My View on Competition

Last week, I wrote about how I was thinking about competing again thanks to being introduced to Bird of Paradise by one of my Yoga Buddy. Just being able to kinda sorta do that posture made me so happy and thinking about competing.

But in no way am I interested in spending massive amounts of time training to compete. If I do this, I’m doing it purely to get up and show where I am with each posture.

It’s not that I wouldn’t do some extra work or anything. I probably would – maybe. I make no promises. And for sure I would practice my routine. But I’ve shifted in my thinking about competition. For me, it’s an opportunity to go onstage and show people my practice. Maybe it will move someone to want to try yoga for the first time or introduce someone to a posture the way my Yoga Buddy introduced me to Bird of Paradise.

Maybe I'll do Camel in my routine. Ha ha. No I won't.

Maybe I’ll do Camel in my routine. Ha ha. No I won’t.

I started looking through the rules and trying to decide what postures I would do if I competed. And then I thought, you know, just stop it. Just go on about your practice. I mean, yes, practice Bird of Paradise (because it’s fun!) and, yes, think about what postures I might do, but let’s not stress over this. The whole reason I thought about doing it again in the first place was because doing Bird of Paradise was just so darn fun.

So, will I compete? I dunno. Probably. The odds are high, but I have a general rule in place (meaning I can break it if I want to, but it’s kinda my line in the sand). It has to be local. I’m not interested in driving across the state and spending a night or two to make it happen. As much fun as it might be, I don’t think it’s spend several hundred dollars kind of fun.

For now, I just want to mess around with Bird of Paradise and have fun. That’s more than enough.

One Year Ago Today on MBYL

Two Years Ago Today on MBYL

Three Years Ago Today on MBYL

I Can Do Anything

Guess what? I can do anything, and so can you. Know why? Because we practice Bikram yoga! Seriously, think how challenging and difficult it is some days just to stay in that room, and yet we do it all the time for 90 minutes each time! And I’m telling you this because the next time you find yourself stuck in a situation that seems impossible/difficult/scary for whatever reason, you can remind yourself that you are strong. You can remember that this practice has made you the strong.

I realized this a couple of weeks ago when I found myself back in the dentist’s office. Last summer, I cracked a tooth and had to get it pulled. That wonderful journey is still not done yet. The whole process takes about a year. Now I’m at the point where I have had my implant put in, it has healed, and I needed to get a crown. If you’ve been through this process, you might wonder what happened to my temporary crown. Long story short, I got to skip that event and just go straight to the actual crown.

For this event, I had to go to my dentist who was going to make an impression to get the crown made. That was all that was supposed to happen.

But of course that is not all that happened.

One of my teeth next to my empty space had a filling on the side that needed to be shaved down a bit. So, the dentist explained that he was going to numb me and shave it down – with a drill.

I am terrified of the dentist. I use the one that I do not just because he’s good but because I can be sedated when he is drilling. But of course there would be no sedation today.

After a bit of back and forth (because I really didn’t want to do this while awake), he explained to me that it would take all of 90 seconds to do.

rp_Camel-Benefits-II-300x300.jpgHmmm….90 seconds….I can do anything for 90 seconds, right? I mean, stupid camel isn’t even 90 seconds and I sometimes do that. I can’t even remember the last time I left the yoga room during class, and if I did it was probably because I was sick or something… I can stay in that hot room for 90 minutes even when I am having a miserable, hard, no-good day. I even practiced when my tooth was cracked, infected, and I was in pain before I could get to the dentist. That was pretty horrid.

I am scared of drilling going on in my mouth. I recognized that fear, recognized that this was something I was going to have to do, and came to the conclusion that doing anything for 90 seconds was actually a piece of cake compared to yoga.

So I did it. I mean, I kinda had to anyways, but I calmed myself down. I found a spot on the wall, just like I am told to do in camel, focused on it, and breathed. And I remembered to breathe through my nose because it will keep me calm. Who knew yoga had this many skills I could apply in a dentist’s office?

I got through it. It was not fun at all. But I did it. I remembered I was strong. I remembered that my practice had helped me get strong. And your practice has done the same for you.

One Year Ago Today on MBYL

Two Years Ago Today on MBYL

Three Years Ago Today on MBYL

Go to Yoga!!!!

Mark, my long-distance yoga buddy over at Do the Posture, Please!! had a great post back in May called Go to Yoga!! It’s one of my favorite posts ever. Why? Because first of all it’s all true, and second it’s totally inspiring.

I needed some inspiration and reminders that going to class is a good thing. I had a bit of a sucky summer.

Why did my summer stink? Here are a few answers:

1. It was a bit on the cool side temperature wise outside this year. Go to yoga!! At least it’s hot in there

2. I had an infected tooth that had to be pulled. Go to yoga!! Go before and after that sucker gets pulled.

3. The water pump on my car exploded. Go to yoga!! Oh wait…I have no car…ok… Go for a walk!!

4. Sweet Maximum passed away at the age of 12. Go to yoga!! Work through the emotions that come up.

Camel loves you

Camel loves you

5. I was broke from all the money spent on my tooth and my car. Go to yoga!! It’s already paid for.

6. I have to watch what I do because of my backGo to yoga!! Smile because sometimes I honestly can’t do triangle or camel.

At the end of the day, I was always glad I chose to go to yoga. Do you know what is worse than going to yoga when you are having a rough time? Not going at all.





Two Years Ago Today on MBYL

A Coke for a Camel

Turns out I can be bribed to do an entire set of camel if you will pay me in soda.  I would possibly do it for chocolate or dinner or the chance to not have to do camel the next day. Point is – I will do camel today, right this minute, if you will offer me up anything.

I’m not sure how I got started down the path of doing camel for bribes (ok…just one bribe). I think it’s because if you know me, you know I don’t do camel 50% of the time. Ok, fine, 75% of the time. Whatever. I don’t do camel is the point, and when I do it I rarely hold it the entire time.

There’s a very simple reason why I don’t do/hold camel.

But camel still loves you.

But camel still loves you.

I hate camel.

And honestly, that’s a good enough reason for me.

But I have an instructor who, you know, is trying to encourage me to do camel. And so she offered me – no, she bribed me – to do a set of camel in it’s entirety in exchange for baklava.

Tweet: Let’s do a 1-minute #camel! #bikramyoga

That sounds weird, right?

Well, it doesn’t if you know that I have this habit of going to the restaurant next door to the studio and buying baklava before class. Yep. And I eat it 10-15 minutes before class starts, and it doesn’t bother me at all. It is the perfect snack just before the 4:30 class.

So the instructor offered me baklava, but I traded it in for a diet coke. Why? Because nothing tastes better than a diet coke after class! And I know y’all know what I’m talking about. Because even if a diet coke after class isn’t your thing, I bet you have something that you love to have after class (besides a shower). In my own scientific study of talking to random people in the studio, I have concluded that most people enjoy carbonated beverages of some sort after class. We agree that there is something about the carbonation that tastes extra good after a particularly difficult class.

Tell me, what do you enjoy after a difficult class? What is your special post class yoga treat? How can we bribe you to do that posture you hate?

Two Years Ago Today on MBYL

Saturday with Joseph

Oh my goodness, where do I even begin? Let me just start by saying that spending a day with Joseph is well worth your time. He’s amazing, nice, funny, smart, and an incredible yogi.

If this man shows up in your town by all means go see him.

I sat up in the third row near the podium. I had a good spot. I had some fan access, but not too much. I also had a great view of where he would be. Then it came time for class to start, and Joseph really, really wanted someone to move their mat over to the left of the podium next to him. No one moved a muscle. Finally, after the question had been posed a good three times I just got up and moved. I have learned that in class I am usually the person who will get up and do whatever it is that needs to be done. I am happy to give other people the chance to do it first, but if no one volunteers I’ll do it.

This is how I ended up spending a great deal of time with my butt literally parked right next to Joseph. I was sooo close to him that at times he just leaned over and gave me corrections. Other times he flung his sweat on me. I am ok with all of that.

Joseph gave us an overview of the day. I have been to two other seminars (Mary Jarvis & Craig Villani). Both Mary and Craig separate the class apart from the posture seminar. So with Mary, we had a grueling three hour class and then posture clinic. With Craig it was the other way around.

That’s not how Joseph does things.

Joseph embeds posture clinic into the class. So this means you do one set of something and then talk about it. Usually he watched what we did as a class with first set and then directed his posture commentary on what he thought we could most benefit from. He also made individual corrections and helped people out who asked for it. We sat down when he was giving commentary of offering demonstrations.

This made for a longer class. The good news is that he requested the heat be lowered (not turned off but lowered), that we have the fans on during class, and that doors be propped open now and then. I guess the heat was lowered. I couldn’t tell. My mat was drenched.

Anybody want to guess how long class was? We started right on time at 10:00. At 10:45 we were headed into the second set of half-moon. Yes, you heard me. Class was over at 1:40. That’s 3 hours and 40 minutes folks.

He did give demonstrations during and after class. During class he would have students do demonstrations and talk about form and what they (or anyone of us) might want to pay attention to. He also demonstrated postures from the beginning series and talked through them. I got to demonstrate two postures. The first was Standing-Separate-Leg Stretching Pose. I got the honor of demonstrating this posture because I asked a question about it.

In my version of the pose, I start out by grabbing my heels like we’re told. But, to get my head to the floor I have to wiggle my legs apart. When I start moving my legs farther and father apart my hands start to slide towards my toes. My question: Should I not worry about getting my head to the floor so my hands can stay on my heels?

The answer: According to Joseph I am perfectly capable of keeping my hands on my heels and getting my head to the floor. It’s a matter of using my arm strength more and doing a better job of engaging my quads. I understand what he said. I don’t think I can explain it well here.

After learning how to do all this, Joseph asked me to demonstrate. Since I LOVE this posture (for real!), I had no problem. I asked the question anyways because I seriously love the pose and want it to be better. I did not, for example, ask questions during triangle. So I did it in front of him and everyone, he helped me by walking me through what he had just explained to me, and it worked! Then we all did the posture again, his advice worked again, and he gave me even more corrections. I got to do three sets of one of my favorite postures!

Later, I got to do four sets of camel when I was asked to demonstrate it (boo! Four sets of camel!). The camel demonstration is a different story. It gets it’s own post. There’s a picture that goes with it that I am waiting to get.

After class, we had about a half hour break (during which Joseph took a short break and then worked with some people individually – the guy is amazing). Then we headed back to hear Joseph’s story of how he came to yoga, and he did a demonstration followed by a Q&A. I won’t go into his story. It’s really something you should hear for yourself. I will however, leave you with a picture from his demonstration:

So, how do I plan to spend my Sunday? More Joseph! Today he is teaching the 9:00 class (standard 90 minute class), then competitors get to do a Fight Club with him. I was already exhausted last night. Today may kill me, but I’ll die happy.