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.