Wednesday, June 23, 2010

for the newbies

i recently convinced a friend of mine to join me at "HOT Yoga--- Bikram Yoga," and in the course of this first joint class, i realized that i should have given her a little more advice on what to expect.
i guess i forgot how much there is to learn in your first class.

1. Hydrate more than you think you need to. (As i typed this sentence, i ran to get some water because, folks, i really mean this. HYDRATE)

2. Wear minimal clothing. Girls- i even find a tank top too hot. Sports bra and biking shorts are the best. Extra fabric gets in the way. Guys- just shorts. and if you aren't too insecure in your manhood, you can wear spandex shorts too.

3. (learned this Monday) bring a FLAT yoga mat. there are some thicker (think 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch thick) yoga mats out there, but that's not good for hot yoga. just go for the thin kind that you can buy at your neighborhood Target.

4. For your first few classes, get there pretty early (like 25 min early) so that you can get a spot in the back row. If you don't set up shop in the back row, they will make you move back there.

5. After you "set up shop"-- i.e. set your mat down, spread out your towel, put your water bottle at the top right corner of your mat -- you should then rest in one of the poses: Savasana. This is the post where you are on your back, feet to the back of the room. heels together. palms facing up. RELAX. I use this time before class actually begins to take a mini power nap and get accustomed to the heat and smell. (side note- this pose is also called the corpse pose which WOULD freak me out if hadn't of been indulging in my new guilty pleasure - BONES the tv show-- which is all about bones/corpses. right. anyway)

6. Make sure you bring a Vitamin Water or Gatorade or something to replenish your electrolytes after class. My dad suggested pickles if you are not one for artificially flavored beverages.

7. Really though. I cannot even warn you for how much you sweat. What really gets me is when i am bending over and start to bring my head back up and a STREAM of sweat drips from my forehead. yummy.

8. Remember that there is no talking or whispering one you step inside the classroom. think of it as if you talk some crazy yoga lady will shoot evil yoga death rays from her eyes for disturbing her balance and meditation. Sometimes you can laugh, but only sometimes. And if you think you are going to be sick, you don't get to say anything- just rest on your mat. it will go away.

I think that's it for now. I had a terrible class monday- i felt like my skin was melting off. totally over heated. For a minute i thought i had stopped sweating, but that wasn't true. just one of my heat delusions. I am pretty sure this happened because i drank coffee that morning. No more of that for THIS girl.

Yoga tonight.... woo hoo!

Ultra love.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

what does it all mean, basil?

so, i've been thinking. about this whole "yoga" thing.

sometimes, during class, when they talk about how yoga can help people manage addictions or release toxins or balance your life, i want to scream at them that they are spewing bullshit.

but then, the other night, i had a particularly stressful night, and all i wanted was to go to yoga class to sweat it out. to meditate for just a little over an hour and a half. to center myself and regain a little pep in my step..

where those thoughts came from, i dont know. maybe i AM buying into the whole schpeel after all. maybe i am on the verge to being addicted.

(side note- i couldnt actually go to the class i was craving because i got a terrible headache. headache plus heat = no thanks, boss)

BUT on MONDAY- i made more progress.
1. i got my other leg wrapped around. YES both of them. WOO HOO. party time- excellent!
2. i made progress in the head to knee pose- see below. i got this from some website. i think this picture is kinda creepy, but it was the only picture i could find to show you what "head to knee pose" means.
My progress? well for about half a second i got my knees locked. but i was so surprised that this happened that i promptly pulled them out. this sudden movement was a little painful so i didnt push them back down. but hey, they were locked. and that IS progress.

in bikram yoga, it really is the little things. you make slow incremental progress in your ability to do this poses. and i guess you make slow incremental progress to sanity or at least closer to some sense of stability. this yoga teaches patience and metal toughness. more like you are forced into those things because thats what it takes to make it through an hour and a half of heat and pain and fantastic stretching.

that's all folks.

ultra love

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

the secret to success

I have discovered the secret to bikram yoga.

Proper hydration.

Yes. Just drinking water.

I find that when i have been hydrating well all day, my classes are so much better. I can make it through all of the poses without sitting down or getting light headed or feeling like im going to vom. On Sunday night I had a full glass of water before bed. I had a glass with breakfast and then 5 more glasses throughout the day. Yoga on monday was my best class yet.

AND, i made progress. Yes, actual tangible progress. There is one standing pose called "the eagle"-- it has some fancy name in another language but i don't care about that. all i care about is that i made progress. Please, look at pictures of the pose below.

This first picture gives you a general idea of the pose, but her hands are actually supposed to be pulled so that the finger tips are beneath the nose. SO- look at the picture below, i know its small, but you get the idea.
And my progress? Well, you see how your leg is supposed to hook back around behind the other one? I couldn't hook my legs around at first. I basically just crossed one leg over the other and did everything else.

ON MONDAY I GOT MY LEFT LEG TO HOOK BACK AROUND! Some of you negative nancys may say- "what? just your left leg, not both?"

Well i say to you- for someone who cant even touch her toes, this is a BFD. big freakin deal. I almost exclaimed in excitement during class which is totally not allowed because you cant talk during class.

I am so proud of myself- i can't even explain to all my lovely readers. It makes me feel like the few classes of heat and sweat and smell have paid off. Before you crazy kids know it, i will be able to touch my toes. Watch out.

Ultra love.

Monday, June 7, 2010


so i am about 6 months ahead of schedule here, but i am dreaming of my next marathon.... in the happiest place on earth...

Can you tell what this is? Yes, friends, this is the Disney World Marathon!!! It would be dumb to register right now because i know that my foot and knee are not healed yet. But, just imagine, in 6 months, THIS (see below) could be me....

Probably not with that finishing time, but, hey, you get the sentiment.

Would you like to know one of the other great things about doing this marathon? I could SIMULTANEOUSLY make a journey to the greatest theme park in the whole world....

The new Harry Potter World Theme Park of Awesomeness and Wizardry.

I have been dreaming about this park for a while now. I can buy a wand, ride the hogwarts express, kill some death eaters, drink some butter beer or pumpkin juice, put a jelly leg jinx on my handsome and health conscious boyfriend....

and speaking of him--- remember how he wants to run a 5 k? well, there just happens to be a 5k during the Disney marathon weekend.... hmmmmm.... i think this is a win win situation.

ultra love