Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mission completion

Monday 6:30 pm
Tuesday 6:00 am and 6:30 pm

And with three classes within 24 hours and a nice compliment during Standing Separate Leg Stretching Pose, I finished this mini challenge. It didn't feel as glorious as my last 60-day challenge, I must admit. But it was a good one considering that I managed to go to class almost every single day during the busiest time of the year at work, March Madness.

As mentioned in my previous post, I've decided not to extend the challenge to a 60-day one because of a 5-day business trip coming up and some family obligations. This doesn't mean that I am quitting or anything. I am actually getting ready for a new challenge starting tomorrow, April 1st. It includes Bikram classes (x5/wk), power yoga (x3/wk) and lots of running. It's actually more intense but it takes less time. I can do power yoga and running at lunch time but no Bikram studios around here, plus I only have 1 hour for my lunch. I am calling my new challenge "Operación Bikini 2010 - Las Vegas countdown" hahaha. I am going to swing by BY teacher training for a couple of days this spring. I am very excited about it!!

Have a good day!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Day 24 - 25 -26 - Almost there ... [ class 25,26,27]

I feel like the rabbit in Alice - I'm late! I'm late, for a very important date! No time to say hello, goodbye! I'm late, I'm late, I'm late!".

Tomorrow concludes my 30-day challenge. Mission accomplished. Well, as long as I go to class tonight and do a double tomorrow night. Initially I was debating between a 30-day and 60-day challenge. I've decided to revisit my options on day 29.

Well, it's not optional at this point. My boss just dropped a bomb a couple of days ago "Be available in April. We are going to have a 5-day offsite retreat". OK, here you go. I was a little disappointed at first. Last night I spend 1 hour adding and subtracting days. Let me explain. I officially started this challenge on March 1st but I've been going to Bikram class nonstop since 2/16, that is 12 extra days. I know, going backwards is cheating BUT ... I thought I could just consider doing 18 more classes and voila BUT it's not going to work. First, I won't be able to do 5 doubles at a later time. Second, I have other family responsibilities. I am not feeling bad about it. I am just going back to my 5 days a week practice. It's all good!! Maybe one day I'll be lucky enough to do this every single day of my life :)

As for my last three classes...On Friday, I woke up early and wrote in FB "nothing is going to stop me from "taking off like a 747" this afternoon, not even this bad cold!!! Gosh, I am feeling like crap". I went to the 4:30pm class with fever but I managed to stay in the room. My mantra is actually "never NEVER leave the room". I was back at the studio on Sat for 4:30pm and Sunday for 10:00 am. I couldn't breath then but now everything is clear. Feeling great again!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Day 23 - Another morning class. Aghghg [ Class 24]

I couldn't make it to the studio lat night. I am still very sore from a power yoga class I took on Tuesday night. It was crazy. We did over 50 crocodiles or chaturangas. Now, if you don't know what this is, picture a very sloooow push up, holding plank position for few seconds at a time.

This morning I woke up at 5:15am and got ready for class. Now, if you are an aficionado of my blog ;) you know I don't like early classes. The room is too cold, my body is stiff, etc... Same story this morning :(

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Day 21 and 22 - Is this considered a double? [Class 22-23]

Monday 6:00 pm
41 students in the 6:30 class last night!! The energy was amazing and Jake taught a fantastic class!!

Tuesday 6:30 am
Well, you know how I feel about morning classes. I don't like them. Room is cold, body is stiff, only few students = low energy levels. No matter how good the teacher is, this class is not for me. Let me review the positives, I can pick pretty much any spot I want in the class. What else? After class, I am done for the day. What else? Hmmm, that's it. I spent the whole class in la-la land, thinking about Pedro Almodóvar's latest movie which I watched last night or should I say 5 hours before class. Zzzzz so sleepy.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Day 19 - A Double!!! - Day 20 (class 21) - Back row

Friday - 4:30-6:00pm and 6:30-8:00pm

I planned for a double on Friday afternoon. I knew I wasn't going to make it on Saturday, family plans. Someone suggested that I take a shower in between classes. Do you ever do this? It was tempting. I had extra clothes with me but I didn't. I was so tired I'd have probably ran home after the shower. My body is feeling very sore and stiff lately. My first class was just good. The second class was relaxing BUT only after I completely surrendered. I had a little anxiety attack towards the beginning of the second class. It usual happens when I do a back-to-back. My train of thought was "I've already been in the room for 90 minutes, I don't need to stay for another 90. Gosh I already told the teacher. Wow, 180 minutes. Do I really need to do rabbit pose again?". I am glad I stayed in the room.

Sat - OFF

Sun - 8:00 am
I took a back seat since my body is tired and practiced in the back row. It felt really weird. This is my first time practicing in that spot. I usual stand in the front rows, all over the room ( left, right, middle). Not sure I liked the back though.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Day 18 - I pinched a nerve

Yesterday, I pinched a nerve on my left leg two times. It was very painful. I couldn't move or put my leg against the floor. Not sure how to describe the feeling. This was my first ever. It was like a Charley Horse but pinching sensation throughout my entire left leg all the way to my left hip. How you ever experienced this? It just happened after I stood up from my chair at work. I wasn't doing anything crazy. I wasn't hanging upside down or anything like that. It eventually disappeared.

In the afternoon, I went to Bikram with some concerns. I told my instructor before the class started, just in case. Her advice was to take it easy and do everything very slow. So I went to the torture room worried. Pranayama ( =piece of cake). The leg is not that involved during this pose anyways. Next, padahastasana. I slowed down. As I was doing the first forward bend I thought "ok, this is it, I am going to pinch it again". But it didn't happen. Then came awkward pose. Again “ok, this is it, I am going to pinch it again". But it didn't happen. Then Standing Head to Knee Pose. "Aha, this is it". I was wrong again. Wow, we really stretch our legs in Bikram. I actually spent the whole 90-minutes worrying about my left leg. I did every pose very VERY sloooow with a mixture of "hope it doesn't hurt" feeling and "maybe I can dupe the issue, identify which pose is causing this and fix IT". I know, call me masochist but that's what I do for a living. In order to fix problems with our servers, I sometimes need to troubleshoot and duplicate the issue first. In this case, I was not able to "dupe" it. Maybe it had nothing to do with Bikram and all the stretching that we do regularly, but I doubt it.

I managed to complete the class with no physical pain. But what's most interesting is that my mind was so busy worrying about my leg that the class went by in a blink.

After class, Jimmy brought more fresh coconut for us. This time, he brought straws and everything. Well, everything except pineapples and rum. hahaha

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Day 17 - Happy St Patrick's Day

I hope you had a great St Patrick's Day, full of beer and lots of green. Oh wait, no green in Bikram. No green mats, no green towels, no green clothes, no green drinks, no green PERIOD. You might ask why, here is a great post explaining it all.

How did I celebrate? I went out for lunch with my co-workers to a local brewery / restaurant in Carlsbad. We all tried the special St Patrick Day's oatmeal stout. The description read " brewed with roasted malts and rolled oats for coffee-like flavors and dark chocolate undertones". Yes, I could taste all this. It was delicious and I am not a stout fan. I love beer though. It's in my Austrian genes.

Three hours later, with a clear mind, I headed to my Bikram studio. I arrived 3 minutes before class started. The room was packed and the only spot left was by the door. I've mentioned before, in previous posts, that I don't like practicing by the windows or door. Well, the room was so hot (or maybe it was the beer ;) that I really welcomed it last night. Nobody left during class but the door kept opening up during final savasana.

The highlight of the day was not the visit to the brewery ( although it was a nice impromptu trip). The highlight was trying fresh coconut water. One fellow yogi brought fresh coconuts. He opened them after class and let us try it. It was DELICIOUS. 100 times better than Zico. It tasted nuttier, kind of like a cashew drink. Mmmm, if you never tried it before you should check it out.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Day 15 and 16

Day 15 - Monday 6:30pm - "Gut" class
Love our instructor Stephan. He has a great sense of humor and a similar accent to Arnie, our Cali "governator". During padahastasana, "from the side you look like a Japanese Ham Sandwich, zo warm, zo juicy, zo delizious, mmmmmmm". During wind removing pose "you need to be more compact, like a smartcar". During some compression pose "stomach in, if you don't like what you see, ZUCK it in" hahaha Right after paschimo "ok 1 more posture and I promise I'll shut up. Sounds delizious". Great class!!!

Day 16 - Tuesday 6:00 am - Coooooold
The room was soooooo cold and my body was so stiff this morning that I couldn't even do a proper sit up, my head would not touch the knees. Agghghghg. I kept thinking throughout the entire class about the Yoga Championship, wondering if the contestants had a hot room in the hotel to warm up before competing. Anyone knows? So difficult to stretch when the room is cold.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Day 14 - Happy Daylight Savings Time and Selection Sunday

It feels like Spring already!! My backyard is blooming (see my pic). I love it. I also enjoy the long days and short nights. At work, March Madness is about to start. Today was Selection Sunday, the day when the NCAA College basketball tournament participants are announced, placed and seeded accordingly.

I signed up for this Bikram challenge knowing that March Madness was going to be the busiest time of the year at work. My thinking is, if I survive this, I will survive anything. My blogs are going to be short for sure.

About today's class, I went to the studio at 4:30 pm. It was unusually crowded. I talked briefly to the studio owner who mentioned that many people missed the morning class due to the daylight savings time change. We were 40 students. I only recognized four. It felt weird. We also had a guest teacher who delivered a not too exciting dialogue. His voice was too soft and I had trouble hearing him at times. I was looking forward to a SUPER class but got an OK one.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Day 11 - 12 & 13 - No time for anything but Bikram

No time to blog or Facebook. No time to be social. No time to eat :( No time for anything but work and Bikram. I haven't missed a class but I haven't had the chance to blog. So here you go, 3 postings in 1

Day 11 - Thu 6:30pm - Dancing to Bikram
Crazy day at work!! I was too busy with all the preparations for the basketball tournaments, coming up next week. I forgot to eat and with an empty stomach I headed to class. It was super hot. There were three new students practicing in front of me. I could tell that they were dancers by the way they were moving around. They were doing grand plies and arabesques throughout the entire standing series. I thought it was funny the way they were positioning their fingers and feet, especially during standing bow and balancing stick, like delicate ballerinas. The teacher should have corrected their hands but I guess their legs were reaching so high, perfect vertical splits, that the rest was just secondary, a small technicality. I got a little annoyed by the lack of corrections. I know...I know, I should have concentrated more on my own practice. But sometimes it's inevitable. Good class overall.

Day 12 - Fri 6:30 pm - You never know what to expect
I had a terrible day on Friday. At work, one of our main servers died. Then, I was told that I would need to travel for 4 days in April. This means, I might not be able to do a 60-day challenge after all but a 30-day one. Then, I found out that we had some budgeting issues which are going to affect our migration. So how did we all cope with these issues? We fixed what we could and we went out for a late lunch at Islands, a burger restaurant. I had a BIG burger and 2 full baskets of fries. Now, I normally don't eat this much, especially 3 hours before Bikram but the stress got us all.

Later on, when I left the office, I started procrastinating. I didn't want to go to class. I thought of my upcoming trip, my full stomach and a million more excuses. But my hubby didn't let me get away with it. He forced me to go to class. So I headed to the studio thinking that this was going to be a disaster. Since the 6:30pm classes are normally pretty hot, I decided to take it easy and practiced by the window ( just cheating a little bit). BTW, I don't usual do this. I don't like standing next to windows or doors for that matter.

During standing series, many thoughts were bombarding me. I was doing the poses but my mind was still at work. By the time we reached the floor, I noticed that all negative thoughts disappeared. Not sure what happened but I regained my focus and decided to give locust pose a good try. You know how the instructors always say
"don't be afraid [ and] it's going to hurt like hell" during half moon pose, first back bend. Well, I feel this way about locust pose. I am not sure what I am afraid of but my legs always stay very straight and close to the floor. Not on Friday though!! I kissed my towel and went UP UP UP. Next thing, I heard the teacher saying "great heights C". Now, how far did I go? I can't really tell but it felt great. I am sure she meant "great heights compared to the other days" not necessarily "awesome locust". Hey, I am just happy for some improvements and positive feedback in a day like this. So glad I didn't skip class.

Day 13 - Sat 4:30 pm - Just another class
Not too hot not too cold not too humid. Solid from beginning to end.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Day 10 - Damien almost died

One of our teachers, Colleen, likes her room HOT, very HOT, to the point that you can't breathe anymore. She was teaching last night. I thought I was going to die. All I could think was "what the f@#$%^&* am I doing here?" Of course, after class, it all felt great and the struggles were easily forgotten.

So how hot was the room last night? Well, let's say that I sweat soooo much that when I placed my iPhone next to my clothes after class, it went foo bar. The iPhone's display died on me. Luckily, I work with bunch of nerds and hackers that were able to take it apart, drain it (yes, there was a lot of sweat dripping inside) and put it back together. It didn’t fix the issue with the display but it saved me $799. When I took it to the Apple Store, the technician mentioned that the water sensor was actual tripped but he couldn't find significant traces of water inside (hehehe, *evil laugh*) making it eligible for warranty coverage. And with that a BIG smile and a new iPhone :) I am so happy. Did I ever mention that I am very attached to my phone? I have a name for him. He is Damien, my little devil. I love him to death.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Day 8 and 9

Day 8 - Monday 6:30 pm - I didn't drink one sip of water

I drank a gallon instead :) I was very thirsty last night and none of the tricks I've used in the past (to limit water intake) seemed to work. Many people left in the middle of the class and others were laying down on the floor for most of the standing series. I didn't take any breaks except for the final Blowing in Firm. During this pose, I found myself out of breath, faking it. I am laughing out loud. The instructor told me after class that I looked sooo serious and sooo focused that he didn't want to mess up with me in class. hahaha

Day 9 - Tuesday 6:00 am Morning classes - not my cup of tea
My body was very sore and stiff. My shoulder blades were killing me during rabbit pose. I usually enjoy my first backbend as well as my first forward bend. This was not the case today. My Japanese Ham Sandwich looked more like a hamburger with gaps for light and room for air. The room was cold, freezing cold. No sweat in my body at all. Agghghg. As for the positives, I get to relax the rest of the day and recharge my batteries. No Bikram until tomorrow night.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Day 7 - Being honest to myself

Sunday - 4:30 pm
I love practicing Bikram when it's raining outside. There is something very relaxing about the sound of the raindrops against the windows and the roof. I felt I was in a spa. The room was hot but not too humid. It was perfect. I tried not too drink too much water during class, just 1 small sip before standing head to knee pose. I was ready to reach for my water bottle before fixed firm pose when I remembered something that one of our teachers told us "be honest to yourself. Are you drinking water because you really need it or out of habit? Let go" aha, this is definitely a habit. And with that thought I completed the class with no extra water breaks and feeling amazing. Let's see if I can do it again tonight :)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Day 5 and 6 - Yes to Bananas. No to water

Friday 6:30 pm - Potassium baby!!

Someone told me that eating a banana 1 hour before class makes all the difference in the world. I tried last night. It worked for me. I am glad I found something I can snack on. I can't eat absolutely anything 3 hours before class and I have been hungry lately. I don't how people can do this.

I was fully concentrated during class. Hardly any movement between poses. I didn't fix my hair, my outfit. I was focused and calm. No expectations. Everything about it felt just right. This was an amazing class.

Saturday 10:00 am - No-water class

Inspired by Mary Jarvis latest article, click here and motivated by a fellow blogger, I decided to do a no-water class today. Wow, it was tough. I felt great until triangle pose and then I started getting dizzy. I was calmed by toe stand and dizzy again by camel pose. I didn't notice any differences in my practice during the standing series ( except for the dizziness) but once on the floor, all spine series poses felt way WAY better than usual. With no liquids in my tummy, I was able to push myself further during cobra and full locust. It was a great class overall. Would I do it again (full class with no water)? Not sure but I will try to limit my water intake moving forward, just one small sip before standing head to knee and one before fixed firm pose max.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Day 3 & 4 - Not too glorious - con si con sa

Wednesday - 6:30pm

This was supposed to be a good Bikram class. I had semi-empty stomach, my body was hydrated, my mat was super clean. YES, did you know you could wash your yoga mat in the washing machine? hahaha I've been practicing yoga for 10 years and it never occurred to me that this could be done until a couple of days ago. Anyway, all the conditions for a successful class were in place but it turn out a total disaster. It counts because I didn't leave the room. It counts because this is yoga practice and not yoga perfection. But other than that, I had to rest during Standing Bow Pulling Pose, 1 set of triangle and 1 set of camel. Not very happy about it. I am glad that Stephan, the instructor, pushed me to do the second sets because I was having a little anxiety attack, shallow breathing.

Not sure where this is all coming from but I have been a little bit stressed out lately. I don't know if you read about Chelsea King over the last few days. This is so sad and scary.

Thursday - 6:00 am
Good class with Tim ( aka the enchanter). He normally does an amazing guided meditation at the end of the class, that had put me to sleep in the past, not today. He has a nice French accent. His voice was so relaxing, I almost felt to sleep during wind removing pose. I couldn't keep my eyes open hahaha

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Day 2 - Not an early (Bikram) bird yet!!

Not long ago, I used to be an early Bikram bird. Yes, I was an "exotic species", waking up, all proud, at 5:00am ready for my BY class. This all changed when I discovered the incredible hot & humid evening classes. Almost immediately, I fell in love with it. I was no longer happy with my morning routine. Well, this is all about to change for good once again, or at least this is what I need to tell myself (it’s all about neurolinguistic programming [NLP] right? hahaha). In order to accomplish this challenge while keeping everyone happy at home, I need to take the Tu & Thu classes at 6:00am. So this is what I did today. I set my alarm clock for 5:00 am and left home while everyone was sleeping.

So how was class? I was tired, yawning in between poses. Not because it was too easy but because it was just way too early, plus I went to bed at 1:00am. Social networking apps and work are keeping me busy nowadays. Nothing too special to mention about this class except that it was cold. Actually, it wasn't cold; it was freezing to my standards. My leg would not slide down during eagle (not enough sweat) and my body was overall very stiff. It was blahhhh. BUT I will get used to the morning routine again (NLP).

During lunch time, I went to the gym for a regular hatha vinyasa yoga class. I figured since I was still sleepy (what's going on today?) I could just take a relaxing class and enjoy the ocean soundscape track. This was not a Bikram class after all. hahaha I was so wrong. The teacher was very tough. I probably did close to 100 chaturangas ( or pushups) and work on some pose called flying pigeon or lolasana. I am pretty PRETTY sure I am going to be very sore tomorrow.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Day 1 - And it all begins or continues

Since the beginning of the year, our studio has been bombarded with lots of new students and new teachers too. I've been told that this is typical. I bet Oprah's article has also something to do with it. This has positives and few negatives. One of the positives is that the room is more crowded and consequently the temperatures feel higher than usual. As you already know, I like my room very hot. Also, I like the enthusiasm of the new students. It's contagious. The new teachers are getting better and better each day. On the negative side, posture corrections are not provided as often as they used to be. I miss this until tonight. I had a great class with Wendy. Solid standing series but I could have done better on the floor. At the moment, I find the spine series postures more challenging than ever before.

My second BY Challenge starts TODAY!!! March 1st

March is such a beautiful month plus I like the fact that the 1st of the month falls on Monday. This being said, it's time for early Spring Cleaning and a new Bikram Challenge. Once again, the question is, shall I do a 30-day or a 60-day? Hmmm. I am starting with 30 consecutive days and going from there. One of my concerns is that March and April are the busiest months of the year, with the NCAA Championships . But I should be able to do it, since I already practice 5-6 times a week. My posting are probably going to be short and sweet ;-)