Monthly Archives: July 2012

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.

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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.