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 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!!