Sunday, February 28, 2010

Class #35, 2010

Sunday morning 8 a.m. with Saiko, before teaching, where I was a giant sweatball, spraying my sweat in a giant halo behind the podium as I taught! Yum! ;)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Class #34, 2010

Another Saturday afternoon fun time with Gary!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Class #33, 2010

It's fun to have a new teacher (to me) once in a while. Today it was Glenn, in Redmond. Good class with co-workers. Super-soaker, Redmond style!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Class #32, 2010

Julie at 4 p.m. in Fremont. Nice having her back!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Class #31, 2010

4 p.m. with Kristen in Fremont. Kicked ass!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Class #30, 2010

Sunday afternoon with Penni.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Class #29, 2010

I'm a little embarrassed it's the past mid-February and I've not even done 30 classes! I also know that sometimes, we don't always get to have what we want. In this case, I would like more time. Please. Yoga is a huge time commitment and those of us who do it, know this to be true. Indeed it's worth the time! That is, if you have it on a given day. I'm struggling with this, and in fact, having lunch last weekend with a teacher friend in the same boat (fulltime work, teaching a couple, a fiance, and -gasp!- other interests). She asked how I was doing it and my answer was, "Well, not very well." Hence I reduced my classes in March (well, they got reduced for me - but unlike last month, I didn't go seeking sub opportunities which in February got me too many classes!).

Right now, I've been practicing at 3 different studios owned by 3 different owners. And it has been a nice variety for sure. Different teachers, different students, different vibe. The one on the eastside near Microsoft is...well, lots of Microsoft. The one in my neighborhood is 'home' and is filled with people I know as both students and as fellow yogis. The other is on Capitol Hill, my old neighborhood once known as the 'gay hood' but really is more a 'counter culture' hood, and I dig the variety of people who go there (not a class goes by without a fully tattooed body in class).

Today I taught 8 a.m. at still a different studio - but I just wasn't up to the 10 a.m. - so I didn't take it, and instead planned to go to 4 p.m. on Capitol Hill. I find going to the yoga when your head is not in the game usually produces a less-than-optimal outcome. If I have the time in a day, I will go when I am moved to go - it's better that way.

Class today was so strong for me!! OMG. The heat seemed light but then of course by Balancing Stick I was feeling plenty of heat. My postures were surprising me left and right - my body on point for every request of the teacher (and my mind).

Lately, I've had two postures unfold for me. I cannot believe sometimes there is still more to learn, but there is! What makes this yoga so amazing is that you are truly never done. I feel like I'm on a trek, and most days I move forward but sometimes, I come to something amazing on my path. Like seeing a forest creature right before your eyes on a hike, or stumbling upon a gorgeous field of wildflowers. For me, Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee and Separate Leg Head to Knee - obviously two related but very different postures - have all the sudden opened up to me in a new way.

In the standing version, I've kept my knee straight and taken a wider step. Bikram always says "No one takes a wide enough step" and indeed, it is a whole new posture to me right now. Crazy, but I feel like I've been doing this posture for 1 week, not 3.5 years. In the floor version, at the end of class, I've taken to grabbing my foot, locking my knee, bending my elbows to the floor and then putting my forehead on my knee; well, currently it's on my shin just below the knee, but sometimes I'm getting it all the way to my knee. My standing head to knee is poo right now, because I think I'm working on the same concepts in other postures or something. But I'm ok with it! It feels exciting.

Whenever people say they get bored with Bikram or who haven't even tried it and expect they would get bored and use that as an excuse for not going, I want to tell them about things like this. I realize they wouldn't likely 'get it' - but this is why this yoga is so titillating - you do face some boredom, sure - but then you come upon a field of flowers and all the sudden have new aspects to explore and learn from. It's so worth powering through to the next big thing, because it's always going to show up!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Class #28, 2010

Ah, two days off. Not necessarily because I wanted to, but had a 14-hour day Wednesday driving from Seattle to Portland and back for work; and Thursday is always a day off due to my writing class. Today was nice. In fact, on my way to class, I decided it was going to be a really nice, I daresay easy, Friday class. And it was.

I took a spot I've never taken in the 3.5 years I've practiced at my 'home' studio in Fremont. It turns out, the spot by the men's locker room door emits a cool breeze from the crack underneath it. My feet were cold. It was weird. I didn't actually like this fact but took note for future classes where I sense a struggle coming on and need to keep it doable. :) Anyhow, it was a gentle class and a great set-up for the weekend!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Class #27, 2010

Honestly life has been busy and I feel bad my posts have been mostly informational and not necessarily a crafted writing effort. However, this week is a bit nuts and it starts to calm down and March will be better! I am going to teach a little less, which makes me sad but is necessary to maintain a balanced life. Just sayin'

Anyhow, I think I've mentioned that I'm on a mission with my group at work (Microsoft) to get them to try Bikram. And, well, my first 'victim' was my boss, who after two classes bought a 30-punch and became more of an evangelist than I am! Between us, we have 9 people on our recurring invitation and we go once/week as a group right now. As of now, including him, 5 have actually gone, with the other 4 waiting for a day when they can get away.

Today, two newbies went with my boss (Andrew) and I, and another co-worker who'd gone once before (to that BRUTAL class last week - his first one!) came back. It was a fab class with 35-week-pregnant Jenny, and it was just right - that studio is hot. Really, really hot. She managed it well and actually kicked the thermometer my way and it was only 102...but 56% humidity. That's a heat index, or "feels like" temperature of 130. Yikes.

It was a really good class for me though, and Andrew. Of the two newbies, one sat out about 1/2 the class, but she never tried to leave (I was proud) and in the end, after class, she said she really liked it (to my surprise) and would be back. (And, since I'm writing this a few days after, am happy to report she did go back, 2 days later). The other newbie did great - I could tell from her personality it would be a good fit and she did well and loved it. Andrew and I both had strong classes, and the fella who came for a second time said it was "much, much better..." :) Yay, Bikram!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Class #26, 2010

I subbed tonight teaching the 4 p.m. in Fremont. It was nice and full of energetic regulars, and one new guy who killed it. I think due to President's Day and lots of folks having the day off, a more relaxed energy filled the room. 43 people well into February, this is a good thing!

I stayed on and took the 6, and I worked super hard which is always satisfying. A student who is going to training was next to me and was excited to practice with me, so that made me work extra hard ;) Sometimes being a teacher gives me a little outside pressure to work harder, which on those lazier days, brings me up a notch.

My standing series was killer focused. Sometimes I wish there was a way to have the eye-to-eye mirror through the floor series, it keeps me so focused...alas.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Class #25, 2010

I had so much fun at SB yesterday I went again today, this time with Frankie, one of the owners, teaching. I'm subbing a bit in the near term and wanted to re-acquaint with some of the SB "style" since the "Fremont style" is different. It was a good class - after two big winners I wasn't expecting a third - and indeed, it was challenging but felt great. It feels like my practice is on a bit of an upswing after a downer period. But, it could just be that last week sucked. Hm.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Class #24, 2010

For months now, I've wanted to go to the other official Bikram studio in Seattle, The Sweatbox, to catch new teacher Gary's class. I took his first class after training and was stunned and amazed at his dialogue, his comfort (he is in a rock band (two, actually), so being on stage is not foreign to him) and his lightness. So, today I was up in time to make it to Capitol Hill, found great parking and was in the studio with a good 5 minutes to spare. That particular studio fills up in the front row first, so to be up front, I had to take the wimpy spot by the bathroom (there's a wee bit of cool air that flows underneath the door, which provides actual oxygen that is, well, a treat...).

It was my best practice in ages.

Still coming off my trauma from last Monday, I was delighted to enjoy myself. My postures felt yummy and my body was right on! I used to teach there (now I sub) and was next to a regular student, who has a great practice and whose husband was behind me, taking his very first class! Gary was awesome. He is so good, really, just a gifted teacher whose got the energy, skill, interest and personality to get it done in a really endearing way. My two favorites from today:

1) During Camel, "Don't think about how much this sucks. Think about how good it is for you!"
2) Between sets of Rabbit, "You know, the paper you sign says emotions may come up. If they do, just do like your parents told you and suppress them." It got quite a chuckle.

Man it felt good to be in a different space, different teacher, different energy from the students...nice energetic change!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Class #23, 2010

I was stuck. Thank god for Jill for just making me go today - it'd been three days since the brutal class on Monday and I just couldn't get myself there. Without looking at who was teaching, I just went to 4 p.m. - and it was perfect. The instructor was a newer one who I really have enjoyed watching as she's grown into her confidence. Her class was so good! I was thinking how proud of I was of her, though that is not appropriate really while practicing :)

Heat was great, my practice felt good, but mostly, I was just glad to be back! Phew!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Class #22, 2010

Oh my.

Some classes just simply kill me. This Monday afternoon class, with my manager and two co-workers a long (one for his first class!) was brutal. I cried a little in standing separate leg head to knee, but you know, you can't really breathe much less emote in that then I stopped. But it was hotter than hell, and I could tell from about breath #4 in Pranayama that I was gonna be in trouble. And trouble I was in...

I tried to kneel for a sip of water at the break to catch my breath, but Heather wasn't having it. "Get up." Ok. I'm up. But I'm in trouble! Carrying on, I made it through without a break but with a little bit of a broken spirit by the end. Phew. In fact, (writing this a few days later) I ended up taking 3 days off to recover. And sometimes, it's just like that.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Class #21, 2010

This week was insane for work, and though I ascribe, in general, to "no excuses" in regard to going to class, I also believe in balance and know that in a particular week or even month sometimes, the world will not cave in if I don't get to class as much as would be idea. I mean, as we're often reminded in class - it's yoga, people. Super important, but so are other things.

With that, Friday I had no intention of going to class when Christi, a pal and student, called at 3:44 to say no one had showed up to teach 4 p.m. Living about 4 minutes away, I threw on clothes and dashed down there, calling the teacher who was on the schedule en route. She was able to make it on time, but I did the sign-in and then was going to take off when she said, "You should stay. You're here. Take class!"

So I did and it was great, of course. I was worried I'd be late to my work function and up through Eagle, I was thinking "I shouldn't have stayed, I shouldn't have stayed..." but then came to: Well, you did. So shut up and practice. I was reminded of how freeing it is to practice when you don't plan to; and how much pressure I tend to put on the preparation for class throughout the day. Determination: This is lame. Perhaps I should always go to class as if I didn't really plan to! Keep it light, right? :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Class #20, 2010

Lately, I've been practicing about once a week in Redmond after work, as I've mentioned. My new manager, and today, another teammate, joined me. Had a bevy of teenage girls behind me - that was...special. Actually the good news was I didn't let them impact my practice too much, and had one of the strongest classes I've had in a while (in fact, I think that's 3 in a row that haven't nearly killed me, as it's seemed most have, lately). Such a different vibe there than at 'home' but it's really nice to mix it up.

My favorite line tonight, by Jenny, who is always a hoot on the podium, in Fixed Firm, "Grab your, not like you're chill-axin' on the beach, really grab them..." Made me smile.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Class #19, 2010

I really, really did not plan to practice today. Because I didn't want to - practice OR teach, but since I couldn't get my 8 p.m. class covered, I figured I'd go to 6 p.m. practice to knock myself into order to teach. I love teaching, but like anyone, sometimesI don't want to go to work.

So I showed up to class at oh...5:55, and found 60+ people there already. It was like Thanksgiving or something! I ended up with the poo spot - the black 'parking spot' by the door not intended for use; it's meant to be left open as a passageway. Still, with no space, I took the hit (plus, I was late, it was my own doing!). Well, that spot is a bit breezy, and in the third row. I always practice up front.

What ended up happening is I had a kickass practice. I couldn't really see myself in the mirror, except for when the girl in the front (coveted) row laid down (a lot). It brought me back to training, knowing your body well enough to know you were in the posture correctly, to my full ability... a nice reminder of that feeling, that focus.

And then I taught 8 p.m. - and it was a good class, and I was happy to be there. I had a student who'd taken my class quite a while back whose recently return tell me "Your teaching has really improved." It was kind of her to say. Another, after class, told me, "You are TOUGH! I've got to like 5 studios and you are the toughest I've ever had!" That surprised me, but I was glad she got a good workout in! (And then I thought of all the teachers who (I think) are way, way tougher than me!) ;) I guess I was supposed to teach that one to be reminded that when you teach, it matters, to someone, every time. I know all my teachers matter to me :)