Monday, December 28, 2009

Weekend Warrior

143 classes in 139 days.

I did classes Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday since my last blog. On Christmas the studio was closed, so that was my first day without class since the beginning of October! Yes, it felt weird. It was funny, one of my teachers told me it was good to take a day off and she's glad that the studio being closed forced me to take a day off!

But something very good happened after Christmas, which is that I think I've finally solved my weekend problem. For months, I've had a hard time with the weekend classes. I've taken afternoon classes on Saturday and Sunday, and by my standards, they were generally awful. I have no clear explanation for this. I do classes during the week at 5 PM, and they're great. I almost never have a rough class during the week, but for some reason, those afternoon classes on the weekend were like getting hit by a truck. I felt exhausted at the end of class, which is the exact opposite of how I should feel.

I went over this a bit with Sheri, my favorite teacher, and she suggested I come earlier in the day. This is something Juliana (fellow blogger DancingJ) suggested to me too. So this weekend I took 11 AM classes on Saturday and Sunday and it was great! They felt just like my normal weekday classes. My muscles were a little tighter at the beginning of class, but that went away quickly.

I've been given many possible reasons why this works out better for me, but I really have no idea what the reason is, nor do I care. I just know that the 11 AM works for me, and I'm going to stick with it. I should have taken Juliana's advice earlier...:)


Wednesday, December 23, 2009


139 classes in 134 days.

Tonight will be my last nighttime class until next Monday! Thursday there are only morning classes, then no classes Friday (Christmas), then my usual afternoon Saturday and Sunday classes.

The last few classes were fun. Stacey, the studio owner taught on Monday and then Jen, a recently graduated teacher, taught last night. Last night, right before classes, Stacey said to me, "You've gotten really good!", at which point another teacher nearby said, "That's what happens with a daily practice." Made me feel good, of course. Then Stacey set up next to me in the front row last night. I was between her and Nita. Lots of energy there for sure!

No blogs for the next few days. Everyone have a great holiday!


Monday, December 21, 2009

Wall Walking!

137 classes in 132 days.

Ok, so a few days ago I was introduced to something that has already produced a lot of fun and helped my practice a lot. It's called "wall walking" (at least here). Nita showed me how to do it and a few people do it here. She told me it wasn't broadly known about it, and she even showed different people at teacher training about it. There are probably about 5 people at my studio that I see do this on a regular basis.

It's basically a back bend into the wall and then you continue to back bend and "walk" down the wall with your hands until you get your hands on the floor. Then you "walk" back up the wall. It's a fantastic back bend and really helps with other back bends in your normal practice. It's also great for opening up the shoulders. I wouldn't necessarily recommend this without someone showing you how to do it. I'm curious how many of you know this already.

It's a lot of fun, and I'm doing it before class now. I also do it at home and other places, including a restaurant Saturday!


Wednesday, December 16, 2009


133 classes in 128 days.

I've had a lot happening yoga-wise over the past few days, so I'll spread things out over a few blogs. I haven't missed any classes, so don't worry about that:)

This past weekend, I had various friends come from out of town. One of them has actually done a few Bikram classes in L.A. She was pretty excited to hear I had become a Bikram fanatic. She started asking me lots of questions about, the postures, etc. And I had no problems answering her questions, and I realized along the way how much I actually know about the subject so far. Obviously the teachers talk a lot everyday, but I never considered how much of the knowledge has now become a part of me. It's second nature now, and of course I keep learning more all the time. It was a lot of fun to rattle off data about the postures, their internal and external benefits, etc. I guess I've been paying attention in class!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Spreading the Word

130 classes in 125 days.

Had a very fun weekend with some friends from out of town. Of course, that doesn't mean I missed any Bikram classes. The rest of my life just gets re-arranged around my classes:)

As far as Bikram goes, my favorite thing from the weekend was that a girl I was talking to about it showed up for class on Saturday. She bought the week intro. She had done 3 or 4 classes at some other studios, but it had been a while and I wanted her to come check out Green Valley. She did really well, and got lots of attention from the teacher that day. It makes me soooooo happy to get people on board with Bikram. She was very happy and thanked me for getting her there. Let's see how she does in her intro week. I want to make another fanatic!

As as my own practice, I'm kind of in a stuck place again. That's ok, I've been through this before. I go everyday, so I'm not worried about being stuck for too long!


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Tightness is Rightness

127 classes in 122 days.

Overall very good tonight. But weirdly enough, my muscles were tighter tonight. This is very unusual for a weekday night, as that's when my muscles are usually at their loosest. I'm blaming it on the cold weather we've had this week. That's as good an excuse as any:)

Dancing J's continuous tips on Standing Bow Pulling (i.e. telling me the dialogue over and over) are definitely helping. Tonight, the teacher complimented me on the posture. But trust me, it's still very much a work in progress.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Michelle and Mei

126 classes in 121 days.

Michelle dropped by my studio today to do the 5 PM class. Recent teacher graduate (and fellow blogger) Mei taught a 3 PM class, and then took the 5 PM class. They were both great. Michelle was her usual determined self. She definitely works on each posture and doesn't take a vacation on any of them. Believe me, I see plenty of people take it easy on a few postures each class, even if they don't totally sit them out. But not Michelle, she rocks it the whole time!

Working on some tips from the Dancing J about my Standing Bow Pulling tonight. This is still a major work in progress. I can get my body parallel to the floor, but sadly, it doesn't last long. Every class is a new adventure...


Tuesday, December 8, 2009


125 classes in 120 days.

Tonight the person who introduced me to Bikram Yoga practiced with me. I talk to her and see her all the time, but we haven't practiced together in a while. Plus Sheri was teaching, so I was highly motivated tonight, and I had a great class. I pushed like crazy, didn't feel the heat, and went deep into a lot of postures.

Having her in class with me just reminded me again how grateful I am to her for introducing me to this yoga. She factually saved my life. I'm sure everyone has an interesting story about how they found this yoga, but I will never forget my dear friend who opened this door for me.


Monday, December 7, 2009

Rain Rain Rain!

124 classes in 119 days.

For the first time in, I don't know, almost a year, we've had significant rainfall in Vegas. It's been going since this afternoon. The power went off at my business today and we just closed up and went home early! Traffic was a mess, because no one seems to know how to drive when it's wet here. Good thing I learned to drive in Cleveland.

Tonight we had a visiting teacher from New York, Jason. Didn't catch his last name. I did introduce myself before class so I wouldn't get totally ignored during class:) It went well. The room was stuffed with regulars plus about six teachers, so that's always good for my motivation. A few of the teacher graduates were back in class to resume their normal practice, so that was cool. Lots of energy in the room.

This 101 thing is catching on by the way. Yesterday, I was talking to Nita about it (she'll probably do 101 classes in 50 days, but anyways), and another student who I didn't even know told me she heard about the 101 challenge. This thing is spreading like wildfire. I love it!


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Some of my Favorite People

123 classes in 118 days. Did the Friday 5 PM, Saturday 1 PM and Sunday 3 PM.

I'm not going to talk about my recent classes, other than to say my right leg is almost feeling normal again, and is now more flexible. Yay!

I want to talk about the yoga community in this blog. Last night, we had a holiday party at the Palms and a bunch of different yogis from different studios came. It was a lot of fun, as you can imagine. Pictures should be appearing soon on Bikramyogachick's blog. I know lots of different people in different walks of life, different groups, etc, but there's just something wonderful about people that practice this yoga. For one thing, they all have some high level of motivation. Who else would put themselves through a 90 minute torture chamber on a regular basis? They're kind, friendly and we generally all get along. How often do you see a big argument at a studio? It's probably pretty rare.

There's a certain confidence and calmness too. I'd love to see some demographic research about people who practice Bikram sometime, because I swear they're just smarter then your average group of people.

On a related note, the teachers from the Fall Teacher Training graduated on Saturday! So that's about 300 more teachers unleashed on the world. Awesome.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Way Out is the Way Through

120 classes in 115 days!

Do you know what's significant about 120 classes in 115 days?! It's four consecutive 30 day challenges! Happily, class went well today. I would have been annoyed if class # 120 was a rough one. Roberta taught, and sure enough, she whipped out the yardstick again! She only used it a little bit to correct postures tonight, but I avoided it. Also, my leg felt a lot better today, which leads to the topic of this blog (and the title).

Yoga is about the only thing I know which can cause you pain, soreness, etc, but also heals anything negative it might cause. Think about that for a minute. What else in this world can do that? If you get hurt playing basketball, it's going to make things worse if you just play more basketball. Drinking more alcohol doesn't solve any problems from drinking in the first place. More drugs don't solve a drug problem. More food doesn't help someone lose weight. More war doesn't solve war. See where I'm going with this?

This yoga is so amazing because even if it temporarily causes you some discomfort, it always gives back tenfold.



119 classes in 114 days.

What an annoying day yesterday. I ended up getting off work a little late and was rushing to get to my 5 PM class when I ran into horrible traffic on the freeway. There was an accident and so traffic was stopped up for a few miles. So I ended up not making it to the 5 o'clock class. I suppose I could have gone in about 5 minutes late, but I've never done that and didn't want to.

So I took the 7 PM class. The only times before I've taken a 7 PM class were my very first class ever and then later as the second class of a doubles. I might as well have taken a double, because the class felt like a double. This is one of those classes where I really had to pay attention to the teacher, because I kept forgetting which posture I just did! I just wasn't totally in the room today. My leg still hurts, my teeth (?) were hurting, etc.

Hopefully I can make the 5 PM today...


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Lock Your Standing Knee - Maybe

118 classes in 113 days.

Yes, I'm still in pain. My right leg was continuing to cause trouble in class tonight. Very sore on my quads and quite painful at times. But I persisted and the teacher Sheri told me not to be too concerned.

However, tonight during class, Sheri shared some very interesting information with us. Teacher training is going on here in Vegas (it's the last week this week), so Bikram himself has been teaching a lot of classes. Anyways, Sheri was at one of the classes he taught recently and he made a point that everyone should try to kick out on Standing Head to Knee, whether their standing leg is locked or not. He said that kicking out can actually help the person lock their standing knee. Now, I already lock my standing knee, so it's not a big deal for me, but it's definitely a major change from what the teachers have been telling us everyday. I kind of like the point about kicking out can help locking the knee. Interesting.

Now of course, the point isn't to slack off and not try and lock the standing knee:) And for sure, you have to lock both knees before bending your elbows. If you have any questions about that last part, go ahead and try to bend your elbows down without locking the knees. Go ahead, I dare you.


Monday, November 30, 2009


117 classes in 112 days.

The title of my blog says it all. Solid class tonight, but my right leg, from the waist all the way to the toes is in pain. It started on Sunday and got much worse tonight. I couldn't straighten it at all for a few minutes on the floor series. It hurt to walk after class, it hurt driving home, it hurts now. I'm assuming (hoping) it's my body getting deeper and deeper into things. It's funny, because tonight I feel like I did after my first few classes. Not only is my leg sore, but other parts of my body are sore.

I'm starting to understand this yoga is cyclic. What goes around comes around. Soreness, adversity, struggle, then bliss, a new plateau, then it starts all over again:) I will tell you something that's really cool. Despite the pain, I had a solid class. If you were watching me, you probably wouldn't have noticed. I try to keep my focus even through pain, although I've had my moments of yoga drama too.

So I'm assuming this new wave of pain will equal some major progress in the near future. Let's hope so...


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Time Off for Yoga

116 classes in 111 days.

No blog for the past few days. Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. Despite not blogging for a few days, I've been busy with Bikram. I'll recap each day.

Thursday, 11 AM: I wasn't sure if this class would have a lot of people in it, considering it was Thanksgiving, but boy was I wrong. It was stuffed with people. My studio only offered a 7 AM, 9 and 11 that day. So I guess a lot of people wanted to get in their yoga before they stuffed themselves with food! Pretty solid class, although it was really hot, as it often is when the room is filled with people.

Friday, 9 AM: Ok, so check this out. Technically, my work is open on the Friday after Thanksgiving, but for what I do specifically, there's not a lot for me to do, when lots of other people are off work. I deal with clients and various companies, so if they're not available, it's a little dumb for me to come to work. Anyways, I decided to take a half a day off work on Friday. And do you know why? So I could sleep in? Do some shopping? Nope. It's so I could do a double on Friday! Hehe.

I did the 9 AM, and it sucked for a couple of reasons. One, my muscles were unusually tight, even for a morning class. Maybe it was the turkey the day before. Who knows? The other reason it sucked was the teacher. I rarely have complaints about teachers, but this was a visiting teacher, and frankly he just wasn't very good. He basically just said the dialogue and sounded bored doing it. I understand if you are visiting and don't know the names of students, but there were a number of really obvious major errors I saw people making on postures, and this guy didn't correct any of it. Disappointing. But anyways...

Friday, 5 PM: This was my second class of the day, and the normal time slot I do. It was much better than the 9 AM. Partially because of the time of day, and partially because one of my usual and favorite teachers was there. I didn't really feel the effects of doing the double, which was nice. Believe it or not, all the other doubles I've done are back to back. This is the first time I've split up a double in different parts of the day. Gives me an idea for doing this on Saturdays every now and then...

Also, later that night I met a girl who has done a few Bikram classes in other studios. I talked to her about Green Valley and she said she'll drop by this week. I have a few free passes I could give to her. Maybe I can make another Bikram fanatic! :)

Saturday 1 PM: Ok, I felt the double here. I basically did 3 classes in a 28 hour period, so something was bound to give. Not that I sat out postures or anything, but it wasn't exactly smooth sailing. Marie taught, and now that she's learned my name, she doesn't hesitate to use it! I love corrections, but sometimes I'd rather be invisible. No such luck on Saturday.

Sunday, 3 PM: Probably my best Sunday class ever. J gave me some very good advice about my weekend classes and it paid off today. Not the advice about the time, J, but the other stuff:) It certainly helped that I had a new person behind me and to my left, and teacher Sheri to my right. Sheri threatened to kick me again like last week if I slacked off. But, she didn't have to kick me. It felt like a normal weekday class and I was happy. I even held Camel longer than usual. A few of our teachers like to hold Camel for a minute in the second set. It's a nice challenge.

Overall, my holiday weekend was stuffed with yoga, and I couldn't be happier:)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Taste the Pain

111 classes in 107 days.

"What would rather have? 10 seconds of pain or 10 years? 90 minutes of pain or 90 years? - Bikram

The above is something Bikram said when I took a class from him. Our teachers have repeated it many times. Today my lower back was in pain in class, and it's still quite sore. And you know what? I love it, absolutely love it. I've been making good progress on various postures, especially ones related to the lower back, and it hurts. I've pushing further in postures and my back is feeling it. But it makes me feel like I'm progressing, like I'm alive. The real pain is just in class when doing the postures. Afterwards, I'm just sore. Soreness is a lot better than pain in life, believe me. I've had real back pain before, 24 hours a day. It makes live unlivable. So the fact that I'm sore makes me happy. I'm making good progress.

Here's another quote from Bikram. It's paraphrased, except for the last sentence:)

"You know I get all kinds of people coming to me with problems. Different body problems, things hurt, can't walk, emotional problems, whatever. And I have the solution. You know what that solution is? Lock the fucking knee!"


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Crossing the Line

110 classes in 106 days.

Class with Sheri = bliss. Just like last week with her, I had another awesome day in the hot room. Sometimes I like to go into details about postures, how the class went, etc. But sometimes it's just irrelevant. All that matters to me is how I feel during class and afterwards. Floating, flying, utterly unconcerned with anything else in my life. Those are the best classes, never mind how the postures looked that day.

Somewhere along the way since I started practicing, I crossed the line from working out my body to...something better, something higher. It's a fun place to me. Don't worry, I loooove to go into details about postures and improving my form and depth. But it's just the means to an end.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Smooth Sailing

109 classes in 105 days.

Very smooth class tonight. I was able to do pretty well in the floor series, which is always a goal of mine for every class. Bikram says the real yoga is done on the floor, so I'm happy when I can reach good depth in the floor series. The measuring stick for a good class for me or a not so good one is the floor series. It could probably be 125 degrees in the room, and I'll get through the floor series Ok. Not that it's easy, but for me, a lot of the floor poses are trickier, and when I get too hot, some of them become nearly impossible. It's funny, because near the end of standing series, the teachers often say that "we're almost on the floor", as if that's something really exciting. But if I'm really hot, I don't get excited about laying down. When I do, my body just thinks, "Oh good, we can go to sleep!"

Oh, one more quote I forgot to put in yesterday: (Teacher, in Locust pose): "Put your face on the towel, kiss the towel, tongue optional."


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Amusing Comments

Been away from the blog for a few days, but that doesn't mean I missed any classes. I'm up to 108 classes in 104 days now.

Before I get to the rest of the blog for today, I have to tell you about a funny thing that happened in class today. As I've mentioned before, the Sunday 3 PM class is filled with REALLY good yogis. So I usually set up in the second row, not the front row like usual. Today, Sheri (the teacher) set up in front of me. On the second set of Camel, I continued to lay in Savasana and wasn't planning to do the posture. For reasons still unexplained, my heat tolerance seems to go on vacation on the weekends, so I was really hot today. Anyways, I was planning to sit out the second set, when Sheri kicked me in the head to get me up and doing the posture! I thought it was so funny, I forgot I was hot, and got up and did the posture. After class I told her how funny it was and she said "Well, it was effective!" I love having teachers that care that much, even when they're not teaching.

So here's the rest of the blog. I'm going to list some funny and interesting things I've heard in some recent classes. This is inspired by J, who did a similar blog at one point. I'm leaving out names on purpose (except me), but Michelle might figure out some of them.

Teacher: "You came out of the posture early!"
Student: "I like to get out of the gate fast."
Teacher: "Maybe that's why you don't have a girlfriend."

Teacher: "Keep your eyes open during the posture."
Student: "They are open. I'm just Asian!"

Teacher: "Greg, you just threw that one." - After I fell out of a posture.

Teacher: "Yoga is like a kiss. If you do it too fast, it's sloppy and gross."

Teacher (During Balancing Stick): "Greg, go ahead and touch (the girl in front of me). She's not doing anything anyways."

Teacher (During Balancing Stick): "Make a perfect Mr. T. I pity the fool."

Teacher (During third part awkward): "Pretend you have something really valuable between your knees, like Michael Bolton tickets."

Teacher, near the end of class: "Now you guys can go out and do whatever you want. Drink beer, whatever."

Teacher (to new student): "Just take it easy today. You'll see me kill other guys, like Greg. But you take it easy."

Teacher: "You guys are adults, you can do whatever you want. Except her (and points to her kid, who was in class)."

Teacher: "No sex for you tonight." She said this to a guy who was leaving the room, and his girlfriend was still in the class.

Teacher: "Yoga starts out as a workout, but becomes so much more."

Teacher: "Look into the mirror and into the eyes of your one and only true teacher."


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Digging in the Dirt

105 classes in 101 days.

Not everyday is exciting in class. I thought of an analogy that fits what happened today, but I'll get to that shortly. I had all kinds of weird things going on with my body today. First, a few days ago I managed to get a nasty bump on my head during Savasana. A woman was very close behind me and kept hitting my feet with her hands when doing the sit ups. So I was moving further back on my mat and on one of the Savasanas I laid down and hit my head on the floor, instead of my mat. Ouch. So my head was hurting all class, and still does. Then I was just sore in general throughout class, with all kinds of strange parts of my body hurting. On top of that, I actually thought it was too hot tonight. It happens. The humidity was over 70%, which makes me sluggish more than anything else. I didn't have to sit out anything, but I felt kinda blah the whole class.

So here's my analogy. It's kind of like digging in the ground for something. You'll dig dirt for a while and it goes smoothly, but once in a while you'll hit some rocks. Now it doesn't mean you've gone backwards, but you do have to handle the rocks to keep digging. These rougher days are like hitting the rocks. You just have to blast though them, but it's not a "bad" day when you hit them. You're just digging deeper. Not the most exciting description, but it works for me :)


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Yardstick

104 classes in 100 days.

Well after my big high yesterday, I managed not to come crashing down tonight. A lot of the gains I had on the postures last night stuck with me, which was great. Still going deeper in a lot of things. Tonight was class with Roberta. I haven't had her in a few months, and my practice is obviously a lot better since then. Still, I was a little worried, as I just remember her class being really hot.

It turns out I didn't feel too hot at all in her class. My heat tolerance is certainly higher now than two months ago. That didn't stop some other people from feeling it was hot. Two of them left the room, and only one returned! The funniest part of the class is that Roberta would often walk around the room with a yardstick (!) and poke and push people with it to improve their postures! I managed to avoid this for a while, but then she got me - twice. Once on Full Locust and then on Stretching. I've had teachers physically move me around a bit in postures before, but never with a prop.

Anyone have water suggestions for me? I've heard all kinds of suggestions, and I've tried various kinds of water, with electrolytes, etc. But I swear I can't tell the difference between any of them.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009


103 classes in 99 days.

Maybe this is karma at work. After my last blog complaining about being "stuck" at a certain level, I never would have expected my class today. One of the best ever.

It started early on, in the first backbend. During the backbend, an amazing feeling came over me. I'm not exactly sure how to describe it, but it was an incredible calm and clarity. Everything slowed down. I didn't even feel anything in the room or on my body. It wasn't numb, because that's not good, but it was more like me just telling my body what to do, like controlling a puppet.

After this epiphany, if you will, I then proceeded to go deeper than EVER before in about the next six postures. In Standing Bow Pulling, I refused to come out the posture when the teacher (Sheri) said "change." The whole class just stood there and waited for a few seconds until I felt like coming out of the posture. I told Sheri after class I was just having too much fun and didn't want to come out of the posture! In Standing Head to Knee, I got my elbows below my calf muscles for the first time ever, and again I didn't want to come out of that posture either.

This is one of those classes where I think to myself, "Bikram is so right. This stuff is magic." Of course, I'll probably be chasing this feeling again for the next 100 days, but I know it's there, and if that's not motivation enough to continue, I don't know what is.



102 classes in 98 days.

Monday was one of those odd days, in and out of the hot room. I was kind of in a daze most of the day, and it just continued over into class.

For whatever reason, I couldn't really bring myself into the room totally. The good news is the class went pretty well, no bumps in the road and doing well on the postures. It just felt weird mentally the whole time. The class went by really fast and I was surprised when class was over. By the end of class, my fog was gone, so that was nice.

I've been a little frustrated recently due to being kind of "stuck" in my practice. I've done this long enough now to know that this will happen, and then eventually I'll make some more good forward progress. But it gets annoying when day after day it feels like I'm not going deeper in ANY of the postures. Just the same old same old. Of course every class is different, but I want to get better all the time.

Sheri's teaching class tonight, so maybe I'll complain to her about this.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Yogi All-Stars

101 classes in 97 days.

I've already discussed my difficulties with weekend classes, as it's a break from my Monday-Friday routine. So I won't go over that again right now. It was the usual difficult Sunday class for me, but overall it went Ok. It was nice and hot with close to 60% humidity. But I thought I'd write about something I love about Sunday classes.

For a variety of reasons, the Sunday 3 PM class is stuffed with experienced and great yogis. One of the reasons is that Advanced Class is at 5 PM, so a lot of those guys do the 3 PM as their "warm up." Then recently we have some visiting teachers, as well as some of the people on teacher training. The trainees have Sundays off, but a few of them come in and do class on their day off! That's some serious dedication.

Needless to say, I don't go in the front row on Sundays. Not because I'm worried about a rough class, but honestly I'd rather be behind these super great yogis so I can watch them for any subtle things about the postures. It's awesome. So I set up in the second row and got to watch all of these incredible yogis do their thing. Very inspiring.


Saturday, November 14, 2009


100 classes in 96 days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Did 99 last night and 100 this morning! I'll be celebrating by doing 101 tomorrow.

I think the above is all I need to say today. Thanks to everyone at Green Valley, all my teachers and my fellow bloggers. Namaste!


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dray's New Studio, Bikramyogachick and Rain(!)

98 classes in 94 days!

All kinds of fun things happened today. First, I went to Dray's new studio. Dray was the teacher of the first two classes I ever took and he's a large reason I kept coming back. He really cares about each of his students and I think it's awesome he opened up his own studio. There are now four in Vegas. As far as I'm concerned, there could be 100 here!

Second, I got to meet Michelle (Bikramyogachick), who's blog inspired me to write my own! We practiced together up front. You can tell she's been practicing for a few years. She's very focused and doesn't mess around. Just the type of person I like to practice next to. I've practiced next to all kinds of people, including people that fidget a lot, loud breathing, etc. I can deal with it (I've even had people fall into me), but it's much more fun to be next to a dedicated and focused person. Yay Michelle!

Class itself was fine. They're still trying to work out the heat in the room, but it warmed up Ok as the class went on. Not sure it will ever get up to the (slightly insane) level that I like it:)

Finally, apparently it rained while class was going on! I came outside and it had definitely rained. For non-Vegas people, trust me, this is a big deal. It literally only rains a few days a year here, and even then it's usually only for a few minutes. And it even rained for about a minute while I was driving home. This probably sounds silly to Boston people:)

Anyways, back to Green Valley, my usual studio tomorrow. Although I'm sure Michelle and I will practice together again in the near future...


A Day Off?

97 classes in 93 days!

No, I didn't take a day off today, but you'll see why I put that as the title of my post today. Last night, Joseph Encinia, 2009 National Asana Champion, taught our 5 PM class. He's touring around the world with Courtney Mace, the 2009 International Champion. He did a few demonstrations for us, including Scorpion, a crazy looking advanced posture. If you're not familiar, it's basically a handstand and then bending your legs down forward and resting your feet on your head! And he did it effortlessly.

Throughout class, he demonstrated a few of the "normal" postures for us as well, including a fantastic locust pose, with his legs 90 degrees straight up! He gave great suggestions and tips as well.

After class I was talking to him about different postures and I mentioned I've done 97 classes in 93 days and he laughed and said I should take a day off! Not until December...

Today I'll be checking out Dray's new studio in Red Rock and seeing Michelle. Should be fun!


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Return of the Queen

96 classes in 92 days!

Sheri's back! One of my favorite teachers returned after being out of town for the past two weeks, and she didn't disappoint. Of course, she managed to start off the class by putting me under some pressure. There was a new guy behind me and Sheri told him to watch me in the front row! Obviously I wasn't going to be slacking off today after that! Also, in the middle of the standing series she asked me if I thought it was hot yet. I told her it was Ok. She then proceeded to tell the class that if I had thought it was hot, she would have actually been concerned it was too hot. But since I said it was Ok, she wasn't worried. This produced moans and groans from a few people :)

Future teachers take note: The reason I like Sheri so much is her ability to note the little things in postures to correct. Her observation is simply spectacular. In tonight's class, she pointed out about 4 little things in some of my postures that made a huge difference. It's always the little things that make the biggest impact, and it takes a very good teacher to notice the little things, and correct the student.

Oh by the way, the humidity was over 60% by the end of class, and yes I thought it was hot at that point. :)


Monday, November 9, 2009

A Relative Day at the Beach

95 classes in 91 days!

Ah, Mondays. I used to hate Mondays, but now I look forward to them! Why? Because it's back to my usual 5 PM classes instead of the odd weekend schedule I do. Plenty of time all day to let my body loosen up, drink lots of water, etc. So I looked forward to my class all day, and I was not disappointed.

The room felt cold when I walked in. Of course it wasn't really cold, but that's how it usually feels to me Monday-Friday. Like I'm in Santa Monica or something. Today was one of those days when it's not a series of 26 postures, but one long and flowing class. Just the way I like it. Lots of new faces in there tonight, which I always like to see, and everything went smooth.

This is one of these classes where afterwards I have to remind myself not to get too arrogant or complacent because of how well things went. But I don't have to worry about that, because tomorrow Sheri is teaching. She's back from a trip the past few weeks and it most definitely won't be a day at the beach for me tomorrow. She knows my skill level backwards and forward and she pushes me hard. I'll have more about this tomorrow for sure...


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Conservation of Energy

94 classes in 90 days!

After last Sunday's nightmarish class, I was determined to make this week's Sunday class better. Right at the beginning of class, I could tell it was going to be a rough one. The room was absolutely stuffed with people wall to wall. It's the biggest number of people I've seen at this studio thus far. This is great for energy, but it definitely increases the humidity when there are tons of people. I was dripping with sweat right from the beginning.

So early on, I decided to conserve my energy a bit. Through most of the standing series, I did the postures to about 80% of my capability. Proper set up and form, but not going as deep as I usually do. I wasn't thrilled to do it as I love to push myself really hard, but I figured it would enable me to make it through the whole class. It was already hot, and I knew it was just going to get worse as the class went on.

The class was filled with veteran yogis, including a bunch of teachers and some people that competed last month. A lot of those guys were taking postures off and you could tell the heat was affecting them. Anyways, my strategy worked great. I got through the class with minimal trouble. My postures certainly weren't my best, but I know that if I do the correct form, I'm still getting benefits.

Looking forward to Monday, so I can get back to my "normal" practice! :)


Saturday, November 7, 2009


Two classes since my last blog, Friday at 5 and Saturday (today) 9 AM. So that's 93 classes in 89 days since I started.

This morning in class I was struck by a man behind me. He was older, probably in his 60's, and was struggling very hard with the postures, and couldn't even get into the set up in all of them. But you know what? He was working hard and didn't sit out anything. It was great to see actually.

I'm often more inspired by people like this, than people that have been practicing for years. It just shows me how anyone really can do this yoga and benefit from it, regardless of their age, shape, etc. I could care less what the people in the room look like or how well they can do the postures. I admire and respect everyone who does this. They all inspire me.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thoughts in Class Today

91 classes in 87 days.

Everyday in class various random thoughts come into my head. I thought I'd try to share some of these. I'll try to keep these in some sort of order. Obviously I don't remember everything. It's not like I can take notes during class!

(Beginning of class): "Good temperature today. Pretty full class."

(During Eagle Pose): "Am I ever going to get my left foot to wrap around!?"

"I wonder if I'll get home in time to watch the end of the Cavs-Bulls game?"

"Who's this girl next to me? I've never seen her before, but she's really good."

(During Standing Bow): "Hey, that point Dray mentioned yesterday in class works really well. I'm getting my leg up faster!"

(During Balancing Stick): "Why are so many people around me coming out of the posture early?"

"I'm the only man in the room wearing yoga shorts."

"What's wrong with my hamstrings!?"

"Is it possible for steam to actually bounce off a mirror?"

(During Triangle): "I'm doing the posture correctly, but for some reason my hands appear to be 20 feet away from my toes. Why is this?"

(After standing series): "Michelle (the teacher) just opened the door, and it smells like peppermint."

"I think I want some Jamba Juice."

"I wonder how the first-timer in the back is doing?"

(During Locust, first part): "The guy behind me is like 60 years old, and he's getting his leg up higher than me!"

(After someone loudly said something to the teacher): "Who is this guy and why is he yelling?"

(During Full Locust): "I don't want to do Bow pose next."

(During Bow pose): "This is going better than I thought it would."

(For the next 15 minutes, a rap song from about 7 years ago is going through my head)

(During Camel): "I can't believe the girl behind me came out early. She's normally much better than me."

(During Rabbit): "My head hurts."

(During Stretching): "Ok, I'm hot now. Where are the fans!?"

(End of Class): Nothing, clear head. Serenity :)


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Change in the Weather

90 classes in 86 days!

Remember my posting last week about the room being too cold? Well, it seems my studio has taken measures to correct that. The past four days there has been a noticeable increase in the temperature and humidity. One of the obvious changes is the teachers hardly open the doors during class now, if at all, plus the fans hardly come on anymore. None of this is a big deal for me (except the awful last Sunday class), but it's definitely taking a toll on a few of the students. No one left the room today, but there were plenty of moans and groans during and after class.

As for me, I'm enjoying the higher (and probably correct) temperatures. My muscles can sure feel the difference. I've been able to go deeper in a few postures, especially Camel. Camel has never been one of my better postures, and I'm constantly working to improve it. I can't tell you how many times I've gotten with teachers about it, had them look at me doing it before class, etc. When I first started, I couldn't even do the set up correctly. I was so happy when I was finally able to get my hands on my heels. Now I get killed by practically every teacher for not pushing my hips forward enough. I'm working on it!

As a side note, anyone else ever notice energy differences in the room from day to day, or even in different parts of the room? I'll explore this topic more in detail, but it's fascinating to me.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fire Walker

89 classes, 85 days. Today I had my first class with the actual studio owner. She normally teaches mornings, so it was fun to finally get to take one of her classes. It was quite an experience. It looked like a war zone in there today. People dropping left and right, and I'm talking about the front row! Four people left the room at different points, including another teacher (!). First time I've ever seen that.

But you know what? I didn't miss a beat. Didn't sit out anything, just keep on rolling. And yes, I thought it was hot, real hot, but it didn't stop me today. After class I found out we topped off at 109 degrees with 65% humidity(!), plus she didn't open the doors once like most teachers. Just the fans a few times. I'll say this much, I sure was more flexible thanks to all that humidity :)


Top 10 Favorite Albums of the Decade

Ok, here they are. My favorite albums of the past decade. I'm not claiming these are the "best" albums (always a question of taste), and they certainly aren't the best selling. Just my personal favorites, with a little explanation for each one. They are in no particular order.

1. Coldplay - X&Y. I could have picked any of their albums really, but this one captures their sound and feeling better than any other.

2. Linkin Park - Meteora. I've always maintained Linkin Park is one of the only few original sounding rock bands in the past decade, and this album shows why. It's actually their least successful in terms of sales, but it's my favorite.

3. Kanye West - Graduation. One of the only artists to write original and unique hip hop/rap music. This was his third album and a tour de force which expanded the genres of hip hop, pop and rap.

4. Jay Z - The Blueprint. Arguably the greatest pure rapper in history.

5. U2 - All That You Can't Leave Behind. U2 has reinvented their sound three times in their career. First on The Joshua Tree, then on Actung Baby and then again on All That You Can't Leave Behind. There's a reason why they're the most popular band in the world.

6. Nine Inch Nails - Year Zero. Brilliant musically and lyrically. Nothing sounds like Nine Inch Nails before or since.

7. Guns N' Roses - Chinese Democracy. An odd choice, perhaps. This album had a lot of hype, considering how long it took to make (over a decade), and received mixed reviews. Some people just can't get past the fact that it's not the original line-up. But Axl Rose is a genius and each song is well written, performed and produced.

8. Black Eyed Peas - Elephunk. If not for this band and Kayne West (see # 3), hip hop might have fallen off the map forever.

9. Paul Oakenfold - Bunkka. The artist who put Trance music on the map in the 1990's continued his groundbreaking writing/mixing/producing with this album that shakes up typical "dance" music.

10. Eminem - The Eminem Show. Say what you want about this guy, he took the rap community and flipped it upside down. In between his intentionally over the top lyrics, you'll find some of the most emotional and honest songs since Kurt Cobain and Nirvana.

Have fun with this list. I always like feedback!


Monday, November 2, 2009


88 classes in 84 days, and today was MUCH better than yesterday's disaster. It started off rough, and I swear it was actually hotter today than yesterday. But I found my groove and had a very good class. I went deeper than ever in Camel (not one of my better postures), so I was very surprised and happy about that! Yesterday in class I couldn't even do Camel.

All is good in the world tonight. It's amazing how much a poor class will stick my attention. I thought about it all day, but we're all good now. Maybe I'll do a double tomorrow :)


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Something Happened on the Way to Heaven

Well, it was bound to happen. Class # 87 in 83 days today, and I got flattened. Big time. The best thing I can say about today is that at least I stayed in the room the whole time. Sat out the last four postures, and I couldn't even lay in Savasana correctly. I was laying on my side part of the time. It felt like 300 degrees and I got a nasty stomach cramp. At least my cramp is gone now, but it's four hours since class ended and I still feel weird.

Generally when I have a rough class, the next day is great. So let's hope that trend continues. I just have to remember that I run the body, the body doesn't run me.


Saturday, October 31, 2009

Saturday Demolition

Ah, Saturdays. Many people get to enjoy a lazy Saturday morning and ease into the day. No work, no worries. Not me. You see, I have to work on Saturdays from 11AM-3PM. No big deal, except my studio's last class of the day is at 3 PM. My only choices are 5 or 7 Am (which is unthinkable), or 9 AM. So I do the 9 AM. During the week I practice at 5 PM (and 7 if I do a double). That's generally the highlight of my day and I am very enthusiastic about going.

Saturdays are a different story. I don't look forward to this class. I'm not a morning person. It takes me a while to fully wake up. And for whatever reason, my joints are much tighter in the morning, so the beginning of class is always an adventure. But of course, as the class goes on, I loosen up, and things generally go Ok. I always feel great at the end, which is why I continue to go to this Saturday torture.

Our teacher (Chasity, one of my favorites) was wearing a costume today (Halloween after all) so that was fun. People like to do different things before class, chat with other students, lay in Savasana, whatever. Me, I warm up, and like to take the chance to go over specific postures with the teachers. Today Chasity and I went over Rabbit pose. She watched me do it and corrected a few minor points. But those minor points are what makes the difference. Going over individual postures with teachers before or after class is some of the most valuable use of my time each day. It's really helps improve my practice, rather than just listening for corrections in class.

Since my last blog yesterday morning, I've done two more classes, and that puts me at 86 classes in 82 days since I started. And I finished the 30 day challenge yesterday that our studio was doing! Now my next immediate goal is 100 since I started, but that's going to be pretty easy.


Friday, October 30, 2009

Too Cold?

Bikram class # 84 in 80 days last night. Today I'll do # 85 and will complete the 30 day challenge. I think I win a bag or something, but I told them I want a t-shirt! We'll see if that happens.

One thing interesting that's happened in classes this week is I keep getting more and more used to the temperature and I honestly didn't feel hot in any of the classes this week. Very warm, but not horrible, want-to-run-out-of-the-room hot. The good part about this is that I'm really just focused on the postures and I could care less if the fans come on or the doors open. The usual percentage of people end up dropping during part of the standing series, but I'm just cruising along.

One of my favorite teachers was (is) Heather, who sadly moved away this week to teach full-time at a studio in another state. She told us to try to imagine the class as a whole, rather than a series of different postures. I really like this viewpoint, and that's how I've been approaching things recently. Instead of worrying about getting through the next posture, I just focus on the 90 minutes.

I'm thinking about doing some double(s) next week, like more than one. We'll see how that goes...


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Maze of UNLV

Bikram class # 83 in 79 days. Went better than yesterday, considering my hamstrings were more cooperative. I went deeper in some back bend related things, like Camel, which always makes me happy. I'm totally envious of people that can do great back bends!

I'm getting used to the front row. It took me a while to start going there. I finally realized the most important thing about the front row is to set a good example, not sitting out postures, not taking water at weird times, etc. Am I the best at doing the postures? No, but I do set a good example. I do notice people behind me checking out my postures from time to time, so I figure that's a good thing.

On another note, I got to wander around UNLV today trying to find a person to give me a check for some work our company did. UNLV has some nice buildings - and some not so nice buildings, i.e. glorified trailers.

Oh yeah, World Series Game 1, totally boring. Phillies will win this thing in 5 I imagine. And the Cavs lost again. They're 0-2. Should I start panicking?


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hamstrings of Steel

I'm typing this during halftime of the Lakers game, which I'm watching on TV. I'm thrilled the NBA season is finally back. I know a lot of people don't get interested in basketball until the playoffs, but I watch any Lakers or Cavs games that are on during the season. I'm really excited about this season, especially since football has been rather boring so far.

So now I'm at 82 Bikram classes in 78 days. Today was interesting. For whatever reason, my hamstrings were very tight, like steel. This is not a good thing when you're trying to stretch and bend in various directions. My mind was all over the place during class, which is unusual. I was thinking about everything from my car to some Jay-Z songs. On the one hand, maybe that's not the best focus, but on the other hand, I wasn't too worried about the postures, and was doing them with relative grace and control. Except for some of the balancing series, where my hamstrings made things interesting.

Technically, I'm near the end of a 30 day challenge at my studio. Three days left and I'll be done. Of course, I keep track of the bigger picture, but this is a nice little game. It looks like maybe 10 other people will complete the challenge. One of them, who I really like, seems to have disappeared the past few days. Hopefully, she comes back soon.


Monday, October 26, 2009

Welcome to My World

After being inspired by many other blogs I've read, I figured I'd start my own. I always have a lot on my mind, and I love to write, so this seems like a perfect forum. This won't just be a blog about one thing, although I'll talk about yoga quite a bit, and some sports, music and other interesting things that catch my attention.

So without further delay, let's get to my first posting. And yes, I'll be talking about Bikram Yoga to start off with. It's a recurring theme in my life, and the classes I take everyday shape my viewpoints on everything else. And I love to talk about it.

For the uninformed, Bikram Yoga is a specific form of yoga which involves two breathing exercises and 26 postures in a specific order, put into a 90 minute class. And oh yeah, it's hot. Like at least 100 degrees and 40 percent humidity hot. And you're constantly in motion, except for a few brief breaks.

I had no idea what to think when my dear friend Shannon convinced me to finally show up for a class. For all I knew, it was a bunch of silly meditation and chanting. Far from it. Take the most intensive workout you can imagine, and multiply it by 100. You work every part of the body and you feel unbelievable afterwards.

So Shannon had been talking to me about this for months, and then something finally happened which made me go. But what's interesting is that what got me to go the first time has nothing to do with why I continue to go, day after day. I've now done 81 classes in 77 days since I started but who's counting.

About a week before my first class, I had some major issues with my back. It got so bad that I couldn't even sit down without major pain. Three days before my first class I was in agony and taking medicine to numb the pain. After about a week of classes, the pain was utterly and totally gone, and has most definitely not returned. Now, the only pain I feel in my back (or anywhere else) is in class.

So after my back pain was totally handled, why did I keep coming every day? To keep the pain away? Not really. I imagine I could come 3-4 times per week and would remain in good health. So why, then? To lose weight? I've never been considered fat, so that's not a reason. To look better? Sure, but that's a small part of it. No, the real reason can be summed up with one word: ART.

Bikram Yoga is simply one of the most beautiful forms of art I've ever seen. There is something magical about seeing and doing the postures. It's expressive, awe inspiring and aesthetic. So I go every day to perfect my art. I've been a musician most of my life, and I've always appreciated various art forms. So now I've fallen in love with another one. All the other benefits from the practice just happen, but I always keep my purpose on perfecting the art form.