Many of the folks that I spoke to in the class only go once a week. While I am sure there are many individuals at my local studios that do this I typically talk to the folks I see most often (i.e. 3 or more times per week). It was odd to think of only going once a week. One gent viewed it as his weekly stretching amidst his gym and running routine. He was complaining her hurt for a few days afterward every time. That’s the sad thing about muscles… leave them for too long and they return to their old ways. Throw in some weight lifting to shorten the muscles… and that “long period” turns into a week. So many folks think they have to run for hours a week to “get their cardio” and this is so wrong. They don’t have time for a second yoga class because they have to go jog for an hour.
Many of the general public believes that you have to perform lots of cardiovascular exercise to achieve health and/or weight loss. However, this is not true. In fact, greater benefits can be achieved with shorter duration higher intensity exercise. One study compared the one-minute bout of intense exercise with twenty minutes of moderate intensity exercise, it was discovered that only four one-minute bouts of intense exercise would be required to exceed the total oxygen consumption of a twenty-minute bout of moderate (60% maxHR) intensity exercise. The research data showed that the one-minute bouts of intense stepping on the X-iser Machine™ used an average of 46.7 Cals/min compared to only 9.3 Cals/min for a twenty-minute bout of typical aerobic exercise. In addition, when you perform extended periods of cardiovascular exercise, you raise levels of Glucocorticoids, which are tissue destroying hormones. To maintain health and optimum weight you need to keep as much muscle tissue as possible. This probably explains why my personal trainer has me doing cardio for 10 min (5 peaks) 3 to 6 times per week. Of course this being said… when they talk about higher intensity they literally mean pushing with everything you have for the full minute. Staggering on the treadmill for the recovery minute is permitted. I see why 1hour jogs seem more alluring.
Back to TT talk! The other thing of note is that I am vacillating a LOT less than I used to. I used to go through these periods of “what the heck am I thinking; I don’t need to go to TT. I should just focus on my practice?!” and “I can’t go to TT! We can’t afford this!” that used to occur more often than I care to admit, now I am finding them less frequent. I am more at peace with the idea that if TT is meant to be then things will occur such it can happen. You know, things such as winning the lotto or Master P continuing to be employed in order to pay said mortgage. Although… these days the lotto winning is seeming to be the more likely (what with him working for Chrysler (today at least) and all).
Onto another topic. I have hips that are about as open as the doors of a high security prison. Many of the poses are some hard work for me, ones involving open hips I still very much represent the “before” aspect of the yoga pose. So, there I am before class the other day and Pedro has his knees out and practically against the floor, while his heels meet his groin. So I ask if he can do lotus. He looks at me puzzled. Understand that I can’t do half-lotus with one foot let alone full lotus. So I tell him what to do with the foot. Bam. No problem. Looks at me and goes “the other one goes here right” and plonks the other foot up easy as you like. So not fair. Okay, I get to see my mat in my backbends on good days. I guess unfairness goes all directions.
Gents winner Ladies winner
Sleep, class, brunch, lecture, must… stay…awake (no offense to Emmy and Raj, but I think most of us were dozing off at the end there). Then some wise soul put on some very upbeat music and soon we were all dancing about (I bet the photos look like the later part of a drunken wedding party). We sure were invigorated for our evening class :) Dinner was good. We had a guest speaker Saturday night. May Yue, founder of the Tao of Youth was there talking about her life and her book. More revelry followed. I think we were all saddened that Sunday morning was our last class. We had a farewell ceremony after breakfast and we all dispersed. (or went to spa appointments, or hung around for a bit). I had a great dinner (and a beer sampler - gasp!) in the Minneapolis airport with Teri (another great yogi from CA – interestingly enough, Teri teaches Jill’s Advanced classes (go figure!)) Then off home… and straight into my massage chair…. Ahhh… and bed (needed a few hours rest before work!). Zzzzzz…
Me and Rajashree (half the reason I went to the event!)
For me the retreat really began with the Native American sweat lodge. Do not pre-judge the black tarpaulin covered branches making a low dome in the dirt =). So a whole bunch of us go in and the flap is lowered. It is pitch black in there. Ooookay. On goes the water. Place fills up with steam. Not pleasant steam, like a steam room mind you. Cloying. So the one woman who had be raised Lakota does the chanting and the initial blessings. Very nice. She did a great job. I’m wondering when the steam will subside so I can slip out (no exiting till such occurs). Then I find out what sweat lodge is really about as we are asked to offer up thanks or prayers. The words in the darkness are deep and profound. A prayer for a loved one diagnosed with cancer. Thanks for a healthy baby. A prayer for self-acceptance. So it went. For me that set the tone for the weekend. No facades, no drama; only warmth, caring and sharing. I felt connected. These prayers and thanks did not belong to one individual; they belonged to all of us. We were created together from the earth and we all share in all the world’s pain, suffering and joy.
As you can see, right from the get-go there was a lot to deal with mentally and emotionally. I think everyone at the retreat got what they needed when they opened themselves up to it. I went looking for answers I hadn’t even asked. Prior to the retreat I kept vacillating between “I have to do this” and “no, this is nonsense, I don’t have the time or money!” I have to grow to TT. Yes, I meant to say grow and not go. I have to go. It may or may not be in the spring, but I have to go. My yoga practice sure could benefit from it ;) but the truth is I think I need it even more. I’ve always told people you take your emotional baggage into your yoga class with you. While that is true, you don’t have to deal with all of it at once. Everyone I have spoken to has confirmed that at TT ever nasty habit, bit of luggage, and scrap of self-loathing comes forth. There is no place to hide. Good.
I did confirm at the retreat that TT was being moved to California and would no longer be in Acapulco. Since then Bikram's website has been updated with the new dates and location :)
2009 Training ScheduleSpring Session: begins on April 26 to June 28, 2009
The Desert Springs JW Marriott Resort and Spa