Spring 2010 Bikram Yoga Challenge

Inspired by one certain favorite who also loves red heels and considers the thought of bringing snuggies into the hot room (!!!) LOL-hilarious, I too will blog my 30 60 day  33 day bikram yoga challenge (namaste b*tches) with an effort that will probably shape up somewhere between concise, cheeky, nerdy, irreverent and brutally honest.

Remember, Chogyam Rinpoche wrote, in his treatise on Shambhala (the art of the warrior's path), "For the warrior, every moment is a challenge to be genuine, and each challenge is deligtful."

TH, April 1 @ 7:45pm (tx dv)
It was, indeed, a triumphant rebirth. No joke. The first year out of a lifetime practice. I made plans to photograph the series to advance better. And never to go to the doctor again. Just kidding, kind of.


F, April 2 @ 5:30pm (tx dv)
Getting to the 5:30pm class on a Friday night is nothing short of a miracle. Friends at the studio commented, questioningly. You're here early??!!?? I KNOW. A miracle! I was wondering whether I listened better creatively (with my left brain) while set up in the left side of the room because the dialog is going in my left ear. Signing off, Lady Cassandra, the cognitive psychologist that isn't quite sure yet which ear corresponds to which brain hemisphere! tbd

3/30 -- BATTLE AXE! 
S, April 3 @ 3pm (tx dw)
Yo, if my back leg keeps being so stubborn and unlocking I AM GOING TO CHOP IT OFF. Namaste. As a sidenote, I've been dreaming ALL winter long about wearing a dress after class and then waltzing out after to feel warm wind on my legs. Yumm. It was a good look, and the warm breeze blowing on my legs made me rethink my resolve to chop them off, one stubborn slippy foot and unlocked knee after the other. I still have both legs. Hallelujah!

SN, April 4 @ 10am (tx C)
When the T runs late and I sprint from Chinatown to Lincoln street, arriving at 9:59 for the 10 thanking the luckiest stars that I put my costume on at my home...I am NOT surprised that my body does not cooperate with previously held belief that it once possessed any grace in motor skill execution. Glug glug glug. Sometimes it is a babbling brook, sometimes it is the dungeon door. Let the records show that my body was indeed an example of the dungeon door: like when Tarantino set up Uma Thurman for an epic hospital escape only to plop her in a badass yellow jeep saying "Wiggle your big toe. WIGGLE YOUR BIG TOE." for a looong time until it FINALLY moved a fraction of an inch. Yup, Happy Easter! Celebrated with a body that felt like a dungeon door. First time in ages I haven't seen the floor in backbend, struggle just to see the wall. I do love this struggle and am glad I am marking each day off on my calendar with a heart.

SN, April 4 @ 10am (tx kb)
6 am is a good one to forget. I don't remember a single thing except for being incredibly thirsty the rest of the day. Are you surprised???

W, April 7 @ 6pm (tx kb)
Rush again to get to the early class, first of two for the day. I am feeling really grateful for the practice and growing more fond of my current arch-nemesis, salabhasana. Baby steps!

7/30 -- WHOAH I DIED!
W, April 7 @ 8:15pm (tx kb!)
When the face turns shades of gray and white except for two bright red dots below the cheekbones and the eyes behold punctuated disco-ball floaties in all sorts of pretty colours, one should probably take a knee. And that's just what I did. For a bunch of postures. Near death experience, check! When I got a grip, I started working with the energetic body to move the muscles, rather than the other way around. I also concentrated on how breathing moves the muscles micro-metres. Something tells me that I never would've been concentrating on these things if I didn't feel near-death experience to the utmost. Micro-adjustments with breath and energetic body, check!

8/30 -- FUN!
TH, April 8 @ 7:45pm (tx dv)
Yes, sometimes Bikram yoga class is plain old fun. Sweaty, exhausting, demanding, run-you-ragged-and-prove-you're-really-human FUN.

F, April 9 @ 5:30pm (tx mh) 
Thank you thank you thank you thank you for telling me that I am NOT flexible in balancing stick, I am STRONG. Repeat: NOT flexible in balancing stick, STRONG. And proud! With attitude! I think this mental adjustment will help my balancing stick look more like a stick and less like a noodle, i mean, broken umbrella!

10/30 --  PRETTY POSES! 
Sn, April 11 @ 3:30pm (tx kb)
ok ok I think my brain is playing a sick joke on my body. It likes the way that it's favorite postures look (e.g. Standing Bow, Toe Stand, BACKBEND) and so that brain tricks the muscles into making the postures look even better by performing in accordance. Ha ha brain! Now I know you. I am enamored with the way EVERY posture looks AND feels and works and does. I want every posture to look better and feel better and work better and do better. HA. Cassandra - 1 / Cassandra's Brain Bullshit - 0.

11/30 -- INTEGRATION! 
Sn, April 12 @6pm (tx ka)
With some amount of trepidation, I approached double #2 of this challenge. After previous dungeon door experience, I was a little nervous. No need! Working to integrate the little lessons: of the energetic body and the micro-movements with the breath; the annihilation of any flexibility in balancing stick and a (!) locked back knee  in triangle. Well, for part of the posture, each side. Step by step by step by step. That's why I love this practice.

T,  April 13 (tx rr)
Sometimes some good inspiration and a badass practice partner are all you need. As I looked myself in the eye during standing bow (kinda scary!) I found peace in the memory of my good ol' literary days. Kahlil Gibran wrote, reminding my dancer to root in reason and grow in passion, "Let your soul exalt your reason to the height of passion, that it may sing; And let it direct your passion with reason, that your passion may live through its own daily resurrection, and like the phoenix, rise above its own ashes…You too should rest in reason and move in passion." (The Prophet “On Reason and Passion").

13/30 -- Χαρα Να Ζήση (JOY - MAY YOU LIVE VICTORIOUS!)
Th., April 15 (tx dv)
You know, sometimes you have those days when the world is screaming at you, I LOVE YOU. I felt really good going into today's class because I remembered how awesome it is to wear red lipstick all the time, I finished my taxes and did a bang up job at work. So, needless to say I was feeling a bit elated, singing myself and dancing a little bit to the most awesome percussion of Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam. To follow, I THEN walked in to the studio, a second home of sorts, to find that one of my friends had printed out one post-practice iPhone-snapped photograph of me and then taped it on my 30-day challenge record. AND printed out 2 more & taped them in 2 others in the cubbyholes (!!!) where we stowe our belongings while we work at making our lives and practices amazing in the hot room. Namaste chihuahua! I'm not gonna lie, those 3 photos made me cry. They had a pretty blue fleur-de-lis border around them too - a token to scream: there is so much love and support in our community. I have it and everyone in it to thank for helping each of us, individually and collectively, understand how to care for and support each other in the challenges and triumphs of our unique practices and lives.

We are all working towards something amazing. Working through pain, working with joy, working to lock the effin knee, yo. I practiced in front of 2 newer people, and felt a responsibility to execute at the tippity top of my ability, then beyond it, to set a good example. I am thinking that this is a good approach for every day, not just the days I am aware of it. edge. I should be setting a good example for myself, AND for others. game face. Moods certainly are contagious in the room - I struggled with this on my first challenge because I didn't want to be the Eyore in the room. Oh bother.

My focus right now is on joy (as the title of this post, Joy - May you Live!) - joy for every single muscle fiber whether it's screaming at me furiously in pain or singing the songs of sweetness for excellence in execution.

F, April 16 (tx sc!)
Fridayyy!!! Fridayyyyy! TGIF! Friday nights are tough classes. Workweek pressure, stress, sleep deprivation, etc. all kinked up in the trapezius, heart, brain or whatever most vulnerable part falls victim to the toxicity of an American workplace despite a pretty resolute & bullshit-resistant mind combined with a daily yoga practice. On the way to the studio I was reflecting on the week past, with much gratitude that it passed. I chuckled because I had forgotten all of or parts of my yoga costume 3x!?? 1x being fatal to practice. oops. This forgetfulness is strange for me - I am not usually careless. I joke around about the second line of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras about yoga citta vritthi nirodha, often translated (a.k.a. butchered as all translations do) to yoga is the cessation of the turnings of the mind. They really weren't kidding about that stuff! Seriously though, my itinerant laundry-folding is probably the perpetrator. Usually my costumes go in one milk crate - bottoms on the left, tops on the right. This week, they're all together in an unfolded mess. Less mess, more clarity. Everything in its right place. That's the idea!

Class this Friday night was pretty good, meaning that it was a struggle every second to get out of my head and into my body. Wish I could say I was more successful but I went to the edge (drives me nuts that it changes every day!). Currently I am somewhat perplexed by the outsides of my knees, for they are in pain almost every day - and it feels like I need to stretch those like I would stretch a muscle. Hmmm - dear online anatomy class, what the hell is going on with the outside of my knees? Also, my right leg feels like it is a hair shorter than the left becasue I've been weebly-wobbly-ing all over the place and it's not because I fidget, though I am not immune to the fidget. Stillness, please! I am thinking the combination of a perplexing knee and a hamstring more flexi- on the left standing leg might be the diagnostic. I'm dealing with a residual right leg hammy pull from about 6 months ago and an ollllld injury, soccer cleat to middle of that same hammy...Maybe that could do it. If I could only send flowers to that right hamstring to make it like me again...

Whatever. After class Emily said that I sweat sparkles. Hello amazing.

S, April 17 (tx dv!)
Sometimes it's fun to be in a sold-out class, mat to mat with friends and strangers who aren't friend's yet, until they unintentionally eavesdrop on your silly conversation then tell you they were nosedropping. After check-in my #1 practice partner & I scoped the crowded situation and ran up to the room still adorned with winter coats and scarves to claim our favorite spots side by side. As we talked before class about dehydration the girl next to us said "Pardon me for nosedropping but..." It was nice to have that camaraderie because we were sweating all over each other for 90 minutes. Not carelessly because we were all pretty solid with our proprioceptive skills and only crashed into each other 1x (eagle). I promised A that I would try not to fall over onto her mat in rabbit. She did the same. We had a good class. And I say "we" because there is unmistakable collective consciousness, especially when you make plans to practice together as we did, and often do.

In purna salabhasana someone started laughing and said "I just got karate chopped in the throat." with bubbly laughter. Thank you, karate chop victim. You made this class rule. Heat was 100% perfect. I am making friends with the locked back knee in triangle - but I guess one week after you threaten to battle-axe it off, the body gets your brain's resolve, right!? For fun & tribute to that karate chopped throat and my back locked legs in trikonasana:

Sn, April 18 (tx tk & ka!)
Two classes today left me convinced that a daily yoga practice is one of my habits. I certainly have been pacing my life to enable the incredible energy output required for the 30 day challenge, both mentally and physically. I am enjoying the juxtaposition of this one to the last because I feel -more often than not- that getting into the room seven times a week is as normal as eating breakfast.

This whole no-break thing is making me concentrate on ways to rehab the muscle & mind in daily life..massage to the foot arches with a mindful walk and a surreptitious hip compression on the train to fix my French manicure and a regular check in with my ribcage and abs may they get stronger and fiercer amen. Thank goodness for all the fiercely perfect teachers telling me exactly what to do for ninety minutes each day.

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

M, April 19 (tx dw!)
There sure are some days when the body decides to have an exorcism and the task is to survive with some shred of dignity and salvageable understanding: better form in pranayam and a knowing poker face. As my muscles expelled their toxicity and learned about stoic execution of movement I had a panic feeling that surfaced as almost-vomit but then turned into a glorious deconstruction...a gray's anatomy (textbook not tv show) visualization that hearkened back to that pulled hamstring theory: of feeling how to use surrounding muscles to increase the integrity and power of movement when one is broken, pulled or charlie-horsing around. Example: when my calf won't get me to almost full expression in standing bow how BOUT a wiggle of that big toe and whatever muscle runs atop each shinbone to get the standing leg stronger and the kicking keg straighter...see, surviving can be glorious even amidst the massive cellular exorcism that was my heart's own pokerface tonight...still a manifestation of my unconditional love for the suffering and the practice. Maybe someday I'll love all the asanas as much as standing bow...

DAY 19/30 - REALLY? 
T, April 20 (tx rr!)
There comes a time in every endeavor when I say to myself, "why dear, why?" Today was that day. Guess you don't have all the life experiences recorded here without being tired and hungry all the time. My colleague is aadvocating that I be lazy like him but even though I felt braindead and ouch all class, I will forge forward. Can't say that I haven't been wondering what is the benefit of sacrificing martinis and of doing 30 classes in 30 days on top of every other life pursuit. hmmmmm. I'm sure there will be an answer...

W, April 21 (tx jr!)
Sometimes I wonder about why we are torturing ourselves by doing something really really hard for 90 minutes every day but then I am just encouraged again and again. We are breaking down the invisible barriers, the toxins and scar tissues and calcium buildups - even pernicious interpersonal habits like hubris, selfishness and negativity - and EVEN the all-too-much humbleness of how incredible and unique we actually are! It hurts to come across the invisible barriers, and it is confusing (see day 19/30) but voila! I knew there would be an answer. The slightest changes make the biggest differences.

I used to have bad wrist pain all the time...accepted it. But as Marcus Aurelius wrote, "Everything we hear is opinion, not fact." I accepted a problematic feature in my life as the reality of a desk job stretching over aprx. 10 hours a day and the ability to type 75 words a minute. Opinion.  NEW Opinion: my reality is different, no more problematic wrists. Thank you, arch nemesis posture salabhasana - i guess I have to love you. I used to be very shy, try to hide what I've accomplished. Now I find that an occasional dose of unabashed self promotion is truly fitting, beneficial and even sometimes hilarious. By being truthful with myself, and working through the difficultuy of breaking down my own invisible barriers (even and often unknowingly with a class that feels like braindead hell), I have to truly believe that this can encourage others to do the same. We are transforming at the subtlest levels, and those changes are making a huge difference. Even my roommate commented that I was being very precise, and I sure can't think of any other impetus for his compliment. I am tasked (by him) to be precise, judicious and egalitarian (read: strong, balanced and flexible?).

I'm mulling over the attractive (read: crazy beautiful) thought of prolonging the 30-day to a 60- & peer pressure's on - as some of my favorites are pursuing it too...Coin flip?

Th, Apr. 22, 2010 (tx dv!)
So if you visit a bikram yoga class you might be surprised at the emphasis on struggling and killing yourself and killing pain with pain. I could be off but there is definitely a flipside...a benefit. Wait, um, I am a walking example of that truth. The struggle is the means not the end nor the goal. Freedom in shackles and space to breathe when there seems to be none...THAT is why there is the struggle and the pain and the killing. That was my class and the fun thing is that my muscles are giving me these words...not my brain. THAT is on loan to the universe.

S, Apr. 24 (tx bk & jg)
To kickoff a weekend full of yoga I hustled to the Harvard noon a bit early to chat with a friend at crossover. I had taken Friday off to go to a red sox game and of course ran into lots if friends. Out all night then chatting the rest if it away on the telephone. Thought I would be feeling ugga ugga but the first class was great.  I was really digging a slower dialogue delivery than I am used to. It helped me be more deliberate about my postures and the heat was perfect...not as hot as usual so I could really get into my muscles with my mind rather than let the heat do it for me.

A crick in my neck from sleeping on it the wrong way humbled me SO much. Not sure humbled is the right expression...but basically I was born to backbend and I sure do call myself fortunate that I can see the floor 98% of my classes but ooh I probably went only ONE AND A HALF CENTIMETERS back in first set and wanted to cry. Pranayam before that was even worse. My elbows were at about a 32 degree angle sloping down from the shoulders rather than perpendicular to the floor lifted up in exaltation of oxygen. OUCHY OUCHY I don't think I've hurt that much in class, ever.  Second set of backbend I tried to start the movement and flexion from my lower back rather than my crown and was able to see the back wall. Phew. I am curious about where the origin of the backbend should start. But is there a should? Or bothe ways is acceptable? I think I could make an argument in both directions but want to remember to ask this question...And YES, thank you Laura, Shakti trunk sale angel, for allowing me to splurge on this new top in black - I'll have you all know that I scrimped and saved for it by refusing to buy any coffee beverages for 2 months.

Class # 2 came after a lovely stroll on the esplanade with an old friend and some lazing about in the sunshine watching the sunrays sparkle on the water. It's funny to see peoples reactions to the 30 day challenge. Often they ask but WHY? My first instinct is to say "cuz i am a lady who loves a challenge...even thrives on it...but the true answer is that I know that I am working through all sorts of energetic blockage that are so subtle that sometimes I wonder if the really exist...I wonder if we really need to make such minute adjustments to become what we are meant to be and do what we are meant to do.  But then I remember that it is these subtleties that separate the greats from the averages - and what makes us precise as humans as we do whatever it is we are on this planet to do.

La dee da I am going to feel good sleeping tonight because oh wow I was zapping into super-uber mini naps during every savasana of the floor series. Fighting to keep my eyelids open, but starting to flash into dream world, or hallucination - whatever to call it, it's all semantics at this point.

Sn, Apr. 25 (tx hb & ka)

Had a nice walk on the way to class. Felt pretty good going into the first one, and quite accomplished, for my monetary abilities allowed me to purchase pretty new shakti top, billberry kombucha and the loveliest of the strange lovely flowers for the studio, a pincushion, in honor of all the crazy ballerinas. I practiced in the 3rd row at Harvard next to my triumphant friend, but totally couldn't see myself more than one inch. I got a bit annoyed becasue the girl in front of me could have moved over. COME ON. But seriously, it was interesting for me to practice without the mirror, even helpful. I made my muscles do the looking. Sorta...read on.

Before Class #2 my triumphant friend and I made photographs of 3 postures: padahastasana, dandayamana dhanurasana & standing separate leg stretching. Whoah what an eye-opener. For laughs, check out the ad that came from googling dat Dandayamana-Bibhaktapada Paschimotthanasana. Maybe also some LOLs for my butchered spelling.

Class felt really good. I enjoyed it. I did all the postures. I felt silly after, and was so glad that Kristine explained the phrase 'hamburger hands' by clutching her foot . Oh yoga, you make us look and feel amazing, but also give us the extraordinary ability to mimic eating a hamburger using our foot as the patty and the hands as the buns.

M, Apr. 26 (tx dw)
Look out, I was on a rampage about getting a 'good job cassandra' shoutout in standing bow when my knees were obviously hyperextending back. Here's the deal: knees were in one line & so were shoulders - even dat chin was touching the shoulder & it looked like the damn knee was locked from the front and it looked like the body was parralel to the floor from the front. Oooh baby but no no NO. The photo tells all. I now have a new arch-nemesis (and wonder if this is the universe's way of telling me that one must delete the thought of a favorite asana or perish).

Because of this photo I questioned the dialogue, the lack of personal corrections and my own stupidity in trusting my flexibility. EXHALE. This is normal. I have very strong reactions to things. Let me be more rational. Looking into the mirror from the front took about a year to delete the "you're no good" chatter. Now time for the side. With a calmer approach after this icky mindbleep I explained to my teacher that I wanted to focus on the strength in that pose and wouldn't be going into full expression relying on my flexibility to make it beautiful. He calmly explained that some hyperextension was normal and all practitioners experience it to some degree.

I voiced some degree of impatience and teacher (thankfully & wisely) said that I am a young and vibrant person with a lot of yoga ahead of me. Boom Boom Pow.

Now is the time for me to focus on the strength in the (strength/balance/flexibility) equation.

T, Apr. 27 (tx rr)
Tonite was one of those classes where I could totally let my mind go and concentrate on the muscles. They startin' to feel like rubber bands now that I am concentratin' on my strength rather than reliance on the flexibility deeply rooted in my muscle memory from being a cartwheelin' handstandin' 'look ma I turned myself into a pretzel' type of kid.

Confession: I used to slump my stomach when I was nervous or experienced a lack of confidence and breathing into those muscles now is an absolutely exhausting joy but I guess you don't turn muscles into rubber bands so easily...for example, by way of RL: "Pain comes only when the body does not understand how to do the asana, which is the case in the beginning. In the correct posture, pain does not come. To learn the right posture, you have to face the pain. There is no other way."-BKS Iyengar

After class MH worked with me to photograph the standing series and that was one of the most terrifying experiences I've put myself through in the practice as of yet so I am glad that I did that with someone I trust. I highly recommend this process for anyone engaged in a serious practice. We had a lot of laughs & tip-sharing and it was really nice to notice how my body moved without the normal 105 degree heat. The results really threw my tendency toward stringent self-criticism in the limelight but as Ms. Coco Chanel once said: "Elegance is refusal".

After all...looking through the cosmic mirror is definitely something we've got to do from all angles. If I can't do that without eliminating the critical banter deeming weakness prime for the utmost disdain and focusing on weaknesses as opportunities to get better, more better, stronger and more effective then I don't deserve to be human.

W, Apr. 28, 2010 (tx jr)
Lucky duck I am, getting to roast in a hot room after a time-warp into December with the weather being all freezing and the office heaters all 'not working'. MC challenged me to a pushup contest before class. Even though I got to do girl pushups and received 3 credits for each of his 1 - I won! In the process I realized I have wuss arms. Something to refine. I also am concentratin' on refining the muscles I really need to do tuladandasana more like a balancing stick and less like a like a chump. No worries! Tous les jours à tous points de vue je vais de mieux en mieux. Better and better and better and better as the body goes down and the leg goes up and the practice gets more and more and more refined as the mind gets more and more resolved and the heart gets more and more open and the spirit gets so damn resolute it get's scary in it's fierceness except for that it's fearless. My mind's all consumed with yoga & I'm starting to care less and less about other bullshit, like being stressed out about work and hungry more often than not. Hey, I've got 50 cents more than I have to spend and that makes me quite rich.

I am pursuing a crazy goal that gives me incredible joy and I am meeting amazing people on the way. I am able to insprire other people in their own journeys and combine my love for other things (i.e. gardening, reiki, ayurveda, anatomy and physiology, storytelling) into this yoga practice. What could be better? Oh ya, NOTHING.

Update: the 60 there is no typo. I am going for it. A. voiced his opinion that putting the body through so much strain couldn't possibly be healthy. Even though I'm more worried about the mind, we'll see about that...Ya'll know I love the wise words of others:

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness...
the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.
- W.H. Murray, of the Scottish Himalayan Expedition

DAY 29/60 - LUCKY
Th, Apr. 29 (tx dv!)
Day 29 on April 29, I like the parrellelism. I figured out that I'm lucky because I usually WANT to do my best in all the postures and all the life. Confession: this class I WANTED to slack. My body's feelin' oh so sore. Concentrating on the strength and making pushup contests has been a humbling experience and my muscles are thanking me for it with their soreness. Hahaha. I was slackin' in 3rd part awkward when I realized the foreign feeling. I am a first born child, so tendency is towards perfectionism - this has both helped and hurt me. I quit slacking, because why would I do that? Man my arms are sore. It was a great class all in all, a struggle not to want to slack - the magic formula being wanting to do my best & obliterating any thought whatsoever of slacking. D kept emphasizing breathing normal as if we were all strolling down the street, which helped tremendously in the forward bends for me - starting to feel the spine elongate and liking them just as much as backbends (where i've been backing up on depth to play with how the muscles make it different). Yeah!

F, Apr. 1 (tx sc!)
We did it! We did it! We did it! We did it! S, E & myself set up all in a line and it was awesome. SC told us to sit down like our asses had the hiccups in triangle. Why the Kid Rock song "ball with the ball the bang the bang diggy diggy said the boogy said up jump the boogy" was stuck in my head, I wish I could know. Alas, I don't and I couldn't get it out of my head. That was incredibly strange and I finally locked the standing leg and kicked out. On one side. It's a good look.

S, May 1 (tx dv!)
Rode a borrowed bicycle to class, and it sure felt good to be sweating before I got in the room. I felt very thirsty the entire time and my body wasn't even feeling like it was mine. So tight, everywhere. Eagle was the hugest eye opener. Couldn't barely even get my hands together, even in fists. Made me appreciate how I can move with intention, and notice how the body is so so good with the muscle memory that it may have tendencies to go into auto pilot. Can't believe I committed to 60 days. Crazy.

DAY 32/60 - I AM LE TIrrrr...
Sn, May 2 (tx ka!)
Let the records show that one must not stay awake until 3 am & wake at 8 two days in a row before practicing at 6pm. Never. Don't do it. Just don't. You'll feel like yuck and be unable to keep your eyes open. My body feels like junk. I really want to rescind my commitment to 60 days. All my joints feel like they have sand in them and my feet feel like they are broken. Let the records show that this is not whining. It is what it is. I feel like junk.

M, May 3 (tx mh!)
Being honest with myself about when a goal needs to be reevaluated has been an interesting thing. I got a quote in my inbox this morning that said: "When it's obvious that the goal cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps." Noone knows who made up THAT tidbit of wisdom. Class tonight, I made my mind up to be fierce, but it just ain't strong enough yet. Even with an amazing teacher that usually helps me pull through just about anything, body bonked for the third day in a row.

Something isn't right. Not in a "I am being a wussy baby and my brain is trying to reason me out of a hard thing." Truthfully, I need to adjust my action steps to do what I am meant to do on this planet. My action steps: cool it with the hatha yoga, end my 60 day challenge commitment and get ON IT with the karma yoga. Why?
  • Body jamm. My joints STILL feel like sand. Spine twist is NOT a spine twist and hips so damn tight that, well, toestand was so yuck. Can't go back in camel, and I KNOW how I can use my experience with other yoga styles to care for my back muscles and utilize the strength that I've built over the last 33 days to really get deeper into some old old injuries (both energetic & physical).
  • Bikram yoga hot room with your 26 postures & 2 breathing exercises, I love you. Obviously I do. The real love that's not all butterflies - it's also struggle & the hardest thing ever. Even though I love you I've got too much yang. I need some yin. I need some sun salutations IN the sun, outside, when it's rising and the flowers are blooming. I need some anusara wild thing.
  • Hungry ALL the time. Housing cheeseburgers and italian subs seemed to be the only thing I could get with enough calories to get me through the hours and that is NOT the way I want to live my life. I need time to cook kitchari and salmon & kale & homemade pickles and dilly beans & make nourishing lunches that jive with the small amount of time that I can manage with the American workstyle.
  • Not cleaning my apartment AT ALL for 2.5 weeks is NOT ok. My old basketball coach used to say 'cleanliness is next to godliness' and I think there is so much wisdom in that. Cleaning at the studio is making me appreciate a pristine living/working space more and more and more each week. 
  • Part of the reason I do this yoga is because I know it helps me work through the BS that would otherwise cloud my interpersonal relationships. If I'm in the room all the time and not spending time with the people I love, well...what's the point? Enlightenment in a vacuum? NO. Letting the light shine, YES. Dad visiting. Amazing friend wants to pick nettles before visiting California for a month. Another amazing friend wants to go foraging to identify the native plants (that some call weeds) suitable (and oh so tasty) for eating. My most incredibly amazing love interest is moving to town and we will walk in the trees and climb them - yes! New friend wants to hang out and we are going to Grezzo!! If a butterfly stays in the cocoon too long...well, then the world will be one butterfly less beautiful. My social butterfly is twitterpated with the springtime and needs to fly around.
In conclusion, hello more holistic view of yoga - I will still be reporting on how yoga affects the life - after all, it IS life. Now that I am officially the flower provider for all studios I want to invest some time in spreading my love of nature through that opportunity - really putting time and energy into selecting the beauties that seem to jive with the turnings of the season and the mood of the studios. I am pretty sure that becoming a sultry flower goddess is part of my karma yoga. namaste.


  1. Love it,love it, love it! We need to have a red heels and snuggie party and do kombucha keg stands.

  2. Woo-hoo! Keep blogging.

  3. I vote "Yes" on the 60-days. It'll be spectacular!

  4. Build strength with going in and out with control and of course the right way. But you knew that. As I am learning, our concepts of the RIGHT way continually evolves from day to day. This can be wonderful and dreadful SIMULTANEOUSLY. Namaste B*TCH*s!

  5. Anonymous4/29/2010

    Love the Shakti top, I really want one of the spider-back ones. They are pretty. I like pretty.

    How have the photos changed your practice? I've often thought that I really want pictures or a video of my practice, so that I can see myself. This would probably be fairly traumatic, but I thrive on inner turmoil. It's nice to know other people struggle with the voices in their heads and the mirror mirror on the wall. I'm glad you said that. :) xoxo

  6. So funny that you made it to 33 - that's what I did last year on my first 30 day challenge for the spring. To thine own self be true. This type of committment takes lots of planning and clearing of the schedule and is rarely done on a whim. I'm proud of you for recognizing what is important to you and following that - this is what self-realization is all about. You go girl.

  7. Anonymous5/04/2010

    I struggled with this too. :( Sometimes I feel like I don't have a life because I practice yoga all the time. But, I practice yoga all the time because I don't have a life. A long time ago, I made a deal with myself that if I didn't have something to do after work, I would take a class. This was my way of getting myself there are much as possible (I really needed encouragement at the time), but also leaving room for other things.

    Saturday night I too wanted to throw it all in and say "F--k 60 days dude, I'm done." I'm still debating. I was encouraged by the other people I saw who are also doing it, but on the flip side, I want a freaking day off without knowing that I'll have to do a double.

    My body is beat up. I'm tired.


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