Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Last Session for a Little While...

I'm a bit sad this week. Tomorrow may be my last bik.ram session for a little while.

I'm having fibroid surgery this Friday. Thursday is prep day with liquid diet and all the fun stuff that you do pre-surgery on a liquid diet :)

I had to take a little break earlier this year when I miscarried and have been back about 2 months now, in a really great groove with it, so I'm sad to leave at this point.

It will likely only be for a month - but then I know that it will likely take me a month to get back to doing bik.ram half-decently well! Oh well. That's just the way it goes!

I'm looking forward to my session tonight. With a teacher who she, herself took a break and is recently re-joined our studio. I love her. And I need this. I need it to help me with mentally preparing for this surgery.

Bik.ram yoga has helped me so much in crucial times, whether it be a stressful day or getting through the grief of a miscarriage. So, it's fitting that it brings me comfort during my pre-surgery week too.

Be back in a little while...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Why Did I Eat after 4pm for 6pm Class??

You know you've done it. You have evening class. You didn't eat enough lunch. And by 4pm you're starving. What do you do??

You know if you eat, your stomach will feel too full for class. You'll be burping every time you take a sip of water. You will feel fat and not be able to breathe as you do the forward bend in half moon.

But if you don't eat, you feel like you'll starve and not be able to make it through class.

Darn me for not pre-planning very well. Yes, I was the one feeling all of those things in the 6pm class for eating after 4pm. I promise, I'll learn... I always do. Until I'm starving again!

At least I made it to class. A feeling-too-full practice is better than no practice!

What's your trick for making sure you don't succumb to needing to eat too close to classtime?

Monday, July 5, 2010

I'm back with a 3 Month Pass!

My hiatus took a little while. I actually did get pregnant & held off on intense exercise... and then I miscarried. It was early on but was still heart-wrenching. Second time for me.

So, it's taken me a little while to recover. But as always, I am so grateful to have my bik.ram yoga to carry me through. And carry me through it has.

I joined up a few weeks ago with a 3 month unlimited pass and am back to going about 4x/week.

I love the sign outside our studio:
Change your body. Change your life.

It's so true for me. I put on a few pounds with the fertility treatments and non-exercise, and I know my body can get back to where it was... and better. And the spiritual/mental aspects of it helps me recover from traumatic incidents like the one I just endured.

I also thought this was interesting from our studio's face.book page:
Camel pose: Is it your nemesis, your best friend or your break time?

It used to be my nemesis... and my break time. But now, camel pose, bring it on. I am ready for you!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tuesday's Double Header

My double header is running & bikram yoga. And I did just that yesterday. I do it sometimes but yesterday was special.

I'm hoping yesterday was my last time in the studio for at least a little while.

You see, tomorrow, I'm doing a fertility treatment. It's been a long road and I'm hoping this one will be the one that gets me pregnant. And I want to make sure I take care of myself and therefore will abstain from my beloved bikram yoga either until I have a baby or... just for 2 weeks while I wait for my tests.

I hope it will mean that I need to stay away from bikram yoga for a little while. I want to do whatever I need to to make sure I can keep a pregnancy.

But I LOVE bikram yoga. And it will be hard. And I won't know what to post about (I did get the pre-natal DVD version of bikram yoga to do at home).

So, slight hiatus for me. I'll give an update in a couple of weeks!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Practicing in Chicago

I was excited to go to the 8am class this Saturday morning in Chicago's City Center! Visiting a new studio is always fun.

I've been here before on my last work trip 6 months ago. When I came last time I registered online for a 6am weekday class... and the teacher never showed. It was their first time ever doing that. They said they'd give me credit. I had forgotten about it.

Well, when I signed in today they said I didn't have to pay! Nice surprise!!

I didn't do a great job of getting the right nutrients ahead of time and should have brought a Gato.rade or coconut water or something in the room. I was starting to fade at some point too early on. I made it all the way to the floor though and only took breaks at the usual suspects like camel.

Great class and best of all - they serve popsicles after every class!  (I guess environmental-impact wise that isn't great though).

Yay for going to a different studio!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

In Chicago & In a Slump

Why can't I get more motivated about yoga?

I had GREAT practices on Mon & Tues night. But somehow couldn't find anything meaningful to write about them.

Sunday I ran 10 miles to prepare for my 1/2 marathon in 2 weeks... maybe that's what's happening. I'm focused equally/a bit more on running right now.

Anyway, as it relates to yoga, for 2 Sundays in a row now I've ran 10 miles and gone to yoga on Monday nights thinking it was going to be hard. Surprisingly, though, those have been my best practices. Go figure! I thought I'd be tighter but I've been more flexible!!

I'm in Chicago for work for the rest of this week. Six months ago I was here and visited the studio on West Chicago Avenue and liked it. I'm hoping to do the same on this trip. Waking up at 6am is slightly better when you've got an hour of time change in your favor! ;)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Monday Night Back Row... Not at All!

The cute teacher was teaching last night. I saw him on the schedule last week and have been looking forward to it since then. I blogged about him a couple of weeks ago here when I had him for the first time. Specifically, this is what I said about him:

Upon arriving at the studio, I learned that someone other than the instructor I thought was teaching was going to teach. I'd never had him before (it's still shocking to me that as much as I go, there are some teachers I still haven't had).

He was AWESOME. So energetic! And gave us good direction. And was funny. And... was cute. I could have fallen in love right then. But I'm married. And happily so. And it's a yoga fantasy anyway.

So, when my husband saw this posting, he said 'You can never go to class with that teacher again'. If you know my husband, he's so not the jealous type, so this was all fun and games.
Well, I told him I was having this teacher again and he said "please make it a back row Monday night!"
I was in... the front row. Yes, I know. BUT, I also realized that I couldn't see him as well in the front row... which is probably best because this is supposed to be about yoga and not a yoga man crush.
It's not just that I think he's cute but he really is so incredibly energetic and funny. And I think it's endearing that he's kinda jock-ish and doesn't fit the typical yoga mold.
It really is just a fantasy. I promise.
I had a great practice yesterday. Was afraid of what it'd be like. I ran 9 miles on Sunday to get ready for a 1/2 marathon in 3 weeks. But I was more flexible than I thought.
One of my other favorite teachers is tonight but much as I don't have a 'crush' on her, I still strive to get to her Tues night class. Except tonight I think I need a break.
I plan to run 6 miles again tomorrow and then get back in the room on Friday. Not as much this week but I have to make room for running if I'm going to feel good for this 1/2 marathon!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Feels Like Swimming

You know that feeling when you're swimming and you turn upside down or you breathe in wrong through your nose? Yeah, well, I've experienced that at yoga. With sweat rolling into my nose in my upside down poses.

All I can say is: gross.

It grosses me out. I'm not in a pool. I'm in a hot yoga room. But sweat should not drip into my nose!!!

It was hot yesterday. And it was even hotter in the room. Sweat dripping EVERYWHERE!

I had run 6 miles during my (long) 'lunchtime' yesterday and then went to yoga at 6pm. I was actually more stretched out than I thought I was going to be.

I love my 'double-header' days as I call them!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Awesome Day = Awesome Practice

I had an AWESOME day yesterday!

I got up really early. Met one of my favorite colleagues for a 6:45 sunrise 5 mile morning run along our glorious monuments and blooming cherry blossoms. I love sunrise runs almost more than sunset runs. Not as many people out. Feel like you have the whole city to yourself, well, along with all the photographers wanting to get good shots of the cherry blossoms!

Then, I had my annual review, which went very well including a surprisingly much higher raise than I anticipated. In fact, my boss had to put in for an exception amount for me. I couldn't get over it and was so appreciative that he went to bat for me! Yay!!!!! (I am doing a pretty good job, I must say, and he said I earned it, which is true, but still, not many bosses would actually recognize that and make a case for you, so I was very happy!).

I called my day my double header because I planned on going to yoga after work.

I had a massive headache at about 4:00 and was worried I was going to bail out. But I didn't. I knew it would be good for me, much as I didn't feel like going.

Upon arriving at the studio, I learned that someone other than the instructor I thought was teaching was going to teach. I'd never had him before (it's still shocking to me that as much as I go, there are some teachers I still haven't had).

He was AWESOME. So energetic! And gave us good direction. And was funny. And... was cute. I could have fallen in love right then. But I'm married. And happily so. And it's a yoga fantasy anyway.

Ok, I digress. Back to my awesome day which = awesome practice. It was the best I've had in awhile. Even though I couldn't do standing head to knee pose very well because I was tight from running. I still went slightly further in some other poses, which felt great.

Yay! Hope that gives some inspiration out there!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Stress in Life Has = So-So Yoga... but Still Practicing

Life has been stressful lately. It's busy time of year for me in my work cycles now (and I'm not even an accountant!) and I feel it in the room & on my mat. I went 3x last week and just felt overwhelmed and that I wasn't doing that great. And that I wanted the session to end every time (usually I just eat it all up!).

But I'm still going and still practicing, which is huge. Work is so busy that I should be spending the extra time I have working. But I know all too well how unbalanced life can feel without yoga & without exercise. So, I keep showing up. It's not pretty. And I feel wiped out on the mat. And I don't stay in my postures as long.

But I'm there. Still practicing. And proud to be doing it.

I'm also re-committing to running a 1/2 marathon in May so I'm going to need to step it up on the running which may take a bit away from the yoga... but my goal is to continue at least 3-4x/week and just work running in addition to yoga. Go me!!

Anyone else running & doing bik.ram?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me with Bikram Yoga Today!

I have taken my birthday day off for the first time ever! And I can't wait to go to the 12pm class for the first time ever too!

Happy Birthday to Me!

I actually turn 35 today and not loving the number but whatever... I love how I feel when I do yoga and am excited to feel that aliveness today with one of my favorite energetic teachers (I usually go to her Monday at 6:15am, so maybe she'll be even more energetic at noon??)

Last week was good but didn't really feel like there was much to report. I went Tues, Thurs and Fri 6pm classes. That was good for last week.

Went further in tow stand. That one is very hard for me. I can actually barely do it and am just trying to get to touch the floor, which I can only do with my left hand... and on my tippy tip of my fingers. Progress, though, and that's good!

What a better present to myself than celebrating my life by practicing yoga today. It's going to be great! :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Too Hot Tuesday & Looking for a Retreat

It was just too hot in the room. And I didn't eat much in the afternoon so I felt hungry & low energy. But it wasn't just me. Many people were sitting out the 2nd series.

And I was so excited because I hadn't gone all weekend (I'm more a weekday warrior than weekend warrior!) and skipped Monday morning because it was just too difficult to get up after daylight savings time changed.

So I was bummed when I had to sit out some/a lot of the 2nd series because I had been looking forward to a great workout & practice. But oh well. That's the way it goes sometimes. At least I was there. And gave it my all when I did do the poses.

On another note, I'm looking for bik.ram retreats... anyone know of any that are in the country and on the east coast? I'm not looking to make a huge vacation out of it. My husband isn't into trying this out... (yet). So, I'm looking for a few days away somewhere. Anyone have ideas on this?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Another Friday Night Front Row & Toe Stand Furtherings

Tonight was great - but hot, really hot. So hot that I had to sit out a few of the 2nd of the poses. Our teacher finally acknowledged that it was hotter than normal at the 1/2 way point and turned it down.

It could also be that I had french fries at lunch and that this is my 2nd in 24 hrs, which I'm not used to - I usually go 36 to 48 hours in between.

Anyway, Fri night teacher sings and sings so well - like he should've been on Broadway or something. I love it. Tonight he sang "I'm leaving on a jet plane" during full locust. Many of us loved it!

And... I went further in toe stand. I basically can't do it. I have tight hips or knees or something and usually have to hold my leg and just bend over. Well, this time on the left side, I actually was able to touch my one hand to the ground! Whew! I couldnt't believe it. It's so amazing when you feel like you'll never 'get' a pose and then you start seeing small improvements. And almost every class I have a small improvement somewhere.

My standing bow pulling poses were pretty good tonight too. I think the front row spot really helps with that.

So, once again, I started out the week with a 6:15am class and ended my week with a 6pm class. Love those weeks!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

She Knew My Name!

Thurs night's teacher knew my name!!! I walked up to the window to sign in and she said "Hi Cheryl!" - Yay! That felt so good.

She didn't have many Buddhist thoughts today but I still really enjoy her. She's also got great energy. Tues night's teacher does too - I really enjoyed that class too!

Tonight, we had the most yummy first timer in the room. Oh, such eye candy. It was amazing. Yum!!! I was feeling self-conscious thinking these thoughts but then Bikram Yoga Chick posted something along these lines for her motivation in this post. So, I thought I could too :)

Update: Forgot to add that not only did this teacher recognize me and knew me but after class I went to a nearby smoothie place for my walk home and as I got up to order, the woman said "mangofest?" - she knew my drink! love it!! :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Finally - Tuesday's Class!

I can't waaaaaaaait for tonight's class. This teacher only teaches on Tuesdays and I LOVE her. I LOVE her energy. It's contagious. And I haven't been able to go to her 6pm Tues class in 3 weeks so I've missed her A LOT.

Yaaaaay to Tuesday's 6pm class!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

5 Days is Way Too Long for a Break

I didn't mean to take a 5 day break. I went last Wed, was sick Thurs, husband wanted time together Friday, Saturday's class got cancelled, SO - I went first thing Mon morning... and it was GREAT to be back.

I was so desperate to do yoga. And I almost didn't go.

They switched up the Mon morning teacher who I've come to really, really like to start my week off right. And this one today I was worried about because I've had her once before and she seemed low energy and never walked around the room.

She was good today, so I'm glad I didn't ditch to try to go to 6pm instead. She showed us a lot of nuances. It's amazing how much I learn to refine my poses each and every time.

And I actually wrapped my right foot around my calf for the first time in eagle pose! :)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Plan B - Go For a Run!

It's not the studio's fault, but I waited until the 6pm class on Saturday to practice - one of the only times I could fit in. I invited a friend too. We got to the studio and because of some electrical problem, they had to cancel the 6pm class.

We quickly got on the phone inquiring about other classes at bikram studios nearby, and no later classes unfortunately.

I was so disappointed. I haven't practiced since Wed. I was sick on Thurs and by Friday, even though I wanted to practice, I hadn't seen my husband all week so didn't go. So, Saturday's cancellation was hard to take... And my Sunday is pretty busy, too busy to fit in a class unfortunately.

So, plan B is to go for a run this morning! Weather is gorgeous here so I think I won't be disappointed with this turn of events :)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Wednesday Night's Class - Well Worth the Wait

I meant to write about it yesterday but then had a busy work day and then I must've not eaten well at lunchtime because I felt absolutely terrible last night, skipping a swim workout to go straight home (early) and got in bed at 6pm to wake up at 6am!!!

So... I likely won't be making it to the studio tonight much as I would LOVE to. I'll see how my energy level is...

Wednesday Night: GREAT. Had a front row spot again, and I'm finding that I push myself harder when I'm in the front row, without necessarily feeling the pressure in a bad way of others looking at me. Either that or it helps to have that close of a view on myself and being able to focus on my eyes & reflection which is sometimes hard for us to do, and easier to avoid in the rows further back.

New-ish teacher for me. I've had her only once before. And I liked her. She did a good job of walking around the room. She reminds me of another one of my favorites - just very calm & collected.

We also had an out of town visitor in the room - a super duper yogi. He was doing a loooooong headstand in the room prior to class! So, maybe that inspired me too.

I worked it hard. The heat in the room was on high as I was dripping the entire time. And I needed coconut water at the end. I usually try to make it on just water.

Our studio is having a potluck after the Sat 6pm class this weekend. I look forward to that! Hope you've had a good bik.ram week & have some good practicing plans this weekend!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Bik.ram Slacker

I'm so desperate for a class... and am signed up for tonight's 6pm despite signing up yesterday morning ... and not making it, and signing up this morning ... and not making it.

I was especially annoyed that I missed Tuesday's 6pm for a work meeting. In fact a performance warning for someone who will likely not be with us in the near future (I'm in HR...)

...And I love Tuesday 6pm's teacher - she has amazing energy. I hear her voice in my head a lot! I've had to miss her 2 weeks in a row now... I'm DETERMINED to go not just tonight but NEXT TUESDAY as well. I need her energy!!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Monday Morning Re-cap

It was hard to get up at 5:15am today. I stayed up a little too late & my dog woke me up at 4:30, so I'm sure just when I was falling back asleep I had to get up. The whole time I was getting ready, I was thinking, "I really don't want to go." It's supposed to be 50 degrees today and thought I should save my exercise for a lunchtime run instead.

But somehow I mustered my energy together. It's been the first time in awhile I could bike down to the studio, so that was good. Plus, I'm working from home today so knew that I could just get home, take a shower and not have to 'do' myself up.

Class was... only ok. I love our Monday morning teacher. It took some getting used to initially. She's got somewhat of an aerobic instructor like voice to her, but now I just love starting my week with her. She's energetic and I let that infuse my early Monday morning.

Nothing too signficant to report on poses today:
  • Standing bow pulling pose seemed to work better on one side than the other
  • I felt like my mind was wandering more than it should
  • The room didn't feel as hot... or maybe it was not having as many people in the room as the 6pm class is
  • I had a good second row spot with mirror access
  • I'm still excited that I can do Camel & Fixed Firm Pose - 2 of which I had only been able to do about a week ago!
Hope you've started your morning & week off right? Any other Monday morning yogis out there?? :)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Friday Night Front Row

I got to 6pm class last night with all my favorite spaces taken up, which are usually along the second row. I like mirror space but am not quite good enough for the first row.

But tonight, I had little choice. There were 2 front row spaces and I took one of them thinking, I'm up for a really good practice today and will do my best to claim this front row space.

And it was a great practice! I really like Friday night teacher's who occasionally sings parts of musical songs during savasana. There were no weird sighing sounds in the room though I felt bad for one really, really tall guy in the third row who seemed to be having a hard time and was hard to avoid him.

I'm so excited to be able to do Camel and Fixed Firm poses - I hadn't been able to really do them till this week & really think it's because I was too scared to go back and have been working on my backward bend in Hands to Feet pose.

This week started with a 6am class and ended with a 6pm class. Can't think of anything better to sandwich the week!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Going Further in the Poses

Being away for 3 1/2 days is a lot for me... I normally don't stay away from exercise in general for more than 36-48 hours, but I wasn't feeling well this week so was determined to make my come-back tonight GREAT. And it was!

I love this Thurs night teacher. She's very positive. Last week she talked a bit about buddhism and about being happy with what 'is' and with what you have. Tonight she said:
"Relax like it's your job"

I like it. I also like that I actually went all the way in Camel and Fixed Firm Pose. That's HUGE for me. I hadn't been able to do them until tonight. But I'm learning to let myself go in the back bends and started tonight by bending more in the Half Moon and somehow in the 2nd half, I was able to do this. Yay me!!!

And I love Standing Bow Pulling Pose. I think that's my favorite. In fact, I do it a lot now just anywhere, in my house, sometimes I even start it in Starbucks as I'm waiting for coffee. But only in the afternoons when not many people are there. And it's more like a standing 1/2 bow in the Starbucks :)

Only hard part about this 6pm class is I've noticed this one guy who just makes these loud sighing sounds. It's really distracting and really annoying. But I'm sure that's just my yoga lesson to focus on me instead of him!

Hope you had a great practice today too!

Craving It After 3 Days

This may be the longest I've gone in about 2 months - 3 1/2 days! And I'm SO eager to get back to it tonight. I last went Monday morning - 6:15am. Today, I took the easy way out for the 6pm class.

Though, I guess the 6am vs. 6pm have trade-offs - 6am - not many people but have to get up super early; 6pm - have to make sure to leave work early (not an easy feat!) and deal with the 50+ people and feet smell in the room...and potentially not getting a good space.

My body is so aching to do these stretches & poses. I feel like shutting my office door and doing some RIGHT NOW! I can wait 4 more hours though.

And tonight is my 'meditation' instructor. Last time she was throwing in buddhism thoughts that really helped me.

I'll tell you all about class soon!

ps - I normally don't go (and can't go) for this long of a stretch without going to a class but my monthly visitor made an appearance Tues and I just felt drained Tues & Wed, so I'm back at it again & can't wait!

First Post

I just started blogging a few weeks ago for another aspect in my life that has seemed nearly all-consuming.

Bikram yoga is another aspect of my life that takes up a lot of my thoughts. I've also been following Bikramanda and LOVE her blog - it's inspiring, it's real and it oftentimes complements my experiences - EXCEPT that she's MUCH harder-core about it all than I am.

My little bikram yoga history:
  • A friend introduced me to it a little over a year ago. Helped that it was winter & got to be in a hot room.
  • I liked it but it was expensive, a time commitment and I was more into my running then
  • I kept coming back to it every 2-4 weeks throughout all of 2009
  • I got O (the Oprah magazine in December) right at the same time that I thought "I really need to lose these 12 lbs that have somehow crept on in the last couple of years" and lo & behold - there was this article about Paige finding Bikram yoga - right in Oprah's mainstream magazine!!! And it was so inspiring. I thought, if this woman can do it, so can I! This is EXACTLY what I need to kick this into high gear (and to soften my stress a bit).
  • In beginning of January, I bought a 10 pass package and used those up pretty quickly
  • I'm now on my 2nd unlimited monthly pass - I go about 3-4x week & want to share my experiences & be inspired by others' experiences
So... I look forward to finding you Bikram yogis out there! :)