Lock the knee

Lock your knee. Lock your knee. Lock your knee.
I’m not sure anyone who has not been subjected to Bikram yoga will actually get the humor, the terror, and the irony of those 3 words. It’s all part of Bikram’s dialog that each teacher must learn. (for those of you not yet privy to the subtle nuances and downright funny phraseology, let me introduce you to a few of our favorite gems. While these are at first funny, one comes to embrace them. When you listen to the dialogue, it’s a form of concentration. It’s a meditation. So here are some: Open your chest like a flower petal blooming. Pulling is the object of stretching. (admit it, you’re thinking WTF?!) Focus with your English bulldog determination, your Bengal tiger strength. Inside out, bones to skin.)

I digress. It has been an interesting week. Sick. Sick of being sick. It all started with an exceptionally sore throat. By Thursday I was wishing I had the sore throat back! I didn’t see my personal trainer all week, but I think being sick and having done 4 yoga classes in the last 4 days counts :). I went Tuesday evening. I typically go 6am on Tuesdays and only miss that class with due cause. I hardly sweated all class and had zero strength. I therefore focused on keeping my leg locked any time my leg was to be straight. It is amazing how often my leg is not locked. :( I think this is probably because I’ve never needed to lock the knee to get my legs straight. It takes an inordinate amount of concentration let me tell you. At one point I was in Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Paschimottanasana (pose below) trying to keep my thighs contracted (aka locking the knee), suck in my stomach, and pull with my arms. I could only seem to do two at a time so I kept cycling. Oi! My water embargo proved detrimental as I had to leave the room due to hacking up the proverbial lung! Next time we allow little sips of water for extreme coughing.

Wednesday, feeling worse again (I felt MUCH better after Tuesday's class, but it only lasted about 12 hours) I went back to an afternoon class. Sooo much better. I was so inspired I followed the regular 90min class with a 110min advanced class. May as well kick that bug to the curb! I think it worked. =D I was spewing mucus yesterday in a way that made me eternally grateful for the technological advances that led to tissues with aloe and vitamin e! I hope the inventor is obscenely wealthy. I would have gone to bed earlier had I not had to pack my Halloween garb! Up at 5am to get to 6am yoga. There appears to be a consistent 12 of us at the 6am classes with one or 2 intermittent individuals. I love my 6am classes. What a great start to the day!

Here's an davanced pose I won't be doing this week...


Take a pose

Okay, so being run down from too much work is causing me to have a compromised immunity and some form of cooties is trying to manifest.  Sore throat and coughing. If yoga yesterday and today don't knock it out of me I'll just have to go tomorrow.  The bad thing was i had a coughing fit so bad i had to step out of the room :(  I guess I should have had some water!  Duh!

Two of my frequent instructors were at 2008 spring TT in Acapulco.  Kelly and Amanda both teach at the Ann Arbor studio. Today we went to the Plymouth studio and had Mark from Las Vegas (also a Sprint 1008 alum). After class Pedro took some snaps of me in the poses.  The next set will get taken in the weeks leading up to my departure (with any luck they will be better).  Two weekends from now I will be attending the women's yoga retreat.  These seminars really tend to help, not only in terms of poses, but in terms of focus, understanding and patience with self.  I know I tend to push to hard.  I used to do better in my poses until the accident.  I will get better though.. but only with patience.


Eazy breezy...

Okay, not easy; at least easier! Yoga was easier today. Sure my compressed disc bitched and moaned like a 5 year old being sent to bed when the adults are up having all the fun, but class was solid. No water. No leaving. No issues. Even the heat wasn’t overwhelming. Okay I admit there is a chance class wasn’t as hot as it aught to be, but give me my moment to revel why don’t you?! I need skimpier shorts too! It's not about how one looks... it’s about not futzing with clothing. Habits and excuses remember? I also need to take some pose shots now. I doubt I'll post them until I have the pre-TT and post-TT ones to put up with them for comparison ;)


Get that monkey off my back!

This is going to be a LONG haul. Habits and demons. Habits and demons. I had a truly crappy class yesterday. I do not know is it was because I'm not used to evening classes (I’d better darn get used to them again... I only have like 45 consecutive evening classes looming in my future), but it was brutal. The one good thing was that I am sticking religiously to my "no water in class" embargo. Yay me! It’s all in the little triumphs, eh.

I did up the ante though and refused to let myself out of the room. Filthy habit that… allowing oneself to leave the room when overwhelmed. It’s such a cop out. Quitters never win and winners never quit. If you think leaving the room for 2 min is okay as long as you go right back you’re only kidding yourself. Even if it’s not yoga, we all have our “leaving the room.” For some it’s conning yourself into thinking one small bit of cake will do no harm. True in calories but not in psyche. Dressing like a frump is another lie, simpler to deal with than the truth. It is nothing more than another self conning betrayal. Why do we let ourselves down? Most of us would never even consider betraying our friends the way we betray ourselves. What is your cop out? Do you even know? Did you tell yourself you could skip your workout today because you were too tired? Did you tell yourself you would join the gym next year when you were thinner? Are you skipping push-ups because you “can’t” do them? Who cares… certainly many of us don’t care enough about ourselves to push. So I challenge you… do something today that you’ve been telling yourself you can’t do. You will surprise yourself with the result!

170 days to go...



So I talked to HR to find out in detail the Leave of Absence policy. I learnt 2 things. Firstly, there once was a guy from Nantucket who... oh wait... wrong story. Back to my "firstly". There once was a guy who took a leave of absence from my place of employment to study yoga (many years ago). Signs of hope! The second thing i learnt was that Leaves of Absence are typically granted for periods up to and including 30 days off. 10 weeks in Acapulco does not for 30 days make. So, here's how it works for those wanting more than 30 days for non-medical reasons. One requests the Leave of Absence for 30 days and upon expiration it is up to the individual's manager if they wish to renew for another 30 days or not. It is also at the manager's discretion to grant the entire period prior to departure. Sooo, that leaves everything in my director's hands. I have my weekly one-on-one with him tomorrow. I will broach the topic and let things fall where they may.

I do think Master P is right when he says he thinks I should do another 60 day challenge. This is where one days 60 classes in 60 days. I did one before, but it would indeed be excellent preparation for teacher training. I need to prepare for yoga day in and day out.



Is 6 months ahead of time too far in advance to be considering what to pack? Those of you that know me are no doubt surprised I don't have a packing list yet (fret not, I have jotted a few ideas down). However, I really really think every girl should pack at least one Convertible Dress. it only makes sense. The more i think about it the more i think i need 2 different types. One simple black and one dramatic red/blue. It's better to focus on the food and clothing and prepare for the physical aspects than to ponder too long on the impending physical torment ;) Now... what to wear for PJs (my poor roommate).

Now... about filthy habits. We all develop them in life. In yoga they can stand between you and growing your practice. I am most annoyed at all the habits I have found in myself. I need to work through these before teacher training. First on my hit list is drinking water in class. So far I've done my last 2 classes water free. YAY me. Water in class disrupts your flow. not to mention putting water in your tummy which leads to blood flowing there to take care of it. This reduces ones energy. Then why do we drink water in class? It's a security blanket. It is simpler than dealing with one's emotions in class. Next i have to figure out why I need to pee in class. Got to stop the need to step out.


Moving forward

I've been talking to more people about the logistics and this is feeling like more of a reality.  Spring training runs from 12 April till 14 June 2009.  Monday to Friday one wakes up to an early class (for those of you do not know Bikram yoga, this is 90min in a 105F/41C room)  then we get brunch served.  After brunch there are lectures (anatomy, posture clinics and the like). Then in the evening there is another yoga class.  We get a dinner break (find your own food) followed by more lectures (that typically end between 11pm and 4am). ALL classes and lectures are mandatory. Saturday has one mandatory class in the morning. All other yoga classes over the weekend are optional. If my math is right it's 98 mandatory yoga classes in 62 days. That's 147hours of yoga (assuming you only get 90min classes, and Bikram is notorious for his 2hr evening classes). I'm thinking I may as well make it an even 100 by picking up some optional classes.  but I can see about that when I'm suffering day in and day out :)

I will have to pack and take certain supplies to ensure I have them.  Acapulco apparently only has granola bars and no energy or protein bars. Also, I will need electrolytes out the yin yang! I was thinking in yoga class today that I shall take a weekly reward.  End of week one I can open my jar of power butter.  End of week 2 I can get a fresh set of yoga togs, yes?  Ah the things we do for a little inspiration.


The big decision

This weekend brought a significant change for me.  I have decided to attend Bikram Yoga Teacher Training next spring. That is 6 months out.  This is a significant decision for anyone who takes this step, whether they know it at the time or not. I have been telling folks about this since my decision on Saturday morning. Each time I tell someone I am faced with new emotions.  The initial excitement was quickly replaced with trepidation.  Don't get me wrong, I am still VERY enthusiastic, but this decision is like stepping out in front of the cavern mouth brandishing a sword and yelling "Hey!  Whatever demons and dragons are in there come out and face me!" at the top of your lungs. Now I'm standing there thinking to myself "how the heck do I wield this friggin sword?!"

I'm still undecided as to whether i should post my journey over the next 6 months (emotionally and logistically that is).  Figuring out what to pack is one thing, figuring out how to fit it all in your bags is another. I do not know how some folks afford this.  I am thinking of those that become full time yoga instructors.  It's not like they get paid handsomely. Unless one had the money prior, one would spend an inordinate amount of time repaying said debt. better to focus on the plight on others rather than the amount of money I will be using out of our funds. yes, yes, I know once in a lifetime experience.  I pretty much get that or I would not be going :) One of the logistical experience I am not so worried about is being able to handle yoga, yoga, yoga.  I have already done a 60 day challenge (one does 60 yoga classes in 60 days).  I have done some doubles (2 classes in one day), which also alleviates that fear. In fact I did a double last Sunday.  Yoga for breakfast and advanced yoga for dinner. I will ensure I prepare myself physically for the challenge.  

The truth is of course that I'm just doing this so I can say "been there, done that, I have the t-shirt." specifically I think the t-shirt I will be talking about will be this one...