Saturday, 19 December 2009

The next 7 days - 17-24/30

Bikram 101

Day 17-24

Days 17&18

I have got into the bad habit of not noting down my thoughts on the day that I have done my yoga sessions. Again…
Also, I could not do days 19, 20 and 21 consecutively as I had to audition for a film over those days and was away from my local studio. So I’m three days behind.

I did a double on day 18 to cover for day 19, but I still have to cover for day 20 and 21.

This means I have to double up for the next few sessions. As my 30th day is on Christmas Eve, and I want to carry on doing Bikram yoga every day , it means I have to double up for to compensate for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and the day after that (which is Sunday). It’s gonna be tough, but I will do it. I’ve reached so far and I’m not turning back.

People’s reactions to my 30 day has been varied.

‘Won’t you get addicted to it?’ ( I think it’s a bit too late for that….)
‘Are you going in on Christmas day, then?’ (Ho ho ho…Ha bloody ha)
‘You need to rest your muscles, don’t you?’ (Errr… no…..)

Basically, they think I’m mad…. And I don’t really care….

Day 19

Bikram 101

This was a double done back to back on day 18. It flowed perfectly. I think because I planned the logistics, I wasn’t flapping all over the place so my mind could rest and focus.

I made sure that I had a fresh towel for my mat for my next session, as well as a fresh change of yoga gear. I had a shower, grabbed a banana to eat and was set to go.

The only thing that was stopping me was the paranoia about my yoga gear. I thought it was a bit too low cut and was showing a bit too much. In hindsight it wasn’t, as there is another yogini who wears stuff a lot more low cut than me and is much more well endowed too!

I had enough puff to do standing head to knee pose and bow, but felt that I was showing too much. I will have to wear this costume again due to laundry issues.

I will have to address the costume issue over the Christmas & Boxing day. I can pattern cut and have made my own yoga stuff, but recently didn’t have the time to do it. I have a large suitcase full of dancewear lycra material, so I should really be sewing.

Day 20

Bikram 101
This was covered in day 23 when I did my double.

Day 21
Bikram 101
This was covered in day 24 when I did my double.
Sheesh….this is getting confusing…..

Day 22
Bikram 101
Because I did not attend any yoga sessions for 3 days on a trot (days 19, 20 and 21), I was so rusty.
I did not help myself much by having a couple of packets of ready salted crisps and two sticks of Cadbury fudge an hour before I started. (It was so nice at the time!)

It was a ‘car crash’ yoga session.

It started ok. The deep breathing exercises and Half Moon - Ardha Chandrasina
poses was okay. I could hear my fingers crunching because they were so stiff. I don’t think I can let my practice lapse for more than two days.

My twinges in my back started during the Half moon pose. I got twinges in my shoulderblades throughout, even on my back in corpse pose.

I started yawning in Awkward Pose - Utkatasana.
I wasn’t sweating in the Eagle Pose - Garurasana, so I found it more difficult to place my legs into position. I think the lack of sweat was due to the crisps. I guess it’s not good to have processed foods anymore.

By this time, my body felt like it had that cartoon character Tasmanian devil whizzing round me in a blaze of sugar. It was horrible.

It was so bad that I lay down during the Standing Bow Pose - Dandayamana Dhanurasana. I did get up and attempt second pose.

I lost my balance in Balancing Stick - Tuladandasanaand my balance went after that. I tried to get up and do the triangle and started feeling dizzy. No chance. I sat back down.

Tried to do Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee - Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Janushirasana, and that was difficult too. I had the energy, but couldn’t do it. I felt too dizzy. I lay down until the standing sequence was over.

My Bikram grip isn’t too spectacular. Learned to squeeze and pull. But I can’t do grab both my knees.

Cobra Pose - Bhujangasana was ok, could have pushed myself further. I could have done better.

Locust Pose - Salabhasanawas ok. I’m learning to lock out the knee, but it is hard. I couldn’t do it at request, but after five seconds after the event.

Full Locust Pose - Poorna Salabhasana was hard. Could only lift up a little for the first pose. Couldn’t do the second.

I just could not do the Bow Pose - Dhanurasana. This was due to laziness. I’m not happy with that.

Fixed Firm Pose - Supta Vajrasana was difficult, and that was understandable, as I had not done much of the standing leg poses.

I was happy with the stretch in Half Tortoise Pose - Ardha Kurmasana. It was really good for my shoulder blades. It was a relief.

Camel Pose - Ustrasana. Too much sugar made me dizzy. I had to just lay there. Infuriating.

Did not feel the full stretch with Rabbit Pose - Sasangasana. I felt it in the back, but not the shoulders.

Head to Knee and Stretching Pose - Janushirasana and Paschimotthanasana
Right was ok. Left felt really awkward and took a lot of time for me to reach my most extreme pose.

Grab toes and I could feel progress. Need to stretch more. I can push down a little bit further.

Day 23
Bikram 101

I am beginning to discover all the muscles in my back that I never knew that I had. It aches. Badly. When lying in Dead Body Pose - Savasana I could really feel strong twinges in my shoulderblades. It was so strong, I almost yelped out loud in class. I can still only sit up in Fixed Firm pose. Joachim asked how were my knees. I responded that sometimes I do get a twinge and can’t go back, and in this case my knees were twinging. He seemed a little despondent at that. Fixed Firm pose is one of my ‘Long Term Investment’ poses. It will take time to get there. I will get there.

I did a class later on that evening to cover for day 20 and although there was a twinge in both shoulderblades and knees, it wasn’t so bad the second time around. I concentrated much more on my breathing and the class seemed to fly by. I moved to a different part of the studio where the mirror is at a rather strange angle, which forced me to work on my balance even more.

I went a bit further in my toestand today! I’m really pleased with myself. While I am creaking to my squat like an old woman, all the others whizzed down to squat on their tippy toes. I’m still working my balance in that one. I quite like it. It is a challenge. I like the fact that I have time to congratulate myself before going into Dead Body Pose – Savansana. It is such a sense of achievement.

Day 24
Bikram 101
It was a bit difficult in getting into to the studio this morning. There had been forecasts of snow and the early buses were not running on time. I had to ring ahead to ask them to let me in. When I got in there was only about 7 of us! It would have seemed that everyone had been scared off by the weather forecasts of heavy snow in London. It never really happened. I never had so much space! I walked in and was able to place my mat anywhere I wanted! No mad rush for the showers either!

As for my poses, I was really happy with them. I was really happy with my toestand and was given instructions by Hortense on how to get to the floor with my toestand. But it needs working on, as I still don’t know how to get up.

Work in progress…

As for the evening session, it didn’t go so good. It was like a sauna in there, and my breathing went a bit manic. It affected my poses. I was laying down for quite a few poses and people were leaving the class. I think this particular tutor really likes the heat. If I do doubles in the future, I don’t think I could go to this class, although in the morning it would be fine.

Friday, 11 December 2009

The Camel's Back that Creaked Days 14 15&16/30

Bikram 101

Days 14 15&16/30

Day 14

I’m beginning to feel my muscles in my back now. My backbends in HalfMoon is going further and further, but I feel that my back muscles are still not stretched or utilised to the maximum, especially when I do Hands to Feet - Padahasthasana. Oh man, I just can’t stretch my legs out. I never knew I had so many muscles in my back! Well, it feels like that anyway. Especially when I do Camel Pose - Ustrasana. I always stretch it a bit further every time.

I need to deepen my concentration when doing Standing Bow Pose - Dandayamana Dhanurasana. Joachim complimented me on my pose, and I fell out of it! Not good! I need to focus more. I am watching my movement a lot more closely and I can feel some progress with it.

I have found out that I have enough energy… until I get to Rabbit Pose - Sasangasana. I am learning how to stretch my spine as the days go by.

I have learnt to put my weight on my knees and ground myself to the floor. This is really strange for me because I never really appreciated the ground, by putting all my weight on it. It sounds strange, but I never really trusted the ground to melt into it. I always thought that something would give away. I think that it years of always sitting on chairs, and chairs could collapse for whatever reason, be it a deck chair or a chair with a dodgy leg.

Although I was exhausted I still kept on with Head to Knee and Stretching Pose - Janushirasana and Paschimotthanasana and followed the directions that Jessica gave me.

Slowly, day by day, I am able to complete the poses now without leaving the room. I still ache the next day though. I checked myself on the scales, and although I haven’t lost any weight, my trousers are dropping off me, and any navvy who wanted to pick a fight with me would probably leg it after seeing my biceps and shoulders.

Crutch Watch

I don’t take my towels anymore
I didn’t take in my stripey towel and so I didn’t use it as a marker in Awkward Pose - Utkatasana.
I am still drinking a lot of water when I don’t need it. This is something that I need to work on.

Day 15

My back is really creaky. I don’t know because I did my class in the morning and my body was still stiff. I have realised that in Hands to Feet - Padahasthasana I really need to glue my top torso to my thighs, and once this is done, then I can lift my heels. This does takes some time. Camel Pose - Ustrasana makes my back go off like a firecracker, I can hear cracking in my back. I found it quite disconcerting. I think my back is looser, but it can get tense quite quickly and I still have very stiff shoulders.

I still find Half Tortoise Pose - Ardha Kurmasana quite a challenge as my hips cannot touch my heels and I can feel every muscle in my back when I do this pose.

I am progressing with Toe stand - Padangustasana quite well. I am going down on one leg, but cannot sit on one leg yet. That will come.
Day 16

I didn’t feel like coming in today, but once I did, I really did appreciate the heat soaking into my aching muscles. I parked myself in a new spot, and really liked it. It was at the front to the left. I think I will aim for there tomorrow if possible.

I still need to work on my Deep Breathing – Pranayama. I am still keeping my knees locked, but my deep breathing is still not deep enough. I am happy with the progress of Half Moon - Ardha Chandrasina but I still need to lock my knees, as I still don’t think that I am locking them out enough.

I did fall out of Eagle Pose - Garurasana, but went right back into it before the end of the set. I set myself up rather slowly in this pose, but it will speed up. I also get the odd twinge in my knees due to my pronated feet. However, as I know the reason for this irritating pain, I know how to tweak my posture to stop my pronation.

I was really proud of how I coped with Standing Head to Knee. Not once did I drop my foot. I may have had to fall out of the final position, but I always went back to the basic position and tried again. I was really proud of my determination.

I enjoyed my Standing Bow Pose - Dandayamana Dhanurasana, even though I fell out of my pose several times. I discovered that I have to concentrate on locking my knee and even fixing my gaze on it to ensure that it is locked before engaging my shoulder and foot in a firm kicking and pulling grip. I pushed further out than before and stayed in position for 5 seconds at least.

My pose did attract some attention, which I didn’t mind this time, as I was busy concentrating on developing my pose. What I do find irritating is when people are beside me and see it as a competition, when I am busy developing my pose. It can get quite aggressive. Sometimes, it can cause me not to push myself as I do not want to attract attention. Because I am not strong or focussed enough at the time to switch them off, I have had to move mats. For this reason, I would avoid going to evening and weekend classes. The morning classes would have students with the determination to get their poses down. Concentration was even more vital as muscles will be a lot stiffer in the mornings so poses will be more difficult to form. There is no time for competition.

In this sense, I really miss Paul Dobson, a tutor who once taught me. If he so much as glimpsed any one attempting to compete with others, he would bark out, ‘LEAVE THE EGO AT HOME!!!!’ and that would generally stop them. I guess I must learn how to defend myself now. 

I do love working beside people who do have really deep and good poses, but are really encouraging and happy for people that they are striving to further themselves, or generally do not feel threatened by (what I don’t know) and give off really feel good vibes. They are a joy to do a yoga session. When it happens, it is really joyful.

I don’t feel excessively tired when I do Triangle Pose - Trikanasana now. I feel now that I have enough strength to tweak and push forward in this pose. This is such a difference to a year ago, as I would not have been able to complete two full sets.

I am now finding Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee - Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Janushirasana really tiring now. Maybe I didn’t do it correctly or I am just carrying out the many directions given out by the excellent Jessica and Sam. I am definitely not resting in this position. Sometimes I am wobbling all over the place. It feels good though!

I really need to work on my Bow Pose - Dhanurasana. I know that I am not pushing myself, because I don’t really know how.

I got some direction from Megan with Half Tortoise Pose - Ardha Kurmasana, I cannot sit on my heels, nor place my forehead on the floor with my hands. On the second set, Megan pushed my heels to my hips, and it sort of bounced back up. She started to massage my back half way up, then pressed it back down again. It still didn’t go down that much. I have such a stiff lower back. Or is it just stiff hips? Whatever it was, it felt like it had rusted into that position and needed a gallon of WD40.

I could hear my back creaking in Camel Pose - Ustrasana. I am pushing forward with this pose as I wanted to. I think it is because I could hear it cracking the other morning when I did this pose. Gotta work on this pose.

I liked this session, and now I am getting into the swing of things. I can feel my body changing. I can also now feel excess mucus in my body. The only explanation for that is that I am eating/drinking more dairy than usual. I think I need to keep an eye on my diet.

I had a cup of delicious Chai which was prepared by the studio and got chatting to a couple. The lady had been going for two or three years and finally convinced her partner to go. He is loving it and has been going for the last 7 months. There is hope for me to try and convince my other half that Bikram Yoga is good for you.

Right now I have muscle pains in my knees and my legs, and the muscular aches are happening in 5 second flashes all over my back and the rest of my body. I am off to bed now.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

No sweat, the towel has gone! 12, 13&14/30

Days 12 & 13/30

Bikram 101

I should not write in blocks like this as the earlier days become a bit of a haze. This is not a good habit.

Never mind, I will write what I can remember. Days 12 and 13 were taught by Jessica, so I will merge both of these reports together.

In Deep Breathing – Pranayama, I am remembering to lock out my knees and it really helps me when I go into Half Moon - Ardha Chandrasina. I took a really deep breath once and could feel my stomach really going in. I never got it when they said that you should see your ribs in the mirror. I’ve got a bit of a tum, so seeing my ribs was not really possible. I could only keep such deep breaths only a couple of times. Something to work on.

Half Moon was a bit of a challenge. I can go quite deep in the sideways pose, but find it quite difficult to tweak when in a deep pose. I must tweak just before I push into a deeper posture. I am happy with my back posture, but find my lower back is still stiff, so it is difficult to do the forward bending pose Hands to Feet - Padahasthasana. I have found out that if I relax my back more, then I can straighten my legs more. I have problems with this pose as I find it quite claustrophobic.

Eagle pose is getting better. It was one of my least favourite poses and I still suffer from the odd twinge in my knee when getting into the final pose. I am learning how to tweak it as I adjust the positioning of my pronated feet. I am now able to stretch my palms out and work on my upper body. I can now tell my left from my right!

Standing Separate head to knee pose is still a challenge that I need to work on. I will get there.

I am still struggling with my Standing Bow Pose - Dandayamana Dhanurasana. That is the problem for me. I am really lazy with this posture, but I have to push this one. I keep falling out of it as I push further. Sometimes, I forget to lock the knee, or I stop locking the knee, which is fustrating. I also get pins and needles in my foot in this pose, and that can also affect my balance.

I am beginning to grab my heels in Standing Separate Leg Stretching - Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Paschimotthanasana. I hate the tension in my hamstrings. A bit hard to let go with this one.

I am happy with my progress in Triangle Pose - Trikanasana. I can hold the pose, and now find the strength to be able to tweak it by pushing out my hips further. I actually love the feeling of stretching my inner thighs in this one.

I did get some correction from Jessica in Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee - Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Janushirasana. I was leaning back when I should have been leaning much further into my palms, but at the same time using my palms to push my head against my knee more. I felt much more progress with this.

Tree Pose - Tadasana
I can hold this pose but I cannot make my palms meet each other. I was assured by Jessica that this is merely superfluous, and with this in mind I started to go into Toe stand - Padangustasana
on day 13. I cannot sit down fully as my hamstrings really twinge with this, so I go as far as I can then go back into Tree pose. I can go from half sitting to standing without falling down. I’m really proud of that!

Full Locust Pose - Poorna Salabhasana
This is challenging! It is still a challenge for me to lift up my legs, but I was reminded by Jessica to lock my knees out and keep it straight. It doesn’t matter about the height. Even more of a challenge!n.

Bow Pose - Dhanurasana
I need to kick out more to form a circle. I still don’t feel that I am pushing myself at all. This is one of my strongest poses and I feel quite lazy about this. Not good.

I can sit on the floor in Fixed Firm Pose - Supta Vajrasana. On day 13, my knees no longer twinged. It is just the tight muscles in my feet twinge now. I think I will be able to lie back soon, but I need to make sure that I fully sit on the floor with all of my weight.

I used to hate Camel Pose - Ustrasana. I stretch every single time that I do this. On day 12, I could hear crackling as I stretched.

Rabbit Pose - Sasangasana
This is not my favourite pose. I can’t really get a full back stretch with this one. I also feel quite suffocated with this. I do not find this a comfortable pose. Still have to work on this.

Head to Knee and Stretching Pose - Janushirasana and Paschimotthanasana is a challenge. I was corrected by Jessica on this one. I found out that I was rolling on the outer side. I also needed to flex my feet a lot more and bring my elbows down. Once I did that, then the stretch was good. A very challenging pose, as I feel quite tired at that point.

Crutch Watch
I am not using my towel as much. I use the back of my costume to wipe off the sweat if I for SSHK poses and I do not use it for wind removing poses.
I think I may be using my mat as a crutch as I use it to mark out my stance for triangle. Is that a good thing or bad?

I am beginning to feel my muscles aching now. My upper half has become much more muscular. My shoulders are much more defined. I am feeling aching in my inner knees and my ankles, but it is a good ache. On day 13, I tried to stay up, but went off like a light.

I complete all of the postures now. I attempt every single one. I love the heat now and the way that the sweat cools my skin.

Day 13

As I travelled to the studio, I was thinking

…..I don’t want to go…..I don’t want to go…..

But as soon as I got in there I was raring to go.

I forgot my small towel! Ok, let’s see how far I can go without this crutch.
I usually bring a small towel as the big towel doesn’t completely cover the mat and I like my mat covered. I found that I was quite happy to work without it, as I am happy with working on my grip on the wind removing pose. So that crutch has gone!

My Deep Breathing – Pranayama is getting better, as I am making my breaths even deeper and I can feel my ribs. I can’t see them though. 

I really pleased with my Half Moon - Ardha Chandrasina back pose. I could see the midriff of the woman behind me. (She was resting at the time). I still think that I can further. I’ve only just begun.

Hands to Feet - Padahasthasana is still a pose to be worked on. Relax that back!!!!

I still working on my feet in Eagle Pose - Garurasana. It gets really uncomfortable when I twist my feet and it seems an incredible long time for me to get my legs into position. I am beginning to straighten my fingers so that my palms meet, and now I am working on putting my shoulders down.

I am really working on Standing Bow Pose - Dandayamana Dhanurasana. I saw this and realised that I should stop grabbing above my ankle and really focus on the relationship between pulled shoulder and pulled leg.

I’ve just found out there is a part 2 to this clinic.

My Triangle Pose - Trikanasana was corrected by Sam. My legs were ok, but I needed to work on my arms. They needed to be a lot more parallel before I fell into the final pose. Also my hands needed to be slightly slanted. (I can’t describe it very well!) I tried to do it in the second pose, but my movement memory recall was not doing very well at the time. Something to try next time.

I was falling out of balance with Tree Pose - Tadasana. Don’t know why, but I attacked Toe stand, but could only go halfway down. It’s progress.

Bow Pose - Dhanurasana
I need to kick out more to form a circle. I do not feel that I am pushing myself at all. I think I need to look up to push up. I need advice on this one.

In Camel Pose - Ustrasana, I discovered that I need to put the weight on my knees a lot more. This makes me grip my heels more. I always had problems with gripping my heels and this action seems to have solved it. Maybe I can move forward with this pose.

Rabbit Pose - Sasangasana
I DO NOT LIKE THIS POSE. I can’t really get a full back stretch with this one. I also feel quite suffocated with this. I find it really knackers me out, and I flop along with the other poses. This is a definite challenge

I have difficulty in resting my hip on the mat in Spine Twisting Pose - Ardha Matsyendrasana. I need to work on this. Sam noticed this and said that it will take time for the hip to reach the floor.

The towel has gone!

I need to work on the water bottle.

I think my mat maybe a crutch as well, but is that a good thing or bad?

I think my stripey towel is a crutch too….

My right leg was REALLY aching after, especially the inside of my knee and my calf. I’ve got lots of energy and feel much more lively and bouncier. I do not feel sluggish at all.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

The Monkey Mind and Quincy... 7-10/30


Bikram 101

I had to go to a celebratory drinks party and it was prearranged months ago so I wasn’t able to do a session on my eight day. So on the eighth day, I have decided to double up, with one class in the morning and one late at night.

I went to the coolest part in the room this time, but I still felt as hot as I did when I was in the hottest part! That was really weird. I found that if I went towards front by the mirror, I would really concentrate much more on my balancing poses.

I was really happy with my standing head to knee pose, I held my pose fully in the second pose, which I was really proud of. I completed all of my standing poses, although it took me some time to get into them because I was getting breathless. This was especially so when with triangle pose, but I completed the pose in a timely manner. I just had to stand up and get my breath back. No way was I going to flop on the mat.

Then came the back strengthening poses. And that’s where I got really cross with myself again. Wind strengthening postures were a challenge as I wasn’t using a towel and my hands were slipping off my knee constantly. Actually, that didn’t worry me too much, as I could see a path of progress with this pose. If I keep my grip firm and focussed, I can deal with and improve this pose. In fact, it is a progress that I think I will enjoy.

It was the locust poses that got me really angry. As usual, my body was telling me to get out of the room. It was a flow day for me (Ladies, I am sure you get my drift). And I got the signal that I was due an erm.... costume malfunction in a matter of seconds. My instructor looked at me as I bolted out, but how could I tell him why I was leaving the room. Most embarrassing.

But when I went to check, it was nothing of the sort. It was a very, very, very, false alarm.

It made me realise that the mind was such a powerful thing to convince the body. It got me really angry that the ‘monkey mind’ can play all sorts of tricks to convince one not to carry out an action and get me out the heated room. And that made me really angry. Because of this trickery, I missed my locust post and full locust pose. I was not a happy bunny.

So I had to be stern with the monkey mind. It pleaded for rest between postures. I would give it none. I would complete all of my postures. It BEGGED for water. I was having none of it. Water could be drunk at the end of the class. Nothing more, nothing less. End of. Period.

I am beginning to work out my mind. And it is bloody annoying when it plays up.

As a result of my mindset, my evening class I did all the poses and did not have a drop of water unless I was invited to by my instructor. In my evening class, I noticed my instructor in the class at the front. He had no water bottle by his mat. So I know now that with my mindset I could control my water intake. To be honest, I think that the waterbottle (and small towel) is a bit of a crutch, and I need to keep my eye on it. So it is crutchwatch on water and towels from now on.

No... I don’t look at men’s or women's crutches while I do my yoga sessions.Who has time to stare at someone's crutch? I don't.

Days 9&10

I had to miss a day again as my boyfriend had to go to hospital for a check up on his face and head injuries. I went with him for moral support.

If there is anyone who is a prime candidate to go to Bikram yoga classes it is him.

A couple of years ago he was involved in an accident where he was projected from his bike onto the pavement. He landed on his chin and shattered his chin, nose, cheekbones, eyesocket and forehead and all the ribs on his left hand side. He has just over 100 metal pins in his head, metal plates in his forehead and had reconstructive surgery on his eyes, nose, lips and chin. He really has a great time with the metal detectors at airports....

Would you believe, he is going to have Botox on the NHS. The metal plates have made his forehead really sensitive and he needs to dull the pain. (Some women would jump for joy at that prospect!)

Does anyone remember the opening title of the Bionic Man. Well it’s him. He’s still alive...and complaining about leg pains, and back pains. He is woken up and is prevented from going to sleep from body pains.

Go to Bikram Yoga, I say...repeatedly.
'No,’ he says, ‘It’s full of big girl blouses’.

Er... Well, excuse me. I’m going everyday and I notice that

1. Sometimes there are more MEN than women
2. They definitely do not look pansy-ish to me. In fact they look very masculine.The pansies are the ones who leave the room (Occasionally, that would be me!)

I did show him Shortlist magazine where they had an article on sportsmen doing Bikram yoga. I also mentioned that Andy Murray did it too. He went quiet at that point. He still won't go. Maybe one day....

Anyway, I digress.

I decided to do my double session back to back.

Not a good idea.

My first class was with Sam. I like Sam, as she is very descriptive and informative. In my younger yogi days, I must admit I did find the extensive commentary very annoying, especially in my least favourite poses. I was not a fan of the triangle pose, and I’d be in position with my mind screaming, ‘Hurry up! Hurry up!’

I have become much more patient since, and I am grateful for my development in that discipline.

I did want to go into tree pose in this session, but my knee did not lock out enough. I am locking my knees out more and more, but sometimes I do not feel the tension in my knees and thighs which makes me think, am I locking it out enough?

This session was really smooth, and I did make an attempt to push with my poses. Crutchwatch was successful in that I did not use my towel to grip in wind removing pose, nor did I drink from my waterbottle unless invited to by Sam.

The second session?

Have any of you seen the opening titles of Quincy? For those who don’t know, please look from 0:16 to 0:35.

The poor person under the sheet was probably a newbie. (My tongue is firmly in cheek!)

I looked around and we were all dropping like flies from the humidity. It was bizarre. People were leaving the room. The instructor was opening the door far more than usual to let drafts of air in. It was still really humid.

I felt as fresh as a daisy until I did Standing Separate Leg Stretching - Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Paschimotthanasana. I sat out a lot of poses. Most of the standing poses, which disappointed me in hindsight. It was terrible.

Just. Could. Not. Do. it.

This was not laziness. The humidity got to me this time. I will attempt a back to back double again. Definitely.

There was no crutchwatch report on the waterbottle. Crutchwatch report went out the window. Or in this case, the door, as it was constantly left open. I slugged every drop of water.

Ahh....the heat.....At the time I didn’t know whether to curse it or praise it.

Oh well, tomorrow beckons.

Monday, 30 November 2009

When Breathlessness Kicks in.... 6/30

This yoga session was challenging and infuriating at the same time.
I fell out of my adjustment in my half moon sideways pose, and could not correct it in time, which was quite annoying. My backward bend I loved, as I could feel myself pushing myself to go really far back. My forward bend was not so good. I can feel the stiffness in my upper back, so I can’t really straighten my legs as much as I want to. I will have to work on how to make my back less stiff in my next session.

Standing leg to knee pose was quite exhilarating, as I finally held the pose! Okay, so I only did it in the second pose, but it is such a great achievement! When I started, I could barely hold my foot up for 5 seconds! I’m really happy with this achievement.

I yawned during the Awkward pose, and did it without any fuss. I am really convinced that I yawn due to boredom and not for any other reason. I didn’t yawn for any other poses.

After that, my balance went off a bit. Standing bow pose was not good at all. I could only hold the pose for a few seconds, but I did push myself further. There was some progress in terms of the pose, but my balance was not good. Don’t know why. Balancing stick was no better. I made a point of locking out the knees and pointing the foot so hard that I could feel the cramp. But I didn’t feel that I was really pushing myself. I was more cross that I was losing my balance.

I had to stop during Standing Separate Leg Stretching pose. I was really enjoying the stretch....until I got cramp. I stayed in position until it was time, and then stood out the next pose. I was able to move into Triangle pose easily, but I was getting breathless from that pose on.

I had come to the class quite late, so all the prime estate had been taken. I was left with the Hades spot, the hottest spot in the room. Funny that, I usually like the mat next to Hades, as it I find my hips can reach the floor in Fixed Firm pose. It was just today that it seemed as if I needed to exert myself more. I didn’t really feel any hotter. I fell out of the second pose of Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee pose. I just couldn’t do it. I just ran out of puff. I was certainly not bored. I was blooming tired.

Then the pins and needles in my foot started. ARRRGGHHH..............

Tree pose was a bit difficult as my balance just went. Really frustrating.

So when breathlessness kicked in, so did laziness. I started to go into the poses about 10 seconds after everyone else. I knew that I could do it, but didn’t. With the exception of Camel pose, I went through the motions, and at one point even I was being cross with myself. I was getting really angry.
I think Sam noticed as well as she told me off for using a towel when doing wind removing poses. Well, actually, she didn’t specifically say it was me, but as I was the only one that was using a towel, so I guess that she was. She said not to use it as it can develop from a prop to a crutch. I agree, but it was rather slippery.

Why was I so bored and so apathetic in my poses?
It took a long time for me to deal with it. By the time I went into Head to Knee stretching pose, I stretched further than I ever did.

I felt the results of my efforts. I could feel my knees glowing from the standing head to knee pose. My lower back felt a bit tender from me pushing in my camel pose.

Well, there has been some progress. Tomorrow waits.

The Beginning 1-5/30

Five days ago, I had decided to do the 30 day Bikram challenge. After surfing for inspiration from others on how others dealt with finding the time to do so, I have now decided to keep a blog.

Since starting it, I have felt a few differences, but I think I will note down how my poses are the current moment.

Deep Breathing – Pranayama
I need to keep my knees locked out even more and keep my weight evenly between both feet.

Half Moon - Ardha Chandrasina
I am almost at 90 degrees in the sideways pose, and I need to loose the fear and stretch further back. In order to do this, I must lock my knees more.

Hands to Feet - Padahasthasana
The forward bending pose is a challenge for me to work on. I feel suffocated in this pose. My back feels really stiff in this pose and I cannot lock my knees. A lot to do!

Awkward Pose - Utkatasana
I need to push my buttocks out more when doing this pose. This is a challenging one!

Eagle Pose - Garurasana
As I suffer from pronated feet, this is difficult. I have to watch how I distribute the weight in my feet. I can’t tell my left from my right!

This is one of the most difficult poses for me. I can stretch my leg out whilst on one leg, but my muscles burn me so I have to do the pose for no more than 30 seconds. I will make it longer!

Standing Bow Pose - Dandayamana Dhanurasana
I am on my way to do vertical splits now. It is now a case of controlling myself mentally and push myself further.

Balancing Stick - Tuladandasana
This is another one that is more mental than physical for me.

Standing Separate Leg Stretching - Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Paschimotthanasana
I still cannot grab my ankles in this position. There is a long way to go, but I am happy with the progress.

Triangle Pose - Trikanasana
I need to push my hips out further in this one. I suffer from aching arms in this position and is the main reason why I do fall out of posture and rest.

Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee - Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Janushirasana
I seem to be resting with this position. I need to push my forehead down and straighten my knee more.

Tree Pose - Tadasana
This pose is difficult for me. It is also a mental exercise. When I do this posture at home in a non heated environment, I can hold my foot against my leg without support. At a Bikram class, this is not the case.

Toe stand - Padangustasana
I hope to get there!

Dead Body Pose - Savasana
I have learnt now to keep my body still. Now the next task is keeping the mind still too!

Wind Removing Pose - Pavanamuktasana
I do not feel that I am really challenging myself with this pose. Something to work on.

Cobra Pose - Bhujangasana
I have curled up from the floor and it is quite high, but again I do not feel that I am challenging myself.

Locust Pose - Salabhasana
I do not feel that I am challenging myself in this pose at the moment.

Full Locust Pose - Poorna Salabhasana
This is challenging! Sometimes I can do both, but sometimes I can’t do any at all! It is more of a mental challenge for me and something to work on.

Bow Pose - Dhanurasana
I need to kick out more to form a circle. I do not feel that I am pushing myself at all. This is one of my strongest poses and I feel quite lazy about this. Not good.

Fixed Firm Pose - Supta Vajrasana
I cannot sit on my buttocks with this pose. This is a definite challenge.

Half Tortoise Pose - Ardha Kurmasana
I cannot sit on my heels, nor can I place my forehead on the floor before my hands. I really need to work on this.

Camel Pose - Ustrasana
I used to hate this. Now I love it, but I know that I must really push myself to the limit with this one.

Rabbit Pose - Sasangasana
Not my favourite pose. I can’t really get a full back stretch with this one. I also feel quite suffocated with this. I do not find this a comfortable pose.

Head to Knee and Stretching Pose - Janushirasana and Paschimotthanasana
This is definitely a challenge for me! It isn’t so much the stretched leg, but the bent leg which needs to be kept on the floor. Painful as it is, it is a pose that I look forward to work on.

Spine Twisting Pose - Ardha Matsyendrasana
I have difficulty in resting my hip on the mat. I need to work on this.

Blowing in Firm Pose - Kapalbhati in Vajrasana
I like this one and feel a really good stomach workout. I do make an effort to make my blowing as powerful as I can get.

Since starting the challenge, I have felt a few differences. I have listed how I feel about my postures at the moment and have found that the real problem with me is boredom. I know that I can do the poses, but I will simply go through the motions. In my fifth class, I even caught myself yawning during the standing postures, which are the most difficult postures for me. I certainly was not tired from lack of sleep or even affected by the heat.

In that class, the fact that I did yawn made me very reflective. Was I pushing myself to the limit? I was most definitely not. That worried me. What was the purpose of my being in the class in the first place? Keeping this in mind, not once did I flake out or drop out of any postures due to fatigue. I was going to complete all of my poses, whether my mental inner self liked it or not.

I had been getting pins and needles in my feet since Awkward pose, which was making my feet feel very heavy. It went away after Camel pose. It had affected my standing head to knee pose and I could only hold my position for only 30 seconds in the first pose. Nevertheless, I stuck it out. It was hard.

I did push in my standing bow pose. I never REALLY kicked before in my final posture. I always hung on in there. I never really pushed and I know that I should be able to do a standing split pose very soon. Now I know that it possible. I think it is now just my mind blocking me. I would have become challenged to push myself in every pose, even though I may have discomfort in other parts of my body.

It is definitely a more mental challenge for me.