Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Class 14 of the summer... and off to the wedding


I'm hoping it won't be confusing as I track two sets of class counts - one is the classes taken over the summer... the other is a 30 day challenge starting when I return from my mom's wedding next week.

Yesterday's class was in my yoga closet. The temp started out at ninety something and was up to 100 for the standing balancing poses. I'm really taking note of the dialog as I practice. There are many places where I notice "natural human traction" in the spine as Bikram "calls" it out in the instructions. I'm getting the sense of how the dialog goes. There are many key phrases that are used in multiple postures. So I can count my class yesterday as a mini memorization session. It's not exactly poring over the dialog, but every bit helps.

I continue to feel frustrated by my inability to balance in the standing balancing postures but I'm trying not to let it phase me. I also tried to last through two sets of camel posture holding the pose the entire time. That's well over a minute in that difficult pose. It's one of my favorites, my back is very flexible.

The forward crunching poses - not so much. They're difficult for me. Rabbit especially.

So we're off to my mom's wedding this weekend, where hubby and I will be performing a song at the reception, to accompany my mom's first dance. The ceremony will be beautiful I'm sure, it's a Taize service (lots of beautiful non-denominational singing), and a doo-wop band for the reception. I've programmed an ipod to fill in the gaps.

Should be a blast! And it's yoga intensive when I return...

Monday, May 25, 2009

memorial day morning class

This morning's class was great, it was a silent class. I quite enjoyed it. I would say my favorite pose today was standing separate head to knee pose. I engaged my stomach muscles, which I am loathe to do in this pose. Trying to find more stability, but today it wasn't a struggle to remain in the pose. Not so much.

A great accomplishment. With my first submission of cashola to training, I got my dialog. I called back my radio spot editing skills to put together two cds of audio tracks to practice with. 46 some odd pages of dialog. Really, it's a ton to learn. But memorizing is easy. I'm brainwashing myself here.


Sunday, May 24, 2009


Memorial day weekend, and three classes to recap

Thursday - home practice. With two hours in the afternoon on a hot day to heat up, the thermometer read 110 when I started. Phew - I know now that I can get it just as hot or hotter than a studio. It was baking hot!

Friday afternoon at my normal studio, a fabulous afternoon practice.

Sunday morning - this morning - I kind of hit the wall at the end of class, was feeling my sore shoulder, and ended up with a shredded tire after arriving home. Not the best morning... but 12 classes down. Onward and upward!

This week is my mom's wedding, so I'll have fewer classes. I think this will give my body a chance to heal and consolidate a bit before I start my 30 day challenge when I get home.

30 classes in 30 days here we come!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

9 and going strong

Today I did something bold - I practiced in a yoga skirt - a skirt with shorts built in. How fun! It's nice and hot outside, and there was an earlier class, so the studio in Montpelier was fabulously warm. Sweat was pouring down my legs as I bent forward in padahastasana for the first time. That's one of my gauges of the heat.

Hubby is out of town so I'm going to try to get two classes in tomorrow.

Today's favorite pose? Hmmmm... I'll say half moon. I really felt my breath holding me up as I sank deeper into the side bends.

8 down

Great class yesterday in the Burlington studio. With one day off, I came into class raring to go, rested, and feeling strong. The teacher was someone I had not met before and I always love taking classes from new teachers.

I get frustrated that my standing balancing postures are not rock solid. I tend to fall out of them numerous times during the 60 and 30 second intervals during which we hold them. But I can feel my body getting stronger so I'm sure minute changes are happening and that I'll be in great shape by the time fall rolls around.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Classes 6 & 7 and a huge triumph!

Taking two more classes this weekend is a secondary achievement to completing 18 holes of golf on Saturday morning. Hubby challenges me to do something and I'm going to do it. We played 18 holes at a public course in central Vermont. Some of these holes were over 400 yards! I didn't keep score. I was more focused on not holding up the people behind us. It became clear that we were doing fine, just moving right along, not holding up anyone or embarrassing ourselves.

Once my nerves settled a little bit I quite enjoyed myself. My swing fell apart completely the last five holes. I couldn't get under the ball at all. But I had some good tee shots and had a respectable day. That was a major major thing to overcome! We're now officially golfers!

So I came home after golf and a nice lunch and eventually went into my "hot closet" and did the bikram class. I'm not going to lie, I did not push myself terribly hard. I wasn't sure how sore I would be from the golf and I didn't want to get into areas of muscles that were already wonky. But after walking 3 miles at least, playing 18 holes, I still got in my bikram. I am strong!

Sunday morning it was a nice hot long class in the studio. Sunday morning is such a fantastic time to practice for me. It reminds me of swimming at 6:30 am when I was younger, every Sunday morning. No matter what you do you deserve a nice long hard workout on Sunday morning. It leaves you luxuriously tired and able to sleep Sunday night.

Friday, May 15, 2009

A quick note to add

We golfed today. We're not big city fancy golfers... we play on a par 3 nine hole public course about a half hour from work. Today we just went out and played nine holes after work. It wasn't glamorous, I didn't golf particularly well. For those not in the know, they allow you to graciously stop counting your strokes when you reach double par (so anything after 6 strokes counts as 6.) I didn't really keep score today, but had some nice shots. It was great outside, sweet Vermont Friday-night-in-May air, an uncrowded course, and some average golfing.

Last year when we started golfing, there was always the risk that you might at any point do something intensely embarrassing. Miss the ball, or send it flying in a very unnatural angle. Now we can just go out and play nine holes. It's not pretty but it's not UGLY. That feels good.

So the challenge has been put out there to play eighteen holes tomorrow, with a quick bit of driving range beforehand to loosen up. This will be my first time! Hubby has played eighteen holes a few times. Again it will be a public course, nothing fancy. But I'm not a fancy gal.

We got some pizza after golf tonight. Most times we get pizza, which is not all that often, we get it and take it home, at which point it's decidedly not the temperature it should be. Tonight we took action and enjoyed a few slices in the pizza place. The pizza was of perfect temperature and consistency ("well done"). My best pizza experience in ages. This place is a ways away from our house, because it is about ten miles as the crow flies, but there is this pesky mountain range in the way. So we get regular coupons for a free one topping pizza. The catch is, we have to drive around a mountain to get it.

Ah Vermont. At least the flowers are blooming here. More about our first summer in the new house soon. We do have a raised bed built, but not yet filled with topsoil. Our seedlings are inside waiting to be transplanted.

five down

Practiced at home. First I tacked up some flannel to lower the ceiling so the room would heat up faster. It was hot in there! I can get it hotter though. I really felt blessed practicing at home yesterday. My body feels fantastic and I got all the way up on my toes in awkward yesterday using my calves. It felt different. My junk ankle and foot feel great. Golfing today, then practicing more tomorrow!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

back in the studio

Awesome practice yesterday. I felt really good and happy to be there. It wasn't like I was perfect in poses or anything, I did kick out in standing head to knee and managed to hold it for a bit, but it wasn't about pose perfection, really.

It was more about just feeling stronger each day. When I lock the knee and really strengthen the standing leg on the balancing poses it's like I have more muscles every day to activate. My quads now seem to "turn on" all the way up to the hip. That gives me more stability in the poses. Especially balancing stick posture.

After doing one double, I want to practice every day now. I want to do doubles if I can. Because of the frequency of class offerings, the next chance I have to do a double I think is Monday... I'm totally addicted to bikram.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Home practice (3)

I managed to get a small room of my house up to 100 F yesterday! I practiced with Bikram's CD and quite enjoyed the way he sticks more closely to the dialogue that all teachers need to learn. So it was an unglamorous way to practice, a far cry from the large mirrored well ventilated studios of Vermont. However, having the option of cranking the space heaters and waiting an hour till the tiny closet warms up is a nice option. It will make some doubles possible this summer if I get timers for those space heaters. My husband thinks I am crazy.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Class 2 of the summer

Yesterday's class in Montpelier was good... I checked the temp at the end of class and it said 104 but it didn't really seem that hot. I kind of cruised through practice. Since doing a double last Friday I've felt differently about any single class. It's like, sure, it's going to be challenging, sure, I'm going to be sweating, but I know I can make it through. I have been working with some pose modifications that allow me to continue to practice through certain physical challenges, like a grindy ankle and a healing strained shoulder. The rest of my body feels incredibly strong.

Thanks parents for agreeing to support me through the summer, a dollar a class!

Monday, May 11, 2009

A description of teacher training... from someone who's there.

This is a description of yoga boot camp by someone who is there right now... The teacher training is nine weeks this fall which will run 9/1 - 11/3... nine weeks... sounds like fun, right???

Monday to Friday one wakes up to an early class (for those of you do not know Bikram yoga, this is 90min in a 105F/41C room) then we get brunch served. After brunch there are lectures (anatomy, posture clinics and the like). Then in the evening there is another yoga class. We get a dinner break (find your own food) followed by more lectures (that typically end between 11pm and 4am). ALL classes and lectures are mandatory. Saturday has one mandatory class in the morning. All other yoga classes over the weekend are optional. If my math is right it's 98 mandatory yoga classes in 62 days. That's 147hours of yoga (assuming you only get 90min classes, and Bikram is notorious for his 2hr evening classes).

Class 1 of the summer

Yesterday, Sunday, was class one of my summer yoga training challenge.

I really enjoyed doing standing pulling bow pose. I have found an instruction that I previously didn't pay much attention to (keep the chin close to the shoulder) has given me an additional bit of stability in the pose, a rigidity of sorts, that keeps me aligned nicely in the upper body. I'll figure out this html thing soon and post some pics.

I had a great idea yesterday to start a challenge to help me pay for training. If some people I know will pledge a dollar a class, it will help me immensely with training costs. I doubt I'd be able to take more than 100 classes from now till September One. Anyway it's an idea in its infancy, but I already have two sponsors. Thank you sister and husband!!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Did two classes on the road in Boston this weekend, Diane Ducharme and a teacher I don't remember her name at Bikram Harvard Square. The Diane Ducharme class was great. I learned how to grab the foot in standing head to knee with the foot out in front of me more to enable me to get a better grip and kick out.

On Sunday morning it was a really tough hot long poses class. I felt kind of out of shape in that studio. I have a feeling that's more of what a teacher training class might be like, so something to aspire to!