The Last Screw in My Brain Falls Out

Finally, FINALLY, after what feels like weeks and weeks of medicore to crappy classes I had a strong one. Today’s class was amazing. I also think that the last screw I had left in my brain fell out. Let me tell you about it…

First, I decided to switch things up and go to the 3:00 class. I normally go to the 9:00, but I think it’s a good idea to break patterns and habits. Just like I think it’s a good idea to drag my mat all around the room (except under fans. I can no longer tolerate fans unless I’m sick) and experience my practice in new spots, so too do I think it’s important to experience it at different times.

The 3:00 had all the elements of rocking out. Several of my favorite yoga buddies where there. The room was packed, and I mean packed. Our capacity is 49, and we had to have hit 40. Buckle up folks. It’s gonna be a hot one.

Except it wasn’t. It was hot to some extent, but I couldn’t deal with the fans kicking on and the doors being cracked today. Although I could barely feel the air from where I was set up, I could feel it enough and I actually got cold.

Now I don’t know what the temperature was in the room today, and I certainly did sweat. It could have been spot on or a bit too high and I was just having a day where I was handling it super well. Who knows? I just know I felt like I could tolerate more. So when we hit the floor for savassanah I did something I never imagined myself doing. I put my long sleeved shirt on. And with that, the last screw in my brain just fell out. I am pretty sure I am no longer sane when I’m putting on a long sleeved shirt in a room that is over 100 degrees.

I always bring a shirt into the hot room with me. In the winter it’s a long sleeved shirt that wicks away moisture. I need it for when class is over. I cannot go straight from the hot room to the hallway without a shirt on. That is definitely too cold. But I have never, EVER, decided to put my shirt on in class until today. I kept it on until we got out of spine strengthening. I didn’t want it on for camel.

I was able to get my shirt on and off at these various times without losing much traction because I wasn’t drinking any water. I realized when we got to party time that I didn’t need it. I realized at savassanah that I still didn’t need it. By the time we got to savassanah I decided if I didn’t need it by then that I could just go without it for the entire class. So I did. Damn. I forgot how not drinking water makes my practice better. It’s been such a long time since I’ve gone through class without taking even one sip of water. I think I might have to get back into this no water thing.

Of course my brain had to get in on the action and try to chat me up. After camel (and I can see my mat in camel now!), my brain started talking to me:

Brain: Oh….water would taste good after camel.

Me: You are so right brain. It always does.

Brain: You should have some. You made it this far without water, right? It’s not about if you have water or not anyways. So just drink some. It will taste so good. You’ve worked so hard. You should totally treat yourself.

Me: Shut-up brain. We’re doing this my way today.

My little conversation with my brain reminded me that I need to get serious about starting a meditation practice soon. I always start one but never fully get on the bandwagon with it and it fades away. I need to make it a priority.

After class I decided to stay and do some advanced postures. I wanted to try my short man. I’m working on it because I think it will help me with mountain since it requires balancing on a knee. That went pretty good. I’m strongest on my left side, and I was able to get into it and hold it for at least a five count. You have to really push your hips forward and tighten everything up.

Then, just for kicks, I decided to see where I was with upward stretching. The idea behind upward stretching is to:

1. sit on your butt

2. grab your heels with your hands

3. get your elbows behind your calves

4. raise your legs up and lock your knees

5. smash your upper body into your legs while still balancing on your butt

Guess who did this on the second try? I mean I totally did it. My new challenge is to stay balanced while I am smashed together. I did manage to hold it for about a 7-count before I fell out. I think I’m gonna have this one in the bag soon (and I hope I did not just jinx myself!).

Of course this is not my first go around with upward stretching. It was my advanced posture for my first competition last November. However, I only worked on it for a month, and it was not solid when I performed it. I had a hamstring injury in January that has prevented me from working on upward stretching, but it’s been healed for a couple of weeks now so I thought it would be safe to see where I was in the upward stretching game. Hopefully I can stay consistent with this.

Anyways, here’s to having great classes. They are such a treat when they show up!

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. bitchingaboutbikram
    Mar 04, 2013 @ 18:04:17

    I think there’s a certain hard-coreness that I am just never going to acquire. Now, I’ve gotten to the point where the heat doesn’t make me want to die, but I can’t imagine a time where I won’t feel absolute bliss when the cold air from the door washes over me in savasana. 🙂

    Also, having watched a lot of the yoga semis, I was wondering (and thought you’d be in a position to answer): Do people from the same state or studio learn the same optional poses? I noticed a lot of the same poses coming in a row state by state. Does that happen, do you think? Did it happen in your situation when you competed?


    • leighahall
      Mar 05, 2013 @ 09:25:42

      Honestly, I blame Bikram Yoga San Diego! 🙂 I took four classes there in that hot box and now I can’t stand fans anymore. Before that I was on the same page as you.

      That’s an interesting question about the optional poses. I don’t really know. Last year was the first year NC had regionals. I know at my studio there tended to be pockets of people who were interested in the same posture and worked on it together, but it wasn’t anything that was suggested or that we were pushed towards. It was our first time competing, and we had lots of conversations about what postures we were doing with each other. I think as we saw what we were doing that inspired people to change postures or to make a decision about what to persue.


  2. MIke Mitchell
    Mar 05, 2013 @ 10:42:33

    I wouldn’t say I hate the fans but sometimes they can be a distraction if you get dependent upon them and keep thinking “when is the teacher going to turn on the fan?”. At my studio, some teachers use them more than others. Some don’t use at all until final savasana others intersperse short blasts of fan throughout class. Personally, I don’t like the fans in the standing series. Seems too soon. Seems like you’re just getting deep into the sweat and even if its difficult that’s what you’re there for. I can admit to being glad to feel the cool air sometimes in the floor series or during middle savasana, but when I have one of the teachers that I know doesn’t turn on the fan, it just makes me more determined and concentrate more. No point in “waiting and hoping” for something you know ain’t coming. Just focus and breathe and, yes, you will make it. One of my slogans about the heat is “when in doubt, crank it”, but you gotta be careful what you ask for sometimes…lol.


  3. LeighAHall (@LeighAHall)
    Sep 30, 2014 @ 23:48:55

    The Last Screw in My Brain… #bikramyoga #yogaholicsmag


  4. LeighAHall (@LeighAHall)
    Jan 20, 2015 @ 17:54:51

    The Last Screw in My Brain… #bikramyoga #yogaholicsmag


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