Update: Musings from Suburbia

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I have not been posting because I have had two major life transitions.

1) Cats & I moved out of the city and into the suburbs.
2) My family dog passed away after fighting a hard battle with cancer.
3) A guy I like a lot (he has actually done a Bikram class with me) is back after three months abroad and now I need to figure out what to do with my feelings for him.
Although I miss my pooch and my old home studio very much, I have to admit that I am happy that I live in the suburbs.

Since my package expired at the old home studio, I joined a Bikram studio that is about a five minute drive away from home. Going to class has been a lot easier. Plus, having access to an in unit washer and dryer has helped me lighten up my sweaty Bikram clothing load. All I do is throw my Breathe mat and sweaty bikram clothes into the washer and dryer after class, and I am good to go.

When I told my friends that I was going to be moving out of the city, several of them were shocked. They wondered how this drastic change of lifestyle was going to affect me, now that I was leaving the heart of urban nightlife. (Ironically, I rarely frequented those places) But to be honest, I kind of wondered what was going to become of me when I left the city.

Other than my zipcode, the only thing about me that has changed has been my attitude. I have been in a better mood since I moved in with my brother and I have been very thankful to be close to my parents (15 minutes away).

When I lived in the city, I always wondered if I would be able to function in a suburban or rural environment. The funny thing was, I was always unhappy and in a hurry. Time was always of the essence and I was perpetually irritated by the hustle and bustle of people. I think that once I put my pride at the door and went on vacation with a friend to a small town about two hours from the city, I realized that I needed to make some changes, but I wasn’t sure how it was going to happen.

Fast forward to today, and I would have to say that moving out of the lap of luxury and into my brother’s place with my two cats has been the best decision I ever made. The cats are happier and fight less. I feel as if I can take my time when I make my way to class because I don’t have to think about how long the walk/bus ride is going to be. I get to hear birds and crickets chirping at night and I see families and dogs. On top of that all, I had the privilege of spending the night at my parents’ house when the family dog passed away peacefully.

Sometimes I wonder if that will adversely affect my dating prospects with a person I really like, who still lives in the city. What if he thinks that my town is “too far” (it really isn’t)? However, it will work itself out. I have liked this person for awhile and now that he has returned from abroad, I can’t just avoid my feelings like I did in the past. We’ll see what happens….

Dating Truth Serum

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This is a comment that I wrote in response to an article about the show Mike and Molly.

Although this post is not related to Bikram Yoga, I thought it would be worth posting this. Many dating resources tend to soften the truth about the complexities of dating and appearance, but I have decided to cut to the chase with the cold, hard truth.

This is not meant to promote unhealthy exercise and eating habits. This is meant to spark some dialogue.
The Painful Truth About Dating Probability and Appearance

Mike and Molly is one of my favorite shows. Seeing the two characters together doesn’t make me uncomfortable because in my book, they are attractive people and their acting is good. However, I think that this article made me realize that on top of dating being difficult, it is difficult to date and be significantly overweight. I have been on both sides of the spectrum and now I am at an average weight and physically fit, but I definitely am nowhere near having a “perfect body”.

Speaking as a 32 year old single woman who is not in a relationship and is not seeing anybody at all and who has helped out in event planning for singles, it is an unfortunate truth, but appearance does matter when it comes to getting your foot in the door and having a chance at meeting someone. It is a very jagged pill to swallow, but physical attraction has always played an important role in the initiation of romantic exchanges. If a person doesn’t fit into the parameters of what another person thinks is attractive, inside or outside, there is really nothing you can do to convince someone to give you a chance. At least in my neck of the woods, if you want to increase the odds of meeting a wider number of people, you might have to step it up at the gym and make significant changes to your attire and appearance. For the record, I do not have people lined up to ask me out and I am happy with where I am at, but the truth is the truth, even though it hurts.

However, with all that being said, I am a person of faith and I believe that people of all different sizes, ages and personalities can be blessed with a relationship.

Can you believe it? Pain kills pain!

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“Pain Kills Pain” – I finally believe it!

Today, I didn’t feel very well. Actually, I haven’t been feeling very well for the last week. However, I felt better after I concentrated on asanas that focused on compressing the lower back and abdominals. Now I feel like a new woman!

When I was told that I was like my own “physical therapist” or “chiropractor” by the teachers when I first started practicing, I thought (while my hands were sandwiched between the towel and my body during locust pose),”I am just learning more ways about how to inflict pain on myself.”

“Pain kills pain” is a quote I often hear from my Bikram teachers. For awhile, I thought it was just bunk-o. However, I noticed that the pain I have had in my lower back and abdomen have gone away after class. My moods have also been better as a result of detoxifying from class.

My next fitness endeavor:

In addition to Bikram and rock climbing, I am going to start Crossfit. I am probably just going to make it 1-2 a week, since Bikram is priority for me. However, I am not too thrilled about the paleo diet, which entails eating very little sugar (boo), lots of vegetables (semi-yay), good proteins (semi-yay) and good fats. Well, you gotta start somewhere.

I am pretty happy with the way I look. My body is not tight, but to me it is just right. However, I do not want to be miserable during Crossfit by NOT following the paleo diet lifestyle at least during the weekdays for at least the majority of my meals and snacks. For example, I would hate to have eaten a chocolate bar a day, four days in a row, only to find out that I am wheezing throughout the burpees BECAUSE of the fact that I refused to follow the paleo diet.

Don’t get me wrong, I like healthy food, but I don’t like the planning that it involves to invest in a clean diet. That is why I stopped bodybuilding after a whopping three months. The dieting just drove me nuts although I was able to exercise until the cows came home!

Well, on that note, wish me luck. I could also use some cyber and local friends who are also embarking on a clean eating/paleo kind of diet so I won’t be lonely.

The Double: Just what the doctor ordered

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For the past week, I have struggled with the following standing series poses: Part 2 & 3 of Awkward Pose, Head to knee pose and Standing bow pulling pose. I have felt like one of the wobbly inflatable toys with the sand on the bottom. You know, the ones that you can punch and kick down but they keep coming back up.

Nevertheless, I just kept on getting back up and trying the posture again. 90% of the time, I have been able to end the posture by being in the posture.

The case of the wobblies is something that hasn’t happened since I first started practicing. But, I noticed that my balance improved after I did a double last night.

For those who aren’t familiar with all of the Bikram yoga vernacular, a “double” means taking two Bikram yoga classes in a day. So, if you take a “triple”, it means you take three classes in a day. I only know three people who have done three classes in a day. One person didn’t really like it. The other two people enjoyed it.

Anyways, I decided to stay for another class on a whim yesterday. I didn’t have any plans that evening and I felt like my body really needed another class.

I am glad I followed my instincts yesterday because I did pretty well in class this morning, even though I still wobbled around like a wind up toy during balancing series. However, the wobbling time was shorter.

Okay, I have to get away from the computer in a bit and feed The Meow Mixers.

Minute by Minute Concentration

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When I first started practicing Bikram yoga, I counted down the time I had to stay in my least favorite poses, which were the second part of awkward (“up like a ballerina” was a phrase I dreaded), locust pose and head to feet pose. As the teacher gave the dialogue, I conditioned myself to listen for the end of the dialogue and I also fumed as I heard the instructor talk throughout the pose.

Now that I have been practicing regularly for over six months and coming to class 5-7 days a week, I have gotten used to the asanas and the heat. Nevertheless, it is easy for the mind to wander – especially when you know what is coming next.

This leads me to the heart of the post. A few days ago, a teacher said,”I know that for most of you who have been coming for awhile, it is tempting to move with anticipation for the next move. But I want you – especially those who have been coming for awhile – to listen to the words so you can meditate.” (I swear I could hear some sighs throughout the room)

Although I knew that intellectually, before she shared those words with us during savasana, her words resonated with me. So, I have been making living in the moment of each part of each pose a priority in my practice. And it has helped me make my practice more of a meditation than a hot and sweaty workout.

This meditation has helped me cope with living in a very fast paced environment and handle unexpected changes and stress with a calm attitude. I also think that it will help me stay calm and centered when I am ready to freak out (God must have a sense of humor because fear of heights and being a control freak are not the best combination for rock climbers – especially bouldering – which is climbing up 8-15 feet without a harness or rope. I never expected to love this sport so much.)when I am bouldering. I hope that this post encourages you.

Namaste.

Hi ho!

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No, seriously, I am back.

I am back and I am seriously back,  I have missed posting about my Bikram yoga (mis)adventures.  I am still practicing regularly and I am still working at the same job.  I now have two cats, who I will assign the blog names of Miss M and Cranky Crankerson.  They actually get along pretty well, but I think that Cranky Crankerson has already given me a bad performance review with regards to timeliness in terms of feeding and recreational stimulation.  Well, you can’t please everyone :(

My practice has been going pretty well.  I can actually do the full expression of fixed firm pose, minus getting my knees back together.

 

Nutritional Shift

I have also received a major wake up call with regards to my poor diet.  I was in the habit of purchasing Home Run Inn frozen pizzas after class to satisfy my cravings for salty, cheesy, greasy stuff.  Nevertheless, my wallet got thinner and the fat and salt and other stuff accumulated in my body like plaque.  It didn’t look like it, in fact I looked healthy and fit.  But, it was harder and harder to maintain satisfactory performance in Bikram and in my new endeavor, rock climbing.

A new hobby!

I started indoor rock climbing after I told a friend that it would be fun if we hung out more.  He suggested going to his rock climbing gym.  Even though we couldn’t work out a date to meet up, I went to the gym and I fell in love with it.  I hadn’t rock climbed since I was a freshman in college.  I knew that I had to come back after that one day.

Bikram is still my foundation, but I also find that it has enabled me to tolerate the difficulty and uncertainty that goes with rock climbing as a person who is afraid of heights and has control issues.