Hot room confessions

a snapshot into my Bikram yoga world

Archive for the month “October, 2013”

Form, frequency, and focus

My hubby and I get into conversations about the best way to practice for improvement. He is in music education, which means he has to teach kids how to practice their instruments. It never gets old how practicing well is key to music, sports, yoga, LIFE.

He reads books and articles about practicing. A lot are from famous coaches. At some point the three F’s came up. He didn’t come up with this. In fact we don’t remember where we got it from (oops). But when you practice _______ (guitar, golf, yoga, ukelele) you need to practice FREQUENTLY. This makes sense- in order to get better, you have to do _____ often. When you practice ____ you have to have good FORM. If you’re not practicing like you’re performing (like half-assing triangle because you’re tired) you’re not going to improve. When you practice ____ you have to FOCUS on what you’re doing. This is the mind aspect of practice I probably struggle with the most.

I didn’t think I had a focus problem until I put a couple events together. Most of which go something like a teacher pushing me to do something and my mind freaks out. I do the thing they ask and I’m amazed that I can do it. For example, during cobra one day the teacher (who knows my practice well) tells me to push up with my hands. I of course panic a second and then push up. She repeats to push up again and I do. This happened about three times I felt SO HIGH UP. Then I did it- I could hold my back up at that height and I had no idea! Now I go to that place every time in cobra. I had no idea that I could physically do cobra at that depth. My mind was telling me where to stop instead of my body.

Focus is definitely the hardest aspect of practice for me (hello I do have ADD).  I’ve got the frequency down no problem (this is a big one for a lot of people, everyone is short on time these days). I think I’m decent at form. I know the postures (def. not perfect). I try my best pretty much all the time (I’m sure not 100%, but really close).  It’s funny, my hubby and I were talking last night about how the teachers at my studio(s) really know their students. Somehow they know when I’m slacking vs. when I really need to take a break. They can tell- really! It seems like every time I’m feeling like slacking- I go into a posture way after the dialog, I take a knee when I don’t need to, etc. I totally get called out by the teacher. I appreciate it and I suck it up. I guess staring at you for 90 min. these teachers really know you and your limits (I love my teachers- they’re amazing).

Form, frequency, and focus: what do you need to work on in your ____ (harmonica, skiing, Putt-Putt, tap dacing, yoga)?

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Cold weather yoga

You know, doing yoga as it gets cooler outside is different from the blazing heat of Texas summers. We got our first cold front this week (highs in the 60s/70s). Doing yoga when the weather outside doesn’t match the weather in the hot room is different. It takes more time to warm up. The warm up part of the class is when my body gets used to the heat. I’m not sweating immediately as I walk into the room. My back and hamstrings are tighter. I’m less flexible overall.

This week has been a good reminder that each day is different and you should approach each day (and yoga class) without preconceived ideas based on your past and accept it for what it is. Just like life 😉

Happy Friday!

Cynthia Wehr

Cynthia Wehr has been around our studio the past couple of days. I’m excited to say that I will make it to a class she is teaching tonight!

I’ve stalked her on youtube and seen how beautiful her practice is. I’ve heard people around the studio talk about how amazing her classes are. I’ve heard that not only is she a great teacher, but that she has remained modest and grounded despite added publicity of winning yoga championships- what an amazing sounding yogi!

Even though I’m exhausted from staying out late seeing The Book of Mormon last night I’m SUPER EXCITED about yoga tonight!

Here is a youtube clip from USA Yoga’s championship this year. What an inspiration!

How yoga ruined my life

And by ruined, I mean changed and improved my life! I read this post earlier this week that contains this video:

Although it’s a little more meditative than I tend to be, it is totally true!  Now I don’t have a job that requires me to be aggressive and cut throat, but I can spread my toes out pretty well and have less patience for shoes that don’t give my toes room!

In honor of the anniversary of my very first Bikram yoga class (sometime in October 2006*) I’m going to list some of the things that yoga has ‘ruined’ for me:
  • I’m constantly trying to fit life into my yoga practice. When my mom wants to go shopping on Saturday, the first thing that pops into my mind is what time will I be able to get to yoga. I don’t really go to happy hour anymore- I can’t get  to yoga before and I certainly wouldn’t go AFTER happy hour!
  • I’m not nearly as interested in buying regular clothes, I’d rather spend money on yoga clothes. Think about it, those 90 minutes are when I’m looking at myself. I want to like what I’m wearing!
  • Makeup: I don’t wear makeup as much. I don’t like having to take it off before yoga! Sometimes I’m running from school to the studio and don’t want to take the time to get all the makeup off. PLUS it saves me 10 minutes every morning!
  • I can’t sit still: this has always been a problem for me. But now that I practice most days, I have less patience for sitting. I can feel that my back is tight. I hate having to curve forward when working on my computer. The video above talks about plane rides- SO TRUE! I can’t stand to sit for that long. After getting off a long plane ride I HAVE to stretch.
  • Lotion: I don’t use lotion anymore. If you’ve practiced Bikram, you know how slimy and slippery you get when you sweat if you put lotion on at any point that day! You can’t grip your feet, legs, hands. It’s SO ANNOYING! In the winter when the heater makes my hands so dry I do use hand lotion (not anytime near my yoga class). Certain lotions are less slimy than others:  Origins ginger lotion (hand and body) and Burt’s Bees Honey hand lotion.
  • Cooking: I don’t cook anymore. I get home from evening yoga too late! My wonderful hubby cooks. And when he has to work at night? I don’t cook. We use the slow cooker, leftovers, scrambled eggs, salad. Things I can make in a flash when I come home starving from yoga.
  • General conversations end up with me talking about yoga. I can relate anything to yoga. If you hate yoga, you probably shouldn’t talk to me. My hubby and I had to spend about 6 hours in the car yesterday, we talked about yoga at least 2 hours of it. It related to teaching science, marching band rehearsals, weight loss, confidence. I can bring it into ANY conversation.

How has your yoga ‘ruined’ your left?

* Disclaimer, it has been 6 years since my first Bikram yoga class but there’s been plenty of time in those 6 years I didn’t go to yoga for months, a year. I think that the longest gap was about 15 months when we got married and moved far away from my studio. So I haven’t been PRACTICING for six years. It’s just been six years. When people ask how long I say a few years. Probably pretty accurate!

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