Thursday, April 8, 2010

Annaconda's Yoga Shack Open for Business

My Bikram Yoga closet is officially open for the season. Season being, until it gets too cold next fall to heat the space with space heaters. Bikram yoga - 26x2! 26 postures, 2 breathing exercises, performed in 105degree heat and 40% humidity. 90 minutes of heaven and hell interspersed like a chocolate vanilla swirl cake cone.

Let me paint a little picture for ya.

Our house is unique. It's quirky. It's got a lot of wood - exposed wood, wood slatted ceilings, unique lintels. Our criteria for purchasing the house were:
1) ability to go outside naked - not that we do much but we wanted that degree of privacy
2) not tcttr (to close to the road - we had many tools and acronyms to get us through the house buying process)
3) land
4) proximity to our town of work
5) school district

So we found this place that was originally a writers cabin which had been built onto in two large expansions. It has lovely little outbuildings, a perennial garden that I'm expanding daily, and it's somewhat homehewn (new word! yeah!) inside. There is a room on the second floor that might have been designed to be a potential second bathroom? Laundry room? Not sure if there's real plumbing, I dont' think so, but there are some fixtures. It's very rough. It's just like this extra room. So I have turned it into my yoga closet.

There are currently two flannel blankets/sheets tacked to the ceiling to create a sort of drop ceiling, diffusing the light from the raw bulb above. Our house is not particularly well insulated. We're working on that. This room has two outside walls and is in the oldest part of the house. So... it's cold and drafty in there. I have tons of old sweaters and even a sleeping bag lining the space where the walls hit the floor. Two space heaters take up space to my right when I practice (don't lose your balance, hey!) A low quality mirror balances a little off center on a ledge close to where I've stuffed "insulation" where the floor meets the wall. And on the wall is a poster of Esak Garcia and his wife extremely pregnant. She's doing a beautiful balancing stick and he's doing an advanced pose where he balances on one arm, whole body outstretched.

I hung out there for 90 minutes with the boss. Just have to get my humidifier cranking next time. Temp - 100 - 105 today. Humidity not quite there because I didn't sweat enough. Just gotta fill the humidifier. Other elements to the room that make it great are extension cords connecting to a timer - like for xmas lights. That way I can warm it up for myself (2 hrs) so it's nice and toasty for when I get home.

Today I found an awesome tweak that worked so well for my standing head to knee today. I think I have stronger external rotational muscles in my hips than internal. The balance goes that way. So I thought hard about internally rotating the standing leg to get the weight to stay over the ball of the toe. It helped me stay balancing for longer. I fall out of that pose uh lot.

Happy practice! This weekend is a non-Bikram weekend for me. I'm going to teach tomorrow at work for 30 minutes and also Bikram at 4pm, then drive to Boston and stay with my buddy. We're hitting Ashtanga on Saturday morning and then Sunday I'm seeing Gary Kraftsow twice and attending a session on Kundalini. Fun!


Lady J said...

I love, "90 minutes of heaven and hell interspersed like a chocolate vanilla swirl cake cone." What a wonderful analogy!

I think my hips must do a similar thing to yours. I am always rolling to the outside of my foot. I really have to focus on putting the weight on the ball of my foot. I'm going to see if I can find those internal rotational muscles in my hip.

Have a great weekend! Sounds like fun!

ariella said...

Let me know how you find it. It was a weird tweaky thing but anything that gets me from falling out twice in the long set (each side... twice) let's just say I'm a fan!

I love ice cream.

Yolk E said...

Hope the Ashtanga class was fun! I do love Ashtanga... just more as a dessert than a main course :-) And thanks for the tips about the Esak Garcia clinic. I am definitely looking forward to attending.

ariella said...

Sadly, we arrived too late this morning (to what I found out was a hot vinyasa not a strictly ashtanga class). Class was full :( but we chatted and had coffee and all was wonderful anyway. I now really want to try ashtanga - never have before. Have to put it on the list! Esak - I'm sorry but also... he's easy on the eyes. I know he's married and all (as am I) but I quite enjoyed his demonstrations from a little more than an academic perspective! Hopefully not TMI.

Lady J said...

It's tough to get muscles that you never knew you had to do what you want! I think I'm finally getting them to rotate a bit. I practice at home when I'm just standing brushing my teeth or doing the dishes.
But it is slowly starting to work! Thanks for the tip!