Category Archives: Bikram 101

Yoga Tomorrow??

Well, that’s it – 101 days done!

First, I want to thank The Missus, dancingJ and BikramYogaChick for thinking this thing up AND for getting it out there for all of us.  Thanks also to all you fellow 101’ers for taking on the challenge – doing this together made it so much easier.  No matter what happened in your challenge, you were in – it’s kind of like getting into the room -starting with intention.  Congrats!  To the other bloggers and those who have offered up comments and support – it was great.  I’ll be keeping my eyes on you.  And you, dear reader, thanks to you as well…I know you are lurking there even if you don’t make any comment!  🙂 

101 days, wow!  Seemed like a lot of yoga, a large commitment, and now on day 101, it feels kind of anticlimactic.  Just another day, another class.  I was looking back to my day 1 post which talks about healing my “junkyard body and screw loose mind”.  What I really wanted was to get back a regular practice.  To remember why I do the yoga in the first place.  To get my yoga groove back so to speak.  I suppose, if today feels just like another day, I have achieved that. 

And that begs the question.  What about tomorrow? 

There is something tantalizing about NOT doing yoga tomorrow.  My hips may like that; my laundry basket could be ecstatic! 

But, I’d have to have a really good excuse to not go…because a regular practice is just that…and it’s entirely possible I won’t be able to make it later in the week.  I want to practice 5 times a week, maybe 6 – maybe more, who knows how the pattern will settle out?  What I don’t want is the gaps I had last summer; the weeks of one or two days, falling out of practice. 

Will you yoga tomorrow? 

Any one for 210?

PS:  New theme…what do you think?

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Yoga Gratitude

I’ve been mulling on this toping since Monday. 

I have been reading the posts over at In It To Gym It, which is a group blogging about their journeys to get fit.  I empathise with their struggles…in fact, I have had their struggles before.  The battle to lose weight, to stick to an exercise program, to eat healthy…to incorporate all of that into a lifestyle that just wasn’t that way.  Changing habits is hard.  Hard work and it requires attention and energy.  And I applaud anyone attempting to regain their health. 

I still share their journey in fitness; after all one of my reasons for hopping into 101 days of yoga was to regain my practice, and regain my overall fitness.  What struck me as I sifted through their posts, their lives was that even with this in common, something is different.  My sense of my fitness, my health is different from what I am reading on their blog.  Not that I don’t still have my moments when it is all about the 20lbs or the brownie I just ate or my busy, sometimes stressful life. 

But. and this is a big but, my sense of health, of happiness, of self  is different now.  For this I have yoga to thank. 

When I go into the room and stand on the mat, facing myself in the mirror, there is nowhere to hide.  No excuses, no mind, just breath.  It is what it is…sweat, blood and tears.  Tearing down walls, assumptions and all those exterior notions that have seeped deep into my mind, so deep that I took them on as my own.  The bright lights don’t only shine on the sweaty forehead, they shine deep in to the dark recesses of the mind,clearing it out and lighting up the soul. 

When I go into the room, I can see me, sense me, be me. 

And after, when I come out of the room, you can see me too. 

Namaste.

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Reunion tour

Apparently, Yoga Truck is on a reunion tour!  I thought it was gone – goodbye, I’m done with you, don’t come back until hell freezes over. 

Which you know isn’t going to happen in a Bikram room…not with slogans like “hotter than hell” and “hot, hard, worth it”. 

Well, just like the Eagles, Yoga Truck is back on tour.  I was wanting to put out a warning for you all, but apparently Truck already visited Sisya and enjoyed it enough to put on a second show. 

I had my own showing on Sunday, perhaps I had too much chocolate

So, watch out, Yoga Truck is gathering speed. 

Focus, concentrate and take care of yourselves to avoid the show.

And remember, just get into the room and breathe.  It counts.

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You have to do your yoga to get the chocolate.

One of the teachers said this the other day.  And of course my ears perked up.  Anything to do with chocolate, I’m in. If I have to do yoga to get chocolate, I’m in. 

Chocolate and I have a love / hate relationship.  A sweet tooth is mandatory for being part of my family – we all have it.  Chocolate was almost a religion growing up.  Almost everything was celebrated with chocolate.  And it did creep a bit into daily living.  One of my favourite treats was vanilla ice cream topped with “Quick” powder chocolate milk mix…I liked it better than chocolate ice cream.  Really.  Sometimes we had chocolate bars (how does that caramel get inside the chocolate????).  But mostly we had chocolate for special holidays…Halloween, Christmas and of course Easter!  

I loved the easter hunt at my house.  My mom was specially good at treasure hunts with clues. Along the way, those small, football-shaped, foil eggs were hidden in obscure places – in planters, under my stuffed animals, in the cupboard with the cereal… Always at the end would be the largest chocolate bunny you could imagine.  Usually in a colourful decorated basket, with perhaps a pompom yellow chick, or white bunny and lots pink or purple shredded bedding that gets everywhere.   

Fast forward into adult hood.  Still have the chocolate addiction, but my system no longer tolerates dairy…and dairy of course is in all “milk” chocolate.  Not to mention high doses of sugar and more sugar.  While my previous “MO” would be to reach for the milk chocolate, I have now learned to appreciate and savour dark chocolate. 

Especially Artisan chocolates.  My favourite right now are organicfair.  They have luscious, interesting flavours combined in the dark chocolate bars named “silk road”, “kashmir” and “westcoaster” – a world of taste.  I don’t need much to satisfy the choco-craving.  Yummm.  They also do three different Christmas special flavours, but no bunnies.

A previous favourite, Denman Island Chocolate, still gets a taste now and then, when I need only one flavour, like mint or hazelnut.  Bonus – they do Bunnies!  I have been on my own hunt for a Denman Island Bunny this Easter, but they seem to be extremely well hidden. 

Now – Go do your yoga, so you can get that chocolate.   

I am.

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It’s official…I’m not a morning person!

At least that seems to be the case when it comes to yoga.  I have always prefered to practice in the afternoon, evening.    occasionally, when doing challenges, I went to a morning class.  I found myself  to be as stiff as a board, and if it was really early (like 6am) not quite tuned in enough to get what I needed from the yoga.  Or so it seemed. 

Once I started teaching, I went to classes when they would fit in – usually I would practice after I taught.  Practicing before gives me yoga brain mouth…you know what yoga brain does to you, yup, now apply  that to trying to guide people through a class.  Not for me.  So usually I would be warmed up and the class, if it was morning, was not first thing for me. 

This challenge, I have been doing more than usual amount of morning classes.  In fact last week, I did 5 out of 7 classes in the morning.  And you know what, each class I hurt, I was stiff, I was sore. 

I went today to the 5:30pm class. 

And YAY!  Very little pain, some stiffness and soreness, but overall a good class. 

This week, I am going to be an afternoon / evening yogi and see if it makes any difference at all in the long run.

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After thirty, a body has a mind of its own ~ Bette Midler

This was on a status on Facebook the other day.  And it so fit with what I have been feeling lately.  Like my body has other ideas than my mind…its own mind as it were. 

Of course, you know I have been struggling a bit with the yoga and the pain…really wondering when I would work through this particular bump in the yoga road.  It’s more like a large detour.  But I’m learning and gaining any way. 

The other thing that happened this week was an eye exam.  You know, the one where they put the machines up to your eyes, flash bright lights and puff air in and then ask you to read the letters on the wall.  The optometrist was explaining to me about near-sighted vs far-sighted and the lens in your eyes that after 40 starts to stiffen up.  (What, that too!  Can I do eye yoga??)

End result (which I really already knew) – need new glasses…particularly for reading (or anything that is at that distance, like say, making jewellery).  So, progressive lenses here I come. 

There is really no avoiding aging…it is after all a fact of life as we know it.  Every year, we turn, well, a year older.   I am not so fussed with the cosmetics of it.  I sprouted my first grey hair at age 16, thanks to family inheritance.  I kind of like wrinkles; they add character.  I don’t like that permanently stretched and ironed skin that a face lift gives.  Kind of creepy. 

What I don’t like is the aging body when it leads to less mobility; to changing hormones that can wreak havoc with things like mood, sleep and body weight. 

I know the antidote to these processes is to take care of the body.  Pay attention to my body.  How I treat it.  What I feed it.  How I stress it, or relax it.  How I keep it mobile, strong, flexible. 

This of course, is where yoga comes in.  I can only assume that I am much better off – healthier, happier, centred – from doing the yoga, than if I hadn’t done it these last 6 plus years. 

My body is my true “home”.   I had best take care of it. 

The body is your temple.  Keep it pure and clean for the soul to reside in.  ~B.K.S. Iyengar, Yoga: The Path To Holistic Health

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Body talk

Let’s get physical, physical, let me hear your body talk, body talk….

What’s that ?  The song’s not about yoga???? Oh…….my bad….

Well, umm, any way, I’m getting so much better at listening to my body.  And I mean really, really paying attention. 

You have heard me on this blog talking about the pain I have been having in my low back.  Seems every morning class, it shows up.  Stiff, sore, sometimes to the point of little or no motion and perhaps worse, weak, weak, weak.  And some classes, pain actually increased in class instead of decreasing.  Of course, I am not really happy with that.  In fact I was the other day considering how much fun the yoga wasn’t

Then, yesterday, I decide (ok the body decided and I listened, finally) to not do the sit ups.  You know, when the teacher says “if you have low back pain today roll off to the side” – I have pretty much always done the sit ups, for a number of reasons…I usually can, in that it feels mostly good to stretch at the end; I didn’t want to be wimpy with my pain (in the “it’s not that bad” way); I actually like the sit ups, they are energizing – rolling, not so much. 

So, no sit ups  yesterday – because I couldn’t, I hurt too much.  And after class, still sore – actually well into the evening.  Then, while flailing around in bed (not as fun as it sounds), something popped – in a good way.  Today, much less pain. Standing series was the strongest I have had in a morning class in ages…sure, I could feel it, not in a bad way.  On the floor, I decided to skip the sit ups again – and voila, I could actually do every posture with out inviting more pain in! 

Now, as I write this, some 10 plus hours after class, I still feel good in the low spine.  Not pain, no reaching for a pain-killer, no squirming on the chair to get comfortable.   

Listen To Your Body…it can be subtle and the mind is very powerful with its reasoning. 

Seriously, though, TUNE IN. 

Every. Single. Class.

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