Thursday, August 9, 2012

Return to Bikram Yoga week 2

Meant to post this Tuesday night but somehow forgot.

By way of background, I did a month of Bikram in November, attending class most days, then I did a 30 day challenge in January -- going to class every day for 30 days except one (and then doubling up another day).  Then I took a complete break.  I started doing another kind of "lightly heated" yoga (85 degrees I think?) in April and did about 15-20 of those classes (only an hour long each).  Then last week Wednesday, I started another 30 day challenge at Bikram.  I'm keeping notes so I'll have the record.  Week 1 was recapped here, and here is week 2.

Wed., 8-1, Class 8:  An instructor that I remember having a couple times in January, Christina.  At least she says the word "mirror" the way I like it (which is to say she pronounces it normally, which I cannot say about instructors Tom and Gina).  But she gives very little rest between postures.  First and second set are separated by about 2 breaths.  But I'm not super sore, and I actually drank less water during class.  By the time we were done, I had about 1/3 of my bottle to chug before laying down for the final minute or two.  Balancing series went well, I'm feeling real progress.  Also, new friend.  On Monday I think I noticed a guy that used to go to boot camp with us was in class.  I haven't seen him in ages -- he's rarely on FB and he was dating someone at boot camp, I think when they broke up, they both stopped coming.  Anyway, he was there again tonight.  We said hi and chatted for a few mins before class.  And it turned out he knew the guy who was sitting on the bench next to me too.  As our mutual friend went to set up, he and I talked, first about how we knew him (he was a college friend to that guy), and then about yoga.  The two of them signed up together for something different, and have been going about 3 weeks.  Also, tonight was lesson 7,657 in "don't judge a book by its cover."  There were a few people around me who didn't look like typical yogi (yogis?), but during the postures I was so impressed at how strong they were -- good examples for me, particularly since I don't think I look like a yogi...

Thurs., 8-2, Class 9:  another class with the only instructor I had regularly in Nov/Jan and seem to have fairly regularly again, Caroline.  Classes seem to be going much more quickly.  It's like we're almost done before I know it.  A little intimidating b/c I got moved to row 2 (it was getting crowded and we all had to move up to make room at the back), and almost directly behind me was my instructor from Monday, Tom -- ugh.  It makes me worry that he saw all the stuff I do wrong and he'll call me out on it next time he's my instructor.  I was also maybe a little more off balance, but I definitely am seeing progress.  Forehead getting closer to floor, milliseconds in toe stand... 

Fri., 8-3, Class 10:  New to me instructor, Andrew, and I liked him.  Class was unremarkable, but for the most part I felt like I was still making progress.  I went in the morning (9:30), so only about 14 hours after my last class. 

Sat., 8-4, Class 11:  Least flexible class yet?  Delayed onset of sweat -- again -- because the class was less than 2 hours after I finished a run.  My run was short (only 2 miles) but fast because it was part of a relay.  Overall, the class was just brutal.  An instructor that I think I had once or twice back in my prior yoga life.  Oh, I should note, in all fairness, that I drank a lot last night.  We had a couple friends over for dinner...  Felt like I couldn't balance on one foot to save my life.  Honestly, when I think about it, not sure how I even walked since that involves fractions of a second with weight only on one foot.  Based on my performance in this class, it seems like that might be a struggle for me. 

Sun., 8-5, Class 12:  I struggled again.  The oldest instructor we've ever had I think (based solely on looking at her neck, eyes, and hair), and perhaps one of the best.  She was friendly, encouraging, and helpful.  Felt significantly larger than usual (bloated?) and very inflexible.  Perhaps it was because it was only a couple hours after I finished my crappiest long run of this training season?  Or perhaps it was all the cheesecake I ate this weekend?  Not flexible, hot, uncomfortable, ready to be done. 

Mon., 8-6, Class 13:  Christina was the instructor again, and again, very little rest between sets while standing (barely enough for one breath in and one out), but a bit too long on the floor series (she starts talking and we just lay there).  Class was better I think, but for maybe only the third or so time ever, I left the room during class.  That's highly discouraged, but when we moved to the floor, I could tell I didn't have enough water to make it through class.  So when we rolled to our bellies, I stepped out and refilled my bottle.  So I skipped one half of cobra.  But otherwise it seemed to be okay.  It felt oppressively hot, and I was fidgety, but I survived. 

Tues., 8-7, Class 14:  Christina again as the instructor.  It's funny because our classes are usually about 20%  male, but I feel like 50% of her comments are toward men.  Maybe that's because with fewer guys, it's easier to learn their names?  But tonight, two specific comments directly to me -- before then I didn't even know she knew my name.  One compliment and one suggestion.  I need to learn the names of the postures, but in awkward pose, where you go up on your toes and then squat down with your arms extended, she specifically called me out as doing a good job.  Then in seated fixed firm (which just seems impossible to me -- my legs are sufficiently tight that if my feet are touching my hips, there is no way my butt will be resting on the ground), she noted that my feet were curved in too much.  I'm definitely pigeon-toed but the only places I see it are in my running photos and in yoga.  Anyway, I will work on implementing her straighter feet suggestion tomorrow.  But best part about this class was that I felt better -- finally!  And I noticed massive improvements again in two postures (toe stand, probably best of my yoga life, and in the standing one where you reach your forehead toward the floor between your feet -- closest I have gotten this month, still have a ways to go, but definite progress). 

Also, just to document officially, the order in which Bikram yoga is seen in my body:  abs, thighs, arms.

And this week 2, particularly the last few days, are when I've finally gotten my nutrition in a lock.  I have figured out what and when to eat during the day so I'm not starving in class -- my solution is basically to eat two separate lunches (one around 11, one around 3) and then some fruit right around 4:30 which is basically as late as I can eat without feeling like it's coming back up in half-tortoise.  And almost equally as wonderful in my book, I have figured out a post-class dinner -- quiche again (a little frustrating that it took me this long to figure it out, I think I came to this revelation back in January also, and then promptly forgot about it).  I made a quiche on Sunday (broccoli portobello) and it is the absolute perfect dinner after class.  Ideally, I'd add a small side salad, but that seems to be just too much effort.  So a big piece of quiche, and then for the last few days, followed by a big piece of cheesecake (leftovers from dinner party on Friday, finally gone now).  But that seemed to be sufficiently quick and give me enough calories that I wasn't so hungry.  Score for finally getting it down!

Massive progress I'd say for this week in general, and also shocking impact from a single night of unhealthy food and too much alcohol.  And I no longer feel like I'm in desperate need of a day off from yoga.  A chance I'll take one day off in the next week, but nothing concrete planned. 


  1. I love reading these recaps - you seem to be making such progress. I'm struggling to even get to yoga once a week, I can't imagine going every day. I do find it helps stretch all my tight legs muscles though. Very worth it!

  2. I *heart* Bikram yoga. I did a 100 Challenge back in 2003. I ended up with 87…and that included a 2 wk trip to France in the last month. I felt so amazingly strong! You're making me want to get back to it :)

    Glad my HTC write ups were useful to you…I,too, will be runner 12 in about 10 days :) see you there!