Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bikram withdrawal

I haven't blogged for a week but it doesn't mean I haven’t done any BY. I practiced 5 days in a row last week (Sat - Wed) and then I flew to the NW to celebrate the holidays with the family. I am working remotely for a couple of days and then taking time off. There is no BY studio nearby so I am going through major withdrawal. On top of this, I am not eating very well. I am normally a health nut. I love to cook but I can't bake. But here, in my family, everyone is a pastry chef. So dangerous to be around so many delicious cookies, truffles, cheesecakes … ok, just once a year!!

I envy each one of you that are reading this and going to Bikram class today. Next week, I am driving to the closest city with a BY studio (probably 1 hour from here without traffic). Obama, why didn’t you include this as part of your health reform? We need a BY studio in every major city in the US. As you know, this thought has been with me for a while and then Rajashree said something funny a couple of weeks ago during her seminar at my studio “we just went to Nevada [teacher training] now we are going to Obama”. YES

Anyway, I just wanted to post a short note to wish everyone happy holidays!!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Rajashree seminar - what a treat!!!

Today, I spent 8 hours with Rajashree. What an incredible person and what an incredible day. The seminar started at 9:00 am. I arrived at the studio at 8:20 thinking that I would be one of the first ones. When I open the door, there were only few spots left. There was one in front of the little “stage” so I took it. Sitting in front of me was Joseph Encinia (national champion) and to my left a guy called George who just finished teacher training in Las Vegas. He is going to be teaching at LV Red Rock. Michelle, if you are reading this, I mentioned to him that I knew you (well virtually :) and he smiled and said "ohh yeah, Michelle. She works with us.[Do you work at Dray’s now?] Hey come to our studios one day". Then he gave me his business card with some free class offer. Not bad. I guess I am all set for next year when I go to LV ;) BTW, George came all the way to San Diego with Lisa, another teacher from LV Green Valley, who later on asked him to sit by her side so he eventually moved.

The seminar started with 1 hour lecture. Rajashree went over some familiar concepts (the real meaning of "yoga", the connection between the mind and the body and how we are all part of the universe) and some new concepts too. She mentioned something about our backs and how they are divided into two by the spine. The right part representing the sun (ha) and the left part representing the moon (tha). The sun representing the masculine and the moon representing the feminine and receptive. All going back to hatha yoga. Very interesting concepts that I’ll definitely love to learn more about.

After the lecture, we had a 90 minute class. What a treat!! Practicing next to Joseph is so inspiring. He is a pretzel! The class with Rajashree was just amazing. She is sweet and tough. My goal for this class was to stay in the room fully focused & concentrated, giving it 100%. Mission accomplished!! This is the biggest class I’ve ever taken. Not sure how many students were there. Someone said 65. I got kicked in the head a couple of time, unintentionally of course. But it didn’t really bother me at all. On the contrary, it was very VERY nice. Not to be kicked but to be with so many people, hahaha. Rajashree gave us the best meditation during final savasana. As soon as she was done, I ran to the showers as well as 2 other students. I knew it was going to be crazy there. I took a really quick one, changed my clothes and had some free lunch at the studio. They had sandwiches, fruits, pita & humus, salads, Vitamin Water, Zicos, etc.. It was pretty good.

Right after lunch, we headed back to the room for posture clinic. The room was cold now. Rajashree asked Joseph to go over each one of the poses and to show us the right and wrong way to do things. It was very inspiring. He is a very funny guy and likes to make faces while doing the wrong things on purpose. Rajashree also provided us with a list of medical benefits for each pose. Wow, talking about information overload!!!

After posture clinic, Rajashree asked everyone "do you want to have another class?" Ten people (including me) replied "YES". Of course, we thought she was joking. "OK. Stand up" she said. You must be kidding. We did the standing series all over again but in the cold room. This time we did everything faster. Now, we didn't see this coming. I am glad I put some stretchy pants after showering. Some people were wearing street clothes. After second round, we had some time for questions and answers and we went around introducing ourselves (name, how long we have been doing yoga, what BY means to us, etc...) Some people had very interesting stories. Some were a living proof of the medical benefits of this practice. We finished the seminar with a half hour meditation and smiley faces. I took a good picture with Rajashree and also Joseph. Happy about it!! This is what I call a Perfect Saturday

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bikram Yoga 60 -Day Challenge - Mission accomplished!!

If you go back to my first post, you will notice that this was going to be a 30-day challenge. Copying and pasting a little “fragment”

Day 1
So this is where I stand. I am starting my challenge today and I am committed to complete at least 30-days and revisit, on day 29, the possibility of completing an additional 30 days. We'll see. BTW, the class today was hard (…) but I finished. 29 classes to go!! Or maybe 59 <-- this number scares me.

I am glad I went for the 60 days. Did I “revisit” my options on day 29? Absolutely NO, I kept going. The fact that the studio did a 30-day challenge the month of November really helped too.

I didn’t set up too many goals from day one. I just wanted to practice continuously for 60 days, non-stop. However, as the days went by, I started noticing changes (physically and mentally). I noticed that I was giving up too easily on some of the poses and I was not 100% focused. Mentally, all kinds of things went through my head during the challenge. There were days I felt tired, sore, and sleepy. There were days I had fever (x3) or a cold (x7). I even went to the class with a torn ligament in a finger. But there was not 1 single time when I wanted to quit the challenge. Only towards the end, the last week, I started questioning what the heck I was doing, dragging a little bit. When this happened, I acknowledged it and moved on.

Half way through this challenge, I put together a summary of what I was experiencing. Here you go:

- I have more energy at all levels. I feel good!!!
- My body is getting toned (especially arms and thighs)
- I am no longer an emotional eater. I only eat when I am truly hungry.
- My posture has improved tremendously.
- I am getting more flexible each day.
- Greater focus, control and determination on and off the mat.
- It supplements my running too
- I feel very creative and alive.

At day 61, I still feel the same way but multiplied by 4. Or shall I say 3? click here to read about my mild case of OCD since I started Bikram :)

I am also grateful for finding this great community of Bikram bloggers that share my same passion. It’s awesome.

On the physical side, here are some of my major improvements over the last 60 days:

- Ardha Chandrasana (back bend compression of spine, 2nd part of half moom) – My back bend is deeper.

- Utkatasana (Awkward pose, 2nd part) – I can sit lower now and with a mona lisa smile too. I removed the painful expression from my face.

- Garurasana (Eagle pose) – During this pose, the teacher always says “imagine that you are the shortest person in the room”. I always laugh because I am probably one the shortest person in the room regardless. I am 5”1. Anyway, before I was sitting in the bar stool and now I manage to go very very low. Well, occasionally I get reminded to go down lower but I can see major improvements here.

-Dandayamana Janushirasana (standing head to knee pose) – I kick out (during both sets) even if its only for few seconds. Before the challenge, I always gave up. I didn’t even try to lock the knees during the entire 60 or 30 seconds. I would just stand there watching everyone thinking “am I going to do this one day?”

- Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Paschimottanasana (Standing separate leg stretching pose) It was a disaster in the past. I blogged about it and with the help of some new blogger friends ( ;)wink wink) and some determination I fixed the slipping issues. I was excited I was able to touch the floor with my forehead but then the instructor pointed out that my spine was not that straight so I am still working on this.

- Bhujangasana (Cobra pose) – Before the challenge, I used to do it wrong, like a mini push up. My cobra is looking much better nowadays.

Someone asked me a couple of days ago if I would consider extending the challenge to 90 days. Of course I would love to but I can’t. Too many things going on in my life right now. Plus, in 11 days, I am going on vacation to a city that doesn’t have a Bikram studio. I am writing this with sadness, really. Gosh, this should have been part of Obama’s health reform (a Bikram studio in every major city in the US). Anyways, I am going to squeeze as many classes as possible before the holidays and see where this practice takes me.

Yes, Bikram cures it all!!!!

Love to everyone

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Bikram Yoga 60-Day Challenge - Day 60 - Part II

Mission accomplished!!!

I took two classes yesterday. The first one was not very memorable. It was at 6:00 in the morning. The room was the coldest ever. There were only 4-5 students in the class and the instructor kept the fans on the whole entire 90 minutes. There was no energy in the room and I hardly sweat. Can you believe it? I talked to the instructor afterward. She mentioned that it was cold outside and that it was taking a little bit longer to heat the room. "Yes, but you kept the fans on as well", I replied. Now, this was me getting a little bit pissy (not good) ;( To this, the instructor replied "Ooopsie, I didn't realize it. Please remind me next time". What can I say? I was not a happy camper. I went home kind of disappointed. My 60-day journey couldn't finish that way, with a very "blah" class. I worked remotely for another 8 hours, with a very cranky mood, and headed back to the studio in the afternoon. A 360 degree turn. I am so glad I did a double!! Keep reading.

The moment I arrived at the studio, Coleen and Wendy (the studio owner) ran to me and gave me a BIG hug. "It's your 60th day girlfriend, woohoo, I knew you were going to make it" this was Wendy. "I am so honored to be your teacher tonight. Get ready, Ciry" said Colleen. There is an expression in Spanish "el que avisa no es traidor", basically she gave me a "fair warning". She really kicked my @$$ last night. I couldn't even blink my eyes during the whole entire class. She was watching me very closely.

After the party time, water break, she told everyone "attention, I normally don't do this but I want to acknowledge Ciry's great efforts. Today is her 60th day. She is incredible" Applauses, claps, big smiles jajaja I turned very red. It was a cute moment. Then she said "and she thought this was going to be an easy class, get ready now, the class is just starting". More laughs. During Wind Removing pose, the teacher physically pushed on my knees. It was awesome. During locust pose, second part, she lifted my legs and asked me to release them very slowly. Ohh, this was incredible. I received the best adjustments ever. It was almost like a private class. After final savasana she asked me to stay in the room and she gave me a mini massage in the head. My goodness, I really received the royal treatment last night. Best class ever. On top of this, my husband called Wendy in the afternoon and asked her to let me pick something from the boutique as his present. Nice!!!

What a way to finish my challenge. This is exactly how I envisioned it and more. I Love love love my studio and the instructors.

My collective thoughts about the challenge in the next blog :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Bikram Yoga - 60-Day Challenge - Day 60

The day has arrived!!! I am planning on finishing on a high note - I am doing a double today, just because ;) Blogging about it tonight, recap in the morning. So excited!!!

Bikram Yoga 60-Day Challenge - Day 59

Monday 6:30 pm
It was hot, humid and crowded. Unfortunately, sitting next to me, there were a couple of students doing everything wrong (not using the lines, drinking water after the second pose, talking, taking way too many breaks, just hanging there doing nothing). No, they weren't new students. Aghghgh, this was so distracting. Lucky me, I was able to disconnect from all this after 30 minutes of class and focused on my practice. I LOVE how it ended though, with the instructor sitting next to me, side by side, doing Paschimo :) 1 more day to go!!!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Bikram Yoga 60-Day Challenge - Day 56 & 57 & 58

I am behind on my blogging but it doesn’t mean I am behind on my practice. The last three days have been a little bit crazy

Friday 6:30 pm
Very good class with Wendy. We were a small crowd so we received lots of personalized attention. For the first time, I received a correction during rabbit pose. Looks like I have a tendency to separate my hills when I am supposed to have them side by side. The funny thing with this pose is that I can’t tell what I am doing right or wrong. I have a list of small things I want to perfect in each pose but for this one I have no clue. I wish someone will take a picture of me doing rabbit one day. It’s like balancing stick. I think I do it right. Unless the instructor provides with some feedback is hard to tell.

Saturday 10:00 am
Another amazing class with Wendy. There were at least 50 students in the class. It was extremely hot and humid. Right after this class we had a quick award ceremony for all the studio 30-day challengers. Basically, everyone that completed the challenge (+/- 25 people) received: one week of free yoga, 2 guest passes, 10% off on next class package or next retail purchase, 1 Zico drink and a surprise gift, a cool 30-day challenge t-shirt.

On top of that, we had the raffle prizes including: 60 min Swedish massage, 90 min European Facial, 1 Acupuncture session, a lunch for 2 at a fancy French restaurant and 1 month unlimited classes.

OK, this is the best part: the winner of the top prize (the 1 month unlimited class of BY) was ME!! I am so happy. Like I said before, I didn’t do this for the prizes. But hey, it’s always nice to get them !! I love my studio. What else can I say!!

Sunday 10:00 am
Today I discovered that one of my favorite instructors practices Vipassana meditation as well. Of course, I find this very interesting. My mom practices Vipassana and felt in love with Bikram right away. She has told to me in multiple occasions that they are very similar in many senses. My instructor also mentioned that 10-day of Vipassana is way harder than a 30-day challenge in all levels (physically and mentally). Supposedly, when you practice Vipassana you are asked to stay still in the same posture for hours to meditate. This is one of those things that I want to try. If you practice both, I would love to hear about it.

Looking forward to tomorrow’s class. Only 2 more days to go.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Bikram Yoga 60-Day Challenge - Day 55

Yeahhh, Friday is here. Finally!!! I am looking forward to this weekend as we are celebrating the 10th Annual Little Italy Tree Lighting festival as well as December Nights in San Diego. Happy season!! Tomorrow morning, we are also having a quick award ceremony for the 30 day challengers at my studio. I’ve already talked about the raffle prices, etc… What can I say? I love my studio, the owners and the teachers. Everyone working there is so thoughtful. Last night, 3 days after the challenge was over, we were still getting our “congratulations on your great accomplishment” from some instructors. Very nice!!

Thursday 6:30 pm

Back to last night’s class, when I arrived at the studio, Sarah, one of my favorite teachers, was welcoming everyone at the front desk. She asked me how I was feeling. I told her “oh great. Wait I am lying. I don’t feel like been here today”. She laughed and said “Ohhh, no worries. Today is going to be your best class”. Was it? Very close. I think at this point my mind is playing tricks. I have a few days left to finish this big challenge and it’s getting harder and harder. I never felt like not going to class until a couple of days ago. I just need to focus and ignore these feelings.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Bikram Yoga 60-Day Challenge - Day 54

Wednesday 6:30

This was a rough day. I am glad it ended with a good BY class. The teacher was Coleen, one of my favorites. She is so tough and at the same time sweet and energizing. I arrived 5 minutes before the class started so there was only one "good" spot available, in front of the exit door. Yes, the class was packed again. Thanks to many 30-day challengers that came back after taking a day off. In the past I used to enjoy small crowds but now after practicing with so many students for the last weeks I prefer a bigger group. I can't wait to take a couple of classes at TT next year. Yeahh, it's going to be fantastic to visit the torture chamber with another 300 students and Boss :)

Back to class, practicing in front of the exit door can be a blessing sometimes. I normally don't like going from extremely hot to cold in a matter of seconds. But this class was so HOT that I actually enjoyed the extra waves of unanticipated cold air I received when 2 new students left the room in the middle of class.

Overall, it was amazing. I was able to kick out during the first set of head to knee pose. Yahoo, this is my first time. I can normally kick out for few seconds during second set. Happy about it!!

Looking forward to class #55 this afternoon. Only few left. Almost there!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bikram Yoga 60-Day Challenge - Day 53

Tuesday 6:30 pm

Not too excited about last night's class. The room was at least 10 degrees cooler than the night before. I thought of Traci and her “looking at the ceiling” trick. I actually tried it but the teacher didn’t get it. I should have quickly moved to the floor and wrapped myself in my towel :) Instead, I kept quiet. I could also tell that the studio’s 30-day challenge was over because the class was almost empty, only 15 students on a Tuesday night (vs. 50 the day before).There was some energy missing too. I pushed hard throughout the entire class, trying to make the most out of it but I didn’t feel anything special. Just one more class.

When I woke up this morning, I felt sore and extremely tired. I didn’t feel like doing anything (getting out of bed, driving to work, etc…). One of those days. But then l listened to some news on the radio that made me laugh very loud and with it a change in attitude. Still sore though. But no worries, I will drag myself to the studio tonight no matter what. Aghghghg.

This is one of the news that made me laugh ( BTW, completely unrelated to BY)
"Snoop Dogg lends his voice To TomTom GPS"

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Bikram Yoga - 60-Day Challenge - Day 52

I found myself crying on my mat during final savasana yesterday. This was my first time. Let me explain. The class was extremely hot & humid. It was very packed too, 45 to 50 students. It was also the last “official” class for all the 30-day challengers at the studio and many people looked tired and sick. By the time we reached the Standing Bow Pulling Pose, more than half of the class, was on the floor and some students have left the room. I managed to stay focused and finished the standing series but I was completely out of breath.

The 2 minute savasana felt like heaven, no room for thoughts during this pose. I was living in the moment. I had a good cobra and locust afterwards. I felt I was flying. Then, I lost my breath again during the floor bow pose. I ended up taking a mini break during the first set of camel pose. I honestly was going to stay there for the whole pose, second set included, when the teacher said something along these lines “good classes feed your ego but the classes that kick your ass are the ones that make you stronger”. I stood up and finished it without further breaks.

By the end of the class, I was exhausted (like never before) & happy & full of love, crying on my mat. I felt exactly the same as when I saw my daughter for the first time after 21 hours of labor. I am not exaggerating here. It was the most amazing feeling. I wish I could do this every single day for the rest of my life. One day I will. But for now, I am just enjoying one class at a time. Has did ever happened to you? Crying on a BY class?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Bikram Yoga 60-Day Challenge Day 51

Sunday 10:00 am
Another rainy day in SUN Diego. Good class with Wendy. 9 more days to go and then seminar with Rajashree Choudhury and Joseph Encinia on 12/12. I am looking forward to next week already. I have the feeling that this week is going to go by really quick. My studio is finishing the 30-day challenge tomorrow. There are some raffles and prices. It would be nice to win the 90 minute massage or the acupuncture session. Obviously, I didn't sign up for the prices, since I started the 60-day challenge on my own. But they are always nice to get too. As for the class today, there is nothing too relevant to report, no major improvements or epiphanies but good concentration and determination overall.

Bikram Yoga 60-Day Challenge - Day 49 and 50

Friday 9:30 am

It was Black Friday at the studio with 20% discount on all merchandise. I purchased my first Shakti Activewear side string shorts. It was love at first sight. Very comfortable and flattering too. I sound like a commercial. jajaja. There were a lot of people buying Breathe Yoga mats and Yogitoes Skidless towels. I am not sure about the Breathes. It looks very thin. But I wouldn't mind owning a Skidless. We'll see maybe for Christmas. In regards the class, it went very well except for my favorite Tree pose / Toe Stand which I couldn't finish because I was sweating too much and my foot was slipping. I normally wear longer length shorts and use the cloth to my advantage during this pose. Love my new Shaktik though.

Saturday 10:00 am

What an ugly morning. It was cold and raining in SUN Diego. I didn't feel like going to class in the first place. But I am glad I did. I had an amazing class. It was one of the best ones ever. I think I found the key to a successful class. For this to happen, I need to find my breath and surrender to every pose. Too tired to blog. Ciao

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Bikram Yoga 60-Day Challenge - Day 47 and 48

Wednesday 6:30 pm
There were only 15 people in class including 7 new students.It was not too hot. It was not too cold. It was just a nice class overall. Nothing too relevant to point out. Looking forward to my multicultural Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. I am having authentic food from Spain, India, Jamaica and Persia with family and friends.

Thursday 9:30 pm Thanksgiving
This was the hottest class I've ever taken. Since this was the only class offered by my studio, it was pretty packed. We were probably +50 students. It went very well until camel. I just couldn't finished the second set. Then I found myself faking it during Paschimo, not pushing too hard.

The highlight of the day was not my Bikram class but the hours and hours I spent in my kitchen cooking Indian dishes. I learned how to make authentic rotis and brinjal curry with some cool friends from Bangalore. Celebrated Thanksgiving with style and good taste, with family and friends ;) Hope you had a good one

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Bikram Yoga 60-Day Challenge - Day 46

Tuesday 6:30 pm

It was REALLY hot tonight. We were at least 50 people in the class. Twenty students from India came all together to practice for the first time. The class went by very slow. Most of the new students were in savasana after 20 minutes. Then a lot of people around me were taking breaks throughout the entire class. It was a little distracting. The teacher turned the fans on 4 times.

I went through the standing series with no problem and then I struggled a little bit on the floor. Big G, I take back what I said yesterday!! The floor series can be a killer too. I took an extra savasana during the first set of camel. I don’t like when I do this. As you know by now, toe stand is my favorite standing pose. Well, camel is my favorite on the floor so I don't like missing it. I just had problems breathing through my noise as it was and still is very congested. I was very entertained with my thoughts during all savasanas as well. I can normally make my mind stay still, well at least for a little bit. But no tonight. I was thinking about my day and how I have developed a mild case of OCD since I've started BY. I have been repeating everything in multiples of three. No, I haven't told my co-workers to “lock the knee, lock the knee, lock the knee” or “push, push, push” (no yet :) but in a meeting today I told everyone “it’s essential to communicate, communicate, communicate” and to “escalate, escalate, escalate”. Everyone was looking at me with a weird face and I couldn’t figure it out why at first. I also told my 4 year old to “brush, brush, brush” her teeth too. hahaha

Anyway, this was a good class overall considering how hot & humid it was and how congested I felt.

Going back to the subject of my mild case of OCD (lol) and considering the fact that I have been called a Bikram Yoga Nerd several times over the last 2 weeks, I’ve decided to compile a list of things that I believe make me a good member of the BYN club. Here you go:

- I constantly find myself focusing on keeping my knee locked (one at a time and for at least 30 second) while changing my baby’s diaper.
- I am always cold outside of BY class. No matter what the temperature is. I enjoy very high temperatures in general. I love sitting in my car with the windows closed and the A/C off, especially when the car has been in the sun for hours and is very VERY hot, almost burning. Someone commented on this once: “do you think this is a @#$%#$% Bikram room? Please turn the A/C on. I am dying in here” LOL
-I once dreamed I was participating in the BY Championship and choose the savasana as my advanced pose. I woke up with a big smile on my face that morning, lying down in bed, in Savasana of course.
-I enjoy Bikram related videos (vintage ones, championship ones..you name it) as much as a good independent movie. BTW, thanks J for some of those postings.
-I am also fascinated with Bikranisms, Bikram stories, TT pictures…anything related to BY really. I am waiting for my new license plate to arrive, something related to the subject. Hopefully, nobody steals my car while I am in class.
- I am looking forward to spending my vacation next year in a room with another 300 people. It’s going to be the highlight of 2010.
- I am taking this 60-day challenge, blogging about it and loving it.
- I really want Bikram to jump on my back and give me a number. So prestigious. I shared this with some family members and friends, they worry about me. LOL

Just to name a few things :)

I am hoping there no too many typos or grammatically incorrect expressions in this loooong posting, Hey English is my third language ;)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bikram Yoga 60-Day Challenge – Day 45

Monday 6:30pm

As I am writing this I am laughing thinking about this day. It was very rough. At work, I spent hours and hours working with end-users and troubleshooting what we call in my field id10t errors ;) It was very frustrating. Then I arrived at my studio, ready to move on, ready to leave all this behind, when I realized that I grab the wrong bag (my gym bag). I had long stretchy pants, a swimsuit and a t-shirt, no water bottle and no wallet. Agghghghg. I immediately decided to change my (mind) chip. Otherwise I knew was going to have a bad class. I rolled my pants up with my swimsuit underneath and headed to the heated room without a drink. My teacher, the studio owner, stopped me on my way. “Hey Cira, I notice you have completed 20 days in a row [the studio is doing a 30-day challenge] and you haven’t grab your free Zico, you better take one girl”. Nice, one little problem solved. Not sure I would have been able to survive without a single sip.

The class was very challenging, very hot. I took 1 break during the first set of triangle pose and skipped the whole camel pose. I thought of BYchick post, “does this even count?”. Yes, yes it counts. It’s yoga practice not yoga perfection, I told myself. During head to knee pose (Janushirasana with Paschimottanasana – btw, it took me a couple of weeks to learn this name), the teacher sat next to me and made me stretch like never before. I loved it. Then she said “everyone please pay attention, I am sitting next to Cira. When she first started she told me that her goal in life was to perfect this pose. She wants Bikram to stand on her back and give her a number. She also told me after her second class that if she cannot accomplish this in 3 years, she is quitting Bikram yoga for good”. I laughed. It’s true I told her that. Suddenly all eyes were on me. Then she proceeded “Also, Cira is doing a 60 day challenge and she is on her 45 consecutive day. So for all of you doing your 30-day challenge, don’t quit now, you only have few days left”. Again, all eyes on me. It was funny. Big smile on my face by the end of this rough day :)

Ahhh, just in case you are wondering, no I cannot touch my toes with the forehead yet but I am determined and I have lots of patience ;) 70 more years of practice. Do you master this posture? If Y, I would love to hear about it, tips included ;)

One more thing, lessons learned - never wear a one piece swimsuit to a Bikram Yoga class.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bikram Yoga 60-Day Challenge - Day 43 and 44

Saturday 8:00 am
A good class but I didn’t receive any corrections, adjustments nor did I notice major improvements. However, I did feel energized and happy after class though so I went for a 5 mile family run to celebrate. Soon after that, my hamstrings started killing me :(

Sunday 8:00 am
Beautiful Sunday. Good class, similar to the one yesterday. Thankfully I wasn’t sore when I woke up this morning.

The highlight of the day was and still is my latest acquisition, some Amar Chitra Katha comics I received from a friend who is visiting from Bangalore, including the first book of Mahabharata. I am very excited about this. I watched Mahabharata a while back (love Indian movies) and I have the first book as well but I never have read it. This is a less dense version since it’s made for kids. I’ll be reading this to my daughter at night time now.

I love all things Indian (food, music, movies, languages, etc..). I can’t remember how far back my love affair for India goes, but I have the fondest memories of my 10-day trip to India 2 years ago. I attended one of my best friend’s wedding, a small one (just 5000 people) and a short one too (9 days long). LOL. This was probably one of the best experiences of my life.

From several bloggers, I have read that Bikram loves to keep everyone up ‘til late hours during teacher training to watch his Indian movies and chat. I can’t wait to do this one day. This would be the easiest part for me, even if it means sleeping for only few hours.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Bikram Yoga 60-Day Challenge Day 42

Very cool afternoon. I arrived at the studio 30 minutes before class so I was able to sync up with a couple of people instead of rushing into the room as usual. I stayed outside talking to 2 girls from Mexico, 2 from Argentina and 1 from Cuba, when the instructor, Tim (the one that puts me to sleep with his calm voice during final savasana), interrupted us. In perfect Spanish he asked us "how do you say "lock your knees" in Spanish?" I started laughing as I remember my experience @ BY Madrid. Listening to the dialogue for the first time in Spanish was the most hilarious thing EVER. To the point that I almost peed on my pants. Imagine saying "Japanese Ham Sandwich" in Spanish ( sandwich the jamon japones) or "taking off like a 747" ( despegando como un siete cuatro siete"). Someone else joined the conversation and mentioned that there is some funny video on youtube with bunch of Bikram students repeating some part of the dialogue in all kind of languages. I want to see this but I haven't been able to find it yet. If you know what she is talking about, please send me a link.

The class went very well and the instructor used a couple of words in Spanish here and there, just goofing a little bit. As I finished my toe stand, he said very loud "muy bien, in the black top and black shorts. That was fantastic". I was very happy. The class started and ended on a high note.

When I arrived home I checked my emails. My best friend from Thailand is back home for the holidays and sent me this message:

"Hey, there is no Japanese Ham Sandwiches in BY Union Square but there is one in BKK"

Awesome!! I am very passionate about learning languages. I have a new goal. To learn how to say “lock your knees” in as many languages as possible. I know, bit by bit I am becoming a BY nerd :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bikram Yoga 60-Day Challenge - Day 40 and 41

Wednesday 6:30 pm
Another amazing class with Sarah. I arrived only few minutes before the class started so I didn’t get a good spot. The instructor could clearly see me. That’s good. I was in the first row. I love this too. But I was by the windows and I could feel the air coming through :( I normally practice in the hottest spot in the room. The hotter the better. I’ll make it earlier next time.

Once again I was able to reach the floor with my forehead during Standing Separate Leg Stretching pose. I was celebrating my recent accomplishment in silence when the instructor suggested that I take a smaller stance and pull my heels harder to challenge myself because this seemed to easy for me. I laughed and lost balance. I made it look easy but it took me almost 5 months to get here. Ok, Spine needs to be straighter. That’s why. Baby steps.

Thursday 6:00 am
This is one of the best classes I’ve ever taken. It actually didn’t start that well as I noticed a sharp pain behind my left rib during Pada Hastasana (aka Japanese Ham Sandwich), kind of like a charley horse or the typical air bubble you get when you go running. This has happened to me once before during rabbit pose. “Oh here we go again”, I thought “this is going to be one of those classes”. But I was wrong. The pain never showed up again. As I moved onto the next poses I got more and more focused. I was breathing deeper and deeper, ALL done through the nose, mouth completely closed (as suggested by the instructors class after class). I felt calm and in peace in almost all poses and for the first time I didn’t feel like screaming “Oh yeahhh, we are done” during Spine Twisting pose. I was actually sad that the class was almost over. If they would have offered another class right after this one I would have taken the day off from work to do it.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bikram Yoga 60-Day Challenge – Day 39

Tuesday 6:30 pm
Wow, up until this class I never understood the meaning of locking the knees. I thought I was doing it right (straightening up my leg) until someone pointed out that I had to contract my thigh and use my quadriceps muscle too. What a revelation! With this, major improvements during Standing Head To Knee pose. I also spent some time with another yogini who does the most gorgeous triangle pose and got some tips. I love the technical aspects of this practice. I haven’t been able to attend a morning class for a couple of days (only afternoon classes) so I am looking forward to Thursday's 6:00am with Tim, the instructor that puts me to sleep during final savasana.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bikram Yoga 60-Day Challenge - Day 38

Monday 6:30 pm

Another amazing class with Coleen. She is full of energy and always makes us laugh. The class was full, at least 45 people. I was in the front row, so close to the mirrors I could almost touch them during awkward pose. I practiced with complete empty stomach for the first time. No food for almost 12 hours before class. No, I am not fasting. I just didn’t have time for breakfast or lunch (crazy schedule at home and work). This was not good but it was tolerable to some extent.

Still, better than when I took a class with a full stomach and puked on my mouth four times because I didn’t want to leave the room. Sorry, this might be a little bit gross but it’s a reality that happened to me. At least now I know what to do and what not to do before class. Sticking with eating 3-4 hours before.

Just posting the good, the bad and the ugly about my practice. Someone asked me the other day if there were any negatives. My answer: “NO…I mean YES, lots of bad hair days”. That’s all I could think of.

I often blog about annoyances (some classmate with bad smell, a lady placing essential oils in her mat, the teacher not using the word “change”, the dead fly in the fluorescent light that is looking down at me during savasana, the lack of space in some studios I have visited) but the truth is that at the end of the day all these things are insignificant. What matters is our own practice. Giving 100% each time, no matter how crowded, how smelly, how much I like the studio or the teacher. The instructor said something I really liked “all you need is in this room right now”. YES! And Yes, I will continue blogging about the little annoyances, it's in my nature :-)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Bikram Yoga 60-Day Challenge - Day 36 and 37

Saturday 8:00
The classes in the mornings are definitely not as hot as the afternoon ones. It was at least 5 degrees cooler. I like it very hot and humid. My intention for the class was the same as the day before. Full attention to the dialogue with an emphasis in Standing Separate Leg Stretching. It’s official. I am able to touch the floor with the forehead without major slipping. Yahoooo. Not moving onto the next pose yet. Need to master getting out of this one gracefully.

Sunday 10:00am
I felt I was in the sauna during class today. It was not just the heat and humidity but the intense smell of rosemary. It turned out that the person in front of me placed a couple of drops of essential oils on her towel right before class. Is that even allowed? Now, I love the smell of rosemary but what if tomorrow she brings other stuff like frankincense which I can’t really stand. Two other girls were talking about this in the bathroom after class. I guess this person used patchouli oils a couple of days ago. Wondering if I should say something or just keep quiet and secretly enjoy it, hoping that she sticks with rosemary. I can't imagine this is allowed in BY. BTW, no doubt that aromatherapy does wonders but for this style of yoga, I prefer my room with a sweaty smell :)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Bikram Yoga 60-Day Challenge - Day 35

Friday 6:30pm

Another amazing class with Sarah. To my surprise there were only 15 students in the room, a small crowd for Friday night. Hey, I am not complaining. It was perfect. I was in a very good spot, first row right in front of the teacher. She provided me with good corrections. And for the first time in a long time, my feet didn't slip during Standing Separate Leg Stretching. I got it!!! I started with a wider stance than usual (more than 4 feet). I also made sure I had slightly pigeon-toed. Once I bent forward and grabbed my heels, I pulled harder and harder and harder and before I realized it I was touching the floor with my forehead. This brought a BIG smile on my face. My next goal is to get out of the pose with grace. Baby steps. Another accomplishment is that my face was completely neutral during awkward pose, no funny faces tonight :-) Going to bed, need to wake up in 6 hours for my next class.

2 notifications in FB from my teacher - Ohhh I want to do this !! I want to practice in a room with 100s of people.

Bikram Yoga-RB I am in Vegas at the Teacher Training checking things out. Got so lucky.... Bikram taught the p.m. class. I love taking Bikram's class. He never disappoints! Wednesday

Bikram Yoga-RB Talk about luck... Bikram taught again on Thursday night! Yahooooooooooooo! He was on fire! He said that he thinks that Coke should sponsor him. He was a hoot. With his vibrant personality, candy, and cola... he was especiallly fun! Gotta love Bikram! Thursday

I want to be part of this crowd

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bikram Yoga 60-Day Challenge - Day 33 & 34

Wednesday 6:30 pm
Another amazing class with Sara S. She is an incredible teacher. She is very technical. She is very sweet and tough at the same time. I found a video of her at


She was the 2007 - 2008 Texas Yoga Asana Champion. I was lucky enough to stand next to 2 new students so I got some attention :)

Thursday 6:00 am

Great class. I completed it without a sip of water. This was not by choice. I just forgot my water bottle in the car. Amazingly enough, I didn’t miss it. I had one of those coconut water drinks before class which kept me very hydrated. Once again, I felt to sleep during final Savasana. It’s becoming a pattern with this teacher “RELAX YOUR MIND … RELAX YOUR mind … RELAX your mind … RELAX” and I am out. He has the most calming voice.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bikram Yoga 60-Day Challenge - Day 32

Good 6:00 am class!! Practicing with complete empty stomach is the way to go. I finished the class without "resting" this time, pose after pose and very focused. I even tried to smile during awkward pose but it was challenging. Standing head to knee pose ( #5 Dandayamana Janushirasana) is still the most difficult pose for me. But this time I was able to lock the knee for the entire pose. Standing separate leg stretching pose ( 8. Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Paschimottanasana) is getting harder and harder as my feet constantly slip ( with and without towel). Need to find a solution for this.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Bikram Yoga 60-Day Challenge - Day 31

I had a terrible class tonight. I should NEVER eat dinner half hour before entering the torture chamber. What was I thinking? I was very tired and sweating like a pig by half moon pose. I took lots of savasanas throughout the class and I puked 4 times in my mouth. I know. It's gross but it could have been worse. I can't believe I stayed in the room. To top this, the teacher tonight was one of my favorites. I haven't seeing her in a long time ( 4 months at least) and I was looking forward to her class. She was also my first Bikram instructor. I wanted to do very well so she could see my progress but this didn't happen :( She sat next to me during Head to knee pose (#24) so that I would work harder on getting my forehead to my toes. Not today. But I love that she did that. I love that she remembered that one of my goals was / is to master this pose some day. She actually asked me in the reception before class if I was able to do it yet. "I have patience" I told her ;-)

My intention for this class was to keep a BIG smile during most of the poses, especially the challenging ones. Well, it didn't happen. The smiles came later when everything was over. Will try again tomorrow!!!

Bikram Yoga 60-Day Challenge - Day 30!!!

Sunday - 8:00 am

Half way done -30 more days to go!!! Some people have asked me if I notice some differences. Of course, I am summarizing here:

- I have more energy at all levels. I feel good!!!

- My body is getting toned ( especially arms and thighs)

- I am no longer an emotional eater.I only eat when I am truly hungry.

- My posture has improved tremendously.

- I am getting more flexible each day.

- Greater focus, control and determination on and off the mat.

- It supplements my running too

- I feel very creative and alive.

OK, some negatives too:

- Lots of bad hair days :(

- Sweet physical discomfort every now and then

Looking forward to my next class!!!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Bikram Yoga - 60-Day Challenge Day 28 and 29

Day 28 - Friday 6:30
I am not feeling 100%. I am on the verge of getting a very bad cold. Still, I am hoping that the sweating and the large amount of fluid intakes help me getting rid of this soon. Class was good but there were two new students to Bikram that were talking to each other through all savanas. Very annoying. The instructor should have told them something. As for the rest, I was able to touch the floor with my forehead during Standing separate leg stretching pose (#8). Yahooo

Day 29 - Saturday 8:00
Great class. I am getting rid of these flu symptoms very slowly. Awww, there is nothing like bending forward during Pada Hastasana (hand to feet pose) especially after Ardha Chandrasana. I enjoy this the most.

Can't blog too much tonight. I just spent 2 hours removing viruses from my laptop :(

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Bikram Yoga 60-Day Challenge - Day 26 and 27

Day 26 - Wednesday 6:30 pm

The afternoon classes are the best. Our teacher was a little bit moody though. I understand is not right for students to leave in the middle of the class because they have prior engagements. This is not a good reason. They should, at least, notify the instructor ahead of time. I can tell the instructor didn’t like it one little bit. Also, she is very particular about group energy and always starts counting when every single person in the class is in the pose. Well, some students were exhausted after the first 20 minutes of class. It was very hot. When "Standing head to knee pose" arrived some people were not locking their knees, they were just standing there breathing. Again I could tell she was not happy. "Como'n people, you are sucking everyone's else energy", she kept saying. Then she made a similar comment when we were doing the sit ups after each savasana as everyone was starting and finishing at different times. "Guys you are not listening to the dialogue, please pay attention, don't anticipate, feel the energy in the room".

All things said, I had a good class. She sat next to me and adjusted me during Janushirasana with Paschimottanasana. Need to have my back more flat. I want to be able to touch my toes with my forehead. I want Bikram to jump in my back and give me a number. Right now, I am at least 6 inches away :(

Day 27 - Thursday 6:00am
"RELAX YOUR MIND, RELAX YOUR mind, RELAX your mind, relax......" Zzzzzzz. Today, I felt to sleep during final Savasana. It was fantastic!!! The teacher's voice was very smooth. Great for savasana but just OK for the rest of the class. I could hardly hear him at times. I thought it was me but then another student asked me after class if I was able to hear the instructor.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Bikram Yoga 60-Day Challenge - Day 24 and 25

Day 24 - Monday 6:30 pm
Another amazing class!! The room was hotter than ever before. The teacher Colleen was extraordinary. Great instructor, very precise in her description of poses and nice people skills. I love her sense of humor!! She heard me talking to a couple of people after class and mentioned that she wanted to learn some Bikramisms in Spanish like "lock your knees" (rodilla recta). What about Japanese Ham Sandwich? I asked her. "Ohhh that's a good one, a loooong one too" LOL. I laughed as I had flashbacks of my Bikram class in Madrid. The first time I heard the dialogue in Spanish I found it hilarious. Silly things!

Day 25 - Tuesday 6:00 am

I am not feeling 100%. I am fighting the beginning of a cold that must stop right away. I can't afford taking time off at this stage so I am drinking lots of water and taking some Zicam.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Bikram Yoga 60-Day Challenge - Day 23

Sunday 10:00am

This is the first time that I go to Bikram Yoga class with a hangover. Yes, Halloween was great. Lots of eating and drinking and two back-to-back parties. I am actually surprised that I had "energy" to post something, even if it was a few lines. Need to keep track of this beautiful journey ;)

Today was the first day of the 30-day Bikram Yoga Challenge at the studio. Lots of people signed up in the last minute. This is exciting. Not sure if it was crowded because of this or because everyone needed the extra hour of sleep after Halloween night. Also, the clocks were changed backwards last night. I just couldn't wake up at 8:00 so I went for the 10:00am. The class went well, considering :)

The teacher said something in the class that made me think - "remember the body is stronger than the mind". Really? The mind is definitely more powerful than the body. I always thought. Then, a few hours later I was running my 8K (like every Sat and Sun). At about 1 mile I started feeling tired and I wanted to quit, my mind was procrastinating and wondering in all directions, finding excuses for returning back home. Then I told myself "yes, I do this every single weekend, why not now? I don't have a full stomach. I am not thirsty. I don't want to go to the bathroom or anything. Be honest to yourself". My mind is weak, my body can do it. I have done it before. Ohhhh, that's what she meant. It's not that your body is stronger than your mind is that your mind is weak. This is my new mantra for running.

One more thing - I had a weird Bikram dream that night. A sign that I am becoming a Bikram nerd, maybe? :-) Anyway, I was actually participating in the Bikram Championships and decided to do a savasana for my choice pose. I woke up laughing and wondering if this has ever happened before. LOL. If you know of a real life example, please post a link here. I MUST see it!!! I think I had this dream because one of my teachers who keep saying "savasana is the most challenging, most important pose… bla bla bla..."

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Bikram Yoga 60-Day Challenge - Day 21 and 22

Friday 6:30 and Sat 8:00
Both classes were great. Too tired to blog. Happy Halloween!!! I can't believe it's almost 2:00am

Friday, October 30, 2009

Bikram Yoga 60-Day Challenege - Day 20

Thursday - 6:30pm

This class was definitely the most challenging one. It was extremely hot and crowded. I arrived just 2 minutes before the class started. There was only 1 good spot left close to the center of the room. As I put down my mat, the person behind me asked me to move because she couldn't see herself in the mirror. There was not enough space to the left or the right to where I was standing so I found another spot close the left mirrors, a very inconvenient place. This time I was blocking someone else view as well. At least the person behind me didn't complain.

I understand that you need the visuals to perfect your practice but if you are good at it ( as she was) why not standing in the front row (with perfect view) instead of staying in the back and asking everyone to free the space for you.

Unfortunately, I let this bug me throughout the entire class. I couldn't really see the teacher and the corrections that she was proposing. The teacher couldn't see me neither but this girl got lots of instructions from the teacher.

Ok, shaking it, letting it go. Bikram often says "don't let anyone steal your peace". It is becoming my mantra now. Looking forward to the next class. I promise to be early this time

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Bikram Yoga 60-Day Challenge - Day 19

It's getting chilly in Southern Cali. It was probably around 55 degrees this morning. The studio felt very cold as well but as soon as I entered in the class "Awwww" it was awesome. It is the first time I didn't want to leave the room after practice. The longest final savana I've ever done. It was fantastic. Love Standing bow pulling pose (#6 - Dandayamana Dhanurasana) and toe stand ( #12 Padangustasana). I am finally able to bring both of my hands in prayer position while on my toes without loosing balance. I notice that it's easier when balancing on my right feet's toes.

After class, I feel energized, grounded and mentally crisp. Best feeling in the world. Better than eating high quality chocolates or a good cup of my favorite tea!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bikram Yoga 60-Day Challenge - Day 18

I thought I would never say this but the room was not HOT enough for Bikram practice. I felt it was 10 degrees cooler than last night. Maybe it's just me, maybe I am just getting used to it. The class was still nice, not easy. No major improvements in any particular posture but overall I felt more flexible. Also, I normally just focused on myself 100% but this time I couldn't keep my eyes off the person in front of me. She had perfect postures, perfect body and also a very nice outfit. There was something about the way she move in and out of the postures with lots of grace. Her face never looked tired. Something very calm about it. It was totally inspiring. I wondered if she was an instructor. That's exactly how I want to be. Physically Strong and mentally awake. I need to stop making "funny faces" when doing awkward pose.

Silly stuff - the instructor today was going over some announcements in between poses when she mentioned that one of the prices for the 30-day challenge was a 60 seconds facial ( instead of 60 minutes). Everyone had a laugh. Great vibe overall!!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Bikram Yoga 60-Day Challenge Day 17

What a great day!! I took a Power Vinyasa class at lunch time for some excitement. I know, it's not Bikram Yoga but I had to do something for lunch. It was so relaxing I felt to sleep during Savasana. It was a little bit embarrassing to wake up in a room with half of the people gone already.

Then in the afternoon I went to my B.Y. class. It was the best ever, even though I had some power bar and drinks right before class. I normally don't like to exercise with my stomach full. The room was very hot, the teacher Coleen was amazing, as usual, and we were a big crowd ( probably 45 people, we are normally 1/2 that size). To be continued tomorrow...extremely tired. Zzzzzzzzz

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Bikram Yoga 60-Day Challenge - Day 16

I am not longer sore. Yahoooo!!! Still feeling bloated though. Lots of water retention. Not very impressed with the class today. The instructor didn't provide posture corrections to anyone, not even to a new student standing behind me who was doing some of the poses completely wrong ( palms and feet not facing where they were supposed to). Also, this instructor didn't use the word "change" and her voice was so soft that many times we would stay in a pose pushing hard for extra 10 seconds while the rest of the class was moving on to the next posture. Hopefully, I can walk tomorrow. It's very interesting how all teachers follow the same dialogue but develop their own unique style.

After BY class, I skipped family run and went to a Birthday party with NT. Then, we all headed to Whole Foods Market and the beach. Awwww, what a relaxing afternoon!!! We should do this more often

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Bikram Yoga 60-Day Challege - Day 14 and 15

Day 14 - Friday 6:30
The room is definitely hotter at this time of the day. Wow, I could hardly breath. I ended up taking 2 small breaks. It was nice we were a group of 10-15 people. We received lots of personalized attention, posture corrections.

Day 15 - Saturday 8:00
Nice class. I am very proud of myself. My teacher told me that my Standing Bow Pulling Pose (#6) was gorgeous. This is something I couldn't do very well when I first started. Now I need to work on Standing Head to Knee Pose (#5). One of the most challenging postures. I feel extremely sore and I notice incredible water retention in my body. After class and a quick lunch, JT and I took turns running to Albertsons and back. Actually, I was only able to complete 1-way running. At least I finished our circuit.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bikram Yoga 60-Day Challenge - Day 12 and 13

Day 12 - Wednesday 6:30pm
This was my second class with Sarah. She is an amazing instructor. Today, I borrowed a yoga mat from the studio since I left mine in the car and there was no time to grab it. What a difference!!! I am now convinced that having the right tools makes all the difference in the world. The mat was very thick unlike mine. As I was standing on top of it, I felt more grounded. Very focused throughout the practice.
During Standing separate leg stretching pose, I was able to reach the floor with my head. However, I celebrated too early and felt down miserable :( Need to remember to look forward next time. The rest of the class went well.

Day 13 - Thursday 6:00am
Added my name to the 30-day challenge board in the studio. For some reason I thought I had to wait until Nov 1st to do this. So far, 4 people have signed up including 2 instructors. I wonder if everyone else is waiting until day 1 of the challenge since the owner has offered a special rate for the 30-days.

The class went very well. I found triangle pose extremely challenging as usual. Once this pose was over, I felt the rest of the class was a piece of cake. I know it's not true but that's what my mind is telling me every single time we reach this point. The instructor talked a little bit about the 30-day challenge and advised us to observe the habits that we are creating every day, followed by a quick reminder of minimizing water breaks during postures, etc... After the class, she gave me a nice and energizing gift for the completion of my own challenge, almost 2 weeks. Some electrolyte packets. So nice!!!

I am looking forward to class tomorrow already. I wish I could do a double today but logistically it's not feasible :(

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bikram Yoga 60-Day Challenge - Day 10 and 11

Day 10 - I had the most challenging class so far. 6:30pm with Coleen. She is the BEST. The room was HOT HOT HOT!! This is the first time I practice with full stomach. I was starving right before class :( I don't recommend it to anyone. Also, I added a packet of electrolytes to my water drink. It was actually pretty good, not as sweet as I thought it would turn out. I left the studio very energized as usual. However, back home I didn't have time to gather my thoughts in writings.

Since I am going to class on Mon nights and Tues mornings,Wed nights and Thu mornings and again Fri nights and Sat mornings, I have decided to combine 2 days in 1 (only writing on Tu, Thu and Sat)

Day 11 - Woke up at 5:00 and got ready for 6:00am class. I am sore from BY for the very first time, especially my arms and back. I shared this with the instructor and she replies "good, that means you are going deeper into your practice" Hmmmm.

Today, they have posted a chart in preparation for the studio's 30-day challenge. The studio owner also leaves a note in FB letting us know that they "will raffle off SUPER prizes, too. But best of all, when you finish the challenge, everyone wins because it is truly a beautiful metamorphosis of the mind and body!" I truly believe it.

Feeling very grounded this morning!!! :)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bikram Yoga 60-Day Challenge - Day 9

Good 8:00 am class, small group. I made it to class with 2 minutes to spare due to some car issues. Fully focused throughout the entire class though. No family run today :(

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Bikram Yoga 60-Day Challenge - Day 8

Great 8:00 am class. The room was not as hot as yesterday afternoon. I was able to complete the entire series with only two sips of water. We were a small group so we got more attention from our instructor. Need to work on my triangle pose. Not longer annoyed by the little things (sweat, hair in the face, thoughts invading my practice...) like yesterday. Full concentration throughout the entire class :) Need to research into the expression "creating natural human traction". I don't get it.

I felt energized after class and went for a family run (just 3 miles) and a swim afterward.

Bikram Yoga 60-Day Challenge - Day 7

Today for the first time in BY class, I started getting annoyed about the little things ( sweat in my forehead, hair in front of my eye, palm itching me...you name it). It was terrible not being able to concentrate - meditate 100% throughout the entire class. I was very distracted, agggggg. Otherwise, good 6:30 pm class. Another great new instructor, Sarah. Enjoyed the heat in the room and had a great eagle and camel poses. Very tired, falling to sleep!! Need to focus on balance tomorrow.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A greater appreciation for the heat

Yes, so I headed back to the gym at lunch time for another yoga class and a little more stretching exercises. This time I tried a Power Vinyasa class for a change. As I am writing this I have mixed feelings about practicing other types of yoga, especially after reading the book "Bikram Yoga: The Guru Behind Hot Yoga Shows the Way to Radiant Health and Personal Fulfillment" and learning more about the history of yoga in the United States.

To my surprise, we start the class with half moon pose, follow by eagle pose, then awkward pose, then…What the heck? Same poses but in different order, no HEAT and terrible music in the background (sorry, I can't "exercise" to Bob Marley).

Interestingly enough, the instructor is following part of the Bikram dialogue but with a softer tone ( without the typical “lock your knees, lock your knees, lock your knees” or “push push push.. change”) Hmmm. I was not sure if I should stay or go. I ended up sticking until the end with my mind wondering in 100 different directions and complete lack of meditation and concentration. Now, this is not yoga to me.

It’s funny how I've developed such deep appreciation for my Bikram Yoga practice overtime. Considering that after my first class, I thought I would never come back. I didn’t know what to think @ the heat, the fast dialog, the lack of music. hahaha. And here I am complaining about the opposite scenario.

When the Power Vinyasa class was over, I went to talked to the instructor. I was curious to find out if Power Vinyasa always follows the same sequence or if she is also a Bikram student. It turns out that her mentor studied with Bikram. Ahhhhh, this explains it. Still, where was my heat?

Anyways, these are some of the crazy things I do at lunch time. Hitting the gym and appreciating the heat more than ever before :)

Bikram Yoga 60-Day Challenge - Day 6

I just came back from the 6:00am class. It was excellent. We had a new teacher again. It's nice receiving classes from different instructors every now and then since everyone has different style. However, sometimes I wish the teacher wouldn't float that much. Looking for consistency and someone that notices if I have made any improvement. If I make any sense.

Two announcements were made. Rajashree Choudhury is coming to our studio mid Dec for a day long seminar and the studio is starting a 30-day challenge on Nov 1st. I knew about the challenge. I am also very excited about Rajashree visit. She is coming right after I finish my 60-day challenge. Hopefully, I don't collapse.

No major improvements since yesterday. Still struggling with #5 Dandayamana Janushirasana, standing head to knee pose. Almost touching the floor with forehead in standing separate leg stretching pose.

Also, I am pretty sure that Balancing stick pose doesn't really last 10 seconds like the dialogue says. I've been counting.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Bikram Yoga 60-Day Challenge - Day 5

Today I went to the 4:30pm class. It was hotter than usual and very challenging. For the last 2 days, I haven’t been able to make it all the way to camel pose without a small savasana break. My most challenging posture is still #5 Dandayamana Janushirasana or "standing head to knee". I have a hard time locking my knee and consequently extending the opposite leg. On the other hand, to my surprise, I was able to complete Padangustasana or Toe Stand, including both hands in prayer position while balancing on my toes. Yahoooo!!! Good sweat. Another great class.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Bikram Yoga 60-Day Challenge - Day 4

Today I was supposed to go to BY class at 6:00 am but I was so tired I missed it. I actually woke up at 7:00am very confused about timing. I put on my yoga clothes and prepared my bag with towel and bottle of H20. Only when I was about to leave, I realized what I was doing. JT was looking at me with a funny face and smiled. I was zombie.

OK, not a big deal. I ended up going to the 6:30pm class. Seems like the afternoon classes are way hotter. This was a very intense class. Different teacher, still good. Talked to a couple of students. One of them mentioned that she has been practicing Bikram Yoga for 3 years and did a 365-day challenge once. Wow, what a commitment!! 60-days seem nothing now.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Bikram Yoga 60-day Challenge - Day 3

Wow, we had an amazing class today. The best one so far. The room was hotter than usual, at least 115 degrees and the new teacher, Colleen was amazing. Nice combo. I don’t remember ever sweating this much before. What can I say? I really enjoyed the class. My first one in the afternoon too (6:30 – 8:00). I am exciting that my mom is going to Bikram Yoga Madrid tomorrow morning. I am physically exhausted but very happy,
can't write anymore today!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Bikram Yoga 60-Day Challenge - Day 2

Back on track. The class was definitely easier than yesterday's. I was able to enjoy my 2 favorite poses, Eagle ( garurasana) and Camel Pose (Ustrasana) which I could not finish yesterday. A slight painful sensation next to my right rib when doing rabbit pose (sasangasana). No, I don't have all the names of the asanas memorized yet but I am working on it. Looking forward to tomorrow's class.

On a separate note, I didn't have the chance to run this afternoon :( Family run is part of my weekend routine. Will need to work twice as hard tomorrow.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Bikram Yoga 60-Day Challenge - Day 1

Today I went to Bikram class determined to start my 30-day challenge. The studio owner reminded me that I haven't been there for a while. I know :( First, the 2-week trip to Spain (at least I managed to take a Bikram class at the only studio in Madrid) then a 5-day Birthday weekend with close relatives and finally some laziness on my part, I must confess. I couldn't wake up at 5:15am last Thursday for my 6:00 am class.

But now it's Saturday, I am back and very focus. I tell the studio owner that she’ll be seeing me more often as I am planning on visiting Bikram's Torture Chamber for the next 30 days. She replies "ohhh, I am going to offer a 30-day challenge to all students starting November 1st. It's going to be awesome. It's going to include prizes provided by some friends of mine like a 60 minute Swedish massage, a 60 minute facial and 1 month of unlimited classes". It sounds fantastic. I can go for that. My mind starts wondering though. I have already mentally sign up for a 30-day challenge starting today. When I tell her she encourages to go for a 60-day challenge instead since it's Bikram's initial recommendation anyway. Sounds interesting!!

So this is where I stand. I am starting my challenge today and I am committed to complete at least 30-days and revisit, on day 29, the possibility of completing an additional 30 days. We'll see. BTW, the class today was hard. As I mentioned I haven't taken any class for a while. On top of this, I am sore from my Body Works (= cardio / weight lifting) class last night. I stopped a couple of times in the middle of the class (something I normally don't do) but I finished. 29 classes to go!! Or maybe 59 <-- this number scares me. I went running 5 miles after class. Very tired!!