I had been joking the past few days about Dom taking our last class and how 'he'll kill us.' It's true he pushes us hard but for our own good. I think I was still holding on to his class two weeks ago when t he Yoga Bus ran me down. I'd prepared well, eaten lots of protein and spinach at lunch, downed a good four litres of water so nothing but my mind would hold me back. I matted down front row next to Gemma, in the same spot as Monday night actually. I think it does take a lot of courage to go here as your right next to the podium, in full view (and firing line) of the instructor and under a heat vent.
It was an uplifting, encouraging and motivating class. The cut on my foot was all forgotten, I'm sure it was burning but I didn't notice as I was so tuned into the class. It was one of those classic evening classes where I felt warmed up, lose and strong. Until I nearly toppled sideways in the first warm up stretch in half moon, no idea what was going on there. I really enjoyed the back bend, second set I pushed a bit further. I just would like my arms to stay glued to my ears instead of being a foot above my face. My Awkward was shocking. I had major leg shakes, couldn't keep my back straight and I knew I was physically grinding my teeth. I let it go, forgot it, moved on.
I had serious sweaty grip issues for standing H2K. Second set Gemma and I both dived in to get the full expression and fell out. We were called out for this and Janette's words of advice last week were ringing in my ears. I need to slow down. Spend some time half way, rounded down, chin in, just looking at my knee instead of racing down and losing it.
The biggest test of my strength, will power and determination was to come in Standing Bow pulling. After the first set I was called out to demonstrate this in front of the whole class. I love this posture, it looks cool and the way it twists, turns, pulls your body in all directions feels amazing. I am no way in the realm of standing splits but I work hard on correct alignment and focus. I pulled it off, excuse the pun. It was hard though to hold it so long and I only just managed to come back out without collapsing. I zoned out and forgot there was a room full of people staring at me. I was definitely channeling my British Bulldog determination. Such a great saying, despite being an Australian now, I'm still British!! After class a few people commented they didn't realize that their pulling shoulder should be disappearing from view and what the true alignment should be. It's one thing hearing the directions in the dialogue but without a visual aid sometimes it's hard to compute.
|Standing Bow Pulling Pose - courtesy of BYJ|
I had a few pointers in Triangle again as my legs were far too wide and everything was going squiffy. In standing separate head to knee I was told to separate my hands and use my fingers to push into the floor, which really helped get my hips in alignment and lock my knee.
Then there was Toe Stand. The first set was disrupted by someone leaving the room. Even when asked to wait they still left which is a HUGE etiquette no no. Please people even if you are going to throw up, die, pass out if you can hold out thirty more seconds till everyone else has finished balancing it would be most appreciated. Those extra few seconds may well just sort you out and you may not need to leave. Especially at that point when there's a whole two minute savasana in which to sneak away. Back to Toe. Just before I bent forward I was told to stop and then try going down with my hands still in prayer. My knees aren't so strong but I tried and crash landed at the end. It's one to work on again as I am finding toe stand easy now. I am doubting I'd be able to reverse out with no hands, I can barely get up out of awkward with two toes on the floor!
The floor series went fine. We had some nice cool air circulating which was a great pick me up. Another student demoed a full camel. It was awesome. My back is no way that bendy yet. My Camel went well, no crazy head spins but my lower back was screaming from being pushed hard.
We all finished strong and it was a great feeling to be completing the challenge as a group. The last challenge finished on a Tuesday morning so we all had to rush off to work. It was nice last night to chill out, have a chat, get our complimentary Coconut water. My challenge now is to take two full days off. To recharge and absorb the last thirty days. It will be tough, I was even thinking of packing my bag just in case I wake up naturally at 4:40am tomorrow like I did this morning. But no, I need to rest, I must rest. Not long though, any more than three days I know I'll get the spins when I do go back.
Congratulations to everyone that completed the challenge and to those that tried but might not have got to the end. At least you signed up, got your name on the board and that's a challenge in itself. It's been fantastic getting to know you all and bonding as a group. Thank you to everyone that has been following along. I am deeply touched by your feedback so much so I'll keep blogging. I have enjoyed having a space to share my Bikram adventures and pleased my ramblings have helped and supported some of you on your journey. Thanks to Jo and the BYJ team for organizing the challenge and keeping us strong and motivated. We have a great community at BYJ and I'm so happy to be apart of it.