VC Day 7: False Quests

For the last hour I have been craving cake. It’s not like I eat cake all the time. I don’t have a cake habit like I have a coke habit.  My body has hit some weird space where it wants cake. I am thisclose to feeding it cake. It will be a non-vegan cake.

Tonight’s meal was a creamy baked potato soup. Mark made it and said it was relatively easy to make. Note that he added a lot to give it more flavor so you may want to add spices to suit your taste. Do you know what’s on top of my soup? More potatoes. That’s what the recipe called for. It may seem a bit redundant, but it worked well. This recipe is a keeper.

Vegan Potato Soup

Vegan Potato Soup

Before I got to have the yummy soup I had to take class. Class tonight was rough. When I say it was rough I mean the instructor actually checked on me to make sure I was ok. It didn’t start out bad. It started out great! I felt wonderful when class started. It wasn’t until we hit the floor that things started to spiral down for me – and they spiraled down hard.

Actually, class since this vegan challenge has started has been more on the difficult side than the normal or easy going side. I am not saying it has anything to do with being vegan for a week now. I have no idea. I’m just pointing it out. I also had my period going on at the same time as the challenge started and class during that time is no cake walk, but at this point my menstrual cycle is not the issue.

I want to comment on the whole having a bad class thing. First, I think it’s interesting that after a rought class I wanted a soda. Now I don’t want a soda. Now I am on a vegan challenge and I want cake. Please offer your interpretations in the comments section.

Second, I think bad classes are normal and important to have, and I think it’s important as a competitor to have them out in the open. The last thing that I want anyone to think is that being a competitor somehow means you have to be super human. Nope. We have bad classes. We lay on the floor and stare at the ceiling tiles and count our breathes in the hope that this will make time go by faster. We have classes that are just as bad as everyone else. Those happen to everyone.

I say this because recently I’ve had people, who don’t go to yoga, ask me questions about what I can and cannot do. I have started to learn that people have beliefs about what they think my practice should be like even though they themselves do not practice.  A few days ago, a doctoral student knocked on my office door. She was looking for my colleague whose in the office next door. My colleague wasn’t in her office. She was in mine. We were taking a backbending break. If you move furniture around, you can make get multiple people bending in my office at once.

The student wanted to know why I couldn’t go backwards down the wall all the way to the floor. That was an interesting statement to me because I was in the middle of celebrating the fact that I could see the electrical outlet which is very near to the floor. I was a bit confused at her question. I was like, “I don’t know. Because I can’t. That’s why. This is how far I go now. Today.”  Also, let’s be honest. Getting to the floor is not the purpose. Simply backbending is the purpose. The quest for the floor is a false quest. Trust me. I’ve been on that quest. Know what happens? You get frustrated and quit. Then you figure out it was a false quest and start up again without making the whole thing a quest. This makes backbending more enjoyable.

This brings me back to having a bad class. Bad classes are good for our egos. They keep us in line. You might think that there comes a point in time when you don’t have to have them anymore, but I am pretty sure that’s not true. They will always surface. We are all just in a different place moving together on our journey through a shared space. We all fall. We all pick each other back up. We keep going. That’s yoga.

12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. bitchingaboutbikram
    Feb 01, 2013 @ 20:55:11

    Great post! That potato soup looks DELISH. I like the idea of the extra roasted potatoes on top. But I’ve never had to peel almonds. That sounds like a giant pain in the ass.

    I thought that the student had an interesting perspective. I mean, expectations are weird, right? I also though that you were backbending to the floor every time, because that’s what I assume your practice is like. I actually feel better that you can’t. Having just had my bikram birthday, I’ve been reflecting on what I thought I’d be able to do by now. I thought by now that I’d be able to consistently do every set of every pose by now. I bet the people I work with assume I can and would be shocked that I can’t. After a YEAR.

    I’ve come back around to the beginning, where now my only goals are to get to class and stay in the room. Basics.

    I can’t remember what my point was, so I’m just gonna stop typing now. 🙂


    • leighahall
      Feb 01, 2013 @ 21:42:05

      You can’t remember your point because my post lacked a point. It was a bit rambly. 🙂 I also can’t hold triangle, but it is getting better. Since I have been working on hip strengthening exercises at home I have noticed I can hold triangle longer now. I still hate camel too.I might be able to backbend down the wall to the floor now with a spotter. Maybe. I am not at all ready physically or mentally to do it alone.


    • Penelope
      Feb 01, 2013 @ 23:31:39

      I had my anniversary in December. I thought I would be able to consistently land (and hold!) standing head to knee by now. Hahahahahahaha! Nope.

      Oh, and I have found when I am eating vegan for more than a few days in a row, my practice suffers. I don’t blame the vegan diet, though – I think it is just more like I am incapable of feeding myself enough calories when I eat that way.


  2. teenieyogini
    Feb 02, 2013 @ 00:51:45

    This is such a great post!
    People (especially those who don’t practice) DO have strange ideas and expectations. When I see the competitors or teachers struggle while taking class, it reminds me that everyone is challenged in the hot room.


  3. leela
    Feb 02, 2013 @ 17:05:59

    Hey you should try to make a vegan cake! Vegan cake can be really delicious and just as simple to make as non-veg. You might be having some hard classes because your body is trying to get rid of the casein which might be a while. I hope it subsides for you soon. After being vegan for a while though, you will probably get more flexible because casein causes inflammation. You are doing awesome! Excited to hear how you feel at the end of this vegan challenge. I totally agree with you about hard classes keeping the ego in check. Also, sounds like you are making great progress in your backbend. Just curious, did you ask the person who came in the room to give it a go down the wall? Sometimes people think things should be easy because they have never done it themselves.


  4. leighahall
    Feb 02, 2013 @ 17:38:37

    I have made vegan cupcakes before that were wonderful. I probably will venture over to vegan cake soon. Good point about the casein. I am going to blog about that today. I’m interested to see if I do become more flexible eventually as a result of the diet. Thanks for telling me all this. It’s helping make the mental aspect easier.

    I did invite the student to go down the wall.She declined. I told her all she had to do was put her hands behind her head and go backwards just the tinest bit. I even showed her where I was when I started which was pretty much my hands up on the wall and me bending my head backwards. That alone made me dizzy and left me feeling like I wanted to barf. She was open to getting information about class and did follow up on my email saying she would go with me. But then she didn’t yet tell me when she wanted to go. I got a buddy of her’s to committ to this Friday so maybe she will join us! I’m also paying for their intro weeks.


  5. Trackback: VC Day 8: So It Is the Diet That’s Kicking My Butt…Marvelous « My Bikram Yoga Life
  6. LeighAHall (@LeighAHall)
    Sep 02, 2014 @ 09:11:59

    VC Day 7: False Quests #bikramyoga #yogaholicsmag


  7. LeighAHall (@LeighAHall)
    Nov 30, 2014 @ 17:40:13

    VC Day 7: False Quests #bikramyoga #yogaholicsmag


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