I spent the last 19 days trying to stretch harder and longer and balance better and the answer was in front of me the entire time. At one time or another all the instructors have said it but it’s like Robyn said on my 3rs sessions. ”When you are ready you will hear the words for your body.”
Of all times to be ready it was today with Doug! (whenever I say Doug you should automatically hear some kind of sinister music like du du duuuuuN). Yesterday morning I had Doug (here the music yet?) and it was a tough class because I was not in the hydration shape to do it and I was still worn out from teaching the day before and non stop days of bikram. Imagine my shock today when I get to class and there is Doug (here the music now?)
Class starts and he says, “Breathe, in the nose and out the nose, like you’re sitting on the couch. Just breathe and focus.”
That phrase tripped a memory from when I was doing martial arts all the time and my sifu had me running Katas to quote “quite my blood and center my soul” I was ready to collapse when he stopped me and told me to slow down, breathe and focus, Kata is about breath and motion one can’t be good without the other.
Zoom back into yoga today and suddenly it hit me! This is nothing but one big long 90 minute Kata in 110 degree heat, with no punches and kicks but stretching and movement….Just Breathe!
And there it was 20 days from the start of this madness and I found my moment of calm. The postures may not have been much better but I didn’t feel rushed or panicked to jump into them. I breathed and performed the motion to get into the posture and where my body stopped, I just hung out and breathed there.
Just breathe. DUH! Why did it take me so long to make this connection? Suddenly Doug’s teaching style makes sense, sure he has you hold to posture a little longer and deeper but if you are breathing and just being in the moment, it won’t bother you. Just breathe…it’s all breath control!
Anyway, day 20 done and I think I had a breakthrough! lets see if this can continue!
Day 17 completed.
My body is not my biggest fan right now as after every session I feel like i’ve just run a 1/2 marathon. Hopefully all this will translate nicely to running as it is not 10 weeks until the Rock and Roll 1/2 marathon. 2 weeks until the Zombie run and a month until the Warrior Dash.
I’m getting involved in running a little later this year than i did the last two years but I feel it’s a good thing as I have been focusing solely on the benefits of yoga.
So now it’s Friday night and i’m ready to go to bed at 8 pm because I have such an exciting life and no energy. I’ve been drinking grape juice and pineapple juice like water. I’ve been drinking water like crazy and i’m still thirsty. Something is happening, something is about to break free. 13 more days, lets see what I can accomplish!
Ah, my daily routine doesn’t look so hard when it’s just pictures. 90 minutes later you’re dripping with DNA
You know my rule about not doing an evening yoga session and then doing one first thing in the morning?
I broke that today and it was a good thing! I either got the right amount of fluid and sleep last night, or I built up enough endurance I can do sessions with less than 12 hours in between
Solid session with Abbie. Next to Robyn, Abbie is my favorite instructor. Some would say it’s because she’s cute…and she is, but that’s not why. Abbie seems to be one of those people that even when she’s not in a good mood (and you can kind of tell whens she’s annoyed), you can tell she’s in a good mood. That’s a rare quality to find. So this session was going smooth until the sudden urge to go to the bathroom at the beginning of the first 2 minute rest. I don’t know what came over my system but it had to go and it was going NOW!
Fortunately I only missed the Wind removing pose (no worries, I think I handled that one just fine).
The rest of the session was pretty smooth. I still can’t do a tree or toe stand to save my life. My hip and groin muscles are just to damn tight right now.
Yoga brain moment: I got everything ready and left the house without my matt. I ended up getting one from the studio but they wash there’s in a ton of bleach and it burns my eyes.
I’m glad I got this done in the morning, I have to teach turbo this afternoon and then I can kick back the rest of the night….unless I get ambitious and want to do a double….mmm
I’m at the 1/2 way point, no reason to look back as it would take me just as long to quit as it would to finish. 15 days of Bikram and I think I’ve lost my mind.
I’ve talked about the heat and the sweat, the focus and the determination. I don’t think I can hit on the exhaustion enough. The level of mental focus it takes to continue to do this daily is draining. Imagine pouring your body into a cup daily and putting it back together just in time to do it again. That is how this is beginning to feel.
Where’s the enlightenment? where’s the inner peace, where is the….oh, that random pain in my lower hip just vanished! Wow, I was able to do that spine twist the proper way. Most excellent, my Triangle is no longer hurting my hips as much. I compress more with compression poses, I’m feeling different parts of my body open up as stretching progresses. I’m slowing getting better at this!
Slowly is the key word, I’m doing a 30 day focus challenge to improve my flexibility and undo about 10 years worth of bad habits. Right now I can tell you I’ve undone about 5 of those years. The is all about patience and persistence, only both don’t always happen at the same time.
As Joslyn would say “The 90 minutes is the same from day to day, YOU change.”
The amount of control and focus it takes to do the positions will wear on you mentally because the more you do it, you know what’s coming and you know what you’re good and at not. Something gave way today and my left leg/hip opened up a little at the base of my spine…ahh! I’m hoping to continue to build on that over the next 15 days.
The only bad class is the one you don’t show up for. Progress is being made, form is being improved and i’m feeling
enlightened I mean light headed :P
15 done/ 15 to go
New day, different instructor, different experince
The hot box was in full effect today
80 degrees outside, 110 inside and I came ready to work.
I’m beginning to find weaknesses in my body. My left mid to lower back seems to be in knots. I figured out that in camel pose, if i don’t do the full position but stop with my hands on my hips, I can feel the muscle sliding around and I can get a better stretch than if i go full camel.
Does this mean I have yoga injuries?
I get home and downed a bottle of Gatorade and all the heat instantly left my body. I”m talking, it’s 75 in the house and i’m breaking out in goose bumps. last time I felt this way was when I finished the Chicago Marathon and was freezing. I curled up on the couch under a blanket for 20 minutes to get warm again.
I’m not a fan of dropping all my heat but I’m assuming it’s part of the process and I was just exhausted.
I need to rest up and hydrate, tomorrow is the 1/2 way point in this 30 days challenge. If it were easy, everyone would do it.
I was not the most enthused about this 13th day of Bikram yoga. I managed to get enough water in me during the day and turbo didn’t happen so I had a little extra time to rest.
I followed Robyn’s montra of “Have no expectations.”
The session started hot and sweaty. Breathing exercises, 1/2 moon, back bend and hands to feet…blah blah blah. Then something happened. I GAVE UP.
Not in the i give up i’m not doing this but in the I give up and i’m just going to stop fighting the process. Let it go, be in the moment and just flow. By the end of the session I had done 2 positions that I normally have the most trouble with…rabbit and spine twist.
More importantly I didn’t feel totally wiped at the end. I took little steps to improve positions that are difficult (1/2 locust) and things I didn’t have to focus or concentration to do, I let go and didn’t beat myself up over it.
13 days in and I think I hit a turning point. Of course tomorrow is another day and it could all be back to square one, but that is the nature of Bikram yoga. Everyday is different, change yourself, mentally strengthen yourself and watch the world change around you.
Even more added goodness, I had the best of both worlds. A perfectly cook medium rare steak and Vegan Shakeology! I’m all kinds of balanced out right now
My body hurts, I’m drained, exhausted, just the thought of going to yoga after teaching turbo tomorrow is giving me chills. Why am I doing this to myself?
Because my body is changing!
12 days and my body is changing. I started to actively feel it a few days ago but i’s a painful reality as of today. I’m tired…Internally tired. Like reset level tired. I ended up skipped 5 of the positions because I just didn’t have the energy to continue on. (This could be a nutrition issue or a hydration issue but right now its a fatigue issue)
I know I know, bikram is one of the forms that ultimately gives you more energy than you use…but not today. I was mentally tired and it is a mental workout as well. Focus, mental toughness, concentration.
As much as I “enjoy” this practice, nothing in me wanted to do it this morning but I think that’s actually kind of a good thing. Progression of doing any activity that is changing your body should make you tired.
I’ve also discovered the Yoga black out.
Apparently yesterday afternoon, after coming home from another exhausting session, I ate, carried on a conversation and agreed to run a mother’s day 5k, all of which I HAD NO MEMORY OF DOING! Is that crazy or what?
I then start over analyzing everything and I had the most random of thoughts…
What happens if you put a steak in an oven for 90 minutes at 105 degrees? Chances are it won’t be fully cooked but it will start the process. Now if you took that same steak and put in in an over every day for 30 days, you probably wouldn’t want to eat it but it would be cooked. THIS IS WHAT I’M DOING TO MY BODY!!!!!!
The fat on my insides must be melting and just draining out of my body as sweat!
Anyway, all that being said, this 30 days challenge is supposed to be a CHALLENGE and it’s becoming one and that’s good. It’s about the journey, it’s about the commitment, it’s about watching and helping my body change so that I’m healthier and ready to take on other life challenges.
I’m learning that my left hip is miserably tight, I can get down in a good triangle position but it hurts and I know this is the stretch I need. My lower back has been getting sore and tired lately and I have no idea why….something new to figure out over the next few weeks. This is a journey for me to get to know my body and be ready for the next phase. It’s not a contest, enjoy the ride
Day 12 in the books, tomorrow is going to be hard but I’m ready for it.
Today is honestly the first day that this workout have felt GOOD in a week!!!
I’m a day behind schedule because I missed Wed due to work out of town but I plan on making that day up soon with a double session on a Tuesday or a Thursday
The instructor today was Josylin and her voice during instruction is like listening to smooth jazz. She gives interesting back story to bikram while in the middle of poses and resting. It was a solid session.
I left feeling worked out, stretched but not dead. I think I may have turned that corner. The heat didn’t bother me today and I had a bit more energy towards the 2nd half than usual.
Let’s see how this translates tomorrow after my P90X class.
This morning was P90X2 X2 core, I felt so tired and worn out I’m barely counting it as a workout. I was tired and lazy feeling…you know, pretty much par for the 2nd week of an awesome P90X workout. My left back and IT band are exceptionally sore and inflexible today.
Tonight I finished Day 6 of the 30 day Bikram challenge. Instructor tonight was Doug! (As in, I avoid his classes like the plague Doug!). Funny thing is, it’s not a BAD avoid his classes move, it’s more of a HE IS HARDCORE and i’m feeling lazy avoid his classes kind of thing. No way around it today so I marched into class, found my spot and let the heat begin.
I don’t know why but Doug’s classes always seem hotter and longer and harder than everyone else’s but I realized something today, they are also better. He actively walks around and watches the class and adjust people positions and calls you out if you’re dogging it
“Bruce, get up, you’re doing a 30 day challenge, no breaks! You’ll thank me later”
DAMN IT, I KNEW I HATED HIS CLASSES FOR A RESON
But that was a defining moment, I pushed that much harder and that much longer and breathed that much harder and now…I feel Fantastic! The inflexibility I was feeling earlier this morning is gone. I seem to have gotten all the energy back I used up in yoga. I was all set to be a tad gentler with myself in class today but sometimes, you need your ass kicked to improve.
Day 6 in the books. I am trying to decide if i’m going to do a double class tomorrow or at a later date as I will have to miss class on Wed. Nothing I can do about it, i’ll be completely out of town…unless I can find a studio in bloomington while i’m there that night….mmmmm
Time to hydrate,rest and study