled with.


I've recruited two friends to try Bikram for the first time next week so that will be a nice way to mix up my practice a bit. They're both in good shape and one does Vinyasa yoga regularly so she'll probably kick my ass in the postures :) I hope they like it... or at least don't hate it!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Day 14, Class 14

It either wasn't that hot in class today or I'm actually getting used to the heat. I suspect it wasn't that hot because it wasn't one of the normal instructors teaching. Either way, I felt pretty good and feel like I've made progress in most postures except for Fixed Firm which is still the bane of my existence. hate. that. pose.


In other news, I've done a Bikram class each day for two weeks. My mom always says that it takes two weeks to form a habit which would mean that Bikram yoga has officially gone from a hobby to a habit for me :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Lucky Number 13

Day 13, Class 13

Felt like I had a decent practice today. Not much to report other than the fact that HotYoga was at class today. HotYoga is a guy who I used to work with. Some of my former coworkers (including a guy we called TempGuy even after he became a permanent employee) nicknamed this guy HotYoga due to his Bikram habit which he talked about at work A LOT. It just makes me laugh to do hot yoga with HotYoga.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Day 12

Day 12, Class 12

It was practically snowing when I drove to class today. I have to say that I was actually happy to walk into the hot yoga room. After that, I was miserable for most of the class because it was ridorkulously hot and for some reason, smelled like grape juice in the part of the room I was in.


I've decided to start talking to more people at yoga. I recognize a lot of the people there and I'm forcing myself to get out of my shell a bit and talk to people. So far, it's going well... but it's Seattle so of course, people are generally standoffish. Note: I'm not going to be freakishly talkative - just not standoffish. Fine line I know but I think I can do it...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Day 11 redux

Day 11, Class 11

Tried to start the day with class at a studio I haven't been to before, but when I got there, I saw a sign saying that the studio was closed due to a broken heater. I was bummed! It was too late to get back to a morning class at my regular studio so I went to a 6pm class instead. It was uncomfortably hot. Not a good practice for me due to low energy levels. I think if I'm going to keep doing lots of yoga (hopefully 5-6 days a week of Bikram after the 30 days is up), I need to focus a bit more on my diet. Not in the sense of counting calories, but more in the sense of eating less junk, more fruits and veg, more homemade food. I guess my body just can't run on junk food anymore! Le sigh.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Yoga Is My Bailout + Day 10 + Twitter yogis

Day 10, Class 10

I ate some junk food right before class and then the room was hot hot hot. Not a good combination! And the woman in front of me was using just a towel (no mat) and during the spine strengthening series, she was very far back on her towel and her feet were practically in my face. NOT COOL. Also don't understand why people aren't told to use mats - there is probably one person per class that doesn't use a mat even though the studio has extra mats that you can use for free. Do not appreciate that because it contributes to the funky smell of the carpet. GRRR.
:end rant:


In other news, I set up a yoga-focused Twitter account and I am loving the Bikram yoga community on Twitter. It's only been a day but already I've gotten such great feedback, found some great yoga shirts from @yogadork and @ilovesweat, and have been reTweeted a few times. Are you on Twitter? I'm @30daysofbikram.

I ordered a Yoga Is My Bailout shirt from YogaDork. As you can see from the lovely graphic I "borrowed" from YogaDork, the shirts are on sale! For a mere $18, you can have one, too :)

Friday, April 10, 2009


I need to get a dog before I can actually join in the doga festivities, but the NY Times article as well as the Yoga Dork post on doga are both worth reading... for the humor of it. Glad that Yoga Dork pointed out the NYT slideshow because it is particularly awesome. The photo to the left is from the slideshow and I like it due to the Miniature Schnauzer on the far left. He's looking like "WTF? I am supposed to be at home sitting on the couch eating snacky treats!" If there is one breed of dog that is not going to cooperate with doga, it is the Miniature Schnauzer. Those things are vicious and this I can say due to personal experience as a Schnauzer sibling - my parents have been Schnauzer owners for more than 10 years.

Day 9

Day 9, Class 9

Class tonight felt like anarchy! People were leaving the room, drinking water when they shouldn't be, sitting on their mats during postures instead of lying in savasana, etc. There were 7 new people and the instructor didn't do a good job of keeping the class orderly. One of the new people left the room and came back in four times! This kind of thing is generally not tolerated AT ALL at the studio I go to. It was a fairly crowded room and all of the new people were clumped in the middle. It would have been better if they had been spread throughout the room because then they could have seen people who know how to behave in class and know how to do the postures. Ok, end rant. I guess I'm just realizing how in Bikram yoga, the instructor is really a coach who is getting people in and out of the postures and through the class and when they fail to do that, it really sucks. Yes, teachers have "the dialogue" but there's so much more to a good instructor and a good class.

Ok, end boring rant about teachers. I realize the paragraph above makes me sound like a boring old fuddy duddy and yes, on some level, I am, but it's also that I've been at yoga every day lately so I am seeing the variation between classes/instructors.

Almost 1/3 of the way through - WOO HOO! Things are going pretty well. Thinking about rewarding myself with a new Lululemon tank this weekend. Also put the Rawsome book on hold at the library. I read about on Heidi's blog and it sounds interesting.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Rethinking postures

I have the Bikram's Beginning Yoga Class book, but I prefer a more whimsical way to think of the postures. Previously I liked the stick figures on Bikram Yoga Lower East Side's web site, but then today I saw the drawings on Bikram Yoga Everett's web site. Both present a fun way to think about the postures. I go to a pretty "serious" studio and seeing the fun events on other studio web sites (i.e. Bikram Yoga Lower East Side's Nite Sweats) makes me a wee bit jealous!!!

Day 8

Day 8, Class 8

It was an instructor I had never had before... and she didn't know people's names and didn't correct me or many other people. I guess it was good to realize how much I appreciate the corrections and adjustments from my "regular" teachers.

Was craving veggies after class so I'm now eating a huge plate of veggie stir fry from Jhanjay. Yummers!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Day 7 + yoga hair

Day 7, Class 7

My first time going to a regular class taught by Jenn - I did a private lesson with her last summer. She's great! My performance in class wasn't that great though. My body feels like it is detoxing or something. My energy levels seem to have decreased a bit but I'm pushing on. Towards the end of class, I was so looking forward to the raspberries and Haagen Daaz Five I was planning to snack on when I got home after class. Not exactly a good way to stay present in the room, but I'm working on it :)
Almost 1/4 of the way through 30 days!


In other news, my hair was starting to feel a bit dry from the stress of the hot room and being washed more than once per day on some days. I looked for leave in conditioner at Target and the only one I could find was Johnson's No More Tangles Leave-in Conditioner. Yes, it's for youngsters, but it only cost about $3 and it smells really nice! I put it on my hair before leaving the studio and my hair is looking better. So yay for that.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Scent of Bikram

Day 6, Class 6

Stood in a different place in the yoga room today and it was hot hot hot. I sat out a few postures. During bow, the instructor grabbed on to my legs and pulled them up. It's not the first time he's done it but every time it happens I'm thinking to myself, "Do you really want to be grabbing my sweaty legs? Do you?" And apparently he does! I admire his dedication to the yoga!
My calves cramped during rabbit which freaked me out a bit. It's been warm here the past few days and I walked over to a friend's house before yoga (approx. 3 miles round trip) and I probably wasn't hydrated enough. Need to focus on consuming fluids!


Let me preface this by saying that I don't normally have an issue with my laundry. I normally wash things with good ol' Tide and life is good. However after washing and drying my yoga stuff a few days ago, I detected a slight hint of eau de Bikram especially in my Yogitoes towel. My yoga studio has a bit of a funk problem - it is not the freshest smelling place in the world. So I turned to my good friend Google to see what it could tell me about the best laundry detergent for funky Bikram clothes. And the answer is... Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Laundry Detergent. A couple of blogs and message boards mentioned it so I was willing to give it a try. I bought a bottle in the Lavendar scent because it was on sale (50% off) at Pharmaca. I just took my Yogitoes out of the dryer and there is no hint of Bikram funk on it at all. Very impressive!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Did Whole Foods read my blog post?

Day 5, Class 5

It was hot. It was crowded. I sat out a couple of poses. Not much else to say.


In other news, I went to Whole Foods tonight and the coconut water was back to $1.99. I picked up a few boxes to have when I'm feeling especially needy re: electrolytes.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


No double for me. Going for a walk in the sunshine sounds a lot nicer. Came so close to ordering some new yoga clothes after reading Heidi Jo's yoga clothes review, but am resisting because my mom suggested going to the Lulu outlet sometime this month.

If anybody needs me, I'll be out enjoying the sun and fresh air :)

Daily double?

Day 4, Class 4

Went to a different studio for class this morning. The teacher talked way too much and her energy wasn't exactly calming or comforting, but the room was way less hot so I did every posture except for toe stand. My left ankle was feeling funny and I just didn't want to push it too much.


Thinking of doing a second class later this afternoon. I'm feeling good, I have time, I can go to my regular studio for a class with one of my favorite teachers. Assuming I continue to feel ok this afternoon, the next post here will hopefully say Day 4, Class 5 :)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Bikram Torture Chamber + Yelp Reviews

Day 3, Class 3
The room was so f-ing hot today - I felt like I was being baked alive. People (including me) were sitting out lots of postures, people left the room (not me though - I have never left the room during class) and overall it just wasn't that pleasant. And I forgot to bring my Juicy Juice juice box to have after class. Le sigh.


I was looking up reviews of Seattle bikram studios on Yelp and they are pretty funny. I found these comments hilarious - "Minus two stars for the crowd: there was maybe one non-creepy male, who was vastly outnumbered by the likes of the tattooed fortysomething in flesh-coloured boxer briefs. I came here to practice yoga, not listen to your farts or hear about how much orgasm-less sex you've had. Unfortunately, I hear this kind of audience comes with the after-work Monday time slot." Heh.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Post-class recovery food/drink

Day 2, Class 2
The room felt less hot this morning, but I still struggled a bit. Ah well, I suppose that's what the next 28 classes are for - getting stronger, getting tougher!


Back when money was less of an issue, I would have a Coco Viva Passionfruit Coconut Water after almost every Bikram class. But Whole Foods recently raised the price of Coco Viva from $1.99 to $2.39 or something like that so I've been experimenting with cheaper things. Last week, I had organic juice boxes from Whole Foods. Much less that Coco Viva but still almost $1 a piece. I ran out of them so today after class, I had a small cup of applesauce. While coconut water has tons of electrolytes and tastes really nice, I think for me, having something ANYTHING after class is the important thing. Having something is significantly better than having nothing. Today I picked up some Juicy Juice juice boxes on sale at QFC - 8 boxes for $2.50. We'll see how those work out... Anybody have any suggestions for cheap post-class recovery food or drink?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Notes on yoga gear

It's taken me a while to embrace the whole "wear as little clothing as you feel comfortable in" Bikram idea. But I'm there now. Even though my body image leaves a bit to be desired, I wear a tank top and shorts to most of my Bikram classes. And I've had to buy more shorts and tank tops, but due to circumstances, I really don't have a lot to spend on yoga clothes. So here are my picks for where to get yoga gear that is a good value.

Lululemon Outlet - Those of us in the Seattle area are lucky that we've got the Lululemon outlet a hour or so up the road in Burlington, Washington, just off I-5. It's one of those places that doesn't always have good stuff because it's an outlet, but if you're not super picky about wearing last season's colors/patterns, there are deals to be had. One of my better deals was 3 sports bras for $28. I believe the suggested retail on them was $42 EACH so $28 for all 3 is a pretty damn good deal. Also have picked up shorts for $12. The tank tops aren't usually much cheaper than they are on sale at the stores - usually $22-$25 at the outlet vs. $29-$34ish on sale at the stores. However I did get a couple of other mesh tops for $6 each around Christmas time so you never know what you'll find. The pants tend to be less discounted than other items and I don't think the signature Lululemon hoodies are discounted at all. But if you happen to be in the area, it's definitely worth a visit. I've also been to the Lululemon outlet in Vancouver and it's not nearly as good as the Burlington outlet. It's off the beaten track in a somewhat sketchy part of Vancouver, it's small and the prices weren't great. It's much better to stop in Burlington on your way back to Seattle from Vancouver!

REI or - I've gotten some Prana stuff on sale/clearance from REI and I don't like Prana tops that much. Some of their fabric patterns are really cute, but the sizing seems inconsistent and the tops don't seem as durable as my Lululemon stuff. However, the Izzie shorts are AWESOME! Love them!

eBay - I've bought lots of Prana and Yogitoes headbands as well as all of my Yogitoes towels from eBay. Be sure to consider shipping charges before you bid, but there are still some deals to be had.

Fall down seven times, stand up eight

I've been told that "fall down seven times, stand up eight" is an old Buddhist proverb. I don't know whether that's really true, but I'm back again to make another attempt at a 30 day challenge. Doing one in July just didn't work. I'm going to blame a lot of it on the fact that doing Bikram just isn't that much fun in the middle of summer when you live in an apartment without air conditioning.

Soooooo let's give the whole thing another try, shall we?

April 2, 2009 - Day 1, Class 1

HOLY CRAP - it was hot in the yoga room today! Thought I was going to melt. Also wondered why there were 30 people at the 4pm class. Doesn't anyone work in this town anymore? Not that I am one to talk...
But in good recession news, my yoga studio has lowered their prices on classes so that's helpful at least. Aiming for 30 classes in my $135 month of unlimited yoga...