Sunday, June 26, 2011

60 Day Challenge

To get in the zone for TT my studio Director and myself thought it was a good idea for me to do a 60 Challenge. My UK trip has pushed the starting date a little further back than I would have liked. I start tomorrow and finish three weeks exactly before I go to LA. Enough time to relax but still be in the zone. It was decided to run my challenge as a studio challenge. People have started early which is cool, others are starting tomorrow with me. Tomorrow is also my one year anniversary of when I took my first Bikram class. Who would have thought 1 year ago I would be heading to TT. It'll be nice to have support for this one. Usually people head out by themselves on 60 dayers. The 30 day challenge was so enjoyable as we had a team doing it together. 

I will take this opportunity to say I won't be alone at training either. I knew I wouldn't be alone with all the new, exciting people I'm meeting through social networking & my future roomie! But I have a training buddy coming from BYJ. 

We met yesterday for the first time and practiced next to each other. After class we had our first dialogue group session with our director. It was a bit nerve wracking but once I found my feet and my flow it felt great. I did miss out a whole paragraph in Awkward though whoops! Everyone would have been doing it with their arms at their sides. It was easier once the gals got up and demonstrated in front of me, I definitely didn't forget the arms when I could see what the bodies were doing. My homework for next week is to get all of Eagle down, I only had half & no way was I confident with it and also standing head to knee. We both did great and already our personal style & energy are showing through. 

Dialogue, dialogue, dialogue, dialogue, dialogue, dialogue for the next 11 weeks!

60 Day Challenge Poster, I feel bad now as its with Kat & Jas, not just me!

Home Coming!

It's been seven full days since I flew back into Australia. It seems, like always, to have flown by, feels like I was never in UK. Jet lagged kicked my butt on Sunday and Monday. I actually woke up at 12:30am Monday and could not get back to sleep after only three hours of being in bed. So that was the start of my day which lasted a full 20 hours of being awake. That got me back in the time zone & on track pretty quick. It was tough, I was literally falling asleep at my desk at 2:30pm, images on my computer screen were dancing!

As I was awake, fully fed and watered I headed to 5:45am yoga. I had a great class. I've only been gone two weeks and there were new faces there. The early classes are usually full of the usual regulars, we're quite a team. It was nice to see some newbies join us. I nearly had to wait for a shower as well! I've had the place to myself for months.

It was so nice getting back in my home studio. No stinky carpet, nice air flow, heat coming from the ceiling rather than being blasted from all angles. No weird drafts. I cruised through, no drama's, after being awake so long it felt like technically it was for me, an afternoon class. After my struggles in the UK it reminded me I can do this but I shall not forget my struggles as I'm sure they will be back ten fold in September.

I took this week easy, my last chance I'm guessing for about five months to take an elective day off. I practiced Thursday 5:45am. It didn't go as smoothly, my balance was off a bit but my focus was there and not once did I want to sit down or take a drink. 

The feeling of coming back to your comfort zone is awesome. It's nice to go away but home is a lovely place to be.

Friday, June 17, 2011

On my way home

Two weeks have flown by. I've had a great time here in the UK. I've just managed to see a most of my friends. It's impossible on trips this short to get round everyone & still have a 'holiday'. I'm very grateful for all those that have made the journey up north to see me and those whose have played out on a school night to catch up. I'm a little sad I missed out on spending more time with a certain few who should have been top of the list but I didn't fit into their schedule. But I won't go into that.

I have achieved a few of my main aims for this trip. I bonded with my two year old nephew. He'll probably have forgotten who I am by the time he see's me again. I've spent some quality time with my parents, one on one. We've had some nice day trips out together. This sounds like an obvious thing to do but when I'm here I get pulled and pushed in so many directions simple days out like this get over looked. 

Practicing at two different studios was awesome. Such a learning curve for me. I learned a lot about my mental strength when I'm physically challenged and out my comfort zone. After a great class in Chiswick on Monday, Thursday's Leicester class went off the boil slightly despite being in the cooler, cheat's spot. The progress I made on Monday wasn't matched. That's the way it rolls in Bikram, every day is different. 

My bags are packed, I'm skimming the weight allowance despite having a whopping 30kg thanks to Emirates. It's all been split over two holdalls as it just wouldn't fit in one. Mainly because I'm hiking my diving kit back to sell for much needed funds. I've had to abandon the winter boots I aimed to bring back and two other pairs of shoes. These can be posted.

I'm not as ahead in my dialogue as I wanted to be. I seem to have been working on Awkward part 2 and 3 for three weeks now. I ideally wanted them down and Eagle under my belt by now. I have retained the Half Moon series and feel good I am comfortable with these. Thirteen weeks till I get on the flight to LA so I shouldn't be too stressed. If I step up my game and get two down a week I'll have the whole series down in this time. Realistically = the standing series.

We'll be welcoming back the Spring Trainees next week. Congratulations to you all, I can't wait to here all about it and where I can do my laundry, food shopping and get a decent massage! I heard today Binny made it to the demo team for graduation. So impressive. There is no way I'd make that cut, I can accept that one already!! Looking forward to seeing the footage.

I have no idea when I'll be here again. Probably for the next wedding. I'll be riding a tight budget for the next year so this will be the biggest influence. This makes me sad as it's always nice to know when I'll be returning. Maybe I'll get some classes to fill in for next time? I'm looking forward to seeing my man. Skype hasn't worked out so well coz of the time difference. I will miss the dish washer and laundry service!!

Ta tar for now, see you all on the other side of the world!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

London Calling

After a very alcohol fueled social weekend of fun it was time to get back on track. Off I went to London for a quick adventure to catch up with my uni friends and fellow Bikram blogger Mon. I timed my trains so I could duck into Bikram Yoga Chiswick for the 3pm.

It still amuses me that this studio was here all the time I lived in Chiswick, right above La Tasca, next to Sainsbury's and I never knew it existed. Looking back I probably would not have been able to afford to practice back then. Instead I had a vast collection of work out DVD's and video's.

I had a great class. I felt really strong, hydration and food was spot on. The room was fairly busy even for the middle of the afternoon. The first thing that struck me was when I matted down was the room was cold. The heating didn't come on till about ten minutes before class started. Then slowly heated up. I feel I did cheat by going next to the wall of windows but with a view of Turnham Green as we turned sideways for Standing Separate Leg Stretching it was worth it. The windows only got opened for a minute or two in triangle. Very strange not stepping over our mats and staying on them. What I've heard the room gets so packed there is no other way to organise it! However I had no clue what my Triangle looked like as I wasn't facing the mirror.

All this socialising and bombing about visiting has taken it's toll on my diet. For a self confessed chocoholic being surrounded by creamy, decent Cadbury's again has been killing me. As well as my Mum's homemade cakes. I could see in the mirror the bulge of my binges already. Even sucking in that stomach for postures there was no escaping the holiday spread!!! I have been shocked about my lack of vegetables & large intake of bread based meals this past week. Another lesson to be aware of for LA. Lack of time and eating on the run = snacks and sandwiches. I'll be back to normal next week, back on routine and back to my Thermomix!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Nearly normal

Five days have flown by but I've packed in lot's. Caught up with family, bonding with my two year old nephew, shopping, eating, seen three different sets of friends and been to a wedding! Of course there is the yoga.

I took the 5pm at BYL on Sunday. Rachel was teaching again. I didn't see her at sign in but was clocked pretty much immediately. I moved to the opposite side of the room right by the huge wall heating vents. Maybe I was hoping they were like BYJ's heating vents which spit out cool air at certain moments...err no. I was cooking. After under eating and drinking on Friday I over did it. I was super full from a lovely catch up breakfast with old school friends which was followed by a protein snack washed down with four litres of water. Very uncomfortable.

Jet lag was not a valid excuse today. I was pushed for slacking and reminded as I sat out of Camel it will be worse in September. I dug deep and managed half the second set. That putrid feeling was washing over me again. I sat out of the final stretching and barely twisted in final spinal. Poor effort but I was spent. I bolted straight after class which was a shame as a girl I met at BYJ last month was there & I really wanted to say hi. 

Let it go, leave it on the mat. I returned today, Tuesday for the 12:30pm. Different instructor today, Nicky who usually teaches in Manchester. Rachel was there and advised me to move my position as I was too close to the outside wall which is deemed the cool spot. (bugger!!!!!) I moved and ended up under a ceiling fan which didn't really make any difference to the heat & actually made me dizzy staring at it in savasana!

I felt so much better today. My strength had returned, my mind was calm and I pulled out a nearly normal practice. The floor postures I struggled with over the weekend were not a problem. I did both sets of Camel & felt fine. The heat wasn't on my mind & I didn't feel like I was melting. My jet lag must be passing. I slept till 8am which I think has made such a difference.

It's been good for me to be challenged and be out of my comfort zone. I have been cruising and what I've read about Spring Training we may be in for a rocky, brain boiling ride. It was never going to be easy but the more challenged and prepared I am the better.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

A letter from America

On my last night before I flew out I got a letter from America. It was my receipt and official dialogue book for Training. It didn't look a lot to say how much money I'd spent. A stapled wad of A4 copy paper. I dunno was I really expecting a gold plated, diamond encrusted file or something?!! I have it, it mines and I'm in. This book must be guarded and not given to anyone or left unattended. It's fully copyrighted and must not be changed or altered in any way. I agree, everyone needs to pay the money in order to obtain a copy, can't be giving these things out for free to anyone!

This made it a lot easier to break the news to my parents. Even though I knew I was in and going after I got my email confirmation, having the paper version made it feel more official. 

My parents were so cool, they didn't freak out and I think they were kinda expecting it. Another crazy adventure! It's been a while since I last had one so I'm due it. They've known I've always had an interest in teaching of some sorts and this will fill the slot. They were more worried what my Man was gonna do for 9 weeks with out me. He's having a two week trial run right now and he'd spent up to a month with out me quite a few times in the past. He'll be right, as us Aussie's say!

The Holy grail of BYTT, full payment receipt & my dialogue - for my eyes only!

A Day of Firsts

Friday June 3rd was a day of firsts. 
  • My 1st day back in the UK after 18 months
  • My 1st Bikram Yoga class outside of Australia
  • My 1st Bikram Yoga class in a British accent
  • The 1st time I spewed my guts up after a Bikram yoga class

Here I am back in the UK. Nothing has changed much, the odd new block of houses have appeared, everything is looking lush and well watered and the local drivers have challenged me beyond belief.

I flew into Manchester at 7pm Thursday night and I was home and in bed for 10pm. I thought I'd be back on GMT pretty quick but alas no, wide awake at 3am. Gave me chance to get some hydration going on and unpack. I'd already made a decision that I would get myself to Leicester for a class in an attempt to kick the jet lag. This was easy as I was awake so making the 7:13am train was a breeze.

I paid an horrific amount for an on peak train ticket the equivalent of $90 aussie dollars. It gave me the chance to study dialogue and chill out but my budget is not stretching to that so I will be taking my mum's car next week and doing battle with the M1. Parking for three hours is 3 pounds and fuel will be about a tenner. The studio gave me the intro off of 30 pounds for 30 days which was well on budget.

I had a very warm welcome at Bikram Yoga Leicester. Had a nice chat with a regular student whilst waiting to go in. The instructor Rachel was lovely and personally showed me around so I knew where everything was. Huge changing rooms and an airy, bright chill out room. The studio is huge! No air con vents but ceiling fans that were on the whole time to circulate the air. It was a strange hotness in the room. It was very drippy and humid but when it came to the floor my towel was wet but a cold feeling wet. Quiet nice actually. Cool wet towel.

I had a fare class to say my brain was spinning. I tried every posture but not to the best of my ability. Rachel was very motivating and kept highlighting the fact I'd just got off a 24 hour flight and was still standing for those who were slacking off a bit. It was so nice to hear the dialogue in a regional accent. I loved the local lingo that was dropped in "come on lass you can do it." At one point a new student was asked if she was having fun as well. Wiping sweat was "illegal" which I thought was hilarious. I never wipe sweat so I was in the clear there. I did however get policed when I went for a water break at Fixed Firm. "We don't do water breaks here." But was let off due to my jet lag status and everyone got to drink.

I was flagging. I struggled through Triangle & took a standing break on the last left side. This did confuse a few people around me who also stepped back left. Sorry, I upset the balance/flow. I was out of fuel big time. I'd eaten four hours before the start of class and was feeling it. Jet lag gets me like that, I go from not hungry at all to feeling nauseous starving in an instant. I should have known better and had a two hour before protein snack. I made it through, had a shower, a nice chat at the front desk and off I went back to the train.

I was feeling wobbly, second sweat was dripping, I was chugging the 1.5 litre of non chilled water as I went. By the time I sat on the platform I wasn't well. I felt hungover. I tried to eat a muesli bar but it was so dry I couldn't swallow it. I got on the train, settled into the window seat and tried to have a nap. Five minutes in when the train started rocking I bolted. Literally hurdled over the mother & child sitting next to me, ran down the carriage to the toilet, of course they were gonna be at the other end!!  Only just made it. Gone, wasted was all the lovely 1.5 litres of water I'd consumed. It was nasty experience, train toilets are vile but I managed it without actually touching anything but the wall. I was impressed I'd managed to hold on for an hour after class and that was the first time I have spewed after a class. It did feel good to get it all out. Jet lag, low blood sugar, tiredness, motion sickness, oh the list could go on. I was most probably really dehydrated from the flight too. 

It hasn't put me off. I will be more prepared and back there for the Monday 9:30am class. These mini learning curves are all very useful and I can put them to use in LA.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

UK here I come

Tomorrow morning in the wee hours I fly back to the UK for a super quick two week family visit. I've not been back for 18 months and not seen some people for over two years or more now. 

I am planning on getting some Bikram in whilst I'm there. It's HUGE in London, studios have popped up everywhere. However I no longer live there and will be staying about 350km north in Derbyshire. Fret not, there in Bikram in Manchester and Leicester both a leisurely 1 hour train journey away. I know this will probably take at least four whole hours out of my day but it'll be worth it. Plus those two hours on the train will be my designated dialogue study time.

I waved good bye to BYJ last night. I decided to mix up my practice and go after work for a change rather than the 5:45am. I needed the heat and humidity the extra bodies bring. The weekend classes always get the crowds and the temp so it's not like I've been cruising in the cool. Wow was it hot. The yoga bus ran me down about Fixed Firm. I did just lay there like a floppy rag doll. 

I could make excuses like I usually do but I was hydrated, well fed but that was over four hours so could have been a little low blood sugar. Standing series went well, I felt good, even got my head nearly on my knee last left side of SH2K. Then the floor killed me. I caught a glimpse of the thermometer at Spinal twist it read 43 degrees with 40% humidity. This was okay, the problem was the stale air. At no point was the fresh, clean air blasted in. It just got hotter and thicker. I felt like a bag was over my head. I didn't even want cold air con just some air movement so I wasn't breathing in a cloud. 

It wasn't just me, everyone was flagging. The group energy was so low, it wasn't a good vibe. I could barely drag myself up in the sit up. Camel was not happening. For the first time in my practice I was thought I might actually throw up, I was dry retching, I nearly bolted for the door. I have never left the room once, apart from to look after a sick student as no other staff were there. I took my own advice I'm always dolling out here, laid down, breathed and sucked it up (along with a lung full of hot cloud!) I made it and was a crumpled mess in the showers guzzling ice cold nuuns water after.

I'm figuring this is what TT will be like so I need to be ready. I need more of these challenging classes. I was knocked for six. I didn't even feel well enough to drive home so sat out in the cold air with a Powerade till it passed. I still didn't feel well this morning. I'm hoping training might have some air circulation even if it is mat melting hotness the dead, stale air was not pretty. 

Just to finish, I've not been able to reply to any comments as my comments reply box seems to be down. I'm not ignoring you all, I have things to say back but ol' blogger isn't letting me right now!!