Eating Before Class

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For the past couple of days, I have disobeyed the “don’t eat two to three hours before class” rule.  Surprisingly, I haven’t felt bad at all during class.  In fact, I have felt like I have more energy.  However, it was a little bit hard not to belch a little during the final blowing in firm breathing exercise. 

I usually will eat light if I do choose to eat less than two hours before class.  However, I wouldn’t suggest that a true beginner who has never taken a class before eat a whopper one hour before class.  I think that I have just learned what my body needs and craves and have been able to work with that before and after class. 

Class was not bad today.  I really felt good throughout the entire ninety minutes.  Perhaps it is best for me to go to class in the afternoon instead of the morning because I have some food in my stomach, I am well hydrated, and I am not in such a hurry to come and go.  So, I will keep that in mind when I am deciding which classes to attend during the weekend.

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Venturing Out of the Bikram Bubble

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Yesterday morning, I went to a Corepower studio a little bit north of where I live.  Corepower is a chain of yoga studios that offer a variety of classes in mostly heated rooms, although there is a beginners class in a non-heated room.  My friend gave me a voucher because I told him that I was interested in at least experiencing a Corepower class, since it is very popular.  One of my other friends is also a Corepower member and she really enjoys the classes, so I figured, why not?

I broke the ever so important rule of refraining from eating two hours before class.  Firstly, I woke up about an hour and a half before class and my body really craved some solid food.  Had I planned to go to a Bikram class, I would have just sucked it up and went hungry.  So, I had a peanut butter sandwich and plenty of water.  Then, off I went to Corepower.

I am used to seeing a crowd of people congregate in the reception area at my Bikram studio and hearing a lot of chatter among the staff and students.  However, I was only greeted by my Corepower yoga teacher when I checked in.  I expected a bunch of beautiful models to be milling around the studio, but they were probably in the sculpting class downstairs 😉

I was slightly cynical about Corepower because  of the fact that it is a chain studio.  Yes, I know that there is controversy surrounding Bikram franchising, blah blah blah. But I had my doubts when I went to Corepower.  However my doubts were erased when I ventured into the locker room.

I actually felt peace and tranquility.  I knew that I was in for a good experience when I spoke to one of my classmates, who was a very nice lady.

I assumed that the class would be packed, but there were only five of us in class,  my friend and I included.  The instructor was very kind and offered a lot of one on one adjustments.  We also got a very good workout, although I am not used to doing as many inverted poses as did before I started Bikram.  After class, I was wiped out, but I felt a surge of energy after I got home and I got quite a bit of work done for my day job.

I thought I was going to skip Bikram for the day because I had a bar night I was hosting a few neighborhoods away.  However, the class and the liter of coconut water I drank at home gave me so much energy, I decided to go to a Bikram class.  I felt my performance improve compared to the past two days of sitting out of a couple of poses.

I still had trouble with sitting down for triangle pose.  Oh well.

All in all, I am glad that I ventured out of the Bikram Bubble yesterday.  But, when I went to my Bikram studio yesterday, I felt like I had come home.

Ruff Class

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This afternoon’s class was very difficult to finish well.  I actually sat out of one rabbit pose and am glad I did it.  It was funny when my teacher said to us between the first and second rabbit,”If you don’t jump back in, you might be very sad because you will just be lying down in savasana thinking about the things you were trying to get away from when you came here.”   LOL

I noticed that my performance in class is better when I have the day off than when I have worked all day.  I don’t think that I come to class less hydrated.  I just think that the natural fatigue associated with working all day affects the practice.  It is what it is, but I am fortunate enough to have a job with a schedule that is pretty good, so I am in the best situation with regards to having a day job and practicing yoga intensively.

On Friday, I am going to try another form of hot yoga with a friend from church.  It is not like Bikram at all, but I think it is important just to try new things every once in awhile.  If I am up to it, I will still go to Bikram later in the afternoon.  But, I have already planned to host a bar night for a meetup group I am a part of, so I need to strategize how I am going to get showered and be able to arrive at the venue at a reasonable time, as the venue is a couple of neighborhoods away.

I haven’t missed drinking my weeknightly beer or wine so far.  I think that it will pay off when I practice.  Good night.

New Year’s Day Class

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I missed the 4:30 p.m. class at my home studio.  I didn’t fall asleep until 3:45 a.m. on New Year’s Day because I stayed a little later than anticipated at a friend’s party, had an unexpected overnight guest and it took us forever to catch the train back home.

When I came home from church and having brunch with a friend, I went home and took a nap.  I set the alarm for 3:15 p.m., but my body had other plans.  When the alarm sounded off, I shut it off and nodded off again.  Much to my dismay, I woke up at 4:10 p.m.  The walk to the studio is about 20 minutes and if you are a Bikram yogi or yogini, you would know that lateness is not an option.  I contemplated getting a cab, but by the time I rehydrated and packed my clothes, I realized that it would not be worth the hassle of making the trip, only to find that they have locked the door, and class was already in head to feet pose.

I looked on the internet for some area yoga studios.  A studio on the other side of town that I am fond of visiting from time to time was already closed.  I checked another studio and saw that they were actually offering a 6:30 p.m. class at their location in the next neighborhood over.

I registered and paid for the class online, so I would not be able to back out and I went.  I was a bit concerned about practicing in an unfamiliar studio in a neighborhood that I am not very comfortable in, but I really wanted to practice.

I took the bus into the neighborhood and when I stepped into the studio, I felt comforted by the familiarity of the yoga mats and seeing sweaty people from the class that had just let out happily chatting away.  It was comforting to know that I could go to any part of the world and go to any Bikram studio in any part of the world and feel like I am at home.  I am so familiar with the postures now, I can probably even go to a class that is in a completely different language and follow along.

Of course, the class was very great and refreshing.  The instructor was very encouraging and I also liked that she provided the whole class feedback and praises and that she took time helping students individually.  The energy flowed throughout the class and there was an overall peace that surrounded the teacher and students.  It would be nice if she taught a class in my home studio.  I have practiced in classes where I could sense that my stress and other people’s stress filled the air and it makes it difficult for me to really concentrate if I don’t tune into the instructor 100%.

“Taking hydration to another level”

I have decided to explore some non-alchoholic alternatives to have at home so I can lessen my dependence on having an evening glass of wine during the weeknights.  I am not totally rigid about it, but I find that if I wean myself off of anything that is mind altering or mood altering, I will probably be able to live the healthy and simple lifestyle that I really want.  I am not going to give up drinking, but I want to reduce my alcohol expenditures and be able to have less distractions between me and the yoga lifestyle and eventually be able to comfortably merge my yoga life with my real life.

It sounds kind of weird, but I feel as if I have had a near split identity between my “real life” and my yoga practice because I practice frequently, but sometimes it is easy to forget about my practice when I am hanging out with my friends who are not yogis/yoginis and when I am working.  I think that it is good that I have today off, so I could reflect on how I can merge the two identities.

 

“Ms. Half Moon’s Top 10 New Year’s Goals”

10. Sign up for computer/finance courses by fall 2012.

9. Get my butt to touch the earth during fixed firm pose in Bikram.

8. Deep clean my apartment once a month.

7. Draft a workable budget.

6. Increase savings account by at least 50%.

5. Regularly contribute to my own retirement account.

4. Consistently contribute to my church.

3. Meet Mr. Half Moon.

2. Study natural medicine, organic living and aromatherapy as a hobby.

1. Spend a set amount of time every day in mindful meditation.

 

Well, I know that meeting Mr. Half Moon isn’t something I have 100% control over, but it is a pretty high priority for me.  Believe it or not, it is even higher than my career goals.  I know that God is in control and that I have the ability to extend myself to others, so I just need to rethink the way that I spend my time every day.  I spend a lot of time alone during the week, like many other cosmopolitan people in my age bracket.  It is kind of tricky to figure out how to work my way into meeting prospective dates without becoming overly dependent on online dating.  I don’t really like online dating because I used to be very dependent on it and I find that it is not very fulfilling to search through profiles when I’d rather be practicing yoga, watching Anthony Bourdain cuss on No Reservations or even working. I won’t be talking much about finding Mr. Half Moon, or being found by Mr. Half Moon, but if it does happen, I will definitely say something.  However, this is the last time I will discuss this part of my personal life.

Have a good day and a happy 2012!

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I don’t think I am going to blog for the rest of the weekend, so here is the Bikram lowdown for me this weekend.

1) Go to the 12 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. class. (I made that 2 in a row decision on a whim)

2) Try on some new attire at the studio – if I get around to it.

3) Tend to my Bikram laundry.

The Discipline of Simplicity and Today’s Class

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Simple living is not synonymous to easy living.   I have learned the hard way that committing to living simply can be a very difficult discipline to practice.

Yesterday, I had some time to spare because I have had the entire week off from work.  The major battle for me is choosing between net surfing/Travel Channel viewing, unnecessary shopping in my neighborhood and completing the cleaning project I set out to complete.  Thankfully, I chose to forgo my trip to the Korean grocery store (hence, avoiding rush hour traffic and the hectic nature of shopping in an Asian grocery store during rush hour) and spent plenty of time cleaning the area around my desk and nightstands.  I have three nightstands.  One standard nightstand handed down from my parents and a makeshift nightstand that used to be a TV cart, which was also handed down from my parents and finally, a three drawer plastic makeshift nightstand with wheels – again – handed down from my parents.  I found my metro transit card (glory!) in my Hello Kitty wallet which had fallen between the nightstands several months ago.  I also found three dividers, three partially used legal pads, three three ring binders and two accordion files.

Finding things I forgot I had fortified my will to continue on with focusing on taking better care of my space over buying more things for my space.

“Today’s Class”

So if you are an avid Bikram yoga practitioner reading this, you probably want to hear about how class went today.  Because I found my public transit card, I took the bus to class and felt less rushed to get settled in.  I think that it also helped that I had time to enjoy a coconut water before getting started with class.

I knew that class was going to go well for me after the first set of awkward pose.  I actually felt good, not fatigued, after that first set.  I think that I am beginning to feel good during the majority of class because I am now used to the heat and have more of the strength, breathing and flexibility to complete and hold the postures.

However, I had a slight scare during Triangle Pose.  As we were wrapping up the first set, I thought I was settling deeper into the posture but my feet slipped and I had to run backwards in order not to fall onto my bottom.  I think that the falling backwards was kind of a good sign because it shows that I really was trying to sit down at 100% capacity.  But the issue that came up for me was the fact that I probably didn’t sit down all the way or subconsciously my hips came up – I am not quite sure.  When I am in the moment of practicing Bikram, I don’t really think too deeply about making adjustments because my body is already stretching itself to its limit.

For the first time in about a month, I am finally wearing something that looks nicer than my typical “post Bikram loungewear” without a major reason or anywhere important to go.  I feel a little bit more energized because I think that dressing up a little can put some pep in someone’s step.

I need to make sure I go to WalMart and the Asian grocery store today, so I shall go.

Happy TGIF!