Saturday, January 29, 2011

3 days to go...

The first 30 day challenge of the year starts in three days. I've been trying to mix up my practice this year. I started with an attempt to move around the room and get out of my 'safe' place of front row by the side door. It's been going okay but I can try harder, a lot harder. This will be my challenge within the challenge. I might even ban myself from the front row altogether. 

In my last 30 dayer I did every class in the front row, changing my location either side of the podium. Even days I felt flat I forced myself up front so I wouldn't be tempted to slack off and take a knee. Looking back now it would have been fine to take a knee, no shame, I had 30 classes to get through, I could have moved back, I should have.

However in today's class I couldn't let go of this thought of shame of kneeing it in the front row. To add to my mixing I've been heading down to another Bikram studio on weekends. Different vibe, different people, different shape room with dark walls and carpet and the tallest podium ever. The instructors are the same which gave me some security to cling to. Here I have been moving spots, I have no 'safe' zone there. Today I went front row. Around balancing stick I got the thought "what am I doing here at the front?!!!" My brunch of omelette 3 and a half hours earlier was coming back to haunt me or that was my excuse. I also have issues with justifying everything, there has to be a reason I felt woozy I just can't feel woozy for no reason!!!! I so badly wanted my knees but I was front row, there was only two of us and some first timers, I had to lead, I couldn't let the team down.

I stuck with it, the nausea came in waves. My mind was screaming for water but I knew even the smallest sip would make it worse. I held out. I actually managed some good postures once I turned off, breathed and focused. Till Camel.... That killed me. The yoga bus had a camel driving it at 120! I usually love camel, that crazy head rush of emotion but today I flaked. It's happened three times this year already I've quaked and come out early. That's nearly once a week. I think I allowed this easy cop out as I knew the people behind couldn't see me, unless they'd come up early too. Then came that thought "it's 30 day challenge on Tuesday will I make it?!!"

I made it through the 90 minutes, I felt shaky but took an extra long savasana. By the end of my 45 minute drive home I had that warm fuzzy feeling of achievement Bikram brings. What I have learnt from today is what we are told constantly; every class is different. I felt rough today but I made it, that was today, tomorrow will be different. In the challenge I need to let go, get in the room with no expectations. Stop listening to that monkey mind. I shall see if I can turn the volume off on that one! Also there is no shame is backing off, my body will get sore and tired I need to listen to it and adapt to suit. 

I'm planning to take the next two days off but who knows I may make it to 8am tomorrow as I love this crazy yoga so much!!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Happy Australia Day!

It's Australia Day! On this day in 1788 Captain Arthur Phillip & the first fleet (of convicts) arrived from Great Britain in Sydney Cove. We mark the day with a public holiday. Quite nice to have Wednesday off. This Australia is quite symbolic for me as even though I have celebrated 4 of these days since my migration here from the UK five years ago, today will be my first as an Australian citizen.

To mark the occasion I headed off for the 9am Bikram class with an optional dress up in Aussie colours theme. Clad in some bargain basement $12 Aussie flag board shorts, matching bandana and stick on tattoos I joined 44 other yogi's to sweat it out for 90 minutes. I had a fellow regular as a mat buddy who had also themed up for the occasion.  

We had our studio director teaching who I haven't taken a class with for ages so that was great. I always enjoy her classes. The energy was high, the humidity was up, my tattoos fell off before the end of the first set of Pranayama, the bandana slid off to the floor and stayed there during Dandayamana - Bibhaktapada - Paschimottanasana and those 100% polyester shorts.... Wow, I felt I'd be cooler wrapped in cling film!! Board shorts were certainly challenging. I don't know how people wear them. I ended up rolling them up as I just couldn't move, despite them being two sizes too big! My mat buddy was struggling with her's too. It all added to the fun, mixed it up and I can't wait to get back into my Lulu reverse grooves tomorrow!!

I rounded the day off with a great group of people, at a great house with a fantastic pool area drinking my sparkling water as I had to drive home for work tomorrow! A very happy Australia Day for me.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Let's get things started

A new year seems to symbolize fresh starts or new beginnings. After dedicating a lot of time following some of the awesome Bikram Yoga based blogs out there I decided it was time to start my own. So here it is, my first blog!

The timing seemed right as one week tomorrow, February 1st 2011 at 5:45am I will be starting my second 30 Day Bikram Yoga Challenge. It will be here I shall be documenting the experience in hope I will be able to draw from it for future challenges. Also someone out there might find this entertaining as well!

My first 30 day challenge was in October 2010. It ran pretty smoothly & I completed thirty classes in thirty consecutive days. The rules allowed for five classes to be missed with doubles to make up. I avoided this by putting anything that would get in the way on hold. I was sore, I got tired but I did it & actually felt scared about having more than two days off after I'd finished.

In preparation for this challenge I've been keeping up my usual four practices a week, even busting out a fifth last week. This week I will aim for four classes but will take Sunday and Monday off so I'm starting with rested & ready muscles! 

One thing I did learn from my last challenge is I must keep an eye on my nutrition & hydration. Especially as five out of the seven weekly classes will be at 5:45am. I need to eat well the evening before so I have enough energy to get me through the next class. Cut out the obvious junk & sugar which seems to have followed me from the festive season blow outs. It makes such a difference in class if I've eaten well, two and five fruit & veg with lots of lean protein. 

On top of all that hydration is key. Having a full time desk job with free flowing filtered water makes this part easy. However we are in the middle of summer here in Australia which means it's hot outside as well as in the yoga room. Got to keep those fluids up! A tip I've picked up is adding a pinch of Himalayan salt to my morning water for an energizing salt replacement boost!