Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Bikram break...

Through no fault of my own (I swear it should be a mandatory requirement for all cities to have a Bikram studio) I am being forced to take a Bikram holiday, and it sucks! I've gone home to see my parents for 10 days and this city does not have a bikram studio. Boohoo. It's funny because during my challenge I kept on thinking 'once you finish this you can take a looooonnnng break', but now the challenge has been and gone I find my body craving this crazy type of yoga even more-does that mean i am official yogi yet?!! I'm thinking about buying the Bikram CD (they have it on itunes) and just practicing at home in the cold (eeek), but i'm still worried im going to undo all my hard work...I guess only time will tell!

Today's class was good. I decided to go to my usual midday class and it was a nice bunch of regulars. I love practicing in class with people I know as I really feel like we work off each others energy. One thing I'm noticing since ending this challenge is the change in my sit up. If I've just done a back stretching posture such as camel I find it almost painful to complete a sit up. I don't know why that is happening, maybe it is just my body realigning itself. I'm also struggling to lock out the knee, especially in tuladandasana which I keep on falling out of. Very frustrating, but something I just need to keep working at. It's weird as the thing I love the most about Bikram-the feeling different during the poses every time you go-is also the thing I find the most frustrating. One day I can totally rock the standing series and the next it is like I am a newbie. Oh well, at least it will never get boring!!

Monday, 2 November 2009

Debretts guide to....Bikram Yoga

So I might not have been doing this yoga terribly long so might not have a right to comment/whinge about this, BUT I still think people need to follow a certain etiquette when it comes to being in class so bare with me....

Today was my first class after finishing my 30 day challenge and for once I decided to go to a late evening class-boy what a change! Firstly the room was packed, but not in a good way. In a chaotic, 'I'm gonna stick my mat wherever I feel like it even if it messes other people around' kinda way. Now I know everyone has a right to put their mat wherever they desire, but do they really have to ignore the row system? It really is just plain selfish. So having finally managed to squeeze myself into the left hand corner of the room with my mat literally touching the mirror I lay down for a nice 10 minutes meditation before class starts. As soon as I had closed my eyes however I heard a shriek of laughter to my right and then some very loud obnoxious talking. Isn't there meant to be a strict rule of silence in the room? Well apparently not on Monday evenings! Five girls, who had clearly come in a group, entered the room and then proceeded to use the next 90 minutes for gossiping, not bikram. I am not kidding, they were even talking during poses! How selfish can you get? What annoyed me the most is the teacher only told them off like twice. I know I shouldn't have let this mess with my rhythm but it totally did, and by the end of class I was fuming. Literally. I'm pretty sure I had smoke steaming out of my nostrils and ears, although that might have just been the heat (haha). During standing bow pose every time one of them fell over they would shriek with laughter. Needless to say my face was a picture of pure hatred and I'm sure they must have seen it as they were quite close to me and thought I was a grumpy old woman (at the ripe old age of 21), but in this instance I really couldn't give a tiddly-toss.

After class I went back into the changing room and had the misfortune of changing next to them and consequently hearing their conversation. I discovered it was their 2nd class and they kept bitching about certain things, like the teacher 'picking' (their words, not mine) on one of them as she kept on looking like she was going to throw up. Showing concern is surely not a bad thing? I always think it is nice when a teacher notices you are struggling and gives you a little pick me up, reminding you it is just yoga and to pull your mental self back into the room. That is part of their job, no? They then went on to discuss in detail their boob jobs (changing room chat? hardly...) and if they were going to give up their nightly drinks in order to afford the classes after their 10 day pass runs out. For my sake I hope they stick to the nightly drinking as I do not want to stand in another class with them!

Now, I'm sure this puts me in the grumpy/mean category, after all doesn't everyone have the right to practice bikram no matter their age, size, shape etc, but I don't think everyone should practice Bikram. If you can't respect people who take this practice seriously then you shouldn't enter the room. If you want to giggle and chat go to the gym, but please don't ruin someone else's 90 minute meditation because you can't focus and keep quiet.

Anyway rant over, this grumpy bitch needs her sleep or she will be even worse tomorrow-god what a thought!

Saturday, 31 October 2009


So I will be the first person to admit that I have been totally rubbish when it comes to writing on this blog. That said, I have been pretty damn committed when it comes to hauling my ass out of bed each morning and onto my yoga matt. Yes ladies and gents, I can finally say I have completed a 30 day challenge. And it rocked. Admittedly there were days (actually if I'm honest most days...) where I wanted to quit, but I didn't and I honestly can't say I have ever been prouder of myself.

So how do I feel now? Amazing, sensational, stupendous, awe-inspiring, spectacular, wondourous, euphoric, elated, exhilarated, rapturous, gleeful, delighted; yep pretty much a whole thesaurus full of incredible. And I have all of you to thank. Even though I know no one really reads this blog, I read a lot of your blogs, and I can honestly say that just knowing there are other people out there who have done this before me made the whole journey a whole lot less daunting.

I am just happy to say it's done. And to start a new chapter in my bikram life.

Thank you fellow bloggers, thank you Bikram and as cheesy at it sounds thank you me!


Monday, 19 October 2009

Class 18

Ok, so I didn't quit. Somehow I managed to drag my sorry ass body out of bed last Monday and onto the yoga mat, and it was good. Infact all of last week was good. Until Sunday. Bloody Sunday. I don't know what it is about Sunday Bikram practice but it gives me a serious case of Sunday blues. This morning I woke up and I felt like quitting all over again, but yet again I forced myself out of bed and found myself at the 10am class. I'm glad I went, despite the fact that I am suffering from a real corker of a cold right now and I'm pretty sure I've lost my hearing in both ears. If it wasn't for olbas oil I'm pretty sure I would have suffocated in class today. Blocked nose + breathing through your nose for 90 minutes = pretty much a recipe for disaster. Hopefully a strong dose of night nurse tonight will leave me feeling better tomorrow as being ill sucks big style.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

So I've had a rough couple of days. The classes seem to be getting harder and harder (could be because I insist on standing right next to the humidifier. Hmmm....), and I've lost the desire to push myself. I am fine in the standing series, which surprisingly I'm loving at the mo, but as soon as I get on the floor that is it for me. Literally. Stick a fork in me, I'm done.

I am also feeling like I am not getting anywhere in regards to finishing this damn challenge. Honestly, it feels like I've been doing this for years and I still have years to go. I know 20 classes doesn't seem that much to most seasoned yogi's, but to me it might as well be Mnt Everest. I also don't seem to be benefiting from this. Although I'm sleeping properly again I feel tired all the time. I also have a few break outs on my chin which is rare for me, even at that time of the month. I'm also gaining weight-wtf? I'm eating less (I'm normally a big carbs girl) and I'm exercising daily so surely I should be losing weight? Grrrr.....

Anyway whinge over. I need to stop dwelling as I'm sure that makes it worse, but I can't help it. I dream about bikram, then I wake up and go to Bikram and then I come home and worry about not finishing this challenge. My mind is one big Bikram roundabout. arghhhhh

Maybe I should just quit??

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Mirror moment

When I was younger I had a teacher who always used to start class with a moment of silence. She liked called it our 'mirror moment', and back then, when I was an obnoxious, know-it-all 14 year old, I found it amusing and quite frankly ridiculous. My life, at the time, was so simple, so easy; I had no need for stillness in my life, no need for inner reflection.
Today, lying on my mat during final savasna, I was reminded of that and it made me smile. I often feel like I haven't changed from the 14 year old girl I was 7 years ago. I still make the same silly mistakes (usually involving boys or alcohol, sometimes both), I still look the same (give or take a few pounds) and I still crack the same terrible jokes. And yet here I am relishing the opportunity I have been given after 90 minutes of pushing my body to its limits, to just lie still for a couple of minutes and reflect on what has just passed and what is to come. It's nice to realise that even if I haven't changed much physically, I have grown up enough to appreciate the smaller things in life. The things that don't involve boys, make-up and who kissed who at x's party. I have moved onto a deeper path of understanding and I am finally able to appreciate my mind for what it is, which is mostly something that is incredibly strong and resilient. I have been through so much this past year, some situations of my own making, but mostly things that were out of my control. I began to feel slightly depressed, focusing solely on the crap which seemed to flood through my life with a monsoon like persistence. But finally I have moved on and now I have been given the chance to reflect on and heal the mental scars that were left, and for that I am eternally grateful.
Thank you Bikram

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Day 5-Happy Groundhog Day...

So after a truly crappy Bikram practice and, to top it off, a 45 minute walk home in the pouring rain (got to love British autumn), I sat down on the sofa with my lunch and turned the TV on. Groundhog Day was on. Now it's not one of my all time favorite movies, it's no Titanic let's face it, but it's alright and I was feeling pretty spaced out so I wasn't in the mood for anything particularly heavy. Anyway, about 5 minutes after I switched it on, we got to the bit where Phil is in the bar feeling sorry for himself. He turns to his friend and says " What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered?" And his friend replies 'That about sums it up for me.'

Well, ladies and gentleman, that just about sums it up for me too.

I'm only 6 classes in, how can I be feeling this exhausted and frustrated already? Ever since I started this challenge - which was only 5 days ago, although it feels like 500 - my sleep has been weird; kind of disjointed and very, very light. I'm normally the type of person who needs at least 5 espresso shots and 10 alarm clocks just to crawl out of bed. And even then if it's still dark out then, 'you can't be serious, I think I'll stay in bed for another few hours please'. But for the past couple of nights I keep waking up in the middle of the night to then toss and turn, twisting my sweaty, achy body around my bedsheets. My body also feels like it's a radiator. I am literally a walking, talking, Bikram studio. It is seriously annoying. Thank god I don't have a boyfriend right now or I think this might be the turning point in our relationship. Love me: love my sweaty, frustrated body which can't lie still in bed for longer than 10 seconds. I thought Bikram was meant to teach you stillness?! The rate I'm going at I'll be a fully fledged zombie by Novemeber. And no, not the hot Twilight kind either. I kept thinking in class today, which I basically did nothing in except half heatedly stumble around my mat, that if everyday is going to be like this for the next month, then how will I get through the next few days, let alone the next month? I know this is meant to be a challenge but right now all I'm feeling is blllllaaaaaaaa - eloquent, I know.

Even now, a good 6 hours after class, all i can hear in my head is the voice of my teacher today telling me to, "Focus. Focus. It's a journey, not a destination." Arggghhhh. Sod this journey, all i want to do is reach the bloody destination!

So am i going to continue on like this for another 25 days, 8 hours and 45 minutes (yes I really am counting down the minutes)? I certainly hope not! I would really appreciate any tips as, right now, the though of getting up at 6 am to go to the 7 o'clock sunrise class tomorrow fills me with dread. And fear. And anger. And depression. Oh and a little bit of sadness. Yep, I think you get the drift.