Wednesday, February 29, 2012

double the fun!

I did my third "double" today and it was the best one yet! The first two I always felt awful in the 2nd class and mostly just sat or lay there. This time there was almost nothing that I sat out of in the 2nd class and even though I was tired, I really don't feel any worse than I do on a normal day. My stomach hurt a little afterwards, but I think it's because I forgot to bring food for between classes. My friends were kind enough to share, but I probably should have eaten a little more.

Anyway, I figure if Elaine can do it, I should be able to do a double, once in a while, at least!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

this yoga won't just change your body...

I've heard instructors say, time and again, that this yoga is not just changing your body. Stick with it and it'll change your mind, and your life. These sorts of over-arching, non-specific statements sound good... but I would often lie there and wonder just how true they really are.

Perhaps it's the navel-gazing aspect of blogging about your hobbies (I'm also a knitter, in case you didn't know) or maybe it's the fact that I've been going more often to yoga (4-5 times a week) in the last few months and am more aware of it's role in my life, but in any case, I realized yesterday just how much of an effect it is having on me.

This might seem trivial, and it is, but it's a great example of positive yoga juju: Yesterday I was supposed to have an appointment for a mani/pedi. I had bought a groupon to this place and called ahead to schedule. I went about my day: we had friends visiting who had to be dropped off at the airport for a noon flight, so we brunched, then I dropped them off, and headed to yoga. After I got out of yoga, I listened to a voicemail, asking if I could post-pone my appt by an hour. No prob. It would afford me the time to run home and grab some lunch first... the only issue is that I would only have an hour's worth of time to devote to the salon before I would have to go get DH from work.

When I got to the salon an hour later, it was clear that the groupon had been a little more overwhelming than they expected. The girls who were supposed to be done before my original appointment were still there, getting their manicures. I got set up for the pedicure, which was good, but took longer than expected... I had been there for more than 45 mins before it was finished. And the girls who were getting manicures were still there.

The owner came up to me, very apologetically, and asked if I could possibly come back another day. I said no problem, so we set an appointment up for next week. As I was walking out, the owner thanked me again for being so understanding and mentioned that most people would have thrown a fit. I told her I figured that it wasn't worth being angry over. As I got in my car and drove off, I realized that at various points in my life I probably would have gotten angry, at least in my own head, over something so trivial. Maybe I'm maturing, but maybe it's also the calming influence of having a regular yoga practice. Either way, I'm sure the yoga isn't hurting!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Little by little

So lately I've noticed some small, but definite changes to my practice. For a while my left hamstring was hurting more and more, especially when in triangle or other poses that really stretched it out. Now it seems to be getting better, and I can really get almost low enough into triangle on both sides to have that perfect upside-down letter "L" shape.

The last few days I've also been able to get into the full expression of fixed firm. And for both sets! I used to think it was lucky or a good day if I could get most of the way down into the second set.

And finally, and this is perhaps the smallest of changes, but significant to me... I can grab both feet in floor bow without struggling. For the longest time I had to grab for one foot and then twist quite a ways over to grab the other... and I'd still grab it with my palm over the bottom of the foot and then flip my hand over. It meant that I was pretty much tired and out of breath before the posture had even started.

I think that's all the changes I've noticed in the last couple of weeks... I'll update if/when I notice anything else!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Do the clothes make the practice?

While I posted in my open letter about the dangers of over-dressing for bikram (seriously, sweatpants in the hot room might kill you), I've also noticed over the past few weeks that the outfit I wear can potentially make or break my class. Most of my tops are of the racer-back variety, and while they're mostly from the same company (and all the same size) there is one in particular that seems to be cut a little different around the neck, and it feels like it's choking me around the sides and back of my neck. Every time I wear this top I want to run screaming from the room after about 25 mins. And it just gets worse as time goes on. It makes me feel claustrophobic, like the room is hotter and smaller than normal.

I mentioned it yesterday after class and I was surprised to hear that other people had similar experiences and it had taken them time to find the right yoga gear for them. Someone suggested a bandeau top (like a tube top, but not covering the stomach) but I think I'd be extra self-conscious, worrying that things might fall apart in the middle of standing-bow or any other posture, really. I need something that will give me support and enough coverage to not feel self-conscious, without feeling like I'm choking. I'm not a big brand person, I know some people loooooove certain brands, but really comfort and affordability are my biggest concerns.

Any suggestions would be very welcome!