Sunday, December 4, 2011

Bikram break...

I feel like Bikram yoga and I were on a break for the past 2-3 weeks, but now I want to recommit. The weather has turned chilly here in Seattle so the hot room feels so nice these days.
In other news, I think I might be the only tattoo-free person at ye olde yoga studio. My 'costume' would look so much better with a strategically placed tattoo methinks. My birthday is in January so maybe it's time for a tattoo...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

cold yoga

Did a vinyasa class yesterday. It was interesting. It was also the longest 75 minutes of my life. I have some weird aches and pains today, but overall my body handled all of the down dogs fairly well. However the room the class was held in (a room at the gym I've joined for the next two months) didn't have a clock. The class just sort of ebbed and flowed - I couldn't detect any real pattern to it. There was a point where I thought it would never end... and finally it did. Tonight I did a spin/strength class. I was in pain by the end. I miss my Bikram!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

I'm an a**hole (but not really)

Practiced with my mom last Sunday. It was a great class - hot but not too hot, crowded but not too crowded, challenging but not too challenging. Then I practiced again on Monday. It felt off because the room wasn't hot enough. I felt like a real Bikram yogini the first time I thought the room wasn't hot enough :) But really there is a point where the lack of heat makes it hard to bend and the whole thing just feels wrong. So Tuesday I walk to class and think, "I hope it's hot enough in class tonight!" AND I WAS NEARLY KILLED BY THE HEAT! And I cursed myself during class because of course I blamed myself for the excessive heat. The heat was so excessive that when the instructor realized the heat was excessive, she opened the door AND IT DIDN'T HELP! She turned the fans on - IT DIDN'T HELP. She opened the doors again - IT DIDN'T HELP. The room was possessed. And it was my fault! (not really)
Anyway, that was a horrible class and I haven't practiced since. Sometimes a girl just needs some friend time and couch time and treadmill time!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

yogups and yogdowns...

Can I tell you a secret? I haven't been on my mat much at all. I practiced today and yesterday but I'm not sure when I practiced before that. It may have been last month. I did go out of town twice. But that's not a great excuse.
Class last night was so incredibly hot. It challenged my body and my mind. Just when I was at the point where I had completely had it with class, my teacher bent down and said, "Would you like me to stand on your feet?" Of course I said yes because when someone offers to stand on your sweaty feet, you can't say no. And it felt amazing and it was just nice and kind and all of those good things that I don't have enough of in my life right now.
Class tonight was fine. When I walked in, one of the instructors called out, "Hey (nickname based on my last name)" which again was a bit of random kindness that I really appreciated. I do have friends who call me that, but sometimes the yoga studio gets a bit earnest so it was nice to have that friendly welcome.
I've done some soul searching and a bit of a life inventory and quite frankly, I'm not satisfied. I first did Bikram yoga almost 4 years ago after a life change event and I've been struggling through some of the same crap since then. I DON'T WANT TO KEEP DEALING WITH THE SAME ISSUES. It's time for self-help and this time it's coming in the form of a book called Happy Yoga: 7 Reasons Why There's Nothing to Worry About. I think this is a fairly profound book especially considering the kind of silly title. I'm only part way through but so far it's part buddhism, part new age and part common sense. In the chapter on love, it talks about putting love out there to people who you don't know... so I feel the need to give a little shoutout to my internet yoga family. : hugs yogis and yoginis : Wishing you loads of yoga and non-yoga happiness this week!

Monday, September 26, 2011


Didn't make it to my mat today. Could only make it as far as the workout room in my building for 3 miles on the treadmill. Everything is fine and yet everything is not fine. It seems to have officially turned to fall here in Seattle and it's hitting me hard. In my new-ish neighborhood/life, I drive way less which means that the change in weather impacts me more. Had to wear rain boots on my walk to work this morning, it was dark soon after I got home this evening. There are many fine things to do inside in the evenings like yoga for example and crafting and drinking wine and curling up with a good book, but I'm not ready to say goodbye to summer and sunshine. I don't want another season to pass.
I should have made it to my mat today. Oh well - it will still be there for me tomorrow.

Monday, August 29, 2011

good yoga + crazy smoothies

Finally had my good yoga class. It was yesterday and it was glorious. I felt strong and bendy!
Got back on my mat today and it wasn't as good as yesterday. Earlier in the day today, I felt like a tense, stressed out ball of anxiety and that doesn't exactly lead to good yoga. But I feel better now and I got some thinking done in the yoga room. I almost cried during locust pose. I felt sorry for myself and thought some very negative thoughts, but I left it on my mat and then after class it was CRAZY SMOOTHIE TIME!
I used to often make a signature dish I called my crasian (crazy asian) stir fry - it was a pan-asian stir fry of my own devising. Now I have moved on to crazy smoothies! Today's creation featured grapefruit juice, frozen strawberries, a bit of cut up orange, half a banana, spinach from a bag and a dash of honey. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

well that was unpleasant + everything zen?

I really deserve to have a fantastic yoga class after all of the terrible ones I've had lately. But it did not happen tonight. Yes, I have myself to blame for part of it. I did not hydrate well today. And I ate a lunch that did not settle particularly well. That left me feeling both dehydrated and like I was possibly going to shit myself in class today. I sat out A LOT of second sets during the standing series. Oh well. I survived and made a crazy delicious smoothie after class consisting of grapefruit juice, orange, strawberries, spinach and a splash of honey. It was nomtastic!

In other news, THE MAN is coming to the Seattle area. His lecture ain't cheap - $60 in advance or $70 at the door. I saw one of my fave teachers at the studio today and asked him if he thinks it's worth it. He said that he paid ten grand to hear him speak at teacher training. If you do the math, that makes the $60 seem like a pretty good deal :) I'm not sure whether I will end up going or not. I've been trying to cut my spending these days and focus on being calm and creative and just content with my 'real' life. I'm not sure that spending $60 to see Bikram really fits in with that. I'm probably thinking too deeply about this. Also the 90s band BUSH is coming to Seattle as well and that's $40 once all the ticket fees are included and my inner teenager really wants me to go! Everything zen? I DON'T THINK SOOOOOOOOOOO....

Monday, August 15, 2011

angry yogi - part deux

Holy bad yoga class, batman! Seriously. It was bad. I came into class not well hydrated, it was hot as hades and there were about 15 new people and one was super disruptive. I was on the hot side of the room and I was having thoughts like, "Who do I have to blow to get the ceiling fans turned on???" It was not one of my prouder moments. It's kinda funny to look back on though :)
What did I learn from tonight? Well, it's always good to bring an emergency snack to yoga in case you're feeling like crap on the way home. I like the Honey Stinger Pomegranate chews. I also realized that this practice has it's ups and downs. It is a physical practice but it's also a mental one. I like to think that I left something negative on my mat that won't have to be with me in the rest of my life.
Hopefully you were able to be a little more zen in your practice today :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011


In this case, I'm using the word sporadic to refer to my blogging and in a lesser degree, my Bikram practice. I've been practicing 2-3 times a week. Not exactly where I want to be - I would prefer to be at 4ish times a week, but you know how it is. Life tends to get in the way of yoga.
There have been a few bloggable yoga moments. Last week, I was in class and it was hot and it sucked and my inner angry yogi came out. It amused me a bit because I hadn't experience angry yogi in a while. Bored yogi is way more common than angry yogi. I was seriously pissed off at the teacher because she kept us in a couple of postures for so damn long! You know how it is when you've been practicing for a while - you have an idea of what a legit length of time to be in the posture is... and once you go past that, either you feel like a super strong rock star or you get angry! Again it made me want to check the schedule a little more carefully because clearly this teacher isn't for me if she brings out the angry yogi!
I think I have finally figured out a water bottle situation that works for me. I've blogged about the water or no water thing here before in the past, but I have realized that what works for me right now is to consume a small amount of icy cold water during class. I tried doing water without ice, but I would look longingly at others in the yoga room with ice and that seemed a bit dumb. I do feel better when I drink less so having a huge bottle full of icy water doesn't really work for me either - too tempting. What I do now is that I fill up my water bottle at home with just ice. Ice all the way to the top. The melting of the ice is a natural rationing system. I can't drink a ton of water during party time because there isn't a ton of water there to drink. It's been working well so far!
Ummmm yeah, can't think of what other Bikram-related fascination minutia I wanted to share with you beautiful people, but I'll try not to stay away for so long...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Two posts in one day? Who do I think I am - a real blogger? :) Kidding. What I want to address in this post is boredom. I got this comment from Serena today...

I have a random question. But when you started doing lots of yoga, probably about a year in, did you get insanely bored?
I just finished a 30 day challenge on July 1st. I got super sick and was out for a good 2 weeks, and now I can barely get myself to the studio because I am so bored. I find myself hating the class when I'm in it, but I love how it helps my body. I am wondering if you have any advice!

Do I get insanely bored in class sometimes? Or most of the time? HELLS YES! Personally I think being bored and being unplugged is probably one of the best things about Bikram yoga for me. I find that I'm rarely bored any more - I soothe myself with technology and entertainment pretty much my whole life. If I go to the gym, I watch tv while on the treadmill. If I go for a walk, I have my ipod. If I'm in line at the bank, I have my phone out. I'm on email pretty much all day at work. Basically Bikram yoga (and the take off and landing part of a flight) are the only places where I can truly unplug. Yes, there are times when the 90 minutes feels like 90 hours, but my mind always feels more clear afterwards. Occasionally I love doing the yoga just for the joy of the poses, but for the most part, being a yogi just makes me a better person in the rest of my life. Like Serena, I love how it helps my body, but it also helps my mind.

Ok, so I've babbled about boredom and how boredom is good even though it sucks during class... now let's talk about how I've actually dealt with the boredom. I've done quite a few things including:

1. taking time off from my mat. My practice (and blogging) tends to be sporadic. Since becoming a yogi, I've run a half marathon, dabbled in various gym workouts and brief flirtation with Crossfit, and have had months where I just drank beer and didn't exercise. I think it's fine to take time off and do other things - Bikram is a very time consuming practice. I understand the 90 minutes of poses is awesome but sometimes I get why people go to 60 minute non-Bikram hot classes.

2. bribed myself with lululemon clothes, enchiladas, beer. This isn't something I'm proud of but I have bought new yoga clothes to get myself pumped for class. I often get enchiladas from the rad mexican place in my 'hood, but ONLY after yoga! And I've used the fact that I did (or was going to do yoga the next day) to justify high calorie beverages.

3. tried to be zen and consider the class a moving meditation. I am by no means a Buddhist but there are many aspects of the Buddhist tradition that I enjoy. One quote that sticks with me is "Before enlightenment, chop wood carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood carry water." So the way I apply that to Bikram practice is that it's the chopping wood and the carrying water. It's a practice and there is no destination that we reach where we don't need to do this practice. So even if the day comes where I can do a pretty standing head to knee, I'll still go through the poses. (Note: this is tongue in cheek - I know standing head to knee is not enlightenment.)

4. try to only take class from teachers who i like. I know that all teachers have something to offer us as yogis, but OMFG there are a few annoying teachers who I have encountered in my 3+ years of yoga. If I go to a teacher I like, it helps me be in a better place mentally. I trust them to get me through class and I'm happier on the journey.

If I think of anything else, I'll definitely post about it. But yes, boredom is real. Bikram is time consuming and intense. And my dear Serena, you are definitely not alone :)

put a fork in me - i'm done

I felt like I got roasted in class today. I was running late for class so I did a walk/run on the way to class, not my normal leisurely meander to class. I arrived a minute or two before the teacher locked the door. So I was a bit warmer than usual when I arrived and then the roasting began. I know it's a hot room, but OMFG it was so hot in class tonight. My old yoga studio didn't ever really get that hot - cold-ish classes were much more common than hot ones. But since switching studios last fall, my practice has gotten hotter. I spent some quality time on my mat today during class which is fine, but I prefer to be in the poses. I practiced 4 times last week and did every pose (except for maybe a camel or two) in all of those classes so my ego didn't like sitting out today. Oh well - I made it to class so that's a good thing.

Friday, July 15, 2011

this week is not my friend.

Not sure what happened this week, but things got weird. I had some silly life drama this morning which left me thinking, "really? REALLY?" What's the anecdote to "REALLY?"... I think we know the answer to that - it's a little Bikram yoga. I know you're supposed to live in the moment and totally be in the room and all that, but who are we kidding? I don't know about you, but for me, on days when I'm especially up in my head, Bikram helps because it somehow clears up the cobwebs a bit. So instead of thinking about this morning with a "REALLY?", I'm just observing what happened and am trying not to react to it - kind of like how you handle difficulty in the yoga room. I know this post is a little Captain Vague and I apologize for that, but in this case, the details of my love life are a bit sad so really you're better off not knowing!
I don't think I can practice tomorrow due to scheduling issues, but hey - I'm still up to 4 classes this week which is pretty good for me. So yay on the Bikram portion of my life!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

morning yoga is not my friend.

I couldn't sleep this morning... so I went to yoga. At 6am. I was stiff during the warm up, felt pretty strong during the standing series and then had no energy during the floor series. That's kind of how my day went. By the end of the day at work, I was a bit of a mess. I was tired, frazzled, and felt like the day would never end. I don't think 6am yoga will be part of my normal routine!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

electrolytes are your friend.

I had some horrible Bikram classes over the past few weeks. The absolute worst was last Thursday. After class, my legs were cramping. I woke up in the middle of the night in pain. It was really unpleasant. My dad also gets leg cramps after exercise and his solution is a gin + tonic. Tonic water has quinine which is known to alleviate leg cramps. I consulted Dr. Google and found that there are other things to consider. In my case, I think an excessive amount of coffee and Diet Coke was causing my body to have trouble absorbing electrolytes. Since Thursday, I have significantly cut back on my caffeine consumption. I'm having iced coffee in the morning and a bit of Diet Coke every other day or so... AND I FEEL SO MUCH BETTER AT YOGA! I rocked my last two classes. People were dropping like flies during Triangle in class last night, but I felt fine. I skipped yoga tonight to drink beer and eat pizza but I'm looking forward to getting back on my mat tomorrow.

Monday, June 27, 2011

worst. class. ever.

Something I ate before yoga didn't agree with me and caused me to have the worst class ever. I have never wanted to leave the room as much as I did in class today. I felt nauseous and lightheaded. I sat out soooo much. It was humbling and horrible and not much fun at all.
Watching The Bachelorette and eating a light dinner seems to have pretty much cured me, but I can only hope that my next class is better...

Saturday, June 25, 2011


I miss my yoga mat. I miss a boy who isn't mine and will never be mine. I miss buying size 6 pants. I miss feeling hopeful. I miss good sandwiches.

Yeah, it's all seeming like a bit of a mess at the moment. I guess it's time for bengal tiger strength and english bulldog determination. And remembering to breathe.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Inspiration from ye olde television

I struggled a bit in class yesterday. I need to get myself more organized in terms of food and hydration. It's hard to have a good class when your body feels off - hungry, stomach issues, thirsty, etc.
But what this post is really about is something I heard when I was catching up on one of my favorite tv shows on demand yesterday. 'The Deadliest Catch' is about crab fishing in Alaska. How does this relate to Bikram yoga? Well, the fishermen on the show are so tough and they just get on with things. They keep going. They battle the elements. They push themselves. On the episode I watched last night, one of the fishermen was complaining to his brother/boat captain about his leg. His brother asked him if he was hurt or injured. If he was hurt, he just needed to suck it up and keep working. If he was injured, he needed to stop working. In yoga and in life, there have been many times when I've stopped because I'm hurt, either mentally or physically... but I want to be the kind of person who only stops when I'm injured...

Friday, June 17, 2011

Self talk on the "bad" days

Had a couple of not so good classes this week. During the first class, I blamed the heat which was inconsistent, the other students who seemed really unfocused, the teacher who was new to me. And yes, all of those things are true, but really it was just my body and mind on that particular day at that particular time. Then the next day, I blamed the fact that I didn't eat much since lunch, wasn't hydrated enough, had a bad class the day before. And finally I remembered that yoga is like pizza or sex - even when it's bad, it's good or at least better than nothing :)
Not going into the hot room today. Pizza is my yoga today and I'm grateful for it. nomnomnom

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Yoga with yo momma

Went to class with my mom today. She "needed to detoxify" :) She's one tough yogi and I hope to still be practicing when I'm her age. Our teacher was one of the studio owners and she is awesome. Overall good class. Followed by a not so good hair color appointment. I feel like I'm in a dysfunctional relationship with my hair dresser. Not fun!

Friday, June 10, 2011

I like 'mine' better than I like 'new'

I am sometimes impatient with how long things take. Ok, more than sometimes - often. I'm trying to have more gratitude in my life. I struggle with feeling out of place and like I don't belong so it's important for me to look around and recognize what I have in my life. Last night I was at yoga and I finally felt at home. I felt like I was at MY yoga studio. For a long time, it felt like my new yoga studio, but now it just feels mine. I like that feeling. I'm going to take the day off from yoga tonight in order to grocery shop and cook and daydream and be out in the sunshine... but I look forward to getting back on my mat tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Anxiety is not my friend

I've been practicing about 4 times a week. That seems like the sweet spot for me right now. I'm on my mat something close to every other day. I still have time to go to shows and drink beer and eat frozen yogurt and watch tv. A daily practice doesn't work for me right now because then it seems like life is just work + yoga. Anyway, last night was a really difficult class for me. The room was packed and I was one of the last people in the room. There was a newbie in front of me and during the standing series, her mat scooted back a few inches so it was basically touching mine. I was doing all of the postures so I didn't really notice where her mat was until we got down onto the floor... and her feet were basically on my head and I started to freak out a little. Ok, more than a little. I couldn't really scoot back because there was a row of people behind me. And I couldn't seem to make eye contact with the teacher who is new and it was my first class with her. I had to wait until we got on our knees for fixed firm and I asked her to scoot her mat up. I probably seemed like the crazy yogi, but I just felt so stressed out by the situation. My studio has lots of newbies these days and while I do sometimes get frustrated with them for not knowing how things work at the studio, my experience last night was a good reminder that the yoga room can be more than uncomfortable - it can move into scary/anxiety-filled. I'm going to try to be more kind to myself and more kind to my fellow yogis in the future.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

So hot.

Interesting class tonight. It was really hot. I know that it's Bikram yoga so it's always hot, but sometimes it's particularly hot. Tonight was one of those nights. I kicked out farther in standing head to knee than I ever have. It was a pretty incredible feeling. I am still a million miles away from actually putting my forehead on my knee (and my chest gets in the way) but such is life.
After class, I was chatting with the instructor. He told me "good class" or something like that. I felt like I had the yoga glow radiating from me, but my brain wasn't really working yet... so I mumbled something like "but it was really hot." He said, "It's always hot. You know what it means if you say that class is hot, it means that you're hot!" This could have sounded sort of skeezy coming from someone else, but from this instructor, it was just all in good fun and it cracked me up! I walked home from the studio (and stopped for my usual take out) with a smile on my face!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

So I've been thinking...

I'm sitting here on the couch, window open, sunshine streaming in, sounds of birds and cars and people outside. It ain't bad. Really. And I've been thinking about my life in general. I imagined winning the lottery. What would I do? And to be honest, I would keep most things the same. I currently have the resources to pursue what I want to pursue in my spare time and that is definitely a blessing. It's a blessing I don't always recognize, but right now, in this moment, I recognize it. And one of the things I want to do is be a yogi. I'm off to class in a few minutes and I'm grateful for the opportunity.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Trying to bring my yoga into the rest of my life

I've had some good yoga classes this week. And I'm really loving being in the yoga room. That 90 minutes of being away from everything, of only having the yoga to focus on. I struggle a lot with what I "should" be doing in my real life. I have a hard time getting away from technology and really disconnecting. Yoga is basically the only place I can do that right now, but I want to work on bringing that to the rest of my life. I want to have more focus and less distractions.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Bikram Mothers Day

Practiced with my mom this morning. Had a good class - it went by quickly and I felt pretty good except for some tightness in my shoulders. Have been catching up on my yoga blog reading and it's given me a lot to think about. More thoughtful post coming later...

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Left it all on my mat

I barely made it to class today. It was one of those days where I was planning to go an afternoon class, but then I took a nap and came so close to talking myself out of it. I was slightly hungover today and had cramps. I know - boo hoo, definitely privileged white girl problems! But I'm so glad I went to class. I wasn't as hydrated as I should have been but when I get out of the routine of practicing daily or almost daily, I forget how much I need the 90 minutes of vacation of a Bikram yoga class. Yes, I'm joking in a way because class can be hard and challenging in a mental and physical way, but I so need 90 minutes away from my phone and technology and multi-tasking and thinking about what I "should" be doing. I wasn't the same person when I left the studio as I was when I walked in.
In other news, I can't seem to find the "good" coconut water in my neighborhood anymore. Anyone have thoughts on other post-class beverages? Is coconut water really all that? I've started drinking a mini can of Coke after getting home from class. I know the corn syrup isn't great, but it's a heck of a lot cheaper than coconut water and it is the best can of Coke you will ever have in your life! Am I the only one who thinks food tastes better after Bikram?
Ok, enough rambling for tonight...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Bikram sweet Bikram

Had one of those classes tonight where I just wanted to stay in the yoga room forever. This is both a testament to how good class was and how much I wanted to hide out and avoid the real world! But really, class was good.
This the 3rd class I've attended this week. Not great, but much much better than how much I've been practicing for the rest of 2011. Although I now live much closer to a Bikram studio, this studio has less classes than the studio I used to practice at and they don't work so well with my work schedule... but the exciting news is that the studio is going to be remodeled in April AND they're adding classes. YAY YAY YAY! I look forward to ramping up my practice mid-April once the remodel is complete.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

2011 has not been my year of yoga

I've only done a handful of Bikram classes this year. I practiced this morning and it was one of those wretched classes, one of those embarrassing classes. There was a first timer in class who did more poses than me. I felt hot, I felt sweaty, I felt like I was going to pass out, I had a weird twinge in my knee... and I sat out some postures. I can look at this class is a couple of different ways - 1. I'm not meant to do Bikram yoga. 2. I should get back on my mat as soon as possible.
I love the Bikram but I'm not sure it fits into my life right now. We shall see...

Monday, January 17, 2011

Back on my mat...

Practiced yesterday. Practiced today. It wasn't pretty, I spent some quality time on my mat, I had random aches and pains today but overall, it's a good thing.
There have been some changes since my last post. New job. New apartment. New yoga studio. There are some things I'm still searching for, but we all know the yoga helps keep us grounded. That's why I'm getting back on my mat. I don't have as much time to get into trouble if I'm practicing yoga regularly. I don't have as much time to be bored and angsty. Food tastes better. I sleep better. My skin looks amazing.
Hello yoga and yoga friends - I've missed you!