Hot room confessions

a snapshot into my Bikram yoga world

Archive for the month “May, 2013”

Veggie Tales Part II

I’m 20 days into my 30 days of vegetarianism. It’s been a breeze- except for eating out. There have been a couple times that I’ve been at a restaurant and had only one or two options- both suck.

This week I checked out a menu before going to the restaurant. I didn’t like their two veggie options so I  ate beforehand. It was a little weird to only have a beer as all my other friends were eating, but at least I wasn’t grumpy about having crap options to eat! Other times I’ve sucked it up and eaten something that I didn’t really want to eat.

But eating veggie at home has been awesome!!!!! My hubby grumbles sometimes, but he’s really being a sport to keep his meat from what we’re collectively eating. I, on the other hand have really been looking forward to these vegetarian meals. I enjoy them more than ones with meat. It’s like the focus of the meal changes from the meat to the veggies. We’ve been having fun trying new things and experimenting with different dishes.

My hubby has discovered he likes making frittatas. I’ve made them before, but I guess not around my hubby. They’re great and quick for when we’re both coming in hungry from yoga. The possibilities are endless! Last night we made a broccolini (never cooked with it), poblano, and hashbrowns (the frozen kind- we’re lazy), and onion. We had some green onion and cheddar in our fridge that went on top. It was go good I had seconds.

Right now I’ve been eating eggs probably twice a week. Is that a good idea? They are a little high in cholesterol… But they’re quick, protein filled, and good!

Now that I’m 2/3 into my experiment let me reassess why I did this:

  • General feeling better: my GI tract is more happy. But overall I already usually felt good, so aside from looking more forward to dinners, no huge improvement in general health.
  • Yoga: Eh, I’m having a great week this week, but I think it’s just the yoga cycle. I’m balancing better during the standing series (I’m gonna get you standing bow!).

Ending early: I’m going to have to end my veggie experiment early since we’re going to NEW ORLEANS next weekend. There’s no way I’m going to NOLA without noshing on some serious seafood! I’ll have to end at 26 days. But the food will be totally worth it. Jambalaya, gumbo, crawfish, mmmmmm!


Life vs. Yoga

As the school year comes to an end there’s a lot of socializing that goes on. People want to meet for happy hour, or go to concerts, or go out late for birthdays. I like socializing, it’s just that sometimes it interferes with my yoga! Most people do not get at all.  I mean, how do you explain to someone you’re not going to go to the end of year happy hour because you need (want) to go to yoga 6 times a week?

Socializing can also be expensive and also usually involves eating and drinking bad things….

Wednesday: I was able to fit both in (I had to eat before going to the b-day party since the restaurant had no decent veggie options).

Thursday: life wins (going to end of year happy hour)

Friday: yoga wins (After yoga I’ll be going to a handbell concert. Nothing says first night of summer like handbells!)

It’s all about balance right?

Jeanne Heaton Part II

Here’s Jeanne Heaton with some of the leaders of Pure Action!

What an amazing woman! I left yoga Saturday so inspired and motivated! I was so humbled by the people around me.

Before I start about my Saturday I need to rewind a bit. My studio owners have started a nonprofit called Pure Action -you should check out their website. I believe what they’re doing is important, especially with their community outreach programs. Mardy goes out to an assisted living center and a rehab center to teach yoga classes. I think that these under-served populations could really benefit from yoga! It is Pure Action that brought Jeanne Heaton to our studio; the donations from her class went to Pure Action. (If you can’t tell I dig Pure Action)

Back to Saturday, before class we gathered together to hear Jeanne to give a talk. She talked about her downward spiral into drug abuse and the path she took to recovery. She then spent time talking about her first few Bikram classes after finishing rehab. She talked about how every time she went to class she’d tell herself it was her last- that she would never come back. But she kept coming back. Everyday.

I think we all feel that way some days. Something that she said really resonated with me:  we’re all born good. We’re born with values or morals. It comes in the form of  an inner voice. We all need to listen to that inner voice.  She talked about how during her drug use that she didn’t listen to her inner voice. She ignored it. Yoga helped her to listen to that voice.

Although I’m not addicted to drugs, I know the inner voice she’s talking about! That 90 minutes of undisturbed Bikram yoga I go to almost everyday is a time for that inner voice to speak and to tell me what I should do (or not do). It givs me peace and calm.

Here’s a couple other great comments:

  • Nothing you’ve done is unforgivable- nothing
  • Feeling are just feelings- everyone has them. Acknowledge them and move on.
  • Just come back!
  • Listen to your inner voice (had to mention that one again)
  • Most people have addictions (drugs, alcohol, food, etc. ). That’s not unique.
  • Yoga should be a fellowship and community that you can belong to and be welcomed into

After the talk we took her class. What a positive and motivating woman! It was raining that morning so the class was not only packed but HUMID! She pushed just hard enough and gave those words of encouragement at the right time. She has that perfect balance!

After class I figured out that there were about 15 women taking class from a rehab center. These women went through a tough Bikram class with all the other things going on in their bodies!?!? That’s AMAZING! What motivated and wonderful women they are! Only two had to leave for a few minutes. They were all rock stars in that class!!!

I was so inspired by the whole morning.  It was uplifting, inspiring, challenging, and empowering all at the same time. You should have been there!

Jeanne Heaton

I’m excited! My studio is hosting Jeanne Heaton this morning. If you haven’t read her article about how Bikram yoga has changed her life, you should. It’s very inspiring. Probably one of the first articles I read when I started to get serious about Bikram.

She’s giving a presentation then teaching a class. AND it’s rainy and muggy outside- my favorite yoga weather! Can you tell by my sunny outlook that there’s only four more days of school left?

Pet Peeve: Yoga Drama Queens

I’m going to complain today. One pet peeve of mine are people that are dramatic in class. You know what I’m talking about- those people that want to make sure everyone knows they’re working their butts off.

It’s that guy that falls out of standing knee by flailing his arms out everywhere. It’s the guy that makes noises (grunting, breathing CRAZY loud, sighing, etc.). It’s the guy that falls onto the mat next to his during standing bow. It’s that guy that has to guzzle (loudly) his water during triangle.

The only thing I can figure is that these drama queens need everyone in the room to know how hard they’re working (as if we weren’t working just as hard). I understand that it’s not very Zen yoga of me to let these people irk me…. but sometimes it happens!

Not to offend anyone, but I also feel like most drama queen yogis are men. Why is that?? I was sandwiched between two of these men last night. It was my goal to not let these drama queens steal my Zen. It also made me determined not to fall out of anything. It somewhat worked! Three out of 4 standing bows I held almost the whole time without falling out (that’s my nemesis pose right now).

My McRib

I’ve been battling an ongoing injury since mid January. First I thought I pulled an intercostal muscle, then I thought it was a lat.  I had no idea what I had done. It hurt to move, to even breath deeply!  Man did it hurt! The only thing that made it feel better was yoga and epsom baths.  You never realize how often you use your back until it hurts (remember this is allergy season and sneezing was the WORST).

Then I did it again in mid March! More  of the intense pain for about a week that improved with yoga.

The THIRD time in late April was the last straw. I clearly had a issue that I was unable to resolve on my own. I made an appointment with a friend’s orthopedic doctor but couldn’t get an appointment for several days.  In the mean time  my lovely friend D came over and gave my back a rub and to hopefully relieve some pain. As she was rubbing she actually popped something. Something in my back popped  like a knuckle would pop. Immediately I could take a breath without serious pain. She could visibly see my rib lay back down with the rest of them. My back was still in pain, but I could at least breathe!

A few days later (and feeling less awful) I  finally had my appointment with the orthopedic doctor. He told me I had a dysfunctional thoracic rib. This evidently means my rib was popping out of it’s joint with my spine. Which means that pop was D popping my rib back into place- GROSS. The Dr wasn’t interested in answering any of my questions as to how I’d done this or how to prevent it. He slapped me with orders for physical therapy and sent me on my way.

Thank God PT has been able to answer all of my questions AND help me get a plan together to fix this! The injury confirmed my belief that everything in my body is connected. The left side thoracic rib issue is related to my left hip tightness which is related to my tweaky left knee.  All these little issues I’ve been having really boil down posture and thoracic spine/hip flexibility.

I’ve always had below average posture; I blame it on being 6 feet tall. My mom would be giving me a big I told you so- good thing I’m not going to tell her 😉

I’ve only been three times and here’s what I’ve learned:

First Trip: My left hip is tight- tilts forward and upwards. This causes a twist in my lower spine. This leads to my ribs being more twisted or pulled apart on my left side = McRib! The physical therapist worked on evening out my hips and loosening my thoracic spine.

Second Trip: More hip leveling but also more focus on posture. I need to strengthen my mid back and lower abs. Ugh ab exercises.

Third Trip: More posture but I also worked my gaining flexibility in my thoracic spine. I’m really flexible in my lower and upper back, so most of the hour was spent trying to keep upper and lower back still and trying to isolate my mid back. I had an epiphany!!! The reason I can’t touch my chin to my shoulder in standing bow pulling pose  is my mid back inflexibility!?!?!

Standing bow pulling pose has been one of ‘those’ postures for me for quite a few months. It’s that posture I’m hating right now (I know I know, that means I need to do it most….). It’s so freaking hard to get right!! I feel like whenever I get my hips level I can’t go down very far. And then I try to touch my shoulder to my chin I go all crooked. Let’s not talk about forgetting to lock my knee!! For the love of GOD I can’t get it right. Which means I’m always getting called out in class in this posture. Standing bow my arch nemesis.

I have a new goal: get my freaking thoracic spine moving more so I can conquer freaking standing bow!


How can something inspiring be a little crushing at the same time?

This morning I got to practice next to one this countries’ best yogis- Afton. I love Afton, she’s an amazing teacher and super nice outside the hot room. She has the most beautiful practice. Since she’s getting ready for the international competition, she’s taking tons of class.

I practiced next to her in beginner, sneaking peaks in the mirror when I could. Such an inspiration! After a 30 minute break we’re back in the room for advanced. First off, advanced is extremely difficult. I’m being nice to myself when I say I can do maybe 25% of it. I’ve had plenty of classes that end up being very negative for me. I’m sure this happens to everyone-“I’ll never be able to do this” “I’m terrible”, “why do I spent all this time doing this when I’m so bad”. Such negative energy! I’ve worked on staying positive, even a teacher pointed out that I’m judging myself against the best yogis, and that it’s OK to be imperfect in advanced (being the bottom of the top kind of thinking). I get it- and I’ve really been positive in my thinking for a while now. But seeing how someone can bend that way and do it so gracefully can be a little defeating.

I was so inspired this morning and a little defeated at the same time. Does that mean it all evens out?

On a side note, RT is out all afternoon and you know what I’ve done after my yoga marathon this morning? Read outside, eat a smoothie (22 to go),  epsom salt bath, and now I’m wearing a face-mask and drinking homemade iced green tea with lemon and looking at beautiful yoga pictures online! Guilty pleasures!

Veggie Tales

Today is day 7 of the veggie/detox smoothie challenge. Oddly enough the no meat thing is no biggie. It’s the detox smoothie that sucks! I’ve been making a smoothie for breakfast for a while already. My smoothies are pretty healthy- spinach, flax seed, rice protein powder, banana, blueberry, and almond/coconut milk. And they’re delicious! I’ll mix it up and trade almond butter or some avocado in for something else. YUMMY!

This detox smoothie contains two powders that came in the mail (a green one and a protein based one). I’m supposed to mix those with almond milk and ice. BARF! It tastes terrible! And I’m hungry all morning. 23 more days of this is going to be though.

First, should I add fruit to the smoothie? After all, I’m not really going to weight loss in the detox so does it matter if I add some calories and flavor?

I made quinoa this week. I’ve made it before and loved it. My hubby’s not wild about it. I played the vegetarian card and made it. Mixed in some onions, garlic, local kale, corn, and peas and topped with feta cheese.  DELICIOUS! Hubby didn’t feel the same.  I will have to find another idea to get RT into quinoa!

Has my yoga changed with the diet change? I can’t tell yet. I’ve had some hard classes this week and I feel like I fared well in the heat and humidity. Only time will tell!

I’m excited about tomorrow- I’m taking advanced class!  My rib and back are feeling almost 100%.  This means I’ll take the 9:30 beginner class followed with 11:30 advanced. Hopefully the smoothie for breakfast doesn’t wreck my practice!


One small thing that’s huge in Bikram yoga is stillness. Your movements should be concise and accurate without a bunch of extra movement or drama. Save your energy for the postures. You shouldn’t: fight with your costume (clothes), fix your hair, or wipe sweat between postures. Here’s the catch- I am a fidgety person. I have to be doing something all the time: tapping my foot, playing with my hair, picking at my fingernails.

I feel like I do a decent job at stillness in most classes. It gets difficult to for me to be still in a tough class. I mean those classes that feel SO hot and SO humid you think you’re going to die (love those classes BTW). I’ve had several tough classes in a row. It is so hard for me not to fidget! When I’m pushing and I’m uncomfortable, my hair and sweat drives me insane! As if fixing it will  make me feel magically better and ready to rock the next pose? I know I shouldn’t, but in the moment that doesn’t matter. MUST…. WIPE….. SWEAT!!!

On the flipside, people to fidget too much can kind of drive me insane. Which isn’t very Zen yoga of me either.  Kind of a catch-22.

Today’s class will be tough. My goal is to not fidget, no matter how badly I want to!


As I was waiting for class to start yesterday morning, I spent a few minutes on my mat thinking about my mom (it was Mother’s Day after all). I remembered when I brought my mom to Bikram, I think it was maybe 2006? She already attended room temp. yoga pretty regularly. I thought she may like the extra flexibility that the heated room gives.

BOY WAS I WRONG! She hated it. She STILL talks about how much she hated it. Sorry Mom! She hated getting sweaty and working hard (aka not easy and relaxing).

I’ve had one other person outright hate the class: a fellow teacher. My teacher friend was fine with sweating and working hard. She didn’t like being “yelled at” (FYI, she totally never got yelled at).

Is there surefire way to predict who will like Bikram? I’ve brought my share of friends to Bikram with me.  I don’t make people come to Bikram with me. People are just interested! Most people that come with me say they liked it. Yet,  most people never come again.

Are all my friends that say they liked it just trying to be polite and really hate it on the inside? I agree that it takes someone a little crazy and intense to want to sweat to death doing yoga in a heated, humidified room!

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