So Yesterday I worked super hard and I may have worked too hard as it turns out because I am in serious pain today.  I could hardly do some of the postures in class tonight.  I guess it is because I tried to do the sit ups last class and just pushed my lower back too much.  I have to take it easy now for a bit which is annoying, but I talked to the teacher and she said the best way to get over it is to just keep coming to class.  Which means the challenge is still on!

On the bright side, I did feel a bit better towards the end of class.  It is this really odd burning type of pain that starts on the right side of my spine and wraps around to the from of my hip.  Some of the postures that especially hurt were half moon pose, standing separate leg head to knee pose, and sitting head to knee pose.  Ouch.  It was like tugging a knot apart except for the knot was my spine.

It sucks that I have to back pedal a bit but I think I learned a lesson here:  it really is the form that counts, the depth comes later and pushing it too hard it not a good thing.

I’m having one of those super busy days tomorrow so I’m going “early” in the morning so I have the rest of the day to focus on what needs to get done.  I’m doing 9:15 tomorrow and on Friday, and on Thursday I will probably do 6:00 again.  I don’t want to do too late when I’m doing an early class the next day.

I hope I’m not too sore tomorrow.  Joe and I decided we need to get a new mattress cover.  I’m tired of the springs digging into my back… especially now!

-Claire

Today’s class was a good class.  It didn’t look pretty but it was good nonetheless.  I definitely worked really hard.

I went places I hadn’t gone before during half moon pose in the back bend.  I can definitely tell that my middle and upper spine are getting more flexible since I’m not letting myself collapse into my lower back flexibility anymore, and along with that my core is getting stronger, which allows me to support a deeper backward bend.  Also having Katie demonstrate the back band in the last class she taught helped because I could really see just how far you had to push your arms back and your stomach, chest, and hips forward.

I spoke last day of wanting to kick out during standing head to knee pose, and I did a little bit, but it is very hard for me to keep my standing knee locked and kick out simultaneously so I may not be completely ready to kick out yet.  I can kick out a tiny bit but remember:  a millimeter today a millimeter tomorrow.  Eventually I’ll get there.  One of the reasons the one leg balancing postures were so difficult for me today was that my ankles were really hurting.  I was talking to Jessica afterward and she was asking about  soreness and if it gets better.  I feel like the soreness for me has been really odd.  It has kind of moved upwards on my spine and down my legs.  So my lower back used to hurt, then my middle back hurt, now my shoulders, neck, and upper back hurt.  Similarly my knees were hurting, and now my calves and ankles hurt!  I’m hoping the soreness will eventually disappear mostly.  I do think most of the pain is good pain, strengthening pain, but today when I was doing one of the sit ups that we do between postures my back tugged a little bit and now my lower back hurts still.  I think I still can’t quite fully do the sit ups.  It’s just too risky for my back still and I think I need to build up some more core strength before doing the sit ups.

So in terms of breathing, I kept forgetting to breathe into the postures for the first part of the class!  It was like when I stopped thinking about breathing and started focusing on other things I forgot to breathe.  Then when I noticed myself having to release a gasp of air as I came out of postures, I realized I wasn’t breathing and I was able to correct it for the remainder of the series.

All in all I am feeling a little sore tonight but I think the class went well.  I came out of some postures a little early, and some of them I fell out of accidentally, but the time I did spend in the postures was very intense.  It was the type of intense where your muscles are shaking because you are working so hard, so I felt that even though I didn’t spend the full minute in a posture, the time I did spend in it was very well spent with 100% effort put in and that makes me feel successful.

I feel amazing right now despite the aches.  I have never felt better in my life.

-Claire

Today will be day 7 of my 30 day challenge- I’ll be a quarter of the way through already! Unfortunately the alcohol was a bit too tempting last night and I’m slightly hungover today. I just have headache, am a little dehydrated. I’m slightly nauseous at the moment. I really hope that part goes away because I can get hydrated and I can handle a headache but nausea I’m not so sure how that’s going to sit in the yoga room.

I’m going to the 7:45 class so hopefully by then I will be feeling good. I was hoping there was a 9:30 today but no luck there.

I will let you know how it goes afterwards!

-Claire

EDIT:

I’m just going to write a bit more before class. Luckily, with some food in my stomach and a couple of litres of water, I am feeling much better and I think this class will go well. Plus also Jessica is coming with me today and it is always really fun to bring someone new and share the experience with her. I really feed off of other peoples energy in the room and I think it helps to have some new energy. When you go to your first class there is so much excitement and I can really feed off of that energy.

Speaking of using other people’s energy in the class, I have noticed a little funny thing that happens. If someone falls out of a posture, then other people around her often do. It’s kind of a chain reaction and it makes you realize how connected the class becomes. I have been guilty of coming out of a posture with someone as well. I don’t really know why it happens, but I think it is because we really do use each other’s energy in the class and if there is a break in that energy then everyone feels it.

I am feeling really frustrated because of my lack of flexibility in my hamstrings. I know I talked about it before and said my flexibility was improving, and it is a lot, but it is still bad enough that it is preventing me from going fully into certain postures where hamstring flexibility is necessary. for example, in standing head to knee pose, I can’t kick out because of my lack of flexibility; in balancing stick I can’t tilt forward for the same reason. I know that I just have to keep trying. One of the teachers, Danny, says “a millimeter today a millimeter tomorrow and eventually you’ll get there.” When I get frustrated I just try to focus on those words, because he’s right: a millimeter of progress each day will eventually get you to where you want to be. I hope I make a millimeter of progress today in everything.

The last two classes I have had a lot of trouble with my concentration. Today I really want to be able to just leave the world behind me and be successful in centering my thoughts, because the actions and abilities of my body are definitely led by my mind. I get much more out of the practice when I am not distracted. In the last class I found myself actually making a grocery list in my head during savasana. wtf. That just totally takes away from my ability to participate and if I am going to put myself through such a strenuous experience, I want to get the most out of it possible.

So that being said, my goal for today is to stay focused.

Finally I wanted to show you some pictures of some of the postures I talk about a lot, just so you non-yogis can know what I’m always blabbering on about.

Staning head to knee pose

Standing head to knee pose

In this posture I do it so the knee that he kicked out is actually just at a 90 degree angle.

Triangle Pose

Triangle Pose

This is from http://www.bikramorlando.com.

Locust pose with two legs

Locust pose with two legs

We also do this with just left and just right legs. full locust is below…

Full Locust

Full Locust

from http://www.tracis.info.com

Standing Bow

Standing Bow

from http://www.bikramyogabozeman.org

I can’t do it quite this well!

Tree pose

Tree pose

From http://www.bikramyoga.com

In Toe Stand, you hold this posture then bend your standing leg until you are balancing with your hip just above your heel, and you bring both hands in to prayer.

Hope this helps you understand what I’m talking about!

Who knows when I’m going now… Joe wants me to go to go see Twilight with him and some of his buddies and you know I can’t resist a good vampire tale. 6:00 yoga maybe?

P.S. If you read this and want to see a picture of a pose I am talking about, leave a comment and I will post a picture.  Sometimes in the different forms of yoga poses are different, like triangle for example sometimes can look like this:

triangle pose

triangle pose

which isn’t how I do it. So if you want to know what a pose is for Bikram’s specifically let me know!

-Claire

Today is day six and it’s not time to give up, but I really wish I could right now! My knees are really sore from yesterday, which hasn’t happened before, but maybe that’s because I held the one leg standing postures, in which case it probably is a good hurt. I don’t know enough about knee pain to tell the difference. I’ll go easy on them either way.

I’m feeling super tired and yucky because my blood sugar has been really high since last night. I probably shouldn’t be going today because I have a small amount of ketones, but I think it is a small enough amount that if I exercise and get my blood sugar down the ketones will go away.

I’m so tired. If I get there and can get through the class I’ll be happy, but I wish I had just bitten the bullet and gone this morning because if I had I would now be able to relax and get ready for semi and enjoy my Friday night.

On the bright side I think I figured out what has been causing my headaches! Caffeine withdrawal. I usually drink quite a bit of coffee each day, but since I’ve been doing this I haven’t really wanted coffee, just water and tea. I think I am going through coffee withdrawal and that is why I’ve had such a bad headache all week. It sucks because I can’t really fix it, but it’s good because it means it will go away on its own eventually.

Here’s hoping this class goes alright!

-Claire