The yoga diaries

Last Saturday, I was sick and I did not go to yoga. I know! Crazy. But I needed a rest day. I want to make up the missed class, but I haven’t done it yet. I’m thinking Saturday’s my day.

I haven’t been blogging much, because yoga has taken over my life. I do realize it’s day 27, and I’ve been doing this for close to a month, but this week it felt like I had even less time for other things.

I thought I would give you all a little update, since I know you’ve all been dying to know about my classes!

Sunday

I felt better than Saturday, so I went to a yang/yin class with Edith. The yang part was obviously the most difficult, as I kept thinking “It’s so nice and warm in here, I’d really like a nap.” Also, when I had my head upside down, like in downward dog, I couldn’t breathe. Fun stuff. Also very attractive. Yin was bliss.

Monday

Power class with Jen. I was a little worried, even though I felt better. However, I worried for nothing. It was a-ma-zing! It had been almost a week since I had enough energy to actually enjoy a power class. We did dragon (yuck) but also that awesome arm-balance thing that I can actually do now! Only for about 3 seconds, then I fall over, but still, it’s fabulous!

Tuesday

Low-energy day. When I got up that morning, I had great plans to do two classes, but as the day went on, I realized that was not going to happen! I went to candlelight yin with Mark and it was just what I needed.

Wednesday

I also thought this might be a two-class day, but I had a headache at work, so I decided against it. It was yin again, this time with Ichih. It was the yoga hug I didn’t know I needed. I felt so much better after class.

Thursday

Today, I had a grumpy practice. I thought I had more energy and motivation than I actually did. So when class started and I realized I would rather be crashed on the couch than at a flow clas, it was kind of a shock. I tried to shake it off, but I was kind of like Eeyore. I sighed my way through chair pose and sat out side plank. Near the end, we did eagle and dancer, and although my balance was not great, it made me feel better.

Here’s hoping tomorrow is more Winnie the Pooh like, and less Eeyore like!

What if sloths did yoga?

You know those days where putting on your shoes seems like so much work and you would rather buy new clothes than do laundry? Today was one of those days. It wasn’t a lazy day on purpose, it was more because of lack of energy due to a cold and small children driving me a little crazy.

On a non-challenge day, I would have stayed home and not gone to yoga. Since it is day 20 out of 30, I couldn’t very well miss it. I decided to have a nap, then I asked myself “What would a sloth do?” This was not a good question, because obviously, a sloth would have said “Forget yoga. I’m just going to hang here on my tree. I don’t even come down to pee.”

I made my way to the studio, warned Jen about my sloth-like energy level, then tried not to fall asleep on my mat before class started. I realized I was more like a baby sloth, because they have a little more energy than their parents (I’m guessing). A baby sloth would have made it to class, but might still fall asleep. Plus, they’re way cuter.

This was me on my mat. I like to think my nose is a little smaller.

Jen’s class was awesome. It was more on the chill side that I expected. Not that it was easy. I tried to wimp out on bear pose, but Jen saw me. I was hiding out in the back corner and I kind of looked like this.

I actually did better than I thought I would. I got dizzy at one point and had to sit down, but mostly I felt good. Tired, but happy to be practicing. I ended the class with more energy than when I started. Such is the power of yoga!

Side Star Superstar

Today is day 10 of my challenge. I’m a third of the way there and I am feeling great! I was talking to a girl at the studio today who said she could never do a 30-day challenge. I know how she feels. I used to feel like that too. I thought there would be reasons not to go to class, or days where I was tired and just stayed home instead. The thing is, not going to class is not an option for me. I decided to do this, and I’m going to give it all I’ve got. So yes, there are days when I’m tired, but the couch will not win.

Even when I feel like this, I’m going to get my butt to class.

I went to Todd’s class at Pure. It was a powerflow class and it was a-ma-zing! I hadn’t done one of Todd’s classes in a while, so I was looking forward to it. It started off right away, with some chair pose, forward bend, flat back, reach up, swan dive down kind of flow. No child’s pose or butterfly pose to start. It kind of threw me at first and I felt a little dizzy, trying to match my breath to the movements.

It didn’t take long however, before we moved into a flow that included side star. I love side star. It doesn’t always love me, but my love is enough for both of us. I usually use a block, as I find it helps my balance. The first time we did it though, Todd said not to use a block and just hover our hand over the ground. I didn’t think I could do this, but surprise, surprise, I can! Sort of. When I was standing on my right foot, it wasn’t so bad. And sure, when I was standing on my left foot, my right foot came down every four seconds, but at least I didn’t fall on my face. (That happened later.)

I sometimes confuse side star with half moon. I think in half moon, you have your hand on the ground, and in side star, you have both arms up. Maybe they’re just variations of the same pose.

This little guy is doing half moon. Imagine his left paw reaching forward so it’s in line with his left leg. Also, his right paw would be parallel to the left one and he would be looking down. It’s not warrior 3, because his chest is still towards the horizon. If you can make sense of this, you can imagine me in side star.

We also did crow, which I enjoy more and more, because I’m finding stillness with more ease every time. I’m working on jumping back into chaturanga, but so far, my feet only get to the middle of my mat and I end up looking like a frog.

Then came boat pose. We had blocks next to our hips, and after going down into low boat (insert lots of shaking here) we would come up, place our hand on our blocks and lift ourselves up. The plan was to swing the crossed legs behind and come up onto the hands in an inversion, but I’m still working on lifting my own weight up with my arms. No swinging yet. At least with the blocks, I don’t feel like my arms are too short to lift me up!

This is not me, but it is what I was doing.

One of my goals is to one day do an inversion. I know I’m not there yet, but I’m working on it. We did some arm balance practice stuff. Both forearms flat on the mat, lifting one leg at a time. At one point, I had one leg up and decided to give a little hop with the other. This usually gives me the impression of being upside down for a half-second. It didn’t really work today and I ended up in a neat little pile. This is progress, however, because I usually wind up in an impersonation of a starfish.

I could go on and on about the fun stuff we did in this class. Well, I kind of already did, but there’s more! What surprised me was how serious some people were. This was tough stuff, sure, but it wasn’t meant to be taken seriously. There were lots of sighs and frowns. I think some people need to laugh at themselves more, it makes for a much better class!

This is Todd and I after class. I told him I would definitely be back, because I enjoy falling down. Also, I have 20 more days of yoga ahead of me, so I’ll need to laugh, otherwise I’ll go crazy!

When you don’t do hot yoga

I love hot yoga. Today is day 25 of my 30 day yoga challenge and most of the yoga practiced on those days was at Pure Yoga Ottawa, which is a hot yoga studio. I love being all sweaty, pushing myself and coming out of class with a silly smile on my face because I feel like I kicked butt!

Most evenings, I decide what class I will attend the next day. I like having a plan. Yesterday was crazy-busy however, and I didn’t get around to looking at the schedule. Today after work, when I thought of it, I had absolutely no energy. A hot yoga class will kick your butt if you are tired. I know from personnal experience. Check it out here Zero-energy yoga  I decided to go to a hatha class. I’ve been doing so much hot yoga lately that it’s become my normal. Going to a non-hot class made me realize you can expect certain things when you don’t do hot yoga.

– You can put your hair up into a ponytail and not have to pile it up on top of your head. If your hair touches your back, it will move away on it’s own, it won’t stick there.

– You can sit in your car after class without worrying that you’re leaving a sweat stain that only the C.S.I. people with blue flashlights can see.

– You don’t have to drink an entire bottle of water to keep from dying.

– If someone touches you, it’s not gross.

– You can go into downward dog without sweat going into your nose.

– You don’t have to cover your mat with a towel. I am so used to seeing my pink towel, I forgot my mat was purple.

– When you come out of class, you will not have the I feel gross/I feel awesome combo.

– You can wear a t-shirt without it sticking to your skin, making you rethink the whole naked yoga thing.

I like to laugh at the sweaty, sticky side of hot yoga, but I honestly feel like I have found my place in the yoga world. Bring on the sweat!

Zero-energy yoga

Last night was my last dance/yoga night. I had a pretty strange day. It wasn’t a bad day, but one of those days where the kids took everything I had. My energy, my ability to think, my patience. When I got to dance class, I was tired and I didn’t think I would dance with much enthusiasm. Imagine my surprise when I danced like I was a contestant on “So you think you can dance”!

After that, I was sure yoga would be a breeze. Well, maybe not a breeze, but at least possible. There were signs, but I was too tired to see them. I was very giggly. I walked into the yoga studio and thought “It’s kind of hot in here.” I went a little crazy trying to get a bug off my mat. I kept thinking I couldn’t kill it, it was bad karma. Signs.

The class went something like this.

Lay on your back. Humm, I wonder how long we can stay here?

Come up to seated. Already?

Take plank position. Hold for two seconds, then knees to the floor.

Downward dog. Arghh! Downward dog.

Go through a flow. My aha moment: OMG I have no energy!

Chair pose. 3 seconds, then sit on the floor.

Plank position. Have some water.

Full locust. Keep hands on the floor.

Child’s pose for 5 or 6 breaths. Did she say 5 or 6 minutes?

Gecko pose. No way.

Bridge. What?! Not supported bridge?

Savasana. Finally!

I kind of looked like this throughout the whole class.

After my initial moment of panic at realizing that what I had left to give to my practice wasn’t very much at all, I just did what I could. I’m actually surprised it hasn’t happened before day 11. I was a little disappointed, because this was my first class with Jen, and I heard good things about it. I could tell it was a great class, I just couldn’t really appreciate it. I’m not worried though, I have plenty of days left in my challenge to give it another shot!