Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Return to Bikram Yoga week 3

Here are recaps of weeks 1 and 2.  Now on to week 3.  Seems like time is flying by.  It's hard to leave work early enough to attend class at 6:30 p.m. (and I feel like my work to do list is piling up as a result), but it's getting a little easier, mostly because I realize all that work will still be there tomorrow.  I have a good routine now of eating basically two lunches at work (11ish and 3ish), then another snack around 4:30, then having quiche for dinner at home right after class -- and doing this challenge is a lot easier when the food part is covered without much thought. 

Wed., 8-8, Class 15:  Owner of the studio David was the instructor.  I had him a lot back in the winter and he's great.  He's been on vacation for the last few weeks.  Several times I considered sitting out a posture, but I didn't.  Didn't feel like the class was particularly good or bad.  Found out that there will be no class next week Sunday, so maybe I'll wait until then to take the day off that I've been contemplating. 

Thurs., 8-9, Class 16: Had the instructor that hubby had for his first class, Julie. She used to irritate me but seemed great tonight. I kept contemplating sitting out a posture but I didn't. I guess I came out of the very first triangle early. But she also gave me a tip on the other side of triangle in the first set -- to lock my straight leg. Something else to remember.  I have officially spent 24 hours in yoga class now since I started this 30 day challenge.  Wow.  An entire day. 

Fri., 8-10, Class 17:  Managed to go to class at noon today.  Instructor was Andrew, for my second class with him.  He might be my favorite.  He's so nice and his classes don't seem excessively hard, probably just because he's so nice.  But class overall was so-so.  If I had to summarize in one word, it would be burp.  Ugh.  I was glad there wasn't any food in me, or I would have feared the word would have been vomit.  But that seemed to go away by the time we got to the ground, but then I had another problem:  I could not stop thinking about and sipping my water (or putting ice in my mouth and sucking on it).  Ugh.  What a crutch.  Very frustrating. 

Sat., 8-11, Class 18:  Instructor was Gina, whose accent I don't like on the word mirror, but class was good and she's a great instructor.  Another person with a great attitude.  And oh, it seems like we get to rest a long time between postures on the floor.  Maybe it's because she is quiet a lot, that makes it seem so peaceful.  As for me personally, decent progress in the standing balancing series, finally!  And I managed to cease and desist on the water-drinking -- I finished my entire bottle, but actually had some ice left at the end of class.  That's the huge bonus to using ice from home instead of ice from work -- bigger cubes at home last longer.

Sun., 8-12, Class 19:  Instructor was Tom from Oregon, the one with the accent on "front mirror."  I took it easy in class because I'd had an awesome long run that morning and I didn't want to overdo it on my legs, but I didn't sit out anything, I just didn't push hard.  Progress observed on toe stand and seated head to knee stretching.  So much progress I was smiling when I came out of the postures!  One of the things I hate the most though is when my head is upside down and water runs (off my body or off my sports bra) into my nose.  Then when I tip my head upright again, a huge stream of water runs out of my nose.  Yuck.  I ran out of water today at the very end of class but had ice left.  Clearly I had the big ice cubes from home...

Mon., 8-13, Class 20:  Instructor was Tom for Oregon again.  And he must have been in a hurry.  Seriously, not a breath between postures while we were standing it seemed.  He really discourages drinking water other than at the 3 usual times, and somehow he was convincing enough that I went along with it until we got to camel, then I snuck an extra sip, and then again before the seated separate leg stretching, but in general, much less thirsty than the last week or so.  But of course I went straight from work, so no ice left at the end of class to suck on -- tiny ice cubes at work, so it's all melted by the time we get to the floor series.  I also felt much less distracted, and I did my best toe stands ever.  Very exciting.  And I managed to keep breathing while I was attempting toe stand.  I think I had been holding my breath a bit in the first one, which made me feel a little dizzy before the second one.  I'm trying to work on that.  Anyway, there's still a lot of room to improve in toe stand (along with probably every other posture except maybe the breahing ones), but I'm really happy to feel like I've improved so much in just 20 days in that one. 

Tues., 8-14, Class 21:  Instructor was Tom from Oregon again and class did not get off to a great start for me.  There was a LOT of traffic between my office and the yoga studio (about 4 miles apart), so I was running in later than I like and there were very few places left, it was a crowded class.  I ended up about 4 rows back (our room has a total of 6 rows), which is outside my comfort zone.  I really like row 3, and I can deal with row 2, but that's about it (oh, and as with church, I really only like to be on one particular side, I should let go of all that, I know).  Anyway, I could barely see myself in the mirror, the woman in front of me had her feet in my face, the women on each side of me seemed to sit out about half the class.  But class itself was good.  Either because the room was more crowded or because of my position in the room or just because for some reason it was cooler, the class didn't feel as hot to me.  I also did well with holding off on the water.  I did an extra illegal chug before and after rabbit, but only because I had enough left to drink then!  I notice that I have trouble pushing myself in the first set of the forehead-to-the-floor pose, and by the time we're in the second set and I'm ready to work hard, it's over.  I need to get better about that.  But overall, felt like most postures went well.  And there was less counting what's left in my head or thinking about work or anything else.  Best quote of the night (in sevasana (sp?)): "let go of your monkey mind, stop chasing it, relax."

And there you have it, 3 weeks of yoga done, attending every single day.  31.5 hours spent in class, plus about 20 hours spent driving to yoga, getting my mat laid down, waiting for class to start and then driving home.  Who knows how much extra time spent on laundry, changing clothes to leave work, and showering.  But I'm feeling pain-free in my running (not even any aches or twinges to mention), very healthy in terms of not sick, very healthy in terms of my eating (that whole yoga-every-night inhibits much else), very healthy in terms of my water consumption (but that was never an issue for me).  I'm also maybe a tiny bit calmer and more patient.  Maybe.  And maybe I have a bit more good will toward others.  I'm also down a few pounds total from the start, but I am braced for the return of those pounds when I break this routine.  But what I saw on the scale this morning was a number I haven't seen regularly since fall of 2010 when I was trying to qualify for Boston, and then spring 2011 when I was training for Boston.  That's kind of nice!  I wasn't up a ton from there (those months and today are the bottom end of my usual 10 pound range; but since the post-Boston trip to Italy last spring, I've been riding in the middle of my 10 pound range, sometimes more around the top).  Either way, a nice little bonus! 

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