Tuesday, 29 November 2011

DAY TWENTY ......NINE? ok - i've been slacking on the blog updates

Oh Lordy Lord. Where has the time gone? Oh right, to the bikram studio - to the hot room - to the challenge. And, somehow to work and social life in and around the yoga. I have been squeezing in friends left right and centre throughout this challenge and I can honestly say, it's been EXHAUSTING. Not the actual bikram practise, but the fitting of it into my busy busy life! Any time I found time to myself, I wanted to do nothing but relax, but those moments were so rare - it honestly has felt as if I've been running on one very high paced speed for 30 days. But then all the 90 minutes in class made my world slow down for a little while and I forgot how exhausted I was and all my energy was rebuilt and I was ready for the next day :) And so continued the race...

After every class I went home determined to update the blog - and inform people of my progress - my struggles - my ups and downs - my good days my bad days - the whole bit. But then I found myself with very few struggles, less bad days and more good days, and an overall more balanced practice. The breathing had come to me. My mind had calmed. I had found patience. I no longer TRIED so hard. Claire says we are already working so hard being in the hot room doing all the postures - we don't need to TRY so hard to breathe. And once you realize that, your yoga changes completely. I'm telling you, my classes started feeling...almost...easy. I hate to use the word easy, because there is NOTHING easy about the 26 postures, but mentally, I was flying through class. And because my mind was so clear - I felt that I had less to share on my blog. Make sense? I didn't NEED to express any struggles. There were none (well, almost none). I didn't want to be writing this just for the sake of writing something.

One thing that did change - (since I no longer tried so hard to breathe) - was my focus. It shifted to other parts of my practice. I noticed sensations in every part of every muscle that I've never felt before, I felt the tingling, I felt the new and fresh blood, I felt the spine bending and twisting and stretching, I felt the pores being cleaned, I felt my body....LIVING. These feelings were UNREAL sometimes to me. I was feeling so high.

I'm posting this article that I hope you will all read; Living is the Object of Killing Yourself. Colleen had posted this on FB awhile ago and I just thought it described my feelings towards Bikram Yoga perfectly and I'm hoping you all can relate :) http://www.elephantjournal.com/2011/11/living-is-the-object-of-killing-yourself--christina-erl/ 

Just thought I'd mentioned a few things that didn't change :)
- Claire continues to mention cinnamon buns during rabbit pose, in fact Wendy said it tonight too...
- I'm still sweating buckets and running out of clean yoga gear
- I'm still loving this challenge

Holy Moly. It's 1:30 in the morning. See? This is why I have been away from the blog, it brings me to crazy hours when I should be sleeping. I'll write a quick one tomorrow running you through my 6 classes in 3 days to finish of the challenge. Goodnight :)

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

DAY eighteeeen...nineteeeen...TWENTY!!??

its actually day 22 - im quite far behind with these updates. let's recap realllll quick shall we?

DAY EIGHTEEN: the bikram miracle
The only thing I remember about Friday is that I got my period and wanted to kill myself. Too much info? Sorry - but I'm not holding anything back here, it's MY blog entry. So, there I was, Friday afternoon, writing my year-end evaluation with a glass of wine and hot water bottle on my tummy (adding wine to any work task always makes it seem less stressful - just a little tip). Anyways - the last thing my body wanted was to stick itself in the hot room and workout. It wanted my bed, the bathtub, the couch, anything but the yoga mat. But I had made plans with Leah to take class before our girls night out and I didn't want practicing all lonely without me. SO....well, you know how it goes - I got myself to the mat. I went into class warning Colleen that my body would probably need to be running out of class a few times, but you know what? AS SOON as class began - my cramps and all that lovely stuff just disappeared. It literally went on hold for 90 minutes. Isn't it amazing how the body works? I was so happy to have such a strong class, next to Leah on top of it :) After class. we went to Loblaws and LCBO for some necessary purchases - you know, tampons, chocolate, wine, midol - the usual - before our big night out. All I have to say is .... TEQUILA SHOTS!

DAY NINETEEN: the hangover
OH. MY. GAWD. What did we do last night? Woke up with the driest mouth and the worst headache of life (I'm getting too old for nights like this). Was supposed to do the 10am class, called Leah and said NOT HAPPENING.  I stayed in bed for as long as possible, then got up, did all the dishes, cleaned and got back into bed when Leah came over. Quite productive for a hungover Saturday morning no? That afternoon we went shopping with my friend Michelle and got smoothies - thank god for BOOSTER JUICE. I had felt bad for missing the morning class, as I had told Wendy I would be there when she taught, but by doing the 4pm, I was able to get the best of both worlds - Leah was teaching AND Wendy was taking it, as was Colleen, Claire and other challengers :) It was quite the strong first line we had going! Pierre cracked us all up with his speedy change into savasana! I tried to beat him a few times, but he's just too quick. My body doesn't move that fast. It's hard for me to recap specifics of postures now because I'm not writing the day of, but I remember in standing head to knee, I did the tips Leah had taught me the night before (while drinking wine in my kitchen) and it helped tremedosly in my posture. After class, went back to Michelle's for a dinner (after she almost burnt down her apartment) and then headed to Mike's for a movie night. Great night :)

DAY TWENTY: another double? i need a reward please
I DID NOT SLEEP AT ALL LAST NIGHT AND I AM NOT HAPPY THIS MORNING. That was me, Sunday morning walking into the studio. GRUMPY GRUMPY GRUMPY. It's very rare that I'm in a BAD mood, but let me tell you, I was in a BAD mood. I knew I had a double ahead of me, and I was so freakin' exhausted. All I wanted to do, was SLEEP IN for once on a weekend. I've been giving that up during this challenge, and honestly, I can't wait to get those sleep-ins back. Leah brought me e-mergency packs for me to use in my water during both classes, and they did help. Oh, I should also mention, she was doing the double with me. What a good bestie eh? Well, I survived the morning class with Claire (who said she could tell I was grumpy pants) and then headed home to eat sleep repeat until the afternoon Class. The second class was much easier, much more flexible, much better mood :) We were 4 or 5 challengers doing a double that day and it was good motivation to all be in the room together. Survived my second double (1 more to go....). OH- I also bought myself a little DAY 20 reward...


Thursday, 17 November 2011

DAY SEVENTEEN: it's all in the detail

DAY SEVENTEEN: 100% form gives you 100% benefit.
Thursdays are my volley days. Not Yoga AND Volley days. But no, this challenge had to come around and throw my whole life around. SO - Thursday Yoga AND Volley day it was. Tough stuff coordinating the two, let me tell you!

Today I took the 4pm with Claire, and it was a rather small class. No other challengers (that I knew at least). No friends. No one I normally practice with. I felt really alone. The vibe was so different. Where was all the positive energy and smiles I had gotten used to? My mindset was instantly thrown off. Everything felt...dry...boring. Even the air felt dry - there was no JUICE in the room. Where was the JUICE? I wanted the JUICE. I wanted the sweat. My biggest pet peeve, is going into eagle pose when I have no JUICE. I hate the feeling of lifting one leg over the other and holding them crossed like pretzels when there is no JUICE. (for anyone confused, when I say JUICE, i mean SWEAT & HUMIDITY). But then, something changed, my boring mindset got focused. Instead of thinking of how alone I felt, I realized I could use this time to think of ME ME ME. I know you are supposed to be doing that anyways when in the hot room for those 90 minutes, but I guess I normally feel like I'm part of a team and my focus is not completly on me, but on the class as a whole and how we flow and balance together. Make sense? Either way, my brain was all about me today. I listened closer to the dialogue, I pushed harder, I breathed deeper. Everything was enhanced. Since it was a smaller class, Claire took the time to give us little tips along the way. And each time, the second set was always stronger. She did a demo for triangle pose and explained how we should focus on the upward stretch going down, rather than the downward stretch and collapsing into it. And sure enough, all 13 of us yogis went into second set of triangle with a stronger form. It's always helpful to have little corections throughout class, because half the time you don't realize what you are doing or not doing, until it's mentioned and then you realize "OH YA - WOW - THIS FEELS BETTER". Oh, and if you're wondering, the JUICE finally came :)

Here is a link to Bikram demonstrating his MASTER POSTURE: triangle pose (Claire has mentioned it a few times in her classes - I thought it would be nice to share)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n66mm9vog6g  the way it hurts - that's the right way ......

ps-  im getting better at staying in camel pose without thinking im going to burst into tears  :)

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

DAY FIFTEEN/SIXTEEN: star spankled banner at BYO

DAY FIFTEEN: tuesdays are always a bitch.
But then there's my bright light at the end of the tunnel (aka long work day): YOGA! Especially when I know I'm heading to the 8pm with Wendy - I know I'm in for some laughs and words of encouragement: JUST BE. LET GO. PRACTICE. DONT THINK. YOU ARE DEAD. NO EGO. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL JUST THE WAY YOU ARE. All her talk keeps my mind from wandering away from me. My classes are getting stronger and I'm filled with energy from beginning to end - it's amazing. Even more so when practicing with fellow challengers. Tonight's class was filled with lots of laughs - one of the guys practicing was QUITE expressive during every posture - moaning through each one - I  couldn't help but giggle at his openess to express his feelings (I didn't feel bad - Christian giggled too - and then it turned into a laugh from all the yogis when Wendy said "YES! SEE? HE FEEL IT! IT HURTS! THAT'S GOOD. HE'S PUSHING". Oh, Wendy. I'm telling you, before class, I was MISERABLE. I was exhausted. I had no energy. The thought of going to class drained what remaining energy I did have. It's amazing how 90 minutes later, you are a new person - like a full balloon filled with fresh air - just wanting to BURST! This yoga is changing me.....I feel it every day. In every way.

 DAY SIXTEEN: the homestretch
We did it challengers - we are over the half way mark (and still alive!). Today I took my work day a little easier as I was tres fatigued (slept at mikes and that kid is up at 5:30am). I was quite productive though - and got everything done in time to make the 4pm with the lovely Claire (who mentionned cinammon buns AGAIN! argh haha). First person I saw when I got into the changing room was Heather (one of the challengers) and not sure why - but just felt the urge to hug her! I honestly think she has a beautiful soul - I can feel it. I know nothing about her - but I just know she's a good one - it's crazy how this BIKRAM challenge can build bonds. We practiced next to each other and it was great sharing each other's energy and exchanging smiles between postures when we were able to muster the energy to do so :) Class flew by AGAIN - I thought I would stop being surprised at how quickly they go by, but every class, I'm amazed at how I find myself in Rabbit Pose when I felt like I was just in Balancing Stick. Tonight, I actually couldn't remember bringing both my knees to my chest during wind removing pose in the first set - I literally blacked out. Is that normal? Or was my mind just THAT relaxed I just went through the motion without even knowing? But then, if that was the case, I wasn't connected to the yoga, right? UGH, I'm thinking too much again.

After class, I went home to make my first pork tenderloin roast, turns out, I'M A CHEF. No seriously, it was amazing. Pork tenderloin, mushroom risotto, with onions, garlic, carrots, and a side of asparagus. Good huh? My dad would be very proud - next time I go home, I'm cooking him dinner. THEN - after dinner, as if I wasn't satisfied enough with my evening, Leah came over to share a bottle of vino and girl talk. Did I mention she now lives 287 meters away from me? Um ya - perfection. Life is good. And it's Midnig
ht. Bonne nuit les amis - Can't wait for DAY 17....

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

DAY FOURTEEN: the yoga glow

Monday already? These weekends aren't long enough. Although, I can't complain - this one went by reallll fast - and it was so nice out - it was hard to feel miserable about the workweek starting. I finished my day early in order to make the 4pm class with Colleen before my work share shift at the studio. As I walked in, Claire said I was glowing - and honestly, I felt the glow - from the inside out! My skin has become so soft - I don't even moisturize anymore (and I used to after every shower). All that fresh blood being pumped in my body and all those toxins being kicked out - it's no wonder I feel so fresh and so clean clean! I talked with Christian (one of the challengers) who continuously said he was on FIRE throughout the earlier days of the challenge (when I was feeling, well, not so hot) but now, I know what he was talking about. I have overcome the darkness and the anger and am just a happy little yogi :)

"Bikram Yoga's twenty-six posture exercises systematically move fresh, oxygenated blood to one hundred percent of your body, to each organ and fiber, restoring all systems to healthy working order, just as Nature intended. Proper weight, muscle tone, vibrant good health, and a sense of well being will automatically follow." AMEN!

Monday, 14 November 2011

DAY THIRTEEN: the big bad scary double?

DAY THIRTEEN: lucky number 13

CLASS ONE: Woke up yesterday (sunday) morning and my first thought was "F my life - I don't want to go to Yoga". I wasn't angry anymore with the yoga - I actually WANTED to go back - it's just my mind and body felt they rather sleep off the hangover - not sweat it out. Well - 10 minutes later, I was up and out the door - only to realize, Leah had my car keys! "F my life - I'm not walking to Yoga". Well, 20 minutes later, I was walking up the stairs to the studio! Pretty sure Colleen's exact words were "God Bless You, God Bless You" when she asked if I had gone to the WINE and FOOD fest the night before - haha - yes ma'am and quite certain the vino was still running through my veins!

Walked my tired butt in to the hot room and chose to take class at the very back hiding behind a massive pillar - nothing to do with wanting to be out of Colleen's sight (well, maybe a little) - but I just wasn't sure if I was going to have to leave the room running (or vomiting) at some point! Well, it turns out, I practice better as a drunk! Who knew? haha, I'm only kidding, please don't go taking class drunk - I do not want to be held responsible for that one! But honestly, I had one of the HAPPIEST and HEALTHIEST classes of my life. My mind was so clear, my body was calm, and my breathing was easy. I felt great. I felt strong. I felt AMAZING. At the end of class, in dead body pose, let me tell you, I was dead (but in a good way). I could have stayed in savasana all afternoon until the 4pm class I was so relaxed. I didn't even know who I was. And I liked it.

INTERMISSION: made a delicious fruit smoothie & most amazing omelette of life (cheese, onions, tomatoes, asparagus, avocado, all topped with crumbled feta) - did laundry, napped, hydrated.

CLASS TWO: I get by with a little help from my friends.
Lucky for me, Mike's roommate, Ton, and the girl he's dating, Jenny, decided they wanted to try BIKRAM during the 4pm class with me, taught by Claire. Good thing, because I needed motivation to get my butt back to the studio. So we all signed in and got our spots in the hot room - I was happy for them and their bodies that they were taking class - but on a selfish note, I was thankful they were there to help me have a strong class. There was no way I was going to take it easy or fall out of position in front of them (even though it's ok to do so) - I needed to set a good example. And I'm pretty sure I did. I felt even stronger than my morning class - my energy levels were soaring! Literally. In full locust pose, it was easy flying. But by the time the second set of that posture came in, I had to turn over on my back. Opening my rib cage like that got my heart beating so fast my chest was cramping. INHALE - EXHALE - INHALE - EXHALE - heart slowly calmed down and i was back in by second set of bow.

I left the studio with the clearest mind and the happiest soul - positive energy flowing through my body. My YOGI BRAIN had returned; taking those two days off was exactly what I needed to fall back in love with Bikram. Everything is as it should be - goodnight lucky number 13 :)

OH SIDENOTE to Colleen and Claire: thank you for two amazing and motivating classes, but PLEASE re-frain from referring to CINNAMON BUNS during rabbit pose - I spent the entire day craving one !!!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

DAY ELEVEN/TWELVE: mental health days do the soul good

**it's currently day thirteen and i've had a busy weekend so i'm gonna play catch up right now....

DAY ELEVEN: let's take a break shall we?
Friday morning - I wake up feeling slightly groggy as I did end up having some vino with Leah and Paige last night (you know - after my breakdown and all it was quite necessary). So I shower and freshen up for hopefully a tear-free day - that is until I log onto FB and realize it's Remembrance day - guess how long till the sob fest started? Somehow though, this mess of a girl, got through two very successful meetings with clients and called it a day - oh wait - I forgot about my weekly friday afternoon conference call (i mean really, they schedule these things on purpose right? - thank god for MUTE and SPEAKER PHONE).

dinner for two :)
Since the meeting went on and on and onnnnnnn forever - I wasn't able to make the 4pm class, and I had made dinner plans with Mike for later that I didn't want to break (he hadn't seen much of me this week). And to be honest - making him dinner and relaxing was all I really wanted to do. I didn't want to return to the studio - I was still feeling anger towards Bikram and what it was doing to me. I decided to take a MENTAL HEALTH DAY to get my shit together. GOOD decision. GREAT night. :)

DAY TWELVE: Let's give it a go - no?
Saturday morning- I wake up feeling positive and ready to be back in the hot room. Well, apparently, God - Mother Nature - Some Higher Force, or...Ottawa City Parking, had other plans for me! I drove around and around and arounnndd the town and couldn't find one spot to fit my car in. As I watched the time reach closer to 10am I started panicking! I couldn't afford to miss another day - I didn't want any more doubles - I didn't want to fall behind - I needed this class. Well - 10AM came and went - and so did I - all the way back home. Where I promptly went to my room and fell face first on my bed crying. NOT JOKING. Mike came in (who was in the kitchen doing my dishes - yes, he's amazing) - turned me around and knocked some sense into me (lord knows i need that these days). He made me realize I'm going to make this challenge - I'm going to make these doubles - and I'm going doing GOOD. Just breathe and everything will be as it should be. OK, IF YOU SAY SO.

I went on to have the most amazing day in Ottawa so far at the WINE and FOOD festival with the bestest group of friends a girl could ask for :) I won't give details of my night - all you need to know is I tasted a lot of vino. And I mean, A LOT. So, stay tuned to see how my DOUBLE went the next day - GOODNIGHT readers!
with the bestie at the wine and food festi :)

Thursday, 10 November 2011

DAY TEN: that girl gon' cry

DAY TEN: emotional wreck.
WHATADAY. Work was good - busy as usual but I finished early and treated myself to a littttttle shopping spree at Winners (I have addiction to that store FYI). My paycheck was higher than usual - so I didn't question it - just spent it. Then Allison came over for our weekly 1 hour cuddle fest (yes, a weekly cuddle fest) and then I finally got to watch some Y&R. Between my recent crazy work hours and this challenge - I had fallen behind! Nick Newman is now sleeping with Phyllis' sister! OH MY! haha. But seriously, it was nice to actually have 1 hour in my apartment to do nothing but watch a trashy soap opera (can you tell what kind of housewife i'm gonna be?)

I took tonight's 6pm class with Wendy - AGAIN! It seems as though all my classes are with Wendy and Colleen these days - I don't plan it that way - I just fit whatever class I can into my schedule and voila. (i'm not complaining - i love their classes)

I'm not quite sure how the rest of this entry is going to go to be honest. I am a bit all over the place. In terms of getting through the class - I'm not struggling with the heat - or the difficulty of the postures - but my mind - well, I'm loosing it. Bikram is fucking me up (excuse my language, but Bikram is fucked - and if I ever meet him, well, I'm gonna tell him - straight to his face). I've had enough openings of my heart chakra thank you very much - I don't want to feel these emotions anymore! I don't even know who I am anymore. I am so happy, I feel amazing, my heart is full, my life is great - but I'm an emotional WRECK. Literally, I will be laughing, and two seconds later, tears are streaming down my face. I feel crazy.

Tonight I left class, called Leah (fellow yogi and Bikram instructor) and started crying as I walked to my car. I wanted to give up - this challenge seemed to big for me. I was overwhelmed and feeling weak and wanting to admit defeat. I don't know HOW instructors survive 90 days of this (and TWICE a day). But Leah explained that I am doing this challenge right in the center of REAL LIFE - I haven't given up the real world and submerged myself into nothing but Bikram thinking breathing and living. I know the crying sessions that I'm experiencing are overdue tears from past situations/struggles in my life - but I pushed those tears down deep long ago for a reason and I want to keep them there. I KNOW I need to let it out - and that it's good for me - but I don't like how it makes me feel or what I think about..... I'm not going to go into details as it is rather personal, but Bikram is really not giving me a choice but to let it all out. It's amazing and I hate it. 

Thank you Leah for being there for me tonight and letting me break down - je taime gros xo (in case you don't understand that little bit of french - i love you lots)

DAY NINE: all she did was whine (and dine)

DAY NINE: This girl has got a bad attitude.

I don't know what it was, but I had negative mind chatter right from the get-go. I have no idea why - I went into class with an open heart and open mind - but as soon as we began our breathing exercise - BOOM - negative nancy. It was so frustrating. My mind literally was acting like a 10 year old BRAT - whining through every posture. I didn't want to do this posture - I didn't want to hold that position - I didn't want to lock my freakin' knee! Somehow my body just ignored it all and pushed through the entire standing series. But as soon as it was over and we got our first savasana - I had to leave the room because I needed an attitude change. I grabbed a vitamin water - sat on the couch - and almost cried. It had nothing to do with the heat or that I was struggling - it was all in my mind - just nasty negativity.

I decided to leave all of it right there on the couch and get back into the hot room for the floor series - and as I was walking in - Colleen was giving a speech on negative mind chatter! I swear she must have seen it in my eyes that I was loosing my mind that whole time. So - I let it all go - breathed in and out and brought my knee to my shoulder for wind-removing pose. SMOOTH SAILING for the rest of class.

After class I rushed home to get rid of my yoga hair and get ready for Jo's Birthday Dinner at ABSINTHE restaurant in Westboro - http://www.absinthecafe.ca/ (yup i figured out how to insert links!). It was so nice to see all those girlies again! I ordered hanger steak (since i never cook myself red meat) and it was DELISH. The other meals looked so yummy too - I'm definitely going back. PLUS - the waiter didn't charge me for one of my glasses of vino - woot woot. (normally, I would say something, but my bill was already 60 dollars people! i'm not rich ya know)

Anyways, I went home a lil tipsy and had a great night sleep! It's now DAY TEN and I'm off to class in a few hours - blog to follow! xo

Tuesday, 8 November 2011


It's Tuesday night and I've been running around town since Sunday evening between work, work share at the studio, and, well, YOGA! But I've finally slowed down the pace and can already feel my body relaxing into a great nights sleep (8pm class will do that to me). The rest of my week should not be as hectic work wise, so I'm hoping to fuel all my energy into this challenge (and maybe my social life)

DAY SEVEN: electrolyte heaven
Yesterday I was quite productive during my work day, so I was lucky enough to take the 4pm class with Colleen before starting my work share shift at the front desk (although really, I had no choice, because missing another day was NOT an option - don't want more doubles than I need). I was also lucky enough to practice next to Wendy - I was able to feel and feed off her positive energy and strength in class - really amazing. I love Colleen's classes - she has one of the most gentle souls - and her teaching is so genuine and patient. J'aime ca! I'm trying to recall specifics from any of the postures - but all I remember is going through class not really THINKING of anything during any of them (a first). Even Colleen said that class felt like it FLEW BY- zooooommm!

Yesterday my body felt really weak - it felt like my immune system was shutting down. Normal, considering I was ONE WEEK into the challenge. Over the weekend, I had craved Coke (the drink people) so bad - which I never ever do. Claire told me it was a sign of an imbalance in my electrolytes as I am most likely not replenishing them as fast as I am getting rid of them - so I rushed on over to the grocery store and picked up some LEMONS to make myself a large pitcher of lemon water with salt. Step 1 to ELECTROLYTE HEAVEN. Mike is also putting Gatorade powder in my water bottle for my classes now (at least, i think that's what he's giving me haha).

things to remember:
HEAD TO KNEE POSE: proper bikram grip
LOCUST POSE: lock my knees

DAY EIGHT: don't eat so late!
Today was quite the crazy work day, AGAIN! (apparently I decided to do this challenge during one of the busiest months for my company - smart move). So, by the time I got home, dropped off my work stuff, packed my yoga bag and got to Mike's (since he's the one feeding me) - it was already 6:30! I hadn't ate since 11 and I was starvingggggggg. SO - I ate: SILLY SILLY decision (stupid actually). This girl went to yoga with quite the Buddha Belly! (and for those who know me well, my tummy can look 6 months pregnant VERY easily). Needless to say - I wasn't looking (or feeling) so hot - I felt so heavy! Every compression posture (which is almost every one haha) made me feel like I was going to throw up - and in LOCUST POSE - pretty sure I got another taste of tonight's dinner :( Today's lesson? EAT EARLIER.

THANK YOU Wendy for tonight's class and life lessons: be you, no ego, let go, do now, just breathe, no expectations...

BONNE NUIT - can't wait for day 9 :)

Sunday, 6 November 2011

DAY FIVE/SIX: family > yoga

It's Sunday night and my eyes are heavy but I will get this entry in (with as much accuracy as possible)...

DAY FIVE: "say good morning to your spines, you have just bent them in every direction possible" Claire Cameron, Saturday morning class. She could not have said it better. Morning classes always take me the longest to loosen up - I spend all of Half Moon Pose cringing in pain - it feels as though the sides of my body will rip if I PUSHHH PUSHHH PUSHHHH any deeper! But I know it's good for me so I keeep onnn pushing - and by the time class is over, my body is limber and ready for the day and I LOVE that feeling :)

After class, Mike and I enjoyed some freshly made sandwiches in the market from La Botega (by far my favorite Italian deli/bakery in Ottawa) before my drive home to MTL. Ottawa is so beautiful in the fall - I love seeing all the vendors still out in November - it makes me happy for them :) I'm hoping this weather lasts (knowing my luck - I just jinxed it - sorry everyone).

I spent all of yesterday afternoon and evening at Jenn and Davids with a few of our friends enjoying fondue and lots of wine (I cherish all those nights now, because they are so few and far between since my move to Ottawa). I have to admit, it was hard drinking wine, I felt so unhleathy. It's as if my body WANTS to do sober november along with this challenge (Too bad I'm not listening to it - it's the WINE & FOOD festival next weekend!)

DAY SIX: family > yoga
I woke up this morning with so much determination to make the drive back to Ottawa in time for the 4pm class - my body couldn't wait to detox all of last night's wine! But by the time my dad got home from church and we started lunch, it was already approaching 2pm. I was really dissapointed and felt like I was letting myself down, the other challengers down, even whoever reads this blog down! But since I hadn't spent any of my trip to MTL at home yet, I didn't feel right rushing off so quickly. SO- as much as I am dedicated to this challenge - my heart said stay - and I know I made the right decision. The afternoon I spent with my dad was 100% worth missing today's class. (besides, i'm pretty sure my body needed a break)

But you know what that means right? I'm doubling up one day this week - EEK!

GOODNIGHT everyone - have a great week - namaste :)

Friday, 4 November 2011

DAY FOUR: i want some more

DAY FOUR and woke up at 5:30 this morning wishing there was a 6a.m. class I could be going too! (ya, I was just as shocked). It seems that Bikram is now the first thing my body wants when it wakes up and the last thing it wants before bed. I don't blame it - in the perfect world (aka if I didn't have to work for a living) I would be doing classes ALL THE TIME. But unfortunately, I have a job - and had to wait till the 6pm. It was worth the wait - all my girls were in class (Leah, Jenny, Heather and Jasmine) - SO sweet.

I took class in HELLS KITCHEN (hottest part of the room - although tonight, no so hot) - and I figured I would have less distractions this way as there were no other students behind me (I tend to people watch sometimes). However, it was not the case - I decided if I couldn't watch other people, I would watch myself instead in the mirros to my left (you should NOT be looking anywhere but ahead). AHHH - I might have a mild case of ADD.

I wonder if people actually get their minds to think of NOTHING for 90 minutes?? I honestly find it impossible. Pretty sure I thought of everything and anything during tonights class. Work emails, tonights dinner, weekend plans, shopping, boys, this blog - name it - it was in my head. A few times, I caught myself NOT thinking about anything, but then, I was thinking about NOT thinking. GAH! How do you train the mind to just BE STILL? without THINKING of being still? so much to learn still.

After class, I was so happy to learn Mike had spaghetti and meatballs waiting for me- YUM. (thank god - because I was in no mood to cook). I'm lucky he's around during this challenge to feed me :)

ok DAY FOUR - i'm off to enjoy a bit of vino before bed (see? told you i would fail at sober november).

Thursday, 3 November 2011

DAY THREE: hot hot heat

DAY THREE: Touched my forehead to my KNEE! woot woot.

Today's class was taught by the funny and entertaining Wendy Tran. I absolutely love taking her classes - she is always so enthusiastic and encouraging! I never have a bad attitude for those 90 minutes I'm with her :) Oh, not to mention, she counts in Chinese every now and then - which makes me stop counting myself and just beeeee in the posture. J'aime ca.

As soon as we started class, I realized how hot the heat felt on my skin. No juicyness. No Humidity. Just HOT HOT HEAT. I felt like I was in a tanning salon on full blast with a broken fan - help! But as all 37 students entered into Triangle pose, humidity had set in! And then I heard it - DRIP DRIP DRIP - oh the magical sound of sweat beads dripping down every part of your body to the ground! So cleansing for our skin - flushing out all the toxins and impurities! Out with the bad and IN WITH THE GOOD :)

I'll keep this entry nice and short and end with one last thought "I need to do this 10 more times!?" Oh dear.

GOODNIGHT DAY THREE - i'm off to cuddle my fireman. haha (really, there's a fireman in my bed)

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

DAY TWO: one day at a time with your heart over your head

16 degrees outside today, in NOVEMBER! So I decided to leave the car behind and walk to the studio for DAY TWO. I was sweating before I even stepped in the hot room - little warm up! While walking towards Rideau Street, I saw a man drive by me on his bicycle with a wooden box on his back wheel that had "ONE DAY AT A TIME" written on it - I felt like it was speaking to ME! Before this challenge, I had decided this was going to be my mantra in order to survive the next 30 days! I believe it was fate to have this nice man's message remind me it was all going to be A-OK! Later, as I turned a corner, there it was - THE bike - locked up and waiting for me. I decided it needed to be added to my collection of IPHONE pics right away!

OK- enough about my walk. Let's talk BIKRAM! Today's class was taught by Claire Cameron (the owner/director of Bikram Yoga Ottawa and an inspiration to me). It felt as though I hadn't taken one of her classes in forever - it was good to hear her dialogue again.

Usually, after the spine series, my patience runs low, my mind starts to wander, and I become anxious; counting down each remaining posture til that last savasana. But today, it just flowed right on through to rabbit pose! However, CAMEL was a bit of a hiccup. It got me feeling quite emotional. I couldn't stay in position as long as required because my heart was wanting to explode (in a good way). Camel pose opens up your heart chakra and unlocks all kinds of emotions, so I know what I was feeling was normal, but I couldn't help thinking I would start crying if I stayed in position any longer. We constantly have our heads over our hearts in our everyday life, so lifting our hearts over our heads is bound to release unknown sensations - right? As for the next time my heart wants to get all crazy on me - I'll let the emotions pass through my body and just keep on breathing!

After tonight's class, I had plans to have a heart to heart wine date with Leah (one of my best friends here in Ottawa and a Bikram instructor at the studio), but unfortunately, she had to cancel due to her upcoming final exam to become a Registered Dietician (so i forgive her). Turns out, I was left with a quiet night with nothing to do (for once). I decided it was the perfect time to FUEL UP at the grocery store for all the healthy-ness I'm going to need during this challenge! Here's a sneak peek of what I'll be eating - (yes, those are tortilla chips)

Groceries put away - check
Dinner cooked - check
Caught up on TV shows - check
Bubble bath - check
Blog update - check

OH - sidetrack back to my walk (way home this time). I saw a man on a UNICYCLE with a briefcase and another man rollerblading in his suit drinking a coffee! God, I love Ottawa! :)

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

DAY ONE: the early bird special

As most of you know, I have been working as a workshare girl at Bikram Yoga Ottawa since it's opening in February, and ever since, I'm a BikramAddict. This month, I set out a challenge to complete 30 classes in 30 days (in case you're wondering, this amounts to 45 hours in the hot room). I had heard of other studios doing these challenges and I figured, "why not me? why not now?" It seems as though November is the month of challenges; men grow their dirrrrty 'staches and people give up alcohol for sober november (lord knows i would fail at that)---so I thought it only fitting to have my own challenge! And right before the holidays? Perfect!

Today was DAY ONE - For some crazy reason, I thought I would start the challenge off with a bang. 6AM CLASS! Get the first one done and over with! Like a band-aid kinda thing. I had a crazy Monday of work and then my work share shift at the studio, so by the time I got home and caught up with work emails, it was a late night getting to bed. Needless to say, I was quite the sleepy head for my first class. Every savasana, I was fighting to keep my eyes from closing! I'm sure Colleen (the wonderful instructor this morning; who told me she's never been happier than when she was doing 30 day challenges) got tired just looking at me yawn all class! SORRY! Although in locust pose, I'm pretty sure this is what I looked like  (or at least it felt that way), since my elbows were tingling like crazy!

After class, I felt like a little girl in school again posting that STAR STICKER next to my name on the chart I made during my workshare shift. How funny that something so small (and rather silly) can be such a big motivator? Last night, there was 3 of us on that chart, and during tonight's workshare shift, Jasmine recruited 7 more! It seems what started as a personal goal has now turned into a mini-studio challenge! Even more motivation and good energy to pass around!

I'm excited to see how I plan to fit classes into my life everyday - Warning to friends and family: my best friend is now the hot room. Stay tuned to read of my ups and downs in the next 30 days, this might get messy!

*sidenote to self: buy a new yoga towel! a potential 10 class reward? i think so :)