I’ve Moved!

Come join me at my new site. It needs a bit of fancing up, but all the necessary components are there. See you in a few!

The End & The Beginning

Well, as you all know, my Bikram yoga practice has come to an end for the time being. Not too long ago, I said that it didn’t make sense for me to continue on with MBYL if I wasn’t going to maintain a regular Bikram yoga practice. So it’s time for this blog to come to an end.

But that doesn’t mean we have to say goodbye.

I’m launching a new blog that will continue on with the journey. Some things will be familiar, and some things will be new. But I will still have a spot in the world where we can come together and talk about our yoga practice. The only thing that’s really changed is that my practice has shifted into something different. No big deal.

I have loved having this space to write about and think through my Bikram practice, and you all have been amazing, and kind, and wonderful. I hope you were able to get something out of this blog that was meaningful and helpful to your practice or your personal growth.

I’m constructing a new space. It’s mostly ready to go, but I’m not at 100% yet. I expect it to go live on 11/19. I’ll come back here and make an official announcement and give you the link. I hope you will join me in my new spot. It would be lonely without you.

Favorite Things: Aurorae Aqua

You might recall that a little over a year ago I had the chance to try out the Aurorae Yoga Mat (and some lucky reader got a free one!). A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted again and asked if I would be interested in trying out the Aurorae Aqua towel.

Yes, please!

First, a bit of background information about the towel. It’s described as a beach/swim towel, but when I received it beach/swim season was over for me. You could argue that beach/swim season was still on a few weeks ago, but I would tell you that the pool water was in the 80’s meaning I was not going in it. I had to find other ways to test out the towel which I will get to.

The towel is extra long which I love. It’s 32″ x 68″ so you can wrap yourself up in it. It folds up super easy and would be simple to take to the pool or the beach or anywhere you wanted it to go.

I took my towel to the car. I know, such an exciting life I live.

But my rationale was that I needed a towel after class. Even when I wipe myself off in the hot room, I continue to sweat all the way home. I needed a towel that I could put on my car seat. The Aqua Towel worked perfectly for that. Since it is over-sized, it easily covered the back and bottom of my car seat.

The towel is also microfiber and, I was told, was going to be super absorbent. Absorbency is key here since I had put the towel on my car seat.

So, how did it work?

Well, first let me start by saying that in the past I have put a normal beach towel on my car seat. I gave this practice up years ago because I just ended up sitting on a soggy towel. Also, the towel got bunched up from time to time or slipped down the back as I was driving. As my car got older and older, I decided I didn’t care anymore and just forgot about using the towel. I’m not sure it was helping anyways.

The Aqua towel doesn’t do any of those annoying things. First, the towel covers the seat AND it stays in place. That alone made it far more comfortable right off the bat. Second, even though I keep right on sweating after class the towel seems to pretty much stay dry. I’m not sitting in a soggy pool of wet towel when I get home, and that is awesome.

I have used the towel to wipe myself off after class. We all know how gross we can be after class! The sweat came right off and the towel felt dry. It basically just sucked up my sweat and took it to a better place.

Want to give it a try and see if you agree? The nice people at Aurorae are giving away one free aqua towel to one of you! The towel comes in eight colors with each color being connected to a beautiful waterfront location (I have Mediterranean seas).

So here’s what to do….

  1. head over to the MBYL facebook page.
  2. Look for the post on the Aurorae Aqua towel
  3. in the comments section of the post, just say enter!

One person will be drawn at random. You must live in the continental U.S. to enter (sorry). You will be able to enter until noon on Wednesday, October 7th. Drawing will occur sometime that afternoon.

Good Luck!

 

Favorite Things: Kosha Mat Bag & Tote

Two weeks ago, I told you about my experience with Kosha mat covers. Today, I want to tell you about the two other products I got to try: the mat bag and the tote.

The Mat Bag

The mat bag is up first because it’s pretty straight-forward. I didn’t do any experiments on it to see if I could make it stink. It works just like the description says it does – you just roll up your mat (with the cover on it), put it into the bag, and then roll on out the door! The bag is stretchy and definitely has some give to it. You also wash and dry it just like you do the mat cover. Washing/drying is no big deal as this mat bag is very lightweight (all of Kosha’s products are very lightweight and should not do any damage to your washer or dryer).

The mat bag.

The mat bag.

I did not use my mat bag a lot because, at the time, I had a mat cleaning service. I only needed to use it when I brought my mat and cover home to wash and then back to the studio. I found it easy to use and a nice way to get my mat from Point A to Point B. The mat bag takes up zero space as it folds up very easily and will get just about as tiny as you want to it.

The Tote

Oh my gosh, let me tell you about this tote. It’s my absolute most favorite tote bag in the world. Why?

  • It effortlessly holds a full  32 ounce hydro-flask. I love my hydro flask, but I hate dragging it around with me. It’s heavy! Putting it in a bag has never made it any easier – until I got this fabulous tote. I am assuming that because there is bounce and stretch to this tote, it makes carrying a full hydro-flask no big deal. The first day I used the tote I had it filled up with my hydro-flask AND clothes AND shoes and it was not at all a big deal to carry around.
  • It totally won’t get stinky. At all. Ever (well, from what I can figure out).
I've got everything but the sink in that tote!

I’ve got everything but the sink in that tote!

Like the mat cover, I was also on a quest to see if I could make my tote stink. The best way I knew how to do this was to leave stinky yoga clothes in it all day. Now, you might think this is not a realistic thing to do, but it totally is. You see, there were days when I would go to class in the morning and then go straight in to work. My yoga clothes stayed in a bag all day in the car. That is just never pretty folks. Never.

The first stink test came on a day just like I described. I did my class (as normal), and then put my stinky clothes in my yogi bagi as I normally would. I then put the stinky clothes in my Kosha tote. I had my car parked (with the stinky clothes inside) by 11:30. They stayed there until about 4:00.

019The first thing I noticed when I got in my car was that there was no smell. There is ALWAYS a smell when the clothes have been in the car for a few hours. Additionally, I want you to know that I had put my tote in the passenger seat. Normally I put the stinky clothes in the back. No smell.

However, I also park in a garage. So, to truly put the tote – and it’s non-stinky claims – to the test, I redid this test but this time left my stinky clothes (still in the yogi bagi inside the tote) sitting in the front seat of my car parked in my driveway directly in the sun from 11:00-5:00.

That’ll do it, right?

Guess what, no smell at all in the tote.

I kept on using my tote to haul stinky yoga clothes around in, but I refrained from washing it for an entire week. I asked random people to smell the tote (including The Boyfriend) and to explain what they noticed. None of these people knew about my tests or why I would ask them to sniff a tote. No one could say anything except that it “smells like a bag” or “smells like nothing.”

I use this tote for everything. EVERYTHING. I haul stinky yoga clothes around in it, clean clothes, food, my hydro-flask, and basically anything I feel like putting in a bag. I’m not limiting this to just yoga. It’s an item I cannot live without.

Want To Try It?
Interested in trying a Kosha tote or mat bag? You can go here and grab one! Kosha also sells the Ultimate Bikram Yoga Package which gives you all the items I’ve shared with you here.
And remember Kosha is giving you 20% off any and all of their products. Just use mybikramyogalife as your coupon code when you check out!

Retro Throwback: The HotTT

On Sundays, please enjoy the Retro Throwback where I share my favorite posts from some time ago.

So…have you guys heard about this new hot yoga teacher training (The HotTT)? I learned about it through a Yoga Buddy on FB (aren’t yoga buddies the best?).  On their website, the HotTT is described as:

…true alternative to Bikram yoga teacher training. It is an 8 week – 500hr Yoga Alliance Hot Yoga Teacher Training where you will learn to teach the Primary Series (26+2), in an intense training environment, without the associated attachments.

Now, let me be clear about a few things before we get much farther:

(a) I am not a certified yoga teacher of any shape or kind

(b) I know nothing about the HotTT other than what is on their website (and through a couple of email exchanges)

(c) All I know about the standard Bikram yoga training is what I have read on his website and what I have learned from talking to people who have experienced it

(d) I’m not endorsing either curriculum. I’m sharing some information about a new program and my reactions to it.

What Got Me Looking at The HotTT?

Since the HotTT bills itself as an alternative to traditional Bikram training, I was curious as to what that alternative looked liked. You can view their curriculum, and I think you will see that there are similarities and difference to theBikram training. The things that stood out to me as obviously different, is that The HotTT is the three day course on meditation and the expectation that you will participate in regular meditation exercises during the training.

If someone will force me to do meditation I might get he hang of it.

The second difference with HotTT is that you get to learn aboutyin yoga. Admittedly, I do not know anything about yin yoga except my acupuncturist is always telling me to go do it. On the HotTT site, they describe yin yoga as a complement to the hot yoga that we do – which is exactly what my acupuncturist tells me. You also get introduced to Synergy partner yoga and kids yoga.

Do You Want to Know Why I am Not Already Certified?

There are some practical reasons as to why I am not already certified. The first is that Bikram runs his trainings in direct conflict with my work. I know I am different in that I am only contracted nine months out of the year. Since Bikram training starts near the end of April I maybe could maybe kinda sorta work something out as I’m usually wrapping things up when he’s launching his spring training.  But there’s a bigger hold out for me….

Sleep.

I like to get my sleep. I have no problem working my butt off, but I need to get at least seven hours of solid sleep, and I do not think I’m being unreasonable here. Have you heard about the Bikram trainings? You should expect to stay up past midnight often and get very little sleep. I have no idea what the point is of being sleep deprived, and I don’t care. That does not sit well with me.

precious sleepThis is one thing that I noticed and immediately appreciated about The HotTT is that you will get your rest. Weekdays typically run from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm. Saturdays usually done by 3:00, and Sundays are optional activities. The sample schedule shows that you should expect to take two 90 minute classes most days Monday-Saturday (same as Bikram).

Some Other Interesting Differences

I don’t know how many people attend Bikram tranings, but I know the answer is more than 200 at each. For The HotTT, it’s limited to 50. So you will get to know the teachers, and they will get to know you. And as a teacher, I like that. This is important. Teachers will know how to support you and help you grow into someone who is ready to launch as a new teacher when they leave. Maybe that is the case too with Bikram – I can’t say – I just know that the conditions for The HotTT are set up in a way that supports this.

The price is currently cheaper (10, 650 vs. 11, 400 for Bikram). However, The HotTT includes two meals in this price which I am pretty sure you do not get with Bikram – at least not normally. I’m not sure how things will be playing out at the new Thailand location.

Now, the thing to keep in mind is that you are not certified as a Bikram instructor when you complete The HotTT training. Trust me, this was the first question that came to my mind. But of course you will be certified to teach hot yoga generally speaking, and it might be possible that you would have more opportunities available to you. It’s something to explore.

Look how easy I am to take care of.

By the way….do you have kids? The HotTT has childcare options to discuss with you. I have a pug. Are there pug care options? :)

Wanna Go?

Right now The HotTT has three trainings lined up. This is personally great news for me as I could likely make the summer training in Europe. Now, realistically, I probably won’t be doing that. I just spent all my money on a shiny new water pump for my car, and I’m going to be getting a shiny new tooth soon! That mess costs at least half the price of teacher training! I only wish I were joking.

I’m not sure how I feel about not being an officially certified Bikram teacher, but it is something I would be interested in having a conversation with someone at The HotTT at some point – maybe in a year or so. From an instructional perspective, I am very impressed with the thought and consideration they have given to both the curriculum and to the students. It looks like an excellent program with a lot of potential. If anyone ends up going, let me know!

Finding My Flow

As you all know, my Bikram yoga studio recently closed. And while I could have gone to a different Bikram studio I (surprisingly!) chose not to. I thought I would view my studio closing as an opportunity to try something else. If I didn’t like it, I could always go to the other Bikram studio.

The day after my studio closed, I found myself at a hot flow yoga studio. All I could figure out about the temperature was that it would be at least 98 degrees, and there would be humidity. There would also be music.

Ugh. Music? Really? More on that later.

I showed up to a gorgeous studio with only one minor flaw (besides that whole music thing): no shower. Seriously, this place has no showers. I asked why, and got an answer about how the studio owner didn’t think yoga studios should have locker rooms or that people should have to wait around for showers.

I’ve waited around for a shower. It’s really not a big deal. This no shower thing kinda kinks up the works as it means that there will be days when I cannot practice because there is no shower. Given that the studio is directly centered between my house and my office, there is no zero chance of me grabbing a morning class before going in to work.

But I’ll get over myself. Maybe.

Anyways, first day there I went in and took the class. I was aware of what to generally expect, but I was not prepared for the true butt-kicking that ensued. The studio offers 60 and 90-minute hot flow classes. Since I was new, I thought I would start with the 60-minute. I assumed it wouldn’t be much of a challenge. I was terribly wrong.

The class was a blur of me trying to keep up and doing about one million downward facing dogs. The class was also hot – like really hot. Truthfully, I have been there for three weeks now, and I have zero complaints about the heat and humidity.

By the time I got home from class, 15 minutes later, I was already sore and starving (and it was about 10:30 am). I pondered skipping class the next day, but then I remembered that going to class while sore, at least with Bikram, tended to be a good thing. Yes, the class might suck, but I would feel better afterwards.

Nope.

All the second class (still 60 minutes) did was kick my butt again and add new places where I was sore.

During the first two weeks, I would periodically have to take a day off from being sore/so damn worn out, and that was just from doing mostly 60 minute classes.

On the weekends, I decided to try the 90 minute classes. Let’s just say, I am starting to get better at them but initially they felt like they were 1000 hours long and full of never ending push-ups leading me back into downward dog.

Now, three weeks in, I can say that I am getting the hang of it. I am starting to figure out what I don’t know and need help with. Things are less confusing. I also know that this yoga is killing my calves and my arms. A recent trip for a massage resulted in him spending 25 minutes trying to undo the mess that was in my right calf and learning my arms were filled with lactic acid (“Do you hear that?” he asked me. “Your arms are filled with lactic acid!”). I blame the down dog.

It’s challenging. It’s different. I’m loving it.

But the music. I am not sure I will ever understand why we need music in yoga class. Here are my pet peeves with it:

  • it seems like a distraction. if I want to, I can tune in to the music and checkout from everything else. I think the music helps create a disconnect between the mind and the body.
  • i cannot hear!!!!! or, should I say, all i can hear is music! some instructors are difficult to hear over the music. this is not bikram. there is no dialogue. the class is different every time even if taught by the same instructor. it is important that i be able to hear. some instructors just don’t amplify their voices enough.

So that’s it. My beef with music in yoga class.

And now, for me, the question is what to do with this blog? If I’m not going back to Bikram yoga anytime soon, then I can’t really have a blog called My Bikram Yoga Life. It’s not that I would never take a Bikram class again or go back to the practice at some point. It’s just that this is where my life has lead me and, for now, I am happy with where I have landed.

I’ve had a good six weeks to think about this. Rest assured that I have some thoughts, and I’m starting to move in the direction of making some decisions and feeling good about them. I’ll have some announcements soon.

Three Years Ago Today on MBYL

Two Years Ago Today on MBYL

One Year Ago Today on MBYL

Retro Throwback: Recovering From My Hiatus

On Sundays, please enjoy the Retro Throwback where I share my favorite posts from some time ago.

Not too long ago, I wrote about how I had taken a 10-day hiatus from my practice. The thing about taking a hiatus is I eventually had to go back to class.

I went in on Day 1 with a good attitude. I had intended to go to the afternoon class (wasn’t sure about my hydration) but a schedule change forced me into the morning. So I went with no expectations and kept an eye on things given my concern about my lack of water intake.

Class 1 was ok. It wasn’t awful. It wasn’t awesome. I sat out a couple of postures here and there, but I was back. It went better than I expected.

So Class 2, which I took the next day, should be fine, right? Well, as is the case with Bikram yoga, if there’s one thing we’re all gonna learn it’s to have no expectations.

expectations1

I walked in the class and immediately felt like I might die. So I went to the lobby until the last possible minute. By the end of the first set of the first breathing exercise (so let’s say we’re five minutes into the class), I had made a giant puddle all over my mat and was considering sitting out for the next 85 minutes.

I’m not even joking. I had to barter with myself so I wouldn’t sit down during the second set of the first breathing exercise. It went something like this:

Ok…you are probably gonna die in this class today, but at least stay standing until party time. You can make it through party time. After party time you have permission to skip the rest of class. For the love of God try to remain upright for the warm-up series even if you have to come out of a posture early.

I somehow made it through party time without sitting down, and I believed I had made a serious accomplishment. I think I deserved applause. And let’s not even talk about the state of my mat by the end of party time. It was basically a giant slip and slide.

I sorta tried to do the one-legged balancing postures. I think I started sitting down in standing bow, but then I had this insane idea that I should keep getting back up. By triangle I was out. I just sat there and breathed. I was good with that.

I managed to do wind removing, and I turned over on my stomach for spine-strengthening. I quickly realized I was delusional if I thought I was going to do spine-strengthening. I turned over onto my back and laid in savassanah. I’m not sure how much of the rest of the floor series I did, but you can bet I skipped camel and rabbit.

But I made it. I stayed in the room. I didn’t die. I worked out whatever needed to be worked out. Then I crawled out into the hallway and propped myself against the wall. I remember people speaking to me, but who they were and what they said has long left my brain. I can’t be expected to retain anything after a class like that.

Here’s the beauty of it all – Day 3, 4, and most of 5 (I’ll write about 5 in another post) were spectacular. Really strong and very enjoyable classes. By Days 6 and 7 I was falling back into the normal it’s a class, it was fine kind of thing.

In the end, if you’ve had a hiatus, all I can say is that at some point you have to face the music and walk back in that room. I’m not saying you’ll have a bad class. I’m not saying you’ll have a great class. You’ll go in and have whatever class you will have. So don’t be afraid. If anything, be excited to get back in the hot room and see what it brings.

Favorite Things: Kosha Covers

Recently, I got invited to try out a several new products from Kosha. The main draw was the chance to try out an item called a mat cover. It looks like this:

020

 

The idea behind the mat cover is simple: You take your standard sized rubber mat and place it inside the cover. There is a zipper on the backside of the cover (about halfway down) that allows the mat to remain enclosed and stable. Once you have your mat inside, you do your practice on top of the mat cover. No towel needed!

022

Zips across the back of the cover.

Now, I’ve tried out various products that don’t require towels. At the time I was asked to review this I was already using a mat that did not require a towel at all. So while the idea of not having to use a towel may appeal to some, that wasn’t the big draw for me. Kosha made some claims about their mat cover that really excited me. They were:

  • anti-bacterial
  • odor-resistant
  • water absorbent
  • slip-resistant
  • machine washer/dryer safe
  • eco-friendly

All of these appealed to me, and I was very interested about the odor-resistant claim. While I do have several mats that do not require a towel (and one that I am only supposed to wash one-two days per week), they all stink at some level. Even the one that I am not supposed to wash every day always gets a little funky.

I was very excited then to try to make my Kosha mat stink. In fact, my number one goal was to make this mat cover stink.

In talking with Ash, the founder of Kosha, my initial understanding was that I could practice on the mat for about seven classes before taking the over off and washing it. I spent the entire week set up in the swamp section of the room. As luck would have it, I was practicing during a heat wave which resulted in the room being anywhere from 105-110 degrees and 40-50% humidity.

I sweated all over that mat cover.

For the first few classes, I found that the cover absorbed buckets and buckets of my sweat. It was also not smelling. Each day I would return to the studio and sniff my mat (actually I would inhale it). At some point I started asking other people to smell it. I’m sure everyone thought this was very strange. But it really didn’t smell!

Around class four or five, I started noticing puddles forming on my mat. By class seven I was laying in a small river. The mat cover still did not smell.

I shared my experience with the puddling with Ash who responded:

I have had one other person tell me before how the cover would start to puddle, and I too noticed that on mine, but that was when I once waited 2 weeks to wash it. I believe with people who sweat a lot (or like you being in a part of the room to make yourself sweat as much as possible to test 🙂 ) than washing needs to be every 2-3 days because of the level of coating we use. When the other person who told me that and myself started washing after 2-3 sessions, we did not have the problem anymore. 
1. When did you notice the puddling? On day 3 and than continued to stay puddle for the rest of the days? 
The absorbency has to do with the coating, we used a level 3 for our covers to satisfy the masses. We are going to come out with a level 4/5 for people who sweat a lot more soon to help with that problem! 
So, with the above in mind I went back for a seven day retest. This time around, the heat wave had ended and class was at it’s normal 105/40%. I still practiced in the swamp though. This time I wasn’t interested in trying to get the mat to stink (I had given up on that), and was focused more on the puddling issue.
Under normal Bikram conditions, I did not notice any puddling until the end of class five. Even then, it was very slight. I washed the cover and the puddling stopped. My conclusion is that Ash was right. If you notice a puddle at the end of class, just take it home and wash it and then it will go back to not puddling. You should be able to get at least four solid classes out of it before having to wash it. And no, I never got the mat cover to stink.
Other Things I Loved
While my main goal was to make the cover stink, it never started to smell. That’s awesome! But here are some other great things you should know about it:
  • once the rubber mat is inside the cover, you do not have to worry about it. it will not get wet. I know, I unzipped mine in the middle of class to check. even when I had the puddling issue, the mat still did not get wet.
  • washing and drying the cover are super simple. The cover can be washed in any kind of washer because it just folds up and goes in like a towel.
  • it will not bang the crap out of your washer and dryer. it’s far too light to do any damage
  • you can clean your cover between sessions. I explained to Ash that I had the studio clean and store my mat and she said:

Yes, it is okay if the studio sprays down the cover as long as the spray does not have bleach or harsh chemicals in them (they will destroy the product’s longevity). All of our products can be spot cleaned with only soap and water, or natural oils, in between washings.

Ash also said that you can hang the mat to dry, and it will typically dry within an hour. I didn’t know that because I spoiled myself with a mat cleaning service.

Some More Fun Facts

I haven’t said much about the eco-friendly aspect of the mat cover. Probably because I was so hung up on the fact that I couldn’t get it to smell! In creating the cover, Kosha worked with a company that would not bring any harm to the environment. In discussing their approach to creating the cover, the Kosha web site states:

Kosha fabric is a bamboo polyester blend.   Besides being a natural resource, we also choose to use our trademarked fabric for the following reasons:
1. Kosha fabric   is highly water-absorbent taking in 3-4 times more moisture than cotton.
2. Kosha fabric is a natural fiber, meaning it has been grown without the use of pesticides and herbicides.
3. Kosha fabric is very lightweight and strong.
4. Both the bottom fabric and coating are highly specialized and free of toxic chemicals.

It’s a bamboo/polyester blend (read even more here)!While this is great for the reasons they cited, do you know what else is great about it? The mat cover is super soft. I had several people stand on the mat cover (and some who just wanted to fondle it!) and everyone agreed on the softness of it. Another nice thing I noticed is that the rubber mat inside the cover does not move at all once you get it in, and the cover does not bunch up or slip on the floor.

All my other mats bunch up to some extent. In fact, the one I had been using prior always bunched up during the warm-up series. I had this habit of jerking it back to straighten it out when we got to party time. I jerked my mat cover to straighten it out (out of habit) and the only thing that happened was I jerked the whole thing across the floor and looked rather silly. It didn’t need to be fixed at all.

My Conclusion

This mat cover may be the best thing since sliced bread. It is truly amazing. You can use it for days on end, and it will never smell. At all. Not even the tiniest bit. It’s super soft and easy to wash and dry. It doesn’t slip or bunch up. This is the first time I have never had an issue with my mat. It seems like I always have a slight issue – be it bunching or a slight odor after a few days – but this mat cover has taken all that away.

Want To Try It?
Interested in trying a Kosha mat cover? You can go here and grab one! You’ll notice that they have other products besides the cover. In two weeks, I’ll be sharing with you my experiences on using their mat bag and tote (LOVE!). Kosha sells the Ultimate Bikram Yoga Package which gives you all of this.
And good news! Kosha is giving you 20% off any and all of their products. Just use mybikramyogalife as your coupon code when you check out!
Enjoy!

Retro Throwback: Soon I’ll Only be able to Breathe

On Sundays, please enjoy the Retro Throwback where I share my favorite posts from some time ago.

I am going to have to own up to the fact that there are things far worse in life than doing stupid camel. I am also going to have to own up to the fact that maybe camel has actually taught me a thing or two.

Recently, I came down with a no good, horrible, very bad toothache. It was a tooth that, five years ago, had a root canal and a crown put on it. When I went to the dentist, the x-ray showed nothing. We agreed that in all likelihood it was cracked. It was going to need to come out and so off to the oral surgeon I went.

Before I could totally skip out of the dentist’s office though, he wanted to make an impression of my lower teeth (the tooth in question was on the top). Now, I’m in pain here. I showed up to the dentist first thing in the morning unable to talk without crying. I’m not exaggerating. I hate getting impressions done, but they needed it for whatever reason. No choice.

I told you I was awesome.

To conquer this moment, I found a spot on the wall to focus on. I actually said to myself, “Find someplace on the wall to look at just like you would in camel. Crap. Camel? Has camel just taught me something? Stupid camel.” But that’s what I did. I found my spot on the wall like I would in camel and breathed through it. It was fine. I even managed to relax a bit.

Then I got to skip on down to the oral surgeon who also thought the tooth was cracked. It needed to come out. Great. Once I understood the procedural aspects of it all can you guess what the first question was I asked? Right – Once the tooth is pulled, how long until I can get back to yoga?

He said I could literally go back the next day if I felt up to it, but he thought I probably wouldn’t be hydrated enough to do so. Good call on that one. Also, my car decided to blow up on July 2nd and I couldn’t get it back until the afternoon of the 5th so that pretty much just knocked yoga out for four days straight. But as soon as I get my car I will be back in class.

So for now, I’ve learned that camel may not be so bad. Yes, I hate doing it, but having a massive toothache is much worse. Plus, camel has also taught me how to focus in on things and breathe when I am uncomfortable so maybe it is ok. But the Universe? My friend the Universe still pretty much sucks what with the toothache and the car blowing up and what not.

Retro Throwback: My 10 Day Hiatus

On Sundays, please enjoy the Retro Throwback where I share my favorite posts from some time ago.

Recently I took a 10-day hiatus from my practice. On one hand, the reason for doing so was a very practical one – I was out of town on business. However, there was a studio in my area, and I could have practiced. It would have meant attending mostly 6:30 pm classes, but I could have gone. I decided though before I left that I was going to forgo class for those days.

What? Why?

Well, usually I take a vacation each year were there is no Bikram studio or simply no time to get to one. But I also think that taking a week or even two off a year (all at once) can be a good thing. I find it gives me a nice mental break. I’m not sure if the physical break is good or not, but the mental one seems to be good.

My back had also started to bother me again just before I left town. This was highly annoying. I had gone nearly two months without any back issues. I was still scaling back in my practice (no kicking out in SH2K; no rabbit; no sit-ups…etc…) so I knew I wasn’t pushing myself there in a way that should have hurt me. I thought taking a break might be a good thing.

hiatus

So how long do you think my break actually lasted?

Surprisingly, it lasted the entire 10 days. I *almost* went to class around Day Seven (and yes, I had brought some yoga clothes and my hydroflask with me just in case). One evening, I was out with some people in my group and someone said she did yoga. I mentioned I also did yoga, and the next thing I knew I had three people who had never, ever done Bikram yoga before saying they wanted to go to yoga.

How do you say no to that, right? You don’t. When people want to go to yoga you arrange a trip to yoga. I suggested we go to a 6:30 pm class on a day when I knew the instructor. The person teaching will occasionally teach classes at my studio, and I assured everyone she was very,  very nice. I instructed everyone about drinking water, eating right, etc…you know what you would normally tell a new person. I stressed that it wouldn’t be about doing the postures so much as it was about being present in the room.

So we were all set to go until the day before. On this day, I was asked by one of the organizers at the event I was at if I would take our guest speaker out for dinner on the day I was supposed to take everyone to yoga. Of course I had to say yes. I wanted to say yes. I felt bummed about the yoga, but I wasn’t in town to do yoga. I was in town for business, and I decided that my priorities had to shift to focus on my work while I was here. Besides, I liked the speaker we had coming in and wanted to take him out (I used the opportunity to go to an entirely vegan restaurant and it was awesome).

This meant I had to back out of yoga which meant no one in my group was now going to go to yoga. But hey, I took them all along to dinner so it wasn’t a total loss.

Unfortunately, we had planned our trip to yoga near the end of our travel, and our schedule didn’t allow for us to reschedule it. It was an opportunity lost.

By the end of my 10 days, I was looking forward to getting back in the studio, but I also found I had enjoyed my little stint away. Everyday I made time for a walk – usually lasting about 75 minutes. I found a nice trail near my hotel and enjoyed listening to the birds, seeing rabbits, and even a snake! My back got better, but I think it was from a trip to the spa and not the lack of yoga that did it.

I’m headed back from my 10-day hiatus, and looking forward to hitting the studio on Day 11. I’m curious to see what my practice will be like after being gone this long. It’s always different, and never what I might expect.

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